Skip to main content
Home General Hunting

New sidearm and rifle recommendations

13

Replies

  • Big MakBig Mak Posts: 5,337 Admiral
    fish_stix said:
    If you already own a S&W Model 66 you own one of the best personal protection weapons available. A  j-frame is just a miniscule bit smaller and in .357 is uncontrollable. My oldest son just retired as a cop after 25 years and used a j-frame .357 as a backup, but using .38 Special ammo because of the horrendous recoil with magnum ammo. As far as a rifle, get a 243 or 7mm-08 lightweight rifle and a lightweight scope; you carry it a whole lot more than you shoot it so keep it light! Our FL deer are mini-deer compared to other states and it doesn't require a cannon to kill them.
    This ^^^ bears rereading and repeating... I don't think you can go wrong if you keep this in mind.
  • biglarbiglar Posts: 183 Deckhand
    Recoil and reaction to it is very personal.  Pistol recoil doesn't bother me much and I kind of enjoy the thump.  My little .380 Ruger LCP weighs less than a can of beer and kicks almost as hard as my - more-than-twice-as-heavy - Glock 29, 10mm, tho' it's a sharper jolt.  The Taurus PT-111G2, 9mm is just plain fun to shoot, esp. with the rubber grip wrap.  Put the Underwood +P hard cast in the 10mm and it "really" kicks.  The difference - noise & recoil - is very noticeable.....but anything down range that gets hit by it is in serious trouble.

    When I was 18, many, many years ago, I wanted to get into Deer and Elk hunting, so, since I'm a southpaw, I bought a used Remington 30/06 pump (model 760 ??) - short barreled, lightweight version.  Mercy.  I'd been shooting a .22 at a gun club for a couple of years, so when I got the /06 I went to a range and set up with a mat to do some prone sighting in.....just like I did with the .22.  IIRC, I was using 180 grain blammo.

    Migawd ! ! !  I swear that thing kicked me sideways on the mat and the bang sounded like the last crack of doom.  People up and down the range turned to look to see what happened.  I'm sure the muzzle blast toasted grass for 100 ft.  When I got my dazed eyes back in focus, I checked the barrel for banana peeling.  Nope, it was OK.

    Took one more shot with similar results and took the rifle back to the dealer and traded it in on something else.  I'm very sensitive to rifle recoil to this day and have fought flinch all my life.  Not a good way to get started.
  • bicyclistbicyclist FlardaPosts: 1,654 Captain
    Browning BBR, 270

    Very good all purpose rifle.


  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,965 AG
    biglar- that made me LOL!! I know what you are talking about.  that Rem pump .06 in the carbine model will rock your world. My dad has one and it will only pattern 180gr consistently. Man a live! After shoulder surgery he went to a .243 Rem 788.

    I shoot a pump .06 but not the carbine. Huge difference between the two...... 
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • Cracker23Cracker23 MelrosePosts: 311 Deckhand
    There's a Tikka T3 243 in the FS classifieds.
  • spfldbowhunterspfldbowhunter Posts: 936 Officer
    If your priority in a sidearm is getting something versatile, I would be thinking of a semiauto not revolver. I carry my Kel-Tec PMR just about everywhere. The Ruger LCP .380 is great too. 

    Any rifle I’d consider in a bolt action would have a synthetic stock with a stainless barrel. If you want to save a little on weight then go with a 20” or 22” barrel in a short action caliber. Savage just announced a $75 rebate on several models through the rest of the month. 
    Eph. 3:20
  • bswivbswiv Posts: 8,348 Admiral
    Been following this one along for a while now. Lots of folks with lots of experience giving advice......not much of it that sound "wrong" as far as I can tell.

    My take......for what it is worth.

    Reading your various posts over time it strikes me that you are not just out to "kill something", so the how of it and the fact that nothing gets lost to a bad shot while doing it probably matters a lot. Assuming that is a correct read I'd venture that over time you'll become one of those folks that has "a rifle" he's had a LONG time which never lets him down.

    And it will not be the rifle but rather the fact that you've shot it enough and carried it enough to where you know when to shoot and when not to.......based on it's limitations and yours.

    If this is correct, and if what this old hunter, an old hunter with lots of "old hunter" friends has seen happen is that with time you'll get to where it has to be close, not because you are worried about missing, but rather because the skill and the knowledge and the experience of it all will end up taking you there.

    IF........IF....this is even close to true then a short light bolt chambered in something that is good to about 100 will be more than satisfactory. This means you can go really light, both in caliber and rifle. Much to be said for a single-shot......but I get that most folks will not go there.....though Louann has shot a truck load with one.

