Skip to comments.M-1 versus AR-15 versus FN-FAL versus 12-Gauge: What to buy in a time of crisis?
Posted on 09/14/2001 5:48:10 PM PDT by SlickWillard
Not to be paranoid, but I have a bad feeling about this war we're entering. This summer I socialized with some Arabs, and, quite frankly, they're not the friendliest people in the world. Plus, they know my home address. Just to be on the safe side, I'd like to purchase a rifle or a shotgun in the next few days, but I have very little experience in these matters. I have long followed the FR threads on these matters (see below), and was hoping to draw on the expertise of the FR community. I am told that if I pass the phone-in test, I should be able to purchase a long gun or rifle in about 15 minutes. Would you please help me, and other Freepers like me, by offering your ideas about weapons for use in times of civil unrest? If possible:
1) Please limit your suggestions to things that the consumer has a reasonable chance to purchase in a store near his or her home. You aren't going to walk into the gun store down the street and find a $5000 fifty-caliber sniper cannon with a $1500 telescope.
2) Please limit your discussion to the practical effectiveness of the weapon, not its theoretical effectiveness. Theoretically, in close quarters, a fully automatic M-16 is superior to a semi-automatic M1, but, in practice, the consumer can only purchase a semi-automatic M-16 (AR-15). Theoretically, at 500 meters, a semi-automatic M1 is superior to a fully automatic M-16, but, in practice, unless you build your house next to the Bonneville salt flats, you'll never encounter a 500 meter line of sight.
3) Remember, the weapon has to be a long gun (rifle) that can be purchased on the spot. No handguns, or anything else that requires a waiting period. Note that this rules out the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Also, we're talking complete, fully functioning weapons here. You don't have six weeks to assemble the weapon from the very best parts made by the very best machine shops.
4) The cost of the ammo is very nearly as important as cost of the weapon. If a round costs $5, the newbie can't afford to become familiar with the weapon.
5) The tables below don't mention shotguns, because they haven't been the subject of much discussion here at FR. A pump action shotgun is probably about the best weapon you can have in close quarters (that, or a very large, very aggressive canine). Please give any suggestions you have concerning reliable, reasonably priced pump action shotguns and their shells.
6) Much of the information in the tables that follow is probably wrong. Don't hesitate to point out any mistakes or fallacies that you spot.
7) Finally, and most sadly, the weapon is not for killing squirrels, rabbits or deer. Instead, the weapon is to be kept at your side, in case the bad guys show up at your house and present a "you or them" situation. The purpose of the weapon is to maximize the probability that it's them, not you.
(a division of ebay)
I do have a 30-06 Remington and a 12 gauge 835 Mossberg, and also can PROBABLY get a hold of an M1 Garand within 20 minutes if need be.
If the SHTF, and I had one choice of weapon, I'd want the Mossberg.
For close in work, I like the Dan Wesson 357 w/6inch barrel. Loud as heck, but once again, you can usually hit what you aim at with little practice.
For canines, I suggest pit bulls. Very sweet dogs and very lovable. Bestest breed that ever was IMHO. But, they are loyal and do not need to be taught to defend their people.
They've got like a gazillion models:
1. Find a friend or make a friend who is an NRA member with some years experience in handling firearms.
2. Buy the shotgun. Pump would suit a novice well, but have your friend show you and help you practice with DUMMY SHELLS NOT LIVE ONES until you can load and unload the thing safely.
If the pump is too complex buy a double barrel. Easy to operate and you get two shots instead of one.
3. Go to the range. Learn to hit targets.
I recommend the shotgun because it has good stopping power, is easier to aim, and the situation you describe is mostly very short range.
I noticed you didn't include any Kalashnikovs on your list. Most reliable of the lot, but not quite as precise as the fine rifles you listed. Notice that all the sand-terrorists carry Kalashnikovs. This is because they continue to work, even when full of sand and neglected for decades. Something to think about.
