Saturday, June 26, 2010

Functional Horseman's Saddle Guns

One of the best tools a Horseman can have, especially when riding in the back country, is a Saddle Gun.

Saddle guns are usually thought of as carbine length (short barrel) rifles suitable for carrying on the saddle in a scabbard. There are many reason to have a rifle handy in remote areas: protection from feral or rapid dogs and coyotes; protection from bears and mountain lions; protection from two legged evil critters; and you may have to put down a wounded animal such as a deer or even a horse, God forbid.

I normally carry a Winchester Model 1896 Trapper (16 inch barrel) Lever Action carbine in .30-30 Winchester caliber. This rifle is a good general purpose rifle for all your needs and when using the new Hornady Leverevolution ammunition you can get near .308 performance out of the .30-30. If I am not carrying a handgun, then I am most certainly carrying this rifle.

Sometimes I carry a Reproduction of the 1873 Winchester Lever Action Carbine in .357 Magnum. Particularly if I am carrying a .357 magnum handgun, then my ammunition is the same. Again Hornady leverevolution ammunition gives enhanced performance. My 1873 lever action carbine is about the slickiest handling gun I have ever had. The .357 magnum cartridge is the mininum adequate for a mountain lion and not a good idea on bear.

Occasionally I carry a Marlin 1895 .45-70 lever action rife. This is still a light weigh rifle, firing one hell of a round in a 325 grain bullet at .45 caliber. This round is suitable for all North American game and even with it's much longer barrel, it can be safely carried in the saddle scabbard.


  1. I don't want to carry a rifle, but I am thinking a handgun would be a good idea when trail riding. Sometimes I ride by myself and other times I ride with teenage children who I am nonetheless responsible for. What type of handgun do you suggest for carrying when riding? Glenn, J City, Missouri

  2. I carry a Ruger Blackhawk 44. I never feel lacking for power or reach.

  3. 44 or 10mm if semi auto pistol

  4. 44 or 10mm if semi auto pistol