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Old September 10, 2017, 10:58 AM   #1
'88Scrat
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New Boat/Truck Gun

I find myself in need of another handy little rifle I can keep in the truck or in my boat when I go on extended camping/fishing trips. Something to keep coyotes at bay and take potshots at empty pop cans.

I used to have a Universal M1 Carbine fot that purpose but it was... you know, a Universal M1 Carbine...

My first thought was a USGI M1 Carbine, they are small, light, and very portable. I loved that about the Universal I had but the reliability issues far outstripped its handiness. However, I can't bring myself to shell out $1,200 for one.

Right now I'm thinking either a new production M1 Carbine from either Auto-Ordinance or Infield or perhaps a Ruger Mini-14 in .300 Blackout. I have no experience with any of these choices so was hoping for some input here.

Thoughts?
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Old September 10, 2017, 12:37 PM   #2
T. O'Heir
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"...you know, a Universal M1 Carbine..." You have my deepest sympathies. Moreso if it was a late model. If you want a commercial Carbine find a pre-IJ Plainfield.
"...Auto-Ordinance..." Auto-Ordnance. An ordinance is a law.
"...or Infield..." Inland.
I'd be thinking used SS Mini-14(in .223. Ammo's easier to get.) if there's a boat in the mix. Even though they're inaccurate and overpriced. Either the AO($849.99 at Cabela's) or Inland(MASRP is $1139. Ludicrous.) will be overpriced too. About $800ish used at Bud's.
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Old September 10, 2017, 02:35 PM   #3
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If the poop hits the propeller there's nothing I'd rather have than an A...

But I guess those are out of fashion this week on this board.

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Old September 10, 2017, 04:05 PM   #4
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For what you are listing for reasons to have a gun on hand I would rather have a 10/22 or maybe one of the Ruger American rifles with the plastic stock. And then I would get the 22 mag version.

I don't get the part about keeping coyotes at bay. Every time I have ran across them they are doing there best to escape and run away.

I keep an old Glenfield model 75C in my truck and a supply of ammo. I paid $50 for it a couple of years ago from an ad in a local paper. It's a perfect gun for that job.

I would love to have one of the new Inland 30 carbines.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:10 PM   #5
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Based on what you've said, I think a Kel-Tech Gen 2 Sub 2000 would be ideal. . . As long as the lack of wood and the fact that it folds in half doesn't bother you. They can be had for $400+ ish' these days and they really are great LITTLE carbines.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:18 PM   #6
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"... keeping the coyotes at bay." I'm thinking that was just a play on words to mean poking a shot at them if they get within range. I might've use the term myself a time or two. Just a guess.

88- I've got an old Blue Skyy carbine that I keep meaning to send off for a new Criterion barrel. They're a hoot and a half, I tell ya what! But, have you thought about something like a Rossi .38/357 lever action? One of those wouldn't totally break the bank.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:34 PM   #7
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Could be referencing the seldom seen, but universally feared, zombie coyote. Just kidding.

Normally I'd suggest some make and model of lever gun, but as this is the semi-auto rifle forum, I guess I'd have to say some version of an AR-15 or -10. DPMS Oracle's in .308 win. are going for about $750 right now.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:39 PM   #8
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There seems to be a shortage of Rossi 357 rifles right now. I have read they are having production problems. Not many used ones for sale either. I know because I have looked.

And coyotes are just 4 legged targets are far as I am concerned.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:56 PM   #9
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I keep a Ruger Mini-14, chambered in .223, in the "RamBox" of my Ram pickup truck and a Winchester Model 1300, 12 gauge shotgun, covered with a blanket, in the back of my Chrysler Aspen suv.
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Old September 10, 2017, 04:59 PM   #10
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As the owner of 2 M1 Carbines, a pristine '43 NPM and a '12 Auto Ordnance I bought new as well as a 583 Series Mini-14 in 5.56, I can tell you about 2 of your choices. Further, I handload for both calibers and I'll pass along my observations about the calibers as well.

First, the AO M1 Carbine is significantly more accurate than a GI carbine, as reliable as one, and with the M2 mag release, it reliably feeds from good quality Korean 30 rds mags as well as the the 15 rd mags. You have to add the M2 mag release to a GI version to use 30 Rd mags reliably. While it comes with Type i flip rear sights, it's simple to swap out the rear with an adjustable Type II rear as I did on mine below. As far as accuracy goes, the 30 Carbine rd isn't especially accurate so a 'high precision' GI M1 Carbine is likely going to give you 'minute of coffee cup' (4") at 100 yds as my pristine version does.

Even with my precision handloads tuned to my AO carbine, the best I can get, even with the Type II adjustable rear sight, is about 2½" groups at 100 yds; quite good for the caliber. You know the carbine is light, compact, and a ton of fun to shoot, however, they are M1 Carbines and one must expect failures at times out of them as it's their nature.

1943 NPM GI M1 Carbine on top, 2012 AO M1 Carbine on bottom (AO Stock is the same length as GI, camera angle gave a false image):



My 2015 Mini-14 is significantly more accurate than the previous 'pencil barrel' versions and after a bit of simple do-it-yourself tweaking and with my handloads, I can shoot very decent groups even out at 300 yds; something that a 30 Carbine can't even dream about. The Ruger carbine is also light (however, with the slightly larger action it weighs about 1½ lbs more than an M1 Carbine), compact, and also a ton of fun to shoot. Unlike the M1 Carbine, the 5.56 rd is highly accurate and so I use mine to shoot at bowling pins at 200 yds and sometimes at 300 yds as it produces 1½" groups at 100 yds with my handloads (and sometimes a bit smaller). It's common knowledge that the 5.56 is a highly accurate rd that is relatively inexpensive to buy and easily reloadable.

