Rifles

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – Kel Tec SU 16 CA

Personal – There are several versions of this rifle, I purchased the rifle for my youngest boy, I had a previous version, but chose the CA incarnation because of the threaded heaver barrel, shorter length, and improved front sight (back aperture sight is crap). I like it… I am not a fan of .223 but the rifle is handy, capable of reasonable accuracy and is based more on the AK than the AR platforms. Very light weight, and it has a neat folding stock making it very small an easy to pack. I found I liked the folding stock that folds out into a traditional stock, it looks a bit queer but it feels good in the hand for shooting, very comfortable.

Function – Excellent reliable function, an earlier version also was excellent in reliability, this version has been 100% with every magazine I have tried, it likes both 20 and 30 round Thermold (LE marked) 20 and 30 round Tapco, and two old 30 round Adventureline magazines someone gave me years ago.

Design flaws – The front folding hand-guard will fold out into a “bipod” if you want to call that spindly insect like abomination a “bipod” I used it for a few magazines worth and never bothered again my first thought was “tits on a boar-hog” and that did not change after I gave it a chance, have not bothered to unfold it again except to clean under it.

Light weight also translates to lightly constructed, you would not want to hit someone with it like you could a Mosin-Nagant, but the construction is not THAT bad, that is as bad as some input I have seen from who think that every gun has to help fight you out of some muddy foxhole.

There is a trick to getting the bolt in and out, follow the directions it is not “user intuitive.” Take great care not to launch parts into low earth orbit (or into your body) in disassembly, spring loaded parts could be easy to loose. Rear sight aperture is crappy cheap and the safety is a funky shotgun-style cross bolt. The full stock of the CA model will not allow the rifle to fire folded, that could be a problem if you needed a quick “get to” while folded, but the weirdo version of the pistol grip folder is just too funky, when I ordered my “california” version the dealer also ordered one of the funky pistol grip versions for the shop – Blech! even he said he hated that version and liked the CA better.

Quality – Molded polymers – and you can tell there are some “corner cutting” parts here and there – you can tell this was intended as a light duty carbine. I would choose the SU16CA rifle over the Mini 14 (problems and all) any day

Caliber/Ammunition – .223 small, inexpensive (well, as inexpensive as surplus or new center-fire is going to get nowadays), light recoil, accurate, not all that exciting but it is a carbine, what did you expect?

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Use – Accuracy is reasonable, better grouping when hot (or cold) than any Mini-14 I have ever seen but NOT on par with the AR15, about halfway from Mini-14 to AR, and less expensive than both. Uses standard AR15 magazines and has two little 10 rounders that press fit into the stock and can stay (well they are supposed to stay in, just don’t hit it too hard when open) there when folded – as the Russians would say “is very nice, yes?” – of course, and inexpensive also.

Current production – Waiting at the Kel tec factory fresh off the molding machine, this entire series of rifle is one of their most popular products, and is not always in great supply.

I consider this rifle a secondary choice carbine or a nice light weight, light duty carbine for small users. The SU16 series is in a mid range price level and is less expensive than either the AR or Mini 14. Currently in production, using popular easy to find magazines, and small limited parts interchangeability with the AR make this an attractive choice. I use this rifle myself for hunting where a light carbine is required, but was intended for the smallest child, he loves it. (Update: I have acquired a second SU16CA and both are now regulated to the two women in the family. We use them for small game and varmint hunting quite regularly and both have received a solid diet of reloaded brass and steel cased ammo with no function problems.)

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Categories: Camping and Hiking, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Main Battle Rifle, MBR, Prepper Info, Prepping, Primary Rifle, Rifles | Tags: | 2 Comments

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – SKS 45 (Soviet Simonov Self-loading Carbine 1945)

Personal – I have a fondness for russian weapons (possibly my Slovak background), I have owned many versions and copies of this carbine from Soviet to satellite to Sino. The standard version of this rifle fires the intermediate (mid level from rifle to pistol) power 7.62×39 round. I mention “standard versions” because I have heard rumors of gunsmiths converting the SKS to other “wild-cat” calibers – but I have never seen one in anything other than the 7.62×39. Recoil is mild to all but the smallest women and children, my two youngest children find the recoil disturbing. The shorter length makes the carbine quite handy and it will typically shows better accuracy than it’s Soviet younger cousin the AK 47. The rifle is about as inexpensive and simple to operate as any self-loading rifle can be. I do regret selling my Russian examples, and I found the red chi-com fiberglass stocks a good match for the Chinese imports, reducing the weight. I most likely will never buy any additional examples as I have abandoned use of the 7.62×39 in favor of .308 (large family members) and .223 (small family members).

Function – Reliability is excellent with this rifle even with the worst surplus corrosive ammunition. Dirty surplus ammunition will foul the gas system and if not cleaned, corrosive ammunition will create rust along the gas piston tube and lock the rifle up. I have never reloaded for this rifle and never felt the need, there are reasonsble choises in loadings and bullets from surplus FMJ to soft point hunting rounds. After-market magazines have a bad reputation for unreliable feeding and stove-pipe failures, the non removable 20 round fixed chi-com magazine also had problems. The few SKS rifles built or converted to take AK magazines do not share the unreliable feeding problems with the after-market magazines. This rifle/carbine is best left in its original form.

Design flaws – The simple gas system can be “locked in” with corrosion if maintenance or cleaning is totally ignored. This corrosion lock in is not so much a flaw as a severe lack of maintenance issue. I had a friend that did this to both his AK and SKS at the same time from using Chinese corrosive ammo and not cleaning out the gas tubes. The SKS was made to be loaded with clips from the top of the action and the standard model only holds 10 rounds. Some early Russian rifles had a spring return firing pin that could help prevent slam fire issues. SKS models with a simple sliding floating firing pin have been noted to produce slam fire incidents. This dangerous condition is usually caused by a dirty or grease packed firing pin tunnel. The rifle in it’s standard configuration is heavy for a carbine, but noted for rugged construction. The attached bayonet can lower the rifle’s accuracy and is added weight with little use, I recommend removing the bayonet.

SKS slam fire, causes and modification to spring return firing pin.

Quality – Most produced are of good to reasonable quality, some makers better than others, I consider the Russian imports (often KBI) to be the highest quality version with the Yugoslavian versions a second and the chinese a third.

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Caliber/Ammunition – 7.62×39, in an SKS is moderate to reasonable in accuracy. Hundreds of hunters in the US find the SKS and 7.62×39 combination an effective pair for hunting deer, coyote, wild hogs and other game. This round is currently used in many countries as the main cartridge for infantry use.

