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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm talking overall length of a hunting rifle and which you prefer to carry and use. I've come to realize that I am a fan of shorter length rifles, what many might call carbines. As far as I know, there's no official definition for a carbine, other than it's meant to portray a rifle that's somewhat shorter than it's rifle (length) counterpart.

Perhaps the Reminton 760, 7600, 742, 7400 & 750 models along with the discontinued Winchester M88s & M100s are good examples of some hunting rifles with Carbine models also available with shorter barrels. The original M70 Featherweights (1st year 1952) were shorter & lighter versions of the great M70 standard rifle and immediately became very popular with hunters of the day.

Anyway, all that aside, I find I am always looking first to a shorter rifle to fill my needs on any hunt, before I end up taking anything over 42 or 43" in OAL along. Some bemoan the loss of velocity from a shorter barrel, making the 24" tubes popular in some models and chamberings. Others say the longer barrels aid in steadier shooting or are more accurate (I am not one of those).

Either way, make mine a short to moderate length rifle and I'm happier. Newer powders and perhaps some study of the differences an inch or two of barrel length make in true velocity have made that part of the equation a moot point to me for any hunting not done at extra long ranges. I'll further qualify that as ranges over 300 yards being on the menu.

My 18.5" barreled 750 Carbine in .35 Whelen shooting Hornady's new 200gr Superformance load, should still give me equal or even slightly better velocity than a 24" barrel shooting Remington's fine 200gr factory loading, which has dropped several deer for me. So, my longish bolt action .35W hit the bricks a while ago and has been replaced by a shorter, handier rifle which should give me the same, or even slightly better performance now.

A good friend just ordered a .338RCM after studying the velocity numbers it can & does give from a 20" barrel with bullets up to 225gr. It's companion .300RCM will do pretty much the same as most .300mags with bullets up to 165 or 180gr as well and also from a 20" tube. Both these chamberings seem pretty interesting to me for rifles carried up mountains & on horseback (his reasoning) as well as in thick cover or even up in a tree stand. Food for thought for me.

I can't help it, looks like I'm hooked now......:surprised: How about you all??:confused:
 

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I also prefer shorter carbine length rifles, whether it be rimfire or centerfire. Longer rifles just don't seem to handle well, and they don't work good when I hunt in thick brush.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I also prefer shorter carbine length rifles, whether it be rimfire or centerfire. Longer rifles just don't seem to handle well, and they don't work good when I hunt in thick brush.
My Buddy mentioned above as ordering the new .338RCM is from Wisconsin. We've enjoyed a couple of trips together now, one to Maine and the other to Georgia on a hog hunt (mentioned here a few times). He's looking at that Ruger Carbine as his primary gun on a spring bear hunt in Idaho and also, I'm thinking, as a good hog gun as well.
 

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I agree with some of your post turner, shorter is more handy however, all I have to do is get out a Weatherby 270 WM long barrel and know what accuracy/speed can do. I don't enjoy carrying around all that weight or kick so that's one reason for the Win 88. Otherwise, I agree light carbine is more enjoyable to hunt with, just not really better in the accuracy or speed department. I don't read/see too many long range shooters using carbine type rifles, there has to be a reason/need for the long barrels. For most hunters a carbine length type rifle would suffice for just about all of their hunting needs. I might be splitting hairs some but that's my view.
 

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I can't wait to carry that Sav 99 in 250-3000 for PA deer this fall. I have some 115,120 gr barnes bullets to sight in. Just my opinion, but the old Savages just seem to come up to perfect shooting position every time like a good gun should. This builds a lot of confidence in your shooting off hand while stalking for game. I'll have a better idea how the Win 88 feels once I can get some range time in. Also, there's a whole lot of pride hunting with some of the older stuff like our dad's and Uncles might have used. There's a host of nice old stuff out there with prices everywhere, but I think the Sav 99 and Win 88 are at the top. I'd like to find an older Winchester/browning high wall single shot in a older bullet like 50-90, I have a 38-55, so maybe a 45-70? I love shooting something different, off the normal mainstream scale!:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think that those 115, 117 & 120gr bullets are what make the quarter bores a better choice than a .243 when it comes to deer (my humble opinion). I don't have a .250 Savage but do own a .257 Roberts built on a M98 action and a 25/06 barrel for a T/C Encore I have. I simply like the bit more frontal area and a 20% larger bullet when deer are on the menu.

Some of my favorite all-time hunts have been with some of my older rifles. I must have grinned for a week after taking a buck with my '52 M70 in '06. I'd put a period 3X Lyman All American scope on it and just thought it was neater than peanut butter to shoot a deer with a rifle older than I am.

