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Old May 2, 2013, 09:36 AM   #26
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A used Remington model 760 or 7600 pump rifle would fit the bill. Available in many calibers. Good hunting rifle, and it has a detachable magazine. Rapid follow-up shots are easy with a pump. Affordable too.
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Old May 2, 2013, 08:28 PM   #27
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shtf/hunting rifle, best on a $400 budget?

As the OP said he preferred a Semi Auto, which brings back the best $400 rifle is the SKS, IMO
A ATI folding stock will also make it lighter & easy to transport.
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Old May 3, 2013, 09:04 PM   #28
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I would buy a sks rifle without a scope or a ruger American rifle
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Old May 4, 2013, 11:20 AM   #29
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A 12 gauge pump action shotgun of your choice with rifle sights, thats a true multi tool that serves more than just one role in a SHTF scenario.

You can breech doors and open locks with a well placed slug, hunt birds and other small game with small shot to keep you fed (in a SHTF scenario deer will be completely gone in a couple of months), its a great self defense weapon that is capable of fast follow up shots, accuracy with slugs is good up to about 75 yds and kills big game easily. Ammo is readily available.

Personally, with a budget of 400 I'd get a good Mosin Nagant m44 and a cheap 20'' single shot shotgun with sights and a couple of screw-in chokes.
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Old May 4, 2013, 11:52 AM   #30
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Personally, with a budget of 400 I'd get a good Mosin Nagant m44 and a cheap 20'' single shot shotgun with sights and a couple of screw-in chokes.
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Old May 4, 2013, 12:13 PM   #31
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No, with chokes probably not, though a shortened single shot can be had for 120 bucks, installing rifle sights shouldn't put it past the 160-180 mark.
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Old May 4, 2013, 02:33 PM   #32
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i already own a couple shotguns. its what i know. hopefully in shtf, i would have a small group of people, where we would have rifles and shotguns covered. can't completely prep for that, but that's ideal.

To start out, $400 and under, i feel like the sks is the way to go. i really like the idea of tooling on the mosin, but im inclined to believe what people are saying. an old milserp weapon just cant compete with modern firearms in terms of accuracy. i dont feel as bad about the sks, its a semi auto, and 7.62x39, makes ammo more plentiful. also, i feel that i could get accurate enough with a milserp weapon within 75-100 yards, and in shtf, im probably not going to shoot at anything past that. and within 75 yards, i'd much rather have a semi-auto for defensive purposes for shtf. i think sks wins over mosin nagant. i feel like the mosin nagant is probably just a budget level sharp shooter. not what im looking for exactly
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Old May 4, 2013, 05:09 PM   #33
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Accuracy might not be THAT important in a SHTF scenario, all you need is practical accuracy. If accuracy is all you needed when some sort of cataclysm happened everyone would bring a single shot target rifle.

Pretty much all milsurps are more accurate than the shooter, I had a Mosin Nagant 91/30 that would shoot sub-moa with a 4x scope with S&B factory ammo, a friends 43' Mauser shoots MOA even with a burning hot barrel. Another buddy nails man-silhouettes at 600yds with his Enfield Mk4.

Most people complain about bad accuracy with milsurp rifles because they shoot total junk ammo through it and then compare the accuracy with target rifles shooting handloaded match-grade ammo.

With good modern ammo a milsurp rifle can be accurate enough for any situation you might encounter.
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Old May 6, 2013, 11:47 AM   #34
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For the money you can't get a better semi-auto than the sks. If you stick to the standard standard10rd internal mag the sks's reliability is beyond reproach. As long as the firing pin is still floating it'll go bang.

A 30-30 lever gun is also a great choice as long a max range is not an issue.

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Old May 6, 2013, 06:35 PM   #35
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shtf/hunting rifle, best on a $400 budget?

Here's a few if my sks's that were all under $400. First is my favorite paratrooper, second is a yugo sniper set up and third is a modified paratrooper.

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Old May 7, 2013, 12:50 AM   #36
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Get a Paratrooper.
Do NOT change anything.
Buy a LOT of ammo.

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Old May 7, 2013, 04:15 PM   #37
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shtf/hunting rifle, best on a $400 budget?

Originally Posted by BusGunner007 View Post
Get a Paratrooper.
Do NOT change anything.
Buy a LOT of ammo.

Be happy.
All good advice. The modified sks's I have we're already that way when I bought at too good to pass up deals.
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Old May 7, 2013, 05:08 PM   #38
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If I were a newb and preparing for S H-ing T F I believe a Ruger American in .308, .30-06, .270, or .243 would do the job very well. But by the time you buy one new and pay tax your knocking on the door of your $400 limit. But $400 isnt gonna buy you a great rifle/scope combo unless you look used. Even then, it will be a tough find.

