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Best next gun purchase for a young family

Discussion in 'General Firearm Discussion' started by MissJ, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    Hey there, we are a survival minded family in the Sandy/Mt. Hood area of Oregon.

    We are a husband, wife (me) and a 2 year old boy.

    We currently have a 12 ga shotgun- holds 6 shots
    9mm springfield XD w/ 2 mags
    .380 pistol with 1 mag (I HATE this gun...it was a trade for car parts)
    .22 Ruger pistol w/ 2 mags (I LOVE this gun...most fun to shoot of all!)
    Ruger 10/22 rifle. also fun to shoot.

    We mostly focus our survival preps on food and property improvements such as manual well pump, fences etc. but it is time to add 1 more gun I think.

    I've recently finished reading "Patriots" by James Wesley Rawles and so I figured based on his recommendations; I'd just go for an HK AR-15. But I really don't know anything about it, or WHY I am choosing it. I know that HK is a more expensive brand. I'm not too scared by costs; but obviously don't want to spend more than I HAVE to so I can hoepfully have some money left over for some extra mags, accessories and ammo.

    Any thoughts on this matter? Also, I'm not 100% committed to the idea of an assault rifle...it just seems like the "missing piece" from our survival/defensive arsenal. I don't think a .22 rifle is gonna be dropping any deer or bad guys... ;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  2. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    Looks to me like a good hunting rifle is in order.Living in your area,I believe a game hunting gun would do you more good than a person hunting gun.In a survival situation you are going to be way better off steering clear of any combat type action,especially with a small child.
    I don't know what kind of scenario you are looking at but,if you are thinking of surviving in the wilderness,away from any people,a .308 win. would be a good choice as ammo is regularly plentiful and fairly cheap.Only if the noise of a high powered rifle shot is not an issue.Otherwise stick to the .22LR.A.22 will easily kill deer size animals if shot at close range and in the head.
    If you are set on a combat rifle,get something that has been proven to be combat worthy.AK,SKS,etc.Most enemies that would be attacking on U.S. soil will be carrying an AK.If you have an AK or SKS,you would have opportunity to resupply your ammo from dead enemy soldiers.At your own risk of being captured of course.
    I,in your situation,small child rearing,would get a bolt or lever action in .308 win. and a good supply,500 rds min.,of soft point hunting ammo and go as deep into the wild as I could possibly get and hope for the best.
     
  3. BlackGunsRFun

    BlackGunsRFun PDXish Member

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    JWR Likes the HK91 rifles for shooters of larger stature, and the AR15 rifles for smaller shooters. They are two very different guns.

    The HK91 is a .308 (7.62x51 NATO) rifle, that is no longer imported into the US. If you can find one used, they usually run $2500-$3000 depending on condition. In a .308, there are many very good rifles that can be had for half the price. The AR10 type rifle (pretty much the same as an AR15, but bigger) and the Springfield M1A rifles are at the top of my list in this category.

    The AR15 is a smaller rifle that shoots the .223 Remington (or 5.56x45 Nato), and these can be found new for $800-$1000 for a good quality basic rifle. If you're looking for something nicer, you can also spend up to $3000 an a very high quality, tricked out version. The sky's the limit.

    I'd recommend buying a fairly basic AR15. Some of the companies making good quality basic rifles are Colt, Bravo Company USA, Daniel Defense, Smith and Wesson, Rock River, and a couple of others. I'd stay away from Olympic Arms, Charles Daly and Del-Ton. They have a reputation for poor quality rifles that often don't run properly- you might get lucky, but you might not .

    If you still have money left over, I'd spend it on some accessories like magazines (Magpul PMags are pretty much the gold standard- I've put thousands of rounds through mine with NO problems, and they only run about $15 each at the gun shows- only a couple of buck more than the cheapo aluminum mags), a sling, some spare parts, and perhaps a red dot optic. Don't hesitate to buy a case or two of ammo- the old saying is that ammunition turn money into skill. (the gun show in PDX next weekend should have some good deals, look for a vendor called Miwall- they're from California, but they usually have the best prices at the shows, and they'll be up here next weekend. .223 ammo should be a bit less than $250 for a case, if prices continue to hold)

    Finally, I cannot stress the importance of quality firearms instruction enough. If you're going to be buying more guns, please seek quality instruction if you have not already done so. I had been shooting for many years before taking my first class, and only then did I begin to realize all the things in didn't know. For your handguns, the Clackamas County Public Safety Training Center is the BEST bang for your buck in the northwest. The instructors are excellent, and their classes exceed the instruction you'll find elsewhere. Oregon Firearms Academy down in Brownsville is also good- they offer a carbine class that'll give you the basics of using your new rifle safely and efficiently. They also do a good job teaching handgun and shotgun.

