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9/15/2010 12:57 PM
 
I am a gun guy, I always have been and I always will be probably. Therefore, I like to try different guns and like to have more than one gun with different guns being specialized for different purposes. I have the luxury of having a so called blackgun in three different calibers, lever guns in several calibers, boltguns, etc… I also have the luxury of multiple guns in the same caliber as backups if one gun in that caliber breaks. Although, I only do that with what I consider my primary calibers. For instance I have a second 9mm virtually identical to my carry pistol. That is a great thing until it comes time to head out in to the backcountry because realistically I can only carry one pistol and one rifle at a time if that. More becomes excessive. Heck, even heading to the range with multiple guns in different calibers can be a huge pain in the butt and a lot of work. Evan is also a gun guy, but he has a family, which I don’t, and dang it those pesky kids and wife demand to be fed and clothed. The result is he doesn’t have the discretionary cash that I do so he is forced by simple economics to have a smaller collection than I do.



Another factor is the idea of one gun. Before you get up in arms I am not suggesting that you only have to own one gun, but that the one gun you have with you is the one gun that you will have to use for everything that you need a gun for. What starts out as a hunting trip could very well turn into a self defense situation because you stumble across someone’s grow site, and a day of hiking could easily turn into a survival situation with the need for taking game. In either case you can’t call time out and trip back home and get the AR you have for self defense or the big game rifle you have for deer or elk. You have to dance with the ONE that you brung.



The result is that we tend to gravitate towards firearms that will fit more than one roll and are handy to carry and pack around. I prefer the term practical rifle and even more general purpose rifle than scout rifle to avoid the connotations that most people give to practical or scout. In the end, however, all of them are talking about the same thing a single gun that does a bit of everything well. By that I mean it is good for hunting in thick close stuff, it is good for hunting in open country, it has enough thump for heavy game, and is light enough in caliber that it can be shot a lot for practice and not over kill for lighter game. It is robust, reliable, and simple enough that it can be used for self defense if needs be. It is heavy enough that you can hold it steady for longer range shots, but light enough you can pack it all day. With a few modifications pretty much any hunting rifle can be a general purpose rifle. What interests us is what are those modifications and what platforms lend themselves to those modifications more so than others.



We aren’t putting down the light weight mountain rifle, long range antelope rifle, heavy precision rifle, sbr blackgun, big bore bear rifle, etc… Just like in all things we look for simple solutions to multiple problems in one package. A dual use tool.



To put it in a historical perspective, we are not talking about the buffalo hunters sharps or a squirrel hunters light rifle we are talking about the saddle rifle/carbine carried by a cowboy, trapper or army scout. A rifle that would be called on to kill table meat from rabbits to buffalo, fight off Indians or outlaws, be compact enough to pack easily on a saddle or by hand, and reliable enough to work when called on.



Consider this an invite to discuss your general purpose firearms, accessories, and experiences here in the general forum.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
9/27/2010 1:45 PM
 

I'm in a similar situation to Evan, though not because I have a family. I'm a recent college graduate, self employed through freelance work in the film industry. I have a good income, but it's not always consistant, and so I don't have as much discretionary income as some.

I have only recently began to purchase my own firearms. Prior to this, I had always used my dads, or been given a pistol or rifle as a gift. I'm definitely not complaining about gifts, but in the case of my first 9mm pistol, a Beretta 92, it wasn't the best choice for me. I wasn't brought up hunting, so I don't have any hand-me-down deer rifles.

I have two .22 rifles, a 20 guage single shot shotgun, an M1 Garand, a beretta 92 and a .22 revolver that belong to me, but the firearms that I will talk about next I guess I put into the category of my "practical" collection.

The first pistol that I have purchased myself was a used Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm. It's a great gun, and has proven to be really reliable, and it fits me well to boot- much better than my Beretta. Because of my income, this pistol is also my concealed carry weapon, as well as the handgun that I carry into the back country. Is it the best choice for grizzlies? probably not- but so far I haven't really ventured into grizzly country. It's the gun that I have, and will continue to have for a long time, and so I had better learn to shoot it well, and stock up on spare parts and ammo when I can.

