Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices

This is a gun board classic:

After some years now of reading internet bulletin boards, I think I’ve got the pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices figured out. Correct me if I’m wrong, but the following is my analysis based upon the wisdom of numerous gun board gurus (you know them, they’re always the first ones to tell you a particular model gun is “junk” and enlighten you as to why they have made the only logical purchases)…

The AR 15:

Great, awesome, unbelievable rifle(when it works). Can hit a fly in the butt at 300 yards (when it works). If one is ever attacked by a pack of feral poodles post-SHTF, this is the perfect defensive rifle (unless it jams, in which case you’re poodle food). The upside is that one can hang more plastic aftermarket doo-dads on it than a Christmas tree, which may effectively frighten away bad guys when the gun jams. Also, by simply changing the upper, one can convert it into a Ruger 10/22.

The MINI-14:

Could be a good rifle, but it’s not black.

The SKS:

Best obsolete rifle ever made (even if it isn’t black, but you can buy a black aftermarket stock that looks kinda like an AR). If you need to lay in a big mud puddle and shoot at bad guys, this is the rifle to have. It will shoot as well as ever (maybe even better) when full of mud and the ten round mag makes puddle shooting a breeze since unlike hi-cap mags, you can hold the rifle upright in prone (mud puddle) position. Major drawback is that everyone knows that in a post-SHTF situation one must immediately fire thousands of rounds, a task for which a fixed ten round magazine is ill equipped, which is why they invented the AK. You can buy aftermarket hi-cap mags, but they often jam, creating the illusion that one is shooting an AR when combined with a nifty aftermarket stock. Other major drawback is that the 7.62 x 39 round is not .223 or .308.

The AK-47:

The AK-47 solved the difficult problem of firing thousands of rounds at approaching bad guys by allowing you to deftly change 30 round mags taped back to back, or for the truly ambitious, drum type magazines may be found. Unfortunately, buying an AK-47 is difficult, as they only come in full auto configurations. The good news is that a number of semi-automatic variants are available, allowing you to simulate an actual AK-47 by pulling the trigger really, really fast. Like the SKS, AK variants function best when filled with mud, but actually filling them is difficult as the hi-cap magazine makes lying in a mud puddle while shooting much more difficult. Fortunately, tactical experts from a mysterious facility known only to us as “the hood” have developed the “homeboy” method of handling an AK variant which promises to alleviate the hi-cap magazine vs mud puddle problem. One drawback of the AK variant is that (like the SKS) it’s not black, however, aftermarket vendors have corrected this tactical faux pas on the part of Soviet designers by offering black furniture for those “in the know”. Like the SKS, the AK variant also suffers from the troubling problem that the 7.62 x 39 round is not .223 or .308. However, recognizing this problem, Russian designers have created a similar cartridge to the .223 known as the 5.45 x 39.5. The problem of the 7.62 x 39 not being a .308 has not been addressed, as Russian poodles are apparently no larger than American poodles. Nevertheless, the quest to make smaller and smaller projectiles for combat weapons continues and rumors of a newer and better innovation known as the “pellet gun” have recently surfaced. We await an AR upper to accommodate this promising new caliber.

The Mosin-Nagant:

This unpronounceable rifle has a long history of military service. Napoleon reportedly had one. The unusually long 91/30 barrel combined with bayonet insures that it should be especially useful should a SHTF scenario involve the “redcoats” coming. The major drawback of this rifle is that it is a bolt action, which could make firing the prerequisite thousands of rounds at approaching bad guys difficult. However, if the Mosin owner and the bad guys are patient, one should be able to sling enough lead downrange by the time they are older than their rifle currently is. Like other eastern block rifles, the Mosin also is not black. This may be a possible reason why the Soviets lost the cold war. However, like the SKS and AK, western vendors have corrected this problem by offering an aftermarket stock in black. Unfortunately, none are available with a pistol grip. If Napoleon’s Mosin had a pistol grip, he may have very well conquered the world, but that’s another discussion. Other “carbine” type Mosins are also available, which would be the perfect compliment if one’s SHTF plan includes charging at bad guys on horseback while wearing a fur hat, swinging a curved saber and swilling a bottle of vodka.


While the Mosin-Nagant takes a step in the right direction by chambering a larger caliber, the CETME promises to actually be able to send the desired thousands of rounds downrange much like the AK, only with the “bang” being in Spanish rather than Russian. While promising, the CETME is said to fall short since it’s commonly known that the Century built models can only be fired once before exploding. The best-known solution is to use the CETME like a hand grenade, throwing it at the bad guys and hoping they try to fire it so it explodes on them rather than you.

The G3:

The G3 would probably make a good post-SHTF weapon, but they’re full auto and Uncle Sam says you can’t have one. Because he said so and because “he’s the uncle”. Well, you could get one if you sold your house and lived in your car to pay for it, but that’s pretty much the same thing. The good news is that you could get a semi-automatic version like the HK91 or PTR-91 (and they’re black, a major improvement on the original CETME design). The major complaint about this design is that it has stuff like a fluted chamber and a roller-delayed blowback action, making it too exotic for a viable SHTF weapon. The other major drawback reported about this German improvement on the CETME design is that it’s not an M1A or a FAL.

The FAL:

The FAL is the freemason of rifles. Though you don’t run into them often, they’re reported to be everywhere and secretly control the world of guns. This explains why FAL owners tend to worship their rifles, often converting their gun cabinets into FAL shrines and performing bizarre candlelit rituals before their rifle, which only the initiated understand. For the uninitiated, the upside is that the FAL can be found in black furniture and has hi-cap magazines. FAL owners tend to taunt AR owners about their “poodle shooter” calibers, touting the ability of the .308 to penetrate such obstacles as trees. While this puzzles some, I suspect that the members of the FAL cult may have some mysterious knowledge that common gun owners do not. Perhaps when the SHTF and hordes of trees rise up to destroy the human race we will all wish we had a FAL.

