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  #1  
Old 07-24-2015, 12:27 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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Default Actual Backwoods Guns

I know this is a topic often discussed but I am currently recovering from surgery and due to medications, have to spend a lot of time immobile. This has given me lots of time to think and read and one thing I have been thinking about is the basic backwoods battery. I can hypothesize all I want but then I realized that my grandparents had lived the life I was thinking about. They lived in the sticks of Newton county Arkansas. The were subsistence farmers and hunters. The only things they went to town to buy were coffee, sugar, and ammo which they traded eggs and firewood for. They had to rely on their guns for survival. The only centerfire rifle I ever knew my Grandpa to own was a single-shot 30-30, which was used for the occasional deer. Rimfire wise he had a Remington 572 22 LR which I own today and probably accounted for more squirrels, opossums, coons, and rabbits than I can count and most of them with 22 shorts due to the price. Shotgun wise he had .410's, which I have now, because the shells were cheaper back then and for squirrel and rabbit it is plenty. Handgun wise, he was a Smith and Wesson man, owning a variety of revolvers in .22 and .38. His battery wasn't fancy but it was well worn and fed a family for many years. Just ramblings from a current invalid.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:46 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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as an actual backwoods gun, i would pick a single shot 20 guage. mostly because thats what i use. takes turkey, deer, crows, etc. maintinence free, reliable, ammo is still fairly cheap and can even be reloaded.

22s are impossible to find at all (price gouging is rampant in the police state on NY, if wally world gets a couple boxes in then someone buys them to horde or to resell for $1 a shot). i have a 22 but only 2 boxes of ammo that i carefully save, so i use a .177 crack barrel pellet gun instead for picking off small stuff.

don't own a bigger rifle, i've owned many but they see so little use i don't put much money into them (they are a luxury, i had some sks' aks, mossins, mausers, lever action marlins, and others over the years but when i need money for something they are usually the first on the chopping block of things to sell off, but would never sell my 20 guage)

don't own a handgun either
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Old 07-24-2015, 01:07 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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There does seem to be a big discrepancy between the theoretical batteries people build and the ones people actually live with in the backwoods. My grandpas for instance and yours seem to match up. Back in his day 22 wasn't so hard to find. The deer population was not great back then either so he didn't shoot one every year but when he did, the 30-30 did just fine. He would tell stories of his dad sending them out with three shells, and you came back with three edible animals or had a real good reason for why not. Guns were tools, to protect your family of course but mainly for food.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:18 PM
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My Grandparents had shotguns and nothing else.
One had a single shot 16 Ga. and on the other side they had a double barrel 12 Ga.
They were used to protect their chickens and animals from predators.
Not sure what the 12 Ga. was but that thing was really long and had 2 triggers, 2 hammers, and kicked like a mule.
Wish I had it today, but I suspect one of my worthless cousins got it and it wound up in a pawn shop.
I have several guns. The exact number and type is restricted information. What my wife doesn't know doesn't cause discussions.
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Old 07-24-2015, 02:47 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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Backlash-I think that is a common sentiment that keeps marriage possible.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:51 PM
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I know where you are coming from since I have been pretty much immobile for 4 years now - way too much time to think about everything!

As for guns I keep it simple. I am not one to have more of anything than I actually need. For a centerfire rifle I have my Henry 30-30 which is a good gun for larger game here in the dense woods. And my Henry .22 carbine for the small game and pest control For a shotgun I chose a 20ga pump hoping to keep the recoil down for my sore joints. Handguns are all but impossible for me to shoot including a .22 as my wrists will be clubs (swollen) for 2-3 days after shooting a couple rounds. But I did settle on a Ruger 22/45 with a bull barrel which has a lower recoil that I can handle most of the time.

And that's it - don't have a need for 20 of more guns myself. I just concentrate on keeping a decent supply or ammo on hand.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:33 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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coaltraine-As they always say...beware the man with one gun.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:48 PM
StockdaleDave Male StockdaleDave is offline
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Grew up in rural North Carolina. Grand parents always had a .410 for squirrel. 12 Ga for bigger vermin- both 2 and 4 legged. A .22 rifle for general purpose shooting and a .38 for home defense. Don't believe I ever saw the .38 fired. Grandad had a 12 Gauge Goose gun one time. Super long barrel. Once when shooting old shells a wad didn't quite clear the barrel. The next shot opened and blew the barrel out just like in the cartoons. Took a hacksaw to the damaged end and it was still longer than a standard shotgun. Kicked like a mule.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:33 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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I don't recall ever seeing the .38's fired either stockdaleDave...they were classic just in case guns.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:37 PM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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If I had to pick three firearms for my backwoods guns they would be:

12g Pump
30-06 Bolt
.22LR Bolt

I probably went with the .22LR bolt instead of a semi-auto pick, because I had a Glenfield 60 when growing up that was a habitual jammer. I know the problem with that, but the replacement part was almost as much as picking up a new .22.

