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12/4/13

The Devil's Advocate: Rifle Only?

Leave this at home when the crap hits the fan? Crazy?
The Devil's Advocate series seeks to explore ideas that run against the mainstream, accepted wisdom. We're not recommending a particular course of action, but instead exploring alternatives.

In full apocalyptic battle gear, with a rifle in hand and a load of mags to back it up, carrying a sidearm is still considered pretty standard wisdom. If your primary goes down, at least you've got a pistol to turn to, right?

Of course, at standard rifle engagement ranges, a pistol isn't worth a whole lot. Better than throwing rocks, yes, but a guy with a pistol versus a guy with a rifle is not an especially fair fight...put 50 to 200 yards between 'em and it just keeps getting worse. At that point, you better hope you brought friends.

You did bring friends, right?


Let's face it--rifles don't have catastrophic, 'out of the fight' failures very often. If your primary goes down due to a common stoppage, then it can be resolved and put back into the fight quickly. Being able to instinctively ID a malfunction and resolve it is critically important and something you should train for anyways.

So, 99% of the time, if your primary goes down it's due to running outta ammo or some variety of simple malfunction.

Transitioning to a sidearm is faster than reloading or clearing a malfunction--no argument there. But fighting and especially reloading should be done from cover, not standing out in the open with bullets flying around you. You should also have those well-armed friends you brought along with you, to pick up the cadence of fire when you need a few seconds to get your weapon back up and running. Fighting from cover, with teammates fighting with you, you've got that extra second to reload your rifle and get back into the fight in a meaningful way.

What if you run out of ammo for your primary? If the gunfight is that bad--if you're only left with a pistol to fight with, you should really be withdrawing or relying on your buddies to finish the fight. If  you can't withdraw...well, I 'spose at that point you'd want a handgun for making your 'last stand' against enemy forces.

Talk to vets from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; read the accounts from the Special Operations Forces guys. They rarely, if ever, use sidearms in combat.

And we're not soldiers. As a civilian in a post-collapse scenario, if you've got a rifle in hand, a load of magazines on your person and a couple of similarly equipped buddies in town, your odds of needing that handgun are really, really low.

Given the relatively low utility of a sidearm in a gunfight, would you be better off using that weight and gear real-estate to carry something else? How about more rifle mags? A loaded PMAG weighs in at just over a pound, so you could carry 3-ish extra rifle mags for the weight of a pistol + 3 mags. 90 (more) rounds of 5.56mm sounds a lot better to me than half as many pistol rounds. Not that the 3-ish pounds of total weight should be the deciding factor behind carrying one - just an example.

For further reading, Max Velocity - who carries a pistol on his battle gear - has a good post up on what he thinks is an over reliance on pistols in today's tactical training. Good perspective from someone much more knowledgeable than I.

Edited to clarify: This is discussing a scenario that would require you to don whatever full level of combat gear you have - chest rig, plate carrier, battle belt - and have your rifle within arms reach constantly. So you're on active patrol/guard duty after a major collapse, for example. Not a scenario where the rule of law is still largely in effect and concealment is important, or you're rambling around your homestead doing chores and may need to set your rifle down.

What do you think? Anyone purposefully run without a pistol? Would you?

50 comments :

  1. I am of the camp you carry both. In CQB which can be point blank to 15 meters you want that added backup if your rifle runs dry, is damaged by incoming rounds, or fails by some other means. Better to have and not need than to need and not have. No one can argues that reasoning, not logical anyway.

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    1. But, again, you should have buddies to cover for you, especially if you're in CQB. Clearing buildings and crap like that is not wisely done on your own.

      If we're talking CQB, a fighting blade of some variety may come in more useful than a handgun. Not just in the common 'Tueller drill' sense, but to cut a bad guy off yourself or an ally in a grapple/tangle situation where shooting is infeasible. Brother Edwood has a good story about using one of his Winkler hawks to cut a Narco off one of his fellow agents during a drug den raid.

