Part 8: The Best Survival Carbine (AR Style Rifle)

Part 8: (The Conclusion) So what is the best survival carbine (AR style rifle)?  The answer is whatever is best for you according to your intended uses, budget and comfort level using it in different applications and configurations.  There is no right or wrong answer.

This article is Part 8 and the final post in the Survival Carbine Series.
Read Part 1: (A Little Background)
Read Part 2: (History)
Read Part 3: (Direct Gas Impingement (DI/DGI) vs. Gas Piston Operated)
Read Part 4: (Build Options)
Read Part 5: (Commercially Available Direct Gas Impingement Systems)
Read Part 6: (Commercially Available Gas Pistons Systems)
Read Part 7: (Ammo)

There are quite a number of options when building or purchasing a complete survival carbine/AR15 style rifle and the companies listed in this series are just a small sampling of what is out there.

I wish I had more time and could include more information but I’m sure you’ll have fun AR 15 Survival Carbineresearching more on your own.  There are great companies and options that weren’t included because of space and time limitations such as SIG, Knights Armament, Bravo Company USA, Charles Daly Defense and some others.  Most of these systems range from very expensive to expensive depending on the model and options you choose, however there are some cheaper options out there that are reputably just as reliable as those listed above (i.e. RRA, STAG, Spikes, DPMS, Bushmaster, etc.), there are also options to build your own using parts kits and conversion kits, a good link for that is here.  Scott Powers has also written a great article on building an AR yourself at an affordable price which is posted on www.snipercountry.com and it can be accessed at this link here.

I encourage you to research and come up with the system that works best for you and that you M4 Survival Carbinefeel the most comfortable operating, if you decide to go this direction.  If you have little to no experience with the AR system it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to purchase your first survival rifle as a complete system and the list of manufacturers listed in part 5 and part 6 of the Survival Carbine Series would be a good place to start.

I hope this article helped and good luck deciding what the best AR survival carbine is best for you.

Remember, the future belongs to those who prepare!

All photos by Mr. Smashy



Mr. Smashy
Written by Mr. Smashy

Mr. Smashy has been shooting competitively for more than 15 years. Scouted from a junior club rifle team for the state team, he has won state championships in several events over his years. Mr. Smashy currently competes in NRA Highpower, USPSC, Action Pistol, among others. Mr. Smashy has excellent knowledge of US service rifles, reloading, and marksmanship. Read his full interview here. Read more of Mr. Smashy's articles.

59 thoughts on “Part 8: The Best Survival Carbine (AR Style Rifle)”

  1. Please let me know if you're looking for a article writer for your weblog. You have some really good posts and I think I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I'd really like to write some content for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested. Regards!

    Reply
  2. An AR-15 in 5.56 caliber is an okay gun. An AR-15 in .308 caliber I think is the best all around SHTF weapon after much research. The 5.56 is not a hunting caliber.

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    • Read THECOMPLETE BOOK OF THE RIFLE, by Jim Carmichael. Jim had taken many trophy hears, in America and Africa. He bet his farm, worth over a million $ in today's money, that he could take any N American Game animal, under conditions of fair chase, too, with a .22 Hornet. He further bet another 50k, in today's money, that he could do so with no more than 2 shots per animal. The 223 has about double the power and range of the .22 hornet load of which he spoke, and the autoloader's fast followup shots increase the advantage that the 223 has

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    • it can easily be super important that you be able to conceal a shtf rifle. The shorty AR takes down in 5 seconds, stows out of sight ina pack, attache case, gymbag, grocery sack, and can be reassembled and fired in 10 seconds.

      Elk or moose are so big that you need not take more than 1-2 of them per year, and you can manage that with a spear and some foot snares, tied to a drag log. Don't make the mistake of thinking that you want to be without the 223/.22lr/silencer/concealment and all the other advantages of the AR. QD, return to zero scope base, see thru mounts,luminous iron sights, drop in trigger jobs, chromed bore and chamber, dark, corrosition resistant finish, sight line clear of the silencer's bulk, GI parts, mags, ammo, 80% or stripped or 3D built up lower receievers, etc. You want an 11.5" long barrel with 1 in 9 twist, btw.

