Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Group Standard Weapons

The guys and I have been kicking this one around in a low intensity way for awhile. As I have done a couple times in the past I am going to avoid discussing specific weapons (as much as possible) because it just degenerates into the same old arguments. For better or worse by a combination of personality and experience I am the closest thing to a leader our 'group' is going to have in the foreseeable future. I have a tiny bit of experience with leadership and this whole thing leaves me with two thoughts. First of all anyway you cut it peer leadership is hard. Second of all leading libertarians is like herding cats, it doesn't work very well.

In our discussions we have gained some consensus but for the most part are still bogged down. I will get back to that later.

I got to thinking about what the positive characteristics of good group weapons would be:
First a common caliber, duh.

Second a common platform: browning, glock, sig, beretta, hk, ar, ak, fnfal, hk91, m1a, etc.

Third is economy. Since a group of people are going to be purchasing this stuff, some of them not entirely thrilled by it the sell is easier if a pistol costs $600 instead of $1200. Also consider the cost to fully equip the firearm with ammo and mags. Also depending on financial situations of you and your mates cost can be a real issue.

Fourth is modularity. Since multiple people are going to be spending their hard earned dollars on a weapon they might not even like it will help a lot for them to be able to adapt it to their tastes. You can do just about anything with an AR and a whole lot with a Rem 870 or a Moss 500 but (I imagine) can do little to change a Valumet or an Ithica Model 37.

We may or may not be able to get through this impasse with back and forth phone conversations. My idea on how to get the breakthrough we need is as follows: We all get together and agree to do two things 1) abide by the group decision and purchase the weapons and 2) not leave until it is eventually settled with a simple majority vote. Unless I really miss my guess we will probably cook a bunch of brawts and drink plenty of beer during this process because that is what we like to do.

As a note this would have been a whole lot easier if we had sat down and figured this out a few years ago before we all made a bunch of purchases. Of course back then we were just gun enthusiasts and none of that stuff mattered. The morale of is with your friends if you are even considering forming a group start having this conversation now because it will just get harder down the road.

Thoughts or experiences?


Commander Zero said...

Hmm...we were already of a like mind before we made things 'official'. The Glocks were cheap as police trade ins so we went with those. AR's were cheap as well so we went with that for .223. Everyone already have a Rem 870 and 10/22 so that was a non-issue. And just like that, we had it done. After that we fine tuned it by adding the 1911 platform for .45 autos, and the .357 for revolvers.

90% of the decisions were made by reviewing what we already had.

irishdutchuncle said...

i think going beyond common calibers is pushing your luck. as long as each of you posesses a reliable piece in a common caliber, that its owner can shoot well, that's good enough. each of your financial situations will always be a bit different, unless you start a comune. in which case you can have a common armory, and issue yourselves common weapons. but since you're libertarians instead of comunists i think it's better "every man for himself".

Anonymous said...

This very scenario has led me to favorably view the Saiga family of AK style semi auto rifles and shotguns. The rifles are in 5.56/.223, 7.62 x 39, and 7.62x51/.308 The shotguns are 410 gauge 20 gauge and 12 gauge. The basic rifles are anywhere from $400.00 to 800.00. Really fancy versions would cost $1000.00 more each. The magazines are double the cost of ar-15 or AK47 mags. Common parts like the actions, stocks, and trigger groups MAY be interchangeable. Saiga has both short barrel as well as longer barreled version of all of these for better long range accuracy. For the price of my AR-10 and all her magazines I could probably get 3 basic rifles and several magazines each.
Captain Aloha

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned optics yet. I think they're more important than the type of rifle. Aimed rounds are more effective than spray-and-pray, and bolt-actions with scopes are more effective than AK's with iron sights. You might be King Kong with iron sights on a range in the daylight with well-defined targets, but you won't be in poor light with moving, fleeting targets wearing camouflage. As I was told in the Marines long ago, "Firepower is bullets hitting people."

Flight-ER-Doc said...

Disagreeing with Irishdutchuncle here.

If you ever actually have to engage in a fight, having standardized magazines makes a bit of sense - if someone runs out, they can get a mag from another without having to reload the mag. For that reason, we (my little group) standardized on the AR and M14 platforms for rifles, and Glocks (originally 1911s) for handguns. We carry either G21 or G30 handguns, and G21 backup mags (which work in G30's too - they just stick out the bottom a bit).

Beyond that, if someone wants to carry something else, they're welcome to it.

In terms of standardization in case something breaks, a bunch of parts is usually a lot more practical (and cheaper) than a complete firearm. Things that tend to break tend to break more than once: Having (say) a dozen AR's so you can have a spare in case an extractor breaks is silly - just have a few extractors (actually, we have complete, ready to go bolts, in the storage grip of the ARs, and a few spares to fix a break later). Other things almost never break or wear out. I've never broken a stock, or worn out barrels in anything except my .300win mag or my very first 1911, which has around 59K rounds fired through it. Having replacement stocks and barrels is low-yield.

For non-defense weapons, standardization is a lot less important. I have bolt action hunting rifles in .223 and .308, both because they are more than adequate hunting rounds, and because I have lots of ammo in those calibers already. For shotguns, we haven't found much difference between 870's and 500's, they both pretty much work the same way.

And for .22's we're switching over to conversion kits for the AR's and Glocks....both to save on training ammo costs, and reduce weight carried.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with a group. Most of the ones I've seen over the years eventually fragmented due to personality conflicts. There's always the chance somebody is a snitch. I'm more of the "everybody do their own planning but you can come up here if you need to" persuasion.

The only group I ever had any dealings with that functioned smoothly was up in North Carolina, was fundamentalist Christian, and when the patriach died the whole thing fell apart.

That's not to say you can't put one together and keep it functional. I would imagine, based on your background, that if anyone can you fellows can.

GunRights4US said...

One way to deal with a common caliber in different platforms is to play a game called battlefield pickup.

Periodically the gang goes to wherever they shoot, and everyone shoots everyone else's rifle for a while. It helps to practice mag changes and stoppage clearing with that other guys weapon as well.

cb said...

The main problem we've had coming up with standards is that one guy is a lefty...

Since we're a very small group, it's pretty easy for us to come to consensus.

theotherryan said...

Commander Zero, We are pretty close to good but as often is the case the last 20% is the issue. Odds are high our setup will end up looking a lot like yours does. What we already have on hand will be a major factor in decision making.

Irishdutchuncle, I disagree. We need the ability cross level ammunition via handing off mags if circumstances require it. This is essential IMO.

Cpt Aloha, I don't know a ton about the Siaga's but they are not exactly a standard rifle which is a big negative. A shotgun with a huge mag is appealing though.

Anon, That is sorta out of the field of this discussion. Covered optics in the past and with the right rifle and PERSON BEHIND IT you can shoot a long way accurately with iron sights.

Flight-ER Doc, It seems we are on the same page. I am more concerned about magazine changes then spare parts but that is also an advantage. I like the spare bolt in the handle idea and may just use that.

Hermit, You make a lot of good points. Also this got me thinking for a future post about groups. I've been knowing them since I was knee high to a duck which helps a lot with trust. I don't think it is a question of IF we are going to be a group but about how exactly our group will be.

Gunrights For Us, We can pretty much handle everything that each other own due to years of shooting together and dinking around and swapping guns. The only exception to that is my Garand which most these days aren't familiar with and that would be easily fixed with a few boxes of ammo and an hour at the range.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the buckshot loads for the shotguns. For after dark short ranges, it is one hell of a equalizer. I think a lot of the early happenings will occur in the dark - much easier for a sheeple to use one to defend themselves and their property.

Maggy said...

I know personally in reference to TOR's group (which I'm assuming I'm at least loosely associated with) he and I have discussed personal firearms for myself and I'm sure I will end up buying the same model (or at least make) of handgun as has been more or less agreed as their common platform. Not only do they have this make, but my father does as well. That way I know that if something happens I have a weapon that has not only interchangable mags and ammo, but I have several others around with the know-how should something go wrong with the weapon itself.

Jimbo said...

See your point about having a group, but my strategy is different.

I live in a rural setting and intend to invite the neighbors to do some shooting on our property.

Those that take me up on it and our hunting buddies will be the folks that I go to for common defense in a SHTF/TEOWATKI scenario.

I think this would be a great way to ease folks who may not have much of a survivalist mentality into becoming survival minded.

theotherryan said...

CB, That could be interesting for sure. Lots of rifles now have a lefty version but I am unsure how spare parts transfer to the righty version.

2:03, We are tracking buckshot for sure. I would go as far as to say it is the mainstay of our shotgun ammo. Also some slugs stashed away just in case.

Maggy, You are certainly associated with us. Having compatible handguns (and rifles) will sure make a lot of things simpler in terms of ammo, mags accessories, holsters, etc.

theotherryan said...

Oh yeah Maggy, +5 points for thinking about this now.

theotherryan said...

Jimbo, That isn't a bad way to meet potential group mates though that isn't quite what I was focusing on today. I will probably talk about groups more in the near future.

Anonymous said...

I hear ya loud & clear about Libertarians & other "free thinking" folks and their group interactions. There're only three of us in my immediate family and sometimes we can't agree on "common" anything. Take for instance our approach to defensive weaponry. We're still building our armory but already have issues. Dad (me) started out several years ago with an AR-15 for the rifle roll and a Beretta 96 compact in .40 S&W as a sidearm. These arms were augmented recently when I purchased an AR-10A4 for the "long range" aspect of our defense. My wife on the other hand while fine with the AR-15, prefers a 9 mm Glock for her sidearm. Then there's Gandalf, Jr. (a Navy Reserve Sea Bee) who decided on a PTR-91 in .308 as his preferred rifle; and, is qualified expert with the M-9 and shotgun. Now some of this was dictated by the strange "hi-capacity" magazine rules now in effect in the PRH (Peoples' Republic of Hawaii) with respect to so-called assault pistols; but, you see my point: Even a close knit survival oriented family often can't achieve consensus on important issues. My solution will probably be to leave the AR-15 as Mom's rifle and purchase a PTR for my MBR. For the sake of commonality, I'll most likely opt to purchase a 9 mm Glock as an added sidearm choice. On the plus side, G-3/H&K-91 mags-the kind used by PTR-91s- are really cheap (so far). Junior picked up fifty 20 round mags for a little over $300.00, plus shipping.


theotherryan said...

Gandalf, I see your point loud and clear.

3rdman said...

So your son spent that much on magazines. May want to check the link below first.

Anonymous said...

3rd Man:

Yikes! Oh well, he made the decision to purchase this rifle & accessories on his own (first time he's been old enough to do so)without consulting anyone and, apparently, didn't do enough research. Fortunately, the mags themselves are in excellent shape, and for about $6.00 ea. (incl. shipment to HI) it isn't the end of his financial world as he knows it). However, I made it a point to forward the link you provided to him for future reference. Thanks.


johnzilla said...

I second the PTR-91 with surplus G3 mags and have to disagree with Cpt Aloha's point about the Saigas, at least for 308.

2 Saiga 308s are $1000. 25-rd mags are $50 EACH. 20 mags = $1000. So two rifles with 10 mags each equals $2000. And outside of a forced group buy or luck, there's little chance of finding other people with Saigas. There's a much better chance of finding some HK/PTR folk.

I can only see Saigas for their shotguns. 7.62x39? Much better off with true AKs and there's virtually no price difference. 5.56 NATO? ARs in sane buying times can be had in the $800 range...the AR platform advantages far outweigh any cost advantage on the Saiga. 7.62 NATO? See my point above about the PTRs.

I'm not knocking Saigas...I own several. I'm just saying I wouldn't bank my SHTF armory on me they are nice to haves but there are better options.

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