Smallest or shortest Action


Brian Williams
January 21, 2004, 10:21 PM
I would like to build a Survival rifle, I know that the barrel must be at least 16" and I would like to chamber it in one of the following, 357, 22 hornet, 218 bee, or any small cartridge. I want it small and lightweight. What action would you use and What would you build the stock out of. I am thinking along the lines of a Henry survival gun but I want it different, no ammo storage, just a gun. Something like a Win Lowall or a very lightweight NEF.

Brain storm with me and come up with something new.

Lightweight stock, consisting of a tube that the barrel would slide in with a curved t plate for a butt plate????


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Badger Arms
January 21, 2004, 10:28 PM
Ruger makes their 77/22 Hornet and also a 77/44 Magnum. These are small, handy actions. There is also a CZ bolt action in the same class. Most of the survival rifles I sell are the AR-7 types or the Springfield M6. No use for a fine bolt action... think UTILITY.

January 22, 2004, 09:25 AM
Basically, you want a gun like that assassin had in the original "Day of the Jackal," right? :) Something small, light, but reliable...

I agree with Badger. Here are some points I know about (this is from when I started shopping around for a .22 ;) )

Don't get a Henry Survival Rifle - way too fidgety when it comes to feeding. It does float, however - maybe you could do some custom work on the action to improve reliability.

The Scout is quite popular, and it's pretty freaking small. But it's bigger and not a repeater.

January 22, 2004, 11:27 AM

Cooper Arms, Montana Rifle Co., CZ, Ruger, EA Brown and Navy Arms all make mini actions in addition to those mentioned.

I mocked up exactly the stock you mention. I never built the real thing because I couldn't find a quick connect system I was happy with prior to selling the rifle. Skeletonized thin wall Al pipe for the forearm and stock tube with a receiver mounted rear sight and a fold down front sight. With a stepped barrel as thin as you dare, you could have a rifle that would fit into a 20-22"x3"x1.5" box and weigh in less than 4.5lb.

I can pack a whole Remington 870 into a 21"x6"x6" space with room left over. With some creative machine work, I think I can reduce it down to 13"x6"x6" (and still have a full size weapon).

BTW I'm not a terrorist or anything, I just like seeing what can be done is all. ;)


January 22, 2004, 12:12 PM
For a light weight, inexpesive but still accurate S/S;
Mine is not chopped yet, but will be soon. Also 'survivor' stocks are available.

January 22, 2004, 04:35 PM
If you are happy with a single shot you could also use a TC contender carbine. With their synthetic stock it is very light. The barrel is easily removed from the action which might help in carrying.

If you want to get fancy you could also use the new actions for the WSSM or whatever they call that thing. It's supposed to be about a half an inch shorter than a 223 sized action.

Only 1,
How do you get an 18 inch barrel in a 13 inch case?

January 22, 2004, 04:50 PM
What about a Winchester 92 action in S.S. and .357?
I have a Rossi in 45 Colt....empty it weighs only 5 Lbs and a few ounces...makes for fast follow up shots and in a handy lite weight package.

January 22, 2004, 04:59 PM
The barrel is the easy part! It's the magazine tube that is tough. The barrel is a 12.5" threaded for choke tubes. The rest of the barrel is just an extended choke tube. The magazine tube is the trick. It doesn't come out (silver soldered). If you do get it out, getting back together is supposed to be the very devil. It has to be cut too. It is too thin to spliced like the barrel, so it has to be threaded on the outside and very carefully fitted to an extension made from heavier wall tubing. This shouldn't be too hard, the magazine tube has the same id and od as schedule 5 pipe. The action bars and forearm will have to be opened up slightly.

This is all pure theory, but it can be done. I've consulted enough knowledgeable people that see no problem with it that I am convinced it's possible. It's just a tax stamp away from reality.

Back to the real world.


Dave R
January 22, 2004, 05:12 PM
The folding Kel-Tec Sub 2000 in .40 might come close to what you want. It'll give you some ideas.

January 22, 2004, 05:19 PM

Hadn't though of that, but of course you're right. I wonder if anyone has had any positive experience with one? Doesn’t the bolt reciprocate in the stock tube? I wonder what that feels like.


Brian Williams
January 22, 2004, 06:38 PM
I have a NEF and have thought about doing the cut job on a 357 barrel and then having it turned down to the smallest diameter I thought safe. with a hollow tube stock, the barrel could be slid in and the muzzle would be protected by the butt plate.

I think a nice Nickle silver front blade and a nice peep on the rear would be the best for me.

18" barrel fits in a 13 x 6 x 6 box diagonally

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