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Thread: rifle for hard times.

  1. #1

    Default rifle for hard times.

    Well, I hate to think of an economic collapse, but I suppose It could happen. If there is another depression, that lasts a significant amount of time. What firearms would you recommend. I want efficiency, economy, and reliability.
    In Other words, I want a lot of ammo without going into dept, a rugged action that will last years, and a caliber thatís not too wimpy for big game(I am already stocked up on 22 LR ammo). So far I am thinking .308 bolt action Stainless rifle or lever action 30-30. I suppose I could also buy a couple of single shots instead. Any input would be awesome.
    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Member 1Cor15:19's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by elhewman View Post
    Well, I hate to think of an economic collapse, but I suppose It could happen. If there is another depression, that lasts a significant amount of time. What firearms would you recommend. I want efficiency, economy, and reliability.
    In Other words, I want a lot of ammo without going into dept, a rugged action that will last years, and a caliber thatís not too wimpy for big game(I am already stocked up on 22 LR ammo). So far I am thinking .308 bolt action Stainless rifle or lever action 30-30. I suppose I could also buy a couple of single shots instead. Any input would be awesome.
    Thanks in advance.
    Tough to beat a 12 gauge Remington 870 for utility. Keep your 22LR and add either a 308 or 30/06 bolt action (Rem 700, Ruger 77, Savage 110, etc.) and you should be set for such a scenario IMO. I'd prefer the '06, but there's not much too choose between them.

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    Default I Cor.-

    Those would be my very same choices, but with the rifle being .30-06 (of the Winchester Model 70 variety).

    With a .22 most all small game can be taken. My choice would be the 10-22.
    With a 12 ga. in the 870, most all waterfowl can be taken, and it doubles for self defense. You can load it in many ways for a variety of applications.
    With a .30-06 most any large game can taken with a variety of loads.

    All of these have ammo easy to find and relatively inexpensive. I'd better start stocking up.

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    During an economic, or other collapse, I would consider firearms that use the same ammo the Gov't uses. All you have to do is requisition some from someone that doesn't need it anymore.
    "A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise, and independence to the mind."

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    Member Matt's Avatar
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    223 without question.

  6. #6

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    I have to agree with the 223. It would be the ultimate survival weapon. It is capabal of killing anything and gives you a little range. Ammo is cheap.

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    Yup, .223, absolutely.
    Tennessee

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    A rifle for hard times in Alaska would IMO be capable of handling cheap surplus ammo, be able to protect me, and sufficiently take large game. If the economics of our state or federal government took a turn for the worse.......some resources and services provided to our people would be limited. Meaning.....state, city, and federal police officers could be laid off and bad folks would have more resources and oppurtunities for which to easily take from others. If you ever had to take matters into your own hands to protect your family, freinds, or property, put meat on the table, and be able to protect yourself from bears.....all while being "surplus ammo cabable".......that leaves the 308 winchester. Savage makes a budget rifle called the Stevens Model. It can be purchased for about 270 dollars brand new and chambered for 308. That would be my first choice. Others may not see things like I do, but hard economic times are always followed by more violence, less food, more stealing, and fear.

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunbugs View Post
    During an economic, or other collapse, I would consider firearms that use the same ammo the Gov't uses. All you have to do is requisition some from someone that doesn't need it anymore.
    I understand your point gb, but I would think that "hard times" of the OP is a bit different from "desperate times" where you suggest ammo requisition becomes necessary. If times were truly "desperate" a .223 Remington would make a lot of sense IMO. Perhaps the two scenarios are related, but there were a lot of game animals killed in the Great Depression of the '30s (hard times) without a real threat of civil war (desperate times).

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    Default I'm already covered.

    I have everything I need to survive many, many years. I have dies and reloading components in enough quantity to last me most of my life if I were conserving. I like to shoot a lot, but if another big depression came along I could put meat on the table for many years to come. I have air guns that are dirt cheap to shoot if I needed to practise.

    Handloaders are pretty well set up already. So long as you have a decent supply of components, it doesn't matter what caliber you choose.

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  11. #11

    Default some more thoughts

    I keep thinking it is important to have at least one rifle with open sight capabilities as well. Who knows if you will be able to send your scope back. Also, I believe the guy with a rare wildcat cartridge but a 1000 rounds of ammo is better off than the guy with the 30-06 an two boxes of ammo. I do not think it safe to assume that even popular ammo will be readily available. I probably will be, but why bank on it? It depends how difficult times are, and how long they last. What if I cant pay my mortgage and need to move to cramped quarters? Will 800 12 gauge rounds be convenient to haul around, conceal, or store. Sorry to be critical there will be variables in any new circumstance. I think it is dangerous to assume we will always have a space dedicated to reloading ammo, and weapons storage.

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    mainer_in_ak is right. He must be:

    Let me add that....
    A 223 is way underpowered, for every, and perhaps, any, use I'd need, or can foresee, at such a time, so such a choice ainít even wurth a second thought..

    It would probably be desirable to have as great variety of firearms as possible, so you would have the greater chance of using any ammo available, providing the situation allowed you access to them all.