    Hope this helps,

    BGRF
     
  4. CJ1089

    CJ1089 Aloha, Oregon Marveling at the world.

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    Pretty sure the .308 pistol is a .380acp, but typos aside you should lose this piece. It adds a marginal caliber you don't need, if you want a pockect gun go with another 9mm. Since you have a XD, consider another maybe in a sub-compact.

    But the main question; a rifle. First I would ask what purpose will it serve? Game, castle defence, anti-vehicle, cover penetration..?
    What you going to shoot at?
    Are you really going to wage a war?
    Do you have the logistics to lay down suppression fire?
    I'll drop my $0.02 for fun.
    Consider this:
    If I was a bad guy in an invasion scenario, I roll up in an armored vehicle and demand your surrender or I flatten your house killing everybody. (think Israelis in Gaza)
    If I was a bad guy from a self occupiying army, I roll up in an armored vehicle and demand your surrender or I flatten your house killing everybody. (think Libya, et al)
    If I was a bad guy post TEOTWAUKI, I spot your house, scope it for a while and consider breaching if it looks easy or exceeding well supplied. (think risk/reward).
    Bottom line, if your find yourself fighting a competent team you will lose if they have the initiative. After all you aren't going to be standing guard 24/7 360degreees for the rest of your life.

    Best survival path is not a battle. You cannot accept casulties. Run from med/large scale conflict.
    The bit players are the only one you can realistically fight off, and you need to do it at distance before their assault. A good set of binoculars and an alert attitude will be vastly more useful than any rifle you can buy.
    Take your money and invest in two quality bolt rifle rifles with adequate optics (308win scout configuration is my recommendation). They should be identical for maint/repair and familarity. Both adults need to be proficient in their use, your advantage lies in setting up clear fields of fire from predetermined defense points. Denying them cover on approach and raising the cost of assault beyond the anticipated reward. Which means camoflauge your goods, hide your stuff, minimize the incentive to approach.
    Sounds like a lot of fun? Get real about it though, survival means not fighting unless you cannot avoid it.
    OBTW, good luck.
     
    MissJ and (deleted member) like this.
  5. Kennedy

    Kennedy Beaverton Member

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    Spikes Tactical makes some pretty nice rifles for about 800. Granted they are 6 weeks back ordered...but still very nice.
     
  6. jer fly

    jer fly cottage grove Member

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    Everyone should own at least one ar-15 you can use it to hunt anything you need and it is very easy to use. Just make sure you get a chrome lined barrel and chamber, and a collapsing stock. As with all your firearms practice, practice, practice.
     
  7. joeroket

    joeroket Everett,Wa. Active Member

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    My last AR I built the lower myself out of a Mega Machines lower and Rock River parts kit. I bought a complete del-ton upper. It cost me $756 and it is a flawless shooter. Extremely dependable and I would put it up against any of the expensive big name brand AR's. Rock River is a great one to go with as is Spikes Tactical. Don't listen to people who talk about the reputation of a brand, stick with taking advice from people who give it based on personal experience.
     
  8. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    No question here.. your parameters are..ammo costs, mag costs, the fact that you're newbies and not precision shooters, the fact that you need a gun capable of taking deer or similar sized game, the fact that you need some sort of home defense serious higher capacity rifle that the wife can use,.. the AK47 hands down. Buy a high quality one and at least 12 mags and maybe a few 75 round wind up drums (not the non-wind ups, they are a pain) and as much ammo of one lot as you can afford. Sight in with that ammo and then save it for the real deal and buy additional ammo for target shooting. Install a good holo sight and both of you learn how to actually use it with proper tactics. The other spouse can use the shotgun to back you up until you can arm with another rifle

    I have nothing against the AR15 except that it (5.56 NATO) is not a good deer caliber. I am working the bugs out of my gal's new AR 15 build right now. She will never hunt with it however, it's an anti personnel and target carbine. AR15s are very modular and give you a lot of options but the 5.56 is limited in what it can do for survival. Yes you can build or buy an AR15 in the 7.62 x 39 caliber, but parts and mags and ammo will not interchange with most ARs you would run into as a survivor, you will need to lay those aside on your own

    Now if the man of the house is strong and wants a serious battle rifle in a caliber that can take Elk and Grizzly, (7.62 NATO) and has an effective range of 600 to 800 yards, PTR makes fine clones of the German HK series of rifles.. I love mine and plan on buying one of these next. This is not a ladies gun but the mags are as cheap as $0.90 each (not a typo) now and accessories and spare parts galore right now

