Understated defensive rifle: suggestions?

This is a discussion on Understated defensive rifle: suggestions? within the Defensive Rifles & Shotgun Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Originally Posted by RSSZ You left out the best......a Lever Action. Why did you rule these out ?? ------- Originally Posted by MattLarson How about ...

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Thread: Understated defensive rifle: suggestions?

  1. #16
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RSSZ View Post
    You left out the best......a Lever Action. Why did you rule these out ?? -------
    Quote Originally Posted by MattLarson View Post
    Possibilities. A number of lever-action alternatives are in the list above and have been suggested. I like the idea of a rifled bullet, but I also like the idea of a larger non-rifled bullet in a carbine or "ranch" sizing. The Marlin 1894 and the Ruger Deerfield look very interesting, which in lightly-loaded .44 could still bring down small- to midsize game inside 150yds but would be more appropriate for close-in defense against two-legged attack if needed. The lighter 9mm or .40 carbine options from Ruger (or similar) wouldn't really offer the dual-use hunting ability, sadly. Both the Marlin 1894 and Ruger Deerfield carbines are offered with barrels <= 20".

    I carry a 9mm pistol and that won't likely change, due to comfort, competency, concealability, good combination of traits. Pairing up with a shorter, carbine style rifle might be just the ticket. Hm.

    Thank you for the great suggestions so far! Lots of options. Much to consider.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

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  3. #17
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    Array rocky's Avatar
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    Any of the rifle cartridges would work well out to 150 yrds. Pistol cartridges (.40, .44 ect )cycle just fine thru rifles.
    I think you need to consider what is small game(squirrels, rabbit ect. ) A 30-06 will be wayyy too much gun for this type of game. There is no all around perfect gun/caliber to do it all.
    Guns suited for defense will be less suitable for hunting(but can be used). Heavier calber guns suitable for medium size game (deer , ect) will have more recoil = slower follow up shots.
    I suggest buying the gun suitable for your most intended purpose. Maybe this might work?http://www.kel-tec.com/su16c.html
    Doesn't look too tactical, but should work well for smaller game up to deer size(with proper shot placement) , takes AR15 mags(cheap to buy) all in a nice small package.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  4. #18
    Member Array WorldPax's Avatar
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    I don't remember where I read it, but the thing that helped me when choosing a rifle was, I'd rather have to hunt with a fighting gun than fight with a hunting gun.

    I realized that when it comes to eating, I can procure food in many ways other than shooting it, but ultimate defense of person and property requires a certain type of firepower.

    As soon as I have the extra cash, I'll be adding a couple SU-16's to my arsenal. Inexpensive, reliable, lightweight, accurate, and the ammo is common. Additionally, I can carry a bunch more .223 than 7.62.
    Pax
    Tulsa, OK

  5. #19
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rocky View Post
    Any of the rifle cartridges would work well out to 150 yrds. Pistol cartridges (.40, .44 ect )cycle just fine thru rifles.
    Good. I've read many articles over the past month on the use of .357, 10mm, .41m and .44m for taking small- to midsize game. Haven't yet got a handle on the reliability factor, as compared to rifled rounds, though I suppose it's dependent on the action of the specific rifle in question.

    I think you need to consider what is small game(squirrels, rabbit ect. ) A 30-06 will be wayyy too much gun for this type of game. There is no all around perfect gun/caliber to do it all.
    Right, which is why I'm open to the midsized or sub-machine calibers (9mm, .357, .40, .41, .44). Assuming that they can take game up to smaller deer or hogs out to ~150-200yds or so.

    I suggest buying the gun suitable for your most intended purpose.
    Yup. More than rabbits, but less than 185lb deer (ie, small white tail, pronghorn). A .30-06 would be perfect for the deer, particularly at distance, but I'm trying hard to balance the dual-use needs in a single gun. I understand it would limit the distance, the top-end of the game I could take.

    Maybe this might work?http://www.kel-tec.com/su16c.html
    Am seeking out alternatives larger than .223, given the dual-use rqmt. Am not particularly keen on the .223 / 5.56 variants.

    Logic:
    • Viewed from the self-defense and weight/carry perspective, the pistol load carbines (9mm, .357, .40, .41, .44) look like a great package. Though, they give up some capabilities in terms of game size and distance.
    • Viewed from the game perspective, any of the .223, .270, or .30 / 7.62 rifle options seem appropriate, but being rifled rounds they have extreme penetration for the aspect of the usage that wouldn't be out in the field.

    I've carried and shot .22LR, .270, .30-06 for small-ish game, previously. What I'd prefer is a dual-use platform that could take small-ish game but that is equally suited to defensive work in a lighter package.

    I'm leaning toward the .357 or .44 carbines, at this point. Auto or lever-action, I think. Got to kick around some options "in the hand," now.

    Well, today's a range day. I'll stop by a couple of my larger shops, today, to check out some of the options.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  6. #20
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    Keep in ind the 30-30 round has killed more deer in the US than ANY other cartridge. (mostly in lever action guns)
    Quemadmodum gladius neminem occidit, occidentis telum est.-Seneca

    "If you carry a gun, people will call you paranoid. If I have a gun, what do I have to be paranoid about?" -Clint Smith

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  7. #21
    Distinguished Member Array RSSZ's Avatar
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    Ok,ok,.....howz 'bout this. >>
    lever action--
    completely stainless steel--
    16" bbl.--
    loads from the end of the mag tube(like the old style .22's)--
    top eject--
    green rear,red front fiber optic sights(ajustable)--
    wt.6.00 lbs--
    OAL 34.5"--
    Rds. 8--
    Chambering .454 Casull or .45LC(probably9 rds but never could bring myself to shoot the wimpy stuff)--
    Manufacturer Legacy Sports/Puma

    I've had one of these weapons for 3 years now. It is used for very close range,very mad,very large hogs. I have had NOTHING stop a 360gr., CBP, hardcast yet. Brass is cheap(Starline). Any bullet in .452" will do as long as it is tough enough for these velocities.Several different factory loads are available also.

    Take a look. -------

  8. #22
    Member Array DILLIGAF's Avatar
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    since you said you prefer auto-loadng and something bigger than .223 how about a M1 Garand in 30-06 and can also be converted by a good smith to .308. another option would be a M1A/M14 they are an excellent choice and don't look to menacing in a rack.
    911 Government sponsored dial a prayer!

  9. #23
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Right, which is why I'm open to the midsized or sub-machine calibers (9mm, .357, .40, .41, .44). Assuming that they can take game up to smaller deer or hogs out to ~150-200yds or so.

    Using a 9mm, or any sub gun cartridge short of a magnum out to 150-200 yards, is a serious misuse of the cartridge. I would strongly discourage you from even trying any "sub-gun" cartridge at distances over 100 yards. Shoot, even 60 yards is a long distance shot for those rounds.
    Fear No Evil.

  10. #24
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    I truly appreciate the comments and suggestions from everyone. Amazing what a bit of hard thinking with good feedback can do. Feedback here, reading from CC, THR, several past issues of Rifle mag, a gunsmith that I spoke with yesterday, plus handling a number of examples in the shop ... all good stuff.

    Using a 9mm, or any sub gun cartridge short of a magnum out to 150-200 yards, is a serious misuse of the cartridge.
    Note that my references to a sub cartridge gun were in terms of the calibers served, not as a suggestion that the smallest calibers in such weapons could meet the need. Obviously, the energy needed at 100yds for game isn't obtained by 9mm, 40 and even .357 sub rounds.

    I certainly realize that hunting isn't best served by a sub cartridge. My goal isn't a hunting rifle. My goal is a defensive rifle that can double with occasional light hunting for small game. A sub round will surely fail with the wrong choices, at the wrong distances, and merely harm (but not kill) anything larger than small game. But the goal, if it can be achieved, is dual-use from one gun. Agreed that 9mm, .40 and .357 are weak as a dual-use. So is .44 in a carbine beyond 100-125yds or so. There aren't many choices for a single rifle that can handle both duties: self-defense beyond basic pistol ranges and light game beyond 100yds.

    The rough gauge I'm using is the energy and size that can be placed on-target at 100yds (> 1000 ft-lbs at 100yds desired, with < 3" trajectory drop). Most rifle rounds handle this. But pretty much only the .44m (on up) in sub cartridges meets this "minimum".

    I'm open to any suggestions or alternatives. It has been awhile since I've owned a larger rifle and been out in the field. It's time to get back in the saddle. My comments, here, are simply what I'm thinking so far, and they're by no means intended to suggest I've got all of the answers or don't appreciate everyone's guidance. Am open to that, always.

    Agreed that it's mighty tough to get (a) a single rifle that (b) can support self-defense in the field and home as well as (c) handle light game up to ~100lbs out to 150yds. A .44 carbine might do, but agreed that 125-150yds is absolutely the max of its abilities, for light game. A .357 carbine might do, but it won't have much punch for game beyond 100yds. A .30-30, .308 or 7.62x39mm can certainly do. Even a .243 or .270 would do, however the focus would be more on hunting than defense with these loads. Most of the more-traditional deer loads are, quite simply, geared toward more penetration and distance than I'll need.

    So. It's looking to me as though I either must relax the distance requirement, or get both ... a sub chambered carbine for defense with a 100yd cap, and an entry game rifle good out to 175-200yds or so).

    Option 1 -- only a larger defensive gun w/ short-range, light hunting:
    • .44 carbine, sufficient out to 100yds for two-legged attackers and smaller game. In carbine format, suitable for field/home defense when higher firepower is needed. Perhaps the Marlin 1894SS .44 carbine 10rd lever, or the Ruger Deerfield .44 carbine 4rd auto.


    Option 2 -- only a smaller defensive gun w/o hunting:
    • 9mm or .40 carbine auto, with the understanding that hunting will really be a non-option with this choice. Perhaps a Ruger PC9GR 9mm carbine with the P-85 15rd or 20rd Mec-Gar mags. Would offer up greater firepower and better range while avoiding the OMG/sheep factor.


