Which would be your next rifle if you were me?


June 12, 2011, 07:33 AM
OK so here is the deal, I currently have three long guns.

1. Mossberg 500 with adjustable stock.
2. Bushmaster AR-15
3. Marlin 981T

I am looking to add another rifle to my "arsenal", no laughs please, and I'm really torn which direction to go. I currently do not hunt, but that could change in the future. Right now it would be used as a fun gun, marksmanship practice, and possibly a HD rifle. So out of the ones I have listed which would you choose and why? Also, if you selected other please say what and why.

Right now I am looking at six options as my new rifle.
1. SKS (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/411545014) - most likely of the Yugo variety.
2. Henry .22lr (http://www.henryrepeating.com/rifle-lever-action.cfm) - I have a thing for levers.
3. Marlin Model 60 (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/firearms/selfloading/60.asp) - Good practice.
4. Marlin Model 336C (http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/centerfire/336C.asp) - used.
5. Winchester '94 (http://www.winchesterguns.com/products/catalog/detail.asp?family=003C&mid=534174) - one of the older used ones.
6. Hi Point 995 (http://www.hi-pointfirearms.com/carbines/carbines_9mm.html) - I have heard these are a blast to shoot.

Any other question feel free to ask.

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June 12, 2011, 07:36 AM

June 12, 2011, 07:56 AM
The Keltec Folding rifles in 223. They are the SU-16 series. I would take a real close look at the SU-16c. They fold up small enough to fit in a Backpack. They can be fired while folded. They accept AR-15 mags. They are very light weight. With your name being what it is, This might really interest you.

June 12, 2011, 07:56 AM
Of those I would pick the SKS and use AK magazines in it
Cheap to buy
cheap to shoot
High capacity
30 cal power
Pretty much all the same reasons as Shroomfish, except the Russian part, the fact that it's Russian wouldnt sway me for or against a rifle :P I figured I'd pick from that list since those are obviously the ones you're looking at, but if you hadnt provided a list, I would have said AR in 6.8 since thats what I want next :)

June 12, 2011, 08:37 AM
The Keltec Folding rifles in 223. They are the SU-16 series. I would take a real close look at the SU-16c. They fold up small enough to fit in a Backpack. They can be fired while folded. They accept AR-15 mags. They are very light weight. With your name being what it is, This might really interest you.

+1....that's what I was going to suggest too.
I have been keeping an eye out for one myself since I don't have an AR.

June 12, 2011, 09:21 AM
Another vote for the SKS.

June 12, 2011, 09:31 AM
I'd go with a Yugo SKS or if you can find a decent deal on one a Russian SKS. They are not making any more, they are dependable, reasonably accurate, fun to shoot in a good caliber that is relatively inexpensive. They are true military surplus rifles with a nice history and good all around rifle for range, HD, and in some states that allow semi-autos are also used for hunting. The 7.62x39 is about equivalent to a 30-30 in ballistics which is a good deer round.

June 12, 2011, 09:31 AM
Marlin 336... Good for where you live and where you want to live.
Make it in .35 Remington.

Ohio Gun Guy
June 12, 2011, 09:35 AM
Voted for the Henry. I think you need a .22 rifle! Great for lots of situations.

Ole Coot
June 12, 2011, 09:59 AM
Voted for the Henry. I think you need a .22 rifle! Great for lots of situations.
I agree completely. Everyone should have at least a couple of 22 cal rifles and handguns. My "working" handgun is a Single Six and the 10/22 I usually grab when I check the "back 40". The 45 rides in the ATV fender bag, just in case.

June 12, 2011, 10:06 AM
I think you need a Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle in .223. Here is a review by Jeff Quinn on it. (http://www.gunblast.com/Ruger-NEWMini14.htm)

June 12, 2011, 10:14 AM
A mid weight Bolt action rifle in .308 with decent optics.


June 12, 2011, 10:18 AM
If that were me, I think I would do either the SKS or a Marlin/Win 30-30. I guess the Hi-Point carbine would be okay, too.

I agree that everybody needs a good .22, and you seem to have it covered with the Marlin 981T. Another one (or 2, or 5 :D ) wouldn't hurt, though.

A .357 lever sounds perfect for what you want this next rifle to be, but they're hard to find and will cost about twice what the SKS or used 30-30 will.

June 12, 2011, 11:11 AM
Hmmm, you already have a .22LR bolt gun, a AR, and a shotgun. It seems you need some sort of .30 caliber centerfire rifle.

For a fun gun, the SKS sure is fun and easy on the shoulder. Although, for ease of sighting and a better trigger I'd be tempted to get the Marlin 336 with a rear aperture sight attached.

I actually like tubeshooter's idea of a Marlin 1894 in .357 the best, but that could cost some extra coin.

June 12, 2011, 11:31 AM
Go with the Marlin 336. the 336 is an accurate quality rifle. Easy to add A scope if desired 30-30 ammo is reasonably priced. great hunting or plinking rifle. The SKS makes A great doorstop.

June 12, 2011, 11:31 AM
I voted other, only because if it were me, I'm looking for a Dragunov clone, like a PSL. I've got enough 7.62x54R to feed it.

Otherwise, the SKS is fun, and cheap to feed.

I love my Hi Point 995, but I'm not in the market for another, so it didn't get my vote.

.22s are always fun, since you've got a bolt action .22, the lever or semi would be a good addition. But then having said that, I only own one .22 and have no desire for another.

If you were looking for a lever gun, either of the 30/30s are a good choice. It's a great deer gun. Wouldn't be my first HD choice, nor plinking.

Based on what you currently have, I'd say either the SKS or the Hi Point. Both are fun to shoot, relatively cheap to feed. Not the first choice for hunting, but decent for HD. 10 round capacity on each unless you go with aftermarket mags or drop some more coin on the SKS that takes AK mags.

Smokey in PHX
June 12, 2011, 01:18 PM
Everyone needs a lever .22. Fun to shoot, good quality, cheap ammo.

June 12, 2011, 01:28 PM
I just added the SKS myself (had one before). They are fun, less expensive to shoot or purchase then most centerfire rifles, can be modified (or not), versitile, easy to clean, rugged, and reasonably accurate.

A good case can be made for the other options as well.

June 12, 2011, 04:26 PM
You have a .22. One cannot have too many of them, but you do not *need* another. Get one if you have a burn for it. It will be the cheapest to feed, so you will shoot it more than all the others combined, even if someone gave them all to you.

You have an AR. You do not need an SKS. It will do nothing for you that the AR cannot do better. The AR is more accurate. The AR is easy to scope, if you want that. The AR has greater range. The AR is more ergonomic. The AR is lighter. The AR has better capacity, and detachable box magazines. The AR is modular - you can buy a different upper and: change calibers if you wish, change configuration shorter, longer, flat-top, DMR, varminter, DCM competition, etc, etc, ad nauseum. You do not need an SKS. After I got my AR, I never shot my SKS. I traded the SKS for a .22.

The 9mm carbine is not a bad idea, whether you get the HiPoint, a KelTec, or an AR (you could get an upper and magazines for your current rifle, or a dedicated one). Cheaper to shoot than 5.56, less recoil (not that 5.56 has much, but my wife and daughter prefer shooting 9mm carbines to 5.56 carbines).

You need to try hunting. You have a .22 and an AR, so you can hunt varmints and small game, and a shotgun, so you can hunt birds (rabbits and squirrels are hunted with them, too, by some people, but that is, to a desert rat such as myself, not *the way*). You live in a great state for deer hunting, but to do that, you need a hunting rifle (unless you're going to use your shotgun - not for me, unless legally restricted to such). The Marlin 336 is perfect for where you live. I really, really want one myself, but unfortunately, I am a desert rat and must have a rifle with more range due to the distances involved in taking deer here. (I rarely see deer within the Marlin's effective range.) You will not have that problem in the Pennsylvania woods. The Winchester is a very good option, as well, but ... I prefer the Marlin. Put a receiver peep on it, or a scope, add a nice leather sling and some 150 grain softpoints, and you will be good to go.

If I were you, I would live in Pennsylvania, so I would get a Marlin 336 and a Nikon Prostaff 2-7x scope, or a Williams receiver sight. Since I am me, and live in Arizona, and need a new rifle this year, I will be getting a Savage bolt gun in something like .243, .25-06, or .270, and putting a 3-9x Nikon on it.

June 12, 2011, 04:34 PM
I'd agree you need to get a levergun to round things out. The Marin 336 is great though if it were me I'd get it in .35 do take advantage of its beefy frame. But on the other hand the Winchester 94 is a piece of Americana everyone should have some experience with. It's remarkably light and handy. The best ones for the buck from my experience are the ones made from the 1960's through the early 80's. Not the collectors editions, but the regular workaday ones. People often mark them down because they're "post 64" but that never mattered as much for the leverguns. The major changes to the 94 action came in the 80's after some ownership changes. That includes the angle eject and that @%# lawyer safety. I've had some skookum 94's from the 1970's for under $300.