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    2. Agreed I never clear a building by myself. I was trained to bring a buddy or two. Now there is an exception to every rule and for this one it is an active shooter in a school.

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  2. The over reliance on Pistol training is due to the fact that it's not currently acceptable in the main stream to carry a carbine with you to Kmart. Most of us carry pistols for EDC and have a rifle or scattergun prepositioned in your vehicle. Post ROL, that will change. If you look at the most recent events of fallen societies, Croatia, Mexico, et al, the rifle becomes the main carry weapon. People train with what they carry, so the reliance on the pistol will remain as long as there is ROL. The rifle/pistol reliance debate is situational based and doesn't matter until there is no training to be had. Once the change is made, you better know how to operate with a long gun. IMO, a low light/no light kit with NOD equipped training would serve anyone who's serious about survival. If you look at past events, the people traveled and bartered at night when the snipers didn't operate. Taking a class on using NODs should be on the list for someone who's preparing for the worst. More so than another pistol class. If you don't, not only can you find yourself outgunned, but blind as well.

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    1. Good thoughts. Agree r.e. NODs...investment is steep.

      There's a difference between concealed handgun/carry training and tactical handgun use, too.

      I see concealed handgun training and defensive employment - in conjunction with combatives, potentially blades, as being very important and under taught. Real world stuff that's relevant to someone carrying a handgun today.

      Most pistol classes focus around a service handgun, from open carry, and loaded down with mag pouches. If you're a cop, that works. If it's a competition range, that works too. For most armed citizens, if you're packing a war belt, drop leg and a half dozen spare pistol mags, you might as well be carrying a rifle.

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    2. Meister has actually hit on the nub of the issue. You are proably much more likely to usea handgun because that's what you carry. Short of a scenario out of "the Road". Most likely scenario is a LA riots or a Katrina style event. Even Argentina's collapse didn't see allot of open carry of long guns. I think it makes sense to train /practice on the most likely events and work from there. That means a great deal of emphasis on employing a handgun from a concealed cover garment or bag/case.

      Colorado

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    3. But we're talking about a scenario out of the Road/Patriots/Red Dawn/One Second After, where you have donned all your battle kit and are not only open carrying long guns, but running patrols, guard work, and potentially running missions with your team, not present day or some slow-burn economic collapse.

      LA Riots and Katrina had plenty of open carry of long guns, BTW.

      You need to know how to use a handgun, and you need to own one - no debate there. This discussion is questioning whether you need to carry one if you are carrying your rifle and working with a team/group.

      For the most part, I think we'd all still carry some kind of pistol as a backup in that kind of scenario, but it helps to understand the why, the level of importance, etc. so that we can be grounded when training and setting up kit.

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    4. Okay, if it is my turn for guard duty or short range fire team work I would still carry a handgun (given that I have made the investment in the gun/training and have been able to retain it through the tribulations). Under those circumstances, it does not take up that much weight/space. Its advantages outweigh the possible disadvantages, IMV. The one exception to that is if I was being called upon to perform what we used to call: LRRP or, long range reconnaissance and patrol. This is a case where I'm packing in my gear on my back and I am expecting to walk on foot for many miles in what in my 'hood is vertical terrain. Here I'm going to forego the pistol, holster, pistol ammo/magazines for weight's sake. I'll carry extra water or magazines for my battle rifle if I anticipate running ambush or counter ambush operations. As you have noted, modern battle rifles are really pretty dependable and with proper maintenance & team support you should not be out of action. The benefit of weight savings under that specific set of circumstances actually adds to your survivability.

      In LA and Katrina, open carry of long guns was limited to around private property. This is a classic "bugging in" scenario not what you are proposing here.

      Great topic!

      Colorado

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    5. You've clarified your post a bit so I can add some info based on that. Every Rifle class I've known of or witnessed (except a simple intro course) employed the use of a pistol to transition to in case of a rifle malfunction. the 2 main reasons given were for covering fire to get to cover and un screw the rifle, or for cqb purpose in a vehicle or confined space. Every military guy I know who's kicked in doors, been shot at or patrols a hostile environment carries a pistol or two. 2 is 1, 1 is none.

