Guest Post – KISS When TSHTF

Today’s guest post is from a fellow Mainer.  He knows fire arms and has some good ideas about how to trick your gun out when TSHTF.
On to the post…
What is the first gun that pops in your head when you think of an end-of-society scenario? Chances are, a sleek, well-adorned AR-15 or M4 with some cool doo-dads bolted onto the Picatinny rails: a nice Surefire light with a laser, with an Aimpoint red dot or thermal imaging scope mounted to the upper receiver. Full magazines neatly line your tac vest as you boldly forage, feed, and protect your family with it against any number of unknown foes. Seems ideal and right, doesn’t it?
    What if that was all wrong?
    Many people are familiar with the acronym “K.I.S.S”, an easy was of remembering “Keep It Simple, Stupid!”. As with many things in life, this wonderful phrase is idea for helping with many things in life, from grocery shopping to buying a car to – you guessed it – preparing for a complete breakdown of all things as we know them. Specifically, for the purposes of this article, firearms.
    The AR-15 platform is pretty much synonymous with the whole concept of SHTF. It CAN make a lot of sense: it’s in a relatively useful caliber in its standard configuration, it’s the main sidearm for our armed services, so parts are usually available, and there is a ridiculous aftermarket support. It’s light, ammunition (usually) is easily obtained and/or hand loaded for, and you can keep a bunch of rounds in a magazine, ready to go at a moment’s notice. It’s rugged, doesn’t need a ridiculous amount of maintenance, and, well, it just plain works. Generally. However, this current High Speed-Low Drag fad of AR-15 builds has a lot of really pretty ridiculous gadgets being hung on the ubiquitous rails of an AR. From Lasers to blinding spotlights to single point slings to red dots to 20 power scopes, the “tactical toothbrush holder” fad borders on the ridiculous sometimes. But do we really need all this gear, and, more importantly, will we need it if we NEED it?
    Firstly, electronic sights are a wonder of the modern age. Bring the rifle quickly to your shoulder, and a floating red dot appears through a tube that shows you exactly where your bullet will go…it’s fast, efficient, and works amazingly well on moving targets out to 100 yards or so (where the dot starts obscuring much of the target). However, they do run on batteries (usually a CR2032, CR123 or AA). Some, mercifully, such as the Trijicon ACOG) have standard scope-type reticles that are accessorized by battery and/or fiber optic illuminated reticle points. After your battery supply runs out, or after an EMP burst, where will it leave you when the electronic sight simply doesn’t work any more? Same with light sources. All have the battery weak link, and they all will run out once the SHTF. Yeah, they work well until that time, when they become transformed into a useless piece of cool-lookin’ junk.
    What can you do about it? K.I.S.S! Mount a set of sturdy back-up sights and make sure they are dialed in, and not just cool eye candy bolted onto a rail. If you’re on a budget, Magpul makes a great sight in the MBUS (Magpul Back Up Sight). These steel-reinforced polymer sights are very simple, elevation and windage adjustable, and flip backwards onto the rail when not needed. If your optics bail out on you, a simple flick of two switches gets the spring-loaded sights to pop up, ready to rock. I have these on my AR, and they are awesome. And at the price of about $75 for the pair, hard to beat. Many other companies (Troy, Diamondhead, etc) make other flip-up type back up sights for a rail system, many out of aluminum if you prefer something a bit more rugged. A quick (or lengthy) perusal of the Brownell’s website ( will get you drooling quickly.
    Another weak point of the AR platform is a serious one: it needs a detachable magazine to be useful. If you get into a firefight and dump them as you’re moving, the possibility of losing them is very high. Add into the fact that most aluminum mags are junk the second you step on them or they get dented or dropped too hard, and you have the fixing’s for a serious problem once you run out of them. And it WILL happen. What’s the K.I.S.S. solution?
   Stick with me here. How about a gun with a fixed magazine? Granted, your granddaddy’s Winchester 94 .30-30 isn’t nearly as sexy as a decked-out M4 carbine, but the magazine stays with it. It also is unencumbered with battery-powered gadgets, is ridiculously simple, and is certainly powerful to harvest deer and bear-sized game and use as a defensive caliber. It’s light, handles and points like a dream, and they don’t really wear…case in point: many lever-action guns built in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s are STILL soldiering on, putting dinner on tables and providing security for farms. Unless your idea of a SHTF scenario is this:  Full Metal Jacket
chances are very good you will be very well served by something less glamorous, but far more practical, than your railed wonder gun.
    One gun that won’t stray far in a SHTF scenario, personally, is my Marlin M1894 carbine in .357 Magnum. I love the fact that it’s under six pounds, is extremely accurate with its Lyman 66 receiver (peep) sight, it is the same caliber as another favorite carry gun (S&W M65 revolver) and it doubles the chances of finding useable ammo, as it can shoot both .357 Magnum and .38 Special. With a 158-grain .357 Magnum soft-point or hollow-point bullet, it’s powerful enough to harvest deer out to 100 yards if I put the bullet in the boiler room, or with a cast lead or FMJ .38 Special round, it will work wonders on rabbits or game birds without ruining the meat. The .357 Magnum is legendary for its man-stopping capability, so we know it will work in that department too. Its recoil is very mild, so my wife and 13-year-old son can shoot it all day long. And it’s SIMPLE. It works. What’s not to like?
   Up here in Maine, I’ve taken a number of courses (and watched a few) through Weaponcraft Training (, and universally I see one thing: at least one guy shows up with a completely decked-out gun, crap hanging off it from all angles, an ear-to-ear grin across his face as he struts around with his ten pounds of battery-operated wizardry and forward-mounted pistol grips. By the end of the course, all that junk has been stripped away, with the basic rifle, iron sights, and maybe a simple optic remaining. Why? Because all that crap wasn’t needed. At all. Why lug around, and become dependent on, what you simply don’t need? Think about that, and think about the gadgetry you dream of plunking on your gun. Is it REALLY needed? Be realistic.
   I know that what I face here in rural Maine is a far cry from someone in the flatlands of Nebraska, where a scoped Remington 700 in .308 or 7mm Mag will work very well to reach out and touch in the corn fields…or the urban sprawl of Detroit where hostile gangs could be encountered by a single individual and a decked out AR will work well for you.
Just remember: when choosing how you’d like to outfit your firearms, think about where you will be, how you will use it, what you will encounter. Chances are a simple, rugged gun will serve you better, and for a longer period of time, than any high-tech gadget gun will. Be honest, and don’t bow to the fame and CDI (Chicks Dig It) factor AR-15s draw. What works when TSHTF, and what will still be working one year after TSHTF, is what really matters. Let me know what YOU think works best for you and why!
-The Road Warrior
Questions or comments for my homeboy?
Sound off below!
-Jarhead Survivor
71 comments… add one
  • Spud March 15, 2013, 7:22 am

