SHTF Firearm Choices

I read a lot of articles about the best choice of firearms. They generally focus on the AR-15 and the AK47.  I believe the discussions generally miss the point by failing to ask the question of what are you trying to do with the weapon.

For example, if your goal was to stop a vehicle from 800 yards neither the AR-15 nor the AK47 would be an effective choice.  In this case the .50 BMG would be the ammunition of choice and there are numerous weapons to discharge this projectile. My original choice would have been the McMillan TAC-50A.

However, the recent sale of this portion of the McMillan Group places this on hold.  I hope they don’t disappear like CheyTac.  The Barrett M107A1 certainly plays well in this arena as do many of the other Barrett rifles. Other folks make .50BMG rifles like Armalite. They don’t all cost $12,000, like the McMillan, and can be quite effective in stopping a vehicle at long distance.

Long Distance Shots

Let’s say your next objective was to take out individuals from a mile away.  In my humble opinion I believe that takingsniper scope for shtf a mile shot is a waste of ammunition.  There are too many variables that limit the viability of the shot.  The first variable is the shooter.  The average person does not have the resources to train and practice at these distances.  The second variable is the rifle.  Even a sub-MOA rifle could be off feet at this distance.  Ammunition also creates variability.  What do variations of a 10th of a grain of powder do at these distances?  Variations in crimping and any defect on the bullet surface will alter the trajectory of the projectile.  Try and adjust your shot placement for uphill or downhill and then throw in the environmental variables such as temperature, humidity and wind and you will find the shot to be a guess at best.  If you are not convinced then consider the .50BMG discussed above or a round like the .338 Lapua Magnum.  Players in this market space include the above mentioned McMillan with the TAC 338, the Barrett Model 98B, the Accuracy International AXMC and the Savage 110 BA.

What about a threat from 200 – 500 yards?  During SHTF, your goal at this level should be to identify and eliminate the command and communication staff.  It should also be to eliminate as much of the threat before you are in their range.  I believe this is an area where most shooters can be effective with a modern large bore hunting rifle.  The market place is filled with tremendous rifles and ammunition.  Browning, Remington, Ruger, Savage, Sako, Weatherby and Winchester are all large players in this market.  The rifles are affordable to the working person and they are extremely accurate.

Also Read: Survival Gear Review: PWS MK214 Battle Rifle

There are excellent optics available for reasonable costs. Bushnell, Burris, Leupold, Nikon, Vortex, Zeiss and many others service this market.  The scope options are exceptional and include built in laser range finders, bullet drop compensators, illuminated reticles, windage markers and parallax adjustments that can be used as a poor man’s range finder.  Inexpensive laser range finders are also available.  Many of the range finders have a bullet drop compensator that adjust for your bullet group and compensate for changes in angle.  Ammunition has also improved with the introduction of polymer tipped bullets.  The consistency, accuracy and energy are all improved over the past decade. Ballistic charts and calculators are readily available.  Winchester has an interactive ballistic calculator on their website where you can simulate different conditions.  Winchester also has an app for an iPhone. Let’s go back to the threat.  Imagine a group of individuals with reasonable shooting skills confronted with individuals carrying contemporary battle rifles.  They may not be able to stop a battalion, but they can certainly make it hot for smaller groups.

The Battle Rifle

Let’s move the threat from 100 – 300 yards.  In this zone during SHTF, a rapid rate of fire with knock down powerbattle rifle for shtf urban combat would be desired.  This is an area where the AR-10/HK91 battle rifle platform shines.  It has large bullets with excellent knock down power, reasonable accuracy, managed recoil, high capacity magazines and high rates of fire.  PWS, Accuracy International, Armalite, LWRC, POF, Bushmaster, Colt, DPMS, Heckler and Koch, Ruger, Sig Sauer, Smith and Wesson are all makers of weapons in this class.  Imagine the damage a group of reasonably trained individuals could inflict in this zone with these weapons.

Also Read: Do You Really Need an AR-15 When SHTF?

