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but it also has to be concealable, for those times when it is SHTF, but the rifle cannot be visible or at the ready. Conflicting requirements and scenarios are conflicting ... o_O
Yup! That is exactly what FerFAL said about going to the marketplace during the collapse of the Argentinian economy some 20 odd years ago. He said that anyone who showed a rifle became an instant target for all of the other 'scared rabbits' who were also doing their shopping.

The moral of FerFAL's tale? Don't walk around showing a rifle, or else other people will look at you as if you are a threat; and, given the hysterical social environment, immediately gang up on you and try to take you out. Personally, I have long regard the collapse of the Argentinian economy as a test case for what is eventually going to happen here.

On the other hand, a concealed pistol will always be useful, and won't ring anyone's 'alarm bells' until it's needed! FerFAL said that they (the wealthy land and business owners he associated with) used to bring their rifles with them on shopping day, but they left them, under guard, inside of their vehicles. (Obviously, they also traveled in caravans because it's much harder for a 'lone wolf' to survive.)
 

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I think, that you are correct - that it may be a good example of how SHTF may indeed play out for a short while. But if it is a true collapse of society where there aren't any marketplaces, then it will probably (don't have a good crystal ball) make more sense to be in full battle rattle.

it all comes down to what form SHTF takes. There are scenarios where looking like a threat (or rather not like an easy target) make sense. If you are in an actively hostile situation, then the rifle should be ready to go.
 
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