      The advantage of a redundant fighting system far outweighs the cost in weight and financial impact. As far as being able to carry more ammo in your fighting load, WROL scenarios wouldn't normally be extended force on force events, but more limited clashes and ambush related affairs, based on the past WROL events in Eastern Europe, South America and Africa. A standard load out with manageable weight would be more desirable for speed and stealth. Meeting an enemy on open ground in a force on force battle would be unlikely, and needing 10+ mags and not having a backup weapon would be ill advised in almost all scenarios from the past WROL events. Great topic though, thought provoking to say the least.

      An instructor friend of mine who was on an A team in the 80's and 90's told me that he always carried a pistol because it's faster to use than a reload if things are close and you run dry. It's the same action- pulling a mag or a pistol, but you'd be operating the pistol with your dominant hand and there is less fine motor skill movement required to draw the weapon and fire than to eject, load and release the bolt on the battle rifle. When things go bad, the known quantity of a loaded, ready to fire weapon of a lesser caliber is more appealing than betting your life on the fastest reload you've ever done under less than ideal circumstances.

      His words seemed insightful, so I've always practiced with my pistol transitions in full gear once a quarter or so. You'd be surprised how your clothing impacts your gear's orientation and speed of use. Another thing he told me was to train without regard to the weather. It's not always sunny and 70, so learn to use your gear when it's 100 and -10. I like to go out and shoot on new years day, so one time I did so and found out that my drop leg safariland holster is super tight when it gets cold. Add in gloved hands and it's a disaster waiting to happen.

      As prepared individuals, we must be ready for anything, but we also can't be wasteful. Very few have the resources to prepare for ANY eventuality, so we try to plan for the most likely events and occurrences. Our tactical mindset should be a carbon copy of our larder, specifically chosen, as adaptable and wide ranging as possible.

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    6. LA and Katrina were the guard duty work that you talk about originally - folks informally guarding their neighborhoods and homes while riots, looting and lawlessness spread elsewhere. Definitely bugging in; long guns carried openly partly as a show of force for anyone thinking about causing trouble.

      On LRRP or bugging out: Another note - carrying a handgun AND a large pack with waist belt often requires special considerations.

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  3. The way I look at it in a post SHTF world you may may have your hands full repairing something, or you go behind some bushes for a call of nature or you are loading your truck etc and you may not be carrying your battle rifle but a Zombie/bear/terrorist/nazi/whatever could pop up and you would still have your side arm. Also great in vehicles
    Tom

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    1. and that's the way that most describe it unless we have a total and complete societal collapse.

      lets be honest, we're all preparing for the worst but history shows and seems to indicate that their will be at least a thin veneer of govt around. chores will need to be done and its easier to have a sidearm on the hip while doing work than a rifle slung across the back. additionally assuming that govt will be re-established at some point in the future you have to believe that questionable shootings will be investigated. it would seem to me that engaging someone at 200m will be hard to justify no matter how bad things are, unless you're receiving fire. the worst thing in the world would be to engage some refugees just trying to get to a govt camp because you misidentified them as marauders at 200m.

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    2. Agree - but we're not talking about puttering around the homestead, but rather fully kitted out for manning a watch post, running a patrol or fending off those marauders, fighting back the communists hordes.

      In a puttering around the homestead or any situation where concealment is important, a rifle has a harder time remaining constantly at hand. If your out on an 'op', then your rifle better darn well be at hand.

      And, if things are THAT bad, the government has pretty much failed...whether things would ever get to that point is subject to debate.