Use – Easy to find, popular, and relatively inexpensive many different versions of the SKS are available, attachments, spare parts, and ammunition are available from what seems like an endless parade of retailers, gun stores, and online merchants.

Current Production – There is only limited current production of this rifle (if any) but surplus SKS carbines in even almost new condition are common.

Fondness aside, I personally would consider this rifle a secondary choice at best for a current MBR. It does share interchangeability of ammunition and stripper clips with the AK47 type rifle and is inexpensive. The benign look and impression the rifle gives (in original wood stock and without bayonet) makes it a good choice for a “trunk gun”, hunting and hiking carry.

Categories: 7.62 x 39, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Main Battle Rifle, MBR, Prepper Info, Prepping, Primary Rifle, Rifles | 2 Comments

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – Garand – Rifle, Caliber .30, M1

M1 Garand

United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1

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Personal – The M1 is a solid rifle that is limited in choices in bullet weight and performance limited by design features. The M1 suffers from romanticized worship because of the emotional and patriotic cloth it tends to get wrapped within. The rifle is quite heavy by modern standards and has a unique, outdated, obsolete, en-bloc clip feeding system, and severely limited cartridge capacity. Romanticized worship will lend no extra points for me because that same limited view tends to add critical suspicion in my mind.

Function – Can be excellent when clean and properly maintained within a limited ammunition selection, outside of the narrow choices it tends to be problematic, and can be dammaged by excessive pressures and or heavy bullets.

Design flaws – Operating rod is prone to damage, en bloc clip is limited to 8 rounds, pressure outlet port too far forward for effective adjustment outside of limited design parameters. The action is open and will allow contaminates into the working mechanism. Cleaning from the muzzle? Was that necessary, was no alternative ever devised? Loading the 30-06 to its maximum capacity with more modern powders (and different burn ratios) will be dangerous in the standard off-the-rack M1. While the M1 was designed to close by itself when a loaded clip is inserted, many M1 rifles need a push on the op rod handle to get it to close on the first round. The rifle requires the en-bloc clip or a block filling device to feed function – no clip, no functioning

Quality – Most produced are of good to excellent quality workmanship, some makers better than others. It would be rare to find examples of rifles produced US that were of POOR quality. Surplus examples can be in poor to dangerous condition not due to the original workmanship, construction, or materials but lack of maintenance, poor storage conditions, and heavy use.

Caliber/Ammunition – 30-06, while an accurate and effective cartridge it is large, heavy and obsolete in comparison to newer cartridges. The very shape of the cartridge has been proven to be outperformed in accuracy by the .308 and others with a more “squat” profile. The .30-06 is only marginally more powerful than other newer cartridges.

Use – The lack of a removable and replaceable higher capacity magazine is recognized as a flaw when placed in comparison to other MBRs. The ejection of the en-block clip makes a distinct traaangggggg noise, a result of the design and use of the en-block clip, this particular flaw is likely over-stated. The clips can be damaged and lost, in fact the clips were designed to be disposable. this is problematic as the M1 requires the clip to function this can be a problem. The M1 can produce reasonable to excellent accuracy when maintained regularly. The op rod design has a tendency to “beat itself” out of it’s own narrow range of higher performance and accuracy – in other words it takes a lot of continuous work, maintenance, and repair to keep the excellent or good part of the possible accuracy. The M1 is often given excessive and undeserved credit in the shooting community for “known accuracy and reliability” when that reputation was gained by meticulous care.

Current Production – I have not had the chance to evaluate the current reproductions or re-works as they tend to be far to expensive, the CMP re-works can be of good to poor condition. Most examples exist as surplus military products.

While there is some patriotism and romanticism attached to the M1 I personally would consider this rifle a secondary choice at best for a current MBR due to the design limitations. The saving grace for the M1 rifle is the popularity, availability of repair parts (now dwindling) and common familiarity. The weakest parts are the operating rod (limiting your ammunition range) and the en-bloc clip.

Rifle – U.S. Cal. .30 M1 – Principles of Operation (1943)

More information has popped up from the original article above.

RSC 1917 et Garand

Categories: 30-06 Springfield / 7.62 × 63, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Prepper Info, Prepping, Primary Rifle, Rifles | Leave a comment

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – The how an why of the series

This series of articles was originally posted online as a series of reviews and the occasional rant.

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I don’t claim to be anything other than a well versed enthusiast, former manufacturer of ammunition, and firearm retail store owner. I keep a collection of various rifles and I rotate them in and out with new additions and thinning down with what meets my fancy at the moment.

I have started dispersing my personal collection to friends and family to encourage some gun ownership and also to follow the concept of one rifle per freedom-ista. One beauty of giving your guns to friends and family is that you can still shoot them from time to time!

I started collecting rifles and reloading at a very young age (reloading at 10, and buying my own rifles at 12, swaging at 15) I worked my entire freshmen year at high school to buy a new and complete reloading bench, presses, swaging dies and supplies.

In college I had gotten involved with the re-enactors as a hobby and spent lots of time with two friends who were class 3 dealers. On my 21 birthday I celebrated by filling out my forms for a Class 6 and FFL for myself (this habit can get bad BTW) I disposed of both the class 6 and FFL after marriage (and facing the fact that I could not make a decent profit in the business).

I don’t think I have ever fired a rifle I did not like learning about, but I have developed some personal dislikes and likes over the years for various reasons… There are no bad guns, only design limitations, quality, use, and dealing with the possible belligerent, annoying, and often ignorant, cult members-fans that faun over them.

To break this down logically I needed to come up with a list of categories to evaluate likes and dislikes, facts, reasons, and the needed content for a more full review.

Personal – what items are strictly personal, things like “my hands are too big”, “the design is uncomfortable to shoot”, “it looks funky”, “I hate limey guns (and limeys) and similar items of personal reaction.

Function – there are operational and or design features that lend an element of unreliability.

Design flaws – features or construction can lead to parts breakage or unsafe/dangerous continued operation.

Quality – the majority of samples of the rifle are of poor quality and or construction.

Caliber/Ammunition – the choices of cartridges are limited to obsolete, unusual/hard to find, or poor performing/ineffective for use ammunition.

Use – the rifle is to specific for one use and does not have a wide enough venue of operation (like a collectable or high end hunting rifle, or heavy, shinny, not weather resistant and more).

Current production – While this would not negate a good rifle it could prove to make the rifle hard to repair or even obtain to begin with, availability IS an issue. No new production of units or repair parts could render a rifle useless, many excellent military rifles fit into this problematic category due to obsolescence.

