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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 4/6/2006 12:04:58 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 12:08:45 AM EST by skypirate7]
If money wasn't an issue, everyone would probably get M1A's, P-90's, and AR15's with top-quality optics packages. We'd all have an arsenal that would make special forces guys blush.

But the fact is, money is an issue for most of us. So what's the best bang for the buck? What are the low-cost yet good-value firearm options available? These are some fairly common questions yet they are all too often tucked under the rug as soon as someone with a $2000 M4 setup starts flashing his gear.

For those trying to maximize firepower on a budget, I'd like to suggest the following (and of course, I encourage everyone else to add their advice):

WW2 and Early Post-WW2 Era Semi-Autos

SKS Carbine

For about $150, you can get yourself a good SKS. For those not familiar with the SKS, it's basically the Soviet version of the M1 Garand though in a smaller package. It holds 10 rounds of 7.62x39 (the same round as the AK-47) in an internal magazine. While reloading isn't as quick as a gun with a detachable box magazine, the SKS can still be loaded fairly quick with stripper clips. It is semi-automatic with fairly good accuracy (better than the AK-47) and has relatively low recoil. The SKS is a reliable, military-grade weapon from the early post-WW2 era and it is certainly a good value gun. For the price of a $900 AR15, you can arm 6 people with SKS carbines. The only real downsides to the SKS is its low capacity, slow reload, and it isn't practical to top off the magazine during a pause in fighting. Still, in a SHTF situation, I would rather have the ability to arm 6 family/friends with SKS carbines than 1 family/friend with an AR15. Because of this, I consider the SKS the best value weapon in its class. In fact, I consider the SKS the best budget SHTF gun available.

Another weapon in the same class is the M1 Garand. A used Garand in decent shape can be had for about $400 through the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). Reloading is faster than the SKS but it only holds 8 rounds of .30-06. Ammo is also more expensive and recoil is greater too.

Semi-Auto "Assault Rifles"

Romanian AK-47

For about $350, you can get yourself a Romanian AK-47. Most common are the WASR's. SAR's are a better value but are much rarer since they are no longer imported. Still, the WASR is a good value. 30 rounds of 7.62x39 in a rock-solid reliable semi-auto... what more could you ask for? Accuracy is mediocre but good enough to get the job done within 150 meters. With the WASR, you may have to tweak the magazine well (some can be rough) and also the fire control group (easily replaced with a high-quality American FCG for about $40). Stocks may also be crappy looking, but hey, the enemy usually doesn't care how pretty your rifle is. You can get two or three WASR's for the price of one AR15. For this reason, I consider the cheap Romanian AK-47 the best value in its class.

For about $500-600, you can get higher quality AK-47's including Arsenals, Vectors, and VEPR's. They look sweet and may have slightly better accuracy, but otherwise, they are functionally the same as Romanian AK's.

Other weapons in the same class are AR15's and Ruger Mini-15's. With the AR's, you're looking at spending $800-900 for a basic model. Accuracy with the AR15 kicks ass and the customization (including optics and rails) are infinite. The Mini-14 goes for about $500-600 with accuracy comparable to AK's.

Bolt Rifles

Mosin Nagant

For under $100, you can get yourself a solid bolt-action Mosin Nagant. Once you handle one of these, you'll truly understand the saying, "they don't make them like they used to." The Mosin Nagant is built like a tank. The Russians used them in WW1 and WW2. Most famously, a sniper version of the Mosin Nagant was featured in the movie "Enemy at the Gates." Mosin's hold 5 rounds of 7.62x54R. It's a powerful round (with stout recoil) and this gun would make a great hunting rifle. Surplus ammo is pretty cheap. If you want a military-grade bolt action, you can't go wrong with the Mosin Nagant. And if you run out of ammo, you can always use the bayonet.

Other rifles in the same class: Mausers and Enfields are popular choices though a little more expensive than Mosins. And of course, you've also got civilian rifles offered by Remington and Savage (sold at your local Walmart). If you're looking for a good sniper rifle, you should probably go with a Remington 700P or a Savage 10FP... The gun itself will cost over $500 and then you're looking at optics (which often cost more than the rifle). But that's not the point of this discussion. If you want a good VALUE bolt action for engaging badguys at 300 yards, hunting, or just plinking at the range, you should take a serious look at WW2 surplus rifles.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 2:18:06 AM EST
shtf,,,survival forum,,,



best shtf weapon is the one you have,,,

now what shtf is that
zombies
alone in the woods
red dawn
ect ect..

