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The Rifle We Should All be Looking for?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by earlthegoat2, Mar 6, 2011.

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  1. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Another thread here got me to thinking about what would be the "ideal" rifle. I know there is no such thing. But lets put out some hypothetical parameters that will still leave plenty of room for discussion.

    Lets start off with putting ourselves in a position where if we dont shoot enough game animals during hunting season then we may find ourselves starving come June. Since we base our survival on out hunting rifle it must be accurate past 300 yds and very reliable.

    Optics are a practical must and should be as high of quality as can be afforded but quite honestly should not cost more than 100 dollars. The rifle/scope has to be rugged. You might need to use the rifle as a crutch to make it back home if you twist your ankle.

    A lot of these parameters seem mutually exclusive like a rugged and precise scope for 100 dollars but you can buy used and even vintage fixed power scopes are precise and rugged.

    So what rifle and scope combo would be suitable for such a person and while you are lost in thought over this maybe try to ponder your next rifle scope purchase with this in mind.

    Aside from the budget should we not all try to look for the most rugged and dependable rifle and scope that is out there and just be gone with all the marketing and hype that does nothing to sell quality products?
     
  2. Tirod

    Tirod Member

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    The "requirement" for a 300 + yard gun, and of course, good optics to go with it, isn't reality for a lot of woodland hunters. In fact, the lever .30-30 won't do it - but it has been and remains one of the top guns for the last century doing exactly what is specified. And millions of hunters use them, significantly with no scope at all.

    One the other hand, the extra range is desirable, just as many go for the 300+ with an optic. An AR15 with rail top in 6.8SPC will do it, too. Just add optic, I can use iron sights, a 2X Beeman on a riser, or my 1gen Aimpoint. I'd prefer to use a Lucid red dot. The $100 limit for an optic isn't unreasonable, a Millet SP at $70 meets it - and then you add another $125+ in a riser and rings. So, $180 for the Lucid is easily justified, it comes with integral mount.

    The requirements are pretty open, my old Remington 700 in .30-06 and an adapter could also shoot .308 and still get the job done. A sureshot gamegetter is precisely what has been marketed in a hundred calibers for over one hundred years.
     
  3. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Why the dollar limit on a scope? Hey, go pick up beer cans along the highway; have you priced aluminum, lately? Or mow lawns on weekends or something...

    If you're depending on legal hunt-season meat as your sole source, the particular rifle is much less important than your hunting skill. But two MOA is plenty good for deer or elk to 300 yards--remembering that a very high percentage of all such game is killed within a couple of hundred yards.

    Since the first shot is what counts, group size is pretty much irrelevant. Consistency in having the first shot go to the intended point of impact is what matters--and even the Mini-14 will do that. (An example, not a recommendation of the Mini.)

    Few bolt-actions are NOT rugged.

    Skipping the cost issue, since that shouldn't be a problem for a competent person, I'd take a 24" skinny-barrelled '06. Preferably a lightweight receiver like Remington's Ti version, but you can remove a fair amount of metal from a standard receiver. As light a stock as I can figure out, but with as soft a butt pad as is on the market. Scope? Probably a Weaver K4, since that's plenty of magnification for deer or elk to 500 yards.

    And five grains weight of pistol powder and a round lead ball makes an '06 a squirrel rifle. :D
     
  4. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I prefer a bolt '06 for a meat gun also. Older Weaver scopes are decent, but I've gone over to Leupolds. I also don't know why the dollar limit on glass, but I'd rather sell other things, incuding less used guns to get good glass. A handfull of very good guns beats a closet full of clunkers or unused guns.

    My tastes are towards sporterized 1903 Springfields, commercial mausers, and older Ruger M-77's for actions.

    I second the round ball or cast loads for small game and grouse shooting and practice. Makes a high power rifle into an excellent all around gun.
     
  5. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    The dollar limit on scopes is because you are poor. Plain and simple. Granted this is not a realistic scenario in this day and age but I wanted to mimic the mountain men of the old days with nowadays technology. Maybe I should have stated that the only income you receive is from arts and crafts or organic farming or selling beaver pelts or something like that.

    The truth really is someone in this situation would not care about hunting seasons and just shoot animals as they were needed maybe even utilizing bait near the home. Dont try to interpret this as "off the grid" living but that would most likely be the case.

    The purpose of this thread is actually to get opinions on what rifle would you use if your life depended on hunting for survival. Only pure facts here. No marketing BS. This is a working rifle that if it starts pretty it will become ugly soon. The budgetary constraints are in place because that is an everyday reality for everyone. These extreme budgetary restraints are in place becasue I people tend to overthink hunting rifles a little and get too caught up in marketing and buying into gimmicks when what was needed for the job has been around for ages and can be had on the used market for fractions of the new price.

    The rifle does not have to be a "versatile" caliber necissarily. It just has to put meat on the table in the limitless conditions of the wild outdoors. It does not have to be able to take animals from squirells up to moose but if that is your need then the caliber will have to be suited towards that end. A Lee Loader for your caliber could definitely make your rifle more versatile. Handloading is a popular hobby of poor country folk so that can be a factor in your choice.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  6. jerkface11

    jerkface11 Member

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    If my life depended on hunting I'd spend more than $100 on a scope. That or not use one.
     
