Iron Sighted Truck Rifle?

ArTeeKay

Not last, but certainly, the least.
Full Member
Minuteman
Feb 8, 2019
172
216
Montana
A couple years ago, I sold a handful of rifles to fund a vehicle purchase. It was a terrible mistake, and I knew it at the time, but I found myself between a rock and a hard place and had little choice. Among them were two that I find myself missing quite a lot, a Lee Enfield Ishapore, and a CZ 550 in a full stock in .243. They took turns riding along with me in my truck, both unadorned with optics, just a sling, a full magazine, and a spare box of ammo.

Now, I want a replacement. Both of those rifles have become extraordinarily difficult to find at anything that resembles a reasonable price, if one can find an example at all. And though I loved both those guns, I find myself curious about what else is out there.

So, my question is this: What rifles fit the bill as a suitable replacement? I've got a few requests.
1: Good iron sights. Yes, I understand iron sights are at a disadvantage to an optic in many cases, but I liked shooting them, and shot them well enough for the purposes I was bringing a rifle along for.
2: Reasonable cost. Under $1000 dollars is preferable, though getting near that point, I may as well just bite the bullet and buy another Ishapore.
3: Modern, easy to find, moderate chambering. I liked the .308 and .243, as they shot well with nearly any ammo I fed them, and at the time, ammo for both was plentiful and cheap. I'd prefer not to have to reload for them if possible, but if that's going to be the reality, I'd hope that brass would be relatively easy to come by as well.
4: A full, or nearly full stock. Something about that look just does something for me, despite problems that are possible.

Your recommendations are appreciated gentlemen, and if this request would be better received in Vintage, then I'd happily move it there as well.
 

MinnesotaMulisha

They call me "Baby Ruth."
Full Member
Minuteman
  • Jul 30, 2013
    5,346
    8,649
    Solid Ground
    By full stock, are you meaning like a Mannlicher? Like this?
    FEB6C1CF-131E-4959-AB29-E5DFEC214957.jpeg
     

    TacticalPlinker

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 24, 2012
    582
    518
    55
    Not anywhere near the quality you mentioned. But as a "truck gun" - the old reliable SKS or Mosin may do it.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay

    ArTeeKay

    Not last, but certainly, the least.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 8, 2019
    172
    216
    Montana
    Grab whatever you can find. Surely the local pawn has a few on the wall that would do. Rugers, winchesters, rems etc (Don’t forget the lever guns)
    Any models in particular worth looking out for? I'm not looking for just any rifle to throw under the backseat. I'm looking for a companion of sorts. A rifle I both enjoy shooting, and that is reliable when I need it. If all I wanted was a rifle, I'd just get an AR-10, put a dot on it, and be done with it.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: TurboTrout

    spife7980

    Luchador
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 10, 2017
    11,421
    11,747
    Central TX
    Any models in particular worth looking out for?
    Whatever makes your prick hard will do fine. I don’t have a specific recommendation.

    They will all be older rifles though as new ones with iron sights are cheap crap these days. Except for the several thousand dollar olympic style target rifle walthers etc. that you know aren’t what you’re after.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay

    .257wby

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 4, 2009
    53
    4
    Dallas, TX
    Swedish m38 or one of the m94 carbines might be a good choice. Walnut versions look nice, balance well and they usually have nice micrometer rear sights. But it would probably depend on whether you can live with 6.5x55.

    Tikka also makes the t3x artic—which is probably too expensive—and the funky battue models.

    Or you could just get a worn in pre-64 Winchester model 70
     
    • Like
    Reactions: Average guy

    KnowNothing256

    Supporter
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
  • Jan 9, 2020
    1,801
    1,082
    I have a CZ 527 that’s basically exactly what you’re describing, and I want to send it off to a new home. Unfortunately maybe for you, it’s chambered in 7.62x39, which is plenty available (it likes Hornady Black), but might not be what you’re thinking.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: bobke and ArTeeKay

    ArTeeKay

    Not last, but certainly, the least.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 8, 2019
    172
    216
    Montana
    Swedish m38 or one of the m94 carbines might be a good choice. Walnut versions look nice, balance well and they usually have nice micrometer rear sights. But it would probably depend on whether you can live with 6.5x55.
    I do reload for 6.5x55 already, so that's appealing, and I do like the lines of the m38, but man prices and availability do not look good at first blush.
    Tikka also makes the t3x artic—which is probably too expensive—and the funky battue models.
    How about a brand new T3X CTR .$900 on sale...
    The Tikkas, especially the Arctic model, is actually a great choice, as it's a known quality rifle, I'm just hung up on wanting a full stock, for no good reason beyond I like it. The heart wants what it wants, as they say.
     

    ArTeeKay

    Not last, but certainly, the least.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 8, 2019
    172
    216
    Montana
    After some thought, wasn't there a gentleman who recently set a record at a mile or some such distance with a k31? Carlos something? Perhaps I'm misremembering. But, makes a person sit up and take notice about capability hearing something like that.

