How To Build A Respectable, Functionable, Survival Armory For Around $2,300

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest by Jason in Virginia

Any prepper will tell you that weapons, be they for self-defense or hunting, are an integral part of your preps. Any SMART prepper will also tell you that they are not the end all be all of prepping, nor are they the most important part either. Unfortunately, there exists a vein in the community (thankfully it is non-existent or shouted down on this particular blog, but it exists in the broader movement) that insists that anyone owning less than a full national guard sized armory capable of arming a brigade sized group to the teeth with everything from night vision goggles to tanks (I’m not kidding, I’ve seen it suggested on a board that a survival group build out a mock Abrams piece by piece) is not a “real” prepper or survivalist, or else is naive and is doomed to be victims of the somehow highly trained organized and disciplined groups of anti-social criminal super-villians wandering the land.

I’ll not get into the inherent contradictions in the notion of anti-social organized disciplined groups here. Thats for the shrinks to figure out. Please do not misunderstand me either, I’ve no doubt that if TSHTF, bands of criminals and looters will abound, I just don’t know that they’ll be quite so efficient as some portray. Most of those who’d gravitate towards such groups are cowards, and would much rather prey on the weak than someone with a demonstrative ability, skill, and will to shoot back.

Finally, please understand that I make a marked distinction between a firearms enthusiast and a Rambo wannabe. If guns are your hobby, there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If insisting to your buddies that the fact that you own six AK-74’s all with laser sights good out to 450 yards with built in night vision goggles strapped to the buttstock modified to fully automatic makes you a real survivalist and everyone else who doesn’t is sheeple and zombie food is your hobby, well, you’re reading the wrong article. Go polish your SOG bayonet.

I’m writing this for preppers like myself. I’ve been around guns my whole life. Started hunting with my Dad around age 10, pistols as a teenager, did my time on the ground in the military. I like guns, I know the basics, I enjoy shooting from time to time, and I realize they are an important part of preps. But I’m not a “gun guy”. I can’t discuss in depth the advantages of a West German H&K 91 vs an M1A, or explain the greater stopping power of a 7.62 round vs a 5.56. Folks like Jarhead and Riverrider can explain all of that, and it’s valuable knowledge to have.

But I’ll be frank. I don’t care too much about the technical side of firearms. If it works, meaning that so long as I take care of it, when I load it, point it at a target, and pull the trigger, it goes bang and puts a hole in what I was pointing at, I’m good. I can break them down and clean them and put them back together like any normal soldier, but that’s pretty much where it ends. For me, it’s about functionality and price, just like the rest of my preps. I don’t want to break the bank on them.

But, being honest, weapons aren’t cheap, and building an adequate survival armory can be a relatively expensive proposition. The following lists my “arsenal”, that I believe covers my needs in the situations I am likely to face. Of course, any preppers plan must be modified to suit there own situation. All of these weapons were purchased a piece at a time, and on sale when I could find them. If you were to recreate this list, it would cost approximately $2,300 not including FFL transfer fees or any other throw ins. Your mileage may vary.

I’m not at all advocating running out and buying these at the same time, and the “good” news (for your wallet) is that one gun (the CAR15 223) takes up nearly 33% of the entire cost, and I advocate making this your final piece. Finally, these weapons are not always the “cheapest” in there respective categories per se, but IMHO, represent the best value for your dollar.

1. Slingshot. Don’t laugh, at least not until you’ve taken a ball bearing off of a wrist rocket to the chest at about 15 feet. You will think you’ve been shot. It hurts. A lot. This is more for pest removal in and around your location, especially when noise discipline is important. A good slingshot and decent aim can take out a rabbit at 15 yards. One less pest in your garden, one more meal in the pot. You can find a variety of slingshots on amazon for around $10 dollars.

2. Bowie knife. Admittedly, this is used almost solely for hunting. If I’m down to fighting with my knife, its bad times in the neighborhood, and shame on me for being caught out unprepared. Nevertheless, it is a weapon, and if left with a choice of a knife fight or death, yeah I’d use it. Wal-Mart, $15. There are other knives available for defense, my knowledge of them is limited. Like I said, I don’t wanna be the guy who brought a knife to a gun fight.

3. Marlin Model 60 .22. A classic rifle, one of the most popular in the world, its tube fed with a respectable magazine capacity, and is quite easy to mount a scope on. Handles varmints of the 4 legged variety, and will certainly give pause to the 2 legged variety. Has to be considered a best buy for $179 at wal mart.

4. Remington 870 12 gauge. I learned to shoot on the 12 gauge with my dad in the woods. I still vividly remember the massive bruise I had the next day from the recoil from not listening when he taught me how to shoulder it. My father gave me his when I graduated basic training. There’s an emotional attachment to this particular model, but its also very highly regarded for its quality and reliability. This is your meat rifle. Deer hunting, bird hunting, whatever game is in your area. It may also serve as your peace keeper. Nothing tends to settle arguments faster than the sound of a shotgun shell being racked. It is also universal language for “don’t freaking move if you’d like to live another 5 minutes”. Oftentimes a good solid bluff will save both YOUR and someone else life. $339 dollars at various online outlets.

5. Bushmaster CAR 15 223 16. This is your firefight gun. Your last resort, no kidding under attack full on battle rifle. For this reason, and given its healthy price-tag in relation to the other weapons on this list, I recommend making this your final purchase of your “creating a basic” arsenal. It is a nice, LIGHT, AR style rifle that comes equipped with a red dot scope and is reasonably priced for what it is. DISCLAIMER: It is true that you can build an AR-15 piece by piece for cheaper (SEE RIVERRIDERS POST ENTITLED “Don’t Pay A Fortune For An AR-15“), but for the rank amateur, “not gun-guys” here, I think most of us would be more comfortable with a pre-assembled version. Yes, this is biased, no, its not the smartest move in the world, and yes, we will do it anyways. Because we’re not gun guys. :)

6. Taurus PT-709 Slim. A nine millimeter pistol that serves as an excellent CCW. 7+1 capacity and can be carried in a standard pockets or holsters. Perfect for EDC. I chose a nine for EDC because of my state. It is a solid pro 2nd amendment state with fairly easy to obtain CC licenses. It’s courts however, have been a bit ubiquitous when dealing with deaths resulting from lethal force with CC license holders. Nine millimeters have stopping power, but they’re slightly less likely to kill you than a .45, depending upon shot placement. Yes, I know there are good arguments for ignoring this fact, being judged by 12 vs carried by 6, I get it. It’s just the personal decision I made for myself. It can be found new for $341 dollars online.

7. Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro. Another 9 mil, this sits in my GHB. It’s a full sized, beefier 9, handles recoil a bit better, and can be used as a blunt weapon in a worst case scenario. I chose a nine millimeter here for much the same reason as the EDC is. If I’ve broken out the Get Home Bag, things are bad, and I’m not trying to engage, I’m running, hiding, trying to evade and get home ASAP. Not trying to fight it out with anyone. Commonly found for $359 dollars online.

8. Taurus PT145 Millennium Pro. The .45 is for home/retreat defense. Virginia may be conflicted about using lethal force out in a public setting, but has a solid record of upholding the right to defend your home. In Virginia, if you enter a man’s home uninvited, regardless of intent, you get what you get and that’s that. So I reserve the hand cannon for the house. I’m not high on the notion of shooting anyone for any reason, but I feel strongly that if I’m forced to have a firefight in the confined area that is my house, I want it to be over in one shot. This is far more likely if I have the forty-five on hand. Can easily be purchased online for $359 dollars.

Incidentally, my handguns are Taurus as a matter of personal preference. I find them to be good, well made, reliable firearms that are reasonable priced and have a 100% lifetime warranty. It’s just a matter of preference for me, but I never hesitate to recommend them. They’ve always been good to me, but I have no connection to Taurus, Remington, Marlin, or any other firearms or weapons manufacturer listed in my post.

As a final note, I strongly encourage anyone who may be interested in building there basic arsenal to do there own research and shop around. Prices vary, and I encourage purchasing used firearms from responsible dealers/individuals when possible, as prices on the used market may be drastically lower than retail. Get some range time in with the weapons before you purchase them. Make sure your comfortable with the way they feel in your hand and the way they fire.

Most dealers with ranges will allow you to “rent” a firearm for a nominal price to fire it so long as you purchase your ammunition from them. Take advantage of that. Try as many models and calibers as interest you. Maybe a .38 feels better in your hand than a .9. Or the game in your area dictates you replace the 12 gauge with a 30.06. My final suggestion is simply to make sure whatever you choose is a commonly available caliber. If SHTF, an unloaded gun will be about as useful as the gossip magazine in the grocery store line.

I can’t wait to hear your comments on the list! What’s in YOUR basic survival arsenal?

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.

Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.

Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.

Contest ends on March 30 2012.

Comments

  1. Ok slingshot can be a starting point, we also added some archery equipment, the bows we got for free, so we only needed to buy arrows, we also added an air rifle for small game now to task the rest.

    870 12 gauge check good choice

    Marlin not so much, I’d go for the Ruger 10-22, alot more of them around, therefore makes it easier to get things like spare magazines, parts, etc.

    I’d really shy away from Taurus, in training circles there have been a lot of faulty Taurus Semis of late, new guns breaking right out of the box etc, if yours run great, but when the SHTF there will be no sending it to Taurus to get it fixed. Although not a fan, a Glock would be a better choice in 9mm, there are loads of them out there magazines are easy to find. In 45 consider a Regent 1911 it is a base model 1911 made in Turkey, but will accept all 1911 parts and magazines, and they sell for about $400. For a grid down SHTF I’d highly consider a .357 Mag. it is a good man stopper, and with proper shot placement bring down deer.
    In Ar’s
    It does not have to be a Bushmaster, Bushy gets a bit more for the name, a lot like Colt. The AR market has exploded there are a lot of companies making them, and several cheaper but as good a quality of Bushy. The new Plum Crazy AR is getting good reviews and is pretty cheap compared to a lot of the others. You can save money by building your own, but if you are not sure of what you are doing, the “Kit” guns already have the barrels mounted, and the rest of the assembly is pretty straight forward.

    I’d add something in 30 caliber, incase you need to really Ma Bell a target, 308, 30.06 ( although you might lean more towards 308 over 06 as it has become more poular) or if budget driven a Mosin in 762x51R

    Bottom line pick guns that are popular, check the net, go to gunshows, and see what parts and magazines are readily available. when things go bad that Glock armour at the show will likely still have firing pins to barter, but a broken firing pin on your Taurus may just make it a paper weight.

    • I think you had better check you production figures on the Marlin 60 as opposed to a 10.22 in regards to how many are around. While I am a real Marlin fan and have been for more years than a lot of people have even been around, I would not advocate the model 60 for one big reason. It is a tube magazine and I have had two tube magazine weapons that ended up with damaged (like bent) tubes rendering them usable as only a single shot. The 60 platform has many models including the 70 Papoose. Most of the other models have the one thing in common. They utilize a box detachable magazine which is far more desireable in my mind since I and most people will likely have several on hand ensuring you still have a repeating rifle. My own personal favorite is my 995 and it is only just one of the many of those types I have had. I even had one that was a 989m2 that had a tube magazine in the buttstock which was highly unusual for a Marlin. I also had its brother the 989m1 which had a box magazine. I guess I will stay with them since they are a proven quality after these many years Marlin has been in business and while Ruger is a good firearm they have not been around nearly as long as Marlin has. I had a model 1887 pump in .25 stevens rimfire that had a bent tubular magazine when I returned from overseas service (thanks to my younger brother) but since ammunition was no longer available for it it was just a decoration anyway.

      • I’m with Harold on this one. My dad still has his Remington Fieldmaster 572 with the tube magazine. I’m still pushing him to pick up something with a detachable magazine.

        • Repairing a magazine tube on a twelve gauge shotgun using an expanding mandrel is a whole lot easier than doing the same thing on a 22. I replaced the one I had on a Winchester 22 since I could buy spare parts but it is still a bigger job than I would want to undertake in field conditions. I have tried some of the different magazines available for the Marlin and my results were as follows. The plastic 25 round magazine only permitted my sons to blaze through my ammunition that much quicker since they ignored marksmanship in favor of hosing everything down and heating up my rifle. Thank goodness it shattered in extremely cold weather. The 15 round magazines from National were junk, made from tin and did not fit properly and only two of the four were even the same dimensions. They also had consistent feeding problems. The stock 7 round magazines from Marlin worked just fine but I am a fierce proponent of the 4 well aimed rounds in the same spot to ensure a guaranteed kill and that left me with only three rounds in reserve. I ended up with the later model 10 round nickle plated Marlin magazines which are my personal favorites because I still have a couple of rounds in reserve after a double application of four in the same spot philosophy, they are still short enough so I can use a prone position, they have proven to feed flawlessly after repeated statements from various authorities that they would not work in my pre hold the bolt open after last shot Marlin and after running eight hundred rounds (a brick of the Filipino Eagle ammo) flawlessly through four of the magazines, I purchased another batch of them from cheaper than dirt on their special sale. The only thing I found wrong with them is it is much easier to load all ten rounds if you first exercise the magazine spring by depressing it all the way to the bottom several times before you try loading them. I guess I will just stay with what I have from now on. Since this the only platform Marlin manufactures for a rimfire autoloader and since the problems with the magnum versions, which they dropped manufacturing, there are spare parts up the wahoo for these rifles. In the time I have owned this type of Marlin since I bought the first one in 1965, a bent extractor and a bent recoil spring and guide rod (both the results of a daughter’s idiot boyfriend), I have not had a failure of anything else on these rifles except the aforementioned magazines which were not of Marlin manufacture. I think that speaks pretty well for this firearm.

      • axelsteve says:

        I have a m60 (Marlin 60) and a 781 and a700 (big 5 private label gun) The 700 is mag fed and the other are tube feeds. I am not worried about bending a tube nor worried about losing a magazine for the 700.You can hyphotasize about anything and wind up doing nothing.If you like the Ruger buy the ruger. We are all big boys and girls and can get what we feel like.I am not going to get an ulcer if you go with iether.You can even get a poodleshooter and a 9mm and I am not going to lose any sleep.

  2. Since you ask:
    2 Ruger 10-22’s
    1 Henry Lever 22
    7 AR15’s (1 Para, 1 Bushy, & a Colt the rest I built)
    Savage 223, 30.06 & 308 Bolt guns
    M1 Garand
    FnFal
    Charles Daly & Savage Shotguns 12 GA
    Remington 870 20 Gauge
    Sharps 45-70
    2 Model 10’s
    1 Rossi .357 mag
    1 S&W 625 45
    8 semi auto 22 pistols
    2 9 mmM&P’s
    1 FNP9
    7 Browning HP’s
    10 1911’s (5 in 9mm & 5 in 45)
    Since we went heavy on A’s and 1911’s we maintain an inventory of springs parts for both platforms

    • riverrider says:

      d, you must be one of those arm-the-whole-brigade guys jason was talking about:) just funning,lol. nice group. i have a lot of the same.

    • village idiot says:

      Wow! However, I think the author was on a budget, The Duck. You’re not. Nice collection, though.

      • Well it didn’t happen overnight, some of those I have owned 23 years

        • Old Hillbilly says:

          I use to own a gun but lost it in a boating accident.

        • village idiot says:

          Yeah, you have what I call a dream battery, Duck. There’s just about everything in there a guy could want. I see it has been a work of a lifetime. Great job!

        • Thats one thing I like about being a Redneck , you have generations of firearm enthusiasts , and many get handed down to you without you having to spend a penny on the gun itself ;) . Thats how I got my Garand , My dad was in WW2 .

    • duck (or is it JF?),
      Nice selection of firearms, which covers pretty much the whole gambit. Your list reminds me that I need a few more in 7.62 myself.

