Completing any project requires tools. Survival is no different. In fact, it is a project that your life depends on. It only makes sense to have the proper tools. Although there are many important aspects to a successful survival strategy, the tools you rely on are crucial.
Firearms, knives, and other weapons serve many purposes. Food procurement is imperative in a survival situation. Self-defense is another consideration. Knives can also be used for everything from preparing a meal to aiding in a construction project on the survival homestead.
When selecting gear for your survival kit, the key trait should be versatility. Specialized tools are required for some jobs but the most valuable survival tools are those that can be used for many different purposes. The good news is that with a little bit of knowledge, selecting gear that is practical and versatile is not all that difficult.
Firearms are an essential part of a survival plan. There are a variety of different firearms available that have unique traits specific to one or two uses. For instance, a pistol is great for self-defense in close-quarters combat or for dispatching an animal caught in a trap.
Shotguns excel at hunting waterfowl and other flying prey and second as excellent self-defense weapons. Rifles are best suited for long range shooting duties such as when hunting large game. Ideally, you own all three types of weapons along with a sufficient ammunition supply for each.
That ensures that you are well-equipped no matter what situation you find yourself. At the very least, understanding the limitations of each weapon allows you to choose what option is best for you.
1. Pistols can provide exceptional stopping power while remaining compact and easily concealed. Especially in an urban survival setting, the ability to conceal your weapon allows you to avoid unnecessary confrontation. Like any survival tool, reliability is important.
As a result, the best pistols are usually single action revolvers. Although these pistols may not have the capacity of semi-automatic models, the presence of fewer moving parts translates to greater reliability in a world devoid of gunsmiths and spare part suppliers.
A pistol should be large caliber. Smaller calibers such as the .22 are simply not effective enough in a post-apocalyptic world. Staying with the theme of versatility, there is one pistol that stands out as a sure bet. The Taurus Judge is a compact revolver capable of shooting the .45 Colt cartridge.
This round is well-known for its stopping power and accuracy. What makes the Judge unique is that it can also shoot .410 gauge shotgun shells. Although the .410 cartridge isn’t suitable for large game hunting, it is perfect for small game and bird hunting. Accuracy of a handgun will never be as good as a long-barrel gun but the Judge gives you options as a survivor by allowing you to quickly change between ammunition types depending on the situation.
2. A shotgun is versatile by design because the type of shell can be changed depending on the intended usage. When hunting large game, a shotgun is effective when loaded with slugs or buckshot. For shooting birds and small game animals, specialized shells with more pellets are used.
A good shotgun should offer reliability and few have proven this more than the Remington 870 Express. The pump-action design of this weapon lasts for years with minimal maintenance. It is effective as a hunting instrument while being an admirable self-defense tool as well.
Other considerations include the Mossberg 590 and the Weatherby PA-459. Whenever possible, stay away from semi-automatic shotguns. Although their reliability is often on par with pump-action designs, the complicated mechanisms are almost impossible to fix without the help of a trained gunsmith and specialized tools.
3. Rifles are required to hunt many species of large game. The heightened senses of these animals makes approaching within shotgun or pistol range nearly impossible. Bolt-action rifles tend to be the most reliable and easy to maintain although some semi-automatic models are adequate as survival weapons as well.
The .30-06 is one the most versatile calibers for a survival rifle. Although it is often too powerful to use against small animals, its range and accuracy make it a long range killing machine capable of taking down practically any game animal in North America.
As a defensive weapon, the .30-06 is an excellent choice for defending your position from distant enemies before they get too close. Fitted with a decent scope, these rifles have an effective range of nearly 1,000 yards. Hundreds of manufacturers produce rifles chambered for the .30-06 cartridge. Look for one with a history of reliability such the Remington 700 or Winchester Model 70 to ensure the longevity of your weapon.
A common misconception about survival knives is that they need to big “Rambo” style knives. In most cases, knives like that are not practical for survival situations.
- A smaller, fixed blade knife is better suited to most duties including field dressing animals, cutting rope, and many other tasks. Some newer model survival knives actually have a magnesium fire starter built into the handle. By striking the back of the blade against the magnesium bar, you are able to start a fire even in damp conditions. Gerber manufactures a knife like this under the Bear Grylls series of knives offered by the company.
- In addition to a fixed blade general purpose knife, a short blade machete is also useful to have. This blade can be used for heavier duty tasks such as clearing a path through dense foliage, cutting down small trees, and as a formidable self-defense weapon. Easily carried in a sheath on your belt, a short blade machete can prove to be a valuable asset in your quest for survival.
The tools you have available to you in a survival situation are an asset overshadowed only by your own will to survive. Having a versatile selection of survival weapons can provide a sustainable food source and protect you from the many unprepared people looking to capitalize on your preparedness.
This article has been written by Bryan Wilde for Survivopedia.
Mith Radates | July 8, 2013
Some of your information is misleading and maybe dangerous: The Judge does not fire the .45 Colt. It fires the .45 Long Colt. Anyone firing a .45 ACP (automatic Colt pistol) cartridge in the Judge will have an unpleasant surprise, maybe including losing some fingers. While the 30-06 is a fine cartridge with a long, successful history, the .223 (or 5.56 NATO) is much more versatile and is a better choice for home defense when used in an AR-15 or other Stoner-system rifle or carbine, or even pistol configuration. Plus, it’s much easier to carry both the firearm and more ammunition. The round being ubiquitous among the military and private owners, ammunition will be more available and more valuable for barter. The short-blade machete is neither a good machete nor a good knife. Much better to have a good, heavy duty knife (like the Marine-issue Kabar or Cold steel SRK – both readily available for well under $100) and a full-size machete (like the Gerber with the saw-tooth back for under $40). Almost any good-quality small knife will for field-dressing and cooking chores (like the Russell bird and trout knife). As for pistols, it is a good idea to have a quality .22 for small game. The Ruger 10-22 is about the best, but the Henry AR-7 survival rifle is also a good choice (it easily disassembles and stores in its own stock, which floats). Plus, .22 ammunition comes in a variety of types, is cheap, and would be useful for barter.
Bryan W. | July 8, 2013
The Taurus Judge fires the .45 Colt. I never said it fired the .45 ACP and if you look at the specs from the Taurus website it simply says the .45 colt without further specification which is how I wrote it. And the 5.56 NATO round was specifically designed not to kill people (only to maim them – the theory being that another soldier would need to help the injured person off the battlefield thus “taking out” two enemy soldiers). It is not an effective killer; especially against large game. In fact, in most states it is illegal to hunt deer and other large game with 5.56 ammo; a testament to its ineffectiveness for this purpose. Also, the weapon has many moving parts in comparison to a bolt-action .30-06 making it less reliable for long term survival situations.
Soviet | July 8, 2013
While the last poster was… well, wrong. The 5.56/.223 is still an effective gun when considering that it is both very light weight, the ammunition is more compact and light weight, and, though it’s design is to injure more than kill, it has, can, and will, kill plenty well. The AR is on a platform that is easily deployed, and naturally accurate, and still effective out to 600 yards. It is also a platform which is easily repaired with spare parts, and doesn’t really require a gunsmith, just someone that’s put one together a couple of times before (I’ve done it, it’s pretty easy.)
As far as a bolt action goes, I would push people to the mosin nagant, still a cost effective rifle, and the ammunition is still available at 1/4th the cost of 30-06. The ballistics and such put it about on par as well.
AK Johnny1 | August 8, 2016
Not a fan of the AR-15 due to frequent tendencies to jam, and their finickiness with different brands of ammo. Many moving parts in there, some not made as hearty as they should have been. This bothers me, as spare parts for this rifle will NOT be easily OR cheaply had, post-SHTF. The rifle IS light, because of many of those “Less than Hearty” parts.
