Building Your SHTF Combat Overwatch Rifle

by | Jun 18, 2013 | Emergency Preparedness | 238 comments

Do you LOVE America?



    After several years in the Liberty Movement working with various survivalists, you begin to realize that there are as many viewpoints and opinions on self defense tactics as there are people.  This is because each individual survivalist’s environmental circumstances are a little different, and unique problems call for unique solutions.  That said, there are certain universal elements that every survivalist should consider, and certain pieces of gear that can aid us greatly regardless of our particular situation.  I believe the concept of the “overwatch rifle” is one of these universal elements, and an often overlooked combat necessity.

    Preparing for a fight, in general terms, is about understanding one’s own weaknesses better than one’s opponent.  This means rigorously examining your capabilities and rounding them out as much as possible.  Are you strong in close quarters but terrible at a distance?  Are you able to engage an enemy regardless of his position, or, do you have to risk closing the gap while he waits comfortably for you?  Are you ready mentally and technically for surprises?

    The overwatch rifle is not just a tool, it is also a strategy, and when I refer to “overwatch”, I am referring to a guerrilla methodology, not the standard military usage involving sniper support.

    This strategy revolves around adaptability, movement, and creative offense.  You have to be physically fit and ready to move quickly from one engagement to the next in a sequence that creates the utmost advantage for you and your team.  You have to be willing to move from a rear supporting role to a forward scouting role at a moments notice.  Sometimes, you have to operate at the very center of it all, coordinating supporting elements and removing obstacles in their path.

    Not everyone can serve this role within their team.  The overwatch rifle does not automatically make a survivalist overwatch ready.  It is the man that makes the rifle effective, not the rifle that makes the man effective.

    But before I discuss overwatch rifle design ideas, I want to address a question that ALWAYS comes up when I write an article dealing with any defensive measures:

    “Who do you plan to fight?”

    The question often insinuates that there is “no one” to fight and that such prepping articles are based in “paranoia”, or, that the enemy will be so technologically advanced that it is “foolish” of us to believe that we can fight them.

    My answer is simple – I will fight anyone who attempts to undermine my individual freedom and safety, the individual freedom and safety of the people I care about, innocent citizens, and even future generations I will never meet.  Anyone who suggests that such threats do not exist – foreign, domestic, and internationalist – must have been living under a rotting log for the past several years (or they’ve been mesmerized by Facebook and “reality” television, which is very similar).  The superiority of these very real threats is irrelevant.  I’ve been a fighter for most of my life, and I know well that the biggest and most intimidating opponents are often the easiest to topple in the end, as long as you have the will to press forward, and the intelligence to engage them in a way they cannot predict.

    If you are an enemy of liberty and the constitutional philosophy of natural law, then you are my enemy, and if you push me, I will push back.  Count on it…

    This principle goes for tyrannical political systems as well.  When a society loses its ability to regulate and restrict government, when all authority is derived through backroom brokered deals between the money elite and puppet politicians on both sides of the aisle, when individual liberties are deemed expendable in the name of illusory “collective safety”, and when the establishment proclaims that the only way for the public to be prosperous is for the bureaucracy to be prosperous, a war is soon at hand.

    The elites will never walk away quietly and neither will we.  There are Americans who still respect the virtues of freedom, and there are people in this world whose only goal is to dominate and enslave.  We are at a dangerous impasse, and I believe there may be only one way left to fully resolve it…

    Of course, when one discusses citizen armament and preparation for combat, the assumption is that every survivalist has already undertaken the correct prerequisite steps to make himself an effective fighter.  Before anyone even considers combat preparedness, they should have already:

    1) Stockpiled ample food and water.
    2) Stockpiled proper medical and emergency first aid.
    3) Stockpiled ample ammunition.
    4) Chosen a retreat location and hardened their home for defense.
    5) Been diligent in their personal health.
    6) Trained their bodies for the most terrible rigors imaginable.
    7) Trained their minds to be psychologically ready for combat.
    8) Trained to control the jarring fight-or-flight response caused by the influx of adrenaline.
    9) Fired hundreds if not thousands of rounds through each of the weapons they intend to use in combat until they know them intimately.
    10) Studied the history of combat tactics and war strategy (especially asymmetric warfare).
    11) Built up a community of like minded individuals who are also prepared.

    If you have not at least begun to pursue all of these goals then you are not ready to pull the trigger.  Period.  If you don’t respect yourself enough to prepare in a practical way, the enemy certainly won’t respect you either, and why should he?  You’ll be the punchline of a sad joke, the bullseye on the target, and just another notch in his rifle stock.

    If you have at least initiated preparations in all of the above areas, THEN it is time to take a look at your rifle setup…

    The Overwatch Concept In Asymmetric Warfare

    The term “overwatch” is most often applied when a sniper team is placed in a supporting role during a major offensive.  However, the concept has expanded into other areas, especially where guerrilla warfare is concerned, and I would like to use the broader definition here.  A person on “overwatch” could be a sniper, or a general team member who is able to place precision fire almost anywhere on the battlefield at vectors difficult for the enemy to spot.  This means being in a central position covering not one sector, but all sectors of fire, and striking the enemy from one angle while he is distracted by another.

    Being in an overwatch role would mean a certain freedom of movement.  You are often designating your own targets and your own fields of fire as you go, and as your teammates push forward.  But, it also means you have to be highly adaptable, quick thinking, creative and imaginative in your strategy, and be willing to cause enough damage during a fight to sometimes draw the majority of enemy fire.  You become the fulcrum of your team’s initiative.

    Ideally, you would want every person you work with to be able to fill the overwatch position, and be able to think in terms of creative combat.  The overwatch strategy is meant to stall an enemy advance, destroy enemy sniper positions, create openings in enemy lines, and thus, create targets of opportunity for other team members.

    Designing Your Overwatch Rifle

    The weapons system you use for overwatch will depend greatly on what you find works best for you as an individual.  However, here are some issues you need to take into consideration before building your weapon:

    Short Range, Medium Range, Long Range: Your overwatch rifle must be able to engage targets at almost any range (between 0 – 800 yards would be ideal).  You must also be able to shift from medium and long range opponents to close range surprise attacks quickly and efficiently.

    Penetration And Distance: The caliber you choose should not only be able to travel long distances, but also maintain strong penetration ability at those distances.

    Precision: The rifle should fire consistent groups of less than 1 MOA (at least 1” groups at 100 yards).

    Frequency Of Fire: 
    The more fire you can put down range quickly and accurately, the better.  This means semi-auto rather than bolt action.

    Adaptable To Optics: 
    The weapon should have a rail system that accommodates a number of optics, making it adaptable to almost any situation.  Or, at least modifiable for a rail.

    Rifle Systems 

    I have found that the .308 military caliber tends to be the most practical for overwatch requirements.  The bullet has long range capabilities and far greater penetration than the AR-15’s .223 caliber, or the AK-47’s 7.62 × 39 caliber.  The AR and AK are great for close range, room-to-room fighting, and some medium range targets without cover, but they have many limitations and are not useful for overwatch.  I have also chosen .308 rifles that are semi-automatic, and that can be fitted with comprehensive rail systems.  A common complaint concerning .308 tactical rifles is that they are “too heavy” and slow to aim.  All I can say is, if you can’t wield the weapon effectively, do some push-ups until you can.

    Here is a short list of possible rifle platforms:

    FN FAL
    Springfield M1A
    Saiga .308
    Heckler & Koch PTR-91

    I’m sure there are few more that could be added here, and I recommend all readers carefully research and fire the weapon they are interested in before purchasing it (especially at today’s prices).

    The above rifle is a Springfield M1A modified with a Troy BattleRail and a variable scope.  To the right is a PVS-14 Night Vision Monocular and an Aimpoint T-1 Red Dot on a LaRue Tactical angle mount.  I found this setup to work best for me, but it is only one of many options. Obviously, in a combat situation this entire weapon would be camouflaged according to the environment.


    Next, you need to devise an optics system that allows you to engage at a distance AND up-close and personal.   There are many ways of setting up a rifle for this, but most involve a combination of a scope and red dot, or a scope and iron sights.  Here are some ideas…

    Variable Scope: A variable scope, as opposed to a fixed power, makes it possible to shift your focus from a wider field of view to narrow longer distance shot with a twist of a dial.  But such a scope alone will not enable the kind of speed you will require for overwatch.  Buying a cheap hunting variable is also not advised.  Make sure the glass is good, and the body can take a beating.  Spend the extra cash…

    Mini-Red Dot / Variable Scope Combo: Mini-Red Dots are very versatile and new mounting systems make it possible to tie one to your scope at any angle you wish.  Some mounts place the red dot directly above the scope, but this often forces the shooter to sacrifice his cheek weld in order to take aim. I prefer angled mounts to the side of the scope.  A very quick shift of the rifle to the inside and you can immediately fire without ever taking your cheek away from the stock.  Red dots have no magnification, and thus no vision box.  Both eyes can be used to target the enemy, and your peripheral vision can be utilized to acquire the next target before firing at the first.  My favorite mini-red dot sights are made by Trijicon and Aimpoint, because of their proven durability in the field.

    Pre-Designed Multi-Mounts: Multi-railed ring systems like the Burris P.E.P.R. Mount create a solid platform for you to attach a scope and red dot package to your rifle quickly and easily.  Many of these systems are meant for AR-15 enthusiasts, but I have seen them adapted for use on .308 caliber rifles.

    Short Dot Variable Scope: Short dot scopes (or CQB scopes) usually come in the 1-4 or 1-6 power variety.  The concept was to make a single optics system that combined the speed and wide field view of a red dot with the magnification of a variable scope.  Some of the more affordable short dots are made by Burris, Leupold, Vortex, and SWFA, and even these models can be pricey.  If you have the cash, they are an excellent investment.  Many models include an illuminated reticle that can be used in combination with night vision.  Short dot scopes are popular in 3-gun competitions because of their versatility, and are beginning to see more use in the military.  They can be very effective for overwatch purposes.  I recommend 1-6 scopes in second focal plane, which prevents the red dot reticle from being magnified as power is increased, causing a loss of precision.

    Night Vision: Overwatch includes nighttime operations.  The tactical rail on your rifle should be long enough to accommodate a scope and a night vision system.  Or, a red dot and night vision combo.  Quick-detach mounts like those produced by LaRue Tactical are perfect for switching out sights and scopes quickly without losing your zero.

    The author training with his overwatch rifle near his retreat somewhere in the wilds of Montana.

    In any lopsided contest to the death, the less technologically advanced opponent must inevitably turn to asymmetric warfare; meaning, he must fight smarter, and be more effective with fewer tools at his disposal.  He has to turn his weaknesses into strengths, and make the smallest weapon devastating to his seemingly invincible enemy.  Taking on the role of overwatch rifleman means you must understand all the intricacies of asymmetrics, and be able to apply them in real time in the midst of a battle frenzy.  It is a very ugly mission.

    Above all, you have to have the will and the courage to stand against what you know are incredible odds.  You have to be unwavering.  You have to have a clear understanding of why you picked up that rifle in the first place, and maintain a deep belief in your cause despite the seeming impossibility of the task before you.  Otherwise, fear will be your guide, and the fearful can never provide adequate overwatch.

    You can contact Brandon Smith at:  [email protected]

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      1. gUN gOOD

        • There’s only one self-defense tactic…..
          Kill the other guy before he kills you!

          • Added bonus: As long as people walk the earth, you’ll never run out of food! Bahaha.

          • Can that be quoted and introduced in the George Zimmerman trial?

