Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Turtlewolf » Mon Dec 10, 2012 12:00 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
Turtlewolf wrote:
400 Grains wrote:
Turtlewolf wrote:My vote goes 18" .308/7.62x51, I'ld suggest a Keltec RFB if you had the cash but it is an unproven entity to me at this point
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In other words I can't suggest an RFB, unproven entity, couldn't have been more clear.
It could have, if you hadn't said "I'd suggest an RFB"
Ah crap, I kept seeing a "but" in that post-going to edit now sorry!
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Doryman » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:29 pm

Were I to "Jeremiah Johnson" it up in Alaska... I'd go with the following.

Need to Have:

- A general purpose hunting/"oh-noes-a-pesky-critter" rifle... I'd suggest either the Marlin Guide Gun in 45-70, or some old Milsurp rifle. Either or seems good to me. The Marlin is pretty popular among guys I know that spend a lot of time poking around in the fearsome parts of the bush, and World War surplus bolt-actions have been taking big game all over the world for awhile now. I know from experience that Mosin-Nagants, Lee-Enfields and Springfields have knocked down a lot of tasty moose and bear in my part of the world (Newfoundland and Labrador). Inuit up north use Enfields almost exclusively to hunt Polar Bear and swear by its reliability.

- A shotgun in 12 gauge, simply because it can do most things you want it to, depending on what kind of rounds you feed it. Does well for a lot of hunting applications, and it's pretty solid on defence. Pump, semi, lever, break action, whatever you like.

Nice to have.

- a .22lr pistol/rifle for small game. The shotgun can also handle the small game, but the .22 is economical and space-saving and a good back-up

- A pistol chambered in something large enough to use in self defense against large animals. There are lots of models out there designed specifically for your situation.

- Whatever shtf rifle tickles your fancy. FAL, M14, AR, whatever.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by rotncore » Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:44 pm

Used to go moose hunting annually until last year when I switched jobs and lost some vacation. .308 is plenty good enough, their vitals are the size of a garbage can lid, and something that big without lungs doesn't move far or fast. They also aren't particularly sneaky...they sound like a bus in low gear being driven through the bush - so you've done something very wrong if one gets the jump on you, and they are only aggressive in the rut. Think of them as large cows found in the forest - similarly, bulls can charge you, but you're generally good if you respect them.

Me, I'd go 870. It's what polar bear guides carry in Canada, and I think that trumps brown bears. All the moving parts are sufficiently large that they shouldn't freeze unless you have standing water in your gun, and pumping hard enough should clear any freezing. Slugs are measured in oz. not grains, and you can probably manage to load/reload it even wearing mitts with the forgiving shell size.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Bender711 » Wed Jan 23, 2013 12:39 pm

I'll throw in my votes here for the rifle. Marlin lever action in 45-70 with an 18in barrel or a Ruger scout re-bored to 338 federal.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by quazi » Thu Jan 24, 2013 1:27 am

I'm definitely going to wait out the panic buying, however long that lasts. Not sure what things are going to look like on the other side of this craziness, so I couldn't really make up my mind at this point even if I was able too. :lol:

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by Coal-Cracker » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:50 am

quazi wrote:I'm definitely going to wait out the panic buying, however long that lasts. Not sure what things are going to look like on the other side of this craziness, so I couldn't really make up my mind at this point even if I was able too. :lol:
Probably not a bad idea.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of guys buying up "military style" rifles for investment purposes, secretly hoping for a ban similar to the '94 ban (high priced & transferable). They are gonna end up sitting on a lot of stuff if (when) nothing get passed. This will (hopefully) be an opportunity to pick up some great deals when credit card bills start flowing in and they have to make a quick buck.

Then again, who knows what could happen...
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by quazi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 4:58 pm

It loooks like Centerfire Systems has Vepr .308 rifles for $730. This seems like almost pre-panic prices.

Should I jump on it?

What are decent 20 round magazines going for?

Edit: I won't have much use for this rifle for a couple years, so I'm tempted to wait and see what will available then. On the other hand I'm not sure good deals like this will be around a couple years from now.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by Assault Life » Tue Nov 05, 2013 5:20 pm

Seems like a good deal to me. I wouldn't wait to see if prices go down in the future. They won't.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by Kutter_0311 » Tue Nov 05, 2013 6:55 pm

Assault Life wrote:
quazi wrote:It loooks like Centerfire Systems has Vepr .308 rifles for $730. This seems like almost pre-panic prices.

