Preppers love their AR-15s. But do you really need an AR-15 for SHTF scenarios? Are they necessary for survival, the collapse, etc.?
There are three groups of people reading this:
- those that think you’ll absolutely need an AR-15 WTSHTF,
- those that think one is totally unnecessary, and
- those who are not sure.
Let’s explore some scenarios. Maybe some thinking along different lines will help you to make your own decision.
SHTF Scenario One
Let’s first operate under the idea that things have really gone to hell. If your thinking falls into this scenario you just might want that semi-automatic handyman by your side. Some of our favorite standby end of the world scenarios are a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) or maybe a terrorist attack that brings the grid down. Maybe it’s a natural disaster that makes your area an island unto itself. Or possibly a currency collapse as Chris Martenson loves to talk about.
It’s a grid down, TEOTWAWKI world and all you have standing between you and the bad guys is your trusty AR-15 and a few thousand rounds of .223. In this scenario the more hardware you have the better off you’re going to be. If legions of crazy people are trying to overrun your compound, it’s unlikely that standing out in front giving the peace sign will turn them away. Desperate people will do anything – anything – if they think it will help them or their family in a desperate situation.
But they didn’t prep and shouldn’t go after those that did?
Haha! Everybody will be going after those that have food, gear, and water after it hits the fan, folks. If you have shelter, water, food and equipment (prepper basics for sheltering in place) you will become a person of interest to those that haven’t.
You have the right to protect it. Especially if it’s all you have to keep you alive. You thought ahead. You prepped for it. You deserve to protect it for your use.
In this scenario you should have a good rifle or three. Do you need an AR-15? Only you can answer that, but I’ll tell you I feel a lot better with one than when I didn’t have one. Honestly, any good semi-automatic rifle will probably suffice.
There are several things I like about the AR. First, I was trained on the M16 and it’s where I have 90% of my experience. I can still take the bolt apart in my sleep and put it back together again. Plus it’s so prolific that even after ammo gets hard to find you should still be able to barter for it. (You do have stuff to barter don’t you?) It might be expensive, but I suspect it will be well worth it after TEOTWAWKI.
There are other good guns out there that you might want of course: a good hand gun, a shotgun, maybe a good .30-06 hunting rifle (which could double as a good sniper rifle), a .22 for hunting small game. You get the idea.
In this situation more is better and an AR15 would definitely be a great addition to your armory.
SHTF Scenario 2
In this scenario things have gone south over a period of time. Infrastructure is weak, but still in place. The markets crashed, but money still works. Barter definitely happens in the market places and there are many more homeless people than there were before things started their downhill slide, but there is still law and order, or at least a semblance of it.
People are hungry, but not starving. The government is handing out more food than ever to the hungry masses, but it’s never enough. The rich are still rich and the poor are still poor, but the middle class has disintegrated and there are more discontented people than ever. The government crackdown on weapons makes owning an AR15 risky and using one even in self defense is considered a crime. In this scenario an AR might not be such a good choice. It’s possible to possess one – just don’t get caught with it or you’ll wind up in a FEMA camp making little ones out of big ones for the greater good of the government.
In this case a bow and arrow or even a sling shot might be a better choice. If there was a harsh enough punishment meted out for owning a gun then most people probably wouldn’t take the risk, but like the saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”
Living in the country would be different than living in a city. You’re likely to be more of an open target to people who have nothing to lose by attacking your compound. Assume you have to live behind walls or barricades and the need for a weapon in this situation would be obvious. If a gang attacks with guns you’d better have something better than bows and slingshots to drive them away with.
In the city during a time like this an AR might not be the best choice. A small handgun (how to spot someone carrying concealed) or even a knife for that up-close and personal action – you know: swift, silent and deadly. Might be a good way to go.
If you have the skills that is. Are your knife fighting skills up to snuff?
No One Knows How a Collapse Will Happen
Obviously these scenarios are just that. Nobody knows how things will go down and the only thing you can do is keep on doing what you’re doing.
If you’re thinking the world will be a whole lot worse than Scenario One, by all means, spend the money and buy yourself a pile of survival guns to defend yourself with. Plan for that Mad Max or other post-apocalyptic movie event and go for it.
