For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF event has happened; some kind of new flu has developed, financial collapse, nuclear war,,, something has happened to send the world to hell in a handbag. It is now up to you and your family to protect your property, livestock, garden,, and other resources.
Building my wife (her name is Kristy) an AR-15 that appeals to her is part of my prepping in depth rather then breadth SHTF survival plan. Instead of trying to get my wife to shoot a rifle that does not appeal to her, I decided to build a Palmetto State Armory M4, then deck it out in pink Magpul MOE and Suregrip parts.
In the current state of panic buying anything AR-15 is almost impossible to find. In most cases, if a website or store gets something in stock, it is sold out in a matter of minutes. What is sad is a lot of companies resort to price gouging when panic buying kicks in.
I have to say a couple of things about Palmetto State Armory, they are getting stuff in on a regular basis, and they are not price gouging.
What is your ideal firearm for a rural small farm (Bug Out Location)? Purpose is to protect property and livestock. For this article, lets say the setting can be during normal everyday life, and during a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event.
During a SHTF setting, livestock are going to be very difficult to replace.
Its 10 pm, your chickens start making a fuss, what firearm do you grab? Do you use a shotgun, small caliber rifle, medium caliber rifle, or something else?
One of my ideal setups would be for a rifle and a pistol setup to share the same caliber. There are several manufacturers that make carbines in various pistol calibers, such as the 17 HMR, 22 long rifle, 9mm, 357 magnum and 45 acp.
This article will be divided into 3 phases, discussion on shotguns, small calibers for everyday life, larger calibers for post-SHTF / a world without law. Since followup shots may be needed rather quickly, single shot firearms will not be discussed.
While a shotgun may be ideal for nighttime, there is a high risk of collateral damage. We want to protect the livestock, and not take the livestock out along with the predator.
This began about 20 years ago when I started stockpiling AR-15 magazines for some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. My buddies and I would make trips to the local gun shows, and pick up magazines here and there. I never intended to stockpile hundreds of magazines like some hardcore survivalist do. All I wanted was a couple of dozen magazines for every AR-15. I think 2 dozen mags for every rifle is reasonable.
Fast forward 20 years. Improvements have been made to the AR15 rifle and magazines. Due to those improvements, my current setup is outdated. Its like anything else. Technology improves, and to get the best out of your gear you need to keep up with the times. A buddy of mine who served two tours (1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan) told me about Magpul Pmags. When a combat vet tells you he loves something, its in your best interest to pay attention.
Due to my buddies recommendation I ordered 2 Magpul Pmags with the windows on the side.
As soon as I handed and shot the Magpul Pmag I fell in love. The Pmags are light, window to see how many rounds are in the magazine, and anti-tilt follower.
Ok, so what do I do? I have dozens of AR15 magazines that have been collected over the years. But the anti-tilt follower technology improves the reliability of the weapon.
Since I do not want to replace my AR magazine inventory, I bought several packages of the Magpul enhanced self-leveling followers, and started replacing the followers in all of my older AR magazines.
If something is not broke, don’t fix it. My AR mags were not broke, but they did need to be upgraded.
While stockpiling survival gear for a long term SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation, I think it is important to pause, review, and then move forward. It does no good to stockpile the same thing over and over, while overlooking other essential preps. The changing of the seasons, a new year, or every 3 – 4 months are good times to do reviews.
January, February and March of 2012 were dedicated to buying a Remington 1911 R1, stockpiling 45acp, collecting some some books on chickens, buying some chicks and building my chicken coop. The 1911 is for personal / property defense, and the chickens are for a sustainable food source.
April, May and June of 2012 were dedicated to expanding my ability to purify water, some new cooking gear, expanding my stockpile of brass cased 223, buying some 308 Winchester, diversifying my stockpile of 22 long rifle and expanding my first aid supplies.
If water purification is not at the top of your long term survival plans, it should be. Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist.
The Royal Berkey I keep at the Bug Out Location has 2 black filters. Each filter has a life expectancy of around 3,000 gallons – depending on water quality. With the addition of 2 more filters, I can now filter an estimated 12,000 gallons of water.
As I was stacking a new box of 30-30 Winchester (Remington core-lokt 150 grain) and a box of 12 gauge slugs on the shelf, I started thinking about having a well rounded ammunition stockpile.
When talking about ammunition, we need to realize that there is no perfect answer. I live and hunt in southeast Texas, my longest shots are in the 125 yard range. 200 yards is a long shot for this area. The only place we get to see 200 yards, much less shoot that far is either on a pipeline or a highline.
In New Mexico, west Texas, Arizona, Colorado,,, 200 yards might be a short shot.
