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Old 01-23-2009, 01:57 PM   #1
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Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

I am new to this forum and I've been trying to read the large amounts of info in this forum on various weapons. I've pretty much narrowed my rifle choice down to either a 1903 variant or an M1 Garand. I want .30 cal stopping power and the minimum number of calibers to stock up for-so it's either .308 or .30-06 for me.

Currently my thoughts run along a .30-06 M1 Garand from DGR.

I also have a line on a 1903 Smith Corona for about $1000 if I act soon.

My reasoning for purchase as a SHTF rifle would be effective .30 cal firepower with either rifle, ease of maintenance and availability of spare parts.

Eventually I hope to purchase both but I'm debating how to act for my first purchase. Please let me know your thoughts on this and hopefully your reasons for your choice. Info is much appreciated.

IBX2000
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Old 01-23-2009, 02:56 PM   #2
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBX2000
Currently my thoughts run along a .30-06 M1 Garand from DGR.
Do it! Do it now, TODAY, before ObeyMe shuts down the program and orders them destroyed. You can buy the 03 later.
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Old 01-23-2009, 03:00 PM   #3
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

I think the Garand would be a good choice for a couple reasons . It has a better sight system , eight rounds in the clip , is semi-automatic , parts are still reasonable enough to set several aside , it runs quite well in 30'06 or .308 . Okay that's more than a couple reasons but if you buy from DGR you get a rifle that is one of the best rebuilds available .

I've had Dean rebuild a Garand and a 1903 for me , I like both but the Garand would be a better choice for me .
Remember to buy enough ammo to wear out a barrel .

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Old 01-26-2009, 09:26 AM   #4
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBX2000
I am new to this forum and I've been trying to read the large amounts of info in this forum on various weapons. I've pretty much narrowed my rifle choice down to either a 1903 variant or an M1 Garand. I want .30 cal stopping power and the minimum number of calibers to stock up for-so it's either .308 or .30-06 for me.

Currently my thoughts run along a .30-06 M1 Garand from DGR.

I also have a line on a 1903 Smith Corona for about $1000 if I act soon.

My reasoning for purchase as a SHTF rifle would be effective .30 cal firepower with either rifle, ease of maintenance and availability of spare parts.

Eventually I hope to purchase both but I'm debating how to act for my first purchase. Please let me know your thoughts on this and hopefully your reasons for your choice. Info is much appreciated.
The 1903 is anything but a SHTF rifle. Get a CMP Garand, a pallet of Greek before the CMP runs out, and don't look back.

The only reason to go w/ a 1903 is for shooting in VMR competitions. You could purchase a new Savage in .308 for less and have better usability for less $$ on rifle and ammo, if you want a turnbolt.

The only thing holding back the Garand is the inability to top up the magazine easily. Why Ruger doesn't repop the Garand with a Johnson-style rotary mag [to do a neat end-run around CA's "removable magazine AW" ban] is beyond me.

Anyway, the answer is still the Garand. Only better SHTF firearm is a silenced .22 (if legal where you live.) Because in the long run, ammo supply is going to be the determining factor when the excreta truly impacts the rotary air velocitizer...
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Old 01-26-2009, 09:52 AM   #5
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeeve
Why Ruger doesn't repop the Garand with a Johnson-style rotary mag [to do a neat end-run around CA's "removable magazine AW" ban] is beyond me.
What an INTERESTING idea!

Would it not be even better to just reproduce the Johnson in toto, perhaps updating the design to take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques (castings, CNC, stampings, MIM, etc.)?
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Old 01-26-2009, 06:08 PM   #6
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

I'm definitely leaning toward a Garand in '06. I would think that my purchase plan would be as follows:

Rifle and beaucoup en bloc clips

Ammo (minimum 1000 rounds)

Spare parts/manuals/tools

Reloading components/setup

Lather rinse repeat.

Ibx2k
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:31 AM   #7
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Snake45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skeeve
Why Ruger doesn't repop the Garand with a Johnson-style rotary mag [to do a neat end-run around CA's "removable magazine AW" ban] is beyond me.
What an INTERESTING idea!

Would it not be even better to just reproduce the Johnson in toto, perhaps updating the design to take advantage of modern manufacturing techniques (castings, CNC, stampings, MIM, etc.)?
While I think Melvin Johnson's designs were vastly underrated by our military [due to NIH syndrome], unless you're shooting corrosive ammo, recoil operation has no advantages over a gas system*. Also, Johnson's rotary mag was somewhat sensitive to failure from dents in the metal cover [but reliable overall]; adapting Ruger's rotary mag design to a fixed-mag version of either rifle should prove more rugged than the original (in the case of the Johnson, due to modern materials unavailable in the 30's when it was designed) while allowing reloading on the fly (in the case of the Garand.)

