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View Full Version : "truck gun" advice... rifle vs shotgun


Rattlehead
September 24, 2009, 05:03 PM
I'm currently on the hunt for a sort of truck gun.... I'd like it to be able to cover basic hunting and defense, while still being able to take it to the range frequently (key point there). I'm looking to stay under a ceiling of $4-500, and I'm currently debating between a Mossberg 41588 Combo (500 series) (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/83/products_id/46910), and a Marlin 336 (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/41183). Or if I'm feeling frisky, the 45210 combo (535 series) (http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/products_id/14658). The versatility of the Mossberg seems like it should easily trump the 336.

The sticking point with me is this: if I'm going for the Mossberg, I'd probably be using the slug barrel quite a bit, especially if I intend to get good with it. From what I've seen, the price on the sabot slugs needed for this is usually somewhere in the neighborhood of $2/round (I'm usually seeing boxes of 5 sold for $10-12). 30-30 ammo seems to run around anywhere from $15-40 for a box of 20. Comparitively, the shotgun seems like a very expensive toy (esp compared to what I'm used to paying for 17 HMR!) Thus the cost of consistent range use would seem to favor the 336.

Any thoughts/ideas on this? Would a 336 make for a decent HD firearm? I kind of like the versatility of the shotgun, but would it really make for a good medium-distance hunting weapon? Most people I've heard of indicate significant range time is needed to make that avenue worthwhile. (note: by hunting, I'm talking about deer-size or greater) I'm curious to know what some of the more experienced have encountered with either of these firearms, or if they know of some alternatives.

hogdogs
September 24, 2009, 05:15 PM
Actually I own both a 500 in 20 gauge and a 336 .30-30. I would ALWAYS grab the shotgun for truck carry. I can toss a 25 count box of 7 1/2, a 5 count each of slug and #3buck and pretty much cover the bases.
I wouldn't want to tear up the 1977 336 with daily carry since it covers so many fewer uses.
Brent

ZeroJunk
September 24, 2009, 05:19 PM
Not sure that I would shoot anything bigger than a deer with a shotgun.

But, for self defense I would rather have it.

YARDDOG(1)
September 24, 2009, 06:17 PM
12Ga. slug will knock anything down in the U.S.A. within 50 yards ;)

rantingredneck
September 24, 2009, 06:36 PM
I'm a shotgun kinda guy when it comes to truck guns. Why buy something new to knock around?

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/cPath/654_775/products_id/411537360

I picked one of these up recently even though I already had a few 870's and other shotguns (including a couple of Mossbergs). The finish ain't pretty but the internals are nearly new. I expect it'll outlast me..........

L_Killkenny
September 24, 2009, 06:45 PM
The fact that you re wanting range time would lead me too the 30/30. 12ga's firing slugs aren't much fun. 30/30's are.

Don't bother with a "rifled" barrel for a slug gun if you go that route. Foster slugs are plenty accurate with-in 75 yards (and beyond if things are right) and much cheaper.

But only you can answer the question. Either is a great defense gun. But thats the last thing you will need it for and unlikely. You're 100% sure that you will fire the gun at the range and go hunting but only a slim chance of SD. The 30/30 is more fun at the range hands down (unless you are into trap shooting, I'm not). But ask yourself what you are wanting to hunt? Small game and birds the 12ga wins. For large game, predators and/or varmints I'll take the 30/30 where legal.

LK

Old Grump
September 24, 2009, 08:31 PM
Savage 24 over under 30-30/12 gauge, best of both in one package.

fisherman66
September 24, 2009, 08:49 PM
Describe the flora and fauna in your area (how open is the land and aside from 2 legged threats what else might you shoot?)

rickyjames
September 24, 2009, 08:59 PM
you can buy a new mavrick 12 ga pump for around $200 give or take depending on model. i'm sure you can find a nice used pump for about the same money or less. if your looking for a rifle check out the mosin mil-surp rifles. hi power, cheap ammo and you can probably find one for $100 or less. if i was going to get a truck gun that would probably get knocked around alot and i would'nt care about the dings i would probably get the mosin.

hogdogs
September 24, 2009, 09:51 PM
you can buy a new mavrick 12 ga pump for around $200 give or take
More like $139-$159 with a 28 inch barrel and accu-choke
Brent

wyobohunter
September 25, 2009, 01:33 AM
Savage 24 over under 30-30/12 gauge, best of both in one package.

+1, otherwise I'd look for both used. No need to comprimise with either choice.

Rattlehead
September 25, 2009, 11:39 AM
Actually I own both a 500 in 20 gauge and a 336 .30-30. I would ALWAYS grab the shotgun for truck carry. I can toss a 25 count box of 7 1/2, a 5 count each of slug and #3buck and pretty much cover the bases.
I wouldn't want to tear up the 1977 336 with daily carry since it covers so many fewer uses.
Brent

I'm kinda curious about the last bit... is the 336 more susceptible to abuse than the 500?

