A topic that comes up in more than half of my consulting calls, is firearms. Most survivalists gravitate toward guns for obvious reasons. If anything, SurvivalBlog could surely be labelled a “guns and groceries” oriented blog, and most of our readers are like-minded. We tend to have large gun collections. We aren’t entirely gun-centric, but our concept of preparedness includes owning guns and having full proficiency in their use. The greatest difficulty vis-a-vis guns for those in our community is not hand-wringing about whether or not we should own them. We’ll leave that pseudo-question up to the leftists. Rather, our …
As the post-civil war slogan famously said, “Abe Lincoln may have freed all men, but Sam Colt made them equal”. Firearms themselves, however, are not all created equal. This is especially true when you put them under the pressures and strains that a post-disaster weapon would have to live up to.
When the SHTF, you want a gun that you can count on. Whether you’re hunting for food or fighting for your life, you need an accurate, reliable weapon that goes bang each and every time you pull the trigger. Listed below are nine guns you can bet your life on.
1. Mossberg 500
One of the best-selling shotguns of all time, the Mossberg 500 has been used by the US military since the 1960s. It’s super reliable, easy to disassemble and work on, and just at home in the woods as it is the middle of a firefight. Best of all, a wide range of shotgun ammunition gives you a lot of versatility, allowing you to hunt cottontail rabbits and breach doorways with the same weapon.
2. Remington 700
Few rifles can compare to the accuracy and reliability of this classic. The Remington 700 is still used by military and SWAT snipers to this day, and this rifle fits perfectly in the narrow class of rifles that are light enough to take hunting yet accurate enough to use as a sniper rifle. If you are wanting a mobile weapon that can still send lead a long ways down range, the Remington 700 is the perfect choice.
3. Glock 19
Glock has made an incredible name for themselves producing near indestructible pistols that function flawlessly. This particular pistol is a compact model that is chambered in 9mm. Though most any Glock is arguably as good as the other (Glock just about always delivers with every weapon they make), the Glock 19 made the list because it is small enough to be concealed, large enough to be accurate, and is chambered in what is arguably the most popular pistol round of all time.
4. Colt AR-15
Few weapons platforms are more popular than the AR-15, and a large number of brands make their own version of this weapon. You’ve got a lot of choices when choosing which AR-15 to buy, but the version that Colt makes is as good as any of them.
The Colt AR-15 is one best weapons you could hope to have in your hands if you ever find yourself in the middle of a full-blown firefight. It’s reliable, can hold 30 or more rounds depending on the clip you have in it, shoots as fast as you can pull the trigger, and is extremely easy to customize in a wide variety of ways. All said, owning a Colt AR-15 is as close as you can get to being a one-man army.
5. Springfield M1A
The M1A is the civilian version of the popular M14, though really there isn’t a lot of difference between the two models. This ultra-reliable rifle functions both as a long-range weapon and a fast-firing semi-automatic weapon for sending out lots of lead in mid to close quarter combat. It doesn’t have the capacity of the AR-15, but it does have better accuracy for long range shots and a 308 round that packs a punch.
6. Smith & Wesson 500
If you want a pistol with the knockdown power of a howitzer, the S&W 500 is the choice for you. This beast of a handgun is chambered in the massive .500 S&W cartridge, and it packs a wallop.
Why, though, is the S&W 500 a gun that you can count on if the SHTF? For one, it brings the accuracy of some rifles into the size of a pistol (though, admittedly, a rather large pistol). It’s also a revolver, which means it’s as reliable and durable as a gun can get. Lastly, the S&W 500 is essentially the pistol version of a 50 cal. It’s a weapon you carry on your hip that’s still powerful enough to shoot through small obstructions and light cover. You’d be hard pressed to find another concealable weapon that has that much power.
7. Ruger 10/22
Ruger describes the 10/22 as “America’s favorite .22 rifle”, and that’s a statement that would be hard to argue with. The 10/22 is a classic, and for good reason. It’s reliable, accurate, and as customizable as a .22 rifle can be.
