> TEOTWAWKI Blog: The Minimal Survival Firearms Battery



The Minimal Survival Firearms Battery

Firearms are like tools; they fill specific purposes. It would be great if there was one gun that did everything - a pocket sized 12 gauge that had the recoil of a .22lr and was accurate to 500 yards, maybe. But such a gun doesn't exist, and so the prepared individual needs a variety of weapons in their "toolbox."

There's a variety of differing opinions on what you "need" to have to be prepared. Can you be prepared with just one gun, or do you need twenty?

Going with the theme of minimalism started in my last post, here's my take on the "must-haves" for a survival firearms battery:

Defensive Handgun
If you are going to only have one firearm, make it a defensive handgun. Something in a respectable caliber but still concealable. A Glock 19 would be the classic example, but there are a variety of capable and somewhat concealable handguns out there.

When you're in "prepared civilian mode," this is your primary weapon, carried concealed. When you're in "SHTF mode" this is secondary to your fighting rifle. At home, this probably serves as your main home defense/nightstand gun.

Easily Concealable Handgun
Unless you can always wear clothes that will adequately conceal your defensive handgun (and are always comfortable doing so), you will need something smaller and more concealable. An ultra compact or pocket gun. The S&W J-frame is the classic example here.

This is your "always" gun - you can always have it with you. You can conceal it in whatever and carry it comfortable in whatever. You can slip it into your pocket when you go to take out the garbage or pick up the morning paper. It's comfortable, easy and always there.

When your in "low threat" mode, this can be your primary; in "prepared civilian" mode, it's your secondary, in "SHTF mode," its a tertiary or given to a trusted and otherwise unarmed companion.

You can get some overlap if you choose a smaller defensive handgun - like the Glock 19, which many people conceal on a daily basis.

Fighting Rifle
This is the weapon that you turn to if you're expecting a fight. More powerful than your handgun, with higher capacity, precision, range and control-ability. A weapon for not just defending your life, but going to battle. If you're a survivalist, you need a fighting rifle. AR-15s and AK-47s are the typical examples.

Primary in a SHTF mode and potential primary for home defense, given your situation.

Small Game Gun
This could be a shotgun, .22lr rifle or handgun, or even a quality pellet gun. This is a game-getter, for putting food on the table. Rabbits, squirrels, birds, that kind of thing. A shotgun can run double-duty on defense, while a .22lr is dirt cheap to run. Ruger 10/22 is the example here.

Big Game/Long Range Rifle
Something with the power to take down a big critter and hit hard out to 500+ yards. Magnified scope and accurate. If you've got a fighting rifle in .308 that has the requisite accuracy, you could potentially skip this weapon. Remington 700 is the typical example.

That's it. Sort of.
So - defensive handgun, ultra-concealable handgun, fighting rifle, small game gun and long range rifle. Five weapons. Each of these five serve a specific purpose, and it's hard to get one that will fill multiple roles and trim down even more than this. It's well rounded, capable, and will do pretty much what you need your firearms to do. You can start to cut down, but you begin to lose important capabilities.

Your mileage will vary, of course. State laws, environment, lifestyle, and other factors could make your list a bit different. There may be "niche" weapons that are must-haves for you. For example, if you frequently venture into the Alaskan bush, you might want to add a big ol' bear revolver to the armory.

There's nothing wrong with having more that what I've discussed above--they're the general minimums for your battery o' guns. Make sure your preps don't become exclusively firearm/combat-centric, but shooting is fun and intrinsically tied to survivalism. Have fun.

If you don't currently have guns to fill some of the roles listed above, don't freak out. I don't have a long range rifle and won't for a while. It's ok. If the world ends before I can add one to my collection, I'll just have to make do. And hope no body armored ninja snipers attack me from 600 yards out.