Wednesday, January 22, 2014

More on the Non-Permissive Jurisdiction Project

In answer to several emails I've received, yes, the guns put together for the Non-Permissive Jurisdiction Project will be featured on SHOOTING GALLERY and THE BEST DEFENSE 2015, assuming we're renewed, which is a pretty good bet. You'll see my .357 Marlin — an old one; not a new one — in the hands of Mike Seeklander this season on TBD. In fact, I may never get it back from Seeklander, who was very impressed with the lever gun as an efficient self-defense tool.

Answer to a second email question, yes, the finished Browning BLR will be equipped with a sling, almost certainly from Andy's Leather (visit him on FaceBook). In addition to being one of the great leatherworkers in America, Andy maintains the Scout Rifle Community. A sling is a rifle's holster, and any "working" rifle (i.e., one that's not shot exclusively off the bench or in a competition that doesn't not requite the rifle be carried out of the hand (cowboy, for instance) needs a sling.

Obviously, a lot of my thinking on the BLR derives from Col. Jeff Cooper's Scout rifle concepts, although as I noted earlier the concept of a forward-mounted scope is hardly original to Cooper. Andy has been instrumental in promoting and expanding on the Scout rifle concept; in fact, the BLR has figured prominently in several threads.

You guys know I'm a huge fan of the Ruger Gunsite Scout .308...I have more rounds through that rifle than any other bolt gun I own. I've shot it in classes at distances from contact to 400 yards. When I decided to go to Africa, I went with the Guide Gun specifically because I could configure it exactly the same as the GSR (LOP, sling), with the exception of a forward-mounted scope.

The Jeff Cooper Edition Steyr Scout

I always thought the Scout concept was interesting, but I didn't become an evangelist until, a couple of years before the Colonel died, he loaned me his personal Steyr Scout .308 (I believe fitted with the Leupold 2.5X) to shoot through the Gunsite African game hunting class with Il Ling New. By the time I finished the course, I was sold.

The Burris fixed power on GSR sits about 3/4 inch ahead of the ejection port, which is, to me, ideal. Notice that on the Steyr Scout the scope sits just slightly in front of the ejection port. The Leupold variable I handled and shot was mounted similarly. I have one of the new Burris 2-7X Scouts, but I haven't had time to mount it yet.

Could you use the BLR for this intended purpose (non-permissive jurisdictions) out of the box? Absolutely. Remember, I'm going for as light as possible for a travel gun. The trigger on mine is not bad, in the 6-7 pound range; the OL length is 40 inches with the 20-inch barrel (Cooper's Scout rifle standard was 1 meter in length, 39.4 inches); weight is 6 pounds 8 ounces with irons (Cooper's standard was 6.6 pounds - 7.7 pounds with irons and optic). By comparison, the Ruger Gunsite Scout weights in at 7 pounds with irons and a forward scope mount and a 38-inch length. The BLR does need sling swivels, but nothing is perfect.

If I was going to use the BLR out of the box with traditional mount optics I would go for the superb Leupold 1.5-4X 20mm, a great underrated scope weighing in at under 10 ounces, or something like the Burris MTAC 1-4X.

RE: Calibers...take your choice. I agree that .243 might be a good option...lots of different load availability (although no dedicated tactical rounds, I believe...I would go with the Hornady Superformance 95-gr SST), recoil on par with the .223 and a good hunting cartridge in jurisdictions where the .223 is prohibited for deer-sized game. If you don't have a .308, then that'd be the way to go. I have a good friend who travels a lot as an instructor and he routinely brings a takedown .308 BLR.


Sheepdog1968 said...

Hi Michael,
There is no perfect chocie on any of these things (I liken it to rock, sicissors, paper). I think you have made a very good choice.

How about back up iron sights? From conversations with Willie Sutton (who knew Jeff Cooper), he was a huge fan of the older mini-14 peep site that folded down and out of the way and didn't weight much. Costs next to nothing on Brownells

The one thing you might have the juice to do is pester Browning to make 10 mag capacity rounds for it. Or, can you work with Robar to have them fabricate some 10 rounders for you?

I spent the better part of an hour last night digging through the internet trying to find anyone who has done this and came up with nothing. If this could be done, I'd likely get the BLR in their 308 hog model take down that I handeled at local gun store. It's not that I would use the 10 rounders that much but I would like to have them packed away for just the kind of scenario you mentioned. I'd pay quite a bit for them as long as they were reliable.

Michael Bane said...

I am in discussions with Browning...heck, I'd take a 7-rounder!


Unknown said...

Mb... Why not got 357 in both and use a cowboy lever gun?

Anonymous said...

The lever on the BLR when open would run into a 10-round magazine box. 7 rounds might be short enough to achieve clearance.


Anonymous said...

Provisioning BLR in .308 Win w/Scout optic+irons


Trevor Shepherd said...

