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Would you be interested in a semiauto .357 or .44 rifle?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by epijunkie67, Mar 24, 2008.

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  1. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    I've wondered about this for some time now. I've got a lever action rifle in .357 mag and love it. Given the variety of ammo it takes it can be used for everything from plinking to light or even deer sized hunting as long as you're realistic about range. I've seen the ruger semiauto rifle in .44 mag and like it but it's a rotory mag fed gun with 4 or 5 rounds.

    I was thinking more along the same design as they use for semi-auto shotguns. Tube magazine, can be topped off on the fly without taking the gun out of battery. The magnum pistol rounds and shotgun shells both have similarly shaped bases so extraction would be similar.

    This would give you a light, agile, semi-auto rifle with little recoil in a reasonably powerful caliber without having to deal with magazines or clips. They could make them in .357, .41, and .44 mag.

    If someone produced this particular gun would you buy it?
     
  2. OMGWTFBBQ

    OMGWTFBBQ Member

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    I would be VERY interested in one in .357mag
     
  3. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    I was actually madly scribbling down something along those lines a few night ago. Here's what I had in mind:

    -Feeds from a tube magazine above the barrel. This keeps the barrel axis low and the magazine clear of the bolt, which allows downwards ejection without too much fuss.

    -Delayed-blowback action that uses the bolt attached to a counter-mass at considerable mechanical disadvantage. When the bolt is blown back, the counter-mass is driven forwards and vice versa. This should generally smooth out the recoil.

    Yes, this does seem like a useful line of inquiry. A pistol caliber carbine that combines the hitting power of a .357 lever-carbine and semi-automatic convenience seems like a winner to me. I would certainly buy it.
     
  4. SaMx

    SaMx Member

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    a problem would be the huge differences in recoil and pressures generated by different loads, and the probable inability to use .38 special.

    I'd rather have a pump rifle.
     
  5. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    I'm fairly sure that pump rifles for .357 can't chamber .38, since it would chamber in the barrel rather than in a cylinder like a revolver. Do any of the revolver or pump rifle gurus know?

    I'm told that many of the purported reliability shortcomings of the Desert Eagle come from people who try to shoot low-recoil .44 loads out of them, which don't have enough power to cycle the action, so that objection is probably valid. If the rifle was gas-operated with an adjustable valve, that could solve part of the problem.
     
  6. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Not sure about the pumps, but my Marlin 1894C lever gun shoots .38's and .357's just fine.

    And no, I wouldn't be too interested. Blowback semiautos get really dirty and are touchy WRT velocity and pressure as people have noted.

    Pistol caliber lever guns have survived for well over a century for a reason, and remain my choice. Recoil with a .357 long gun is really not an issue, either, though a .44 has a bit more punch. Either way, these are low-recoil rounds, by rifle standards, even when you shoot them in light lever guns.
     
  7. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    I'd rather have pump action rifles.
     
  8. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    Perhaps because they headspace on the rim it would work just fine?

    Does anyone know how much a gas system could be made to "self-adjust"?
     
  9. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    Shotgun gas systems self-adjust, but they're gas-piston systems.

    With a blowback, the weight of the bolt and the tension of the return spring are all you've got. Maybe you could put a buffer spring near the end of the bolt's travel to keep the gun from knocking itself to bits over time, but that might worsen the perceived recoil from heavy loads, rather than improve it. Benelli's shotguns work with a wide range of shells and no gas system, but the design recoils badly. Benelli does all sorts of neat stuff to absorb that recoil, but without the high-tech add-ons, the guns are known as shoulder-bashers.

    AFAIK, mods to common blowbacks (e.g. Ruger 10/22 and rimfire pistols) so they can shoot .22 Short or .17M2, all include a bolt that's lighter or heavier than the standard one. It'd be hard to dynamically change the mass of the bolt without going nuclear.:D
     
  10. epijunkie67

    epijunkie67 Member

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    The primary concern seems to be a reliability issue and not a usage issue. With all the newer technology being used in firearms they are doing things that wouldn't have been possible a few decades ago.

    So lets modify this question a little.

    Assuming that the weapon design allowed it to be very reliable (as reliable as you could expect a semi-auto to be) THEN would you be interested in a semi-auto, tube magazine fed, magnum pistol caliber rifle?
     
  11. tinygnat219

    tinygnat219 Member

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    Ruger made one called the Deerstalker back in the 60s for .44 Magnum.
     
  12. Beagle-zebub

    Beagle-zebub Member

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    A floating chamber along the lines of the Remington 550 could work.


