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Old June 11, 2007, 11:49 AM   #52
Senior Member
Join Date: January 14, 2007
Location: Central NC
Posts: 1,424
I'm not sure what you consider SHTF... it may be a break in... Or it could be one of those "fall of society" senarios... Personally, i tend to go with the last one.

Were you ever to have to depend on a weapon long term to defend yourself, and possibly provide food, you want to make sure its something that is in a common caliber. Sure, you can have that oddball .50beowulf, 204Ruger, or 300WSM and make handloads for it.. but what if you are driven from your home by superior firepower? Once the ammo on your person is used up, the gun is useless. You dont find that sort of ammo lying around abandoned.

For a shotgun, I'd go with a 3" 12ga. 3" not for the larger shells, but because it opens up a wider range of ammo to use should you have to scavange for it. Go with a simple pump. Normally I dont like remingtons, but its the most common, so parts would be easier to find, should it break.

When it comes to rifles, once again.. somthing thats easy to find. .223, 7.62x39, 30-30, .308 or 30.06, or a pistol caliber like 45auto or 9mm for a carbine. If price is important to you, you will no go wrong with a good SKS, or a Marlin 336 30-30. Despite their non-tatical apearance, they do handle very quickly, are easy to shoot, have fairly light recoil, and with pratice, you can hit anything within 150 yards. The 30-30 has been one of the most popular deer calibers for 120 years for a reason. It does its job VERY well, if you respect its limitations. The SKS is tougher than quantum physics in latin, and will take any abuse you can throw at it. Cleaning is optional in a SHTF senario. Both rifles and cartriges were designed in a time when gunsmiths werent in every town, and weapons didnt have warranties. They had to be capable of taking heavy use and abuse and continuing to perform well. Shots over 200yards can be made with either gun, but you'll have to aim a little high.
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