The one question we're all asked


June 5, 2011, 09:50 PM
We've all been asked this at one time or another and I figured why not ask it myself, if you could have only one rifle, which rifle would pick and why?
Post note:
Please try to refrain from AKs or ARs, as that's what most people are probably going to pick, it's not because I hate AKs or ARs (in fact I personally like the former) I just think this thread needs some variety.

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June 5, 2011, 10:01 PM
AR. Accurate, reliable, common easy to find caliber. Contrary to internet myth modern ARs do not need to be religiously cleaned. Keep it well lubed and it will go 1,000 rounds between cleanings if you like.

June 5, 2011, 10:54 PM
C&P'd my answer from here:

The question being similar:

KelTec Sub2000 9mm Glock.

Stop Laughing. Really.

I'll tell ya why.

First of, it's simple and fairly rugged. Mines been reliable for about 5k rounds, and there's not a lot in it that I couldn't recreate in a small machine shop myself- and I am not a machinist.

It's compact, the ammo and mags are cheap and available. 9mm is a SD round, especially from a 16 inch barrel, and the better shot placement it affords.

The recoil is manageable, the accuracy acceptable, and even at 48 I am finding my pistol's sight picture a little more of a challenge than I did a few years ago, so it's a better choice than a pistol for the last firearm. it can be managed off the shoulder, one handed in a pinch or from the hip.

It's fun.

June 5, 2011, 11:14 PM
A nice drilling in say 2x16 bore over 9.3x74Rmm with a full length insert chambered in 5.7x28Rmm (.220 Hornet) or if a straight rifle is wanted then either a 2x6.5x68Smm Schuler (eq to .264 Win) over 5.7x43mm (.222 Rem) for deer and small game or a 7x64mm Brenneke (eq to .280 Rem) over 9.3x72Rmm for heavier game.

Another option would be something like the Dakota 76 Traveler and similar take down bolt action or break action single shot rifles that you can interchange the barrels--one action and two or three different calibre forend/barrels in an attache case e.g. 6.5mm, 7.5mm and 9.3mm or .257 Roberts, 7x57 Mauser and .300 H&H.

June 5, 2011, 11:25 PM
Ruger 22 lr. I pulled my dads from behind his truck seat the other day where it had been forgotten for years. It had more rust & grit than I thought possible but it ran like a champ so I cleaned her up as best I could & left her for another decade.

Pony Express
June 5, 2011, 11:46 PM
Does it have to be a gun we already own? If so I'll take my Henry .22

If not, my dream rifle is an M1a.

June 6, 2011, 12:01 AM
If I can only keep one that I already have, it'd be the Accuracy International AW chambered in 7.62x51 NATO. To me, it's one of the best rifles ever made with every feature I want on a bolt action rifle. It has a two stage trigger, 60 degree bolt throw, smooth and fast action, detachable magazine, DIY barrel swaps, great accuracy and it's proven to be very reliable under harsh conditions. I could use it for F-Class, practical shooting matches, hunting or defense. It's not light but it carries well, and if it's all I had, I'd probably have a couple of scopes and at least three barrels set up for it including .260 Rem and 7mm-08 Rem along with a heavy and fluted .308 Win. In less than fifteen minutes I could be ready for F-O (.260 Rem), F-TR (.308 Win), practical shooting (.260 Rem or .308 Win) or hunting (.260 Rem, 7mm-08 or .308 Win).

As for a rifle that I don't have, it'd be an Accuracy International AWM chambered in .300 Win Mag or possibly .338 Lapua Magnum.

June 6, 2011, 12:25 AM
The purist in me says a more pedestrian version of SeekHer's answer - a T/C Encore or Contender with a few bbls. to include .22LR, .and 223 Rem / 5.56 NATO for either; plus .308 Win (if an Encore) or 30-30 (if a Contender).

Being practical, there's very little (rifle wise) I can't do in my home state of Georgia that an AR-15 in 5.56 plus a .22 LR conversion kit or complete upper wont handle. Considering I rarely hunt, and pretty much stick to fun at the range along with hopefully never needed home defense use, this combo works for me.

