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The Basic Battery; Common Guns Everyone Should Have

Aug 17, 2007
In a recent interview I had with Doug Giles from ClashRadio, we covered an interesting topic. Doug asked me straight out of the box, what was the best way for the non-gun owner to start their own battery. What a great question! It is one I have answered many times before, but had never realized how good a topic it would be for an article!

Just like anyone getting into anything new, the start can be intimidating. Sometimes just asking the right questions is impossible. Often times I have seen dealers who either do not have take the time to work a person through the process nor make the effort to make them feel comfortable. I have also seen other dealers who attempt to oversell what they have available rather than attempting to steer a new shooter into the gun that is right one.

Here is a list of the perfect guns for the beginner who is looking to start their own battery.

When picking the first gun, most folks don't really like to spend a high dollar figure, however, a sacrifice of quality is also a poor choice. The beginner should also consider a gun with the most versatility in a variety of performance fields.

My first choice for any beginner is easily the Remington 870 Express Shotgun in 12 gauge (gauge may be subjective to the size and age of the shooter, but the 12 is most readily available ammo in the country). The Remington 870 is the number 1 selling firearm in history, with literally millions of models sold for hundreds of applications. The 870 was my first gun and ideally suits the needs due to its high quality, excellent performance history, and relatively low price tag (Around $275.00).

The 870 is also extremely versatile. The receiver/barrel design has not significantly changed making parts interchangeable and easy to find. Barrels are also plentiful and easy to switch out for different applications. There is not one single animal in North America and possible the world, which could not be taken with an 870 shotgun.

For birds, clays, and other airborne targets there is a plethora of smooth bore barrels in a variety of lengths (24-30 inches). For larger game, there are rifled barrels for sabots and slugs. Slugs are not good for long distance shooting, but any critter, including moose, within a hundred yards is a good as on the table if an accurate shot is made. The 870 also has an impressive history of being used as military, police, and defensive shotgun. This has stepped to the forefront in a many new gun buyers as images of the complete infrastructure collapse of New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Just pick up some buckshot shells and you will have a premier defensive weapon with unsurpassed stopping power.

The second firearm one should add to the battery would be a bolt action .22 caliber rifle with open sights. These are often referred to as "Trainers" or "Plinkers". 22 Long Rifle ammunition is both prevalent and cheap which is always a plus for shooters like me who have to watch the bottom line. Recoil is also non-existent which makes for ease in shooting. Open sites is also a critical step in a beginner rifle as it serves as the foundation for proper shooting technique.

The final benefit to having a Plinker, is the facilitation of lots of quality shooting time. Nothing trains a person to shoot better than shooting. You can take a 22 rifle and case of shells and shoot for hours at cans, targets, squirrels, or whatever tickles your fancy. Great models to consider would be the CZ 513, The Ruger 77/22, and the Cricket series from Keystone. The next step up would the Ruger 10/22 for the semi automatic shooter.

These are the 2 primary weapons which can be found in almost every gun collection across the USA. These 2 weapons are perfect for teaching the basics of shooting and hunting while at the same time providing advanced performance levels. If a beginning shooter and hunter can avoid the hype of buying lots of guns to begin with and learn to use these 2 firearms, they will far ahead of many hunters and shooters who have shot for years.
About the Author
Kelsey Hilderbrand is an avid shooter, hunter, collector, outdoor writer, and founder of High Mountain Hunting Supply
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