Today’s Question: What firearms do you feel are most appropriate for long term survival and why?
Critically important. In most any major disaster the criminal element takes advantage – looting, home invasions, assaults, rapes, and murders. The many horrific events that took place after Hurricane Katrina are good examples. The sharp incline in crime during Argentina’s economic woes provide another window to potentially see the future. If desperation sets in – violence will as well.
As far as specific firearms, the short answer is those that you can shoot well. No point in having a rifle that can take out a deer at 500 yards if you don’t know how to shoot it. As far as a preparedness battery of firearms – pump action shotgun, semi-automatic center-fire, pistol, and a good .22LR rifle. Throw in a good centerfire bolt action or lever action to round it out. A lot depends on environment and situation. Someone living outside the city in Wyoming or North Dakota may very well need different armament than someone living in downtown Atlanta.
Lastly there is ammunition as without it the firearm is nothing but a large paperweight. Store the maximum that can be afforded.
OK folks – how about you? We would appreciate it if you would provide your thoughts, commnts, and maybe even answer the question yourself.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
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Rourke- I agree with you.the most important aspect of a firearm is being able to handle it well-make sure it fits your body . Youth rifles may be a better fit for some smaller men and women. Have lots of ammo and practice,
practice , practice-loading and shooting or unloading. A 20 gauge shotgun, a hand gun , a rifle such as a 22 and a
semi auto and possibly a 30=30 type. Also pepper spray and a taser if one is allowed in theirr state . I dont know
much about handguns -I need to learn and get a permit one of these days-long process here .
Thanks Rourke for everything and thank Valerie for her exc. reporting. Hey Rourke you are mych younger than I realized-your wisdome is beyond your years. Arlene
I feel that your answer makes sense,I GUESS THATS BECAUSE THATS HOW i THINK. I dont think you need a $2500.00 weapon to protect you and yours. I think buy the toys if it makes you feel better,but,a man with a deer rifle might own youre toys some day,because he knows how to hunt and not from TV shows and books. Go into the feild and learn how to really protect yourself. Learn to walk,listen and see.
I concur with all your points, Rourke. At a glance, it almost appears that I wrote those words myself. A battery of weapons is recommended. Each individual’s situation will dictate what works best. Folks living in urban areas, who plan on “Bugging Out” to a safer place in the country, may want firearms designed for combat (assault rifle, semi-auto shotguns, automatic pistols, etc). A family defending a farm in a rural area, may get away with a bolt action hunting rifle and a pump shotgun. I would advise new preppers to pick up the following weapons in this order:
1) Shotgun (12 or 20 gauge, whatever is easier to handle), plus #00/3BK, slugs, #4 or #6 shot.
2) .22 Long Rifle – Ruger 10/22 with high capacity (BX-25) magazines and a brick (500+) rounds of ammo.
3) Handgun – .45 Auto (urban), .357 Mag/.38 Spl (rural). May consider a revolver that fires .45LC & .410GA.
4) Assault rifle – Mini-14 or M4/AR15 or clone in .223 Rem / 5.56mm NATO.
5) Bolt or lever action in .308, 30-06, 30-30. Might want to match calibers with handgun. For example, if you have a .357/.38 pistol, buying a lever or bolt action .357/.38. If you have a Governor or Judge revolver, getting a rifle/shotgun that shoots .45LC & .410GA will save on the types of ammo you stock. You won’t have the same range as .308/30-06/30-30, though.
Of course, the best weapon system is the one on hand. Any gun is better than no gun. If you already own firearms, and have no money or intention to obtain any more, I would definitely buy ammo now. I have a bad feeling we are on the cusp of some sweeping changes with respect to purchasing ammunition, especially over the internet. One last note, I would stick with common calibers: .22LR, .380, 9mm, .357, .38, .40, .44 & .45 in handguns, .22LR, .223, .308, 30-06, 30-30 for rifles and .410, .20 & .12 gauges in shotguns. There are millions of rounds already in circulation. Owning a weapon in an odd or not so common caliber may prove to be a challenge to find ammo for during a disaster/crisis situation.
I believe a battery of firearms would be required, as really no one gun does it all
At the very least ether a 20 or 12 gauge SG (12 better more popular) perhaps a short and long barrel combo gun, with two barrels the short one for self defense and slug gun hunting, and the longer for small game. Second a 22 rifle best bet a Ruger 10/22, Third a side arm perfer 9mm or bigger, but even a 22 caliber pistol is better than no gun at all, and there are times a long gun is to cumbersme to have with you
I am a shooter so I have opted for both .223 AR-15’s and the PTR 91 HK design in 308, as well as a bolt action 308, also a number of shotguns most pump action 12 gauge, Also several 22 rifles in semi, lever, and bolt actions, and pistols from 22 to 357 Mag. Each semi auto has at least 10 magazines, and yeah what Rourke said about ammo stack it high and deep.
