Skip to comments.Best high power rifle for least money?
Posted on 02/18/2009 8:16:22 PM PST by goose the rio
You all were so helpful with a question on seeds the other day that I have another one for you. Preparing for the most basic needs of a SHTF scenario, I have a wonderful shotgun and .22. As far as adding a high power rifle goes, I know what I'd LIKE to have but that's another story. Is there a consensus on a quality-made, affordable rifle, and what should I expect to pay? Would it be a bad idea to buy from a pawn shop?
For those of you who seem to like to "notice" these things, yes, it's my second post ever on FR. Doesn't make me evil. Thanks.
Wait until the DOW hits 1,500 and you will be able to buy an entire arsenal for almost nothing.
7 millimeter magnum ?
A Mosin-Nagant 1891/30 the ammo is less $
Ammunition may be a critical issue. I’d suggest .30-06, .308, 7x57, or 7mm Remington Magnum as the most common cartridges available once supplies get really tight. (Other FReepers will no doubt add to that list). Consider a Winchester model 70, a Remington 700, or one of several Savage rifles. There are many others out there that are terrific buys but those three are very dependable as used-rifle purchases. Budget in some glass as well is my advice. YMMV.
If you’re talking SHTF, I would suggest something in semi-auto trim. Look, there are no ‘least money’ options at the moment. Some popular choices are an AR variant, FAL variant, AK, Mini 14, etc. There are plenty of choices so stroll down to a good gun store and take a look. Budget about $1500.00 to get into a good rifle.
Ammo is the key now, just about all rifle calibers are in short-supply and expensive. I would suggest with staying something that is currently a military round, 5.56x45 or 7.62NATO
.456 Rigby, it will stop an elephant.
One day, an American scientist from Nevada decided to pack the biggest, most powerful cartridge possible into a Mauser action. The result was the .600 Overkill. This is not just an advertising name. This is a gun so insanely powerful it can put a solid bronze bullet SIX FEET into an oak log. The bullet going through the rifling can twist the barrel right out of the shooter's hand, and recoil is "manageable" in a 14 lb gun with three mercury recoil reducers. Sure, you could get a fancy double Eurorifle
if you sold your house. This is more affordable, more powerful, cruder, more atavistic
in short, more AMERICAN. And manlier.
Mosin 91/30 Spec Russian Model 1891/30 7.62x54R Mosin Nagant. Surplus rifle packages refinished in excellent condition starting at $69.99.
The rifles I recommended are hunting rifles primarily. If you want a military rifle the rules change. ;-)
When the SHTF, rifles will be laying all over the place.
SKS but the triggers are kind of flaky about $299. Probably an AK but they are not that cheap anymore. About $599.
Beratta CX Storm .40 $595
You can get a good rifle from DSA for about $1100 if you want good.
Bump for later opinion reading for same question I have.
If you’re worrying about TSHTF, get things in calibers used by the military: .223, 9mm, 12ga and 50BMG :-) [Serbu BFG-50 bolt action for around $2750 including decent scope and bipod]
Yep, very good point.....
But then, I am sentimental.
Thought all this ammo shortage wasn’t really real but my Wal-Mart was all bare of ammo except for some 357.
Do you know if those are still good for shooting? Or just history?
I have a ruger No 1 458 rechambered to .460 weatherby mag and it hasn’t killed one elephant yet !.......:o)
Got kicked out of the zoo before I could get a bead on it !
Remington 700 in 30-06. Top it with a Nikon scope.
Yeah, the prices are stabilizing a bit now. Really, you can get by for $950 but I prefer to assemble out of quality parts so you can pick and choose components.
For a cheap bolt-action, the above poster is correct about a Moisan being a good choice.
I like !
They’re definitely good for shooting. Try getting the M44 version if you can find one.
Oh, my yes. It’ll take anything on the North American continent, including certain two-legged monsters at need.
At gun show in East Texas last week, one dealer had a whole table of them for $135.00.
I was thinking about a DSA STG 58 Austrian FAL for about $1100 or a a SIG 556 Rifle for about $1300. I already have a Bushie .223.
Remington Model 700. Plenty of calibers to choose from. I’ve got several. The 25-06 is my favorite.
You can pick up surplus (and old) Mosin-Nagants for well under $100. But why go cheap? You can buy a fine first quality rifle for $600 or less. I have a Remington Model 700 chambered in .270 that I use for hunting large game. That model is reasonably priced and is very accurate. I like mine a lot. But a SHTF scenario might call for something other than a long distance weapon. There’s a lengthy post that can be found at various places on the Internet (including this site) by an Argentinean who found himself in survivalist mode when the Argentine economy collapsed in 2001. His advice: forget long distance shooting. Your challenges when TSHTF will be up close and personal—not at 200-300 yards or more. After I read his account, I decided to start stockpiling ammo for my new favorite weapon: a Ruger Mini-14 Ranch Rifle chambered in .223. Not exceptionally accurate beyond 100-150 yards, but compact and reliable, and can push bullets fast and furious, and there are thousands of custom options available including high capacity magazines.
Skip with the SIG and go with the FAL. While I love Sig pistols, I’m not as enamored with the 556, seems a bit off balance and a little too proprietary for my tastes. However, if you can find one for $1300.00 that’s a good deal.
Those I’ve seen usually start at $1500. Have you considered a AR-10 (.308) build?
ping for future reference
Yes, very good for shooting. The rifle and ammo are dirt cheap, the action is just about indestructible, and accuracy is comparable to any other bolt-action WWII battle rifle with iron sights. The 7.62x54R cartridge is comparable to .30-06 or .303 British in terms of power and ballistics.
