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Thinking of a "trunk rifle," suggestions?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by the naked prophet, Jun 12, 2007.

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  1. the naked prophet

    the naked prophet Member

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    The wife and I are considering putting a rifle in our trunks as a final element to add to our "trunk kits" which contain food, first aid kit, basic survival tools (rope, hatchet, tarp) etc. This rifle is the last thing on the list, as it is the most expensive and least likely to be necessary. However, I like to get started shopping now, so...

    This rifle would be used as a general-purpose car-rifle. Maybe it might be needed if there's an unforseen disaster or riot when we're out of town, or a sniper on campus (I could get my own rifle from my car) or some other situation where I might need to reach out and touch someone (like, I dunno, a whacko shooting up a courthouse) with a little more oomph than the pistol which I am assumed to be carrying. Or maybe to hunt game if stranded somewhere and unable to get to civilization for a week (although thinking about getting a couple of Cricket .22 rifles at $95 each with a box or three of subsonic ammo for squirrels and rabbits, in addition to the "fighting" rifle).

    The ideal rifle must be powerful enough to get through a car door (so .223 may possibly be included, but as a bare minimum - no pistol-caliber carbines) and soft body armor (see Tyler Courthouse Shooting), easy enough to use that both my wife and I can practice with them, reliable and durable enough that we can oil them up really good and stick them in the trunk with minimal padding/packaging and still count on them to go boom when required, accurate enough to hit a man-sized target at 100 yards, cheap enough that we can buy one for each car and if one gets stolen, we won't be out too awful much money, and use cheap enough ammo that we can keep 100-200 rounds with the rifle (I was gonna say 50-100 but the wife insists on 200!). Ideally, it would also be 50-states legal (but we could easily avoid the commie states), assuming the ammo was locked up separately from the rifle (which would be cable-locked to the frame of the car with actually nice cable locks - not Wal-Mart bike locks). This rifle must also either use commonly-available detachable magazines (such as AK or AR mags, FAL mags, etc) or load with stripper clips - lever action guns excepted.

    My first thought was an SKS, since I've already got a good deal of 7.62x39, but I can't find those for under $200 anywhere, and for two cars that's not chump change. For not much more than that, I could get a WASR-2 AK clone in 5.45x39 which is dirt cheap and probably save money in the long run over the SKS. Not exactly super powerful, but the FMJ should get through a car door, right?

    I'm sure if I keep looking around I can find a couple of .30-30 lever action rifles, but that can only be used with round nose bullets, and the ammo isn't exactly cheap. I worry about the ability of soft-point ammo to penetrate a car door. I'm sure it would be okay out to 100 yards, but I know with a more accurate rifle/pointy bullet, I could do okay out to 300 or so.

    Then there's the Mosin-Nagant for around $70-80. I had one before, couldn't get better than 18-20 inch groups at 25 yards. The M44 carbine kicked like a mule, bruising my shoulder with only a few shots. I know my wife won't fire one of those, but the longer 91/30 version isn't supposed to have as much recoil or blast, but they can only be had in "corrosive ammunition was used for a lifetime, don't expect a good bore" condition, whereas the M44 and 1938 come in "very good" or "excellent" conditions (the short ones with more recoil that I won't buy). [edit - she says no mosins]

    There's the Kel-Tec folding SU-16 rifles, but then again for around half the price at $300 I could get the WASR-2, though that's more than I'd rather spend - that would be the rifle I'd pick if I can't find any SKS under $150 and a cheap reliable milsurp bolt-action rifle isn't forthcoming. If I could find a pair of SKSs for $300 total, I'd be happy.

    Others have suggested a K98, but I think the 8mm might be too much for my wife.

    Any other ideas?
     
  2. ReadyontheRight

    ReadyontheRight Member

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    SKS sounds like the answer. You might want to also consider adding a .22 pistol and 100+ rounds of .22 ammo. And a good knife like a K-Bar or Glock.
     
  3. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    My wife has two rifles that she absolutely loves: Inland M1 Carbine and a Kel-Tec SU-16. In fact, I love them as well...Yes, they cost more than an SKS, but the Kel-Tec alone is worth it's weight, (what little there is) in gold - especially when you're talking compact. First, it folds into a package that's easily tucked into a duffel bag or daypack. Second, it's reliable, (only with good to great ammo - stay away from Wolf Classic and Ultimax) and accurate, (easily minute of center mass at 100-yards). Third, it's easy to use and fairly easy to maintain. Fourth, it takes AR15/M16 mags.

