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HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 4:43 am
by taipan821
Hello

I'm looking at buying a gun for hunting/target shooting (can't use a gun for defense here)

EDIT: I have done the safety course, been licensed for 6 years with rifle range experience only

My options are limited (no semi auto, no AR) so looking at bolt actions at this time (feel free to recommend anything but pump, bit of bad press with that at the moment)

looking at a decent calibre, 6.5x55 swede to 7.62x54R

currently looking at 2 options, buy a military rifle carbine (eyeing off a mosin nagant M44 carbine), buy a civilian scout rifle ( ruger, mossberg) other options are open but with the following criteria
- must have iron sites
- stock must be strong enough to survive a hit against something
- must have a magazine with a decent reload (detachable or stripper clips)
- must be compact

any other suggestions?

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 8:33 am
by Kelvar
I think we need more information. What is it you want to hunt? How expensive is ammo where you live and is price a factor for you? How much are you willing to spend on the rifle? If it is for hunting, why do want iron sights instead of a scope? When you say that you can't use a gun for defense, does that mean that you can't have one for the purpose of self-defense or that no matter why you have it, you're not allowed to defend yourself with a firearm?

What country do you live in?

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:07 pm
by trecash6850
A Steyr scout would be the simple answer if you can afford it.

Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:14 pm
by taipan821
Kelvar wrote:I think we need more information. What is it you want to hunt? How expensive is ammo where you live and is price a factor for you? How much are you willing to spend on the rifle? If it is for hunting, why do want iron sights instead of a scope? When you say that you can't use a gun for defense, does that mean that you can't have one for the purpose of self-defense or that no matter why you have it, you're not allowed to defend yourself with a firearm?

What country do you live in?
Further Info

1. I live in Australia, Queensland specifically
2. while a scope would be nice, I'm looking for something that I can use more close quarters, in addition if a scope breaks at least I have iron sights as a backup. In addition, the areas I wish to hunt is dense scrub, so a scope isn't as ideal as iron sights or a reflex sight.
3. ammo here is fairly costly, 20-30 AUD for the usual centrefire calibres, I'm already starting to stockpile ammo and am learning to reload, so this isn't a factor
4. I can't own a gun for self defense, in addition using a gun for self defense often puts the defendant in jail.
5. I'm looking at a maximum budget of $1500 AUD, that puts a range of options under it including 2nd hand steyr scouts.
6. as stated earlier, hunting is in dense scrub, so looking at the sudden encounter of a 60-80kg pig.

and I would love to own a steyr scout, essentially would be the cheapest option (bipod, 5 round magazine, spare magazine, rail and iron sights all standard) but they're rare as hen's teeth because the people who bought them love them and are keeping them :(

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 5:41 pm
by Asymetryczna
I think I see what you are looking for and the options. Have you considered a Remington Model 7 or a Savage Model 11 Scout? The peep sight isn't for everyone but I tend to like them. I borrowed one (.308) getting after whistle pigs a few times and really liked it. The accu trigger was very nice. It should be well inside your price range.

https://www.americanrifleman.org/articl ... out-rifle/

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 7:44 pm
by The Twizzler
Marlin 336cs meets all your need except for being bolt action. They are easy to put a scope on, all of them have iron sights, they are all compact rifles built for brush use, they consist only of metal and wood, there is no plastic. If you can have a rifle I can't imagine you can't have these. Lever guns have been made since the 1840's. The 30-30 round used is a mid range powered round. Good out to about 200 yards. After that it starts to drop quick. I own one for deer hunting here in Tennessee (they are also great for hogs) which due to hills and woods you will never need to shoot past 150 yards anyway. If you do come up on a hog a lever gun is a lot faster than a bolt gun any day of the week. If you need a little extra punch they also sell it in
35 remmington.

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Other ideas
30-40 Krag
A good bolt action that curiously loads from a side gate with 5 rounds of 30-40 Krag ammo. They are popular in northern regions of the US for animals bigger than what you normally find in TN but not as big as say Alaska. They meet your needs if you can find one. They aren't rare here in the US but I don't know about the land of Paul Hogan. You have to buy used as they don't make them anymore and ammo is a little bit harder to find. Also, I really like saying 30-40 Krag.
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Enfield Mark (any of them) - these have got be lying around. They are heavy and long but they meet the other requirements.

