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View Poll Results: The Rifle on My Back:
.223 32 17.68%
7.62x39 23 12.71%
.308 88 48.62%
Other less popular caliber 38 20.99%
Voters: 181. You may not vote on this poll

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Old June 29, 2009, 12:57 AM   #1
smartwhois
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The Rifle on Your Back

If you had to depend upon one rifle, what caliber would it be?


I've seen some pretty silly threads and polls here. This is just to gauge the thought process of the participants of this rifle forum.

Last edited by smartwhois; June 29, 2009 at 01:07 AM.
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Old June 29, 2009, 01:07 AM   #2
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.303 followed by .308

Tiki.
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Old June 29, 2009, 01:10 AM   #3
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I only have 3 rifle calibers as it is, .22lr, .223 and .30-30. Those 3 will do anything I need to do. If I could only keep one for some silly reason it'd be the .22lr.
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Old June 29, 2009, 01:16 AM   #4
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Tiki, interesting, if you only had one rifle, why would you choose .303 over .308?
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Old June 29, 2009, 01:20 AM   #5
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hoytinak, silly? Are you going to want to run around with more than one rifle on your back?

Also, it doesn't matter what you own already. The question is if you had to depend upon one rifle, as in any rifle, what caliber would it be?
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Old June 29, 2009, 02:05 AM   #6
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30-06 followed by .303
I've killed moose with the 06 but not yet with .303.
I reload for both but I'm still working up loads for the 06, I have settled on my loads for the .303.

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Old June 29, 2009, 02:11 AM   #7
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Smart,

Living in Australia the .303 Enfield has been our nations military rifle over two world wars, Korea and some dozens of small wars after WW2. The Enfield in various configurations have been the farmer and hunters companion in this country for nearly a century, our familiarity with the Enfield design and the caliber make it for me an easy choice.

The .303 can do anything I want of it, is an excellent hunting round, a superb anti personnel cal as is proven by history and I love the smooth action, 10 round magazine and overall aesthetics. Apart from that I own and collect Enfield rifles and have quite a few on hand - they'll take a bayonet from the No1 right up to the No5 Mk1 and are very rugged and proven to continue to feed under muddy or dirty conditions. I like the .308 but I prefer the .303.

I have posted this numerous times but it illustrates my preference ... this was a single shot from an iron sighted No5 Mk1 in the Aussie outback. When I think of a rifle I'd want to carry on my back, I think outback, then I think No5 Mk1 Jungle Carbine.

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Old June 29, 2009, 02:31 AM   #8
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Tikirocker, that sounds like it might make sense for your country.

Does your military still use .303? Are there large stockpiles of .303?

I did a quick search, but only found the Australian Army using .308 (7.62x51) for their FN MAG.

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Old June 29, 2009, 02:50 AM   #9
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Smart,

Australia hasn't used the .303 as our dedicated cal since the early 60's - we turned to the L1A1 SLR in 7.62 during Vietnam right up until the 80's when there was a shift to the F88 AUG in 5.56mm.

There are supposed to be stockpiles of .303 held by the Australian defense forces but they aren't saying openly that there are. These days readily available surplus .303 is pretty non existent but people still roll their own and commercial is readily available. I'll happily roll my own and stick with the 3oh until other factors dictate I can't.

Cheers, Tiki.
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Old June 29, 2009, 03:19 AM   #10
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I own all of those in the poll. Once my 6.8 SPC proves itself it will become my go-to rifle. Mainly because it's a better hunting cartridge than 5.56 and my ARs are easier to scope than a M1A.
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Old June 29, 2009, 03:22 AM   #11
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err... the most popular 30-06
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Old June 29, 2009, 03:24 AM   #12
smartwhois
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One consideration, especially during times of war, is that most of a country's ammunition manufacturing capability is dedicated to calibers used by the military. If the war gets really bad, military calibers may be nearly all that is made.

There are many fine calibers out there, but if you really have to depend upon carrying a rifle for any extended time, especially in a time of crisis, you better make sure ammunition will be made for it.
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Old June 29, 2009, 04:43 AM   #13
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i voted 308 but 30-06 is one of the most versitile rounds ever
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Old June 29, 2009, 04:45 AM   #14
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+1 Smart who is.
But like the Tiki man from down under, I've got a soft spot for the rifle of my for-fathers So the Garand would be my Go-to gun followed by the M1A.
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Old June 29, 2009, 06:53 AM   #15
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Quote:
I've seen some pretty silly threads and polls here. This is just to gauge the thought process of the participants of this rifle forum.
I don't see where this poll is much better than all the other silly ones. It is covering a topic which has been discussed many times on here and you could have figured out the thought process here by researching them. There have been plenty of discussions about 5.56 vs 7.62X51 vs 7.62x39, but this is just another SHTF/EOTWAWKI thread if you ask me.

