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Author Topic: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine  (Read 5263 times)

Offline TechPrepper

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Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« on: August 02, 2011, 02:36:43 PM »
I'm what some call a "doomer", "prepper", or "urban survivalist".  Personally I just like to be as prepared as I can be for the unexpected.  A big aspect to my "prep" is my Bug-Out bag and what I would grab if I had to get our own town fast.  The topic of what to pack has been done to death, but there seems little discussion on what (if any) carbine you should considered when bugging out.

The key points I like to consider are:
  • Overall Weight
  • Reach and Power
  • Reliability and Maintenance
  • Concealability

Here are my thoughts on Choosing the Perfect “Bug-Out” Carbine.  What is (or would be) your choice?
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Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« on: August 02, 2011, 02:36:43 PM »
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Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2011, 03:18:44 PM »
Great article.  I thought it was interesting that you shied away from the route of choosing a pistol caliber carbine.  Although you give your reasons for that, it seems to me like being able to share ammo between your carbine and your sidearm would be a pretty huge benefit.  I know in a situation where you would need a bug-out gun it would be foolish to hope for "ideal" conditions but it seems like a pistol caliber carbine would suffice in *most* situations.

Keep in mind that when I say "pistol caliber" I mean what a normal, rational, sentient human being would consider a pistol caliber, not the 7.62x39, 5.56, .223, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8SPC calibers that the ATF considers to be pistol calibers now.  Even with a measly 9mm carbine, in my experience the rounds have enough oomph to get out there a pretty good distance, remain accurate and still pack a good punch.  I would think that pistol calibers would cover most of your 100-200 yard range and still be very good for close quarters as well.  With the aforementioned reclassification of (formerly) rifle caliber carbines, many good penetrating rounds will become scarce.  Granted they can get out there farther and possibly faster but, in many cases, the projectiles will be carrying less weight with them than a pistol projectile and will deform just as much, if not more, upon impact.

The article also brings up barrel length considerations for concealability.  When opting for a shorter barrel, would you not also lose much of the extra power you'd initially gain from starting off with the rifle caliber?  Everyone's situation would no doubt be different, but I think that the ability to share ammo with a pistol, the lighter weight, the versatility and the extra power you'd gain from a longer barrel would really be strong arguments for pistol caliber.

You make a really good point about the reliability of a piston system, too.  If you're forced to be on the move or living on a mountain with Jed and the boys when the Russians start parachuting in, you may not have time or access to supplies for proper cleaning and maintenance supplies.

Even with all my advocating of the benefits of pistol caliber carbines, I'm not really that big of a fan of them.  I guess I've never really given that much consideration to what a good bug-out carbine would be beyond maybe the briefest of thoughts.  Something like a SCAR or HK416 might make a good one.  A good policy might just be to train and be versatile with a variety of systems so that should the Russians, Chinese and Cubans start falling out of the sky you can make do with what is on hand.

Offline TechPrepper

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2011, 04:26:04 PM »
Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your thoughts. 

Yes I have considered a pistol caliber and I've though about carbines that can also use pistol magazines (e.g. Keltech SUB2000 etc).  At the end of the day, if I would expect to be in a situation that would require more than 2 magazine of ammo then things must be pretty bad, in which case I'd want more reach and power than a pistol caliber could deliver.  For this reason I started with a rifle caliber and worked around that.  The 5.56 gave me the best compromise on weight and although the shorter barrel does decrease the effective range, it is still far better than the effective range of a pistol caliber from the same length barrel.

If I had to pick a pistol caliber / carbine combination I'd like go with either:

1. Glock 19 + H&K MP5 SBR (Custom Clone) - 9mm
 or
2. Glock 36 + H&K UMC SBR (UMP Conversion) - .45 ACP
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Offline mobius

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2011, 02:08:50 PM »
Nice article.
I did consider a hi-point 45 carbine for the wife mainly because I already have ammo and reloading gear for it, recoil is negligible and I could add it to the arsenal for minimal cost.  It wouldn't get much use except in an emergency.

Myself, I partial to my old marlin 30-30.  I think it's fast enough.

