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Showing posts with label reader comments on survival weapons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label reader comments on survival weapons. Show all posts

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Survival Rifle for 15 Year Old received an e-mail question concerning Sniper Rifles……”This is about the sniper issue. I am a Marine and have a 15 year old brother who is an excellent shot but not up to (handling) large loads and I don't like the idea of missing him (him being messed up) up in close-quarter combat. I have plenty of buddy's to cover that. I want a lightweight and long-range take-down weapon. I disagree with .22LR due to its lack of take-down and versatility. I mean there maybe other groups with a heavy military center to these groups which would include body armor. Just wanted some choices for SHTF that you might suggest. I was thinking along the M40A1.”

UrbanMan replies:: Thank you for your service, Marine. A .308 caliber battle rifle like the venerable M14 or M1A1 or in the AR platform such as the excellent LWRC’s (shown to the left) and the LaRue piston driven AR platforms in .308 may be too much to handle due to weight and felt recoil for a 15 year old boy, although I saw 10 year old boys carrying FN/FALS and G3 rifles in Africa, but they weren’t proficient in their use nor even safe. If you want something light, then the M40A1 rifle, which sniper platforms are built on, really isn’t it. Plus you would have to add a scope then training for a 15 year old. I sure it can be done but I would choose a different solution.

Sometimes the closer you are to the solution, the harder it is to see it. As a Marine you are familiar with the M-4 carbine in it’s variants. This is a light weight rifle, if you keep all the crap like lights, scopes, etc., off the gun. It can be broken down if necessary and purchased with a 16 inch barrel and collapsible stock for a smaller profile. Using the SS109 bullet, which is a steel core penetrator and known to you as the 62 grain green tip, is a very effective package against armed criminals wearing body armor when SHTF. And of course the 5.56mm cartridge is more accurate that most men (or boys) can use, and effective range is not an issue as it is accurate enough out to 500 meters. This weapon has been proven as an effective close quarter battle weapon for a lot of military and law enforcement units as well.

Another thing you can consider is the Kel-Tec SU-16D series carbine which is a very lightweight firearm. The weight, unloaded, is under 4 pounds. It is a gas operated much like the M16; uses the M16 bolt; uses M16 type magazines; is semi-automatic and has a cross bolt safety. If you are looking for something with some range, this is probably not it as it’s rudimentary sights probably won’t support accurate shooting past 200 yards. I think this gun best serves as a take down survival gun for Bug Out Bags, but at a retail price tag over $700 it probably is too expensive for what you get.

While I shot one several months ago and shooting off hand at 50 yards it was easy to center mass hits on an IPSC target, I just would not buy one. I don’t need another 5.56mm gun and there is something about plastic guns. But I will say it did not fail on me, nor the owner, and we eventually shot about 160 to 200 rounds that day through it. It may be an option for someone who is concerned about weight. But remember what you give up in weigh, you get back in recoil given the same caliber.

Okay, we're back to the M-4. Magazines are plentiful. Easy to handle gun for older children. Ammunition is cheap. I'd be looking to this gun.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Urban Survival Firearms - Reader's Rifle Choice received the following comment from an Anonymous reader,…..”Hey survivalskills, great site and LOADS of information. I have an civilian AK-47 and an SKS and also own my baby which is a Colt Gold Cup. Do you think I should stick to guns in the same caliber as the AK-47? I will have a total of 6 adults at my house when the SHTF and need to pickup a couple more guns. I'm thinking about another AK rifle for magazine exchanges.”

UrbanMan replies: By all means the Kalashnikov rifle in it’s various AK-47 and AKM variants and the Simonov Carbine (SKS) are reliable weapons and great survival platforms. Both fire the same ammunition, the M43 Russian round, also known as the 7.62x39mm although you can find the AK series in .223 Remington as well as the newer 5.45x39.5 mm Russian round. I have one, civilian copy of the AKM, bit it is regulated to backup duty and just in case I need to outfit (arm) a new Survival Team member. I think if you pickup another AK rifle, then I would rather have one with the screwed in barrel as opposed to the cheaper manufactured pinned barrel.

The SKS is different than the AK and uses a hinged semi-fixed box magazine. But a great reliable gun none the less and considerably cheaper. If my entire Survival Group was primarily armed with the SKS, I would not feel out equipped.

But here’s the deal. Standardization of Survival Firearms is a two edged sword. I have written about this several other times, mostly in response to reader questions. On one hand the same ammunition and the same magazines are great. It reduces training time, can reduce procurement costs, and, can foster a team environment for the Survival group. On the other hand, the AK series and SKS carbines are not the most accurate rifles or battle rifles (carbines) available. And are not the best choice for certain applications. The magazines are heavy, as is the ammunition.

I have no idea on your other preparations but would caution you to not place all your survival preparation into guns. While I would certainly consider at least a long gun for all Survival Team members a necessity, I would also want stored food, stored non-hybrid seeds, other survival gear to include durable field clothing, boots, sleeping bags, rucks, and personal kit as well as prepared Bug Out Bags,…I also place priority importance on a plan.

But back to Survival guns. Don’t know if you are trying to outfit all the members (the 6 adults you mention) of your Survival Group. Maybe they can buy or procure their own guns. Even a long barreled shotgun (preferably in 12 gauge) is a great Survival weapons and tool (bird hunting don’t you know). I am not saying buy cheap guns in order to ensure that all your Survival Group members have long guns for defense and security, but I would not hinge all my Survival Firearms planning and procurement on necessarily buying all the same weapon.

A good reason to have a mix of firearms is ammunition availability for the long term. Imagine you had a standard weapon for your Survival Group, but in a caliber than once you ran low or even ran out of stored ammunition, it was unavailable for purchase or barter. Having Survival Firearms in common calibers is a good thing. Shotguns in 12 gauge, .22 LR pistols and rifles, .357 Magnum (.38 Special), 9mm Luger, .223Remington, .308 Winchester and .30-06 are all very common calibers. You can, of course, stockpile tens of thousands of rounds to ensure you always have it on hand, but refer back to my paragraph on the other, often over looked, Survival Gear and Equipment.

Hope this helps. It will at least give you some things to think about. Good luck and prepare well my friend.