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View Full Version : Need Help Choosing a Rifle


bhafen
January 5, 2011, 07:34 PM
Hello all, this is my first post on these forums and I am looking for a little help. I have actually researched this topic almost to death in the last month and am now just asking for some opinions of what you might do if you were facing the same situation.

I am looking for a gun that I can carry with me when I'm hiking in the brush in Utah and Montana. I wouldn't mind also being able to possibly do some hunting with the rifle. So it is important that the gun in fairly light but it isn't that big of a deal I am 6'5 220 and don't think length will effect me too much. I am also considering the fact that I may take it to Alaska at some point. I hunt in north western Montana so the chance of browns in fairly high but not like Alaska.

Listed below are the guns I am considering and the pros and cons I have determined through research.

Rossi M92: This gun is light, affordable, and apparently well made. Problem is you read a lot of negative about them on some forums. Cracking stocks, coming apart under casull pressures and so on.

Henry Big Boy: Made in the USA and they seem to have a really good wrap for that. Downside is they're heavy and I don't think they look as good as the 92

Marlin 1895: This gun offers the 45-70 caliber which is apparently a good round it is also a Marlin which seems to be the Glock of rifle. (i.e. everyone either loves or hates them) problem is it is 26" long on the barrel and even to me that seems a little long plus it has 2 pounds on the rossi.

I have also looked at a gun from Taylor's and Co. possibly an umberti? I'm not sure but that seems expensive for a gun that will be beat up in the wilderness.

Calibers:
Originally I was really interested in the 454 casull from rossi because it is big packs punch and can typically feed the 45 colt without issues. the 454 casull rossi is very hard to come by so I may just end up with a 45 colt model because for all purposes the 45 colt seems quite good on paper. The 454 though could be used for 45 colt plinking and 454 casull woods carry.

I haven't considered the 44 magnum because the 45 colt seems slightly cheaper and can also be loaded hot enough to where it is almost a 44 magnum anyways. Also apparently less recoil.

I like the 45-70 on paper as well but apparently it kicks like a mule and it drops speed quickly so it is hard to judge shooting it at ranges 100+ yards.

Anyways any advice or opinions would be appreciated because I need to make a decision hopefully by tomorrow because I have the Rossi Casull on order but it will take months to show up apparently.

Thanks for reading.

Hardcase
January 5, 2011, 11:43 PM
I have a Rossi M92 in .357 and I shoot a hundred rounds or so each week during the spring and summer. My buddy has one in .44 magnum and does the same. We've had no reliability problems with either. Both actions were just a little rough out of the box, but smoothed out with use and now, after a couple of thousand rounds each, are quite smooth. Both feed the "special" rounds with no problem.

I've shot a Henry in .45. It had the typical Henry action, very, very smooth, but it was a heavy gun and I don't think that I'd care to pack it around too much. The .22-style loading system didn't bother me all that much, but it just didn't come across as a practical gun.

Marlin's reputation, I think, speaks for itself.

As far as 100+ yard ranges, I think that a hundred yards is about as far as I'd consider shooting a lever action rifle with open sights.

horseman308
January 6, 2011, 09:29 AM
It sounds like you might first need to decide whether you want a rifle cartridge or a pistol cartridge. I think you're steering the right way in terms of a short lever-action carbine, though. I really can't say whether any of the pistol calibers are really suitable for hunting big game or protection from bears - I don't know myself.

However, what I wanted to mention most is that since you are considering a .45-70, but you are unsure about carrying around the extra weight and length of the 26"-barrelled version (the Marlin 1895 Cowboy), maybe you should look at some of the other Marlin 1895 options. There are some really good ones that are shorter, lighter, and built with the ideas you seem to have in mind. Yes, it will kick a lot, but I don't think you'll ever lack for power there.

jimbob86
January 6, 2011, 10:19 AM
For a rifle that you'll Carry more than shoot, in .45/70, because bears are a possibility, I'd go with the Marlin 1895G ...... you'll have to find a used one though, as they don't appear on the Marlin site anymore.

here's a stainless one:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=209746315

and one in walnut and blue:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=210276770

Claddagh
January 6, 2011, 10:39 AM
IMO, what you need if an encounter with one of the big bears (deliberately or by chance) is something you might find yourself faced with is a Marlin 1895G in either .45-70 or .450 Marlin. Serious "oomph!" in a handy, compact package.

Their latest model in the line is fairly pricey, but incorporates many of the most popular and usefull features and improvements that have been developed over the years in the aftermarket.

It is stainless steel with a black/gray laminated, pistol grip stock, 18" barrel, full-length magazine tube, large-loop lever and XS's excellent scope mount and irons combo. It's hard for me to imagine a more versatile or ideal all-around LA set-up for medium-to-extra large North American game out to about 200 yds., especially in rough country and harsh environments.

jimbob86
January 6, 2011, 10:51 AM
I like the 45-70 on paper as well but apparently it kicks like a mule and it drops speed quickly so it is hard to judge shooting it at ranges 100+ yards.