    ETA: Ernie Jiminez was the man in question.
     

    R700P308

    Private
    Minuteman
    Oct 9, 2017
    82
    21
    Kentucky
    If you're stuck on a full stock and want a common caliber, I'd think that limits you to old American/western milsurps. And I don't think M1903s are $1000 anymore.

    If you can drop the full stock criteria, then the first things that come to mind are (1) a Tikka Arctic, (2) an M70 or other older bolt action (Ruger MkII?) with retrofitted irons, or (3) something like the Mossberg patrol—I think they made a Clint Smith/Thunder Ranch version that was kinda cool.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay

    ArTeeKay

    Not last, but certainly, the least.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 8, 2019
    172
    216
    Montana
    If you're stuck on a full stock and want a common caliber, I'd think that limits you to old American/western milsurps. And I don't think M1903s are $1000 anymore.

    If you can drop the full stock criteria, then the first things that come to mind are (1) a Tikka Arctic, (2) an M70 or other older bolt action (Ruger MkII?) with retrofitted irons, or (3) something like the Mossberg patrol—I think they made a Clint Smith/Thunder Ranch version that was kinda cool.
    I believe Ruger actually made several models of their rifles with a mannlicher style stock, I think they usually called them "international", so a model 77 might be in the running, if I can find one. And I did take a look at the MVP series, and cross compatibility with AR pattern mags is a nice plus, if only for ease of unloading the rifle when not in use.

    I've got a rifle that's doing substitute duty while I look, so I'm mostly interested if anyone has any favorite rifles that fit all the criteria. If any of the requirements is gonna go, it will be the stock, as that's an aesthetic choice more than a functional one, but I'm not in a hurry either.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: R700P308

    JVH86

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 22, 2011
    24
    4
    36
    Midland, Texas
    Savage 99 can be found in 308, though not a full stock. I have one in .300 Savage, very handy rifle. Lever action with internal magazine instead of tube feed, allowing spire point bullets.

    For something more modern, a BLR fits the bill. Lever action with a drop box magazine.
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay

    Gustav7

    Son of a Gun...
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
  • Jul 18, 2019
    1,513
    904
    Ohio (OH)
    It doesn't have the full stock, but my neighbor has the Ruger Scout Rifle in .308. It is a SWEET little rifle that takes mags, threaded barrel, with nice sights and a rail for optional optic.

    cGc
     

    eastexsteve

    Gunny Sergeant
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 18, 2018
    588
    502
    NE Texas
    A couple years ago, I sold a handful of rifles to fund a vehicle purchase. It was a terrible mistake, and I knew it at the time, but I found myself between a rock and a hard place and had little choice. Among them were two that I find myself missing quite a lot, a Lee Enfield Ishapore, and a CZ 550 in a full stock in .243. They took turns riding along with me in my truck, both unadorned with optics, just a sling, a full magazine, and a spare box of ammo.

    Now, I want a replacement. Both of those rifles have become extraordinarily difficult to find at anything that resembles a reasonable price, if one can find an example at all. And though I loved both those guns, I find myself curious about what else is out there.

    So, my question is this: What rifles fit the bill as a suitable replacement? I've got a few requests.
    1: Good iron sights. Yes, I understand iron sights are at a disadvantage to an optic in many cases, but I liked shooting them, and shot them well enough for the purposes I was bringing a rifle along for.
    2: Reasonable cost. Under $1000 dollars is preferable, though getting near that point, I may as well just bite the bullet and buy another Ishapore.
    3: Modern, easy to find, moderate chambering. I liked the .308 and .243, as they shot well with nearly any ammo I fed them, and at the time, ammo for both was plentiful and cheap. I'd prefer not to have to reload for them if possible, but if that's going to be the reality, I'd hope that brass would be relatively easy to come by as well.
    4: A full, or nearly full stock. Something about that look just does something for me, despite problems that are possible.

    Your recommendations are appreciated gentlemen, and if this request would be better received in Vintage, then I'd happily move it there as well.
    I use a .308 AR10 build with 18" barrel and rail-mounted A2 sights by Lewis Machine and Tool. It's pretty indestructible. But,no wood stock.
     

    Scrumbag

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Mar 4, 2020
    169
    97
    U.K.
    Could you find an M1917 within budget? Best iron sights of the milsurps I reckon and in .30-06 easy as anything is to find ammo for?

    Scrummy
     

    roostercogburn98

    Crawling America, one mall at a time
    Supporter
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Supporter+
    Nov 3, 2010
    6,164
    11,672
    Sometimes you slump into a sweet old Winchester 54 for next to nothing. It originally had irons
    EA408206-31E5-49E0-8B00-54BCC4C8EDFE.jpeg
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay

    ArTeeKay

    Not last, but certainly, the least.
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Feb 8, 2019
    172
    216
    Montana
    Savage 99 can be found in 308, though not a full stock. I have one in .300 Savage, very handy rifle. Lever action with internal magazine instead of tube feed, allowing spire point bullets.

