Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices

This is a gun board classic:

After some years now of reading internet bulletin boards, I think I’ve got the pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices figured out. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the following is my analysis based upon the wisdom of numerous gun board gurus (you know them, they’re always the first ones to tell you a particular model gun is “junk” and enlighten you as to why they have made the only logical purchases)…

The AR 15:

Great, awesome, unbelievable rifle(when it works). Can hit a fly in the butt at 300 yards (when it works). If one is ever attacked by a pack of feral poodles post-SHTF, this is the perfect defensive rifle (unless it jams, in which case you’re poodle food). The upside is that one can hang more plastic aftermarket doo-dads on it than a Christmas tree, which may effectively frighten away bad guys when the gun jams. Also, by simply changing the upper, one can convert it into a Ruger 10/22.

The MINI-14:

Could be a good rifle, but it’s not black.

The SKS:

Best obsolete rifle ever made (even if it isn’t black, but you can buy a black aftermarket stock that looks kinda like an AR). If you need to lay in a big mud puddle and shoot at bad guys, this is the rifle to have. It will shoot as well as ever (maybe even better) when full of mud and the ten round mag makes puddle shooting a breeze since unlike hi-cap mags, you can hold the rifle upright in prone (mud puddle) position. Major drawback is that everyone knows that in a post-SHTF situation one must immediately fire thousands of rounds, a task for which a fixed ten round magazine is ill equipped, which is why they invented the AK. You can buy aftermarket hi-cap mags, but they often jam, creating the illusion that one is shooting an AR when combined with a nifty aftermarket stock. Other major drawback is that the 7.62 x 39 round is not .223 or .308.

The AK-47:

The AK-47 solved the difficult problem of firing thousands of rounds at approaching bad guys by allowing you to deftly change 30 round mags taped back to back, or for the truly ambitious, drum type magazines may be found. Unfortunately, buying an AK-47 is difficult, as they only come in full auto configurations. The good news is that a number of semi-automatic variants are available, allowing you to simulate an actual AK-47 by pulling the trigger really, really fast. Like the SKS, AK variants function best when filled with mud, but actually filling them is difficult as the hi-cap magazine makes lying in a mud puddle while shooting much more difficult. Fortunately, tactical experts from a mysterious facility known only to us as “the hood” have developed the “homeboy” method of handling an AK variant which promises to alleviate the hi-cap magazine vs mud puddle problem. One drawback of the AK variant is that (like the SKS) it’s not black, however, aftermarket vendors have corrected this tactical faux pas on the part of Soviet designers by offering black furniture for those “in the know”. Like the SKS, the AK variant also suffers from the troubling problem that the 7.62 x 39 round is not .223 or .308. However, recognizing this problem, Russian designers have created a similar cartridge to the .223 known as the 5.45 x 39.5. The problem of the 7.62 x 39 not being a .308 has not been addressed, as Russian poodles are apparently no larger than American poodles. Nevertheless, the quest to make smaller and smaller projectiles for combat weapons continues and rumors of a newer and better innovation known as the “pellet gun” have recently surfaced. We await an AR upper to accommodate this promising new caliber.

The Mosin-Nagant:

This unpronounceable rifle has a long history of military service. Napoleon reportedly had one. The unusually long 91/30 barrel combined with bayonet insures that it should be especially useful should a SHTF scenario involve the “redcoats” coming. The major drawback of this rifle is that it is a bolt action, which could make firing the prerequisite thousands of rounds at approaching bad guys difficult. However, if the Mosin owner and the bad guys are patient, one should be able to sling enough lead downrange by the time they are older than their rifle currently is. Like other eastern block rifles, the Mosin also is not black. This may be a possible reason why the Soviets lost the cold war. However, like the SKS and AK, western vendors have corrected this problem by offering an aftermarket stock in black. Unfortunately, none are available with a pistol grip. If Napoleon’s Mosin had a pistol grip, he may have very well conquered the world, but that’s another discussion. Other “carbine” type Mosins are also available, which would be the perfect compliment if one’s SHTF plan includes charging at bad guys on horseback while wearing a fur hat, swinging a curved saber and swilling a bottle of vodka.

The CETME:

While the Mosin-Nagant takes a step in the right direction by chambering a larger caliber, the CETME promises to actually be able to send the desired thousands of rounds downrange much like the AK, only with the “bang” being in Spanish rather than Russian. While promising, the CETME is said to fall short since it’s commonly known that the Century built models can only be fired once before exploding. The best-known solution is to use the CETME like a hand grenade, throwing it at the bad guys and hoping they try to fire it so it explodes on them rather than you.

The G3:

The G3 would probably make a good post-SHTF weapon, but they’re full auto and Uncle Sam says you can’t have one. Because he said so and because “he’s the uncle”. Well, you could get one if you sold your house and lived in your car to pay for it, but that’s pretty much the same thing. The good news is that you could get a semi-automatic version like the HK91 or PTR-91 (and they’re black, a major improvement on the original CETME design). The major complaint about this design is that it has stuff like a fluted chamber and a roller-delayed blowback action, making it too exotic for a viable SHTF weapon. The other major drawback reported about this German improvement on the CETME design is that it’s not an M1A or a FAL.

