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Old February 19, 2013, 09:49 PM   #1
Daekar
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The perfect "Walking Rifle"

I spend just as much time imagining roles that different guns might fill as I spend shooting. The role I have been contemplating lately is the "Walking Rifle," which in my little corner of Virginia would mean a gun suitable for anything from squirrels to Eastern Whitetail encountered in the hilly quilt pattern of hardwood forest and small farm fields.

I don't really have a perfect candidate yet... I'm gravitating towards some flavor of levergun in a low to mid-power round, but I'm curious to hear what platform and cartridge others would consider. Special handloads are allowed in considering suitable candidates.
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Old February 19, 2013, 09:57 PM   #2
mehavey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OP
....squirrels to Eastern Whitetail....
Easy...
`92 Winchester (or Clone) in 357Mag.

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Old February 19, 2013, 10:01 PM   #3
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Old February 19, 2013, 10:05 PM   #4
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Walking rifle to me would be a Pennsilvania flintlock long rifle. Preferably in .45. Load it to whatever level you need for whatever you encounter along the way.
No reason not to carry a touch of nastalgic class when walking in the woods.
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Old February 19, 2013, 10:13 PM   #5
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I also love my flinter, but I would say the best answer depends on where you are going to walk.
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Old February 19, 2013, 10:50 PM   #6
tahoe2
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whitetail are not that hard to kill, but will there be any possibility of bears?
If so, a marlin or chester in 30-30, if not, a light 243 would fill the bill, it could be a bolt, a pump, or a lever. Whatever suits your fancy.

Last edited by tahoe2; February 19, 2013 at 10:58 PM.
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Old February 19, 2013, 11:44 PM   #7
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Savage Model 24 in your favorite variant, and there were a number of them.

I would love to own a 12 gauge/.17 HMR over/under. But there are a number of shotgun/rifle combinations to suit your need. Assuming such gun is legal to hunt deer with in your state.

I would just use a different rifle for squirrel hunting than I would deer hunting. I am usually after one or the other, drastically different game generally calls for a different rifle.

I am a big fan of the .17 HMR for squirrels. In Georgia .22 Hornet is deer legal, and it is the smallest that is legal to use on deer. It would probably tear up a squirrel but if you aim for the head it would be accurate enough. It is a bit underpowered for deer in my opinion.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:04 AM   #8
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Quote:
I would just use a different rifle for squirrel hunting than I would deer hunting. I am usually after one or the other, drastically different game generally calls for a different rifle.
That's right. Squirrels and deer are just too far apart to use the same rifle on both. If deer season is open I will be carrying my deer rifle, a NEF Handi Rifle in .30-06. Otherwise for just walking in the woods, I will be carrying my Marlin Golden 39A Mountie with peep sights. Its a lot handier without a scope on it. If I am going out specifically to squirrel hunt, I will take my scoped 10-22.





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Old February 20, 2013, 12:21 AM   #9
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A Browning BLR in .243 with a compact 4x scope would be pretty nice.
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:35 AM   #10
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Years ago I had a S&W 1500 (Howa 1500) in 223 that a friend of mine wanted real bad, so I sold it to him. He rebarreled it to 7mm TCU to match his Contender, and he claimed it was the perfect all-around cartridge/rifle combination. Light bullets for coyotes, heavier bullets for deer. It was just about like a 30-30 in recoil, report, and performance, it killed just fine and was easy on the shooter.

If you are looking for factory chamberings, it would be pretty hard to beat the 357 lever action suggested, but if you are willing to handload I would suggest you take a look at the 6.5 TCU or the 7 TCU.
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Old February 20, 2013, 12:09 PM   #11
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Kimber Montana. Even with a scope it is 1 1/2 lbs lighter than a lever action. Far more accurate and versatile

Mine is in 308, but for your uses a 223 or 243 might be a better choice.



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Old February 20, 2013, 12:36 PM   #12
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Savage 24, .30-30 over 12ga





.
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:02 PM   #13
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I remember Mel Tappan doing an article about this sort of thing. And he concluded that a .308 was the way to go. With the smaller diameter bores, it is much tougher to load them down with lead bullets and pistol powder. With a .308 you have basically anything covered as far as big game. Especially with today's modern bullets. But you can also load it with standard lead bullets, patched lead bullets, and even round balls with very small amounts of pistol powder. Very, very versatile.

My "perfect rifle" for this would be a full stock older model Sako rifle. Short and handy and accurate.

You could actually buy a new one...

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/Vie...Item=330095938

For that amount of money... I think I would rather buy an older Sako action and have a custom rifle built. That new one is pretty though!

