Short barrelled truck gun cal choice?

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by cowboy717, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. cowboy717

    cowboy717 Well-Known Member

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    Hey all. I've been kicking around the idea of building/ buying a short barreled gun to be nothing more than a truck gun. It will be used for mostly varmints and occasionally used for target and such. Wanting it to be a detachable mag for ease of loading/ unloading. I'm just curious what you guys would recommend? I've been kinda thinking 223, 6mm/223, 221, or maybe a 300/221 for someting different.
    Thanks!
     
  2. ICANHITHIMMAN

    ICANHITHIMMAN Well-Known Member

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    Marlin 30-30
     

  3. Trickymissfit

    Trickymissfit Well-Known Member

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    you'd love my .223! It's a 700VS that's been reworked. Barrel is a factory heavy profile cut back to 20" long. The stock has some internal mods, but looks pretty much factory on the outside. The trigger is a factory 1978 that came out of Pendel's personal stash. The bolt has an M16 extractor with a modded factory ejector (similar to what Weatherby uses) and a spring just light enough to get the case out of the reciever. The rifle has a near perfect balance and shoots very well off hand
    gary
     
  4. venom600

    venom600 Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like a perfect job for an AR-15.
     
  5. cowboy717

    cowboy717 Well-Known Member

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    I've been thinking AR but I'm kinda over the phase. I kinda prefer a good bolt gun to an AR. But I do have a want for another AR, shouldn't have sold my last one.
     
  6. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Truck gun, now that's something I can talk about! I say that because I've done alot of varmint/predator hunting from the truck here in Wyoming. Alot of it at night with spotlights. We need something that is very flat shooting because alot of times we dont have a range to the critter, we just know it's within range and about to be out of sight or headed for the next ridge/ravine. Most of the time there is no time to be figuring distance and where we want to hold. That time should be spent getting into the most stable shooting position we can.

    For jackrabbits, prarie dogs, skunks, stray cats, wild dogs, coyotes, fox, bobcat, raccoon, rock chucks, badgers, porcupines ect. I used a 22-250 and a 220 swift for a long time, both medium weight 26" barrels. 26" barrel is really too long for getting out the window quickly or jumping in and out of the truck all night to shoot over the hood or the bed.

    So, next I tried 223 AR-15's. Short enough barrel, but brass was always flying everywhere. Hitting the windshield, landing in my coffee, hitting the guy in the passenger seat, falling down in the defrost vents and between the seats, and just flat out loosing too much brass if I was outside the truck...especially in the dark. Not to mention, they're not as easy to unload or make safe before jumping back into the truck to look for the next jackrabbit. It's real easy and quick to just cam open the bolt with a bolt action, but an AR needs to be unloaded and locked back, or remove the magazine before letting the bolt close again........more steps to get to the same place is all.

    Latest gun I think will take the cake. It's a 20" barrel bolt action Remington, chambered in 204 Ruger. The gun will hold 7 rounds, it's light and short, and very flat shooting out to most "truck gun" distances.

    Biggest thing, regardless of the caliber you pick; is get something light, short and manuverable. Mount the scope so you can very quickly find full field of view. Last thing we want when spotlighting/truck shooting predators is to have to fiddle around and find the scope with our eye. It should be natural and instictive. Most LR dedicated scopes with high mounts are not very good for this type of thing. AR's have pretty high mounts, and found them harder to get into position very quickly.

    Good luck, lots of fun. Lots and Lots of fun!
     
  7. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    OH, one other thing. Since you mentioned detachable magazine, just be careful not to get one that's too big.

    The ones that stick down very far below the rifle only hinder our ability to get steady leaning across the hood. That was another thing I didn't like about using an AR for this kind of shooting. Even with a 10rd mag, the pistol grip stuck down far enough that it was tougher to get steady across the hood.
     
  8. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    A good friend of mine has a 204 and he says it is the laser beam of death for smallish type critters. Virtually no recoil, so those really Hurried Up Shots wont "bite" you either.

    Howa/Hogue Ranchland Compact Rifles
    -- They also have a Youth Package where you get the same Lite Action and barrel length ect, but you get both a youth sized stock and a standard sized stock that might be good depending on family and such. Howa actually makes a pretty dang good rifle. The Weatherby Vanguard is a rebadged howa, with weatherby tweaks, and the prices can be very competitive.

