Best SHTF rifle to buy

Discussion in 'General Rifle Discussion' started by HawkI, Jun 9, 2010.

  1. HawkI

    HawkI New Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  2. DrumJunkie

    DrumJunkie New Member

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    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.;)
     

  3. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    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.
     
  4. dnthmn2004

    dnthmn2004 New Member

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    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.
     
  5. crossfire

    crossfire Member

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    EAA Zastava PAP AK for approx. $350...
    SportingArms.com - 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.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2010
  6. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    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.
     
  7. HawkI

    HawkI New Member

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

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    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.
     
  9. crossfire

    crossfire Member

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    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.
     
  10. ronl

    ronl New Member

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    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.
     
  11. Silvertip 44

    Silvertip 44 New Member

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    Save your money and get yourself a Springfield M1A.
     
  12. bizy

    bizy New Member

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    Remmington 770/Saiga 308

    A remmington 770 .308 or the saiga .308 is in your price range. I have both and they both will reach out and touch someone. The 770 is bolt action and the Saiga is semi-auto. The Saiga is about $500 the 770 is $379.

    Good luck with you search.
     
  13. jbshoots

    jbshoots New Member

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    if you want the distance (200-500) yds a scoped bolt gun may be your best bet (remington, winchester, marlin, savage/stevens are some good ones, and there are a few others)

    but for a tough, reliable shtf rifle i would say 0-300 is a more realistic range. in which case, for your budget you should look at the SKS. every bit the reliable beater as the AK, but with a more solid built receiver. the Yugo version can be found for around 300 still i think, and if you take the time to squirrel away another 50-100 bucks you can get a decent condition russian one.
     
  14. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    Been thinking quite a bit about this, I'm thinking a Marlin 30-30. Pretty darn reliable, good for 200 yds, can put down a large critter if need be, and you don't look like a militia wannabe should a cop see you trotting around with it.
     
  15. jbshoots

    jbshoots New Member

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    that's another great one. and in the price range. i've seen used ones in the 300-400 dollar range and a buddy of mine just bought one new in the box for 450.
     
  16. RobDennis

    RobDennis New Member

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    Your requirements IMO are gonna be to go for a bolt gun. you can get a used Savage 30-06 for 300-350$ You can also upgrade it to a heavy barrel and different stock. The nice thing with Savage/Stevens is you can get the barrel wrench and the go no go gauges and either change barrels or completely change calibers ( granted you'll have to stay with a short or long action caliber whichever you bought ) You really dont need a heavy barrel unless you are really doing some far out shots but thats gonna require you to go with specialized/reloaded/custom style ammo. You wont be doing 1000 yard shots with off the shelf ammo. you can get 4-5oo yards out of it if all is good with the rifle.
    With other models if you wanna swap barrels you will need a gunsmith help

    Although you can still find SKS rifles and Saigas for 350$ range and ammo is pretty cheap. You wont have 500 yard accuracy out of those rifles. SKS may be accurate to 350-400 yards. Accurate meaning it will hit a deer size target. it just wont be dead on precision. i can do 250-300 yards all day long with my sks shooting at a 12-14 inch metal gong. reason I havent gone further than 250-300 yards is because i just never though of it.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  17. jpattersonnh

    jpattersonnh Active Member

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    A lever is good, .30-30 is not what I would choose. .45LC or .45-70. Nothing in between. 200 yards w/ a .45LC ?, it is not a 200 yard cartridge. I still like my BLR in .308. Shoots surplus 7.62x51 or commercial .308 very well. 150gr 300 yard rifle is fine by me. The issue is $.
     
  18. freefall

    freefall New Member

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    I too like those old BLRs, if you can find an old Belgian one. Probably getting pricey tho...
     
  19. indie

    indie New Member

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    first, i think in SHTF situation, for defense, you dont really need to reach out 500 plus yards. There are few situations even in food gathering where a 500 yard shot will ever present itself for most unless you live in the desert.

    While im not saying, you dont need a 500 yard rifle, if you are looking for a worst case scenario rifle, you need an autoloader, the faster to load and higher capacity the better.

    You said you wanted an AK or SKS, and i think those are excellent choices. Here is a link to a site with a nice romy military variation AK with a longer stock to fit most american shooters. Its only $350, which should fit your budget. Shipping should be under 20 bucks to your FFL dealer for a transfer.

    Classic Arms Inc.

    scroll down until you see ITEM # ROM-AK MV-BPS.............$349.95

    Another option if you want to extend your range, is to save for a little bit and pick up a mosin nagant for around $100 bucks. Youre going to need to be putting money aside for mags and ammo anyway, might as well drop 20 dollars or so a week into a gun fund and get yourself geared up...


    these two rifles are rugged, reliable and should cover your needs.
     
  20. RobDennis

    RobDennis New Member

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    Truthfully IMO you want to engage the "enemy" from the furthest point out that your weapons can reach. Remember once they are within the range of your weapons you are in the range of theirs.
    That said the chances of sitting there and doing some sniping from 500 yards or more , you are assuming they do not have sharpshooters or snipers of their own. The long range rifle sounds great, but the way things are designed you wont get those 500-1000 yard shots. ( meaning you wont have the opportunity simply due to being caufght in a city or urban area you wont get the sight of 1000 yards and if you are in the country you may have 1000 yards but now you just alerted the opponent that you are in the area
    Especially not in the city. Also have you ever carried a heavy rifle a long ways? I borrowed my buddys Remington 700 for a deer hunting trip. yeah that was a HEAVY rifle. When I got back I was glad to see my savage 110.
    If you are planning on a SHTF situation get the lighter rifle (AR or AK shotgun etc) you can carry and load up on ammo.
    Overall Ill take ammo over long range. Most fire fights are not gonna be long range anyway.