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View Full Version : What good is a rifle for SHTF?


WolfMansDad
08-27-2006, 8:25 PM
OK, I've been reading these gun forums (fora?) now for a few months, and I see a lot of talk about the 'SHTF rifle,' debates on caliber, action, etc. I want to step back and ask a different question: Of what possible use is ANY rifle in a SHTF situation?

After Katrina and 9/11, I'll grant you that SHTF is at least possible, and I'll even go so far as to admit that a small fraction of the people involved might even need a firearm. However, I question the idea that a rifle, as opposed to a handgun or a shotgun, would be of any practical use to a lone individual. When the professionals know they are going to be in a gunfight, the do bring rifles, but they also work in teams of at least four men, all of whom have body armor and helmets. There is also medical support and radio communication.

My questions to you all who keep rifles in case of SHTF are these.

1. Have you also arranged to be part of a team, stocked up on body armor, communications equipment, and first aid supplies? All this, of course, in addition to stockpiling food and water.

2. If not, what is your reasoning for getting and keeping a rifle as an individual?

3. Is SHTF really an inside joke that was never meant to be taken seriously?

thedrickel
08-27-2006, 8:43 PM
I can take a crack at #3 - NO. But I'm beginning to think the same thing about 922r.

Also, I have a team in place - brother, father, mom (retired army major). We have comm., first aid, food and water. No body armor. A few buddies with rifles also, who know that my house is the place to be in extended SHTF.

TonyNorCal
08-27-2006, 9:09 PM
Well, I've started a SHTF thread or two:p

I think part of the SHTF talk is just for fun. For me it is anyway. It's just an element of fantasy (not wishing it happens), but just for sake of discussion and 'what if' scenarios. It's imagination. And some people just like Red Dawn.

However, SHTF or TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) scenarios are certainly possible. And, as Katrina shows us, they can arrive suddenly. Suddenly enough that Cali's 10 day waiting period will be too long. So it certainly can't hurt to have thought it through. Just don't get paranoid.

I think the type of SHTF situation and the cirumstances within determine the weapon of choice. There's really no one size fits all. There are situations in which no visibly displaying a weapon might be best...so handgun. And then there are some situations in which keeping people at a distance and also dissuading people from approaching you (which a rifle can be without firing a shot) might be best. Deterrence. A rifle has greater range and pentration should that need arise. And of course a rifle can be used for hunting and whatnot. It's also more effective on zombies (kidding).

SHTF might involve a localized event like Katrina, but it could also involve a continental or global event. Asteroid strikes, mega volcanos, dramatic climatic change are all things that could result in a breakdown. And then you can throw in all the manmade possibilities.

I have not arranged to be part of a team. Obviously most teams will be more effective than most individuals. But an individual can be effective if his goal is to extricate himself from a situation. Not every SHTF will involve combat with organized, armed people. You might be dealing with a disorganized mob. Or people with knives who want who you have. You can imagine many different scenarios in which you alone with a rifle could result in you coming out alive.

M. Sage
08-27-2006, 9:24 PM
1: No, I haven't arranged as such. Though if SHTF happens and some of you are in my neck of the woods, I might use a call-answer that was suggested in jest. Feel free to respond and join up with me. :D

I haven't stocked up on much except some experience to learn how to use my rifle better, I usually keep plenty of ammo on hand because buying bulk is cheaper. I have first-aid supplies along with the usual earthquake stuff. I'm saving up to add a pistol to my gear and would like to add some body armor into the mix. Hey, it couldn't hurt.

2: If not, then the answer would be "because I can." And because I enjoy shooting.... though the first answer is more than enough justification for owning a rifle, shotgun or pistol. Being as my choice of guns during a home invasion is between an old Mosin Nagant and a Marlin 60 that takes what seems like) 20 minutes to load in addition to being a .22, my big rifle will also have to serve double-duty in case of a break-in.

3: I think some SHTF stuff is partly a joke, but in case of a big earthquake, that joke isn't going to be very funny afterwards. Add in the way our government is run at a state level and the potential for things to get really ugly really quickly for the peons like you and me is very real.