    Look at the Ruger American Ranch. Not fancy but having replaced the Marlin .35 Rem ( I'd cut it down to 18 inches and shortened the stock. ) with it I must say that it is very serviceable. 

    Though I will say......if you can find one of the OLD Remington Mohawks in .243....those are special!



     
  • FloridaMetalFabFloridaMetalFab North CubaPosts: 1,340 Officer
    G32 for a reliable mag fed .357 sidearm and Rem 700 in your favorite caliber. Spend the leftover money on good glass. 6.5 creedmoor is very versatile and offered by almost all the big rifle manufacturers these days. 
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,865 AG
    .243 kills deer just fine too
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • I got a Safe full of Rifles.
    My favorite is a 35 Rem. CVA single Shot Break Barrel.
    Swings like a Red Ryder and punches a 200 Grain hole.
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • gritsnhuntin1gritsnhuntin1 Posts: 1,181 Officer
    I still use my .243 every now and then. It shoots great and is light also. Great for when im doing a bunch of walking.
  • FloridaODFloridaOD Posts: 4,357 Captain
    edited November 2019 #73
    Short barrel rifle and quality compact scope seems to be an ideal fit for many.
    I note the mention of single shot. Single shot action really helps trim the rifle overall.
    My first centerfire Hunt rifle, still have it, Winchester 94 Trapper 16” Bbl 30/30 with Leupold Compact fixed 2 power.I finally figured out that follow up shots were rare, and loading, and unloading was a guaranteed event.
    Single shot after all simply means one shot at a time, with another available pretty quickly- its not as if single shot means only one shot per day available....
    Its so simple to just load and unload one cartridge during the course of a woods run.
    So the ultimate for me, for the longest time ( so far ) has been a Ruger Number One International  20 inch Bbl 30/06.Bullet holder pouch on the sling, Velcro flap for two more/ three shot at ready.....have never had to use the feature.
    Beautiful wood stock, short length overall, and actually maybe a little bit heavy/ solid for its size. Compact scope.
    I have a New England Arms single shot 45/70.Simple break open design just like the venerable single shot shotgun,carefree plastic stock, very handy, lightweight, about like carrying a broom stick. ( “ Boom Stick” ! )
    And a compact scope compliments a short handy rifle.I have used different size scopes on the International and am certain the bigger longer and bulkier scopes affected handling.
    Now considering illuminated reticle compact scope.
    Speaking of handguns and single shot for Hunt, Thompson Contender
    .44 12” Bbl, Pachmyer grip,red dot scope is amazing, easy shooting......shucks, it’s all I really need.
    Hunters are present yet relatively uncommon in Florida :wink
  • nativetroynativetroy Posts: 307 Deckhand
     You need to go feel the rifles. Once you find the platform you like, look at calibers. Think about where you hunt. A lot of people I know out of state think there’s no shots in Florida more than 75 yds. But get on a marsh, pine/ palmetto flat, or near ag land and it’s not hard to double that or more. 
       7/08 or .243 is where I would start. I have a 6.8spc that is light and easy to carry. And deadly. But it starts losing steam past 100. So I take it for closer shots. And normally go for the neck.  A .270 is hard to beat and you can get ammo everywhere. Most of my deer have fallen to a Remington pump .270 I got from my grandpa. 
     The BLR is a nice gun, and I really want to try the Henry long Ranger. I’d focus on the rifle and scope. Worry about a pistol later. I carry a 9mm and hunt around bears as much as deer. I have faith in that gun. But I also have twice the capacity. 
         Feel them, shoot them, carry them.  See what you like. 
     One word of caution. Small light carbines are awesome to carry. Not as awesome to shoot lol. I also have a single shot 45/70. It punches back hard 
  • biglarbiglar Posts: 183 Deckhand
    edited November 2019 #75
    I know you said anything but a revolver would be a hard sell, but consider this:  I carried a S&W Mod. 19 .357 revolver for many years and loved it.  Precision built, accurate, powerful....beautiful, functional weapon and adequate for almost any use.  True, it's only 6 shots, but that should be adequate for most situations.

    Then I got a Glock 29 in 10mm and fell in love.  More compact, double the ammunition capacity and similar ballistics to the .357, plus a little bit, maybe.  It's still a big chunk of iron, tho', the grip is big and unless you have large hands you won't like it.

    Later, I installed a KKM 1" longer barrel and am even happier.  It doesn't affect carry at all.  

    Next up was (is) a Taurus PT111G2 in 9mm.  Not quite as much snoose as the .357 but still pretty capable.  What I like is that it's more compact, lighter, carries 13 rounds with one in chamber, has an external safety (which I do like)  - plus the Glock-type trigger safety.....and, with the rubber slip-on grip cover it fits my hand like a glove.  Recoil is moderate and it's very pleasant to shoot.  With the Underwood +P hard cast bullets, it'll handle anything short of a Kodiak Bear....and with careful shooting, prob'ly one of those, too.