The FAL:

The FAL is the freemason of rifles. Though you don’t run into them often, they’re reported to be everywhere and secretly control the world of guns. This explains why FAL owners tend to worship their rifles, often converting their gun cabinets into FAL shrines and performing bizarre candlelit rituals before their rifle, which only the initiated understand. For the uninitiated, the upside is that the FAL can be found in black furniture and has hi-cap magazines. FAL owners tend to taunt AR owners about their “poodle shooter” calibers, touting the ability of the .308 to penetrate such obstacles as trees. While this puzzles some, I suspect that the members of the FAL cult may have some mysterious knowledge that common gun owners do not. Perhaps when the SHTF and hordes of trees rise up to destroy the human race we will all wish we had a FAL.

The M1A:

The M1A is the ultimate SHTF rifle. We know this because M1A owners remind us of this constantly. Like the FAL, the M1A is capable of stopping a tree in its tracks. When the hordes of killer trees take the rest of us, FAL and M1A owners will likely be the only ones left to hash out who has the better rifle. Of course, we know the answer (because M1A owners remind us of it constantly). The M1A not only has superior penetration, it is extremely accurate at distance. Therefore, when the hordes of killer trees have all been mowed down, FAL owners will fall quickly to the hordes of paper silhouette targets come to avenge their woodland brethren. The M1A owners will stop the avenging targets with neat, 1 MOA groups center mass at 600 yards. At that point, the standard M1A owners will have to hash out which is the better gun with the SOCOM 16 owners to determine who will inherit the earth. A glaring design error in the M1A is that it’s not black, which is why they invented the SOCOM.

Other military style rifles:

There are, in fact, other military style rifles, which I have not mentioned. It is, however, widely understood that all of these other rifles will fail as soon as the stuff hits the fan and being less common than the others, parts will not be available, rendering them all useless.

Pistol caliber carbines and sporting rifles:

Aside from the biggies, there are carbines in pistol calibers, but as Jeff Cooper says about the .32, if your shoot someone with one, and they notice, they’ll probably get mad. Therefore, pistol caliber carbines are fun toys, but not a serious SHTF choice.

Sporting rifles are right out. They are not designed to fire the required volume of ammunition in a short period. Under such stress, their barrels will melt and droop like wet noodles, leaving the user defenseless.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks to the Internet and the plethora of gurus on it, I now have a comprehensive understanding of every possible SHTF rifle, even one’s I’ve never owned or even shot. Naturally, I had to pass this know-how on.

But Wait……

You bought the wrong gun!!!

M14/M1A:

Clunky, heavy, and overpowered. Essentially a Garand tarted up with a removable magazine, in a half-baked attempt to adapt a 19th century rifle design philosophy to the mid-20th century. Most often named as favorite infantry rifle by people who never had to hump a 10-pound wood-stocked rifle with lots of sharp protrusions and no collapsible anything on a three day exercise, or try to make it through a firefight with the standard battle load of five 20-round magazines.

AK-47:

Crude and inaccurate bullet thrower designed by and for illiterate peasants. Chambered in a caliber that manages to cut the ballistics of a proper .30-caliber battle rifle in half without passing on any weight savings to the grunt. Ergonomics only suitable for Russian midgets. Archaic cable trigger spring, crummy sights, no sight radius to speak of, no bolt hold-open device, and a clumsy safety. Favorite infantry rifle of Middle Eastern goat herders, guys named Abdullah, and backwoods militia types who like the fact that it shoots cheap ammo and has ballistics like their familiar .30-30.

H&K G-3/HK-91:

Ergonomics of a railroad tie. No bolt release, and a locking system that requires three men and a mule to work the cocking handle. Fluted chamber that mauls brass, and violent bolt motion that dings the brass that didn’t get mauled too badly by the chamber. Stamped sheet metal construction, yet just as heavy as a milled steel M14. Safety lever that requires unnaturally long thumbs, and a trigger pull that feels like dragging a piano across a gravel road with your index finger. Favorite infantry rifle of Cold War nostalgics and third world commandos.

M-16/AR-15:

Underpowered varmint rifle burdened by a crummy magazine design. Nasty direct-impingement gas system that poops where it eats. High sight line, flimsy alloy-and-plastic construction. Generally favored by range commandos, tactical disciples, military vets who have never fired anything else for comparison, and Brownells addicts who a.) enjoy spending three times the cost on the rifle on bolt-on accoutrements, and b.) never have to use their rifle away from a dry, sunny range.

G-36:

Flimsy plastic rifle with non-user adjustable fair-weather optics that fog up when a gnat breaks wind in front of them. Magazines that take up twice as much pouch space than others in the same caliber because of the “clever” coupling nubs on the magazine housing. Skeleton folding stock that is about as suitable for butt-stroking as a plastic mess spork. Twice as expensive as other rifles in its class because of the “HK” logo on the receiver. Preferred infantry rifle of SWAT cops, and soldiers whose militaries haven’t been in shooting conflicts since the 1940s.

Glock:

Butt-ugly plastic shooting appliance with the ergonomics of a caulking gun. Five-pound trigger with no external safety makes it ill suited for its target market (cops who shoot a hundred rounds a year for qualification). Favored by gangbangers because the product name is short and rhymes with other short, rap-friendly words.

