If you’ve never shot a gun before but you want to try it for some reason, maybe you’ve heard from a friend of a friend or a neighbor or a colleague that shooting can be fun. Or maybe you’ve been red-pilled.
To say shooting is fun is an understatement. It can be a real treat, even more so if it’s your first time and you do it right. But it won’t be fun at all if you end up shooting a gun that kicks too much. Similarly, if the ammo for your gun’s particular chambering doesn’t turn out to be wallet-friendly and costs over a dollar per round, you probably won’t even bother shooting the damn thing.
I’ll talk about my Funnest Guns to Shoot. These guns and the cartridges they are chambered for are known to have very manageable recoil. The cartridges also have some of the lowest per-round prices anywhere in the country and I’ll touch on each of them, plus the specific brand of ammo I would recommend for each of the guns that I’ll talk about.
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I was going to recommend the Ruger Mk IV because it’s a fun little handgun chambered for the .22 Long Rifle that you can shoot all day without getting sore. .22 Long Rifle ammo is dirt-cheap even with today’s pandemic situation, so the Ruger Mk IV is definitely something you might want to consider if you don’t mind paying anywhere from $500-$700 for a handgun that you won’t be using much outside of plinking.
But personally, for $600, I would rather get a different Ruger firearm chambered for the .22 Long Rifle, and a low-cost rifle scope, and as many boxes of .22 Long Rifle ammo as I could buy for whatever’s left. So instead of the Ruger Mk IV, I recommend the Ruger 10/22 in .22 Long Rifle, with the most affordable models costing anywhere from $250-$300.
Originally released in 1964, the Ruger 10/22 is quite old, but the fact that it’s been with us for so long despite having a ton of competitors in the semi-automatic .22 Long Rifle landscape is a testament to just how good of a firearm it is. In fact, despite the .22 Long Rifle being the only chambering available for the Ruger 10/22, it’s one of the most popular rifles in the country today.
The Ruger 10/22 originally had more than a few different variants, each having a different rimfire cartridge chambering, but since 2016 the company has stopped producing most of those. Today, the only models being produced are ones chambered in 22 Long Rifle.
Though it was designed from the get-go to be a rifle for beginners, experienced shooters enjoy shooting the Ruger 10/22 just the same. It’s a semi-automatic rifle, which if you didn’t know, means you fire one shot every time you pull the trigger.
The Ruger 10/22 uses a simple blowback action. Its hammer and recoil spring pressure holds the bolt shut after firing until the bullet is propelled out of the barrel. Once the bullet is out, it releases pressure which allows the bolt to blowback, ejecting the empty case from the chamber and stripping a new round from the magazine.
The Ruger 10/22 is a rifle with a well-deserved reputation for reliability despite the fact that it was designed to be a budget rifle, with its receiver and trigger guard using Ruger’s investment casting.
The greatest contributing factor to its reliability, according to pundits, is the way its factory 10-shot steel magazine was designed. The Ruger 10/22’s magazine is a rotary type that uses machined steel lips which guarantees reliable feeding of practically any brand of ammo, except maybe for some Remington ammo. Remington reportedly uses a lube that causes the Ruger 10/22’s magazine rotor to stick.
Speaking of ammo, the cheapest bulk ammo on the market today has got to be the CCI Blazer High-Velocity 40-grain lead round nose bullets. As of this video’s creation, BulkCheapAmmo.com is selling them for $3.19 for 50 rounds, which equates to about six cents per round. If you get a cheap scope like Cabela’s Intensity Rifle Scope for $120, you’ll have a solid plinking and varmint hunting platform that you can shoot for days on end.
The .22 Magnum cartridge is more powerful than the .22 Long Rifle, but not nearly powerful enough to produce significantly more felt recoil. As far as ballistic performance, a 40-grain .22 Magnum bullet fired from an 18-inch barrel will produce 300 foot-pounds of force at the muzzle, not much different from a standard pressure 115-grain 9mm bullet fired from a 4-inch barrel. What this means is, aside from plinking, a rifle chambered for the .22 Magnum can also be used for hunting small game like foxes and coyotes, and for home defense.