    I’ve been arguing that exact point for many years !
    My two, go to rifles are a 30/30 Marlin and a 10/22.
    Like you say, that lever action will still be functioning long after all AR’s are being used for clubs.
    The 10/22 will feed me for a life time and do a pretty good job of suppression if need be. Not once when I was down range of hostile fire did I ever wonder what the caliber was lol.

  • Ray March 15, 2013, 8:32 am

    GODs TRUTH!!!! The one weapon I DON’T own is an AR. Lets start by calling the Assault Rifle what it is; A carbine, Thats Right! A carbine. The whole concept in the 1950s was to replace the M-1 carbine. If you want a survival rifle there are MANY good weapons out there. Mine? The 1892 Win. In .45LC or .357 Mag. I have revolvers in both. What If SHTF and we got Zipps in the wire? My M-1 garand , Hits like a sledge hammer and no mags to dent. Gotta reach out past 600 yards? My M-1903mk1 will hit anything I can see, And kill it. Right now we are learning what NO AMMO means,and haveing a rifle that dumps 30 rounds in 15 seconds seems like a bad idea , in a time when you CANNOT get any more ammo. Myself , I think I’ll pass on the “spray and pray” carbines . I want something that drops them in there tracks with one shot.

    • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 12:12 pm

      car·bine noun \ˈkär-ˌbēn, -ˌbīn\

      : a short-barreled lightweight firearm originally used by cavalry
      : a light short-barreled repeating rifle that is used as a supplementary military arm or for hunting in dense brush


      What exactly is wrong with a carbine? It’s just a short version of a longer gun: M1 Garand -> M1 carbine; Mosin-Nagant 91/30 -> Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine. A lot of those lever action brush guns are carbines.

      • Ray March 15, 2013, 6:05 pm

        Other than nominclature the M-1 garand and M-1 carbine have NOTHING to do with each other.They are not even closely related. I see nothing wrong with carbines, I just don’t want an AR . Or any weapon I need box mags for. Thats one less thing I need to stockpile. I brought it up Cause Many seem to think that the AR -15 is a “battle rifle” when its NOT. It is at best a PDW.

        • S.Q. Whrill March 15, 2013, 9:24 pm

          What is “PDW”? Thank you

          • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 1:11 am

            Personal defense weapon… like the FN P90 bullpup monstrosity.

        • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 1:09 am

          The M1 Garand and the M1 Carbine have history in common. The carbine was made as a substitute for the M1 battle rifle for troops with duties that prohibited the convenient carry of the Garand.