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If you can find a Jungle Carbine Enfield it might be better suited to your needs as they are shorter. See below
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There are some other guns that would work well like the old ww1 and ww2 steyer 8x56 carbines, Italian Carcanos, Japanesee Arisakas but these are just some ideas.

You mentioned that it would need to be able to take a hit. I prefer older designs like the ones above. They are quite sturdy. Most modern rifles like to free float the barrels which makes them a little more fragile

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:15 am
by brothaman
The easy recipe,..

6.5 Swede Mauser or other other Mil Surp Mauser in a caliber you like.
Add quality peep sight to receiver.
Have rear sight removed form barrel, and have it drilled and tapped for a Thompson Center Contender scope base. The T&C Base is a perfect fit to the diameter of a military mauser barrel.
Scope to preference.
Server on a bed of ice with chilled craft beers and finger sammiches.

Don't get hung up on barrel length or weight or the definition of a "Scout Rifle"

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 3:48 pm
by Doctorr Fabulous
The Twizzler wrote:Marlin 336cs
Australia, last i checked, does not allow lever-action rifles.

I disagree with your assertion that freefloated barrels make guns more fragile. The barrels on older milsurp rifles tend to be thin and suffer barrel whip if not tightly supported by the stock and/or barrel bands. A modern rifle with a tougher steel and thicker barrel, with more rigid bedding is not going to be weaker than a rifle made from inferior materials.
taipan821 wrote:Hello

I'm looking at buying a gun for hunting/target shooting (can't use a gun for defense here)

EDIT: I have done the safety course, been licensed for 6 years with rifle range experience only

My options are limited (no semi auto, no AR) so looking at bolt actions at this time (feel free to recommend anything but pump, bit of bad press with that at the moment)

looking at a decent calibre, 6.5x55 swede to 7.62x54R

currently looking at 2 options, buy a military rifle carbine (eyeing off a mosin nagant M44 carbine), buy a civilian scout rifle ( ruger, mossberg) other options are open but with the following criteria
- must have iron sites
- stock must be strong enough to survive a hit against something
- must have a magazine with a decent reload (detachable or stripper clips)
- must be compact

any other suggestions?

Ruger Gunsite Scout. .308 will get the job done, detachable magazines, iron sights and scope-friendly, the 16" version is very handy, and Ruger builds a better rifle than Mossberg does. TRhe laminate stock is plenty study. Don't use your rifle as a battering ram or club, and you'll be fine.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:35 pm
by The Twizzler
I disagree with your assertion that freefloated barrels make guns more fragile. The barrels on older milsurp rifles tend to be thin and suffer barrel whip if not tightly supported by the stock and/or barrel bands.

All the rifles I pointed out have barrels that are supported by the stock and/or barrel bands. :P



I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :vmad:
I know what you mean about thicker barrels compared to older firearms, but I was not concerned with the barrels breaking. The part where the barrel and the frame meet the stock is what I was concerned about. Hunting rifles are shot way more infrequently than military rifles are and I think durability was given higher priority in military rifles than pinpoint accuracy. The OP specifically said it has to be able to hit things and keep working. That makes me think hard use or use in the Outback where I would want reliability (takes a lick and keeps on kicking) over accuracy. :words:

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 4:21 am
by Black Beard
K31 if you can get one (and ammunition/cases). One of the best military bolt actions ever.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 7:02 am
by 91Eunozs
Second Doc's Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 recommendation...

I picked up the polymer stock with a 16" barrel version. Not a lot of rounds through mine yet but it's holding up really well carrying it through brush over the past year or so, and even dropping it in a creek once out at the ranch.

From my post over on the Ruger Gunsite Scout thread

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Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 11:13 am
by Hiroshima_Morphine
M44 Izhevsk Mosin-Nagant

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 12:29 pm
by Doctorr Fabulous
The Twizzler wrote:I disagree with your assertion that freefloated barrels make guns more fragile. The barrels on older milsurp rifles tend to be thin and suffer barrel whip if not tightly supported by the stock and/or barrel bands.