The bolt action rifle that I own was actually a hand-me-down sporterized 03A3 that I got for free. It had no scope, and a stock that didn't fit me. I paid to have some work done to it, put a scope and a new stock on it, and shaped it up into a practical rifle that I am really happy with. Is it the best choice for grizzlies? Probably not, but it might be better than my 9mm.

I have been lucky to have hand-me-downs, and good friends that cut me good deals on used hand guns. Soon, I will add an AR to the mix. It will be a basic, no frills carbine with iron sights until I can afford a red-dot. It too will be used, from a good trusted friend.

In the past year I have been lucky enough to take two rifle classes and a pistol class, which have done way more to shape my skills and ideas about firearms than if I had spent the money on another gun. I have also had the mentorship of some good people who's opinions I respect that have saved me a lot of time and money in trying out lots of firearms, maybe to end up where I am right now.

For now, my practical armory includes:

S&W M&P 9mm

03A3 30-06 pracical rifle

and soon, a good reliable AR

 

We'll see where it goes from there, but I do feel as though that covers my bases pretty well.

 
New Post
9/28/2010 8:35 PM
 

This is a subject/topic  that I have come to think about more often in the last few years. Mainly due to the reduction of  my firearm collection because of family needs(darn kids gotta eat) I still have a few black rifles but they are such a PITA to use here in California that they are nothing more than safe queens. 

 My current defend the homestead/ramble longarm is a Mossberg 590. It's not the best long range choice but short of a zombie invasion I'm not sure the local DA would be keen on me trading fire with bad guys past 100 yards. I don't hunt much plus local game consists mainly of yote's and jackrabbits so the 590 can deal with that if need be.

I do have a M1 Garand that is on stand by till the whole lack of a reloading press thing gets settled. Once ammo resupply is no longer an issue with that old warhorse I plan on really spending the time to learn how to run it in a "practical" way. 

That leaves me with the never ending quest on what kind of rifle to buy next. I go back and forth between a bolt gun, most likely a M70 though I like the lines of the Ruger M77 RSI and a Marlin 336. Throw in a Kel-tec SU 16CA or a Mini 14 just because it sticks in my craw that this state wont let me buy black rifles and it just means that I don't have a clue what to get right now...

A question that I would like to ask the Gents here who have taken practical rifle training is just how fast can you reload a bolt rifle with a scope over the action sans DBM? The way I see it if you do get in trouble out in the bush with pot growers, meth lab "techs" or the Rambo nut case it will be at close range. Add to that the thought of more than one bad guy and fast reloads become very important to me.

For a multi-use bolt rifle would you chose a DBM, traditional scope over internal magazine, or the scout set up with stripper clips?  Does it not really matter? Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks.       
    

 
New Post
9/29/2010 12:00 PM
 

I can't answer you on the practical rifle training/stripper/DBM question, but as to the rifles you are considering I just did a bunch of research and discussion with a variety of very knowledgable shooters including an instructor you know. ;) I gave strong consideration to the Ruger because it came pretty much set up as I'd like with short barrel and sights, but in the end went with the Winchester. I believe it to be a slicker, higher quality rifle and I'd rather start with a quality base than something lower quality with the accessories already there. As one very knowledgable shooter put it, "How many customized Rugers do you see?" I won't tell you what that instructor said. Suffice it to say, his thoughts on Ruger quality are not favorable.

I'm a 336 fan but am really liking my Winchester 94. It is lighter by far than an equivalent Marlin and to me that's important for the niche such a rifle fills. If it's just going to hang out behind or door or something, then the extra weight of the Marlin is probably a good thing. For lever action "action", I'd also consider one in a pistol cartridge. Plenty of power and more ammo as well as lighter loads available for practice and small game.

For me, rifles are for trail use, car/car camping and "Oh no, things have gone terribly, terribly wrong" scenarios. Home use dictates my 870 or a pistol. That's for my environment.

 
New Post
9/29/2010 4:48 PM
 

Thank you for the reply CCH, cant believe I overlooked the Winchester 94! One chambered in .357 does makes sense with both a larger magazine and making a good match to my S&W 27's.

