*More Lever Actions*
I just read Tailguner's article concerning lever action rifles for survival and was astonished on how close his logistics ran to one of my favorite choices. It all started about 3 weeks before Y2K, I had stocked up on lamp oil,propane,dry goods and canned stuff,water containers ect.ect.
Had my ALICE ready to go just in case things went really wrong as I live in an apartment in a semi rural area (not really defendable) and had several bugout options available to me. I HAD to make a 1000mi. trip to see my mother in the north-east but had a return flight several days before 0 hour and would just be able to take a basic survival kit with me hidden in my checked bagage...not my first choice all the way around but I needed to make sure she had everything I could possibly get her to stockpile (she has cancer) meds,food,water stacks of firewood ect.- It isn't easy trying to keep your non-survivalist family aware of the dangers that aren't on the news, even a powergrid failure can cause a riot in some areas up there!! I have really come back to my survivalist roots in the last year and a half since I have relocated to a semi-rural area surrounded by smaller farming communitys in northern Alabama (love the non-restrictive posture of the state, it's almost as good as really having all my constitutional rights!). The last problem I faced was my firearms or lack there of.. I had a good Winchester 12 gauge shotgun (only had a 28"VR barel at the time) a Savage/Stevens .22 semi auto with five 10-shot clips and a 3-9x40 scope (cheap but VERY accurate) and a stash of ammo for each. I NEEDED a good rifle and had NO cash to spare...enter the unexpected christmas bonus!! I couldn't find a decent sks or anything else worth a darn in semi auto...no problem I had spoted an old .303 #4 Enfield at one pawnshop in town for I believe $99 with a matching # bolt but as I was about to leave the store I was SURE would have a good cheap battle rifle an odd funnel shaped flash-guard caught my eye...oh this must be that jungle carbine I had read about...well yes and no, it was an R.F.I. (rifle factory Ishapore-India) manufactured #7 carbine in 7.62 NATO/.308 Win. a stronger non lightened number one action made from modern high grade steel in 1966 to supply to the police/peace keeping forces while all the .308 semi autos went to the front lines (Indio-Pakistani conflict) They didn't get much use and many have near new condition barels....this one did as well as ALL matching numbers quite a find...$200 later I owned a tough .308 carbine with a 11+1 capacity (I consider it a 10rnd mag) and 100 rnd of mixed british and some GREAT German 7.62 ammo to sight in with! My reasoning was better to have a reliable & accurate high-power carbine than a beat to hell sks that just didn't "seem" right. I also figured if I got pulled over I would just be another good 'ol boy with an old deer rifle in the vehicle not anybody to worry about or harass. The leather sling I bought and quickly "aged" had a basket weave pattern with a big deer in the middle to complete the image...perfect now I have the mighty 12 guage for the home, a carbine for the car (no pun intended), and a quiet .22 should some rabit or squirrel need to become dinner (old closed down overgrown park behind the apartment has LOTS of small game) I didn't have the cash for a decent pistol and opted to buy a LOT of .308 NATO ammo as I already had tons of.22 and shells for the Winchester.
Since then I have aquired a sweet, clean,SKS (YES some Norinco rifles are well made!) with ALL matching #s it shoots as well as my bud's clean Russian example of this fine rifle which is to say about 3-4 inches @ 100 yrds. with very quick target aquisition. I also found a clean LLAMA .45 1911 clone that shoots well enough to irritate many a Colt or Wilson Com. or Springfield equipped cowboy at the local range (luck of the draw/ my bud's brand new one groups 6-7" @50yrds best offhand, where as my LLAMA groups about 3-5" at best shooting offhand I don't see the point of clamping a handgun to a bench as I wont ever have anything better than the hood of a car in the real world. The point of all this rambling is that you don't have to drop a grand on every firearm you buy to end up with a great selection of well made usable guns in common calibers- many of us don't have the green for an AK, Rem.700, Benelli, Berreta combo and sometimes that leads you into a world of second hand guns-surplus or commercial, but if you choose carefully and save your money for that one in a dozen great find that will be gone tomorrow that does NOT mean you have to settle for second rate performance. And yes, in a world where image can and does enter into the courtroom if I was forced to dispatch a "Bad Guy" better to have used "my ol' shotgun I had in thu' closet" or have grabbed that ol deer gun over there (now exhibit A) than an sks w/ 30rnd. clip or almost as bad a nasty, evil HANDGUN !!
A lever action falls into the exact same light and I had even considered one,nixing the idea only due to the fact that I just haven't found one that feels "right" to me and don't really need one now (I admit to hating the feel of the action and the 30-30 round as well-sorry, just one mans opinion-don't ever decide on any weapon 'till you have worked the action and if possible fired it or at least one similar to it. A scoped MOA grade rifle also in .308 is next on my shopping list, followed by a decent carry pistol!! for these I can justify waiting and spending for quality glass and leather. There is no shame in having a collection of primarilly used guns, most people would just assume I grew up here and have had these since I was twelve instead of 25 spend the money where it will do the most good. I would rather have a $450 Savage scout with a GREAT scope than a styer with a simons shotgun scope! Do your homework shoot as much and as often as you can and make informed decisions and purchases. Hope these thoughts can help someone out there
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