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Tinman
06-02-2015, 05:13 AM
Hi, everyone. I need help selecting a deer rifle for a scene I'm editing. I have very little knowledge regarding guns, but, for reasons I won't get into, I want it to be a semiauto with a button safety. The only thing that matters is that the rifle be cheaper and an older (not manufactured after 2000) model. If you can give me a make and model number, and know of any performance issues (frequent jamming or accidental discharge problems), I'll greatly appreciate it. I haven't had the best of luck researching this online. THANKS!!

Pony.
06-02-2015, 06:04 AM
Id say a .308 winchester or a marlin 336W .30-30, I know you said a semi auto and the marlin is a lever action but its really common deer rifle. The basic design hasn't changed much in over 100 years. It hasn't changed because it works. At $400-500 its fairly affordable,as far as rifles go. And shells are not hard to find.

Tnonk
06-02-2015, 07:28 AM
I currently use a bolt action Remington Model 700 .270 with a Bushnell Buckmaster 3 x9 40 mm scope.
However, when I got back into hunting 20 odd years ago, I started back with a Remington 7400 Auto-loader in 30-06 Springfield.
I give the edge in knockdown power to the 30-06 but not by much.
I disliked the action on the auto-loader, although it was not the rifles fault. It was an older rifle and had a few issues that caused me to move on to the bolt action.

One of my issues with the rifle (auto-loader) was an annoying habit of a set screw backing out of the carrier bolt. This caused it to scratch the second round in the magazine as it fed the top round into the chamber.
It became so pronounced (before I realized it,[it was a borrowed rifle]) that it impacted the top round in the magazine and jammed it rearward in the magazine causing it to NOT chamber the first round. (To chamber the first round, 1st you had to insert the magazine into the bottom of the rifle then pull the carrier bolt back completely, then release it. The spring action of the carrier bolt slammed closed - picking up the first round from the magazine and feeding it into the chamber as it did so).
This has lead to 20 years worth of ribbing from deer hunting buddies for trying to kill a deer without a bullet in the rifle. And, unfortunately for me, it happened to be a 10 point Buck with a drop tine on the right side. Let me tell you, a deer can hear the metallic click of the hammer hitting the firing pin from 75 yards away. A second shot was out of the question.

The second annoying incident was the magazine release. The release was obviously getting worn when I used the last time. This time my missed opportunity was a 8 point buck. I had sighted the cross-hair's on the deer and just as I squeezed the trigger the deer turned. I missed completely, but to my relief the deer didn't run (that was strange all by itself). Now this was the part about the magazine release. The deer didn't run, so I get another shot at it. Right? Nope, wrong. The damn release - released the magazine and it was on the floor of the deer blind. I looked at the deer - who was now looking in my direction - and retrieved the magazine from the floor, inserted it into the magazine channel on the bottom of the rifle and it clicked into place. 2nd Deer hearing notice of the day is that yes, a deer can hear the magazine click from 125 yards away.
Now, why the buck decided the noise of the magazine clicking into the rifle was more run worthy than the report of the 30-06 round I'll never know. But, he took off and the last thing I saw of him was that big bushy white tail sticking straight up as he disappeared into the woods.

I gave the rifle back to it's owner (who had a gunsmith fix the damn thing) (AFTER I missed two deer!).
And I got the bolt action for hunting instead.
I've never had a single problem with the bolt action and I've never needed a second shot since then.

Hope my rambling on helps.

Adrian

Dave Williams
06-02-2015, 04:33 PM
Inexpensive, pre-2000, and semi-automatic narrow your possible choices quite a bit.

The Remington 740 and Winchester Model 100 were what most people would have thought of as a "semi-automatic hunting rifle" back then. They weren't the most expensive models, but they were definitely in the premium-price bracket. Your character might have picked up a used one for cheap at a garage sale or something, though.

The other two options would be a Remington Model 8 or Winchester Self-Loading Rifle. Both of those went out of production in the 1950s. While both had long production runs they weren't well known, and they didn't show up in gun shops or the magazines much. They were always considered odd and unusual, enough that unless there's some specific reason to name one a gun-savvy reader would probably be distracted by it.

