two guns, one caliber.

Here’s an assignment for you Gun Nutz(tm):

Your task is to find a sidearm/long gun combo.  Assume that money is no object, and that anything goes, even NFA stuff.  Interpret “long gun” as liberally as you would like: carbine, rifle, submachine gun, whatever, as long as it’s fired from the shoulder.

Your only restrictions: the combo must use interchangeable ammunition, and it must be commercially available ammo.  (By “commercial” I mean “on the shelf in a moderately well-stocked gun shop”, not “Old Western Scrounger has two boxes of it in stock for $80 each”.)  The same load needs to work for both weapons without malfunctioning or blowing up the gun when used in one instead of the other.

Your combo should be chosen with an eye on flexibility.  Ideally, you’ll want to be able to drop two- and four-legged vermin, so it will have to do for self-defense and hunting of small- to medium-sized game up to 150 yards or so.

Name the gun combo, and the caliber.  Ready? Go!

141 thoughts on “two guns, one caliber.

  1. T.Stahl says:

    Trivial answer: A revolver and a lever-action in either .357Mag or .44Mag, depending on personal recoil sensitivity.

    • GPWASR10 says:

      Marlin 1894SS and Ruger Redhawk Stainless in .44Mag. Both are the strongest actions in their respective configs, each is made in a VERY durable material, each fires a very potent (and identical) cartridge. For serious work this is your very best bet as it WILL do anything you call upon it to do, from hunting, to defence. And even though the revolver is heavy (for a hand gun) the rifle is very light.

      I have MANY guns, but if tomorrow I had to only pick two to keep, and sell the rest, my Redhawk and Marlin 1894SS would stay. Everything else (AKs, ARs, Bolties, UZI, Pistols, .45-70s, MBR’s, etc…) would go. There is simply no Job this combo could not do inside of 150 yards.

      End even if the big Magnum scares you for home defense use… you can use .44 Specials in either one of these guns), You can always download a .44 Mag to .45 ACP power (however the reverse is not true).

  2. Thane says:

    Already have ’em. Ruger Redhawk .44 Magnum, complimented by a Browning 1892 lever-gun. While it is ideal for neither self-defense against two-legged threats (heavy recoil, slow followup shots), nor big-game hunting (tad underpowered, limited practical range), it has sufficient power to serve as a good “compromise caliber.” In the hands of someone practiced with it, it could serve admirably as a “one cartridge.”

  3. Chris says:

    Sidearm: S&W 29 or 629
    Rifle: Marlin 44mag levergun
    Load: 250gr LSWC at 1200-1400fps (common keith load).

  4. Chris says:

    Heh. We were all posting at about the same time.

  5. T.Stahl says:

    Expensive combo: a Glock 20 and an MP5/10.
    ComBloc combo: CZ-52 and PPSh-41.

  6. Dr. Feelgood says:

    MP5/10 and a custom 1911 in 10mm (180gr JHP).

  7. Caleb says:

    Tactical and affordable:
    Beretta 92FS in 9mm & a Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in 9mm that feeds from Beretta mags.

    John Wayne Approved:
    .357 lever gun and a Ruger GP100

    H&R Survivor Rifle in .45/.410 and a Taurus Judge!

  8. Al T. says:

    Yep, .44 Mag is it. I have a Marlin and a S&W Mountain Gun. I like Chris’s load, just toned down a bit for the revolver – I find 900 FPS or so works fine. FWIW, inside of 150 yards, IMHO the .44 rifle will work on everything but elk and bears. There are several great loads for game – the 280 grain JSPs have a lot of smack.

    For self defense with the revolver (or rifle) I really like the .44 Special 200 grain Gold Dots. MV is about 850 FPS.

  9. pdb says:

    I’ll go ahead and be the jerk that bitches about the requirements document.

    The contradictory requirements given mean you will either end up with a bulky, heavy, low capacity handcannon that can’t be easily concealed or quickly deployed in emergencies, or a wimpy, short range “rifle” that offers all the power of a pistol and all the handiness of a shoulder arm. These seem like highly poor tradeoffs to solve a minor logistical issue.

    Out of the choices, I think the lever gun / revolver .44 Magnum is probably the way to go. No common autopistol caliber gains enough velocity from a rifle length barrel to make it a 150+ yard cartridge (see ).

    What I would personally do is specify a high quality 7.62 NATO semi carbine (SCAR-H or FAL) and a stupid .308 riflepistol like a Contender, ‘forget’ to bring the Contender along and take extra rifle mags and ammo and water instead.

    • Tam says:

      Tactical blah yakkity flat dark earth schmakity blah two is none and always cheat ready fight!

      Thank you Captain Tactical. None of the rest of us knew all that. :p

      (BTW, Marko, I’d go with a Marlin 1894 carbine in .357 and that 4″ round-butt 19. I get a more practical handgun out of the deal than a .44 N-frame, and 180gr Partition Golds out of a 16″ tube are nothing to sneeze at. Plus I can shoot .38 Special ammo which is fairly cheap.)

  10. Al T. says:

    Dr. Feelgood’s choice is pretty doable to – with the exception of big game. (deer around here are not “big” game) Or it could be a Kel-Tec 10mm rifle with a Glock 20. Or a Mech Tech conversion for the Glock. 10mm would be the key. 🙂

  11. tweell says:

    Rifle – Ruger 77/44 carbine, Handgun – Ruger Super Redhawk. Both use the .44 magnum pistol cartridge, one of my favorite sizes.

  12. SigBoy40 says:

    Normally I would tote out the venerable 357 maximimum, but ammo is kinda scarce, but that way you could shoot 357 magnum and 38 special. Not to mention that if money was no object, you could have a pistol and a rifle built to handle it.

  13. perlhaqr says:

    If I just had to be different (and I usually do) I’d get a levergun rechambered to fit .45 Winchester Magnum, and an LAR Grizzly to go with it.

    Otherwise, the .44 Magnum and 10mm options fit pretty well with what I’ve already got in inventory.

  14. williamthecoroner says:

    M1928 tommy gun and a M1911A1 pistol. I’m a traditonalist.

    • laura says:

      Funny, I was just about to post the exact same thing.

