Episode-844 – Thoughts on “Take Down” Guns for The Modern Survivalist

One of the many suggestions made for “suggest a show day” was one on take down guns.  A take down gun is exactly what it sounds like, a gun made to be “taken down” so that it becomes smaller, takes up less space and packs easier.   Another advantage is that when it “taken down” form it will be less likely to set off, “hey that bag looks like the guy might have a gun in it alarms”.

The take down gun is often seen in spy or assassin type movies.  Yet it has many other practical applications.  For some people carrying a handgun is out of the question due to laws and regulations.  However in some states you can always carry a rifle if not loaded.  PLEASE CHECK your local regs as in some states an unloaded gun, locked in a trunk can even get you in trouble.

When back packing a small take down rifle or shot gun packs easily and is a better game getter then any handgun.  If you ever were to end up in crisis situation during some sort of mass shooting a rifle is a better tool for the job. Remember that in the Bell Tower shootings in Austin a private citizen with a rifle assisted the officer who stopped the shooter.  Not to mention other armed citizens returned fire and pinned him down.

So the take down gun indeed has many advantages.  As I own a few and have shot a few others I though this would be a great topic to cover.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • Take down styles
    • Single shots
    • Double and combo guns
    • Semi auto barrel removal
    • Bolt action barrel removal
    • The AR is a “take down” platform
    • The lever action take down
    • The foldable platforms
    • Pump and semi auto shot guns
  • Thoughts on various models
    • The AR7 (22 LR)
    • Springfield M6 (22LR and 410)
    • The Marlin Papoose (22 LR)
    • The NEF/H&R/Rossi Style Single Shots (mufti caliber and gauge)
    • The KelTec SUB-2000
    • The KelTec SU 16 and 22 Series
    • Browning, Winchester, Savage and Marlin Lever Action Take Downs (various calibers)
    • Pumps like the Remington 870, Mossberg 500 etc.
    • Semi Autos like the Remington 1100
    • All double shot guns and break action combo guns
  • Misunderstandings
    • The 22 is only good for small game
    • Take down guns are only for people that want to “hide a gun”
    • Take down guns are not good for SHTF scenarios
    • Take down guns are more prone to failure
    • Take down guns are not accurate

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

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38 Responses to Episode-844 – Thoughts on “Take Down” Guns for The Modern Survivalist

  1. Hi Jack just finished listening to today’s show and had to comment that Savage makes a model 24 in 22 rimfire/20 ga. This gun stays behind the truck seat in take down mod and has for many years (we call it our 911 emergency gun). It’s the perfect gun for shooting rabbits or zombies. Also the older Savage model 99′s have an internal rotary magazine (like 10/22 Ruger detachable magazines) – what a wonderful gun as this is what I hunt Elk/Antelope with. We have a fondness for Savage guns and own many. Our daughter was taught on an H&R 410 and it’s an excellent gun too.

    • The first gun I ever purchased after turning 18 was an old Savage model 24 in 22mag/20ga. That was the best shooting gun I ever owned, and I snapped it up at a pawn shop for a whopping $140 (in 1992). Unfortunately, it was stolen about 6 years ago along with two other firearms. Insurance companies being what they are (jerks) I was only able to replace one of the three items with my funds from the claim.

      Savage no longer made a 22mag/20ga, but they did have a .17hmr/20ga which I saw as an acceptable replacement. This is a solid, heavy, well built firearm and is my “survival” rifle for small game. The versatility you have with any over/under in different calibers/gauge should not be taken lightly. If I could only have one gun, I would be hard pressed to choose something different. It’s simple and effective. I really like the .17hmr. Groundhogs, they don’t like it so much.

      Of note, my Father recently acquired a Savage similar to my old one, but in the much sought after .22lr/.410. I’m happy to have that in the family fold.

  2. Modern Survival

    @Shorty, really great document but not the one I am talking about here. The study I can’t find was about civilian hand gun shootings. Ran from 22LR up to 45 ACP, many that talk about how much better the 40 is than the 9 would be shocked by it, I assure you. Thanks for that doc though it is going in my library.

