If you could only have one long gun for all purposes


July 9, 2010, 11:46 PM
If you were poor like me and found yourself in a position to get just one long gun that would be the best compromise to do everything you wanted to do, what would it be? Shotguns are great for close range defense, but lack the ability to reach out and the ammo is expensive. Bolt action rifles are great for hunting and target shooting, the ammo is a lot less than shotgun shells, but the rifle isn't good at close range. ARs and quality AKs are just too darn expensive. There's something to really put thought into. What do you do, and why?

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Shopping A Round
July 9, 2010, 11:57 PM
I would probably get either a bolt gun in .308 or an M1A in obviously .308. I would probably lean towards the bolt gun because in the case of bans, it is lacking features that are most likely to get banned like a magazine and semi-auto capability.

Close range I would keep a pistol.

Tactical reason being that I don't know how hotshot I would be in a firefight so I would certainly plan on being sneaky, stealthy, and far away protecting my woman.

July 10, 2010, 12:02 AM
I'd get an AK.

Even the cheaper ones are pretty darn reliable.

July 10, 2010, 12:03 AM
I would go with an SKS with tech-sights. If the rifle was put into a stock with a rail up front I would put on an adjustable 1-4 scope.

This may run you more than you want to spend. I personally saved for an AK (can get a Romanian and they will do the job) as a all use survival gun but the SKS is as best as you can get, if only they were still a hundred bucks.

Another option is to find a nice lever action in 30-30 or a 357/44 magnum to combo with a revolver.

July 10, 2010, 12:04 AM
vz-58 in 7.62x39mm. Why? I already have one, and it works fantastic. Great for plinking, SD, light and handy, and I reload for it, too. :)

July 10, 2010, 12:07 AM
Shotgun, there aint nothing you cant do with one.

Birds, duck, geese, deer, elk, coyote, bear etc and not to mention HD it can do it all.

July 10, 2010, 12:31 AM
mosin nagant M44 carbine. its a powerfull round its not expensive ammo the rifle is cheap and with the right stock you can reduce the overall lenght. But i would still choose a shotgun

July 10, 2010, 12:35 AM
My vote would have to go to a Marlin 336 in 30-30 iron sights. great gun for hunting and even an HD situation.

July 10, 2010, 12:42 AM

July 10, 2010, 12:53 AM
It's hard to beat a shotgun for multi-purpose work, especially if you get gun with a couple of different barrels.

Birds, bad guys, bear; they can do pretty much all of it .

July 10, 2010, 01:10 AM
+1 on the shotgun
everything that slabuda mentioned, plus all kinds of shooting competition sports

July 10, 2010, 01:28 AM

July 10, 2010, 01:34 AM
I have lots of long guns. The last one I'll ever get rid of is my Marlin Model 1894 in 38/357. Cheap to shoot, powerful and compact. Don't need no AR or AK or M1 anything. Don't plan on going to war again

July 10, 2010, 03:12 AM
"...everything you wanted to do..." A great deal depends on what that is.
"...the ammo is a lot less than shotgun shells..." Nope. Roughly $30 per 20 for .308 hunting ammo, of any brand or bullet weight and you need to try a a box of as many brands as you can to find the ammo a rifle shoots best. Roughly $7 to $8 per 25 for bird shot. Slugs are more expensive, but you don't need 'em for HD. They're not great for HD anyway.
"...lack the ability to reach out..." Isn't an issue for HD. HD isn't about long range. Knowing exactly where any shot you fire ends up is far more important. You are responsible for it.
A used, rifled sighted, smooth bore, pump 12 guage, shotgun. Won't cost you a ton of money and will give you a deer gun. Typical accuracy is about 2 or 3 inches at 100 yards out of any 12 guage shotgun. Plenty accurate for deer sized game.
A new Mossberg 3 in 1 combo may be worth looking into. Gives you 3 barrels with multiple chokes for not a big pile of money. Runs about $500Cdn, up here. Less Stateside. Might as well be a grand if you don't have it.
Don't worry about buying used either. It takes a great deal of abuse to damage a modern firearm of any type.
"...an M1A..." Not on a small budget.

July 10, 2010, 03:32 AM
Any old, plain Colt m1911...and keep it greased and oiled.

