1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Which gun?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by chaim, May 18, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. chaim

    chaim Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    I recently sold a gun (well, we agreed to a deal) but the buyer was out of state for a while. He is going to be back in town soon and we should be completing the deal. Between that money and some other money I will have $300-450 to spend on a new toy soon. I was going to buy a carry pistol in anticipation for being in a carry state for grad school in the fall but I haven't yet decided for sure even what action type I'll carry. So I am starting to think maybe a rifle would be in order.

    I am thinking about two very different possibilities:
    -a Howa bolt rifle in .308 or .223
    -a Winchester 94 or Marlin lever gun in .357mag or .44mag.

    I don't yet have a centerfire bolt gun and I want one very soon. Being a catagory I don't have, or even come close to (I have a Win 94 in 30-30, a few .22s, and an SKS) this would seem a logical addition. It should be fun at the range.

    I do have a lever rifle already but I don't often get to the rifle range and my Win 94 is my favorite rifle so I do want one in a caliber I can shoot at indoor pistol ranges.

    I don't hunt so that isn't a consideration (though if I did, for east coast deer the 30-30 is more than enough and even a .357mag long-gun would do it).

    I am pretty undecided here, one day I lean one way, the next day I'm leaning towards the other. I very much want to add a centerfire bolt rifle (probably .308) but I also love lever rifles and want one I can shoot more. Also, I don't get to rifle ranges much so the lever gun will get more use. However, I don't yet have anything like the bolt gun so that is the unserved niche right now. For HD the lever gun makes some sense, but the bolt if bought in .223 could work too and I have pistols for that purpose anyway (and soon I'll have a shotgun for HD again).

    So bolt gun or lever gun? If bolt, .223 or .308? I want to be able to eventually get to long range shooting, the .223 will get me there cheaper, the .308 wouldn't need to be replaced when I get there. If lever, .357mag or .44mag? I have .357 wheelguns and no .44s, however I like my rifles to feel like rifles and I hear the .357s have virtually no recoil. If lever, Marlin or Winchester? The Win 94 would be a virtual clone of my 30-30 which is my favorite gun which is a plus, the Marlin would be something similar yet something different which is a plus too. What do you all have to say on this choice?
  2. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Dec 22, 2002
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    As many "if and maybe" issues as you have, about all I can do is smart off and say, "Son, you probably ought to." :D

    Most likely, you're not gonna be happy until you've tried one of each.

    You seem happy with your 94 in .30-30, so a 94 in .357 would let you shoot indoors. A plus is that you have the .357 wheelgun.

    From another part of the cost-standpoint package, a surplus military bolt action rifle in .308 might be worth thinking about...

  3. CB900F

    CB900F Member

    Feb 22, 2003

    It might help if you could tell us a little more about the surrounding circumstances. For instance:

    Are you in a highly urbanized area with no easy transportation to rural country? In other words, can you get out & do some varmint shooting, like eastern groundhogs? Or, if you like, participate in rifle target competition?

    What are the practical considerations for a short lever gun? There are those who advocate these as an ideal home defence arm. Or is nostalgia the only driving force here. Not that nostalgia isn't a legitimate motivator, but if you're living in a suburban enviroment it makes more sense, to me, than as an apartment gun.

    Along that same line, a Remington 870 express with two barrels, 18.5" & 26/28" would allow a good deal of versitility at modest cost. It could cover home defence and trap/skeet or bird hunting.
    Believe me and the Wilson Combat/Scattergun Technologies catalogue, they can get just as tricked out as any pistol. And nuthin', but nuthin', grabs the attention like hearing a 12 guage slide get racked in a serious situation. However, be very careful here, the whole shotgun thing can be a steep & slippery slope.
    The costs attendant with the 'I wanna's' can rapidly mount to absurd levels.

  4. BusMaster007

    BusMaster007 Member

    Dec 31, 2002
    Upper Left Coast
    :D After carefully considering your dilemma, I had an inspiring thought:



    You want a bolt-action.
    You want a short rifle.
    You already have this cartridge in your line-up. (OR, you could add the .223 here)
    The cost is in the ballpark.
    It's a cool and unusual addition to keep.
    It will afford you the ability to shoot two rifles/one cartridge at the shooting site.
    It will give you the practice you'll want for centerfire rifle.
    Whaddaya think? :)

    (...I think I'm in trouble because now I want one!...)
  5. chaim

    chaim Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Columbia, MD
    Well it isn't a .308 but I'm going to be getting an almost like new Mosin-Nagant 91/30 soon for about $120. That will give me a cheap bolt rifle that uses cheap ammo. However, I also want something that can be scoped and that I can use to do some long distance shooting once I'm good enough.

    Well, I don't have any contacts for varmint shooting. Where I am I am no more than 2 hours from just about any type of area you can think of (farms, beach, mountains) but I simply don't know anyone who needs someone to help with that, if I did I might be willing to give it a try. The main thing I want the distance capability for is fun (if I join one particular club I'd be able to use a 600yd range on a nearby military base about once a month) and in a few years when (if?) I'm good enough I'd like to get into competition.

    I do think one would be a wonderful home defense gun but I'll be getting a shotgun again soon for that. Mainly it would be simply because I love lever guns. My favorite gun is my Win 94 30-30 but I don't get to rifle ranges often, so a lever gun in a pistol caliber would allow me to use a similar gun more often (I'd be able to take it to a pistol range).

    That is probably what I'll do. Home defense and it will let me get into trap or skeet. Though I might get the 18-20" 870 plus an over/under for getting into trap or skeet.

    The other HD option, probably ideal in an apartment (it offers the least overpenatration) would be a .223 carbine of some kind (Mini-14, AK type or an AR). I'll probably get the shotty first though since it is a lot cheaper to get into.
    You know, I've thought about a CZ. I love their pistols and the rifles have a great rep. I've been interested in that carbine in 7.62x39 since I read about it in a gun mag about 2 years ago. Right now though I think I'd be inclined to go .223 (though I really do want that 7.62 some day). It is a possibility.
  6. GunNut

    GunNut Member

    Dec 25, 2002
    Washington State
    .223 all the way.....

    A friend and myself used to shoot .22lr's exclusively until we discovered .223 bolt actions.

    I've got a Ruger M77 All-Weather SS .223, which I did a trigger job on last night, and an AR-15. I use the ruger for everything from punching paper to shooting pumpkins (awesome with ballistic tips) and shooting coyotes or other varmints.

    Everyone should have a .223.

    Start with a .223 bolt gun with a decent scope and your Winchester 30/30 will probably end up being pretty lonely.

    Good luck,
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page