I have shot a few squirrels with fmj 223, with an all weather m77 Ruger sported. It didn't do much damage, and was still edible, so you could make a 223 work for small game. But then, there's that loud report.
It all just really depends on what you want to do, enviroment, and situation.
For me, my SHTF rifles are the Colt AR-15 govt. carbine and for back-up, the venerable Ruger 10-22. I think the 10-22 is going to be a hard one to beat in an all around disaster SHTF scenario.
If I need heavy fire power, I have a FN FAL, but the rifle and ammo are a heavy load to carry around. But I would likely go with my FN Mauser 98 bolt action in .30-06 as it's lighter than the FAL and the .30-06 beats out the .308 by a small margin. I do however have much more .308 ammo on hand.
This is what my buddies and I came up with back in the 1980's, when we were in the Navy reading Jerry Ahern's "The Survivalist" novels (not much to do while cruising the North Arabian Sea keeping an eye on the Iranians). Not much has changed in 25 years!
As for the rifle, it'd be my SP6920...
"[I still don;t have the imagination needed to figure out why I am hiking to begin with]"
Yes, Unless nuked, I'm staying put with family & Freinds. Nice lakes plenty of small game & deer.
A plus on keeping looters off land with a few long guns set ups for 200 yards +, Plenty of water as the arteitian well does'nt need power.
Well I took this thread so far of track, sorry & lets hope it never happen ; )
Everybody has to "hike" at least a little bit during any SHTF scenario.
Hiking right down the middle of a once busy highway (abandoned vehicles strewn all over the place complete with half-rotted corpses still seated in drivers seats) & you must hike while wearing tattered clothing & sporting a zombie like "eyes glassed over" blank stare on your dirty radiation burned face.
Get with the program!
Depending on ones location, I think the " hiking " part is for the most common sense dependent upon scope and type of disaster.
A very realistic scenario would be a Pandemic outbreak in an urban area, or disaster such as earth quake which would render all roads useless or so clogged that vehicle travel is impossible.
This means getting you and your family to safety and that means walking out. And that means taking only what you need on your back.
Even if you own land, and are armed to the teeth with high caliber rifles, if enough hungry or desperate people want you out, you will either flee, or die trying to keep it.
Different scenarios all bring their own problems.
With the ammunition inventory and the spare parts on hand, I can keep an M1 going best so will choose that. While we're only suppose to have a single choice in this thread I buy into the .22 rifle concept so realistically would have one along as well. If holing up someplace is called for we have our own property for that with game including deer.
I suspect that armadillo would become a tedious staple as they may be caught easiest and would probably be available after the deer herd was decimated.
Another 10/22 here. Anyone surprised (given my tag)? I am liking CCI Velocitors but don't discriminate. I may get another VERY soon, on sale locally, including the threaded barrel model. I assume I am taking a sidearm as well. As someone else has pointed out and I repeat often to friends, I have yet to find anyone willing to be shot by a .22.
Here in Corpus when the wind blows more than 35mph, I grab the wife, kids and AR and we start a hikin'... In reality, the only reason we'd be making movement is to get to the ranch, which is about 50 miles away. SHTF for me is a hurricane. Anything apocalyptic, I only need one bullet.
Yup...with a wife and two small kids, I'd have an almost impossible task to try and hike anywhere. Unless absolutely forced to move, we're defending in place, hopefully with some help from the neighbors.
I chose AR, but once I finish suppressing my 10/22, I might choose that. Depends, am I hunting small game? Or trying to fight off villains? If I'm trying to quietly hunt and keep a low profile, I'd choose my 10/22 which is yet to be suppressed. For fighting, my AR. But seeing as though this is all about "hiking", I'd have a hard time not taking my AR because you never know what you'll be up against. You may only need to hunt, and with FMJ ammo, it will do very little damage to a squirrel. With OTM ammo, it will do serious damage to a humanoid target. So it can be used for both. So I'll stick with my AR if I leave. If I'm staying in, I'd keep the AR or AK strictly for defensive use or bigger game purposes. I'd hunt mainly with the 10/22 to keep a low profile and not attract possible thieves by the sound of gun shots. Some bad people may come with firepower to kill you and steal your firepower. It's all fun and games to think about it and plan! :smile: But once the infamous S really does HTF... the fun ends.
I don't have a lot of guns (depends on who you talk to), and I'm not an expert in any of them, but I feel I know enough and have a well rounded enough selection to get me through most realistic situations. I don't have any exotic calibers so finding ammo isn't too difficult.