I do not claim to be an expert in this field, and am only
to pass along my experiences and impressions to you, for whatever they
It is assumed that if you are reading this, you may be considering
possibility of socio-economic collapse from any number of reasons. If
comes to this, we all know that it won't be like the depression of the
1930's, when the unemployed homeless came around to your back door at
mealtime, begging for a bowl of soup which those employed were willing
Now days people are dependant on gov't welfare, and consider it
_right_ to be given (or take by force) the necessities of life. For
family that gives up vacations, meals out, consumer goods, etc. to
thousands & thousands of other families will not! You survival will
on your ability to protect what you have.
Unless you already live in a very small town, or in a sparsely
populated area out in the country, it is imperative that you have
to go. At the onset of socio-economic collapse the cities will rapidly
become a death trap. Plan on getting the hell out at the first sign of
things going bad!
The ideal situation for city dwellers is to have a farm or ranch
100 miles away from any major city. If you live on the coast, then
it at 200 miles, because the population fleeing the city can only go in
direction. If you can get farther away than this, then do it. The
thumb used to be "at least a tank of gas away from any city." However,
with the advent of more fuel efficient cars, this is getting much
You don't want to pick an area with neighbors that are laid back
totally unprepared. You want your neighbors to be armed and fiercely
independent, willing to fight to protect what is theirs. Many of the
folks in Texas fit this criteria. If your neighbors are unarmed and
unwilling to protect themselves, they will only attract looters &
from the city to the area. Neighbors can help protect and reinforce
other. You also must be psychologically prepared to protect yourself
If you cannot afford to buy your own place, you are going to have
find somewhere to go, ahead of time. Do you have any relatives that
in the country or small communities? How about friends? If not, can
make some friends that do? You could buy a gun vault to keep in their
If all else fails, I guess you could retreat to public land, but I
wouldn't rate your chances very good. You would have to pick out a
to bury your supplies at, and hope nobody finds them. Not too good of
Never retreat alone. Looters are much more likely to attack
individuals than groups. One person can't stay on watch for 24 hrs/da.
Buy an army pack, camouflaged combat clothing, hiking boots, and
military web carrying equipment for each member of the family to keep
home in the city. Hopefully, you will get out of town soon enough to
to your retreat, but be prepared to walk all or part of the way if
what it takes. Keep enough weapons, ammo & survival gear to get you
Your heavier weapons, and the bulk of your ammo and survival gear
stored at your retreat.
Don't plan on being able to drive to your retreat by the regular
highway route. Go to a map store & buy the US Geological Topographic
Survey maps covering every area you drive through to get there, plus
general areas around your retreat. If you can't find these maps, call
at 703-648-5990. Also buy county maps of every county you have to pass
through. In Texas a private publisher has put into booklet form every
county map in the state, for about $14.
Now, you will have to drive to your retreat on back roads, using
maps. Use as many roads as possible that don't show up on your state
highway map. You'll likely find that these roads will take longer, but
they'll get you there, while avoiding populated areas. Traffic will be
light because only those prepared as well as you will be able to find
or know where they go.
Mark your routs with a highliter. Note possible hazards along the
way. These might be routs near military bases, prisons, low water
crossings, rivers prone to flooding, etc. Write down the road numbers
you go, for some county maps show the roads but not the numbers. Take
different routs in different kinds of weather. Mark "holding-up"
for car repairs, meeting friends or relatives on the way, etc.
When you get your maps marked like you want, coat them with a
proofing compound. This also makes the paper tougher & less prone to
at the folds. "Stormproof" is one brand you might find at the map
A new product just came out called "Map Seal." Contact Aquaseal in
Everett, WA at 206-290-7530. They also have some new leather
compound, waterproof tent coating, etc. Both of the products are a
you just paint on with a brush.
Now to the guns............
Rifles are the backbone of your survival battery. However, every
adult member of your group must have a pistol because it can always be
your side. Whenever visiting the retreat, all members should wear
pistols so as to get familiar with them and used to carrying them. Do
shooting each time, too.
When it comes to survival pistols, forget about revolvers. They
hold enough shells, are too slow to reload, too heavy, and are open to
dirt. Also, it is hard to replace parts in them if they break.
