A Combat Rifle and a Prepper Rifle are NOT the Same Gun – Readyman

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A Combat Rifle and a Prepper Rifle are NOT the Same Gun

Posted on March 24 2019

“If it’s good enough for the military, then it’s good enough for a prepper.”

This statement assumes that the U.S. military makes only smart buying decisions, which we all know isn’t true (ACU uniform or black beret anyone?) But, the biggest assumption might be that life as a prepper in the apocalypse will be like life as a soldier in war.

With over 28 years in Special Forces, working in remote locations, I’m here to tell you this isn’t remotely true, and the differences between prepping and war should drastically alter rifle selection for a prepper. (We’ll talk about pistol selection in a future blog.) A prepper rifle should be a survival tool, which is not necessarily a war tool. 

Five Ways a Prepper Rifle is Nothing Like a Combat Rifle

1. Assumption: Preppers will primarily need their long gun for attacks or missions.  

The Reality: a prepper will probably need to have their gun on them while living everyday life. Think of life on the frontier in the 16th century. Contrast that to a warfighter that typically typically relies on their gun only when in war zones, or when they go outside the wire, where a fight could occur. A prepper scenario contemplates a person gardening, building, cooking and playing with his kids, hopefully with his rifle within arms reach every minute of every day and night. A war fighter usually (not always) returns to a place of relative safety within a base or a safe house.Then he carries a well-maintained weapon into the field for short periods of intense potential enemy contact. Surviving in war is only one, small aspect of survival in TEOTWAWKI.

Recommendation: A prepper rifle must be compact and light and fill multiple rolls. Does every prepper know what their rifle weighs?  Will the rifle take game if the chance presents itself? Will the gun serve as a defensive weapon on a homestead or bug-in location? Will the prepper still have their gun with them when a random fight or game meat presents itself? The difference between an eight-pound rifle and a six-pound rifle would likely be the difference between having a gun and not having a gun on-hand when trouble showed up. It also could be the difference between putting small game on the table or not, because wild game never waits for a man to get his gun.


2. Assumption: Preppers will understand their rifles like war fighters know their rifles. 

The Reality: unless a prepper was in the military or law enforcement or has dollars to spend on lots of training, it is almost impossible to know your rifle as well as a war fighter knows his rifle. Particularly among SOF operators, a rifle (and all its idiosyncrasies) becomes a well-worn, everyday tool. After tens of thousands of rounds in every imaginable condition, the war fighter knows each nook and cranny of his weapon system. On the contrary, a prepper has to divide his attention between family, farm, garden, solar array, livestock, food storage…a thousand things that never distract a war fighter.

Recommendation: A prepper rifle should be simple, and a prepper should settle into two or three weapon systems, probably for life. Many systems are designed for the soldier or law enforcement officer and have been designed with high-performance or added safety features. The AR and Benelli Super 90 shotgun come to mind. These systems are complex, even when they don’t break. Simplicity is probably worth the loss of some performance.


3. Assumption: Preppers will be able to pick their fight like war fighters often pick their fight. 

The Reality: day or night, preppers will get a fight whenever or however the fight finds them. Preppers probably will not have any concrete barriers or HESCO walls to protect them. Most won’t have twenty-four hour security forces with belt-fed machine guns. War fighters can also customize their rifles to the patrol or fight they’re seeking. The biggest place this comes into play is night fighting. In my extensive experience with ReadyMen, very preppers are equipped to find targets and effectively aim their rifles at night. Even fewer practice shooting and running their weapon system at night. And, if civil disorder in the past is any indication, most trouble comes at night.

Recommendation: A prepper rifle should provide the greatest chance of hitting a target day or night.  That may require an electronic sight or, at best, a laser or IR laser (with NVGs.)  Or it might require a shotgun with a larger shot pattern that increases the chance of hitting a target in the dark.



