All preppers for the most part store long-term food, water, medical supplies, barter items, etc. What good is all of that if you have no means to protect yourself when your starving neighbors or roaming looters try to take it from you? (Think of it this way, if you have kids, what wouldn't you do to keep them alive and well?... Thats what I thought.) So you MUST have the means to defend yourself, your loved ones, and your supplies. For today's post, I am going to explain how, relatively inexpensively, you can set yourself up with a good battery of firearms that will not only serve a self defense role, but they can put food on the table.
First, no one firearm can do everything you need. There are many options out there, but I am going to show you what I consider the best 'bang for your buck'. These are not the 'best' choices possible for your firearm battery, but they are the most cost efficient alternatives in my opinion. If you want a list of the best of the best, let me know.
Pistols: A pistol is a must have. They can be concealed easily on your person, and carried around without being a hinderance to your daily activities so you are more likely to have a firearm when you need it. Unless you are a very good pistol marksman, it is not particularly useful after 50 yards or so. There is a never-ending debate on the best pistol caliber, but it all comes down to what you feel is best for you. Do not go out and buy a pistol on someone elses' opinion before you hold it, and test fire it; many shooting ranges have a wide selection of rental pistols so you can shoot your pistol before deciding if it is the right choice for you; you'll know the right gun when you find it. A 9mm pistol does not have alot of 'stopping power' but it can hold alot of rounds in one magazine, then as you travel into the larger calibers, .357, .40, .45, etc, the amount of ammo you can fit in one magazine goes drastically down. I personally prefer a .40 caliber pistol; because for me, it is the perfect match of stopping power and capacity.
Some good choices for a budget pistol:
- Sig Sauer P250 : A good quality name brand pistol, that can be purchased in many calibers, and runs around $350 new.
- Ruger P95 : 9mm, $250, Ruger is known for its reliability. This is not a beautiful weapon, but from my first hand knowledge they function flawlessly time and time again.
Rifles: A long-gun is also a must have in this type of situation. You need a weapon that you can hunt with, and also defend your homestead against attackers at a distance.
Some good budget rifle choices:
- Mosin-Nagant : Shoots the whopping 7.62X54, used for $100 or less. This rifle has been battle tested for over 100 years, it does its job, and does it well. It is a bolt-action rifle. This rifle is not a prime pick for a small female shooter, as it is somewhat heavy and very long. While bolt-action rifles are not the best choice for self defense, if you only have $100 to spend, well, its better than nothing, and has alot of 'put-down power'.
- Ruger Mini-14 : 5.56x45/.223, runs for about $500 new; do not pay more than that! (Many gun shops are price gouging on this weapon now due to its high demand) Known as the poor man's AR-15, this is a semi automatic highly accurate rifle that many many preppers choose as their main battle rifle. This is a rather small rifle caliber, and may require more than one shot to stop a determined opponent, but due to its low recoil it is very easy to handle, making it the perfect weapon for a female shooter. (I'm not calling it a girl gun!)
- AK-47/WASR-10 : 7.62x39, new for about $400. The AK-47 has proven itself throughout the world as the most reliable and most produced weapon on the planet. There are more AK-47's out in the world than most other rifles put together! They are known to function no matter what condition they are in. However, they are not as accurate as our other choices. But, if I could afford it, this is definately a weapon I would have in my battery.
- Ruger 10/22 Long Rifle : .22LR, $275 new. Semi-automatic. I honestly cannot do a writeup without adding this weapon. It is my personal belief that every prepper should have one of these, they are very reliable. The .22LR cartridge is the most mass produced, cheapest, and easiest to find caliber there is. You can typically purchase 1,000 rounds for under $50 in .22LR. They are VERY tiny, and are typically used on very small game. THIS IS NOT useful a self defense weapon, but I had to add this to the group due to its usefulness. It is the perfect weapon to teach your young adult on firearm safety and marksmanship.
Shotguns : Nothing is as lethal in close quarters combat, or as useful in hunting as a shotgun. It is the last weapon out of the others that I would purchase, but if possible, I would have one all the same. A shotgun can be configured with a short barrel for self defense, or a longer barrel for hunting, it can be used with 'shot' shells that spray many small pellets over an area, or it can be used with 'slugs' which are like oversized bullets. They are a jack of all trades, but a master of none. A pump shotgun is one of the least complicated weapons produced (second only to a bolt action rifle).
Some good budget shotguns:
- Mossberg 500 12ga. Pump : $350 new, while not the best shotgun, it is very reliable, and affordable.
- Remington 870 12ga. Pump : $350 new, nearly the same as the Mossberg, it honestly comes down to preference between which you prefer.
Before you run out a grab all of the firearms you need, make sure to remember, that without ammo for them, they just make for an expensive fancy club. So make sure to stockpile ammunition for your weapons. A good minimum I believe is at least 1,000 rounds per weapon (You might be saying to yourself "A 1,000 ROUNDS?! I'll never use that much!" But in a firefight, you wont believe how fast the ammo goes. Get as much as you can.) Some older ammo may be 'corrosive' meaning that if fired through your weapon and you do not clean your weapon after, it will deteriorate the barrel and inner workings of the rifle. All new production ammo is non-corrosive. Another thing to keep in mind, both the firearm and the ammo have NEVER gone down in price; you will be able to at the very least get your money back out of them should you want to sell them later. So just consider it a good investment in you and your family's safety. Many consider guns and ammo to be the new gold and silver.
- Important Note: Having all of these firearms does you no good if you do not know how to use them properly, you can do harm to yourself and others without the proper training. Do yourself a favor and go out and take a firearms training course. A good beginner's course is Project Appleseed. After you have the basics down, take a self defense/combat training course. When a situation arises where you must decide to use deadly force, muscle memory and reflexes can save you or your families lives. Just because you have watched alot of war movies and done alot of research into firearms and self defense, does not mean you are going to turn into Rambo when a situation arises, typically it is the opposite. Please, learn how to use your firearms safely and effectively; and anyone in your family who could have the possibility of having to pick up that weapon themselves, should do the same.
- If possible, get some body armor. You can find it used for much cheaper than new. Here is a good resource for used police body armor: BulletProofMe.com
It is better to have it and not need it, than need it, and not have it.
Keep your powder dry,