SHTF Rifle conceptual fallacies? (long)


June 10, 2003, 01:57 PM
You were warned.:D

I have a Garand. This past weekend I went shooting with some friends who own “black” rifles because they were kind enough to let me shoot them if I brought some ammo so I could research my next purchase. One has an M4rgery and another AR set up like an A2, the other a Polish AK clone and a DSA FAL. I brought the M1 at their insistence, because the “PING!” grabs everyone’s imagination.

I have shot all of these types of rifles I don’t own before. In their own ways, each is cool. I have been researching finally acquiring an AR or AK or FAL, but shooting them along with my Garand, I found myself thinking about getting, well, another Garand.


We only have a 200yd range to shoot at so we did some shooting at 100 and then moved out to maximum. Even at that distance, the Garand is basically “battle zeroed.” The AK was extremely sloppy at this range, justifying the reputation of the 7.62x39 as something of an inaccurate cartridge. The FAL was fairly decent at 200 and the A2 AR did better than the FAL, the carbine worse than the FAL and the A2, though the A2 had a red dot on top of it so who knows if that was the difference. My rifle, while no MOA champion, did some fairly decent coffee cup sized groups at 200 consistently grouping the best in the most positions for the most shooters. I think the sights hamper the AK and the FAL somewhat, with the Garand having some of the best combat sights ever put on a rifle. The AR’s are similar, but not as good in the adjustability department.

So all could hit the target and all but the AK seemed to have decent range to spare, but all we could have done is get smaller targets to simulate more distance and that is not what we were up to, just plinking for fun.

What interested me was that my rifle was the only one that did about the same in the standing, sitting, and prone firing positions, really shining in the last position. The AK was particularly awkward in prone, with the FAL being the least offensive of the box hangers in that position. I also had the only “pre-ban” hence had the only bayonet in my gear FWIW.

I really came away liking the AR, but not the 5.56 round. I appreciated the AK as a really rugged and decent rifle for a short range encounter but the 7.62x39 is limiting. Nothing stopped the AK whereas the A2 had some ejection problems late in the morning. The FAL was nice in concept, but somehow ergonomically not my cup of tea. The top of the receiver also seems extra flimsy. The Garand was just the Garand, it always fired and it was hard to miss with it.

When we were all done, sitting around with the actions open, we get to BSing about “combat rifle theory.” This is the old SHTF rifle topic. I appreciate the reliability argument for the AK, the availability and customizeability of the AR series, the hard hitting round and cheap mags of the FAL (firepower). I didn’t argue that my 60 year old rifle had it all over these more modern rifles, for the civilian shooter, but that it is what I think after this session.

I often hear that old saw, “The Army found that most firefights were short range affairs and that a 800-1000 yard capable battle rifle was the wrong tool for this kind of fight.” That is true, insofar that it matters that many conscripts and many recruits shooting experienced as civilians, but “nervous in the service” as privates may have never managed to hit anything with any rifle. However, the “close in” weapon like the AR or AK is the byproduct of a doctrine of combined arms that doesn’t hold for the civilian shooter’s SHTF rifle.

No one I know of will be calling in arty or CAS for that engagement that could take place at the edge of effective assault rifle range if the SHTF scenario comes about. Then again, someone shooting at such targets with their rifle would probably be better advised to avoid engagement if possible. However, having the option to reach out that far if necessary is an inestimable advantage the FAL and the Garand held out of this group of rifles.

Close in, I am not going to be doing dynamic entries on my own or any other conceivable thing that would require instant volume of fire. So I found myself once again questioning how an AR or AK, or FAL, with its equivalent round and even higher capacity than the Garand, would fit into the conception of my battery of only having fireams that I perceive a “need” for and will actually practice with. I don’t buy rifles just to make noise and blast cans, I take marksmanship to be a serious skill that needs a serious approach. It might be that a bolt rifle would be the best SHTF rifle after all, but for the fact that mine would be a lefty bolt and not shareable easily with my wife or the majority of my friends, is the reason mine is semi-auto. The Garand is a fine ambi-friendly weapon.

In conclusion, I have abandoned my desire for a black rifle and now will get another CMP Garand and have it restored to be as nearly identical to the H&R M1, or maybe I will finally break down and buy my companion plinker an M1 Carbine.

I do see the point of these other battle and assault rifles, but they have been decontextualized from their combat doctrines and for the Garand, it acquits itself well as an all-arounder even after all of these years since it was dropped in the late 50s as the combat rifle. So the Garand doesn’t fit the modern combat doctrine that centers on the M4 as the main small arm? Who cares? The individual civilian rifleman needs the old school weapon if the SHTF, because there will likely be no supporting arms to call upon to make up for the range and power limitations that the assault rifles bring, and little need for the more rapid punch of the FAL.

Really, who is going to have a 180 round engagement on their own and live to tell the tale?

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June 10, 2003, 02:14 PM
The M1 Garand is fine for all the reasons you stated. The only rub now is the other three calibers have cheep surplus ammo commonly available while the cheap 30/06 is becoming rarer. It was different 20 years ago. :cool:

June 10, 2003, 02:16 PM
Well GEEZ, if you're gonna burst our black rifle SHTF bubble, then we should all sell our military styled rifles (including you) and buy a Remington 870 for SHTF... :D

The only way that ANY of us (including you) would need the power that our rifles bring to bear would be if Zombies rose from their graves, big, mean (but not too smart) aliens landed, or giant spiders emerged from some radioactive cave

Otherwise, the only thing you'll be defending yourself from would be the roving hoards of looting do-bad'ens taking advantage of a national crisis situation. And it don't matter if they're all carrying torches and wearing "kill the natives" T-shirts, it's going to be HAAARD to explain to a judge 12 months later why you took that 500 yard shot ;)

Jon Coppenbarger
June 10, 2003, 02:22 PM
the garand is a fine weapon and is still considered (at least by me) as the finest battle weapon made ever for the individual.

if you can shoot that and hit what you want and be comfy with it go and run with it as it should be your choice.

but do not ever make the mistake that the other guy is as bad of a shot as your shooting buddies are.

I can give them a rifle that shoots or have them shoot the same weapon two minutes after someone shoots a national record and those same friends of yours would still be unskilled marksman with that rifle.
so what does that say?
you can shoot most any rifle if you are good enough with it.

I usually shoot a ar15 and in highpower matches but have also shot a garand in one and get this a sar-1 ak rifle also in a match

granted my scores are alot higher with my ar15 but I used the garand a little over a month ago in a match and set a course record for the garand at that range and 75% of the guys use those at that match with 1955 gi ammo. been 20 years since I fired a garand.
3 years ago before I even picked up a rifle for matches after 9 years of not shooting I thought I would have some fun so I just took myself to a match with a sar-1 ak and I took 3rd out of over 30 shooters at 100,200 and 300 meters.
pretty funny I thought so. and get this 80% of them were active gi's. ar's and the such
when I decided to get back into matches my first match with a ar15 was in a windy rain storm.
I only took 3rd but I thought a 453 out of 500 two points out of first was not bad for a 10 year layoff.

so my point is this beware of the guy that does not consider most weapons as holding them back as all you need to do is understand how and what each weapon's strengths and setbacks are.

if you are seeking weapon for shtf a garand is allright but alot of folks have decided that a smaller caliber is easier to carry and you can find you can carry more 308,223 or 7.62x39 than 30-06.
but if the garand is what I had trust me I would use it and hope to use it well.

six 4 sure
June 10, 2003, 02:37 PM
Have you shot a M14/M1A? Just courious where you think it might fall in the mix.


