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Hunting guns and miltary guns.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Kliegl, Jun 12, 2011.

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  1. Kliegl

    Kliegl member

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    Had a thought in another thread.

    There's the "hunting gun" paradigm, and then there's the "military gun" one. While both trace their roots to the same weapons back 100 years ago, now they are somewhat separate. A modern military rifle has a large mag, a smaller cartridge, and other accessories than the hunting rifle.

    Collapsible stock, box mag, shoots .223, lasers, red dot scopes, accessory rails, coated black; that's a military gun. Blued, integral mag, shoots 30-06 or better, scope, wood stocks, bolt action, that's a hunting gun.

    However, I noticed something. The hunters, typically labeled Fudds, don't try anything 'tacticool' with their weapons because they don't want to do so. Sometimes a non-hunter who is more apt to target shoot and want a gun for home defense, will buy a hunting gun, restock it, put rails on, paint it black, and go "ghetto-tactical" with it, and generally receive much derision from the "tactical" crowd.

    But, lots of times, the self-defense/range plinker will take his SKS or AK, or AR or something and desire to go hunting with it, where he will consider his military carbine shooting a much lighter round than actual hunting rifles to be equal or superior to those rifles, and that opinion then is accepted by many.

    In other words, a hunting gun isn't durable enough to withstand military work, yet a military gun seems just dandy to kill stuff just as dead as a magnum rifle, and I don't understand why people think this way.

    Perhaps it's ignorance. I've hunted my entire life, and I prefer weapons that don't make me chase the game all over hell's half acre to collect it. Even if you're the world's best tracker (I ain't), you still have to haul it back to the road. I've spent more time looking for others' game than mine, partially because I'm a fairly decent shot who only shoots what I can hit, but also because I shoot with some serious loads.

    I consider .243 a kid's load to shoot deer, and .308 winchester the effective minimum. I prefer 30-06 myself. For turkey hunting, although I've used 2 and 3/4 shells, I really like the extra reach a 3.5" magnum gives (it takes you from 30 some yards to 50). That being said, going hunting, I'll grab my Rem 700 in 30-06, or my Mossberg 3.5" mag 12 gauge, and leave my AR and Benelli M4 at home. However, for self defense, I'd reverse that, or make yet a different selection.

    Sorry to ramble, but the conflicting philosophies make me wonder. What do you all think?
     
  2. lizardking7750

    lizardking7750 Member

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    I have to agree, I mean the hunter doesn't add all the extras because they aren't needed for what he does. The military has them, Acogs, rails, etc because it adds to their effectiveness. I personally love my AK74, but would never hunt with it because it is a military rifle, not for taking game.
     
  3. 22-rimfire

    22-rimfire Member

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    The differences are becoming blurred between the so called military guns (semi-auto EBR's) and what most consider sporting rifles more often used for hunting. For myself, I'd never choose a AR or AK as first choice for ... say deer hunting, but with the right bullet choice, they can be effective. There are AR's availalbe in 308 now. The M1 Garand is a 30-06 and the M14 clones are 308. Most military style rifles are fairly heavy. But choosing one for deer hunting is a personal choice assuming they are legal for use in the state you live in.

    I see great utility varmint hunting with AR's in 223/5.56. I could also see the utility of choosing a EBR for feral hog hunting where it is not really for sport but extermination or population control. But I would not damn a hunter for choosing one for sport. Their use is where multiple quick shots are the order of the day and potentially on multiple animals.

    My personal minimum caliber for deer hunting is 243/6mm. Some use 223's with success especially where the deer are smaller. But I still prefer to see a hunter choose something with a bit more oomph for deer hunting.
     
  4. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    Where I presently live it's a moot point. No semi-auto's rifles or pistols for any hunting and that's just fine with me. I personally think any 22 caliber centerfire is too light for hunting deer or black bear even though I've used one when nothing better was available. I got my fill of AR type rifles in 1971 when I was forced to use one. I've had no inclination or desire to play soldier since then.
     
  5. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    I think there was a strong difference back a few decades ago, but it has fallen apart in the last 10 years in the age of better and more widespread education and understanding.

    Well, maybe. Bolt-action military rifles weren't really common as hunting guns (here in the US) 100 years ago. Eventually their widespread availability as surplus and their familiarity to a lot of shooters made them become very popular with the hunting public. Kind of like ARs and other semi-autos now.

    Kind of depends what hunting rifle, and what military rifle we're talking about. Lines are pretty blurry these days, with all the .30 caliber AR versions available today for hunting larger game, and .204, .223, and other variants being extremely popular for varmints.

    Those are some common descriptions. But not universal anymore.