Move the threat closer into the zone from 25 – 150 yards and the amount of lead going down range becomes critical.  Your threat is near and reloading becomes an issue.  Accuracy, while always important, becomes the second most important issue of the day.  A rifle that can shoot a 3” group at 100 yards is just as effective as one that shoots sub-MOA.  This is the zone for the AR-15, Mini-14 and AK47.  Short carbine rifles with high rates of fire, minimal recoil are required to repel the threat. There are an incredible number of manufacturers in this market place and even a larger number of accessories.  Quality, accuracy and price vary dramatically.  Choose wisely.

Close Combat

When we look at close quarters combat one would lean towards the AR-15 platform. However the standard AR-15 may not be the optimal choice. Before you make that final decision consider coming around a corner and you have to swing a 16” or 18” barrel. Compare that to a 7” or 10” barrel.  That fraction of a second may be the difference of life and death.  So if your threat is in this zone consider an AR-15 with a short barrel.  Technically these weapons are considered pistols rather than rifles.  You may want to add a Sig Sauer Stabilizing Brace to your pistol.

Let’s look at other situations. Assume for a moment that you are guarding a checkpoint into your neighborhood.  Youclose combat pistol training for shtf may be in a situation where you need to stop a vehicle at close range.  Consider a shotgun with steel slugs like the DDupleks. They come in 1oz and 1 1/8oz sizes.  They are encased in polymer and are safe to shoot in any choke. Imagine a flat faced steel slug traveling at 1400fps.  Put this in a Saiga shotgun with a 20 round magazine and you are a very formidable opponent to anyone at close range.

What about handguns?  They certainly have their place.  My personal favorite is the 1911 .45acp. But that is just me. When I am asked what handgun someone should buy I generally answer with the one you shoot well.  I know this may sound like a cop-out but it’s true.  For me a 1911 fits my hand perfectly.  I also have a CZ75 that I shoot very well. Then I have an S&W .9mm.  It is a nice little handgun.  It just does not fit me and I struggle with accuracy.  Then there is recoil.  It is better to have a handgun where you can manage the recoil.  Trying to teach someone to shoot a handgun with a .454 Casull would fail because they would develop bad habits from the excessive recoil.  So pick a handgun that you can manage.  Back to the value of handguns, they are easily carried; the variety allows for individual selection, are generally reasonably priced.  They are also excellent in close quarters situations.

How about carbines chambered for handgun calibers?  This class of firearm is pretty interesting.  One manufacturer Hi Point makes a .45ACP, .40S&W and a .9mm.  These firearms are inexpensive and I wouldn’t classify them as a good gun. I would classify them as a good enough gun.  These guns are inexpensive to buy, inexpensive to shoot and pretty effective at close range.  Think of the damage a 230 grain .45ACP bullet will do a 75 yards.  This is a good choice for those on a limited budget where they want to minimize the calibers of ammunition.

What about a .22 or an air rifle?  I realize that many people have been killed with a .22. Unfortunately, they lack the immediate knock down power of other calibers.  The .22 and the air rifle may not be the best for defense. That doesn’t mean they don’t have value. They are inexpensive to shoot and therefore are excellent for training.  They are also excellent for survival. An air rifle can kill small game without compromising your position.


To summarize, what weapon should someone buy? Ideally, everyone would have the resources to own and train on several in each category.  However, that is about as realistic as winning the lottery.  I think of defense in zones.  Think about the zones you need to defend.  If you live in an urban area you may never need a .50BMG or .338 Lapua Magnum.  In this case, an AR-15 may be perfect.  If you are on a limited budget then a carbine shooting a handgun round and a handgun or a .22lr may be the right choice.  If you live in a rural area where longer range shooting is possible a large bore hunting rifle or a AR10 type platform may be an excellent choice.  However, don’t forget about close quarters.  Eventually all fights get up close and personal.

Other articles by Dave H.
5 Dollar Preps: DIY Firestarter
Expedient Family Survival Water Filter
Quick Tips for Dehydrating Food

Photos by:
Mr. Smashy
Heckler & Koch

Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here. Read more of Joel's articles.

