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I have seen the old "If you could have just one gun..." question come up a hundred times. Recently on an email list, the question arose with a difference: Pick five guns.

At first, I yawned. That question again.

Yet, as the day wore on, I realized I kept thinking about it. Somehow picking five of them complicated things more than picking just one. Reading the responses, I saw others had the same problem. If picking just one, the standard answer is usually a .22 or maybe a shotgun. Picking five was harder.

It was also more interesting to me because the choices varied according to one's location. The couple in Alaska chose a pair of Marlin 45-70s, a pair of Rem 870s, and a S&W 329. The guy in FL wanted much lighter stuff, with nothing larger than a .223 rifle. One in the Midwest wanted a wide variety.

So I pose the question out of curiosity and to maybe liven things up here a little:

Pick five guns to serve you from now on.

It's not situational, where you are asked based on if you were left in the Alaska wilderness...Or, if there was a meltdown and you had to hold five acres...Or, if you had to feed the town...no, just five guns to fill any need you might have for the rest of your life.

They don't have to be guns you own now.

You can "cheat" and pick something like a Contender with 25 barrels.

Price or availability are not factors. Assume you can have a choice from anything ever made.

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1.) M14

2.) Winchester 71

3.) Weatherby Mark V in 300 Wby (already have one in 30-06)

4.) Pre-64 Winchester 70 in 220 Swift.

5.) A modern reproduction of a Marlin 1881 in 45-70.*

*Since no one makes one, I'd probably have to get Gun Smoke to make a one-off for me. Cost: probably around $20,000.

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You know once you sit down and think about only 5 guns it is hard to get there for me. But here would be my 5 and have to live with them... wink

1. Your standard flattop AR15 5.56/.223 with EOTech reddot(and fold-able rear backup sight)

2. Mossberg 590A1 18" 12 gauge

3. Ruger GP100 .357mag 6"

4. Ruger MKII .22LR

5. Ruger SR40c .40 s&w (this could be in 9mm so a SR9C)

Missing but could be close runner ups would be a 1911, Single Six, K-22, M&P in 9mm or .40 s&w, 10/22, /.357mag-.44mag Marlin 1894, pretty well any .22lr rifle.

Take care, Bill

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1.) M14

2.) Winchester 71

3.) Weatherby Mark V in 300 Wby (already have one in 30-06)

4.) Pre-64 Winchester 70 in 220 Swift.

5.) A modern reproduction of a Marlin 1881 in 45-70.*

*Since no one makes one, I'd probably have to get Gun Smoke to make a one-off for me. Cost: probably around $20,000.

GMan,

I'm surprised to see you wouldn't choose at least one pistol. Just curious why?

Wayne

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Since I started this, I guess I'll respond.

1) Winchester 52 Sporter. B or C. Iron sights with detachable rear peep. Leupold 2-7X Rimfire Special scope in QD rings. Thread the muzzle for a suppressor.

Everbody needs a .22 rifle IMO, and these are a good as it gets IMO.

2) Browning A-5 or Remington M11, 12 gauge, about 20" barrel, a two- or three-shot magazine extension, with blade front and Wild West Guns peep rear sight.

A bit heavy, but would do everything I need a shotgun for. The barrel is a little short for a good swing, but maybe the mag ext will help by adding weight out front.

3) AR from Colt, Larue, or maybe BCM. Typical M4 pattern with a true 16" barrel (not 14.5 with welded FH), flat top receiver, fixed front sight tower, folding rear (I'm liking the Magpul right now), Aimpoint M3 or PRO in Larue mount, Surefire rail, Surefire Scout light, Tango Down pg, Magpul AFG.

Should handle about any home/vehicle defense need.

Add a variable scope of about 1-4X and another of about 4-12X in QD rings for more versatility.

4) Steyr Scout .308. Leupold 2.5x Scout scope in QD rings, and Leupold 3.5-10X in QD rings.