        • Brandon sure goes write some good articles. I have always wanted total superiority with a firearm, but that type of security is more than expensive. When I first saw the movie “Quigley Down Under” and Tom Selleck hitting the bad guys at extreme distances with a rifle that at the time was top of the line, I thought that this was what to aim for someday. I type of rifle that could put you out of the range of anything else so you would not be faced with an enemy where they could hit you. Next something with the firepower where you could stop someone before they could harm you.

          I would say though due to cost efficiency that Brandon’s list is pretty nice to start off with. Everyone would like to have the best available defense, or even something that is decades more advanced than anyone else has. The next best choice is to have something that will stop 99% of those wanting to kill you. As always you never want to kill anyone, but having that feeling that you can STOP a threat is a good feeling that everyone should feel and appreciate. That was what part of what the 2nd Amendment was meant for, personal safety, something everyone deserves and that NO ONE has to right to deny to the people.

          • be informed hope you been good. This is to the readers, the truth is you dont need the best ar-15 out there if you are shooting on the go, it takes special people that can shoot and judge well while moving and hitting targets, vs someone shooting in a fixed or prone position at a still target. Most people wont be standing still in a stampede. Practice on the move a tad if you do practice.

          • That was a very good article. But aside from the excellent suggestions about hardware it’s the software Brandon mentions that’s most important. Spend lots of time shooting and getting to know your weapon. Go out in all weather and conditions day and night, summer and winter and practice on targets near and far. Get proficient at sighting, striping, cleaning, adjusting and learn to repair common parts that might wear particularly in the bolt and trigger groups.

            • The only problem with the suggestion of practicing a bunch is that ammo is so scarce that the ammo you use practicing is difficult to replace. Its a tough balancing act, because obviously you need to practice to be good with your weapon. But if you practice too much, you don’t have enough ammo left…

              • try and theluckygunner

                it is all coming back on line

          • And what is out of range of a drone launched missile?
            Just wondering.

            Asymetric warfare at this point is everyone making so much static that their prism turns into the biggest clusterfuck waste of time ever imagined as every intercept contains a reason to follow it up. We outnumber them, massively

            Asymetric warfare is refusing to fight the fight on your enemies terms or to his timetable.

            Asymetric warfare with the sort of weapon described above would be firing on them from a vantage point many miles from your expected location, before they expected to be engaged. With a silencer. Once. Each time they approached.

          • You could buy several tricked out M-1A’s for what one of those Shiloh Sharp’s Rifles sported by Selleck in Quigley would cost. I saw one of these single shots at a gunshow about a year ago and the guy wanted $6k for it.

        • Brandon just one question, Facebook says gUN gOOD and in many locales that may be true,such as Wy. but if memory serves me right NW Montana has very heavy timber is the M1A really the best choice for that type of cover. No argument, just wondering. Trekker Out.

          • Brandon, scratch that question. After a little thought that was a stupid question. The M1A or more correctly the M14 was the main battle rifle in Nam and was used in some very thick jungle, guess that answers my own question. Trekker Out.

          • When you think of NW Montana, think mountain warfare. Do the Swiss or the Germans focus only on close quarters tactics because of timber? No. They try to master all ranges of combat because that is what they will have to face. Same with NW Montana. NEVER assume you will only be engaged at short distances. In fact, anyone who is operating using guerrilla principles is doing something wrong if they are being ambushed at 50 yards or less.

            ALWAYS prepare for a fight at any distance, including long distance, and if possible, choose the ground where that fight will take place. The M1A works very well for this strategy.

            • Excellent article, Brandon. I like my POF 308 (20″ barrel) because it is piston operated and runs cooler & cleaner than the gas operated AR-10. It’s very accurate with the 168 to 175 grain ammo, not so much with the cheaper 147 to 150 grain. I have a Bushnell Elite Tactical 4.5 – 30x that is fine out to 600 yards, which is the longest range at our shooting range. It will very likely be fine at 800, but I have to find a range that long to test that theory, but after a lot of looking it seems to be the best scope in the $1000 range. What night vision do you think is the best for the money?

            • Brandon, good article and response points. Knowing the terrain also dictates when and if one goes on the offense.
              Wouldn’t you agree, knowing the area is just as important?

            • I own an 1890’s Swiss army rifle whos range goes from 230 yards to 1650 yards. It is a .410 caliber and was rimfire. I fired it once when I was a teenager. Once was enough, that gun out kicked Grandps’s 16 ga goose gun which out kicked my neighbors 12 gauge shotgun. My choice is the .22 magnum, which is flat out to 250 yards. And beyond that I don’t know as I have never has to shoot any farther.

              To practice get a .22 that is almost the same as your larger caliber gun and use .22 longs. That is what I do with my handguns I can buy 3 boxes of 50 .22 longs for the price of ONE(1) magnums. No it does not have the kick which is good in practice. You then practice shooting and not practice flinching. G/F

        • This guy has obviously never engaged another human being while himself being on the business end of an enemy’s weapon… Don’t get me all wrong, he’s definitely a sharp guy and knows his technicalities in weaponry, but his idea of some ‘roving overwatch’ is not only unrealistic, it would result in him and his team in permanent overwatch of a tombstone.

          Nothing more than the product of too much paintball and endless hours of Call of Duty video games, and enormous overconfidence in something he has never experienced. I see this everywhere on the internet these days, youngsters barely outta high school thinking they are tactical geniuses.

          Take it from me, an Army Ranger and ex 10th Mountain Div Infantryman with more combat trigger time than I care to recall. Overwatch is ONLY from a single static position. When you are running to the front to scout ahead in his scenario you are merely either crossing the field of fire of the team (moving or not) and directing all enemy fire to you and right to your team.

          I could go further but you get the idea, PLEASE don’t pull crap like this should you ever find yourself in this situation. You WILL die.

          Do everyone that has read this article a favor and learn the basic Infantry Battle Drills, practice them ad nauseaum, then come back with articles on that. You’re a hell of a writer and wealth of knowledge keep it up.

          • @Cumb Dumpster

            I think your name is a perfect reflection of how little anyone should take you seriously.

            Believe me, I have been approached by numerous “Army Rangers” and “Spec Ops” superheroes claiming that THEY know “real” combat tactics and everyone else should bow down and worship them on full faith.

            I work with real Army Rangers, and train with real Spec Ops veterans who have seen real combat. It is because of this that I know that true guerrilla tactics and asymmetric warfare are not covered adequately by the U.S. military (which is why we constantly lose in Asia). I would recommend anyone interested in asymmetrics read the works of H. John Poole, who has done incredibly extensive analysis in guerrilla warfare versus standard U.S. military tactics. I would also recommend the book “Fry The Brain”. Then, apply those tactics in training and simunition classes, and watch how the guys using standard tactics crumble.

            Beware of anyone who beats their chest and boasts about their supposed spec ops history. Real spec ops veterans and Army Rangers do NOT boast about their military histories on Liberty Movement websites.

        • not true. quite often, just the sight of your gun suffices, and even more often the guy is stopped by the defender’s shots, but does not die. also, many other types of defense often suffice, bare handed, knife, club, OC, etc.

      2. I have a Springfield M1A much like the author’s – great choice and good article.

        • I have a rock much like the author’s — great to sit on.

          • Don’t support Cheaper than dirt. They have jacked ammo prices higher that any other suppliers I know. Also after Newtown; they took all guns off their site until everything blew over. That proves whos side their on. Use Natchez, PSA, or Cabelas.

            Back on subject. If you wait until the enemy is right under your nose to fire you don’t need a heavy 308. 7.62 x 39 will do just fine.

            I know not many people on here will even know who Lil Wayne is but he made a new video stomping on the American Flag. The dumbing down phase is almost complete.

            Watch your six

        • If you want that M1A to last, you need to get a forged receiver for it. Most American gun manufacturers use investment cast forgings, that are too weak to handle the stress of the 7.62×51 round. You have to shop around and see who still makes (hammer forged) receivers, and have a good smith install it. It will be expensive, but well worth it.

      3. thats a really neat rifle…however, for the average joe or mary having concealable throw down pieces are going to prove to be more valuble…if you think once the shtf the local power structure is going to allow you to walk around with visable firearms you really need to rethink your plans as that is not going to happen…think items to protect yourself that can’t be traced back to you.

        • There is no real “one” perfect rifle for all your chores. Like I’ve said before, “Mission drives equipment”. This topic has been discussed many times between my son and I. I am very fond of the AK. I wouldn’t win many turkey shoots with it but it will run when others won’t. I guess for the sake of the article, if I had to get down to one firearm, it would be my LWRC REPR (7.62), AR platform in the sixteen inch barrel upper configuration. I’d also carry the 20 inch upper (for the shots longer than 600 yds). I’d carry the twenty in the waterproof Eberlestock scabbard that could be Molle’d to my pack. Other than that I would cache the rest of my equipment. I run Aimpoint T-1s on most of my carbines. Good glass on the long range stuff.

          • @ PO’d Patriot

            I run an LWRC M6A3 5.56 with a Vortex 1-4. Best rifle I ever owned.

            When the SHTF I’ll be on the front lines, being from the communist republic of CA., and you know what they say: “as California goes, so does the rest of the nation”……..except the liberals don’t have the guns.

            When the dust settles, California will be as it should be – a bread basket, not some defunct rectum dwellers paradise.

            • @calres
              the liberals dont need guns, they have leo and mil to do their dirty work for them…sounds kind of like the old mob bosses…the elites are coming for you and yours and anything that you have, if you doubt this ya have a big surprise coming.

              • @ oldman

                I was raised in a law enforcement household and although I understand your assertion, I’m going to have to disagree with you.

                Feast your eyes on these links and then consider the fact that this movement is growing quickly. In January of this year the total was 229 counties nationwide.


                Here are the unofficial front lines:

              • @ oldman

                I was raised in a law enforcement household and although I understand your assertion, I’m going to have to disagree with you.

                Feast your eyes on these links and then consider the fact that this movement is growing quickly. In January of this year the total was 229 counties nationwide.


                Here are the unofficial front lines:

                • @calres
                  yes there are a few good ones left out there…there are even a few that i would trust with my life…it is not however like the old days when individuals got into le to help other people and make a difference…it is just a sign of the times and nothing is the same…it use to be that having a mil background was a good thing for leo but i don’t believe that is the case any longer…too much stress, too much hate, too much anger, too eager to look for a chance to kick someones face in and too power hungry.

            • CR, I also run a LWRC SPR in ODG.

              • @ PO’d Patriot

                CR, I also run a LWRC SPR in ODG.
                Heh, My A3 is setup with the SPR buttstock. I think it’s sexy.

                LWRC’s run like butter, don’t they? I bought it because I saw most people spending the least amount of money on a DI AR platform and then having to run high grade ammo to make it work reliably. LWRC’s on the other hand are pricey, but they’ll shoot the crap ammo reliably – and accurately.

                I handed my A3 to my sister (first time shooter, ever) and she put a 5 inch group into a 8 3/4 inch pie plate target at 200 yards with the 4x scope. She went 10 for 10 (California only allows 10 round mags). This was with 55g Tulammo (not exactly the best ammo).

                I was impressed.

                I have been tempted to put some match ammo through it to challenge myself and the weapon for sub-moa performance, but at 3 times the cost….I’ll settle with the steel-cased stuff for now.

                • Hey Cal Res.
                  Make sure you keep her clean. The coating on the steal ammo will build up in the chamber. This will cause the gun to jam and have heavy hang ups that are hard to unjam.

                  • @ Sgt. Dale

                    I hear you, and already have. She’s taken care of meticulously. I’ve Slip-2000’nd her over a coating of Microlon on the BCG and chamber. Like I said, she runs like butter.

