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9/16/2019 10:09:13 PM
Posted: 1/2/2012 6:27:32 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2012 6:29:36 AM EDT by MikeE23666]
How and when do you know that your AR is SHTF ready? What kinds of tests can one conduct to know that in fact this rifle is suitable to defend your life with? Pictured below is my main rifle. It is a Bushmaster 1/7 20" upper with a Spikes lower. The LPK is a mixture of Del Ton and Armalite parts, but mostly Armalite.
In the stock I have a iron sight tool, complete cleaning kit including lube bottle and a bag with spare springs and detents. On the way is a M5 Rifle RAS (Long) with fore-grip. On the rail will be a light, which I have not picked one out yet.
I have since added a BCM gunfighter charging handle and hogue pistol grip.



As for optics, I would like to get an ACOG but I do not see me being able to afford one anytime soon. I prefer full length rifles myself, having owned three carbines in the past I have noticed difference in shot placement using the longer sight radius. And at this point I have less then 100 rounds through her so far.

How do you know your AR is SHTF capable/ready?

Link Posted: 1/2/2012 6:31:35 AM EDT
I prefer the rifle sight length as well, but like the 16" barrel length....so that's why I went this way:



Mine will be done once I get an Aimpoint with LaRue mount on.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 6:48:31 AM EDT
I think it's more of a question of spare parts, mags, and ammo than it is of the rifle itself.

As far as "testing" to ensure the rifle is reliable, that can be whatever number of rounds you feel has demonstrated that the rifle is reliable. For me, 300 rounds is a minimum, and it's also roughly the number of rounds fired during the range portion of my agency's patrol rifle course. 500 rounds might be a better figure, as by then, everything has had a chance to break-in/wear-in and reliability should be 100%.

Spare parts? A spare LPK would be ideal, along with a spare bolt and maybe a gas tube and a cam pin. That handles 99% of possible breakage.

Ammo? No such thing as too much. A minimum would be the standard military loadout of 6 mags +1 in the gun, or 210 rounds. Make those good quality defensive rounds. Then start stockpiling ammo of whatever flavor suits you. I personally have a quantity of M193 and M855, and the rest is Silver Bear or Brown Bear for practice, matches, and plinking. Make sure your rifle will shoot steel-case reliably before you amass a large quantity of it.

Mags? Again, the consensus here is that there's no such thing as too many. I have mags loaded in chest rigs, ALICE gear, some in my active shooter rig, training mags, and new-in-wrap mags stored away in the case of a new ban. USGI (from BCM, Brownells, D&H, or NHTMG) are a safe bet, as are PMags. Your choice plastic or aluminum, but buy quality.

Beyond that, a light is important if not essential on a fighting carbine, and it sounds like you've addressed that. A good sling is essential, too: My vote for your 20" rifle would be a Vickers CAS 2-point or the VTAC 2-point. Since you have the flattop upper, a good quality optic would be a nice addition. Master your iron sights, first, though, because they are unlikely to fail you and have no batteries to die when things count.

Finally, realize that your rifle doesn't need every conceivable bolt-on accessory to be an effective combat tool. I see a lot of new guys come in here to show off a rifle that looks like it fell through the latest Brownell's catalog. Get the basic gear you think you need, and then get some training on how to use it. An Appleseed shoot is a low-cost way to learn the principles of marksmanship, sight use and adjustment, and proper shooting positions. Then take a fighting carbine course to become proficient at weapons manipulations, malfunction clearance, and close-quarters shooting. See if there's a 3-gun match you can participate in locally––you'll probably meet like-minded folks who can coach you and give you more tips on how to improve your shooting.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 7:41:32 AM EDT
My 2 cents.

Light and sling. Spare parts as noted.

My test? It should be able to shoot most 223 556 ammo out there with no issues. Mine has cycled everything no problem, except Tula. It might but I never tried it.

I'm on 500+ consecutive rounds of Silver Bear and WMC/WPA. With out a cleaning. Flawless. 20 rnd GI, 30 rnd GI with and without no tilt followers, PMags with and with out also. No issues so far.

For me it must also be as light as possible. So 14.5 LW barrel to start. And no extra crap on the rail/ handguard.

This will be my formula for my next build also.