Semi-automatic pistols are a must! Preferably the new ones with
capacity, double column or staggered magazines. The smallest caliber
should consider is 9mm. I am of the school of thought that "bigger is
better," so I prefer the slow moving .45 ACP cartridge. Others think
faster, but smaller 9mm is better. No one can _prove_ which one is
so select the one you like. In between calibers are .38 Super Auto,
S&W, and 10mm, the most common (& easiest to find) being .40.
In my experience, the Glock pistols are by far the best choice.
are very light because of the plastic receiver (frame) they have. Even
they are about the strongest pistol on the market. The factory not
allows, but recommends that you shoot a steady diet of hot submachine
in them. They say that their pistols will handle any cartridge
manufactured in the world that is the proper caliber. That's a far cry
form S&W and other brands of light alloy frame pistols, which you have
call the factory first to see it they will handle the hot loads. Many
models are not capable of handling hot loads.
Since the Glock has a plastic frame, it cannot rust. The barrel,
slide and the parts are coated with a black substance that will not
wear off, with a hardness second only to diamonds. The pistols are
reliable and _very_ accurate, but moderately priced. They all have
Spend the extra $100 or so, and get the nuclear powered night
These are a must. You can fire accurately at a target at night if you
only see the silhouette of it. They turn it into an effective 24 hour
weapon instead of a daytime weapon. These are well worth the money.
you already have a Glock without night sights, send it back to the
& have them installed.
Whatever kind of pistol you settle on, get one of the Bianchi UM84
UM92 nylon military holsters to attach to your GI pistol belt. If
restrictions apply, a leather US Army flap holster will do. Get one or
double magazine pouches to attach to your web gear & fill them with
Glocks cost around $500+ without the night sights. If you can't
afford this, look at the Chinese Norinco 1911 type .45 pistol. For
$200 they have a 9mm Tokarov pistol which works ok. For a little more,
can get a Tokarov with a staggered (high capacity) magazine. Karen, an
Israeli company, now imports a plastic framed pistol styled after the
Browning Hi-Power ($300+), which holds 14 rds. of 9mm. There are many
other Eastern European companies that offer inexpensive pistols.
In my opinion, it is no use looking at pistols more expensive than
Glocks. They can't do anything the Glock won't do as well, or probably
Get at least 3 or more extra magazines for each pistol. That way,
can carry 2 loaded in a belt pouch & have a 3rd to rotate so that they
don't stay loaded all the time & eventually weaken the springs. You
might damage or lose one.
I would establish a goal to eventually stock 500 rounds at the
for each pistol. A bare minimum per gun should be 250 rds. Don't shy
from 750+ rds./gun. Extra ammo can always be used to barter with your
In semiauto pistols, only ball ammo (full metal jacket) should be
initially. Fire the pistols 100-200 rounds to break them in. After
you can experiment with hollow point ammo if you desire. It will
is some autos, and not others. Be sure you fire 100-200 rds. of hollow
point in your pistol without any jams before you depend on it.
Learn well how to take your pistol apart so you can keep it
All weapons have their strong points as well as their limitations.
Always utilize your weapons to maximize their effectiveness. The
gives an example of suggested weapon usage versus range:
0 - 50 yds.:
Riot Shotgun with 12 gauge buckshot. Out to 100 yds with slugs.
50 - 300 yds.:
.223 (5.56mm) - AR-15, .223 Galil
7.62x39mm - SKS, AK
300 - 800 yds.:
.308 (7.62x45mm) - M1A, HK91, FN-FAL, .308 Galil
30-06 - M1 Garand, '03 Springfield
8mm (7.92mm) - Mauser, FN-49
303 British Enfield
The riot shotgun (barrel 20" or less) is an extremely devastating
weapon out to 50 yds. Pump shotguns are cheap ($250.00), so purchase
plenty of them.
Out to 300 yds the .223 is flat shooting and fast shooting. It's
ideal to repulse a typical assault at medium ranges.
Beyond 300 yds the .308 battle rifle is vastly superior in
and effectiveness. With scopes, you can engage the enemy long before
can return accurate fire.
Automatic weapons may be of questionable value for survival use.
is unlikely that you will have to repel an assault that cannot be
by accurate semi-auto fire. If your budget allows automatic weapons,
light on the submachine guns, but do have them fitted with sound
suppressors (silencers). Of more use would probably be the 1918-A2 BAR
the FN-FALO squad support machine rifle. A Browning 1919-A4 belt-fed
machine gun might be of use mounted on a tripod or in the back of a
on a vehicle pedestal mount. If you use these, remember to stock
Silenced .22 rifles & pistols might be of some use in taking out
sentries quietly, or for hunting small game without drawing attention.