I’d say three firearms, pump shotgun, 10/22, and a handgun preferably a wheel gun. And lots of ammo. Don’t go cheap on the storage devices, you want dry ammo. Shotgun can shoot slugs, or shot. 10/22 great for small game. Handgun makes sense for last defense. But lead shot is even better.
For long term survival, the only practical firearms would have to be those that I can manufacture/produce ammunition for. This is because eventually using modern firearms (those that utilize modern catridge ammunition, either rimfire or centerfire), you will run out of ammunition, or it will decay, or it will be seized.
I would prefer good flintlock muzzleloading black powder guns; pistols, rifles and shotguns. It is relatively easy to manufacture ammunition for them from natural sources. I would also strongly consider a bow and arrows, because their fire rate is better than a flintlock muzzleloader, and they too are easily replenishible, although they don’t have the effective range or area of effect a muzzleloader rifle or shotgun will.
Even a wrist rocket would be a practical consideration for long term survival. With the right ammo, they can be lethal self defense items as well. A blowgun would also be a practical consideration.
This is not to say I will trade in my AR-15. But once it runs out, I do want something that will be useful 5 years after the bubble goes up.
The simplest way to put it is all the preps in the world will do you no good if you can’t keep them. Weapons are essential, but 1/2 of your guns budget should go to training and practice. Emergencies are not the time for trying to figure out how to use your gun(s).
What you should get depends on your budget and who you are arming. Pump shotguns are great home defense tools, but if your household includes teen age children and smaller adults, that full size 12 gauge may be beyond their abilities. An AR15 for everyone is a fine idea, but for a family of 4 that’s 3000+ before extra magazines and ammo.
On the top of the list is a 22lr rifle, the ammo is cheap, it is a great training tool and is useful for all kinds of critter pests up through feral dogs. Most people don’t think of it, but in a long term crash situation feral dogs that may no fear of humans will be a very great danger. The shotgun, centerfire pistol and rifle are good additions and all apply to different aspects of defense. The ideal is one of each for for each member of the group. If this is not possible, come as close as you can. Any gun should be useable by any member of the group, you may be out and away or injured and not able to defend the others. For example, the 20 gauge youth model shotgun may be a much better choice that the 12 gauge with a pistol grip. An AR15 should have an adjustable butt stock to fit all arm lengths. If what you have is a 12 gauge, get the reduced recoil buckshot or slugs that were developed for law enforcement. At reasonable ranges, they hit every bit as hard as standard loads and truly kick about like a 20gauge.
Training doesn’t have to be expensive, there are lots of good dvds out there and plenty of you tube videos, though their quality varies widely. Check out Gun Talk TV, they have lots of free videos and access to the not free ones is cheap.
My response here doesn’t even scratch the surface of what someone would need to know. Do your research.
Selecting weapons that are the most commonly used and carried today will mean that when a spring, an extractor, a magazine, a stock or sight breaks or becomes lost, a replacement would be more likely to be available. This translates to an AR or AK tactical rifle, a common American-made pump shotgun–like the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, a bolt-action American-made rifle like a Remington model 700 or Winchester model 70, A Winchester model 94 or Marlin model 336 lever-action rifle, any Glock pistol or 1911 clone. If your collection already includes other, more eclectic specimens, you might consider selling them or trading them to get something you’ll be able to fix down the road WHEN it becomes necessary. On the other hand, having a few extra weapons in odd-calibers might enable you to use unpopular–hence, less “expensive” ammo that might turn up somewhere down the road. If an owner of 9mm Makarov ammo can’t unload it, he might be willing to make a really sweet deal to someone who approached him in the right way about his “undesirable” goods.
Short answer, as you stated, is a battery. Now the hard question is….what kind of battery?
Many/most preppers envision a WROL situation. And appropriately configure their battery for it. Generally you see:
Assault Rifle or Main Battle rifle (Soooo NOT going to get into the .223 vs .308 argument here!)