          You’re right that the AR is not a “battle rifle.” It’s a semi-automatic derivative of the M16 and M4″ assault rifles” characterized by the use of an intermediate rifle cartridge and selective of fully automatic fire capability.

          The M1 carbine is a far better example of a PDW… something better than a handgun, but not quite an assault rifle.

          The primary weapon of all branches of the U.S. military is not a PDW.

          • Ray March 16, 2013, 10:23 am

            The M-16 was designed as a PDW for B-52 crews in 1953 by Eugene Stoner It was forced on the military by Mac Namara in 1964-65.-The M-4 CARBINE was designed as a PDW for air crews and tankers. It was forced on the military by Don Rumsfeld. Personaly I don’t care about the M-16 AR-15 family at all. I used one in service(M-16a1) and hated the damn thing. You want one ;OK by me. I like weel guns and rifles/carbines that don’t use box mags. I realy was’nt trying to start an AR bruha’ ha.

          • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 2:07 pm

            OK, so there’s overlap. I guess some assault rifles can also be considered PDWs.

            Maybe I misinterpreted your initial statement here. Were you just saying that you don’t like short rifles? I thought you were saying that carbines were evil or something… like “assault weapons.”

            In any case, I’m not defending the Vietnam era substitution of the M16 assault rifle for a real battle rifle. More power to you on the M1. Carbines have their place and I like them for what they are.

  • Robert March 15, 2013, 9:29 am

    MY AR has a fixed front sight and a Magpur BUIS, a simple optic and not much else. Yes, it has a quad rail, with rail covers not dodads–it’s nice to have options. My wife’s AR has Magpul hand-guards and I may put them back on mine at some point.

    I also have a couple of .22s (10-22 and a marlin Model 60), a few rifles (Remington 700 in 7mm, SMLE, Mosin–Nagant), shotgun, various revolvers and auto pistols and ammo in reserve for all of it.

    Yeah, right now there isn’t a lot of recreational shooting going on, just enough to ensure I can hit with what I have at appropriate ranges/stay proficient. Not as much fun as dumping rounds down range, but much more practical.

  • ORRN on LI March 15, 2013, 9:38 am

    This is a very useful and timely topic right now for me, the husband actually agrees to getting a firearm! Just one request, please keep the lingo down to a Newbie level, I realize there are a lot of experienced gun people here, but the fancy acronyms and numbers get crazy and you loose me. What I’ve read repeatedly on this site is to choose according to: ease
    Availability of ammo
    Gun Size = job
    Keep the info coming, I’m taking notes and appreciate this blog!

    • The Road Warrior March 15, 2013, 10:14 am

      ORRN, coincidentally I’ve got another article almost ready to go on simplifying the firearms world down for beginners, as well as simple, reliable suggestions on what to look for. If it passes muster, I believe it’ll be posted on Wednesday, so be sure to check back! Thanks all for the kind words!


      • Jason March 15, 2013, 11:00 am

        I would agree with ORRN in that the vast majority of the readers here are less than average with regard to “gun speak” including myself. Also by simplifying things, you will increase the width of the message. The more sophisticated should not be offended & will naturally translate things into the more technical terms themselves.

        Lastly, it would be very helpful if you broke the article up by using more paragraphs by dividing into more bite sized pieces. When most first glances at this format, you see a wall & mass of black letters that is an initial turn off because it implies that much time & effort will need to be taken to unearth the message.

        Quite frankly, I went to the comments section first to see the more bite sized points raised to determine whether I wanted to wade through it or not.

        What you will notice in this Internet medium is that 0ver 90% of the articles – especially news, is written in that highly paragraphed style because the Internet has become an over saturated bombardment of information & to be effective one needs to elegantly lead the readers bit by bit.

        That’s my input!

        • Jarhead Survivor March 15, 2013, 11:05 am

          Hi Jason – good point about the spacing, but I have to take the hit on that one. He sent it to me properly formatted, but when I pasted it into Wordpress it got screwed up as you see above. Due to lack of time from my crazy schedule I decided to go with it as is.

          I promise to do better next time!


    • Ray March 15, 2013, 12:28 pm

      ORRN Hears the rub, There is NO AMMO- N.O.N.E.- I live in KY and you can’t get ammo,At least not unless you want to give over 3x its pre-panic retail. Even then finding it is like finding a virgin in Los Vegas, You hear rumors but never see ’em. For a Newbi this is a bad time to start. Most gun stores are bare and they tell me that they will have little or no ammo before September or October. The Cabelas store in Louisville says that even if they have ammo we can only buy three boxes at a time MAX. Its not much of a problem as they have almost nothing in stock. Bass Pro Wal-Mart All the same Good Luck

      • Jason March 15, 2013, 1:18 pm

        First off, it is never a bad time to start. Also, I did one quick check with this blog’s advertiser, Lucky Gunner & there is plenty of ammo available & even available in huge quantities. Besides, why September or October, do they think the panic is going to calm down by then? Nobody knows or can predict that.

