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jon1985
04-28-2012, 08:10 PM
Hello all,


I am very new to shooting and looking into getting my PAL. I have spoken with a few different people and seem to get different information from everyone. Some people say I can just study the material and write the test, others say I need to take the course then write the test. Which is correct?

Next question, I got into shooting when I was outwest for a week visiting some family. I was told I can shoot non restricted firearms on private property (with permission) and crown land as long as the property is outside of town limits. However back in ontario I have been talking to a few people, some say this is true, others say you can only shooot on crown land if you have a hunting permit for whatever might be in season at the time so that if the authorities find you shooting they cant accuse you of hunting without a license. Is any part of this true?


Next questions, I obviously dont have ant fire arms right now. I shot a few different guns when I was out, 9mm hand guns, .22 riffles, .223 riffles, 12g and 20g shot guns. I found that I could hit or miss a target the same with the more expensive ammunition as the cheap .22 $20/500rnd ammunition. The main difference I noticed was the affect of wind on the shot. I really enjoyed shooting the 223 but a riffle and ammunition is considerably more expensive then a 22 rifle and ammunition. Im sure I can get proficient with a cheaper rifle with cheaper ammo before moving up to a higher caliber. That said, if I can buy a decenr 223 rifle and find cheaper ammunition then I would be more then happy to start with a 223. So, can any one make a recommendation for a first rifle, of either caliber? Keep in mind I will need to buy a decent scope and bi-pod at the same time as the rifle.

Last question, for now anyways, if I go with a 223 for example, is it reasonable to think I can get setup and learn how to reload my own ammunition? If so how much is that going to run me? roughly?


Thanks for any help you can give me

Neil Burke
04-28-2012, 08:43 PM
Welcome to the site, jon. In order:

In a way, both are correct. You can do either, study the material and challenge the test or take a course and write the test. The benefit of the course is that the instructor can answer questions and clarify things that you may or may not understand completely/correctly on the spot without affecting your test. Also with the course you get exposed to the handling of the different types of firearms. I would recommend that you do the course if you've never handled the different types before, else it's reasonable to just study the material.

I don't live in the country so take what I say with a grain of salt. One of the key things to watch for I've been told is to check the municipal level by-laws with respect to the discharge of a firearm. Hopefully someone with more experience can chime in on this point.

In either case (.22 or .223) since you're just starting out, I suggest that there is little point in getting match grade ammunition and just go with cheaper but reliable ammunition to start working your fundamentals. I personally would get bored with only a .22 but they're great for working the fundamentals.

Of course. You should do a bunch of research (online for the process and tips on how to get started) and get a reloading manual prior to actually getting started but it's definitely doable. As for cost, like with any hobby firearms or otherwise, as little or as much as you want to spend. There are different presses with different levels of complexity and output speeds. For example, a single stage press does one operation only per pull of the handle, whereas a progressive press does between 4 and 7 operations depending on the press. Lee is decent for the price, and it goes up from there.

Forbes/Hutton
04-28-2012, 08:47 PM
Hello all,


I am very new to shooting and looking into getting my PAL. I have spoken with a few different people and seem to get different information from everyone. Some people say I can just study the material and write the test, others say I need to take the course then write the test. Which is correct?
You can challenge the test without taking the course if you wish.

Next question, I got into shooting when I was outwest for a week visiting some family. I was told I can shoot non restricted firearms on private property (with permission) and crown land as long as the property is outside of town limits. However back in ontario I have been talking to a few people, some say this is true, others say you can only shooot on crown land if you have a hunting permit for whatever might be in season at the time so that if the authorities find you shooting they cant accuse you of hunting without a license. Is any part of this true?
So long as there is no "no discharge" law in the area, you can shoot non-restricted on crown land and private property without breaking any firearms laws. The minister of conservation officers may claim that you are poaching if you are found in the woods with firearms and cannot prove otherwise.