The cons are that the sights are pretty rudimentary, muzzle blast in the carbine versions is pretty fierce, and with that steel buttplate, the recoil takes some getting used to. Also, the safety mechanism is that big knob on the back end of the cocking piece, and it's a chore to use. I can't believe any Soviet soldier ever carried it with a round in the chamber and the safety on.
But certainly if you're considering an 03 Springfield, a 98 Mauser, or an Enfield, the Mosin-Nagant is just as effective and a heck of a lot cheaper.
That website apparently only sells to dealers because it says you have to have a federal firearms license. That’s for SELLING them, right?
In Soviet Russia, the Mosin-Nagant kicks you ;)
AR-10 from which company? Bushmaster? I forget the company that sold them - they were in IL.
The DSA stuff is supposedly very good.
The SA 58 FALs are a bit more expensive while the STG 58 Austrian FAL’s are a bit less. They have gone up. Just preparing in case TSHTF or TEOTWAWKI. A bit more kick than .223 in the FALS.
The hard core guys said if UN types take over then a quiet .22 pistols will be good to have as part of the kit.
Well there are so many possibilities depending on your budget, tastes, requirements, etc..but my super short list would be:
Mosin-Nagant 91/30 in 7.62x54R - cheap, not terribly accurate, full power military rifle. Try to avoid steel case ammo.
Remington 700 in .308 - strong mauser action, accurate, high quality American made. Fires common military round.
AR-15 - Bushmaster, Stag, LMT being 3 of the better manufacturers. Highly customizable rifle that shoots readily available 5.56x45 current US military round. High accuracy potential and reliable if you clean it.
AK-47 - Bulgarian SSR-85 in 7.62x39. There are many makes of AK but I would go with the Bulgarian heavy milled receiver if you can find one. Get this rifle if you expect to be out of contact with civilization for a while. Will take a beating and keep on functioning. Typically will go a long time before any part needs replacing.
If you are in a city, consider a .30 Carbine, or an SKS. Semiautomatic, they will work just fine out to 200 meters, has reasonable recoil, and comes with tasty 15 and 20 round magazines. the .30 Carbine worked just fine for the 82nd Airborne and Audie Murphy on occasion, and the Vietnamese and Korean communists used the SKS. The 7.62X39 russian round is a little faster (2300 fps compared to 1900 fps) but your target won’t care. Both are a pleasure to shoot, and the ammuntion is fairly cheap.
For a hilly forest with open spots, if lightly populated, so you have targets come at you fairly slowly, at up to 300 meters, consider a MosinNagant. 100 dollars should get you a nice one, and accuracy is fine out to 300 meters. The cartridge is near the .30/06 in power, and cheap effective russian ammunition is available. The worlds most effective recorded sniper was a Finn using the Mosin Nagant, with over 500 kills (using iron sights). Best to get one with a bayonet, so you can decide if it is more accurate with, or without the bayonet.
For a desert, (or even the woodland if you are over 40) with longer ranges consider a scoped Savage. Tackdriving accuracy at a reasonable price. Unless you want to go after bear, the .308 winchester will do just fine, and it will also chamber and fire the 7.62mmX51 NATO standard 150 grain bullet cartridge. If you get a second rifle in .30/06 and use 180 grain bullets the ballistic trajectory matchs.
If you are considering it for self-defense, get a semi-auto. You can buy a AR-15 kit for at $550 and get your dealer to order you a lower receiver (about $150). In less than 2 hours you will have a Combat serviceable AR-15. A good YUGO SKS can be purchased for less than $300 and the 7.62x39 is better than the AR-15 5.56.
If the rifle is for putting food on the table, then you cannot go wrong by buying a Savage bolt action rifle in .308.
The soviet M91 is cheap and accurate, but the trigger and the safety are horrible. Additionally, the cheap ammo is not designed for hunting and the hunting ammo for this rilfe is expensive.
Having said all of this, I will give you the advise that was given to me when I was 16: buy the rifle that you want, practise with it alot and ensure that you have all of the ammo that you will need. In the 70s, I used to hunt with an old man that his only rifle was an old 03 springfield (caliber 30-06). He rarely fired twice and if he did, the critter was moving very fast and was very small. I once watched him hit a rabbit at about 50 yards while the critter was being chased by dogs. Two shots (very fast) and all that was left over was a wet ball of fur.
Armalite AR10A4BN 308 Black W/Natl Match Trigger
Or If you have the money to spend - get this one.
I never thought I would see the day!
You have to stop listening to the wife :)
They’re more accurate than most modern sporting rifles. As a combat rifle, they’re pretty clunky.
If you want to go cheap, look at the Russian Saiga .308 AK Hunting Rifle.
Bushy sells a .308, so does DPMS but consider building up one. Parts are hard to come by, particularly LPK’s, barrels and BCG’s but they are out there if you’re willing to look around and be a little patient but in the end I think you end up with a better rifle.
Nice thing about going with an AR-type is the ability to easily add a .22lr conversion kit for cheaper shooting. As for the FAL, they’re great rifles in fact I wish I had been able to pick up one of those ‘kits’ that was readily available 5 yrs ago. I’m content with an AR platform but we should all be worried about ammo right now.
Dude, if you’re really a gun guy, you can NEVER have too many guns. Just lie down until the feeling passes.
There are so many variables, it’s hard to recommend one rifle. For basic self-defense and all around use, I’d say a SKS. (If you can still find one).
I don’t forsee too many rogue elephants in my future. Something in the 7.62 range would be way more practical.
Just stick with the good old Remington 700.
I’d buy a Savage bolt in .308 with decent glass
simple as that if you only want one
That's a Curio and Relics FFL. Costs $30 for 3 years and pretty easy to get, allows dealers to sell you "collectible" weapons directly, including direct shipping. Some places like Midway USA will also give you dealer pricing if you have one. Check out cruffler.com for more info...