This month’s Reader’s Choice was a conducted a little differently. For our first attempt at this feature, you all suggested that we missed some. This time we allowed you to add choices in the comments and if there were enough upvotes, we added the firearm to the list. It seemed like that process worked a bit better, and we will continue that modification on for the next iterations of this series.
The Marlin 336C received 29% of the votes. The second place was the Ruger Scout Rifle .308 Win with 7% of the votes and the Marlin 1895 .45-70 Gov’t took third place with 6%. Four of you savages voted for the Mosin Nagant. You do realize that there will be no one to reduce your shoulder after you dislocate firing that blunderbuss it in the backwoods, right?
We asked you all to comment why you chose the gun you did and here are some of the better comments. The snark was generally still missing, but a number of you submitted multiple different comments.
Scepaniak said it best. And I agree wholeheartedly!
Michael E, Marlin 336C
While you did pick the winner, I’m not sure we can trust your reasoning…
Versatility. Flares, rifled slugs, buckshot, birdshot… Hell, you can load shells with just about anything that will fit down the barrel. Just right to take out a deer and plenty to deal with a charging moose or grizzly (although, it’s doubtful that if you’re charged by either, ANY caliber will feel like “plenty”). Aftermarket options aplenty to turn it into the machine you need. And low maintenance/ reliability/availability? Please, it’s a 12 gauge pump for Christ’s sake.
Jonathon S, Mossberg 590 12 Gauge
I wonder if it would load and fire the material that would be in my pants if a Grizzly was charging at me?
It was rough, but the 336 does everything well. it caries easily. .30-30 properly placed will kill ANYTHING in North America, it’s reliable, accurate to 300 yards, you can find reasonably proced ammo ANYWHERE, a lever gun is not “Scary looking” so it doesn’t send up alarms. It can be scoped, and you can learn to run a lever damn near as fast a semi auto, and if you remember to top off as you shoot, magazine capacity isn’t even a n issue….(Plus a tube means no mags to loose, drop, fumble, etc)
Keith L, Marlin 336C
Which technically means anything ON THE PLANET. (Since we have zoos here).
If you carried one around for a day in the woods, you would understand.
Eric G, Steyr Arms Scout Rifle .308 Win
I did in CounterStrike years ago. Savage.
Because if I need to shoot anything less than a T-Rex, this would be the gun
Blaise M, Marlin 1895 .45-70 Gov’t
And what, dear sir, would you use for said T-Rex?
Moss 590 12 ga model w changable chokes. Variance of shot size to cover all approached game. universally available ammunition. Since the game says “backwoods”, that means forest, which means closer shots at game, bringing the slug into reliable hunting range for near all NA big game. Low pressure cartridge vs rifle minimizes barrel wear and reduces the rate of headspacing spec issues. Pump to accept all flavors of cartridge. Finally moss over rem due to fanboy issues and not much else.
Anthony M, Mossberg 590 12 Gauge
Nothing wrong with being a fanboy. So long as you gush over the right brand…
It makes me happy
Adam L, Steyr Arms Scout Rifle .308 Win
Definitely needs elaboration…
Its the only gun on backwoods gun list that has a nice wood stock
Austin P, Winchester Model 1886 lever-action .45-70 Gov’t Rifle
Everyone is always impressed with a nice wood……stock.
Alfonzo B, Remington 870 12 Gauge
I used SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) to pick the one I like in the hope of winning your SWAG Pack.
Brian W, Ruger 10/22 .22 Long Rifle
More science, less guessing next time, Brian… Or tame the ass of that guess…
Availabity,versatility,durability,ergonomics,packabilty,acessorizabity,serviceability,weight and size parameters excellent,and affordable to the masses without high cost for ammo
Charles B, Ruger 10/22 .22 Long Rifle
AVDEPASWS. That is a terrible acronym Charles…
This handy little carbine is chambered for one of the least expensive center fire rifle rounds available. However, it still works great on up to medium size game out to a couple hundred yards, and is very accurate in this platform. The gun comes with a nicely figured wooden stick, good iron sites, and sling swivel studs. It also has an amazing set trigger. I was able to get mine for just over $500
Peter B, CZ 527 Carbine 7.62x39mm
Again with the wood….
