Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SHTF: Single Action | Single Shot - Gun of the Future

Guns. Things break down over time, guns included. The more complex the gun, the greater the chance it will cease to function (without replacement parts) over time.

I have been giving this a great deal of thought. Watch some of these doomer movies like "Book of Eli". Guys are pulling semi-auto .45's and nines, RPG's and machine guns and blazing away like there's no tomorrow. The movie takes place 30 years in the future. There's a real good chance the propellant on that RPB won't function and the explosive will be so unstable pulling the trigger will cause the whole thing to fizzle or blow up in the operator's face.

Same with semi autos and machine guns. The springs in the magazines and the firing pins would be the first to go out. Most semis have a maximum amount of ammo that can go through them before they have to have barrel replaced. The more rounds fired, the sooner that expiration date comes. And in a violent world, it's not going to last 30 years.

That's why I have been giving a great deal of thought to stockpiling the most simple firearms available. Things like single action shotguns, revolvers and bolt action rifles. 10 or 20 years from now, the only functioning weapons will be the ones with the fewest number of moving parts. Open the breech, put in a round, close breech, cock, aim, fire.

The slower rate of fire means the barrel and other parts will last longer. That includes the fasteners holding the barrel or trigger assembly to the stock or grip. I was once at the range where someone was using an original Thompson from WWII. With every magazine, he had to check every fastener as they had a habit of coming loose. Imagine the result if the stock slipped off the assembly while firing.

A bolt action 30.06 basically can fire even if the magazine spring is missing; just load one round at a time and fire. It's slow, but 20 years after, your attackers may be armed with wooden bows, spears and rocks. Who has the technological advantage then?

A single action revolver has one moving part - the trigger and hammer assembly. I guess if you slammed the hammer side down on a rock you could make the gun useless, but not much more would do it (Edit - the spring in the extractor might go out over time).

I think if I had to move up the food chain, a level action or slide action weapon may last a while, but sooner or later the springs would go out there as well.

Here's the other kicker: Cost. I was in a pawn shop recently and a buyer picked up a single action 12 guage shotgun, no name, for $85.00. That gun will literally last 100 years and can be left in the trunk for just in case. You could buy a dozen guns like that for the price of a single, stripped down M1A and still have some money left over for ammo.

I don't know about you, but guns like this are on my list for having on hand long after the AR is unusable and the .45 auto is nothing more than a fancy hammer.

Mountain House Freeze-Dried Food


Mayberry said...

Well, I've got two bolt action Mosin Nagants, my 91/30 made in 1934 (and still functioning perfectly), and my M44, made in 1953 (also functioning perfectly). I got a spare bolt that works in either. And I got no reason not to expect them to work for the rest of my life. The most complicated gun I have is my Marlin model 60, followed by my Mossberg Maverick 12 guage. In the pistola dept., I've got a Heritage Arms single action .22 revolver. Simple and reliable. It's sole purpose is to make enough noise for me to get to one of my rifles, or shotgun. I reckon just the sight of it is enough deterrent for 99% of would be assailants. The argument should be over when I break out the Mossberg. My 91/30 is for "reaching out to touch someone" (uninvited), and that it will.... A break barrel shotgun would be my next addition, for simplicity and utility's sake....

azurevirus said...

While I see your point on the simplicity and less likelyhood for breakage,, when confronted with multiple "hostiles"equipped with the AK/AR variants with capacities to shoot 30-40 rds at you ..the math just doesnt add up for anyone with a single shot or b/a rifle of survivng long in that situation..even if you never missed your target..just be too much lead they could throw your way..Im a big fan of b/a rifles for sure but mostly in a sniper/hunting type far as the movie goes..I can see ppl 30 yrs from now having s/a they are so many around if one had a few spare parts for their particular could last 30 yrs..I mean some of the s/a guns are fired many thousands of rounds today..not to mention most AR/AK variants have been around since the 60s'..good post!

John said...

Azurevirus - thanks for your comments. Early on in any disaster, having a platform to throw lots of lead and lots of lead to throw is going to matter most, no doubt about it. A few things over time will start to happen - folks will run low on ammo, most don't know how to reload ammo, guns will break, guns will not get regular maintenance, parts will get lost and cease to function. A single shot 12 gauge is not much use the day after, but will be the weapon of choice when one is left with only a dozen shells and few bad guys carrying anything better than a rusty ax or a club. You are right that there will be lots of guns because we have so many here to begin with.

Michael said...

At the moment I have two bolt action Marlin XL7 rifles in .270 win. I wish they sported iron sights but they don't so I must live with just using a scope. (I have spares) I have a Marlin 1894C levergun in .357 magnum (with a revolver of matching caliber)and I have stocked up on all critical and some not so critical parts for this rifle. My next purchase will be a couple of single shot shotguns. I grew up with them and they are quite the gun to have. I like them because small game and birds are easier to bag with the 20ga than a .22lr. It was my favorite grouse gun. Good idea to have a few in the safe to use as barter in tough times.....

JD said...

Michael, Thanks for the comment. A great combination would be the 1894 with the Ruger Vagquero or Blackhawk. I am not picky about the modern sites on the Blackhawk and actually prefer that version. An earlier comment from another poster pointed out the .44 would be another round to consider for both weapons as well.
Thanks for reading and commenting.

Michael said...

Another sobering thing to consider, in a time of either a SHTF major crisis, martial law or change of government the semi auto "assault rifles" and high capacity shotguns/pistols will be a prime target for those in power. During Katrina the powers in charge first order of business was to disarm the lawful citizens... As our country slides further towards Marxism I would bet the farm that the attention will be focused on gun control in the near future. All it will take is some nut to shoot up another school or mall to get the wheels rolling. Thats why I focused on sporter rifles and firearms that could be considered as competition guns. (Wild West Shooting) If in doubt about what I say just look throughout history and the past events will prove out everything I have said. Many protest and say "I'll never give up my gun!" but when it becomes a felony involving jail/fines the majority of sheep will run over each other to be first in line to throw their gun into the chopper. I've seen it happen over and over.. Bolt action, lever guns and single shots will be the last to go. Even in the rural parts of the Soviet Union one can own a single shot shotgun. Yeah, there is great wisdom in having a few of these guns in the closet. I live on the border and big brother watches closly. (They watch me and let the illegals walk on by.) If I carry my little levergun little interest is paid to me. If I walk around with an AK I will get swarmed by concerned government folks...I like the 1894C in .357 magnum because it holds 9 rounds and has no recoil. It is small enough to take head shots on small game yet big enough to defend my home and drop deer sized game out to 100 yards. Duel purpose. I looked at the .44 magnum years ago and decided against it. In a revolver it is too big for smaller members of the family to use. Even the rifle version packs a wallop for the littler keeblers. I have found the .357 to be very inexpensive to reload. It just works. The .270 rifles are for hunting mostly. It is a capable round that shoots flat out to 300 yards and is enough to hunt anything in the lower 48. So much depends on where one lives. My choices may have been different if I lived deep in an urban jungle. These are just my opinions. Choose wisely friends.

GunsAreEssential1975 said...

I agree with you totally. Years after the collapse the single. shot will rule the streets. The versatility of the single shot is far greater than any other gun. It can fire any load reliably, it can even use blackpowder. The shotguns can be used as muzzle loaders and the shotgun shells can be reloaded without the need of reloading tools. I already have one single shot 12 ga., and am planning the purchase of another at the end of the month, along with some adapters to shoot .22lr, .38/.357, &9mm. Figure that will keep me going for the rest of my life. Great article man!

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