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 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.
Some of my choices included:
Remington model 750 woodsmaster
Springfield Armory M1A or Scout A1
Saiga in .308
DS Arms SA58 FN/FAL
Atlantic Arms Imbel FAL carbine
Norinco M305B (M14 clone)
Related article: Top 5 survival rifles
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.