As you sit and marvel at your vast collection of guns, your chest bulging at the immensity of the firepower before you, you may want to squint and consider how it might look to you the moment after the EOTWAWKI. When you consider the staying power versus the firepower, is your arsenal up to the task of digging in or bugging out for the duration?
The debate on the best calibers to own is endless and is mired in personal preferences and prejudices that will leave it eternally unsettled. Still, as you view your collection through the haze of smoke left by mass destruction, you may want to seriously consider which of your guns will see you through the chaos.
During times of scarcity, the quantity of ammo will become more important than the quality of your weapons. The guns you treasure the most may have little value if ammo is not available. Does this mean you will have to completely sacrifice quality and optimum firepower? Not necessarily. It just means you might need to think through your WTSHTF arsenal strategy.
Ammunition shortages are already a reality, especially for odd-ball calibers or surplus marketed guns. Your concern should be whether ammo can be bought or scavenged during times of uncertainty. If you are forced away from your own stockpile, and you run out while you’re on the move, you will want your more popular calibers with you as you are more likely to be able to find ammo replacements.
Your core arsenal should cover your bases for hunting, home defense and long range shooting. It should also address both your survival needs as well as your battle needs. These are different jobs usually requiring different tools. When you can have some guns serve multiple duties, you’re better positioned in the event of ammo shortages and for maneuvering during a bug out.
Your long-range rifle could also serve as your hunting rifle. If you own a 30-06 for hunting, it can also stand in as a competent survival rifle. Add a scope and it can serve, nicely, as a sniper rifle for you. Choosing between your 30-06 and your .308 may be difficult. More enthusiasts will swear by the .308 because the firearms are of higher quality, with some semi-automatic offerings, and it’s considered the best all around gun in its class. Walking into a small town hardware store, you’re more likely to find 30-06 rounds, so that may be the most important consideration when you need to find more ammo quickly.
You won’t find too many arguments about the 12 gauge shotgun as your primary home defense weapon. It is, by far, the most widely available and it offers the greatest amount of flexibility for ammo choice. The choice for a handgun usually comes down to a .357 magnum—again, for ammo availability and its stopping power.
A .22 rim fire rifle will come in handy as the ammo is the most widely available. There is a lot of security in being able to buy ammo in bricks of 500 that can be easily carried. A .22 rifle is somewhat limiting in its loading capacity; however, there are some pretty nice conversion kits that can turn your .22LR fire into a semi-automatic battle-fire weapon using an AR15 or an M16. The kits are relatively cheap and it can greatly improve your overall firepower using inexpensive .22LR ammo.
The bottom line is that, while you don’t need to ignore your favorite guns, if you really want to be prepared for anything, you will want to make sure that the guns you have chambered are the ones with cartridges and ammo that you know will be there for you.
Other articles in this issue:
- For Nutrition on the Run – Eat Like Davey Crockett
- Reality Shock: Your Hospital May be Killing You
- Intro to Chicken Farming