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Lower 48 Pilot's Rifle

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by CmdrSlander, Jun 29, 2013.

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  1. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    So, many of us are probably familiar with the Wild West Guns "Alaskan Copilot" - a .45-70, takedown Marlin lever action intended for bush pilots. In the lower 48, .45-70 is probably a bit much, and the "Copilot" isn't exactly cheap. So what would be a good pilot's survival rifle for those flying in the lower 48? It should be legal in all lower 48 states (so most semi-autos are out :banghead:) and in a caliber capable (though not necessarily ideal for this purpose) of defending against larger game but taking small game for sustenance. It should be relatively compact, though not necessarily a takedown rifle.

    Also, before someone points out how quickly help would arrive in most places in the lower 48, let me concede that you're mostly right. However, there are plenty of truly wild and desolate places in the lower 48 where help could be long in coming. Recently a pilot and his family died after surviving a crash in the wilderness near a major city in Colorado because nobody saw it happen and it happened very fast. With no preparations (to include weaponry, but also, and more importantly in this case, a compass or ground nav. suitable gps and/or maps) or ability to navigate, any wilderness, even a fairly tame one can be a deathtrap.
     
  2. Coyote3855

    Coyote3855 Member

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    Winchester Trapper in .30-30 or .44 Magnum. 16" barrel. Either one will take about anything in the lower 48. Or if you're not committed on a rifle, any good 12 ga. pump shotgun with an 18" barrel. Slugs or buckshot for large animal defense. Birdshot for small game. As you suggest in your post, other things are probably more important than weaponry in most places - water, food, GPS, maps, extra clothes, medical grade first aid kit, sleeping bag, shelter. Most important of all, some knowledge of wilderness survival skills and a good mind set.
     
  3. Goblin

    Goblin Member

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    I would chk and see if someone makes a .22-30/30 ou survival rifle.
     
  4. thunder173

    thunder173 Member

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    the new Savage Model 42, a .22 LR over .410 shotgun would probably fill the bill, or an older Model 24 Combination Gun. A ..22 LR Barrel over a 20 gauge would be a great choice.
     
  5. Gtscotty

    Gtscotty Member

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    I think a lever gun or bolt gun in .22 mag would be a pretty ideal lower 48 pilot's rifle.
     
  6. Jackal

    Jackal Member

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    Cant do much better than a 12ga pump.
     
  7. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

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    For defense as well as survival, the 12 pump seems to be a better choice. from small game, to birds, to defense against two or legged critters, it is hard to beat
     
  8. shafter

    shafter Member

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    A take down 10/22 would be my choice but I wouldn't bother with a rifle when I could just pack emergency food instead.
     
  9. OleReb

    OleReb Member

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    12g pump would be my choice,i'm not a pilot but I used to spend a lot of time in very remote places for work and if I only took one firearm it was my 870,i worked in some very anti gun states so the 870 was great since it was legal anywhere I went and powerful enough for anything I might run into,2 legged or 4.
     
  10. LUCKYDAWG13

    LUCKYDAWG13 Member

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    im not a pilot but i would pick a 12ga pump
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    A Ruger 10/22 Takedown in it's case with 100 rounds of ammo + 6 BIC lighters for starting a signal fire would be my choice.

    Save the excess weight of shotguns and shotgun shells in the aircraft.
    And apply it to bottled water, shelter, fire starting equipment, and first aid supplies.

    If you crash in the mountains, being eaten by a bear or cougar is the very least, least of your worries.

    A .22 might get you a partridge or rabbit to eat while you are suffering from injury, cold, and thirst.
    If not, you can shoot pine cones with it to pass the time until you die of hypothermia!!

    rc
     
  12. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Member

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    Big fan of a shotgun for an all around survival situation. Lower 48 I would do a 20ga instead of a 12. 20ga slugs are enough to take down anything in the lower 48 (predator or prey) out to 50-75yards or there abouts, and then game loads for smaller critters. A 20ga is a little lighter, and add in a top folder stock and it won't take up to much room.

    Would also mention that the average person hunting with a .22 on small game misses a lot. A shotgun gives you a much better margin for error.....
     
  13. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    For you non-pilots there are a couple other things that we pilots must consider. WEIGHT and SPACE. .....

    .AND in some cases down in the lower 48 states, concealment of the fact you have a firearm while loading and unloading the plane may be a big factor.


    A survival firearm is just that, for survival, generally it is not an ideal hunting firearm.... In such a case it does not really matter how legal the action or cartridge might be for a particular state.

    IF THERE IS SOMEBODY CLOSE ENOUGH TO ARREST YOU BECAUSE YOU HAVE A CENTER FIRE CARTRIDGE OR SEMI AUTO ACTION, THEY ARE ALSO CLOSE ENOUGH TO GIVE YOU A RIDE INTO TOWN.

    While an Remington 870 or 1100 shot gun with an assortment of slugs, 000 buck and bird shot are hard to beat. They do not lend themselves to the weight and space consideration. Plus the ammo is heavy and space consuming. You can carry 5 or 6 freeze dried meals which will weigh less than a box of 12 gauge birdshot.