About half the states allow ownership of suppressors and machineguns.
you live in a qualifying state, find a Class 3 dealer in your area.
is a $200 tax on each item, and they must be Federally registered.
In 1989, George Bush banned the import of modern infantry rifles
Presidential decree. Those such as the HK91, FN-FAL, Galil, Styer AUG,
and others are no longer being imported. The ones previously imported
sold now bring premium prices or $1500-$2500 each.
Recently, foreign manufacturers have modified the guns to make
"sporters." They now have "thumbhole" target stocks. Basically, this
accomplished by adding material the stock to connect the bottom of the
pistol grip with the rear of the stock, leaving a hole for your wrist
fit in. Reports from people having used them are favorable. Some say
get a more stable hold with this modification, only they look a little
funny. The bayonet lug has been removed, being of little consequence.
They are fitted with 5 rd. magazines, but the old 20, 30 & 40 round
magazines are still being imported & will fit these new rifles.
legislation has been proposed to stop the import of these larger
Flash hiders have also been removed, with creates more flash, but at
same time reduces the muzzle blast for the position of the shooter.
The only domestically manufactured infantry rifles are the Colt
and the M1A. The AR-15 is the semi-automatic counterpart to the M-16
rifle, and the M1A is the civilian counterpart to the M-14 .308
Buy plenty of shotguns! Pump shotguns are by far the best because
they are the most durable & less prone to jam than semi-autos. They
simple to operate. A 20" barrel is the best. It's short enough to
easily from a vehicle & it's fast to swing form target to target.
The legal minimum barrel length under Federal law is 18", but that
increases the muzzle blast significantly. Don't saw one off to a
length because it's a 2nd degree Federal felony punishable by 10 years
$10,000. Also, you lose your choke at the end of the barrel, which may
throw off you patterns. The only reason for a shorter barrel would be
hiding under a trench coat, combined with a folding stock. If you must
this route, buy it legally from a Class 3 dealer & make sure you get it
with an interchangeable choke tube.
The chokes on most 18" & 20" riot shotguns is cylinder bore,
it's about the same size opening as the shell. This is really not the
best, as with 0 buck or 00 buck, you will typically only get about 2
hits and one "nick" on a silhouette target at 50 yds. A few companies,
like Remington, sell deer hunting shotguns with 20" barrels that are
improved cylinder, or some even have interchangeable choke tubes. I
improved cylinder is about the best compromise between large patterns
pattern density, so try to pick one of these up. Always test your
patterns on paper silhouette targets to see how far you effective range
Shotguns typically hold about 4 rounds in the tubular magazine,
the plug removed. If at all possible, purchase an extension magazine
from an aftermarket source. Chote Machine makes the best one for
Remingtons & Winchesters. This is the brand the FBI, State Dept., etc.
uses. They increase magazine capacity to 7 rds with a 20" barrel, and
rds with an 18" barrel. You can purchase these from LL Baston Co. in
Arkansas. Call 800-643-1564 for a catalog. They have many other
items, like rifle & pistol magazines, scope mounts for military rifles,
a whole lot of other accessories.
The least expensive riot shotguns are Maverick Arms, an Eagle
company now owned by Mossberg. The actions are a little rough, but
matters little when the chips are down! They come standard with
stocks & forearms which are far superior to wood for survival use.
riot gun shouldn't run much over $200.
Mossberg makes many models of riot guns with synthetic & camo
heat shrouds over the barrels (so you won't burn your hand when you
the barrel over in your hand to reload). Theirs run from about $225 to
$350. They are a more known quantity than Maverick Arms. Mossberg
some with only pistol grips on the back, instead of a shoulder stock.
Avoid these, unless you are planning to only use it in your car.
Remington makes a good pump shotgun. It has a machined steel
receiver, and a double rail pump action, which is stronger and more
The cheapest models are the 870 Express, which they came out recently
compete with Mossberg and others. Buy this one because it is just as
as the others model, only they have cheaper wood on them. Their
model riot gun, called the Security model has an 18.5" cylinder bore
barrel. But for the same price, they offer a Deer Gun model with a 20"
improved cylinder barrel with rifle sights. This is what I would buy.
They cost around $300 - $325.