                    BTW, I named her “Ann” after “Ann Barnhardt”. Just an FYI for those of us who name our rifles 😉

        • My plan is to carry my AR15 in my bat bag, looks pretty convincing, ball cap, jersy levis, bat bag with glove etc….
          Had a LR308,
          Too damn heavy, have you tried packing a 13# rifle with a few hundred 308 rounds, hard enough just walking the hunting area, imagine trying to get down with it plus a loaded field pack trying to evade, if i can drop a deer at 200yds with a 65g sierra game king, im pretty sure i can ruin some fuckers day with the same thing.

          • @ Kulafarmer

            Try doing the same with AR500 Omega steel plate carrier and an 8+1 setup in 5.56. It ain’t light either.

          • Same thoughts I had. I love the 7.62X51 round, but we are talking humping a lot of weight.

            An AR in 5.56 will not have the penetration and knockdown power at range, but it will weigh almost half as much and you can carry almost double the ammo.

            Whenever possible, you engage your enemy at a distance. I don’t personally plan to be clearing houses in an urban environment.

            • In the book ‘Contact’, the author recommends that the first and preferred option is to make every attempt you can to avoid contact with the enemy. This doesn’t mean that you should not prepare for contact, because it will eventually turn into an unavoidable situation.

              Thus, the 20,000 dollar question for Walt and everyone else – is this: While we would all agree that it is better to engage your enemy at a distance, before they get close enough to your position to overrun it – what are the factors that we should look for, before we decide to trigger that engagement response? If the enemy has not detected your presence – and you are fairly confident that you are hidden well enough to not be detected, then laying low seems to be the wisest thing to do. On the other hand, if they have spotted your position and are advancing in your direction – that seems to me to be the time to start applying some discouragement in their direction.

              Any comments or different opinions?

          • Yes, but he’d better be within 400 yards or you’re not likely to have sufficient muzzle energy to take him out of the fight. Talk to any vet from the current war about enemies hit at any distance with the current-issue M-4. Great for close-quarters, but…

          • M1 Garand, best rifle ever made. He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother.

            Semper Fi

            • Same. The Feds aren’t wolfing-down on .30-’06 anytime soon
              like they do with .308 Winchester. Also, easy to zero at 200-yds. when engaging OPFO on the run…in your direction.

      4. Should have bought some shares of Goldman Sachs instead.

        When are you people going to start listening to your leaders?

      5. i just got a ‘woody’ reading this report .

        N.O. ;0p

        • @Enemy of the State,

          Good to hear something gave you a pole!! Lmao thought you were always a grouch 🙂

        • Awwww, and everyone here was sorta hoping you couldn’t reproduce.

      6. As I was scrolling down to start reading the article and the picture of you and your Monster Overwatch rifle came in view is was Amazed… I said out loud,

        HoLy ShIt BaaaLLLLzzz !!!!!


      7. I am pretty sure at almost 50 and have done masonry most of my life with a worn out back I would have to rely on cunning and deceit , not longevity. But hey , most of all never quit the fight until you are laid to rest.

        • two2wisper…throw a brick!! 🙂

        • wisper : toby kieth said it
          i aint as good as i once was , but im as good ONCE as i ever was .

          im with ya in the wore out club so we have to be right the FIRST time ! MAKE IT COUNT.

        • Don’t pick a fight with an old guy. He’ll kill you.

          Semper Fi

      8. Good article. Only concern is this. The red dots and PVS14 are not rated for the .308 round. They MAY work great but TNVC tells me that I’d I mount my 14s or my T-1s on my .308s I’m looking for trouble as the recoil rattles the device causing failure.

        At 3000.00 plus per PVS14 and around 600.00 per T-1s I’m just suggesting caution.

        Great article as usual.


        • DITTO that ! the new thin film ITT pinnicle tubes will not handle the recoil impulse , better to wear the PVS14 on your head , helmet mount / skull crusher, and use an IR laser illuminator.
          A simpler way is to flip the PVS to your non dominate eye ( sighting eye) then aim with the un covered eye using your rifles iron sights ( M1-A, M14 system) You will find regardless it is difficult to aim with night vision equipment.
          The M1-A is a true rugged dependable battle rifle with twice the reach of the M16/ M4 system,
          Thats a good thing to know when the OPFOR is using this rifle as their primary weapon. It’s well worth the weight of the rifle and 7.62 cartridges carried in your FLC .

          Remember CCM= concealment, cover, mobility in over watch operations.
          Remember The 3 deadly S’s = Shape , Shine, Sound, all three will get you toes up!

          Practice, know your rifle , be confident in your hits , only accurate fire will win engagements.

          Semper Fi 8541

      9. Brandon Smith Says:

        Here is a short list of possible rifle platforms:

        FN FAL
        Springfield M1A
        FN SCAR
        Saiga .308
        Heckler & Koch PTR-91

        You don’t need any of the above to deal with an adversary [although, they would be nice].

        All anyone needs is a Mosin–Nagant.

        It’s keeping the American Empire in Afghanistan in check today for about $150 USD.

        Effective defence on a budget since 1882. 7.62X54.

        • @Yomowaswrong;
          Here’s one that wasn’t mentioned either. Romanian PSL54c, semi auto 7.62 x54r mm, Russian LPS 4×6 TIP2 glass on a rail, Black Horse Arsenal polymer furniture, compensated, modeled after the Russian Dragonov and the Dragonov Tigre. The down side is the magazines, if you can find them today they run a $100 plus and the cost of the rifle today, I have no clue but it’s gotta be out there. I would be hating life if I were a bad guy out on the business end of that thing flinging 7.62×54 silver tip steel core. Steel gong swinging on chain @ 200 yards, half inch holes clean thru.
          I was told that Black Horse was looking to replicate the dragonovs, for foreign military sales, but that was back before somebody got reelected, I haven’t heard anything sense.

          • Romanian psl , drag or other 7.62x54r semis can only shoot up to 160 gr. anything heavier, like 180 gr sellier bellot will tear it apart.

        • Ive got a Ruger compact laminate bolt gun in 308, light, compact, accurate as hell, more accurate than i can shoot, im no combat soldier, if im reaching out to touch someone i think my first choice is my 30-06 with 175g SMKs

          • Any of you ever fire an Arisaka 99 (7.7 X 57)?
            With the original stock the recoil is amazingly light…
            A friend of a friend has one and it was a joy to shoot.

          • kula , i agree , go with what ya know .
            i like my 3030 marlin just fine , any gun you shoot well with is the best choice.
            up here there isnt gonna be a shot farther than 100 yds anyway , unless your standing in the road !
            but i do like the marlin 45-70 ……. maybe if i win the elk lottery someday ill buy one .maybe .

            • Nice thoughts there Hammer best to be content with what we have today & hope for something better tomorrow in the mean while just train with the one God has blessed us with. Most important is to keep enemy further away than 100 yd minimum, in the right hands a Marlin & bandolier of 3030s will deflate a lot of tactical black jackboots. Even better with 45-70 hardcast 400gr+ flatnose to punch through ceramic & break bone. Have you noticed from the 1900s bullets have been getting smaller & higher rate of fire now 100 years on military seem to be going back to the highly trained sharp shooter scout soldier with bigger calibers ie .338 & .50

            • until a few years ago. the 30-30 has put more venison on the table than any other caliber.

              • Butch Napolitano has just ordered some of this, along with .45 Colt and .45 ACP for DHS…

              • nope that would be a .22 be amazed at the amout of deer taken by them

                • According to speer reloading manual 3030 has put more venison on the table than any other caliber. Iam sure the .22 could be a close 2nd, or even 1st. Gut they won’t print that because it is illegal in mosy states to use a .22(rimfire). Also the .22 has surely wounded more game than all others combined, but thats my opinion.

        • Good luck finding ammo for any of these now. I went with long range rather than up close and personal, hopefully my strategy will pay off initially.

        • Just remember most 7.62 x 54 is mil surp and that ammo is corrosive. Can’t beat a Mosin though.

          If you looking to save some weight; don’t forget about aluminum handgun ammo. I just got some and was surprised how much less it weights compared to brass. Non reloadable of course.

        • My personal experience is with two of the aforementioned rifles–the M-1A and the FN/FAL (L1A1). The latter lacks any sort of “forward assist”, and if it becomes powder fouled from protracted shooting, it won’t always go back into battery, and you’ll have to clean it to get it running again. The M-1A, with a “handle” on the bolt carrier can be slapped into battery if necessary. TAPCO sold me a “Forward Assist Bolt Carrier” for mine, and it DIDN’T WORK reliably. Sold it at a gunshow. Got an M-1A. I’d pass on this European abortion…

        • Finn farmer, over 500 confirmed kills, winter war of ’39. Killed those mother f commies with a Mosin. Iron sights, no bullshit.

      10. DON’T use your AN/PVS-14 on any .308 rifle. The PVS-14 scope is not built to take the sustained recoil of that round. It was designed for use on a 5.56mm rilfe. You would be better off using the NV scope on your helmet and having an infared scope on the rilfe.

        • to: 21 bravo Helmet? now i gotta have a helmet? IS that really going to protect my noggin from a guy like brandon,shootin a 308 projectile. just askin?

      11. All very good suggestions, but it’s also important to know when to shoot, not just how and what to shoot. If a threat is moving lateral or away from your position one should think twice before giving away your position, let passers go and draw enemies in.

        Depending on optics in can be difficult to determine intent, in most cases you should never bring undue attention, you should always offset your position from that of your strong hold and fire only when a threat is identified 0-500 meters.

        Every effort should be made to not shoot people of like mind out of fear.

        • @y99—-Very intelligent comment and advise.

        • If the SHTF, and you wanted to wear a pistol when you were doing outdoor chores, where would be the best place to wear a holster. Leg, waist, shoulder? I have a Lady Smith.

          • Anonymous, that’s a great question that can only be truly answered by your level of activity. Before the GWOT many of us used leg rigs, what we found was during extended operations it was impractical for movement over time and very uncomfortable even though we had done it for years.
            If you’re using a harness type rig I suggest placing your pistol in the range of hip, belly to chest this will allow more mobility over time.

            Again much depends on your daily activity, so think about what it is you need to do besides kill bad guys, and then fit your rig to suit your situation.

            Practice, practice, practice.

            • Thanks.

      12. a warning from a in-the-know mt local

        Wilds of Montana ???

        i didn’t realize eureka montana was the ‘Wilds of Montana’

        i’d say that COLUMBIA FALLS ‘CFALLS REDNECK SHEEITHOLE’ MONTANA was more the ‘Wilds of Montana’ with its 26 registered cfalls CHILD MOLESTIN’ RAPIST sex offenders , very high percentage % per capita ex-cons pop., ALCHI’S METHHEAD POTHEAD druggies dealers , incestuous families , adultery , petty local thieves and religious nutbags … ohhhh and lets not forget its holy soldiers ‘CFALLS Moron Sons of the Freemasons’ who go around terrorizing anyone who stands up to their religious bullsheeit and dogma !

        let this be a warning to anyone vacationing in montana avoid COLUMBIA CFALLS MONTANA and WEST GLACIER valley OR you will be targeted by the CFALLS montana locals for not only harassment , property vandalism but robbery as well JUST CAUSE YOUR NOT A MONTANA LOCAL IN-BREEDER !

        stay at any of the montana local motels at your own risk of robbery , vehicles broken into robbed and having you vehicles vandalized just cause you have out of state plates .

        beware columbia falls cfalls montana its a true LOCALS ONLY MONTANA WHIGGER owned shitkicker town .

        ~ this is a honest warning . its safer to stay in kalispell , mt which has a decent professional police department .

        a warning from a in-the-know mt local

        • @Anonymous

          Clearly you’ve never lived in NW Montana. It sounds like you’ve been reading too many SPLC reports. The cartoonishness of your description did give me a chuckle, though…

          • i live only 4 miles from you brandon , we know the same people and i was here before you and your people arrived from out of state .

            so i do know .

