*Springfield Armory M-6 Survival Rifle*
LengthFolded18 7/8 "
Weight4 pounds ( with 15 rounds of 22 LR and 4 rounds of .410 )
Caliber22 LRover.410 ( also available in 22 hornet over .410 )
I've had this little gun for a little over 2 years and so far its been great. I originally bought it as a backpack rifle to replace my aging AR-7. I didn't expect to much when I took it to the range the 1st time, boy was I wrong. This thing is a tack driver.
A little bit about the design of the of the M-6. Its an over and under combo gun in 22 LR or 22 hornet over a .410 shot gun barrel. Mine is in the 22 LR .410 configuration. While the 22 hornet is a flatter shooting and more accurate round. I chose the 22 LR for price of ammo and ammo availability. 22 Hornet is not a common caliber in my area. It's design comes from the Air Forces M-6 survival rifle that was issued to pilots. The major differences are the addition of the trigger guard and the length of the barrels, the military version has about a 12" barrel. The 18 1/2" barrels on the civilian model keep it legal. It would really be a handy gun with the 12" barrels, but we cant have people holding up banks or liquor stores with the trusty old M-6 can we, so thanks to the federal government keeping us safe from ourselves we have to have the 18 1/2" barrels. In the buttstock it holds spare ammo, 15 rounds of 22 LR and 4 .410 shells. It has a 3 position selector built into the hammer to chose which barrel you want to use, top is 22 LR, middle is safe and bottom is .410. There is a scope mount made for the rifle but I think it would take a lot of the handiness away if used. The M-6 is available in a parkarized finish or brushed stainless steel, the one in the article is parkirized.
On the 1st trip to the range it took a while to get used to the trigger and sights. The trigger was heavy and is designed to be fired by squeezing up with the entire hand. It works great if you are wearing mittens, I have found for me it works best if I use the 1st 2 fingers of my hand to fire it. The sights are set up as a basic flip type of arrangement, a peep sight zeroed to 25 yards for the rifle barrel and open v notch for the shot gun barrel. After getting used to the trigger it was shooting 5 shot groups of 1/2" at 25 yards and at 100 yards it has done 2 1/2" groups ( point of impact is about 9" low at 100 yards ) with the 22 LR barrel using Federal 22 LRHP out of the famous Wally World bulk pack. Now completely impressed with the rifle, I wanted to see what the shot gun could do. Still using the peep sight I fired 3 rounds of Federal .410 2 1/2" slugs throught it, I was suprised to find that it shot to the same point of impact with the slugs as the 22 LR. Group with the slugs ran at 1 ". Firing Winchester #63" magnums the pattern is still centered and about 31" across . So far this little combo gun has taken rabbits, squirrels, buzzards, crows, wild dogs, and rats around the place. It has been bounced around in the truck and in boats, and never failed to function or have the point of impact change.
A few simple modifications have been made to the M-6 at this point. Removal of the trigger guard so that the weapon may be folded in half as originally designed, it was added to the design to allow importation into the country and to avoid lawsuits. removal was done by simply spreading the sides of the receiver at the front of the trigger guard with a set of heavy duty external snap ring pliers, once the front part of the trigger guard is removed as it is pulled down the back will slide right out. The 2nd modification was the addition of a sling.The front sling mount is already there. Just remove the rear most screw at the back of the stock and replace it with a screw in sling mount. I just use Uncle Mikes quick detachable sling swivels and a surplus M-16 sling. Its been my experience that a light rifle or shot gun will be carried more readily if it has a sling and more likely be left at camp if it doesn't when traipsing through the woods. I add slings to all my long guns. The 3rd modification was to beef up the spring that holds the hinge pin in. This was founds to be necessary after firing about 200 rounds of .410 ammo in the gun. the pivot pin would keep sliding out and I almost lost it. On close examination it was discovered that a thin piece of wire was bent that caught in a detent in the pin to hole it in. I poped out the old wire and replaced it with a piece of heavier spring from the parts box and simply peened it into the hole like the original, its now been working that way for over 1 1/2 years with no problems. The last modification was to paint the rifle in a camouflage pattern. This was done due to the fact that the little M-6 has become a knock about rifle and the finish was starting to show it big time. After checking into the price to have it reparkerized it was a lot cheaper to just take a trip to the local Wally World. The base is OD, with red brown primer, and black stripes. Blends in down here just great. Then I over sprayed it with satin polyurethane to water proof the finish, haven't had any rust on it yet.
All in all its a very handy little weapon and gets a lot of use out here on the farm. I can recommend it to anyone looking for a take down, light weight, and compact survival rifle. Having the .410 with slugs gives it the ability to use on medium sized game, something all the other take downs lack.
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