If you’re after a lightweight, handy, inexpensive carbine for both beginner and advanced shooters that fires a common, inexpensive caliber, strongly consider the Ruger 10/22 in one of its many versions. For self-defense to survival, or just plain fun plinking at the range, it can fill the bill nicely.
Looking for an inexpensive way to pass time on the range? Grab your 10/22 and go. And check out this deal from Champion: two mags, a spinner, and a cleaning kit.