GUNS ON THE HOMESTEAD : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread


If your new to homesteading or an old hand your sure to run into a varmint now and again. Now the question is how do you handle it? Well we use several tools. A 22 caliber semi-auto rifle, a 12-guage shot gun and a 38-special pistol. For rattle snakes, copperheads and water moccasins we use the shot gun or the 38 with shot shells. Foxes and Raccoons usually takes the 22-rifle because them are fast little buggers.

Itís been debated since Sam Colt put out the Peacemaker whether or not Guns were a good thing or something evil. Well lets put that discussion to rest. Their Neither. GUNS ARE TOOLS Always have been. Kids on the prairie and out on the farms typically used guns by the time they were 12. Sometimes younger. And it werenít always boys. Annie Oakley comes to mind.

Ok so what type and caliber do you need? Good Question. Iíd have to ask you what you intended to do with it? Hunting? (what?) Rabbits, squirrels, foxes, raccoons? 22 LR semi-auto rifle A clean kill and if you choose to eat it Your doing what our forefathers did. OK larger game Deer? Traditionally 30/30 rifle Now days most any of the 30 caliber or bigger will suffice. BEARS? Are you crazy. Grease and lard is much safer to hunt.

OK gang if you have a particular question ask me. I know a good bit about firearms. NOT EVERYTHING, but some One thing though if you ask Iím going to give you my honest opinion not the pc answer.

All right Doreen now you can start a gun thread. :-)

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 20, 2001


Thats a good place to start but I think that I would generally suggest a larger caliber side arm.

-- William in Wi (, June 20, 2001.

More Info I usually buy my ammo from Gun-Pro Products. I've reloaded some 38's and 357's but not any rifle ammo. For large game I use pumpkin balls in the 12-guage or my SKS (7.62x39) using flat nosed lead ammo.

I recommend a 38-special snub pistol as the BEST Home Defense gun. Its almost impossible to be disarmed. We have two 38-snubs. My wife chooses her first round to be a 38/357 snake shot thereby eliminating the chance of missing the first shot on 2-legged vermin or occasional wild dog. I choose a 158 grain jacket hollow-point round. I have tried 10 different brands of ammunition and found the Pro-Gun Products ammo to be the most accurate in my 38-snub. I can usually hit tennis ball size targets at 65 feet 4 out of 5 times with my snub. Technically anything over 7 yards (21 feet) is considered illegal.

Something you might not know about a 410 single barrel shot gun you can shoot 45 long colt pistol ammo. This makes for a enjoyable day of plinking.

We have tried 12 and 20 gauge shot guns both are not pleasent to shoot. However you can still get a 12-gauge at Wal-Mart for $79.99.

I've owned over the past 30 years most all calibers of handguns. My favorite is my High Standard Double Nine 22 LR. I'd trust it any time. But in the dark, with an unknown vermin, I'll stick to the 38- snub.

AS WITH ANY WEAPON..Practice, Practice, Practice. I'd trust my 70 year old neighbor with his 32-short more than I'd trust a newbie with a 15-shot Glock 9 m/m. Well placed shots and keeping a cool head in a dangerous situation is paramount to your safety and well being.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 20, 2001.

I'd have to disagree on the snub nosed 38 as tthe best for home defense. I think the best is a shorter than legal 12 guage loaded with homemade shot including nails and glass. Jusy my opinion. And THANK YOU, Ken!!! We now have a the chance for a firearms category!!

-- Dreen (, June 21, 2001.


-- William in Wi (, June 21, 2001.

I know that I live in the mountains of North Idaho and, because there are really big bear, mountain lion, etc. here, I wouldn't go outside with anything less than a 9mm, although hubby prefers Colt .45 caliber. I agree that, for home defense, we think the 12 gauge works well. I like to carry a .38 for general, everyday purpose unless I'm going into the backcountry, when even I carry a Colt 1911 .45. Animals are just to big here!

-- Lisa (, June 21, 2001.

Lisa, Yikes Big Bears Sure thing 45 sounds good. 44 magnum sounds better. In your situation I'd recommend a 357 with 4 or 6 inch barrel. Loaded with gold dot defense rounds.

