The Riotgun And The Bayonet

The Riotgun And The Bayonet

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I was asked the other day if I thought a semi auto rifle like the AR or AK was a good “Anti riot” gun. My response was that although either of those rifles would do fine, I was a bigger fan of the 12 gauge shotgun, specifically one designed with an extended magazine, rifle sights, and is designed to mount a bayonet.

The individual started laughing and said “I don’t see myself doing a bayonet charge, Sarge.” To which I replied, “Do you know of any other firearm that is designed for close in defense, can fire non lethal ammo like rubber balls, pepper dust, or pepper balls in the same repeatable way you can with lethal ammo, can accurately hit and drop a man sized target at 100 meters, and can immediately and effectively disable a vehicle engine with accurate hits?” His answer was “No.”.

Is the shotgun the “be all end all” of fight stoppers? No. Is the shotgun the most versatile weapon available to the average consumer that might get caught in a riot situation? Yes. I have an old friend that had a guy come at him with a knife, and from about 20 feet away, his partner shot the guy in the center of the chest with a full power, 9 pellet, buckshot load. The guy survived the hit.

Three 590’s. Top-590A1 with MagPul stock set, Aimpro Tactical Rear ghosring/rail and Holosun solar red dot. Center- My original 590 bought in 1988. Bottom- 590 Shockwave.

The shotgun isn’t necessarily a “Death Dealer”, but it generally is a “Fight Stopper”. Do you think that shooting a rioter from 50 meters would be justified in a court of law? Probably not. Do you think you would be justified firing a “Pepper round” in that direction to redirect those individuals from coming in your direction? Maybe, maybe not, but you can show your intent to not shoot to kill someone unless absolutely necessary was there.

The pump shotgun can cycle all the less lethal ammo I know of at the same speed as a full power buckshot load, and that’s something that a semi auto shotgun cannot do. Are semi auto shotguns a bad choice? No, but the caveat is that you will have to hand cycle those less lethal rounds through your gun until it’s time to use the lethal option.

There is also something funny about a bad guy hearing that distinct click-clack of a pump shotgun’s action being cycled and it involuntarily causing their rear orifice to slam shut upon realizing what it is. I’ve seen grown men stop in there tracks, then turn and run away when hearing that sound. Let me tell you something, when you’re the guy it is covering, it is an awesome sound of relief.

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There are a number of good anti personnel buckshot loads out there. Everything from #4Buckshot (.24 caliber) to OOBuckshot (.33 caliber) and OOOBuckshot (.36 caliber) in either 2 3/4 inch standard or low recoil (usually has 8 or 9 OOBuck pellets instead of 9-12 OOBuck pellets in the standard load) or 3 inch magnum (up to 15 OOBuck  or 10 OOOBuck pellets). The #4 Buck has between 34 and 41 pellets in the load depending on if it’s a 2 3/4 or 3″ Magnum shell. OOBuck, OOOBuck and #4 Buck tend to be the most popular sizes of buckshot used, and most law enforcement and military ammo is OOBuck or slugs.

Aimpro Tactical Ghost ring aperture and rail with a Holosun solar red dot attached with a quick detach mount. Red dot zeroed at 50 meters, Ghost ring at 25 meters.

But JC, why would I need to have slugs available for a shotgun in a riot situation? Well, although I have practiced privately and professionally shooting a hostage drill scenario with buckshot, I would much rather take it with an accurate slug. I also would want to be able to fire slugs instead of buckshot at a car that was getting ready to ram a makeshift barricade in my neighborhood or my dwelling. In my riotguns (bead or ghostring sights), I use Brenneke slugs of both the 2 3/4 and 3 inch variety. Below is some ballistic info for both.

The black slug on the left is the Black Magic Magnum and weighs 1 3/8 oz. The lead slug/yellow wad on the right is the Brenneke K.O. and weighs 1 oz.

