Saturday, February 25, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, ... Pro/Cons of the Rifles

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The last two articles in this series, I wrote about bolt action rifles and semi-auto rifles. This article is about some of the pros and cons of these rifles.

All of the bolt-action rifles, I listed, are rugged rifles. They were designed by the military to be used by soldiers that had little experience at war. They have survived, for over 100 years, for many reasons. They work, they are relatively simple, and millions were manufactured.

The Mosin-Nagant rifle design is over 100 years old, and there is a problem with that. The Mosin-Nagant lacks a safe method of expelling gases, if a cartridge is ruptured during shooting. In other words, the hot gases will shoot back into the shooter's (your) hand or face, if there is an accident. Ouch!!!

Another problem with the Mosin-Nagant is its cartridge. The cartridge isn't used by any major country, so you will have to stockpile more ammo.

There are a few great things about the rifle. The rifle and its ammo are inexpensive, so a prepper on a very tight budget can at least afford a military-grade rifle.

Just like the Mosin-Nagant, the Lee-Enfield is a 100 year old design, but the Lee-Enfield has a safe way of expelling gases from a ruptured cartridge case. Just like the Mosin-Nagant, the Lee-Enfield .303 round isn't used by any major military, so you will have to stockpile ammo for this rifle. Lastly, the Lee-Enfield is a little bit more expensive then the Mosin-Nagant.

Mauser M-1898 Rifle
The Mauser '98 rifle, except rifles rebarreled to 7.62 NATO, primarily uses the 8mm cartridge. The 8mm isn't used by any major military power, so you have to stockpile more ammo, again. Plus, certain '98 Mausers are a little bit more expensive then the Lee-Enfield.

Springfield 1903 series Rifle
Just like the first three rifles, the 1903 Springfield rifle uses a cartridge that isn't used by a major military power. The rifles have become collector items, so they are a lot more expensive then any of the other bolt-action rifles mentioned in the previous articles.

CETME/HK-91/PTR-91 Rifle
CETME rifles are inexpensive, HK-91 rifles are very expensive. Magazines for CETMEs are expensive, but the CETME can use inexpensive HK-91 magazines. Almost lastly, CETME will probably need some work from a professional to insure the rifle is reliable. Lastly, the HK-91 messes up the cartridge case making it hard (almost impossible to reload)

Parts are cheap, but magazines have gotten expensive. ($20+) Plus, it's a long rifle, but according to Boston's Gun Bible, it is #2 after the ...

The M1A is a great rifle, but it has problems. You must cant the magazine to load the rifle. It's expensive, some versions of this rifle are very expensive. Magazines, in the past, can be very expensive, so you will have to make sure you stockpile a lot of M1A magazines, upfront. Lastly, a plus, the M1A uses a cartridge that is used by most major militaries.

There is a reason the AR-15 is still used by these United States military. The rifle is easily used by a solider because of the AR-15's ergonomics and light weight. The 5.56 NATO cartridge is a lot smaller and lighter than the 7.62 NATO cartridge, so a person can carry more 5.56 ammo. Plus, parts are plentiful and magazines, too.


The rifle and ammunition has problems. The current ammo (M855) can easily penetrate a person (not wearing body amour), so you use 2 or 3 shoots to finally kill a villain. Plus, it's the 'evil' assault rifle everybody wants to ban, just like the ...

AK-47 series Rifle
The rifle is rugged, designed to be used by peasants, but it has problems. The 7.62X39 cartridge is basically like the Winchester 30-30, so the round has some limitations. The rifle is loose, so it's not as accurate as other rifles. Plus, the folding stock (underfolder wire stock) sucks if you plan to use proper firing techniques. Plus, the 7.62X39 cartridge isn't used by these United States military.


The AK-47 is inexpensive, and it uses 30-round magazines.

I believe the SKS rifle is the best all around rifle for the urban and suburban prepper. It is inexpensive, and the SKS doesn't need a detachable magazine. Most members of your family will be able to shoot the rifle. Plus, it doesn't need a lot of gear to make it an effective defensive rifle, but it has limitations.

The magazine only holds 10 rounds, The 7.62X39 cartridge doesn't have a lot of distance making it a poor weapon for the rural prepper.

Semi-Auto Vs. Bolt-Action Rifles
I have a bias towards semi-auto rifles because of my military experience. I believe semi-autos are faster in the follow-up shot, and you don't have to get out of your firing position to load another round. Modern magazine fed semi-autos also allow a prepper to reload the weapon a lot faster then a bolt-action rifle.


A bolt-action rifle, especially the Mauser '98 and the Mosin-Nagant, have less parts when compared to most semi-auto. Bolt-action rifles are also not sensitive to ammo. If the ammo goes bang and the bullet will leave the barrel, a bolt-action can shoot it. A semi-auto on the other hand has a limit to what kind of ammo the rifle will properly shoot and function properly.


The bolt-action rifles in 7.62R, .303, and 30.06 are long distance man killers. The semi-autos in 7.62X39 and 5.56 have a limited range.


