Tuesday, May 17, 2005

The guns I'd choose

Earlier I wrote on the question 'If you could only have a few guns, what would you grab?'. I broke my choices into five categories, and of what I own or is quickly available, here's what I'd choose.

Centerfire rifle My choice would depend on conditions; whether it's a possible combat situation or simple survival. For fighting, I'd pick my Yugo SKS. The cartridge is adequate for the purpose, and with a couple of pouches of loaded strippers, you can reload fast. You can also use it for medium-size game like whitetail deer(with good soft-point ammo preferably) also. If I were primarily worried about survival stuff, it would be an 8mm Mauser. The one in question is an old Turk 1938 that's had some work done on it. It'll reach out a long way, and if you wind up facing something large it'll take care of that too(depending on where you are in the region, you can find anything from black bear to wild boar to deer to elk to antelope). And with some of the military surplus ammo, you can just about shoot through a car lengthwise if you had to. If I had to choose one of them quickly, I'd probably grab the SKS, much as it pains me to say so. It doesn't have the range or power of the 8mm, but if a fight develops, it'd be the better weapon.

Rimfire rifle Remington Model 512. This is a tube-magazine bolt-action I mounted a 4x scope on years ago. With the right ammo it's spooky accurate, it'll handle any .22 shorts, longs or long rifles that you can get hold of, and if something happened to the scope the iron sights are zeroed at 50 yards. One nice thing, a lot of these old Remingtons have very good triggers, which definately helps the accuracy factor.

Centerfire pistol Much as I like the 1911 .45, I'd probably take the S&W Model 57 .357 Magnum. Sturdy, accurate, reliable, and you can use two cartridges in it, .357 and .38 Special. Especially with some quick loaders you can recharge it fast, with magnums you can take deer or hogs out to 50 yards, with light .38's you can take small game without destroying them. The .45 would be my choice for a fighting pistol, but for general use, the revolver would get the nod.

Rimfire pistol Either a Ruger Single Six, or a Sig Trailside. I'd lean toward the Ruger; it comes with two cylinders, one for LR and one for Magnums, and with the magnum cylinder it'd be a nasty beast for defensive use. The Sig has a scope that can be mounted in less than a minute, and it's very accurate; for small game it'd be better because the scope helps out my eyes. And since the primary use for it would be small game, it'd be the Sig.

Shotgun Benelli Nova Special Purpose. Short, light, ghost-ring sights. Mine's 12 guage, and with slugs I've tried it's quite accurate to 50 yards; with buckshot out of that short barrel effective range would be 30 yards max, but what more do you expect? With slugs or buckshot I'd be confident against anything in North America within it's range, and with birdshot you've got birds and small game for hunting. Combat use? If you find someone who's happy about facing a shotgun at close range, you know crazier people than I do.

Those are my choices, as to the stuff available to me. Add in the 'what would you go buy?' option, and things open up a lot. Maybe a M1A for the centerfire rifle, a .41 Magnum Smith or Taurus revolver... Lots of possibilities.

What would you choose?


Anonymous said...

I like the choices. Very basic. I would make only one substitute, and consider another. My mandatory substitute would be a Marlin 1894C in .357 in place of the SKS. You already have a companion revolver.

I would option down the shotgun to a Remington 870 pump. Parts are easier to get, and I believe that you can get two of them for the price of one Benelli. At least get two barrels, one short "slug" barrel with sights and one Field barrel for upland birds and game.

Otherwise, great choices.

Firehand said...

I wouldn't have a problem in this part of the country with the Marlin; good rifle, and it would double-up on ammo with the revolver. Though the SKS would, I think, have a range/power advantage.

One of the reasons I bought the Benelli was the very good things I'd heard of reliability, and when I shouldered it it just lined up perfectly and that settled it. You do bring up a good point, if you have or can quickly get one, extra barrels would definately be a good thing; a rifled slug barrel would extend the range to at least 100 yards.