    PTR 91 GI Rifle $899 AtlanticFirearms.com

    The PTR GI (HK91 clone)
     
  9. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Here's my choice in optics for my PTR 91 rifles.. the Eotech with BDC and night vision capability, mounted on a German surplus quick R & R claw mount. It's laying on top of the Eotech plastic hard case which will hold the entire unit for field carry in your pack. This way you can have several different optics for quick swap. My preference is the AA battery models because batteries are cheap and available everywhere, (36 packs of Duracells at Costco) and now you can buy them in lithium type for long term storage
     
  10. MissJ

    MissJ Clackamas County Active Member

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    Wow! Thanks for all of your well thought out responses! Gave me a lot of great info to think about; but also some of you contradicted eachother :) ; so maybe I should describe our "plans" a little bit better.

    Our primary plan is to "bug-in" for most conceivable scenarios. We are somewhat rural on 3 acres, and most of our neighbors are on 5+ acres. I have checked out our property on Google EArth and it could be better, could be worse as far as "visibility" but there would likely be several neighbors attacked before us; so we would hopefully have ample warning to bug-out on foot if need be- we have an off road escape route out the back of our property that takes us into wilderness.

    But if at all possible we will try to defend our property from any small/medium attacks because food and water is life and we have both here. Being on the run with a small child is about the worst fate I can imagine. We would want to be able to hunt small game. We would want to be able to fend off a small scale attack say from 3-4 armed "looters" assuming they are not a para-military group with excessive arms and training. But a couple of old hunting buddies with riles and shotguns...I want to be able to mow them down if need be. And before they are upon us.

    We are in the "courting" phase with one other family to hunker down together in such a situation; so provided they successfully arrive as planned before such an attack then we WOULD have 24/7 security shifts. we have binoculars. We do not have a 360 degree vantage point, but our makeshift "look out post" has great view of the country road in both directions as well as many neighboring properties. The only view our lookout post doesn't have is of the back property which faces wilderness. We have a locking front entry gate. We have walkie talkies, nautical flares and an airhorn; clearly better comms are needed in the future, but that is what we have now. Eventually we may even consider adding 1 more family but one step at a time for now...

    The husband of this other family is ex-military and is leaning towards buying an AR 15 because he is already so familiar with the M4. He does not have an assault rifle yet; so I don't feel the need to match my purchase to his future purchase. But ideally I would like to have a buying plan whereas magazines and parts would be interchangeable for most of the rifles at the retreat. Same goes with shotguns and pistols eventually; but my current focus is on rifles. It was actually the husband of this other family that suggested asking the gun community their opinions as he is really only familiar with the M4 and he doesn't want to "underthink" all the options. Oh, and there will be 2 small/average sized women and 2 average sized men. We are all physically fit, in our 20s and 30s and have experience shooting. I took a 6 week pistol class; but I have no experience with rifles (I won't count my .22!)

    So, I guess that brings you up to speed. We don't have an endless security budget; but I am planning on spending about $1,000-$1,500 at the gun show next weekend and would like to get a rifle, spare mags and a few hundred rounds ammo. So the cheaper the rifle, then the more mags and ammo I can afford which is a good thing! :) thanks for sharing your knowledge and opinions; keep 'em coming!
     
  11. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Use a round that is everywhere. .223/5.56, 7.62x39, .308, 30-06. That way you can stock up cheaply and have a higher chance of scrounging were TEOTWAWKI to occur.

    Edit; I'm not a fan of the .223 in any platform. Against small game I'd rather use a .22, against larger or man targets I'd prefer a round that I only need one to two shots to achieve a kill. I'm slanted towards the x39 but not a fan of the AK platform due to the widely varied accuracy of them. ARs are hard to beat for hitting your target cleanly but I just don't see how tossing more than 1 aimed round at a target does anything more than deplete your stores more quickly. A .22 can provide supressive fire just as well as something more scarey.

    To sum up; AK for reliability and availability of ammo, AR for widely known platform and high accuracy.
     
  12. nwg19

    nwg19 Auburn WA. Member

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    If I were in your position, I'd probably find a good deal on a colt 6920. Then like you are already planning get some mags and ammo. Given you friends plan to aquire an ar and his knowledge of that platform I think you should go that route.
    A second ar down the road in the same caliber or bigger would be a good plan, you probably need more than one fighting gun in your home if the need arrises to defend your land. Plan as if your partners won't make it to your place, then if they do that is a bonus.
    There are certainly other AR guns that will do the job, but the colt is pretty good to go right out of the box.
     
