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Help finding my next gun

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Help finding my next gun

Old 03-07-2012, 04:52 PM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4
Default Help finding my next gun

Hello, this is my first post here so I'll tell you a little about my situation.

I live in NY where gun laws are a little more strict than other places. I have $600 set aside that I was planning on acquiring a pistol permit and handgun with however I found out that the process takes 14 months in my county (Onondaga). I am still going through with it but the long and the short of it is I wont need this money for over a year, and I am not quite responsible enough to put it back into my savings, haha.

I plan on doing a lot of backpacking this summer and want a reasonably light weight long gun that would be able to stop a bear in the unlikely event. The gun would be used more for target shooting than anything else but it would be the one I take with me on over night hikes so I need it to be as light weight as possible.

To sum it up:
-Price range $500-800
-Cannot be a handgun / require handgun ammo
-Needs to be light weight
-High enough caliber to stop a bear
-Semi-auto preferred
-Lever action/bolt action work as well (Preferably a capacity of 5+ rounds)
-I'd also really prefer something more modern, my current collection is mostly WWI / WWII era.
-I am not in a huge rush to buy this, I have a few months, so there is some growing room in my budget.

I really look forward to hearing some feedback on this from an experienced community.

I currently own:
M1 Garand (1943) (30-06)
Lee Enfield No.1 MKIII (1917) (.303)
Lee Enfield No.5 MKI (1945) (.303)
10/22 Ruger (Modern) (.22LR)
Kimber 1911 (Modern) (.45ACP) [Currently kept with my family in my previous State]

Last edited by Wilson1911; 03-07-2012 at 06:13 PM.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:05 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: WY
Posts: 2,056

I already see an absence of any shotguns? A 12-ga with slugs will stop the unlikely bear charge. I tend to prefer slide-action over automatics.

Otherwise, you might consider the Marlin Guide Gun in something like .45-70?
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:20 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4

I've been back and forth on getting a shotgun, it definitely fits the criteria but I am not sure how much fun it would be with target shooting. The marlin looks real nice though, but since the ammo is not "soda bottle" shaped would it then fall into the pistol round category? I believe I need a pistol permit to purchase any ammo that could be used in a handgun as well.
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

The $600-$800 price range pretty much takes you out of the market for a new autoloader, unless you can find a deep discount on a Rem. 750. These MSRP for about $1000 + tax of course ! Browning's BAR retails for about $200 more.

As far as a lever action, might be able to get a new one in your price range. For sure a good used onme. Marlin makes a nice lever in 45.70 Gov., 444 Marlin and 338 Marlin Express. Any of these should be bad medicine for deer, bear and I suspect moose as well.

If you could stumble into a nuice Brownuing BAR "Short Trac" in 300 WSM or a "Long Trac" in 300 Win. Mag., for sure you are covered !!!

Seems to me that a 308 Win. or 30.06 Spr. using a quality 165 gr. to 180 gr. hunting bullet would be plenty sufficient for black bear. (My experience with bear huntng is zero!) These are relatively common chamberings for BAR's and Woodmasters, as well as many boltactions and the Browning BLR.

If you decide to go with a bolt action, again the $600-$800 pushes the MSRP of most manufacturers to the limit. Especially if you are going to add a decent scope. I do not know of a single maker of modern bolt actions that is not making a good product. I ahve helped sight in dozens and dozens over the past 20 yars and only very, very rarely has one not grouped well.

My suggestion would be Ruger or Savage ..... probably a better chance of staying around your budget. Used bolt actions in good shape are usually relatively easy to come across at reasonable prices. Ruger makes a super "little" bolt action referred to as a compact. A good frined of mine has one in 308 Win. It shoots lights out and is superb for quick handling .... and it is relatively light weight.

And 14 months for a hand gun ? Are you kidding me ?
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Old 03-07-2012, 06:33 PM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 2,186

You want to try a 45.70 Gov. in a hand gun ??? Have at it brother and let me know how it worked out.

How does NY handle the single shot hunting hand guns? These are chambered for many "bottle necked" rounds ?
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Old 03-08-2012, 12:19 AM
Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2012
Posts: 4

The Remington 750 has really caught my attention. I could push the price range up to 1kish if the gun was really right. The forefront of my purchase is to add a very nice modern target weapon to my collection, as well as double as a 'defense' gun while hiking.

Although I have nothing against lever actions, and after recently using my first; a buddies Henry 30/30, I plan to some day own one. At this point though I am really looking for something modern. I am open to more suggestions but I must say as it stands I am very strongly considering the Remington 750.

