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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi folks,

First post to the forum, I actually just found it today, seems like a great place to hang out so far. Here is my question; which of the calibers that I presently own would you stock up on first, or what pattern would you use for stocking up on them all (for a SHTF situation)

My "arsenal"

(2) .22 Semi-Auto Rifles
(1) 12 GA Mossberg 500 w/18" Barrel
(1) 9MM S&W 459
(1) .357 S&W 629 w/8 3/8" Barrel
(1) OLD S&W .38 short revolver (5 shot)

Coming soon! One from the list of
AR-15 (M4)
AK-47
FAL
G3

Still trying to make up my mind on which of these rifles to go for. Any thoughts on that tough choice would also be appreciated!
 

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Stock up on the .22 first. You should be able to buy a couple thousand rounds in short order. Hell, last I bought was about $1.25 for 50.

Then you need to stock up for that new rifle.

BTW, I own all but the FAL.

I'd suggest the AK. It's a very simple rifle, inexpensive (relatively), and just keeps working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I def need to get up to speed on the ammo for the new rifle. I think that is why the AR is gonna win out over the AK this next week, because of the extra cost for 7.62 ammo and how hard everyone says that it is to get ahold of right now.
 

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KentuckyRifle said:
Yeah, I def need to get up to speed on the ammo for the new rifle. I think that is why the AR is gonna win out over the AK this next week, because of the extra cost for 7.62 ammo and how hard everyone says that it is to get ahold of right now.
Well, for some reason it is hard to get right now. If you follow the AK though you'll quickly find out that this happens every so many years. You can still find ammo on the 'net for about $125/1k. From what I understand Cabelas is delivering all you want right now.

Mags are heavier duty for the AK. If that makes a difference to you. I don't think you can wear one out in your lifetime. AR-15 mags can be very finicky.
 

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I would not bother with the revolvers, or the shotgun, or the .22 rifles. You see, if you choose the Mini-14, the 223 AK, or the AR-15, there is a .22lr conversion unit for it that makes more sense than the .22 rifle. You don't want to get caught by autorifle, or even shotgun toting enemies, when all you have is a .22 rifle.

Where is the crystal ball that will tell you when you can risk having nothing but the feeble 22 rifle, or the very short ranged shotgun? The pistol is unlikely to mean much of anything for shtf. You will have almost no choice but to keep a truly effective fighting rifle either in hand, or on the assault sling, or within reach as you sleep or eat, for the first year or so. After that, either order will have been restored, or so many will be dead that the risks of combat will be greatly reduced.

So I'd stock up on 9mm, but not to have if shtf, but to shoot before shtf, to build the SKILL necessary if all I had was a pistol when attacked. Pistols are for "normal times' defense. Rifles are for shtf. You are most unlikely to get to any longarm in time, even in your home. If you have 5-10 seconds in which to go run for any longarm, why could you not have run up on the guy, stuck your (ccw'd) pistol up his nose, and emptied the mag? Everything takes time to do, and many of the things guys THINK that they can do in a fight, take way too long to be practically helpful (except if luck takes a hand on your side).

The .22lr conversion unit lets you get in lots of low cost, realistic snap shooting practice with your fighting rifle, even on indoor ranges, or in areas where the penetration, range and noise of the centefire rifle mean that you can't practice. I've never run a stage of fire with the .22lr unit that I couldn't readily match with the 223, even without the sound suppressor on the centefire.

The .22lr conversions run about $150, do a yahoo search for Jonathan Arthur Ciener Firearms. The caliber swap is 20 seconds, and the accuracy is about 1-1.5" at 25 yds, plenty good enough for taking small game in a shtf scenario. better to have nothing but a .22lr unit (for which you have some rds) than ANY centerfire for which you no longer have any ammo, eh? Also, better to have the OPTION of the much greater power and range of the 223 softpoint than just the .22 or the shotgun.

How is one to carry both a real fighting rifle AND either a .22 rifle or a shotgun? it's not practical, so you have to choose. On men using cover, the shotgun is limited to 20-30 yds of effective range (depending upon the load and the choke) because the only realistic target is head-sized. Head sized holes occur in the shot-pattern at longer ranges, so you can easily miss at such ranges, even tho your shot pattern was well centered on your enemy's head.