Quote:
hoytinak, silly? Are you going to want to run around with more than one rifle on your back?

Also, it doesn't matter what you own already. The question is if you had to depend upon one rifle, as in any rifle, what caliber would it be?
The poster you are referring to in this statement chose a .22 LR for his choice. So my question to you is since he chose a .22 LR to depend on why couldn't you accept it? The .22 LR is far more beneficial to a guy trying to survive than a larger center fire rifle. He can carry more ammunition to hunt small game with that is easier to deal with than one large animal on the ground.

Quote:
One consideration, especially during times of war, is that most of a country's ammunition manufacturing capability is dedicated to calibers used by the military. If the war gets really bad, military calibers may be nearly all that is made.
Another reason why this is a SHTF/EOTWAWKI thread. We are in a time of war, and IMO as a soldier any war is bad but I know you meant if it spilled onto the home front. If they war is going that badly, then you will probably be carrying what your Nation issued you anyway. Since this thread is about battle rifle ammunition your poll is real simple, if you live in a nation that is a major supporter of NATO then you will go with 5.56 or 7.62X51. If you don't then you will probably using 7.62X39 ammunition.
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Old June 29, 2009, 06:58 AM   #16
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The No. 4 Lee-Enfield in .303 is still an issue service rifle in Canada, although the standard rifle is now a 5.56. Don't know if any SLRs are still around.
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Old June 29, 2009, 07:23 AM   #17
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Quote:
The .22 LR is far more beneficial to a guy trying to survive than a larger center fire rifle. He can carry more ammunition to hunt small game with that is easier to deal with than one large animal on the ground.

That's not entirely true, it depends on your requirements and outlook. I understand the logic ( behind the 22LR as a survival choice ) and it has been oft repeated but here is where I take exception. In a survival situation you can hunt small game for sure, but you can't hunt big game with any certainty at all.

From a survival perspective I don't just want big game for food, I also want big game for skins, bones, sinew ... these things can become essential for items of shelter, clothing, tools as well as sustenance. If you are familiar with any of the classics on Bush survival in my country a big cal gun is going to offer more flexibility than a small cal in the long run. You'd be spending a long time hitting small game just trying to get one big sheet of skin or leather for shelter or clothing, sinew for rope etc and large bones for any number of tools and items.

A big animal can also serve as a vital source of water and hydration - drinking the blood of a large animal can save your life in desert regions - a small animal would not offer much in this way at all. You could be out there wasting a lot of precious time and energy trying to fill your quota of small game to get the things you need - things that could be gotten in a one stop shop with larger game.

Finally ... if you come up against an animal that threatens you of any decent size, then personally I would much rather put it away with a .303 or .308 on than the 22LR. There are certainly pro's and con's of both in a survival situation but for my taste the pro's are far greater with a bigger cal than not. I make these comments only in the spirit of healthy discussion and not some zombie SHTF fantasy context. I've studied my country and thought long and hard about the requirements of survival so thought I would share my reasoning on this matter.

Different environments may demand a different solution.

Cheers, TIki.
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Old June 29, 2009, 07:31 AM   #18
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30-06 followed by 7.62x39 them 5.56 as I already have them in semi auto rifles.
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Old June 29, 2009, 07:45 AM   #19
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Can I get someone else to carry the ammo?!
If so, M1A/M14 if not, then I'd choose a Next Generation Arms AR or an LMT Monolithic Upper on a Next Gen lower (allows for quick change to another caliber/barrel) with several barrels...in 5.56 and 6.5.
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Old June 29, 2009, 07:46 AM   #20
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threeoheight.

It has the punch to do it all, reach out to 800yds, excellent stopping power, hard cover penetration if needed, with only medium recoil in a small package in short actions and its READILY available around the world.