            • If that’s true then why don’t we name a time and place and I’ll meet you there to discuss your strange attitude towards the area.

              You can email me at [email protected]

              • Still waiting for that email…

                • brandon , do not engage the troll.

                  love your site BTW .
                  if you ever get to michigan , your welcome to stop and say hello .
                  aint hard to find………

        • Anon didn’t realize it was so bad up there. when I moved from Missouri to NW Wyoming my prefference was really NW Montana. Guess you and I saw it through different eyes. I loved Libby, Troy, Yaak and Columbia Falls. Guess I’ll stay in NW Wyoming. Trekker Out.

          • the cfalls / west glacier ‘mt locals’ in the valley have formed a ‘montana local only’ militia and they are actively terrorizing vandalizing robbing folks recently moved here from out of state throughout the valley between cfalls and glacier park montana targeting their homes and cars for vandalism and robbery .

            folks are reporting being harassed at 1-4am o’darkness at their homes in the valley by face painted camo’d-up montana militia men

            most new comers live in fear of their montana local neighbors , sooner or later they learn there’s a big social class difference between ‘real montana locals’ and everyone else .

            and the local sheriff department fcso is powerless against them

            so if you head this way for a visit ‘pack a heater’ and lock your property up in your trunk or truck tool box .

            • Utter fiction…but okay.

            • Forget my comment. I get it. Yes NW Montana is crazy. Full of skin heads and people carrying GUNS. Stay Away. And Stay out of Idaho all the way to Bonners Ferry. They are the same too. Lock your doors and put a chasity belt on your animals. You dont want to come up here.. OOPS, I mean there.

              • HAHAHAHA – good try dave , my family and i were out there two weeks summer last year vacationing.
                great people , great country , hope to visit again sometime . ( but i like it where im at ) just between us .

          • I went to the water falls in Troy last week and had a huckleberry ice tea. Anon is full of shit. Columbia Falls is the gate to Glacier Nat park and the Yaak River, riding up Hwy 508 is beautiful. I hike the Goat and Line Point mountain area on trailhead 44 as it is only a few miles from my property. I live about 30 miles from Troy, in Idaho.

            • Standing by in Careywood, ID. The skinheads (all 6 or 8 of them) left the Hauser Lake area a while back. Most folks up here in eastern WA, N Idaho and western MT are decent people. I haven’t seen or heard any news reports of midnight raiding militia folk, it just ain’t so.

        • You should see a doctor or septic tank cleaner. You seem to be quite full of shit. Obviously one of the coasties who have a preconception of what “fly over country” is like.

          Political corectness is a political doctrine wherin adherants are convinced that it’s possible to pick up a turd by the clean end. I wish I could take credit for this analysis, but I can’t. Whomever came up with this analysis hit it out of the park.

      13. If all you have is a Marlin 60 or a 10/22 that will have to do. Beats a stick or a rock any day…well most days anyway.

        • Yeah, or an 03A3. Good sights, not as good as on the M1, but they’ll do.

          All I’ve got shoots the 30-06. Easy to reload. Kills em.

          Semper Fi

          • Good Read Brandon, I as most started out with SKS and Other Caliber Hunting Rifles, Model 700 BDL Rem, most with eyeballs some Iron sights, was looking for THE Battle Rifle, and then realized the One I liked in the Marines, was the M-14, even the M-1..However I settled on the M-1A and have no regrets, Ammo A little Heavy But I am Covered to Over 800 Meters. and then some with the 308….Sold all the Rest and Kept the Best!

            Semper Fi

      14. At Everyone,

        Brandon sure seems to have his ‘ducks in a row’ on the overwatch matter!

        A lot of what people need to consider is the situation they are in, like what
        is the local geography where they are. Out in Kansas or the Plains you might well
        NEED to ‘reach out and touch someone’ at 1500 yards but how many other places do
        you NEED that type of range? In many of the Southern states you would be hard
        pressed to find a clear shot more than 250 yards straight-line (on average!)
        So….just think through it.

        Also, there is the thought of ‘How much ‘punch’ will the bullet have at
        the range at which you will be shooting, as well as the basic accuracy of the
        bullet at that range. The XM855 that everyone is so fond of nowadays tends to
        become very unstable (read as inaccurate) at much beyond 400 yards. Also, even
        with a steel-core that bullet is hard-pressed to get through ANY grade of
        personal armour at much beyond 250 yards as the energy drops off very rapidly.

        There are a lot of different firearms and calibers out there…too many for
        most people to wade through to come up with a good match to thier locality. Too,
        there is also a mistaken assumption that anything but an ‘assault rife’ will
        be less than ‘Manly’. Beleive me, I don’t WANT anyone shooting at me with
        something like a simple 338 WinMag (almost 4000 ft lbs at the muzzle, half that
        at 500 yards) or alternately a Marlin 450 lever-action (the poor man’s machine
        gun) with almost as much force at the muzzle. Remember, when you are talking
        about thousands of lbs of force it doesn’t matter whether the bullet gets
        through armour or not…10 broken ribs and you are NOT going to be getting back
        up to join in the party again, are you?

        The point that Brandon makes about ‘night-vision’ is extremely serious; all of
        the US Military has extraordinarily good NV capacity…beyond what you or I can
        afford to buy (some costing more than 20,000 dollars!) but having even a limited
        capaciity is better than being stone-cold blind! A particularly good 1st generation
        piece is the ATI Mark 410 “Spartan”at around $575. It’s bulky and heavy – in no
        small part due the ‘front glass’ which is 120 mm wide – but it performs VERY well
        because of that big glass, which can pull in a lot of light so the amplifier
        doesn’t have to be so good.

        Just a few thoughts for the Good Folks here….

        • If you’re shooting people at 1500m you either have optics that can read intent or you just don’t care. Not all people will be the enemy WTSHTF.

          Have a better plan.

      15. This meathead Rambo crap is totally the wrong mentality for economic collapse. It’s not going to be your fantasy of tactical gear and combat zones and you running around the woods being king of the hill. It’s just going to be about living your life in a third world country.

        Your first priority is a top quality handgun, under the clothes 3A kevlar vest, inside the waistband holster, carry permit, lead sap, pepper spray, folding knife, brass knuckles, and stun gun. You also need fortifications for your domicile.

        The helmet, rifle, and shotgun are of secondary importance.

        • Eisenkraut, I just hate to have to agree with you, but sometime there’s just no way around it. Trekker Out.

          • I know it hurts and I think I threw up a little.

        • Until someone shoots at you from beyond 100 yards, then you might think a rifle is of utmost importance…

          • agreed here…it’s better to see and engage your looter pack with accurate and sustained rifle fire at 500 yards and beyond than at 50 yards and up close.

            A couple of exploded heads at 500-700yds before the shot echo reaches the pack of feral humans might give those remaining a little pause before they decide to set-upon your location to rob, rape and kill.

            I have two M1-A rifles with similar setups as those shown in this article. I have successfully hit 19″ silhouettes at 700 yards from concealed prone position at a Suarez International DMR / Sniper course. THAT kind of firepower is way more effective at deterring or exterminating looters than a handgun.

            I highly suggest a shooter and spotter team for LP/OP duty, with your spotter using an infa-red device and your shooter having that PVS14 with a com uplink to your retreat. Make sure your LP/OP are at least 500 to 1000 yards from your retreat structure to force the enemy to have to fight their way through your sharpshooters and then to have to cover additional ground through the prepared defenses of the retreat’s occupants.

            The goons will always attack at night, and your group being able to see and engage them from afar will make all the the difference between surviving chaos and being overrun.

            • Geez i hope it never comes down to this,
              Am no Rambo, dont want to be.

            • The point is that most of us will never get a chance at a 500M shot. EK is right, though I’m afraid his carry permit won’t hold much water, and is a form of gun owner registration. The pigs often ignore such trivial items as the law today. Don’t put too much faith in permits during a major SHTF.

            • I suggest groin shots. Let ’em scream a while. That’s a pretty effective demoralizer as well.

              • WK,
                I have never shot a human, but I have heard that hitting the femoral artery or the iliac artery can cause someone to bleed out pretty fast. Pretty close to what you suggested.

                • That wasn’t what I was thinking, but a hit is a hit.

              • with a .308 battle rifle like the FAL, the M1A or the PTR 91….a shot to the guts or to the pelvis will take anyone out of the fight…..especially if you’re shooting that frangible German DAG surplus ammo.

          • Who in the hell is going to be shooting at you from 100 yards, and what in the hell would you be doing out of your shelter in the first place? Do you ever think about this stuff Brandon?

            • @ eisen. Hey shit for brains, He lives in the woods. Outside IS our shelter. Not everyone lives in town. But thanks for the concern.

            • Eisendoofus…real life, especially post-SHTF retreat life ain’t scripted. Sewer lines back up and need to be snaked…security watches have to be put out and relieved 24/7…..gardens need to be tended, antennae on the TV or radio need to be adjusted, trash needs to be disposed of, perimeters need to be patrolled and contacts need to be assessed as friend or foe.

              How long do you think a dozen or even a half dozen people and their pets, children, parents etc. can stay cooped-up in a cabin before somebody has to bolt just to be able to fart out loud or have a cigarette without upsetting the others?

              Read James Wesley Rawles’ “Patriots” for a fictional idea of what it might be like.

            • Uh…100 yds is only 300 ft….its that far from my door to the barn ….I shoot woodchucks and critters ALOT farther out than that with my .22 regularly….so if 100 yards is a long shot in your world…oh well.

        • it all relevant to where you live …

          brandon lives in montana

          where the two legged predators are worse than the four legged in the woods and mountains

          so his story is very appropriate

          many montana ‘locals’ will turn feral when the shtf

          and your gonna need to protect yourself from them

          • I guess you don’t think Grizz is much of a threat. Or a pack of wolves.

            • Those are both known threats, one a great source of food so I say shoot on sight. People are a different matter, anyone on this site that you’ve come to know through digcomo could be the person walking through your AO, and the decision to shoot a human being should be formed by intent and threat not the ability of the shooter to engage at 1500m.

              • The decision to shoot should be decided upon intent and not just because a group of christian refugees are coming up the road. Engaging someone at 200 yards before you know whether they’re good guys or not is at the least what being human is all about. Otherwise, God, Karma, or whatever you believe in will catch up with you. In the long run, having God on your side may be the only thing that saves you when SHTF.

                I like the overwatch article, but keep in mind, blowing away people when SHTF: if even one of them escapes, he’ll bring back overwhelming retribution. Better thing Gray-Manning it, unless the attack is imminent on one’s castle. But overall the discussion is about in full blown SHTF war, not minor zombie infestation. So continue with the discussion men.

            • i’ve work around both wolves and grizz with horses in the grand tetons wyoming

              if you respect them they respect you

              humans though respect nothing

              • I live near them. All depends on whether they are hungry. when hiking, I really am weary of moose, they seem to be on a permanent PMS. I know what you mean about Humans as I worked for the City Of Stockton Ca for 10 years.

              • Anon, sure hate to disagree with you, but I live in NW Wyo. and spend alot of time in the wilderness alone and have saw Wolves, Lions and Grizzly while on foot, not just from a car, and while I personally have not had an up close and personal encounter with a Griz, I can introduce you to people that have. So I’ll tell you that I don’t worry about wolves or lions,to much for that matter, but you can respect Grizzlies all you want, just don’t think that they are going to respect you. They are very unpredictable. And where I live, when you go into the woods to play, you better be armed, atleast with pepper spray. Thats not my first choice. Trekker Out.

            • What in the hell would you be doing in the woods in the first place?

