Saturday, October 6, 2012


I've written all too many times about my extreme fondness for the Wild West Guns Alaskan Co-Pilot, a massively powerful and functional and even cool rifle.

The takedown lever-action carbine is not a new idea. Winchester was doing it in the late 1800's. I'm no expert on takedowns, but I know that over the years certain lever action rifles that are takedown have ben available, like certain of the Savage 99 and the Browning BLR.

Bottom image from .Apparently he runs a gun shop and may do international business. He has excellent taste in guns. Top image from Winchester.

Recently I saw a VERY NICE Winchester octagonal barreled Model 1892 Trapper Takedown in .45 Colt. A 16" barrel is why it's the Trapper model. Extra nice stock and ultra luxurious finish. Comes in a bit over 6 lbs. but felt less. The LOP was perfect enough to account for adding a Pachmayr Decelerator pad  for some reduction of (felt) recoil.  

Really, it would still be perfect even without the Decelerator pad. Really. Did I say it was VERY NICE?

So at one point years ago I was considering a Browning BLR pistol grip takedown rifle. Lots of internal thinking about what a good caliber would be.

Image from
Browning Takedown Pistol Grip Lightweight BLR

A 30-06 would be great for hunting larger animals or even defensive purposes, but frankly, I really don't care to shoot much more than a .308 these days. 

Still, for the right price, I'd take one with some stock wear or finish issues in "aught-six". It's a popular caliber in these here parts and easy to find ammo for and fairly easy to get parts for.

Other great caliber abound in BLR selections, especially if including past and present calibers.

Here's a cut and paste from the Browning site just to show you the variety of calibers currently available in the BLR takedown lightweight series (note that the header doesn't match the columns):

Item # Caliber Barrel
of Pull
at Comb
at Heel
SA034012108223 Rem. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
SA03401210922-250 Rem. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
SA034012111243 Win. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
SA0340121167mm-08 Rem. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
SA034012118308 Win. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
SA034012120358 Win. 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 8 oz.
LA034012124270 Win. 22" 43" 14 1/4" 1" 1 5/8" 7 lbs. 4 oz.
LA03401212630-06 Spfld. 22" 43" 14 1/4" 1" 1 5/8" 7 lbs. 4 oz.
LA0340121277mm Rem. Mag. 24" 45" 14 1/4" 1" 1 5/8" 7 lbs. 12 oz.
LA034012129300 Win. Mag. 24" 45" 14 1/4" 1" 1 5/8" 7 lbs. 12 oz.
SA034012146300 WSM 22" 42" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 12 oz.
SA034012148270 WSM 22" 42" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 12 oz.
SA0340121497mm WSM 22" 42" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 12 oz.
SA034012150450 Marlin 20" 40" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 7 lbs.
SA034012177325 WSM 22" 42" 13 3/4" 7/8" 15/16" 6 lbs. 12 oz.
So the shortest rig you can get in this model is the 20" barrel in either the .450 Marlin (too much for me, man) or in .223, .22-250, .243, 7mm-08, .308 or .358. The only ones I'd consider would be the .223, the .243 and the .308, with the .243 being a popular cartridge here in Texas where ammo for that is easily found and it's just a little more recoil than the .223.

It's still at least 4" longer than a Takedown Trapper when taken down or in ready form. Also, the Takedown weighs 6.4 lbs, so it's as lightweight as the BLR lightweight.

I have several guns capable of being taken down. One of my favorites is a just over 40 year old .410 Single Shot. It's just like a H&R Topper, except that it takes down. I'll have to check and see who made it. My dad bought it for himself when he got me a Topper Jr., which I still have also. Great guns.

My dad had already tired of 12 gauge recoil by the time he was 40 or so, buying that gun. He didn't mind a 20 gauge either, which is what I favor these days. I shoot better skeet with a 12, but enjoy it much more with a 20. For hunting, I suppose, the 12 is the better choice, being that it has that extra "ummmphhhhh" that the 20 doesn't seem to have in terms of reach. That's my personal experience.

I've successfully hunted quail with both .410's and 20's, but other fowl sometimes require a little more voltage and admittedly you've got that extra reach, power and spread coming with the 12 gauge that you don't with lesser calibers. Like they used to say in the muscle car world, cubic inches count.

So as with the recoil of shotguns, so goes it with the recoil of rifles. I greatly enjoy rifle shooting. I don't mind some recoil. The 30-30 has never seemed oppressive to me, and I've got that great shooting Marlin Model 336 30-30 of my youth, scoped and dead on after all these years. It's been dead on at 100 yards since the day we sighted it in, decades ago.

Mostly these days I've hunted hogs. Bigger Texas hogs. Mean ones. One that will live despite a fatal wound just to spite you and hopefully inflict some sort of injury on you before it keels over. Head shots are popular when possible, but when going after a moving target, sometimes that's not possible.

So I have for years preferred the .308 as the best hog and large varmint option for me recoil wise. It's about what I can tolerate on a practice and field basis. It's got more oommpphhh for me than the 30-30. I used to have a Remington pump 30-06 and the recoil from that was fairly harsh for me.

I've shot rifles more powerful than the 30-06 but again, baring a move to bear country, I really don't even need a gun as big as a 30-06 in my proverbial closet. But one day I'll probably have one when I stumble across a deal on a used Baikal/Remington/USSG double rifle or combo rifle/shotgun in aught six.

As I've written before, I like the idea of a kit I can fit into a Pelican suitcase type deal with wheels and an extending handle. It keeps it handy to throw in the trunk or the back of the suv for out of town trips without having to pack ahead of time, with a combination of takedown fishing rods, tackle and takedown guns and probably a pistola or two.

I'll blog more about the kit I'm gonna build. I've a got a smaller Pelican case and can attest to their durability in carrying both photographic and delicate Digital Audio Tape recording gear over the past twenty years in that case. I'll get a deal on the larger size case that I have in mind soon, and will build my kit in time for spring.

What kind of takedown guns will be in that case? Stay tuned...

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