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Old 03-25-2016, 08:30 PM   #101
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Default Re: Night Optics in the 1980s

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
It's important to recognize that very few of these are in civilian hands in 1988.
Oh, absolutely. I'm not looking for 'common' or 'mundane', here. Clayborn Allen also has a small helicopter. I'm just looking for something that could theoretically be purchased by very rich hunters with a night hunting hobby.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
The AN/PVS-5 is the night vision goggle that I had in the US Army in 1989. The AN/PVS-7 was available since 1985 but wasn't common.
What I could find out is that the AN/PVS-5 (or an more-or-less equivalent) would be pretty fancy for special operations in the late 80s. It may be that top-of-the-line US-made commercial night vision optics may resemble it, as I've found one reference online that suggests it, but in the late 80s, there also exist superior models made by private companies that haven't yet made it through the military procurement pipelines.

Everything I can find suggests that optics with Gen 3 tubes existed for years before any military bought them. Whether the companies that designed them sold any of them commercially to hunters or hobbyists in these first years or were fully occupied showing them off to various militaries and law enforcement agencies in hopes of a contract, I do not know.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
The AN/PVS-4 was the standard "starlight scope" for mounting on weapons at the time. Wikipedia says it weights 4 lbs, so I suspect it is the "improved night sight." The earlier, heavier one is probably the Vietnam-era AN/PVS-2, but it looks like that might weigh more like 7 lbs. That might be with all accessories or something, though.
I've found commercial sights from many companies, including Phillips, Litton and Pilkington PE that more or less duplicate the TL7 'Improved Night Sight' or even the TL8 'Advanced Night Sight', made in the mid-to-late-80s. High-quality commercial models are often as light and compact as the TL8 'Advanced Night Sight', but save money by using Gen 2 tubes, which translates into Night Vision 5-6 instead of Night Vision 7.

The Optic-Electronic Corporation NVS-700 and the Varo Electron Devices Model 9866A pretty much are the AN/PVS-4 under a civilian designation (both companies made issue AN/PVS-4s as well).

In 1989, the Varo Aquila was introduced, which was tiny at 97 grams, even though it had a Gen 2 tube (and could use Gen 3) and 4x magnification. It won't be available commercially, but it's a good example of the state of the art in compact NV design at this time.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
For the add-on sight I think of the AN/PVS-22, but that's post-1988 by a long shot. I'm not sure if there were such things in 1988. Maybe?
GURPS High-Tech says there is a TL7 model of a 2nd Gen night vision add-on sight and that book is generally very well researched. That must mean that in the 1970s, there existed such a sight. Research discovers that the Norwegian Simrad and the Swedish Bofors Aerotronics made a 1x add-on sight in the 80s, using a choice of Gen 2 or Gen 3 tube. Pilkington PE may also have made add-ons. Whether such sights were commercially available to civilians in the 1980s, however, I have no idea.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
IIRC the TL7 thermal sights that date back to the 1980s were not really meant for mounting on personal weapons- they were huge, and meant for reconnaissance teams.
Further research led me to mostly the same conclusion, but there is a theoretical possibility.

The Magnavox Short-Range Thermal Sight (SRTS), which was designed for use on the M16 rifle and M203 grenade launcher, does exist at 1985+. Weighing 1.8 kg, it operates in the 3.7-5.0 micrometre bandwidth, and has a FOV of 6 [degrees] horizontal and 4 [degrees] vertical. A disposable lithium cell has an operating life of 10 hours. It may require an auxilitary container of liquid nitrogen carried around to be used, as well, but I'm not sure.

In any event, I don't know if it was available for commercial sale to civilians at the time. It may have been available by arrangement with Magnavox, but only for an astronomical price. Then again, it may have been classified military technology at the time.

There was another company (Raytheon) designing uncooled prototypes for the US military in competition with the Magnavox sight, which I think was the model that ended up adopted with the stats from High-Tech. That model was not available for commercial sale until 1995 at the earliest.
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Old 03-25-2016, 08:42 PM   #102
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Default Re: Night Optics in the 1980s

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If you want an "assault weapon" that is likely to be found in civilian hands the M1 carbine fits the bill, especially with a 30-round magazine. (I seem to recall that they were often seen on the hands of Bad Guys on the old SWAT TV show.) They are also notoriously easy to convert to full-auto by the simple expedient of filing the sear down a bit, and in fact will often turn full-auto spontaneously when the sear gets worn through normal use. In such a state they cannot fire in semi-auto. Conversely, great steps were taken to ensure that the many civilian AR15s could not be so easily converted- for instance Colt sold them with different pin positions and sizes so that only Colt civilian trigger groups could be installed.