50 thoughts on “SHTF Firearm Choices”

  1. When it comes to selecting firearms for many it will be the firearms they already own. For the more prepared it will be those firearms they acquired in advance of their world situation going south. For me I already own three military grade firearms. I own two rifles and a sidearm. The thing is that many only own sporting grade firearms and actually for defense of their families that may be enough. However if the end of the world as we know it is not a collapse caused by a poor economy or a change in physical environment, but a change in social environment like a coup, an invasion or even an uprising or a central government becoming more totalitarian and seizing powers not granted it under the nation's constitution then perhaps while they still can many should get at least those surplus military grade firearms available in their jurisdictions.

    • Surplus firearms like m1 are good specially shooting out to long distance with iron sights. they are expensive though. I think the people should verify what ammo is most used like .22, .223, .40s&w, 12ga ammo & ak ammo. the idea is that if you use a firearm with a common ammo that is easy to find because many people buy it, You will be able to barter things for these ammo when you run out of shots. if SHTF many armory may be shut down, vandalized, out of stock or what ever. the only resource we might have left is to barter with people that have stocked themselves with extra ammo of your caliber unless you do reloads . After having this in mind, I guess that any firearm that can cycle one of these common round would do you good no matter the make or model (unless you are picky).

  2. Was with you right up to the AR pistol. Having a five pound super SBR strapped to your right hand like robocop is worse than useless. Have you ever tried one? There is nothing good about them except for the way they get around firearm laws. Seriously, try one. Is a gimmick of the worst kind.

    Which AR? How can you tell if it's a keeper? Please help us choose wisely.

    • I tend to lean towards the higher end products. I look for 7075 aluminum instead of 6061 aluminum. Chrome lined barrels are a must.
      I hate lousy triggers and I like good sights. So, the last one I built consisted of:
      LaRue Tactical lower
      Adcor Defense Bear Elite Upper
      Wilson Combat single stage trigger
      Troy Industries battle sights
      Magpul PRS stock

      As to your comments on the short barrel AR15. Have you ever shot a large bore pistol? 454 Casul? S&W 500? Or have you been limited to a 9mm? Because the large bore pistol has significantly more recoil than the AR15 pistol.

      • Thanks Dave.

        I've talked with gunsmiths who swear that all ARs are about the same, while friends wouldn't get caught dead shooting an Olympic Arms or DMPS. Then my LEO friends shoot DPMS almost couldn't care less which AR they were pulling the trigger on.

        I get the after market stuff, but what about the guts of the AR? Are some of them just crap? Triggers are obvious, but what about all the gas parts, bolt, and metal thicknesses?

        I haven't shot anything larger than a .44, and don't have a desire to. My comment about the pistol-rifles is they are almost as cumbersome as a rifle with all the limits of a pistol. Plus if strapped on correctly with a hundred dollar forearm cuff, then they are a colossal handicap for every other survival task. I find them little more than novelty that skirts an ATF rule. A foam covered buffer tube? Give me a break. IMHO of course.

        • @Flat Rascal; If it is a name that is recognized, it should be acceptable. Are there better ARs? You bet. If you have $2k to drop on a DD then do so if that is what you want. A RRA, DPMS, OLY and others are "second source" for the military. You're right, AR pistols are shit. Don't bother. Don't buy an AR that is proprietary. Like a Ruger or a Sig. They are great rifles, but they are not standard. Military internals are all I've ever known…and it's worked for me. Be Well.

  3. This article covered firearms at ranges for shtf very well. Another topic to discuss along these same lines would fighting position preparation, ammo requirements for a firefight, cover & concealment.

  4. GREAT article. While thinking of zones, I also tend to tailor weapon choice to environments, which goes hand in hand with zones as above. A person in downtown Detroit obviously will almost never see a 300-yard shot so an AR-style rifle or even a pistol-caliber carbine will work well for most situations, even clearing buildings when combines with a good handgun. Conversely, a person defending a homestead and pig farm in Nebraska will probably see threats coming from a ways away, so a bolt action rifle in .308 or an M1A/AR10 with a scope would be a good combination long distance/home defense arm, if all you could have is one gun. Here in the rural Northeast, something with a bit of versatility is nice, because walking in the woods, you can find dense, thick hemlock groves or 1000-yard shots on power lines. So, if I know where I'm generally going to be, I tailor my theoretical loadout for terrain/location as well as zones.

