Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: 308 Rifle

Quest for the ultimate survival rifle

Whitetail deer taken with a 270For 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 and 30-06 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.

Instead of going into a lot of detail about each rifle, long story short, I decided to go with a DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL in 308 Winchester.

To help answer the quest, I posted a thread in the forum – best 308 survival rifle.

FN-FAL magazine prices

DS Arms SA58 FN-FAL

The FN/FAL has been used by militaries all over the world, so why are the magazines so expensive on the consumer market? Take the AK-47 magazines for example, their usually dirt cheap. Years ago I remember AK mags being around $3 – $5 each. Just about every newsletter I subscribe to, every gun parts magazine, and every gun show I go to has AK magazines from all over the world.

Maybe the abundance of AK magazines is because their coming from money strapped communist countries that are phasing out the AK-47 in favor of more modern rifles? While the countries that used the FN/FAL are in a stable financial situation?

But with the FN/FAL, the latest prices I have seen are in the $20 – $25 price range.

Even the PTR-91 magazines are cheap. Several months ago a buddy of mine found some PTR-91 magazines for around $1 each.

DS Arms SA58 First Range Report

DS Arms SA58 FAL range reportBefore we start on the range report of the DS Arms SA58, here is a little history on how we arrived at this point in time.

October 21st 2010 I started a thread in the forum asking what is the best 308 rifle for the money. There were lots of suggestions thrown around, such as the Springfield M1A, FAL, CETME, PTR-91, Remington model 750 and the DS Arms SA58. After much debate in the forum, the choice was between the DSA SA58 and the Springfield M1A.

Between the Springfield M1A and the DS Arms SA58, I picked the SA58. The Springfield M1A is a outstanding rifle, but a little bit out of my price range.

My first impressions of the SA58 were very good. The rifle handled very well, shot well, was well balanced, and had very little recoil. The first couple of times I shot the FAL, it was just to make sure the rifle shot ok – “yep, it shoots” kind of thing. But now it was time to take the SA58 FAL to a gun range and see how well it shot. Now its time to take the rifle to a range, use a bench rest and see how well it can shoot. Not to mention, I needed to sight the rifle in for deer hunting.

DS Arms SA58 FAL First Impressions

DS Arms SA-58 FALLong story short – I’am impressed with this rifle. Now for the rest of the story.

Back on October 21 I started a thread in the forum asking what was the best 308 semi-auto for the money. There were lots of suggestions thrown around; like the PTR-91, CETME, Springfield M1A, FAL,,,,,. In the end I decided to spend the money for a quality product, and purchased a DS Arms SA58 FAL.

Factory, right of the box – I would compare the recoil to a 30-30. But this is a full sized 308 Winchester.

Is like having the best of 2 worlds:

1 – full powered rifle cartridge.

2 – light recoil

Mixing and matching survival gear

molle pack vs alice pack

I find it interesting that Taco Bell can create so many items on their menu by mixing and matching about eight different ingredients. There is the taco meat, sour cream, refried beans, tortilla shell, taco shell,,,,. But by the looks of the Taco Bell menu, it appears they have a thousand ingredients.

Its called utilizing available resources. And the same can be applied to survivalism.

On the flip side of the coin from Taco Bells minimalist approach, I find it interesting that survivalist stockpile so much gear. Certain survivalist think they have to have a special “bug out bag” that is separate from their standard camping / backpacking pack, that they need several rifles

Lets backup a few years, all the way to the early – mid 1980s. Back then I (Kevin), was in High School and was busy camping and exploring the marshes around the Bridge City, Texas area. My backpack at that time was about 14 inches tall, 12 – 14 inches wide, and maybe 6 inches wide. It could have easily been a school book bag, but it was OD green and made out of a canvas material. I had one backpack for all of my camping needs. At that time, that is all I needed. The pack was just big enough for a couple of cans of vienna sausage, or chili, can opener, small pot, matches, contact case, and maybe a spare shirt or socks.


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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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