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Rifle for a small woman?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by nobody_special, Feb 27, 2007.

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  1. nobody_special

    nobody_special member

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    Any suggestions for a rifle which is manageable and easy-recoiling for someone who is 5'1" and I'd guess not much over 100 pounds? It has to be CA-legal, and semi-auto is strongly preferred.

    My first thought was to recommend a late-model mini-14 or mini-30. However, she's planning to move to northern CA, which is black bear country. I'm not sure that a mini would be sufficient to discourage or stop a marauding bear.

    Are there any better options?
     
  2. Car Knocker

    Car Knocker Member

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    A rifle with a short length of pull, relatively lightweight, light recoil, semi-auto, and powerful enough to handle an attacking bear. AND has to be CA-legal. That's a tough order.

    Tell us more about the lady: is she familiar with long guns and confortable around them? Will she practice with whatever she gets? Is she capable of and willing to maintain it? What would the usage be besides bear defense? Would a 20-gauge, youth-model, semi-auto shotgun loaded with slugs be acceptable?
     
  3. chipp

    chipp Member

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    rifle

    Its not a semi. And don't know the laws in Cal. But I'm guessing this would be legal.
    .357/ 38 levergun. I have a rossi snd to me a .38 doesn't have much more recoil than a 22.
    If she wants to step it up they make a .357 cartridge with a 200 grain bullet.
    They claim its adequate for bear.
    Its alot of fun to shoot and With some practice could get very quick with it.
     
  4. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    I was just at my local gun store drooling over the Marlin 1894 in both .357 and .44 Mag. What a nice balanced gun. Light and pointed really well. I can see what all the raves are about. I have shot similar carbines with full house .44 mags and the recoil was not heavy at all. I can only imagine how pleasant the .357 would be. .38's are a plinking option as well. I think the .357 from the carbine would be a fine gun for bear defense. Ultimately let her pick them up and tell you what feels good to her. I am thinking about going back and buying the .357 myself to save for the kids, of course I will have to break it in and try it out first. Bill

    Edit: For the record Chipp won the drag race, coke is on me. Bill
     
  5. nobody_special

    nobody_special member

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    She is not familiar with firearms -- has been out shooting two or three times with friends. She will have to learn the gun of course, and she knows someone locally who will help her learn with a (borrowed) 22 rifle.

    Will she practice? Probably some, but not as often as most people at THR. She is able to maintain it, though probably a stainless model would be best. :rolleyes:

    The purpose is defense; I'm pretty sure she has no interest in hunting. In that part of the country, there are bear, mountain lion, and of course as we all know, the most dangerous critters of all are the evil-minded 2-legged sort.

    A shotgun... hm, hadn't thought of that. I'm not really familiar with shotguns myself.

    I'm a bit surprised at the suggestions of pistol-caliber carbines; are they really suitable?
     
  6. hm2 clark

    hm2 clark Member

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    Well... I guess your looking for a holy grail. The closest rifle that meets all your requirements would be a Mini 30 modified by Accuracy Systems to the 6.5 Grendel or the 6.8 SPC. The Grendel would probably penetrate bear better. Probably cost about 1200 dollars. A cheaper alternative would be to use a lever action. I think a 30 30 would do just fine.
     
  7. wcwhitey

    wcwhitey Member

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    The advantages of a .38/357 or .44 lever action are:
    - Price and availability of ammo
    - Ballistically the handgun rounds benefit from the longer barrels and will out produce their handgun counterparts
    - Relative light recoil (if used with .38 Special very light recoil, easy practice)
    - Good balance, easy manual of arms and very accurate with the right loads.
    - Size, fairly small and compact
    - Very Politically Correct gun, hell John Wayne used a lever action (I would not have even brought this up if you were not from **********).

    A Mini-14 can be a good gun as well, the downsides that I see are:
    - More complicated for a new shooter
    - Very light bullet, not a very effective bear stopper
    - Not as PC

    One point about caliber choice, others may disagree: The .38/.357 combo would be perfect for the situation you mentioned. Like I mentioned the .38 is very light recoiling and would be a very effective round for home defense and small critters. For the bigger critters the .357 out of the carbine should be very effective using solid bullets like SWC's or Flat Nose. 180 Gr cast in the flat nose bullets would be adequate for bears. If she can handle the somewhat heavier recoil of the .44 Magnum that would be my first choice. There would be no doubt about enough power for any of the critters mentioned. For HD .44 Special can be used and would do nicely. Bil
     
  8. chipp

    chipp Member

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  9. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Until you mentioned black bears, I was thinking an M1 Carbine would be just the thing.
     