              • Obviously where you live, you can only get a 100yard range if you stand in the middle of the street.

                Not far too far from my front door, anything moving that is bigger than a coyote can be detected at 1000yards.

              • @ eisen…I play the fiddle.. want to join me by the crik.

                • heh heh…purty mouth….mmmmm hmmmmmm

        • Get with the program…. U just need a 88 or a Tiger.

          • Panther would be fine.

        • Have to give credit where credit is due. Eisenkreuz has made some good points, even if you disagree to a degree. What you get and in what order ought to be based on your situation and what you can afford at the time. While every thing listed is important, one has to made a list of what gets done first.
          The Rambo movies were some of the stupidest movies ever made. In the first movie, he would have died from hypothermia, long before he got into a fire fight with the local officers.

        • Make sure you have the carry permit, eisen.

      16. To start with, much depends on how many weapons you own, many will say they can’t afford to buy more than one gun, which is fine, so YOU will have to make the decision on what it will be. Now most preppers and survivalist will have more of an option, since we will have a varity of weapons to choose from. First let me say, the gun that I will strap on first and take off last will be my 1911, 45ACP and this is the least effective weapon that I own, as they say, a handgun is only good to get you to your rifle. Now if I’m staying home and protecting my castle, my first choice would be a M1A or M14 or M1 Garand because I have a good field of view, but this is not what I would carry afield, they are heavy, 9 to 10 lbs. empty and for the average Joe they would wear you out. I’m old and no brag, I can drop and give you 20 but I ain’t lugging around that heavy of a gun. So if I were going on a long excursion it would be with some kind of AR which are quite accurate for most shooter out to 600yds. and beyond. If I were going on some kind of sortie and was expecting to get in to a heavy fire fight, I would take my SKS with stripper clips and if I ran out of ammo, I could throw it down and cut out for my Castle, and therein lies the reason I always have my 45, which is pretty effective out to 100 yards in a worse case senario. I’m sure many will have their own prefference but this is the way I would go. Trekker Out. Keep Your Powder Dry And Your Gun Clean And Oiled.

        • Old man,

          The 1911A1 is also my shit. I hate plastic.

          • Glock 19 all day and night… and twice on Sunday. Plus a 33 round mag is hard to beat. Glock parts will be easily found if needed. 1911 to heavy and needs to be cleaned every 5 mins.

            I would rather have a 38 special instead of 1911. Go to Youtube and type in glock torture tests and you will see what you should rock out with your glock out.

            • I take back every good thing I ever said about my glock. Got it new a couple months ago and guess what. Going back to the repair facility in GA a 2nd time. The older glocks are much better than the new MIM part crap. Wish I would have bought a S&W M&P ;(

        • It’s silly to think you’ll get to pick a firearm from the rack like picking a golf club from the bag.

          • Not so George. When you meet them at the door your 590 with 00buck would work real fine. When they back off a bit you set it down and pick up your M1A, now if your going out on a mission you have time to pick up your AR kinda like picking golf clubs from a bag. Don’t know I’m not a golffer and I don’t keep my guns locked up and they’re already loaded, so it would probably be quicker than picking a golf club. Also my children are grown and most of my grandchildren are too, so if they are around they can feel free to grab a gun since they all know how to handle them safely. That’s why they’re loaded and not locked up. Trekker Out. Free Men Own Guns, Slaves Don’t!

      17. If I could only have one gun my choice would be the Springfield M1A Scout. I have a couple of SOCOM II’s in my inventory and I love them, but they are just too bulky with that quad rail and are extremely rough on the hands if you have to hump it all day. If your sitting in a LP-OP though its great to sit it on a bipod or bungee it. Even with the short barrel you can still reach out and touch someone at 800 yards. Lets face though 800 yards is an extremely long shot and most people could not make the shot regardless of the weapon.

        My theory is everyone needs a SAPR (Semi Automatic Perscision Rifle) like a 308, 7.62×51 or 338 if your rich enough to afford the ammo, but most of us are not going to engage targets at 800 yards. For me I’m going to keep an eyeball on them and pray like hell they walk on by. If not though I need to identify who it is before I fire.

        The fact is most fire fights occur within 50 yards and the average sniper shot is only about 65 yards. Lets keep it in perspective.

        • Alot of new shooters do not realize bullet drop after 300 yards is quite a bit. Most will hit low to dirt @ 500 yards with the scope zeroed at 100 yards. (With exceptions for those with 300 ultra mag etc).I would recommend Not shooting over 300 unless you are exp. and have your bdc paperwork with you.

          • @ dave,

            Might try looking up the Leatherwood M1000 or M1200 online…I have both and they are lethally effective out to 1200 yards (M1200). Both are mil-dot, both have the reticle functionally ‘tied’ to the ranging cam which serves to alter the ‘inclination’ of the scope once you have ranged the target through the scope itself… NOTHING electonic involved at all. When you turn the range ‘collar’ the sled base beneath is effectively a variable MOA base….works like a charm once you get it sighted in. Aftet that just place the crosshairs where you want the bullet to strike…end of story…

            • OK.

              • I watched a you tube review. I havent had much luck with chinese products, so I will stay with leopold and paper work. Besides, you still need a good range finder to determine where to set the cam yardage.

                • @ dave,

                  “Besides, you still need a good range finder to determine where to set the cam yardage.”

                  Nope…the cam is tied to the reticle as a function of the mil-dot system. In essence, framing a target in the reticle determines the range, then adjust the range ‘sleeve/collar’, then pull the trigger…simple.

                  Oh, BTW…this is the same piece that Carlos Hathcock used in Viet-Nam…for 200+ ‘kills’…just sayin here…

                  • The vid didnt explain the range finding clearly. What do you think of the Shepard scope? I believe it has a built in range finding reticle. Forgive my ignorance as I only have iron (peep) sights on my rifles. I have been using lyman for the levers and williams for the bolts. Thats why I will not shoot beyond 300yrds. I have been considering a scope to extend the range and get a good clean kill as the Elk are getting more uppitty as the wolves decrease the population and drive them lower to the open fields here.

            • Well not quite, you still have wind and other factors. Also as scopes go the M1000 & M1200 are heavy because of the base. I think Hathcock use a Leatherwood, so they have been around a long time.

              But really folks we are talking almost a half a mile shot. Look at the picture of Brandon, do you really think he has a 800 yard field of fire in that terrain?

          • Hathcock didn’t carry paperwork. With few exceptions, this long range talk is just that, talk. If you start popping people at 500M, be prepared to have lots of people gunning for you, and pray that no semblance of law & order is ever restored. You may have to answer for your actions. Hard to claim self defense for 500M shots.

            • @ Tom A,

              Hmmm…when TSHTF does anyone REALLY beleive that everyone is gonna be real ‘buddy-buddy’? Nothing would be left alive in the cities in a matter of weeks, so what remains is rural folk…they KNOW each other…they will SHOOT anyone else…believe me. Aside from that if anything ‘BAD’ is going on, you better ‘get ’em’ at range…not ‘Up close and personal’. As a last thought, HOW do you determine WHERE a shot comes from when the shooter is 800+ yards away….the sound spreads out so much it is ALMOST impossible to get an accurate ‘bearing’ on the shooter; unless they are standing out in the open, of course! To say the least, that’s not a ‘likely’ scenario…just sayin’

            • Well put Tom A Hawk, I agree.

            • What’s a meter?

          • The Trijicon ACOG, the Browe combat optic and the ELCAN Spectre are all designed to be zeroed at 100 yards (or is it meters for the ELCAN?) and to predictably hit out to maximum distance based on the caliber of bullet that the optic’s reticle is made for.

            They all utilize the Bindon Aiming Concept in their scopes….look it up, I know as FACT that it works quite effectively after stretching my M1A and AR-15 shots from 50 yards out to 800 yards against 19″ wide steel targets at Suarez International’s designated marksman rifle / sniper week in Coleman Texas.

      18. Wow. I will probably get criticized but here goes.
        Brandon seems to be a knowledgeable guy but at a point a person has to be reasonable. For most of us even getting a bit prepared is a challenge. To go and lay out $5,000+ for a rifle system is unobtainable when all we can afford is a shotgun, a hunting rifle, and some type of pistol for personal defense. If it gets so bad that this type of equipment is required, I won’t be around anyway being of advanced age.
        I’ll just concentrate on my garden, canning, etc and try to get by. Even with that, I feel that I am ahead of 90% of the population for I am pretty self sufficient out in a rural area. God bless, James

        • @ James.

          You are going to do alright. Know your weapons and keep them in good order. Know your shooting lanes and distances. Fortify home where you can. Have a dog? Know your neighbors dogs? You know the sounds of the night. Maybe a few motion detectors like the driveway alarms.

          Nice to have all the bells and whistles but you can work around them and be just as effective.

        • James your right, I have a fair collection of guns that I won’t go into right here, and as for the M1A just the basic rifle and mount and a decent scope, your talking about 2 to 3 grand. Its a great outfit, but of the guns that I have, I really have to say that the lowly SKS that I have is one of the most fun to shoot, ain’t going to brag about it’s accuracy out past 200 yards but truthfully very few people are that good of shots past 200 yds. I’ve heard their claims, but talk is cheap. Trekker Out

          • @ James and MTrekker. I wouldnt mind having you both as neighbors. The sks will do the job against looter trash. But with Armored renagades, the 123grn bullet isnt traveling fast enough to get through. I would use a 308, 3006, or a 762x54r. All three would be bolt action and under 600$ scoped. Agree on the 200yrds. (300 for me)

            • Dave, I would love to be a neighbor, NW Montana and Northern Idaho were really my first choices, but NW Wy. ain’t bad and it’s far enought from all of my family in Mo. as it is, 18 hr. drive to visit family. Have a friend in your area, almost made a mistake and gave location, may want to hide out there someday, must be careful, I’ve heard that their’s people that might listen in, if you know what I mean. Trekker Out.

              • Trust me, they already have my address and phone number as soon as I logged on this site. yours too.

            • dave,
              I have a .300 Win Mag for the armored types.

          • Yep, talk is very cheap

        • James,
          For those on a budget l recommend SKS! Picked mine up for less than $90.00 brand spank in new back in the early 90’s! With mill dot scope, and deadly accurate @ 500 yards! Can put one together today highly modified for around $650.00! Good luck.

        • James, your hunting rifle will do just fine. These computer jockeys are full of shit, mostly.

          Semper Fi

      19. Yeeeeeeeeeeee Haaaaaaaaaaaaawwww. Now we’re talking.

        Different strokes for different folks and it’s all good you know. Body armor for those fat people like myself that can walk but can’t run. Put a Kevlar helmet on and get behind a few sandbags with plenty of stuff and that is about as good as it would get for me. If it got really bad. There again we must be able to transform from city to wood land in our tactics. Be a step ahead. If you have more than one weapon, load them all up. Place them around the house if you plan to bug in. Bury a cache in you Bug out site.

        Good article, Brandon.

      20. If you have NOT gotten your inventory in place as of yet,
        your already behind the curve. I prefer my .50 for targets 1500 meters using the MK211 round, (really for vehicles), otherwise the .338 lapua for 500-1500 meters, my M24 for 100-1000 meters, my ar15 or PS90 for close quarters. Anything closer than 20 meters you need a good handgun of your choice, 40, 45, etc.

        Bolt/semi-auto really depends on your experience level and competence. Decide wisly as all variations of contact will differ greatly. Have your surrounding prepared with caches of ammo, food etc., already in place and you and your team will be a force to be delt with. Practice, Practice and Practice some more so it becomes a natural response, otherwise all else will not be matter.


