I was also never sure of what job or what purpose an M-6 would hold for me, but in the last few years I've fallen into the "truck gun / trunk gun" trap. Trying out different firearms to leave in my vehicle full time. My realities on it's real needs and purpose have come into focus these last few months. It's a pretty safe bet that I won't be stranded in the barrens, with only my "trunk gun" to feed me. Nor will I in all likelihood, need my trunk gun as a "homeland defense rifle", pressed into service fending off hoards of evil doers. Fact is, 99.9% of the time I won't need it at all. But there are the occasions where I "wish I had a gun." More accurately it's always been "I wish I had the other gun." Often on hunting or camping trips I've wished I'd had a gun to take care of a certain task that popped up that I hadn't anticipated. Prepared for the fact that you generally want what you don't have... with the M-6 I have both.
Hopefully the stainless gun will hold up better in my trunk, rust wise. I've yet to come up with a good way to store it though. The "M6 holster" I purchased from Springfield was way oversized for the gun. It was easily two or three times larger than it needed to be to store the M6. I sent it back and was refunded my money. Currently it resides in a rubberized "waterproof" roll top stuff sack. It works, but is less than ideal.
The very FIRST thing I did to my M6 when I got it home was remove the trigger guard. I had to. I just had too a hard time getting my fingers inside of it to work the trigger. That and I felt it unecessary and unsightly. I simply spread the frame just enough and pulled it out. Then squeezed it back into shape. I then added the now common multi purpose M6 fashion statement... para cord. I used a full inner wrap, with a "gutted" para cord outside wrap, giving it a samurai sword look. It works nice for a forend making it easier to hold and carry. I suppose it's also a good way to always have some cord on hand, but to be honest it would have to be a REAL emergency first..... it took far too long to do just to remove it without a good reason. One of these days I'll make up a sling for it. The only thing that's held me up thus far is that I'm holding out for stainless sling swivels. I can't find them local, and I've been having a hard time justifying a special order for something I really don't need. So for now it's sling-less.
The Springfield M-6 I chose is a Czech made gun in .22 Hornet over 410. With this combo I felt I'd have most of the bases covered. Capable of taking small game, but with with enough power for large game in a pinch. After playing with the M-6 a while, I also feel comfortable that a 22 Hornet over a 410 slug would fill in nicely in a personal defense roll in a bad situation. Again, not a first choice, far from it. But should push come to shove it's a powerful little tool, and an option that's always there. The cute little folding gun is also more likely to be seen in a better light by law enforcement than a full blown rifle or shotgun would in my car. I'm not out "looking for trouble" riding around with this silly little gun. No being mistaken for a gang banger with this one.
My goal in loading for the 22 Hornet M-6 was to find and accurate load, no matter what it might be. My hope was for either a an accurate fast (for the Hornet) heavy bullet load, or mid velocity load with lighter bullets, to limit damage on small game.
While the heavier 50 & 55 grain loads looked promising at first, in the end the best shooting load turned out to be a Hornady 45 grain bullet with a charge of 10.3 grains of IMR4227. This load gave me 50 yard groups in the 5/8th of an inch range. It doesn't sound like much, and would be disappointing in a bolt action rifle. But when you factor in the crude trigger mechanism and sight system on the M-6, it's pretty impressive. Chronographing the load showed a velocity of 2200 fps from the 18 inch barrel. Again, in most 22 Hornet rifles, this is low to mid range velocities for this weight bullet, but my goal wasn't for warp speed. I was aiming more for of a reloadable .22 Magnum. That's about what I have in that load, so I'm happy with it.
The 2 1/2" #8 load proved a bit disappointing with large gaps in the pattern. A wide spread with room enough for small game to escape free of harm.
The 3" #6 load did rather nicely with a tightly grouped center, with only a slight vertical spread. The pattern in this photo is a bit low due to shooter error. I'm more than happy with this loads performance and will be the one I keep on hand from now on.
With this sight hold I was able to center hit a soda can at 25 yards every time. Now I was impressed! This little sucker shoots. This single round was fired at 40 +/- yards. A bit high... my fault.
I WILL be ordering more of these RWS slugs.
It shoots them so well it makes me wish there were a few more 410 holes in the stock storage.
To date I've got very litlle "in woods" time with the M6. I hope to change all this as summer turns into fall and my opportunities increase. I also hope to add any new useful information as it comes about.
To wrap it up for now... In simple terms, so far so good. Right now I'm pretty happy with my M6, and if it stays that way, it'll change from and "always wanted" gun, to a "why'd I wait so long" gun. That would be nice for a change.