I've assembled all of the parts and pieces and various stuff that I might use except for a scope and scope rings to modify my M6. All my modifications will be temporary and won't affect the permanant nature of the gun, unlike some I've seen. Each to their own.
I got the cordura bag that holds the broken down rifle. SA sells them and calls them a "holster" but really it looks like a small assault rifle bag. It also looks like it would hold a scoped Contender fairly well. Or a couple of them, as without being baggy or too large, it's got a lot of room in it once the rifle is in there. More about this in a moment.
If I were going into a situation where I was going to possibly have to be hunting small and possibly larger game (deer) to survive, I'd be considering adding a Thompson Contender to the bag. A scoped Thompson Contender rifle setup with the Pachmayr stock in a larger caliber would pretty much solve larger game problems.
But the type situation I've been in, and would foresee myself in where I would want a weapon like an M6 is more likely an injury or accident situation. In the Great Kayak Wreck of 1993, I learned all kinds of valuable lessons about survival gear and adversity. I'll intersperse some of those lessons throughout this series.
Also, as a kid, when we would take to the woods, we were taking knowledge gleaned from authors of library books like Bradford Angier and those who wrote for Sports Afield, Field and Stream and Outdoor Life. Through junior high and high school, we had a group that regularly went fishing and/or shooting. First on bikes, then on motorcycles and then in cars with boats. We practiced woodsmanship and outdoor skills whenever we could. The M6 would have been the perfect companion on many of those youthful adventures, and now I aim to make it even more perfect for me.
COMPANION HANDGUN: The flap front pocket on the M6 Cordura holster is big enough to hold a variety of handguns. Two frequent guns that often fall into my kit bag are either a Glock 19/26 or a S&W Model 66 with a 2 1/2" barrel. Another possibility for ultra lightweight carry is the S&W Model 360 in .357 as well.
The pocket is large enough to hold a gun like the Model 66 in a cordura holster with some kind of firm utility belt, extra ammo and a folding knife.
If I'm carrying a rifle with smaller calibers like the M6, I like to have a readily accessible handgun with enough gusto to take out the threats I might encounter in the Texas woods. Big ole' poisonous snakes, feral dogs, mean bobcats, a cornered hog, rabid skunks and armadillos and gators. All of these critters are pretty prevalent in my part of the state. You'd be surprised how many rabid skunks and dillos I've seen over the years, having once been chased by a hissing and very ill with something dillo until I could get enough ahead of him to get my double barrrel shotgun into action.
On two occasions whilst traversing dry ravines, I've encountered hogs in the hundred pound catagory that got trapped or cornered trying to avoid me or something else and were in a bit of a frenzy and I was glad I had substantial firearms with me in both cases. In case one, a .357 Python, and in case two, a Marlin 336 with a shoot through scope mount for when you need those sights.
CARTRIDGE CONVERTER: They sell these in stainless for $28 through one mail order house. I'd get one to convert .22 Hornet to .22 L.R. It's tiny, adds great versatility and greatly expands the use of this gun.
EXTRA FOLDING PINS: I don't know what to properly call them, but it is the pin that holds the two halves of the gun together. I ordered some extras from SA. I plan to put one in one of the cartridge compartments under the stock in lieu of a cartridge and then put a piece of the non-adhesive camo tape over the pin to secure it in the socket, so I have an extra in the field.
I found some pins at the local hardware store that are a bit too long but have nice holes drilled in them. I don't want to use a cotter pin arrangement as others have done to retain this pin in the gun but will use something that won't cut or abraid me if I accidently strike against it like a cotter pin would. I'm kinda thinking a large split ring, smaller than the split ring you'd use on a keychain, but that's the general idea.
SCOPE: The scope rings are on order. I have a see-the-sights rail I found that fits the holes on the receiver. There is already a short rail in place that is big enough for a red dot and works well with it. This new rail is see through and just a wee bit longer so I can mount a larger scope on it.