    BUT ASSUMING a preparatory, purchase of the most useful rifle and cartridge, with ammo availability a primary consideration, the 308 is certainly the best choice I can think of. And, for the reasons he outlined.

    Iíd probably buy a Savage Bolt Action, SS with a Synthetic Stock. You know, something Rugged, Reliable, and Cheap. I better get Two ofíem, jist in case. Two, at the LEAST. If a little bit is good, a lot must be better.

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    Traditional knowledge would immensly help the situation too. To be able to make and set snares of all sizes, make traditional snowshoes of moose rawhide and birch saplings, make hand weapons out of scrap metal like leaf springs, constucting your own bows, make set/gill nets out of a spool of fishing line. make effective traught lines for burbot, trap for fur and stiching fur into usable mittens and jackets, making traditional birch bark canoes, smoking and curing of meats and fish, knowing of plants that are edible, a good assortment of hand tools, making your own dimensional lumber from spruce and birch, and wasting nothing......even if it means boiling a pile of moose bones and scraps for broth. Although the gun itself is a nice thought.....folks put too much thought into only the gun and ammo for which to store. To be truly practiced for hard times.......MAKE yourself live the traditional way even if it's a difficult thing to fathom. Try taking some hand tools (a file, a hack saw, a chisel and some hot spruce coals, and make a knife....you'd be surprised what you will have. Take a spool of 25 lb. test and MAKE a gill net. Save your moose hide this year and preserve it........so you can set down in the garage and cut the whole hide into thin strips for which to practice making snowshoes. I know this has nothing to do with a gun but if you truely want to embrace a survivalist mentality..........let the mind wander a bit past just a rifle and a shotgun. I appologize for the ramble......but I've been heavily thinking of these things too.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by elhewman View Post
    Well, I hate to think of an economic collapse, but I suppose It could happen. If there is another depression, that lasts a significant amount of time. What firearms would you recommend. I want efficiency, economy, and reliability.
    In Other words, I want a lot of ammo without going into dept, a rugged action that will last years, and a caliber thatís not too wimpy for big game(I am already stocked up on 22 LR ammo). So far I am thinking .308 bolt action Stainless rifle or lever action 30-30. I suppose I could also buy a couple of single shots instead. Any input would be awesome.
    Thanks in advance.
    Folks define 'hard times' from different perspectives... another great depression economy, major shift in politics; more likely --- livelihoods and lifestyles changed or stripped away for whatever the reasons.

    ...Must certainly consider the who, what, where, time-frame, and to what extent.

    ...Might plan for, stockpile, even horde away as much doom-say for doom's-day. OK, reasonable thinking - yet could drastic change occur so suddenly that your cashes are no longer advantageous? Perchance movement presses masses to leave behind everything but what's on hand, in hand?

    I do not believe in the 'hard times' gun... not in the slightest! I would try to have in hand the most reliable, high quality, go-to all-arounder rifle the same way I run around Alaska today. Yes, that's the one gun (or guns) I'm most familiar with, have most confidence in, that handles all occasions, total reliability, accurate, simple to maintain, packs downrange power, and exceeds my needs. You probably already have this stuff.

    For example My choice is a Winchester model 70 classic stainless/synthetic in .375 H&H with good set of irons, good bases/rings, good scope, good sling, and good ammo. I'll go everywhere with this and be OK here in Alaska.

    However, why just have one? There is a lot to be said for having or being familiar with different guns, of different calibers, in different configurations.

    I agree w/ the surplus rifles (or guns that reliably/accurately fire surplus ammo) like 6.5x55, 7.5SWISS 7.62x51, 7.62x54R, .30-'06, 8mm Mauser, etc. ---- Just no wimpy ones!

    I agree on shotguns and handguns... where they could perform given tasks more suitably than a big-game rifle. Same goes for .22, .22mag, .17HMR, .17 M2, and accurate air guns. Bow/arrow and muzzle-loaders have their place in this mix for sure.

    100% disagree w/ those advocating .223 as a versatile 'hard time' caliber... same goes for the 7.62x39 --------- these are undesirable for Alaska and wimpy by comparison with the exceptions of intermediate range offensive and defensive work as assault-type firepower. Unless you are specifically/routinely trained to use these they are just about play-toys and you are no match for a person or team that is.

    Alaska guns I'd grab up and stick w/ for bad times to use:
    .375 H&H Winchester Model 70
    7.62x51 Saiga AK
    7.62x54R M39
    8mm K98
    .30-'06 Winchester model 70 or p17 or Springfield
    12 GA. REM 11-48 or 870 - no express model tho'
    .454 DA Ruger SRH
    Any Glock handguns in any cal. (.10mm or .45ACP in SF nice)
    .22 and .17 rimfires --- rifles and handguns

    Alaska guns I'd grab up to make some $$$ if needed:
    All that AR and AK stuff... sell the burgers first then jack up cost on fries and drinks (like ammo, mags, & parts) or gainfully trade for the more field useful hunting surplus that many folks would readily trade away for next to nothing thinking the AR is gonna do it for them.

    A little long-winded... hope this helps.

