Saturday, January 23, 2010
The first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. Seriously, without a firearm your ability to protect yourself and your family falls significantly. We think your mind and the ability to make quick, rational decisions is your best weapon, but without a gun you take away options.
Back to the first rule,…have a gun,……or have several guns for that matter. Another rule of ours (can’t remember which number) is “one is none, two is one”, which means have a backup whether it’s a tool, a piece of gear, or a plan,….have a backup. If you are one of those people who are 10%’ers, that is people who are minimal committed to establishing survival plans, then you may not be willing to expend a lot of money buying guns or a lot of time getting proficient with them. That’s okay,… you are the people we’re initially trying to address and the good news is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars on guns and ammunition in order to be prepare in the survival firearms department.
We think the minimal survival firearms arsenal needs to be several guns, each with its own purpose(s). These three guns would be: a 12 gauge shotgun; a handgun for personal defense and a rifle, preferably in a carbine or rifle caliber but if it has to be a twenty two (.22 caliber) rimfire then so be it.
Shotgun. A 12 gauge shotgun is a vital survival firearm. Using Buckshot rounds it becomes a substantial defensive weapon albeit with a minimal range. With birdshot rounds you can hunt and procure small game and birds. Using slug rounds, which are usually one ounce lead slugs, you have fairly accurate firearms for up to 100 yards capable of damaging vehicles as well as hunting bigger game. Our recommended shotgun is the Remington Model 870 pump action, also called a slide action, with a barrel of 18.5 inches. A close second is the Mossberg Model 500 or 590 series shotguns which are also a pump action with a similar barrel length. Pump actions are going to be more reliable than semi-automatic shotguns with a wider range of useable ammunition. We suggest holding onto several boxes (25 rounds each) of 00 buckshot, slug and birdshot as a minimal basic load.
Handgun. A defensive handgun often becomes a necessity when performing tasks that require one or both hands,…that’s why it’s called a handgun, because it’s handy and can be operated with one hand. Some considerations for a handgun include what gun is comfortable for you and what caliber are you not only also comfortable with but what is common and fairly available. Some handguns are more complicated than others with de-cocking levers and manual safeties. We think the best options for a person relatively new to handguns would be a .38 caliber revolver. Even better a .357 Magnum revolver as .38 Special ammunition, as well as .357 Magnum ammunition can be fired in this gun. If you are bound and determined to possess a semi-automatic, then a common caliber such as 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP would be much better than, say, a .45 WIN MAG. Very good guns in these calibers, in our opinion, are the S&W M&P 9mm semi-auto or a Glock Model 17 or 19 in 9mm. Having a couple of 50 round boxes of ammunition on hand would be a minimal suggestion.
Rifle. There are thousands of households in the country with “hand me down” rifles inherited from Grandpa’s, Uncles and Dad’s through the years. Old war relics like .30-40 Krag or .30-06 Springfield bolt action rifles are common, Winchester lever action rifles usually in .30-30 caliber and many others. If you already have one of these, great! Learn how to use it as you should with all your firearms. Buy several (or more) boxes of ammunition for it. If you don’t have one, then again consider the caliber that you are comfortable with. Common calibers that we recommend would be .223 Remington also known as 5.56mm (the military M16 cartridge), .308 Winchester, .30-06 Springfield and others. Magazine fed rifles, usually cartridges in a box magazine inserted into the receiver of the gun have an advantage in the amount of ammunition that can be fired before re-loading and in the speed of re-loading, but are usually more expensive. Our personal choice for survival rifles include the M-4 Carbine in .223 made well from a variety of sources including Rock River Arms, Colt and others; a M-14 or M1A1 rifle in .308 Winchester, but we recognize that these rifles are usually bought by very committed people or by experienced gun owners. If you are just comfortable with a .22 rifle, then great. The advantage here is .22 long rifle is a common cartridge, much cheaper than larger centerfire ammunition, easier to shoot and usually possess decent accuracy out to 100 yards for so. The big disadvantage is the small caliber is a poor man stopping round against attackers or even animals. Perhaps a compromise would be a .22 caliber magazine fed rifle such as the excellent Ruger 10/22 AND a less expensive bolt action, pump or lever action rifle. Rifle ammunition is expensive, running sometimes $40 per 20 rounds but certainly you can find it cheaper. We suggest having 60 to 100 rounds per rifle, unless you have a rifle in .22 LR then we suggest 1,000 rds. Our latest buy of .22 ammunition from Wal-Mart cost $16 for 500 rounds so you can see the significance and economy of having a 22 rifle, even if you have a larger caliber rifle.