Categories: Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Handguns, Hunting, Main Battle Rifle, MBR, Prepper Info, Prepping, Primary Rifle, Rifles, Shotgun, SHTF | Leave a comment

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – HK91 and PTR91 (HK91 Clone)

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Personal – My personal first choice for caliber, inexpensive magazines and reliability, UGLY but funky-retro space-gun cool. Made for large individuals with large hands with heavy winter clothing on (short butt stock). My favorite trick with the HK91 here at the heretic abode is to add a bit of braided para cord to the charging handle, it makes a quick grab even with thick winter gloves.

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Function – Reliable function second only to the AK, so reliable that it is often referred to as the “Kraut Kalashnokov” or the “AK of the West”. I have personally fired my HK91’s in sub-zero temps, and also sopping wet with slime in 100 plus temps with the only malfunctions based on ammo. Weak charges will stove pipe, and bullets over 190 grains can cause excessive recoil and shake the next bullet out of the magazine in front of the bolt causing a double fed or have a cartridge folded in half by the bolt face as it turns sideways.

Design flaws – No bolt hold open, poor ergonomics for small hands and arms, poor heavy trigger (without modification), fluted chamber engraves brass this does not make it un-reloadable contrary to stories you hear on the internet. The PTR91 “GI/Special edition” will have the odd brass chewer that dents the side of the case – an ejection port buffer fixes this and changes the direction of ejection to forward 2-3 O’clock.

Rifle has extremely violent fired case ejection – woe to anyone on the right of the shooter to catch one on the noggin! (I have a scar on my forehead from a friend who moved while shooting from a bench).Felt recoil is higher with this delayed blow-back system.

Press-formed sheet steel construction is heavier than some other metals (and stronger) and because it is formed into shapes a large enough blow or crushing force to the steel can cause deformation that can lead to malfunctions, most knocks can be “ironed out” some with common tools and severe dents with special internal forms. With decades of military service including Africa, the design holds its own in even the worst of conditions and care, including possible dents.

There is some debate that states it is possible that the G3/HK91 was specifically designed to work with brass cased cartridges, and that firing steel cased ammunition can damage rifle parts and excessively wear the throat of the barrel. It is possible that if the steel case shows signs of excessive amounts of hot gas jetting past the flutes in the chamber and into the case shoulder this could erode the metal in that area. There was some indication that the German engineers actually designed the G3 rifle to handle not only full power cartridges but also cheep steel cased ammo with a very wide range of acceptable powder burn rates in the 4895 category.

Quality – While the construction of the frame is of relatively inexpensive precisely formed steel, contrary to internet ignorance “stamped steel” does not equate to low quality but rather inexpensive production, most car frames are made of formed steel, even the “muscle cars” of US production were of formed steel. Both the HK and PTR clone’s internal parts are very high quality construction, interchangeable and examples of first world production. The last of the PTR rifles to arrive in the collection had a Rheinmetall AG bolt carrier!

Caliber/Ammunition – .308 an accurate and effective cartridge, one of my favorites, easy to reload, but is a large full power cartridge and some consider it excessive in recoil (this recoil is heightened in the HK system). .308/7.62 is one of the most popular cartridges for rifles in the US and high quality commercial and surplus ammunition is widely available. While on a related subject the HK91/G3 uses one of the best designed and reliable .308 box magazines ever produced, currently there are several high quality choices the older steel (heavy but very tough), aluminum, and then the polymer magazines (the only magazine from this company I would recommend and the Thermold magazines count for US compliance parts).

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Use – Accuracy out of the box will be good to excellent (suffering somewhat from the heavy “drop proof” pull of the original trigger), the trigger can be adjusted or worked by companies like Williams Trigger Specialties (an excellent “set trigger” I use is available) and Bill Springfield. There are services available where the action can be stiffened and attachments such as the SuperTune to dial in loadings. The HK91 uses the least expensive detachable magazine available in the US market, there are steel, polymer, and aluminum magazines readily available. I am on my original locking rollers and have cooked off thousands of rounds (over 7k) on my current original HK made rifle. A must addition to this rifle on top of the para-cord handle is the Tac-Latch to replace the removed magazine release from the back of the magazine well (the Tac-Latch returns the rifle to the easy either-hand/two hand operated magazine release).

Current production – PTR is considered the highest quality clone in current production, repair parts are widely available, but HK stopped official production years ago forcing the existing HK produced rifles in circulation into the “collectable” market.

I consider this rifle a first and primary choice for a current MBR, high price is a possible concern with the true HK build collectable rifles, but when considering the inexpensive magazines, the total price can be lower than expected (I consider 8 a minimum of magazines per rifle). Because the Special Edition “GI” PTR91 clone is the least expensive .308 except the .308 AK from Saiga and the used magazines are so inexpensive it is difficult to find a better deal.

Categories: .308 / 7.62 x 51, Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Main Battle Rifle, MBR, Prepper Info, Prepping, Primary Rifle, Rifles | 2 Comments

Personal Critical Review – Savage Mark II FV-SR Bolt action .22 LR rifle

Personal Critical Review – Savage Mark II FV-SR Bolt action .22 LR rifle




Personal – I have posted in the past about how the lowly .22 lr is my “secret sin,” to this day the simple act of hunting, shooting or plinking with .22 firearms is my “hands down” favorite way to spend my shooting time.

In the last few years I have been spending quite a bit of money and time thinking about, researching, testing and shooting to find the “best .22 rifle” for prepping. I am never sure just what makes something “the best” because the subjective nature of our personal bias and the almost endless applications that could be applied to test “the best” it is an enigma.

Because I was never happy with the accuracy of the semi-auto rifles I got rid of all but two and replaced them with bolt action rifles two of them you see above.

I habitually and continually end up with the bolt action .22 rifles again and again. Even with the recent and mostly successful try with the Marlin autoloading .22 rifles – the accuracy was just not in the same class with the bolt actions.

Function – Mongo grab bolt, Mongo turn bolt, Mongo pull trigger with bugger hook, fire stick go BOOM there is something elegant in the simple function of the bolt action rifles.

The top rifle is wearing a 3×9 one inch Nikon Buckmasters and the bottom rifle in green is attached to a fixed 6 power scope with a 30 mm tube. The rifles come with the plastic stocks shown, but the colors we added later.

The Savage is simply excellent in it’s reliable function, the five round magazine fed without scraping or deformation and sent the rounds perfectly into the chamber.

This Savage .22 is similar to just about any other bolt action I have ever fired with one BIG addition, this rifle features an over-sized bolt handle that has proved to be worthy of mentioning and making a big review point about.

Check out that Weaver/Picatinny type rail mount, that comes with the factory rifle.


