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The Fighting Rifle (And Why Your Pistol Is A Backup Weapon)
Off the Grid News ^ | Jun 25th, 2012 | Mike

Posted on 06/25/2012 10:16:51 AM PDT by Sopater

America is very much a gun culture, and more weapons remain in civilian hands here than just about anywhere on earth, which is a good thing. We also have a fascination with pistols in this country, with the vast majority of the states having some sort of carry provisions in their laws allowing anyone not prohibited from carrying a pistol on their person. Some states have open carry while most have concealed carry, and thus a great many Americans are armed with handguns at any given time.

Reasons listed on most concealed carry applications range from personal protection, to protection from wildlife, protection from previous stalkers, or because of business considerations. All in all, we arm ourselves with pistols for just about any and all reasons – our law enforcement officers respond in kind, choosing to wear mostly Level IIA body armor, which is good only for pistol calibers.

A quick look at the military, however, shows an opposite preference. Each soldier or Marine is armed with a rifle or carbine. Even cooks, clerks, and supply staff must qualify with rifles, regardless of their jobs in the military. Pistols are a rarity, usually afforded to officers and senior NCOs, almost as an afterthought. In Iraq and Afghanistan, room clearing is still done by rifle. For all intents and purposes, pistols are a seldom-used backup weapon or at best, used for garrison MP work stateside.

Why, then, does the civilian populace have it backwards? Leaving aside the practicality of carrying a rifle around, a pistol for defense purposes is inferior in every way to a rifle. If it were the reverse, armies would march to war with them – but they don’t.

As an off-the-grid prepper or retreat homeowner, you need to begin acquainting yourself with the idea the home defense is a rifle fight that most people bring a pistol to. Sure, there are some cases, such as small homes, condominiums, and apartments – places in urban settings – that lend themselves to having a pistol as a primary defense weapon with a rifle in reserve, but in a rural or retreat setting, your pistols can safely remain in their holsters as backup – where they belong. As Clint Smith said, “The only purpose for a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should have never laid down.”

The Bad Guys Are Getting Desperate… As A Patriot You Must Know… How To Hide Your Guns… [1]

The Right Tool for the Job

In a rural or outdoor environment, a rifle or carbine is the perfect companion for a patrol. If you own an acreage or large retreat property, you’re going to want to walk it extensively to scout it out, learn its nuances, and see how your home looks from various other perspectives on your land. See what a potential intruder sees! Bring along a rifle in case of any trouble – even if no trouble is expected. First, this will familiarize yourself with patrolling, and secondly, it will teach you to bear the heft of your rifle. Go out as far from the home as you can on your land…three, four hundred yards if possible. Now take out your backup pistol – unloaded of course – and draw a bead on your house. The front sight probably is bigger than the front door. How do you expect to hit anything with a pistol at that range? It’s a rhetorical question.

Your new retreat should have a battle rifle to defend it. Don’t get hung up on nomenclature and armchair ninjas who declare that a battle rifle is solely a .308 caliber weapon. Your battle rifle is whatever you choose to defend your home with. Ideally, it should be a semi-automatic, gas-operated, detachable-magazine model chambered in a military caliber such as 7.62 x 39, 7.62 x 51 (.308), or 5.56 x 45 (.223). The reasons for these choices are simple. In a home defense situation, each one of the aforementioned features you don’t possess is a huge handicap to you.

You can most certainly hold off an invading horde with a Remington bolt-action rifle, or grandpa’s .30-30, or even a shotgun. Sooner or later though, you’re going to run into rate-of-fire problems since all of these designs are slow to shoot, relative to a semi-auto, and have extremely limited magazine capacities. So if those designs are inferior for home defense use, where does that leave our venerable pistols?

Keep Your Handgun Locked and Loaded, Ready For Instant Use – Without Fear Of An Accident! [2]

As excellent backup weapons! Outside fifty yards, a pistol not only loses accuracy, but also knockdown power. Target acquisition becomes difficult due to the coarser sights on most pistols, and there are usually no adjustments possible in any case. Inside twenty-five yards, the game changes somewhat, with pistols having decent accuracy and passable knockdown power. They still suffer from short barrels (between three and six inches on most semi-autos) and low magazine capacities (as low as eight and as high as twenty without extended magazines). Even a $300 junk AK clone with a handful of thirty-round magazines brings far more firepower to the fight than a pistol with the same number of magazines, regardless of caliber.