As said earlier, I suggested having the ability to mount a bayonet on your riotgun. But JC, that seems kinda ridiculous. Maybe, or maybe not. If multiple bad guys are coming through your front door, wouldn’t it be nice to not only have a blunt trauma capability (buttstroke), but a lethal force ability beyond just the shotgun shells in the magazine of the riotgun? So now we’ll talk about the Mossberg M590 nine-shot shotgun.

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This Stoner bayonet attaches to the sheath via a hole in the blade that lines up with a pivot point that protrudes at the bottom of the sheath.

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The wire cutter in the fully closed cutting position.

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The saw on the blade is actually more practical than the average survival knife saw.

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The sheath the Stoner bayonet has, incorporates a quick release belt attachment

 

I bought my first M590 back in ’88, and other than having to square up the angle on the end of action bars from doing a lot of shooting, I have never had any issues with any of the M590’s I own, even after many thousands of rounds fired through them. I also carried a M590 (18.5″ barrel, 6-shot) along with my M4 in Iraq, and never had a malfunction or concern about trusting my life to it.

Why am I a big fan of the M590? First, it has been the military issue shotgun for almost 30 years, and has seen a lot of use without much in the way of complaints. Second, I’m a lefty, and the safety is completely ambidextrous. This type of feature is a big deal, and not just to lefty’s. You should train to fire your long guns off of each shoulder, and having a safety that is able to be manipulated with either hand can be very helpful.

Accessories for my riotguns are generally pretty spartan. I won’t have a defense shotgun without a sidesaddle if it’s available for it. There are a number of different types of sidesaddles available now, but I can tell you that I have had one on mine for over 20 years, and it still works well. Next up is a light. I use the same light I use on all my long guns, and that is the Surefire G2 light with this pressure switch. I use a clamp designed to hold the light to the magazine tube.

One of my M590’s (pictured) has a Magpul stock and forearm. A Spec Ops shotshell pouch is attached to the side of the buttstock and holds 12 rounds of buckshot. I carry 6 slugs in the Sidesaddle. I would recommend that if you carry less lethal ammo for your riotgun, that you carry them (and only them) in that location. When you think about it, if you are carrying lethal ammo in the Sidesaddle, you have 21 rounds of buckshot, and 6 rounds of slugs, and that’s just on the gun.

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Finally, the bayonet. A Mossberg M590 will take any standard M16 bayonet. The bayonet I usually use is one I’ve had for decades. Some will recognize it as a bayonet designed by Gene Stoner for his rifles. It has the wire cutter device and a small tooth saw that is actually much better for that type of cutting than some of the other knife blade spine saws out there.

Do you need a Mossberg M590 with a bayonet? No. There are plenty of well made shotguns out there that will do well in that roll, but very few have the ability to attach a bayonet in it’s stock configuration. The Mossberg M590 is a good value for the money, and is one of the best deals on the market.

What about a rifle with a bayonet? Well, they are available, but unless you get something like an M1A with a standard stock configuration, performing the battery of arms for a bayonet drill with something like an AR15 requires you to relocate your firing hand from the pistol grip to the wrist of the buttstock. A standard M1A is a great rifle, and would perform as well or better than most other rifles in this role. The primary disadvantage of a rifle like a standard M1A is it’s size. In this case however, the M1A’s size might be a huge asset.

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Top is an M590. Bottom is a Match M1A. Both work very well with a bayonet attached, and make great blunt force weapons (buttstock) using the manual of arms for use of the bayonet. The scope on the M1A has a QD/ZH SEI mount, so taking it off and returning it to zero is not a problem.

Considering the situations that have presented themselves over the last few years, if you have not thought about how to handle things like a riot in your neighborhood, you are lacking in a realistic perspective for preparedness. When they want what you have, all they have to do is wait for something to happen to give them the “excuse” (it doesn’t have to be right or make sense to us, they just need the media or liberals to forward it as “righteous”, correct?).

