Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: shtf rifle

Pick one rifle or shotgun for survival

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.30 caliber survival rifleSome kind of new disease has broke out, society has collapsed and no more trucks are rolling.  Over the following weeks the power goes out, the water stops running, people stop driving their cars and trucks, friends, neighbors and strangers come around begging for food.

The food preps are slowly being eaten.  But the food is not an issue, because you still have your backup food preps at your Bug Out Location.  If your family can reach the remote location safely, you will have food, water, seeds to plant a garden, and getting a rabbit out of the field next to the creek should not be an issue.  The problem is getting there.

Its been at least a month since your car or truck has had gas in it.  So now you and your family has to walk to the Bug Out Location.  Your family has to go through the middle of town, hit a set of railroad tracks, go about 30 miles following the tracks, hit a pipeline, go another few miles following the pipeline, then its just a short trip through the woods.  Your family should be able to make the trip in about 3 days.

You grab your Bug Out Bag, go to the gun safe, open it up, and you can only take one firearm, what would it be?

Ruger 10/22:   Lightweight semi-automatic rifle, magazine fed, fires 22 long rifle, ammo is light, easy to carry and is effective on small game.  The problem is, the 22 long rifle is not effective on deer and hog size game – well, unless the hog is in a cage and you can get a headshot on the animal.  Over the years the Ruger 10/22 has proven its reliability over and over again.

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

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AK-47 AR-15 Survival RiflesAs 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.

Lets start from the very beginning:

Inserting a magazine

AK-47 uses a cam style magazine, where the magazine has to be cammed into position
FN/FAL uses the same type of cam action, but seems to be a better design then the AK
AR-15 magazine goes straight in

In a stressful situation, its going to be easier for someone to insert an AR magazine then any of the others.

After inserting the magazine, its going to be easier for the FN/FAL or the AR-15 to charge the weapon then the AK-47.

People may argue that with proper training the AK magazine is just as easy to insert as the AR or the FN/FAL magazines. The thing is, not everyone has time or money to take the whole family to the range on a regular basis and fire off thousands of rounds in training exercises. For someone that gets to shoot a few times a year, the AR is going to be easier to load then any of the other rifles.

Charge the weapon

DS Arms SA58 FN-FAL

DS Arms SA58 FN-FAL, surefire G2X Pro and Maxpedition Noatak

AK charging handle is on the right hand side of the weapon. After the magazine is inserted with the left hand, the shooter has to either reach over the receiver to charge the weapon, or switch hands that is holding the weapon and use the right hand to cycle the bolt.

FN/FAL charging handle is on the left side of the weapon. After the magazine is inserted with the left hand, the left hand stays on the left side of the rifle and cycles the bolt.

AR-15 charging handle is on the rear of the receiver, making is easy to charge for right or left handed shooters.

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Quest for the ultimate survival rifle

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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.

survival hunting whitetail deerSome of my choices included:
PTR91
Remington model 750 woodsmaster
Springfield Armory M1A or Scout A1
AR10
Cetme
Saiga in .308
FN/FAL Imbel
DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL
Atlantic Arms Imbel FAL carbine
Norinco M305B (M14 clone)

Related articleTop 5 survival rifles

Qualifications:

What were some of the things I looked for in my quest for an ultimate SHTF survival rifle.

1.  Military grade – I wanted a rifle that has seen action in some kind of combat situation.  We know for a fact that the M1A (M14), AR-15, AK-47 and the FN/FAL have seen combat all over the world.  Each rifle has its flaws, rather then trying to pick the best, its more like a balancing act.  I needed to pick the rifle that was best suited for my requirements.

I wanted a rifle that does well in marsh, woodland and tropical conditions. Since I do not live anywhere close to a desert, lots of blowing sand will probably not be a factor.

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Best 30 caliber SHTF survival rifle

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.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.

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Marlin Model 60

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The Marlin Model 60 is a semi-automatic, tube fed, 22 caliber rifle.

Caliber: 22 long rifle
Barrel length: 19 inches
Overall length: 37.5 inches
Weight: 5.5 pounds
Capacity: 14 round tube magazine

My personal opinion, the Marlin model 60 is one of the better 22 rifles on the market. The rear sight has a micro adjustment that makes sighting the rifle in easy. The microgroove technology that Marlin uses seems to make the rifle a dead on shooter.

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