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View Full Version : Ideal hunting/defense rifle?


civilsnake
12-02-2009, 3:03 PM
My friend wants to get a rifle that he can hunt with and also use for home/civil defense if necessary. But he's mainly focused on being able to hunt (which he doesn't currently do).

I figure the rifle should probably have iron sights, and the cartridge needs to be big enough for pretty much any North American game animal.

Who has suggestions?

Added info: price matters. Nothing over $800 I'd say.

Gary13
12-02-2009, 3:09 PM
M1A?

stix213
12-02-2009, 3:15 PM
Those are generally two opposing requirements.

Rally Dave
12-02-2009, 3:16 PM
If he is short on $$$, the Saiga .308 should be on his list.

jawcn
12-02-2009, 3:52 PM
if you fire rifles at home or any closed space... it is really goin to hurt ur ears... think about about shotgun for both hunting and home defense...:43:

professorhard
12-02-2009, 3:53 PM
CETME .308

civilsnake
12-02-2009, 3:58 PM
How does everyone feel about a .44mag chambered rifle for hunting? What's the effective range for a good hunting load?

sevensix2x51
12-02-2009, 4:00 PM
i dont think one rifle is going to make your friend happy. if i were in his shoes, i would look long and hard for a used bolt gun with a scope, they can be found in the $4-500 range, then maybe an sks for 3-400... i think that would be much better, considering the price point. my 2 only.

sevensix2x51
12-02-2009, 4:01 PM
How does everyone feel about a .44mag chambered rifle for hunting? What's the effective range for a good hunting load?

44 mag will not take down any game animal in north america, imho.

Purple K
12-02-2009, 4:06 PM
A remington 870 with an 18" barrel for home defense along with a spare rifled barrel for hunting game. It's a compromise, but there's really no rifle that'll do both hunting and home defense well. I don't know if they still make it or not, maybe you could find a used one, H&R (Harington & Richardson) used to make a line of over & unders that had a shotgun barrel on the bottom and a rifle barrel on the top. Mine was .222/20ga. I could hunt deer and qual at the same time.

bubbagump
12-02-2009, 4:07 PM
Using a rifle for self-defense brings up the problem of shooting through walls and accidentally killing your neighbors...

And since he wants to hunt big game with it, its going to have to be a big cartridge.

M1 Garand
.270 Bolt Gun
.30/06 Bolt Gun

It sounds like his best bet would be getting a shotgun. He could buy a 500 or 870 for under 800. With the extra money he saved, he could buy an 18 1/2 inch barrel and a Sabot Slug Barrel with Iron Sights. All he would need to do is switch off. He could use #4 Buck for home defense and Sabot Slugs for hunting.

Dragunov
12-02-2009, 4:10 PM
i dont think one rifle is going to make your friend happy. if i were in his shoes, i would look long and hard for a used bolt gun with a scope, they can be found in the $4-500 range, then maybe an sks for 3-400... i think that would be much better, considering the price point. my 2 only.

+1

Marlin XS7 or XR7 and an SKS.

civilsnake
12-02-2009, 4:23 PM
44 mag will not take down any game animal in north america, imho.

Huh? People use it in handgun hunting for deer all the time. Out of a rifle it's not going to be any worse in performance. And in a lever gun her could load slower 44spl for HD...

stix213
12-02-2009, 4:24 PM
If he is short on $$$, the Saiga .308 should be on his list.

Yeah I was going to suggest a Saiga also, probably one of the shorter barreled versions... but I've been too much of a Saiga fanboy in my posts here lately :p

sevensix2x51
12-02-2009, 4:25 PM
Huh? People use it in handgun hunting for deer all the time. Out of a rifle it's not going to be any worse in performance. And in a lever gun her could load slower 44spl for HD...

well, they dont use it for moose or kodiak bear. your post says "any game animal in north america."

Legasat
12-02-2009, 4:30 PM
My fav round for rifles is .308. But, I agree with the others that rifles are not my first choice for HD. I would say shotgun or handgun for HD.

The only long gun I would be comfortable with both hunting and HD, is a 12Ga shotgun (00 buck for HD, and slugs for hunting).

If it's really for hunting and SHTF, then that might be a different story.

Just my $0.02

civilsnake
12-02-2009, 4:32 PM
well, they dont use it for moose or kodiak bear. your post says "any game animal in north america."

That's very fair. I was thinking more about deer and antelope in the contiguous US. I had forgotten about moose. And are bears considered game animals if you don't eat them? Honestly, I know pretty much d!ck about hunting.

What about boars? I imagine that .44mag should be sufficient for them, right?

civilsnake
12-02-2009, 4:34 PM
My fav round for rifles is .308. But, I agree with the others that rifles are not my first choice for HD. I would say shotgun or handgun for HD.

The only long gun I would be comfortable with both hunting and HD, is a 12Ga shotgun (00 buck for HD, and slugs for hunting).

If it's really for hunting and SHTF, then that might be a different story.