When the woods will be full of autorifle-armed enemies (even if all they have is .22's), the shotgun is outranged. The deer slugs are very expensive to practice with, and very hard to use well, so they dont add NEARLY the capability that guys fantasize that they offer. So you are stuck with some sort of autorifle, and either the .22lr conversion unit, or with trying to forage with a .22 pistol of some sort. The pistol practice doesn't help your skill building with the rifle. Neither does practice with the shotgun. Nearly everyone lacks the time and money to practice enough with hand to hand, pistol, and rifle, so the shotgun is the thing to do-without, if you have to choose. You want to QUIETLY take that cow, horse, dog, etc, not blast off a 12 ga shell that will be heard by every looter in a 2 mile radius of you. Also, 22 rds are 135 to the lb, and about 1/10th as bulky as 12 ga shells. 12 shells are 10 to the lb, and very expensive to stockpile. They are also very susceptible to moisture and gun oils, because of the opening at the pie crimp. They are easilly damaged by rough handling, too. So the shotgun doens't amount to much as a shtf choice.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
That is one thing that makes me slow to jump on the AR, I have never owned, (or fired) either weapon so I dont really know how much the reliability issue is overhyped or the real thing. I REALLY dont want to pay $700 for something that is not 100% reliable.
 

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Neither the .30 AK rd nor the .20 AK rd, nor the 308 are the GI or cop issue rd, mags, or parts. That could easily make a diff, in a couple of ways. You could be perceived to be a "good guy" if what you have is an M4, and be percieved to be a bad guy with any other sort of longarm, and be shot out of hand, no questions asked. You could need to restock either ammo, parts, mags, or the gun, if yours takes a hit, etc. If what you can find is the AR-15 and 223, ( and that's by far the most likely case, too) then it would be good to be skilled-familiar with that system-caliber). The .22lr unit makes practice with the 223 very low cost and more-available, due to not tearing up steel backstops of indoor ranges, or bothering the neighbors.

One handed use is often an issue. You can be driving, carrying a kid, helping a loved one walk, etc. You will have no supply lines, no help. So you have to carry a lot of other survival type gear (unlike what soldiers can get away with). that limits your gun and ammo load a lot. So the various .30 cals are second rate, for several reasons.

The AK's safety lever sucks, so you either have to have it gunsmithed, or continously carry it with the safety disengaged. I consider the latter to be borderline insanity, but some guys think nothing of it.

I'd take a long look at .22 units for the sidearm, too. In fact, I would not bother to own any pistols for which I could not get a very close "understudy" in .22lr. The 22 practice is very helpful, at least until you get to posting A class scores at combat matches. At that point, 22 practice becomes a bit of a hindrance, rather than a help, because at such levels of skill, the diff in recoil becomes a significant factor in how you rank at the matches.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
glynn said:
I would not bother with the revolvers, or the shotgun, or the .22 rifles. You see, if you choose the Mini-14, the 223 AK, or the AR-15, there is a .22lr conversion unit for it that makes more sense than the .22 rifle. You don't want to get caught by autorifle, or even shotgun toting enemies, when all you have is a .22 rifle.

Where is the crystal ball that will tell you when you can risk having nothing but the feeble 22 rifle, or the very short ranged shotgun? The pistol is unlikely to mean much of anything for shtf. You will have almost no choice but to keep a truly effective fighting rifle either in hand, or on the assault sling, or within reach as you sleep or eat, for the first year or so. After that, either order will have been restored, or so many will be dead that the risks of combat will be greatly reduced.

So I'd stock up on 9mm, but not to have if shtf, but to shoot before shtf, to build the SKILL necessary if all I had was a pistol when attacked. Pistols are for "normal times' defense. Rifles are for shtf. You are most unlikely to get to any longarm in time, even in your home. If you have 5-10 seconds in which to go run for any longarm, why could you not have run up on the guy, stuck your (ccw'd) pistol up his nose, and emptied the mag? Everything takes time to do, and many of the things guys THINK that they can do in a fight, take way too long to be practically helpful (except if luck takes a hand on your side).