While you won’t be taking a .22 into any shootouts if you have the choice, a .22 rifle is still a gun that is priceless in a disaster situation. The ammunition is cheap and light enough to carry thousands of rounds all day without breaking a sweat. The gun itself is quiet enough to avoid detection and is perfect for taking down small game. Few weapons have put more meat on the table than the .22, and the Ruger 10/22 is among the best .22 rifles available today.
8. Kel-Tec KSG
If you want a truly elite home defense weapon, the Kel-Tec KSG is the firearm of choice. This shotgun is as compact as is legally allowed in the United States, yet despite its size, it still holds an unbelievable total of 12 3-inch 12 gauge rounds.
Its dual magazines allow you switch between various projectiles with ease, which could come in handy in a variety of ways (such as giving you the ability to switch between lethal and nonlethal rounds) and the KSG’s largely composite construction is as reliable as it gets. Put a Kel-Tec KSG in the corner by your bedside and rest easy at night.
9. Kalashnikov AK-47 (Semi-auto Variant)
The AK-47 is a fighting machine, and even the semi-auto variations of it (which can be legally purchased without any kind of special licensing) are one of the most effective weapons you could have in a mid-range fight.
The Kalashnikov is just one brand that produces semi-auto AKs, and there several other good ones available. Whichever brand you go with, know that you are getting a reliable weapon that has stood the test of time.
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Just like any other activity or practice, hunting requires a solid background based on thorough research in the field. No matter if you are interested in purchasing your first firearm or you want to know how you can take up hunting, you need to do your homework and build your knowledge base.
Before you even begin to consider purchasing a firearm for this purpose, it is fundamental to gather as much information as possible about hunting beforehand. It is highly recommended that you attend an education or safety course for hunting so you can learn the basics about how to stay safe and how to get started with this activity. In addition to this, future hunters are encouraged to learn from an experienced hunter; this is usually regarded as being an apprentice. After you learn the basics, you can proceed with purchasing your firearm for hunting.
If this is the very first firearm you will purchase, however, you need to be aware of several aspects related to the buying process. Selecting a reliable, best value firearm requires background information so you can make the right investment. Amateur hunters tend to make selecting and buying mistakes due to lack of knowledge and this can not only end up in poor shopping decisions, but also in potential safety issues. In this regard, this article aims to present the five most common mistakes when selecting a firearm for hunting.
By far, one of the most frequent mistakes that beginners make when getting their first firearm is choosing the wrong caliber for hunting. Even though there is not an ideal caliber for hunting in general or for a specific animal, there is a range that you should take into consideration. This means that you need to know the difference between a .17 HMR and a 577 Nitro Exp, as well as when and how to use them. An infographic created by Hunter Ed supports the fact that you should choose the right caliber depending on the animals you will hunt:
- Varmint hunting: .22 Mag, .22 Long or .17 HMR are all suitable for hunting small animals.
- Deer Hunting: you can look into .22-250, .223 or .243 Win for hunting deer.
- Big Game: for hunting bears or elk, choose .338, .300 Win Mag or 7mm Rem Mag.
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Another significant aspect you need to remember when selecting a firearm for hunting is your choice of ammunition. First of all, not all ammunition works for all types of firearms, so you will need to ask what ammunition will be suitable for the gun you are going to buy. Choosing the proper type of ammunition has critical safety aspects involved; if you select the wrong kind you will not only be wasting money on ammunition you can’t use, but you will also be putting yourself and the ones around you in danger. Always double check with the company you plan on buying your firearm from to see if the ammunition you get on the side fits and works for your choice.
Most beginner hunters get excited when buying their first rifle and tend to forget about an essential component: the scope. You could spend a considerable amount on your rifle, not get the right scope and ruin your hunting experience from the beginning. Optics are just as important as the firearm you choose and also a basic part of the firearm selection process that many tend to overlook. The best way to avoid this mistake is to organize your budget with both the firearm and the scope in mind in advance.
Speaking of budget, this leads us to yet another common mistake when buying hunting firearms. Those who lack hunting experience might end up purchasing a firearm that is way over their budget. This results in not having enough money left for accessories (such as the scope we were speaking about earlier) or for carrying out the practice afterwards. You should always weigh your options and search through various sources before ordering or buying your hunting firearm from a store. If you decide to purchase your hunting firearm online, it is recommended that you search for a particular model through at least three sources to see where you can get the best deal.
