So, I'm thinking about getting a gun for SHTF/TEOTWAWKI/FUN. Don't trust myself to CC it, and will have it locked and hidden so probably not much use for home defense, unless the thieves are willing to give me a headsup prior to the invasion. Anyway, it seems like a rifle would be a good idea for backup/hunting use. I was looking at highpoint's C-9, then saw they offer a rifle that is pretty similar, but it seems like a 9mm rifle wouldn't be much use. I'd prefer not to have to gather 2 of every item and twice the ammo. What's reasonable for a rifle? My girlfriend would prefer I don't turn my place into an armory, otherwise I might need some protection from her. Thoughts on the way to go to arm yourself? :\
Same Cal for Rifle/Pistol?
When I decided to re-arm myself a few years ago I was thinking along the same lines as you. I started out choosing a rifle and pistol in .22 winchester magnum rimfire (wmr) and shortly thereafter I gave up on the single caliber idea. The .22 wmr is a great round for a wide range of potential applications and I would probably choose it if I could only have one caliber. However, I have since shamelessly yielded to the temptation of owning firearms in several calibers. So it started with .22 wmr, then came 12 ga. home defense shotgun, then .45 acp, 9mm, .223, .38 special, .308 and I just picked up a couple of .22 pistols for low-cost practice/plinking. I think I'm done, but you never know.
With respect to the 9mm, I've seen some of the newer carbines but never shot one. It might not be a bad choice, especially considering semi-automatic weapons like the Beretta cx4 storm which can use the same magazines as the Beretta 92 pistol. Not sure about being able to hit something at 150 yards with the 9mm round, even if it is coming out of a longer tube. You also have the same option of both carbine and pistol in .40 S&W and .45 acp, which might be a better choice than the 9mm with respect to ballistics but 9mm ammo is widely available and less expensive to shoot.
A friend of mine uses .357 magnum as his single caliber. He has a lever action rifle and revolvers and loads his own ammo, which gives him the option of relatively inexpensive light load target shooting. But you don't have a semi-automatic option with that caliber. The .357 sig is semi-auto, but it's a different cartridge.
Getting back to the .22 wmr, the semi-auto options are limited. The round is so long and skinny that it's difficult to auto-load reliably whether rifle or pistol. Kel-Tec recently came out with the PMR-30 semi-auto pistol that is badass, but not yet readily available to the general public despite their claims to the contrary. My dealer has been trying to get one for me for over a year. You can buy one on Gunbroker for $200-$400 over MSRP, but I don't want one that bad. There are plenty of good, reasonably priced revolvers and rifles in .22 wmr that are readily available. And if a bolt action rifle is too slow for you, Henry makes a sweet shooting lever action rifle in .22 wmr.
Good luck and have fun.
I agree with you that if I could have just one round it probably be the 22 magnum. I have a bolt action marlin, and a NAA black widow revolver. I use it as my conceal carry, because larger guns are too visible at work. You can get as much as 1200 fps(or more) out of the small gun, and they come in FMJ(an advantage over 22lr).
They are kind of expensive but they share the best thing about the 22lr, and that is you could carry alot of ammo on you at once. speeds up to 2200 fps out of the rifle. Penetrates light armor, will kill a deer etc....
I have a 22 rifle, and revolver. And a 223 pistol and rifle. if they made a 12 gauge pistol, id get one of those :) I'll have to settle for a long barrel and a pistol grip short one.
slvrdroid , The answer is quite variable..
Gill and Mr. Pickle have provided you will very good information, here's some additional perspective that may be helpful for you.
Anything that shoots can be used as a defensive weapon or a hunting tool. Effectiveness in either situation is largely dependent upon the skill and knowledge of the user. A carbine has an advantage of a longer sight radius when compared to a handgun which helps (but doesn't guarantee) accuracy. The same cartridge in a carbine will have a higher muzzle velocity than it would have when used in a handgun.
How accomplished are you as a marksman? What's the longest range that you have fired? What game do you expect to be shooting at in a hunting mode? At what range? Have you ever fired a shot at that distance? What were the results? What type of handgun experience do you have? Shooting what caliber(s) and distance from targets? How well did you shoot?
A great gun in the hands of an inexperienced person will more than likely be ineffective. I would suggest that you consider getting some training before embarking on this route. Perhaps you know someone that has experience that may wish to share knowledge and even let you try some stuff.
Knowledge and experience is power. Real training is vital and should not be confused with Hollywood renditions.
Choose your course of action wisely. Go to a local gun shop and talk to the folks there, see and handle possible selections in person. Inquire about training sources near you. In the Twin Cities there is a wealth of experience and knowledge, seek it out.
Poor boy is correct. Practice and knowledge. And being able to hit your target is the most important thing. Not calibers etc...
For example, My brother hunts with a 44 magnum hand gun. He has hunted and shot guns alot longer than I have. We set up a mannequin head about 20 yards away and fired at it. He hit it once in 6 tries out of that Revolver Now this is smaller than a normal target, but I'm able to hit it half the time, twice the speed with my 22 9 shot revolver.
Who would you rather have defending you in this situation? Me hopefully. His one hit would certainly be awesome, but I couldn't promise it would be the first hit or the last one :) Bigger guns have big kicks.
