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Old July 31, 2023, 09:10 PM   #1
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Favorite woods wandering long gun

This is my first thread on here, I thought it'd be a fun topic.
If you venture out into the woods (or desert for some of you) outside of hunting season, do you take a long gun with you?
I do. For me I rotate between a model 94 .30-30, mini-14, or AR-15. Ive got other choices but those are what I gravitate towards most often.
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Old August 1, 2023, 11:22 AM   #2
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I don’t carry a long gun cuz I don’t live in bear country. Anything I could run into could be handily managed by a pistol.

If I did live in big bear country and decided I wanted to lug around a rifle, it would likely be a Ruger-made Marlin 45/70.
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Old August 1, 2023, 01:35 PM   #3
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welcome to TFL

Generally speaking, if I'm out in the boonies, not going hunting, or going out to shoot rifles, I don't carry a long gun, I pack a handgun, most often one of approximate light rifle power. (.357 on up).

There will be a rifle in camp, usually more than one, but absent a perceived need, I won't be lugging it around, that's what pistols are for.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old August 1, 2023, 06:31 PM   #4
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Up until the later 1970's a favorite of mid-west boys and young men was "Runnin' the woods".

This was always done with at least a .22 rifle.
Poor boys had bolt action .22's, more well to do, or for those willing to eat candy bar lunches long term, it was a Marlin 39.

All that seems to be no longer a thing, their loss.
Now it's runnin' a video game or staring at BS on a phone.
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Old August 1, 2023, 07:56 PM   #5
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Favorite woods wandering long gun

Currently, this regular old M4’gery/A2 mashup. Well I guess it’s not that regular lol.

My woods, dense Deep East Texas forest.

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Last edited by rickyrick; August 1, 2023 at 08:05 PM.
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Old August 2, 2023, 07:25 AM   #6
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Honestly im not sure at this point. Generally if im in the woods i will be carrying a handgun, Generally my g19 or g30. With that said i live in an area that does not have any predators bigger than coyotes.

I am looking to build a light weight woods type gun in 6mm arc in the near future. Have a long heavy barrel one now and i love the way it shoots just hits way harder than 223 on targets and the berm.
I don't believe in "range fodder" that is why I reload.
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Old August 2, 2023, 04:07 PM   #7
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Where I live I have a choice of desert or mountains to play in. For the desert it's usually a rifle plus handgun. The rifle is usually a Winchester M94 30-30 running a 175 gr. cast bullet. Just used to harass the local coyote and jackrabbit population and theoretical self defense. I say theoretical because there's alway the possibility of running into drug and illegal alien smugglers. They have a tendency to frown heavily on being spotted. I also will have a handgun, usually a .44 magnum with the one most carried is a Ruger Super Blackhawk with 4 5/8" barrel. Ammo it the Elmer Keith bullet over 22.0 gr. 2400 powder. Sometimes it might be a Ruger Super Blackhawk in the Bisley configuration in Colt .45 loaded with John Linebaugh level loads.

For the mountain hikes, the same handguns and loads but I leave the rifle at home. The local mountain have a Black Bear and Mountain Lion population that sometimes scared the local college kids that like to hike the local mountain trails. Most don't even notice the gun under my vest or light jacket but those that do sometimes give me a bad time, especially the girls. I try to give then answers as to why the gun and fortunately most albeit grudgingly accept my answers to their questions. I didn't take a rifle along because that could have been construed as hunting something out or season or the like. Rarely saw anyone hiking in the desert though.

For the record, I haven't had any bear or lion problems in the mountains and the few I've seen in the desert itself were on their was to somewhere over in the next mountain range. That doesn't mean a bear or lion hiding in the bushes wasn't watching me but didn't do anything.

I do miss those hikes since my knees went out on me.
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Old August 2, 2023, 07:27 PM   #8
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If not seriously hunting, I'll take my 12 gauge 1946 vintage Ithaca Model 37 with the pre-war fancy checkering. Although I am switching to 16 gauge model 37 next season, it has a polychoke.

My other 'fancy' long gun is a CZ 455 American with a big scope on it. (.22 LR although it has a .17 barrel too.)

If I don't want to hold anything, I like my Ruger .38 Special LCRX 3". Any bears in my state are black bears, and they leave you alone unless you really act very very wrong.

