Was just admiring my little collection of rifles, wiping each down with an oily rag and doing an ammo inventory of each, and was thinking about how pleased I am with everyone of them, and how any single rifle in the group could serve my purposes just as well as the next.
And so, I got to thinking of rankings for each, according to my standards, and I thought I would share with you.
1) The M1A battle rifle. To me there is not a single rifle that comes close to ruling the battlefield, as the queen in chess rules the board, as the M1A. Regardless of mag capacity, it has the range accuracy, and power to put down an opponent with finality. The bolt works well dry, and it requires minimum lube on the exterior rail. The rotating bolt and access to the chamber from the top are merits that lend themselves to a discussion of their own.
There is IMO only one rifle to rival it, and it could just have easily have been my No 1 choice;
2) The M1 Garand. Chambered correctly for the 30-06 cartridge, with its clip loaded 8 rounds, and its obscene power in this modern area of varmit cartridges, it was designed when the object was to win wars, by killing the enemy. The clips to my mind are not a negative, and they can be carried in good numbers fully loaded in the common "britches" pocket. And...you will never have to worry about spring fatigue.
3) The 03 Springfield. Oh yes, I went there. Still chambered for the 30-06, it is truly a battle rifle. Rugged in its design with a fully adjustable aperature battle sight, this rifle can still get it done. The only one negative is not the capacity, its the thin blade of the front sight. But this can be remedied. Its 5 round fixed mag can be topped off quite easily with a stripper clip, and the action is buttery smooth, allowing a real rifleman to get off quick, well aimed shots.
4) Model 94 Winchester/Marlin 94 or 336. Both of these "ancient" designs were designed as fighting rifles from the ground up. With the ability to load as you go, without disabling the rifle, and being chambered for 30 caliber and larger cartridges, they are meant for business. Whether hide or hair, anything on the recieving end is going to be hit hard.
5) 98 Mauser or any of its variants.
6) SKS. Cheap, fires a 30 caliber bullet, and is dead nuts reliable.
And there is my top picks for rifles to have on hand. Of course its obvious I left out the varmint chambered rifles, and this was a matter of personal choice and reasoning based on what I desire and expect from rifles used for serious purposes, and not by any predjudice against them.
If I were still in the service of the armed forces, where I had alot of firepower on my side(read that as volume of fire), then I would probably have the AR listed somewhere between 3 and 4.
But, being on my own without the benefit of a fire team or squad, my choices tend to fall on the more powerful and decisive rounds.
Anyway, it was fun to think this thru, a mental exercise that gets you thinking about what you really need, and feel comfortable with.
Any thoughts, or comments? What are your choices and what impacts the decision? Enviroment? SHTF logistics? Because everyone else does?