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Old October 11, 2008, 10:25 PM   #1
300magman
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The Ultimate Bush Rifle

Just what would you all call the untimate bush rifle.....at a reasonable price. Something short, fast handling, fast repeating I think, and fairly light.

What I really want is the close in fast action rifle but hopefully in a caliber and configuration that has some accuracy and power at longer ranges. Though it would get used often at 50 & 75 yards there are always times when it could get called upon to go 200 or maybe 250 yards on occasion.

Which brings me to sights..or optics. What would be good for fast target acquisition and fast follow up with low zoom (maybe 2X) but also be able to get turned up to somewhere around 6x or 9X for the longer stuff? (Would there be something lighter and faster than a good old 3-9X50)?

On a related topic does anyone know if you can convert a level action Browning BLR lightweight back and forth between calibers without much trouble? Switching from 22-250 for close in varmints to 270 or 308 for close in deer would be great if it could be done with only a barrel change.
Anyone know of a rifle that can do this if the browning can't?
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Old October 11, 2008, 10:27 PM   #2
zoomie
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Marlin 1895 45-70 or 450. Guide Gun if you want ultimate handiness, 22" barrel if you can give up a little handiness for external ballistics. Use the LEVERevolution stuff if you think you'll need the 250 yard shot. I'd look at maybe a 2-7x scope. Anything with a 50mm objective is gonna be big and heavy.
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Old October 11, 2008, 10:57 PM   #3
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I still like a bolt rifle better for this situation. Bolt guns can be made lighter and with the shorter 20" barrels are every bit as quick to the shoulder. With practice repeat shots are about the same. I shoot lever guns a lot but can get off 3 "AIMED" shots off with my bolt guns in about the same time as 4 "AIMED" shots with a lever rifle.

Put a 2-7X scope on a Remington model 7 in .308 and you will have a sub 7 lb rifle that will be perfect for close range work in brush, and still make 300yard shots if needed. It will not be as accurate as some of the heavier more powerful guns but will take any deer at that range.
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Old October 11, 2008, 11:01 PM   #4
George Hill
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527 Carbine in 7.62x39mm, topped with a Vortex Viper 2-7x32mm Deadhold BDC with a simple nylon 2 point quick adjustable sling.
Fast handling, accurate from muzzle to 400 yards easily. Hits hard enough for light to medium sized game.
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Old October 11, 2008, 11:52 PM   #5
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I studied on this long and hard with your parameters except for the longer distance. In this application I like lever guns and for your 250 yd. shots would go with a 30-30. I hunt really dense brush and like the .44 Mag plus I carry a .44 Mag. for backup = one round for the woods. This is kind of what it looks like here.



I now need optics and went with a shotgun scope that dials down to 1.5.

Buy used, they're already broken in for you and may have seen a gunsmith or two.

My Marlin .44 Mag. w/new scope came in at under $500.
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:13 AM   #6
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I seriously considered four rifles before making my choice of a brush rifle.In the end I went with the Howa as the best (for me) combination of size, handling, ballistics, hitting power for 10-300 yards. And they have a nice trigger.

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Last edited by sholling; October 12, 2008 at 11:56 AM.
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:22 AM   #7
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Duplicate
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:26 AM   #8
dreamweaver
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1894 in 30-30 meets your requirements.

or a "sporterized" enfield 303 if you like bolt action

an AR10 in 308 ??
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:26 AM   #9
SWMAGMAN
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If someone made it...

A .460S&W Mag lever gun with ghost ring sights...carbine length would be fine
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Old October 12, 2008, 12:27 AM   #10
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I built a 6.8 for my do it all cartridge and go anywhere gun, on an AR platform w/16in barrel.
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Old October 12, 2008, 01:18 AM   #11
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:34 AM   #12
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If I were to put one together I'd probably go with a Marlin lever in .30-30, topped with their XS Forward Mount scope base and a Leupold 2x or 4x handgun scope. Feed it the Leverolution ammo from Hornady.

I think 250 yards would really be pushing it, but I'd feel confident with this setup out to 200 yards for targets up to and including decent-sized deer.

http://www.xssights.com/store/scope.html
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:12 AM   #13
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Its very difficult to beat the old 45-70 for a brush gun!
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:39 PM   #14
300magman
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Well there are some very interesting suggestions in there...a few of them aren't legal in Canada though. 18.5" barrel minimum here.

I'm not overly crazy about the heavy slow cartridges though, they've probably got great knock down in close but they drop like a stone at range. I had thought of 30-30 myself but again, power and tragectory are less then stellar for longer range shots. And I'm not really going to practise enough to get Really fast with a bolt, pump would be optimal, lever or semi would be second (semi's are usually heavy)
Hmmm...I had seen these marlins that say they simulate 308 performance, but where does a guy get ammo for them, and will they be a fad that becomes an obscure and hard to find cartridge in a few years.