Quality – Top notch high quality fluted barrel, the magazine release is a bit cheesy as is the cheep plastic stock. We were forced to use sand paper an a big dowel to sand out the barrel channel in the cheep stock to get a reliable free-float. The Savage Mark II FV-SR has a steel receiver made of good quality material as is the bolt itself. Both the receiver and bolt are a bit typical in the lack of refined edge de-burring, finishing work, and polish (I guess we just cannot expect what was normal in the 1950’s). The magazine is made of steel and is of high quality and as described works great.


Caliber/Ammunition – .22 LR is comparatively inexpensive ammunition with almost no recoil. Of course bulk-box .22 LR is available at any big-box store great fun for the range and can be reasonably accurate. If you choose target grade ammunition try out several types, speed, weight and brand for accuracy that is often hard to believe. High velocity .22 LR is effective for hunting and available in hollow points that actually work at shorter ranges.

Did I mention accurate – how about 10 rounds at 25 yards… I added that green square to gauge the measurement, that is an inch! This target was punched with a premium target-grade lead bullet selection, the best of 12 different brands, weights, and speeds (FPS) we tested.


Use – Easy to strip and clean, but the main attractant is the adjustable “Accu-trigger” I cannot say how impressed I have been with this addition to Savage products, it takes this little bolt action to the next level. One nice touch is that this particular rifle comes with a STANDARD scope mount already factory installed anything is better than the stupid air gun cuts that are normal.


Current production – Available now, have your local gun shop – order yourself one.


Additional points – This is a silencer ready rifle with threads at the end of the barrel for 1/2 28 and are machined true to the barrel (important to prevent baffle strikes). I was never a big fan of “silencers” I remember the ones from the 1980’s as heavy, easy to damage, and just not all that effective (far louder than any of the movie crap). I have several friends and two relatives that have become “converts” to the “brotherhood of science” and took the plunge and got the BATFE stamp – I am suitably impressed with the modern silencers available now that I am considering filling out paperwork myself. Below is the little rifle with a typical AR birdcage used here to protect the threads.

Categories: .22 Long Rifle, Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Prepper Info, Prepping, Rifles | 4 Comments

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – Bolt action .22 LR rifle

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Personal – Almost my secret sin, if given a choice I would love to blow a thousand rounds at the range with a bolt action .22… It takes almost all day to cook off that much ammo, but it sure is fun.. and great for kids. Millions of squirrels have been taken for the pot with bolt .22 rifles, I tried to take as many as I could with my turn bolt as a young kid… If you do not have a .22 rifle you should get one, in the long run most likely to most productive way to get small game for the table, from birds to rabbit if it sits still for a split second it is pot meat… A good quality manufactured example should last a lifetime.

Function – Excellent reliable function if reasonably made, Mongo turn bolt, Mongo pull trigger with bugger hook, fire stick go BOOM. Ok, so not every .22 is that easy, well, actually it is, almost, let’s start with the bad one first –

Romanian M-69 .22LR Training Rifle – The worst of the lot, lots of flaws. For starters, it is ugly and poorly finished, I had two because they were so inexpensive, and they shared problems… Trigger was crap, and the spring for the firing pin must have been of low strength because about every ten rounds you would have to cock it a second time to fire (both rifles were like this). Reasonable to good accuracy when you don’t mangle a bullet from the magazine to the barrel, this happened almost every round. Sold them don’t miss them.

Russian Tula TOZ-78, Winchester Wildcat – my current go to general use .22, when I get a chance to hunt small game or just shoot short range off hand this is the rifle I pull out of the safe first. The trigger is adjustable and is crisp and smooth almost as good as the Remington (listed below). This is now imported as the Winchester Wildcat bolt action rifle. I purchased this rifle in its original Russian format – the Wildcat is a modified version of this rifle with non-adjustable trigger typical cheep stamped sights (worse than the russian sights) and a bit nicer wood stock.

Norinco JW15 – I miss this rifle, I sold it and would love to find a second one (if I could find a good price) accuracy on par with the Tula, but the trigger was not as nice, and the bolt not as smooth in operation. Safety was awkward and rough in operation but better than the Romanian rifle.

Marlin Model 980S – I gave this rifle to a member of the family, it is an excellent .22 with excellent accuracy. Stainless model was almost maintenance free, the trigger was acceptable, but could be much better.

Remington 513 Matchmaster – A CMP rifle that is the best NON SPECIALIZED .22 I have ever fired, accuracy is superior with premium target .22 lr it will shoot tighter than 1/2 MOA.

Design flaws – Strangely almost all .22 bolt guns share one particular problem, feeding the small rounds from a magazine into the bore often results in the bullet scraping the top of the entry port and sometimes shaving some lead off or mangling the bullet, however Marlin figured this out I do not know how but the Marlin clip fed bolt actions do not do this, I think it is the magazine design.

Romanian M-69 – The feed ramp and magazine are poorly designed and lots of lead would get shaved off the bullet going into the barrel or the bullet would get bent out of the casing (if you were not watching) the safety was awkward to the point of unusable and the magazine was of poor design and function. Typical eastern sights of very poor quality a hooded front post and square slot rear “flip up” range selection. Magazine catch lever was primitive bent spring metal.

Russian Tula TOZ-78 – A relatively smooth working action. The stock is a bright wood, I cover it with a slip on camo cover when needed. Light and accurate but shares a similar feed issue with the Romanian .22 you have to be careful when pushing the cartridge into the chamber so as not to shave off lead. A little work on the feed ramp and port are necessary, the plastic magazine works well but the rifle only had one magazine and I cannot find a spare. I would like better rear sights, but they work well for typical russian Post and square notch with turning rear to adjust for elevation by 25 meter increments. I don’t like the placement of the safety at the bottom front side of the magazine well, but you can get to it with the left hand while holding it. The magazine release button is a dedicated part in front of the magazine/trigger guard projection piece and is awkward due to placement inside a slotted front section.

Norinco JW15 – Stiff action, simple construction, a typical Chinese copy of a european rifle (BRNOish) sights were crappy, but the rifle worked nicely with an inexpensive scope, similar to the Marlin. Magazine catch and release lever is a primitive bent spring assembly that takes a dedicated finger or thumb pressure.

Marlin Model 980S – Stiff action, but solid and simple, with a simple bent sheet metal extractor and guide. This rifle has a cheesy synthetic stock, but it is light weight and functional. Similar to the norinco the magazine catch is primitive and takes a dedicated finger or thumb to release.

Remington 513 Matchmaster – Smooth bolt action with excellent machining, excellent trigger, mediocre plastic magazine, heavy – in fact, far too heavy for reasonable carry for small game hunting, this is a full featured target rifle. Magazine catch is also primitive for a rifle this well manufactured.