Additionally, I have NO confidence in that 5.56 bullet it fires. And I wouldn’t look for efficiency of the shot past 200 yards MAX. Anything north of that, you need a different rifle. Throwing a 5.56 bullet at something 450 yards or further downrange would be like throwing a tic tac at a freight train. I got a nasty feeling in my gut that the AR-15 platform is going to fail a lot of people when the SHTF… I’d wager that 50% of all civilian-grade AR-15’s will be out of action within 6 months of the start of a SHTF situation. Folks that own more than ONE of em can always swap out worn or broken parts.
Forgive me, but i’ll stick with the AK platform. The bullet does more damage inside of 200 yards, the rifle is plenty accurate if sighted correctly, the rifles will fire ALL brands of ammo, the parts are heavy and not prone to breakage, and you can kick the crap out of em and they’ll keep on functioning.
Additionally, the ammo is also CHEAPER than 5.56 as well! A bit heavier, but I want a bullet I can rely on.
In complete agreement with you on the Mosin Nagant!!! LOVE that rifle! No frills, crudely produced, cheap devastating ammo, and not prone to failure!! For as cheap as they are, every person serious about SHTF protection and food sourcing should own one. If nothing else, for a backup to a favored hunting rifle.
Just my humble…
Bruce Andrews | July 8, 2013
You’re both correct, however you obviously not been in combat and witnessed the damage a 223 can do even in the ball ammunition. The 223 is far more capable than you indicate. In a survival situation or most situations where more ammunition is important as would be accuracy the 308 win would be a better choice I would chose either a semi auto, a bolt action, or my personal favorite the Savage 99 lever action. With a good scope any of these rifles can make even the average shot effective. You say that a person will need a good gunsmith to make repairs on a semi auto. This statement is not correct any more than giving the impression that a bolt action and a wheel pistol do not brake and can be repaired by the novice. A wheel gun in actually has as many moving parts and require a higher degree of craftsmanship to repair than a good semi auto.
Therefore to equip yourself for a survival after a major melt down. a person would do well to know there gun choice intimately and know what parts are the most likely to fail and keep a supply of those and acquire the necessary skills to install them.
I grew up in Colorado and gained my shooting skills using a 22LR. rifle. In the hands of a proficient shooter a 22LR can take down even deer sized game ask the many deer that filled the family freezer when I was a boy. Back then you did not even need a license deer were considered nuisance animals. I am in no way saying a deer can be taken at over 50 yards with a 22LR most of the ones I killed were at less than 30 yards so you need very good hunting skills. Therefore the 223 can do the job at up to 150 yards and the 308 at well beyond 400 yards.
Ak Johhny 1 | January 2, 2016
I’m with the author on this one. The .223/5.56 NATO, in my humble opinion, is not a potent enough round for SHTF reliability. It is a FAST round, and it is an ACCURATE round. What it AIN’T? Is an EFFECTIVE round. Our troops, for the most part, HATE it, because you have to put multiple rounds into an opponent to get him to stay down!
Ditto for the platform it is delivered with, for a number of reasons. The AR-15 requires WAY too much pampering for a reliable SHTF rifle.
1) The AR-15 needs constant cleaning and pampering. If for some unfortunate reason you’re constantly on the go, you may not have TIME to constantly break down the rifle and clean it.
2) Too many moving parts in it. God forbid you lose a tiny spring or something in the grass….
3) Smaller, weaker parts. The AR-15 WILL wear through parts quicker than most other rifles.
4) Get the internals wet? Get sand or dirt in it? That rifle isn’t firing ANYTHING.
5) WAY too finicky with food. The overly-tight tolerances make this rifle one to avoid for a SHTF scenario for that reason ALONE. Works great with ONE brand of ammo, jams like crazy with OTHER brands of ammo. In a SHTF scenario, you may have to grab whatever food just happens to be available. If your rifle don’t like it, you got problems.
The AR-15 is effective in a logistically sound situation where armorers, boatloads of spare parts, and consistent ammo are available, but I have a bad feeling that if it ever goes to complete sh*t out there, that rifle is going to disappoint many people. Worse, if that’s all you have on hand for a semi-auto battle-style rifle to defend and feed your family with, it may let you down.
This is not meant to start an “AR versus something else” battle. I offer this forth for AR affectionados to think through some potential problems BEFORE a SHTF scenario manifests. I simply have some sobering misgivings about the AR-15 platform and the .223/5.56 NATO round it fires. My thoughts? For those that will employ one for the scenarios laid out above? Have a crapload of spare parts on hand for it, and know every LAST facet of maintaining that rifle. And I hope and pray we never find ourselves IN such a situation, although I sense we eventually WILL….
Ronald Matthews | July 8, 2013
Sorry Mith Radates but your criticism of the article statements is in certain facts more erroneous than the original article. You seem to be confused between .45ACP and 45 Colt (which by the way is infact what the Judge fires.The term 45 Long Colt is in fact a misnomer.
As for the 5.56 in a modern properly rifled rifle a reloader may use all the way up to 80gr bullets. As for accuracy my factory AR-15 would hold 1/2″ groups all day at 100 meters with handloads.
With the 30-06 it can be loaded down below 30-30 performance and all the way up to 200gr high penetration rounds. At 150gr performance and penetration far exceeds the 5.56.
The 5.56 was developed out of the 222 Rem round designed primarily for varmint hunting and small game hunting.
As for utility you can kill deer for food all day with a 22LR if you take careful head shots (for food)
KukriKing | March 9, 2014
Guns are great. I love guns. All guns. All calibers. But they’ve got one major catastrophic flaw; ammo runs out! So a good blade should be of major consideration for long term survival. I wholeheartedly agree with Mith (1st commenter) regarding the Cold Steel SRK..they’re practically indestructible, so batoning won’t be a problem. If you can find it in CarbonV, (1095 carbon steel), more the better. Great all-around knife for camping, hunting, and survival (S=Survival, R=Rescue, K=Knife) AND it can be used as a weapon. I like one strapped to my side. Then, a good dagger strapped to my calf (Dan’l Boone style- anybody remember that TV show?)… a #2 Randall with an 8″ blade and a Micarta grip is the best you can get, but if you can’t afford that, a Cold Steel PeaceKeeper with a 7″ blade will do. (Again, CarbonV is best but hard to find, so AUS 8 is fine). A dagger is the best fighting weapon and can be strapped to a shaft for a spear. If you’re stranded out in the wild, the first thing you should make is a hearty spear.
It’s good to have a Leatherman, too…for many, many reasons.
BUT, if you can only have ONE blade; a Cold Steel Gurkha Kukri is THE best all around edged tool you can have in ANY situation, but especially in a SHTF setting. It’s totally indestructible 12″ blade fits the “small machete” category and will do everything you need a blade to do. Mainly chopping and cutting but even skinning, (the LTC has a nice belly). As a weapon, it has massive destructive abilities. It’ll sever a head clean off with one stroke. And you can choke up to the more narrow section of the blade, close to the handle, for more delicate tasks, like sharpening a shaft for a quick spear or making fuzz sticks for a fire.
Again, it’s best to have ALL the knives mentioned above but if you can have only one, look into a kukri. They’re easy to sharpen and
YOU’LL NEVER RUN OUT OF AMMO !!
And now with all that said about blades, MOLON LABE !! …seriously…
Ed | August 25, 2014
I am not a fan of the Cold Steel kukri machete having used it lightly only to have the edge rollover. I feel the Ka-bar Kukri to be superior in that the steel is stronger and feels better in my hand with the Kryton grip.