There were others, but they would have been quite rare, quite expensive, or both.

The Model 8 safety is a large lever on the right side; similar to an AK-47.

The WSL uses a button ahead of the trigger that moves crosswise. The 740 uses a similar button, as does the 100. (in gun-speak, it's usually called a "cross-bolt safety")

The Winchester Model 100 worked just fine and was available in major calibers, but the styling and finish weren't well thought of at the time. (in gun-speak, the technical term is "fugly") Though the 100 was intended as a premium model, buyers thought they looked cheap. They often sold at steep discounts when new, and even today they're not particularly desirable or valuable.

You would most often find a Model 100 in .243 Winchester or .308 Winchester caliber. Either will do for deer; if your locale is up north a hunter would probably choose the .308 since most larger game is found up in snow country. Both calibers are extremely popular; your character would legitimately expect any place that sold ammunition to have quantities of both on the shelf anywhere in the USA or Canada.

WeaselFire
06-02-2015, 05:44 PM
By far the most popular semi-auto deer rifle is the AR platform (AR-15, AR-10, M-14, M-10, etc.), and it would have been gaining popularity before 2000. Prior to that, a military surplus M1 Garand would have been very popular. The Ruger Mini-14 or Mini-30 had some popularity in some areas of the country, and the Remington Woodmaster series (740, 7542, 7400) was a popular hunting rifle from the 1960's to 1990's.

Cheaper would indicate the M1 Garand in a surplus buy. Not sure why you need the safety to be a button, unless you mean it has to have a bullet button magazine release ala California requirements.

Jeff

Tinman
06-02-2015, 11:11 PM
Thanks, Pony!!

Tinman
06-02-2015, 11:14 PM
Hope my rambling on helps.

Adrian

Adrian, thanks a bunch. It was exactly what I need. I'm waiting to hear from others, but I'll probably go with the auto-loader. Your description of your problems with it was great. Thanks, again.

Tinman
06-02-2015, 11:17 PM
Lol@fugly.

Thanks, Dave. So a cross-bolt safety and a button safety are the same thing?

Tinman
06-02-2015, 11:22 PM
and the Remington Woodmaster series (740, 7542, 7400) was a popular hunting rifle from the 1960's to 1990's.

Jeff

Thanks, Jeff. I hadn't considered the AR rifles because I thought most people used them for target shooting and home defense (told you I was green, lol). I had originally considered the Remington Woodmaster, but decided I needed more options and more detail than I was receiving.

The reason for the button safety is because it's the one I'm familiar with.

Tinman
06-02-2015, 11:49 PM
As i mentioned, the story I'm working on is in its next-to-final draft. I had to change this scene, at this late date, because I decided some readers wouldn't buy into it as written. The scene was accurate, but perceptions are sometimes stronger than reality.

I thought it might help if I roughly describe a little of the new scene:

Two men on a stakeout in an extended cab truck. They're not cops. Two rifles on seat in back. First man loads magazine into rifle (he's been burned once by not being prepared) while they're observing the subject in house. The rifles belong to the second man who, upon seeing his friend loading the rifle, warns about the danger of having a loaded gun in a vehicle, and also warns of any problems with this particular gun.

The first man will eventually be forced to fire the gun in the cab at least twice (which is why I want a semi-automatic; in this scene, I don't think there will be time to reload and fire). I won't be describing the rifle in detail, only a few details casually thrown into the mix. If the gun is known to jam or misfire, it will add more tension to the scene.

I wanted a button safety because of my familiarity with it. Again, thanks!

Trebor1415
06-04-2015, 08:01 AM
Note that some of the rifles being discussed have internal, non-detachable, magazines. It would be a mistake to assume that all semi-auto's use detachable mags. Even if the mag can be removed in some designs it is only removed for maintenance and isn't designed to be removed and replaced with a full mag. As a quick rule of thumb, if the mag holds more than 10 rounds, and protrudes below the stock, it likely was designed to be removed and replaced with a full mag. This is especially true for rifles that originate from a military design like an AR-15/AR-10, M-1 Carbine, or even the military styled (but not really military) Ruger Mini 14.