So, to sum up:

A gas operated** self-loading rifle firing 260 Remington with a 1:9 twist, integral rotary mag with side-loading stripper clip feed, "dump" catch (equivalent to M-1 clip eject), Dragunov-style stock with storage compartment in the butt for cleaning kit, handguards, the full 9 yards. Essentially, combining the best features of the Johnson rifle & LMG and the Garand in a rifle for the new millenium firing a full power round of rational design capable to taking anything up to elk & down to varmints w/ appropriate bullet/load choice.

* - and one notable disadvantage: no bayonet. Even Johnson's spike bayonet for his m1941 rifle was of doubtful efficacy, tending to interfere w/ the rifle's operation. Yeah, yeah, I know: nobody's going to be doing anymore bayonet charges, but still, in the context of WWII, that was a serious failure...

** - gas port at the end of the barrel like a Garand, not the stupid "barrel w/ a hinge in the middle" design like on the Mini-14!
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Old 01-30-2009, 03:50 AM   #8
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

M14A for me. Why? 20 round mags, easy to change, same reliability as the M1. My M1 is my backup just-in-case.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:31 AM   #9
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

While I have a Garand, M1A, AR15, etc None of these are practical for a SHTF weapon unless you have the tools and the knowledge to keep them going.

My background is Army Sm Cal Weapons Lab Product Engineering where I had responsibility for all rifles, shotguns and sub machineguns primarily and secondary responsibility for handguns. From there I was Small Arms Test Director at Aberdeen PG thusly one might say I have knowledge that the average gun lover does not. We tested weapon systems at Aberdeen from -65 to +.140F, dust, mud, chemical compatibility, safety assessment, reliability and maintainability,drop sustainability, accuracy, fire control, hit probability, logistic supportability, wear, parts interchangeability and other areas.

One of the most reliable tools ever invented was the anvil. Why? because it has one part and never fails to work. As a rule of thumb, ANY TIME YOU INCREASE PARTS IN A WEAPON SYSTEM YOUR RELIABILITY DECREASES. For instance if you take a hammer and start beating on a anvil eventually the anvil will win. It is the original energizer bunny ! ! ! ! !

A system with small delicate parts is a disaster waiting to happen.

For instance consider what can happen in a Garand? For a short list lets consider what can and most likely will happen on them at a given point in the system life.

1. Op rod will bend (especially in 30.06). Once this happens any accuracy you had just went out the window. I only know of one Garand Op Rod Gage still surviving and the gov't has it. Garands converted to 308, 7/08 and 260 will have their op rods hold up longer.
2. Extractors do and will eventually fail. OK you have a extractor in your butt compartment, how are you going to put it in? Takes a special tool to take a Garand or M14 bolt down to replace parts.
3. Gas system leaves carbon deposits and if not cleaned will eventually shut you down. Does anyone know how they can be set up for enhanced operation and increased rounds between cleanings?
4. Ammunition is a very iffy thing in gas guns. In a SHTF scenario you will in all probility not be able to hump enough ammo to keep going. The M1 ammo belt held 10 clips. If you are savvy you are thinking I will have one in rifle. Anyone that has ever carried a bandoleer knows ammo is always falling out of them. Load up a ammo belt with enbloc clips and your pack and start humping it cross country. EVEN BETTER HUMP THAT WIREBOUND THAT COMES IN FROM CMP FOR 1000 YARDS.
5. Garands take the enbloc clip and these have not been manufactured in near on 40 years in the US. Yes I know Edsels were manufactured about same time but try and find parts for one these days. I had a 76 F250 truck and couldn't find a exhaust manifold for a 390 and they made millions of them. Couldn't find Y pipe either. I finally got it going and traded it off at first chance. Same thing with gas, they were designed for leaded gas. Anyone know where to get it?