Kukriking | August 26, 2014
With all due respect Ed , you didn’t read my comment carefully. I did NOT write cold steel kukri MACHETE… that model is from their less expensive line of choppers they offer . I wrote cold steel GURKHA KUKRI (1080 (SK-5 ) hi carbon) and the earlier CARBON V models that uses 1095 carbon steel – the best steel for such a blade. The models to look for:on eBay if you can find them: the ATC,LTC , HTC or aforementioned GURKHA Kukri. (Still available
Granted , K bar makes a decent “good for the money” Kukri and it is better than the cold steel kukri “machete” but it’s not close to the quality, profile, grind, tempering and heat treatment that the cold steel Gurkha Kukri’s have….the models that I recommended.are the best kukri’s on the market …hands down!.It’s handle is a better ‘softer’ tackier and grippier Kraton than the Kbar handle which is to me a little too hard and fatiguing.. Anyway I hope I cleared that up… and enjoy with your K bar …it’s a good”n. I’m just happy someone else is using a Kukri. You’re the only reply I got , AND a thumbs down….LOL!!
Ranger | April 17, 2014
The .45 Colt is sometimes incorrectly referred to as .45 Long Colt even though everybody knows what is being referenced and the Tauras Judge does indeed fire the .45Colt cartridge. The 45 ACP is most often just called the 45 when referring to semi auto firearms although I have a Ruger revolver that chambers the 45 ACP and there are others.
The authors information was correct
Verne hatch | July 8, 2013
Your recommendation for a single action revolver is absurd for self defence. Double action… okay. Not single action… particularly when you have multiple targets. Also, a pistol is a pistol and a revolver a revolver. You confuse both.
Bryan W. | July 8, 2013
The word pistol is commonly interchangeable with revolver. I have never been involved in a conversation where this was not the case. I also wrote about the single action revolver from the context of how reliable it will be in a long term survival situation where gun smiths and extra parts will not be available. I did not write about “how many targets can be taken out” intentionally because not everyone is a trained marksman capable of dispatching multiple targets simultaneously regardless of the weapon being used.
Soviet | July 8, 2013
To clarify the original comment that someone else made, pistol tends to refer to a semi automatic style handgun, and revolver specifies a revolving single and or double action hand gun that notably has a revolving cylinder with multiple shots available.
To reference a firearm that is portable and easily fired with one hand, without getting into specifics, you should probably just state “handgun” which includes all pistols and revolvers.
As for the “single action revolver is absurd for self defense.” I have to partially agree. It is a firearm that will likely outlast you with nothing more than cleaning and lubing, however, I do have to agree that, lets say the SHTF right now, the single action revolver will leave you woefully under gunned next to your neighbor, which just so happens to want to lob 100+ rounds at you as fast as possible, under cover, and then just has to bum rush you while you are reloading it. In the beginning of a scenario where people are desperate, and ammo is comparatively available, it’s a terrible choice.
Towards the end, when ammo conservation is either a good idea, or necessary, given the stocks of ammunition left available, it’s an excellent choice, especially after you’ve had some practice with the firearm.
Similarly, I would not want to take a bolt action into battle. An AK in 7.62×39 would be a good rifle for the beginning, being able to quickly and accurately send decently sized bullets down range, while also being relatively compact and dead reliable. 1k rounds of 7.62×39 fits in a 50 cal ammo can almost perfectly, in their boxes, additionally some manufacturers, such as golden tiger, will seal the primer and bullets, making the rounds, with the lacquer finish, essentially water/humidity/environment proof rounds which would allow for a long term rifle solution.
To be honest, the firearms I would recommend would be more like:
1) Glock or XD pistol in caliber 9mm or larger.
2) Single action revolver in 357/38 special or greater.
3) Mosin Nagant
4) Pump or break action/single shot shotgun from reputable company (the remingtons have had rust issues as of recently.)
5) AK-47 variant
6) 22lr chambered semi auto rifle
And on top of that, I would probably include a shotgun adapter for 22lr, since normally, it’s one of the easier calibers to stock up a lot of, and as a backup in case the rifle breaks.
Swampwalker | August 28, 2013
I’m pretty much in agreement with Soviet. One of my 7.62 x 39 AK’s, Mossberg 500 w/both 18″ & 26″ barrels (they quickly swap) in a pack scabbard, 1911A1 in .400 CorBon with the .45ACP barrel in the spare slide tucked away in the pack. Take-down Ruger 10/22 in the backpack. I’ve taken several whitetails out to 150 yards with the AK, so it is sufficient for deer and SHTF scenarios. I would add a frontier type tomahawk to the kit. The head slides off the handle and can be used as a chopping tool similar to the Alaskan Ulu and for scraping hides. A good multi-blade pocket knife is also essential. My Victorinox Swiss Army Officers pocket knife served me well in Africa, the Mid-East and South Asia in a lot of ways. Add a medium bowie with an 8″ blade for the heavier slicing. Choices are subject and the most important things to consider are your geography and whether you will either be mostly static or mostly on the move.
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
1) Taurus Judge is very difficult to conceal and is ‘too much gun” for most women. Additionally, the ammunition is heavy and there is a limit of 5 rounds. Even with perfect shot placement, that’s not enough for 6 assailants. Speed loaders help, but there is still the need to completely empty the cylinder prior to reloading. This results in a predictable, and usually large, window of vulnerability. By way of reference, it only takes a modicum of practice to make a magazine change on a semi-automatic pistol consume less than a full second.
2) The Mosin Nagant kicks like crazy and is too heavy to shoot without something to rest it on. Most of the amunition for it is heavy, non-reloadable, and imported. Pluses include a pickle sticker on the front end and a potato masher on the butt. If you are close enough to use them, however, something has gone horribly wrong. On the plus side, a good one is stupid accurate … seriously … and it is tossing a bit of steel and lead somewhat larger than a .308 Winchester at speeds and distances comparable to the .308. If you are shooting from behind cover and have access to some sort of barrel support (or arms like Popeye’s), it is all you will need to take down some serious game … including the sort that shoot back.
3) Contrary to what Joe Biden would have you believe, “blasting” a 12 gauge shotgun out the back door (about as much accuracy as a smaller person could muster with this caliber firearm) is not only illegal, but his place is crawling with Secret Service agents.
If Jill heard a prowler outside, said prowler has already eliminated 20 Secret Service agents and thus has no further need to remain silent.
For your own family, I would suggest that you get a semi-automatic .410 (such as the Saiga .410 made by Izmash) and fill it with personal defense loads. I did. The 3″ load of choice is either the PDX round or 5 x 0000 shot. Nothing will screw up somebody’s day quite like having five 9mm lead balls simultaneously launched in their direction. At a range of 15 feet or so, the entrance hole is roughly 3″ in diameter. I don’t imagine that the exit hole, if any, is much smaller. At 15 feet, I would imagine a cartoon like pink spray at the exit and not much identifiable except under a microscope. Actually, any round larger than birdshot is bad news from a shotgun at this range. Twelve gauge is often touted as the ultimate shotgun size by people who have never shot anything larger and thus represents a testoterone rush for them. Actually, shotgun sizes go to at least a 4 gauge. This is enough punishment to knock even a burly and braced man on his assets.
Stick with the .410, which can be safely operated by any family member old enough to be making such decisions.
If you anticipate evacuating through bear territory, a large bore carbine or rifle is a better choice than a large bore pistol. A small bore pistol, especially outfitted with a sound suppressor, is a good answer for smaller pests such as snakes in the grass and the deadly two-legged buttwipe. It will also let you take smaller game, such as deer, rather stealthily if you are willing to do your part stalking prior to shooting.
Well, we all know the value of opinions … and that extends to mine. But I’ve done, so far as possible, my homework (and have the receipts to prove it), and these are the conclusions I’ve arrived at. Use the shotgun inside the home. It offers good knock-down power while minimizing overpenetration.