There were also a lot of non-USGI M1 clones made by various companies (Auto-Ordnance is one) and a vigorous aftermarket in parts and accessories. The non-USGI magazines of that era kind of suck, by the way, and should get a malf penalty, especially the 30-round ones. They're notorious.

I think that I just might kill for a Rock-Ola M1 carbine. An IBM one would be a close second, with Saginaw Steering, National Postage Meter, or Underwood very distant thirds. (My grandfather's is a ten-a-penny Remington.) A Bad Guy screaming "rock-n-roll!" because his M1 was made by the Rock-Ola Jukebox Corporation would be a nice touch...
And there we have a great predator hunting gun for Ricky Sommiers, Esq.!

He'd have bought his around 1975. Would not mind used, as long as it passes his [Armoury (Smallarms) skill 6-7] quick check for functionality. Sommiers is not going to file down the sear of his carbine himself, but he's certainly a candidate for owning a well-worn M1 carbine where the sear has started to fail from use. Not that Sommiers practises much apart from this annual hunt, but if he bought a heavily used gun, it might have been worn before he got it. A 30-rd magazine would not be frowned upon, as sometimes there is a chance at a group of coyotes at a time and it's not as if coyote fur is a nice trophy the way fox or bobcat fur is. Sommiers has little woodcraft and he's an average shot, but he might have a chance to bag more coyote than some of the other hunters if he's willing to fire rapidly, at the risk of wounding rather than killing some of them.

Would a Rock-Ola Jukebox Corporation M1 carbine in .30 Carbine be difficult to acquire or expensive at that time? If so, what other manufacturer would be most likely?

And what kind of scope would you put on that carbine? He buys his scope in 1979 and would accept a used one, as long as it fit his requirements, primarily that it be easier to get a decent sight picture in twilight or nighttime artificial light shooting situations than either iron sights or improved visibility sights. Assume that he bought the scope specifically for hunting fox or bobcat in the daytime/twilight or using artificial light to hunt coyote at night. We don't want to buy a cheap gun and an expensive scope, so let's keep the scope down to a reasonable economy model. We do need a reticle that's fairly easy to see under low-light conditions and decent light-gathering capability (GURPS terms, remove -1 of darkness penalty). To keep cost down, we'll go for a fixed-power scope with no more than 3x magnification.

Also, what would be some types of .30 Carbine ammunition you could buy for sporting purposes in the 80s? I'm primarily looking for something that won't blow foxes apart, but if there are no good sporting options for such small prey easily available, Sommiers will negliently buy whatever is easiest for him to get and blame bad luck when his trophy fur ends up with ugly exit holes.
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Old 03-26-2016, 11:10 AM   #103
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Most common are Inland and Winchester. Here's a link.

I'm not entirely certain when M1 carbines became collectors' items as opposed to "a cheap semi auto you can buy from the guvmint." Common versions run around $400-$500 nowadays, but Rock-Olas can be a couple of grand, if you can find one, which you can't.

I think that in the late-80s they were still just cheap semi-autos, though, so getting a Rock-Ola from the CMP would be a matter of luck back then.

Honestly, not many people mounted scopes on their M1 carbines. Not that it couldn't be done- you'd have to get the receiver tapped first, but that's pretty simple gunsmithing. But I haven't seen many.

If you want night vision, maybe he got his hands on an M3 carbine? I'm not sure if CMP ever sold them, though. Well, actually, no they never would have sold the M3 because it's fully auto, but some surplus dealer might have sold the scope and accessories, which would be easy to mount on an ordinary M1.

There were literally tons and tons of cheap surplus military ball ammo available in the 80s for both .30-06 and .30 carbine. You could buy it by the pallet. But, as you have mentioned, the stopping power of .30 carbine ball is limited. The Israelis load soft-points and swear by them.

A good varmint gun would be a Mini-14, and they're already tapped to mount a cheap Bushnell scope. That sounds more like this Sommier guy. Are there GURPS stats for it somewhere? Hell, if the A-Team used them they have to be awesome, right? :)

EDIT- Yeah, the Mini-14 is in High-Tech.

