Part 1. The Best Survival Carbine (AR Style Rifle)

Part 1: (A little Background) When thinking about Survival, we all spend a lot of time thinking about weapons.  We decided to assist your knowledge by taking a more in depth look at the Survival Carbine.

Definition from Wikipedia:

A carbine (pronounced /ˈkɑrbiːn/ or /ˈkɑrbaɪn/[1]) (from Greek καραμπινα “carbine”) is a firearm similar to a rifle or musket.  Many best survival riflecarbines, especially modern designs, were developed from rifles, being essentially shortened versions of full rifles firing the same ammunition, although often at a lower velocity.

I thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Smashy’s writeup on the “Survival Shotgun” and agree with him about it being the most practical and most versatile weapon available for most any survival situation.  I am going to introduce the topic of the survival carbine as a supplement to his eight-part shotgun series.  Let me just state before I start that my first purchase for home defense and survival applications, was a shotgun.

Talking about weapons, calibers or tactics is a touchy situation.  There are a lot of differing opinions out there and most folks have very strong convictions based on personal experience and/or hearsay.  Talking about these topics can be as dangerous as treading into a conversation about religion or politics…  it usually ends with everyone grumpy and unconvinced about anything other than the person/people with the opposing viewpoint are either stupid or just plain ornery.

I’m definitely not putting this article together to convince anyone to step outside of his or her comfort zone with their survival kit.  I am just offering some information I thought you all might find useful concerning a tool that has a primary role in my survival arsenal.  Feel free to agree, disagree or remain indifferent.  Also, feel free to add more information to these articles in the comments.  I am not a historian and I’m not an armorer.  I have used these weapons a lot.  I understand most of the features and can maintain and use them effectively in a variety of situations.  I’m actually learning more as I put this series together and encourage you guys to give me some feedback.

The AK-47

I’m aware of the reliability of the AK platform and the availability of ammunition.  I know the sounds that this weapon makes when it is fired at you.  It also carries a larger round that can penetrate more effectively through obstacles (i.e. walls, vehicles, cinder-block, body armor, etc.).  It requires less maintenance, it’s light, cheaper to build and it and its’ corresponding parts are fairly readily available in most parts of the world.  This article is not discounting that fact, it’s just not about the AK.

My focus is on the survival weapon I personally feel the most comfortable manipulating, maintaining and applying.  This weapon is the modern AR platform.  I have an emotional attachment to the weapon, we have been through quite a bit together.

My interest in a survival carbine is simply this:  I have carried one for most of my adult life; I know it, understand it and feel completely comfortable using it.  Having a carbine in my hands is almost like a security blanket and so when I think about TEOTWAWKI or SHTF situations, being able to grab a carbine as my primary weapon makes me feel very warm and safe inside. I know I can wreak a lot of hell on anything that might be looking at me through the opposite end of my sights if I need to do so, whether it’s a four legged meal or a group of unavoidable miscreants determined to cause mortal injury.

This article is Part 1 of a series of posts on the Survival Carbine.  Read Part 2. (History)



Joel Jefferson
Written by Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. 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.

66 thoughts on “Part 1. The Best Survival Carbine (AR Style Rifle)”

  1. So far I am in agreement. I chose the S&W M&P15-22 for the simple fact that i can carry 4,000 rounds of ammo with me comfortably. A lot of people will scoff at a .22 cal choice, but a .22 will kill, the ammo is cheap to practice with, easy to find, Further, homemade suppressors can last longer with these, are easy to make (tho illegal so be aware) , and make a 22 sound like an air rifle. quiet is good, lots of ammo is good. I carry a walther p-22 to complete the set, but also have shotguns and larger cal stuff if needed.

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  2. Contrary to popular belief silencers/suppressors are and always have been legal to own under the Federal Law. In addition they are not illegal to own according to current state law in 37 states. Of the 13 states that they are illegal to own, 50 of them allow ownership with a valid class 3 dealer or class 2 manufacturers license. You simply need to submit the proper form and pay a $200 tax for an NFA stamp from the ATF. There are quite a few videos on youtube as well as other resources to aid in construction. There are some great reasons to use them in practical application for both hearing protection in a home defense situation and at the range and hunting (although I believe hunting with a suppressor/silencer may have some legal restrictions). It's unfortunate that they are illegal in some parts of the country and hopefully in the future some of those laws will be overturned. My recommendation is to get your NFA tax stamp if you live in one of the "free" states, pay your $200 when you submit the correct form(s) and stay out of hot water.

