"Survival"/ gun questions.

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Overland-Indiana

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I'll start by saying this; I am not a "tin-foil hat" type of guy but, anyone who believes there is no chance of terrorist attacks reaching the US is insane. I have owned 100's of firearms over the last few years, have sold/traded them when i was low on cash or wanted something else i'd just sell it off. Well, now I am down to just my trusty old Glock 22 (Gen 3). I always keep a good amount of ammo on hand for emergencies (at a minimum 1000rds). With my Christmas bonus this year I am looking to buy a long gun. I live in town but have family in the country that we could safely "Bug Out" to. For a general survival gun but that would also be for defensive purposes i have narrowed it down to two types. 12ga pump or an AR (Lets not get into the classic AR vs AK or Glock vs 1911 crap lol) Which would be more suited for an all around weapon? Hunting, defense and what ever else. Also take into account what would be easier to restock on ammo.


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TreXTerra

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My first thought is to the AR-15 platform over the shotgun:

Ammunition: Simply put, the 5.56 or .223 will give you more shots per pound of weight. If this is a bugout situation (or even a regular travel scenario) you will have less than 12 rounds per pound of 12 gauge shotgun ammo. The whole point of the AR design was to carry more rounds than the .308 rifles it replaced (M-14 and M1 Garand). Second, the 5.56 is a very good self-defense ammunition against unarmored targets. The properties of the round mean that it is less likely to over penetrate the target, as you would get with .30 caliber rounds (7.62x39 being among them).

Range: The 5.56 mm, while not be a great long-range round, still has the ability to reach out well beyond pistol and shot gun ranges and hit targets accurately. If you think you may use your rifle to take small to medium sized game this range will give you a distinct advantage over a pistol or shotgun.

Capacity: A shotgun will give you something like 6-10 rounds unless you go for something expensive like a Saiga 12 gauge AK chassis with a removable drum magazine. A standard AR-15 has removable 30-round magazines. If you are in a defensive situation, that means more rounds ready to go in a lighter, easier to handle platform. I like the Saiga shotguns, but they are much heavier than an AR and often are too much gun for some shooters.

Accuracy: The AR-15 can be built into a highly accurate firearm, not so much with a shotgun. Yes, it is possible to miss with a shotgun, despite what people say. You don't get the precision of a good rifle, the range, the light weight, but you can still miss.

Maintenance: The AR-15 is a bit fiddly with small parts compared to it's AK-47 counterpart (sorry, I know you said don't get into this, but it's important) and the tolerances are much tighter, making it more prone to fouling due to dirt and residue; as such, it often gets maligned for being a difficult weapon to maintain. One of the reasons for this is that the lower-end AR-15s are not particularly well built, your run of the mill WalMart Bushmaster simply will not run as well as a $1,600 battle rifle. These low-end ARs are good for going out to shoot cans, but you don't want to trust your life to one. My AR-15 is an All Star Tactical lower receiver with a PWS 14" upper with a 2" pinned muzzle device. I opted to get a piston-driven upper instead of the usual (and often cheaper) direct gas impingement. This means my AR-15 runs colder and cleaner than your typical AR because it has an AK-47 style piston running up the gas tube to the gas block; this keeps the dirty gasses from each shot from blowing back into the receiver where they will eventually foul up the action. Simply put, I can run my AR-15 longer before needing to clean it.

The piston driven uppers do add a little weight to the rifle, but it still comes in well under a 12 gauge shotgun.

Now, this is all comparing the two firearms originally asked about. Depending on where you are going and what you may encounter, you may also want to consider a Henry .45-70 guide gun. This is a not-screwing-around bear gun that packs a massive punch at short range. The .45-70 was originally a US military cavalry round and it hits like a hammer but has the ballistics of a mortar round - the round is so heavy it just can't get very far. However, it should bring down large game such as elk or moose with one good shot.

Another option for a bugout is to go smaller. A Ruger 10-22 Takedown breaks down into two parts and stows easily inside a backpack. The .22LR ammunition is light weight and probably gives you the most rounds per pound. This rifle, and others like it, are favored by bush pilots for their ability to take small game like rabbits in a survival situation. If you were going to keep a rifle in with your bugout bag, this would be a good option.
 