        Like any other commodity, demand dictates prices & ammo is no different. Some people buy into the belief that it is some sort of conspiracy to remove the ammo but I say it is a ploy to make people scared.

        • Ray March 15, 2013, 6:29 pm

          Have ya called em? I got the september timeline from a friend who is an executive with Olion, he says that is the EARLYEST they can have ammo back in the pipeline.– Lucky Gunner? If they have anything more than a box or two then they are the only store in the US that dose AND I MEAN ONLY. I’v looked at over 100 websights and been to 20 stores in my local NO AMMO . Wal-mart, Dicks, Cabelas,J&g sales, AIM surrplus,Cheaper than dirt, sportsmans guide All have Verry little to no ammo. Midway USA and Brownells report a 30 to 90 day backorder on even the most common CALs. SAME SAME all the rest. But please prove me wrong ,Run right out and buy 1000 5.56-, 7.62×39-.45 ACP -or .25 ACP I’d love to know who has it and how much you paid.

      • Backwoods Prepper March 15, 2013, 7:45 pm

        Let me tell you how to get ammo from walmart it easy I have bought box on top of boxs 550 rd .22 CCI mini mag .22 federal 100rd bulk pack .223 tulamo .223 winchester JHP.40 and 9mm. all in the last 4-5 weeks. Okay go to sporting goods find out who the department manager is. They primarly work days but may work evening too. My store is not a 24/7 store, Okay 2:oo pm I call walmart Can I Speak to Jenn in sporting goods. Yes Jenn I was wandering if you could tell me what kind of ammo is on tonights truck. She tells me to call back in 20 minutes shes got to go to the office and get the list. tells me there is 11 boxs .223 fedral bulk pack or 1 case of .22 CCI minimag. So I know I need to be there at 7am when the store opens to get my 300rds of .223. 100rd box is still 34.97 a box. I used to walk in walmart just to look at the bare shelves not anymore.

        • Backwoods Prepper March 15, 2013, 7:55 pm

          If all you want to do is shop the internet with no leg work involved you need to get away from the main ammo suppliers. try

        • Ray March 16, 2013, 8:29 am

          WOW! Where do you live? Ky Wal-marts have been bare for MONTHS. I mean like 10 boxes of .410- 20 boxes of bird shot in various gauges. -2 boxes of .243-and 2-20rd. boxes of .45LC at 32$ a box. and thats the best I’v found in 60-70 days.

          • Backwoods Prepper March 16, 2013, 5:12 pm

            The store maybe be bare but they do get regular shipment you just don’t see it. Follow the instructions above and you might get you some.

        • waterboy March 18, 2013, 12:10 am

          Last time I checked the counter at Wal Mart they had some 30.06 so I put five boxes on the counter to pay for them and was informed that I could only three. A guy my age, yes old timer, chimed in with “I’d be pleased to buy you some more”. Gave him some cash, he paid, the clerk smiled and I offered to carry the extra three boxes out for my new BFF. True story.

    • irishdutchuncle March 16, 2013, 8:50 am

      nobody is born knowing any of this stuff. don’t be too hard on yourself ORRN. (you merely mis-spent your youth learning different subjects, than the gunnies did) you bring a lot of knowledge to this forum yourself.

  • Denator March 15, 2013, 10:15 am

    Ya I fell into the AR gizmo faze when I first got mine years ago, it looked cool but was not practical for my needs. Now it has a red dot, backup peep sight and a bipod. Use the bipod mostly to keep the weapon up right while yote hunting. Its come in handy for some of the longer shots. Ive got a lever gun in 30-30 and am thinking of getting another one in 357mag. to go with my Ruger and Smith wheel guns. The way ammo is right now think it would be prudent to have a rifle shooting the same ammo as my handguns. Fair winds………..

  • rush2112 March 15, 2013, 10:30 am

    Another thing worth mentioning is that its ok to shoulder your weapon. I go to the range once or twice a month and usually i am the only shooter not using a vise. I shoot from 3 positions: standing, squatted, and prone. I know the vise has its uses for zeroing, but not very practical in real life shooting.

    Agree with weapons assesment, would add a basic pump action shotgun to the list also.

    • Jarhead Survivor March 15, 2013, 11:06 am

      Not sure what you’re accomplishing by shooting with a vise other than zeroing it. You’re shooting the right way rush!