Winchester also offers riot guns, but they cost about the same as
Remington but don't have the dual-rail pump on the action, I don't
Remington & Winchester both offer "Marine" models made of stainless
or that have special metal coatings to resist salt spray, if you have
Most currently manufactured shotguns come standard with 3"
but I would not pay extra for them. The 2.75" shells are preferable in
opinion. See Ammo Section for more information on this.
Most of these companies offer a "combo" package, with a riot
a longer barrel for bird hunting.
The best way to learn how to use your riot gun is to take it out
the woods hunting, extensively. You can take deer, javalena, turkey
other vermin with it. Take it dove hunting, especially if you have an
improved cyl barrel. Use at least 1.25 oz shot loads. If you have a
bore gun, you might have to load up your own birdshot for it. You'll
to reload heavy duck loads, like one & three-eights oz of shot to get a
dense enough pattern for anything but short range. Doing this is going
make it kick, but so is using buckshot.....and that's what you bought
MEDIUM RANGE "ASSAULT" RIFLES:
Colt AR-15 (.223):
By far, the best bet on .223 rifles is the Colt AR-15, or any of
aftermarket copies. Here's several important reasons why:
1) Domestically manufactured, therefore cheaper than an import. Price
around $700. Good used ones can be had for even less.
2) The M-16 is current issue military. That means that magazines &
parts are cheap and readily available. You should be able to find them
most any gun show.
3) They are durable & battle tested everywhere from the jungles of
to the deserts of Iraq. The jamming problems of the late '60s and
'70s have long ago been worked out.
4) Easy to operate & extremely fast to reload.
5) Accurate & light weight.
The AR-15 SP-1 (most likely to find used) is no longer made, but
1x12 rifling twist. This causes the bullet to tend to turn sideways
(keyhole) after it strikes flesh, a desirable trait. However, at
ranges (maybe 0-50 yds) the bullets tend to just zip straight through
minimal stopping power. The older M193 type 55 grain bullets work best
it. The only modification desirable on the SP-1 is to purchase a
round AR-15 A2 front handguard (like Lone Star Ordinance) and replace
tapered one that comes with the gun. Make _sure_ it has the stainless
steel heat shields in it. Cost is about $20. or so.
After that, came the AR-15 A2. It has a 1x7, or even worse a 1x9
barrel twist. Though 55 grain bullets can be used in it, it was
for a 65 grain bullet, which the military now uses. There is less
that the bullet will keyhole after it hits. The plus side is that they
supposed to have a little more power and accuracy out to a little bit
longer range. All but the very first A2 models have the rear sight
adjustable for elevation out to 800 yds, which is of dubious value.
The newest model is the Colt Sporter. This is exactly the same as
AR-15 A2, only they changed the name after the import ban.
This is a light caliber (.223), therefore extensive use should be
of soft-point ammo. I'll make a drastic difference on personnel. All
rifles take a standard scope quite easily with an inexpensive mount.
The current issue military ammunition magazine for the M16 (also
AR-15) holds 30 rounds. There aren't many Colt magazines around for a
reasonable price, but military contract manufacturers are
Ok, Lackey (or some such), etc. These are just fine & can be found at
gun show for $7 - $12, unless there is pending legislation to ban them.
The military used to use 20 rd magazines. Get some of these because
work much better when firing from a prone position! The 20 rounders
cost as much or more than the 30 rounders. The 5 rd mags that come
the new Colt guns can be converted to 20 round by drilling out the
in the floor plate & removing the spacer inside the mag.
Steel 40 rd mags are available from Sterling Arms in England, or
Federal Ordinance in the US. They run around $20. They will not fit
the Army magazine pouches, so you have to buy shoulder strap pouches
There is a 90 round drum that costs probably $65, and the Chinese
bringing in one that holds 125 rds. I don't know of anyone who has
the Chinese drums for functioning and quality, yet. I think they cost
$100. However, the Chinese drums are like Thompson SMG drums, in that
can keep them loaded indefinitely & they don't put tension on the
until you wind them up. The 90 rounder keeps constant tension on the
spring when loaded.
Ruger Mini-14 (.223):
I avoid this rifle like the plague! While the AR-15 is the
version of the M-16 automatic assault rifle, the Mini-14 is a light
sporting rifle, best suited for the 5 rd. magazine it comes with! Most
them can't take the heat of rapid fire, the groups open up to several
as opposed to several inches with the AR-15. Some shoot ok, but you
to take them out and test fire them to be sure. AR-15's always work.
