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Thread: Need advice on which camp/truck gun.

  1. #1
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Need advice on which camp/truck gun.

    When in the woods of North Idaho, I have either my Glock G29 in 10mm or my Ruger BH Bisley in .45 Colt strapped on. I was thinking of adding a short carbine to my collection for having handy when in the woods for additional firepower. The rifle would be mostly sitting in my Jeep, or on an ATV, and occasionally slung over my shoulder.

    My initial feeling was that I had a Ruger AR that I didn't use and would like to get a new upper for it in .450 Bushmaster. However, I discovered that uppers in that caliber are $700 to $900 and the mag capacity is only nine.

    I believe most .45 Colt lever guns hold around 10 and cost about the same. I'd rather have a lever-gun for a rifle that will be knocked around and abused and will need to work when called upon.

    So my question is two-fold...

    1. Will the .45 Colt be up to the task of Bear/Moose/Wolf defense at distances of up to 75yds? If not, then .45-70 is my second choice. I reload for both. I prefer the added capacity and shared ammo with my sidearm of the .45 Colt.

    2. What lever gun do you recommend that is in in the $700 to $900 range that isn't too nice to be used in the woods, is robust and reliable, and can be bought new.

    For additional insight, I currently cast my own 300gr boolits for the .45 Colt for the bear defense loads and can't remember the powder charge off the top of my head, but I was curious as to how much oomph the .45 Colt can pick up when used in a carbine barrel. Is there a Ruger-strong carbine that can take a hotter load than other carbines?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



    Idaho45guy's Avatar
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    Another thing is that no one around here stocks more than a couple of lever guns, so I would have to order it online and could not look over the rifle before buying. Bud's has the Marlin 1895 for $503 and the Henry Big Boy is $655. I've heard Marlins are still a rifle you should hand select to get a decent one these days.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I'd think the Henry all weather stainless would be a good choice. Since you already load for the 45-70 that would be the caliber I'd pick. Plinking rounds to big thunder, your choice Gp

  4. #4
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    I bought a 45-70 Marlin 45-70 1895 Cowboy thinking it would fill the bill. It turned out to be a complete POS and went back to the dealer after Remington refused to rebarrel it. There were actual CHUNKS missing out of the rifling. I would stay far away from anything Remington or for that matter anything that the "Freedom Group" has any hand in. Gp

  5. #5
    Boolit Master



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    I'm really liking this Henry... Pricey at $682 compared to the Marlin, though...

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  6. #6
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    That's why I originally opted for the Marlin. Worst purchase I ever made on a gun. I now own the Henry 45-70 with the octagon barrel and case hardened frame. Beautiful gun. I can't say enough good things about it. Not pricey at all compared to a rifle that is a complete POS.Gp

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    a used post 64 94 Winchester n .30-30 can not be beat.pick one up for about $300 and every hardware store has ammo.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master gpidaho's Avatar
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    bob208 gives good advice. I believe the 30-30 to be enough gun to use for your purpose. Also, the30-30 is VERY cast bullet friendly and a joy to shoot. I have a 1948 yr. model 336 (Back when Marlins were great guns) and a Handi rifle in 30-30 I love both those guns. Gp

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Some years back I ran into a screaming good deal on a new Mossberg 464 30/30 with a wood stock for just under $300 so I bought it as a truck rifle. It turned I got a lot more than I paid for. It has been a wonderful shooter of cast. It loves the plain base 130's from a Lyman mold at 1400 fps for coyotes and plinking as well as the 160's for other pursuits. The Skinner sight I put on it made it even better. I believe you can still find one for under $500.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master



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    Thanks for the input but I don't want a .30-30.

    I want a rifle in the same caliber as my pistol if it's feasible. .45 Colt. And I want as high of capacity as possible and still be a handy rifle.