    For something more modern, a BLR fits the bill. Lever action with a drop box magazine.
    A lever action isn't out of the question, I just am not nearly as familiar with them as I am bolt rifles. Anyone got any opinions of the Henry Long Ranger as well?
    It doesn't have the full stock, but my neighbor has the Ruger Scout Rifle in .308. It is a SWEET little rifle that takes mags, threaded barrel, with nice sights and a rail for optional optic.

    cGc
    I forget they make those, I always get spooked by the miserable accuracy that the mini 14s and mini 30s were notorious for. Very similar in character to the Tikka arctic, which I do like.
    Very tempting... I think I'd want to cut the barrel down some, but otherwise a good choice in a good caliber. Any problems known cutting them down, or is it a simple chop and crown operation?
    This is like what the AR is made for.

    If you need more of a fudd look, they make wood stocks (not mine)

    9c3e316257196292dc186fc83cdcb965.jpg
    I have admired the SCR lowers and thought that would make a handy dandy rifle, but if I'm gonna have an AR riding in the truck, I may as well just throw my carbine with light and red dot and bandolier full of spare mags in and be done lol.
    Could you find an M1917 within budget? Best iron sights of the milsurps I reckon and in .30-06 easy as anything is to find ammo for?

    Scrummy
    Oh that is a good option as well. Why does Eddystone ring a bell in regards to the 1917? Was that the manufacturer? I'm a fan of the Enfield action, and having it in '06 would in fact tick all the boxes, so long as I could find one for under budget.
    Are not aware of gunbroker? Less than 30 seconds I found this https://www.gunbroker.com/item/928993469
    Over budget unfortunately, and auctions for the rifles I'd be replacing quickly seem to turn into bidding wars.
    Sometimes you slump into a sweet old Winchester 54 for next to nothing. It originally had irons
    View attachment 7849113
    Beautiful gun. A model 54 or 70 would hit the spot, and I feel like once upon a time I heard about a run of pre 64 model 70s fitted with mannlicher stocks, and I'd pay over my budget for one of them.
     

    BJames

    Sergeant of the Hide
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Jan 20, 2014
    284
    207
    Alaska
    A lever action isn't out of the question, I just am not nearly as familiar with them as I am bolt rifles. Anyone got any opinions of the Henry Long Ranger as well?

    I forget they make those, I always get spooked by the miserable accuracy that the mini 14s and mini 30s were notorious for. Very similar in character to the Tikka arctic, which I do like.

    Very tempting... I think I'd want to cut the barrel down some, but otherwise a good choice in a good caliber. Any problems known cutting them down, or is it a simple chop and crown operation?

    I have admired the SCR lowers and thought that would make a handy dandy rifle, but if I'm gonna have an AR riding in the truck, I may as well just throw my carbine with light and red dot and bandolier full of spare mags in and be done lol.

    Oh that is a good option as well. Why does Eddystone ring a bell in regards to the 1917? Was that the manufacturer? I'm a fan of the Enfield action, and having it in '06 would in fact tick all the boxes, so long as I could find one for under budget.

    Over budget unfortunately, and auctions for the rifles I'd be replacing quickly seem to turn into bidding wars.

    Beautiful gun. A model 54 or 70 would hit the spot, and I feel like once upon a time I heard about a run of pre 64 model 70s fitted with mannlicher stocks, and I'd pay over my budget for one of them
    Honestly, the way prices and inflation are these days, you might have to adjust your budget. I can find Finnish M39’s, mosin’s made by Sako for $850, same with K-31’s. Everything made by a quality manufacturer like winchester, cz, ruger, rem seems to be going north of $1k
     

    WGOMF

    Private
    Minuteman
    Mar 7, 2020
    79
    44
    It doesn't have the full stock, but my neighbor has the Ruger Scout Rifle in .308. It is a SWEET little rifle that takes mags, threaded barrel, with nice sights and a rail for optional optic.

    cGc
    This was immediately my thought. Available in 16.1" or 18.7". SS or black. stocks vary. A robust, protected front sight, & a a mediocre rear for my eyes, I'd swap it out for a NECG with a proper aperture that clamps directly to the Ruger rear ring cut. Adjustable length of pull as well.
    Ruger has a nearly flush fitting 3 round mag, Magpul has 5 & 10 rounders for sensible money & the gun usually comes furnished with a 10.

    If considering an iron sighted 308, & truck gun tough, I can't imagine a better candidate.
     

    JVH86

    Private
    Full Member
    Minuteman
    Nov 22, 2011
    24
    4
    36
    Midland, Texas
    Lever guns are a lot of fun to shoot, and the box mag models are accurate enough and available in powerful enough, high BC cartridges to cover any necessary 'truck gun' range IMO, especially if iron sights are the preference.

    No experience with the Henry Long Ranger. I understand it is basically their version of the BLR, but not quite as well done. Either will take a picatinny rail for optics.

    If you can find a 99 in good shape, putting a tang sight on it will extend your range pretty well!
     
    • Like
    Reactions: ArTeeKay