I know the latter isn't what you wanted in reply, but that's just how it shakes out for me. The reality is that if you combine both scenarios that pretty much sums up my current rifles. I have the AR(s), and a .22 LR conversion kit. I'd like to sell the kit once I get a complete .22LR upper. I have a Contender with .22LR, and 7-30 Waters barrels - still looking for the .223 / 5.56 bbl. Outside of those I have a .22 rifle that was the first gun ever given to me, and I'll probably never part with that. The AR(s) are the fun / defensive rifles, and the Contender is the fun with the reloading press & oddball calibers gun.

June 6, 2011, 12:41 AM
Any gun that I did not fill out a form 4473 to purchase... I.E. A gun that is bought second hand and has absolutly no record of my ownership. So, contrary to the OP's request, for me it would have to be my Russian AK.

June 6, 2011, 12:45 AM
So you change the requirements after I post because you want more variety? Well that is my honest answer and I am sticking to it.

AR all the way.

June 6, 2011, 01:29 AM
Only one rifle? It would have to be something with useable sights, option for a scope mount, sturdy, reliable, reasonably accurate, and fire a readily available round capable of hunting with. Pretty much, the new Ruger scout rifle.

June 6, 2011, 02:52 PM
I would vote for the M1A or the Garand. I would cry to see the other one go though.

June 6, 2011, 04:49 PM
No gus, it's not because you picked an AR, I just didn't want two things happening one. 1. Immediatley after I searched the web and found another thread similar to mine and found that almost everyone picked either an AR, AK or occasionally an M1A. 2. I just didn't want any board wars over what's better, an AK or an AR
PS, excellent quote about you and your AR

June 6, 2011, 04:54 PM
id say a Shiloh Sharps 1874 Long Range Rifle 45-110 just like Quigley used

June 6, 2011, 05:00 PM
Mr. Barty--Tried to refrain from saying a AK but forgive me I just gotta say AK. It far from my most favorite firearm, probably down at the near bottom of my little assemblage but when it comes to nut cuttin' time the AK is where I'd go.

June 6, 2011, 07:28 PM
I would take my PTR-91

Common ammo, 308 is enough to take most of the tasty animals in the US, Is MOA with properly tuned hand loads, and Minute of man at 450m with surplus and cheap ammo. operating system is some what more complacted when compaired to other rifles but not so bad as that i cant fix most of it my self and parts are cheap.

but with all that being said I would be sad to see my M1 garand go.

June 7, 2011, 08:56 AM
I'll agree with post # 4 and say a drilling. My preference would be 12gauge x 20 gauge over a 30/06. Insert for .22LR

Don't know if they make 'em, or have ever made 'em. Would be a great custom job though.

Art Eatman
June 7, 2011, 09:28 AM
The reason I regard this "one rifle" thing as a rather silly question is because it presumes that there is only a very limited use for a rifle.

Generalizing: .22 rimfire is best for practicing eye-finger coordination. .22 centerfires are best for varminting. 6mm through .30 work best for medium game. Big thumpers are the deal for large, hostile critters. Semi-autos work well for home defense.

No one rifle will do "all of the above" in any rational usage.

June 7, 2011, 10:36 AM
A rifle if I could have only one would have the following characteristics:

-chambered on the high-end of intermediate to full power cartridge (basically, be a thirty caliber rifle round)
-accept optics but be very usable with irons
-be loadable with detachable magazines or, if internal magazine, with stripper clips

That being said the following rifles fit more or less:

AK (in 7.62x39 or higher)
AR (in 6.8SPC to 7.62x39 or higher)

There are others and some more "tame civilian" varieties that work too. In addition I would say I prefer 10+ rounds in a semi auto (exception for the Garand, maybe?)

The idea is that the rifle could be used to defend yourself, and hunt medium to large game. I think the "one rifle" needs to be able to do those things

June 7, 2011, 10:38 AM
No one rifle will do "all of the above" in any rational usage.

You're right of course. I guess it really should be phrased as the rifle that will do the two basic things for human survival: defense and food. Obviously no rifle could do that as well as be perfect for small game hunting (also food of course) as well as varminting, and target shooting, and 3-gun, and IDPA, etc, etc.