The M1A:

The M1A is the ultimate SHTF rifle. We know this because M1A owners remind us of this constantly. Like the FAL, the M1A is capable of stopping a tree in its tracks. When the hordes of killer trees take the rest of us, FAL and M1A owners will likely be the only ones left to hash out who has the better rifle. Of course, we know the answer (because M1A owners remind us of it constantly). The M1A not only has superior penetration, it is extremely accurate at distance. Therefore, when the hordes of killer trees have all been mowed down, FAL owners will fall quickly to the hordes of paper silhouette targets come to avenge their woodland brethren. The M1A owners will stop the avenging targets with neat, 1 MOA groups center mass at 600 yards. At that point, the standard M1A owners will have to hash out which is the better gun with the SOCOM 16 owners to determine who will inherit the earth. A glaring design error in the M1A is that it’s not black, which is why they invented the SOCOM.

Other military style rifles:

There are, in fact, other military style rifles, which I have not mentioned. It is, however, widely understood that all of these other rifles will fail as soon as the stuff hits the fan and being less common than the others, parts will not be available, rendering them all useless.

Pistol caliber carbines and sporting rifles:

Aside from the biggies, there are carbines in pistol calibers, but as Jeff Cooper says about the .32, if your shoot someone with one, and they notice, they’ll probably get mad. Therefore, pistol caliber carbines are fun toys, but not a serious SHTF choice.

Sporting rifles are right out. They are not designed to fire the required volume of ammunition in a short period. Under such stress, their barrels will melt and droop like wet noodles, leaving the user defenseless.

Well, that’s about it. Thanks to the Internet and the plethora of gurus on it, I now have a comprehensive understanding of every possible SHTF rifle, even one’s I’ve never owned or even shot. Naturally, I had to pass this know-how on.

But Wait……

You bought the wrong gun!!!


Clunky, heavy, and overpowered. Essentially a Garand tarted up with a removable magazine, in a half-baked attempt to adapt a 19th century rifle design philosophy to the mid-20th century. Most often named as favorite infantry rifle by people who never had to hump a 10-pound wood-stocked rifle with lots of sharp protrusions and no collapsible anything on a three day exercise, or try to make it through a firefight with the standard battle load of five 20-round magazines.


Crude and inaccurate bullet thrower designed by and for illiterate peasants. Chambered in a caliber that manages to cut the ballistics of a proper .30-caliber battle rifle in half without passing on any weight savings to the grunt. Ergonomics only suitable for Russian midgets. Archaic cable trigger spring, crummy sights, no sight radius to speak of, no bolt hold-open device, and a clumsy safety. Favorite infantry rifle of Middle Eastern goat herders, guys named Abdullah, and backwoods militia types who like the fact that it shoots cheap ammo and has ballistics like their familiar .30-30.

H&K G-3/HK-91:

Ergonomics of a railroad tie. No bolt release, and a locking system that requires three men and a mule to work the cocking handle. Fluted chamber that mauls brass, and violent bolt motion that dings the brass that didn’t get mauled too badly by the chamber. Stamped sheet metal construction, yet just as heavy as a milled steel M14. Safety lever that requires unnaturally long thumbs, and a trigger pull that feels like dragging a piano across a gravel road with your index finger. Favorite infantry rifle of Cold War nostalgics and third world commandos.


Underpowered varmint rifle burdened by a crummy magazine design. Nasty direct-impingement gas system that poops where it eats. High sight line, flimsy alloy-and-plastic construction. Generally favored by range commandos, tactical disciples, military vets who have never fired anything else for comparison, and Brownells addicts who a.) enjoy spending three times the cost on the rifle on bolt-on accoutrements, and b.) never have to use their rifle away from a dry, sunny range.


Flimsy plastic rifle with non-user adjustable fair-weather optics that fog up when a gnat breaks wind in front of them. Magazines that take up twice as much pouch space than others in the same caliber because of the “clever” coupling nubs on the magazine housing. Skeleton folding stock that is about as suitable for butt-stroking as a plastic mess spork. Twice as expensive as other rifles in its class because of the “HK” logo on the receiver. Preferred infantry rifle of SWAT cops, and soldiers whose militaries haven’t been in shooting conflicts since the 1940s.


Butt-ugly plastic shooting appliance with the ergonomics of a caulking gun. Five-pound trigger with no external safety makes it ill suited for its target market (cops who shoot a hundred rounds a year for qualification). Favored by gangbangers because the product name is short and rhymes with other short, rap-friendly words.

Beretta 92F/M9:

Clunky and overweight rip-off of a clunky and overweight German design from the 1930s. Shear-happy locking block, ergonomics that are only suited for linebackers, barely adequate sights that are partially non-replaceable, and low capacity for its size. Favored by Eighties action movie fanatics and John Woo freaks.


Overweight and overly complex piece of late 19th century technology. Low capacity, useless sights in stock form, and a field-stripping procedure that requires three hands. Favored by people who are at the cutting edge of handgun technology and combat shooting…of the 1960s.

H&K P7:

Wildly overpriced, heavy for its size, low capacity in most iterations, and blessed with a finish that rusts if you give the gun a moist glance. Gas tube has a tendency to roast the trigger finger after a box or two of ammo at the range. Favored by gun snobs who think that paying twice as much for half the rounds means four times the fighting skill.

SIG Sauer:

Top-heavy bricks with the rust resistance of an untreated iron nail at the bottom of a bucket of saltwater. Ergonomically sound, if you have size XXL mitts. Some minor parts made in Germany, so the manufacturer can charge 75% Teutonic Gnome Magic premium. Favored by Jack Bauer fans and wannabe Sky Marshals/Secret Service agents.

