Letter Re: Combination Guns for Hunting?

In reading your article on choosing survival guns I noticed that you have a Savage Model 24F listed. Do you have any experience or opinions on the Valmet 412 ST, with barrels for 12 gauge and .30-06? I want to buy one but did not know if it would be a good choice for putting on the list for survival guns. Thank you ,- John

JWR Replies: Combination guns are quite useful for areas where you have the opportunity to do both big game and bird hunting on the same hunt. There is many a time that I’ve been out on a deer or elk hunt and wished that I had a pistol or shotgun with me to hunt grouse, especially when I’ve been walking back to my truck, late in the morning. At lest that way I wouldn’t have gone home empty -handed.

Combination guns are of course not the best guns for self-defense. But if combination guns are the approach you want to take for hunting and garden pest shooting, then the Valmet 412 is the “Cadillac” choice. Just keep in mind that for the same cost of buying one Valmet you could buy two Savage 24s–providing a wider range of calibers. For example, you could have one that is chambered .22 LR over 20 gauge, and another that is .223 over 12 gauge.