  5. I do agree with you regarding the zones. Form follows function and you need to pick the right tool for the job. IMHO the best close quarters weapon would be the shot gun, preferably with high capacity magazine tubes. You touched on shot guns but only referenced them with an obscure manufacturer of steel slugs. I think you could write an entire other article on the benefits of shotguns for survival. The possibilities that are presented when considering the differing barrel lengths, cartridge calibers, shot size, types of slugs is vast. Also, a person doesn’t have to be extremely accurate to still be effective with a shotty. If I am facing an adversary that is within 50 yards the shotgun would be my first choice. What do you say Dave H? Can you elaborate on the practical application of the shot gun for survival purposes?

    • @SC; First, you have to aim a shotgun…it doesn't just hit "somewhere over there" and magically hit what you "wish" it to hit. You are right in that shotguns are very versatile. All you need to know is 12 ga, Mossy 500 or 590 as budget permits and 00 buck and slug. With an additional long barrel, you can hunt with #6s and #7 1/2s. If you are in close quarters, shotguns aren't magic. You have to aim, properly, to hit your target.

    • Liked it too, but not good firearms safety with the operator wearing his index finger on the trigger. Probably an actor hired to model for H&K.

      • This was a poster. I use to have on.
        Firearm safety was a little different back then as far as finger on the trigger. The M1 and M14 one kept the finger in the trigger to disengage the safety for firing. Similarly when about to be in action the finger may have been on the trigger with the thumb on the safety to be switched off.

        What was accepted practice in the past most would not think of today. It all depends on the time and training.

  6. To me in a survival situation, I look at the pros and of it all. 1st and foremost yes a bigger caliber would take someone's head off, but working with different calibers any will get the job done if properly aimed and this includes the 22lr. to the best choice by far in a survival situation would be a 12ga (instant knock down at close range, and the 22lr for all else. Their is only so much in weapons and ammo one can carry at one time, and I would rather carry more rounds, 22 are small, and you carry a 1000 where you might only carry a 100 of the other. besides if I see before me I have time to aim. and wtshtf happens I'm not going to be parading around to start with. So for it's the 12ga and the 22lr all the way. dead is dead no matter how you get there. this just my opinion.

  7. As others have said the 12ga is a valuable tool for defense. However everything is relevant in a SHTF situation. If I was bugging out Id want a rifle, if I was was bugging in a shotgun would be useful.

    • @JA; Well said. If I was in a defensive position, 12 ga would absolutely be the way to go. If on the move, then a rifle (AR) gives you 300 plus yds reach out. More aggressive for a more aggressive posture.

    • I would do the same. But the rifle for me has nothing whatsoever due to distance shooting. It has to do with barrel length and weight.

  8. Personally I've given this topic lot of thought. For my specific situation, I agree that situation/environment has the major influence in determining which "tool" to use. 1. I live in an urban setting and plan to stay local as long as I can. 2. I plan to avoid anything that seems like a threat in excess of 100 yards. (I want to blend in/ be invisible as much as possible). 3. I live in the PNW, so when it comes time to leave I'm heading into the mountains. 4.The forest is so thick it would be difficult to get a clear shot at anything in excess of 100 yards. 5. Other than the two legged creature, bears may be the largest threat I come across in the mountains. 6. I grew up shooting a 12 gage.

    So, my toolbox has a 9 mm for those times I'm moving around town and a 12 gage with 00 buck and slugs for everything else. Oh and if I really need to be quiet, I'll use my bow. One final thought, I've seen a 12 gage slug hit a steel plate at 15 yards. Talk about getting someone's attention…

    • @Saxon; So basically, regardless of any OTHER situations you've limited yourself to less than 100 yds for all circumstances. What about being in the wheat fields and apple orchards past the pass. If you happen to find yourself over by Wilbur etc. you might wish for something else.

  9. M1 Carbine and my CZ-52 or my M24/47 Yugo mauser 8mm (no scope) and my CZ-52. I get how useful a scope is but its just more stuff you can break and if you are young and have good eyesight like me you really dont need one and on old military rifles all wood and steel try to break the iron sights haha.

