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Best multi-caliber survival rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by 1911_Mitch, Nov 6, 2005.

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  1. 1911_Mitch

    1911_Mitch Member

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    I'm considering the purchase of a small, light, handy rifle for plinking, hunting small game/birds, and survival.

    I know of only the Springfield (CZ) M6 Scout in .22lr (et al) and .410

    Not a multi-caliber, but also the Armalight AR-7 survival rifle, but it is not quite what I'm looking for.

    Are there any other multi-caliber rifles/shotguns that I should compare to?
    And if you have experiences with any design, your input would be appreciated.
     
  2. cane

    cane Member

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    Springfield no longer sells the M-6, and the AR-7 is made by Henry Arms. Savage makes the model 24 over under in various cal/gauges and Remington is importing Russian made over/unders.
     
  3. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

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    My father has several Savage 24v rifle/shotgun combos. They are really more of a specialty hunting rifle, looking much like an expensive over/under shotgun, and they're neither light or short.

    Savage no longer offers the 24v (wood stock, engraving and gold trigger available) which really isn't much for "survival" anyway, but they do offer the 24f which is the polymer stock version.

    One great thing about them though is that come in several calibers from rimfire all the way to .308 and all three "major" shotgun calibers. Another bonus is that they're inexpensive.
     
  4. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    My 'survival rifle' is the NEF Handi-Rifle, "Survivor" model, in .45 colt/.410 shotshell. It has a rifled barrel for .45 colt, and a removable 'choke tube' for use with the shotshells, which is designed to 'un-spin' the shot load, which is spinning up to that point due to the rifling. You take the 'choke tube' out for shooting .45 colt loads. In the storage buttstock of mine, I have 24 rounds of .410 shotshells (12 2.5" 6 shot, and 12 3.0" 4-shot), and 6 rounds of 250 gr HP .45 colt.

    http://www.hr1871.com/firearms/index.php?cat=6&subcat=5 (scroll down past the .223/.308 models)

    As far as O/U combo guns go, you've got the Savage:

    http://www.savagearms.com/24f20.htm
    http://www.savagearms.com/24f12.htm

    and what I think is the Baikal, soon to be imported by RAAC - now called the "Volk":

    http://www.raacfirearms.com/Volk.htm

    Remington imports the Baikal shotguns (single shot, O/Us, and S/Ss), calling them "Spartans", but apparently RAAC will be bringing in the combo guns. It's really too bad that RAAC is apparently not going to import the full line of Baikals like EAA used to, because they are really nice guns, and for the money, super nice.

    and I'm sure a few others, in addition to the discontinued M6 scout.

    For me, the Handi rifle Survivor is the best (for a food-getting-focused gun, not a defense and food-getting combo), because with shotshells, you can take gamebirds & small mammals, which are abundant (#6 shot for small birds & rodents, #4 shot for turkeys, ducks, geese, and large rodents like beavers). You can use the .45 colt or .410 slugs for large game like deer or pigs. And both the gun and ammo are a lot smaller & lighter than the combo guns. My second choice would be a plain ol' .22, like my Marlin 60, or something in .22 mag perhaps.

    Wow, something just hit me upside the head, so to speak: Now I'm thinking that perhaps an argument could be made that the 'ultimate' survival rifle for BOTH food and self-defense, would be a semi-auto in .22 WMR (.22 mag), because it's plenty powerful enough to be a effective self-defense tool (obviously not ideal, but...), AND to take large game with, such as deer or hogs (both functions would require head shots and an accurate rifle), the ammo is still quite small & light, and a semi-auto would make for some firepower to keep the heads down of your imagined enemy (marauding islamo-rioters?). Hrmmm, what's a high-capacity, non-Ruger, semi-auto in .22 mag? My only .22 mag is my CZ 452 Varmint (turnbolt). Anything larger than .22 mag (like .22 hornet & up) would destroy way too much meat on your staple diet items (turkeys, rabbits, squirrels, ducks, etc.). And anything smaller (.22 lr) seems much too marginal even for head shots, on deer or a determined 2-legged enemy. A CNS shot from a .22 mag however, would be pretty reliable in stopping a 100-200 pound target.