      • The Road Warrior March 15, 2013, 4:06 pm

        ^^^ What he said! I use a bench to zero, and to test baseline accuracy on handloads. Usually, however, I don’t even have a bench; I’ll just lean on a post or tree and shoot that way. This simulates a normal field situation, whether you’re using a tree to steady the gun while you’re shooting at a fat whitetail 150 yards away, or shooting from behind cover. Once a gun is zeroed, it should be shot the way you’ll likely be postured when it’s needed: on your two feet.

  • Wild Weasel March 15, 2013, 12:03 pm

    Only one AR in the collection was a good buy before the craze. Nothing fancy only add on Quad Rail. I keep it for close quarters if needed. M14 along with a Savage allow for my calibers the same, and having the ability to reach someone. Guns are like tools, I work in construction and a hammer can not cut a 2×4, every tool has a job. Have tools to accomplish your needs where you live, keep calibers down to a minimum so not having to stock a million different type of rounds. Same when it comes to hand guns, the nice thing about Glock or Springfield Xd platform you can have one gun but the ability to shoot two different calibers. Example .40 Xd you can change out barrel down to 9mm and mag and viola 1 gun two calibers. Other nice thing about these guns is most the compact and full size share the same magazine so less likely to end up with a mag that is odd ball. For me I like the Springfield and have all sizes in 9mm so each one has a purpose, like tools.

    • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 12:33 pm

      Damned straight! And you don’t just have the three main tools in your toolbox. The AR is like a torque wrench. You don’t need one most of the time, but when you do it better to have one than to just use some pliers and hope it all works out. It’s a torque wrench for keeping roving bands of armed thugs out of your bunkerful of ramen noodles.

  • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 12:25 pm

    This is crazy talk. Everyone already has a Marlin 336 and a 10/22 and a Mossy 500. We’re talking about THE APOCALYPSE here. Roving Bands of Armed ThugS (RBATs)! U.N. Black Helicopters (UNBHs)! Government Contractors Run Amok (GCRAs)! You need 150,000 rounds of 5.56 and like 5 M4’s so you can just grab a new one when your barrel melts after laying out a 29,348 round smackdown some RBATs! If you’re going to have an apocalypse, you may as well go all out. If preparedness were just about preparing for things that are LIKELY to happen, then EVERYONE would be doing it.

  • Bayou Cajun March 15, 2013, 12:29 pm

    It’s amazing how great minds work. I also have a Marlin 94 in .357 as well as a Model 65 S&W. I live in Louisiana so I don’t need 458 magnums or M60s. I load my own ammunition and I cast my own bullets. I can shoot these two weapons cheaper than a .22. After Hurricane Katrina stores were really damaged. I bought 12 pounds of powder for $3.00 a pound. I still have several pounds. I’m not bothered by the ammo shortage. I have several hundred shot caps which I load with 7 1/2 shot. This rifle/revolver combo is all I need. Another advantage is that if you are walking in the woods with a lever action and a revolver, you don’t appear menacing. An AR15 or an AK spells DANGER to a lot of people. I prefer to be low keyed. I can walk the backroads armed without alarming anyone. It works for me.

    • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 12:35 pm

      You can walk around with a Marlin 94 without alarming anyone? I want to move where you live.

      • Bayou Cajun March 15, 2013, 1:34 pm

        Really. This is Louisiana. Living off the land and water is an accepted lifestyle here. It’s sort of like remote Alaska except with Alligators.

        • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 1:55 pm

          I’m in NY. People spaz out if you have a squirt gun.

          I’m from a backwoods place though in New England. Used to be that everyone had a gun rack in the back window of the pickup and it didn’t trouble anyone…. that was specifically because “concealed” weapons were regulated. People worried more about the gun they didn’t see around there.

          I guess my point now is that any place you can carry a lever gun without freaking people out, it’s probably OK to carry an AR. If I swapped out my hunting rifle for a Bushmaster around there, I’d probably get laughed at but nobody would panic or anything. They’d just think I was a showoff who most likely can’t shoot straight anyway.

          LA sounds cool. Someday I’ll get down there.

          • Spud March 15, 2013, 3:16 pm

            Same here in Floriduh where my BOL is. No big deal open carrying whatever out there . Private land in the sticks. Same deal , those with AR’s are kinda looked at funny lol. As in what ya gonna do with that there poodle shooter son ? Guess if’n ya live in the ghetto ya need one a them ha ha.

          • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 5:49 pm

            HA! yeah, Spud.

            Ironically, I do live in a ghetto these days and am not allowed to carry my AR around at all… no pistols either. I carry an extra sharp #2 pencil in case I get attacked by a herd of 9mm sideways-shootin’, red knickers-wearin’ thugs.