6. Garands (and all gas operated guns) have what is known as the PWEP (port window envelope pressure). In a SHTF scenario you get in a halfway decent engagement and your ammo is going to be depleted quick and gas guns like a controlled diet. OK lets say you have the ability to reload. Unless you have the right propellant and bullet weight the weapon will not operate due to low port pressures or will be destroyed shortly by use of heavy bullets and slow propellant or in the case of some surplus propellants destroyed by the use of "spec" weight bullets. WC852 propellant being a prime example of too much of a good thing. The system was designed for a 150 gr bullet operating in two pressure ranges. One at the chamber and one at the gas port. Bottom line is you can't go around and pick up just any ammo and the CMP is not going to be shipping any.
7. You get hold of ammo loaded too long you can't even load it in rifle more than one round at a time. If it is not resized properly it will be a bitch to load in clips and leave one sitting a little high and you won't load it in rifle.
8. Garands sooner or later will cause clip to jump ship about the 5th to 8th round. Does anyone know how this is corrected if there are no spare parts?
9. The system has been in the field a mimimun of 55 years and been through a number of depot rebuilds and foreign countries thusly do you know how many miles are on it. Has it ever seen a bridge gage? Case in point I saw a after market M1 receiver delivered to a Navy Armorer at Camp Perry for his opinion. He ran the gages on it and it was beyond rebuild and never had a barrel installed. The Duck scenario is not applicable to Garands i.e. looks like a duck etc...........
10. Where are you going to get a new barrel? I suspect there are not three gunsmiths in the country with the knowledge/tooling required to make a barrel for a Garand or a M1A. Ask your local gunsmith if you bring him a barrel blank does the have the ability to contour and TIME IT? Ask him what size he would make the port? Ask him what the acceptance accuracy is on a production M1? Also a National Match M1. Very few will know.
11. When was last time the M1 was timed?
12. Garands left loaded and cocked are supposed to be capable of being so for long periods. Springs can and many do take a set (get weaker). There isn't a gun maker in the country that has not had spring trouble at one time or another. You are not going to be able to get spare springs even if you know the problem so looks like you are going to have to carry a number of springs to keep it going.
13. Take a trip to Camp Perry this year (assuming it has not been outlawed) and you will seen Marine Vans, Army Vans, Navy van, National Guard van. Why? Because they have to have these to keep their weapons going. Walk by and look and you will always seem them working on weapons.
14. Now take a look at the lines at the vans and see how many guys are lined up with bolt action rifles to get them fixed? Rather doubt you will. I know of one case where a striker broke while weighing a trigger. They just happened to have a striker for a Mod 70 on the van and the shooter was up and going shortly.
15. Semi autos came out and were effective in repelling human wave attacks. The Germans ran into this before we did. On the Russian front they were met with many human wave attacks and they were shut down with MG34s, MP40s and K98s for the most part. We didn't hit them until the South Pacific and the Marines were armed with 03s and 1919s before the Garands got there and they were not overrun by Banzai charges. I am aware of many scenarios where guys said a M1 or 1919 quit in battle. I do not recall anyone ever saying they had a 03 go down.
16. Sustainability, when M1s/M14s were tested a five to seven man gun crew could go through a thousand rounds a day max as the shooters tended to get punchy at 200 rounds. I could take a three man gun crew and run 10,000 rounds a day on the M16 and be gone in 8 hours and we never overheated a barrel ! ! ! ! ! One shooter, two mag loaders.
17. Can you load your rifle with small game loads (eating is high on my priority list) and have it work and immediately switch to full house loads for social activities?
18. Can you hand it to your wife and have her operate it easily. Or the kids? How about a neighbor? I have seen GIs and cops that couldn't load a AR ! ! ! !
19. The Garand is about the safest rifle to have around the house as I have never seen a three year old that could load one but Garands are like dogs. They are one owner for lack of a better description. Would I recommend one for home defense? Absolutely, got a Tanker within 10 feet as I type this with a full belt and a clip pressed on the sling. It is the nicest Tanker conversion I ever saw, looks like it was done at SA. Coyote packs are running this area.
20. Did the Tanker work as received new? NO! ! ! But I knew what to do in order to get it in the fast lane and have made the mods to keep it going.
21. In a worst case SHTF scenario am I going to use it? Not if I can get to something else.
22. The best Garand mechanic I know still alive is like me in choice of weaons. He got his undergraduate degree at the Battle of the Bulge. There he got five Germans with one clip on a ambush. A guy borrowed his rifle and when he brought it back he missed the next three Germans with it. He re- zeroed it on a painted sign on the side of a brick building at 300 yards using the letter O as a aiming point. From then on he never loaned his rifle and he said one day he did lots of shooting. He got his masters degree at the University of Korea and did work on his Phd in Nam and every time I talk to him he tells me what his Mod 70 is doing. He set a National Record with a Model 70 and his gas guns have won National Trophies. Last time I went to see him I showed him my Swamp Gun and he said lets go to the range. We got there and he had a oval head sized steel target set up at 300 yards and said "shoot it". I set up and shot him three shots from a cold/clean barrel as he watched in the B&L Balscope Senior. He looked at the black spots and smiled.

Next day he called me and said he went down and measured the group on the plate and said all three shots went in 3 inches and added, "Thats good shootin Sarge." I ain't never been no Sarge haha. Sights? A 2X pistol scope mounted mid barrel.

