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Ideal Survival Rifle

Discussion in 'Survival Articles' started by survivalmonkey, Aug 26, 2005.

  1. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    At the end of the day, what you have available and have ammo for is what will get used. As Shaman mentioned above, there are several good reasons for the .38/.357 - one he didn't mention was the .38 Special originally was loaded with black powder. Just a little extra info for the brain housing group ;)
    Gator 45/70, arleigh and kellory like this.
  2. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I like pistol caliber rifles. Pre modern hunting laws forbidding it, they allow you to carry one weapon that is suitable for small and medium game. I prefer the .45Lc myself, but .357 is a close second. Switch up from loose loads to self contained mettalic cartridges, and you can see why Winchester sold so well. I can kill a rabbit or a deer with equal ease, and you have a powerful defensive weapon in the hands of a capable shooter.
    Witch Doctor 01 and Gator 45/70 like this.
  3. shaman

    shaman Monkey+

    I did not mention this, because I'd like to forget my dalliance with black powder in modern firearms. The problem with BP and its equivalents is that it really gunks stuff up in a hurry. I shot 50 rounds of BP- filled 44 Mag in a Super Blackhawk one afternoon and made the piece almost too dirty to function. I resorted to putting the cylinder in the dishwasher when I got home.

    Be advised: it ain't like it shows in the movies, folks. BP is dirty stuff and it quickly fouls up any modern piece.

    Let me also say that loading BP is fairly easy. There's really no way to over load most rounds. Whatever you can get a bullet to seat over is probably safe.
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2015
    techsar and BTPost like this.
  4. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    This is true for just about ALL Modern Steel built BP Firearms, using REAL Black Powder. If you try and overload even a Rifle with a 34" Barrel. What happens is, the Pressure of the Burning BP, at the Nipple end of the Barrel, forces the rest of the Powder Charge, and Projectile, toward the Muzzle, and the Flame Front , burns from the Nipple end of the charge, forward to the Base of the Projectile. If the Flame Front, that is on the rear of the Powder Charge, reaches the Muzzle, BEFORE the Powder Charge is fully consumed, then the unburnt Powder is just blown out the end of the Barrel, and causes mighty nice Muzzle Flash, and splatters all over the ground, in front of the shooter. This is how one KNOWS, he loaded to much Black Powder, for the Barrel on the FireArm. The ideal Maximum Powder Charge is when the Powder Charge has JUST finished being Completely Consumed, as the Projectile leaves the Barrel. Any Modern Steel built Barrel, can easily withstand the Pressure of ANY Amount of REAL Black Powder Loaded into it, if it has sufficient thickness. The same principle is also True, for Modern Smokeless Powders, in short barreled Weapons, like Revolvers and Pistols. Unfortunately the Burn Rates for Smokeless Powders, vary significantly, with Barrel Pressures, and Composition, which makes calculating Maximum Charges of Smokeless Powders, a lot more hazardous, to accomplish. Where with REAL Black Powder, the Burn Rate only depends on Grain Size of the Powder in Question, and does NOT vary with Barrel Pressure. All of the above needs to be put into context, in saying that Maximum Powder Charges, do NOT necessarily translate into Maximum Accuracy, for the Barrel, and Projectile, in Question, only Maximum Energy expended to the Projectile, at the Muzzle.

    On another NOTE, This is the reason that Pistol and Rifle Loadings for the same Cartridge should be different, and not be interchanged, especially for Ammunition using Modern Smokeless Powders. A pistol Loading will certainly NOT be as accurate when fired in a LONGER Rifle Barrel, as one DESIGNED for that Rifle Barrel, and certainly NOT be anywhere near a Maximum Loading for that Rifle Barrel. Where the Opposite happenstance MAY BE quite dangerous, in that a Maximum Loading for a Long Barreled Rifle, using a Very Fast Powder, can easily produce Barrel Pressures that may exceed the Bursting Pressures for that Short Barreled Weapon. this was never a problem in REAL Black Powder Cartridges, as the capacity of the Cartridge limited the amount of BP for the Weapon, and would never allow anywhere Near a Maximum Loading in Rifle or Pistol. (Ie 44-40, 38 Spl, or any of the other early BP dual use Cartridges)
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2015
    kellory likes this.
  5. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I have to add that modern center fire rifle steels can't be overpressured by black powder. That is NOT TRUE of antiques nor necessarily of replicas.
    Pax Mentis, Tully Mars and BTPost like this.
  6. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    What is impressive is that you can get a working repeater to run on BP. One of the issues with the Zulu Dawn event for the British was that the combo of fouling and poor quality cartridges mean that by the time the Zulu, hyped up on war marijuana, where withing spear and club range, the Brits guns were useless. In the old guns, you can be lucky to get more than a handful of shots without a cursory cleaning.
  7. D2wing

