The use of firearms when SHTF is probably one of the most talked-about issues on the internet these days. In many cases, firearms sometimes rank higher than food supplies in some circles.
The trend in survival firearms has taken a radical right turn; instead of defensive weapons, many have turned towards assault rifles, and offensive weapons. It’s not uncommon to see survivalists wearing tactical gear, Kevlar helmets, ballistic vest, and sporting an assortment of battle-ready guns with multiple magazines of ammunition.
The problem with that is; it doesn’t leave much room for survival gear. Heading out into the woods with tactical gear, and preparing for a gun battle is okay if that is your mindset. But the reality is that all of that gear won’t help you one bit—when faced with multiple opponents. On the contrary, it will only serve to make their job easier because it’s hard to run wearing all of that gear.
When I train newbies out in the field, the rule is only carry the things that you will actually need, and replace everything else with food supplies. Nothing is as important as food—nothing!
One of the things that I attempt to have people understand, is that even though firearms are an integral part of any survival plan, they should not be the entire plan.
No matter what the weapon of choice is; it is necessary to first become intimate with the weapon. That means spending a lot of time at the range, shooting at various distances, and shooting during weather extremes. It takes hundreds of hours to “Become One” with your weapon. But when the honeymoon is over, you’ve got something in your hands that is both familiar and might provide for an extra edge if you are ever forced to shoot somebody down.
It really doesn’t matter the make or model of the rifle, what matters is the weight, the maneuverability, and whether or not you can hit what you are aiming at in any survival or weather condition. One of my more favorite weapons is an old Soviet battle rifle: The Mosin-Nagant M1944 7.62x54R bolt action rifle. The rifle is sometimes referred to as a “Russian .308”; and that would be a close description.
[ Mosin-44 Out in The Alaska Back Country ]
The Mosin-44 is a trusted old rifle that is still being used today in many parts of the world. Here in Alaska, these old rifles are found in the hands of Eskimo hunters, and homesteaders alike. It’s reputation and durability makes this a rifle that has earned its place by the people that count on it for their day to day existence.
I’ve owned and fired tons of weapons throughout the years. Some weren’t worth a plugged nickel, while others were worth their weight in gold. One of my more favorite defensive weapon is a Diamond Back .380 caliber handgun. It’s small size makes it an ideal carry-weapon,. It certainly doesn’t pack the same punch as a .45 ACP, but again—it’s all a matter of getting to know your weapon, as well as your own capabilities. What is amazing for this small caliber cartridge, is the penetration factor. As a primary combat weapon it’s all but useless due to to lack of energy; but up-close-personal, this weapon will do what’s asked of it.
[ DB-380 Semi-Auto Handgun ]
Survivalists should consider firearms as yet another tool that gets the job done. Over-reliance on weapons is the one problem that should be avoided. To me personally; a rifle that I carry in the bush has to be suited for hunting and defensive situations. The standard that I apply to myself is that I carry one rifle, and one handgun; perhaps if the situation requires it, I may also hump a folding-stock shotgun. But in my own survival plans, everyone in my group is armed, and even if it’s just my family and I tromping around in the bush—we all carry weapons.
When SHTF; protecting the family and yourself, as well as protecting your stockpile will require firearms that are capable of doing the job with little or no frills. A basic pump shotgun, an assault rifle, or even a bolt action rifle will make life miserable for those individuals who foolishly believe that a “force of arms” will feed them.
I much prefer the heavy caliber weapons such as the belted-magnums. There is no doubt in my mind that a .375 H&H magnum will punch right through ballistic armor. Subsequently, the .454-Casull Magnum will certainly eat bullet-proof vests everyday of the week.
Additionally; in the hands of an experienced shooter, the bolt action .308 caliber rifle loaded with deadly Armor Piercing ammunition is a force of nature unto itself. A determined shooter can far exceed the range and killing power of assault rifle wielding assailants.
When it comes to self-defense in a survival situation, it’s important to understand that if you are doing things correctly; nobody out there should see you, hear, you, or realize that you are in the area. When things go south, and you find yourself confronted with armed thugs, your best option is to get away as quickly as possible. Breaking contact might not sound very “Macho”; but I guarantee that you will not feel so Macho when one of your kids, or your mate is laying dead on the ground.
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