Of course it was no special feat, as thousands (hundreds of thousands?) before had used the same type set-up to do the same thing. It was simply a bit different using some proven older stuff vs the newest, fastest, brightest, most powerful, yada yada yada..... :wink:
 

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I don't know why I never got into those Win pre-64 model 70's, they are classics for sure. Several hunting friends have them all in 270 cal. They are getting pricey too like everything else that is high quality. To be real honest I don't get to concerned with bullet SD and that formula that goes with it. The best most awesome knockdown deer kill I ever had was from a Rem 700 22-250 loaded with Speer 70gr bullets. I hit the buck in the heart and he literally exploded inside. Speed will do that. That deer fell down like a crane fell on him. So after that I didn't worry to much whether I was ever under gunned for deer.
 

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I have one of those Remington Model 742's mentioned in the original post of this thread. There should be at least one pic of it somewhere in my gallery. When looking at it, there's nothing that resembles anything like a carbine. It has a full length barrel, which suits me just fine for the type of hunting that I do with it. It's also "only" a .244/6mm Remington and I use 100 grain Core-Lokt's. Advantage here is velocity - the bullet has a muzzle velocity of ~ 3100 fps. Small hole, but hitting anything vital and it's shredded.

Having only 15 acres to hunt on, I don't have to go very far out the back door to be in my hunting spot. From there, it's just a waiting game to see if the deer will show up or not. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't.

For a "carbine" type rifle, I have a Model 81 in .300 Savage. It has a shorter OAL than its younger cousin and certainly kicks a lot more (larger caliber + shorter rifle = Duh!), but a Limb Saver takes the bite out of the recoil. 150 grain Core-Lokt bullets work extremely well on the Central Texas whitetail deer. Makes a nice big hole when going through both lungs.

Short guns, long guns. Each have their purpose. I guess that it all comes down to personal preferance and how the gun is to be used. There's nothing lightweight about either one of these rifles. Both were made way back when weight wasn't a factor to consider. I'm just glad that I don't have to carry either one of them for any extended period of time or distance.

Sorry for rambling on.

RR
 

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rr, no rambling when talking guns. I want to get to the range so bad to see how the Savage and Winchester do but Ohio is getting rain nearly every day so I'll wait. I've been bidding (not winning) on a couple of Rem 14 and 141 models, again old stuff but I like them. I had a 141 in 30 rem cal and sold it like a dummy, now they are twice the money. I have one or two collector grade boxes of Rem 30 cal ammo in the old red bone boxes. I think they are 165 gr if anyone is in need of them. In fact I need to clean out some ammo that I don't have guns for anymore. There's 2 boxes of win 32 cal in Federals mint cond too, blue and white boxes I'd have to check bullet weight. I am looking for a box (2)of Win Legendary Frontersmen ammo in 38-55 if anyone has some for sale/trade even.
 

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HM,

Sure wish we had your 'problem' with rain. We sure could use some of it down here in central Texas. Haven't had but a sprinkle or two all year and looks like we're heading into another year of drought. (What else is new!) Seems like we go through several years of drought, have a green/soggy year, then right back to several years of drought. Can't seem to get any sort of happy medium.
Rem 14 & 141's - old pump action, about the same ages as old Rem model 8/81. Cool! Best of luck to you in winning one of your bids on one. Found a model 8/81 forum and those guys are bonkers for their semi-auto 8's & 81's. But, like here, all you gotta do is ask if you have a problem with any one of your toys.
 

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After my Dad passed away my sister ask me for one of Dad's guns so I gave her a Rem 742 in great condition. It was his Michigan UP deer rifle.
 

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I love my M77 .270 all weather 22" barrel
 

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Rifles/Carbines through the years

In the last 30 or so years the definition of carbine has changed a lot. I know the old pre 64 Winchester M70s had 24 inch barrels, the pre 64 Win70 Featherweight had the shorter than standard 22 inch. I don't know if the original Remington M700s started with a 22 or a 24 inch in the early 60s. I do know the Super Grade Win M70 still comes with a full length 24inch barrel. My Dad's mid 60s Rem 742 delux in 30-06 has a 22 inch. It used to be rare to see a rifle with less then 20 inches of barrel. Sako had it's short barreled manlichers (18.5 inch), author John Wooters who was truely gifted as a writer always carried his trusty Sako manlicher in 308. The company Manlicher also offered short barrel manlichers (20 inch). Remington came out in the early 80s with the 788 carbine in 308 with a 18.5 inch barrel. I think it was around mid 80s that Remington brought out the model 7 with the short 18.5 inch barrel, at about the same time Ruger offered the M77 manlicher sporting the same 18.5 barrel. My Ruger No 1 manlicher was bought in 1984 and it has a 20 inch barrel. Handling the new Remington Model 750s in the store the 18.5 inch balances better for me then the standard 22 inch one. But, I haven't fired either of the new generation Remington autos. I have handled and fired at the range one of the Browning BAR carbines in 3006 with a shorter 20 inch barrel. It handed very nice and shot well but there is something out of place seeing a receiver on a BAR made out of aluminum. Personally I don't own a rifle with a barrel longer than 22 inches.

Karl
 
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