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11/15/2011 11:07 AM
 

one advantage to the laminate stock is that it is a lot easier to customize than a synthetic stock. things like putting a flush mount sling swivel cup in the side of the butt stock or laying a piece of pic rail in the barrel channel are pretty easy to get good results with in a home shop.


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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11/16/2011 10:25 AM
 

I will have another look at the Ruger Scout when I can find one. The Canadian export models come with 18 or 18.5 inch barrels and thus far have been stainless only. They have a winged front sight. All the dealers are sold out up here and have been for awhile. The Ruger Scout runs about $840 in Canada, new off the shelf. Decent sized gun show this weekend, so I will see if I can find one there. There is a slightly used Savage Scout in .308 for $499 sitting nearby that I have had my eye on as well...

Here is another GP rifle platform for thought, what about the WInchester model 88? They haven't made them in ages, but there are plenty around. Built like a tank, fast handling lever action with rifle chamberings. The only downsides I can see are the cost of spare magazines for them and the lack of a glass replacement stock. I usually see magazines them for around $75 or more! There is only one place that I have found that advertises replacement stocks and they are over $300!! The 88 carbine is nice, but usually pretty damn expensive. The carbines are more desirable to the 88 collector which drive the price up substantially.

If you can find them, Colyer used to make replacement magazines for the 88 that gave total capacity up to I think  8 or 10 rounds. They stick out the bottom a fair bit, but they seem to work.

My wife has an 88 in .308 in the safe that is her hunting rifle when she has a mind to hunt. The rifle was her dad's and has probably accounted for about 25 dead Moose in its time among a tally of Caribou and Deer. I'm going to have to borrow her 88 and do some more evaluating.

 
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11/17/2011 12:33 AM
 

scothill wrote

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.

 

I have owned one of the original Savage Scout rifles for years, and I understand the new ones have upgrades like an adjustable trigger. The bolt issue is caused by the bolt head retaining pin cracking at the hole for the firing pin. I know other Savage rifles suffered from this also, and I understand it has been addressed. My fix was to buy several pins from Brownells and carry spares. It is not a big deal to field repair, and I think the pins were a couple of bucks. I never had issues with the Savage mags on my rifle, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. When I bought the rifle, the choices were Steyr, Savage, and Ubuildit. I thought, and still think, the rifle was worth the 300USD I paid for it. It is a good truck/GP rifle. I like the concept, but I am looking at the M1A Scout as possibly the next upgrade. A bolt gun with 10 round DBMs, stripper clip guides, and a light weight would be a super rifle tho. I would be inclined to buy another Savage if the mags and clip guide was an option. 

 
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11/17/2011 2:24 PM
 

I have owned both an M1a Scout and Socom. I really liked both and both gave me all the accuracy that I could ask for. I never took either out of the safe because of weight, but then I made a few mistakes setting them up (i.e. wood stock for that civilian look, metal butt plate for shorter lop, etc...) all of which added weight.  However, I have recently been looking at them again and just can't see how you can end up with one with an optic, which I think is important, without the rifle weighting in at 9.25 (T1) plus pounds before you add a magazine. With a scope and loaded 20rd magazine your are looking at 11.5+ pounds. Perhaps if you started with a standard model, which has a smaller barrel diameter and had it cut down you could get the weight down, but I would guess you are still over 11 lbs scoped and loaded.

For comparison a DSA SA58 short gas system carbine is 8.25 before a magazine and optic, and there are a few AR10 verisons and the SCARH, which start out .5lbs less than the DSA.  The M1a seems to be what I am looking for, but it is almost 2lbs heavier then I want for a starting point

The 308 auto loader is enjoying a resurgence right now, and the current trend is towards lighter more compact versions. I hope that something shakes out in the next year or two.


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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11/17/2011 8:16 PM
 

I think you guys are going to like my next project. I got the idea from the Elk hunting trip and i decide i needed a scout bolt rifle/battle rifle also. Mine is going to be a little different though and done on the cheap.

I will tell you this much for now: Savage model 340 bolt action 30-30 win, magazine feed(only 3 round mags but thats better than putting rounds in by hand), 19.5" barrel. It is the first hunting rifle i ever had and i want to bring it back to a shooter again. Right now it has a Tasco 4x on a side mount so you can still use the irons, which is nice but i want a scout setup.