Pump Shotgun (870, Mossberg 500/590, etc)
Handgun (Glock, 1911, XD, Sig, Beretta, etc)
.22LR for game getting/practice
The above Battery is a High Damage Battery meant to inflict maximum damage on the ascending hoardes (with a little hunting/plinking for the down time). This battery will generally work for most for a short time WROL situation. Unfortunately this battery is also High Maintenance. I’m not saying that this is the wrong or inappropriate Battery. It is what it is and it will function as intended. For most, this battery is the way to go. It is the Optimist’s Battery. Optimist, meaning that the user expects the world to return to normal after the craziness. This is what we ALL should hope for and work towards.
But I suggest that a different Battery be considered in a true Long Term situation where the return to “normal” will be measured in generations.
For this, we go old school. Not antique school! Muzzle loaders and bows are fine for somethings, but in reinventing the wheel it is not necessary to go back and chisel out a stone into a circle…….. we can just go back far enough where wheels were wooden spokes inside a metal ring.
The problem with Long Term is that even the most reliable firearms break and there are only so many parts (and armorers) out there. Springs are especially susceptible to breakage. How many pistol shooters out there who regularly practice, regularly defined as putting a MINIMUM of 500 rds a year downrange in a specific firearm (and 500 rounds shouldn’t really be considered but the beginning), have to regularly rotate/repair/replace their magazines? Mags seem to wear (or be lost) faster than any other part. Now, add in a running firefight or three and diminishing cleaning supplies and home reloaded ammunition made from sixth-fired brass……….how do you think those modern autos are working now?
For real Long Term prepping, you should consider an alternate battery.
Miss the magazine capacity, try a Smith 8 or 9 shot revolver.
No magazine needed and FAR fewer moving parts resulting in breakage. Underpowered reloads…no problem. Not lubed recently….usually no problem.
Side by side shotgun. There’s a reason that this gun was in every farm house in the West. And with modern chokes, a 20″ barrel will handle the home defense problem and the occasional bird on the wing. Very few moving parts to break, and while restricted to two shots, it does have the absolutely fastest second shot of any shotgun out there and the ability to choose barrels (can you say buck or slug?).
Bolt action rifle.
One with a non-detachable magazine. In long term, there aren’t day long firefights with hundreds/thousands/millions of rounds spent. Rounds are precious. Distance becomes the key to avoiding confrontations. Get a basic bolt action (easily under $500 and can easily be found for $200-250) and spend your money on a quality scope ($500++), but keep the iron sights on it as well. Not a lot of moving parts and with a quality scope it should last a lifetime. There is a reason that many shooters have their daddy’s/grandfather’s bolt action in the gun cabinet, they get passed down because they still work generation after generation. Get one in a good caliber and another in .22LR.
Lever Action Rifle.
The cowboy’s assault rifle! This is starting to hit the too many moving parts, but it still has far fewer than any semi out there. If you’ve owned any of the ones listed above, odds are (with the exception of a new scope or sighting it in) that this is the one that may have seen a repair shop. Still, that being said, there are still tens of thousands of old winchester lever guns out there working generation after generation. It isn’t dependent on quality ammo to function reliably (though it will help with accuracy), and with correct form and practice, it can provide a good rate a fire (usually far better than most people can shoot a semi accurately). By correct form, I refer to the extremely off practice of even experienced shooters pulling the rifle down from their shoulder and re-chambering a round instead of simply leaving it up and on target and loading another round. While slow to load or top off the magazine, it does have the advantage of being able to be topped off at any time without removing the magazine. And again…..AIM….FIRE…..HIT! If you’re not doing that…..STOP SHOOTING! You’re just making noise and wasting resources! This is another rifle good to have in a good caliber (even a pistol caliber…possibly to match your revolver caliber?) and a .22LR.
I suggested a revolver in 357 Magnum (which shoots .38 Special bullets, too) for several reasons in a rural environment:
1) You would not be facing gangs or large groups of people, all very agitated, as in an urban setting. The need for rapid fire, as with an automatic pistol, is therefore reduced.
2) Revolvers chambered for .357 MAG/.38 SPL are more versatile in that the variety of bullets it can shoot. I am assuming that there are more .357 & .38 bullets in circulation than an one single caliber of automatic rounds. My Colt Gold Cup .45 Auto only shoots ball ammo and a hollow point highly rounded at the tip. My S&W 19 & Ruger Security-6 revolvers fire .357 solids, jacketed & semi jacketed hollow points, .38 ball, hollow points and birdshot (great for snakes). I feel the revolver is better for hunting all types of game and more accurate at distant targets.
