Notice: This website may or may not use or set cookies used by Google Ad-sense or other third party companies. If you do not wish to have cookies downloaded to your computer, please disable cookie use in your browser. Thank You.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Need a Anti-Vehicle Survival Rifle?

Jared wrote and asked my opinion on a big bore rifle having a place in a survive the collapse arsenal.

"I am thinking about buying a large caliber rifle capable of stopping vehicles. The Savage .338 lapua is an affordable piece, but a Barret .50 caliber semi-auto may be a better choice. If I was living in the swamp I wouldn't think about one but in Arizona where I plan to be I can see for miles and it may come in handy stopping people from getting too close to me. what are your thoughts? Jared."

Wow, wish I could afford a heavy rifle like a Barrett. But I just have too many priorities right now. I could be convinced to buy one under given circumstances like long observation distances (which you talk about) and a need to engage threats at that far out. But the costs just may it impossible especially when compared to other needs.

A Savage .338 Lapua bolt gun, with a decent scope and an adequate amount of ammunition will run you $3,000. A Barrett .50 caliber semi-auto double that. The .50 cal Browning round is much preferred to the .338 Lapua for stopping threat vehicles. .50 caliber is usually a little more expensive but probably more easily available given military surplus and the fact that it is not an uncommon cartridge limited to the military anymore.

.50 Caliber Ballistics
661 grain bullet
Barrett Model 82A1 29 inch barrel produces 2,750 feet per second muzzle velocity.
Barrett Model 82A1CQ 20 inch barrel produces 2,500 feet per second.
10 rounds of Barrett M33 ball will cost your $49, while 10 rds of Match grade ammunition from 50 BMG Ammo Supply would cost you $59.95.

.338 Lapua Ballistics
250 grain bullet
2,900 feet per second out of 26 inch barrelled rifle.
20 rds of Hornady Match will costs you $90.

Lets get back to needing a heavy rifle,..........I suppose if I had all my other firearms requirements met, a couple AR-15's, several semi-auto handguns, a goods hunting bolt gun in a medium caliber, or two 12 gauge shotguns, a couple of .22 LR's guns, AND is my other preps were sufficient then I may consider a heavy caliber gun like a Barrett. I don't think I'd consider a .338 Lapua or other calibers in that category. My .300 Win Mag can come pretty close or close enough to make a .338 Lapua redundant.

When thinking on being able to stop vehicles that may be bringing people with bad intent close to my survvial position, I would be more concerned with good observation points; good defensible positions with over lapping fields of fire; using obstacles to deny vehicles getting too close where an assault could overwhelm my group. These obstacles could help channelize attackers to points where they could be dealt with more easily.

As far as what points on the vehicle to shoot,...the driver is always a good place to start. Also flat tires don't move several thousand pounds of steel very well through sand or heavy gravel, or through serpentine obstacles.

Interdicting the radiator, while disabling that vehicle for the long run won't immediatley stop it. Likewise hitting the engine block and creating fluid leaks. Other critical components would be a hit and miss (no pun intended) affair as they are small and protected from your direct vision by the vehicle body. Anyway my point is that trying to immmediatley stop a vehicle without explosives or explosive munitions would be pretty hard.

But then again I know from personal experience not to get between a man and his focus on buying a particular gun.


  1. Would a solid slug from a 12 gauge shotgun take out an engine
    block? I realize that you would have to be much closer, and would probably need to use concealment and a ghillie suit.Any thoughts on this?

  2. There is a company that makes a .50 cal upper for an ar-15. It's around $1600. They advertise in Shotgun News. I can't remember the companies name. I would get one of those if I had the money. I'm thinking of the same scenario. Living in Arizona.

  3. You're thinking the 50 beowulf by Alexander arms

  4. You're thinking the 50 beowulf by Alexander arms