For a hunting rifle cabable of taking bears, either you are going to have a heavy gun, or pretty stout recoil: TANSTAAFL, it's physics. Action means equal and opposite reaction.

You want a gun capable of taking down a brown bear that won't kick you (much*)? It'll have to weigh on the order of 10+ lbs.

Going looking for bear? Want to shoot more than 100 yards without holding over? Start with something in at least .30 caliber driving a 180 grain bullet at least 2700-2800 f/sec. That means a carefully loaded 24" barelled .308WIN as a minimum .... if you are going to Alaska, you'll have to have residency, a relative, or a guide. A guide will tell you the minimum caliber, and it will likely be something on the order of a .338 WinMag....... 4,000+ ft/lbs of ME. A relative that cares about you will tell you the same thing the guide will......






*Recoil is largely subjective. If you believe it will whack you, it will. You're a big guy- practice with progressively harder kicking loads will convince you that it is "not that bad".....

Doc Hoy
January 6, 2011, 11:26 AM
Welcome to the congregation.

As you can tell, you came to the right place.

jimbob86
January 6, 2011, 11:48 AM
Listed below are the guns I am considering and the pros and cons I have determined through research.

Rossi M92: This gun is light, affordable, and apparently well made. Problem is you read a lot of negative about them on some forums. Cracking stocks, coming apart under casull pressures and so on.

Henry Big Boy: Made in the USA and they seem to have a really good wrap for that. Downside is they're heavy and I don't think they look as good as the 92

Marlin 1895: This gun offers the 45-70 caliber which is apparently a good round it is also a Marlin which seems to be the Glock of rifle. (i.e. everyone either loves or hates them) problem is it is 26" long on the barrel and even to me that seems a little long plus it has 2 pounds on the rossi.



Rossi M92 I would not. Bear? No. Deer? No. Pay real money for it? No.

Henry Big Boy..... Don't take it to Alaska. If you see a bear while carrying this in .44 Mag, Back away telling the bear, "I don't want to shoot you, Mr. Bear, but ........"

Marlin 1895 ......... Hot loaded .45/70 will gernerate 2,800 ft/lbs ME ..... Also available in .450 Marlin, for 3,400 ft/lbs........ maybe acceptable to AK bear guides. Will have signifigant recoil, especially in 1895G version @ 7 lbs. Expensive to shoot: learn to roll your own.

bhafen
January 6, 2011, 01:07 PM
Thanks for all the input it really has helped a bunch. I'm thinking I'll just get a rossi in 454 and wait for it and go down and put the marlin on order as well. One for fun and one for serious business in the woods.

Noz
January 7, 2011, 10:33 AM
For a hunting rifle cabable of taking bears, either you are going to have a heavy gun, or pretty stout recoil: TANSTAAFL, it's physics. Action means equal and opposite reaction.
It would be interesting to see how many people can place this "quote". My camper has a bumper sticker with that on it.

jimbob86
January 7, 2011, 10:40 AM
TANSTAAFL

Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress had it in there..... on the Loonie flag, IIRC. I first heard it referenced by Tamara K. of The View From The Porch. ....... caused me to rediscover Heinlein. Great stuff. (both Heinlein and Tam!)

Hardcase
January 7, 2011, 10:43 AM
For a hunting rifle cabable of taking bears, either you are going to have a heavy gun, or pretty stout recoil: TANSTAAFL, it's physics. Action means equal and opposite reaction.
It would be interesting to see how many people can place this "quote". My camper has a bumper sticker with that on it.

That was my high school economics teacher's favorite phrase. He also recommended that we kids try to live with our parents for as long as we could because it was the best deal that we'd ever have. He ended up becoming mayor of our little burg. My dad says that he cheats at golf. I suspect that dad says that because of the whole "live with your parents" thing, though.

Oh dear, I've derailed another thread...

olmontanaboy
February 5, 2011, 09:50 AM
As someone mentioned earlier in this thread the Marlin 1895 45-70 is a great rifle. I carried one in Montana for a number of years. Strong action and well made of quality materials. Here's mine, this is not the one I carried in Montana, I sold that one and always regretted it. I finally found another one of that same vintage and I grabbed it up:D
http://www.leverguns.com/articles/marlin_4570.htm

http://i43.photobucket.com/albums/e367/filekeeper/1895001.jpg

Ben Towe
February 5, 2011, 11:45 AM
I had the Marlin 1895G in .450 Marlin. Absolutely loved it but regretted not buying it in .45-70. Not alot of factory ammo choices for the .450.

Delmar
February 5, 2011, 11:53 AM
the 454 casull rossi is very hard to come by
Here you go.

http://www.pistolandpawn.com/store/puma-10-1-454-casull-w-20-barrel-blue-finish-67810.html
Oops sold out.