Wrong Decision?


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AndyJ
December 11, 2010, 03:20 PM
I guess I am one prone to second guess myself. I am not a hunter... unless it is some varmint on the ranch. I am not a 'hobby' type shooter ie. I don't go to the range to shoot just to be shooting. I can walk out the backdoor and do that. Most of the time my long guns live behind the seat of my Suburban or in the corner by the front door. While that seems to be a casual approach. I always have a firearm of some sort at hand. Always.

I am not into tactical or rails or gizmos. Things need to work and work well.

Years ago, I sorted the wheat from the chaff and standardized on a few distinct calibers and life has been simple and good since.

45 ACP for the handguns -- all Colt Autos
38 special for those little guns to stick in your pocket
12 ga - 870 and Model 37
22LR -- just because you have to have some
223 -- Remington 7615 Scoped and Colt 6520 with irons.

Now here is the problem: With the post-apocalyptic zombie march across the plains of West Texas becoming more probable with every passing day, I am questioning my rifle caliber choice. I have the 223x2 configuration with multiple mags and XX thousands of rounds of ammo. One of the 'survivalists' whose opinion I respect has NO respect for the "223 mouse gun" -- his quote not mine. He espouses the 308 doctrine and worships at the feet of the mighty FAL.

Is he right? Did I miss the true path? Do I need to box all my 223 goods up and sell them to some unsuspecting noob who has not seen the Light of Truth?

Honestly, I am well pleased with my long arms. What the 223 won't knock down, a big fat slug from a 12 ga will. I just want to make double damned sure I have the best iron on hand while it is still available.

Dear mods: While references to SHTF have been made, this is not (hopefully) going to digress into a SHTF thread. Simple question is would I be better suited to replace my 223 rifles with some 308 variant? ... and MIA and SAR $$$$ variants are totally out of the question.

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Al LaVodka
December 11, 2010, 03:34 PM
Whereas a .308 is not too much gun, a .223 isn't not enough. Starting from scratch these days, I'd be torn but would probably have a .223 semi-auto. Pump? Match the bullet weights with the rifling twist and, IMO, if you are comfortable and hit what you aim at, you're ahead of the game and good to go. Get past this question psychologically -- that's the most important thing. Survival is from the top down.
Al

BrocLuno
December 11, 2010, 04:01 PM
I think you are OK as is, but I'd have a .308 bolt gun of known accuracy with scope in case I had to shoot "out there" and have retained energy. However, I think the the 06 is a better choice?

rodensouth
December 11, 2010, 04:06 PM
I don't see the likely need to penetrate cover to survive. So I think you are set.

You can also tote a lot more rounds of .223. It's plenty enough to take game with in that sort of situation IMO.

Welding Rod
December 11, 2010, 04:12 PM
At the distances at which you are most likely to shoot a zombie and not suffer a resulting trip to prison afterwards, I would say a 223 should be more than adequate.

mljdeckard
December 11, 2010, 04:13 PM
Your friend is....sort of wrong. A .308 is more powerful, but you can get more hits faster with your Colt. There is a reason this platform has been our service rifle for longer than any other, and we only use the .308 for specialty rifles and machine guns. I stare down real zombies every day, and I don't feel at all underarmed with one.

If you feel that strongly about it, split the difference and get an AR-10.

taliv
December 11, 2010, 05:53 PM
you made the right choice and your friend is very wrong.

The survivalists whose opinion I respect believe a 22lr is the caliber of choice, for several obvious reasons.

if you do want a high power cartridge, then the 223 is a much better choice than 308. It will do anything a 308 can do under 200-300 yrds and you can carry twice as much ammo. beyond 200-300 yrds, you should be moving not shooting, even in texas.

AndyJ
December 11, 2010, 06:20 PM
100% consensus? Pretty unheard of here and I am feeling mentally relieved. I really dreaded learning a new caliber and trying to figure out all the ins and outs of the different FALs.

@taliv: ORHS 1974. I learned to shoot a 22 at the indoor range under the strict supervision of a WWII First Shirt. Can't remember his name but I sure remember the scowl I would get whn I was working on a good group and let loose a flyer.

USSR
December 11, 2010, 06:30 PM
He espouses the 308 doctrine and worships at the feet of the mighty FAL.

Is he right? Did I miss the true path?

Of course he's right. Yes, but there's still time for you to get on the true path.:D

Don

taliv
December 11, 2010, 06:32 PM
heh, small world. but then, TN-TX is sort of like the "Axis of Shooting Stuff"

rbernie
December 11, 2010, 06:33 PM
Your friend is wrong, in many ways. If nothing else, it's not like you have a lot of natural cover that you'll need to penetrate out thataway. :)

MTMilitiaman
December 11, 2010, 09:04 PM
I won't say you're unprepared or that the .223 couldn't be completely adequate. I will say I would feel better prepared and would have a tendency to believe you were better prepared, with a good semi-auto 7.62x51 than with any 5.56.