When I think of "home Defense" I'm thinking Inside the home or in the yard. If we were going up on the mountain I'd carry the 357 or M-1 Carbine. The wife likes the SKS.

We saw a good many bears on our "western" tour. My wife and I spent a lovely 4 months riding throughout the west. We would love to do it again. Hey Lisa maybe next year we can get to Idaho. :-)

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 22, 2001.

It's really great up this way, Ken. Yes, I love my SKS too! It's just the right size for my shorter arms but a drag to carry when packing through the backcountry unless your using pack animals.

-- Lisa (, June 22, 2001.

Hi kenneth ive got a question. whats the diff. between russian and chiness sks? and how do you tell the diff? which one do you think is best? ok so i cant count either. Bob se.ks.

-- Bobco (, June 23, 2001.

Bobco In the articles I've read the Russian are supposed to be slightly higer grade. Based on Price the Russians SKS are going for about $100 more right now.

Now on personal experience There all good. I've had both. They both worked 100% reliable. I traded in my Russian SKS on a Chinese SKS Shorty. Why? My wife wanted the Shorty. Its only 1/2" longer than my M-1 Carbine. Both ride well behind the seat of the Dodge.

If I had to start today and I had no other weapon. First thing I'd get is a SKS. Ammo is cheap (Less than $3.50 for 20 rounds) Next up would be a 22LR rifle. Then as funds allowed I pick up another 38- special snub.

OK some of the rest of you tell me about what works for you including what guns you just have for fun.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 23, 2001.

Ooops Bobco the way to tell the difference is to look on the right hand side at the manufacturer. Quite often the importer's info will distinguish the origin.

Hope that helped.

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 23, 2001.

Thought you'd never ask . . .

I don't homestead per se, so understand that up front. I have hunted for over 30 years now, so that is where I am coming from.

We have a small cabin on the slightly over 900 acre ranch which doesn' t have permanent residents. So when we go, we need to thin out the mice which have moved in. Yes, traps work, but when you have eight or nine mice at the same time performing tricks on your sleeping bag at night, you need something quicker. An pneumatic air rifle fills the bill nicely. A break barrel is much more accurate and will last much longer, but is way too powerful; two pumps max. is the ticket without too much ricochet. The break barrel rifles come into their own hunting small game; 10,000 pellets will fill a coffee can and cost less than $100.00 for the really good stuff. That is probably 1/10 the cost of rimfire rounds, and allows practice in your back yard anywhere (with a safe backstop).

A .22 pocket pistol also comes in very handy. My pistol, a copy of the Walther PPK, will shoot tighter groups than I can hold at normal game ranges, yet I hardly know it's there when I'm not using it. A real good friend that one; I carry it during deer season on my belt.

A decent varmint rifle is my Thompsen / Contender Carbine in .223 Remington. Cheap brass (government round), lightweight, accurate rifle. A little loud for small spaces though, a .22 Hornet (expensive factory ammo)is the ticket for that (or .22RF Magnum for even shorter ranges). A company in Alaska sells rifle inserts which will convert this rifle to .22LR, and .22 Magnum respectively. Don't own the latter; my LR insert works pretty well close up (1" groups 50 yards and closer). I also own a 30/30 barrel for the same T/C rifle. Now it is a deer gun. Inserts in .32 ACP and .32 Mag. make this barrel very versatile, small game / turkey anyone?

There is one bad side to the T/C Carbine; it is expensive. The rifle costs about $500 and up retail, with extra barrels about $250 a piece. For some, probably worth the cost.

A new rifle I haven't had a chance to shoot yet is the Czech 572 in 7.62x39. A short, lightweight carbine imported by Czech Arms, it has a virtue of using cheap ammunition, allowing lots of practice. It has a set trigger allowing very precise bullet placement; I'm looking forward to trying this one out.

We have need to carry powerful sidearms many times for safety's sake. The S & W .44 Magnum fills this need when hunting; powerful and accurate as hell. But to my mind, too heavy for knocking about the brush when working (just to heavy). The Ruger .41 Magnum 4 5/8" Blackhawk comes out then. It's as reliable as an anvil. But real loud; don't shoot this one (or any firearm for that matter) without hearing protection, my hearing is getting really bad.

