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SHTF Firearms for those with physical and/or financial challenges

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Retread, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. Retread

    Retread Not to far from Salem, OR Member

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    Yesteryear I was 6' tall, 195 lbs, strong, athletic, and I am a Vietnam vet. Now I have 64 years, arthritis, some painful joints, etc (the infirmaries of age are the bill we pay for our youthful indiscretions). Having been around the block more times than I can remember, I have a lot of valuable experience, come SHTF.

    I was a heck of a good pistol shot in my day, but shooting a 45 nowadays just plain hurts. So I got a 9mm, and that was good for awhile. Now I am forced to look at other options, including cost of the pistol and a lot of ammo (SHTF storage).

    I read an excellent article the other day (it was pro large caliber) on the lethality of various calibers. It was about alternatives, and cleverly pointed out that shot placement trumps caliber every single time. Much to my surprise, the 22LR is equal to stabbing a person with a 14" screwdriver, right up to the hilt. The same article was kind enough to point out that not everyone can reliably and accurately shoot a 45.

    Pistol skills diminish quickly for me, while rifle skills seem to hang on forever. I must regularly shoot 50-100 rounds from a pistol to keep my skills up to snuff. Being retired means watching my pennies pretty closely, $1.72 a week for 22LR beats everything else cost-wise.

    So this old dog is now armed with an itty bitty 22LR pistol. Having argued for the 45 more than once, I do feel a bit sheepish. On the other hand, after putting 5-10 mags through it every week, once again I can put 'em where I want 'em. That is worth my life, so I'll just be a sheepish old fool and pray I never have to do the deed.
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    SHTF Rifles: I love the .308 myself, and can still put 'em wherever I want. But I cannot afford to replace my stores of ammo if I shoot it very much (retirement has drawbacks, trust me). My bride of 39 years doesn't like to shoot hers anymore, but she still loves her little Ruger 10/22, which is NOT a battle rifle, though I value ours very highly come SHTF. I personally believe every American should keep a reasonable battle rifle that they can handle (plus enough ammo to fight with if we have to - more on this latter).

    So I started looking around and reading what I could about various calibers and rifles and the cost of same. I need to say right up front, I have not gotten over M16 failures in early Vietnam. Good men I knew and loved died because of it. I know today it is one of the best rifles in existence, but my nightmares returned the night after I shot a few mags from my friend's AR15. I am not going back there again, period.

    So I bought an SKS because I could afford it AND five 1,000 round cases of ammo. It is a fine machine, and I do like it. But its a heavy rascal. Optics (I'm getting to where I need them) are possible, just don't mount them on the receiver cover.

    If wifey and I have to bug out, we likely would not make it. Nevertheless, I want us to have every possible chance to survive. Which means we both need lighter rifles and ammo. After studying the subject for awhile, I've about decided to get us a pair of KelTec SU-16C rifles. They are inexpensive, under 5 pounds, fire 5.56 NATO, are plenty accurate enough, have a decent effective range, easy for optics, and the stock folds under. I like what I've read about their actions and ergonomics. I will find out soon enough.
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    When SHTF, how are you going to replace the ammo you've shot? A number of folks think they will take it from those that lost a firefight. That is unlikely, even if the vanquished happen to have the same caliber as you. Do you really think you are going to stroll across the beaten zone and just pick up as much as you shot in that battle? The other guy was shooting too. And the smart ones will quietly wait for some fool to try for their fallen pal's weapons and ammo.

    Heres some facts of war; there are 10 soldiers to support every actual shooter: cooks, supply, REMF, clerks, planners, drivers, armorers, mechanics, etc. In SHTF we will not have this. We have to be all/most these things for ourselves. If you do not have enough ammo (+ cleaning gear, spare parts, etc) when SHTF starts, you are never going to. Let alone enough food, clothing, shelter, medical supplies and so forth to last till the rebuilding of America. So...

    If you have a $700+ rifle without at least 5,000 rounds (per gun, figure $1,200+ stored properly), you are no better prepared than the anti-gun idiot down the street. When SHTF there will be way, WAY, too much shooting. Imagine yourself wishing you had a $79 rifle with a few cases of ammo stashed here and there, instead of that nice $700+ rifle and no ammo left.

    Personally, I'd first get a 22 semi-auto rifle ($200+), 10 GOOD magazines ($200-$300), and 10,000 rounds ($350) for about $750, more if you get optics, spare parts, and other gear you should have. Then you at least have something, till then you have nothing for SHTF. Getting the same as above, AR15 style: around $3,500, plus optics, spare parts, and other gear you should have.

    Buy your ammo by the case (saves money), and considering that cost, a rifle you can REALLY afford.

    My 2 cents.
     
  2. JackFrost

    JackFrost Central Oregon Active Member

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    All good advice! Thank you for your service! Sorry to hear about the whole ageing crap. I am not looking forward that inevitable part of life!
     
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  3. HBIII

    HBIII Wilsonville Active Member

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    Very sensible analysis. Again thank you for your service!
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2012
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  4. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Here is another option that no one here has talked about. Single shot break barrel rifles. I have a double barrel of my granddads, 100 years old, shoots great another one that was my dads, 70 years old, learned how to shot shotgun with it and will be teaching my grandson how to shot with them. Shingle shot rifles come in just about any caliber you want. .357 mag to are sure you want to shoot that?
    The object is not to get into a gunfight, but avoid a gunfight. Pay attention to what is going on around you and who is out there. Semi auto's, machine guns, firearms with 30 clips are usless if you have your head up your ****
     
  5. unklekippy

    unklekippy In The Mountains Near Sprague River Well-Known Member

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    Whatever your physical or financial confines are, get what you can, learn to shoot it and acquire piles and piles of ammo. I personally have no problem with carrying a 22lr in the summer months. That 14" screwdriver applies to someone in a T-shirt. Heavy winter clothing and/or denim can take 10" off you screwdriver. Still, a 22 beats the pants off of absolutely nothing. In my opinion, it is important to familiarize yourself with YOUR gun and the ammo you intend to shoot out of it. I would rather go up against 5 untrained men with Mausers or Mosin Nagant' than one trained man with an AK47 and one 30 round magazine. For me, SHTF means best prepping for my situation. The same applies to everyone else. I am 33, but have been recently told of advanced arthritis following back surgery 2 months ago. I really like the .308, among other "heavy" calibers. I may be selling off the "big stuff" and lessening recoil for my back's sake. Knowing YOUR limits and YOUR level of training is a valuable thing. When we are all throwing pointed sticks at the last bunny in the woods, he with the last .22 shell is king. Kip.
     
    Retread and (deleted member) like this.
  6. Sabertooth

    Sabertooth Josephine County Active Member

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    Think muzzle break before you sell the .308. Like what is on the bmg 50. But maybe smaller for your rifle.
     
  7. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your service. :thumbup:

    I keep saying the 22lr is way underrated. How many deer have been killed with them, even if illegally? It has great penetration and will break bones.

    If for some unbelievable reason I had to bug out, I'd take my Nylon 66 .22lr rifle, Ruger Standard .22lr pistol, and a couple of thousand rounds of ammo.