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Overland-Indiana

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I do agree with your post. I am torn between the two because i also hunt Waterfowl. A shotgun you swap out to another barrel and your ready for hunting. The AR is probably what i will end up going with. I have built probably 10 or more AR's but never held on to them. I build mine mainly from PSA parts. I polish every single piece of that weapon before it is every put together or fired. My last one i built was a budget build, i had around $450 into it and put 9,560rds through it. It was cleaned every 500rds or so but i never had a FTE or FTF out of it. If you pay attention you can build a good quality rifle affordably. I am leaning more towards an AR the more i think about it. Anything bigger, caliber wise is over kill here in Indiana. We don't have bears or big game. If shotguns were faster to reload I'd without a doubt go that route, but in the event of a terrorist attack sometimes reloading faster than the enemy can mean life or death. I like shotguns for the fact you don't have to be accurate and there is ammo EVERYWHERE around here for 12ga...so, aqiuring it in the event of some sort would be easier for a 12ga then .223/5.56 since it is a "military round"...IMO. All these "What If's" are just that... you will never know what you should have done until after.
 

Steve

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I'll add my two cents: Of the two options proffered, I'd go for a 12 gauge pump shotgun.

Versatility: That's the shotgun's best tool. You can load it light for bird or small game, heavy for larger game, various chokes, etc. Add a slug barrel, and you have a great brush gun. Add a scoped, rifled barrel, and you have the equivalent of the above 45-70 or similar. Good scoped and rifled slug guns can hit inside of 3" at 100 yards all day long. That's accuracy I wouldn't want to contend with on the receiving end with a big slug.

Maintenance with a pump gun is nearly zero. Capacity is less than a .223/5.56. If you're bugging out on foot. Having a garden cart folded up in your vehicle during bad situations. It takes very little space, and adds miles to your slog on foot if necessary.


Alternates:
If I *had* to go .223/5.56, I'd take the route that I went and get a Ruger Ranch rifle (AKA mini-14, after the military M-14 rifle the mechanism is modeled after.) Less maintenance than an AR, nearly as accurate, and less "threatening" looking to non-gun people. Eats about any ammo you can load in it, too, which is better than many ARs.

And I'd add a .22 rimfire in the mix, too. While I have a Ruger 10-22, I'd almost suggest a Henry lever rifle , the smaller version of the one @TreXTerra mentioned. Again, versatility. You can load sub-sonic or hyper-velocity, bird shot or shorts. It doesn't care. I'll be getting one one of these days.

Gratuitous image: My Ruger Ranch Rifle with it's distant relative, the M1 Garand.


[EDIT] You posted while I was slowly typing, so our comments overlap a bit.
 
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TreXTerra

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I do agree with your post. I am torn between the two because i also hunt Waterfowl. A shotgun you swap out to another barrel and your ready for hunting. The AR is probably what i will end up going with. I have built probably 10 or more AR's but never held on to them. I build mine mainly from PSA parts. I polish every single piece of that weapon before it is every put together or fired. My last one i built was a budget build, i had around $450 into it and put 9,560rds through it. It was cleaned every 500rds or so but i never had a FTE or FTF out of it. If you pay attention you can build a good quality rifle affordably. I am leaning more towards an AR the more i think about it. Anything bigger, caliber wise is over kill here in Indiana. We don't have bears or big game. If shotguns were faster to reload I'd without a doubt go that route, but in the event of a terrorist attack sometimes reloading faster than the enemy can mean life or death. I like shotguns for the fact you don't have to be accurate and there is ammo EVERYWHERE around here for 12ga...so, aqiuring it in the event of some sort would be easier for a 12ga then .223/5.56 since it is a "military round"...IMO. All these "What If's" are just that... you will never know what you should have done until after.
The chances of you being involved in a terrorist attack in Indiana are pretty much zero. Terrorists target high-profile soft-targets to spread fear. Paris was targeted because it is the capital, New York because it is our largest city and a major hub for global trade. What major international targets are there in Indiana? While being prepared to take care of yourself and your family is important, a terrorist attack should be pretty low on your list of worries. During the 2002 Winter Olympics the world was watching Salt Lake City and since it was shortly after 9/11 we knew that having the games made us a more tempting target. However, once the Olympics were over, we went back to being sleeply little Salt Lake City. We simply don't have anything worth blowing up. Unless you are in Atlanta, New York, DC, LA, San Francisco, Dallas, or other major cities, I wouldn't worry too much about a terrorist attack in your back yard.
 

stoney126

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In a bug out or terrorist attack or situation where you need a long arm I'd say shotgun. I've ran slugs through my Mossberg 590 . No barrel needed however I was only shooting targets about a 100 feet away.

You can get various types of shotgun ammunition anywhere. I'm sure .223 .556 is readily available though I don't believe it as abundant as shotgun shells

Reloading speed for a terrorist attack. My thought is that you will not actively engage an overwhelping force. Shoot and retreat would the be the goal, which the shotgun would be up to the task. If my goal was to engage targets that shoot back then I would select a different rifle for the job.

