Talking About Gear 2

So I tried on my “neighborhood defense” gear yesterday, and OMG it was heavy.  I took a brief walk over to our apartment complex’s mailbox center (without the AK because I don’t want to frighten the rest of Little Mumbai), and I was puffing and panting when I came back — as much for the weight as for the ambient temperature (Texas Early Summer, i.e. +/- 93F).

Gawdnose what it would be like with a webbing mag carrier etc., as shown in yesterday’s post, and a loaded AK.

I need to rethink this.  Maybe I’ll forgo the AK and use the old M1 Carbine instead:  lighter, the ammo is lighter too, AND it would be slightly more concealable under a dust coat than the AK.

Hey, if it was good enough for our fathers’ generation in WWII Europe against actual Nazis…

My only problem is that I don’t have as much .30 Carbine ammo (hardly any compared to the AK), for starters.  However:

I need to think about this whole thing a little more.


  1. Yes, when I crossed the 60 year line I noticed stuff started getting a lot heavier. And the floor started getting further away. Some 40 years ago I picked up an AK for the first time and set it right back down cause even then I could see that it was way to heavy. At that time I was used to carrying an M16 and seen no reason to carry a model T. My AR weighs a smidge over 7 lbs with the scope and around 10 lbs with a full mag and now, when walking through our steeply terrained forest it is a struggle. Basically relying on the trees for support much of the time. I’m no longer the elite para-animal I used to be and my behavior is a reflection of that unfortunate reality. If things get THAT tough I will sit my ass in a high bush where I can see long distance for guard duty and the young bux can take over the long range patrol duties. The hardest part about getting old is realizing it. With each passing day another thing is discovered to be too difficult or not doable at all.

    1. Ghost, I’m with you bigtime.
      My service rifle back in ’64 or so was an M-14. Loved it, because I felt like any thing I could see out to 400 yds I could hit. The size and weight didn’t seem like so much, and I tossed it through a manual of arms and even spun it like a toothpick. Fast forward 55 years – I’m past the 70 line now, and have had a hankering for an M1A for years. Last fall, there was a nice one at a fair price at my LGS, so I hefted it, sighted along it, flipped it around a little (very little). Did you know a rifle must be a living thing? Because over those 55 years my 10 lb M-14 had grown into a 38 lb M1A.
      Alas, it’s just too much for me now. I rationalize my loss thinking about $.60 to $1.20 per shot and all the money I’m saving.

      And Kim, SGA’s $.37 per round for .30 carbine beats the heck out of $.60 to $1.20 per shot.

    2. Yep. Add arthritis on top of that. I figure I am good for guard duty and my background suits for service as a REMF. I could fight with the clerks and cooks if the HQ was being overrun. I hope there are enough young guys for CW2.

  2. If you go with the Carbine, it might be worth picking up a paratrooper version with the folding stock. Not as comfortable to shoot, but much easier to hid under a garment if desired.

  3. I have an m1 carbine in 9mm which shares mags with my beretta 9mm pistol and I have 6 or 7 15 round mags.

    I think I will be in good shape.

    Need to trick up and do a walkee and see how it goes

  4. Yup. See my first check box in my previous comment–light weight.

    Here is a brief range report on the M1 carbine ammo in your picture. I initially intended to get a couple of bandoleers, but I waffled too long and that option dropped off, leaving only full cans. That being the case, I figured bird-in-the-hand and headed over to the good folks at Widener’s and ordered a full can. Total with tax and shipping to Arlington was $430.79. A decent deal considering you get the ammo can, the bandoleers, strippers, and stripper guides.

    I am fortunate to have a buddy who owns property down near Hillsboro, where he has built his own range out to 1000 yards. I headed down there for a range day in April and we set up his bench at 200 yards. I set my own target frame at 50 yards to test the carbine ammo. I shot 4 rounds. Zounds. 3 rounds in 1/2 inch with one called flyer which was right on call. Shot the remaining 6 rounds in the stripper at a steel plate at 200 just for grins. We had a switching breeze from behind and I wanted to see how much drift I got.

    Before my trip, I had read a review saying this ammo is hot, so I changed out the recoil spring for on that was about a 1/2 inch longer. Yes, this is hot ammo. Cases were ejected about 10 feet over my right shoulder. There was a slight ring or primer cup flow around the firing pin strike on each empty. However, it ran fine and I had no malfunctions.

    The carbine is one I assembled back in the 90’s on an Inland receiver when surplus parts were coming into the U.S. by the boat load. Yes, I still have all my tools including the barrel and action wrenches.

  5. For “walking around in SHTF,” the AR is a nice little piece. My boring little Ruger AR weighs right at 8 pounds with a 30 round magazine, and can hit anything close enough to see.

    I’d love to find a nice bicycle cart, though – if SHTF, bicycling would be a good choice, and I could load a medium-sized cart with enough supplies to get me halfway across the country, along with _all_ of the shooty things, especially the long gun (a Mossberg MVP).

  6. Well, crap! I had a nice comment here, and edited it, and it disappeared! Oh well, not going to redo it from scratch.

    Executive Summary: Consider an AR. Yes, I know your reservations about it, but it is way more reliable than commonly believed, It is easy to maintain, not at all finicky, also commonly believed. And one specific round, the XM193, is extremely effective for MOUT, which is what we are discussing, basically. I found an AR in stock for $600, ammo runs 45-55 cents per round, typically. A red dot sight (recommended) will run you about $150.

    A slung AR, with my mil issue ammo BELT I posted about yesterday, .45 in flap holster on one side, pouch with 2 AR mags and 2 .45 mags on the other, I feel well fitted out, and it’s as comfortable as I think you can get.

    If you want the link to that AR, let me know. The terminal ballistics info is below, links on the left side of that page. Very interesting stuff.



      1. Your loss. At you can find ammo in the 30-35 cent range depending on brass or steel. I’m buying another 1000 rds today. Oh yeah, my AR will shoot both 5.56 and .223 and for some reason .223 costs slightly less than 5.56. I built my AR from scratch (no kit) 3 years ago. Thinking about building another in .308.

  7. I remember in one of your previous forums you said that if you found you had to be a part of a neighborhood security patrol, you would choose an M1 Carbine and I forget how many magazines. You explained that the Carbine and ammunition was lighter than the equivalent numbers for an M1 Garand or even an M1A, and was lighter than even an AK or SKS (I have to check on this, I’m going from my memory).

    1. You remember correctly. It was then, and still is, my “patrol weapon” of choice. And if I was doing “statue protection” guard duty, you’d better believe it would have an M4 bayonet attached.

  8. There is always the replacement weight option. 😛
    Weigh your gear and then set that as your weight loss target, win-win.

  9. Kim: That carbine you’ve pictured looks suspiciously like one in my rack from Israel Arms International – it’s the ventilated hand-guard that gives it away – made in 1998-2004.
    BTW – believe you can still get that ROK ammo from Midway.

  10. Dang! I must kind of old fashioned. My walkabout rifle is a Marlin 1894 in 357. My “tactical” vest is an old fishing vest with pockets stuffed with spare ammo and other useful stuff.

    Reckon I won’t be hanging with all you cool guys… 🙂

    BTW, I second your choice of the M-1 Carbine.

    1. I remember when you gave a list of your favorite guns, the ones you wanted when the Zombies came and you preferred the M1 carbine to the AR15. That was many years ago

    2. Same carbine here, but the cowboy model. A little extra weight from the longer (octagonal) barrel, but nice to only need one kind of ammo for the long gun and side arm. If it gets to the point I need to reload, it’s too late anyway.

  11. “Fulda Gap”
    HA! I did 37 months at Wildflecken with the 54th Engineers, 1974-1977.
    Seriously textured terrain and cold as 4 motherfuckers. I saw it snow in June one year.

  12. People talk a lot of crap about the M1 Carbine. The only guy I know who has personally used one playing for keeps is a grizzled old Army Korea/ Vietnam NCO. Harder than woodpecker lips. Think Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino without the booze.

    Leon had very good things to say about the M1 Carbine. Said it is very accurate and works great out to 200-300 yards.

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