    It's become my open carry choice on almost all hikes now and I recently tried a shoulder holster for it - the cheapest one I could find, for trial.  This is another instant fall-in-love item.  Can't feel the weight, it tucks the pistol up against the side of your chest out of the way, doesn't interfere with a backpack and is "right there" if needed.  The shoulder holster goes on every hike now.

    I was a little leery of the snap button strap that holds the pistol in - pistol is slanted down to the front and I do a lot of brush busting.  A twig could easily - almost certainly will at some point - reach in and pop that snap.  It's doubtful I'd feel the pistol fall out.....and that would be very bad.



    Please don't fuss at me about the holster - I "know" it's a cheapie, ($40) but, surprisingly, it works very well and is very comfy.  Why spend $150 ??  9mm shown here, the 10mm fits, too.

    With that in mind, I installed a parachute cord loop that pulls forward and down onto the butt of the gun below the hammer area (right where the web between thumb and forefinger goes) that is completely secure thru anything.  I found by accident that putting a good sized loop on the cord lets me grab it and yank it up and that releases the cord "and" the snap strap.  Instant access with no fussing.

    If you're determined to have a revolver, one would fit just fine in the shoulder holster.  Try it, you'll like it.  :smile:
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 1,676 Captain
    I spent a couple hours at shooting range yesterday shooting my .25-06. Got almost a box of shells ran through it when I noticed my groups weren't as "tight" as when I started. Put up a new target because no one wants to leave range worse than when they showed up and spent alot of extra time trying to figure out what was going on. Only thing I can think of is I was getting "flinchy" without even realizing it so next few I waited till other guys next to me with all kinds of artillery were done and focused on not flinching and what do you know groups were right back to where I started. Certainly isnt hard to do for me anyways at the range. Especially at 100+ plus yards. I'm not a big guy by any stretch 160 lbs soaking wet but my entire shoulder today is black and blue. I'm shooting 117 grain hornady but I know they make lighter rounds for this cartridge something I'll look into before next season probably little less recoil.  I'm envious of all you guys who can shoot bigger calibers because I'm pretty sure it would just result in missed or even worse wounded game in field for me.  
  • gritsnhuntin1gritsnhuntin1 Posts: 1,181 Officer
    I usually don’t feel any ill effects after shooting at game. Put me on a bench and I somehow struggle. Once a gun is sighted in i usually check my zero once before season and sometimes during a hunt. When checking i try one shot or two just for confidence.
  • Florida BullfrogFlorida Bullfrog Posts: 4,847 Captain
    zimmy4209 said:
    I spent a couple hours at shooting range yesterday shooting my .25-06. Got almost a box of shells ran through it when I noticed my groups weren't as "tight" as when I started. Put up a new target because no one wants to leave range worse than when they showed up and spent alot of extra time trying to figure out what was going on. Only thing I can think of is I was getting "flinchy" without even realizing it so next few I waited till other guys next to me with all kinds of artillery were done and focused on not flinching and what do you know groups were right back to where I started. Certainly isnt hard to do for me anyways at the range. Especially at 100+ plus yards. I'm not a big guy by any stretch 160 lbs soaking wet but my entire shoulder today is black and blue. I'm shooting 117 grain hornady but I know they make lighter rounds for this cartridge something I'll look into before next season probably little less recoil.  I'm envious of all you guys who can shoot bigger calibers because I'm pretty sure it would just result in missed or even worse wounded game in field for me.  
    How clean is your barrel?
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 1,676 Captain
    zimmy4209 said:
    I spent a couple hours at shooting range yesterday shooting my .25-06. Got almost a box of shells ran through it when I noticed my groups weren't as "tight" as when I started. Put up a new target because no one wants to leave range worse than when they showed up and spent alot of extra time trying to figure out what was going on. Only thing I can think of is I was getting "flinchy" without even realizing it so next few I waited till other guys next to me with all kinds of artillery were done and focused on not flinching and what do you know groups were right back to where I started. Certainly isnt hard to do for me anyways at the range. Especially at 100+ plus yards. I'm not a big guy by any stretch 160 lbs soaking wet but my entire shoulder today is black and blue. I'm shooting 117 grain hornady but I know they make lighter rounds for this cartridge something I'll look into before next season probably little less recoil.  I'm envious of all you guys who can shoot bigger calibers because I'm pretty sure it would just result in missed or even worse wounded game in field for me.  
    How clean is your barrel?
    Cleaned it before and after but not during shooting. The one negative thing I dont like about my encore is trigger is not as crisp as alot of other rifles I've shot. Could be part of the problem I just know until I was consciously thinking about it every time I got pretty sloppy
  • swampwalkerswampwalker Posts: 2,359 Captain
    Running almost a box through a high powered rifle is probably the culprit. I bet we get a little less dialed in concentration wise, and might feel a little more recoil, plus the distractions from other shooters. Since you tightened up the groups without adjusting the scope it was most likely you. I never relished shooting high powered rifles multiple times. I agree with grits, once dialed in, I’m done except to check zero before the season. I shoot .22s and other light calibers for fun. 
    The original - "Renaissance Redneck"
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    edited November 2019 #81
    Ruger Sp101 357/38 special for revolver - SS