Beretta 92F/M9:

Clunky and overweight rip-off of a clunky and overweight German design from the 1930s. Shear-happy locking block, ergonomics that are only suited for linebackers, barely adequate sights that are partially non-replaceable, and low capacity for its size. Favored by Eighties action movie fanatics and John Woo freaks.

1911:

Overweight and overly complex piece of late 19th century technology. Low capacity, useless sights in stock form, and a field-stripping procedure that requires three hands. Favored by people who are at the cutting edge of handgun technology and combat shooting…of the 1960s.

H&K P7:

Wildly overpriced, heavy for its size, low capacity in most iterations, and blessed with a finish that rusts if you give the gun a moist glance. Gas tube has a tendency to roast the trigger finger after a box or two of ammo at the range. Favored by gun snobs who think that paying twice as much for half the rounds means four times the fighting skill.

SIG Sauer:

Top-heavy bricks with the rust resistance of an untreated iron nail at the bottom of a bucket of saltwater. Ergonomically sound, if you have size XXL mitts. Some minor parts made in Germany, so the manufacturer can charge 75% Teutonic Gnome Magic premium. Favored by Jack Bauer fans and wannabe Sky Marshals/Secret Service agents.

S&W Revolvers:

Archaic hand weapons from a bygone era, the missing link between flintlocks and autoloaders. Low capacity, and reloading requires a lunch break. Heavy for their capacity, unless you’re talking about airweight snubbies, which hurt as much on the giving end as they do on the receiving end. Rare stoppages, but few malfunctions that don’t require gunsmith services, which are hard to come by in a gunfight. Favored by crusty old farts who just now got around to trusting newfangled smokeless powder, and Dirty Harry fans with unrealistic ideas about the power of Magnum rounds vs. engine blocks.

SMLE/Enfield:

Refinement of a 19th century blackpowder design. Weapon of choice for militaries who either couldn’t afford Mausers, or had ideological hang-ups about Kraut rifles. Rimlock-prone cartridge that only barely classifies as a battle rifle round because of blackpowder derivation and insufficient lock strength of the platform. Favored by Canadians with WWII nostalgia, and people who think that semi-auto rifles are a passing fad.

Browning HP:

Fragile frame designed around a popgun round. Near-useless safety in stock form that’s only suitable for the thumbs of elementary schoolers. Strangest and most circuitous way to trip a sear ever put into a handgun. Favored by wannabe SAS commandos, wannabe mercenaries, and Anglophiles who think that hammer-down, chamber-empty carry is the most appropriate way to carry a defensive sidearm.

Benelli shotguns:

Plastic boutique scatterguns made by people with the martial acumen of dairy cows. Hideously expensive, and therefore popular with police agencies that get their equipment financed by tax dollars.

FN FAL:

Long and lightweight receiver that’s impossible to scope properly. Overpowered round, twenty-round magazines that run dry in a blink, and an overall weapon length that’s only suitable for Napoleonic line infantry, but utterly useless for airborne and armored infantry. Made by Belgians, a nation with a military history that is limited to waving German divisions through at the border. Favored by Falklands veterans, Commonwealth fanboys, and people who think that dial-a-recoil gas systems are the epitome of infantry technology.

And now, YOUR CALIBER SUCKS TOO!!!

9mm Luger:

European popgun round that’s only popular because the ammo is cheap for a centerfire cartridge. Cheap ammo is a good thing for 9mm aficionados, because anything bigger and more dangerous than a cranky raccoon will likely require multiple well-placed hits. Wildly popular all over the world, mostly in countries where people don’t carry guns, and cops don’t have to actually shoot people with theirs.

.45ACP:

Chunky low-pressure cartridge that hogs magazine space and requires a low-capacity design (if the gun needs to fit human hands) or a grip with the circumference of a two-liter soda bottle (if the gun needs to hold more than seven rounds). Disturbingly prone to bullet setback, expensive to reload, fits only into big and clunky guns, and a recoil that has an inversely proportionate relationship with muzzle energy.

.40S&W:

Neutered compromise version of a compromise cartridge. Even more setback-happy than the .45ACP, and setbacks are much more dangerous because of higher pressure and smaller case volume. Manages to sacrifice both the capacity of the 9mm and the bullet diameter of the .45. Twice the recoil of the 9mm for 10% more muzzle energy.

.357SIG:

Highly overpriced boutique round that does the .40S&W one worse: it manages to share the capacity penalty of the .40 while retaining the small bullet diameter of the 9mm. Noisy, sharp recoil, and 100% cost penalty for ballistics that can be matched by a good 9mm +P+ load. Penetrates like the dickens, which means that the Air Marshals just had to adopt it…only to load their guns with frangible bullets to make sure they don’t penetrate like the dickens.

.38 Special:

Legacy design with a case length that’s 75% longer than necessary for the mediocre ballistics of the round due to its blackpowder heritage. On the plus side, the case length makes it easy to handle when reloading the gun. This is a good thing because anyone using their .38 in self-defense against a 250-pound attacker hopped up on crack will need to empty the gun multiple times.

.32ACP:

Inadequate for anything more thick-skinned than Northeastern squirrels or inbred Austrian archdukes. Semi-rimmed cartridge that is rimlock-happy in modern lightweight autoloaders. Doesn’t go fast enough to expand a hollowpoint bullet, and it wouldn’t matter even if it did, because the bullet would only expand from tiny to small-ish.

.44 Magnum:

Overpowered round that generates manageable recoil and muzzle blast…if you’re a 300-pound linebacker with wrists like steel girders. Often loaded to “Lite” levels that turn it into a noisy .44 Special while retaining the ego-preserving Magnum headstamp. Considered the “most powerful handgun cartridge in the world” by people whose gun knowledge is either stuck in 1960, or who get their expertise in ballistics from Dirty Harry movies.

.50 Desert Eagle:

The Magnum of the new century. Realizing Hollywood couldn’t escape their Magnum fetishes, they had a handgun that fits the same stopping power quota of .44 Magnum and all of its filthy drawbacks. Popular amongst steroid filled movie actors who needs big guns to compensate for the steroid struck testicles. Comes in a baby variant for junior.

10mm Auto:

Super-high pressure cartridge that beats up gun and shooter alike. Very brisk recoil in anything other than all-steel S&W boat anchors, with a shot recovery that’s measured in geological epochs for most handgun platforms. Often underloaded to wimpy levels (see “.40 S&W”), which then gives it 9mm ballistics while requiring .45ACP magazine real estate.

.380ACP/9mm Kurz:

Designed by people who thought the 9mm Luger was a bit too brisk and snappy, which is pretty much all that needs to be said here. Great round if you expect to only ever be attacked by people less than seven inches thick from front to back.

.357 Magnum:

Lots of recoil, muzzle blast, and noise to drive a 9mm bullet to reckless speeds in an attempt to make up for its low mass and diameter. Explosive fragmentation and insufficient penetration with light bullets; excessive penetration and insufficient expansion with heavy ones. Still makes only 9mm holes in the target.

5.7×28mm:

Ingenious way to make a centerfire .22 Magnum and then charge quadruple price for the same ballistics.  Awesome chambering for a police weapon…if you’re the park ranger in charge of the chipmunk exhibit at the zoo, and you want to make sure you can take one down if it turns rabid on you.

.25ACP:

Direct violation of the maxim “Never do an enemy a minor injury”.  Designed by folks who wanted to retain the bullet diameter of the .22 rimfire round, but take a bit of the excessive lethality out of it.  Favored by people who don’t feel comfortable carrying anything more dangerous than the neighbor kid’s rusty Red Ryder pellet gun.

Hat Tip (Better late than never): The Munchkin Wrangler – Part1 and Part2

*Author of first 1/3 of this article still unknown

76 COMMENTS - JUMP DOWN ↓ TO ADD ANOTHER

cmblake6 December 30, 2009 at 08:31 pm

TEH FUNNEH™!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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aczarnowski December 31, 2009 at 11:42 am

The author is not unknown for all of that. Marko obviously wrote the caliber stuff.

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Nosmo January 2, 2010 at 05:38 pm

Marko wrote both parts, click the link on his calibers page, or just click this:
http://munchkinwrangler.wordpress.com/2008/12/02/butchering-a-whole-herd-of-holy-cows/

I don’t agree with some of his other writings, but give the man his due when he writes a classic like this

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jesus February 7, 2010 at 07:32 am

ummm the the scope is mounted the wrong way around, doofus

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Admin (Mike) February 7, 2010 at 12:22 pm

Nope, it definitely is not.

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Mike February 17, 2010 at 07:57 pm

Whoever wrote this is an Idiot who obviously has never shot, nor owned anything bigger than a super soaker. If the shit ever did hit the fan don’t listen to this dumb ass, any gun you can get a hold of is a good gun!

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Admin (Mike) February 18, 2010 at 01:42 pm

It is meant as a joke, not as gospel. People familiar with the stigma attached to certain guns and ammunition understand.

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dan January 4, 2011 at 03:36 pm

Hahaha You totally missed the whole point of all of that.

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TEOTWAWKI NINJA December 5, 2012 at 09:52 am

Way to completely miss the point. Lighten up, buddy. How could you read that and still think it was a serious oped piece. Dummy.

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franknasty89 March 30, 2013 at 07:33 pm

I loved this post.. i mean the stigma people have about their guns is crazy! I mean you would think they birthed it out themselves hahah. Btw im partial to the ak platform ya know cause i dont like black..

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TMA July 20, 2010 at 09:01 am

Hilarious!!!

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LMAO!!! October 30, 2010 at 01:26 am

You made my day man. Seriously funny,

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JEBJr December 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

A lot of truth in a humorous story. No feelings spared…many cartridges inadequacies exposed. Writer should work for Government / Law Enforcement procurement…then, maybe, we could get something that meets our job challenges. To the person who took it seriously…get a life outside of your Mom’s basement!

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G8trdone December 12, 2010 at 03:53 pm

Something that meets your “job challenges”? L.E.? LMAO…seriously? Maybe something that writes your tickets for you? Or can go pick up some donuts? Hahaha…You do remember your aiming at citizens right?

I thought the article was funny too! All the fun things we weigh make it a really personal decision that I doubt anyone can go wrong with at the end of day.