Agree with other posts.
More importantly is training and the mental aspect that needs to be attained to perform in a situation when it arrises. The tool is useless if your not ready to use it.

Also when selecting a weapon and your family is with you, can your family members wield it? Assuming they are not armed themselves
 

Overland-Indiana

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In a bug out or terrorist attack or situation where you need a long arm I'd say shotgun. I've ran slugs through my Mossberg 590 . No barrel needed however I was only shooting targets about a 100 feet away.

You can get various types of shotgun ammunition anywhere. I'm sure .223 .556 is readily available though I don't believe it as abundant as shotgun shells

Reloading speed for a terrorist attack. My thought is that you will not actively engage an overwhelping force. Shoot and retreat would the be the goal, which the shotgun would be up to the task. If my goal was to engage targets that shoot back then I would select a different rifle for the job.

Agree with other posts.
More importantly is training and the mental aspect that needs to be attained to perform in a situation when it arrises. The tool is useless if your not ready to use it.

Also when selecting a weapon and your family is with you, can your family members wield it? Assuming they are not armed themselves
My wife knows how to operate a firearm but prefers not too. I have a 1yr old and a 3yr old. BTW, did you read the article where a ISIS member was arrested in Akron, OH for plotting to kill US military personnel and various other terrorist type attacks. That is right next door to Indiana, so I think a terrorist attack is a possibility, but yes it is unlikely that it would be a mass attack. I prep for all kinds of events..

As of the training side of it; I have taken numerous firearms/defense courses and i train regularly with a good friend of mine that is a former Marine with a wealth of tactic knowledge. I am not saying I am perfect but, i do know how to safely and effectively operate a firearm. I am not new to the AR or AK platform, I can strip and reassemble an AR with my eyes closed lol... And as of the mental prep side, i look at it this way; if someone is threatening my family i would stop the threat with whatever means are necessary then sleep well that night. If they are stupid enough to attack my family then I would have peace in the fact i stopped them from doing it again or to someone else.

A few years ago, i was NEARLY robbed at a local gas station, the man came from behind the building (in broad daylight, 11am) and demanded my wallet "I wont' hurt you if you give me your wallet", he said. I carried a Glock 19 at the time in a IWB holster on my back right side. I drew my weapon, round in chamber and finger at the ready (not on trigger) ready to fire had he pulled a knife or other weapon. I chose to refrain from firing and we both walked away with our loves. He was not caught, i did file a police report though.
 

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Tad bit of background for clarity: three years US Army MP and well over 25 yrs LEO and now retired living in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest enjoying semi-retirement but still having to work as a Contractor. (toys and now had to pay for that OB medallion!!) That said, and knowing you have the handgun arena covered with a very trusty G22 (great weapon system that you can always add to), if there were only ONE long gun that I had to pick it would be my trusty Remington 870. It is effective, versatile, simple and effective. Sure, there are lots of choices and if you have the time and resources an AR platform along with a Ruger 10-22 (the TakeDown is an awesome truck/offroad trailer gun) round out a nice bugout/survivalist arsenal but my first choice is always the Remington 870. My personal 870 has the extended magazine, pistol grip with full stock, side saddle, single point sling (any two handed weapon should have a sling in the event of disability or transition) and Surefire Forend light (I keep a light on ALL defensive guns for target acquisition and to error on the side of caution since they may be deployed in a home setting with potential friendly folks around and can always not be turned on to avoid all the talk about "light trackback" and such). I am not a laser fan but not a critic, too many have them and they have a place they have just never found a home on any of my gear.

The 870 is simple and allows for a selection of ammunition loads that are second to none. From less lethal to extremely lethal this is a gun that can be tailored to a specific situation in a matter of seconds from the side saddle. My current round of choice is the Winchester PDX Defender, it is three rounds of buckshot and a slug. I had previously found this ammo at a gun show but since found that Winchester makes it and have a few rounds lying around.

The 870 is a gun you can easily hunt with or defend you and yours. It will not attract the attention of an AR (or others) so can easily be carried in a "grey man" scenario. Whatever you do, and it sounds like you know this, train with it and run some rounds through it. Either get some training, or watch some YouTube vids if you have basic shotgun mastery, on tactical reloads and handing a shotgun in a combat environment.

My "zombie" three gun trifecta would always be (and I practice what I teach) is my G22, S&W M&P AR15 and Remington 870. I have a couple of others but this would be, and is, my SHTF go to.....Stay safe and wheel often!!.....
 