If the rifle was developed for hunting odds are the mag capacity will be limited to 5 rounds (or fewer) and the mag either isn't designed to be quickly switched out of that just wasn't commonly done even if it was possible. (The rifle only comes with one mag and it's normally just refilled, etc).

An example of a "hunting rifle" that would work is the Browning Automatic Rifle. This isn't the military light machine gun, but a completely different semi-auto hunting rifle with the same name. Here's a link to an owner's manual. This has an external mag and a cross bolt safety.

http://media.browning.com/pdf/om/bar_98355_om_s.pdf

bombergirl69
06-04-2015, 04:51 PM
I don't know anything about the Browning but the Remington 740 would probably work for your purposes. It is known for having ramping problems and while it is a common rifle, it is not loved (in general - a matter of opinion but this is somethng a lot of gun boards discuss). I've not heard problems with getting the first round off; it's the second that might jam. Yes, bolt action more reliable (happy Ruger M77 30-06 bolt gun owner!! no second shot needed for elk or deer!) I would just add, and i'm sure you are covering this, that to me, "loaded" means one in the chamber. So, just loading in the mag into the rifle would still require chambering a round.

Dave Williams
06-05-2015, 06:59 AM
So a cross-bolt safety and a button safety are the same thing?

I can't swear there are no oddball exceptions somewhere, but in normal terminology, yes.

Dave Williams
06-05-2015, 07:14 AM
If the gun is known to jam or misfire, it will add more tension to the scene.


A quick web search showed a lot of hunters agree with bombergirl69's comment about 740s jamming. Hmm, interesting...

Anyway, another factoid you might find useful: most semiautomatic rifles and shotguns are designed to be fired with the gun held firmly to the shooter's shoulder. Holding the gun loosely or shooting from the hip Rambo style will sometimes cause the gun to fail to complete its cycle and load the next round into the chamber. Shooting from inside a car, depending on the handedness of your shooters and which side they're shooting to, could cause a similar problem if they can't get the gun properly shouldered.

WeaselFire
06-06-2015, 04:44 AM
Thanks, Jeff. I hadn't considered the AR rifles because I thought most people used them for target shooting and home defense (told you I was green, lol).

Common misconception. They are currently the most popular hunting rifle platform in the US. The reason is actually simple. For many generations, young men have gone to war, or simply served in the military, and been trained to use and carried for several years, the current military rifle. When they go home, they tend to buy a similar rifle because it's what they know. Grandpa had a bolt action Mauser or Springfield 1903, Dad carried a M1 Garand and Junior carried an M16, or AR platform in civilian use.

In the 1980's, the AR platform wasn't very popular simply because they weren't easily available. Bolt action guns like a Mauser or Springfield were available military surplus for pretty cheap. As the 1980's moved to the 1990's veterans of Vietnam and later military eras started buying civilian AR rifles. In the early 1990's, the Clinton administration made a big push to place restrictions on "assault rifles" and restrictions on AR style rifles went into effect. That pretty much guaranteed everyone wanted one and manufacturers started making a ton of civilian AR rifles. In 2004, the Clinton-era restrictions expired and the dams broke open. Election of Barack Obama in 2008 and the re-election in 2012 rocketed AR rifles into just about every home in America. All us Rednecks hate being told we can't have our guns, so we stockpiled them. Now there are millions out there, and millions more sold every year. In just about any caliber you can imagine.

And they are great for deer and hogs, where a quick followup shot might be needed. Heavier caliber ones are perfect for just about anything in North America with the exception of large bears and maybe moose. Personally, mine are used for target shooting and home defense, but I'm a 30/06 bigot and still love a bolt action Springfield, Mauser or even a Mosin Nagant. For hogs, I can't give up the lever action 30-30. I grew up watching The Rifleman on TV... :)

Jeff

Tinman
06-06-2015, 08:53 AM
Note that some of the rifles being discussed have internal, non-detachable, magazines. It would be a mistake to assume that all semi-auto's use detachable mags. Even if the mag can be removed in some designs it is only removed for maintenance and isn't designed to be removed and replaced with a full mag. As a quick rule of thumb, if the mag holds more than 10 rounds, and protrudes below the stock, it likely was designed to be removed and replaced with a full mag.

Thanks, Trebor, I didn't know that. I'll keep in mind when I do my final research.

Tinman
06-06-2015, 08:58 AM
I would just add, and i'm sure you are covering this, that to me, "loaded" means one in the chamber. So, just loading in the mag into the rifle would still require chambering a round.

Nope, I didn't know that. I thought when you loaded the magazine, a round was chambered. So how do you chamber a round with the Remington 740?

Thanks, Bombergirl (BTW: not to get personal, but from your name, were you in the military?)

Also, love your tagine about Highway To Hell. Can I steal that for my FB posts?

Thanks!!!

egearbox
06-06-2015, 09:00 AM
Thanks, Jeff. I hadn't considered the AR rifles because I thought most people used them for target shooting

Just make sure you use an AR-10 (7.62mm, .308 caliber) rather than an AR-15 (5.56mm, .223 caliber). Nobody would shoot a deer with an AR-15, it would just injure it.

Tinman
06-06-2015, 09:02 AM
Anyway, another factoid you might find useful: most semiautomatic rifles and shotguns are designed to be fired with the gun held firmly to the shooter's shoulder. Holding the gun loosely or shooting from the hip Rambo style will sometimes cause the gun to fail to complete its cycle and load the next round into the chamber. Shooting from inside a car, depending on the handedness of your shooters and which side they're shooting to, could cause a similar problem if they can't get the gun properly shouldered.

Thanks, Dave. Very good to know. At one point the POV character will need to fire out the back window while being seatbelted (probably); I'm not sure yet how this will play out. He might brace it on the dash, but I'm not sure he'll have time.

Anyway, Thanks!!! And thanks for your comments on safeties, too.

Tinman
06-06-2015, 09:09 AM
For hogs, I can't give up the lever action 30-30. I grew up watching The Rifleman on TV... :)

Jeff

Lol@ The Rifleman. I remember that show. I sometimes watched it on Saturday mornings,
if my big sisters didn't beat me to the tv so they could watch dance shows.

Thanks for all the history and info, Jeff. I appreciate it.

Tinman
06-06-2015, 09:12 AM
I've been on AW for a little over three years, and I've learned it really is a community on here. A good one -- the way all communities should be, people helping people. A blanket thanks to everyone who replied. After I become famous (lol) you're all invited for avisit to my palatial estate on Tahiti . . .

Tinman

bombergirl69
06-06-2015, 07:22 PM
Hi Tinman - You'd just pull that bolt back and let it go to chamber your first round!

Sure, use my sig line as much as you want!!! ;) And no, no military for me. Just always interested in learning more about firearms! ;)

Tnonk
06-07-2015, 06:30 AM
. For hogs, I can't give up the lever action 30-30. I grew up watching The Rifleman on TV... :)

Jeff


I love my new Henry 30-30, it's a well made and quite beautiful rifle - brass receiver, octagon barrel and hardwood stock. And it packs a pretty good punch to boot. I'm looking to put a new 'retro' style scope on it. My eyes aren't what they used to be.
Ditto on the Rifleman.
I also loved the Mares Leg Steve McQueen used in the old Wanted Dead or Alive series. I loved the look of that short and stubby rifle. I think the Henry Mares Leg in .357 Mag. is next up on the acquisition list.

Adrian

Tinman
06-08-2015, 12:55 AM
Just make sure you use an AR-10 (7.62mm, .308 caliber) rather than an AR-15 (5.56mm, .223 caliber). Nobody would shoot a deer with an AR-15, it would just injure it.

