Friday, October 09, 2009

Comment generator...

In lieu of having to generate content yesterday, Marko let his readers do it for him by throwing out a sure-fire chatter generator for gun nuts, asking the question "If you had to pick a rifle and a pistol in the same caliber for everything from self-defense to taking deer at 150 yards, what would they be?" and, lo! sixty-one comments appeared like magic.

Questions like this not only generate interest, they show where people's headspace is at on the whole issue. Folks who are actual hunters know how hard the "medium-sized game at 150 yards" requirement is with a handgun, and their comments reflect that. Weird caliber aficionados propose outlandish carbine or pistol choices to fit their pet caliber. Counterstrike kiddies wax lyrical about guns with which they've slain countless hostile texture-mapped polygons, while tactical types scorn the requirement for underpowered long guns or overpowered handguns.

My first thought in these "one gun"-type thought experiments is CCW. Since I carry a gun every day, the "one gun" has to be a gun I can carry every day. Throwing the hunting requirement in makes things tougher, because .45ACP is, let's face it, suboptimal on Bambi out past the other endzone. Then there's 10mm, but it has the problem that most loads in the chambering with enough sectional density to be serious choices for hunting aren't running too much over sonic, while the faster and flatter shooting ones seem a little light-for-caliber to make me really happy.

In the end, I usually pick a .357 Magnum K-frame (a medium-sized revolver; probably this one), because I can carry one every day, and pair it with a carbine in the same chambering,which can make use of the 158-180gr offerings in the caliber. Neither would be my first choice for either job, but both will do adequately if the user will.


Anonymous said...

That's darn efficacious logic, Tam. Can't disagree.

Buffboy said...

Have two duos that can and have worked for this. Sidewinder(think pre BFR) 4 1/2" & 16" Puma both in 454. 1894C & Dan Wesson 15-2VH in 357.

As much as I luv the 45acp(in that I carry one almost every day) it's a poor deer cartridge at anything over 40 yards, carbine or pistol.

Wasn't gonna reply but WV of "rantsit" mandated that I did.

Anonymous said...

Not ver' gun-glam, but it's what I distilled from fifty+ years of gunnish lit and many-gun using.

Marlin 1894CSS and 4" Model 66 S&W -- .357.

Do some cyber-mining on the Frontier Sixshooter Community Discussion Board,, Paco Kelly's writings and other kinda non-glamsites, for lengthy discussions of the same question.

O'course, a case can always be made for a Model 58 and matching carbine and.....aaaauuuuugghhh!!!* ;~`)

John, the Red

*application of 'interminable discussion' cyber-stake, thru the keyboard.

'baingl' -- the breakfast of shooters,with PB and creamcheese

Tam said...

"Do some cyber-mining on the Frontier Sixshooter Community Discussion Board,, Paco Kelly's writings and other kinda non-glamsites, for lengthy discussions of the same question."

Yes, I have chewed this particular piece of fat many times over the years on the intertubes. FWIW, ten years ago, I was one of the ones trying to pick a suitable carbine in 10mm...

aczarnowski said...

Heh. What thread on health care as a right?

Still fun to play. Now why oh why won't Marlin bring out a SS 1894 carbine in 357? I need to get a Puma 92 in my hands someday just to see if it could get'er done.

Anonymous said...

I think that 100 years ago, the .38-40 Winchester (.38 WCF) actually was considered to be such a cartridge, as far as folks carrying a revolver for handy self defense and a lever rifle that they could hunt with.

The trend in hobbies and sports today, or course, is to continually redefine what the basic requirements are. This helps sell new skis, bicycles, scuba tanks, running shoes, golf clubs. It may have something to do with folks needing to trade in their spouses more frequently, too.

B said...

.357 magnum. Not the best for anything, really, but it will get the job done, especially if you reload and tailor loads to the firearm.

My '92 Rossi in SS will group under an inch from a rest at 100 yds (if I do my part, that is) with 180g flatnose jacketed slugs.... and my Ruger Tracker can handle the same rifle rounds even if they are not fun to shoot.

There may well be better cartriges out there for this, but not chambered in "normal" rifles AFAIK. Much over 150 yds though, the .357 family of cartridge is useless for medium sized game.

The issues of sectional density vs velocity preclude finding one cartridge/bullet combination that will excel in both roles, especially when you take the different barrel lengths into consideration. You cannot get decent perfromance in a pistol barrel AND a rifle barrel with the same load. It's always a compromise.

Bram said...

I never understood why I would want a rifle and pistol in the same caliber. If weight and ammo are issues, the pistol is staying home.

Tam said...

"I never understood why I would want a rifle and pistol in the same caliber."

Because that's the hypothetical question, silly.

Bram said...

Ohhh... But pistols are for... and rifles are...

Never mind.

I'll pick my cheap-ass Hi-Point .40 carbine and the equivalent cheapo pistol that I don't own. That way I've only spent about $350. My Scottish ancestors would be proud.

Tam said...

Somebody needs to do a paper on the protocols of these sorts of hobby discussions. There's this delicate balance between "But the situation is totally implausible!" and "Then I want a Death Ray Pistol and Rifle!" that keeps the discussion interesting; countless threads on this and other similar topics exist on every gun forum on the 'tubes, and the good ones are very good indeed.

Kevin said...

I already have both: S&W Model 25 Mountain Gun and a Winchester 94 rifle with 20" barrel, chambered in .45LC.

With modern bullets and smokeless powders, that cartridge will do both jobs just fine.

Tam said...

Yup. The only thing that keeps me from going with a .44 or .45 (which is vastly superior for the hunting requirement) is that an N-frame is a handful as a daily CCW rig; at least it was for me.

Unix-Jedi said...

I never understood why I would want a rifle and pistol in the same caliber. If weight and ammo are issues, the pistol is staying home.


Simplify, simplify, simplify.

I speak as someone who's gone deer hunting, gotten there, and realized.. I Forgot The Ammo for a gun.

I had plenty for the other guns, but there was a reason I had more than 1 with me. And I had plenty for my pistol.

Versus the "do I have ammo" check which is much faster. Yes/No. Not subheaded.

Also handy for BoB planning - 2 boxes of ammo are easier to plan for than 4 of 2 different calibers, etc. Plus the ancillary holding systems and whatnot...

I can see the reason for the hypothetical question. Now, currently, the only combo I have that fits that is .22LR. But agree that .357 is good, and .41 Mag, .44 Mag, or .45 LC would do just peachy.

Anonymous said...

Nothing particularly wrong with the .357 idea. But where is it written that the ammo in the handgun MUST be the same power-load as that in the rifle?

At my home pistol range, I watched a trained shooter do very accurate double taps at ten yards with a Raging Bull. He was boringly reliable at hitting a 24" steel plate at 186 yards. He used full-power 260-grain loads.

Inventory control for two loadings? How many speed loaders do you regularly carry with your revolver? When hunting, how many spare rounds have you ever carried with your lever gun? Speed loaders for people and a pocketful of Friends of Bambi. How hard is that?

So I happily go along with the idea of the .357. I just see a few options which strike me as having real-world utility.


Anonymous said...

I said this at Marko's already, but, if we’re being silly, I’d go with a Dessert Eagle in .44 mag and a Ruger DeerSlayer Carbine in .44 mag.

Tam said...


True. And there was one time down in Georgia where I actually did unload my 625 to top up my '94 carbine.

NattyBumpo said...

I will be the resident "knuckle-dragger." One of each, same caliber, good to 150 yards. Got it! Magnum Research BFR in .45-70 and a Ruger No.1 to go along with it. With reloads running from 300 to 400 grain bullets and MV's starting at 1900 on up to 2450 fps, these will make Bambi just as dead as a .375 EarGaShplittenLoudenBoomer at 3500 fps (or whatever the latest fattest shortest hottest round in a bikini is called these days).


Tam said...


Interesting idea, but I need a giant single action revolver like a hen needs a flag. Where am I supposed to CCW that thing? And why would I CCW a single action?

NattyBumpo said...

Like I said, I was being the knuckle dragger. I personally have my .357's GP100 and Marlin 1895, and I am quite comfortable taking aim at whatever I want to stop wasting my oxygen with either, and know that I will stop them from such a nefarious activity.

As to CCW with such a large cannon I know of a couple of guys that would pack one and I don't want to know how. I do know how they wouldn't. WAY back in the dark ages, there was an on-line company called Almost On-Line. They had a gun forum, and there was a guy who HAD to work for Thunderwear. Any time anyone asked a question about holsters he chimed in with "I carry my full-size 1911 blah blah blah" and we mostly ignored him. I did flame him off the planet the day he suggested one for a guy looking to pack a Contender with a 16" barrel for hunting.

Anonymous said...

Okay, This one could even work for U.S military personnel armed with an M4 or whatever M16s are called today: Apparently American Derringer in Texas offers a derringer chambered in .223. I have no idea what it would be like to shoot. I think I have read that their guns are considered to be well made. I can't imagine that it would be underpowered, and the fireball and noise should be magnificent. There has to be a long gun in .223 capable of dispatching man-sized targets at 150 yard. Whether it is humane to shoot deer with it at that range, there is documented evidence it kills people and other varmints at these ranges.

Anonymous said...

I did just that...44 Mag , both Ruger.
Most shots in this area are under 40 yards but the 44 can go out past 150 without any problems.


TheCabinetMan said...

I have two of these setups already.

