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Gun Advice - Please.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Aust1227, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Aust1227

    Aust1227 In the Brooder

    Aug 4, 2014

    I need a gun.. And I need advice.

    I am former military, so I know how to operate a gun safely. But in the army they issue you a gun, and teach you how to use it.. They don't teach you how to select one!

    I will be using the gun for the following.

    1) Harvesting my pigs with a shot to the head
    2) Home protection against animals (boar and bear potentially, but hopefully will never have to)
    3) Perhaps at some point using it for hunting deer.

    I am looking for a safe, affordable, and reliable gun. What should I get, and where should I get it? New or Used? What should I avoid?


  2. WYNot

    WYNot Songster

    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    The answer to that could fill pages and pages. hehehe I'm going to work on a reply offline and I'll be back.

  3. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Hampton, GA
    Former military so you should be intimately familiar with the AR platform.

    An AR in 6.8 SPCII should fill all roles save dispatch for slaughter which would be overkill. Most oldtimers used a .22lr for that and today the .22WMR is probably the most used for that since most hog killings these days is trapped ferals.

    Go to Arf.com (AR15.com) or the various M4gery.nets and you'll find a ton of info on the AR platform.
  4. Chicken Hound

    Chicken Hound In the Brooder

    Sep 8, 2014
    McDowell County NC
    Well thats alot to ask from one firearm. Bear and wild Boar might need something bigger depending on where you are, and exact species. If your talking Black bear and feral hogs a good 30 cal will work well. 30/30, 308, or 30-06 and would be good for deer as well. Tho these would be more then enough to dispatch farm animals, a long gun can be unwieldy for that task. My uncle kept a 22 pistol for dispatching hogs and goats, easy to handle relatively cheep and handy for pest control around the farm.
  5. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Hampton, GA
    The other best option for if you had to choose only one would be a quality 12 gauge pump or single shot shot gun. Again overkill for point blank dispatch but otherwise with a selection of shot sizes, buck and slug and power levels one can do small birds and rodents to the largest critters on the north american continent. The only thing you lose with a shotgun is range.
    Pump due to fewer moving parts and less to foul since most self loaders are gas guns.
    Single shot for the exact same reason only more so.
  6. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Hampton, GA
    Consider a three or possible four gun battery to cover all bases.

    A light to medium rifle for range.

    A good bolt action 30/06 is the American Standard though the .308 can be considered it's partner.
    Both are perfect for medium game up the biggest but a little big for varmints.

    A quality shotgun for fast movers at near range like birds and bunnies.

    12 gauge is the standard jack of all trades.

    A quality rimfire.

    The 22lr is the 100+yo standard though the newer magnums and 17 give more range.

    A quality handgun for those times your long arms are more than an arm's reach away.

    Combat handguns were perfected in 1911 with an update in 1923. FYI the army has been using the 1911 from 1911 to today.
  7. lollipopguild

    lollipopguild In the Brooder

    Mar 13, 2014
    Something in .223/5.56. If I could only get 1 gun to fit your needs, that's what I'd choose. Even though I prefer the 7.62 round.

  8. gawildlife

    gawildlife Chirping

    Nov 3, 2014
    Hampton, GA
    BTW, with the AR platform you can purchase one complete lower assembly and several upper assemblies that can be switched out on the lower giving you several different calibers on the same platform.

    Some of the available calibers off the top of my head are;

    .223 Rem
    5.56 NATO
    (These two are not totally interchangeable)
    .17 Rem
    .17 Fireball
    .204 Ruger
    .20 in various wildcats
    6.5 Grendel
    Six Five
    .30 AR
    .300 Whisper
    .300 BLK
    .338 Spectre
    .458 SOCOM
    9 mm
    .410 shotgun
  9. I have copied the content of your posting and forwarded it to the gun dealer that I worked with when I bought this place. I will post back when he replies to me later in the day. I do know a couple of things, at least as they apply to feral hogs and smaller 4 legged varmints that we have to deal with here in West Texas. A .22 is going to be pretty much useless unless you are an incredibly good aim and concentrate on head shots. They might be o.k. for item #1 in your list but that would be about it. A shotgun may or may not be useful for item #2 but the last thing you want in those cases is to use a shotgun and only wound. First, you don't want an angry wounded bear coming after you. Second, in all cases you want to kill as instantly as possible. You don't want to wound and have the animal run away only to suffer. A shotgun using slugs as opposed to buckshot might work however. Hunting deer is obviously a really big thing here in West Texas and hunters take their choice of weapons very serious. I don't hunt so I can not answer that but my dealer will.
  10. WYNot

    WYNot Songster

    Mar 19, 2013
    Casstown, OH
    A lot of the answer depends on your personal tastes and local laws.

    The answer to your three needs could be three different firearms or it could be one or two. Depends. And there is no "right" answer.

    1) A .22LR such as a 10/22 will do the job but doesn't work for the other two uses. When I was a kid we used to butcher our own cattle for ourselves and family. Grandpa always used a .22 to the head to dispatch the steer. If it will work for a steer, it is more than sufficient for a pig.

