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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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.