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Posted: 8/17/2004 9:14:53 PM EDT
A little background: my friend and I are contemplating a few months in the wilderness. We will most likely have to carry everything on our backs and over a great distance, so weight is a huge issue. I'm looking for a gun that can handle larger North American game (but may be willing to go with a smaller round)

I am trying to build the best "Survival Rifle" I can. With this in mind I was thinking about a compact SS Ruger .308 (talk me out of this round as it is heavy to carry in large quantities). But for ease of carry and reduced weight I would like to put a folding stock on it. Does one exist?
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 11:58:30 PM EDT
AR 15 in .458 SOCOM or .50 Beaowolf.  Light enough and packs a 45-70 or 50-70 punch!!  Plus quicker repeat shots, faster reloads and better ergonomics than any bolt or lever gun out there.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 1:37:09 AM EDT
I was thinking bolt action for the KISS factor.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:07:54 AM EDT
I would agree on a bolt action or a Marlin guide gun. Depending on where your going and what you might come up against. Gonna live off the land? Gonna take long shots? A 308 in a compact short barrel Ruger may not be enough gun. I might carry something with more power.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:57:35 AM EDT
Depend on how much money you wanna spend.. The Styer scout rifle in .376 might not be bad..

The Remington 700 KS Custum Mountain Rifle is another lightweight heavy firepower gun avalible in 300, 338 and 375 magnums...
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 10:51:05 AM EDT
The plan is to take some game animals to for food.

So your saying .308 is not enough gun? Is it the barrel length that concerns you? Is there significant velocity loss with a 16"?

I guess I could go with 300 winmag but that add to my weight significantly.

Link Posted: 8/18/2004 10:52:26 AM EDT
Take a shotgun.  With bird shot you can take care of any of the smaller game, buck shot and slugs for the bigger and nastier critters that you may feel the need to fire at.  Most everyone else will tell you to take a rifle, but the problem is that a large rifle is too big for small game and a small caliber rifle is too small for big game.  You absolutely want some firepower because there are some animals, and i'm talking about grizzly bears here, that you do not want to face with a .223.   Trust me on that.  12ga is your friend.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 10:52:52 AM EDT
Whichever round I choose, I do want a folding stock. Anyone know where to get one?
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 11:56:19 AM EDT
Make that another vote for a shotgun.  Rem 870 or Benelli.  If you search "folding stock" on like I'm sure you'll find a few.  The Ruger compact/ultralight is a good gun but there is not enough barrel (thickness) to throw anything heavier than a 125 with any consistancy.  At least that is my experience.  I've become a Thompson Encore nut.  You could put any barrel you wanted on an Encore if you didn't mind having a break action.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 1:30:07 PM EDT
a shotgun is not a bad idea, but what kind of effective range are we talking with slugs?
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 1:33:07 PM EDT
Well Dude we just don't know.
Love your avatar.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 1:39:02 PM EDT
not to shaby yourself.  "You should listen to your friend Billy Zane..."
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:09:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunplay:
a shotgun is not a bad idea, but what kind of effective range are we talking with slugs?

Around a hundred yards, give or take depending on your equipment and skill.

I wouldn't bother with a folding stock. I don't see it saving you weight, and it may reduce your effectiveness. There are tactical bolt actions with sliding/folding stocks.

I assume you are going to be hunting big game animals legally, are the hunting seasons within the planned period of your trip, or is big game hunting wishful thinking?
I'd go with the .308 without knowing the specifics of what game, and terrain you are in, and add a .22lr pistol for small game.
A good .22lr and a brick of ammo doesn't weigh much at all and will put food on the table everyday if you keep moving.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 7:29:58 PM EDT
I would not plan to shoot a grizzly with a 12 gauge slug.. Unless it is a last resort, and still then I would exauhst all other possible means of getting away... Though the 12gauge seems to be a powerfull round, it seriouslly lacks the penatration desired to effectivley take a grizzly...

Another possiblity would be a T/C Encore pistol with a .22 hornet bbl, and a .376 JDJ bbl...

If your adea of "big game" is deer then the .308 will be plenty.. Even on Elk if your a good enough shot..
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 8:05:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/18/2004 8:14:56 PM EDT by Spade]
I like the Steyr Scout idea, but in .308.

Or, I saw in a magazine a bolt action .308 rifle, with a 10 round M14 magazine, and a side folding stock. Get that with a 16 or 18 inch barrel and I think you'd be good to go.

Does Robar sound familiar? I'm gonna do a google search.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 11:32:56 PM EDT
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 2:40:43 AM EDT
That Ruger compact is very light, almost perfect for a hiking trip.  308 would be a good all-purpose caliber.  It will kill just about anything on this continent.
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 10:50:48 PM EDT
Marlin Gun Guide and a .22 pistol
Link Posted: 8/19/2004 11:44:58 PM EDT
Why a rifle ?

