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While it'd be nice to have a SHTF longarm that shoots 1/2 MOA, I believe that anything that can hit a 2" to 3" T-zone at 100 yards with factory ammo is perfectly adequate. Any of my rifles can do that, as can my Mossberg 695 12GA.

In my experience, the tighter the gun shoots, the tighter the tolerances are. Which means it can be really picky on ammo and suffer unreliability. Bad things in a SHTF/scrounger type situation.

Thoughts?

-'bridge
 

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1 to 2 inch groups at 100 yards is excellent accuracy on average. Combat accuracy is usually 4 to 6 inches at 100 yards. And your right stone, the tighter the groups, the tighter the weapon tolerances. That's why the AK-47 will still run with sand, mud and crap in the action but shoots about 6 to 8 inch accuracy. At the opposite end is the M-16 family of weapons which shoot 2 to 4 inch accuracy but must be kept meticulously clean in order to function properly.

As to power, I'll take the .30-06, .308/7.62 NATO or .30-30 round in a bolt action. For a lever action, again the venerable .30-30 round is about all you would need. If I have a lever gun in .45 Colt or .357 Mag and a matching pistol, I would not feel out gunned in a fight. Easier to carry the same ammo for two weapons than seperate ammo for each. That is the reason that a bolt action or lever action rifle is best for a SHTF gun. (Hint: Since the .357 Mag weapons also shoot .38 Spl, you're actually getting 4 weapons for the price of 2.)

Most semi-autos are very intolerant of pressure variations of various manufactured ammo. The M1 Garand is a good example. Loaded with M2 ball or other military surplus ammo, it works great. Shooting civilian ammo in it will ruin the weapon as the pressure curve is sharper and can bend the operating rod. The most forgiving semi-auto rifle that I've found, pressure wise, the the little .30 M1 Carbine. That short-stroke gas piston action seems to work well across a broad spectrum of pressures. .

JMHO. YOMV. :D :D
 

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If it hits what I aim at, the accuracy is acceptable.
Seriously though, if it's a "hunting rifle" it should be much more accurate than your "plinker" type rifle.
My 995 is darn accurate out to 100 yards & I wouldn't want to get shot by it even at that range.
If I was a serious hunter(pick your animal) I'd have a .30-06 with scope for shooting out to 300+ yards with good grouping. Plenty of power in that round too.
 

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if i need to engage in anything >100yards, then something is terribly wrong.
 

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to be honest when the SHTF all I need is something to last me long enough to get something better. I am a Scavanger at heart and I will most likely rummage through anyone and anything I can to see what I can get. But I would want to start off with something that can be fairly accurate at about 100 yards, has decent ammo storage, and is semi auto.
 

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Where I live a 300yd shot is about the max distance . I have a Ruger 223 bolt that I have for long range , and a SKS for closer work . The Ruger would also be used to wound as to draw others out . I also have a 995 and a 4095 and that would be for close range.
Spot
 

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your SHTF weapon should fit your SHTF needs, I live in the country with dense woods all around me, a light round like the 5.56 doesn't cut through brush the way I would like it. The 8mm mauser does great but the limited ammo capacity and hi weight rule it out if I am going too far from home. For me the AK is the ideal power to weight weapon. If I was going any distance on foot, I would sacrifice power for lower weight. I desperately want a SIG 556 to fill that role.
 

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Unless you are going to be shooting in contests 2MOA is plenty and keeps you out of ammo trouble. 308 as round of choice has almost no downside.
 

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"SHTF" encompasses a rather large set of circumstances, many of which would require vastly different firearms. Am I barricaded inside my house repelling hordes of spiky haired mutants intent on eating my food supply and kidnapping the Swedish Bikini Team I have so graciously allowed to stay with me during the crisis? Am I on foot sneaking through the woods trying to avoid the millions of others fleeing the big cities, hunting small game to keep myself fed? Am I alone, or do I have other capable adults with me to help out and diversify the weaponry? Am I travelling in a vehicle where ammo resupply doesn't mean what I can carry in a backpack is all I can count on having? Where am I scrounging my ammo from?

In some of those scenarios I would be happy with a nice repeating .22LR, others I want a minimum of .308, preferably belt fed!

In my local terrain, 3-4 MOA is plenty "close enough" for the shots I would likely be taking. Almost any decent rifle is capable of that. Even the AK47, while it has a rep for bad accuracy, can be vastly improved by replacing the sights with something better.
 

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A lot of the AKs rep for poor accuracy was propaganda thrown out by the US to build up the M16 in the arms market.

I was at the outdoor 200M range with my Saiga and hitting good groups at 3MOA with a x39, guy that owned a WASR asked how I did that and told him the Saiga has a good barrel but mainly good ammo and zeroing properly. He looked at me and said "zeroing?", seems he had never zeroed the damn thing. Granted it takes a special tool but damn. People hear they are inaccurate and just seem to take it as truth. The thing I didnt tell him is its also more accurate at 100M than 50M as the BT bullet needs a bit to stabilize properly.
 

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A lot of the AKs rep for poor accuracy was propaganda thrown out by the US to build up the M16 in the arms market.

I was at the outdoor 200M range with my Saiga and hitting good groups at 3MOA with a x39, guy that owned a WASR asked how I did that and told him the Saiga has a good barrel but mainly good ammo and zeroing properly. He looked at me and said "zeroing?", seems he had never zeroed the damn thing. Granted it takes a special tool but damn. People hear they are inaccurate and just seem to take it as truth. The thing I didnt tell him is its also more accurate at 100M than 50M as the BT bullet needs a bit to stabilize properly.
As to AKs the Saigas are the way to go. Have 4 and love them the fit is just right. For the SHTF 7.62x39 154 Gr SP should go ouch.
 

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A lot of the AKs rep for poor accuracy was propaganda thrown out by the US to build up the M16 in the arms market.

I was at the outdoor 200M range with my Saiga and hitting good groups at 3MOA with a x39, guy that owned a WASR asked how I did that and told him the Saiga has a good barrel but mainly good ammo and zeroing properly. He looked at me and said "zeroing?", seems he had never zeroed the damn thing. Granted it takes a special tool but damn. People hear they are inaccurate and just seem to take it as truth. The thing I didnt tell him is its also more accurate at 100M than 50M as the BT bullet needs a bit to stabilize properly.
As to AKs the Saigas are the way to go. Have 4 and love them the fit is just right. For the SHTF 7.62x39 154 Gr SP should go ouch.
Wow four, I stuck with the x39 and 308 since it just seemed to cover the spectrum so nicely without breaking the bank. They wont win any competitions but then that isnt what they do. Im setting up the x39 for night/low light and the 308 as MBR. Yes you have to reload to get near M1A accuracy out of it (The good milled ones) but when you do now you have a weapon with zero downside and can literally have the receiver filled with mud and still operate, no other platform can make that claim.
 

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A lot of the AKs rep for poor accuracy was propaganda thrown out by the US to build up the M16 in the arms market.

I was at the outdoor 200M range with my Saiga and hitting good groups at 3MOA with a x39, guy that owned a WASR asked how I did that and told him the Saiga has a good barrel but mainly good ammo and zeroing properly. He looked at me and said "zeroing?", seems he had never zeroed the damn thing. Granted it takes a special tool but damn. People hear they are inaccurate and just seem to take it as truth. The thing I didnt tell him is its also more accurate at 100M than 50M as the BT bullet needs a bit to stabilize properly.
As to AKs the Saigas are the way to go. Have 4 and love them the fit is just right. For the SHTF 7.62x39 154 Gr SP should go ouch.
Wow four, I stuck with the x39 and 308 since it just seemed to cover the spectrum so nicely without breaking the bank. They wont win any competitions but then that isnt what they do. Im setting up the x39 for night/low light and the 308 as MBR. Yes you have to reload to get near M1A accuracy out of it (The good milled ones) but when you do now you have a weapon with zero downside and can literally have the receiver filled with mud and still operate, no other platform can make that claim.
I also have a Romanian in 4.45x39.5 built on an Ohio ordnance receiver and a Mak 90 7.62x39 with a milled receiver. Out all of them the Saiga fit me the best. I am on the board of the PD's shooting range so there are times that I am at the range a lot. The AR guys look down there nose at my Saiga and Aks but that is ok since he who's gun brakes first looses I can beat an AR every time. I have gotten one of my 7.62s hot enough twice to melt the fore arm off and the point of aim has not changed. Saigas are available now from RAA in .410, 20ga, 12ga, 5.45x39.5, .223, 7.62x39 and .308. I do not know if they can still be had in 9x63 or not.

To answer the original question asked, I do not think there is an answer. It is best to think defiance first if they do not know that you are there then they will not know they need to shoot you. I am also big on force multipliers the MBZ should have to walk through the fires of the hot place before the can even get in range of you.
 

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I got to spend a couple of years tearing down cleaning and fixing M-16s and found its a great carbine if its clean. I have never seen or heard of a clean battlefield.

I dont try to squeeze the accuracy out of the 7.62x39, it is more than accurate enough for its job, no one sets marksmanship records at night and that's ok all hits count. The 308 however has lots of room for improvement and attention to ammo is well rewarded. Funny how people dont appreciate how important ammo is to accuracy. You don't have to be a wizard to cut group size in half.

