Top 6 Popular Types of Guns Not Suitable for SHTF

Trent Rhode
By Trent Rhode November 21, 2017 07:54

Top 6 Popular Types of Guns Not Suitable for SHTF

Choosing a good gun to protect your family and property is one of the most important things you can do to prepare for a SHTF scenario. There’s no use spending months or years preparing for your survival if a small, even unarmed mob or single individual can easily get into your home or garden unchallenged to steal your food and resources. Guns are also useful for hunting, of course, another important survival activity that you should balance your survival goals with when choosing a firearm.

Related: Spider Hole Tactics to Defend Against Looters

There are many guns that are perfect for home defense and security in such a scenario, along with being suitable for hunting, but there are also many guns that just don’t cut it due to factors such as limitations in stopping power, limited ammo capacity, poor reload times, or lack of reliability, among other factors. Some of these guns may even be okay as a backup weapon, but to rely on them as your singular gun in the event that the SHTF is simply not smart.

Related: I Asked a Friend What I Should Stockpile for SHTF: The Great .223 Remington Or The Stalwart .308 Winchester?

Without further ado, here is a list of the top 6 popular types of guns not suitable for SHTF:

1. Single Action Revolverssingle action revolver

Single action revolvers lack both the power and reliability of double action revolvers and semiautomatic pistols, if we are comparing handguns. Slow reload times are also a weak point of these firearms since you must manually remove each shell casing once spent. Combined with the fact that you need to manually cock the hammer for every single pull of the trigger, you can see why these weapons are a poor choice for a SHTF gun.

2. Oversized Revolversoversized revolver

Overly large revolvers, usually designed for hunting, while not lacking in the power department can actually be inappropriate and even dangerous when used indoors in home defense. They would be excessively noisy if shot indoors (potentially damaging hearing, a very important sense for survival purposes), while also being hard to control during a rapid-fire gunfight due to excessive recoil. Increased flash and muzzle blast may also blind you in an indoor gunfight, particularly in a low-light situation. Finally, their power may prove dangerous indoors as although they may take someone down, it is probable that bullets may penetrate right through an intruder, interior and exterior walls, endangering the lives of your family in other rooms or outside. Guns in this category include the .44 Magnum, the .454 Casull and the .500 Smith & Wesson Magnum, for example. Consider instead a small or medium framed revolver or center-fire pistol with 9mm or .35 caliber, or a .38 special cartridge.

3. Pocket Pistolspocket pistol

On the other side of the spectrum are another class of guns not suited for a SHTF scenario for the opposite reason: too little power. Pocket pistols or pocket guns are simply small guns that fit in your pocket. Although they may be useful as a backup firearm, or as a concealed weapon during outings when the SHTF societal breakdown hasn’t entered full swing yet, under-powered guns such as Ruger LCPs or Kel-Tec P-32s have very short ranges, high recoil for their caliber (limiting fire rate and accuracy), and not enough stopping power for home defense or hunting purposes. Instead of these under-powered class of firearms, go for a good semiautomatic pistol.

4. Bolt Action Hunting Riflesbolt action rifle

These weapons can be a good choice for hunting game, but they are certainly not suited for home defence. The problem is this class of firearm has a long barrel that makes them difficult to utilize effectively indoors, while also requiring the user to manually eject spent casings and load new rounds after each pull of the trigger. Further, just as with overpowered revolvers, they can endanger family members by over-penetrating targets, while also presenting the same problem of too much flash and potentially damaging noise.

Related: When Is It Okay to Open Fire on Intruders?

5. Single Shot Shotguns or Riflessingle shot rifles

Many of these class of firearms contain chambers for .22 LR cartridges, or in the case of shotguns, 20-gauge shells, and because of this they will lack the stopping power needed for home defense, particularly if there are multiple targets. Their real drawback, however, is their lack of an internal magazine, limiting them to one shot before needing to be tediously reloaded. A pump action shotgun, by contrast, prevents the need to take your attention away from your (probably moving) target to reload after every shot. A word on auto-loaders vs. pump action shotguns: pump actions are relatively inexpensive, simple, reliable, and will work with almost any shotgun ammo. Semiautomatic shotguns have less recoil, but are not as reliable with certain ammo and can be more complex, thus reducing reliability, especially if not kept very clean and well-maintained.

6. Military Surplus Gunsmilitary surplus

Although not a specific class of weapon, it is worth mentioning that military surplus weapons such as those from World War eras may be cheap to acquire, but they are simply not made for home defence given that most were designed for open battlefields. Further, reliability may be a problem in some cases, and modern weapons have many advantages over older weapons given the simple fact that technology has progressed since then. If you are on a very strict budget, and must defend open space, these might be worth it until you get a modern gun, however.

What is the best gun for a SHTF scenario then?

Some will argue that a semiautomatic pistol or rifle, or even a pump action shotgun is the ideal weapon for home defence. Keep in mind too that a rifle or shotgun may also double as a hunting weapon. You may therefore consider getting both a pistol and a rifle or shotgun to get the best of both worlds, but you should also consider where you store the weapon in your home in the event that you need to quickly retrieve it. It may be more realistic to keep a pistol in your bedroom if there are other rooms around you with family members who you want to make sure don’t suffer the consequences of an overly powerful rifle or shotgun, for example, while your rifle may be elsewhere in the home so that you can respond quickly to a potential home invasion no matter where you are in the house. Keep in mind as well that a shotgun is more forgiving with aim, and even if you are a great shot, this could change in a high stress circumstance. Of course, with any weapon you must practice, practice, practice, and it can’t be stressed enough that you must consider your defence plan so as to avoid friendly fire in the event of over-penetration into adjacent rooms. Locking your weapon appropriately, and hiding it well from children is also of critical importance so that you still have a family to protect if a time comes when you need to defend your home.

In conclusion, when choosing a type of gun suitable for SHTF scenarios, avoid the above types of guns that are not suitable for SHTF and go for either a small or medium framed revolver, a pump action shot gun, a semiautomatic pistol chambered for .40, 9mm or 10mm auto cartridges, or something like an AR-15 rifle with a short barrel for better maneuverability.

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Trent Rhode
By Trent Rhode November 21, 2017 07:54
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  1. randy November 21, 15:31

    your author doesn’t even know what a bolt action rifle is he posted a lever action

    Reply to this comment
    • Graywolf12 November 21, 16:13

      You beat me to the comment. I did not agree with the single action hand guns. Semi autos are for ammo makers profit. With 5-6 shots one aims and shoots, but with semi autos they spray the area. IT AIN”T how FAST you empty the gun, it IS how MANY bullets hit the target.

      Reply to this comment
      • metal rat November 21, 19:05

        Also, single actions are immensely reliable compared to other varieties of weapons.

        Reply to this comment
      • derethknight November 22, 00:24

        that is just ignorant a semi auto pistol or rifle isn’t a spray and pray. it’s a training issue hands down. if you know what your doing.. semi auto all the way. 17 is better than 6..

        Reply to this comment
    • Ironhrose November 21, 20:56

      Wtf did I just read? Written by some rich highschool kid that doesn’t know his *** from a hole in the ground. How does he define shtf? I have my home defense weapons. Over penetration…I get it. Noise? Mongo say guns go big boom. Doesn’t anyone double check this stuff?

      Reply to this comment
    • revmark96 November 23, 05:36

      I was completely floored when I read this article. It’s as if the author has never seen a levergun transformed into a tactical home defense weapon, a modified SKS, or a customized Mosin Nagant. But if this is all you have, this is all you have. Quit assuming the end-all-be-all weapons of choice revare a Glock 17 or AR15.

      Reply to this comment
    • Krieger December 14, 08:14

      Really? Do you know how to identify a bolt action? Apparently not!

      Reply to this comment
  2. Mordecai November 21, 15:41

    Maybe when you say a bolt action rifle isn’t suitable for self defense, you should show a picture of an actual bolt action rifle and not a lever action rifle. Just maybe.

    I call B.S. on this whole article.

    Reply to this comment
    • Roger November 21, 21:41

      Yep you are absolutely correct. The author of this article probably would not know how to even use a bb gun.

      Reply to this comment
  3. Doc Tombstone November 21, 15:45

    Mostly right on, I would disagree with the single action revolver being weak and unreliable, a good one may be the most reliable handgun available, and you can get them in most any round that a double action is available in. They are slower to reload for sure.
    Also in saying a bolt action rifle is a poor choice perhaps the photo should have been of a bolt action rifle
    instead of a lever action.

    Reply to this comment
    • Graywolf12 November 21, 16:16

      Check out the Bianchi speed strips. I have 2 for my 38 Spl.. You can load 2 rounds at a time. With a fixed cylinder you can only load one, but they are in one place and all pointing in the same direction.

      Reply to this comment
    • SaturdayPrepper November 21, 20:57

      A lot of people have been killed in war with a bolt action rifle, I’m pretty sure vets of ww1 and ww2 would disagree with those weapons not being capable of defending your life.

      Reply to this comment
  4. Gomezaddams51 November 21, 16:01

    This seems to conflict with the “Top 10 SHTF Firearms” post.

    Reply to this comment
  5. TLH November 21, 16:12

    Bolt action firearms and Lever action firearms are different. You mention bolt and show lever. The good thing is, that if someone knows how to use them, and they are in good operating order, they will both go BANG!

    Reply to this comment
  6. Equality Sam November 21, 16:26

    Perhaps under ‘Bolt Action Rifles’ you should have a picture of a bolt action rather than a lever action rifle?

    Reply to this comment
  7. H November 21, 16:34

    ALL the commenters above stole my thunder when mentioning things such as incorrect verbiage vs picture supposedly representative of some such thing so I’ll chalk that up to a good between the author and whomever actually brought to print the construction of the article. “Just stick a picture of a rifle in there, Carl, and don’t be messing around, DAMMIT!” LOL
    I’ve suffered the same myself when editing a large-bore rifle magazine. For me, an irritation but nothing to get my panties in a bunch over.
    Moving on.
    The author stated that there were specific classes of firearms to avoid in a SHTF scenario and to some degree I concur, but I think the OP could have benefited the article, and thus the readership, by mentioning that the dicarded versions of such-and-such gun MIGHT be warranted, he could have ventured into how those same guns could be a BIG benefit to have and own/use but within a limited role.
    Take the single shot rifle for example and let’s use the lowly .22LR as well.
    We know this isn’t the Premier rifle and caliber for grid down, SHTF scenario but it DOES have it’s place in your stable of tools nevertheless. Teaching a new shooter, for example, is but one use. Having a recoil sensitive shooter who otherwise is an EXCELLENT marksman wield it to clear the overhead trees of Limb Rats (squirrels) for noise abatement or (yummy) the cook pot. Another is to use it to take down game animals (with PERFECT shot placement, notwithstanding the legal/moral implications at this point…putting grub on the table IS, minimalist noise when announcing you are in the area with a major caliber player could endanger you and/or family/survival collective, and a whole host of other reasons. So, IMHO it/they belongs; just not as a front-line defensive piece.
    Same goes with the old fashioned revolvers. Yeah, they don’t hold the maximum in power or cartridge count but if it’s all that Granny can handle, better to have her tending the garden with a trusty Six-shooter on her side than a rake or a hoe if the apocalypse happens and the Zombie Hoards are coming through the wire.
    Anyway, didn’t mean to overtake the thread or OP comments. Just wanted to add a little seasoning and flavor, as it were, to give more food for thought to the topic article.
    All in all an interesting article and one that gets the “What If” juices flowing to make the reader use his head for something other than a hat rack, eh? 😉

    Reply to this comment
    • bentrupster November 23, 06:07

      Yes, I love my trusty .22…and all of the cheap ammo that I have with it. If I recall, a .22 short almost killed President Reagan. If you’re a decent shot, this weapon will do.