    I agree with the other people who said that a pump-action .357 or .44 rifle would be cool, but I mean only mean one with an enclosed bolt, a pistol-grip stock like a modern hunting rifle, double action bars, and a magazine and forearm that doesn't impinge upon the barrel. Whether it uses a tube magazine or mags for a Desert Eagle, it would be good if it could feed some of the heavy bullets of each caliber: 180s in .357, and 300s in .44. (It would obviously need a faster twist-rate to allow this.) Its receiver would be drilled and tapped for a mount.
     
  13. trstafford

    trstafford Member

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    combo would be nice

    I would like a pump action or semi-auto ala Mossberg with changeable barrels in .410 shotgun and .45 colt.
     
  14. roscoe

    roscoe Member

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    I would love a tube-fed semi in .357 with classical Winchester lines. But it would have to be gas-fed, I expect, and that would mean three tubes. It would look pretty ugly with three tubes coming out of the receiver unless you could conceal it somehow.
     
  15. Jack2427

    Jack2427 Member

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    A pump .357 will use 38 Special ammo with no problem whatsoever.
    There is a semi auto carbine around now that uses pistol size ammo, hits harder than any pistol caliber, and can use a 30 round magazine. It is called the M1 Carbine and there were 6 or 7 million of them made. With JHP or JSP ammo it is an excellent HD weapon, and for hunting medium size game.
    Just do not believe any of the stories about how the quilted jackets of the chicoms in Korea would stop the 30 Carbine.
    If the 30 Carbine will routinely pierce lower level body armor, it will most certainly go through any quilted jacket ever made.
    It is my opinion that the quilted jacket story was concieved to deflect stories of poor shooting by the troops.
    BTW, I am retired military(and retired LE) so I do have a grasp of the concept. I would carry a Carbine, a good shotgun, or SMG for the Korea type of combat before I would carry an AR platform. Reason is simple, stopping power is greater at close ranges with either of the three than the 223.
     
  16. Rifleman 173

    Rifleman 173 Member

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    I would love a carbine, like an M-1 carbine, magazine-fed in either .357 or .44 magnum. The Ruger stuff just doesn't have the ammo amount needed to make them really viable or useful. About the best of the Rugers looks to be the PC-4 which used the pistol magazines in .40 caliber S&W but even they look awkward to use. If I wanted tube-fed in .357 or .44 magnum I would go, and do own, a Marlin lever action saddle carbine. A great gun.
     
  17. TheGrimReaper

    TheGrimReaper Member

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    Yes!!! I have been talking about this for years. Especially one magazine feed. 10+ rounds!!!
     
  18. Avenger29

    Avenger29 Member

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    The M1 Carbine is a fine rifle, BUT .30 Carbine is not as widely available as .357/ .38 Spcl or .44 Magnum. I value weapons chambered in common calibers that you can find at Walmart without any fuss.

    Like .22LR, .223/5.56, .243, .270, .308, .30-06, 12 and 20 gauge, 9mm, .357, .38 Spcl, .40 S&W, .44Mag and .45ACP

    Mag tube in the buttstock?
     
  19. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    My beloved IAI Timberwolf .357 pump carbine functions every bit as well with .38 Spl. ammo as it does with .357 Mags, ie: flawlessly. The sole exception is with full wadcutter loads where the bullet is seated flush, or very nearly so, with the case mouth. FWIW, my Rossi 92s don't like 'em either unless you single-load them.

    Until I finally wore out the last of my accumulated hoard of .38 cases a few years back I kept my progressive press set up for them and used the reloads in all of my .357s for practice, plinking and small game.

    While the concept intrigues me, most all of my .357 shooting is still with mild-to-moderate loads and cast lead bullets. At present I don't believe that there's a conventional gas-operated system out there where that wouldn't be a problem.

    Given the huge and growing difference in cost between the respective projectiles, I don't think that I'd be switching from my pump and LAs.
     
  20. akodo

    akodo Member

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    I looked at the Timberwolf, but the distance between barrel and magtube just struck my eyes as jarring.


    The colt lightning repos are too expensive, the inexpensive timberwolf is too ugly (why didn't they put the barrel right on the mag tube or vice versa)

    I think ruger's carbine in .44 mag was a wonderful idea except for the paultry mag.

    If you could make a semiauto 357 or 44 mag that looked as much like the lightning as a remington 870 looks like a 11-87 and feed 38s or 357s, wonderful!

    on the other hand, a very different, short carbine built similar to the mini-14, ruger deerfield, M-1 carbine, etc, with a detachable mag of decent capacity (12 rounds lets say) and the ability to take out a few screws and switch from standard configuration straight stocked wood to pistolgrip folding stock black polymer, wow, I'd really go for that.