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    • 223 AR's win MOST of the 600 yd NRA rifle matches, guys, did you know that? It's simply a crock to claim that the 308 has more range under realistic combat conditions. There won't be any spotter shots, wind flags, waiting for the wind to die down,waiting for the heat mirage to stop, and no Uncle Sam to bail you out if you bite off more than you can chew, either.:-) For 50 or more reasons, the 223 AR is better than any other choice for survival, IF you've got the .22lr unit, silencer,etc.

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  3. As for hunting I have seen a 5.56 take down a deer. They make a 77gr hollow point for hunting and then the smaller 22 cal. round won't tear up small game. So I like the 5.56 as an alll around rifle. I live on the east coast so the biggest game we have is black bears. I have watched guys take one of them out with a 22 LR. I would have never believed it if I hadn't have seen it myself. Out west maybe a differant story. As for the brand I am going to stick with a kel-tech su-16. It has a folding stock and takes standard m16 mags. Plus it cost only $400-$500.

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  4. The only problem I have with AR-10's is that I can't find one I deem affordable. My feelings are if you want a semi-auto .308 rifle, buy an M1A.

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    • Be careful buying an AR-10. Different manufacturers use different magazines. Some use FAL mags and others use M1A mags. That could a problem in a SHTF event if you have to search for extra mags

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      • That’s why you keep a pair of tin-snips in the toolbox 😉 seriously though, you can convert most magazines pretty easily, hell I even made my mosin nagant m1944 (7.62x54r) magazine fed with an old m16a2 mag (30-06). Eventually I realized a magazine really isn’t necessary for an old bolt action, and just made some stripper clips out of it.

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  5. A few things to consider on the AR-10 vs AR-15 argument. 5.56×45 is significantly cheaper to buy/shoot/familiarize with and significantly lighter to carry than 7.62×51 NATO or .308 Winchester ammunition. You can carry probably close to twice the ammunition for an AR-15 than you can with the AR-10.

    Also as stated above, AR-10s are harder to come by, more expensive, and I have rarely seen magazines for sale for that platform. If you were really stuck on 7.62×51, I could personally carry something that used FN FAL magazines or H&K G3 magazines as those are much easier to come by.

    All in all, a very well written and well thought-out series! What series is next?

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    • Personally I find it to be more job-specific when it comes to ammunition. Longer ranges usually require larger ammunition. Up to 3-400 yds I’d use a 5.56 past that most likely a .308 or larger. It also depends on my target, if I have to shoot through something to get to my target, I need something that has the punch to get through it. Steel cored (er.. Depleted Uranium) jacketed rounds like the 7.62×54 has a lot more penetration than a .223 will EVER have. Use the right ammunition for the right job – or “The Only ‘Slug’ You Should Use For Home Defense Is A Louisville”

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  6. I strongly disagree with the author of this article. The AR platform though a Great piece of hardware, requires entirely too much maintenance both preventive and in field service. The precision of the system is what makes it so cumbersome and hard to maintain in field conditions. It's not easy to learn or to maintain. Just for those two reasons it's a no go. If you take the gunsmithing support out of the equation, you got a serious problem.
    IMO, the AK system has an enormous proven track record, requires very little in field maintenance. It will fire dry all day long, has very few parts, will function with no or very little cleaning. The only shortcoming is the ammo availability. That said, I've been pleasantly surprised to find out that there are AK platforms available in 5.56 Nato round, the most widely available rifle round (military and LE). My personal boom stick will have to be an AK-74 derivative (updated and more modern version of AK-47) in 5.56 round. It's simply the best of both worlds – reliability and longevity with abundant cartridge supply. Thoughts?

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    • I believe in the Rifleman’s Creed. “…without me my rifle is useless, without my rifle I am useless, my rifle is my best friend… I must master it (my rifle) as I must master myself… I must learn its parts, it’s accessories, it’s weaknesses, and it’s strengths.. I will.” it’s a simple creed to live by, and if you spend even just 10 minutes each day (more than enough time for a tear-down and rebuild) learning about your rifle, it will help you tremendously when you need it the most. All weapon systems are confusing until you have familiarity with it’s innards. Eventually, with enough practice, you will be able to not only name the type, manufacturer, and caliber of all your weapons, you will be able to tear down and rebuild each of them quickly in the field or at home.

