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Old January 2, 2013, 01:02 PM   #1
FoghornLeghorn
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Lightweight, heavy brush rifle?

My current go-to woods rifle is an older Browning lever action in 308 w/an older Redfield 1 3/4 x 5 scope. I really like this rig except I don't like having no safety other than the hammer not being cocked.

It's just me, but here's the routine. 1. Get into postion. 2. Chamber a round. 3. With gloves on, hold hammer with thumb, pull trigger, lower hammer. 4. See/hear game. 5. Cock hammer. 6. No game. 7. Repeat #3. Etc.

I'd like a lightweight field rifle w/max reliability, etc.

thanx
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Old January 2, 2013, 01:20 PM   #2
Polinese
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I think pretty much any bolt action should work.
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Old January 2, 2013, 01:31 PM   #3
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Quote:
I really like this rig except I don't like having no safety other than the hammer not being cocked.
There's a whole lot of folks that would gladly trade their cross-bolted marlins for older marlins without the additional safety.

Quote:
It's just me, but here's the routine. 1. Get into postion. 2. Chamber a round. 3. With gloves on, hold hammer with thumb, pull trigger, lower hammer. 4. See/hear game. 5. Cock hammer. 6. No game. 7. Repeat #3. Etc.
Eldest daughter's first deer went like this: 1. Spot deer (Mulie spike bedded in some weeds, with his antlers poking above his hiding spot). 2. Work around above, behind and downwind of him. 3. Stalk to within 40 yards. 4. Take Aim. 5. Squeeze trigger, "Click". Dud? 6. Work lever, repeat steps 4 and 5, 5 times. 7. Deer gets up and trots away, as Eldest realized the problem, clicked off the safety, and shot the moving deer ..... poorly ......

We hate that safety.
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Old January 2, 2013, 02:12 PM   #4
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I've always found those Brownings interesting, just not enough to actually buy one. Been tempted many times. I do have quite a few traditional Marlin and Winchester leverguns in various calibers. I've never really felt the hammer was a real handicap.

But I decided long ago that a bolt gun was a better brush gun. They make them with shorter barrels that move just as well through the brush. They are much lighter and more compact than any other action type, including my 30-30 lever guns.
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Old January 2, 2013, 02:35 PM   #5
ChasingWhitetail91
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I am very partial to the good ol' 30-30 for heavy brush. You can find some very light ones but I don't know why you would want to. In my experience a heavy gun is easier to steady ( I don't use any kind of shooting stick etc.) and if your in heavy brush you shouldn't be moving around to much other then to get to your stand or blind. Not to mention most light hunting rifles carry alot more recoil then their heavier counterparts.
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Old January 2, 2013, 02:43 PM   #6
FoghornLeghorn
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They are much lighter and more compact than any other action type, including my 30-30 lever guns.
My BLR is the older steel receiver type w/a lightweight scope. It weighs in at about 6 1/2 pounds. It honestly feels no heavier than my scoped Ruger Redhawk I used to carry. I haven't seen any bolt action that light.

But about the Browning. I used to own both Marlin and Winchester lever actions so I'm familiar with them.

The BLR has detachable mags. I like those for obvious reasons, although for the older Brownings these mags can be expensive. Still, I like the detachable mag vs. the tubular mag.

The BLR also has locking lugs on the bolt which lock into place much like a bolt action. Neither the Winchester nor Marlin does this.

Also, with those other lever actions, I would occasionally bruise my finger when I ejected/chambered a round. With the BLR, the entire trigger group follows the lever. I really like that design. John's grandson, Bruce, is credited with the BLR design. I guess genious ran in the family.

One other thing. I can mount a scope on the BLR. I couldn't do that with the Winchester.

Finally, the BLR comes in a wide variety of calibers. That's pretty neat also. Mine is in 308, as is my Sig 716 and SA M1A. Several platforms with one caliber comes in handy.

Heck, I might just stick with the BLR.
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Old January 2, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FoghornLeghorn

Here's the routine. 1. Get into postion. 2. Chamber a round. 3. With gloves on, hold hammer with thumb, pull trigger, lower hammer. 4. See/hear game. 5. Cock hammer. 6. No game. 7. Repeat #3. Etc

That sounds like you're sitting 'on stand"...........