Just my $0.02

He's got a pistol and Mossy500, so the rifle is really for more specialized situations and mainly hunting.

sevensix2x51
12-02-2009, 4:37 PM
well, i dont shoot handgun calibers all that much, but i think the success of the cartridge with deer is because of their thin skin. im not sure about a hog, but i think it doesnt have the energy to penetrate into a stout critter like that at long range. (but again, i am merely speculating.) i sure as heck wouldnt take a .44 levergun out for elk, either. and theres a lot of good elk hunting in a day's drive from san diego.

Meety Peety
12-02-2009, 4:37 PM
If his budget is $800.. I'd say pick up a budget gun for each specialty. Like others have said, theres not much that will really be GREAT for both purposes.. but here are some options that will be somewhat decent.

Marlin 336 .30-30 - Easily had for $250-$300 used. Will drop medium game.. not a big game rifle but it will hold its own for deer etc. I wouldn't dream of shooting one in my house.. but if you do end up doing so.. don't expect the target to get back up. They won't.

Remmy/Mossberg combo set - Pick up one of those shotgun sets that come with an 18" and 26"-28" barrel. Honestly not the best option for either HD (Okay lets not argue lol) OR hunting.. but it can get things done for a cheap price.

Surplus rifle - You've got Mosins, Mousers, SKS, M1 variants, etc, etc. They shoot readily available ammo that doesn't cost as much as commercial stuff. Decent for hunting, and they're definately manstoppers. Shooting in a house.. expect to over penetrate and then some.

Honestly.. I'd just pick up a nice HD handgun or shotgun and spend the rest on a decent hunting rifle. With a budget of $800, it can certainly be done.. especially when shopping for used guns.

Super Spy
12-02-2009, 4:53 PM
In that price range he could get a Saiga in 308 which will easily drop any game in North America and then pickup a Mossberg 500 combo, use the 18 1/2 barrel for home defense with 00 Buck and the long barrel for hunting/skeet. Big 5 has the Mossberg combo's for under 3 bills.

gun toting monkeyboy
12-02-2009, 7:50 PM
"Home Defence" and "Hunting Rifle" rarely, if ever belong in the same sentence. For a hunting rifle, look at the Stevens Model 200. It is Savage's off-brand, and will give him years of good service. Go .308, .30-06 or .270. Those have enough horsepower to drop anything on the continent if your friend can do his part. Don't go smaller as it limits what you can hunt. And don't bother with the magnums, as they burn more powder for not a lot of gain in most hunting situations. The entry level Marlin is supposed to be half decent too, but I have no experience with them. He could also look at getting a used rifle in those calibers. Just make sure a gunsmith looks at it if your friend doesn't know as much about guns. As for a HD rifle, it is called a shotgun. 12ga pump, pick your flavor. Rifles aren't as good for most HD possibilities. If he wants a civil defense weapon instead, look at an AK, SKS or used mini 14 or 30. Those are his best bets on his limited budget. Especially if he is going to try to get 2 rifles for around $800.

-Mb

supermario
12-02-2009, 10:39 PM
A Marlin 336C 30-30 lever action rifle will do the job for both applications.
You dont need a tactical gun for home defense. A lever action rifle is reliable, simple and effective for large game and two legged critters alike:D

five.five-six
12-02-2009, 10:50 PM
I want a car that I can run a slalom in and tow a 10,000 pound trailer.. but I don't want to spend much

civilsnake
12-03-2009, 8:16 AM
I want a car that I can run a slalom in and tow a 10,000 pound trailer.. but I don't want to spend much

We live in a world of compromise, my friend. Not everyone has the money to buy several rifles or the inclination to maintain/store them. This friend really isn't a "gun guy".

okfornow
12-03-2009, 8:36 AM
+1 on the lever action i have a rossi 92 with a 16 inch barrel 357 mag you can shoot 38 special for target from same gun and it is fun as heck

WhiteHot
12-03-2009, 8:44 AM
If you have a handgun and a shotgun and are looking for a rifle to fill in some kind of gap for "home/civil defense" you may need to reevaluate what type of situation you would be using the rifle in. Any situation that the handgun/shotgun wouldnt work in would be filled by a rifle with good "hunting" characteristics. I am assuming that you are talking about a SHTF situation because "I was fearing for my life" at 200 yards isnt going to fly in court ;)

Dragunov
12-03-2009, 11:09 AM
We live in a world of compromise, my friend. Not everyone has the money to buy several rifles or the inclination to maintain/store them. This friend really isn't a "gun guy".

Pick up an SKS. Handy for just about anything you'll encounter and easy to maintain..

At 100 yds or less, it will kill a black bear. My buddy killed one with his Yugo last year in self defense (250lb bear). Don't shoot at buffalo with it though, you'll be freight-trained! :D

RobG
12-03-2009, 11:17 AM
44 mag will not take down any game animal in north america, imho.

Um, it has. That and African beasts. It was THE cartridge of choice in handguns for many years. It may not be the best choice but, it was done for the challenge of handgunning big, dangerous beasts for some.

sevensix2x51
12-03-2009, 11:20 AM
Um, it has. That and African beasts. It was THE cartridge of choice in handguns for many years. It may not be the best choice but, it was done for the challenge of handgunning big, dangerous beasts for some.

then i guess ill have to add "responsibly and humanely" to my original post. still a bad idea. again, imho.

skylovia
12-03-2009, 11:26 AM
+1 on the SKS. Good for all your hunting and SHTF needs inside of 100 yards! Mossy 500 is what i use for HD, also reliable and cheap.