My advice from that point on would be to save $150+tax and go buy a Burris Fullfield II or E1 3-9x40. By the time you buy that and a set of Weaver rings you will have about $550 invested and a rifle/scope combo that will shoot very well by most anyone's standards.

Then start saving a little each month and buy ammo as you can afford it. Because if S ever does HTF it won't matter that much what rifle you have, as long as you have plenty to feed it.

If your heart is set on a semi-auto, I second the sks suggestions.
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Old April 12, 2014, 11:37 AM   #39
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I would go with a bolt action .22 and a nice scope. I just got a savage mk II and a mueller APV for about $350.

.22 can kill a lot of animals. People don't use it to hunt anything other than small game because ethical shots are difficult, but in a SHTF scenario where you are hunting for food to survive, who cares about ethical shots?

Here's why I think the .22 is the best:

1) Cheap. IF your budget is $400, you are going to have a hard time finding a decent centerfire rifle and scope.

2) light- the gun is light and the ammo is light. you can easily carry 500 rounds of .22. One person can probably carry about 10,000 rounds of .22 ammo, try carrying 10,000 rounds of centerfire!

3) lethality. A lot of people think the .22 is weak, but its NOT! What is lacks is stopping power, not lethality. Not many things can survive with a .22 caliber hole in their body. For deer, its fairly easy to score a headshot with a .22 you just don't hear about this because its illegal, but poachers use .22's all the time to kill big game because they are quiet. The recoil is also so light that most people could easily put 2-3 shots in a deer's kill zone with a semi auto .22.

4) cost- the gun an ammo are cheap. That means you can train a lot and stockpile a lot.

Another option, if you really want a powerful rifle, is a mosin-nagant. You can find a sniper model for $400 or less. The sniper models were the same as the other models, except more accurate. There was a lot of variability in these guns so they would have soldiers shoot the new one's and the most accurate one's were scoped and given to sharpshooters. The mosin-nagant has killed for decades, its a good gun. Get ammo for cheap in a sealed spam can online.
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Old April 12, 2014, 08:37 PM   #40
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Preference being a semi auto, used Saiga in 7.62x39 or .308, used Mini 30, or a SKS.
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Old April 13, 2014, 12:38 PM   #41
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Bolt action 308 or 30-30 lever gun. Both will allow optics for hunting. The Mosin and SKS aren't readily designed for a scope without modification which would certainly put it over the $400 price point.
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Old April 13, 2014, 05:36 PM   #42
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from personal experience. do not take on a mosin nagant. you will never be satisfied with the result unless you put a heck of a lot more than $400 into it. with some shopping around an SKS can be made into a pretty good sthf/hunting rifle. I've done it, perform a search on this forum for "SKS, poor mans EBR" and you will find a description of what I did to mine. mine it easily 2 MOA with tula and if I got match ammo would probably hold MOA.
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Old April 16, 2014, 05:02 PM   #43
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Def a SKS and you have a built-in bayo in case you have to get stabby.

Also you get one of these:

1953 Polish M44

Sure it's kinda heavy but it shoots a decent round (that is fairly common) and it also has a bayo-thingy

Last edited by DennisCA; April 16, 2014 at 05:09 PM.
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Old April 19, 2014, 10:41 PM   #44
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Its too bad the internet wasn't around when my grandfather was alive. He would have been able to read about how he hunted with an inferior Mosin Nagant for his life after the Marine Corps. This rifle should not be discounted. Most are more than capable than the shooter behind them.

That said if you need one to double as a shtf rifle I would get a lever action. The Marlin 336 would fit the bill here. Good iron sights and a reliable action. Look for one with a JM stamp.
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Old April 20, 2014, 02:54 AM   #45
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My younger brother took his first deer with an SKS using 124gr soft points. I would imagine it would also work fantastically as an SHTF rifle. As for making it yours, there is tons of aftermarket for the SKS.

The only problem I see is price, right now they are scarce for under $400, if you check armslist regularly you might find one in your area for cheap.
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Old April 20, 2014, 06:25 AM   #46
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You're right Tucker, the SKS is still a underrated rifle by many. Too old, too heavy etc etc. I find them a lot of fun to shoot, cheap ammo and very capable of taking all kinds of game, as well as a good defensive weapon.
By the way, are you near Greeneville?
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Old April 20, 2014, 08:10 AM   #47
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I'm going to suggest something much different and maybe controversial considering the suggestions posted thus far.. but...

How about a Hi-Point Carbine in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45acp?

By all accounts they are accurate and reliable and only cost about $300 +/- depending where you buy. They are a compact semi-auto rifles that would work great for self defense and are in calibers that are easily come by including +p rounds. You can mount scopes and carry a higher capacity then most hunting rifles.

And yes, you can hunt with them as well....

I don't know... that can be a viable choice for a shtf/survival type weapon.... just sayin...
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Old April 20, 2014, 08:31 AM   #48
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Probably pretty good odds that the OP has already made his decision, back almost a year ago.
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