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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Let's say I've got $1,000 burning a hole in my pocket
and I want one rifle for self-defense purposes around the house AND out in the street if necessary. (Is this even possible?)

Here's what I've narrowed it down to:

1. Springfield Armory M1A standard grade (about $1,200 in my neck of the woods)

2. Colt H-bar Match Target w/16" barrel and A3 sights ($900)

3. SW5 in 9mm ($1,250 to $1,500) with 2 hi-caps. Sorry, but I love this design!

4. A stainless Ruger Mini-14 ($450) AND a lightweight, bolt-action stainless steel Ruger KM77 BBZ in .308 ($500).

Pros? Cons? Other options?
 

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I don't think there is a rifle you can use for self-defense around the house unless you don't have neighbors. That's why I use a handgun for the house.

But if I were to get a rifle for defensive purposes, be that as defined in a "sh*t-hits-the-fan" scenario, I'd opt for the Springfield. Reason: Because the caliber is substantial enough to down deer (i.e. food) in one shot. We must think of these things! If the SHTF, it's not just defending ourselves that the weapon must perform; it should also provide food, defend against animals (there will be no animal control officers), and be of a caliber commonly available that is also an effective big-game hunting caliber. Those reasons are why I don't own a 5.56mm. Around here, we have elk. And in a SHTF situation, I don't want to waste precious ammo trying to make meat. That's one reason I bought an M1 Garand in 30-06. Plus, we have cougars here that would thrive in a SHTF environment with no game&fish dept. humans around to control them when they came around. Things to think about...

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Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those that don't
 

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If you don't have any wide open spaces in your area, I think a lever gun, like a Winchester or Marlin 30-30 has great merit for consideration - and half the price of a Colt H-bar. If you do have wide-open spaces, a Browning BLR can be had in some flat-shooting cartridges, and would still be much cheaper, and hit harder on two-legged thugs or four-legged food.

I don't have one, but I have to agree that in many circumstances an M1 .30-06, or M1-A Springfield, .308 would be very comforting.

I live in a very large city at the moment. Stray dogs run around in small packs in many places here as it is. During a serious breakdown of normal order and services, they would without a doubt increase in huge numbers and pose a very serious problem.
 

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And, don't laugh, but feral dogs would be a valuable source of meat if the SHTF.

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Those that beat their swords into plowshares will plow for those that don't
 

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Go with the HBAR, or better yet a Colt that does not have a heavy barrel. Reason is that if it ever gets to a SHTF situation, what parts are going to be most accessable? Also for home defense there are a lot of people that use AR-15 chambered in .223. The effectiveness of the round depends on velocity which causes the bullet to fragment. It does not suffer the overpenetration of the .308 or other rifle rounds and it definately does the trick. Also you will be able to find mags at a much better price and parts are abundant at the current time. Not to mention that it is the most customizable rifle out there now, a good compliment to the 1911.

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Simian

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If looking for an AR 15 type weapon, you might consider a Bushmaster. Well made and less expensive than a Colt. As fo 5.56 ammo there are several hollowpoints that don't penetrate much.

I work at a plant that manufactures wallboard. I have run some tests at the local range and there are some 45 grain hollow points that achieve between 3400 and 3550 fps, but literally explode on hard surfaces. Most won't go through 2 sheets of 23/32" board. As a good measure 40 s&w ball and hollowpoints (180grain ball and 135grain hollow point) and 45 hardball all penetrated the same pieces of board. Stay away from 5.56 ball as it went through all 6 pieces of board I had and kept on going.
 

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I have yet to see a Ruger mini that runs reliably and you are talking about needing a rifle. A rifle or carbine will be SEVERELY limited if it is in a handgun caliber, any handgun caliber.

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"What most of these people need is a good slap upside the head. What I don't need is any more lawsuits." John "The Tooz" Matusak

[This message has been edited by BillD (edited 09-13-2001).]
 

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Stay away from the SW5. That company does not have a good reputation. The remainder are all acceptable depending on your preference. Mine would be for the AR.
 

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Go with the AR15. Don't get a Colt unless you can find one they built well. That was rare in 1999 when I bought my Armalite. Now an Armalite is a good gun. So are the Bushmasters IMHO. Maybe a carbine or dissipator model.