Art Eatman
June 10, 2003, 02:39 PM
Still, the only way you can decide on whatevr weapon for SHTF is after you have figured probablilities and how they would affect your situation.

City is different from country. A rabbit-warren apartment complex is different from mid- to up-scale residential. Size and makeup of family, and their ages and training. And, what reliance can be placed upon one's neighbors.

After youve done this sort of homework, then you can make an intelligent decision about weaponry.


June 10, 2003, 02:40 PM
Well, please don't misunderstand me. I am not knocking those other rifles. I was knocking my own preconceptions of why I was shopping for one.

I have to admit that I do find some folks' fascination with tricking out flattop ARs with all of the bells and whistles to be akin to owning an Airsoft that actually fires bullets.:scrutiny:

I was also not trying to break my arm patting my own back for how clever I was buying a Garand. Heck, I bought one after watching the Band of Brothers box set on DVD. Some rationale huh?

Nevertheless, over time, I have come to see the virtues of the M1 rifle for those willing to master it. That is not the same as saying no other choice has virtues of its own, just that my rifle already filled the bill for any conceivable role it would be pressed into. Shooting it alongside those rifles I sought to supplant it in the SHTF role only reaffirmed that the Garand wasn't suffering by comparison practically, only from doctrinal obsolecence.

I don't need to take a 500 yard shot, but it is nice to know that if for whatever reason I had to try one, my sights click adjust out well past that range. For example, lethal force in the defense of third parties wrongfully being subjected to grevious bodily harm or lethal force themselves is not limited by distance. No one in the world would've "true billed" a civilian rifleman for picking off Reginald Denny's attacker in the LA riots if all that were available were a 600 yard COM shot while Damien "Football" Williams was about to spike a brick into Denny's head. Yes it would be a rare circumstance, but not a shot I'd attempt with an AK for instance.

As for the cost of .30-06, I shoot .45 ACP, I am used to paying more and reloading.:D

As for the M1A, I have always been intrigued by the original, not so much by the repros, and never enchanted by the cost of the spare mags. I think I might rechamber yet another Garand in 7.62x51 before spending that much money to be able to have 12 more rounds on tap.

Double Naught Spy
June 10, 2003, 03:34 PM
I think a significant conceptual fallacy is that some folks feel an ideal open battlefield weapon such as the Garand will also be ideal for their home defense/shtf situations and most of those folks are not living on a ranch in Montana with long distance views. Of the recent SHTF real life incidents that come to mind, only the UT Clocktower sniper incident comes to mind as one where the Garand would have excelled over shorter carbines. The Watts riots, post sporting event riots, North Hollywood bank robbery, etc., certainly would not have been ideal situations for a Garand and would have typically been better for shotguns, slug guns, carbines, and even full-size black rifles.

The Garand is a great gun, but GIs noted significant shortcomings for door to door city fighting, building clearing, and jungle fighting.

June 10, 2003, 03:44 PM
The Garand, in the hands of a trained rifleman, would've done just fine in the North Hollywood incident. One shot to each of the badguys' heads, problem solved.

As for sporting event riots...if there's a riot going on in your town, why are you running around shooting people? Stay in your home, hunker down with your 12 gauge and wait until it blows over. Leaving the house by yourself and trying to play Rambo will not end well.

June 10, 2003, 04:09 PM
I don't discuss the SHTF scenarios much, but after saying that, I would rely on either my Garand or my FAL in any situation and feel comfortable. They are my two favorite rifles hands down, but I have a hard time picking between the two. If I am in a building, like my home during a home invasion/burgalry, I would grab my Springfield XD-9 with some extra hi-cap mags, or my Smith&Wesson .357 six shooter. Pistols are much better suited for indoors, I think.

Jon Coppenbarger
June 10, 2003, 04:37 PM
m1a lets see?
I love those things as I can make them dance with the best but the garand is a proven old work horse and as art says it depends on what you think you would need.
I will not say exactly what rifles are in our safe but it is safe to safe all of the mentioned ones are accounted for.

if I hear a noise or I need to grab a rifle real fast its going to be my ak.
if I'am going out side or on a trip alot of other weapons might just get the nod.

but let me say this a ak47 and lots of ammo fits real well into a cloth typical clothes sports duffle.

the heck with that puny .45 I always have around as that ak47 is nice when the bad folks are kicking your door in at 2 am at the local motel 6 in wherever.
how many clerks do you think would pee all over themselfs if they had any ideal what you had in that bag?

hey I broke out my band of brothers over the weekend and on part 4 again maybe tonight. great show.
I think its the crossroads tonight or maybe thats 5 oh well will most likely load those nasty 80 gr. smk's for my ar15 tonight. might just process some more brass also.

if my history is correct whitman's main weapon was a m1 carbine.
he was a credit to the marines as they taught them guys to shoot back in those days.

June 10, 2003, 04:43 PM
I really can't imagine any SHTF scenarios over 200 yards. If there are, I hope the BGs will hold still. That's a heck of a shot under pressure with iron sites.

One shot to each of the BGs head in the north Hollywood robbery with just about any rifle would have been sufficient. Would that shot have been taken too far for a .223 to be effective?

I think the M1 is really cool, but I don't see how it would be practicle as a self-defense weapon which I would think 99% of SHTF scenarios would be. Of course that's all just speculative on my part.

June 10, 2003, 04:46 PM
Would that shot have been taken too far for a .223 to be effective?

Not necessarily, but the implication was that some kind of whiz-bang large capacity weapon would've been necessary to settle the North Hollywood shootout.

June 10, 2003, 04:56 PM
Not necessarily, but the implication was that some kind of whiz-bang large capacity weapon would've been necessary to settle the North Hollywood shootout.

point taken. Not to get too far off topic, would the .30-06 penetrate body armor (like the N Hollywood guys had) better than the .223?

June 10, 2003, 05:04 PM
Depends on the load. 55 grain .223 FMJ fragments, people say, so some might fragment in body armor. Almost all rifle rounds will penetrate up to Level IIIA soft body armor.

Level III armor requires a steel or ceramic plate, and it will stop .223 FMJ (including SS109, IIRC), 7.62x39, and .308.

Level IV armor requires a HEAVIER steel or ceramic plate that and will stop at least one round of .30-06 Armor Piercing (168 grain steel core, I believe).

.30-06AP will go through an awful lot, though.

June 10, 2003, 05:08 PM
I would not feel under-gunned with my Garand at all. I simply accept the fact that said rifle would be hitting the deck as I transitioned to my Beretta 92, if my rounds ran out at a critical moment.

That's also why I have a bayonet for the Garand, as well as the knowledge that a well-placed buttstroke will ruin the BG's day.