            Did the apocalypse already happen? Maybe I missed it.

          • Jason March 15, 2013, 7:07 pm

            No Yikes, it was only the Rapture & I am writing to you from above where the view is Heavenly ~

          • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 1:13 am


            The rapture happened? I don’t buy that. Plenty of the guys down at the range would have been hoovered up, NRA hats & all, in such a turn of events. I’d have noticed that. They’re swell guys.

          • Jason March 16, 2013, 9:01 am

            Sorry Yikes, I must have ingested some bad chicken & hallucinated. Is Obama still president?

            As far as the “swell guys” you are referring to, can you explain why they are bloated?

          • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 2:11 pm

            Yeah, but it’s not legal; he’s really from Kenya and will be hauled off to gitmo when every one catches on.

            Beer and inactivity I’d imagine. A lot of them like to just shoot stuff from the couch.

  • Pineslayer March 15, 2013, 5:05 pm

    Love my marlin .357, short, light, and fits on some packs nicely. Almost new for $300, I couldn’t get the cash out of my wallet quick enough. I have a AR that is pretty basic, also was a deal, I learned how to shoot with an M16 so I had to buy one, right? I could triple my money right now by selling it, but I can’t bring myself to do it. I like the torque wrench analogy. It will send out a wall of lead when needed. Instead of burning up ammo and alerting everyone that there is ammo here! How about giving out poisoned food and water to those who will not leave you alone? Like putting out D-con for the rats.

  • Roseman March 15, 2013, 5:34 pm

    As I have stated in another post, pump shotgun, revolver and lever action rifle. Bases covered and they will work forever with little or no maintenance.

    • Yikes! March 15, 2013, 5:53 pm

      But what do you do for entertainment if your guns don’t need maintenance?

      • Roseman March 15, 2013, 5:58 pm

        Practice,practice, practice.

      • Spud March 15, 2013, 7:24 pm

        Well …after I maintain my weapons then one can always play with his gun (snark) it is after all for fun…
        I think I cleaned my Marlin 30/30 sometime back in the 90’s ha ha

        • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 1:15 am

          Marlin 30/30’s don’t ever have to be cleaned. you just need to check in there with a flashlight once in a while in case a spider moved in.

  • David March 15, 2013, 6:29 pm

    I fully agree with you about the Win 30/30. I can and have knockdown just about everything that is in this country. Except bears. I also have a S/W 686 and a 22 rugger. So as far as I am concerned bring it on. I almost forget, I do have a ruger 223 presentation piece with a small scope.

  • Bayou Cajun March 15, 2013, 8:05 pm

    Whatever guns you favor, it’s still prudent to have something that you can reload for. Anything that will shoot cast lead and doesn’t rely on recoil or gas to cycle is a good bet. I have a Hawken .50 and a .45 cap and ball revolver. black powder or substitute can be stockpiled and easily made. A 100 pounds od lead lasts a really long time. I learned lessons from the people who didn’t have any way to get ammo after Dec 7, ’41. The government took over all ammo factories.

  • T.R. March 15, 2013, 8:06 pm

    To be honest , this is the very reason I only own either older American made weapons ( Korean war M14 , and such ) or especially Russian designed weapons . Russian designed weapons are made with abuse and neglect in mind …………..therefore they go bang when you want them to . It is also why they are the choice of every rebel and resistance fighter around the world , its not that they are the best …..its because they dont need a babysitter to function .

    • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 1:19 am

      Russians are awesome. They took into account that 90% of their soldiers would be piss drunk 90% of the time. That’s foresight.

      За тебя!

      • Jason March 16, 2013, 11:08 am

        Вот вам тоже! Только я не пью алкоголь

        • Yikes! March 16, 2013, 2:12 pm

          I only know toasts and swear words.

          • Jason March 16, 2013, 4:00 pm

            “Here’s to you too! But I don’t drink alcohol”

  • Michael March 15, 2013, 9:30 pm

    It warms my heart when someone starts talking about lever guns…

    • The Road Warrior March 15, 2013, 10:19 pm

      I’m right there with ya, Michael. My father instilled in me a deep love for lever-action guns. I have a Marlin 336ER in .356 Win that I call the “Finger of God” for its ability to make deer stop what they are doing immediately whenever I pull the trigger, and a Winchester 1895 Saddle Ring Carbine in .30-06 that, while heavy, is about as quick and versatile as you could ask a gun to be. They are certainly overlooked far too frequently.