3) For long term survival, I think revolvers are more practical. They have less moving parts, thus requiring little or no lubrication. They almost never jam. They are easier to maintain and can be cleaned without disassembly. They are not dependent on additional pieces to work (magazines). An $1800.00 Kimber .45 auto is dependent on a $1.00 spring that pushes the bullet into place. Some autos cannot be fired without the magazine (Ruger 22/45). So, if there is a problem with the magazine (bent lip, disformed follower), the gun cannot even be used as a single shot. You won’t have these problems with revolvers.
4) My oldest son and I shoot the .357 bullets. My wife and youngest son prefer the .38 rounds because the reduced recoil is more manageable.
Please don’t take me the wrong way. I am not opposed to automatic pistols. I carried an M1911 Cal.45 for over 25 years. I just feel that revolvers are better if you are not facing multiple threats or a situation that requires quick engagement (like running from building to building, fleeing a city in panic. Try both out before you buy a handgun. Good luck in your purchase.
Irish 7 Thank you so much for taking the time to explain about the handgun for rural protection. I will take your advice and eventually purchase a .38 revolver after I get my permit and safety course. You just might have saved my life and others that I cherish. Arlene
I’m going to focus on one firearm that can, by itself, serve as a big chunk of a battery of firearms: the AR-15 platform.
In just a few seconds, one AR-15 lower receiver can be adapted to multiple calibers, simply by replacing the upper receiver (which bears no serial number). Upper receivers that use the AR-15 magazine well to feed ammunition range in caliber from .17HMR and .22LR> rimfire cartridges, through 6.8mm SPC and 300 AAC Blackout, all the way to .50 Beowulf. Most centerfire AR-15 uppers in alternate calibers can use standard AR-15/M16 magazines, albeit with a potential reduction in magazine capacity (300 AAC Blackout is noteworthy for maintaining a full 30-round capacity in 30-round 5.56mm magazines, while AR-15 magazines require feed lip modification for use with .50 Beowulf rounds). Meanwhile, those who want more powerful cartridges can find single-shot or magazine-fed semi-auto receivers in calibers up to .50 BMG.
You are quite welcome, Irene. I am most grateful for all the advice that I received from others in the “Prepping” community. I am glad to be able to offer assistance for a change. One final note on the revolvers that we talked about: A .357 Magnum can fire .38 Special bullets, but a .38 SPL cannot shoot .357 MAG rounds. Perhaps you will have the opportunity to try them both out before you make a purchase. Even if the recoil is a little hard to manage with .357 MAG bullets, you may want to have that power available. I say this if you think you could not effectively fire one round after another. As long as the kick is not so strong that you drop the gun. You never can tell when a situation will arise where you must shoot through a wall or door, or at a large predator. If you buy a revolver that is just chambered for .38 SPL, you won’t have that option.
Irish 7 Thanks again for more inf.Yes I have shot many rifles and only once a 22 pistol so I know how important kick is (so does my shoulder-smile !)I will take your recent advice into deep consideration and hopefully i will be able to try them out before a purchase. Arlene
It’s interesting, a friend ask me about this topic recently. Here is an excerpt from me response to him.
Pistols. 2 primary options and they they branch out from there.
First question is what do you want to use it for? Recreation, self defense, conceal carry, vehicle carry, offensive, offensive/defense, hunting/camping backup, novelty, etc, or a combination……
How often do you plan on practice? If for self defense and nothing else, close quarters?
Do you have a preference of revolver or semi-auto? You mentioned 38 ammunition. 38 special is a good all purpose common and inexpensive (by comparison, to be frank no ammunition is cheap anymore) round. For a revolver, I would recommend a 357 magnum. It will cost a bit more than a 38, but you have the option of running the more powerful 357 magnum round for serious knock down power, or for general purpose use (self defense, target practice, small to medium game backup) you load up the 38 specials. I often carry a 3″ 357 magnum (small frame 6 rounds) loaded with 38s with two quick loads, one of 38s and the other of 357 magnum. If I empty the gun twice and whatever it is is still pissed off at me rather than dead, I load up the 357s and blow large grapefruit sized holes out the back side of said pissy thing.