    The M1 Carbine has many of the same features, (ease, accuracy, reliability, compactness - especially with a paratrooper stock).... If my wife had to pick one to take, it would be a tough call - me, I'd take the Inland, but I'd miss the Kel-Tec....
     
  4. CZ223

    CZ223 Member

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    Well, since you did not state that it had to have detacheable magazines, an old winchester or marlin 30-30 would seem to fill the bill prettywell.
     
  5. ziadel

    ziadel Member

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    three words:


    appalachian assault rifle

    a.k.a. the .30-30 lever action
     
  6. izmarkie

    izmarkie Member

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    I picked up an M44 and a 91/30 for $100 each a couple weeks ago, and the bores were great. Barrels too. More accurate than my SKS, and way more accurate than my brother's, to boot. If you're normally a good shot, you might have had a really abused one. It's a shame you're ruling those out, because they'll easily pierce car doors and a whole lot of other things, plus they're dirt cheap.

    I love my SKS, and it's great fun to shoot, but for the reasons I own assault rifles, I believe I'd grab a Mosin first for picking off bad guys from my terrace.

    What about a .357 lever gun with a snubbie companion to share the same ammo? Even soft points would penetrate car doors, no problem.
     
  7. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    Saiga. 'Nuff said.
     
  8. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    I think the wife would not appreciate an M44 if she's recoil shy....
     
  9. Aaryq

    Aaryq Member

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    I'd suggest an SKS, or a Marlin 30-30. That said (with no attempt to hijack your thread), you might want to be careful what you use your trunk gun for.

    Be careful. I'll not get into legal consequences and reprocussions. I'll just get into your safety. If the cops show up and hear about some wacko shooting people and then see you with a gun, you have a good chance of getting arrested, or heaven forbid, shot; either by the cops or someone else with your same plan.
     
  10. MT GUNNY

    MT GUNNY Member

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    A P F all purpose firearm?

    This is a very good question!

    My first reaction to thi s post is AR15

    Second choice 12 gauge shotgun 870

    I like the idea of a winchester model 94 in 357 call.
     
  11. Coronach

    Coronach Moderator Emeritus

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    Suggestion?

    Yes. A way to secure it, beyond the lock on the trunk of the car.

    I'm a cop. We go on runs every day where the Good Guy catches the Bad Guy breaking into his car. Usually a citizen footchase ensues, and sometimes there is a righteous arse-beating on the other end, to which the responding officers routinely turn a blind eye.

    However, it would well and truly suck for you to discover the Bad Guy breaking into your car, just as the Bad Guy, in turn, discovers your stowed but unsecured rifle. Think about it.

    I'm not talking about welding a vault into the rear of your car. Just provide some way to disable the weapon at the scene so that you don't get shot. One of those bazillion gun locks you have rolling around that Sarah Brady so thoughtfully pressed upon us would work nicely. Put the key on your keyring. It won't stop the gun from being stolen if your trunk gets popped, but it would stop it from being used against you if you confronted the guy taking your stuff.

    Mike
     
  12. Tokugawa

    Tokugawa Member

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    A sporterized mark 4 Lee enfield. You can find them for around $80 to $120 at the shows. The sporterizing KILLED the collecter value, but you still have an accurate, solid , fast handling rifle with good peep sights and a ten round magazine. Looks just like a thousand other "deer" rifles and ammo is still available and reasonably cheap. If you want to disable it just pull the bolt and place it in a different location. Has a great safety and good trigger. These guns were imported and commercially sporterized for hunting rifles. Cut barrel, ramp front sight and the fore stock shortened.
     
  13. MassMark

    MassMark Member

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    Mike/Coronach - Awesome suggestions....
     
  14. STAGE 2

    STAGE 2 Member

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    Not to burst your bubble, but most pistol calibers will easily go through car doors. Yes doors as in both. Go over to ar15.com and search for their "shooting the car" thread. You'd be surprised how little protection cars actually give. That movie stuff about ducking for cover behind the car door is pure bunk.