A lot of guys will try to make out that “Old School” doesn’t work simply because it’s “Old School”. Riots ARE “Old School”, and discounting techniques or equipment because they are not “High Speed” is ridiculous, and the sign someone fixated on what’s popular, not what’s useful. Right or wrong, Robert Roger’s Standing Orders are just as valid in context today as they were when he wrote them in the 1750’s. Keep that in mind when you are evaluating equipment and techniques for defending yourself and your loved ones.

JCD,

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.
Making The “Lightning” For Your Force Multipliers

Making The “Lightning” For Your Force Multipliers

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Charging the large fold up solar unit on top of my pack in the field.

Since the 90’s, I’ve carried a small solar charger for AA batteries in my kit. This was for keeping certain devices I had, like flashlights and PVS-7 NOD’s, operating in the field when there was no chance to get new batteries or charge the rechargeables I had on household 110 system. I started using CR123 batteries in the early 2000’s when I bought an IR laser that used a single 123 battery, and shortly after, I upgraded my weapons light to a two celled, CR123 powered, Surefire.

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The DBAL and Surefire light on this M1A Socom both use CR123 batteries

THE PROBLEM

The use of CR123 batteries put a gap in my preps because, at that time, no one was selling 123 rechargeables. Oh well, guess when they’re done, the IR laser and Surefire is done, right? I made sure I bought a lot of CR123’s for storage. Back in 2013 I found CR123 rechargeables that were made by a company called Tenergy, and I’ve been using them ever since. The caveat to using Tenergy 123’s is that their charge is a little higher than a normal CR123’s 3.2 Volts and two together will burn out a standard Surefire bulb immediately upon hitting the switch (ask me how I know…). No problem, I also ordered some programmable bulbs for my lights and I was back in business.

Last year I decided to get with the times and see if I could come up with alternative charging means to recharge not only my AA’s and CR123’s, but also my 9 Volt batteries for my laser range finder and heat (game) detector. My FLIR 24 which has an internal battery and recharges via micro USB also needed a way to get a boost in the field.

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The total kit that was tested. Total weight was 3.25 lbs.

THE BATTERIES

The system I’ve put together has been in use for approximately 6 months or so. Certain Items like the Tenergy 123 battery box I bought back in 2013 is no longer available, but I’ve found a worthy replacement. I have used a couple different companies’ products, and for the most part, they are about equal in quality and capability.

For the AA batteries, I usually use Eneloop AA’s along with their battery box ($27). I have also used AA battery HSTEK products ($25) with no issues. For the CR123 batteries I’ve been using Tenergy products, but as I already mentioned, that product is no longer available, so I bought batteries and charger box from Power 2000 ($20) and it has performed well. As to the 9 Volt system, I’ve had pretty good luck with the Keenstone charger and 9 Volt batteries ( $25)

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Keenstone 9 Volt charger box on left, HSTEK AA charger box with Eneloop batteries in the Center, and Power 2000 CR123 charger box with Tenergy batteries on the right. The 5V to 12V adapter is on the bottom.

Because the CR123 charger from Tenergy and Power 2000 both come with a 12 Volt and 110AC plugs, I bought a 5 Volt to 12 Volt converter ($10) for the 12V plug. I did this instead of finding a dedicated USB CR123 charger because I figured there might be a need for the ability to charge a dedicated 12V item besides that of my CR123 batteries (example, my “tablet”).

THE POWER

Now, on to the power sources. Although my old units were all solar powered, I decided I’d check into more than just sun charged devices. I found a small, hand held unit that was crank powered and figured it might be a good option if there was no sun available. The other two units I found were both solar. One was small and similar in size to an android phone and had one solar panel. The other one was larger, heavier, and it had four fold out panels.

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Digital multi-meter used for the tests.

