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What do you think about 20 inch barrel on this rifle?

What do you think about 20 inch barrel on this rifle?

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  #1  
Old 03-23-14, 04:24 PM
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What do you think about 20 inch barrel on this rifle?

I was looking at buying this rifle:

Savage Model 111 Hog Hunter Rifle 19663. .338 Winchester Magnum, 20 inch threaded BBL, Bolt action.

What I like about this gun is the fixed sights and slightly heavier barrel. It's hard to find rifles with sights anymore. I don't use scopes. What I'm not crazy about is the short 20 inch barrel. How much muzzle velocity and power is lost with this shorter barrel?

Is there another longer barrel with fixed sights that is compatible or would it be cost prohibitive to install one? I don't know. If there isn't much power loss with the standard barrel I might stick with it. Thanks, Dave
 
  #2  
Old 03-23-14, 04:57 PM
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.338 may work in your area of the country, but you are looking for knock down power and portability, if you are hunting hogs. 20" barrel is much better than a 26" or longer in brush country. We hunt amongst mountain laurels and brambles, so you gotta be able to turn in an instant once you feel them breathing on your ankles I use a Ruger Super Redhawk 8 1/2" in .44 mag for hogs....standing next to a tree that I can climb

At what range are you shooting? That will have a lot to do with the barrel length.
 
  #3  
Old 03-23-14, 05:00 PM
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Nothing wrong with the caliber or the Savage action, but you better make sure that your first shot is dead on, because the barrel whip is going to make shot number two a long affair. You could have the barrel ported, but that is big $.

Have you looked at the Marlin 1895 in 45-70? Marlin makes the 1895 in two different barrel lengths.
 
  #4  
Old 03-23-14, 05:51 PM
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I was going to do some target shooting and maybe some hunting with it. But mainly I wanted something for protection when camping in the mountains. We do have bears in the Arizona pine forests. It might sound a little strange. But I don't want to use a handgun for campsite protection. Would rather have a more powerful rifle nearby. I have given it a lot of thought.

Would I lose much feet pe rsecond with this 20" barrel?

I was very close to buying Marlin 1895 in 45-70. But then I read that most of the factory ammo is watered down. And I don't handload yet.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 05:57 PM
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As for the watered down ammo and the 45/70. Hornaday's
Lever Revolution ammo is pretty potent and not that expensive. It is accurate and hits hard as promised. I have been very pleased. In fact, when I do hand load, I use the Revo bullets and powder. I have an 1895 and old Scottish single shot in 45-70.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 05:57 PM
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Holy crap... .338 Win Mag? Are you hunting Hogzilla? I don't hunt anymore, but I know guns, and that seems like huge overkill. Sounds more like something you'd use in Alaska on bear. I mean...yer talking about 3300 ft lbs at 100 yds (24" bbl of course).

Seems like the suggested 45-70 for shorter range or something like a .308 out to 200 yds or so would make more sense to me. Iron sights? I wouldn't think you'd be going much past 100 or 150 yds. I see they make the same rifle in .308...that would be a lot less punishing with each shot. Cheaper to shoot as well.

As to your basic velocity question...IIRC...in full size calibers you can probably take about 100 fps loss per inch off the published figures. The short magnums use different powder and it's not as great. Each barrel and caliber is different of course.

Sorry...got delayed on posting my reply. Our bears in AZ are relatively small...I would think a .308 would be plenty with premium ammo. And target shooting with a .338? You must have more money and a stronger shoulder than I do.
 
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Old 03-23-14, 07:14 PM
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Ooooh, thanks Vic. THAT's what I forgot to ask the doctor on my last visit.......when can I get back to shooting clays. I'd hate to mess up a new $100k shoulder replacement unnecessarily
 
  #8  
Old 03-23-14, 07:35 PM
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Larry...yer probably going to need to back off on gauge and get a light recoiling model. $100K? OMG...even with my insurance I'd be living in my car after that.
 
  #9  
Old 03-23-14, 08:03 PM
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You guys have definitely given me something to think about while making me laugh at the same time................."are you hunting Hogzilla"

So it sounds like some of you would be comfortable keeping the 45.70 (Hornady)nearby in case of Arizona bears? What are your thoughts on .444 Marlin?

I would be willing to listen to any other suggestions. Chandler, I hope you are doing well with the shoulder replacement.
 
  #10  
Old 03-23-14, 08:20 PM
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The Marlin would also be a good choice for you stated purpose when camping. Still gonna whomp you pretty good...and not really a target round.

Btw...here's a picture of Hawgzilla....Name:  Giant Hawg 001.jpg
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Thats a 500HP 1500ftlbs torque 6 cyl turbo diesel Cummins IIRC.
 