    Then you can get a Ruger M77-357 for your FL deer & hog hunting.  
    I have both and the rifle is a solid 100 yard gun.

    Otherwise I'd get a 308 or 6.5 creed or 7mm-08 for a bolt gun.  

    Was also gonna take you to shoot a deer, but you don't want a gimme deer.  LOL!  I understand but wow - stubborn is the word.
  • buckfeverbuckfever Posts: 171 Deckhand
    When sighting in a rilfe I wait 7 minutes between shots.  A thinner contour barrel gets hot quick. 
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 1,676 Captain
    Rich M said:
    Ruger Sp101 357/38 special for revolver - SS

    Then you can get a Ruger M77-357 for your FL deer & hog hunting.  
    I have both and the rifle is a solid 100 yard gun.

    Otherwise I'd get a 308 or 6.5 creed or 7mm-08 for a bolt gun.  

    Was also gonna take you to shoot a deer, but you don't want a gimme deer.  LOL!  I understand but wow - stubborn is the word.
    I'm not stubborn at all. Just sayin
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    Z., not sure where you are going w this... 

    I was talking about Spangler.  He said early on he wouldn't do an easy hunt.  That's stubborn when you got folks offering. 

    He just needs to kill a couple and then will better understand the whe when and how to shoot process. 

    We all have our streaks.  Spangler is a nice guy, does have a stubborn streak in him.

    R
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,799 Captain
    edited November 2019 #85
    Haha.. i think im the 'stubborn one' lol thanks Rich tho! I really appreciate it 😉
    And just so everyone is well aware.. once i get my public land buck, i'm happy to accept any invites after!!! 😂
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • spanglerspangler daBurgPosts: 2,799 Captain
    Ha! Double response. And yes! Stubborn as an ox 😎
    There will never be a really free and enlightened state until the state comes to recognize the individual as a higher and independent power, from which all its own power and authority are derived.
  • harbisonharbison Posts: 5,541 Admiral
    Been a Ruger fan for many years. Have never had one that did not do the job and do it well.
  • zimmy4209zimmy4209 Ocala FloridaPosts: 1,676 Captain
    Rich M said:
    Z., not sure where you are going w this... 

    I was talking about Spangler.  He said early on he wouldn't do an easy hunt.  That's stubborn when you got folks offering. 

    He just needs to kill a couple and then will better understand the whe when and how to shoot process. 

    We all have our streaks.  Spangler is a nice guy, does have a stubborn streak in him.

    R
    Never said anything about spangler you said you were gonna offer him to go shoot a deer but he was stubborn and wanted to do it hard way. Little bit of humor so I said I wasnt stubborn 
  • Rich MRich M Posts: 1,326 Officer
    zimmy4209 said:
    Rich M said:
    Z., not sure where you are going w this... 

    I was talking about Spangler.  He said early on he wouldn't do an easy hunt.  That's stubborn when you got folks offering. 

    He just needs to kill a couple and then will better understand the whe when and how to shoot process. 

    We all have our streaks.  Spangler is a nice guy, does have a stubborn streak in him.

    R
    Never said anything about spangler you said you were gonna offer him to go shoot a deer but he was stubborn and wanted to do it hard way. Little bit of humor so I said I wasnt stubborn 
    Guess that makes me the dense one!  Went right over my head.
  • Panhandler80Panhandler80 Posts: 8,851 Moderator
    I just picked up a new Bergara and am extremely happy with the accuracy.  Might be something worth looking into.  I went with the B14 Hunter.  This is their entry level gun with synthetic stock.  I think it was like $699.  Almost same hole accuracy after about 20 shots of cheapest off shelf ammo I could find.  Pretty neat.  Went with very high end rail and rings (Badger) and pretty darn high end scope (Leupold VX5HD).  Right at 8 pounds empty in 300WM.  So, not the lightest gun int he world, but it's a long action.  
    "Whatcha doin' in my waters?"
Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Advertisement

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now