  • Keith March 16, 2013, 1:25 am

    Good choices! My Marlin 1894 in .357 is my favorite rifle and I own plenty of black guns. Within 100 yds I can get a hit on a man sized target faster with it than anything else I own. My favorite handgun is actually a Glock, but I have several S&W revolvers in .357- along with one brutally strong Ruger Vacquero. My handloads will push over 2100 fps with a 125 gr hollow point. One other plus side is that someone with a couple of “cowboy” guns doesn’t raise too many eyebrows anywhere outside of a major city.

  • javelin March 16, 2013, 7:49 am

    Great advise on keeping it simple! I think most people forget that less parts means less potential breakdowns.
    One thing to note, if you are using an AR “flattop” (no sights front or rear) DO NOT use a Magpull MBUS front sight on a gas block mount, they will melt! You accuracy will degrade real quick! They are great for use on a quad rail but not on a gas block!

    • The Road Warrior March 16, 2013, 9:05 am

      Javelin, good call! I actually have mine mounted on a gas block, and it works OK through s 30-round magazine, but I let it cool after that. Also works well for slow aimed fire, like shooting groups. If I did it over again, however, I would probably opt to keep the tower A-frame fixed front sight and have a flip-down rear. Most back-up iron sights are regulated to be the same height as a fixed front sight.

  • j.r. guerra in s. tx. March 16, 2013, 10:54 am

    A .357 lever gun is a good choice for many of the reasons above given. Do make sure your bullets in ammunition loaded feeds smoothly in your rifles – the sharp nose semi-wadcutter (SWC) designs CAN give you feeding problems in some rifles. The good part is that SWC will cause no issues whatsoever to your revolver. Another cool feature of lever .357s – lever .22 rimfires will allow easy transitioning to the larger bores. Similar sights, controls and balance – that is good.

    Good post sir and great comments as well.

  • The Road Warrior March 16, 2013, 12:51 pm

    Thank you very much sir! Luckily, “Kieth”-style SWCs and LBTs feed wonderfully through my 1894 Carbine. Another good choice is the Winchester “Trapper” line of guns; I have one in .44 Magnum and it’s very accurate, but the counterpart gun, a S&W M629 with a 4″ barrel, is a little much for a sidearm, personally. I like the sidearm to be able to plunk small game with lighter loads that won’t destroy meat, and keep the carbine for bigger stuff.

  • SLHaynes March 17, 2013, 9:17 am

    I’ve been thinking along the same lines of a lever action long gun in .357. I have a SP101 in the same caliber already. The utility of the caliber and the weapon makes it seem so obvious.

  • cz223 March 17, 2013, 9:43 am

    Another MAINIAC chiming in here. I wholeheartedly agree with the overall theme of the article by Road Warrior. Most of the time simple is better. Most of us will never NEED an AR-15 decked out with lasers, night vision optics and grenade launcher. Furthermore, I would be willing to bet that most that own an AR, even a basic one, don’t train enough to be proficient with it and clear stoppages in a timely manner. Dropping a Mag during a mag change or losing your spares can be a real concern. That said, the AR and the AK platforms have been the choice of Armies and law enforcement agencies all over the the world for good reason, they work. That is also the reason that a lot of preppers choose them as well.

    I too would feel very comfortable, in most situations, armed with a revolver and a rifle chambered in 357/38, 44sp./44mag or 45 Colt, with an 870 or or Mossberg 590 close at hand. Even in these times of severe ammo shortages, these calibers are the ones that I see most often. Sometimes having a gun in an obscure caliber is a good thing. Also, like others have pointed out, swinging by the local Wal-mart early in the day has been very rewarding to me over the last several weeks. I was able to buy 300 rounds of Winchester 40 S&W Hollow points for $20.49 per box of 50 and they had 100 count boxes of FMJ as well, lots of them. Another time I got 16 boxes of Federal 9 BP for $16 per box of 50. So, it out there, you just have to be willing to look. Gotta go, to Wal-mart.

  • sirlancelot March 17, 2013, 12:50 pm

    the “tool box” analogy is a good one for firearms. something for distance if you have the luxury of identifying a foe at a long range, shotguns for around the property and hand guns for up close work.

    for urban areas and even in the country should that pack of mutant, zombie bikers pull up on your property a mag fed, semi-auto rifle would be just the ticket.

    in a extended grind-down scenario lever and wheel guns would come into play for their simplicity and fewer parts to break.

    not to mention ammo would be scarce. “spray and pray” would no longer be an option.

    my only question is if we get reduced to using the “cowboy set-up” do i have to wear the hat and boots ? :-)

    • Ray March 17, 2013, 2:49 pm

      Yeh,I’m a FIRM beliver in K.I.S.S. I feel that the fewer parts/mags/batteries/optics that I need to prep for, the more food /clothing/ammo/shoes/meds I can put by. That and there is no way to prep egnough ammo to stop “the golden hord” of ET, mutant, zombie ,biker,Mercenary cannables. :)And I’m with the cajun, I like Big Hats.

