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Thread: Why do you love single shot guns?

  1. #1
    Boolit Buddy Daekar's Avatar
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    Why do you love single shot guns?

    I will be honest, for a long time single shot guns weren't anywhere on my radar. They don't get publicity in many places and they're not often discussed. If I hadn't started reloading 357 mag, I don't think I would have one even now. I can honestly say going forward, though, now that I have a pair and have gotten to use them, I can't really see buying anything else unless it's too be used for defense. Why do you have a single shot, and what do you like most about it?
    I'm a big fan of data-driven decisions. You want to make me smile, show me a spreadsheet! Extra points for graphs and best-fit predictive equations.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
    GOPHER SLAYER's Avatar
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    I love their beauty and simplicity. I have twelve or thirteen, I would have to count. They range from .22LR to 45-70. My favorites are the 40 calibers. I like to hear the loud clang when I hit the steel plates at two or three hundred yards. My Granddaughter loves it to.
    A GUN THAT'S COCKED AND UNLOADED AIN'T GOOD FOR NUTHIN'........... ROOSTER COGBURN

  3. #3
    Boolit Grand Master


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    There is something about being marksman that attracts me to them. One shot should be all you need.

    My bolt guns only get fed from the magazine when hunting. Why try to catch brass?

    I like the shorter length without the action wasting space too.
    Don Verna

    NRA Endowment Member

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    For me it didn’t really start out to be the single shot gun itself, it was the Schuetzen game that required that I use one. I like all the gimmicks and geegaws that we use with them. The Schuetzen culture is what attracted me to single shot guns, not the other way around.

    Froggie
    "It aint easy being green!"

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I'm just a hunter with occasional forays into the paper game. I enjoy the simplicity of the single shot for the chase. It has made me a much better hunter. All of my friends use bolts primarily and most often I can tell when they are on game by the quick succession of 2 - 3 shots fired. I like bolts, too. I just prefer the single shot. After retirement I was lucky enough to go to Africa. I have a buddy in the police service there. I took my bolt, but all the animals I went after died with a single shot.

  6. #6
    Boolit Grand Master

    Wayne Smith's Avatar
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    No limit to cartridge/boolit length except the chamber. Easy and cheap to have a barrel made for my Encore or I would never have a 25 Krag AI. Short and handy to handle yet with an adequate barrel length. Need I say more?
    Wayne the Shrink

    There is no 'right' that requires me to work for you or you to work for me!

  7. #7
    Boolit Master Scrounge's Avatar
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    I learned to shoot rifles with a single shot Stevens Favorite 1889 model in .22LR. It had been my dad's first gun when he was a kid, and all my brothers and sisters but one learned to shoot rifles with it. It is now mine. Only good thing about being the oldest of 9. I recently bought it a couple of parts. Dad was 13 when he "fixed" it. Arc-welded the lever, and brazed a new head on the breach block screw. I replaced the screw, and have a new extractor that I still have to fit. Putting the workshop together before I start on that. My own first rifle was one of the Agawam Arms .22LR single shot lever guns that were available for a few years in the late 60's and early 70's. I lost it to thieves in 1991, but I loved that little gun, too. So I have acquired another Stevens Favorite in .32RF, and a Stevens Crackshot, in .32 RF short, to play with. Ought to keep me fairly busy for a while.

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
    barrabruce's Avatar
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    Like some of the simpler designs; less to go wrong and nothing to misplace or loose.
    I usually have a few pocket magazines and fingers and mouth even if I have to.
    Honestly a second round is not that slow to chamber with a little practice and I have rarely hunted where things just mill around waiting to be shot after the first round.
    Usually ends in a cloud of dust.

  9. #9
    Boolit Bub namsag's Avatar
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    They are simple and elegant and you must know what you are doing to get the job done with them. You must be sure of your shot before you shoot.

    My first single shot rifle was a H&R Buffalo Classic that I bought for Mississippi's "primitive" season. I have always really enjoyed it, if it were the first rifle I had ever bought, it might well be the only one.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master
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    Universal action can be used by right or left handed folks.

  11. #11
    Boolit Grand Master
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    I started with single shot bolt action .22 rifles, Dad's Winchester Model 67A then later my very own Savage Springfield Model 120A. The Browning designed Winchester is a much better rifle by the way.

    Then graduated to an H&R .410, and on and on. Immediately after high school I could pretty much guarantee buying a single shot .22 or shotgun for $15-20.

    I've had Brownings, Rugers and a few antique BP rifles, on the low end of the scale is the H&R's with the hammer block that always seems to break. My current sweetheart is a Thompson Center TCR 83 with two barrels.

    I firmly believe that a single shot makes you a better hunter.

    Robert

  12. #12
    Boolit Master

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    When I was 13 a rancher hired me to shoot prairie dogs. I had two 22 rifles that I could use, a Remington #4 and Model 12. Both guns shot the same on paper but it didn't take me long to figure out that I got more with the #4. Having a backup shot tends to make you more careless on the first shot.