Someone in the south with dense timber will probably do just fine with a 30-30 or 308. Someone making 200 and 300 yard shots may need a 25-06, 7mm magnum, 300 Winchester magnum, 30-06,,,. Someone in Alaska where grizzly is an everyday threat, maybe something like a 338 Winchester Magnum, 375 H&H or 12 gauge slug.
Lets use this article as a generalization, rather then an exact science.
To kick off the discussion, lets start with the two boxes I bought today:
Purpose:: This article is not to discuss the positive or negative points of the 300 Blackout, but rather should survivalist add another caliber to their collection. This is a blog of a survivalist, as such we are going to discuss topics related to prepping / survivalism and from a survivalist point of view.
History: The 300 Blackout was designed to be comparable to the 7.62X39, but to work in the AR platform. Think of a 30-30 short from an AR.
Availability: While the 300 Blackout is available in the AR platform and certain high grade bolt action platforms, it has not made the migration to the lesser expensive bolt action rifles.
When this article was published there are only a handful of bolt action rifles on the market chambered for 300 Blackout. As of early 2012 Savage has cancelled its plans for a 300 Blackout rifle. A Google search for Ruger 300 Blackout did not turn up any company related information.
From a survivalist point of view, why would I want to stockpile yet “another” caliber that is chambered in a limited number of rifles?
Just in case you have not been paying attention, here lately certain types of ammunition is getting difficult to find. Just about all of the surplus ammo has dried up and a lot of the bulk stuff is sold out.
My local walmart here in Jasper Texas barely gets any American Eagle 223 in stock, and rarely gets Federal 308 Winchester. Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester is right at $19.96. Its pretty sick when 308 is $1 a pop. My dad has some boxes of 30-06 at the camp that has a price tag of $13.96. I wish I would have bought a truck load of ammo back when it was cheap.
Over the past few years I have been buying cheap and stacking deep. The problem with buying cheap, you get steel cased ammo. This means a lot of my 223 and 7.62×39 is steel cased. The time has come to move past the steel cased ammo. So I have started buying American Eagle 223 and Federal bulk packs of 223.
One of the problems with owning firearms of various calibers, the more calibers you have, you have to stockpiling various types of ammunition.
My wife and I are going to Nacogdoches Texas on June 11, 2012. On the way we are going to pass through Lufkin. While in Lufkin we are going to stop at the academy sports and outdoors. At Academy I will be looking for Monarch 223 and Monarch 7.62×39.
The walmart website says the Lufkin store is sold out of Federal 308 and American Eagle 223, so I see no use in stopping at walmart. But then again, the walmart website says the Woodville store has American Eagle 223 in stock. But when I called the Woodville store, the lady told me they were out of stock. I guess the walmart website is hit and miss on its inventory system. My wife and I might stop at the Lufkin walmart store just to be sure.
The walmart website says the Nacogdoches store has both Federal 308 and American Eagle in stock.
Here we are looking at hitting 3 different stores for just 3 types of ammo. Academy sports and outdoors is the only place I get 7.62×39 from. If you take 7.62×39 out of the equation, we are looking at hitting 3 different stores for only 223 and 308.
We have not even talked about 30-06, 30-30, 270 Winchester or 280 Remington / 7mm Express.
30-06 and 280 Remington has gotten outrageously expensive. 280 / 7mm express has been expensive for a long time, with a price of around $25 a box for 20 rounds of Remington Core-Lokt.
When talking to survivalist, they seem to be divided into two groups – people that do, and people that talk.
Recently I asked the people on the SurvivalistBoards facebook page what rifle calibers they hunt with. I made sure to specify what calibers they currently own and use, and not what calibers they plan on buying.
For my area, its the 30-30, 308 and 280. Available game are hogs and whitetail deer. Longest shot is going to be around 125 yards. If you are on a pipeline or highline, shots might get out to the 200 yard mark. The rolling hills and thick timber stop the shots from being too long.
Some of the answers I received:
12 gauge, use it for everything from pheasant and ducks to Deer and bear. I hunting mostly swampy areas so no long shots.
.270 east Texas… hogs, deer, coyotes, 130gr Winchester ballistic tip nosler. stops them in their tracks with minimal meat loss.
.308 BLR. If I was to use something else it would probably be a .30-30.
Hunting season is here, and I have been thinking about my firearm setup. How many people have more then 1 rifle per caliber? What is the point of stockpiling ammo, and then have 1 rifle that could break? Sure people have spare parts, but spare parts do not help your buddies hunt with you.
Part of my plans call for a worse case situation, meaning I have friends or family members show up at my front door with nothing but clothes. The food starts to run out, so we head to the camp to plant a garden and do some hunting.
What firearms do you have that you can hand to a friend or family member and say “here ya go”? Its easy to pick up a spare 22 rifle from time to time, but its another thing to have 2 or 3 rifles in 308 or 30-30.
In my opinion, a well rounded plan should include the ability to provide assistance to other members of your group. Shooting ability, size of the game, shooting experience,,,, should all be considered.
