Deer rifle, but useful for zombies?

Deer rifle, but useful for zombies?

This is a discussion on Deer rifle, but useful for zombies? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Motivators are: Able to take deer: max long shot perhaps 100 yds, brushy woods on property; Useful for family defense if necessary. Can't say I ...

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Thread: Deer rifle, but useful for zombies?

  1. #1
    Distinguished Member Array Paymeister's Avatar
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    Deer rifle, but useful for zombies?

    Motivators are:
    • Able to take deer: max long shot perhaps 100 yds, brushy woods on property;
    • Useful for family defense if necessary. Can't say I can really imagine a scenario with a happy ending, but it might be nice to have more options than I have now.

    Decision factors include:
    • Budget ($400?);
    • Recoil (prefer less, especially if Dear Wife might need to use it);
    • Optics (I wear bifocals, suggesting the need for a scoped rifle);
    • Local laws (need >.230 caliber to take deer where we are);
    • Already have a Remington 870 Express shotgun in 20ga and willing to consider a new barrel but dubious considering probably need for a scope);
    • Willing to wait 'til the New Year to purchase (after deer season and folks get their first after-Christmas VISA bills).

    Given those constraints, which rifle(s) would you suggest I consider?

    At the moment I'm leaning towards a $290 pawnshop Marlin 30-30 lever action rifle with a Tasco scope at the moment; I was considering a Mosin Nagant for price and durability but am less enthusiastic about it now due to recoil, difficulty of adding a scope, and the brushy nature of much of our terrain (MNs are pretty long).
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  2. #2
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    As I was reading your requirements, I was already thinking Marlin 30-30 before I got to the bottom. I was just putting up a similar post at the same time.

    The 30-30 has a brush-gun reputation, and I've read plenty of counter arguments to discredit it, in that regard. However, for what you describe, it really does sound like the perfect platform. I just finished hiking thru 340 acres with one strapped across my shoulder, and there is nothing I that would have rather had with me.
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  3. #3
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    That Marlin Model 336 .30-30 is hard to beat for the price. They are plenty accurate from off the bench and .30-30 is a real high-power rifle round.
    Charter Member of the DC .41 LC Society "Get heeled! No really"

    “No possible rapidity of fire can atone for habitual carelessness of aim with the first shot.”

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  4. #4
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Go with the 30-30, you should be well pleased.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
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    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bmcgilvray View Post
    That Marlin Model 336 .30-30 is hard to beat for the price. They are plenty accurate from off the bench and .30-30 is a real high-power rifle round.
    I'll second that and be willing to wager more deer have been taken with a 30-30 than with any other round. Another plus for the 30-30 anyone who sells ammo will have 30-30 on-hand.
    Last edited by msgt/ret; September 2nd, 2010 at 02:42 AM.
    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
    "Don't forget, incoming fire has the right of way."

  6. #6
    VIP Member Array bsnow's Avatar
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    The 30-30 cartridge has served almost every purpose ever dreamed up from it's first day. I would by all means jump on that choice. It will serve you well!!!
    Blessed be the LORD my strength which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight. PSALM 144:1

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  7. #7
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    In your price range, I agree, Marlin 336W, 30-30, 6+1, tapered for scope.
    Or
    Mossberg 464, 30-30 Win 6+1

    For scope in trees up to 100 yards, Probably
    Burris Fullfield II 3-9x40mm
    Or
    for a budget scope, Pentax HR3 3-9x44
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  8. #8
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Might take a look at the new Remington 770 in 30-06. With scope no less and well below your budget! I've even seen them in the local Wal Marts here. That's why I started a thread about them here a while back. Haven't got much input on it lately. Here's a link for you:
    http://www.impactguns.com/store/047700856339.html

    The thread I was asking about it and anyone's experience with it: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...770&highlight=

  9. #9
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    Hard to beat the old "Thutty Thutty"!!
    CCW permit holder for Idaho, Utah, Pennsylvania, Maine and New Hampshire. I can carry in your country but not my own.

  10. #10
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    Look at the SKS. I've taken several deer w/ one at 100yds+ basically 30/30 ballistics in a semi-auto. They have minimal recoil for a rifle; rounds are cheap (7.62x39)and plentiful; and the gun falls well within your price range. It is not the most accurate gun, more minute of goblin then angle, but 2-3" groups @ 100yds are average. You can get a cheap replaceable receiver cover w/ a scope mount attached to it for ~$25. I use an inexpensive red dot scope and have no problems with aiming w/ contacts or glasses on.
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

    Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.

  11. #11
    Member Array Nubby's Avatar
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    In a SHTF scenario, I'm grabbing my Winchester Model 94 .30-30 carbine over my SKS. That thing is the very picture of unreliability; mags not feeding consistently, stovepiping, jamming, FTE, FTF, not cycling properly. No thanks. Even if it did work well, it weighs a ton compared to my carbine, which has a such a natural feel to it. I'll take the more reliable, and more accurate Winchester.

  12. #12
    VIP Member Array jwhite75's Avatar
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    Old lever gun will not do you wrong...
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  13. #13
    VIP Member Array zacii's Avatar
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    I concur; the tried and true lever action... .30-30 probably the most economical
    Trust in God and keep your powder dry

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  14. #14
    Member Array Ghuqu2's Avatar
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    "In a SHTF scenario, I'm grabbing my Winchester Model 94 .30-30 carbine over my SKS. That thing is the very picture of unreliability; mags not feeding consistently, stovepiping, jamming, FTE, FTF, not cycling properly. No thanks. Even if it did work well, it weighs a ton compared to my carbine, which has a such a natural feel to it. I'll take the more reliable, and more accurate Winchester. "


    I don't understand your post, and I truly am not a SKS fanboy. The SKS has a 10 round box magazine (non-detachable). The aftermarket conversion to a detachable magazine is shoddy at best. You can charge it w/ stripper clips (very inexpensive) for fast reloads, or 'thumb' them in if you want. As for FTF and FTEs, when was the last time you cleaned the gas rod? The SKS is a military weapon w/ much of the vaunted reliability of the AK, and some of its downsides, it will never be a target/sniper weapon. I have truly run 1000s of rounds through mine with no malfunctions. Yes, if I use corrosive ammo, I clean it immediately (left it a few days once after firing ~500 rounds of corrosive, gave a nice coat of rust on the bolt, cleaned it but it has some "stains" etched on it.) If shooting noncorrosive ammo, I clean it eventually, or every 1k which ever comes first. I did not mention in my first post that my SKS is a Chinese build, and I have an aftermarket stock on it. Not that the original stock is bad, but it's short. I do have to say, if yours comes w/ a spike bayonet, remove it, because recoil can cause it to slip a little and impale your hand. All in all it's what the OP asked for, an inexpensive, reliable, low recoil weapon that you can mount an optic on. The added benefit it has over the 30/30 is round count, semi-auto, and ammo costs are 1/2 or less of 30/30.
    "The millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us." Patrick Henry 1775

    Vegetarian: Indian for inept hunter.

  15. #15
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    I think I'll join the .30-30 fan club here, it was an option that immediately came to mind when I was reading your requirements. Or another option, although you would probably have to raise your price range by $50 or so, is one of the Savage model 110 package deals. Bolt actions that are plenty accurate in about any caliber you want (.243, .270, .308, .30-06) have all certainly been used on deer and do the job well. They also come with a decent 3x9 scope. Just giving you more options to consider.
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