A Pistol with a 6" or better barrel in 10mm , 44mag , 454 or 500S&W
have all been used to hunt big game quite successfully .
It will also cut your weapon weight in half effectively doubling your ammo capacity .
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 8:34:32 AM EDT
 I have a neighbor who hunts in Alaska quite often, he carries a stainess 5.5" Ruger Vaquaro in 44 mag as a backup.  Though he primariy uses a rifle,  he has taken caribu, black bear, mule deer, white tail,  antelope, woverine, and other stuff with it.  He says is more user friendly and lighter than the S&W 629 he used to carry.

For a primary pack weapon he suggests a long barrel 44 or other large magnum revolver with or without a scope and carried with a sling. The nice thing about the 44 mag is that you can load anthing from heavy magnum loads, 44 specials, light plinking rounds to shot cartridges in it.

I have a 7.5" Stainless Ruger Redhawk I carry on my ATV when working on my 54 acres in Northern Michigan. We have bears and other criters, though the bears are pretty skittish and I have no desire to shoot one.  I used to carry a shotgun but a pistol is much more covienant, the holster just straps to the handle bars or front rack.

BTW, the neighbor used to hunt cats with his 44 using a round lead ball over just a couple grains of powder.  About 500-600 FPS. Those cats looked like they were hit with a bowling ball, or so he tells me.

Another option is a single shot Thompson Contender in whatever caliber.
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 3:53:49 PM EDT
Here is your solution.  Get a T/C Encore with a folding stock, and bring a 30-06 16" barrel and a 20" 12 ga. barrel.  Nice compact package with all the versatility you need!
Link Posted: 8/20/2004 5:21:09 PM EDT
If I were in your shoes I would be wearing a Glock 20 or a HK USP 45 pistol with a Ruger MKII in my pack and a Marlin lever gun (pick any caliber 30-30, .357, .44, 45-70) strapped to my pack.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:57:21 AM EDT
Sometimes folks without much experience overestimate what they can carry on a trek.

Also if you carry all you possibly can I can guarantee you aren't going to enjoy it.

Large game is not really an option on a trek unless you're willing to waste most of your kill.

If brown bears are a factor you need a gun that will give you a chance and another for small game. Since there are two of you the other can carry a rimfire for meat.

One man carrying a three gun arsenal plus ammo on top of all the other stuff you will need will require the legendary "combat" wheelbarrow

Good luck.

Mild Bill
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 4:07:17 PM EDT
this is one option:


Its only a .410/.22, but boy is it light weight
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 5:44:03 PM EDT
I live up in the mountains and whenever I just go for a stroll with the wife I always carry my Ruger GP-100 .357 MAG  with 2 spare speed loaders, or my DE with to spare mags ( just depends on where we are walking). When I hear any noises at night or even during the day concerning our livestock I ALWAYS grab for my Mossberg 500 12ga. with the tac. light  first and one of my gun belts second, and we LIVE in bear/cat/ coyote/ snake territory.

Go with the 12 ga., get several differnt brands of shot and slugs and see which one sights in better for your needs.

It is a well known fact that a .357 mag in 158 gr. semi-wadcutter hollow point will bring down a small-medium sized mule deer , with that in mind a head shot to anything smaller WILL leave plenty of meat left to dine on. As for hitting a squirrel in a tree, " bark him", that means hitting the bark right next to his head and allowing the shock wave  to either kill it or at least really stun it so that you can finish it off by hand. It's a well known OLD trick for taking the little guys when all that you have is a deer rifle with you.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:30:39 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/22/2004 11:37:52 PM EDT by Gunplay]
Well now I'm leaning toward a t/c Encore with a folding stock. However I still like the idea of a bolt action for a follow up shot. I can't believe Butler Creak or someone like that does not make a folding stock for bolt guns.

What do you guys think I should do for glass? I was thinking a Leopold 3-9, but I want it to be as rugged as possible, so maybe an ACOG 4X or 5.5X for a .308. Also I have this nagging desire for backup irons on the 308.

I will be taking some sort of pistol with me, but I intended it to be a defensive backup. Maybe an s&w .44 or my 686.  I think I’ll leave the autoloaders at home.

Again think of this as a long drop hunt. I will be able to take game, mostly elk or deer. The only difference from a drop hunt is that I will have to carry everything in, over fairly long distances. And as was mentioned before this stuff gets real heavy real fast.

All your help has been great, keep it coming.
Link Posted: 8/22/2004 11:59:31 PM EDT
AHHA, I think I have found what I was looking for. The goog people at Choate Machine & Tool have seen fit to make their "sniper folding stock". What about savage in 308 with this stock?
Link Posted: 8/24/2004 11:12:59 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 8/24/2004 11:21:25 PM EDT by muddydog]
i would pick one of the savage O/U 223/.20 gauge rifles. or a .22 mag/.20 a simple flick of the hammer can select the barrel. you can be ready to jump shoot at whatever game gets in range.

i think you can get the new russian guns too.

if your living off the land..sport shooting birds in the air wont be a limiting factor. you can sluice them in trees and on the ground and water.

get some decent sights on the gun.

i was told a long time ago..when i first started hunting..

deer are nice to hunt and hang on a wall, but squirrels, rabbits and quail will keep you alive when times are tough.

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