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  1. An under appreciated topic nicely put into a nutshell. I’ll briefly addressing late this night, three concerns raised in the article, barrel life, ammunition, and game hiding in thick brush.

    The least expensive and proven hunting ammunition is 7.62×39 Tula, or Wolf 154 grain soft point. It is an equivalent in performance to the Hornady FTX 160 grain .30-30 load in all regards. It costs only .21 cents per round at SG Ammo, or 209.50 for a case of 1,000. I use it as defense load in a 21 inch barrel that launches it at about 2,400 fps, same as the Hornady load. Hog hunters love this round. It penetrates tough hogs, and expand to about 3/4 of inch diameter in ballistic gelatin. It is much more accurate that the standard Russian 122 to 124 grain ammunition. If used in the chrome lined barrel of a SKS, the barrel will out last all other rifle barrels. It is a good poor man’s .30-30, and it has 10 rounds in the magazine for follow up shots if need be. I suspect that the SKS in no less accurate than the time tested .30-30 with buckhorn sights. Most deer are taken at less than 100 yards. Wolf recently began offering subsonic ammunition in 7.62×39 that cycles the action. Some post-banned Com-block rifles do not have threaded barrels. For longer shot opportunities, we can set up on a hill with a scoped full power rifle.

    As for game in the brush, the .30-06 using 220 grain round nosed bullets will not be deflected by thick brush, and will take game hidden in cover. .30-06 is arguably the most versatile rifle for this country. My elk and bear load is a 200 grain Nosler Partition loaded with 54.5 grains of IMR 4831 for about 2,500 fps, but the 220 grain Remington CoreLokt is my favorite for bear. We gotta a lot of Grizzly here. Round nosed was used because it can hit heavy bone and not be deflect away as much from the heart/lung area. This means the round can stop the bear, and put out it’s lights too. It has unfortunately been supplanted by faster and trendier loads, but the old school RN’s have a place. .30-06 has the case capacity and the 1:10 barrel twist that allows to handle these heavy bullets that the .308 Winchester cannot. As the article mentions that wary game under pressure from hunters will tend to stay in the brush, the 220 grain RN .30-06 would get the game when the .308 Win. could not, as well as take Grizzly with more authority.

    1. Correction: The Privi Partisain load is .60 cents, not .24 cents and that manufacturer states that it does not cycle the action. Here is the Brown Bear offering at .51 cents/rd, that in the video posted, does cycle the action. It is best to buy a sample and see what works in your rifle before going for large quantities. Test for accuracy as well. An SKS, if the barrel is threaded, or not, is least expensive platform for 7.62×39 ammunition.

      Brown Bear Subsonic ammunition in 7.62×39:

      .300 Blackout is the better dedicated subsonic platform, and ammunition can be found for as low as .55 cents/round. The greater selection of ammunition means the best fit of gun and ammo could be found. Here is an upper from PSA for $199.00: https://palmettostatearmory.com/psa-7-nitride-1-7-pistol-length-300aac-blackout-marauder-ar-15-upper-assembly-black-no-bcg-ch.html

    2. Great information Tunnel Rabbit. I agree that strictly for hunting, the good ole .30-06 definately one ups the .308. I also think everyone should have some inexpensive wolf floating around. I have only noticed one potentially significant problem with the steel cased laquer coated ammo. I left a couple of boxes of .223 wolf on the floor of my garage. Some moisture precipitated into to the paper box and slightly rusted the case through the laquer. I was curious to see how the round would function. I shot them through an ar15 that I have never had a single malfunction in. A quality chrome lined barrel with a well finished chamber. I had only 1 out of 10 rounds that extracted. The rough surface from the rust and the polymer coating would not allow the case to be extracted and they had to be knocked out with a cleaning rod. So I will still buy some wolf or tula to use in a class some where that I can’t pick up my brass. However If my life depended on it, I am going for brass case all the way. I was reading a gun magazine at the grocery store in kalispell tonight and what struck me as interesting is a company called true velocity releasing plastic case (not just coated ) ammo. Time will tell if it is less expensive than brass. I agree with you also that having a suppressor, despite the hassle of the $200 tax stamp and the wait, is a great thing. They are almost as effective as a muzzle break at recoil reduction, in addition to the sound deadening. The only thing I have noticed is that suppressor that are made from titanium seem to give off mirage much faster than steel case suppressors.

      1. With hand loads in a bolt gun, the .30-06 can run 200 to 300 fps faster than the .308, making for flatter trajectories. The difference using 150 grain bullets in a comparison, is about 10 inches at 500 yards. This is the difference between the .30-06 and the .300 Win. Mag. So if all you have available is an .30-06, there is that advantage, as well as it ability to handle heavy projectiles. Too bad they discontinued my favorite 208 grain Amax. Having a semi-auto for DMR work is a better choice, but for long range precision ‘hunting’, the .30-06 has the edge.