If that's the case, you might try:

1. Get into position
2. Chamber a round
3. Insert & hold thumb (aka:wedge) of the "off" hand between hammer & firing pin.
4. See/hear game

5a. Remove thumb/wedge, Raise rifle, Shoot game

or

5b. Don't shoot, Lower rifle, Re-insert thumb/wedge & await more game.


.

.
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Old January 3, 2013, 09:28 AM   #8
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Bolt action would be good or a pump action such as a Remington 760 pump with a carbine length barrel. I now use a 760 carbine in 30-06 as a hog gun. It was made in the 1960's. The 760 is almost identical to a Remington 870 shotgun as far as the safety (a button) and the slide release. There is an additional release (not found on the shotgun) for the box magazine. The carbine 760 is lightweight and the safety is time proven since they first made these guns in the 1950's. You can find the 760's and the 7600's on the auction sites. 7600's are still in production. 760's are out of production, but I prefer them to the new ones although both are basically the same gun. Many calibers are available including your .308. I've owned them in .270 and 30-06.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:53 AM   #9
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The vast majority of the hunting I do is "thick brush" type of stuff.
Most of my collection is geared toward this type of hunting.
Fairly close shots, quick target acquisition, and quick follow-up shots.
Bolts do not work too well for quick follow-ups in thick cover. I tend to shy away from auto's for absolute reliablity's sake. I love hammer-LESS levers, and really dislike tube-fed levers for loading/unloading when in and out of vehicles throughout the day.

My two "go-to" guns for this type of hunting:
- Ruger 96/44 lever, no hammer, extremely short lever throw, magazine-fed (no tube!), carries like a bb gun. Gorgeous little thick stuff rifle.
- Rem 7600 Carbine 358 pump. I had it bored up to 358 (my favorite caliber), and with a 18.5" barrel with some Talley lightweight mounts and a Leup 1.5-5x heavy duplex scope, I don't think you can get a more compact tight cover rig with such incredible WHOOOMP power.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:54 AM   #10
FoghornLeghorn
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^^^^^^^^^^ That's one heck of a rig. I'm impressed.
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:09 PM   #11
Black Frog
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Thanks!
....deer don't seem to like it too much though.

The 358 Win is a helluva caliber. Why it isn't more popular is beyond me.
Puts deer down now, very little (if any) running post shot.
I have 5 rifles in 358 now, an auto, pump, lever, and 2 bolts.
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Old January 3, 2013, 01:43 PM   #12
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Froggy........I like your rig....Is that a Weaver mount and rings tho?
I am lookin for a 358 now....
My 760 carbine in 308....
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Old January 3, 2013, 02:17 PM   #13
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Nope, those are Talley Light Weight one-piece mount/rings.
You could send your 308 off to be bored up to 358 easily.
Costs about $225, and you could have your 358.
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Old January 3, 2013, 05:25 PM   #14
Keg
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I checked out the mount and rings...They surprised me on how affordable they are....

I would'nt touch this carbine..but I might another..Maybe a regular length rifle and have it shortened and crowned....
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Old January 3, 2013, 07:01 PM   #15
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I'd like a lightweight field rifle w/max reliability, etc.
My favorite "brush" rifle for whitetails/black bears is my Savage Model 99, chambered in .358 Winchester. This rifle has a Redfield "WideField" 1.5x5X scope mounted on it with a Weaver "Pivot" mount. It has a tang safety and, because it doesn't have the typical lever-action tubular magazine, I can load this rifle safely with pointed bullets.
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:08 PM   #16
Black Frog
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My favorite "brush" rifle for whitetails/black bears is my Savage Model 99, chambered in .358 Winchester.
That is my lever, but shortened barrel to 19".
358 Win is a 2500fps swinging pipe wrench.

My next project is the Wichester 88 lever....
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Old January 3, 2013, 10:21 PM   #17
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For really thick cover, my favorite 'brush rifle' is a 12 ga. 870 Remington Shotgun.