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    3. well that is one way of looking at it but i'm still against a one weapon option for SHTF. the reasons are varied. weapons might be unlikely to go down but we don't plan for best case because of the lifestyle we lead. prepping means we plan for the worst so why change that when it comes to weapons carriage?

      additionally we always look to military style ops. thats fair. but as citizens in this type of scenario we're going to be at a disadvantage to even a platoon of Marines holding off a brigade of bad guys.

      why?

      because they have support. we will not. at best we'll have friends and family we can count on but that means the need to cover every possible scenario becomes even more important.

      i agree that much of the training that you see isn't geared toward a civilian in SHTF but the entire gun movement has been twisted, turned and churned together because its become so commercial.

      its up to us as individuals to work out what is and isn't applicable to what we believe.

      having said that, i don't mind others disagreeing with me when it comes to the need for having a rifle and sidearm, but for me, i'll take both.

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  4. You could just Mectech your Glock (http://www.mechtechsys.com/) and then you have the best of both worlds. With a bit of practice you can swap it from pistol to rifle and back pretty quick. Not perfect solution or right on par with an AR, but if your facing down an AR with a Mecteched Glock your much better off than with just a pistol. Plus now you have a rifle (upper) that shoots the same ammo from the same magazines as your pistol. Buy and extended magazine and you can have 30 rounds like the AR. Trick it out as some of the pictures shown on their site and you have a pretty sound platform that can really equalize the situation. Just a thought.

    -DB

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    1. well with that idea you're heading into something that i've been chewing on but haven't pulled the trigger on. a 9mm AR-15 that uses the same mags as my glock. that would solve ammo and mag issues. one mag in the glock, one spare (both 15 rounds) and then have the 9mm AR that feeds off 33 round glock mags.

      the thing i'm not sure of is whether the 9mm AR is worth the squeeze ... i just don't know.

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    2. The 9mm AR in all likely hood would not defeat soft body armor. Just a thought on when thinking about pistol caliber rifles.

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    3. well aware of that, but how many people have body armor? how many people who do have it wear it everyday? besides, in Fallujah its been proven that even in full combat headshots can be the norm with proper optics.

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    4. I do on both questions, but train as if everyone does. I agree headshot are possible even in combat, but even the military trains center mass. Assuming is what gets you hurt or killed, but its your choice. Remember the exercise from AW is based on a "full apocalyptic battle gear" situation.

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    5. Trying to convert my Glock into a rifle would just give me a gimped rifle. Especially if we're talking about running with JUST a primary, then I'd want something more terminally effective than pistol cartridges.

      Though, if we're talking something like a select fire, suppressed, short-barrel SMG, I might be persuaded.

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    6. The longer barrel of a carbine in 9mm and +P would step up power a bit

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    7. UGLY ROOSTER

      Brothers, i promise that a 9mm para (9x19) wirh a carbine length bbl WILL penetrate soft body armor. At least at cqb distances. Full power 9mm projectiles are, by the numbers, capable of blowing through. Small cross section, high velocity, and round pointy nose equal penetration. A pistol gets the job done most of the time at point blank.
      You run into trouble with the 9mm carbine at any distance outside 25 yards.
      One option is carry a DA revolver (.22 mag). Light weight... Will go bang... Can carry hundreds of rounds. VERY GOOD inside rushing distances.
      Long time no see!

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  5. served 30 years, never had a sidearm. but i had buddies, lots of buddies. at very least i pack a last ditch in a pocket or a .22 grocery getter in my pack. a sidearm takes up valuable room on a belt/vest, weights a bunch, takes a dif caliber, has marginal use outside of the urban zone. lots of strikes, not many pluses. in shtf tho, it'd be a shame to waste precious rifle ammo on a squirrel or the coup de gras on a bad guy.

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    1. A .22lr as a backup/survival arm does have a lot of appeal to it...suppressed, especially. Fills a niche that your rifle likely can't. There was a survival group a while back touting a suppressed Ruger w/ Paclite Upper, can and red dot as the ultimate in survival/E&E arms.

      Probably not something you would employ in combat (maybe?), aside from potential use as a 'hush puppy' type pistol.