Should I jump on it?

What are decent 20 round magazines going for?

Edit: I won't have much use for this rifle for a couple years, so I'm tempted to wait and see what will available then. On the other hand I'm not sure good deals like this will be around a couple years from now.
Seems like a good deal to me. I wouldn't wait to see if prices go down in the future. They won't.
Too right. If I had the cash right now, I would jump, too. Anyone fire 7.62x51 through one of these?

I've been told my Rem 742 will pretty much blow up if I try it, so I'm in the market for a sturdier "heavy" rifle...
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by quazi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:00 pm

Alright I'm probably going to call an FFL tomorrow and see about ordering one.

The last reservation I have is magazines. When I first posted this thread about a year ago I had mags written down as about ~$40 for a reliable 20 round magazine. Is this still the case? I'd hate to buy the rifle and then find out that I'll never be able to get good magazines for it.
Kutter_0311 wrote:Anyone fire 7.62x51 through one of these?

I've been told my Rem 742 will pretty much blow up if I try it, so I'm in the market for a sturdier "heavy" rifle...
I thought that 7.62x51 was generally not as hot as commercial .308 hunting ammunition. Am I mistaken? Not a deal-breaker for me either way, but it would be good to know.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:04 pm

quazi wrote:Alright I'm probably going to call an FFL tomorrow and see about ordering one.

The last reservation I have is magazines. When I first posted this thread about a year ago I had mags written down as about ~$40 for a reliable 20 round magazine. Is this still the case? I'd hate to buy the rifle and then find out that I'll never be able to get good magazines for it.
Kutter_0311 wrote:Anyone fire 7.62x51 through one of these?

I've been told my Rem 742 will pretty much blow up if I try it, so I'm in the market for a sturdier "heavy" rifle...
I thought that 7.62x51 was generally not as hot as commercial .308 hunting ammunition. Am I mistaken? Not a deal-breaker for me either way, but it would be good to know.
I too thought 7.62x51 was loaded about 10,000PSI lower than .308 commercial, hence why you can't shoot 308 through some milsurps. Also the headspace is a hair different. Anyhow, as long as the Vepr is a 3-lug-bolt version, it will be fine. The older 2-lug 308s failed the commercial 308 test, so the 3-lug bolts were developed to let users shoot decent ammo.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by quazi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:24 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I too thought 7.62x51 was loaded about 10,000PSI lower than .308 commercial, hence why you can't shoot 308 through some milsurps. Also the headspace is a hair different. Anyhow, as long as the Vepr is a 3-lug-bolt version, it will be fine. The older 2-lug 308s failed the commercial 308 test, so the 3-lug bolts were developed to let users shoot decent ammo.
Any way to tell if they're newer or older just by looking at the website? I'll probably have to call them tomorrow.

I was looking at the versions with a 20.5" barrel. There are two versions, IIRC there is the Vepr 01 which has standard AK sights and the Vepr 02 which has the rear sight at the rear of the receiver and the front sight at the gas block. Is the 02 the newer 3-lug version and the 01 the older 2-lug, or is it just a difference in configuration that has nothing to do with age?

Which version do you all think would be better?

I just noticed that the wood furniture is unfinished and possibly cracked. I'm guessing they expect everyone to replace it anyway.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by Doctorr Fabulous » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:28 pm

quazi wrote:
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:I too thought 7.62x51 was loaded about 10,000PSI lower than .308 commercial, hence why you can't shoot 308 through some milsurps. Also the headspace is a hair different. Anyhow, as long as the Vepr is a 3-lug-bolt version, it will be fine. The older 2-lug 308s failed the commercial 308 test, so the 3-lug bolts were developed to let users shoot decent ammo.
Any way to tell if they're newer or older just by looking at the website? I'll probably have to call them tomorrow.

I was looking at the versions with a 20.5" barrel. There are two versions, IIRC there is the Vepr 01 which has standard AK sights and the Vepr 02 which has the rear sight at the rear of the receiver and the front sight at the gas block. Is the 02 the newer 3-lug version and the 01 the older 2-lug, or is it just a difference in configuration that has nothing to do with age?

Which version do you all think would be better?

I just noticed that the wood furniture is unfinished and possibly cracked. I'm guessing they expect everyone to replace it anyway.
I'm not sure, but AFAIK all the imported .308s have the 3-lug bolt. I kinda prefer the 02 myself, but if you're going to put glass on it I wouldn't worry.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by quazi » Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:31 pm

I probably won't worry about any optics for a couple years, but in the future I'll likely get something.