I can also get 3 1/2 inch shells of .00 buckshot with it as well.
Once I get a slug barrell, that gun can do almost anything outside of rapid fire and sniping.
It can be fired with one arm if you take a hit.
Well it depends I guess. I would go 12 gauge but if Slick is built small and has little firearms experience maybe a 20 is the ticket. Certainly the recoil and noise are less and that is good for a first time shooter.
I assure you, I am not looking for trouble. I just want to be ready if it comes up my driveway looking for me.
PS: This thing could get really ugly before it's all said and done (as though it hasn't been mighty ugly so far...)
1)Ammo is cheap and readily available anywhere
2)You don't have be an expert marksman to hit what you point it at (it's called a "scattergun" for a reason)
3)If you choose to, you can go for a disabling shot and have a reasonable chance of actually hitting a leg, arm, etc.
4)Also If you choose to, it can be quite lethal (though maybe a little messy)
5)If you have neighbors like I do, you worry about penetration. Steel shot probably won't penetrate your wall AND your neighbor's
6)Deterrance: The sound of a shell being jacked into a pump shotgun's chamber has to be the scariest and most distinctive sound in the universe.
Enough to put most burglars to flight without firing a shot.
If your looking for an assault rifle and money is a concern I'd recommend an AK-47 type like a MAK-90. They can be had for as little as $250 and the ammo (7.62x39) is about $80 for 1000 rds. They are very reliable and fun to shoot. I just got a Dragunov stock for mine and boy is it evil looking. A AR-15 type rifle starts out at about $600.
My own favorite rifle is my M-1 Garand. Loading the clips is a little tedious and if your not careful inserting the clip you can lose a thumb. But they are very accurate and fun to shoot. The first time I ever shot mine I put 6 of 8 rounds in a 12"x12" at 100 yards shooting freehand. I picked it up at a gun show for $700 but you can get them for as little as $400 if you don't have to have USGI matching parts.
I have a sweet titanium snubnoze 38, with "ticket to Allah" written all over it and Mohamed will not no where or if I have one.
If you live in Kalifornia or some other totalitarian state, revolt against the state for your rights back, or move now! It could be possible that your state allows you to go about non-concealed. Take whatever your state allows, and now is the time to undue the harm against the 2nd Amendment that was inflicted on it that past 50 odd years.
Understand that discharging a firearm in your house is LOUD. Be prepared for it. Your ears will ring for 20 minutes. Or more.
Understand that people shot will also create a scene. They will scream, yell, cry, plead, bleed all over the carpet, and leave particles splattered on your living room wall. Prepare yourself for it now.
Not trying to deter you from protecting yourself, just letting you know that it will be loud and messy and in many states you will be subjected to a grand jury investigation, etc.
In our case the police took over 14 hours to quiz, measure, quiz some more, take pictures, smoke, talk, etc. Then there were the months wondering whether I'd be charged.
Just letting you know. I like the Remington 870.
I'm more in the Ishy .308 line for around $150 a ten round mag and bayonnet lug too,plus you get to use all that good british slang.
Sir,What is a napature? Sir,a napature is a nole you look though,Sir.Kersnickety snack and much pounding of the feet.
Or a good Rem 870 will do all you need,buy one send it to wilson combat and get back a real working piece for only $200 more dollars.
I'd never part with it...very handy.
I like that. I think I will get one myself someday.
Pump or other?
Seriously, a basic Mossberg pump or Remington 870 is ideal for in-house defense work. Most 870's now come with screw-in chokes - use full culinder for in the house (shot scatters widely and in a hurry). Use #4 shot or bigger (lower the shot #, bigger the shot- BUT, bigger the shot, less pellets in a round).
One question - where the hell have you been pricing ammo? Really good shotgun shells are about 6-8 dollars per 25 round box, and you can often find them on sale for $4-5.
7.62mm and .223 surplus ammo can be gotten for about 20 cents per round. 30-06 for the Garand is slightly higher.
