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View Full Version : What barrel length AR for SHTF?


Kenshin
11-24-2006, 4:13 PM
Would you prefer an AR-15 of rifle or carbine length?

FatKatMatt
11-24-2006, 4:15 PM
I would never trust my life to an AR-15 for SHTF. The round is much too weak. A 16" model would probably be better though.

SemiAutoSam
11-24-2006, 4:18 PM
+1
a AR in .223 wouldn't cut it I would want no less than a .308 in order of preference.

FN FAL, HK91, GALIL 308 AR or ARM, M1A, AR10.

TO be as effective as possible I would have a few of each and all of the ammo one could feed each variant.

Solidsnake87
11-24-2006, 4:19 PM
11.5 inch commando. nuff said

xrMike
11-24-2006, 4:30 PM
Awww jeez, not another SHTF poll from Kinshin... :D

What's wrong with .223 for doo-doo time? Seems like Iraq and Vietnam would certainly qualify, and our troops are using/used it effectively in those places???

grammaton76
11-24-2006, 4:42 PM
Awww jeez, not another SHTF poll from Kinshin... :D

What's wrong with .223 for doo-doo time? Seems like Iraq and Vietnam would certainly qualify, and our troops are using/used it effectively in those places???

That's debatable. We'd think our troops are effectively using 9mm carbines too, if that's all they had. But, there's plenty of reports of insurgents taking a number of 223 rounds and more or less ignoring them for a bit.

Not dissing our troops at all - but they aren't using an ideal SHTF tool, partially because a military situation is different from an SHTF situation anyway.

mblat
11-24-2006, 4:48 PM
To answer the question: 20". The only thing .223 has going for itself is the ability to fragment. And shorter barrel impede that ability.....

EDIT:
What's wrong with .223 for doo-doo time? Seems like Iraq and Vietnam would certainly qualify, and our troops are using/used it effectively in those places???

Is that why Pentagon has been buying M1A in ever increasing numbers?

CalNRA
11-24-2006, 4:53 PM
IF I had an AR, I would take the 20 inch any day. The 4 inches of barrel length doesn't feel too much on a rifle but gets a more velocity out of the little 223 rounds.

Omega13device
11-24-2006, 5:03 PM
That's debatable. We'd think our troops are effectively using 9mm carbines too, if that's all they had. But, there's plenty of reports of insurgents taking a number of 223 rounds and more or less ignoring them for a bit.

Not dissing our troops at all - but they aren't using an ideal SHTF tool, partially because a military situation is different from an SHTF situation anyway.
Last I checked, there were plenty of our guys who took 7.62x39 rounds and survived.

With either of these calibers it's where the bullets hit that counts, not which one you're using.

chickenfried
11-24-2006, 5:04 PM
I find it hard to believe that the military is buying M1A's, source of info?


Is that why Pentagon has been buying M1A in ever increasing numbers?

NRAhighpowershooter
11-24-2006, 5:06 PM
IF I couldn't get to my Garands.. and IF I had to use a AR it would be a 16" middy.

csarel
11-24-2006, 5:18 PM
http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o28/csarel/022806_US_Army_in_Mosul_Iraq_US_Arm.jpg

A lot of this going on over there.

grammaton76
11-24-2006, 5:24 PM
Last I checked, there were plenty of our guys who took 7.62x39 rounds and survived.

With either of these calibers it's where the bullets hit that counts, not which one you're using.

Eh, most of our guys are taking these hits while wearing body armor. Taking 7.62x39mm hits through body armor or in places NOT covered by armor (i.e. not heart/lung shots) is generally going to be a lot more survivable than taking the same hit without armor.

Armored survival rates vs any caliber, compared with unarmored survival rates vs another, are not a valid comparison.

SemiAutoSam
11-24-2006, 5:31 PM
Would that be a M14 opposed to a M1A ? notice the selector just north of his 2nd knuckle on his index finger.

http://i116.photobucket.com/albums/o28/csarel/022806_US_Army_in_Mosul_Iraq_US_Arm.jpg

A lot of this going on over there.

xrMike
11-24-2006, 5:36 PM
Not dissing our troops at all - but they aren't using an ideal SHTF tool, partially because a military situation is different from an SHTF situation anyway.Isn't military combat the ultimate 'SHTF'?