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  3. Contrary to popular belief silencers/suppressors are and always have been legal to own under the Federal Law. In addition they are not illegal to own according to current state law in 37 states. Of the 13 states that they are illegal to own (according to state laws), 5 of them allow ownership with a valid class 3 dealer or class 2 manufacturers license. You simply need to submit the proper form and pay a $200 tax for an NFA stamp from the ATF. There are quite a few videos on youtube as well as other resources to aid in construction. There are some great reasons to use them in practical application for both hearing protection in a home defense situation and at the range and hunting (although I believe hunting with a suppressor/silencer may have some legal restrictions). It's unfortunate that they are illegal in some parts of the country and hopefully in the future some of those laws will be overturned. My recommendation is to get your NFA tax stamp if you live in one of the "free" states, pay your $200 when you submit the correct form(s) and stay out of hot water.

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  4. I am in total agreement that a carbine in the AR-15 format is one of the best, if not the best weapons for survival and self defense. In part four of the shotgun series I plainly state "shotguns are not rifles" and "The carbine and short barreled rifle have taken over the realm once dominated by the shotgun." The shotgun is a valuable tool, but it's just another tool in the toolbox.

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  5. I would disagree with the AR type weapon. It has been and still is a very undependable weapon. The military has looked for a better weapon while in the last 40 years they have continued to upgrade and attempt to fix the problems that this weapon has. It is underpowered and still jams up. You cant be in a battle and call time out because your weapon needs cleaning. It was not made for a full size normal American male. Also before you say I dont know this weapon, I carried it for over 10 years on a daily basis. I was stupid enough to buy one after that for my own use. I think back on Vietnam and our current wars and wonder how many troops died because of this weapon. Its Our Military leaders fault. IMO they should go to a 308 weapon like the socom 16. I know I will get crap for this but, this weapon is NOT the Holly Grail.

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  6. Contrary to popular belief silencers/suppressors are and always have been legal to own under Federal Law. In addition they are not illegal to own according to current state law in 37 states. Of the 13 states that they are illegal to own (according to state laws), 5 of them allow ownership with a valid class 3 dealer or class 2 manufacturers license. You simply need to submit the proper form and pay a $200 tax for an NFA stamp from the ATF. There are quite a few videos on youtube as well as other resources to aid in construction. There are some great reasons to use them in practical application for both hearing protection in a home defense situation and at the range and hunting (although I believe hunting with a suppressor/silencer may have some legal restrictions). It's unfortunate that they are illegal in some parts of the country and hopefully in the future some of those laws will be overturned. My recommendation is to get your NFA tax stamp if you live in one of the "free" states, pay your $200 when you submit the correct form(s) and stay out of hot water.

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      • Agreed. The BATFE can impose a $250,000 fine with a 10 year prison kicker for anyone caught with an improperly, or unregistered NFA firearm or controlled item… that is no joke and not worth risking when it can often be taken care of relatively easily and legally (depending on your state of residence).

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  7. The .308 is the heavy hitter and I love it for certain scenarios but as my survival rifle I would go with the AR platform with the 5.56mm . I don't think there is a holy grail for a survival rifle, I know a lot of smart people that I respect who favor a .22 LR for Survival. To each his own. I do have to disagree with the under powered and still jams up comment. Maybe if you run cheap ammo on a cheap gun, you will have problems. Some of the new piston driven guns from POF, LWRC, HK and FN have been tested in some of the toughest conditions with limited failures only after 1000s of rounds. .308 is nice but those rounds are heavy to carry.