      • JPG says:

        William — and laura – –
        It SOUNDS like a good combination, until you tote it around for a while. I have it on hand, as near as opening my safe, and I’d choose something else. Having fired the Thompson in numerous SMG matches, with a .45 sidearm (just for style, mind you 😉 ) I know how heavy and clumsy it is, even for a few hours. Unless you have a really good rest, it’s a real challenge to place a single shot on a silhouette target at 150 yards. I can usually get one of a burst on target, but that’s for anti-personnel, and not for hunting.

        Also, there’s little point in toting a machine gun unless you carry at least 100 rounds on your person.

        Given Marko’s rules, I’d probably take a ’92 carbine in either .44 or .357 mag, paired with a Vaquero in the proper chambering.

  15. Kristopher says:

    A flamethrower.

  16. Krazmo says:

    How ’bout a 1911 paired with a De Lisle carbine. For added fun, you could put a can on the 1911, too!

  17. Casey says:

    I’m going to have to second the Glock in 9mm backed up by the Kel-Tec Sub-2000, or another 9mm carbine. I understand that it may not be viewed as on the same level with a .357 mag or .44 mag, however, there is one advantage to the 9mm. It is ubiquitous all over the world. Whether you’re stuck in Podunk, Arkansas, or somewhere in Pissdripistan, 9mm ammunition is available.

    I’m going to favor the Glock over the Beretta, simply because of the fact that it is built to be neglected by soldiers and cops alike(and you know how bad we are on sidearms), and keep on working, regardless of the abuse it gets put through. Now, if Glock would only make a 9mm carbine to the same standards as the handgun, I’d be set. It may not be pretty, but it’s reliable.


  18. Taurus Judge & any .410 shotgun

  19. Jay G. says:

    Thompson Contender and VEPR in .308.

    Just to be contrarian…

  20. aczarnowski says:

    I assume we have to carry our own ammo?

    Marlin 1894 limited edition SS carbine and a Ruger SP101 in 357 mag. Bead blast’em both to a nice low gloss gray finish and saddle up.

    150 is a bit long, but I can imagine two legged targets where a wing hit wouldn’t bother me much.

    • aczarnowski says:

      If I don’t have to carry my own ammo, how about a pair of 870s in 12 gauge. A slug can make 150 right? Hey, an 870 shorty counts as a handgun!

  21. T.Stahl says:

    AMT Automag III and .30 M1 Carbine in .30 Carbine.

    This year I really considered changing the caliber of the Rossi M92 on my wish list from .44Mag to .357Mag. That was during the short period while I was actually thinking about buying a GP161.

  22. alan says:

    Plasma rifle 40 MW. I’m sure there’s a plasma pistol too.

    As long as we’re playing silly games… 🙂

  23. Robert says:

    Marlin Camp Carbine and Colt 1911A1, both in .45ACP. Not only is the ammo interchangeable, so are the magazines.

  24. SemperGumby says:

    Glock 19 and Bushmaster Carbon 15 in 9mm. Load would be Corbon Pow’rball 9mm +Ps doing about 1400+ fps out of a three inch barrel. Good penetration with extra weight reserved for additional ammo.

  25. RevolverRob says:

    Ruger Gp100/Marlin 1894C in .357 Maggie

    Ruger Redhawk 4″/Marlin 1894C in .45 Long Colt

    CZ SP01 or Browning High Power/Sterling SMG

    Glock 17/MSAR MCS (the currently Vaporware MSAR that takes Glock mags)

    Glock 17/Glock 17 (with one of those terrible little Israeli collapsible stocks)

    Glock/Browning/CZ and a select fire C96 Mauser (in 9mm), with the detachable 20 round box magazines and stock.

    1911/Thompson (isn’t this everyone’s favorite?)

    1911/Lage Upper in .45 on a Mac-10

    Cut down AOW 12-gauge “pistol”/Remington 870


  26. Linoge says:

    Eh, just because money is no option, a FA SBR KRISS and a 1911, both in .45, of course. Not that I would use the FA switch in a TEOTWAWKI situation, but I just want it.

    And, to be completely stupid, we could go the P90+FiveseveN route, too :).

  27. James Nelson says:

    Ruger Red Hawk and lever action Puma in .454 Casull. 45 Colt will work in both for lighter load. If That cartridge is too obscure, the .45 Colt or the >44 Magnum would have to do. If you’ve never seen someone run a lever action who knows what they are doing, you might be surprised.
    Semi autos are a little too dependent on consistent ammo to be trusted in one of these scenarios.

  28. Al T. says:

    As for 9mm and .45, this “medium-sized game up to 150 yards or so” rules both out, IMHO. One, not much energy out of either at 150, and two, trajectory of both sucks. At least with the 10mm your flinging a slightly heavier (180 gr) bullet with sectional density equal to both the 147 gr 9mm load or the 230 .45, but at higher velocity than either. .44 Mag out of a rifle is roughly (depends on exact load) 1700 fps (or more) with an even heavier bullet. Can we say “Jeff Cooper’s Thumper?” thought we could. The little .44 Mag Ruger semi-auto would be a winner here except for the 4 round magazine. 😦

  29. ss says:

    10 mm for the caliber, now for the hard part:

    S&W 610 (6 shot 10mm revolver), or 1911a1 chambered in 10mm (so many to choose from), or Glock 20


    MP 5/10, or Olympic Arms AR-15 upper in 10mm, or Thompson in 10mm (rare FBI model)

    My only hesitation with a factory 10mm load would be with trying to take down a bear at 150 yards. I suspect the S&W can handle a hot 10mm load as can a stiffer AR-15 buffer spring. I still think I would rather run away.

    • Dr. Feelgood says:

      I fail to comprehend your hesitation. Are you trying to take a bear down at 150 yards with one shot because your magazine failed and you can’t reload in the 12 seconds before the bear closes the distance, or do you intend to eat the bear and are therefore trying to save the meat?

      My solution to your quandry is to advance the selector switch another click (or two) and reapply pressure to the trigger.

  30. Ruzhyo says:

    Marlin 1894C in .357 magnum
    Ruger Blackhawk Convertible .357 mag (with a 9mm cylinder).

    • 7U says:

      @ Ruzhyo,

      I own that exact combination, and love both guns. In fact the Marlin is probably my favorite gun to shoot. Even more fun than my AR, if a little more expensive…

  31. Bill Johnson says:

    Does a desert eagle chamber the same cartridges as the Barrett sniper rifle?

    If so…..

  32. Glamdring says:

    A Ruger No.1 in 460 S&W with a Ruger Alaskan in 454 you could go with 460 revolver but think Alaskan has more utility for self defense is about same weight and size as 1911.

    If you allow more than one load the 460 with 200 or 275 DPX loads will be similar to 35 Whelen in rough terms for trajectory & horsepower from the Number 1, while the Alaskan can use 45 “Long” Colt loads for Goblins.

    Corbon +P Long Colt 200 JHP or 225DPX or CCI/Speer 250 GDHP for goblins.

  33. I’m all for the 10mm, but last time I was at Bass Pro/Cabelas/Wally World/Insert ANYTHING Here the 10mm findings were nonexistant on a good day.

    I’ll go easy and take the (9mm) Beretta Px4 Storm paired with a Beretta Cx4 Storm carbine. If interchangeable ammo is Awesome, interchangeable magazines is Win. May not be knocking down bear at 150, but I don’t know any people or deer that’d stand against either gun at that distance!

    And if 9mm is insufficient, you can choose .40 or .45 and keep (effectively) the same guns.


  34. E says:

    The long-for-caliber revolver cartridges are the winners in this game.

    Me: .357.
    Marlin 1894C, and either my blackhawk or a 3″ sp101 if concealability is a concern.

    If “medium-sized game” stops a coyotes, I’d go single-six w/ both cylinders and a .22WMR long gun (lever or bolt)

  35. ErnestThing says:

    AR pistol and AR carbine in 223 🙂

  36. Gudis says:

    GE XM-214 and a Kel Tec PLR, and a wheelbarrow.

  37. Mark says:

    I’d also recommend the lever gun and DA revolver in .357 mag, the ability to also shoot .38 spec ammo through both makes it even more functional. For the rifle I’d prefer the Henry because in .38 spec it can hold 18 rounds, for the revolver a 6″ python with target sights is nice. Since I can’t afford a Python I have an Astra .357 with Target Sights and a 6″ barrel. It shoots better than I can, but the trigger is nowhere as smooth as the Python.

  38. Roberta X says:

    What, no votes for a .45LC revolver/lever-action rifle combo?


  39. Jared says:


    Glock 29 and HK MP5/10

  40. Gerry N. says:

    What I already have: Spanish Destroyer carbine and Star B in 9mm Parabellum. ( I modified some Star mags to function in the Destroyer as well as the pistol. The Destroyer mags are too short for the Star.)

    What I’d like to have: A Ruger .30 Carbine Blackhawk to go with my .30 M1 Carbine.

    I like same cartridge combos. They be way cool.

    Gerry N.

    • Caleb says:

      You have a Destroyer carbine in 9mm Para? That’s weird, because the Destroyer was made in 9mm Largo, unless you sent it to the WECSOG shop.

      • Tam says:


        Not having looked at how one is built, I’d guess it’s just a matter of setting the barrel back a couple turns and re-cutting the chamber.

        It wouldn’t shock me if some importers did it to a bunch of ’em.

        • Caleb says:

          I sold my Destroyer years ago so I can’t grab it and take pictures. I guess I think it’s kind of weird, because I had such a huge boner for weird Spanish guns right after I got my C&R license, and yet I never saw any Destroyers in 9mm Para.

          Although, IIRC you could actually chamber and fire 9mm Para in the gun without any modification.

        • Roberta X says:

          Wikipedia claims some late-production ones were chambered for .38 Auto (!) and 9mm para.

          They offer the standard warning about stuffin’ common 9mm into a 9 Largo firearm: go BOOM! Maybe. Not a bet I wanna make.

          …I sure do like the looks of that thing, tho. And I would not mind a Star A/Destroyer combo as an answer to Marko’s question. 9 Largo is uncommon but it’s right up there in the pack of 0.38″-ish rounds.

  41. Sean says:

    Rural combo for me is a Marlin 1894 357 mag with a stainless 4″ Ruger Security Six.

    But, my urban combo up is a Ruger PC9 with a Ruger P95.

    For giggles and bear country combo is a Marlin 1894 in 44 mag paired with a stainless 5.5″ ruger Redhawk.

  42. DMP says:

    Since this is fantasy and I don’t actually have to lug them around, how about:

    Magnum Research BFR and a Marlin Model 1895 both in .45-70

  43. Atom Smasher says:

    Like many above me, I already have a combo I like plenty – Winchester ’94 and Ruger Vaquero in .45LC.

    And I’ve already got a hat, too.

  44. Heath J says:

    .44 mag, in a Ruger Vaquero/ Marlin 94 combo

  45. LDorado says:

    Thompson G2 Contender #3223 along with a Marlin 336 scoped lever action rifle, both using Hornady Lever Revolution 160 grain 30-30 ammo. Gives a person good range, accuracy and one shot knockdown power. No hope needed with this combo – if aimed on target, the vermin hits the dirt for a long nap.

  46. Windy Wilson says:

    They make an AMT Automag III in .30 Carbine?

    I like the idea of being able to reach out and touch someone if I need to, so I’d say, Ruger Blackhawk and M1 Carbine in .30 Carbine, or as T.Stahl said, an AMT Automag III.

    If this combo were for Cowboy Action Shooting, I’d go for lever and revolver in .44-40.

    This is an interesting exercise, because you do wind up with hand-cannons and somewhat underpowered rifles.

  47. Regolith says:

    I’m with the majority: a .357 magnum revolver/lever rifle combo is hard to beat.

    If quick reloads were necessary, though, I’d go with the Thompson submachine gun/M1911 combo. Or maybe an UMP 45/M1911 combo. (Are there any other widely produced .45 ACP submachine guns out there?)