Depending on your exact scenario and your plans for dealing with it, the advantages of the 5.56 that make it work for the military may or may not apply to you at all. Something like the FAL or M1A that puts 20 rounds of 7.62 on tap is about as much firepower as the civilian has access to without special paperwork to the feds. It provides better range and power, and more flexibility and utility than the smaller round, which is dependent on larger support weapons being available to be tactically relevant. In the military you have the rest of your squad laying down fire and maneuvering, and you have larger weapons at your disposal to make up for an deficiencies in range or power by your primary weapon. So if someone is hiding behind something your M4 can't shoot through, you simply call in fire from a readily available M240 LMG or one of several M203 40mm grenade launchers floating around, usually in the form of a squad or fireteam leader. These are options you don't have as a civilian, so I feel it is more important to have a more capable rifle. The M1A is a more capable rifle than any poodle shooter available to you as a civilian. You also have to pack your rifle, ammo, and all associated gear large distances with an entire garage attic assortment of other misc useful items in the military, while movement at all in any sort of apocalyptic scenario, I feel, should be limited. I see very few situations in the realm of physical possibility in which it is tactically advisable to be running around in the madness rather than remaining as low-profile and discreet as possible hunkered down in an easily defensible position. If you feel otherwise and are planning on doing a lot of moving around, and you have some buddies to train with, you might do okay with the reduced weight of the 5.56, despite its relative lack of range and power. But I really do feel the 7.62 is more useful and versatile. And quite simply, I feel no better option exists for fighting in "my world" than an M1A, or similar quality battle rifle. So if you're heading for the hills, remember you're in the domain of real rifles. You can carry a poodle shooter, but you have to accept there are bigger predators on the food chain, that with even relatively poor optics and only intermediate skill can pretty easily engage you from effectively twice your rifle's range.

I'll accept that the 5.56 is an acceptable infantry cartridge when backed up by an AH-1 Cobra gunship and a Mk 19, and even that it makes some sense for a lot of our more urban, built up fighting. But it is not a cartridge for wide open spaces, and it isn't nearly as formidable of a fighting cartridge when it isn't backed up by air support or a belt fed .50 caliber machine gun. As opportunities for engagement ranges beyond 200 to 300 yards increase, and lacking heavier support, it makes a lot of sense to pack a rifle that can do more to reach and touch or break apart light cover by itself. That is where the M1A or FAL comes in.

nipprdog
December 11, 2010, 09:13 PM
Now here is the problem: With the post-apocalyptic zombie march across the plains of West Texas becoming more probable with every passing day

:rolleyes:

I have the 223x2 configuration with multiple mags and XX thousands of rounds of ammo

;)

One of the 'survivalists' whose opinion I respect has NO respect for the "223 mouse gun" -- his quote not mine. He espouses the 308 doctrine and worships at the feet of the mighty FAL.


:rolleyes:

ZOMBIES ARE HOLLYWOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

:rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

MTMilitiaman
December 11, 2010, 09:15 PM
Wolverines!!!

MrSpiffy
December 11, 2010, 09:33 PM
Very-well said, MTMilitiaman! That's a very thorough explanation of your position on this issue. I would tend to agree. The main issue that larger calibers have, though, is the heavy ammo. You can carry a lot more .223 ammo than .308. BUT, with more power behind the larger bullet, it takes less ammo to drop a target. (Assuming you're hitting the targets.)

Rancho Relaxo
December 11, 2010, 09:34 PM
If you survive even two days of the zombie apocalypse as it sweeps over the plains you'll be able to take your pick of many different firearms and ammunition. I'd keep what you have and work on your cardio, it may aid you better than having a larger caliber.

joed
December 11, 2010, 09:43 PM
I've never been a fan of the .223 other then when I was in the service. It has its place and limitations.

That said, I owned a Savage 10 fp in .223 for 5 years. It was very accurate and fun to take to the range and shoot while I waited for other rifles to cool off.

This summer I attempted to use it for ground hog hunting and found the limitations. It's at its best to 300 yards or less. Most of the targets I tried to hit at 300 yards had a good chance of survival.

Sold the Savage last month and don't plan on owning another .223 ever. Still have 1000 rounds of ammo for it though. I won't part with the ammo or dies just on the outside chance I pick up another .223. I'm not a fan of the cartridge but it did work well for plinking.

Also have a .308 Winchester Stealth, and that one I will keep.

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