by Bruce Buckshot Hemming
I was reading another survival blog when the age-old Semi versus Bolt gun argument came up.”Our character is out wandering around after the Apocalypse ( Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse ) and is attacked by dogs. He gallantly fought them off with his SKS. And made the comment that he would have been dead if he had only carried a bolt-action.”
I wrote the Dog attack 3 articles series back in 1999 first published on Captain Dave Survival site. The basic concept was that today people love their dogs so much they would not put them down and let them go. The end result would be huge dog packs attacking and killing people. Since then many writers have put this in books and articles, one guy even used pictures of snares from my website for his article without giving me credit for it. Since I know for a fact I was the first one to explain using snares as a defense against dog packs. The best defense to protect your garden and livestock or game animals would be snared. I would have 10 dozens coyote grade snares.
My latest Novel Grid Down Reality Bites again has using snares for defense against dog packs. When it takes $1000 to fill up your gas tank with hyperinflated dollars or $500 a loaf bread comes from Hyper-inflation as our currency collapses you will be darn glad you learned trapping and snaring skills ahead of time. But back to the gun talk.
Let’s see we have what I call the “Book of Eli” and “The Road” mentality what I call the fantasy survivalist. They assume they can put on their backpack grabbed their SKS and wandered the land like young Grasshopper Cain from the 70’s Kung Fu TV series. A little reality needs to be brought up. One point is the standard carry load for the SKS/ AR is around 200 rounds. I know you think wow I would carry a thousand rounds right. Sure you would for about 100 yards. Then sweating like a stuff pig huffing and puffing you would realize the fact that 200 rounds plus the rest of the survival gear in your Bug out Back Pack are about all you can carry.
When the Backwoodsman interviewed me for an article on just 1 gun to carry I answer two guns. A .22 pistol and trapper Model 30-30. The trapper model is the short barrel lightweight Winchester Model 94. Having carried a rifle all day in the woods you learn a few things like you know in thick brush that a short 30-30 sure is handy. That after hours of walking that lightweight rifle sure beats that heavy SKS. Common sense dictates that the more you work the more you eat. Think about it. You are an engine that needs fuel to keep going. Our fuel is calorie intake. The more you work the more you eat. The more weight you carry the more fuel you need.
We know the real men in the past, like the brave souls from Lewis and Clark, were clearly working for a living. Man was the beast of burden in many cases. How much fuel did they use? I read a journal that said the party would consumer a full-grown 1500 pound buffalo in 2 days each man was eating 5-8 pounds of meat per day. The point being you need a lot of food. The other blog had a great point on bolt versus the semi. You are more likely to run through your ammo quickly with a semi then with a bolt.
A bolt forces you to be more accurate cause deep in your mind you are thinking to make this shot count cause it takes so long to get another round in. Same with the 30-30 lever-action. But with a semiautomatic, you think no big deal I have 9 more shots who cares if I miss(or 29 more in AR/AK). Which means that Young Grasshopper you will be out of ammo for a Semi in a short time.
Now to decide how much ammo to carry will 140-200 rounds of 30-30 ammo. 400 rounds of killed them dead now hard-hitting Remington Yellow Jackets and 100 CCI 40 grain copper plated solid points. I once wasted a lot of time trying to educate a paper shooter on the proper ammo to carry. I recommend above ammo and soft point instead of Full Metal Jacket.
He was part of the Semi-auto the military knows best FMJ ammo is the best crowd. This young 28-year-old got really defensive. When I try to explain that I have lived off the land and have shot 1000’s of animals in my life he attacked calling me a bragger. Ah, the young and the dead. LOL
You see I have shot a lot of animals with 22’s one lesson I learned early on was solid point ripped straight through the animal and did not drop them dead. End result lost animals that escape and died wasting them. Once I switch to yellow jackets the end result was a huge jump in dead right now animals equal more animals in the cooking pot.
But if you try to shoot a deer in the head with the Yellowjacket the rapid expanding hollowpoint will just flatten on the skull not penetrating and the end result will be a deer with a headache. Hence the reason for the solid points. Of course, the 30-30 would be used for deer most of the time but as a backup, in case the 30-30 broke you could still shoot one.
When your life is on the line why risk it. Wandering the wasteland is a fantasy without resupply. But a small hunting camp with a hand pump Water well or maybe a 500-1000 gallon Cistern buried and filled with rainwater off your roof would be a God sent in a true collapse. A wood stove, Axe, Hand saw, and a way to grow a garden would be paradise.
Everyone needs to remember Colonel Tanner from the Movie Red Dawn (1984)
“You think you’re tough for eating beans every day? There are half a million scarecrows in Denver who’d give anything for one mouthful of what you got. They’ve been under siege for about three months. They live on rats and sawdust bread and sometimes… on each other. At night, the pyres for the dead light up the sky. It’s medieval.”
You could inexpensively use square straw bales and stucco to insulate the heck out of the walls and give some ballistic stopping power. Don’t know how long it would last in a real firefight, or maybe you could use Ram Earth Bricks.
Traps: The 110 conibear is the best small game trap on the market followed by snares. I would go with a solar battery charger and NiNH batteries LED lanterns flashlights and you could have a pretty good life. It comes down to the basics first. Shelter a roof over your head, heat a wood stove, food garden traps snares hunting, water a well or Cistern with a water filter, lights plenty of NiNH batteries solar chargers 3 lanterns 10 flashlights, good knives – I like the Mora of Sweden All Purpose Knife or the Mora of Sweden Camping & Hiking Knife. For less than $20 you could have a darn good life. Add some Yo-Yo fishing reels to be your traps in the summer months.
If you really get fancy you could have a propane cook stove. 2 – 100-pound cylinders last about 1 year for the average person or 10 months for a small family. Make sure you buy for the house propane cook stove, not the RV ones that use a ton of propane. Flint and Steel for when your matches and lighter runs out.
I just don’t get folks that don’t think this all through. The fantasy wandering the wasteland is a great movie script but is almost impossible in real life. A small 5-acre place like that would be worth its weight in gold or a truckload of Semi-autos with no ammo in the wasteland of a true collapse. Take care of the basic first then everything else is gravy for making your life better.
by Bruce Buckshot Hemming – visit his website for survival trapping information and tools.
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