Next questions, I obviously dont have ant fire arms right now. I shot a few different guns when I was out, 9mm hand guns, .22 riffles, .223 riffles, 12g and 20g shot guns. I found that I could hit or miss a target the same with the more expensive ammunition as the cheap .22 $20/500rnd ammunition. The main difference I noticed was the affect of wind on the shot. I really enjoyed shooting the 223 but a riffle and ammunition is considerably more expensive then a 22 rifle and ammunition. Im sure I can get proficient with a cheaper rifle with cheaper ammo before moving up to a higher caliber. That said, if I can buy a decenr 223 rifle and find cheaper ammunition then I would be more then happy to start with a 223. So, can any one make a recommendation for a first rifle, of either caliber? Keep in mind I will need to buy a decent scope and bi-pod at the same time as the rifle.
That's a very broad question. Bolt action of semi-automatic? If you want a semi will you be getting a restricted PAL and joining a club to shoot or only shooting on private/crown land? What's the budget? What's the maximum range you plan on shooting at?

Last question, for now anyways, if I go with a 223 for example, is it reasonable to think I can get setup and learn how to reload my own ammunition? If so how much is that going to run me? roughly?
I don't reload but I get the impression that with all the gear required for a modest set-up will set you back about a grand. Someone will point out how wrong I am in a few posts.

Thanks for any help you can give me

Answered.

Redhouse
04-28-2012, 08:59 PM
You are *allowed* to study and challenge the test without taking the class.

Unless you are very experienced with firearms, I wouldn't do that.

In class, you get hands-on practical experience operating different kinds of firearms - bolts, semi-auto rifles, revolvers, different types of pistols, even old break open shotguns. In my case, the instructor was great about saying 'THIS is going to be on the test', when talking about or pointing out different things.

Shooting on private property - yes, depends on municipal/county regulations though, many have 'no discharge' bylaws.

Crown land, subject to the above, yes - BUT EACH PROVINCE TREATS IT DIFFERENTLY, so Alberta is OK but Ontario might not be. Not in parkland though, like federal parks (probably provincial too, might vary by province).

.22LR vs .223 - you're talking almost an entirely different ballgame when talking rimfire vs center fire. Some rimfire's shoot the cheap ammo well, some don't - rimfire guns, and I'm generalizing here, tend to like 1 or 2 specific brands and lots. So, you test a lot of different brands and find what it shoots best.

Center fire, your best accuracy will almost always be with cartridges you make yourself, because you can fine-tune powder weight, bullet seating, and other factors. Real good factory ammo, like above, might be hit and miss, and will be more expensive. Shooting bulk cheap .223 for $400/1000 might make you happy, depends what your standards are.

Pretty much everyone who shoots owns a .22 rifle. So, that would be a good place to start. You can teach yourself some good habits (breathing, squeezing the trigger, etc etc etc.)

Reloading, a cheap setup (scale, press, powder measure, dies) might run you $150-200 to set up for 1 caliber. That doesn't take into account powder ($35/lb or so), bullets ($25/100 or so) or brass (varies, $20-80/100). I taught myself how to do it, did lots of reading beforehand. LOTS of reading. And was still nervous as hell the first time I pulled the trigger on one I made myself. Best advice - FIND A MENTOR who will show you the ropes, preferably on their own reloading rig.

jon1985
04-28-2012, 09:28 PM
wow, so much information so quickly, isnt the internet great.

I guess my best bet would be to start reading up on local bylaws and talking to local shooters.

As for the details on a fire arm I would like, I want to start bolt action for sure. As for center fire vs rim fire, I dont know much about either. I know the .22s we shot where both rim fire, the 9mm and .223s were center fire. Im still very unsure of caliber ratings as I see alot of different numbers and dont know what they mean. As for a budget I havent decided yet. I dont have enough education to make a reasonable budget. I could say less than $300 but to get a decent rifle and scope that may be totaly rediculous, so for now lets leave that unanswered.




NEW QUESTION: I obviously have LOTS to learn. Can anyone recomend either a good website or some good books to read? Looking for basic info on shooting, guns and ammunition.

thanks again

jonanddad
04-28-2012, 09:37 PM
I suggest taking a read of these, They are the books used for the firearms classes http://www.gunownersofcanada.ca/showthread.php?216-CFSC-and-CRFSC-Manuals

Forbes/Hutton
04-28-2012, 09:43 PM
I would suggest you take a trip into Ottawa and visit Sail Outdoors and Lebarons.