  3. jack , maybe this is the article you are looking for .
    Firearms Stopping Power: A Different Perspective
    by Greg Ellifritz, TDI Instructor/Staff

    here is a link http://www.buckeyefirearms.org/node/7866

  4. I know the report you are talking about and can’t find it (I remember it having lots of tables and pictures) but this is a good one: http://www.firearmstactical.com/pdf/fbi-hwfe.pdf

    Specifically the conclusions”

    “Physiologically, no caliber or bullet is certain to incapacitate any individual unless the brain is hit.”

    “Kinetic Energy does not wound. Temporary cavity does not wound. The much discussed “shock” of bullet impact is a fable and “knock down” power is a myth. The critical element is penetration. The bullet must pass through the large, blood bearing organs and be of sufficient diameter to promote rapid bleeding.”

    Wish I would have read this before I went all in on Glocks in .40. Still love to shoot them, but a few extra rounds would be better than what I though I was getting moving “up” from the 9.

    • Modern Survival

      @Chris I mostly agree but “shock” is no myth. There is no doubt a penetrating bullet that expands does more damage then a field point arrow with the same exact path with a penetration on both ends. If not no archery hunter would use broad heads. If you don’t think “shock” exists you have never opened the chest cavity of a deer hit with a 243, even one that passed though.

    • Modern Survival

      Oh and kenetic energy wounds, go find a boxer and take a few shots and you will see what I mean. These concepts are over thought but it isn’t that they don’t exist. You are right though that in the end penetration and systems impacted are what does the killing and more importantly the stopping.

  5. I am looking to get a starter 22lr for my son, and I’m wondering how well a scoped Papoose would hold zero with the scope mounted on the action and repeatedly removing/replacing the barrel?

    • Modern Survival

      For your son I would much rather you got him a youth bolt gun. The Model 25 series has been replaced by the XT serie. The XT-22Y is super for young small stature shooters. I got my son the 25-Y which this new model replaces and it was what I did all his early training with. The Marlin bolt guns are insanely accurate for the money.

      The papose while light weight is still a full length of pull, so that really won’t help a small kid much. Sure it is light weight but that long stock makes proper form well, not proper.

      I also always like to teach a new shooter with a bolt action. Just like I taught my kid to drive a stick shift before an automatic. The Y model is a single shot, that means once fired you don’t have to worry about being shot by the kid you are teaching. Responsible handling is much easier to teach with a calm coach and single shots lead to calm coaches.

      On the zero my experience has been they do hold their zero well. If you want one get one, it just isn’t really great for teaching a kid to shoot with. The lack of a real forearm is an issue as well. For new shooters form is EVERYTHING, so make sure the gun allows for it to be spot on.

  6. Thanks Jack,
    One more question, I have a Colt 1911 Delta Elite in10mm, and I considered getting a “Mech Tech” carbine conversion unit for my lower.
    If 40 cal is pushing 10mm stats with the longer barrel, it stands to reason a 10mm would be a good option for the 100yd shot at a medium size deer.
    Other than the high price, any reason the Mech Tech CCU system wouldn’t be a good breakdown option?

  7. Great show Jack! When my father passed last year I became custodian of over 50 guns to sell or distribute. Family ended up with about a dozen or so and I still have some to be sold. A number of those guns were mentioned on your show today, among them; an AR7, Remington 1100, and Savage 99 in .300. One mentioned above is the Savage 24 in 22 wmr/20ga of which there were two and I kept one. It already ended a 5′ rattler in the front yard. I also kept the AR7 along with some others. The Savage 99 and 1100 are still here but I have not fired the Savage yet. It is a very interesting rifle however, dates from the 20′s and is in great condition. I’m putting the AR7 in my BoB and using a Taurus revolver in .22wmr as the backup. I was trying to control the number of calibers but that seems to be getting away from me ;) A couple things for your gun shows; I’ve converted most of my guns to bullpup or collapsible stocks and/or composites. Advantages/disadvantages? Also, shotguns; semi-auto or pump, mag extensions, and 2 3/4 vs. 3″ vs. 3 1/2″. Thanks!