The 8x57 mauser is on par, in the US the 8mm Mauser may be exotic but here in Europe its like the 30-06, readily available and it packs hell of a punch. 196 grains @ ~ 2650 fp/s is nothing to sneeze at and recoil is not bad. Its a true do-it-all cartridge. Its downside is the rifles chambered in 8x57 are all either K98k's & G98's (OK thats not really bad) and hunting rifles.
A modern rifle in 8x57 would be awesome but the .308 is enough.
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Old June 29, 2009, 08:03 AM   #21
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Tikirocker, again for what you are talking about it is a SHTF/EOTWAWKI situation probably because of a breakdown in society, or maybe you just have removed yourself from it. Your points are valid but only in a long term situation. Most people are not going to be lost in the bush long enough to need to take down big game for
Quote:
shelter, clothing, tools as well as sustenance
Most people in a survival situation might just be lost in the woods or bush for a couple of days to a week at most. In all actuality a good knife will probably serve them just as well as any rifle. Any kind of survival situation really boils down to what you carry between your ears more than what rifle you carry on your back.
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Old June 29, 2009, 08:17 AM   #22
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I vote .243 Winchester (in a Remington 7600 pump rifle).
Light, flat shooting, and I'm accurate with it.

Sure I'd like to have a heavier caliber but when I move up into the stronger calibers my accuracy goes all to heck so I'll stick with the one I know I can hit with.
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Old June 29, 2009, 09:05 AM   #23
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Tay,

Quote:
Tikirocker, again for what you are talking about it is a SHTF/EOTWAWKI situation probably because of a breakdown in society, or maybe you just have removed yourself from it.
I'm not thinking SHTF or TEOTWAWKI at all ... I'm thinking stranded in the outback - this is a very real situation in Australia when traveling/hiking in remote country. People die from exposure right on the doorstep of where I live when they are only 1/2 a days walk out to a main road. Water is the first thing they usually don't have and don't know how to procure.


Quote:
Your points are valid but only in a long term situation. Most people are not going to be lost in the bush long enough to need to take down big game for
When I think of survival I always think worst case and plan long term - there is no point assuming a short 5-10 days stint in the wilderness when you don't know what you may be facing or how long you'll be there. If you check a map of Australia you will quickly see how vast it is and how almost everything but the coast line is unpopulated, the Outback here is a very real threat.


Quote:
Most people in a survival situation might just be lost in the woods or bush for a couple of days to a week at most.
You know what happens to people where I live who get lost in the bush for more than 3 days? - 99% of the time they die and don't last any longer than 3 days - death by exposure. So while I agree with you that most people won't be in a survival situation for any long period of time - it's usually because they'll be dead in 3 days, not because they walked out in less than a week. This is why I try to look at a long term survival plan for a variety of situations in my environment - hope for the best but plan for the worst.


Quote:
In all actuality a good knife will probably serve them just as well as any rifle. Any kind of survival situation really boils down to what you carry between your ears more than what rifle you carry on your back.
I absolutely concur with those comments ... the question was about guns though and you brought up the issue of the 22LR being better for survival for a variety of reasons. This is why I made mention of a rifle in a heavier cal for the same purpose, because I have already given it much thought in practical survival terms.

I live in the central west of my state and live right on the edge of wilderness - if I plan to do any remote driving or hiking, whether with my wife or solo - I always carry a basic emergency kit as part of my natural travel pack; a good knife is a key feature of that kit. If you had a look at any of the Australian touring car/travel by road books you will see that they are packed with basic emergency survival information just as a basic knowledge base - this is meant for the city resident going on holiday. If you get stuck in the bush in Australia in remote area's you won't get any mobile phone signal and you can be hundreds of miles from any living thing in every direction.

My comments/plans regarding survival are commensurate with the climate and the geography of my country - it is practical and not some SHTF fantasy; they pull hikers bodies out of the bush not less than 2k's away from my house all year round. Don't get me wrong, this is not a chest beating exercise, I just take survival seriously - it's not some fantasy scenario for me but a very practical issue. I'm enjoying the discussion very much though and understand different climates require different solutions.

Cheers, Tiki.
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Old June 29, 2009, 09:08 AM   #24
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I'll take my 336 .35 cal
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Old June 29, 2009, 09:22 AM   #25
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Depend on it for what? Rabbits? Big bears? People? Heck, why would I use full-patch bullets when soft-points are so much more effective? Am I at home or am I in some sort of military unit?

Doesn't look to me like much thought process went into the opening post.
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