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My Truck Gun; Mosin 91/30, Marlin 336, Marlin 1894C, SKS, or SU 16?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by epijunkie67, Sep 29, 2006.

  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    East TN
    I like keeping a long gun in my pick-up. I know some people don't because they are worried about what would happen if it got stolen and that's fine for those people. But I'm one of the ones who think the criminal is responsible for what he does and as long as I keep my truck locked and the gun out of sight I've done my part. Besides which, I can see a whole lotta times I'd be glad I had a long gun available. If I'm out and about and everything goes to hell I like the option of projecting force at more than handgun distance.

    But that leaves the question, which one? I'm lucky enough to have a pretty decent collection of arms to chose from and I've used different guns at different times as my choice but I can never settle on one I'm totally happy with. A truck gun, by its nature, has to be a jack of all trades weapon. You don't know if you're going to need it to shoot a wounded deer, a rabid dog, a human attacker (or worse, attackers), or just to target practice. It should be rugged, portable, accurate, powerful enough to be effective, and easy to use. The following are some of the guns I own that I could (and at times have) use as a truck gun. Suggestions?

    Mosin 91/30 in 7.62X54R. Powerful. Heavy. Heavy recoil. Bolt action. Effective range about 500-600 meters. Cheap! It's too long as is but I'm thinking of cutting the barrel down to 18" and recrowning the muzzle myself. Easily the most durable gun of the bunch. I could drag it behind the truck for 100 miles and it'd still fire. Accuracy isn't great but that may change with a new muzzle. Factory ammo from Hungary is pretty cheap but limited in options. Small magazine capacity and bolt action so it's slow to cycle.

    Marlin 336 in 30-30 or 35 remington. Midrange power. Midrange weight. Accurate. Range limited to about 150-200 meters for effective shots. Reloadable brass. Not expensive but not cheap either. Lever action so cycles faster than a bolt but slower than an automatic. Very "politically correct". Reloadable on the fly without having to take the gun out of action at any time.

    Marlin 1894C in .357 mag. Variable power option based on ammo selection but still lower than all the other options. It is a 35 caliber round though. Accurate. Effective range about 150 meters. Very light. No recoil. Lever action but the lack of recoil and weight make it even quicker than the other lever options.. Also politically correct. Not expensive but not cheap either. Also reloadable on the fly. More ammo in the tube at one time since the rounds are shorter than 30-30 ammo. Reloadable brass.

    SKS in 7.62X39. Midrange power. Midrange weight. Semi-auto. Least accurate weapon of this bunch but may benefit from a recrown. Effective range 250-300 meters. Least ergonomic of this bunch. Cheap! 10 round non-detachable magazine reloadable with stripper clips. Semi-reasonable ammo selection. Some brass reloadable. Very dependable design second only to the Mosin.

    Kel-Tec SU16A in .223. Light weapon. Midrange power. Takes AR magazines. Semi-auto. Accurate. Most expensive weapon of this bunch. Lots of plastic. Least durable weapon of this bunch. Folds in half and has intigrated cheap plastic bipod that I never use. Least "politically correct" rifle in this bunch. Good ammo selection. Only weapon I can transport in a short rectangular carry case that doesn't scream "gun".

    As you can see, each has certain strengths and weaknesses. Each might be perfect in a certain situation but you never know which situation you're going to get into and which gun you'll need. So you need something that can be effective in a variety of areas.

    So what's YOUR assesment? Which of these would you chose as a full time truck gun and why? And why wouldn't you chose the ones you passed over?
  2. Deer Hunter

    Deer Hunter Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2005
    Out of your list, I'd say either the SKS or a Mosin. But why a 91/30? Why not buy an M38 or M44?
  3. joab

    joab Senior Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    Ocoee, Fla
    Or just a barreled action cut down to carbine length for about $30.

    I like the Mosin a little better

    If the gun is stolen most cretins would not be able to find ammo easily and you could keep the bolt out like the road boss in Cool Hand Luke.
    Plus it could be replaced cheaper
  4. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Senior Member

    Sep 8, 2005

    1894C Short, light, reliable, simple, quick-handling and I like how it feels.

    Commercial .357 ammo that approaches .35 Remington ballistics is available from Buffalo Bore, and specifically made to be safe in the Marlin. But plinking ammo is also readily available if you want to shoot cans; it'll even shoot .38's. Of all the guns listed, the 1894C and the SU-16 would be my choices for plinking -- for some reason, I've never quite gotten as excited about the SKS as others have.

    They make the .44 version in stainless, I think, but it's got a longer barrel.

    For cheap, a Mosin carbine is a functional rifle. Recoils like a sledgehammer, much more than a full-length 91/30 IMO.

    An SKS is a fun toy, but I think they're club-like unless you change the stock. By then, you could buy the Marlin (around here, Big 5 Sporting Goods sells the 94C with an uncheckered hardwood stock for just over $300 new). I'd much rather shoot my Mini-14 than my SKS, but the Mini is just a mite bit more expensive...