    • "Big Jim" says:

      Not only do you have a nice collection , you moved up the ” Big
      Brother’s Watching List ” ! Stash what you can , and lie about the rest ! No Offense meant, just not my way to divulge what I
      have in my possession ! OPSEC rules….?

    • L.A. Mike says:

      Well, so much for OPSEC……… Nice collection though

  3. 12 gauge 835 ultra-mag.
    S &W .357 revolver
    Taurus .45 cal. 12+1
    Sig Sauer 5.56
    .308 Browning B.L.R
    30-06 Remington semi-auto
    .270 Remington pump
    .22 Marlin 60
    Blow gun
    Air rifle
    Hoyt bows

    Coming soon:
    2-40 cal. Taurus Pistols

    For a family of three, I feel we have enough.
    Have thousands of rounds for the Sig and .22
    Several hundred rounds for all the rest and growing a little bigger every week.

  4. riverrider says:

    jason, good job. thought you said you weren’t a gun guy:) i have a few taurus’ but i don’t know that i’d rely on them solely. if you shop around you can find glock 17’s for about the same money. i never liked them but have to tip my hat to their reliability. i like your marlin, more accurate/dependable out of the box. i have a 10/22 just because its gotten so common and reloading is easier on the run with its mag. don’t let anybody fool you, 22 is deadly on people too. just ask the kids in ohio. i’d toss in a good 22 pistol too. you are tracking well when suggesting getting the shotgun first. most folks think they’ll be engaging bad guys at 1000 yards, but it’ll likey be a few feet to 100 yards, well withing shotgun range. if order is ever restored, those that shot people from much over that will have some explaining to do. ….slingshot, i’ve blown that off until now. not that i’m accurate enough to hit a wabbit, but as a not-so- lethal use of force it has real possibilities. say you want to send a squatter packing. some folks just stand there when threatened with a gun. i bet a couple of shots from the slingshot would send them down the road…..i’m sure some folks will troubleshoot you, don’t let them get to you. opinions are like buttholes, everybody has at least one:) sic semper tyrannus.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      Thanks RR :). I don’t mind the critiques, I just hope not to get any “hey stupid, why don’t you dump the nines and replace them with M-60’s??” nonsense. I like the idea of the slingshot for squatters, hadn’t considered that angle. Incidentally, you see where McDonnell repealed the one handgun a month law? Startingto actually like this state a little more…shame to leave it soon….

      • riverrider says:

        tf, yeah on the gov, but then they do something stupid like try n tell a woman what she can do w/ her own body. any married man can tell you thats not gonna fly:) i won’t be able to make the gunshow after all. btw, we hate to see you leave us too. its getting like kali, too many good ones leaving, too many jerks coming.

        • Tinfoil Hat says:

          Dang it! I’d just finished making excuses to the STBDW as to why I needed to go to Richmond tomorrow. Bah! Next time then :)

          • riverrider says:

            tfh, darn now i’m REALLY disappointed. i didn’t think you were going:( and my bud called from the lot. they had what i was going for after all. they were packed, he said. we got the little grandmonster this weekend unexpectedly and sunday is spousal appreciation day here:)

            • Tinfoil Hat says:

              Now that does stink! Cause here in the southeast corner, tomorrow is set as another cold rainy day, and I don’t want to be stuck in the house all day! It’d have been fun… :(

            • riverrider says:

              tfh, well we could do lunch somewhere halfway or something, another day. i’m “retired” so i can make my own schedule. i know you’re a busy guy so just let me know.

            • riverrider says:

              tfh, i went to odu, trained at SMR a bunch.

            • Tinfoil Hat says:

              RR

              Got the masters degree from ODU! Live +/- 25 mins away! A Hokie at heart (undergraduate there), but still have some affection for The Monarchs….

      • Tin, I love sling shots and have one in my BOB, GHB, hiking pack and in my bed room for the opossums.

        We used them in Somalia on protesters when reporters were around so we didn’t have to use less than lethal shotgun loads. Nothing like watching someone drop to the ground in pain and no one heard anything. They run thinking we had silencers.

        As for the M60, I’m not carrying it! Lol

        River is right, the average LE sniper shot it within 70 yards. Just under the 100 mark. That was from a book on LE snipers I read.

        • riverrider says:

          j, toting the 60, bad memories. they always gave it to me, the little guy. sometimes that AND the prc77. i was gung ho(chinese word for stupid) enough to try it. sarge said that way, it kept the pace nice and slow so we wouldn’t rush into an ambush. i think they just got a kick outta my skinny butt toiling up n down those damn hills loaded like a pack mule. i did love that ol’ m60 though. when 60’s talking everybody listening:) good times, good times….

          • cosmolined says:

            riverrider:
            Just the battery for the PRC-77 put me into a hurt. Humping the 60 is in a class by itself Sir!, Cos
            (It’s 23 pounds of mean for folks who don’t know, without an ammo belt!) Disclaimer: that was 40 years ago, the weight may be off a bit…

            • riverrider says:

              cos, about right on the weight, and i was MUCH more man back then, even though i weigh much more now:) it would truly kick my but these days. they dropped us on the wrong lz. had to hump 15 clicks to get to the sp for a 13 click recon. a recon by foot is supposed to be one or 2 clicks a day max. they called it recon-by-fire. i called it recon-by-target.

          • RR- you carried that PRiCk 77 AND the M60? Remind me to get some exercise tips from you.. damn… and the basic loadout for the 60 was what- 500?- and whatever else you felt like packing… and your secondary carried his loadout and another for you…

            • riverrider says:

              jsw, i learned real quick to pawn the extra ammo and batts of on the new guys. i loaded a 50 round or so starter belt(think we called it a pigtail). the new guys knew to run straight for me w/ the ammo. i didn’t do it long, made team leader then squad leader quick. like i said, it would kill me now.

          • River and cosmo, I carried the Prick PRC 77 in 91-92. That’s wasn’t bad but when you had to add the crypto gear and extra batteries wore out my knees. I carried it during the LA riots, mountain warfare school, Panama and a deployment.
            Fun thing was being able to detonate bangalore torpedo’s with them to clear triple strand and tangle foot.

            • riverrider says:

              j, i liked the fact that i could call for fire or medvac myself if the leader couldn’t get his crap together. thats the only reason i agreed to tote it. guess i’m a bit of a control freak.

      • axelsteve says:

        I call my marlin 60 a m60 sometimes.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      I too like the Glocks for reliability and ease of servicing. Every part can be removed and/or replaced with nothing but a small nail or Glock tool. I carried a Glock as an LEO for the last ten years and it never let me down.

    • LMAO- I ain’t even gonna get into the 1000 yard .22 thing again- two posts in a week… LOL, not a chance!
      Wait- I haven’t read all the posts yet. I just may change my mind…brb…

  5. Tinfoil Hat says:

    Duck

    Thanks very much for your thoughts and feedback. Adding a .06 to the armory may not be a bad idea, especially for the possibility of longer engagements. As for the Bushmaster, I really think that, for what it is, it is a more than fair price for an AR-15. I don’t know that the price is all that inflated because of Bushmasters name on it, as compared to other similar models.
    I waffled quite a bit on the Ruger/Marlin .22 debate for a while, and so it naturally came down to a firing test. After putting about 10 rounds of Winchester through the Ruger, I started getting FTE’s almost every other shot, whereas the Marlin fired without incident. It may have been a matter of bad luck with that particular Ruger, but that was that for me.
    The Taurus’, well, what can I say? I’ve had them several years and lots of rounds, and have never had an issue with any of them. I’ve not heard anything negative about them (other than being made in Brazil), but then again, I wouldn’t expect to, I’m not a gun guy lol. There seem to be ample supply of magazines and parts at the limited amount of gun shows I attend in my area, for whatever that’s worth.
    And the Glock, well, IMHO (emphasis HUMBLE), Glocks may not be overrated per se, but they are most definitely overpriced.

    SN: Anyone else smell a rat in the room with TDL, as far as thinking that the tragedy in the Ohio school shooting is JUST what he’s been waiting for to push his anti-gun agenda to the forefront? The media is doing a MARVELOUS job in pointing out every chance they get that the gun used was purchased legally…

    • riverrider says:

      tfh, i’ll be at the richmond gunshow saturday a.m., old school army pt tshirt/ jeans. hope to link up.

    • Like I said I’m not a Glock fan ether, I owned one for about 2 months once, and I have fired a lot of them, used they are reasonable, as far as plastic guns go I perfer the M&P series.
      I own one bushmaster, which blew the plunger tube and spring first time out, but overall they make a decent firearm.
      One thing with 22lr they are picky as to load when you find a brand your gun likes stock up.
      Once did a Women in the Outdoors pistol class, the sponser gave us 2 bricks of Federal, all 6 of our Browning Buckmarks choked, switch back to Remington, and all six guns ran fine.
      Hey if your Taurus’s work ,great, stock up on magazines and you should be fine.

      • dabucnut says:

        WTF is a “plunger tube?”

        • dabucnut….

          Ditto ????????????????????

          He must mean gas piston.

          • Sorry, for confusion
            Buffer retainer and spring, the buffer tube did not trap it, and it came out sometime in firing the first magazine, as I recall we had to remove the stock and buffer tube to get it apart. The only Gas Piston AR I have is a PARA TTR

    • riverrider says:

      tfh, no he’s gathering the storm already. the police shootings ,several with ak47’s, are going to be the focus. the day after the “election” , it’ll be on, if we even make it to the election. time to pay his pipers. personally i don’t think we’ll even get to vote, not that it counts anyway. on a dif subject, local officials are chomping at the bit to get the drones. they want to look for illegal gardens, chicken coops, unregistered pools and untaxed building improvements. gataca, gataca,gataca!

      • River and tfh, we just had a bank robbery the other day where the suspect used an AK and funny it got little press, it was more about the officer driving to the hospital after being hit and the guy got away with no money, he dropped it having to level the rifle on the officer shooting at him (suspect had body armor).

        FBI stats prove almost all or majority of bank robberies (don’t have numbers) don’t involve a firearm, just a note saying they have one.

    • Tin Foil….
      My understanding….Berreta made the Model 92 for the Brazilian military. When the contract was up, Berreta closed shop and went home. Tauras bought the factory, together with all the tooling. Those folks (Brazil) aren’t slouches anyway and using the original Berreta tooling (and personnel) they have made the 92 (at least) one fine weapon. I’ve had one for about three years now and it’s not hicupped even once! Can’t speak to their other offerings but am inclined to think they are all pretty descent!

      • riverrider says:

        hawkeye, roger on the 92, and ditto for their revolvers. s&w sold the plant after the contract was done. i like taurus a lot, and have a long history with them. my new taurus hasn’t faired so well in just a small amount of usage, so i won’t bet my life on it. the older ones seem to have better steel and fit/function in my experience. i’m keeping my t’s, and adding r’s.

    • The thing about .22’s is they are the absolute worst caliber when it comes to ammo-function reliability. Some will eat anything you can feed them, others will function with one or two brands, some only one brand.
      That said, I’ve never had a problem with either my Marlin or Rugers using CCi or Federal Hi Power loads- not the standard velocity rounds. I have had problems using Remington in all my .22’s, even the Remington. But my brother’s Remington won’t fire anything but Remington ammo, any velocity/power. Heck, it even jams with CCI minimags!
      On the FTE, my Remington 597 loves doing that after about ten rounds with any standard velocity ammo. Feed it Hi-Vel loads and it’s happy as a lark.
      Taurus… those people make fine automatics from what I hear. My only experience with them has been revolvers, .357 caliber. Don’t buy one is the best I can say about those. The problem I had- consistently, even after returning to shop- was the cylinder spur: it’s too small/fine for reliable rotation, IMO. I love the size of the Ruger spur- a monster of reliability- and the Colt’s is somewhat between the two.
      As an aside, of the three revolvers I’ve owned, the only one that’s never been to the shop for a ‘fine tuning’ is the Ruger. It’s never failed to fire thousands of rounds.
      On the ‘M’60 and 10-22 debate, I doubt you’ll find any better than those two for the price. The biggest selling point for Ruger is the gazillion after-market thingamabobs you can do to it. And if you don’t want an ‘M’60 with tube feed, get the magazine model- 695, I think it is.

    • Sharpie says:

      Hey, what kind of Winchester were you using? I have used 555 whitebox, M22 Black Box (Newer stuff) and Wildcats, and never had a problem, well, I did have a few Fail-to-fires with the M22. but the other stuff works flawlessly through my 10/22 and the M60 (<First Rifle)

    • I’ve had trouble with Winchester ammo in my 10/22 as well. I bought about a half dozen different brands of ammo when i first bought the gun, and the Winchester is the only one to FTE. And it does it every single round.

      As a side note, before I had a chance to take the gun to the range and test it out, I kept a mag loaded with the Winchester ammo in case of emergency. Since it was one of the more expensive brands I bought, I expected it would be the best. I’m glad I tested everything out, because if an emergency happened and that 10/22 was the only thing I had to protect me, I would have gotten off one shot before I ran into problems.

      Remember to test your gear and your plans, so you can correct problems before they are life-threatening.

  6. Regardless of the particulars (Taurus vs Ruger, etc), this was certainly one of the best written and most common sense posts I’ve ever read on this blog. Well done. And even tho it will not contribute at all to your survival unless you intend to write for a living (and your writing is such that you probably could), check out “there vs their” and “your vs you’re”. ;-) We just sound more credible when we use correct wording. Thanks very much for the post. Obviously a lot of thought went into it and it was very helpful and practical.

  7. JP in MT says:

    Good selection, better reasoning. Of course, my basic armory is different, but that’s due to different tastes, rather than anything wrong with your selections.

  8. Worrisome says:

    What this brings to us non gun commoners that have something but not necessarily the best something is a good directional target! Thanks for this article! Very helpful!

  9. I asked my dh for an Abrams and he said, “No”. Maybe he will let me have a T-34. Anyone know where I can get one?

    • riverrider says:

      gayle, camp blanding florida:) but a t-72 would be closer to an abrams. i think they might have one of those too.

      • RR,

        Aha! That’s only a hop, skip and jump for me. :)

      • recoveringidiot says:

        RR, I shot some HP matches at Camp Blanding in the early 90’s. Good bunch of folks there running the matches. Used to call the first one the snowbird special or something like that.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Putin’s Used Tank Emporium
      {No credit checks}

      All T-34s now reduced to clear the lot for the T-54/55s!
      No reasonable offer refused, Comrade.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Gayle,

      Talk to the Russian Embassy. My understanding is they never throw anything away — it just sits in tank parks and armories until it rusts away, gets consumed for spare parts, or someone buys it. (rumor has it, the Soviets still had muzzle-loading cannon from the Napoleonic Wars (1805-1815 for them) parked in some out of the way armories right up until the 1970’s — when they trotted them out to make the Russian movie version of War and Peace (10 hours long, it was, and one of the best movies ever made).

      Anyway, if you’re in the market, start with them — they were still selling them to the Arabs right up to 1967, though it may be the T-34/85 model…. :-)

      • riverrider says:

        LOL, when a young grunt we feared the t72 most of all, but thought we could handle them. little did we know. i saw footage on PBS the other day of a feild in siberia, tanks lined up side by side, front to back, as far as the eye could see from a helo at 3000 feet!!! if i’d known that , i’d caught the first plane home. we didn’t even have enough nukes to burn all those, and the commentator said this was but one of many park sites for the commies. we don’t know how close we came to speaking russian.

    • Gayle, do a search on google lol.

      Cheaper option may be a cannon shooting cement filled aluminum cans lol maybe hit a snake with that lol.

      • riverrider says:

        j, looked into that. can be done not too expensively. i planned on getting one w/ my tax refund this year, but that turned into a tax bill instead:( someday i WILL have artillery.