Giterdun.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 7:54:39 AM EDT

My Colt SP6920 Sporter M4 carbine is my SHTF weapon and it's ready to go.

Originally Posted By MikeE23666:

How do you know your AR is SHTF capable/ready?

My own opinion about my AR and SHTF readiness are just based on my own civilian experience of 40 years in the AR platform and I actually used one of my Colt Lightweight carbine during the L.A. riots in 1992 when I was living there at that time.

The weapon itself must be reliable, at least fired 600 rounds or more without any failures, the brand history also had shown good reliability, and the bolt extractor is in good working order and not worn out.

As for other things like magazines should be reliable like USGI/ PMAG test them out individually at least 100 rounds each before relying on them, ammo selection should be quality brands not garbage and last is generous lubrication, always keep your bolt wet (almost dripping wet).

If your AR is not all mil-spec components, I would highly recommend to upgrade it such as:

BCG: Mil-spec manufactured M16 carrier, high pressure tested (HPT) and magnetic particle inspected (MPI) bolt, and properly staked gas key screws
LPK: Use reliable mil-spec brands like Colt, Daniel Defense, LMT, etc.
CH: mil-spec type or upgraded like the BCM GunFighter (you're good to go since you got one already)

For Carbines only:
Receiver extension (buffer tube): forged mil-spec (Colt, BCM, DD, LMT, Vltor, etc.) not the weaker 6061 extruded commercial tubes
Carbine buffers: H weight buffer or heavier which you fully tested with your ammo

With my SHTF and home defense carbine shown here's what I upgraded and added, the main important minimum things needed are a good sling, light and optic.

Aimpoint red dot sight
Surefire weaponlight
Vickers VCAS two point sling
BCM bolt extractor spring upgrade kit (I would only recommend this for carbine gas systems only)
KAC M4 RAS carbine rails with KAC QD rail sling mount
KAC VFG
KAC and Magpul XTM rail panels
LMT fixed BUIS (also have Troy folding rear BUIS on my other carbines)

I removed the sling mount on my M4 buttstock to prevent it from snagging.

Don't forget plenty of ammo, mags, mag carrier/ pouches, spare parts, broken shell extractor, cleaning kit, and lube (I would recommend SLiP 2000 EWL).

Like what the other members said spare parts at least a complete LPK kit, a complete spare BCG or a complete bolt assembly, CH, recoil spring, and buffer, plus the most important spare is a spare complete AR.


Link Posted: 1/2/2012 9:44:06 AM EDT
I consider most of my rifles SHTF capable but this one is my particular favorite:
BCM M4 14.5" carbine, with KAC RAS, Bravo Co. GF CH, LMT SOPMOD stock, Vickers Comabt Applications sling, Aimpoint Comp M3 in Larue mount, Surefire M951 light. Geissele SSA trigger, Troy BUIS


Link Posted: 1/2/2012 9:51:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/2/2012 9:57:38 AM EDT by pun]
Your rifle is ready when its zeroed and your knowledge for how to take care of it and how it works is second nature that includes servcing it yourself,you need good mags and ammo and the rifle needs to be shot often.Its ready when you know your ready and able to use it.I would run it through a few classes and have a minimum of at least 3 to 5000 rds on it and that its been run hard..then when you know you can depend on it and yourself for all its needs your set.Dont think spare parts right now think spare rifle to back up what you have.Its quicker and easier to just pick up another well functioning weapon and worrie later about servcing the one thats down and getting that back into service..once you have a couple then buy the important spare parts and tools to take care of it.

