Which Get Home Rifle

Discussion in 'Firearms' started by 3M-TA3, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm working through my Get Home solution and assessing firearms. I currently carry an AR-15 wherever I go, but also have a Mini-15 Ranch Rifle I can use. I've been pondering the pro's and cons of each and would like to get some input.

    Both rifles are reliable and dependable. Weight is about the same. I feel like I can trust my life to either.

    The AR-15 is more accurate and can handle a lot more shooting before it gets too hot to hold. It has a prismatic sight which is my preference. It's been Cerakoted a combination of light green and FDE so can blend in more easily into the environment. It could also be separated into two pieces and stored in my GHB and I could use a pistol as a stop-gap until the rifle was necessary. The only negative is that is has that dreaded military look. Rifle below:

    The Mini-14 looks like a regular rifle, especially is I have the standard 5 round mag loaded (with 20 round mags ready but concealed). Back up sights are a weak point (it's the original 580 series Ranch Rifle from the 1980's) - a relatively flimsy blade up front and a minimal peep sight in the rear. It has a 2x7 scope, which should be OK for most circumstances. Rings are pretty fixed so I can't mount just anything, but there are picatinny rails that will attach even though it would be higher than I would like. It has the older pencil style barrel and accuracy is 2-3 MOA. I figure it's probably a 3 mag rifle before it gets too hot to hold. Not mine, but similar:

    The AR is technically the better rifle, but the Mini-14 is less likely to draw unwanted attention. That's basically my dilemma - which one outweighs the other.

    My most common scenario involves a 30 mile journey that includes a crossing of the Columbia river in the Portland area. If both bridges are out and I can't get ferried across then it's a multi-day/multi-week trip up the Columbia to Cascade Locks. If things are nasty I plan on traveling mostly at night, nice and slow, then holing up during the day. Environment is mostly heavily treed urban.

    So, Monkies, what say you? AR or Mini, or am I swinging in the wrong tree entirely?
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  2. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    I wouldn't carry either, but if you would bet your life to either, carry the more accurate one.
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  3. VisuTrac

    VisuTrac Ваша мать носит военные ботинки Site Supporter+++

    which one do you want to hump around? I'd go with that one.
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  4. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    AR. The mini is a hobby platform, the AR a working one. My AR is also my truck gun and get home gun.
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  5. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Most definitely - AR. I noticed the Mini-14 is wood so I am betting the AR is also lighter plus it can break apart and store in your ruck if needed. By your own admission it is more accurate so I really think you have already decided.

    BTW that's a sweet looking AR...
  6. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I have a Mini-14 and it is OK at short range (within 50 yards). If crowd suppression is the goal, both platforms will work but the Mini will only accept Ruger magazines and therefore you will have odd mags floating around.

    I'd go with the AR, especially if you already have a couple at home and the BOL... :cautious:
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  7. OldDude49

    OldDude49 Just n old guy

    So long as your state allows it and you can prevent it's theft from your vehicle I would take the most accurate one...
    3M-TA3 and tacmotusn like this.
  8. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    AR all the way! You could break down if needed to fit in a pack so its not visible like you said. M

    Who cares if it looks like a MIL rifle. Face shoot the Fuckers ;)
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  9. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    I'm open to suggestions, given my scenario, what would you recommend?
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  10. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The weight difference is negligible. The AR barrel is a medium contour, and it's a piston system, so the op rod adds a few ounces. If I built one for this purpose it would be DI and have a lighter contour, but not a pencil.

    Thanks for the compliment. The rifle is one of an identical pair I built a few years ago. I semi documented the build in the AR pictures thread. I really like how the green and FDE combination makes for pseudo camo pattern.
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  11. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I am going for the AR also, but with far different reasons than the others. From an accuracy at a distance POV, I think the choice is pretty much irrelevant...past 50 yards in your scenario is not going to be an issue (at least for me). In a get home scenario, if the problem is over 50 yards, I am just trying to keep it from getting closer than 50 while egress the area...a gut shot is every bit as effective as an eyeball at keeping him from advancing farther and keeping any friends behind cover.

    My basic reason is one that you seemingly eliminate. Your AR15 may be the same weight as your Mini, but my mini14 is both heavier and less ergonomic to carry...even back in the day of the easily fouled and less accurate M16, the balance, weight and "user friendly interface" had much to say for itself when humping it through the terrain. As far as the gray man argument, I think either will attract unwanted attention, but that is a small price to pay.