Should handle any hunting need I'd have here, or within at least a couple day's driving distance. Not a bad mid-distance rifle either.

5) Colt Commander .45ACP customized by Ted Yost. A compromise that should handle 95%+ of my handgun needs.

Almost dead even tie with Browning HiPower 9mm worked by same smith. Tge Commander won only because a .45 ACP might be better if I had to hunt with one. (Although I know the 9mm Win Ranger 127 can take deer.)

Possible substitutions:

For #3 (AR)- Try out upper receiver in 6.8 SPC, and .22 upper or conversion unit. If the 6.8 works, the Scout could probably be swapped off for something else. If the .22 plan works, the Win 52 could go.

For the two slots that would open up: A .308 Garand for the Scout's opening. Fiberglass/Kevlar stock, maybe with Scout scope.

For the other slot, split my #5 spot into a Browning HiPower 9mm and a Colt Gov't .45 ACP, both again customized by Yost.

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Originally Posted By: G-MAN
1.) M14

2.) Winchester 71

3.) Weatherby Mark V in 300 Wby (already have one in 30-06)

4.) Pre-64 Winchester 70 in 220 Swift.

5.) A modern reproduction of a Marlin 1881 in 45-70.*

*Since no one makes one, I'd probably have to get Gun Smoke to make a one-off for me. Cost: probably around $20,000.

GMan,

I'm surprised to see you wouldn't choose at least one pistol. Just curious why?

Wayne

Because I didn't read the original post very carefully. I thought it was "What five guns do you want that you don't have?" Duh.

Obviously, if I could only have five guns to last me the rest of my life for any and all situations, the ones I listed above would not be the five.

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You know once you sit down and think about only 5 guns it is hard to get there for me.)

I thought five was a tough number. That was the consensus where I saw this come up also. If limited to just one, I think most people would pick a .22 of some sort, or maybe a 12 gauge. If ten, lots of ground could be covered. But go in the middle with five, and that took some thought for me.

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Some observations thus far:

I find it interesting that nobody has taken the do-everything multiple caliber gun option, like a Contender or Blaser. I thought for sure someone would name one with a string of barrels/uppers/top ends, but no, and it went the same way on the other list. A Contender or Encore with barrels ranging from .22 to .45-70 of various lengths, with shoulder stocks, grips, etc sounds kinda nice, but it can still only be one single shot gun at a time.

I don't remember any full auto choices other than M-14s.

I think I counted three here who did NOT list a .22 of some type. More than I expected, and more than at the other place, even with more respondents there.

I thought I might see more guns or cartridges that often get name as multipurpose items, like 10mm handguns and pistol caliber carbines. There have been a few, but not as many as I expected.

RebinPA is, I think, the first I can recall listing any muzzleloaders, although there might have been a Savage 10-ML somewhere. I think keeping a ML around, even if it's not one's thing, is a good idea.

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I actually put a lot of thought into my "5 list".

My ML's can do "double-duty" for hunting/defense as well as my reenacting/NSSA stuff. You'll always be able to make my flintlock Springfield fire. It can use solid or pellet shot with ease.

My Enfield is good for aimed shots and large game, especially w/ 500gr minies. wink

Bolt-action rifles are great for long distances and can put up a decent rate of fire if needed. I picked one long and one shorter gun from 2 of the best time/battle tested designs. They WILL work.

Parts availability and construction were considered as well.

I also selected one handgun, a Nagant 1895. A "different" design, but not lacking in power or durability, that never let my grandfather down. He traded for it during WWII and carried it the remainder of the war and beyond. Ammo is cheap and plentiful, while 7 shot cylinder gives you one more than most expect. An excellent defensive weapon IMO. Best used as single action since the trigger pull is real heavy when used as double action.

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...Best used as single action since the trigger pull is real heavy when used as double action.

You're not kidding! The DA pull is around 20-23 lbs!!

Have you ever tried the "bullet" trick to reduce the DA pull? You can also use a nut instead of a bullet. The bullet allows finer 'adjustment' as you can easily crush it into the right size and shape.

Couldn't find a pic of the bullet it there but here is one with a nut, showing the placement.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c374/Rapidrob/Nagantscrew1.jpg

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Originally Posted By: RebinPA
...Best used as single action since the trigger pull is real heavy when used as double action.

You're not kidding! The DA pull is around 20-23 lbs!!

Have you ever tried the "bullet" trick to reduce the DA pull? You can also use a nut instead of a bullet. The bullet allows finer 'adjustment' as you can easily crush it into the right size and shape.

Couldn't find a pic of the bullet it there but here is one with a nut, showing the placement.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c374/Rapidrob/Nagantscrew1.jpg

Interesting... Wouldn't that stress the mainspring in a different way and possible break it? I'd have to be sure of replacement parts before trying that.

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I was thinking about this, and decided it might not take much to cause me to alter my list. A change in geographic location might be the most likely list changer. I have lived in a few different states from north to south, in houses and apartments, in big cities and in the country where no other house was visible, and my firearm needs changed at each place.

In Louisiana near the gulf, I had very little need for anything big or far-reaching because game is on the small side and the thick vegetation kept you from seeing very far. A shotgun or .223 was enough for most things. In Chicago, a really, really small pistol was a near-requirement for me, when I've had little use for them before or since. Oddly, I did more pheasant hunting when I lived there than when I lived on farms with hundreds of acres of corn. Even here in IN, I am living less than two miles from where I grew up, but had different firearms needs there than I do now.

If we moved to GA, where my wife is from, my list might not change much. If we moved in any other direction, it might very well change drastically.

If my wife and/or kids were more interested in shooting, the list would change. I would probably have at least one matched pair of guns in there, and maybe more. I would definitely explore the AR-15 Erector Set angle, by having a variety of calibers and configurations.

And I have a real itch for an FN SCAR 17S. I think that stone could kill a few birds, being as handy as an AR carbine, capable of hunting most beasties in the US, and evidently being able to put 'em close together. If they work as well as they sound, one of those, a shotgun, and a handgun or two could cover a lot.

Too bad magazines are in short supply.

Or maybe I'll just go nuts and take:

-My Remington XP-100 .221 Fireball

-A drilling in 16 gauge/5.6x50R

-Stevens Visible Loader .22

-Colt AA2000 9mm

-1905 Ross .280

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Yeah I had an AA2000 for a while. Probably the biggest piece of junk I've ever had. I knew that when I got it, but thought it would be a nice conversation piece to one day show people why there was no longer a Colt gun company. Had the Colt decision making gone unchanged they would have been gone.

I had a neighbor at the time who was a production engineer and fairly knowledgeable on guns. As we took it apart, he was saying things like:

"Why would they..."

"I wonder what..."

"Why did they..."

The most significant thing I feel he said was that they essentially designed it backwards. Tolerances were tight where they didn't need to be, and loose where they shouldn't be.

They seemed to use polymer for the frame just to say they used polymer, because it wasn't well adapted to it (the Knight prototypes had steel frames). For example, the rotating locking barrel was rotated by a lug that fit into a cam block. This cam block dropped into the frame, roughly above the trigger. OK, great, but the lug to cam block tolerances had to be fairly precise, and they were, except the block sitting in a oversized recess molded in the polymer threw all that precision away by leaving the block flopping around in the frame.

You didn't have to go inside to see it either. The takedown process involved twisting off the muzzle end of the slide. So now you have the front sight attached to a piece of metal that wiggles left and right. Camp Perry, here we come.

The trigger was the worst I've ever felt. And I've tried a lot of machine-guns, AKs, and just plain junk. The trigger slides back in a straight line, which is OK, but you did a lot of work in that pull because it was true trigger cocking; not a prepped striker like a Glock. Right off, I was reminded of a toy Star Trek disc shooting gun I had as a kid. It was an identical trigger pull.

Awful. Awful in every way.

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