Mini-14's are prone to slight jamming, like the bolt not closing all
way, sometimes. Just enough to get you killed! Even if you get hold
good one, magazines cost more & you can forget finding spare parts
a gun show. If you can't afford an AR-15, then avoid the cheaper Mini
get a $135.00 Chinese SKS instead, at least it's a _real_ infantry
When looters assault my retreat, I hope they all have Mini-14's!
Israeli Galil .223:
The Galil is supposed to be a good rifle, as they are current
for the Israeli Army, among M16's and others. They are just being
again by Action Arms, with a thumbhole stock & without flash hider &
bayonet lug. These run about the same as an AR-15, around $700.
magazines & parts are going to be much higher & harder to find.
Styer AUG .223 (Austria):
The import ban got this one! It's an OK rifle, but is now very,
expensive. Magazines are real expensive & you probably can't even find
parts anymore. Besides, it's no better than the AR-15.
HK-93 .223 (Germany):
Import ban got it too, so its expensive. It's much heavier than
AR-15 and not as reliable. Magazines & parts are easier to find than
AUG, but are pretty expensive. This gun is just too heavy for a .223,
it weighs almost as much as a .308.
Chinese SKS 7.62x39:
The import ban didn't affect this one! It has a folding bayonet
mounted on it & cost about $135. This is the cheapest infantry rifle
can get. It has a 10 rd built-in magazine, which loads from 10 rd
clips inserted from the top of the bolt. There are no expensive
to buy. For about $20 you can get a 20 rd built-in magazine to replace
10 rd with. Just be sure to keep your old 10 rounder because the 20
rounder sticks out more & is prone to getting bent! Ammo is supercheap.
Try to find an ammunition chest pouch for it, which holds about 200 rds
stripper clips. If you are making preparations on a tight budget, get
plenty of SKS's. If you already have a battery of expensive guns, get
SKS's too, you might have some unarmed friends or relative show up at
retreat. These are great "burying rifles."
Like the AK, they group a little wider than most Western infantry
rifles, but they are reliable & made to take the heat of sustained
Many come in with the sights off zero, so it's a good idea to buy a
adjustment tool for the front sight, one that will adjust both
Chinese AK 7.62x39:
These are being imported again with thumbhole stocks, selling for
about $275. They will take the 30 rd mag, or the 75 rd drum. They
more firepower than the SKS & don't cost a lot more. The model of this
rifle is MAK 90.
Norinco also offers an AK Sporter for under $250. This rifle has
traditional hunting stock & no pistol grip. It is imported with a 5 rd
magazine, but of course accepts all the various AK mags. It has a
steel receiver like the original AK-47, before the sheetmetal receiver
& AKM came out. That means it is a couple of pounds heavier than the
AKs. It also might be more accurate, as the sheet metal receiver tends
warp just a little bit every time a round is fired.
When considering AK vs. SKS, keep in mind that it's just about
impossible to fire an AK from the prone position with 30 rd mag
However, you can buy 5rd & 20 rd mags for the AK. The price of 30rd
is $10 or so.
.30 M1 Carbine:
Cartridge is too small & too light for reliable stopping. If you
already own one, sell it and buy some SKS's! That's what I'd do.
FULL SIZE BATTLE RIFLES
Springfield Armory M1A .308:
This is the semi-auto counterpart of the M14 rifle the US used in
early Vietnam. It is one of the few .308 infantry rifles currently
manufactured in the US. I never owned one of these, but years ago,
they first came out, some of them had problems. However, I never hear
complaints about current production models. These probably run
and aren't real common to find in smaller gun stores. You may have to
your dealer order you one. They use the standard 20 rd M14 magazine
can be found pretty easily for around $15.
The M1A would be a good choice for a full-size battle rifle.
Springfield Armory BM59 & BM63 .308:
Springfield Armory may still manufacture a few of these. They are
shorter & lighter than all the other .308 infantry rifles. Since the
barrels are shorter, they don't have quite the long range accuracy &
that the longer rifles have. However, they are lighter for carrying &
more handy for shooting out of a vehicle than, say, an FN-FAL.