At Lebarons beg them for a copy of the fall/winter catalog, 2012 Summer is out, they should still have copies of the 2011 fall/winter hidden away, it's the fall catalog that has all the firearms, ammo and reloading stuff.

As for web sites, just ask questions around here. As for reading start with the Canadian Firearms Safety Course manuals. They will answer many of your questions and you will need to most of the information they contain for the test. Someone around here probably has them as a PDF file.

Yep, the internet is fast.

joe-nwt
04-28-2012, 09:46 PM
For reloading, buy at least one reloading manual. The first part of any reloading manual has all the basics needed to start reloading. From there you will know what you need and can start shopping for the equipment that suits the type of ammunition you want to build.

Redhouse
04-28-2012, 10:31 PM
Rimfire = really good at 25 yards and 50 yards, takes some skill got steer it at 100 yards, takes serious skill to steer it beyond that - .22 is quite sensitive to wind.

Centerfire .223 = juuuust about anyone can hit a 6" gong at 500 yards if they know how much drop to expect (easy to find drop tables, depends on bullet weight and velocity), and the wind isn't blowing too hard. Lots of guys shoot targets at 100 yards non stop, to improve their technique and try get better (usually 5-shot) groups.

$300 will get you a very entry level .22 rifle + scope. Savage makes some extremely well respected bolt action .22's, that start right around or just over $200. Scopes, ask around, even try find used. But don't just buy the first $89 scope some shop recommends.

icehunter121
05-06-2012, 10:39 AM
Just my .02 worth here...but I would start with a quality .22 for a couple of reasons. Ammo is cheap,shoot all day and it doesnt break the bank. Also with it being quieter you dont attract as much attention.This is essential if you are shooting on a private farm with others around you.Lots of farms,lots of nosey farmers coming to bother you to see what all the shooting is...been there done that one!

For a scope,spend $200-$300 on a quality one....reasoning for that is it will help your shooting...LOTS. Some of the cheaper scopes have so much paralax in them its not even funny,they might look cool for the $100.00 bucks you spent,but you will buy garbage and have to spend more money to get a good one so buy quality first and be done with it.Also as your collection increases,you can take above said scope and mount it on a centerfire rifle and know you have good optics to start with. That really makes a big difference when testing out your handloads. I have bought rifles,ripped a scope off one of my .22" and went to the range.I know the scope is good and when my reloads arent accurate,then I can rule out the scope as being at fault.

For a centerfire for a first timer,the .223 is great.Ammo is cheap,plentiful and you just cant go wrong with it at all.Recoil is non-existent...you could shoot all day and never come away with a sore shoulder or recoil headache.Also when shooting centerfires your muscles will fatigue rather fast specially on heavier rifles.I dont mean weight heavy but calibre heavy.I shoot up to the .460 wby and off the bench I can do about 15-20 rounds b4 my muscles and brain tell me to take 20 minutes off.I can then take my .416 rigby,do the same 15-20 rounds or so while testing my hand loads and after that ,I am done for the day.

For reloading,if you can find a mentor that is the best way to do it.Alternately ask lots of questions in fire arms sites. You will get 20 different answers,and 20 different opinions...but....that gives you 20 different ways to look at things rather then the fella at the gun counter who is gonna sell you stuff cause he works on commission. Also...and PLEASE remember this...BUY a reloading manual or 5 of them.THey are essential....reloading data on the net from forums..DO NOT TRUST IT AT ALL...case in hand. I had a .416 Rigby I was reloading for,and it was brutal to shoot. 3 rounds and I was done for the day.The rifle would recoil so hard that the bolt would take skin off my knuckles of my firing hand.I got the data off the net from a "trusted source" when all was said and done I was shooting 115-118 grains of powder with a given bullet that in a actual reloading manual the top end load was at 95 grains of powder.No wonder I was getting beat up off the bench.

This has been long winded reply,but if you at least get 1 or 2 points out of it...it was well worth my time. An once again this is only my .02 cents worth to help you out...