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    • Forge, Up close and down range the .308 completes it job more efficiently then the 5.56mm. First off in a survival role it is able to drop large game at distances that the 5.56mm would only cause wounds unless you hit it several times. Transfer that to armored soldiers or terrorists or really high bad guys intent on killing you and your family, the more you can take out at a distance the better. Remember (1) shot (1) kill. Troops are now taught to double or triple tap their targets to make the 5.56 put down their target. So lets consider that. If a basic load is 180 rounds thats 6 mags of 30 rounds. That would be 9 mags of 20 for the .308. But consider if it takes 2 to 3 rounds to drop each of your enemy. The troop with the 5.56mm will come up short or empty quicker than the troop with the 308. Of course the powers that be could come up with a 30 round mag for the socom which would cut down on some of the extra mag weight. Besides those guys carrying the AK 47 have 30 round mags and their is only a little difference in weight between the .308 and the 7.62 X 39mm. On hardened targets up close or at a distance hands down the .308 wins the battle compared to the 5.56mm. Ok I'll give you that the 5.56mm kicks less but when you take into account the double or triple tap your losing some of that edge. Also if you have to fire double or triple taps your chances of being targeted back increase compared to 1 shot. I will give you that there is a need for the 5.56mm round but for minimal usage on easy targets. The current AR platform in the pictures above used by Our military was and still is worthless from its very beginning. 40 years of advances/changes/bullet weight mods have equaled the loss of American lives. There are other makes of 5.56 weapons platforms that dont suffer half of Our AR platforms problems.
      Ok on the issue of cheap ammo and weapons systems. Remember were talking civiians with their own personal funds. Not the US government which with all of its funds still cant put an AR platform out there that can be trusted completely. So with that in mind what happens to all of those very picky weapons once TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI happens. All of those good rounds are used up and those cheep crappy rounds are left. There wont be a lot of master gun smiths and armorers out there to work on and fix those AR either the very expensive ones or the cheep ones. But those socom 16s, FN's, HK's and others like them will still be going strong.
      Besides IMO one weapon that can do double duty is better then one that cant be trusted to do the job it was made for.

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      • Outlander777, those are some outstanding points! Thanks for your input on this, you definitely have some good information to share on the subject. I hope to see some more in the next articles in this series. -S

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  8. There are three of these saws at harborfrieght.com….a tiny cable saw($3.00)…a larger chain saw ($7.00)…and the largest hand chain saw ($17.00)

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  9. The standard AK is way too inaccurate at 200 yards, I won't consider it. I prefer a survival weapon give me more standoff. The 5.56 can do that up to ~300 yards, while the AK has a hard time even hitting paper at 200 years.

    If I had to have an AR weapon, it'd have to be a piston type – can't stand the oiling/cleaning reqd by gas impingement. The SIG516 looks good, but pricey at ~$1,300.

    Personally, I go for the newer Mini-14 Tactical, with AK like reliability and (these days) AR like accuracy. The SU-16C is also enticing (uses AR mags), but I have concerns about longer term durability.

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  10. Outlander777 Makes a good case for the .308 round. In what he says for that round I would have to agree. However for the TEOTWAWKI once you run out of all of those rounds be it 5.56 or .308 it comes to what you will be able to lets say acquire. I promise you acquiring 5.56 will be easier than finding .308 Just as 9mm will be easier than .45 rounds. In both of these cases .308 does more damage than 5.56. .45 does more than 9mm. However, I would rather have a mag of 20- 5.56 and a mag of 5- 9mm rounds that I was able to find, than say an empty weapon. As for the AR platforms ive been carrying one 23 years and I carried one today, on the job, in hostile territory. Who knows how many rounds ive put down range in my life. I can only remember having a serious problem back in the 80s with the old M16 A1 and thats after some serious abuse to the weapon. Yeah things fail sometimes but for the most part you take care of your girl…she'll take care of you.

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    • The .308 is military 7.62mm and will be equally available as either of the others you mentioned. As for me I prefer not to have to shoot things more than once, and yes I have had extensive training with the 5.65mm(550 yrs. with open sights, thank you).
      But as for me i will take my M-14 tactical carbine in .308/7.62mm, one shot one kill(1000 yrs. w/scope, 600yrs. easy w/open sights) Eyes aren't as good as they once were and can't shoot through my scope with glasses on. (by the way, 1450yrs. is my longest shot with my scope.
      When in doubt, send a scout. Scouts out.

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  11. For me and my family its the Rottie, but we also have a little Boston (who is the alpha dog in the house.) The Rottweiler is the scare factor but it's the Boston that bring home the moles, squirrels, and birds. Not to mention my Boston is the one strangers have to watch out for!

