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A lot of people focus on the battle rifle as a hunting firearm. Sorry, but a 223 for deer is a little under kill - besides being illegal in some states. Sure, my uncle used to tell me stories about killing deer with a 22 long rifle, but I prefer a full sized caliber, say at least a 30/30.

But most "survivalist" over look the good hunting firearms because they are not magazine fed and semi-auto.

You will have better luck getting a deer like this if the shooter is using a full size rifle. This deer was shot with a 280 / 7mm express, using a Remington model 700 BDL.


This is what its like to look down a real deer rifle. About 100 yards out there is a feeder with a deer under it. The deer is too small to shoot, so I took this picture instead.


Shotgun - A lot of arm chair survivalist like to argue that they are stocking up on #6 shot, but can not explain why. As for myself, I like #4 shot. It has the power to knock a fox squirrel out of the top of a pine tree, while #6 does not.

In a long term survival situation, I would rather have a good deer rifle then an ar15, sks or ak47. I want something with some knock down power, even if it is one round at a time.

Because, when the MRE's, canned goods, rice and beans runs out - it would be nice to have some real meat thrown on the bar-b-q pit. Take this hog for example - it could feed a family for several days. I want something that will knock a deer or hog down so it dont get back up.


I took all of these pictures, none of them were lifted from other websites. If you want to see more deer and hog pictures, check out of photobucket gallery - kevcj - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
 

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I think a 7.62 would kill the animals in all the above situations. You would have to be a good shot to knock that squirrel out of the tree with an Ak BUT, I think billy could make it happen.(with his hatred for dimes a squirrel is nothing) It all comes down to How easy can you find that 280 ammo? I'm betting I can get 5.56 and 7.62 almost anywhere if SHTF. And can you afford to stockpile enough to keep yourself in ammunition? You want a caliber that is readily avaiable.

And can you toss your Remington in the silt and mud pick it up and keep shooting??:)
 

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I don't do much deer hunting but I do go boar hunting as often as I can. My rifles have varied but I've used SKS, K-31, Mini-14, M-44 and few others, all of them brought the boars down. If it can kill a human it'll kill a boar or deer. The important thing is making sure you have enough beer for the bar-b-que.
 

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I see no problem with a .223 for long-term survival. It is big enough to kill large game easily with a well-placed shot. Most deer around my area don't get more than 300 lbs. A .223 is used to take out humans upwards of 300 lbs regularly by our military. If it can take out a human, it can take out a deer. And, if you are on a long-term survival, what does the law matter? You are trying to SURVIVE and in a survival type situation, I would HOPE some LEO or authority would find me. In a SHTF scenario, who cares what kind of gun you have?

However, an M16 has many parts, and many parts means more prone to damage and malfunction.

Going with modern-type firearms and abandoning the idea of a black-powder gun, I would say a good, long-term survival rifle would be a single-shot or double-barrel, break-barrel shotgun. Take some slugs-shot as well as buck-shot with you and you are prepared to take down most anything. Having only a hammer and trigger mechanism, it is a VERY simple design.

The 2nd simplest, in my opinion, would be a bolt-action rifle of some kind.

I might be inclined, however, to have an AK-style rifle. Large caliber, fairly accurate and pretty trustworthy for long-term use with minimal upkeep. As of now, I would be left with my short-barrel M4-style .223 rifle backed up by my 1911, because it is the most versatile rifle and handgun I have at this time. I do have a spare-parts kit in my rifle, so it should be good for a good time without becoming useless.
 

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A .223 can take down just about anything you want in North America, short of a Grizzly Bear...with a well-placed shot you would be surprised what a .223 can actually do. We have such a locked-in mindset that a deer requires a 30-30 or bigger, and an elk requires a 30-06 or bigger, cause that's what's available to us now. Some of those old pioneers that first ventured into the west used smaller calibers to take down quite a bit of game. I knew an old-timer that harvested a deer every single year with his .22LR until they made it illegal in my state. In a survival situation, you can pack a hell of a lot more .22 caliber bullets than any other caliber, and they're easier to find than most.
 

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There is nothing wrong with a 30-30 or 45-70 lever action rifle.
 

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Being like most gun guys here, I have several good rifles to choose from, some civilian 'hunting rifles' and some milsurps.
Any caliber can down game, if the shot is well placed.

For a true long-term situation, I'd favor the .30-30 - either my lever-action Marlin 336 or the Savage M340 bolt-action. I'm setup for reloading both .308 and .30-30 - the .30-30 uses a little less powder, so that would go longer. Recoil is less too, and it has all the power I need to take down our little Florida deer.
I prefer the .22 rimfire for squirrels, and I have had no problem knocking fox squirrels from the trees with No.6 high brass shells using a shotgun. Being basically stupid critters, it's easy to get them to come around to the near side of the tree.
 

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A .223cal 55gr btsp fired from a Bushmaster with a custom 26" bbl clocked at 3324fps easily penetrated a mild steel plate at 200yds sam.
 

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What about a G3 in .308? .308 ammo is everywhere! Plus you would have the semi auto, magazine fed, in case of needing it in a combat like setting.
 

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I would take a .44 mag as my first choice. Perhaps a Henry BIG BOY! But i would seioursly consider takeing a .22 LR. It may sound dumb but. The ammunition is a lot cheaper. I would use a autoloading Maybe a marlin model 60 with 5,000 rounds cci velcitor!
 

