The One Rifle.

On YouTube I watched a video by a fellow named James Yeager about how there is no such thing as One Rifle for everything.  He calls it a myth. 
I call Bullshit on that.
History is full of instances where a man has just one rifle and did everything with it, just fine.  Survived to tell the tale.  James Yeager is free to express his own opinions, but he is not free to his own Facts.  US History, be it Frontier History, Western Expansion, Wild West, Military History… what ever kind of history you want to call it.  Only in our Modern Email Era do we enjoy having more than one rifle for different purposes. 
In this Modern Era, the late Colonel Jeff Cooper considered a One Rifle concept and called it the “Scout”.  His Scout Rifle Concept is a proven winner.  Steyr manufactured their Scout with Jeff’s blessing and assistance.  And it pretty much did what was promised.  Now Ruger and Savage are making Factory Scout Rifles with pretty good success.
Any one of these would make for a fine “One Rifle” solution. 
Historically, the One Rifle has been a Winchester Lever Action in .30-30, .32 Special or the like.  Today a good solid and smooth cycling Lever Action is truly a thing of joy.  There are few things you can’t do with a .30-30.  I’ve even killed an Elk with one at 200 yards, and I’m sure I’m not the only person in history to have done so.
Today’s Rifleman though is packing an AR.  The Black Rifle has gone mainstream… and for many new shooters, the AR is The One.  The AR-15 might be kind of light for a One Rifle, but an AR-10 type rifle gives you some considerable advantages in terminal performance on big game.
After some consideration, I’m thinking a new One Rifle is more than doable.    Let’s do that AR platform in .308.  Let’s hit it with a light weight, 16″ True Polygonal Rifled Barrel, and let’s give it some lightweight furniture with an adjustable stock.   Simple, Clean, and effective in most any situation.  Give it an adjustable 1-4 power optic.  Give it a tough finish, resistant to abrasion and corrosion. 
Contact to order you a Crusader One Rifle.

62 thoughts on “The One Rifle.”

  1. Dont forget the double bbl shotgun. The poor mans do it all from yesteryear. Birdshot in one and buck(or slug) in the other. Many a pioneer survived with one.

  2. Great point. There are many rifles which can be used for most any thing. But there are few riflemen who can do most anything that needs doing. Like my friend Chuck Taylor has said, “I’d take a dozen real riflemen armed with Springfields or Garands over a company of men with M16s who couldn’t shoot.”

  3. Oh, I dunno… when Lewis and Clark came west, the rifles they brought, which were suitable for anything east of the Mississippi, proved inadequate against Mr. Grizz…

  4. “One rifle” of a suitable caliber can do a lot well, but obviously it can’t do EVERYTHING perfectly. Your 16″ AR carbine wouldn’t be real effective in a 1000 yard competition, or on an elephant hunt, but obviously those are way outside the norm. I haven’t seen the video, but hopefully that’s what Yeager was getting at. I have to admit that’s giving him the benefit of the doubt though.

      1. I know not of this “Yeagar” you mention…okay, enough Slartybartfast. The concept of a One Rifle is exactly to do everything adequately, and, likely, nothing perfectly. W.D.M. Bell felled over a thousand elephants with commercial fmj 7X57 ammo with good shot placement. Peter Hathaway Capstick claimed to have killed not one but two elephants with a .22 Long Rifle with heart shots. Neither is ideal for elephant (or M’Bogo) and would be considered “inferior” for such things, and in modern Africa neither is legal for Elephant, or even the larger plains game. Likewise the .243 is little more than a varmint gun that kills hundreds of Elk every year with good bullets and shot placement. Is it the correct choice in every situation (like the 7X57 in Africa) in North America? Absolutely not. And, when the .250-3000 first came out hunters used it on virtually everything until someone told them an 87 grain .257 pill was “inadequate to the task.” Was it? Probably not the best call on brownies in Alaska and lions in Africa, but it has confirmed kills on both. Should any of these cartridges have been used as they were when other better options were available? Probably not then, or now. That is little comfort, I suspect, to all of the large game still taken annually by “ such inferior” cartridges the world over.

        As to long range applicability, the second longest verified sniper shot of the Vietnam war was taken with a .308 which, in a purely ballistic sense, is more than adequate for hitting at 1000 yards. I personally think the Crusader One Rifle as described fills the “if I only get one, what would it be” dilemma, especially if we throw in a decent can for covert food gathering and pest control issues. I hope the day of enforced limited choice (by circumstance or hostile action) never comes, but if it does, I hope the Ogre lets me into his shop.

    1. Just as an aside, and in good fun, Karamojo Bell took elephants with .257’s and 6.5’s. So a 16″ 6.5 Grendel AR is a theoretical “elephant hunt” and 1,000 yd. package. =)

  5. Any chance of seeing a crusader black levergun in .30-30?

    I’m thinking 16.5″ barrel, ghost rings, slipstream, something similar to what you
    put together a couple years ago…

      1. Joe said that Crusader doesn’t do much with leverguns and that the ST2 treatment was not as worthwhile as it is for other types of rifle.

        1. I would really like a slicked up Crusader .357 so hopefully that is something that you guys can make happen soon.

  6. I agree 100%

    Built my own version about three years ago to go along with my GAP Crusader; both 308/7.62 of course.

    The “One Rifle” is not up to some tasks; as any single caliber would be.

    I don’t know any F Class shooters that use a general purpose rifle either.

  7. A Winchester 94 or Marlin lever-gun in 30-30 is just about perfect in terms of reliability, practical accuracy, power, and most importantly, ammo availability. Plus they are about as innocuous as any firearm can get.

  8. I want one, a .308 AR – better ergos and mechanism than a M1A, and better (more accurate) cartridge than the venerable M1 Garand in God’s Own .30-06 – and may have to build it since I’m here in CA. The Crusder Broadsword 16″ is right there.

  9. I’m not seeing myself shooting elephants at 1000m in the middle of Indiana, but if I was to pull “one rifle” out of my safe, it would be my Ishapore Enfield bolt in 7.62×51.

  10. Although I agree with the AR type platform for the one rifle, I’m trying to convince myself to buy a rifle-type I don’t own yet. Looking at the Savage Scout, but am somewhat partial to the CZ 527 in 7.62 x 39 for ammo availability and economics and light weight and coolness. Okay more like sold.

    1. Glen:

      You won’t be disappointed with the CZ in 7.62×39. The one we have is sub-MOA accurate, even with cheap Wolf steel-case ammo. Put a good scope on it, on good solid mounts, and you’ll wring the best out of it. Still not much good past 200 yards (too much drop), but out to that distance it’s a great little short-range shooter.

      My wife uses it as her deer rifle, and last year’s sighting-in she printed her first three rounds in a clover-leaf at 100 yards, right in the middle of the black.

      Of course, she then turned around and asked me if I’d like fire a few. I told her I didn’t want to spoil her target with my crappy shooting…

  11. Kim du Toit had an interesting post asking for opinions on what rifle to take cross country and back, Lewis and Clark style. Sadly gone with the rest of the site, but there was a whole lot of lever gun love. In .357, you only need to pack one caliber of ammo, too.

    1. When Kim’s site approached shutdown, I saved a bunch of his essays. I think I have the one you’re referring to. Decent read.

  12. I own a number of rifles in assorted calibers. I also own a Steyr Scout. Time and again, I find myself reaching for the Scout even though the others might do as well or better by their design. The Scout is familiar to me and there’s and “edge” to that. It has always rewarded my confidence with performance. While the other guns are endlessly enjoyable, until someone shows me The Better Way, I won’t part with the Scout. To each his own.

    As to Mr. Yeager: I find it difficult to take his judgement seriously after he allowed his cameraman downrange.

  13. Edinburgh Risk and Security Management. Iraq, Route Irish. 20 APR 05. The AAR and the video are easy to find on-line.

    Yeager may or may not know guns, but his vehicle handling skills under stress are somewhat … lacking.

    Unless, of course, putting the vehicle in “Neutral” and setting the parking brake before hauling ass to safety on foot while your team-mates are getting the shit shot out of them is the “cutting edge” in ambush response.

  14. I have two “One” rifles. A Ruger #1 in .308 Win. given me on our first Christmas by the Missus in 1968, and a bastardized military bolt rifle. A Chilean M12/61 barreled receiver with a K98k bolt in a Chilean M35 stock. It looks for all the world like a K98k but is chambered for 7.62X51mm and is equipped with a Williams 5D receiver sight. Both rifles shoot either round interchangeably with sufficient accuracy to hit a 9″ circle at 200 yds offhand. Almost all my practice and plinking is offhand. I also shoot a lot of cast bullet loads in each rifle.

    For most rifle needs the Chilean gets the nod, what with being nearly indestructible, accurate enough for me and replaceable for around $100-$125.

