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Survival rifle?

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posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 05:07 PM
Hey all, what would you suggest for a decent survival rifle? I want soemthing fairly light, compact enough to fit in a large hiking backpack, and still have some stopping power if i need to take an elk/caribou or a grizzly down. I'm planning on spending a summer or more up in the northern/arctic wilderness, and i need a solid reliable weapon to tote with me.

I'm planning also toting a .22 cal air pistol with a long barrel for lil critters but i don't want to try taking down big game with a box of pellets.

Ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 06:26 PM
I've heard good things about the Savage Mod72 (I think that's the designation). Single shot, lever action, very durable and easy to operate.

But my money's on the Springfield M6 'Scout', unfortunately it's been discontinued, so you have to find it used or pay a considerable mark-up.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 06:28 PM
Thompson Center Contender single shot pistol with 22 rimfire barrel and a centerfire barrel of your choice.

30-30 is one available caliber as is 44 magnum and other very powerfull handgun calibers.

I'd think twice about an air pistol in an area that can be very cold at times.

A 22 rimfire pistol would be a better choice and a hundred rounds doesn't weigh all that much.

Here's an interesting discussion on how much rifle power is required.
Not as much as many think.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 06:42 PM
While I'm not a big fan of the "Jack of All Trades" concept, this would be my suggestion:

Not much could escape a .223/12 gauge combo, and ammunition would be plentiful and cheap.

[edit on 16/6/2006 by Mirthful Me]

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 07:21 PM
The choice of a "Western rifle depends upon finance, ability and weight (hiking).

If you can afford it have a good custom maker use either a Mauser or Remington 700 action with a bull bbl and an adjustable synthetic stock. If you must buy ready made either a Tika or Sako (pro Sock O) In the US we say, Say Ko but, as usual, we pronounce foreign words incorrectly.

You can find lots of info on the web. The 270 is probably the lightest caliber for all around. The 7 mm Rem Mag is very popular and is a flat shooter. Remember, whatever you decide…you gonna cary that baby every step of the way.

Out West shots are long so you will need a flat trajectory and you will find Elk and Moose hard to take and you want to avoid shooting at large bears unless absolutely necessary. You should get training from an experienced woodsman on survival and on dressing and preserving the game you take. Remember, if you kill it you must take it with you; in your back pack unless you manage a cabin. I got the impression you will move about. Get a light weight, dome back packing tent. Learn the art of jerky. Have fun, there ain’t nothing like the Northwest, it’s beautiful and clean.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 07:58 PM
My choice would be one of the Marlin rifles in 45.70 caliber, .444 or the new .450 caliber. Check them out on the Marlin Rifle home page.

I recommend this because these calibers offer alot of power close up. Trappers/Guides and bush pilots up north in Alaska are switching to these calibers in case they are afoot in harsh areas. THe prefered handgun up there seems to be the .44 magnum but in rifles they opt for stopping power too. These rifles are becoming popular up there to suppliment the handguns.

By the way...these rifles are being adapted by custom gunsmiths to be modified into the olde take down version which were popular in some areas in the late 1800s. I dont believe they had the large powerful cartridges in those days as is so today. These are not long range cartridges but you mentioned Bears.
I dont particularly care to shoot a bear ...much prefering avoidance as posted by someone before me...sage advice!! But if you dont scrimp on the tool needed for the job. Pissing a animal like this off can really ruin your day. You need something that will drop them quickly if they cannot be avoided.

THese rifles are pretty strong in the actions...the 45.70 in a strong action can be reloaded much more powerful than standard 45.70 ammo which must be downloaded for the still available trap door springfields still in the publics hands.
Careful reloading can improve the 45.70s potential much more than factory.
If you have ever seen one of these rounds in 45.70 caliber you can immediately tell even in standard factory is horse.


posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 08:11 PM
Instead of the .22 Air pistol for the little critters the AR-7 might be a better choice IMO. Dirt cheap and very compact when broken down. I would prefer a compact little .22 for a survival rifle but since your going into Grizzly country thats about as good as a pea shooter against a bear.

Heres a good article on different survival guns. 604357,00.html
Really if its just a bear defense issue a large caliber handgun or shotgun could be the way to go.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 08:37 PM
The best survival rifle for me is a Ruger 10/22. Easy maintenance, surplus of ammo, light weight and with a scope tuned in can hit a quarter at 75 yards, not to mention quiet. With a 25 round clip you can lay down a lot of lead (be it small). If your a good shat you can even take down birds. The thing is that you better be practicing every cance you get and there's no reaseon not to withcheap ammo. Teach your kids to. Lots of gun safety courses, but there is nothing that can take the place of a father taking his kids and wife huntin. Yes hunting, you better get use to killining an animal and then cleaning and eating it. It teaches respect for the life that give you life. Uncle Ted said it right, "Thant animal gave it's life for you to live, show it respect and show its Creator respect. After all that, read Matthew chapter six in the New Testament. Know WHOText created it and provided it for you!

