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Thread: "SHTF" Rifle?

  1. #1
    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Default "SHTF" Rifle?

    A concurrent thread brings up the subject of a "Shit hits the fan" rifle; that one gun that many gun owners wish to possess but few will admit to having. The definition of such a rifle varies from person to person almost as much as the term SHTF does itself. So when does the fecal matter start flying? Is it when the Obama administration tries to place more restrictions on gun ownership? When a foreign army invades our soil? When a natural disaster strikes and leads to chaos not unlike that after Katrina? Truthfully, there is no set expectations for what will cause a SHTF scenario; all that needs to happen is a disruption of life as we know it.

    Now, on to the rifle itself. While the definition varies from person to person, there are a few characteristics that are desirable:

    1) Reliable and easy to maintain (parts replacement or fabrication is another consideration)



    2) Accurate (a touchy subject, but even a 3-MOA rifle is more accurate than most shooters under stress)

    3) Plentiful ammunition, not just on-hand but capable of being resupplied

    Most will agree with those basics, and I am sure many have more specific requirements, but you get the gist of what a SHTF rifle is.

    Over the years my own definition has changed quite a bit. I'll share more on it later.

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    Senior Member piranhas's Avatar
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    Im buying my dad a breakdown .22 for his SHTF rifle. Im thinking the U.S Survival by Henry.

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    Setting aside any consideration of how realistic "SHTF" scenarios really are, a good "SHTF" rifle should be useful for self-defense as well as survival-oriented hunting. Breakdown .22s are great survival rifles but they aren't much good for self-defense. It still sounds like a good gift, though.

  4. #4
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    My ideal SHTF rifle would be a 10.5 in barreled gas piston AR-15 from Addax Tactical. As far as the optics Id put something like an Aimpoint on it. The batteries for those things last forever. I like EOTechs better, but they dont have as much battery life. They both do also run on AAs though, which are easy to find anywhere. And .223 is a very popular caliber.
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    Frankly, I'd rather go for something cheap and rock-solid like an SKS, or an AK if I feel high-cap magazines are important. Or even a short-barreled (22" or less) bolt-action in a moderate .30-cal chambering. I'm not sure I see what advantage a gas-piston AR SBR provides in exchange for it's very high cost; it will also have a maximum effective wounding range of like 50 yards with M855/M193 ammo, which is not a good thing. Seems like kind of a tactilol choice TBH, no offense intended.

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    the common sense fairy solecistic's Avatar
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    So this is for the zombie apocalypse, right?

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    Senior Member smith357's Avatar
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    My current SHTF Rifles are a .30-06 bolt action rifle. A nice 800 yard plus range , plenty of ammo found at most any Wally World or back water general store/bait shop. I hand load .30-06 and find it to be the most versitile round out there and can be loaded for any varmit or game animal in North America. Though it does not have the inherent accuracy of the .308 or .223 it wil easily shoot one minute of bad guy.

    And a .22lr bolt gun for adding meat to the stew pot.

    they are supplimented with a .357 magnum revolver on my hip to dispatch two legged critters who get too close.

    Quote Originally Posted by solecistic View Post
    So this is for the zombie apocalypse, right?
    No, not really. Something like an earthquake or hurricain or other disaster where the govermemt is unable or unwilling to provide for your proctection and you have to proctect your family from the thug element such as the citizens of New Orleans had to fend off the looters during hurricain Katrina or as bussiness owners had to protect thier life long investments during the L.A. riots.

    Besides for Zombies the best weapon is a machete, they are easily sharpend with a bastard file and never run out of bullets. You can easily lop off head on those slow moving pests until your arms get tired.
    Green is the new Red.

  8. #8

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    Zombie Apocalypse, Alien Invasion, Red Hordes, Obama Takin' Mah Guns Away, Meteor Impact, The Rapture, UN New World Order Coup Attempt, We Have To Fight The Terrorists Here Because We Didn't Fight Them Over There, America Collapses Because We Let in Too Many Immigrants.

