Buckshot's Trappers Tales

Choosing a Survival Weapon

The weapon debate is as old as guns themselves. The question of what caliber is best for a battle weapon will go on for years. I have read several survival books and have seen different guns recommended. Some writers don't even recommend -- they just ramble on. I, for one, form my opinion based on actual people who fought in wars, the police and FBI reports. I don't rely on the TV for my news and never, never for my weapons. Here is what I recommend for weapons in the survival camp.

One, you need a battle rifle. Military weapons are built to take punishment and keep on working. If you are on a budget then get an SKS, I prefer the Russians, but the Chinese weapon is good also. The rifle comes with a shortened stock, and most women I know that have shot the weapon like the short stock and light recoil. The weapon's price is from $200 to $300 and ammo for a case is about $100. The SKS is a proven battle rifle, chrome barrel and very reliable. Compared to the .30 caliber carbine the SKS is far superior. The SKS round past a 100 yards has more knockdown power then the M16. I have choreographed the SKS and most brands come in at 2400 fps.

Most are reliable with the tapered shell design and they are forgiving when gotten dirty. The M16 must constantly be cleaned and has all kinds of design faults corrected over the years. The SKS was invented during WW II and has not had very many changes. You don't change what works. The stripper clips need a little work. I found they are pinched in spots and you need to pry them up so the shells feed smoothly through them. Out to 200 yards with the sights from the rifle, the gun is outstanding. Most people can learn how to strip them down and clean them. They come with a cleaning rod and a cleaning kit in the butt stock. For the money, there is no better battle rifle.

The next choice is the M 1 Garand. This 30-06 caliber is a very proven weapon. The U.S. used this caliber in WW I, the bolt action A03-06, and in the M1 Garand in WW II. You see, I talked to an Army sniper in WW11 who thought the M1 Garand was the best rifle ever invented. I hunted with this gentleman and saw him drop running deer at 100 yards. He was so good, before we even walk up to the deer he told me within a 1 inch of where the bullets hit the deer.

The M1 Garand is capable of 1,000 yd. shots. Surplus 30-06 ammo has been dumped on the market and FMJ, and armor-piercing shells can be found. This is a great caliber.

The next weapon is the M14; this shoots a .308 caliber, the same as the M60 machine gun. The US Army uses this caliber for their sniping needs. FMJ's can be found for this weapon and it is a great one to have. The gun is semi-auto with clips for quick reloading.

One of those 3 rifles is a good choice. Military weapons are built to last and take more punishment then civilian rifles. Ammo in case lots is easier and cheaper to find. FMJ, tracer, armor piercing and match grade ammo is available. This gives you more of a choice for ammo and greatly increases the effectiveness of your gun.

To me, a military rifle is the only choice, one of the top three will last for years, each has their benefits and weakness. Pick one and make it a standard for all of your rifles.

The next gun on my list, is a .22 rifle. I like the Ruger 10-22, a well-built repeater. With good ammo, the gun quite accurate. You can use it running traps and you can use it for light defense. A well placed .22 round, using solid points have killed bears, moose, and deer all over North America. Plus, with the TV on or sleeping most people can't hear the shot. It is a good small-game gun and you will find many uses for it.

.22 ammo is cheap and you can get 500 rounds from $11.00 to $20.00, so stock up. I would have 5000 or more rounds stored.

The next gun is a 12-gauge pump, I prefer the Remington 870. It is simple to break down to clean and is very reliable. That is why the military choose this gun. With double ought buckshot, out to 20 yards -- this gun is deadly. The big drawback is the short range. But, as a final defense weapon, it is highly desirable because of the spread and at close range more hits will happen. This was proven in the Civil War. A Pennsylvania company of Union soldiers loaded their smooth bore rifle with the main ball and 3 buckshot size balls. The rebel Army suffered so many wounded and dead from this company that they were feared for the rest of the war.

Only after you purchase the battle rifle, the .22 rifle and the shotgun and enough ammo to back them up, then and only then, should you buy a pistol. Ask anyone in a war how much their pistol was used in combat and 99% of the time it was never used. I don't like the 9mm. The SW .40 or the .45, these would be good choices. Buy one and get extra clips for it.

All weapons should have extra clips. 1000 rounds for the rifle, 500 rounds of 00 buckshot and slugs, 5000 rounds for your .22 and 1000 rounds for- your pistol.

We can debate weapons and choice for years. I believe in the proven weapons from the military.

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