    Another option? The Puma 1892 replica, available in stainless.
  5. rangerruck

    rangerruck Senior Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    Texas, baby!
    keltec, easy fast, and light, that is what you want.
  6. No_Brakes23

    No_Brakes23 Senior Member

    Mar 19, 2005
    Everett, WA Recently escaped from San Diego, PRK
    The Kel-Tec is very practical in terms of capacity, accuracy, and stowability.

    The downside is that the SKS and MNs can take a beating without it hitting you as hard in the wallet. Plus, they hit a little harder. The .223 should be good for what you need it for, but for a lot of folks, anything less than 3 tenths of an inch in diameter doesn't cut it. One nice thing about the SKS, (And maybe the MN depending on which one you have,) is that pig-sticker on the end might be handy. Then again, you probably have tools in the truck, right?

    I'd say whatever you are most comfortable with For me that'd be the Tupperware folding rifle from Cocoa Beach, Florida. (In fact, the SU-16CA has replaced my SKS as the "Travel" gun ever since I bought it.)

    Make sure you check state laws. Even some pretty easy going states don't allow truck guns, (Well not loaded anyway.)
  7. Gord

    Gord Senior Member

    Jul 19, 2006
    Behind enemy lines
    My vote goes for the SKS or Mosin. If it's a truck gun, you want to be able to see it beat all to hell and/or stolen without shedding too many tears. I wouldn't like beating up a nice Marlin, nor would I appreciate having it stolen. A $70 Mosin, on the other hand...

    Plus, face it: if it doesn't go down in 10 rounds of 7.62x39 or five rounds of 7.62x54R (plus a possible bayonet charge :D) you should be burning rubber outta there anyway.

    I'd buy an M44 and leave it at that. Leave a few stripper clips full of ammo back there (the stripper clips suck, but they keep the ammo together in 5-round groups) and you're good to go. Fire, reload if necessary, and repeat. If it gets to contact distance, you're either a lousy shot or firing at a tank, and you need to either go for the sidearm or perform a tactical get-the-hell-out-of-there.
  8. silverlance

    silverlance Senior Member

    Jul 11, 2005
    In my Foxhole

    kel-tec su16ca.

    accuracy matters.
    weight matters.
    size matters.
    speed matters.

    .223 might not be the biggest crit on the block, but who said you were going to stop shooting after the first round?

    the problem is the price (I paid $500 for mine) and the durability of the gun. for the first, $500 is about how much you will invest in an sks by the time you change:

    1. bell & carlson stock
    2. mojo / st marie ghost ring sights
    3. trigger work, removing bayonet.
    4. changing firing pin, springs.

    as for the second.. get a good gun case. no matter which rifle you choose you shouldn't have a loaded rifle bouncing around in teh trunk anyway.
  9. Zeke Menuar

    Zeke Menuar Senior Member

    Jun 24, 2003
    Oregon Monsoon Central
    Of the choices:

    Gun I use as trunk guns. I have enough so I rotate them from time to time.

    Ishapore 2A.
    Yugo 24/47
    Mosin M38
    Hungarian Mosin M44
    Yugo SKS
    Savage M99-R once in awhile. It's an heirloom. Needs to get out once in awhile.

  10. gaweidert

    gaweidert Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Rochester, NY
    Short MN's are really really..... LOUD!!!!! Sound like a pumped up magnum. Plus you get some great fireballs.

    I have an SU-16. Not a bad little rifle. More durable than one would think. AR mags a big plus.
  11. 115grfmj

    115grfmj Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    The PR of NJ
    definately 1894c..

    Short light slab sided carbine, very pc appearance, can always find either
    .38 or 357. Can do everything from small game with 38's to deer black bear with .357. Hunting up to 150 yards large game, but accurate enough for
    anti personnel uses way beyond that. With s&b 158gr jsp sight for 4" high at
    100yds will only be 6" low at 200yds. Still retains 335 ftlbs of energy at
    350yds. Using this load, I shoot pie plates at 200yds, grouping around 4-5"
    with peep sight.

    BTW with the Marlin because of the twist rate, the heavier round the better the accuracy (I.e. 158's shoot better than 125's, and 180's shoot the best.
  12. aguyindallas

    aguyindallas Senior Member

    Mar 9, 2004
    I am going to go with the SKS or the Kel-Tec. I dont have ANY first hand experience with the Kel-Tec, just going on reviews etc.

    The "truck gun" idea is something to me that means you want quick in action shooting if needed. You are not looking for a hunting rifle most likely, so take all the bolt action guns/lever action guns out of the mix. Leaving you with semi-auto, you have the SKS and Kel-Tec.

    Now, if I were to be a guy that had a "truck gun", I would want it to be inexpensive in case it is ever stolen from my truck. This is another place the SKS makes sense. Its cheap to buy and easily replaceable.
  13. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Senior Member

    Dec 28, 2002
    Minnesota - nine months of ice and snow...three mo
    MN and a bunch of loaded stripper clips.

    I like the "Road Boss" idea of separating the bolt from the rifle. Keep the bolt in a little box in the glove compartment.

