Quantcast
  1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

SHTF Rifle conceptual fallacies? (long)

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Boats, Jun 10, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Boats

    Boats member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,705
    Location:
    Oregon
    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.

    Observations:

    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?
     
  2. BigG

    BigG Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    7,081
    Location:
    Dixieland
    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:
     
  3. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,006
    Location:
    Georgia
    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 [​IMG], big, mean (but not too smart) aliens landed [​IMG], or giant spiders emerged from some radioactive cave [​IMG].

    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 ;)
     
  4. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,281
    Location:
    co
    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.
     
  5. six 4 sure

    six 4 sure Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2002
    Messages:
    372
    Location:
    Harrisburg, IL
    Have you shot a M14/M1A? Just courious where you think it might fall in the mix.

    Six
     
  6. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    43,284
    Location:
    Terlingua, TX; Thomasville,GA
    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.

    Art
     
  7. Boats

    Boats member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,705
    Location:
    Oregon
    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.
     
  8. Double Naught Spy

    Double Naught Spy Sus Venator

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    9,633
    Location:
    Forestburg, Texas
    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.
     
  9. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,950
    Location:
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    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.
     
  10. geojap

    geojap Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    787
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    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.
     
  11. Jon Coppenbarger

    Jon Coppenbarger Member

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2002
    Messages:
    1,281
    Location:
    co
    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.
     
  12. mummac

    mummac Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    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.
     
  13. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,950
    Location:
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    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.
     
  14. mummac

    mummac Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2003
    Messages:
    170
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    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?
     
  15. Nightcrawler

    Nightcrawler Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2002
    Messages:
    6,950
    Location:
    Utah, inside the Terraformed Zone
    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.
     
  16. Devonai

    Devonai Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,836
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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.
     
  17. Onslaught

    Onslaught Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Messages:
    1,006
    Location:
    Georgia
    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
     
  18. Devonai

    Devonai Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,836
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Roger that! After a hard day of poking aliens with my 10" Garand bayonet, I deserve a Mike's.

    The poking is mighty!
     
  19. SodaPop

    SodaPop member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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.
     
  20. Boats

    Boats member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2002
    Messages:
    3,705
    Location:
    Oregon
    So what does this say for more experienced shooters?
     
  21. SodaPop

    SodaPop member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2002
    Messages:
    1,430
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    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.
     
  22. Hand_Rifle_Guy

    Hand_Rifle_Guy Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2002
    Messages:
    616
    Location:
    Palo Alto, People's Republic of Kaliforny
    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".
     
  23. Devonai

    Devonai Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,836
    Location:
    Connecticut
    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!
     
  24. 444

    444 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2002
    Messages:
    7,978
    Location:
    Ohio
    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.
     
  25. firestar

    firestar member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2003
    Messages:
    1,761
    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.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page