$2.00 per round? That's about the going rate for .50 caliber BMG. ,
The AR-15 of today is not the M-16 of the 70's. They are finely manufactured pieces of machinery that have really come into their own in terms of reliability and accuracy, and are popular both for varmint hunters and precision shooters (even at pretty long ranges -- most of us won't ever need to hit anything beyond 500 yards really, in which case I'd probably want a good bolt action in .300 Win Mag or somethign).
As far as usefullness when the SHTF, the Carbine versions especially are excellent in an "urban combat" environment as they combine compactness, rate of fire, and low recoil in a package that is not "overpowered" for close quarters battle.
Obviously, they are not infinitely flexible. That's why everyone needs several guns of different types! :-)
You don't have firearms experience? Well, then what the @#$%& are you doing considering stuff that will put holes thru your neighbor's kids bedroom if you screw up?
First, find someone who will be a good teacher. Find out what HE teaches best. Then get that, buy LOTS of ammo for it, and spend a few days practicing with it.
For the novice, a semi-auto shotgun in 20-gauge may be best. The recoil is managable, and novices tend to "short-stroke" pump shotguns under stress (this makes them jam -- you don't want that when you're fighting for your life)
BTW, the 12 Ga has quite the kick. But at 6'4" and 235, it's a draw ...
For home defense I side with those who favor a 12 gauge pump. Almost any brand I have ever been around (Remmington, Winchester, Ithica (sp), Mossberg and undoubted others) has worked flawlessly.
Whoever was quoting ammo prices (e.g. 30'06 at $40 per box??) in the tables above was either looking to sell something at a huge markup or was buying something gold plated.
If you are looking for a dependable handgun at a very moderate price, there have been a lot of police surplus Model 10 S&W 38s around at very good prices from time to time. As a lot of police officers who shot themselves with 70s era autoloaders proved, a modern double action revolver is probably a lot safer for the shooter who may not always be focussed on safety.
Earth to Deep_6: The "it" just flew two jet airplanes into the World Trade Center, which, thanks to the "it," no longer exists. Neither do about 5000 former tenants.
Consider the following scenario: Massive, possibly nuclear, counter-retaliation by the United States on Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, et al. Massive, possibly unconventional, counter-counter-retaliation by many non-citizen Arabs in the United States (think visa and green card-carrying engineers, post docs, grad students, undergrads, wives, domestic workers, etc.). Like I said, I spent some time with non-citizen Arabs this summer, and they aren't real fond of us.
For close-in work, nothing, and I mean nothing compares with a scattergun. Mossberg, with a short barrel, would be the best thing. Rifles are good at long range, but they're simply too clumsy for truly close encounters.
Nothing else comes close.
Actually, the author of this thread is very serious. He intends to make a purchase tomorrow and to begin target practice in the woods behind his house tomorrow afternoon.
$4 per round?
Now that someone has committed an act of terror, these same people you thought enough of to spend time with, have become evil?
You're now afraid these people who thought enough of you to spend their time with you are coming to your home to hunt you down?
You're a perfect example of why some people want to mandate waiting periods for firearm purchases.
Sounds like you need a friend, someone who will listen to you, far more than you need a gun, and I'd wager that one of your Arab 'friends' (one of the people you're talking about killing) would be happy to oblige you.
For side arms I like the expensive (roughly $375-$500) - Walther PPK/PPKS. It's small, inexpensive to fire, easily concealed, accurate, median on recoil and comfortable to fire. You don't have to go too big - you want stopping power, not something that will go through someone and keep on Going. You want something that will put them down, not a rocket launcher that is unweildy and goes right through. A good Mossy 12 ga. and Walther would put you in under $1000 and prepare you for anything close range, though the Walther may surprise most on it's range capabilities. There are many reasons it has been a weapon of Choice in Security agencies. I've heard stories of jam rates; but, I've yet to see one actually Jam.