You make some good points for the M70. As much as I like the lines of the Ruger RSI the need for a durable rifle overrides the style points that a full stock Ruger holds. Snooping around Brockman Guns web site I could see some mods that would make the M70 a perfect fit for my needs. Awww to dream is a wonderful thing....

 
New Post
9/29/2010 5:14 PM
 

If you go .357, I'd be back to looking at a Marlin or a good 1892 clone. They are light and trim, and made for short cartridges. Also, now that they aren’t made, the Winchester 94 .357s are generally stupid expensive.

You don't have to go Brockman to get a good rifle, although if you did I’m sure you’d be a happy camper. My single biggest modifcation expense will be a stock and that is not exactly necessary. I've explored this pretty thoroughly and came up with the following numbers:

  • Bob Barrel: $75
  • NECG Rear Sight $83
  • NECG Universal Screw-in Ramp $42 for sight, $26 for insert (I’m actually using an old Burris Band Ramp I picked up on the cheap)
  • Sight Install $85

At about $310 that is not exactly cheap to add irons and get a handier barrel length but it is what it is. It is still way cheaper than a custom build. Do it to a Winchester Ultimate Shadow and you’ve got less than a grand into a pretty trick rifle. I can’t believe I’m saying that less than a grand is a deal but given the price of new rifles, that’s actually saying something. The 70 Extreme Weather is probably a better long term deal because with that, I’d not worry about upgrading the stock. Short term it’s a fair bit more to pony up. An Interarms Mauser would also make an excellent base and I’ve seen them pretty cheap ($400ish) although they are most common in long action calibers.

 

 
New Post
9/29/2010 6:29 PM
 

 

Lots of great stuff here to address. As it so happens, I'm currently re-thinking this subject myself. I'll start with the ideal characteristics of such a rifle. Not absurdly ideal, but ideal. That being said, so far as I know there isn't a rifle or carbine that meets all of these parameters. It still helps shape the thinking:
  • Light enough to carry that you're more likely to carry it than not
  • Light ammo
  • Capable of taking game up to elk
  • Relatively high magazine capacity
  • Reloads as fast as possible
  • Commonly available caliber
  • Relatively innocuous appearance
Because I think it is an important point, I’ll first say that I recently had an eye opening experience. A friend came back from a training class with Paul Howe, and he brought some “Mary Catherine” targets with him. Mary Catherine is Paul Howe’s daughter, and he made up a series of hostage rescue targets featuring her in front of the bad guy. You want to shoot the bad guy, but not Mary Catherine. 7 yards, even 10 yards is pistol range, right? Sort of. Even at 7 yards, there is a *significant* difference in the speed and confidence with which you can complete this drill with a carbine versus a pistol. That got me thinking. A short time later I was out hiking in the hinterlands with my wife and three daughters. Kids and dogs were running everywhere at various ranges and I realized that if I needed a gun in that situation, a pistol would be just about worthless. I shoot enough to know what is and is not realistic with a pistol and what is and is not realistic with a carbine. I decided then and there that I was going to see if I could come up with a carbine that I would always carry when out and about with my family. That plays into this thinking because it really puts an emphasis on “light and handy” and “relatively innocuous.”
 
In no particular order, here are some things we’ve discovered or been taught in timed drills and training that also have bearing on this search:
 
  • It sucks to fight with a bolt gun. If you get into a fight, you’ll probably wish you had something else. To address SC’s particular question – mag top off with a blind magazine and traditional scope is doable, but your worst choice. Stripper clip reloads with a scout scope is loads faster and not a bad choice. DBM reloads are probably on par with stripper clip reloads, and the size of your magazine makes a big difference. If you can go into a situation with something that holds 10 rounds, you’re way ahead of something that holds 4.
  • Split times (times between shots) are fastest with an auto loader, ~20% slower with a levergun, and ~40% slower with a bolt gun
  • In true rifle calibers, bolt guns are always lighter than auto loaders. Calibers that can be shot in the AR15 (not AR10) platform are an exception to this rule.
  • Lighter calibers are always easier to shoot quickly and accurately
  • As Larry Vickers constantly reinforces, accuracy is everything.
 
