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5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition:

ReadyNutrition fans, this segment is going to cover five weapons in particular that you should familiarize yourself with and train up on. You don’t necessarily have to buy these weapons or even know a private individual that has them, although either case would benefit you. One of the suggestions I make will depend heavily on the state you reside in. There are many gun shops and firearms ranges that will “rent” a weapon to you…even full-automatic weapons…for use in their range. Let’s cover five weapons that it would behoove you to train on: two pistols, two rifles, and a shotgun.

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

AR-15: The mainstay of the U.S. Armed Forces (M-16, now the M-4) for the past fifty years. It’s not going to be mothballed anytime soon. Those .223 rounds are about as common as they will ever be. Everything in the military and law enforcement is geared around this system. M16A4 and the M-4 carbine being the designators for the model carried by the U.S. Armed forces. Cyclic Rate of Fire: 700 – 900 rpm (rounds per minute). Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm. Effective Range: 500 meters/550 yards.

AK-47: Widely available in semiautomatic form, firing a 7.62 x 39 mm round. The Russian ammo is harder to come by now; the Chinese ammo is more readily available, and the rounds are coated, unlike the Russian rounds. Winchester and Remington also make “boxer” primed rounds that can be reloaded. The full-auto version can be found in your higher-end ranges and fired for a price. Cyclic Rate of Fire: 600 rpm. Effective Range: 300 meters/328 yards. The availability, coupled with the fact that the upgraded versions are almost identical is the reason to train on such a weapon…a rifle that, if the “Red Dawn” scenario occurs, you will surely see again…and possibly need to employ.

Beretta 9 mm Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol in service with the U.S. military for more than 30 years. Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards. Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic. Caliber: 9 x 19 mm. The U.S. military phased out the M1911 for “economics and accuracy,” only to find the stopping power is less than the .45, which is presently experiencing a resurgence and possible complete return. Still, the 9mm Beretta is an excellent “starter pistol” to train with: it’s still in service in the military and law enforcement and is not disappearing anytime soon.

M1911 Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol, arguably (and I follow the “pro” argument) one of the finest weapons ever produced. In service with the military more than half a century. Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards. Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic. Caliber: .45 ACP. The U.S. military should have never let it go…for a good recap on the .45 cartridge, refer to my recent article at ReadyNutrition entitled “The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan.” Stopping power, ease of operation, and durability…you can’t do better. The 1911 is making a comeback and is as plentiful as ever.

Mossberg model 500-Series 12-gauge shotgun: As Rage Against the Machine so eloquently phrased it, “Pistol grip pump on my lap at all times!” Yes, indeed, the 500 series is the successor to the Remington 870 (another beauty that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it). You can do no finer. Stick with that pistol grip pump or leave that stock on the back if you feel more comfortable. Many recommend the Bennelli Black Eagle, etc., in semiautomatic version, but the semis tend to jam in a manner that the pump shotgun does not. Stagger your ammo with 12-gauge slugs and 000 (“triple-ought”) buckshot. Effective range is about 25 meters (50 feet) unless you train with it frequently for longer distances. In any event, what’s in front of you will go down.

By training with these weapons, you will be familiarizing yourself with firearms you will definitely see in one way, shape, or form in a SHTF scenario. Learning how to operate these will stimulate you to develop skills and perhaps to purchase one or more in civilian/legal ownership form. There are also plenty of qualified instructors to be found in these ranges, and a high-end range that is worth its salt will provide one for you to familiarize you with the weapon free of charge before you fire it. Keep your powder dry, don’t stop the training, and try out these five…you won’t be disappointed.

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2 comments to 5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    My own thinking on the subject of guns, is not focused on firefights as the main purpose.

    MY focus, is partly defense, homestead animal maintenance, some hunting, and HUGELY about “what ammunitions will or will NOT be available if/when things break down, or “martial law” bans ammo sales.

    World history shows that governments ban firearms & ammo possession for the common man. Hunting ammo will be gone. Military ammo will be out there for anybody clever enough to be able to trade or barter with military or police sources.

    223, 7.62 NATO (308 Winchester), 9mm, 45acp & 12ga should be the most available. 22LR may or may not be available.

    I also imagine that 38/357 and 40 cal. will probably be available. (police, etc)

    I can foresee a time where even the 380acp will be gone. I expect the following calibers to be gone.
    30-30
    7.62×39 Russian
    44 anything
    41 mag
    32 anything
    357 SIG
    20ga. 410ga
    45 long colt
    300 mag

    etc etc. I also expect all the reloading supplies to be gone.

    As for the homestead firearms that I feel are most important?

    22LR pistol & 22LR scoped rifle
    223
    I also like the AK47 type guns, but I think this ammo will become hard to get.
    and a 12ga shotgun (pump or autoloader)

    Stocking up on extra 22LR is a requirement. Ziplock freezer bags or some other air tight storage.
    —————–

    If/when “martial law” happens, then the government can be expected to deploy a lot more of the computerized “SHOT SPOTTER” systems (able to locate where the shot originated, to as little as 5ft, but more often, accurate only to 20ft or so.) That narrows down EVERY gunshot to each individual home, yard, driveway, etc.

    SO,… how do you use a weapon and not get a swat team attacking your location within 5-30 minutes? The choices are not very good.

    Air rifle (for less than $100, you can buy a 22 caliber pellet gun and they are almost as powerful as a 22LR.)

    In the range of $600-$1,200 .. you can buy 9mm/357 caliber, all the way up to 45 & 50 caliber air rifles. The 45-50 can bring down bear, buffalo, deer, etc. The 9mm, is weaker, but does not empty out the air tank as fast. Some of these, have a muzzle velocity of 1000fps.

    A scoped cross-bow is another viable choice. Silent, deadly, but a bit slow to reload, and dangerous when loaded. Under a lot of stress.

    And the powerful sling shots for hunting small game, but much harder to get good at.

    If you’ve got something with a good suppressor on it, that may also be a good alternative.

  • Ed_B

    A good scoped .22 rifle is one of the best small game guns there is. Ammo is cheap and easily stocked up when found. It’s not unusual for preppers to have 10,000 rounds of this or more. A Ruger 10/22 is very accurate and reliable.

    An AK type rifle is very good for reliability and reasonable accuracy out to maybe 200 yards. It’s good enough to hunt deer and other medium game as well.

    A good 4″ .357 mag pistol is also good for self-defense and is about as powerful as most can shoot well. I prefer the .41 mag myself, as it is considerably more powerful than the .357 yet can be handled by those who aren’t squeamish about some recoil.

    A hi-cap mag 9 mm pistol also makes a good backup weapon to the primary arm, such as a good rifle or shotgun, especially when loaded with JHP rounds.

    Have to differ with the article on OOO buck as shotgun ammo, though. #1 buck did really well in FBI tests for penetration and lethality and you get quite a few more pellets per shot than with the larger 00 and 000 buck rounds. For in-the-house defense, I prefer #4 buck. It’s .24 caliber and up to 27 pellets can be had in 12-ga. 2.75″ shells. Speaking of which, if you have more than one shotgun, it’s good to standardize on the shell length and then buy ammo in bulk. That way you never have an issue with trying to put a 3″ shell into a gun with a 2.75″ chamber. That could cause a serious jam just when you least need one.

    Bows, crossbows, and slings are all good to have and can do double duty as hunting and self-defense weapons. Stock up on the ammo for these. 1/4″ steel ball bearings make good sling shot ammo and so do .375″ lead balls.

    Good knives also make great self-defense weapons as well as very useful tools.

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