If you are going to get these, spread a few of them around your
survival retreat group, but also get some .308 infantry rifles with
barrels & scopes. These rifles will probably run $1,000.+
This is also a semi-auto version of the M14, but this one is made
China. These haven't been on the market for very long, & I have no
to their quality. However, they cost about $400-$500! That's a plus.
These might be well worth checking out.
HK-91 .308 (W. Germany):
These were very popular before the import ban, mainly because they
were a little cheaper than other imported .308 infantry rifles. It
be pretty easy to find some of these on the used market, for around
$1,000+. The most common magazine size is 20 round, though a 30 round
made by HK, and also a US after market manuf. HK's have a much heavier
trigger pull than most. Scope mounts are nice, but very expensive
They have a locking roller on each side of the bolt, which will cease
function if they get coated lightly by rust.
They have been importing this rifle with a thumbhole stock for
time, so new ones are available. I don't know how much they cost, but
suspect they are over $1200 retail.
FN-FAL .308 (Belgium):
The pre-import ban models you can find used cost from $1800-$2500.
This was at one time the most common infantry rifle in the world,
for AKs. Many countries have used it worldwide & it has a reputation
functioning everywhere from jungles to deserts, and everywhere in
Is also know for it's accuracy. I like the FAL quite a lot.
Springfield Armory imported some of these from Argentina, made
license from Belgium. I hear that they are actually superior to the
Belgium made semi-autos because although Belgium used machined
their full-auto versions, on the semi-auto they used forged receivers,
which don't last for as many hundreds of thousands of rounds. These
Argentine models actually command a little less price.
Some FAL's were imported from Israel, too. However, I understand
Armscorp, the company that imported many of them, sometimes used old or
worn parts in them.
Currently, Springfield Armory is bringing them back in the
with thumbhole stocks, of course. These probably sell for $1,000+.
Century Arms also has some for about $700. They are refinished
guns, but if they work well, what the heck?
The FAL is known for it's fine balance and it's long-range punch
to it's 21" barrel. However, they are rather unwieldy if you try to
them out of a pickup window in a hurry.
Most of the semi-auto FAL's with a synthetic forearm (including
Belgium made) do not have a heat shield in the forearm. If you pulloff
few magazines rapidly, it becomes too hot to hold on to. What I would
is try and find some of the Israeli wooden forearms with stainless heat
shield and replace the plastic one. Be careful, because the Israeli
squad support rifle also uses a wood one, but has a larger outside
diameter barrel & these will not fit your standard rifle, even though
look the about the same.
FAL magazines are 20 rd, and very cheap. You can buy them out of
Shotgun News for around $20 for 10. Get plenty!
Israeli Galil .308:
These are supposed to be fine rifles, but like their .223 little
brother, magazines & parts are going to be high & hard to find. They
being imported by Action Arms, with thumbhole stocks.
M1 Garand Rifle 30-06:
These WWII/Korean War relics used to cost $600+, because of their
rarity, as most were sold to countries like Korea, instead of the
public, when the M14 replaced the M1. However, several years ago a law
passed to let these M1's & other old foreign infantry rifles be
into the US, form places like Korea. Now, you can buy a used M1 for
or so. Nicer & less used specimens are available for up around $400.
Magazine capacity is limited to 8 rds, so the M1 lacks the
of modern infantry rifles with 20 rd magazines. But, for budget minded
survivalists with SKS's for their mid-range rifles, the M1 is the
choice for a full size battle rifle at the longer ranges.
Sometimes you can find the M1 with new barrels chambered for .308
(7.62 Nato). These are the ones to grab, because 30-06 military ammo
at least twice as much as military .308 ammo.
There are also some M1 Tanker Garands floating around out there.
These have shorter barrels for firing out of vehicles.
Springfield Armory makes brand new M1 Garands & Tanker Carbines,
they cost considerable more than the prices mentioned above.