For SHTF my choice is the ultimate small arms combat round just for being able to do it all, turns cover into concealment, reaches out at very long range to say hi, the round so good it converted Europe, my personal precision guided ordinance of choice .... the Winchester .308 7.62x51. Thank god it comes in AK.

Yeah I can be full of shit but its the good stuff.
 

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Don't get me wrong I love the .308 and if I had a saiga .308 I would probably go to that before the 7.62x39, but if you are going to walk any distance that heavier ammo will add up quickly. I have a 3 day loadout that I jog in to stay used to the weight and it consists of 300 rounds of 62x39, if I had switched that out with 300 rounds of 62x51 I would be doubling my ammo weight. It is the reason we switched to 5.56 and I don't think it was a small reason. Again suit your weapon to the job, and if you live in a rural area and will be bugging in, weight is not a huge issue, but to the guys living in the city who will be walking or running away, the heavy .308 may not be the optimal round. I think you are better off with several weapons, you may have to leave some behind, but you can match what you pack to where you are going.
 

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Don't get me wrong I love the .308 and if I had a saiga .308 I would probably go to that before the 7.62x39, but if you are going to walk any distance that heavier ammo will add up quickly. I have a 3 day loadout that I jog in to stay used to the weight and it consists of 300 rounds of 62x39, if I had switched that out with 300 rounds of 62x51 I would be doubling my ammo weight. It is the reason we switched to 5.56 and I don't think it was a small reason. Again suit your weapon to the job, and if you live in a rural area and will be bugging in, weight is not a huge issue, but to the guys living in the city who will be walking or running away, the heavy .308 may not be the optimal round. I think you are better off with several weapons, you may have to leave some behind, but you can match what you pack to where you are going.
Congratulations on making the effort to be honestly prepared. Gotten to an Appleseed yet? Well worth the effort.

Its valid logic, you just have to keep in mind when the military, both US and USSR, choose these rounds it was for automatic fire reasons. The amount of ammo expended in that mode is horrid and accuracy just non-existent with any real recoil like the 308 (going auto on the M-14 was futile). So weight truly became an issue since load outs were huge. For instance, pre-assault weapon fire fights a rifleman would expend perhaps 40 rounds with a Garand while afterward 200 would be common even with the 3 round burst mode of the M-16.

Of course troops found auto-fire so ineffective they rarely employed it(and it made you a target), still the ammo usage was horrible perhaps for the reason of the ammo not being up to snuff perhaps other reasons account for the increase, I wont mention those for civil reasons. Either way you will need a lot less 308 to do the same job so when comparing load outs 200 rounds of 308 or 30/06 may well be as effective as much larger amounts of intermediate power cartridges.

On the subject of BoBs I take a different approach. The BoB is only for those situations where I may be unexpectedly cut off from home in some less than complete meltdown and must attempt to return for obvious reasons and retain some appearance of normality. My load out there is strictly 40SW pistol and folding carbine with six hi-cap mags that are common. Everything fits in a backpack even the supplies and would see me better armed than most adversaries and still not terribly weighted down. If bugging out in deed then of course other arrangements have been made.
 

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for me, i prefer to be accurate to 100 yards (and that's a stretch).. can be .22lr or 7.62 x39.
 

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i hope people remember when they are talking about how accurate they can shoot and what theyre rifle can do----

nobody is shooting back at them--just saying
 

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While I own plenty of guns. If God forbid I ever get in any gunfight much less at 100+ yards I am doing something REALLY wrong. Seeing as I am in an area that is heavy suburb I do not see allot of 100+ yard fights occurring. Currently I have a slew of 9mm lead to throw but that is best used in CQC at 1-40 yards.

Unce I upgrade my 995 with a nice red dot I will use a 995 92fs combo. (Although the 995 doesn't have high mag capacity it more then makes up for it in accuracy, size, and weight in my opinion. Until then my main armor will be a Winchester 12 gauge, and a Springfield 1911. Both combo's in my opinion are more suited for defensive situations or used in a group SHTF situation then offensive as I would be clearly outgunned at 50+ yards if my enemy brought any modest rifle.

To counter this I have thought about purchasing a Saiga 12 gauge or rifle rounds < .308. As I believe it would be the ultimate home defense tool and perhaps the best available suburb firearm choice. I wouldn't use a .308 round as I believe it would not be suited in urban combat. 5.56, 7.32x69, or .223 is the preferred round in an offensive scenario in neighborhood combat.

Here is another topic of discussion. When we talk about SHTF. What knife do you use? I am looking at purchasing a buck hunting knife for about $40 once my paycheck comes in.
 
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