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Old February 14, 2014, 10:51 PM   #26
SIGSHR
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Using a full sized centerfire rifle for home defense would make sense with a reduced power round. Years ago in American Rifleman I saw a picture of a box of reduced velocity guard cartridges issued years ago.
I would look at something more "modern", a sporterized milsurp, hard to tell if it was built by Joe Gunsmith or cobbled together by Bubba.
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Old February 14, 2014, 11:30 PM   #27
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Seeing you are in NJ, the SKS is a great option for you.

You can still buy them in the $300-400 range. 10rd internal box mag and no "Evil" features. I recommend a nice Chinese SKS if you can locate one. There are online dealers that sell them for $299 (Classic Firearms).

Ammo is relatively cheap at around $5/box of 20rds or $220/1k rds.
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Old February 15, 2014, 12:21 AM   #28
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SIGSHR -

I don't really see a point in that when there is ammunition like the 110 gr Hornady Tap .308 which pretty much explodes on impact. I think a downloaded non expanding bullet would be more likely to over penetrate and impart less energy. If you are using a centerfire bolt gun you might as well benefit from the full energy potential.
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Old February 15, 2014, 11:02 AM   #29
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I started a thread here awhile back asking about the one rifle lifestyle. Probably half the responses were a .308 or .30-06 bolt gun with a nice scope.
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Old February 15, 2014, 12:09 PM   #30
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All around rifle?
That depends on what is around your all.

What is "best" in Florida would not be best in Montana.
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Old February 17, 2014, 12:16 PM   #31
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As other have said the cheapest ammo is 7.62x54r , its a actually a good round I was lucky to get ahead of the rush and had a AK that shot that round and have lots of cheap fun compared to my other calibers .
I think the last lead smelting plant in the US just closed , thats going to effect the price of lead in the US on top of having a hard time finding ammo on the shelf , now the fishing guys are going to drive up prices in the US ... They need Sinkers ...LOL
I all ways look at what other countries are using , looks to be tons of 5.45x39 military ammo , I have a AR and AK's in that round and is a fairly cheap round .
I feel the years of cheap fun are numbered no matter what rifle and caliber out side of .22 .
All the cheap ammo is from other countries , guns are going the way of the muscle car , you bring them out every once in the while and the cost $$$$ to fuel them up .
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Old February 17, 2014, 04:57 PM   #32
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Milsurps are great

But their sights may be lacking for what you want them for. Mounting a scope may require drilling into a piece of history.

An all around rifle is one that you can scope and is easy to shoot well.

The savage Axis is cheap and in something like .223 is accurate effective for small game and a great value.

True all around would mean stepping up to an all around caliber like .308 or .30-06
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Old February 18, 2014, 02:33 AM   #33
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There's NO SUCH thing as an AK that shoots 7.62x54R. A PSL or Dragunov, yes, but impossible in an AK.
For what you want, the SKS would be a whole lotta' fun. Ammo is still pretty cheap, and available in up to a 154 gr. soft point for deer sized game.
If it's the only rifle you have, it feels just fine for packing along on a day hike. It's powerful enough to offer viable defense against any lunatics who are likely to accost you, out in the sticks or at home. Accuracy is generally good for milk jug sized targets out to around 200 yards.
It's next to impossible to mount a scope, but iron sites are much more durable. If it's your only rifle, and that's what you always shoot, it will soon feel like it's just supposed to be that way.
Watch some youtube videos about people shooting the SKS. It's an easy rifle to fall in like with.
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Old March 11, 2014, 12:34 AM   #34
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I'm going to assume that "not pricey" means "under $500 used" before optics etc.

In that case, lotta options...

Rem 7400 pump. Pumps are arguably well fast enough for self-defense. Chambering of .223 rem or .243 win, maybe others

CZ 527 Carbine in .223 or 762x39. Or for that matter, any used bolt action with a short bbl (20") in a reasonably-small chambering - .223, .243 being good choices. Not as fast as a pump, but fast with practice.

SKS (762x39)

KelTec SU16 in 556x45

Marlin 336 in .30-30 win
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Old March 11, 2014, 09:21 PM   #35
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I'm going to suggest something no one else wil probably. A single shot. A NEF/H&R can be had for $150-$250 used. A 45-70 in hotter loads can do your long distance shooting easily. Defense won't be great with only one shot however, but with light loads it'll be a good round. Another great option would be a Rossi Circuit Judge. Great for home defense with .45 Colt. Long distance isn't going to happen well though.

