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The Big Problem With Semi-Automatic Rifles For Survival

Image source: defensereview.com

Image source: defensereview.com

With so many rifles to choose from, it can often be difficult to determine which rifle would be ideal for a survival situation, whether it’s one that you stash in the truck in the event that you’re stranded in the sticks — or you’re using that same truck to bugout to the sticks.

But all too often, I’ve seen folks reaching for that semi-auto beauty for such a purpose. While these weapons can certainly give you that needed fire superiority in a tactical situation, it’s going to fall short when you’re stuck in the backwoods and have to put meat on the fire to keep from starving.

The Fundamental

Just like with knives and secondhand tweed blazers, there is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to firearms — even though we often try in vain to make it work sometimes.

In most cases, the best use for semi-auto rifles is for combat applications (or the occasional hunting weekend).

Essentially, the fundamental reason why a battle rifle is going to fall short when you’re stuck in the sticks is because you won’t be able to head back to the armory (or gun store) in the event that you’ve lost a spring, detent or some other tiny-but-critical mechanical part of the weapon. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that bolt or lever guns are completely exempt from this issue, but I AM saying that they are certainly simpler creatures, which don’t have near the number of moving parts that can break, wear out, or get lost.

Semi-auto weapons have an additional degree of mechanical complexity that gives them that additional functionality; however, any time you add complexity, that’s when you’re inviting problems.

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And a survival situation is certainly a scenario in which you’ll want to avoid problems to the very best of your ability.

Short-Term: What Are You Shooting At?

If you’re looking at a short-term survival scenario, the question at hand is not necessarily that of tactical or survival efficiency per se.  If anything, it’s a question of … what’s the point?

AK-47In this type of situation, chances are that you’re not going to be pitted against possible enemy hostiles. I’m basically talking about overturning your canoe somewhere in the middle of nowhere, and you might have to take a rabbit or two to keep yourself nourished as you find your way back to civilization. And if you need a 30-round magazine to take a meal, then you probably shouldn’t be toting around a rifle in the first place — at least until you visit your eye doctor.

If you’re basically just firing upon that which will soon become a meal (or you’re not fond of wolves), then you should probably stick to something that will have a near-obscene reliability factor … and the vast majority of your semi-autos will not.

Long-Term: Your Local Gun Store Will Probably Not Exist

As I said before, my fundamental point to saving semi-autos for your “typical” tactical situations is because all the gun stores and armories are most likely going to have had their inventories involuntarily liquidated via looting after your bugout op.

However, I’m not saying that your AK is going to be dead weight DURING your bugout operation — especially since you might require its goodly services while making for the hills. But this scenario is hopefully going to be a very, very temporary one, and hopefully, you won’t even fire enough rounds to do a speed reload.

Over the long haul, however, you’ll most likely find these situational possibilities eventually fitting into your own unique situation …

self-defense weapons woods wildnerness gunsAt the end of the day, your battle rifles will not make much sense in the sticks. Starvation is most likely going to be your biggest threat, and that will set on quick if your rifle goes out of commission. And sure, you might be able to clear a room or keep hostiles pinned down, but your chances of running into a close-quarters combat or pitched battle scenario will (and should) be slim.

Personally, I’m thinking that you should be doing everything in your power to avoid such dangerous situations. Your best bet at surviving any battle is not in the capabilities of your firearms; it’s in the ability to avoid a fight before it even senses your presence.

Good Alternatives to a Semi-Auto

Of course, I’m also not one to simply denounce an entire class of rifles, while neglecting to offer a few positive mentions. That’s why I’ve named these two particular rifles below, as I feel like they’ve got a TON of promise for the situations that I managed to describe above. Basically, they’ve got just enough of what you might need out of a survival rifle, while keeping to a more simple, problem-lite approach in the process.

The important part about both of those rifles is that they’re man-powered. You’re not relying on gas or pistons to actuate the weapon, but instead, you’re removing that problematic variable possibility from the equation, making for a rifle that will be ready to go boom when you need it to …

… Because your survival should not be traded for a tactically efficient disadvantage.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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