      Reply to this comment
      • Robkw458 December 25, 21:45

        No it was a 22 Lr. Modified to explode on impact. When it hit him a fragment went into his lungs. But yes. A 22 short will kill you just like a 45acp.. or 30.30.

        Reply to this comment
  8. Cort November 21, 16:36

    I researched this subject to figure out what would he best for my family and our situation. I decided on a Remington 870 because it is a tried and true very reliable shotgun. Ammo is very cheap comparatively. Rather than a different gun for different situations, I can simply change my ammo for the same gun. Birdshot, buckshot, slug, etc. I also purchased a rifled barrel for those longer shots with massive stopping power. It takes me about 20 seconds to switch out.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jim Allen November 21, 21:20

      Suggest you look for an older wingmaster. Remingtons QC had been poor for a couple of years before the Freedom/Cerebus take over in 2007.
      Jmho, but, for dependability in a new gun, I’d take a long look at a Mossburg.

      Reply to this comment
    • Enigma December 2, 15:36

      Thumbs up. A 24″ barreled pump shotgun capable of accepting a hunting barrel (circa 34″ or longer) is a good decision for everyone.

      As noted above by GrayWolf, what’s important is not how ‘mean looking’ a weapon is nor how many rounds it can rapidly dispense, but lead on target center. What really matters is _training_ and _practice_.

      Unlike what TV and films ‘teach’, a firearm isn’t a magical talisman, nor does one get always dropped at critical junctures. Best of all is arranging your abode and activities so that noisy firearms aren’t needed except in extremis.

      After the pump shotgun, the next best projectile weapon is the crossbow. Bolts/quarrels may be made from many kinds of materials, and don’t need reloading machinery and materials, nor factories.

      Reply to this comment
  9. Fred November 21, 16:46

    While I agree single action revolvers are not my first choice they are both powerful and reliable. And the gun under #4 is a lever action and not a bolt action. Become more knowledgeable before giving advice.

    Reply to this comment
  10. Jim K November 21, 17:01

    The whole article is BS. Single action in .45 LC is NOT a poor stopper, slow to reload, yes – for most. Those that practice a lot ie. cowboy shooters, can do it fairly quickly. ANY firearm has its place in home defense IF you know how to use it. Bolt guns have a definite use but I’d agree it’s not at 2 AM in your house with 5 or more bad guys coming in. Military surplus is not good? You’ve got to be kidding!

    Reply to this comment
  11. Wannabe November 21, 17:05

    Don’t usually have much to disagree with many of the articles posted but gotta say fowl on this one. Unless it is a B.B. gun or an ancient musket, any gun is very reliable. A 22lr can be just as deadly as a 45 auto, or even a 45colt single action. Practice with the firearms you have, get proficient in shooting and most likely the perp is going down. Or he will pee his pants staring at the barrel of a single shot 20 gauge.

    Reply to this comment
  12. JHD November 21, 17:08

    The best firearm for SHTF is a firearm. Period. I think of all the people who pay no attention, are afraid of guns and really think that the government will come to their aid in a crisis. Just have one with plenty of ammo. Better to have 2. I really liked the bolt action lever rifle they wrote about. I never have been aware of one of those. I could not find the bolt however. Maybe Marlin can help me find the bolt on my 30-30.

    Reply to this comment
    • H December 12, 23:14

      It’s been fun reading all the comments about the bolt-action lever rifle, mine included.
      But what I wanna know is why don’t the article author(s) ever respond back to their articles and make corrections?
      Or defend their stance on why they chose or suggested whatever?
      Inquiring minds wanna know.

      Reply to this comment
  13. 8th grade education November 21, 17:10

    First i dont agree with article because any firearm is worth having even single shot 22 short an used in a proper manner can be deadly but no not my first pick also if a talented person with a shield an a vest running down a funneled hallway would be GREAT for a big bore gun like 500 so this article is useful but not a sure thing you can have the best ammo best firearm an if you fail to train an get used to said firearm you may as well just give them your food an all the females an use a wrist rocket peewww peeww..

    Reply to this comment
  14. Wannabe November 21, 17:35

    As a side note, Mr. Claude Davis I suggest you put out an article concerning the history of the battle for Athens Tennessee. There was even a movie made about it with many known actors in it. Any one I talk to about this don’t have a clue what I’m talking about and would be great info to share. It is US history on a very local level and shows just how corrupt government can be and has been on our very own soil.

    Reply to this comment
  15. Killer1 November 21, 17:39

    Whoever wrote this article is totally clueless when it comes to firearms! After many years serving in the military, I can totally agree with the others who have posted that it is about not how many rounds can be spent, it is about how many rounds can actually hit the target. AND, it is not always the size of the round that matters either. A 22 caliber round can be very lethal if strategically placed. In a SHTF situation, ANY firearm is better than no firearm at all…end of subject! The writer of this article evidently has no clue on the differences between bolt action and lever action firearms; that is absolutely pathetic for a writer of firearms topics. As for military surplus firearms….totally wrong again. Even though some may not be fans of the SKS rifle, that rifle has proven itself as a highly reliable firearm over and over in many theaters of wars and conflicts for many decades. Additionally, the bolt action British Lee Enfield 303 Rifle can be highly rapid fired. In 1914, Sergeant Snoxall of the British Army’s School of Musketry shot 38 rounds into a 12-inch bulls-eye set 300 yards away in just ONE minute! Therefore, military surplus weapons are STILL very reliable for SHTF scenarios. I can go on and on about this very ‘unreliable’ article, but I don’t wanna take up too many lines of space disputing it!

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck November 21, 22:31

      The pre-WWI British Army specially trained to operate the SMLE using the forefinger and thumb to operate the bolt and using the middle finger as a tigger finger. AS Killer1 indicated, although Sgt Snoxall was probably an outstanding example, when the Germans first ran into the Brits they thought they were all armed with machine guns the Brits were able to produce such a high volume of rifle fire on the Krauts. The fact that the SMLE cocked on closing also contributed to its ability to deliver rapid fire. Almost any surplus rifle will serve very nicely as a ETOW situation. Most of them were built for “rugged service”. That means that they can function when dirty, muddy and wet. If you want an extremely rugged, work any time in any conditions rifle, the Russian Moisin-Nagant probably fits the bill. It worked fine in defeating the German
      army in WWII in the freezing mud and snow of a very bad Russian winter. The British Lee-Enfield is another rugged workhorse that is well suited for an EOTW. Then there is the finest battle rifle ever devised, the M-1 Grand. From the jungles of Guadalcanal and other Pacific islands to the sands of Iwo Jima, the mud of Okinawa, the frozen Chosen reservoir, the Normandy landing, the frozen Battle of the Bulge and back to the jungles of Viet Nam in the early days, it has proved itself to be the premier weapon for an EOTW scenario. It proved itself in house-to-house fighting in Europe and in Seoul, Korea. With an 8 round clip (not a magazine) it will certainly handle any home invasion and at that range you can take down a couple of b.g.s with one round. It certainly proved itself capable of handling zombie hordes in the banzai charges of the Pacific War and again against massed Chinese attacks in Korea.

      Taken as a whole, this post was scraping the bottom of the barrel. I am certainly no gun expert but this article was more like a couple of half-drunk, dim-wits shooting the breeze around the coffee pot in some tackle shop. I could go on about its fallings, but others have done an adequate job.

      Reply to this comment
    • Boopeye November 22, 00:02

      Wonder what the Nazi’s had to say about the Mosin Nagant, a bolt action that was in production and use longer than most any other rifle. I have two and can put all my shots into a paper plate at 300 yds.

      Reply to this comment
  16. Louisiana shooter November 21, 18:02

    Really kills an author’s reliability when he doesn’t know the difference between a bolt action and a lever action rifle. Lordy

    Reply to this comment
  17. mike cambell November 21, 18:08

    The title of this article is “6 Popular Types of Guns Not Suitable for SHTF” but yet he does not talk about an SHTF but a home defense situation. In a true SHTF I believe a slower shooting gun is of benefit… It forces you to be a rifleman and not spray and pray…. My 454 casull is a perfect weapon for home defense, I just shoot 45colts and hollow points… heavy massive projectile with immense knockdown and less penetration than a 9mm, then I can switch to 454casull rounds when I need to drop a hog… I suggest the author engage brain before opening mouth… BTW single action revolvers are one of the strongest handgun designs built…

    Reply to this comment
  18. Squeezer November 21, 18:51

    A revolver/pump are the way to go along with thousands of rounds of ammo for home defense and a semi for territorial defense again with thousands of rounds.

    Reply to this comment
    • Guy December 3, 17:52

      I have guns for love of them and defense although my knowledge is limited I think shotgun get overlooked slugs can be accurate and semiautomatic with devastating consequences

      Reply to this comment
  19. Softballumpire November 21, 19:01

    Like nearly every respondent, I question the firearms mastery of the author to display a lever action rifle while placing a bolt action rifle in the photo.

    I take issue with the down play of the single action pistol as well. One thing not considered in SHTF scenario is the use of the firearm to put down animals for slaughter. Something my family and I have done frequently. It allows for my children to experience connection of dots to the meat on the table. I never recall any of my children scream out their desire to kill someone after experiencing their first butchering kill. They also exercised greater safety steps with their handling of firearms as tools.

    As far as the single shot .2 rifle, It is excellent for teaching youngsters to be sure of their shot the first time.

    My personal choice is still the lever action. Granted growing up watching Chuck Connors was influential. The 30-30 Winchester has a feature unique among most guns with which I have been in in contact. To disengage the safety, you must be have the grip strength to keep the lever tight against the stick and have the strength & muscular control to extend the index finger to squeeze the trigger. Youngsters can’t safely operate it until nearly puberty age. This allowed us to keep a live round in the chamber most of the time.

    On more than one occasion, we lost the opportunity to effectuate a single reduction or our raccoon population by one om more than a single occasion because the noise of jacking a round into the chamber spooked our prey, where just thumbing the hammer did not.

    Reply to this comment
    • Boopeye November 22, 00:08

      Like my grand dad use to say, “With a shotgun if you need more than a single shot to hit a target, you need more practice”.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 22, 01:13

        As I commented in a post on a similar topic, and another reader agreed, I have watched old timers who had been using a single shot shotgun for 40 or more years hold three rounds in their off hand and run that single shot shotgun almost as fast as someone with a pump shotgun. My 60 year old 16 ga. (remember those?) will drop open and throw the empty out over my shoulder and will click close with very little effort. My trigger hand can cock the hammer and the slightest brush of the trigger will allow the hammer to fall. I am not nearly as fast as some others I have seen but then I was recently at a three gun clinic and there was a pro woman shooter there who can slam eight shotgun shells into her shotgun while I am still trying to decide which end goes in first, so you can’t discount others by my lack of skill.

        I would echo the comments by others about the reliability of a single action. The single action revolver, like the single shot shotgun is the simplest of machines. In an era when gun repair might be scarce, simple machinery will be the most reliable and useful. As far as power, the 454 Casull or some other large caliber pistol round are usually available in single action revolvers first and then when the manufacturers figure out how to make a double action revolver strong enough they bring it out in a double action model. There are cartridges available in single action revolvers that could not be handled by a semi-automatic pistol unless it were so large it would be unmanageable. Look at the Desert Eagle in .44 magnum. It really approaches the limit in what one can hold in one’s hands and still shoot accurately. I know, I know, you are a NRA Distinguished Shooter with the Desert Eagle, but I am talking about Joe Average. I own a Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 magnum and it is a large pistol. Of course, the upside to all that metal is that if I run out of ammo, it is then a formidable club.

