Playing-in-the-woods carbine suggestions
I'm at the point once a year where a local gun shop owes us some money and I generally pick out either a toy for me or a gift for someone else, and am thinking way outside the box this year.
I'm trying to come up with something for me personally, with the following in mind:
- Primarily for recreational use, both for just plinking and some timed use on plates as well.
- A non-bottle-necked round, probably a handgun caliber, just for ease & speed of reloading purposes.
- Doesn't make me rummage on the ground to retrieve my brass. (When I'm shooting at a set-up range, retrieving brass is easy; when just playing in the woods, it can be a pain.)
- Centerfire, as I already have a couple .22 rimfires for recreational purposes, and frankly don't care about retrieving .22 brass anyway.
- Carbine, as I have plenty of handguns already.
So something that can shoot multiple shots without reloading (rules out my single-shots), doesn't throw the empty brass into the brush and grass (rules out my semiautos and leverguns), in a centerfire, straight-wall (or tapered) case; ideally in a caliber that I already load for. First calibers that come to mind are .38/357, 9mm, .45acp and .45 colt.
Only things I can think of that fit all those criteria above are just flat "weird" to one degree or another. Either something like the 1873 revolving-carbine clones:
The Circuit Judge in .45LC/.410:
Or (way outside the box) the czech-made revolving carbines that look a lot like somebody turned a colt python into a carbine:
Thing is, other than the SA vs. DA thing, these are all pretty close to the same thing functionally.
I really enjoy my semiautos and leverguns, but I hate scrounging thru grass & scrub for the brass. I enjoy my single-shots, but reloading between every round is too limiting for much other than hunting, teaching new shooters, or general plinking.
Of the three guns listed above, the single-action 1873 style wouldn't be much fun on a timer. And the python-looking czech gun, I'm not sure I can even find in the states.
That leaves only the Circuit Judge, and even it's only a five-shot. I could live with that for my mostly-recreational purposes, but curious if I'm overlooking some other option that fits the above criteria?
Would appreciate any ideas or suggestions.
They all look like a threat to the non-shooting hand; lead spray, powder burns. I was shooting a .44 Black Powder Colt replica once and got a thumb full of FFFG. OUCH! Probably wouldn't happen with these. You come up with some interesting ideas.
The cylinder-gap blast is a real issue. The circuit judge has small shields on the front edge of the cylinder specifically to address that. In Paco Kelly's review he mentions it as well, adding that shooting with no sleeves, he had no issues or burns as he has had with other revolving rifles in the past.
As far as I know, it's the only one with that feature.
Can't help but wonder - would it be disgusting to put an MRO on one of these..?
Well, shoot; looks like I was looking for vaporware written by unicorns. The circuit judges are all out of stock everywhere and I may go an entirely different route.
Main aspects I'm looking for in this recreational gun is simply to avoid two things: the hassle of picking up brass in random, uncultivated woods locations, and the expense involved if I just DON'T pick up my brass and eat the cost. Since that's only reasonably doable (in a centerfire caliber) in the single-action guns, I may just go rimfire and not bother with picking up brass. I have .22lr semiautos and one bolt-action, but haven't had a .22LR levergun since the 70's.
The LGS has two Henry .22LR's in stock; a golden boy and a normal 'classic' model. I prefer the looks of the golden boy version (as tacky as that may be), but they have a crazy angle to the stock, much like old muzzle loaders have. I have to get my jaw up on the stock to see the sights; where with the standard 'classic' model, the sights just come up almost automatically lined up.
So one of two things may happen - I may go in tomorrow and pick up the 'classic' henry version, simply because as unnecessary as it is, a rimfire levergun would be fun. Or I may just go in and get the entire credit in .22LR shells and be done with it. I'm leaning toward the henry levergun, as I suspect it would be a lot of fun down the road with grandkids.
I passed on the Henry for two reason's. First, it was that shiny receiver. I know I'm just plinking most of the time, but that visible for a mile shine turn's off the hunter in me. Second, it was a lot heavier than the Mossberg I chose. Since I'm hiking when I'm carrying it, that definitely was a factor. If you choose the Henry, be sure to post a range/woods report.
Took the easy way out and got a Henry .22 levergun. Not the Golden Boy, because I just couldn't get comfortable with the angle on the stock. Shame, because as tacky as it seems, since this is strictly a playing-around gun I actually liked the looks of the brass receiver; go figure. I went with the plain "classic carbine" model H001; and since it was pretty cheap I got a bunch of .22 shells in the deal as well. Honestly, I also like the fact that it's American made; that's depressingly rare nowadays.
My original thought was for centerfire simply because I cast my own bullets in some calibers, and so it's silly cheap to shoot those calibers. But going the rimfire route will be pretty close to as cheap, and the levergun will someday lend itself to teaching grandkids with. Of course now I'll have to get some additional rimfire targets; have a cheap but surprisingly good rimfire plate rack already, but may start looking at rimfire dueling trees... :)
Sounds good, let us know how it shoot's. I have three autos and a single shot bolt, but there's just something about those levers.
I've always gotten more of a kick out of having a couple of pistols. A silenced .22lr for most stuff, the ccw pistol in case of trouble or a bigger critter (than .22 can handle) offers a viable shot (ie, deer, pocket 9mm, 20m, 1911, 40m) coyote, a little further, since there's no need to care if the carcass is recovered or not, even tho the kill zone is smaller. I've pretty much always had to trespass-poach to have access to land that's got any critters on it. :-) Except in CO, where anyone can get onto National park land to hunt. If I'm just plinking, no reason to be anywhere but the range. I dont care for lugging around a longarm. If I'm going to be hiding and baiting in grackles, starlings and sparrows, sure, need the rifle to score very many. (or a big, heavy match pistol like I haven't bothered to own in 40 years). I once had a Browning Nomad that was amazingly accurate, but I couldn't carry it Mexican, so I got rid of it. That one, I sort of regret. My bro in law had a Marlin M39a that seemed really nice, when I didn't yet really know about grouping, age 12 or so. Seemed heavy, for just a .22lr.
Buy your self a Uberti M73 Carbine with a 19" round barrel, short, compact, reliable available in .38/.357 where you don't need to worry about brass recovery.
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