      21. If you have NOT gotten your inventory in place as of yet,
        your already behind the curve. I prefer my .50 for targets 1500 meters using the MK211 round, (really for vehicles), otherwise the .338 lapua for 500-1500 meters, my M24 for 100-1000 meters, my ar15 or PS90 for close quarters. Anything closer than 20 meters you need a good handgun of your choice, 40, 45, etc.

        Bolt/semi-auto really depends on your experience level and competence. Decide wisly as all variations of contact will differ greatly. Have your surrounding prepared with caches of ammo, food etc., already in place and you and your team will be a force to be delt with. Practice, Practice and Practice some more so it becomes a natural response, otherwise all else will not be matter.


      22. Brandon I stand on my observation, good article. I hope, no I pray that men like us never have to defend ourselves from our govt. or our fellow citizens EVER. For the practiced man 600m is a chip shot with a .308 or bigger. If your banging 175 g bullets, you can open that distance easily.

        Most here may not realize that with the shoot computers,mini weather stations and a decent scope what kind of advantage a shooter has. If you can accurately range it, dial the enviro data and the bullet dope barrel length , scope height, things down range get cozy.

        G7 is also a plus.

        Again nicely done.


        • And the teenager who pops you with a .22 will thank you for ’em.

      23. Beware of the middle-roaders….they bring little and endanger much.

        Keep the FAITH

      24. Get a 5.56x45mm and 7.62x51mm best of both worlds ammo all over the place. Keep it simple. Bells and whistles can be added as you go. Just get something brand new that goes bang! Be wary of used unless you know a thing or two about wear and tear and fixing. Springfield Armory rifles are awesome. Windham Weaponry carbines are awesome too. 🙂 you need mags go to need ammo go to Ammunition service is outstanding and pricing is pretty damn good.

        • A semi auto pistol with one magazine is about as fast to reload as a cap and ball revolver.

      25. What say you NinaO. You are from Montana if I remember correctly.

      26. Eisen, I can agree with the handgun folding knife, and other items you mentioned, but nobody’s going to caree about a CCW permit in any post-SHTF scenario. My next major purchase soon will be a 12-gauge pump and several different types of shells for it. I already have 2 good rifles, neither of them the “assault type”. My Ruger 10/22 can put dinner on the table in extreme situations. My “heavier artillery” is the .30-caliber M1 carbine, a proven warhorse from WW2 and Korean War. The .30 Carbine cartridge has a 110-grain bullet with better penetration than the .223 or 7.62×39. The rifle only weighs 5 lbs. empty, and yes, I have some high-capacity mags for it. A Springfield XD40 is my choice of handgun. As for knives, i collect a few knives myself, mostly fixed blades. also have a couple of old Swiss Army knives from my younger days. how can you call yourself a prepper and say rifles and shotguns are of secondary importance? They better be at the top of your list if you want to survive. braveheart

        • Braveheart.

          How about a 1909 Argentine short combat sword.

          “It will take your head off, forget about your eye” ;0)

        • @ BH. sorry, but the 30 carbine has less energy than both the 223 and the 762×39 as the 30 car/with 110 grn travels under 2000fps, the 223/ with 70 grn is at 3000fps developing roughly 400 ftlbs more energy. also 55 grn @ 3500fps. the sks/ak bullet @123 grns is also moving faster than the 30 carbine. The 30 car is no longer a popular cal that you can go up to a store and buy the ammo. It is (was) cheap online, but the gun now cost as much as the ak and poodle popper.

          • @Dave
            The 762×39 when used w/ SKS will also penetrate most body armor!

        • Old man, am I going to sling that stupid rifle when I go to work or grocery shopping after the collapse?

          There is far more chance of there being excessive rule of law than no rule of law post SHTF. You need a permit.

          Think for once.

          • @eisen
            you are right on the money there e…you will need a permit and the permit regs will be based on what ny and nj have only just a little tighter…what does that mean??? simple, only the elites will have a chance at getting any type of permit…

          • Eisen, yeah, and kiss their ass while you’re at it.

          • Ok SHTF What Store are you Going Too? Permit? My Permit is the Gun I have In My Hand Second Adm Much!

            Semper Fi Not Simply Fuk It !

        • @bh
          i like your 30 carbine its a great rifle and is very effective…your right about the ccw and the first thing that will be done is to revoke all ccw’s as all will be forbidden to carry any type of firearm…all you people thinking about heading for the hills should pay attention to what is being wrote in this article…it is very apparent that there are a lot of people who will take you out for simply passing thru an area…please watch the footage of what happened in the boston area during the fake search for the bombing subjects, that was practice run pure and simple…i believe that being in either the city or out in the country where you are secluded is a death warrent for your family, look for small towns under a population of 10 thousand where people know each other are our best bet for surviving the new remake of the 1880’s coming down the pike…all of you that think that im wrong, guess what, i also hope that iam wrong.

      27. Just remember after the first week IRON SIGHTS will rule the day. I noticed that the M1A had no iron sights, so what happens if you bust your optics? IRON SIGHTS RULES THE DAY! My two cents, far what its worth.
        Keep the FAITH

        • The M1A does have iron sights. With that battle rail on it, you do have to remove the whole rear site assembly, but you can still put it back on if need be.

        • Right on, Watchman. Best sight ever put on a rifle is the iron sight on the M1 Garand, best rifle ever made.

          Semper Fi

      28. Shooting a Kevlar Helmet Results

        All shots were at 10 Meters. Rounds shot were as follows.
        7.62×25 Stopped
        9mm Stopped
        .45 Stopped
        5.56×45 Penetrated, minimal damage as round went through with no yaw. M193 55 Gr.
        7.62×39 Penetrated, Heavy damage as round yawed.
        7.62×51 Penetrated, Heavy damage as round yawed.

        .45-70 stopped, heavy buckling on the interior of the helmet. Round used was 300 Gr. Lead Flat faced. Round remained in the Kevlar lairs bouncing around like babies rattle…
        The pistol rounds will knock you out and the .45-70 would cause severe head trauma.

        Keep the FAITH

        • Thanks Watchman.

        • I think Brandon has wrote a fine article. In his environment, his set up is fine. If you are in Los Angeles, get the 12 guage with Buck shot. Cost is a problem for a few of us on the optics. Priorities are important when $$$$ are limited. Like my son who shows up to play music(he calls it that) at a bar with a 4000$ drumset in a 500$ car. I get a little nervous with battery operated devices out in the wild with no 7-11 to buy more. But thats my opinion.

          • @ dave. If you live in L.A. spend the money on a U-haul truck and head as far out of the region as quicly as possible. This city will be the first ones to fall and then likely just about every other major city. If you can afford to do so, I feel the highest priority right now is to use what money you have to relocate to a less populated area. Doesn’t it feel like this is the wisest course of action as the tension just in the last week seems to have risen another couple of levels?

          • Go trijicon bud, no battery’s and relabel, worth the money.

        • Like I said……groin shots.

        • Thank you Watchman! I was wondering about
          this as I checked out the local Army Surplus store.
          thx again

      29. Wound or kill is irrelevant.

        Shoot to remove the threat. Doesn’t matter what the target’s state is, as long as it goes down.

        You shouldn’t be firing more than five rounds before self-extracting, so you won’t have a clue if they are dead or wounded or shamming, regardless.

        Remember: Five rounds then disappear.

        Keep the FAITH

        • Shoot and scoot.

      30. Shooting a Kevlar Helmet Results

        All shots were at 10 Meters. Rounds shot were as follows.
        7.62×25 Stopped
        9mm Stopped
        .45 Stopped
        5.56×45 Penetrated, minimal damage as round went through with no yaw. M193 55 Gr.
        7.62×39 Penetrated, Heavy damage as round yawed.
        7.62×51 Penetrated, Heavy damage as round yawed.

        .45-70 stopped, heavy buckling on the interior of the helmet. Round used was 300 Gr. Lead Flat faced. Round remained in the Kevlar lairs bouncing around like babies rattle…
        The pistol rounds will knock you out and the .45-70 would cause severe head trauma.

        Keep the FAITH

      31. This author confuses the application of overwatch, traveling overwatch and bounding overwatch.

        All are for battlefield applications when contact is expected and the concepts are quite simple. Also, it is mainly used in the offensive spectrum.

        A guerrilla force meeting a standing military force in a static battlefield concept would be suicide. The lack of support in the likes of arty and air would lead to a one sided battle.

        In the interest of fictional study, Within is modeled I would suggest small unit ambush tactics with the use of the overwatch personal a forced recon to gain intel and choose my area and engagement time.

        • You are referring to standard military terminology. I was not, as I clearly noted in the article. I was referring to an expanded usage of the Sniper overwatch principle being used in smaller unit tactics and guerrilla warfare. I repeated myself throughout the article in the hopes that people would not become confused. Apparently, that didn’t work out…

          • @ Brandon Smith. You have put out some really fine articles, including this one. I and many others enjoy reading what you have to say, you are a fine writer with much knowledge and contribute much to all of us accumulating as much information as possible before not only SHTF, but civilization is buried in it.

        • @ppd45

          ” A guerrilla force meeting a standing military force
          in a static battlefield concept would be suicide.”

          Then it wouldn’t actually be a guerrilla force would it? In guerrilla warfare you don’t meet the enemy head on in a battlefield.

      32. Just to play devil’s advocate for a moment:

        I think this guys is a serious prepper and would be a VERY formidable opponent, however…

        It is critical to keep in mind that even in current theaters of operation where US forces can pretty much shoot up anyone and everyone, our military is making ZERO progress in pacifying large swaths of the country. Insurgents–AKA patriots–sometimes are coming up to the front gates of their secure enclaves.

        I believe US population response would be of a similar passion if the federal criminals began a hard crackdown in this country. Do you think for one moment the US has the manpower to pacify all of the US while maintaining a defensive posture in all the places in the world it currently infests?

        It will be 1) forget pacifying the US 2) forget colonizing the world or 3) use foreign troops in the US. If you want to see hordes of zombie rednecks go totally ape shit, bring in the Blue Helmets. From what I’ve seen of the UN combat record, they wouldn’t last long.

        IMHO it is neither particularly helpful nor useful to get wrapped around a scenario that requires serious outlays of time, money and emotional support to train for a “meet the SEALS” situation. I personally think it would be much more important to organize large groups of neighbors, blocks, neighborhoods and beyond to meet the much more likely event of a breakdown in the ability for the feds to project force and the ensuing civil chaos that would flow from that. Read what Selco has to say about it; he is a wonderful example of someone who went from a sleeping sheeple to survivor using simple tools, common sense and organizing.

        I am not criticizing this approach for its intent. I’m saying MOST will never get anywhere near this level of training and I’m not sure that means defeat for them is assured. Do you believe we have God given rights? Are you smart enough to be able to observe what is at hand to resist? Are you willing to use merciless forces against those who would enslave you and the people who work for them?

        If so–and you really are sure of that–you already have a decent foundation to build resistance on.

        • @ Another…

          I agree with much of what you say, especially the futility of trying to train for SEAL-type responses; THAT is simply NOT physically possible for most folk…it IS a matter of BOTH the weapon AND the one Holding it after all. Surely though everyone needs to be able to ‘hold thier own’ when push comes to shove…

          The case where anyone shows up IN THIS Country with a FOREIGN uniform on is a ‘delighful’ thought, follow on with me here a moment or two…

          For someone who was a fellow American – no matter how misguided their actions were – I would ‘feel’ some level of basic Hunmanity towards them. That doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t act ‘deciseively’ against somebody in that category, buut I ‘d still have SOME ‘Human feelings’ about the whole thing. On the OTHER hand…IF someone in the uniform of ANY other Country showed up HERE – on American soil – then I can say without any doubt at all that I would be immediately INCLINED to go fetch my skinning and filleting knives….along with my ear plugs!…as I would be doing a ‘live skinning job’.