June 12, 2011, 04:45 PM
I passed on a Hi-Point already adorned with ATI stock for less than 200 bucks at the gun show Friday night. I'm still rather upset that I wasn't looking for a gun and had no intention to buy one. Had I been interested in buying something new, it would have been snatched up in a hurry.:(

June 12, 2011, 05:01 PM
Classic Arms
A DIVISION OF U.S. ARMS LLC. has the Yugo's for $289 get them while you can. You can always get something else later. I agree the Norenco is a better choice but kinda hard to find sometimes at a good price.

June 12, 2011, 06:51 PM
I voted for the Marlin 336 because it said used. That being said, I'd not even consider buying one of the recent ones since Remington took over. Otherwise if you get an older one it's a decent choice.

That being said, there are a lot of other guns that would be fun too.

A 10/22 would be one of my top considerations. It's the way to go imo for a .22 semi auto.

June 12, 2011, 06:53 PM
I'd get a .22 Ciener unit for the AR and have a ball, without teaching myself all the wrong handling qualities of other guns, when the AR was my "go to" rifle.

June 12, 2011, 07:21 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // I'd pick Marlin 336 , or Winchester 94 ,best deal on either, in .30-30. The Marlin is easier to scope.

If you want a hunting/SD/ some plinking, rifle. From your list this is the missing one.

AR15 covers SKS
Marlin 981T covers .22 plinking and hunting.

June 12, 2011, 07:31 PM
336 or sks, i recently bought an ak 47 & found that i love the 7.62x39 round. i have 2 5.56/223's & 2 m1a's while i also love the the 7.62 nato it is exspensive & the 5.56/223 feels anemic to me, the 7.62x39 has some punch to it. the best part is you can buy 1,000 for $200-$240 dollars & get plenty of practice in. the 336 marlin would be my second choice.

Dr T
June 12, 2011, 08:42 PM
I suggest you look hard at the Marlin Model 39.

It is a fun lever gun that is cheap shoot, it will keep its value well (the Model 39 is a classic), and it is a take-down gun you can pack easily.

June 12, 2011, 09:02 PM
You really need at least 1 .22LR rifle and handgun. Get a rifle first. The Henry isn't the best lever gun, but it will do for a while.

Everyone should also have a Ruger 10-22 and do the accurizing thing. It's a great money pit, but a lot of fun.

June 13, 2011, 12:17 AM
I voted marlin 336, my brother has one and I used to have the 1894 .44 mag model. Well built levers are great!

Arkansas Paul
June 13, 2011, 12:21 AM
I currently do not hunt, but that could change in the future.

Marlin 336.

June 13, 2011, 01:59 AM
I went with Other, and I have two thoughts for options.

First, a CMMG complete 22LR upper for your AR can be had for under $400. I have a Ceiner 22LR conversion for the AR, but I'll be getting a CMMG unit soon. My reasoning is that I'd prefer to keep my ARs gas tubes clean, and 22LR through a conversion kit makes them filthy. The CMMG dedicated 22LR isn't very expensive for what you get.

Second, I'd look at a Kel-Tec sub 2000 pistol caliber carbine. They fold in half, and they're offered in several versions to utilize the mags of many popular pistols. It serves the same purpose as the HiPoint carbine, but lets you use the same mags as a pistol you already have (or plan to buy).

Based on your criteria of:
Right now it would be used as a fun gun, marksmanship practice, and possibly a HD rifle.
The 22LR upper covers fun, and provides marksmanship practice with the AR-15 you already have. The Sub 2000 covers fun, and (while your AR and Shotgun are better options for it IMO) wouldn't be a bad HD gun if it was pressed into that role.

June 13, 2011, 05:18 AM
Pretty much all the same reasons as Shroomfish, "except the Russian part, the fact that it's Russian wouldnt sway me for or against a rifle" :P

I am sorry, I just love (almost) all things Russian :)

451 Detonics
June 13, 2011, 05:24 AM
I would be looking for a bolt gun for mid range (300-700 yard) use. I would lean towards a .308 for this. Possibly one of the detachable magazine versions from Savage.

June 13, 2011, 06:07 AM
If I were you I would buy me a KAC SR15-E3 in taupe. With ammo & extra mags.