Edit to add...Think of it as a investment,quality rifle,scope Etc and it drives tacks.For that extra couple of hundred bucks,it really makes a world of difference.That will be your rifle you grab for a day of shooting,you are confident that the rifle will do what you want and your own confidence level will go way up..an 10 or 20 years down the road...that couple hundred bucks dont mean nuthin when you look at all the times that you were out shooting that rifle..

RobSmith
05-06-2012, 11:01 AM
First welcome aboard.

Second since you obviously have not grown up around firearms it would be better for you to take the course. It's more expensive, but it's a once in a lifetime thing that will teach you pretty much everything you need to know in terms of what a gun is, how it works, what are the different kinds of mechanisms out there and so on (not to mention how to be SAFE with firearms). I personally would not go with a 223 as a first centerfire rifle because if you ever decide to go hunting, you can't legally hunt big game such a deer with one because the caliber is too small, and you can't really hunt small game such as hares with one either because you'll just blow your target appart. Your best bet is 308 (sometimes known as the "universal caliber"), there is a bit more recoil but you will learn to manage it. Of course the best overall is the good old 22lr. It's cheap to shoot, and you can hunt small game all day long with it. Technically it is legal to just shoot for the sake of it on crown land but MNR tends to see all shooting as hunting so it's always best to keep a small game license in your pocket when shooting outside of private land or a licensed range, if anybody asks, you're out to hunt groundhogs, which are open year round here in Quebec and I imagine is the same in most of Ontario. Otherwise you may end up with some frivolous "poaching" charge and a heap of needless troubles. Regarding the larger subject of marksmanship, it takes years of practice and thousand of rounds of ammunition before you get really good at it, shooting is not like riding a bike, it is a craft which takes a lifetime to master. Can't really help you with handloading (people tend to prefer the term over reloading) since I've never done it myself. You can get a decent 22lr rifle in bolt action for about 200$ brand new, and ammunition goes for about 30-40$ for 500 rounds (cartridges). While a centerfire will cost you on average about 1$ a round unless you buy it in huge quantities at which point it <may> get as "cheap" as 50 cents a round. Because 22lr is so finnicky you may have to experiment at close range (25-50 yards) before you find the brand that works best in your rifle, but the added bonus is that you can learn the basics of long range marksmanship such as wind compensation and bullet drop at much shorter distances. 200yds in a 22lr is a pretty good simulation of 600yds centerfire for example.

Hope this helps,
Rob

Rory McCanuck
05-06-2012, 11:52 AM
Welcome to a great website about one of the best hobbies out there.

Education is a great thing, and in general, the more, the better.
Hunter's Education and Firearm Safety courses are great. They
generally start at a point assuming you know nothing, so no one
need feel out of place.
Reading will give you a head start. Your local library will likely
carry something, but Chapters has an anti-gun policy.
The web is also a great resource, but be aware any yahoo can
post on the web and sound like an expert (case in point ;) )
Use a common sense filter on any online information.

Shooters tend to be a pretty friendly bunch, with a few old
curmudgeons thrown in. It shouldn't be too difficult to get
invited to go shooting, and folks will often let a newbie try
different guns. Familiarity will guide you towards
what You want to get or do. We can tell you what we
would do differently or what you should do, but is your
hobby, and your money, and your enjoyment.

One bit of advice you'll get many times is to start with a
bolt action .22. It is simple, forgiving, and (relatively) inexpensive.
Once you get proficient with that, then think about getting
a centerfire.
Also, I would try to start with iron sights. That's the front and rear
sights attached to the barrel, rather than a scope. Think of it like
learning to drive with a standard, rather than automatic transmission.
Once your learn, you don't even think about it anymore. This of
course is assuming you have eyes young enough to see the sights,
as we get older, scopes become more attractive.

Looks like you have a lot of reading to do, even just to get through
all of what we windbags have to say :)

jon1985
05-06-2012, 06:00 PM
Thank yo very much for all the replies.

I have several friends who shoot and they have told me that once I have my PAL they have no problem letting me shoot their guns until I decide what I want (providing I pay for ammunition).