Michael, I think Burris scopes are under-appreciated in the firearms community. They are really good optics for reasonable prices, but not enough people know that. I've got the 2.75x scout scope on a Japanese Arisaka 7.7 mm rifle that my grandfather brought back from WW2. I have it mounted with an S&K scope mount that replaces the original sights without drilling or tapping. It is a great scope. I am VERY interested to hear your thoughts about the variable power Burris scout scope, since I've been thinking about replacing the 2.75x scope so that I get a little better magnification so I can take the Arisaka out to 200-300 yards, (it was supposedly made for 300 yard shots). I am particularly interested to know if the eye relief will be significantly different on the variable Burris scout scope, compared to the 2.75x scope since there is about NO flexibility for mounting using the S&K mount, and I don't want to drill into that rifle (it is essentially the only thing I have that I got from my grandfather, well, except for a Tonka hook and ladder firetruck that he gave me when I was about 4 years old -- still have that Tonka Truck!).

Please let us know how the 2-7x variable Burris scout scope works out.

By the way, Michael, if you've got any pull with the Burris folks, can you PLEASE pass along my begging of them to re-issue the Timberline 4x32 fixed scopes? They are less than 10 inches long, I think they're less than 9 inches long! They are PERFECT as scopes for lever rifles, IMI Timber Wolf 357 pump rifles, etc. They are so compact with great optics and I want to buy about 5 more. Burris stopped making them. See what you can for us, please...and thanks!

Michael Bane said...

RSR...thanks for the link...that's about a perfect set-up. And yeah, I think 7 rounds is about as far as we can go with that lever throw.

Ron, I'm okay with pistol caliber carbines, and heaven knows I have a bunch of them. I wanted the versatility of longer range round like the .223. And that requires a box magazine. If I was left with my Marlin .357 or Rossi .44 Mag, I'd be cool with it. I might even survive with my .44 Russian '73 clone backed up with 2 Taylor's S&W top break clones in the Russian caliber...darned accurate!


PS: The Timberline 4Xs were good scopes!

Anonymous said...

I've used the Leupold 2.5X Scout scope and the Burris 2.75x Scout scope and I like the Leupold better. Better brightness, better field of view.

From what I gather "the marketplace" doesn't seem to want fixed low-power scopes w/normal eye relief so they tend to get discontinued. (i.e. not enough run-rate to warrant continued production). Unfortunate for the fans.


Trevor Shepherd said...

On 16-18 inch barrels, it is really nice to have a scope that does not overpower the look of the rifle. I've got two of those nice Burris 4x fixed power Timberline's and I'd have bought a bunch more if I'd realized they were going to stop making them. For Trapper-length lever rifles, or the never-talked-about IMI Timber Wolf pump rifles (the ULTIMATE self-defense, non-permissive environment rifle, by the way), the Burris 4x fixed scopes are just perfect. They provide the magnification needed to match the usable shooting distance of those kind of rifles, and they do not weigh the whole package down or look overbearing, etc. I've got one of mine on the Timber wolf 357/38 pump rifle, and one on a Model 94AE Trapper in 357/38. I also have a "regular length" scope on a Trapper 94AE in 44 Mag/44 Special, and it is just too dang long for a Trapper rifle. I'm going to sell that rifle, (not because of the scope issue, I guess) but because the 44 is a re-loader's cartridge that does nothing a 30-30 can't do a hell of a lot better, and I've got too darn many other calibers to reload for, so I'm giving up on the 44 completely. I might get a 30-30 Trapper model 94AE, although I'd still have a scope "issue". I like those XS sights scout mounts for scopes for lever rifles, but I'm not sure if that would work for a Trapper length model 94.

Joe Patricks said...

Michael, I know you are on your way with the non-permissive environment rifle with a Browning but check this out It is a bolt rifle on an AR platform. You could go .223 or .308 or any number of related cartidges. I am NOT affiliated with these guys but I will be ordering one next week. Just think it might be worth you checking out. Enjoy and Best of Luck.

Trent said...

Michael how is the trigger on your BLR. My younger brother has one in 30-06(the take down model). The trigger is horrendous, gritty and heavy. Savage and Timiney have ruined me when it comes to triggers. Trevor mentioned the Win Trapper 94 30-30. I have one of the big loop (mitten/gloves) version great investment as I bought it for 400 & they now go for over a1000. My only complaint is it kicks like a mule two boxs of ammo and I'm done and my shoulder's black and blue. It's only a 30-30 but man I can shot a 375 Ruger Alaskan all day long and not feal as hammered as I do with that little gun.

Trent said...

Wasn't someone building a 500 s&w pump action rifle? Former Topshot person? A 16" 7 round 500 s&w loaded with flex tip hornaday's sounds like just the ticket for taking out all the trash in NY State. Makes the 475 Wildey seem downright pedestrian. Death Wish eat your heart out. AND YES Michael I plan on hunting velociraptors with it. If you can only carry 7 carry a howitzer.

Michael Bane said...

My semi-crazy friend Matt Burkett at Predator Tactical build a series of pump action .500 rifles...they were a BALL to shoot! He and I went out in the desert and slayed the savage rock with .500 mayhem. I told Matt I'd buy one in a minute, but they're still in the vaporware realm.

There's a really great .500 S&W lever gun from Big Horn Armory, but it's too expensive for irrational spontaneous purchase.

You know, I remember when I was a kid and first shot my father's really really kicked! I have a pre-'64 30-30, and it doesn't seem to kick as much as I remember. My Trapper is a .44 Magnum I got for $100 bucks American money on the Internet, and it's a sweetheart.

Trigger on my BLR is gritty, but not awful. It does badly need a trigger job.