    I have all of the components, dies, molds, and powders for .45 Colt and .45-70. I would not be using the rifle for hunting; only as a camp/woods gun.
    Last edited by Idaho45guy; 01-14-2018 at 03:20 PM.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master Idaho Mule's Avatar
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    Lots of guys seem to like the Rossi's in 45 Colt, they are less money than the typical Marlin. Myself I have a Marlin 1894 Cowboy Model in 45 Colt, but I don't use it as a beater. A 300 gr. slug at 1200 to 1400 fps is a deadly combination. Let us know what you decide on. JW

  12. #12
    Boolit Master



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    Quote Originally Posted by quilbilly View Post
    Some years back I ran into a screaming good deal on a new Mossberg 464 30/30 with a wood stock for just under $300 so I bought it as a truck rifle. It turned I got a lot more than I paid for. It has been a wonderful shooter of cast. It loves the plain base 130's from a Lyman mold at 1400 fps for coyotes and plinking as well as the 160's for other pursuits. The Skinner sight I put on it made it even better. I believe you can still find one for under $500.
    Completely agree
    "Had his shooting been as good as his running, he might have given a better account of himself."
    James. C. Henderson

  13. #13
    Boolit Master




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    Yes, the 45 Colt loaded as Idaho Mule mentions is more than adequate for your purposes. I have 3 Rossi's and nary a problem with any and wouldn't get too crazy if they get buggered up some. Though I encourage you to verify this, I believe all the carbines are capable of full power Ruger loading. I have a Henry in 44mag, great gun, heavier than a comparable Rossi, has beautiful wood, I really like it and would be bothered if it got buggered up.
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  14. #14
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idaho45guy View Post

    What lever gun do you recommend that is in in the $700 to $900 range that isn't too nice to be used in the woods, is robust and reliable, and can be bought new.

    That's a no-brainer, and the very definition of a .45 Rossi Model 92.


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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  15. #15
    Boolit Man
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    This is my current camp/truck gun. I know you dont want a .30-30 but I have a Winchester 92 in .45 Colt that I'm about to set up the same way. Even with the generous chamber on the Miroku built 92 I find it a great gun and plenty accurate for anything I'd ever attempt with it.

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  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Not what you asked, but a 75 yard defensive shot at a bear, wolf or moose will be hard to explain successfully to a game warden.... I would go with a lever gun in .44 or .45


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  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    Have a H&R Handi Rifle in 35 Remington under the rear seat of my Nissian Titian Truck.
    Keep rounds on the rear stock with a slip on round holder. I got a plastic tray the fits under the rear seat to hold stuff, the rifle is in the tray. Have a few of the Handi Rifles they shoot OK and clean and oil th rifle ever now and then.

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Warhawk's Avatar
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    Id recommend a Stainless Rossi 92. I prefer the (16 inch) but that is personal preference. Then Id spend a few bucks tuning the action and adding a couple of upgrades from Steves Gunz, the safety delete and the metal magazine follower. It will handle loads well above the 44 magnum, either specialty ammo like Buffalo Bore or handloads.

    These loads get into the low end of 45-70power, but be aware that heavy loads with heavy bullets will require a taller front sight.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master FergusonTO35's Avatar
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    The Marlin 1894 in .45 Colt is in production again. My local shop has them for $500.00 and they are certainly serviceable enough for a knockaround gun. Remlin seems to be making an effort to turn things around. Rossi, who knows.
    Currently casting and loading: .32 Auto, .380 Auto, .38 Special, 9X19, .357 Magnum, .257 Roberts, .30 WCF, .45-70 Gov't.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    I recently bought a Marlin 1895 Cowboy 45-70 through Bud's ($100 rebate) deal. It is as well finished or better than my other dozen plus Marlin's All are pre-safety but a 30-30 and a 218. I think the worst is the 30-30 with the safety built before the Remington take-over. I do look for pre-safety Marlin's, but if I wanted a .45 Colt Lever gun I would get a Marlin or look at a Rossi 1892. Take any tube-feed .22 and try loading it while walking, falling down, backing up, or after falling, lying down - then decide about the tube-feed Henry for your bear/moose/wolf/bad guy defense.

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BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
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