      For instance:
      Recently I became lost by myself during a hiking trip. It was about I’d say 0dark30. I had with me my Remington 495 .22 disassembled for ease of carrying. There are a lot of bears around that mountain range, and many sightings in the nearby city, well guess what I happened across? I’ve never assembled a weapon so fast with such low light in my entire life, and hope to never have to again. Luckily my large stature (thanks to the good ol’ Marine Corps 70lb capable duffle bag/pack) scared the bastard off down the mountain, the weapon didn’t save me in this situation, however it may very well have been necessary to use it, had the bear attacked me, also having a rifle (no matter what caliber) is a great comfort to combat that undescribable feeling of being watched, something stalking you, waiting for that perfect moment to strike. I’m not afraid of being killed by a human, at least they won’t eat you… Anyway, After the bear incident, I pushed another 2+ miles east and hit a small 2-lane road about a mile from my house. Disassembled my rifle, walked home, and became very religious afterwards.

      My point is it is very important to know your rifle. You must know how to take care of it, or it will not be able to take care of you, and will fail when you need it the most. Do I know for a fact my rifle would have worked in the above situation? No. But I am confident enough in my understand of its parts, accessories, strengths and weaknesses that I am WILLING to entrust my life to it. So I cannot stress enough the fact that you MUST learn the ins and outs of your rifle, no matter how hard, and as far as care goes, stock up on ALL the necessities of a rifle. Gun oil, spare parts, ammo, et cetera. Whether it’s an AK or an AR it needs to be cleaned or it will fail.

      Also you MUST understand your rifle’s limitations. Go out, get a little dirty, play in some mud and sand, go shooting in the rain or snow. Scratch the stock up a little. Basically do everything you can to jam, cause malfunction, or otherwise muck-up your weapon, then learn to fix the problem, then practice practice practice. Afterwards spend a long time cleaning and caring for your weapon, clean everything, get that special CLP in every nook and cranny you can find, and when you’re done, clean it again.

      Whatever rifle you choose, it is your lifeline. How you treat it decides your fate. An AK will jam, it will break, as will all weapons. It’s not about the caliber, or the so called “reliability” of a weapon, or even the accuracy. It is about how well the shooter knows his weapon. Ask any sniper about their weapon, and they will know it better than they know themselves. They can still effectively use other weapons, but with their rifle they can overcome any obstacle that’s thrown at them. They can shoot without aligned sights, they can move more effectively, they feel comfortable, and they know their weapon WILL protect them.

      A closing note:
      A true rifleman never blames his weapon for inaccuracies or malfunctions, he overcomes these problens, and masters them. He never curses his weapon, he fixes it. He doesn’t see his rifle as “just another tool” it is a living breathing part of him, and he protects it as he would protect himself. A true rifleman will live the Rifleman’s Creed, even if he has never heard it. Anybody can purchase a gun, but only a rifleman can bond with it. (also sometimes expressed as ‘have sex with it’ but that’s just the jarhead’s ;)”

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  7. I have a Kel-Tec 2000 subrifle that I like. It is fairly acurate to 100 meters, the ammo is the same as some of my pistols, and it will fold up and fit in a concealed rear compartment in my backpack.

    There are more thick woods around here than large open stretches for hunting game. I can't afford the expensive deer leases around here anymore to hunt, so I viewed this option as more utilitarian for my situation than a larger rifle caliber.

    The Kel-Tec is also much more affordable a gun for me.

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    • I also have a Sub-2000 in .40 Glock configuation. It is surprisingly accurate up to 100 yds and has more "thump" than you would think. In my past career I carried a .40 Glock and have personally examined both humans, deer, and pitbulls that were shot with .40's. Most were terminal. In comparison when we carried 9mm very rarely did we have one shot kills. I've always thought that the Sub-2000 would make an excellent light survival rifle especially with the ability to carry more ammo due to weight.

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      • Its also nice to be able to use the same round in your carbine as in your pistol. If one fails all your ammo is still useable in your backup gun. Doesn't do much good to have tons of ammo in your pack and have no way to fire it.
        The sub-2000k is not only light, compact, and accurate, it is easy to break down and service. I use the Keltec p11 as my conceal carry weapon and this weapon can be completly broken down w/ only an empty 9mm case. Again the best-most expensive gun in the world is not much count if you cant use it because you left your toolbox at home.