You don't need a handgun, you say? I would respond with: rifles have much greater range with greater potential accuracy. Shotguns have much greater power with greater probablity of hits at shorter range. But both of these two have one liablity that a pistol won't have. The two long arms WILL PROBABLY NOT BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED IT!

When was the last time you were working in your garden / chopping wood / loading manure / cutting hay / feeding your animals etc. with a rifle or shotgun at hand? Not likely; you need both hands free for many of these tasks. At the very least, if you have the long arm there, it is probably out of reach. And then is when that %$*@ stupid woodchuck that was eating your garden like it was a free buffet decides to make an appearance. A handgun is on your belt and is there when you need it. But you need to practice a lot to prevent it from being a loud noisemaker to do any good.

-- j.r. guerra (, June 25, 2001.

Hi j.r. guerra

WoW I like your choices. My pocket gun is a Beretta 32-auto Tomcat. For the "quiet" 22 pistol I have a S&W Model 43 (airweight) I use 22- shorts or CB caps Or now that AGUILA has the no powder version. There as quiet as an oldstyle BB gun. Power range about same as 10 pumps on Daisy Pumpmaster 880.

Next. This is a fun thread glad I started it. :o)

-- Kenneth in N.C. (, June 26, 2001.

For theose people who have problems with woodchuks and thing like that there is only one gun i can suggerst to help you. A colt woodsmen .22 pistol. it is relitively small, portable firearm and when you don't need it you simply put it in you pocket to leave both hands free. Plus it's not like a .44 of .45 that kick like mules to participate and it hass all the power needed for small pests such as woodchucks.

-- Caleb Mandrake (, September 07, 2001.

This is not an answer but a question. 2 fold question. I have a norinco sks short carbine. How effective is this gun. 2ns Have a China made 9MM semi auto model 213 by norincom Does any one know any thing about this gun Thanks Russ Harvey

-- Russ Harvey (, October 02, 2001.

The best gun IMHO for general outside carry in the vast empty would be a surplus Springfield. It will knock down anything on the North American continent, is easy to find parts for, can be refitted with a match-grade barrel for super accuracy and with steel sights or scope. There are millions of rounds and brass out there for these old guns and they have seen service through 4 US wars. I think the best handgun you can carry is a SW stainless in .357 mag. w/ a 4-6 inch barrel. You can shoot snake shot, hollow points, you can fire a smoking +P round or .38 lead slugs for cheap practice and varmints. Shotguns are a good 12-20 guage pump gun or stack barrel is nice too.

-- Dave Dale (, July 19, 2002.

never hesatate at all , and through the grace of god you wont die alone. its what god is all about in these situations for those in control its called luck not genetics. and luck is an act of god. not to be confused with statistics as you might be lead to belive.

-- billy curington (, October 14, 2002.

I have several weapons, but depend on two of them. My 'all around' firearm in s Savage 24F-12 which is a 12 gauge/30-30 combo. It's a stone simple highly reliable weapon. I use it for all things from squirel to deer. What makes this gun so special to me is the inserts I have for it. For the 30-30 barrel, I have a .22 mag, 7.62mm, and 32ACP, and for the 12 gauge, a .410, & .375 Winchester. I can go in the woods with whatever inserts I feel I may need, and a few rounds then have a firearm for whatever I may need. I also use peep sites, as a scope don't work so well with the shotgun (which I use frequently). You can certainly buy a better weapon then the Savage that will do one thing well, but not many that can do what it does. I believe it also makes you more careful, as you only have one shot (most of the time). As of now, everytime I've pulled the trigger, I've made a kill (when hunting, or dispatching pests).

This is the same reason I like my Ruger New Model Blackhawk Convertible. I can change from a .357 Mag to a 9MM in the blink of an eye. Not to mention, it will shoot .38 Specials (my favourite). Being it's a revolver, it's also stone simple to use and work on, if needed.