Last but not least, complexity tends to be a trending mistake among amateur hunters. This mistake can equally go two ways; a hunter can either purchase a firearm that is too complex for his or her level of training and knowledge at that moment, or they can get a gun that is too basic and won’t meet their needs. Be aware of your level as a hunter and choose the complexity of your firearm accordingly.
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.
- Semi-Automatic Rifle/Carbine – Used for ranges short (0 yards) to medium (150 yards+) depending upon specific model and caliber.
- 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 39 mm 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.
- 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.
- 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 9 mm semi-automatic pistol
The Smith & Wesson M&P9 9 mm 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 9 mm 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
- Ruger SR9
- FN FNP 9
- Taurus 24/7
- 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.
- Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds
- 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.
- Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds
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.
- Bolt Action/Long Range Rifle – For engaging targets out to 300 yards and beyond. Excellent for hunting large game.
- 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 – .308 Winchester
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.
- Utility Firearm – Versatile firearm to be used for training, harvesting small game, potential – but not recommended – for self defense.
- 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 rim fire 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 rim fire 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!
In 2010, the New York Times published an extensive report detailing the decline of hunting in America and its impact on conservation efforts. Throughout the previous two decades, most of the states saw significant declines in active hunting. The worst loss occurred in Massachusetts, where the number of licensed hunters fell by more than 50% between 1990 and 2010.
Those numbers are starting to rebound thanks, in part, to a strong desire for locally sourced food. More importantly, Americans are also beginning to find a new appreciation for nature in a world where technology seems to be running our lives. If you are already an avid hunter, good for you. Here are five reasons to introduce your children to hunting as well:
1. IT BREEDS APPRECIATION FOR NATURE
The average American hunter is not the drunken bum who mistreats the land, kills indiscriminately and hunts without proper hunting lease insurance. He or she is someone who truly appreciates nature. Passing hunting along to your children will instill in them that same appreciation for nature and all of its wonders. A child exposed to hunting is likely to be more interested in the great outdoors than sitting in front of the TV with video games.
2. IT TEACHES RESPONSIBILITY
Anyone with a little cash can walk down to the local supermarket and buy a piece of beef or a full turkey. Nevertheless, how many Americans could take responsibility for themselves in the event the grocery store shelves ran empty? Hunting teaches personal responsibility not only through the hunt itself, but also through other things such as respecting private property, making sure hunt club insurance is in place, obeying hunting laws, and so on.
3. IT STRENGTHENS RELATIONSHIPS
More than one hunter has told great stories of spending quality time in the field with parents and siblings. Hunting builds strong family bonds based on a shared experience and a common interest. It also builds strong relationships among other hunters who may not necessarily be blood relatives. The hunting community is a close knit one where everyone looks out for everyone else. These are the kinds of relationships all of us need from time to time.
4. IT HELPS WITH POPULATION CONTROL
As much as animal-rights activists do not want to admit it, hunting is one of the most effective means of controlling animal populations. Take a wild boar for example. With a tendency to prolific reproduction and no natural predators, the wild boar is running roughshod all across the U.S. and Canada. It is so bad in many states that boar hunting enjoys a year-round open season with no bag limits. Only active hunting is preventing the country from being overrun by these animals.
5. IT CONTINUES THE PRACTICE
As with anything else, hunting will fade away into obscurity if adult hunters do not pass the practice on to their children. And if that happens, society will be completely reliant on government and corporate interests to both provide food and control animal populations. The inevitable result will be a big mess requiring a lot of extra effort to clean up. Better to pass on hunting and keep it a viable practice for generations to come.
As a hunter, you know how valuable it is for wildlife conservation. Be sure to pass it on to your children. And while you’re at it, instruct them on the importance of good hunting practices, including obtaining hunting insurance. A smart hunter has insurance coverage in place before he/she signs a hunting lease or heads out to the field.
In the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings we warned that sweeping changes were in the works for Americans’ right to bear arms. It started with ammunition tax proposals, restrictions on firearm accessories imports and most recently Governors began bypassing Congress altogether by banning gun ownership for those on any of the government’s many watchlists. The Obama administration has targeted licensed firearms sellers across the United States by forcing banks to treat them like pornography businesses and impeding their access to transaction processing systems and business banking accounts.