Semi-automatic rifles chambered for the .22 Magnum used to be very limited, but thankfully, that is not the case anymore. One of the more recently released semi-automatic rifles chambered for the .22 Magnum is the Rossi RS22.
With a street price of $250 thereabouts, you’re getting more than your money’s worth as the Rossi RS22 comes with an all-weather polymer stock, a blowback action similar to that of the Ruger 10/22, and pretty good accuracy even with its long trigger take-up, which, all things considered, is a minor nitpick.
And similar to the Ruger 10/22’s ammo capacity, the Rossi RS22’s magazine holds 10 rounds of .22 Magnum but doesn’t use the rotary feeding system that the Ruger 10/22’s 10-round magazine is known for. Even then, it will reliably feed a lot of different brands of .22 Magnum ammo.
So then you might be wondering, why is this gun priced the same as the Ruger 10/22 when it’s also a semi-automatic and it’s chambered for a more potent rifle caliber? What gives? Well, there are two things:
One, Rossi guns are made in Brazil. I don’t want to sound condescending but just to state facts, labor costs in Brazil are lower than in the U.S.A. which automatically makes the Rossi RS22 sell for much lower than competing rifles that are manufactured locally. Two, a Rossi will never be as good as a Ruger if we’re just talking quality, fit and finish, and durability.
I don’t want to get too deep into this topic because that’s not what you’re here for and there’s just so many things to talk about when it comes to Rossi’s reputation that it deserves an entire topic in itself. Suffice it to say, people have different opinions about the company, some say they manufacture trash firearms while others swear by them.
My personal take on the topic is, for $250 brand new, you’d be hard-pressed to find a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the .22 Magnum that requires little maintenance and has respectable accuracy like the Rossi RS22.
Ruger did a limited run of their 10/22 variant chambered in .22 Magnum but they started it back in 1998 and ended it just eight years after the fact. Those rifles are now considered collectors’ items and the chances of you finding one in mint condition at a really good price is next to zero.
As far as ammo, I would recommend the Armscor 40-grain jacketed hollow points. A box of 50 is priced at $11.30, which translates to 23 cents per round. You can head on over to Caliber Armory dot com, hopefully they still have some in stock by the time this topic is uploaded.
Let’s talk about pistol caliber carbines for a second. Pistol caliber carbines have all been the rage in the past several years, and there are more than a few good reasons why the demand for these guns continues to grow every year.
If you happen to own a Glock 17, you can purchase a pistol caliber carbine like the KelTec SUB2000 to shoot 9mm using your Glock 17’s magazines. The KelTec SUB2000’s significantly longer barrel will provide more room for your 9mm bullet to accelerate in before it flies out of the muzzle, pushing it to its ballistic limits and giving you more bang for your buck in the process. Just how much more bang for your buck, some of you may ask? Let’s crunch some numbers, shall we?
The typical 115-grain plus P round shot from a Glock 17 with a four and forty-nine hundredths of an inch barrel will have a velocity of roughly 1,344 feet per second which translates to 461 foot pounds of force at the muzzle. The same exact bullet shot from a KelTec SUB2000’s 16 and a quarter of an inch barrel will have a velocity of about 1,535 feet per second amounting to 602 foot pounds of force at the muzzle.
That’s a 30.58% increase in muzzle energy which on paper, may not mean a lot to you, but a 115-grain +P 9mm from the KelTec SUB2000 will outperform a 125-grain .357 Magnum from a 4-inch Smith and Wesson 686. With its longer barrel and stock, the KelTec SUB2000 will have a much more manageable recoil, making it a real pleasure to shoot.
But wait, there’s more! A brand new KelTec SUB2000 has a street price of $450, which is just a little over half the price of a brand new Smith and Wesson 686. It can use 33-round Glock mags. It has room for a rifle scope, a laser, a flashlight, a foregrip, or any other attachment you can think of. And you can have it converted to chamber 960 Rowland. I can talk about its advantages all day.