S&W Revolvers:

Archaic hand weapons from a bygone era, the missing link between flintlocks and autoloaders. Low capacity, and reloading requires a lunch break. Heavy for their capacity, unless you’re talking about airweight snubbies, which hurt as much on the giving end as they do on the receiving end. Rare stoppages, but few malfunctions that don’t require gunsmith services, which are hard to come by in a gunfight. Favored by crusty old farts who just now got around to trusting newfangled smokeless powder, and Dirty Harry fans with unrealistic ideas about the power of Magnum rounds vs. engine blocks.


Refinement of a 19th century blackpowder design. Weapon of choice for militaries who either couldn’t afford Mausers, or had ideological hang-ups about Kraut rifles. Rimlock-prone cartridge that only barely classifies as a battle rifle round because of blackpowder derivation and insufficient lock strength of the platform. Favored by Canadians with WWII nostalgia, and people who think that semi-auto rifles are a passing fad.

Browning HP:

Fragile frame designed around a popgun round. Near-useless safety in stock form that’s only suitable for the thumbs of elementary schoolers. Strangest and most circuitous way to trip a sear ever put into a handgun. Favored by wannabe SAS commandos, wannabe mercenaries, and Anglophiles who think that hammer-down, chamber-empty carry is the most appropriate way to carry a defensive sidearm.

Benelli shotguns:

Plastic boutique scatterguns made by people with the martial acumen of dairy cows. Hideously expensive, and therefore popular with police agencies that get their equipment financed by tax dollars.


Long and lightweight receiver that’s impossible to scope properly. Overpowered round, twenty-round magazines that run dry in a blink, and an overall weapon length that’s only suitable for Napoleonic line infantry, but utterly useless for airborne and armored infantry. Made by Belgians, a nation with a military history that is limited to waving German divisions through at the border. Favored by Falklands veterans, Commonwealth fanboys, and people who think that dial-a-recoil gas systems are the epitome of infantry technology.


9mm Luger:

European popgun round that’s only popular because the ammo is cheap for a centerfire cartridge. Cheap ammo is a good thing for 9mm aficionados, because anything bigger and more dangerous than a cranky raccoon will likely require multiple well-placed hits. Wildly popular all over the world, mostly in countries where people don’t carry guns, and cops don’t have to actually shoot people with theirs.


Chunky low-pressure cartridge that hogs magazine space and requires a low-capacity design (if the gun needs to fit human hands) or a grip with the circumference of a two-liter soda bottle (if the gun needs to hold more than seven rounds). Disturbingly prone to bullet setback, expensive to reload, fits only into big and clunky guns, and a recoil that has an inversely proportionate relationship with muzzle energy.


Neutered compromise version of a compromise cartridge. Even more setback-happy than the .45ACP, and setbacks are much more dangerous because of higher pressure and smaller case volume. Manages to sacrifice both the capacity of the 9mm and the bullet diameter of the .45. Twice the recoil of the 9mm for 10% more muzzle energy.


Highly overpriced boutique round that does the .40S&W one worse: it manages to share the capacity penalty of the .40 while retaining the small bullet diameter of the 9mm. Noisy, sharp recoil, and 100% cost penalty for ballistics that can be matched by a good 9mm +P+ load. Penetrates like the dickens, which means that the Air Marshals just had to adopt it…only to load their guns with frangible bullets to make sure they don’t penetrate like the dickens.

.38 Special:

Legacy design with a case length that’s 75% longer than necessary for the mediocre ballistics of the round due to its blackpowder heritage. On the plus side, the case length makes it easy to handle when reloading the gun. This is a good thing because anyone using their .38 in self-defense against a 250-pound attacker hopped up on crack will need to empty the gun multiple times.


Inadequate for anything more thick-skinned than Northeastern squirrels or inbred Austrian archdukes. Semi-rimmed cartridge that is rimlock-happy in modern lightweight autoloaders. Doesn’t go fast enough to expand a hollowpoint bullet, and it wouldn’t matter even if it did, because the bullet would only expand from tiny to small-ish.

.44 Magnum:

Overpowered round that generates manageable recoil and muzzle blast…if you’re a 300-pound linebacker with wrists like steel girders. Often loaded to “Lite” levels that turn it into a noisy .44 Special while retaining the ego-preserving Magnum headstamp. Considered the “most powerful handgun cartridge in the world” by people whose gun knowledge is either stuck in 1960, or who get their expertise in ballistics from Dirty Harry movies.

.50 Desert Eagle:

The Magnum of the new century. Realizing Hollywood couldn’t escape their Magnum fetishes, they had a handgun that fits the same stopping power quota of .44 Magnum and all of its filthy drawbacks. Popular amongst steroid filled movie actors who needs big guns to compensate for the steroid struck testicles. Comes in a baby variant for junior.

10mm Auto:

Super-high pressure cartridge that beats up gun and shooter alike. Very brisk recoil in anything other than all-steel S&W boat anchors, with a shot recovery that’s measured in geological epochs for most handgun platforms. Often underloaded to wimpy levels (see “.40 S&W”), which then gives it 9mm ballistics while requiring .45ACP magazine real estate.

.380ACP/9mm Kurz:

Designed by people who thought the 9mm Luger was a bit too brisk and snappy, which is pretty much all that needs to be said here. Great round if you expect to only ever be attacked by people less than seven inches thick from front to back.

.357 Magnum:

Lots of recoil, muzzle blast, and noise to drive a 9mm bullet to reckless speeds in an attempt to make up for its low mass and diameter. Explosive fragmentation and insufficient penetration with light bullets; excessive penetration and insufficient expansion with heavy ones. Still makes only 9mm holes in the target.


Ingenious way to make a centerfire .22 Magnum and then charge quadruple price for the same ballistics.  Awesome chambering for a police weapon…if you’re the park ranger in charge of the chipmunk exhibit at the zoo, and you want to make sure you can take one down if it turns rabid on you.


Direct violation of the maxim “Never do an enemy a minor injury”.  Designed by folks who wanted to retain the bullet diameter of the .22 rimfire round, but take a bit of the excessive lethality out of it.  Favored by people who don’t feel comfortable carrying anything more dangerous than the neighbor kid’s rusty Red Ryder pellet gun.

Hat Tip (Better late than never): The Munchkin Wrangler – Part1 and Part2

*Author of first 1/3 of this article still unknown


96 responses to “Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices”

  1. TEH FUNNEH™!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. […] 2009 December 30 by cmblake6 Over at ENDO, excellent laughing stuff!!!!!!!!! I giggled […]

  3. aczarnowski Avatar

    The author is not unknown for all of that. Marko obviously wrote the caliber stuff.

  4. […] a comment » Everyday, No Days Off did a great service by writing a guide for SHTF guns. It’s very detailed and accompanied by […]

  5. […] This is the funny. Seriously, if you have spent any time in the gun-o-sphere, your sides will hurt. […]

  6. Marko wrote both parts, click the link on his calibers page, or just click this:

    I don’t agree with some of his other writings, but give the man his due when he writes a classic like this

  7. ummm the the scope is mounted the wrong way around, doofus

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      Nope, it definitely is not.

    2. Not altogether true, many. PU scopes start with wide optic window and close to a 2.5×7 end, usually a 20mm closure. So no in this case you are the doofus

  8. Whoever wrote this is an Idiot who obviously has never shot, nor owned anything bigger than a super soaker. If the shit ever did hit the fan don’t listen to this dumb ass, any gun you can get a hold of is a good gun!

    1. Admin (Mike) Avatar
      Admin (Mike)

      It is meant as a joke, not as gospel. People familiar with the stigma attached to certain guns and ammunition understand.

    2. Hahaha You totally missed the whole point of all of that.


      Way to completely miss the point. Lighten up, buddy. How could you read that and still think it was a serious oped piece. Dummy.

    4. franknasty89 Avatar

      I loved this post.. i mean the stigma people have about their guns is crazy! I mean you would think they birthed it out themselves hahah. Btw im partial to the ak platform ya know cause i dont like black..

  9. Hilarious!!!

  10. You made my day man. Seriously funny,

  11. […] be a good rifle but it's not black." Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices | Gun Blog "Could be a good rifle but it's not black." Enjoy the […]

  12. A lot of truth in a humorous story. No feelings spared…many cartridges inadequacies exposed. Writer should work for Government / Law Enforcement procurement…then, maybe, we could get something that meets our job challenges. To the person who took it seriously…get a life outside of your Mom’s basement!

    1. Something that meets your “job challenges”? L.E.? LMAO…seriously? Maybe something that writes your tickets for you? Or can go pick up some donuts? Hahaha…You do remember your aiming at citizens right?

      I thought the article was funny too! All the fun things we weigh make it a really personal decision that I doubt anyone can go wrong with at the end of day.

      1. You are obviously not an officer…not all L.E. work is conducted in an urban environment. Some of us prefer the desolate spaces and back-country. A sidearm and long-arm for duty carry should work equally well in dirt, sand, dust, mud, water, ice…from +117 F to -25 F…and capable of stopping both human and large animal aggression while remaining compact and light enough to tote for miles on foot (ATV, skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, horseback, kayak, etc). I recognized the humor and truths of the original posting…I still believe the writer should offer their services to Procurement, it might just result in a better firearm system for our officers. BTW…I don’t “do” donuts, don’t own a ticket book and, in this day and time, why would you think that citizens are the only criminals out there???

        1. Gecko45 Avatar

          What would you recommend for someone working in an urban retail environment that has regular incursions of the Russian Mafia? I’d like to hear your alleged wisdom on this matter. Quite clearly, you have never engaged a target from a stand under a clothing rack in The Gap.

          While I applaud your resistance to donuts, I would strongly advise a course in ninjitsu or another professional martial art, not that TKD crap.

  13. You could elaborate a little more on the mini-14, IMO it is probably one of the better SHTF guns on the list considering it’s extremely reliable and will cycle any .223/5.56 you can find. Maybe most of the mini’s that you have seen are not “scary black rifles” but you can get a pretty nice stock that will fix that problem =).

    I wouldn’t even waste time mentioning the AR, they are accurate and ergonomic. But in a SHTF situation they require too much maintenance and they are too un-reliable.

    1. Gecko45 Avatar

      Perhaps you can help me with that matter. My AR is a bona-fide Tony’s Custom with CAA furniture, and I have put over 15,000 rounds through it with no malfunctions. Clearly, I am doing something wrong.

      Which AR platforms have you experience with, and which do you find to be the most prone to trouble?

      Do you prefer the standard 4150 alloy or the milspec heat treatment? Some consider the latter a waste of money, but a high volume weapon deserves it, IMO.

      How many rounds have been through your Mini? Have you tried 77 gr loads in it?

      Do you know of any 5.56 rounds that can penetrate two SAPI plates?

  14. Critter Avatar

    I kept reading in the article about STFU guns. I could use some of those.

  15. Whoever wrote this knows nothing about firearms. You’re a complete idiot

    1. Umm, Bear?

      It’s satire.

    2. “Whoever wrote this knows nothing about firearms. You’re a complete idiot”

      oops the kettle calling pot grimey arse,ever heard of irony???this is aimed squarely at you bud,
      don’t kick up too much!!! you’ll cloud the genepool

    3. Gecko45 Avatar

      Obviously, you have never faced down an abduction scenario in a major retail complex. I assure you experts in the field of civilian security pay close attention to these discussions. I notice my preferred .338 Lapua Magnum is not on the list. This confirms my finding that it is the ultimate round for both personal security and tactical use.

  16. It is impossible for Napoleon to have ever owned a Mosin-Nagant because he died in 1821. The Mosin-Nagant was designed in 1891.

    I vote for the SKS/AK variants. Good opinions, but not all opinions I agree with.

    1. Matt, you CAN’T be serious, can you??? This was all written as a joke. I think everyone knows that Napoleon died long before the Mosin-Nagant existed. In fact, probably before Mosin was even born. Jeeeeeeez.