    Gerry N

  15. I like the way you took your argument against what Yeager was spouting and turned it into a reality at Crusader.

  16. While I do agree that a “one rifle” is possible I just don’t understand why someone would want just a “one rifle” now. I’m confident the rifle would do just about any job but it won’t do them in a more than average capacity. Back in the day the adventurer/pioneer didn’t have much in the way of choice or even the money to buy more than one gun, but now in modern times we have the gift of choice to get the right tool for the job at hand. As poor as I am I won’t limit myself to only one rifle simply for the fact that I don’t have to. I think that we all can debate all the hypothetical situations that we can do with a “one rifle” but the reality is that when we go hunting/target/competition shooting/set up for home defense/etc. We will use the best rifle for that job, not something that will just get the job done.

  17. And just to open up the old can of worms , would the AR one-rifle platform be a piston or a gas gun in .308

    I prefer the piston just for easy of maintenance

      1. What’s the drawback with piston guns? As far as I am aware, DGI is unique to the Stoner design…

        1. A couple things that internet commandos will ceaselessly argue.
          1. It introduces a new set of variables for reliability… It’s not really any more reliable… Just different.
          2. Accuracy. When you attach a reciprocating mass to your barrel, you alter the harmonics along the length. Harmonic Aberration will negatively effect your accuracy.
          DGI guns don’t tend to have that accuracy problem.

  18. OK, not to throw a Molotov into this discussion (heh..heh!) But what ONE HANDGUN would go with this One Rifle? I’m thinking a revolver or Semi the same caliber as your rifle…..let the games begin!

  19. I want “one rifle” because I can’t afford more – let alone feeding three or four different calibers. The handgun is just to fight your way (back) to your rifle, with more ammo that you should have had anyhow. 🙂

  20. While Mr. Yeager does have some decent videos his huge ego, “I’m right, you’re stupid” attitude and his tendency to pull “Facts” out of his behind make a lot of stuff worse than useless. He blocked my comments after I called him on it, he thinks AR’s and AK’s have high sight-lines because heat-shimmer was a problem with the M-1 carbine in WWII? Obviously he has no understanding about firearms design as well as getting his ‘facts’ from other peoples crack-smoke.

    As for the ‘one gun’ debate, him and his “High-speed, low-drag, I’m an operator and you’re an idiot” mentality prevents him from understanding that many people cannot afford a bunch of specialized equipment. He seems to think that just because he and his buddies can have a dozen different weapons with adequate ammo, everyone can. Likewise, he sees everything through the lens of military CQB activity and fails to accept that not every person thinks that their problems will involve muggers or insurgents at spitting distance or defeating cover or shooting heavier critters than humans.

    I myself have an H&K 91 style rifle as my primary, yes it’s heavy and you need to train to overcome it’s design but it is as reliable as an AK (if not more so) and as accurate as any service weapon (again, if not more so). It is a rifle that can do just about any job well, which is the whole point of a “General-Purpose Rifle” instead of having a half dozen rifles each of which does one job perfectly (or as close to perfectly as you can get). Mr. Yeager simply cannot get his head around the concept however because he is trapped in the military “Part of a group, pray into a radio” mindset. Well I know I can’t lug 3 or 4 different weapons around with different ammo and mags and such, nor can I depend on having a squad of troops with me who can have different weapons to do the job mine can’t.

    1. Spot on.

      Yeager, et al. appear to be riding the “tactical” fad that’s been abroad in the land for several years. The truth be told, I doubt he even believes most of his bullshit. It’s just what’s selling right now.

      Here’s a news flash in case anyone cares: I’m not tactical. I’m over 50 and while I’m in good shape, I’m not 25 anymore. If I ever find myself in a situation where an stable of Rooney ARs, a suppressed USP, 30 pounds of plate, an overpriced “tactical” blade, $500 of Molle gear, high-speed CQB training, an extraction harness and a pair of big tits on my elbows would spell a difference for me… then something has gone horribly, horribly wrong.

      One of the advantages to being older is that you see these things come and go, seemingly in cycles, cast a cynical and jaded eye and ask whether any of it would poses a significant advantage, and if it’s really anything other than marketing.

      The answer is usually “No.”

      (He really thought they designed sight towers because carbines were overheating?)

  21. I’ll stick with my saiga .308. 16.25″ barrel, ak reliabilty, mag selection from 5rd to 25rd & the gun just flat out balances well.
    Nice complement to my 7.62×39 AK-47 & 5.45×39 AK-74
    Go com bloc!!

  22. I’m with SteveA. If I was going with just one gun I’d have to choose something AK based. Why? Because if I only had one gun it’d probably be because either my living or financial situation didn’t allow me multiple guns. In that kind of a situation I’d be happy to sacrifice a little accuracy for a weapon that doesn’t break and is forgiving if I’m not able to clean it for a while.