        Reply to this comment
  20. Jugband November 21, 19:07

    Well that photo of the lever action rifle has been whipped to death.

    But I might add that the advice to consider a “.35 caliber, or a .38 special” revolver doesn’t demonstrate a good firearms knowledge… the .38 Special IS .35 caliber, actually using a .357 diameter bullet.

    The .44 Remington Magnum and .44 Special, which are also actually .43 caliber., shooting a .4295 diameter. bullet.

    I guess they figured that nobody would buy a .43 Magnum.

    FWIW, .45 caliber guns like the .45LC, .45ACP, and .454 Casull Magnum actually DO a .451 diameter bullet.

    I suppose that if someone developed a .45 Special it would actually be .44 caliber.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Don November 21, 19:58

    Most of the commentators have pointed out the weaknesses in this article from a person who thinks a lever action is a bolt action. But, also, both “scout” sized bolt actions or a short-barreled lever actions designed for thick woods, will perform well, close-in.
    And clearly, the .45 Long Colt is a GREAT man-stopper, and less likely to deflect, as a 9 mm round could. Finally, most revolvers are generally more-reliable than a semi-automatic pistol anyway….if you pull the trigger, they WILL fire, no matter what!

    Reply to this comment
  22. Doomsdayprepper45/70 November 21, 20:06

    I would have put Bob Munden against any idiot with a 9,10mm auto any day of the week. At 10-50 meters if
    I had life savings I would beat $10,000,000 on Munden and his single action revolver in 45LC. 🙂

    Reply to this comment
  23. Rass November 21, 21:11

    Um… really the .22 kills more people world wide followed by the 9mm.. granted not first choice but if you can hit your target and gun goes bang anything you can afford and are trained with will do. My Bob gun is a single action 22/ light and can carry alot of ammo no weight. I can hunt and defend myself. I bought a 22 bobcat once the other fine gentleman said to me what are going to do with that throw it at them? Well I asked him to run around in the back yard..a small gun shop..let me empty the clip I remember the Berretta holding 7 rds and come back tell me if it hurts..he did not take me up on it but it sat in my brief case for years glad it was there.

    Reply to this comment
  24. hadenufyet November 21, 21:22

    The only unsuitable guns are the ones locked in your safe, unloaded. The best gun to have is the gun you actually have at hand.

    Reply to this comment
  25. Big Tex November 21, 22:02

    An AR or AK or Bull Pup assault style would be best. A lever gun would run a close second because of the number of rounds they hold, can be shot rather quickly. Most come in a caliber that’s a real man stopper. Tactical shotguns third due to addition round capacity, more of a short distance gun. Think of the Bolt guns and the psychological effect out to 400-600 yards. Handguns should be in 9mm or 45 only. You’ll always be able to pick up extra ammo. The off calibers such as 10mm, 357 sig and all the cowboys rounds will be hard to come by. Nothing against them other than that.

    Reply to this comment
    • Guy December 13, 02:51

      I disagree that a shotgun is only for short distance you can scope a shotgun and hunt large game hundreds of yards with slugs

      Reply to this comment
      • Jack December 18, 03:33

        Guy, I wrote a post about shotguns used for long range, and in this case, regarding sabots with rifle bullets in the sabot’s. I was actually trying to address your comment as well.. you will need a RIFLED BORE to spin the projectile to maintain any kind of accuracy at much range. I will spare all my re writing it.. but its based on basic physics.
        My concern in all this is that people understand .. and make informed decisions, whatever they might be! make the post easier to find, its at the bottom, addressed to “Hammer”. Merry Christmas to all!

        Reply to this comment
  26. Ron November 21, 22:06

    Well the author damn well missed the mark on this report. SHTF protection will hopefully take place somewhere outside before it escalates to an indoor situation. I will gladly arm myself with any and all types of these firearms in SHTF times if for no other reason than to keep them out of the enemy’s hands.

    Reply to this comment
  27. jeff November 21, 23:57

    ALL FIREARMS are good in the hands of the right person. As a veteran I KNOW FIRST HAND practice,practice,practice that is the KEY.

    Reply to this comment
  28. Earnest T. Bass November 22, 00:15

    Since the article does mention “SHTF” in it’s title, I’d like to add that IMHO, availability/price would be one of my major issues too. While a 500 Magnum might stop a diesel, in a true “SHTF situation, how likely are you to find ammo of that caliber, and how much are you willing and able to spend? Maybe I’m a dumb old fart, but I’d rather have abundant .45ACPs or 9mms or whatever than pipe dreams…

    Reply to this comment
  29. DJnRF November 22, 00:58

    This article indicates it is for a SHTF situation, but describes more of a home protection without much on other SHTF situations. Now, any article with even the mention of ‘guns’ always gets attention, but they always merely tend to confuse the whole issue.

    What must be done is to decide which firearm would fit the most likely situation and what might work for several situations by the average person. Even this can be a sticky task There can be several types of situations at the same time, so what will be best for all is the question. Couple this question with each individual’s own interest and thinking really causes more confusion in finding a good answer. Those who are more of a combat thinking person would immediately think only of military type weapons. A person who has more of the homebody type thinking and who believes they are going to be safe in their own home will only consider a smaller caliber and size type of weapon. Of course we also have those that would never even want to have such a weapon. What good is our article now?

    Where we will most likely not change the minds of some any article must first point out the most likely needs. These are self-protection (at home, or on the streets), and the second is a true survival situation for a longer term in the field.

    Only a very few are part of a militia, and most of them will not be led by a real strategist. We are citizens of the United States. We have become used to our form of government and peace keeping. Therefore, we are not likely, nor should we, think only of combat situations. Our best defense to that type of situation is to avoid it in any way and not to engage such a situation. That would tend to rule out most types of military combat weapons. So, now what?

    Next would be to think of our most likely need to handle both protection, and for food. But, we then would need to figure out IF we would have a possible need to ‘Bug Out’ and if so, how much ammo would be needed and how much can be carried. Now that thought also brings to mind of how long a time might that carry on. How much can be carried for a long term for both of the needs now depends upon how many people you have, how strong you are, and how good of packs to do you have.

    You may need a more powerful type of weapon, but for how often would that need exist? Could you do without much need for most of the time, or are you the type of person that likes to walk down dark alleys in a bad part of town with fifty dollar bills hanging from your pocket. If you are, I would not like to be anywhere near you in any SHTF situation. We are civilians, not military combat units with strategists to plan our movements. We should just attempt to avoid any combat situations. Hiding is not a thing to be ashamed of for us. The idea is to continue to live on. So this now brings us to caliber of weapons.

    For most people there should be only a couple of considerations here. Most should only look to .22LR, 38 Spcl, 357 Mag, and 9 mm. These calibers offer the most overall complete for any situation for the average person.

    Many weapons are nice, but one must consider what is best for every situation and what is most necessary for the person(s) to do. Even the .22 is a great one for all situations. You can carry a large amount of ammo without adding much weight. Plus, if you have done what you are supposed to do, you have practiced until you are good with your weapon. You can collect much small game with it, and if you are really good can even take down a deer. (Don’t try this on anything larger.) A .357 can fire both 38 Spcl, and .357 ammo. The 9 mm is also similar in knock down power to the .38, but not quite exactly.

    Now, the 9 mm will mostly be an automatic with a lot more ammo in the magazine. But, if you are good with the revolver, you have the advantage with use of the .357 for power. A 2 1/2 inch barrel of the .357 also makes for a smaller size and weight, but the ammo is a tad bit more weight. That tends to balance out the difference in weight with the 9 mm. Just more knockdown with the .357.

    A .22 for self protection in the home one can consider a Ruger automatic pistol such as the Mk II, or 4. It does have a lot of rounds in the magazine, will not penetrate as much as the 38, 357 or 9 mm in the home, but will bring down a person well …. if you are good enough with it. Plus, if you would carry this in the field for a weapon to take down your food, you can also couple it with the Henry AR-7 rifle. Both use the same ammo, and you can carry a bunch.

    One last thing here is that if you are keeping weight down for a Bug Out situation you might not pack a sufficient, or even any, cleaning kit for your automatic pistol. Automatics require much more care than do revolvers, and are more likely to fail in the field. Yes, the army is different as they travel in larger units than do families. They have all sorts of vehicles and supply units to follow. You will not. That would tend to make a revolver the best choice, but if you have the AR-7 and a handgun you are still covered with something to take game for food, and have some protection. Now, modern firearms are much better than years past, but your life depends upon your choice, or what you can afford. Some older revolvers are less cost than new, and can be a better, and more reliable brand than a new one of a cheap brand.

    I have all types of weapons, but my survival gear contains three: A 2.5″ S&W .357, a Ruger Mk II, and the AR-7 rifle. I carry 1,000 rounds of .22, and only 100 rounds of .357. I have all I need for most survival situations at home, or in the field. Other rifles and automatics will remain behind should I leave my home.

    So, what NOT to carry? Any I have not mentioned here. You might carry a 38,357 or 9 mm for your Concealed Carry in society, but a SHTF situation is not the same. Think carefully, then practice a lot.

    Reply to this comment
  30. Hammer November 22, 01:28

    Just can’t beat the 5.56 AR. Ammunition is plentiful reliability is perfect. Suitable for hunting and SHTF. I keep 2 available at all times. Couple thousand rounds stocked up on. .308 is my bolt action with nikon glass for longer range and stopping power. I keep 2 .40 sw side arms also with a stockpile of ammo. I find these to be my best bet and my arsenal is complete.

    Reply to this comment
  31. OldBuff53 November 22, 01:42

    I cry a big BS on this article. The best gun for self defense and a TEOTWAWKI is the one YOU know how to use best and have practiced with!!!! The author shows a real lack of gun knowledge. Shows a lever action under bolt guns. I will take lever action anytime., especially my Marlin 1895 CB in 45-70! They took care of business in the old west, just ask the Indian tribes.

    Reply to this comment
  32. Gomezaddams51 November 22, 02:02

    Well I won’t mention the lever action fiasco since it has been stated to death. As has been stated here by several posters, even a little .22 can be deadly. Back when I was a kid we raised a steer to butcher. Did it twice a year. Dad used a single shot .22 rifle to drop the big fat steer with one shot. Also a revolver can be deadly. This includes the old C&B revolvers. Wars were fought using them and many men died by being shot with them. I shoot CAS with two Remington .44 revolvers with .45 LC conversion cylinders and I have 13 C&B cylinders and I would not want to be in front of them when they go off. You have to be proficient with a firearm and you can be deadly no matter what caliber the gun is.

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  33. Hammer November 22, 02:51

    I agree as well, the best weapon is the one you know. I train and have been on all my arms. Started when I was a kid and continued through the military and combat.
    Firearms proficiency is the qualifyer. A whole lot more to it than simply learning your weapons, a whole lot!
    Other fighting skills come to light as well. Knives, shafts, Hatchett, the list goes on. In a survival situation everything becomes a weapon.