    D2wing Monkey+

    I forgot why I quit shooting Black powder. It sure was a mess. I used to cast bullets and reload modern cartridges, and had a black powder .44 cap and ball revolver. But my life got busy and I sold it all off. I didn't have time and did not like the mess. But I am thinking maybe I should get some molds and wheel weights and stock up on powder.
    Dirt Road Cowboy likes this.
  8. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    I seriously doubt that the .38 Special was EVER loaded commercially with black powder since the cartridge was brought out in 1902 and smokeless was in use since 1892 (.30-40 Krag, FIRST US cartridge loaded with smokeless in US. 1895 - .30-30 Win first COMMERCIAL cartridge loaded with smokeless in US). Of course Colt didn't warrant their handguns with smokeless until 1900 too.
  9. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Nothing wrong with a Stainless Steel .44 Cal Cap & Ball Revolver (Ruger Stainless Old Army) for
    A TEOTWAWKI Weapon... BP is easy to make, from stored precursors, and Lead Projectiles are easy to cast from stored Lead Ingots. Caps are easy to convert from Large Rifle Primers or ShotGun Primers....
    dudi and Dirt Road Cowboy like this.
  10. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I will still go with the AR15. There will always be ammunition available as the platform is in wide use. Somewhere there will be someone manufacturing new ammunition. You can cache battle packs or add an absorber and vacuum seal your own.

    The thought of having to resort to black powder in a modern firearm makes me cringe. I have a .50 Cal smoke pole built specifically for that purpose.
    Gator 45/70 and Tully Mars like this.
  11. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    A most excellent contribution to the thread. [sarc2]

    What's YOUR ideal survival rifle, model and caliber, and why? That is, after all, what the thread is about, not poking holes in someone else's choice.
  12. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Properly loaded, a TRADITIONAL loading is the same grains as your caliber...So a .50 is pushing a 177 grain projectile off 50 grains of powder, and kicking it down range. Plus you can make you own ammo...and more importantly, you can KEEP doing it for (potentially) generations. Know plenty of guys who shoot or hunt with antiques. Something to be said for it.
    Seawolf1090 and Tully Mars like this.
  13. M118LR

    M118LR Caution: Does not play well with others.

    Wouldn't the Ideal survival rifle be able to handle any and all situations that you might need a firearm for?
    I'm not concerned with platform or caliber, how many situations could the rifle you pick solve? Is it mag feed in case you feel you need a wall of lead to survive? Will it reach out and take down a "Sniper" at ranges that don't seem relative? If it's gas operated can I shut off the gas or use it without gas if I need to suppress the rifle? Can I keep it running from pole to pole in darkness or blazing (heat) sunlight? When the parts brake from fatigue can I fabricate them myself? Whatever rifle you select there shall be other rifles and rifleman that perform tasks better, the object is to not be in a situation that your selected rifle is a hindrance instead of a force multiplier.

    PS. Along the way there may be many rifles that become the property of the victor, perhaps there is a reason why those rifles didn't allow thier previous owner to collect the victors rifle as a souvenir. Just food for thought.
    Last edited: May 4, 2017
  14. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Gave this a quick run through, I see nothing about the bullets that would be useful for survival. Yes, the title is "IDEAL SURVIVAL RIFLE", but what makes the rifle ideal is what BULLET it shoots, not to discount reliability, accuracy, power, speed of fire, ease of use, of course.

    Looking at MILITARY ammo, there is nothing there that would make a good hunting or anti-personnel round. The military uses FMJ (Full Metal Jacket) bullets because it is international law to keep people from getting hurt. Right, I am going to KILL them, but don't want them to be hurt while I do it. Must have been thought up by demonrats.

    Anyway, since the military is the only ones required to use FMJ bullets, civilians (and yes, the po-LICE are civilians, no matter how many times I read or hear them call themselves "us" and the sheeple "civilians") can use pretty much what we want and that means soft points, hollow points and the like, you know, deer worthy bullets. If it is a good deer bullet, it is a good human bullet too. You might like Hard Ball (aka FMJ) for shooting through cars (most anything will anymore), engine blocks, walls, etc., but they are not ideal for use on humans. So pick your favorite cartridge/rifle and get GOOD expanding bullets for it for anti-snowflake/gang/demonrat use.