  #11  
Old 03-23-14, 08:27 PM
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Good grief there aren't any brown bear in AZ are there? I'm pretty sure you only have black bear and contrary to what most people think they are not bullet proof and you don't need anything this side of a cannon to scare them off or kill them! A 12ga with slugs or even a 30-30 would be more than enough. But if you are wanting something to cover all your bases you simply cannot go wrong with a 30-06, it will be less costly in the ammo dept. and recoil is manageable enough to not make you "gun shy" every time you pull the bang switch.
 
  #12  
Old 03-23-14, 08:37 PM
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Exactly my thinking Ron. Thats why I was suggesting the .308. A better target round than some of the others mentioned and relatively inexpensive.
 
  #13  
Old 03-24-14, 06:14 AM
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The website ballistics by the inch has a lot of great information about a barrel lengths affect on velocity. They start with a long barrel, shoot it and collect the velocity data. Then they saw off an inch and do it again all the way down 3" barrel length. I doubt they will have data on the .338 Win Mag but you'll get the idea when you look at other calibers. In my mind for camp defense and hog hunting I would not worry about a 20" barrel. If you were going sheep hunting and needing to make 500+ yard shots I'd worry but you may never need to shoot anything beyond 100 yards.

I hunt hog with a 35 Whelen so I won't make fun of your .338 Win Mag idea. I'm generally hunting in the swamp and firing through brush so a larger, heavier bullet is not deflected as readily by twigs. Also I want the animal to drop without taking a step because I shoot them where I can recover them. If they run even 20 feet it can ruin your day. So, I'm a big fan of big holes if you can handle the recoil.

As for the .45-70 it's an OK round and I consider the .444 Marlin to be about the same but with more scarce ammo. It makes a big hole but for hog if given a choice I want a bullet with more velocity. You really want a lot of hydraulic shock to turn them off as a hog really isn't stopped by a hole and even a broken shoulder often just makes them run funny. It's not uncommon to find them with healed bullet wounds or an arrow growing out of their back. I also don't like the ammo available for .45-70 as most have a flat tip for tubular magazines but there is a far better selection available than for .444. Lastly I find the .45-70 kicks out of proportion to it's energy.

Personally I'm a fan of Ruger No 1's if you want a short rifle for in the brush. A 22" barrel in a gun 38" long is darn close in length to a AR with a collapsed stock. If you've still got a itch for a .45-70 the No. 1 is strong enough that many load it up to almost .458 Win Mag velocities and there is factory strong ammo available that falls somewhere in between. You've just gotta be comfortable/confident with a single shot.
 
  #14  
Old 03-24-14, 08:28 PM
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I had a Marlin Lever gun in .35 Remington and a Savage 30.06. But I sold them. Yes, I think we only have the smaller black bear in Arizona. Gunguy would know.

I keep reading that bears' skulls, muscle tissue, and bones are thick requiring you to have plenty of firepower. But maybe that mainly applies to brown and polar bears?

The Hawgzilla photo is amazing.

I'll have to think this over. I think I'd lean more towards a smaller caliber with more velocity.
 
  #15  
Old 03-24-14, 08:51 PM
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Just to clarify something...

Bluesbreaker never said he was going hog hunting. That was just the name of the gun. Now...maybe he is...but most hogs here are pretty small, not like some of the monsters you hear about in GA, LA, and FL. In fact...they don't even mention them on the Game and Fish site....just javelina which avg about 50-60 lbs. Maybe they have wild hogs down south...but it's not really the right climate.
 
  #16  
Old 03-25-14, 04:34 AM
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Vic, the bike looks like a Cummins TWIN turbo diesel. Bad.

Yes we have wild boar in the South. Tusks like razors, heads like steel, short legs and can turn on a dime. Roast one and you'll never buy a ham in the store again.
 
  #17  
Old 03-25-14, 08:07 AM
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Ah, you are correct. I went back and re-read and see he wants the gun mainly for target shooting and possibly some hunting and protection.

Before the recent ammo shortage I would have said .308 Winchester (7.62x51mm NATO) without hesitation. During the ammo shortage it was almost impossible to find while calibers more dedicated to hunting were still available. Luckily .308 is back on the shelves and remains a great caliber. If looking for a bolt gun it allows the use of a short action with manufacturers that have different lengths which helps keep the gun short and cycling the bolt shorter.

In spite of it being an old caliber I love the .30-30. The new polymer tipped ammo helps extend it's range with modern, more aerodynamic bullets. It's available in handy length, light lever guns. It has enough boom and kicks hard enough to develop your trigger and flinch control but does not kick so hard as to cause you to develop a flinch. Barnes VOR-TX has a great 150 grain TSX ammunition that would be perfect for hunting and bear defense and really brings the .30-30 into the modern era. I've never had that ammo fail. It opens instantly and reliably and trucks straight on through even with a shallow angle shot to a thick skull.
 