    It's basically a silly paranoid fantasy that gun owners have about what they'll do when social order breaks down, either locally or nationally, and all the Rugged Individualists have to fend for themselves in the resulting anarchy, hunting for food and fighting off roving bands of Mad Max-style raiders (or just black ppl and/or Mexicans). The worst offenders are those with tricked-out AR-15s (again, no offense Anony) and 10,000 rounds of ammunition in their closet.

    That said, if you live in a potential disaster area (hurricane-prone area, maybe near a nuclear power plant, something like that) and believe in being super-prepared, it might not be unreasonable to have a decent weapon (a rifle is best) that can be used for self-defense in the event that there is some kind of disaster and the authorities don't respond adequately, because it is conceivable that there could be looters or even violent criminals taking advantage of a situation like that. The fact is that it did happen in New Orleans. Of course, gun owners who don't live in such areas are just as enthusiastic about "SHTF" rifles as those who do. And of course gun owners who do live in such areas often put a lot more thought/effort into their SHTF rifles than they put into other, more realistic, survival/emergency-preparedness measures.

  9. #9

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    Well, If I dont need to go anywhere I've plenty of guns in the house that cover every end of the firearms spectrum, so I'm pretty much covered there.

    If I need to be mobile though I would carry my .357, which will shoot .38 S&W, .38 special, .357 Mag, and 9mm (with half moons) so ammo availability wouldn't really be an issue and I would also take my NEF handi-Rifle in .243, its small, light, and the synthetic stock makes it durable. .243 is pretty common and accurate enough to hit and kill anything I'd be shooting at.

    But really I guess it would all depend on the situation, if they're fighting in the streets I'd probably want my Garand for obvious reasons, if its a disaster situation and theres just some shady activity going on all I'd probably take is the .357 or possibly a shotgun with 00 buck.

    Which brings me to another thought, why not a shotgun with a slug barrel, you can shoot bird, buck , and ball, and have the ability to kill pretty much anything, accuracy might be the only issue but lets face it most people aren't 800 yard shooters hell most people aren't even 250 yard shooters. Plus 12 Ga. ammo is everywhere.

    Im buying my dad a breakdown .22 for his SHTF rifle. Im thinking the U.S Survival by Henry.
    I think this would be a pretty good choice too. .22 ammo is everywhere, its accurate enough, recoil is light, and can kill squirrels to people. Now I know its not the best choice as a man stopper but I know I wouldnt want to get shot with one. plus the AR-7 has the ability to break down into the stock making it very compact and easy to carry or store and it floats, which would be handy in a hurricane/flood situation.
    Last edited by Newhouse; 05-22-2009 at 11:08 PM.

  10. #10

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    What kind of .357 do you have that can take both rimmed revolver ammo and 9mm on half-moons without any modification?

  11. #11

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    I'm happy with my 2 AK's. My uncle builds 'em so I got mine cheap. The kits to start them are only 80 bucks

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    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by piranhas View Post
    Im buying my dad a breakdown .22 for his SHTF rifle. Im thinking the U.S Survival by Henry.
    I own one and may break it out on Memorial Day for some shootin'. You might want to check out the Marlin Papoose as well, they break down and have a padded case that supposedly floats. Mine is a great shooter. Either rifle would be a great bugout gun.

    Quote Originally Posted by solecistic View Post
    So this is for the zombie apocalypse, right?
    As Syme said, "SHTF" is basically a coverall fantasy for any disruption of order. True preparedness aficionados ensure they are well stocked with food, water, and other necessities; firearms and a supply of ammunition are maintained as well, but not the sole focus, think Burt Gummer for a Hollywood version. On the other side of the scale are the ones who buy military weaponry with thousands of rounds of ammo but do not otherwise prepare. Again, think Burt Gummer if he hadn't invested in all those MREs in Tremors 2.

