which survival rifle


July 4, 2006, 10:05 AM
Hi All. Recently the gun god has let me know its time to buy a semi auto . I'm pulling my hair out as to which to buy.
I want some thing small and light with some range if thats possible. Not crazy about .223 and 30 06 is too much kick.
Aks are a little too clunky for me although i like the round.
upon reading sugestions in threads, I liked the kel tecs and c 4 storm. I'm afraid that the 9mm won't have any range. My favorite by looks is the bushmaster m175 bull pup. I'm not familiar with 5.56mm. I know this is alot.
Would appreciate any help.
I preferr my shotgun for HD

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July 4, 2006, 10:23 AM
firstly .223 is the same as 5.56NATO.[well, there are infantesimal differences but it's basically the same thing]

i'd suggest .308, perhaps in a FAL, M1A, CETME, G3, or PTR-91.

if you like 7.62commie but not the AK, perhaps you'd like a Ruger Mini-30, although i heard there's kinda crappy, bad accuracy, etc. so in that case you can use an SKS, though they load with stripper clips, then again they don't take that much longer to load, IIRC.

9mm in a carbine for a good fun gun but IMO not much more.

It really depends on what you want it for. judging by your title you want an SHTF gun, which in that case, what i suggested is good.


Deer Hunter
July 4, 2006, 10:56 AM
Ah, the M17S. I was really planning on getting one of those before I fell in love with the FAL.

I suggest an FAL or any other .308 battle rifle. An SKS would make a great gun as well, for much cheaper.

July 4, 2006, 11:41 AM
Thought you said you wanted a survival rifle?

I was thinking like an AR-7 or papoose or M6

Guess I was mistaken

See ya

July 4, 2006, 12:39 PM
get a combo of take down 22 semi auto rifle, and 6 in bbl 22 semi auto stainless.
these will both fill quite the bill. If you are looking for real survival type situation, weight will be your biggest enemy in everything you do. the heaviest round , and weapons, and mags you need to be lugging around is 223/556.

July 4, 2006, 12:40 PM
Thanks for the input.
I like the mini 30 and its in my price range. But not if its not a good gun. How did I know this was going to cost me 1500!? The M1A is bad to the bone. Guess I"m going to have to save some money.

Thanks kid, It was me that was mistaken then.

July 4, 2006, 12:46 PM
I tend to use a Lee Enfield No4 in this role and would use a No5 if I had one. Its a tad heavy compared to most modern designs yes. However its nigh impossible to break and I seen them thrown off cliffs, picked up and fired without problems. Its can be chambered with a round nice and silently or extremely fast. Its fairly accurate too and extremely easy to do field repairs too it. For the role of a survival rifle it has everything I could need. Its even better if you can get one chambered in .308win suchas the No9 or one of the many conversions done commercially in the US. In commonwealth countries it can be just as easy to keep it in .303 British.

July 4, 2006, 12:53 PM

These are a couple that I sort of threw together


Both New England Frearms

Both youth models

one is 223 the other 20 gauge

The stocks have hollow compartments as do the fore ends and I added the bullet carriers.

I like them both but I am finding with the 223 I can make heavy and reduced loads for different game

They also break down fairly easy for carry.

Just sharing

July 4, 2006, 01:16 PM
My two cents.
The Springfield Armory M1A Scout Squad would be perfect. It's not really meant for targetshooting but it could be tuned for decent MOA groups at 200 yards.
Hard to beat the .308 for hitting power at close range and the recoil isn't that harsh compared to the .30-06.

July 4, 2006, 03:38 PM
You should look into a kel-tec they wont cost you 1500 and they look to be very well built guns.

July 4, 2006, 04:31 PM
Something like a Rem 514 that will accept .22 short, long, or long rifle.
Simple, reliable, iron sights are tough, not dependent on magazines.
Great for small game, with some of the new offerings like the more CB longs, and quiet rounds - one is less likely to draw attention to themselves with shots fired.

Bolt gun like CZ 452...
Marlin Lever action...
Marlin 60 is another favortite of mine
Remington Nylon 66 [ butt fed model]

If matters are serious, and one needs to survive on small game, pest control around or in quarters - a .22 is one must have IMO.

Ammo...lots and lots of ammo for the monies spent. That ammo is great for barter as well.
Just like wicks for oil lamps, or flints, or ...

Just a thought on something not costing a lot, not dependent on so much as if matters are that serious, the corner gunsmith is not going to be handy.

July 4, 2006, 04:45 PM
SKS. Won't cost you squat if you decide you don't like it.