All the rifles I pointed out have barrels that are supported by the stock and/or barrel bands. :P



I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :vmad:
I know what you mean about thicker barrels compared to older firearms, but I was not concerned with the barrels breaking. The part where the barrel and the frame meet the stock is what I was concerned about. Hunting rifles are shot way more infrequently than military rifles are and I think durability was given higher priority in military rifles than pinpoint accuracy. The OP specifically said it has to be able to hit things and keep working. That makes me think hard use or use in the Outback where I would want reliability (takes a lick and keeps on kicking) over accuracy. :words:
Again, I disagree for the reasons mentioned. The materials of 1915-1950 are inferior to the materials of 2015. Example, here's a look at the bare actions:

Finnish Mosin:
Image

1917 Enfield:
Image

Image

Now, the Ruger in question:
Image

Image

Which of those looks flimsiest and least well-finished? Keeping in mind that the Ruger is a complete rip-off of the Mauser action, but with better materials and fitting, what basis do you have for saying that rifles that were mass produced to be as cheap as possible and required a series of bands and wood pressure, pressed-in barrels, and hand-fit for parts are more durable than rifles that are precision made from better materials and do not require torsion bands or an armorer to rebarrel? You specifically said: "Most modern rifles like to free float the barrels which makes them a little more fragile" which is bullshit. Freefloating a barrel does not make the gun more fragile.

There isn't an absolute continuum where you have to choose accuracy or durability. Much like a modern car can be both faster and more fuel efficient than a 1915 Rolls-Royce, a modern rifle can be as or more durable and more accurate than a rifle made in the days where smokeless powder was a novel idea.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 1:14 pm
by Hiroshima_Morphine
I didn't read the whole thread, and I didn't realize I was stepping into the middle of a debate.

The OP expressed interest in 7.62x54R, hence the suggestion of the Mosin carbine.

I don't think anyone can reasonably argue that the older guns are superior to the newer ones based on modern metallurgy alone.

And with the price of Mosins being driven up by the collectors market, you can get a new Savage or Remington or Mossberg in .308 with the scope already attached for less.

http://ammoseek.com/guns/308-winchester?ikw=Scope

http://www.gunbroker.com/All/BI.aspx?Ke ... nagant+m44

I feel old, I paid $150 for my Mosin.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 2:59 pm
by Doctorr Fabulous
Hiroshima_Morphine wrote:I didn't read the whole thread, and I didn't realize I was stepping into the middle of a debate.

The OP expressed interest in 7.62x54R, hence the suggestion of the Mosin carbine.

I don't think anyone can reasonably argue that the older guns are superior to the newer ones based on modern metallurgy alone.

And with the price of Mosins being driven up by the collectors market, you can get a new Savage or Remington or Mossberg in .308 with the scope already attached for less.

http://ammoseek.com/guns/308-winchester?ikw=Scope

http://www.gunbroker.com/All/BI.aspx?Ke ... nagant+m44

I feel old, I paid $150 for my Mosin.
OP is in Australia.

http://www.ozgunsales.com/searchresults ... order=desc

$450 AUD or more for surplus rifles. Another $400 AUD gets you to a GSR there, and saves you from spending another $200 or more on the scope mounts, better sights, and then still having to deal with a subpar design.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 3:03 pm
by quazi
Would 7.62x39 be powerful enough for your purposes? It's not a distance round, but for hunting medium game in the brush it seems like it would work.

I ask because I remember an Australian company making Lee-Enfields in 7.62x39 that took AK mags. IIRC back when I first read about them they weren't too expensive in Australia, but they weren't commonly available in the U.S. I have no idea if they were well made or not. I also don't know if they're still legal or available.

In some countries (particularly Norway) speed shooting bolt action rifles is a relatively popular sport. My understanding is that they hold the bolt-knob with the thumb and index finger and pull the trigger with the middle finger. Some of those guys can work their bolt guns crazy fast. My understanding is that some rifles are suited to the technique of using the middle finger as the trigger finger and others are not. I don't know if that matters at all to you, but living in a place where semi-autos and lever actions are restricted I figured it was worth mentioning.

The price of military surplus has gone up by quite a bit in the U.S., and more companies are starting to offer new production short bolt action rifles with iron sights and detachable mags. I'd be inclined to go with something new, unless you want military surplus for cool/collectable aspects.

Something to be aware of is the cost of magazines. My Savage 11 uses detachable magazines, but they are usually $40 a piece plus they are annoying to load cartridges into and annoying to insert and remove from the rifle.

