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Discussion Starter #1
Hey folks,

I've been carefully doing research on the web for a good all-around rifle to purchase and start tightening up my groups at the range.

Would like something that would be useful in a survival situation.
Yes, I am aware that hunting vs. combat would have different requirements, but that's why I'm hoping to find something that is relatively good in most situations.

I'd prefer to go for a budget rifle to start with and then maybe add to my arsenal once I've saved up more.
Part of me has considered the option for a secondary pistol to compliment the rifle caliber I choose, but I can only afford one at the moment and simply want to start practicing.

Here is a short list of what I've been considering:
- Henry AR-7
Pretty cheap ~$280 for an amazing bug-out rifle complete with cleaning kit. Lightweight at 3.5 lbs, .22 lr and comes with 2x 7rd mags. Supposedly accurate up to 50yd range with and super rugged - everything packs into the stock and floats if it falls in water.
Sacrificing power and range for weight, portability and affordability.

- Ruger 10/22 Takedown w/ Backpacking stock
Roughly 2x the price of the AR-7, the Takedown weighs in at 6.5 lbs but offers more versatility in terms of accuracy at 100+ yards with rail for optics, accepts 10rd mags - up to 22rd or 30rd depending on state compliance - and a threaded barrel for flash suppressors and/or silencers.
Compared to the AR-7, the 10/22 has better accuracy/stealth for almost twice the price and weight.

- Henry All-Weather (45 Colt)
At a surprising $740 (current deal - might not last long, MSRP ~ $1,000), the lever-action All-Weather boasts a 10rd capacity of .45 Colt and stunning accuracy at 100+ yards in just 8 lbs. While the iron sights are pretty good, the All-Weather comes with mounting holes for optics.
For a steeper price than the previous options, you get more power and accuracy while maintaining a good level of ruggedness for just a little more weight.

- AR-15
Finally, I couldn't help but consider getting an AR-15 if I'm looking into rifles from $500-$750... my main concern, however, involves the weight of the rounds. While I would likely get an M4-type/size that fires .223/5.56, it might also be worthwhile to consider getting a $160 .22lr bolt-carrier for small-game hunting so I can reserve the heavier rifle rounds for combat... from what I've seen, the bolt-carrier group could be swapped out in mere seconds...
However, there are a lot of moving parts, even though they are considered "field-strippable" and I would prefer not to have any problems in a bug-out/survival situation...


So, based on the above considerations, what feedback/recommendations do you all have?
I am excited to have a discussion about this especially if there are other newbies like me who might find this kind of thread useful.

Cheers,
- B.
 

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A few questions , first what is your life experiences with rifles , firearms , hunting and or shooting in general. The reason i ask is not to pick , I know not everyone cut their teeth on gun barrels like a lot of us did. Second do you live in a rural area , suburban , or big city , and or do you live behind enemy lines? Third are you young , 18-30 , 30-50 , 50 plus etc. 4th what is your overall health / physical conditioning? When the Kraken is unleashed , one will use what they have not what they wish they had. And the one you have is better than nothing at all. JMHO and S/FI!
 

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reluctant sinner
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Find a used 700 Remington in 308. Learn to reload for it. Cast bullet trigger time training ammo that can easily take small game is less than a dime a round. $300

Lyman 310 reloading kit that will fit in your back pocket with optional tap in case full length case sizer and a bullet sizer and a mold - $100 or so. Lee has a hand press that can work or the older hand tool system.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A few questions , first what is your life experiences with rifles , firearms , hunting and or shooting in general. The reason i ask is not to pick , I know not everyone cut their teeth on gun barrels like a lot of us did. Second do you live in a rural area , suburban , or big city , and or do you live behind enemy lines? Third are you young , 18-30 , 30-50 , 50 plus etc. 4th what is your overall health / physical conditioning? When the Kraken is unleashed , one will use what they have not what they wish they had. And the one you have is better than nothing at all. JMHO and S/FI!