  17. haven’t read any comments so maybe someone said this already, but for starters, yes you can get a mini-14 in “black”

    1. I have a Govt used BLACK Stainless steel MINI 14. $400.




  19. Funny as heck, because it is so true!

  20. C.T.Fenn Avatar

    But you forgot the Jennings Raven!
    It’s designed to keyhole the awesome .22RF & 10 feet so it leaves a bigger bruise on the OpFor.

  21. Very funny.

    The concept of satire apparently is “over the heads” of lots of people these days.
    They tend to buy a certain gun mostly to impress others at the range.

  22. […] Yet another lampooning of our favorite things But OMG how accurate it is!! NOTHING is spared!! Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices if(typeof(gnm_ord)=='undefined') gnm_ord=Math.random()*10000000000000000; if(typeof(gnm_tile) == […]

  23. Dang,
    that’s the funniest thing I’ve read in weeks.

  24. […] beginner's gun. I read something funny about glocks today, trying to find it….. Here it is: Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices […]

  25. very entertaining article. you obviously did a bit of research. at least it doesn’t LOOK like you got these guns off Call Of Duty. i don’t know, MAYBE you did some legit research. i have an AK-47, a M1A, and an M16A4 (yes, a real 3 round burst M16A4). All three have their purpose, as with all infantry rifles. if there was a perfect one, the U.S. would’ve developed it for the military and never issued it by now. anyway, my point is that if you have actually SHOT all (if any) of these rifles, handguns, or carbines, you would’ve found one that you would really like and see past the flaws. yeah, all the other arm chair generals reading this think you’re smart, but I’ve shot weapons in combat and i swear by them. if you have ever been in any kind of “advanced camping trip” everyone thinks war is, you would understand the true bond between man and machine that people develop. that “under-powered varmint rifle” becomes your best friend, even if it jammed once for someone (I’ve never experienced a jam outside of boot camp on a vietnam era M16A2).

    i get emotional about guns, because they have treated me well, and most people have never actually shot one outside of an XBOX.

    1. George Bailey Avatar
      George Bailey

      I have several cool guns. They all serve thier purpose. I have an Armalite AR and the only aftermarket I have on it is a Hogue grip and a gas re-routing charging handle that I got from RRA. It has never failed to function, except with a crappy magazine that I tossed and solved the problem. It’s accurate. I train with ALL my weapons, from every concievable position, and every scenario I can dream up. I buy good ammo. And I hunt a lot. I think every weapon has it’s drawbacks. With practice and training and proper maintainence and ammo, I think most of these can be overcome.

  26. Ironsights Avatar

    Dan has it down. I would love a basic Military M-16. The sights, and stock,.and handguard are classic. Form fitting and functional. The stuff I see at the range, I dont care for, ( tricked out bi-pod, ar-15′ s.) Until I can get one, ill stick to my sgl-23. Loved the article. Glad I’m not the only one tired of the armchair experts on all the forums. To really upset them, we could remind them that some untrained kids in colorado, shot and killed several people with cheap ugly, 9 millimeter rifles, and those weak bullets really did the trick.

  27. Ironsights Avatar

    Sorry, I meant my sgl-21. The Arsenal is solid, simple and deadly. No it doesnt have the ergonomics of the stoner design, it will not ” drive tacks” but as long as im hitting black, with open sights at 100 yards im happy, and I can shoot all day effectively and defence, without going broke.

  28. DannyInSoCal Avatar

    Yeah – That’s why I like the weird “chamber bump” firearms:

    Glock 21 rechambered from .45ACP to .50GI –

    AR15 rechambered from 5.56 to 6.8 SPCII –

    And last but not least –

    AMT 1911 7″ Longslide chambered in .30 Carbine.

    Now how about your opinion of 00Buck reloads for my 44Mag revolver –

    Kinda like a 45LC/.410 Judge on steroids…..

  29. is this guy fucking retarded ”only black rifles” napolean,im shure he died 40 years before they made the mosin nagant.this little boy has no idea about guns,why do all guns need to be black but im shure you wrote a comment on another website saying every gun needs to be gold fucking little twat go back to call of duty and leave your dads computer and stop opening your dads gun am so enraged of this person also why would you need to spray thousands of rounds down range with your ak47,saying the sks is useless with 10 rounds……… shtf almost all encounters with looters or gangs will be sooooo close and you need every bullet,if shtf would happen and i found you shooting magazine after magazine at my house i would take my mosin nagant witch only holds 5 rounds and i end your life with that 1 bullet………….unlike you who would be bumpfiring his ammo supply at my house,OWWW MAN if i get him quick enough i could take all of your 7.62.39 ammo for my sks

    -real survivor

    1. colin g's little helper Avatar
      colin g’s little helper

      He’s being satirical colin. “satire” is kind of like sarcasm but meant for humor. Napoleon was a Corsican artillery officer in the French army before he rose to power, and would not have used a Russian gun by the time he fought the Russians as he was a commander rather than a rifle-toting soldier by that time. most people kind of have an idea of history and realize that the author is joking. also, with nothing more than a google search I discovered the Mosin-Nagant was developed and adopted 70 years after Napoleon’s death. Saying you must fire thousands of rounds immediately is a stab at the guys who plan to “bug-out” and carry thousands of rounds into the woods, which isn’t an uncommon plan but rather impractical. is there anything else you would like me to help you google?

    2. Gecko45 Avatar

      Not only did Napoleon have a Mosin Nagant, no less a person than Robert E. Lee wrote about it extensively, and called it “The finest implement of battle ever devised.” It would behoove you to do better research before demonstrating your ignorance.

      1. “Not only did Napoleon have a Mosin Nagant, no less a person than Robert E. Lee wrote about it extensively, and called it “The finest implement of battle ever devised.” It would behoove you to do better research before demonstrating your ignorance.”

        LOL LOL!!!!!!!!