Best of luck on your recovery JJ92, hopefully you can get some good research done on interesting topics that you may not normally have time to nose around on ...
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:14 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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The time has given me lots of research time...I have a fascination with the 45/70 and have always wanted to start reloading so I ordered a Lee Classic Loader and components so I could do a little loading while I was laid up.
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  #12  
Old 07-26-2015, 01:27 AM
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Newton County, Arkansas not a location mentioned every day. [Compton, Ponca, Low Gap, Boxley, Jasper and the Buffalo River were probably an ideal place to live a couple of generations ago, and it ain't to shabby today. We like Jasper ourselves and stay at the Little Switzerland Cabins a couple of miles North of Jasper on Highway 7, every chance we get up that way. It is beautiful country. We seriously considered retiring there back in the 90's, and made some preparations towards that goal, but it probably won't happen now.

My mother was an orphan, so I only had one set of grandparents. My grandfather had two guns, a single shot .12 gauge shotgun and a single shot .22 the majority of his adult life. Three maybe four years before he died, he bought a Winchester Model 12, .12 gauge pump gun. But the two single shots were what put food on the table. He certainly had never heard of the spray & pray philosophy so many possess today, and he expected one shot to result in one kill. And you only used .22 long's if there were no shorts, and .22 long rifle cartridges were almost an absolute luxury. (I have not seen any .22 Long cartridges in probably 30 years, although one of the local Co-op's stocked the .22 short cartridges up until the time they closed last year.)

Dad was not a gun person at all. He knew how to use them and could use them, but I guess his experiences and what he saw and did during WWII had a lasting effect on him for the balance of his life. He did enjoy hunting some, but hunting was different for Dad than for most people I know and have known. He brought back a souvenir pistol from Germany at the close of WWII and he had a single shot .12 gauge shotgun, until Mother gave him a new .12 gauge pump gun for his birthday when I was in elementary school.

It does not take a closet full of guns to put meat on the table and provide for the home defense. Most of us have more guns than our ancestors did simply because we like having a larger variety and are possibly more affluent than they were. They proved numbers were not necessary, so the quantity owned today by so many different people is not a need, but a want.

My Father-In-Law always said hunting was a specialty sport. The gun used for squirrel hunting did not always do well on ducks and for quails a different gun was needed still. What one needed for deer or turkey or geese or rabbits were all different still. I don't believe he really ever convinced his wife of that fact, but she tolerated his hunting passion.

Neither does his daughter buy into that theory either, but having grown up with his philosophy didn't hurt her attitude none either, so she also indulges her spouses hunting habits, or is it hobbies. Well whatever it is to be called, she accepts the hunting season and its associated costs.

If I could pick any guns I wanted and be allowed three, not living in bear country, I would choose a Savage Fox B/SE .20 gauge (a gun sadly no longer produced and one I never had a chance to acquire) with 26 inch tubes bored modified and skeet, a target quality .22 bolt action clip fed rifle and a Ruger Redhawk revolver in .45 Colt. Others might prefer differently, but the three I listed I believe would serve two or three generations well, if cared for and maintained properly.
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  #13  
Old 07-26-2015, 10:29 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
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upon further consideration on this thread (was thinking about it while loading logs in a trailer yesterday, i do a lot of my thinking while doing work) i am thinking it was started by Joejeep92 wondering about actual backwoods guns. actual may be a hint that he is wondering based on a lot of the hype online.

the hype is all the backwoods people showing off their fancy ak47s and ar15s and claiming to take those fancy battle weapons out in the bush. a LOT of people claim these things are their daily working/carrying guns. i am guessing Joe was wondering what actual backwoods people are actually using.

upon thinking further i concluded that the guys who carry these fancy guns fall into one of 3 catagories.

1 they are incredibly wealthy and can drop $1000 without caring
2 they are a bit looney
3 they carry more bullshit than a traveling fertilizer salesman

my logic in this assesment is based on finances. when i was working a full time job i was making very good money. but even with that income it cost me roughly a full weeks pay to buy a new saiga 7.62 (AK47 imitation), then another weeks pay to buy a bunch of ammo and some accessories (scope, sling, extra mags, etc). all that was no small amount of cash, and I could easily burn through a days income in an hour on the range. that gun was worth 2 weeks income at a good paying full time job, someone making min wage might pay a months income to buy the same thing. thats a gun i carefully stored and only took to the range a few times a year (carrying in a case), but when i went hunting i carried an ugly old shotgun worth less than 1/10 of the saiga.

i know guys who did time for smuggling, and according to them they made $20k a week doing it. those guys could afford such guns easily and with no thought to dropping the cash on it. to them dropping $1000+ on some fancy gun was nothing. some super rich person (legitimatly rich) with a love of shooting could do the same.

some nutcase might throw a months income into a fancy gun and carry it around but they are nuts anyway.