    Option 3 -- a defensive gun plus a light game rifle:
    • 9mm, .40 or .44 carbine for field/home defense when greater firepower is needed, out to 75-100yds max. Likely the 9mm to duplicate the loads in my carry pistol, though .44 would certainly fill the gap.
    • Plus a decent .30-30 or .308 light rifle, perhaps carbine. Goal would be game up to ~100 lbs out to 150-200yds max. Perhaps a Remington 750 Woodmaster .308 carbine 5rd auto, the Winchester M94 Trapper .30-30 carbine 5rd lever, or the Marlin 336 .30-30 6rd lever.


    I don't like the idea of hauling around multiple rifles, really. I'm just not that active to demand both. Perhaps for that reason alone, a single gun (ie, Marlin 1894SS .44 carbine 10rd lever) might be the best choice for me, assuming a single rifle. Of course, that would limit the max distance at which small game could be taken (ie, peccary, smaller feral pigs, pronghorn, small sheep, etc). Still, a decent .30-30 appeals to me. I think most of the other cartridges are geared too much toward longer-range hunting or deep penetration. Again, the hunting aspect will strictly be smaller game, with this rifle, and that will be its secondary requirement.

    Hm. Got to love a good puzzle.

    Thanks, all.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  11. #25
    Senior Member Array hsuCowboy98's Avatar
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    Perhaps for that reason alone, a single gun (ie, Marlin 1894SS .44 carbine 10rd lever) might be the best choice for me, assuming a single rifle

    Looks like that may well be your answer then. I have a Winchester and a Marlin in .44 Mag, and they would both be suitable for what you are describing.

    The reason that I strongly cautioned you considering the 9mm-.45 for hunting is that last season I came across a 6 point whitetail that had been shot 3 times by a 9mm (carbine, pistol-who knows?), and had obviously suffered the cruelest of deaths.
    Fear No Evil.

  12. #26
    Member Array Warhawk's Avatar
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    Marlin 1894c .357 Mag, mine wears a Weaver V3 (1-3x variable) scope. The .357 Mag has pretty impressive ballistics from the carbine barrel.

  13. #27
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    I'll stop by a couple of my larger shops, today, to check out some of the options.
    Gee, it turns out that Winchester hasn't been making rifles since March of this year. FN has decided to turn over rifle mfg to the South Carolina plant. So, no more Model 94's to be made. I love the feel of the 16 short barrel (found one, but it was sold). Would be far more maneuverable in close quarters, brush. Quite a few made, so I suppose there isn't much risk of spare parts, gunsmith knowledge decaying, etc. Hm.

    Spoke to a gunsmith who could compare the Winchester 94 with the Marlin 1894. He had some good things to say about each, in terms of strength, reliability, abundance/lack of small or undersized parts, etc. His preference was for the Marlin 1894, due to strength, simplicity of strip/reassembly.

    Auction Arms and Gunbroker have a couple of the M94's, but the prices are higher than a few months ago. Imagine that a M94 .44 Trapper a year ago could have been had for $300-350. They've doubled. There's a gun show next weekend, plus next month. Might need to make a special trip.

    Handled a Marlin 1894 in .41 magnum. Nice gun. Smooth action. Felt good in the hand. Not a 16" barrel, of course; 20", the 1894's.

    The Marlin 336C in .357 is fitted with an 18.5" barrel. The Marlin 336 "spikehorn" is fitted with a 16" barrel, though I'm uncertain whether it came in chambering other than 30/30.

    Well, I guess that makes the decision simpler. If lever action is the answer, then it's either the Marlin 1894/1894SS .44 carbine or the Ruger Deerfield .44 carbine. Or, a no-longer-produced M94 Trapper. Or, continue to root around the gun shows and learning about some of the interesting items no longer produced.

    Gaaaaaghh! I could go crazy, doing this.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  14. #28
    Member Array joe/OH's Avatar
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    I'd personally pick a Marlin lever 30-30. It's non-threatening, handy, quick to aim, accurate, and packs a good punch. I don't know if I'd use it on deer-sized game past 150 yards - but opinions will vary I'm sure. I would have no problems using it in a defensive situation. Battle rifle? No - but then again battle rifles aren't defensive in nature.

    The only thing I don't like about the lever action is firing it in prone.

  15. #29
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    Marlin 1894/1894SS .44 carbine ...
    There are a few 1894P .44 mag in 16-1/4" bbl floating around. Saw one for $425 a couple days ago. And the 1894CP .357 mag in 16-1/4 bbl, for under $400 here and there. Interesting "guide gun" (trapper) format.

    We'll see what this weekend's gun show has in stock.
    Your best weapon is your brain. Don't leave home without it.
    Thoughts: Justifiable self defense (A.O.J.).
    Explain: How does disarming victims reduce the number of victims?
    Reason over Force: The Gun is Civilization (Marko Kloos).
    NRA, SAF, GOA, OFF, ACLDN.

  16. #30
    Distinguished Member Array AutoFan's Avatar
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    Based on your criteria, an M-1 Carbine would seem to be a good fit. Loaded with non-ball ammo, it will function as both a self defense weapon and take small to moderate sized game out to about 100 yards.

    The biggest problems are the age/condition of most of them, and the <insert expletive here> collectors running the prices up.

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