Some of the other weapons I have is a Mossberg 835 Unimag pump, Ruger 10/22, Marlin .45/70, Springfield .45, and a few others, but again, I use the above two guns about 98 percent of the time.

In my line of thinking, with these 2 weapons, and the ammo choices I have, even if ammo got scarce, I could still find something that would work. For me, they are invaluable around the homestead.

-- Cecilius Mortimer (, November 02, 2002.

OK...let's be honest.....I've read through the threads above and I cxan tell right away that a lot of you may indeed READ gun got some of the names right, but some of you, either have NEVER OWNED A GUN, or are COMPLETE IDIOTS !!! Comments like .410 or 9mm for BEAR DEFENSE in the wilderness !?!??! OK...another idiot with a gun magazine who wants to look cool online. GET A LIFE PEOPLE !!!!! If you are too lazy to go out and take a Hunter Safety Course (in which they will inform you that a 9mm is just about USELESS for BEAR DEFENSE) and get some REAL TRAINING....or stay offline and enjoy your little "gun fantasies" but keep them to your self. It's people like YOU that give the Anti-Gun crowd most of their ammunition in the war on our 2nd Amendment. YOU LOSERS MAKE ME SICK !!!

-- Not You (, December 13, 2002.

"410 or 9mm for BEAR DEFENSE in the wilderness !?!??! "

Maybe this is for defense against Dancing Bears ?

Since I believe over two thirds of the Human population on the planet are "Functionally " mentally ill , I think a mental health screening before being allowed to purchance or own a fire arm would serve the public well.

I have a 26 year old neighbor who's been through all sorts of child abuse and is highly mentally unstable. He still lives at home and buys a lot of high powered high dollar riffles and pistols and frquently talks abouts killing people who he believes " wrong him ".

I hope the day this twisted boy goes on a shooting spree , I and my family are in town or somewhere far from here .

This ( boy ) he's 26 ? use to come up to my house and my peace full ways started to rub off on him . This got his dad upset who told him to not visit at my house. His dad also makes him shoot my livestock now and then when they are near a property line that is not visable from my house .

His dad does this to re-enforce in this boys mind that , I am the enemy .

Has the law ever been called on this boy ? Not by me .I don't want him to have a reason to do me in when he goes on that shooting spree he dreams about .Most likely he'll just kill his dad .He hates his dad most .His dad still doesn't let him hang out any where but home .

But yes , the law has been called on him . And they assured the people who called on him , that , as soon as he kills someone , the law will take care of it . , What would we do without the police ? Maybe be able do defend ourselves ?

But until then , he's within the bountries of the law . He's just another Meatally ill American with enough fire power to kill a whole community if he desires, children and all with just the flick of his little bitty finger .

So I'm glad guns are legal . I need them to defend myself fom my mentally ill neighbors . Who bought their guns legally .

-- Max (, December 13, 2002.

I also believe that there is alot of people out there who don't have enough knoledge about the guns they own, or dream about owning!People need to wake and realize that our right to bear arms may come to an end!! I don't know about you guys, but I don't want or need that $#!^ to happen!!(DO YOUR HOMEWORK) before you speek,it just might help! As far as a 410 or 9mm for bear defense , your just going to make them really mad!! I'd just rather stay home! I'll agree with one thing though,a shorter than leagal 12ga. loaded with home remidies would be very effective!! Nice call!!!!

-- john e melton (, January 19, 2003.

I am a 16 year old from NY so i dont ever encounter any of those big huge bears or anything like that.But 1 thing I do is help farmers who have problems with animals like woodchucks,fox's etc.I normally use my Savage 110 in 30-06 but that is getting to expensive to shoot so im goin to invest in an old military rifle.i was wondering what would be a better choice a Mosin-nangent in 7.62x54mm or a sks in 7.62x39mm and why.I will only be taking shots out to 300 yards at the most.thanks

-- Brad L (, February 12, 2003.

Your SKS shorty will do fine w/ open sights out to about 200 yds especially as you should be able to hold essentially a 6" or better group at 100 yds.

Yikes 9m/m or .410 for bears. Not me brother. If a bear was attacking I hope I'll have my 44 magnum carbine or at least my sks in my hands.