    It seems as though many people who invest in "SHTF" weapons actually want such a scenario to happen. When I was younger my friends and I would discuss it and all it takes is a venture to some of the more "serious" gun forums out there to see outright arguments over when and how it will happen and what you can do to prepare. Having seen my share of a war torn country, coupled with recent cynicism, I've all but disavowed myself from any past contacts I've had. Being prepared is one thing, misleading yourself is another. Hence, my move away from the "cool" guns to something much more practical for all but the worst of situations.

    Two rifles pop into my head when it comes to such scenarios now. Honestly, I've become more the hunker down sort, so it could be argued that I have close to thirty "SHTF" rifles. Anyway, the Yugo SKS and the Gibbs Enfield could both serve fairly well. Both are ten round capacity, quick shooting and accurate enough for the layman, and reliable battle proven designs. The SKS is of course 7.62 Soviet while the Enfield is .308. Well, almost time for Texas.

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    Senior Member fm2176's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    What kind of .357 do you have that can take both rimmed revolver ammo and 9mm on half-moons without any modification?
    A revolver I've wanted since I first saw it in the pages of American Survival Guide is the Medusa, which would fire almost any .355-.357 caliber cartridge. http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms...a_Model_47.htm
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/outd...s/1277301.html

    They are out of production and almost never encountered for sale, unfortunately.
    Last edited by fm2176; 05-23-2009 at 08:41 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    Frankly, I'd rather go for something cheap and rock-solid like an SKS, or an AK if I feel high-cap magazines are important. Or even a short-barreled (22" or less) bolt-action in a moderate .30-cal chambering. I'm not sure I see what advantage a gas-piston AR SBR provides in exchange for it's very high cost; it will also have a maximum effective wounding range of like 50 yards with M855/M193 ammo, which is not a good thing. Seems like kind of a tactilol choice TBH, no offense intended.
    I picked a gas piston AR because it would be reliable like an AK, and more accurate. And a 10.5 in bbl is easily able to hit a man sized target, and still have enough umph to take them down at 200 yards. Its once you go below 10 inches that the ballistics start to get REALLY messed up. Ive seen a 7 in barreled gas piston system hit an 18x18 in target at 300 yards, but from my research, Ive found that they only are effective out to about 100 yards or less.

    50 yards for a 10.5 in is nothing.

    I didnt know we were talking about cheap SHTF rifles. lol
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    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU Anonymous D's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by solecistic View Post
    So this is for the zombie apocalypse, right?
    Yes
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
    roses are red,
    violets are blue,
    deathmaster numbers,
    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
    I had a dream

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    What kind of .357 do you have that can take both rimmed revolver ammo and 9mm on half-moons without any modification?
    Quote Originally Posted by fm2176
    http://www.kitsune.addr.com/Firearms...a_Model_47.htm
    http://www.popularmechanics.com/outd...s/1277301.html
    Uh, yeah, I was defiantly talking about this gun . . . .

    No. you're right never mind.

  17. #17
    FFFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUU Anonymous D's Avatar
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    Thats a pretty sweet little gun. Something like that would be ideal for a SHTF scenario. You can select from quite a few ammo types, so you are more likely to find ammo for it.

    It would be nice if there was some type of revolver that shot .410 and something BESIDES .45 LC.
    .45 Long Colt if hard to find.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    i'm gonna rape you

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
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  18. #18

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    Depending on the SHTF scenario, I would say that a standard-sized .30-caliber bolt-action rifle or some Kalashnikov variant would be ideal.

  19. #19
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    I'd have a grenade launcher with infinity bombs for it.

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    No wait, infinity plus one. NO!...INFINITY PLUS TWO!

    No...no...infinity plus one....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous D View Post
    I picked a gas piston AR because it would be reliable like an AK, and more accurate. And a 10.5 in bbl is easily able to hit a man sized target, and still have enough umph to take them down at 200 yards. Its once you go below 10 inches that the ballistics start to get REALLY messed up. Ive seen a 7 in barreled gas piston system hit an 18x18 in target at 300 yards, but from my research, Ive found that they only are effective out to about 100 yards or less.