Gregg
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Old February 20, 2013, 01:33 PM   #14
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Question was perfect walking rifle and you answered:

Quote:
oryx

Shotgun


I assume you mean something like this shotgun of mine: H&R model 176 10 gauge, full choke, with 36" barrel. It's only a single shot but then you don't have to shoot this one very often.

Seriously for what the man was asking for a lever gun in .357 mag will fit the bill just fine. 148 gr wadcutters 38 spl for small game and 180 gr full load .357 for midsize game and he will be able to cover everything he wants to shoot in a light easy to carry quick to shoulder and easy to shoot gun. In addition there are all the other bullet styles and weights that he can pick and choose for optimum accuracy for his gun. Shotgun was kind of generic don't you think?
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Old February 20, 2013, 02:15 PM   #15
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My lightweight deer rifle is a remington model 7 in 7-08. Mine is the older version with an 18.5" barrel and walnut stock. It has open sights to use if I want and I have a leupold 2x7 mounted on it. Nice little rifle.

As to the suggestion of a lever in 357 I totally agree. My Marlin is my favorite of all my guns. I reload and have loads from full power 160gr softpoints to 36 caliber round balls loaded in 357 cases so they will feed through the action loaded for small game use. Its the one gun that could do for all my hunting from now on. Add a shotgun and I have it covered for hunting. At least where I hunt.
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:03 PM   #16
chris in va
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Well, I guess one of those 20ga/22lr combo guns. Use a slug in the 20ga.

I can't imagine there would be anything left of a squirrel after getting shot with a 357.
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:27 PM   #17
huntinaz
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Quote:
Easy...
`92 Winchester (or Clone) in 357Mag.
It would have to be a clone if chambered in 357 mag... no?
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Old February 20, 2013, 04:39 PM   #18
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Well, I guess one of those 20ga/22lr combo guns. Use a slug in the 20ga.

I can't imagine there would be anything left of a squirrel after getting shot with a 357.
You would be surprised. I went hunting jack rabbits in New Mexico with my 22 revolver and my two buddies had a 38 spl and a .357. both shooting lead round nose ammo in their guns and it wasn't as bad as you might think. Out of the active duty a couple years later and I'm in the Wisconsin woods with my Ruger Blackhawk .357 loaded with LWC after rabbit and see a squirrel. One shot to the mid section took him out of the tree and all the edible parts were still there. Little tricky to skin but cleaning was easier. It would be easier with a carbine length gun.
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:06 PM   #19
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I can't imagine there would be anything left of a squirrel after getting shot with a 357.
Thats why I stated in my earlier post I have round ball loads for my 357 that are low velocity. They are only good for about 40 yards or a little more. For squirrels and rabbits and other small game you don't need a lot of speed or range. My loads duplicate the old Rook & Rabbit type loads.

Learn to reload and almost any center fire rifle can be used for small game. This is a good article on doing so.

http://www.leverguns.com/articles/pa...ll_charges.htm
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:08 PM   #20
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^^Especially when you shoot them in the head
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:12 PM   #21
hooligan1
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If I could find A "walking rifle" I wouldn't have to smell pvc glue anymore!!
Actually my favorite rifle to carry and shoot would be my deer hunting rifle a Savage 110 .270 win, it's light and accurate, I could "bark" squirrels with it if I had to.

P.S. Jimr40 Thats a shooter if ever there was a shooter!!!
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Old February 20, 2013, 06:24 PM   #22
mehavey
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Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
....squirrels and Eastern Whitetail...
Easy...
`92 Winchester (or Clone) in 357Mag.
It would have to be a clone if chambered in 357 mag... no?
Roger that. 32-20, 38-40 would be the right range in an original.
It's just arguably the best lightweight/balanced rifle there is (and yes, I own three Marlins)

Last edited by mehavey; February 21, 2013 at 10:14 AM.
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Old February 20, 2013, 07:17 PM   #23
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For a lightweight walking rifle, I'd go for the Remington Model 7, a Ruger Compact, or the new Ruger American Compact. Caliber is up to you, but there are plenty of options that'll work just fine, with 308 or 7-08 being easy-to-get choices. Other rifle options include the Tikka T3 lite.

I've got the Ruger Compact in 260 and it's so light and handy that I hunt with it a lot. I think the rifle, without scope, is less than 6 pounds.
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Old February 20, 2013, 08:45 PM   #24
2500ak
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.44 Magnum Rossi M92

Very lightweight, fairly accurate, decent magazine capacity, and when loaded with 305 grain hard casts sufficient bear medicine. Also shares ammo with the revolvers, and is cheap enough that if I gets broken I'd be able to buy a new one.

Plus, lever actions are cool.
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Old February 20, 2013, 09:16 PM   #25
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Carry a shotgun. You can properly kill everything on the face of the planet with the selection of a shell.
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