The Best SHTF Gun
(from an old internet post)
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.
Could be a good rifle, but it's not black.
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 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.
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.
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 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 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 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.