"SHTF AR-build" - ultimate longevity and versatility

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by BullHeadedGideon, Sep 11, 2019.

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  1. BullHeadedGideon

    BullHeadedGideon Member

    Sep 6, 2019
    Hello everybody.

    Brand new user here. This is actually my very first thread-post ever. So please don't judge too hard in regards to my "thread-etiquette" lol X )

    But ok... Here it goes:

    Imagine a "Walking Dead-type," zombie apocalypse, scenario... Having to fight in CQB-type situations, indoors; decent distances, outdoors; low temperatures in the snow; warmer temperatures around 95; etc... AR parts may be scarce...
    How would you guys build an AR for ultimate versatility & longevity? (Obviously while still being ultimately reliable.)
    I realize I could've just said something like a "civil unrest scenario," but I like my proposed scenario better =D lol.

    1) Versatility - You would want your AR to always be of use - you wouldn't want your AR to be too far on one side of the spectrum (too much of a CQB build, or too much of a long-range build). & you would want to use just about any ammo you find.
    I just recently heard about "Reece builds" it seems like versatility is the purpose of that type of build, yes?

    2) Longevity - You'd want your AR to be setup in a way that has the least amount of wear & tear on important parts (barrel, BCG, etc...), able to last as long as possible.

    So, with these priorities in mind, what're you guys thinking?

    - 1:8 twist for use of most common rounds (55gr), along with heavier rounds if desired? (Versatility)
    - Chrome-lined CMV barrel, instead of Stainless Steel. (Longevity)
    - 16" barrel with mid-length gas system? (16" - not too long & not too short) & (mid-length for lower bolt velocity?) Would that be a good setup in regards to dwell time & BCG velocity/longevity?
    Or maybe 14.5" with carbine system? Would that be better for dwell time & BCG velocity?
    Would a 14.5" barrel not produce enough "umph" past a reasonable distance to put somebody down?
    Would 14.5" barrel be too short for 1:8 twist?

    I apologize if I typed this out in a confusing way. I've been getting interrupted all day as I've been typing this; & I just want to get it over with now lol.

    & I thank everybody in advance for your replies.
    NIGHTLORD40K likes this.

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

    Mar 17, 2015
    Nostramo (in absentia), Segmentum Ultima
    Welcome to the forum!

    As much as I love the mental exercise of wargaming post-apocalyptic scenarios, mentioning SHTF or TEOTWAKI is a sure way to get your thread shut down here. They might give you a little more leash with "civil unrest" or "woodland survival" but tread lightly.

    Probably best to restrict the question to something like "Suggestions for the most versatile, longest-lasting AR."

    So, as to that-

    14.5" is adequate acoording to the US military when coupled with the right bullet. Take that for what its worth. Personally, I think the 16" is just fine for CQB and dont mind a litle extra velocity as a bonus. The middy gas system seems like a good idea to me for a longetivity build, however, bolts are still wear items, pack a spare. Several companies, including MAGPUL, make grip carrier modules for extra bolts- or oilers, tools, and ammo......


    One of the great things about the AR platform is the ability to swap calibers pretty easily with an upper and a magazine. Personally, I think a pair of 9" uppers in 9mm and .22, along with their associated magazines (and well adapters) would be a wise idea for any AR survival pack. Yes, mounting them makes it an SBR, but they are just perfectly legal spare parts until then. If they are ever needed for the purpose you propose, the NFA will be the least of your worries.....

    Consider getting a suppressor for at least one of your uppers. Avoiding contact with hostiles in the wasteland is better than fighting them. And if you have to fight them, its better to do it as quietly as possible to avoid drawing more baddies in.
  3. Robbins290

    Robbins290 Member

    May 8, 2011
    Limerick, maine
    For longer service life. I would go rifle. 20” barrel and rifle stock. Cycles smoother (less wear and less traumatic cycling) More accurate. More velocity.

    Barrel twist does not really concern me. As all my shots with be with in 200-300 yards. I tested 3 lengths and never noticed a difference at those ranges.
  4. Walkalong

    Walkalong Moderator

    Nov 20, 2006
    We do not do SHTF etc here.
    edwardware likes this.
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