ANOTHER EDIT- Nowadays there are scope mounts for the M1 that just required you to remove the rear sight, but I don't know if something similar was available in the 80s.

YET ANOTHER EDIT- Ha! Yes! Weaver made drop-in scope mounts. You can see one in the pic of the commemorative model on that page.

EDIT AGAIN- Nope, I was wrong again. The Universal (aftermarket non-USGI) carbines came tapped for scope mounting, so that Weaver mount wan't drop-in. It still needed a tapped receiver. But, again, that's pretty routine gunsmithing. And would indeed look very hillbilly, which seems to fit your character concept.

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Old 03-26-2016, 02:41 PM   #104
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Default Re: Night scopes for predator hunting

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
In modern day Maine, there is a season during which night hunts of coyotes are legal. In the absence of better data, I (perhaps foolishly) assumed that this had been so a generation ago as well.

I've tried to be careful about not injecting Florida info into this thread even if it was about the same period. It was just that the lights thing is a big deal locally. go into the woods off-season with lights and a firearm and you'll hit civil forfeiture on all of those and quite possibly your vehicle too. It is poaching thing as you appear to grasp.

I've also been careful about 2016 info but I have sort of watched or at least been in the same room while it was on of a cable TV program called _North Woods Law_

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/north-woods-law/

....and in one episode the wardens investigated whether r not a woman had taken a shot at a coyote without license and on a Sunday. Both acts would have been illegal i.e. you need a license to hunt coyotes and you can't do it on Sunday at all. I was boggled at needing a license to shoot coyotes.

Moving on, my Father's deer gun was a .270. Apparently a Ruger semi-auto and I think the scope was a Leupold. This would be for the American Eastern White Tail which is small-ish but probably close enough to the Red Deer in Campaigns.

However, Maine definitely has moose and might still have brown bears only a little smaller than you seen in Alaska. The bear would have been rare and may have been gone by 88. What my Father took to Alaska on a hunting trip was a Remington 799 in what may have been .300 win mag (he's 79 nw and getting technical details out of him is worse than pulling teeth). Clayton almost certainly has some sort of moose gun.

What you seem to want to call a "predator gun" might be a "varmint rifle" to most American hunters. My Father used a .243 for that I think.

In 88 I think he was driving a Chevy Silverado (regular cab, long bed 350 V8) with 4WD but I don't believe you had to get out to shift into 4wd. He'd just been priced out of the Blazer market. He'd used to sleep in the back of the blazers on hunting trips but he was past that age-wise in 88.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:33 PM   #105
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Default Re: 1980s American Cars, Guns, Gadgets and Consumer Goods [Atmosphere, look, minutiae

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Most common are Inland and Winchester. Here's a link.

I'm not entirely certain when M1 carbines became collectors' items as opposed to "a cheap semi auto you can buy from the guvmint." Common versions run around $400-$500 nowadays, but Rock-Olas can be a couple of grand, if you can find one, which you can't.

I think that in the late-80s they were still just cheap semi-autos, though, so getting a Rock-Ola from the CMP would be a matter of luck back then.
In 1975, then, Ricky Sommiers, Esq. accepted a Rock-Ola M1 carbine in lieu of payment for legal services from a WWII veteran client.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
Honestly, not many people mounted scopes on their M1 carbines. Not that it couldn't be done- you'd have to get the receiver tapped first, but that's pretty simple gunsmithing. But I haven't seen many.
Well, twilight/night hunting of predators is a pretty niche sport, especially in the 80s.

A decent scope really helps with light gathering in twilight. Not to mention that for eyes in their 50s, those iron sights get harder to focus on every year.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
If you want night vision, maybe he got his hands on an M3 carbine? I'm not sure if CMP ever sold them, though. Well, actually, no they never would have sold the M3 because it's fully auto, but some surplus dealer might have sold the scope and accessories, which would be easy to mount on an ordinary M1.
My research suggests that the WWII 'Sniperscope/Snooperscope' would probably have been more expensive to buy in the 1980s than a more modern Gen 1 commercial night sight. As far as I understand, only a few dozen of the WWII-era weapons survived official destruction. Not to mention that having to source WWII military model lead-acid wet cell batteries that only last for a couple of hours would be a major pain.

