View Full Version : What rifle would you pick for survival based on...

January 9, 2000, 09:24 PM
If you had to take into account:

1. Weight of rifle and ammo

2. Power stopping ability (both for food and defense). What would it take to drop a wild animal coming toward you, or more than one?

3. Let's say you would be without resupply of ammo for 6 months to a year.

Keep in mind you may include any modifications you'd like an price is under $1500.

January 9, 2000, 09:28 PM
Springfield M1A Loaded

January 9, 2000, 09:43 PM
It'd be hard to choose between a good AR15, a good M94 Winchester, and a good M70 Stainless with a synthetic stock and custom stainless barrel in any of several calibers, from 243 to 308. Ease of maintenence would point towards the M70. Having good iron sights in case of scope damage would favor the AR or M94, although I'm sure a good 'smith could fit a rear sight base for good aperture sight to the M70, and also attatch a front sight base. I've seen old Winchester lever action rifles with bent or crushed magazine tubes, which kinda scares me off the M94, but otherwise, it's a great hunting rifle, handy, light, and accurate.

George Hill
January 10, 2000, 04:04 AM
One of Gale's guns...

"A fear of weapons is a sign of retarded sexual and emotional maturity." - Sigmund Freud

Dave McC
January 10, 2000, 10:13 AM
All things being equal, I druther have a 12 ga 870 Remington shotgun, and I'd be ready for anything from moose to squirrels. But if it had to be a rifle....

Use environment has to be considered. Are there large carnivores, or very large herbivores? What ranges would be typical?

Any possibility of meeting hostile humans? What are they armed with?

A 22 makes a lotta sense. Light, easy to tote, light ammo, the only downside being lack of stopping power.

One of the Scout Rifles the good Colonel espouses would be a good choice, or any reliable centerfire. Military rifles tend towards ruggedness, an 03-A3 or an Enfield have much to offer.

Still, my vote might be for a Model 94 in 30-30. Easy carry,reliable, and effective at reasonable ranges....

January 10, 2000, 01:14 PM
Any sturdy and reliable 30-06 with clean optics and back-up iron sights.

A springlfield would be just fine, or a garand. A springfiled M1a would be a nice second or third choice. Even a sigle shot H&R rifle could be desriable.. given the fact that there is VERY little that can break on one.

There isn't anything in the lower 48 you can't kill with a 30-06 and you can find ammo just about anywhere. That's why it gets my vote.


Hard Ball
January 10, 2000, 01:32 PM
A lot depends on what you are trying to survive. I would select a .308, either a Winchester Model 70 or a Remington 700 with a good, rugged scope unless my scenario involved self defense, In that case I would select a semiautomatic .308, either a Springfield M1A or a H&K 91 with a scope sight. Of course I would also want a good all round handgun and a high quality sheath knife.

Jack 99
January 10, 2000, 02:48 PM
I'm going to assume from the way the question was posed (no resupply for a year, consider weight in the equation) that you're looking at a situation where you are completely on your own for a year and you're carrying everything with you.

That's easy: a good .22 like a Ruger 10/22 or something bolt action. Maybe a .22 mag if you're looking for a little more punch. Let's face it, in a "true survival" mode, you aren't going to be killing a moose (what would you do with the thing anyway?), you'll be eating various rodents and small birds.

Glass optics would be the first thing to go since zeroing in the field is a pain and a waste of ammo and in the conditions I presume you're talking about a good zero would be an ugly thing to maintain with a scoped rifle. 2-3000 rounds of .22 wouldn't be extreme to carry. Try that with your .308!

You give up stopping power (isn't there always a trade off?) but with the autoloader, there's at least a good possibility of multiple hits on an attacking animal.

"Put a rifle in the hands of a Subject, and he immediately becomes a Citizen." -- Jeff Cooper

January 10, 2000, 02:56 PM
Remington 700 .308 with optics (iron sight backup)

January 10, 2000, 05:17 PM
AR15 with 16" bbl and 22lr adaptor and 3x Colt scope. With head shots will kill anything on the continent except maybe Kodiaks, etc and the adaptor will allow hunting for normal game and a lot of ammo

January 10, 2000, 06:20 PM
I'd discard the "protection from animals" right off. I'd suspect 99%+ TFLers don't live in Alaska so really don't have to worry about being eaten by a bear.

Defense hardly comes into a real "survival scenario" as usually envisioned ('course Alfred Packer's buddies may have something to say [not!] about that ;))

Any .308/30-06-class rifle (with proper bullet & placement) will kill anything in the world. It would be tough to eat a "deer a month." 20 rounds should do the 6-12 months in any major caliber.

But, too, small game is usually much more plentiful which cries out for a .22LR A brick gives you almost 10 shots a week - quite a few rabbits 'n birds, etc.

Don't you never discount good stalking skills.

I'd be thinking pretty hard about a Contender/Encore (no scope) with two barrels. One in a manly caliber with 20 rounds ('cause that's what come in a box & should be plenty) & a .22LR barrel & a brick. Have that "bad boy" barrel mounted in the event of big game (or mutant crack-headed chipmonks). & if seeing small game, you could always hold back a bit, switch bbls out & do the small.

Light enough to pack everything all day & covers all the bases.

In all actuality, a firearm wouldn't play all that much role in a true "lost I am" survival situtation. A cool head & application of practical knowledge would do you much better.

January 10, 2000, 06:36 PM
I would go with an AR15 in carbine form.