          PLEASE, NWO or any other Soldiers from ANY Foreign country….COME HERE!…I’ll be using your skin as tanned hide before I’m finished….bear THAT in mind. BUT do COME….PLEASE.

        • 50somethings butting heads with SEALS would probably work out a little lopsided.

      33. before you say what you think you can or cannot do find out what you can or cannot do with the weapons that you already have…..or train hard with the weapons that you intend to buy.

        Take a real course load of cases where you max-out your equipment and get your fighting mindset tuned-up now.

        get out there….skin some knees and elbows….run around in your web gear ’til you have to wash it….fire your weapon until it jams….and you will respect the logic that Brandon has shared in this article.

      34. The entire ‘Which vs Which’ is a BIG field to plow, to say the least, here’s a few thoughts, FWIW.

        44 Magnum Pistol….preferably something with 6+ inches of barrel…

        44 Magmnm RIFLE….Marlin, Rossi etc, quite a good round when shot through 22 inches of barrel. WAY more powerful than when used as pistol round. Interchangeable ammunition with the pistol…less variety of Ammo needed, used as a rifle, easy 200 yd effectiveness…

        12 ga Pump….any variety, useful for high speed clearance of the vicinity up to 45 yards…terrible piece to face down in combat…can clear an entire field of fire in mere seconds…

        Anything 308 caliber (or better) for anything out to several hundred yards with HIGH accuracy…anyone who who has even small skill with a rifle can eaily place shots all day long long inside of a pie-plate at 200 yards with IRON SIGHTS….been doing that all my life!

        The weapon is ONLY as good as you are!…learn to BREATHE properly, learn to TIME your breaths so that you can pull at the proper momnent, learn ‘cover and concealment’ like your life depengs on it…it very well might…

        • @MayBeSo, best comment I’ve read on this thread.

          Semper Fi

      35. Just saw the new Big Theater Movie … ‘THE PURGE’





        Shabbat Parah / שבת פרה

        Shabbat Parah (“Sabbath [of the] red heifer” שבת פרה) takes place on the Shabbat before Shabbat HaChodesh, in preparation for Passover. Numbers 19:1-22 describes the parah adumah (“red heifer”) in the Jewish temple as part of the manner in which the kohanim and the Jewish people purified themselves so that they would be ready (“pure”) to sacrifice the korban Pesach.

        List of JEW PURIM Dates
        Shabbat Parah begins in the Diaspora on:

        Fri, 21 March 2014 at sundown (20th of Adar II, 5774)

        • Purim celebrated in Jerusalem and walled cities.

          List of Dates
          Shushan Purim begins in the Diaspora on:

          Sun, 16 March 2014 at sundown (15th of Adar II, 5774)

          NinaO ;0p


            LOOK AT THE DATES … 11 April 2011 04/11/11 “ILLUMINATI POWER NUMBER ’11’ LIKE 9/11 AND 3/11 FALSE- FAG ATTACKS”

            The April 2011 Fukushima earthquake Fukushima “Fukushima Hamadōri earthquake” was a potent magnitude 7.1 Mw intraplate aftershock that occurred at 17:16 JST (08:16 UTC) on Monday, 11 April 2011, in the Hamadōri region of Fukushima, Japan.

            JEW PURIM WAS – Purim in 2011 will start on Sunday, the 20th of March and will continue for 2 days until Monday, the 21st of March.

            Note that in the Jewish calander, a holiday begins on the sunset of the previous day, so observing Jews will celebrate Purim on the sunset of Saturday, the 19th of March.



            NINAO ;0p

      36. Who Are The Real Traitors ?

        be sure and read all of the quotes from the government apparatchiks
        starting with the odious Karl Rove

        its not the “terrorists” who are destroying the country and taking away our freedoms one by one


        • That’s a great article.

      37. and for those of you still locked into the left/right paradigm

        here’s what the “conservatives” at the FAUX News Network
        have to say

        ““Now you’ve got this 29-year-old high school dropout whistleblower making foreign policy for our country, our security policy. It’s sad, Brian. We’ve made treason cool. Betraying your country is kind of a fashion statement. He wants to be the national security Kim Kardashian. He cites Bradley Manning as a hero. I mean, we need to get very, very serious about treason. And oh by the way, for treason — as in the case of Bradley Manning or Edwards Snowden — you bring back the death penalty.” – Fox and Friends”

        these douche bags will be denouncing people to the government next
        in true Stasi style
        make no mistake about it

        • FOX….while never perfect….has shifted decidedly to a more statist…pro-government position in the last couple of years.

          They’ve gotten rid of guys like Judge Napolitano and replaced him with neo-cons like Karl Rove.

          O’Reilly is a shill and has become yet another MSM propagandist.

          When I really started to notice the shift is when they almost completely stopped running Ron Paul interviews.

          Notice who they interview nowadays…guys like Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Peter King, Lindsey Graham…

          Stossel is shoved into the background as well. Napolitano you hear once in a blue moon…and I’ve not heard him or seen him on FOX at all since this NSA and IRS thing.

          FOX has become just one more MSM media outlet.

      38. I loved the article nice job Brandon. Im not sure how much of it applies to me due to geograpy. The longest shot I ever took at a deer was 320yards and that was a freek occurance. A bold buck prancing around in an open field. The 30-30 I hunt with was not up to the task with yours truly behind the trigger. My point is this, we just dont get real long shots in my neck o the woods, its tight in the Green Mountains the average shot would be less than 100yards. As nice as an AR10 would be on the gun rack I just couldn’t justify the cost. To each their own and Eisen I see your point too, perhaps the focus on the rifle is missplaced in a lot of scenarios. I guess the best thing for all is to figure out what your gonna need and how practical that is. I do miss my SKS should never have parted with that, and a few others I sold thinking the grass was greener. I do need another semi auto but have not figured out just what thats gonna be yet. Now as of late I have been really digging into my archery skills and becoming one with my awesome bow, dang thing pretty much shoots by itself as I watch. I love it, silent, accurate, lightweight, compact and deadly. Once I figure out how to aim it at night (NVGs plus laser????) then its game over for anyone sneaking up on the old Hog. Brandon again I loved the article and appreciate Gun-porn as much as the next guy but its not for me.

      39. I found that most peppers that have guns and ammo have little to NO training what so ever, the chicken wing elbow, the shooting still targets at a rang with their nice comfy gun rest, being over wight, being gear queers and have no Idea of how to use it(hence dip shit writing the article in a green environment wearing desert camo). Maybe if this guy gave a me a little bit of his own combat history I might… Might to start to believe him to know what he’s talking about but till then he’s just another guy with a gun sitting in his gun safe that he dreams about but has no real experience.
        The furthest I EVER see ppl shoot at the rang is maybe 400yds and the furthest I’v ever seen anyone try to shoot with a AR15 with a ridiculous rife scope on it, is 300yds… Really? I was hitting man size targets with iron sights at 500yds with a M4(14.5″) in the Marines, it take time practice and training and a lot of rounds.
        Don’t let this gear queer fool u, in vest in something that will help YOU, not some “overwatch weapon” lol wow, anything with 223/556 chambered and up will reach out and touch some one and will serve its owner well if he knows how to use it, no need for expensive NVG’s(night vision goggles) or buying a 50cal sniper, things my look cool but need to be researched and remember one thing… Your not the f**king military, no resupply, no armor, no back up, and no e-vac he-lo. This is no video game it’s real life.

        • I think one of Brandon’s assets is that He is Not overweight and old. He can get around in the field. Montana has lots of areas to practice shooting and hiking. A persons armament should be selected on thier own location and thier own physical conditioning. Just because a person shot a m4 or what ever and hiked 15 miles a day in the service, does not mean they can do it now unless he practices. It is pounding rain and thunderstorms are expected. I am gearing up for a short 9 mile hike to check out a hunting area. Stay in shape or stay home. Good reminder about no resupply. If I cant pack it, I cant have it.

      40. If you hunt and can take a deer or elk at 200-500 yards you have a good start. Just learn some gurilla tactics. Train with like minded people. Know your enviroment. You live there and in some or many cases your enemy will not know it as well. Used layered security. It is sometimes great to hide, let some of the enemys team pass and then hit them from three sides including the middle (and yes have a way out). Don’t forget other ways of inflicting damage. Fire, traps, social enginering…( make freinds, get on the iside and disrupt food, power, and water.) Hit amd run. One thousand cuts. This is why you need a one to two year supply of food and water. Know how to make anything a weapon. I used a tightly rolled up magasine and three rapid groin shots to dor a guy in bar in under 2 seconds and he was bigger and in better shape. Once down the stomp the the same groin and once to the jaw finished the fight and I had my car keys and was out the door. I have a lowley weatherby 7 mag. At 350 yards defending my family… it will be BAD for my enemy. Great artical to get pepole thinking. By the way a neighborhood in Millwakie Portland Oregan has formed a “Glock Block” and they are puting the bad guys on notice that the police will NOT be called. Looks like people have begun to have enough….

        • Yep, saw that one,

          “This is a GLOCK Block…we do NOT call 911.”

          THAT is what it’s coming to folks..get with it…or not, the CHOICE IS yours….

          • It seems there is another endless gun debate topic: Which is better/ which gun sucks: 1911 vs. Glock. Ok guns have their good points. In a SHTF situation you are NOT undergunned if you have either in your hand. It is a given that you dont want to take a hit from either weapon. Both will guns will increase your odds of staying alive in a fight. The ONLY question one ought to be asking is; how good are you with the weapon you have in hand? Remember too, Mr Murphy always gets the last vote / last word in. Just get a gun, learn how to use it and be willing to use it when you have to.

      41. Everyone has their favorite weapon, but in a pinch anything is better than nothing!

      42. Who the hell can afford all this stuff? I’ll take my chances with what I have. If I ran out and bought all the cool stuff that everyone says I need to survive I’d be flat busted broke and have a house full of shit that I couldn’t use anyway. Use what you have and be happy! Like Dan says, I’m no soldier and I don’t have gobs of money laying around just waiting to be spent.

        • @ wrong.

          Sure is a lot of money if you buy it all at once. Another point is that you must do your homework in pricing items you want to add to your defenses. A good pair of binoculars goes a long way. I had to do plenty of pricing to get night vision with Gen1+ optics in my buying range. It does the job well.

          Two things to add.

          Don’t forget to shield your scope with a hood as the sun reflects off the front glass.
          Anyone think of Grease paint? Your face stands out like a big round moon in the wild.

      43. In the sandhills area of Nebraska, many of us farmers are used to 600-900 yard shots with 308 or 3006 at deer and coyotes. Lots of nagants are carried along with sks type rifles in the cab of tractors and trucks as a duty rifle, dispatching a cow orvarmit as needed. It all depends on what you have at the time and howgood you are with it.

      44. I’ve given up on all these weapons and sold them for my Abrams arrives in a week or two so I hope things hold till than..
        Nothing speaks “lets talk” like a 105 mm L52 M68 rifled cannon, and a .50-caliber (12.7 mm) M2HB heavy machine gun.