    As for your criteria, a 30-30 lever gun is your best bet. Ammo is relatively cheap and plentiful, its short and handy enough to be versatile for carry and storage, and the round itself would be plenty for any of the situations you describe.
     
  15. ArchAngelCD

    ArchAngelCD Member

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    If you can have only 1 gun in your trunk then it should be a 12 gauge shotgun. Birdshot, buckshot and slugs cover a wide range of protection and hunting too.

    You can find a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 for a reasonable price and load up on ammo too. I think you should add a $100 Savage .22 LR rifle to the mix if you are worried about having to hunt for a period of time for small game.
     
  16. Jubjub

    Jubjub Member

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    I know you said no Moisins, but if you handload, the short Moisins can be really pleasant guns. I shoot my M38 with a 123 grain bullet loaded to just about the equivalent of a 7.62x39 load. No big fireball, no pain in the shoulder.

    I don't know why no one loads something like this commercially. I'm sure it would sell like crazy. Anyone who says they like shooting a M44 or M38 with full power loads has a screw loose. ;)

    Graf & Sons sells very good 7.62x54R brass under their brand, and I usually buy bulk bullets at gun shows. I keep meaning to buy some cast bullets made for .32-20 and try some really light loads, but haven't actually done so yet.

    Anyway, you could probably get two M44s for $200, or M38s for a bit more. If you're starting from scratch it'll cost a couple of hundred for basic reloading gear, but then you're shooting much cheaper from now on.
     
  17. kungfuhippie

    kungfuhippie Member

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    Go with something low maintenance that you can put in the trunk for 6 months with no worries. Mosins and sks' and ak's will fit this bill. a 30-30 will, an AR might be a headache when you most need it (no disrespect to the ar guys, just pointing out that your guns prefer to be clean and lubed) 9mm will penetrate a car door-IIRC .22lr will too. I'd suggest the sks or the mosin for ease of use and no need to find that magazine that is floating around in the trunk when you need it.
     
  18. RockyMtnTactical

    RockyMtnTactical Member

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    The SKS is the perfect trunk gun in my opinion. It's inexpensive, rugged, reliable, powerful.
     
  19. Ian

    Ian Member

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    I was thinking just what Jubjub was - a cheap milsurp and lightish handloads. My truck gun at the moment is just that - a 7.35mm Carcano. Cheap, handy, durable, and cheap to shoot once I get the cast handloads going.
     
  20. chris in va

    chris in va Member

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    Saiga. The SKS is pretty darn heavy.
     
  21. CoolTargets

    CoolTargets Member

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    Now that the ban is lifted (hurry up while it is), go with the AR or shorter M4. Very accurate to distances well beyond what you described, cheap to shoot (practice) and won't destroy small game meat with proper shot placement. Will also take larger game with proper shot placement. Mag fed.

    Follow the officer's advice. Don't try to be a hero unless you know how...
     
  22. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    Well I doubt wether you are going to buy a lever gun cheaper than you can buy an SKS , or much of anything cheaper that fits your criteria.

    So - just go ahead and do the SKS thing is my vote.
     
  23. coelacanth

    coelacanth Member

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    + 1 for Tokugawa's suggestion. . . . .

    SMLE No.1 or No. 4 - sporterized or not gives you a rugged , accurate rifle that will not raise eyebrows in most jurisdictions. A good bit less recoil than the Moisin-Nagant carbines but still a serious cartridge. Cheap - plentiful - good availability of spares and ammo is still available and not overly pricey.
     
  24. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

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    don't really have any suggestions in your price range considering that you are pairing up on everything; if you can stagger the purchases then the idea of a good reliable lever action in .30-30 or .357 mag or .44 mag gives you a decent amount of onboard ammunition for defensive work or multiple shots on game animals; the second recommendation would be reliable used 12 ga and or 20 ga pump action shotguns (I know what you're thinking about massive recoil from slugs) and select reduced recoil buckshot and slug loads...some of the reduced recoil loads and Mossberg ported barrels make shooting slugs feel like .30-30 or 7.62 x 39; whatever you decide to do, store 'em safely and use 'em responsibly
     
  25. Nitrogen

    Nitrogen Member

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    SKS and/or 12 ga shotgun, with 00 buck and slugs.
     
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