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Your thoughts on center fire plinking rifles please?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BCRider, Mar 3, 2012.

  1. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    I'm not sure where I want to go with my rifle plinking at this point. So I thought I'd come to you folks looking for a bit of inspiration.

    I've got three centerfire rifles I'm plinking with for now. But other than the Mosin Nagant and the two spam cans of surplus ammo the others leave me a little cold on the idea of taking them out. And who knows what the Mosin will feel like after a hundred or so rounds down the pipe. I only recent got both an M44 and a 91/30 and only have around 20 rounds out of each.

    I do know that I enjoy oddball actions and target peep sight options over scopes and "plain old" bolt actions. This is suggesting to me that I should just bite the bullet and get something like a Sharps or rolling block old style black powder cartridge gun set up with some target peep sights. But before I move in that direction I wanted to get some ideas.

    On the topic of semi autos I've tried a couple that were a good bit of fun. But our laws up this way limit many of the options to a mere 5 rounds. And it always seems like the fun is just starting when it ends. So I'm not that keen on semi autos.

    So anything you've got which is a little odd please feel free to describe them and/or post pictures.

  2. No4Mk1*

    No4Mk1* Well-Known Member

    Is the M1 garand an option in Canada? Excellent sights.
    Obviously an Enfield would be considered. I like mine but it's hard to beat M1 / M14 / AR15 sights
  3. Squeaky Wheel

    Squeaky Wheel Well-Known Member

    Depending on how much you plan to shoot, you might want to investigate the cost of the ammo before you pick a centerfire rifle. Mosin surplus ammo in spam cans is on the low end of the cost spectrum.
  4. beatledog7

    beatledog7 Well-Known Member

    I stay away from Semi-auto rifles because they encourage me to shoot too quickly, wasting ammo.

    Have you considered a lever gun in .357Mag? Pretty cheap plinking if you load it with bulk .38SPLs.
  5. Ditch-Tiger

    Ditch-Tiger Well-Known Member

    C-Z 527 carbine in 7.62x39
    Cheap to shoot and loads of fun!
  6. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Yes, we have some M1 Garrands up this way and due to the nature of the clips this one semi is one of the very few specifically listed as having an exception to the usual 5 round rule for semi autos.

    I'm sort of thinking away from the usual Milsurp options. Besides, for now the Mosin Nagant fills that role for range duty.

    I do shoot in Cowboy Action and recently used my black powder flintlock in a local "Mountain Man" shoot. I've even shot my Rossi lever rifle in .357 for some 200 yard plinking. So that isn't a bad option. It is also one which had slipped my mind while writing up the original post.

    And since I also reload this isn't a bad option for one rifle plinking direction. I should note that I'll also be taking the flintlock out a little more regularly in the future. But I don't always want to have to deal with the usual black powder cleanup. So there's room for another option or two.

    Oh, and there's a little "family" of .22 rifles that I shoot and enjoy already. Some old falling/pivoting block single shots, a couple of pump actions and a Henry lever along with a scoped bolt Cooey. Oddly enough lots of different options other than a semi again... :D Oh, and for some odd reason rimfire rifles don't share the 5 round semi auto limit. So lots of 25 round banana mags for those. But they just don't intrest me for some reason.
  7. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Well-Known Member

    I second the motion for a pistol-caliber lever rifle. Almost all of them, .38 cal, .44 cal and .45 cal support both a low-power or "Cowboy Action" load and high-power hunting round. I have the .45 cal Rossi M92. Shoots cream-puff .45 Long Colt and/or .454 Casull. Nowadays, DoubleTap Ammo and others sell +P loading of .45 LC, too, which is plenty of power for everything except maybe adult grizzly bear. Typically, these lever guns hold 11-15 rounds in a tubular magzine under the barrel. They shoot just about as fast as an aimed semi-auto, if you train yourself to cock it while the butt is still on your shoulder, during recoil, while beginning to re-aim at the same time. So, it can be a bit of a sport (like Cowboy Action) in addition to just plinking.

    I buy .45 LC low-power rounds for < $0.25 US each, which is getting darn close to these days' cheapo 7.62x39mm Russian/CommBloc ammo prices ($0.20/round). About as cheap as you can get in center-fire.
  8. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Bill, your suggestion is definetly making me look at my own CAS Rossi '92 in a new light. I know it's a fun but hardly punishing rifle to shoot even with full power .357Mag rounds so this may be one good option which can do double duty at CAS and plinking.

    Considering my options today following the posting of the original question I have to admit that I'm leaning towards selling the TC Encore in 7mm-08 and shifting the money towards something such as a falling or rolling block action in either 45-70 or perhaps in a medium round such as 38-55 or .30-30.