        Oooya!.. 😉

      45. Great article, Good stuff to think about for the possible coming madness. Especially for those in small groups or acting as a single defender who are of the mindset of defending freedom/liberty, loved ones, innocent strangers from Evil doers at the ultimate cost.
        For us in more populated areas (I tend to agree with Eisen’s opinion above regarding pistols, from much reading on FerFals site regarding the Argentinian Collapse”).
        But then again, although we don’t see too many large open spaces over here, every time I cross a long highway (or long open space) it reminds me that a nice 308 (semi better, but bolt action is alot cheaper and easily accessible over here) would be AWESOME when shtf. The issue is, we don’t exactly know which scenario(s) we will be facing.
        If you can afford it (not exactly over here, I think the next tool I bring into the household I will be sleeping on the couch for eternity!) good to have a variety of self defense tools.
        This is what’s eating at me over here, not knowing the possible issues and severity we may face. For us down here, the threats may be many unfortunately. (What’s been on my mind lately is Earthquakes and/or economic collapse and the civil chaos crap and possible govt. response that follows). Depending on the severity/situation, it may also create the opportunity for other “not so nice” groups to become authority or enforcers. Many threats, I don’t believe I am over thinking this, just trying to get a handle on it so my wife and lil ones don’t have to suffer so much. I have been trying to explain to them (without scaring them too much) that we may see things that they are not used to seeing (but always, when Daddy gets in “combat mode”, they are to follow my directions immediately!!!). Maybe it’s all just a bad dream and we’ll wake up to bright blue sunny skies tomorrow ?
        “Fight the Good Fight”
        God Bless. Peace Out

        • @ Good Day.
          “Daddy gets in Combat Mode”.

          When seconds do count and I have made it clear. We are not fucking around anymore. You better do what I say. I am going to do what I said. Straight up!

          I still get from others, You wouldn’t do that?
          My answer, What in the hell did I just say. Are you
          Lots to consider.

          • Hi Slingshot, LOL yep I think my kids know
            by now when its real “combat mode” and
            when they can ignore me. My wife is teaching
            them when to ignore me by example. 🙂
            Yeah lots to consider. Kids pickup lots of good
            stuff real
            quick (even for us suburban folks). I try to
            make it fun for them and then “quiz” them.
            Peace out, take care

      46. Eisen, I don’t know about you, but THIS ‘OLD MAN’ DAMNED SURE KNOWS HOW TO THINK! braveheart

      47. Ooops, forgot my manners here!!

        Thanks Brandon…Great article, as always…I see them all! Keep up the good fight Brother; “We the People” WILL win this, in the End and the Corruption which has come to hold this country by the throat WILL be made NULL…

        …Not “May Be So”, “WILL Be So”

      48. Good Article … But not very realistic for the average Joe. The reality of the situation is that as more people open their eyes to the current gov’t vs. the People situation, we/they find themselves in dire financial straits, or worse, one of the unemployed. Affordable guns are getting harder to find, as instead of Patriots helping each other prepare for what is coming, they are price gouging their brothers and neighbors for a buck! Ammo in most cals is impossible to find. AMmo that is available is rediculously over-priced. Instead of doomsday or articles on $3500 weapon set-ups. Someone needs to start a Patriot Assistance Program, to help the average Joe prepare himself, family, and community with the commodities needed for survival and defense. Especially those Patriots unfortunate enough to be trapped in the financial down-slide of this economy (Which is most Americans now), and to assist the unemployed Vets and Patriots out there. For Patriots who are not financially strapped to ignore their fellow disadvantaged Patriots, is to say they are no better than the ones that are in current political power. (We can prepare, therefore WE will survive). Everyone better start getting a reality check…as when the SHTF we will all be in the SH*T together, and I would sure rather have the Patriot next to me using an average rifle rather than a sling-shot because he was unemployed and fellow Patriots priced him out of the market to obtain adequate weoponry because of their greed. Think about it!

      49. I like my ACOG scope but I make sure I’m as proficient in iron sights first. Once we were doing a little competitive shooting a friends rings came loose in his $800 scope.

        He couldn’t finish the shoot, his iron sights were not sighted in. Another story, someone had their rifle for awhile with a scope, iron sights were never sighted in.

        Point being your iron sight should be your friend first. Brandon do you encourage this?

        This question is dedicated to my friends who read this site, who’s iron sights are secondary. 🙂

        • Sure. I used only iron sights on this particular rifle for years before modifying it, and I mastered shots to 300 yards or less. That said, using irons on an M1A or most .308 caliber rifles does not allow you to bring the weapon to its full potential. It has the best iron sights in the world, but your shot is limited by your eyesight. The scope makes you much more deadly. Also, irons are slow in close quarters. I’ve been involved in numerous shooting competitions in which the guys using irons ALWAYS lost to the guys with red dot capability. Sometimes, that extra split second that the red dot gives you makes all the difference.

          As far as red dots failing, that’s why I recommend Aimpoint or Trijicon. You can literally drop them out of a helicopter and they still work perfectly. The battery life on the T-1 is around 3 years I believe (and that’s having never turning it off!). The military raves about them, they work in the field (better than irons), therefore, when all is said and done, the red dot get’s my vote.

      50. The decision to shoot should be decided upon intent and not just because a group of christian refugees are coming up the road. Engaging someone at 200 yards before you know whether they’re good guys or not is at the least what being human is all about. Otherwise, God, Karma, or whatever you believe in will catch up with you. In the long run, having God on your side may be the only thing that saves you when SHTF.

        I like the overwatch article, but keep in mind, blowing away people when SHTF: if even one of them escapes, he’ll bring back overwhelming retribution. Better thing Gray-Manning it, unless the attack is imminent on one’s castle. But overall the discussion is about in full blown SHTF war, not minor zombie infestation. So continue with the discussion men.

      51. To piggy back a little on Marine Dan’s message above,
        BTW (dang nice, 500m with no scope, “Semper Fi”!
        The most we attempted (and hit) in Basic and later was
        300m without scope).
        Don’t disregard a pistol caliber carbine for up
        close stuff. I had a chance this past weekend
        to shoot a 9mm carbine (American made, lifetime
        warranty, you know which one) and was pleasantly
        surprised. Pretty accurate to about 100m (I am
        by no means a weapons expert or expert shooter) and the
        price is great. This type of tool may be
        perfect for HD/shtf for us stuck in suburbia when the crapper explodes.
        Peace out

      52. Out here in the Shenandoah Valley where it is heavily wooded and at best 100 yard shots I’d still go with the M1A. Ak would be fine too. As for pistols I have the 1911 and a Glock 23. I’ll pick the Glock all day for distance and a few more rounds. .40 cal is a good round to have on the hip. Try humpin that .45 all day long.

        • I had TSD (‘One Source Tactical’s’ Technical services division)mount a dual-powered Trijicon RMR onto the slide of my Glock 22 along with suppressor sights for co-witnessing last year. It’s a package they provide and if I’m not mistakes they are the originators of this RMR application.

          In Prescott Arizona I was hitting a 4-foot tall gong at the distance of 230 yards uphill with it within three shots. Anybody who says a handgun of .40 or 9mm is no good beyond 40 or 50 yards needs to go to Suarez International’s red dot pistol school and get ejumicated….

          A 1911 is a nice piece of iron…the trouble is that it’s also a piece of iron and in modern terms it is too heavy and it’s magazine capacity is pretty limited for the run and gun lifestyle of the post SHTF skirmisher.

      53. Bushnell just released a 1-4 variable power scope that’s useful and affordable.

      54. I have always liked the FN FAL for this purpose. Add a good scope and you’re covered from 25 meters up to 800 meters. Lots of loads out there – even black tips if you hunt or roll your own. Used to be cheap but still cheaper than a tricked out M1A with all the bells and whistles. DSA offers 20, 25 and 30 round mags. If you are prepared with this system and cannot prevail you should be calling in an air strike or using remotely detonated devices.

        If I could only have one gun this is it. Too bad prices for it and similar are ballistic now. Do what you can with what you have…

        • Steve

          For a few decades that was called, “The right arm of the free world”.

      55. It’s not the rifle… it’s the operator!

      56. Saw this posted someplace else. Like to make a few comments.

        “The term “overwatch” is most often applied when a sniper team is placed in a supporting role during a major offensive.”

        Actually, no.

        A sniper is not the goto tool for overwatch, neither is the snipers goto mission overwatch.

        Overwatch refers to one unit providing security (or ready covering fire) to a moving unit. As in: the overwatch element is watching over the moving element ready to lay down suppressive fire if the moving element should come into contact.

        While a sniper could possibly be part of such an overwatching element, that is not likely. The overwatching unit is normally the same size as the moving unit. So, if you have a team moving a team will overwatch. If a squad is moving a squad will overwatch.

        Although, yes, if you happen to have a designated marksman in your unit he will usually be part of the overwatch element. Maybe that is the source of the confusion.

        But this isn’t the sort of thing you do with a sniper unless you just happen to have one around because you don’t have a real mission for them. Granted, that is something we see in the sandbox.

        “However, the concept has expanded into other areas, especially where guerrilla warfare is concerned, and I would like to use the broader definition here. A person on “overwatch” could be a sniper, or a general team member who is able to place precision fire almost anywhere on the battlefield at vectors difficult for the enemy to spot. This means being in a central position covering not one sector, but all sectors of fire, and striking the enemy from one angle while he is distracted by another.”

        This is really really bad. It sounds cool. But there are good reasons WHY we don’t do that. Not as part of a battle anyhow.

        It sounds like maybe you are confusing the use of deployed scouts within a battalion battle perhaps. Maybe you have heard of using snipers in a scout role and confused that.

        Get out some toy army men and put them on the ground, good guys and bad guys. Play this scenario out from beginning to end. Ask ‘what next’ at each step and ‘why not something else’. I think you will understand why this is a bad idea pretty quickly. Not to mention why scouts have a short life expectancy.

        While the advice you are giving is problematic in general, I have a real problem with the presentation.

        You start off talking about survivalists as if this is advice for a survivalist. Then morph into an insurgency plan. Confusing and mixing the two.

        For a survivalist, some guy who might be at a retreat and concerned about mutant zombie biker raiders this is pretty bad stuff. The general ‘guerrilla warfare’ advice is really bad stuff.

        A survivalist does not have the safe haven or third nation logistical support that the guerrilla depends on as a force. Neither does he have the ability to ‘blend in’ with the surrounding population to escape threat or to return to his day job if he should lose his gear as the individual guerrilla depends on.

        For these reasons and others, while they sound cool, the survivalist (facing mutant zombie biker raiders) will find that the guerrilla tactics will not likely work for them and instead end in disaster.

        Just need to be clear on your audience. If you are talking about would-be American resistance insurgents then fine. But suggesting such tactics as a call to arms for survivalists in general is just bad stuff.


      57. The article lost all its creditability when the author referred to the HK PTR 91…..HK does not make the PTR 91…. PTR does….and they are a basket cases of a rifle

        • @ steve. I think he was refering to the HK91 and its clone, the PTR91.

      58. I have 4 of the 7.62x51s mentioned in the article all set up for this task and for sniping.
        We keep talking about shooting at over 300+ yards. ONE BIG QUESTION? At that range are you sure they are the BAD GUY? They might be some poor folks that got over run by the BAD GUYS! They could be family members just getting to the retreat after a long and hard fight just to get there. Believe me if you are shot at you will not think you will return fire at what ever shot at you. God forbid it was a family member or you best friend at the other end!
        If they can’t find you let them go. If they are aggressive by all means take them out! BUT YOU SHOULD KNOW IF THEY ARE THE BAD GUYS BEFORE SHOOTING.
        Let us hope and pray that it doesn’t come to this, but if it dose my your shot shots find there mark so you and yours will be safe.

      59. I,m 60 years old have climbed every peak out here in Colorado. still do…but gotta tell you my two main rifles are armalite ar10t and Wilson combat 5.56 tactical custom,,, and if I gotta grab one rifle and run it’s going to be the 5.56 just due to the 12 pounds the armalite weights with a scope and the weight of hauling 200 rounds of 308 ammo around in a back pack. the 5.56 with an acog scope comes in around 6.5 pounds but that’s just me.

      60. i want to know how much the authors rifle weighs with all that stuff on there… yikes

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