    50 yards for a 10.5 in is nothing.
    I'm not talking about ballistic accuracy or "umph", I'm talking about the minimum velocity that M855/M193 needs to reliably fragment in tissue. This velocity is about 2700 fps. Below this velocity, these rounds are about as terminally effective as a .22 magnum. From a 20" M16 barrel, these rounds don't drop below 2700 fps until about 150-200 yards from the muzzle. From a 14.5" M4 barrel, it's more like 100 yards, although round-to-round variation can make it as short as 50 or 60 yards (or as long as 150). For a 10.5" barrel, the round is not going to reliably fragment even at 50 yards. So while 50 yards may be "nothing" for a 10.5" AR in terms of accuracy, it's definitely a problem in terms of wounding capability. Of course you can always use tactical hollowpoints (TAP, Mk.262, etc.), but then your weapon's terminal effectiveness is dependent on comparatively rare and pricey ammunition, which kind of undermines the whole point of choosing a rifle in a commonly available caliber like .223. Given these facts, I don't really see the point of an 10.5" AR. "SHTF" survival isn't about bodyguarding VIPs or doing room-to-room house clearing. What advantage does an ultra-compact AR offer? A normal-sized .30-caliber rifle is far more reasonable IMO.

    If you want something that's as reliable as an AK and accurate enough to hit a man-sized target at normal combat ranges.... how about an AK. Also, even gas-piston ARs aren't really as reliable as AKs.
    Last edited by Syme; 05-24-2009 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Syme View Post
    If you want something that's as reliable as an AK and accurate enough to hit a man-sized target at normal combat ranges.... how about an AK. Also, even gas-piston ARs aren't really as reliable as AKs.
    But they are still more accurate.

    If money was not an option Id love to get a .308 AR.

    And as far as the ammo, Id be using some 77gr bullets. From what Ive seen, a 10.5in AR with 77 gr ammo is effective out to 200+ yards.

    Plus lets not forget that I have a 16 in upper. Which leads us to another reason I would pick an AR. You can swap from a 10.5 in upper to something longer in a few seconds. Sure it would be a little more weight, but not much. And TBO any type of SHTF scenario I encounter down here, will more than likely be some kind of hurricane shit. So I shouldnt have to even go anywhere. Just "defend the base" lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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  23. #23

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    77-grain bullets are great (I'm assuming you are talking about Match King/Mk.262 here), but like I said, that makes your rifle's wounding capability dependent on the availability of a comparatively rare type of ammunition. If all that's available is the normal ball stuff, you are out of luck, because that stuff will not perform well from a short barrel. Earlier, one of your reasons for choosing an AR was that it uses .223, a popular round. But the popularity of .223 in general doesn't do you much good if your rifle only has good terminal ballistics when used with a particular type of .223 ammunition, and that particular type is expensive and uncommon.

    You could also get a .308 AR for much less than you'd be spending on this Addax 10.5" AR setup you've described. According to the Addax website, their 10.5" upper is $1265 by itself. Add in $200 for the SBR tax stamp, plus $300 or so for a lower, plus $400 or so for this Aimpoint you want to put on it, and you are talking about a $2000+ rifle. You can easily get a very good .308 AR for under $1500. Or, even better, a good FAL for around $1000 or less. Or just a 20" barrel AR, which would have good terminal ballistics out to 200 yards even when used with normal ball ammo. Why is an ultra-compact carbine desirable? Like I said, we're not talking about riding around Baghdad in a Chevy Suburban bodyguarding some VIP.

  24. #24
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    IDK. When I think SHTF I just always think within 150 yards. Usually substantially less. I guess its the area I live in.