First is in 40S&W: Kel-Tec SUB2K and Glock 22. Prolly doesn't qualify for this brainstorming session since neither would do well in a hunting situation.

Second is in 357 Mag: Marlin 1894C and Ruger SP-101. This fits the bill, though I'd be reluctant to use the 1894 against our western mulies at any range past 50 yards. (25?) I put XS ghost ring gear on the 1894 and vastly improved the sight picture. Good groups at 100 yards, too!

Admittedly, the 357 combo came together by chance, not by plan. Were I to do this intentionally, I'd go with an 1894 in 44 Mag to accompany my 4" Redhawk in same. Or start over with a S&W 625 Mountain Gun in 45LC and ..... (wait for it) ..... an 1894.

NB: For some reason, Marlin has chosen a 1:38" spin for its 44 Mag 1894 while their 45LCs get 1:20". I hear it told that the 1:38" is OK for 240 grain bullets but doesn't do well stabilizing the heavier stuff. But since we're talking ammo suitable for hunting and CCW, the heavier bullets are probably unnecessary and topic is moot. (Then why is he still talking??...)


Wolfwood said...

How about a CZ-52 and a PPSh?

Wolfwood said...

Alternatively, how far are we willing to stretch things? How about a lefty AR with side-pull bolt carrier that has had the tube and buttstock replaced by something solid and the barrel replaced by something about an inch long? With a long barrel and a buttstock and tube (and an NFA classification...) you could have both in one!

Maybe not...

Anonymous said...

I've given thought to the concealed carry aspect for one's handgun, but concealment wasn't part of the hypothet, was it?

For all that I prefer concealed carry, there are places where open carry is fully legal. Hey, it was good enough for Hoppy, wasn't it? (Giggle-snort)


Stretch said...

Your question was answered 135 years ago. Winchester 1873 and Colt SAA in .44WCF.
I'd "update" that combo with a Winchester 1892 or 1894 and a Ruger (Redhawk, Blackhawk or New Vaquero) in either .44mag or .45LC.

Atom Smasher said...

Tam sez: "And why would I CCW a single action?"

Valid question, but for me the answer is "because it's the handgun I'm most comfortable and accurate with." In Real Life I'm with you and I stick with true concealables. But in Fantasy Hypothetical Land I can carry my Vaquero just dandily, right?

And yeah, it really is what I'm fastest and most reliable with, just below my Steyr M9. Not that I'm going to win any contests with either.

NattyBumpo said...

SO, I posed this to my DOD (dear ol' Dad), and he came up with the old Ithaca Auto and Burgler in 20 Guage and an Ithaca DeerSlayer.

theirritablearchitect said...

Ok, so it's the .357 or a .44, with the .45/.454 for the masochists.

So, more interesting question is, which specific guns would you choose for each?

The Smith PD-series revolvers, both in 4" for the carry handgun, with a possibility of using maybe a Ruger SuperRedhawk with their long barrels for hunting, with the accompanying heavier loads.

The long guns...maybe a Ruger .44 carbine autoloader (waits for jeers and hisses to subside). I just like the size of the thing. Way handy. Any of the assorted lever guns chambered for same would be ideal, as noted by others, with my pick being the '94C Marlin.

trainer said...

My .357 Trooper and 1894cs fit the bill fine for me. I've used them enough to feel good about what they will do.

Word Verifacation "chopita"

Say it three times fast...

chopita, chopita, chopita

Yeah, I know - but I'm tired.

Timmeehh said...

Tam is right, as usual, the .357 magnum as loaded by Buffalo Bore gives damn near 7.62x39 like performance with a carbine; ie. 125gr@2300fps! In a totable handgun 1600fps.

What more could you want?

If S&W makes a .45LC L frame that might be second choice.

I leave the .44magnum to all you masochists.

Revolver Rob said...

Ultimately, I waffle on this subject quite a bit. 9mm and .45 ACP really lack the power necessary to engage targets that are people sized and weight beyond 75 yards, without a switch that pisses the ATF off.

So, typically, I settle on the aforementioned and beaten to death .357 combo. Realistically though, you do need loads for both. My favorite Buffalo Bore 125-grain Speer Gold dots from my 4" GP100 (fixed sight and yes, I do CC it), just aren't optimal from an 16-18" Marlin 1894. Will they do? You bet, but optimal? Not in the least.

I really like the idea of a .45 LC setup over .357, because while I have faith in hot .357 loads to get the job done, I have more faith in +P .45 LC loads to get it done even better. One of the newer 4", fixed sight, Redhawks is actually a concealable gun, being a shade bigger than a 4" GP100. If you were an enterprising individual you would have the gun cut for moon clips and get the duality of .45ACP/LC. Combine with quality LC lever gun and some hot lever gun loads, medium spicy handgun loads, and powder puff cowboys, for the lesser things and you have the versatility you really need.