QUESTIONS ABOUT SCOPES AND MOUNTS FOR THE M6: I have a bunch of questions, but here are the main ones:
1. What is a recommended scope for this outfit? I know SA had one but no longer sells it, so what's a good similar scope both brand and size?
2. I'm using an improvised scope mount. I'd be interested in buying an actual mount made for this gun and even better, a whole setup. If anyone is so inclined or sees any of these scope for sale somewhere, throw an old dog a bone and please comment or email and advise.
THE FOREGRIP/FOREND SITUATION:
I originally planned to wrap both barrels together with paracord, as some have done, to provide some protection from hot barrels. But then I read that this could warp the two barrels and cause problems. But the solution is to wrap each barrel separately, and then warping them is not an issue. So I plan to wrap each barrel separately.
I had the great idea that if I could mount a short rail under the bottom barrel, that one of the "assault rifle pistol grips" could take the place of a foreend. I envisioned using one of the pistol grips that can fold back horizontal against the barrel, as this would also provide an excellent foregrip for the gun and solve all problems in that regard.
El Fisho Jr. even supplied a nifty heavy duty rail mount desert camo pistol grip that not only folds back but has a pop out 6" bipod legs built in, thus making a bipod of about 11". A cool grip that came with one of his airsoft guns a few years ago, I thought the bipod plus the function of the folding grip was just the low profile grip for the M6.
Alas, the problem has been finding a clamp that fits between top and bottom barrels, and there is only enough space for something like a metal hose clamp (I'm afraid it would scratch me or the finish of the gun) or a plastic flex tie. I've seen clamps for some lever actions that had similarly tiny space in between the barrel and the magazine and was just a thin piece of metal on a forum somewhere, and I'll find it again.
So as it is, I'll use the scavanged Rossi carbine fore end that I found laying on the shelf at my lgs. I'll rest it against the bottom paracorded barrel and paracord it to the bottom barrel only. I've had it on in sort of a dry run and it'll work well. The Rossi fore end actually will fit OVER the bottom barrel with careful sliding from the front end of the barrel, but then that requires binding the fore arm to the top barrel, which would create tension possibly between the top and bottom barrels and contribute to warpage. Maybe. So I'm going to avoid that.
SHELL CARRIERS AND SHOULDER SLING
I have not found the right shoulder sling for this gun yet, but it will have some sort of ability to carry ammo on it. El Fisho Jr. is pretty intent on putting one of the rubber GRABBER slings on the gun, so I may be adding a Mosin Nagant or SKS sort of ammo pouch(es) onto the bottom of it for holding a knife, lighters and extra booletts.
I'll write some more later about what else I want to include in the gun bag with the M6, like a Zebco travel fishing kit, a first aid kit, something to eat and drink and things like a water purifier, flashlight and other survival type gear.
One thought I've had is that some of the more hardcore survival components of this kit could be "seal'a'mealed'" inside plastic so as to reduce the mass it takes up as well as waterproofing it. I'm gonna keep thinking about that.
One final consideration in a survival situation is water and as much of it as you can take. I've noticed some of the camelback setups that come with elongated and skinny backpacks are large enough to hold the M6 Holster bag and that's got me thinking that might not be a bad way to carry the M6, with a supply of water. I've got an old top fold down dry bag from my kayaking days that's just perfect for the M6 Holster, and it would probably be a good idea to put the M6 holster in a dry bag if toting it with a bag full of water.
So that's some thoughts about my M6 project. Tell me five things that hopefully I haven't mentioned that would be in your survival bag.
Likewise, I want to order one of the padded Allen shoulder stock pads that has a padded cheek pad on one side and a large velcro pocket on the other. It fits on the stock like a regular shell carrier, except it has the pocket instead of shell loops. And then of course you can always remove it for accessing the shells in the shoulder stock.
October 22nd (10/22) is RUGER DAY!!!
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