I might mention that we won't be bugging out.  We are already up in the hills in Maine in a "bug out to" location.

If you aren't prepping, kiss your *$$ goodbye.
Fred
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Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2011, 03:28:05 PM »
A lot of people will snub the Hi-Point carbines but I (and just about everyone I know who has owned/shot one) have had great luck with them.  My main experience has been with the 9mm 995 carbine.  It is surprisingly accurate, consistent, reliable and fun, especially for the price at which they can be had.  The only issue I could see with them is the 8-10 round magazine capacity that they have.  I know HP has released updated 9mm carbines as well as other calibers so I'm not sure if they've made any advancements in magazine capacity or interchangeability with other firearms; both of which would be huge pluses for the platform.

Judging from your words, it sounds like you decided against getting it?



Also, remember that even though you're already at a "bug out" location (i.e. bugging in), bug out scenarios aren't just for zombie invasions.  It could be anything from flood, mining disaster, forest fire, nuclear fallout, your rural location being overrun by zombies or any number of other situations that would require to to get out in a hurry and fend for yourself.  Like you say, if you're not prepping....well, if prepping is your thing, prep for all situations not just the ones you might normally expect.

Offline scottishclaymore

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2012, 05:21:51 PM »
TechPrepper,
 
I enjoyed your article and have bookmarked your site for further perusal. This is actually something I have given a lot of thought to and I too have come to the conclusion that a combination of the 5.56 in a piston system is the way to go, both as a defense carbine as well as one that might be used in a "bug-out" situation. Personally, I chose to go the AR route after looking into a number of different platforms, mostly due to some quality issues I found in some of the Sig 556 models I handled. I am given to understand that these have long since been resolved, but my piston AR has been running so well I have not found the need to switch it out for anything.

For my personal build, taking weight into consideration, I paired a high-quality Carbon 15 lower with an Adams Arms piston upper and Magpul furniture. The carbine is very lightweight and has been extremely reliable since day one.

I really like the SBR option, though, and as soon as I get the LLC/trust set up to do that you can bet I will be going that route. Thanks for sharing.

PS: I noticed you don't have a rear BUS on your survival carbine. Is this something you have taken into account in case you experience some kind of optic failure?

PPS: What magazine is that you have inserted in the picture on your blog article? Is that the TSD mag or a different one?

Offline scottishclaymore

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2012, 05:23:55 PM »
One more thought: Ammunition. The 556 is light enough that I have found it no effort at all to pack four extra PMAGS in with my gear, along with one in the gun, for a total of 150 rounds. YMMV.

Offline GunLink

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 11:35:27 PM »
A pistol-caliber AR seems like a good choice.

Offline scottishclaymore

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #8 on: November 25, 2012, 07:43:09 PM »
The biggest problem I've found with the pistol-caliber AR (which generally-speaking I think is an awesome idea) is the lack of a reliable standardized model that uses easy to obtain magazines. If you were going to do a pistol-caliber AR, any ideas as to which and why?

Offline JammGear

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #9 on: July 31, 2013, 10:05:56 PM »
I don't know which gun is right but this bag from 5.11 is perfect for the AR/carbine type weapons.http://jammgear.com/511-Bag-COVRT-M4-NEW-56970.htm What do you think?
"It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it." Aristotle

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Offline canon6

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2015, 10:45:24 PM »
scottishclaymore, re pistol cal carbines. I went with the KelTec S2k in 9mm.  We have two one is glock 17 variant and the other is a S&W 59.The G17 has had the bottom of the grip shortened so that G19 mags work in it.I know it is not a 5.56 but for my needs  they fit the bill. HTH   Doug
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Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2015, 11:54:25 PM »
I went with the KelTec S2k in 9mm. We have two one is glock 17 variant and the other is a S&W 59.The G17 has had the bottom of the grip shortened so that G19 mags work in it.I know it is not a 5.56 but for my needs they fit the bill. HTH Doug

That is *exactly* what I want.

I had a line on a used one the other day but couldn't make the deal work.  I'd like the new model with threaded barrel, but I don't really care.  I have another 9mm PCC that is OK, but I want a sub2k and then I'd sell the other one.