Where does that leave one? If the mini-14 was actually accurate and reliable, it might be perfect. If you aren’t worried about innocuous looks, an AR in 5.56 or (even better) 6.8spc is very hard to beat for weight and shootability. If you want a sleeper, a levergun in a pistol caliber is very hard to beat. It is perceived by the public as grandad’s rifle or John Wayne’s rifle. Both good things. In pistol caliber, a 16” version will hold 8 or 10 rounds in the magazine. Until it is time to reload, it is almost as fast as an auto loader. It is slimmer and more compact (although not shorter) than an AR.
 
If you’re more backcountry and less frontcountry where range and knock down power start to take precedence over higher capacity and rapid reloading, then a properly set up bolt gun starts looking like a great choice.
 
I’ve got a trip planned next week where I won’t be carrying a pistol at all. I’ll be carrying my marlin 45/70 16” on the side of my pack. When my pack is off, I’ll be carrying it in a modified cross body carry that I learned from Larry Vickers. Both allow me to get the carbine into play about as quickly as a pistol. On the downside, 20 rounds of 45/70 is 2 lbs.
 
If I had unlimited funds right now, I’d buy one of the marlin .357 cowboys they made with octagonal barrels and get it cut down to 16” by Brockman. I’d put a light mount and a red dot sight on it. I expect that would get a lot of use. As it is, I’ve got 45/70 in that same configuration because I wanted something I could thump a grizzly hard with. I’ll work with that for the time being.
 
I’ve also got a Winchester trapper’s model 30-30 that would be a better choice with regard to overall weight and ammo weight. The problem is that I can’t bring myself to do the things to this classic piece that are required to make it a modern do it all carbine – light and red dot sight. If I can’t get over that hangup, I’ll probably sell the thing.
 
One last note to entice you. A lot of the disadvantages of different contenders go away if you have a good carry system. If an AR isn’t visible or a bolt gun is neatly stowed where you don’t notice the weight as much, it makes things easier. We’re working on the carry system problem as we work through the rifle/carbine choices.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
9/29/2010 6:56 PM
 

Lots of good stuff there. I've seen ways to mount a light on your Trapper that won't impinge on its classicness but not for a red dot type sight. I have to tell you, although I haven't put a lot of time in with it, I'm liking my firesight front/aperture rear set up on mine. Downside on .30-30 Trappers is capacity. For this discussion (sounded like we were originally talking home defense), I really believe you are better off with a Marlin 1894 in .357.

For woods use where bears are a possibility, I like the .30-30 though. It is no .45-70  in that department, but way more than any pistol you'll carry, even a .357 out of a carbine. The recoil is manageable, the ballistics are good and anything sub 6 lbs. is eminently packable.

I need some tips on that fast reloading for lever actions. Probably just need practice, as with everything, but I find myself really working to jam those .30-30 cartridges into the Trapper.

 
New Post
10/13/2010 5:00 PM
 

The power vs. capacity vs. ammo weigh issue has bugged me too.  A .30-30 Trapper has a LOT to offer, except for magazine capacity.  While I have yet to test my theories, I think the answer might lie with a Trapper chambered for a handgun cartridge, and loaded with the heaviest reasonable solids that cycle reliably.   Something along the lines of a Marlin .357, loaded with Tim Sundles 180gr solids.  According to a Gunblast article, that load reached 1847fps from a 16" barreled 94 Winchester.

http://www.gunblast.com/MilesFortis-AKChurch_BuffaloBore.htm

That's at least 200fps slower (maybe more)  than a 170gr load from a .30-30 in that length barrel.  I realize it's an apples to oranges comparison (jacketed .30  vs. hardcast solid .357) but if a solid 180gr flat nose tracks straight through the torso and vitals of whatever mamal it's aimed at (and out the other side) then I think it might perform better than the "numbers" indicate.  The upside is obviously an increase in magazine capacity, and a decrease in overall ammo weight carried by the shooter.  A .44 Mag or .45 Colt would be even better from a terminal performance standpoint, but ammo will weigh more.   For known Brown Bear country I'd stick with a .45-70 and weight be damned.  Everywhere else, a hot-rodded .357 Trapper just might be the ticket for a GP defensive carbine that doesn't cause the REI crowd to search for cell service.