I'm quite sure that there's some sort of SHTF plan in place for our governator and the rest of our elected officials. They have that stuff planned (and executed) FOR them. You and me, we've only got ourselves to depend on to plan and implement.

Hope for the best, plan for the worst.

Oh, and since the topic is "What is a good rifle for SHTF," I think the best answer is: one you know how to use well. One you're comfortable with using. One you know like the back of your hand. Make, model and type matter less than whether you know the limitations of yourself and your rifle (or pistol or shotgun, or combination thereof.)

MonsterMan
08-27-2006, 9:43 PM
2. If not, what is your reasoning for getting and keeping a rifle as an individual?


Because it is fun to shoot rifles. Isn't that enough?

Rooster
08-27-2006, 10:08 PM
I think being a responsible American citizen should include family practices of disaster first aid, self defense, logical storage, planning, and neighborhood assistance. so for me, that includes two rifles, two handguns for my wife and I, body armors, helmets and gear for the both of us, food, water, supplies, comm and nav gear, local firefighter c.e.r.t. disaster training, and knowing our neighbors and thier disaster plans. being in urban Long beach Cali, it could be the line of life and death in a shtf urban conflict. All seriousness aside, it is also fun to learn train and "collect" gear and supplies, is'nt it:) . but I do it responsibly and according to possible situations. I like a well balanced life and this is just a part of it. do you agree?

TheMan
08-27-2006, 10:19 PM
OK, I've been reading these gun forums (fora?) now for a few months, and I see a lot of talk about the 'SHTF rifle,' debates on caliber, action, etc. I want to step back and ask a different question: Of what possible use is ANY rifle in a SHTF situation?


I stored away plenty of ammo and water, but not food. So in a SHTF, the rifle will be used to bag some 2 legged cattle.;)

markymark
08-27-2006, 10:47 PM
I stored away plenty of ammo and water, but not food. So in a SHTF, the rifle will be used to bag some 2 legged cattle.;)
LOL! Or maybe you can use them to "convince" others to share? ;)

Cato
08-27-2006, 10:50 PM
A realistic situation would be a serious earthquake then looting and rape by our swarthy guests from south of the boarder. I think a rifle might just draw attention to you from whatever authority exists. The CHP will confiscate any weapon they see; just like they did during Katrina. A pistol will definately be more useful since you can keep it out of sight unless your or your family's life is at risk.

Now if a less likely event even occurs, say the ice caps melt due to global warming, terrorists nuke all the major population centers in the world, the American nation grows so cynical we dont rebuilt, THEN a rifle might help a guy hunt or join some post apocalyptic local militia.

Something compact like a Mp5 would be pretty handy though. Of course we law abiding Americans aren't permitted anything like that.

socalguns
08-27-2006, 11:34 PM
... However, I question the idea that a rifle, as opposed to a handgun or a shotgun, would be of any practical use to a lone individual....
On what grounds?


When the professionals know they are going to be in a gunfight, the do bring rifles, but they also work in teams of at least four men, all of whom have body armor and helmets. There is also medical support and radio communication.
So what (how is it relevant)?
You're implying that if you're going to be alone,
you should be less armed? because its practical (huh)!?

2. If not, what is your reasoning for getting and keeping a rifle as an individual?
What is your reasoning for wondering?
Knowing what guns are for, and what rifles are for,
should be all the reasoning you need
to justify getting a rifle.

When the SHTF you're stuck with what you have.
The more resources you have, the better off you are.
You can always abandon/trade resources you don't need anymore,
but the only way to guarantee that you'll have what you need
is to get it long before SHTF.

EvolutionGSR
08-28-2006, 12:01 AM
I can take a crack at #3 - NO. But I'm beginning to think the same thing about 922r.

Also, I have a team in place - brother, father, mom (retired army major). We have comm., first aid, food and water. No body armor. A few buddies with rifles also, who know that my house is the place to be in extended SHTF.


Lol thats funny. My friends and a few employees also say my house is the place to go if anything that could be considered SHTF occured.

adamsreeftank
08-28-2006, 12:06 AM
I stored away plenty of ammo and water, but not food. So in a SHTF, the rifle will be used to bag some 2 legged cattle.;)

What the hell does 2 legged cattle mean????