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JEBJr December 11, 2011 at 10:57 pm

You are obviously not an officer…not all L.E. work is conducted in an urban environment. Some of us prefer the desolate spaces and back-country. A sidearm and long-arm for duty carry should work equally well in dirt, sand, dust, mud, water, ice…from +117 F to -25 F…and capable of stopping both human and large animal aggression while remaining compact and light enough to tote for miles on foot (ATV, skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, horseback, kayak, etc). I recognized the humor and truths of the original posting…I still believe the writer should offer their services to Procurement, it might just result in a better firearm system for our officers. BTW…I don’t “do” donuts, don’t own a ticket book and, in this day and time, why would you think that citizens are the only criminals out there???

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Gecko45 June 24, 2012 at 02:48 am

What would you recommend for someone working in an urban retail environment that has regular incursions of the Russian Mafia? I’d like to hear your alleged wisdom on this matter. Quite clearly, you have never engaged a target from a stand under a clothing rack in The Gap.

While I applaud your resistance to donuts, I would strongly advise a course in ninjitsu or another professional martial art, not that TKD crap.

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Bill December 16, 2010 at 02:07 pm

You could elaborate a little more on the mini-14, IMO it is probably one of the better SHTF guns on the list considering it’s extremely reliable and will cycle any .223/5.56 you can find. Maybe most of the mini’s that you have seen are not “scary black rifles” but you can get a pretty nice stock that will fix that problem =).

I wouldn’t even waste time mentioning the AR, they are accurate and ergonomic. But in a SHTF situation they require too much maintenance and they are too un-reliable.

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Gecko45 June 24, 2012 at 02:52 am

Perhaps you can help me with that matter. My AR is a bona-fide Tony’s Custom with CAA furniture, and I have put over 15,000 rounds through it with no malfunctions. Clearly, I am doing something wrong.

Which AR platforms have you experience with, and which do you find to be the most prone to trouble?

Do you prefer the standard 4150 alloy or the milspec heat treatment? Some consider the latter a waste of money, but a high volume weapon deserves it, IMO.

How many rounds have been through your Mini? Have you tried 77 gr loads in it?

Do you know of any 5.56 rounds that can penetrate two SAPI plates?

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Critter January 3, 2011 at 03:04 pm

I kept reading in the article about STFU guns. I could use some of those.

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Bear February 13, 2011 at 12:06 am

Whoever wrote this knows nothing about firearms. You’re a complete idiot

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Dex July 2, 2011 at 08:21 pm

Umm, Bear?

It’s satire.

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walrus October 22, 2011 at 01:30 pm

“Whoever wrote this knows nothing about firearms. You’re a complete idiot”

oops the kettle calling pot grimey arse,ever heard of irony???this is aimed squarely at you bud,
don’t kick up too much!!! you’ll cloud the genepool

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Gecko45 June 24, 2012 at 02:54 am

Obviously, you have never faced down an abduction scenario in a major retail complex. I assure you experts in the field of civilian security pay close attention to these discussions. I notice my preferred .338 Lapua Magnum is not on the list. This confirms my finding that it is the ultimate round for both personal security and tactical use.

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Matt February 15, 2011 at 04:35 am

It is impossible for Napoleon to have ever owned a Mosin-Nagant because he died in 1821. The Mosin-Nagant was designed in 1891.

I vote for the SKS/AK variants. Good opinions, but not all opinions I agree with.

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bob smith March 9, 2011 at 10:26 pm

haven’t read any comments so maybe someone said this already, but for starters, yes you can get a mini-14 in “black”

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SuperMan September 26, 2011 at 03:03 pm

I have a Govt used BLACK Stainless steel MINI 14. $400.

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bob smith March 9, 2011 at 10:42 pm

YOUR GUN SUCKS

lol,

awesome

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Dave June 20, 2011 at 06:24 pm

Funny as heck, because it is so true!

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C.T.Fenn August 20, 2011 at 03:12 pm

But you forgot the Jennings Raven!
It’s designed to keyhole the awesome .22RF & 10 feet so it leaves a bigger bruise on the OpFor.

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Mims September 17, 2011 at 11:59 pm

Very funny.

The concept of satire apparently is “over the heads” of lots of people these days.
They tend to buy a certain gun mostly to impress others at the range.

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ac December 11, 2011 at 05:22 pm

Dang,
that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks.

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dan January 30, 2012 at 08:40 pm

very entertaining article. you obviously did a bit of research. at least it doesn’t LOOK like you got these guns off Call Of Duty. i don’t know, MAYBE you did some legit research. i have an AK-47, a M1A, and an M16A4 (yes, a real 3 round burst M16A4). All three have their purpose, as with all infantry rifles. if there was a perfect one, the U.S. would’ve developed it for the military and never issued it by now. anyway, my point is that if you have actually SHOT all (if any) of these rifles, handguns, or carbines, you would’ve found one that you would really like and see past the flaws. yeah, all the other arm chair generals reading this think you’re smart, but I’ve shot weapons in combat and i swear by them. if you have ever been in any kind of “advanced camping trip” everyone thinks war is, you would understand the true bond between man and machine that people develop. that “under-powered varmint rifle” becomes your best friend, even if it jammed once for someone (I’ve never experienced a jam outside of boot camp on a vietnam era M16A2).

i get emotional about guns, because they have treated me well, and most people have never actually shot one outside of an XBOX.