  13. #13
    Boolit Buddy
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    I love the 1885 Browning Low Wall I have, just because it is beautiful, light and the most accurate rifle I have. I just wish it had an ejector like the high walls.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master marlinman93's Avatar
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    My first love was the 1893 Marlin, which lead me down the path of trying to get one of every caliber. That lead me to wanting every model, and caliber. I had every model Marlin made prior to WII, and most calibers, and features within the various models. About 200 Marlins total.
    Then one day a friend says, "Why don't you have any of Marlin's single shot Ballard rifles?"
    Well I began looking for a "cheap example" and back then Ballard rifles really could be found cheap. I bought a decent #2 Ballard in .38 Long for $350, and took it home to tear it apart. It was working fine, but I always want to see how a gun is made. I was intrigued with the Ballard design, and decided to try to find a nicer example, and maybe a high end Ballard.
    Within a year I found myself selling off some of my Marlin lever action rifles to reinvest in Marlin Ballards. They just seemed to be addictive, and in no time I also started buying other brands of 1800's single shot rifles. Over a period of years the vast majority of my Marlin lever actions were sold, and I had accumulated a pretty decent collection of single shot rifles.
    Today I've sold off all the Winchester, Stevens, and other single shot rifles, and own almost exclusively Marlin Ballard rifles, and Remington Rolling Block, and Hepburn rifles. I do have one Husqvarna Type 33A Roller, and a Whitney-Laidley Roller. But they're the only oddballs here now.
    I've found the collecting of Ballards and Remington 1800's single shot rifles not just an enjoyable addiction, but a great bunch of guns to shoot too. I'm not sure I could collect if I didn't also love shooting the old single shot rifles.

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy Daekar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DocSavage View Post
    Universal action can be used by right or left handed folks.
    As a lefty perennially plagued by right-handed actions, I LOVE this about my single-shots. It's a revelation how much it improves the experience for me.
    I'm a big fan of data-driven decisions. You want to make me smile, show me a spreadsheet! Extra points for graphs and best-fit predictive equations.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
    barrabruce's Avatar
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    I’m with you lefties there.

    Give a right hander a left handed bolt or one with a roll over comb and hear them whinge and whine and look quite put out and shocked at even suggesting they use such an abomination.

    Anyone would think ‘yer relieved yourself in their shoe or something.
    Ha.

    Maybe it’s just my guns??

  17. #17
    Boolit Master


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    Easy handling and it reminds me to be sure of my shot.

  18. #18
    Boolit Grand Master GhostHawk's Avatar
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    I started with H&R's just before they went out of business.

    Found a .223rem used in great condition. Was able to get it to the factory and get a .357 mag and a 7.62x39 fitted before the factory closed.

    Prices seemed sure to go up so when I saw gun grabber had new old stock in sale reasonable I bought two, .300BO and .444marlin. I did not really intend to shoot either much. Was thinking I could double my money. By the time the prices had risen that far both were firmly implanted in my heart.

    I think the single shot forces you to watch, be patient, look for that perfect shot. And then put it where it needs to go. And walk out there with a smile on your face.

    Now I have H&R's in .223, .30-30, .300BO, 9mm, .357mag, a pair of .44mags, .444Marlin, and .45 colt.

    I have 3 semi auto's and a pair of lever guns in the house for home defense where I might need some follow up shots.
    Not counting the 3 Rem 870 Shotguns in 12, 16 and 20 ga.

    But for walking in the woods or the range I prefer the single shots.

    I also have a take down Rolling Block in .32sw long that is more of a wall hanger. Either that or I just have not figured out what it wants yet. It just takes you back to the days of Buffalo Hunters and homesteaders. It is just a joy to shoot even if I do wish it was more accurate.
    I truly believe we need to get back to basics.

    Get right with the Lord.
    Get back to the land.
    Get back to thinking like our forefathers thought.

    Anyone that wants to use this, feel free. Spread it wide and far.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    As a kid I reloaded for a 7th Cavalry reenactment group. Fell in love with Trapdoor Springfield's at 8 or 9 years old. Other kids had 22's but I had my TD's.
    2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. - "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

    "Before you argue with someone, ask yourself, is that person even mentally mature enough to grasp the concept of different perspectives? Because if not, there’s absolutely no point."
    – Amber Veal

    "The Highest form of ignorance is when your reject something you don't know anything about".
    - Wayne Dyer

  20. #20
    Boolit Grand Master Outpost75's Avatar
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    One of my mentors, the late Harry J. Archer was an advocate for having some sort of rifle chambered for each handgun cartridge for which you had four or more handguns of that caliber and 1000 rounds of ammunition stored. English rook rifles defined the concept for him and he had several which had been relined and rechambered by Bob Snapp to use .32 S&W Long, .38 Special and .45 Colt.

    Over the years I've done the same thing and thanks to John Taylor I have several small-frame H&R .44/.410 shotgun frames with barrels chambered for .32 S&W Long, .38 Special, .44-40, .45ACP/.455 Webley and .45 Colt. I also have a couple barrels to fit my Beretta Model 412 folding .410 shotguns in .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum and .45 ACP. The small takedown rifles with extra shotgun barrel carry easily in a backpack or suitcase and are natural traveling companions to accompany an EDC handgun.

    Indeed, they are my most used and most carried "walking around" guns.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Outpost75; 04-20-2021 at 09:30 PM.
    The ENEMY is listening.
    HE wants to know what YOU know.
    Keep it to yourself.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check