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  12. The article is about the Survival Carbine. The SOCOM 16 and its cousins are actually Battle Rifles. Comparing a Battle Rifle to a Carbine is like comparing apples to oranges. In a survival situation I will always take more rounds in my mag and rounds in my pocket. Below is straight from Wikipedia:

    "The previous standard NATO rifle cartridge was the 7.62x51mm NATO, derived from the .308 Winchester rifle cartridge and designed to replace the U.S. military's .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. At the time of selection, there had been criticism that the 7.62×51 mm was too powerful for modern service rifles, causing excessive recoil, and that the weight of the ammunition did not allow for enough rate of fire in modern combat. A soldier can carry more than twice as much 5.56 mm ammunition as 7.62×51 mm for the same weight."

    Rack'em

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  13. For those that scoff at the AR in 5.56…. I've yet to see anybody put their money where their mouth is and go stand downrange and see if an XM193 or an M855/SS109 bounces off their chest. I damn sure wouldn't want to be on the receiving end. If it didn't get the job done the US military would have done away with it long ago. Fact is it kills and kills pretty efficiently. Look at the tally from the DC Snipers. Ten killed and three critically wounded. No one walked away. Pretty damn deadly for a sissy round I think. Power is good, but accuracy is final. To each his own I know, but I'll trust my life with it. Just my two cents.

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    • GD, I'm sorry sir but that is one of the most asinine and stupidest arguments for a survival weapon I've ever seen. I won't volunteer to get hit with an air rifle either but that fact has absolutely nothing to do with the suitability of the weapon/round combination as a survival weapon. I was forced to trust my life to one and it failed me – my 1911A1 did not so I am here and my M16 LIVED in an arms room and was cleaned daily. I wasn't a grunt so I didn't have to spend weeks in the field at a time.
      My recommendation to you and to everyone is simple – take your proposed survival weapon to the field for 6 consecutive weeks in cold, wet, and dust and live with it. If you are comfortable with the level of maintenance it requires to continue reliably shooting after that time frame then use it for a hunting trip. I'd rather face a brown bear with an AR than my empty hands but I would much prefer a 308 or my personal choice is a 45-70 Marlin lever gun. I can shoot aimed fire with the Marlin as quickly as I can shoot AIMED fire with a semi-auto and I have never, ever, in over 40 years had a Marlin lever gun jam or fail to feed. With Hornady's new Leverevolution ammo I do not feel limited in my capability to take game because of ammo limitations in a tube type magazine.
      Now if you just want to 'spray and pray' a 5.56 might do the trick but I am vain enough to think of myself as a rifleman.

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  14. I'm actually debating right now what way to go with my survival carbine. I've decided I will either get an AR pistol (12" barrel or shorter) or an AK pistol, something like a Romanian Draco. The AK pistol is cheaper, but even at 50 yards its not terribly accurate. In my state you can fit a stock to either an AR or AK pistol so long as you apply for the proper permits and pay the tax. An AK pistol, for example, would have an 11" barrel and when fitted with a stock would be considered a short-barreled rifle.

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    • why not just get a short rifle to begin with? why the need for an 11 inch barrel? personally i would get the regular 16 incher and save one the permiting process. also get a little better performance, both in power and in accuracy.

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  15. IMO, all the light weight bullets you can carry and a weapon system that has more problems then its worth, has been getting Our troops killed. They have now gone to a heavier bullet to try to increase the range of the failed system. They have come out with fixes after fixes, some used some they have put their noses up at.
    Forge, states that the AR system is an assault rifle system and that weapons like the Socom 16 are battle rifles. I'm sorry but Our military has been using the AR type rifles as their battle rifles. It has to do any job required of Our troops. So if that is the case, once again the Powers that be have sent our troops into battle with the wrong rifle.
    It all comes down to your trusting the weapon you pick. Myself I want a rifle that can and does fill all my needs when I grab it. If I have to carry a rifle for each specific type of situation and stock bullets for them all I'm in trouble.