I'm also on the hunt for a deal on a short 9mm AR upper with the specs I want.  That and the sub2k are a one or the other deal, but having both would be fun.  No papers to travel with the keltec.

Offline canon6

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2015, 10:31:26 PM »
Here is my S&W variant of the Kel Tec S2k.9mm.  Doug
A armed man is his own master

Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #13 on: July 06, 2015, 12:41:40 PM »
That's not the original handguard on that is it? It looks different.

Offline canon6

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #14 on: July 06, 2015, 12:55:26 PM »
Good spot, it is what Kel Tec calls their compact fore end.I like it a lot more as I am able to place my thumb over the top of the handguard.Using what has been called the "C" clamp method. It allows for more control .HTH   Doug
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Offline DrFootball

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Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #15 on: August 17, 2015, 02:09:26 AM »
I preferred a shorty AR in 9 MM with both 25 & 32 Rd Mag's, in Polymer to lighten the load....the rear Iron sight has a 1.2X lens, makes it (Targets)real clear inside of 30 Yds., which is just where the Optic starts to do its best work.....


This is before I added an optic and Sling. Since I'm on a fixed income and funds are tight, The optic I got was one I had purchased 2 of already. The Tru-Glo 2X42 Multi Reticle Dual Color. Msrp$200, on sale at Natchez for $100 plus shipping. As I stated orig., I have two of These optics already one on my 50th Annv. 10/22(not the contest winner) and on my AK pattern 12Ga Semi Auto...

Note: their shipping is nutz so I always add some Ammo, since they have 4 "Flat" Weights...

Addendum:the 32 Rd Mag's are not in this pic. I obtained 4 From CDNN after I orig ordered 5 and they sent me Uzi Mag's, so I had to send those back and re-Order...and I got 2 more in 32 Rd from the same maker as the 25's pictured here.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2015, 12:43:50 PM by DrFootball »

Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2015, 12:40:30 PM »
I'm still on the hunt for a good 9mm upper for an SBR.  I wouldn't be so picky if I were going a pistol, but with the extra headaches and cost of an SBR, I want to be sure to get the right one (mostly, a good ramped bolt so it doesn't beat up the hammer pin hole in the lower).

Offline DrFootball

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Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #17 on: August 17, 2015, 12:46:26 PM »
That's a good point! My buddy has two Olympic arms Full auto AR's, one an SBR and one full sized, and the 9MM uppers do a number on the bolt and buffer tube because your switching from Gas to Blowback. Mine was never a Gas Inpig. To begin with....you may want to look into Stag Arms or Rock River....

Offline masfonos

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #18 on: August 17, 2015, 12:50:20 PM »
PSA has some good deals on them but they seem to be playing games with which ones ship with ramped bolts and which ones don't. 

Offline 1slickAR15

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Re: Thoughts on a "Bug-Out" Carbine
« Reply #19 on: August 18, 2015, 04:49:47 PM »
Carbon 15?

I preferred a shorty AR in 9 MM with both 25 & 32 Rd Mag's, in Polymer to lighten the load....the rear Iron sight has a 1.2X lens, makes it (Targets)real clear inside of 30 Yds., which is just where the Optic starts to do its best work.....
http://images.tapatalk-cdn.com/15/08/16/241391721b8c0464a6a842574c6ee3ea.jpg

This is before I added an optic and Sling. Since I'm on a fixed income and funds are tight, The optic I got was one I had purchased 2 of already. The Tru-Glo 2X42 Multi Reticle Dual Color. Msrp$200, on sale at Natchez for $100 plus shipping. As I stated orig., I have two of These optics already one on my 50th Annv. 10/22(not the contest winner) and on my AK pattern 12Ga Semi Auto...

Note: their shipping is nutz so I always add some Ammo, since they have 4 "Flat" Weights...

Addendum:the 32 Rd Mag's are not in this pic. I obtained 4 From CDNN after I orig ordered 5 and they sent me Uzi Mag's, so I had to send those back and re-Order...and I got 2 more in 32 Rd from the same maker as the 25's pictured here.

 

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