This past weekend my wife and I made a trip to Bridge City Texas to visit with my parents. While we were in Bridge City, my wife and I spent the night at La Quinta Inn & Suites, which is where the old Sparkle Paradise used to be. The hotel is in a perfect location. Not only does it back up to a pond for your fishing enjoyment, but the twin bridges are viewable from the hotel for a picturesque nighttime scene.
My wife and I arrived at La Quinta, at which time I realized that I did not think about bringing anything to fish with. So off to wal-mart we went. I have been wanting to pick up an open face reel, so I bought a Shakespeare E-Z Cast Low Profile Baitcast Reel with 6 foot rod and a couple of lures. As luck would have it, I did not catch anything but a bunch of mosquito bites.
Saturday morning my wife and I got up, went by mom and dads house for a little bit, said out hellos and then went to Academy Sports and Outdoors in Port Arthur. At Academy I bought some circle hooks, some 60 pound nylon coated wire for making homemade leaders, some #4 circle hooks, 6 boxes 223 monarch ammo, 2 boxes 7.62×39 monarch ammo and a box of Remington 150 grain 308 for deer hunting.
After making a stop to buy some survival gear, my wife and I went to Tinsel Town in Beaumont for the 12:15 showing of Captain America. I thought the movie was pretty good. Maybe not an A+ movie, but not a C rating either. We sat through the credits to get a peak at the Avengers, all I have to say is “wow”.
As I am sitting here thinking about buying 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.
It was the last weekend of regular deer season, saturday night. A long time member of the deer lease drives up to the camp, and backs his truck up to the scales. That is usually a sure sign that there is a deer in the back of the truck. They get the doe weighed and are stringing it up to skin when I walk out there.
As the skinning of the deer proceeds, there are a few of us standing around helping and watching. The topic turns to the cost of ammunition and bullet performance.
Like a lot of hunters, I tend to buy the cheapest ammo on the shelf – and that is usually Remington Core-Lokt. Over the past 14,,,, 15+ years Core-Lokt is about all that I have bought and shot deer with. During that time I have had no complaints. There is usually a hole going in and a larger hole going out.
The guy who shot the doe goes on to talk about Remington Core-Lokt and how he has since switched to Winchester softpoints. The rifle the guy used was a 270,,,, I dont remember the exact make or model. After talking for a little while, the person who shot the deer said that he has not been happy with the performance of the Remington Core-Lokt lately and that he felt it may not be expanding like it should. So he switched to the Winchester softpoints.
I can say one thing about the doe that was being skinned, there was a massive amount of bruising, bleeding and tissue damage. It was like the whole area where the bullet went through had residual damage to the surrendering tissue.
One of the most asked questions I see on the forum – “what is the best survival rifle?” A well balanced answer is, there is no perfect rifle. If you live in Alaska, your rifle needs are going to be a lot different then someone that lives in the Southern states. Its doubtful someone living in southern Florida is going to be running in Grizzly bears, like someone in someone in the Northern States might. If you live in Colorado, or Washington state you might be hunting elk or moose, while people in Louisiana, Alabama or Mississippi might be hunting whitetail deer or wild hogs.
1) Ruger 10/22 – semi-automatic, magazine fed, 22 caliber rifle. Its not one thing that sets the Ruger 10/22 apart, its the huge list – the reliability, the vast selection of accessories – magazines, scopes, barrels, stocks,,,,,, just all kinds of stuff. My personal Ruger 10/22 was bought in January of 1986, and is still going strong.
My first experience with a Ruger 10/22 was sometime in 1984 or 1985 when 3 of my buddies and I were on a 3 day camping trip. We loaded up an aluminum boat and headed out to one of the bayous close to Bridge City, Texas – this was sometime around 1984 or 1985. After eating lunch, Allen and I took the dishes to the bayou to wash them. While we were washing the dishes, we saw a nutria rat on the other side of the bayou. 1 shot with the Ruger 10/22 took care of the animal. Allen and I got in the aluminum boat we had used to reach the camping spot, and paddled across the bayou to retrieve the animal. We skinned the nutria rat and brought it back to the camping spot where it was roasted over a camp fire and eaten. Even though we had just eaten dinner, it was just canned chili and we were still hungry. The meat from that nutria rat really hit the spot.
After I handled the Ruger 10/22 on that 3 day camping trip, I knew I had to have one. From that day forward, the Ruger 10/22 has been one of my favorite survival rifles.
The 22 long rifle cartridge only compliments the 10/22. The 22 long rifle is cheap, easy to stockpile, does not have a loud report, easy to carry and has plenty of power to take small game – like the nutria rat. With prices ranging from $12 – $20 for a brick of 550 rounds, for people on a budget, the 22 long rifle is going to be a tough round to beat.