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George Bailey September 27, 2013 at 08:41 am

I have several cool guns. They all serve thier purpose. I have an Armalite AR and the only aftermarket I have on it is a Hogue grip and a gas re-routing charging handle that I got from RRA. It has never failed to function, except with a crappy magazine that I tossed and solved the problem. It’s accurate. I train with ALL my weapons, from every concievable position, and every scenario I can dream up. I buy good ammo. And I hunt a lot. I think every weapon has it’s drawbacks. With practice and training and proper maintainence and ammo, I think most of these can be overcome.

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Ironsights January 31, 2012 at 11:23 pm

Dan has it down. I would love a basic Military M-16. The sights, and stock,.and handguard are classic. Form fitting and functional. The stuff I see at the range, I dont care for, ( tricked out bi-pod, ar-15′ s.) Until I can get one, ill stick to my sgl-23. Loved the article. Glad I’m not the only one tired of the armchair experts on all the forums. To really upset them, we could remind them that some untrained kids in colorado, shot and killed several people with cheap ugly, 9 millimeter rifles, and those weak bullets really did the trick.

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Ironsights January 31, 2012 at 11:50 pm

Sorry, I meant my sgl-21. The Arsenal is solid, simple and deadly. No it doesnt have the ergonomics of the stoner design, it will not ” drive tacks” but as long as im hitting black, with open sights at 100 yards im happy, and I can shoot all day effectively for.fun and defence, without going broke.

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DannyInSoCal February 16, 2012 at 11:49 pm

Yeah – That’s why I like the weird “chamber bump” firearms:

Glock 21 rechambered from .45ACP to .50GI –

AR15 rechambered from 5.56 to 6.8 SPCII –

And last but not least –

AMT 1911 7″ Longslide chambered in .30 Carbine.

Now how about your opinion of 00Buck reloads for my 44Mag revolver –

Kinda like a 45LC/.410 Judge on steroids…..

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colin g May 23, 2012 at 03:24 pm

is this guy fucking retarded ”only black rifles” napolean,im shure he died 40 years before they made the mosin nagant.this little boy has no idea about guns,why do all guns need to be black but im shure you wrote a comment on another website saying every gun needs to be gold fucking little twat go back to call of duty and leave your dads computer and stop opening your dads gun safe.im am so enraged of this person also why would you need to spray thousands of rounds down range with your ak47,saying the sks is useless with 10 rounds………..in shtf almost all encounters with looters or gangs will be sooooo close and you need every bullet,if shtf would happen and i found you shooting magazine after magazine at my house i would take my mosin nagant witch only holds 5 rounds and i end your life with that 1 bullet………….unlike you who would be bumpfiring his ammo supply at my house,OWWW MAN if i get him quick enough i could take all of your 7.62.39 ammo for my sks

-real survivor

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colin g's little helper June 1, 2012 at 09:01 am

He’s being satirical colin. “satire” is kind of like sarcasm but meant for humor. Napoleon was a Corsican artillery officer in the French army before he rose to power, and would not have used a Russian gun by the time he fought the Russians as he was a commander rather than a rifle-toting soldier by that time. most people kind of have an idea of history and realize that the author is joking. also, with nothing more than a google search I discovered the Mosin-Nagant was developed and adopted 70 years after Napoleon’s death. Saying you must fire thousands of rounds immediately is a stab at the guys who plan to “bug-out” and carry thousands of rounds into the woods, which isn’t an uncommon plan but rather impractical. is there anything else you would like me to help you google?

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Gecko45 June 24, 2012 at 02:56 am

Not only did Napoleon have a Mosin Nagant, no less a person than Robert E. Lee wrote about it extensively, and called it “The finest implement of battle ever devised.” It would behoove you to do better research before demonstrating your ignorance.

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andy mcgobb June 12, 2012 at 09:55 pm

My mini-14 is black. Will jam less often than an m-4 and it is more accurate than an ak.

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Gecko45 June 24, 2012 at 03:00 am

You’ll be sorry when the black wears off. I advise immediately doing a combination of cerakote underlay with gunkote and duracoat in digital camouflage. First do MARPAT as backup, then go over it with superior UCP for the ultimate in tactical protection. I wouldn’t rely on a mere surface finish in black.

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0331liborisk December 18, 2013 at 08:19 pm

Can you point me in the right direction to try these methods myself?
My Tapco furniture is looking pretty dull.

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carvin January 19, 2014 at 08:12 pm

Wow! Gecko45, glad to see your back. I have so many questions but don’t feel worthy to ask. If you coild indulge me one, i have recently aquired a mini14. Strictly range use,mas I know you watch over us all for those Mall forays. I do feel so much safer now when using a public restroom after that major save you got on the mayors son, great work!!
Anyway, my mini’s accuracy blows. I found this shooters training guide on another site and wondered what your thoughts were.
[IMG]http://i1135.photobucket.com/albums/m633/Caravanpilot/b066775fc8bdaa5eb2e5079697511a11_zps6ddc9c88.jpg[/IMG]
Thanks forbyour time,
Sincerely
One who is not worthy

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Don Russell July 12, 2012 at 07:51 pm

An awful lot of bs being spread around here. If you want to see the truth about AR’s and their reliability firsthand, go to the 2x a year machinegun shoot at Knob Creek, KY sometime. You will see M16′s firing thousands of rds without stopping, after throwing them into mud puddles, etc.

