Given America’s number one gun rights org’s financially fruitful fear-based fundraising, it was only a matter of time before the NRA indulged in a little SHTF day dreaming. americanrifleman.org asks “If you had to choose one gun—and only one gun—to get you through a disaster (be it traditional or zombie-related), what would it be?” Needless to say, the answers in the comments section stretch from Tuscon to Tucumcari. As they may here. But first, let’s have a quick look at the NRA scribes’ choices. Above, Mark Keefe’s Springfield Armory SOCOM 16, chambering 20 rounds of 7.62×51 mm NATO. So much for eating squirrels. Next . . .
Adam Heggenstaller – Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
“The company’s Gunsite Scout Rifle is chambered in .308 Win., which makes it suitable for a variety of roles at close, medium and longish ranges.” What is it with these guys and maximum firepower? One man army much? You’d think surviving a disaster was mostly about killing people. Not to snipe at them or anything.
Joe Kurtenbach – M4 Carbine
Joe’s choice highlights the problem with this exercise: what kind of disaster and how long would it last? Joe reckons it’s gonna be a long-term deal. “I want replacement parts to be easy to come by . . . I have the option to fire any .223 Rem. ammunition I come across, and because of its popularity as a sporting round, I will probably come across a lot of it.” He also digs the M4’s customization, having stocked-up on tacticoolaid.
Jeff Johnston – Remington Versamax Tactical Shotgun
Jeff’s bugging out. A hunting he will go. “The VersaMax, with its extended magazine tube holds 9 shells in any order so I can quell a small riot before picking off a flying goose as it flees the city park pond . . . As I make my way to the country, whistling as I swing the fat goose—I’ll be assured that I’ll not only survive, but thrive on healthy venison—using modern sabot slugs it’s a bonafide 150-yard gun—squirrels, rabbits, bears, turkeys, wild pigs, ruffed grouse and anything else that’s protein rich and fun to hunt.” Sounds more TEOTWAWKI than SHFT to me. Whatever that means.
Brian Sheetz – Ruger MINI-14/20GB-F
Brian’s choice is a bit . . . edgy. “The prepared law-abiding citizen should seriously consider acquiring a semi-automatic rifle that is reliable, is chambered for a commonly encountered cartridge and that features a folding stock and provision for a bayonet . . . a mounted bayonet might provide a measure of intimidation that could dissuade ne’er-do-wells from escalating a confrontation into a gunfight. The Mini-14 . . . includes a bayonet lug and flash suppressor that accommodate current standard U.S.G.I. bayonets.” Strange that the NRA’s pic is bayonet-less. Or is it?
Dave Campbell – Winchester Model 70 Featherweight in .30-06
For Dave, familiarity breeds contentment: “Now why would I choose a 57-year-old rifle with a low-powered scope? The answer is reliability. It always goes bang, and through long experience I know where the bullet will land.” True dat: AMMKHL (A Man Must Know His Limitations) when the SHTF. Also to his credit, my new favorite OFWG bitches about not being able to choose a handgun and a rifle.
Paul Rackley – Ruger 10/22
Paul mentions ammo and parts availability but it seems pretty clear he thinks the question is an exercise in mall ninja mental masturbation. “In a true disaster situation, many will have more powerful guns, but the mind is the best tool for survival, and the Ruger 10/22 is just about as sharp as the human mind.” Which is often as dull as Filippa Hamilton is hot.
Shawn Skipper – SRM Arms Model 1216
Shawn’s choice reveals him as a bit of a non-conformist—with anger issues. “Capable of unleashing 48 rounds in under a minute thanks to its detachable tube magazine, the 1216 would be nigh unstoppable in a close-quarters situation . . . The sight of the less-than-normal looking 1216 tricked out with a few accessories may be more than enough to convince potential threats that bothering me isn’t a great addition to their ‘to-do’ list—and that solution is preferable to ever having to put the gun into use.” Right. Shawn’s a pacifist. Clearly.
Ed Friedman – M134 Minigun
Very funny Ed.
Chris Olsen – Any Black Powder Rifle
Something tells me that Chris isn’t short on ammunition . . . “I believe if the situation were to come to the worst, ammunition will be nonexistent. Short-term use of center fire rifles and pistols would be great for defense and warding off the apocalypses, but without ammo what can you do? . . . This is the gun for long-term survival, because in an emergency situation, I can make my own gunpowder and bullets, plain and simple.”
FWIW my first choice for a SHTF gun would be a [high capacity] Springfield XD-M. In any likely disaster scenario, which excludes zombies, it’s gonna be a long time before we have to hunt for food (canned tuna again?). Government types will likely move in and disarm rifle toters (at least here in the northeast). But if it had to be a rifle, I’m down with the 10/22 takedown. Discreet when it needs to be, lethal enough when it has to be and you can schlep a shitload of ammo.