    The perjorative "Fudd" usually means something a LOT stronger than that. There has to be an element of a derisive attitue from the traditionalist, coupled with a disregard for the 2nd Amendment rights of other kinds of shooters to really earn that "Fudd" title. We still try to avoid it here.

    Considering the number of high-precision, truly tactical bolt-guns available these days, I don't see many guys butchering a wood stocked M70 to make a bubba-tac rifle. I guess it happens. Quality speaks loudly, though. Put something together that is useful and artfully done and the derision will be pretty quiet. Cobble together some hack-job and there will be a bit of jeering.

    "Lots of times?" If he takes an SKS or AK into the woods to hunt deer at close range, he's VERY appropriately armed. The 7.62x39 cartridge is roughly the equivalent of a mildly loaded .30-30 Win, and no one's "undergunned" for deer with that. I've shot SKSs and AKs that would shoot better than 2" at 100 yds. I've shot Win '94s that wouldn't.

    So, what's an "actual" hunting round? Are .30-30s not legit for hunting? While a .223 is pretty marginal for deer (though it will work and is legal in some states), there are several good hunting cartridges between that and a 7.62x39. Bambi isn't bullet-proof.

    WHAT? You do understand that some of the most popular hunting guns were derived directly from main battle rifles of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, right?

    I think you're assuming people think things they don't really think. No one I've ever met has told me they think a 7.62x39 will perform like a 7mm Rem Mag or .300 Win Mag or any other magnum rifle round. But you really can only kill a deer SO dead. If you hit what you're aiming at with sufficient energy to penetrate it and cause a decent wound channel, it really doesn't matter how much MORE powerful your cartridge was.

    Outside of 200 yds, sure, use a .270, .30-'06, .300 Win Mag, etc. Inside of 150 or so? An SKS will do the job beautifully.

    Uh, yeah.

    That's grand, but says a lot more about your friends' marksmanship and/or wisdom than about their guns.

    If you're a lously, unethical shot with a 7.62x39, then buying yerself a .800 Remlinchester Ultra Mega Magnum will make you a lousy, unethical shot ... with a bad flinch.

    Wow. Er, more power to you, I guess. But .308 as a minimum? Are we still talking about white-tails? A light-skinned herbivore that averages out at less than the weight of a full-grown man?

    Kind of like saying it takes 400 hp to drive yourself to work.

    That you're blaming guns for the mistakes of hunters.
     
  6. Special_K

    Special_K Member

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    <deleted>

    Use the correct gun for the job. A .223 with the proper bullet and charge behind it will kill bambi. Maybe not at 200 yards but I would feel fine with any range before that.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2011
  7. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think if they used more 1873 Trapdoor Springfield 45-70's in video games, everyone would be shooting them now instead of AR-15's!

    rc
     
  8. RickMD

    RickMD Member

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    You just put a smile on my face, RC.
     
  9. MistWolf

    MistWolf Member

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    Much of the confusion comes from forgetting our roots. What did our great-grandads hunt with? The bolt action rifle they fought World War I with, a military rifle.

    Details, such as finish, magazine capacity, sights etc are just that- Details. None of them make a bullet any more or less deadly for man or beast. Caliber does not separate a hunting arm from a fighting arm. Caliber choice is based on what is needed to get the job done. Do not forget for one moment that there was a time not too long ago, that a hunting rifle was also a fighting rifle. Indeed, the primary job of the rifle was fighting first.

    Do not become confused about magazine capacity. Lever action rifles held far more than the "traditional" 4 rounds of the modern bolt action. Not only did this make the lever action an effective hunting arm, but a superior fighting arm.

    Calling traditionalists "Fudds" could not be further from the truth. The thinking that rifles need to have a "sporting purpose" and that "no one has use for 'military' features" is not traditionalist thinking. In fact, the source of such thinking is recent and comes from those who would rob us of our liberties. Traditionalists have not forgotten our roots and why we own firearms and the role they play in defending our nation, our families and our homes
     
  10. BADUNAME37

    BADUNAME37 Member

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    I have no problem carrying my AR-15 into the woods with a couple of five-round magazines - the size of 10-rounders so they can easily be ejected.

    I have total confidence in the Barnes TSX Solid Copper 62g HP bullets I am using to take black bear and deer out to less than 200 yards.

    I would carry ten-round, 20-round or even 30-round, however it is illegal to have those (greater than 6 rounds plus one in the chamber) even on your person while black bear and deer hunting. No, I cannot say "I store my spare rounds in this 30-round magazine. Well, I COULD, however I would be fined and have to forfeit my license.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  11. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    If you're talking about Title 1 non-automatic rifles, including semiautos, "hunting gun" vs. "military gun" is a false dichotomy. There is no such distinction. Practically all "hunting guns" look like the "military guns" of a few decades prior. That has been the case since militaries first fielded blackpowder muzzleloaders.