        • Crrrock says:

          if you look up “potato canon” on Utube, a quick look will find a guy in Sweden (I think) firing cans filled with gasoline (in a plastic bag). On impact the bag erupts and a fireball ensues. Some practise shots for ‘ranging’ trajectory could see you keeping the Zombies at bay from several hundred metres.
          just sayin’
          Mike
          in Oz

    • Funny you should mention Abrams… one of my neighbors is a collector and has a Sherman he fires every July Fourth. It’s a wonder the gestapo let him get away with it. I’m just going to have to get some pix of it this year.

  10. village idiot says:

    Jason, I’m not a fan of Taurus semi-autos, but I do like their revolvers. The semis are a bit complicated for me, going from double action to single action, and I don’t like that. I also think an air rifle is a good idea for a survival battery. Even one on a budget. I poked around on the internet and came up with these suggestions for a survival battery on a budget. You said you wanted our ideas. Hoo boy, you know you will get them on guns. I did a quick check on the internet, and this is what I like for survival guns pretty cheap.

    Mosin-Nagant-$130.00
    Ruger Mini-14-$500.00
    Rem. 870-$329.00
    Ruger 10-22-$150.00
    Taurus .357 magnum-$420.00
    Glock 9mm-$500.00
    Gamo air rifle-$100.00
    Wrist Rocket-$15.00
    Bowie Knife-$20.00

    My suggestions came in at $2164.00. Not bad, i guess, and neither is yours. Every person has different ideas. The guns I listed are not the best when it comes to finishes, accessories, etc. But they would get you by. I would add a tactical barrel and magazine extension to the shotgun, and I would like a Colt-style 1911, but that would bust the budget. One thing to remember for everybody, your life might depend on your firearm, I would spend a little more. No amount of food and supplies will do you any good if you can’t protect them. And who would want to die, or have a family member die, because you went on the cheap when you bought your guns. My .02.

    • I wish I could find a Mini 14 for $500… well, a Mini 30 preferably… that price hasn’t been available around here for twenty years. The last gunshow I went to, the M-N’s were going for $3-400, depending on quality. Even the junker Argentine Mausers were going for $400, but a couple of those were carbine, so that may account for it. Though I’ve seen the Taurus Tracker .357 for $350.
      Dang, it’s amazing what ‘location-location-location’ can do for prices!

  11. axelsteve says:

    I liked the article. I used to remember the car 15 in the old survivalist series books by Jerry Ahern. I always did like the idea of a car.I own both the 10/22 and Marlin and if I had to sell iether it would be the Ruger.The Marlin is more of an adult real rifle,the Ruger has its place but if just one its by by Ruger.I know they make more trinkets for the Ruger and all that.My son has a good m38 Mosin and it has its place. There will be a 06 soon in my arsenal over the 308 because there are elk in my area and a 308 is kinda a poodleshooter round for elk.A 06 is s bit light for elk but doable.The taurus is an ok gun.My dads 357 mag Taures rear sight fell off wich turned out to be a common problem for them then.A missing rear sight does not stop it from going bang though.

    • A couple drops of LocTite on that sight, once adjusted, will solve that problem.
      I’m not an elk hunter, so I don’t know, but is an ’06 a preferred round for them comapred to .308? Moose hunters commonly use .308 here. (Though one BIL won’t use anything less than ’06 for anything, even antelope.)

      • axelsteve says:

        Jsw. there is some young elk in my area that a 308 might do the job ….if you know what you are doing and are able to get a perfect shot.I doubt all those things would occur at least not for me. A 06 would be preferred over a 308 for elk.

  12. Very good article, here’s my take.

    Sling shot, got one and practicing with it a lot. Rabbits, doves, and varmints beware.

    Someone mentioned a bow and arrows. On my list to get. I was pretty good with it as a kid. Larger game at further distance and it’s again quite like a sling shot.

    Small gun is the ruger 10/22. Easy to handle, reliable, cheap, and a 25 round mag. Can easily be modified to your hearts and wallets content. Sportsmans guide even has a old style German tripod base and 50 round mag to make it look and act like an old machine gun!

    Shotgun, 870, check. I’ve added a stoeger double barrel coach gun for by the bed. My wife can shoot it from the hip better that the 870, which she can barely lift. Maybe a 410 would be better for her, but most varmints seeing a double barrel on her hip will likely skedaddle.

    223, I when again with the ruger line with a mini-14. Much cheaper then any of the ar variants. Very reliable, shoots very good, lots of parts and mods available, and not as mean looking (wife again). My wife can shoot this one well too. When going through the woods you won’t attract as much attention of the local law as an ar. I know there has been some discussion as to ammo problems with this rifle. I’ve never had any problems with wolf brand, AFTER it was broken in properly.

    Now I spent some money on the big guns. A Springfield M1a1 with a good scope. Long distance, the next best thing to being there. The goal here is hunting and making the mob look elsewhere. If I can engage a mob armed with 223’s past their effective range, most will turn away to hunt easier victims. If not I can thin them out. If they get closer then out comes the socom 16 for close in urban heavy hitting. Remember my wife will have the 223. I wanted something that will punch through cover better.

    Short guns, 1911, for me. Bursa 380 for her as well as one for my pocket gun.

    Ken

    • Hawkeye says:

      Ken….
      Man after my own heart…up and down the line!

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      Ken

      That’s a nice list of weapons there…I like how you’ve thought our the reasoning for each specific one. That’s what I tried to do as well. I didn’t want to just throw money away on a gun because it was bigger or “better”. Each of them has to work for our own needs.

  13. Jason, thanks for a very good post and some great perspectives. I have never heard of having a lesser cartridge for carry outside of the home and a bigger cartridge in the home. This shows the importance of knowing your own area and it’s laws and even idiosyncracies. Around here no one really likes to make a list of their battery public when there is a democrat in the Whitehouse, but most folks have within reach enough firepower to “start a South American Revolution” (to quote a Federal judge).

  14. I always thought an air rifle as a joke till I tried my neighbors. I was quite impressed with it. I liked how quiet it was and it punched through a 1 inch piece of wood at 100 yards. I also like that it had very little recoil. He has a high end model and it’s priced online at over 1,000 bucks. I didn’t like the price though. I could purchase several 20 gauge shotguns for that price. (can’t handle the recoil on a 12 gauge).

  15. ArteMouse (Nor Cal) says:

    Witty, articulate and informative… Excellent article. Went a slightly different path myself (I’m a 7.62 fan), but good choices. Gotta agree with the Ruger 10-22 suggestion. Lots of ‘em around and you can’t beat the mods. or availability. Again… excellent article, fun to read.

  16. Plant Lady says:

    Gun Guys & Gals: HELP, please?
    Don’t know much about guns except how to shoot – and love shooting. Tomorrow we are going “Glocking” (hehe), weather permitting (winter storm warning in place). Local gun range (well, 50 miles away is local here) is having “Glock Days”, where Glock brings a bunch of guns for folks to shoot, for just the cost of ammo. And they offer a couple chances to win a Glock – and I am pretty lucky (already won a Mossberg .410 from the VFW). We don’t have any handguns yet – haven’t wanted to get our names on a list…but with the way things are going, I think it is time! And the timing of this opportunity seems a bit providential…just happen to have enough cash on hand if I change priorities (again) and get a Glock instead of an Excalibur dehydrator and cheese press. Had planned to get the dehydrator last month, but was waiting to get their newsletter with a coupon in it. The cheese press was to be March’s prep purchase. Seems a bit woo-woo spooky that the money set aside for those just happens to equal the cost of a Glock, holster and cleaning kit…maybe God is trying to tell me something? And I could improvise a dehydrator and cheese press if needed…that would be pretty hard to do with a handgun (hehe).
    Can you all help me pick out a Glock, holster and accessories? Hubby is 6’6″, I am 5’11” and my hands are as big as my husband’s – men’s XL/XXL glove size. I like big caliber guns and enjoy shooting my brother’s Desert Eagle .357 and his 300 Weatherby. Leaning toward a .45 for the deterrence factor, stopping ability and it seems most folks around here have .45s. Plan on shooting every gun they offer to see what I like best – but with my lack of experience, what I like best may not be the best choice. Want to buy at least the first one locally – for local support – if their price isn’t too high. They are offering:
    Glock 21 short frame .45 ACP 4.6″ barrel, 13 round for $539
    Glock 21 .45 Auto 4.6″ barrel, 13 round for $539
    Are these prices reasonable?
    Didn’t have enough time this week to do much research, as MIL had two strokes.
    Would greatly appreciate any guidance anyone could offer. Especially on ammo…good heavens, so many choices!

    • riverrider says:

      pl, i’d say they were good prices for new guns. you have to be comfortable whatever your choice. nobody can tell you what that would be, however those are very fine guns. many that start out with 9mm glocks trade up to the 45, as have many police departments, around here at least. it should be an easy round to find. natchez shooter supply has a sale on 45 ammo that can’t be beat. jm2c.

      • Plant Lady says:

        Thanks, riverrider! I bought a 21 today, the full size one. I am so excited I can hardly sit still! Glock hosting these “Glock Days” events has to be the greatest marketing idea ever. Glock brought about 17 different guns – you just pointed to which one you wanted to shoot, they laid it in line on the table then the range guy came and got you and the gun and off we went to shoot. I had planned to shoot all the guns, but we shot the 21 first then the smaller framed .45, then tried the 21 again and didn’t even bother with the rest, since they were getting real busy by then. And the 21 fit us perfectly – the smaller one was too small and sort of flopped around in our hands. Of the last 10 rounds I shot, 7 went through the same 1.5″ hole!!! That apparently really impressed my range guy – I was really bummed that 3 didn’t! He took my target around and showed the other guys. In all fairness, the targets were really big and really close (hehe). I could have brought my gun home today if I had known how to do it beforehand and how easy it was! I had thought I had to apply for the permit during normal business hrs (Mon.-Fri.), then there was a waiting period, then after you bought you had to take the gun to the sheriff so they could shoot it in a tank to keep a record of the ballistic marks…but nope. Stopped at the Sheriff’s on the way home and they said come back after 6 pm (its Sat. night). Gave the deputy my drivers license and $5 and in 6 minutes he was back with my permit to buy. Gun shop is closed tomorrow so I can’t pick up the gun until Monday. Then all I have to do is drop off part of the permit at the Sheriff’s after the gun shop fills out the gun info. If I had known how easy it was I would have done this a LOT sooner…and a lot oftener (hehe). Going to get hubby one of the same after we save up some more $$$…since this one is MINE! The shop offers a 5 week class and they have a women’s night weekly – going to have to work something out with them as getting to regular classes while caring for MIL will be a trick.
        I think now I better look into buying an ammo factory…this is so much fun I might just need one just for me (hehe).
        Now if someone wanted to talk about the differences between and the benefits of both a .357 mag and 44. mag revolver, and which brand of each is recommended, I am all ears…

        • LOL, PLantLady– you’re getting into a touchy area with the .357-v-44 mag. My .09 is to go with the .357 for several reasons: controlability being a major one. Follow-up shots with a .357 will be faster, the ammo is more available and it will shoot .38s (I know the .44 will also shoot 44s- if you can find them). Too, the weight of a .44 is humongous. Often, a handgun must be fired with only one hand- and if you like your wrists, the .44 isn’t that handgun. Leave that for the Schwarzeneggers.
          The thought occurred to me that you may be looking for ‘the biggest “bang” for your buck’ in weapons, and that isn’t always wise.

          • Plant Lady says:

            JSW: Thanks so much for the info – exactly the sort of thing we need to know. But of course we want the “biggest bang” – doesn’t everyone? (hehe). Seriously, tho’, my husband and I are big people – he is 6’6″ and I am 5’11”. We “tried on” all the Glocks, and even the smaller .45 was too small for a good solid grip. And since this is our first handgun, wanted to get something that would make a definite impression, even if we only get one shot on target, rather than just make them mad. And think we want .357 or .44 mags as alternates because would like to have a couple revolvers and we have sizable wild boars starting to roam this area – enough that the DNR is asking folks to shoot them even without a license – and not sure if the .45 would stop a charge unless at point blank range. Would really rather be sure! Was involved in a beef butchering gone bad once. Gramps literally threw Granny to me as the stampede neared and I carried her behind a tree while Gramps grabbed some big guns (30.06, .308 & .300 weatherby)…luckily they were still loaded for moose. The deaf-mute butcher’s .22 was just p_ssing off the stampeding steers. Instead of one steer to process we ended up with 3 (that blew through new steel fence like it wasn’t there) before we got the rest turned aside and calmed down. After that I would much rather err on the side of “perhaps too big” rather than “probably too small”. And at this point, not worried about getting something small enough to conceal. Hubby can’t have one in his semi and with me caring for MIL the only time I get off the property is when I grocery shop once a week.
            May I bother you with some ammo questions? I need help with ammo…was price shopping at walmart today and I am mystified by all the choices. I think I get the basic difference between FMJ (full metal jacket/ball) and hollow point. But some of the ammo said .45 auto and some said .45 Colt – what is the difference? Is there a difference between hollow point and jacketed hollow point? And then there was the Remington .45 Colt that didn’t say either FMJ or HP or JHP – it just said lead round nose – what is that? They also had something called Remington UMC .45 auto metal case – what’s that? Is it safe to assume that something called TulAmmo (from Russia) .45 FMJ 230 gr. at 50/$14.97 is cheap junk and to be avoided? And do I need (and why) something called Federal Premium Hydra-Shok JHP…its much more expensive than the others and has a big hole in the top? Could you or someone just give me a hint as to what types I should get for what purpose in which brand…at least to start, until I can learn enough to wisely choose for myself? And what sort of percentage of each type should I keep in stock?
            Ok, I will save the next 100 questions for next time (hehe).