PM me for details where to send the rifle. Thanks! You're awesome

June 13, 2011, 09:45 AM
I voted for the SKS because the supply is starting to get thin and they aren't making them anymore. But for the same reason the "older" Winchester 94 might be even better depending on when it was made and its condition.

But overall, the SKS is pretty cheap to shoot, can be used to hunt with, and is fun at the range so it seems like a good match to your wants.

Red October
June 13, 2011, 11:51 AM
My first rifle was a Marlin model 60, so perhaps I'm biased. However, I have put tens of thousands of rounds through mine (on at least a few occasions some friends and I put about 3K through it in a day). Other than shoot the heck out of it, all I have ever done to it is clean it.
Cheap to buy, cheap to shoot, and durable. The 60 gets my vote.

June 13, 2011, 11:57 AM
Get a nice marlin 30-30. Then you will have the rifles covered. You allready have a good .22 and a .223 and shotgun so all you need is a good general purpose hunting rifle and the marlin 30-30 does that well.

June 13, 2011, 07:36 PM
Wow, way more replies than I was expecting. Thanks for all of the opinions friends and neighbors. Now to the good stuff.

After starting this thread and thinking about if for a while I had narrowed it down to two options, well technically three. I was either going with the SKS or one of the 30-30 levers.

Around 5:15pm yesterday evening I got a wild hair up my ......well you get the idea, and headed to Cabelas. I knew they had two models of the Yugo SKS, the 59/66 in normal length and the carbine, and they always have a ton of used levers. I went to the counter to check out the SKS's first. After looking at both they had on display, they looked pretty beat, I asked the employee if I could cherry pick from the ones that they had. I should point out that I only wanted to look at the carbines. He replied that he could bring some out for me, but they were all going to look identical to the one I had so I don't see the point. I am not saying he was wrong, but he didn't know anything about the SKS so I wasn't too confident that he knew the condition of the ones in the back. So I asked is that a no? He replied again that they all look just like this one. I didn't push it and said there were a couple other things I wanted to look at, so I'll be back later and figured I would try a different employee.

I strolled over and started looking at the used levers, they had approximately 50 on the rack. They had some really nice ones and they had some really beat ones and the prices varied about the same. The better ones for the most part were out of the price range I was looking to spend, I hate when I open my big mouth and tell the wife I'm only going to spend such and such on such and such. Then I came across a Marlin 336 in 30-30 that was in pristine condition. I mean I wouldn't be surprised if it was never fired. It was however one of the newer ones and I suspect that was why it was in my price range. I took it to the counter so they could take the lock off and I could have a closer look. After a couple of minutes inspecting it I gave the gentleman at the counter THE nod. He asked me "yeah"? "Yeah", I replied. OK, lets get the paperwork started he said. The NICS took a lot longer than usual for me and I really began to worry that someone made a mistake. I just knew I was going to get called and they were going to explain I was denied. Hearing horror stories about the appeal process, I thought I was heading for a headache.

Low and behold 45 minutes later I was walking out with my new Marlin lever.:D

Here are a few pics and a target from the range today. I really thought it was going to have more kick than it did. It was actually a pleasure to shoot and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The target was probably about 40 or 50 yards, I didn't walk it off. My marksmanship has plenty of room for improvement, but to my defense I do not shoot rifles a lot and I didn't have a sling. I stopped off and bought a sling on the way home and decided I am going to start shooting my rifles much more. I'll do a write up after I get a chance to shoot it more, but for now all I can say is I really like this rifle and levers rock.

Thanks again for all the help.

June 14, 2011, 12:47 AM
Way to go! Those sure are pleasant to shoot - that's been one of the attractions to them for over a hundred years.

Now, I'm jealous. 50 of them on the rack at one store? Man, I can't think of the last time I was in a store that had more than one or two at a time. :D I'd probably buy one of the beat ones if I could find one, just so I could have a .30-30. :D

Good choice. Your grandkids will thank you for it when they take their first deer with it.

Mr. T
June 14, 2011, 01:03 AM
Personally in my opinion I would go with something in the .30 cal range like an AR-10. I would use the Mossberg 500 for a HD gun or a handgun in .45 ACP or .40 S&W. I would even consider a Taurus Judge with .410 shot shells with buckshot.

Ignition Override
June 14, 2011, 02:37 AM
Only one or two SKS series were designed to operate with AK mags.
They might be the M or D series, and some report that changing mags is not as quick as with AK clones.