    2) Depending on your situation, a handgun and a light or a shotgun with a light are good in home self defense firarms. Handgun would work for 1 also but might be overkill. Depending on the type of firearm you might even be allowed to hunt with it, depends on locality.

    3) Depends on locality. Some places allow certain handguns to be used for hunting. Some allow rifles to be used in addition to shotguns. Some don't allow rifles.

    Best bet is to find the local gun club, join, and try different firearms. Another option is to find a nearby Appleseed (http://www.appleseedinfo.org/) and attend. You will meet some very fine people with lots of experience with various firarms. And we normally have no problem bringing extras along for people to try; depending on the range we are at. Yes, I'm an instructor with Project Appleseed so I'm a bit biased towards us. ;-)


    1) As mentioned a .22LR works well. I'm partial to the 10/22 as they are great for training also and there are tons of accessories if you want to tweek it to fit you. It also works well for dealing with most 4-legged threats to the chickens.

    2) I carry a 1911 everywhere possible and it is on the nightstand every night. If the problem is in the house, it is easy to maneuver with it and a flashlight and it is sufficient to deal with most problems. If I have to hunker down then backing that up the 1911 is a shotgun loaded with 00 and some slugs in a side saddle.

    3) This one depends on where and what I'm hunting. Here in Ohio, I have a semi-auto shotgun with a slug barrel on it for deer. I'm comfortable with it (using sabot slugs) out to 100yards. It is good out to 150 but there aren't that many shots that far here in Ohio for deer. For small game and clay, I can put the shot barrel back on it. When we go to Wyoming every year, I use a bolt action in .270 Rem. I have no problems taking shots out to 300 yards with it. It is good out to 500yrd but for me that is not needed I'd rather just keep hunting or work on getting closer for a better shot. Have never hunted with a handgun but here in Ohio, we have that option. Also depending on where you live, a good lever action might be a good deer rifle.

    I'm a bit set in my ways on the brands and types of firearms I like. I prefer Remmington for my centerfire rifles (700's) and shotguns (1100's, 11-87's, and 870's) but like anyone they make some really good stuff and they make some mediocre stuff. I generally stick to the tried and true models listed above. For handguns, I love my Colt 1911 and believe it or not I like the various Taurus' that I have. I know a lot of people put Taurus down but I've never had any issues with mine. And, they get used, they are not safe queens. For the rimfire stuff, I'm partial to Ruger 10/22. I have several that I use personally and as loaners when instructing. I can set them up as trainers for AQT course of fire with a good sling, auto-bolt release, peep sight, etc. And they are still great for hunting small game or dispatching varmints that threaten the chickens.

    You mentioned that you are former military and implied that you know how to handle our current service rifle. You could always look into an AR platform. Add an extra upper or two and you have all three needs covered. .22lr upper for 1, 5.56 for 2, and a .243 Win for 3? ARs and 10/22s are like barbie dolls, there are TONS of accessories and customizations that can be done. Both are extremely versatile. AR uppers have the added bonus of not being considered a firearm so no ATF forms and you can have it shipped right to your house.

    New or used... again depends on personal preferences and local laws. Some prefer face to face sale as it avoids doing the ATF paperwork. Others, like me, go with whichever gets me the firearm I'm looking for at a good price. I am former AF and worked B-52s so I've been background checked like no other. If you buy used, there are tons of places on the net that will give you tons of opinions on a particular firearm. Just do your research and make notes of what to look for as far as wear and possible issues are concerned. Again, this is where finding a few people or a club that is in your area is a much better place to get the info. If you want info on chickens, this forum is the place to go. Firearms? Not so much.

    As for what to avoid... just do your research and get some range time with different models to build up your experience. Find a buddy or group you can practice with and learn from. Hands on and face to face really is one of the best ways to figure this one out. Internet research is a good start but it only takes you so far and there is a lot of bias (some good some bad). As mentioned, most people rag on Taurus. I own several and have never had any issues with them performing or with their quality. They all go bang when I squeeze the trigger with whatever I put in the chamber and they are plenty accurate for what I need/want.

    One other tip, when trying out a firearm, try different brands of ammo. Some firearms just work better or more accurately with different ammo. My Wyoming rifle likes Remmington Core-Lokt better than Federal or Winchester. It will shoot the Remmington to about 2moa all day long. With the other two brands it is in the 3 to 4 moa range. Not great but more than good enough to drop a deer or other similarly sized target. Now, if I use my handloads it shoots just under 1moa. It hates hot loads. My Dad had a Mauser in the same caliber that loved those same hot loads.

    More detailed answers really do depend on where you live and what you are comfortable with.

    Edit to add...

    Oops. Totally misread number 2. Saw home protection and immediately started thinking 2-legged threats. No boar or bear around here so have never had to worry about it. As others have mentioned... Lots of options. Lever action in a .30 cal of some sort? For daily carry, a revolver in a large caliber that is sufficient for those two critters?

    Last edited: Nov 20, 2014
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