    Bottom line is have the best reliable/accurate gun, suiting the most certain scenarios you are most familiar dealing with, relying on the fewest compromises you see fit. In Alaska and for out in the field, I can think of few choices better than your most trusted big game rifle.

  15. #15

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    i add to things to my list of so called hard times weapons for use up here..

    one was a bowtech 82nd airborne bow for hunting

    two was a air arms -s410 22 cal air rifle with good all weather stock and scope for small game hunting and pest control as need

    three was a S&W.460 revolver i going to pick up and have the cylinder reworked to fire four diff cals for hand gun hunting..

    i figure with all the other rifles and pistols i own i should be pretty much set for all around hunting in alaska

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by henry2 View Post
    three was a S&W.460 revolver i going to pick up and have the cylinder reworked to fire four diff cals for hand gun hunting..
    You can already use three different calibers in the 460 without any modification. 1: 45 LC 2: 454 Casull 3: 460 S&W.

    I heard 45 Schofield would also work, but S&W doesn't advertise that, so I would stay away from it. The three mentioned are good enough for me. Just out of curiosity, what other caliber were you looking for?

    The other 299,300,000 people can have it.

    Noone has a more intimate understanding of, or deeper appreciation for freedom, than a soldier who has fought for it in a country where it does not exist.

  17. #17

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    45acp ..i allready have a 1911 pistol in the cal and was thinking it would be great for pratice with fmj rounds to get really good with the handgun and not waste a lot of the more high price 460 ammo on pratice for i have mixed case lots of reloaded 45.acp fmj rounds for pratice with the 1911 ..i going to fire off about 10 to 15 rounds to get a feel of the revolver and to zero the scope on the pistol . plus since i reload i can taylor a hunting round in 45.acp cal for the small game and medium sized game if need be along with it working in the 1911 pistol also

    so i like the idea of the four caliber set up ..

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by mainer_in_ak View Post
    Traditional knowledge would immensly help the situation too. To be able to make and set snares of all sizes, make traditional snowshoes of moose rawhide and birch saplings, make hand weapons out of scrap metal like leaf springs, constucting your own bows, make set/gill nets out of a spool of fishing line. make effective traught lines for burbot, trap for fur and stiching fur into usable mittens and jackets, making traditional birch bark canoes, smoking and curing of meats and fish, knowing of plants that are edible, a good assortment of hand tools, making your own dimensional lumber from spruce and birch, and wasting nothing......even if it means boiling a pile of moose bones and scraps for broth. Although the gun itself is a nice thought.....folks put too much thought into only the gun and ammo for which to store. To be truly practiced for hard times.......MAKE yourself live the traditional way even if it's a difficult thing to fathom. Try taking some hand tools (a file, a hack saw, a chisel and some hot spruce coals, and make a knife....you'd be surprised what you will have. Take a spool of 25 lb. test and MAKE a gill net. Save your moose hide this year and preserve it........so you can set down in the garage and cut the whole hide into thin strips for which to practice making snowshoes. I know this has nothing to do with a gun but if you truely want to embrace a survivalist mentality..........let the mind wander a bit past just a rifle and a shotgun. I appologize for the ramble......but I've been heavily thinking of these things too.
    While I agree these skills are valuable to know. If times get hard and people choose to continue to live in the valley/Anchorage or Fairbanks area, the ability for folks to break away from town economically and hunt areas for moose or fish salmon or what have you I feel that the animals will be shot out in short order. For a year or so sure some of the people will be able to supplement with the natural resources found around these more urban areas. However the fact of the matter is that in short order I feel that you'll have to branch out further and further from your home in Anchorage which equals more and more $$$ to continue to live off the natural reasources completely. Its nice to think that we could.

    However its simply not possible for all of the populations in these urban areas to survive based entirely on what you find out in the woods and waters. There will simply be too many people trying to vie for the same resource in a limited area to the point that you will end up having to move out to remote locales and folks will have to spread out. Having all the ammo or outdoor gear in the world won't matter too much if your home is located in an urban metropolis as the economics of living there and harvesting your food elsewhere will be nul and void. Its nice to think about how we could live where we currently reside if things get bad, but reality I feel would quickly show that those off the road system in rural areas will have giant leg up on urbanites regardless of the rifle left in your closet.

  19. #19
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alaska_Lanche View Post
    Its nice to think that we could.

    However its simply not possible for all of the populations in these urban areas to survive based entirely on what you find out in the woods and waters. There will simply be too many people trying to vie for the same resource in a limited area to the point that you will end up having to move out to remote locales and folks will have to spread out. .

    take into account the natural tendancy to horde... when a few people find a source of temporary sustiance.. they will take ALL Of it and attempt to store it for later.


    if your going to stay in town... you need to be willing to change your name to, Dalmer....
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  20. #20

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    I'll give a vote for the new Marlin XS7 in 308. The 308 is a military round and should always be available. It would be better in a pinch against most anything than the 223.

    I recently set up a Marlin XS7 for a young lad and was very impressed. So much so that I ordered one.

    Google "Marlin XS7" and read the reviews!

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