Prepper Guns: Firearms, Ammo, Tools, and Techniques You Will Need to Survive the Coming Collapse (2016)

RIFLES

The AUG Option

This may be the coolest rifle ever for zombies, survival, or just looking good at the range.

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Photo credit: Eric Poole.

Iam not sure how many Walking Dead fans will read this, but I am sure that, like me, they spend an unhealthy amount of time yelling at the television. The characters’ choice of weapons on that show is absurd. It has gotten better in recent years, but it’s still enough to make true gun guys foam at the mouth with frustration.

Daryl’s crossbow is my biggest pet peeve. It looks cool and no doubt it has all the basement warriors who watch the show pumping their fists and drooling in their laps, but it’s a foolish choice that would have left him dead in the first days of the zombie apocalypse.

I have used crossbows a bunch and I can honestly say that I can’t think of a worse choice for fighting off a zombie horde. Any crossbow is extremely slow to load, impossible to carry, and has limited range. A compound bow is much better in every respect, except maybe for exciting those mall ninjas who, when they are not watching The Walking Dead, hide in their mom’s basement and fantasize about Lara Croft. (Not that there is anything wrong with that.)

That said, anything that shoots a stick is a poor choice to fight off a zombie horde, or any rioting, murderous mob for that matter.

Then there is Rick’s Colt Python. The Python may be one of the coolest handguns on the planet, no argument, but it’s a poor choice for surviving TEOTWAWKI. Like most revolvers, it only holds six rounds and it’s very slow to reload compared to a magazine-fed pistol. No good for a zombie horde, unless there is a director to yell “cut” and save your ass every time they are about to overrun you.

Rick’s limp-wristed, wimpy style of holding the gun makes me think he got beat up a lot as a kid. I suppose, like the crossbow and the Python, the producers think that looks “badass.” But to a gun guy, it looks like Rick doesn’t have a clue how to run a handgun.

I get it; it’s TV. Clearly they pick the guns for their visual appeal rather than any true tactical advantage. I suspect that’s how they ended up equipping their über-bad guy, “The Governor,” with his gun. His bullpup carbine may well be the most badass-looking gun ever on the show, but the producers probably didn’t know that the Steyr AUG is also an excellent choice for any zombie apocalypse or, I suppose, to raid a prison full of survivors. That’s not to condone The Governor’s actions—I would have liked to shoot him myself if he had not already had a Japanese Katana run through his guts.

My point is simple. While his rifle, the Steyr AUG, has an on-camera profile that makes any nerdy producer or fanboy pop wood, it’s also a serious fighting firearm.

I know for a fact that the European management at Steyr wanted to stay out of the whole zombie thing when it was in vogue and they were a bit upset that their gun showed up on The Walking Dead. That is, until demand went through the roof for the AUG; then it was okay.

The AUG (Armee-Universal-Gewehr—universal army rifle) is a piston-driven, Austrian bullpup, 5.56 NATO rifle. It was designed in the 1960s and has seen extensive use by military and law enforcement all over the world.

The AUG feeds from thirty-round magazines that fit behind the trigger. The bullpup design ensures that it is a short firearm, which has lots of advantages in close quarters battle (CQB), when riding in a vehicle, or even when hiding it in a diversion bag so you can carry unnoticed. It is also much easier to carry on your body every day than a longer gun. The AUG is reliable and accurate enough that I have seen them used in 3-gun matches with targets out to 400 yards.

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Steyr AUG.

In early April of 2014, I had the pleasure of visiting the grand opening of the Steyr Arms facility in Bessemer, Alabama. While I was there I was able to burn up a bunch of ammo with the AUG. As a hard-core AR-15 shooter, it took a few shots to adjust to the different feel of the gun. But by the time I was into my second magazine I was ripping off double-taps and keeping them in center-mass at 25 yards. The gun is very controllable, easy to operate, and notoriously reliable. The AUG is very left-hand friendly, and it has ejection ports on both sides of the gun. The controls are very simple to use.

The gun is available with either a 1.5X or 3X scope. The scope also has three Picatinny rail sections so you can mount a laser or other bling. The front of the sling attaches with Quick-Disconnect while the rear is a fixed swivel. As a bullpup, the AUG A3 M1 is only 28.15 inches long, even with a 16-inch barrel. The short-stroke gas-piston exhaust vents gas out of the front of the rifle. The gun has dual gas-adjustment settings to run a wide range of ammo.

Conversion to left-hand operation requires replacement of the standard bolt with the optional left-eject bolt and swapping the ejection-port cover. The gun has a quick-change barrel with a collapsible forward grip.

I ordered one with their integral 1.5X sighting system. I also had them send another rail mount so I could attach my own optics if I decided I didn’t like theirs, but I never did because the scope that came on the gun is fine.

The AUG uses its own magazines. You can order the gun configured to use NATO-style, AR-15 magazines, and it might make sense to buy the gun with the AR-15 magazine option.

The AUG is an alternative choice for a primary, personal long gun. It has seen decades of military use and has proven to be extremely reliable and durable. The short, bullpup design is much easier to manage on a sling. The problem with any rifle or carbine is that it becomes a huge pain in the ass if you try to carry it every day. They bounce and swing around on the sling, they get in the way when you are trying to do anything, and when you squat or kneel they hit the ground. That’s not going to go away, but with a shorter bullpup gun all those issues are somewhat mitigated. If you can do that without any tactical compromise, as with the AUG, why not consider it as an option?

It’s worth a look for any prepper looking for something just a little different.