Wednesday, June 20, 2012

SHTF guns...

It's funny, guns are a very personal thing. You like what you like and not much will sway you from those choices. That makes it difficult for anyone to recommend guns for a shit hits the fan situation. There are lots of places you can visit on the inner webs that will tell you this is exactly the firearm you need for this situation. It's bullshit. Only you can decide what you are comfortable with.

That being said, I'm going to tell you what my gun choices would be and why. You can compare it to your list and use it any way you want or you can just throw it out the window. Again, these are my choices and I would never presume to tell you what you need or should purchase.

Lot's of websites like to say "If you only had three guns...". If my choices were just limited to three guns what would they be? A rifle, a shotgun and a pistol. Easy. But which ones? The rifle would be an AR-15, here is why, it's light, it's accurate, it's easy to maintain, ammo is readily available (right now) and not overly expensive and I am familiar with the weapon. As far as brand, you can literally spend thousands of dollars on an some very popular brands, but do you need to? I would make sure it was a weapon I felt was well made and that I could rely on in a nasty situation. There are reviews all over the place. Do your research. Read the good reviews and the bad. Weigh the price versus the features. Myself, I steer away from a weapon with exotic rail systems and all the crazy accessories. That's just me. If you feel you need a red dot, a green dot, a flashlight and a dvd player, go for it. It's your weapon, be comfortable with it. The only accessory I need is a bayonet lug. Keep in mind, a couple of the main reasons that the AR platform would be my weapon of choice is because it is good for close quarters stuff if needed yet it is still accurate to 500 yards.

Olympic Arms AR-15

My shotgun choice would be something with a stock and a barrel of about 20 inches in length. My Mossberg 590A1 fits that description perfectly. There are lots of other gun makers out there who have products that are similar. Remington makes a hell of a good product in the 870. Bennelli makes a good gun. There are lots of good gun makers putting out assault type shotguns right now. Check Cabela's for used ones too. I like my Mossberg because I know it is well made, dependable and easy to maintain. It's not fancy but it goes bang every time I pull the trigger. Barrel length is very important to me. Can you imagine trying to get from point a to point b, in your house, in the dark, in a quiet manner with Grandpa's goose gun? That long barrel will beat and bang on every door frame in the house. There is no stealth involved in that. I like a stock, it is sturdy and reliable. Collapsable stocks are great, they look really cool, but imagine you have to go to the old vertical butt stroke on a bad guy. I would much rather have a solid, well made stock to do that with. Pistol grips? Right, I stay away from them, you can't aim for shit and this isn't a pistol. Another nice thing about my 590A1, it has a bayonet lug.

Mossberg 590A1 with Ontario Tanto Bayonet

Pistol choices are tough for a lot of people. Mine is something in a Compact size. Not a SubCompact, they are too small. I want to be able to have good grip on my firearm, with all of my fingers. A full size frame is great, but not the most concealable, for most people. And remember, you may not always want others to know you are armed, so being concealable is a plus to me. I like the heck out of my Smith & Wesson M&P .40 Compact. It is a perfect size. I carry it almost every day. It shoots the .40 round, of course, which is a nice caliber for stopping a bad guy. Granted, the .45 is better at that, but .40, in my opinion, is much more bang for the buck. Remember, this is just my opinion, I'm not trying to convince you to change your preference, I'm just stating mine. I know my good friend RegT is a Glock guy, and they also make some nice Compact weapons. So does XD and Ruger and any number of other gun makers. The choices are almost limitless. Again, do your research. Check the reviews, good and bad. Weigh the price and features. There are also lots of very nice revolvers out there that would be perfect choices. But always keep this in mind, a pistol is a last resort gun. When all other options have been exhausted, you and the bad guy are mere feet apart, this isn't the time to rely on a cheap piece of shit. This needs to be a weapon that you have full confidence in, one that you have practiced with over and over again. I know, I know, not everyone can afford a $1000 dollar Kimber. I get that. There are lots of very well made, very reliable guns for under $500 bucks. If you are dead set on buying a really cheap gun, get a Hi-Point. I own three of them and I have fired the hell out of them with out any trouble, but, in the event of a failure, the Hi-Point is heavy enough that you could use it as a club. One last thing, while my M&P .40 Compact doesn't have a bayonet lug, it does have a little rail under the barrel and you can buy a little rail mounted bayonet.

Smith & Wesson M&P .40 Compact

That is my three, but three doesn't really cover it, does it. There are so many situations that something different than my three would be a better choice. For example, hunting for dinner. While the AR-15 or the shotgun, either one, would do the job, there are better choices. For example either of my .22 rifles would be perfect for hunting rabbits, squirrels or other small game. But if i had a need for stealth, I could use my .20 caliber pellet rifle, or even my slingshot. The slingshot would be an "if all else fails" weapon. I'm not that good of a shot with it even though I practice often. If I were hunting for something a little bigger, say deer, I might opt for something of a larger caliber, like the Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine. It shoots a 7.62x54R round and can take down a deer easily, where the AR-15 may require more than one shot to finish the job.

Mossberg Plinkster .22

Sheridan .20 Caliber Pellet Rifle

Mosin Nagant M44 Carbine

Comparison of the 7.62x54R(left) to the 5.56(right) round

You see what I mean, there are so many variables involved in weapon choice. While the three I listed will do almost everything I would need in my part of the world, there are more specialized choices that could be more effective. If you live in a place with bear and moose, you probably don't want to shoot them with an AR-15. A pissed off bear wouldn't be much fun, neither would tracking a wounded moose for a couple of days. These are all things to consider when making weapon choices. Talk to gun people in your area. Shoot as many different kinds of weapons as you can. There is no substitute for actual experience. It sucks to buy a gun that you wind up hating.

You may have noticed several references to bayonets above. Some people think I am obsessed, I'm not. If shit goes bad and me and my family are in a survival situation, I want every advantage. In a close quarters situation, having a big ass knife on the end of a long gun gives you an advantage, don't doubt it...

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