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Monday, April 19, 2010

Urban Survival Gear and Equipment – Firearms Upgrade

We intended this tie originally to address the common Urban and Suburban dweller who previously has not considered any preparation in anticipation of a collapse or just did not know what to do. Our test case is Jim, who efforts to prepare are articulated in this site with Survival Chronicles of Jim.

Jim is a single white collar professional and business with a child in college. Jim has not previously owned firearms nor had he considered any Urban Survival preparations until he became part of our conversations. Because of our status, we had credibility with Jim therefore Jim listened and saw value in getting somewhat prepared.

He wins on both accounts: he doesn’t feel like some far right wing militia whack job; and, he feels better knowing he has a plan and that plan is backed up with a rapidly procurement, albeit of minimum nature, of Survival Gear and Equipment including a shotgun and pistol.

First rule of a gun fight or any event where you are attacked is to have a means to defend yourself and your property. In most pre-collapse cases a pistol, even a .22 LR, and especially a 12 gauge shotgun will do nicely. However, during a collapse when you may be faced with gangs of looters and brigands, maybe even outlaw motorcycle gangs or vicious street gangs more firepower will probably be necessary.

Enter the assault rifle or carbine (Boy we hate calling it that – but in the interests of a definition it’ll do for now), or better yet, a battle rifle.

Top: M16A1, Second from Top: M16A2, Third from Top: M4 Carbine, Bottom: M16A2

An Assault rifle or carbine would be any variant of the M4/M16 family of firearms in caliber .223 Remington (or 5.56x45mm). Various makers include Bushmaster, Rock River , DPMS, Colt, Smith and Wesson, SigSauer and a host of others. Using a 20 or 30 round magazine, this firearm presents a lot of options. More options when you include multiple rounds or cartridges in various bullet weights and configurations to select for the anticipated use.

Another type of assault carbine would be the excellent Ruger Mini-14, however these are only now slightly less expensive than an M4 variant and less common. Magazines are different than the M4/M16 variants and harder to come by.

The original assault carbine is the M1 carbine (photo above) firing the fairly puny .30 caliber carbine round (110 grain bullet traveling approx 1,700 fps), which is similar to a .357 magnum (11o grain bullet at 1,400 fps) in ballistics – so the questions begs “why carry a carbine sized weapons that fires a pistol type cartridge”?

In the Battle Rifle category would be the M1 Garand (bottom) from WWII fame or even better, the civilian version of the M14 rifle (top) called the M1A1. The M1 Garand fires the .30-06 Springfield round, which is common North American hunting cartridge. The M1A1 fire the .308 Winchester (aka 7.62x51mm NATO) round which maybe more common. The M1 Garand has an internal 8 round box magazine and you load using 8 round clips. The M1A1 using a detachable 20 round box magazine similar to the magazines for the M4/M16 variants but of course not inter-changeable as the cartridges are way different.

In our view, the M4 carbine or M16 variants are the best choice for an Urban Survival Weapons upgrade. Ammunition is cheaper than the M1 Garand (.30-06) or the M1A1 (.308 Winchester ); magazines are easy and cheaper to buy; and there are much more accessories available for the M4/M16 such as fore end mounted lights, scopes, etc. The advantages of an M4 carbine over and M16 is that the M4 carbine (or it’s civilian variants) have a collapsible stock and shorter barrel (16 inches as opposed to 20 inches) making it much more handy to carry. will be showcasing various accessories for the M4 carbine in upcoming posts. Stay tuned. Stay ready, Get Prepared.


  1. I agree that we need to be armed, and consider the mini-14 to be an excellant choice, as one can be had for approx 400.00, then enough left over for ammo and spare mags..As a former PSYOPS soldier, i do not plan to engage in a porotracted running firefight..The ability to put aimed, controlled fire downrange will deter all but the most crazy, and I will be then in tactital retreat mode....

  2. According to military specifications, the M1 carbine has a muzzle velocity of 1900 fps. The tests I've read indicate that it has about the same energy and velocity of a .357 at 100 yds, and has a maximum effective range of 300 yds. So, how far do you think threats will be in an urban situation?

    The only drawback I can see would be availability of ammunition however, if you keep about a thousand rounds on hand and do your own reloading, and don't depend entirely on one weapon for survial, I believe it's a good choice.

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