July 10, 2010, 03:33 AM
"...Colt M1911..." Isn't a long gun.

July 10, 2010, 03:34 AM

July 10, 2010, 04:02 AM
One for all purposes is a tough order, especially since you are on a tight budget. If I had to pick one and only one I'd pick an M1A but I suspect that's out of your price range. Two other firearms jump to mind.

The mini-14 or 30 (hunting) would do the job. I'd look for used.

I think another viable rifle and I might rank it higher (especially if you have a pistol as a back up weapon) would be a lever action rifle. I'd look for a used Marlin 336 in 30-30. If ammo is too costly, I'd consider the Marlin lever action in 357 Magnum as you can shoot 38s out of it and hunt w the 357s. .

The reality is that we are not going to get into high volume rifle fights. If anything it would be snipe a few shots and run. The lever action would be fine for this.

July 10, 2010, 05:45 AM
I sure like my Mossberg a lot, as far as a one-gun policy goes. Got it for $160 bucks with the long barrel. For sheer versatility, it's hard to beat a shotgun.

Now, if you're in a more rifle-y mood, I just bought a Mosin-Nagant off another user of this site, and I love it (so far). It doesn't shoot as well as my Mauser, but I wasn't expecting it to. From what I can tell, it's going to be very rugged and reliable, which sounds like what you're looking for. I paid $100 for it.

I feel your pain, as far as finances go. Trying to pay for school isn't any fun, and it's sometimes hard to justify extraneous expenses, like firearms. I just love 'em so much though :D

July 10, 2010, 07:53 AM
You're going to have to sacrifice something, given your criteria. If you're concerned with close range, while at the same time wanting to be able to at least SOMEWHAT reach out (100-150yds, 200 if feeling ambitious), then a Marlin 336 in .30-30 is a great choice, or even a model 92 in .44 magnum (.45 Colt is another great choice if you're willing to handload). Brand new Rossi 92's can be had for a little over $400 these days.

Ammo cost will eventually seem expensive to you with nearly everything but .22 LR. If you find yourself only able to get one gun, you might also try to invest in reloading equipment for one caliber.

July 10, 2010, 08:03 AM
If I could reload: .30-30 Marlin.

If I can't reload: .22LR


July 10, 2010, 08:12 AM
Go shotgun, you could buy a tactical one, and the ammo is so cheap. I buy 200 rounds for shooting clay for around 20 bucks if I'm lucky normally around 40. Plus if you want to reach out and touch something most tact shotguns can chamber the mighty 3 1/2 mag. Buy a 200 buck rifled barrel for it and let the slugs fly. Good for home defence with 00, change it up, to shoot clay at little cost, and take down big game with the slug I mentioned earlier.

July 10, 2010, 08:42 AM
No single gun can perform every task.

FWIW, Seņor Varela is parked in the front of the safe.
Sighting device selected depending on the event.


July 10, 2010, 08:52 AM
marlin 336 in thudy thudy or a 12 gauge pump.

July 10, 2010, 09:36 AM
Siaga .308.

Its an AK in .308 for $400-$500.

If you can't afford that buy the rifle of the people, the Mosin Nagant. Don't worry about HD with the MN, the bayonet is long enough that you won't even have to get out of bed to stick someone at the doorway. If that fails just the blast of the round going off will blow everyones eardrums out and send the robber packing.:D

July 10, 2010, 09:38 AM
Lever action 30-30. Funny I'd choose that since I don't own one.

July 10, 2010, 09:55 AM
12 gauge. The do-all of the gun world.

Bird hunting....Check
Home defense.... Check
Bear hunting.....Check
Fun plinker.....Check, if you like skeet shooting
Armor Piercing rounds for SHTF.....Check
Big foot hunting....Check

Long range shooting..... ummm, try putting 5 Sabots in a 1" hole at 100 yards an pretend:neener:

The ammo really isn't that high when compared to other long arm ammo. You just have to know what to look for. Even Buck Shot can be found for less than a dollar a shot.

July 10, 2010, 10:16 AM
Only one gun is a depressing thought.

But the shotgun is clearly the most versatile firearm. Carry buck, bird and slugs and you are ready for just about anything at close range.