            • Plant Lady- to answer your questions in order (hopefully)::: ;) But first, my ‘butchering beef story’- two of my brothers in law and I bought a herd (ok, three… ) of beef cattle- bulls. Kept them at one BILs place so they could play with the horses. Needless to say, bulls that ain’t dehorned and denutted don’t like horses on their turf. Or bears, for that matter. Ayway, they started goring some pretty spendy Arabian horses, so BIL says, “We get ridda them TOnite!”
              It was about the midle of January and 20 below. Bulls outside the barn, couldn’t get them to go in. (Mistake #1)
              OK.good, we can solve that: we roped one with steel cable, attached to Farmall and dragged him into our ‘chute’ (two gates thrown up and wired). (Mistake #2)
              BILs are at the end of the gate with me on the tractor PTO frame with .357 Trooper. I winch the bull toward tractor: (mistake #3) Bull has different idea and he’s dragging me backwards into the chute… so BIL #1 yells, “Goose it!” and I load on the gas… bull gets kind’a miffed at sudden jerk so he decides it’s time to show these jerks how to play this game.
              He charges right at me, head down and horns big as oak trees looming close, hits the PTO with his head, one horn hooks the tire and spins the tractor around, giving everyone on the tractor- Moi!- a free ride to the ground. The cable broke when the tractor spun and the bull sees freedom now and takes off across the yard, bellowing and dragging about ten feet of cable, bucking his way to the open woods.
              BIL #1 screaming, “SHOOT HIM! SHOOT HIM!” so I unholstered the Trooper, took aim and fired. One .357 on the way. (mistake #4)
              OOPS.
              Bull swings head around, looks at me standing there with noise maker pointed at him, decides he doesn’t wanna play this game, and…
              “DAMMIT I SAID SHOOT HIM! CAN’T YOU HIT A DAMN BARN?” BIL is shouting and the bull’s coming.
              OK, decide I, enough of this foolishness… he thinks I can’t shoot this damn gun! and I take a knee (since they were wobbling like reeds in the water it won’t matter if I do) and take a good two hand Weaver kneeling pose… cock the hammer and shoot…
              Do you know what adrenaline will do to your aim? (mistake #5)
              And he keeps coming… about 50 yards and closing FAST!
              Well, I’ve got four shots left and work the trigger like I’m shooting an El Presidente match and even before the last shot is off, I’m jumping straight up, land two feet behind me, squatting on top the tractor tire… and the bull starts rolling like a bowling ball, the strike zone about ten feet from where I’d been kneeling.
              I reload (not as easy as it sounds with heavy gloves and parka on), and look at BILs… “Who can’t shoot?”
              They were laughing pretty hard.
              Anyway, I’d put my first round in his liver, the rest kind of went into hs head. He only had one ear left and half his nose and no lower jaw, and one had found the perfect circle between his eyes and stopped him.
              Moral is: Sometimes things just don’t work the way they’re s’posed to.
              Oh, ammo… .45 auto is for use ONLY in .45 automatics- handguns and rifle such as Thompson.
              .45 Colt is the cowboy style handgun, either single action (cowboy) or double action (Dirty Harry). The two cannot be inter-changed.
              The difference between ‘hollow point’ and ‘jacketed hollow point’ is the covering. A ‘hollow point’ may have the lead exposed, whereas a ‘JHP’ will have the entire bullet covered with a copper jacket. Really isn’t a lot of difference in how they react, just in how they may or may not put lead in your bore, as the Lead Round Nose will do: it’s just a lead bullet that looks like a bullet with a round nose. Especially good for steel competition since they flatten and don’t wreck the steel targets. Some people like LRN or LN for self defense, too- they work better than FMJ.
              .45 Rem Auto metal case is a .45 automatic load with a steel case with a brass wash- usually unreloadable.
              Actually, TulAmmo is pretty good stuff, from Russia as you note. It’s a steel case, therefore a reason it’s so cheap since they can’t be reloaded. Some guns, especially automatics, don’t like steel cased ammo, though most military weapons handle it well. I like it for its price, for sure, and my XDs have no problem with it- and it’s just used for competition since it is FMJ and will more than likely just go through a person and into the next county- unles someone else stops it.
              That Fed HydraShok is your self defense carry load. They’re spendy (as you noticed) but they’re made to stop inside an assailant and cause maximum damage. That big hole in it creates a hydraulic shock through the whole system, stopping quicker. Again, it’s two to the body and keep shooting til they drop even with this ammo.
              So, the TulAmmo is your practice stuff: it’s cheap and effective but not reloadable brass. In rifle calibers, it canbe found with HP, so it’s good for hunting, too.
              The HydraShok is your self defense every day/CCW carry .
              That bull? Well, he was shot with FMJ comp loads and they went a long way into his carcass. We found a couple in his lungs and liver.

            • The first two guns that I bought were 44 mags for hunting Texas hogs. A ruger redhawk revolver and a Henry bigboy rifle. Both can take down just about any critter out there and I only have to buy only type of ammo for both guns. The ruger can kick some, but I’m a big boy so no problem even when shooting a few rounds left handed. Hardly and kick from the Henry. Love the looks at the range when those guns thunder at the range!

        • village idiot says:

          If you live in bear country, get the .44 magnum. If not, the .357 will do. But remember, you can tone down the .44 mag by using the .44 special in it. As far as brand, the S&W, the Ruger, or the Taurus will serve you well. I have a S&W Model 629.

          • Plant Lady says:

            Village Idiot: We do live in bear country, but we only have black bears. They don’t bother anyone unless you startle them or accidentally get between a mamma and her cubs. It is the wild boars I am worried about…they are big and cranky and smart…and fast.
            I did a lot of reading last night…found a page that lists ammo types and tells what the abbreviations mean (http://arizonagunlist.com/ammunition_types.html) and what happens to that type of round upon impact. Holy cow…I was confused enough just trying to figure out which of the 9 types at Walmart I should get…then I find out there are LOTS more types! And then it is said I can use .38 in a .357 and .44 special in a .44 mag. And everywhere I am reading says that even “identical” guns can prefer different types and brands of ammo…I don’t get that at all. How can that be, with the guns and ammo being mass produced? I could see it if the guns and ammo were hand-made, so each was just a little different. Boy, I sure have a LOT to learn. I hope you folks in the know don’t mind me jumping into the gun conversations with newbie questions! If someone could recommend some basic books or magazines or gun-specific websites that cover the basics, I wouldn’t have to bother you guys with the simple stuff?

            • Plant Lady- when it comes to guns prefering certain brands/type of ammo, it’s usually how accurate the round is with that particular barrel. Kind of like you having two kids and one likes beans the other prefers corn- just a matter of ‘taste’. Some vehicle engines are the same, prefering a certain brand/type of fuel to run at optimum performance.
              You mention hand-made, and that is the best way to determine what your weapon prefers. Those ‘tailor made’ rounds will make your weapon sing best. The trick there is finding the right combination of bullet/powder/primer/case… it gets finicky and is a whole new world for the shooter looking to have the best round.
              There are some good sites for learning the basics of the gun culture, and one of the best for rifles is http://www.SnipersHide.com and for the .22 you can check out http://www.RimfireCentral.com and for handguns, you can always find something interesting at http://www.kyledefoor.com , but he’s more into the martial art form of guns. Videos and books you can check out are any of the Kelly McCann or Gabe Suarez gunfighting vids/books. Art of the Rifle is another good site for long guns, and they get into using handguns as well. Those should do for a start.

    • Those prices look pretty good for new G21’s, at least where I am in central NC. For what it’s worth, I’ve got small hands for a man and had no trouble with the regular G21. My best advice is to shoot everything they offer then buy the one you shoot the best, just stick with a common caliber 9mm, 40, 45.
      You may also find better pricing by going used or looking for police trade-ins, check places like CDNN Sports and Armslist online.

      • Lloyd P says:

        Those prices look acceptable for new. You can keep your eyes open for used as there are a lot of Glocks out there. If you want to save a bit on a new Glock you can also join the Glock Sport Shooting Assn and you are eligable to purchase one Glock per year at a very good discount http://gssfonline.com/ I would go with the SF on any of the .45 ACPs or 10mms as they really feel better in most peoples hands. You might take a look at http://www.armslist.com/ for your state, it is an on line classified for private sale firearms as you can find good deals for guns and ammo by watching.

        • Plant Lady says:

          Lloyd P. Thanks for the info on the gssf. They had about 20 folks at the range shooting the first of 3 matches over the next couple months. I had wanted to shoot with them, because if you shot in 2 of the 3 matches you were entered in another drawing for a Glock and other prizes. But they said they were all gssf folks and you had to have your own gun to shoot. Drat!

      • Plant Lady says:

        Xarbo: Thanks for the info! I need to learn a lot more before I will be able to judge if a used gun is “good” or not…but I will be learning as fast as I can! I did get the 21 today – see my reply to riverrider.

        • riverrider says:

          congrats plant lady! and don’t worry, the targets will be real big and real close in the real world too:) great shooting by the way.

          • Plant Lady says:

            Thanks, riverrider! I do love to shoot, but am so sadly lacking on the technical side…but I will learn! I grew up shooting then in the Air Force after our first range day they decided to make me a full-time shooter. After that I spent all my time in basic at the range until some other guys came and took me away from Gunny for something even more fun.

  17. MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

    Jason…thank you!! I agree: well written (with a few mis-uses of words) and simple enough for this non-weapon-knowledgeable person (me) to understand. Your approach is great for me.

    The most important part of your article for me was the opening 2 paragraphs. I am new to the idea of having a gun/weapon, and when I read a lot of posts (mostly elsewhere than on this blog), I am overwhelmed with the violent frame of mind of the authors. I want to and understand the importance of protecting myself and my family, but I’m not out to slay ‘all who I see’ as some put it. Thank you….thank you for stating what you did.

    And thank you for including the slingshot. I will be looking into one of those. I am into having all non-lethal means of defense possible. I have arthritis, so don’t know if I could actually use a slingshot, but I am going to go to Academy and try one. I envision a trespasser getting hit with a pebble/rock and not knowing what’s happening…kinda like spitballs in school. I know, I know…before everyone jumps all over me, I know that defense is serious. But perhaps diversion/distraction could be helpful as well. Please don’t beat me up over this. It is a real challenge for me to wrap my brain around using a gun.

    You don’t mention a bow/crossbow…not an option for you?

    Thanks again.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      I’m glad if the article was of any help to you! And no worries over your trepidation over the use of lethal force. It’s NEVER something to take lightly. Remember, the one you kill is dead and gone. You are the one who gets to go on thinking and analyzing the situation ad nauseum, and whether they completely deserved it or not, its a terrible thing to kill another human being. I suspect quite a few of the writers whos “violent frame of minds” you mention are either sadistic or have never pulled a trigger under duress anyways. Chairborne Rangers abound. I’m merely thankful that they don’t abound on MD’s site…

    • MTWoman- a bow is never a bad idea, especially when silence is desireable and ranges are close. The biggest problem with bows, even crossbows, is the learning curve. Also, a bow requires two hands and arms to use, so any injury will negate its use.

  18. Personally ( and within my “group” ) we have stayed away from “black guns”. Reason being those would be the first things “secured” by whomever is in charge at the time of SHTF. This is not to say that there is no place for them. I/we looked at cost vs benefit and went a different route.

    For the cost of 1 cheap “black rifle” we were able to purchase 4 well made and clean SKS rifles plus common spare parts for each. Yes there is a magazine capasity issue but that is easily and cheaply overcome. With practice stripper clips load VERY FAST.

    Personally I am a Baretta 9mm guy and fortunately so were many in my group. That is what we knew and trained with and that is what we focused on. Great gun and I have NEVER had an issue with mine and it has 1000s of rounds though it.

    A couple of good “deer rifles” serve many functions.

    I am a strong suporter of shotguns and have chosen it as my weapon whether it be defense or offense. Personal preference is just that. I happen to be a mossberg guy because that is what I know.

    10/22 is important and a “basic” for any gun safe. I have a Marlin but should have got a Ruger. I will be fixing that very soon.

    Sling shots are awesome and incompletely agree with you. There are some very interesting YouTube videos out there of guys who have not only shot ballbarings but also arrows to take down game up to coyote size. Getting hit with a well placed slingshot hit will hurt.

    As with anything training/tactics/practice is essential to survival and should be done with any and all tools ( including weapons and skill).

  19. Very good Idea’s for the prepper on the Budget, I however will NOT go into what I have except to say That by the time you realize what I have it will be to damn late to do anything about it.
    People let us remember to NOT be like some of those tool’s on Doomsday Prepper’s and let everyone know what we do have and what we don’t, If TSHTF you will be better off if people don’t have a clue about what precaution’s you and your family has taken to survive because you may then become a target, A good piece of advise is this,
    ” The less of a threat people think you are is a strength to have”

    • Yes, OPSEC is important and sometimes forgotten.

      • "Big Jim" says:

        Forgotten OPSEC is like losing 50% of the of all the work you’ve put in ! It doesn’t hurt to talk about what you might
        have , but think about the info your giving out to the wrong
        people . Not just the Wolfpack…sorry! Just Me !

        • No I agree whole heartly with you.
          These day’s nobody even know’s who the RIGHT or WRONG people are. The people you trusted 10 year’s ago may be the first one’s to stab you in the back in the future.
          I try to live what I call a “Quiet” life.
          The Bible say’s when you do something for someone ” Do not let your left hand know what your Right hand is doing”.
          In other word’s Keep it to yourself and when you have helped someone who does not know it and they come to tell you what the Good Lord has done for them then you can be happy and feel good for them and thankful that God has chosen you to answer someone’s prayer’s. Simularly when we prep for the unKnown who know’s mabey God has chosen you to help someone in the future and if everybody knows our business we may not be in the situation to help our ownselves let lone someone else

        • Tinfoil Hat says:

          BJ

          I definitely understand and can even agree with your assessmentof OPSEC with my article. I did spend some time thinking on it before I submitted it, and decided that, when I started prepping, I wish I would’ve had access to someone like me (not a gun guy), whos explanations wouldn’t be way over my head or interest level. It may have made some of my decisions on survival weapons to purchase easier, along with preventing some mistakes and inappropriately spent funds. I’ve gained a lot of knowledge from several folks on this blog who’ve sacrificed a bit of OPSEC to help members of the wolfpack. I want to try and give back whatever limited knowledge/perspective I can. I just sometimes feel like, if we are so concerned with OPSEC, why even talk to each other? I’m thankful MD has “blown OPSEC” (sarcasm) by telling us where/how he lives. If connecting to other folks who think and act and share the same values I do means Uncle Sam comes knocking for me a little sooner for exercising the rights God (not the Constitution, nor the politicians, nor the government, but GOD) gave me, well, at least I bought it in a shootout I was right in , and hopefully the wolfpack will say a prayer and have a beer for me when the nightly news comes on that day lol.

          • MtWoman (N Central Texas) says:

            Tinfoil Hat…Thank you for: “I just sometimes feel like, if we are so concerned with OPSEC, why even talk to each other?” Your article is such a great help…I am very grateful for it. And maybe I’m missing something, but how have you blown OPSEC? By listing what you have? Does anyone on here really know you and where you are…other than MD, if him even? I don’t. If you’ve blown OPSEC by sharing what you have, then we all have here. What can anyone really do with the information you’ve put out, unless they know how to get to you?

            I don’t understand this concern in this instance. My 20¢ worth anyway.

          • I understand And I have NO doubt that you helped some people that had the same questions as you did at one time
            ( I had the same questions long ago ).
            And the desire to help others is why we are all here, I did not write my comment’s to Chasten you, As a matter of fact I like your advice as well as your own personal suggestions they make perfect sense, Mabey what I should have said is keep your prep’s and descions close to you and those YOU KNOW you can trust.
            On this site it is ok as long as you do not reveal your address or name.
            But out where you live it’s best that only a select few that you can trust to keep silent know, If I offended I am sorry.

            • Tinfoil Hat says:

              Wayne

              You didn’t offend me at all, and certainly no apology is needed. :). I agree OPSEC is extremely important, and I don’t know what the folks on natgeo preppers are thinking, other than needing attention or something…? But whether I am or not, I like to think I’m safe here.

  20. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I won’t argue your choices of firearms because we all have our own preferences and budgets. I will say I think you need a few more knives though, try filleting a panfish with that bowie and see if you don’t change your mind. 8^) Adding a fillet knife, a small EDC folding stockman or muskrat and small sheath knife will not break the bank AND will likely curtail a lot of frustration. And add an air rifle while you are at it – small vermin killer / practice / trainer rifle extraordinairre.

    Good posts always stimulate great discussion. We don’t have to always agree – new perspectives teach us things!

    • Oh, I dunno, JR- I’ve fileted walleyes with a combat knife and done as good a job as with my filet knife. Really, when selecting a knife, one should desire something “small enough to skin a squirrel but large enough to skin an elephant” (my maxim when asked by a friend).

  21. Nice post for those who need 101.
    BUT a lot of people think they have to have a lot of guns in a lot of different calibers. If you like the 9 in a pistol then make the 9 your rifle also this way you only have to buy one caliber ammo instead of 3 or 4 different ones This will save you a lot of trouble if the people reloading for you don’t have to worry about it. Also some rifles and pistols take the same mag which is really sweet you’d know if you ever have to reload a mag with bullets flying. I preferr the S&W 40 cal all my pistols except 1 and all my rifles are in this caliber and most the mag’s are interchangable. As for the sling shot I’d rather shoot it and if your worried about noise get sub-sonic rounds and head shots.
    You were in the service and don’t know the difference between a 7.62 m14 and 5.56 m16? you must have been in the Chair Force lol.
    Tube feed 22’s are great until one jams with a mag rifle just pop out the clip and clear the chamber nothing like a 50 round drum on a 10/22
    I’m also not a rambo but I do try to learn and how to do a little of everything and at least know how to get myself out of a jam.
    As for the AR’s I think it’s mostly a macho thing they look and work really cool BUT your youth is behind you I choice a nice compact Carbine
    oh and one thing one post stated they had a couple hundred rounds each for the rest of their collection. not nearly enough even if your main has a couple of thousand. my 2 cents

    • Common ammo was the reason for my first guns, Henry 44 mag and a ruger redhawk 44 mag.