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Old 03-25-14, 09:47 AM
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Yer right Larry...it was twin turbo...and I meant in southern AZ...not the Land of Dixie. Bluesbreaker is about 300 miles south of me.
 
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Old 03-26-14, 06:11 PM
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True. I don't hog hunt. I am in the desert. When I hike in the desert, My 9mm would be enough to take out a mountain lion down here. I have been looking at .308 since it was mentioned on this discussion. That might be the way to go.

I found a Remington semi-automatic .308 hunting rifle with 22 inch barrel and sights. I think it sells for $645. It looks like a shotgun with a skinny barrel. It sounds like .308 might be adequate to take out Arizona size bear. I recent years, I read about a bear attack very close to a place I have camped before.
 
  #20  
Old 03-26-14, 06:49 PM
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.308 with proper loads and shot placement will take out just about anything in the lower 48. I initially was going to recommend possibly a .44 Mag carbine of some sort...but thats not really suitable for target shooting.
 
  #21  
Old 03-26-14, 07:12 PM
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Even better than .308, I was just online and found Remington 750 semi-auto in .30-06 and Remington 7600 pump action .30-06, both models with sights and 22 inch barrel. These are the best choices I have seen yet. You can't beat .30-06 all things considered for my needs, and I am accustomed to this caliber.

Pump action might be fast enough for shots in quick succession and more reliable than semi-auto too.
 
  #22  
Old 03-26-14, 08:57 PM
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The one thing about a pump...and esp in a long action like the -06...you absolutely can't short stroke it. The .30-06 is definitely a do everything round...but there's very little it can do that a .308 couldn't. Ballistics are almost identical for the mid-weight bullets out to 300 yds. Of course you can get heavier bullets in the .30-06, but unless yer going for moose or brown bear, they aren't normally needed. Heck, my 72 y/o neighbor hunts elk each year with a .223, mostly cause his body can't take the recoil of anything heavier. Of course he's been hunting for 60 years.
 
  #23  
Old 03-26-14, 09:40 PM
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I have a 7400 Carbine in 30.06 and I can tell you that it has a lot more felt recoil than any of my bolt actions in same cal. I think your way over thinking that you will actually need to defend yourself from a bear, the odds are very slim at best unless of course you provoke one. I have had them walk up within 10 yards of me while deer hunting and the instant they saw me they vanished in a cloud of dust headed for the next county. You would still be better off with a 12 ga properly loaded.
 
  #24  
Old 03-26-14, 10:09 PM
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Great information. Maybe the bear was waiting for you to shoot so he steal your deer without having to earn his dinner.
 
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Old 03-27-14, 05:56 AM
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I assume your primary use for the gun will be target shooting. Have you looked into ammo availability and cost? Before the ammo shortage there were a lot more options for cheap plinking ammo in .223 and .308. Things are slowly returning to normal so they might be better for keeping ammo cost down.

If you seriously want to carry a rifle for bear protection will these trips be car camping, day hikes or long over night treks? If you will be doing much walking/hiking you will feel every ounce of the rifle. It's one thing to drag it along when you are going hunting but on a multi day hike an extra 7-9 pounds that's not being used will get left behind on the next trip. This could also sway you to looking for ultra light models. Great for carrying but bad for felt recoil and target shooting.
 
  #26  
Old 04-01-14, 06:40 PM
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Yes, I have been pricing ammo carefully. It looks like .30-06 is plentiful, cost effective, and versatile. The rifle would probably be kept in camp. I have a .357 I carry when I hike. I recall carrying a shotgun on a day hike and it wasn't unbearable, I just kept shifting the weight.

I was at Sportsman's Warehouse twice this week, and they had lots of ammo! I was shocked.
 
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Old 04-01-14, 07:58 PM
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If you are open minded, Wally-world quite often offers the Savage 110 (or Axis) with the adjustable Accu-triger and scope for $299. I have one in 30-06 and a 7mm Rem. Mag.. Accuracy is great, especially for the price, and either round will stop almost anything in the lower 48. With a 100K shoulder, I would buy a nice limbsaver to go with it. Here in Fl, ammo for both is readily available at Wally-World as well. I do NOT like their hiring practices, but the price is unbeatable. The only thing that they will not have is iron sights.

I disagree with the comments made about the 45-70 lacking stopping power. Any pig hit within 50 yards by a 265 grain flex tip is going down like he was pole axed.

I love Remington pumps as well, but even used they are $350 to $400.
 
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Old 04-05-14, 11:12 AM
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I had an unfavorable experience trying to buy a rifle at Walmart about 5 years ago. The clerk opened the box and there was an owner manual for an entirely different rifle with the wrong caliber. I tried to explain to the clerk and apparently he didn't understand why this posed a problem. I got disgusted and left. Thanks for the suggestion. But I don't think I would be comfortable buying a gun at Walmart.
 
 

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