4. Assumption: Preppers will fight and win battles. 

The Reality: getting out of fights ("breaking contact" in military speak) should be the norm. Avoiding fights at all cost will significantly increase the chances of survival. In a world where tiny cuts can turn into deadly infections, prolonged fights are nonsensical. Preppers should either kill or intimidate an enemy into running away, or run away themselves. “Winning” a battle is an unlikely prepper scenario (but is commonly the objective for war fighters.)

Recommendation: Consider different rifles for different situations. The 5.56 round may be great in some prepper circumstances but certainly not all of them. Take into consideration distance, available game animals, options of resupply, reload-ability, and probable self-defense scenarios.

5. Assumption: Preppers will have enough ammunition to defend themselves like a war fighter.   

The Reality: There will probably be limited ammunition and almost no ammunition for training others. War fighters essentially have limitless resupply. The 5.56 round, in particular, is well-designed for suppression of enemy forces—where one soldier fires a high volume at the enemy while another soldier maneuvers. This application of firepower is usually beyond prepper scenarios because of limited supply, training and coordination. This one reality vaporizes one of the main reasons the Army likes the AR round. The 5.56 allows a shooter to carry more rounds, but one of the biggest reasons for carrying more rounds is to suppress and maneuver. During the Kennedy administration, a formula was used to determine how many bullets were being spent to kill “X” number of enemy. The more bullets a solider could carry the more enemy he could kill. This math does not pencil out in a post-apocalyptic, prepper scenario where “body count” does nothing to reduce the ambient threat.

Recommendation: Don’t count on fighting in a team. Count on fighting like an Old West settler, with limited ammunition for homestead defense. Rarely, if ever, will preppers train to fight like U.S. Marines, so don’t imagine that their service rifle will suit you as well as it does a Marine. Even if you were a serviceman, you won't likely be able to count on the rest of your survival community to fight like trained soldiers. Less than 7% of the population are veterans and 45% of them are aging—from the Vietnam era and beyond. The youngest Vietnam veterans are now in their sixties.



This conversation invariably leads to the question: “If not the AR, then what?” There are many good options, including some models of the AR, but those options will depend on the nature of your homestead and your bug out plan.

Are you bugging in near a big city? A shotgun might be a vastly better option than a rifle.

Are you fleeing to a farm with broad fields of fire? A scoped .308 bolt action rifle might serve better than an AR.


Do you have a liberal gun budget—a virtual “blank check” from the spousal unit? You might consider the 7.62 X 51 Robinson XCRM, The SCAR Heavy or the M14.

Do you live in California? Consider a Springfield M1A for bugging out. Your horrible gun laws might save you from buying an underpowered calibre, especially considering the open ground common to California.

In a future blog, we’ll drill down specifically on alternatives to the AR and the 5.56 round.

For now, don’t ever forget that the selection process utilized by the Army DID NOT consider the needs of citizen survivalists--not in the slightest. So, when you pick your next rifle, don’t think like a solider. Think like a survivor.

ReadyMen Closed Group
Learn more cool things at ReadyMan.com 
 

36 comments

  • Robert Davis: January 12, 2020

    My go to rifles are my SKS, .270 Bolt action and a .50 muzzleloader.

  • Fred: January 02, 2020

    The seething hatred for the AR platform is quite palpable here.
    The simple facts of the matter are first off that the AR platform is not the best ever wonder gun, that much is true. Choosing one firearm to be perfect forever and ever is like trying to figure out women: it’s not gonna happen, so just do your best and try to roll with it. The AR is quite versatile and can fit many roles, but it is far from perfect. An m1a or a SCAR, as recommended, will have just as many shortcomings and likely many of the same.
    Second, we live in America in the 21st century. Guns are cheap, plentiful, and training is widely available. A basic three gun battery of pistol, shotgun, rifle is available just about anywhere starting at around $400 at the low end for all three. By selecting weapons in each category with long term use in mind you can come to a much better decision, being able to choose by the day, what will suit your needs best, and having the option of a handgun always available.
    Third, lack of skill is no excuse. Again, we live in America in the 21st century. We have the money and the leisure time to become familiar with our weapons before shtf. If you can’t add shooting tin cans to your list of preps then you’re not seeing the forest for the trees. Anybody who can learn to farm and attend a solar power system should be capable of learning the manual of arms for multiple weapons. Any gun owner knows that you become familiar with all your weapons and you never have to think overly hard when transitioning.