Please no whinny PETA telling me how cruel it is, starvation is cruel and by the way, last time I checked, your quota war for our reaching anything I killed and eaten!

"The beast is dead, long live the beast!"-Ted Nugent

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 09:56 PM

Originally posted by ShadowXIX
Instead of the .22 Air pistol for the little critters the AR-7 might be a better choice IMO. Dirt cheap and very compact when broken down. I would prefer a compact little .22 for a survival rifle but since your going into Grizzly country thats about as good as a pea shooter against a bear.

I have one of the Charter Arms AR7 take-down floating rifles.
It can be troublesome at times and imo not real dependable.
Do a little research on the net and you'll see what others have done to alleviate problems.

Mr. Microphone has a good point about the Ruger 10/22.
They are very dependable and the one I own - a 1968 model - has close to 11,000 rounds through it without a failure to fire or eject.
Mine is scoped and if I remember right, weighs about 5 1/2 - 6# with sling and scope.
The scope is a quality 1" and not a cheapo rimfire scope.

That would make for a light easily slung rifle and a 44 magnum pistol slung on your hip would work fairly well for bear protection.

Orangetom's got a good point with the 45-70 rifle.
A good peep sight on one of these and carrying wouldn't be too much of a problem.
I believe these rifles weigh about 7 1/2# with open sights.
Most times a scope adds a pound, but I wouldn't want a scope on a rifle that's going to get banged around a lot during long cross-country hikes.
Modern scopes are very sturdy, but hunters are usually lightly loaded with just the basics to get through the day and perhaps survive overnight if necessary and they monitor the scope very carefully when transiting rough areas.

In the end, probably better to have a serious caliber easily slung rifle for the bears and a sidearm for the small stuff.
A single action revolver would be my choice for the 22.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 10:01 PM
One other point I meant to mention.

Make sure your pack has clip-on straps that pull the shoulder straps together across your chest.
A slung rifle tends to pull the pack shoulder strap off.

A friend of mine used to make a very nice day hunting pack and I ran into that problem when toting a slung rifle.
He added horizontal straps that clip together with the modern nylon/plastic clips and have an adjuster to draw the shoulder straps together.
That kept the shoulder strap on and also stopped the rifle sling from trying to slide off my shoulder.

Most packs nowadays have the horizontal tie strap, but if not I'm pretty sure you can buy them separate.

posted on Jun, 16 2006 @ 10:05 PM

Originally posted by Desert Dawg
I have one of the Charter Arms AR7 take-down floating rifles.
It can be troublesome at times and imo not real dependable.
Do a little research on the net and you'll see what others have done to alleviate problems.


Ive only ever used a Henry (Survival Arms now I think) US AR7 and never had any real problems. I have heard the Charter Arms version had some problems with manufacturing and quality control but I cant really talk about that since I never fired one.

The Henry AR7 I do like weighs a scant 2.5 pounds and when broken down fits into the stock and can easily fit into a survial pack or under the seat of a plane or truck.

posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 04:22 AM
Hey all, thanks for the suggestions. I don't have a wife/girl/kids and i may do the trip solo, because nobody i know would be able to handle it, physically or mentally. I haven't been hiking lately because summer sucks, but i'll have no problem making 20-30 miles a day on foot at 7000-9000' altitudes. Cold don't bother me, unless it's about 10deg F or below, i'm rockin' a t shirt, i'm built for the arctic. I don't plan on hunting bear, but if i need to stop one, i want it dropped. Mostly i've done all my hunting by hand (deer, boar, gator) and tons of capture/handling on all sorts of critters, almost all the big cats, crocs, cobras, brown bear, primates, (i was resident primatologist at an animal sanctuary for a while) so i'[m pretty familair with wildlife, live and dead. I've got no problem field dressing game, back at the sanctuary i used to dress roadkill deer that highway patrol brought me for the cats to eat, as well as put-down horses and cows shot and removed from the highway. In between that i'd dress out big boar every big holiday weekend for the smoker. My only problem becomes running down and tackling an elk or having to fistfight an angry grizzly the size of a honda, should said bear want to brawl.

After i posted i thought about the cold weather air pistol situation, and i'm reconsidering a .22 revolver. I used to have a Crossman Marksman .22 pump pistol that i used for taking dove and other small bite sized critters. I was good with it, without a scope, and it lasted me until i handed it down to someone who could use it when i moved. I miss it, and want another. I'm pretty comfortable with a single action and quick out the leather, either crossdraw, or from the hip. I used to do re-enactments, I played the part of Ike Clanton at the OK Corral for a while, so i got pretty good at coming off the hip with a .45 then switched to crossdraw because our stage setup worked better when i was crossdrawing right handed from stage left. I got pretty good aim, my blank plugs would always land dead center between the Earp Bros from wherever i ended up firing from, and i never shot anybody during that time, which is a better record than most i worked with.

