Saturday, January 25, 2014

Exploding Another Firearm Myth

I recently wrote about what I consider to be the top 5 firearms myths among preppers. After some further reflection, there is another myth that is out there. And it hits close to home because I fell for it.

Myth # 6--Get Your Long Distance Rife In The Same Caliber As Your Battle Rifle.

This myth generally shows up when considering the a 7.62 NATO battle rifle (e.g., a FAL or M-1A). The theory behind this is that if you also get a dedicated long distance precision rifle, you can use the same ammunition for both in a pinch. The unspoken assumption is that your precision rifle will fire the military surplus stuff you feed your FAL or M-1A accurately enough to be useful. 

It is the unspoken assumption that likely will not hold up. Bullet weight for hunting ammunition and match-grade ammunition in the .308/7.62 NATO is generally 168 grains or heavier. Bullet weight for 7.62 NATO is 142 grains. Your precision rifle likely has a twist rate that is intended for heavier weight bullets. And, because of that, the precision rifle may be horribly inaccurate when shooting the lighter weight NATO rounds. My experience--even using good quality ammunition--was that the accuracy degraded to such an extent that I would have been uncomfortable relying on the 142 grain bullets at anything further than 100 to 150 yards.

Your experience may not be mine. But if you feel you need a long distance precision rifle, don't limit your selection to .308 just for the sake of compatibility. If a .308 rifle fills your needs, then that is great. But if you are in area with lots of wide-open spaces, maybe you need to step up to a .300 Winchester Magnum or some other cartridge with longer effective range. If you already have an accurate rifle in .243, .270 or .30-06 that you use for hunting, perhaps that rifle can also fulfil your needs for a long-distance precision rifle. If you anticipate being in an urban area, an accurized AR may also suffice--it certainly was the workhorse for many of the snipers in Iraq.

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