    Or

    Ruger® M77® Hawkeye® Compact Bolt-Action Rifle Models

    Ruger does not list the 204 in the compact, but I would bet a call to them would quickly net you a 204 in this little rifle. That being said, .223, and even 6.8spc are choices in this rifle package. I am not a fan of the SPC but honesty compels me to state that in a bolt gun they can be pretty useful.

    Ok now to put up a DO WHUUT?? suggestion :) Do you reload? If you do a .308 in the weatherby vanguard with a 12 twist barrel and Sierra 135gr Matchkings using IMR8208XBR powder is 100% purest poison out to dang near 500 yards, and given how Honestly Fast you can drive it, pretty flat shooter too. Hey, don't laugh too hard, add in a Barnes TTSX 130gr with the same powder type and suddenly out to around 400yards give or take you have pure poison on larger game too!

    Model 70 Featherweight Compact, -- Winchester Repeating Arms -- Product Model

    Not sure how you feel about winchester, but lately I hear from a couple friends they are pretty good shooters. The Featherweight Compact has a 20" barrel.

    Lots of good choices out there,
    Gary
     
  9. bigngreen

    bigngreen Well-Known Member

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    Gotta through out a Savage option, the Savage model 11 light weight hunter in you choice of 6.5 Creedmoor, 223, 243 or maybe a 260. Light, short enough to get out the window or won't hang up bad when doing a rolling drop out and it has a DBM. You can clear it drop the mag send it over to your buddy he can put a mag in and take out the offending vermin on the passenger side gun)

    The Ruger mini 14 with a folding stock rides nice on the dash also, not that I'm redneck enough to do that but I have friends from Wyoming that are :D
     
  10. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    Forgot to mention that both howa and vanguard have a DBM option now. They also have a 2 stage trigger option as well. Some folks love them, (me), others hate them.

    Savage makes some pretty good shooters as well. Their predator series I hear does pretty good. I happen to have a Savage in 6.5x55 AI and really like it. It is due for a re-barrel, and I am halfway considering a 280 AI this time around, just to be a bit different. Then again, I Really do like the 6.5 AI :) Choices and decisions!

    That being said, My next rifle is almost certainly going to be one of the Howa's in a 20" .308.

    Gary
     
  11. SBruce

    SBruce Well-Known Member

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    Some folks will mention calibers bigger than what I've found necessary for a "varmint from the truck" gun. I am not saying they are wrong choices by any means and no disrespect to those who use big game calibers for this, just that I prefer something smaller.
    Here's why:

    Sometimes when we're out spotlighting, we'll have to shoot from inside the truck and at odd angles/positions. Recoil becomes an issue then. I've even been scoped by a little 25-06 when trying to shoot back behind me and out the drivers side window at a weird angle.:cool:

    It's also important IMO to be able to see your own hits, that's where the majority of the fun is at! Muzzle breaks are loud and who wants to ride around in the pickup wearing hearing protection.? Not to mention the damage to hoods and windshields when using them.

    Small varmint style bullets are less likely to pass through and richochet off into the unknown darkness somewhere.

    Well anyway, thats why I like small bores for this kind of thing. I've never had a coyote escape a fast moving 22 caliber so long as I hit the vitals. Even out at 400yds, which is about maximum spotlight distance.

    Just my 02 cents.
     
  12. diriel

    diriel Well-Known Member

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    I hear ya SBruce,

    I admit, the 308 is a wee bit overkill.

    The 204 my friend has Really Is the laser beam of death! He has the Savage Predator in .204. He uses the Hornady 40gr V-Max, pushing around 3680 Fps. He sights in at 300, and shoots to around 400ish on his property. Like Sbruce said, that 204 really is a hammer. The one thing he gripes about is how often he HAS to clean it due to bore fouling. Other than that, all good!

    He personally has been considering getting a real good after-market barrel in 204 in hopes of getting away from having to clean every 10 rounds or so. I won't go into barrel makers ;) The reason I did not mention Savage the first time around, is because of his severe bore fouling btw.

    By the way, I think that 40gr bullet pretty much requires a 12 twist barrel, just in case you decide to go custom.

    In other news, has anyone tried the Hornady 24gr NTX in .204?

    Gary
     
  13. danj

    danj Well-Known Member

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    Ruger Mini 14 is a good truck rifle. Easy to shoot in most any position. Not the most acurate of the 223's but will get the job done and I've never had mine jam.:)
     
  14. MachV

    MachV Well-Known Member

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    A little CZ 527 American makes a great truck gun. Been looking for one in 7.62x39 to make a Grendle out of it but aint found one yet.