Advantages: 30-30 ammo is cheap and you can find it anywhere. It also has more than enough knock down power when compared to a 223. The bolt throw is super short, alot shorter than a 308 length action. Fastest cycling bolt gun i have ever shot. 

Add on and mods: Scout scope mounts, weight shaved off through milling/drilling holes, flip flop recoil pad, mabye cut down barrel 2". Should be around 6.5 pounds all up with Leupold 2.5x total cost under $500. Hell, i bought it for $150 when i was 10 years old, its about time it finds a purpose again. More to come, i will update you on the progress and get some pictures up also.

 

 
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11/17/2011 8:32 PM
 

scothill wrote
 

I have owned both an M1a Scout and Socom. I really liked both and both gave me all the accuracy that I could ask for. I never took either out of the safe because of weight, but then I made a few mistakes setting them up (i.e. wood stock for that civilian look, metal butt plate for shorter lop, etc...) all of which added weight.  However, I have recently been looking at them again and just can't see how you can end up with one with an optic, which I think is important, without the rifle weighting in at 9.25 (T1) plus pounds before you add a magazine. With a scope and loaded 20rd magazine your are looking at 11.5+ pounds. Perhaps if you started with a standard model, which has a smaller barrel diameter and had it cut down you could get the weight down, but I would guess you are still over 11 lbs scoped and loaded.

For comparison a DSA SA58 short gas system carbine is 8.25 before a magazine and optic, and there are a few AR10 verisons and the SCARH, which start out .5lbs less than the DSA.  The M1a seems to be what I am looking for, but it is almost 2lbs heavier then I want for a starting point

The 308 auto loader is enjoying a resurgence right now, and the current trend is towards lighter more compact versions. I hope that something shakes out in the next year or two.

Most of you guys in the US have the advantage of being able to use a platform like the M1A wiht full capacity magazines. Up here in gun neutered Canada, we can only use 5 round magazines with the M1A / M14 platform. The plus side is we have access to Norinco M14s that make a great platform to build on. Shorty Norinco M14's are currently priced at $450 bucks! A bit of tweaking, exhange a few parts and you have the makings of a decent gun. Norinco receivers are very well built. Some of the other parts of the gun can be pretty rough though.

The RobArm XCR-M in .308 is on the way up here. Dealers have been doing pre-orders for them. Not sure how it release is making out in the US, but it looks like an interesting semi-auto platform. I think one of them with a folder would make a rather interesting go to gun. The XCR's ability to change caliber between the .223, 6.8 SPC and 7.62x39 makes it very versatile. So much so, that it surprises me that there aren't more guys that are looking for a GP rifle aren't looking at the XCR. Up here they start at $2300 bucks...so yeah, not at the top of my list but I do like them.

 

 
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11/17/2011 9:36 PM
 

A shorty Norinco for $450 is very appealing. For that price I'd have one just because.

I haven't checked in on the RobArms in a while. The last one I shot was something like a 9 lb carbine in 7.62x39, when a comparable AK is more like 7. Just no point in something that weighs 2lbs more, costs 3-4 times as much, and isn't any better. Just looked again, and the M - mini is 8.2 pounds. Ok, so now it weighs the same as a FAL, and they've brought the weights of their other models down as well. At this point, it might just be availability and price that is hurting them -- that and parts commonality.

Big W, can't wait to see that project.


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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11/18/2011 12:13 PM
 

Take a look at LaRue's PredatAR. It comes in @ 7.75 stripped weight with a 16" barrel. However, for the price you could have a couple of other rifles. If it were a good all-around rifle it might be worth trading into. It does have a full rail system on a full length handguard, giving multiple configurations.

I thought this may be something like you were referring to in your last comment.

 
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11/18/2011 12:22 PM
 

jetfixr wrote
 

Take a look at LaRue's PredatAR. It comes in @ 7.75 stripped weight with a 16" barrel.

Trust me, we have. Many times. It caused a minor stir here when the published weight on the website was changed from 8.5 (IIRC) to the current 7.75 pounds. That's getting pretty darned close.  Have yet to handle one. You don't just walk into any gunstore and expect to see one.

 

 


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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11/18/2011 12:55 PM
 

Two things have kept me from just getting a PredatAR to try out. First is price, man they are rude money as a guy I knows would say.  The second is the handguard. I like a long free float rail, but think that for the standed purpose something like a TRX rail would have been way better. Heck a lighter slimmer version of their regular OBR handguards would have been better. I have handled a rifle, the model escapes me, with rails similar to the predatar and just didn't like them.  Armalite has a AR10 basic model that weights the same as the Predatar, and I have bee slowly researching them off and on. Frankly I am just in a wait and see mode at this point.


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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11/18/2011 4:33 PM
 

evanhill wrote

A shorty Norinco for $450 is very appealing. For that price I'd have one just because.

I haven't checked in on the RobArms in a while. The last one I shot was something like a 9 lb carbine in 7.62x39, when a comparable AK is more like 7. Just no point in something that weighs 2lbs more, costs 3-4 times as much, and isn't any better. Just looked again, and the M - mini is 8.2 pounds. Ok, so now it weighs the same as a FAL, and they've brought the weights of their other models down as well. At this point, it might just be availability and price that is hurting them -- that and parts commonality.

Big W, can't wait to see that project.

 

There's something else hurting Robarm...quality.  I've read carbine class AAR's where it is common to expect a problem when a XCR shows up in class.  I remember something about launching barrels downrange?

 

Edited to add:  I think I may have my Robarm models mixed up with regard to quality.  I have limited access to the internet at work.  I was able to find some Lightfighter posts on the XCR...but those issues were with lack of availability.  Anyway, my whole point was to encourage research and caution with anything having the Robarm brand on it.

 
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11/19/2011 7:45 PM
 

scothill wrote

Two things have kept me from just getting a PredatAR to try out. First is price, man they are rude money as a guy I knows would say.  The second is the handguard. I like a long free float rail, but think that for the standed purpose something like a TRX rail would have been way better. Heck a lighter slimmer version of their regular OBR handguards would have been better. I have handled a rifle, the model escapes me, with rails similar to the predatar and just didn't like them.  Armalite has a AR10 basic model that weights the same as the Predatar, and I have bee slowly researching them off and on. Frankly I am just in a wait and see mode at this point.

 

How much different is the FF rail? I have a Stealth upper with the 13.2 and really like it. On the other hand, I have a 38" sleeve too.

 
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11/20/2011 1:01 PM
 

It is not the length that is the issue. I like a long rail and have a 13" on my AR. It is the shape.  Basically, it is shapped like this: + with some curves between the edges, but what you feel in your hand is the edge.  I hope that is understandable because that is about the best way I can think of saying. Granted the one I handled was not a Larue one, but looked to be the same as the pictures I have seen of the predetar.


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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11/24/2011 6:01 PM
 

From reading Evans initial post in this thread it sound to me like the answer keeps coming back to the AR platform.  I think it's always going to have that "militant" look anywhere you would be out with it and it's not going to go away.  But sounds like the best answer to what you are attempting to achieve.  Just a few thoughts, since all seem to be educated and smart.

The Remington series of AR come factory camo'd.  Which may be geeky or other, but if I was the hiker in the woods coming across your family going the other way, anything other than "All Black" looks much more palatable.  The R-15 with collapsible stock is very lightweight at 6 3/4lbs.  I've handled a few.  Forearm already tapped for 3 picatiny rail sections for lights, etc.

You state that elk and big game are higher on the priority list.  I don't know OR laws and rules or what your thoughts or ideas on them are.  But with the correct bullet the .223 or 5.56 can be quite impressive.  I am a hunter foremost.  But I am an LEO daily.  The round has impressed me in both venues.  I don't get the vibe that you reload, but it's a pretty good idea to consider if you don't.   A Barnes TSX bullet in .224 will lower some large critters sufficiently.  Most rifles on an AR-10 platform I've seen get clumsy real quick.  Takes many of the beauties out of the rifle in my opinion.

 

Or possibly a Rock River .458 SOCOM upper?  16" and fairly lightweight.  Requires no mods to the lower-so you canuse what you have.  Uses standard unmodified AR mags.  Bullet ranges from 250 grains to 600.  With a 350 grain bullet, ballistics duplicate a traditional 45-70 load.  Should be legal for all game animals.   Faster cylcing than your Guide Gun.  .458" bullets(for reloading) readily available.