The .22lr conversion unit lets you get in lots of low cost, realistic snap shooting practice with your fighting rifle, even on indoor ranges, or in areas where the penetration, range and noise of the centefire rifle mean that you can't practice. I've never run a stage of fire with the .22lr unit that I couldn't readily match with the 223, even without the sound suppressor on the centefire.

The .22lr conversions run about $150, do a yahoo search for Jonathan Arthur Ciener Firearms. The caliber swap is 20 seconds, and the accuracy is about 1-1.5" at 25 yds, plenty good enough for taking small game in a shtf scenario. better to have nothing but a .22lr unit (for which you have some rds) than ANY centerfire for which you no longer have any ammo, eh? Also, better to have the OPTION of the much greater power and range of the 223 softpoint than just the .22 or the shotgun.

How is one to carry both a real fighting rifle AND either a .22 rifle or a shotgun? it's not practical, so you have to choose. On men using cover, the shotgun is limited to 20-30 yds of effective range (depending upon the load and the choke) because the only realistic target is head-sized. Head sized holes occur in the shot-pattern at longer ranges, so you can easily miss at such ranges, even tho your shot pattern was well centered on your enemy's head.

When the woods will be full of autorifle-armed enemies (even if all they have is .22's), the shotgun is outranged. The deer slugs are very expensive to practice with, and very hard to use well, so they dont add NEARLY the capability that guys fantasize that they offer. So you are stuck with some sort of autorifle, and either the .22lr conversion unit, or with trying to forage with a .22 pistol of some sort. The pistol practice doesn't help your skill building with the rifle. Neither does practice with the shotgun. Nearly everyone lacks the time and money to practice enough with hand to hand, pistol, and rifle, so the shotgun is the thing to do-without, if you have to choose. You want to QUIETLY take that cow, horse, dog, etc, not blast off a 12 ga shell that will be heard by every looter in a 2 mile radius of you. Also, 22 rds are 135 to the lb, and about 1/10th as bulky as 12 ga shells. 12 shells are 10 to the lb, and very expensive to stockpile. They are also very susceptible to moisture and gun oils, because of the opening at the pie crimp. They are easilly damaged by rough handling, too. So the shotgun doens't amount to much as a shtf choice.

I probably should have made my situation a little more clear. If SHTF I would probably just be hunkering down where I am now, so I would be counting on the .22 and shotgun for hunting more than anything. And I could see the very plentiful .22 coming in handy for a "Keep their heads down while I go around" type situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
glynn said:
Neither the .30 AK rd nor the .20 AK rd, nor the 308 are the GI or cop issue rd, mags, or parts. That could easily make a diff, in a couple of ways. You could be perceived to be a "good guy" if what you have is an M4, and be percieved to be a bad guy with any other sort of longarm, and be shot out of hand, no questions asked. You could need to restock either ammo, parts, mags, or the gun, if yours takes a hit, etc. If what you can find is the AR-15 and 223, ( and that's by far the most likely case, too) then it would be good to be skilled-familiar with that system-caliber).
The AK's safety lever sucks, so you either have to have it gunsmithed, or continously carry it with the safety disengaged. I consider the latter to be borderline insanity, but some guys think nothing of it.
That sounds like a pretty good case for going with the AR over the AK, but how would you answer the reliability question? I am NOT arguing with you, I am asking because I want to learn.
 

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That's why I don't depend on my AR. For the most part they are reliable. The weak point being the magazine. You can stock up on a dozen new mags now but if you really find yourself in a SHTF situation the condition of those mags can change the first time you hit the mag release.

Mine has been pretty reliable so far. The only jams I've had in the AR has come from resting the magazine on a solid surface while shooting. That jams mine in short order. It also did not like the old Wolf laquered case ammo.

Honestly though, mine has less than a thousand rounds through it. On the range I've seen AR's run reliably........I've also seen them jam like crazy. I'm sure someone who is really into the system can give you reliability hints but for my money.....it seems to be too finicky for my tastes.

As to the auto .22, I'd suggest it for 2 reasons........number one you can stockpile a HUGE ammount of ammo for very little money.

Number two.......anyone armed with a .22 in a SHTF situation is going to think long and hard before they do anything. That can be an advantage too.
 

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I don't know what your budget is but you can should be able to get 5,000 rds put back pretty quick.

