Home' The Backwoodsman Magazine : Jan-Feb 2018 Contents Barrel Groove: 1:16
Sight Adjustment: Requires a small straight-blade
screwdriver and 1/16-inch Allen wrench. Savage sug-
gests “using 6x48 screws to install an EVOLUTION
GUN WORKS (EGW-419-42) or equivalent scope
mount” and “Weaver style rings following the manu-
Savage Arms also offers a .22WMR “magnum”
version of the Model 42. I already owned all that .410
and.22LR ammunition. Ammo compatibility/avail-
ability can be mission critical. If the enemy’s long gun
and handgun fires the same ammunition as the weapons
you’re packing, the enemy is ahead of the game. If your
gun’s picky about its ammo consumption, you might be
in trouble. Because: When SHTF, ammo more than
likely will become scarce to AWOL. You want common
ammo that’s easy to come by—not some rare caliber
nobody’s ever heard of.
My stock of .410 ammo includes slugs, double aught
buckshot, and I had plenty of small game ammunition—
from 2s and 4s to 6s to my preferred small game and
snake loads—7 1⁄2 and 9s. I wouldn’t need to spend a
ton of money on ammunition, and my gun collection,
assuming I bought a backpack-friendly over and under,
like the Model 42, would be mostly ammunition- friendly.
I have killed dozens of rattlesnakes with the .410 pistol;
I figured a longer barrel say, the Model 42’s, could eas-
ily reach out and nail snakes—and other small game
animals to range. I imagined me backpacking with the
Taurus on my hip and the 42 in the crook of my arm.
A minor fly in the Model 42’s ointment: it shoots
2 1⁄2- or 3-inch shot shells. My Taurus Public Defender
(Judge) only chambers 2 1⁄2-inch shot shells, not the same
3-inch shells as the Mod. 42. What if I threw the ammo
together in a bag and got the rounds mixed up? I learned
that’s not a disadvantage. Even my poor eye sight can
distinguish the difference in size. I can readily see when
and if I accidentally attempt to load my handgun with
the longer shot shells. To do so, and attempt firing the
weapon could result in a serious jam, which I don’t need.
I did some reverse engineering: Rather than start
with the gun, I’d start with the game I intend to hunt,
when and if—cottontail bunnies, scaled or blue quail,
(several) species of dove, the occasional turkey and the
ever-present deer—plentiful in west Texas—and work
toward the gun. Deer? Heck yes, a finer tasting back
strap you won’t find on God’s green earth. But how
does one go about dispatching such a large animal?
For LEGAL clarification: I’d never attempt to shoot a
deer-sized animal with a .22 or a .410 under NORMAL
CONDITIONS, but when and if SHTF a well-placed
. 22LR or .22WMR or .410 slug could take such critters.
Reminds me of the feller in the Hill Country that killed
that deer with a .410 slug.
My mind was pretty much made up when I contacted
the Savage rep, and I ordered a Model 42. I live in the
boondocks, so I made arrangements for my Federal
Firearms Licensee contact with the sheriff of the largest
county in Texas, Brewster County Sheriff Ronnie
Dodson. Sheriff Dodson owns a gun shop in Alpine,
Texas, next to my vet’s, Mrs. Dodson’s office, and he’s
been most helpful. But it is one thing to purchase a gun,
quite another to field test the same. I had hoped not to
have to spend a ton of time and money. Call me spoiled.
I wanted out-of-the box accuracy and ease of use and
cleaning! And to my pocket book and this shooter’s
delight, I found the Model 42 to be affordable and all its
granddaddy, the Savage Model 24, had been cracked up
to be, online and in print.
I haven’t had mine for decades, like Lane Farr and
the other satisfied Model 24 owners, but the brief time
I’ve owned my Model 42, I’ve found it to be (1) out-of-
the-box accurate, (2) easy to use and clean, and (3) lethal
on the small game I’d need for food when SHTF and
otherwise. I’ve used it successfully on big and tough,
west Texas jackrabbits, tasty cottontails, evasive, fleet-
footed prairie dogs, tasty (exotic) Eurasian doves and
other small game.
The Proof...is in the Shooting?
Creeping through a pasture in my buddy’s pick-
‘em-up truck in the Big Bend recently, 60 years after
hunting with Clarence, a breeze gently jostling mesquite
tree leaves, I was thinking of that Tru-Test that weighed
just 5 pounds and measured 37 3⁄4 inches. I was hunting
prairie dogs with another gun, a lot newer, in fact, brand
spankin’ new, that was equally light and short, an over
and under Savage Model 42, to see how the Savage trail
gun compared with Granddad’s rifle.
Our game: west Texas prairie dogs; my hunting
partner: local Cowboy, Jim Cunningham; the location:
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