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Old 01-28-2012, 10:57 PM
Ordinary44 Ordinary44 is offline
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Default A little consolidation!: Best SHTF rifle?



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My eyes have gone buggy and I am pulling hair trying gathering opinions from ALL the other threads. What is the best SHTF rifle and ammo considering:

1. Versatility
2. Ammo bartering - lot of deer hunters in MN. What is the most common deer rifle and what is its tactical twin.
3. Reflexive, yet accurate at long ranges
4. Weight, ammo load weight considerations
5. Re-loadable
6. Penetration/stopping power vs. continuation after hit
7. Scope vs. iron sights
8. Shotgun vs. rifle
9. Finicky/ cold weather, dirt....
10. Lethality on Zombies, deer.

I have a DPMS A4 style with Bushnell holo-sight/3x flip to side magnifier/ back up iron sight. Have plenty of .223 and 5.56 (rifle is stamped for either.)

Also have , National Postal meter M1 carbine, 1943 and a scoped Ruger 7mm that has killed many a mammal with 1 shot (7MM=very much dead)

There are SO many opinions on here, which is nice if you are not as indecisive as I am. Just becoming a little worried (after reading the forum) that placing all my bets on the AR15 may be a poor choice.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:16 PM
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Don't let the forum get to you. Everyone here has an opinion and they are more than willing to share it with you. Gun choice is like car choice. It has to be right for you. I may drive a Chevrolet but you like a Ford. They both get you there. You have some nice guns. If you want to add something I would say add a 22 rim fire to your collection.

Don't let the forums get to you. It can become a lot like talk radio. I have been shooting for over 55 years now and I know that I learn something new every day about guns. Don't trust the so called "Experts". You will have to wade through a lot of stuff on your way to getting ready. Just take it easy and don't try to do it all in a day. best wishes to you. GB
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:28 PM
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Definitely, I am planning on adding a 10/22 to my collection. I just was unsure if my "service rifle" had enough oomph.
Old 01-28-2012, 11:43 PM
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There is no 'one' best SHTF rifle because there are too many SHTF scenarios, that will pose issues, that will cause a weakness to be exposed in your rifle choice.

The best you can do is pick a easily sourced caliber, that best suits your needs, in a proven rifle design, that YOU can shoot accurately, with confidence, in all the basic shooting positions out to 300 yds. All other distances abilities, optics, 'do-dads', should be added based on your possible scenarios and weighed against their trade offs to your basic preformance needs. Then you need to consider cost related to your budget.

-jm2c
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by 0002S View Post
There is no 'one' best SHTF rifle because there are too many SHTF scenarios, that will pose issues, that will cause a weakness to be exposed in your rifle choice.

The best you can do is pick a easily sourced caliber, that best suits your needs, in a proven rifle design, that YOU can shoot accurately, with confidence, in all the basic shooting positions out to 300 yds. All other distances abilities, optics, 'do-dads', should be added based on your possible scenarios and weighed against their trade offs to your basic preformance needs. Then you need to consider cost related to your budget.

-jm2c
True that. Deer hunting this year I had two opportunities that were missed with a scoped rifle due to being on foot and having 3 second window to acquire a moving target in thick brush. If I had my AR with the holographic site I probably could have capitalized, but may have had to do some tracking. On the other hand, every other year I took long shots and felled the beast in 1 shot using the 7mm, but I had the element of surprise.

I guess in SHTF, I feel that I want to be light, mobile, reflexive, and intimidating through suppressive fire and the AR platform allows for that. Plus, I have much more experience and training on the AR/M4 platform than anything else.

In reality, the local deer population will be decimated in within a year and squirrel stew is more likely - enter 22 rimfire.

I was just reading a thread on here where a Vietnam vet was talking about close range and head shots from a .223 not being enough to stop the enemy.

...found it a little concerning.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ordinary44 View Post
My eyes have gone buggy and I am pulling hair trying gathering opinions from ALL the other threads. What is the best SHTF rifle and ammo considering:

1. Versatility
2. Ammo bartering - lot of deer hunters in MN. What is the most common deer rifle and what is its tactical twin.
3. Reflexive, yet accurate at long ranges
4. Weight, ammo load weight considerations
5. Re-loadable
6. Penetration/stopping power vs. continuation after hit
7. Scope vs. iron sights
8. Shotgun vs. rifle
9. Finicky/ cold weather, dirt....
10. Lethality on Zombies, deer.

I have a DPMS A4 style with Bushnell holo-sight/3x flip to side magnifier/ back up iron sight. Have plenty of .223 and 5.56 (rifle is stamped for either.)

Also have , National Postal meter M1 carbine, 1943 and a scoped Ruger 7mm that has killed many a mammal with 1 shot (7MM=very much dead)

There are SO many opinions on here, which is nice if you are not as indecisive as I am. Just becoming a little worried (after reading the forum) that placing all my bets on the AR15 may be a poor choice.
The Ar15 is an excellent weapon....Just make sure yours works....You might want to think of what is the best ammo for you....Imo the hollow point...
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:38 AM
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Ak47 or M1A
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:46 AM
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I have ARs, but my personal SHTF rifle is an M1A scout. Good for humans, zombies, deer, hogs, cows, and bear. The .308 has much more range and knockdown than 5.56.