  8. You can also get rimfire (22WMR, 22LR, 17HMR) and muzzleloader (50cal) barrels for the H&R single shots.

  9. TheMidwesterner

    Awesome show today! I just completed my my CCW class this weekend, so I am excited on all things firearms right now.

    I have a Rossi Matched Set in 22LR/20GA and, even though I haven’t shot it a whole bunch, I love it for the versatility. The 22LR barrel is heavy, but accurate – I also like the two-color three-dot fiber optic sights. It sits in the safe configured for home defense with the 20GA barrel, a butt cuff holding 5 rounds of #3 buck, and an add-on fiber-optic bead.

    It is a youth model, so it breaks down small. The 20GA barrel is only 22 inches, but this is great for compact break down and lends itself to maneuvering indoors/close quarters. A Limbsaver recoil pad brings out the length of pull out to adult size. With the 22LR barrel mounted it will probably be the gun my kids learn with when they are ready. No tools are needed as the front sling swivel holds the forearm to the barrel.

    Once I get ahold of an 870 or Mossberg 500 for primary home defense, this little kit just might start residing in my trunk.

    • I have the same setup and it is great choice, I researched this subject for a long time before I bought one. I highly recommend this gun and the take down time is less than a minute. Good show today just would like to have heard more about the rossi.

  10. TheMidwesterner

    For future firearms shows, I think it’d be interesting to get an AR enthusiast on who can talk about the alternative uppers out there. Someone who can give a rundown on say 5.56 vs. 6.8 SPC vs. 300 Blackout with the pros and cons of each. These calibers are probably givens, so it’d also be interesting to also get a review of the less conventional uppers like the crossbow and the airgun.

    If I remember properly, you mentioned that you recently picked up a Mossberg 500 in .410. I think it’d be cool if you did a YouTube video showing how similar shotguns, with similar chokes, but in different gauges compare practically – what the patterns look like compared to each other when the shells are holding similar shot. This would help dispel the myth that “you won’t hit anything with a .410, but you can’t miss with a 12GA.

    • Backwoods Engineer

      Great show! I have several comments:

      @TheMidwesterner: I second the “AR expert guest” show idea. Get him to talk about why you’d want to build an AR from parts vs. buy one. About uppers that have a forward assist (which you want) vs. ones that don’t (not good in a survival gun). About sources for parts, and what to look for in lower parts kits (pin diameters, plating, etc.). About barrels, and why a 16″ can be just as accurate as as 20″ for most uses. About drill-pressing your own receiver from a 70% complete lower, that doesn’t require an FFL,.

      One take-down gun I didn’t hear Jack hit was the Thomson/Center Contender. (OK, I haven’t finished the podcast yet, but have 15 mins left.) Multiple calibers in one gun. My friend claims 1/4″ groups at 100 yds with his Contender with the .223 barrel. He also says his 7/30 Waters barrel makes it an all-around big game rifle. 7/30 Waters is a cool caliber; look it up (parent case is the .30-30 Win).

  11. ALCON,

    After this episode I wanted to let you’ll know that NoDak Arms is a great company (small) 3 Owner/Operators. Based out Of Minot ND, Great prices on guns/ammo to include SBR’s/SBS and suppressors.

    Give them a look I deal with them do all my shooting needs and they are giving away 1,000 rounds of 9mm when they get to 1,000 likes on Facebook. If they don’t have they can get it. Kelly the president of NDA knows his stuff and will spend as much time as needed to make sure you get what it is you need/want the first time.

  12. jack,
    what is a fair price on a GSG 1911? I saw one in a gun shop today (first time i heard of it was this morning on the show) and they wanted over $400 and i laughed at them and walked out. I can buy a conversion kit for less than that!

  13. Jeffrey C. Anthony

    On the Kel Tec Sub 2000, there’s a company putting out a foreend that might make sights not so painful: http://www.redlionprecision.com/23512.html
    I’ve not tried it myself yet, it’s on the list of things to do…

    On carrying my Sub2000, i found that quite a few 100oz hydration packs sans bladder are a perfect fit for this rifle when folded. Very conveniently mounted on almost anything.