On the other hand, if you think it won’t get that violent and people will come together like a band of brothers then don’t buy one. However, just because you own a good gun don’t think the government can’t or won’t take it at the beginning of an emergency. Watch this video:
Ultimately you’ll need to make your own decision. Go through the scenarios likely to happen in your area and then prepare for that situation.
Keep in mind the above video, though. Don’t think the government won’t run roughshod on your rights. If they think it’s in the public’s “best interest” they’ll take your guns and good luck ever getting them back. You might want to have some kind of back up protection just in case. A good fence and good home defense, a guard dog, bow and arrows, a Trucker’s Friend, whatever, anything is better than nothing.
As unlikely as it may seem, if we ever do devolve to a Mad Max or The Road-type post apocalyptic world, you’ll want to have back up weapons anyway. The bullets are only going to last so long and then that sweet AR-15 will be a club.
Do You Need an AR-15 for SHTF or Not?
If, like me, you fall into the camp that think an AR-15 would be a useful tool to have around after TEOTWAWKI then now is the time to get one if you haven’t already.
If you don’t like the AR platform then this would be the time to go after the gun you *do* like. Don’t forget an optic.
I think that if you’re reading this blog you’re not the kind of people who are going to wait around for the government to take care of them. If you do think that it’s unlikely you’ll last long in a real long lasting SHTF event.
Questions? Comments? Sound off below!
Not a big fan of the AR, its just a personal prejudice. I shot a few of my friend’s ARs years back and I wasn’t that impressed. I never served in the military so that probably is a big factor – I’m just not that familiar with them.
If any firearm will get you and your family lined up against a wall, its going to be a military pattern assault rifle – AR, AK, FAL, UZI or other hi-cap magazine capable carbines – rifles. They get you noticed in good AND bad ways, not always a good thing.
The sleeper to me is the SKS – given a supply of stripper clipped ammunition, it works very well and doesn’t scare the ‘sheeples’ as much. They are sorta heavy though.
Just my .02 – Thanks for the write-up.
Let you on in a little secret that SKS your talking about is a real military rifle where as the AR platform is a military patterned rifle or more correctly a modern sporting rifle. The AR platform has become the most prolific rifle design on the American market over the last 10 years. It is the Winchester 30/30 of the 21 century.
As far as being lined up against the wall I am pretty sure where that has happen throughout the world they really did not care what kind of firearm it was before they put someone up against the wall.
Says he doesn’t like Ar’s because they are unfamiliar to him and that military pattern rifles are a liability because they draw to much attention. Goes on to praise the made for the military SKS that is not even half the rifle the AR is.
And just like that, the AR fanboys come out of the wood work pissing and moaning because somebody said their finicky little plastic black rifle wasn’t the best thing since sliced bread. He’s not saying the SKS isn’t a military-style rifle, he’s just saying it wont scare the general, non-gun smart masses, due to its internal mag and one-piece wood stock, instead of a large 30 round mag and plastic pistol grip. I think most folks would lump it together with hunting rifles at first glance.
Any display of a firearm is going to scare a non-educated person. So your point makes no point. Someone rationalizing a SKS is somehow less threating in appearance than AR is misguided.
But think about it for a moment: We live in a culture saturated in firearms. They’re in the movies, television, the news, video games. The government tries to ban them. And what do they try to ban? What they call “assault weapons”. And what is the image that is most closely linked to “assault weapons” (literally or mentally)? Almost always the AR-15. Even the they can’t name them, the general sheeple probably know what an AR-15 and AK-47 looks like. They both have big, long magazines and pistol grips. But what about the SKS? a one piece wood stalk? No obvious large magazine? Probably won’t immediately register as “assault weapon” to them.
And like that all the AR haters file out from under their rock!!
I have and as a 26 year current LEO, I would respond to all armed subject calls the same way. We do not respond based on the model of firearm. It is the totality of information involving the call.
Also if you look back at what the democrats have tried to pass over the years the SKS has been covered along with .22lr rifles that had detachable magazines. The bottom line is the gun grabbers want all your guns and thinking anything less is dangerous.
I think it would probably be HELPFUL to scare the masses. That may well keep you from actually having to use the gun.
