How many preppers pay as much attention to their firearms maintenance preps as they do to food, water, and med supplies? I discuss it here.
The tactical shotgun is an excellent defensive weapon if use in the right context. However, the myth of it being an alley sweeper is just that. A myth. Watch our video here.
Many people ask how long you can keep magazines loaded. Here is my answer based on my experiences. Watch here.
Over the last few months, a tremendous number of Americans have purchased firearms because of the current situation. There are things to consider AFTER buying a gun for the first time. Watch the video here.
This a guest post from author Norman Bobby. His site can be located at https://gunandshooter.com/
When you look at the subject matter around preppers and firearms, you find some obvious pillars of importance. Preppers need continuity; reasonableness (which may not be a word) and efficacy.
In the grand scheme of things, that means more often than not, you go with tried and true firearms that are easy to maintain; built incredibly well and shoot a very popular caliber and that’s that.
In this article. We wanted to take a look at the market with a fresh set of eyes, not to overlook the obvious choices on purpose but to see if there are any additions that need to be considered by the prepper community in their quest for the perfect firearm.
A quick note: 15+ years ago, the author would not have included a 5.56 gun on this list, and instead opted for a .308 rifle either in bolt action or in semi auto, but with the proliferation of the 5.56 ammunition at low pricing; the obvious status of the AR clone as a mainstream firearm and the clear advantages of improvement in stopping power through understanding of ballistics and improvement in technology and engineering, that has changed.
It’s just not as ideal anymore to recommend a larger caliber weapon. When given the apocalyptic scenario most preppers envision as “worse case” can easily be handled by a more abundant, easier to handle caliber.
Remington 870 or substantially similar pump action shotgun in 12 gauge
Tough as nails; made to spec in the millions of volume; for decades; and relies on one of the most popular and readily available and inexpensive cartridges in the history of shooting. That is a pretty good place to start for the Remington 870. But that’s not all…it’s easy to handle; can be used for long-range hunting and can handle every game animal from birds to caribou if given the right ammunition; mindset and conditions.
The trick to succeeding in the Prepper market from a gun perspective is offering capability without compromise. You’d need to be judicious with your ammunition purchasing but it can be done without negatively affecting whatever type of animal you want to hunt.
It’s also a short-range winner and will stop any human threat.
The Remington was an arbitrary choice when looked at from a realistic perspective, but you could insert Mossberg 500/590 or Winchester or whoever you prefer there easily.
That also comes with some need for explanation: it wasn’t an ONLY arbitrary choice, choice. It was the best from a historical performance perspective that was still readily available to the public at good price points.
Remington 870 because of aftermarket support; historical performance and maintenance.
The workhorse of the modern Prepper’s gun stash, the 10-22 is accurate; proven historically, amazingly timeless in its aesthetic and build quality and inexpensive. It also shoots .22 LR cartridges which have been proven in awkward scenarios that they can be used for all manner of needs.
Hundreds of thousands of rounds have been shot through most of the available 10-22’s that span more than a single decade of use from a manufactured date perspective.
It’s cheap to outfit; everyone makes parts for them and the maintenance is best in class.
The high capacity, but still accurate platform makes it a must have in your home.
Having a Ruger 10-22 in your possession during a major event means your heavier firepower won’t have to be used and you will be optimizing bullet/cartridge usage during times of need.
You can reasonably take small game to over 100 yards with it; it’s unbelievably easy to maintain and it won’t stop working if you shoot too many rounds through it. Literally thousands of aftermarket parts exist for it; and everyone and their brother owns one. Besides, aren’t .22’s the best way to dispatch zombies anyway?
Kel-Tec PMR 30 (or their new .22LR variant)
This is a bit of an odd inclusion here, but the utility and overall novelty of the gun thus far pushes this into an unconventional list and makes you maybe wonder if the author has lost his mind.
The Magnum variant is concealable, offers great stopping power and hunting capabilities and is inexpensive relative to other market offerings that give substantially similar results.
It’s innovative and fun to use and despite having had some difficulties at launch it seems to have those problems ironed out now. The option to have a magnum 22 on your side or for small game hunting is fantastic, and yet, the rounds aren’t hard to come by in an emergency and it’s relatively easy to expect that a decent chunk of the population might have guns chambered in .22Mag and that you can scavenge ammo somewhere in dire situations.
You can also single shot .22 LR with the gun.
It’s probably a generation 5 Glock 19 too. As blasphemous as that may be to the seasoned prepper type, it just makes sense. Yes, you will not have the proliferation of parts on the market given many of them have changed in Gen 5, and you probably don’t get the benefits of the previous generation’s mag well designs, but you do get a gun that’s built nearly perfectly from a functional perspective and the good far outweighs the bad.