The similar Korean War era 'Sniperscope' 20,000 volt Set No. 1 would be more promising. Those were converted to use commercial batteries and sold off as surplus in the late 60s. They are still a major pain to carry and use, weighing close to 30 lbs. with the battery pack.

The Vietnam-era passive Gen 1 starlight scopes are a much more useful technology. They are exemplified by the AN/PVS-2 STANO sight on p. 26 in GURPS SEALS in Vietnam. Unfortunately, I don't know if these (or commercial variants) were relatively affordable or easily available in the 1980s, by the time they had all been phased out of military service. Best guess, after considerable Googling, is that you could get some Gen 1 sights for around $500 in the late 80s. That converts to something like $750 GURPS.

I'm guessing that Ricky Sommiers will not have actual night vision sights. Clayborn Allen might have mounted some mid-range ones on Bushmaster First Generation .223 rifles he received as gifts from the factory in 1976 and 1980 (he was an investor after they ran into trouble in '76), once this annual hunting trip was moved after the deer season to accomodate his brother's schedule and they started to focus on night hunting.

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
There were literally tons and tons of cheap surplus military ball ammo available in the 80s for both .30-06 and .30 carbine. You could buy it by the pallet. But, as you have mentioned, the stopping power of .30 carbine ball is limited. The Israelis load soft-points and swear by them.
I think that Sommiers will stick with surplus ball ammo, as he can't really be bothered to find anything else. Unless expanding hunting bullets in it would be easily commercially available.

Note, however, that for predator hunting, the idea is not to buy expanding ammo to get better terminal performance. The idea is to reduce the damage to the fur by preventing the bullet from yawing or tumbling inside the animal and then making a huge exit hole. The ideal expanding fur-friendly bullet will enter the prey, but not exit at all.

These will usually be light grain bullet JSP/JHP or other expanding type bullet and will have a lower Wounding Modifier than expanding anti-personnel or deer loads with higher grain bullets (though unless you are geek happy with fractional wounding modifiers, it won't matter in game terms). Significantly, such loads in .223 Remington are probably less impressive in terminal performance than standard military ball ammo at short ranges.

In GURPS terms, very light, very fast bullets with expanding properties might simply provide another method to justify pi for a .22 caliber round. Some of them might even have a Wound Channel Modifier of 0.7, which might be rounded to pi- or pi depending on GM's choice. Reducing Damage would not be unreasonable for a bullet of a lower grain than usual for the caliber.

The alternate method of fur friendly bullet selection is to choose something that will zip through a target of fox or bobcat size without any tumbling or yawing. At typical Western varmint ranges, both the .30 carbine and .223 Remington will do this, but in Eastern woods, at ranges that are often below 50 yards, I'm concerned that both will exhibit that fragmenting, tumbling joy de vivre that delights the CQB soldier, but ruins fur with a huge exit hole.

In GURPS terms, a fur-friendly round of the latter kind should be pi- at the range you are using it.

I have no idea what .22 WMR, .22 Hornet, .223 Remington, .30 Carbine or .243 Winchester loads were commercially available in the 1970s and 1980s. How easy was it to get loads with expanding bullets, preferably of light grain for the caliber? Were there any non-expanding loads with a stable target bullet that would be unlikely to yaw or tumble excessively?

What were some popular hunting loads in these calibers? What do you find in a small outdoors store? What about a well-stocked gun store?

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
A good varmint gun would be a Mini-14, and they're already tapped to mount a cheap Bushnell scope. That sounds more like this Sommier guy. Are there GURPS stats for it somewhere? Hell, if the A-Team used them they have to be awesome, right? :)

EDIT- Yeah, the Mini-14 is in High-Tech.
The Ruger Mini-14 is actually a very fine choice for a novice shooter for the purpose. It also has a more traditional look than 'black rifles'. I'm considering having one of the hunters carry one. If George Bolton can't find a classy, but economical bolt-action rifle in .223 Remington or .22 Hornet, he might carry a Mini-14.

If a rifle is tapped to mount a cheap Bushnell scope, does that mean it will require expensive gunsmithing to mount a more expensive Bushnell scope on it, such as a Scopechief V?

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Originally Posted by acrosome View Post
ANOTHER EDIT- Nowadays there are scope mounts for the M1 that just required you to remove the rear sight, but I don't know if something similar was available in the 80s.