Bottom line is you are looking for a rifle that is as close to an anvil as you can get and one that you can carry and feed that will do the job.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:49 PM   #10
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

While I have to assume that many of your points about the M1 Garand are valid, I believe that some of them lose their validity when seen from a more utilitarian point of view.
I have added a few comments of my own, among yours below, to illustrate my own point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
...2. Extractors do and will eventually fail. OK you have a extractor in your butt compartment, how are you going to put it in? Takes a special tool to take a Garand or M14 bolt down to replace parts.
Doesn't the GI cleaning tool for M14s, and some for M1s too, include a tool-head that facilitates stripping the bolt, specifically to replace the extractor? (I pack a spare, fully-assembled bolt.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
3. Gas system leaves carbon deposits and if not cleaned will eventually shut you down. Does anyone know how they can be set up for enhanced operation and increased rounds between cleanings?
It seems a pretty easy job, to clean the gas system of my own M1. Yes, you have to re-zero after reassembly, but the difference is never much. You could still do battle without re-zeroing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
4. Ammunition is a very iffy thing in gas guns. In a SHTF scenario you will in all probility not be able to hump enough ammo to keep going. The M1 ammo belt held 10 clips. If you are savvy you are thinking I will have one in rifle...
My calculation is that you can survive for about a year on 100 carefully-fired rifle rounds. That presumes that you would avoid engagements as much as possible, and shoot game only when it'd be hard to miss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
5. Garands take the enbloc clip and these have not been manufactured in near on 40 years in the US. Yes I know Edsels were manufactured about same time but try and find parts for one these days...
A small resupply of M1 clips (maybe 10) weighs very little and takes up little space. Further, one should try to go back and recover ejected clips whenever possible. (I have a large supply of clips in storage, for use right now, as well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
6. Garands (and all gas operated guns) have what is known as the PWEP (port window envelope pressure). In a SHTF scenario you get in a halfway decent engagement and your ammo is going to be depleted quick and gas guns like a controlled diet. OK lets say you have the ability to reload. Unless you have the right propellant and bullet weight the weapon will not operate due to low port pressures or will be destroyed shortly by use of heavy bullets and slow propellant or in the case of some surplus propellants destroyed by the use of "spec" weight bullets. WC852 propellant being a prime example of too much of a good thing. The system was designed for a 150 gr bullet operating in two pressure ranges. One at the chamber and one at the gas port. Bottom line is you can't go around and pick up just any ammo and the CMP is not going to be shipping any.
7. You get hold of ammo loaded too long you can't even load it in rifle more than one round at a time. If it is not resized properly it will be a bitch to load in clips and leave one sitting a little high and you won't load it in rifle.
I reload. I have worked up a load using 4895 and 165-grain hunting bullets that works extremely well in both my M1 and my two Springfields. It's accurate, and it functions every time. It wasn't difficult to work it up, either. (However, I would not plan to reload in a SHTF situation. Already-loaded ammunition takes up less storage space than does components and tools, and it's less to carry as well.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
8. Garands sooner or later will cause clip to jump ship about the 5th to 8th round. Does anyone know how this is corrected if there are no spare parts?
9. The system has been in the field a mimimun of 55 years and been through a number of depot rebuilds and foreign countries thusly do you know how many miles are on it. Has it ever seen a bridge gage? Case in point I saw a after market M1 receiver delivered to a Navy Armorer at Camp Perry for his opinion. He ran the gages on it and it was beyond rebuild and never had a barrel installed. The Duck scenario is not applicable to Garands i.e. looks like a duck etc...........
10. Where are you going to get a new barrel? I suspect there are not three gunsmiths in the country with the knowledge/tooling required to make a barrel for a Garand or a M1A. Ask your local gunsmith if you bring him a barrel blank does the have the ability to contour and TIME IT? Ask him what size he would make the port? Ask him what the acceptance accuracy is on a production M1? Also a National Match M1. Very few will know.
11. When was last time the M1 was timed?
In any SHTF scenario I can imagine, I would try to shoot as little as possible. This is because I want to preserve my equipment, and also because I want to use my ammunition supply sparingly. Although I have a very small, practical supply of spare parts, I don't envision barrel replacement, timing adjustment, and the like, as being possible in any case.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
12. Garands left loaded and cocked are supposed to be capable of being so for long periods. Springs can and many do take a set (get weaker). There isn't a gun maker in the country that has not had spring trouble at one time or another. You are not going to be able to get spare springs even if you know the problem so looks like you are going to have to carry a number of springs to keep it going.
My understanding is that springs "wear out" from repeated cyclings, not from extended periods of compression. If you're worried, carry a spare hammer spring and spare extractor spring.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
13. Take a trip to Camp Perry this year (assuming it has not been outlawed) and you will seen Marine Vans, Army Vans, Navy van, National Guard van. Why? Because they have to have these to keep their weapons going. Walk by and look and you will always seem them working on weapons.
That's because high-accuracy weapons require constant attention. If you intend going into a SHTF situation with a temperamental high-accuracy rifle, I think you should review your plans and find something more practical.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
...15. Semi autos came out and were effective in repelling human wave attacks. The Germans ran into this before we did. On the Russian front they were met with many human wave attacks and they were shut down with MG34s, MP40s and K98s for the most part. We didn't hit them until the South Pacific and the Marines were armed with 03s and 1919s before the Garands got there and they were not overrun by Banzai charges. I am aware of many scenarios where guys said a M1 or 1919 quit in battle. I do not recall anyone ever saying they had a 03 go down.
16. Sustainability, when M1s/M14s were tested a five to seven man gun crew could go through a thousand rounds a day max as the shooters tended to get punchy at 200 rounds. I could take a three man gun crew and run 10,000 rounds a day on the M16 and be gone in 8 hours and we never overheated a barrel ! ! ! ! ! One shooter, two mag loaders.
See my comment about your points #4, 8, 9, 10, and 11, above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
17. Can you load your rifle with small game loads (eating is high on my priority list) and have it work and immediately switch to full house loads for social activities?
Use the same load for both. Better, snare and trap small animals, and don't waste rifle rounds taking them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
18. Can you hand it to your wife and have her operate it easily. Or the kids?...
Yup.
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Old 01-30-2009, 12:56 PM   #11
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
17. Can you load your rifle with small game loads (eating is high on my priority list) and have it work and immediately switch to full house loads for social activities?
Use the same load for both. Better, snare and trap small animals, and don't waste rifle rounds taking them.
I was thinking more in terms of a Ruger .22 autopistol and several hundred rounds of .22LR, but your way will work too, if you know how to do it.
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Old 01-30-2009, 04:07 PM   #12
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Thanks for the info. I appreciate it. It is much to consider and I'm still not totally sure.