I made this transition when I put an empty pickle bucket at 100 yards and was surprised to see what didn't happen with 5.56.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeffrey View Post
I have ARs, but my personal SHTF rifle is an M1A scout. Good for humans, zombies, deer, hogs, cows, and bear. The .308 has much more range and knockdown than 5.56.

I made this transition when I put an empty pickle bucket at 100 yards and was surprised to see what didn't happen with 5.56.
I haven't been impressed with the 5.56 in quite some time either. If it doesn't have at least a 7.62 in front of the X I don't want it
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:53 AM
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It sounds like you are more than covered long gun wise.
Don't worry, the AR has been killing two legged varmints for about 50 years, it's not going to stop because someone said so on the interwebs...

The 7mm is a pretty stout round. If you wanted to add anything, you might consider something in 30/06 or 308. Both are more common, and more than adequate for anything you'll ever need a rifle for.
Or, you could just be content with what you have, and spend the extra money on ammo and training?
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:04 AM
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My vote is either a 12ga single-shot in whatever brand you choose or a .22 over whatever shotgun you like. I actually prefer the .22 over personally but thats my .02.
Old 01-29-2012, 04:01 AM
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You have had some good advice, and I am going to second it. Your bases are covered, add a 22LR.
Old 01-29-2012, 09:34 AM
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Don't listen to some of this nonsense.

The 5.56 round has been in service for 50 years. If the military thought it was bad, they would have replaced it. There are more powerful rounds, but this one is good enough.

Everyone should have the following
-a handgun
-a capable defensive carbine (your AR and you M1 Carbine)
-a shotgun because it can serve any firearm need, big game, small game, and defense. Most of these have limitations, but a extra person in your party can handle any task. It is does pretty much the best job for close range personal defense, which in all reality will be probably the only type of defense, up close 25 yards or less. It is a top choice among law enforcement for this job.
-a 22lr rifle to harvest the only game you'll find during rough times small game. It also is much quieter than other rounds, so it won't attract someone else looking for dinner. You also need to know how to shoot well. 22lr does it without breaking the bank.
-a hunting rifle. A well setup medium to long range hunting rifle is great for hunting, but bad for defense. You need to see what going on around you, a medium powered scope in all practical purposes gives you tunnel vision. You only see a small fraction of what going on.

Work on filling this list. For me, I duplicate guns instead of buying different ones. Everyone in the family has something on the list, plus one spare. 7.62x39 SKS for defense, .30-30 with scopes for hunting, a blend of 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. My family is currently working on getting pistol permits. MY wife has been hesitant. She is signed up for a training class. I don't have any spare 22lr rifles, need to work on that. We are also weening ourselves off of SKS rifles and going to .223 AR's. More capacity, more popularity, and a big more friendleir to operate.

The military swayed away from their previous rifles for a few reason in my opinion. Before modern warfare, they needed the range. Air support was more limited than it is today. The terrain was rural more and more. A shot is a shot to some extent. If you can carry 40% more ammiuniton for the same weight, it gives you a big advantage, you can still fight with a gun longer. Previous rifles weighed over 10-13lbs. These AR weigh less. If you ever hunted on foot all day long, like small game bird hunting, you know how your arms feel after awhile. This is why many experienced bird hunters choose 20 gauge shotguns over 12's, they weigh less.
A decent portion of military personell have never shot a firearm before entering the military. These AR's have less recoil, so less folks develop a flinch when using them. With the world being more complex, military personell is more diversified. More machine and electronics operators and maintenance personell then they're used to be. A firearm you can proficiently use with to some extent a bit less practice is always welcome.

Are you going to need to keep a 500 yard perimeter. Probably not. If a bullet zings past someone 500 yards away, do they say, don't worry it sounded like a small bullet. That little "weenie" as some call it bullet can outshoot you. Few out there can hit things well past 200 yards.

One of my favorite movies has a real good saying, " it's not what you got, it's how you use it." I learned that with several hobbies, golf, racing cars and sailboats, fishing, hunting, and target shooting. I used to offer a dare to people at public ranges with what is considered vastly superior firearms. I'd use a beat-up looking SKS for the military rifles or a old beater 336 marlin with peep sight. I'd say my gun can outshoot yours. They say your on. Then I say we shoot offhand. I am not kidding you one bit. 1/2 the time, they completely miss the 2x2 foot targetboard at 100 yards. There's a reason the worn out gun did better, because the shooter learned how to shoot while he was putting wear on his gun. The best investment past a small handful of arms is ammunition, time to practice, and a good plan on making yourself better at realistic shooting situations. I hate to compare the wild west movies, but the quickest to shoulder and fire a decent shot usually wins. Virtually all of that sequence can be practiced without a single round of ammunition. Once I started practicing like that, my abilities with firearms was day and night. Both with a defensive carbine and with small game bird hunting/trap/skeet with a shotgun.