    Reply to this comment
  34. DJnRF November 22, 03:00

    the whole issue is to have one that you are darn good with, and practice much with. When I fired Pro, I had to shoot every day of the world. One gets good. I went up against many shooters in competition,and those that could only fire once or twice each week were nothing at all to beat. Pick ONE gun for your needs, and practice a lot. As for the combat mentality, those will most likely not survival a real SHTF scenario. They are too focused on their mentality, and not reality. Those kind can never come out well. You can read about them all through the year. Statistics have shown that many hunters, outdoorsmen, and fishermen die due to not doing what they should have already known, but didn’t. For over 40 years I have studied this,, and been writing on it and teaching it since. Don’t get into that where you think you know. Study, practice and train for all situations.

    Reply to this comment
  35. Hammer November 22, 03:02

    I do want to learn a 45-70. Any recommendations for a rifle? I like the idea of sending a big chunk of lead down range.

    Reply to this comment
    • OldBuff53 November 22, 06:40

      I really like my Marlin 1895 CB. 9 rounds of 45-70. Hits like a sledge hammer! Real hog medicine. I can shoot almost MOA out to 250 yards

      Reply to this comment
      • Hammer November 23, 00:52

        Marlin seems to be the go-to rifle. Thanks for the input and i’ll go check one out. I know ammo varies like crazy. How about a tip for ammo to start with?

        Reply to this comment
  36. Hammer November 22, 03:11

    So my skills that i’very honed through combat are worthless and my type won’t stand up to a real SHTF scenario? I respect your ability to shoot as well as you do but , how are you when rounds start cracking by your head or clear a house full of enemy combatants. Sorry sir, I take offense and put you through a Combat shoot for real.

    Reply to this comment
    • DJnRF November 22, 12:12

      I was a Lt in the Rangers. My ‘skills’ also earned me eleven Q bars under my expert. You would not fair well against me in combat.

      Reply to this comment
      • Hammer November 23, 00:47

        Wouldn’t be the first time I kicked a rangers a$$ or an officer. You have all these skill but deny the fact “We” are proficient at survival and defense or self sufficiency. Our skills are worthless! In any case Sir, speak for yourself and as an officer you should know this.

        Reply to this comment
        • Hammer November 23, 03:45

          That is pretty cool you were a Ranger DJ. That’s quite a few Q-bars. I had three under my expert badge, pistol, grenade, machine gun. When and where did you serve, and by the way thank you for that.

          Reply to this comment
          • DJnRF November 23, 10:54

            I was commissioned 5-1-61. was no official sniper program, but I was that, and assigned to a special unit. My work is still not available, if you understand.
            I have loved firearms ever since living in army camps during WW2. I was also an associate of Maj. Geo. Nonte. My wife was editorial and research assistant. We were a testing and eval firm for new firearms. We also wrote many books and publications on firearms. I still have our last manuscript we were writing when George died. I had thought about finishing the last four chapters and publishing until I got into writing, lecturing on, and teaching survival for the average person. I am retired now, but still do my research, and some work in survival areas. I still practice much of my combat shooting from my police days, and with my rifles as well. I no longer fire competitions as my eyes are not as good as they used to be. On the Q-bars, I have a couple of pics when in later years went Navy Res. and wore several more than what is actually allowed on the uniform, (Just grandstanding at the time. All 11 were too much though. lol) They stand out well on the Navy whites. and not so well on the old khakis or OD’s. 11 actually would hang down well below the pocket bottom on the shirts.

            Reply to this comment
            • Hammer November 23, 15:53

              Wow! That’s big. Nice to have someone around with that kind of experience. Looks like another source and asset for information.
              Good to be able to ask questions from a truly knowledgeable person.
              Again, thanks for your service and look forward to reading your posts,
              SSGT. Hammer.

              Reply to this comment
  37. PB- dave November 22, 03:46

    By the number of comments posted, I would say the author was Rhode hard……
    Bottom line a well practiced marksman should be able to handle most situations with his “familiar” weapon whatever it is.
    Practice, practice, practice …..and a little maintenance go a long way.

    Reply to this comment
  38. PistolProf November 22, 07:49

    Trent, please don’t blow your credibility by stating, “Single action revolvers lack both the power and reliability of double action revolvers . . . ”
    Further, picturing a lever-action rifle in a bolt action category is worthy of a leftist’s awareness of gun types.
    I’m not one for writing demeaning replies, but I AM an NRA instructor (, and expect writers of gun articles to be accurate.
    Please, a little research / proofing next time . . .?

    Reply to this comment
  39. 13bravo November 22, 09:13

    Hmm…First time I’ve seen a bolt action rifle with a LEVER…

    Reply to this comment
  40. Norseman78 November 22, 18:40

    Almost the entire article just pissed me off!
    …a .40 or 10mm?
    What an a$$h@!e.

    Reply to this comment
  41. H November 22, 19:24

    I’ve read a fair number of articles and responses to them, but it’s been quite some time since I’ve witnessed an article where so many folks are “Triggered” and really PISSED off!
    Just remember, the article was written by one person who offered up HIS suggestions for the “ultimate” or Least Preferred whatever widget or DooDad that meets HIS needs or specs. It doesn’t mean it is without a shadow of a doubt the indisputable and absolute SUPERIOR list.
    It’s Thanksgiving Eve and some responders aren’t going to be able to enjoy sitting down to dinner with family tomorrow. I’d wager some folks are having a stroke reading this article, much less RESPONDING!!! LMAO
    Settle down and take from the article what fits your needs and discard what doesn’t. With a little luck, NOBODY will be telling YOU that your family lineage includes the unbridled Love of a human and a primate. LMAO
    Breathe, folks.

    Reply to this comment
    • Hammer November 23, 00:58

      I take your input to hart and appologize for being so critical. Happy thanksgiving. And for all the soldiers that can’t be home (like mySon) we must live well on their behalf.

      Reply to this comment
  42. duffy November 22, 20:29

    aside from all the other posts here with which I agree the first thing I noticed was the comment about the SAA revolver not having the power of the more common semi auto. I think he should check the specs. on the colt 45 and a semi auto 45 before making statements he knows nothing about.

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  43. Hammer November 23, 02:03

    In all fairness, the rifle does have a bolt, Hah! Even though the author probably doesn’t know this.

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  44. yahoo November 24, 11:34

    man this guy is full of shit! but I defend his right to be full of shit, I just don’t want him on my team or teaching my family his ideas

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  45. dpm November 24, 13:39

    Well the writer of this article has been [ whooped up on ! ] as he should be . There,s nothing worse than an unknowledgeable writer publishing inaccurate information ! ! ! . A single action revolver is[ weak] ? 44. magnum ! 357, 41 MAG, . I generally just read the articles here without comment , but sometimes things just have to be said ! along with all the other comments here about the inaccuracies in this article this is just another , someone should really be proof reading these thing,s ! This is a great site with some very knowledgeable people on it , but whenever they do a firearms report there credibility suffers !

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck November 25, 04:14

      Freedom Arms .454 Casull. The original “super magnum”. While I can’t claim to know every model of every manufacturer in the market place, to the best of my knowledge there is no .454 Casull semi-automatic on the market. The Desert Eagle in .44 magnum is the largest caliber semi-automatic available to the best of my information.

      Reply to this comment
      • mike cambell November 25, 19:54

        ok well in caliber the largest production semi auto I can think of off the top of my head is the 50caliber dessert eagle in 50AE… not very powerful but is a large caliber. highest pressure semi auto production round that I can think of is the 10MM. There are ZERO semi autos that can handle the pressures of the 454casull…

        Reply to this comment
      • DJnRF January 18, 20:22

        Although not found much these days, the .44 AutoMag pistol was made and sold in the U. S. That was my wife’s favorite handgun.

        Reply to this comment
        • H January 18, 20:53

          THIS was a round and platform I have ALWAYS wished I could come across and able to afford in this caliber or .357 Automat.
          One of the few truly Bucket List items I truly covet. Perhaps one day. After I win the Lottery?

          Reply to this comment
  46. DJnRF November 25, 04:35

    I have not seen anyone consider another aspect of what TO carry. I don’t know where people might decide to go when in a SHTF situation, but it seems that most lean toward ‘bugging out’. Now, no matter how much ammo has been personally stockpiled, how much can you actually carry with all that you will need also? Hundreds or thousands of rounds is a lot of weight in most calibers. With all I have prepared IF I must bug out a thousand rounds of .22 LR is almost too much weight. So, if one is going to carry something of the larger calibers, the need to scavenge up more ammo may be necessary. Since you can never be sure of where you may have to go, and end up, what ammo do you think might be most common anywhere in the country to get what you need from anyplace? I believe the choices might be limited in many places around the country. My thoughts are that I might be safer with .22, .38 Spcl, .45 auto, 9 mm, and .357. For rifle would be.22, .223, and .308. Many places just may not have all the other choices of our ideas, and weapons. For a shotgun it is 12 ga all the way. On your trips around the country, stop and look in the out of the way little towns, and gas stations. How many might carry another choice of yours?

    Reply to this comment
  47. Hammer November 25, 15:57

    Again, here is where the.223 round excels. One of the major reasons the military adopted the 5.56 was it’s weight. Ammo is light and so is the AR.
    On another note, I really don’t understand why a person would bug out. Where are you gonna go? Unless you’re trying to escape the city and even then I still have doubts. A lot of reasons or arguments on both sides.

    Reply to this comment
    • DJnRF November 26, 04:19

      You are correct on the bug out part. There are very few who have secured really safe places in advance, and even then no one can be sure they haven’t been taken over by others who may have found them. To bug out leaves behind many of the things that are more help that the few that can be carried. Bugging out is only a very last, and extremely desperate move.

      As far as the .223, I also agree that the weight is small, but the 5.56 is a slight bit more than the .223. There is a slight difference between the two, therefore a slight bit added weight, even though very slight.

      The ‘packing’ of any rifle that is not broken down adds much bulk to carry. In most bug out situations to survive by getting away from the danger that has arisen at your normal ‘base’ means one must move very quickly and secretly while remaining under cover. To carry a reasonable supply and try to carry a rifle becomes a hazard in itself. In an urban area I would think it safer to only carry a good handgun and leave the rifle behind. I do hate to leave my 5.56, but i would in my area. If I lived where I work, it is all rural and I would then prefer my rifle.

      These decisions are best made at the time, and with the situation. One cannot have a firm and fixed mentality. This would not be good ‘survival thinking’. To continue to live might require, and should be, to work to avoid all combat situations. In so doing, again depending upon the situation around you at the time, a rifle can be a disadvantage. In police work it has been shown many times that the shotgun can end up as a liability. Same goes for the rifle. The .223 isn’t even a good choice for hunting deer without the properly loaded .223 round, and a barrel right for the range the deer must be taken. At 50 yds the typical barrel is ok; at 150 to 200 yds, you would need the right ammo, and a barrel of 1.7, 1.8, or 1.9. Use the right ‘tool’ for the job.

      Reply to this comment
  48. Hammer November 26, 16:57

    Yah, for my needs it’s just better to bug in. To many assets here at home and no where to go that would in almost all circumstances be any better. Right now, i’m set for around 6 months of self reliance.
    As for the AR and ammo, the weight difference in ammunition would take scale to measure grams the difference between rounds and for for carrying the rifle, I did it for years in iraq and would still prefer over anything else. 8 inch pattern at 300yds. Not bad with ball ammo, open sights and plenty of power for game. Good at close quarters as well.
    Wouldn’t do it any other way.

    Reply to this comment
    • DJnRF November 27, 00:41

      You are correct in your thinking about staying put. As for the weight difference in ammo, I was speaking of the difference between .223 and 5.56. It is negligible until it is many thousands of rounds. But, that is not the case between 500 rounds of .22 and 500 rounds of .223 or 5.56.