Now to be fair to my brother, he killed a deer at 50 yards with that gun, on the run. But, again, the deer wouldn't have been "on the run" had he hit it with the first shot :)
Gonna hunt? Hope you learn the regulations. You will need a license in Minnesota, you will need to attend a Hunter Safety course. They will teach you some good stuff.
Get caught breaking the law and you will pay...
Be safe and be informed. Ignorance is not an excuse when it comes to firearms safety.
"Don't put all your eggs in one basket."
Seems to me that if/when TSHTF, being able to use a variety of ammo might be a good idea as the availability/supply dries up.
What's your budget? You can get a Mosin Nagant bolt action, arsenal refinished for $100, and a case of 7.62x54R ammo for $130/1000. You could also get an AK47/74 for around $400, and a 1200 round case of ammo for $200. An M1 Garand can be had for between $500 and $800, and a case of ammo will be around $450/1000. Stepping up to an AR-15 will run you around $800, and the ammo can be had for $250/1000 rd case.
I would strongly resist the urge to get a rifle in a pistol caliber. It sounds good logistically, but places severe limitations on operational capability, i.e., being able to engage targets effectively at much over 200 yards. Most pistol calibers have too much drop due to velocity loss and poor bullet shape to hit at long range. You can do it, but it takes much practice. Any of the rifles mentioned in the first paragraph will engage targets from room distance to 600 yards.
Personally, I would have two defensive handguns in 9mm-I prefer Glocks, one .22 bolt action from any major manufacturer-I prefer Ruger and Savage, one good pump shotgun in 12 or 20 GA-I prefer Mossberg and Remington, and any of the rifles listed above. Five guns gives you complete coverage for any situation from personal defense in the home or on the street, the ability to hunt both large and small game, and to extend the defensive area around your position, i.e., engage the bad guys at a distance. That's a pretty small "arsenal" that can be kept in a closet or behind the stairs, but I would very strongly urge you to take them out and practice as much as you can afford. That's one advantage the Russian surplus guns have over the others, they're cheap, reliable, reasonably accurate, and ammo is very competitively priced, allowing for more shooting without having to handload.
I have a couple of different combinations in my collection. Of the two (.44 and .357), I prefer the .357 . You can use .38 or .357 cartridges in them, which adds to the versatility. Also, a .357 handgun (with either .38 or .357). is more pleasant to shoot than a .44 mag. I have not owned a 9mm carbine so can't comment on how they perform. In those combinations, my leverguns are Rossi, and my handguns are Ruger. Have not had problems or issues with any of them, and they are reasonably priced.
When you originally started the thread I thought it was more of a "basecamp/this is where I hold out" type of scenario. If you're going to be humping that's an entirely different kettle o' fish. We have a thread going on backpacking firearms and what some of us think are suitable for that avenue.
My personal choice for that is a Savage M24 , Baikal, or Valmet combination gun. I have a plan for myself that involves humping a weeks worth of food for me, and my personal $hit, including two weapons. I have a duty H&K USPc .40 and 50 rounds of ammo, plus a Savage M24 in .223/12GA. I handload, so have developed reduced power loads for collecting small game with the .223, and the 12 GA with #8 shot will collect most small game too, but with a larger noise signature. The 12 GA also can be used with buckshot and slugs for larger game and self defense, as can the .223 with full power ammunition. Yes, the weapons above are two shooter over and under's, but if you're trying to exfil a location you are more interested in stealth than firepower, at least IMO, and being able to take game in the least disruptive way possible is the best alternative, especially if your "bug out" takes longer than you planned-which it will.
If I were you, I'd get a handgun in 9mm for you and your GF (one each), preferably a Glock 17 (17+1 capacity), and some type of combination gun like the Savage M24, Baikal, or Valmet, in .22Lr and 20 GA, or even .22 LR and .410. If you can't get one of those, then a good .22 bolt gun that will shoot all types of .22 ammo would be the ticket. I prefer the bolt guns because they will shoot shorts as well as longs and long rifles, which could be important if you have to use what you can find, should you run out.
Some might recommend full sized battle rifles for this, but IMO, since you are trying to get from point A to point B without attracting attention, something that will collect food with a small noise signature, yet still provide a modicum of protection would be the smarter play.
BTW, since I'm almost positive that you do not handload, they do make a .223/.22LR adapter so you can shoot .22 rimfire out of a .223 chamber. I don't have one yet, but I am in the process of acquiring one. If you don't want to deal with that, I highly recommend that your rifle be a .22 of some sort. Commonly available, lightweight ammo, but lethal to humans out to 150+ yards, even though it drops like a stone after 75 yards.
Just a few thoughts from someone who has actually humped a full pack and a weapon/ammo for an extended period of time. The older you get the harder it is. My limit now is 60 pounds all up, mostly because of my knees. Good luck with your choices.
In your scenario of packing out being able to use one caliber for both pistol and rifle does have appeal since you only have to have one caliber of ammo. A pistol round fired through a carbine can be effective out to 200 yards. And a carbine is much easier to learn to shoot effectively than a pistol. Just before WWII the military developed the .30 carbine, basically a pistol round, so that they would have a light weight rifle that back line troops could use instead of the 1911 pistol.
But based on your situation, I would forget the pistol. Reduce weight by having only one firearm. I would get a Mossberg or Remington pump with a 18" barrel. Put a folding or adjustable stock on it. Easy to use, versatile, and as reliable a weapon as you can get. The biggest negative I can think of in your back pack situation is the ammo would be bulkier than pistol ammo.