Rather than the 17, get the smaller framed variant which still takes nearly all Glock 9mm mags; shoots the ubiquitous and readily available 9mm Luger and can be handled by basically anyone from child to adult.
Proven reliable; durable; and made into the millions of copies this is a gun that won’t easily be outdone in your arsenal. It is also easy to maintain; inexpensive and accurate; reliable, and beloved by millions, so finding a part or service for the gun will be easy.
An AR15 clone
We aren’t going to waste time telling you about a specific AR clone. That’s boring and unnecessary, when it’s already likely you own one or you are contemplating ownership. It’s a foregone conclusion that it’s the most popular gun in America, and the very reasons it makes sense is that predictable boringness that comes from the AR 15 marketplace.
- Great caliber dynamics; readily available; cheap to shoot
- Modular; customizable easy to work on as an amateur
- Millions of parts floating around that bolt-on/drop-in
- Shoots accurately to 350 yards and can easily stop human targets as well as slay game animals up to about 400 lbs. if done right
If you call yourself a prepper and you don’t have an AR-15 yet, you’re probably behind the curve. Catch up.
A 308 rifle of some sort and a lever Action .45-70 of some type.
Both of these guns are not nearly as practical from an ongoing basis, but if you’re in the market for a group of prepper guns, these should probably occupy some time in your thought process if nothing else. Both offer moderate to intermediate shot stopping potential on targets that exceed the 350 lbs. range.
The rounds have been around for a very long time and you’ll be able to find them on the shelves of any sporting goods store, and 25% of American Gun owner’s closets.
They are understandable guns and built to endure heavy recoil and punishment over time, especially since they are both former U.S. Military calibers.
They aren’t ideal if you compare them to the above list, but they make sense of you want to cover the endpoints; or you’re looking for something else to spend your prepper gun dollars on. And by the way, stocking up ammunition and parts for these guns will run you a hefty premium, so those dollars would be spent quickly.
Buy guns that are easy to maintain and don’t suffer from ongoing problems; offer chamberings that are obvious and which can pull double duty as needed.
Most of my readers know that I tend to favor the AK system over the AR system for a number of reasons. I describe them here. But for a while I have decided to add an AR platform rifle to my battery. First, in about nine months I plan on increasing my small arms classes for those who carry an AR as their primary rifle. Secondly, with the election coming up and the possibility of Killary being elected, I decided now was the time to get an AR .
As I advise my readers. I did my research. When looking for a firearm for serious social work, quality has to be your first consideration. Then price. There are a lot of high quality AR system rifles on the market. And many of them have prices that reflect it. But after careful consideration of quality, features and price, I settled on the Smith and Wesson M&P-15-II . MSRP is $739.00 from Smith and I was able to get mine for $690.00. If you shop around, you can often find them in this range. I consider it a good bargain.
Right out of the box I was impressed with fit and finish. There is very little play between the upper and lower receivers. The bolt parts are tight and well finished. This is the Second Gen version that has the standard spring-loaded ejection port cover and the forward assist. Except for barrel length and only semi-auto, this rifle is basically the military M-4. However, the trigger guard is one piece and not the military style that folds down for arctic gloves.
Basic Technical Stats
- Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (which means the chamber will also seat .223 Remington)
- Action: Gas Operated Semi Auto
- Capacity: 30+1 Rounds
- Barrel Length: 16” (40.64 cm)
- Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
- Rear Sight: Folding Magpul® MBUS®
- Overall Length: 35.0” (88.90 cm) Extended, 32.0” (81.28 cm) Collapsed
- Grip: Polymer
- Weight: 6.45 lbs. (2,925.7 g)
- Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
- Upper Material: 7075 T6
- Lower Material: Aluminum
- Finish: Matte Black
- Forged, Integral Trigger Guard
- Armornite® Finish (Durable Corrosion Resistant Finish)
- Chromed Firing Pin.
- Rifling: 1/9, 6 groove
- Picatinny rail forward of the rear sight for mounting accessories.
Magazines, Sights and Sling
The rifle comes with one Magpul Gen 2 P-mag. I ordered four more from Gabe Suarez’s One Source Tactical. This magazine is a highly tested and reliable mag used by military units around the world. There is now a Gen 3 version but I have not tested it.
The front sight is the standard A-2 sight with square post, and even has the bayonet lug at the bottom. Since federal regs require a rifle barrel be at least 16″ the barrel is too long to effectively attach a bayonet. The rear sight is a folding Magpul® MBUS®. This is a spring-loaded flip-up sight with two apertures. The smaller aperture is for fine shooting and the larger is for CQB applications. The rear sight is windage adjustable only as elevation adjustments are done on the front sight. ( Please note that the sights that came with my rifle are black and not green as pictured. These photos are from the Magpul site and the sight comes in various colors)
- ~0.7 MOA (0.754″/100m) per click with a 14.5″ sight radius
- ~0.5 MOA (0.547″/100m) per click with a 20″ sight radius
I decided to fit the rifle with a simple military black strap sling. I have never liked tactical slings. Tried a number of them in Afghanistan and always went back to a simple strap sling. To each his own.