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Old 01-30-2009, 06:06 PM   #13
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

A Ruger Mk II 22 w/ scope would be my food gun. Maybe even a Super Single Six. I thought this was a SHTF scenario the original writer was talking about since firepower was wanted and not a food getter.

I have read about what happened in the depression with roving groups leaving the city and going out into the countryside. My Dad told me things were very bad in certain areas. Folks living in anti gun states in the suburbs may get slaughtered by the hundreds as most have no guns. Just the other day I read a post written by a survivor of the Argentinian economic collapse of 2001 and he said gangs went into the countryside and hit farms and killed people etc. He said the gene pool got cleaned up real quick after it started in the towns, then the smarter ones got to be more cunning and hit homes in the middle of the night. To me that is a SHTF scenario where you need accuracy and firepower. To me SHTF primarily is defense against human predators. If I am going to carry 8+ pounds of rifle and heavy ammo I want to know where it will hit in low light.
Go out about dusk with a M1 and put up a brown paper bag at 100 yards in the woods and see if you can bring out the sight picture or for that matter a AR with the original apertures (Pre M16A2). The sights are all but useless. I have tried hunting with a M1 and the sight picture is terrible in the woods.

If you want to evaluate your skills against time take a look at Friar Frog's website.http://www.frfrogspad.com/courses.htm and try the courses of fire they shoot out west where he lives. If you can pull these courses off with any rifle you are far better than most I have ever seen. Invest in a R U Ready timer as well.

Then again everyone is free to do what they want. I would prefer a MOA bolt gun with a good scope that I know I can obtain center hits up to 400 yards. Also such rifle can easily accept a red dot scope for very low light. A rack grade M1 with ball ammo won't come close to a good Scout Rifle on this course and all the ranges fired are within the battle sight zero of military rifles. Get a pack of 10" paper plates at Wally World and also a pack of 6" paper plates. You have just spent two bucks. Put them up at the suggested ranges Friar Frog says and have a go with your favorite SHTF rifle. If you can't hit a plate that big at 300, a man size target utilizing cover is going to be real iffy.

I know a ex Marine Corps Sniper who has confirmed kills with everything including a M1911A1. He staked out a stream crossing with the 45. He is double distinguished, Presidents Hundred to boot so we are not talking a newbie here. He was on the Marine Corps team with Carlos when he went to Nam. He got issued a M1D in Nam when they started out the sniper (USMC) program and he caught a zip in a paddy at 300 yards. He lined him up in scope and touched it off and grazed the zips leg on the thigh. Now here is a skinny target running in calf deep water with mud bottom directly away from him and he fired four more clips at him as he ran 200 yards to the tree line and never touched him again.

Oh by the way the acceptance accuracy on the M1 with control lot ammo was 5" at 100 yards. Obviously there are guys with M1s (mine will) shoot closer to a MOA at 100 and the Tanker even shoots 1 1/2 MOA at 100 with right load/bullet.
Garands that will run with a Mod 70 Winchester, Mod 700 are rare that have not been accurized. The acceptance on the 1903 was three inches with ball ammo. Industry recommendation for hunting rifles is 3.5" at 100. With a good barrel and chambering job with a square receiver a bolt gun should print 2" (or better) at 300 which is to be expected with good ammo.