    • @Jeff; Are you fighting WWII? You CAN break a WWII rifle, did it on a hunting trip and it cost me an elk. The M-1 carbine is a 100 yd weapon, AT BEST. A mauser….no scope…..a scope at dusk can give you a 100 yd shot when using iron sights will only give you 30 yds. On a clear day, in daylight, if you are good with it, you can make a 300 yd shot if you are really good, with the military iron sights. A CZ 52, a 7.62×25 Tokarev? There is a reason they are being sold…nobody wants them. You have 200 yd capability if you are good.

  10. You get what you pay for, but when on a budget I'm a big proponent of the survival carbine. 16" barrels and common munition calibers are very appealing to me. Right now, one option I'm looking into is the Kel-Tec Sub 2000. Another one of the valuable "backpack guns" that inspire a lot of concealability options. This particular option actually folds over in half and uses Glock mags among others. With 9mm or .40cal to choose from, a good option for those who cannot practically exceed the $450-$500 range. Anything below that and you may need to limit yourself to the shotgun category…

    • @Critical J; IF, and ONLY IF, you live in a densely populated area, would a "long gun/handgun" combo make sense. Other wise, if you buy cheap twice, you've usually spent more than spending more once. If you're having to break down a rifle to be concealable, you haven't moved far enough away. Anyone at that point that is concerned that you have a rifle, has no good will or intentions for you to begin with. Might as well carry it like you stole it.

  11. .22 long rifle and something along the lines of a Ruger 10/22. I would not "trick it out" either. Just a good 3 power scope.

    I own an AR, AK, etc…but to think you are (i) going to slug it out and defeat the golden horde or (ii) continue to live in the spot that you defeated the golden horde is just not going to happen and (iii) hunting will not consist of big game.

    If the SHTF then you want a hunting rifle for small game, one that is quiet, and light enough to travel with lots of ammo.

    • @BamaMan; I would suggest a suppressor for a SHTF scenario. Even if your state allows them, but not for hunting, that is the point, it is TSHTF and you need food….QUIETLY. I don't think anyone will care. Jealous maybe, but care…nah. My state allows them for hunting. Your greatest advantage is with a .22LR, like a 10-22. Be Well.

  12. dunno where you've been, but the AR in 223 has been WINNING the 600 yd stage of the NRA rifle matches since 1997 and nowadays, they compete pretty well at 1000 yds, too. 🙂 The further you are from an enemy, the less you need an instant stop. Too much can happen for shots beyond 1/4 mile. It's far more important, really, to have a rifle that you can conceal (taken down, in your pack, folded, on a sling, under arm under a coat) fit a silencer too (and still have a handy package) takes the GI rd, has luminous night sights and rapidfire, one arm usability, and a .22lr conversion unit (3/4 lb, $200, 30 shot box mag, 5 hits per second)

  13. there are 4 lb versions of the shorty AR. lighter than a 1022, and they can use the GI rd, reach 1/4 mile, stop a man with a single chest hit, reliably take deer to 150 yds (Nosler Partition 60 gr softpoints) pierce concealable armor, both sides of a car (62 gr steel capped ammo) It breaks down to conceal in your pack in 5 seconds, reassembles to fire in 10 seconds, swaps parts to .22lr (30 shot box mag) in 20 seconds.

    • @Don; An M-4 is 6.36 pounds unloaded, and that's with a 14.5" barrel. It breaks down into a concealable package for your backpack. Who sells this 4 pound AR, that will shoot 1/4 mile (440 yards)? The 62 grain M855 round CAN go through a car if you are lucky. It has a steel penetrator, not steel "capped", though it will penetrate soft body armor (IIIA not III). Let me know who makes this light weight.