NotClauswitz said...

Since I live in Caliwonderland where I can't CCW anyhow - it's open carry with what I already got and let the hoplophobes hyperventilate. The Model 1909 Colt in .45 and some kinda old-timey lever carbine that shoots it too.

Anonymous said...

Last deer season the lever on my 357 Marlin 1984 came off in my hand when I cleared the rifle before heading back to camp for lunch (no loaded firearms allowed in the campground). This year I'll be taking my Blackhawk with me as a spare.

Anonymous said...

Dyslexia strikes!
1894, not 1094.

you heard the one about the dyslexic that walked into a bra?

Anonymous said...

i give up.

B said...

You folks need to think about making specific loads for your pistol caliber lever action rifles. Using slower burning powder, like H110, you can achieve 1850+ FPS with a 158G or even a 180 G bullet in .357 in a 16" barrel. While these are not fun to shoot in a pistol (and they WILL ruin your night vision after sundown) they can be safely fired in a standard .357 revolver. They will do a job on man sized game at over 100 yds.

Tailoring the load to the firearm gives you many options, but still allows you to have some interchangeabilty if the need arises.

Retired Spook said...

Actually, with the right pancake holster, I can CCW my birdsheaded Ruger Vaquero in .45 Colt, and it's stout enough to handle the 300gr. bullets at 1200+fps. My little M-92 clone in same caliber has proven effective with the same load out to 125 yards on feral swine up to 250 lbs. (The bullets wouldn't expand if I shot them into an anvil, but they drill a really deep hole!)

So yeah, while it wouldn't be a perfect situation, I could make do with this combo. The Boss, however, insists that the only practical choice is .357 in a 4-inch GP-100/Marlin 1894C.

You may now commence use of your gov't issued digital decision generator.

Kristophr said...

I still prefer my first choice:

A flamethrower.

SpeakerTweaker said...

There has to be a long gun in .223 capable of dispatching man-sized targets at 150 yard.

I believe that would be on the AR platform?


Ed Foster said...

In keeping with the CCW capable handgun and matching carbine meme, I kinda go along with Tam, whining and bitching at each step.

Or the 44-40/, 38/40 option, as the increase in drop might be offset by practice, and the decrease in footpounds offset by the increase in diameter, something to consider when dealing with sub-hydrostatic shock velocities. Again, stretching the meme, as the lady specified easy or concealed carry capable.

One thing I am not qualified to comment on is the .45LC in carbines. I am totally in love with my new Uberti single action revolver, and have taken to lugging it along whenever I have range time at work.

Lots of funny comments of course. Testing all kinds of space guns, then out comes the hog-leg and boom-boom-boom.

But 7.8 grains of Unique and a 250 grain flatpoint shoots so scary good I can keep all of them in the black at 100 yards on a smallbore rifle target from prone, unsupported.

A bit of holdover, and two plus seconds between shots to reset the butt on the ground and reaquire the sight picture, but Bambi in the pot across a football field. Not shabby.

My question here, and I really am asking, not snarking, is this: how reliable is that tiny little .45LC rim in a '92 type carbine? Does it work or does it lead to overrides/extractor drops/sticking in the chamber with hot loads?

I don't have a problem with the revolver because it punces out empties from the front, and the rim is just there to provide headspace.

But if I should buy a lever carbine in a traditional caliber(funny I should be mulling that over while this topic came up on the blog), are there any comments from people who have used the .45LC in carbines for extended periods of time?

And are there any SASS shooters between Holyoke Mass. and New Haven Connecticut who would invite me by for a shooting session some weekend?

Further thought: why isn't long range pistol an event in SASS?

Will said...

any experience with either of the Coonan .357mag autos? I would think it would do for CCW, IF reliable. Plus, of course, the obligatory '94 rifle.

Just found an old advert for the Marlin 1894S in .41 Mag! Hmmm, I've got a Bianchi X15 shoulder rig for my Redhawk 7-1/2" .41 Magnum. Bush Jacket will conceal it on my 115lbs. (Far from optimum for CCW, though)

wv: "really" comments already? wow!

Anonymous said...

I will throw this out there.

The Judge, 410/45Colt Taurus revolver and a pump 410 shotgun of choice.

Slugs, Shot, 45LC.

My eye sight is poor. I rather eat rabbit or bird as to deer & a face full of shot will change the minds of many people.

pdxr13 said...

Thompson-Center single-shot pistol .308Win.

FAL HB Israeli metric in 7.62x51mm. Gun Parts Guy scope base and as much money as ought to be spent on scope and rings.

For the 4.5 pounds a T/C weighs, I'm bringing a canteen of water and 2 extra charged magazines. Selling at next gunshow. All I need is a FAL.