Semi-autos are usually more expensive then bolt-action rifles. Plus, (except for the SKS) semi-autos need detachable magazines to easily load a cartridge into the rifle, an added expense.

I have excluded many military-type rifles from this list because I believe rifles like the Israeli Galil, Swiss K-31, Daewoo DR200, Sig Sauer 556, Valmet M76, Mauser 1893 and 1895 series of rifles are either too rare or unsafe because they lack modern safety features.

With that said,

I have provided a brief overview of the military-style rifles available for you and your family to defend yourselves during a disaster, so make sure you do more research and choose a rifle for you and your family's needs.

OK, one last bias.

I believe the typical hunting rifle is inadequate for defensive purposes because the rifle was designed to only be shot, maybe, 20 times a year while a surplus military rifle was designed to be shot a few hundred times in a day.

Now, don't get me wrong. The typical hunting rifle (Savage, Ruger, Winchester, Sako, Marlin, Weatherby, and many others) with a quality scope would make great precision rifles (sniper rifles) for the prepper.

But, honestly ...

Do you have the time to learn all of the skills a sniper needs (camouflage, tracking, stalking, range determination, lead, and ...) to survive?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, ... Semi-Auto Rifles

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Last article, I highlighted the most common military bolt-action rifles from Russia, Great Britain, Germany, and these United States. This article, I will highlight the military-type semi-auto rifles commonly available to the prepper/survivalist.

Prices were found at Gun Broker. Magazine prices were found from various places on the internet.


SKS Rifle
BigBattles, cropped and retouched by Atirador

The SKS rifle was built, primarily, by the soviets and the Communist Chinese. It has a 10 round internal magazine that can be loaded with a stripper clip or individual rounds. The rifle fires the 7.62X39 cartridge, same as the AK-47.

Price: $300 to $500 Magazines: 10 round internal

AK-47 series Rifle

Soviet AK-47, first model variation
Cpl. D.A. Haynes

The AK-47, I am writing about is the semi-auto rifle you will most likely find in your nieghbors' hands or the local gun shop. It is a variation of the AKM rifle used by/against every nation on this planet.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's a little technical, but my point is if you have a "real" AK-47, you better have the $200 federal tax stamp to go with the rifle, or you're going to prison.

The AK-47 series of rifles uses a 30-round magazine. There are some less common (kind'a rare) 20-round magazines for the rifle. The AK-47 rifle fires the 7.62X39 cartridge, just like the SKS rifle.

Price: $475 to $1.000 Magazines: $10 to $20 each

CETME and HK-91


Retractable and fixed stock versions of the H&K G3 rifle
Edmond Huet, DCB Shooting

The CETME and G-3 are basically older brother (CETME) and younger brother (G-3) The   civilian version of the G-3 is the HK-91. 'Real' HK-91s run in the $2.000+ range. A variation that is less expensive is the PTR-91 rifle. All the rifles use a 20-round magazine.

The CETME can use CETME magazines or inexpensive G-3 magazines (aluminum or steel), but the HK-91 can't use CETME magazines.

Price: CETME $600, HK-91 $1.600+, PTR-91 $1.150 Magazines: CETME $9.00, HK-91 $2.50 each


German G1 Rifle
Kevin Murray

Belgian FN FAL

Joe Loong

British L1A1
Jan Hrdonka

The FNFAL was used by about 90 nations. With all these countries using the FN FAL there are basically two variations, inch and metric. The inch pattern rifle was used by the British Commonwealth solider, and the metric version was used by everyone else.

The FN FAL fires the 7.62 NATO cartridge and has a 20 round magazine. There are 25 round and 30 round magazines available.

Oh yeah, according to Boston's Gun Bible, the FN FAL is #2 to the ...

Price: $1.000 to $2.000+ Magazines: $15 to $30 each


M1A Rifle with Bayonet

The M1A is the semi-auto version of the M-14 rifle. It uses a 20-round magazine, and it fires the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

Price: $1.500 to $2.500+ Magazines: $20 to $50 each

LAR-8, SR-25, AR-10, and ...

AR-10 T
Martin Lotz

These are the bastard 'big' brothers of the AR-15/M-16 series of rifles. They all fire the 7.62 NATO cartridge.


The various rifles are all different and most (if not all) parts are non-interchangeable between each model of rifle. Plus, they all use a different magazine.


They suck for the prepper planning to be able to access a large pool of spare parts and inexpensive magazines like the ...



AR-15 A3 Tactical Carbine

The AR-15 rifle is the semi-auto version of the rifle carried by these United States' military, M-16 rifle and M-4 carbine. Parts are plentiful and magazines are inexpensive. Plus, it is an easy to shoot rifle with a light recoil for most shooters.

The fires the 5.56 NATO cartridge. There are 20 and 30-round magazines for the rifle.

Price: $750 to $1.500 Magazines: $10 to $20 each


Ruger Mini-14

The Ruger Mini-14 rifle is, basically, a scaled down version of the M-14. The rifle fires the 5.56 NATO cartridge. Normally, 10-round magazines are provided with the rifle. 20-round magazines are available at $40ish a piece.