    Just picture a gang-banger criminal who stole your rifle Google-ing "Mosin Nagant" or "7.62x54R" to look for parts.

    He'd probably find THR and turn his life around.
  14. dfaugh

    dfaugh Senior Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    Personally, I think that the SKS was almost "made" to be a truck gun. Fairly compact, decent power and inexpensive. 10 rounds ought to be enough for most situations, but if you practice loading with stripper clips, you can reload REALLY fast. God forbid its ever stolen, but if it is, you're not out much money. And even with recent price increases, ammo is still pretty cheap.

    P.S. SKSs are more accurate than many people give them credit for. Mostly they/I use cheapo Wolf or other Russian ammo, and it not real accurate. But if you try some "good stuff" it'll be alot better. You won't win any benchrest competitions, but < 2MOA isn't outa the question, in a good SKS
  15. armoredman

    armoredman Senior Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    proud to be in AZ
    Even with reloads, neither of my yugos can make better than 6 inches at 100 yards, or as Simonov designed it, "minute of Nazi".
    I would use one of two, depending on the vehicle crime in your area. If vehicle break ins are pretty rare in your neck of the woods, then an SKS with chinese bra, (for the "very prepared minded."), or a stock wrap from survivor's sks board with two stripper clips in it.
    if vehicle break ins happen, I would go with a Mosin M44, with stock ammo carrier, and ammo pouch on the sling. Make DARN good and sure you eliminate ALL the sticky bolt phenomena, http://www.russian-mosin-nagant.com/sticking_bolt.htm , before trusting it as a truck gun, and carry GOOD ammo.
  16. grimjaw

    grimjaw Senior Member

    May 9, 2005
    epijunkie67, what's your location and typical environment like? Where I live in town my range would be restricted to 50-100 yards, but outside town I have clear view out to 1000+ yards regularly. I would go with something in a full power rifle round here. If I was back in Arkansas, where my line of sight is more restricted, an intermediate rifle round would be preferable. If I was back in Cleveland, I think I might just take the 1894C. Loaded down with .38 Specials or loaded up to hot .357 Magnum (approaching .30-30 energy within 50 yards), it's very versatile.

    You could just carry one of each . . . :rolleyes:

  17. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

    Apr 21, 2004
    East TN
    I live in a smallish town in East Tennessee. I regularly drive along highway with 800 meter open fields on each side, through town with typical suburban profile, and into Knoxvile with typical large city structure. Three different environments in a very close proxemity. Thus, my pointing out that for me a truck gun has to be usable in a wide variety of situations.

    I appreciate the people who have posted about guns I COULD get for this function but I should point out that in my originl post the guns I listed are guns I own NOW. I actually have many others besides these but I felt these were the best options for truck gun out of my collection. I'm not going to throw my mint M1A in there! I guess I could have also listed my K31 Swiss as that could also be considered a reasonable, cheap, accurate, heavy, bolt gun.
  18. EvisceratorSrB

    EvisceratorSrB Member

    Aug 5, 2006
    Southern CA
    Kel-Tec SU-16 Hands down. I don't even know how you can consider others with this rifle in mind.

    Bolt action for truck gun? :scrutiny:

    Least durable? Far from it. It has reliability and durability in heaps. I'd say some Mosins I handled are less durable. Reliable? Maybe as reliable as a Yugo SKS which have inherent gas problems. Very accurate, for it being made of plastic and being a feather's weight. Don't badger the rifle for looks, components, or weight w/o handling one. Try one out.

    It folds, only one model can shoot while folding, but the A,B,C,CA models do fold. Handy handguard bipod, which works. It's just not the sturdiest platform in the world.
  19. MyRoad

    MyRoad Member

    Aug 13, 2003
    I have an 1894C and thought about it as a truck gun when I bought it, but decided not to for two reasons: (1) I can't (legally) leave a truck gun loaded, and the 1894 is too slow to load, and (2), I just like the little gun too much to leave it in my truck.

    Next is the Mosin, I have an M44 in an ATI stock, and I have stripper clips for it on the way. My concern with this gun is that 7.62x54R seems a bit much for most of the situations I can actually imagine needing the gun for. But it's a good candidate in terms of ultimate durability, and low monitary value.

    I have an SKS on the way, that I'm buying specifically as a truck gun. Don't love the wooden stock, so I'm going for a Choate stock. As others have said, it seems like it was designed to be a truck gun, and 7.62x39 seems like a great compromise round.

    The SU-16 is very interesting. I don't own one, but will look into it. If it can travel in a sturdy case, I suppose "bounce around the truck" durability is not that big an issue. If you are comfortable with .223 serving your needs, this sounds like a viable option.
  20. usmccpl

    usmccpl Member

    Jul 9, 2006
    Id say the SKS.
    Mine (using winchester 123 gr FMJ) will keep all ten on a man sized target out to 600 yards.
    Using some forgin surplas military ammo me and a buddy spent an afternoon shooting through a 3/8 in thick steel plate leaving holes that couldnt be covered with a penny in the metal.
    And I got the rifle and 3000 rounds of ammo for 90 bucks.

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