I very much appreciate all the suggestions. As far the 45.70 goes, I am still learning as I go. As long as there isn't some arbitrary handgun that takes it I'll be able to purchase the ammo.

Thanks again, looking forward to some more suggestions.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:03 AM
Nontypical Buck
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,445

I beleive there is a revolver out there chambered for 45/70, called something like "BFR". Still I don't think 45/70 is considered a pistol cartridge. Call a gun shop and ask if you need a handgun permit to purchase.

For what you are wanting, I can't think of a better gun than a Marlin Guide Gun. If the 45/70 is a problem, get it in 450 Marlin. Essentially the same cartridge, but with a belted case. I have not seen a handgun chambered in 450 Marlin.
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Old 03-08-2012, 05:18 AM
Fork Horn
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: 5a
Posts: 183

A Remington 870 sounds like the ticket. Grab a short barrel(18") for your hiking and go find a trap, skeet or sporting clays course and shoot for fun. A 12 ga is about as good as you can get for bears and 2 legged predators while at home. Plus there is so many accessories available for them you can build it however you like.
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Old 03-08-2012, 01:29 PM
Nontypical Buck
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Kansas
Posts: 3,898

For the record, the .45-70 MR BFR really isn't bad for recoil. The low pressure old BP round is about in the same league as the .454 cassul, so honestly, the BFR doesn't make sense to me. Why carry a single action THAT STINKING BIG when you can carry a double action Taurus Raging Bull or Ruger Super Redhawk?

But, I digress... The poster wasn't interested in handguns, nor in handgun cartridges...

My personal recommendation for lightweight/easy handling, and HARD HITTING bear medicine is a Marlin 1895 Stainless Guide Gun in .45-70. You could also go the .450marlin route and save yourself time in reloading. Slap on a $75 set of XS ghost ring sights, and feed her half a dozen 325grn Hornady Leverevolution FTX's and you'll have a fast handling <7lb rifle that's able to knock down any animal on the planet.

Semi-autos rifles in a self defense situation are a liability in my book. If that thing jams, you're done. A Marlin levergun isn't going to jam on you, and she'll run plenty fast.

Or, my second choice would be a youth stocked 18.5-20" rem 870. The disadvantage here is that it doesn't have much OTHER practical use (the Marlin will make a fine hunting weapon, a short barrel shotty, not so much). The good news, is that a mouthful of 00buckshot is mighty persuasive even to the most persistent of critters. I suppose you could pick up a spare barrel and swap it over for some wing shooting when you don't need it for covering your tail.

I know you said no handguns, or handgun cartridges, but a Ruger Deerfield Carbine (.44mag), or Marlin 1894 in .44mag would also make fantastic bear defense. Plenty of stopping power, very light and fast handling.

Just for fun, if you WERE considering a handgun, something on the lines of a Ruger SRH or Taurus Tracker would just fit inside your price range. Hard to argue that a handgun is quicker on the draw than a rifle or shotty, and having the opportunity to operate it one handed (while a bear has you on your back, chewing on your OTHER hand) is a pretty big advantage.
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Old 03-08-2012, 03:56 PM
Typical Buck
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Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 647

Nomercy448 said it pretty much the same way I would...

1. You'll be hard pressed to find a rifle that will serve you well as both "bear medicine" and a target rifle...apples and oranges.

2. Semi-auto and bear defense? Bad idea....I spend a lot of time every year in Alaska fishing and always carry "bear medicine"...usually a 454 Cassul or a 12g...I'd never consider a long-rifle, especially an auto, as my "bear medicine" and no one else I know up there does...

3. If you are looking for a happy medium (compromise) to do both marginally, a lever action rifle (guide style...shorter barrel...Marlin is the best option here) in 45/70, 450 Marlin and 444 Marlin will preform well on bear as well as deer and moose out to ranges of +/- 200 yards if you spend the time to become proficient...avoid putting a scope on it, as it then becomes useless as a bear defense weapon.

It sounds to me that you need two new additions...a short barreled 12g for bear medicine ($250 new...Mossberg 500A, Remington 870 or Winchester Defender) and a nice new target rifle (avoid auto-loaders for target type rifles...they preform less proficiently than a good solid bolt action rifle like the Savage Model 10, Browning A-Bolt, Remington 700 or Tikka T3 when it comes to long distance accuracy target shooting...$600 - $1000 plus glass)

Happy hunting!

Last edited by emtrescue6; 03-08-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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