    3. Colin g, some grammar, spelling and punctuation lessons would do you good.

    4. Shelbyweatherby Avatar

      Only black rifles accept the hi-capacity assault clips. Plus the black metal and plastic makes the gun way more accurate. Haven’t you ever seen an action movie? Only the star gets to make one shot kills. It sounds to me you like you are just jealous because you are too poor to buy a cool gun. You should be very happy that spelling and grammar are not SHTF skills. You should read your third amendment rights to know that only black guns are protected by the civil rights movement. Why do you not understand only #BlackRiflesMatter? Are you some sort of racist? Napoleon actually preferred the AR-10. Read a book sometime. Any person learns that stuff day one of bootcamp.

      -Better survivor than you

  30. andy mcgobb Avatar
    andy mcgobb

    My mini-14 is black. Will jam less often than an m-4 and it is more accurate than an ak.

    1. Gecko45 Avatar

      You’ll be sorry when the black wears off. I advise immediately doing a combination of cerakote underlay with gunkote and duracoat in digital camouflage. First do MARPAT as backup, then go over it with superior UCP for the ultimate in tactical protection. I wouldn’t rely on a mere surface finish in black.

      1. 0331liborisk Avatar

        Can you point me in the right direction to try these methods myself?
        My Tapco furniture is looking pretty dull.

      2. Wow! Gecko45, glad to see your back. I have so many questions but don’t feel worthy to ask. If you coild indulge me one, i have recently aquired a mini14. Strictly range use,mas I know you watch over us all for those Mall forays. I do feel so much safer now when using a public restroom after that major save you got on the mayors son, great work!!
        Anyway, my mini’s accuracy blows. I found this shooters training guide on another site and wondered what your thoughts were.
        Thanks forbyour time,
        One who is not worthy

  31. […] think he hits all the major firearms and calibers… LOL Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices Reply With Quote   « Previous Thread | Next Thread […]

  32. Don Russell Avatar
    Don Russell

    An awful lot of bs being spread around here. If you want to see the truth about AR’s and their reliability firsthand, go to the 2x a year machinegun shoot at Knob Creek, KY sometime. You will see M16’s firing thousands of rds without stopping, after throwing them into mud puddles, etc.

    1. colin g's little helper's conscience Avatar
      colin g’s little helper’s conscience

      You’re right – or in the colloquial – your wright. And those mud puddles…

  33. GAcountryboy389 Avatar

    The 91/30 is the reason the confederacy lost the war. They didn’t want to use cheap russian junk (which it’s quite the opposite.). Too bad the 7.62×39 has the ballistics of chucking a few potatoes downrange hoping to hit something (joking again), and hitting someone with a .223 or 5.45×39 would likely piss them off more than it would kill them, unless your opponent is a fuzzy singing chipmunk(guess what, jokIng again!)

  34. I’ll take the M1A, although I’d prefer the M14. Sure, it’s heavier than your plastic-stocked AR1/M16, but just you try bashing somebody’s head in after you run out of ammo, and feel the difference.

    Plus, with the beefy 7.62 ammo, you can shoot THROUGH the tree.

    Oh, and yes, I did. Hump one (etc.), that is.

    1. Horsecrap. 7.62mm has the same penetration characteristics as 5.56 on most soft cover–sandbags, wood, dirt. And it’s twice the weight. There’s a reason no major military uses .30 anymore. It’s unnecessary. .308 is for machine guns and sniper rifles, not for any rifle engagement.

      Now, I WOULD recommend a good .30 bolt gun for SHTF, because it will take people, deer and other sizable game. And civilians shouldn’t plan on extended firefights when they have no ammo logistics to resupply them.

      But it still won’t shoot through a tree.

      1. The 5.56 round is only good in urban environments. The military switched, because they can always call in heavy weapons support. An M14 of course is better than an M1A military grade. As for HK91, it’s an excellent weapon, extreme reliability. I’ve fired 1200 rounds through mine without cleaning and it worked fine. I have never needed a spare part yet, but I have plenty. Well over 14,000 rounds though it. No jambs, no issues. You pull the trigger it goes bang. It is far superior to an AR platform. Range, Penetration, and best of all, as any combat veteran can tell you, one round their down and you can engage another target. With an AR you need to usually put a couple rounds into them. And you are much slower to switch targets.

        That said, in an urban environment or closed terrain, I’d prefer the M4. But probably the best mix a combination. In a SHTF scenario assume the enemy will be armed with AK’s and M4’s. Bring more gun to the gun fight.

  35. This man hates everything he must use rocks to kill things.

  36. Okay man that was funny yet how true… ive only owned an sks so i cant speak for any others but i love it and i noticed it wasnt on the u chose the wrong gun list lol. But this list is the most accurate description ive ever read all guns have their faults some stuckups who cant explain their inaccuracy… (user error and or poor gun choice) especially when my buddies 22-250 outshot 308 sniper rifles being used by people who thought they were snipers cause of their guns. And honestly if the shtf most people wouldnt last a day any gun that could shoot 50 yards accurately will do… i dont know many who would snipe whatever was coming at them in a shtf senario especialy if there were hundreds let alone thoughsands thats retarded. My sks with sidefoldin pistol grip black stock and 30 round detachable mag plus a 20 rounder for quick reload with 40mm red dot scope will do nicely. Do some more stuff like this i liked it funner than
    Heck and truer than anything i couldve said right on says this redneck.