 
New Post
10/13/2010 6:23 PM
 

Here's some interesting grist for the mill -- .44 ammo actually weighs *more* than 30-30 ammo and costs as much or more as well.

There's one other factor that has occurred to me recently. I go into more detail on the sling thread, but the bottom line is that you have to ask yourself if you're looking for a solution that doesn't include a pistol, or a solution that does include a pistol. If you're going to have a pistol with you anyway, how many spare rounds do you really need to carry for your carbine? How much ammo capacity does your carbine need? Do you really have to have a light mounted to your carbine if you have one on your pistol anyway? I'm starting to think in terms of a 9mm "kit gun" with 30 rounds or so of ammo, plus a rifle caliber lever gun with maybe 10 rounds of ammo.

We're going to do some testing at 15-50 yards with red dot AR VS buckhorn lever VS red dot lever VS ghost ring lever VS scout scope lever VS scoped AR. All with the goal of answering the question "for quick shots at 15-50 yards, is there a sighting system and action type that is so superior that it is simply a must have?". The results will be interesting.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
10/14/2010 12:56 AM
 

I'm anxious to read the results of your test.  It wouldn't surprise me to learn that the red dot wins the drag race.  But is the margin enough to justify the cost, bulk, and mechanical frailty?  Only the test will show the truth.

I like your "system" approach.  IMO a pistol with a light and two spare mags, and a carbine loaded with maybe an extra box of 20rnds should cover every scenario you'll encounter in a weekend. I'd look at "comfort gear" for ways to strip ounces, rather than shorting yourself on ammo.  Nobody ever won a gunfight and then kicked themselves for having ammo left over......

 
New Post
10/14/2010 1:34 AM
 

Forgot to comment on ammo weight.  Yes, I realize .44mag ammo isn't a free lunch.  I was looking strictly at the magazine capacity benefits.  Also IF you wanted to run a .44mag revolver as your tent gun, you might have success carrying only one kind of ammo. 

I also had another thought about the two gun approach.  You can only shoot one gun at a time, but if your wife (and kids after they've got some size) are competent shooters too, they can help provide a team defense, and/or defend themselves if something happens to you.  A small, shootable carbine like a .357 Marlin would do well in that role IMO.  Actually IIRC, S&W makes a Performance Center M27 with a light rail.  That could serve nicely as your night time tent gun, with a Marlin to back it up.  50rnds of hard cast ammo and your GTG.

 
New Post
10/14/2010 9:29 AM
 

I have a 94 Trapper in .30-30 BUT I have argured before about the potential superiority of a Marlin 1894 or Rossi 1892 in .357 for this duty. .357 ammo is lighter and cheaper and out of a carbine it treads closely on the ballistics of a .30-30 out of a Trapper barrel. As Jason says, the big advantage is ammo capacity. I also have a S&W 60 3" with adj. sights that frequently accompanies me on outdoor jaunts as it has more oomph than my 9mm with heavier hardcast loads so the ammo interchangeability had added appeal. Jason also make a good point about such a rifle being a very good choice for less firearms oriented or smaller family members. The same carbine in .44 can deliver a fairly good wallop and I'll testify that the .30-30 Trapper has more kick than I anticipated. I plan to shorten the stock and add a decent pad at some point but there is still some recovery time. If you don't handload, there aren't a ton of options out there for lighter practice ammo but .38 special ammo can be had fairly cheaply and makes the 1894C a pussycat.

Debate between the power of the .30-30 and the .44 mag can go both ways. While on paper, the .30-30 shows more energy and is definitely flatter shooting. Heavy hardcast .44s with a wide meplat could potentially offer better penetration than a typical soft point .30-30 load (thinking of the classic bear medicine debate). I'd feel pretty good with any of the above choices though for the lower 48, would just prefer the .357 for more social type situations and believe it makes a better house gun. Handier and easier to control than my .30-30, suitable for anyone in the house and with the right ammo, less of a penetration problem than the .30-30 or .44.