  10. 000Buck

    000Buck Member

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    Like others have said, a lever action 44mag is very light recoiling even with powerful loads. Ive got a Marlin in 44mag and it is a very easy shooting gun.
     
  11. scrat

    scrat Member

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    small woman that wants to shoot. i would recomend a marlin 60 or ruger 22 fun, easy to shoot, no kick, and both very accurate
     
  12. 10-Ring

    10-Ring Member

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    I would think a lever action rifle in 45 LC, an AR in 6.8 spc or maybe a Ruger Mini 30. In this case, I would look at a lever action rifle in the caliber of her choice ;)
     
  13. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    I've got a 700 Remington in .270Win. Does she cook well?
















    :evil:
     
  14. scrat

    scrat Member

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    i saw this guy and girl at the range a few weeks ago. the guy was close to 6' the girl was around 5-5'3". He had a 7mm remington mag. He fired a few rounds from it. THen she took it. Looking at her i thought "thats stupid"

    Boomm as soon as she pulled the trigger it hit her hard. she looked like she was almost going to fall down. Any how that was the last time she fired that. Felt bad for her. he should have known better than to let her fire that weapon. she was too small and thin in statue.
     
  15. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    Are M1 carbines CA legal?

    That would be a great choice.
     
  16. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    My first thought was "what does she like", but then I read the part about her being a beginner.

    For bear, cats, and two-legged miscreants, I'm leaning towards advising the Marlin 1894. .44magnum or .357magnum either one will do with the right ammo, plus she can load light and plink with it. Same goes for a .30-30 levergun with 170gr Remington or Winchester ammo, but I'd bet she's not into handloading yet to get the LFP-GC loads.

    Stocks can be shortened to fit her length of pull. Felt recoil depends on two things- L.O.P./stock fit and mental state. Part of the mental deal is dealing with muzzle blast magnifies your perception of the kick. BTDT and got over it by using ear plugs.

    Semi-autos are thinking people's guns and too many ain't heavy enough to qualify for bear and cats. M1 Garand, which is still California legal, is more than enough gun for the problem, but too big and heavy for someone the OP lady's size. Uness she wants to try an SKS, but 7.62x39 still ain't heavy enough IMO.
     
  17. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    Take her to a gunshop and see what she likes.

    Girls usually have a blast with my AR-15. Size isnt an issue, because of the collapsable stock, and .223 Rem doesnt have much kick.

    However .223 Rem probably wont take down a bear... unless you empty a 30-round mag into them.

    Marlin 336 in .30-30 Win might be a good choice.
     
  18. Oleg Volk

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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    "Shorty" Garand?
     
  19. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Submachine gun in 10mm... except for the laws that make women's guns like the MP5 available only to the privileged.
     
  20. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Oleg Volk:
    Yeah, come to think of it, while a T-26 build may be on the heavy side, it could work. Especially if it had an adjustable gas nut so it could handle a wider range of ammo. Or if a T-26 weren't an option, maybe one of those woodless Dane rack grades dropped into a Ramline stock... I'm sure that'd lighten it up some.

    Ummm, yeah, my point exactly. I wouldn't bet on dumping a 30rd mag into a bear stopping him fast enough.
     
  21. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    Yeah I know. I was a joking... I guess sarcasm doesnt convey well on the internet. :D
     
  22. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    My grandfather was about that size and weight when he was using a Lee Enfield back in national service and so was alot of others in his unit. Sometimes I think the problem is we underestimate women because of the smaller frame but many men have been using much more stout firing firearms and were that size.
     
  23. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    Grant48, I know what you mean. I guess between the inability to inject tone and the life-and-death gravity of the matter, too, it makes it even harder to pick up on. I'm not aiming this observation at anybody, but in my case, I had to learn to be a lot careful about my choice of words on here since nobody can hear me talk.
     
  24. Frog48

    Frog48 Member

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    If she's small statured, dont rule out the possibility of a youth model 12 ga. shotgun.

    12 ga. buckshot or slugs will drop a Black Bear. They're alot smaller than Grizzly Bears.

    Actually, Black Bears are usually pretty leary, or downright scared, of humans. I've been fishing in remote areas of Minnesota and Canada, and I've encountered several Black Bears. Usually if you make some noise (yell, bang metal, blow air horn, etc) they'll run off.
     
  25. Colt46

    Colt46 Member

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    Lever action

    1892 Winchester reproductions are inexpensive, accurate, easy to use and pack a fair amount of punch out to 100 yds. They are also easy to carry and fit just about anywhere.
     
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