I'm probably going to build a dissipator top end with night optic and light for this use. I will probably also look high and low for a preban receiver to match it to with a collapsable stock. You can find ammo for this purpose. Any rapid expanding 223 should pretty much fragment on impact, but house are so easy to penetrate, even for a handgun.

My Armalite is now a CLE custom service rifle. It is a great gun. It was great before I shipped it off to CLE. The A2 sights are the best sights that I have ever used other than BCR competition sights. The gun breaks down easy for cleaning. The gun also has great ergonomics, especially for right handers.

Cleaning is a pain until you figure out what to do and when. To do the whole gun every outing with only 50 - 300 shots fired will wear you out. I always clean the barrel and then I rotate cleaning the bolt, lower, and rr or the gun. The bolt gets cleaned at least every other time. The lower goes for a month or so between cleanings and the RR area is more like a 6 month deal. Under the handguards is a 6 month cycle too.
 

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Originally posted by BillD:
I have yet to see a Ruger mini that runs reliably ...snip...
I had quite the opposite experience. If you use garbage maybe but not with factory mags.

I had a Stainless Ranch (pre-ban) that would run with anything, very reliable just not very accurate from 50yds out. It was a 2-3 inch gun at 100 yards, with a scope from a solid benchrest. This is not suitable for hi-power competition or accuracy shooting but entirely acceptable for your stated purpose.

Even better along this line would be a Romanian AK, the SAR3 I have is excellent and was under $300 with the same accuracy as my long gone Mini. It is utterly reliable and pleasant to shoot.

I can tell you to avoid (at all costs) the SW5. I have firsthand experience with them, total jam-a-matic with several types ammo and mags, very disappointing.

Option 4 is clearly the best way to go unless you can get more means.

postban out

[This message has been edited by postban (edited 09-14-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thanks again for the input. I hadn't considered the AK copy so I'll look into that. A shop in my area is having a sale on the Bushmaster shorty carbine (XM15 E2S) for $779.91. That may be the ticket. ACP
 

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Hi, go with the Bushmaster XM15-E2S. It is reliable, works no differently than a Colt AR-15, and is much cheaper. It shoots well. I have 2 of them...
 

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Get an AR15 in 223. M1A second choice if you want more power. Forget the pistol caliber carbine. Weak! Forget the Mini14, not very accurate. I've owned all of the above. I still have the ARs. I wish I still had the M1A. The others will not be missed. Watch-Six

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Get your 1911s and AR15s while you still can!
 

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The Bushmaster is a fine piece of machinery. They used to have the contract for m16's for the Marine Corps. Every part they make is completely and entirely (with the exception of some custom parts) mil. spec. My BM with the 20" barrel is extremely accurate. put in the 2 stage triger they offer and you have a hell of a rifle.

Mike
 

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An AR-15 or derivative is very versatile. A 16 inch C/M4 upper or a 20+ inch is an entry to marksman weapon respectively. I would stay with 556/.223 as there is not much that cannot be stopped with a double tap of this. Ammo, is for now available. How about an 870 Rem. shotgun and a 9mm or .40 Glock for your home defense. (9mm, as this is SHTF time, and 9 is available world wide). Stay safe, chin up, head down and practice,practice,PRACTICE!!!
 

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Or..... you might consider a Winchester Model '94 Trapper (16" barrel) in .357 Magnum. I love mine - eats up .38 Specials all day long for cheap plinking!

Just my 2 cents. Good Shooting! NAA.

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Colt 1911: Best damn "Government" in the World!
 

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I'm with LAK. If it has to be a rifle, a short barrelled Marlin 336 or 30AS in .44 magnum would be outstanding!!

But I still think a short barrelled shotgun is best. Make it a pump for reliability. Least amount of muzzle blast, spread out pattern, little penetration thru walls. I'd say 4's or 5's would be best.



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God Bless America!!

Danny
NRA, NAHC, Buckmasters
 

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Buy any of the above EXCEPT for the SW5. I won't knock it too badly on a public forum but, if you e-mail me, I'll go into some detail about the gun and the company for you.
 
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