Inexpensive ranch rifle


January 23, 2008, 05:55 PM
I have been looking at geting a "ranch rifle". But not the kind that Ruger builds. ( WAY too expensive just to get beat up )
I want a rifle that is very light weight, in eather .22 mag. , .223, or .243 win.
Primary targets: Groundhogs (And lots of them around here), coyote's, (and WITH a State issued permit) deer & turkey's.
We run a little 1900 acre farm here. It is about 600 acres of pasture for our cattle, 1100 acres of crop land, and 200 acres of woodland. It's like a freaki'n
wildlife refuge around here! There are soo many deer, groundhogs & turkeys around here, there is no "hunting" them. Just walk out to the edge of practically any field or pasture at dawn or dusk and start shooting. They are allways there! And they will wipe out a field of soybeans in a hurry!
I want a rifle that is very very light weight. Rock solid reliable. 3 moa or better accuracy to 150 ish yards. I thought about cutting down the barrell and stock on some cheap Savage at a pawn shop, but then Ran into the H&R Handi-Rifle Superlight. (5.35 lbs ! ) And since it will spend many a days riding beside me on the AC tractor, or in the 4-wheeler rack, At $220 I would not feel bad about it getting scratched. (Plan on cammo taping it anyway just for extra protection) Question is, are the Superlight Handi rifles any count? And wich caliber of the three mentioned above? Had an SKS for this job last year, but hated it. Inacurate, muzzle heavy, and jam, jam, jam, jam! I owned 2 wood stock Handi-Rifles in the past ( A .243 for my wife, and a 26" barrell .280 remington for me) Loved them both, but we had a real bad financial spell a few years ago, and sold all but 2 guns just so we could get by. :(

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January 23, 2008, 06:06 PM
If you loved the Handi-rifle before - why fix something that wasn't broken ?

The .22mag. will be working really hard at 150yds. Personally, I would look at the .22 Hornet or, if you're thinking you'll pot a deer sometime - go with the .243.
Deer can be taken all day long with the .223, of course, but I personally, would restrict that caliber to head and upper-neck shots.
The .243 suffers no such restriction.


January 23, 2008, 06:10 PM
Sounds to me like a Handi-Rifle fits your needs perfectly.

Or an old, already scratched up 30/30. That might need a bit more cleaning riding on a tractor though.

January 23, 2008, 06:11 PM
The .243 would be a good choice.

Another good caliber would be the .25-06. (If you are into semi-exotic cartridges.)

January 23, 2008, 06:12 PM
For $270, you can get a new Stevens 200 in .223 (shipping included) from Bud's. Should be as accurate or more so than the Handi-rifle.

kart racer
January 23, 2008, 06:28 PM
Can I come help kill the ground hogs?:D

January 23, 2008, 06:31 PM
Have you ever considered guiding hunting trips? You get to get paid for something you need done around the you place. My place in Texas is only 160 acres but a make $1500 a year from dove and coyote hunters. I am booked up the next 5 years. Some the my best guns were trade-ins from my hunters. I just placed an ad in the Dallas and Fort Worth newspapers. The phone rung off the hook for 3 weeks on a one weekend ad. Just an idea my preacher gave me.
I use a H&R in 22-250, it does good work on crows and such but it has a heavy barrel and is not super light.I am looking to get a new tractor gun , H&R in 45LC/.410. You can send any center fire topper handi-rifle back to H&R and have a new barrel fitted for $60 to $125 depending on caliber.

January 23, 2008, 06:39 PM
We do lease some of the land to reputable local hunters. But it seems like for every deer shot, 4 more show up! It's weard! And the turkey's!!! I counted 34 in ONE FIELD 2 weekends ago! They are everywhere!!!! Some looked like they were much larger than the rest. ( Like 2 GIANT turkeys in the midst of the 34 ) I know nothing about turkey's or turkey hunting. But I would guess they were the tom's and all the rest were hens.

January 23, 2008, 07:00 PM
Ever consider something like this or a Savage 24 over/under?

January 23, 2008, 07:40 PM
Wow I envy you.

You get to buy a gun and get to have it as a tax write off (hey it's for business purposes isn't it).

January 23, 2008, 07:48 PM
The IRS is pretty iffy when it comes to write off guns for farm use but it will work every 3 or 4 years. Ammo is a good write off and some reloading stuff.

January 23, 2008, 08:42 PM
wow.....will u adopt me?

January 24, 2008, 12:22 AM
Stevens 200.

January 24, 2008, 02:47 PM
I looked long & hard at the Rossi .243, but I ultimatly walked away from it. I just could not get past the pee-poor fit/finish of the stock. (When H&R's have a much better fit for the same $$$ ) But I am shure they are good guns.

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