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Ar15 As A Survival Tool
Lets say the SHTF for one reason or another and you are "stuck" with only an AR15. You also have a pistol, what you have and how you utilize it with the rifle is up to you. So the pistol could be a Glock 19 or a scoped 10" Ruger Super Blackhawk .44 magnum. At the time being you do not have the opportunity to acquire another firearm that you would find more suitable for particular tasks, but one may present itself. Until that time you would have to depend on the AR15 for protection and hunting.

What would you want on it for components? Include components that you can interchange with or without the use of QR mounts. There is no limitation but keep it real with what you can carry on your back or perhaps in your vehicle.


- optics and sights: red dot, variable scope, lasers, etc...

- barrel: length, twist, SS, chromed, muzzle device, etc...

- caliber: there are many calibers, nothing says you are stuck with .223/5.56

- ammo: type of bullet, weight, etc...

- artificial light: weaponlight, standard handheld, etc

- Misc: bipod, grips, rails, bayonet, slings, magazines, etc

Would you want this rifle to be as simple and light as possible? Would you want/need the ability to change out components? For an example, lets say you want a red dot (like a Aimpoint or Eotech) for defensive purposes but also want the ability to mount a scope suitable for 200-400 yard hunting/sniping.

No limits, but keep it realistic.
I personally think that a AR15 and glock 19 would be a exellent choice. I would want a simple but quality AR. Car stock ( so I can store the gun in an back pack if nessessary ( and keep out of sight) and I would go with a crome lined 14.5 inch barrel with a permannent installed flash hider to bring the lengh to 16 inch ( for legal purpose and not to need a form II). Any twist from 1-7.75 to 1-9 would do for me. Then I would mount a low power scope 1-4x20 ( and would prefer a S&B or Zeiss, Kahles,...) or a 2-7x32 leupold ( more affordable). I then would choose 2 different bullet types ( FMJ and SP) e.g Sellier& Bellot 55gr FMJ and SP ( both will shoot to same point of impact.) and call it good. I have shot for example small game with FMJ and the killed instantly with no real meat damage and I have no problem shooting a deer and even an elk with a 223 SP. However make sure you stay away from balistic tips or varmint bullets ( they jackets are to fragile and not enough penetration).

I would keep it very simpe and light weight!!
For a "survival" AR I would start off with a shortened Cavalry Arms lower for light weight and no collapsible stock to break, minimal parts to come loose. Meeting current laws, without the paperwork for a SBR, I'd go with a 14.5" 1/7 twist chrome lined barrel with a welded PWS FSC556, Magpul handguard (light weight). Two options for a upper: 1) Flat top upper with a folding BUIS or 2) UTE2 (partial flat with fixed rear). Fixed front sight with bayonet knife. No idea what knife I'd run...

For optics I'd consider a few combinations:

1) Aimpoint T1 or M4S with a 3x magnifier

2) Aimpoint and 3-9/3-12x scope

a) each with QR mounts

<img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='B)' /> Aimpoint (or even a Docter/Trijicon RMR) mounted on a offset mount

3) ACOG 3 or 4x with a Docter/RMR

4) 1-4x scope with illumination (Leatherwood, Leupold, Trijicon, etc)

a) possibly swap in a 3-9/3-12x with QR

I like the idea of having optics that are still functional if the batteries die, so I'd be hesitant on totally relying on a red dot.

Sling: OSOE 1/2 point

Mags: Magpul 30 rnd, 4 or more. A couple 5 rnd for hunting loads and downloads.

Light: I'd either mount a Surefire handheld or a X300/TLR1 or similar so it could be used on either the pistol or rifle.

Ammo: I'd stick with HP, SP, V-max and similar. 55gr for most applications and 75gr for SD. I'd want some of my downloads with Trail Boss for use on small game, still powerful enough for use on larger game, 2 or 4 legged... while reducing noise.

Pistol: Ultimately I'd choose the Glock 20 10mm. Useful for SD or game. With a .22 conversion... small game
People hang too much crap on ARs.