    • Several hundred rounds for all the rest and growing a little bigger every week.

      Its still a work in progress,I agree with you 100%.
      But I dont have the means to go out and buy a thousand 30-06,
      a thousand .270, .308 at one time.

      Just like food storage,it adds up over time.
      Im still farther ahead than your average American Idol watching American………

      • In a survival situation, I hardly doubt any fire-fight is going to cosume thousands of rounds.
        After a collapse.My family and I are going to lay low and AVOID a shoot-out,not go out and look for one.
        I have three locations to stock,Home,Retreat,and fall back wilderness bunker.
        Most people dont have that…..They might not be fully prepared with all the ammo and food needed.But like I said..Im still more prepared than the masses.

    • Hawkeye says:

      kelley…..
      Another opinion:
      9mm rifle? No such thing. Carbine…maybe. Not much of a pistol round in spite of it’s popularity and even worse as a “long gun”. Do yourself a favor….stick with the sling shot!

      ARs…”Macho thing”, “look cool”? The US military has lugged this thing for forty years +/- . Chances are, macho and cool had little to do with it?

      Just an opinion.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      Kelley

      Thank you for your thoughts. However, I know of no rifle chambered in .9mm. I didn’t say I didn’t know the difference between 5.56 and 7.62, I said I can’t explain the greater stopping power, meaning the physics of the length and the spin coming out of the barrell or that technical aspect of it. Everyone else reading apparently understood this comment. I suspect you did as well, but I suppose you felt the need to insult and patronize me to feel better about yourself? Not sure. And, having lugged an AR around everyday in the sandboxes of the world (on convoy duty), I can tell you that looking “macho” is considered only by the rambo wannabes I referenced early on in my article. Hence my choice of the Bushmaster, its composite parts make it lighter and easier to carry. Maybe you didn’t notice when I described it as LIGHT in caps…? I do not at all mind constructive mature critique, whether directed towards my grammar or my approach to the subject matter. Personal slights and patronizing remarks, however, are not welcome.

      • I used to own a drilling which is a double barreled shotgun with a rifle barrel under the twin tubes that was chambered in 9mm Parabellum with 16 gauge tubes. Unfortunately for me the doctor who delivered our third child wound up with it for his fees. There were even a few 9mm German shotguns floating around years ago. I saw my last one at a gun show in Hoopeston Illinois in 1959.

      • cosmolined says:

        Tinfoil Hat:
        That, Sir: was a very measured response. You are now on my A list of folks to read. Cos

    • Kelly, to insult him for not knowing the difference between the rounds shows you did not read correctly what he wrote. He stated the difference between ballistics ie velocity/penetration etc. Many in the military outside of infantry don’t know the difference. It would be recommended to reread before insulting someone. I could be inclined to stoop so low but won’t for incorrectly reading to post. The name calling of Chair Force is also uncalled for. My uncle a 2nd award ACE WW II and friends serving in the PJs would find that insulting.

      Many of us AR owners don’t own them because they are cool, the macho thing or youth. If we were looking at that we would buy a civilian semi auto BAR, M60 or Barrett M82A1.
      I own mine because it is light, easy to repair, parts are always available, I can disassemble/assemble in less than 4 minutes for trouble shooting, ammo is cheap, I can put an 18″, 20″ or 24″barrel on one lower platform as well as turn it into a 9mm carbine if I desire to by a simple insert and I can hit a body size target at 500 yards iron sights where most can’t do that with a 308 or 30-06 with a scope.

      I agree it is nice to have a carbine/hand gun combo but can point out that it won’t have the versatility of a rifle round among other issues if time permitted but won’t as I have recommended that many times.

      Also the 50 round magazines for the 10/22 fail faster than the 25/30 round magazines due to a slight defect in the design in carrying that many rounds fyi.

      This blog is for sharing knowledge and helping each other, not putting other down even if we disagree. Constructive criticism for your post.

    • Almost my exact thinking. Aside from commonality of rounds, I wonder how many will try to carry a handgun, 12 gauge, ‘M’BR and L-R rifle and appropraite ammo in quantities large enough to be of benefit.
      My only nit-pick is your choice of round, the Nine. The minimum I’d select is .357, but again- that’s me and we each have to make our selection based on our percieved scenario.

  22. I just test fired a Taurus Millennium PT111 in 9mm about 10 minutes ago, miss-fired first round and I found the light weight polymer pistol recoil rather abusive, (blunt force instrument?). Not un-manageable but a Glock 17/26 would be a much better choice including the easy availability of replacement parts and the modular ability to replace broken parts by even the layman. My experience with Taurus has not been good overall. Your mileage may vary.

    • One aspect of semi-autos that many forget to think about is the manner in which the weapon is gripped. Loose/limp wristed grip is one of the leading causes for FTF and FTE with semi-auto. (Not to say your problem was that, just a bit of history.) When shooting a semi-auto, especially the newer polymer framed weapons, the grip has to be ‘solid’ and the wrist ‘locked’. If not, the first round may go off, but the actuion may not cycle properly, causing a feed failure at least, and a FTF possibly.
      And those light-weight nines are no more fun to fire than a .44 mag, IMO. Better off with a snubbie .357 firing .38s.

  23. bulldog94 says:

    Thanks for the great info folks. A bow was on my list to get eventually but hadn’t much considered a slingshot. That kinda caught the wifey and i off guard but it makes perfect sense. Cheap light weight and free ammo where ever you look. Keep up the good work! Have a great weekend guys!

    • I love the bow idea, and the .22. Even the 9MM round… but I wonder over much about shooting a slingshot in the area I find Peter Wabbit here way too much brush and cover for the pellet/marble/BB to penetrate let alone hit the target. For birds, in my neck of the woods, a slingshot would be a bad choice. Just not enough power, even with the doubled sling I’ve tried.

  24. Gartersnk says:

    Good article. I have had great luck with 10/22s over the years, had several marlin 60 with problems – just goes to show any gun can be a lemon – my suggestion give anything your are going to depend on a very thorough test run, and keep the necessary spare parts on hand. I ran a gunshop for many years and sold alot of Taurus handguns and shot plenty myself – same advice as above – get mags and parts now – don’t wait until you need them. I would also recommend something in a 30 caliber – 308 ammo is military so surplus, albeit FMJ, is available, 3006 was military and there is still surplus out there, not as fresh as 308. Hunting loads for either are about the same price – stock up now – I have a synthetic stock, matte Remington 7400 3006 with a quality scope I bought very reasonable at Wal-Mart a few years back. I live where a longer range gun is useful for big game, your circumstances my vary, and a good slug barrel for an 870 will do the trick at reasonable ranges. Both are useful on heavier targets like vehicles as well. I bought a quantity of 3006 AP just for that contingency. Personally I have a Mossberg 835 synthetic with 2 barrels, got a great deal on it, but the 870 is a great choice as well. I have a 870 Express youth 20 gauge that fits my wife much better (she’s only 5’2″) and is easier to handle for smaller statured folks. I actually like it as a bird gun as well, toting a heavy 12 all day is not fun. The other option in a 30 cal, especially if your are trying to keep the quantity of guns down, is an AK-47 or SKS, both are the ultimate in reliability, and at reasonable ranges have acceptable accuracy. Surplus ammo is still readily available and relatively cheap. I have a Glock 40 S&W I carry as a primary handgun. Both the 9mms and 40s are readily available as used police turn-ins, high capacity magazines for both are plentiful now, but that may change. I choose the 40 because it sits in middle of the 9mm and 45, personal choice, whatever you feel comfortable with, and most importantly can shoot well with. The debate over caliber is the for the “gun-nuts” I know I was one for many years. Bottom line I wouldn’t want to be on the receiving end of any of them. I own a Ruger 357 that I’ve had for 30+ years too. Sometimes a revolver comes in handy and has some advantages, especially for new shooters, and 38 or 357 ammo is still readily available. That brings up a point not really touched on by previous posts. When it comes to buying another gun or ammo for guns I already own – I’d go with the ammo. I’ve had very large gun collections in the past but realistically a few will do for the basic needs but any are useless without ammo. I am surprised at how much ammo just keeps going up in price. With the current economic situation, cash doesn’t gain much, ammo can certainly be used to barter and has posted more of a gain than cash in the past decade. Again good article and enjoyed reading the comments so far, just my 2 cents worth.

    • One thing to keep in mind about Taurus is that the factory was originally owned by Beretta, and quite a few of their earlier guns (e.g., PT-92) were essentially Beretta clones.
      I agree on your comment about spending extra money on additional ammunition, but perhaps some of that money should be spent on training, and general practice. When in a stressful situation, one does not rise to the occasion, but drops to their highest level of training. Make sure that level is as high as you can get it.

      • gartersnk says:

        I shot ALOT of rounds through an early 90’s PT-92, never a bobble, can’t speak to newer production guns but that era autos and revolvers were quality

  25. MD, I really can’t express and opinion about most of what you mentioned except the Marlin 60. While to me anyway a Marline is preferable over a Ruger for a number of reasons, having had several rifles with tubular magazines winding up with dings, dents and bends in them reducing them to a single fire weapon, I feel much more comfortable with a box magazine Marlin. The 60 model series has a large number of variants including the model 70 Papoose which is a model 60 variant. I have had 989M1’s, box magazine 989m2’s tubular magazine in the buttstock, 60’s and my present favorite a 995. If I find one reasonable, I may wind up buying a stainless steel 795 but since I only gave ten bucks for the one I have when I bought 6 of them at an insurance auction in North Hollywood California in 1979 when the sprinklers went off in a warehouse and soaked everything. I dried mine out the stocks in the oven and the steel pieces under a heat lamp and then carefully lubricated and reassembled them. The only thing I have had to buy is one recoil spring damaged by my youngest daughter’s idiot boyfriend who did not know how to disassemble for reassemble it and was too wise to ask for help and the dozen or so ten round nickle plated magazines I have purchased. I am down to just the one left and having examined the other offerings ( a 10/22 is a nice weapon but too costly for me and too complicated) I will just stay happy with my Marlins. I have used Marlins since I was about ten years old when I got my first 1897 22 lever action so after 63 years of familiarity, I think I will just stick with the Marlin 995 or a stainless 795 if I find one cheap. One thing for sure, there will be a lot more plentiful supply of spares for them since the large number of variants using the same receiver and parts, just the magazines and barrels being different over the production years. The only variant other than that is the hold open after last round feature on the newer ones but the rest of the parts still interchange and even the older magazines work, they just don’t hold the bolt open.

  26. I think that was a very good article, but I know nothing about guns. However, I do know what “ubiquitous” means, and you have used it incorrectly in #6. Change that to give us a better grasp of what you are saying about the courts.

    No, I am not the grammar police, but you can make this better with just one word change. Yes, using there and their correctly would be a good thing too. But, those two words used incorrectly do not hinder understanding.

    • riverrider says:

      pp, but you ARE being the grammar police. we’re just simple folk here. we kin spel fenetical ifn we wont.

      • That is one thing I really like about this site. That is no one comments on spelling, I am a horrendus speller and don’t have to worry about getting my dictionary when I have a question on a word. And as for non lethal on the slingshot, I would think a ball bearing to the head would be pretty damaging , maybe not instant but just might do the job. Have not found out and really don’t want to either.

        • I did not comment on the spelling. I commented on using a word incorrectly. THAT is a hindrance to understanding. REPEAT: I made no comment on spelling. He writes well and spells well. Someone else commented on their/there and he took that rather well!

        • george….

          “non lethal slingshot”………….tell it to Goliath };-)

        • LOL, George- see all the commentary on spelling and grammar. Not taht any of us is corekt.

      • Come on fella’s. Back off these hear grammer gurus. They’re just trying to help us backwoods bumkins write and speak a little better. Really wouldn’t hurt us much. Ya’ll should try walking in my mocks fer a while. I’m married to a highschool english teacher. Man, #(*%&#)$(.

      • thanks RR…

        I no longer correct the spelling on my PC…it wants to change my ‘s’ to ‘z’ in realise, and leave out the ‘u’ in neighbours/colours…but am not going to do that anymore…so, thanks everyone for not jumping on me..

        • Change your preference to US English and it will do that. If you want the British spelling select the UK English option and your greys will remain grey rather than be corrected to gray.

        • Crrrock says:

          That’s what happens in Oz, Chloe. Everything is arse up. LOL.

      • axelsteve says:

        I never learned to read and write good. I went to california school sistem and all. We had to lurn real slow do to all the illegals in class.

        • Axel, I’m alsoo a prudukt of public edgukashun an never lernted to spelk gramtiklee kerrek, so dont feal so bad. After all, we’um’ses is jest bumpkens an not hi falootin city slikers with colludge dugreez. Besidz, yu reed un rite gud anuff to get heer, so no biggy.

  27. Nate Thomas says:

    As far as a survival arsenal on a budget goes, I think it is important to have weapons that are reliable, but also versatile. If you have a multi-purpose weapon, it means you don’t have to buy as many. *note* I do no own all of these weapons, but I’m working on it. Here is my personal suggestions on arsenal weapons, and reasons for said weapons:

    Handguns:

    Ruger SR-9 9mm: This is a slim, modern reinvention of a 1911 style handgun, with double stack magazine and 17+1 capacity. Because of it’s thin size, it is easier to conceal then larger handguns. I bought mine for $350, you can find it close to this price just about everywhere.

    Springfield XDS .45 subcompact: This is a brand new .45 subcompact XD, the slimmest ever built. It has a 3.3″ barrel, and is under 1″ thick. Completely concealable, and very powerful, with a single stack 6+1 magazine. Ships out this month and should be around $500.

    Rifles:

    Mossberg Tactical .22: High capacity magazine, reliable and comfortable to shoot because of it’s AR-15 style. It has an adjustable stock, 18″ barrel, 25 round magazine, and all for $225.

    Bushmaster ACR 5.56: This rifle is the most diverse rifle ever made. There are 3 barrels that are made for this rifle, 11.5″, 16″, and 20″. The barrel can be changed without tools in under 2 minutes, to take it from a close range fire fight rifle, to a medium or long range hunting/sniper rifle. Granted, it comes with a higher price tag, around $1900, but it is worth it if you only have to buy one rifle instead of 3. This 5.56 rifle obviously can also handle .223, so you can buy cheaper ammo for things that don’t require the power of 5.56. I can’t say enough good stuff about this rifle.

    Shotguns:
    Kel-Tec Shotgun: I was previously drawn to the Mossberg shotgun series, but after seeing this Kel-Tec, I think I will switch. This bullpup style, semi-automatic shotgun has two internal magazines, both of which carry 7 rounds, leading to a 14+1 capacity if you use 2 2/3″ shells. It may not have the best setup for waterfowl hunting, but it will do if you will, and it has the capacity for both tactical situations and hunting situations where you can take down more prey in one setting. Also, this shotgun is downward ejecting, preventing any harm people close to you. It runs for about $575

    Total price if you buy everything new, not at reduced used prices would be around $3,400. Like I said, it’s a little more expensive because of the ACR, but I think it’s worth it in the end. What do you think?

    • Nate,
      Every time I see that Keltec I have to wipe drool off of my chin. It’s on the list if the world stays together long enough

      • riverrider says:

        op, ditto on the shotty AND the new kt 308:) might have to sell a kidney to get them tho.