This works for me when I only want to take one gun and be prepared for any situation. The 20" barrel is compact enough for SD use but it is hunting quality gun with rib and choke tubes.


July 10, 2010, 10:19 AM

Buck Snort
July 10, 2010, 11:41 AM
30-06. There are bound to be those times when you've just GOTTA reach out and touch someone.

July 10, 2010, 12:08 PM
Ruger 10/22. I already have one. Cheap and fun to shoot, and can be quite satisfactory as a defensive weapon. There's quite a bit that can be done to trick it out as well. I don't hunt, so I wouldn't miss a hunting rifle (don't own any centerfire rifles now, anyway.)

July 10, 2010, 12:20 PM
Everyone should have a shotgun, no question, but for longer distances a rifle just does it better and easier. I do love the AK, but since they're out of the price range, I'd choose either an SKS or Marlin .30-30, both will do whatever you'd need a rifle to do....within reason of course.

July 10, 2010, 12:28 PM
I'd go with a .22lr semi auto as well. There is no other way I can afford to mass thousands of rounds of ammo.

July 10, 2010, 12:45 PM
Used, you could probably give up on the one gun and get a used Remington 870 and an used SKS for $400 for both.

July 10, 2010, 01:10 PM
Thompson Center with various rifle barrels and a shotgun barrel. It's a single shot but I've rarely had an opportunity or need for a followup shot.

Friendly, Don't Fire!
July 10, 2010, 01:25 PM
Over/under shotgun rifle


July 10, 2010, 01:31 PM
If I could only have one gun and money was a problem I'd buy a Mossberg 500 pump 12 ga 3" mag, I'd have three barrels 18 1/2, 28 mod and a slug barrel. I've hunted for 40 years and most everything that I've shot could have been shot with a Mossberg. You'll have home protection with the 18 1/2" barrel, Ducks/Deer with the 28 mod and 150 yd shots with the slug barrel.

texas bulldog
July 10, 2010, 01:44 PM
It's hard to say anything other than shotgun since they can be bought so cheap and are so versatile. However, I think I'd go with a Marlin 1894 in .357/.38, which I happen to already own. I'd then pair it with a 686+ for around the home, and an SP101 for carry. Since I don't bird hunt, that would cover all of my major gun needs, and they could all share ammo.

Fortunately, I don't have to limit myself to one.

July 10, 2010, 02:02 PM
I've been doing some thinking since my response last night. I still like my choices of lever action (my first choice) or the mini-14 or 30. However the more I reflect on the original post, a pump shotgun will likely do all that you need. The shotgun is limited to somewhere around 100 yards but in reality, for self defense it is very very unlikely you will need to or should shoot that far. Stats I've seen show most deer are taken at or under 100 yards. The shotgun will likely cost half of what a rifle will cost. The more I think about your specific situatio, the shotgun is a very good choice. Also, save up for training classes. It will make a HUGE difference in your effectiveness. I cannot over emphasize the importance of training. Good luck and let us know what you get.

July 10, 2010, 02:04 PM
Shotgun, there aint nothing you cant do with one.
What can you do with it at 300 (never mind 1,000) yards?

Wave it in a threatening manner?

A heavy barreled bolt action .30-06 is good for everything from prairie dogs to elk, and people on foot or in vehicles.

Greg Mercurio
July 10, 2010, 02:08 PM
The one that ain't registered. Caliber won't matter when the goons come for your weapons.

July 10, 2010, 02:45 PM
If you were poor like me and found yourself in a position to get just one long gun that would be the best compromise to do everything you wanted to do, what would it be? Shotguns are great for close range defense, but lack the ability to reach out and the ammo is expensive. Bolt action rifles are great for hunting and target shooting, the ammo is a lot less than shotgun shells, but the rifle isn't good at close range. ARs and quality AKs are just too darn expensive. There's something to really put thought into. What do you do, and why?

Hmm, one long-gun that meets the following:
-Close range defensive gun
-The ability to "reach out"
-One intended use is hunting
-Ammo that isn't too expensive
-The gun isn't too expensive

It really sounds like you need to drop one criteria, or go with two guns. Like you said, the shotty is a great home defense gun, but if you want long-range it won't go there. With most rifles, you have long range, but you risk overpenetration if used in home defense. One rifle caliber, .223, is great for home defense (not too much overpenetration potential), but it isn't legal to hunt large game in many (most?) states, and at truly long ranges it will lose a lot of power.