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How about a trusty old MK3 .303? Tough as nails, easy to reload for, cheap to stock ammo for and as someone else mentioned above you could drag it thru a puddle of mud and it would still work and it has a 10 rd magazine.
 

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i agree with aris_unlimited. CETME or G3 in .308
+1. Also my Mosin Nagant 91/59 or 91/30 and Glock 27 in .40S&W.

I'd also like to point out that you called an AR15 and .223 rifles "battle rifles". Personally, I think they fit better into semi-auto 'assault rifles', since they were designed with that round because the .308Win was too hard to control under fully automatic fire for most soldiers.

I consider .308 caliber semi-auto rifles to be battle rifles, such as the FN-FAL, CETME (own one), G3, AK-variants, SKS, Dragunov SVD, or AR-10 (and many others).

I agree that having a bolt action or lever action is a good idea, since there's less to go wrong and you can usually get better accuracy, but I would (as has been said) choose a more available caliber, such as .308Win or 7.62x54R. Also
 

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how bout a law enforcement "target" rifle?


.308 and real accurate.

sub M.O.A. anyone?

i like my military guns but ...they aint my idea of a survival rifle.
.22l.r./410 single shot.
THATS a survival rifle.



a pocket full of ammo would last you a month.
lets face it we arent going to be shooting at or being shot at.
in a survival situation i will be eating squirrels

this aint beruit
 

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.243 is excellent deer cartridge

.243 is also an excellent cartridge for deer and antelope sized game. Due to lack of recoil you can practice and become good with it. I totally agree the .223 and the AR type designs are not really what I would want in a survival weapon. I want to eat and live therefore I want a good hunting weapon. One thing to remember the people in the military have a real tendency with the AR to have a "hit" as a result of a fully automatic "spray".
 

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Ammunition Availability IS An Issue

Let's ignore the "best" type of action, single-shot versus magazine-fed, and fixed versus detachable magazine issues for a minute. Before you even get that far arguing over which is "better," the thing you want to think through is: what cartridge do you want to use in your long term survival rifle?

I know that in the Zen Bug-Out Bunker Complex, one of the things the prudent planner would very much like to have is a reloading bench and a whole lot of components like primers, a variety of powders, and the appropriate projectiles. But even in the worst-case scenario (whatever that may be in your opinion), sooner or later you are going to run out of primers, powder and slugs. At that time, you are going to need to obtain more premade ammunition for your guns. This does not reflect in any way on your planning against The Day. It's simply a fact of life. So, knowing that sooner or later this card will be dealt you in your survival poker hand, you need to plan against the time that card comes up.

What follows is simply my opinion. Your mileage may vary depending on your skill and experience.

When I think about survival firearms, the only ones I consider are those chambered for what some of the gun writers call "universal cartridges." How do you define that? They are defined as cartridges in such widespread use that you can walk into any kind of shop that stocks ammunition, from Wal-Mart to the snootiest gun store in the country, in the sure and certain knowledge that some of those rounds will be in stock.

Which cartridges fit the bill? .22 LR; 9 x 19mm Luger; .45 ACP; .30-06; either 7.62 NATO or .308; .223 or 5.56 NATO;7.62x39 Combloc; 2-3/4 inch 12-gauge shotshells. That's about it. Not a long list, is it?

(And yes, I can hear you arguing that this cartridge or that one should be on the list. 40 years ago, .38 Special would have been there and 9mm Parabellum would not have been. 7.62x39mm would not have been, because that was the cartridge of our enemies; while .30-30 would have been. .223/5.56 NATO probably would not have been, either; the former was seen as a varminter's round and the latter wasn't really available on the civilian market. But today, these are the universal cartridges in the continental United States. That's the fact. Deal with it.)

All your other criteria depend on which of the universal cartridges you choose to employ. The 7.62-class rifle rounds (any of the three) will take any large game animal short of a bison or a bear. (In my opinion, the correct round for hunting bears starts at 20mm Explosive and goes up from there; smarter to steer clear of Mr. Bear at every opportunity.) Folks who want to deal with only one cartridge for both rifle and pistol will pick a carbine in .45 ACP or 9mm Luger. 2-3/4 shotshells can be fired in a 3-inch chambered shotgun with no ill effects, shotgunners have told me. (The 3-inch chambering in 12-gauges is comparatively recent.) The popularity of the AR-15 rifle in all its variants guarantees the accessibility of that round ;and much surplus ammunition in that caliber is on the market at all times. And of course the .22 LR is ubiquitous and most .22s will cycle most any .22 LR round. You can carry an astonishing number of them in not very much space and be confident you can take small game, anything up to a deer, and even two-legged predators with it if you must, if you can hit what you point at.

22 LR; 9 x 19mm Luger; .45 ACP; .30-06; either 7.62 NATO or .308; .223 or 5.56 NATO;7.62x39 Combloc; 2-3/4 inch 12-gauge shotshells. Those are your universal rounds. Choose from among them and live with your choice, knowing resupply will be comparatively painless.

We can now resume arguing over the general type and specific firearms that belong in our survival battery.
 

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Cyrano, you forgot .40S&W. It's now used by LEO's a lot more than the .45ACP is in my area. Thus, why I put the G27 in my list.
 
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