Excuse me? The SKS is not even half the rifle an AR is? If so, then why are our soldiers complaining that the .223 ammo isn’t taking down the enemy fast enough? The SKS has far more stopping power and is a cheaper rifle to buy. With a little practice, one can load a stripper clip of ammo into it as fast as one can switch out a magazine on an AR. There are now adapters to make a SKS use magazines if you want more ammo capacity. The SKS is also simpler in design, meaning it has less to go wrong and is easier to tear apart and fix. The SKS has proved itself reliable for decades. Sure you cane carry more .223 ammo, but you need more of it unless you can make a shot to the head each time you pull the trigger. I’m not paying an arm and a leg to buy an AR when the SKS is, in my opinion, the superior rifle.
“Our soldiers aren’t using .223, they’re using .556 NATO. Very similar but not the same.
In addition to this, they are firing from M4s which do not do as well as M16s in regards to fps, so the ammunition is less effective.
AR is the best weapon to have: semiautomatic, very accurate, fast, lightweight, easy to use, ammo is abundant and cheap and the AR is easier to wield than a rifle that tends to be longer and just as heavy. That said, in a SHTF scenario if anyone tries to take my AR they’re dead….regardless of who comes and tries to get it. Reason is because if you let them take it you’re dead anyway because the bad guys will have it but you won’t so there’s no downside to taking out anyone who tries to confiscate it, even the good guys.
If someone’s trying to confiscate your firearm(s), they’re NOT “good guys” in any way, shape or form…
Regarding confiscation/registration; It has been estimated that less that 15% on the ARs owned in CT have been registered per the new law after the school shooting here. The liberals at the state government are quietly going ballistic, they can’t fathom that the sheeple in this nanny state would defy their masters in Hartford. We are talking about 400 to450 thousand unregistered ARs. This puts a smile on my face.
Makes me smile too.
I love it. Nothing keeps a liberal awake at night more than the thought that they don’t know precisely where all the weapons civilians hold are located so they don’t know where they have to go to confiscate them…. 🙂
Also, it sends all the libs into GDS (Gun Derangement Syndrome) knowing that the public has “defied their will and laws” concerning guns. Of course these are the same libs who will come cowering to our doorsteps when/if SHTF, demanding protection that can only be afforded by that which they hate so much….guns…:)
Allot of things have to go bad before it’s acceptable to walk around with a long arm visible. I think a concealable pistol will be of more use. Something like a Springfield XDS .45.
Hey, don’t be harshin’ on my “Walking Dead” fantasies. LOL
I could see one becoming a person of interest for the reasons you wrote about or that people begin to notice for example, that your the only house with lights on, a car with gas, they never see you in the waiting lines of sheeple for gov’t hand outs, or not stressed out in any way. Good that it’s brought up an thought about now then later. Regards arms, Semi-auto is preferred, but use what you got and learn it well, you are responsible for your own logistical support. force multipliers like improvised munitions are of great help mitigating large numbers. For a person with limited funds the SKS is pretty good, it’s well balanced regarding (cost,fire power, mobility, simplicity). My approach being is keep a low profile, use stealth as your best friend and have some kind of early warning system with three option plans on your table.
Agree with j.r., I don’t own a AR nor would I really want one – they’re attention getters, and in a bad way usually. Emotions and perceptions influence people’s actions and the decisions they make, and while any firearm is deadly, most are designed toward a specific purpose. A 12 ga. with a 28″ barrel with a waterfowl camo stock is a duck gun, while a 12 ga. with a 18″ barrel and black composite stock with rear/forend grips is a SWAT or home defense gun. A bolt action .223 is a varmint gun, and an 5.56 AR-15 with a red dot/holo scope and a 30-rd mag is an anti-personnel weapon. Might want to consider how your weapon of choice, and the accessories, would be perceived by the police, a prosecutor, and a jury if you used it in self-defense. There may be some situations where the weapon used might tilt opinion against you, and draw into question whether it was justified to use lethal force. “He bought a weapon designed expressly for killing people, accessorized it to make it even more effective at doing so, then found a reason to use it for just that purpose”, for example. Don’t forget that you’re also one of those “whacko survivalist-types” too, stockpiling beans and bullets for the end of the world. That’s not going to help your case if it comes out in court either. “You probably enjoyed killing that poor kid with your tacticool assault rifle, didinja?”
Not that I agree with this, AR owners would want me on their jury – but perception is reality for many people. The old adage of “I’d rather be judged by twelve than carried by six” makes sense, until you’re sentenced to 20 years for 2nd degree murder when you could have been a free man had you chose a “deer rifle” instead. JMO.