Only the Remington had a full length stock comfortable for full sized male shooters, the Tula and Marlin were close and function in that regard well enough.

Quality – Varying quality from basement construction to top notch… They can go from reasonable accuracy to superior and from poor fit and finish to first world commercial quality. Buy what you can afford, past the bargain basement versions unless restricted by budget. Any of the listed rifles are good utilitarian choices that would serve well as field rifles (Except the heavy target Remington).

Caliber/Ammunition – .22 LR is very inexpensive ammunition with almost no recoil, even the bulk box .22 LR can be reasonably accurate. If you choose target grade ammunition they can be shocking in accuracy, high velocity rounds can be effective in hunting even larger game with proper placement. In backwoods areas many whitetail deer were dropped with head shots using the .22 LR (that was actually legal at one time).

Use – Easy to strip and clean (not that you need to at all with non corrosive .22 LR) EVERY collection should have at least one.

Current production – The Tula (as the Wildcat), and Marlin rifles are under current production.

I consider the .22 rifle a necessary utilitarian tool, too many brands to name are in current production, and they are popular, easy to find, and inexpensive to buy and feed. They make adult and child models and make a great trainer and hunting tool. Many excellent models are available that I have not listed here almost any name brand in the US will have at least one offering of .22LR in a bolt action.

Watch for my next post about a new offering from Savage!

Categories: .22 Long Rifle, Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Hunting, Prepper Info, Prepping, Rifles | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Personal Critical Review of Firearms – The MAS 49/56 rifle

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MAS 49/56
(Manufacture Nationale d’Armes de St-Etienne models MAS 38-39/40, 44, 49, 49/56)

History(A new category I should have added earlier on other rifles in the series.) Most people don’t know how influential the French were on gun design and military adoption of new ideas, it was the French that were the first to use smokeless gunpowder, first to introduce a boat-tailed bullet, introduced the tilting block and the direct impingement system to the gun world thus giving rise to the SVT40, SKS45, FN49, FNFAL, Ljungman, Hakim, Rasheed, and of course the AR-15/M-16 and others. Owners of both will note how similar the M1 Garand trigger group is to the MAS, as both rifles trigger groups are modified from the French Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917/18 rifle. Garand born in Quebec from a French speaking family was familiar with the French RSC 1917/18 design. Garand was involved with US attempts to adapt the RSC 18 design to the 30.06 cartrridge at Springfield Arsenal moving many of the design features to what would become the M1 rifle.

Like the FN49 development of the MAS rifles was interrupted by WWII the French were able to keep the weapon development away from the Germans – so well in fact, they lost information and after the occupation they were forced to reverse engineer their own rifles from prototypes (a story in itself). The MAS 38/39 and 40 rifle had a fixed magazine and was produced in small numbers as prototypes. The MAS 40 was adopted for French service in March 1940 but the war was to stop further plans until parts of France were no longer under German control.

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The MAS 38/39/40 rifle
Production is estimated at less than 60 rifles total including prototypes.


The MAS 40 and early rifles were used as a base for the next development in the series, the MAS 44 rifle, notably adding the detachable magazine. The MAS 44 rifle was produced in limited numbers starting near the end of WWII The MAS 40 and MAS 44 are very rare, the 40 unavailable and the 44 commanding collector prices.

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The MAS 44 rifle
Total production 6,200 rifles.


The MAS 44 series of rifles was modified and improved in the late 1940’s into the MAS 49 (with the detachable magazine, better metallurgy, and other features).

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The MAS 49 rifle
Total production 20,600 rifles.


The MAS 49 was the main rifle of the heavy conflicts in French Indo-China and Algeria where the MAS 49 and MAS 49/56 rifles became particularly identified (to outside observers) with the French Foreign Legion troops. The MAS 49/56 rifle was the main rifle of all branches of the French military until the adoption of the FAMAS bulpup rifle.

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The MAS 49/56 rifle
275,240 rifles of the MAS 49/56 model were produced for the French Military.


Personal – I wish my first experience with this rifle would have been the original French 7.5×54 French cartridge, the MAS 49/56 is known as one of the most reliable military rifles ever fielded by any military. Sadly there was a batch of Century Arms imported MAS 49/56 rifles that were “converted” to use the .308/7.62×51 NATO round and my first experiences with this rifle were mixed because of the mixed quality of the conversions. The “rabid angry one-eyed beavers” at Century Arms produced a series of conversions of the MAS 49/56 that are known for function problems in well over 1/2 of the rifles that were converted. I would have no problem recommending this rifle if in it’s original form, converted or repaired by a good gunsmith.

The MAS 49/56 is a short handy rifle that is accurate for it’s size, it is heavy at about 8 1/2 pounds but the weight makes the recoil more manageable, honestly the size makes the rifle very handy, for a daily carry in a pouch in a car or truck, on an ATV or even on horseback or hiking it could make itself quite useful.

If you have a McCann Industries or other competent gunsmith conversion the rifle is excellent, if one of the Century Arms conversions they are plagued with failure to chamber, eject, and extract problems, along with the typical slam-fire incidents inherent with the all too common military rifle “free floating” firing pin and (more impact sensitive) commercial primers. I will review caliber conversion choices later in this article.

I have to put this rifle in a second tier choice for a preparedness rifle if in it’s original 7.5×54 French round because of the lack of availability of ammunition.

Sadly the rifle is rare in the United States and as a consequence some spare parts, and aftermarket accessories are low in number and can be difficult to find, yet 10 round magazines, and basic parts are available (or can be modified from other rifles parts.

Function – Will be reasonable to marginal with the Century Arms conversion, and Excellent to superb with good conversions and in it’s original unmodified 7.5×54 form.

Design flaws – This rifle has a direct impingement gas system, in this rifle it is not necessarily a design flaw, because the bolt carrier is “in the open” the collection of powder fowling and heat that plague the “closed” action of the AR10 and M-16 family of rifles does not come into play. The rifle is a hefty 8 1/2 pounds, a bit heavy for the size and length. The stock has a short “length of pull” (a short butt-stock) that can be uncomfortably short unless in excessively heavy and thick winter clothing or bulky web gear, basically the stock is too short for the average statured American and almost ridiculous to tall and long armed gorillas like myself.

Quality – First world, all machined, good to excellent quality construction, machining, and metal finish when originally produced. The fact is that because the MAS 49/56 are examples of military surplus, the range of “use and abuse” can be quite vast.

Many consider the Century Arms conversions to be so badly butchered that the price of repair is too high to justify buying the rifle (I would disagree), but if you intend to modify the rifle then you may want to consider a CA conversion because any collectors value the rifle may have had was spoiled in the modification.