IMHO 95% of all events that most of us will ego through in our life times a rifle will not be need'd..nor a sidearm..... its that lil ole 5% that fucks us.....

shtf in any LONG term event,, KISS is the rule,,less parts,,less to break...
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 3:57:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 4:02:39 AM EST by ARKAR]
I have HKs, ARs and AKs. I'll have to vote for the AK-it's tough as nails, cheap, and reliable. I LOVE my ARs, but I think the money that is saved could be spent for ammo and mags. Buy a few extra springs and parts-not that you'll probably need any, but better to have and not need, than to need and not have. The AK is not as accurate, but I think it's accurate enough to take care of business at "shtf engagement distances". As I said, I LOVE my ARs, but I think the AK is a good choice. ARKAR

Edited to elaborate: The AK is about the cheapest way to put a cheap, high capacity mag, world class assault rifle in your hands. The high cap. mags that it accepts are heavy-duty and well constructed. The ergonomics of the AK leave a little to be desired, but it is manageable.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 4:07:12 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/6/2006 4:10:45 AM EST by triburst1]
Norinco MAK-90. You can buy them in thumbhole configuration in the $350 range and convert them to a 922r compliant pistol grip rifle for under $100. Much better made weapon than the WASRs.

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 5:36:04 AM EST
MAK-90 sounds like a good idea. I focused on the WASR simply because it is the most widely available "budget" AK out there. I have a SAR-1 by the way.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 6:03:29 AM EST
I bought a few SAR's when AIM had them for $265.00. I then added a brake and new FCG and had them refinished. They look and work flawlessly. Price was certainly right.



Link Posted: 4/6/2006 9:23:50 AM EST
I would add the Cetme to the list. Bought mine for $380 (a good one, works 100%) Mags are $1. The only draw back is .308 ammo cost more, but it has a lot more punch than a .223 or 7.62X39.

Some other budget SHTF weapons.
Vector UZI
Winchester 30/30 or Marlin
Ruger 10/22 ( it is a 22lr, but comes with 50 round mags)
Ruger Mini 14/30 (mags are not 100% reliable and spendy)
Remington 870
Mossberg 500

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 10:57:37 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:01:48 AM EST



Mk-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition.

Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:02:50 AM EST
K98s and Enfields need to be added along with CMP Garands.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 11:23:10 AM EST
my arsenal is as follows:


-Glock 26 9mm
-M48A Yugoslavian Rifle
-12 gauge shotgun
-kel tec sub 2000 9x19 carbine with glock magazines



*** i am thinking about getting a norinco chinese SKS that we have in our shop that some guy brought in. but first i am getting the M48A 8mm mauser!!!
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:08:31 PM EST
+1 to what uzi said.
also a used glock or RIA 1911 serves great as a sidearm for SHTF.
Link Posted: 4/6/2006 8:21:02 PM EST

Originally Posted By protus:
shtf,,,survival forum,,,



best shtf weapon is the one you have,,,

now what shtf is that
zombies
alone in the woods
red dawn
ect ect..

IMHO 95% of all events that most of us will ego through in our life times a rifle will not be need'd..nor a sidearm..... its that lil ole 5% that fucks us.....

shtf in any LONG term event,, KISS is the rule,,less parts,,less to break...



Protus' posts may be riddled with spelling errors, but they are also full of truth.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:37:51 AM EST
The old bolt actions are fun to have because they are a piece of history, and they are fun to shoot. Not the best choice in a day whey Yugo SKS's can be bought and shot so cheap.

On a budget, if you're buying for SHTF...

YUGO SKS
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:39:38 AM EST
BTW, I gotta say, I do really like the MAK-90...and if someone wanted a SHTF and could bump up to this price range it's a nice option...probably better than going with the WASR.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 8:05:30 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 6:58:55 PM EST by Foxtrot427]
Maybe not for the money but the Feather RAV-9 would be a great SHTF gun. Super-reliable, compact, versitile, and shoots common 9mm.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 3:53:15 PM EST
12 gauge shootgun
SKS
S&W 38 special
Rugar 10/22
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 5:51:27 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 5:55:57 PM EST by Tripwire]

Originally Posted By Foxtrot427:
Maybe not for the money but the Feather AT-9 would be a great SHTF gun. Super-reliable, compact, versitile, and shoots common 9mm.



My AT-9 isn't so reliable, fails to extract at least once every mag or two (factory converted 25rnd IMI uzi mags + Walmart winchester 115's and PMC 115's).

That said ... it seems to have gotten a little better with use.... when new it was completely unreliable.

oh ... The manual advised against +p or +p+ ammo as well
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:44:33 PM EST

Originally Posted By Tripwire:

Originally Posted By Foxtrot427:
Maybe not for the money but the Feather AT-9 would be a great SHTF gun. Super-reliable, compact, versitile, and shoots common 9mm.