  14. It is all about the #3's, I want a 308(7.62)AR platform/ I own a .10 mm hunter/ a 12guage/a small cross bow for small game and a barnett for larger prey 20 ga. is for my son,we have 2 22 rifles and a 22 handgun, Now before adding the 308 I am considering the cost of ammo and the cost of a great scope,,I can shoot a peanut out of a squirrels mouth @ a hundred yards with my 22 rifle,think what i could do with a good scope,,zeroed,,for each weapon,,,I think maybe a 50 cal. will do all that and more//ever tried to find whats left of an animal after a .50 bmg round has penetrated the animal…think small and stay hidden youll live alot longer in a small group that doesnt look for attention/ and stays well camoed!! out of sight //under the radar//remember everyone is not your enemy, survival is not being the king of the hill, you do not always have to lead// only when your home is "IN" the hill,,then pull out the .50bmg and use it for all its worth!!DEFENCE// take a .22 round twice you will stop 3rd. time and youll need a medic for sure! 1000 rounds weighs the same as 100 rounds of .50 ammo. just saying?

  15. I don't know where you got your information on the ranges of the weapons mentioned but you are wrong. Please go back and research more on this and correct it in the article before too many people are mislead. If you're underestimating the ranges in consideration for inexperienced shooters, perhaps better advise would be to not try to shoot at those distances because you'll waste your ammo and possibly hit something/someone else by accident. Anyone with adequate experience will know their own personal range and competence level…….Just sayin'.

    • Even if you are not on a budget a .357 magnum revolver.
      and a lever rifle in .357 magnum will be very good SHTF guns.
      The rifle will have a range of about 125yd.
      The handgun will have a range of about 50yd.
      And They both have the same ammo.
      .357 ammo is hard hitting for big game and defense.
      And they will both work with .38sp for small game.

        • @Lance; But in three firearms, you have a limited range of 125-150 yds. A lever action against a semi-auto is a losing proposition. The life of an AR is in tens of thousands of rounds. The life of a lever action (not withstanding the semi-auto vs lever advantage) is measured in a few thousand rounds. Check with cowboy action shooters. Their lever guns will go in for rebuilds every 5k rounds.

          • Yes I am aware of range but my state (Ohio) it's close quarters a within 200 yards anyway, about the lever action rifle do you know of any non ar rifles
            Semi automatic in 357 mag

  16. Hate to have just one rifle for any SHTF situation. The AR's Ak's, M-1 carbines are great defensive weapons for 100- 200 yard engagements. I know some already pointed out that they're shooting 600 yd comp with them but for most 200 yards is a more realistic range in a combat scenario. 200 yds may be pushing the envelope for the M-1 carbine.

    The 5.56mm cartridge is pretty common for re-supply but if a person wants to stock pile some ammo the 6.8SPC is superior to all the perviosly mentioned. The thought of a long range rifle- 800 yds and beyond is i think probably not feasible in the majority of situations. Why would you want to engage at 800+ yards. There may be situations where this would be prudent but I think very seldom this would be encountered. Long range shooting takes alot of practice and ammo, as well as equipment – spotting scope, wind speed and direction indicator and a really good spotter. You Marine's, especially snipers can handle it with no problem but for most engagement should be closer.

    • @Dan; First for the M-1 100 yds is pushing the envelope. You are right, shooting to or past 800 yds is typically unnecessary except in special circumstances. The 6.8SPC was made for "entry" and CQB, not long range shooting. Why would you pick a round that is so specialized that it almost doesn't exist. Its only function outside the military is to be able to hunt where the .223 is not allowed. As far as shooting at 800 yards, it is highly possible, just not necessary. But for ranges out to 600 yds the AR is MORE THAN CAPABLE.

  17. @All; Well, not sure who Dave H is. He apparently doesn't have any confidence in his abilities with a rifle. First, at 800 yds, you should not be shooting, except in very select circumstances. If I had my "druthers", I would do it with a .308 bolt gun and a Mil-dot scope, THAT IS DEAD ON GOOD. ALL AR INFO IS FOR A FULL SIZE RIFLE, 20" BARREL, A3 WITH VARIABLE 4X SCOPE OR BUIS. If I had to SHOOT 800 YDS, and all I had was an AR, I would do it with Mk262 OTM ammo that I knew well. And ONLY if I had to. The ranges only demonstrate the need for different ammo, with the exception of the 800 yds. 600 yards and down, is the domain of the AR-15. Anything over 400 yds, OTM Mk 262 will get the job done. If that isn't available then 55gr FMJ. Unless you are shooting at 300 yds or less and shooting a HARD target, M855 62gr, steel penetrator should not be used….period. If shooting at 300 yds and less 55gr FMJ, M193 ball, should be the ammo of choice as it will do the most damage at intermediate distances. Maximum point blank range (a concept, look it up, not going to explain it here) for the 20" rifle, shooting the M193 ball is 300 yds. You have a MPBR spread of about 7 inches. It's like a mouse, just point and click. Hold COM, and squeeze the trigger…bang, you gottem. If you are doing an entry OR CQB the Mk262 OR the M193 55gr ball is acceptable. What is the philosophy of this? KNOW YOUR WEAPON…YOUR ONE WEAPON. From 0-300 yds, there is no thinking because of MPBR. Just hold COM and you have a solid hit. 300-400, you have to fudge SLIGHTLY depending on M193 or Mk262 ammo. From 400-600, Mk 262 preferred…M193 will do in a pinch. Why would you want an AK (3 MOA, 6 inches) to shoot at 200 yds? An AR (1MOA, 2 inches) gives you the"aim small, miss small" advantage, just sayin. You should have a range card for all 3 rounds at all the distances you would shoot it at, 0-600 yds and 800 yds for the Mk262. An average rifleman can hit a silhouette at 600 yds 50% of the time WITH OPEN SIGHTS. With a 4x sight, it should be a done deal 85% of the time. You should know your rifle better than the g-spot in you old lady's ….well you know. If you aren't comfortable, shooting at 600 yds with a 4x, you have a problem with ALL RIFLES. An AR is accurate,deadly and dependable, if you DO YOUR PART. Range card (every time you can verify every distance), cleaned (every time you shoot), in good repair (keep a note book for each weapon, number of rounds shot and status of weapon) with extractors, firing pins, gas rings, ejector etc. replaced at appropriate intervals. A properly trained rifleman and a properly kept AR should be a nutcracker out to 600 yds WITH CONFIDENCE. Be Well.

  18. I live in the Northern Adirondacks and have extensively hunted grouse, snowshoe hares, red squirrels, gray squirrels, and whitetails. I wouldn't even waste my time hunting for the simple reason that wild game here are too few in number and elusive to be worth the caloric expenditure. I would starve to death quicker hunting than I would sitting in my easy chair due to the expenditure of calories on something not worth the effort. If I had to pick a single firearm it would be one of sufficient stopping power for personal defense and relatively compact in size and weight. This rules out a .22 right off the bat. It has marginal stopping power and would not be used for hunting. A .22 for me would be not only next to worthless but dangerous as well. I would also never put a permanently mounted scope on a firearm. This would be a good way for me to get killed in a hurry. I can always throw lead downrange but would not have the peripheral vision and speed to pick someone up at close range who is dodging and weaving. Huge difference between a person and a whitetail which is stationary or walking slowly. My home is surrounded by trees and vegetation and I can't even see more than 50 yards from my house. Step into the woods outside my home and it's the same situation. Nothing wrong with an AR-15 or AK-47 but I simply don't like pistol grip firearms. A useless appendage except absolutely necessary for a straight stocked rifle. Harder to stow in a gun safe and I don't need anything of military ruggedness. I'm not going to crawl through rice paddies and walk through desert sandstorms. I've owned more than 20 different firearms in my life at one time or another, both new and used, and have never had a part failure. I'm 67 years old with a lifetime of shooting firearms partly for hunting but also for collecting just to see what makes them tick. I've owned single shots, bolt actions, lever actions, pumps, and semi-automatics at one time or another. My single choice of firearm would be a MINI-14 Patrol Rifle. This is a plastic stocked and stainless steel rifle with a 16-1/2 barrel. The only modification I would make is to replace the OEM 0.05 inch aperture with a 0.2 inch aperture. Based on my lifetime of hunting and shooting experience I believe this firearm is the best compromise for me. No firearm can be the best for all situations. Others will need to make their own choice for their specific situation.


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