The practical side of me says get a red dot because any shooting will likely be up close. On the other hand my understanding is that there are variable power scopes that can go down to true 1x that are very fast to use. That would be cool. I imagine if I was to use this rifle for defense it would likely be inside my bedroom pointed at a barricaded door or outside while checking on the livestock. Maybe a scope wouldn't be so much of a hindrance in those two situations?

I figure I'm going to get a 1-6x or 1-4x for my Remington 700. I'll try it out on the Vepr (if I get it) and see how well it works.

Are AK side rail scope mounts any good?

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by Alpha-17 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:08 am

The Vepr sounds like a good option. Other ones have also been mentioned, namely the "Big Three" battle rifles, (the FAL, HK91, M1A), as well as the SCAR. All three of the "Big Three" have a history of being used in "arctic" conditions, and should handle Alaska just fine. I know that the M1A and the SCAR both can handle heavier 7.62/.308 loadings, up to and including 168gr and 175gr just fine. Not sure on the HK91 or FAL, but I would be surprised to hear their performance is much different.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by iron_angel » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:14 am

From personal experience, my SA58 (FAL) handles 175gr SMK loads all day. 155gr Hornady TAP is my usual general-purpose load (will kill deer or stop bad guys, both quite effectively, and probably out to 300-400m if I needed to), but if I needed longer shots - or expected to have to shoot a big bear - I'd use 175s without a second's worry about reliability.

Not sure about the VEPR in that regard, though if it's an AK action (and not some bodge that kinda looks like one) it should shoot bloody near anything that doesn't blow it up or short-stroke it.
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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by quazi » Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:36 am

The Internets make it sound like the only really good 20 round .308 mags for the Vepr are made by Csspecs, and cost $50 each. :gonk:

Promag magazines cost a lot less, but... Promag.

This is going to require some math.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska EDIT: Vepr .

Post by quazi » Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:15 am

I know it doesn't really matter that much, but I just can't decide what to do. I'm like a fat kid who's been taken to the candy aisle and told he can only have one. :lol:

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by AnonEmouse » Sat Nov 09, 2013 10:53 am

Gingerbread Man wrote:
the_alias wrote: Why not a lever action?
The English man wins this thread, IMO. I was thinking a Marlin 45/70 with a 26" barrel. Throw a variable power illuminated scout scope on there and have the area ranged. Know your holdovers.
You could keep it loaded with 300gr leverevolution for general work. Throw in lighter loads for small game or just get a .22LR. Now, since there are lots of bear, get some double tap or buffalo bore.
This will give you a 5 rd capacity, thunderous power, and the ability to back up shots pretty rapidly. There isn't an animal on the planet that hasn't been taken by the 45/70. I really wish my shoulders could take the recoil. :(


I still maintain a cabin a couple of miles out of Larsens Bay where there are more Brownies wandering around than any other place on the face of the planet save *maybe* for across in the Kamchatka , bear defence rifle of choice is STILL a Marlin '95 Guide Gun in .45-70 with the 550 grain Jae-Bak Young Craters or the like. This combo has *proven* it's worth many a time over , and makes a quite efficient sub 200 yard Moose round.

And *any* place where the big bears are resident up there most *all* folks are backing their rifle or slug gun with a heavy sidearm , .41 mag , .44 mag or the Casull being the most common choices , you have to put your rifle down somtimes , practical considerations dictate that it's rather hard to split wood , rebait and reset a trap etc.etc. whilst maintaining a hold on a rifle.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by AnonEmouse » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:18 am

[quote="rotncore"

Me, I'd go 870. It's what polar bear guides carry in Canada, and I think that trumps brown bears. All the moving parts are sufficiently large that they shouldn't freeze unless you have standing water in your gun, and pumping hard enough should clear any freezing. Slugs are measured in oz. not grains, and you can probably manage to load/reload it even wearing mitts with the forgiving shell size.[/quote]


Not all " polar bear guides carry a slug gun. And your mention of oz's versus grains is a red herring . You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug at higher velocity and that said projectiles are of a MUCH better construction for the purpose than *ANY* shotgun slug.

