Single Shot Rifle for Survival....

Discussion in 'Vintage Topic Archive (Sept - 2009)' started by rimfirehunter, Dec 19, 2007.

  1. Came across this topic on another forum and thought it would be good exercise for the survival forum here on HPFF. Here are the rules..

    ONE caliber.. ONE barrel.. NO chamber inserts and it must be a single shot metallic cartridge firearm. Oh yeah, no shotguns either, will save that for another thread.

    I will go first since this has been kicking around in my mind for several years now.

    In my part of the country small game is far more abundant that large game and if I needed to feed the family I would have better luck shooting squirrel and rabbit than I would deer or hogs. Another thing is that deer in my area are not monsters, although the hogs get pretty darn big, and we dont really have a bear population to worry about, so this is something I took into consideration when making my choices. Finding pre-loaded factory ammo was something else I considered but since I reload that's not a really big concern anymore either.

    What I came up with is a NEF Handi Rifle chambered for .223 Remington. With reloads I could load this cartridge down to small game velocities and use it as a squirrel/rabbit gun and not alert half the county that I was shooting food. For larger animals I could use either factory loads or custom reloads and have no problems taking whitetail provided shot placement was where it needed to be.

    Since 5.56mm is the standard service caliber scrounging surplus ammo is not a big problem, and most .223 chambered firearms will handle 5.56mm rounds without any issues.

    I had considered several other calibers, .22Hornet, .22Mag and 30-30 but I feel the .223 would serve me better than the others considering it would be a do it all gun. Not the best choice, not the worst choice but in my opinion a decent compromise if all I were allowed was a single shot rifle from now till the end of time.

  2. I think you've made a great choice for most of the USA. Those people who live where they need more probably know what they need. I would like to modify one thing-your rule about NO chamber inserts. Considering cost and how little room it would take up, I'd like a chamber insert in .22lr. That would allow a small, inexpensive round, good for small game to be added without a second rifle.

    For a true survival situation--without all the 'Red Dawn' type problems, I think you've got it right. I know it would work where I'm at.

  3. Ari

    Ari Guest

    OK this is fun... I think you have made a good choice, But I was thinking that I could do just about everything I need to do with a 22lr. Bear and or cat would be my only concern. Our deer are pretty good sized but I know for a fact that many of them over the years have been taken with 22lr. There is cougar in our local area and normally you would never see them, but in the last few years they have been getting pretty bold. So I might have to step it up to something larger. Everyone up here has a 30-30 of some sort. It is the gun that built this area. So the ammo would be easy to find.
  4. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

    I've hunted with single shots for a number of years. They were various falling-block actions and chambered for .30-06, .300 H&H Magnum, and .50-70 Government. They are all good weapons.

    If I had to shoot just one it'd be a .30-06 falling block (probably a Ruger #1) in '06. You could load it down to .30-30 velocities or load it hotter depending on what you are doing.

  5. I'd take a 30-30 single shot, although .223 is a close second for me.

    The 30-30 has been used to take everything from bunnies to elk and beyond, not to mention the fact that it is a very viable self defense round. Also, it can be loaded with a wide variety of bullet weights, anything from 55gr sabot rounds for varmints all the way up to 180gr hard cast bear droppers.
  6. I wouldn't use a .30-30 for small game, that's just a waste of bullets and an edible animal. I would have to agree with RFH on this one.

    With Elk right up in the mountains running around all over the place, with a well placed shot, a .223 will get the job done. .22LR isn't that great of a choice, but if I had no choice in the matter, I'd take it over a snowball.

    However, I also agree with Ari, and would like to have something a bit larger if possible, as we have bears and cats in the mountains as well. There again, if I didn't have a choice, .223 would get it done with limited muss and fuss.
  7. I'd take a .22lr. It'll take everything up to a deer, which brings another point, why survival?

    Does this mean "back to nature" no modern services (no electricity, no running water, ect) or does it mean no economy (no gas, no groceries, but utilities work).

    If this is the "back to nature" scenario, then anything more that a pair of rabbit would be a waste for a family of 4. Why take a deer unless its winter, you have electricity or you're feeding 20+ people. The meat would rot before you're done with it and the smell would attract other predators.
  8. Space

    Space Member

    Yup, beat me to it. Ruger #1 in 30-06.

    If I reloaded, it would probably be 45-70. You can reload them really hot (in a ruger #1) or very mild and lots of bullet choices.
  9. pills

    pills Guest

    FYI NEF/H&R strongly advises against using 5.56 in their 223s.
  10. Ari

    Ari Guest

    well if 30-30 was all you had you would have to make some nice head shots on the small game. On the ranch as a small kid my grandfather would take the 22lr to the head of the steers when it came to for butchering. Granted it was point blank, but it took them down right now. Just some food for thought
  11. Not saying that, just saying that I would hate to waste a .30-30 bullet on a squirrel. It takes at least 3 squirrels to make a meal for 2 people. With factory ammo that I get at Wal-Mart @ $13.00 a box, that't alot of money for not much meat. Granted, reloading is cheaper, and once you have the brass there's nothing you can't do. However, that's a caliber that, with a properly placed shot, can take down any big game animal on the North American Continent. I wouldn't use that on a squirrel if I had another option. That's all I am saying.
  12. GlockMan

    GlockMan Member

    .223 and a chamber insert for 22LR or .22Mag

    I would load the heaviest bullet for the .223 I could and shoot solids with the .22's, this way the rifle would have more versatility and ammo weight would be keep to a minimum.
  13. SharpsShtr

    SharpsShtr Member

    There are numerous ways to preserve meat without a freezer: jerky, pickling, etc. There were a number of buffalo hunters that preserved and sent many, many tons of buffalo meat back east without the aid of refrigeration. Ditto with the native americans prior to them.

    It just depends on the scenario you're imagining. The problem with these threads is that we all have slightly different versions in mind.

  14. Kelotravolski

    Kelotravolski Member

    I was sitting down and thinking that I would just be SOL because I do not have any reloading equipment; then I saw the post with the .22 insert and that gave me an idea.

    My GF has a 20ga/22 break action single action. so I could use a .22 barrel to take out varmints and if I ever needed anything more powerful I could use 00buck or HP slugs.
  15. dirtimdebbie

    dirtimdebbie Guest

    Already got one!

    Sort of.

    Rossi SS with 3 barrels .308/.22/20ga.

    Pop rechambered the .22 barrel to 22mag. It still shoots LR if it has too.

    He loads me little lead round nose bullets for small game with the .308 barrel. Iron sights for the light loads, scope in see through mounts for the regular loads.

    20 ga is just a 20 ga.

    But you said one barrel, no inserts!

    Can I carry the second barrel just to have something to warp people over the head?

    SHOOTER Z Well-Known Member

    Sorry GM NO chambered inserts allowed I would go with 22 lr or mag. easier to carry [for me anyways] and can use on just about anything
  17. 22lr for me as well. Can carry a ton of ammo without much weight. :lol:
  18. I vote for the 22LR.
  19. elguapo

    elguapo Guest

    Whatever you have available, and work from that.