Caliber/Ammunition – 7.5×54 French is an accurate full power battle rifle cartridge, like all other full powered military rifle rounds it is often considered excessive in recoil. Suitable for large and smaller game the 7.5×54 French is as useful as .308 Win. but suffers in the US due to lack of availability (rareness).

Conversions in Caliber/Ammunition – Because the rifle was direct impingement and can even be modified to make the system adjustable, many gunsmiths have used this rifle for conversions into other more common cartridges used in the US. The most popular MAS 49/56 rifle cartridge conversion is of course is the 7.5×54 to .308 Win./7.62×51 modification. With only minimal modifications the MAS 49/56 has been converted to .250 Savage, .308 Win., .243 Win., and a host of other “one-ofs” that have a similar base/extractor rim and a similar or shorter length. Basically the design of the MAS 49/56 rifle lends itself to a relatively simple conversion with a new or modified barrel, gas adjustment fabrication, extractor modification, bolt face modification, and other minor parts like springs. If a gunsmith can change a barrel in a Mauser they can modify the MAS 49/56. How cool would it be to have a short little semi-auto brush gun that is more accurate and more powerful than an SKS in about the same size?

Use – Accuracy with an original example or a well done conversion will be on par with any first world production military rifle, in other words better than the average shooter can utilize. The MAS 49/56 uses a simple detachable magazine that is available on-line and some users have modified FNFAL magazines for use with this rifle. The The MAS 49/56 magazine is a short 10 round alternating dual stack formation that has the catch latch attached to the magazine itself, this locks into the side of the receiver and makes it very easy to remove and change magazines with one hand.

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Current Production -This rifle is surplus only but examples are still available from private owners and gun show dealers, future import of more examples is possible, as several batches have entered into the US periodically.

I personally would consider this rifle a second tier choice for an MBR, but only because of the ammunition and limited magazine capacity, a good example using .308 and modified to use standard capacity magazines would place this higher, and even the magazine capacity of 10 rounds is not particularly troubling.

An excellent trunk gun, brush rifle, or hunting rifle.

A company, McCann Industries provides an interesting MAS 49-56 Receiver Conversion

Categories: Blogging, Firearm Overview, Firearm Review, Firearms, Prepper Info, Rifles, Second Amendment Rights | 5 Comments

The forgotten French history of the “All American” M1 Garand rifle

The forgotten French developmental history of the All American M1 Garand rifle

– OR –

A funny thing happened in France on the way to develop a Main Battle Rifle.

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The United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 aka – “M1 Garand”

The United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1 designed by John C. Garand (Garr-Onn as pronounced by our French Canadian designer) often with the same reverence of a god or the Titan Prometheus the giver of fire. Just as Zeus’s warning to Prometheus that every gift brings a penalty – that man is happy as long as he does not gain the knowledge that can change his world.

Mr. Garand’s rifle would certainly play a part in the changes in the world. How could the M1 be any less with production in the multiple millions, the M1 rifle had the highest front line infantry distribution of any issued semi-automatic rifle of the World War II.

All American military firearms collectors have all heard the story of the later development of of the M1 rifle by John Garand, his tenacity in wanting the “primer actuated” action and his quick development of the .30 caliber rifle over the earlier .276 experiments.

Our question is where did all this come from, why the .276 and where do we trace the ideas and origins of the M1?

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Mr. Garand with one of his prototypes (note the cocking handle and op rod).

While I was researching the development of the French MAS 49-56 rifle I came across a comment, “…the trigger group from the MAS 49/56 is so similar to the M1 it must have been a development from the M1.”

The fact is that the French MAS auto-loading rifle series has dates of development far too early for this to be the case I started to find connections to the M1 rifle, and they start in France.

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The RSC Mle.1917 French auto-loading rifle.

Where did it start? The connection starts with the then new weapon, designed by Ribeyrolle, Sutter and Chauchat, a rifle that would become the Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917 or RSC Mle. 1917.

Over 80 thousand rifles of RSC Mle. 1917 were produced for the French army in 1918. France arming it’s soldiers in large numbers with a self-loading rifle was a forward thinking concept at the time. The production numbers of the RSC Mle.1917 show a clear intent of France to equip many of it’s infantry with the rifle and attempt to change their battlefield tactical procedures.

But we need to back up a bit and talk about Mr. Garand and the connection to the Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modele 1917 or RSC Mle.1917 and Mle. 1918.

Mr. Garand was born Jean Cantius Garand born in Quebec, part of a French speaking family, later Mr. Garand was to list his name in the Anglo form John. There are many articles and books focused on his famous rifle that describe some of Mr. Garand’s poor childhood and his early entry into machine design. Mr. Garand’s talents for mechanical devices and unusual ideas fill more than a few pages of historical reviews. I find Mr. Garand’s story in many ways similar to some of the aspects of Mr. Kalashnikov and his talents. Both men seem to be tireless tinkering mechanical obsessives with a few eccentricities (a sign of creativity).

What is almost always missing is the work Mr. Garand did with Springfield Arsenal where he was involved with attempts to adapt the RSC Mle. 1918 design to the 30-06 cartridge. With this early Springfield Arsenal work we now we have our direct connection from early concept rifle to the development of the United States Rifle, Caliber .30/M1. From the standpoint of management, it is understandable that a French speaking mechanical designer would be part of reviewing the rifle and accompanying French documentation.

So now we can clearly review how French rifle design had such a large impact on US military rifles. The question is why is this French rifle so forgotten when the design connection clearly is so important to US military self-loading rifle history?

My conclusion was that the “all American rifle” indeed had a French grandfather and a French Canadian father. Who would have guessed that M1 would have been that French in lineage. The closer you look the more connections you can make in the relationship from one rifle to the other. I would even propose that the .276 was a reaction to the problems with higher pressure cartridges and auto-loading rifles like the RSC Mle.1917, advanced metallurgy would of course improve and thereby negating that concern.

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RSC Mle.1917 with bolt and op rod in the reward position.

It is like the first time you find the connection from sewing machines and gun manufacturing, history becomes both strange and interesting, unlike our old boring classes in school.

Lets start with a simple review of the two rifles with photographs.

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The RSC Mle. 1917 trigger group, a progression from a JM Browning design, used to this day in many firearms. So in essence the trigger of the more advanced M1 is actually based on Mr. Browning’s work.

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The M1 Garand trigger group (note the improvements).

