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Old 05-24-2021, 06:49 AM   #51
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Takedown Rifles (1990s)

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Originally Posted by Willy View Post
Ok that is another kind of problem. In the ealier times there were screw guns, litereally canomns mostly developed for use in the mountains, which had barrels! that were screwed together to make it easier to transport them on horseback. At least one modell was in serial production. That may be a possibility which would will exchange accuracy with range. Depending how precise you can make the thread.
There are actually no out of the box weapons of that kind.
Obviously commercial, off-the-shelf takedown rifles have existed.

Remington Woodsmaster 81 were made until 1950 and are available used for about $750 to $900.
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Old 05-24-2021, 06:59 AM   #52
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Default Re: Custom Bolt-Action in the 1990s

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
I
That being said, nearly all American shooters of 7x57mm rifles have been reloaders. .
<shrug> At one point you were looking for something with common ammo. If you're going to use custom reloads for your stash weapons you can use anything you want.

I went looking for a list of what was the most common ammo sold in the Us c.1990 and the closest thing I found in the first 3 pages was the list of sales for a major manufacturer in 2014.

https://www.americanhunter.org/artic...ed-ammunition/

1. .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO
2. .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO
3. .30-06 Springfield
4. .30-30 Winchester
5. .270 Winchester
6. .243 Winchester
7. .300 Winchester Magnum
8. 7mm Remington Magnum
9. 7.62x39
10. .300 Winchester Short Magnum
11. .22-250 Remington

It's mostly old calibers so the 1990 list might not be too different. If I were looking for soemthign with commonly available ammo in the US market I'd pick one of the calibers above.

The article is by a gun store owner who seems to specialize in what he calls "safari calibers" which look to me to be guns mostly used in Africa. He mentions getting calls about once per month for 7 x 57mm reloading components.
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Old 05-24-2021, 07:43 AM   #53
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Default Ammo Concerns

As the arms caches are not intended for use in the Continental USA, the availbility of the ammuniton in typical American stores is not vital. In any case, precision shooting will require commercial match rounds or handloads anyway.

What is important is that nothing about the weapons, bullets, brass or anything that might be left behind be rare and exotic enough to be tracable by talking to salespeople or other suppliers who'd remember the buyer.
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:57 AM   #54
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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What is important is that nothing about the weapons, bullets, brass or anything that might be left behind be rare and exotic enough to be tracable by talking to salespeople or other suppliers who'd remember the buyer.
There is also the issue of familiarity of the round to the users. If I was stashing away some common civilian rifle/cartridge combo that would be suitable in the Designated Marksman role and be familiar to ex-Nato military-trained users I wouldn't consider anything other than .308 Winchester.

Of course, I wouldn't be sure what I was stashing these guns for. If you are in easy flying range of Florida and using your own aircraft you can walk into any gun store in Florida and walk out with such a rifle (w/optics) as fast as your credit card will clear. Even during the "Assault Weapons" ban there was no regulation on bolt action rifles at all. Not even the waiting period you get/got for handguns.
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Old 05-24-2021, 10:30 AM   #55
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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There is also the issue of familiarity of the round to the users. If I was stashing away some common civilian rifle/cartridge combo that would be suitable in the Designated Marksman role and be familiar to ex-Nato military-trained users I wouldn't consider anything other than .308 Winchester.
That is certainly a consideration, but note that the armourer doing this was not trained on .308 Winchester for sniping.

During the time he was in the British Army, the .303 British round was used for sniping and after his service, as a professional hunter, security consultant and mercenary in Africa, his bolt-action rifles came in 7x57mm Mauser, 7mm Remington Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, 7.92x57mm Mauser, 9.3x62mm Mauser, .375 H&H, .404 Jeffery, .458 Winchester Magnum and .458 Lott. He did use 7.62x51mm NATO in battle rifles, like the L1A1 SLR and FN FAL.

His personal favourite for game the size of antelope and human is the 7x57mm Mauser, specifically a custom Mauser sporter rifle built for him as a takedown rifle with a 21" barrel. In 1987, when he was asked to set up caches with untracable weapons in various Caribbean locations, I figure one of the weapons he might have prepared were copies of that gun he made personally.

Because that was very time-consuming (which translates to expensive, in opportunity cost, if nothing else) and, as you say, because .308 Win is likely to be far more familiar to end users, at some point, he would have wanted to find another solution.

H-S Precision could build a takedown rifle from a Remington 700 action from 1990, but were such a small shop in those days that odds are they'd remember each such rifle bought. Blaser 93 was available from 1993, albeit astronomically expensive (which also means unacceptable odds of being remembered) and I'm not sure when the Sauer 202 takedown model was first sold.

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Originally Posted by Fred Brackin View Post
Of course, I wouldn't be sure what I was stashing these guns for. If you are in easy flying range of Florida and using your own aircraft you can walk into any gun store in Florida and walk out with such a rifle (w/optics) as fast as your credit card will clear. Even during the "Assault Weapons" ban there was no regulation on bolt action rifles at all. Not even the waiting period you get/got for handguns.
It's for agents and operatives who might live on Caribbean islands or be there travelling commercially, when they discover that they need weapons. Those weapons cannot be traced to anyone and might be needed in an hour or two.

Having a serial numbered rifle bought in Florida, using someone's name and credit card (okay, I assume that was hyperbole) and flown in on a private plane creates a trail of evidence much easier to follow than trying to trace down who bought a WWII surplus Mauser action decades ago.