My accessories is a BUIS from GG&G,An Aimpoint M4s and a light..rule for lights use light where there is light or you make yourself the target.I dont use railed handguards I like things simple and the flat top has enough space for what I use.Above all make sure you can hit with the rifle with no accessories..just the rifle its sights loaded thats the first thing to make sure of.Dont forget cleaning supplies as well.As far as ammo carried I know Marines carry as many as 15 mags and a great friend of mine a former Army Ranger carried 12+1 and more ammo in his pack..his motto was ammo and water.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 11:38:16 AM EDT
+1
"Your rifle is ready when its zeroed and your knowledge for how to take care of it and how it works is second nature that includes servcing it yourself"
Very good comment Pun
Light, decent sling, a few hundred rounds through it. Backup parts. Being able to use iron sites
I figure if mine is chewing through 300+ rounds of the cheapest wolf .223 I can find with no issues then Iam gtg
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 12:47:02 PM EDT
After the SHTF, I always found it useful to have to have a cleaning rod put together and handy to jam down the barrel. I have found that around 500 rounds (all 55 grain military ammo), I could expect two rounds jammed in the chamber. YMMV.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 1:20:53 PM EDT
I'm in the process of building a SHTF rifle. My main goal is for it to use little amount of batteries as possible, so I'm going with an ACOG (not sure if I want the Fiber or tritium) and SureFire M300 Scout since it only uses 1 123A battery. Another goal is plenty of onboard storage for extra parts and batteries.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 1:28:30 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CujoTwoOne:
I'm in the process of building a SHTF rifle. My main goal is for it to use little amount of batteries as possible, so I'm going with an ACOG (not sure if I want the Fiber or tritium) and SureFire M300 Scout since it only uses 1 123A battery. Another goal is plenty of onboard storage for extra parts and batteries.



Batteries can be easily replaced, not so much with tritium lamps. Granted it will last a long time, but you get the idea.

Before I worried about red dots or ACOGs, I would make for damned sure that I can hit my target with irons first.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 1:55:31 PM EDT
If you go ACOG go fiber optic and they make a CQB sight the mini ACOG..I use the Aimpoint M4s usses 1 AA battery and from a high quality one will get 8 years battery life.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 2:42:39 PM EDT
Two is one. One is none. I would have a back up that I was equally confident in.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 2:50:26 PM EDT
I guess I would say my AR is ready as long as I have ammo and mags..Its nothing special but I have 56 other rifles,handguns,shotguns and two registered full autos..Thats really how you know your ready..I do not ever plan on having to use them for any SHTF stuff that you guys refer to but I am preparedIn my case my AR is not the first I would go to anyway.....But if thats the only firearm you have just make sure it works when you need it..You really should have more than one firearm to really prepared.......
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 3:26:20 PM EDT
Its always good to have more than 1 firearms just dont have so much that if you need to move from where you are you can take everything with you in a minimal amount of time.I have 5 rifles 2 shotguns 3 handguns ammo,parts,gear,mags for them and tools to service them in 5 36x16x14 lockable cases.I can be out of dodge with the family,pets and gear in 20-25 minutes.
Link Posted: 1/2/2012 3:27:46 PM EDT
Originally Posted By pun:
Your rifle is ready when its zeroed and your knowledge for how to take care of it and how it works is second nature that includes servcing it yourself,you need good mags and ammo and the rifle needs to be shot often. Its ready when you know your ready and able to use it. I would run it through a few classes and have a minimum of at least 3 to 5000 rds on it and that its been run hard..then when you know you can depend on it and yourself for all its needs your set.Dont think spare parts right now think spare rifle to back up what you have.Its quicker and easier to just pick up another well functioning weapon and worrie later about servcing the one thats down and getting that back into service..once you have a couple then buy the important spare parts and tools to take care of it.

My accessories is a BUIS from GG&G,An Aimpoint M4s and a light..rule for lights use light where there is light or you make yourself the target.I dont use railed handguards I like things simple and the flat top has enough space for what I use.Above all make sure you can hit with the rifle with no accessories..just the rifle its sights loaded thats the first thing to make sure of.Dont forget cleaning supplies as well.As far as ammo carried I know Marines carry as many as 15 mags and a great friend of mine a former Army Ranger carried 12+1 and more ammo in his pack..his motto was ammo and water.


Bingo!

Link Posted: 1/2/2012 4:41:39 PM EDT
Originally Posted By CosaviK:
Two is one. One is none. I would have a back up that I was equally confident in.


This.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 6:47:39 AM EDT
500 problem free rounds. Several mags, several types of ammo

Practice practice practice.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 7:19:05 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2012 7:20:26 AM EDT by wildearp]
Originally Posted By Alpha-Romeo3:
http://i56.tinypic.com/2ljtao3.jpg
My Colt SP6920 Sporter M4 carbine is my SHTF weapon and it's ready to go.

Originally Posted By MikeE23666:

How do you know your AR is SHTF capable/ready?

