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Tag: survival rifles

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.

Survival Rifle Ammunition

survivalist riflesIt 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.

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.

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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Top 5 survival rifles

22 long rifle 223 7.62X39 30-30 30-06One 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.

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