What'd I'd do after that is pick a caliber of the week or month and spend on that one.

Also for the shotgun I'd get #6 shot, 00 Buck and a few Slugs.

Plus, not sure if it's a family heirloom or not but the S&W 38 short I'd either sell for the best I could get for it or put it on the back burner for now.

For a new gun under the current conditions I'd go with an AR. My advice there is get the best you can afford. Again depends on your budget.
 

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I have never had any problems with over 1000 rounds through my colt ar-15. its a heavy barrel and very accurate. never had any problems with any of the m-16's while in the infantry. My opinion is to have a rifle that shoots 5.56mm or 7.62-51 which is basiclly .223 and 308 cal. their is balistics on ar-15.com forums that you might want to read up on. As far as the 308 its the ones with protective vests that I want to protect my self from and the 308 will go through everthing but the thick 35lbs vest the army uses. I think its the class 4-5. I really do think that when things get bad the best defence will be a good offence. I plan On hitting Canada cause eventually they are going to find the ones with the guns and take them away for how can you have a controlled society when their are those that want regieme change. I think it will come sooner than anyone realizes. Anyway the semiauto rifle is the only way to go and if the ar-15/m-16 was not reliable we wouldn't still have it as a battle rifle. trust me they function well even when dirty, not like the ak but maybe you should pick one up of both and then you choice for ammo will be better. just make sure you get moving because the g-man can make a call to all the gun dealers and ammo dealers in the nation and shut them down within minutes. they are under federal control.
 

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KentuckyRifle said:
I appreciate the advice, I dont really plan on doing anything with the .38 revolver right now.

Why would you reccomend the AR? What makes you say it is the best available?

Well I'd call it the best available under the given circumstances.

It's chambered in one of the standard US/NATO small arms calibers.

Relatively lite weight.

Has a tendancy to be very accurate even in standard models.

Has a very good selection of after market parts and add-ons.

Brand new FMJ ammo is also on the inexpensive side.

You can also get a .22LR conversion kit the is good for some training. I tend to recomend a dedicated .22lr upper myself after seeing how much lead fouling gunk built up on my muzzle break.

I'm not against other rifles and calibers as I also have a National Match M1-A in .308.

Other rifles in that caliber I could recomend by brand are: DSA (FNFAL type), JLD( G-3/HK-91 type).

Now for an AK an ARSENAL/USA built one on a milled reciever using Bulgarian parts would be a good way to go that route.
 

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Load up on .22 LR's, and 12 Gauge. .22 rifles will work for all small game and even Deer size if your a good shot and stalker or ambusher. 12 Gauge Shotguns are definitely "meat guns". They'll harvest small game, all feathered game, Deer, etc. No. 4's, 6's, and slugs will keep you in meat. Both .22's and 12 Gauges can be used for defense, the .22 less effectively than a shotgun at close range. For a fighten' rifle, pick what you like best. I favor the Colt AR's, but there's a couple of AK's hiding in the safe also. Actually, if I was somwhat strapped for cash, I would pick one of the excellen/new Yugoslavian SKS's being sold by AIM Inc. or J&G Sales. It shoots the same inexpensive ammunition as the AK with more accuracy. The 10 shot magazine is not that much of a drawback if you carry your spare ammunition in stripper clips.
 

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Terry G said:
Actually, if I was somwhat strapped for cash, I would pick one of the excellen/new Yugoslavian SKS's being sold by AIM Inc. or J&G Sales.
Everyone I know ones at least one.

Simple, cheap, accurate.........hard not to like them.
 

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If you are going for a .223 autoloader, I like the idea of an AR180b. Cheaper and is supposed to be very reliable. They take AR15 magazines.

However, I do not personally own one... just thought I would present the option.
 

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BigEd63 said:
Now for an AK an ARSENAL/USA built one on a milled reciever using Bulgarian parts would be a good way to go that route.
Those are nice, but I've never seen one outshoot your standard, stamped-receiver AK, assuming both are properly zeroed or use the same optics. Plus, the milled receiver versions weigh as much as a FAL carbine, so IMO, if you're going to hump that much weight, might as well get a battle rifle, and get the advantages that come along with the weight.
 
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