    • Lloyd P says:

      The Kel-Tec KSG Shotgun is great, but it is a pump action, not semi-auto. The RFB is also a Bullpup, it is in .308 and is forward-ejecting. It is also quite interesting & shows some serious ingenuity.

    • As for the ‘slim and modern reinvention’ of the 1911, as well as the XDS .45, I’m 5-9 and slim, have no problems whatever concealing a full size pistol on my person, so the new anorexic pistols don’t excite me.
      A 2 2/3″ shotgun shell? Is that a typo or a new length? If it’s a new load, I’ve yet to see any on my store shelves. I can see a 2 3/4″ load, especially in slug. Otherwise, it’s not a common enough round (yet) to be viable as an everyday’ purchase.
      The tactical .22s are really getting popular- probably ‘cuz they’e so similar to the M style carbines so popular. I’ve shot the Smith version 22 and thought it a great rifle. Every maker is putting out their version now, such as Riger’s SR-22 (I may be confusing the numbers here). I’d like to get my paws on one, for sure. If I could afford one.

  28. Zeke MN says:

    DSA FAL-Mossberg 590A1-Glock 19. , no toys, no crap.

  29. Zeke MN says:

    Add to my list a 10/22 with 2-7x Leupold scope and a homemade “blowgun” using finnishing nails as darts. Silent and nasty on rabbits, much better than a slingshot.

  30. This topic always brings out a variety of personal opinions of what is best. I see the responses coming down to two sets of answers, standardized weapon used by a prepper in a group or individual preference. If your version of a group is your spouse then the standardization of weapons will come into play here as well. I always recommend a having a spare weapon and extra parts if this is part of a group prep.

    I’d trade that slingshot for a pellet rifle or bow for starters on hunting small game. Bows and slingshots take practice to be effective. A bow and arrow has greater reach over the slingshot.

    For whatever the reason, my wife has picked up enough knives for the both of us. My wife last blade purchase was a Gerber machete.

    My advice on knives is if you have no training in knife fighting, avoid presenting it as a weapon. More likely to have it used on you in the process of defending yourself.

    For .22 LR, I’d go with the Ruger 10/22. Cheap, reliable, and easy to find parts for. I own one and have been very happy with it. My only complaint about the Ruger is not with the rifle itself, but rather the standard BX-1 10 round magazines. A pain to deal with when a round misfeeds inside one of those. It is a good idea to pick up several types of magazines for this weapon.

    A higher priced alternative to the Ruger 10/22 that has been a popular sell at the gun shows is the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22. For groups that use the AR-15 as their primary weapon, this weapon requires little train up time on.

    For shotguns, I recommend the Remington 870 or the Mossberg 500. Both are inexpensive and easy to maintain. I’ve heard some complaints about how difficult it is to clear a Rem 870 in event of a misfeed, but have yet to experience one myself. Just make sure you pick one up that has a 7 round capacity.

    Bushmaster, Remington, DPMS are all owned by Freedom Group (which in turn is owned by Cerberus Capital Management). Bushmaster is made in the same plant that Remington is. In my opinion, the prices have edged up on Bushmasters since the buyout. If you want the original Bushmaster, they are now called Windham Weaponry. Chalk it up to some bad blood created by the Freedom Group.

    For primary weapon systems I will always lean towards the AR-15 over the AK. Aside from having battle experience with the M16, it is one I am most comfortable with. The bigger bullet argument from the AK crowd is eliminated with the variety of AR uppers being chambered in larger calibers. If I was going to spend a chunk of change for a premium weapon and money wasn’t an issue, I’d buy a POF .308 gas piston P308 or a Barrett .223 gas piston REC7.

    Handguns are like tennis shoes. Find one that fits you. You will have better results that way. The 1911 is my handgun of choice. You can buy American Classic 1911s for under 500. I saw several for sale at the last gun show in my area for around 400.

    I’ve fired a Glock 23 and a M&P40 many times. Aside from the magazine capacity I see no real advantage of owning one. They are both reliable with high capacity magazines. My issue with them is as the magazine empties the recoil from the weapons becomes more top heavy snappy. I absolutely detest safeties built into the triggers of these weapons. In my opinion, it forces you to modify a perfectly good trigger squeeze causing the development of a bad habit.

    • village idiot says:

      “My issue with them is as the magazine empties the recoil from the weapons become more top heavy snappy.”

      That’s one of my issues too, but I’ll be danged if I could figure out how to put it in words. Thank you, Cain. And I love my Colt Combat Commander, it’s the best pistol I’ve ever owned. Period.

    • Interesting you’d notice a difference in shooting a full and less-than-full mag. I’m assuming you’re speaking of muzzle jump from recoil and having less weight to absorb it. I wonder if there’ve been any studies on this topic, since every semi-auto would have the same problem, as would a revolver since the bullet weight is being removed.
      I wonder, too, about your grip- if you’re cupping the grip or enveloping the shooting hand? I know the difference in grip would have quite a bit to do with recoil control, and the envelope grip does a lot to mitigate side flip and rise after the shot.
      Interesting comment. Bears some thinking and study.

  31. robert in mid michigan says:

    ruger 10/22 love it or hate shot it since i was 12
    bolt 30/30 single shot was my grandfathers deer riffle and has been mine since i was 16
    savage .308 bolt 4 round mag new last year still prefer the 30-30
    870 12guage borrowed from fil and have since bought nice gun
    2 crossman pump .22 air riffles
    k-bar marine knife bought it when i was 16 cant get rid of it. good for field cleaning deer and thats about it but it works
    looking for a good recurve bow
    will be adding another ruger and looking for a 410 pump both for the wife.

    as far as ammo goes under a hundred rounds for all save the 22 if i had it to do over i would sell the 308 and buy another 30-30 or 12 guage would like to have just a couple differant rounds.

    carried the a1 way back when and its a good riffle but would take the mini 14 because of the looks dangerouse have to ban them syndrome of the world.

    it was then i learned that very few have the courage to advance under fire. most people with bad intentions will move on if taking fire it just wont be worth the risk.

    do i need to buy more ammo? probably but i see no reason to have a ton of ammo over food. i do not see that fire fights are going to be a common thing, and if you are in one well aimed rounds are almost always better than spray and pray.

    the wifes severe dislike of the 12 guage means she needs a smaller round which means more ammo types unfortunatly but once the basics are covered i think you should concentrate on food and shelter first.

    dont like to shoot pistols, cant hit the broadside of a barn with one. if they work for you great and i encourage you to own one but they are not for me and probably will never own one.

    sling shot is an idea i have heard a couple of times but truthfully have never looked at real hard but have thier uses, will need to look at that.

    • cooolwoods says:

      well robert, i can hit the broadside of a barn. boy was my granddad mad. lesson learned.
      what do I have?
      more than I can carry.
      feel like I still need more ammo for some reason.
      do we need a reason for more ammo? one is none, two is one.
      just like the rest of our preps.

      get ready as little or as much as you can as you can.

      stay safe

  32. Col. D Nashville says:

    I liked the article regarding your firearm recommendations. To me it’s important to pick firearms that work for me, function reliably, and can be broken down easily for service. It’s a matter of personal preference, and each of us has different ideas of what perfect is. It is important to understand how each piece performs and to identify any shortfalls.
    In the US there are many popular calibers available in pistols, rifles and shotguns. For a sidearm I personally like an M1911A1 due to it’s history, knockdown ability and availability of spare parts. I know many may not agree but it’s only a preference. I have hunted with several calibers over the years I.E. .22, .223, 44Rem Mag, 30-30, 30:06, 7mm Rem Mag, .308, 45cal, 50cal, 12Ga and 20Ga. Each round was capable of bringing down game, some with more punch or greater range but at the end of the day each one is capable of putting meat on the table.
    I am also concerned about the quality and availability of ammunition and how reliably it performs in each firearm. Most ammo I use is basically available most of the time (at least for the calibers I shoot). If I have a piece that’s manufactured well, fires reliably, has ammo readily available, and has a fair price point, I’m satisfied.

  33. riverrider says:

    off subject, but prayers to those in the tornado zone.

  34. Leonard Anderson says:

    canes walking sticks staffs compound bow long bow model 60 38 revolver Springfield XDm 5.25 45 automatic looking for a 12 guage burg 590 with ghostrings and a rockriver wylde 5.56.223 piston rifle and a remington 700 in 308 30-06 and 338

  35. Jason, great article! I’m not going to get into the what gun is better debate but one thing I’d suggest to the cash strapped person wanting to buy specific firearms that solve the this gun over that gun issue on a budget:

    1. Gun Shop: look and ask around for sales at gun shops (many go $50 to $100 off retail. Consignment guns are guns people are using the gun shop to sell for them. Sometimes you can get a good deal if their mark up doesn’t make buying a new one cheaper. Mom

    2. Friends/family: many are selling their guns. In this economy, people are selling guns to pay the bills. Keeping it in the group of friends is always better than selling to strangers. You are likely to save more than a gun on consignment at a gun shop.

    3. Gun shows: I see people walking around with rifles and shotguns on their back or pistols in their backpack with a sign looking to sell.
    Most of the dealers usually don’t have a shop so their overhead is lower and they can beat sales. I bought my 24″ AR varmint barrel $75 cheaper than the sale price at my favorite shop. Enough for 4 boxes of my varmint loads.

    Gun internet sites: they have been hit and miss from what I hear.you can find good deals but pay the FFL on the transfer and that varies.

    My list condensed for SHTF:
    AR and M4 platform plus 24″ barrel to reach out.
    Glock 21
    Remington 870 with 18 1/2″ combat, 22″ rifled slug and 28″ bird
    Ruger 10/22 and Mark II 22/45

    I have others but these are go to guns.

    • Hawkeye says:

      Jarhead….

      “….go to guns”. Great minds think alike!
      My AR is a Ruger SR556 with EOTEC and I’ve only got the short barrel for my 870…definitely need the others!

      I’ve had my MKII since 1956 ($19.95 new-in box). I think I’d mourn for weeks if something ever happened to it! I have a small, cheap scope on the 10.22 and several spare 10 round mags. With Ruger weapons, I never trust aftermarket mags. I don’t know if Ruger does it on purpose, but it sure seems they build their weapons so that nothing but their mags work??

      Being an “old timer” I have some M1As too. Satisfies my need for some traditional “wood and steel”, not to mention the occasional “fat lip” !

    • axelsteve says:

      After some thinking ,I came to the concluson that. I do not own a shotgun or handgun. I will look for a deal on a 12 gauge pump. I will also look for either a 357 or a 45 auto.The 357 being a wheelgun not a semi auto.I was also wondering what the definition of a main battle rifle is.Can it be a bolt or a pump?Semi or a lever?Anyway Now have a diferent frame of mind when go to the local shop.

      • Hawkeye says:

        axelsteve…..
        This is something of an opinion, as I have never seen a definitive definition of just what a “Main Battle Rifle” is either!
        In my opinion, An MBR will have these characteristics:
        *Military type rifle
        *Semi-Automatic
        *.30 Caliber range (.30, .308, 7.62mm (Full sized) etc.)

        This would then, include: US M1, US M14, FAL, G3, etc. It would exclude the M16 and AK series which would be considered “Carbines.

        I’d be interested to hear the REAL definition of MBR myself!

        • Maybe this will help with a definition for a MBR. Boston T. Party’s Gun Bible – one of the most useful firearm refercnecs – defines a Battle rifle as a rifle of at least .308 caliber, able to strike an incapacitating blow out to about 600 yards. (According to Col. Jeff Cooper a caliber for such a rifle must be powerful enough to kill any living target of reasonable size of about 1,000 lb (454 kg) and able to stay in a 10 inch circle at 550 yards). It must perforate much battle cover, including trees and light steel. Boston quotes a Vietnam vet as saying “There’s no hiding from a .308″ Other useful calibers would include .30-06, .303, 8×57 and 7.62×54 (7.62×39 does not qualify). He ends with this moral: “While you can defend your home with a .223, your Liberty can be preserved only by a .308. Whichever battle rifle you prefer MIA, FAL, H&K91, Galil, AR-10-get one now! Training with your own honest-to-God main battle rifle should be the first priority of every professed lover of freedom. Get one today, even if you have to sell your AR15 to do it.”

          • Hawkeye says:

            Lloyd P…………
            RE: Main Battle Rifle
            I feel vindicated then…had the “gist” of it.

      • The definition of a battle rifle is as follows “A battle rifle is a military service rifle that fires a full power rifle cartridge, such as 7.62x51mm NATO. While the designation of battle rifle is usually given to post-World War II select fire infantry rifles such as the H&K G3, the FN FAL or the M14,[1] this term can also apply to older military bolt-action or semi-automatic rifles such as the Mosin-Nagant, Mauser 98k, Lee-Enfield or the M1 Garand.”

      • ‘Main Battle Rifle is a misnomer, really. It should just read ‘Battle Rifle’ (as noted in the definitions). To me, despite the definitions and gurus advocating differently, my ‘Battle Rifle’ is whichever weapon I have in my hands at the time it’s needed. Be it 10-22, .357 Marlin, 7.62 or 5.6 mm, whatever I have fills the bill. So don’t get too carried away thinking you ‘need’ a ‘main’ battle rifle- you probably already own it.

        • JSW,

          I don’t plan on going into offensive battle or joining a military conflict so I prefer the term home-defense rifle over “main battle rifle”.

  36. axelsteve says:

    Amen RR!!!

  37. Jason,
    Sling shot: I would look into turning it into a Sling Bow. A standard wrist rocket can be converted to do double duty, for around $1.00 plus arrows. For ammunition you should acquire some steel shot and some used golf balls. The balls are less than lethal but hurt like crap.

    I concur on the 10/22 being a good rifle, but another option if you have more than 1 AR platform in .223, is a .22LR conversion kit with a handful of magazines. The kit replaces the bolt and can be swapped back and forth in less than a minute. The .22 is inexpensive to shoot, so hopefully you’ll shoot more of it, and the rifle otherwise behaves the same (except for recoil), meaning you’re actually using the controls and gaining that muscle memory.

    If you don’t already have a .30 caliber rifle and need one on the cheap, the Mosin-Nagant in 7.62x54R is a great starting point. I’ve seen the rifle from $90-$150, generally depending on how good or bad the stock is. The ammunition is available for around $0.25 per round in quantity.

    • The top end Mosin-Nagants will run you around $150. Personally I like the Romanian PSL over the Mosin. The downside of these rifles though is having to import the ammo for them.

  38. Casus Belli says:

    Just wanted to post a piston alternative to the Ar-15 I haven’t seen mentioned. I have ar-15’s, mini 14’s even an AK-47 style in .223, but my favorite .223 shooter is a Robinson Arms XCR in .223. So far I’ve got 2000 rounds through it with out cleaning and no problems. Instead of gas impingement it uses a piston setup like the hk G3 and cycles happily all day. That said, any of the rifles mentioned are all good bets, run with what works for you.
    Yes, I’m a new poster, have lurked for almost a year, but figured I might as well come out of the closet as so many other newbies are getting the courage to post. You have all made a lot a difference in my prepping activities, so I figured I needed to at least post and thank you for all of work/ information sharing. But I sure do miss lint, Bc and others who have left. Hope we continue to attract good natured people with a sense of humor.

    Casus

    • riverrider says:

      c, welcome friend. we are not so arrogant as to think we can’t learn a thing or too from you also. happy posting… as to the piston guns, i believe in leaving well enough alone, and to each their own. daewoo built the first ones from the ground up using ar and ak design features. way ahead of its time, but it worked flawlessly and was much more accurate than my ar. everybody knocked them being korean, but the ROK army issues them. i’d about sell a kidney for one now.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      Welcome to the Pack!

  39. K Fields says:

    I’m almost frightened to post here now (afraid my 8th grade education will show itself through improper word usage and misspellings) but I must say, well-done article Jason! A person certainly could be comfortable having that collection.