My AT-9 isn't so reliable, fails to extract at least once every mag or two (factory converted 25rnd IMI uzi mags + Walmart winchester 115's and PMC 115's).

That said ... it seems to have gotten a little better with use.... when new it was completely unreliable.

oh ... The manual advised against +p or +p+ ammo as well



Not to mention, that in a SHTF scenario it would be easier to find parts for the Hubble telescope.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 6:58:43 PM EST

Originally Posted By triburst1:

Originally Posted By Tripwire:

Originally Posted By Foxtrot427:
Maybe not for the money but the Feather AT-9 would be a great SHTF gun. Super-reliable, compact, versitile, and shoots common 9mm.



My AT-9 isn't so reliable, fails to extract at least once every mag or two (factory converted 25rnd IMI uzi mags + Walmart winchester 115's and PMC 115's).

That said ... it seems to have gotten a little better with use.... when new it was completely unreliable.

oh ... The manual advised against +p or +p+ ammo as well



Not to mention, that in a SHTF scenario it would be easier to find parts for the Hubble telescope.

I guess I meant RAV-9. Still your right. But it would still be a nice gun to have for the other reasions.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:10:13 PM EST
All good choices mentioned here.


Although right now and sooner is almost always better than later when it comes to having a rifle you can count on for life and death, I think it is important to mention the power of savings. If a person is dead set on an AR for their SHTF weapon but can only "afford" a $350 rifle it's OK to save up for another few months until you can afford the weapon you really want.
That being said, if I was gunless I would definitely opt for the $350 AK or <$200 SKS to use until I could afford the FAL, AR or whatever else.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:27:20 PM EST
For an all out zombies in your yard,Iran nuke in your living-room,SHTF scenario.I would most likely use my WASR.
I also have a Bushy AR and a M1 carbine.
After 1200 rounds my gas key came unstaked and my AR was short-stroking.I had to remove the key,clean out the threading,use Loctite and restake it.
That gave me far less confidence in my AR than I originally had.
My cheap ass($375)WASR has digested a couple thousand rounds,been dropped,kicked and took a couple of dives in the mud and stills works great.
Moral***High end,uber-tactical weapons can still fail.Sometimes the simple,inexpensive tool is right for the job.
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 7:29:54 PM EST
.30 M1 ammo was more common Id say M1 carbine!
Link Posted: 4/7/2006 9:13:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/7/2006 9:14:24 PM EST by jrinfoley]
My WASR 10 has never jammed or failed to fire. Its my SHTF weapon.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 1:07:52 AM EST
All have their advantages and downsides.

What is the point of a 9mm carbine? Just a weak round in something nearly as big as one that fires a rifle round. For fun maybe but SHTF no thanks.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:11:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By 50cal:
An Enfield or Mauser in decent shape will fit the bill nicely.
I perfer the Enfield with the cock on closing action.



especially considering you can work the bolt more rapidly on an enfield than any other bolt rifle. and if you have medium to large hands you can just use your thumb and forefinger on the bolt and the middle on the trigger and get those 10 rounds off with decent aim. just don't put your face too far up the stock or you will hit your nose with the bolt.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:25:58 AM EST

Originally Posted By spectre7:
For an all out zombies in your yard,Iran nuke in your living-room,SHTF scenario.I would most likely use my WASR.
I also have a Bushy AR and a M1 carbine.
After 1200 rounds my gas key came unstaked and my AR was short-stroking.I had to remove the key,clean out the threading,use Loctite and restake it.
That gave me far less confidence in my AR than I originally had.
My cheap ass($375)WASR has digested a couple thousand rounds,been dropped,kicked and took a couple of dives in the mud and stills works great.
Moral***High end,uber-tactical weapons can still fail.Sometimes the simple,inexpensive tool is right for the job.




I understand that one tends to not 100% tust something that has problems but The gas key failure you had was less of a design failure and really a case of the gas key not being staked properly the first tine around. If you did a good job (not that hard) it should never be a problem again. You make a good case for giveing any weapon a good long test period before counting on it as a SHTF weapon.