  48. wrm says:

    Heh. The way the question is set up means the answer has to be .357 revolver + levergun 🙂

    Marko didn’t specify concealed carry, so what’s up with all the GP/SP Rugers? Redhawk, or Python, or whatever number the equivalent Smith carries. 8″ barrel or thereabouts.

    And yea, probably the Marlin, in takedown, since we’re spending Marko’s money.

    .45 Colt would be my second choice, .44 my third.

  49. Leit says:

    Because it’d be fun, a kel-tec PLR 16 and an AR 180B. Largely because in addition to ammunition, they can share mags.

  50. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    It all depends on how tough you enforce the ammunition rule…

    Zombie apocalypse mode with loose ammo requirement would probably result in an alexander arms .50 beowulf rifle and BFR revolver.

    If we need the sidearm to be more practical in current day… we’re looking at .45 colt, .44 mag, .357 revolver and levergun, as many has pointed out.

    Personally I’d probably pick a marlin leveraction in .45 colt, with a holosight(no go on a winchester, hence the pick), and a Ruger Redhawk Model KRH454 Revolver(4 inch) in same.

  51. Kaerius(SWE) says:

    PS: If the object is cowboy action shooting… I’d probably go with an 1873 cattleman remake(though I’m unsure which brands are reliable… Uberti?), to go with the marlin.

  52. CapitalGGeek says:

    How about a FN five-seven tactical and a PS-90?

  53. BryanP says:

    I’ll stick with what I already have: Marlin 1894C and Ruger GP100 in .357 magnum.

  54. If we’re being silly, I’d go with a Dessert Eagle in .44 mag and a Ruger DeerSlayer Carbine in .44 mag.

  55. Chuck Hayes says:

    I’ll be the odd man out. FN Five-seven and the P90 in any config, preferebly the triple rail or the USG(Secret Service) variable. Yes, they’re friggin’ plastic. So sue me, I’m in a high salt-air environ and this makes more sense.

  56. Popgun says:

    I think what you guys have done here is to identify an un-filled market niche….


  57. Al T. says:

    Chuck, it’s not the guns, it’s the cartridge. A rimless .22 Hornet (aka centerfire .22 Magnum) is maxed out at the ” small coyote” level.

  58. Stretch says:

    Your question was answered 135 years ago. Winchester 1873 and Colt SAA in .44WCF.
    I’d “update” that combo with a Winchester 1892 or 1894 and a Ruger (Redhawk, Blackhawk or New Vaquero) in either .44mag or .45LC.
    cross posted at Tam’s.

  59. caillean says:

    revolver and lever-gun in .357mag, .44mag, or .45LC (though .45LC can be a bit scarse..)

    Top choice at this moment? my Ruger Security Six and an Uberti 1866 yellowboy carbine (both in .357mag). I love the Uberti 1866 yellowboy, and I love my security six.

    Probably would enjoy a ruger super-blackhawk, but I haven’t tried it. Sadly the new Vaqueros just plain don’t fit my hand. :/

  60. Brian Dale says:

    Ah, I’m late for choir practice again, I see. I’m another for .357 in any 3″ or 4″ Smith K-frame. Winchester or Marlin lever, 16″ or 20″ barrel. I’m not fussy.

  61. The Old Man says:

    Camp carbine and 1911 in .45. Deer unhunted in park except by drivers so 150 yards not necessary.

  62. militant_marmot says:

    And silliness ensued.

    Contrarian choices:
    Taurus .223 and an AR HBAR.

    Raging Hornet in .22 Hornet and a bolt or Handi-Rifle in same.

    45-70 BFR and a Guide Gun

    M-1 Carbine and the .30 Carbine revolver (Whichever brand)

  63. Dave says:

    Well the only pistol/rifle combo I currently have is a Star BM and a Hi Point 995. I suspect shooting at anything 150 yards away would be an optimistic endeavor involving good amounts of Kentucky windage and elevation.
    Oh well. I bought it so I could have a rifle to shoot at pistol ranges, not to be Jeremiah Johnson in a post apocalyptic wilderness.

    Once upon a time I owned a Marlin 1894, so pick a .44 caliber pistol to go with that, and I figure that would be a solid choice.

  64. trainer says:

    Got ’em already.

    1894cs and a Trooper both in .357.

    Had a lot of practice with both so I’m cool with those choices.

  65. DesertRat says:

    My personal choice:

    Cartridge: .44 Winchester Mangle-em
    Load: 240gr Soft or Hollow Point
    Rifle: Marlin 1894SS
    Handgun: S&W 629 3″

  66. William says:

    I’d have to go with a Springfield 1911 and a Thompson, gotta love .45 acp.

  67. Marko Kloos says:

    To all you folks in favor of the Thompson:

    It looks cool and all, but have you ever tried to run a course of fire with one that has a 50-round drum hanging off it? It’s like lifting a piano with two pistol grips.

    • Brian Dale says:

      Yeah, but look at the cool points. Besides, an acquaintance who’d been in the Army in the middle ’60s told me that, in FA, you could let them ride on the recoil and so they were easy to shoot with one hand.

      Even so, my first choice wouldn’t be an 11-lb. submachine gun.

  68. Darrell says:

    *looks in safe* .357 lever gun and revolver, or .30 carbine B’hawk and M1 carbine.

  69. Darrell says:

    *looks in safe again* Oops, forgot the PLR16 and AR/SLR106FR. :$

  70. Weer'd Beard says:

    STI 2011 and M3 SMG both in .45 ACP!

  71. Doug says:

    Look in my safe and choose a remington552 and a ruger mk2. try to pack 5000 rounds of anything else.

  72. E says:

    since I don’t HAVE the 1894C to go with my blackhawk, I got to thinking… do I have a greater-than .22 combination already??

    Sorta, since I homebrew:

    shorty: Kimber TLE-II, .45acp
    longy: T/C Hawken .54 with the same 230gr .452 bullets and MMP sabots!


    I think that qualifies to just about 150yds.
    Hell, I might even be able to carry that rifle as far as 200yds to clock something on the head with the brass butt plate!


  73. Gerry N. says:

    Re: Destroyer 9mm Parabellum.