In the immortal words of Mr. Murphy (dba as Murphy's Law) WHEN THE ENEMY IS WITHIN RANGE, SO ARE YOU. Then again I have had a USMA Senior about to graduate on their 75/150 and 300 meter range flat tell me it was impossible to hit a man at 300 yards. He was shooting my 03A3 set back to use 308 ammo and he was shooting ball ammo and had taken the sling off and dropped it on ground. I asked him why and he told me he didn't need it because he wasn't going to carry the rifle anywhere. I asked him if he knew the other use for a sling and he had the blankest look on his face.

I put the sling back on the rifle, got him into a sitting position and explained how to build a position and explained what the sight picture looked like. He said he "had it" and I told him "300 meter line knock it down". He promptly told me with full authority of a future officer of the US Army and about to be a certified ring knocker that a man cannot be hit at 300 meters. I told him to do it. He pulled the trigger and target dropped and kid just sat there with his mouth open. Target did not come back up immediately so I told him to shift left and shoot the next guys target. It went down, then I told him to shift right and he knocked it down. I walked off after he dropped about ten in a row and he was still shooting. At end of the day there was a empty 420 round can at the firing point and two bandoleers missing from other can so nearly 600 rounds went through the 03 in about four hours.
The OIC was beside himself with happiness. He had a 11B CIB from Nam. He said he had been there four years and had run the tower every year and he had never seen so many 300 yard targets go down. Why? There were three competition shooters coaching them who cared that they learned and gave up a Saturday to come help the kids. It definitely cut my barrel life way down but I figure it was worth it to educate them in a way the military academy did not. One of our three was a retired Colonel and he watched me zero my section of rifles on a piece of foot long 2X4 laying on bank at 300 meters before the class showed up and he asked me to demonstrate what a rifle was capable of to the leaders who showed up early. I started on the extreme left and dropped every E target at 300 meters in maybe 20 seconds which was ten or twelve with a M16. The Colonel told the kids, "Gentlemen, this is what will happen to you if you ever run up on a rifleman."

Jeff Cooper once did a article about bells and whistles on rifles and he stated the two biggest marksmanship feats in history was Alvin York and Able Seaman Brown and they shot M1917 and K98 Mauser. He said if anyone anywhere could document a battle scenario where bells and whistles weapon did better, let him know. I ran into Jeff at the Shot Show maybe two years after he wrote that and I asked him if he ever had anyone take him up on his challenge and he said , "no". I used to shoot against a guy in Florida and we both shot bolt guns and I would beat him one match and he would beat me next. He told me he loved to go to IPSC rifle matches and shoot against the ARs etc with his Model 70 and beat them and they rarely shoot over 100 yards and he had to reload every five shots and the ARs were raining brass everywhere.
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Old 01-30-2009, 10:11 PM   #14
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
...Go out about dusk with a M1 and put up a brown paper bag at 100 yards in the woods and see if you can bring out the sight picture or for that matter a AR with the original apertures (Pre M16A2). The sights are all but useless. I have tried hunting with a M1 and the sight picture is terrible in the woods.
Tell that to someone who was hunting Germans in the Ardennes, in WW2.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
If you want to evaluate your skills against time take a look at Friar Frog's website.http://www.frfrogspad.com/courses.htm and try the courses of fire they shoot out west where he lives. If you can pull these courses off with any rifle you are far better than most I have ever seen. Invest in a R U Ready timer as well.
Or you could shoot with the Southern California Tactical Combat program, with one practical rifle and one practical pistol exercise each month, as I did for 20 years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
Then again everyone is free to do what they want. I would prefer a MOA bolt gun with a good scope that I know I can obtain center hits up to 400 yards.
Just don't ever drop it! Or bang it on a rock. And you'd better have backup iron for when the scope's SHTF.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
Also such rifle can easily accept a red dot scope for very low light.
When the SHTF, where are you gonna get replacement batteries?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
...Oh by the way the acceptance accuracy on the M1 with control lot ammo was 5" at 100 yards. Obviously there are guys with M1s (mine will) shoot closer to a MOA at 100 and the Tanker even shoots 1 1/2 MOA at 100 with right load/bullet.
So which is it? Five minutes or one? I know what the acceptance level was, but most of the M1s I've seen will do at least two MOA without accurizing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
The acceptance on the 1903 was three inches with ball ammo. Industry recommendation for hunting rifles is 3.5" at 100. With a good barrel and chambering job with a square receiver a bolt gun should print 2" (or better) at 300 which is to be expected with good ammo.
A reasonably-well sporterized or "scout-ized" Springfield will easily do 1.5 MOA.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
In the immortal words of Mr. Murphy (dba as Murphy's Law) WHEN THE ENEMY IS WITHIN RANGE, SO ARE YOU...
And your point is?
I did specify evasion, didn't I? I don't expect to ever "go hunting BGs."
Further, I am going to assume that you practice to maintain your skills. Do you believe that the run-of-the-mill BG is going to be as skilled as you are? His long range should be your medium range, and his medium range your pistol range.
Advice: Practiced accuracy greatly increases your effective ammunition supply. (You use fewer shots to accomplish the given job.)
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Old 01-31-2009, 05:39 AM   #15
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBX2000
I am new to this forum and I've been trying to read the large amounts of info in this forum on various weapons. I've pretty much narrowed my rifle choice down to either a 1903 variant or an M1 Garand. I want .30 cal stopping power and the minimum number of calibers to stock up for-so it's either .308 or .30-06 for me.

