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Old August 6, 2019, 11:02 AM   #8
Join Date: March 4, 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 17,588
The Ruger Mini-14 has long been a saddle gun, too, and they make a Ranch Rifle version. It's compactness and low weight and simple, rugged iron sights are the main appeals. That newer ranch rifle design is almost a pound lighter and costs 60% less, but then you have to add a scope or other sight and that will neutralize those advantages. I'd want to fit it with a ghost ring for shooting under 100 yards, and that would keep the weight down but will take some 'smithing. That rifled also has a little bit faster twist that will handle the magazine-fitting 77-grain match bullet length, and it is probably a little more accurate out of the box.

The farm I worked on in the summers as a kid had a lever-action 30-30 (don't recall which make) and Frank, the farmer, wore a 6" .38 Special in a holster to plug the odd snake while he was out in the fields. He had a bolt-action .257 Roberts he used for popping burrowing animals in the fields from a distance, but I don't recall seeing him carry it on his tractor. They had shotguns and a .22 for crows. It's too much stuff to keep with you all the time, though. I think the .223 has found a home with ranchers, as it can do all those things.
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