To test the chargers I bought a small, digital multi-meter ($18). The process went like this. First, I fully charged the charger/power source being tested before connecting the multi-meter and discharging a specific number of mAh from the charger/power source. Next, I either cranked the crank charger for a given amount of time, or put the solar chargers in the sun (varied levels of sunlight that I documented) for a given amount of time. Lastly, after the time allotted, I then hooked up the multi-meter again and measured the number of mAh it took to completely recharge it while attached to house current.

As an example, the large solar charger shown below was fully charged up, then a measured discharge of 400mAh was completed. At that time, I put the charger out in the sun for 2 hours. Once the time was up, I then recharged the large solar charger from house current while measuring the required amount of mAh required to fully recharge the internal battery.

The small solar unit weighs in at 8 oz. and measures 5.5″x 3″x 6.7″ and cost me $25. it has two “Out” ports, and one “In” charging port. It has a small programmable flashlight built in and the internal battery holds 8,000mAh of power. In perspective, when I have recharged a pair of “dead” AA batteries they’ve taken approximately 1800 mAh to fully recharge. From testing using the small voltage meter shown, the solar panel recharges at a rate of 25 mAh an hour in partly sunny conditions. It’s not a lot, but considering it’s size, I wasn’t expecting much.

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Large 25,000 mAh solar charger-left, 5,000 mAh crank charger-top, Small 8,000 mAh solar charger-right.

The large solar unit weighs in at 20 oz.  and measures 6.1″x 3.3″x 1.37″ in size and costs $38. It has two “Out” ports and one “In” charging port. It also has a built in flashlight, and the internal battery holds 25.000 mAh of power. I found that on a partly cloudy day this unit will recharge at a rate of 40 mAh an hour. It’s better than the small solar unit, but it’s not 4 times (4 panels) better. The advantage is it does recharge faster and it holds a lot of juice.

The final charging unit I tested was a small hand crank model. It weighs in at 8 oz., measures 3.75″ x 1.5″ x 2″ and costs about $30. It has one “Out” port and one “In” charging port. Like the other two, it has a built in flashlight. The internal battery hold 5,000 mAh of juice. 30 minutes of cranking will add 25 mAh of power to the internal battery. An hour of cranking this model will produce more power than either of the other chargers, and it doesn’t require the sun to do it.

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Crank charger with AA battery box, 123 battery, 12V adapter and USB cable on left. Small solar charger with the same accessories included on the right.

To give you some comparative size, I can fit either the small hand crank charger or the small solar unit in a quart sized ziplock freezer bag, along with the battery boxes (and their batteries) for AA and 123 and the required cables. The large solar charger fits in a quart sized freezer bag with the 9 Volt battery box and and three 9 Volt batteries.

I usually carry either the crank charger (majority of the time) or the small solar charger with accessories (in the ziplock) in the buttpack of my load bearing equipment. Whichever one I’m not carrying in my LBE, I’m carrying in my ruck with the large solar charger and the 9 Volt battery box and batteries.

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Large solar charger with 9 Volt box and three extra batteries.

All told I have 38,000 mAh of juice to recharge whatever electronics I’m using, whether it’s a laser range finder (9V), my FLIR (USB), my PVS-7’s/ flashlights (AA’s) or the DBAL IR laser/ Surefire weapons lights (CR123’s).They can all be charged by chargers that can be replenished via the sun or a manual powered hand crank.

If you think, “Man, that’s a lot of expense or extra crap.” Fine, it’s a modular system, and you can pick and choose what makes the most sense for your needs and pocket book. Most of these items needing power are considered “Force Multipliers” to those who know how to use them. Give yourself the edge by not being reliant on a never ending need for fresh, disposable batteries in your gear.Anyone who has done combat operations will tell you that batteries was a huge logistics issue in the field. After it all goes to Hell, having this self reliant ability could make all the difference.

JCD

“Parata Vivere”- Live Prepared.