    When I bought it, it was in 9mm Largo. The barrel was only hand tight, so I chucked it in my Lathe, turned the shoulder and breech back +/- 1.5 mm, re faced the reciever a mm or two and re seated the barrel. I got lucky, getting the barrel timed and the headspace correct on the second try.

    Oh, and Destroyers will be found in 9mm Largo, 9mm Parabellum, and .38 Super, all imported in the 20’s and early 30’s. The rash of Destroyers that came in in the recent past were good for foolin’ around with. I know of at least one that’s been rebarreled to .45 ACP. It’s a doozy.

    Someone is missing a sure bet by not making a simple bolt action pistol caliber carbine along the lines of the Destroyer. Quick selling calibers would be .45 ACP, 9mm Para, .38 Super, and maybe .30 Carbine.

    Not everyone wants to fish around in the grass for the brass.

    Gerry N.

    • Caleb says:

      That’s pretty cool. The only imports I’ve ever seen have been the ones from the 50s and 60s, which were all 9mm Largo.

      I also agree that a bolty carbine in .38 Super would be sweet as hell, the problem being it’s also completely ludicrous and makes no sense whatsoever.

  74. perpster says:

    Revolver and lever-action carbine in .357 Magnum. Revolver to have 3″ or less barrel for concealability. The combo can use .38 Spcl or .357 Magnum, from light loads to full power, from wadcutter to you-name-it bullets.

    I’d probably go with a 3″ 6-shot S&W 65LS (or 1 7/8″ 7-shot S&W 686P) and Marlin 1894C.

  75. T.Stahl says:

    Oh Marko! What have you done?
    Now I feel a renewed need for a GP161 and that I have to change the caliber of the planned Puma M92 from .44Mag to .357Mag.
    And just for the sake of simplified logistics and because it’s so practical!

  76. wild bill says:

    Got ’em. Colt New Service and Remington Mod. 14 1/2 in .38-40.

  77. ZerCool says:

    Late on the reply; I’ve been out of town.

    Serbu Super Shorty on the Rem870 receiver and Remington 870.

    • ss says:

      After reading through the comments, I realize that there are many perfectly good calibers to choose from, to include: 357 Magnum and 44 Magnum for the lever action/revolver fans, and 10mm and 45 ACP for the semi-automatic/automatic fans. I think the area of greatest subjectivity is in the criteria of “..medium sized game at up to 150 yards” and assuming this includes 2 legged vermin. I agree that lugging a Thompson SMG looks great from a CDI perspective but at 150 yards a Marlin Camp carbine would be a preferred alternative. Although the M1 carbine is excellent in its own right, I hesitate to support this approach out of a pistol length barrel. The 30 carbine round certainly should get bonus points for “psychological devastation” but I would prefer to have greater control for a follow up shot. Keep in mind its dark half the time and 30 carbine out of a pistol barrel will really light things up.
      I found it interesting that there was NOT very much interest in 5.56mm, which is available in several pistol length guns. I can only conclude that with so many calibers and firearms that can do the job, personal preference is the deciding factor.

      • Rick R. says:

        5.56mm is a sucky handgun round, as good as it is from a 16″ or 20″ barrel.

        Factor in, “suitable for self-defence”, and the idea of a 5.56mm handgun is even sillier.

        Now, if I could have a handgun in a decent caliber — i.e., just about anything from .38 Special through .44 Magnum, then the 5.56mm becomes a much better longarm choice. It’s a LOT more flexible as a light rifle round than many give it credit for.

        But with ONE caliber for two guns (the limits listed), the way to go is “small enough to shoot well from a service sized handgun, big enough to make a credible carbine round for people, predators, or the pot”.

  78. Rick R. says:

    I think the folks with 4-6″ fourty-something revolvers and matching lever guns are thinking the smartest. I think a 4″ barrel is more realistic on the handgun for meeting the “self defence” part of the Operational Requirements Document, beauce that implies needing to go into action from the holster (likely concealed). . . although 5″ barrelled revolvers have proven adequately handy in the past. . .

    .44-40, .44 Magnum, .45 Long Colt, whatever. They’ll all get the job done.

    .357? It’s nice to use .38 Special if need be, but Zombie Apocalypse Scrounging isn’t in the ORD, merely ready commerical availability. Concealability on a K-frame is sure nicer than an N-frame, but I’m not that happy about losing momentum at 150 yards. . .

    5.56mm, 9mm Parabellum, .30 Carbine, 5.7 Poodleshooter? Land of Dreams.

  79. Assrot says:

    As usual I’m very late to the game but I have a few to add.

    M1 Carbine – .30 carbine
    Ruger Blackhawk – .30 carbine

    Winchester ’94 – thutty/thutty
    Magnum Research BFR – thutty/thutty

    Alexander Arms Overwatch – .50 Beowulf
    Magnum Research Custom BFR – .50 Beowulf

    I own and shoot all of the above. The .30 carbine is slightly anemic for the stated purpose. I’d say the thutty-thutty is just right but 150 yards is pushing it. The .50 Beowulf is excellent but expensive to shoot and the revolver is rough on the hand even for a man my size.


    • Rick R. says:

      Those BFRs look a tad large for credible “self defence” roles. A 10″ barrel with an abnormally long cylinder means your handgun is not going to fill the hole for, “Surprise encounter! Luckily I have a handgun ready to hand in a holster, since I either can’t get the rifle into play in time, or it’s out of reach.”

      Although you bring up a point with a round in the .50AE class.

      Depending on how “readily available” one considers something like a .454 Casull, a revolver in that chambering iwth something like a 7.5″ or shorter tube is credible (albeit WAY more gun than one would normally think is a portable, controllable “self defence” handgun) as your sidearm, and a rifle in that chambering gives you everything a .44 Magnum, .44-40, or .45 Colt would, plus some.

  80. staghounds says:

    A rifled, scoped semiauto 20 gauge and an Ithaca Auto Burglar?

  81. Maximizing Ammo-load from pistol to carbine has been a focus of mine (shtf-bags) for a while. The revolver/lever or .30-revolver/carbine suggestions are good ones, but… tending toward semi-auto stuff myself, and liking the idea of shared mags AND ammo, I’d say…

    KT Sub2k Carbine in .40 and pistol to match – get the pistol you like and then the carbine to interchange mags AND ammo.

    1911 and Marlin Camp rifle.

    Love both!


    • Rick R. says:

      Yeah, but it’s that 150 yard carbine role where I doubt the authority of the .45ACP. . . Sure, the bullet will get there with man-stopping authority, but that’s not necessarily enough snot for 150 – 250 lbs hunting.

      Better than nothing, which is why I once suggested to the Air Force (blue sky RFP) they consider a medium sized .45 sidearm for pilots with a “carbine upper” (preferrably suppressed) for that pistol in the seat pack for aviators.

  82. J.S.Bridges says:

    Gents, you’ve missed an obvious one (which I’m currently working on):

    Cartridge: .500 S & W Caliber

    Handgun: Smith and Wesson (naturally) “X-Frame”, with 8″ barrel

    Long Gun: Marlin Model 1895, re-barreled to suit (original chambering is .45-70 Gov’t – that caliber can be done in a Ruger Redhawk, BTW, which would make another possible combo…hmmm…)

  83. Schmidt says:

    I’d take the 9x39mm VSS rifle, it has good penetration and is relatively quiet to boot.. and a revoler in the same caliber. 7,62mm WP revolers are made, so a gunsmith could make one in the 9×39, as it’s based on the model.43 round..

    • Rick R. says:

      Doesn’t meet the “commercially available ammunition” requirement, unfortunately.

      • Schmidt says:

        Then I’ll make it a bullpup 7.62 WP carbine and a revolver in the same caliber.. (there’s one or two, I think).

        Though.. they’ve got to start selling that ammo sometime, Perhaps in UK, they’re big on silent weaponry there. A bolt action hunting rifle in 9×39 could probably be made vewy quiet indeed.

        • Rick R. says:

          A revolver in 7.62x39mm M43?

          Same problems as you find in any other “rifle” round — the “handgun” side of the problem isn’t solved in accordance with the ORD, either because it’s too big for realistic duty as a self-defence handgun, or the short tube robs the round of the utility.

          Even if the handgun ends up handy enough for realistic service as a defensive handgun, and even if the short barrel doesn’t rob it of performance (and admittedly, M43 is less subject to that than 5.56mm), having a bullet-spitting Handflampatronen that kicks like a mule, but only hits like a .30-30 at best is not conducive to good defensive shooting.

          But, presuming that a 7.62x39mm M43 round will suit — why a bullpup? There’s no reason the longarm needs to be super-short, and many reasons to avoid a bullpup.

          One of the Czech or Australian bolt actions? Fine. AK or RPK? Fine. SKS? Not only fine, but Real World proven as a perfectly functional gun for both hunting and combat. In fact, I would say that a bone-stock SKS is right on performance for the “longarm” side of the requirement. Sure, you could go better — but it meets the min spec just fine out of the box or out of the trophy display.

        • T.Stahl says:

          I think there’s a slight misunderstaning and confusion of 7.62×39 (the SKS/AKM-round) and 7.62x28R (the Nagant-round).

        • Rick R. says:

          Ah. . . that might explain it.

          To me, the Nagant 7.62 ISN’T a “Warsaw Pact” round (as I presumed the “WP” meant) — it’s an IMPERIAL round.

          I wouldn’t shoot a rabid dog with a Nagant revolver. Although they ARE apparantly quite useful for dealing out the “People’s Non-Judicial Punishment”.

  84. Schmidt says:

    If the bullpup is good enough(the trigger, I hear that making well responding triggers for bullpup rifles is harder) it’s better than a normal rifle as it’s easier to conceal. A short barrelled bullpup rifle can even be carried under a coat, or in a backpack..

    Even an assault rifle felt like a toy compared to the airgun I used to shoot when I was a kid.. Heavy barrel positioned up front isn’t very clever.. if you can just put it backwars a foot with a different layout. There’s much less momentum, it’s easier to aim the gun and so on.

    Also, it seems to me that the bullpup layout allows more efficient usage of space on a gun. The stock serves only one purpose on classic rifles, but on a bullpup, you can have the magazine and the whole works in it…

    I’m not entirely sure about bullet speeds, but a 15 cm barrel for ordinary 7.62 vz43 would probably still kick it up maybe to 500m/s, which is useful. The muzzle blast would probably scare everyone away too.. (unless one handloaded the rounds for carbine/pistol separately with different powders..). In that case, the speed may be even higher.. and apparently very high speeds in pistol rounds produce spectacular wounds(but bad barrel wear).

    So, a sturdy custom made revoler and a custom made carbine, both capable of firing any sane 7.62 loads. If money is no object, there’s a company a mile away from here that’d probably build you a reliable bullpup gas operated carbine for 50 K €… It’s not rocket science after all.

    • Marko Kloos says:

      Bullpups have disadvantages, too. Awkward for people who shoot off the left shoulder, slow and clumsy magazine changes that basically take place in one’s armpit, and a cheek and eye that are right above the chamber during a case blow-out.

      • Rick R. says:

        Heh, you responded while I was typing.

        I think there’s a place for a well designed bullpup. . . primarily in a military role. Two changes that will help it along:

        Caseless ammo. Use the HK 4.7 technology (heh, it worked really well from an engineering standpoint), but with a larger bullet (I’m thinking 6mm, about 100 grains).

        TRUE ambidextrous operation. No, the friggin’ AUG doesn’t qualify — if you have to disassemble your gun and change parts in the middle of a firefight just to shoot around the left side of teh wall, it ain’t ambidextrous. The FN2000 and the RFB are better, but I’m not really happy with teh forward ejection — seems more prone to get jammed when REALLY exposed to the mud of the field, and I like being able to easily check the chamber. Caseless ammo will solve this, as will moving the guts a skosh further forward, so you CAN fire a “righty” gun off the left shoulder, and not eat brass. The bullpup Singapore came up with is a step in the right direction — but they only put the blast shield on one side. A unitary kevlar “saddle” will keep cold or hot metal off delicate cheek skin, and a big-assed brass deflector will keep hot shiny bits flying away from the lefty’s face.