    My “armory?”
    1. Slingshot – check. Always have one in the truck and in my dinner bucket just for fooling around with.
    2. Bowie Knife – check. Military surplus.
    3. .22 LR – check. My rifle is an Anschütz. If I am depending on a .22LR, I want extreme reliability and accuracy. I also have a Colt Woodsman pistol.
    4. Shotgun – check. Although I’ve owned both the 870 and the Mossberg 500, I always return to the Winchester 1912 M&P for my “peace keeper” as you put it, and a Winchester 1897 for my working gun. The shotgun I keep by the bed though is a short-barreled Stevens 311 (12 gauge double).
    5. “Firefight” gun – check. I prefer my Springfield M1A – .308 though. I just never liked the AR platform and back in the day when I purchased mine (1975), the M1A was actually less expensive that the Colt.
    6. Handguns – My preference is .45 ACP, so I have a Colt M1911A1, a Smith and Wesson M1917 revolver, and a double-barreled derringer. One for holstered carry, one for the pocket and one by the bed. Like some others have posted, I’ve never liked the Glock and must admit never tried a Taurus.
    I also have included a scoped, bolt-action Mauser rifle in .308 to make my “armory” complete.

    • riverrider says:

      doh! where”s my time machine darn it! set for 1975, must….get….back,…..cheap….guns…….

  40. SurvivorDan says:

    Good article Jason and cogent points. I have a few more weapons but am currently trying to cull it down to a more manageable level with fewer calibers. My core arsenal is very similar including the slingshot. As OP suggested, mine is converted to be able to easily adjust to shooting full size arrows with a flip up of the ranger band mounted steel ring. I use bullet points as there is no carrier for broad heads on a sling shot.
    Some of my conceal carry weapons are a mite different than yours but your choices are fine.
    I like your choice of calibers as they are common and readily available (normally) from coast to coast. Might disagree over a few minor points but…. to each their own. It’s all good…..
    I would recommend a compound or recurve bow. And I do own a good ballistic vest with plates. In some circumstances it could come in handy.

    “I don’t care too much about the technical side of firearms. If it works, meaning that so long as I take care of it, when I load it, point it at a target, and pull the trigger, it goes bang and puts a hole in what I was pointing at, I’m good. ”

    I like that . I consider a firearm a tool and will use whatever tool is handy. Again, nice article. Well thought out and well written.

  41. JeffintheWest says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for a great article, directed at non-gun-guys like me. I’m no expert in the firearms side of things, and your article gave me both valuable information and food for thought. I appreciate it, and hope you win! :-)

    The slingshot was a particularly good idea. Tell me, any comments on bows out there?

  42. IMHO if your SHTF gun has a spring or magazine you may want to have a wheel gun backup. If your SHTF MBR has many precision machined moving parts you may want to consider having a bolt driven rifle around. Because you know how Murphy works.

    • K Fields says:

      Mexneck,
      Excellent point and I agree completely! If you note my list, you’ll see that in each caliber there is a revolver, single shot or bolt action to complement every semi-auto.

  43. Kudos to the author. I didn’t want to read another SHTF armory article but this was engaging and well written. I’m sure there will be many intelligent well supported comments and opinions to come and that’s what makes this site stand out above all others.

  44. Drew Kelor says:

    I enjoyed this excellent and informative article. As others have already stated, firearm choices are subject to one’s own personal taste, and most especially one’s budget.

    When building a survival arms stockpile on the cheap, I myself tend to prefer those from the former Warsaw Pact countries; they are affordable to purchase ( check one ), affordable to stockpile ammo for ( check two ), and utterly, utterly dependable and reliable ( check three ).

    Here are some of my own suggestions ( most current prices are taken from J&G Sales online catalog http://www.jgsales.com. Prices from your own choice of supplier will vary, of course.):

    1. Semi-Automatic pistol: Czech CZ 82 9×18 “Makarov” Pistol $199.95
    and/or
    Romanian Tokarev TTC, 7.62×25 Pistol $ 179.95

    2. Revolver: Russian 1895 Nagant Revolver $99.95*
    * I included this choice only for the sake of completeness. It is a
    reliable revolver with a great history of dependability, and is
    cheap to feed.
    2. Rifle: The Mosin Nagant 91/30 $89.95

    3. Semi-Automatic Battle rifle: The venerable Romanian
    AK-47 WASR10 Rifle, 7.62×39 caliber $ 419.95
    or
    Polish Tantal AKM-74 rifle, 5.45×39 caliber $399.95
    If money is an extreme issue, the AK platform could be
    substituted for a Yugoslavian SKS $319.95, but for all of
    the advantages the Tantal would offer, you might as well
    save up the few extra dollars and opt for it, instead.

    4. I probably should include a .22 caliber semi-auto, so here is my
    choice: Marlin Model 60 $157.67 + a Spee D Loader $19.97 to
    feed it. This brings the price to $177.64. These prices are quoted
    from The Cheaper Than Dirt website: http://www.cheaperthandirt.com.

    I didn’t include a knife or sling-shot, as I was only concentrating on firearms. Going with what I myself personally would select from my own list, My total comes to: $ 909,77, which is under a thousand dollars! I included both pistols, left out the Russian revolver, and my choice of battle rifle was the WASR AK. Adding the revolver brings the total to: $109.72, still a very reasonable sum for such a respectable firearms battery (IMO).

    As I’ve said, these are merely my own choices and suggestions, and others are free to offer up their own opinions.

    DK

    • riverrider says:

      dk, very smart shopping. shotgun? nef makes an 870 clone for about 200.

    • Casus Belli says:

      Dk, I have to second you on the Eastern block weapons. All of them work well, reliably and economical. Those who haven’t should especially check out the pistols. My favorite is the CZ 82, although most would agree that the 9×18 cartridge isn’t as powerful as most would like, it makes a great little carry gun and has a great feel and natural point-ability. The Tokarev 7.62×25 pistols address the underpowered issue, and while not having as good a “feel” I think they are one of the best penetrating cartridges, better than my .40 s&w carry gun. I liked the CZ- 82 so much, I got a bunch of them for family members for carry. Quite affordable, I just wasn’t thrilled to have to start stocking yet another caliber in my stores.

    • Tinfoil Hat says:

      Wow, thank you for this comment. I’ll be completely honest and say I NEVER once even thought of eastern bloc firearms! I’m now upset at myself lol. Thats why I love this site. I always learn s much from everyone! Thanks DK!

    • Drew Kelor says:

      Thanks for the positive feedback, everyone. I’m glad my suggestions seem to have helped. I did commit a gross oversight in leaving out the shotgun – probably the first go-to in a SHTF scenario, or home defense situation – what was I thinking?! ;-)

      A quick check on the Cheaper Than Dirt website turned up a couple of interesting and economical choices:

      1. Mossberg Bantam “Youth” pump action shotgun 12 gauge
      This was the least expensive Mossberg of the 500 platform;
      the “Youth” designation simply refers to the 1” reduction in
      the weapon’s stock-length, making more compact.
      Price: $281.88

      I was unaware of the NEF/H&R 870 clone before rriverrider helpfully suggested it; a quick check on CTD turned up:

      2. H&R Pardner Pump Protector Pump-Action Shotgun
      12 gauge. This was the real find of the day. Priced at an
      amazingly low $176.98, this shotgun has a 5 round capacity
      and sure has the look of a homestead defender. While I am
      unfamiliar with this particular shotgun, I do own several
      NEF/H&R firearms, and I have always been pleased with
      their quality and value, so I have every reason to believe the
      same holds true for the Pardner.

      Going back to my final selection list (both pistols, M/N rile, WASR, Marlin 60 w/loader, and then adding the Pardner, this brings our firearms “cache-for-less” price to $1086.75. Throwing the revolver in would raise our total to a still-respectable $1186.70.

      @Casus Belli, I too am a huge fan of the CZ 82, and Makarov’s in general. They are absolutely terrific concealed-carry guns, and I find myself reaching for my Mak more often than my Springfield. It just has a great feel in my hand that seems natural. And while the 9×18 cartridge may not be an ideal man-stopper according to the stats, it does have a proven history of reliability within the Eastern bloc, and self-defense specialty ammo is readily available through third party suppliers, i.e. Buffalo Bore. The Tokarev pistol is probably not a good first option for a concealed carry weapon due to the “feel” issue you mentioned; it also has an awkward safety feature which does take some time getting used to – and could prove to be a dangerous liability if used by an untrained individual during a chaotic self-defense situation. The 7.62×25 cartridge however, is indeed a proven man-stopper par-excellence, and I seem to recall reading somewhere (can’t remember where) that in some penetration tests it even outperformed the 45 acp – which it is patterned after.

      @Tinfoil Hat
      Thanks for your kind words, and don’t be too upset with yourself, we are all life-long learners in this field of study. I’m glad to have helped! :-)

      • riverrider says:

        dk, in asia police have to issue “tokarev” vests because normal vests won’t stop it at close range.i have a tok in 9mm…. and 9×18 mak is one step up from .380 that is all the rage now days. i wish i still had my east german mak, sold it to a little old lady for protection. she passed and her son, a friend, won’t even think about selling it back:) i paid 69 bucks for it. if i had all the guns i’ve sold or traded i’d have a quite good armory:(

    • Hawkeye says:

      Drew Kelor……….

      People often refer to an AK as a “Battle Rife”. I often wonder what the definition of “Battle Rifle” is or if there is a variety of definitions? To me, except for the semi-auto feature, the AK is a carbine in the same ballistic family as a Winchester lever action 30-30.

      I always felt that a “Battle Rifle” was in the M1, M14, FAL, G3 family….not so?????????????

      • Hawkeye,
        You can’t talk to any tanker without them mentioning their MBR.

      • riverrider says:

        hawk, kinda like clip and mag. carbine or rifle or assault rifle, i don’t want any of it coming my way. if you want to get in the weeds, a carbine is a short rifle. an assault rifle is a carbine in a mid range cartridge. a rifle is a full lenth, full power cartridge chambered arm. i try not to pick at folks terms as long as i understand what they are saying. they tend to shut down and tune out and learning goes out the window.

      • Your ‘Battle Rifle’ is whichever weapon you happen to have with you when the poop flies.
        For the afficionados who like things military, a Battle Rifle is, as you noted, usually some sort of military rifle, probably a .30 caliber though the .223 will also be considered.

  45. Personally, I think this was an excellent article and brought out some excellent comments. We must remember that it comes down to personal choice and/or pocket book.

    From what I’ve read on this site, it would seem that many think the shotgun is just for “in the house” defense. It is far more versital than that. It is an excellent home defense weapon, can take large game and anything in between (you might want more than one barrel for it).

    The AR platform is more versital than some seem to realize (granted it will draw more attention than a “standard” rifle). In the 5.56/.223 you can go from a 40 gr. (really fast) to 77 gr. (great for white tail). Also, one lower can handle uppers in several calibers (five which can use the same mag).

    Just my 1.5 cents. Till next time,
    Rex

    PS: I hope I didn’t mess up too badly with typing, grammer and spelling.

  46. @ Drew Kelor
    Excellent choices on the cheap. Only problem might be getting ammo for the Eastern Bloc pistols in a SHTF era, so one would need to stock up. You didn’t mention a shotgun, but the Mossberg 500 is cheap and reliable and would be my choice.

    • Drew Kelor says:

      @Zeke MN,
      You bring up a good point about Eastern Bloc pistol ammo availability during a SHTF era. One would definitely need to stockpile; fortunately 9×18 and 7.62×25 ammo is relatively inexpensive and fairly plentiful, so it shouldn’t be much of a problem to acquire a large ammo inventory (aside from laying out the all the Benjamin’s). Depending on what type of SHTF event we experience however, would of course change the equation entirely. In the event of a short-term disruption Hurricane Katrina/Terrorist attack event, I doubt long-term availability would be effected too much (that is, beyond the initial mob rush for firearms/ammo); in other words, I believe everything would eventually return to normal. Now if we are talking about an EMP/Nuke/Pandemic/Back-to-the-stone-age event where the normal lines of supply are perhaps forever altered, then all bets are indeed off.

      Your choice for an inexpensive & practical shotgun is spot-on; I own a Mossberg 500 myself, and would have included it in my original list if I had remembered. I must admit that the H&R Pardner 12 gauge intrigues me since learning about it, and I may have to overturn a few chairs and couches in order to dig up some extra $ for a new survival necessity. ;-D

      DK

      • riverrider says:

        dk, i have one. it shoots. its fit and finish is not near the 870, but thats not why we buy them i guess. i kinda got it as a spare to my 870. if you have a mossy, you have a better gun frankly. i’d still recommend it to someone with nothing and a tight budget.

  47. Many are suggesting the Mosin-Nagant, I have shot them over the years and for the price you can’t beat them. Here in Ca they run about $90 to $125 and come in the full length rifle or carbine M44 model. There are accessories out there such as synthetic stocks to cut on weight, scope mounts, bipods etc. Good guns, accurate and ammo is cheap. I suggest even on a budget buy ammo when you can afford a box or two each payday because a concern I had for not buying one is if they ever enacted an import ban on ammo.

    • axelsteve says:

      Amen to the Mosin Jarhead. I have shot my sons on several outings and it is a good gun.I would use it on the local elk with some soft tipped ammo. If the elk were legal to shoot that is.you can shoot it all day long and it wont get hot with the thick barrel.

  48. Good recommendations in this list. When I first started building my armoury I based it on the ak because of the lowers prices of the rifles and ammo. Now that I am a more experienced shooter I wish I would have bought AR’s instead. The ergonomics, sights and range of the AR are worth the extra cost over the AK imo

  49. The new mini 30’s are worth having for a general purpose carbine . They are much more accurate than they used to be . Like you said , unless your AK is full auto , then 7.62x.39 is 7.62x.39 . Taurus makes decent weapons , Every manufacturer has put out some crappy models . Dont get into the famous or trendy brand name trap . Your going to pay for that trendy name when others are equal at a much lower price . The ammo you plan on putting through the gun is just as important as the gun itself , thats where I dont mind spending a bit more , is for high quality rounds .

  50. Crrrock says:

    Our “Armory”, built on a budget (pension)
    55# recurve longbow (owned last century)
    .177 air rifle (ditto)
    .22 Bentley 500 bolt action (ditto)
    5.56×45/.223 Norinco bolt action ($420)
    Hopkins & Allen 12Ga single barrel ($50)
    So my expenditure has been $470 of late, not including transfer and licence fees.
    Now working on ammo and reloading for the .223
    Still to come: Slingshot (illegal her in Oz, so sold as a “Burley Slinger”)
    Mike
    in Oz

  51. Hunker-Down says:

    M.D., If this is out of bounds, please delete it and accept my apologies.

    This is an email I received today, and I feel is un-American to not share it with you.

    No one has been able to explain to me why young men and women serve in the U.S. Military for 20 years, risking their lives protecting freedom, and only get 50% of their pay. While Politicians hold their political positions in the safe confines of the capital, protected by these same men and women, and receive full pay retirement after serving one term. It just does not make any sense.

    Monday on Fox news they learned that the staffers of Congress family members are exempt from having to pay back student loans. This will get national attention if other news networks will broadcast it. When you add this to the below, just where will all of it stop?

    35 States file lawsuit against the Federal Government

    Governors of 35 states have filed suit against the Federal Government for imposing unlawful burdens upon them. It only takes 38 (of the 50) States to convene a Constitutional Convention.
    For too long we have been too complacent about the workings of Congress.
    Many citizens had no idea that members of Congress could retire with the same pay after only one term, that they specifically exempted themselves from many of the laws they have passed (such as being exempt from any fear of prosecution for sexual harassment) while ordinary citizens must live under those laws. The latest is to exempt themselves from the Healthcare Reform… in all of its forms. Somehow, that doesn’t seem logical. We do not have an elite that is above the law. I truly don’t care if they are Democrat, Republican, Independent or whatever. The self-serving must stop.