Really, we need more information. Some people think 100 yards is distance shooting while others think 1000 yards is child's play.

Last edited by WV_gunner; March 12, 2014 at 11:00 AM.
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Old March 11, 2014, 11:12 PM   #36
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To the OP, it's quite an open-ended question and so with no context in which to provide an answer, it's a pot shot
But I recently purchased a Tikka T3 Lite chambered in .223 and am really enjoying it. Semi-autos (whether AR style or less tactical shapes) fill the need as an excellent defensive firearm, a great design for hunting in high-pressure situations (e.g. hogs perhaps). And I have quite a few of them. But they also tend to push me to shoot more quickly and more rounds than I otherwise need to.
The bolt action design brings me back to summer camp when I was a kid of age in single digits, shooting five rounds and then walking out to check my work, then being granted another five rounds by the 'range officer'.
Today, the Tikka bolt brings me back to those times, provides a very accurate and easily carried platform, shoots (relatively) low-cost ammo while still being practical for certain hunting needs - though I am not a hunter.
Best of all it motivates me to savor each shot, practicing my breathing, my sighting and my trigger work. Popping off one round and then a pause to regroup my thoughts. Very zen perhaps but it works for me.
I'm not sure this is the last gun I would hold on to if all but one had to go, but for sheer shooting pleasure it absolutely is.
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Old March 12, 2014, 08:48 AM   #37
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Milsurps don't make good all around rifles

They tend to be heavy, have sights not set up for hunting or home defense, and are geared towards whatever military minds were in vogue that year.

There can be exceptions. The SKS is a pretty good platform, but you would need to modify it a bit.
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Old March 12, 2014, 09:19 AM   #38
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A decent lever action in 30-30 will fill the billet. And it likely that no legislature will go after it for a long while yet.
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Old March 12, 2014, 12:35 PM   #39
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"A decent lever action in 30-30 will fill the billet. And it likely that no legislature will go after it for a long while yet."

I do not believe this is true. In fact, I predict that if the military style rifles can be successfully outlawed that all firearms will follow within 3 years.
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Old March 12, 2014, 05:51 PM   #40
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For roughness, toughness and doesn't-stop-working-until-after-everything-else-does, the .303 is a pretty good Milsurp to consider. The Mosin is probably pretty close, possibly just as good, in the abuse-proofness department, but the Lee-Enfield has that ten-shot magazine capacity going for it and a slicker action with a turned-down bolt handle. The only downside is that you have to be careful if you handload up the hot end of the scale; case life might be rather short unless you neck-size.

The speed record for the Lee-Enfield is 38 aimed shots in one minute, including reloading time, which probably puts the cyclic rate around sixty rounds a minute. One every second. That's as good as a semi-auto, and you can use reduced loads with light bullets that a semi won't swallow.
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Old March 12, 2014, 08:44 PM   #41
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Notwithstanding what I said above (to deviate from the semi-auto mandate), the best all-around rifle is without a doubt, of the turnbolt type (generally speaking); specifically a "scout" setup. In fact, that's the very definition of what a scout IS - the best all-around, jack-of-all-trades / master-of-none rifle. Although a lever or pump is not specifically ruled out by scout requirements, they really are as a practical matter due to weight (espec. leverguns).

There are many configs and variants. Can be any make, can have the scope mounted traditionally or forward, can have stripper clip cutouts or not; can have a 16-20" bbl, can be of any common chambering but 7mm-08, .308 win, or .338 federal preferred. It must have iron sights, preferably with a peep rear.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scout_rifle

The Ruger Frontier rifle comes pretty close.

and yeah, a milsurp can be a good option. I often kick myself for selling an Ishapore 2A SMLE that had been "jungle-fied" - cut to 17" and made to look like a No. 6 jungle carbine with the flared flash hider. Great all-purpose rifle and held 12+1 rounds of 762x51.

Last edited by Unlicensed Dremel; March 13, 2014 at 01:27 PM.
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Old March 13, 2014, 09:51 AM   #42
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So what's the better deal? The Russian Saiga or the Chinese SKS? The Saiga costs more but is it a lot better?
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Old March 13, 2014, 01:28 PM   #43
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Better for what? Better for using multiple magazines? Yes.
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Old March 18, 2014, 07:47 PM   #44
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Wow... I meant: "Better for using multiple magazines: Saiga" - not "yes".