Range and Zeroing
I took the rifle to Joe Foss Range in Buckeye Arizona where I do most of my training classes. The M&P15-II comes with a 1:9 twist barrel. This is a good compromise to allow for the stabilization of both the M-193 55gr. bullet and the M-885 62gr. bullet. I decided to zero the rife with the M-193 round to begin with. I was using Federal M-193 military production from the Lake City Arsenal. The cases had LC 2013 and the NATO stamp on the cartridge base. I set up a military zero target at 25yds and began zeroing from the bench. I started out with sights as they came from the factory. All zero groups were three shot groups using the small sight aperture . The first group was way low right. I made a sight adjust ment and was then a bit high left. I then went to the second target (pictured) first group slightly right, and the second in the center. After getting a 25yd zero, I then moved the target out to 50yds and did three shot drills on a silhouette target. The rifle grouped nicely in the center chest area. I then moved it out to 100yds and did three shot timed fire drills from the bench. The group was nice and tight in the throat area. I brought the front sight down a bit so I was hitting a bit high in the chest area. I wanted a good 100yd zero, as this is the maximum range I would probably use this rifle at most of the time. I then moved the target back to 50yds and did Mozambique drills ( two to the chest, one to the head) from the standing ready position using the larger CQB aperture for the remainder of the ammunition. All chest shots were centered and all head shots were also, with no flyers. This is one accurate little rifle! I fired a total of 120 rounds out of four brand new magazines with no malfunctions. My next range foray I will try it with M-885 ball and see what zero and accuracy changes might ensue.
This is an accurate, reliable, well made and reasonably priced AR rifle. I am really impressed with it. I plan on working out with it a lot more and if accuracy and reliability remain constant, it may just end up being my primary go to rifle. If you are looking to get an AR before the election, the S&W M&P Sport II would be a good choice.
Armed professionals have been customizing their weaponry from the beginning of time. Warriors painted their shields with their own design, or the emblem of those they served. The firearms age continued the custom. Engraved handguns and personalized grips are just two examples. For the modern warrior who happens to carry a Glock, the backplate is a perfect place for individualization.
I found these while doing some research on other equipment. The ones illustrated below are just some of my favorites, but there is a tremendous variety that is sure to please almost any Glock owner. Click on any of them to link to the source, and for more.
As a small arms instructor and range safety officer, I frequently see AR platform rifles lock up using steel cased ammo. Many think it is due to lacquer on the case to prevent rusting gumming up a hot chamber. But is that really the reason? And will steel cased ammo really damage your AR?
I remember when the “plastic pistol” first came on the scene, and like many traditionalist, I dismissed them.
I have carried and used various models of the AK from Vietnam to Afghanistan and a lot in between. I use it as my basic defensive rifle now. Here is why.
The handgun is in reality a poor defensive weapon compared to a rifle or shotgun. But it has the advantage of being lightweight, portable, concealable, and probably more likely to be on you when you need it.
The world of Defensive Weaponcraft has been overwhelmed by opinions about the best handgun for self-defense or the best caliber or the best load, etc. Anyone who reads any of the gun magazines for very long could get a headache trying to sort out the conflicting opinions.
Many of my students are civilians who will take a CCW class to learn the law in regards to self defense, or a basic pistol class to enhance their marksmanship skills. Many of them are not involved in apprehending bad guys or offing terrorists for a living. When it comes to firearms selection they have many questions as to what the “best” handgun to use is.
Many people are making a personal decision to purchase a rifle for defensive purposes. There are many reasons for this. As I have stated often, the handgun is in reality a poor defensive weapon, it’s only real advantage being small and light enough to be carried easily either open or concealed.
The Remington 1100 series of semi-automatic shotguns has been one of the most successful self loading shotgun actions in history. It has been configured for a wide range of uses including hunting, trap and skeet and combat configuration.
Springfield Armory is well known for its continued production of the military’s M-14 rifle and naming it the M-1A.They also make a very fine line of handguns. And they used to make a highly useful and interesting little survival rifle that should be known better than it is. Their version of the military M-6 survival rifle. They call it the Scout.
The French development of smokeless rifle powder coupled with their developing an 8mm cartridge for it, and a new rifle, the 1886 Lebel set off an arms race with the major powers each attempting to field a bolt action rifle chambered for a smokeless powder cartridge as soon as possible.
By Johnnie L. Mock PSP