recommend a beater rifle?

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Aug 17, 2003
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Runs With Scissors said:
Still a bit smallish, but...the multipe shots are very nice. There's a gun show coming up this weekend at the local high school. Maybe I'll see if I can pick myself up one of them...

Of course I'd have to have the barrels cryogenically treated, and black T'ed.....I wonder if a Leupold 3x9 woudl do for scoping it?

had mine magnaported, handles a bit better now. they tend to come already scoped with built in range finders and ballistic computers.

good luck at the gunshow, if you find one, the gunshop in decatur, alabama carries ammo for it. at least they still had a few magazines worth last time i was there. zero bullets was not far south, they might be able to help out with some custom projectiles if you need more ooomph at the other end. good thing they use caseless ammo, loading dies would be a bit interestin' ;)
 
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I've held off responding to this thread in order to see if additional critera were forthcoming and to get a feel for some of the other responses. Taking into account this will be used in Alaska special consideration must be given to A) sufficient power, B) sufficient magazine capacity, C) availability of ammo. And whatever it is should be LIGHT and HANDY. I'd still go with my first impression for the rifle itself:

Marlin lever gun -- IMO the Marlins are easier to strip and clean than the Winchester 94, what with needing to remove the lever screw only, and because it's being used in Alaska where maintenance would be more frequently required. Not flaming the M94, I have two of those, too, but my decided preference is with the Marlin. I'd say get one in stainless steel, but the few used ones get snapped up far too quick for that to be a viable option, and the new ones are pretty high priced.

Now as to chambering:

1) If $$$ was no object, I'd be looking at the 375 Wiinchester or 38-55. Essentially a blown-out 30-30 case pushing your choice of 220 gr or 250 gr bullets. Small enough for little critters, with enough a$$ to tackle a brownie or a grizz if need be, and not as stiff as the 45-70. Cons: Ammo is 2.5X that of 30-30, and probably harder to come by in that neck of the woods.

2) 30-30: The simplest solution would be to use the 170 grain softpoints from any of the manufacturers. Low-cost, prevalent, and proven effectiveness against most NA game, save the biggest and meanest.

3) 44 Magnum: In an 1894 Marlin you'd have a reasonably potent alternative to the 30-30 that would poke larger diameter holes in the target. The weapon would hold more cartridges than a 30-30 if barrel lengths were equal. 44 Magnum cartridges are readily available, and moreso than my final choice:

4) 45 Colt. Not to be overlooked, but factory rounds tend to be intentionally underpowered because of the limitations of the older SAAs and some rifles.


1st runner up:

AK Clone in 7.62x39 with 20 rd magazines. The extra rounds make up for the light bullet and FMJ style. Very rugged, simple design. Con: Alaska might have some regs about semi-autos in the woods, dunno.

2nd runner up:

SKS. Sure they cost less, but if you are going with the 7.63x39 cartridge, save the bux and get the AK clone. Again, check with somebody about local regs prohibiting semi-autos or not.

3rd runner up:

Enfield No4 Mk1 in 303 British. 10 rounds in the box mag, super-slick action, but ammo is getting scarce and expensive. However, it's a surprisingly popular cartridge in Alaska. Con: Long, and tending to be heavy depending on the furniture species.

4th runner up:

Mosin M38 or M44. Chief pro for this choice is low cost, the lowest of any of these choices, for both the weapon and the surplus ammo. So much of a pro that if it fell out of the canoe you'd probably keep paddling. Cons: Heavy (usually due to the stock) and clubby. Bolt handle is too friggin short for effective, fast manipulation; you have to slap the bolt handle with your palm with most ammo. The cartridge feed interrupter is sometimes cranky on individual examples. The bayonet throws off the balance of the M44, IMO and adds considerable weight; take the screw out and leave the bayo home.

Just adding to the confusion . . .

Noah
 
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AND THE WINNER IS.....


a Marlin 1895 45-70. 22 inch Barrel and all. I bought it off of my former wrestling coach for $300. It has a few more scratches and such than I would have preferred for the price. (I was looking at it in the dark) But it's in very sound shape, obviously carried much more than fired.

Loaded with 430 grain Buffalo Bore ammo it'll take on the biggest critters I'll ever run into up here. with the lighter 300 grain loads I can probably shoot a wolf and have something left other than a bloody patch of fur.

I compared it to the 94 Windchester and there's not nearly the weight difference I expected to find, barely noticeable infact. Oddly enough it seems to point and balance BETTER though. Also better than the newer ever so popular guide guns.

plentiful parts, plentiful ammo, rugged design, reasonable weight, fairly cheap and it's already a bit on the homely side....I think this one'll serve real well. I might even go ahead and order up an extra stock and a few parts for it.
 