Kangaroos?

Are you actually saying you plan on eating other people if you get hungry.

And to think I was going to share my bunker with you!

Maddog5150
08-28-2006, 12:11 AM
1. No team because half my friends arnt gun friendly and hate guns. These will be bait classed people for use during the Zombie holocaust, Body armor is a no here since zombies cant use guns. (J/k They did in George Ramiro's last documentary ) Water and Food, kinda. Ammo? hell yes.

2. Rifles are great to take out a shambler at far out distances well beyond their snack radius.

3. SHTF is serious. Those zombies will arrive one way or another!

grammaton76
08-28-2006, 12:22 AM
My questions to you all who keep rifles in case of SHTF are these.

1. Have you also arranged to be part of a team, stocked up on body armor, communications equipment, and first aid supplies? All this, of course, in addition to stockpiling food and water.: Team? Got friends, helped most of them get AR's. Think most of them would end up hanging out at my place. Own level 3A armor and have a flak vest lying around that might improve on that a little if it were stacked with the 3A. Comms? My roomie's a HAM operator with about as much HAM stuff as I have gun stuff. Food, haven't done much there, but water? I'm in San Diego; there'll be enough abandoned houses with hot water heaters. You can extract all the drinkable water you want from those.

2. If not, what is your reasoning for getting and keeping a rifle as an individual?: I like to shoot at paper targets. SHTF is only a side thought.

3. Is SHTF really an inside joke that was never meant to be taken seriously?: Not quite there, but sort of along those lines. If you're going to buy guns anyway, and we all WILL, then why not try and buy them along the lines of what would be tactically effective post-SHTF? Doesn't hurt anything to do so...

SI-guru
08-28-2006, 1:48 AM
I always use the same two words when my wife or friends ask about my guns.

Walter Mitty. :D

And that's sums up my view of SHTF gun.

Boomer1961
08-28-2006, 5:41 PM
I remember the pictures of the Korean Merchants using AK's, AR's, and shotguns shooting at the the vandals who trashed their businesses and all I could think of was I hope you did some practice before so you could do some head shots.

In some cases it saved their businesses, certainly saved alot of innocent lives, and even when it was not productive in that way their is a certain satisfaction in shooting the person who fooked up your life.

My concern though was the Feds response in New Orleans was fewer armed citizens/guns was better and in a red state the citizens had their arms confiscated. Even worse was the shoot on site of any armed citizen without determining if they were a threat or just trying to defent themselves.

People will do what they feel necessary to survive and not doubt if you have a firearm when people start acting crazy you will arm yourself.

Let us pray that day will never happen to you.

M. Sage
08-28-2006, 5:42 PM
A realistic situation would be a serious earthquake then looting and rape by our swarthy guests from south of the boarder. I think a rifle might just draw attention to you from whatever authority exists. The CHP will confiscate any weapon they see; just like they did during Katrina.

A: It's going to get costly for CHP to confiscate my rifles (or food or water) during SHTF. Just as costly as it would be for any other looters trying to remove my survival gear from my posession.

B: Not that it's going to matter. If it gets that hot, I won't be found anywhere near anyplace other people are likely to be found. I'll wander out of the hills when it's all over.

damon1272
08-28-2006, 6:00 PM
When the SHTF, here in San Diego the STHF when the fire came through a few years ago. Yes have a bug out bag ready with all important docs, clothes and supplies needed for at least a few days. It was three days before I could get back home. Cuaght a couple of kids getting ready to loot a friend house. Only had about 15 min to get out. If don't think the STHF will ever happen think again. Next it could be a large earth quake, who knows
? My wife used to think I was nuts for being prepared, now she listens when I tell her we have to go.

rorschach
08-28-2006, 6:06 PM
What the hell does 2 legged cattle mean????

Kangaroos?

Are you actually saying you plan on eating other people if you get hungry.

And to think I was going to share my bunker with you!


(best Homer voice) "Mmmm... Soylent Green" (drools)

Ya know, I doubt it would ever come to it, but I have a rifle and pistol for SHTF, the pistol mainly for fighting my way to the rifle.

Not to start a flame war, but I also find the talk of picking off Highway Patrol, or any other police officers/ National Guard disturbing. See it's real simple, when they come around, if you dont want your guns confiscated, HIDE YOUR GUNS!!! I guarantee you, you will not win a gun battle with the cops. They have more guns and 2-way radios than you. If SHTF, try it and see what happens. The rest of us will bring strippers to your funeral.

I'm not directing this toward anyone in particular, especially not adam, I was just quoting his people-eating remarks.

Besides, Kalifornia wont risk losing federal funding by ordering confiscation during an emergency anyway. Those Adam Henry's in Sacto are silly and ignorant, but they're not stupid.

Paul1960
08-28-2006, 6:13 PM
1. Have you also arranged to be part of a team, stocked up on body armor, communications equipment, and first aid supplies? All this, of course, in addition to stockpiling food and water.

Yes. I have level IIIa body armor, an MCU2/P gas mask, a M1A .308 rifle and a couple of dozen magazines, several thousand rounds of ammo, both HT and mobile ham radio equipment with matching license and repeater membership, +$400 worth of first aid supplies, and +23 years of military training and disipline.

2. If not, what is your reasoning for getting and keeping a rifle as an individual?
Why on God's green earth would you chose anything but the most effecive weapon you can muster the funds to buy? The real world ain't Hollywood and people don't wet their pants at the sound of a shotgun racking nor fly backwards thru the wall when hit with a majic bullet from a .45 ACP.

3. Is SHTF really an inside joke that was never meant to be taken seriously?
The ******** hits the fan every day in every state in the union everyday for some poor sap losing their job. That is but one of the ten or so ********s that I have laid preps in for. the ******** hit the fan in Florida and New Orleans last year with the weather. Three years ago here with the wild fires, and two with the landslides after the heavy rains. If the big one (mega-earthquake) never happens then we'll both live though it, if it hits, from the sound of it you'd be hurting.

Just like I carry a spare tire on my car I carry spare supplies in the house. No big deal, just a part of life.

TheMan
08-28-2006, 6:28 PM
Not to start a flame war, but I also find the talk of picking off Highway Patrol, or any other police officers/ National Guard disturbing. See it's real simple, when they come around, if you dont want your guns confiscated, HIDE YOUR GUNS!!! I guarantee you, you will not win a gun battle with the cops. They have more guns and 2-way radios than you. If SHTF, try it and see what happens. The rest of us will bring strippers to your funeral.


Funny you should mention strippers at funerals.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060823/od_nm/china_strippers_dc

The world is a funny place. But you are right about avoiding any sort of shootout with the cops. Hiding the guns sounds like a much better idea.



Besides, Kalifornia wont risk losing federal funding by ordering confiscation during an emergency anyway. Those Adam Henry's in Sacto are silly and ignorant, but they're not stupid.

You give them too much credit. In a bad situation, with no time to think, I could easily see them doing that, in the same way that they did in Loiusiana.

M. Sage
08-28-2006, 7:02 PM
Let me clarify:

I'd rather NOT get into a gunfight with ANYBODY. That's why my #1 plan if it's too hot is to hit the back country. I'd rather keep myself and my wife all in one piece (each) than try to stand on top of the rubble that was our home against all comers. Hell no.

I actually live walking (running)-distance from a decent-size chunk of wilderness that I feel I could use to keep a safe distance.

rorschach
08-29-2006, 5:42 PM
Funny you should mention strippers at funerals.

You give them too much credit. In a bad situation, with no time to think, I could easily see them doing that, in the same way that they did in Loiusiana.

Yeah, theres another thread around here about that same article.

Not if HR5013 passes and becomes law. Virtually all city/state agencies in PRK have some federal funding that they cannot afford to lose.

I'm wondering if those boneheads Baca and Bratton would order a confiscation in L.A. if they could get away with it. They live on federal funding, and without it those two departments would be in deep trouble.

shonc99
08-30-2006, 8:41 AM
Most of the people who view the survival-outdoorsman mentality as crazy or paranoid seem to have never been in a SHTF situation. In previous posts there have been several perfect examples that show why someone should be prepared. It basically comes down to whom do you rely on; some outside entity to save you or YOU. I am pretty sure I can count on me (last time I checked) but I don't know about any other organization.

Just ask anyone who was devastated by last years hurricanes. Do you suppose they feel confident enough in the government (at any level) to put their lives or safety in their hands again?? The people who fared better were the ones whom either left before or those that had supplies and food.

Whomever believes that someone will come and save them in a major disaster is a fool who will suffer. Yes, there are rescuers and paramedics along with FEMA and the military that will come in (eventually) but again, why put your life in anothers hands when you could just as easily do it yourself and have a little bit of assurance that you will live through the disaster.

As far as a rifle goes, a Socom 16 in .308 with an ACOG works quite well

chiefcrash
08-30-2006, 8:57 AM
as for #3

the LA riots, Katrina, a big earthquake, or gay marriage being legalized (you just *KNOW* that it would cause some riots)

SHTF isn't a joke, but it's something we joke about (if that made any sense)

My sister has said on several occasions that when the zombie uprising starts, she's runnin' to my house...

Maddog5150
08-30-2006, 10:12 AM
as for #3

the LA riots, Katrina, a big earthquake, or gay marriage being legalized (you just *KNOW* that it would cause some riots)

SHTF isn't a joke, but it's something we joke about (if that made any sense)

My sister has said on several occasions that when the zombie uprising starts, she's runnin' to my house...

You freaking joking right? I can see Katrina, earthquake, or a minority getting beaten to cause riots but gay marriage? Do you honestly think people are that homophobic to riot to something like that? Hell I think the zombie holocaust is more likely than that.

socalguns
08-30-2006, 4:24 PM
You freaking joking right? I can see Katrina, earthquake, or a minority getting beaten to cause riots but gay marriage? Do you honestly think people are that homophobic to riot to something like that? Hell I think the zombie holocaust is more likely than that.

I think you mean that religious, not "that homophobic" :)
Because goverment is the religion which says that marriage is between a man and a woman .... :D

Stanze
08-30-2006, 4:35 PM
Ask these guys.:)

Korean shopowners in LA, circa April 1992.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUaoil0wsyU

Cato
08-30-2006, 4:45 PM
Ask these guys.:)

Korean shopowners in LA, circa April 1992.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lUaoil0wsyU

__________________________________________________ __
I'm glad the Koreans held their ground. I was overseas in the military and only heard that there was a riot in LA. Back then news didnt interest me. Im surprised they had the foresight to buy weapons before the riot. I saw a documentary a few years ago about the riots. One Korean American Air Force 1st lt was home on leave. His neighborhood was being burned down and LAPD would do NUTHIN to help him! Reminds me of New Orleans where the police just walked off the job! I always felt law enforcement had a sacred duty to protect. I guess those Koreans understood better than I the importance of self reliance.

AxonGap
08-30-2006, 5:39 PM
Oh good gravy, here we go again!! I’m sorry, but there are so many “what-if the SHTF” threads on this very same subject floating around CalGuns that it’s beginning to sound like a broken record.

Bottom line is; 1) Don’t Panic! 2) always be prepared & have a “realistic” plan for “realistic” situations (earthquakes & floods, NO zombie invasion garbage!) 3) be ready for anything, just don’t obsess about it 4) if it ever comes to armed conflict, show superior judgment and think of the consequences 5) be a part of the solution to a SHTF scenario not a supplement (if your not going to lend a hand, then get the “F” out of the way of those who are trying to help!). Katrina is an excellent example of human behavior in the time of crisis, learn from it!

Fjold
08-31-2006, 7:54 AM
As the saying goes: "Pistols are for fighting your way to your rifle."

Rifles keep the zombies from getting close enough to hurt you.

If you have multiple zombies inside pistol range, you're already in a bad position. It's always better to have the feral dogs and coyotes picking over the bodies 400 yards outside your home. (The smell isn't as bad.)