Author Topic: Bolt gun for defense  (Read 2028 times)

Sean LeMasters

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Bolt gun for defense
« on: March 19, 2017, 02:12:48 pm »
Maybe it's because I've been reading The Scout Rifle study that I've got bolt guns on the brain, but I've been thinking about the validity of a bolt gun for defense.

I'm mostly thinking of something to throw in the trunk as more of a get home gun than something to keep around as a home defense gun, but could serve double duty also.
My initial thoughts:
   Main use is just to get home if it goes pear shaped and need to ditch the car.  Stay on the move and not get pinned down. So something that will be stored in the car more than used.
   I wont be invading Durkajihadastan so I don't know if I need the AR/AK capacity. More of a shoot and move not hunker down sort of capacity but a detachable mag would be good.
   Light weight, easy to pack/sling/carry. I've been eyeing the small CZ actions but I don't know if I want the Mauser style action.
   Caliber wise I'm thinking .223 or 7.63x39, both are readily available and the actions can be had smaller and lighter than the 308 class guns.
    Optics in the 1x-4x range with a simple reticle, no Tactical Christmas Tree reticle, fast and simple is key.

The more I think about it I keep coming up with the thought of an urban/suburban scout rifle, smaller/lighter than what is being offered right now from the major manufactures under the Scout Rifle name.

Thoughts? Worth pursuing further? Just get an AR/AK and be done with it?

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Bolt gun for defense
« on: March 19, 2017, 02:12:48 pm »

Timothy

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2017, 03:02:43 pm »
Tom Grisham was reviewing a Thompson Center bolt gun with nice accoutrements for around 350 retail.  Full float barrel, scope mounts, adjustable trigger, cheek pad, etc...

jumbofrank

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2017, 06:56:49 pm »
If you do get a bolt gun get the 7.62x39 instead of the 5.56 NATO. It has a lot more power.
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Rastus

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 03:32:56 am »
I'm with Frank on the power.  Then I got to thinking you are trying to get home so...what can you carry more ammo with and does/will that matter?  7.62 less affected by wind but does not shoot as flat.  I'd rather take a deer with the little 7.62x39 with a body shot. 

You can find 7.62 x 39 and 5.56 readily along the road.  However, now that I'm almost awake and almost thinking how about a .243?  Shoots dang flat, go with the 85 grain and it shoots 1,000 FPS faster than the 7.62 and outruns the 5.56 too.   The 80-95 grain bullets outrun, barely, .223 Remington 55 grain...a lot more power and less drop.

Hmm.  I'd go with .243 Winchester over 7.62x39 and the 5.56 if I had one bolt gun to get home on.  It's more flexible going down to 55 grains and up to 100 grains.   Zeroed with 95 grain Silvertips at 200 yards you are 2-1/2" low at 250 and 6-1/2" at 300 yards...essentially you hold dead on out to 300 yards with energy of 1,227 at 300 yards (606 with 6-3/4" drop for 55 gr .223 and 696 with 13-3/4" drop for 7.62) which is double the energy of the other two rounds. 

At 500 yards your 38+ inches low with the 243, 43+ inches with the .223 and over 7' low with the 7.62x39 round. 

I would be going 243...no doubt, 243....
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Sean LeMasters

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 06:29:32 am »
.243 isn't outside the range of what I'm thinking, and you do bring up a good point with the range and options of ammo, but the guns can get a bit heavier, and at that point why not just bump up to 308 in the same action? I have a Savage 243 with a medium-heavy 20" bbl on it that could be re-barreled to a shorter 308, but then I could also just get a Ruger Scout with the shorter bbl and detachable mag and backup iron sights. And while not impossible, taking a deer with it isn't high on the list of what is needed with this rifle. I work on the other side of town from where I live and was just thinking about getting through a suburban environment, not through rural areas or farmlands. 7.62x39 will still do that job very well.

