Preppers love their AR-15s. But do you really need an AR-15 for SHTF scenarios? Are they necessary for survival, the collapse, etc.?
by Bob, aka “Jarhead Survivor,” a contributing writer
There are three groups of people reading this:
- those that think you’ll absolutely need an AR-15 WTSHTF,
- those that think one is totally unnecessary, and
- those who are not sure.
Let’s explore some scenarios. Maybe some thinking along different lines will help you to make your own decision.
SHTF Scenario One
Let’s first operate under the idea that things have really gone to hell. If your thinking falls into this scenario you just might want that semi-automatic handyman by your side. Some of our favorite standby end of the world scenarios are a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) or maybe a terrorist attack that brings the grid down. Maybe it’s a natural disaster that makes your area an island unto itself. Or possibly a currency collapse as Chris Martenson loves to talk about.
It’s a grid down, TEOTWAWKI world and all you have standing between you and the bad guys is your trusty AR-15 and a few thousand rounds of .223. In this scenario the more hardware you have the better off you’re going to be. If legions of crazy people are trying to overrun your compound, it’s unlikely that standing out in front giving the peace sign will turn them away. Desperate people will do anything – anything – if they think it will help them or their family in a desperate situation.
But they didn’t prep and shouldn’t go after those that did?
Haha! Everybody will be going after those that have food, gear, and water after it hits the fan, folks. If you have shelter, water, food and equipment (prepper basics for sheltering in place) you will become a person of interest to those that haven’t.
You have the right to protect it. Especially if it’s all you have to keep you alive. You thought ahead. You prepped for it. You deserve to protect it for your use.
In this scenario you should have a good rifle or three. Do you need an AR-15? Only you can answer that, but I’ll tell you I feel a lot better with one than when I didn’t have one. Honestly, any good semi-automatic rifle will probably suffice.
There are several things I like about the AR. First, I was trained on the M16 and it’s where I have 90% of my experience. I can still take the bolt apart in my sleep and put it back together again. Plus it’s so prolific that even after ammo gets hard to find you should still be able to barter for it. (You do have stuff to barter don’t you?) It might be expensive, but I suspect it will be well worth it after TEOTWAWKI.
There are other good guns out there that you might want of course: a good hand gun, a shotgun, maybe a good .30-06 hunting rifle (which could double as a good sniper rifle), a .22 for hunting small game. You get the idea.
In this situation more is better and an AR15 would definitely be a great addition to your armory.
SHTF Scenario 2
In this scenario things have gone south over a period of time. Infrastructure is weak, but still in place. The markets crashed, but money still works. Barter definitely happens in the market places and there are many more homeless people than there were before things started their downhill slide, but there is still law and order, or at least a semblance of it.
People are hungry, but not starving. The government is handing out more food than ever to the hungry masses, but it’s never enough. The rich are still rich and the poor are still poor, but the middle class has disintegrated and there are more discontented people than ever. The government crackdown on weapons makes owning an AR15 risky and using one even in self defense is considered a crime. In this scenario an AR might not be such a good choice. It’s possible to possess one – just don’t get caught with it or you’ll wind up in a FEMA camp making little ones out of big ones for the greater good of the government.
In this case a bow and arrow or even a sling shot might be a better choice. If there was a harsh enough punishment meted out for owning a gun then most people probably wouldn’t take the risk, but like the saying goes, “If you outlaw guns, only outlaws will have guns.”
Living in the country would be different than living in a city. You’re likely to be more of an open target to people who have nothing to lose by attacking your compound. Assume you have to live behind walls or barricades and the need for a weapon in this situation would be obvious. If a gang attacks with guns you’d better have something better than bows and slingshots to drive them away with.
In the city during a time like this an AR might not be the best choice. A small handgun (how to spot someone carrying concealed) or even a knife for that up-close and personal action – you know: swift, silent and deadly. Might be a good way to go.
If you have the skills that is. Are your knife fighting skills up to snuff?
No One Knows How a Collapse Will Happen
Obviously these scenarios are just that. Nobody knows how things will go down and the only thing you can do is keep on doing what you’re doing.
If you’re thinking the world will be a whole lot worse than Scenario One, by all means, spend the money and buy yourself a pile of survival guns to defend yourself with. Plan for that Mad Max or other post-apocalyptic movie event and go for it.
On the other hand, if you think it won’t get that violent and people will come together like a band of brothers then don’t buy one. However, just because you own a good gun don’t think the government can’t or won’t take it at the beginning of an emergency. Watch this video:
Ultimately you’ll need to make your own decision. Go through the scenarios likely to happen in your area and then prepare for that situation.
Keep in mind the above video, though. Don’t think the government won’t run roughshod on your rights. If they think it’s in the public’s “best interest” they’ll take your guns and good luck ever getting them back. You might want to have some kind of back up protection just in case. A good fence and good home defense, a guard dog, bow and arrows, a Trucker’s Friend, whatever, anything is better than nothing.
As unlikely as it may seem, if we ever do devolve to a Mad Max or The Road-type post apocalyptic world, you’ll want to have back up weapons anyway. The bullets are only going to last so long and then that sweet AR-15 will be a club.
Do You Need an AR-15 for SHTF or Not?
If, like me, you fall into the camp that think an AR-15 would be a useful tool to have around after TEOTWAWKI then now is the time to get one if you haven’t already.
If you don’t like the AR platform then this would be the time to go after the gun you *do* like. Don’t forget an optic. There are some good recommendations for rifle scopes under $500.
I think that if you’re reading this blog you’re not the kind of people who are going to wait around for the government to take care of them. If you do think that it’s unlikely you’ll last long in a real long lasting SHTF event.
Questions? Comments? Sound off below!