FN-49 7.92 mm (Belgium):
These rifles, produced in 1949, are chambered for the 8mm Mauser
round, actually a 7.92mm. They are semi-auto with a 10 rd built-in
magazine that loads from standard Mauser stripper clips. These are
in weight & length to the M1 Garand. Owners I've talked to always rave
about their fine accuracy. They cost around $300, and are usually
available form Century Arms. I can't see much reason in having one,
you already stock 8mm ammo for Mauser rifles or a machinegun, like the
WWII Bolt Action Infantry Rifles:
You would have to be pretty hard up to buy some of these for
use. These include the 8mm Mauser, 303 British Enfield, the American
Springfield, etc. Israel & some other countries took the German 8mm
& fitted them with .308 barrels. Occasionally you can find these for
Generally, these rifles cost about the same, or a little more than
Chinese SKS, so there is no reason to have them for medium range use.
you absolutely could not cough up an extra $250 each to buy some old M1
Garands, I guess these bolt actions would be better than nothing for
BOLT ACTION SCOPED HUNTING RIFLES:
If you already have some of these they can be used for long range
sniping, especially if they are chambered for flatter shooting calibers
than .308. If you don't have any, just put scopes on your .308 battle
rifles for hunting & sniping.
Make a mental note of the following BAD example:
Two men on patrol & hunting outside the retreat area, both armed with
scoped bolt action hunting rifles in 30-06 & .308. While stalking game
they are suddenly confronted by three parasites armed with Sears
.22 automatic rifles. Though they may drop one, or even two of them
their first shots, bolt action hunting rifles are slow & impractical at
close range. The chances of surviving even such a basic & simple
confrontation are remote. The .22, while lacking in power, is deadly
you are hit with enough of them. Moral to this story: Always have at
least 50% of your patrol armed with light assault rifles. The
should be armed with heavy assault rifles (.30 cal), or shotguns. In
manner, you can protect yourself as well as hunt for deer, elk,
TYPES OF ATTACK
Mel Tappen, in his book "Survival Guns" (1976) lists the 4 most
types of attacks to expect:
1) Exposed Attack - This will probably be the most common type of
Looters and other rabble simply rush your position with little
or accurate firing. If you have chose and prepared your defensive
well, and are SUITABLY ARMED, you should expect to defeat a force TEN
more times your strength. Your sentries or scouts should give ample
warning of the impending attack.
2) The Stealth Blitz - One of the most dangerous forms of attack to the
defenders. The attacking force, which may be quite small, uses the
of darkness to sneak up and over-power your sentries. Simultaneous
is made at several different points. This type of attack may be
successfully defended against by alert sentries and adequate warning
3) Fire Blitz - This is probably the most dangerous form of attack to
defenders. The only viable response is frequently to escape your
via a hidden and hopefully secure means. This type of attack occurs
usually superior force surrounds your retreat and simultaneously fire
it, and hoses it with automatic weapons fire. The only possible
to have a clear field of fire in all directions to prevent the enemy
approaching your position and/or remote controlled anti-personnel
charges that may be detonated from inside the retreat.
4) Scouting Attack - A small advance party is sent ahead of the main
of attackers to test the strength of the defenders By exposing
t your fire, they will attempt to determine the range and depth of your
defensive fire. It your defenses are reasonably strong, a viable
may be to respond only with deliberately ineffective fire (shotguns,
pistols, .22 rimfire, etc.) in an attempt to lure the main body into a
If your retreat location has enough members, some should stay
the compound at all times. When you are attacked, they can snipe at
attackers or attack their rear.
ALWAYS have a pack loaded for each person, in case you group has
take to the woods in the case of overwhelming attacking forces. Most
survival food & gear should be buried in the woods in caches.
DRAW A LINE
To shoot or not to shoot, that is the question! As you watch a
of strangers approach your retreat, an important decision must be made.
Militarily, you do not want to allow any strangers to approach and
your retreat. To do so would compromise and weaken the effectiveness
As the group approaches, you should have established a "dead line"
beyone which no one may approach without securing permission. Anyone
is so warned and refuses to heed your warning MUST BE treated as an
SPARE GUN PARTS
For each gun you should have at least a spare extractor and
spring. Also a firing pin & firing pin spring should be purchased. A
broken cartridge case extractor can make the difference between getting
your rifle back into action quickly, or having to trash it.
It's good to have many more parts for your guns, especially those
which are inexpensive & easily obtainable, such as AR-15 (M16) parts,
M1 Garand and Colt .45 auto parts.
For the AR-15, you should have a spare bolt, as the bolt will
eventually crack after many thousands of rounds are fired. Spare
hammers, selectors, etc. should be stocked. These parts don't usually
out, but they can break if they happen to have a fault in the steel.
springs are essential, as they can be easily broken or lost. A set of 3
rings for the piston part of the bolt are needed, as these wear out
eventually. Especially prone to breakage are the cotter key that
the firing pin. Get plenty of these. An extra magazine catch might
a bad idea.