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colin g's little helper's conscience January 13, 2014 at 06:20 pm

You’re right – or in the colloquial – your wright. And those mud puddles…

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GAcountryboy389 August 27, 2012 at 08:34 pm

The 91/30 is the reason the confederacy lost the war. They didn’t want to use cheap russian junk (which it’s quite the opposite.). Too bad the 7.62×39 has the ballistics of chucking a few potatoes downrange hoping to hit something (joking again), and hitting someone with a .223 or 5.45×39 would likely piss them off more than it would kill them, unless your opponent is a fuzzy singing chipmunk(guess what, jokIng again!)

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mojo September 7, 2012 at 04:09 pm

I’ll take the M1A, although I’d prefer the M14. Sure, it’s heavier than your plastic-stocked AR1/M16, but just you try bashing somebody’s head in after you run out of ammo, and feel the difference.

Plus, with the beefy 7.62 ammo, you can shoot THROUGH the tree.

Oh, and yes, I did. Hump one (etc.), that is.

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ImanAzol September 7, 2012 at 04:52 pm

Horsecrap. 7.62mm has the same penetration characteristics as 5.56 on most soft cover–sandbags, wood, dirt. And it’s twice the weight. There’s a reason no major military uses .30 anymore. It’s unnecessary. .308 is for machine guns and sniper rifles, not for any rifle engagement.

Now, I WOULD recommend a good .30 bolt gun for SHTF, because it will take people, deer and other sizable game. And civilians shouldn’t plan on extended firefights when they have no ammo logistics to resupply them.

But it still won’t shoot through a tree.

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Mirage August 1, 2013 at 08:40 pm

The 5.56 round is only good in urban environments. The military switched, because they can always call in heavy weapons support. An M14 of course is better than an M1A military grade. As for HK91, it’s an excellent weapon, extreme reliability. I’ve fired 1200 rounds through mine without cleaning and it worked fine. I have never needed a spare part yet, but I have plenty. Well over 14,000 rounds though it. No jambs, no issues. You pull the trigger it goes bang. It is far superior to an AR platform. Range, Penetration, and best of all, as any combat veteran can tell you, one round their down and you can engage another target. With an AR you need to usually put a couple rounds into them. And you are much slower to switch targets.

That said, in an urban environment or closed terrain, I’d prefer the M4. But probably the best mix a combination. In a SHTF scenario assume the enemy will be armed with AK’s and M4′s. Bring more gun to the gun fight.

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ZMAN November 4, 2012 at 01:36 pm

This man hates everything he must use rocks to kill things.

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sks November 5, 2012 at 10:49 pm

Okay man that was funny yet how true… ive only owned an sks so i cant speak for any others but i love it and i noticed it wasnt on the u chose the wrong gun list lol. But this list is the most accurate description ive ever read all guns have their faults some stuckups who cant explain their inaccuracy… (user error and or poor gun choice) especially when my buddies 22-250 outshot 308 sniper rifles being used by people who thought they were snipers cause of their guns. And honestly if the shtf most people wouldnt last a day any gun that could shoot 50 yards accurately will do… i dont know many who would snipe whatever was coming at them in a shtf senario especialy if there were hundreds let alone thoughsands thats retarded. My sks with sidefoldin pistol grip black stock and 30 round detachable mag plus a 20 rounder for quick reload with 40mm red dot scope will do nicely. Do some more stuff like this i liked it funner than
Heck and truer than anything i couldve said right on says this redneck.

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Geno November 16, 2012 at 12:47 pm

After 3 mini-14s, 4 10/22s and a mini-30 I have some comments about the Mini and 10/22 he could have used:

The original 70s survivalist rifle along with the step-brother 10/22…long live Mel Tappan baby!!!!! Looks great on any of the 52 walls of the geodosic dome home. Its the American AK before even people had an inkling of what a Valmet or Polytech was…sorry 80s flashback.No easy way to mount optics but then again with 2 foot groups at 50 feet who needs to shoot farwith this 5 for sure: .22 caliber scattergun. Now that we are on high horse–William Ruger(aka Clintons side kick with 30 pieces of silver) in his all knowing wisdom is just say no to standard capacity magazines -ie 20/30 rounders–for a semi-auto intermediate caliber defensive weapon aka –assault rifle….wtf?….isnt that the nature of the beast????? Though I do like his overcomplicated .22s pistols and handguns that actually do work…and all the things about the Mini can be applied to the 10/22 of course. In the end….the A Team was a factual account of the Mini when used in combat—fire 5 zillion rounds and hit nothing as the only safe place to be in that gun is to be the target the shooter trying to hit. ……………………. Long may Ruger stay dead!!!! As the guns are now out of the doghouse—the Mini is actually fixed ie the barrel and it is now in BLACK with funky stocks that look like a Mini is having puppies….. and you can buy standard cap mags as well as for the 10/11…and there even making an AR….who wouldav thunk it? And just for poops and giggles….why not make AR mags work in the Mini????—oh wait that is too much sense!!!!!!!!……besides Kel-Tec beat ya with that SU-16 baby……But there may be enother life yet for a carbine that is a smaller version, higher capacity, less powerfull version of the M14 which is a smaller version, higher capacity, less powererfull of the all holy Garand that conquered the planet as shown in Saving Private Ryan….now if they can get a jump on a .300 Whisper version, 5.45×39 version and/or a Mini-30 that wait for it: TAKES AK MAGS….they may have to hire me for Ruger marketing…..