July 4, 2006, 04:50 PM
These are a couple that I sort of threw together


Both New England Frearms

Both youth models

one is 223 the other 20 gauge

The stocks have hollow compartments as do the fore ends and I added the bullet carriers.

I like them both but I am finding with the 223 I can make heavy and reduced loads for different game

They also break down fairly easy for carry.

Just sharing

Rossi makes a .223/20ga Combo that usually sells for the price of one NEF.
BTW if you buy the NEF .223 Survivor you can send in the receiver and purchase your choice of shotgun (and rifle) barrels.

July 4, 2006, 04:56 PM
If you are living of small game it be easier to set up traps and snares rather than relying on shooting, especially if you have a limited amount of rounds and it be useless against larger animals that are dangerous. Not to say you shouldn't and it can be quite successful but a few dozen snares is much easier and allows you to concentrate on other matters.

July 5, 2006, 08:12 AM
I agree it, sounds like you really want a battle rifle, a SHTF gun. Not a survival rifle.

Simply put, here you go:

7.62 NATO (.308) for real power at nearly any range. Totable in a package like the FAL or CETME. Heavy and uber reliable in the M14/SOCOM.

5.56 NATO (.223) Lots of rounds you can carry - get an AK chest bandolier. Deadly close in, harmful at range.

7.62x39 (COMBLOC .30) 10 Loaded mags in bandoliers means a lot of supression and rugged/reliable in AK form. Power like 30-30, past 200 yds, your stretching it.

All of these are available & affordable today for stockpiling. A quality weapon in any of them will hold you in good stead.

My 1st choice? M14 in the lightest weight compy stock I can find. AK second choice

July 5, 2006, 12:17 PM
Pick up a really nice Yugo SKS for cheap, buy a ton of rounds, and shoot. If you don't like it, you'll just be out the cost of the rounds because you can get your money back out of the Yugo if you want to sell it.

Personally though, if we're talking about just survival and not self-defense, a good .22 is probably best.

July 5, 2006, 12:18 PM
A couple of good choices on the lower end of the price range:

Kel Tec SU16 - light, foldable, seems to be reliable from all accounts. .223 is not to be taken lightly, especially if you get soft-point ammo, which the military cannot use. Has long range and good accuracy. $450

Saiga - a refined, accurate AK. You can get them in .223 or 7.62x39, and they are very accurate, and hell for durable. They don't look so scary because they are set up like sporting rifles with rifle stocks, etc. High capacity magazines require some additonal work, but you can also get folding stocks for portability if you are willing to add some American parts to the rifle $270

SKS - Inexpensive, but well made and very durable military surplus rifle that is much loved at THR. It is fairly accurate, especially if you add the aftermarket TechSight, and get one with a decent bore. It shoots 7.62x39, and one feature is that you don't have to worry about buying expensive magazines because it has a fixed 10-rounder which is probably plenty for everybody but Rambo. You charge the magazine with stripper clips (25 cents each!). Some, especially the Yugoslavian ones, are not so compact, but you can add a true folding stock, (like the Saiga/AK, but unlike the AR rifles) if you add a few American parts. Also comes with a bayonet for when you are in the trenches. 7.62x39 is plenty good out to 250 -300 yrds, beyond that it is dropping fast. $150

It all comes down to money and what you want the rifle to do. You could also do just fine with a used lever gun from the pawn shop in .30-30 for 99% of all survival scenarios. I would say just pick a decent one in a rifle caliber and practice, practice, practice until you have total confidence in your abilities with the rifle.

Me, I have a bunch of different rifles and will wait to see if the survival scenario involves zombies, locusts, or a UN airborne invasion before deciding which rifle to pull from the safe. But I have always thought that a decent lever or semi rifle and an accurate .22 pistol could do most everything you could need for survival in terms of defense and hunting big and small game.

By the way, if you are interested in survival, you should check out Near Death Experiments, which is a survival (not survivalist) web forum set up by a member here:


July 5, 2006, 02:41 PM
As your empasis is on survival,it's hard to beat a 30-30 in Winchester or Marlin. If you do not reload, Academy Sports has their store brand,Monarch, in 30-30. It is accurate and expands well.
I have full confidence in true 5.56 M193 if you go the route of Bushmaster.

Brian Williams
July 5, 2006, 03:32 PM
You said Survival Rifle, yet you have one of the best, a win92 clone. I would have what ever hunting rifle or my 1894C along in a situation where I might be lost out wherever along with a Colt woodsman or my S&W 65.

