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Tag: ak-47 for survival

Best 30 caliber SHTF survival rifle

.30 caliber survival rifleIf you were going to pick a .30 caliber rifle for a SHTF survival rifle, which one would it be? The contestants are: 7.62×39, 30-30, 308 and the 30-06. Lets take a look at each of those calibers, and what rifles their currently available in.

For the sake of discussion, the 30-06 is the largest caliber that will listed in this article.

7.62X39 – made famous by the AK-47 and SKS, developed in 1943, has seen service in major conflicts all over the world, available in civilian rifles such as the Ruger Mini-30 and various bolt action rifles.

Bullet weight: 110 – 155 grain
Muzzle velocity: 1,900 – 2,100 fps, depending on load
Effective range: around 350 meters
Availability: Plenty

There are at least 3 things that makes the 7.62X39 a good choice as a survival rifle – 1. Availability of ammunition, 2. Availability of rifles, 3. Low recoil.

With post-soviet block countries strapped for cash, many of them have decided to sell off their surplus semi-automatic rifles, and surplus ammunition. In the 1990s, $200 would get you an SKS and a case of 7.62X39 hollow point ammo. Over time the price of AK-47s, SKSs, and 7.62X39 ammunition has crept up, but its still reasonably priced.

Firing a 123 grain full metal jacket or soft point, the 7.62X39 is well rounded for deer and wild hog sized game.

Since most of the rifles that fire the 7.62X39 are semi-automatic, this makes it a good choice for recoil sensitive people, or people who do not like the full sized rifle cartridges.

Bugging out to the wilderness plans

wilderness bug outIt was probably around 1997 or 1998, some of my buddies were over at my house and we were talking about possible situations that would cause a wilderness bug out. We were talking about an outbreak of the plague, nuclear strikes, nuclear targets, radiation fallout, wind currents,,,,,,; it was one of those brain storming sessions we used to have.

Eventually the topic of firearms came up, choice of calibers, being able to carry plenty of ammo,,, and so on.

It was at this time I pulled out a large ALICE pack, a Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and an H&K SP-89 pistol. As I look back on the situation, and what we were discussing, neither of those weapons would be good for survival.

The Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and pistol grip would be a terrible choice for hunting. The pistol grip makes the weapon difficult to aim, and the short barrel means a poor pattern. If this shotgun would have had a stock on it and a longer barrel, then it would be a different story.

The H&K SP-89 is a great pistol for close quarters combat, but it would be a poor choice for hunting deer or wild hogs. The lack of a shoulder stock makes the pistol undesirable for certain situations.

After my buddies and I completed our brain storming session, I decided it was time to review some of my survival weapon choices. I had other weapons, so “why” did I pick those 2 for discussion? Why not talk about the SKS as a survival rifle, or maybe the AK-47, or what about the Remington model 700?

After talking about the advantages and disadvantages of a short shotgun and pistol combo, I decided to remove those 2 weapons from my choices.

If your going to pick a weapon (pistol, rifle or shotgun) for survival, why not pick on that you can aim, and effectively take wild game with?

Best rifle and shotgun for survival

If you were going to pick two firearms – 1 small caliber rifle, 1 medium or large caliber rifle, or a shotgun, which firearms would it be? These do not “have” to be considered survival rifles or a survival shotgun, but firearms that you may shoot with all year long. The two firearm combination should be diverse enough to take everything from small game to the largest game in your area. Someone that lives in Alaska and who might run into a grizzly bear will have different rifles needs then someone that lives in Texas or Florida – because there aint no grizzly bears in Texas or Florida.

The purpose of a “survival firearm” is a little different then a Main Battle Rifle (MBR). While an MBR is designed for the military and combat, survivalist need something that is not expensive, very reliable, and effective for harvesting wild game. Which would be the better invest, a single M1a or 3 Marlin 336s in 30-30? Price is a factor here. For certain people money may not be an issue. But for most people, dropping $1,000 into a single rifle is just not feasible.

Marlin model 336 and Marlin model 60:

white tail deer and atv

Marlin model 336 – chambered in 30-30 is more then adequate for just about anything in the southern United States. The recoil of the 30-30 is not excessive, the ammunition is popular so it can be found just about anywhere, the ammunition is not expensive – so its not going to cost a fortune to stockpile 30-30 ammo, the rifle itself is not expensive – so buying more then 1 is not going to break the bank.

Lets just say that I like the Marlin 336 so much, that all three of my sons have 1. In all, my family has at least 4 Marlin 336 rifles.

When a new rifle cartridge is developed is does not take long for the public to form an opinion. From there the cartridge will take off and get popular, or its going to be forgotten about and will fade away to history. The popularity of the 30-30 is a testament to its reliability and stopping power for deer sized game. If the 30-30 was not an effective round, it would not be as popular as it is today.

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