One possibility is a .308 of some kind and buy the expensive "tactical" rounds (lower power, often frangible rounds that aren't as prone to overpenetration) for home defense. I'm not sure how cheap the ammo will be anymore though.

Personally I really like lever rifles. In revolver calibers they make capable home defense guns, and with .357mag, .44mag, and some of the more powerful loadings in .45LC they are good up to about 100yrds for hunting game up to deer. They are also a ton of fun. You would have to forget long distances.

If I was on a very limited budget I'd go with a used lever gun, a shotgun (and lose the range) or get an H&R Handi-rifle or one of the other single shot rifles with removable barrels and buy one rifle with two or more barrels to handle all your intended needs (though again, it is a compromise- one shot isn't terrific for home-defense). Probably the lever gun or shotgun (used preferably) for now, then since you want distance I'd pick up a used bolt action hunting rifle ASAP (Savage makes guns that are great values and may be a good way to go).

July 10, 2010, 03:30 PM
M1A or AR-10

July 10, 2010, 04:10 PM
Sounds like you main "need" is defensive. I'd skip the long gun and get something like a Glock M19, M23, or Ruger SP101 or GP100 in 357 mag (revolver). You often can find used police guns at gunshows for fairly cheap. But it sounds to me like $500 for a gun is a burden.

Otherwise, I'd get a 22 rifle and probably a Marlin Model 60.

July 10, 2010, 04:26 PM
A shotgun with an extra rifled slug barrel is probably the closest compromise.

July 10, 2010, 04:42 PM
I guess the real criteria is that we are severely cash deprived, and that is the limiting factor, not so much the one gun scenario: A TC Encore with mulltiple barrels is obviously the most versatile set up, but will still run into a bunch of cash. for a single gun, a 12 gauge Remington 870 can be set up with a rifled and scoped barrel, variable choked and lengths of bird bbls, an open sighted 18"bbl for home defense, and even a muzzleloadiing bbl. It doesnt get much more versatile than that. I have never had need for any shots greater than even 100 yards here in upstate Ny.
For settting up on a real budget, a good used 12 gauge pump and a good used inline muzzleloader could probably be had for under 400.00, which would take almost any game in the continental U.S. I have a tought time seeing how an M1 or AK offer any versatility. 30-06 hardly can be used on any small game, not to mention birds of any sort.

July 10, 2010, 05:35 PM
On a tight budget, then I would probably opt for an SKS. If a little more money became available, then an AK-47 would be my choice.

July 10, 2010, 05:41 PM
12ga over .223


July 10, 2010, 06:08 PM

July 10, 2010, 07:29 PM
How good is an M1A or AK for squirrel and duck hunting? The question asked is what compromise has the widest utility for a do-it-all gun?

July 10, 2010, 07:34 PM
gbran, only Crossfire I ever saw, at the gunshop/range I worked at, was poorly made, and almost impossible to operate. If you have one, I hope it works well for you - I wouldn't have given $20 for the one we had.

July 10, 2010, 09:00 PM
Am I able to also have a handgun? This will change the equation. With a good sixgun chambered in .357, .41, or .44 Magnum, or .45 Colt, which can reach out and bit and also serve for defensive use, the long gun could be a budget rifle able to shoot cheap .22 LR, or an inexpensive shotgun, possibly even a single-shot.

If there is going to be no handgun in the equation, I would want the rifle to be able to do more with its cartridge, and fire multiple shots fairly rapidly. Keeping in mind the OP is on a budget, I would look into a pre-owned centerfire lever-action rifle, chambered for a magnum handgun cartridge, or the good ol' .30-30.

For the purpose of this exercise, I factored out my job situation, as I must buy my own duty firearms. The one long gun I virtually NEED for the job is a Remington 870 shotgun. (The other PD-authorized choices are the Benelli M1 or M2.) Of course, an 870 would not be a bad candidate for the one long gun. I think, however, I would rather my only long gun be a rifle.

