Gun and Game Forum banner
1 - 20 of 78 Posts

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Okay! Situational, hypothetical, what-if coming your way.

All of society breaks down completely. You can expect no help from your government (not that would anyway), and grocery stores no longer exist. You are prepared to feed your family/group well enough to get to the next 'garden-picking' season, and you have a healthy collection of livestock. You will however have to defend your location (people, property and livestock) and game acquisition is also a must to supplement what you already have.

Due to some extremely odd turn of events that occurred a few years earlier, you were forced to choose one caliber and one caliber only. When you were forced to do this, you thought ahead to this day and chose the caliber you felt could best serve you and your family/group. Your other members also must only use the same caliber...no cheats!

What caliber do you choose?

I think, and I haven't put a whole lot of thought into it, that I would go with the .223. Easy enough to reload, I can take any animal from a chipmunk to a grizzly (with enough well placed shots), and 2 legged bandits can definitely be deterred by it. Range is moderate (up to 600 yards?) and there is a wide range of bullet sizes (35 to 85gr). FMJ, soft points, hollow point and a number or other 'points' are also available.

Another caliber that crossed my mind was....wait for it...the .357. Easier to reload(?) with straight walls (no lube?). Seems odd picking this one, but it'll take down anything, and with a lever action rifle and the right bullet, small game can be taken and not totally destroyed.

What are y'alls thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
22. lr is light weight, you can carry a lot of it without battle pack harness. Very common to find, especially when scrounging in abandoned homes or cabins.
Many rifles and pistols to choose from to carry and shoot with. Almost no recoil, plenty lethal for small game. Mostly quiet, and can be converted to shoot with a can of sorts,
depending on the situation at hand.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,257 Posts
i would go with 223/556 for sure.

i have the most of it, and it can do pretty much everything from defense to taking game, sure its not ideal, but jack of all trades so to say.. could go with .308, but its probably more than necessary in many cases, and is heavier and more costly to stock up.

.22lr would also be a choice, but i would hate to have to defend my family/ property with it compared to a 5.56, while it can take game, its also not ideal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,526 Posts
i would go with 223/556 for sure.

i have the most of it, and it can do pretty much everything from defense to taking game, sure its not ideal, but jack of all trades so to say.. could go with .308, but its probably more than necessary in many cases, and is heavier and more costly to stock up.

.22lr would also be a choice, but i would hate to have to defend my family/ property with it compared to a 5.56, while it can take game, its also not ideal.
Oh, I agree with you on the larger caliber.

But, on the reloading part, finding powder, primers, etc in a beyond chaos world is not really feasible. If your on the go, "bug out" kind, reloading will be a luxury at best.
Just my two cents.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,868 Posts
It would have to be the .223 AR types as the primary choice. And since you indicated you have provisioned for a lengthy ordeal, one would also provision for spare parts to keep everything functional. And ammo along with the capability to reload (I have plenty of supplies) as well. I will admit, I would sure miss having access to my pistols, long guns, and Defender 12 ga. Lastly, I would acquire additional weapons by prying the firearms from the hands of dying or dead attackers. This is not cheating, I would consider it building wealth under extremely adverse circumstances.
Lastly, never ever drop your guard and go out and see what you can scrounge up after deterring a raid. They (the remaining bad guys) might have set up an ambush. Plus, when it's safe, I would drag the dead bodies into a field and see what kind of animals they attract...might be something tasty show up. Hang a few dolls in the surrounding trees, put the skulls on some posts, set up a few booby traps - instill extreme fear in people's minds.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,439 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It would have to be the .223 AR types as the primary choice. And since you indicated you have provisioned for a lengthy ordeal, one would also provision for spare parts to keep everything functional. And ammo along with the capability to reload (I have plenty of supplies) as well. I will admit, I would sure miss having access to my pistols, long guns, and Defender 12 ga. Lastly, I would acquire additional weapons by prying the firearms from the hands of dying or dead attackers. This is not cheating, I would consider it building wealth under extremely adverse circumstances.
Lastly, never ever drop your guard and go out and see what you can scrounge up after deterring a raid. They (the remaining bad guys) might have set up an ambush. Plus, when it's safe, I would drag the dead bodies into a field and see what kind of animals they attract...might be something tasty show up. Hang a few dolls in the surrounding trees, put the skulls on some posts, set up a few booby traps - instill extreme fear in people's minds.
I have a bolt gun (223) with a 16" barrel and I'm thinking this might be the gun to have if one went with this caliber. ARs create doubt for me (I have number of them still) in a SHTF situation. TOO MANY PARTS!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,868 Posts
I have a bolt gun (223) with a 16" barrel and I'm thinking this might be the gun to have if one went with this caliber. ARs create doubt for me (I have number of them still) in a SHTF situation. TOO MANY PARTS!!!
I too have a WBY Vanguard .223 with 24 inch barrel and a scope with illuminated reticle...extremely accurate and very fun to shoot. It fits the one caliber requirement of this thread so it would be available for use.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
36,051 Posts
I could live with .30-06 or 7.62 NATO, but I am more inclined personally to 7.62x39 ComBloc. Yes, I am giving up the reach of the battle rifle cartridge. Yes, I can't carry as many rounds of those as I can of 5.56 Poodle Shooter. But I trust my SKS rifles shooting that round, and I do not trust 5.56mm to "git 'r DONE" at anything but the shortest ranges and on critters in the varmint class. In many states, you can't hunt deer with 5.56mm, and one of our earlier posters in the thread suggested you could take down a grizzly bear with enough .223 rounds? Not unless your gun is an M249 SAW it won't, IMO. (Just remember that I think the correct gun for hunting grizzly bear is the Rheinmetall 120mm cannon mounted on the Abrams tank, so my opinion is surely biased.)