A big one here. The guy with the most experience or biggest badest rifle does win. The guy who hangs as low as possible wins. Instead of buying $1500 rifles. My family would much more benefit with more food and fuel. A well situated garden is a big target. My plan is not to plant a garden the first year. I would just end up being a big target. Let them move on until the population is much lower, wiser, and better equipped. Also, it's nice to have an extra years worth of food incase a crop went sour due to drought or some other reason.

Alot of talk on this site is about equipment. A tiny portion of these dicussions say anything about practice, strategy, or even what to practice on. When most folks only concentrate on what they use and not how they use, they will tell you adequate stuff is not adequate.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sailinghudson25 View Post
Don't listen to some of this nonsense.
The 5.56 round has been in service for 50 years. If the military thought it was bad, they would have replaced it. There are more powerful rounds, but this one is good enough.
They did replace it. SOCOM is using the FN Scar in 7.62x51 now. The military is just too cheap to replace all of those magazines, weapons, and ammunition for the other 1 MILLION plus soldiers, marines, airmen, and seamen. It will happen eventually. Its the same reason the military kept the Beretta's and the 9mm for the sidearm. It will happen eventually. Within 5 years the military will be phasing out the 5.56 round.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:25 PM
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Quote:
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They did replace it. SOCOM is using the FN Scar in 7.62x51 now. The military is just too cheap to replace all of those magazines, weapons, and ammunition for the other 1 MILLION plus soldiers, marines, airmen, and seamen. It will happen eventually. Its the same reason the military kept the Beretta's and the 9mm for the sidearm. It will happen eventually. Within 5 years the military will be phasing out the 5.56 round.
Great! There should be an opportunity for some cheap surplus ammo!
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Old 01-29-2012, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ordinary44 View Post
True that. Deer hunting this year I had two opportunities that were missed with a scoped rifle due to being on foot and having 3 second window to acquire a moving target in thick brush. If I had my AR with the holographic site I probably could have capitalized, but may have had to do some tracking. On the other hand, every other year I took long shots and felled the beast in 1 shot using the 7mm, but I had the element of surprise.

I guess in SHTF, I feel that I want to be light, mobile, reflexive, and intimidating through suppressive fire and the AR platform allows for that. Plus, I have much more experience and training on the AR/M4 platform than anything else.

In reality, the local deer population will be decimated in within a year and squirrel stew is more likely - enter 22 rimfire.

I was just reading a thread on here where a Vietnam vet was talking about close range and head shots from a .223 not being enough to stop the enemy.

...found it a little concerning.
The 5.56 has killed alot of people and alot of animals. That is real world. Don't buy into the caliber hype.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:51 PM
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I believe the most important consideration is that your crisis rifle must actually be with you at all times.

Even when you are working or carrying stuff. Even when you have both hands tied up. You need a rifle that can be slung on your back and still allow you to pull it up, flip off the safety (quietly), and get off a good first aimed shot.

You M1 carbine fits that description, so does an AR without a buch of do-dads hanging off it, so do a lot a military and commercial carbines before they get tricked out with useless junk.

I also like your 7mm bolt gun. If you do not reload yet, you might consider a press, brass, dies, powder, primers, and bullets for 1,000 rds of 7mm.
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Old 01-29-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 0002S View Post
There is no 'one' best SHTF rifle because there are too many SHTF scenarios, that will pose issues, that will cause a weakness to be exposed in your rifle choice.

The best you can do is pick a easily sourced caliber, that best suits your needs, in a proven rifle design, that YOU can shoot accurately, with confidence, in all the basic shooting positions out to 300 yds. All other distances abilities, optics, 'do-dads', should be added based on your possible scenarios and weighed against their trade offs to your basic preformance needs. Then you need to consider cost related to your budget.

-jm2c
its not even that, you wouldn't go dove hunting with a m1a and you wouldn't ho get in a firefight with a double barrel

as an example

guns are tools and better suited for a particular application or another
Old 01-29-2012, 03:16 PM
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Old 01-29-2012, 03:25 PM
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Good grief. Here we go with the "best" again. There is no "best." What works for me might not be ideal for you, and vice versa.

Identify your needs, then find guns that fit those needs. Whichever is reliable, accurate and you can shoot well with it, is the "best" for you. It might be an AR, AK, SKS, FAL, H&K, M1A, Mini-14/30, a bolt action rifle, combo gun, shotgun, pistol caliber carbine, rimfire, or whatever.

In my region, the terrain is flat. So there might be the need to shoot a longer distance than in other regions. As such, accuracy matters. I tend towards the FAL, but an AR works too. Deer here are small. If they were larger, I might lean more towards the .308 over the .223.

In other areas, there's no need to shoot longer distances, and the AK or such might fill the need perfectly. These are the kinds of things you need to identify.
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