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  8. One other option to consider if you really like the AR platform is one in 9mm. Before you dismiss the 9mm as too anemic remember the 9mm in a rifle is a completely different beast than a 9mm in a handgun. As I recall the energy figures are about the same as a .357 magnum which most people feel is not anemic. The agency I retired from used the Colt AR sub guns (selective fire) in 9mm for the Special Response Team (SRT). They were scary accurate inside 100 yds and went bang EVERY time! The nice thing about the 9mm is think how much more ammo you could carry. Most European countries used some form of 9mm long gun for their hostage rescue teams for many years ie. MP-5, Uzi, etc. I have never shot a deer with a 9mm long gun however I have shot several coyotes with a Marlin Camp 9 carbine. Coyotes are an amazingly tough animal to kill more so than deer IMHO. I can personally attest that the 9mm out of a rifle put down the coyotes with authority and appeared to cause much more tissue damage than ones shot with .223 varmit bullets. That being said I would never reccomend shooting the same animals with a 9mm handgun.

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    • I agree w/ the 9mm platform. Sure its no 50cal, but I think the point is to find a happy medium b/w not to big and not to small. Just right. In addition 9mm has got to be the most plentiful round next to .22lr and 12 guage. If gun totally fails, it'd be easy to replace your 9mm and still be able to use all that 9mm ammo you have stocked up.

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    • The first of the AR's that I got was in a 9mm configuration and I did this for a couple of reasons:
      1. I can use the same ammo for it as I use for my pistol, thus reducing overall space/weight requirements (and if I need to rob Peter to pay Paul I can easily do so). Mine uses the Uzi mags (which are plentiful) but I have seen magblocks set up to use Glock mags and if that is your sidearm of choice you have now cut the weight down even more.
      2. I am hoping that I never need to shoot out past 100 yards in a survival situation if I don't have to.
      3. As you had mentioned, the 9mm makes a big hole, and if you use a good projectile like +P Gold Dot, Hydroshock, etc… you will get even better results than basic ball ammo that most folks have for 5.56 and thus make any kills required more humane

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  9. Survival AR style????? Come on Guy's lets be a little true to reality. What a person needs is a good compact but highly accurate .22mag. Yes, I understand its a small Cal Rim fire but just take a look at the advantages and a good look at what survival really is.

    .22 Mag Good CCI ammo 40gr hollow point about $10.00 per bx of 50
    I can carry 4 times the ammo count as 5.56 mm
    .22 mag can kill most any game animal to include whitetail
    the .22 mag can also defend you just fine from personnel
    and when we are talking survival come on 223 or 308 on small game
    and when you do fire, if it's be food or protection you have less sound detection
    and my last point, you can take about 3 .22mags with ammo and seal them in PVC pipe cache's and have them in remote locations for when the SH&$ hits the fan!!

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  10. Not trying to be argumentative, but the AK-74 and AK-47 (my preference) were built for rough use in dirty conditions by folks with limited or no training and minimal resupply. I am not sure I can say the same for any 'modern' rifle, especially the AR platforms. I could be wrong but I'd be betting against a few hundred thousand AK users in the various 3rd world latrines of this planet. Just a thought.

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    • I agree about the design. In the manual it states that if you find one frozen in a snow bank to urinate on the receiver and it will still fire. (pissy bullets!). I have the Israeli make. Golani sporter. It’s made just like a kalishnakov but chambered in 5.56nato/ .223rem. A much more plentiful round here stateside!

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  11. I like all the info everyone gives here. What kind of mags for a .22 mag long rifle are better than others ? What mags hold the most rounds and operates with less problems? Which 22 long rifle dose anyone recommend? What kinds of customizing can one do with any of the 22 long rifles?
    Thanks.

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    • Ruger 10/22 is the most easy 22lr to customize. there are more after market accessories for it than any other gun. do a google search on 10/22 accessories and see how many hits you come up with.

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  12. Personally, I adore my M-16A1 (actually a Franklin Arsenal stamped XM16E1) but she would not be my first choice in a SHTF situation. I'm gonna have to give it up to my M1A1 carbine for CQB and my old Marlin 30-30 for anything that requires any serious hate and discontent.

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  13. It isn't always the person and sometimes even the world's best shot can't hit the target. I've had Communist manufactured ammo that was so erratic that from a bench rest at 100 yards a 5 round spread was around 3 yards! I stopped and threw the rest of the ammo away after the 6th round hit about 10 yards in front of the firing line. It was probably a combination of crimp and powder grain size but Billy Dixon himself couldn't hit the broad size of a barn with that ammo.

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  14. Sig Sauer 556 Russian – 7.62×39 – takes standard AK mags – i will pick one up tomorrow. I have the sig 556 (5.56×45) and carry that daily. Sig is suppose to come out with a .308 on the 556 platform and that will be nice – sig 716 – original design had it using armalite ar 10 mags – now it will use the stoner/dpms/magpul mags.

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  15. To you all. keep what ever you have handy and it would be a good thing to have a extra box of ammo in a different cal than you carry, you may need to supply your buddy.

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  16. I think the AR platform is great as the bug out weapon and defense rifle once you have arrived at the place you are “going to ground”. Long term survival rifle would be the 22 LR Magnum firing. Thou the Sub 2000 systems do sound intriguing. For that one I’d probably still go with the .40 cal.

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  17. Just a couple thoughts on the AR platform for shtf…FAIL ZERO BCG coatings! they provide a coating for the bolt carrier that doesnt require lubrication. it allows the system to run cooler due to lack of friction. carbon cant build up as quickly. No lubrication or cleaning solvents are neccessary, as all you need is a t-shirt or some leaves to wipe it down and stuff it back together. I just sold a car and i'm outfitting both of my AR platforms with these BCG's/hammers just because i do recognize that this platform requires preventative maintence. (or used to)

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  18. Mr Smashy, because I live in CA, a AR platform is not really going to work for me. (CA makes the gun to difficult to get and they have add-ons {bullet buttons} that kill them for me.). So what about going with the mini-14? The non tactical stock makes no difference to me, but the lack of a bullit button is way big.

    So getting to my questions. Can the mini-14 fire 5.56 rounds long term? What are anyone’s durability issues? Saw posts that questioned accuracy, that seems odd for a Ruger product. Any comments would be appreciated.

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  19. Recent reader. Love a lot of what i find here. and here it comes BUT………..

    Almost all semi automatic rifles have a high maintenance requirement. AR AK and SKS all have good and bad points about them but their tolerance to out and about abuse is exceeded by all but a few of the bolt action rifles. I personally only count on my AR and my AK for only a week or two of use before they become untenable to maintain. Dare I mention the aged venerable and clunky Mosin family. I under stand they have a low rate of fire and I understand they low capacity.
    But as an experiment I intentionally did not clean mine for 500 rounds fired over a 2 month period. I suffered little accuracy damage out to 200 yards ( longest range I can find in my area of NY). NO noticeable degradation to performance of the action. As for RoF I was able to maintain my 3 rounds permit aimed rate from prone and kneeling.)
    As for power, It's a 7.62x54r equal in power easily to NATO .308 ( i reload a .308 projectile) Rounds are not light so field carry is not high. probably no more then 200 rounds when loaded out with other kit.

    As a bonus they are cheap. NOT pretty but hey if ya run out of ammo they make great battle clubs. ( i know old joke).

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    • Yep, the Mosin is tough to beat. We forget that everyone EXCEPT the US went through WW2 with bolt action main battle rifles. I really don't think that group combat is a major factor for post TSHTF. A solid hunting arm makes a lot of sense and will function in the defensive role IF you know how to use it. I'm a fan of lever guns and with one I can put AIMED fire down range as fast as with any semi-auto. The M16 was designed to be used full auto. The M14 was deemed to have too much recoil so a smaller round was developed. I don't consider full auto a primary hunting mode. It's fun and easy to shoot, but for a survival carbine I want rugged reliability and a solid round that does the jobs that need to be done in a survival situation.

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    • The only maitenance an AK requires is that you load it an point it in the right direction.
      I saw a show where some people were doing a presentation on Laos where the found an AK that was is under mud and sand in an old rice marsh when they pulled it out the thing had rust all over it, (now I do not reccomend this) they then took a rock and slamed the bolt shut and the thing emptied the magazine , Now love them or hate them THAT was impressive

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  20. Mr. Smashy

    Love the article. Very well thought out and written. My problem is that I live in California. I have the pistol covered (XD .40), shotgun (Mossberg 500[7+1]) covered and now am looking to acquire a AR comp that accepts mag and doesn’t fall into the “menacing” category that the ARs do.

    The mini 14 seems to fit the bill put I don’t know anyone that owns or has shot one. Comments?

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  21. Good article, lots of good points brought up by everyone. For the people asking about 308 in an AR platform, I would say the Rock River LAR-8 would be a great choice. The versatility in magazines alone is worth it (the rifle takes FAL mags- inch or metric), and rock river builds awesome stuff. I'm a huge fan of my M1A, and know that it's more than capable as far as accuracy. I guess when it comes down to it, I'd rather have one guy with a beat up old bolt action 22 that is mastered with the rifle, rather than ten guys with AR's that couldn't shoot themselves in the foot. The weapon is as deadly as you allow it to be.

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  22. The Ruger SR 556 is a very nice gun, especially the new C model. If you don't own an AR yet, get the gas piston model. They run cooler and are way more reliable. In a survival situation you may not have your white little cloth patches and rem oil around. Gas pistons can go much longer without cleaning. My crappy M4 used to jam up quite a bit in Afghanistan and when people are shooting at you and you can't fire back, it is not a good feeling, trust me. I wish I would have had my Ruger in Afghanistan instead of that POS M4 the Army gave me.

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  23. lol…that wasn't there when I read this article or I missed it completely. I sold the Daniel Defense and picked up a Ruger SR-556C. I love this gun. I like this way better than my Daniel. For me it is a piston gun all the way.

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  24. A man asked me if I thought that someone could make an AR style rifle that was as reliable as an AK , I told him , Sir people have been trying since 1947 and it has not happened yet.
    If the feces ever does hit the fan (more like when) Then I need to know that whether it is the mountains, desert, swamp, inner cities, rural areas, blistering heat or bitter cold ,That I can rely on what I have and simply put you may lie to others but not to your self the AR has not seen the day it can as reliable as an AK, I will give up a little accuracy for the knowledge that no matter where on this earth I am , no matter the conditions, most violent encounters take place within 150 yards and an AK will do anything an AR will do at that range PEROID.

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  25. A lot of people are stating that an AK system is much more reliable than an AR base system; the reason for this is because AK's use a gas-piston system! Just get a gas-piston AR. You get the reliability of an AK combined with the accuracy of an AR!

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  26. always great to hear the same arguments 5.56 to 308 or 7.62×39. Don't get me wrong I own all of them. The big difference is your AO. In open country 5.56 can make you feel like your not even armed. In Afghanistan we couldn't hit the next ridge line with our shorty m-4s but in Baghdad, more, lighter rounds was always my goal. But in the end I prefer a gas fed AR-15 type (not piston). I carried a HK 416(piston) and never had a problem with it except it was much heavier then my colt. So when your picking a weapon decide if your prey/threat could be beyond 300 meters then you might need something hotter then 556. Either way grab your weapon and basic load and go run around in the sun and decide if you can operate with it. If you are worried about stopping power, work on your aim and invest in a good optic. 556 with a penetrator will punch through armor..which I and the zombies will be wearing.
    Last point springfield M1As and socom 16 etc are not M-14's, they are not the same quality or reliability they are made with inferior metals and usually not made in the US, not battle quality, I know because I unknowingly bought one. Buy yourself a quality SR 25 (not AR10) with a good scope… RLTW

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  27. 1) Learn to reload…get a load(s) that that works in your gun… stock up on components.
    Practice… check mags while practicing…practice some more…vary your practice…what
    a little humility…try walking (a shuffle really) and shooting a silloute at 50 yards…count your
    hits!… sneek a peak around a wall… and shoot… on your back… get the picture! There are no
    benches or sand bags "in the woods". 2) Spare parts… springs, pins, etc. and the tools to change same…practice…(the "P" again!)… at the kitchen table…then when you can do that… in the dark…with a flashlight in your teeth then go outside in the cold and wet and practice.
    I read a comment that there were 18 million AR platforms in the US, most will be in .223/5.56,
    so in a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI what cal. am I "walking" around with… an AR in 5.56… at my "retreat"
    I can tolerate heavier/more powerful calibers because I am not going to carry one far, but I am
    still going to choose std./common calibers and platforms… 7.62/.308, .30 cal/30-06, 45 ACP
    9MM, .38/.357, 12ga., .22LR, …M1A, M-1 Garand, 1911, Glock , S&W, Ruger,Remington 870
    & 700's

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  28. I bought one a little over a years ago and love it. Although, I think I should have given more consideration to the SOCOM or 16 version. Although I'm sure I can reach out 600 yards or more if needed.