  37. After 3 mini-14s, 4 10/22s and a mini-30 I have some comments about the Mini and 10/22 he could have used:

    The original 70s survivalist rifle along with the step-brother 10/22…long live Mel Tappan baby!!!!! Looks great on any of the 52 walls of the geodosic dome home. Its the American AK before even people had an inkling of what a Valmet or Polytech was…sorry 80s flashback.No easy way to mount optics but then again with 2 foot groups at 50 feet who needs to shoot farwith this 5 for sure: .22 caliber scattergun. Now that we are on high horse–William Ruger(aka Clintons side kick with 30 pieces of silver) in his all knowing wisdom is just say no to standard capacity magazines -ie 20/30 rounders–for a semi-auto intermediate caliber defensive weapon aka –assault rifle….wtf?….isnt that the nature of the beast????? Though I do like his overcomplicated .22s pistols and handguns that actually do work…and all the things about the Mini can be applied to the 10/22 of course. In the end….the A Team was a factual account of the Mini when used in combat—fire 5 zillion rounds and hit nothing as the only safe place to be in that gun is to be the target the shooter trying to hit. ……………………. Long may Ruger stay dead!!!! As the guns are now out of the doghouse—the Mini is actually fixed ie the barrel and it is now in BLACK with funky stocks that look like a Mini is having puppies….. and you can buy standard cap mags as well as for the 10/11…and there even making an AR….who wouldav thunk it? And just for poops and giggles….why not make AR mags work in the Mini????—oh wait that is too much sense!!!!!!!!……besides Kel-Tec beat ya with that SU-16 baby……But there may be enother life yet for a carbine that is a smaller version, higher capacity, less powerfull version of the M14 which is a smaller version, higher capacity, less powererfull of the all holy Garand that conquered the planet as shown in Saving Private Ryan….now if they can get a jump on a .300 Whisper version, 5.45×39 version and/or a Mini-30 that wait for it: TAKES AK MAGS….they may have to hire me for Ruger marketing…..

    1. skyscratcher1969 Avatar

      dude… that …was…brutal… to… read…

  38. Heisenberg Avatar

    When the hell did the 7.62x39mm become a substandard round? News to me.

    1. ImanAzol Avatar

      It has inferior terminal ballistics to XM193 5.56 mm

      No, I don’t care if you don’t believe it. Nor if you don’t believe in gravity. Ballistics and gravity believe in you.

    2. I like pizza! Avatar
      I like pizza!

      Oh…about 40 years ago, when everyone but sheep herders turned guerrillas and poor small-time dictators moved on to better ballistics.

  39. Simon Templar Avatar
    Simon Templar

    AK-74 with 5.45mm 7n6 round does its job perfectly.

  40. Some people actually believe that Russian Mosin Nagant rifles were used in the American Civil War?

    Do they know when that war began and ended? This is mind-boggling.

    1. Iman Azol Avatar
      Iman Azol

      Well, the pricks at Mauser wouldn’t let Lincoln have any, so he had to go with Mosins.

      1. SittingDown Avatar

        Shouldn’t have gone with the M4A1s or the Baby Krinks. So much more portable and concealable. ;)

    2. colin g's little helper's conscience Avatar
      colin g’s little helper’s conscience

      +1 – Again – color me boggled! I’m serious man.

    3. I like pizza! Avatar
      I like pizza!

      Only the M44 Mosins were used during the American Civil War, 91/30’s were no good during the CQB of the Civil War.

  41. Give me an M1 Carbine over an AR-15 any day. It’s lighter, more durable, easier to clean, and I can carry more ammo. The AK 47 is partially based on the Carbine’s action. A significant blow to any part if an AR 15 can cause it to malfunction, even the buttstock. Not good if you need to use it to break down a door or engage in hand to hand. The .30 Carbine round is not that far below the 5.56 ballisticaly. The wood and steel construction is durable and light and has almost no recoil. So my pick is the .30 M1 Carbine, the original PDW. It never gets the credit it deserves for being a influential design.

    1. “Lighter” = Not significantly. That 3 lbs of difference isn’t going to break you.

      “More durable” = can ONLY use noncorrosive ammo, and the ammo is hard to find, no longer available in crates. When, not if, you have a problem, spare parts are hard to find and require fitting, and you can’t just swap out another. I presume you’ve never had to headspace a carbine, or attempt to time the bolt.

      “A significant blow to any part if an AR 15 can cause it to malfunction, even the buttstock.” = untrue. But any blow that hard is going to break your carbine, too. I don’t know where you get the idea that something lighter, thinner and of inferior alloys is “tougher.” Cool story, bro.

      “Not good if you need to use it to break down a door or engage in hand to hand.” = millions of people have engaged in hand to hand with M16s/ARs. They have not generally had the issues you describe. And you will not break down any door with your carbine without breaking it in the process, except for sheet ply internal residential doors.

      “The .30 Carbine round is not that far below the 5.56 ballisticaly.” = it’s about 2/3 the power (967 ft lbs vs 1300 ft lbs), so if the AR is underpowered, the Carbine is a pussy.

      “The wood and steel construction is durable and light and has almost no recoil.” = that has less to do with wood and steel, and more to do with very little of either, and a pussy cartridge.

      “So my pick is the .30 M1 Carbine, the original PDW. It never gets the credit it deserves for being a influential design.” = what did it influence? What uses that design? Answer: Nothing. It’s got shitty accuracy, is hard to find parts, magazines and ammo for, closer to pistols than rifles for power (indeed, it was intended to replace sidearms in many logistical trains), archaic, even pickier on its ammo than an AR.

      My guess is you’ve got very little experience with either, and all of it on a shooting range, not in the field. I have a dozen of each, have built them from bare receivers, done depot level repairs. The Carbine is a fascinating historical piece, but complete shit for SHTF.

      You can get AR parts, ammo, mags anywhere including WalMart, or from any military unit (assuming you’re either fighting with them or against them, and one of the two is almost certain in a serious disaster).

      The AR is about 20X better, but I’d still go with a Mosin Nagant.

      1. As for “breaking down doors,” I recommend a swift kick or a battering ram made from any handy chunk of steel pipe, depending on the door.

        BTW, whose door am I breaking down and why? I should not be looting or engaging in offensive operations if SHTF and I’m trying to survive. I should be staying out of sight, keeping fed and warm, minding my own business, and holding a strong defensive position against attackers. They should be attacking my door, not me theirs.

