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Whether you are prepping for the zombie apocalypse or the aftermath of a hurricane, self-defense is an important aspect of surviving any disaster. However, a rifle should only be part of what many preppers refer to as a layered defense system.
Though handguns and shotguns are also to be considered, a rifle will give you the most versatility for handling a variety of post-disaster needs from hunting to perimeter security. Ultimately, the choice comes down to your own personal preferences and needs, as there is no such thing as the perfect survival rifle. The semi-automatic AR-15 was designed by Armalite, who then sold the design to Colt in the early 1960s.
One of the best start-up AR-15s for survival purposes is the DPMS Sportical, which will only set you back about $700.
The rifle has seen action all around the globe and is praised for its ability to withstand use and abuse in nearly any terrain, conditions, or combat scenario. That’s because unlike most modern-day tactical rifles, the 60-year old design of the AK employs loosely fitting moving parts that give it the ability to sustain abuse. Though AK-47 is commonly considered a “bad guy” gun, the stereotype attached to it in normal times may come as an advantage during a disaster. Designed as a more compact and lightweighted version of the M1 Garand, a WWII infantry staple, the M1 Carbine was an incredibly versatile rifle that had high effect and tremendous accuracy, especially at mid-range. A modern take on the M1 Carbine, the AOM130, is available from Auto Ordinance for about $800. Unfortunately, the original models from WWII and Korea are getting harder to come by, which is unfortunate given the fact that even the old ones are still battle-ready anytime.
One of the biggest advantages of a .22-rimfire long rifle is the abundance and affordability of ammunition. In addition to its sheer stopping power, the rifle classic employs a classic walnut and stainless steel design that’s both aesthetically pleasing and practical for battling against corrosion in rough weather. The gun needed to be compact, lightweighted, and capable of taking down both wild game and enemy combatants with reliability and accuracy. To that tune, the US military adopted the Springfield Armory M6 Scout as their rifle of choice for aircraft pilots. Though the Scout could still be considered a good survival rifle today, a more modern take on the survival rifle can be found in the form of the Henry Arms AR-7.
The rifle comes with two 8-round magazines for chambering .22 LR ammunition, which is one of the best and most readily available all-purpose survival rounds.
The rifles featured above by no means constitute a comprehensive list of the best all-purpose survival rifles. If you want to have the best chances of surviving a disaster scenario you must equip yourself with a firearm that you feel comfortable shooting at both two-legged and four-legged targets to protect and provide for yourself. The selections above were chosen for their popularity, versatility, affordability, and ability to be handled by shooters of all levels. About the Author Latest PostsAbout Cody GriffinCody Griffin is do-it-yourselfer, and avid outdoorsman. I agree with the Saiga 12, and while I own a M-4 and an AK, I prefer my Ruger mini 30 and mini 14. 7 times out of 10 a (insert your favorite caliber here) handgun is the perfect survival tool, but it is NOT "easy" to get! I live in the great free state, that believes that if you make it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns the criminals won't have any. Handgun, and if I could find one of the origional ones,would have to move out of state to buy it.
I've had a score of traffic tickets and warnings issued to me, sitting in the cop';s car, wearing a pistol that was a felony for me to possess in such a manner . If I'm lugging around a longarm (possible exception of a Marlin Papoose .22lr) it's not going to be limited by using a pistol caliber. Actually, when talking about a long range survival situation, the only time you would want to have two weapons that shoot the exact same ammunition is if they were the exact same weapon, so that if one became inoperable, you could use it for parts to keep the other weapon operating.
I think I would like to have (a bunch) of guys with the same weapon, but mostly able to use the same amm, rather than a variety - even my 'snipers'. But I got a question for readers, since I don't own a gun yet, other than a pellet rifle [RWS 56] (which may explain why my focus is more on escape and evasion). Obviously your actual violent combat police, or other tactical experience is quite limited, if you have any at all. So by your analysis, Hoff, what are you going to do, when a couple 'extremely' suspicious cars come creeping down your driveway, stop periodically, and unass a couple ugly looking zombs with weapons to start to flank your house and continue driving toward your house at the same time? While there is never anything wrong with having multiple guns, and in a military tactical situation, it is an advantage to have different equipment to suit different applications, but for all the practical purposes this won't apply to the average citizen, even in an all out state of anarchy and chaos.
If it's a matter of money, The money spent on all those extra guns is better spent on a duplicate of your primary, more ammo and mags, and some other 'stuff', which would be much more valuable for self protection and 'helping' you in a firefight, than a rack full of guns sitting there that they'll just take anyway after they mob and kill you. YOu won't have any chopper help coming, nor any buddies, so you'd better not miss, and you'd better not be slow, and you'd better not make a lot of noise. Damage Industries is selling some left over AR-15 forged uppers that were part of a government contract. Damage Industries is having a beginning of the year Inventory Reduction Sale that is pretty impressive. Patterned after the A2 style with slightly longer length, wrench flats, and increased strength for durability longevity. Precision machined from 4140 ordnance grade steel, heat treated with mil-spec manganese phosphate protective finish. This weeks Deal of the Week from Damage Industries features some very important items for any AR-15 owner to have on hand and that is Spare Parts Kits. Also, this is the LAST WEEK for our enhanced recoil springs to be on sale until after the end of the year, when we’ll be producing more.
Damage Industries just launched their latest Deal of the Week which is bigger than any they’ve had before. Do you ship to Britain , if so please tell u how much I want one black tapco stock,folding,thanks.
Yea, it’s polymer, but the small distance between the AR stock mount and the AK receiver should help to reduce the torque pressures that this adapter will have to absorb. I have a Centurion 39, which has a milled receiver, but I really want that Mako folding stock for my rifle. I read an article that the 20" barrel Russian VEPR is but am sure there r experienced guys here with experience to address this! There are some very accurate 7.62x39 guns out there that can deliver tight groups at 200+ but most are semi-auto and designed for volume of fire and not accuracy. I don't own one, but I bet for sending 7.62X39 to mid-range sniper accuracy that's the best you could possibly get.
Snipers want to be far enough away from its quarry so that accurate return fire would be difficult with iron sighted weaponry.
If you can hold off until summer Savage is coming out with a bolt action rifle chambered in 7.62x54R, and another company is coming out with a more expensive model. For a semi-auto the Molot Vepr seems like a very good choice, but not cheap and not as accurate as a bolt action. The older Ruger M77 Mk2 with synthetic stock was another interesting 7.62X39 bolt gun -they go for about $600 if you can find one and use Ruger scope rings for a strong mount. It doesn’t matter if you are bugging out or sheltering, your need to arm yourself with a variety of weaponry, self-defense skills and training is the same.
However, the options and varieties when it comes to choosing a survival rifle are nearly endless and even the most avid shooters and preppers struggle to choose a favorite. Below we will feature a handful of rifles that are commonly considered to be among the best all-purpose firearms to have on hand when SHTF.
AR-15 – The AR-15, which is manufactured by dozens of individual companies and comes in a variety of styles, is one of the most widely used rifles in the world.
The updated fully-automatic Colt AR-15 became the standard infantry weapon of the US Military and has since become a favorite in military, law enforcement, and civilian communities alike. Both Armalite and Colt still produce semi-automatic versions of the AR for civilian purchase, but other popular manufacturers include DPMS, Smith & Wesson, Remington, and Bushmaster. AK-47 – Like the AR-15, the AK-47 is one of the most popular rifles in the world, and easily one of the most widely recognized. An AK-47 can be submerged in water or mud, go through a sandstorm, or fall off a cliff and still fire without fail. The tradeoff is relatively mediocre accuracy, but a 30-round magazine of 7.62x39mm rounds should be more than enough to hit your target in a survival standoff. M1 Carbine – Though it hasn’t seen active duty in combat since Vietnam, the M1 Carbine was for years considered to be one of the best combat rifles in the world. The standard comes with a 15-round magazine of .30-caliber rounds, which aren’t the best for taking down targets at a distance, but serve their purpose at closer ranges and in hunting scenarios.
The rifle, made in the USA at Kahr Arm’s Worcester, MA plant, weighs in at just 5.4-pounds and features an 18-inch barrel and traditional walnut stock. However, .30-caliber ammo is becoming increasingly more expensive and harder to come across giving the M1 Carbine what is probably its only disadvantage as a modern-day survival rifle.
