Hunting/Defense Rifle -- Bolt or Semi-Auto?

Discussion in 'GSSF' started by peterwp, Mar 9, 2010.

  1. peterwp

    peterwp

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    I have done some searching here and on other forums and can't make up my mind from what I have read. In my collection I have a few 22 rifles/pistols, a Glock 19, and a Remington 870. Nothing long range or of a heavy rifle caliber. I was going to try my hand at deer hunting in the next year and wanted to get a < 200 yard rifle. To help fill a gap in my collection I was also thinking something semi-auto would also fill the role and help with defensive purposes. My budget would be around ~$500 or less without ammo.

    From searching it appears a lot of people do not recommend CETMEs, AKs, or others for a dual-role rifle. If I am sub 200 yards, would an AK with a scope get the job done? And also even with a 5 round mag would I be inviting unwanted flak from park rangers for using one for hunting? I hear that 7.62 is comparable to 30-30.

    Making my decision hard is the price of this Savage from buds...
    http://www.budsgunshop.com/catalog/product_info.php/manufacturers_id/73/products_id/57452

    Any thoughts? Again, this would be for occasional hunting or defensive purposes -- it wouldn't see frequent range time or extended shooting sessions.
     
  2. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Defensive purposes? A heavy type battle rifle such as an m1a or cetme is going to be a pain in the *** to carry around on a hunt. The Ak could work "LOL", I would not recommend it for a hunter especially a new hunter. The Savage .308 win bolt gun you linked will work much better for deer hunting. The link didn't say anything about the scope though, is it a variable power scope? If your going to use a scope for hunting it needs to have variable power magnification if it has a capability of magnification greater than 4x. The reason for this is when you are in timber or brush a high magnification scope sucks and you will need to crank it down to it's lowest setting for it to even be usable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010

  3. diamondmike

    diamondmike

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    Maybe if you get the scope sighted in good but not with using iron sights.

    The AK is cheaply made and accuracy is bad using the iron sights.

    As for the bullet it is about the same as a 30-30.
     
  4. Bren

    Bren NRA Life Member

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    A lever-action 30-30 if you're serious. An AK with rails all over it if you are looking for an excuse to pretend to be a ninja. The AK is a poor choice for either defense or hunting (good caliber/bad rifle), but great for commando wannabes to blast cans at the range.
     
  5. guyandarifle

    guyandarifle

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    I don't think you're going to get something that would work all that well for the kind of dual role you're espousing for that kind of money. The best compromise might be a good lever action with a decent variable power scope. You get a somewhat better rate of fire than with a bolt and it would be a much nicer thing to carry in the woods hunting than some MBR type weapon. Actually a Browning BLR, if you can find a good used one, can be had in modern cartridges like the .308, which is a sizeable step up from the 30-30.

    Otherwise get a nice used bolt action in a caliber you like and go shooting.
     
  6. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

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    If you absolutely had to have a single rifle for both, I think the SKS would probably be the best, worst choice.


    In reality, buy a cheap bolt rifle like a savage or remington SPS that comes with a cheap scope from wal-mart, and call it a day.
     
  7. TylerDurden

    TylerDurden Viva Hate CLM

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    A Savage in .308 would be my choice within your specifications.
     
  8. ithaca_deerslayer

    ithaca_deerslayer

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    Get the AK if you want. But accuracy isn't typically there. Try the Saiga, and accuracy may be better. But then you are limited to Saiga mags, unless you do a conversion. Personally, I like the Saiga in the sporter stock it comes with. It takes a sidemount scope (the mount puts the scope in the normal top position). You'd want soft point hunting ammo (Winchester makes it, as do others).

    Or get a lever action in .30-30.

    Or get a .308 bolt action.


    Maybe you can find something like a Remington pump rifle in .308. I like those, but don't have one. Model 760, or 7600, I think.

    Then there's the plain old bolt-action in something like .308.

    Can you tell I like .308 for target and deer? :)

    Sure, I like .30-06, too.

    .30-30 and 7.62x39 are a little light for my taste for deer, but still people make them work well. .30-30 has the advantage of heavier bullets.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  9. peterwp

    peterwp

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    Gentlemen, thanks for the responses. These are all very helpful suggestions and I think I found my answer. I would like faster follow up shots that a bolt rifle can't give but I don't want the inaccuracy and compromises of an AK. I am going to keep an eye out for used lever actions. The Browning BLR looks perfect but the price is a little high for me.