  7. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    True about used being good deals in most cases. I'd suggest that the model of the mountain men may not the what you're looking for. Many probably did use cheaper guns, but most wanted the best rifle they could get, as their life depended on it.

    For cheap hunting rifles, most would buy whats available from a pawn shop or from the used rack at a gun shop, and many already have scopes, tho most seem to be cheaper scopes. In my estimation, those are the better places to find things I like anyway, but I still have preference for high quality. I don't mind some "character" on my guns,and the ones I use much develop some character. High quality guns with finish wear and dings in the stock can be pretty affordable. Not too long ago there was a worn but mechanically good Ruger 77 tang safety rifle in 270 cal that the pawn shop wanted $325 for. A good used Weaver or Leupold would make up a good working rig that would last a lifetime.

    For many of us, the question is working downwards to that gun, not working upwards from no gun, so the answers may be different. As I mentioned, if going light, I'd sell things to get the best gun and glass I could, tho I already have those bases covered.

    There's many people that depend on game meat, and they observe the seasons. It doesnt take a fortune to hunt, it can be done affordably. Using the rifle for small game makes it much more useful also.

    Many think of gimmick things with "survival" in the name of the gun. To me, most 'survival" guns are something that lives under the seat of an airplane and is used in event of going down somewhere, not something i'd prefer to count on. Regular, high quality hunting arms are far more practical for feeding yourself than anything I've ever seen thats called "survival" anything. I wanted to mention that, since once the term "survival" is mentioned, all the "survival" guns seem to be mentioned, as if they were actually good hunting choices. They aren't in my experience, they're last ditch guns for use by people that arent gun people for the most part.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2011
  8. bannockburn

    bannockburn Member

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    Well if I were going to be a modern day "Mountain Man", and had to depend on my hunting rifle and scope for putting meat on the table, and as a source of income (fur pelts), I certainly wouldn't go the low buck route with either the rifle or the glass. For me it would probably mean a Remington bolt action in 30.06 along with a quality scope, like a Mueller 2x7 Multi-Shot ($170). This should do quite nicely for most hunting situations where I live.

    If times were really that bad in terms of personal finances, I would probably just make do with my 10/22 and its Weaver K2.5 scope; along with a large stockpile of CCI MiniMags.
     
  9. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I dont mean "survival" as in stranded out in the woods, I mean it as it being your only means of eating.
     
  10. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I understand how you meant the word, but mentioning the word seems to draw out everyone that thinks any gun with the word "survival" in it MUST be the perfect gun to feed yourself with.

    If it's your means of feeding yourself, I feel a high quality hunting gun, or even a target quality 22 pistol is head and shoulders above any "survival" gun I've ever seen or used.
     
  11. cal74

    cal74 Member

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    Box stock probably one of the most durable rifles out there would be a Ruger MK II stainless with the old boat paddle stocks.

    Polished stainless finish is one of the most impervious finished out there on a factory rifle, not much you could ever do to the stock to hurt it and a very very solid action.

    Pick one up in 30-06 and you could probably scrounge up a few shells in about every location you ever ran across.

    Cheap scope? Fine an older fixed power Leupold 4x and be done with it all.


    PLUS- If you ever found yourself needing a paddle, you'd have something to use.
     
  12. HM2PAC

    HM2PAC Member

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    If things were that tight, I think I would be very happy with my gardening skills.
     
  13. Hoth206

    Hoth206 Member

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    My take:

    Savage Package Gun in .30-06
    Weaver or Nikon 4x fixed scope
    Sight in with the package scope, take it off and keep it as backup
    Sight in with the 4x with some decent quality (Rem. Core-Lokt) 150 gr. ammo
    Throw on an inexpensive nylon sling and ammo cuff

    Go forth and slay critters as needed.

    For this type of thing, I think the savage's modular design is more appealing than remington/mauser. You can literally take two hex keys and completely disassemble the whole action for small parts replacement and repair (older ones use a flat bladed screwdriver). Add a barrel wrench (or if you're not concerned about looks even a pipe wrench would work in a pinch) and you can rebarrel as needed.
     
  14. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer member

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    I'd visit the local pawn and gun shops with $250 in my pocket and look at the used bolt rifles on the shelf in the most common calibers. Specifically, I'd be looking for .308 and 30.06, but a lot of times the oddball calibers will be the best buy, so... if I saw a .25-06 (or whatever) at a better price, I wouldn't hesitate.

    With scopes - same deal. I'd look for a used low end variable (1x5 or 2X6 perhaps) or even a fixed power 4X by a GOOD MAKER, and snap it up. Leupold, Burris and some other makes have lifetime warranties, so if you can buy even a used beater you can mail it back and have it rebuilt as new.