    Is an AR15 my go to shtf gun? Depends where I am and what I’m going to be doing. My day to day is a ruger LCP. Why carry more gun than I’m likely to need in rural new England where I’m more likely to shoot a deer that got hit by a car than an actual person? My keltec sub2000 chills out in my trunk in case civil unrest or the like requires me to be better armed on the ride home. My AR pistol is just fine by my bed, or a mossberg 500, depending on my mood. A cruddy old 22 bolt action by the door is my go to for pest control. A ruger 10/22 or an H&R pardner single shot 12ga are my choices for general hunting.

    One gun to always have available? Yeah, it exists. It’s called a pistol. Police and citizens carry them every day, all over the world, because they know that when you need one, you need it on you. Not leaning on a fence post, but on your body at all times. That’s the true gun for the prepper, yet y’all blew right past it in your article, bound and determined to make a non AR platform rifle fit into a glock shaped hole. Get a versatile rifle, sure. SKS, Winchester 94, whatever, but don’t go acting like it’s gotta be your everygun. Unless you live under an anti gun regime there is no reason in the world why you would need to lean on a single weapon for every job.
  • Dannyboy53: January 01, 2020

    I am a former soldier, the wife and I are former Peace Officers. We have been prepping for several years and in addition to clothing, medical supplies, food, tools, etc we have three SKS carbines and two M4s (7.62×39mm) with almost 6K rounds as well as scoped bolt and lever action weapons and handguns (.380, .357 & .45ACP). We have a semi-auto .22 rimfire to take small game when meat is needed and available.

    We have spare parts kits for each of these weapons as well as spring kits for all the magazines. We have deemed our SKS carbines as our primary “go to” means of defense and they are our constant companions on the property.

    We do not give a rat’s rear end what the military or police are teaching at the moment, only what we feel we need to fit OUR situation! It goes without saying, however, we do rely on our past training and experiences. We live in a rural setting with some acreage, with few neighbors of course, and even fewer that we can count on to team up with. One simply has to rely on themselves!

    In tough times, hungry people needing medical attention become unstable and for the most part can not be trusted. It’s for this reason primarily that we do not believe in keeping “trading material”. To invite trading with strangers, in our opinion, is asking for serious trouble. Always keep your cards close to your chest never showing your hand. If one feels they must trade to obtain needed goods then you have wasted your time and efforts in preparing.

    We have no plans to “bug out”, our attitude is, we will take our chances on our property rather than go stomping around in the woods carrying backpacks and trying to live off the land like Daniel Boone. How many others will be doing the same because they have not prepared and have nothing but firearms and hunger, you are competing with these dangerous people. Basic items needed to sustain life will not always be readily available in the wild and will in all probability even become nonexistent.

    After much thought and planning this is how we plan to meet a degraded situation.

  • Old guy: December 16, 2019

    I’m old, and I don’t have much. I got a ruger American bolt action 7.62×39 with 20 round mags. I got a Chinese SKS with a Russian 3x scope to go with it. I got a ruger American bolt action .223 rifle with 20 and 30 round mags and a mini-14 to go with it. Got an M9, Sig .40, couple of 357s, a Rossi .357 and a marlin 30-30 lever gun and four our five 12 gauge shotguns. I’m not armed to the teeth. I’m an average American.

  • R.S.: September 15, 2019

    I have found that my pick in all around rifle is the SKS with stripper clips.

    Stashing 9mm and x39 in various places across the city

    With a Glock 9mm sidearm.

    And my GTWar rifle is the AK in an urban environment as over 300 meters is unlikely.

    An air rifle for smalk game like pigeons seagulls and rats in the city.