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    • I have never liked the AR system. It has failed me in my life time. I have had to carry it when it was forced upon me. I requested to carry the M-60 instead. but due to my rank and position I had to carry the AR. I have heard form Vietnam Vets and Desert storm Vets and current active duty Marines, Army and Air Force troops and Vets that state they would gladly carry the extra weight then have to fight to keep their weapon in the fight and lose lives due to the AR systems flaws.
      You can Google all day long about the problems of the AR system. There are some articles attempting to prove that it is an OK system. There are leaders in the highest places trying to keep spending Our money on this Failed outdated system. Some of these leaders wont even go for the fix of a piston driven system. It might mean they have to state out loud that They were wrong and in some way open up a can of worms or legal challenges.
      Politics has no place on the battle field when Our troops lives depend on the BEST weapons systems we can give to them. They need to Kill the Enemy. They need to have total confidence in their weapons.
      Of course this is just my Opinion. We all have Opinions. But myself I have a .308 system that can clear a house. Handle trench fighting. Still reach out 400 yards and drop my chosen target with one shot. Handle all climates and conditions thrown at it. Of course all weapons systems require cleaning and maintenance but you should not need to clean it in the middle of a fight. (10 second stoppages may sound ok in the office world but NOT in real life. Your enemy can cover a whole lot of distance in that 10 seconds. You might just have cost your fellow troops their lives or your own, while your weapon was down and out of action).

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  16. all the comments on suvival carbines are good. i must be the only old guy, as i have used a 30-30 for 6oyrs and a 22lr. i’ve used most ar type weapons, there great. but i always come back to the 30-30. light, easy to find shells, few moving parts. not much to go wrong.

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    • My Lab is a great security dog. Her low frequency snoring repels pests and her farting is lethal from 10 yards. She also patrols the yard leaving land mines along the perimeter and will go out of her way to bring meat home as long as it's been aged to dog perfection. She also stops any attempts by the skunk population to infiltrate. Sadly her enhanced interrogation techniques are hard on the skunk but she is happy to present you with the recently dead prisoner even if it's in the middle of the night. (note to self.. lock the darn dog door at night).

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  17. Bushman, I also like the lever action. My primary rifle when out in the Outlands is my Marlin 1894c .357 my Smith or Ruger .357 hand guns pair up nicely with it. I have never felt under gunned and trust them completely.
    I do have what I call my assault rifle system. But its not an M-16/A15,M-4 type platform or 5.56 round. This system is and will only be used during TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI and I'll still carry my Marlin broke down in my pack.

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  18. Bushman, I also like the lever action. My primary rifle when out in the Outlands is my Marlin 1894c .357 my Smith or Ruger .357 hand guns pair up nicely with it. I have never felt under gunned and trust them completely.
    I do have what I call my assault rifle system. But its not an M-16/AR-15,M-4 type platform or 5.56 round. This system is and will only be used during TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI and I'll still carry my Marlin broke down in my pack.

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  19. Wow. What a heated debate. I made this comment in the .45 vs 9mm debate months ago. Whille I have a 12g for serious up close and personal issues with large game or other humans, I have a Glock 19 and a Kel Tec sub 2000 for other SHTF issues. The Kel Tec takes glock mags, so I save on weight and space. Plus, with 9mm I can hunt small game and kill bad guys if necessary. In a strictly survival situation, I would like to have the least amount of weight for the most overall punch that I can carry. Don't get me wrong. I would love to have a Kel Tec su16c for its long range accuracy. I think .308 is great for long range accuracy and one shot one kill. I know this forum is based on gear. When my family and myself are on the line, I want to be able to do the most with the least amount that I can carry, and trust my skills to take up the slack. Feel free to give me constructive criticism or flak, but where I stand right now, I am confident that I have less than 25 lbs. worth of stuff to carry with a shotgun, a carbine, and a handgun, and 500 rds.for each, and when I have two kids and a wife to worry about, that's a big deal.

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  20. The frontier concept of rifle and revolver using the same ammo still makes sense. I teamed
    a Ruger SP101, with a Marlin 1894C .357 lever-action. Either can use .357 Magnums or lower powered .38 Special ammo. Back East it is getting very much more difficult to find someplace to practice with a military rifle. Most indoor ranges let you use a rifle which fires handgun ammo.
    The .357 lever action is manageable by females and youngsters, has low recoil, is adequate for deer, more accurate than an AK and quiet when used with standard velocity lead .38 Special ammo. I don’t plan to stand and fight off the whole world. I just want to protect myself, my family and my gear, put meat in the pot and get the job done.