My own opinion about my AR and SHTF readiness are just based on my own civilian experience of 40 years in the AR platform and I actually used one of my Colt Lightweight carbine during the L.A. riots in 1992 when I was living there at that time.<snip>



I took my SKS and a Remington 870 to the riots. That was all I had at the time. Go with what you know.



(A safe queen will not save your ass in your safe. What is in your wallet?)

/not aimed at any post in particular, just throwing it out there
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 5:11:32 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/3/2012 5:21:10 PM EDT by M35A2Driver]
take it to a few 2 or 3 gun matches and put about 1000rds through it.

this will let you test your weapon, mags and gear

I wouldn trust it until I put at least 500 rds.... more so after 1000rds

same with my pistol

my SHTF rifles include 2 Para FALs & 2 AR15s (GP and DI) with mil spec ammo (Lake City M855 and M80)
they are also sighted in with these rounds
The ARs have over 1000rds each and the Para FALs are getting there (just picked them up)
The ARs both have been to matches and tested with full battle rattle

My SHTF Pistol (Glock 17) has a few thousand rounds through it and is 100% reliable.

I also have about 25 weapons... M1As, AUG, MP5, AKs...... but the 4 SHTF or go to weapon is either Para FAL and AR
the 2 of my 6 AR15s that have been tested
I dont care who makes them because even the best can fail

you can also test them with all types of ammo but sight it in with what you will use when needed
you would be supprised at how much more range you get with M855s than you do with other ammo as I learned this past week end shooting at 565 yards

The testing them is the only way to know
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 8:38:49 PM EDT
Originally Posted By wildearp:
Originally Posted By Alpha-Romeo3:
http://i56.tinypic.com/2ljtao3.jpg
My Colt SP6920 Sporter M4 carbine is my SHTF weapon and it's ready to go.

Originally Posted By MikeE23666:

How do you know your AR is SHTF capable/ready?

My own opinion about my AR and SHTF readiness are just based on my own civilian experience of 40 years in the AR platform and I actually used one of my Colt Lightweight carbine during the L.A. riots in 1992 when I was living there at that time.<snip>



I took my SKS and a Remington 870 to the riots. That was all I had at the time. Go with what you know.

My noted AR carbine, Benelli M1 Super 90 shotgun, Sig P226 9mm, and Colt Officers Lightweight .45 are the only guns I had at my house at that time, all my other guns and lots of ammo are at my father's house about 70 miles north of L.A. because his house was closer to our private club's target range.

I just practiced shooting with my noted AR carbine plus my other assault rifle style firearms at the range close to my father's house the previous weekend before the riots, and I was kind of lazy to pack most of them to bring back to my house near south of L.A., I just quickly packed my Colt carbine and went home after shooting.

I only had ten 30 rd fully loaded AR mags at my house but it was not too bad, I wish I had brought more ammo and mags with me.

My other rifles I left at my father's house before the riots:

Colt R6551 Sporter Target rifle
Colt R6600 AR-15A2 HBAR Sporter rifle
IMI Galil AR 16" carbine
Steyr AUG A1 16" carbine
Steyr AUG A1 20" rifle
PolyTech AK X 3
Springfield M1A NM rifle
USGI DCM/ CMP M1 Garand
SKS PolyTech rifle
IMI Uzi .45/ 9mm carbine
HK 94 9mm carbine
Browning Auto 5 shotgun

After the riots I brought the majority of my guns and lots of ammo from my father's house to my house.


Link Posted: 1/3/2012 9:13:07 PM EDT
Getting the software right is most important.

The hardware will prove itself over the course of developing the software.

.02
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 9:31:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By broderick:
After the SHTF, I always found it useful to have to have a cleaning rod put together and handy to jam down the barrel. I have found that around 500 rounds (all 55 grain military ammo), I could expect two rounds jammed in the chamber. YMMV.



I'll run 1000 rounds of WPA and still not feel compelled to clean it for the next range trip, maybe a quickie chamber brush/boresnake and some lube.

With my Stag or my PSA upper franken gun(6k+/3k+ respectively), outside of the first magazine or two when new, I've never, ever, had a single malfunction. Heck, I've even run the stag 1K+ wolf/silver bear, 1K .22 bulk with a conversion, and 500+ brass without cleaning just to see what would happen. Other then slowing down the cycling the tiniest bit, nothing but bang bang bang.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 9:55:55 PM EDT
Originally Posted By ARJJ:
I think it's more of a question of spare parts, mags, and ammo than it is of the rifle itself.