  • Milt: August 23, 2019

    Like a previous commentor, I relate to being an older gent . If forced into the unthinkable choice of protecting me and mine, I have made simple choices.
    1: Provide food
    Since I am not making plans to be in a large group of preppers, I will not be hunting large game. You have to be able to consume what you kill. There will be no refrigerators to store your bounty. A Ruger 10/22 take -down with open sights and a threaded barrel is my choice. Why a threaded barrel you say? If things are off the rails, you may want to a silencer to not announce your presence.
    2: Provide defense
    My plan for defense is to show that I can resist out to a reasonable distance, then flee! To do this I have chosen the Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm with the threaded barrel. 9mm ammo and Glock double stack clips should be plentiful!
    3: Surprise!
    You Know what this means. You are going about your business of day to day survival and you come face to face with a hungry wolf or a determined survivor down on his luck and willing to kill you with the steel pipe he has in his hand to get what meager belongings you have. For this I have the Glock G21 .45acp in an OTW holster. I would also consided the G19 for ammo and clip compatability with the PC carbine. I prefer the stopping power of 14rds of 230gr .45 ammo. I had 2 Uncles in WWII and two things they agreed on. The M1 was a fine battle rifle and you can’t beat the close range stopping power of the .45acp!

    To me it is also important to be able to carry everything on my back and have my hands free. 2 take down rifles and a ,45 on my hip will hopefully help me survive until better days.

  • Michael: August 09, 2019

    I’m an older gent with older gent health issues. The idea of “bugging out” and living in the hills is a fantasy for someone like me. I’m on a fixed income so I have to plan things over a long period of time. I have no use for an AR platform or any other form of battle rifle. For me, I just wanted some basic, idiot proof systems that I have been familiar with since my youth. I live in a rural area of the desert southwest, far from a big city, but not far from a small military base which could provide some security along with generators for the small towns water supply. My requirements for a rifle were this: The ability to reach out to 200 yards and have very light recoil. I opted for three bolt action scoped rifles in .223. I assembled 1200 once fired brass and loaded them with 25 gr of H4895 powder topped with a PPU 55 gr SP. Next, for short range defense I got two Winchester SXP Desert Defenders with choke tubes in 20 gauge. For hunting I have four single shot 20 gauge shotguns. Hunted with a single shot since I was a lad. I stocked up on #1 buck, slugs and light birdshot. As far as handguns go I have two rugers in .327. This is it. It’s basic and simple. I hope they are never used for anything other than normal hunting.

  • Marcus : July 24, 2019

    I enjoyed your article it gave me alot to think about. I have an M16A4 clone AR15 with a light and an aimpoint comp M4 and the M5 Ras rail and a dbol ir on it. Yes it can do anything I need it to do but it’s heavy and not handy. I also have an M1A standard with a polymer stock nothing but irons a sling and a foamy on the buttock and honestly I see myself grabbing that rifle for a end of days scenario. I thought about putting a light on it but I’ll just duct tape it to the side. But your right modern warfighting is different then survival. Do I need a plate carrier with 6-12 mags and an ifak and a hydration carrier and etc etc? Yes it’s good to have those things because you may need to fight you may be pulling security in a group but do you need to have all this gear on day to day all day probably not you’ll need to tend to your survival. Maybe just have your rifle handy with an extra mag while your doing day to day chores. As far as the AR goes it’s good to go just have a big bottle of clp and spare parts on hand and you’ll be fine. If something goes wrong on the AR it’s usually the bolt just have a whole extra bolt. The popular cals have always been 5.56×45 7.62×39 7.62×51 9mm and 12guage any of those are good choices and stock as much as you can. But I do agree you’ll want to avoid engagements as much as possible only get into gun fights if there is no other possible choice.

  • Nicholas A Rodriguez: July 23, 2019

    5.56 is still the best choice, cheaper than 308, more plentiful, the chance of you killing someone else in a firefight and then having 5.56 as well is higher than any other caliber. So yeah, I’d rather still stick to the AR15. Not to mention I can swap out uppers to fire 300BLK etc. Nice try

  • richard bailey: April 17, 2019

    Well this article is better than the 1 that completely trashed the AR-15 as a prepper rifle. In an area where the biggest game is white tail deer I would dare to say a Semi auto 22Mag rifle would be the idea prepper rifle for taking deer or small game. Or defending one self assuming it is a reliable rifle. I have one in Ruger 10/22mag.