For a revolver, unless looking for something special, I would recommend your first one be a 357. Frame size, barrel length, hammer style, sights, etc all become a factor of use. Obviously the shorter the barrel and lighter the weapon the less accurate and manageable (perceived recoil) the weapon becomes. Of course the longer the barrel and heavier it is the harder it is to hide or use in close quarters. Frame size is typically defined by your hand size with some compromises made for weapon use. I own the afore mentioned 357 and another one with a 6″ barrel. The heavier longer one is a wonderful sidearm and I would much rather have it for hunting, camping, plinking, or if the world went into a tail spin. It is easy to handle and accurate. It is difficult to conceal though (about the only way to conceal it is in a shoulder holster under a jacket, and then if someone knows what to look for….well the bulge you always wanted to be noticeable isn’t in your crotch, but under your armpit. The other shorter smaller one, is the opposite. Although not as bad as some other small framed short barreled handguns I have shot, it is not as accurate as the 6″. As well recovery between shots is longer for target acquisition. If you run 357s through it, your ears will ring for the next week and the weapon becomes very difficult to manage due to the perceived recoil.
Semi-automatics (autos) follow similar conventions, but due to the oh so many flavors and colors, it is really best to meet up with a friend (or several) and try a variety of calibers and models to get a feel for what suits you. I would recommend sticking with a 9mm, 40cal, or a 45apc. All are relatively common rounds. The smaller the caliber (in similar/same design weapons), typically the more rounds you can carry and there can be some improvement in accuracy (its all relative). Of course the smaller the caliber, the more you sacrifice in knock down power as well (to some degree – for instance the 40 and 10mm are essentially the same caliber rounds, but the 10 is a real firecracker packing a heavier punch). I really like the 40 personally for carry purposes. It is common enough (lots of cops carry these 3 rounds), in a small frame I can get 10 +1 rounds (really small frame), and it has good ballistics. It is also very light, it has a synthetic frame. Although this compromises the weight from a use standpoint, in the summer when it is hot and concealing it is a factor, it can be slipped in a pair of pleated dockers pants pocket and unless you wear them with no belt or too tight, it is lost in the pleats (they also make special holsters just for this, and when in doubt, take a couple of sheets of paper and fold them together into a 4.25 x 5.5 sheet and insert them in the front of the pocket to break up the silhouette). When it cooler and hiding a chunk o’ iron is easier to do due to layers of cloth and namely a heavy jacket, I like to carry the combat model 1911 45acp. Only holds 8 +1 (original magazines from the 1911 (year) design were 7) and I feel very comfortable with the weapon. Fits my hand the best of all my pieces, the heft makes recovery between shots easily manageable, recoil for such a large round is compensated by the same heft as well, it is one hell of a large chunk of lead to throw at anything, and anything you hit is going to go down, even if you ‘wing’ it (which in this case someone is going to loose said ‘wing’ more than likely). It has a mystique, nostalgic element; pull a 1911 out in front of anyone and it is immediately recognized as the faithful sword of the US military forces for many generations (and probably would still be if not for politics). And if for some strange reason I throw 22 pieces of 45 caliber chunks of lead at someone and can’t take them down, I know I will at least be able to beat the hell out them with the heavy leg iron like a hatchet.
If you are going survivalist, as far as weapons are concerned do this. Get a 4-6″ 375 magnum that you feel comfortable with. Go use it and become intimately familiar with it. Then make sure you are comfortable with upholstering it and firing it without much thought; this is critical – if you can’t get it out of the holster or flip the safety off without looking or thinking about it when you are dealing with a threat, those split seconds could be life or death. Forget quick draw crap. That’s for movies. Unless you want to expose yourself in the middle of the street I seriously doubt you will every need to quick draw. Do like me, hide behind large heavy objects and let them waste their ammunition. If you have a fist full of dollars and want a second weapon, pickup up a Beretta m9 9mm(what ever the civilian version is). If you want the second one, but don’t want to pay the Beretta premium, get a Taurus version. They are very sweet guns. Accurate, comfortable, hold a shit load of bullets, but most importantly the ammunition is very common and relatively inexpensive. If the world goes to shit, the blue helmet guys that will be fucking with everyone will be carrying 9mm, probably Beretta m9s (having the Beretta version may be nice if you need to find parts, the Taurus version if just different enough that I doubt any of the parts mix and match). If you still have a money burning a hole in your pocket, go grab you a good combat version of the 1911 (lots of knock offs out there, some are good, some are junk). You don’t have to buy Colt specifically, but whatever you buy make sure it is compatible with colt parts. This is important. Colt 1911’s are like Harleys. They are well designed, durable, have been around a very long time, and most importantly everyone makes parts for them, so they are easy to repair and customize. There are a few companies out there that make ‘1911s’, but they are not to spec and not compatible with common Colt parts. That is important in a 1911. Best option would be a pre 60’s model (I think, ask around). Newer models have had safety features added internally and although they are standardized, the older variations had less parts to deal with. Mine is a newer variation. Bill (I think you met him) has an older version. His has less parts and thus less things to go wrong. Nothing will make your day to to shit more than having a weapon fail you when you need it most because of some bullshit fed required safety device that wore out that the same weapon went generations without having.