Pro tip- don't keep fish guts in your back pocket. Things like that.
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Old August 5, 2023, 11:01 AM   #9
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I am looking to build a light weight woods type gun in 6mm arc in the near future. Have a long heavy barrel one now and i love the way it shoots just hits way harder than 223 on targets and the berm.
I'm interested in the 6mm arc but waiting to see if it'll stick around and get cheaper. What do you like about it versus a 6.5 grendel?
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Old August 6, 2023, 04:37 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nick3220 View Post
I'm interested in the 6mm arc but waiting to see if it'll stick around and get cheaper. What do you like about it versus a 6.5 grendel?
Thats an excellent question, you made me do some thinking. Had a hard time finding the rights words to explain it. May not have even now. In short, i feel the bullet weight selection and velocity of 6mm arc make it a better choice.

6mm arc starts at 58g and 3300fps for varmint bullets and goes up into the 110g range at 2575fps

6.5 grendel starts out at 95g with 2700fps for varmint options and pushes up to 130g at 2350fps

Looking at the 6.5 grendel, i just feel the bullet are too big and heavily in relation to the case capacity.

I have 3 uses i am looking at. Varmint load, deer load, target load.

I feel 95g is too heavy and slow in the 6.5 for a good varmint load.

Moving on to deer, im loading 85g nosler partitions. Id be forced up to 100g going to 6.5 and give up some velocity and trajectory limiting my effective range.

Looking at target loads, 107g vs 130g smk. Wanting to stay supersonic, 6.5 drops off at 1175 yds, 6mm goes out to 1225. At 1000yds 6mm has 381 in of drop vs 465in for the 6.5

Im not saying 6.5 grendel a bad cartridge by any means. But for what im looking for, 6mm arc has a not insignificant edge.
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Old August 7, 2023, 05:34 PM   #11
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If I am just... "wandering around in the woods" and want to take a long gun it will likely be either my 6.8SPC AR or 12GA 870 with variety of shells suitable for whatever I might run into open season (hogs, coyotes, smaller game). Alternatively, a 10/22 is an ultralight choice.
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Old August 12, 2023, 11:20 AM   #12
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I now trend towards mag revolvers or heavy auto pistols for woods wandering, but in my younger days, when I had fewer handguns,, I did indeed have a favorite woods wandering long gun......a Marlin 1894 .357 mag carbine. I loaded .357 brass with a lead SWC 158 gr slug, and enough Unique to get a bit over 1000 fps and not lead the micro-groove barrel. A Ruger B-hawk was zeroed with the same load, though I never really carried both at the same time. Early on I put a Williams peep on the carbine and I still recommend that mod to everybody. As time passed, I acquired additional guns and wandered a bit with other carbines and reached some definite conclusions:

-anything with an extended box mag was clunky to carry, the box usually right at the balance point for one handed "trail carry". The mag release lever on the Mini-30 had a disturbing habit of getting knocked and releasing that mag when the flush fit 5 rd mag was used, and bruised my kidneys if a 20 rd box was installed and slung. AR carbine and AK the same. The simple lever carbines of old carry very nicely. So does a Henry .22lr lever they gave me for retirement. I put a peep on it too. A Henry lever in .22 mag would be a nice step up in power

-anything with a 'scope was clunky to carry for the same balance point reason. Cooper's IER scout rifle concept was better, but .308 was more ctg than I felt I needed for wandering. A recently acquired Ruger Pred .308 with 18" barrel and a 1-4x carries nicely, even if it is scoped, but again, a lot of ctg

- a Hi-point (don't laugh) 10mm carbine is too heavy for what it is,the pistol grip is clunky and a kidney buster if slung, and the bolt knob and sling swivel studs are on the is wrong side of the carbine. But, they're cheap, they run, and make a good beater on the ATV, but I don't want to carry it.

I will shoot any carbine better than any handgun, especially these days. Any holstered handgun carries easier than a carbine, especially if one wants to carry anything else, like a hiking staff or a fishing rod that will not break down.
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Old August 13, 2023, 11:14 AM   #13
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Ruger 10/22

Favorite woods wandering long gun
I've only gone Woods-wandering, twice and as a results of getting lost; or let's say a little confused. Other times, When I do Mid-West woods scouting, I carry a handgun and a Ruger 10/22 Carbine. While scouting, about the only mean critter I run into, is a Skunk and we share a mutual respect. ........

Be Safe !!!
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Old August 13, 2023, 05:29 PM   #14
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If I’m just wandering, not hunting, it’ll probably be my Ruger 77/22 Hornet, with some 40 SP’s.
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Old August 20, 2023, 10:09 PM   #15
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45-70 b/c of Yogi & Snagglepus.
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