Thanks, Gearbox, I'll keep that in mind. So an AR-15 shoots basically the same caliber bullet as a 22 rifle? Thanks again.

bombergirl69
06-08-2015, 05:12 AM
i'm sure someone will correct me but when peope typically think of a 22 they are thinking of a rimfire (like a 22 LR), whch has a lot less powder and bullet weight than a .223/5.56 mm (centerfire). These are typically loaded at 55-68 grains of bullet weight. People do hunt with an AR-15, great guns for smaller game, but they do hunt deer as well (my husband's ex dropped a deer at 100yds with one). I totally agree with egearbox though in that I would not recommend it because of the much higher chance of wounding something.Completely right there.

WeaselFire
06-08-2015, 05:48 PM
Thanks, Gearbox, I'll keep that in mind. So an AR-15 shoots basically the same caliber bullet as a 22 rifle? Thanks again.

Technically, yes. :)

The bullet in a standard AR-15 is usually .223 caliber or 5.56 mm (There is a slight difference but for writing it you're fine). The difference between a .22 rimfire in long rifle and a .223 is the length of the bullet and the much bigger case and powder charge behind it. The heavier bullet, usually 1/3 more up to more than double the weight of a .22 long rifle (LR) along with the higher velocity generated by the greater powder load, about 2,000 feet per second more, results in a higher impact and more damage.

By the way, everyone shoots deer with a .223 or 5.56 here in Florida and most I know in the Northeast as well. Modern hunting ammunition is quite sufficient for deer. Out in the Western US, everyone I know uses a bolt action, so I can't vouch for anyone using an AR at the longer distances you find there.

Jeff

Tinman
06-09-2015, 04:59 AM
By the way, everyone shoots deer with a .223 or 5.56 here in Florida and most I know in the Northeast as well. Modern hunting ammunition is quite sufficient for deer. Out in the Western US, everyone I know uses a bolt action, so I can't vouch for anyone using an AR at the longer distances you find there.
Jeff

Jeff, does it have something to do with the size of the deer, too? A guy from Alabama once told me the deer are scrawny in the southeast; from memory, he implied they were about half the weight of most deer we find in our area. Just curious. And thanks for the added info.

WeaselFire
06-09-2015, 11:32 PM
Jeff, does it have something to do with the size of the deer, too?

Possibly, but not entirely. Whitetail deer in the South are generally smaller and have less weight than the same species in the North and Northeast. One subspecies, the Key Deer, is quite small, but endangered and illegal to hunt.

The other thing is that the North and Eastern half of the US is generally fairly wooded and deer are usually taken at shorter ranges and with more brush cover than out West. More cover means that a follow up shot has to be quicker and a semi-auto, such as an AR, is desirable. In addition, accuracy at the shorter ranges, almost always under 300 yards and often under 100 yards, is less of an issue and an AR with a .223/5.56 round is quite acceptable.

In the Western US, longer distances are common, as are larger game animals such as elk. This requires a firearm and round that's more accurate at a distance, shots past 400 yards are extremely common and up to 1,000 yards are not unthinkable. A .223/5.56 round pretty much reaches it's end of range at 600 yards and, since accuracy is more important than a really quick follow up round, larger calibers and bolt action rifles see a higher use.

For many years, the 30/06 round was the standard for North American big game hunting as well as the US military and many other military arms as well. Since the .223 Remington or 5.56mm NATO round has taken over for the military, and since the major improvements in ballistics and bullet design have hit the market, that has become the standard for many hunters in North America with the exception of really big game like moose or bear. But the .308 and the 7.62mm rifles have really taken off in the last decade, and many AR hunters are now switching or upgrading to those rounds.

There will always be someone who thinks that one round or another is perfect for hunting and a matching person who believes that round is the worst possible choice. Most hunters don't switch once they find something that works, unless they go hunting in a different area or for different game. And most hunters figure that if the military uses it to kill enemy combatants then it must be good enough for deer.