I love the 1886 as I had a chance to borrow one! The carbine version is the way to go. Very easy to slip quietly through the brush , where this round excels! I would love to win this as the “swag” tbh. OK, I know that you wouldn’t award me an 1886 but it was worth a try! PS, just a standard grade I model from the new Winchester catalog will do nicely, lol. On a serious note, I’d love to read a review of some of these new versions of the leverguns from Winchester, such as the 1892 in .44 Mag or .357. I think it would be a very interesting article; mostly you are involved with the Henry or Marlin recently and the New Winchesters get no love.
James D, Winchester Model 1886 lever-action .45-70 Gov’t Rifle
Okay, already, we will try and get one for review… 🙂
Small, proven, handy rifle in an intermediate caliber. Allows you to carry more rounds with a lighter weapon to make hiking easier.
David P, SKS 7.62x39mm
Trekking Poles make hiking easier…
The AK will always be the best “backwoods” gun. Why? It currently is the “backwoods” gun for most of the planet where the rule of law is sketchy at best. *Chuckles in Collapsitarian*
Eric H, Century Arms C39v2 7.62x39mm Rifle
[Joins in collapsitarian chuckling]
Everyone I Don’t Like is LITERALLY HITLER – The Song
Jonathon S, Remington 870 12 Gauge
On the board twice there Jonathon…
If it’s good enough for terrorists, child soldiers, and pirates all over the world it’s good enough for me
Blaise M, Century Arms C39v2 7.62x39mm Rifle
No loyalty on firearms choices there Blaise. Though I can stand behind the logic of aligning with pirates (I’m assuming the “shiver me timbers” variety and not the “I’m the captain now” type).
Growing up with Teddy Roosevelt, I knew that this was the gun for me also. Teddy was a frail young man, whilst I was stout and hardy. If he could master the huge 45-70 then why should I fear? Alas, I purchased one of my own, a sweet young thing of walnut and steel; love at first sight! My being the carbine, I was able to snake through the backwoods with nary a sound. Shoot the big bucks, I did much to Teddy’s disappointment.
James D, Winchester Model 1886 lever-action .45-70 Gov’t Rifle
Loyalty to your choice and alternate history story telling? Blaise, take note and learn from James…
The Remington 870 is the obvious choice for a do all backwoods gun. The platform has a timeless record for reliability in all atmospheric conditions and extremely low maintenance. As far as a multiuse firearm I can’t really think of anything you can’t hunt with it aside of the Big 5 in Africa and frankly if a large cat was coming for me I would hope that I was weilding the ol’ 870!! Just by changing the type of shells you can go from hunting squirell/rabbit size game on up to deer/elk size game out to 200 yards. I personally carry mine in the Backcountry always to fend off the local grizzly bears/wolves/cats and frankly it’s a pretty good option if the ever popular zombie apocalypse happens…I have mine set up to hang on my left side so I have a free right hand for casting a flyrod. Ammo is highly available and extremely cheap for the most part! Next to a good knife the 870 shotgun is the #1 go to multitool for any backwoods adventure, trust me, your companions will be greatful you brought one!
Rob B, Remington 870 12 Gauge
Beware the zombie river trout.
Because you can use handgun ammo in both 357 Mag and .38 Spl, which are readily available at all sporting goods and hardware stores and even at some pharmacies in the south.
Kyle J, Marlin 1894 .357 Magnum
We call those “Lead Pills”.
My BF regrets getting rid of his, and I keep having to hear how perfect it was and how he regrets it – so it’s kinda playful spite.
Colleen S, Marlin 336C .35 Rem
Well, now you know what to get him for Christmas. Here is a link to buy one: http://bit.ly/2SnsB1K
Scott K, Marlin 336C
Theres just something wholesome and pure about walking in the woods on a frosty winter morning with a vintage marlin.
David B, Marlin 336C
So far this is the only comment that has been wholesome and pure…
I WONT VOTE FOR CENTURY U DOOD WIINCHESTER IS PRETTY SO SAYS MY GF, I WOULD NOT CALL U THE “D” WORD THAT IS HER
Rick F, WINCHESTER MODEL 1886 LEVER-ACTION .45-70 GOV’T RIFLE
Remind me to enforce spelling standard next time…
Because slavsh*t is best sh*t.
James T, CENTURY ARMS C39V2 7.62X39MM RIFLE
“30-30 SINCE 1894 ,THE DEBATES STARTED BEFORE THE ON SHELF AVAILABILITY IN 1895, 150 GR VERSES 170 GR LOADS IS ONE OF THE MOST ARGUMENTED/DEBATED HUNTED CHOICES. ONLY THE CHOICE IN BBQ FOR MEAT GOES ON FOR LONGER AND GETS MORE VIOLENT, RELIGION AND POLITICS ARE SAFE AND TAME EVEN FOR DRINKING WHISKY ANS TEQUILA BENDER DEBATORS.. .
PLUS THE MARLIN COMES IN 35 REMINGTON, A SUPERIOR KICK ASS CARTRIDGE FOR A RIFLE THAT HAS THE EJECT PORT OUT OF THE WAY OF THE SCOPE. OVER A CENTENARY OF PUTTING FOOD ON THE TABLE FEEDING FAMILIES HAS ALL THE PROOF YOU NEED IN THE HEALTHY NEXT GENERATIONS WHO ARE NOT MALNOURISHED. so 30-30 mARLIN BUT NEEDS TO BE .35 REMINGTON BOTH COMPANIES MADE THE CARTRIDGES BUT MARLIN MADE THE LEVER ACTION RIFLE THAT MADE THEM PERFORM WHEN MISSES Meant miss dinners for days and foor stores for the winter….”
Track Someonelese, Marlin 336C
Your IP Address puts you squarely in Charlotte, NC after tracing your exit from TOR…
“Well, the scenario leaves a lot up to the imagination. Backwoods could mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. There’s a big difference between stalking pronghorn along the headwaters of the Wood River in Wyoming, and scrounging up small game in the Delta of Mississippi. One choice for so many possibilities and few specifics, it’s kinda hard to make an argument for any one choice.
I picked the one AR on the list though.
Why you might ask?
Weight and size, commonality of parts, familiarity with the weapon, high degree of weatherability, serviceability, and broad range of deployment options.
Weight: I want to be able to carry the thing to wherever the quarry is, and be able to carry the quarry back with me.
Parts: I’m not sure about other areas of the country, but around here I know of at least four neighbors that I can go to and potentially make a trade on an AR firing pin, extractor, or any other small part. Not so sure about the rest of the guns on the list.
Familiarity: I can swap out most parts with minimal tools on an AR if the need arises. I might or might not be able to do it on the other guns listed, but I know for sure that I can on the AR. I also know how to run the gun in the dark, upside down, in the rain, on a train.
Weatherability: Aluminum and plastic doesn’t rust or warp, and the rest is pretty easy to keep clean and running.
Serviceability: I can get the AR running again quickly if it stops. Other designs, maybe quickly, maybe not so much, maybe not at all till I get to the shop. Anyone who says a lever gun won’t jam has never dealt with a loose feed gate or a rogue primer in the works. There’s no jam that an AR can produce that a lever gun won’t be able to say “hold my beer and watch this”.
Deployment Options: Near, far, wherever you AR, I believe you can handle most practical scenarios with a handy little semi-auto carbine. Sure it’d be nice to cozy up behind a high powered bolt gun with a nice long range optic for a 400 yard shot across a bean field, but try hitting that deer that just blew on you 10 yards away before it disappears into the creek bed with that same setup.
Luckily for me though my backwoods cabin has an 8 gun safe with a nice battery of ARs, rimfires, bolt actions, and shotguns. So I’ll only have to compromise for this thought experiment.”
Carroll S, Ruger Scout Rifle .308 Win
Never, ever compromise.
“1895 Guide Gun is just about the best option up here in Alaska.
If you’re cosplaying an American in “Red Dawn”,go with that commie crap.
If you want to stop a charging animal up here,use enough gun,which is this one.”
William H, Marlin 1895 .45-70 Gov’t
ACKCHYUALLY, it is called Live Action Role Playing, and we dress up as pandas.
Owning the Marlin 336C in thuddy-thuddy
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