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calendar   Thursday - September 25, 2014

Park Your AR15

Put A Little Lever Under The Bed


A neat little video over at Theo’s today from Wild Bill, suggesting that you might be better off putting the AR back in the gun safe, and keeping a “friendly looking” gun around for home defense. I couldn’t agree more, since I’ve been saying this for years. Blue steel, wood stocks. Not milsurp. No doo-dads, night scopes, Picatinny Rails, tactical lights, or bayonets. Because when you do have to use it, you don’t want to somehow put a flea up the arse of the local super-liberal DA when she sees your house gun. And nothing chambered in “magnum” anything.

Wild Bill suggests a lever action rifle. Grandpa’s old .30-30. Some old Marlin Model 36, or a Winchester Model 94. A plain old, all American lever action rifle, reminiscent of John Wayne, Wyatt Earp, and all those great old cowboys, singing or otherwise. And I think that’s a good idea. A great idea. But I’d take it another step further.

You don’t want a .30-30. My goodness, a “high powered rifle” used for shooting bears and deer! No, that’s a bit much. Worse, it only gives you about 5+1 shots. Better off using a pistol cartridge. I’d go with the good old .45 Colt. A big soft low speed bullet, it makes a mighty big hole in things. And while your standard lever rifle has a 24” long barrel, shorter versions exist. You can even find a “trapper” style cowboy carbine with a stubby little 16” barrel. While that one would be the most maneuverable, it’s starting to look “SBR”, like a cut-down weapon made just for shooting people. I’d say stick with a 20” barrel. That’s still pretty short, but it’s long enough to give you a 10+1 shot capacity with pistol size cartridges. And it looks “normal” as normal can be.

And to be smartest, be prepared to lose your rifle if you use your rifle. So don’t spend the big bucks. Buy the cheap gun brand. Get a Rossi Model 92, brand new for under $500. It’s a cheap reliable rifle, these days made by Taurus. Not a target rifle, but good enough for home defense. Plus, you hold a rifle with 2 hands, so at close range you usually hit what you point at even if you just aim a little bit. And with a metal capped walnut stock, it makes a decent club if necessary. You can’t say that for your black plastic bullet hose evil killing machine AR.


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This is where you want to be friends with a reloader, or be one yourself. The venerable (circa 1873) .45 “Long” Colt is so mildly loaded that it hardly goes bang. Sure, you will get a little extra velocity by firing it in a locked breech rifle with a decent length barrel, but you’ll still only get about 900fps. Which is maybe enough. Maybe. But it’s so easy to ramp them up a little on the ammo press, making your own “+P” or even “+P+” or “+2P” rounds. And that ammo looks just like factory ammo. Great big flat point, soft cast lead bullet, 200-260 grains. You don’t want any of that “evil cop killer” hollowpoint stuff, and when the bullets are the size of your thumb, you don’t need them either. Get the velocity up to 1200fps, and cast lead bullets will mushroom into quarter size slugs at across the room distances. So will those copper plated bullets (eg Berry’s or Ranier), and they won’t lead your barrel. When used in a rifle, there is plenty of room for improvement to be gained with just a couple more grains of powder and a good roll crimp. Even souped up a big step, recoil in a rifle is just about nothing.

If you are the kind of person who isn’t going to work up custom ammo, these little lever guns are almost always available in .44 Magnum as well. Sure, it’s a smaller bullet (0.429” vs 0.454"), but it goes faster right from the factory box. But it does say “Magnum” on the rim, and it has that whole Dirty Harry thing attached to it. Tell your lawyer to say “deer rifle”, and know that it’s still a better indoors choice than a .30-30, even in a family friendly looking weapon like a good old lever gun.


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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 09/25/2014 at 09:08 PM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun Control •  
Comments (8) Trackbacks(0)  Permalink •  
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