As Captain John Raguso’s AR-10 review indicated, TTAG hearts the big ass Armalite rifle. If I was in an honest-to-God firefight, I’d be quite comfortable shouldering an AR10. Well, as comfortable as a person can be with bullets flying hither and yon. But choosing the AR-10 as Your One Survival Gun is madness. There’s a lot of bad craziness in Daniel T. McElrath American Rifleman blog post . . .
And since you’d be abandoning the city for safety and to locate food-supermarkets will have been among the first things looted-a rifle wouldn’t be only a combat tool. You’d probably have to hunt, too, and the 7.62 is a better caliber [than 5.56] for deer, antelope, elk, etc. You could find yourself anywhere from the mountains to the plains, from forests to deserts, targeting everything from opossums to armored vehicles, so you’d need a versatile round. Given those criteria, the 7.62 would be the way to go.
Uh, no . . . As the commentators underneath the post point out, the AR-10 is one heavy mo’ fo’. As is the ammunition. And even if you could carry the whole kit and kaboodle, restocking 7.62 ammo in a post-apocalyptic world (on the move?) would be highly problematic.
Hunting? McElrath needs to lower his sights (so to speak). Paul: “I challenge the writer of the article to try to make a meal out of a rabbit, squirrel, or bird after getting hit with with a bullet from an AR10.”
Also, to quote the oft-mischaracterized Martin Albright, given the probability of martial law in any potential SHTF situation, concealability could well be your go-to gun’s most important attribute. In which case a handgun with plenty of capacity in the most popular flavor would be ideal. Then again you may need to hunt or take out some bad people from a distance. So . . .
While the commentators’ arguments for a Ruger 10-22 are compelling (rugged gun, reasonable range, accurate enough, lots of light ammo), I reckon the Kel-Tec Sub-2000—also reviewed by Captain John but in 9mm—is the way to go. 9mm is the most powerful, easy-to-find caliber. The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is a 9mm rifle that folds! That you can hand to a newbie to shoot! From the website:
The SUB-2000 has a greatly enhanced accuracy and extended range compared to a handgun. The superior precision is also very useful against small or partially covered targets at shorter range. The amount of training to master the SUB-2000 is only a fraction of that required for a handgun.
Case closed, amigos.