I like the en-bloc clip's ability to be placed just about anywhere, including the sling and LBE straps. I can reload that old rifle in short order, but that's still not fast enough when the BG is right in front of me, with a loaded weapon.

In all fairness to the above however, I have only practiced quick transition to sidearm with a properly slung rifle, i.e. an AR-15 or an M1 Carbine with a paratrooper stock (allows top-mounted sling points). Letting my Garand fall to the deck is not appealing, but what are you going to do when you NEED your sidearm NOW?

I also own an Enfield #1 MkIV, but again it is important to understand the limitations of a reload with this weapon. An accurate sidearm with a high-capacity magazine is, IMO, an important addition to such a rifle.

A third appealing option is my M1 Carbine used with reliable 30-round magazines. Useless at over 300 yards, without a doubt, but tempting nonetheless for firepower.

Honestly, the AR-15 seems like the best choice for when the SHTF, but damn if it ain't as cool as my old WWII workhorses.

June 10, 2003, 05:15 PM
As for sporting event riots...if there's a riot going on in your town, why are you running around shooting people? Stay in your home, hunker down with your 12 gauge and wait until it blows over.
I think that's the point...
Most SHTF scenarios SHOULD involve staying home and hunkering down. If you're not AT home, and your name isn't Art Eatman, well you probably don't have your (insert SHTF Rifle here) anyway.

So in a REALISTIC SHTF scenario, given my choice of Garand, 870, or AR, I'd pass the Garand EVERY time, and probably skip the AR 2 times out if 3.

Now, on the other hand, were they aliens, like the big, hairy white ones from the Mike's Hard Lemonade commercial, then I'd take the Garand if I couldn't have my FAL :D

June 10, 2003, 05:17 PM
Roger that! After a hard day of poking aliens with my 10" Garand bayonet, I deserve a Mike's.

The poking is mighty! (

June 10, 2003, 05:33 PM
I tend to let the guys that have actually seen combat be the judge of what cuts it.

The M4 is a highly controversial weapon.

The Garand had issues in Korea. Guys that had to deal with human waves didn't like it all that much.

What's the biggest myth in the firearms world?? People don't drop when they are shot once. Multiple rounds even from a rifle is what it takes.

Every new shooter that I've taken to the range has shot better with my AR15 and Beretta, than my FAL and Colt 1991A.

June 10, 2003, 05:37 PM
Every new shooter that I've taken to the range has shot better with my AR15 and Beretta, than my FAL and Colt 1991A.

So what does this say for more experienced shooters?

June 10, 2003, 05:40 PM
So what does this say for more experienced shooters?

They should exploit their skills with more powerful and precise weapons.

Remember what happened to the two Delta snipers in Mogadeshu? They probable had a pretty high kill ratio but they were still over-run.

Mob situations still happen even in America. They've happened in LA and they've happened in Chicago and Philadelphia.

I wouldn't want to go into a fire-fight by myself with a match barrel on a M1A. I'd rather have guys with A2's around me just incase things go crazy. In an all out SHTF situation I think the amount of ammo you have and the number of magazines you have matters more.

If you want to defend yourself with an M1 Garand.... I'll back you up with my FAL or AR.

June 10, 2003, 06:04 PM
It's good to run across someone who also isn't impressed with the ergonomics of the pistol-grip guns. Can't stand 'em myself. Just don't feel right. Not to knock 'em for other folks, I just don't really want one.

And in a tight spot, prone is a good thing. 'Sone of the reasons a Bren gun is nominally better than a BAR. Let's you suck more dirt should the need arise, with no mag out the botom. I'm all for being a smaller target whilst I shoot back.

Cartridge power is a relative thing. I can see good uses for a flat-bottom .223 or 7.62 x 39. But then, I prefer double taps to 3-shot bursts also. Give me a semi any time, as I prefer to control my timing rather than shoot "fields" or "spreads".

June 10, 2003, 08:24 PM
I had drill this past weekend down at Camp Edwards, Massachusetts. My guys got to spend three hours (as opposed to the usual 20 minutes) on the FATS course, the indoor firearms training simulator.

As usual I adopted my philosophy of never shooting at something I can't see except when specifically providing covering fire. Most of the scenarios we ran did not require covering fire, so I chose my shots very carefully. I kept up a shot/hit ratio of about 50% for semi, 25% for burst. This was the best ratio on the line by a very wide margin.

The instructors continually complained that I was not putting enough rounds down range. I told them that I wasn't in the habit of wasting ammo in the "spray and pray" fashion. Their answer was that ammo conservation was not an issue since each scenario was programmed with 150 rounds per man.

I kept my logistical objections to this to myself. They were much happier with me on iterations that required cover fire, but that was because we were supposed to be providing cover fire for troops moving on the objective. I've done this before plenty of times out in field training so of course I popped off more than a couple magazines. It's practically the only time they even let us place our A2s on burst so why not? :D Not to mention what it did to my hit ratio (can you say 5%?)

For the SHTF scenarios, working together is of course of paramount importance. Just like we attempt to stagger reloads between the riflemen and support the SAWs and 60s when they reload, the small teams we might find ourselves in need to be coordinated enough to support each other. If cowboys like me want to carry a Garand for it's hard-hitting power and ability to penetrate medium cover, fine. I'd much rather have a couple of buddies with ARs or AKs covering my back.

I imagine with a good fire team or squad, everybody can carry what they please without compromising themselves. Except, perhaps, if everybody chooses a Ruger #1!

June 10, 2003, 09:04 PM
I own ARs and an M1. I have owned an AK. One of my best friends owns an FAL and I have fired it to some extent. I am not reallly into the whole SHTF thing, but it is fun to discuss. Out of all those rifles mentioned I prefer the AR. To me, the reasons make sense. The AR is lightweight. If I had to actually carry the rifle, this is important. The AR accepts 30 round mags. The AR allows you to easily top off a partially expended magazine. The AR allows the use of a tac sling. I can carry more ammo, easily than I can with the M1. The standard run of the mill AR is more accurate than a standard run of the mill M1. The AR allows easy mounting of accessories that I (repeat I) feel are either nessessary or make things much easier; things like an optical sight, or a weapons light, or even a scope. I can add these accessories in seconds and remove them just as fast. I can also easily add or remove a suppressor on the AR.
The AR doesn't give up anything in terms of long range accuracy, although there is no question that it gives up significantly more power at long range.
The AR is much easier to control for multiple target engagements or double taps, or failure drills.
Indoors the AR is much easier to handle, and presents less danger of overpenetration.

June 10, 2003, 09:04 PM
In WWII, the G.I.s found the M1 rifle to be too long in close in urban warfare. Many troops looked to the Tommy gun or the grease gun for this roll. Those guns preformed that task better than the M1 but at longer range, the M1 was still better. It is all about the situation, not every rifle will do every task well.

The reason why many people and military are going to the shorter assult type rifles is that the senario that they envision is probably a close in urban fight rather than shooting at people at 500 yards.

June 10, 2003, 09:49 PM
As for sporting event riots...if there's a riot going on in your town, why are you running around shooting people?