 

Lastly, interesting take on the hostage targets.  I've shot and trained on similar targets pretty often.  And while not pics of my own kids, simply botching a shot gives you that crappy feeling in your stomach.  Practice with any kind of speed or during a match and forget it.  Has caused me to look elsewhere and break policy on a Service firearm.  Enough Kool-Aid.  When MY family's life may be dependend upon, I want a pistol that I can make that shot with.  Not what I have to carry.

 
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11/25/2011 12:29 PM
 

Jesse, I think you are correct with the only caveat being appearance. I've speculated just as you do that a non-black black gun helps the appearance problem quite a bit. Recently, I was trying to decide whether to finish out my .308 mauser or get a 6.8 upper for my AR. I decided to finish out the Mauser and see what I thought after that. The logic was that regardless of what else I have, I need a bolt gun in a sufficient caliber for at least some hunting situations (that's a clue right there). Figured I might as well get the bolt gun as close to what I think of as ideal and then see where I am in my thinking. As I get it closer, I'm liking it so much that I'm not in a huge hurry to get a 6.8 upper. However, I still think that's where I'll end up eventually. You've got the 5.56 upper for ammo commonality and practice economy, and the 6.8 for general carry, supported by the ammo that you have with you.

A recent unexpected twist is just how well the Tarahumara carries a simple little 16" barrel lever action. My winchester 30-30 trapper is going to start seeing more use because of that.


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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11/26/2011 2:13 PM
 

 Hi folks. First post.

I've been following this thread for a bit. I'm in the same boat as you guys, looking for some sort of general purpose rifle that can best fill that mythical "One Rifle" need. Where I differ is that I'm relatively new to firearms, rifles in particular. I don't have the experience or knowledge that everyone else here has to draw on.

Based on my research so far, my requirements are:

  • Bolt action
  • .308
  • 7-8lb before scope (I'll happily go lighter, and I'd rather not go over 7.5lb)

That's easy. Plenty of rifles meet that criteria.

If I were to spec out my ideal rifle, I believe it would include a synthetic stock and a stainless barrel 20-22" in length. That's also easy, but narrows the field a bit.

I'm not too wrapped up about the stainless barrel. Given two rifles that were identical except that one had a stainless barrel and the other was blued, I'd go for the stainless. But I think I would be perfectly happy with a blued barrel. More than anything else I'm using this criteria to limit to the field to a more manageable number of options!

The three most popular bolt rifles seem to be the Ruger M77, Remington 700, and the Winchester Model 70. Here are the relevant models that I'm looking at:

 


The Ruger M77 meets all the requirements I've laid out.

None of the Remington 700s are ideal. The SPS Stainless has a 24" barrel, which is longer than I would like, but not too much longer. I'll still consider it. The SPS Compact is probably at the bottom of the list. It also has the 24" barrel, and the barrel is blued rather than stainless. The SPS Tactical also has the blued barrel, but it's only 20". It's also .25 pounds heavier than the other 700s I'm looking at, but given the barrel length I think it is the best Remington option so far.

Both the Winchester Model 70s have 22" barrels, synthetic stocks, and weigh under 7 lbs, which I like. The Extreme Weather SS model has a stainless barrel and a suggested retail of $1200. The Shadow has a blued barrel and a suggested retail of $760. I haven't looked to see what they actually go for in the shops, but for that price difference I think I would be perfectly happy with the cheaper Shadow. (The two rifles have differences other than the barrel, but nothing to make me think that I really need the Extreme Weather or would be unhappy with the Shadow.)

So based solely on available models, I think the Winchester 70 and Ruger M77 are at the front of the pack.

But wait! Remington also makes the Model Seven (http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire/model-seven/model-seven-synthetic.aspx). Blued 20" barrel, synthetic stock, and 6.5 lbs. I like it. As far as I can tell the only difference between the Model Seven and the 700 is length. If that's the case, then I think the Seven bumps out the 700 SPS Tactical as the best Remington option. And since the shortest barrel I can get from Ruger or Winchester is 22", Remington is starting to look pretty good again.

Do you guys have any opinions on the M77 vs. 700 vs. 70 debate? I have read Scott's AAR on the Randy Cain class over on the Kifaru Forums. I think he mentioned that Randy was not a fan of the Remingtons, although none of the Remingtons in that particular class had any issues. Scott also said that he came away from that class with a preference for middle-weight rifles rather than light-weight. Do you think that I should avoid those sub-7 lb. Winchesters, then? (Credit where credit is due: I also read Scott's earlier Kifaru post about his take on the practical rifle. That thread has helped me formulate some of my opinions on the subject.)

