Friday, June 21, 2013

Rifles in SHTF‏

I read your excellent book a year ago and was writing an article for my blog about Rifles and SHTF.
I wanted an opinion of something if you have time. :)
What situations would you see viable for a rifle to come out during a SHTF event over a pistol?
I think your argument that people would be killed for their tactical equipment might be true, but then again you also said you are glad you had access to your own rifles... just in case....
Thanks for your expertise and your *Awesome* book

Hi Brian,

I'm glad you liked my book. In it I explain why I believe a rifle has a place in a modern survivalist's battery. 

The handgun is for defending your life, while the rifle is for defending your country. Other than that 90% of the time you’ll use a handgun for defense, not because its better, more powerful or more accurate, but simply because people that do carry on daily basis carry handguns of course, not long arms. The handgun is worse at everything, other than the ability of being there when needed because it can be carried concealed at all times.
A rifle is a great force multiplier in the hands of a skilled operator and it sure does have a place. If needed and if within reach, a rifle will offer more power and accuracy.

I was talking with a reporter today about the survival and preparedness movement. One of the points talked about was how unrealistic preppers and survivalists can be at times, often influenced by Hollywood. We also talked about the influence due to those with a military background. They try to apply what they learned while in the army, maybe even what they experienced in combat overseas. These guys will usually lean strongly towards the rifle as their main weapon give that that’s how they were trained, and only falling back to handguns as a secondary weapon when running out of ammunition or having a gun failure. 

The handgun carried on daily basis should always be considered the main weapon of a modern survivalist. In this case, you don’t generally have  a rifle with you, and you would only go for it if at home,  when you have one within reach.
Because it wont be carried around concealed on your person, the role of the rifle will be more related to home defense. Especially on more isolated houses, the chance of a longer lasting fight increases.  In that case, a rifle would be a force multiplier. If local laws allow, I would also have a rifle in my vehicle as well as a “home away from home” setup.

Another possible scenario could be using the rifle while guarding your home or working along with other neighbors after a disaster strikes your area.
In Argentina, I know of some smaller communities that during some of the worst times after the economic collapse took upon themselves to protect their streets by arming and organizing themselves. This was not common but I know it happened in some smaller communities in the province of Buenos Aires. Its not uncommon for ranchers and farmers to move around armed with carbines or rifles, usually just firing a couple warning shots to scare away trespassers. 

While I see the handgun being the modern survivors main weapon, the one he should be the most proficient with because it’s the one he’s most likely to use when facing danger, a semi auto big bore carbine is also a must and can prove to be invaluable in some cases.
About tactical gear, I don’t remember saying that tactical gear makes you more of a target. I do think its unrealistic to think that a rifle and full tactical gear setup, with body armor and mag carriers wont be of practical use on a day to day basis. While I do believe in having body armor, you just don’t walk around all day dressed up like you may have done during a tour in Iraq. For the criminal going after you when you park in a strip mall or make a late night rush to the nearest gas station, that’s when the rifle and load bearing vest does you no good and you better have your CCW and the training so as to be proficient with it. 



Will England said...

SKS is outstanding, cheap and legal in many places because of the fixed 10 round mag.

Will England said...

SKS is a great choice; good short / medium range power, low cost, zero maintenance, legal in many jurisdictions due to fixed 10 round mag. Just don't modify it; aftermarket mags are completely unreliable. Stripper clips are the way to go...

Anonymous said...

Very good points made on the handgun being beside you when you REALLY need it. Working at a ranch, you have other things to carry in your hands / arms and even a slung rifle gets in the way when doing chores. It gets left behind.

The SKS is an outstanding carbine, but the more preferable FIXED magazine is the much more rare 20 round. The reason is stripper clips have the full 10 round reload, ready to go, but unless your rifle is completely empty, you can't use the entire clip. With the larger model, you can.

Chuck Haggard said...

I strongly agree with your idea that handguns are a person's best and first option for defensive use. Even in a NPE one can get by with a handgun, though to do with a long gun.



Anonymous said...

Ferfal doesn't mention the option inbetween a rifle and a pistol, the carbine or PDW. Some of examples would be the Uzi, Mac10 both with folding stocks and the HK MP7. With a large enough bag these could be concealed and offer a boost in firepower, accuracy and intimidation.

Thor Janssen said...

If available, of course an MP5K (set to semi auto or my favorite, 3 shot burst) packed in a shoulder rig would be a very nice choice. But they are just not available legally in most US jurisdictions.

Agreed gentlemen, the SKS carbine would be an excellent homestead defender; cost effective, low maintenance, however I feel a little concerned about that flimsy dust cover and worry it will blow off into my face. The Remington 870 Twelve gauge seems to be what I first reach for when there is potential trouble at home. In US sporting goods stores, at this moment, there is almost zero pistol or rifle ammo. Luckily, the shelves are STILL stocked with plenty of shotgun cartridges. (However, stores have NO shotguns available)

A realistic everyday, every hour companion would be the Glock 26.

The Best Bug Out Bag List said...

A handgun is the best weapon for self defense when you cannot carry a rifle or shotgun. For home defense I prefer the AR-15 with the Remington 870 a close second. The AR is my go-to due to several years of training in the Army. Honestly, it's just comfortable.