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skyscratcher1969 November 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

dude… that …was…brutal… to… read…

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Heisenberg March 15, 2013 at 11:03 pm

When the hell did the 7.62x39mm become a substandard round? News to me.

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ImanAzol March 15, 2013 at 11:23 pm

It has inferior terminal ballistics to XM193 5.56 mm

No, I don’t care if you don’t believe it. Nor if you don’t believe in gravity. Ballistics and gravity believe in you.

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I like pizza! March 13, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Oh…about 40 years ago, when everyone but sheep herders turned guerrillas and poor small-time dictators moved on to better ballistics.

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Simon Templar July 31, 2013 at 04:42 am

AK-74 with 5.45mm 7n6 round does its job perfectly.

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Mims January 2, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Some people actually believe that Russian Mosin Nagant rifles were used in the American Civil War?

Do they know when that war began and ended? This is mind-boggling.

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Iman Azol January 2, 2014 at 10:51 pm

Well, the pricks at Mauser wouldn’t let Lincoln have any, so he had to go with Mosins.

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SittingDown January 3, 2014 at 10:02 am

Shouldn’t have gone with the M4A1s or the Baby Krinks. So much more portable and concealable. ;)

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colin g's little helper's conscience January 13, 2014 at 06:23 pm

+1 – Again – color me boggled! I’m serious man.

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I like pizza! March 13, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Only the M44 Mosins were used during the American Civil War, 91/30′s were no good during the CQB of the Civil War.

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Nat January 9, 2014 at 05:26 am

Give me an M1 Carbine over an AR-15 any day. It’s lighter, more durable, easier to clean, and I can carry more ammo. The AK 47 is partially based on the Carbine’s action. A significant blow to any part if an AR 15 can cause it to malfunction, even the buttstock. Not good if you need to use it to break down a door or engage in hand to hand. The .30 Carbine round is not that far below the 5.56 ballisticaly. The wood and steel construction is durable and light and has almost no recoil. So my pick is the .30 M1 Carbine, the original PDW. It never gets the credit it deserves for being a influential design.

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Michael Z. Williamson January 9, 2014 at 07:34 am

“Lighter” = Not significantly. That 3 lbs of difference isn’t going to break you.

“More durable” = can ONLY use noncorrosive ammo, and the ammo is hard to find, no longer available in crates. When, not if, you have a problem, spare parts are hard to find and require fitting, and you can’t just swap out another. I presume you’ve never had to headspace a carbine, or attempt to time the bolt.

“A significant blow to any part if an AR 15 can cause it to malfunction, even the buttstock.” = untrue. But any blow that hard is going to break your carbine, too. I don’t know where you get the idea that something lighter, thinner and of inferior alloys is “tougher.” Cool story, bro.

“Not good if you need to use it to break down a door or engage in hand to hand.” = millions of people have engaged in hand to hand with M16s/ARs. They have not generally had the issues you describe. And you will not break down any door with your carbine without breaking it in the process, except for sheet ply internal residential doors.

“The .30 Carbine round is not that far below the 5.56 ballisticaly.” = it’s about 2/3 the power (967 ft lbs vs 1300 ft lbs), so if the AR is underpowered, the Carbine is a pussy.

“The wood and steel construction is durable and light and has almost no recoil.” = that has less to do with wood and steel, and more to do with very little of either, and a pussy cartridge.

“So my pick is the .30 M1 Carbine, the original PDW. It never gets the credit it deserves for being a influential design.” = what did it influence? What uses that design? Answer: Nothing. It’s got shitty accuracy, is hard to find parts, magazines and ammo for, closer to pistols than rifles for power (indeed, it was intended to replace sidearms in many logistical trains), archaic, even pickier on its ammo than an AR.

My guess is you’ve got very little experience with either, and all of it on a shooting range, not in the field. I have a dozen of each, have built them from bare receivers, done depot level repairs. The Carbine is a fascinating historical piece, but complete shit for SHTF.

You can get AR parts, ammo, mags anywhere including WalMart, or from any military unit (assuming you’re either fighting with them or against them, and one of the two is almost certain in a serious disaster).

The AR is about 20X better, but I’d still go with a Mosin Nagant.

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Michael Z. Williamson January 9, 2014 at 07:37 am

As for “breaking down doors,” I recommend a swift kick or a battering ram made from any handy chunk of steel pipe, depending on the door.

BTW, whose door am I breaking down and why? I should not be looting or engaging in offensive operations if SHTF and I’m trying to survive. I should be staying out of sight, keeping fed and warm, minding my own business, and holding a strong defensive position against attackers. They should be attacking my door, not me theirs.

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I like pizza! March 13, 2014 at 10:48 pm

If you ever use your (or any) rifle to “break down a door”, you probably wouldn’t survive any type of SHTF scenario anyway….

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