Many milsurps use stripper clips or en bloc clips, but for some models originals are hard to come by and reproductions might not be available.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 6:45 pm
by flybynight
Doctorr Fabulous wrote:
The Twizzler wrote:I disagree with your assertion that freefloated barrels make guns more fragile. The barrels on older milsurp rifles tend to be thin and suffer barrel whip if not tightly supported by the stock and/or barrel bands.

All the rifles I pointed out have barrels that are supported by the stock and/or barrel bands. :P



I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :vmad:
I know what you mean about thicker barrels compared to older firearms, but I was not concerned with the barrels breaking. The part where the barrel and the frame meet the stock is what I was concerned about. Hunting rifles are shot way more infrequently than military rifles are and I think durability was given higher priority in military rifles than pinpoint accuracy. The OP specifically said it has to be able to hit things and keep working. That makes me think hard use or use in the Outback where I would want reliability (takes a lick and keeps on kicking) over accuracy. :words:
Again, I disagree for the reasons mentioned. The materials of 1915-1950 are inferior to the materials of 2015. Example, here's a look at the bare actions:

Finnish Mosin:
Image

1917 Enfield:
Image

Image

Now, the Ruger in question:
Image

Image

Which of those looks flimsiest and least well-finished? Keeping in mind that the Ruger is a complete rip-off of the Mauser action, but with better materials and fitting, what basis do you have for saying that rifles that were mass produced to be as cheap as possible and required a series of bands and wood pressure, pressed-in barrels, and hand-fit for parts are more durable than rifles that are precision made from better materials and do not require torsion bands or an armorer to rebarrel? You specifically said: "Most modern rifles like to free float the barrels which makes them a little more fragile" which is bullshit. Freefloating a barrel does not make the gun more fragile.

There isn't an absolute continuum where you have to choose accuracy or durability. Much like a modern car can be both faster and more fuel efficient than a 1915 Rolls-Royce, a modern rifle can be as or more durable and more accurate than a rifle made in the days where smokeless powder was a novel idea.
I dunno Doc. The ruger scout is durable (much more likely to be more accurate also), but it wasn't designed for the harsh treatment of war. Another thing is those old bolt actions were reloaded with clips . Nearly always cheaper than magazines. Since the OP is in Australia I say get an enfield, some clips and be done with it.There's a reason those old milsups are still in use and most civilian rifles from that era are now just collectable safe queens

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Fri Dec 16, 2016 8:57 pm
by taipan821
The Twizzler wrote:

I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :
we can own lever action guns (just not the adler apparently, but that's a shipping container worth of arguments, politics and worms)
I'm looking at bolt action because that's what I have most experience with, in addition most of my friends have only bolt action experience (KISS principal applies here)

I know about the 7.62x39 enfield guns, haven't had a chance to shoot one. and yes, on some guns you can work the bolt crazy fast (lee enfield mad minute is an example).

stripper clips vs magazines....I have no experience with this, all rifle ranges are single shot only unless you get permission from the range officer. military surplus is cheaper in aus, and the ammo is usually easier to come by, carcano carbines go around $350-450, mosin nagants around $400-600 and lee enfields around the $700-1000 mark
and Doc, Ruger gunsite scouts go for $1500 new here, and around $950 - 1500 used

EDIT: However saying that, 6.5mm Swede rounds are $47 a box at the moment :ohdear: :EDIT

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:12 am
by Neptune Glory
Doctorr Fabulous: Ruger Gunsite Scout. .308 will get the job done, detachable magazines, iron sights and scope-friendly, the 16" version is very handy, and Ruger builds a better rifle than Mossberg does. TRhe laminate stock is plenty study. Don't use your rifle as a battering ram or club, and you'll be fine.
91Eunozs: Second Doc's Ruger Gunsite Scout in .308 recommendation...
Third. That's the rifle I would have bought, if I had not found an AR-10 variant with ambidextrous controls.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:33 am
by Doctorr Fabulous
taipan821 wrote:
The Twizzler wrote:

I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :
we can own lever action guns (just not the adler apparently, but that's a shipping container worth of arguments, politics and worms)
I'm looking at bolt action because that's what I have most experience with, in addition most of my friends have only bolt action experience (KISS principal applies here)

I know about the 7.62x39 enfield guns, haven't had a chance to shoot one. and yes, on some guns you can work the bolt crazy fast (lee enfield mad minute is an example).

stripper clips vs magazines....I have no experience with this, all rifle ranges are single shot only unless you get permission from the range officer. military surplus is cheaper in aus, and the ammo is usually easier to come by, carcano carbines go around $350-450, mosin nagants around $400-600 and lee enfields around the $700-1000 mark
and Doc, Ruger gunsite scouts go for $1500 new here, and around $950 - 1500 used

EDIT: However saying that, 6.5mm Swede rounds are $47 a box at the moment :ohdear: :EDIT

I was seeing them on some of the sites for $800+, but okay. How much would the gunsmithing to unfuck a Mosin cost? Scope mounts, sights that don't suck, true the action, bend the bolt, deburr, potentially rebarrel? You've got to figure all that in, and then the gun still won't have a functional safety.