You dont want to be DIFFERENT do you?! :neener:

Wild Bill
June 10, 2003, 09:58 PM
Boats, a few thoughts on your SHTF choices.

First off I love my Garand. The only thing that bothers me about a post apocalypse walk-about with it is re-supply in 30.06. Not a popular cartridge if I’ve gotta try and steal it from whatever opfor there may be. 7.62 and 223 should be a safe bet though.

Forget the mag vs clip stuff. Either is just as fast to reload, and clips store easier. Beyond the round, there’s no great advantage to the M1A for me.

Trained on the C1 so I have a penchant for, and more familiarity with, the FAL. You mentioned an issue with the FAL sight system. If you ever lean towards an FAL swap out the junk sights for a Canadian issue 1000 meter aperture sight. Problem solved.

AR’s are fun toys – easy to shoot, light, and compact; but they just don’t do it for me. No offense folks, it's just a personal preference.

Don’t think we’ll see the SHTF in this life, so I haven’t really spent much time on the issue of what to take. Likely mine would be the FAL or the Garand while my sweetie would favor the AR (for weight issues if nothing else).

Buy another Garand. Even if you change you preference later you’ve still got a couple of nice pieces of history on hand. Given your penchant for history that’s the deal maker, FWIW.

June 10, 2003, 11:20 PM
I owned a Garand at one time, and I hate that I sold it. But in my experience with it I thought it was great although a bit on the heavy side.

I took it deer hunting in California and saw a deer at about 600yds, even though those sights are good, they're not that good. The front post covered up the entire deer.
At that point I had realized that this rifle was not sufficient enough for hunting at those ranges without being scoped.

I bought a Remmy 700 in .30-06 and scoped it with a Redfield 3X9 and then came to the realization that 600yds was pushing it even for this set-up.
I still own a Remmy 700 in .30-06 and also own a milled receiver SLR-95. I can consistently hit the 3X2 steel plate at 300yds with the entire magazine which I feel is combat sufficient.

I hear alot about the accuracy inadequacies of most AK-47's, but I'm totally satisfied with my performance with mine.
So, although I still long for a Garand in the worst way, I find solace in my ability with my SLR-95.

I may not be able to tap a target at 400 or 500 yds with it, but if I need to, I have a more precise ability to do that with the Remmy rather than with the Garand.
If the targets make it closer, well, then out comes the SLR-95.

June 11, 2003, 02:42 AM
Swedish M38...when we are firing hundreds and hundreds of aimed rounds at the filthy commie hordes at 500 meters (that you guys with the ARs and AKs cant hit), my shoulder will hurt less than you guys wid da Garands..


June 11, 2003, 05:51 AM
It all depends upon the tactics one uses. If you are indeed holed up in your house in an urban area an AK, AR or shotgun will work fine. A ranch? An M1 Garand or a bolt action would work well. Raiding the enemy? Again the battle or assault rifles are what you want. Hiding in a forest picking off the enemy? Bolt action or M1, M1A or some such thing.

It is unlikely such things will ever happen. But there is always the possibility.

June 11, 2003, 10:11 AM
There are several rifles that are good choices for SHHTF scenarios.
An accurate, scoped deer rifle is a powerful weapon and makes an excellent choice, whether for a group of citizens banding together or for an individual.
After hurrican Andrew in south Fla., citizens were able to restore order and prevent looting in neighborhoods by stationing one man with deer rifle (probably scoped) on top of roof at each corner. Others worked with pistols on their belts. The gangs went elsewhere.
Granted it isn't the best choice for every conceivable scenario, and there are scenarios where the semi-auto military type weapons would definitely shine, but for the average American citizen, a scoped deer-rifle makes an excellent choice for a SHHTF scenario and should not be over-looked. American citizens thru-out our history have used hunting rifles for self-defense with good success.

As a side note, the next advance in military small arms appears to be in the addition of optics to existing weaponry rather than changes in weaponry. Witness the proliferation of scopes, night vision, red dot, etc used by our military recently in the Middle East. The latest issue of American Rifleman had a similar article.
The military is learning what American hunters have known for some time, scoped rifles increase shooting efficiency. Just as the military learned over hundred years ago that rifles were the way to go over muskets, something the American hunter also led the way on.

June 11, 2003, 11:07 AM
The main problem with the SHTF stuff is that there is no specific situation that you could call "SHTF". Its everything from dense urban rioting to long term Alaskan survival.

One could easily make the argument for a long distance bolt gun and 100 rounds of .300 WSM, or a .22 Calico with 5000 rounds or Stinger, and everything in between.

The balance is always between being able to hit what you need to, and not running out of bullets completely, or in the gun.

Hey, a really accurate 9mm pistol will reliably hit a man at 100 yards. If carrying other gear is a consideration, that may be your best weapon.

June 11, 2003, 11:46 AM
Good post. A Garand will be more than adequate for any SHTF scenario you're likely to encounter. I agree that the Garand has the best sights and trigger of any battle rifle. I'd take a Garand over an FAL, though the FAL comes a close second.

I put the AR and AK in the carbine role, while the FAL and Garand are rifles. (I know, not conventional wisdom, but I'm not conventional).

A short, light AR is very handy. The problem we have today is that most people buy a heavy barrel AR, then attach 3 pounds worth of junk. It's now as heavy, or heavier than, the Garand. Makes no sense. A light 16" barrel M4 type AR at about 6 pounds has it's place, a 10 pound AR I don't get. In any case, I'd take a Garand if I were limited to one weapon.

Your choice of a second Garand makes sense from a training and logistics standpoint - "beware the man who only has one rifle, he probably knows how to use it".

I might suggest you rebarrel your 2nd Garand to 308 to take advantage of surplus ammo. You might also consider mounting a Scout scope or red dot type optic on the barrel. Smith Enterprises makes a flash hider that attaches without modification if that is a consideration for you.

John Farnam heavily endorses the Garand. He had one build into a Farnam Defense Rifle by a 'smith in Florida. He has pics on his website at

June 11, 2003, 01:30 PM
I know that the SHTF concept is amorphous and somewhat always a degenerating and somewhat silly discussion. Burn all the gas away from all of the competing opinions and what really seems to be in discussion is, "If you can only reasonably carry one rifle and some ammo in the event of some bad unspecified scenario happening where you only get one rifle and some ammo, which, in your opinion, is the best all around rifle?"

Some answer with Cooper's scout rifle concept of a short action .308 rifle with a moderate power long eye relief scope. I don't subscribe to this one because of my need for a left bolt gun meaning another shooter I might "loan" it to may be hogtied trying to use it when it mattered.

Some say their standard scoped deer rifle will handle things. I tend to agree, but I don't hunt anymore, so I don't have one, and if I did it would be another LTB anyway. Optics are fragile and most scoped deer rifles do not have iron sights mounted.

Some then say a battle rifle of some sort. This is the camp I am currently in. Ammo availablity might be a concern for the '06, but I doubt that one is going to use a heck of a lot before order is restored, an ammo theory shared by any deer rifle not chambered for a mil-surp round.