June 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
Marlin 336 in 30-30. It is proven, light, handles excellent and it is dead reliable. There's a reason it and other levers in 30-30 have killed more north American deer than any other rifle. I could load light loads for vermin or heavy for larger game. I'd have many sight options that I could interchange. The factory buckhorns will do but there also peep sights, tang sights, ghost ring, scope, scout scope type setup and many others....I think the 336 was the original "lego rifle for guys" before the AR came along. :)

It is even reasonable in my mind to use in self defense. Optimal? No, but redoubtably a very valid option. If Jeff Cooper spoke highly of them and gunsight has even offered classes for them, then they can't be a poor option...just not the best.

I lost my 336 in a fire years ago. I stopped hunting so I never replaced it. I think I'll need to buy one now just because, even if I only use it to kill paper and tin cans.

Could my SKS do all these things? Yep, and it would give me 4 more rounds and be slightly easier to reload. Accuracy and range would be similar. But we're talking about a do it all rifle, not just zombie hoards and constant fire. So I'll take a lighter, easier to carry and much better handling (to me) 336 for my needs.

June 7, 2011, 04:48 PM
I will have to choose a bolt action rifle. That would be the FNH SPR in .308 with a 20" barrel, and a good scope, stock, sling, iron sights, and bipod. Love the Winchester 70 action (CRF that is).

June 7, 2011, 05:05 PM
I would have to go for a M1A/M14 DMR.. Time proven, and packs a punch.

June 7, 2011, 05:11 PM
I want the one with the shoulder thing that goes up.

June 7, 2011, 05:13 PM
my pick is an 18" m1a with a accupoint 1-4x24 german #4 with green dot. normally my first pick would be my sgl 21 ak 47.

June 7, 2011, 05:27 PM
M1-garand, because i said so !

June 7, 2011, 07:20 PM
This seems to be asked fairly often, but i'll answer with pict.'s of my "go to gun" that's been working for me, for over 25 years now!


June 7, 2011, 07:42 PM
Is that a 16ga x 303 x 22mag? Very classy.

I think I would opt for one of the classic sporting 'magazine guns' - such as a Lee Speed or commercial Manlicher - but a custom built Farquharson or Sharps would have a strong pull as well.

June 7, 2011, 07:57 PM
I know this is cheating but...Savage 110 "switch barrel" in a custom case that holds 2 extra barrels, wrench and .30-06 headspace gauges.

.25-06 for antelope, deer, and coyote
.30-06 for elk, hogs, etc.
.35 Whelen for moose, bear, etc.

June 7, 2011, 08:15 PM
I'm gonna have to say mosin nagant , I got one recently and is it a hoot to shoot! plus ammos cheap and for rabbit or other food I got a .22 pistol. For home defense I have a 9 ft bayonet screwdriver so I could stab the bad guy in the front yard from my bedroom window lol!

June 7, 2011, 08:22 PM
The question is kind of silly because that's like asking if you could have only one tool from your toolbox which would you pick? Hammer? Screwdriver?
If you were to present some fantasy, which is highly frowned upon here and which is why this thread is going to get closed in a matter of hours, I'd probably say my 10/22 because I can fit 10,000 rounds in my backpack, can potentially hold 100+ rounds in a mag, and has the best chance of finding spare parts and ammo.

June 7, 2011, 08:42 PM
model 70 in .30-06

Hocka Louis
June 7, 2011, 09:06 PM
Misc. and survival? Take-down .22 Mag pump. Nothing but 40 gr. rounds including HP and FMJ.
Apocalypse, which I'd have to presume, not knowing!? Top-shelf AR midlength carbine with medium-weight stainless barrel. 62 grain M855 and HP ammo.

June 7, 2011, 09:15 PM
Mauser 98 (preferably pre-WWII, Czech made) in 7x57.

June 7, 2011, 09:47 PM
Savage 24 .30/30 over 20 gauge

June 7, 2011, 09:52 PM
mosin nagant m38 carbine
it shoots 7.62x54r, it cant be stopped, easy to clean, doesnt weigh that much, easy to find surplus ammo, or can do handloads with the same slugs used to reload most 30caliber rifles(thats can, not should) it also makes a good oar, battle club, hammer, and so on.
if you cant hit it, you can still knock it down with the shockwave

Brian Williams
June 7, 2011, 09:55 PM
Winchester 1885 Low-Wall in 38 special with tang sights and a level/globe front sight with a gold bead inside.