Here’s a thing that I haven’t seen anyone mention (yet): In the event of Scenario#2, who’s to say that the cops will even really care. Think about it: Who pays the cops? the government. And what happens when you can’t pay them anymore? Massive lay-offs in the police force. So think a smaller, ill-equipped police force that’s spread thin as is with all the rampant crime that comes with such a scenario would equal a police force that may just brush it off as “So some ghetto rat got gunned down after dark in a high crime area? And witnesses (if there are any) said he had one of those black assault rifles? And you want us to go check it out? F%ck that!”
” a smaller, ill-equipped police force that’s spread thin as is with all the rampant crime ”
That right there is the Global Detroit Scenario, coming soon to a neighborhood near you…
As someone that has a lot of food and other stuff stored away, in a GDS I’d want to blend in and not have the whole neighborhood talking about me. So, among other things, the handguns would stay smallish and under a shirt or jacket and long arms that people might see are ones that most of my neighbors might have and wouldn’t blink an eye at, like my .410 pump and Marlin Papoose.
It’s not about the police or local authorities, those people are gone. It’s about flying under the “neighborhood radar” and showing enough offense to make anyone that might cause you problems to move on to the next target, but not so much that the neighborhood thinks you’re a nutter or hot head that’s going to cause problems.
Now, if someone were to kick in my door when I was home they’d probably wind up looking down the barrel of a 590A1…
While I may or may not have AR-15 rifles, I do know that based upon my military experience, having a firearm IS critical to one’s survival, no matter where you are. I can think of LOTS of good reasons(as can most of you) for having dual long guns in same caliber for dual purposes. For example, my spouse thinks AR-15 rifles are “too heavy” for her to shoot, however, she does like the Mossberg MVP patrol rifles in bolt action. She does fine with those. So, guess what? I probably already made sure she has one. Doesn’t matter what kind of long gun you have, get what you can afford, but GET ONE and lots and lots of ammunition, I fear we will all need it.
My AR-15 is a Colt, Model LE6920 in 223/5.56 format and weighs 6.9 lbs unloaded. I think the MVP Scout weighs 6.75 lbs which is close to mine. My AR is semi-auto and holds 30-60 rounds depending on magazine while the Scout is bolt action and holds 11. Also the Colt is shorter at 32″-35″ while the Scout is 37.5″ long meaning the Colt is easier to wield in tight areas. So for about the same weight you get a semi auto Colt with far superior rate of fire and capacity that’s also easier to turn in confined spaces. AR all the way……
First, if the S Hits The Fan, people aren’t going to be worried about a jury trial 3 years down the road that just aint gonna happen. Second, it is entirely reasonable to buy the same gun that police departments and government agencies have researched and chosen to protect themselves and the public. Third, whether its a company or an individual, either one that operates and acts significantly out of a FEAR of litigation (or anything else) has poor judgment and is not thinking clearly or properly to best deal with the situation at hand.
“You have the right to protect it. Especially if it’s all you have to keep you alive. You thought ahead. You prepped for it. You deserve to protect it for your use.”
Pretty sure that’s not gonna stand-up in court, my friend. If you point a firearm at another human being, it better be because your life is in immediate danger. Some one stealing your Beef-a-roni supply won’t cut it.
Unless you live in Texas and they use force to gain entry into your residence. Also theft and criminal mischief after dark are protected use of deadly force under chapter 9 of the Texas penal code. A many grand jury no bills in Texas for such deadly force use.
Yep. And they didn’t even try to prosecute the man in south Houston that shot (and killed) two burglars – both in the back – that were robbing the house next door – in the middle of the day. People and cops in Houston don’t play.
Yes it will. Attempted robbery is justification to at a minimum, raise a weapon at a person. Read the law…..
Um, stealing food from me and my family definitely IS putting our lives at risk, even if it’s not immediately. Any POS who tries that is getting put down like a rabid dog.
what Walt said. (see above)
I shot the AR once on an ROTC weekend, and had a
FTF, and a stovepipe. I know all the problems with the platform have been “fixed”, but…
I’ll take my chances with something else.
Shot it once says it all!