    I also believe that having black powder weapons may well be a good idea. OK, possibly not ideal, but worth having. Bow were in use until firearms came along and replaced them. The only places they did not replace bows was areas where they couldn't get parts or powder regularly. In many part of the US, such as the old west, muzzleloaders were in common use until the 1880s or later. In the mountains in the eastern US, they hung on until the 1930s and 1940s. The US shipped many original Revolutionary War through 1850s muskets from the arsenal museums to the South Seas to arm natives, as they already had flint lock muzzleloaders and knew what they were, to fight the Japanese.

    As was pointed out, if you don't clean your BP arms, they will rust. So what? MANY of the sea going muzzleloaders used by the military are some of the best preserved if you go to a museum and look! Don't clean you modern firearms and they don't do well either.

    Yes BP is dangerous to make, care to try making smokeless powder? If you have a cap lock you will need caps (think primers), but flintlocks were in use as late as the early 1940s in many parts of the US as pointed out before, because the people were poor and could repair/make muzzleloaders. Flintlocks ideally use flints of course, but many rocks will work, and as the saying goes, "the world is made of rock".

    I do not know how low civilization or technology will fall, but I bet cartridge cases, powder, primers and jacketed bullets will be few and far between for quite a while if you don't have any stocked up. Just look at the ,22 shortage times ALL ammo!
    Last edited: May 5, 2017
    Brokor likes this.
  15. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    Not all military use FMJ. Snipers use hollow point boat tail (HPBT), for example. The full metal jacket is the standard because it can penetrate further, such as shooting through a semi-solid object like interior walls or some armor. The M4 variety weapon system employs the green tip M855/SS109, or any civilian could also use a standard FMJ. Thankfully for us, these M855 rounds do not technically classify as "armor piercing", because they are still available for civilian use. The concept isn't about accuracy with these rounds, it's more about penetration, whereas the sniper requires exceptional accuracy. There are specialty rounds such as armor piercing incendiary (API), armor piercing (AP), and numerous others the military can employ for their long range and specialty weapon systems, too. But, for the average foot soldier, the steel penetrator M855 for the 5.56mm generally proves to be a standard which meets the most suitable criteria for combat currently. No Liberals involved with this one. (y)
    sec_monkey, Tully Mars and Yard Dart like this.
  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    You are correcting Legion's misinfo? Hm.
  17. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Folks killed by Snipers, using HollowPoint, or Ballistic Tiped Projectiles, rarely complain about it.... At least not in this life.....[ROFL]
    sec_monkey and Gator 45/70 like this.
  18. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I've seen a deer killed by FMJ, he didn't seem to notice the lack of hollowpoint.
  19. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    Elmer Kieth preferred the 38/357 as a bug out round, Easy as snot to reload!
    Tully Mars and Legion489 like this.
  20. Legion489

    Legion489 Rev. 2:19 Banned

    Yes, Brokor/BTPost, snipers use Hollow Point bullets, but they don't expand in flesh, or pretty much anything else for that matter. The Rules of War call for non-expanding bullets, and the Hollow Points used by snipers do not expand. I note that even you were not silly enough to claim they were good hunting bullets or expanded.

    I also note the silly people have come out to play and add nothing but stupidity to the thread and not light. At least one of those posts should be removed as worthless stupidity and harassment, but that is par for the course naturally, from those who have too much time and too little brains.

    AX, I never said a FMJ would not kill, but they are far from ideal for hunting game. A FMJ to the spine, brain, or shoulder bones will put a deer, or pretty much anything else that walks, down. A FMJ through the lungs leaves a caliber sized hole and the deer, or pretty much any other game, to run off and die a day or two or three later. That is neither humane or good sportsmanship. Surely you do not recommend SS109 for hunting? I'm not too worried about shooting a deer through interior walls or armor as some here seem to be.

    Good point Gator 45/70, the .38 Special/.357 Magnum is both common and easy to reload, but the .38 Special was never commercially loaded with black powder, although all the previous .38 caliber rounds were. Undoubtedly it would work just fine for the .38 Special as it did in the older cartridges, and was probably loaded with black powder by many reloaders who like black powder or had black powder on hand and wanted to use it, but not commercially.
    Last edited: May 6, 2017
    Gator 45/70 and AxesAreBetter like this.
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