Train Like You Fight

A prepper who is lucky enough to have a decent size piece of land should definitely practice with both a rifle and pistol (don’t forget the shotgun!) in various drills designed to have the shooter engage targets at long range with a rifle, and then transition to pistol for short range targets. This way, the shooter can smoothly switch from one weapons system to another. Why fool around with your rifle sights? It’s easy to make a range card beforehand so that you know the distances accurately on your own property – so that that tree over there is 50 yards, that rock, 250, that gully, 75. Preparation is key. While doing these drills, feel free to occasionally engage rifle targets with your pistol, to see just how useless it is at anything that is afar off.

While distance drills are great practice, don’t fall into the mentality that a rifle is purely a long-distance weapon. Carbines like the M4 and others represent excellent close-quarters weapons that have incredible power, huge magazine capacities, and the ability to rapidly reload as well as accept accessories such a lights and lasers, making them the perfect weapons for any job. Get good at clearing rooms or doing drills with a carbine, and you’ll start questioning why you even own a pistol.

©2012 Off the Grid News

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Hobbies; Society
KEYWORDS: banglist; guns; prepping; protection; selfdefense
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To: Sopater
The three systems I've tested and have on my own guns are the Adams Arms, The CMMG, and the Osprey Defense. each is used to replace the gas tube and the bolt carrier. The gas is bled from the rifle (all of mine are carbine or pistol configuration) to the piston which then drives a rod to the bolt carrier to cycle the weapon. The fouling is kept out of the firing chamber and the bolt carrier. The best one I’ve tested so far for reliable functioning with minimum maintenance is the Osprey Defense system ... least parts and not adjustable ‘dials’. The CMMG is great for those who would like to be able to turn off the piston system and shoot a .22lr insert for practice. The Adams Arms is best if you want to be able to turn off the cycling and fire single rounds or special loads. I have mounted the CMMG on an 11.5 inch ‘pistol’ gun and had to take a whole loop off of the buffer tube recoil spring to cycle it reliably. The Osprey is on a 14.5 inch gun with permanent mounted flash suppressor/compensator. Had to take half a coil out of the buffer spring, but it runs flawlessly for hundreds of rounds, seeming to be self cleaning at the piston, cup site. I use high temp bearing grease as the gun grease for parts but the high temp is not a necessity now that the piston systems are on the guns. There are good youtube vids on all three systems. Easily added and nice to not have to clean the gun after each range visit.
21 posted on 06/25/2012 11:11:09 AM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Sopater
I've always heard that a handgun is used to fight your way to your rifle.

That's how I look at it.

22 posted on 06/25/2012 11:12:14 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: SampleMan

Wife sleeps with a flap holstered 3” cylinder Taurus Judge under her pillow. Loaded with five rounds of .410 with six 9 mm balls in each one, it is a formidable up close and personal weapon.

Me, I prefer the .45 acp Ruger P90DC under my pillow.

23 posted on 06/25/2012 11:19:51 AM PDT by Sea Parrot (The beatings will continue until morale improves)
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To: Sea Parrot

Sig P6 (225) at the bed. 12 guage riot gun and a carbine within a dozen steps.

24 posted on 06/25/2012 11:25:16 AM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Sopater

I am sure my AK 74 (5.45X39) would penetrate several walls. I was at the range and a guy came over and asked me what I was shooting and I told him that it was a bulge AK 74. He said what threw him off was he could see it had hardly any recoil and yet I was sending rounds through my target and raising dust on the backstop berm. ;-)
25 posted on 06/25/2012 11:37:32 AM PDT by Kartographer ("We mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor.")
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To: Sopater

My husband’s affinity for his reproduction Civil War era Gatling gun doesn’t seem so weird when I read things like this.

26 posted on 06/25/2012 11:40:24 AM PDT by MeganC (No way in Hell am I voting for Mitt Romney. Not now, not ever. Deal with it.)
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To: dblshot

That’s about the range at which I use my .30-06 to nudge trespassers. Different strokes for different folks.