  • Charles: April 01, 2019

    Budget = Priority

    SCAR 17S typically costs about $2600 – $3100.
    Cost of a “coffee” is $4.75 plus 15% tip = $5.46.
    Average coffee drinker has 3.2 cups per day.
    365 × 3.2 x $5.46 = $6,380.20

    1 Year of Starbucks = SCAR 17S + 4100 rounds of XM118LR

    It’s a choice.

    Springfield M1A “Loaded” Match is $1,700
    97 Days of Starbucks = M1A

    Robinson XCRM = $2500
    143 Days of Starbucks = Robinson XCRM

    If Starbucks = $17.50 a day, that’s almost $550 a month. Why are you not geared up and training?

  • LARRY HUTCHINSON: March 30, 2019

    I am choosing the AR-15 because I have four different barrels for the one lower. Or four guns in one. I put on the .22 LR for small game hunting the .223/5.56 barrel for bigger game, when I go to bed at night I put on the .410 shotgun barrel for home defense And last but not least the 7.62×51mm for those big game or long shots 400 yards across the field.. so it is a very versatile weapon. you did not mention this. there are other guns just like the ar-15 that are swappable

  • Tim Grede: March 29, 2019

    over the years I have given this subject much thought. Now another of my guns that I also like very much is an sks modified with a center balance systems bull-pup. It also has many other modifications to make it a better rifle. One of the modification that I have made to it is a second magazine follower modified to limit the gun so it is legal to hunt with in the places that limit to 5 rounds. I have also cut some stripper clips in half for those times it is in the 5 round configuration.

    Re reading your post this is the gun that probably meets your criteria. it is the gun that I have with me that I toss in the truck it has a spot on my tractor, I can do things with it like gardening and other work. People think nothing of a USD 1,500 AR than putting more than USD 1,500 in to mags and other mods. A rifle must be how many LBS it is not just the rifle but what you have to carry with it to make it work. So if you are 1 mag in weapon and at least 4 other mags or more now put all of that on a scale and the what you have to to carry. With the SKS I can carry as many stripper clips as I need and it dose not look like I am looking for a glorious fight like butch and sundance. I spent many time as a beast of burden in the US Army I am older and smarter now.

    Much thought was given to the design of the SKS as a weapon that with little training could be issued to an illiterate peasant farmer with little training could be moderately effective fighter. It was intensely not made with full auto capabilities for many reasons. 1st was full auto is more complicated manual of arms and training the peasant farmers to use full auto would take to long in training. 2nd it was considered a wast of ammunition. The reasons that the SKS was to be a poor mans M1. I do not care what people might think but the week point of any detachable mag weapon is the mag. How many of us have had to through out a bad mag when the feed lips got out of alignment or many other reasons.

    People poo-poo the stock SKS with comparing it to a tricked out AR or AK. My SKS with its modification was under USD 1,800 to have a very reliable goes bang when you pull the trigger in a 26" package just under 8LBS. Now I can take it hunting or on the farm in the truck or in a boat. I also like the CBS bull-pup as ti can be reliable at 40 below F with out shattering. The little details that the Canadians learned when they adopted the M16 platform.

    I need to correct in my earlier post that the 7.62×25 was in the 30-06 adapter it is in the 12GA adapter. With this all considered if I was bugging out and I only could take 1 gun it would be the savage model 24 in 22lr, .410/45LC

