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Things That Go Boom: Things to Consider

Armament Theory

We have all seen the “end of the world” movies that have the main characters firing machine guns and slinging around switchblades.  While this is definitely entertaining, it is nowhere close to practical.  Nothing will cause you to run out of ammunition reserves faster than a fully automatic ammo dump.  For your weaponry, it is always best to use your guns less for several reasons:

  • Bullets will become extremely expensive and highly coveted. Bullets offer the power for defense, food acquisition, and “negotiation.”  This power will not be cheaply bought.
  • Firing a round is loud. The worst thing you can do is draw attention to yourself.  If you fire a round, not only will you alert your neighbors that you have rounds to fire, but also you will alert the police and military to your presence.
  • Killing someone may cause you to create enemies.  In this scenario, you need more friends than anything else, so definitely do your best to negotiate rather than use lethal force.

The Handgun: Your First Priority

Still, if you do have to pull the trigger, you will want to make sure that the round does what you need it to do.

First, it is important to note that any weapon you buy or inherit is a machine with moving parts.  Moving parts tend to break if the machine is not well built, and they require constant cleaning and oiling.  Also, if a part breaks, it will need to be replaced or the machine will be rendered useless.  Also, the rounds for the weapon need to be relatively common, or shooting it will become too costly.

If you decide that you need to arm yourself, it is best to buy a handgun first.  The reason is that it is a weapon that is readily available now, but is constantly threatened by legislation and government regulations.  Also, it is the most usable mobile defensive option that you can buy (depending on the caliber).  More often than not, you will need a free hand in the event of a possible firefight, and a handgun will allow for that eventuality.

Depending on how you want to use it, you will want to consider your caliber.  Do not use exotic calibers, such as the 10mm, because these are expensive and will be extremely difficult to find.  Use a round that is supplied to militaries, such as the 9mm and the .45ACP.

Many believe the 9mm to be too weak of a round; however, a 9mm will allow for more rounds in the magazine, they are one of the cheapest rounds on the market, and a hot defensive-loaded hollow point will be just as powerful as a .45ACP.  While hollow points may go out of existence relatively quickly, the round will still be highly abundant during a conflict as it is the main handgun round for almost every military on the planet.  Also, the 9mm will have much lighter recoil, allowing it to be more controllable for follow-up shots.

The .45ACP is also an excellent option, as it is one of the most powerful handgun rounds on the market.  Because of its weight (grains), the round will penetrate car doors, drywall, and even some wooden structures.  Also, it has excellent “stopping power,” as it has been proven as a battle-tested round.  This is another round that is used by many militaries, and while it may not be as abundant as the 9mm, it is still readily available.

Depending on what you want to do with your weapon, it is probably best to get a mid-size, compact, polymer-framed handgun.  You will want to conceal it in the event that you have to leave your home with it.  Depending on certain ordinances, you may not be allowed to have a weapon, so you do not want to be seen with one.  At the same time, if the barrel on the weapon is too short, it will be difficult to aim and control.  The question is always a balance between concealable capabilities and effective control.  The longer the barrel, the more accuracy you will have, but it will be harder to conceal.  Usually, the preference is a round a four-inch barrel with a double-stack magazine.

Polymer frames are excellent because they have been proven to be highly reliable, are rust and wear resistant, will not bend, and are relatively easy to repair.  Among some of the most notable polymer frame pistols, you will find Glock, Springfield XD and XD(m), FN FNP, HK USP, Sig Saur P2022, and CZ 75 at the top of the list.

The Shotgun

Shotguns make excellent defensive weapons, because they are not only extremely scary when you are facing the business end, but they also do not require as much accuracy. From seven yards, taking a slug or a pattern from a 12-gauge shotgun is devastating and will result in a near-instant kill.  A 12-gauge pump-action shotgun with an eighteen-inch barrel and a pistol grip is considered one of the most effective defensive weapons on the planet.  Also, it requires very little maintenance as there are fewer moving parts, and 12-gauge rounds are used by militaries and police forces around the world, making them relatively abundant.  It is best to buy a weapon that is in common usage, as the parts will easier to find if something breaks or is lost.  The Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 will be a great place to start your research.

The Rifle

If you want to buy a rifle, do keep in mind that it must not be seen.  One of the first things that an oppressive government will do is round up the guns to disarm the opposition.  If you have a massive rifle system, it will stick out like as sore thumb in the event that you have to hide it or travel with it. This is one reason why large, bolt-action hunting rifles are not the best way to go in the event of a crisis situation.

Battle rifles have a tendency to have a shorter barrel, but at the same time, they have excellent accuracy.  Many in the battle rifle community laud the praises of the AR-15 for the survival scenario, but there are a few drawbacks.  While the AR-15 is highly ergonomic, highly accurate, and offers the ability to stay on target due to low recoil, the system is extremely high maintenance.  If you lose a detent or spring, the rifle is out of commission.  Also, many of the parts only last so long before they begin to cause the rifle to malfunction.

Some have said that the AK-47 is the most reliable semi-automatic assault rifle on the planet.  Developed by Anotov Kalashnikov and the communist Russian government, the AK-47 has been the weapon of poor armies around the world.  The weapon was designed to be dragged through the mud and sand and keep on firing.  It also fires the 7.62 x 39 round, which is the size of a .308 high-power rifle round.  While it does not have the accuracy or the fast 5.56 round of the AR-15, it has the reliability of a Swiss Army Knife.

What draws many gun enthusiasts away from the AK-47 is that it is considered an inaccurate rifle.  An AR-15 can ping silhouette targets out past 500 yards, but the AK-47 will only be effective under 200 yards.  The question is, why would the survivalist need a 500-yard range?  If you are trying to avoid a fight, it is better to leave the area if your enemy is past 300 yards.  The AK-47 will give you 200 yards of defensive power, and then allow you a chance to leave the field.

Also, the AK-47 can be found in a pistol form called the “Draco” and is available for about $600.  Through the use of different measures, the “Draco” can be stabilized for efficient shooting and will still be highly concealable.  The AK-47 is also easier to convert to a folding-stock option, making the rifle less than 20 inches in overall length.   The AR-15 cannot convert to a folding stock because of the recoil buffer.  Without the recoil buffer, the weapon cannot effectively function, and a fix to this problem would cost over a grand.

The most important things to consider in terms of survival weaponry are simple.  Make sure it will fire every time you pull the trigger, make sure it does not require high maintenance, make sure that the rounds are readily available, and last, make sure that you can conceal the weapon in the even that you have to travel with it.

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