    Bolt-actions were the "military guns" of 70-100 years ago. Lever-actions and falling-blocks were the "hunting guns" of 100 years ago.

    Here's a purely military gun (Mauser) that went on to become a favorite of traditionalist hunters, both in military form and in civilianized derivatives (e.g., Winchester Model 70):

    Bundesarchiv_Bild_101I-216-0417-19%2C_Russland%2C_Soldaten_in_Stellung.jpg

    Some of those military-style bolt-actions continued to serve as front-line military weapons for decades after WW2, such as the Winchester Model 70 in Vietnam...


    sniperrifletmacsmall.gif

    and some still do to the present day:

    M24_SWS.jpg


    Going a little further back, here's a "military gun" from 150 years ago:

    Patent_drawing_Henry_Rifle.jpg


    And further still, here's a "military gun" from 200+ years ago:

    800px-Brown_Bess.png


    As far as modern guns go, here is an exclusively civilian gun that has never been issued by any military on this planet (Rock River Arms 16" midlength semiauto carbine):

    [​IMG]

    ...and here is a military gun that has never (to my knowledge) been manufactured for the civilian market, the M1 Garand (much beloved by traditionalists):

    800px-M1_Garand_competition.jpg

    Again, it's a false dichotomy, IMO.
     
  12. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    Springfield Armory (the modern corporation) has made them as recently as 2002 or so, but not currently.
     
  13. benEzra

    benEzra Moderator Emeritus

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    Ah, I didn't realize that. I was only familiar with the M1A civilianized M14's.
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    The interplay of hunting and military arms is much, much older than just 100 years. It's a back-and-forth that dates to the earliest days of gun powder. Rifles, for example, were not military weapons at all for most of their early history. They were for aristocrats to hunt with. The armies of Europe rejected them repeatedly as too slow to load and too expensive. Plus they mounted no bayonet. Eventually of course the military forces adopted the civilian rifle and made it into the military rifle-musket. Then they also adopted civilian repeating arms and made those military weapons. The civilian market in turn adopted the military innovation of smokeless powder, even quicker than some military forces. The civilian market adopted military bolt actions, and the military later adopted them back from the hunters for use as sniper rifles. The military of course adopted the new civilian made ultra-high velocity target and varmint rounds as the inspiration for the 5.56 NATO.

    So I don't think it's as simple as one group following the other. Each category feeds off of the other in a back-and-forth exchange. These days there are a LOT more people shooting AR based hunting rifles out there in the field, and that will probably continue. I have no doubt that innovations in new designs and cartridges from civilian use will continue to spur military changes, and visa versa.

    The laws are a big impediment to this interplay. On the civilian side hunting laws restrict the use of many military-style accessories such as lights and night vision. On the military side, archaic edicts restrict the use of 100 years of bullet design innovations developed for the civilian market.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
  15. Sky

    Sky Member

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    I do Hunt feral pigs at night especially in the cooler months of fall and winter. I typically take 2 30 round mags, something to drink and maybe a snack, along with a night scoped AR-15. The scope and my eyes are only good for about 125 yards. I have shot the 223 Remington match HPBT 4,86G/75GR and several other rounds at pigs. No tracking (unless you call 10 yards tracking) and no unnecessary cruelty to the animals. I have actually come to appreciate their intelligence and am sorry they have become such a nuisance around here. Used to have a Belgian action 30.06 that was a super rifle with great knock down and accuracy. Sold it and have never looked back. The AR with the right ammo and a little common sense and shooting ability will get the job done. The little old lady(if I remember right) in Alaska that kills moose when they get in her summer garden with her AR seems a bit under gunned to me but hey it works for her(moose are not little fellows!).

    It's been said so many times...Know your target (vitals) and shot placement with good ammo is what matters. I have seen cattle and horses killed with a .22lr when I was growing up...shot placement...22lr best round... not hardly but that was all they had at the time; again it worked. Funny how things change. What worked before is totally obsolete when something bigger and better comes out. There are still people hunting with Bow and Arrow and are quite successful. Will the 223 do the same thing a 30.06 will do, nope, will it do enough, yep, with a little common sense and knowledge.
     
  16. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    Depends on the hunt. I am not taking a 7.62x39 to my cousins place in Wyo to shoot antelope :( I'm not taking an M1A squirrel hunting. I'm not likely to tote a 5 round mag AR deer hunting (Calif limit on mag in some areas). What are you hunting?
     