For the same reason, former Soviet weapons bought by arms dealers in 1990-1991 from officers and supply personnel who were no longer being paid will be in these caches. As will various older surplus weapons, suitably refurbished, because tracing their serial numbers will not yield any useful evidence at all.

Weapons commercially purchased in the US need to be at least common enough so that they could have been bought several years ago and ideally resold at gun shows or to private individuals, so that there is no trail to follow that leads anywhere useful.

Of note, however, is that only the receiver is legally a 'firearm' in the US and thus, will be the only part with a serial number. All sorts of 'accessories', including stocks, barrels, optics, scope bases and mounts, etc. can be obtained in the US without much in the way of a trail of evidence to follow. Especially if they are common enough.
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Old 05-24-2021, 01:40 PM   #56
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Default Thompson/Center Contenders

The T/C Contender pistol seems like a good low-cost alternative to a takedown rifle. More than 400,000 made, easy to buy used st gun shows and accessories, like new barrels and stocks, are not legally firearms and can be bought without any paperwork.

Putting a stock on a pistol with a barrel under 16" creates a Short-Barreled Rifle under US law, requiring NFA registration and payment of tax, but if you mean to use the weapon illegally in another country, no possible configuration would make it legal anyway.

There is the minor issue that the original T/C Contender pistol sold from 1967 to the late 1990s is not built to handle the pressures of .308 Winchester or other powerful rifle rounds. Still, you can get 14" barrels in .223 Remington, .30-30, .35 Remington and 7x30 Waters, all of which get you decent ranges, especially with a scope mounted on the barrel.

I'm going to have to do some research on good scopes available in the late 80s and early 90s that were fairly compact, had intermediate to long eye relief and magnification around 1-4x, 1.5-5x or 2-7x, something like that. Though it might be worth using a compact 3-9x with a 7-30 Waters barrel, if I can find a scope in that magnification with enough eye relief to be mounted on the barrel.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:12 PM   #57
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
As the arms caches are not intended for use in the Continental USA, the availbility of the ammuniton in typical American stores is not vital. In any case, precision shooting will require commercial match rounds or handloads anyway.

What is important is that nothing about the weapons, bullets, brass or anything that might be left behind be rare and exotic enough to be tracable by talking to salespeople or other suppliers who'd remember the buyer.
Good hunting ammo will be perfectly adequate for the short of ranges a take-down rifle will be good for, with the added benefit that with the right choice of bullet the terminal effects will be better than target bullets produce. Handloaded ammo will be best, of course, but for results that make it worth the time it needs to be matched to the individual rifle.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:51 PM   #58
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Good hunting ammo will be perfectly adequate for the short of ranges a take-down rifle will be good for, with the added benefit that with the right choice of bullet the terminal effects will be better than target bullets produce. Handloaded ammo will be best, of course, but for results that make it worth the time it needs to be matched to the individual rifle.
For most of the chamberings, this is quite true.

I wish it were easier to find out details on specific hunting ammo available between 1987-1995. There have been considerable advances in bullet designs and I need grain weight, velocity, bullet dimensions, enough data to estimate internal ballistics at different velocities, not to mention BC.
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Old 05-24-2021, 05:55 PM   #59
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Default Re: Takedown Rifles (1990s)

You obviously know the field better than I do, but remember that in the 1980s and 1990s in Afghanistan and similar places (Yemen? Columbia?) it was possible to get high quality custom gun orders with no questions asked and virtually no traceability.

The Afghans specialized in making local variants of common UK WW1 and WW2 era guns as well as Soviet weapons.

Looking outside of Europe, the 1990s also saw lots of Soviet era equipment coming onto the market as former Soviet client states swapped their older Russian equipment for more modern American, German, or French gear.

IIRC, a few years later, the "peace dividend" as the U.S. drew down the size of the Army resulted in U.S. weapons being sent to U.S. allies throughout the world. That, in turn, released stocks of older Cold War or WW2 era weapons on to the surplus market.

Finally, then as now, there were plenty of narcoterrorists and guerillas in South and Central America, and Southeast Asia, all with access to ancient but functional to SOTA weapons, all obtained via illicit sources.

That means that it's not so much the make and model of takedown gun that's important so much as good connections to scary parts of the world where "gun control" means "giving the local warlord a cut of the profits from your arms sales."

Add in a few shell companies and illicit international transfers and even a military-grade weapon with serial numbers all over it become effectively untraceable. "This gun was part of a lot of 25,000 given as U.S. military assistance to Insanistan in 1972. The lot was probably sold to Cuban-backed guerillas in Oompaloompa after the Insani central government was overthrown in 1975. After that, there are no good records of who owned it, where it was, or what it was used for."
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Old 05-24-2021, 08:39 PM   #60
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Default Re: Ammo Concerns

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Originally Posted by Icelander View Post
It's for agents and operatives who might live on Caribbean islands or be there travelling commercially, when they discover that they need weapons. Those weapons cannot be traced to anyone and might be needed in an hour or two.

Having a serial numbered rifle bought in Florida, using someone's name and credit card (okay, I assume that was hyperbole)
Wy would you assume that? It's how things are done here. You go into a gun store and you give them money and they give you your gun. For quite a while credit cards have been the most convenient way to handle purchases in that size range. Before that it would have been a personal check.

Cash might have been suspicious seeming. I suppose you could have gone in, looked at the rifle and then asked if he'd mind holding that rifle until you could go to your bank and get some money and maybe not looked like a drug dealer. Nobody really cares about long gun purchaes anyway.

I would also note that a gun secured for multi-year storage in a high humidity environment is probably covered in protective grease and not ready to fire without extensive cleaning. So a one hour timeline might be problematic.
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