It's snowing sideways...have to say it was great to have a few days that didn't involve snow shovels and Michelin Man outerwear.
RE: my last post, the Scrambler at GUNSITE has eaten my lunch with any number of guns over the years. I like it as a baseline because it has steel targets from (I think) 69 to 110 yards, with shooting positions from offhand to prone. It's a very simple course — run there, shoot that — but surprisingly challenging. I guess the best thing to say about the course is that i have learned something new about my shooting every time I've run it.
I'm a big fan of the lever gun as a defensive tool (I thought you all knew!). In fact, one of my RATs, readily accessible tools, is a Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum, loaded with Black Hills 240-gr JHPs. Couple of years ago we did a SHOOTING GALLERY on using the lever gun in a combatives context. We had another one scheduled for this year, but at the last minutes Marlin had some issues. We'll definitely be doing lever gun combatives for 2012 SG. BTW, if you're interested in making a few minor changes to make the lever gun even more useful, check out XS Sights. They also offer a couple of rail systems for for both traditionally mounted and scout mounted scopes on the Marlin.
One of these days I'll set up my house Marlin for a scout-mounted red dot...maybe a Trijicon with a red "donut" reticle which I've found to be very very fast to acquire. I've been a fan of the scout rifle concept since I borrowed Col. Cooper's original Steyr Scout .308 to shoot the GUNSITE hunting simulation course years and years ago. I was very surprised at how quick I could acquire the target and get the shots off with that little Leupold 2.5X scout scope on Col. Cooper's rifle. Of course, the likelihood of me paying $2000+ for the Steyr was somewhere between slim and none, and Slim done left town!