Monday, April 4, 2011

Building a firearm collection for preparedness Part 2

More thoughts on a collection for preparedness and additions.

1. Caliber compatibility - the more weapons that share ammunition the easier it is to store and keep a handle on.

2. How is the caliber ranked for range and power? (suitability for large US game for hunting)

3. Is it suitable for reloading? (hand-loading used brass)

4. Is it readially available? (both weapons and ammunition)

5. What is the cost vs. value?
6. Are there auto-loading rifles and or magazines available in this caliber? (ten rounds and up)

7. Will there be sources of ammunition later and if not is this a concern?

8. Are reliable weapons with spare parts available (for spare/repair parts stocking)

9. Are they reasonably accurate? - 20 rounds 8 inches in less than two min. (That will kick out a bunch of rifles).
We are not talking about delusions of the mall ninjas - I for one will be bugging in place if the need arises. We want to think about how many uses this can be matched to and if they fit the needs of your area.

I hand-load/reload so even current availability issues are almost always limited to concerns pertaining to the availability of components rather than new or surplus ammunition.
I have posted before, pistols just don't hold the same interest for me as rifles, I have them, I think they are necessary, but I don't put much stock in them past that possible "oh, crap" situation - like an attempted car-jacking or similar problem, and as I said it would be a last resort only if the fear of harm is imminent and then "no sword is sheathed without drawing blood" concept applies - the proper tool at the proper time, only when needed.
I also was looking over the load books to confirm and here is the general run down I found (changes from book to book, but they generally follow this trend).

7.62x54R Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 3,000 ft/s
Energy 2,905 ft·lbf

The 7.92x57mm IS (8mm Mauser) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type (.323 inch) 181 gr
Velocity 2,700 ft/s
Energy 2,902 ft·lbf

30-06 Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 2,900 ft/s
Energy 2,820 ft·lbf

30-06 Ballistic performance (M2 ball cartridge)
Bullet weight/type 152 gr
Velocity 2,740 ft/s
Energy 2,650 ft·lbf

7.62x51 (.308) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type146.6 gr
Velocity 2,756 ft/s
Energy 2,472 ft·lbf

Note this information is for "time era" factory or surplus loadings, modern loads designed for modern powders in new manufacture bolt action rifles can "UP" the power of the 30-06 but this would be damaging or dangerous in the M1, M1917, or 03A3.

The two highest are 7.62x54R and 7.92x57 then 30-06 and then 7.62x51 - if you look at commercial .308 rather than 7.62x51 then you find that it comes within and in some cases surpass 30-06. (again this could be problematic or dangerous for weaker actions such as the M1a or older rifles like the Spanish 7.62x51 conversion Mausers)

The common thought out there is that 30-06 is the most potent, but the numbers prove that the Russian round is the hottest. Also contrary to popular misinformation .308 commercial rounds have a higher pressure and loading parameters than the NATO rounds and so would chart higher.
Using the basic thoughts and my already chosen calibers I was thinking about getting one of the new Remington .223 pump action rifles that takes an AR magazine and a .308 bolt action rifle from Savage. I would order both with iron sights, this would be the logical thing, but there is the CZ52 and the PPSH41 semi-auto I have been eyeballing (to satisfy my curiosity). Logic may prevail and I may get a second SU16CA as it is cheeper than the Remington, and I may get one or two of the Spanish Mausers in .308.
As to shotguns - I had forgotten to list them,  you need one. I don't have one for myself but, my wife has an 870 riot gun for home protection (yes it is hers, she made me buy one for her) and my oldest son has an 870 pump fitted with a slug barrel that has interchangeable choke tubes, both are 12 ga. and are in almost unused condition, simply because we don't use them.
And a high power pellet rifle - I was never a good shot on the wing with a shotgun, but if it lights and I have a post and notch on it, it's in the bag. I note the preponderance of pidgins in our area and in a pinch you would have a hard time telling the meat from a dove.

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