YET ANOTHER EDIT- Ha! Yes! Weaver made drop-in scope mounts. You can see one in the pic of the commemorative model on that page.

EDIT AGAIN- Nope, I was wrong again. The Universal (aftermarket non-USGI) carbines came tapped for scope mounting, so that Weaver mount wan't drop-in. It still needed a tapped receiver. But, again, that's pretty routine gunsmithing. And would indeed look very hillbilly, which seems to fit your character concept.
I had picked the Tasco 2.75x40mm Turkey/Brush Gun scope (+1 Acc, -1 darkness penalty, $150, 0.7 lbs.) for Sommier's M1 carbine. Any pressing reason why this would be impractical or expensive to mount?

If so, I suppose he could go to a Weaver scope, assuming I can find a budget one with decent light gathering.*

*The Tasco is an economical scope which has a great reputation for clarity, brightness and robustness, at least if you got a 1970s Japanese-made one.
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Old 03-26-2016, 04:53 PM   #106
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Until the most recent set of restrictive anti-gun laws, and even nowadays in some regions, in most rural areas you could shoot at wild and stray animals on your property at any time, regardless of day of the week or license. Most of the time, it counts as "self-defense" or "defending the home".

Growing up in a rural area in Pennsy in the '70s and '80s, we didn't have to deal with coyotes that much, but feral dogs and even the occasional black bear digging through the garbage happened on a fairly regular basis.



The most common hunting round was a .308 Winchester or .30-08, meant for taking down deer and occasionally bear. I'm not sure about the availability of other rounds, but JHP and FMJ rounds were fairly common in the .308Win, .30-08, 5.56mmNATO, .44-40, .45 ACP, .40S&W, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum rounds. 12-gauge, 16-gauge, and 20-gauge 00-buckshot was also common, as we had a lot of shotgun hunters, prized because the shot would not travel over the borders into no-shoot zones. IME, the .22-sized rounds were, except for the 5.56mmNATO/.223 Armalite rounds, pretty much reserved for plinking at the range, not hunting.
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Old 03-26-2016, 05:23 PM   #107
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Default Re: Night scopes for predator hunting

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
I've tried to be careful about not injecting Florida info into this thread even if it was about the same period. It was just that the lights thing is a big deal locally. go into the woods off-season with lights and a firearm and you'll hit civil forfeiture on all of those and quite possibly your vehicle too. It is poaching thing as you appear to grasp.
Yep. Even if the hunting party does not have much fear of Maine Game Wardens, the State Police or the Aroostook County Sheriff's Office, when they use artificial lights for coyotes, they take care to carry firearms that are clearly distinct from their usual deer rifles.

They also notify the local Game Wardens and the Sheriff about their hunting party every year and have had their equipment checked for legality before using it. Granted, the presence of perennial local power broker and veteran politician Speaker of the House John L. Martin, 'the Earl of Eagle Lake', the first two times they did this, in 1979-1980, probably didn't hurt their relations with the Maine Game Wardens.

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I've also been careful about 2016 info but I have sort of watched or at least been in the same room while it was on of a cable TV program called _North Woods Law_

http://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/north-woods-law/

....and in one episode the wardens investigated whether r not a woman had taken a shot at a coyote without license and on a Sunday. Both acts would have been illegal i.e. you need a license to hunt coyotes and you can't do it on Sunday at all. I was boggled at needing a license to shoot coyotes.
As far as everyone knows, my hunters all have licences for anything they might like to hunt. Many of them are among the most active amateur hunters in Aroostook County, entering the elk lottery every year, buying as many licences for buck as possible, etc.

There might, however, be a less-prominent Canadian guest who cannot qualify for a gun licence back home and who has not applied for a hunting licence in Maine. Whether that guest actually hunts illegally with loaner guns or is there just for the camraderie and drinking, however, is anyone's guess. And the PCs have gathered rumours that the hunters might shoot after midnight on Saturday sometimes.

Even if true, it doesn't really make the local representative of the County Sheriff's Office corrupt, just because he hasn't busted several of the most important local men for these once-a-year possible violations. For one thing, the cabin is really hard to get to and there are no neighbours to bother in any way. For another, it's not as if they are poaching deer. At worst, they are shooting a pest at a wrong time.

And lastly, realistically, what kind of cop or game warden arrests several friends of the State Attorney General and the Speaker of the House in the State House of Representatives for such a minor thing? Especially as both these eminent men have been invited to Allen's hunting parties in the past.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Moving on, my Father's deer gun was a .270. Apparently a Ruger semi-auto and I think the scope was a Leupold. This would be for the American Eastern White Tail which is small-ish but probably close enough to the Red Deer in Campaigns.
Sounds good. One of Clayborn Allen's early favourite deer rifles was a Winchester Model 54 Sporter rifle in .270 Winchester that he very occasionally got to borrow from his father and inherited after him in 1962. No scope, though.

One of the rifles bought to loan to VIPs whom the Allens invite for hunting trips during deer season is a 1976-vintage Remington 700 BDL in .270 Winchester, however. I imagine it might have a Leupold Vari-X II 3x-9x40mm scope.

When my game is set, however, the deer season has ended and the annual December hunting party for close friends (or long-time associates, at least) is upon the Allens. They usually don't take any deer rifles to the cabin for that, apart from the ones owned by Dr. Harvey Allen that reside permanently in his vacation cabin. Those will be locked up during the hunting party, though.

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However, Maine definitely has moose and might still have brown bears only a little smaller than you seen in Alaska. The bear would have been rare and may have been gone by 88. What my Father took to Alaska on a hunting trip was a Remington 799 in what may have been .300 win mag (he's 79 nw and getting technical details out of him is worse than pulling teeth). Clayton almost certainly has some sort of moose gun.
Clayborn really likes the Weatherby Mark V rifle in .270 Weatherby Magnum (Fine (Reliable) and customised to be Fine (Accurate)); w/mounted Bushnell Scopechief IV 3x-9x38mm (w/Command Post) [+1 to +3 Acc, -1 darkness penalty, $750, 1.2 lbs.] he bought in 1968.

He does also have a 1973-vintage Weatherby Mark V rifle in .300 Weatherby Magnum, a more respectable caliber for moose and bear, but he prefers the lighter gun and generally keeps the .300 cal as a loaner for VIP guests. The heavier gun was ordered with a Weatherby Premier Wide Angle 3x-9x40mm scope[+1 to +3 Acc, -1 darkness penalty, $750, 1.5 lbs.] from the maker.

Again, though, these guns, nice as they are, will stay in Clayborn Allen's house when he goes to his brother's cabin for the predator hunting party. Unless, of course, he or another member of his party has some reason to want more serious firepower along...

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What you seem to want to call a "predator gun" might be a "varmint rifle" to most American hunters. My Father used a .243 for that I think.
Granted, many varmints are predators, but the stereotypical varmint gun in the US is meant for daylight use in the West, often with a bipod, and thus requires flat-shooting performance and accuracy out to very long range. And typically, varmint shooting is not done to harvest fur, so exploding the varmints is fine and often seen as good fun.

By 'predator gun', I mean a gun for foxes/bobcats and coyotes* that will not damage their fur too much. In Maine woods the shooting will also be at closer range than is typical out West and if night hunting, the range will rarely exceed 70 yards. This means that .223 Remington might be too much gun, let alone the higher powered varmint rounds popular nowadays.

It seems that the .17 Remington, .22 WMR and .22 Hornet were good rounds available in the 1980s for the kind of thing that I'm considering. The .22 LR is actually a decent round for it, though it suffers somewhat if it is meant to do double duty as a coyote gun and/or used for daylight shots at 70+ yards. The .223 Remington, .220 Swift, .22-250 and .243 Winchester might also do for the purpose, if there are reduced power, fur-friendly loads commercially available in the 1980s.

*For best fur-friendly results at the lower size range, use two different guns for these.

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In 88 I think he was driving a Chevy Silverado (regular cab, long bed 350 V8) with 4WD but I don't believe you had to get out to shift into 4wd. He'd just been priced out of the Blazer market. He'd used to sleep in the back of the blazers on hunting trips but he was past that age-wise in 88.
Cool, those are good suggestions.
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:01 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Until the most recent set of restrictive anti-gun laws, and even nowadays in some regions, in most rural areas you could shoot at wild and stray animals on your property at any time, regardless of day of the week or license. Most of the time, it counts as "self-defense" or "defending the home".
I suppose that might be a decent legal defence if they ever do get into trouble. Note, however, that Dr. Harvey Allen owns the 40 acres around his luxury cabin, but the few square miles of woods around it are not in his personal ownership, but owned by North Woods Logging Company.*

Defending the home might not fly in court if it happened on corporate-owned land a mile away from a vacation cabin...