The Brownies especially the coastal brownies are much more of a consideration than Polar Bears , you're very unlikely to run into trouble with a Polar bear unless you're far , far ,far north , most folks will never even SEE one. Brownies are all over the place both Coastal and Inland.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by 400 Grains » Sat Nov 09, 2013 6:18 pm

AnonEmouse wrote:
Not all " polar bear guides carry a slug gun. And your mention of oz's versus grains is a red herring . You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug at higher velocity and that said projectiles are of a MUCH better construction for the purpose than *ANY* shotgun slug.

The Brownies especially the coastal brownies are much more of a consideration than Polar Bears , you're very unlikely to run into trouble with a Polar bear unless you're far , far ,far north , most folks will never even SEE one. Brownies are all over the place both Coastal and Inland.
While I mainly agree with your advice, it's not exactly fair to say "You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug".

The vast majority of large caliber rifles in use in Alaska don't shoot projectiles weighing more than the 546 grains of the common 12 gauge 3" 1 1/4 ounce slug, or the even heavier 1 3/8 oz, 600 grain slugs used in rounds like the Brenneke 3" Black Magic, or the Remington 3" Buckhammer.

While there might be a few folks using 577 Nitro's or other rare old Elephant guns, I don't think there are many.

When I'm in lower 48 Big Bear country, (which I frequently am), I tend to carry one of my 45-70 Marlins, shooting Randy Garrett's excellent 420 grain Hammerheads in the milder "Government" load. If I was in Alaska, around the biggest and most aggressive bears, I might think about carrying something a little more powerful, though in reality my current combo would likely work just fine.

But if all I had was a good 12 gauge, shooting properly constructed, hard slugs, designed for penetration, (not the soft lead foster types most are familiar with), I wouldn't feel like I was at that much of a disadvantage. Since many folks already own a 12 gauge, it's the cheapest and most expedient way to add reasonable big bear defense to their battery, especially if they are already a competent shot with their shotgun.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by AnonEmouse » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:38 am

400 Grains wrote:
AnonEmouse wrote:
Not all " polar bear guides carry a slug gun. And your mention of oz's versus grains is a red herring . You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug at higher velocity and that said projectiles are of a MUCH better construction for the purpose than *ANY* shotgun slug.

The Brownies especially the coastal brownies are much more of a consideration than Polar Bears , you're very unlikely to run into trouble with a Polar bear unless you're far , far ,far north , most folks will never even SEE one. Brownies are all over the place both Coastal and Inland.
While I mainly agree with your advice, it's not exactly fair to say "You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug".

The vast majority of large caliber rifles in use in Alaska don't shoot projectiles weighing more than the 546 grains of the common 12 gauge 3" 1 1/4 ounce slug, or the even heavier 1 3/8 oz, 600 grain slugs used in rounds like the Brenneke 3" Black Magic, or the Remington 3" Buckhammer.

While there might be a few folks using 577 Nitro's or other rare old Elephant guns, I don't think there are many.

When I'm in lower 48 Big Bear country, (which I frequently am), I tend to carry one of my 45-70 Marlins, shooting Randy Garrett's excellent 420 grain Hammerheads in the milder "Government" load. If I was in Alaska, around the biggest and most aggressive bears, I might think about carrying something a little more powerful, though in reality my current combo would likely work just fine.

But if all I had was a good 12 gauge, shooting properly constructed, hard slugs, designed for penetration, (not the soft lead foster types most are familiar with), I wouldn't feel like I was at that much of a disadvantage. Since many folks already own a 12 gauge, it's the cheapest and most expedient way to add reasonable big bear defense to their battery, especially if they are already a competent shot with their shotgun.



You might wish to do some research because there are many slugs that are well under the 500 grain mark , additionally slugs often do not offer sufficient penetration. I reside right in the *middle* of lower 48 big bear country and spend a great deal of time in the far north , there are myriad folks carrying .375s , .416 mags and .458 win mags in Alaska , along with one hell of a lot of us carrying .45-70s , you'll find the load I cited i.e. the 550 grain Jae-Bak Young ' Crater" stacked over 44-45 grains of 4895 to be quite effective , this turns up 1500-1600 fps out of an 18.5 inch , more out of a 20 inch and turns up 2800 to 3000 ft lbs.

And quite frankly I have **seen** slugs fail to stop the big bears in DLP scenarios on more than one occasion , I have also stopped them with the load I cited on more than one occasion , another favorite is the 525 grain Beartooth wides over 52 grains of 4895 , this load runs well past the 1600 mark in an 18.5 and past 1800 in a 22 inch along with 3500 to 3800 ft-lbs and is stout enough to break BOTH shoulders on a 970 lb sow I had to shoot.