        About the 77 grain Tula .223. This was proposed a the the best choice for the lowest price. This is not lacquer coated, but zinc coated. It is inclined to rust too, but it cannot melt in a hot chamber, and will not gum up the delicate AR-15 action with particles of lacquer. Of course, if you can afford the best for your AR, you should get the best. The brass case will expand and seal the chamber, and prevent the expanding gases from fouling the action. I would go for the 77 grain Sierra Match King (OTM) bullet, and insist that the primer is sealed, as well as the bullet at the case mouth. This kind of ammunition can run north of $1, verses .20 cents. I do have ‘champagne tastes’, but do not even have a ‘beer budget’. Fortunately I do not drink, so it matters not.

        My primary is like the MAC-91 that was made for the crude Russian ammo, so it shoots a 154 grain SP that is also a good deer and hog load. This combination is essentially a semi automatic box magazine fed .30-30. It will hit hard and make large exit wounds. I also recommend Kalashnikov actions for most folks, who are not trained to clean and maintain any rifle. Simple is best, because simple is reliable.

  2. Great article Sir. You are speaking about many things I have learned from hard experience. I have to confess that I like to shoot (3 gun and long range) more than I like to hunt. Your advice on sticking with common calibers and getting good with them is very sound. You can learn the fundamentals at the lowest possible cost while still being able to get the job done. When you can shoot a .308 at 800-1100 yards with consistency (or large game dictates), but you start to become frustrated by the inherent limitations of the cartridge, then it is time to consider a magnum. The problems with magnums besides cost, recoil and muzzle blast? They wear barrels out much faster, ya that E=MC squared formula is real. The positive side is that never before have such an array of tecnologies and designs been so cheap and available in the firearms world. I have become a big believer in well made chrome lined barrels (Criterion is a great barrel maker) and nitrided barrels. It is a joy to shoot tight groups at long range with magnum rifle, and sad to see those groups open up as the barrel wears out (900-1800 rounds for many magnums). Chrome lining done well (meaning uniformly deposited axially and radially the entire length of the barrel) on a quality steel (uniform molecular density and alignment) is great for your ar15 or ar10. You will have a barrel that shoots very well with wide variety of ammo, and the point of impact shift with differant ammo will usually be vertical due to velocity. If chrome lined barrels for savages and remingtons and rugers were available I would be a buyer. However we have nitride for now, and it seems to give 2-4 times the barrel life. It is great to be skilled with a .300 win mag and be able to shoot it for 3000+ rounds before the barrel goes bad. You really come to appreciate the flat shooting characteristics and energy on target. Putting all of this together for the prepper means: start with common cartridges and learn to shoot (appleseed, Front Sight etc.) then depending on you motivation, finances and interest build upon that. At the basic level you will be miles ahead of the person who has no firearsm and no training and no practice. Arm up and don’t forget our Kinsman in Virginia

  3. Great article and very sobering. For myself with little or no hunting experience looks like it’s time to stock up on some more canned goods 🙂

    Thank you for contributing.

      1. Muddykid: I don’t think it is lack of interest in hunting or trapping. I used to hunt, have my life-time license and I’m still a good shot, but I no longer that the strength to chase them down or drag them out of the deep woods, back to the ATV. But I can process them, preserve the meat and make sausage in exchange for a younger model to do the hard stuff!

    1. “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” = Words of Wisdom from a Clint Eastwood movie. … Some of the readers of Survivalblog, are fully capable of swinging through the trees like Tarzan, and surviving in the wilderness with just a belt knife. [Everyone else =]

      It would behoove the rest of us, to store up some needed preps from the advertisers on Survivalblog. … A water-filtration system and some storage-food would work during one of the many local emergencies. Try out the different storage-foods available.

      The storage-food can be used while camping, road trips, and on vacations. “Take along food” is safer than stopping at many of the Burger Joints along the highway. (It’s less expensive too.) Eat your own storage-food; if necessary buy just a treat for the kids.

  4. Having lived in heavy deer and elk country ( waking up to elk prints in the snow – on my porch – Having deer eat 2 – 50′ rows of green beans that had about 5000 perfect 1-inch long baby beans in one night) I learned to check the door before opening it. But no matter how much they hang out in your yard,eat your garden, tear your hay stacks apart or any of the other amusements they enjoy, the first day of hunting season, they are GONE, so when SHTF and people start banging away at them they will pull on their invisability cloaks or hide in the tree tops or whatever they do to keep from being eaten. So you must realize what looks like easy pickins today will be unatainable then. I think putting away corn is a great idea, and would add salt to the list. 50 pound blocks of livestock salt are cheap, easy to store and will be useful as bait or barter. But the reality is you are not going to have elk steaks every night, so store up on protiens now, (freezers will fail so have shelf stable food put away) canned meat, jerky, dry beans, store LOTS of fats, canned butter, lard, tallow, olive oil etc rabbit, squirrel etc is very low in fats and rabbit starvation is a real thing. If you can’t hunt get to know your neighbors, help them put up (process) their game for part of it. Very good article, many ideas to incorporate into my plan, thank you.

    1. Good input, VCC.

      But please give us just one name of one person you can show died of Rabbit Starvation.

      I am absolutely flabbergasted at how pervasive this statement is among every survival blog.

      Rabbits were a critical item for 6 years of wartime diet in the UK. Literally hundreds of thousands of them were consumed.

      My parents fed them to me for three years, from age 1 to 4. I grew up to be a 6’2″ 230 pound athlete, competing nationally in biathlon.
      Hardly starvation.

      People who keep dissing a good source of protein are not helping their neighbor.

      So please give us just one name with the source we can reference ourselves.

      God bless, and Merry Christmas.

      1. You are right about rabbit. I often wondered about that protein thing. Some on the nutrient content chart I have is as follows:

        Rabbit: 21.8%protein, 2.4%fat
        White Tail Deer: 23.6%protein, 1.4%fat
        Beef – USDA: 22.0%protein, 6.5%fat
        Wild Boar: 28.3%protein, 4.38%fat

        These values can vary somewhat. My son swears you can tell how bad the winter is going to be based on the deer fat content.

      2. “Once a guy, McCandless was his name, went to Alaska to get the right answers to the wrong questions and got himself killed by eating rabbits, caribou, weeds and berries … and not having a decent map!”

  5. Give me a break! Should the SHTF, large game will be gone almost overnight, yet you are talking calibers and baiting like nothing has changed. Get a clue! You will be lucky to find road kill! You will be so busy in other survival pursuits you won’t have time to hunt… in a barren landscape cleaned out by your neighbors.

    Learn to trap. Stays on the job 24/7/365. Maybe you will be lucky enough to collect enough protein to add to all that rice you stored.

    1. Les,
      Gotta agree. Yet even trapping would be dangerous and too time consuming during a ‘die off’, because security should be job #1. That is why we should pile it up now with the goal to get to the other side of the ‘die off’. Then we may have to hunt again to at least supplement our food production. This is what folks had to do during the Great Depression. I am also prepared to trap. Fortunately I’ll be on the edge of the wilderness where people are scarce, and big game thrives. After a ‘die off’, there would be even fewer people in that region. As it is, most of them do not know how to hunt or trap, and do not have any long term survival plan.

      We are sadly a very different people than we were during the Great Depression. My guess is that less than 2%, even out here in NW Montana, are prepared for a long term collapse. Fortunately, within a square mile of here, we can boast to have moose, elk, deer, grizzly, black bear, wolf, coyote, mountain lion, badger, beaver, coons, weasel, turkey, rabbits, pheasant, trout, and salmon, and more… Oh, forgot to mention the herds of cattle, and some buffalo….something for everyone. This will keep a few people who did not prepare well enough alive, if they rediscover how to hunt and trap. We’ll be strengthening our defenses while they do that…

  6. I understands RGs chart on white tail fat content. Having said that, this year’s does and buck in WI were full of fat when we butchered them. This is the first year I butchered at home as a new hunting buddy does all his own butchering and I was eager to learn. My buddy’s father came hunting one weekend and explained that the fat could be trimmed out and rendered into lard.

    While the fat percent seems low on a chart, there’s plenty of fat on a white tail if you spend the time trimming it off/out. Not necessarily an attractive requirement now but when the SHTF, different story.

    Good article to keep us thinking about our regions’ wildlife options and alternatives.

  7. Wheatley Fisher- Rabbit starvation is a form of nasty malnutrition from eating lean rabbit meat almost exclusively. It is not exactly starvation leading to death. On the Wiki page for protein poisoning the explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson is quoted talking about the effects of eating lean men after they died being akin to rabbit starvation. 19 of 25 died. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Protein_poisoning

    This guy from Colorado says John Speth coined the term or developed the concept.
    https://thepaleodiet.com/tag/rabbit-starvation/ I’m sure you do not mean to imply your parents feed you nothing but rabbit for three years, nor, that Brits ate nothing else for six do you?

    Pretty much rabbit starvation is limited to very bad situations where even though you have plenty of calories, the meat does not have enough fat to keep you functioning normally. Probably the best known examples are from the Corps of Discovery- look into Lewis and Clark winter issues and you’ll see how bad it can get.

    One nasty side effect is switching from lean winter/starvation foods to fatty fish (a specific L&C problem that killed at least one guy). Your body can simply not process the abundance of lipids when they suddenly had access to fish. Lipid malabsorption is not to be taken lightly… that will kill you. If anyone is interested in these two issues just search around, there is plenty of information on both available.

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