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


Battle Rifles

Pay attention—this might be the most important chapter for preppers.


Okay, so let’s get this out of the way right now before you all start writing me letters or trashing my book on the Internet. I know that the traditional use of the term “battle rifle” is for 30-caliber, full-power, full-size military rifles. The purists won’t even include the AR-10 and think it has to be an M1 Garand, M14, or some other huge gun that you can use for the center pole of a tent when you are not fighting.

It’s all a matter of perspective, and the 30-caliber cut-off is arbitrary. When the Army switched to the .30–40 Krag and gave up on the .45–70, it might have been argued that the Krag was an intermediate cartridge by comparison and true battle rifles used 45-caliber bullets. Now the 30-caliber is the big-bore and the 5.56 is the intermediate cartridge. It’s just the times we live in, and those times are changing.

I once showed up for a “battle rifle” match with a DPMS AP4 in .308 with a Swarovski 1–6X scope. I called ahead and was assured it was fine, but when I got there a few people complained. One guy was dressed in full World War II battle uniform, including helmet and canteen, with a Garand, of course. He tried to stop me from shooting. In the end cooler heads prevailed and we started the match. I was on track to win when I made a big mistake and completely tanked a stage. I wound up in second and the guy with the Garand was below that by quite a bit. I think it proves that mine was a better “battle rifle” than his. Also, he looked like a dork.


The battle rifle of World War II is not the battle rifle of today.


Who is to say that this DPMS AP4 .308 is not a battle rifle? It’s more effective than a lot of the antiquated traditional battle rifles.

Besides, this ain’t the US Army. We are civilians and we play by our own rules. You will find a bunch of stuff in this book that is not locked into the tactical-Nazis vernacular, particularly the military history side of things. Part of that is because I am not too deep into that world and don’t know every nuanced term about every military gun ever made. But a bigger part of it is that I am not going to play the “me too” game. Too many writers just repeat what they read and that’s how myths and misconceptions get started. I prefer to blaze my own trail and actually shoot the guns I am writing about, or at least I will tell you if I have little or no experience with them. In that case, I have a huge list of resources to research from, including some very knowledgeable people who are consulting on this book.


This is what a modern-day battle rifle looks like from the business end.

Besides, those guns are passé. No American uses those rifles in war anymore, except in very limited circumstances. The majority of our fighting forces use the M4 or other 5.56-chambered rifles for fighting. So are they not also battle rifles by definition? They sure see a lot of trigger time in battle.

Well, they are considered battle rifles in this book. For lack of a better term, that’s what I am calling your personal defensive rifles, even those in sub30-caliber cartridges. If TSHTF, these are the rifles with which you will be defending your home, family, and your own life. If that’s not the modern-day definition of a civilian battle rifle, I don’t know what is.

This section will take a look at battle rifles, long-range sniper type rifles, scout rifles, and even some options like lever-actions. Yup, just like the cowboys used. Even today they still have their place with preppers.

I’ll explore rifles from the .50 BMG to the .22 LR. You can’t get much more diverse than that.

As you might assume, I offer some thoughts on the traditional “battle rifles” as well.