Thanks for the questions/interest!
I have shot targets and clay disks with .22s, 12 and 20ga.
No hunting experience, but I'm interested.
I live in a rural/suburban university town.
I'm in the US, West Coast.
I'm 18-30, closer to 30...
In pretty good physical shape/health, but have had some back problems - don't want to carry more than 50lbs total if I can help it.
And yea... trying to have something rather than nothing... would be nice if it were worthwhile and rugged!
Being able to conceal the AR-7 is pretty nice... but I've heard there are issues with it. Plus it's a .22 - not much in the power dept.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Find a used 700 Remington in 308. Learn to reload for it. Cast bullet trigger time training ammo that can easily take small game is less than a dime a round. $300

Lyman 310 reloading kit that will fit in your back pocket with optional tap in case full length case sizer and a bullet sizer and a mold - $100 or so. Lee has a hand press that can work or the older hand tool system.
Excellent recommendations!
Thank you!
I have considered a 700 Remington but was worried about reload time in a combat situation... however, I would prefer to take care of enemies from a distance if possible, which makes it a great option!
I've only seen prices of about $700 for a 700 Remington.
If I can find a $300 one in decent shape, I might truly consider getting one!

Not too keen on the Lyman 310 and the mold you were referring to - would you care to elaborate? I'd love to learn more.
 

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Militant Normal
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Something .30-30 might fill the bill if you're willing to take up reloading for it. A much more friendly cartridge for cast bullets than the .308. Well cared for Marlin 336 lever actions are often found for $300.

I'm no great lover of the .22 Magnum rimfire myself, but it has the advantage of low ammo weight combined with considerably greater power than the .22 Long Rifle. Ammo is not as cheap, but pretty readily available. Some of the rifles made for it are pretty compact.

Then there are the 9mm carbines. Compact and light, ammo is very cheap and found everywhere. A bit of a PITA to reload with hand tools, but it can be done. Certainly not hopeless as a combat arm at urban/suburban ranges. There are some which take the ubiquitous Glock magazines.
 

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ok bush-bug , I am going to assume the worst case here , no need to respond , that you live in Commie -fornia. So I would go with a good bolt action in 223/5.56 , Maybe a Mossberg MVP or an Older Pump action , Remington 7615 both will take ar/m4 mags but just use the 5-10 rounders in public until the zombies horde arrives. LOL , put a good Nikon scope like the coyote special or active shooter scopes with Bullet Drop Compensation. This will help with the weight , 50 pounds is realistic. and its going to be a common round for a long time. Now if you like lever guns Henry as a new Long Ranger line out that looks pretty cool I have handled one and shot a friends not to bad at all. Lets go with the rifle thing first and then the pistol later but with that said for those in your situation I would go with a 357 revolver there are 8 shot ones out there the plus side is it will also shoot 38 specials. and or one can get a lever action rifle in 357 as well. shotguns 12, 20 are the most common , then 410 , 16 , 28. pick your own poison on the shotgun. No matter what you pick just practice and get good with it. The AR-7 is a decent one I have 1 in my pack and it's done fine on small game many times. JMHO and S/FI!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Cool!
Thanks!
I'm guessing you're referring to casting your own lead bullets with this mold?
Would that involve re-using spent casing and filling them with gunpowder?
It would be really cool to learn how to make/forge my own ammo someday.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Something .30-30 might fill the bill if you're willing to take up reloading for it. A much more friendly cartridge for cast bullets than the .308. Well cared for Marlin 336 lever actions are often found for $300.

I'm no great lover of the .22 Magnum rimfire myself, but it has the advantage of low ammo weight combined with considerably greater power than the .22 Long Rifle. Ammo is not as cheap, but pretty readily available. Some of the rifles made for it are pretty compact.

Then there are the 9mm carbines. Compact and light, ammo is very cheap and found everywhere. A bit of a PITA to reload with hand tools, but it can be done. Certainly not hopeless as a combat arm at urban/suburban ranges. There are some which take the ubiquitous Glock magazines.