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  21. FTW, I completely agree with your argument and would add that for the price of the 'exotic' AK pistol you can get a .45, .357, or 9mm handgun AND a carbine type long gun in the same caliber. You get better ballistics from the pistol and a long gun good out to 100 to 150 yards or so.

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  22. Check your gun laws very, very carefully as you do not want to get crosswise with the law. You can't prepare from a jail cell. That said, look into collectables, antiques and black powder/cap and ball weapons. The feds don't consider a replica cap and ball revolver a "firearm". You can have them MAILED to your address from outfits like Cabela's. Is that a first choice for a survival gun – absolutely not but if it is your only choice …. Also check out the laws about shotguns. A shotgun shooting a rifled slug is very effective out to 50-100 yards, maybe longer if you're good with it. My Brit friend went to bow and arrow and cross bow; medieval weapons not controlled by the government. If you ever have to use them, you will then have the firearms that the bad guys were carrying – oops, I'm sorry, I forgot – bad guys obey gun laws so we all can be safe.
    One other option is to check out shooting clubs. In the UK, if you can into a shooting club, you can own a firearm but it must remain under lock and key at the club. Maybe you could get it SHTF, maybe not. If you can't leave CA, don't go for firearms, see if you can have "collectables."

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  23. We all prepare as best we can but there is one hard fact we often don't acknowledge – under some situations, we lose and we die. When faced with sufficiently large enough forces, a 50 BMG with a thousand rounds of belt fed ammo won't be enough to ensure your survival. If I let myself get trapped in a cul de sac facing 20 BGs and I have any gun with a 20 round or less magazine, and the BGs are willing (big if) to pay the price, I lose. It really is that simple. Every artilleryman knows that "final protective fire" is not the iron curtain it appears to be. An enemy willing to pay the price can and will get through, no matter how much steel is headed downrange. The idea is to make that price so high the BGs won't be willing to pay it.

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  24. Amazingly you can own an AR style rifle in CA you just can't have a banned brand (anyone who was manufacturing AR's at the time the law came out i.e. Colt, Bushmaster, DPMS etc,) Your local gun shop will know the deal. The newer companies are not on the list and even though the product is identical, guess what… there's no law that says you can't purchase and own one. You will have to keep you magazine to a 10 round capacity and install a "bullet button" so that it can't be quickly removed (they cost about $10). Companies that make good AR style products and aren't on the banned list are LWRCI, PWS, LMT, Bravo Company to name a few. Good luck!

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  25. Good article series but like a lot of people , AR style carbine is not very appealing for several reasons . Everybody has their own plan and idea of " what if " . Fact is , we dont know what is going to happen . Im in the camp that says your not going to be in constant combat when TSHTF . Im not made of money and AR is expensive . Semi auto carbines make good sense if you have to make choices and limit your gun selections to just a few . Thats why I went with the Ruger Mini 14 " ranch Rifle " . Not the most powerful but a very good choice for general purpose and holds 20 round magazines . I dont plan on sticking around when TSHTF . Again , its a personal decision for everybody .

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  26. Outlander,
    I'm going back through prior posts and found your comment. I like you Marlin/Ruger mix. My personal preference is for my .45 Colt Ruger/EAF mix but nothing wrong with yours. I use my in Cowboy Action Shooting so I like the .45 Colt – even in survival, nostalgia has a place (even if most cowboys ACTUALLY used 44-40, Roy Rogers used .45s). My only concern with your mix is how good it would be against brown bears. East of the Rockies I don't see any problems and the ability to go .357 or .38 (will the rifle handle .38?) is a large bonus. I've been thinking about your combo as an addition but the other possibility is a Ruger/Rossi or Puma carbine in .454 Casull since that will also handle the .45 Colt load that I like plus load out a little heavier for the tall and uncut out west.

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  27. "Im in the camp that says your not going to be in constant combat when TSHTF". Well said. We must live long enough to survive but if I'm in a spot where there is actual combat every day, I am in a very poor choice for a BOL and it is time to GOOD to my alternate. My choice would be a Mini-30 (I do not like 5.56 if I can avoid it) but the Ruger Mini-14 is a sound platform by reputation.

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  28. Any weapon is great as long as you have good shot placement. I like an AK my wife and son have a AR for a Bugout weapon. My daughter who is a pretty good shooter but can take it or leave it can drive tacks with her M-1 carbine at 100 yds is good with it. I would hate to try and come get her when she is hacking away with that weapon. Anything works as long as you are so comfortable with it you can pick it up in the middle of the night and do what you need to do you should be good to go.