Better to sweat on the training field than bleed on the battle field!
ten weeks of ROTC was enough to convince me that I wasn’t cut out for the military. I stayed out for the good of the country. now I can get all of the training I’ll ever need from shtfblog.
I love it. Weekend warrior who shot it ONCE and forever condemns the best SHTF platform ever. Real clear thinker this one is. Yeah…..
I believe a good air rifle can be essential. Whether’s it’s a .22 or .177, it can be used to hunt small game. The .177 pellet has this tendency to go supersonic, so the crack is much like a high speed .22lr. I have each and selected the break barrel. There are others, but most require a source of high pressure air. With a break barrel this is not a problem as no electricity is required to run a compressor. There are larger caliber air rifles, but most I found require a tank of air. IF I can find a hand pump version, I’ll get one to hunt larger game. Otherwise a crossbow is still in my future.
If the courts are still functioning then call a judge and tell him to get the f’ers off your lawn.
Otherwise get an M1, lots of 30-06 ammo and a 12 ga pump loaded with 00 buck.
ARs and M16s are POS. Got an M79 and the good stuff?
Irons you can believe in. Would prefer the M1A over the M1. Like a box mag, and ability to load from stripper clips as well.
My greatest fear is a bad situation that hasn’t gone totally haywire yet like Katrina. You have a few days where your actions make sense but a week later when things are back to normal you’ll look like a bloodthirsty loon. It almost seems better to have a total shtf scenario because then you can do what has to be done without as much fear of short term memories and jail time.
That’s an excellent point, JC! You make a decision based on the current circumstances and later on wind up looking crazy, while at the time it made perfect sense.
Some thoughts from the non-Road Warrior (the movie) end of the prepping spectrum.
I see things head towards a Global Detroit.
Knowing your neighbors, keeping to your part of town where you know the lay of the land and people see you around, blending in (if everyone else is wearing dirty clothes you wear them too), keeping a friendly but low profile, and using The Buddy System are probably the key here, not AR’s.
A couple of teenagers with pellet guns will help keep the rat population down. If some of those teens are girls it will help keep people from messing with them and help keep the pellet gun armed boys in line. They could also bring home the occasional bird or rabbit. Wouldn’t eat the rats, they’re bound to be full of diseases, fleas, and so on.
Not going out alone and having a police baton handy should scare off most threats, including feral dogs. I’ve pepper sprayed a dog before (would have rather sprayed the dog’s owner); it worked almost instantly. From the videos I’ve seen, pepper spray does the trick on humans just as well. Three people all with large canister of pepper spray displayed promantly and police batons probably aren’t going to get messed with while walking through their own neighborhood or tending their community garden.
.22 shorts will let you collect small game quietly at close range and help keep pests out of your garden without the whole universe knowing about it and of course LR rounds are good for small game at longer distances. .410 shotguns really aren’t good for much when shooting at things “on the wing.” But, treat them more like a rifle and use 3″ shells and you’ve got a good short range game getter that’s fast and easy to shoot with minimal training of the human using it or upkeep of the gun. 3″ 00 buck shells have 5 pellets in them and I’m pretty sure it would suck to get shot with those or a .410 slug.
A .410 or a .22 isn’t going to leave the the bad imprint on people that suddenly showing up around the neighborhood in full battle rattle with AR and 10 mags, a Glock, and a combat knife might. They can be had for cheap too and living debt free is a good thing in Global Detroit.
I don’t carry a handgun now and I really hope I never will. But, I do own a few. I have a concealed carry permit and have taken a few classes for self defense with handguns and shotguns and a recommend everyone have a smallish handgun and a shotgun. Hopefully you’ll only ever shoot them for fun, but the day may come when you need them for other things and if you try to get them and the training when that day comes it will probably be too late.
My “very well” trained brace of Malinois are my backup AND, with my night vision goggles, AR15, .300 Win bolt both with registered silencers and SAW keep me at peace during SHTF or whatever.
And my military issued 1911 QCB. Don’ want to forget it!
If people are concerned about being so hungry that they will have to harvest squirrels and birds and rats (in the neighborhood?!?), why wouldn’t they just stock up NOW on rice and beans and canned meats and vegetables and fruit?
Never do now what you can put off till later. That’s why some don’t prepare…..
Because sooner or later, that shit always runs out.