Use a comfortable caliber (my wife and I settled on the 9mm pistol because she is comfortable shooting it and if I am taken out of the fight, she could continue the fight using my pistol) that offers a reasonable balance between knock-down and shot placement. That said, choose the best quality pistol you can reasonably afford to deliver the bullets. Fantastic ballistics don’t mean much if the gun jams when you need it.
And no matter how fantastic the advice on this forum seems, the best advice you will ever get is this:
Train (work through the likely scenarios that may require use of deadly force)
Practice. Spend the FOCUSED time to train often.)
Practice some more.
And when you have those scenarios under your belt, develop more and begin the process of training and practicing.
If you aren’t willing to spend the time and money to become proficient with a firearm, don’t spend the money to buy it in the first place.
ckenyon | July 8, 2013
.45 handguns are only good up close. AR-15 rifles are vulnerable to failure related to dirt. 223 ammo is fairly expensive, and not effective as a home defense weapon. I personally prefer 9mm, or .357 in a hand gun. For home defense a shot gun and some double aught or slug can be very effective. There are lots of other rifles that are way better for hunting than a .223,
Soviet | July 8, 2013
“.45 handguns are only good up close”
.45 can hit reliably out to 100 yards + with still plenty of ballistic kick to spare.
“AR-15 rifles are vulnerable to failure related to dirt. ”
Modern mil-spec AR’s are actually on part with AK’s in reliability even in dirty conditions. Check out the “Filthy 14”.
“223 ammo is fairly expensive, and not effective as a home defense weapon”
Expensive as of recently, but it can, and will again, be had for under 40 cents a round. AR’s are actually commonly replacing the home defense position previously held by shotguns in many homes.
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
“.45 can hit reliably out to 100 yards + with still plenty of ballistic kick to spare.”
It takes a hell of a shooter to **reliably** put a .45 out of a pistol barrel at 100 yds. If shooting under stress, even 25 yards is pushing it. Most folks won’t be carrying competition level pistols and ammunition when SHTF, nor will they have a ton of experience. If they get frightened & stressed, they’ll be doing well to avoid self-injury.
A smaller caliber is, for most folks, a much smarter choice. A 9mm or 10mm … or even quite a bit smaller … is by far the better choice for them because they can actually get it on target. There is no caliber for which a CNS hit placement is not bad news. Aim for the core of the body … below the bones of the rib cage and right down the middle … and know that the chance of a kill is actually pretty high. Such a shot is usually a show-stopper, no matter what the caliber.
Ronald Matthews | July 8, 2013
CKENYON As for a .45ACP if you consider 50 to 100 yards close range OK. Far more stopping power than 9mm far less recoil than full bore .357 mag
Glad I do not live near you!! The potential over penetration of the .33 cal pellets (9) on modern house construction creates real potential for harming innocent bystanders. For inside dwellings #4 shot has excellent stopping power while exhibiting far less over penetration.
In the hands of an expert a 45 Colt can, in fact, take game out to 300 or 400 yards. A.44 Mag CAN take game out to 600 with iron sights. Both perform far better when scope sighted. Not your average home defense gun.
With 45 ACP I personally can put 16 rounds in a six inch circle at 21 feet in less than 20 seconds. Then again I actually practice using firearms almost every day.
JAMES ALLEN WYATT, JR. | May 25, 2014
Quite agree. “IF YOU CAN SHOOT STRAIGHT . . . ” If you survive the encounter with the govt. goon of the socialism’s Hitler like Brown Shirts/Storm Troopers/SS/Gastopo or Musslinia’s Black Shirts, etc., you many well be able to ‘acquire’ not only their arms and ammunition but it time allowes their other equipment including vehicles. As one who grew up with bolt action rifles, revolvers and auto loading M1911 handguns, nevertheless the firepower of the millitary’s ‘squirt’ guns most certainly have their place in the scheme of things but if one survives initially acquisition may be quite possible. Over 76 years with about the classic Daisy Red Ryder BB gun as age 5 through a multitude of arms since then, finally taken was Dear Dad’s always good advice: Since S&W made available their M4506 and M1006, these, ‘fitting the hand and shooting where I look” are the concealed wearing choice . . . and with the M4506 and a ParaOrd. P14 under the pillow at night. (don’t carry: WEAR ALWAYS . . . and UNDER THE PILLOW; never the night stand drawer, for Heaven Sakes!)
Home Invasion Prevention Shotguns consist of a Browning A5 12 ga. with “buck” load in the chamber, followed by 2 in the magazine followed by 2 slug loads; backup being a Winchester M12 12 ga. with the same shell loading sequence and our Mossberg Turkey Gun with the same 2 3/4″ shells in the same loading sequence. BUT WHAT DO I KNOW!
alpcats | July 8, 2013
slingshot weapons should be mentioned. Check out Jorge / slingshot on youtube
Norm V | July 8, 2013
Brian, your Taurus caliber information is correct. Knowledgeable shooters are aware of the industry difference between .45 Colt and .45 Colt ACP. The .45 Colt is often INCORRECTLY identified as the .45 LONG Colt. Even some gun manufacturers and writers make this common mistake.
A single action revolver is indeed a very effective self defense handgun. History has proven so! The effectiveness of ANY firearm is in direct proportion to the skill of the shooter. I suggest that those unfamiliar with the qualities and effectiveness of a skilled shooter with a single action revolver Google SASS, Bob Munden and Ed McGivern.
Lastly, sorry, but like Vern correctly pointed out, a revolver is a handgun with a cylinder and a pistol is a handgun that is either a single shot or magazine fed. While the term “pistol” has been thrown around loosely to describe both types of firearms, the correct identification denotes the distinctions noted by Vern and myself. Those of us who carry handguns for a living, write about handguns, repair them or manufacture them, insist upon the proper identification.
Finally, I must challenge your assertion that the .223 or NATO 5.56 round was designed primarily to wound. That is an “old wives” tale perpetuated by keyboard commandos. If that round is so ineffective, why have 10’s of thousands died in combat from wounds received from that round? And why do our Spec OP units carry them? And why is this tyrannical government so bent on outlawing the AR platform? In fact, the .223 is a VERY effective killing round for ALL North American game, large, medium and small. Provided, the shooter is very skilled in shot placement. Many states prohibit the use of this round for hunting because many hunters are not skilled at killing shot placement. Personally, if I had to choose just one rifle for SHIF scenario, it would be a semi-auto .22 long rifle with adequate optics. It’s quiet, no recoil, light and the ammo is usually cheap and plentiful (until recently) and it has documented kills on North American deer. Again, it’s all about shot placement. The .06 is a fine cartridge, I own 2 rifles chambered for it. But it has a decent recoil, the rounds are expensive, it’s loud and it’s heavy. One more thing to remember about the .223…..during SHIF the .223 gives you the opportunity to use military or law enforcement ammo that you may come across. And we all know there is plenty off it in government hands!
Craig | July 8, 2013
Opinions are like ……..! You know the rest! However all were great suggestions, every scenario changes the preferred weapon best suited? If you have an auto handgun and it malfunctions when you most needed you would swear by the double. Then on the reverse I would rather be able to get three or four shots in a life or death situation, compared to one or two. Remember, all this equipment has to be able to be carried? To add my two cents, remember I have one back there too! I will be carrying a shotgun and good fixed blade knife. Ammo is easy to come by and would be great for barter. I can hunt anything, and is great in self defense with one OR more assailants.