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Try putting a teflon coat on it,'round here that can be had for $150.00 and look see for a synthethic stock...you won't regret it when you're crashing around the boonies.

I think you can snag under 300gr bullets for it to use on smaller stuff too.
 

Guyon

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I like your instincts. Yugo SKS for under $150. But if you CAN find a .30-30 (Winchester or Marlin) in good condition for that price, I'd go with the lever gun. I have both. Just like the lever gun better.
 
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Dave Rishar said:
Mosin-Nagant M38. It's the least expensive surplus out there right now, it's almost the cheapest to feed, and it isn't four feet long like most of the other milsurps. (A slight exaggeration, but only a slight one.) Perfect rifle for knocking around in the woods with. If the rifling is good, the accuracy should be fine. The caliber is appropriate for most game in North America.


I 2nd that I have two Nagant's its a perfect low cost beater that will take down just about anything.
 
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I think that all of the recommendations are good. If conditions are less than ideal, I think I would prefer a bolt gun. Easy to clean, and good mechanical advantage if things get a little dirty (with the exception of the K31 ~ I really don't think it would be ideal in these conditions).

stevo
 
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Kevin the grey said:
hOW MANY ROUNDS CAN YOU PUT IN THE 45-70 .

Hehehehe, Kevin's Cap lock key was stuck on Capitals.:rolleyes: :p :D ;)

Kevin, methinks it depends on the rifle or carbine. I think I've seen where one of them, maybe the Alaskan model, held six with one in the tube but I'm not for sure.:confused: A quick Google on .45-70 lever rifles would turn up an answer soon enough.;)
 
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I know a lot about guns...most models hold-oh between 4 or 5 in the tube and one in the chamber the six Yvsa mentioned is the one with a full-lenght tube (has an octagon barrel)

*goes to check and be sure*

Yep-reg models hold 4 in the mag and one in the chamber.
 
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I guess I must have one of those full length mags as my marlin 30-30 holds 5 and one up the pipe which I don,t find necessary unless for home defense which doesn,t seem likely at the moment ! L:O:L I haven,t seen a 45-70 round and was wondering if it was longer or shorter than a 30-30 .
 
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Kevin the grey said:
hOW MANY ROUNDS CAN YOU PUT IN THE 45-70 .


This one takes four in the mag, one in the chamber. Might put a buttstock shell carrier on it if I can find a decent one that doesn't scatter yer ammo all over Hell and half of Georgia.
 
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Applause from the stands for your choice of a 45-70 for Alaska. Garrett Cartridge makes a 45-70 load specifically for the Marlin action that has out penetrated a .458 magnum (less upset, more penetration) which should be just the ticket for brushy areas. I have used this load in my Ruger#1, but truly don't need that kind of power in WV. Good hunting!
 
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You know, Jurrasic, I've always wanted a Ruger number one in 45/70, and have a Marlin in that calibre, but then I think a 458 would be better, I can stuff that or load it down, or even a 375 H&H. So, I'm conflicted on calibre choice....waaaaaa.




munk
 
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Heh.

You know, I talked to Randy Garrett a few years ago about maybe loading their .458 bullets as a saboted 12 gauge, but he wasn't really interested. Nice guy, though.

The way I figure it, almost everybody has a 12 gauge, and probably a good many of them would prefer to pay for even expensive ammo instead of having to buy expensive ammo AND a new firearm.

I don't know if any have been tested in medium yet, but PMC came out with a fairly stout .45-70 round* a few years ago. It should have a lot more "oomph", but still not hurt your wallet too much.

*350 grain @ 2025 fps

John
 
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Munk, don"t be "conflicted" any longer. The barrel on Ruger .458 Mag is as thick as a truck axle, and the piece balances about like an anvil. The 45-70, on the other hand is a couple or three pounds lighter, and an absolute dream to carry. The 45-70 will come within 100-150 fps of anything you could run thru the magnum, but, BUT, I find the recoil on the 45-70 within reason. I'm not a wimp, but I do shoot better with reasonable recoil. 340 Weatherby is my absolute upper limit on a rifle under 9 pounds.
 
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munk said:
It was said almost 20 years ago now the SKS replaced the 30/30 as the South's gun in Pickup truck window.



munk

About the time, I got my first SKS me thinks. Does that make me a red neck?
 
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Wolves don't have red necks, at least, near as anyone can tell.


>>>>>

Jurrasic: how does the 375 handle?

I believe you about the 45/70. It's good to know from someone who's been there. I'm actually quite a fan of the old cartridge, and I own the Marlin lever.
You can pass the Marlin easily with a Ruger, and I hear you on about all the recoil I'm willing to tolerate.


munk
 
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