Muzzle loaders and bows are still used for deer in pretty much every state and across Canada. :)

Jeff

dda27101
06-10-2015, 01:51 AM
I see everyone’s suggesting large caliber guns—7.62mm. Problem is that the bullet’s heavy, with a big drop over distances. If it’s set at 200 meters and target comes to 75 or 300…big problem trying to figure out where to place your crosshairs. And you only have seconds to do it. If your character’s a teenager, woman or a small size man, its weight and kick could also be a problem. For my money, a 6.5X57 or 6.5X55 has flat trajectory and is best for what you described. You set the scope at 100 and you can shoot at 50 or 300 without elevation change. Best of all would be a Mauser…but that’s bolt action. If you want semi-auto, try the Ljungman AG-42 (6.5 mm), or the Alexander 6.5 Grendel AAR-15. Thery are good. But not Mauser. LOL

bombergirl69
06-10-2015, 07:00 AM
So I'm that other hunter who's a small woman and LOVES me my 30.06! Little kick, great consistency, great gun! Now a 375 H & H mag? A monster (for me).

I don't recall OP saying if his characters had scopes on those rifles. My opinion is that these days, if they are hunters, they likely do. If they were shooting at night it would be very difficult to see those front sights and a scope would help. Low end scopes would be like a Bushnell or a Leupold VX 1 3 -9 x 40. if your guys had laid out some money they'd be looking at a Zeiss scope or a higher end Vortex or a Swarovski or a nightforce. You can google any of these.

But probably you don't need a discussion of scopes (which can be quite involved). Lots of people have passionate opinions about them.

Agree about Mauser. Ruger has a modified mauser action (bolt) and I love it!

Tinman
06-11-2015, 06:17 AM
I see everyone’s suggesting large caliber guns—7.62mm. Problem is that the bullet’s heavy, with a big drop over distances. If it’s set at 200 meters and target comes to 75 or 300…big problem trying to figure out where to place your crosshairs. And you only have seconds to do it. If your character’s a teenager, woman or a small size man, its weight and kick could also be a problem. For my money, a 6.5X57 or 6.5X55 has flat trajectory and is best for what you described. You set the scope at 100 and you can shoot at 50 or 300 without elevation change. Best of all would be a Mauser…but that’s bolt action. If you want semi-auto, try the Ljungman AG-42 (6.5 mm), or the Alexander 6.5 Grendel AAR-15. Thery are good. But not Mauser. LOL

Thanks, DDA!!

Tinman
06-11-2015, 06:19 AM
But probably you don't need a discussion of scopes (which can be quite involved). Lots of people have passionate opinions about them.


I'm glad you mentioned it; I wasn't even thinking about scopes. Thanks!!

Dave Williams
06-13-2015, 06:15 AM
> scope

If the scene takes place in the midwest or southwest, scopes have always been popular there due to the longer ranges for practical shooting. If it's in the east, which is much more heavily wooded, a scope is less important.

Also, scopes tend to be more popular with younger shooters. Older shooters often tend to view them as excess weight, something else to go wrong, or fine for "varmints" (prairie dogs, etc.) but not for real hunting.

Tinman
06-13-2015, 11:29 AM
Thanks, Dave!!!

Dinkydau
06-13-2015, 04:43 PM
Tinman, after reading several threads on the subject and being new to this forum, I think things got a little complicated. I'm a former Marine, competition shooter and avid big game hunter. Your scene involves an older semi auto rifle and, from what I gather, one to two shots are going to be done at night. You are on the right track with the 740 Rem, being it .308, .270, .243 or 30.06. The 740 has had problems with ramping, usually a second or third round chambering problem, cause, I won't elaborate on. For story purposes, I'd have a scope on it, which many 740's had in lieu of the lessor accuate wing sight so this wouldn't be an uncommon thing no matter the area. The Weaver 4X was popular for that model and vintage. I say, for your story sake, a scope would be a more practical choice as for night usage, it would gather light and allow a target to be seen easier. Hope this helps.

Tinman
06-13-2015, 09:40 PM
Tinman, after reading several threads on the subject and being new to this forum, I think things got a little complicated.

Dinkydau, yes, for someone with very, very limited firearms knowlege, it did get a bit complicated, lol. But I have no problem doing the research, I only needed to be pointed in the right direction, which all of you accomplished.

Also, there are actually three rifles that figure prominently in the story, so all the info was very useful.

Thanks, and it does help.

Thank you for your service to our country and welcome to AW.