    Still, I'd much rather have several tools, not just one, for such a SHTF scenario, since the shotgun of some flavor is much easier to get moving game with, and something more powerful is desired for self defense. Still, it's interesting to ask, what if you could only grab ONE gun on the way outta dodge? Of course, if you're outta dodge, I doubt the islamo-fascists are going to riot much in the woods, so it's kinda silly isn't it?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  5. dakotasin

    dakotasin Member

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    sounds to me what you are really looking for is a 20 ga. shotgun. franchi, beretta, and remington all make good ones. go w/ a 24" +/- barrel, 3" loads, and you'll be set.
     
  6. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    There is also the Thompson Center Contender or Encore carbine with a .45/410 barrel.

    [​IMG]

    You can also switch to other rifle or shotgun barrels and even high power pistol configurations.

    [​IMG]
     
  7. Too Many Choices!?

    Too Many Choices!? Member

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    AR-15(M4)configuration, with a Shotgun Upper!!!

    Has anybody done this? Seems pretty close to perfect to me! Small to medium game with .223 and good shot placement...Large game with slugs. A semi auto, AR-15 shotgun,mmm, mmm, good! Imagine a flat top M4 with a mag adapter, that would convert it to hold a 10-20 round straight,"stick mag",s:evil: !!

    Hell if Saiga can do it, there is no reason the modularity of the AR's design can't do it better:neener: !!
     
  8. Dienekes

    Dienekes Member

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    I have a Savage 24C O/U .22 LR/20 ga from the 70s that I like. It's a very good shooter with .22s, and I do okay with shotshells. The sights when set for .22 are off with slugs and I have not solved that as of yet. I also have a .30-30 liner for it which is a decent short-range setup but iffy as to accuracy. The whole thing probably needs some more tweaking, but I pursue it in fits and starts. If I were bush flying somewhere I would probably have worked out these minor glitches long ago.

    BTW, at least on paper, the 20 ga. slug seems to pencil out about the same as a .45-70--which isn't a sissy load.

    All in all not a back package and one that should have been kept in production. They can be found but not cheaply.

    OTOH not much wrong with a nice little single shot, like the Marlin 15Y youth model. Even the old Remington Nylon 66 is a winner in some ways--tough, light, accurate, low maintenance.
     
  9. Darth Ruger

    Darth Ruger Member

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    [​IMG]
    http://www.defensereview.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=686

    Johnathan Arthur Ciener was making these on a custom basis, and I think his were done better than the one in this photo. The 870 was higher up closer to the AR barrel, with the top of the receiver flush against the bottom of the AR handguard, so the back end of the 870's receiver and trigger guard were flush against the AR mag well (that was also the rear attachement point), making it easier to use the AR's mag as the 870's 'pistol' grip. It had a second attachment point under the AR's front sight. He did them with AR15's and M4 shorties. If anyone has the book "Streetsweepers: The Complete Book of Combat Shotguns" by Duncan Long, you can see photos of Ciener's AR/870 combo's in Chapter 6.
     
  10. Hawk

    Hawk Member

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    Multi-caliber?

    Someone will eventually toss in the Blaser R93; might as well be me.
    :cool:
     
  11. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Callahan full bore auto-lock, naturally.

    :D

    Kidding... of course but numerous comapnies have made .22 cal adapters for centerfire rifles, the .22 shell fits in a steel lined brass 'case' that loads like a std centerfire cartridge. Ie your 30-30 or .308 is now a .22LR

    Cenier .22 conversions for AR rifles are available as well as G-3 series weapons and they change the upper or create an 'interior' barrel/chamber in the existing rifle.

    But really... you can take any std .30-06 or .308 loaded with 'accelerator' sabots and make a decent varmint round. Of course you won't have much meat left on a woodchuck once you hit him with that and your POI is wildly different than with your big game load.

    The shotgun, with almost NO modification (change the choke tube) can handle small game and birds or big game/shtf with buckshot and slugs by simply switching ammunition.


    Other than the bulk of the ammo, the shotgun is the most versatile.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2005
  12. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    I can't imagine the tolerances of the AR design could take much of the fouling and crud shotgun shells would produce. The Saiga is a more robust design.....my .02;)
     
  13. orangeninja

    orangeninja Member

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    to be honest...I don't know how in the heck you would aim the shottie on that. Secondly...the recoil would be BRUTAL with that light weight non-padded adjustable stock.....
     