July 5, 2006, 03:53 PM
For capable carbine I suggest Marlin lever-action in 357Mag or 44 Mag.

For rifle I suggest Remington 7600 pump in 234 or 308 with a 10-round after-market magazines.

The advantages of those over semi-autos is they are reliable with wide selection of ammo, cheap to practice a lot, very fast to shoot and not subject to as many legal restrictions.


Matt King
July 5, 2006, 04:04 PM
Marlin .44 1894.

July 6, 2006, 01:35 AM
One SHTF firearm that i own, use and trust completely is my Springfield Armory M6 scout rifle /shotgun combo seen below, with extras:


it has a .22 LR barrel up top and a .410 shotgun barrel on the bottom. it came in both Parkerized and Stainless steel. i obviously chose the stainess steel for wear and durability. it is a break action single shot with a full choke SG barrel, so slugs are not recommened, nor all that accurate. its rear sight flips to one setting or another one is a peepsight for the rifle and a V notch sight for the shotgun.

I made many additions and modifications to mine over time, most of which i owe to a web site posted by VShrake who had modified his and gave away all the techneques his on web site:http://www.oldjimbo.com/survival/v-shrake/m6.html.

for the basic gun i started by taking a dremel to the front sight and under-cut it, like the front sights on a target model ruger pistol, then i painted the finished undercut and the rear of the back peep sight black. this made sighting in bright light much easier. i also removed the rediculous trigger guard that some lawyer insisted they needed for safety, it was uncomfortable and useless. a hammer extention from Cabellas was put on the hammer to make it easier to cock when im cold or quickly in an emergency. i then removed the sling stud on the buttstock and replaced it with a removable stud so i could take the sling off and on as needed with removable sling swivels. next i made a sling out of 1" wide tubular webbing with a slide adjustment for length. On the sling, as you can see in the above picture, i bought 2 nylon folding knife sheaths that can hang either vertically or horizontally. in one sheath i got a Silvia brand match holder/compass container. in the other i have a mini-maglite, AAA cell battery size flashlight and a swiss army knife.

the next addition to this fine weapon/tool is a "holster" carrying case that is sold by Springfield Armory:

It is black ballistic nylon with a pocket on one side and a long peice of webbing sewn onto the side of the case at intervals. it allows storage of the gun when it is diassembled into 2 peices in the pocket i have packed 25 ft of paracord 550, fishing kit with 2 or 3 yo-yo automatic fishing reel, line, sinkers, hooks. also have a 4" CRK&T M16 folding knife in the pocket, water purification tabs, a rolled up Platypus collapsible 1 quart water bag.if im going out camping in the boonies i carry 4 Thompson brand steel snares, 2 small, 2 medium.

On the web strap on the other side: i bought 3 folding rifleshell ammo wallets that hold 7 rounds in each pouch. in these i keep 14 winchester shotshells of .410, and 7 shells of .410 000 buckshot either 3 or 5 pellet loads. in a large "mollie" type mag pouch i found that 2 100 round plasitc boxes of CCI Mini-mag HP's fit in there perfectly. Along with the ammo on the case, the combo gun can store 15 rounds of .22 shells and 4 , .410 shells in a holder in the buttstock, just open the top of the comb and it opens to reveil the ammo.

i have hunted squirrels successfully with both the shot gun and the rifle, i find the sights to be fairly accurate. for hunting, the .22 shells and shotshells will work very well for small game and possiblyfor self defanse. however i feel that the 000 buckshot could take a small deer if proper shot placement is done and you are closer to the game. the 000 buckshot may also work well for self defence against humans, cougar, and , if used close up, a blackbear; heck, its better than nothing!

this firearm has been discontinued but you can still find them on the used market, pawn shops or mostly gun shows.

when it comes to a survival arm, i like to cheat and not just carry a rifle, i like to have both rifle and shotgun; along with which i carry a Ruger MK II 22/45, P4, 4" BBL as a companion peice. good luck, -Eric

July 7, 2006, 11:30 AM
Super post! Alas, the link doesnt work.

July 7, 2006, 11:54 AM

Go there and then scroll down to the link on the page.
Great info.

July 8, 2006, 02:01 PM
thanks for all the information.
I've decided on a kel-tec charlie su-16 c in .223
I know it wasn't my original choice on round but its light and I like the size and price 529.00.
Now if only I could find one.

Working Man
July 8, 2006, 02:20 PM
The bushmaster m17s bull pup is sadly out of production.

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