For the Prepper/Survivalist/Armed Prepared Citizen who has a decent sized retreat property, adequately defending it can often times be somewhat of a challenge. One of the biggest issues, is usually a lack of manpower. Having multiple areas of approach to cover with security 24/7, means you need people to do it. Those folks manning security posts, are not doing the other daily tasks that will need to be done in a true WROL situation. This means you need even more people…
Enter the force multiplier. A force multiplier refers to something that increases/multiplies the effectiveness of an item or group, giving a given number of people or weapons the ability to accomplish greater things than without it. Now, I will say up front, I’ve seen many folks dismiss this idea. That’s fine, but at least hear me out. Military’s have been taking steps for many decades now, to try and increase the fire effectiveness and maneuverability of the small unit. In WWII we had the BAR. The Russians developed the well known RPK. In modern times, we have the new M27 IAR. The RPK and the M27 are the two that gave me the most reference for this idea.
Both the RPK and M27 share the attributes of being the same caliber, same overall design, and using the same magazines as their standard issue counterparts. This allows for logistical commonality, but give the small unit (usually squad level) a bit of increased firepower, without the weight and bulk of the beltfed weapons that are normally associated with the same role. So how does this fit in for us as Armed Prepared Citizens? Well, going back to the retreat property, or even just securing your neighborhood, the idea is to have something that will give you a bit of sustained fire capability, and deny attackers the use of a given area or avenue of approach.
My solution, is this. Since my family/friends are fairly 5.56 AR centric for our defensive weapons, I built up my version of a poor mans RPK/M27 using a Palmetto State Armory stripped lower, lower part build kit, and a 20″ free floated 5.56 upper. To this I added a Magpul bipod and a Primary Arms 3x compact Prism Scope. To feed it, I am using 40 round Magpul PMags and Magpul D-60 drums. This gives me a very close approximation to the RPK and its use of 40 round mags and 75 round drums. With the 40 round mags and 60 round drums and the weapon placed in a fortified position, it allows 1 person to generate a nice sustained rate of fire that can help deny a threat the use of the aforementioned areas and approach avenues. This can serve multiple purposes, such as an intimidating deterrent, or, giving a couple of friends/team mates time to maneuver on the threat by keeping them pinned down.
Now, I already know what some will say. It’s not full auto so there’s no point. I beg to differ. It’s not the rate of fire that’s important, and the ability to sustain it, and with minimal personnel. The fire rate can simply be 1 round a second, or even slightly slower. When you can do that for 60 seconds straight, and then continue with a simple mag change, that’s a long time in a fight and can be very demoralizing to the threat that you have pinned down. In fact, for our purposes and role, semi-auto fire is probably better than full auto, as it lets us better manage our limited ammo supply and make each round more effective. A semi-auto fire rate also means we won’t needlessly incur damage to the barrel as easily.
By keeping the weapon the same overall system as our others, it keeps logistics simple because it will use the same part, magazines, and ammo as our individual weapons. While the first goal is not for it to be a weapon you would move around a lot with, it certainly is man portable without being overly heavy. This can give you a little extra flexibility and versatility in its employment. Now, is this something for you? I don’t know. Maybe it is, maybe it isn’t. That’s something that only you can decide. I would encourage you to give it some thought though, and discuss it with your counterparts. I was able to build this one for just over $400 not counting the bipod, optics, and magazines. For those who are AK based, you can still find RPK’s out there, though they are commanding a bit higher price than they used to.