Al | July 8, 2013
Usually I read these articles with an open mind and generally a consenting opinion. Even with most of the comments. In this case however I feel I must say my piece. Firstly, If you do not want to worry about being inept and putting the wrong ammunition in your firearm that, if you are going to own and use, you should be completely trained and knowledgeable about, then get a S&W Governor. That fires .45 Colt (.45 “Long” Colt is not the proper name of the cartridge), .45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), and .410 Bore cartridges. Secondly, with the proper bullet and shot placement (read head or neck shot on larger game), the .223/5.56mm cartridge is very effective. If you want to use archaic and arbitrary law as an example, almost everyone in Ireland uses a .223 for deer due to higher power cartridges being banned due to the IRA using mostly FAL’s and AK’s, both of which fire .30 caliber projectiles albeit in different cartridges. In addition, in defense of the AR-15 platform, with about a day of training, you can maintain an AR-15 for ten’s of thousands of trouble free rounds. I will agree that they can be expensive but that’s the price you pay for increased versatility over a bolt action rifle. Shotguns, I will agree with, 12 Gauge, pump-action, maybe a short barrel for defense, long barrel for foul. Good call, maybe a double barrel with hammers for a back-up JIC. Lastly, back to handguns, I must say again, with about a day of training, a Glock can be mastered and maintained for again, ten’s of thousands of trouble free rounds. Talk about parts and ammo availability for barter, a vast majority of police and civilian shooters own Glocks, mostly 9mm or .40 S&W. Maybe, get a couple handguns, they are relatively lightweight and easy to conceal. Just my thoughts on the subject without going on too much of a rant. As a disclaimer, mine or anyone else’s knowledge or writings on any subject is not the final say or only “right” answer to the topic or problem. Keep preppin’!!
Geoff Meade | July 8, 2013
Today the new Ruger “American Rifle” in 30-06 caliber is probably a better bet than the venerable Remington 700. It weighs less than 7 pounds, shoots nearly as well (MOA or better), and costs under $400. It’s a bolt-gun, which makes it one of the most reliable and trouble-free actions out there. Last I heard, it was also possible to buy a chamber insert that would allow firing .308 (or 7.62X51) ammunition in a 30-06. This allows it to use the military ammunition that may be more readily available after a societal collapse, while still keeping almost the same ballistic capability of the .30-06.
Also, while the common belief about handguns, especially the 1911 .45 ACP pistol/round, suggests it is inaccurate beyond about 50 yards, you might want to google the Linneard designs website (I hope I got the spelling right). Carl Linneard is a gunsmith and former Marine armorer who is consistently hitting 14 inch steel targets at 600+ yards with a slightly modified model 1911 (the modified barrel and sights cost about $200). He was recently the subject of articles in Soldier of Fortune and one of the gun mags, who confirmed his claims for accuracy at those ranges (yes, he fired from a rest, and no, he wasn’t the only one able to do it – even a novice adolescent shooter with them was also getting consistent hits at 400+ yards – the first time he shot the .45).
E.N.Davis | July 8, 2013
I largely agree with the authors recommendations in this article. I say the 5.56 (.223) is NOT the optimum general purpose survival rifle caliber. I have hunted deer with a Ruger Mini-14 chambered in .223 in Texas since 1981. I know it’s limitations very well. Even on small Texas whitetails, shot placement is VERY critical to achieve a clean quick kill. For the primary purpose of survival, rather than combat, a bolt action rifle in a full power rifle caliber is the way to go. I have seen that 30-06 ammunition is much more readily available compared to 5.56 (.223). Also, .270 ammunition is one of the most plentiful calibers on the market right now and is a good choice as it comes very close to the power and performance of a 30-06.
As for handguns, when mechanical reliability and suitability for hunting are the primary considerations, I would tend to favor a full sized .357 Magnum double action. Any revolver chambered in .357 Magnum can also utilize .38 Special ammunition so, you have an edge in versatility. Low velocity cast lead bullet loads of .38 Special can be useful for head shots on small game (rabbits, squirrels, etc.) & deliver good accuracy and not ruin too much meat. On the other hand, .357 Magnum loads with jacketed soft point & jacketed hollow point ammo can be well suited for taking medium sized game (whitetail deer, & small wild hogs) within about 50 yards. I have killed quite a few jackrabbits out to ranges of 75 yards & beyond using a Ruger Blackhawk single action .357 Magnum with a 6″ barrel and making use of any available rest (tree limb, fence post, truck mirror, etc.). It was not about sporting. It was all about getting a job done on some varmints. So, when it come to the job of getting food, I will make use of whatever advantage I can to stack the odds in my favor at any given moment. Survival is NOT a sport. It’s a duty to God and family.
Farmer | July 8, 2013
As always,Thanks to the Writer for providing a solid base to build off of and thanks to the other posters for other angles to consider. The stuff that is less prone to tear up due to frequent use is what will help us survive day in and day out. The multi use tools/guns means less to have to keep up with and tote around. Folks we better pray that it doesn’t come to pass because it will be a long desperate time to go through.
Thanks again for the great info, Farmer
Rick C | July 8, 2013
I see a big divide here in the comments on the proper weapon selection.
I think that both the comments and the article are all correct. It all depends on context.
In one case, mostly the comments, the weapons are for home defense. That’s fine but home defense weapons are rarely optimal for hunting.
In the article, the emphasis is on weapons that will due double-duty. I.E. serve as adequate or more-than-adequate for hunting (survival food) and as a personal defense weapon.
To effectively be both in a SHTF world, the weapons need to be totally reliable and ammunition plentiful. When it’s all going to hell around us, we can’t really take the time to find a gunsmith or hunt for rare ammunition.
That’s why the emphasis on single action revolvers and pump action shotguns. Not much to go wrong there. If you have the skills to maintain a semi-auto like an AR-15 and a good stock of spare parts, more power to you! Seriously! Because in a post SHTF world, you’ll be in high demand from all those folks with AR-15 clubs with broken or jammed parts.
If I’m by myself defending myself in a SHTF world and I’m being attacked by enough of the enemy that a single action or pump isn’t enough, I really, really doubt that a double-action or semi-auto is going to make a big difference. Shot placement counts a lot more than the number of slugs you can send at the target.
As for ammo. Other than the .22LR, the mostly likely ammo you’re going to find after SHTF is 9mm, .40 S&W, 10mm, .45ACP and maybe .357 magnum for handguns. 12 gauge for shotguns, with 30-06, 5.65, 7.62 for rifles simply because all of the above are used by military and the police. Government and ex-government agencies are going to be the best post-SHTF stockpile unless you have your own beforehand.
.45 Long Colt hasn’t been common for years. Scavengers will likely steal it from gun stores even if they don’t know what it is… “just in case”. The Judge isn’t a bad revolver… I’ve shot it many times. Like most, it isn’t very good in an extended firefight as like with my S&W .357s, the cylinder heats up after 6-12 rounds and will no longer operate.
That makes me want one of the old revolvers where you swapped cylinders like in the ball and cap days..
tOM gENIN | July 8, 2013
Sorry, but you lost everyone at “single action revolver.” Reliability is essential only assuming you survive, and a single action guarantees death. And the fact that few are competent with accuracy against multiple targets is the very reason you need a semi-auto with 15+ rounds, not 6.
Moreover look up the definition of pistol and stop embarrassing yourself. Revolvers are never referred to as pistols by anyone who knows what they’re talking about. A pistol is a handgun where the chamber and barrel are one, which a revolver never is.
The correct answer for three guns is an AR-15, since there’s bulk ammo and millions of them with myriad spare parts that anyone can replace.
The Remington 870 in 12 gauge is spot on, but any quality dual bar pump with 8 rounds is acceptable.
As for a handgun, that goes to taste, and what one has used over their life, as familiarity in a surprise attack is paramount to surviving it. But it has to be either a 9mm, .357 Magnum, or a .45 for ammunition sake. A high capacity 9mm, such as the Glock 17, Sig 226/229, or the Beretta 92 are all good since there’s a bunch of them, and therefore magazines/parts as well. A Ruger SP101 or GP100 is a strong, overbuilt revolver that will fire both .38 Special & .357 ammo. Insofar as the 1911, the Sig, Colt, Ruger, Para, etc, are all good reliable .45’s, just don’t plan on the overpriced over-tight 1911’s to be reliable, since they’re often not when they heat up, or they’re finicky with ammo.
