For whatever reasons, I spend a decent amount of my mental free time (different from actual free time) thinking about guns. I know that probably comes as a shock to you guys, but it’s true. Lately, I’ve been thinking about rifles, and especially bolt action rifles. Me with a bolt action gun may seem a bit incongruous, with my known love of GOING FAST, but I’ve always preferred bolt guns to semi-automatic rifles. They just feel more natural, I suppose. Obviously, you’re not going to win any 3 gun matches with a bolt action rifle, but if you do want to compete with it there is always the option of doing long range matches.
However, what I’ve been thinking of for a bolt action rifle is a bit like Jeff Cooper’s concept of a Scout Rifle, except with a few minor twists. I’d like to have the reduced weight and forward optics of a scout-type rifle, but in 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington instead of .308. Sure, you lose some terminal ballistics, but the reduction in weight and felt recoil make the gun even better for humping around the horrible post-apocalyptic hellscape. Now, what I’d really like would be for the gun to accept NATO magazines. A bolt action .223 that feeds from standard AR style magazines would be the berries for a defensive carry rifle. Since everyone seems to be talking about how the world/economy/social order is going to collapse soon (it’s not) I figured the best rifle for that collapse would be a bolt action .223 with an 18 inch barrel, forward mounted optic, back up iron sights, and the ability to feed from standard AR15 magazines. CZ-USA makes the closest approximation I’m going to find on the commercial market, the CZ-527 Carbine in .223 or 7.62×39. It’s pretty much exactly what I had in mind, save for the fact that I don’t think it takes NATO magazines.