My vote for one of the most underated SHTF weapon is a good solid used mid sized .357 revolver. For $175-$275 one can easilly find a real winner. I myself favor a S&W 686 (ok more like $300 used) because I really like the sights and trigger. Not as flashly as the newest super duper .40 tactical wunder gun and not quite so good in fighting off hordes of zombies but still a great deal. Face it,if SHTF you hopefully can avoid the all out war but you will have a need to feed yourself and might have to deter small groups of varmits. If you have a couple of guys trying to steal your generator or foodstuff a .357 in your pocket might save the day. I find the 686 for me is just about the most easy to hit with small gun package out there. Any .357 or 38 ammo I can dig up will function fine (includeing shot loads and any handload)
My revolver will work under a wide range of nasty conditions and abuse and I have better confidence of being able to fix it myself if is does go tits up.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 3:29:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By osprey21:
www.mosnews.com/files/6575/suitcase1.jpg


Mk-54 Special Atomic Demolition Munition.




And you can even drop it from low ordbit.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 7:25:03 AM EST
As far as weapon for the money
1 sks
2 used winchester or marlin 30-30,can be had in pawn shops in decent shape for 200 or less
3 mosin nagant
4 yugo mauser or an enfield
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 7:31:05 AM EST

Originally Posted By nhsport:

Originally Posted By spectre7:
For an all out zombies in your yard,Iran nuke in your living-room,SHTF scenario.I would most likely use my WASR.
I also have a Bushy AR and a M1 carbine.
After 1200 rounds my gas key came unstaked and my AR was short-stroking.I had to remove the key,clean out the threading,use Loctite and restake it.
That gave me far less confidence in my AR than I originally had.
My cheap ass($375)WASR has digested a couple thousand rounds,been dropped,kicked and took a couple of dives in the mud and stills works great.
Moral***High end,uber-tactical weapons can still fail.Sometimes the simple,inexpensive tool is right for the job.




I understand that one tends to not 100% tust something that has problems but The gas key failure you had was less of a design failure and really a case of the gas key not being staked properly the first tine around. If you did a good job (not that hard) it should never be a problem again. You make a good case for giveing any weapon a good long test period before counting on it as a SHTF weapon.

My vote for one of the most underated SHTF weapon is a good solid used mid sized .357 revolver. For $175-$275 one can easilly find a real winner. I myself favor a S&W 686 (ok more like $300 used) because I really like the sights and trigger. Not as flashly as the newest super duper .40 tactical wunder gun and not quite so good in fighting off hordes of zombies but still a great deal. Face it,if SHTF you hopefully can avoid the all out war but you will have a need to feed yourself and might have to deter small groups of varmits. If you have a couple of guys trying to steal your generator or foodstuff a .357 in your pocket might save the day. I find the 686 for me is just about the most easy to hit with small gun package out there. Any .357 or 38 ammo I can dig up will function fine (includeing shot loads and any handload)
My revolver will work under a wide range of nasty conditions and abuse and I have better confidence of being able to fix it myself if is does go tits up.

The Bushy was new out the box.The gas key failure should have never happened after only 1200 rounds.
Link Posted: 4/8/2006 8:29:51 PM EST

Originally Posted By triburst1:
Norinco MAK-90. You can buy them in thumbhole configuration in the $350 range and convert them to a 922r compliant pistol grip rifle for under $100. Much better made weapon than the WASRs.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/glocker199/000_0340.jpg



Where can I purchase one of These??
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 1:55:45 PM EST
For the average person, the cheapest, most effective, easiest to use zombie gun out there is an 870 express with the slug barrel. Unless you plan to be out in the streets marauding, my guess is that very few shots will be fired. For defending the door to your home 12 ga hollow point slugs are pretty hard to beat...just check out the box o' truth.

Best part...you can usually find a used one for around $100 - tough to beat.

If you have the money and want the glam factor, then I would say m4gery, tons of ammo, boxes of 30rnd mags loaded and ready to rock...ready for whatever comes. But again, to the average person that will be in there home trying to get updates on situations, for the price of a decent M4 and a few cases of ammo, you could have enough 870's and boxes of slugs to arm your entire neighborhood.
Link Posted: 4/9/2006 2:07:54 PM EST
what parts do you need to make it compliant to have the pistol grip? I have been looking around and cannot find out. Thanks



Originally Posted By triburst1:
Norinco MAK-90. You can buy them in thumbhole configuration in the $350 range and convert them to a 922r compliant pistol grip rifle for under $100. Much better made weapon than the WASRs.

img.photobucket.com/albums/v384/glocker199/000_0340.jpg

Link Posted: 4/9/2006 3:00:28 PM EST
SKS or M1 Garand (rack grade)
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 9:57:16 AM EST
Good old Ruger 10/22

You can hunt small game with it.
It’s light.
Recoil is nonexistent.
High capacity magazines are readily available.
Ammo is very cheap.
It’s fairly quiet compared to most firearms.

A single .22LR round isn’t blessed with an abundance of stopping power. But with its light recoil it’s possible to fire very quickly and keep all the rounds on target. So, you don’t have to rely on a single shot to do the job.

