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Friday, October 29, 2010

Urban Survival Firearms - Urban Handgun received the following question concerning Urban Firearms and handguns in particular: I am in a Survival Group of eleven people, 5 couples and one individual. We are all in white collar professions. Our group objective is to mutually support each other, either from different location if possible, or to band together at one of the group’s house. Four of us live in condos, three in apartments and two in stand alone houses. We have discussed how we can complement each other and have developed a “buy” list, limited to what each vehicle will hold.

We are concentrating on stocking food, mainly dry staples, mainly packaged dry meals and some canned goods. One of our couples does some shotgun shooting, but for the most part we don’t have any firearms. It is unrealistic to expect that each of us will buy a military rifle. We have talked about all of us buying handguns for protection, thinking that handguns for all and the couple shoguns we’ll have available should be good enough. Herein lies my questions: Should we try and standardize on one handgun? Or is it just sufficient for everyone to own a handgun regardless of being all the same. We are having a get together prior to Thanksgiving and I would like to broach this subject with the group. Thank you”.

UrbanMan’s response: It sounds like you are taking the lead to get a Survival Group organized. I commend you for that. This may become a dripping process, where you incrementally push the group towards prudent survival preparation.

I'll answer your question about standardizing your survival group’s handguns first. Yes, it would be prudent for all members of your survival group to possess the same handgun. Ammunition compatibility and the ability to interchange magazines (if it is a semi-automatic pistol as opposed to a revolver) is another advantage. The time needed to familiarize and train members on different handguns is also reduced. Having said that, the first rule of a gun fight is to have a gun. Therefore if survival group members already have a handgun, I would not think that buying new handguns to ensure standardization would not, repeat, would not be your first priority.

The second rule is not to bring a handgun to a rifle fight. You mentioned a couple survival group members having shotguns. You did not mention having any rifles. Handguns are a poor substitute for long guns and designed primarily as a secondary or defensive weapon. Shorter barrels, shorter sight radius’ and smaller cartridges at less velocity all make them ineffective at longer ranges. If you think that handguns will be sufficient because of the shorter engagement ranges of your present and planned urban survival environment then you are missing several points on long guns.

Having a long gun, meaning a rifle or carbine, shooting more powerful cartridges than a handgun allows you not only longer engagement ranges, but the ability to punch through soft cover like wooden walls, car doors, etc. Magazine fed long guns such as AR type rifles,.e.g..M16, AR15, M4, etc. provide detachable magazines with high capacities which would serve you and your survival group well if attacked by larger groups of bandits or mobs.

Long guns would also you to hunt and procure larger game animals. Maybe even the presence of a larger survival group equipped with long guns would make you appear to be a harder target and therefore may be a deterrent to being attacked. So when you say “It is unrealistic to expect that each of us will buy a military rifle”, you may want to consider at least a couple military type long guns within your group.

I hope you are “cross loading” you supplies and material, so that if one couple in your group does not make it to one of the houses if/when you re-locate and consolidate, then you won’t be missing key components of your urban survival equipment.

I also hope you are planning a Bug Out to a safe location outside of the urban environment for if/when that situation comes about and the need to leave develops. I hope I answered your question well enough. I did not list or otherwise suggest a standard handgun, as I think long guns are more important.

1 comment:

  1. It's pretty hard to argue with your idea to standardize on a gun model and ammo, but here is another thought to consider. If the group all has Glock 9mm what do you do (after TSHTF) when you are low on ammo but all you can find for sale/barter is 38 cal? Why not do as you suggest picking the most popular/available ammo for each type weapon (handgun, shotgun, rifle) and then have a backup plan where 2 or 3 different weapons are kept so you can make use of "found" ammo down the road. So everyone gets a glock 17 as the primary handgun and the group picks up a couple .357 & .44 revolvers, a Army .45 a couple of 10 mm etc.
    My favorite caliber is 22 LR. A cheap way to bring meat to the table and deadly at close range.