Why is the AK-47 is the ultimate survival rifle? Because it works.
Year of development: 1947
Years of service: 1947 – present
Nations of service: Every communist nation under the sun
Conflicts of service: Just about every major conflict since 1947
Bullet diameter: 308 – 311
Bullet weight: 123 grains
Effective range: 400 meters
Capacity: Standard 30 round magazine
I have to be perfectly honest, the AK-47 is not my primary SHTF survival rifle.
With SKS prices creeping close to the $300 price range, why are they considered a viable option for survivalist,,, or even anyone else? Back in the 1990s when you could pick up an SKS for less then $100, yea, I could see buying one then. But over the past 2 decades prices have steadily gone up, I think to the point where they are not worth the price.
Lets take the Remington model 770 – synthetic stock, factory scope, popular calibers that are more effective on deer sized game then the 7.62X39,,,, and the 770 cost right at the $300 price range.
Last year my nephew used his Remington 770 to take a doe during youth weekend. At around 50 – 75 yards, the 150 grain Remington core-lokt was devastating to the whitetail. The blood trail looked like someone turned on a waterhose.
I can see buying an SKS for its novelty, and for its history, but not for its price. The SKS is not going to be a target rifle like a modern bolt action rifle and the 7.62×39 is not as effective on deer sized game as lets say a 270 or 308.
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.