Milsurps make a lot less sense when they cost the same as a Howa rifle and offer less functionality.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 11:44 am
by RonnyRonin
As much as I love the idea of a few old surplus rifles, I'm never going down that rabbit hole again. Every time myself or someone I know have tried to make one work well it is usually an exercise in disappointment. Modern rifles just have every advantage these days (other then cost, but the gap closes rapidly), from weight, quality, ergonomics, accuracy, ease of use etc.
While I won't be buying a Ruger Gunsite for several reasons, I can't think of a single surplus gun I'd rather have, and certainly if I couldn't have semi-autos many of the features of the GS become more appealing.


Out of curiosity, what are the OPs friends using as far as caliber, magazines, etc? With the high cost of guns/parts/ammo I can see interchangeability being even more beneficial. While it is pretty easy to tell what the most common and available stuff is in the US I couldn't even guess at what is the easiest to find as far as ammunition in AUS.

Are there any magazine restrictions to speak of? For instance could you potentially have the higher capacity Ruger mags for the GS?

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:40 pm
by MacAttack
If you look at the Enfield, all that wood, other than the actual part bolted to the action, is just hanging on the barrel.

Do you really think its used to hold the barrel stiff?
They didn't know about barrel whip back then.
They just put that much wood on it out of tradition. the same reason they used short swords as bayonets.


I have one with everything removed. iron sights and all that extra lumber. Scope mounts screwed right into the action. Barrel free floated.

I can shoot 2 inch groups all day long with military ball ammo. The rifle has taken more deer than I have thats for sure.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:22 pm
by minengr
The Twizzler wrote:I disagree with your assertion that freefloated barrels make guns more fragile. The barrels on older milsurp rifles tend to be thin and suffer barrel whip if not tightly supported by the stock and/or barrel bands.

All the rifles I pointed out have barrels that are supported by the stock and/or barrel bands. :P



I don't know about the Australian laws. If they cant have a lever gun, that sucks. :vmad:
I know what you mean about thicker barrels compared to older firearms, but I was not concerned with the barrels breaking. The part where the barrel and the frame meet the stock is what I was concerned about. Hunting rifles are shot way more infrequently than military rifles are and I think durability was given higher priority in military rifles than pinpoint accuracy. The OP specifically said it has to be able to hit things and keep working. That makes me think hard use or use in the Outback where I would want reliability (takes a lick and keeps on kicking) over accuracy. :words:
What? Bolt action rifles have a barrel and an action, there is no frame. Please enlighten me on how a floated barrel makes it more fragile. I have a 14lb FN SPR with a floated barrel, it is far from fragile. I've probably got 20 rifles with floated barrels, I wouldn't call any of them fragile. The M40 (the Marines sniper rifle) had a floated barrel, wouldn't call it fragile.

Modern bolt-action rifles are pretty damn durable. I can't even think of a story where smacking a Rem700 up against a tree did any noticeable damage. As long as you're not using the rifle as a baseball (Cricket?) bat you should be just fine.

I'd say CZ carbine in 7.62x39 for the win. I'm pretty sure the 527's are imported down there.

Re: HELP: advice on bolt action carbines/scout rifles

Posted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 3:46 am
by Doctorr Fabulous
MacAttack wrote:If you look at the Enfield, all that wood, other than the actual part bolted to the action, is just hanging on the barrel.

Do you really think its used to hold the barrel stiff?
They didn't know about barrel whip back then.
They just put that much wood on it out of tradition. the same reason they used short swords as bayonets.


I have one with everything removed. iron sights and all that extra lumber. Scope mounts screwed right into the action. Barrel free floated.

I can shoot 2 inch groups all day long with military ball ammo. The rifle has taken more deer than I have thats for sure.
2" at what distance?