Many other SKS conversions to the larger (>10 rd.) magazines have had disappointing results.

Seasoned people at "SKSboards.com" can help answer many questions.

June 14, 2011, 08:32 AM
Pay attention guys . HE BOUGHT A MARLIN

Nice rifle, and all ready scoped out. If you try some hunting look for a Safari Sling. I will lay the rifle across the front of your chest while walking/staking. And you don't need to hold on to it. It is allways sits ready to just lift and shot. Makes the typical over the shoulder sling useless.

June 14, 2011, 09:06 AM
I chose marlin 60 out of your list of guns.
reason being: everybody needs a cheap 22 semi-auto

June 14, 2011, 10:10 AM
Everyone needs a lever .22.

Either that or the Marlin 336 since you are contemplating hunting. I can relate because I have the fever to replace my long lost lever, as well. Lever actions are really fun to plink with.

I have an SKS and I'd honestly sell it if my father hadn't gifted it to me. I don't enjoy shooting them even if the ammo is cheap. It is a great gun for what it is, but I can think of many more fun guns in that price range. It is reliable and reasonably accurate, but I'd much rather lug around that Marlin through the woods when hunting.

You already have an AR so home defense is covered.

If you are contemplating a lever, check out the frontier model (octagonal barrel). It doesn't have the plastic barrel band up front, instead it has a standard dovetail front sight so it is replaceable if you decide to add peep sights. If you've never tried a peep setup on a lever, you're missing out. :)

June 14, 2011, 10:19 AM
I already have pretty much everything on that list already. I really need an SKS however.

June 14, 2011, 04:24 PM
You made A fine choice. Enjoy your new rifle.

June 14, 2011, 05:02 PM


June 14, 2011, 06:48 PM
Winchester '94 in 30-30. Much better to handle than the SKS and a more useful cartridge for hunting. Probably more accurate. The SKS is useful, cheap and fun to shoot.
But all of them are useful choices.

June 14, 2011, 08:02 PM

June 15, 2011, 09:22 AM
To the OP, ATBackPackin.

Congrats on the new Marlin 336!

From the photos you put up, it looks like a good one! :cool:


June 15, 2011, 01:43 PM
Marlin 336... Good for where you live and where you want to live.
Make it in .35 Remington.

^this^ and I agree the .35 Rem would be a great choice for VA hunting.

.338 Marlin Express would up the ante for bigger game in BC, if you get there, but in VA, you're not too far from Maine/Canada moose territory.

ETA: didn't read the whole thread before I posted; congrats on the .30-30 purchase.

June 15, 2011, 02:16 PM
For those who keep saying he can hunt with a SKS, too - he lives in PA, so no, he can't. Marlin 336 is a great choice, and much better hunting rifle than SKS, anyway you look at it: great sights, decent trigger out of the box, easy to put a scope or peep sight on if you prefer that, and very accurate without doing anything to it. And hunting ammunition for it is available anywhere they sell ammo.

June 15, 2011, 03:45 PM
M1 Garand Service grade from the CMP.. A very powerful semi automatic rifle. They don't and will not make any more so when the CMP is out, they will triple in value.

June 15, 2011, 03:57 PM
absolutely congrats on the 336.. fine gun

June 15, 2011, 03:57 PM
If you look around, you can probably find an AK for cheap and that would be miles better than an SKS.

Out of those you listed, I'd rather be armed with a '94 than an SKS. Better made too.

June 15, 2011, 09:41 PM
Thanks all, I went to the range again today and I am really digging my new lever. I'll still eventually get a SKS one day, if it was up to me I would have bought both at the same time. However, I DO know if I had did that I would have definitely been sleeping in a tent in the backyard for at least a week. It may have been worth it.:evil:

The Garand's are really nice too, but they were more than I was looking to spend right now plus the cost of ammo too. That is one of the things I really like about the SKS, the cheap ammo.

I have never really been a fan of the AK's. I would much rather have a SKS than an AK.

Thanks again for all of the comments.

June 26, 2011, 08:24 PM
Around 5:15pm yesterday evening I got a wild hair up my ......well you get the idea, and headed to Cabelas...Low and behold 45 minutes later I was walking out with my new Marlin lever.:D...

Thanks again for all the help.
Does that mean you won't be getting me my SR15-E3 in taupe?

How about in black?

Congrats on your new rifle. Marlins are good. Shoot & enjoy it

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