Currently my thoughts run along a .30-06 M1 Garand from DGR.

I also have a line on a 1903 Smith Corona for about $1000 if I act soon.

My reasoning for purchase as a SHTF rifle would be effective .30 cal firepower with either rifle, ease of maintenance and availability of spare parts.

Eventually I hope to purchase both but I'm debating how to act for my first purchase. Please let me know your thoughts on this and hopefully your reasons for your choice. Info is much appreciated.

IBX2000
Though you have made some very good choices, I would suggest a FAL pattern rifle. It's primary chambering is in 308 win and can be had in other calibers if so desired. It's steel magazines are very tough.

They are very easy to maintain and replacement parts are still easy to get and inexpensive.

Probably the best feature I like about the FAL is it's adjustable gas system. When the gun gets very dirty, give it more gas. Plus the gas system can be adjusted for the load being used.

Accuracy is not as good as the M1, but it will definately get the job done. Afterall, it was used by 90+ countries as their main weapon. Some still use them to this day.
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Old 01-31-2009, 01:16 PM   #16
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve M1911A1
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hummer
...Oh by the way the acceptance accuracy on the M1 with control lot ammo was 5" at 100 yards. Obviously there are guys with M1s (mine will) shoot closer to a MOA at 100 and the Tanker even shoots 1 1/2 MOA at 100 with right load/bullet.
So which is it? Five minutes or one? I know what the acceptance level was, but most of the M1s I've seen will do at least two MOA without accurizing.
The actual requirement was for 5moa using issue ammo, not controlled lot. In other words, using random crap leftover from WWI, a brand new M1 being roughly sighted in at the factory and fired for function had to print a group within 5" at 100yds, ie: can hit an enemy in the heart given no undue care or preparation.

Modern QC on retail ammo is far better than the govt.'s requirement for war use [ie: it must go "bang" and not screw up the rifle!], and any M1 bought thru the CMP is going to have the rough edges worn off at least [barring the occasional "unused, NIW" auction item they may turn up...]

A Service grade with minor care firing some of the CMP's excellent Greek HXP ammo will turn at least 2moa, which is better than the majority of shooter's can utilize, whether they admit it or not.
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Old 02-01-2009, 01:35 PM   #17
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

So which would you guys purchase today...Garand, 1903...something else? Why? Keep in mind it must be .30 caliber and you have to do your own gunsmithing, parts buying, and ammo supplying to keep it running in the future!

IBX2k
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Old 02-01-2009, 03:04 PM   #18
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

I have both. That is, I have a Garand and two much-modified Springfields.
In a SHTF situation, I'd prefer to grab my better Springfield...except that right now it's in pieces in my workshop, waiting for me to re-stock it. So, by default, I guess I'd take my Garand. (The other Springfield is a good rifle, but the Garand is more accurate than it is.)
In terms of cost, you'd do better qualifying for, and buying, a "DCM" Garand (it's not called DCM any more, I believe, and I don't know what the new name is). A good Springfield will be overpriced, unless you can find a really good barrelled action without a stock (that is, not a collector's piece).
When you buy a Garand, you must also buy a minimum of 50 clips for it. More would be better. Also get a really good quality, military-style leather sling, a spare (complete) bolt, and the appropriate GI instruction manual.
Learn to detail-strip it. Also learn how to replace the bolt without stripping the rifle. Learn how to use the sling as a shooting aid. Learn how the sight works, and then zero it for 300 yards. Finally, learn how to comfortably carry 10 pounds of rifle and five pounds of ammunition, all day long. It can be done, but it takes practice.

