Defense

ar

Firearms must be an integral part of any survival and preparedness system.

Why? The reason is simple.

Consider a solar flare or EMP attack which causes most all electronics to fail-

The power grid is down. Communication methods do not work. All businesses are closed. No method for pumping gas. Groceries cannot be purchased. Medical prescriptions will not be filled. Most automobiles won’t start. No TV. No drive thru’s. No calling your loved ones on your cell phone. No going to work. No running up to the corner store for a gallon of milk and loaf of bread. Life as you know it has ended.

How are people going to deal with this situation? Within hours panic will set in as no one will know what happened. People will be displaced from their homes with few methods of traveling other than to walk. Within days food, water, and medical supplies will start to run out and desperation will set in. It is a cold hard fact that people who are not prepared will either die or more likely they will look to take from others. Guess who “others” is. It is you and you must be prepared to protect your supplies and your family.

Survival situations vary widely as to conditions, threat level, environmental specifics and longevity. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 gangs of looters violently rampaged throughout New Orleans– even in broad daylight. Armed robberies and even sniper fire went on for days and gunfire could be heard throughout the city. The point is that in any serious situation – predators will take advantage and violence will spread.

Due to the unfortunate fact that no one knows what the future holds or what type of situation one may find themselves in – I approach the structure of a survival battery with diversity and flexibility in mind. It is a requirement for a battery of firearms to be able to function successfully in as many situations as possible. For the rest of this article – this is a given. 

My preparedness philosophy regarding firearms and selection may not work for everyone. Firearms are a very personal thing to most people. What follows is a general recommended structure for building a survival battery.

  1. Semi-Automatic Rifle/Carbine – Used for ranges short (0 yards) to medium (150 yards+) depending upon specific model and caliber.

Required characteristics:

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 150+ yards with either open sights or optics
    • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 15 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
    • Quick Handling – A long gun is not nearly as maneuverable as a short gun. For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – shorter firearms make such tasks easier.
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort needed to carry it around.

 Preferred Model: Stag Arms Model 2 5.56mm M4-variant 

 

Having owned the Stag Arms Model 2L pictured above for 3 years I have found it to be extremely reliable and accurate. My preferred firearm for this category would be any quality AR-15/M4-type weapon. I prefer the AR-platform of weapons as it has a proven track record of reliability and performance. Another advantage to the AR is the availability of many accessories available so each firearm can be tuned to fit its owner. Quality high capacity magazines are very plentiful and as of this writing are very inexpensive (due to varying political climates this could change at any time).

Largest drawback for the AR-type firearm is the lower powered cartridge,which limits its range, and the cost of the firearm itself. AR variants are not inexpensive.

Alternative #1: Ruger Mini-14 

A very popular and capable semi-automatic firearm is the Ruger Mini-14. Costing a few hundred dollars less than most any AR-variant the Mini-14 is reliable (with proper magazine selection) and with some recent manufacturing improvements very accurate. The Mini-14 fires the .223 Remington cartridge which is nearly identical to the AR’s 5.56mm round.

  Alternative #2: AK-47 variant

The AK-47 is very popular and has an exceptional track record of reliability in most any condition found on the planet. Firing the 7.62x 39mm cartridge – the AK edges out the AR platform in the power category. The AK-47 is worthy of consideration when looking to purchase a semi-automatic rifle/carbine.

 

  1. Pistol – Used for short range situations such as house clearing and when a long gun is not available. Generally carried on the hip ready to be accessed when needed. Allows hands to be free and still be armed.

Required characteristics:

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to a maximum range of 25-30 yards
    • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 12-17 rounds
    • Quick Handling – For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – pistols are excellent.
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around – and the quicker the pistol can be moved into position.

Preferred Model: Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm semi-automatic pistol

 

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm is a fantastic pistol. Extremely reliable and superbly accurate – the M&P is an excellent choice for a sidearm. The ergonomics are fantastic and recoil is negligible. Trigger pull is better than acceptable and quick follow up shots are easy. 17 rounds of 9mm are held in each magazine. Cost is in right in line with other polymer framed combat pistols.

Alternatives: Pistols are very much like cars – everyone has their personal preference and this is one of the reasons there are so many to choose from. There are many reliable quality pistols on the market today. Most any of them would do just fine as a defensive pistol.

