Walt Kowalski: Get off my lawn . . .
Smokie: Are you f-cking crazy? Go back in the house.
Walt Kowalski: Yeah? I blow a hole in your face and then I go in the house... and I sleep like a baby. You can count on that. We used to stack f-cks like you five feet high in Korea... use ya for sandbags.
I received an email from a Threeper, saying that he was "noodling what type of rifle to acquire," and asking my input. I present below the email and a follow-up. My first impulse was to suggest the M1 Garand, my second, the .30-30 lever action, but what are your thoughts?
I am an old guy like you, who has spent most of his years in urban environment where having a rifle was not practical. There were no ranges around where I could practice. On the other hand, a handgun was very practical, and I have carried at times a S&W Mod 19, a Kahr PM9, and a Kimber full size 1911. I like the Kimber the most, and carry it often.
Your articles, and before that Kim du Toit's on the Mosin Nagant were intriguing. If I got a rifle, I really wouldn't care to have an AR 15 variant rifle. I also don't particularly like shooting a souped up .22 cal. round, though that is probably just aesthetics on my part.
So here's my question. Other than an "assault weapon" (yes, I know. But in 25 years I have not been able to convince the wife that AR 15s and other semi autos are not "assault weapons.") what would you recommend I purchase, and why? As I see it, it needs to be in a common caliber, something I could reload, something that doesn't scream "scary military rifle" to the wife, is reasonably accurate at distances typically shot, can be fitted with a scope (my eyes ain't what they once were) and costs under $300. Is there anything like that? . . .
In a follow-up email, responding to my question about whether or not the rifle desired should be semi-automatic, Wade added:
As to the rifle, no it doesn't need to be a semi. Indeed, I was thinking of maybe a lever, but was unsure of the ubiquity of ammunition for these rifles. But, as to whether you can make it a praxis, sure. You can add that I am looking for a defensive rifle. Trees, buildings and such generally limit site lines to 100 yards or less. .30-06 (and of course .223 Rem) seem to be the most generally available ammunition looking through my Midway catalogue. The Garand would be a natural choice, but these have become expensive. So, if your readers could put me on to a class of weapons, or a specific make and model, that would be very helpful to me, and possibly your other readers.
Oddly, I am not the type who usually panics. When hurricanes come through, or the occasional snow, I am not one of the ones out buying out the stores. I didn't stock up in the 70s because "the ruskies are coming." On the other hand, we have some extra food, could last a few weeks. I always fill up when the car gets down to 1/4 tank. I have a flashlight by the bed, keep the batteries in the smoke alarms, have extra batteries easily available. You know, sensible stuff. But what is happening now gives me pause.