Others conclude some flavor of assault rifle is the best. I almost agree here other than a battle rifle will do most of the things an assault rifle can do. It can and has been used in urban combat, though evidently with some complaints about length, (complaints echoed by the forces in Iraq not having enough pistols for house clearing despite their modern ARs), it can be used for suppressive fire if resupply is not an issue, and the loaded M1 rarely weighs more than 10.5 pounds, a figure I can easily exceed with a HBAR and some doodads. Then there are a few things an M1 or other battle rifle can do that an AR cannot do very well, like bring down an elk humanely or shoot at effective long distance in the hands of most shooters.

It really is all a preference discussion. I find the Garand to be elemental. It doesn't require babying non-existant mags. It doesn't need optics, but those can be done if it must be. One can get anything from match grade ammo, to tracers, to hollow points, to armor piercing for the .30-06, though one will pay a good penny for some of this ammo. The M1 doesn't look threatening, but people in the know acknowledge that it is still extremely capable. It is ambi friendly in a way that the AR series is not without further outlays of cash. In a world where all of the ammo has been fired out of all the guns in the world, it still makes a better spear/club/talisman than most others for Boats' neo-generational caveman descendants. :D

June 11, 2003, 05:51 PM
If you are building your whole SHTF scenario around your weapons, it really isn't a SHTF situation. May be a major defense situation Ala, hurricane Andrews. But every one knew help was coming, the only question was when. I am from Florida, don't live there now but was there in Aug 1992. We were running supplies down to folks of relatives of friends. Loaded for bear, but not a SHTF situation.

Survival in the sense of food water and shelter are the perogatives. In the true SHTF situation.

The weapon would be for food and self defense in that order. Location and replacement of ammunition would have a high priority.

For that reason my SHTF weapons are a 9mm side arm and a ultra light highly accurate rifle without magazines. In either 223 or 308, or put another way, the calibers that the military will be carrying. They are my source for replentishment.

Many to choose from. Probably something like a Remington model 7 with 181/2" to 20" barrel etc. with iron sites and scope.

About 40 rounds for the 223/308 could live very comfortablely
and 50 rounds for the 9mm.

My mission is avoidance, even after hostile contact I would be breaking off to run and hide.

I need a rifle with pinpoint accuracy for that 1 or 2 shot hit. Probably about max of 300yd.

Less about shooting and more about survival.

Besides my M1Garand M1A, 03A3, 1917 US Pattern enfield, M1 Carbine would all do the job. So would my Whinny model 1894 30-30 would also work fine.

My first goto at home for home defense is the Mossy 590. With plenty of back up if I need it.

I am the weapon, the gun is a tool selecected for the job, based on my capabilities and judgement of the situation!


June 12, 2003, 02:06 AM
This is always my favorite thread - I hope it doesn't run out of steam too soon.

My choice is a 30-30 with a ghost ring, merely because it works for hunting large game as well as defense. Plus, it is light, handy, and I can cycle the action as fast as I can reacquire the target. Does it have limitations? Yes! But it is a good compromise weapon and cheap to boot. A Savage 99 or BLR in .308 might even be better, I am just not as familiar with them. If I were just shooting people I might go for an AR, but to me SHTF always suggests foraging. I would definitely also want a high-cap pistol in my belt.

I think the PC factor is, unfortunately, also relevant.

June 12, 2003, 02:32 AM
I dont think any view is right or wrong I have a garand I love it ,shoot matches with it and up here in the northeast and a 5 round clip and scoped I could hunt with it if I want,I think choice in a shtf weapon system should be based on geographical location what type of terrain ,I live in the city my wife and I in a condo its a brick bldg 4 other condos in it unattached I would like others have said hunker down but my choice was made on 1 I live in a city,2space is at a premium,3threats expected at under 100 yds more likely 25 or under where I live and easily serviced by me ,parts,ammo availability very high so an AR bushy mine pre hers post,plenty of ammo and mags his and hers 1911s and a pistol gripped mossy 590 and Im on the coast and have more than a few friends with boats,fight my way to the coast ,about 50 yds and im outa here.:neener:

June 12, 2003, 02:58 AM
Well, it all depends on your defination of SHTF. Mine would be social collapse from any number of causes (nuclear, totally wrecked economy, mass disease, etc.) It can be argued that these things MAY never happen but this thread is for the sake of argument that they WILL.
I such a scenario you want something with punch, capacity, and accuracy. That's why I favor the .308 Winchester in a DSA FAL. You can get or load any round you could ever want, it has high enough capacity (20 round mags are CHEAP too), and the DSA guns are accurate enough with their Badger barrels. The round is just very versatile. Interchangeable with a good scoped bolt gun for those long range hits too. I chose a FAL over all the other .308 autoloaders for a number of reasons. Don't really like the weight or the construction of the HK 91 for the price, M14's are great but heavy with a reciprocating charging handle and super expensive mags, and the AK's in .308 have expensive and low capacity mags. My FAL is compact (16" heavy fluted barrel with a short gas system), has a non-reciprocating handle on the left side, is easier to clean and maintain than any rifle I've ever seen, is very ergonomic with the ERGO grip installed, and only weighs 8.25 lbs empty. Yeah, its got a thin sheet top cover but that's only there for dust- the gun works without it. Factory sights are alright but there are better aftermarket ones out there. I run mine scout style with a Comp M2 on a Picatinny/SWAN style foregrip anyway.
OK, OK, I'm rambling now. Anyway, I do like the idea of a SHTF rifle having decent capacity as there WILL be hoards of starving people willing to do horrible things to you. Desperate people do desperate things. There are other rounds like the .223 and 7.62x39 but the .308 is by far the best compromise with the most versatility. Is more expensive to practice with however.....

Oh, one last note. A nice Garand (Fulton Armory) in .308 would be a great PC weapon as it doesn't look so evil. Could even replace the bolt-gun as Fulton guarantees them to do at least 1.5 or 1 MOA depending on the model. Not as good a design as the FAL for a battle rifle IMHO but still plenty good.

Art Eatman
June 12, 2003, 09:13 AM
Mel Tappan wrote his "Tappan on Survival" around 30 years ago, mas o menos. Some good ideas, there, that a few here might find beneficial.

In one sense, whatever rifle YOU have is almost less important than whatever rifle your neighbor has--and whether or not he will work with you for mutual survival.

What I've seen as common in almost every one of these SHTF threads is the idea of one person having to deal with Bad Guy groups of whatever sort. I guess nobody has friends or neighbors who have any concern about Bad Times Ahead?

Seems to me that if it's more than Internet speculation, folks would actually make at least minor changes in location and association. A solo guy has to sleep, sometime.


June 12, 2003, 11:51 AM
Get the second Garand in .308. Ammo problem solved:D :D

June 12, 2003, 11:55 AM
My SpringField Arsonal 1943 Garand is in 308.

Ammo is cheap and share with my M1A.

thinking of doing same for 03A#.


June 12, 2003, 11:56 AM
I cannot comprehend the popularity of these types of threads.

