Time for another battle rifle/SHTF thread.


March 9, 2004, 12:50 AM
I've recently been thinking about aquiring one or more rifles for SHTF type of situations with about an 18-22" barrel and just an all around powerful gun that you can depend on. I have considered some intermediate caliber guns like .223 though. Each have some pros and cons that I've found and I will mention them. I'm not interested in M-14's at all. Some candidates I've had in mind are:

Saiga in .308 18" barrel


Powerful caliber.
Light gun (for a .308).
Reliable Kalishnikov (however you spell it) action.
Cheap and durable.
I could buy two and if one suddenly broke I wouldn't be out of action.
Most parts are cheaper than dirt.
Mags are sorta cheap.


8 round capacity.
Not the greatest trigger in the world.
Sorta ugleee ;)
No pistol grip. (Perhaps it can be modified to have one easily?)
Optics mounting on any type/style AK rifle is questionable.

VEPR II .223 20.5" barrel


Not as heavy as an FAL.
Kalishnikov action.
Durable, but not unexpensive.
.223 means you can carry alot of rounds.


Only one or two types of mags seem to work.
The mags are not expensive, but still not cheap either and not very common.
Optics mounting in questionable.

FAL in .308 18" or 22" barrel


Mags are cheap.
Powerful caliber.
Optics mounting on a stable platform.


That's about it. :scrutiny:

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March 9, 2004, 01:21 AM
FAL .308 and that's about it. LOL :D

March 9, 2004, 04:24 AM
Why not consider an AR (either AR-15 in .223 or AR-10 in .308 or .300WSM if you *really* need 1,000yd battle rifle-age :) That's what I'd opt for if I weren't a Subject.

March 9, 2004, 05:05 AM
Why not consider an AR

Were I in a SHTF scenario of some sort, I would NOT want to be close to things that could kill me. .308 gives you a longer range and thus a better buffer zone between you and the zombies/russians/rioters/space-aliens/government take-over forces. :D The AR-10 is kinda nice but mags aren't easy to find.

Some people don't like the ergonomics but a nice G3 clone from JLD, Ohio Rapid Fire or Century Arms could fit the bill(In order of goodness/quality). Parts are available, .308 is popular(obviously), mags are cheap(for now), they are pretty darn reliable and goodish accuracy. Of course, the FAL is also a great option. DSA if you can. Mmmmm..... :)

I just can't get into the Saiga. It's sort of like a bastard kid, born of a union between an assault rifle flavored AK and a .308 battle rifle. Unless cost were a factor, I can't see a reason not to get the FAL.

March 9, 2004, 08:03 AM
Go for a FAL. I just got to play with a couple new ones (http://www.clairewolfe.com/wolfesblog/00000656.html), and they're sweet, sweet rifles.

Black Dragon
March 9, 2004, 08:25 AM
AR-10 for the longer reach. AR-15 CAR for quick, up close work. Why the AR-10,
because that's what I have:). If I had an FAL then it would be that.
Also, something to think about is common calibers. Seems like everyone in this
world has .223, .308 and 7.62X39. Those are the rifle calibers I would keep
around in order to pick up ammo from the other side.:D

You could get into all sorts for other rifles for special operations.
300 Weatherby Mag for Looong range or .300 WSM
MP5 in 10mm for room to room city stuff, if you stay in the city
and so on and so on.

March 9, 2004, 08:53 AM
I have an AK variant with plenty of ammo, but being on these forums I want a FAL too. What is the going price? Are there different varients I should look for?

Tom C.
March 9, 2004, 08:56 AM
I still like the M-1 Garand. While mine have the original barrel length, I think the optimum configuration may be: 18” barrel, flash suppressor, barrel mounted, quick release “scout” scope, adjustable gas system (so you can use any .30-06 ammo, not just M-2 ball.), and a glass stock.

March 9, 2004, 09:00 AM
I'm gonna try and get an Arsenal SAM-7/SLR-101 this weekend. When i get the urge to really reach out and touch someone, i think i'll go with the new DPMS .308 w/ 24" stainless barrel. I've seen them for $815. Mount a harris bipod and sightron 6-24x42 scope on it and it's will be sweet and just barely over the MSRP.