The .22-caliber rimfire ammunition doesn’t deliver any kickback or recoil, but can hit targets at 100-yards with deadly precision and ease. This will allow you to enjoy endless days of target shooting before SHTF and the opportunity to stockpile plenty of backup rounds to have on hand when disaster strikes. Marlin 1985 GS – If you want a compact rifle with big stopping power that will take down nearly any type of game in any kind of whether, look no further than the lever-action Marlin 1985 GS. Whether you’re up against a mob of angry looters, zombies, or a wild bear, the Marlin 1985 GS will have no problem mowing down anything in its path. The rifle starts at about $650, a reasonable price to pay for a rifle that’s guaranteed to put food on the table and stop enemies in their tracks when the going gets rough. Henry Arms AR-7 – The term “survival rifle” was originally designated for those guns designed to be carried in the cockpits of military aircraft when a pilot was shot down in enemy territory. The AR-7 weighs a mere 3.5-pounds and measures just 16-5-inches when broken down, making it ideal for concealed carry in a bug out bag, vehicle, or even underneath your jacket. The gun will only cost you about $280 and can serve as either your primary or backup survival rifle. There is a nearly unlimited array of options to choose from, each of which have their advocates and serve various needs in the military, law enforcement, hunting, and target shooting community. The choice comes down to you, but in the end the best survival rifle is the one you have with you, the one you have ammo for, and the one you’re trained to shoot effectively.
While it is good to own a hand gun, it is to be used only when your rifle or shotgun fails. If you pay attention to what it is and how you carry it, nobody else will ever know that you have one, much less ccw it. While they average the same price in today's market, if you shop carefully you can easily assemble an AR for 100 bucks less than you can get a Saiga for. These stripped uppers are all feature a 1913 rail top, USGI contract M4 marking and M4 feed ramps. If you need parts to finish off the upper, they have those in-stock so don’t forget to add them too.
Whenever I see sales like this I tend to go through my parts stash and figure out what’s missing so I can snag some needed items at a great deal instead of paying retail when I realize I need it. If your guns are safe queens and you have no intention of ever using them in a shtf type situation, you don’t need any spare parts.
This week they have their Black Oxide coated Gas Tubes in all sizes on sale for just $8.33 (no pistol length, all others are instock). They’ve basically brought back some popular sale items, extended some sales, added in some t-shirts and oh yeah, added an AR-15 semi auto BCG for just $99. Both are great deals but the first deal listed below is the one that really catches my attention. I thought the MAKO route would allow me a couple of stash places for CR-123 batteries, rail mounting points, and uniform diaginal ventilation lines on the parts, incorporating style, all in one modification. And at such distances, the sniper round has got to be powerful enough to keep the MOA consistently tight at considerable distances. I was hoping to find a bolt action 7.62x39 rather than all those autos but in reading could not find a thing. You would think they would be announcing this new addition to the Savage line far and wide.
They only cost about $25 and are put into the chamber with blue Loc-tite and removed with a broken shell remover.
The scope is high, so I use my right eye for the irons, and my left eye to look through the scope. History has proven the rifle to be the best all-purpose firearm to face a variety of combat and self-defense scenarios. With that said, if you could have only one firearm in a survival situation it should be a quality rifle.
Like most ARs, it can be upgraded with an endless array of accessories to suit your post-disaster survival needs. If not, the sheer intimidation of the gun’s appearance and rate of fire will be enough to send a clear message to your attacker not to mess with you.
AKs are great considerations for preppers on a budget who want to send a clear message to anyone who tries to harm them when SHTF.
Others believe basic is better and consider the .22-caliber Long Rifle (LR) to be the best and the only rifle you need to survive any disaster.
The carbine-style rifle comes in stock with a 10-round rotary magazine that sits flush with the stock of the gun, helping to give it a lower profile and more comfortable carry. Fortunately, ammo costs shouldn’t be much of a concern to begin with, as the gun itself will only set you back a couple hundred bucks. Despite the appearance of a menacing big-game hunter, which is indeed, the 1985 GS only measures 37-inches overall and weighs just 7-pounds. You either need to be extremely lucky to have your permit approved, have a sitting Judge as a golfing buddy, or risk arrest by getting one illegally. A hand gun is a last resort at really close range, while your rifle and or shotgun is to keep the threat at bay.
Bolt action because it's more reliable and lower maintenance, especially when you are in the boonies far from a gun store (or all the gun stores have long been looted), and, "Red Dawn" fantasies aside, you are going to want to avoid tactical situations that require rapid fire and high capacity if you want to survive long in a SHTF scenario. They are also hard-coat annodized to MIL-A-8625 type III class 2 and Dry-Film Lubed with machined and painted T-slot marked positions.
They have everything from small spare parts and springs to rail systems, slings and BCG’s. There are a couple of deals that I personally am immediately interested in such as the Milspec Complete M4 Telescoping Buttstock Kit for $45, 1913 Drop-in Rail for $69 and Lower Parts Kit for $50.
However, if you do use your guns you probably already know that the smallest things tend to break at the worst times. They have also included their Small Parts Kit which consists of springs, detents and pins that can easily be lost of damaged for just $25. However, when for example you purchase just one gas tube, it will default to a medium flat rate box ($12.35) due to the size of the gas tube. This weeks deal includes 3 different products that I personally own and have been very impressed with.
Its a complete Premium Lower Build Kit that includes the Damage Industries Premium LPK and Complete M4 Stock Kit for just $99.
I decided to buy the plastic MAKO tactical stock and forearm, plus the hollow MAKO pistol grip for it, but was very disappointed to learn that the pistol grip was all that would fit. The saigas M series had some good press with the longer barrels but scopes set up so high on them using the side mount acquiring a target and holding it was a challenge so some said. In a nutshell, I wanted to have an AK that would take a cool scope and bust pieces of clay pigeons out to 200m. The single-shot Remington SPR18, in 7.62x39, which is a break-open action gun, has some difficulties getting reliable ignition from Wolf Ammo with the first pull of the trigger. From there you can customize and accessorize your Ruger to suit your specific survival needs. It looks very similar to an A2 Birdcage flash hider but is a bit longer and is made of 4140 ordnance grade steel. Last but not least they are extending the Buy 1 Get 1 Free sale on the Enhanced Buffer Spring.
There wasn’t even any distant similarities in the parts, so I had to re-assemble it with yellow wood. Then, a friend offered that he could probably fix it, so I let him keep it and all the mags, and a double handfull of ammo for a few weeks. I realize the round is not a Reach Out but was hoping to find a bolt action that I could shoot at my range out say to 300 yrds. FWIW, Ruger once offered the Model 77 MkII in 7.62x39, they no longer produce em' but they can probably still be found on the used market. VEPRs are very well made, and I added a RSA trigger and floated the front handguard like McGuyver style.
I'm surprised that no one mentioned the SKS as a very dependable rifle, more durable than an AK47 anyday. Just in case have you're 12 gauge ready to go with a case of shells and a Remington 16 gauge. At $39, this is one of those deals where even if you didn’t need one, you should snag one or two for future builds. I recommend trying to have a wide selection of spare parts as you never know what will go wrong. My stamped reciever takes one bolt through the stock, via the hole behind the recoil pad, like a shotgun. He wouldn’t take any money, but I layed $60 on his table when I left, and it now runs like a sewing machine with all those mags. I would think almost any kind of bolt action rifle in this caliber is going to offer more accuracy potential than a semi-auto, if a sniper rifle is your goal. The second part of the deal is that the Spare Parts Kits from last weeks sale are still on sale. Damage Industries has a ton of different spare parts kits to choose from (way more than what is pictured below). Last but not least is their Enhanced (Chrome Silicon) Recoil Spring for both Carbine and Rifle Length tubes are Buy One Get One Free. But as a couple of you have mentioned, I don’t want any more plastic than needed, which might weaken the gun under use. He stood broadside to me with a large target on his chest while telling me to aim a little higher and slightly to the left lol.
No, I’m really happy with the operation now, and this model is supposed to be a good, well made AK. I am not saying that this is my opinion of the best rifle to own but cheap and dependable and better also at close range or CQB.
After seeing it all, I went back to the dealer who had several in the boxes, each with two mags for $650 I think it was, and plunked down a credit card. I don’t know, the yellow Maple starts to grow on you, after handling it alot with dirty hands, I just wish it would more readily accept accessories. Ther IS actually supposed to be an adaptor available for my gun out there, with the wedged end, and a single bolt running thru.
Please keep my e-mail handy, just in case you do run across one in your travels, as I’d still like that option.
My top half of my fore end is gonna be another story, trying to match up, I’m afraid.
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