WeekendWarrior
12-03-2009, 11:28 AM
WWRTW

MasterYong
12-03-2009, 11:30 AM
if you fire rifles at home or any closed space... it is really goin to hurt ur ears... think about about shotgun for both hunting and home defense...:43:

LOL, a shotgun isn't gonna be much quieter than a rifle, methinks...

Rifles aren't good for indoor defense. Hell even a handgun is gonna deafen you pretty good.

I liked the first suggestion- M1A. Only because I have one and it's my favorite rifle...

someR1
12-03-2009, 11:33 AM
IMO a shotgun is the best home defense. Which is why I have my remington 870 ready to go:)

Most people wouldn't use a rifle for home defense, but if you wanted to a Saiga .308 is a great rifle that is cheap, and specifically made for hunting and zombie defense :cool2:

coop44
12-03-2009, 11:43 AM
One size does not fit all. On a budget I would still get 2.

a good .30 caliber or 8mm carbine length surplus rifle, and,
a 12 gauge pump, they wont cost an arm and a leg.

Demophilus
12-03-2009, 12:27 PM
A .308/7.62 NATO rifle can also shoot plastic Short Range Training Ammunition. The ballistics on that stuff are no joke. You could use it for SD with little risk to the neighbors.

That's not to say it's a good idea. But if you're fixated on one rifle/caliber for all tasks, then you've pretty much got to change the ammo to fit the job.

Apart from SRTA, you can use those .223 sabot loads for small game. I think I also saw a .308 chamber insert for .32 ACP somewhere.

Otherwise, get a 12 gauge, and a rifled barrel. That's about the best do anything combo out there.

Bucky G
12-03-2009, 1:01 PM
44 mag will not take down any game animal in north america, imho.

sure it will

it just won't take down EVERY game animal in north america :p

I really like the 44 mag in a lever action carbine
it's handy, can cycle it quick, has decent knock down power... it's a big heavy 44 cal bullet
and most of all, it's so innocuous, it's John Wayne's gun... our heritage, most people don't consider it evil
in fact a lever action, a horse and a hat will get you invited in for pie every time :cowboy:

mls343
12-03-2009, 1:02 PM
Budget = SKS
No budget = M1A

Home defense = .45

just my $0.03

Sheepdog1968
12-03-2009, 3:23 PM
Col. Jeff Cooper advocated a scout rifle concept. Styer eventually made a Scout which is now called the Manclier (sp). It's expensive but very nice if your friend can afford it. Styer even makes 10 round magazines for it as well. Some other companies make Scouts as well.

Another versatile rifle would be a lever action in 30-30.

Birddog 1
12-04-2009, 9:35 AM
Ha if you live in the country and want to use a rifle cal. for home defence go for it. But if you have a wife and children and neighbors living next door get a shotgun and use #7 shot in the home you wont be shooting much past 20 to 40 feet max and #7 shot wont go through 4 to 5 walls and KILL your child in the next room or your neighbor next door reading Calgun.net. Go to the range and shoot #7 at a piece of plywood at 25 yds and see what happens you dont need this 00 bs in a shot gun for home defense. Just remember that your walls are made out of 1/2" CHALK. Then go get a 30/06 for hunting.
And one more thing if you have never hunted go take a hunter safty course, or take it again it cant hurt. Be careful out there.

Bird-dog1

civilsnake
12-04-2009, 9:58 AM
Alright, I'm going to clarify further to avoid any more of this "LOLZ a rifle for HD??? That's dumb!" business.

He has a 9mm pistol loaded with HSTs. He has a 12g loaded with buckshot. The rifle would only be used defensively if a special situation called for it. This is a man of above-average intelligence who lives alone ATM. He's just recently been getting more serious about defense and would like to be able to hunt with his cousin, so would like a rifle that could be useful in both areas.

The specific incident that sparked his interest in HD had to do with people in his backyard. He lives in an area that's had a lot of foreclosures, and he bought his house from a bank. Repo men keep showing up and asking for the previous owner, regardless of how many times he insists that person is no longer in the house. One day he got out of the shower and noticed there were people dressed in black in his backyard trying to look in the windows. They were repo men who happily let themselves into his backyard. When he opened a window to command them off the property they did not immediately comply, so he grabbed his pistol just in case. Me, I'd grab my rifle. And thus we're at this point.

PEBKAC
12-04-2009, 10:20 AM
Expensive option but...featureless AR-15 with 6.8 SPC upper for HD, .50 Beo or .458 SOCOM upper for hunting? Technically that is one rifle if you only get one lower. :p

Obviously disregard that suggestion if said friend doesn't like getting to between 20 - 100 yards of the game he is hunting because out past 100 yards the .50 or .458 will be a bit mortar-like for most people tastes from what I hear.