    The same can be said for many lever guns. (which by the way have more parts than almost any other action and they usually take tools to disassemble. )

    I have a little marlin Papoose 22 that I modified. It works fine out to 50 yards on small edible critters.


    For self defense, even here in Alaska you are in more danger from two legged a-holes/weirdoes than you are from a grizzly or black bear. As a result I stopped carrying my 44 magnum revolver and started carrying a Glock 20 10mm with 200 grain FMJ warm hand-loads. (1,200 fps) along with a couple magazines it is easy to hide in a flight bag.

    Granted, during active hunting seasons I will carry a regular lightweight bolt action rifle in the plane.


    IF, you can find a Savage model 24C (camp) take-down over-under in 20 gauge /30-30 you will be a happy camper.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2013
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    There ya go!!

    That was what I was trying to say in post #11.

    Small airplanes can't haul around as much shotgun shells as .22 shells, and still do the work they are intended for, without crashing more often from high wing loading!!

    And there are many more items worth trading the weight for in order to survive after a crash then worrying about the harmless wildlife that isn't going to eat you!!

    rc
     
  15. Float Pilot

    Float Pilot Member

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    My plan is to shoot some sort of protected critter so the Moose and Goose cop will jump out of the bushes and take me to a nice warm jail.

    By the way, that little Marlin 22 will zap a bunny in the head at 50 yards. At 25 yards it shoots groups smaller than a human eyeball.
     
  16. VA27

    VA27 Member

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    I've always thought that a nice M1 Carbine in a paratrooper stock would be a handy thing. It is. Light, compact, easy to shoot, not scary looking and with softpoint ammo, powerful enough.
     
  17. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Float Pilot said:
    We have two options here.
    1. You really live in the Florida keys, and have never been to Alaska?
    2. You really are an Alaskan bush pilot, and really do know what it really takes to survive a light aircraft crash in the bush.

    I'm going with #2!!

    I am neither #1 or #2, but I do know light weight heat, shelter, first aid, and water would ride in my little airplane before I even considered bringing along a bear shotgun or rifle & heavy ammo for protection.

    rc
     
  18. back40

    back40 Member

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    float pilot...love the mag lanyard! great idea!
     
  19. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    What do you fly, Floatpilot? (a float plane obviously, but what make/model/year)?

    I'm getting my primary instruction in a 172, and I want to buy a nice old PA22 Tri-Pacer when I'm done. I have an attraction to the venerated and venerable Super Cub but because of their classic status, they tend to be pretty expensive for what they are. Since most of my flights (when I have my plane) will probably not be anywhere near the weight limit (I'll be flying myself and maybe one other person and not much luggage/cargo, on shorter flights that don't require full tanks), I wouldn't be adverse to putting something like this in the back seat.

    EDIT: I looked at your facebook page, I see Super Cubs and I see that you're a tail wheel instructor... I might have to visit you to get my TW endorsement :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  20. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    My plane survival gear is exactly the same as my sheep hunt gear[including food.] The only thing I add is a Browning challenger .22.
     
  21. juk

    juk Member

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    If I were forced down in a truly desolate place and I considered it an emergency, I would flip the ELT on and camp by the aircraft. We had a new kid at work that dropped an armed ELT off of a table. 10 minutes later, we get a call from the FAA saying that Russia called and wanted them to know that they were picking up a ELT signal at our coordinates and asked that we make it stop. LOL!

    Anyway, assuming that the ELT is inop or out of the question, I wouldn't mind having a 10/22 takedown with a few hundred rounds of assorted ammo.
     
  22. Bushpilot

    Bushpilot Member

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    While staying with the plane is generally considered a good idea, I’d never assume that help would necessarily be quick to arrive following a crash in the lower 48, even in relatively populated areas. Some plane crashes in the lower 48 are not found for days, weeks, months or even years. Steve Fossett’s plane was missing in Nevada for 1 year. A Lear jet that crashed in New Hampshire was missing for 3 years.

    10 or 15 years ago, another pilot and I discovered a crash site in well populated farm country. The plane had been missing for 5 days. The ELT battery was so weak by that time that the signal could only be received for ½ mile in any direction. Both occupants had survived the initial crash but one died after the first day. The plane crashed into a small woods at night while flying VFR, and was not in contact with ATC at the time of the crash.

    As far as a survival gun is concerned, I have a Super Comanche 45LC/410 single shot pistol that I think is ideal for the purpose. In locations where possessing a handgun is an issue a single shot 20 ga shotgun makes a very good choice. I would go with the smallest, lightest, break down, single shot that I could find. If you choose a 12 ga you could use it as a flare gun as well....
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2013
  23. BSA1

    BSA1 Member

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    Even though I have a wide variety of firearms to choose from the most used gun on my farm is a H&R single shot 12 ga. shotgun. It is lightweight, very simple to operate and arguably has the most rugged and reliable action. It can be disassembled in two pieces for storage and the barrel length could even be cut back for more size and weight savings. A mix of shotshells, say for example a few slugs for big game such as deer, #6's for upland birds and waterfowl and birdshot for small game would just about cover every situation.
     
  24. Furncliff

    Furncliff Member

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  25. CmdrSlander

    CmdrSlander Member

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    I've been told these are jam-o-matics.
     
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