Need ideas: A different type of Ranch Rifle?


March 9, 2006, 09:57 PM
Fellas, I need some ideas.

I've read numerous threads throughout the years about the "best" all around, walk about rifle. You know, the one you grab when you just go for a little hike. Here in Iowa, the requirements can be a bit different than other parts of the country. The land is flat and well populated. Where I'm located, you can point in any direction and have a neighbor, livestock, or buildings that could be within a mile or less. Needless to say, a .308, .223, or other regularly suggested calibers could be damaging or deadly. They're also overkill here.
The largest critter I'll feel the need to shoot would be a coyote. I've passed up so many shots with the AR, SKS, etc, it's hard to count. I'm thinking .22 mag might be the ticket, or.....22 Hornet,......or .17 HMR (smallish for 'yotes IMHO)


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March 9, 2006, 10:05 PM
My vote goes to the 22mag. Cheaper than the 17HMR. Sounds like the 22lr and 17mach2 are too small for you. There also is now a broad variety of ammo choices in 22wmr.

March 9, 2006, 10:24 PM
Well, that depends.

What do you anticipate shooting?

There's also a lot to be said for a Marlin 1894C loaded with .38 Specials. More oomph than .223 at short ranges, less when you get farther away, and possibly safer to the neighbors than a hi-vel rimfire that keeps on going.

March 9, 2006, 10:26 PM
My winchester .22 LR pump.

11 rounds, reliable, accurate as anything with iron sights, and durable.

Car Knocker
March 9, 2006, 10:45 PM
I'm going to go with ArmedBear on this one. I'd be thinking mild target wadcutters, as close as the hazards are.

March 9, 2006, 10:46 PM
Buy an H&R Handi-Rifle in .22 Hornet, then get a .45-70 barrel for it, and now you're ready for everything.

Just a thought...


March 9, 2006, 10:53 PM
My ranch rifle is an older Marlin 94c in .357. With a Lyman reciever sight it has different scratchs on the elevation scale for : .38spl 148 grain target wadcutters that are no more noisy than a .22lr with 3 times the whack!:cool: 125 grain Remington HPs .357 are a lot noisier but tear open anything uder 75 pounds with 2000fps velocity:what: Lastly between these two is a scatch for 180 grain Winchester Platinum .357 loads, these are PROVEN excellent deer/hog killers up to 100 yards +.:)

March 9, 2006, 11:00 PM
I'll go with the .22magnum, but also have to say, for walking around a ranch, there's nothing better than a lever action. Ruger 96/22M for me:cool:

March 9, 2006, 11:03 PM
.223 is my go to Coyote gun.

March 9, 2006, 11:29 PM
a pistol caliber carbine would doo the jod quite nicely. perhaps an m-1 carbine:D although it still might be overkill. a 22mag is a good bet. mabey you could carry a pistol, a 357 mag revolver would be nice.

just some thoughts

March 9, 2006, 11:31 PM
Coyotes travel in packs so an accurate semi in .223 is my choice also. Since when do varmint bullets travel far after impacting a critter or the dirt?

March 9, 2006, 11:40 PM
Guys......the .223 is not a good option. If I miss, (I'm an honest guy,.....I DO miss) the bullet does not automaticlly hit dirt. The land here is flat. I can see for 10 miles flat. Trajectory talk is fine, but there can be cattle, hunters, buildings.........I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I like the idea of the 38/.357. The .22 mag seems to be better as well. Any other ideas on the brand/type of .22M? 10/22M maybe?

March 9, 2006, 11:45 PM
I'll side with the Marlin .357mag levergun with aperture sight. I think, as much as I like my Mini-14, the 1894 Marlin would be more pleasant to carry. As far as loads go, I'd favor a Hornady 158gr HP/XTP handloaded. I'll have to look back at the manual for velocities with the different powders, but having tried some a while back, they worked out to 100yds and will keep working in the Point Blank Zero probably to 150yds if not a mite further. A coyote hit right would be DRT.

For .22LR or .22Mag, I'd say get a Marlin 39A if you can. Make it a 9422 if you can find one affordable now. They're both good. I don't know enough about Ruger's leverguns to suggest one way or the other.

March 9, 2006, 11:58 PM
I'm certainly not trying to flame anybody or start an argument, and I very much appreciate your honesty and your goals of protecting others lives and/or property. But I wouldn't shoot at anything with a rifle unless it had a backdrop of some kind even with a 22LR.

In all honesty I did once hit a dove in flight a long time ago, right under the wing with a 22LR. But we were all young once.:o My buddy and I flushed it from right in front of us and we both shot at the same time, he claimed that he dropped it with his 12 ga, but birdshot wouldn't make a hole that big.:D Best shot I ever made.

March 10, 2006, 12:05 AM
"I'm certainly not trying to flame anybody or start an argument, and I very much appreciate your honesty and your goals of protecting others lives and/or property. But I wouldn't shoot at anything with a rifle unless it had a backdrop of some kind even with a 22LR."

...and I take no offense to that statement. But a .22 Mag or .38 wadcutter can be an entirely different ballgame compared to a .223 or .308.

I owned a Berreta Storm in 9mm once. How 'bout one of those for my intent?

Harry Tuttle
March 10, 2006, 12:37 AM

March 10, 2006, 12:56 AM
If you don't have safe backstops, you need a shotgun.