For the temporary urban breakdown of services, almost any firearm will work. Having seen the reaction of urban crowds to gunshots going off in close proximity, you probably wouldn’t have to score a hit to cause damage in the form of people being trampled. Use what you already have; it really doesn’t matter. Fifty rounds of ammo would be plenty. A few armed buddies is even better. It doesn’t matter what they carry, whether their ammo is interchangeable, how many rounds they have, etc.

For the long term societal collapse mentioned by J-Man, most people aren’t going to make it anyway without food that comes in cans or cellophane, simple stuff like matches, or pharmacies. For people who truly believe in the likelihood of TEOTWAWKI scenarios, there is a lot more long term planning that would have to be done than just picking the perfect (aka “compromise”) rifle. I would rate firearm selection near the bottom of the list. As Art implied, the first thing most people would need to do is move away from a big city and get some like minded friends, which will take a lot of time, effort and money.

Personally, I think it’d make more sense to invest in Powerball tickets than betting that I’d actually need the peculiar qualities of a SHTF rifle.

June 12, 2003, 12:11 PM
"I cannot comprehend the popularity of these types of threads."

It isn't so hard to comprehend, it is simply fun to discuss. I know I personally don't feel that I would ever really need a SHTF rifle, but I like to talk about what the perfect one is. That is why we all get on here. Most of the stuff we discuss has little bearing on reality if you get right down to it. But, this is our hobby and we enjoy discussing all the aspects of it.

"It can and has been used in urban combat, though evidently with some complaints about length, (complaints echoed by the forces in Iraq not having enough pistols for house clearing despite their modern ARs), "

The only complaint along this line I have heard was from the Marine Corps. They are using a full sized 20" rifle and mentioned that they would like to have a shorter RIFLE for urban fighting. The Army uses the 14.5" M4 which appearently is better suited for this use.

"...the loaded M1 rarely weighs more than 10.5 pounds, a figure I can easily exceed with a HBAR and some doodads. "

This is of course taking the argument to an extreme; choosing the heaviest of the AR15s and then assuming that the accessories are permenently attached to the rifle. In reality, most people would choose a 16" without a heavy barrel, and a rail system which allows the accessories to be removed in seconds with the throw of a lever. My main "go-to" AR has a Knights Armaments RAS II and a flap top receiver. I can add a tac light, an Aimpoint, or a scope and take them off by throwing one lever. If I need the light for example, I can put it on in maybe five seconds and if I don't need the light, I can remove it just as fast. So, yes, if you put all that stuff on it at once it would be heavier, but that would only be if you actually needed to use that particular accessory and even then it wouldn't weight anywhere near 10.5 pounds.

June 12, 2003, 05:58 PM
Adding to what 444 said, some of those doodads might be useful. Comparing a 10 lbs. rifle with no scope to a 9 lbs. rifle with a scope is not such a good comparison.

I will say this about weight - the AR is getting heavy. Colt used to sell a lightweight model with a 16" barrel that was around 5 lbs. The current A2 style rifle weighs 8 or more lbs. That from a rifle billed as a lightweight. Other steel weapons, like the HK33 and FNC are called "heavy", yet weight less than a pound more!?

Of course, the ultimate weight advantage comes with the ammo. .223 is close to half the weight of .308, but will do alot of the same work.

June 12, 2003, 06:20 PM
I suppose I am going on another tangent here, but what about price? The Little Black Rifle averages over $700 retail, which is a pretty big chunk of change. In my view, there are lots of other viable options out there. A surplus Yugo Mauser, a Mosin Nagant, Enfield, or any Simonov variant would do in a pinch. For that matter, what about a Saiga in any of the three calibers? Sure, you don't have 30 rounds availible, but with a home defense/ societal breakdown it is doubtful you would face a disciplined, organized hoard. For the price of a black rifle, you could buy SEVERAL of these with money left for spare ammo and parts. Just a thought...

June 12, 2003, 06:41 PM
My point about AR weight is how can such a light caliber rifle be getting so heavy? It has been getting heavier since its inception with some variants almost weighing as much as some MBRs. Even if all the accessories aren't on the rifle, they're still being humped with the rifle.

And seriously, who needs a scope for shooting 300 yards and closer? Nightfighters? Want is nice but hardly necessary. I especially like seeing scopes on all of those shorties. Things that make ya go hmmmm?:neener:

June 12, 2003, 07:17 PM
Why not scope a shorty? It's not like a shorter barrel makes it less accurate, just cuts the muzzle velocity a little. At 400 yards a 14" AR with a scope is going to be much more accurate than a 20" without.

June 12, 2003, 07:56 PM
My SHTF battery consists of a .308 FR8 Mauser and a Kimber Custom II,backed up by an Enfield No.4 Mk.1 and a Remington 870.We live in the boonies,and the Big City is a long way from us.We have enough land to farm,and enough family to help.I don't think armament is as big an issue as training,determination,and location.

June 12, 2003, 07:58 PM
Good point about the prices of decent rifles these days. My FAL with all it's goodies (sight, etc.) cost nearly $2000. I could have bought 10 Saigas for that! But 10 only does me good when I have to pass guns around. Still a viable option, especially if there is still 'some' sporadic law and order around and you get caught with a now banned gun (martial law scenerios). Would rather hand over a Saiga or SKS or the like than my FAL. But the FAL is MY gun and I want that to be the best quality I can get because it's MY butt on the line. There is no price to great to pay for my well being. All my cheap firearms are going to my buddies who haven't prepared.
With that being said someone earlier had mentioned that most SHTF scenerio people seem to think they are going to be taking the Mad Max road and go it alone. To that I agree it would be suicide. No matter how well armed or how well prepared you might be if you don't have like minded allies you are eventually going down....

June 12, 2003, 08:04 PM
I agree that location would play a big factor in "survivalbility" but I also know that all those urbanites won't stay in the city for more than a few days after the food runs out. After that they're all heading into the hills!

June 12, 2003, 09:43 PM
In an armed encounter, guns are used for more than just killing people.

Once the rounds start flying, then you realize what you REALLY want your gun to do. You want it to keep the other guy from shooting at you. You can do that by putting a lot of rounds his way which makes him keep his head down.

See, when he puts his head up, you have CHANCE to kill him, but he also has a chance to kill you. Trust me when I say that unless you have an easy shot while he's not firing directly at you, you'll be MUCH happier denying him a chance to kill you than actually putting a round through him.

Ask the SEALS about aimed fire. They know the value of it, but they also know the value of overwhelming firepower. As in a ton of rounds generally heading in the direction of the people who a moment ago wanted to kill SEALS, but now, suddenly, simply want to survive.

June 12, 2003, 09:53 PM
Given that nearly all us mere civilians can only throw suppressive fire one round at a time we might as well do it with a Calico or something. Then again, suppressive fire has been accomplished with every non-single shot military rifle from the lever action Yellow Boy Henry going forward.

People who can't or won't operate at the battle hardened squad level are better served by avoidance, breaking contact and outshooting potential adversaries at distance, especially if they outrange the oppo assault rifles, or ambush where surprise does a lot to mitigate firepower.

June 12, 2003, 09:53 PM
Actually, if you ask Seals, they'll usually find "suppressive fire" distasteful. One of my Seal buddies was very critical of this Marine Corp. doctrine. Of course, he was speaking of unit tactics.