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  6. when i was in iraq i was issued my M4 and my beretta 9mm i never ever used the bereta and simply had it straped to my chest . the reasoning i was the medic if something happend and i had to get down and patch someone up reaching for the pistol on my chest was easier than reaching for the m4 on my back . looking back i only did it because old timers told me to back in 08 i was just a lil pfc so i listend i cant realy see any logic in it know everytime i treated someone i had 3 or 4 soldiers pulling sercurity on me and the patient to the evac . (on a side not why cant i just have a dam M14 works for deer should work for them anyone thats a whine sorry )

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  7. I Use An Extra 556 Pistol As A Backup To My M4 so ammo interoperability and range are not as big of an issue for me as someone who carries a traditional pistol.

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    1. Now that's one way to solve it! How do you carry the spare 5.56 pistol?

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    2. Multiple methods: 1) inside edc bag, 2) vertices retention holster under dress coat, 3) single point sling. Edc bag is most common option and has a 4 mag load out (2-62 green tips, 2 frag tips) and one in the gun ( alternate between 62 gr, frag tip and tracers for night ops). The gun can easily be fired with 1 hand has 0 recoil or rise and can drive nails at 100 yards. Only downfall is it is without a doubt the loudest weapon I've ever fired in my life. Positives are it has almost the same setup as the carbine (minus night vision scope mount), only ways 2 lbs and has a threaded barrel.

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  8. What if you lose the use of an arm I.E. become wounded, dragging your battle buddy back to cover, holding a small child, etc. Outside of Hollywood is nearly impossible to hold a long gun an fire accurately with only one hand

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    1. Nearly impossible is just not true...Slower and clumsier, but not impossible and something we should be proficient in.

      You should be able to operate your rifle with one arm, and it'll continue to be more effective than a pistol. Red dots help with aiming, as does firing from a supported position (prone, behind cover, etc.). The Magpul Art of the Dynamic Carbine Part 2 DVD has a long segment on running a carbine one handed.

      Here's a lengthy video clip of a vet who lost his arm to an IED running a Saiga 12 in a tactical response shotgun class.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tj0L5tinuAI&feature=share

      Bullpups become especially advantageous when we're talking one hand manipulation - you don't have a much weight forward.

      That said, a pistol is certainly easier to run one handed.

      If use while wounded was a primary reason for carrying a pistol on your battle gear, then it should be positioned where it can be drawn with either hand - cross draw or appendix carry, likely the easiest.

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  9. The consensus I am reading above seems to conclude that a pistol is FAR easier to keep on or around your person while you are walking about or doing tasks, while a rifle is FAR more powerful and accurate while in combat.

    I'm not a LEO or military service member. Our family owns a small ranch where we hunt, camp and relax (i.e. no cattle or crops to tend). We do have to maintain the property fence to exclude neighboring cattle from crossing onto our land. We ALWAYS carry handguns, the holsters are strapped on after we leave the hardtop and are fully loaded. Rifles and shotguns are taken too, but they can get left in truck or propped up over yonder while you accomplish a task. Handguns are on your person - BIG POINTS FOR THAT.

    Why the firepower? We live in southern border area and illegal alien traffic is very common. They haven't given us problems in the past, but the truth is, you don't know who they are - could be honest or murderers. So you plan for just in case. I don't know which is better but in our scenario, handguns over rule rifle.

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  10. AR carbine, AR pistol the perfect combo.

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  11. I'll continue to train w/both rifle and sidearm, I'll use an example that brought it home to me.

    During one class we had 2 people stand side-by-side, one with rifle (mix of ARs and AKs) the other with a pistol.
    Rifleman would fire 1 round hitting steel at 100yards. At the sound of the steel ring the rifleman would have to reload, whereupon the pistol guy/girl would draw and fire their pistol at the same target 100 yards away.

    The object was simple;

    Can the rifleman hit the steel, reload, and hit the steel again, faster than the pistolero hits the steel (using as many shots as necessary), at 100yards??