Love the Judge, but scrounging for .45 Long Colt or .410 shotgun shells will take up way to much apocalypse time.
gene koblick | July 8, 2013
I believe the best gun is the one your most accurate with! Having shot metal for years, out to 100 yrds I CAN HIT A FIFTY CENT PIECE 8 OUT OF 10 TIMES WITH MY RUGER PISTOL. I HAVE TWO GREAT KNIVES AND A MACHETTE.
I HAVE A BACKPACK FLL AND READY TO GO FOR EMERGENCIES. FOOD,FUEL,MEANT TO LITE OFF FIRE,FISHING GEAR AND SPARE CLOTHES AND GOOD QUALITY WALKING BOOTS,WHAT’S NOT TO LIKE. MORE THAN LIKELY I’D TAKE OUR SAILBOAT, 40 GALLONS OF WATER ABOARD, 20 GALLONS OF WHITE GAS FOR STOVE,COMPLETELY EQUIPPED FOR OFFSHORE WORK AND HAVING CIRCUMNAVIGATGED COMPLETELY COMFORTABLE AT SEA WITH WIFE. THERE ARE SAFE PLACES IN THE WORLD.
Trapper | July 8, 2013
Wow – how bad is it? First a 30-06 is HEAVY and kicks hard – it is a hard caliber for anyone not physically fit and dedicated. It kicks like a mule and will make lot of folks flinch. I much prefer a midrange caliber and lighter weapon. My preference runs to lever guns which are very inexpensive and reliable. They are also non-military in appearance. Plenty quick and powerful to handle most needs. Shoot a 30-06 before you buy one and shoot what ever you get a lot after you buy it.
NEXT most important point The judge is great on paper. I bought the revolver and the carbine. I went to the range. I was appalled at how terrible both shot. Both are completely useless. USELESS. The 45 shoots all over the place in both the carbine and the revolver. The revolver is very strictly close range. Ten yards is to far to be assured of a hit on a man size target. I am very good with a handgun – it is the gun not my skills. The PDX ammo is expensive and marginally effective. It spreads so fast that its going to wound innocents – I do not want to have an inaccurate ineffective gun. The carbine is worse. I shot at large paper at 25 yds and checked the patterns – truly awful. And at the same distance the 45 was all over the map. I have Glocks and S&W Jframes. Both are easy to hit well with and reliable to a fault. I have several SKS carbines which are superb weapons when smoothed up a bit – I prefer the Rossi or winchester 92 lever guns for light and fast. With a bit of practice they are great guns. Less likely to be confiscated ??
Fixed blade knives are superior to folders but research your local laws. Knife laws vary all over the place and many places outlaw fixed blades. Own but leave at home. One of the must have knives is a good Caper pattern. Small fixed blade designed to cape. Read up on them. Way to many experts who have no hunting experience and maybe no range experience. If you want to play long range shooting – such as the supposed range of 1000 yds with a 30-06 you had better go try shooting at a long distance range. If you think an interchangeable 45/410 is a good idea you better try it before you depend on it for your life.
22 long rifle will be THE long term survival weapons and ammo. Get good revolvers and Ruger 10-22’s The newer 10-22 has a plastic receiver – no good for secure scope mounting. Used are hard to find.
Read up on the downside of the 223 before following the lemmings over the cliff – 308 is far superior to 30-06 in usefulness and availability. 7.62×39 is available and still inexpensive to stock in quantity. If you don’t have ammo – you’re in trouble. And finally THINK about what you are doing don’t just SPOUT the same old stuff. Trapper
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
“Read up on the downside of the 223 before following the lemmings over the cliff – 308 is far superior to 30-06 in usefulness and availability.”
I agree, and spent money to back that up, with the exception of this observation: Federal law does not permit AP pistol ammunition. Apparently in the distant past, somebody decided to make & sell a .308 pistol. I’m not convinced of the wisdom of that from any perspective, but the upshot is that you can’t get AP, API, APHE or any other sort of ‘fun’ permutation in .308. At least not legally.
On the other hand, 30-06 is still available (legally) in those various ‘exotic’ loadings.
Thus, if you forsee a need to stock up on AP, API, APTI or APHE ammunition, the 30-06 holds the edge.
Unless, of course, you have a source of the exotic stuff in .308.
Robert (the Grizz ) | July 9, 2013
All comments are correct! It boils down to preferance. Now @ the age of 79, in the woods since 14, I’ve had my favorites for years; Recently, an AR has caught my attention!! My hands are pretty crippled so a lever action is off limits. All hand guns need to be clip loaded for speed as an empty gun is useless !!! As are bolt action rifles, unless clip fed; there aren’t too many choices out there. Pump shotguns are getting harder for me because my muscle is also waning. I’m left with a db. break action, 12 ga., extra ammo on the stock, 3 shells in my left hand fingers, thats 5 shots in 6 secs!! All hits on a 12″ metal target.. @ 7 to 75 yds. A 1911 Colt 45 is my go to close range, self defense weapon, 4″ barrel, 7+1 clip, 3 extra clips in tow; A 357 Ruger rides on my hip.. Win. mod. 70, in 243 is all I have at the moment, not the best, but all I have available.. I’ll get by I’m guessing! Grizz
Old Air Force | July 9, 2013
I agree with most of the posters that tend to stay with NATO rounds. They will be the easiest to find, or liberate. The AR 15 is a great weapon if used correctly. Depending on the version some are sub moa accurate to 600 meters. A 22LR camp pistol or a take-down rifle for food is a great idea. Several knives, one general purpose, one food prep (boning or bird), one good pocket style like the Swiss Army style, and a large machete style is a nice assortment. A shotgun only if you want to carry it and the heavy ammo that goes with it. Which handgun is a personal choice and I choose both styles. I like a semi auto in .40 cal or better for quick action and a single action revolver in .41 magnum for sheer stopping power. Loaded with the right rounds the revolver will drop even bears if needed. Depending on your own situation and type of bug out I would tend to pack light as you may be on foot with only what you can carry so weight becomes an issue. No mater what you decide to carry, be proficient and knowledgeable of your weapons. They will save your life or someone else’s as well. Just my opinion though,
Tango Alpha Zulu | July 9, 2013
I have read many of the comments with great interest. Allow me to qualify myself before I continue. I am a boots-on-the-ground Vietnam combat veteran of 11 engagements, and I was my units sniper. I find it interesting that all seem to assume that a man is the person we are dealing with in this situation. Many of the suggested weapons are too powerful for a woman to handle effectively, or at all. Experiment with several caliber sizes before choosing a weapon you are going to bet your life on and then practice, practice, and more practice.
When society caves in, you are not going to go to the local sporting goods store for ammo re-supply, so this must be taken into consideration unless you have a stock pile. Any military caliber is a good bet. My carry piece is a .40 cal. S&W with 4 – 14 Rnd mags. This weapon has more power than a 9 mm/.38 and most police carry them now; very reliable, very effective w/ hollow points, and fairly accurate at range. This is my weapon of choice when I take assignments as a body guard. My back up is a .45 Colt/.410 derringer with “Judge” rounds. Heavy calibers such as a .44 Mag. or a .357 Mag. are of such high velocity that little tissue damage is inflicted. Good for killing a car block or a rino though. A slower bullet with a large frontal area such as the .45 ACP or the .44 Special are a lot more effective. I don’t carry or own a 1911 Colt style semi-auto as I don’t like the design, although Kimber makes the best production model I have seen. It is interesting that no one has mentioned the “03 Springfield or the Mauser chambeed in 30-06. I can do accurate business out to 1200 yards with either. Anything that is chambered in a Russian caliber may be hard to re-supply. I prefer a Ruger mini-14 over the AR’s as it is based on a very proven, reliable design (M1, M14) that will still function when dirty and it has a real stock. If you have to vertical butt-stroke with an AR, it will fold up like a wet diaper and won’t operate when the buffer is bent. Both use the .223 cal., which is devistating in the human body. I have seen what it can to and it ain’t pretty. One well placed shot will easily take a deer. I also have an AR-7 semi-auto in .22 cal. for small game with extra capacity mags. As far as shot guns are concerned, the 12 gauge pump is the all around “go to” cannon, in close or for bird hunting. Bigger game can be taken with slugs if you can get close enough. Mossberg puts out a $200 pump (Wal-Mart) that is very reliable and the mag tube can be exchanged for a high capacity one. I also like my open hammer coach gun (short barrels) for close work. You can swing it around in a small room without running into furniture, etc. For survival, you should narrow your picks to a 3 gun package that you can carry without much trouble. When choosing, remember to fit the weapons to YOUR capabilities. Consider usage/versitility, reliablility, and ammo re-supply; and please pack a cleaning kit.
Oakdale58 | July 9, 2013
I agree with you. Match the weapon to your abilities. Because many people will have limited or novice training the revolver is better suited to them. My daughter has a .38 special which suites her fine. Easy to carry and load and use. My personal choice is to match the guns ie .45 colt revolver and lever action rifle or similar calibers to avoid ammo confusion in stress situations. While there is always disagreement in these matters personal preference will always be best. Pump or a break action shotgun, handgun and rifle of choice. Now adays the convenience of adapters for the shotgun make it a fair choice. .22 cal is also a great survival tool. Low noise and little recoil. An experienced hunter can take both large and small game with it. As far as the AK or AR I agree there wold be plenty of ammo in a civil conflict but not everyone is familiar with use or cleaning methods. Again it all boils down to personal choice and what’s available where you are. As the Boy Scouts say ” Be prepared”
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
“I also have an AR-7 semi-auto in .22 cal. for small game with extra capacity mags.”
A) Are you using the Henry AR-7 or some earlier manufacturer?
B) If you are using the Henry, would you mind telling the world where you found the “extra capacity” mags? The genuine Henry mags are limited to 7 rounds … I’ve looked long and hard and can’t find any higher capacity mags that will actually fit the Henry version.
Solar wind | July 10, 2013
I elected to tote a 10mm for pistol, however , saying that, i also can reload for it and have an ample storage of brass,primer, powder and heads. A used Ruger gov’t mdl 22lr w/ aftermarket 7 1/2 ” barrel ( tac solutions ) or if you have the funds, a 1911 w/ a 22lr slide converter by Marvel that has an iron sight set-up or a rail for scope/ reddot, you can interchange and that combo can swat flies at 50yrds w/ the right ammo. An Ar lower and practically any type upper you desire should take care of the rest, being well versed in maintenance and having spare parts for it a given. That’s three firearms with multiple personalities.
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Larry | November 13, 2017
in a shtf situation it is not my intention to be in any firefight unless I know I can come out on top . and why has no one mentioned a bow? True it is short range , but quiet effective and silent , and ammo reuseable . Giving away your position by firing countless rounds of ammo is crazy. I would carry my 44 revolver as back up a good short machette , and a good full tang carbon steel knife, all easy to carry for moving fast
Lady in Red | July 15, 2013
Thanks for the article and comments and suggestions.
Vet | July 17, 2013
Very good conversation , I have my own thoughts, but youall have covered them all, good luck , and keep your powder dry, we may soon have to lock and load !!!
Subee | July 30, 2013
You left out pepper spray, tazers & stun guns
Christopher | August 8, 2013
Well, it looks to me, that this is almost a Ford vs. Chevy discussion (LOL). I cannot say, hands down, that the .45 (ACP or .45 Colt) will not do the job as well as a 9mm or .40, but I can say that ALL of these weapons will kill. Each hunter/shooter will find themselves in different situations, environments and with different skill sets for each. What troubles me is not the technical prowess of one commentor over another (all of you sound most lethal), however, it is the pre-formed scenario that motivates each of you to arm yourselves accordingly. So, let me say this:
1. 99% of your local police, sheriff, and most likely, military personnel, are on your side. I don’t care how paranoid Alex Jones is. Just ask them. I did. When the SHTF, THEY are not going to be coming for your guns or food. Unless, you raise enough of a stink and talk openly about doing battle with them. Then you most likely will be near the top of their REAL list of threats. Otherwise, I must ask the question: Exactly what, 30 round, AR-type firefight do you plan to put your family in the middle of?
2. Training, training, training. ANY of the above mentioned weapons will do the job if the person using them is trained and comfortable with them. That is why there are so many options available. Find what works best for you. Again, Ford vs. Chevy.
3. None of this makes a difference if, at least, as much prep is not put into to food and storage of food. I am currently bidding on 15 acres of near-isolated land with plenty of resources. My location, when the SHTF, will determine my best options for personal and property defense. Long range, mid range and short range, my choices are 30.06 (LR), .308 (MR) and .45 acp/12 guage (SR). I will not need an AR/AK unless the government has nothing better to do than hunt me down out in the middle of nowhere. My main objective will be hunting and defending against vagrants and marauders. In the event that any one of these are armed with an AR, they will be too desparate to be fully resourced and will not even get close enough to my family to empty that mag.
4. Short of an invasion by foreign forces, none of which will penetrate to where I live, our military will NOT assist the UN in subduing this nation or it’s peoples. Communism only works on unfed, unarmed, uneducated peasants that have never tasted freedom. This ‘battle’ is already over. All that needs to be done is to build the best defensive position for your family. The idea of going toe-to-toe with heavily armed, trained and equiped government forces is lunacy unless your children love John Wayne that much. Otherwise, talk of shooting any official forces is going to ensure that you WILL be faced with that prospect. Keep it real. Keep it calm. Keep it sane.
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
My conversations with local law enforcement (South East state) concurs with your conversations. While I still feel that I need to keep my eyes and ears open, I am fairly comfortable that the local officers, with families of their own to be concerned about, are not the principle threat.
I see the likely threats as you do, with the addition of glandular federal officers in the short haul. Over the long haul, they will cease to exist and possibly be removed from the gene pool entirely. No ‘down line’.
I see our military being split into two factions A) the loyalists, determined to hold the union together in its present form at any cost (even if ultimately destructuve of that goal) simply because they have no faith in our ability to re-organize the union to make it stronger even in the face of the egotists and sociopaths and B) the Populists who consider themselves part of the “we” in “we the people”. The Populists will, at first, suffer for lack of C & C capibilities, but will gain those capabilities in short order and will ultimately prevail.
That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 🙂
Bill sHOOTER | October 12, 2013
Water, medical care, heat, shelter, food.
If you can’t swing these, all the ammo in the world won’t mean much.
There are two springs within 100 yards of my front door. One, a lot of people know about. The other is probably only good for a few hundred gallons a day and goes unnoticed, disappearing back into the soil within sight of its origin and, more importantly, without leaving the parcel it originates on. Yet, it flows all year.
I’ve made two attempts to buy that land. I’ll keep trying until I succeed.
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Ramon Hardesty | October 16, 2013
When I was in Viet Nam I carried the M14 . It was the best rifle that Springfield made and still is today. I also carried the Marine K BAR and a .44 mag for personal use. I had no trouble with these weapons ! I do not care for the AR15 because of jamming and the need to clean it three times a day ..
In my safe I have twenty guns , rifles ,shotguns , and hand guns. They help in many ways . Home security is the first , and hunting for food is the next .. If I have to kill some one that threats me, my loved ones , or any one around me ,I will not wait to call 911 I will Kill That threat !