States like California already ban “assault weapons” and outlaw “high capacity” magazines that can hold more than ten rounds of ammunition. But the kinds of restrictive laws that strike at the very heart of the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution have thus far been limited to just a dozen or so heavily liberal states.
While Americans anxiously prepared for their Christmas festivities, anti gun proponents in Congress were hard at work drafting a new bill. If passed H.R. 4269 would literally redefine the Second Amendment as evidenced by the bill’s description, which in no uncertain terms clarifies its ultimate goal:
“To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes.”
The bill directly targets every semi-automatic firearm in the United States including handguns, shotguns and rifles. It specifically mentions certain firearms and manufacturers, including the popular AR-15 and AK-47 rifles.
Because the law is Federal it would blanket the country with new restrictions, including making it illegal to own any magazine that exceeds a capacity of ten (10) rounds.
And here’s the kicker, even if your weapon has a legally-defined low capacity detachable magazine but is modified with any of the following accessories, it is considered an “assault rifle” and would be outright banned in the United States.
Semiautomatic rifle that has the capacity to accept a detachable magazine and any 1 of the following:
“(i) A pistol grip.
“(ii) A forward grip.
“(iii) A folding, telescoping, or detachable stock.
“(v) A barrel shroud.
“(vi) A threaded barrel.
“(B) A semiautomatic rifle that has a fixed magazine with the capacity to accept more than 10 rounds, except for an attached tubular device designed to accept, and capable of operating only with, .22 caliber rimfire ammunition.
“(C) Any part, combination of parts, component, device, attachment, or accessory that is designed or functions to accelerate the rate of fire of a semiautomatic rifle but not convert the semiautomatic rifle into a machinegun.
To be clear, the new bill puts all half measures aside and goes for the jugular.
This is the worst case scenario that many Americans have feared.
If you own a weapon on the ban list or have accessories as described by the bill, your firearm will be outlawed in the United States of America.
SEC. 3.RESTRICTIONS ON ASSAULT WEAPONS AND LARGE CAPACITY AMMUNITION FEEDING DEVICES
(a) In General.—Section 922 of title 18, United States Code, is amended—
(1) by inserting after subsection (u) the following:
“(v) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a semiautomatic assault weapon.
“(37) The term ‘large capacity ammunition feeding device’—
“(A) means a magazine, belt, drum, feed strip, or similar device, including any such device joined or coupled with another in any manner, that has an overall capacity of, or that can be readily restored, changed, or converted to accept, more than 10 rounds of ammunition;
“(w) (1) It shall be unlawful for a person to import, sell, manufacture, transfer, or possess, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, a large capacity ammunition feeding device.
The bill was introduced in Congress on Decemeber 16, 2015 and currently has 123- co-sponsors – all democrats.
We know that gun bans dont work but one can’t help but think the agenda goes much further than the notion that they want to make us safer. If that were the case then our lawmakers wouldn’t allow drug cartels, gang members and Islamic terrorists to cross into the U.S. through our porous southern border.
The reality is that a cloud of tyranny has descended upon America. For it to be successful the American people must first be disarmed.
As history has proven time and again, a disarmed populace can easily be led to slaughter. But unlike the tens of millions executed in ethnic, religious and political cleansings of the 20th century, Americans have a rich tradition of personal liberty and the right to bear arms. It is embedded in our culture and our founding document. And as Texas police chief Randy Kennedy recently warned, if the government pushes too far they may well incite a revolution.
Bigger doesn’t always mean better in survival and this rifle is a perfect demonstration of that concept. No, I’m not talking about owning a 22 caliber rifle – although those are excellent as well. What I’m talking about is something even simpler, cheaper and more effective!
An Air Rifle – The Perfect Survival Tool
When you think about preppers and survivalists, I would argue AR-15s and AK47s come to mind in the firearm/security arena. While these are great for battle files, they are not very practical for other aspects of survival – mostly hunting.
Many of the downsides to having a hunting or battle rifle are:
- The rifle is heavy
- Rifles are expensive
- The shot is very loud
- Ammo is expensive and sometimes difficult to find. This is especially true with 22 caliber rounds today.