27 posted on 06/25/2012 11:40:51 AM PDT by meatloaf (Support Senate S 1863 & House Bill 1380 to eliminate oil slavery.)
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To: dblshot

I live in a small (1440 ft2) home on a small lot, by other small places in a 55+ place. Mr. Remington 870 with buck-and-ball (.65” ball w/6 OO buck) and Mr. RIA 1911 (Tactical) will do the job.

I sold my Saiga .308 and bought more ammo.

28 posted on 06/25/2012 11:43:17 AM PDT by CPO retired
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To: driftdiver
This site converted me from a shotgun to a carbine for home defense: The Box of Truth

As BoT reiterates over and over again, "pistols are pistols, shotguns are shotguns and rifles are rifles". A rifle can do it all, including penetrating most soft body armor. No pistol or shotgun round can do this reliably. As for all the talk of overpenetration, unless you live in a stone castle any round can overpenetrate. A little preplanning does more to protect the innocent that all the nerf rounds in the world.

29 posted on 06/25/2012 1:09:25 PM PDT by jboot (Galt by default.)
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I have just recently converted my ARs to piston driven guns. The reduction in heat in the firing chamber and bolt carrier, as well as the reduction in carbon fouling is very significant for more than five or six rounds fired in a fire fight. I reccommend one of three best systems because of functionality to the level of three hundred rounds in less than an hour.

I've been considering one of those conversions, which did you ultimately decide on?

Also, any signs of wear due to the tendency of the piston/operating rod pressure to cause the bolt carrier to deflect downwards at the rear?

30 posted on 06/25/2012 1:12:27 PM PDT by Charles Martel (Endeavor to persevere...)
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To: Sopater
I've always heard that a handgun is used to fight your way to your rifle.

That's long been one of the more inane sayings in the shooting world.

In many instances, if one is having to rely upon a handgun for self defense it's because they are somewhere that the "rifle" cannot go or is nearly impossible to deploy.

Say one is at the mall picking up a store shipped delivery and a crazed shooter starts opening up. Is your handgun present to simply fight your way to a "trunk rifle, out in the parking lot, or to fight your way back to the rifle in the gun safe across town?

If we're talking right tool for the right job, the handgun has it's own set of tasks where the long arm cannot hope to perform as well.

And pistols are nowhere near as "rare" in military service as the OP suggests. The issue is not one of why do the ground pounders mostly use rifles, it is a question along these lines: If handguns suck so badly, why are they still found in their hundreds of thousands in the military? The correct answer, as even the OP gets around to recognizing is to have "both."
31 posted on 06/25/2012 1:21:00 PM PDT by Goldsborough
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To: Goldsborough

That one came from Jeff Cooper, a truly brilliant and knowledgeable man. Like most people, Cooper was capable of being wrong and I agree with you that the statement is not entirely correct.

I think Col. Cooper began to mellow a bit in his later years. Even tho he was often quoted as making fun of mouse guns, he admitted that he often stuck a .22 auto in his pocket while walking around the ranch.

I think he said “It doesn’t hit hard but it hits hard enough for most purposes”, maybe not an exact quote but close.

32 posted on 06/25/2012 1:36:13 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Kartographer

Gotta love the AK 74.
Ballistics are comparable to the AR15 but it is so much cheaper to feed.

33 posted on 06/25/2012 2:10:26 PM PDT by mylife (The Roar Of The Masses Could Be Farts)
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To: yarddog
That one came from Jeff Cooper, a truly brilliant and knowledgeable man. Like most people, Cooper was capable of being wrong and I agree with you that the statement is not entirely correct.

As cited, the quote in question is the work of Clint Smith. As far as it goes, I agree with the saying on a battlefield. As the larger world is not a battlefield, saying "A pistol is only good for fighting your way to the rifle you should have never put down," is a seriously "tool-ish" personal policy stance.

There couldn't be two more different Marines regarding the utility of handguns than Cooper and Smith. As Col. Cooper had enormous respect for the M1911A1, begrudging respect for the CZ-75, and practical respect for the J-Frame S&W wheelgun, I would never attribute Mr. Smith's narrow view of the handgun to him.
34 posted on 06/25/2012 2:45:57 PM PDT by Goldsborough
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To: Sopater

Do marines use ear protection on a daily basis when they are on patrol?

35 posted on 06/25/2012 2:57:17 PM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Charles Martel

After a couple of thousand rounds I detect no visible wear from carrier tilt from any of the three. With good lightweight lowers now selling for under hundred bucks, I wouldn’t worry about that anyway. If you want reliable, durable and trouble free, I reccommend the Osprey Defense. But if you want to easily turn off the gas piston drive to shoot 22 lr conversion for cheap practice I would go with the CMMG. With the Osprey you use your current gasblock and they send a gas cup to slip into the gas block, a piston and drive rod and bolt carrier and handguards, and with the CMMG they send a gas block along with the piston, rod, spring, and bolt carrier. You use your own bolt. I have yet to clean the Osprey system and it still runs like a sewing machine after hundreds of rounds down range. The CMMG needs cleaning after around five or six hundred rounds to remain flawless for 22lr use. But I would trust it for a couple thousand rounds without cleaning if burning IMI or even Tula ammo. I prefer the Osprey because it is so simple in operation. One minor thing: with the piston systems, the heat and carbon dump out near the gas block, so with attachments that require tight mounting you can have things work loose if not on nice and tight.

36 posted on 06/25/2012 3:35:47 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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To: Goldsborough

I don’t guess I even know who Clint Smith is tho the name sounds a bit familiar. I have read or heard that quote literally dozens of times and always thought it came from Cooper. Actually I still do but sure could be wrong.

Maybe Cooper was quoting Smith. I never thought it was all that good a statement but yes I can see someone in combat needing a rifle ahead of anything else.

Beside my bed is double action .380, and within 6 feet is a Winchester defender with 7, OO buckshot tho I have at times changed that to BB shot. Still not certain what the best load is. I would rather have a Remington 870 but the Winchester was what I had and practically speaking it is just as good.

When my wife was alive, I kept a Colt auto in the drawer close to the bed, sometimes changing it for a Browning Hi-Power. I also used to keep a Ruger 10/22 in the bedroom with a high quality 30 round mag.

The one time someone was literally trying to get into the house, I grabbed the Ruger. I still am not sure why. It was probably about as good as anything, tho the Colt would probably have been a better choice. It turned out to be a drunk at the wrong house.

I have owned a large number of AR-15s and wish I still had one. All were Colts and none ever gave the slightest trouble. It would be a good home protection weapon but I can get by with a 10/22.

37 posted on 06/25/2012 3:55:21 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: Sopater
I live in the burbs and although I appreciate all the classic WW2 battle rifles I am much more of a carbine guy. I've got the Saiga .223 and I just picked up a Ruger PC9.

I was looking for a good PC9 at a reasonable price for years. I already have two P89 automatics that take 15 rd mags. The PC 9 takes the same mag.

I would really like to find a .45 ACP Camp Carbine but they are ridiculously rare since November 2008. They use a standard M1911 mag and I can't think of a better carbine/pistol combo. My Ruger combo is fine but it's not .45 ACP.

38 posted on 06/25/2012 4:19:53 PM PDT by wtc911 (Amigo - you've been had.)
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To: cripplecreek
With a Mosin-Nagant bayonet, from your bedroom window you can stick an intruder at your back property line! (And it's great for roasting marshmallows later.)

39 posted on 06/25/2012 4:53:55 PM PDT by deoetdoctrinae (Gun free zones are playgrounds for felons.)
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To: wtc911

The KelTec sub 2000 in 40 cal using Glock23 mags makes a very nice combination of carbine and pistol using the same mags and ammo. The bonus is that the KelTec folds to sixteen inches with mag in it, so you can carry it around in a book bag! They are fast, accurate, and reliable, and very easy to clean and feed. I range mine with Tula ammo and keep Hornady HPs in the defense mode.

40 posted on 06/25/2012 4:54:48 PM PDT by MHGinTN (Being deceived can be cured.)
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