There are few inexpensive tweaks you can do to your Mini to really tighten up the accuracy and possibly make it look a bit more like a M14/M1A like I did mine:



As far as getting a Mini in 300 BO, while they make them, unless you're really wanting a silenced, sub-sonic shooter, you're much better off picking up a Mini-30 in 7.62x39 as supersonically, the 7.62x39 is superior to the 300 BO. It's got longer range, and better accuracy to boot as many Mini-30 shooter are reporting sub MOA accuracy with their tweaked Mini-30s and handloads, something the 300 BO can't duplicate.

Further, while Minis aren't fond of the cheap Tula or Wolff ammo (read STAY AWAY), they do quite well with steel cased Red Army Standard 7.62x39 as it's loaded a bit hotter, doesn't cause light primer strikes, is more accurate, and can be had for the same low price as Tula and Wolff's offerings so plinking loads are significantly cheaper than the 300 BO.

PPU sells brass cased, reloadable 7.62x39 and 300 BO with decent hunting bullets, both with good accuracy, for the equivalent price so you have a source for each caliber for both hunting ammo as well as reloadable brass.
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Old September 10, 2017, 07:27 PM   #11
Art Eatman
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Hard to beat a Mini for that purpose. Mine worked out quite well for about a dozen years before a neighbor traded me out of it.
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Old September 10, 2017, 11:08 PM   #12
'88Scrat
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COSteve,

Great info man!

As to why I'm leaning towards the .300 BO Mini I love the looks of the Mini in general (side note: What cosmetic things did you do to yours to make it look more like an M1/M14? I see the H-Bar but thats all my untrained can pick out) and am hoping to in the near future build a Mini to go with my M1A already in a Sage NSG stock. Was leaning towards the BO because I wanted it to be my first suppressor as soon as HPA passes (fingers crossed).

That said, I think the M1 Carbine would meet my needs for a tag along camping rifle better than the Mini. There is just something about it and it probably makes me a little biased that I got used to the weight and feel of that Universal M1 on long hikes.
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Old September 11, 2017, 10:41 AM   #13
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A few years ago, I would have suggested a VZ-2008 (vz.58) rifle that was going for under $400. It was an inexpensive, reliable, and quite compact 7.62x39mm option. Nowadays, though, prices (and collectibility) have risen quite a bit if you can find one - pushing it out of comfortable "truck gun" territory.
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Old September 11, 2017, 12:39 PM   #14
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As cheap as AR's have gotten these days, the thought of having one as a "truck" gun isn't out of the question. I'd still keep it in a soft case though. The mini-14 with the wood stock looks less "evil" to people... Personally, I like coyotes around my property. All they eat is mice and I *hate* mice, always getting into trucks and stinking them up. For a camp gun it is hard to beat a 10/22. I have one with a folding stock that makes for a nice small package.
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Old September 11, 2017, 02:37 PM   #15
Fishbed77
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Quote:
As cheap as AR's have gotten these days, the thought of having one as a "truck" gun isn't out of the question.
It's hard to argue with that.

Quote:
The mini-14 with the wood stock looks less "evil" to people...
That would be the least of my concerns.
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Old September 11, 2017, 03:27 PM   #16
agtman
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Quote:
Yesterday 03:58 AM
'88Scrat I find myself in need of another handy little rifle I can keep in the truck or in my boat when I go on extended camping/fishing trips. Something to keep coyotes at bay and take potshots at empty pop cans. * * *
M1 Garand - in traditional '06 or .308/7.62.

Perhaps overkill on the 'yotes and pop cans, but it's 50-states legal, ... especially as a "truck gun" where the "gun" in that label means a go-to-right-now rifle.

Arguably, an M1 looks even less "evil" than a Mini-14 (if that matters), since it's clip-fed without the visible and dreaded detachable magazine feature, abhorred by lefties everywhere.

By the way, there's a reason why the Navy retained M1s for use as repelling and boarding weapons, when every other service defaulted to some form of M16. Something to think about for a "boat gun."

Various configurations are available: "standard" (or full-size) M1s as sold by the CMP; 18" "Tankers" from various vendors, e.g., Fulton Armory; or the popular and handy 16" Mini-G, available from Shuff's.

Gotta love those Mini-Gs:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=XlYJacucucQ


Last edited by agtman; September 11, 2017 at 07:11 PM.
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Old September 11, 2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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The mini-14 with the wood stock looks less "evil" to people...
I think having the more innocuous looking wood stock can be a good idea when keeping the rifle in a truck, open to public view, at least on occasion. Whether we like it or not, some ignorant folk are apt to be alarmed at the sight of an evil "assault" rifle and there's no good side to provoking irrational emotions when there's no need to.
To be clear, I have nothing against black, "tactical" looking stocks, nor should anyone feel it necessary to hide one or to be apologetic about having one (or, in my case, having many ). It's just that there are occasions when it's smart to be prudent when the cost of being so is free.
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