Unless you plan on always being on the defense at short distance (read this as saying victim), go invest in something with a little range. If I am not mistaken, I am under the impression you probably are good in this area. My minimum recommendation is a 12 gauge pump, with a short unchoked barrel. Defender type series models are ideal. Pull the plug out and you should have 5-6 rounds under you. If you want to look bad-ass, buy you a bandolier and load it up with buck shot for close combat and slugs to reach out and touch someone. 12 guage slugs are nice. They are relatively accurate all things considered (no I don’t mean at 800 yards, but a 100 yard shot at a bi-pedal varmint is realistic and very destructive….and if you do miss, unless whatever terrorist you are shooting at is very well trained, they are gonna shit their pants). I recommend being uncool and just buying a ammunition bag type thing with pouches you can throw over your shoulder…… Next consider a reputable entry level AR-15. I never thought I would like them, but I have to say, they are a sweet weapon. Think practical. Go flat top with open sights. Maybe a rail for a flashlight (all that is up to you). Lasers and flashlights are nice, but if the world goes to hell in a hand basket, I bet there wont be too many walmart to find batteries at. Don’t kid yourself either, the AR is not a practical home defense weapon. Obviously if it all that is available, use it, but the 223 round will penetrate a lot of drywall. It is a wicked bullet, and although I like large chunks of lead in general, I can see an appeal of that round to military types. The basic weapon is a simple design for a semi-auto/auto (M-16 version). The modern versions have had all the bugs worked out that gave the weapon a bad name in Vietnam. Figure on spending $800 to $1000 depending on variations, accessories and brand. The nice thing about this weapon is that those blue helmet guys I mentioned earlier, they carry them – parts and ammunition. They also like to carry 308s as well. A nice 308 bolt action hunting rifle with a ‘I can see you’ scope is another option I would recommend you consider (308, 7mm mag, 30-06, pick something common) with a scope appropriate for the round and weapons capabilities, something variable for versatility. A tricked out AR could be a compromise. A finely tuned AR has some serious reach out and touch someone capabilities, but it is a smaller bullet and at extreme ranges, you might want a little more umph. You hit the roads and hide out in a mountainous terrain, you might get hungry, and something that can hit a mountain goat at 1000+ yards might make the difference in eating or not eating.
Attempt to get these things from a reputable cash and carry option if at all possible.
Go buy you some ammo boxes from a surplus supply store. Alternatives, need to be water tight, have handles on them that they can be carried with by one hand, and be durable/strong enough to hold 50-60lbs of ammo each without falling apart if dropped or handled roughly. I recommend buying ammo for any and all caliber weapons you have and filling these things up. Watch for sales and stock up. If nothing ever happens, have fun at the range. If something does and even if you have more than you could possible use, someone else probably will not have thought that far ahead and you have an instant replacement for the greenback. Put them somewhere you can get to quickly and easily if you have to hit the ground running because Canada invades and is smothering your neighborhood in maple syrup, or maybe it will be the Chinese and AK47s (you pick your worst nightmare – personally I don’t trust any country with 3.2 beer).
One other thing I am recommending. Consider picking up a 36 or 44 caliber Colt or Remington black powder pistol and some cap and ball rifle (there are several nice ones to get) replicas (functional). Cabela’s and Bass Pro both sell them and they are not firearms (at least in most states). Learn how to use them, buy an old western holster for the pistol and a scabbard for the rifle. Research their history, hang them on the wall and use them as conversation pieces. Take some fun pics of you wearing them while in a cowboy hat and boots and hang that on the wall beside them. No body considers these a threat, except someone like me that knows how to use them. In your closet keep an ammo box filled with the newer non corrosive black powder replacement and caps and another with rounds for each, patches, lube, cleaning supplies, lead molds, and a cap making tool, etc….as well as the proper steps for making black powder (its not hard and it is made of relatively innocuous items if you were not aware of that – google it). Go somewhere and find someone that can sell you a couple of bricks of lead to throw somewhere in the garage out of sight out of mind. If ever you did end up in a world of hurt and you traded all your ammo to get laid by hot post apocalyptic babes (or maybe you used it shooting old signs on the side of the road when you got drunk one night), you still have a means of simple defense and hunting. I’d rather have that old Colt Walker I leave out as a novelty than that 1911 when it is out of ammunition.