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  29. Most M14s have been reworked and put back into service. Good luck getting Obummer to permit them to be sold at CMP. He already disallowed the RE import of M1 Garrands that were manufactured here in the first place.

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  30. Ok in the Summer of 1980 I qualified Sharpshooter with a Colt made M16A1 that was in major need of ordnance rebuild. Yet I did manage to qualify with it and at the Sharpshooter level. At the moment I don't own an AR platform though I'm looking strongly at the Ruger product if I go the gas rod route or a DPMS build if I go Direct Impingment. My current platforms are a Yugoslavian M59/ 66A1 and a Springfield Armory (the old Army arsenal not the current company) M1 Garand. I think I said in one of my first comments here that if SHTF or even TEOTWAWKI scenarios come to pass each prepper may be faced with what the US was faced with in the 1970s and early 1980s if the Cold War went Hot. We would be coming as we are. So while the world is still sane I'd say you want to shop around for the AR platform that suits you. That's what I'm going to do.

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  31. Scott,
    the actuall caliber of the 7.62x39mm bullet is .310 or .311 depending on the manufacturer. .308 is the caliber of the 7.62×51 NATO cartridge. As I've said before in replies to other parts of this series my current rifles are an M1 Garand and a Yugoslavian M59/ 66A1 SKS. In my state the .223/ 5.56x45mm NATO rounds are limited to varmits. Deer and other larger game are only legal to hunt with .243 or larger rounds. So for my STHF and god forbid TEOTWAWKI rifle I have to go with the ones I have. The M1 for longrange in the wider open areas and the SKS for short to medium range and for the wooly wooded areas and even urban and suburban areas. Unlike some people that don't feel comfortable with a rifle unless they have a 30 + round capacity magazine I can hit with my rifles and I can lay in some impressive surpressive fire if need be with them too. It really doesn't take all that long to feed the SKS with another ten round stripper clip or the M1 with another eight round enblock magazine.

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  32. so very true CaptBart and in many states the .223 and 5.56x45mm rounds aren't legal for taking down deer or larger game. Hince why I will stick with my M1 and my Yugo SKS.

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    • I find it amusing that as a kid, the .30-06 was THE caliber that everyone, well all of us kids anyway, wanted. That round was KING! Now that I'm 63 (next month) and can have any caliber I choose, I STILL have never fired one. There was always something else more immediate or a DEAL came my way or ….. but I just never owned or fired a .30-06. I have the M1 Carbine and it is a solid weapon. A little lite for anything beyond 150 yards but I LIKE it and it is another one I've always wanted. I'd love to shoot the Garand; that has got to be a solid firearm. Any .30-06 actually; that is a round for anything in the Americas with the possible exception of the really big Brown bears or Polar Bears. Funny, to me at least, how I've never owned or even fired one. Your SKS and my .30-30 have the same basic ballistics and again that is a fine gun. I still think the .30-30 has put more venison on the plate than any other caliber out there and the .30-06 has got to be a close second. Funny how we get wrapped up in the 'next new thing' and forget about the good stuff we have in the gun safe.

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      • Well CaptBart and Combat_Medic in my case I've had my Garand since the Summer of '05 and my SKS since January of '11. In this state and the neighboring ones .30-06 and 7.62x39mm are very plentiful. The trouble with the .30-06 loads is that most of them are better suited for the various bolt-actions in that caliber. M1 Garands need specific loadings that include having the bullets in the 150 to 170 grain weights and either full metal jacket or boattail hollow points. Also the pressures need to be equal to those of the M2 Ball loadings. BVAC out of Montana has an M2 Ball clone they sell in 100 round bulk packs. I'm know that Fulton Armory out of Arkansas sells loads in FMJ and BTHP from Hornaday and sells them in 200 and 100 round case lots. Local sources for me I'm going to have to research.