I’m not claiming the 10/22 is the equal of an AK clone in combat. But it’s definitely a weapon that should be respected.
Link Posted: 4/10/2006 4:30:11 PM EST

Originally Posted By Thuban:
Good old Ruger 10/22

You can hunt small game with it.
It’s light.
Recoil is nonexistent.
High capacity magazines are readily available.
Ammo is very cheap.
It’s fairly quiet compared to most firearms.

A single .22LR round isn’t blessed with an abundance of stopping power. But with its light recoil it’s possible to fire very quickly and keep all the rounds on target. So, you don’t have to rely on a single shot to do the job.

I’m not claiming the 10/22 is the equal of an AK clone in combat. But it’s definitely a weapon that should be respected.



All you'd need is a .38...
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 1:04:39 PM EST
Nothing like shooting a zomby in the head 50 times with a ruger 10/22. Great home defense guns. Even the kids can handle one with ease.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 2:46:44 PM EST
Any rifle in good condition that fires available ammunition (preference for common US military calibers). Deer rifles are capable of filling the bill. Surplus military rifles are probably the cheapest, best option overall.

Doesn't really matter what you use, what matters is that it works and you can find ammo for it.
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 2:53:10 PM EST

Originally Posted By Jaybo:

Originally Posted By Thuban:
Good old Ruger 10/22

You can hunt small game with it.
It’s light.
Recoil is nonexistent.
High capacity magazines are readily available.
Ammo is very cheap.
It’s fairly quiet compared to most firearms.

A single .22LR round isn’t blessed with an abundance of stopping power. But with its light recoil it’s possible to fire very quickly and keep all the rounds on target. So, you don’t have to rely on a single shot to do the job.

I’m not claiming the 10/22 is the equal of an AK clone in combat. But it’s definitely a weapon that should be respected.



All you'd need is a .38...



LMAO here we go again Seriously, though, a .22 is useful for non SHTF survival situations, where procuring food is a bigger concern than self-defense or combat. For those other purposes, though, I'd rather have something bigger.

I'm sure a .22 will do the job in some cases, but why handicap yourself when you can get better tools ?
Link Posted: 4/11/2006 3:57:32 PM EST
Only thing that can stop a zombie in its tracks and make it do a flip is a .357magnum dont you pay attention to the informational biographies that came out in the 80's

Link Posted: 4/12/2006 11:26:39 PM EST
gunbroker.com has a couple on auction right now. I have one, and it looks just like the linked pic in your post. Just need to get a couple aftermarket parts.
Link Posted: 4/13/2006 6:26:30 AM EST
My Collection is as follows ...

1-bushy carbine
2-Rem 870 12ga.
3-Glock 34
4-Yugo sks
5-Mosin nagant (synthetic stock)
6-henry 22. lever action (first ever gun)

my fathers guns that are kept with mine are as follows,

1- ruger mkII
2- thompson 45 colt

other guns commonly left in my care by a close friend,

1- cetme
2- jennings 9mm

In a SHTF senareo, my first choice for defending the home would be the 870 backed up by the glock. if I wear leaving my home i would probably take the AR followed by the glock. my father would probably use the gun that i didnt or the SKS, followed by one of his own guns. the rest to be dispensed to any one around that i trusted. ( my neigbor would pobably ask how to select full auto on the nagant)

I think that in a real SHTF you have to be able to arm a few people around you who sadly cannot arm themselves, or any friends you may have over at the moment of shit splater.
Link Posted: 4/14/2006 6:16:35 AM EST
Here's what I'm sitting on so far. I just bought a house and didn't bother with guns while I was living in my apartment (financial situation and way too busy with work). The last few months I've been pretty busy arming myself, though.

Mossberg 720 Plinkster .22
Mossberg 500 12 ga tacticooled out
M38
m44
USP 9mm
Glock 27

My next purchase will be an AK variant or an SKS. Then I'll probably get a 1911, at least one revolver and an AR in the longrun. I've just been concentrating on cheap, effective, bulletproof guns that won't fail me and that I won't have too much trouble arming close friends/family with in a SHTF situation.

I agree wholeheartedly with the comment that Shadow680 made about arming neighbors. It depends on the situation, where you live and how well you know them but a lot of people don't own guns these days. Even the gun owners I do know just own a deer rifle or two, a shotgun and maybe a handgun with 50-100 rounds between all of them. Case in point, my dad's got a gun safe and a gun cabinet full of guns. All of his ammo fits in a shoebox. Being able to arm several people and having enough ammo for all of those guns will be a big plus if something bad happens.
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