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Prepping For SHTF

Tag: survival rifle

Viability of the 308 Winchester for SHTF

How viable is the 308 Winchester for a SHTF survival rifle? In the grand scheme of things, the 308 Winchester is probably the best suited rifle cartridge for a SHTF situation.

Typically, the 30-06 Springfield is the largest rifle caliber most people can shoot accurately. The keyword there is “most” people. As recoil goes up, accuracy goes down as shooters flinch before pulling the trigger.

There are two ways to counter trigger flinch:

  • Training.
  • Use a smaller rifle caliber.

The 308 Winchester offers less recoil than the 30-06 Springfield, but is very effective on deer sized game. People who live near dangerous animals, such as grizzly bears, may want to use a larger caliber than the 308 Winchester.

What makes the 308 Winchester well suited 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.

AK-47 Is The Ultimate teotwawki Survival Rifle

Why is the AK-47 is the ultimate survival rifle? Because it works.

  • Year of development: 1947
  • Caliber: 7.62×39
  • Years of service: 1947 – present
  • Nations of service: Every communist nation under the sun
  • Conflicts of service: Just about every major conflict since 1947
  • Bullet diameter: 308 – 311
  • Bullet weight: 123 grains
  • Effective range: 400 meters
  • Capacity: Standard 30 round magazine

The AK-47 is not my primary SHTF survival rifle.

That honor goes to the AR-15 and the FN/FAL.

AR-15 with its 223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO is well suited for dealing undesirable predators that come around the Bug Out Location and small game. There are a good number of people that deer and hogs with the 223 Remington, but I am not one of them. I am a firm believer of using enough gun for the job. When I go deer hunting, I use at least a 270 Winchester or a 280 Remington / 7mm Express.

The low recoil of the AR-15 makes it appealing to people like my teenage daughter.

Picking a SHTF Survival Rifle Caliber

There is a thread in the forum asking whether the 7mm or 8mm would make a good caliber for a survival rifle. When you walk into a pawn shop and you see a bunch of a certain type of firearms, that is usually not a good sign. If people like a product, they tend to hang onto it.

22 Long Rifle

The 22 long rifle should not need an introduction. The ammunition can be fired in rifles and pistols, firearms are not expensive and they have a long life expectancy. With the low recoil of the 22, parts last long then a full sized rifle caliber.

The low cost of the 22 ammunition makes it attractive to survivalist who want to stockpile thousands or tens of thousands of rounds.

The 22long rifle is effective on small game and does not do a lot of damage to the meat. When you use a 12 gauge on a squirrel, you might have to pick out a bunch of BBs. If you take a squirrel with a 22 short, you have 1 bullet hole.

A couple of my favorite rifles in 22 long rifle include the Marlin Model 60 and the Ruger 10/22. My Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986 and is still going strong.

223 Remington / 5.56mm

Thoughts on the AR-15 AK-47 and FN/FAL For SHTF

As I am sitting here thinking about another rifle, my thoughts keep turning back to the AR-15. Even though the AK-47 is a little cheaper, its the reliability, cheap ammo, light weight of the weapon, availability of the ammo, shootability,,,,, that keeps me coming back to the AR.

In a SHTF situation, and I had to hand a rifle to my wife, son or daughter, how well would they be able to handle the rifle? That is just one of the many questions I have to ask myself.

In this article we are going to be looking at 3 of the most popular SHTF rifles and battle rifles in the world: the AK-47, AR-15 and the FN/FAL. The AK shoots the 7.62×39, the AR shoots the 223/5.56mm and the FN/FAL shoots the 308 Winchester / 7.62NATO round. These rifles were picked because they have a reputation of being reliable in just about all combat situations and they have been battle proven in several conflicts.

Lets start from the very beginning:

Inserting a Magazine

Quest for the Best SHTF Survival Rifle

For years, and I mean for “years”, my survival rifle list went something like this – Marlin 336 in 30-30, AR-15, Ruger mini-14, Ruger mini-30, AK-47, Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin model 60. The problem with that list, all of the rifles are short and medium caliber. The largest caliber rifle would have been the marlin 336 in 30-30 or the AK-47 in 7.62×39.

In my opinion, no survival rifle collection is complete without at least a rifle in the 308 Winchester and 30-06 range. When push comes to shove, a survivalist needs a rifle with some knock down power. In north America, the 308 and 30-06 are capable of taking just about any animal, except for the most dangerous grizzly or polar bear. For most applications – whitetail deer, hogs, prong horn, coyote, mule deer,,,,,, the 308 Winchester and 30-06 Springfield can fit the bill.

So where does this leave us? We could go with a bolt action rifle like the Remington model 700, Weatherby Vanguard or the Ruger model 70. But for a long term SHTF survival situation, I would like something with a detachable magazine.

Bolt actions rifles aside, this leaves us with the M1A, PTR-91, and the FN/FAL.

Picking a new survival rifle

AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesI’am looking for a 308 semi-auto rifle – its to be used as my primary hunting rifle and survival rifle. This will be my “go to” rifle in the event of a disaster. Currently I have a Bushmaster AR-15 223 / 5.56mm, WASR-10 in 7.62X39, Ruger 10/22, SKS and Remington Model 700 Mountain Rifle in 280/7mm Express. The goal is to have something with a little versatile then those rifles. Something that is rugged enough to take take wherever I want, but accurate enough to make 100+ yard shots and hit a baseball sized target without a bench rest. Ideal accuracy would be a 1 inch group “Minute of angle MOA” at 100 yards. But some military rifles are just not designed to have the accuracy like a bolt action hunting rifle, or the AR15.

During hunting season the purposed rifle is going to be my primary hunting rifle. I need something that is compact enough to move around a deer stand with, or use a climbing stand with, but but with a barrel long enough that accuracy is not affected. Something with an 18 – 22 inch barrel would be ideal.

This is what I have come up with so far:

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AR-15 For a SHTF Survival Situation

Would the AR-15 be a good rifle for a SHTF survival situation? The simple answer is, “it depends.” The M16 223/5.56mm was original developed as a replacement for the M14 and the 308.

The mindset was to develop a lighter rifle and lighter ammo so that soldiers could carry the rifle further and carry more ammo. One drawback, instead of shooting a 150 or 180 grain bullet like the 308 Winchester / 7.62 NATO, the 223 / 5.56mm shots a 55 grain bullet.

Lets talk about some of the pluses and negatives of the 223 / 5.56mm:

1. To compensate for the smaller bullet diameter and lighter weight, the 55 grain 5.56mm is supposed to “tumble” after it hits flesh. The “tumbling” creates wounds and does quit a bit of damage to flesh.

I see a couple of issues with the “tumble” theory:

How does the bullet know whether its hitting a wall and should punch through, or flesh and tumble? When the bullet is made, is it granted with magical powers that tells it what the bullet is about to hit, and whether it should tumble or not?

All phun aside, the 223/5.56mm has problems getting through walls. Once the bullet hits something, and it tries to tumble, it loses its energy.

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