June 12, 2003, 09:57 PM
Suppressive fire is best left to belt fed machine guns, and even then firing in short bursts.

If you don't have a belt fed machine gun, you're much better off making your shots count.

June 12, 2003, 11:01 PM
I don't mean to join a flame brigade here, but suppressive fire is also only possible when you have a lot of ammo on hand, which would probably not be the case if TSHTF.

June 12, 2003, 11:22 PM
I think it's easy to TALK about when or whether you should and shouldn't use suppressive fire or to make statements about it's effectiveness from a single rifle.

I think it's another thing entirely to be in the situation...

My guess is that any human who realizes that he can keep from being shot at by shooting a lot, will be shooting a lot as long as he can. My guess is also that any human getting shot at a lot is going to keep his head down as much as possible. The old survival instinct is pretty strong.

Making your shots count is a good solution. But not at the expense of taking a significant risk of getting shot while you're doing it. I think that in reality, the sentence "you're much better off..." should be finished with "You're much better off doing whatever it takes to survive." If that means using your gun/ammo to keep someone from getting a good shot at you, then I think that's an excellent tactic. If you can get a clear shot without taking a big risk of dying, then that's an excellent tactic too.

I'm not saying that aimed fire is worthless, that's obviously not true. I am saying that it's not the only important use for a firearm in an armed confrontation. We are talking about rifles here. If you really get into a situation where you need a RIFLE, it's reasonable to assume that you're not trading shots with someone while you both stand up and face each other. It's very likely that both of you will be employing cover. Which means that aimed fire isn't always an option.

So... if you really think a SHTF scenario requiring a rifle could happen, then plan for more than just the scenario which is easily ended with aimed fire. That CAN happen, but things are often much messier than that.

In fact, in the only real SHTF scenario that seems reasonably likely to repeat (LA riots), there were very few looters actually shot (don't know of any offhand). That means that pretty much all of the fire was "suppressive".

Jon Coppenbarger
June 13, 2003, 01:10 AM
to many varibles to talk about suppressive fire as if comes right back to why the hell would I want to exchange shots with any current military force in power if I'am the militia of one or a dozen.
it sounds not only stupid but down right I hope you do it real fast so we don't have to worry about you getting us killed as it seems from you the only good person is the one that stands in a line with the other 12 members of your team.

one or two folks here or there can do more harm to stop the invaders or keep their head down that a platoon or squad can ever hope to do.

I guess that the loser militia that only wants the ones that can hump like a mule and suck a@# from a book thats far out dated by some idiot that wants to play rambo and has lost touch with reality in the real world.

I have seen some of their sites and wow! I was impressed just like the ones that I met as I have never seen one that could really hit anything and its no wonder they need something like suppressive fire because thats the only way they could ever hit anything.

and just because the losers can not shoot past 25 yards and hope to hit anything and has to have a squad to do the job it would take one good marksman before that mig or f15 drops a bomb on your head.

I get to watch urban hero legends shoot their mouth off all the time and every time its like I do not do that because its not real world or why would I have that type of rifle when my team leaders book from my hero the other loser country bumkin told me that a junk norinco m1a is better than a ar15 or some other garbage like that.

I can see it just now that dumb militia squad doing their thing and from 1/3 mile away in the rain you pop him in the head and the rest of the idiots look to the sky and before they realize whats hitting them in the face they drown from the rain drops (lol) and the one's that don't drown are afraid to move because they just pissed their pant's and their idiot leader is dead.

lets see after I get rid of a few of my enemy I think I might now be in possesion of what ever weapon's they have if I really wanted them as some items will work nicely.

if its foriegn invades we would more than likely be far out numbered and one patriot's life is worth 100 or 1,000 of the enemy so standing toe to toe with them really would be stupid untill its a even game.
for example the isralies can not stop a person thats determined to sacrifice it all for the cause but its easy if you have a satelite that knows where your car is parked in trafic to hit you with a rocket from a apache.

now if its a enemy that looks just like you you can really make them pay in their own homes or on every crowded street corner.

June 13, 2003, 01:23 AM
If you want to be Mr. Suppresive Fire tactics, carry a cheap .22 autopistol and a good rifle. While you pin them down for a 1 cent per round, you can line up a good shot with the .308.

June 13, 2003, 07:45 AM
"My point about AR weight is how can such a light caliber rifle be getting so heavy? It has been getting heavier since its inception with some variants almost weighing as much as some MBRs."

Again, I have to disagree. Bushmaster makes far more AR15s than any other company. They offere a super lightweight configuration that was their big new item last year and this year they have announced that they have purchased the rights to the Carbon 15 carbine. They claim they are now producing a version of it that is reliable. In other words the biggest manufacturer of AR15s has been on a two year trend to produce AR15s that are lighter than any previously available.

"Even if all the accessories aren't on the rifle, they're still being humped with the rifle."

Obviously you can't just produce these items out of thin air; if you want them, you are going to have to carry them. But this isn't some defect in the weapon. If you choose not to use these items, there is no reason to have them. The point is that if you feel they are nessessary, they are available for you to use. If you feel you need a flashlight, you are going to have to carry it no matter what weapon you have. The difference is that with an AR, you can effectively mount it to the weapon when you need to use it.

Optics on firearms: It has long been known by hunters that optics make placing fast first round hits on targets at unknown ranges much easier, and much faster. That is why a very large number of hunting rifles wear a scope even though the vast majority of hunting is done well inside of 300 yards. Recently, the military has picked up on this and are equipping our troops with optics as fast as they can. According to the American Rifleman magazine June issue, the Army alone has purchased over 350,000 Aimpoint sights. They are also using many other types of optical sights in addition to the Aimpoint. Optics are faster, they allow you to shoot accurately in lower light, and they are more precise. You are only handicapping yourself by not using optics. Having a rifle equipped with only iron sigts is the same technology we were using in the 1700s. Really, there is a better way now a couple hundred years later. The iron sights are back up for an optic. Iron sights work, but they arn't the best option. It has been proven in combat all over the world that optics are rugged enough and reliable enough for a combat rifle in the 21st century.

June 13, 2003, 08:36 AM
What about full-power carbines like the MAS 49-56, or maybe a FAL sporter. You get light, (Lighter than a Garand, anywho.) handy, (The 49-56 is about 36" long, rather than the Garand's 40+") and powerful enough at .308. With a peep sight or a red-dot, these things are fast enough to get on target, but with an experienced shooter longer shots are not an issue, and you retain the power to chew on medium cover.

Particularly the 49-56 has no pistol grip, shallow swift-changing 10-round mags, an excellent fully adjustable peep-sight, a serious muzzle break to ease recoil, and reasonable weight. It also has wood furniture so it doesn't look like a black rifle.

Fal sporters I've seen are in a similar size and weight bracket, although I don't know about sights. Eh, that's what the red-dot's for. You lose the semi-civilian appearance, but you still get muzzle-breaked .308, plus bigger mags.