Sight wise I am kinda surprised at everyones tendancy to small and light. Sure light is nice, but wouldn't something with a 40 or 50mm objective have a lot more field of view than something small with a 20mm objective and therefor make for much faster target acquisition and better tracking on running or follow up shots?
I was kinda hoping someone out there would tell me about some new fangled invention that worked differently and better than a traditional scope for this kind of situation, but perhaps there is no such thing.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:48 PM   #15
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For the ype of brush hunting I do here in Texas, a Savage 99C featherweight in .308 used to be the ticket, until the M1A Socom came out and that is what I use now.

I will not take a shot through brush unless I have a clearly defined target and know exactly what is behind my target so the .308 offers flexibility for short or long shots.

If I were inclined to literally shoot through brush at a target, I believe the 45-70 would be the ultimate for ranges up to 100 yards.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:50 PM   #16
zoomie
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Maybe you're looking for a EoTech, Aimpoint, or ACOG sight? Those are probably about the best you're gonna get for field of view (i.e. two eyes open sighting).

On traditional scopes anyway, field of view is a function of magnification more than objective size.
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Old October 12, 2008, 08:52 PM   #17
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No doubt about it, Marlin 1985 45-70 period.
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:11 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildalaska
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Yep, an R93 would be the gun to have if caliber/barrel interchange was a important feature... and you could afford the buy-in. Superbly made, brilliantly designed guns.

C
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Old October 12, 2008, 09:17 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 300magmann
I was kinda hoping someone out there would tell me about some new fangled invention that worked differently and better than a traditional scope for this kind of situation, but perhaps there is no such thing.
Remove the 200-250 yard condition from your "brush gun" and you may get some very different recommendations.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:08 PM   #20
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other vote for 45-70

A pack a Marlin 1895 GS for my knockabout bush gun.
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:30 PM   #21
300magman
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My area of the world is very open flat and LONG, hence my handle "300magman" and although there are a few tight spots where I could experiment with a still hunt or two the fact remains that on the way to these dense spots and on the way back I will be passing by (or through) very open areas and some long fields.
Wouldn't I be beside myself if I saw a nice buck downrange (and out in the open, with no way to get close to him...very real and common situation terrain wise) and I couldn't take the shot because my 45-70 has 40" of drop at that range and I didn't think I could hit him clean....its a hard set of situations for one rifle to live up to perfectly (but life is about compromise)

There is always a Rem 7600 carbine in 308....still a bit big and heavy though. (I wonder if there is a way to lighten one a bit??)
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Old October 12, 2008, 10:58 PM   #22
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I have an 1873 Trapdoor rifle in 45-70 and it'll knock the bejeezus out of me, 20 rds. a day is about max for me. I can't imagine that in a smaller rifle!

OK, most of you hunt up north and have a lot of padding due to clothes. Here the rifle season opens on the 25th. The temps. are predicted to be in the 80's and that means sweating in long sleeved camo T-shirts. I'm still trying to imagine that 45-70 going off. Ouch!
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Old October 13, 2008, 06:19 AM   #23
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Look to the right. (another chance to show the photo )

Marlin 45/70 Guide Gun. Simons 2.5 shotgun scope, 5.5" eye relief. Simms recoil pad. Non-ported. The recoil ain't really as much as a 12ga slug, shooting Hornady 350's with 3100+ lbs of muzzle energy (on the box). Would I take a 250 yd shot? Only if ranged, with a rest, broad side, and I knew to hold over about 14" .

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Old October 13, 2008, 06:38 AM   #24
RLFD5415
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Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in 45-70 is tops. I've built two compact bolt guns. One in 358 win and the other in 7mm-08. I love them both dearly, but neither can compete on handling with the GG or with the 45-70 as a brush buster.
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Old October 13, 2008, 06:53 AM   #25
Magnum Wheel Man
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mine is a custom... 50 A.E., built on a Marlin 44 Magnum carbine... for a scope, it wears a Cabela's Alaskan Guide zero power ... you can litterally shoot it with both eyes open, & the field of view is larger than any other scope made

the gun was designed to shoot heavy cast bullets, & will feed & hold 13 of my 450 grain cast flat nose cartridges...

of off the shelf guns, IMO, it's tough to beat a stainless guide gun from Marlin... mines a carbine in 45-70...

my 50 A.E. close up of the zero power scope...



my guide gun... in 45-70

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