Price: $500 to $800 Magazines: $35 to $50 each

M1 Garand

M1 Garand with Three En-bloc clips

The M1 Garand is a WWII era rifle. It shoots the 30.06 cartridge, same as the 1903 rifle.

Price: $600 to $1.000 Magazine: Uses an En Bloc Clip $1.00 to $1.50 each


SKS Rifle

Wikipedia - SKS

AK-47 Rifle

Wikipedia - AK-47

Wikipedia - AKM

Wikipedia - WASR series rifles

CETME/HK-91/PTR-91 Rifle

Wikipedia - CETME

Wikipedia - HK G3

Wikipedia - PTR 91F

FN FAL Rifle

Wikipedia - FN FAL

Wikipedia - L1A1 Self-Loading Rifle

M1A Rifle

Wikipedia - M-14

Wikipedia - M1A Rifle

LAR-8, SR-25, AR-10, and ...

Wikipedia - SR-25

Wikipedia - AR-10

AR-15 Rifle

Wikipedia - M-16 Rifle

Wikipedia - AR-15

Mini-14 Rilfe

Wikipedia - Mini-14

M1 Garand

Wikipedia - M1 Garand

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Link Dump, 4

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

For what it's worth

io9 - A booklist to get you ready for the economic apocalypse

Billlls Idle Mind - Bringing Someone Along

The Arctic Patriot - Staying Warm: Nuts and Bolts: Sleeping

Accept The Challenge - Homemade MREs

From Chasing the Crown to Chasing Chickens - Food Storage on $5.00 a week

Farm Dreams - Farming, Homesteading, Survival and Prepping Blogs

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Firearms for Preppers, ... Bolt Action Rifles

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

These articles (here, too) are an overview of the most common military-type firearms available to the prepper/survivalist. I will provide links (in the links section) for more information.

Prices ranges for the rifles, I found at Gun Broker. Price for ammunition was ... later

Mosin-Nagant Rifle

Mosin Nagant series of rifles
Antique Military Rifles

From Top to Bottom

1. Model 1891
2. Model 1891 "Dragoon"
3. Model 1907 Carbine
4. Model 1891/30
5. Model 1891/30 with 3.5x PU scope.
6. Model 1938 Carbine
7. Model 1944 Carbine
8. Model 1959 Carbine

The Mosin-Nagant series of rifles have been around for over 100 years. The rifles were primarily manufactured by the Russian and soviets (after they took over). The rifle shoots a 7.62x54mmR cartridge.

Price: $75 to $200

Lee-Enfield Rifle

Lee Enfield Mk I (1903)
(The Swedish Army Museum)

Lee-Enfield Mk III (No 1 Mk 3)
(The Swedish Army Museum)

Lee-Enfield No. 4 Mk.1 (1944)

Lee-Enfield No. 5 MKI "Jungle Carbine

Rifle 7.62mm 2A1 (1966)
Commander Zulu

The Lee-Enfield series of rifles have been around for over 100 years, in various configurations. They were manufactured by the British, and some Commonwealth countries, from just before WWI to just after WWII. The rifles shoots .303 cartridges.

There is an exception, the Rifle 7.62mm 2A/2A1. These rifles were made by the Indians, in the 1960s, and the rifle shoots a 7.62 NATO cartridge.

Price: $200 to $500+

Mauser M-1898 Rifle

Mauser M98 Rifle with Bayonet (1905)

German Gewehr 98 (1916)
Adams Guns

Karabiner 98K in mint condition (1940)
(The Swedish Army Museum)

Yugoslavian M48: version of the German K98
Antique Military Rifles

Polish Wz 29: version of the German K98
Antique Military Rifles

Spanish FR 8

The Mauser 1898 series of rifle were primarily manufactured by the Germans, during WWI and WWII. The M1898 is the most advanced design of the Mauser series of rifles. The German version of the rifle shoots a 8x57mm JS (8mm Mauser) cartridge.

There were some Mauser M1898s that are designed to shoot 7.62 NATO. I know of one rifle the Spanish FR-8. The Israelis converted (rebarreled) their '98 rifles to shoot the 7.62 NATO cartridge.

Price: $250 to $750+

Springfield 1903 and 1903A1 Rifle

Rifle Springfield 1903

Rifle Springfield 1903A1

Rifle Springfield M1903A3

The Springfield 1903 series of rifle was introduced by these United States just before WWI. The rifle shoots the 30-06 Springfield cartridge.

Price: $500 to $1.000+

Note: Sporterized rifles are are a lot cheaper, $300


Mosin-Nagant Rifle

Wikipedia - Mosin–Nagant

Lee-Enfield Rifle

Wikipedia - Lee-Enfield

Wikipedia - Ishapore 2A1 rifle

Mauser M-1898 Rifle

Wikipedia - Mauser: Model 1898

Wikipedia - FR-8

M1903 Springfield Rifle

Wikipedia - M1903 Springfield

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Link Dump, 3

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

For what it's worth.

The New Zealand Digital Library Project - Home

The New Zealand Digital Library Project - Food and Nutrition 2.2

You're going to need a few hours. The second link is just for A and B. Yeah, only the As and Bs.