  • Tim Grede: March 28, 2019

    Since the mid 1970’s growing up in Alaska the savage model 24 22LR, .410GA is my go to gun. We used many .45LC in them for bigger game. I have since modified a savage model 24 with a 1 in 36 twist refiled .410GA and have it hard caromed lined. Now it gives me up to 300 yards in .45LC. This is my go to long gun. It is a little heave at just over 7LBS with cold weather fiberglass stock. I also have a Remington spartan model 94 combo 12GA 30-06 AKA IZH 94. I have many of the 30-06 to 7.62×39, .308, 7.62×25 and others. In the 12GA many caliber adapters. I call this my day 1,000 survival gun. I also like my 2 H&R 10GA shotguns. 1 is a 36" long tom second is 18. 5 inch. These are when it has to be killed like a goose at ranges that 12GA just are not a sure thing or a moose in rutt. A 1.5 to 1.75 ounce of projectile moving at mussel 980+ fps has what it takes to do the Job. In the old days before the 375H&H these were the elephant gun were 10GA or 8GA slug in the 1.75 to 3.5 OZ moving 750 FPS.

    I still have an old h&r 22lr 9 shot that I got in 1971. I have moved to a Beretta Model 84 380 ACP and I still like my Ruger security 6 in .357 4" barrel. These are my go to hand guns. In the past I carried a Beretta 94FS.

    The day 1,000 is the idea that 4 years (4*365=1460days) is the average time that war or modern refugees take to get back to there land or a more normal life. In a real SHTF in the USA the rest of the world would suffer and could take longer to come back to normal. Even the great depression in the USA was 3 years and took a war to fix the problems in this country. I am now looking at the skills that it takes to put life together at that point. Like lazy ways to grow food in little spaces. I like the sack garden and other no till gardening methods. Also like how to drill water wells without fossil fuels nor electric power like the baptist well drilling method. Wen it comes to weapons I like other than firearms. The shepherds sling, sling staff, bolas, spear and medium reach edged weapons and a bow. If using a shepherds sling in leather soaked in water you can use hot colas bundled with rocks to have an incendiary weapon. There are other ways of making incendiary weapon projectiles. When it comes survival weapons there are other options than firearms.

  • XaunLoc: March 28, 2019

    I have to offer a counter thought against David’s advocacy of a rifle-sidearm pair sharing a common caliber.

    Simply put, in the real world that means using a Pistol Caliber Carbine (PCC) as your long gun. A pistol caliber carbine makes good sense — as the fourth or fifth gun in your arsenal, but rarely as a primary long gun.

    The simple fact is that pistol cartridges are designed for pistols. The amount and type of powder are selected for a reasonable chamber pressure and a usable velocity from a short barrel combined with what is always a comparatively weakly locked mechanism. (The very few pistols that even come close to the lock strength of rifles all have size and weight the makes them poor choices as a sidearm.)

    For most shooters a Pistol Caliber Carbine approximately doubles the shooter’s effective range compared to that same round in a pistol. Doubling your effective range sounds great until you think about what that means in actual numbers. For most preppers, that PCC is going to let you shoot out to about 50 yards! If you are a good shot, and pick a good PCC using the right pistol caliber, you and do better than just doubling your pistol range, you MIGHT even be effective out to as much as 100 yards with your PCC (although those pistol rounds are likely to be running out of steam at that distance even if you can hold over enough to still hit a torso size target).

    The other alternative might be to try to find a rifle caliber sidearm. There ARE a number of such firearms available. Basically they fall into two categories: [a] pistols based on a cut-down rifle design (but not an actual cut-down rifle) such as the various AR & AK pistols or the Mares Leg lever action “pistols”; or [b] single or two shot derringer designs like the Heizer. Neither approach is really suitable as a sidearm which is inherently an emergency self-defense weapon meant to be ALWAYS available without interfering with other activities.

    Bottom line, a long gun and a sidearm serve different purposes and need to have different characteristics. If you accept the size and weight of a long gun but hobble it with a pistol caliber round, what you have is really a very big, very heavy pistol that won’t do either job well.

  • XaunLoc: March 28, 2019

    This author previously published an unabashed diatribe against the entire M16 /M4/AR15 family of rifles, but the only way to make his case (such as it is) required compressing over 50 years of development so as to blame all versions of this family for any of the faults of any of them while simultaneously blaming the rifle for having progressed throughout that time.