    Anyone know if any brand other brand makes or made lever actions in 308? Gunbroker isn't coming up with much.
     
  10. Minnow

    Minnow

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    Does it really have to be .308? You say that you are not going to shoot it much, so cost wouldn't be a concern. If you want more punch than a 30-30 or even a .44 mag offers, Marlin makes their own .308 marlin express.http://www.marlinfirearms.com/Firearms/308MarlinExpress/308MX.asp
    Short of that, as far as I know your best bet would be to find a used Browning BLR in .308win. I'd find me a decent 30-30 or .44mag and call it a day. I picked up a NIB Marlin .44 magnum for 399.99 and it rocks. Its fast handling in brush and fast cycling with a ten round tubular magazine. I even got a .44 magnum revolver to match.

    The first pic is after I installed a set of XS ghost rings which make sighting even faster.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010
  11. Zombie Steve

    Zombie Steve Decap Pin Killa

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    The trouble with that is any pointed bullet in the mag tube, under recoil, runs the risk of setting off the next cartridge in the tube. Let me tell you, you won't get good velocity or accuracy launching bullets out of the magazine tube. :whistling::supergrin:

    Usually you'll see levers chambered in something that has a flat point - .30-30, .44 mag, .45 Colt, et cetera.

    There is the .308 Marlin Express, which is basically a rimmed .308 that they use flex tip ammo with...
     
  12. peterwp

    peterwp

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    That lever gun for $400 new is pretty compelling. The only downside for me is the lack of long range shooting and I would need to add another caliber into my collection.

    I'm not married to 308 but it seems to be a pretty standard caliber (like 9mm, .223, 45 ACP, etc.) that will be around forever and there is a high likelihood my friends will have some laying around, too.

     
  13. rtl

    rtl Robby The Guy Millennium Member

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  14. rhino673

    rhino673

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    Buy the Savage 308 and a save your money for a AK. Different tools for different jobs.
     
  15. Upstate Glocker

    Upstate Glocker

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    Ordinarily for an inexperienced shooter and occasional hunter looking for deer, a 308 bolt action would be the right choice. You could also go with a smaller caliber, but 308 is a good all around cartridge with plenty of ammo availability. However since your OP included defensive purposes, a faster shooting rifle is in order. That means a 30-30 Marlin, or a .308 Browning BLR. Both are more than adequate at less than 200 yards. If under 100 yards and for the price you are looking at, the 1894 Marlin in .44 mag is also a great choice. I wouldn't go with a semi if you are not really a rifleman, since they require more expertise in takedown, handling, tuning, etc. plus you don't want to look like a mall ninja if you are carrying around an AK or other "black" rifle in the woods.
     
  16. guyandarifle

    guyandarifle

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    Here's a BLR in 7-08 currently sitting at $550. That cartridge isn't quite as ubiquitous as the .308 but it's a very popular (just a .308 case necked down to 7mm) cartridge for deer.

    http://www.auctionarms.com/search/displayitem.cfm?itemnum=9604732&oh=216543
     
  17. peterwp

    peterwp

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    Guys, thanks for the recommendations. Yes, I am definitely not a mall ninja. I'm not new to firearms, just longer range rifles. It's urban living around here and no place to shoot them. We are looking to buy 10-20 acres and I am scouting out rifles that will let me reach out and touch something beyond the range of what I have now.

    I think I could handle maintenance and tuning of a semi, I do things like my own trigger work now and other futzing about, but I think my main problem is there isn't a quality semi-auto deer rifle in my price range... at least not close to the Savage posted earlier at ~$300.
     
  18. Cole125

    Cole125 Silver Member

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    I would suggest a lever action 30-30 or Ruger Mini 30. New ones are accurate.
     
  19. m2hmghb

    m2hmghb

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    Winchester model 88 is a good choice. Lever action detachable mag in .308
     
  20. Minnow

    Minnow

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    If I want to reach out any further than my Marlin .44 will allow "150yds", I will forgo the 30-30 in favor of my .270win or a number of other long range rifles including .308win. I don't restrict myself to Nato calibers because there are other calibers just as common here in the states. Another option previously mentioned is the Remington 7600 pump action. One in 30-06 or .270 Winchester would be a very fast/effective deer slayer and is in the op's price point.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2010