        For almost any civilian use, bullpups have critical failures that are VERY difficult to mitigate. for instance, teh trigger. even in bullpups where an adequate trigger pull is possible do so by stating with a GREAT trigger pull, and then trying not to make it any worse than the engineering requires.

        Note that mag changes can be done somethly with many bullpups, provided teh user is drilled in making them with that weapon as smoothly as you were probably drilled with your G3, or I am with an M16 or M1911. The problem is, apparantly, that almost NONE of the muscle memory that “conventional” guns use carries over to bullpup rapid mag changes.

    • Rick R. says:

      Okely-dokely, if that’s what creams your Twinkie, that’s fine.

      I would recommend trying out (i.e., carrying and firing) a couple of bullpups before deciding how OMG wonderful they are. Yes, they DO have some advantages — but they also have countervailing disadvantages. if your a mech infantry grunt or a SWAT cop, the disadvantages may well be minor compared to the advantages.

      Perssonally, I’ve not found most “conventional” arms all that cumbersome, especially in assualt rifle calibers, but then, I like the balance on a Garand, and feel replacing 20″ M16 rifles with 14.5″ M4 carbines among the rank and file was one of the stupider decisions of the US Army.

      • Schmidt says:

        Well, I’m not a southpaw, and I don’t have muscle memory associated with mag changes, as I’ve only shot integral magazine guns so far…

        The burnt propellant is a problem… though, a clever design may try to have them directed downward, along with the case.

        • Rick R. says:

          With a bullpup, trying to feed the gun from the bottom AND eject downwards may prove a bit of an engineering problem.

          At least if you want the trigger pack and grip anywhere within about 20″ of the buttplate. . . {grin}

          Bullpups are (so long as we are stuck with metallic case rounds) a POSSIBLE solution to many problems, that pretty much are “combat”, not “hunting”, and not “survivial” problems for the most part. Advocating bullpups as a first choice is somewhat like advocating jungle boots for any outdoor activity — sure, it’ll work, but maybe a set of nice runners or civilian hiking boots might be a little lighter, and thus, less energy draining?

          Don’t get me wrong — I’ve got multiple sets of webbing set up for multiple long arms, just becuase I can. I’m a big personal fan of OTS milsurp, because it works, and I’m familiar and comfortable with it.

          But I haven’t pulled on my woodland camo (aside from a field jacket when there’s dirty work to do in the cold) in years, because it’s sub-optimal for most of what I do. If you see me wearing camo, it probably means you’re at a WWII themed airshow.

        • Schmidt says:

          I wonder about the F&N P90 layout. Clearly, it’s not easy to produce a reliable feeding magazine of similar layout. But it ought not be impossible.. and the orientation of the magazine could allow for great capacity.

          Well. Hunting and survival aren’t the problems I’m likely to face.

          And, what’s wrong with bullpup rifles for survival purposes? A straight pull bolt-action/gas operated carbine could be made to be very reliable and capable of operating even on dubious ammunition..

        • Rick R. says:

          The orientation of the P90 magazine only allows high capacity becuase it uses very tiny rounds, compared to any reasonable rifle.

          It’s a short barrelled pest gun, dressed up in tacti-cool format. If it wasn’t for Stargate: SG1, nobody would likely remember it by now.

  85. Schmidt says:

    ..I’m not sure why one could not use a rifle that would have a magazine in a position similar to the P90. 6cm wide top should not be an issue. It could even be placed to the right, so it wouldn’t stick out on the left side.

    And definitely, you could make a very handy 9mm smg with awesome mag capacity using that layout. Those bullets aren’t much bigger..

    BTW, I’m not sure about the pest gun status. .22Lr is a pest gun .. Ek of 22 is what, 200J ?
    Even with a tiny bulletn, 700m/s of the 5.7 mm is a lot. Kinetic energy is similar to 9x19mm …

    • Rick R. says:

      The problem with sticking the magazine out to one side is that you have now, even more than the other bullpups, made it impossible to shoot from the opposite shoulder.

      As for a 9mm SMG — not the point of the exercise. Honestly, I fell that pistol caliber SMGs have so few applications these days, and have been so well maximized for those applications by 90 years of development, that it’s not worth the design effort and added feed complexity of making on like that.

      As for “pest gun” status of teh 5.7mm, it’s very simple.

      I’m basing that on the actual terminal ballistics tests the US Marine Corps ran a few years back. The 5.7mm FN leaves a wound track like an off the shelf .22 WMR (.22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire, AKA .22 Magnum). A .22 Magnum is a pest gun caliber — you can get OTS .22LR ammo that duplicates run of the mill .22 Magnum terminal performance in any gun store or WalMart.

      Of course, many of us looking at these issues professionally suspected this would be the case when FN was touting the magical performance of the round when it first came out. No matter how cool the marketing campaigns, neither FN nor HK have quite managed to repeal the laws of physics. Although teh Kool-Aid drinking fanboys keep insisting they somehow aren’t subject to them, just by the nature of the logo on the gun.

      (That’s not to bash HK or FN. They both make some good guns. I’m less entrhralled with the ergonomics of most HK products than some, but they work OK. And FN has been prime producer on many of the finest weapons of the 20th Century. Even designed many of them in-house. But in the end, they have to sell guns too, and until the next major breakthrough or widescale caliber turnover is developed, there’s only so much they can do by adding rails and plastic to existing designs, or incrementally improving guns — like their new pistol lines.)

      • T.Stahl says:

        Yep, the 5.7×28 and 4.6×30 are perfect answers to improperly posed questions.

        The .223Rem is already is just sufficient for a light Bambi and marginal for erect walking, tool using predatory apes in body armor on drugs.

        How anyone could believe that calibers using bullets half that size at 3/4 the velocity can be anything but much worse is beyond my grasp.

        • Rick R. says:

          That’s the part I never understood.

          I UNDERSTAND the belief in high velocity being able to make up for bullet size. Yes, if you add enough bullet velocity, you can offset smaller bullet size, and in some cases superior velocity in smaller bullets (even with less total energy) CAN result in superior preformance — if only becuase the bullet manages to fall all to pieces and dump a lot of energy by ripping stuff up instead of drilling a caliber-sized hole through the body and exiting with enough energy remaining to repeat a couple of times. If 90% of the “impact” energy files out the far side of the target with 100% of the bullet, versus a smaller slug that hits with half the energy, but only 50% of the smaller bullet exits with 33% of it’s impact energy, then teh bigger more energetic bullet is LESS POWERFUL in respect to THAT target.