    No rifleman won out of 30+ people. Yes, most were military, others were from various 3 letter governmental organizations.

    Moral of the story, the pistol is valuable and can be used effectively, albeit not our first choice during a 'troubled times.'

    -Mervo

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    1. And even more reinforces the importance of having a friends with you

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    2. Wholeheartedly agree.

      -Mervo

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    3. Now try this experiment with the rifleman at one end of the range and the handgunner at the opposite, shooting at each other. Who wins?

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    4. Well, if we try this experiment with 1 round in the rifle, as described, I'll take the pistolero with a full mag.

      However, all things equal, the winner will be the one who doesn't stop moving. As 3rdman says below; "If your shooting stance is good, you're not moving fast enough, or using cover correctly."

      -Mervo

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  12. Laws of Gun Fighting

    • Bring a gun. Preferably two guns. Bring friends with guns.
    • Anything worth shooting is worth shooting twice.
    • Only hits count
    • The only thing worse than a miss is a slow miss.
    • If your shooting stance is good, you're not moving fast enough or using cover correctly.
    • If you can choose what to bring to a gunfight, bring a long gun and a friend with a long gun.
    • If you are not shooting, you should be communicating, reloading, or running.
    • Always cheat; Always win. The only unfair fight is the one you lose.
    • Have a plan.
    • Have a backup plan because the first one won't work.
    • Flank your adversary when possible and protect your own.
    • Decide to be aggressive ENOUGH, quickly ENOUGH.
    • The faster you finish the fight, the less shot you're going to get.
    • Someday someone may kill you with your own gun. Make sure they have to beat you to death with it because its empty.

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    1. I agree 3rdman, 100%. but I must add, Bring lots of freinds even if they are not good shots, they will present the bad guys with a large target selection to choose from which will cause the bad guys to spread their fire.
      Also, for a laugh, see "The seventy maxims of maximally effective mercenaries". Much of what you say is in it. Just do a google search.

      Remember, No battle plan survives initial contact with the enemy!

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    2. I say bring your in laws from your wife's side before your friends. After all they are you friends! Haha!

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  13. The old sheriff was attending an awards dinner when a lady commented on his wearing his sidearm. 'Sheriff, I see you have your pistol. Are you expecting trouble?'
    'No ma'am. If I were expecting trouble, I would have brought my rifle.'

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  14. Rifle alone is fine. Very nice to have a sidearm but not required. In the sand/rock boxes most had only an M4/M-16. My dad had only an M-14. My grandpa had only an M-1 carbine. It works.
    -SS

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    1. that is the one misconception that i wish people would drop. Marines will get support. they'll have artillery, logistics, cooks, medics etc.

      preppers will only have themselves and like minded individuals.

      that's why this thing about only a rifle is so dangerous. the gun culture is mixing with prepping an its causing people to forget basic rules. two is one, one is none. i can't realistically carry two rifles so under the rules of prepping its essential to have a sidearm.

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    2. You can take the two is one, one is none rule to extremes. None of the "rules of prepping" are or should be written in stone. Should you always carry 4 extra ties and extra engine for your car? Redundancies are fine but weigh, mobility, and comfort should be concerns. If you pack a pistol and three magazines for that pistol you gotta leave something else (probably something more important) behind.

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  15. My pistol is a little S&W 5 shot revolver. I don't carry much ammo for it. It is there if I need it, and otherwise light and compact. It is my CCW, and therefore my go-to for SHTF. Down the road, I'll probably get a full sized auto or sub gun SBR for places where that is appropriate.

    For now, I have what I can afford, and the costs of carrying a little snub (weight and space) are not high. In a SHTF situation where I"m vehicle mobile, a pistol makes a whole heck of a lot of sense. From a foot mobile perspective, I like the idea of the pistol and the effort to carry my little snub is minimal.

