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HawkI 06-09-2010 06:32 AM

Best SHTF rifle to buy
I am completely torn about which new toy I'm buying next. I want a rugged, reliable, rifle that will be my best friend in a shtf scenario. I'd like something with a minimum effective range of 200-500 yds, semi auto or bolt action. My budget for the rifle alone (no ammo or mags) is no more than $350. I really want an AK or SKS but the prices have shot up far. Can anyone end my mental debate???

Note: I've been looking at 91/30's, SMLE's, WASR AK's, and Saigas. Not necessarily what I'll choose. I'm also pretty biased against Century Arms, don't ask me why.

DrumJunkie 06-09-2010 07:18 AM

I like the WASR for that senario. I don't think you'll get the 500 yards out of it or any rifle coming in at your price range. But they are rugged as it gets and you can get out around 200 with them pretty easily. And ammo is still pretty cheap compared to other rifles.

The problem you're going to run into is to get the most reliable you lose a little of accuracy. To help make sure that it will work they are usually built more loosely. So crap can get in them and still work. For the most part the more accurate the tighter the fit.

People been using AK type rifles for years for situation s like what you are explaining.;)

cpttango30 06-09-2010 12:30 PM

At $350 you better look at a bolt gun as the ak and sks are not 500 yard weapons platforms in my mind.

You would be better served by buying a Marlin XL-7 in 30-06 or a Stevens 200 in 30-06. Slap a variable scope by Nikon on top in the 4-16 or 5-20x range and that will get you way out there 700 maybe 800 with practice.

dnthmn2004 06-09-2010 01:03 PM

If this rifle is for dropping zombies at 300 yards, get a bolt action in 30-06 or 270. I personally, am interested in the new Savage Arms "Edge". Savage makes a quality rifle, but I wonder how this "cheap" version holds up. Looks like a beater to throw in your truck and get all scratched up. I bet theres a nice easy AccuTrigger drop in, too.

If this rifle is for after all the zombies are dead and your hunting for food and defending your fortress, your gonna have to find a used Saiga to stay in your price range. But then your going to sacrifice your long range capability.

Of course the best option is to save up until you can afford a quality AR-15.

crossfire 06-09-2010 09:51 PM

EAA Zastava PAP AK for approx. $350... - Product Search Results
Ditch the plastic magazines for steel ones or open up the mag well with a dremel for double-stack mags.
Realistically, in a SHTF scenario, your best bet at over 200 yards is to avoid conflict unless you are sure you outnumber, out-gun and out-skill the opponent.

jpattersonnh 06-09-2010 10:20 PM

The PAP is an AK, 7.62x39. Not a 500 yard gun. I think the OP is being unrealistic w/ a 500 yard SHTF rifle. 500 yards is more offensive, not defensive. You will have a tough time finding a human sized target at 300 yards if they don't want to be seen w/ iron sights. My Cetme counter sniper clone that wears an original 4x Hensoldt scope is tough to search out a target at 500 yards. If a target is in the open, sure it is a 500+ yard rifle, but that is not the way someone looking for you works. A single rifle will not help if the SHTF. It takes way more than that.

HawkI 06-09-2010 11:25 PM

Okay, I'll rephrase and say that the 500 yards thing is a "could be", not "has to be".

jpattersonnh 06-09-2010 11:48 PM

A stand off would be a FAL or Cetme, maybe an M1A. Way beyond your budget. Small stuff just does not make it. 7.62x51 and alot of it. Better have a close in gun also. I forgot the shotgun.

crossfire 06-10-2010 11:54 AM

Engage a target at 500 yards with your (pick one) rifle, not knowing that 25 of his friends are sitting at 800-1000 yards from you, is a quick way to kiss your tookus bye-bye.

ronl 06-11-2010 04:26 AM

Stevens 200 in .308 with one of the Vortex Crossfires from SWFA. That will set you back around $400 total. Then you'd have to add rings and mount. Still, with that rig you could engage at ranges up to and a little over 1000yds depending on. i know it's about $100 more than you wanted, but it would certainly meet your needs.

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