 

An Updated “Jed Eckert” Rifle

An Updated “Jed Eckert” Rifle

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As a teenager I remember watching “Red Dawn” the first time and thinking, “WOW, that’s all they had to choose from in a gun shop?”. A .308, a .38 Special (revolver), a 12 Gauge shotgun and a 30-30 Winchester lever gun (a Marlin). Lookin’ back I realize they actually had a pretty good assortment of firearms for survival purposes, but out of all those firearms, I always thought the short, light, Ruger “Ultralight” in .308Win. that the “Jed Eckert” (Patrick Swayze) character carried was the best choice for a “Survival Rifle”out of the selection they had.

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“Jed Eckert” with his Ruger M77 Ultralight in .308 Winchester.

One of my issues with firearms over the years has been being a left-hander in a right-handed world. Except for a few weapons systems like the M-60, weapons in the military never gave me issues shooting them left-handed, and I got around the ones thast did. On the other hand, bolt-guns were always an issue when it came to shooting quickly and correctly.

No bolt action rifle type out there is as reliable and dependable as a Mauser type action. Solid lock up. as robust an extractor as is available, and the fixed ejector is solid and dependable. Compared to the small surface grabbing, claw extractors and plunger type ejectors of most other bolt action rifle types made today, the Mauser action wins, hands down, as the durable, reliable, “Go To” bolt type action in a survival rifle.

For all it’s PC faults, Ruger makes great guns. I’ve owned a dozen or so Ruger firearms over the years, and one of the thing I will give Ruger is the fact that they put the extra effort into making firearms for both right and LEFT-handers in most models. I’ve owned three of the M77 rifles. A left handed .300WinMag, an older right handed, tang-safety, Heavy Barreled .308Win. (I like right handed guns when shooting from the prone), and the most recent “Gunsite Scout” rifle in .308 Winchester

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Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle with four 10 round mags and mag carrier.

I always liked the idea of the Cooper “Scout Rifle” concept to a point, but having had a few rifles with long eye relief, low powered (2 3/4-4x) scopes, I’m not the biggest fan of the forward scope mount in execution. The first scope I ever used was a 4x on my BB gun (Dad made me get good with irons first). Next, I had a 3-9x on my Savage 24 .223Rem./20Gauge combo gun. I also used a 3-9x on my Father’s Springfield ’03 (another awesome Mauser action) for deer hunting. So when it came time to scope my Scout Rifle, I put an older 1″ Sightron 3-9x MilDot that I had on it, and mounted it in Leupold Quick Detach, Zero Hold rings .

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First Mauser action rifle I ever used. A Springfield 1903, 30-06

For a multi-purpose Survival/Hunting rifle, I think the 3-9 power scope gives the most bang for the buck. If the rifle is up to it, accuracy wise, the 9 power will give you all the range you could ever want in either scenario. For dense brush or snap shooting, 3 power will get it done easily if you’ve practiced. I normally leave it set on 6 power because it is truly a “happy medium” in an optic’s magnification for ease of use.

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Safety is in the forward “Fire” position (position 1) right behind the bolt handle in this pic.

As to the features present on my “Modern Day Jed Eckert Rifle”, let’s go over them. When I bought the Ruger Scout rifle, I picked the 18.7″ barrel over the 16.1 inch model. I figured since it was for Survival/Hunting use, 18 inches will give the ammo I usually use (Federal 168gr Match and Hornady 168gr AMAX TAP) a little more room to perform well.

Overall length is 40 inches with the flash hider and the “length of pull spacer” (it comes with a couple) I used. It weighs in at 9 1/4 pounds empty  and with optic mounted. Ten round mags weigh 1 pound. Loaded but without the extra mag in the buttstock pouch it’s 10 1/4lbs.  and 11 1/4lbs. with extra mag on the stock . Speakin’ of Mags. I have four for my Scout. All are Ruger 10 round mags. One is the steel one that came with the rifle. Three are Ruger synthetics that are slightly lighter but just as robust.

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Two 10 round mags in a mag pouch originally meant for 20 round 30 cal. mags.