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  29. Question is what is the all around type survival gun I personally do not want to carry around several guns for every situation.but I want dependability from long range to short range,for hunting,fighting,protection ,survival,sniping,and be able to find plentiful amounts of affordable ammo.

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  30. I am satarting to see a lot of AR style carbines in 762×39 looks and functions just like the

    ar,

    are they any good

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  31. There is no gun, other than a single shot, double rifle, or (in my opinion) lever gun that is more reliable than an AK-47. Ar platforms have been out there for 40 years and for 40 years they have been being modified to make them more reliable and harder hitting. I am of the opinion that a design that is that flawed from the beginning is not something I want to put a lot of money into. The platform/bullet combination was designed to be more controllable in fully automatic fire. A military mission with heavy weapons support. If you don't have artillery and machine guns in support, I'd stay away from the platform. If you're looking for 7.62X39 I'd either get an AK or SKS or I'd go with the Ruger Mini-30 as a more reliable platform. Remember the AK was designed for 9 year old kids in deserts and mountains to maintain and shoot. Hard to be more reliable than that.

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  32. Seems debate is battle rifle instead of survival carbine. I use and love the 30.06, but i'd hate to have to eat a rabbit or other small game shot w/ such a powerful round. As I said before, to me its about finding that happy medium b/t not to big or to small. Just right!

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  33. I agree w/ your choice of survival carbine. sub2k. its nice to have pistol and carbine in same caliber. You have the ability to take out pretty much any target in "urban" range w/ a well placed shot. Keeping your pack light by comboing ammo needs is also a wise choice.

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  34. The M14 Semi-Auto version uses a heavy hitting .308 round. The M14 is Semi-Auto but can also be effective at long range, but if you do not mind the weight of the M14 all 11.5 lb I would not recommend it for close range since its effective range is 500-875 yards (with optics). Its overall range and effectiveness are a sure winner in my book.

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  35. For those of you who are concerned about carrying extra weight around related to the 7.62 in Socoms ect., maybe you should toughen up and get into shape! Unfortunately, at my workplace (nuclear security), we carry M4s with a Sig Sauer sidearm and with extra mags for each and radios and many other accesories, we are carrying an extra 35 lbs. of gear with weapons which I consider to be (ITSHTF) grossly at a handicap. Do you really think a terrorist will be armed with a 223? We work 12 hour shifts toting this gear around, up and down steps and many times 4-5 miles per day protecting our space. I would feel much more secure armed with a

    7.62-308 weapon such as my Socom! Stop wussing out and get in shape to carry a real weapon that doesn't malfunction. Unless your AR is kept in top condition, it WILL malfunction. By the way, I am not a young stud fresh out of the military, just a 54 year old guy who wants to have enough gun for the job when the situation arises. Stop crying about the weight!

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  36. I also disagree with the AR-15 as the choice for the "Best Survival Carbine" because of my familiarity with that weapon system. I might be willing to go with one of the more modern gas piston versions but the huge bulk of my experience is with that of the gas piston operated ARs. The author did state towards the end of this posting that this is his personal choice because of his familiarity with the weapon. I think he made it clear that he decided not to write about the best survival carbine, so the title of the article should probably be "My Choice Of Survival Carbine."

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  37. My favorites are the SKS and the mini-14. I would give the edge to the SKS though. They are rugged as hell, cheap, and the 7.62×39 round is the best overall balance between power and economy. The ammo is also relatively cheap.

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  38. you can have ar weapons in california. I work in a gun store and built a nice ar. It just has to have a fixed 10 rnd mag. Fixed meaning not removable without a tool, a bullet works but a finger does not. Push it in with a tool mag drops right out. I've seen gloves that have a pin on the middle finger to release the mag just as fast as normal. Plus I kept the orignal mag release in case I move or the Gov changes.

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  39. Medic,
    I GOT ONE!!!!! Ran into a guy at a gun show that wanted to get something else and since he had more than one ….. I'm now the owner of an IBM made M1 Carbine. Now for rounds and mags but it is good to have something I've always wanted.