      It is really doubtful that by staying in your main home base you would need anywhere near the ammo that you would possibly need in bugging out, plus you do not need to carry it anywhere. Your main consideration by staying put is your life preserving commodities of food, water, and clothing for possible cold weather without heat, and lights. Of course there are other necessities that are to supplement your other supplies. Among your main life supplies are such things as toiletries, other hygiene items, first aid supplies and instructions or manuals, fire starting aids, signalling devices and, or radios, and many other things too numerous to mention here. Suffice to say that many will already by in one’s home.

      It is a pretty good idea to look for a temporary place to hide near your home in the event people would come around to burgle and/ or vandalize your home. If you can find some spot near where you can remain hidden and still watch your home
      you would be able to get back into it when those unwanted guests left. Doing it in that manner saves you from possible harm should there be more of them to overcome you. If you engage them, you have possibly alerted many more to come and take you out. If you do not have some excellent method of recon away from your base, you must refrain from any engagement. Stop to remember the strategies. I know that it isn’t really taught below the command structure strategies and tactics, but the NCO schools do cover some limited areas of it. Basically, your thinking is much better than the average civilian. You are not equiped to combat such large groups as are very probable in such a SHTF situations. Use command strategies.

      Reply to this comment
      • Lt Dan January 18, 18:11

        Good, reasonable, and well thought-out info throughout. If the balloon goes up I’m sticking it out at the homestead as well, and will be doing my best to keep a low-profile, avoid conflict and definitely open combat – no need to play “hero.” Thanks, DJnRF – same for the AR-7 suggestion, may be getting one of these for backup.

        Reply to this comment
  49. Richard November 26, 23:25

    Whoever wrote this article hasn’t a clue concerning defensive weapons. Find someone else to write about this subject.

    Reply to this comment
  50. Wood Elf November 26, 23:43

    I agree with the single action revolver and the single shot shot gun or rilfe when you SAY BOLT ACTION PUT A PICTURE OF A BOLT ACTION OK and I don’t agree with the store guns

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  51. Mailpouch November 27, 03:41

    I won’t comment on the bolt action rifle thing. Enough has been said about that.
    The author should check out Ed McGivern and he probably wouldn’t think so poorly of revolvers.

    Reply to this comment
  52. Hammer November 27, 19:44

    Thanks DJ. Sound advice on staying grey. Under certain circumstances and situations I will defend my AO. My neighbors are like minded and show the same concerns and are team members. Luckily i’m surrounded by Vietnam Vets which makes things even better. We’re all armed and prepped so it’s a win win. Can’t go it alone especially in bug in situations.

    Reply to this comment
  53. Enigma December 2, 16:26

    Might be that article was deliberately written to excite comment, and to secretly garner email and IP addresses? Due some nefarious -non-commercial- intent?

    Best calibers (and thus devices) are, in order: 12-gauge,.22LR, 9mm, and .308-7.62mm NATO. 12G for its versatility, .22LR for both its versatility and light weight, 9mm (works in some carbines too) for its ubiquity in armories, and the .308 for its hunting / sniping quality. You takes yore choice and pays yore money.

    A bug-out situation may prove a regional thing, as with an EMP nuke over SoCal, but the rest of the USA and Canada mostly just rocks on. Without fresh veggies from the Central Valley. (But an entire North Korea becomes ‘Flat, black, and glowing green in the night.’)

    All that talk about .454 Casull etc. reminds of how boys get together to compare their SLR cameras and mini-tube stereo equipment. Gear talk, with its implicit organ measuring. Y’all hev fun, y’hyar?

    Reply to this comment
    • Hammer December 2, 17:45

      Don’t know why you guys don’t understand the capabilities of the 5.56. An arsenal should be equipped with an AR-5.56, .308 700, .40 S&W, .22, and a 12 gauge. I keep multiples of these so I can best deal with pretty much all situations. I have ammo for each and copias amounts.
      But like has been repeated, shoot with what you know and again-practice, practice, practice.

      Reply to this comment
  54. Jack December 4, 02:44

    Good Lord! LOTS of comments! But I think I can add something..
    First, besides being schooled in gunsmiting in Colorado years back and building guns of my own, Iv also taught gun safety, have over 40 years as a reloader, researched and compared tens of thousands of cartridges, studied ballistics…
    I would like to remind people where the energy is in a bullet… the velocity. A bullet at rest is no different than the dangerous one because its traveling. PLEASE note bullets are not cartridges, and a cartridge is a combination of components, including the projectile, or bullet.
    For those who don’t know, velocity SQUARED times the mass = energy. This is VERY important comparing energy’s and bullet mass.
    My main point here is the concerns for hurting or killing someone in the house next door when you choose self defense loads. Velocity will provide much higher hydroshock. Thus, choosing a heavy bullet maybe more inclined to go thru your target.. continue on thru a wall or two and hurt someone unintended. If you figure the velocity before entering the target, and the velocity AFTER passing thru the target.. you can calculate the energy absorbed by the target. The bullet of greater mass will have more inertia to continue thru the target thus leaving LESS energy IN your target. LIGHER mass projectile will travel much faster.. thus greater hydroshock.. and with less inertia, will tend to stay IN the target. If it stays in the target.. the target absorbs ALL that energy. And the child on the other side of the wall is safe.
    Consider this when you choose a load for your gun.
    Secondly, one thing we considered in teaching inexperienced shooters; if you are NOT going to go out and practice, a revolver is likely to be a better bet as an Auto depends on the previous round firing for the next round to come up. NOT so in a revolver. A nervous shooter who has little or no practice.. with a gun that jams.. is more of a danger to themselves.
    So far as cartridges, even a 22 is a lethal threat.. just not as much as a more powerful cartridge. But overall, probably my best recommendation is going to be a 357 magnum. You can ALWAYS shoot 38’s if the recoil is hard for the shooter. If you can handle it, a 44 mag would be better. Again, 44 special will shoot in it.
    I have other factors.. I live in Alaska and overall carry away from towns is generally a 454 Casull! And after you get used to it makes my 44 seem like a 22! LOL! My general pack gun is a 45acp. Generally, the 45acp is fairly close to same power as 9mm, which is between a 38 and a 357 mag.
    Like another who commented, its not about “spray and pray”.. but hitting your target, and hitting it where you want to hit it.
    If you are shooting a target as “self defense” at 50 meters with a handgun, that’s going to be a hard one to explain (if there is still law and order). Handguns are for close range defense. A shotgun with birdshot is probably the most effective close range weapon made. Just remember, if you shorten it, 18.0″ is the MINIMUM for the barrel length in the US, 18.5″ in Canada. There are new laws with all the new guns out there.. but one thing you also need to pay attention to is OVERALL LENGTH. This is what Ruby Ridge was all about.

    Reply to this comment
  55. Jack December 4, 03:30

    One more thing I left out.. a suggestion as to the gun and ammo one might select for SHTF scenario.
    First, I would consider cartridges that are common.. in fact, Id look at military cartridges; 223, 308, 9mm.. Not sure if 45acp is stull military but a lot of military guys carry it yet. Another is the 7.62×39.. used in AK’s and SKS’s.. and others. The AR-15 style gun is very common.. Iv not worked on military weapons but I believe even many of the current models such as the M4 is basically an AR. Kind of two ways to look at things here.. first, the chances of finding parts would be easier if you use a common weapon, secondly however might be that if you can access those parts, you have a good chance to access the entire weapon. Familiarity is always good, however.
    Benefits of the smaller cartridges is you can pack more of them with you.. of course. The 308 is suitable for several hundred yard shots, capable of man or beast (a little light for Alaskan game however!)

    Reply to this comment
  56. Enigma December 4, 21:45

    Home-defense and civil crisis: Commonality one of the considerations for my recommendations. That excludes ‘exotic’ and archaic things like .243, .270, .454 Casull, .458, and .45-70.

    Reason for excluding 5.56mm / .223 is that its jacketed forms are for war and wounding, not for hunting and at any real range it’s too light for brushing aside light cover. Not that it can’t be practical in the hands of a practiced expert, but that’s not the usual home-defense person.

    For folks on a limited budget, the most practical device is a pump 12-gauge. Best of all is the kind with interchangeable barrels, so it may be used for either defense or hunting. Huge range of loads made, and they’re ubiquitously available. For the truly frugal, shells may be reloaded at least once.

    9mm is an urban load. There are carbines which chamber it, and thus deliver better velocity and possibly aim.

    Thing about high-energy rounds is that they punch right through sheet-rock and like walling, and that’s ungood inside homes nor close urban spaces.

    What has utility in wide-open spaces unsuitable for suburban situations, and vice versa. A bolt-action .308 should work just fine for caribou, wolves, and small bears, but for an elk, moose or Kodiak you may want either an autoload device, something like a .444, or a 12G loaded with slugs.

    Folk in the Lower 48 unlikely to encounter a Kodiak or polar bear. Not until the next ice age….

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack December 5, 07:06

      Well, overall I could almost agree 100%.. but Im kind of curious why you say you would bypass ancient rounds and list the 454 Casull; then you list a 444 ???
      You point out a 223 is a “war round” .. but you hail the 308 ! Both rounds were adapted as war rounds.. from civilian rounds. (The M16 was originally considered with the 222 magnum and basically modified.. I don’t remember the specific details; you are welcome to details it if you wish). You mention reloading and being able to reload to suit.. Do you think the 223 cannot be reloaded? I would agree its not a good brush gun.. most authors would push for large, heavy bullets for shooting thru brush. Kind of comes down to what you want to do with the gun! I don’t think to many home defense situation require a good brush gun. Then again, like you say, not to many people will have to deal with grizzly bears either. I would NOT recommend a 454 as a home defense, nor any of the super magnum types.. unless you live out in the bush where they live.
      I am not a guide but I know a few.. and what they recommend here varies with the guide, however, this is about home defense.
      9mm commercial loads run about 90-125 grain’s for bullets but you can find heavier. Energy wise, the 9mm runs about 350 ft-lbs.. compared to a 38 special which runs around 250-280 ft.-lbs… and the 357 magnum, running around 550 ft-lbs. And the 45ACP, coming in at about 425 ft-lbs. Now, don’t look for these figures to be exact; for one, longer barrels generally provide higher velocities so you wont likely get the same velocity for the same round comparing one with 2″ barrel to one with 8″ barrel. There is a basic formula.. if you take your velocity, square it, multiply by bullet weight in grains.. then divide by 450240 (Iv seen minor variations in this constant but its at least close).
      In many years of research and 40+ years of reloading and experimenting Iv found that when you average out the max load of any given cartridge.. the energy is pretty close regardless of bullet weight. Example; if you load a 110 grain at its max in .30-’06, you will get about the same energy, give or take, as you would if you max load a 180 grain or 220 grain bullet. You can compare this in any cartridge..
      So when you speak of HIGH ENERGY cartridges penetrating sheetrock, Yes, I would agree.. however in the same energy and bore, Id HIGHLY recommend using lighter projectiles.. LESS MASS.. when around homes. There is “pre frag” projectiles.. that can be selected. These break apart upon impact and carry less energy beyond the target or after hitting sheetrock. It’s also one of the good things about using a shotgun with birdshot for home defense. Its HIGHLY effective on an intruder and as long as you are not point blank at the wall will tend to not go to far, pellets are stopped easily at a distance.
      So far as Alaska and the personal side, I always carry a rifle that can stop anything that may want to eat me! (300WSM, 300WM, 338WM, 375HH.. depending on where Im at and when). I also carry a 45 Colt sometimes.. with HOT loads.. a 325 grain Lyman 452651 mold lead bullet to about 1350 fps… and in the Casull, the Hornaday 300 grain at about 1650 fps in the revolver and 2045 fps in my lever, per chronograph.
      For those readers not so technical, the pressures needed to project most modern rifle rounds run anywhere from about 50,000 pounds/sq. in. .. to over 60,000 psi. Please be aware if you try your own reloading and you aren’t sure of anything, GET KNOWLEDGEABLE HELP! There are many dangers, things to know!
      Enigma; are you here in Alaska?

      Reply to this comment
      • Enigma December 8, 06:35

        Jack, I never disclose my physical whereabouts via digital media. (But to flash a lapel of the hamaka; I was born before 1950 in the American South.) I use an unusual OS, a browser which reports itself as being on a M$ platform (but it isn’t), and access sites via an anonymizing network. I recommend that everyone who wants to maintain their privacy and safety behave similarly. Doubtless ‘authority’ can locate such as I, but there’s no point in making that easy for them.

        There are publications which will help DIY folk re reloading and fragmentation loads. Whatever anyone reads here is only an bare-bones introduction. Considering the ‘quality’ of many OPs and responses on discussion sites, most material liable to be more disinformation than facts. (Not casting aspersions on your remarks, just a cautionary for neophiles.)

        My remarks prior in this thread stand by themselves. Prime considerations are common availability and flexibility. Weapons and their loads which served well aforetime in multiple contexts to be preferred.

        Reply to this comment
  57. Jack December 5, 07:33

    I seem to have gotten a bit sidetrack; War rounds.. When you look thru reloading manuals.. some of mine.. offer different loadings for 7.62 NATO vs. 308 Winchester, as the M14, like many.. to most.. “military 308’s”.. their function depends on a certain range of loads. To light and the weapon may not function. To heavy and you could damage the weapon;
    There is separate loads for the 5.56 NATO.. different than the 223 loads… and the .30-’06, some of my manuals carry different loads for military firearms. If you look at the 1903 Springfield 30 caliber US Government.. which was recalled and altered in 1906 to become known as the 30 caliber US government, 1906, shortened to.. .30 cal, 1906.. or .30-’06. In short, the first 800,000 plus Springfield ’03’s were only surface handed by a process that left the surface nearly glass hard.. and these early rifles are limited to about 48,000 psi.. and in the later models where nickel was added to the metallurgical mix, these rifles are suitable for a little higher pressures. Rifles like these.. and the predecessor, .30-40 craig.. would be dangerous if loaded at modern pressures. The Craig was always a military weapon so you wont generally see different level loads. 45-70 is another round that the rifle needs to be considered in what loads are considered. FYI, earlier firearms in the early smokeless powder era and earlier were often identified by caliber and BLACK POWDER load; the 45-70 was a 45 cal with 70 grains of Black powder. The .30-30.. was.. is.. 30 caliber with 30 grains of BLACK POWDER.
    The bore, before rifled, is the caliber. For instance, .308 is bored to .300″ .. and the .308 is because the groves that form the rifling are cut .004″ deep on each groove, forming a total of .008″ added to the bore diameter, thus, .308 is called a 30 cal.
    There is HUGE difference between black powder and smokeless powder. NEVER use smokeless in a black powder (only) rifle. Smokeless powder has an extensive history with different chemistry for many earlier types,.. but most of todays smokeless powders are based on Nitrocellulose for single based.. and Nitrocellulose with Nitroglycerin added for added energy and are referred to as “double based powders”. A research on smokeless powders is fascinating for anyone wishing to follow up on this!

    Reply to this comment
    • Enigma December 8, 06:46

      I recall that old rifle as the Krag, not the Craig.

      I personally know about smokeless ‘powder’, but others scanning this thread may not. A recently-made firearm can generally use any sort of ‘powder’. Black powder however will foul most mechanisms. Historic (pre-1945) weapons should not be fired until checked out by an expert.

      Reply to this comment
  58. Fergus December 5, 13:32

    In a real SHTF scenario I’d like a military-surplus, bolt action Lee-Enfield No 4 Mk 1 rechambered to .308. It’s indestructible, can work up a good rate of fire, and has all the power you’ll ever need.

    Reply to this comment
  59. Hammer December 5, 15:26

    Like to know how many here have actually been in life or death true survival situations. How many are real combat vets? How many have had to pull the trigger?
    Those of us who have know the value of different calibers and their capabilities. Where and when to use them and are able to perform proficiently under extreme conditions? 5.56 round tumbles upon striking it’s target at high velocities making it effective. The other rounds speak for themselves. The 7.62 or .308 is a far more capable round than people seam to think. In the hands of a trained shooter and with good glass is more then enough for here in the lower 48. These rounds are readily available and in common use.
    As for these rounds going through walls and causing collateral damage, use the right tool for the job. If you’re not armed with a selection then you should of armed yourself. Any real shooter with real world experience and has the t-shirt knows.

    Reply to this comment
    • H December 5, 17:07

      Pardner, I’m glad YOU wrote what you did as it spells out exactly what I’ve wanted to say but in a sane and clear cut way instead of the (sometimes) raw way I tend to express myself.
      That said, those who haven’t, as you mentioned, BTDT and got the t-shirt haven’t any “real world” experience on which to base their assertions have a habit to express themselves WITHOUT the benefits of said experience. (BTW, as one who HAS seen grizzly shit, I hope others DON’T have to endure it just to gain some “experience!” It surely isn’t a pretty sight and it is FAR from bring fun. Exciting? Oh yeah but NOT for the faint of heart.) Mostly their info comes from reading articles in some favored ragazine which, again, fails to base the “data” on PROVEN facts. Or if they ARE based on, ahem, “facts,” isn’t it odd that the “facts” happen to coincide with the advertising of a particular product? Hmm. Oh well. Moving along.
      As a former Army Combat Arms type and years spent as a Deputy Sheriff, I’ve seen the results of both rounds you mentioned on human flesh as well as what happens when the various rounds penetrate “typical” home interior obstructions like walls, clothing, appliances, etc.
      I was (and still AM) a big proponent of using the 5.56 round for SWAT Entry teams, for example, as opposed to the 9mm round (pick your preferred weight and profile) in, say, an H&K Squirt gun.
      “TYPICALLY” the 5.56 round, due to its velocity, has a “good” habit of breaking apart at the cannelure because of gyroscopic forces at speed with full-weight pass-through of a “target” (AKA Human target) unlikely with the added benefit that should the round(s) miss their intended target and strike a wall for example, again the round will oftentimes break apart and be FAR less deadly on subsequent “targets,” intended or not, something which cannot be dismissed as a real concern.
      Good or bad isn’t the point of my contention, folks. I’m merely pointing out the phenomenon.
      And with the H&K platform vs. a shorty M4 variant, the overall length is comparable (yeah, I KNOW they aren’t exactly the same but that isn’t my point, ok?) but from MY experience, and having read HUNDREDS of pages discussing the topic, almost (!!) all 9mm rounds will remain a “solid” projo after passing through an intermediate barricade (the average interior wall of a home or apartment) and retain significant energy by which an unintended “victim” (AKA hostage, child or other non-combatant) can be grievously wounded should they be unfortunate to be “downrange” when the rounds are flying.
      In a nutshell, I oftentimes wondered WTH civilian entry teams (SWAT types primarily) would opt for the H&K WonderNine Squirt Gun with its associated 115 grain and up projo’s (like the 147 grain HP which was SUPPOSED to be a superior projo when discussing the HP expanding, but that’s a topic for another time) when a MUCH more effective result could be had in using even the “lowly” 55 grain FMJ Pain Pills as was typical to the military from not too long ago for the reasons I mentioned above.
      (I should qualify my “question” WRT not knowing or understanding the preference for the H&K platform over the M4. Down deep I KNEW the answer even back in the day…the H&K is perceived as “Sexy” and the tool of the well-heeled “Operator” who does The Deeds under the cover of darkness or flashbangs, with an H&K developed Suppressor attached, dressed like a Western Ninja Warrior [which I admit they ARE, by Golly!!] whereas the M4 Variant is FAR too mundane and pedestrian for the likes of the Move Fast, Shoot Faster crowd. Now follow along and understand something here: I am ALL FOR our Men and Women in Law Enforcement to be issued the BEST quality AND having the HIGHEST measure of RELIABILITY without question while they are out and about patrolling the streets of Your Town, USA. I just think that Bean Counters have a tendency to interject their calculators at the wrong times on occasion and can compromise the safety of those civilian keepers of the law. MY opinion. Period. So in closing, it should be understood that I am NOT a hater of the H&K platform or any of their products. Far from it! Truth be known, there are very FEW firearms which I truly detest and wouldn’t buy or own even if money wasn’t a concern. I just think that as many avenues should be explored, given the time, BEFORE settling in a particular brand or caliber because of political expediency or graft. And, in my typical LONG-winded response, I think too many folks base their preferences for some widget or other on “preference” instead of a well thought out discussion. That said, I am also all in favor of EACH shooter to have and carry whatever they chose to because it FITS their hand and they are well trained and ACCURATE with their selection. There are NO “One-Size-Fits-All” guns out there. If you can NOT hit the inside of a barn while standing INSIDE of said barn, you should be allowed to carry something which IS better suited to YOUR needs.)
      Thus endeth my diatribe.
      Peace Out!

      Reply to this comment
  60. Hammer December 5, 18:09

    Finally! A breath of fresh air. Thank you H! For qualifying my points. For those that still can’t see it, you’re probably better off not using a firearm until you’ve learned some basics. For some, shouldn’t be allowed near one.
    Thanks all..

    Reply to this comment
  61. Jack December 5, 23:21

    I really got off target in going into technical stuff.. and Alaska. Anyone coming to Alaska that might need protection in line with bears.. is likely already knowledgeable all about that end. BTW, if you can carry a firearm legaly (not a felon, etc.), you can carry concealed in Alaska, no concealed permit, etc. necessary.
    I have to completely agree with where H is.. was.. going. Personally, Im a very technical person.. and my reflection on lighter bullets vs. heavier bullets is to do with physics and the properties of inertia. Personally, I might consider the 9mm if I was entering the market.. but there are so many better cartridges, of which I have several… and none of them are 9mm.
    Iv been shooting a long time and researched the technical side ..even to being able to make my own smokeless powder, primers.. But this is about picking a gun. I would say.. GUNS. Whatever you pick, learn to shoot it and shoot it well. How can I say this; An inferior gun in the hands of someone skilled with it is better than the perfect gun in the hands of someone who has no idea how to use it.
    Im not a cop.. but Iv had a few hair raising experiences in my lifetime.. but to be clear, I don’t get my experience reading articles from an arm chair. I do enjoy reading some articles.. but I gave up with pretty much ALL magazine stories as they so very rarely deal with Alaska and when they do, its generally someone on a $20,000 hunt I just don’t relate to. Alaska has so many different considerations.. its really another world completely. Weather effects EVERYTHING, as does great distances… just to start with. Visiting Alaska you really don’t get to understand Alaska, you have to LIVE here for a few years. But that’s not the subject here.
    Again, I think having multiple weapons.. and knowing how to use them.. is really the only way to go. Do your homework!
    Thanks H for your input!

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  62. Hammer December 6, 05:46

    So hey Jack, do you live in Alaska?? Totally just kidding😂 I have to stop and remember we’re all on the same team! Apologies where needed and thanks all for being Patriots! Special thanks to H for making me think a bit and also as a Brother In Arms.

    Reply to this comment
  63. Enigma December 8, 06:56

    Nice thing about 9mm and .22LR in urban zones is that such can be better sound-suppressed. Survivalists etc. likely want to limit getting noticed. One reason I also cite crossbows; plus no factories or advanced machinery needed to create their reloads. .

    Noise not usually a consideration for SWAT.

    Reply to this comment
  64. Jack December 8, 11:28

    Fergus, I thought about your desire to convert the Lee Enfield to a 308.. And I thought about your thinking of it so highly. I don’t know where or what gives you such a great impression.. I mean, it has its strengths.. but by today’s standards its well exceeded in so many ways. First, it has an unusual locking system where one part of the bolt locks in the forward receiver ring while the other side locks in the rear receiver ring, leaving a lot of the stress across the length of the bolt; Further, this gun is designed for a RIMMED cartridge.. and a rim that is larger (if memory serves) than the (rimless) 308. I have not worked on one of these in a long time.. but I think you will have to modify the bolt for reliable extraction, and you MAY have to modify the breech of the barrel.. possibly.. to accommodate the bolt changes. And finding someone willing to take that liability might be an issue as well. I cant tell you how reliably your magazine will feed, again, designed for RIMMED cartridges; Iv seen similar jam situations cause jams in feeding. Then you have a two-piece stock, Most two piece stocks tend to not be as accurate.. but that’s usually due to the design not supporting the barrel together with the action such as in a lever action (generally speaking).. but this design tends to be at least more favorable.. None the less, if you really love this action .. Id would most highly recommend you do NOT modify it but use it in its original cartridge… or save yourself a LOT of headaches and cost.. and buy a 308 you like. I favor the 308… but you’re trying to feed, water, and ride .. a dead horse! Oh, we cant forget the pressures.. the 308 ammo you buy.. will have pressures I would consider flat dangerous for that action. If you load your own, at least you can keep them to safe pressures.. but WHY are you going with the 308? So you can use common ammo? Then you’re back there again, dangerous ammo… You rarely see the guns that blew up and killed someone.. only the ones where the shooter survived. Blowing a bolt thru the back of your eye socket… you wont survive. Think long and hard…
    Enigma! You are right! I was asleep at the wheel!.. KRAG, not Craig!
    My comment on suppressors.. I know you cannot silence the crack of breaking the sound barrier when the bullet is traveling super sonic (and sound travels at APPROXIMATELY 1100 feet per second, depending on air pressure, temperature, .. I forget the formula but just being technically accurate!).. so easiest to “quiet” a subsonic.. I chose the 45ACP in part, for this reason.. for SHTF kind of potential issues. I once had the opportunity to sit behind a berm while others were shooting.. qualifying with the Garand .. part of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.. and listening to the supersonic bullets go by overhead.. Kind of a snap like shooting a rock into a piece of paper with a slingshot… even if they didn’t hit it. but Iv also had people shooting in my direction.. louder report, more bang then the “pop”. I think the biggest reason to suppress a weapon .. it makes it harder for others nearer to your location pinpoint where you are, giving better opportunity to leave the area before being found.
    I cant say Iv ever seen a truly effective suppressor. Of course, you aren’t going to suppress a revolver, not with the cylinder gap… About all I can say on this subject.
    As for black powder/smokeless powder, sorry if I wasn’t clear.. what I meant was anyone using smokeless in a older, black powder only weapon… is likely to have a doctor.. or mortician… removing bits of the gun out of your body, sooner or later. And sooner if you use it on a Damascus barreled gun!.. but you CAN use black powder in a modern gun.. but like Enigma states, its likely to foul things up.. I mean, foul, like make everything dirty and a mess!!
    Anyway, Enigma, you have me beat by about 4 or so years! And I admire where you are coming from! Best to ya!

    Reply to this comment
  65. Jack December 8, 11:33

    Fergus, I thought about your desire to convert the Lee Enfield to a 308.. And I thought about your thinking of it so highly. I don’t know where or what gives you such a great impression.. I mean, it has its strengths.. but by today’s standards its well exceeded in so many ways. First, it has an unusual locking system where one part of the bolt locks in the forward receiver ring while the other side locks in the rear receiver ring, leaving a lot of the stress across the length of the bolt; Further, this gun is designed for a RIMMED cartridge.. and a rim that is larger (if memory serves) than the (rimless) 308. I have not worked on one of these in a long time.. but I think you will have to modify the bolt for reliable extraction, and you MAY have to modify the breech of the barrel.. possibly.. to accommodate the bolt changes. And finding someone willing to take that liability might be an issue as well. I cant tell you how reliably your magazine will feed, again, designed for RIMMED cartridges; Iv seen similar jam situations cause jams in feeding. Then you have a two-piece stock, Most two piece stocks tend to not be as accurate.. but that’s usually due to the design not supporting the barrel together with the action such as in a lever action (generally speaking).. but this design tends to be at least more favorable.. None the less, if you really love this action .. Id would most highly recommend you do NOT modify it but use it in its original cartridge… or save yourself a LOT of headaches and cost.. and buy a 308 you like. I favor the 308… but you’re trying to feed, water, and ride .. a dead horse! Oh, we cant forget the pressures.. the 308 ammo you buy.. will have pressures I would consider flat dangerous for that action. If you load your own, at least you can keep them to safe pressures.. but WHY are you going with the 308? So you can use common ammo? Then you’re back there again, dangerous ammo… You rarely see the guns that blew up and killed someone.. only the ones where the shooter survived. Blowing a bolt thru the back of your eye socket… you wont survive. Think long and hard…
    Enigma! You are right! I was asleep at the wheel!.. KRAG, not Craig!
    My comment on suppressors.. I know you cannot silence the crack of breaking the sound barrier when the bullet is traveling super sonic (and sound travels at APPROXIMATELY 1100 feet per second, depending on air pressure, temperature, .. I forget the formula but just being technically accurate!).. so easiest to “quiet” a subsonic.. I chose the 45ACP in part, for this reason.. for SHTF kind of potential issues. I once had the opportunity to sit behind a berm while others were shooting.. qualifying with the Garand .. part of the Civilian Marksmanship Program.. and listening to the supersonic bullets go by overhead.. Kind of a snap like shooting a rock into a piece of paper with a slingshot… even if they didn’t hit it. but Iv also had people shooting in my direction.. louder report, more bang then the “pop”. I think the biggest reason to suppress a weapon .. it makes it harder for others nearer to your location pinpoint where you are, giving better opportunity to leave the area before being found.
    I cant say Iv ever seen a truly effective suppressor. Of course, you aren’t going to suppress a revolver, not with the cylinder gap… About all I can say on this subject.
    As for black powder/smokeless powder, sorry if I wasn’t clear.. what I meant was anyone using smokeless in a older, black powder only weapon… is likely to have a doctor.. or mortician… removing bits of the gun out of your body, sooner or later. And sooner if you use it on a Damascus barreled gun!.. but you CAN use black powder in a modern gun.. but like Enigma states, its likely to foul things up.. I mean, foul, like make everything dirty and a mess!!
    Anyway, Enigma, you have me beat by about 4 or so years! And I admire where you are coming from! Best to ya! What would be your “weigh in” on the Lee Enfield? suppressor?

    Reply to this comment
  66. Enigma December 12, 19:24

    If someone likes the Enflield .303, they should use it as designed and manufactured, and with loads no ‘hotter’ than those used circa 1945.

    Surplus bolt-action and semi-auto rifles are generally reasonably-priced, and are suitable for ranges under a half kilometer. But always investigate the ammunition situation before making any commitment.

    In a real continuing crisis, there won’t be any quick jaunts to stores, and suddenly the current ‘information-rich environment’ will be replaced -if at all- with one even more rumor-prone and unreliable. And health and life risks will be hugely enhanced for each journey.

    Actually, in re firearms info, just as a real sailor has a recent-edition Chapman, a survivalist will have a recent Keith. In an EMP situation, people will be back to printed material for months if not years.

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  67. Hammer December 12, 22:28

    Why would someone want a .303? Impossible to find ammo. As for converting to .308, why?

    Just go find a good surplus “anything”. In .308. I’m confused

    Reply to this comment
    • Enigma December 14, 16:37

      Folk have their impractical enthusiasms and mania. I’m not confused, but frequently nonplussed.

      Reply to this comment
    • Enigma December 14, 16:42

      This site seems to have ‘lost’ my response.

      Folk have their strange enthusiasms and mania. I’m not confused, but often nonplussed.

      Reply to this comment
  68. Hammer December 13, 02:59

    12 gauge Savot technology has come a long way. So much so, 300yds Is totally within range and accuracy is spot on.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack December 14, 11:15

      Hammer, Id like to add to your comments.. Starting with first, “long range” is a very subjective term. But this whole topic is extremely subjective.
      My background is very technical. Even though I want thru gunsmithing school in Colorado about 30 years ago, Iv have to say most of my learning on guns, design, mechanical.. chemistry of powder, primers.. ballistics, etc.. is of my own research and experience. My point to this end is if someone wants to talk comparing this a given pistol to another, I don’t even keep track of all the models out there. WAY to many, especially since I went to gun school. If you want to talk tech, design principles, engineering, (I also do radio communications .. nearly 50 years../ham radio, EMP preparedness, etc..). Im a technical guy. I apologize in advance to those who find my comments elementary…
      Regarding the sabot, and the shotgun. While I imagine the sabot technology is much better then it was when it first came out.. offing a 55 grain bullet out of a 30-06 barrel/cartridge.. @ over 4,000 fps. HOT!! But its reputation was that it was lucky to keep a 10″ group @ 100 yards. That was… I guess about 35 or so years ago. I purchased a 700 “varminter” in 22-250 and once I worked up a load was able to hold subMOA groups at 100 yards (shots touching). Same as my 5.25 lb. 300WSM! No joke.
      Anyway, physics. When you through something, the heavy end will try to lead the way. Unfortunately, in bullets, we like the pointy end up front to have less drag, more remaining velocity when it reaches it target thus more energy. Without rifling the bullets tumble and any sense of accuracy is gone with the wind! Kind of a drag.. but less with rifling! LOL! Shotguns as smoothbores have no rifling.. and no real way of dependably imparting a spin to the bullet. Pre rifled slugs .. or sabots.. aren’t going to do much..
      For those who don’t understand, the rifling adds a gyroscopic spin.. properly done, enough to stabilize the bullet, keeping the bullet centered in the axis of the guns bore after it leaves the muzzle (allow for drop, windage, etc. “exterior ballistics)(there are “interior ballistics”, “exterior ballistics”, and “terminal ballistics”).
      For clarity, compare a 30-06 with a slightly slow twist of 1:12.. (one turn in 12″ of travel). If the bullets velocity is 3,000 feet per second.. the RPM (revolutions per MINUTE, not second)…. the bullet, traveling at the rate of 3,000 fps would then TURN at 3,000 turns per second.. Thus, 3,000 x 60 seconds = 180,000 RPM. Larger diameter bullets, due to their greater centrifugal forces.. turn a bit slower.
      Now that shotgun .. with its lighter load.. will fly out the muzzle at a velocity that I wouldn’t even want to second guess.. but in order for it to carry any bullet true.. will need to be rifled, NOT a smoothbore. If you want to use the shotgun for “long range” shots.
      You will want to put enough of a spin to make sure its stable. Berger has a website that helps to determine if what you have will be adequate too stabilize a given bullet. If memory serves, I think the number you need should be greater than about 1.7. Read up on it on their article..
      Back tracking, there is NO such thing as the perfect gun for all situations, be it repelling borders .. or EOTW situation. The best tool, as always, is your head. Learn what you can.. need.. to understand the advantages and disadvantages.. and come to your own conclusion based on YOUR circumstances and possible circumstances. My conclusion is I cant second guess every possible situation.. so I have several weapons to protect myself and my family with. And I have many rifles. My father once asked me why I needed so many.. Well, you wouldn’t hunt rabbits with a 375 H&H.. nor would I hunt moose (in bear country especially).. with a 22. Nor ducks with a .30-’06. For when Im hunting… Iv come to favor a 300 magnum I can shoot accurately out to over 600 yards with a 180g Barnes. For repelling borders/home intruders, I prefer a 45ACP or AR15 in 223 or 300 BO. Short barreled shotgun with birdshot is another. These are HIGHLY effective… coupled with my wife knowing exactly what to do and her having being trained…aware..
      Hammer, Id rather imagine most or all of this is not new to you.. but there are other readers to whom it may help…

      Reply to this comment
  69. Hammer December 15, 14:47

    Yah, I don’t know and have 0 experience with the sabot. My next door neighbor shoots them and i’m basing my statements on his what he’s told me, so could be bragging could be true.
    In any case, seems like most of your comments are pretty basic stuff. It’s a lot of book stuff and not much real world applications. Ballistics are highly technical and a fundamental skill when shooting just about anything especially longer ranges. From the range to my experiences in iraq, i’be learned a thing or two.

