Lightweight walking rifle for woods and varmints


Brian Williams
September 29, 2003, 12:28 PM
I am looking at an old rifle of a friend of my Father-in-law it is a Win 43 or 54 in 218bee and I have often wondered what I would build if I was going to get a lightweight small to mid caliber rifle,

I have thought about a MiniMauser or CZ in 221 fireball with a lightweight barrel about 20" long and a synthetic or laminated stock.

I had a Win coyote in 22-250, but it was way to heavy and loud for what I wanted.

What do you have for Woods walking and Varmint walking, something you do not mind wandering around fields and woods capable of taking any thing from "mad raging chipmunks" to Large feral dogs or coyotes?

OBTW, I do not want comments on what I want but I want to hear what you have and use.

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September 29, 2003, 12:43 PM
Several friends who shoot foxes for fun and profit (furs) have gone exclusively to the .22 Hornet. There's a number of rifles out there chambered for it. Ruger and CZ both offer bolt actions in this caliber.

If you don't care if the pelt is destroyed (or you don't plan on eating anything you shoot), then I'd just go with a .223. Surplus ammo is cheap and avialable everywhere. A Ruger short action is inexpensive and very light. The CZ you mention might be an even better choice.


September 29, 2003, 01:46 PM
I want to hear what you have and use.

For casual walking around, I just pack a revolver - usually 357.

Dave R
September 29, 2003, 01:47 PM
Not my idea, but a great walk-around varmit gun.

I inherited a Martini Cadet (think of a Martini-Henry in half scale, or maybe 3/4 scale) chambered in a .17 made from .357 mag pistol brass.

It looks and weighs like a good bb gun, but is sub-MOA accurate and hard hitting enough out to 200 yards.

And yes, I use it for walk-around varmit hunting.

Art Eatman
September 29, 2003, 03:30 PM
I've found that a Mini-14 with a K4 worked fine for that. I have a 77 MkII in .223 that's pretty light weight, and a Sako .243 carbine that totals seven pounds.

They're a bit pricy, but a 700Ti in .223 or .243 would be nice. My 7mm08 with a Weaver V3 on it totals just over six pounds...


September 29, 2003, 05:33 PM
A CZ 527 in .223 or .22 hornet would be ideal.

Truthfully, for walk around varminting a HR ultra varminter in 223 stoked with a 55 gr TNT bullet for 'chucks, and a few softpoints in the pocket for 'yotes. Topped with a 4-46 Burris scope its more than enough reach for zapping prarie rats at long range but light enough to carry around.. though it is a bit bulky.

223 is heavy for squirrels. My squirrel rig is a Marlin 995 topped with a 1.5-4x scope and a "serious" handgun of some sort. ie 9mm-45-357 variety.

September 29, 2003, 07:53 PM
a 700 BDL in .223

it's the lighter version with the sporter barrel. Seems about the weight of a normal .22 rimfire

cheap ammo and lots 'o whack for the size.

mebbe a nice compact 4x Bushnell scope and you're good to go for cheap

September 29, 2003, 07:59 PM
I have a Savage in .17 HMR but that may be a bit light for a coyote at much over 75 yards. I sure would not want to deal with a feral dog or pack of em with it.

However, forget the black rifle image and think about an AR in .223.

Very light in the short version, very capable out to further'n most of us can reliably shoot and the .223 comes in both plain hardball and the hornady express which is heck on any varmint. I would not have an issue (if there was no other option) facing feral dogs with mine.

September 29, 2003, 08:13 PM
I'd suggest a .357 lever action carbine, carries like a walking stick, and will take anything in the class you mentioned, and with hot loads, will take deer size game.

September 29, 2003, 10:15 PM
Along the lines mrstang01 mentioned, look at the Rossi single-shot rifle in .357 Magnum. It's a modern version of the classic "walking around" Rook Rifle. All you really need to do out of the box is replace the crappy rear sight with the Williams receiver sight meant for a T/C Contender. Chopping the 23" barrel to 18" and reshaping the stock a bit brings the overall length to 30", weight to about 4.5lbs. It's even easier to carry than a .357 lever gun. Broken down for transport it's smaller yet. All this goodness for about $160 NIB.

September 29, 2003, 10:18 PM
Any of the pistol caliber lever guns might be a good choice. I used to carry a Marlin 39 in .22, sometimes with my BHP as backup. But then there were no four legged or two legged predators around.

I'd look at the new Marlin Spike Horn. It's a Trapper length 30-30 should fit the bill.

Brian Williams
September 29, 2003, 10:38 PM
I already have a Marlin 1894c in 357 and have thought about a Nef 22 hornet rechambered to a 22 jet improved, take a 22jet and push the shoulder up to a sharper angle.

September 29, 2003, 11:24 PM
For this, I'd probably get something like one of the little CZ's in 7.62x39mm. 'Nuther good choice might be one of the new super-short actions in .243 Winchester SS Mag.

Stephen A. Camp
September 29, 2003, 11:37 PM
Hello. My primary "walking rifle" is a CZ-527 chambered in .223 Remington. The rifle has a Leupold 3x9 compact scope on it.


September 29, 2003, 11:45 PM
the Rossi single-shot rifle in .357 Magnum.

Ah, but what about quick follow up shots on rabid charging squirrels?:D

Seriously, I was using a mini-14 for this role but I spec I'll be using the Bushy 223 for that from now on, it's only 7 lbs.

September 30, 2003, 05:05 PM
A little underpowered in 22lr, but for a lightweight rifle for plinking varmits, it can't be beat. I have a compact 4X bushnell scope on mine and it is a great little rifle. Weighs 4.5 pounds.

September 30, 2003, 07:43 PM
What do I actually "woods walk" with?

Usually, a Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum, if deer are a possibility.

But if you tell me there is actually a pack of feral dogs running around, then I'll carry my M-1 Carbine, with 2 extra 15-rd magazines of 110gr JHP's in the stock-pouch.

September 30, 2003, 10:53 PM
I'd look at the new Marlin Spike Horn. It's a Trapper length 30-30 should fit the bill.

I'll second that! I have a Marlin 336Y Spikehorn on order. Should be here soon. I ordered it specifically because it's short, light and has quick followup shots. I'm planning on mounting a red dot sight on it too. .30-30's good for most anything in the woods (with the right load.)

October 2, 2003, 12:31 AM
Kel-Tec SU-16 in .223

October 2, 2003, 09:22 AM
How about a Remington Model 7 in .223 or .243 with a compact scope? The Remington website doesn't show the 700 Ti as being made in .223 or .243 (I have noticed that the website isn't always complete, though). I use my .308 Ti as my everything rifle, but it could be a bit much for "mad raging chipmunks."

October 2, 2003, 10:40 AM
I just use a Marlin 336 in .30/30.

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