then there are the fetilizer salesmen who may have one but only use it to pose for a picture or take it to the range 2 or 3 times a year (as a practical matter those things are expensive, 20 rounds of AK ammo was worth as much as 500 rounds of .177 lead pellets, i can shoot all day with a pellet gun and get good aim, and occassionally practice with a saiga to keep a good feel of it but still keep the saiga locked up at home). other fertilizer salesmen on the internet might be all talk (survivalist blog .net comes to mind, read the comments on there articles to find some crazy).

when i was raising money to buy my current place (lot a on my other posts) i sold the saiga to a coworker, got almost 2 weeks income back for it, and i sold my other fancy guns (mosin nagants, etc) keeping only an ugly old shotgun (that was only used as a practical tool to take out raccoons and such as needed). as a practical matter the saiga was a toy, a luxury. unlike so many talkers on the internet i have no delusions of makng a one man rambo stand against a faceless jckbooted army over the handfull of supplies in my pantry, if they want it they will take it, and my best chance would be to abandon it and live to fight another day. that gun would only be good for repelling a couple junkies or lowlifes from breaking in (an old shotgun in skilled hands would do the same), fighting a war with it would only be possible if i had 10,000 or more like minded men at my side, and a steady supply of more ammo (the most i ever had for the saiga was 400 rounds, that cost me roughly 3 days pay, and i could burn through it in a day at the range).

anyway those are my thoughts on this topic after further pondering
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  #14  
Old 07-26-2015, 11:34 AM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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Two very well thought out replies. I love the Newton County area, and go down as much as I possibly can, I have family that still lives down there and I keep telling my wife I'm going to buy a piece of property down there and she keeps saying yes. She thinks I'm kidding and I think she is going to be a little surprised when I do it haha. I know exactly where those cabins are. The guns that were actually used back then in the real backwoods tended to be simple and cheap to shoot, hence both our ancestors favored the 22 Short in their LR guns. They had a purpose and the people who used them knew how to with great efficiency. On your second post I agree, I have owned evil black rifles in various forms but they all went on down the trail because I didn't have a specific use for them. I guess I could have gone out and shot coyotes with them but I had better options for that. Nothing wrong with the many people on here who own one or many but in the case of a military offensive I prefer to hunker down and make a very small splash or head for the hills because the outcome isn't pretty for me.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joejeep92 View Post
I love the Newton County area, and go down as much as I possibly can, I have family that still lives down there and I keep telling my wife I'm going to buy a piece of property down there and she keeps saying yes. She thinks I'm kidding and I think she is going to be a little surprised when I do it haha. I know exactly where those cabins are.
I hope you find a nice piece of property in the county Joe. They aren't making any more dirt, so even the sparsely populated areas don't have that much turn over in the property department anymore. But if one is watchful every once in a while a fellow will find a few nice parcels for sale which will meet the parameters of the buyers desires.
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Old 07-26-2015, 08:06 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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I check the real estate adds for the area at east once a week as well as the news papers. I don't live down there but I go help out family members once every month or two so it allows me to look at properties. Hoping for 80 acres or more ideally backing up to the park. Hoping to find one in bear and elk country as well but that is just dreaming...
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Old 07-26-2015, 10:37 PM
MtnManJim Male MtnManJim is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kachad View Post
If I had to pick three firearms for my backwoods guns they would be:

12g Pump
30-06 Bolt
.22LR Bolt

I probably went with the .22LR bolt instead of a semi-auto pick, because I had a Glenfield 60 when growing up that was a habitual jammer. I know the problem with that, but the replacement part was almost as much as picking up a new .22.

Best of luck on your recovery JJ92, hopefully you can get some good research done on interesting topics that you may not normally have time to nose around on ...
Couldn't agree more. Those would be my choices too if I "had" to choose three. Fortunately I don't, and neither does my wife who is as into guns, hunting and shooting as I am.
But lets face it - the Mountain Men, who were truly Backwoodsmen 50 years before my homesteader great-grandfather was even born, got by with .50 caliber muzzleloaders and good knives.
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Old 07-27-2015, 07:38 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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I am glad I don't have to choose as well and glad that I don't have to subsist on a single shot shotgun. To me guns are tools, I don't use a crescent wrench for every bolt.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:06 PM
Lurch Male Lurch is offline
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My only gun for years was a single shot 12 gauge. It has Lyman peep sights, sling swivels and a recoil pad. I have killed more game with that gun than any of my others. I still keep it close at hand, but haven't shot it in quite awhile. As far as AR's go, I feel that they are pretty much the state of the art, and it is important to at least be familiar with them. I carried one in the USMC and qualified expert twice with an M16. There are not many production rifles that one can hit 10 out of 10 bullseyes from 500 yards with iron sights. The ammo is cheap, plentiful and available. I'm not generally too keen with new technology, except with firearms. They are the ultimate machine.
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Old 07-27-2015, 09:09 PM
joejeep92 Male joejeep92 is offline
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Oh I have great respect for the AR. They are wonderful for what they are meant to do and if I had the money to burn I would own a couple.
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