Especially if it was a fox or bobcat, rather than a coyote. As a lawyer, I feel confident that the odds of anyone making legal trouble go up as the animals killed get cuter, more romantic and less perceived as over-running native populations.

*Which, however, is mostly owned by his brother, Clayborn Allen, with Dr. Allen and his sister, Rosemary Dupree, as minority shareholders.

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Originally Posted by Phantasm View Post
Growing up in a rural area in Pennsy in the '70s and '80s, we didn't have to deal with coyotes that much, but feral dogs and even the occasional black bear digging through the garbage happened on a fairly regular basis.
Bears in Maine all hibernate in winter, right?

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The most common hunting round was a .308 Winchester or .30-08, meant for taking down deer and occasionally bear. I'm not sure about the availability of other rounds, but JHP and FMJ rounds were fairly common in the .308Win, .30-08, 5.56mmNATO, .44-40, .45 ACP, .40S&W, .38 Special, and .357 Magnum rounds. 12-gauge, 16-gauge, and 20-gauge 00-buckshot was also common, as we had a lot of shotgun hunters, prized because the shot would not travel over the borders into no-shoot zones. IME, the .22-sized rounds were, except for the 5.56mmNATO/.223 Armalite rounds, pretty much reserved for plinking at the range, not hunting.
Range or plinking ammo might actually not be a bad idea for ad-hoc fur-friendly loads in ca .22 caliber. If there's any available that has a reputation for little tumbling or yawing in flesh, it should be fine.

Military FMJ 5.56x45mm M193 (55-grain bullets) is will often do a number on small animals at short ranges, though, with exit holes the size of fists. Would any of that target/plinking ammo have significantly worse terminal performance than Vietnam-era GI ball? If so, what brands?
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Old 03-26-2016, 06:19 PM   #109
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One source of guns to consider would be the Civilian Marksmanship Program. This is a government program that sell older service weapons to civilians, WW I through WW II firearms are commonly what they sell. The M1917 Enfield, M1903/M1903A3, and the M1 Garand, all in .30-06, being the common weapons sold below cost. They were fairly common hunting weapons from the 1950's through the 1980's and are still often seen, I have M1903/M1903A3. Someone will have these, and they would make ideal loaner guns.
In GURPS $, which I reckon is around 2004 $ values, how cheap would these guns be?

When Clayborn Allen was 16-18, in 1953-1955, he had to save his wages from a part-time job at his father's sawmill to be able to afford a deer rifle. I had figured that he saved for a nice Winchester Model 70, but if he could have had a rifle with similar functionality at less than half price, I think he would have jumped at it.

Also, in the 1950s, could underage boys just buy a hunting rifle? That is, should Clayborn Allen's first deer rifle be bought at 18, when he became a voter, or can he have saved up and bought a rifle at sometime between 12-16?

I haven't found yet how the laws on hunting licences for juniors worked in Maine in the 1950s. I don't think that any laws would precisely forbid him from buying rifles in the 50s (yay, FREEDOM!) and, indeed, had imagined that he bought a .22 in that period, but a local proprietor of a general store might not be in favour of a boy buying a rifle obviously meant for hunting deer if it were against the law for him to go hunting.
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Old 03-26-2016, 07:30 PM   #110
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I couldn't tell you what the cost would be for CMP weapons, Dad bought the one I have now in the early 1960's before I was born. As to the age for being able to buy rifles, that would be under control of State laws. I don't know what Maine's would be, although I would be surprised at a twelve year old living in a rural area not being able to buy a single shot .22LR in the 1950's anywhere in the U.S.

In Missouri;
I was born the last year you did not need to take a Hunter's Safety Course to get a Hunting License (1966). I graduated High School in 1984, students who were over sixteen could get Driver's Licenses, during Deer and Turkey Seasons students would have rifles or shotguns in their cars where they had hunted before or after school (with the windows down and the cars unlocked). Until the Clinton era gun laws of the 1990's, I don't remember any significant difficulties for anyone old enough to drive being able to buy rifles, shotguns, or pistols. I bought .22LR at Wal-Mart when I was thirteen, but I did not try to buy firearms.
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