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  70. Hammer December 15, 14:49

    Yes, I need to Remer some are new to this and apologies Enigma.

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  71. Enigma December 16, 00:29

    No worries. Aside from the silliness of this thread’s OP, which began with material irrelevant to preppers.

    As for me, some folk aren’t disposed to boast about the size of their private graveyard.

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  72. Hammer December 16, 00:47

    That’s hilarious! I don’t even know where I began on this post!hah! Guess a review is in order.

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  73. uncle December 18, 02:45

    I had a 22 pointed at me way back when they robbed a theater i worked at . I did everything they asked so did the cashier.
    a Cobra gt, a hummer and a KIA all you get you down the highway. staring at a muzzle turns the odds in you favor. IF! you are on the good ol side of that muzzle.
    Right now all we have are sling shots and track shoes. 🙂

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  74. Hammer December 18, 05:01

    HI Jack. Ballistics are pretty tricky and yes it’s all about physics. I would assume that the sabot has rifling like slugs. But then I think about the Abrams Tank and it’s smoother bore 105. So yah, I don’t know how the round would be stabilized in the air without spinning.

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    • Jack December 18, 08:12

      HAMMER; I helped loading bombs on A-7’s during Nam, did checkouts on weapons delivery systems, radar, electronics.. but as for tanks, I cant tell you very much at all.. but as for the physics, things Iv seen done to help maintain “heavy end first”.. is to extend the length of the projectile in the back.. by making it hollow, thereby making the pointed or rounded nose the heavy end. Now that’s a thought for smoothbore slugs.. if you can do it within the PERMISSIBLE LENGTH inside the case.. but if its a sabot, well, the sabot drops off immediately upon leaving the bore, leaving the bullet on its own. If the sabot isn’t spinning adequately to stabilize it before it separates, then the bullet will tumble .. unless it also has a long hollow base.. Not sure how this might affect terminal ballistics however.
      Darts and other pointed or like projectiles often have feathers in the back. This is much the same in purpose.. extending the back .. making the pointed metal end the heavy end..
      This is good.. I had not considered this older way of stabilizing a pointed projectile..
      Iv seen rifling engraving on slugs for shotgun.. but if the bore is smooth, well, with air/gas being the ONLY thing the engraving to push against to spin, I have very little faith it will be very effective in stabilizing the projectile. I have seen lead slugs get stripped out by rifling, typically from trying to push to hard.. and this is with the inside of a steel barrel for it to push against. I wouldn’t expect gases to do better.. cant remember the exact wording.. to any force is an equal and opposite force.. but the effectiveness of the engraving on the shotgun slug.. I can only compare to personal experience from casting and experimenting. Iv never tried shooting engraved slugs in a smoothbore.. so my doubts are from my personal experience with lead as projectiles in rifles… Anyway, thanks for opening another possibility of alternate means of stabilization in hollow base slugs. As a last note, you NEVER see or hear of anyone winning shooting matches with a smoothbore with projectiles with deep hollow bases to stabilize!!
      Merry Christmas everyone!

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      • H December 18, 09:11

        Actually, the Sabot rounds fired from the bore of the Abrams M1 series is 120mm smoothbore and not a 105mm smoothbore. The M60 series tanks DID have the 105mm cannon and it IS rifled to impart spin to all of the projectiles it fired be they HEAT, APDS, WP, etc. (HEAT = High Explosive Anti-Tank, PADS = Armor Piercing Discarding Sabot, WP = White Phosphorus or “Willie Pete” as we called them).
        The “primary” round for the Abrams is the APFSDS, or Armor Piercing Fin Stabilized Discarding Sabot, AKA The Silver Bullet, which is a VERY DENSE metal not unlike what the A-10 fires out of the GAU-8 30mm Cannon, but the Sabot round is FIN STABILIZED and the fins DO impart a spin (I’ve long since forgotten the RPM but the info is available to the curious) and it travels in the neighborhood of over a mile per second and is about as flat shooting as a projectile can be, short of the New Electromagnet Rail Guns being tested these days.
        Anyway, thought you might be interested.

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        • Jack December 19, 03:26

          Wow! When I was working on A-7’s.. they used the single barrel, 20mm.. then the later A-7’s had the Gatlin 20mm. Iv long forgotten the designations. Now the A-10.. Now that’s flat out a piece of art! A flying tank in many respects! And its all very interesting.. but man, I am into so many things already.. My background in arms.. is small arms… personal arms.. getting over the 50 caliber mark and you are into guns and munitions I know very little about! The physics is still the same.. but there is a lot! Most of my attention today is focused on building things for an off grid cabin here in AK.. and that keep me very busy!
          Im very interested in electromagnet type weapons, things of serious high tech.. I enjoy and am fascinated by small particle physics, quantum kind of stuff.. gravity and time and relationships between these and other phenomenon of this nature.. electronics.. Hope to get my current projects done and get back to some studies of this kind of stuff!
          BTW, did not know.. of course.. that they used sabots on these large cannons! Very interesting!
          So, I assume you are a veteran.. Thank you for YOUR service! Thanks H!

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  75. Hammer December 19, 03:54

    Yah, that big stuff is really crazy. I was on a .50 quite a few times in iraq. That’a beast! My only experience with bigger stuff was when close air support was needed. Those A-10 were Frickin insane. Loved those guys! Had some support from the occasional Apache as well. Crazy distruction. Smells, sounds feeling concussions, gut rattling shit.
    That’all I know about the big stuff.
    The physics stuff is great but way over my head. Discovery channel, science channel, that’s about it. I do play around with metalergy and powdered metals, minerals, well, you understand….
    A lot of questions about dark matter.
    Thanks H.

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  76. Hammer December 19, 03:56

    Meant to say thanks Jack!

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  77. Enigma December 22, 22:57

    Main battle tanks rather far afield from practical bug-in and bug-out weapons.

    Sabots featured in shotguns mostly intended to keep shot bunched, not so much ‘accurate’. A ‘rifled’ sabot more likely to cause weird tumbling a la a slowing top/dreidel.

    A-10 main cannon loaded with depleted-ion Uranium. Heavier-denser than lead. Rail-cannons require ferrous ‘bullets’, and like lasers likely work better in near-Space and Space environments.

    Dark Matter may help physicists with their math, but not relevant to ordinary folk. Nigh all the really interesting events happen down in Terra’s gravity well. Except for giant asteroids…

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack December 23, 01:03

      Iv NEVER seen a sabot with shot… unless we count the shot cup in a shot shell.. Seems counter productive. I can say that if you use shot in a rifled bore, especially when there is a shot container of some kind, the spin will cause the shot pattern to open up FAR more then an any choke. Most will open to a bout a 2 to 3 foot pattern in something like about 20 feet, and generally with smaller shot charge the shot density is so low its almost worthless at range. Most call these loads “snake loads” because they aren’t very effective at more then a few feet.. that of the range a snake might be. Now Im sure someone will have taken a grouse at some range using a pistol; there are always exceptions. The same rounds will be much more effective in a smooth bore where there is no rifling. Rifling is to stabilize SINGLE projectiles, and, well, does the opposite for shot.
      Lasers.. AS WEAPONS.. like Enigma said; best left to where an atmosphere doesn’t absorb so much energy.. such as space. But for targeting, they have long been used. Heck, even used them with I was working on weapon delivery systems on A-7’s. Iv worked on the systems (40 years ago!). I know depleted uranium is.. was.. used in anti tank rounds. And, while its been a long time, I remember the theory behind it was a lot more scientific than just a heavier bullet. I don’t remember the science behind it without going back and researching it. Its all very interesting but well away from home defense weapons.. and Im not being critical.. Im the worst at getting a subject off target!
      In respect to a “rifled sabot”, recent conversations about this.. a peer referred it as “Air Rifling”. I imagine it DOES impart a little spin.. but I rather seriously doubt it imparts anywhere NEARLY enough to do much good.. Maybe for a hundred yards but Id imagine not much more and the bullet will yaw and begin to tumble.

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  78. Denko February 8, 01:11

    If you hit someone with any caliber bullet, his first instinct is to get out. He won’t be asking you what caliber you shot him with. Yes, he may be high and intoxicated, but well placed shots will deter further aggression.
    I train with .22. it’s light and I can empty 10 shots quickly and reload fast. very little recoil.
    I also keep a Polish PPS 43C in 9mm. 35 rounds capacity. You will outlast most handgun capacity.

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  79. Enigma February 8, 22:22

    Weapons’ Choice Principles:

    1. Commonly-available ammo.
    2. Reliable weapon(s).
    3. Practice, practice, practice.
    4. Operational security.

    My principles and preferences listed in above thread.

    Reply to this comment
  80. Jeff July 18, 12:58

    Go back to your day job of campaigning for Hillary. This is the kind of BS that she spouts.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack July 22, 22:48

      This website sends me a message to my email when someone makes a comment. Iv ignored your response, Jeff, for two reasons. 1) you make no reference to whom you are referencing; 2) I see NOTHING giving you ANY qualification to criticize most of the people making a response. My reason for writing was when I came across this site and read what was said by the original author, it was quite apparent they knew just enough to be dangerous.
      Personally, Iv listed a little about me above.. and some others that have made substantial contributions also pretty well qualify themselves.. So, WHO are you that we should give ANY credence to anything you might say?
      While I cannot speak for anyone else, you couldn’t possibly be referring to myself. Im not sure you could find a very large crowd more against the left then myself. How many taken to pick up and move across the country to the far north… to get away from the fall out sure to come if the left took over the White House?
      So Jeff, WHO are YOU that you should insult everyone in this group who have taken their time to share their knowledge for others benefit?

      Reply to this comment
  81. Mesa July 22, 11:58

    Well. The person writing about firearms doesn’t have much of a clue. A single action is weaker than a double action? Really? I kept reading and there is some knowledge, however, knowledge from reading and actual hands on knowledge are two entirely different things.

    Reply to this comment
  82. Randy November 12, 21:27

    Well at the very least, this article has opened up a lot.of different thought processes. Every style and cal. Is a tool.

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