As someone in a suburban environment planning to potentially evacuate cross-country in a TEOTWAWKI situation (vehicle preferred, will continue on foot if needed), I have put a lot of thought into what sort of rifle I would need to carry – or would prefer to carry – should I need to evacuate my family. Considerations in order of importance are 1) accuracy of the firearm; 2) weight of the firearm; 3) weight of the ammo, and; 4) where I expect to need the weapon.
Since I am far away from my retreat (about 1,300 miles) and may end up hoofing it along with my wife and children (yes, I know it’s a horrible backup plan – but the unacceptable alternatives are staying in the east or giving up), I may need to carry a lot in my Bug out Bag (BoB). So reducing rifle and ammunition weight is extremely important. This also comes into play with accuracy, since I don’t want to waste ammo. I’m not a bad shot, but the most accurate tool is called for.
Notice I did not consider bolt action rifles or the various .308 or .30-06 rifles. See numbers two and three above – ounces rather than pounds count in my planning for the worst. A different story for rifles at the retreat, but that’s for a different post. Looking at consideration number four, I’d expect to need the rifle in urban, wooded, and open country settings, or close to long range.
Also notice I did not mention cost in my three main factors. This was and is a hard factor to ignore. It would be nice to just say a less expensive (and heavier!) AK-47 with a more powerful (and heavier!) round would fit the bill and stop there. But the number one consideration is still there. This video helped make up my mind, especially the demonstration at 200 yards – the AR-15 comes out on top:
I am aware of the issues related to having a clean AR-15, which is why I plan on eventually purchasing a piston operated SIG516 with a 16″ or 20″ barrel. It’s an investment, but I have to have something lighter than the SKS I currently have.
Also see the five part video series (about 20 minutes each) comparing the AK-47 and the AR-15 by Nutnfancy, and the below 30 minute comparison of the two weapons: