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Prepping For SHTF

Keeping a Rifle at the Backdoor

On the morning of November 23, 2013 I learned a lesson about keeping a rifle at the backdoor.

Around 7:30 am or so I got out of bed to go let the chickens out of the chicken house. When I opened the backdoor of the house 4 wild hogs went running across the field directly behind the house.

The rifle I had at the backdoor was a Ruger 10/22.

I stepped off the distance from the back of house to where the hogs ran across the field and it came out to around 90 yards. A 22 long rifle is not going to do anything to a wild hog at 90 yards.

Chances are the hogs had been attracted to the field because of the wildlife feeder my wife and I had put up about month ago. The steady supply of corn, plus the acorns from the oak trees are providing a steady supply of food for the hogs.

I had the Ruger 10/22 for chicken snakes, opossums, raccoons, bobcats and coyotes that may come around the chicken yard. With a coyote or bobcat I feel that the limits of the 22 long rifle is being pushed to its limit at 75 – 100 yards. When I saw a group of hogs running across the backfield I was caught off guard.

Watching those hogs run across the backfield, and having a 22 rifle in my hand, it dawned on that after my wife and I are no longer living a few miles outside of town, we live a bunch of miles from town.  If I am going to protect my crops, chickens, and other livestock from being overran, I am going to need something besides a Ruger 10/22.

The Ruger 10/22 is a great rifle.  But the 22 long rifles does have a limit to what it can do.  The 22 long rifle is fine for a raccoon or chicken snake.  But hogs are a whole other story.

I think it is time to replace the Ruger 10/22 as my backdoor rifle.  So lets look at some requirements and options.

Rifle Requirements

  • The rifle should be light
  • Compact
  • High capacity magazine
  • Accurate
  • Able to take hog size game at 100+ yards
  • Low recoil for fast followup shots
  • Able to use open sights or scope
  • Modular for lights, sights, and grips

Based on that list there are 2 rifles that come to mind based on that list, the Ruger mini-14 and the AR-15.


There are a lot of great rifles out there, such as the AK-47, the AK-74, Ruger mini-30, M1A, PTR-91, FN/FAL, Remington model 750 Woodsmaster,,, only to list a few. But I want something that my daughter and wife can pick up and use. Something that if SHTF someone can be taught to use in a matter of minutes.

Mini-14 / mini-30 – The major drawback to the Ruger mini-14 is how the magazine locks into place. There is a hole in the front of the magazine that has to catch on a pin, then the magazine pulled into place. The Ar-15 does not have that problem.

I have owned both a Ruger mini-14 and Ruger mini-14.  Both are great rifles of outstanding quality.  However, when it comes down to ease of use, I think the AR-15 beats the mini-14 and the mini-30.

Marlin 336 – One of my first choices would have been the Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester.  The 30-30 lever action is the rifle that helped settle the west.  It has proven itself over the past 100+ years for its reliability and effectiveness.

However, when you are dealing with a pack of hogs, wild dogs, coyotes,,,, the 30-30 is limited on its followup shots.

17 HMR – Over the past few years the 17 HMR has been gaining popularity.  But in the end, the 17 HMR is still a rimfire cartridge.

Then there is the almost non-existent options in semi-automatic rifles chambered for the 17 HMR.

300 Blackout – Awhile back I posted a thread in the forum about why survivalist should not adopt the 300 Blackout.  While the 300 Blackout does have its advantages, I feel the cartridge had not yet matured.  The main problem is the availability and price of ammunition.

When I can get online and buy 300 blackout at around the same price as 223 Remington, then I will consider stockpiling it for a SHTF event.

In all honesty, even though I post some negative comments about the 300 Blackout, I would love to have one.  I have been very tempted to buy a 300 Blackout upper receiver just to try it out.  It is just a matter of time before I own an AR platform in the 300 Blackout.

6.8 / 6.5 mm – There comes a point when survivalist are stockpiling too many calibers.  How many calibers do we need to stockpile before survivalist say enough is enough?

With the 223 Remington, 7.62×39 and 308 Winchester, why do we need a 6mm caliber?

I just do not see a niche the 6.8/6.5mm fills, and that is my honest opinion.

AK-47 / AK-74 – If we are going to have a serious discussion about a SHTF survival rifle, let us talk about the AK family.

Awhile back a buddy of mine, his wife and his daughter came up to the farm for the weekend.  As buddies do we got our rifles out and did some target shooting.  While we were shooting, my buddies daughter decided to join in on the fun.

The young girl was handed a WASR-10 AK-47 to shoot, then an AR-15.  She was then asked which rifle she liked better.  There was no discussion, no question,,, no nothing.  She made it real clear she liked the AR-15 over the AK-47.  The two issues with the AK was the recoil and how the magazine had to lock into place.

The AK-47 had more recoil than the AR-15, and that was an instant turnoff.  Two of the requirements is that the rifle be easy to shoot and low recoil.  What good is a rifle if nobody wants to shoot it?

When changing magazines the AR magazine is much easier to change than the AK magazine – at least that is what the young lady had to say.

Why I picked the AR-15

Long story short I moved one of my AR-15s to the backdoor of the house.  Why did I pick the AR over say the FN/FAL or a bolt action Remington model 700?  It came down to recoil, ease of use and magazine capacity.


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