  13. Blitzkrieg

    Blitzkrieg WA Well-Known Member

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    Two things for your situation - you must have, above the normal food/water/weapons/ammo/meds stuff

    Sand bags for your defensive firing positions

    Fire extinguishers aplenty
     
  14. Trlsmn

    Trlsmn In Utero (Portland) Well-Known Member

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    I've always considered a .357 or .44 mag revolver and a good belt holster to be a good side arm for tromping around in the woods.
     
  15. Powderman

    Powderman Washington State Member

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    Well, there are two avenues inwhich to approach this.

    The AR15 family is an excellent choice. The advantages: You actually have a multiple gun platform. With a switch of the top end, you can have a personal sized carbine, a full size rifle, a precision rifle, with or without optics. Plus, there are now magazines tha are being offered that will give you up to 100 rounds--reliably--for right around 100 bucks. You have excellent accuracy potential.

    There is also, of course, the ubiquitous Avtomat Kalishnikova--the AK rifles. You can pound nails with these things, and they will still function. The round is roughly the same power level as a .30-30 Winchester. It can be accurate out to practical ranges. Advantages? They take a lot of abuse, and can still tick along.

    That being said, I would probably stick with the AR series. More versatile; repair parts are available for not too much; you can learn how to completely disassemble and reassemble the M16 family in less than one day; this includes the barrel and upper. It is completely serviceable, and can last a lifetime.

    A couple of tips....

    1. If you decide on this one, ensure that you specify a CHROME LINED BARREL AND CHAMBER. Don't let anyone tell you "Hey, the chrome's in the steel" or that you don't need it. You DO, especially if you plan to do a lot of shooting. Note: This would apply to the personal carbine--if you want a precision rifle, and are willing to baby it a bit and never rapid fire it, go for a match barrel in a 24 inch length.
    2. If you do not reload, then get on it! Stack up on cases--LOTS of cases--and some good components. Your best all around compromise is a good 55 grain softpoint. I would also suggest keeping as a basic load at least 8 lb. of a suitable ball powder and at least 3000 bullets, as well as at least one sleeve of primers.
    3. Finally, buy quality ONCE. This means that you will spend a bit of money--but it's cheap life insurance. The best one (IMHO), and the one I stake my life on, is the Colt LE6920. The only thing I'd do with it is to replace the trigger with something like a Jewell or a Giesele two stage trigger.
     
  16. drew

    drew OR Well-Known Member

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    +1 .357 is the smallest I'd recommend. Both also have the option of using lighter non magnum rounds for practice.
     
  17. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    ^This

    Pick a common and good general-purpose caliber and then find a gun you like. Even though I know AK's are popular and good guns from what I hear, I'd take your location into consideration. If SHTF and I was in any other part of the world I'd go AK, but here in the US you'll have a harder time finding ammo to pick up for it in an emergency. You'll find parts for AR's easier as well.

    I'd recommend a basic 14" AR. Keep it light-weight. Stuff gets heavy as you start accessorizing. Also, chrome-lined barrels are heavier.

    I'm in the same boat and trying to make the same choice. Btw, it's nice to see another active woman on the board. Welcome :)
     
  18. Bunny

    Bunny Portland, OR Well-Known Member

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    Sorry, yes to 16".
     
  19. nwg19

    nwg19 Auburn WA. Member

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    I agree with titsonritz, the BCM and Daniel Defense guns are great. I have a BCM upper and love it so far.
    Be careful going to a gunshow for an AR. If you buy new there I'd get the colt 6920. Might as well go through a trusted FFL dealer though since new at a gunshow isn't usually any savings.
    I've seen some thrown together parts AR guns at local gunshows here, so just watch out what you buy.
     
  20. MikeE

    MikeE Portland Well-Known Member

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    While I agree with the people who recommend the AK (Arsenal, Red Jacket, etc), a lever action carbine in the caliber of a .357 mag or 44 mag revolver is also a good idea. TEOTWAWKI will probably involve more food gathering and pest control that pitched warfare, IMO. My Marlin 1894C was my first centerfire rifle. Recoil shooting .357 mag is barely noticeable. Also, no need for mags. Reloading straight walled .357 cartridges is easier. Out of an 18" barrel, the .357 approaches rifle round velocity and is a good deer gun. You can also shoot .38 specials. Here is an interesting thread on using a lever gun for self defense:
    The Combat Lever Action Rifle