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

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By Joel Jefferson •  4 min read

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.

Survival Firearms

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 those facts, it’s just not about the AK.

AR Platform

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.

Wrap Up

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

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.