Today’s Gun Fight pits two small game/varmint rifles against one another: Frequent commenter FirstBubba’s NEF Handi-Rifle against Mark Brown’s Marlin 983. The break-action single shot Handi-Rifle is a great gun in terms accuracy for the buck. FirstBubba’s Handi-Rifle is chambered for .22 Hornet, which gives it a little more oomph than Brown’s Marlin 983 in .22 Win. Mag. On the other hand, the Marlin offers a whole magazine tube full of fast backup shots if the first one goes astray. Here they are:

FirstBubba’s Handi-Rifle


This is “Spanky,” a NEF Handi Rifle in .22 Hornet. This rifle is the first one I reach for out of the closet and it has the most four-wheeler gun-rack wear of all of my guns. It has also accounted for the widest variety of game than any other gun I own. The scope is a 3×9 Leupold that I stumbled into at a pawn shop for a song. Spanky has taken deer, feral hogs, turkey, varmints, and small game.
Mark Brown’s Marlin 983**


This is a picture of my Marlin 983. It is a bolt action, tube fed (12 round capacity), .22 Win. Mag, and has a Bushnell Sportsman 4-12 x 40 scope. It has a 22-inch Micro-Groove barrel. I use this gun mainly for squirrel hunting, and it is very accurate out to 125 yards. I know the Ruger 10/22 is the standard issue rifle for just about every hunting family in the USA, and while we have those, the 983, or its predecessor 883, is the go-to rifle for small game and plinking in my family.

So there’s your choice: a single shot .22 Hornet or a bolt action .22 WMR. And, as always, keep those gun pictures coming to