They were meant to be lightweight carbines. I'd go with a 16" flat top upper. Troy BUIS. One of the new, small red dot sights. You can get good reliable hits out to 300 yards with this set up.

A .22 conversion kit would be manditory.

As to my choice of pistol to go with it, read my article in the 3rd edition of SQ magazine <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/smile.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Smile' />
"It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but rather the one most adaptable to change."

Charles Darwin
I have zero bullshit on my AR, and plan to keep it that way. The only thing I -might- add is a light mount for one of my surefires.

I have a tritium gas tube in the front post for low light, flat top upper with a rail mounted A2 style carrying handle / rear site, and a vertical fore grip for close spaces.

Optics are nice in open places, but up here, the brush is thick and they don't do you a damn bit of good in most places.
Welcome to the internet, you're probably taking it too seriously.

What you see is the result of the perspective you choose.

"Knowledge isn't wisdom unless it's empirical." - My own damn self.

Grand Rapids Michigan
I'd want a 20" barrel, A1 length fixed stock, free float modular (YHM)and TA31-RCO-A4 scope. 1/8 twist fluted match grade barrel and a bunch of each 75gr Hornady TAP ammo and 69gr FMJ ammo. Bunches of mags and maybe I would slap a Surefire on there, but meh. Andy's leather shop 2 point "Contractor" sling. Toss my mags in a Blue Line Gear 10 Speed chest rig worn bandoleer style. Fix bayonets and I'm off <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/pirate.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':pirate:' />
In my world, everyone's a pony and they all eat rainbows and poop butterflies.

"fire is like a hot girlfriend - don't feed it too much and you will get along, and you will look forward to sleeping with it...." --- vector001

"You know that feeling when your perineum scrunches up into a ball and tries to enter your stomach?" ---Annie

ملحد آلة القتل

small red dot

5.56 can get it done for where I live most likely

22 adapters with lapua 22 long rifle .224 bullets or 60 grain aguilla SSS

lgiht weight

2 point sling


sub 16 inch barrel with a yankee hill flash suppressor where the suppressor can fit over that with out having to take one off.

and I like the option of a folding stock for a civilian defensive rifle, if these work well. you said no limits. Makes the rifle more compact.
I totally got out of ARs a while back but if I was going to do it again it would be something like this.

AR-10 type platform in 308 Win

Piston driven not impingement

16" barrel slightly heavier type

Pinned on gas blocks and front sights. None of this allen screw stuff. They come loose and mess things up.

Vortex flash hider

Flip up rear sights

1-4 power scope

Folding stock which I believe you can do if you have piston drive.

Timney trigger

Chrome bolt and such.

1 1/4" wide nylon 2 point sling


Live with honor, ride with truth.  Be friendly to others.  But always carry a gun on your side and a knife in your boot because there are those that do not feel the same as this.

Does your terrain actually permit you to shoot 200-400 yards? I don't really know what you'll be hunting at that distant with a 5.56 where you live. Something's 200 yards away and it doesn't see me I'm not going to shoot it. Trying to hold ground or get somewhere?

Could do the small red dot on a 45 degree angle off the scope for close range shots.
picatinny rail all down a 16-inch barrel.

some decent unpowered scout-type glass with a 1x piggyback night optic.

if it is survival, i'm not going to be doing any assaults with firearms, i reckon.

be nice to have a suppressor that wasn't finicky.

poaching, picking off unwanted guests as quietly as possible, etc. would be the order of the day i expect....

i think an AR would be great to have if you took care of it.

I'd take a stock Diemaco/Colt Canada C7. Not the A1 or A2 but the old, iron sighted carry handle version. No optics, or other gizmos.

We still carry these old rifles in the ships. I've been shooting them for more than 20years and I know it better than any other rifle.

Simple doesn't break much.
I am a patient man.
It is my job to show what "right" looks like.
Learning: a continuation of the failure process - Me 2015
It's a combat weapon, not a survival tool.
"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" ~Hannibal~
false. That statement re inforces the "gun bigot" title.
The title doesn't bother me. I dislike black rifles.
"Aut viam inveniam aut faciam" ~Hannibal~
ok. I don't dislike you but I can't stand bs statements.

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