-- Kenneth (, February 27, 2003.

Hi, i shoot alot of foxes to keep em away from me ducks, i prefer to use a bb sniper rifle with stainless stell ronds, these kill em outright with a one shot one kill method, this works best for me, a shotgun is far to messy.

-- josh haywood (, June 06, 2003.

9mm. or 410 is not going t do you anygood on small bear let alone big ones iv shot a rotwiler with 410 slugs at 30 yds only to have him soak up 5 rds and run past me where i live we have black bears in the 850 lbs range if you ever se oneup close you would understand everyones concern over 9mm. or 410 debate

-- tom riiter (, September 06, 2003.

Ruger .22 for general small animal shooting/vermin. A decent semi auto pistol, 40SW/9mm/.45 for short range defense ie: Taurus, Sig whatever. Revolvers are nice and nostalgic, but their day is over. Everyone needs a good shotgun, don't muck around with anything less than 12GA, the ammo is plentiful and it never has " too small a pattern". The 12GA is the one weapon you should have, it is by far the most versatile weapon invented, you can hunt doves one minute and elephant the next if need be. One good centerfire .30+ caliber rifle for the long range stuff, it needn't be fancy, you just need to be proficient with it and make sure that you can get ammo for it pretty easily. I personally like .308 and 30-06.

Stay away from the fancy calibers and just pick the tool that will do the job. Also , stay away from chinese crap. Last thing you need is something you depend on blowing up in your face. You're better off with an old surplus Enfield or Nagant, mauser etc that was built right than a sheet metal piece of junk made in a sweatshop. I have an enfield that will hit coke cans at 300+ meters every time with sights. My favorite rifle is an H&R takedown that has barrels in .223, 12GA, 45-70 and 30-30. That puppy never fails to make me happy, and doesn't have too strict a diet. Nothing like being 300 miles from Nowhere Alaska and not having the right ammo...Nuff Said

-- Cletus Stinkfoot (, December 07, 2003.

Hmmm, there are a lot of interesting comments/advice so far. I know everyone has his or opinion, based on their own experience (or even lack of it), so, to paraphrase Sam Colt, 'some opinions are more equal the others'. Do you feel that the calibers you use are doing the job for you, I think that is the most important thing? Two suggestions I would have for anyone with this in mind: one, not use a .22 auto. Any good .22 bolt, lever or pump will do and you have a better choice of ammunition. In the auto, you must use .22 lr to make the action work. In the others, you can also shoot 'CB' caps, as they used to call them, or .22 shorts, if you are shooting small things AND, want to be very quiet. The same thing might be true of the .38. My favorite is a Ruger SP 101,.357, Stainless, 2 1/2 inch bbl.. I tried several .357's before settling on the Ruger, it's extra weight around the bbl reduces the recoil to something manageble, and you can use the full power .357, the highspeed, regular .38 spec. or the .38 (148 gr.) wadcutter(as well as several other loading). The later mainly for small game that doesn't bite. It is a low powered, has a flat nosed bullet, designed as a target round. I ofter carry, especially in snake country, the first round up in the revolver, a shot shell, if you see that you need something else, just pull the hammer back slightly, rotate the cylinder on click and you're ready to go with whatever you have loaded in the next chamber. The only draw back, though I haven't found it so, to date, is the XP 101 is a five shot. I compensate for that by carrying a speed loader. What have you killed with the 30-30? I think it will do about anything the average person needs to do, even in the big game department. I don't like getting embroiled in the various contraversies, but,.. the I agree, the 9mm isn't much of a round (militery use, not withstanding), the .410 has it's uses, but for bears, well, that isn't one of them. And 850 lb black bears! Some grizzlys hardly weigh that much. The world's record Black Bear is only 880 lbs. (in a zoo or cage) and until the last few years, the world's record was only 650 lbs.. Having said that, any bear, any size (we think a 75- 100 lb dog is HUGE, and nearly any bear will weigh more), obviously can be dangerous. Careful bullet placement is a factor even more important than cartidge power, that and keeping your head.

-- Bruce Boldenow (, June 21, 2004.

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