I dunno. Ammos's precious, so I don't want a gun that'll encourage spray and pray, and I want to be able to punch through tinfoil tanks. (Cars. Guns in North Hollywood shootout didn't go through cars very well.) Also house walls. Shooting from the cover of a window should not be safe. Dunno if medium rounds like .223 or 7.62 x 39 are good for walls, and I really think subgun rounds aren't gonna do it. (Unless it's 10mm or something. ;) )

June 13, 2003, 09:38 AM
Or another full power carbine could be a .308 Siaga or VEPR with the Aimpoint optics.

June 13, 2003, 01:51 PM
Just dial 911 and wait for the police to arrive.:neener:

June 13, 2003, 02:27 PM

June 13, 2003, 02:28 PM
Just dial 911 and wait for the police to arrive.

Half an hour later, I'll be waiting in my driveway with my LTC in hand and a hot rifle on the ground in front of me.

And if we're talking about a riot situation, I'll multipy that number by 12-24.

Tommy Gunn
June 13, 2003, 03:09 PM
You guys are making much ado about nothing.

A 12ga riotgun and .38 service revolver is good kit for any urban riot scenario.

Need some reach? Any deer rifle will do.

June 13, 2003, 05:20 PM
We frequent this board, in part, to make much ado about nothing. Your point?:D

June 13, 2003, 07:59 PM
The wonderful thing about getting to make up scenarios is that you can only make up ones that favor your weapon of choice.

Sure, if your concept of SHTF is open country and you popping the "enemy" at a third of a mile or more from careful concealment then semi-autos and hi-capacity magazines are moot.

For the folks who live in the city, things might be a little different...

Also, I note that a number of people seem to think that in any SHTF scenario, they will completely control when and how they engage the "enemy". If that were true then, again, there's no need to shoot your way out of a bad situation--you just don't get into one in the first place since you hold all the cards.

In the real world, UAV surveillance (IR and visible) will make getting close to any well equipped enemy while remaining undetected virtually impossible. AND it will make it very easy for them to find you. Being out in the middle of nowhere (The Red Dawn Scenario) is going to be very uncomfortable and ultimately completely unviable since they're going to see you and catch you very rapidly unless you aren't close enough to be a threat. To survive, you're going to have to be where there are lots of other people who have a good reason to be there (the school of minnows approach). Now we're back to the city where encounters are likely to be difficult to control and will happen at close quarters. You know, back where light, high rate of fire weapons and lots of ammo make all the difference in the world...

Art Eatman
June 13, 2003, 08:33 PM
I knew guys back in the late 1970s for whom Utter Collapse was about an eleven--and that's on a scale of one to ten! Nuclear holocaust, or economic collapse...So, I gave some thought to it, which I guess is a natural thing when folks are nattering away on some subject.

I don't see much potential for umpteen hundred ICBMs heading toward us. A package nuke or a dirty bomb is still just a relatively small local deal, insofar as the entire country is concerned. Unless you're unlucky enough to be in the middle of the mess or the downwind drift, you're relatively unaffected. All you could do is study wind patterns (the "Wind Rose") for the nearest likely target city.

Economic problems? We had 25% unemployment in the 1930s, with negligible federal or state support programs in place. From the standpoint of assistance in the event of severe economic problems now, our present socialistic methods will be helpful in avoiding the stresses of "no money".

Which is why, generally, I have difficulty envisioning anything much worse than the LA riots.

:), Art

June 13, 2003, 08:45 PM
GLobal contagion is probably the only semi-realistic scenario out there at the moment. SARS spread to three continents and is relatively hard to catch. Influenza killed 20 million worldwide in 1919. A super bug could devastate the entire world's human population and render governments powerless.

Art Eatman
June 13, 2003, 08:59 PM
Well, yeah, Boats. Once again, however, probabilities. Few, if any, of those now totally hostile to us have the capability for production of super bugs. Those who do have the capability--such as the U.S.--aren't likely to use them.

The big problem is the lack of selectivity. Air travel goes in many directions, I've noticed. Few want to succumb to their own weapons.

If you really want to envision miseries, consider some bug tailored to the DNA of a specific ethnic group. The obvious question is, who could do that?

:), Art

June 14, 2003, 12:49 AM
Well, I finally have a nice FAL after 17 years of lust. I love it.

I did, however, fire a FN-49 a couple of weeks ago. The predecessor to the FAL, the 49 is most often encountered in '06 or 8mm. The FN-49 has a limited mag capacity, and the mag is fixed.

And I still wouldn't feel underequipped if major bad juju went down, and the 49 was my armament. I think sometimes there's a magic type of rapport with some arms that transcends the paper "facts".



June 14, 2003, 01:51 AM
You'd be suprised as to how much damage one can do with the lowly .22 LR semiauto.

June 14, 2003, 08:58 AM
While surplus Russian Mosin-Nagant bolt rifles are dirt cheap with dirt cheap ammo and hit like a .308/-06, there are a few problems.

#1: You have to take your own ammo with you. 7.62x54R isn't a particularly common round in the U.S.

#2: The carbines (M38/M44) kick like a mule. Don't plan on your 5' 3" 130 lb. wife shouldering an M44 with steel butt plate. Ouchy.

AV1611 out...

June 14, 2003, 11:34 AM

January, 2001

The Danger of Accidental Nuclear War

January 25, 2001, marks the 6th Anniversary of a narrowly avoided nuclear war with Russia! On January 25, 1995, Russian radar misinterpreted a U.S. weather research rocket launched from Norway as an incoming U.S. nuclear strike. The U.S. had notified Russia of its plans to launch the research rocket, but the information had not reached the appropriate Russian officials. Current Russian policy is to launch retaliatory missiles upon the warning of a possible nuclear strike without taking time to determine the validity of the warning. Fortunately, President Yeltsin chose to ride out the crisis and not follow policy. The world narrowly avoided a nuclear holocaust.

June 14, 2003, 10:21 PM
AV- There were plenty of 4'9" to 5' women in the NVA, Viet Cong, or Viet Minh who carried full size Nagant, Arisaka, Garand, or MAS rifles. The determination to use them was the factor. I would vote readily for an M44 due to affordability of the weapon and ammo. When you can get 800 rounds for about $65, it makes it highly viable. You aren't exactly going to look for trouble in most scenarios and in the case of a riot or somesuch, one shot would deter the hoard.

June 14, 2003, 10:59 PM
I think the point was that the carbines (NOT the full-sized versions) kick like hell.

June 15, 2003, 06:13 PM
I've chosen an M1 as my main rifle, especially being in a rural area.

The ammo issue that many allude to (no readily available milsurp 30-06) is easily overcome by 2 things (not counting stocking up on the good stuff like Danish milsurp):
1) some standard ammo (Rem Core-lokt 150gr) works just fine in M1s
2) there are now 2 adjustable gas nuts (McCann, ADCO) that obviate any availability problem if you figure out what setting to use. I've never been in a gunstore or department store that sold ammo anywhere in the USA or Canada and not seen multiple boxes of 30-06 present.



PS and greatly OT: My first post since finding this fine forum and after many months of missing the old TFL :)

June 15, 2003, 07:31 PM
Happy Father's Day, Bob. Glad to have you.


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