  14. Too Many Choices!?

    Too Many Choices!? Member

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    Darth Ruger, Ahhh! The Good Ol',"Key to the City", eh?

    But that is not what I specifically asked for, but I was aware of this set up. The ,"Key to the City", doesn't qualify, as it is not semi auto(that is an 870 underneath right?).. Now chop down an 1100 and we can talk...Thanx though...

    Alduro, you do know that their are a number of ,"op rod," AR upper makers out their right :confused:? And I just said semi auto shotgun upper for an AR-15, not that it had to have the direct gas impengement:uhoh: ...Few argue against the superb ergonomics of the AR's design. Now just imagine the flexibility of a single AR-15 lower with three uppers, that will shoot .223, 7.62X39, and 12guage shotgun shells(shot or slug). You got the entire US of A's listed fauna covered with one lower and three uppers:evil: :neener: ....

    Too Many Choices(and a semi auto AR-15 shotgun upper needs to be one)
     
  15. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    I've read of this kind of thing before, but I've never been able to find such a critter. I don't even know what they're called.

    A .22LR chamber adapter makes a lot of sense if your rifle is a 223. I think I recall .32ACP rounds working reasonably well in the .30 caliber rifles with the proper chamber adapter. But the best idea was a chamber adapter with short barrel that fires .22LR from a 12 gauge shotgun. That'd be the most versatile by far.

    Anyone have more info on these gadgets?
     
  16. karlsgunbunker

    karlsgunbunker Member

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    How about a Rossi matched Pair?
     
  17. kjeff50cal

    kjeff50cal Member

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  18. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    hey guys, matched pairs and ARs with 2 or more uppers is 'cheating' on the question. If it weren't, then we could say get an encore, and carry some-odd 198 extra barrels with you into the field. :neener:
     
  19. Brian Williams

    Brian Williams Moderator Emeritus

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    My idea of a survival rifle is a Marlin 1894C in 357 with a Leeloader kit and a bullet mould with the following cavities: a round ball, 115gr rn, 128grWC, 158grSWC, 180gr RNFP.
     
  20. spooney

    spooney Member

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    Since Matched Pairs are cheating I guess I can't have a Rossi with a .308 and a 20ga barrel?
     
  21. MachIVshooter

    MachIVshooter Member

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    If I were to build a "survival rifle", it would be a .223 over 20 gauge with a .22 LR chamber adapter. I think that would fill just about any need from small game up to small bears. Now if were talking grizz coutry, I'd go for a straight Remington 1187 Police and Brenneke hard-cast slugs and then a .22 pistol for game-getting.
     
  22. GunGoBoom

    GunGoBoom member

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    Ooooo, man, I like that idea!
     
  23. Headless Thompson Gunner

    Headless Thompson Gunner Member

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    I'd go with a 12 gauge and a .22 chamber adapter. Make it s double barrel 12 gauge for extra reliability (two barrels, two triggers, two hammers, two...)

    What can't you shoot with a good 12 guage and a .22?
     
  24. 72Rover

    72Rover member

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    Savage

    Another vote for the Savage 24 series. I believe the "C" variant was the 'camper's special' that could be broken down easily for transport. I've been looking for one of these forever at gun shows without luck. My brothers's 24 is a .22 mag over 20 gauge. I found it to be quite accurate....

    Savage is still making 'modern' versions with a wide range of rifle calibers offered including .223 over a 12 or 20 gauge.

    Cheers
     
  25. History Nut

    History Nut Member

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    Savage 24C

    Another vote for the Savage 24C. I bought one in the 70s and am glad I never sold it. With .22LR rounds and a variety of 20 guage rounds, one can be prepared for most 'survival' situations. It is light, handy and does break down to a quite small package. My only complaint is that storing rounds in the butt isn't practical due to 20 ga. recoil causing the .22LR rounds to deform. Since the compartment in the butt doesn't hold much ammo anyway, I never use it. I put a slip on recoil pad over it. The recoil from the 20 ga. is uncomfortable for me so I don't shoot it for "fun". I have taken it on many hikes and not even felt the need for a sling. If you practice, you can reload a single-shot rifle/shotgun pretty fast (I learned this skill on trapdoor Springfields).

    I also have an old AR-7 and a couple regular Savage 24s. The 24C is my choice for a casual hike. I have no idea what they are selling for these days.
     
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