Lets start with I have read a lot of reasons to own a semi-auto rifle. Some of them are valid, some of them are plain crazy. Now I own a couple variations of the military service rifle (M-4 clone) and am a fan of them for plain old shooting, I own one and my wife has one of her own (it’s pink too). Now the question I started this post off with is “why do you want a semi-auto rifle” the answer I’ll present is why I want one for in case of TSHTF/WROL/ end of all that is civilization. I’m quite sure some folks will disagree with me, this is the internet after all.
Now I do not really have a rifle preference, I enjoy shooting so I’m just using the generic self-loading/ SEMI-Automatic rifle of whatever flavor as my driver in this case. That being said I am talking about those fed by an external magazine which rules out certain surplus and hunting rifles and really focuses on the dreaded “black” rifles of current and probably future media attention.
Between the many, many other opinions I have read about the value of self-loading magazine fed rifles I have seen many discuss the offense and taking down hoardes or even defending ones land (again offensively). None that I have found have brought up the defensive aspect. Again I don’t mean defending my land by assaulting a force before they attack me, I’d rather use other means to defend against such things… namely being incognito and not encouraging them to come around to begin with.
I have read articles and opinions that state that all sorts of manual action or even black powder firearms are the way to go for end of the world situations, all these tend to make valid points, in that you will more likely use your firearm for hunting and game getting than for battle, and that they will use their excellent marksman skills to eliminate threats one at a time… a course of action that I believe is more likely and much safer of a choice.
But, the reason why I want my self-loading, magazine fed rifle nearby when the world goes to the point I feel the need to have one with me is simple. To break-contact. The concept is one as old as battle (well modern battle) and if you read some of the literature out there about the Selous Scouts of Rhodesia, or the LRRP’s from Vietnam they went out in the unknown in order to gain intelligence on the enemy, not get into knock down fights. If you think about it for a second post WROL scavenging may be fairly similar, we will be wondering in areas of unknown threat looking for something of value to our Tribes. If you run into another tribe you will either negotiate, trade, fight, or flee. Much like those military scouting parties we will not want to engage in a prolonged fight, but convince the other side that we are stronger than them, long enough to get away.
The role of the magazine fed rifle in my little tribe will be quite similar to how those reconnaissance patrols of foreign wars used their Light Machine Guns and automatic weapons. Cause enough distraction and incentive to the other group I made contact with to not pursue and keep their heads down. Can you do that with a bolt action, or a lever action or even a flintlock… maybe, but I doubt it provided the other side has a weapon that can gain what’s known as fire superiority first.
So in summary the reason I want my chosen magazine fed weapon of destruction is so that I can gain “fire-superiority”, “break-contact”, and live on for another day.
You can find mention of both of these tactics in a variety of documents freely available on the internet. If you have a group that you train with, you may want to work these battle drills into your practice.