As far as "testing" to ensure the rifle is reliable, that can be whatever number of rounds you feel has demonstrated that the rifle is reliable. For me, 300 rounds is a minimum, and it's also roughly the number of rounds fired during the range portion of my agency's patrol rifle course. 500 rounds might be a better figure, as by then, everything has had a chance to break-in/wear-in and reliability should be 100%.

Spare parts? A spare LPK would be ideal, along with a spare bolt and maybe a gas tube and a cam pin. That handles 99% of possible breakage.

Ammo? No such thing as too much. A minimum would be the standard military loadout of 6 mags +1 in the gun, or 210 rounds. Make those good quality defensive rounds. Then start stockpiling ammo of whatever flavor suits you. I personally have a quantity of M193 and M855, and the rest is Silver Bear or Brown Bear for practice, matches, and plinking. Make sure your rifle will shoot steel-case reliably before you amass a large quantity of it.

Mags? Again, the consensus here is that there's no such thing as too many. I have mags loaded in chest rigs, ALICE gear, some in my active shooter rig, training mags, and new-in-wrap mags stored away in the case of a new ban. USGI (from BCM, Brownells, D&H, or NHTMG) are a safe bet, as are PMags. Your choice plastic or aluminum, but buy quality.

Beyond that, a light is important if not essential on a fighting carbine, and it sounds like you've addressed that. A good sling is essential, too: My vote for your 20" rifle would be a Vickers CAS 2-point or the VTAC 2-point. Since you have the flattop upper, a good quality optic would be a nice addition. Master your iron sights, first, though, because they are unlikely to fail you and have no batteries to die when things count.

Finally, realize that your rifle doesn't need every conceivable bolt-on accessory to be an effective combat tool. I see a lot of new guys come in here to show off a rifle that looks like it fell through the latest Brownell's catalog. Get the basic gear you think you need, and then get some training on how to use it. An Appleseed shoot is a low-cost way to learn the principles of marksmanship, sight use and adjustment, and proper shooting positions. Then take a fighting carbine course to become proficient at weapons manipulations, malfunction clearance, and close-quarters shooting. See if there's a 3-gun match you can participate in locally––you'll probably meet like-minded folks who can coach you and give you more tips on how to improve your shooting.


Apparently I've been spending too much time in GD. This is one of the most reasonable, thought out, well-intentioned and relevant responses I've read for as long as I can remember.

So...THIS.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 4:06:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2012 4:10:47 AM EDT by RGIFFOUR]
Spare LPK springs & bolt.

Sight adjustment tool.

As many mags as you can carry without undo comfort.

Rifle that has at least 600-800 rounds thru it with 0 issue.

Sights that are 'iron' are the best (IMO).. a red dot or 1-4 scope would be ideal for both range and hunting applications.

Ammo.. about 9 mags on your person and 200-300 rounds in a SAW pouch.. (thats my setup for an immediate SHTF).

Shoot at least 4000 rounds per year and become 1 with your rifle. (3 gunners are in easy).

I have a 14.5" BCM Midlength (light) and 18" SPR type (heavy) setup.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 3:45:11 PM EDT
Is it wrong to keep all your spare parts assembled on your spare lower?
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 9:48:09 PM EDT
Originally Posted By RGIFFOUR:
Shoot at least 4000 rounds per year


I love this arbitrary number

I am comfortable with my newest AR. 1800 trouble free rounds. HPT, MPI everything. I mostly shoot brass cased ammo which is also what i stock.

YMMV
Link Posted: 1/5/2012 4:43:57 PM EDT
Originally Posted By bradpierson26:
Originally Posted By RGIFFOUR:
Shoot at least 4000 rounds per year


I love this arbitrary number

I am comfortable with my newest AR. 1800 trouble free rounds. HPT, MPI everything. I mostly shoot brass cased ammo which is also what i stock.

YMMV


Yeah. Not to be standoffish, but 4,000 rounds is a lot for most shooters––even myself. (I try to hit the range at least once per month and usually help instruct two patrol rifle classes per year.) One can easily supplement their live fire with dry fire, along with practicing reloading and malfunction clearance drills with snap caps or dummy rounds.
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