I don't shoot a handgun particularly well. My fault but it is what it is. I'm confident about hitting center mass at closer ranges, but for the scenario Evan describes under duress, I'd feel MUCH better with a rifle. My other packing handgun is a G19 which I find good for the purpose but not my ideal backcountry cartridge. Someday I hope to add a full-size Glock 10mm and think I'll be covered, expecially with a carbine on my pack. I'll carry some low velocity hardcast loads for the .30-30 and those will be the small game loads offering much greater accuracy out of the Trapper than I'll ever manage with a handgun. The Glock will provide lightweight back up firepower for when I don't have the carbine immediately at hand, around camp or at night as Evan describe. Just my 2 cents and not based on the sort of testing Scot and Evan have done.

 
New Post
10/14/2010 11:36 AM
 

Jason, this had me laughing:

Jason wrote
 

I'd look at "comfort gear" for ways to strip ounces, rather than shorting yourself on ammo. 

As "chopper reid" would say, fu()(ing spot on!

Part of the deal with the two gun system is that you can carry a harder hitting carbine in a rifle caliber than you might otherwise. Buffalo Bore is making a 190 grain jacketed flat nose doing 2400fps for the 30-30. Or, if your carbine is a 45/70, you're more than covered. I don't disagree with the .357 carbine thinking, it's just that those pesky cowboy action guys have run up the prices on used ones to an unreasonable level.

CCH - even people who shoot pistols particularly well shoot carbines and rifles considerably better. As to optics, it will just be interesting to see. If a red dot only offers a 20% improvement over irons, there's something to be said for a stripped down win 94. As Scot would say, there's a reason that the military is moving from irons to red dots for every soldier.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
New Post
10/14/2010 11:52 AM
 

Like I said, I'm perfectly fine with my Trapper, especially in the woods. Need to work with it more, especially reloads as I fumble with that. They don't exactly slide right in. I can see a red dot, but you know why that isn't happening. :) I'll have to settle for the Williams FP with the aperture removed (nice for range work though) and the Firesight front which does show up pretty well. The first things I really need to do are the stock as mentioned and a trigger job -- it's pretty rough and heavy. I just think the .357 would be a better home/family gun. Great plinker with .38 reloads so it even qualifies in the really fun gun department.

I had a Guide Gun and if hunting for elk, moose, or big bears (even little bears), I'd take it in a heart beat over my Trapper. However, mine was over a pound heavier than the Trapper and with heavy loads, recovery time was slow for me. With factory 300 grain JHP loads (defense and deer worthy), it was a pussy cat.

Jason, +2 (counting Evan) on eliminating other gear before ammo although I don't feel like I need enough for an army in the backwoods.

 
New Post
3/19/2011 10:07 PM
 

Remington 700 Detachable box magazine, chambered in 308 Win. No iron sights but have a backup scope already zeroed for my standard all around deer and long range plinking load. It is glass bedded in a Bell and Carlson ultra light stock, currently has leupold base and rings on it....might change that out later. Trigger was reworked by Randy 'Brand and breaks at 2.5 lbs. Yes it is mostly set up as a hunting rifle but I have two spare magazines which make reloads a bit faster than your standard top feed hunting rifle. Currently scoped with Nikon Monarch 2-10x42, there was a good optics sale at Cabelas a couple months ago so I bought two. My almost middle aged 49 year old eye balls dont do so good with open sights these days.

 
New Post
4/22/2011 11:05 PM
 

I see that other people share the same constant debate I have...what gun or guns to carry in a general purpose role!

While I am licenced to carry a handgun in the woods for work puposes up here in VERY gun restrictive Canada, I have been messing around with different rifle and shotgun platforms for years in a search for THE general purpose long gun.

While I am very much a lever gun guy, I have tried to employ semi-autos and pumps in the general purpose role.

For semi-autos, I have carried the AR180B, VZ/CZ 858, M-14 and Mini-14. Of all of them, I now only own the Mini-14. I do own AR's, but they can't be used up here in this role.