As you can see from the photos there are clear indications that the US M1 and even later rifles have trigger groups that show a mechanical lineage to this French rifle and its earlier Browning parentage. The spring and detents of the RSC Mle. 1917 look a lot like similar parts in the much later M16, as the mechanism of the RSC Mle. 1917 is quite simple. I thought it was noteworthy how you can see the development and the source from the RSC Mle. 1917 to the M1 Garand. For any of you interested the above also shows links to the Browning Auto shotgun, the source for many derivative designs in trigger/hammer design.

The operating rod is so obvious that I am surprised this has not been noted more often (if at all).

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RSC Mle.1917 side view with operating rod highlighted.

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RSC Mle.1917 operating rod disassembled from the rifle.

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M1 Garand side view with operating rod highlighted.

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M1 Garand operating rod on a partly disassembled rifle, highlighted in blue.

The “en block” clip connection is always worthy of attention.

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RSC Mle.1917 worm’s eye side view of the “en block” clip highlighted, note that this rifle was designed to have the clip inserted from the bottom after the casing was rotated forward.

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M1 Garand .276 prototype with side view of the “en block” clip highlighted in blue.

The bolt group – ahead of it’s time?

Some views of the bolt group from both rifles you can clearly see the rotating mechanism and how the RSC Mle.1917 connects to it’s flat op rod and how the M1 Garand has a “floating” connection slide built into the op rod.

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RSC Mle.1917 bolt and bolt face.

Note how the cocking handle knob threads onto a protruding shaft to connect to the op rod. Note the multiple lugs on the bolt, this complexity is one of the binding areas for contamination and fouling.

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M1 rifle’s bolt and bolt face.

Note the improvements over similarities from the M1 bolt and it’s predecessor Garand’s improvements are many, his improved op-rod and bolt operation and simplification are noteworthy.

Patent drawings comparing the two rifle designs.

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RSC Mle.1917 rifle drawing, note the relationship of the working parts.

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Mr. Garand’s .276 prototype drawings.

While in no way a direct copy, clearly Garand’s review of the French rifle earlier in his life left a lasting impression and this system eventually developed into the Garand designed rifle. Some criticism could be leveled at this statement because there are so many other rifle designs that also provided features, but Garand’s exposure to the original French rifle via his employer and direct study of each rifle gives us the unmistakable direct connection.

There is no shame in admitting that “All America’s Rifle” had French origins, that is unless bumper sticker patriotism and misdirected pride is more important for one’s cognitive dissonance.

Information gathered from:

Small Arms of the World: A Basic Manual of Small Arms (12th revised edition)

By – Edward Clinton Ezell

Proud Promise, French Autoloading Rifles, 1989-1979

By – Jean Huon

The FN-49, The last elegant old-world military rifle

By – Wayne Johnson

Les fusils semi-automatiques:

Le fusil automatique de 8 mm RSC modèle 1917

Le fusil FN FAL expliqué

Par – G. Henrotin

Armes à feu de l’Armée française 1860 à 1940

Par – Jean Martin chez Crepin Leblond

L’Armement De L’Infanterie Francaise 1918-1940

éditeur – Argout – Gazette des armes

la grande aventure des fusils réglementaires français 1866-1936

éditeur – Argout – Gazette des armes

La Notice Sur Le Fusil à Répétition De 7,5 Mm. Modèle 1936

éditeur – Charles Lavauzelle & Cie

RSC 1917 et Garand

Categories: Firearm Overview, Firearms, History, Rifles | 2 Comments

Building a firearm collection for preparedness

I don’t think I need to convince many of you of the possible urgent need to build a firearms collection for preparedness, my view is that we are about to see something of a magnitude not seen in several possibly hundreds of generations.

This is not so much what exactly I think I would buy and stock-up on but rather some points on firearms and hopefully get some of you who do not have firearms to seriously start, start, as in last week.

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With that in mind I wanted to express a few ideas, until originally posted, I have shared with others only in private.

What would I do now?

A good question, I would want to look at it several ways, I live in a western state that does not have the restrictions of other statist progressive bully-by-proxy busybody infested areas suffer from. Because I live in a firearm friendly state I may be free to gather some items not allowed in other states, countries and cities where you may be reading this…

I should start out by saying that I find rifles far more utilitarian than a pistol, but I would suggest a pistol you find comfortable. I do not think you have to have a .40 (something) plus handgun to be a man – in fact a pistol is a piss poor tool for fighting your way back to the rifle you stupidly left out of reach (my grandfather taught me that). I also recognize that a handgun is a great tool, convenient, easy to conceal (legally please) and of course you can simply use a web search to find hundreds of cases where simply showing a handgun was enough to have the typical predatory, cowardly criminal running away while soiling their pants.

Pistols first

I could list many reasons to have a pistol, and to even apply for your stolen freedoms with a “permit”, (begging for your rights) often just the extraction of your sidearm from its concealed holster will cause a “thug” to back down, but if ever thought I was threatened enough to think I needed to “pull” there would be no time to back down – or reason – because that time would have already passed.

I favor the .357 revolver, and contrary to internet commandos, it is a very effective cartridge. The study of police fatal shootings shows the .357 to be far more lethal than most of the other rounds combined. I would gather that if you think the .357 is not “powerful” then you simply need to shoot a .357 with a 158 gr. HP full power load to see for yourself. I have hunted with a .357 in the past and it is a very effective round for hunting even large game. The .357 is a very accurate round, if you put a scope on a .357 revolver NO ONE will laugh at you, contrary to the snickers you may get with a scope on an AK platform rifle – there is a reason for this… The .357 is also available in may rifle/carbine setups I have owned break-open and lever action rifles in .357 it is a reasonable “brush gun” for hunting and provides for the pistol/rifle sharing-of-ammo concept.

I am also a fan of the 7.62x25mm Tokarev a hot version of the 7.63x25mm Mauser, very hot and very accurate.

I like the 9x18mm Makarov, a small pistol that fires inexpensive ammunition, my wife favors her 9x18mm Makarov above all others.

I eventually standardized on the 9x19mm Parabellum in handguns for the simple reason that it is a standard all over the world, ammo is available and inexpensive. I did not choose 9mm because it is “better” but because good pistols in this cartridge are easy to find, and in the end, any pistol is better than nothing. Future supply and choices in handguns was the deciding factor.

Oh, and before you start busting my chops, I cut my teeth on .45 1911 pistols because that is what my dad loved, I gave up on the .45 the first time I shot my first .357 magnum and never seriously looked back, none of my .357 revolvers ever jammed on me – I could never say that about the 1911. We do have a 1911 pistol in the collection and even the new FNX/FNP .45.

Regardless of what you choose, pick one, practice, stock up on ammo – I keep 500 rounds of factory loaded ammo (or more) for each pistol and components for lots more “home rolled”.