    I already have another 5.56 lower, but I am pretty sure for my next build, Ill be building a .308 AR with a bull barrel.
    Last edited by Anonymous D; 05-24-2009 at 05:12 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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  25. #25

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    150 yards or less seems reasonable; I'm just saying that with a 10.5" barrel, 5.56mm ball won't even reliably fragment at 40 or 50 yards. At that point you may as well pack a 9mm carbine instead of a rifle.

  26. #26
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    I thought about doing a SBR .45 ACP AR-15 lol.

    But I think Ill stick with rifle calibers for now.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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  27. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anonymous D View Post
    I thought about doing a SBR .45 ACP AR-15 lol.

    But I think Ill stick with rifle calibers for now.
    I always wanted to build an auto-loading rifle chambered for .45 Win mag. But now that they have the .450 bushmaster, that pretty much fills that niche.

  28. #28

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    .458 SOCOM or .50 Beowulf IMO. At close ranges, those calibers kick serious ass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by crunker View Post
    .458 SOCOM or .50 Beowulf IMO. At close ranges, those calibers kick serious ass.
    Good luck finding ammo for it once you run out.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nermy2k View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
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  30. #30

    Default SHTF

    Actually, as urban as the US is, very little would have to happen for SHTF. Mostly it is all macho fantasizing in my opinion.

    That said, assuming the big earthquake hits where I live the best SHTF tools are what is most common.

    - 30-06 or 308 scoped rifle for hunting, real defense
    - 12 gauge Remington 870 with a variety of chokes, different barrels, for hunting and defense.
    - 20 gauge shotgun or .22 rifle for majority of hunting
    - Whatever assortment of 9mm handguns you want
    - one fiskars axe
    - one mulsurp multipurpose digging tool
    - one fine skinning knife
    - one large defense / skinning knife
    - water bottles and can-openers
    - fishing line and hooks
    - diesel fuel, seed, chickens, goats.
    - some solar panels to get the radio working for news, or a boatload of batteries

  31. #31

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    Only in america.
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    prince of persia is more skill than hack and slash
    ShitFace says:
    i dont think skill is a genre of game lol
    Andy says:
    of course it is you have seen the crystal maze havnt you?
    he says what next a skill physical mental?


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  32. #32
    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    While .22 rifle ammunition may be popular a .223 or 7.62 would be better. Ideally a .308 but I'm not sure how popular they would be. The reason I say this is that the ammo could be reloaded. Now maybe that's an idea and a black powder gun would be better.

  33. #33
    Senior Member piranhas's Avatar
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    The US isnt really all that urban.

  34. #34
    for all his inane ramblin
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    hey guys this is me target shooting with my trusty SHTF weapon

    50 wheat thins aint skinny

  35. #35
    for all his inane ramblin
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    whats really weird is thats a random google image result for slingshot and that dude looks eerily similar to me
    50 wheat thins aint skinny

  36. #36
    Mega Bore Atomic's Avatar
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    You might be joking, but you can kill rabbits, squirrels and birds with that thing. SHTF, you got to eat...

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by katorga View Post
    Actually, as urban as the US is, very little would have to happen for SHTF. Mostly it is all macho fantasizing in my opinion.

    That said, assuming the big earthquake hits where I live the best SHTF tools are what is most common.

    - 30-06 or 308 scoped rifle for hunting, real defense
    - 12 gauge Remington 870 with a variety of chokes, different barrels, for hunting and defense.
    - 20 gauge shotgun or .22 rifle for majority of hunting
    - Whatever assortment of 9mm handguns you want
    - one fiskars axe
    - one mulsurp multipurpose digging tool
    - one fine skinning knife
    - one large defense / skinning knife
    - water bottles and can-openers
    - fishing line and hooks
    - diesel fuel, seed, chickens, goats.
    - some solar panels to get the radio working for news, or a boatload of batteries
    Pretty useful stuff. We need to get prepared for natural disasters..In earthquake pron areas we must have above mentioned SHTF tools.

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