IMO: If it all go’s Tango Uniform EVERYBODY NOT in “your” tribe is an enemy until proven otherwise. EVERYBODY with a “government” ID is the enemy NOW. It will only get worse if it all go’s pear shaped. If “they” are putting people in ANYTHING to “take them to the camps” (FEMA or “other”) . Then “Warsaw Ghetto Rules” are in effect. Kill them ALL or watch your family die at “their” whim. The moment they claim your food, fuel, truck, OR YOU as “property of the state” , the time to use that “rifle of choice” HAS arrived. Or submit , give them all that you have and sew that cute, colorful little patch on your coat and go to the train station–you’re already dead and just don’t know it yet. The real question IMO isn’t “what weapon do you prefer?” But “will you use that weapon when the time comes?” Sadly most will see “government authority” as real and binding on them right up to the edge of the pit. It won’t matter if all real legitimate governance is gone, Most will obey the guy in the clown suit unto the death. They are just to “civilized” to survive without having something to submit to.
Seen too much death to make me hesitate even 0.1 second.
Hesitation is suicide!
For starters we are talking SHTF scenario, so I’ll take one of everything, make that 3.
For pepper spray I have bear spray, big, hot, crowd dispersing, bear spray.
I love my air rifles. Good for rodent control and small game. I suggest buying a casting for replenishing pellets.
I love the AR. I love the AK. I love the SKS. Can’t get enough 12Ga and 22 either. Wheelguns, semi’s, bolt, break-action, yes please with fries on the side.
What I don’t like…..wait a minute….I’ll think of something…..
Seriously it is hard to beat an AR platform when the going gets ugly if for no other reason, parts availabilty. Keep it clean and lubed and it will get the job done. If I am going to be sleeping in ditches and scrounging for food, give me a 22 semi. Ruger or Marlin.
I have an HK-93, in my opinion a much better 223 rifle, so no I don’t need an AR.
But the HK and the AR both are black rifles and really scare the sheep and my guess is that at some not too distant point in the future they will come under some kind of ban. I have a Marlin lever-action 357-Mag that probably will survive the ban on assault rifles that (if we are being honest) we all know is coming at some point.
I have tried (since the mid 1980s) to position a better part of my firearm collection to resist a gun ban as long as I can. I have lever actions, revolvers, bolt actions, single shot rifles and handguns that will be the last guns to be collected up. I also have semi-autos like the HK-93, M-1 Garand, and several semi-auto handgun’s.
I really like the HK, but I dont’t shoot it much any more and have been thinking about selling it as the going rate is 10X what I paid for it. It would buy a lot of silver.
My post above would have been accurate if it were not for the boating accident that took all my guns to the bottom of the lake.
I hate it when that happens…
A small, ill-equipped police force my left ear! If anything, SHTF would bring larger police forces, equipped (as more are now) with military hardware such as armored cars! The only noticeable difference will be that only the rich neighborhoods will be patrolled and only the poor-on-rich crimes will be investigated. As for the AR platform, besides being overrated and thus overpriced, it is still a much better choice than a single-shot weapon in a combat situation. As far as high-profile image, do you really think that a LEO (or anyone else) sees that you only have a handgun or a crossbow and then relaxes and breaths a sign of relief! IMHO, you should prepare to the best of your mental, physical, and financial ability or you might as well put your air gun barrel in your mouth and pull the trigger as soon as SHTF so I (and others like me) don’t have to waste ammo on you! Good guys (suckers) do finish last; DEAD last! Good Luck!
There is no second place given in the fight for your life. The guy who cheats the most in a “fair” fight usually wins.
That’s also a good point and a plausible possibility. But my previous statements about the SKS not being as threatening as you r standard AR black rifle, i’m not talking about the perspective of an LEO, I’m just saying that in the current, non-SHTF America, while the gun grabbers want all guns out of the hands of the public, I have to imagine that those aforementioned scary black ARs, AKs, Glocks, etc., would be the first to go if any antigun legislation was passed. SKS’s amd the sort would come shortly after, but probably not before high-cap “tactiCool” rifles.
Why do you consider the AR overrated? Mine is Mil spec and shorter and lighter than are most rifles, it’s a faster shooter because it is semi auto vs most rifles that are bolt action and, my AR has typically 6-8 times the capacity of a bolt gun. Also my AR is 1-2 MOA, good enough to kill anything at long distances. So….. what gun do you have that’s also semi auto that has more capacity, is lighter, is shorter and in general, better?