    With all that said, the "ideal" rifle would be a .308 in a short action (not a .308 stuffed in a standard length action), with a 1X5 Burris. It's just that if money is that tight, there are plenty of compromises that will leave you with a good rifle/scope combo.
     
  15. ColtPythonElite

    ColtPythonElite Member

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    In my part of the country, I could do everything I needed to do to put food on the table with a lever .30-30. I could do it without a scope, but would prefer one if it was available. I'm sure I could find a 100 buck scope that would do the job.....I don't own a 30-30, either. However, I have often said I wish I had just bought a K-Mart special 30 years ago for a hunting rifle. It probably wouldn't hurt as much watching the knicks and scratches accumulate. It certainly wouldn't hurt as much when the gun got dropped out of a tree stand, which I have done.
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    As Townsend Whelen was wont to say, "The .30-06 is never a mistake."

    You'll shoot more game under 100 yards than you will at 300 yards -- so I wouldn't worry about long range shooting. In a survival situation, you will learn to hunt or starve. And you will quickly learn not to waste ammunition by shooting at longer ranges.

    A good survival rifle might be a .30-30 with a peep sight, an M1903A3 Springfield, or my pre-64 Model 70 which has a Redfield peep sight snuggled up against the rear sight base, just in case.
     
  17. Balrog

    Balrog Member

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    I think the premise of the discussion is a little bit silly. If hunting is what keeps us from starving, I assure you that no one is going to pay attention to hunting seasons. If you are out of meat in June, you shoot something, it doesnt matter about the season in a survival scenario.

    Also, 300 yds is an irrelevant number. If I am starving, then I am going to bait whatever I am trying to kill, and shoot it at close range. The people who settled the West in the early 1800's survived to a large degree by hunting, and they weren't doing it at 300 yd ranges followin sporting rules.

    A 22 LR or 22 Mag would probably give you more versatility than a 30-06, if you are hunting to survive.
     
  18. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    I suppose the 300 yd requirement was a miscalcualtion on my part. It was intended more as a way of showing how desperate things could be that you needed to make such a shot.

    I addressed this post #5.
     
  19. Redneck with a 40

    Redneck with a 40 Member

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    A good 30-06 bolt action and I wouldn't skimp on the scope, Burris FFII. Ruger, Savage, Tikka, Remington, can't go wrong with any of'em.
     
  20. CowboyTim

    CowboyTim Member

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    Save a little money on the gun, get a stevens 200, I like .270 but 30/06; .308; 7-08 would all be just fine. Take the money you saved on the rifle and put a Redfield 3-9X40 on it for $150.
     
  21. True Grit

    True Grit Member

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    I'll take my papaws 1917 Enfield 30-06 hand me down. Don't need the scope, I'll stick to the flip up vernier sights marked up to 1600 yards. One shot one kill = ]
     
  22. fireman 9731

    fireman 9731 Member

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    The New Ruger Gunsight Scout rifle came to mind pretty quick here. Top it off with a long eye relief 4 power scope and you would have a pretty handy, useful rifle.

    If there were better ways to scope Mosins and Mausers, I'd take one of them. If a scope isn't a requirement, I wouldn't mind having a decent Mosin or Mauser with irons.

    Finally my H&R Buffalo Classic in 45-70 would be pretty useful too. Cheap reloading and a rear ladder sight makes easy dinner at 300yds.
     
  23. Steel Talon

    Steel Talon Member

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    The only scopes I buy now that fit my budget are Mueller Scopes whole lotta scope for a decent price.

    The caliber choice for me would be the 25-06 or the 25-06 improved
    My bullet choice would be 115g Nosler Partition

    Bolt action rifle and I'm pretty well set...
     
  24. K-Rod

    K-Rod Member

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    In a "kill for meat to survive" situation I second a good .22lr or .22mag. Cheap ammo, ammo easy to carry (1000rds in the deep front pockets of a pair Carharts is easy), good shot placement at 50yrds will drop a deer, perfect for small game & probably most important, a lot quieter than a 30.06 etc.
     
  25. Malamute

    Malamute Member

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    I'm curious how many of those prefering iron sights and claiming ability to kill game at distance have actually made one shot kills with iron sights past 200 yards (even past 100 yards?). Real life, on game not a black bullseye, in field conditions not on a comfortable range with shooting bench or pad, unknown ranges, with the variable of poor light as is common in the morning or evening when game is moving.

    I've shot rocks and steel plates to 600 yards and beyond with various iron sights, including with a 1917 among others. Hitting in the field with irons isnt nearly as easy or consistant as with glass. Guys can shoot very well on targets with irons at ridiculess ranges, but targets arent basically camoflaged, and/or moving through brush, trees, bad light etc like living game animals are.

    Not saying it can't be done, just wondering if any of those have actually done it. I can hit the 600 yard plate with irons pretty consistanly in decent light, but I can hit it much more regularly with glass under the best of conditions, and I can make a shot with glass when I can't even see the target without the glass.

    If I'm looking for meat, I want the best chances of making it. 300 yards with a decent scoped rifle is pretty simple.
     
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