You can pare a Springfield down to six pounds, unloaded, and maybe seven with a scope, and (if you've got a really good one) you'll have the sturdiest, lightest, one-MOA rifle in the world.
My "better" Springfield is all that, plus I gave it a 10-round magazine by welding two five-round boxes together and using a BAR-mag spring under a Springfield follower.
Buy an extra, complete bolt that headspaces properly. Learn to use stripper clips, and buy about 100 of them while they're cheap. (The same clip that works for .308 will work for .30-'06.) Get a leather GI sling, and learn to use that.
Etc., etc., etc...
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Old 02-01-2009, 04:15 PM   #19
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

Quote:
Originally Posted by IBX2000
So which would you guys purchase today...Garand, 1903...something else? Why? Keep in mind it must be .30 caliber and you have to do your own gunsmithing, parts buying, and ammo supplying to keep it running in the future!

IBX2k
If .308 was still cheaper than .30-'06, then I'd probably opt for a Savage Scout w/ the magnum bolt head upgrade and a couple of spare mags. Since you can get .30-'06 cheaper thru the CMP than you can find similar quality .308, I'd recommend getting a Service grade Garand & as much ammo as you can afford now while it's still cheap.

But that's coming from someone who's only seen his investment in CMP Garands appreciate while his stocks are all in down over the same period...

Don't get me wrong: I'm not running down the Springfield. It's just that it has lower parts availability than a Garand, can never match an M1's firepower, and isn't significantly more accurate than an equivalently worked-on M1. And if you want an accurate turn-bolt in .30 cal, you don't have to limit yourself to U.S. govt. surplus, anyway: lots of options in area that will set you back less than the $1000 for the Springfield mentioned at the start of the thread, & deliver better accuracy via more modern designs.

For the money, the Garand is hard to beat. For the same money, the greater reliability of a bolt-action can be had by sacrificing the Garand's semi-auto speed & ease of use: the choice is yours. It's not that I'm a Garand nut [which I freely admit], it's just that the day is rapidly approaching when the ability to purchase a semi-auto battle rifle of the Garand's proven abilities will no longer be possible. At that point, you can buy all the bolt guns you want, but you'll be kicking yourself for having passed on the M1 when you had the chance.

To put it another way: if you go read Boston's Gun Bible, you'll discover that the M1a [a $1200 rifle nowadays] gets the nod over all contenders. But the M1 gets you 90% of the capability, at 1/2 the cost (and would score higher in the comparison today, due to the fact that supplies of cheap .308 have dried up.]

In the end, you'll have to decide if you prefer a bolt-action to a semi-auto. The U.S. govt. made that decision back in the '30s, after over 3 decades of waiting for a reliable-enough self-loader to surface. And you have to figure that the U.S. military establishment had to value reliability in adverse conditions somewhat highly, not ever having the numbers of enlisted to utilize human wave tactics...

I grew up shooting a turn-bolt .22 repeater and still feel that for training, it's about the best option available; I only wish I could trade my brother my Remi 541x for the 521 he got from our dad; the earlier design is that much better to use [in .22lr; the 541 could be converted to a .22Hornet single-loader due to it's much stronger lockup, but I digress.] If I could have only one rifle, I might opt for Cooper's Scout platform in the guise of the Savage I mentioned above; it truly can do just about everything anyone requires [tho' I wish I'd had the money when CDNN? were blowing out the Dragoons in .376 Steyr a few years back; what a deal, despite the limited ammo supply! Any safari rifle is pretty much a load-your-own option anyway, what with the $5/shot on up prices they want for factory loads...] Fortunately, not only do those of us in the U.S. (still, tho' for how much longer?) have the liberty to own semi-autos, we can also own several rifles, and even in these times of financial distress, we're still a rich enough nation to generally be able to afford to do so, so I don't have to make that "only one rifle" decision just yet. Whew! Dodged that bullet! [if you'll pardon the pun... ]

If you live in a state that forbids semi-autos for hunting [PA? is one, iirc. Don't laugh: some states (OH?) forbid rifles for hunting, requiring deer hunters to fire slug loads from shotguns], then by all means, opt for a decent bolt-action & don't look back: no sense purchasing a rifle that will get you in trouble with the law if times get so tough that you *must* hunt to put food on the table, as opposed to it just being your choice of recreation. Just as I wouldn't recommend you buy a Springfield over other bolt actions unless you desire to shoot in CMP Vintage Military Rifle competitions [altho' that's what I'd do, if I didn't already have a Swedish Mauser begging me to use it for that... next Western Games in October, that's when it'll get it's chance. But I'll still need a Springfield for the Springfield match! ]

Anyway, if this rambling post hasn't totally confused you, I haven't done my job. In the end, you'll need to decide what your needs are, and how best to satisfy them. Only then will you be able to make the decision you won't wind up regretting down the road.
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Old 02-01-2009, 05:54 PM   #20
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Re: Your Thoughts Please on SHTF Weapon

I would still get a Garand and enough Greek HXP ammo to wear out the barrel . Lots of ideas have been put out but uhhh ...... it's still what's gonna work for you being low profile .

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