January 10, 2000, 07:24 PM
just a rifle.......makeing the assumption that survival means surving against starvation and the possible hostile attaack including animals and humans were a possible quick 2nd shot might be necesssary.....a 22 has a lot going for it as a food gatherer, but you dont need it for roots and berries or traps and deadfalls....experience and skill would help a lot here.....I would probably opt for the cooper scout rifle in 308, and a couple of hundred rounds.......I figure that weight is a very important factor and would go with a light firearm, a 30-30 would work too....I dont think I would have the need for semi auto rapid fire capability, as I would be trying to survive and not looking to get into a shooting match---running and moving would be primary to avoiding and staying out of harms way...anyway that jmo...fubsy.

January 10, 2000, 07:31 PM
Sharp stick, attitude, knowledge and a good knife to make another sharp stick?

January 10, 2000, 08:15 PM
I think I'd have to go with a good reliable AR15 probably 20" with A2 sights. In a survival situation here in Colorado I could see where a person would mayby need to shoot something as big as deer for food, and most poachers use .22lr. So I feel the .223 is powerfull enough to take out game of at least that size. The AR15 is accurate enough and ammunition is avaliable wich could almost certainly kill even a bear if need be.
Don't get me wrong I'd be running away while shooting at a bear with it.
I'd want a few spare parts on hand but other than those I'd leave the rifle stock. A good mix of ammo at least 500 rds including SP and HP and mayby some AP if human predators are a problem. That would about do it for me. Of course if there would be people who were shooting at you the ammo would have to at least double.

January 10, 2000, 08:22 PM
Well my M16 of course. Along with a .22 conversion kit. Flat-top upper with trijicon reflex and a 3-9 scope attached to an arms #19 throw lever mount. Bring on mister bear.

January 10, 2000, 08:33 PM
1. AR-15 carbine
2. Ruger 10/22
3. Any SKS or AK
:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

January 10, 2000, 08:33 PM
Probably a Ruger 10/22, a good knife, and a good pair of mocassins. If you can't survive with that...your not very good.

January 10, 2000, 10:24 PM
A military-style bolt action (take your pick), but I would augment it with a .22 pistol (a revolver so I could use various ammo including quiet CB caps).

January 10, 2000, 11:03 PM
It would definitely have to go with some kind of .22 maily because of the weight factor. A guy (or gal) could carry around 500 rounds relitively easy. Also the noise level, I assume you don't want to attract a lot of attention. You can kill anything you need to eat with a .22, anyhting else, you'd better stay the hell out of it's way. I would say that the Ruger 10/22 would be the weapon of choice but, I've had bad experience with those. A good light weight bolt or even a lever. I'm not sure I would want a detatchable mag., just something to lose. No doubt you would need a good knife, and a hatchet. Also a barrel of A-1 steak sauce. By the way, has anyone else had problems with the 10/22 jamming? These were guns new out of the box, 20 years ago. I assume they have fixed these problems with all the posts praising them.

[This message has been edited by muleshoe (edited January 10, 2000).]

January 10, 2000, 11:06 PM
I'd say a .22 rifle for food getting, and a DA revolver in some large manly caliber for defense. In specifics, I'd say a marlin model 60, (i do like the things, plus, they're light) and a old style (ya know fifties and sixties) s&w .357. But, a good nearly unbreakable knife is a very good idea. as for ammo, two to four bricks of the .22, and maybe a hundred rounds of the pistol. that's for semi-dangerous country. for combat country, take a good long range rifle, so your opponents won't be in great numbers by the time they can get close enough to do you harm. FIND THE HIGH GROUND!


January 10, 2000, 11:37 PM
The new H&K OICWS (Objective Individual Combat Weapons System). You've got your .223 for the normal critters, then you got that 20mm for the stubborn critters.

January 11, 2000, 12:17 AM
AR15 W/ 22 LR conversion and a Leupold LR scope. Oh ya and a 37 mm grenade launcher.


"They that can give up essential
liberty to obtain a little temporary safety
deserve neither liberty nor safety."
-- Benjamin Franklin, 1759.

[This message has been edited by Giz (edited January 11, 2000).]

January 11, 2000, 02:56 AM
In order:


January 11, 2000, 07:17 PM
3 possibilities spring to mind, depending on just how important a consideration weight actually is. All are rifles I would bet my life on lasting a full year with no real maintenance or spare parts.

1. Nylon 66 and 2000 rounds would be less than 10 pounds. Anemic round, but is capable of feeding you and yours quietly and unobtrusively. If weight's the most important thing, this is the setup.

2. AK-47 or variant and 2000 rounds would be about 60 pounds, this gives a better round and better ITSHTF capability, the round will handle most North American game.

3. Enfield #4 cut to carbine length and 2000 rounds would be around 100 pounds, this would also do the job and the cartridge is up to anything on this continent if it's placed right.

Any of these will fit your budget as well. Hope this helps.

"We all have it coming, kid..." Clint Eastwood, Unforgiven

January 11, 2000, 08:10 PM
Marlin .444. It will gut,skin&cook a rabbit. ;) :D

[This message has been edited by JHS (edited January 11, 2000).]

January 11, 2000, 10:22 PM
Another good idea is to start scouting for places to cache ammo (and other supplies) in whatever area you expect to end-up if there's trouble (like the election of Al Gore!).

Bob Locke
January 12, 2000, 11:18 AM
If you're talking about survival (not militia-style defense of the country), then I would go with a .308/.30-06 bolt gun with a great piece of glass on it that mounts high so you can still use the iron sights. Zero the iron sights at 100 yards and the glass at 300 yards. Buy 100 rounds of match-grade 168-gr HPBT. Find a good place to hunt large, four-legged beasts. You should be able to live for quite a while off of even a smallish deer.

Now, if you're talking about killing for food AND defending your country, I would go with the AR-15 since you'd be looking to carry rounds in the 1,000 range rather than the 100 range.

Does anyone know off the top of their head what 100 rounds of .223 weighs as compared to 100 rounds of .308?