I do think that 'spooker has a good point about the .357 Magnum, though. In a CAS lever action rifle, especially with hollowpoints, you could handle most game in the Lower 48, and with solids I don't think you're giving up enough reach for anything you can hit with iron sights, call it 100 meters or so. Plus which, there are lots of .357 Magnum pistols, not just cowboy guns; and any rifle or pistol chambered for .357 Magnum will also shoot .38 Special, including the +P rounds. Having the option of a second loading for the same piece is a big plus in any SHTF scenario.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,656 Posts
.303 Brit. It is a little much for squirrels, but good for rabbits and up. Good range, good accuracy, good lethality, good penetration, and one of the lowest perceived recoils in its class. It is in that pack of 19th Century rounds proven to be able to kill an elephant. On top of that, it can be reloaded with black powder if necessary, and projectiles, in a pinch, can be sourced from 7.62 NATO, 30-06, 7.62x39, 7.62X54, and 8mm Mauser, to name a few - or even cast from lead alloy.

That, or 7.62 Tokarev, but only if I had a carbine of some sort chambered in it. With 303, the round means "bolt action" unless I ran across a museum piece machine gun. With Tokarev there would be a lot more options. On the negative side, I couldn't roll my own, and ammo would be harder to source.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,656 Posts
I thought we had beaten this one to death a few years back :D Everyone knows that 10/22 is King of survival scenarios
This would be a fun variant:

What caliber would you choose if you could only use the crappiest commercial ammo available in that caliber?

That takes the 10/22 right out of the discussion because you'd be stuck with Winchester bulk...or might find out there is a worse ammo than Winchester bulk.

In this scenario, I'd have to go with .45 Colt. Again, Winchester Cowboy would probably be what I was stuck with, and it isn't THAT bad.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,933 Posts
This would be a fun variant:

What caliber would you choose if you could only use the crappiest commercial ammo available in that caliber?

That takes the 10/22 right out of the discussion because you'd be stuck with Winchester bulk...or might find out there is a worse ammo than Winchester bulk.

In this scenario, I'd have to go with .45 Colt. Again, Winchester Cowboy would probably be what I was stuck with, and it isn't THAT bad.
Well snap, the crappiest commercial stuff I can think of is a tossup between Remington Thunderduds and Winchester Mildcat. Both are unthinkable. I can't find any fault in your argument.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22,656 Posts
Well snap, the crappiest commercial stuff I can think of is a tossup between Remington Thunderduds and Winchester Mildcat. Both are unthinkable. I can't find any fault in your argument.
I haven't tried any of the new Thunderbolts, because I have maybe 5000 rounds left of the ones from the '90s sealed in tins - and they are great. I have heard they have been pretty crap for the last 8-10 years.

That seals it, I'm starting a new thread.
 

·
Resident Curmudgeon
Joined
·
36,051 Posts
That, or 7.62 Tokarev, but only if I had a carbine of some sort chambered in it. With 303, the round means "bolt action" unless I ran across a museum piece machine gun. With Tokarev there would be a lot more options. On the negative side, I couldn't roll my own, and ammo would be harder to source.
Well, there is the PPSH-43C "pistol." It's a civilianized, semi-auto-only version of the PPSH-43 Soviet submachine gun with its folding stock welded in the closed position. You would have to submit a request to the BATFE to get permission to cut the weld and restore the stock to use it as a short-barreled rifle, but for this particular firearm I don't think BATFE would give you a hard time. It can't be converted to full auto, and it's a tough little piece that like every other Soviet firearm, is meant to work under crummy conditions.

There are other longarms that were made for the 7.62 Tok round, but all of them are submachine guns.

As for rolling your own, apparently there are dies that will convert 5.56 NATO brass into 7.62x25 Tok. You'd need to consult with the reloaders to determine who makes them and how difficult it is to do. I think, but I am not sure, that you can use .32 Auto bullets to reload. Again, the reloaders would know.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
To be different, I'll choose a .357. With it, I can shoot a .38 special and swage the bullet to shoot in a 9mm, using the other components. I also have the ability to shoot the .357 through a rifle. A .22lr is a good idea. You can shoot it through a pistol and rifle. But, the .357 can be reloaded with interchangeable primers.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
No matter which caliber you choose, a firearm without ammo is a club or rock to throw. I will always default to the firearm caliber that has the best ammo support and highest probability of being available.
Well, in SHTF episodes, I suppose you won't get far before you'll end up in a gun fight or come across what's left of one. In that case, you will find another caliber, if you are alive to do so.
 
1 - 20 of 78 Posts
Top