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  40. Hits count. A well placed shot will allow the best and the worst projectile to do its job. Hole size and hydrostatic tissue damage are secondary to a brain/spinal shot. More lighter rounds for carry good, more less expensive rounds for practice better, more choices on ammo for each type of mission best. I trained with the M16 and the 45 was our pistol during the Cold War. I love my AR and my Glock 19. Short of Griz or a charging moose, both not found in Virginia, I'll get by just fine. If I have to carry 10-12 mags for my long gun, 200 rds for my pistol, 500 rds for my S&W 22 cal pistol, plus my essential gear, caliber does matter.

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  41. I understand about this being on the AR as one's carbine, but if SHTF or TEOTWAWKI occurs before I get the AR varriant I want I would like to know isn't it best to use the firearm you have? In my case there is an M1 Garand and an M59/ 66A1 SKS. I know that for me it will be either a DPMS AR or a Ruger SR556 when I get my AR. I just want to know that since a lot of times SHTF times often are come as you are ready situations I may have to use what I already have am I wrong for thinking this.

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  42. To be honest, I used to think the same thing. However carrying an M4 in combat changed my mind. It is light and agile in the urban environment and ammo is cheap and plentiful. In firefights, it never jammed on me. In rural I might carry my M1A, but it is too bulky for the urban fight or home defense. I keep an AR ready to go, and just added a SCAR, which I am just getting used to.

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  43. I find it amazing how some people continue to berate the 5.56 rd and the AR platform. Most that hate it probably never had to carry it in combat (I mean actual fighting, not being a FOBIT),nor have they ever actually had to take another persons life. As far as picking what's right for you, go for it! Use what your comfortable with. I have a a wide. Ariety to pick from. I have tried to own a weapon chambered in nearly every calibre, so what ever ammo is available I can use. If I have to bug and pick one, it will be either the M4 or the SCAR. That is what I am comfortable with.

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  44. When it comes to survival rifles everyone seem to have their own opinion about what is best. As a recent combat veteran I can tell you from personal experience that the AR platform is a good one when combined with a good magazine and weapon hygiene. As for accuracy do not under estimate the Ak. At 300 meters you are talking about grouping sizes of a orange for an AR and a grape fruit for and AK. Either one can make a kill at that distance. The AK is not temperamental about magazines nor hygiene so the choice is yours. Hi-Point and several other manufactures make great carbines in pistol calibers; to me if you are on a budget or just a piratical person this is the best option because bullets are not cheap anymore. Whatever you decide, make sure that that you can afford to regularly train with your weapon and become proficient in its use no matter what the condition you a operating in. Remember to keep you body in good condition too, good cardio vascular health will improve your accuracy. If you find that you need to employ your weapon in defensive situation a little stamina can make the difference between life and death as your attacker will probably not be a 5'9" 270lb guy that can't keep up. No one ever gets attacked by someone who thinks they are not going to win.

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  45. I like the AR but not in prairie dog caliber. Not even .308. So I got another upper (AR10) in ,338 Federal. Fantastic! Not having to shoot 5 or 10 rounds when one will do. Ammo easy to carry.
    No idea what as those letters stand for. Thor

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  46. Hmm, the only AR style rifle I own at present is the reasonbly new Sig Sauer .22 SA rimfire. A fun and accurate rifle. Also, in .22 LR SA I have a Browning take down for "Bug Out" use… light to carry and small to pack in a backpack. I also have Browning Medallion A-Bolt .243 for deer hunting and accurate long distance shooting. But, I'm really interested in selling the latter and buy a AR style tactical "black ops" .223 or .308. But, I am concerned with carrying the extra weight with the .308 caliber ammo since I'm getting older and residual weight matters when I'm carrying several weapons and knives, ammo, etc. Any sincere recommendations for the AR style .223 or .308 is encouraged. I'm also considering just buying an extra close-in tactical carbine rifle/pistol in .30 cal or .40 caliber (Ruger10-30) or Berretta .40 cal might do. Ideas?

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  47. If you get a good one it will not jam as much as the Vietnam war era m16.
    Military weapons are made by the lowest bidder.
    Like the Beretta m9 vs Sig Sauer p226 the military personnel got the m9 because it was cheaper per crate than the than the p226 but the p226 was a higher quality
    Weapon than the m9

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