NorthStar96

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Consider the Ruger 556. they are very well made by a reputable company. The price is great, compared to build your own AR's.
Out of the box they are good to go. I love mine. She sits well with her friend, a Sig P226. Id like to get a 12ga. to round out my "toolbox". or, possibly a Vepr 7.62x54 for those far away big targets.
 

SC_4Runner

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This video should help:
It's a direct comparison of an AR vs Shotgun. The take always are how easy it is to miss with a shotgun at close range in a stress situation. The guy makes great videos.

My father was a LEO in DC for 30 years. I grew up around pistols and I would say my favorite were the Glock 17 and 19. Although I appreciated the pros and cons of all calibers from .380 to .45, there nothing better for a defensive round than 9mm. 9mm is easier for women to shoot and the magazine capacity is so high you can put a lot of rounds on target without worrying. The Glock platform is easy to clean and can take a beating. That said, if animal protection is your worry, I'd go with at least a .357mag or 10mm if not a .44mag revolver.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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hardtrailz

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I would not even bother comparing the AR platform to a pump shotgun platform. They are far too different to me, but I enjoy having both.

Shotgun is the one of the two that has fed my family, but not necessarily what i want if SHTF.
 

Overland-Indiana

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I think since i can only afford one of the two right now, I'll go with the AR. Iv'e built 9 or 10 AR's and I know the weapon and after more research I'd much rather have the AR as Hikok45 said "It puts you at the top of the food chain" I don't want to be out gunned if the SHTF. I have a family to protect. This world sucks...lol
 

hardtrailz

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If money is that big of issue....buy a $200 pump shotgun and spend the other half of a what an AR build is on ammo. For the cost of just an AR you can have a full compliment of ammo and a versatile weapon that can actually be hunted with legally.

Then build the more expensive gun and stock it with ammo when life is in a better place. You already asked for prayers in another thread about tough times and money is a definite cause to much of the tough stuff in life.
 
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Overland-Indiana

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If money is that big of issue....buy a $200 pump shotgun and spend the other half of a what an AR build is on ammo. For the cost of just an AR you can have a full compliment of ammo and a versatile weapon that can actually be hunted with legally.

Then build the more expensive gun and stock it with ammo when life is in a better place. You already asked for prayers in another thread about tough times and money is a definite cause to much of the tough stuff in life.

Yeah i asked for prayer about issues; money is tight, but I also keep a good savings. And i also keep a gun/jeep fund, my family is very blessed, I have a great job and i love what i do and we don't "need" for anything. If we cannot afford something then i quite simply will not buy it. My wife knows this. I have the cash for one of the two, I have built numerous AR's and can currently build one for around $400 (Using PSA parts) iv'e built 4 AR's using just their parts and have been very pleased with them. I have a budget around $700, so my plan was $400 on the AR build, $100 on good iron sights and $200 on ammo to get me started. For the past 4yrs I have budgeted in to our weekly money a SHTF fund, i buy ammo, food and water (beyond that of normal groceries) in the amount of $40 per week. So, my plan is to take $20 per week to buy a couple boxes of ammo every week for the AR to get it up to par with my .40 S&W stock. I want, at this point a good defensive weapon, if some "towel head" comes at me/my family with an AK i want to be matched and not have a 12ga that can't reach out and touch them, plus shotgun mag capacity sucks....unless you add a tube extension, which i have never had very good luck with.
 
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Overland-Indiana

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And, if things did ever really get bad, my father and grandpa have a collection of 12ga shotguns and ammo to last years. They both hunt and shoot trap, skeet and sporting clays. I just gotta make it to the family farm (20min away) where there is a well (manual pump) and ammo and the equipment and land to grow a garden and plenty of room to hunt.
 

hardtrailz

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All depends on what you really want, but it sounds like you never really considered a shotty as an option with that post. That is why I consider them two different tools for the toolbox.

Will you shoot me a PM with the PSA parts for $400? I told the wife last night the commuter is getting a trunk gun and that would fit the bill nicely. PSA stuff has been pretty decent from what I have seen, but not owned anything myself.

Really looking into a .458 SOCOM build or .50 Beowulf myself, but they definitely aint cheap. Prolly be beginning of next year for that one.
 

Overland-Indiana

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All depends on what you really want, but it sounds like you never really considered a shotty as an option with that post. That is why I consider them two different tools for the toolbox.

Will you shoot me a PM with the PSA parts for $400? I told the wife last night the commuter is getting a trunk gun and that would fit the bill nicely. PSA stuff has been pretty decent from what I have seen, but not owned anything myself.

Really looking into a .458 SOCOM build or .50 Beowulf myself, but they definitely aint cheap. Prolly be beginning of next year for that one.

Yeah, ill facebook message the links to you.