You also want to add a .22 lr pistol – pick one and use it, cheep shooting, I suggest getting a revolver or auto loader to match your main pistol, they even make some conversion kits that are nice to have. A single action cowboy-western revolver with interchangeable cylinders are one of the greatest additions to a backpacking/hiking trip you can have.

Rifles

First on the list get a .22 lr rifle in bolt or auto-loader, and continue to shoot it until you get past 2000 rounds before you even think about putting it to the side, take one every time you visit the range.

How would I do it?

I don’t like the .223 and certainly don’t like the AR platform, but I do (now) have two .223 chambered rifles that survived the recent sell off and replacement, this pair of this model rifle belongs to one of the children and my wife. The two rifles are the SU16CA from Kel-tec. What should be embarrassing for Rugar is that Kel-tec can make a better rifle for less money and it uses standard magazines, is more reliable than the jammin’ jenny, and more accurate than any POS mini-14 junker.

I did chose to make .308 my standard rifle caliber, but if I were to do this from scratch now I would choose the 7.62x54r

Why? budget and effectiveness.

I would get an auto-loading mag fed rifle and several turn bolt Mosin Nagant 91/30, 91/59 or M44 rifles (and they are drying up in supply).

For the autoloader I would most likely get the Romanian PSL (AK platform) rifle with a  little 2 or 4 power fixed scope. In fact talking about this issue with a compatriot I seriously considered selling off my .308 rifle for the cash and getting an Romanian PSL and a SVT40 with a hand full of Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifles for throw-downs, the idea was fleeting.

If the Yugoslavian M76 in 8mm Mauser was less expensive the same thing could be done with 8mm and some M24/47 Yugoslavian Mauser turn bolts, but the autoloader and the ammo is a bit high in price.

Regardless, keep at least 1000 rounds for each rifle of factory loaded ammo, keep the factory ammunition for when the need arises. reloads you have made for that rifle are just a viable if you are careful and meticulous with your reloading, don’t bother to make junker ammo, premium bullets are inexpensive enough to make hunting capable cartridges for junk ammo prices.

The turn bolts in the mix exist for several reasons, one is for reloading, if in the worst case you had to shoot black powder and lead bullets you can load black powder, lead bullets (even paper patched/paper jacketed) and even press out primers knock out the firing pin dent and fill them with two or three toy cap gun caps and have a turn bolt rifle that functions. I hope it never gets down to black powder!

Shotguns

Shotguns – I had forgotten to list them,  you need one. I don’t have one for myself but, my wife has an 870 riot gun for home protection (yes it is hers, she made me buy one for her) and my oldest son has an 870 pump fitted with a slug barrel that has interchangeable choke tubes, both are 12 ga. and are in almost unused condition, simply because we don’t use them.

The Air Rifle

The high power pellet rifle – I was never a good shot on the wing with a shotgun, but if it lights and I have a post and notch on it, it’s in the bag. I note the preponderance of pidgins in our area and in a pinch you would have a hard time telling the meat from a dove. The huge selection of air rifles including large caliber pre-charged pneumatic rifles are possibly more logical than even black power rifles – air is free.

Additional items

Just some random thoughts about the current situation, trying to look at this without a sense of panic but rather logic. I am afraid that this will be the last reasonable and possible chance before the hammer falls, in just a few weeks we may see another panic buying spree, this is about the fifth panic in my adult years and they all suck and take years to square-up. I write this knowing I have what I think I need, but I would have liked to keep my habit of trying out new rifles…

1. Caliber compatibility – the more weapons that share ammunition the easier it is to store and keep a handle on.

2. How is the caliber ranked for range and power? (suitability for large US game for hunting)

3. Is it suitable for reloading? (hand-loading used brass)

4. Is it readially available? (both weapons and ammunition)

5. What is the cost vs. value?

6. Are there auto-loading rifles and or magazines available in this caliber? (ten rounds and up)

7. Will there be sources of ammunition later and if not is this a concern?

8. Are reliable weapons with spare parts available (for spare/repair parts stocking)

9. Are they reasonably accurate? – 20 rounds 10 inches at 100 yards in less than two min. (That will kick out a bunch of rifles).

We are not talking about delusions of the mall ninjas – I for one will be bugging in place if the need arises. We want to think about how many uses this can be matched to and if they fit the needs of your area.

I hand-load/reload so even current availability issues are almost always limited to concerns pertaining to the availability of components rather than new or surplus ammunition.

I have posted before, pistols just don’t hold the same interest for me as rifles, I have them, I think they are necessary, but I don’t put much stock in them past that possible “oh, crap” situation – like an attempted car-jacking or similar problem, and as I said it would be a last resort only if the fear of harm is imminent and then “no sword is sheathed without drawing blood” concept applies – the proper tool at the proper time, only when needed. I do and am an open carry advocate.

I also was looking over the load books to confirm and here is the general run down I found (changes from book to book, but they generally follow this trend).

7.62x54R Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 3,000 ft/s
Energy 2,905 ft·lbf

The 7.92x57mm IS (8mm Mauser) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type (.323 inch) 181 gr
Velocity 2,700 ft/s
Energy 2,902 ft·lbf

30-06 Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 2,900 ft/s
Energy 2,820 ft·lbf

30-06 Ballistic performance (M2 ball cartridge)
Bullet weight/type 152 gr
Velocity 2,740 ft/s
Energy 2,650 ft·lbf

7.62×51 (.308) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type146.6 gr
Velocity 2,756 ft/s
Energy 2,472 ft·lbf

Note this information is for “time era” factory or surplus loadings, modern loads designed for modern powders in new manufacture bolt action rifles can “UP” the power of the 30-06 but this would be damaging or dangerous in the M1, M1917, or 03A3.

The two highest are 7.62x54R and 7.92×57 then 30-06 and then 7.62×51 – if you look at commercial .308 rather than 7.62×51 then you find that it comes within and in some cases surpass 30-06. (again this could be problematic or dangerous for weaker actions such as the M1a or older rifles like the Spanish 7.62×51 conversion Mausers)

The common thought out there is that 30-06 is the most potent, but the numbers prove that the Russian round is the hottest. Also contrary to popular misinformation .308 commercial rounds have a higher pressure and loading parameters than the NATO rounds and so would chart higher.

Using the basic thoughts and my already chosen calibers I was thinking about  a .308 bolt action rifle from Savage, the Mark II FVT Savage .22 target rifle and even the .300 AAC BlackOut on the SU16 CA rifle.

Categories: Firearm Overview, Firearms, Handguns, Prepping, Rifles | Leave a comment

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