    This article is much better in that it does present (mostly) rational arguments why preppers should consider rifles that might be better suited to their circumstances rather than blindly adopting the AR simply because it looks a lot like a military rifle.

    On the other hand, this iteration of the I-Hate-The-M16 Saga is filled with conflicting advice. First we are told that a prepper should pick something simple because he will never have the time or willingness to actually learn how to work his weapon, then a couple paragraphs later we are told that a prepper needs several different rifles (and/or a shotgun) for different circumstances. Each of those conflicting pieces of advice has some validity, but the article never makes any effort to resolve the conflicting advice or to point out that these ARE conflicting considerations which should drive a prepper to look for a rational compromise based on a realistic evaluation of his (or her) circumstances.

    The AR probably will NOT be the BEST rifle for any specific set of circumstances — but size, weight, and (especially) ammo availability MAY well make it the best COMPROMISE for many preppers.

  • Jesse Whalen: March 28, 2019

    Thanks for the great advice! And thank you for reenforcing my decision to spend the extra to buy my M1A Socom. LOVE THAT RIFLE!

  • Treyh007: March 27, 2019

    Very good read, thank you! 👍🏻👍🏻

  • David March: March 26, 2019

    Thanks for the thoughtful post. I started “prepping” decades back, after living thru hurricanes in the south east, Tornadoes in Ohio and Virginia, Blizzards in Virginia and Chicago, and quakes and forest fires in California. I recommend learning to garden before you have to. For First Aid training, Red Cross has some courses in Wilderness Emergency Response. Again, get the training soon as possible.

    One concept that appeals to me is the notion of having a long gun and sidearm that both can use the same round. I mind a shop in California that offered discounts on paired Winchester lever-action rifle with a Colt revolver shooting .45 Long Colt, or a Henry and a Ruger firing .44. Now with several good pistol-caliber carbines available you could pair weapons in .22LR, .22wmr, Hornady .17, 9mm Luger, .380acp, 45acp. Think I saw a pistol chambered for 380 Blackout. If you go to a gunsmith, I expect you could get a pair of weapons chambered in whatever round you want.

    For folks who are at or past retirement age, caliber /weight is a serious consideration. 22Lr won’t bring down an 8-point buck, but could you butcher that buck and drag the meat back five miles to your camp? Besides, a sub-sonic .22 is not going to alert folks for miles around the way a .30-06 or .223 report will.

  • Cache Valley Prepper: March 26, 2019

    Several very good points and plenty of food for thought. Thank you. Articles on topics such as this are difficult to write because the writer must make some assumptions.

    I’ll add a couple of points:
    - Unless you own a working crystal ball, keep plans and equipment multi-use and versatile because you’ll probably have to adapt it in order to survive future threats that you can’t accurately predict. Many survivalists used to say to buy an AR chambered in 5.56 NATO because we couldn’t possibly run out of it in the US. Then we did, and it wasn’t because of the apocalypse, just a little low-order market volatility and prices still haven’t fully recovered. I didn’t have to buy ammo because I have plenty socked away but 7.62×39 and 7.62×54R were still available during the ammo shortage.

    It’s also very tough to say what someone you don’t know will do in a future you can’t predict, so I’d change the format from “a prepper will” and “a prepper should.” It encourages the reader to think, "Who will? Me? Then some of them disagree, take it personally, etc..

    -Another reason to change the format is that people are just so diverse, preppers included. Something like 75-80% of preppers are what I’d consider to be newbies to survivalism, but a lot of them scampered off when Hillary lost the election. Maybe they thought she was the main threat we face … not sure … but some of us have been at this long enough that we don’t match the writer’s vision of “a prepper” and arrived at many of the same conclusions both independently and long ago.

    -To be effective, a survival consultant must diagnose before he prescribes, but writers don’t always have that luxury. Advice given in articles will seldom be right on for all readers and must be taken in context.

    I don’t comment often, but when I do, I often leave long comments, so I’m happy to notice that I can yield to Jerry D. Young’s greatness this time. ; ) Good to see you on here Jerry.

    Thanks again and keep up the excellent work.

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