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  33. OfficerOtto,
    The H&K 91 is made in the US as the PTR-91 – same drawings (I think it is a license) and the parts interchange. I like my PTR. Yes, it is heavier than my M1 Carbine. I don't own an AR pattern rifle so I can't know for sure but I'd bet it is heavy compared to a basic M4gery. Still, add all the bells and whistles and maybe not.
    I don't buy the 'need a 1000' rounds argument for a .308. The guys I knew in RVN who carried a 1000 rds did so because it often took multiple hits to get the job done. That and the doctrine at the time was suppression so full auto (that was the reason for the gun in the first place – the M-14 was too tough to control on full auto) was the rule. Since I think full auto is a waste and ineffective (unless tripod mounted, belt fed and HEAVY caliber) I'm extremely happy with 200 rds of .308 for bug out and everything else at the BOL. A 5 to 1 usage rate favors the heavier caliber in my not so humble opinion and you need much less of it.

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  34. PBJ1 go to the Springfield Armory's website and look at the M1A Scout Rifle or the SOCCOM offerings. They sell these to civilians, Law Enforcement, and the Joint Special Operations Command.

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  35. Because there are no other AR-15s, anywhere on earth, to scavenge your parts from. They're all interchangeable unless they're a gas-piston design. One of my hats in the army was as an armorer. The most common things I needed to fix were the following: gas rings, extractor springs, very occasional firing pin replacement and when some chucklehead decided he could modify his trigger. If you're in an environment where oil (really? You can get some nice lightweight oil that will do the job from many common plants. May not have an NSN like CLP, but it'll work. As to your ammo concerns, the military uses it, damn near every police force in the nation uses it. There's so much quality 5.56mm and .223 ammo floating around that you could scavenge it forever, god forbid you know how to reload.

    However, it seems the only answer left in your extended thought experiment where there's no CLOTH is the thrown rock.

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  36. I have the saiga 7.62×51 and 7.62×39 – both converted from hunter style to original AK style. I had the barrels cut and re-crowned and this improved over all accuracy. I chose these two rifles because they will cycle anything you feed it in that caliber and are compact enough to operate in confined spaces. I m using red dots for sights.

    I have a Rock River LAR08 w/ a ACOG that has the .308 ballistic reticle. The LA08 is a tight fitting, smooth shooting AR10, but it is on the heavy side and best used at distances. It uses metric or standard FAL magazines. I have run mil surplus and herter's .308 with no issues.

    I have the sig 556 in 5.56 and 7.62×39 and a Colt 6920.

    If you have to scavenge for ammo – 5.56/223, .308/7.62×51, and 7.62×39 should be easy to find.

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  37. survival aint about trophies or rules. You will use snares, bait, jacklighting, nets, trotlines, birdlime on roosts, poison predators that are taking "your" game,, etc. There's FAR more critters for which the 223 (and .22lr conversion unit for the AR) are suited than there are animals for which it aint. Dogs, cats, livestock outnumber wild critters by a large margin. Given the deep penetrating Nosler Partition softpoint the 223 is as good on deer, hogs, pronghorn as the 30-30 ever was. Put subsonic, 60 gr Aquila .22's thru the conversion unit and a 223 sound suppressor and they sound like a BB gun. You have to experience it to understand what a tremendous advanatage that is, for foraging or "removing" a problem man or 2!

    The 223 sp to the brain will drop any critter short of an elephant. Every man on these forums will claim to be able to make a field expedient bow and arrow, and take elk, moose and great bears with same, (ie, sneak within 20 yds). Given the frame of your backpack, or a tree upon which to brace a scoped 223 AR you can brain such critters to 100 yds.

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  38. . Noise will call in your killers. A big rifle can be heard for 2 miles and that' 13 square miles of area. 300 million peopple in the US nothing stopping 50 millon Mexicans from coming here, either, if shtf. 4 million square miles inthe lower 48 states, so figure 40 people per square mile. One 308 blast and 500 enemies could be headed your way, while you gut that deer. 🙂 A .22 rimfire rifle shot to the brain has dropped thousands of deer, to 50 yds, and that's as far as bowhunters hit the chest. In butcher shops, 22 rifle to the head has dropped millions of head of big cattle. From a tree stand, with bait or jacklighting, the 22lr will take deer, no problem. It will kill men out to 125 yds or so, too.

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