Now its just a matter of finding a course I can take.

superbrad
05-06-2012, 07:12 PM
Thank yo very much for all the replies.

I have several friends who shoot and they have told me that once I have my PAL they have no problem letting me shoot their guns until I decide what I want (providing I pay for ammunition).

Now its just a matter of finding a course I can take.

Are you willing to come south to avonmore?.... I can set you up... both with guns and with the course....

webster
05-06-2012, 09:19 PM
Thank yo very much for all the replies.

I have several friends who shoot and they have told me that once I have my PAL they have no problem letting me shoot their guns until I decide what I want (providing I pay for ammunition).

Now its just a matter of finding a course I can take.

The RA Centre in Ottawa offers the PAL/RPAL course. That's where I took mine. Give them a call.

PS: Welcome to the addiction. :Beer time:

jon1985
05-07-2012, 07:39 PM
I have no problem reading. The more I know about something before really getting into it the better.

Superbrad, thank you for the invite but you are almost 2 hours away so I will look for a course more locally, but thank you again for the offer.

Turkeyslayer 1300
05-12-2012, 09:12 AM
I am south of the city if you are ever in the city and want to meet up for a coffee or something and gets some tips or even go into a store, be it SAIL or Lebaron I can show you the basics and help you figure out what would work best for you.

Get your PAL first and then let me know.

jon1985
05-17-2012, 05:42 AM
Thanks for the offer Turkeyslayer. I may just take you up on it someday.

I have been doing alot of reading and it seems like an SKS is a pretty common gun to most people and the surplus ammunition is cheap. I dont mind having to clean it every time I use it due to the corrosive ammunition.

My question is are the accurate enough to learn on? they seem to be cheaper then a decent .22 and the ammunition is cheap (i havent done a price comparison to .22 yet as I havent looked for prices for SKS ammo yet)

Thoughts?

Comments?

Redhouse
05-17-2012, 03:19 PM
SKS 7.62x39 surplus usually runs around $200/1000

For $200, you can pretty much buy a 5000 round case of cheap .22, I think I saw $220-230 this week.

SKS can be found as cheap as $100, but most of the ones I see now are $199. If you are real good, you will shoot a 3-4" group at 100M. Many ranges won't allow a center fire gun at shorter ranges.

A Savage .22 can easily be found around $200, sometimes even packaged with a cheap scope. If you are really good, you will shoot 1/2" group at 50M or one hole at 25M.

I say the .22 is the way to go if you are training yourself to shoot.

jon1985
05-18-2012, 09:28 PM
ok, I will be on the hunt for a decent .22 package.

Rory McCanuck
05-18-2012, 09:43 PM
I don't think anybody is saying don't get an SKS, just maybe that isn't
the best to start off with. If you are trying to teach yourself to shoot well,
a gun that might only be capable of 6" groups @ 100 yards is going to
be frustrating.
Once you know that you are capable of better, then blasting away with
surplus ammo is fun. That is likely not the best way to develop good
habits, though.
Be sure to handle several different styles and brands before you buy.
Its a lot more fun when it is a gun you are excited about, and are
comfortable with.

M.T. Chambers
06-02-2012, 05:26 AM
I say "go for it".

bccanadian
06-03-2012, 07:36 PM
One more comment on loading your own. Start off with a single stage press. The reason is, you will learn each step very well and the reasons for doing each step. It will also teach you to be very attentive to detail. If you start off with a progressive, first off, when you have problems with seating or marring of the cases, you may not notice because so much is literally happening with every pull of the handle. When loading your own, you do not want to miss something that could potentially blow up your gun or worse.
Granted in the long run this will be more expensive however when it comes to handloads, SAFETY IS #1. So many things can cause excessive pressures if you don't' watch what you are doing. Seating a bullet too deep, double charging, cracks in the brass, all of these and more can cause problems.

I started with an RCBS Rock Chucker a few decades ago and now I have a progressive. Now when I change calibres, it's easier setting up the dies because I know the reasons for the positions and/or depths of the seating etc.

joe-nwt
06-12-2012, 03:40 PM
Even a progressive is not rocket science. I learned on a progressive. No problems.