While I get acceptable accuracy from Mini-14, I think it can be enhanced with a RDS of some kind. Being one of the older 183 series guns, mounting options are limited. I do find it handy and its less evil look MAY draw less attention to it. It has the wood stock and handguard, so doesn't look like a black rifle at all.

Pumps have been restricted to shotguns...they have a specific niche for me. I still frequently pack a 14 inch Remington 870 Police Model while in the field. The downside is the bulk and weight of spare 12 gauge ammunition. While a great close range gun, especially for bears, it doesn't offer the precision I might be looking for in certain roles such they present themselves.

While I have owned a LOT of lever guns....including several Winchester Trapper's in a number of calibers, I still find the best overall to be the Winchester 94 20" carbine in .30-30. I use it as a bare bones carbine...no light or RDS. I have messed with the idea of a light on it and an RDS system of some kind, but haven't taken that step yet.

For me, I am still leaning on the Winchester 94 in .30-30 at the moment as my general purpose gun.

I am giving a serious look at the availablity of take-down options in lever guns. While not quick to employ when broken down, I am looking at where a take-down might still be handy in more "populated areas" where one needs to be discrete about being armed. (CCW is a no go here).

 

 
New Post
11/15/2011 12:48 AM
 

Well, my quest for a decent GP rifle continues.

I still lean heavily on my Winchester 94 as a GP truck/bush gun, but I am looking for a bolt gun that can serve as a GP rifle that I can hunt with as well. I just bought and sold a Marlin 336. It was a pre-safety in .35 Remington. It was a nice piece, but wasn't about to become a GP rifle.

I have hunting rifles...but they aren't GP rifles. Both are for hunting...nothing else. I am not inclined to mess with them..such as adding a light or scout scope mount or anything else.

The Ruger Scout looks interesting, and now with the release of of polymer mags for it there is some more appeal there. The stock doesn't do anything for me. The flashhider is no issue as the Canadian models don't have them on anyway.

Before I get stuck on a Ruger, I have to admit that I am still interested in the Savage Scout. It however has very limited capacity compared to the Ruger. I heard there is an aftermarket mag option for the Savage..but I am hoping that Savage themselves would get on board with equiping their rifles with larger capacity magazines.

I am wondering about a stripper clip mod to the Savage though...

Any input on the Savage Scout and such a mod?

 

 
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11/15/2011 8:14 AM
 

I have never owned a Savage Scout, but that is only because of strong will power, and some research. There are a couple of ways to get higher cap magazines for the savage. There is one company that sells them once in a blue money for rude money (80 if I remember correctly), and there are a couple of guys who post over on snipershide that will convert your magazines for you for a price.  That being said the early Savages had a penchant for breaking in the bolt. I can't remember the exact part off the top of my head, but the common wisdom was that you needed to send your rifle back to the Savage Custom Shop for this mod.  They also have a reputation for being a bit magazine finiky, and tuning by the factory of your magazines was also recommended.  Finally, there where some reports of the scope mount getting bent fairly easily.  I don't know how many of these issues have been addressed in latter models. I personally think the Ruger is a better rifle and a better place to start, but then again I haven't owned one of those either.


Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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11/15/2011 10:47 AM
 

One of our friends and customers reports that the 10 round poly mag for the Ruger scout is .75" shorter and 4.5oz lighter than the stock metal one. It hangs below the trigger guard 1.25". Those are very interesting stats. On the stock, the laminate is kind of a downer, but the biggest thing I object to is the look of the butt of the stock with all of the spacers installed. The good news is that you probably want all of the spacers out. With all of the spacers removed, the LOP is 12.75". I find that to be the perfect LOP for a using bolt gun at my height of 5'10". Heck, dress it up a little bit more by installing a nice pachmayr decelerator at a set LOP of 12.75". Ought to be a pretty good looking stock at that point. I'm also bullish on somone making a synthetic stock for this very popular rifle.

I'm with you on lever guns. The way the Tarahumara pack takes a lever gun so nicely in the slot pocket, I may go back to carrying my 94 trapper in 30-30 a lot more.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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