- Ammo is heavy and takes up room
- You normally don’t have frequent opportunities to catch big game.
Now, let’s look at an Air Rifle for hunting:
- Some are heavy, but comparably less weight to a real rifle.
- Some models accept 22 caliber pellets and can shoot as fast as a 22 rifle (feet per second).
- Although some cost as much as a real rifle, the majority cost significantly less (hundreds of dollars less)!
- The shot is not nearly as loud as a rifle
- Ammo is incredibly cheap!! 1000 rounds cost a mere $15 at some retailers!
- Ammo is plentiful!! I can’t imagine people bum-rushing the store for air pellets if another democrat president takes office.
- The ammo is very small. A handful of pellets can equal several magazines for a rifle.
- Since it’s not classified as a “real gun” making a homemade silencer for the air gun is legal. However, please check with ATF regulations. There are some instances of where a jury convicted a person who made a homemade air gun silencer simply because it “could have” easily attached and been used as a silencer for a real firearm.
- Small game is everywhere in a survival situation. Birds perched on branches, squirrels, rabbits, possums and more can easily be taken down with a pellet rifle.
- It’s a great way to teach kids firearm safety prior to progressing to a 22 rifle or higher caliber.
So, you see…a pellet rifle is an amazing tool for acquiring food for the table in a SHTF event, or even a long drawn out depressionary phase. I own one myself, and would most likely find myself using it and conibear traps to put the majority of the food on the table.
A popular model of airgun selling on amazon is the GAMO 0.177 Caliber Hornet rifle that shoots at 1200 FPS. It has a single break-barrel cocking system which I really enjoy. Personally, I think that’s the only type you should look at. You do not want to be pumping a lever 20-40 times, nor rely on Co2 cartridges for your propellant.
Gamo also makes a very popular air rifle with built in suppressor that reduces the noise by 50% And, as I stated before, pellets like this 1250 count of 0.177 caliber crossman pack are only $15.
The above setup costs a mere $115. However, as always with any sport, there are much more durable and high performing air rifles available at higher prices. Vendors like MidwayUSA or AirGun Depot have a very broad selection of air rifles.
Lastly, must make mention that you should not look into “Airsoft Rifles”. These rifles typically operate at much lower velocities and require springs, gas or electricity to propel the bb’s. When researching, make sure you are going for a “air pellet rifle” and not a “bb gun” or “Airsoft” rifle.
I honestly think all preppers should have an air rifle because of how useful they can be, and how cheap and readily available they are. As I discussed in my article “Prepping for a slow collapse vs. a BIG event”, a slow depression might be the way our country crumbles. By having an airsoft rifle, snares, and conibear traps, you can easily help feed your family with small game.
A paramedic told me that when she was in TRAINING, a patient came in who had been shot in the right upper chest. They ended up finding the bullet not in the back, not even in the other side of the chest, but way down in the right butt cheek, pushing against the skin.
In my last post, I covered general gunshot-wound treatment—the basics for survival situations when you can’t get to a doctor. Now, I’ll go into more detail for specific wounds.
As I said in the first post, one bullet can cause multiple injuries—both internal and external. Even if you can’t get expert treatment right away, you need to get it as soon as you can. There are some lifesaving things I don’t cover here that you just can’t do outside a hospital.
Signs of Internal Bleeding
Since you can’t see all the bleeding, it’s important to note the initial vital signs. Warning signs of internal bleeding include:
- Decreasing alertness
- Weak pulse
- Lowering blood pressure, or faster and faster pulse.
These treatments for gunshot wounds are complicated and require advanced knowledge. I can’t cover everything in a blog post. (I’ll be writing about gunshot wounds in a future book.)
I’ve tried to give you a good OVERVIEW so you have the best chance to save a life, but as always, my blog isn’t meant to be YOUR sole source of information.
Someone with internal bleeding is probably not going to survive without rapid transfer to a medical facility.
For a Gunshot Wound in the Head
Think about: the airway.
- Attempt to control the bleeding with direct pressure as best you can (no tourniquets around the neck).
- Make sure the blood doesn’t choke the person. You can have a conscious person sit up and lean forward, or turn an unconscious person on their side and bend the top knee forward to keep them that way.
