This type of weapon is generally overlook by shooters in general including people in the survival community.
“Big gun no better than a handgun”
“If I have a long gun, I want it to fire rifle ammo”
But lets look at some of the advantages:
1) It IS better than a handgun: It’s easier to shoot accurately, has more firepower (40 rounds in some 9mm models) and the extra barrel length adds a couple hundred feet per second in certain 9mm and 40 S&W ammo.
2) Robust: This mostly applies to the more simple open bolt models. Not terribly accurate, but reliable and simple to operate and repair.
3) Ammo price: This is a mayor factor for me, the ability to keep the creature fed.
Honest now guys, how many of you flinch every time you shoot your rifle, not because of recoil but because of the $ you feel fly away with each trigger pull? Ammo is pretty expensive these days, specially rifle ammo. Even if you have it, you sure want to use a minimum amount of it to stay proficient, and save most of it for a rainy day.
This also means you get to practice more.
9mm and other common pistol calibers are cheaper and readily available. If you find ammo in the civilian world, more than likely it’s going to be pistol caliber ammo.
A Nigerian soldier, armed with an UZI. He also has a revolver as a last resort, defensive weapon. In this case, the revolver is a true secondary weapon, unlike the survivalist that carries only a handgun and that is his one and only weapon, his primary.
Notice the two pouches with two reloads handy in his belt.
4) Ammo interchangeability: Worked for the cowboys and works for us as well. It’s just a terrific advantage in terms of logistics to use the same ammo (even same mags in some cases ) for your handgun and long gun.
5)Light recoil: You don’t have rifle power, no doubt there. And rifle ammo is an entirely different ball game in terms of wounds and stopping power. Still, many special forces and SWAT teams around the globe still use pistol caliber SMG ( in spite of the growing popularity of 223 carbines for this role)
A pistol caliber subgun is something a recoil sensitive person will find more comfortable to shoot.
6) Small overall package: Some of the smaller SMG turned semi auto only are available to civilians and they sure are small.
From a realistic survival situation we’ve discussed many times how important it is to keep our weapons concealed. A small sub gun, even some of the folding models available, they can fit in small suitcases or backpacks. This is terrific if you have to bug out for whatever reason on foot, or board a rescue chopper or boat.
Take an ordinary rifle, open carrying it, and I guarantee you you’ll get a “Sir, please leave your weapon behind before bordering the vehicle”.
A pack with the only material items you have left after a disaster? I doubt they’ll go through that or ask you to leave the backpack behind.
Out of sight, out of mind folks.
So people, I’m not saying that this replaces in any way the firepower or range that a real rifle provides. But this is another tool, another alternative that has many interesting uses that apply to various survival situations.