March 9, 2004, 09:18 AM
I'm not interested in M-14's at all.

Care to explain that? Another Skunkabilly "It isn't an H&K" thing?

March 9, 2004, 09:30 AM

How about the new Bushie .308s? Has anyone actually used one of these?

March 9, 2004, 09:31 AM
FAL :) 'nough said

March 9, 2004, 09:42 AM
I'd be comfortable defending my life with a FAL. I can't say the same about a certain .223 rifle that's mighty popular. :rolleyes:

March 9, 2004, 09:53 AM
Get your hands on a FAL.

Chances are you'll never look back! ;)

David Park
March 9, 2004, 09:56 AM
Definitely look for reviews of the new BAR-10. It uses FAL mags, which eliminates one of the AR-10's weaknesses, but it's reliability is unknown so far.

The VEPR II .223 weighs 9 lb. That's about the same as the average FAL or AR-10, and too heavy for a .223 in my opinion. It's possible to get a relatively lightweight FAL (http://www.dsarms.com/item-detail.cfm?ID=SA58MWSGS&storeid=1&image=sa58mwtact.gif), but it probably won't be cheap.

One problem with a lot of FALs, like my DSA StG58A, is that they're nose-heavy and unbalanced, which makes them feel heavier than other rifles. I added a buttstock mag pouch to mine which surprisingly helped the feel a lot because it balanced things out. If I pulled off the bipod and giant muzzle break, it would probably be even better. For the biggest weight savings, though, you need one of DSA's aluminum lower receivers.

March 9, 2004, 10:26 AM
What's questionable about mounting optics on an AK? You just buy one of the many Russian scopes designed to lock onto the siderail bracket, and you're all set. You've got a well made, inexpensive, military-grade scope that doesn't lose zero when you detach it.

A cheek pad might be in order for using the scope, though.

March 9, 2004, 12:23 PM
I agree Nightcrawler, I have both a pso-1 4x scope and a Cobra red dot sight for my Romanian AK. They don't loose their zero, and are very well made. The speed that you can take them on and off is about 5 seconds!

March 9, 2004, 12:32 PM
For a longterm SHTF scenerio, you may be in a situation where resupply is not an option. Either have alot of mags for your primary or get something that uses stipper clips or possibly a load one shoot one capability, like a lever or bolt gun.

March 9, 2004, 12:46 PM
Resupply isnt possible? Im sure that if its the really bad type of shtf, you would be able to loot houses of people who have fled and left their stuff there. You night find some ammo that was left behind.

March 9, 2004, 01:32 PM
You forgot "Expensive" on the list of FAL cons. At least all the ones I have seen are. But so is an AR.

My SHTF rifle is an AK. If they get through the bolt's range unscathed anyway.

March 9, 2004, 01:37 PM
I'll probably say this in every SHTF thread, but a scoped .22 autoloader with 1000+ rounds would be right there w/ my battle rifle.

The Saiga .308 looks like an excellent option -- especially with the availability of inexpensive surplus .308 FMJ for stockpile and practice.

March 9, 2004, 08:09 PM
How about an Armalite Ar-180B with the Armalite scope? 180B's are a fun gun, light and relatively cheap, $650 MSRP. Also, the 180 uses a piston setup in the gas system so it is cleaner than the AR.

March 9, 2004, 08:25 PM
How about the new Bushie .308s? Has anyone actually used one of these?

Supposedly the DPMS is superior for a ballpark $1000 less money Unfortunately, you gotta find AR10 or SR25 prebans to fit it. It will be a moot point if the ban expires.

March 9, 2004, 08:33 PM
How about an Armalite Ar-180B
I second that. Great rifle that's light, accurate and inexpensive.

March 9, 2004, 08:45 PM
FAL because it is "The Mercenaries choice" world wide. This is the rifle that
they bet their lives on. These guys fight for the highest paycheck.