    Here is the proposed amendment. Call your governor until he/she gets behind us in this unfair, un-American issue. Until this is corrected, we are living (unknowingly) in a banana republic.

    Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution:

    “Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States .”

    • H-D.,

      Thank you for posting this. You would think that the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment would require Congress to be subject to the same laws that the rest of us are subject to. Congress may not get this done; but the Court should.

    • SurvivorDan says:

      Right on Hunker-Down! That’s why I, as an Independent conservative, have gone from rooting for the Republican party to total disgust at the greed and self-serving of both parties. I think a lot of their bluster directed at each other publicly is just a show for the ‘useful idiots’…..us. I will continue to participate in local elections but have lost the stomach for having to vote for any Feds.
      It’s a filthy sham and we are duped by these vermin time and time again.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Sorry Jason and all for going off topic but I see red when more and more of the filthy looting by the Feds is revealed. And nothing gets done about it.

        • Tinfoil Hat says:

          No apology needed! Glad you posted it. Well, maybe not entirely glad, as I’m now sick to my stomach thinking about it, but you get my meaning….Ron Paul 2012

          • Hunker-Down says:

            SurvivorDAn,

            Call your Governor; post it on Facebook. Tell every citizen. Lets get the proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed.

        • riverrider says:

          there goes my blood pressure again:(

          • Another reason for a good secession movement .

            • How did that secession movement workout last time? Are you ready for that? The only thing that may be on the secession side is all the countries that hate the us would recognize the new country and help against the US. It will still be a civil war when we try to kick the lefties out. As for Ron Paul get real. He talks the talk real good, but he don’t walk the walk. He’s been in CONgress for twenty years now. What has he really done? Has he put out a bill impeach obuma? Has he brought up ethics charges on his fellow CONgress critters for unconstitutional acts? Has he used the millions from his PACs to sue against the unconstitutional bills passed by CONgress? Haven’t seen it either?

            • Tinfoil Hat says:

              Ken

              Congressman Paul has been in office since ’98 (in addition to a stint in the 70’s). What he has done is bring full attention to the overreaching of the federal government. He has brought attention to the evil unconstitutional Federal Reserve and the unconstitutional income tax, along with irresponsible and irrational foreign policy. I despise TDL, but precisely what high crimes and misdemeanors do you suggest bringing him on impeachment charges for? To bring him up on bogus impeachment charges would be unconstitutional. It’s unfortunate that Americans allowed the left to hijack this country fair and square. Personally, I’d rather have a man focused on governing based on the constitution that presses for freedom and liberty than some blowhard who draws up phony and useless impeachment articles for sitting presidents and members of Congress. His PAC money is used to bring attention to his candidacy so that the issues he raises cannot be ignored by the mainstream political establishment. Not to fund useless symbolic paperwork….

          • Hunker-Down says:

            riverrider,

            Call your Governor; post it on Facebook. Tell every citizen. Lets get the proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution passed.

            • Tin foil! Really? All Ron Paul does is talk! He’s even called for impeachment of obuma! Really? Impeachment comes out of the house, where Ron Paul is a member, so if it’s going to be done he’s the one to bring it out. He’s frequently pointed out unconstitutional acts of obuma and his cronies, so that would be the charges. I don’t who tdl is that your referring to so what? Congress passes unconstitutional laws all the time and all CONgressman Ron Paul does is talk about it. So what? PACs can be used for more than just getting elected and nothing talks more than real action. Using his PAC in this way would prove action than just talk. Get over him

  52. Phil in L.A. says:

    I love the list, and alot of you guys are like me, over the years we have collected many amazing firearms. The other day I emptied all three of my safes to catalog all serial numbers and take photos for the insurance company. I trully had no idea how many firearms we really had in the house. My girl friend commented that it looked like a DEA seizure table. I just laughed and than made a list of guns I dont have but want and realized there are only 10 to go. Yikes I can arm the whole neighborhood. ha ha ha.

  53. william greene says:

    I would never depend on Taurus firearms for SHTF. But…..YMMV

  54. Thank you, Jason, for a really well-written, well-rehearsed post. I’m inspired to take my boys out tomorrow to the very muddy range for a round of safety training and targets. It will be a first for my youngest… he is so excited!
    The sling shots are a great idea, and one that I plan on fully implementing. They are inexpensive, tend to not be taken seriously, and ammunition is free. Can’t beat that.
    Cheers,
    Cat

    • Must be tired/late. what does ‘well-rehearsed post’ mean? Sorry crew for some spaciness!
      Cat

  55. Dwayne Dees says:

    Just started getting into a little of this a while back, and I have to admit to doing a little more in the gun area to start as it is where I have the most experience (I work 9 to 5 as a self employed gunsmith), so I am on a fairly tight budget. Here is what I have done so far;
    Shotguns, Mossberg 500 .12g and NEF single shot .20g
    Hunting, M1817 Enfield in .30-06 and Mosin Nagant M38 and M91/30 with a H&R M895 .22 and Kel-Tech SU16A
    Defense, WASR-10 and SKS in 7.62×39 and AR15 I built myself
    Handguns, Remington 1911A1, East German Makarov 9×18, HRR .22 revolver, Taurus 24/7 OSS 9mm and 709 9mm.
    I am working on a couple other things in this area as well, and building stockpiles of parts and ammo for all, including getting a small reloading press. I may end up making a couple more ARs and am looking into getting some .38 revolvers as well for BOB and E&E kits, and would like to pick up a couple more .22 rifles and some more shotguns for other family members, but mainly concerned with getting the other equipment purchases started, 99.9% of the problems I figure my family will face won’t involve shooting.

    • riverrider says:

      southern ohio gun has police trade-in taurus 38’s on sale for about 150 bucks. i got two. one needed a detailed cleaning but they shot well.

      • Dwayne Dees says:

        Yep, I am looking at those right now and think they will be the choice for me. I have owned many Rossi and Taurus revolvers over the years and found that they are great pistols at a great price, but sometimes things do need to be done to them to improve them; typically just polishing contact surfaces and replacing springs. I chose .38 as it was possibly the most common revolver ammo in the country, it has a very mild recoil (since it will also be getting use by the wife and daughters), is a smaller frame/easier to carry conceal and there is nearly nothing as reliable out there as a wheel gun for an “absolutely has to work, no matter what” type of pistol. I am also building myself a couple more 1911s and picking up some Chinese training air rifles, so I can teach marksmanship on the cheap and use them for small game.

  56. Check on the Marlin and 870 (both in 12 and 20 here), as well as the Taurus 45 cal (and a 9 mm). Was just looking at the conceal size Taurus’ to upgrade my Bersa. Glad you brought them into conversation. Rem 700 in 270 win.

    I dunno I’ve had both Taurus for years — no misfires at all. Decent gun for the price level. I bought them when that was the money I had to spend and have not regretted the purchase. I have much pricier taste in guns, just not the pocketbook to back it up.

    A Ruger 10/22 is on the wish list as a target gun. I’ll hunt the Marlin.

  57. This is great stuff. I love that you outlined exactly how someone could create a solid arsenal.

    I only have 2 of the 8 – time to start saving a bit.

  58. There’s lots of great information here. I won’t weigh in on which specific guns to get, as I really believe that depends on your personal preferences and experience. The comments here show that there are plenty of views on that question.

    In general, you need to consider your potential needs and then look for weapons that will accommodate those needs. Be able to hunt a large variety of game in your area (varmints, fowl, medium game, predators). Be able to defend yourself and your family in a variety of situations (at home, on the road, etc.).

    The one thing I would add is to make room in the budget for ammo and peripherals. Sights, scopes, magazines, slings, cleaning equipment and so forth really add up. So does ammo, especially high quality stuff. A $2,000 rifle is worthless if you don’t have any ammo to feed it. Likewise, be sure to get some training so you can make the most of your weapons.

    I recently bought a nice custom AR-15 and I’m now in the process of outfitting it. Mags, sights and other small parts will likely run me close to $400. Add in a good red dot scope and the cost might be double. Then add a few hundred rounds of ammo to the mix and I’m already above the cost of the original rifle – and that’s just the basics as far as I’m concerned. We haven’t even looked into training yet.

    I recently saw a breakdown of shooting expenses that put the cost of the gun at about 1/3 of the total cost the the shooting “package” (including gun, sights, ammo, peripherals, training, etc).

    You can cut costs in some places and spread out some of these costs over time. Just don’t think that if you have $1,000 to spend on guns, you should be looking at $1,000 guns.

  59. Hawkeye says:

    JMD…………

    Exactly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  60. “I’ll not get into the inherent contradictions in the notion of anti-social organized disciplined groups here.”

    I will with three more words: Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs.

  61. Jason, great post! It took me about 5 minutes to read, was very well thought out, and if I were just starting out, a good way to get some ideas. The slingshot was something I had never thought of, even though my youngest uses his around the farm all the time. I’m not a “gun nut” either, although guns are my hobby, the tools of my trade (I’m military), and I love collecting and shooting them. That said, though, I agree that firearms are only a small, but very vital, part of prepping. It took me over 3 hours (off and on) to read all the comments folks have posted here, and I have to agree with almost all of them – on everything. When prepping, there is no “one answer fits all”. You have thought out your needs very well, and unless you were one of the Lotto winners, budget usually dictates how far you can go.
    I’d like to share some of my thoughts from years of firearm use and general prepping. Like some here, I eventually settled on the Eastern Bloc route on weapon selection for long guns. I had several ARs, but eventually sold them off after a deployment or two to sandier regions of the world. My reasoning was pretty simple – if it really came to a SHTF scenario, I needed a rifle that would go bang every time, period. Weapons maintenance is important, but due to tight tolerances and design of the ARs, it is critical. AK-47s were designed to operate in all environments, with less than garrison level care, and be used by people with minimal kit and ability to clean the weapons. Yes, they are heavier and less accurate than the ARs, but I live in central VA, and the opportunities for shots over 300m are few. Within 300m, I can reliably hit a torso sized target. Price had some part to play as well, but mostly my experiences in the Sandbox cemented my choice.
    Main rifles: AK-47s. Reliability was the deciding factor. I have mine fitted with folding stocks for compactness, in case they have to be used from a vehicle. My oldest son has an SKS, for ammunition compatibility, and because it has a longer effective range.
    .22 Rifles: My kids decided on Ruger 10/22s, mainly because they just plain like them over some of the other .22s in the safe. All have 3-9x scopes with see-through rings, so they can still use iron sights.
    Handguns: .45 ACP was our choice. I carry a 1911, my oldest daughter a Kimber Ultra Carry, and my wife (a revolver girl through and through) snagged one of my Webley Mk VIs. The younger two kids carry Walther P22s in .22. They will eventually “up-gun”, once they are comfortable doing so. For now, since they love going to the range and I can actually afford it, P22s are just fine.
    Shotguns: I have three, and would hate to have to choose only one to take. The first is a Rossi .410 single shot (with a .22 inter-changeable barrel) that is a great small game gun. The second is a Maverick 88 (Mossberg 500 clone), which is very reliable. The third is my baby – a Winchester 1897 made in 1927. When I was doing Cowboy Action Shooting, I used this shotgun. It handles birdshot, buck, and slug with no problems.
    I have a variety of other handguns in .32 ACP, .38 Special, .380 ACP, and 9mm. Several of them are my carry guns, depending on circumstances. I love shooting them, but in a SHTF scenario, they would not be my first picks (but definitely be used as back-ups if I could). Besides the AKs and Ruger 10/22s, I have some 8mm Mausers and British SMLEs in .303, both excellent bolt action rifles. I know the “preferred” action is semi-auto, but these rifles have the reach and power to do anything I could ever ask of them. There are also a few bows and a crossbow, just to round out the less-noisy hunting options, but again, they are not our primary arms.
    Nearly all of my firearms are military surplus. I have found that prices on good, proven surplus arms generally offset the fact that they are “older” tech. I would definitely recommend to people starting out to look at surplus arms as a cost effective way to build an “arsenal” without breaking the bank. There are concerns, of course, buying any used gun, but these weapons were purpose designed for exactly what we may (hopefully never) need them to do.

  62. Re the writeup above, I don;t think the Bushmaster is what one can call a “Battle Rifle”. I have one, but I refer to it as an “Assault Rifle”. The M-14- now that weapon is what I call a “Battle Rifle”, along with the Garand M1A, weapons of .308, 30-06 caliber and the like fall under that category. The Black Rifle was responsible for the death of too many a GI in the Vietnam War when the Defense contractors sent those weapons to the troops without enough testing but too much money going around to get Stoner’s Black Rifle baptised as the
    “new” GI standard weapon of war. Reports from soldiers in Somalia from an episode on the Military Channel spoke of soldiers shooting the enemy in Somalia but being unable to stop them with their M-16’s despite multiple hits with the .223. The M-14 is still preferred by a number of Navy Seals and people who know their guns. M16, M4, AR, CAR, in as many configurations as you can imagine, the Black Rifle can never be a battle rifle. Let’s just call it an assault rifle and leave it at that. The mere fact that the Kalashnikov AK -47 is the weapon of choice of more countries by millions around the world than we think is proof positive that the .223 just won’t cut it. Just my couple of cents.

    • Gerry,
      You are correct on the terminology and the history. The M-16 family was never designed as a “battle rifle” – it was designed as a replacement for the Air Force Air Police’s M-1 Carbines. For that role, it was ideal. When the smaller statured South Vietnamese saw it, they wanted it to replace their larger, heavier M-1 Garands. After that, everything from politics to inter-service rivalry to bribery mixed it up to get the rifle adopted. It has improved significantly over the last 40 years, but it’s major issues -100% reliability and a crappy anti-personnel cartridge – are still outstanding in the service versions. New, non-service M-16/m-4 weapons have improved to the point that they can be considered reliable, and cartridge choices make a big difference. The biggest thing that the AR platforms have going for them from a prepper’s viewpoint is that there is a lot of them, parts and accessories are common, and ammo is readily available from a whole bunch of sources. The biggest thing to remember with 5.56mm is shot placement. Hitting a vital does the job every time, but that’s always the trick, isn’t it? Same with the 7.62×39 from the AK, but simple physics give the bigger bullet an edge at most practical ranges.

  63. livinglife says:

    At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what you have in your arsenal if you do not practice with them a minimum of once every few months. One week end day with sling, slingshot, bow, the next outing pistols, the next rifles/shotgun.
    Practice a quick draw with the target six-eight feet away and see how many rounds you can put on it. This is a real life average shoot out scenario.
    If for some reason if you are relying on a full auto weapon to put down a lead curtain (spray and pray) I suggest you end this self esteem charade and practice one well placed shot instead.

    I don’t disagree withe the calibers or brands, everyone has their own preference. Most every company has ran into quality issues at one point or another, do your homework before buying.
    Last Item, 5.56 and .223 are the exact same bullet (projectile), they are NOT the same round, there is a difference in the shoulder angle and head pressure. Many newer rifles can fire either and are marked such, IE, Wylde chamber, 5.56/.223, variable chamber, etc. Do not take chances with your face and hands. YouTube has video’s of this happening.

  64. What i have and what i am working on getting

    1. slingshot
    2. Sage Takedown Recurve Bow
    3. 10/22 Ruger with foldable stock, short barrel. perfect for backpack
    4. Henry survival rifle
    5. Remington 870 short barrel with scope (my deer gun and home defense)
    6. Mossburg 500
    7. Model 91 Mosin Nagant (super cheap)
    8. Civilian AR15 varient
    9. .22 pistol, 9mm pistol, .45 acp