  23. Easy answer…18″ FAL with an alloy receiver, DSA scope mount with Leupold QRW low rings and a Leupold Mark AR 1.5-4X scope. I own that rifle, and it would be the last one I would ever part with. If you can’t get it done with that, you don’t need a rifle, you need air support.

  24. I read one review that put the weight of the Broadsword at about 7 Kg. That’s over 15 lbs. I think I’d need a gun bearer to consider that a One Rifle.

  25. Ogre,

    Glad you asked. This is an easy one for me. I own several bolt actions and Ar-15s some of them expensive customs, but since I got my Tikka Hunter in .270 Win. I really don’t have much need for anything else. Slick action, great balance, light weight and compact. I put a Leupold VX-1 3X9X40 on it, mounted low to the bore. I have about $900 in this gun and it is my favorite for everything from varmints on the farm to Whitetail. It handles so well that I wouldn’t hesitate to use it for home defense. This gun is more than the sum of its parts and the best value that I know of. Shoots 1.25 inch groups with about any factory ammo and under an inch with all of my handloads. I don’t know why more people, including you haven’t discovered this setup. Also, you can adjust the trigger to a crisp 2lbs in about 5 minutes. I was so enamored with this rifle that I bought a Sako L61R thinking it would be the “holy grail” but the “low dollar Sako” puts it to shame.

    Tikka Fan!!!

    1. I would say any of the common big game rounds between .243 Win. and .300 Win mag. except the low velocity rounds like 30-30. Why suffer the arching trajectory when there are so many other choices. Penetration can be had with modern bullet construction.

      1. If you are in the one-gun category you need something for which ammo is available anywhere in quantity. I would love a 6.5 Grendel but how easy is it to get? My 7.62 NATO rifle will fire .308 (the H&K system is the only one I would do that with given the higher pressure in the .308win) and .308 chambered rifles will fire 7.62 NATO. How much .300 win mag do you see at wall-mart? How long will your .243 supply last? How much 7.62 NATO can you buy at $300 or $400 a case compared to .300 win mag at $25 to $30 a 20 round box? A gun without bullets is a crappy club, even though my club would have a bayonet on the end I want lots of bullets.

        1. This is the conventional thinking. However, last time we had a run on ammo, it was just these same calibers that we ran out of first. When it came to availability, .270 Winchester was the one we never ran out of. And .270 is pretty cheap.

          1. Same thing wherever I went.
            9mm, .40, .45, .223, .308, .30-06, 7.62×39… shelves were bare.
            I was able to pick up .38 super, 7.62x54R, and .300WM at will however.


        2. .308 is great. If the situation is so dire that you have used all of your ammo and Walmart has been looted, .308 Win. would be one of the most easy rounds to scavenge where I live. That is why I said COMMON. 6.5 Grendel is not common. That is also why I love the .270 Win. Very common round, very uncommon performance.

  26. For a one rifle, I would only consider a center fire, the ability to rapidly reload or rapidly top it off. The ability to mount some kind of optic sight that could be used in a low light situation, acceptable accuracy at the range you shoot at in your area. Price of the weapon and its ammunition in your area, and can you fit it into your transportation. The big thing about a rifle is that it outranges a pistol or a shot gun.

  27. …700 BDL in .308 or 7MM…you can adjust the slug weight/cartridge load up or down depending on what you are hunting…durable, widely available, and proven rifle/calibers that can kill up to 1000 yards and take down anything in North America…and has done so, many times…

  28. The M1 Garand was almost a .276 Pederson, which is a considerably different cartridge-shape/taper (looks a lot like an AK case) from the .270 Winchester/.30-06 long-action – how does that fit in an AR very well…? Back to a M1A1 in .270?

    1. My thinking is pretty close to that: short-strike piston AR10 in 7mm-08 with 5R rifling.

  29. As the guy said on military channel “If I was going to another planet and only allowed one gun, it would be an AK”. I’m good with that. The only thing I have trouble with is getting a stable mount for optics on the old pattern AK the dust cover replacement’s seem to wiggle and the side mounts defeat the purpose…But still its like the 9mm the default round of the world closly followed by the 5.56 and .308.

  30. Dad carried an M1 carbine in Korea.
    Also carried the carbine in ‘Nam during both (’65,’69) tours.
    He’s comfortable with it. Knows what he can and can’t do with it.
    How much does he like it? I just got him a Blackhawk in .30 carbine to go with it.

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