The other option is a real screamer like the 220 Swift loaded with very light bullets. Then you just have to make sure that the bullet hits something and it will blow up. Even if it doesn't, it's not going to drill through a house if it gets away from you.

The heavier calibers with heavier bullets have much more rainbow like trajectories and will definitely hit the ground pretty quickly. But they probably won't stay there. Most any of the medium calibers will ricochet badly under the right conditions. When you get down into the pistol calibers, ricochets will be very bad because the velocity isn't high enough to cause significant damage to the bullets when they hit the ground. Hollowpoints might help that some, but I would be VERY leery of using anything other than a shotgun if you can't find a good backstop.

.22LR is one of the worst calibers out there for ricochets. Some of the new higher velocity rimfires like the .17HMR might be better since the velocity is high enough to tear up the bullet on impact, and the bullets are much lighter and designed to blow up more than traditional .22 rimfire rounds. They're also less likely to penetrate walls, etc.

So, in my order, here's what I'd suggest.

1. Shotgun.
2. Very fast varmint round with very light bullets. (.220Swift, .204 Ruger, etc.)
3. .17HMR

I would limit shots with #2 to ones that I knew would hit the varmint or the ground within a reasonable range, and I'd be even more careful with the .17HMR.

chestnut ridge
March 10, 2006, 02:05 AM
My situation here in central Tennessee is much the same. Recently I
purchased a Taurus 172. This is a SS copy of the Win 1890; chambered
in 17 HMR; with a 16.5" barrel, It has become my most favored carry rifle.
It fits my hand and balances just at the point of carry.
I find the Ruger 10/22 sort of "fat" in my hand. This Taurus is much
like the older 22 rifles; in that it is no bigger than it needs to be. 10 shots,
flat shooting, accurate and light weight are other points that keep this
rifle in the truck.

March 10, 2006, 03:49 AM
What about a Hipoint 9mm?

Cpl Punishment
March 10, 2006, 05:48 AM
Seems the best bet is the .357 Levergun.

.22 LR seems too little, and I wouldn't go with a .22 Magnum for Coyote.

The .38/.357 has such a variety of loads available, you can tailkor it to what you want.

March 10, 2006, 07:07 AM
Get a used Savage combo, with .22 Mag over 20 guage, two shots, two options.


March 10, 2006, 07:19 AM
The Savage model 24, it can also be had in .22Hornet over 20 ga.


March 10, 2006, 09:24 AM
The part of Ohio I live in is somewhat flat, and your issue is the very reason I have a Marlin 1894C in .357 Magnum. I have used my scoped .223 on some varmints in the past when I knew the shot was in a safe direction (being sure of what was beyond the target) but I am more comfortable using the .357 Mag on and around my property. Plus the little carbine is versatile and fun. If you get one, I suggest XS ghost ring sights.

March 10, 2006, 11:31 AM
I'd use a pistol round. Short trajectory and plenty of punch.

Lever gun because they carry excellent...truly feel great in your hand. I especially like the Winchesters and Henrys for feel. I've shot both and both are as accurate as I can shoot.

I suggest Winchester if you can get a hold of one for a reasonable price. I've heard some talk about their loose actions...but mine shoot sharp and I've not had a problem with the actions.

If you don't want to pay the now premium prices, the Henrys are great guns also for much cheaper, now that Winchester is closing, in .22mag or the pistol rounds. And with this gun no one can tell you the action feels doesn't.

The last note: lever guns just look so darn neat.

March 10, 2006, 01:35 PM
There's also a lot to be said for a Marlin 1894C loaded with .38 Specials. More oomph than .223 at short ranges...


March 10, 2006, 01:42 PM
+1 for Marlin 1894c in 38/357
It's light, easy handling and you have the choice of various loads.

March 10, 2006, 01:57 PM
Perhaps this would be a possibility

March 10, 2006, 01:57 PM
How about Winchester 9410. 410 slugs/shot won't travel too far. How long is the longest shot you need?

March 10, 2006, 03:55 PM
Thinking of a .410 shotgun, while the 9410 would offer magazine capacity, that's all it'll offer compared with an H&R hinge action single-shot using buckshot. With slugs, the 9410 might offer an advantage with that express rear sight. The H&R would be cheaper... if you get a .30-30 HandiRifle and get a .410 barrel, you'd be about set.

March 11, 2006, 03:09 AM
lever, lever, or a lever. they are super easu to carry, super light, come in many cals, and hold many rounds in the tube.

March 11, 2006, 09:57 AM
Just because the largest four-legged critter around is a coyote does not mean you will never have to deal with one or more two-legged vermin as well. Any misdirected shot, even from a .22 LR, has the potential to go a long ways and hurt someone. I would suggest as a minimum something like the .22 Hornet.

My own preference might be one of those neat little CZ bolt-actions in 7.62x39.

March 12, 2006, 09:22 PM
Thanks for all of the suggestions, guys.

I decided that the best choice for me might be the Marlin lever 32 H&R Mag.

I'm a huge fan of the caliber, I already reload for it, I have a ton of brass, and I know it will meet my requirements. Now I just have to sell a couple of milsurps.

Thanks again, all.

March 13, 2006, 04:10 AM
....mmm. 32 h/r mag. such good underutilized walk about round.

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