    I also am the proud owner of a Kel Tec SU16C, and while it sacrifices the in stock magazine storage, the folding stock works quite well for size reduction. Not quite as small as the Sub2000 sadly.

    On 22LR’s, the Beretta Neos U22 has a carbine kit that is quite easy to install, the 16in barrel needs no tools to remove, and the stock assembly only needs one wrench for one bolt. A 22 pistol and rifle all in one, with sights that stay lined up when switching things out, something I’m looking forward to working with in the hopefully near future.

  14. Luv my Sub 2000!!!

    • “On carrying my Sub2000, i found that quite a few 100oz hydration packs sans bladder are a perfect fit for this rifle when folded. Very conveniently mounted on almost anything” I’m not fallowing what your saying. Can you explain?

  15. I own a M6 (.22 hornet & .410) and a Kel-Tec SU-16. I love them both. Jack is right about the strange feel of the M6 but it is so tiny Im glad I splurged and bought it when I had the chance. It breaks down in seconds and snaps right back together. The SU-16b is great too. Not as small as a M6 but tiny for a .223. Being able to break down is what I look for in a gun. Its a novelty that really gets my attention. Great show.

  16. Show Idea and Question:
    Appleseed for the family as a show idea. Want to take the kid and wife out to shoot and think the Appleseed is a great place to start.

    Man with one gun and one caliber. Much like the cowboys with 45 colt revolver and lever action, does a single caliber improve what you can do to “survive”? Some examples: 1911, Hi-point 995 in .45; .357, 45 colt, 44 mag revolver/lever gun; Judge/.410 shotgun; glock/sub2000. As scary as it sounds, the Judge running 45 colt and a .410 shotgun may be the best combo. I know it would be much easier to store a few cases of ammo if you have one caliber vs buying 9mm, 5.56, 12ga., .45, .40, .22 that a typical american gun enthusiast may have in the safe. Any help on this one would be great.

  17. Custom rifles are the way to go with the take down concept, and many people have the skills but don’t realize it when it comes to fabricating things like switch barrel take down mausers, for example. One rifle not mentioned—Arisaka type 02 paratrooper–and for a reason. These are rare and expensive. Other rare military weapons–many take down shotguns like the winchester model 97 and model 12, savage 520 and 620, etc. I’m starting to salivate……must stop….

    There are so many resources available when it comes to homemade firearms. These are the type of Maguyver type skills –innovating, improvising, adapting–that apply to everything we do. This topic was interesting to me because im working on several takedown mausers atm lol….

    The one idea I really like is to have swappable barrels based on a widely available cartridge, and then another barrel based on a wildcat cartridge that can use the brass from the fired cartridges to reload the wildcats. Lots of possibilities here..

  18. Enjoyed todays show Jack. One of my favorite takedowns is a Rossi .22 WMR pump action, I believe it is a copy of a winchester gallery gun. It has a captive screw on the reciver that enables the barrel /tube mag/ forend to detach from the but stock / reciever.
    Another favorite is my NEF rifled 12g along with a .22 sub caliber insert, this enables accurate slugs, mediocre shot patterns and reasonably accurate .22 Rf ( works better than in most shotguns because of the express sites fitted)

    Kiwi (neither a bird or a fruit)

  19. Jack, this was your best episode yet! I have always loved take-down guns.
    Have you ever seen a Marble’s Game Getter? I saw one in a museum about 25 years ago and fell in love. Too bad someone can’t make one for $200-300.

  20. Great show Jack! I really like the Marlin XLRs in 30-30 and 338 Marlin express. Just my preference.
    I would like more gun topical shows to.

  21. +1 on Mysterion’s comment about custom guns. I recently went to the engravers and custom firearms guild show in January and there were a plethora of takedowns there, from lever guns to take down bolt guns and even a switch barrel sharps. It may be more expensive than buying something off the shelf but the level of craftsmanship is exceptional. Good smiths will work with you to not only get you a great working and fitting gun, but one made to your intended purpose.

