Armory, Self Defense, And EDC > Firearms Advice For Beginners

One rifle for rabbits and deer?

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blademan:
the recommendation of the .357 lever gun is interesting. it could work for something as small as squirrel if you used snake loads from close range and use head or neck shots. snake loads are like tiny shot shells made for pistol calibers. with the lever gun you might have to use it as a single shot because it might mesh well with the action in the receiver because I have heard that they don't work well in semi autos so that would give you some versatility. you could also play around with light powder loads in a lever gun since the action is mechanical it would still function.
 a heavy bullet going slow really slow would still kill coons squirrels chucks and such. then carry the hotte stuff in a separate container to not mix it up.
 you could also modify a revolver to work as afield rifle but attaching a properly sized barrel to it and tapping the back strap to add a stock and you could shoot almost anything you wanted out of it and still be able to convert back to a pistol. i think the Taurus model 608 would be ideal for this as it is an 8 shot 357 revolver. speed loaders aren't plentiful for it though.
 if I couldn't have a shotty I would prolly go with a PCC (pistol caliber carbine) though the choice gets harder between a tube mag or a detachable mag.

inconel710:

--- Quote from: blademan on March 18, 2014, 01:26:40 PM ---the recommendation of the .357 lever gun is interesting. it could work for something as small as squirrel if you used snake loads from close range and use head or neck shots. snake loads are like tiny shot shells made for pistol calibers. with the lever gun you might have to use it as a single shot because it might mesh well with the action in the receiver because I have heard that they don't work well in semi autos so that would give you some versatility.

--- End quote ---

You're close on the functioning issue.  Pistol caliber snake loads are put together using shot held by a small plastic capsule.  In a semi-auto, the capsule is not sturdy enough to handle the loading cycle causing it to break and spread shot inside the action.  Not fun.  You could probably single load any gun (semi, lever, etc) with snake shot if you really wanted.

Only problem I see with the snake shot option is the shot itself is typically very small and not likely to kill a rabbit beyond 10 yards.  In .357/.38 lever guns, it would probably be better to have a semi or full wadcutter handload with a light powder charge for small game hunting (similar to what Jack does with his "quiet" 44mag load).

Carl:
The 38 is big and slow and actually does less meat damage than a high velocity 22 on small game. Though a head shot does make it look like over-kill. Shot shells are good for rats and other critters in the barn, to kill without damage to the structure,but are a POOR (more expensive also) choice over the easy to reload 38 for small game and 357 for larger game and longer shots.

I have easily taken deer,wild pig,squirrel ,rabbit,plus numerous targets of opportunity(cans,bottles,crickets that made a move towards me) with 38 special factory and hand loads. 

My small game load is 3.2 grains of HP 38 (WW231) and a 158 grain cast bullet. I can give the data as it is a light load that has seen hundreds of thousands go down range ,as a commercial loader, lots of it has been used by police,and security agencies for practice ammo at our indoor range.

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