What should your rifle be? That depends very much on your terrain and the use you intend for it. Your rifle should for a start be brutally utilitarian. Against your gun’s teeth… Anything that isn’t purely functional should be trashed, novelty decorative shit and attachments you will not use have no purpose. A good rifle should at least have:
Functional Parts Include
- An optic sensible for the distance you will use it at
- A rugged, good quality light system
- Back up iron sights
Here, I will be talking about the United States primarily, but as a rule of thumb for everyone: Your rifle should be chambered in whatever the most common government used round is. For most of the western world that will be 5.56 nato, this may change in Slavic countries and other
Parts of the world. Back to the us: Government at every level uses ar-15’s these days, even swat units have changed from 9mm mp5’s to 5.56 ar’s due to the round behaving better in buildings with thin walls where collateral damage supposedly matters to them. As a result of this, the ammunition and parts for the ar-15 will be everywhere during a major conflict.
The major variable for how you should set up your weapon system is the terrain you live in and would have to fight in.
Urban environments will require shorter barrels for easier movement in close quarters and quicker target acquisition when popping out of cover to take shots from a concealed position. You would also likely be better served by red dot style sights as most engagements will happen under the 400 feet mark.
Woodland and the desert can be surprisingly up close and then suddenly open out to 400 feet + engagements. At the shortest I would want something around the 11.5 inch barrel length so you can reach those longer distances effectively but keep it short enough to work with behind cover, of which there is plenty to be cautious of in these environments. I would recommend a low power variable optic (lpvo) around the 1-4 or 1-6x area for this terrain so you can rapidly adjust to the magnification you need.
Those in mountainous and extremely flat environments will find engagements happen at longer distances with less confined space to work in. Longer barrels will serve you well as will optics with a magnification between 4-8x, you should still be mindful of needing to transition to indoors and how rapidly you can get on target with less rifle to maneuver up close such as approaching vehicles and how much you’ll have to haul in rough to traverse terrain.