Stream of conscious: I just built an AR with a 1:14 twist pencil barrel (the original rifling of the AR-15, optimized for 55 grain loads). With a $190 barrel and mil-spec M193 ammo, it’s making 1.5MOA groups. I haven’t tried it with match grade ammo yet. The muzzle velocity is very high, so it’s like shooting a laser beam. It’s very light, very accurate, very manageable for my diminutive girl friend for whom I built it. And, oh, for the AR haters, it’s very reliable because I used only top-quality parts and magazines; it cost $1100 to build after paying a gunsmith to crown and mount the barrel, the flash hider, and the free-float front end. Colt SP1’s, of which I own two, are very close in performance. There are retro-AR’s being built, and selling-out, all over the country. At the speed these firearms send the 55 grain pill, it makes a mess bigger than the 7.62X39 can dream of.
If you are going for a 7.62 X 54, why not buy a .30-06, or .308 Winnie, the ammo is easier to find, and offers a LOT more options, including superior range and accuracy. Buy a gun that is chambered in 7.62 NATO, and you can buy cheap ammo to practice, or capture it. My off the shelf Remmy 700’s shoot MOA with match ammo for 3 – 5 rounds. “One shot, one kill.”
I have a match grade M1A and match grade FAL, both are scoped, reliable, approx 1.5 MOA with match ammo, but are not light-weight. I live here, this is my home, so I won’t be doing any 50 mile marches, I also have two cars, so weight doesn’t concern me. Also, I won’t be clearing any buildings, so, I don’t worry about length… I can either wait them out, or use a 300 win mag to shoot them through the walls…
Distance is life, and I can reach out very far to that at which I aim, even with my iron-sighted M1 Garand, and, I tend to gravitate towards full-power cartridge rifles, a.k.a. Battle Rifles.
However, my bug-out-bag has a SIG 556 Classic, 77 grain SMK match ammo, and 75 gr. Hornady Black 81296 hunting ammo. It’s heavier than an AR, but, it can be operated while folded… so, it is, in fact, shorter than the 16″ AR. It is an Americanized version of a Swiss re-design of the AK-47 that fires a 5.56 X 45mm cartridge up to 80 gr. from a 16″ barrel. I already have 3, and am buying every one I find for sale.
The best is to have 1 good AR and a SKS or AK backup plus one good pistol (1911) and shotgun/22 LR bolt will cover you ,,, But most forget have lots of magazines and lots extra ammo and spar parts like springs/bolts/firing pins etc ….and a good hunting/folding knife………..
Of course Ed!
Let me understand this… We are in a serious SHTF situation, we are hunkered down in a well stocked bug in, keeping a low profile, serious trouble is about to come our way and you suggest a slingshot or a bow and arrow over an AR. Enough said!To each his own.
I may also add a good hunting rifle in 3006/308 is great for deer ,(food/defense) but look into reloading (a cheap Lee press) has let me shoot during the ammo shortage but it also keeps the cost way down ..and if you do it right you can have better than factory ammo …. And you can load the bullet to meet the need small bullet for small game/big bullet for big game and FMJ for target/defense….. and you will learn more about shooting and your firearms too…. learn skills like gun smith and make repairs or up grades, skills that you can not put a price tag on…
good read thanks and yes I am a fan of the AR-15
WTAE Pittsburgh-10 hours ago
Sheriff’s deputy’s children held at gunpoint in Brookline home invasion … on Berkshire Avenue in Brookline and held two teens at gunpoint.
Hell’s here. They are crazy enough to do a home invasion at a deputy sheriffs home. Defense? Do NOT answer the door. Some of the old timers were flying crazy flags. Nazi flag might fend them off. You risk arson though because the other crazies hate nazis. Could go Bo and Luke and rig arrows with homemade charges and fly stars and bars. Best option might not be legal. Could go Burger King route and head north and get a life. And a Whopper! Shooting it out with a bunch of scum is a losing proposition. They voted themselves more benefits and rights to your property.
Watched the Gun Confiscation video at the bottom of the post.
One of the takeaways is this: If police ask if you have firearms around, just say no. (And tell any friends and family who happen to be around to say “no” also).