Now some naysayers may say it’s an unfair comparison, as handguns and revolvers can be carried concealed much easier than a carbine. That’s true, to some extent, but the KelTec isn’t like any other carbine, because it’s a folding carbine that easily fits in a small backpack and deploys in mere seconds.
Sure there are a handful of foldable carbine-sized firearms out there, but with the exception of the Savage Model 42 Takedown rimfire-shotgun combo that comes with a barrel chambered for .410 shotshell, almost all foldable carbines are chambered only in rimfire cartridges.
The KelTec SUB2000 is unique in that it’s a folding pistol caliber carbine and is available in either 9mm or .40 S&W. I wouldn’t recommend you purchase the one in .40 S&W because it has a bit of a snappier recoil and .40 S&W ammo is more expensive than 9mm ammo.
Speaking of ammo, the most affordable 9mm ammo as of this topic creation is Mountain City Supply’s 115-grain full metal jacket. A 1,000-round crate costs $242.99 or 24 cents per round. If that price doesn’t sound appealing, it’s because it isn’t. But it’s also because of the pandemic. Hopefully, when the current Brandon — eherm — I mean Biden — administration comes to an end, we’ll start seeing better ammo prices again.
And we’re down to my last recommendation, the AR-15. This probably didn’t come to you as a surprise. If you’ve only just recently been red-pilled, there’s a pretty good chance you have anti-gun friends who hate the AR-15.
Just as a quick FYI, your leftist friends think the AR in AR-15 stands for “assault rifle” but really, AR stands for “ArmaLite rifle”. I won’t get into the details, you can do a bit of research on the subject and just thank me later. For now, let me just tell you something that makes my AR-15 recommendation kind of unique.
I’m not recommending the AR-15 in this topic simply because of my bias toward it. I’m recommending it because besides the platform having a reputation for reliability, modularity, and mild recoil, it also chambers and shoots the .223 Remington. You may have to clean it more often if you shoot a lot of .223 Remington in it, but it is without a doubt the most fun to shoot dual-caliber rifle on the planet.
You may ask, what’s the big deal if the AR-15 accepts the .223 Remington? Well, if you check ammo prices online, the four most affordable brands of ammo are the .22 Long Rifle, the .22 Magnum, the 9mm, and the .223 Remington.
Currently, the most affordable .223 Remington ammo which also happens to be the most affordable centerfire rifle cartridge ammo in the country is Tulammo’s 55-grain steel-cased full metal jacket. It’s priced at $363 per 1,000 rounds or 36 cents per round. If steel-cased ammo sounds iffy to you, the cheapest brass-cased .223 Remington ammo is PMC’s Bronze 55gr full metal jacket selling for $411 per 1,000 rounds, or 41¢ per round.
Every once in a while you’ll see bulk ammo for 7.62 x 39mm having the same price per round as the .223 Remington, but I can’t recommend any firearm chambered for the 7.62 x 39mm at the moment. Bolt-action rifles in my opinion are too slow to be fun, and prices of Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles have skyrocketed since the pandemic struck America in 2020.
Take the AKM for example. Five years ago, you could purchase a Century Arms GP WASR-10 chambered in 7.62 x 39mm at a street price of $400. Today, the same model is selling for $730 on Guns dot com which doesn’t make sense.
It’s not even on par with a slightly better budget model like the Zastava ZPAPM70 which costs only $100 more. Both models have canted sights but the ZPAPM70 has a lot of special features not found in the WASR-10. And don’t even think about building your own Kalashnikov.
Going back to why I recommend the AR-15 in 5.56mm NATO, besides the fact that .223 Remington ammo is the cheapest out of all centerfire rifle cartridges at the moment, you can also build yourself an AR-15 for really cheap.
You may need to do a bit of research, maybe watch a few AR build guide videos online and do your due diligence before purchasing the required parts, but building a brand new Frankenstein AR-15 for less than $400 is not beyond the realms of possibility. And if you just can’t be bothered building it yourself, the cheapest mil-spec AR-15 from Radical Firearms is selling for only $565 brand new.
And that’s it for my list of the Funnest Guns to Shoot. If there were other firearms you would have wanted me to include in the topic, feel free to let me know by commenting down below.