More Dieting (with Colonel Smoothbore)
By angelamontana

Posted: November 12, 2017

Last week we looked at some bolt-action light and ultra-light weight rifles. This week, for those who don’t enjoy the turn-bolt style gun, we’ll take a quick glimpse at some alternative style actions for hunting rifles.

In the past I’ve described how my Dad was one of those shooters that didn’t like bolt action rifles. In the early 60s he traded his pristine Model 70® in .270 for a Remington® 760 pump in the same caliber. I don’t think I’ll ever recover from that particular exchange, but that’s life and I’ll try to survive. Here are a few guns that Dad would have enjoyed.

First up a lovely lever gun from Henry® Arms. The “Long Ranger” is a very classy modern lever-action rifle. It is available in .223, .243, and .308. The guns weigh about 7 pounds and have detachable magazines allowing the use of efficient spritzer style bullets. Available with or without iron sights, the rifles have 20 inch barrels and are stocked with some very lovely walnut. Henry® Arms is a family owned company and all their products are very high quality and totally American made.

Looking for a good, yet very inexpensive rifle, then H&R®’s Handi Rifle might be the gun for you. Available in about a dozen calibers, these singe-shot, break-action guns are simple and safe to operate. Weighing about 7 pounds with 22 inch barrels (26 inch in 25-06) these rifles are available with both wood and synthetic stocks. A quick check on Gunbroker® showed many new rifles available for less than $ 300, some including a 3-9x scope.

I tried to find a MSR AR-10 style rifle that fit in our 7 pound weight class and cost at $ 2000 or less, but alas I had no luck finding a production gun that met those simple specs. One can assemble a lightweight AR-10 with components, but again, I could not find one ready to go “out of the box.” If any readers know of a manufacturer that does produce a rifle that meets those requirements, please let me know at  But there is a semi-auto that fills the bill. It is the Browning® BAR Stalker. This nifty little repeater weighs 6 pounds 10 ounces in .243, 7mm-08, and .308 and 6 pounds 15 ounces in .270 and 30-06. The rifles have composite stocks, 22 inch hammer forged barrels, and detachable 4 round magazines. MSRP in the calibers listed above is $1269.99.

Finally, Winchester® is offering classic Model 94 carbines in 30-30 Winchester®. With a satin finished walnut stock, 20 inch barrel, Marble Arms front sight, and an adjustable rear sight, the rifle weighs 6 ½ pounds and MSRP is $ 1199.99. This little rifle takes me way back to my early days hunting, in fact I just might dust off my old ‘94 and take a hike through the wonderful world of nostalgia.

Be safe and good shooting.

Colonel Smoothbore