Charlie | October 20, 2013
I would hope we would not have to bug out, but stay and help neighbors and friends. 12 gauge has many uses, with different loads a must for defense at many distances, also a great way of 1 shot 1 kill on rabbits and pheasants with 6 shot. Rifled slugs with accuracy out to 150 yards for a good marksman, double 00 buck has 9 pellets or balls no. 4 buck has 27 pellets great for home invasion, put your first 2 loads with no 4 buck followed by 00 buck and have a elastic shell holder with slugs for more heavy defense or big game on your stock, a 10 22 is my choice for a small caliber rifle any will do if you can shoot it accuertly 9mm 45acp 357/38 special great choices. Remember 1 well placed shot is way better than 15 blast shots that don’t hit there target. SLOW IS SMOOTH AND SMOOTH IS FAST ACCURACY IS MOST IMPORTANT. A medium battle rifle is best like a mini14 or a ar15 with a 243 or 270 or 3006 or what ever scoped bolt action hunting rifle you can shoot well. Sure a M1A is first choice battle rifle with 20 rounds of WOOP ASS. The medium battle rifle cost with extra mags cleaning kit and lots of ammo cost about the same as the M1A rifle alone. REMEMBER you cant eat bullets stock food and water if your in cities, if in rural areas on your own well and septic having a generator to run for 10 minutes can pump a lot of water with conserving on gasoline for emergency power only at short intervals. Fire wood for free heat in a air tight wood burner is best. seeds for gardening a roll of chicken wire to build cages to raise chicken for meat and eggs. 2 eggs provide much of the daily needed protein needed. A bible for good direction. In tough times you must become tougher and always have your God given 6th sense about you to see whats coming before it happens. God says to pray to him in all things ask him for guidance and pray without ceasing. The only person that will guard and look out for family is other family. You can go with out air for 3 minutes , water for 3 days, food for 3 weeks. Preparation is a must NOW.
big joe | October 21, 2013
forget it guys and gals anything beyond a major tornado , hurricane . or blizzard . it aint gonna matter believe me i started ”prepping ” when i was 20 im 50 now it aint never gonna happen trust me and if it does ill give all my gear to the first ”surviver” ill see
Don Russell | October 27, 2013
regardless of what you choose, you’d better have a silencer on it. funny how guys are “ready” for the end of the world, but scared to even TALK about silencers! 🙂 I know a guy who made one, threaded his .22 rifle barrel to suit and cached the shortened, 7″ long (“spare”) barrel with the “can” on public land. The Marlin Papooses is a takedown autorifle in .22. Fitted with a telescoping buttstock, it’s concealable, in your pack or under your arm on a sling, under a coat. The 6″ barrel keeps normal .22lr subsonic, so that it sounds like a BB gun when fired.
You can’t shoot or intimidate anyone with a gun you aint got IN HAND and noticed you’ll be carrying a backpack, so you can’t have more than one longarm. Best go with a front pants pocket holster and a Kahr 9mm CM9. it can be your daily ccw pistol and rig, and if shtf, it stays out of the way of your longarm and your pack, yet it’s concealed and swift to access.
Don Russell | October 27, 2013
u do NOT have to settle for a .22 handgun, OR just a .22 or just a centerfire rifle. Ciener Firearms makes .22lr conversion units for the AR-15, the Ruger Mini-14, and for the AK (223 or .30 cal). They cost about $200, with a 30 rd box mag, group 2″ at 50 yds, do NOT foul the gas system or the barrel, as many lie about on the netc. I’ve owned 6 of them over the years,and I’ve seen as many more in the hands of friends. about 1/2 of them need $40 worth of “fluff and buff” type smithing in order to be reliable. The POI on the target is no more than 2″ from that of the 223, at 50 yds, plenty good enough. The .22 units weigh 3/4 lb, as lighter than the lightest 22 pistols. Practice with 10-22, much less a .22 hg, won’t help your skill with your fighting rifle. Practice with the .22 unit in your rifle WILL help that skill. A “
Don Russell | October 27, 2013
you dont want a slow arsed bolt action when you will need rapidfire, hard as arrogant people find it to believe, you WILL miss (frequently) when other people are shooting at you. If removable box mag rifles are illegal for you, then get the internal mag SKS rifle. If autos are illegal, get apump action. A pump rifle is much easier to be fast and accurate with than any lever action.
don’t bother with a shotgun for shtf or survival, unless that’s the only type of gun that is legal for you possess in “normal times”. The shotgun’s flash will ruin your night adpated vission, and you can’t effectively suppress the blast, either. Shotguns are too short ranged, lacking in penetration, slow to reload, low in mag capacity, the ammo is too fragile and open to moisture and oils, as well as too bulky-heavy.
Don Russell | October 27, 2013
Hunting is not efficient, and being seen in daylight, once shtf, is highly likely to get you shot. Gillnets, fish and turtle traps, poison, game and bird traps and snares, trotlines, bird lime on roosts, can all be serviced at night. Such measures work for you 24-7, in a score of locations-directions (if you have set that many). Such tactics are both much safer and far more effective than hunting.
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Tyler | November 18, 2015
Ruger Hawkeye in 30-06, Remington 870 12 gauge, and a ruger Blackhawk in your caliber of choice. These 3 guns will outlast your grandkids. In a true shtf/teotwawki situation, all my guns and ammo are going with me, including my ar and hi cap 9. But if I could only have 3, it would be the 3 listed above. I wouldn’t feel disadvantaged at all. I’m not going to go looking for a fight, I’m going to be hidden if possible, staying away from people and keeping my family safe. Once you evaluate your individual needs, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages that most people whine about (ie, rate of fire, capacity, reload time).
Another train of thought (mine) is that if you can make it through the first few weeks to month, there’s gonna be a lot of hardware laying around next to their former owners not doing them a damn bit of good.
Kukriking | November 18, 2015
I’ll use my big. Bore blow gun and traps to eat small game & samburu spear for bigger game. Don’t want to attract those in earshot. Even w suppressors there’s a decent risk. Since any amount of ammo is still limited, gotta preserve as much as possible for a long term plan. The guns I’ll use for that, AK, AR, 12ga. Auto, Governor, and 1911. (I hope y’all don’t live near me bc you’re gonna attract all the zombiesgood luck and God bless bc the stuffs comin down soon)
. Btw don’t y’all find it concerning that every body is worried about new refugees that won’t get in for about two years (even w the limited vetting we have) when experts say there’s about 2000 radicalized already here?!, this approach to fighting terror is astounding. We need to shut down borders, and radical mosques, and raid the radicals that are already suspected. Just like the French just did. Can’t believe THEY just did it better than us.
Big Knife fan | March 23, 2016
When it comes to survival knives I have to disagree that a big knife isn’t necessary. I’d much prefer to have big Rambo knife or a big bowie knife than a smaller knife. A bigger knife is more versatile and also has intimidation factor just in case you get caught out in a difficult situation. The biggest problem with the bigger knife is that you’re lugging around a little extra weight.
Jonathan | August 7, 2016
I don’t understand. He talks about the use of a single action revolver due to post apocalyptic lack of gun smiths and parts but then recommends a double action revolver made by a third tier company which depends on its lifetime warranty due to cost cutting measure both in material and workmanship.
I have owned a Taurus judge. It broke after one range trip. The cylinder fell out. Not a rough and tumble gun to depend on.
A single action revolver is bullet proof, basically . excuse the pun. But please. Go with a Ruger if you’re goal is pure durability and few moving parts. They make very durable over built single actions.
Though given the choice, I would go with a double action from the same maker. Maybe a gp100.
Also, that 1911 pictured above would be better paired with a kabar.