Wednesday, April 04, 2007

I've got that itch again...

Every year, Kim Du Toit encourages the Nation of Riflemen to purchase a gun on April 15th, or as he refers to it, BAG (Buy a Gun) day. This year, I won't have the funds to get one that early, but I am socking away my pennies for a purchase in the near future.
I want to get a semi auto/SHTF* rifle in a decent sized caliber, but I live in California, so my options are limited, to say the least.
With that in mind, I've compiled a short-list of guns that I'm considering...

Walther G22
Yes, it is but a wee .22, but it is fun to shoot, and with the bullpup configuration, most of the weight is in the stock, so my kids can hold/shoot it.
Pros: The price is a little high for a .22, but when you compare it to my other choices, it's quite reasonable. I don't have a bullpup, so it would be an interesting addition to my collection, and the ease of use (to teach/corrupt my children) is definitely attractive.
Cons: The bullpup design means more moving parts thus more crap to go wrong, and that caliber is not really what I would consider useful for a SHTF situation.

Ruger Mini 14/30
I've shot a friends mini 14 and its easy to handle, seems like a pretty good choice.
Pros: The action is based on the M14, and the caliber (.223) is relatively cheap, packing a bigger punch than a .22LR. If I wanted to step up to 7.62x39, (still cheap ammo, and quite a bit bigger than the .223) I could get a mini-30. The price has jumped considerably since I last took a serious look at this rifle, but it's still relatively reasonable.
Cons: I've heard mixed reviews about the rifles reliability and accuracy, so I'm a little bit ambivalent thus far. Also, in a superficial, judging-a-book-by-the-cover sort of way, I'm not all that impressed with the way it looks.

Yugoslavian SKS
The predecessor to the AK, it is still legal in this state by virtue of the fixed 10 round magazine.
Pros: Dirt cheap (around $200), shoots cheap ammo (7.62x39), rugged and hard to break, has that scary bayonet attached to the front.
Cons: I already have one. I may consider getting one to mess around with, like adding a scary black stock, a decent scope mount etc. If I buy one, I'd have the spare cash to do it.

Marlin Camp Carbine
A very attractive idea in that it shares ammo AND magazines with my 1911 (.45ACP). Looks fairly rugged.
Pros: It would make an excellent SHTF choice because of the ammo commonality with my sidearm, and I don't own a pistol-caliber rifle.
Cons: Despite the fact that a LOT of people share my opinion of this rifle, Marlin stopped making it a few years ago, so they're about as common as hen's teeth any more, with the predicted effect on price.

Kel-tec SU16CA
This rifle looks like it shouldn't be legal in CA, but it's on the rack at Turners, and looks fairly promising.
Pros: Folds up for ease of storage, has an integral Picatinny rail and you can store two extra 10-round mags in the stock. Also quite black-and-scary looking, always a pro with me. I'm kinda liking this gun.
Cons: .223 is a cheap caliber, but may be a little light for my purposes. Kel-tec is not a company I'm all that familiar with, so I need to do more research on this weapon (I have not had the opportunity to shoot one). Lastly, I'm not all that impressed with the stock-cum-bipod design. It looks a little, well, chintzy.

M1 Carbine
The venerable WWII automatic, available at a reasonable price.
Pros: What's not to like? .30 caliber, semi-auto, not a terrible price (around $800), shoots well out to 200 yards (at least my buddy's does).
Cons: To be totally honest, I can't really think of any, aside from maybe the wait... (my last gun purchase took around 3 months to get here, and I'm thinking the same would apply with this popular weapon).

Marlin 1895
Lever action rifle in .45-70 caliber.
Pros: Lever guns are a lot of fun to shoot, accurate, easy to reload and could make a fine SHTF weapon. This particular rifle is in the might .45-70 govt caliber, and is a fine looking gun.
Cons: That caliber is frikken expensive, and I hear the kick can be brutal... also, not a semi-auto.

Springfield M1A
The civilian version of the M14, available in a lot of different configurations.
Pros: .308 caliber is an excellent choice, although a bit pricey. A tried and tested action, a good looking rifle, and a good choice if I were to get into competitive shooting.
Cons: Costs well over a thousand dollars, a bit bulky.

I posted about this a while back, a California-legal FAL, the weapon that the British army used to carry in my childhood (called the SLR, or Self-Loading Rifle), before they traded it for that awful SA-80.
Pros: Quite possibly the scariest looking rifle I can legally buy in this state - a true Feinsteinian nightmare. Chambered in the NATO .308 caliber, enough juice to drop any potential adversary.
Sentimental value, for the reason stated above - I like battle rifles. I have not shot one of these, but I had the opportunity to hold one, and it felt fairly light, easy to use.
Cons: At over $1600, it is by far the most expensive of the choices listed here. While I would dearly love to own one of these, scraping together that kind of money is going to take time, and I would probably feel guilty dropping that much money on a gun... although I'm sure I would get over it... It may be a little too scary looking, and I have a feeling that this rifle may be headed for the ban-pile in this state, requiring registration, etc...

Well, friends, these are the choices I'm looking at right now, although I'm certainly open to suggestions about guns I may have overlooked, as well as opinions or comments on the ones above...

*SHTF, an acronym coined by Kim Du Toit, refers to S**t Hitting The Fan, ie a civil unrest or societal breakdown situation, as we observed during the LA riots and more recently the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

--PS-- before you ask why I would be so superficial as to pick a gun by how scary it looks, allow me to answer: Why the hell not? It's the same criteria Liberals use to justify banning them. With the exception of the Marlin, all the guns above operate in the same manner: 1 round per trigger pull. Some are nice and non-threatening, with pleasant, natural wooden stocks, but others just look downright mean.


Julie said...

Good Lord; Gun Nuts...

Kevin said...

You say that now, but when the zombies attack, you'll be headed over here...

GUYK said...

Seein' as how my eyes ain't what they used to be I am gonna buy me another shotgun next week..I don't know what kind just yet..would like to find an old Model 12..the kind we used in Nam..great pump action and reliable.

Fathairybastard said...

Watch out for those Yugo SKSs. Lots of them are worn out from use by reservists. Check the bore. A few buds and I are gonna get M-1 carbines through the CMP this year. The first ones are supposed to cost around $500.

Fathairybastard said...

My gunsmith here specializes in FALs. Will have one one day, and I too will have the early Brit version, with wood furniture. Nice.

DirtCrashr said...

It's all good, good to have the problem of gun-choices! I'd love an FAL, even a California legal one, but I'm thinking a gray-market AR lower would be kewl too...