July 10, 2010, 09:01 PM
First choice: AK47
Second choice: .308 rifle
Third choice: 12 gauge shotgun (pump)

July 10, 2010, 09:53 PM

Saw the MKI at a gun shop shortly after they came out. Great concept, but about $1895 then. If it's a POS, glad I didn't buy one.

July 10, 2010, 09:57 PM
Marlin .357 Mag

July 10, 2010, 10:29 PM
A shotgun with an extra rifled slug barrel is probably the closest compromise.

I agree this is a reasonable choice. The extra barrel will run about $150. But I am not a shotgun guy so I would lean toward something else.

Another option might be a Savage Model 24 rifle/shotgun combination in something like 12 ga and 223. One of those guns covers a lot of potential applications except sensible defense.

July 10, 2010, 10:38 PM
870 or 10/22

July 10, 2010, 11:02 PM
Another vote for the Marlin 336 (in stainless.)
One purdy rifle.

July 10, 2010, 11:31 PM
If you can't get closer than 1000 yards, you need to work on your hunting skills.

If you're referring to something in a wide open area, you need to devise a different tactic.

Besides, not too many here on this forum have ever even shot 1000 yards, let alone do it successfully on a regular basis.

The shotgun is the most versatile tool for one gun.

July 10, 2010, 11:44 PM
1st choice: Pump shotgun 870 or Mossberg 500/590. Probably the most versatile weapon going. Well suited to HD loaded with buck shot. Will take anything from bunnies to bear with the right load. Good out to 100 yards with rifled slugs if you do your part. Price point $350

2nd choice: Saiga in 7.62x39. Pretty good choice for HD. Good out past 200 yards. Plenty of power for deer sized game. Price point $350

3rd choice: Wasr AK-47 same reasons as above. Not as accurate and more money. A Good alternative to this might be the EAA Zastava PAP. Seems like a real good deal to me.

Ignition Override
July 11, 2010, 12:15 AM
For a semi-auto, my original SKS. Affordable ammo and the magazine is always there.

A semi-auto in .308 might be best, but not with those ammo prices, unless cases can easily be reloaded multiple times.

July 11, 2010, 12:22 AM
I'd have to settle for my Marlin 1895CB lever action 45-70. You might not be able to get many squirrels with it, but you can certainly live off the land and take care of business with it. Up close and at a good distance.

July 11, 2010, 12:27 AM
It would be a close one, and if money was an issue. Well. It was, and three guns come to mind that were under $150.00. Two new, and one used.

1) Marlin Model 60. it was $129.00 new
2) Maverick 88 12 gauge. It was $140.00 OTD New
3) Marlin 1972 336. $140 used

Between these three... That is a tuff choice. I would have to say the Model 60. I can carry 2000 rounds or more in a shoe box. It is very accurate out to 50 yards. Anyone in my family can handle it. It is light and reliable, and is a very simple gun to operate. Although in our sh_t and get kit we have another Maverick 88 with a 18.5" barrel broke down along with a Heritage SA .22LR/.22Mag. Again not expensive firearms.

These aren't the only 3 in the cabinet, but they are 3 of the best I have. I have another Marlin 336W. A gift from my daughter. It is dressed nice with brass front sight and receiver sight. Shoots good, but the '72's action is glass, and it has the thin forearm and a thinner pistol grip stock without a hammer block safety.

I could go round and round on these three, but the .22 LR as small as it is just seems to be the most logical even though I would want more fire power. I could be satisfied with a Marlin Model 60 and a few thousand rounds.

July 11, 2010, 12:31 AM
You never said what your limit was on cost, so I'll give you one. If you can put $500 together you can have a decent Rem. 870 12 ga. shotgun with two barrels (short and long) and, if you shop well, you could add a Ruger 1022 in .22 LR. Neither is great for long shots or heavy rifle work, but they can be very versatile and the ammo is cheap. If you really only want one gun, buy the best quality .308 bolt gun with iron sights you can afford, and stay away from cheap foreign stuff or semi-autos that can break easier.

July 11, 2010, 12:42 AM
Quote: by KodiakBeer
"A shotgun with an extra rifled slug barrel is probably the closest compromise."

Sounds about right to me...You can take a lot of stuff with that..from the smallest game to some really big critters...And not too rough on just about anyones budget.

July 11, 2010, 10:03 AM
I can't see a normal target at 1000 yards. 200-300 is max for me, unless it's simple suppressive fire, and I don't have that much ammo to waste.

Redneck with a 40
July 11, 2010, 10:16 AM
.308 semi-auto, such as an FNAR. I reload, so I would have plenty of ammo on hand.:) Also, with bullets from 110 grains to 180 grains, you can handle anything from fox to black bear, maybe a grizz at close range and a very good shot, but I wouldn't want to risk it.

July 11, 2010, 12:04 PM
If I had to pick one long gun I think I'd have to agree with Slabuda and say a shotgun. I also must agree with the other posters who hailed a shotgun's versatility and simplicity. From a scattering effect when loaded with Bird or Buck shot to a single devastating shot from a slug I think a shotgun has the potential to be a really GREAT survival gun. Regardless of whether your using it with bird-shot to bring down small game to eat or using buck or slugs to fend off attackers it gets the job done.

That being said I LOVE my Kimber 1911 but if we're strictly talking long-guns I'll take my Benelli S/N any day!

Take Care & Be Safe Everyone!!!


July 11, 2010, 05:03 PM
Winchester or Marlin .30-30. Plenty of power for hunting, rapid enough follow-up shots for self-defense, accurate, durable, ammo is available everywhere, politically correct and legal in all 50 states. Can be had for $200 used in almost any gunshop. The old SKS is a semi-auto equivalent.

July 11, 2010, 05:55 PM
My AR-15, that I built myself OR my 870 tac. Probably my 870 tac, since I can kill flying little things to walking big fat things.

July 12, 2010, 12:37 AM
It would have to be a semi auto, either Marlin or Ruger 10/22. Ammo is cheap, accurate, and lethal beyond limits most people think that it is not. Those are the people that do not really have much experience with this ammo. You can buy ammo buy the thousands's for practice, self defence, and hunting and you won't spend over $100.

July 12, 2010, 01:02 AM
You don't specify a price but you can find a 30.06 rifle for 250 dollars and it can be loaded to take anything from rabbits to Moose. Ammo is everywhere. Reload if you want to get ammo cheap.
The best all around gun to hunt most everything is a 12 guage shotgun. You can take squirrels to elk. They can be found in single shot that cost only about a hundred, I think, new. There are numerous 12 guage shotguns out there and finding a decent one for 150-200 is possible. A 30.06 and a .22 would be ideal imo.

July 12, 2010, 02:46 AM
You didn't say how much money is "inexpensive" so it makes it a little difficult to suggest the one and only long gun.

My thoughts are similar to several other suggestions already submitted. A 12 ga. shotgun. It will handle bird shot for small game all the way up to buck shot for medium game and home defense or slugs for large game at 100 yards. BYW. ANY 12 ga. shot gun load at the average home defense distance is going to stop an intruder.

As far as cost, you can buy a used single shot for $100 or less and figure the ammo at .25 each for bird shot and about a $1.00 each for buck shot and rifled slugs. At my local gun shop I can buy a box of 5 rounds of slugs or buck shot for $3.99 and a box of 25 bird shot in various shot sizes for $5.99. This gives you a lot of options for a small investment.

If you can afford a few dollars more you can buy a new 12 ga. pump for around $300+. I would much prefer the the heavier pump to the single shot because you will experience a lot of recoil in a light weight single shot when using the buck shot or slugs. You also have the option of quick follow up shots with the pump. Several shotguns now come with 2 barrels, 18" for home defense or close hunting or a 28" barrel for longer range shooting. I would want rifle sights for my longer range slug and buck shot hunting.

IMHO the shotgun is the best choice weapon for the person with only a single long gun. However if you are like the rest of us you will eventually buy more guns for more selective uses. Those critters just seem to multiply no matter how hard you try to resist.

July 12, 2010, 01:27 PM
Brand-new Remington 870 Express 12 gauge w/ 28" Rem-Choke barrel - $279
18" cylinder barrel and 2-shot mag tube extension - $150
23" rifled barrel with scope mount - $200

Total: Less than $700, for a reliable, proven, American-made long gun with extensive after market support, that can do anything from HD, to bird hunting, to big game hunting. An obvious choice.

July 12, 2010, 01:27 PM
After giving this question more thought, I would agree with some people on their answers. Although I'm not too sure about shotguns. This is the reason, I the SHTF tomorrow, knowing the other types of people out there ( the ones with the attitude that since they don't have, they will just take ), unless I know you I wouldn't want anyone that close. The shotgun just doesn't have that much range. I like being able to reach out and touch an animal ( any legged ), at a good distance. Alll the rifles mentioned have that distance shot. How close do want someone you don't know to get?,,,,,,,Just a thought. I'll still keep my 45-70. Squirrels and rabbits would lose a lot of weight but there is bigger game out there.

July 12, 2010, 01:37 PM
If you can't get closer than 1000 yards, you need to work on your hunting skills.

If you're referring to something in a wide open area, you need to devise a different tactic.

Besides, not too many here on this forum have ever even shot 1000 yards, let alone do it successfully on a regular basis.

The shotgun is the most versatile tool for one gun.
What's that shotgun going to do for you at 300 yards? Nothing.

Your tactics are determined by the situation. You change theory to match reality, not vice versa.

July 12, 2010, 02:27 PM
What's that shotgun going to do for you at 300 yards? Nothing.

Your tactics are determined by the situation. You change theory to match reality, not vice versa.

What's your 30.06 going to do to bag a duck or a rabbit? How much terrain in North America is there where you can't get within 100 yards of a large game animal? You can't change reality to match theory...

July 12, 2010, 08:41 PM
44magnum in a browning lever gun. Kill any animal or man out to 100 yards.
Light, easy to move around in the woods. Light recoil and you can have a handgun in the same cal. Heck of a round in a great package.

July 12, 2010, 08:45 PM
I would say a Lever-action Carbine, or an SKS

July 12, 2010, 08:45 PM
Remember, unless SHTF or some other scenario takes place, and assuming the law is still in effect, reaching out and touching someone makes you the aggressor no matter what the intent of the other guy was. Even a zombie at 500 yds. will be considered the victim because he is not an immediate threat to you. The shotgun may not reach out, but is much better to defend you and yours at distances that are easy to justify. If you are talking about sniper work here, well that is a different ball game only you can justify. . . .and besides, if you already have a 45-70, then you really don't need anything except a good shotgun.

July 12, 2010, 09:06 PM
When I answered this question before I was basing my answer on my area, the south east. I now see that every area could require a different answer.

July 13, 2010, 07:55 AM
Tough call, but if I could only own one long gun, it would have to be a 12 gauge shotgun. I hunt, and the shotgun would let me take all manner of game. Barrels are relatively inexpensive, so easy to have a 24" rifled slug barrel with integrated scope mount for deer, and a 26" removable-choke vent rib barrel for small game (and clays); throw in an 18.5 inch smoothe-bore cylinder for home defense and you've got all the bases covered ... inside 125 yards at least.

If I could add a rifle to the shotgun, no question it would be a scoped bolt action in either .308 or .30-06. With a shotgun and a rifle I'd be good to go.

July 13, 2010, 08:09 AM
a combo-rifle. 12ga over .22LR

July 13, 2010, 08:53 AM
Marlin .30/30

the only rifle choice for me.

BSS 12 gauge

the only shotgun choice for me.

July 13, 2010, 10:14 AM
What's your 30.06 going to do to bag a duck or a rabbit? How much terrain in North America is there where you can't get within 100 yards of a large game animal? You can't change reality to match theory...
If you don't think you can take a rabbit with a .30-06 without shredding it, you obviously don't handload. And let's be honest, if you don't handload you're not REALLY serious about shooting.

I'm not a waterfowl hunter and have no interest in it.

Brian Williams
July 13, 2010, 11:33 AM
I would probably look at a Marlin Lever gun either a 336 in 30-30 or a 1894C in 357mag.

July 13, 2010, 11:50 AM
If it was only one I would pick either a 12 gauge pump combo that had a 26-28" barrel along with a 20-22" deer barrel with rifle sights.
Or another compromise would be to find a clean older Savage 24-V combo with the 20 gauge and .223 or the 20 gauge and 30-30 combination.
Those were some good old guns.

July 13, 2010, 04:45 PM
I'd probably get a bolt action in 223. The ammo is widely available at reasonable cost and in a variety of bullet types. FMJ could take small game, hollow points for varmints and soft points for medium game up to deer size. Put a moderate scope like a 2-7x33 on it and you'd be well equipped for most situations.

If it ever came down to using it for self defense, the 223/5.56 round has a decent record with the US military over the past 40 years.

July 13, 2010, 06:38 PM
Thank you Meeteetse. You do have a good point. The question was about "one long gun" and not about what else you would have. So I stand humbly before you. I dont own a shotgun at the moment so I guess my .41 rem-mag Ruger would be my short gun.

The Lone Haranguer
July 13, 2010, 07:22 PM
The one long gun that would satisfy most needs would be, IMO, a 12-gauge shotgun (pump or semiauto, your choice) with two barrels, one set up for firing birdshot for bird hunting, the other for slugs and buckshot, incorporating rifle sights, for home defense and big game hunting.

July 13, 2010, 08:51 PM
The Pump Remington wingmaster 30" barrell can kill birds, rodents, medium sized game inside of fifty yards. Slugs can even take down large game. The sacrifice of having only one long gun would have to be the long yardage. Shotgun shells are cheaper than most centerfire rifle bullets.:fire:

July 13, 2010, 10:48 PM
.338 Win Mag

July 13, 2010, 11:25 PM
Make mine a Marlin 1894 Cowboy custom in .357 mag

July 13, 2010, 11:50 PM
This is it:


July 14, 2010, 01:00 AM
I have to reiterate my point on the shotgun. A Maverick is basically a Mossberg that can be had on the cheap. There isn't much that could go wrong with my shotgun, from what I can tell-- it's an extremely simple mechanism, shells are cheap, and quite frankly, for home defense, when would you be shooting over 100 yards, unless you live in a mansion or something? You can't just shoot someone because they're on your property, from what I recall... they have to be threatening you somehow.

July 14, 2010, 01:23 AM


Just because.

July 14, 2010, 03:19 PM
M1a in .308

July 15, 2010, 01:50 AM
Would have to say a cooper phenix mod 22 308 best gun i ever got

July 16, 2010, 07:55 AM
Daewoo AR-100.

July 16, 2010, 10:34 AM
Mauser 98 in 7x57.

July 16, 2010, 09:00 PM
the M14 platform is the jack-of-all-trades rifle in my opinion. it is an assault rifle, machine gun, sniper rifle and battle axe all in one.


July 18, 2010, 04:44 PM
The man said he was Cash Strapped
In that Case an SKS or an AR15

July 18, 2010, 04:48 PM
I would get a cheap bolt gun or even a H&R single shot probably in .308, and a decent .22 lr.

July 18, 2010, 05:23 PM
My Remington 7MM mag

July 18, 2010, 05:50 PM
on a budget?

HI POINT!!!!!!!!!

seriously, mossberg 500.

July 18, 2010, 05:52 PM
Lancer from Gears of War. Full auto assault rifle w/chainsaw bayonet.

July 18, 2010, 06:25 PM
how close I want them and how close I have to let them get are two entirely different questions. If I "defend" myself at the distance I want then then its not defense, I have to wait untill they are close enough to be an actual threat! Remember in anytype of shtf most people will be in varying states of shock/disblief even tramua. Fear and panic will be across the board. If the shtf is a katrina type event the number of human predators were / are in the minority % of the population. There are likely to be people looking and asking for help wether you can give is something else. It has been said it took 3 days for the "veneer" of society to was away after katrina.

just my .02 fwiw

July 18, 2010, 07:03 PM
I love rifles. Pistols and shotguns are fine, but nothing beats a nice rifle...the only one that is truly capable of precision fire at long range, but in this case the 12Ga. pump shotgun (a gun that I do not own) is probably the best option. It is capable of taking small quarry (bird shot), varmints (light buckshot), large game (preferably slugs but heavy buckshot will also work), defense (light to medium buckshot), and even longer range (up to 150-200yds) hunting tasks with a rifled barrel and sabot slugs. It may be crude, and in many cases ugly, but it has a well deserved reputation for getting the job done.


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