And I just remembered that Ruger made (still makes?) the scout in 223 so that actually would tick most of the boxes on the list other than wanting a lighter weight rifle.

Rastus

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 06:56:05 am »
In the end it's what you are also comfortable with mentally.  For me I like the 243 in 55 grain ballistic silvertip.  Sighted in at 250 yards (my favorite) it's pretty much a center of mass to 400 yards shooter.  It may be a bit heavier in this gun as compared to a 223.

For me I'd carry the .243 with both 55 and 80-90 grain bullets or a .270 Winchester in 130 grain.  Sighted at 250 yds the 270 is 14-1/2 inches low at 400 yards...easy in my mind to compensate for center of mass shots. 

The 308 will be about 19-1/2 inches low at 400 yards....which I become mentally uncomfortable with.  I'm better knowing there is 10-1/2 inches of drop in the 243 55 grain at 400 yards.  Training and discipline would help break being uncomfortable with a snap shot from the 308 but it's hard to argue with 55 grain 243 ballistics for a quick center of mass aiming point.

All of this assuming you are trying to stay out of sight and may have to make quick center-of-mass shots.  I still prefer the 243 55 grain in the pipe with a 80-90 grain to drop a deer along the way to grill.  Aiming dead on to 400 yards is pretty powerful ju-ju in my mind with that 55 grain bullet.  If you are comfortable with something else, say for instance a 30-30 for whatever reason, what you are confident in will probably result in your best performance when called upon to perform. 
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DanPatWork

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2017, 07:11:04 am »
http://www.mossberg.com/category/series/mvp-series/mvp-patrol/   
take your pick, box fed, .308 or 5.56, common mag compatibility.   I've only handled a couple of Mossberg bolt guns and thought they were a bit bulky but for your purpose they might fit.
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jumbofrank

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2017, 02:20:06 pm »
The .223 and 7.62x39mm are within 1 mm or each other in overall length and are available in bolt actions of appropriate length. The .243 and its parent case the .308 aren't even in the same neighborhood as the other 2. If you want a short action you have 2 choices and if you want a medium length action there are several choices including .308. The .308 would be widely available if you have to use this rifle after TSHTF. So would the .223 and 7.62x39. You just have to decide which action length you want. For maximum ammo availability you should have one of these 3 calibers. The .223 is the weakling of the bunch and the .308 is a longer heavier rifle. That's why I think the 7.62x39 would be the best choice.
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mkm

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2017, 02:35:40 pm »
Disclaimer:  I know what a scout rifle is, but I haven't studied them.

For the purposes you're describing, I would suggest building or buying an ultralight AR.  Throw in 2 or 3 magazines and you should have an approximately 10lbs or less package including 90 rounds of ammo.

Here's my reasoning. You're planning for an urban environment. That's the one place that the military doesn't really complain about 5.56. You're probably going to be engaging at relatively close distances, sub 100 yds. The likelihood of bigger crowds or at least multiple targets at close range is greater in an urban environment. A couple of quick shots and move. (How fast can you work a bolt?)

If you were planning for a rural or maybe even suburban environment, I would be more open to a bolt gun. In that case, you may be at a greater distance, you probably have more cover, and there are likely less large groups.  In that environment, take the one precise shot and move.

Under most cases, I don't see a reason to engage a target at several hundred yards. If you see the threat that far out, do your best to avoid it. You mentioned not wanting to get pended down. If they aren't engaging you at several hundred yards, avoid. If they are, you may be penned already.

With that said, if you like and want a bolt gun, get one and train. Just my thoughts. I'm no expert nor claim to be.

MikeBjerum

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Re: Bolt gun for defense
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2017, 03:45:10 pm »
I like the idea of a Scout Rifle, and its versatility and reliability.  However, for what you describe I would lead to a semi-automatic.  I believe a bolt gun would be a reasonable home defense gun, but for on the move fleeing or trying to get home the ease and speed on the move of a semi-auto would be my choice.
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