  17. Sky

    Sky Member

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    Yes don't take a .50 cal to a dove hunt if you expect to eat a dove!
     
  18. aka108

    aka108 Member

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    I enjoy shooting sporting arms as well as military arms both old and new. What I don't like is to see some guy come to the range that has a AR with rails all around it and every conceivable contraption hung on it, dressed in cammys, topped off with a beret and wearing black combat boots and tipping the scales at 300+ pounds. I wonder what sort of statement this person is making.
     
  19. okiewita40

    okiewita40 Member

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    Personally I can care less what anyone else carries to the woods and the range. As long as they are being legal, safe and ethical. Since where I hunt deer I would be lucky if a shot was more than 30 yards I will continue to take my sks and shoot deer with it. Would I be more of a hunter if I used a 30-30. I don't think so. I was taught to use what you had on hand and make it work.

    If you have more and better tools good for you. Please don't look down on what others choose. As the entire military/sporting class of weapons just give the anti gun crowd something to pick on us with. Just enjoy the shooting sports in the way that you see fit.
     
  20. ripp

    ripp member

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    millions of deer have fallen to loads a lot less effective than the 223 (using a proper softpoint, like the Nosler Partition) To include the 44-40 lever action, 45 Caliber muzzleloaders, .30 carbines, 357 pistols, you know. Many deer weigh less than 100 lbs, so a 30-06 is seriously overdoing it, unless you are shooting the north end of a southbound deer, which only a jerk would do.
     
  21. JerryM

    JerryM Member

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    If you consider the .243 a kids gun and that you might have to chase a deer after shooting, then I must conclude you have never used one. Or you cannot shoot well enough to hit the lung area.

    I have owned one since shortly after it was introduced, and my first serious rifle was a M70 pre 64 FWT in .243. I have not personally killed 20 or 30 deer with it, and probably closer to a dozen. However, also using other rifles like the .300 Wby, 7MM Rem Mag, and .270 I have had as many in the tracks one shot kills with the .243 as with the others.

    I had good friend who probably killed 50 or so deer with the .243, and never had any reason to change.

    Les Bowman, gun writer and hunting guide in the 60s until ?, once wrote that he saw more one shot kills on deer with the .243 and 6mm Rem than nearly any other rifle. The reason was that the hunters shot them better due to lack of recoil and that the bullets were designed for deer size game.

    Regards,
    Jerry
     
  22. Kliegl

    Kliegl member

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    Good thread, so far. Interesting to see diverse views. Some people could be a leeeetle less judgmental, but it's all good for the moment.

    To respond to the last three, Okie, I don't judge people's choices, rather I posted some commonly held attitudes. Ripp, a 100 lb deer is little here, so an ought six is not overkill, and Jerry, not only do I own a .243, but I'm a good shot with it.
     
  23. Picher

    Picher Member

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    I've had my fun with military guns over the years, but find them lacking in the hunting fields and woods, not particularly because of caliber, but in sighting systems.

    The ideal deer rifle in the US is a high-powered bolt-action, pump, lever-action, or semi-auto in a more powerful cartridge that has adequate energy and velocity to kill a deer with one shot out to 300 yards. Beyond that, the modern hunting rifle will be scoped with a 3-9x scope that will see brown animals against a dark background in dim light. The higher power is helpful to spot antlers, when necessary to be worn on the quarry, either by law or desire of the hunter. Also, scopes make it possible to spot branches between the deer and hunter in the same dim forest light.

    It's nice to have a few rounds in the hunting gun, just in case a tree is hit, etc., but after the first shot, chances of a killing shot diminish exponentially. I've killed as many deer as I've wanted in the past 40 years, but very few weren't downed by the first shot. Sure some shots missed, but second shots are extremely difficult because animals don't usually stick around when you shoot at them.

    Contrast that to combat or range situations when there are either inanimate targets or people at close range seeking to do YOU harm. Spray and pray is the order of the day under close combat conditions. Over-penetration is a concern...perhaps not the primary, but high round capacity is comforting, whether needed or not.

    Make mine hunting or target guns. It may be a bit easier to talk my way out of conviction if I need to kill someone in self-defense with a bolt or other sporting gun than if I use a full-blown "assault rifle" with laser, attached flashlight, etc. I hope I never need to do so, however.
     
  24. DammitBoy

    DammitBoy Member

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    Maybe it has to do with the judgemental tone of your original post? Fudd's, ignorance, child's round?

    Hunting rifle's are the last decades military rifles. Hunt with what you want to hunt with and stop labeling other people's choices.
     
  25. Eb1

    Eb1 Member

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    They are all military rifles. As hunters we make the largest army in the world.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2011
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