- If you believe a carotid artery (that large artery on either side of the neck that supplies the brain) is nicked, you can APPLY soft direct pressure, and include an occlusive dressing. (See the box to the right.)
How to Make an Occlusive Dressing out of a Driver’s License
For an OPEN, or “sucking,” chest wound, you want to keep air from getting in but also let excess air escape.
One makeshift way to do this is to lay a driver’s license or plastic wrap on the wound. When the diaphragm contracts and pulls in air (the same mechanism that makes us breathe), the vaccuum will suck the object onto the wound. But if air needs to escape, it can easily push the object up.
You could also use Vaseline gauze or put petroleum jelly on gauze. No petroleum jelly? Try any type of ointment or even honey.
The victim needs other treatment, such as a chest tube, right away. The occlusive dressing is just a temporary treatment to keep the situation from getting worse.
Learn how to treat other wounds when there is no doctor in The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds.
For a Gunshot Wound in the Chest
Think about: air sucking, spine injury.
- Open chest wounds are also nicknamed sucking chest wounds because they suck air in and can lead to a collapsed lung. You can help stop the sucking by closing the open wound with an occlusive dressing.
- Remember the spine is also included in the back of the chest. Be very careful about movement of these victims. You want to keep them as still as possible and not damage the spinal cord.
- If the heart, the lungs, the spine, or a large blood vessel is damaged, there’s not much you can do outside getting immediate expert medical care.
For a Gunshot Wound in the Abdomen
Think about: organ protection.
- If the wound is open and you can see the intestines, find a moist, sterile dressing to place on top of the wound (to protect the organs).
- If the intestines are ripped open, the victim needs immediate medical care. If they don’t bleed to death, they’ll likely die of the coming severe infection.
- The victim should take nothing at all by mouth until the pain lets up, and then wait a day or two. This is obviously a difficult situation, but this STEP is very important and a time when a slow drip of IV fluids would be useful.
If an arm wound won’t stop bleeding despite direct pressure to the wound and elevation, press on the brachial artery around the place where the arrow in the left picture is pointing (below the armpit). Do this by grabbing underneath the person’s arm, wrapping YOUR fingers to the artery (inner arm), and pressing firmly on it with your fingers. You’ll know you probably have it right when the bleeding slows down. If it’s still not controlled, try pressure nearer to the heart.
Here’s a trick to try it out now: Get a partner, and find the person’s radial pulse (in the wrist on the thumb side). Then grab the upper arm as described above. You should feel the pulse stop. Only do this for a couple of seconds, of course, since you’re stopping blood flow.
For a leg wound that won’t stop bleeding, APPLY pressure to the femoral artery, shown in the picture on the right. The best place to do this is in the middle of the bend between the front of leg and the hip. (This is not the place where the arrow is pointing; it’s above it.)
For a Gunshot Wound in the Arms or Legs
Think about: bones.
- Direct pressure, elevation, pressure bandage—in that ORDER. Elevate the wound above the heart, and apply a pressure bandage. Then if it’s still bleeding, take your fingers and apply pressure to the brachial artery for the arm or the femoral artery for the leg. (See the box to the right.)
- If all else fails in an extremity, go to a tourniquet. (It may come down to “lose a limb or lose a life.” See The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds for dos and don’ts of tourniquet use.)
- If the area is rapidly swelling, that’s a sign of internal bleeding. Also, consider that a bone might have been injured, even shattered. If you suspect this, the area needs to be splinted.
For a Superficial Wound
If the gunshot wound is superficial, clean it as much as you can and follow the STEPS in “Puncture Wounds” in my e-book The Survival Doctor’s Guide to Wounds. Start antibiotics when you’re finished taking care of the wounds.
One More Thing: What About the Bullet?
In most circumstances, you don’t want to remove an implanted bullet. It’s almost impossible to find, and it may actually be corking up a big blood vessel.
Thousands of military members live daily with shrapnel in their bodies. Unless there’s initial infection from the wound itself, the body adapts to most metal without much serious problem.
Gunshot wounds can run the gamut. Some people are too severely injured to save. Get expert treatment as soon as possible.