It has 5/8×24 threads for a flash suppressor, a muzzle brake or a sound suppressor. This could be advantageous for obvious reasons if you are using it in a survival role, and it makes it easier for smaller framed people to shoot the .308Win. if you get an effective muzzle brake.

I bought the stainless model with a laminated stock for the obvious corrosion resistance and durability. I like a laminate stock over a synthetic because it feels and hefts more like a wood stock, but still has the durability of synthetic. I’ve always liked the feel of a wooden stock on a solid rifle. Attached to the stock is a mag carrier originally designed for one 20 round 30 cal. magazine. In it I carry a pull through bore cleaner rolled up in the bottom, and an extra 10 round mag. Also, I like Ruger’s dull stainless finish because it is very corrosion resistant, but doesn’t glow/shine in the woods due to it’s dull finish.

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One 10 round mag and a “Boresnake” go into the buttstock mag pouch.

Another feature I love about this rifle are the back up iron sights. It started out with the factory Ruger peep sights (ghost ring). The front sight is wing protected and about as solid as can be without it being brazed onto the barrel. I replaced the rear sight with a full length (it came with the forward mounting rail) rail from XS Sights and this has a built in ghost ring aperture.

Last, but not least is the Ruger 3-position safety. After using a Springfield ’03, three position safety while growing up, I absolutely love the Ruger version. The Springfield safety rotates over the top of the bolt counter clockwise from 3oclock “safe, bolt locked” (position 3), to 12oclock “safe, bolt unlocked” (position 2), to 9oclock “fire” (position 1).

The Ruger action has the safety rotate forward on the left side of the rear of the action (left handed action). It starts at the rear of the bolt, next to the firing pin protrusion where it’s in “safe, bolt locked” (position 3). It rotates forward and left about 3/8 inch to “safe, bolt unlocked” (position 2), and finally forward again, next to the bolt handle for “Fire” (position 1). It is easy and sure to flip it from “Safe” (position 2) to “Fire” (position 1) with a normal firing grip with the left thumb next the left side of the rifle.

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A three shot, 2.5 inch group at 200 meters

As far as accuracy goes, it is a 1.5 to 2 MOA (with LC Ball) rifle on average. I have shot a 2 inch group at 200 meters with my rifle and Match ammo, but that is the best, and a little smaller than the average. The only downside I see with the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle is cost. They average around $800-$900. Do I think it’s money well spent? Yes, No one else makes a Scout configured rifle left handed. Savage, and Mossberg  each make one, but none are left-handed, and they’re within $200 of the cost of my Ruger.

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Is my Scout the most accurate bolt gun I own? No, that position is owned by my Savage 10 Tactical with a TTI StraightJacket barrel system. It shoots 1/2 MOA or better out to 500 meters all day long (I don’t usually get to shoot further than that on regular basis). The downside for the Savage 10Tac is that it is a 46 1/4 inch long, 13 1/4 pound rifle with a 10x scope and a bipod. That’s 6 inches and 4 pounds heavier than the Scout.

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Savage 10 Tactical. This is the most accurate rifle I own, and the second most accurate rifle I’ve ever shot. 

The Scout and Savage Tac have different applications as rifles, and fill their intended niche perfectly. Given the choice, the Ruger Scout would be the “Grab and Go” gun as a survival/hunting piece, and I would not feel under-gunned in a wilderness survival situation with the Scout as my only rifle . Coupling the Scout with my compact 11″ ParaFAL and Glock 21 pistol as self defense guns, a .22LR rifle (I use a Marlin 880SQ for hunting and an AR-7 as a pack gun) for small game, I’d be hard pressed for a better compact survival arsenal.

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Coupled with this 11″ ParaFAL “pistol” in the same caliber as the Scout, it would be a good start to a versatile, compact, centerfire, survival arsenal. 

I hope this was able to help with your choice for a good, compact, boltgun, especially if you’re a left-hander.

JCD

"Parata Vivere"-Live Prepared.