    The .30-30 option has some merit since one of the range plinkers is a Glenfield/Marlin 336 in .30-30 and I quite like it as it's a lever gun so I'm loathe to sell it. And for the roughly 200 yards I've got for shooting around these parts at most of the ranges the .30-30 is just fine. And in fact most of my shooting with plain iron sights is done at no more than 100 since the "old guy eyes" really don't reach out any further with any degree of sharpness at all.... which would be why I'm thinking of going with full on target peep sights for these rifles so the small aperature aids my crummy vision. Mind you a part of me wants to put rings and a scope onto the Glenfield/Marlin lever gun.
  9. Clipper

    Clipper Well-Known Member

    If price isn't an obstacle, there's the Browning/Winchester '95 and the '85 Hi-Wall in .405 Win. definately different...
  10. jameslovesjammie

    jameslovesjammie Well-Known Member

    Why not keep the Encore Action and get a different barrel for the caliber you choose? The Encore is stronger than any rolling/falling block and if you decide down the road you want to change your cartridge again...just get a different barrel.

    Also, since you mentioned black powder cartridges...take a hard look at the H&R Buffalo Classic.
  11. StrawHat

    StrawHat Well-Known Member

    Suprised you went with a MN when the SMLE is so common up North! Back to the original query, lever actions are fun as are single shots. Since you reload and are considering economy, look to the smaller cartridges. The 32 WCF is one that is a lot of fun. Not much powder or lead for each shot either. Stepping up, the 38/357, 44, and 45s all fit in the same arena.

    For a rifle cartridge, you can go a lot of different directions. The smallest being the 22 Hornet and the largest one of the 50s, I am partial to the 50-70. For plinking and such, the 50-70 is hard to beat. It eats powder and lead but it throws them into the same place with boring regularity, and whatever they hit, stays hit!
  12. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    Strawhat, up this way now LE's in nice original wood are up around $400 to $500 depending on condition. The MN cost me a whopping $150 for a rifle which was very likely a "guard duty special" from the condition of the barrel and other reciever parts.

    The idea of swapping my barrel for someone's .30-30 barrel had occurred to me before I even posted this thread. And it is still a good likelyhood since I like my lever .30-30 and this would give me a good plinking cartridge which I reload. If I were to go for cast boolits for the loads it would also cut the costs considerably for the ammo.

    For the foreseeable future I don't see myself going hunting. So I'm not all that keen on tossing 250 or more gns of lead downrange with each shot. Besides, the paper or steel gongs don't know that they got killed any better with big vs small bullets..... :D
  13. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Well-Known Member

    So, back to your OP base question(s):
    Please, lay back on my leather chaise and make yourself comfortable. So, you are saying you really want to spice up your sex .... errr... shooting life, in addition to tweaking up your rifle/ammo choices a little while getting away from the Russian 7.62 x 54 mm "cannons" for "plinking"? Is that what you meant to say? You can open up to Dr. Jung, your trusted doctor....

    Dr. Bill Jung Rights likes shooting at things that move, maybe even while they're moving. He grew up shooting birds on the wing, bounding rabbits, flung clays and his running little brother, with shotguns or BB-guns, as the case may be. With rifles, shooting at golf balls on the ground is fun, and you can even make it competitive by seeing how many hits you can get in a period of time, or how quickly you can knock the ball over a demarcation line. Nowadays, they even have these purpose-built reactive targets:

    This one is 5x5x5" by Do All Outdoors. You can see this one and others at CTD, plus a nifty video. Supposedly, this guy is self-healing up to 1000 .50 cal hits. (Do you believe that? :scrutiny:) Anyway, this type of rifle work-out is great for your dynamic shooting skills, the Doctor says....

    OK, maybe Dr. Jung missed your drift. But if he's anywhere close, I am sure some other THR-ers have other great ideas.
  14. BCRider

    BCRider Well-Known Member

    A bouncing reactive target of that sort could be a lot of fun. But sadly it likely wouldn't be allowed at the ranges where I shoot. Also the closer range has dirt berms to protect the target stand rails at the various distances. and once over the short berm I wouldn't be able to see it any longer. So limited fun until the cease fire... :D We've also got a limited angle restriction for that range to keep the bullets directed down a relatively narrow alley. So kicking a reactive of this sort over to the side would cause problems.

    But I like your thinking.

    We're allowed to shoot steel at the range and I'm thinking making my own steel targets suitable for the sort of ammo I shoot would be a lot of fun. There's something about hearing a "DING!" versus having to look through a spotting scope that makes things a lot more fun. So a couple of suitable steel targets are on my "To Do" list regardless of where my rifle caliber direction goes.
  15. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Well-Known Member

    i hang bowling pins on chains and shoot them. fun to keep them swinging or try to hit them to one side and spin them.
  16. Bill_Rights

    Bill_Rights Well-Known Member

    Ah ha! So you can make things:
    I think it'd be fun to make a steel target as a set of concentric ring-plates, each acoustically tuned like a bell. The inner, small circle would make a nice high-pitched "ting" when hit, the middle one make a mid-pitch "ding" and the outer, big one make a sonorous low "dong" sound. That way you could tell how near you got to the bulls-eye by the sound alone.

    And I like NeuseRvrRat's idea about a bullet-propelled moving target. Perhaps you could build a range-acceptable steel target on a stand that would take a bullet-hit down-range impulse and convert the energy to a cross-range (lateral) swinging or oscillating motion? Now that's be a trick!
  17. bushmaster1313

    bushmaster1313 Well-Known Member

    Hook a revolving target to a generator and decrease your carbon footprint with every well placed shot.

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