    Ghostring sights on it too
     
  21. mainmech48

    mainmech48 Member

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    akodo: Tastes vary. IMO, the fewer and smaller the areas in direct contact with the barrel the more consistent the accuracy is likely to remain. If you'll look closely at most any tube feed design, there will be some gap visible, and part of the reason for that is to help prevent random contact from affecting the harmonics of the barrel's vibration cycle.

    A Timberwolf in nice condition isn't exactly what I'd call "inexpensive" anymore, assuming that you can find one for sale. The nicest examples of the very few that I've seen on Gun Broker over the last couple of years have brought prices averaging around $650. The single LNIB w/papers example I can recall sold for almost $900.

    Beagle-zebub: The Timberwolf had every feature you described as being desirable except the PG stock. It also had a scope/optics mount integral with the receiver. Not pretty, but hellaciously tough and practical.

    Jack 2427: My late father-in-law was one of the survivors of the long walk back from Chosen Reservoir. His gripe concerning the .30 carbine wasn't that it wouldn't penetrate those quilted jackets, but that you could hit the guy wearing one four or more times solidly in the torso (he described them as being close enough that he could see the cotton stuffing puff from the exit holes in their backs) and not put them down.

    Speaking of the M-1 carbine design, I recall the late Col. Cooper describing a conversion being done at the time as part of an experiment toward realizing his "Thumper" concept. This was what he called his idea for a self-loading carbine and/or SMG utilizing a cartridge more powerful and effective than standard pistol rounds while remaining of the same general size.

    There was an outfit (I regret that I can no longer recall its exact name or location) that was converting M-1 carbines to fire 10mm and even .45 Win. Mag. ammo. To the best of my recollection it used highly modified GI magazines which reduced the capacities from 15 to 7 and 30 to 10 in .45 Win. Mag. I may be mistaken, but I believe that he mentioned that the difficulties involved in getting rimmed revolver cartridges to feed reliably from a box magazine in that platform was a major reason for the decision to concentrate on the most powerful production rimless handgun rounds then available.

    The conversion supposedly worked well, but was very expensive. The "Thumper" concept didn't catch on in either military or LEA circles either, and lack of demand killed both of them off.

    Percy, I believe that the old Winchester 1905, 1907 and 1910 SL carbines used an operating system which could be broadly defined as being "delayed blowback" very similar to what you describe. It was relatively complex and could only operate safely and reliably with one specific loading. The .401 Win. SL proved to be about the most powerful that the basic platform and concept could handle. Even if such a system could be designed to handle the pressures of .357 or .44 Mag., I seriously doubt that a practical solution to the problem of making it usable with a variety of loadings can be found within its inherent limitations.

    Gas operation can be regulated to some extent via some sort of variable valving or the like. But I still don't see how one could use more than a very few lead bullets in any existing system without messing it up in short order.

    Just a thought, but I'd like to hear some other opinions: What about an inertial system a la the Benelli shotguns?
     
  22. SaMx

    SaMx Member

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    I only found out about the timberwolf after it was discontinued, which is pretty disappointing. I'd like to see a pump .357 that isn't really expensive.
     
  23. PercyShelley

    PercyShelley Member

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    As I understand it, benelli shotguns operate on the assumption that the gun, and therefore the shooter holding it, are going to recoil. With a 12 gauge shotgun, that is surely a reasonable assumption, but with a heavy pistol caliber carbine, different shooter weights might affect cycling.

    Although the handloaders might find something gratifying in having to match loads to their particular body weight!

    How about something along the lines of a SPAS-12, using an end-of-the-barrel gas-trap system like the G41? That should keep fouling from cast bullets down, and if the loads are too weak to cycle the action, just shut the gas off and use it as a pump action.
     
  24. Eyesac

    Eyesac Member

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    Why not an AR in .44mag. And what's wrong w/ blowback for pistol rounds? Isn't that how the 9mm and 45acp ARs work?
     
  25. ArmedBear

    ArmedBear Member

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    9mm and .45ACP have far less variation than revolver rounds do. Note how touchy a .22LR blowback rifle can be about ammo with a 100fps difference. Do you want a rifle like that? I don't. I like my Marlin 1894C that will shoot anything from low-velocity .38 LSWC all the way up to overloaded .357 like Buffalo Bore hunting ammo, from the same magazine tube if I want.

    Also, 9mm and .45ACP are a bit cleaner, usually. Again, I wouldn't want a rifle that only worked with a narrow range of ammo, and really wanted special clean-burning powder. That's what a blowback would be like in .357 or .44.
     
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