I'm a shotgun kinda guy when it comes to truck guns. Why buy something new to knock around?

http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/p...s_id/411537360

I picked one of these up recently even though I already had a few 870's and other shotguns (including a couple of Mossbergs). The finish ain't pretty but the internals are nearly new. I expect it'll outlast me..........

I've looked at these a bit... the one thing (and this might seem silly) is that I'm not a huge fan of black synthetic - I much prefer wood hardware. Still definitely an option down the road if I choose to eventually pick up both. (on another note, and not trying to derail my own thread - how viable is repainting a system like that?)

L_Killkenny's post is probably the most in line with what my current thought process is going through - if I know that I'm going to be using it on the range frequently, the ammo cost would seem to be banking heavily in favor of the 336.

Just out of of curiosity - what's the ammo capacity on the Savage 24? From what I could tell, it seemed to be a single-shot system. Good to know that system is out there, anyhow... definitely hadn't seent that before.

Fisherman_66... I'm going to be moving to upstate NY by the time this purchase goes through (this isn't a "tomorrow" thing), so I'm mostly looking at deer and black bear, and a decently forested area. Ontario, Canada's also within range, so I might see about heading up there. Which also makes me think a bit about the comments about not using a 12 ga for large game... I was under the impression that slugs would make it a decent option in the category.

rantingredneck
September 25, 2009, 11:45 AM
(on another note, and not trying to derail my own thread - how viable is repainting a system like that?)


There are several DIY options out there in spray on/bake on finishes. I may end up refinishing mine at some point down the road but it's not a priority right now.

a7mmnut
September 25, 2009, 11:55 AM
Watch out! Those Savage 24's are bringing major $$$ now!

-7-

fisherman66
September 25, 2009, 02:36 PM
Fisherman_66... I'm going to be moving to upstate NY by the time this purchase goes through (this isn't a "tomorrow" thing), so I'm mostly looking at deer and black bear, and a decently forested area. Ontario, Canada's also within range, so I might see about heading up there. Which also makes me think a bit about the comments about not using a 12 ga for large game... I was under the impression that slugs would make it a decent option in the category.

It sounds as if a long shot would be very rare. Either weapon would work well. I'm partial to rifles and I find shotgun slug recoil to be uncomfortable.

hogdogs
September 25, 2009, 07:29 PM
I'm kinda curious about the last bit... is the 336 more susceptible to abuse than the 500?
No, not really. My 336 has the real walnut furniture and is pretty sharp for a 32+ year old gun. I simply imply that it has less versatility than my all black junker gun.
Brent

BoneDigger
September 26, 2009, 10:11 AM
Marlin 336, 30-30.

Todd

Daryl
September 26, 2009, 12:47 PM
To me, it sounds like your looking for more of an "all around" gun rather than a truck gun.

I have a couple of firearms I use for a "truck gun", and they get shot a lot, but they don't necessarily get hunted with, and they don't spend a lot of time at the range. Don't get me wrong though; they'll suffice for either purpose, but their main use it being available for whatever need might arise. It might be a coyote in a field, a dog chasing cattle, or getting dinner if I decide to stay out in the hills and extra day or two. They're inexpensive in case of theft, and I don't have to worry much about damaging them (I do use a soft-sided case to help protect them a bit).

The primary point is "inexpensive" and "easily replaced" if things go wrong. Bouncing around in a truck is generally not good for an accurate hunting firearm.

For all around use, take your pick according to the intended use. Slugs get expensive, and they aren't usually a lot of fun at the range. For cost and fun, the 30-30 would get my vote.

The 30-30 will kill anything in the lower 48 at the same ranges you'd use for slugs, and will offer more range for most animals. It gets my vote there, as well.

If you'll hunt small game, then the shotgun would get my vote for that. The 30=30 would tear 'em up with anything but a head shot or "barking" them by shooting the tree or ground under their belly.

I'm a rifleman myself, but your needs and wants may vary.

Daryl

Daryl

Rattlehead
October 3, 2009, 09:36 PM
First things first - thanks for the advice.

Daryl - I think you're right, I am kind of looking for an all-around gun, but I also want something that can take a bit of abuse. I don't need anything mil-spec, but something decently durable.

I'm also considering the idea rickyjames threw out - I could combine a lower-end Mossberg/Maverick with a Mosin 1891 for within my price bracket. The cost of 7.62x54R would be low enough to allow me some range time with a centerfire system, and for use when I really plan to be shooting while allowing me to keep a shorter, more abuse-prone firearm for HD, etc. I'd probably try to pick up enough slugs to get a handle for them, get some practice down, and possibly hunting (where I wouldn't be cranking through rounds by the case), but do the majority of my shooting with the cheaper 7.62 rounds....

(no offense intended here toward rickyjames, I'm not trying to second-guess you, but I would be interested to hear some further opinions/discussion on the viability of that option)

Thanks in advance...:cool: