248shooter.com had this article this morning comparing the M1 Garand and the M16 platform as military service weapons. For their respective reputations you would think the Garand was the more reliable rifle. While it was impressive for its time, turns out the M16 wins hands down in the reliability department.
Personally I have used both an M1 Garand and the civilian legal version of the M16 the AR15 as defensive rifles. When I lived out west where the chance of a ranged encounter with a drug manufacturer/runner was possible I wanted something that could out range their preferred com-bloc 7.62×39 guns so I went with the 30-06 Garand. Now that I live in a more urban setting it’s the AR with its reputation for not over penetrating magazine capacity and ease of use.
When it comes to long guns for self-defense my opinion is that it’s best to use something appropriate for your location if at all possible. Not being much of a fan of shotguns any more. That would mean something in 5.56×45 or .223 Remington for me in a rural environment or something based on the .308 NATO or 30-06 cartridge for a more rural setting.
Taking a lesson from yesterday’s post. What can you do if you don’t own one of those and money is tight? There’s a few options that are good and other that will work if you need them to. For instance in an urban setting do you have a pistol caliber carbine? Go with it. If not how about a shotgun? With the right load and some training it can be effective a little past 100 yards.
In a rural setting just about any bolt action rifle would do. Just recently there as a sale at Wal-Mart where a Ruger American 30-06 could be had for $200. As a bonus, it takes detachable magazines speeding up the reload. However extra magazines are pricey. Just be sure whatever you get you take it to the range and get some practice with it. If you can get some competent formal training as well. It can only make you better.