My friend has a Colt Lightning lever action 44/40 which i've used in the show before , and i like the feel of it, and i'd use it sometimes in place of the double barrel 12ga when shooting Virgil. No matter how ugly the blanks were it always ejected even with shortened and out of rounds casings that we sometimes had to use.

Thing is, i just haven't got to fire much of anything off the shoulder besides 44/40, 45, and 12ga outside of handguns. I don't mind if it's got some kick, i can handle it.

I'm still checking out all the links and suggestions from above, i'll probably be ack with a few more q's after i go through it all. Thanks for all the help guys!

posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 09:59 AM
I was going to suggest the AR7 here until I read about your need to top bears. I read an article a couple of years ago on a rifle that was simply called the "Ultmate". It was a 3 shot bolt action hunting rifle that was designed to be broken down at the receiver into two parts for ease of transportation.

From what I read the rifle was lightweight and accurate, and was able to consistantly hold its' zero after many hundred strip-downs. It was available in a number of calibres, and the barrel and bolt assemblies were interchangable, allowing you to carry 2 or more options of calibres depending on game type. I'll see if I can pull something up about it.

posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 07:00 PM
Based on your criteria, I would choose a Marlin guide gun in .45-70, .444, or .450.

They aren't much fun to shoot, and pulling the trigger results in what has variously been described as a "sign from God", but they are small, light, and powerful. They are also specifically designed for the role you describe - especially the stainless versions which are highly corrosion resistant.

posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 11:14 PM
WRT is correct, for the list of animals you gave us the 45-70, 444 or 450 is the way to go. If you are a recoil junkie, you will be in Nirvana. My GG is a hoot to shoot.

For bear you will need solid bullets.( Best check into these)


posted on Jun, 17 2006 @ 11:42 PM
That's what I get for not reading the post thoroughly enough. :shk:

You want something for bear, and I suggest a couple of .22LRs.

Well, consider my suggestions alternatives for your air pistol. I don't think it's a very good idea bringing pellet guns into the wilderness.

Has anyone ever adapted a bang-stick for use as a last line of defense against a charging bear? I'm curious, because it seems like a good solution - serves as a walking stick, and you won't have to fumble with a shouldered gun in the face of a charging bear.

The ideal weapon, then, would be something already in hand (like a walking stick).

posted on Jun, 18 2006 @ 01:37 AM
y not just get a pistol

walther p99 or if u like small calaber a walther p 22

posted on Jun, 18 2006 @ 02:37 AM
Why not go for a .44 Mag revolver or such like for self defence against the big game, and carry a rifle in a well rounded calibre (e.g. .270) for hunting etc?

There's no such thing as a perfect survival rifle, you just have to do a decent appreciation of the most likely uses of such a tool and make your decision from there. I reckon that a large calibre revolver for self defence while combined with a hunting rifle should cover most survival situations.

posted on Jun, 18 2006 @ 03:16 AM
Thanks again for the input. Like i said, i don't mind kick, i used to fire a .44 mag dirty harry style hand cannon at the range as as kid, it as fun and i learned about kick after the first few times i picked myself up and dusted off my ass.

I'd like to carry a small caliber as well as a large, because there is no perfect do-it all gun as mentioned above. I want to be outfitted for the biggest game, but hitting a small rabbit or a bird with a big bore doesn't leave much left over for food. My dad hit a rabbit with a 7.62 on a hunt, came back to camp carrying a pair of severed ears with a bit of scalp attached.

The Stainless Marlin 1895 45/70 looks real nice!

posted on Jun, 18 2006 @ 09:01 AM
If you are going to depend on the rifle for your primary in bear country you want a fairly powerful rifle. YOu dont scrimp here ..especially with bears in mind. As for hunting dear and elk you just have to be more of a close the gap on them before shooting. Indian style. To my knowlege..the American Indians were not that accurate a shot...most of them. They didnt need to be ..they could stalk game withing rock throwing distance. Smart and skillful!!
I confess if it was me..I would probably have my ribs clearly showing before I learned the knack or skills...but I would learn or go under.

For small game I would keep one of the Ruger .22 semi autos or as someone else posted a revolver. You want a dependable but accurate .22 here. I was quite surprised to learn how many manufacturers make a accurate .22 caliber pistol. Mine is a Ruger Government. Very accurate but I dont know that I would want it in a survival situation as it is somewhat difficult and cumbersome to field strip. A revolver would be much simpler and there are a number of accurate .22 caliber revolvers for your smaller game.

The AR 7 is bulky in a pack. I own one ..I would rather carry my Ruger Government model...not as bulky and just as accurate if not more than the AR 7.


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