    2. I like pizza! Avatar
      I like pizza!

      If you ever use your (or any) rifle to “break down a door”, you probably wouldn’t survive any type of SHTF scenario anyway….

  42. […] if this is the non-working ENDO link referenced in the story? Pros and cons of possible SHTF rifle choices Whether it is or not, I've been crying for the past ten minutes and think I've cracked a rib. […]

  43. And BTW: The inbred Austrian archduke was killed with a .380, not a .32. Everybody knows that a .32 would have glanced off his square head which, BTW, was the inspiration for German designed tanks of WWII.

    Why are German haircuts a dollar? They’re a quarter per side.

  44. This overly opinionated and tremendously inaccurate article seems to have been authored by an elitist prig who has “learned” a lot about weapons but lacks any real world credibility. Most of the article seems aimed at like minded dunces like the author. The insulting overview of most of the guns demonstrates the trendy, gun range guru type of information that is usually passed on by the stupid to the ignorant. What really made me laugh was the insults hurled at the AK and its variants. That platform has killed more people than any other gun, ever. Granted it’s not a MOA rifle but the 7.62×39 is a lethal round once the shooter understands the performance envelope. Once I shot a quantity of rounds I was able to bang the gong at 300 yards with open sights. I wasn’t hitting it a hundred percent of the time but I was able to put my rounds in a concise, well defined area. The round is not in the same class as the .308 or the 5.56 once the range goes beyond four hundred yards, but that was never its intended purpose. I have weapons in .308, 7.62×39, .30-30, 7 Mag, .243, 270, .22, .45 Colt, .45 ACP, .40 S&W, .357 Mag, .38 Special, .44 Special, 12 and .410 gauge so I’m not some rube who just fell out of the sky. I hope this author gets some real world experience, learns the truth and doesn’t continue with his arrogant, elitist rants. BTW, I’m a retired Texas peace officer, range officer, hunter, reloader and survivalist. Thank you for the opportunity to vent.

  45. Love the .357 Sig comments, going to share them with my Air Marshal buddies who are still ga-ga over their Sig Sauer P-226 .357….come to think of it, that is te only thing about their agency that they are ga-ga about…so maybe not, poor bastards (LOL).

  46. JimStone Avatar

    The article is a great satire of all the gun forums . I read most of them waiting for a new guy to ask ANY question and being bombarded with 50 different and opposing answers and then the 50 answers that are off topic, then the 50 that are just plain wrong. And every experienced person knows the best gun for any situation is the one you have and know how to use it within its limitations and know what they are. “beware of the man with one gun”.

  47. I’ve popped a lot of caps also and here to tell you to survive best know JesusChrist ( because even if you get killed you still win.

  48. big dick bob Avatar
    big dick bob

    My dick throbs….after I read this…I relieved it…splattering the screen on my phone….I then fingered my ass with the left over cum…and ate it….truffel buttee

  49. Woody Pake Avatar

    This author reminds me of me, he has nothing good to say about anything, keep up the good work. Mr Pessimist

    1. ENDO-Mike Avatar

      It must be rough going through live without a sense of humor.

  50. Although I have never taken the time to respond to these posts, I feel the need to do same now. The author nailed it. LMAO!

  51. IQmore Potato Avatar
    IQmore Potato

    It fucking scares me people who own guns thinks this dude is serious, and they rage because their feelings were hurt. It also scares me these same people are Leo. I guess the IQ cutoff is a real thing.

    IF you thought this was real, please chop off your balls and put your children up for adoption.

  52. Believe it or not I wrote the original 1/3rd of this years ago. At the time I was just getting into “prepping” and looking for practical firearms for that purpose. It was definitely “tounge-in-cheek” because for someone with limited knowledge looking for answers on the internet all of the conflicting opinions were pretty confusing. No matter what the choice, someone was going to have a criticism. I posted the above on a board I frequented as a humorous way of pointing that out, knowing the people there would “get it”. Someone asked if it was ok to post it elsewhere. I said sure and to my surprise it went viral. In reality I already knew by then what I know now. There are so many options in guns and ammo because there’s isn’t one “right” answer for everyone. What’s “best” is what works for you personally. You have to discover what that is for yourself. Opinions can only give you a clue what may not work for you. I set out to give a couple of online friends a chuckle and in a way show how silly it is to present your opinion as “fact”. Nothing more, nothing less. If it’s brought a knowing smile to a lot of other faces over the years then all the better. Thanks to ENDO for the post. Your appreciation is…well…appreciated. I also enjoyed the add-ons. Gave me several LOLs and remember. Everything you read on the internet is true. ;)

  53. Tom Karones Avatar
    Tom Karones

    What ever is nearest at hand when a situation arises. It may be a .36 cal. Colt cap and ball replica, an M-1 Garand. an SKS, etc.. It’s what you have when you need something.

  54. I think the .32 auto is is looked down at partly due to American spec ammo that produces about 130 ft/lbs of energy. European spec ammo produces at least 30 ft/lbs more energy. Fiocchi gives 160 ft/lbs and Sellier and Bellot claims to give 175 ft/lbs of energy. With ball ammo, Euro spec ammo reaches the vital of a bad guy (I think). These energy figures are with 4″ barrels, so they will be a bit or so less with shorter barreled pistols.

  55. The .380 provides enough penetration, if not plenty, with ball ammo. Not with hollow point, though. OTOH, the really small pistols in .380 like the Keltec and Ruger LCP have very short barrels. This causes power to be less. I don’t know any penetration figures of .380 fired out of these pocket sized pistols.

  56. Karver Avatar

    If it aint black, paint it!

    The experience in the Army with the M16 platforms i had were picky they need special attention in a SHTF one may not be able to provide.
    Im looking into getting my first SKS, if i get caught in a giant standoff firefight i did something wrong. You Move, an shoot defensive. Im not looking to get pinned down with only me having a rifle or pistol. Think 9 rounds of 45 or 16 rounds of 9mm is a good idea? I pick 9mm