A 30-30 Marlin 336 for $300 sounds like a great option!
I'll also look into the .22 Magnums - thanks for the suggestion!
I've heavily considered 9mm carbines and pistols. I think the mini-14 was on my list at one point. However, I did not enjoy loading a Glock magazine... the .45 ACP was so much easier.
Anyway, the 9mm carbines are on my long list. Maybe I should go back to the drawing board and reconsider...
However, the 30-30 Marlin 336 might be the new top contender!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
ok bush-bug , I am going to assume the worst case here , no need to respond , that you live in Commie -fornia. So I would go with a good bolt action in 223/5.56 , Maybe a Mossberg MVP or an Older Pump action , Remington 7615 both will take ar/m4 mags but just use the 5-10 rounders in public until the zombies horde arrives. LOL , put a good Nikon scope like the coyote special or active shooter scopes with Bullet Drop Compensation. This will help with the weight , 50 pounds is realistic. and its going to be a common round for a long time. Now if you like lever guns Henry as a new Long Ranger line out that looks pretty cool I have handled one and shot a friends not to bad at all. Lets go with the rifle thing first and then the pistol later but with that said for those in your situation I would go with a 357 revolver there are 8 shot ones out there the plus side is it will also shoot 38 specials. and or one can get a lever action rifle in 357 as well. shotguns 12, 20 are the most common , then 410 , 16 , 28. pick your own poison on the shotgun. No matter what you pick just practice and get good with it. The AR-7 is a decent one I have 1 in my pack and it's done fine on small game many times. JMHO and S/FI!
Thanks TENNGRIZZ!
Haha, worst case... I like that.
I would prefer not to confirm nor deny any "Commie-fornia" affiliation, but it is good to be aware of the gun laws that would make it annoying for me to move around before SHTF.
A trusty bolt-action sounds quite appealing, especially if it comes with a magazine rather than just single-shot.
Thanks for the scope recommendation - I'll look into the coyote and active shooter as well as any with bullet drop compensation (just learned about MOA).
I'm not attached to lever guns, but I can't help but get the image of Clint Eastwood out of my head when it comes to the gun-totin' cowboy with his "trusty lever-action rifle".
I've been reading through other threads in this forum and I'm not opposed to having my rifle and pistol combo in different calibers, so long as I'm able to keep using them (as in, not run out of ammo and can't find more). However, charliemeyer007's suggestion to get a bullet mold sounds like a worthwhile consideration if I am able to square away a preferred caliber.
In any case, thanks for the revolver and rifle caliber recommendations - I'm stoked to do more research.
 

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reluctant sinner
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Yes Reloading the spent cases. If your rifle chamber is good and you reuse your own brass then neck sizing is good. A bad chamber or brass fire in a different rifle usually requires full length sizing (the 310 can't due this - thus the tap in full sizer recommendation) You can make 30-06 or 270 brass work in your 308 with a little more work - could be handy when there is no resupply.

I have cast bullets on a camp fire with a big dedicated spoon. Mold handles are nice. The casting ladle will work too. Recovered bullets, wheel weights even car battery lead can be used to make bullets. Some form of grease in the groves of the cast helps helps, beeswax and STP will work.

I once spent an afternoon driving around in the desert shooting picket pens with my 8mm Mauser. I had 10 rounds of brass loaded. I shot hundreds of rounds and never ran out of ammo. I reloaded when I shot 5 and used the other 5 as reserve in case a rouge ground squirrel or 2 popped up while I reloading with the 310 system.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I will say, however, as much as I would like to get a firearm, I have heavily considered getting a ~$200 air rifle for SHTF/bug-out sake while I heavily consider my first rifle...
I'd rather not rush into buying a rifle and then realize I "wasted" my money... Although it's kind of hard to go wrong with a rifle purchase based on these recommendations and what I've already considered... it's not like I'm going to blow a bunch of money trying to piece together and AR-15 that doesn't function.

Anyways, have any of you considered an air rifle as a "back-up" for when you run out of ammo?

I've been eyeing the Gamo Fusion Multi-shot break-barrel with lead-free pellets for small game hunting/survival.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07PG54TSB/ref=ox_sc_act_title_2?smid=ATVPDKIKX0DER&psc=1
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yes Reloading the spent cases. If your rifle chamber is good and you reuse your own brass then neck sizing is good. A bad chamber or brass fire in a different rifle usually requires full length sizing (the 310 can't due this - thus the tap in full sizer recommendation) You can make 30-06 or 270 brass work in your 308 with a little more work - could be handy when there is no resupply.

I have cast bullets on a camp fire with a big dedicated spoon. Mold handles are nice. The casting ladle will work too. Recovered bullets, wheel weights even car battery lead can be used to make bullets. Some form of grease in the groves of the cast helps helps, beeswax and STP will work.

I once spent an afternoon driving around in the desert shooting picket pens with my 8mm Mauser. I had 10 rounds of brass loaded. I shot hundreds of rounds and never ran out of ammo. I reloaded when I shot 5 and used the other 5 as reserve in case a rouge ground squirrel or 2 popped up while I reloading with the 310 system.
Whoa! That's so cool!
Thanks for the handy advice/knowledge!
I've seen bullet casting over a campfire in a movie once...
Would be cool to try it sometime!
By STP you're referring to engine oil additive that helps lubricate metal-to-metal friction?
http://www.stp.com/the-garage/faqs/oil-additives
 

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Thanks TENNGRIZZ!
Haha, worst case... I like that.
I would prefer not to confirm nor deny any "Commie-fornia" affiliation, but it is good to be aware of the gun laws that would make it annoying for me to move around before SHTF.
A trusty bolt-action sounds quite appealing, especially if it comes with a magazine rather than just single-shot.
Thanks for the scope recommendation - I'll look into the coyote and active shooter as well as any with bullet drop compensation (just learned about MOA).
I'm not attached to lever guns, but I can't help but get the image of Clint Eastwood out of my head when it comes to the gun-totin' cowboy with his "trusty lever-action rifle".
I've been reading through other threads in this forum and I'm not opposed to having my rifle and pistol combo in different calibers, so long as I'm able to keep using them (as in, not run out of ammo and can't find more). However, charliemeyer007's suggestion to get a bullet mold sounds like a worthwhile consideration if I am able to square away a preferred caliber.
In any case, thanks for the revolver and rifle caliber recommendations - I'm stoked to do more research.
I have both, the coyote special on my ruger 582 series mini-14 and the actives shooters on my m-4's both are really good , i use them hunting a lot well I use the Mini , my sons who are your age use the m-4's lol. :thumb: And John Wayne! not Clint he has sadly swallowed the KOOL-AID.
 

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There's never been a better time to buy an AR15. May not stay that way. Fudd guns will likely be around regardless of how politics play out.

You can build a better rifle than you can buy if you know what your doing. You don't. That's ok. Get a 16" PSA upper (with an FN barrel if possible) in 5.56 and a PSA lower. Or a complete PSA if they have one in stock that fits the bill. Stock up on mags and ammo. Upgrade parts as you can/desire.

https://palmettostatearmory.com/ar-15/barreled-upper-assemblies.html?upper_barrel_length=1380

I'd get a separate .22lr upper rather than the adapter. It will be more accurate and you won't have issue with fouling.

https://palmettostatearmory.com/ar-...l?caliber_multi=2026&upper_barrel_length=1380

Go from there....
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I have both, the coyote special on my ruger 582 series mini-14 and the actives shooters on my m-4's both are really good , i use them hunting a lot well I use the Mini , my sons who are your age use the m-4's lol. :thumb: And John Wayne! not Clint he has sadly swallowed the KOOL-AID.
D'oh! John Wayne!
Thanks for the correction.
Hmmm... an m-4 sounds nice too...
 
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