You tell them otherwise and they’ll just take it from you and treat you like a criminal. No thanks.
Those that discount the SKS never went to Vietnam where the Viet Cong and NVA used them against us.
Give me some M-67 Fragmentation Grenades and a small Militia Task Force to take care of these Assholes!
When all hell breaks loose and it turns out it really is every man for himself, remember the three S’s. SHOOT, SHOVEL AND SHUTUP! Nothing says don’t mess with me like a 12 gauge jacking a shell in the tube. Stay prepared my friends!
There are some recent real SHTF scenarios to learn from. What are the lessons?
– there is strength in numbers
– you need a defensible location, where the cost of attacking it is higher than the benefit of doing so
– you need something to defend it with, an AR with many thousands of rounds would be good for that (as would a grenade launcher, right?)
– you need water, food and medicine
Think of the AR as an insurance policy, and it is a good choice because there is plenty of ammo out there. Repair parts are readily available as well. In Sarajevo, TT pistols were the thing for the same reason. People would trade a few rounds of ammo for a meal.
We spend thousands on all kinds of insurance, 3 grand worth of AR, ammo, and parts should seem reasonable in that context.
To the person who is not comfortable with an AR 15, get comfortable. You may just pick one up from a dead guy as well as ammo. I am. No, I do not have an AR; however, that has not been completely ruled out. I am working with a 9 mm, my 38 special side arm and a shotgun for right now and as funds have permitted. I also have archery and a slingshot. The slingshot stays in my bag. Practice with what you have whether it is a firearm and with non-firearm.
Do you guys really see such a break down in society in a SHTF scenario rather than a call to arms by the local citizens and a de facto, ad hoc, organized local rule, local government take over? Seems to me this would make much more sense than an every man for himself route. Anyone consider pre preparing this type of arrangement with like minded groups, neighbors and community?
I wish I could.I dunno how to organise myself into that.
Fantastic blog post – I was enlightened by the info , Does anyone know where my business could possibly acquire a fillable FL FAR BAR ASIS Form copy to edit ?
I have no experience with the AR-15. I want one really bad but I’m scared. In basic training I used one and it kept failing. In Okinawa I had to recert at the marine base and was given a new rifle. It wouldn’t hit the target at 25 yards. The instructor stot it and said the barrel must be bent. I had to wait until everyone else was done and borrow a rifle. In 2009 I got a job in Afghanistan at a small army FOB. The outside FOB got attacked. The base had a one sheet newspaper and I read soldiers stories of how their M4s were failing in the fire fight. But I don’t hear these stories on the civilian side. Everybody says their AR is the best thing since sliced bread. So I’m confused. Are these ARs really that good? I really want a semi-auto for shtf but and I admit I don’t have any experience with ARs. Will they really work?
Myself personally,like the AR-design,but not a fan of the(5.56/223)AR-15 cartridge,having technically never fired an AR-15,but many versions of the M-16 while in the service.If I stayed with the design,it would be most likely an AR-10.To be if it’s an EMP/CME)basically total WROL,I’m going(hopefully)be hunkered down in my abode.So a rifle to me is not going to be as useful as my 12-gauge.Or even close range my CZ-Scorpion(pistol caliber)Rifle,Military Caliber Rifle Cartridge Firearms are for distance use(in general)If I have to bug out then that’s a different story.Then I take my AK-47(Arsenal)To the task,and my AR-7,survival rifle and 22 ammo for hunting.
What is your environment? Urban? A pump twelve-gauge shotgun with lots of ammo works just fine. Same as .22 Long Rifles if you are a good shot and have lots of ammo to throw downrange. Most A-holes do NOT want to get shot by anyone with any bullet. If you are facing some organized para-military group then you may have a problem. Most Gangs (30 years as an LEO) are not that organized, like random drive-bys over actual gun battles. Have a defensible position, lots of ammunition, know how to shoot, and trust no one if the SHTF is for real. If you live in the flat land of North Dakota, obtain a longer-ranged Semi-Auto if possible. Just ask some Afghan Vets about being sniped at by an old 303 Enfield. Remember. LOTS OF AMMUNITION. Big 5 will not be open.
I use a sock with a bar of soap for defense. Very safe and I’ll be used to it If I go to prison for violence after I’m stabbed or shot first.