    • waterboy March 18, 2013, 12:03 am

      Spray and pray has never been a viable option. Fun? Yes. Effective? No.

  • Bayou Cajun March 17, 2013, 1:49 pm

    Ya Darn tootin pardner

  • waterboy March 18, 2013, 12:00 am

    People can bag all they want, all day long on AR’s. I was issued one in the RSVN in 1968 which performed flawlessly, used one in the Nat’l Guard in the 1980’s, and own one today. I maintain them, clean them and shoot them. No problems. Reloading equipment would take care of a lot of poster’s ammo supply problems. It surely has ours. Be ready people.

  • Child of Odin March 18, 2013, 3:43 am

    I agree. No AR or AK for me. Scoped. 308. Rockies are more sniper country… especially high up where I’ll head. Plus, its a lot cheaper to buy than an AR. Am also looking at a Mossin Nagant as a backup. Again cheap, decently accurate, and can reach out and say hello. Hunting will all be done by bow, though, as its quiet

  • eieio March 19, 2013, 3:41 am

    Good subject discussion.
    I like the cowboy “single caliber for pistol and carbine” concept. This makes ammo priorities simpler. There is a compromise with the pistol caliber carbine and I am ok with that. It is not meant for serious long distance shots. I limit my effective range to 100 yards ( but it shines at 75 yards and less). I guess that is like having a torque wrench in inch pounds. Ha!!!

    We shoot .22lr and 9mm. Both calibers in pistol and carbine. I reload for 9mm to make obtaining ammo during these times of ammo shortages less of a concern. It also allows me the ability to dial in my loads for the anticipated use of the 9mm pistol and carbine.

    For the “serious” stuff, I shoot a Glock pistol and an AR 9mm platform. The pistol has night sights and that’s it. The AR 9 has the fixed AR front sight and a metal flip up back up rear sight. A trijicon relfex sight with the12 minute of angle amber triangle is mounted on the rail and is co-witnessed with the iron sights. No batteries needed for day or low light use for either of these weapons. Both of them fearlessly feed 9mm full metal jacketed, hollow point, and truncated flat nosed lead bullets with no problems.

    With the pistol I am a fair shot. The Glock has about 11,000 rounds through it over 6 years. The carbine is deadly accurate inside of 100 yards and although I have had it for only 3 years, it has about 9,000 rounds through it. It is hands down the most fun gun to shoot in my small collection. And shooting should be a fun skill building process.

    The word “recoil” does not apply to the AR 9. It chugs and stays on target. Easy to control and 9mm has little “blast” and is not loud coming out of a 16 inch barrel. The long barrel tames and contains most of the blast and noise while also providing about 100 more feet per second to the projectile. For the same bullet that is shot from a 9mm pistol, I get more speed and power through the AR 9. The AR platform allows the user to dial in the blow back operation to “tune” the load to the gun (or the gun to the load) with simple procedures that do not affect reliability. The operational concept of a Ruger 10/22 carbine and the AR 9 platform are very similar. Another important point is that a quality AR trigger group and lower casting is robust enough for “serious” duty. Not true with other 9mm pistol caliber carbine platforms.

    The guy that helped me put it together (it was a project gun) was amazed at how easy it was to hit stuff with accuracy. He said that it shot so smooth that a woman or girl could shoot this all day long. I told him that I had a wife and daughter. The point of the Trijicon triangle makes a more precise aim point. But if you have to giddy up, just put the triangle on the target and press the trigger. Press the trigger a lot. Ha!!! Good for shooting steel and home defense, I think.

    But if I had started with 38 special or .357 magnum revolvers, the next logical step would be a lever action carbine in the same caliber with a Trijicon mini reflex sight, and reload for same. No magazines to lose. Accurate and deadly (especially the carbine). Just strap on the pistol belt with some ammo, holster the revolver and grab the carbine. With the CAR (Cowboy Assault Rifle) lever action carbine, shoot 3 load 3. You can top off as you go. Some say that the average confrontation lasts 10 seconds, involves 2 assailants, and 3 shots are fired. On second thought, just grab the 10 shot .357 CAR.

    • Ray March 19, 2013, 5:11 pm

      What I like abot the .45LC is that you can reload it with black powder and soft lead (or any lead you can find) and still have a 1300 FPS bullet from a 20 inch carbine. That will drop a deer at 100 yards. You cannot do that with the .357 ,you just wind up with a BP .38 at 600-700FPS MAYBE 900 fps from a carbine.


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