    Last edited: Jul 14, 2016
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  12. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    The nice thing about an AR is it can broken down, bagged and stored in your GHB easily. You can carry a lot of firepower with a basic load-out at a negligible weight. Once you encounter issues while in movement, you can assemble quickly & arm yourself with it. Which for most thuggish sheep, will be a huge deterrent for any interest in slowing you down from your mission to get home [stayback]
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  13. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King |RIP 11-4-2017

    I probably should mention that I have a much different view of a "get home" gun than most...and many say I am crazy (so take any recommendation I make with a large spoon of salt).

    My personal GHB contains 2 guns...a Glock 19 and a Kel-tec Sub2000 which uses the same mags and ammo as the Glock (my EDC is a Ruger LC9). My number one priority is avoiding contact. What can I say...my youthful grunt time was spent in recon.

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  14. whynot

    whynot Monkey+++

    AR is the only choice in my mind. As you stated:
    More accurate
    breaks down for discrete transport
    It will also be way easier to get additional magazines should the need arise.

    3M-TA3 likes this.
  15. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    Well, given that you already have the Ar set up, I don't really have much I can say about the rifle choice. I wouldn't give a damn about it "looking like a real gun"...if I'm packing heat, I;m packing heat, and it ain't my problem what somebody else thinks about it.
    I, personally, am more partial to larger calibers in the carbine (20" barrel) range. I don;t trust a .223, and I WANT a caliber that will shoot through "cover". If I was more urban, I might consider something in a pistol caliber, I am a fan of pistol caliber rifles, epsically when you can pair it up with a pistol in the same caliber.
    I'd consider some armor, if it was me. I would be doing urban anything without in in SHTf/WROl, if I had it to wear.

    I am also not opposed to a tactical shotgun. Buck/Bird/Slug option is hard to pass up.

    To properly explain my original answer, knowing what you own, and that you are that comfortable with them, I say pick the most accurate one.
    My "truck gun" is normally a repro 1873 Winchester in .45LC. Nothing special, as a matter of fact you can't shoot hot loads through it, it has a tube magazine with a side port, no possible provision for optics, and it is a pistol caliber to boot. BUT, I have run it for twelve years without properly cleaning it, using no standard ammunition, I am aware of all three types of malfunctions I can expect from it (mud, particulars jamming the loading block, and improperly seated ammunition), and I know that I can bet my life on it.
    More importantly, I know EXACTLY where it is going to hit at a given range, and often default to it for that very reason. Cause none of the rest of it matters if you can't hit what you need to when it matters.
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  16. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Have to get on the AR bandwagon. I don't see a downside to it, and seems like trying to be less obvious with a wood stock if things are tough enough to warrant carrying a long arm makes little sense. Plus, if it come to night travel, who cares what it looks like?
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  17. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    The original plan was to use the AR, but since I already had the mini-14 (bought it new in 1986) I thought I would go through the exercise. I think the AR is the way to go between the two.

    Even though my prep focus right now is not on firearms I think I'll start buying parts to build a lighter weight DI upper to lighten things up a bit.

    Thanks everybody for all the great input so far!
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  18. AxesAreBetter

    AxesAreBetter Monkey+++

    The Keltec SU-16C is a nice rifle, if you are in the market. Don't like .223, but I like the gun enough to have put some serious consideration to picking one up. If weight and size are an issue, the C model is NICE, and it runs off AR15 mags...
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  19. Salted Weapon

    Salted Weapon Monkey+++

    I would not pick either, as they both require a descent amount of ammo to be carried and both why accurate enough over all would not be my choice. I just think 30 miles is a long ways and if one needs to use for defense you can't carry enough ammo.
    Might be better to go accurate bolt and a good handgun and stay in the shadows more. Once spotted that 4-7 mags even wont last you long.
    Motomom34 likes this.
  20. Yard Dart

    Yard Dart Vigilant Monkey Moderator

    As @Pax Mentis stated.... in a SHTF period.... recon tactics will rule the day!! Lurk around and avoid contact... if contact is made with an opposing force, withdraw and reroute.... do not engage in full on battle unless you are committed to the action with no option to withdraw. Work smart... not hard.... translates into, move slow and stealthy... see them, before they see you.
    velzey, Salted Weapon, Ganado and 3 others like this.
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