The real trouble with all of these options is that I'd really like to have the option of a detachable box magazine. It's not an absolute requirement, and I don't care about having a 10-rounder like the Ruger Scout (although having that option is great), but I think a four or five round magazine would greatly increase the practicality of this practical rifle. As far as I can tell, none of the models that I'm looking at have this option, without expensive custom gunsmithing. I'd rather avoid that.

CZ has some bolt rifles with detachable magazines. I looked at them, but for whatever reason none of the rifles jumped out at me.

Ruger Gunsite Scout

I'm also giving strong consideration to the Ruger Scout. It has a blued barrel rather than stainless, but I'm ok with that. It has a wood stock, which is slightly more disappointing than the blued barrel, but I'm still willing to overlook that. (Here's my theory: the three main gripes that people have had about the Ruger Scout are the magazine, the rail, and the stock. People didn't like the magazine, so Ruger released those new polymer mags. People didn't like that you could only run a forward mounted scope on the rail, so XS released their full rail to allow normal scopes. All that's left is the stock. It's not inconcievable that somebody will release a synthetic stock somewhere down the line, if the Scout retains its current popularity. Wishful thinking? Maybe.) It's got the detachable magazines. It meets the weight requirements. It can run both a scope and irons, which is by no means a requirement, but I can't see any downside to having the irons on there, and having options is always good.

What's holding me back from the Scout is the barrel length. I'm concerned about that 16.5" barrel. If it had an 18-20" barrel, I believe that I would purchase it without hesitation. What sort of impact do you think that short barrel would have? What do I loose going from an 18" barrel to a 16.5"? What about going from 20" to 16.5"?

Thanks for any guidance or advice!

 
New Post
11/26/2011 5:59 PM
 

In the real world nothing. My boltgun and Evan's are both at the smith's right now being cut down to 16.25".  On paper you are loosing a 120fps or so if I remember the numbers correctly (30fps per inch on average).  Some people will say that is way to much to loose, but those are the guys hung up on numbers on a piece of paper. However, if you get into the real world you aren't really loosing anything for the intended purposes of this type of rifle. Even for more precision oriented work the trend in 308s is toward a semi-auto with a 16" barrel.  The winners of the 2010 best sniper contest where both using Larue OBRs with 16" barrels and Mark Larue says that in their testing he doesn't see any reason to go longer then 16". The reality is that these type of rifles aren't long range precision rifles (practical rifles), but they do need to be handy and easy to manuver.  We both decided that the little bit of velocity that you loose going from 20 to 16 does not out weight the benefits of the shorter length in tents, vehicles, brush, and on the side of the pack.  For us these are not 1,000 yds rifles where the velocity matters to squeeze every little bit of range out of them. In the real world under probably 800yds your aren't even going to notice for real useage.

At this point the top of my purchase list if I was looking for another practical rifle would be the Ruger Scout.  My issues with it have been the flashider, which is an easy fix, the magazine, which has been fixed, and the stock, which will be fixed (it is only a matter of time in my opinion) and the stock is perfectly useable as is.  Other rifles on the list would be the Ruger International, Win 70 Featherweight, and several of the CZs.  If I wasn't going to get better than 4 or 5 rounds in a DBM I would just probably not worry about it as a priority.  The CZs can take the 10rders from the tactical line.  I personally like scout scopes also.


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
11/26/2011 6:58 PM
 

Interesting. I think I'm on the exact same page as you and Evan as far as application, so what you said makes me feel better about that 16.5" barrel!

A friend just sent me a link to an article which basically echoes what you say about shorter barrel length: http://www.tacticaloperations.com/SWATbarrel/

Which CZs would you consider?

 
New Post
11/27/2011 11:47 AM
 

evanhill wrote
 

A recent unexpected twist is just how well the Tarahumara carries a simple little 16" barrel lever action. My winchester 30-30 trapper is going to start seeing more use because of that.

Hmmm....need to see pics of that set up Evan if you can swing it. I might have a line on a Trapper in .30-30...just waiting to hear back!

 
New Post
11/27/2011 11:57 AM
 

Here you go:

  

You can see these pictures and more in full sizes on our new product gallery page.


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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