For real brush rifles, my favorite is a Remington 7600 Police carbine. .308 with a 16 1/2 inch barrel topped with a red dot sight.


Shooting this gun on a covered range will wear out your welcome in a hurry.
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Old January 4, 2013, 01:05 AM   #18
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.358!!!

Jeez........two guys with .358's......one a custom pump!

Leghorn, I don't see anything wrong with your Browning. A 20" bbl .308 lever seems a perfectly fine woods rifle, and the .308 cal and glass to 5x will let you reach a ways if needs be.

Sounds like what you need with the external hammer is some practice and maybe.........a hammer extension.

Little gadget that attaches to the hammer and gives more purchase area.
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Old January 4, 2013, 09:20 AM   #19
Black Frog
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Jaysouth- I know what you mean. I had eyed up that very same 7600P carbine many times as a candidate for a 358 conversion. What held me back is that it doesn't have a high-comb stock like the normal 7600's for nice eye-to-scope alignment, and also that 16.5" barrel.

....but I still want one just to have.

I have a Ruger Frontier with forward scope mount and 16.5" barrel, and that thing is WAY loud. A 'normal' carbine at 18.5" still barks fairly loud....
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Old January 4, 2013, 02:55 PM   #20
ChasingWhitetail91
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Blackfrog I have the 760 in .30-06, the pump rifles by remington are nice deer rifles. Everyone should own one who hunts.
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Old January 4, 2013, 04:08 PM   #21
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I was lucky enough to recenly find one of the Grice special run 7600 Carbines in 35 Rem!!



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Old January 5, 2013, 05:52 PM   #22
FoghornLeghorn
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Quote:
deer don't seem to like it too much though
The deer in the picture seems to be smiling.

Quote:
maybe.........a hammer extension
That's a good idea. The rings are low mount and there's just not much room to get one of my big thumbs with thick gloves in there. I hadn't even thought about a hammer extension.
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Old January 5, 2013, 07:17 PM   #23
Edward429451
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Quote:
It's just me, but here's the routine. 1. Get into position. 2. Chamber a round. 3. With gloves on, hold hammer with thumb, pull trigger, lower hammer. 4. See/hear game. 5. Cock hammer. 6. No game. 7. Repeat #3. Etc.
What's wrong with that? I'm not sure I understand the problem. My 18.5" Marlin Guide gun has a half cock to carry it with. Mine had the cross bolt safety which I leave off and ignore, excepting to check it once in awhile to make sure it stays off. I carried it (45/70) chambered, safety off, on half cock. No game lower the hammer back to half cock, even with gloves on. never a problem. Does your .308 not have a half cock? Sorry if I am misunderstanding you.
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Old January 5, 2013, 08:40 PM   #24
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I have three suggestions, the first is a Howa - either the youth model or the Ranchland in .308. The youth has a short 12-1/2" LOP and a 20" barrel for an overall length (OAL) of 39.25" making it handy for maneuvering in thick brush. The Ranchland is the same rifle in a 13-1/2" LOP adult stock for an OAL od 40.25. At about 7.15lbs Howas are not light but they aren't all that heavy either. The one below is my heavy brush rifle. It's short and I don't care if it gets banged up or dirty.


Howa Youth Model in .308 topped with a Nikon Monarch 2-8x32 in Talley Lightweight mounts.

The second option is a 6.2lb Tikka T3 Lite in 30-06. All Tikkas are long action so their is no reason going with a shorter cartridge. The Tikka is a full sized 22" barrel rifle with an OAL of 42" but the action and trigger are silky smooth.


Tikka T3 Lite in 30-06 w/Limbsaver topped with a Nikon Team Primos in Talley Lightweight mounts.

For the third option I'd look at a Savage Model 11 Lightweight Hunter. In .308 it's 40.24 long and weights 5.5lbs. I've been drooling over this one for a year but I don't need any more hunting rifles.

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Old January 6, 2013, 08:59 AM   #25
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Remington Pump with a 20" or less barrel . Preferably in .35 Cal. , mine's a .358 Win. . Fast followup shots , that you won't get with a bolt gun , especially one with a bipod on it !
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