          Bullet expansion (why modern 9x19mm JHP is generally superior on soft targets compared to .45ACP FMJ), fragmentation (M193 or M855 5.56mm at 2700+ fps vs. many non-US 5.56mm FMJ loads of equal mass and velocity), or increased yawing of a long, unbalanced in liquid media projo (.303 Brit MkVII) can all increase effective energy transfer (i.e., juice used to rip shit up instead of smashing scenery behind the target). Of course, all of these strategies come at the price of lowered soft target penetration. So if you’re shooting something meatier than a human, you likely need to emphacize more penetration than if shooting a person.

          But, when you have a SMALLER, SKINNIER, LIGHTER, SLOWER bullet, and you AREN’T getting some kind of fragmentation or expansion with the new bullet that the older bullet didn’t already provide, how in the Hell is it supposed to provide equal terminal ballistics?

  86. Caleb says:

    Actually, a Ruger 10/22 Magnum and a good K-frame wheelie in the same would be pretty sweet.

    • Rick R. says:

      Damned marginal for either the “hunting” role specified, or the “defensive” role.

      Of course, if all you’re concerned about is either hunting rabbits, or having to defend yourself against killer swimming bunnies, then by all means. . . {grin}

  87. greg tag says:

    To me there are two ideals. One is for a situation likely to need more attention to the two-legged varmint, and the other scenario with more attention for four- legged.

    First- the primary four-legged solution:

    Smith M25-5 with a 4″barrel in .45 Colt. Its concealable, portable, affordable , and .45 Colt is hands down the best defensive revolver round, when you compare accuracy, oomph and controllability. Ruger Redhawk in .454/.45 Colt will work almost as well. The rifle- a Marlin M1895 Cowboy . The long tube magazine means you can stuff about 10 cartridges in it. If there are two-lgged varmints in the vicinity, 10 rounds is not quite enough to deal with the Third Mongolian Horde, but enough rounds that to be downrange would be unpleasant, to say the least. For hunting use, those same 250 LSWC Keith bullets, with a muzzle velocity circa 1150 fps, at 150 yards retain about 830 fps. The numbers give a Taylor Knockout Index of about 13.4 at 150 yards, which is adequate for deer-sized game. Zero for 100 and you only have about 16″of hold over – no problem for a thoughtful rifleman.

    For the more “urban combo”, your favorite flavor of M1911 single stack and a Marlin Camp Carbine .45 ACP. While .45 ACP is not my first ( or even 6th ) choice for a 150 yard deer cartridge, with good shooting it should still be able to bring home the bacon. If your targets are assailants instead of potential dinner, .45 ACP is still an adequate fight-stopper at 150 yards ( although if truth be told , I would much prefer my 7.62 NATO CETME or an M1A)

    Another really cool combo would be a Para – Ord P14 in .45 ACP and a Mech-Tech Carbine on a Para-Ord frame. 14 rounds ready to go, pistol or carbine, and mags interchangeable as well.

    Interesting topic.


    • Rick R. says:

      You have a point — there is no “one” best solution for two very different missions.

      But the question on teh table is, given the stated limits and planned useage, select ONE caliber and TWO guns (one long, one short) that can pinch hit in either arena.

      If we’re going to split up the two missions, might as well split up the calibers. In whihc case, I’d likely go for a 4″ .357 magnum DA revolver and a .30-something full bore semiauto rifle such as a Garand, M14, AR10, or FAL. All of those gun choices have proven track records in both hunting and bipedal predator control. (If it was just hunting, I’d go for a 5-6″ .357 or .44 Magnum revolver, DA or SA, and I would open the field to include almost any full bore .30-ish bolt action that has good sights AND a solid optics mount. If it was just anti-personnel, I’d go for almost any decent service handgun from .38 Special on up to .45ACP or .357 Magnum, and add in 5.56mm carbines and rifles to the mix of semiautos.)

      But that wasn’t the question posed.

  88. Bill Cawthon says:

    I already made the decision and both are in the handy-dandy home arsenal: Beretta PX4 Storm F and CX4 Storm carbine in 9mm.

    Kind of surprised no one mentioned the SIG Sauer P556 pistol and 556 rifle. Both are chambered for .223 Remington/5.56 NATO and can exchange magazines.

    • Rick R. says:

      Again, 9x19mm is inadequate for realistic hunting/predator control at 150m. Even from a carbine barrel.

      Several commenters already mentioned 5.56x45mm rifle/pistol combos (albeit not the Sig). Problem with 5.56mm is that it makes a crappy pistol round, even more so when you look at teh “self defense” side of the question.

      You need a big enough round that it’ll do the job at 150m, while being small enough to make a credible self defence holster gun. Using fairly common ammo, that pretty much limits you to the traditional carbine hunting cartridges that ALSO see use as carry pistol rounds, i.e., .357 Magnum, .44 Magnum, .45Colt, or hell, even 10mm (even though it’s not a traditional “carbine” round — it’s in the power region). (This is NOT an exhaustive list, BTW. . . )

  89. Jody E. Maas says:

    I’m sure it’s probably already been said, but I’ve been doing quite a bit of research on this topic myself recently. After studying the many different combos available, I’ve come to the conclusion that not only would interchangeable ammo be an advantage, but so would interchangeable magazines.
    The combo that I think proves the most potent for personal defense, emergency hunting situations, or simply when the shit hits the fan… A good old fashioned, Full size 1911 style pistol and the discontinued but readily available used marlin camp carbine. Both chambered in .45acp and the carbine will except most standard 1911 mags.
    Not only do you have proven reliability and immense stopping power but in the carbine version you’ve just upped accuracy on a longer range shot. Granted you’re not going to be dropping a deer at 300yds with it… but it would be pretty reliable for most emergency situations.
    That’s just my opinion… but It’s the combo I plan on stocking with my Bug out Bag, just in case!

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