A few that fit my requirements are as follows:

  • Glock Model 17
  • SpringfieldXD9
  • Ruger SR9
  • FN FNP 9
  • Taurus 24/7

 

  1. Shotgun – Meant for short ranges from point blank to 25-30 yards. Shotguns can fire shells of different load types for different purposes. Due to the ability to fill many roles – the shotgun is often looked at as the most important and versatile piece in a survival battery.

Required characteristics:

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds
       without disruption
    • Full Cylinder Bore – This means no choke on the end of the barrel.
    • Magazine Capacity – minimum of 5 rounds in the tube
    • Quick Handling – 18” – 20” barrel maximum length and full stock only – no pistol grip stocks.

 Preferred Model: Remington 870 Express Tactical 12 gauge Pump-Action

 The Remington 870 is one of the most popular shotguns in the world and is used extensively for purposes such as hunting, sport/target shooting, and self-defense. The 870 is a shotgun with a proven track record of reliability and performance second to no other.  Alternatives: Mossberg 500

 

 

 

The Mossberg 500 carries an excellent reputation for performance and value. Available in many different models – the Mossberg 500 can be purchased with a multitude of options and due to high aftermarket support can be outfitted to fit each owners needs.

  1. Bolt Action/Long Range Rifle – For engaging targets out to 300 yards and beyond. Excellent for hunting large game.

 Required characteristics:

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 300+ yards
    • Caliber –  .308Winchester

 

Preferred Model: No preference

 

 

There are so many great bolt action rifles like the Winchester Model 70 pictured above – can’t pick just one. Ruger, Marlin, Savage, Mossberg, and Remington all make rifles of varying prices and each carrying unique features of their own.

Prices for these quality firearms can vary from just a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. Budget-minded folks can buy a bolt action .308 with a scope for under $400 and be able to hit a gallon milk jug at 200-300 yards.

  1. Utility Firearm – Versatile firearm to be used for training, harvesting small game, potential – but not recommended – for self defense.

Required characteristics:

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit small targets effectively out to 100 yards with either open sights or optics
    • Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around.

Preferred Model: Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Auto Carbine

  

The Ruger 10/22 is arguably the most popular rimfire rifle ever sold. With its rotary 10-round magazine this carbine can fire literally thousands of rounds without experiencing failures of any kind (proper cleaning needed of course). A proven firearm – the 10/22 has good accuracy and due to tremendous aftermarket support can be accessorized per the owners requirements.

Alternatives: Although there are several very good rimfire carbines and rifles on the market made by major gun manufacturers – the Ruger 10/22 in my opinion is inexpensive, ultra-reliable, accurate and fills the role of “Utility Firearm” like no other. You can’t go wrong with the Ruger.

These have been my recommendations for a basic survival battery. As already stated – not everyone will agree with it nor will it work for everyone. Folks living in the city will certainly require a different composition to their battery than those living in rural or country areas. This should serve as a basic guideline to assist in developing your own survival battery.

A few random thoughts on building a survival battery:

  • Safety, safety, safety – Common sense I know but when dealing with firearms that have no compassion for you or your family – the person behind the trigger must. If unfamiliar with firearms – take a course and learn to handle your firearms appropriately and responsibly.
  • Ammunition – A rifle without ammunition is a very expensive and poorly made “club”. Find what ammunition your firearm likes (reliability and accuracy) and stock up on at least a few thousand rounds of each caliber for each firearm.
  • Magazines – Several spare magazines should be purchased for every single magazine-fed firearm in your survival battery. Factory magazines are often the most reliable however some aftermarket models work extremely well. Research your particular weapon to determine what to buy. Regardless – stock up as many as you can afford as what you have may be all you can get should a serious situation develop.
  • Take care of your firearms – After each use each firearm needs to be cleaned and lubricated. The better you take care of them – the more likely they will work to take care of you. Cleaning kits can be found at any local gun shop or purchased online very inexpensively.
  • Optics – Make sure you can shoot each firearm accurately prior to placing any optic on it. Optics such as red dot sights and scopes are great – but they can fail. Should your optics fail – be ready to use standard open sights.
  • Equipping members of your group – Assuming a survival battery of firearms are meant for more than just one person – how should each person be armed? One pistol and one long gun is my suggestion.

 

Remember……gun control is being able to hit your target!

 

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