    I strongly agree with the need for more focus on blades of different sorts. The two people I know who used knives in combat are both terribly scarred mentally, and one is also pretty scarred physically. If I can use a firearm, I'd prefer that.

    Also, don't toss 3 lbs of pistol and mags just to replace it with 3 lbs of knife, tomahawk, and kukri.

    Some real food for thought here. Thanks for sharing folks.

    WG

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  16. Really if you're going to carry a rifle around all day then I think a sidearm adds little benefit--especially if you're going to replace the pistol and pistol mag weight with more rifle ammo. I think as "preppers" we always want to prepare for every imaginable contingency. "What if my rifle explodes!" "What if my ammo feeds backwards and my own gun tries to shoot me in the face!" Really if you're using a rifle that even has a minute chance of catastrophic failure then you need to get a new rifle. With even a half decent semi-auto the odds of a jam, much less some kind crippling malfunction, should be so remote that any other issue (like the weight or discomfort of a sidearm) should be of greater concern. Switching to a sidearm is quicker than reloading--but after 30-45 rounds if you're still breathing either the threat has been taken out or you've found cover of some kind. And reloading really shouldn't take more then 3 seconds anyways--vs the 2 seconds it takes to shoulder your rifle and draw your side arm.

    In the end I think it depends on the situation. Obviously if you could comfortably carry 10 guns then that'd be great--but you can't. Having just a rifle sure simplifies things. Just a rifle and a bag full of mags. Its a lot quicker to grab just a rifle if you have to respond to something. You can also set a rifle down--against the wall or a tree--and it'll still be ready to go in a moments notice. Unstrapping a holster and then strapping it back on is more of a chore. If you are going for just a pistol then that's a whole different matter--but then you are limiting yourself when it comes to fire power.

    Ideally you'd have a rifle, a pistol, a katana, a tank, and a AC130 providing air support. And a terminator. The bottom line is a guy with just a rifle is probably just as deadly a force as a guy with a rifle AND a side arm.

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  17. Carrying a handgun lets you arm a friendly during your patrol/guard duty that you may find along the way.

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  18. My most dreaded AR malfunction is the FTE, case stuck in chamber failure. And it can be pretty common with over-gassed carbine rifles, which many AR clones are. It can be cleared, but if it has ripped off the case rim, will require a cleaning rod. I wouldn't necessarily consider it a catastrophic malfunction, but it could make having a handgun on your side look pretty appealing until you get a chance to clear it.

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  19. In a situation that mandates having a rifle in hand, a pistol really is a luxury. While the arguments can be made for different what-ifs that seem to require a sidearm, they are just that...hypothetical...If I'm taking a crap, in a field environment, I better have a Ranger buddy watching my (figurative...literal would be gross) six. If I'm inside a perimeter, I should have security out providing me warning that I need to pinch it off and pick up my rifle. In CQB....in a typical residential house-sized room? a) There are other people covering your sector as well as you. That's why we work with friends. If your weapon goes down and you have a pistol....chances are, you're not going to get it out and into action before you collide with the dude in front of you. I don't care if you're Wyatt Earp. Distances are too close and movement too fast. It can happen--has happened--but I've seen as many guys (in the real world, versus a training range) solve THAT problem with combatives or edged weapons as with a sidearm.

    All of that having been said......I'll stick with carrying my sidearm. As Cooper once wrote....It's a piece of mind thing, and it's worth it to me to carry the extra weight.
    DOL,
    John Mosby

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  20. Hoosier VeteranDecember 10, 2013

    My neighbors and I have settled upon a standardized armament of an AR15 type rifle with a Mossberg 500, pistol grip, six round, cylinder bore, 12 gauge shotgun carried in a sheath on our rucksacks as the secondary weapon. We chose this combination because of our universal training and armed forces experiences and the shotgun has a great deal of versatility in loadings. Standardization reduces our spare parts requirement and eases ammunition resupply and cross-levelling problems. Sections with HK91's also carry shotguns. Pistols are very shortrange with very limited capability.

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