Don't even bother to get a military type assault rifle, unless you
purchase at least 10 magazines. You may not be able to carry this many
loaded magazines, but you can sure use them in a defensive position.
you can use them for replacements when your others get bent or lost.
My opinion of _minimum_ ammunition stocks would be 300 rds per
Each semi-automatic rifle should have at least 1,000 stored away for
If budget permits, get 5,000+ rds per rifle.
Most of the ammo will probably be military ball ammo (full metal
jacket). You might allow some expanding ammo for the pistols, like
Winchester's new Black Talon, but it is quite expensive.
For the .308 rifles you will need some soft-point hunting ammo for
deer and such. Expanding bullets against personnel are dramatically
effective, so if you can afford some for that, that's fine. However,
caliber ball ammo is pretty effective against personnel, as that's what
wars are fought with. It usually keyholes when it hits.
The .223 round is so light that it is a real good idea to purchase
much soft-point or hollow-point as you can. Fill in with military ball
ammo. According to Peter G. Kokalis, writer for Soldier of Fortune
magazine, the .223 (5.56mm) ball round will keyhole (turn sideways)
hits flesh, and break partially through at the bullet cannelure, out to
yds, when fired from a 20" barrel. The break at the cannelure is a
desirable effect. He claims that AR-15's with 10"-11.5" barrels will
the cannelure out to only 100 yds. I would presume the AR-15 carbines,
with 16.5" barrels would do this out to about 150 yds.
With a 20" AR-15, past 200 yds the bullet might keyhole less
dramatically & only go straight through. You might consider using
expanding bullets at ranges beyond 200 yards. Of course, at longer
it might not be as important to get an instant stop.
Also remember, that at shorter ranges, somewhere between 0-75
that the bullets tend to go straight through, instead of tumbling after
they hit. I think all this data applies to the M16A1 (AR-15 SP1) with
1x12 twist. Who knows about the performance of the newer A2 rifles? I
wonder how they worked in Iraq.
The only way to go with 7.62x39 ammo is Norinco Chinese ball.
the cheapest ammo you can buy, except for .22 rimfire. Stock it away
the case. They also came out with a steel jacketed soft-point. I
know if it really expands, or not, due to it's steel jacket. I have
had the opportunity to shoot any game with it. If it works, its a real
steal, at prices only about 40% over the price of ball.
For .308 ammo, buy Chinese or European surplus by the case. You
should be able to find it for $150/1k. The only problem with 30-06
that it is the most expensive of all these. Your best bet is PMC,
or the Remington (yellow box) or the Winchester (white box) "generic"
The PMC is more powerful & may bend the operating rod in an M1 Garand.
When it comes to soft-point, the company selling it the cheapest
Samson, by Israel Military Industries. This is every bit as good as
Winchester or Remington hunting ammo. Look for it, it's far cheaper.
Buckshot ranges in size from #4 buck to #000 buck. I prefer the
larger sizes, #0, #00, and #000. It has more penetration because the
pellets are heavier. It comes packed in 250 rd cases, and costs around
$175 per case, if you can find a good deal. If you can find a place to
order it for yourself (I don't know if there are any), you might get it
$110 per case.
Also, consider reloading buckshot. Usually, only the larger gun
stores carry buchshot pellets in the 25 lb. bags.
The so called "magnum" buckshot just has a few more pellets,
the shot charge heavier. But, it also moves at a slower velocity,
less penetration. I prefer the regular high velocity buckshot instead
the magnum. The magnum is considerably more expensive.
Since 1986 individuals can now order ammo themselves, without a
license. The companies that do sell to individuals usually require
you send a photocopy of your drivers license, sign a statement that you
older than 18 or 21, etc.
At one time I kept a stock of reloading supplies at my retreat
location. One day I started thinking about carrying the press, dies,
bullets, powder, etc., if I had to leave the retreat & head for the
I scrapped the idea of survival reloading & started putting my money
loaded ammunition. Reloading is fine for _before_ a crisis starts.
There is a new primer sealant product out. Check the source
for it. You can put it around the bullets to seal them, too.
WEB CARRYING EQUIPMENT, MILITARY
Get this from places that sell new military surplus. Items
nylon pistol belt
canteen & cover
M16 magazine pouches (holds .308 mags, too)
first aid kit
pistol magazine pouch