Also, two other mistakes...
*No 5 (not No 6), and
*Rem 7600, not 7400 (though a semi-auto 7400 or 750 is yet another choice here)
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Old March 19, 2014, 08:00 PM   #45
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I dont get where you guys are calling leverguns heavy? Maybe the octagon barreled ones, but a stock Marlin 336 is the same weight as a Ruger GSR and has a longer barrel!

Please post facts next time to back up you statements.
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:34 AM   #46
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5 compact bolts

Hey, I like levers, Ok, and have no axe to grind, but there really are useful, compact bolts that will rival a lever carbine.

A ways back somebody challenged for 5 compact bolts. Listed are 5 that will shoot with any lever in terms of accuracy and reach. Some will equal or exceed a lever in rate of fire/volume of fire, but such does not matter to me in a GP rife so much. All are way ahead of a pistol caliber carbine in terms of punch, and some eclipse the .30-30 and .35 . None require the the halfcock safety that so many seem to misunderstand these days, and none have a design spoiled by lawyer manual safeties. All are easily scoped. You don't have to jack all the rounds through the action to clear them either.

Here ya go:
-Rem 600-660
-Rem Model 7
-Ruger American Compact
-Zastava Mini-Mauser
-Mossberg MVP/Patrol series
-CZ bolt carbine (sorry, can't name model)
-Ruger Frontier
-Browning Micro

True, they aren't flat, and don't fit in a scabbard on a nag so well, but not many get around via hayburner these days. Again, I have nothing against levers, and if you check my first post, I actually suggested a lever .30 to the OP. For quite a while I had a M94 as a truck rifle, followed by a Marlin .357.
I like the breed, But the above bolts will run with the old carbines, for sure and shoot circles around them in some applications.
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Old March 22, 2014, 12:51 PM   #47
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I would consider my 44 mag model 94 with a short barrel a good home defense weapon. I have had it loaded with XTP rounds before. I like other rounds too, but that type of round will work well in a defense role.

I have also loaded the rounds a bit light and then the recoil is almost nonexistent.

For any kind of home defense the rifle and even the handgun it ill suited IMHO. the best suited home defense gun is a shotgun. A shotgun with the correct load will make the most affective home defense weapon. No aiming required so in a real situation when you are not calm and shaking and other issues, you just point it and shoot!

A pump action is great because it is so simple! No skill involved!

Mel
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Old March 23, 2014, 12:50 PM   #48
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- delete -
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Old March 23, 2014, 12:52 PM   #49
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Quote:
... best suited home defense gun is a shotgun.
A shotgun with the correct load will make the
most effective home defense weapon. No aiming
required
This is the single most misunderstood myth about shotguns, and it can get one killed.

At room ranges of 10-12' feet across, shotguns are point impact weapons,
and do not produce patterns of any significance.


http://www.theboxotruth.com/docs/bot20.htm

You must, repeat -- MUST -- aim a shotgun, no less than any long gun or any handgun.
And trying to swing a normal field shotgun w/ a 28" barrel inside a normal room is fraught
with...... "challenge."

Last edited by mehavey; March 23, 2014 at 03:16 PM.
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Old March 24, 2014, 09:35 PM   #50
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Quote:
You must, repeat -- MUST -- aim a shotgun, no less than any long gun or any handgun.
And trying to swing a normal field shotgun w/ a 28" barrel inside a normal room is fraught
with...... "challenge."
Absolutely!

However, my instructing experience on the range with 18" barreled 870 shotguns loaded with 00 Buck at 10 yards spread nicely. You can also skip shoot off of cement or asphalt and get the advantage of picking up lots of additional shrapnel.

So, although your paper is proof enough, I have lots of experience with close quarter use of "riot" shotguns and they are very affective in close quarters, more so than our duty 38s or H&K model 94s or Mini 14s.

The shotgun is an indesciminent weapon for sure. Sorry I can't spell.

I also liked the 9mm glaser round we used for a while. I saw it injure 6 bystanders once when it bounced off of a table.

I have seen shotguns take out people at very close range being used from the combat position. (Held in the arm pit between the arm and side.)

IMHO!

Mel
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