June 8, 2011, 08:11 AM
One gun scenario => 20 Ga pump. Two gun scenario, add Savage 99 in 308. Three gun scenario, add .22 bolt.

But these scenarios are for me :)

For a beginner, it would be 22 first.

Zach S
June 8, 2011, 08:55 AM
Uh, an M14 variant? Always wanted one. Got to shoot one once. Well, it was a cast knockoff made by Springer, but I still liked it...

Seriously, though, I'm with Gus. My pick would be the lego gun, and a box of legos. Maybe a wheelbarrow...

June 8, 2011, 09:07 AM
How about a little info on your triple-barrel.... You can't just post a picture like that and not tell the story.

June 8, 2011, 11:40 AM
I'll stick with my Scout Rifle if limited to only one.

It's the most versitle rifle I own.


June 8, 2011, 01:37 PM
I'd take a version of DM~'s drilling. Man, that is a neat gun! In my dreams, I buy one, and kill a coyote, an elk, and a quail within a five minute timespan. :D

but I'd probably keep my AR, and have a .22 conversion kit, if limited to only keeping it to things I actually own.

June 8, 2011, 02:36 PM
i would take a HOWITZER! a little tough to carry around, but it will take out anything on the planet!

seriously though, if i could only have one rifle, it would be an AR-10. set up for 500 yard competition shooting. plenty of power to kill most things, and if it does not have enough to knock it down with one or two shots, you would have another 18 to do it with.

Al Thompson
June 8, 2011, 02:47 PM
Winchester M70, Stainless Classic (CRF) in .375 H&H. Anything, anywhere, anytime. :D

June 8, 2011, 02:48 PM
The reason I regard this "one rifle" thing as a rather silly question is because it presumes that there is only a very limited use for a rifle.

Generalizing: .22 rimfire is best for practicing eye-finger coordination. .22 centerfires are best for varminting. 6mm through .30 work best for medium game. Big thumpers are the deal for large, hostile critters. Semi-autos work well for home defense.

No one rifle will do "all of the above" in any rational usage.
Sorry, but you're confusing calibre with firearm!

As I already pointed out, a Cape Gun SxS or O/U, a dreiling (drilling 3 barrel) or a vierling (4 barrel) gun has the versatility to accomplish killing nearly every animal in the world...That's what they were designed for! While it may not be a great wing shooting gun but say a 500/416 Krieghoff NE paired to a 16 bore shotgun with a 9.3x72Rmm bottom barrel and a 7x64mm Brenneke top barrel would easily cover the full range of huntable animals.

Many countries, states and territories in Europe had and still have laws covering firearms and the most frequent one was and still is, that there could only be one (1) firearm in the household...Add a rifle barrel to a smoothbore musket (fowler) and you have covered two different types of hunting, add a smaller barrel and you increased the versatility even more...Add a fourth barrel and even more areas are covered but I really find them ungainly...Also add a full length insert or two and the prospects get even more compl;icated.

I'll agree with you that there really isn't one "do it all" calibre even the venerable .30/06 Springfield or the newer .308 Win since they aren't really geared for the "Big Five" in Africa...W.M. Bell may have shot elephants with his 7x57mm (.275 Rigby) and Mrs. Jack O'Connor did away with a pet one with a .30/06 but they aren't allowed now by the game departments as .375 H&H or the 9.3x62/64/72R is the minimum for Cape Buffalo etc.

I saw a lovely between wars IIRC Belgium made drilling that was 2x.450/400 3" (.400 Jeffery) over a 7.7x57Rmm (.303 British) that would have handled Africa with ease.

Although you can gear your calibre to your environment...As long as you're not encountering "Big" bears you can get away with anything from .300 mags and preferably lower...Someone living in Northern Canada and only has moose to shoot at needs a 7.5mm and above--.300 mags, .338, .340, .348, .358...Somebody in the Southern Plains of Alberta and Montana etc. with Mule Deer and Pronghorn--really far away Mule Deer and Pronghorn--needs a flat shooting "Beanfield style" rifle like the .257, .260, .264, .280...Someone in the hardwood forests of Eastern and North Eastern USA with 100 yds shots the norm on black bear or whitetail deer can get away with a .30 WCF or .35 Rem or even a 12 bore slug gun.

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