  22. The solution I settled on for a 22 break down, is the 15 oz rifle kit from rutalocura. I made youtube vid on the assembly of the rifle kit.
    15 oz pack rifle kit
    If you did not want to spend the cash on the kit, you could use teh exsisting cricket barrel and make your own stock using an aluminum tube.

  23. Jack,

    Just finished the episode. You touched on pellet guns (particularly the Beeman dual caliber guns) and I just wanted to add to that.

    Many of Crosman’s pistols (such as the 1377 multi pump) can be turned into a carbine and can be as easy as 2 screws to take down. You simply replace the grips with the stock that Crosman sells. I’ve seen some people even take their carbines and make a wooden case for them that allows you to store them broken down and you just put them back together when you want to shoot.

    It used to be even easier with the 2289 “Backpacker” carbine. This gun I don’t believe was ever sold in the US, but I know it’s no longer in production. The stock on it was a variation of the current stock that used a spring loaded pin to secure it to the frame making it “backpackable.” Unfortunately, this stock just went “obsolete” from Crosman so you can no longer order just this stock. however, you may be able to find some used ones floating around if anyone wants to mod a Crosman.

    I know they don’t fit the bill for “survival firearms” but if you had to put meat on the table, this would certainly do it.

  24. Loved this show Jack. I’m not a firearms expert, and this may not be a problem for most people, but….for the older shotguns, I think you have to be careful about shooting steel shot through the old chokes. I have an old Fox BSE SxS 20 and it’s a great gun. However, it’s from the 70s, before steel ammo was widely required, and everyone I’ve talked to says they’d be leery about running steel through it. In a survival situation, nobody may be around to tell you not to use lead. However, for day to day use, inability to use lead limits ability for waterfowl hunting and, in an increasing number of areas, for upland bird hunting as well. Of course, you can always use tungsten matrix or similar, but most of them are EXPENSIVE! Just something to think abut before buying one of the older guns. (If someone in the know can correct me, confirming that steel is safe in old barrels, I’d be immensely excited and my older gun would get more use!)

  25. Hey Jack, great show. I wanted to let you know about this… the “Pack Rifle Kit” – a way to modify a Crickett or Chipmunk into a 15oz Carbon Fiber take down rifle. It’s available for .22 LR & .22 WMR. http://www.rutalocura.com/PRK.html

    Considering the lack of .22 bolt action take downs available, this is pretty neat, though it does take some minor gunsmithing to put it together. Reminds me of some of the earlier Armalite efforts at an Air Force survival rifle prior to the AR-7. Keep up the good work!

  26. Great Show. Love the Gun stuff. Look forward to more gun stuff.

  27. I bought my son the Rossi Youth .22/.243/20 gauge combo and quickly realized that if I can grab only one gun case, other than my CCW on myself, it would be this. Shoots great and has 3 easily concealable in a BOB calibers.

    Been looking for a Savage/Stevens .22 mag/20 gauge for years for small game hunting…

  28. I used to own a Remington 550-1 that was a S/L/LR.

    It is a semi-automatic that will function with shorts, longs, and long rifles interchangeably thanks to the Williams floating chamber and the intricate but reliable Remington-designed feed mechanism that does not seem to be at all finicky about what it is fed.

    The floating chamber amplifies the gas pressure of the .22 shorts to allow normal blowback operation of the bolt.

    The floating chamber was the invention of “Carbine” Williams, the same guy that designed the M1 Carbine.

    It takes down with almost any coin, but it’s not very short when taken down.

  29. Hey Jack,

    I was up to date on shows but have fallen a bit behind.. I just listened to 844 today and have a very beginer type question when it comes to guns. How the hell do I get a grip on all the calibers? I hear guys talking back and fourth and you throwing all these numbers out there and as soon as they start flying I get totally lost.. What is the best way to go about learning the difference between them all? I was thinking maybe you could do a “beginners” show on getting started with your first firearms purchase and how to become more familiar in the area.. I try to talk to guy at work about it but they’re all too proud and seem to “know everything” so its hard to get any kind of education from them. Thanks for your time Jack, love the show and am catching back up!