AR-10: Because if the SEALs' like it, it must be pretty good.
(they just took delivery of a couple hundred of the Armalite AR-10T carbines for "Squad battle/ sniping rifle).

March 9, 2004, 09:02 PM
Well my choice is, and always will be, a lightweight .308 bolt-gun with premium European optics.

Engagement scenerios I imagine are more based on those similar to "Enemy at the Gates" or "Red Dawn". Unless you're fighting with large organized cells, distance is your friend. Move light, move fast, shoot long and remain unseen.

March 9, 2004, 09:06 PM
saiga is also availible in standard 7.62x39 two barrel lengths and also availible in 223remington version.

the 308 has no hicaps which stinks imo. the 7.62x39 and 223rem can get hicaps. I have read of modding mags for 308 version but have not seen alot of it or 223 version. mags are easy for 7.62x39.

they will take ak47 parts and you can add a pistol grip and different stock.
some people do a wecsog mod to theyre saiga rifle so they get a quality russian rifle with that ak look. only way you will get an affordable russian quality ak without spending hundreds more. in the end you could of paid the same for a Romanian SAR or wasr rifle but the sar's are drying up.

it would be a working class mans gun anyway and the modifications are pretty easy.

I have a 223 and look to pickup 7.62x39. 7.62x39 is dirt cheap and 223remington should be availible. 22lr with thousands of rounds sounds good too.

if I had money I would drop $600-$700 on a tac driver. not going to happen.

saiga's run $150-$250 depending on caliber and barrel length. 22lr $150-$200.
1,000 rounds of 7.62x39 less than $100.
1,000 rounds of 223remington $100-$175 wolf works great in saiga's :D
5,000 rounds of 22lr $100-$150
1,000 rounds of 7.62x51(308win) $130-$175 avoid indian ammo like the plague

I will stick with my 223 saiga and anything I can afford. planning on picking up 7.62x39 saiga as well.

May 13, 2009, 09:16 PM
FAL with eotech shooting 165 grain TAP Barrier. DSA makes the best FAL's on the market

Uncle Mike
May 13, 2009, 09:26 PM
Well, if it gets to SHTF... 40mm Bofors. :what:

May 13, 2009, 09:34 PM
Why not a M14? Sounds better than a Saiga to me.

May 13, 2009, 09:41 PM
Holy Zombie thread Batman!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
May 13, 2009, 10:41 PM
Well, (a) there was no good reason to necromance this thread, and (2) all shtf threads are automatically closed these days, so I'm afraid your renewal of discussion may not get very far.

May 13, 2009, 11:38 PM
This is from 5 years ago! LOL!
I think he found it by now. LOL!

May 14, 2009, 04:15 PM
I'd prefer the FAL, but the Saiga is a good low cost alternative.

May 14, 2009, 04:22 PM
Of the choices you offered, I'd opt for the FAL. It is more proven and has much better availability both in terms of the rifle as well as mags and accessories.

Though I find it absurd that you're not considering an M14/M1A. That's your loss.

May 14, 2009, 04:47 PM

Don't take it so personal. Not everyone has to have the exact same likes as you.

May 14, 2009, 06:06 PM
Though I find it absurd that you're not considering an M14/M1A. That's your loss.

Different strokes for different folks.

I have a list of reasons that I chose something other than an M1A.

I've never felt disadvantaged for the choices I've made, but I am happy that so many love their M1As.

-- John

May 14, 2009, 07:28 PM
FAL or a good AR would be hard to beat for a general fighting rifle. Luckily I have a couple of each.

May 15, 2009, 09:02 AM
under such limited choices, to which I dont understand that, but the FAL is the better choice. Did a M-14 do something to you as a child?

May 15, 2009, 09:49 AM
Is the original poster still a member??? Lot's of cobwebs in here.

May 15, 2009, 01:41 PM
I vote FAL.
Reliable, battle proven, great round.
STG- 58 is my fav.

July 14, 2010, 11:58 AM
I would take an AK or a FAL.

July 14, 2010, 12:05 PM
This thread is 6 years old. Let it die.

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