I'm curious in what ways you think the 2 are different. I'm not looking to argue, and willing to revise my opinion, if given convincing input...

I've always thought that combat (and especially the kind of combat our troops are experiencing now in Iraq -- lots of urban engagements, with the enemy using hit-n-run, guerilla-style tactics) is not too far off from the kind of scenario most of us would experience here in the U.S. if our society broke down completely.

.223 is definitely holding its own in Iraq. And I know for a fact that I can carry ALOT more of it than .308 -- which is important if I'm having to do any kind of travelling. I also know for a fact that my AR is much more accurate than the average M1As I compete against in my local club's target matches. I blow them out of the water. It's also a lot more accurate than my Garand. Personally I'd rather have an inherently more accurate rifle that I can carry a lot more ammo for in any SHTF situation.

Prc329
11-24-2006, 5:46 PM
I like the idea of a 16" barrel. Very compact but you will still get good velocity out of it. I could see myself clearing a room much easier with a smaller rifle. I have a 16" and a 20" upper and the 16" seems much more maneuverable in tight spots like a house. On the same lower the extra 4 inches just seems to long for a SHTF or home defense situation.

Oh and to add to the debate I believe in a SHFT it would be much more likely to run across .223 on your enemy then .308.

TonyNorCal
11-24-2006, 5:56 PM
I think a 5.56 platform is perfectly adequate for most SHTF scenarios. It's plenty capable at most realistic ranges. Also, in the most likely scenarios you're not going to be attempting to take out vehicles, engage in gun battles with people behind cover, or engage targets at extreme range.

Advantages of an 5.56 are ability carry more ammo, quick follow-up shots, and lighter weapon weight.

And in any SHTF situation...the idea is to hole up somewhere safe...or to move and avoid contact if possible. If you find yourself engaging a large group of armed adversaries...and it's just you and family or you and a few buddies...well, you're probably going to lose.

All that said, I'd probably go with a .308 just cause:p ...I'd like the idea of being able to get to the moutains and hunt, etc...but this is likely an element of fantasy anyway...even if it can be fun to think about. 5.56 might be a better choice though and definitely isn't a poor one.

I'd go with a FAL or USGI part M-14/M1A. Of course, a .308 Garand can also dish out some hurt.

Really any gun is better than no gun. And even something like an M1 carbine would work well for an extended Katrina style societal breakdown situation.

Oh, and to answer the OP's question...for an AR I'd probably choose 16 inch...easy to move with, etc.

csarel
11-24-2006, 5:58 PM
Would that be a M14 opposed to a M1A ? notice the selector just north of his 2nd knuckle on his index finger.
Yep the real thing. You know, like Coca-Cola!

C.G.
11-24-2006, 6:23 PM
I didn't vote because it would depend on the situation. Close quarters in urban areas 16", in terrain 20".

Sgt Raven
11-24-2006, 6:25 PM
Would that be a M14 opposed to a M1A ? notice the selector just north of his 2nd knuckle on his index finger.

No that's a selector LOCK on that M14 so it's semi auto only. The selector has a paddle there.

Sgt Raven
11-24-2006, 6:29 PM
Awww jeez, not another SHTF poll from Kinshin... :D

What's wrong with .223 for doo-doo time? Seems like Iraq and Vietnam would certainly qualify, and our troops are using/used it effectively in those places???

In Vietnam we used a 1 in 12" twist barrel and 55 gr bullets. They fragmented better or tumbled when they hit someone. The 62 gr load from a 1 in 7" barrel tends to zip right through someone unless they are wearing a vest.

SemiAutoSam
11-24-2006, 6:44 PM
OK selector or selector lock its still an M14 not an M1A

No that's a selector LOCK on that M14 so it's semi auto only. The selector has a paddle there.

Sgt Raven
11-24-2006, 7:05 PM
I would go with a 16" bbl and either M193 or Mk 262/AA53 spec ammo.


http://www.hunt101.com/img/346199.jpg
http://www.hunt101.com/img/384781.jpg
http://www.hunt101.com/img/346201.jpg
http://www.hunt101.com/img/346203.jpg

For those who don't know what the Naval Surface Warfare, Crane Division does: http://www.crane.navy.mil/whatwedo/SmallArms.asp

I agree on the ammo choice but would go with a 1 in 8" 20" pencil profile barrel inside a carbon fiber full float tube, or split the difference and go with a 18".

Kenshin
11-24-2006, 9:32 PM
I'd be inclined to say the 16", but hearing these words about the M4 Carbine in combat worry me:

From World of Guns


First of all, the shorter barrel commands the lower bullet velocities, and this significantly decreased the effective range of the 5.56mm bullet. Second, the M4 barrel and the forend rapidly overheats. Third, the shortened barrel resulted in the shortened gas system, which works under greater pressures, than in M16A2 rifle. This increases the rate of fire and produces more stress on the moving parts, decreasing the reliability.

Paul
11-24-2006, 9:36 PM
If I had to go with a poodle shooter I would take the 20" weapon as the extra four inches gives it a bit more velocity and the extra 6 ounces isn't to be noticed.

I like my SHTF weapon to be something like a .308.

mblat
11-24-2006, 9:38 PM
Isn't military combat the ultimate 'SHTF'?

I'm curious in what ways you think the 2 are different. I'm not looking to argue, and willing to revise my opinion, if given convincing input...


Well, not quite, at least in IMHO. The difference is that in military action you are trained professional surrounded by trained professionals. You can expect air and artillery support and heavy machine gun support. In situation like this light arms are used often as suppress fire – just to wait out until cavalry will ride to the rescue – majority of enemy casualties will come from other sources.
For me SHTF – it is Katrina like situation when if you are likely to be along or only with close family, when none of you is particularly well trained and no fire support possible even remotely. In that situation you are not likely need to carry 1000 rounds of ammo around – couple magazines should be enough. So weight consideration for the ammo is out and ability to disable enemy with one shot is in.
That is said in “End of the World Scenario” situation may be different – it just I am not so sure I want to survive the end of the world……

boosterboy
11-24-2006, 11:21 PM
is this going to turn out to be one of those .308 vs. .223 arguments

because we all know how that argument will end up.:rolleyes:



remember, SHTF the fan in rural areas is different frm SHTF in urban areas.

Centurion_D
11-24-2006, 11:54 PM
The original poll was what barrel length would you choose for a shtf scenario. I'll go for a 20" sporter. Higher velocity and greater range.

EBWhite
11-25-2006, 12:24 AM
For SHTF I would want a M1 Garand and an AK-47. Nuff said.

grammaton76
11-25-2006, 4:45 AM
Isn't military combat the ultimate 'SHTF'?

I'm curious in what ways you think the 2 are different. I'm not looking to argue, and willing to revise my opinion, if given convincing input...

A guy above put it a lot better than I could - it's a matter of being able to rely on teamwork and other things we don't have as civilians, vs needing one-shot stops. Bear in mind also, that we're talking about semi-automatic civilian weapons in an SHTF environment, and comparing them vs the success rates of burst-mode M4's is a bit of a stretch.

I've always thought that combat (and especially the kind of combat our troops are experiencing now in Iraq -- lots of urban engagements, with the enemy using hit-n-run, guerilla-style tactics) is not too far off from the kind of scenario most of us would experience here in the U.S. if our society broke down completely.

[QUOTE=xrMike].223 is definitely holding its own in Iraq. And I know for a fact that I can carry ALOT more of it than .308 -- which is important if I'm having to do any kind of travelling.

Ah, now there's where the breakdown is. You assumed automatically that I was putting this into the old 308 vs 223 argument. Nah, I'm more inclined to say that for urban SHTF, 7.62x39mm or 6.8SPC would be where it's at, neither of which has a really huge weight penalty over 223. Also, bear in mind that 223 semi-automatic-only rifles are not the big buzz in Iraq. Three-round burst or full auto are, and as noted above, they're used in conjunction with grenades, fire support, sniper overwatch, and all the happy fun things that you don't have in an SHTF environment (unless you have a few cranky old uncles who like to hang out in towers providing cover...).

As to the resupplying with 223 from concluded engagements... if there's a bunch of ammo lying around on bodies, most likely there will also be weapons lying around too if you're running low on your preferred caliber.

Q
11-25-2006, 7:04 AM
I'm more inclined to say that for urban SHTF, 7.62x39mm or 6.8SPC would be where it's at,
i think 16 is it. i have been thinking about a 6.8spc. those barret m468 are sweet. :cool:

Omega13device
11-25-2006, 12:38 PM
OK selector or selector lock its still an M14 not an M1A
Sam - M1A is just what Springfield Armory calls their version of the M14. For everyone else they are M14s, whether semi-auto or select fire.

Sgt Raven
11-25-2006, 12:58 PM
Sam - M1A is just what Springfield Armory calls their version of the M14. For everyone else they are M14s, whether semi-auto or select fire.

New M1A's have cast recievers with a lot of aftermarket parts. My LRB M14SA has a forged reciever and all USGI parts. As close to the real thing as you can get today.

Guinness
11-25-2006, 1:05 PM
If those were my only two choice between a 16 and a 20 inch, and only .223.. It would be the 16 inch.. Till I could aquire something else..:D

Dump1567
11-25-2006, 4:27 PM
16" M4 type or lightweight barrel. Flat top w/ BUIS or A1/A2 carry handle. Light attachment, sling, A1 or A2 trapdoor fixed stock with cleaning kit inside. Red dot optic optional. This is a basic grab and go type rifle that I've heard recommended by trainers I respect. XM193 and SS109 ammo on hand.

Unless Zombies are coming out of the ground, in CA,this will be a grap and go to jail rifle. Even if it's registered, they're so many restictions on what you can do with it, I would rather grab something else. In my case, it's my 16" Mini-14 with quality factory 20 round mags.

Cali legal options. Mini, SKS, M1A, Garand, or any other rifle you feel confident and comfortable with.

Don't expect a lot of shooting. Even during Katrina which most of us would consider SHTF, I don't think any armed citizen got much trigger time.

Food, water, first aid, etc. are probably much more important in any SHTF situation (major earthquake) than gun selection. Any gun to keep the scumbags away will do.

Now if your talking the end of the world, good luck!

This is my opinion, and someone elses may vary.

DrjonesUSA
11-25-2006, 5:03 PM
I find it hard to believe that the military is buying M1A's, source of info?


http://www.smithenterprise.com/products02.html


It's quite widely known that the M14 is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in Iraq right now.

SEI has been extremely busy supplying their "Crazy Horse" rifles to various military units.

You could also check www.m-14forum.com for more info.


Regarding the original question, I agree that I would probably NOT use a .223 rifle for SHTF because the round is simply too weak.

You can forget about shooting through any cover, and the round becomes extremely anemic for use on humans past 200 yards or so, maybe less.

If I was stuck with a .223, I'd probably go for the 16", since the added velocity won't make much difference at the range you're limited to by the .223 round itself.

Besides, in a SHTF scenario, you'd want to conserve ammo as much as possible, which also means you'd want each shot to count as much as possible.

I'd rather send one .308 downrange and be 99% confident that the target is done rather than worry about it with .223.

chickenfried
11-25-2006, 5:07 PM
But those are neither new SA Inc M1A's or new M14's. They're old m14's that smith enterprises refurbishes. http://www.smithenterprise.com/products02.html


It's quite widely known that the M14 is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in Iraq right now.

SEI has been extremely busy supplying their "Crazy Horse" rifles to various military units.

You could also check www.m-14forum.com for more info.

DrjonesUSA
11-25-2006, 5:11 PM
But those are neither new SA Inc M1A's or new M14's. They're old m14's that smith enterprises refurbishes.


No, my understanding is that 100% BRAND-NEW M14s are being purchased by various branches of the Armed Forces for use in Iraq, I'm sure from a variety of sources, but SEI is definitely a major supplier.

I have also read that old M14s are being brought out of retirement and refurbished for use in Iraq, but the military is also definitely buying brand-new M14s.

chickenfried
11-25-2006, 5:34 PM
Who's producing these brand new m14's? If it was one of the companies making m14 clones, I'm sure they'd splash it all over their website at least.

Here's an example of a crazy horse build from SEI. But again they're not brand new m14's. Click on the lower right for the next page.
http://www.crazyhorserifles.com/101abn%20build%201.htm

No, my understanding is that 100% BRAND-NEW M14s are being purchased by various branches of the Armed Forces for use in Iraq, I'm sure from a variety of sources, but SEI is definitely a major supplier.

I have also read that old M14s are being brought out of retirement and refurbished for use in Iraq, but the military is also definitely buying brand-new M14s.

DrjonesUSA
11-25-2006, 5:48 PM
Who's producing these brand new m14's? If it was one of the companies making m14 clones, I'm sure they'd splash it all over their website at least.

Here's an example of a crazy horse build from SEI. But again they're not brand new m14's. Click on the lower right for the next page.
http://www.crazyhorserifles.com/101abn%20build%201.htm


I think it's funny when people don't take the time to read their own sources. ;)

From Your link, crazyhorserifles.com: "Moreover, unless otherwise noted, the Crazy Horse® rifles all use the LRB forged receiver. These receivers are generally accepted as being the best commercial receiver available today."

chickenfried
11-25-2006, 5:51 PM
What'd you say about reading :p
What are the differences between a civilian Crazy Horse® and and military Crazy Horse®?

The only difference between the civilian and military rifles is the select fire capability. Military rifles are made using USGI military receivers which have the select fire lug on the receiver. While this is blocked to permit semi-automatic fire only, it is still classified as a machinegun. The civilian rifles are made using a receiver made by LRB. A very limited number of rifles are made using a Smith Enterprise receiver. It is worth noting that none of these rifles have rear lugs because when built on the Crazy Horse® fiberglass stock, a rear lug is not necessary.

I think it's funny when people don't take the time to read their own sources. ;)

From Your link, crazyhorserifles.com: "Moreover, unless otherwise noted, the Crazy Horse® rifles all use the LRB forged receiver. These receivers are generally accepted as being the best commercial receiver available today."

Blackgun
11-25-2006, 7:30 PM
16" if you were working in buildings and close quarters. If you had distance 20" for accuracy.
You would want a round that was very plentiful and the .308 is a better round it just would be harder to find.

M. Sage
11-25-2006, 9:27 PM
Other: 28 3/4" and 4 3/4ish".

Why just one gun? And why just an AR? :P

Kenshin
11-25-2006, 10:05 PM
I have been quietly watching everyone's reasons for picking what they picked.

However, I have seen very few instances where someone answered the question of "Why not this?" to the choice they did not pick.

Why not the 20? Why not the 16?

PIRATE14
11-25-2006, 11:16 PM
What??????

No 10.5" in the VOTE............:mad:

grammaton76
11-25-2006, 11:47 PM
Urban SHTF requires discretion as well as firepower. If you walk around with a 20" barrel sticking out under your trenchcoat, you're a really noticeable target.

A 16" isn't ideal, but it's far more concealable than a 20".

M. Sage
11-26-2006, 8:37 AM
Why not the 20? Why not the 16?

Because I can't afford an AR. So, no 20", no 16". 91/30s don't come in those flavors. :P

randy
11-28-2006, 1:49 AM
What does SHTF mean to you?

Are we being invaded by somebody? A massive earthquake, fire, flood? Are the natives getting restless. Do you live near the mountains or in a big city?How long do you expect to be without services? Were we warned to leave? Are you at home when it happens or on the road? Do you need a firearm to feed yourself or repel boarders? Etc. etc etc. The question of 4" of barrel seems a bit odd.