And your mention of the .577 nitro is a red herring on your part , you fail to denote whether you refer to the 2.75 or the 3 inch version , and such hyperbole fails to take into account the amount of the previously mentioned .375 bracket rifles , .416s and .458s being carried by folks in the far north. Nor are you taking into account the ***construction*** of the slugs available in these chamberings as opposed to the commonly available slugs.

I don't do hyperbole as regards the big bears , I spend too much time in fairly close proximity to them to do so.

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by 400 Grains » Tue Nov 12, 2013 2:26 am

AnonEmouse wrote:
You might wish to do some research because there are many slugs that are well under the 500 grain mark
, additionally slugs often do not offer sufficient penetration. I reside right in the *middle* of lower 48 big bear country and spend a great deal of time in the far north , there are myriad folks carrying .375s , .416 mags and .458 win mags in Alaska , along with one hell of a lot of us carrying .45-70s , you'll find the load I cited i.e. the 550 grain Jae-Bak Young ' Crater" stacked over 44-45 grains of 4895 to be quite effective , this turns up 1500-1600 fps out of an 18.5 inch , more out of a 20 inch and turns up 2800 to 3000 ft lbs.

And quite frankly I have **seen** slugs fail to stop the big bears in DLP scenarios on more than one occasion , I have also stopped them with the load I cited on more than one occasion , another favorite is the 525 grain Beartooth wides over 52 grains of 4895 , this load runs well past the 1600 mark in an 18.5 and past 1800 in a 22 inch along with 3500 to 3800 ft-lbs and is stout enough to break BOTH shoulders on a 970 lb sow I had to shoot.

And your mention of the .577 nitro is a red herring on your part , you fail to denote whether you refer to the 2.75 or the 3 inch version , and such hyperbole fails to take into account the amount of the previously mentioned .375 bracket rifles , .416s and .458s being carried by folks in the far north. Nor are you taking into account the ***construction*** of the slugs available in these chamberings as opposed to the commonly available slugs.

I don't do hyperbole as regards the big bears , I spend too much time in fairly close proximity to them to do so.

Sigh...... :roll:

Let's review....

You said:

You will find that many large caliber rifles carry a projectile heavier than a shotgun slug
I said:
The vast majority of large caliber rifles in use in Alaska don't shoot projectiles weighing more than the 546 grains of the common 12 gauge 3" 1 1/4 ounce slug, or the even heavier 1 3/8 oz, 600 grain slugs used in rounds like the Brenneke 3" Black Magic, or the Remington 3" Buckhammer.
Even the standard 2 3/4" 12 gauge slug weighs 437 grains. Heavier than the majority of bullets fired in large caliber rifles.

And I said:
But if all I had was a good 12 gauge, shooting properly constructed, hard slugs, designed for penetration, (not the soft lead foster types most are familiar with), I wouldn't feel like I was at that much of a disadvantage.
I stand by what I said. But please, if you feel you need to pontificate more about your lack of hyperbole, feel free. But maybe you could try at least reading before you spout off...so you don't look quite as silly....

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Re: Defensive longarm for a homestead in Alaska

Post by tedbeau » Tue Nov 12, 2013 10:05 am

MacAttack wrote:For an Alaskan homestead?

A pump shotgun.
A Mosin Nagant in 7.62x54.
A good .22lr rifle or pistol.
If a revolver something in a HUGE caliber. There is no reason to have a revolver in a small caliber.
Semi auto. Something with a polymer frame and a large caliber. 9mm or better.


That should cover everything I can think off.
I like the way Mac thinks.
I just had a chance to shoot a Mosin Nagant for the first time Saturday. What a cool gun. We were breaking clay pigeons on the hill at 100 + yards with it. The owner said he paid $100 dollars for it, then added a period sniper scope, which it seemed like he didn't have to pay to much for. He had a friend rework the bolt to clear the scope. Really accurate fun gun, and not to bad on recoil. It might be a little long to be a carry gun but for cabin defense it would be great, and not all that expensive.

I have to say I like the idea of a Vepr in .308 also, but I am an AK guy anyways. (The guy with the Mosin also has a Dragunov I was hoping he would bring cause I would have loved to shoot that also.)

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