If you’ve been following along these past couple days, NoSox has been donating a series of articles about how he’s getting rolling being prepared. He’s been organized and kind enough to share prices of items he’s bought, mindsets, and why he’s gone about things the way he has. It’s been great, and here is his third installment about firearms. (treading on my territory, pal! Hah!) Nothing is more personal for a prepper (usually) than a choice of firearms, as it has to fit a budget, has to fulfill a desire and a need, and has to accomplish everything from foraging to self-defense; and what firearm will work best for a given person in a given area won’t even come close to working for another person. So here are NoSox’s thoughts on what works for him, and the evolution of how he’s found what works for him. Through trial and error, he went from an entry-level pistol all the way up to some snazzy gear.
Read up and show him some love! The week is half over!
Adventures in Survival: #3 Firearms
The responsibility to lead, protect, and provide for one’s family is handed down by God as one of the duties of a man. I fulfill a portion of this requirement (privilege) by working hard each day to bring home an honest living which puts food on our table. The other part of this requirement is fulfilled by a nice assortment of firearms, bladed weaponry, and a mean set of knuckles and forearms. The best force multiplier of the group are the firearms, of course.
My journey with firearms began clumsily in 2001 in the Lone Star state. I got up one morning and made my way to the local pawn shop and fancied my eyes on a nickel plated Lorcin .380 Semi-Auto. It was shiny and for $125 it was mine! I had it for a year and only pulled the trigger once in my backyard before I realized shooting in the city might cost me a visit downtown. I let a friend borrow it for a cross-country road trip and never asked for it back.
Fast forward to 2011, I was dating a nice young woman [my wife] and decided I wanted to go camping and explore Colorado since I was new to the state. She promptly agreed but only with the caveat that we had to have a gun first [something about bears & mountain lions being dangerous]. So with that motivation I began researching a gun that was cost effective but could take down a bear if need be. My research led me to a Mossberg Maverick 88 12 Gauge shotgun. For $185 + $20 in slugs & 00 buck I had all I needed to make her feel safe in the wilderness. I added a Knoxx Compstock and I can literally shoot this thing all day. Verdict: Solid performer with a great value. Should have gotten the security model that holds 8 in the tube.
In doing my research and multiple searches involving keywords such as ‘Firearms’, ‘Wilderness Survival’, and ‘Best Guns’, I stumbled onto a few blogs and had my eyes opened a bit. All of these were pretty much saying that if you didn’t have an AR-15 then you weren’t serious about surviving anything. Did some shopping found a Smith & Wesson MP-15 Sport. For $700 with near perfect reviews and a name like Smith & Wesson behind it I was sold. I bought 10 P-mags online for $8 each the afternoon of Sandy Hook and I was set. After a few visits to my local ammunition reloader I was at the range dropping lead on every piece of cardboard I could find. Verdict: Awesome piece of machinery that functions flawlessly session after session.
With my new found interest in firearms I traveled home to inquire about the multiple weapons owned by my grandfathers and their current whereabouts. I was rewarded for my troubles with an Enfield No. 2 Top-Break .38 S&W revolver. This was the service pistol of the British military and is a very unique piece. After an intense cleaning session and treasure hunt to find this exotic ammo I found a box of 50 rounds and with my younger brother in town we went to test out grandpa’s gun. She fired beautifully and after 20 rounds I decided to save the last 30 and tuck it away as a last ditch firearm. Verdict: Fun to shoot and especially load. HARD trigger pull! Debating on making it a snub nose.
My love affair with firearms was in full swing now. I had stumbled upon a site called Armslist and oh boy it was on! There were so many to choose from and new stuff popping up each day. One day I saw a post for a .38 Special snub nose revolver. I’d never heard of the brand but for $100 and two boxes of ammo I was locked in. Turns out it was an Excam RX-38. It’s not the prettiest thing in the world but when it comes to life and death who’s judging. Verdict: Nothing to write home about. Hard trigger pull and absolutely sucky to reload. Not a fan of having to remove the cylinder. But in the end it goes bang every time I pull the trigger and it’s concealable.
After the Excam I was tasked by my wife with finding a handgun that would fit in her lovely hands so she could train and familiarize herself. Once again did some research and became quite fond of the Springfield XD-9 Subcompact. Found one with all the goodies for $450. Added some Pearce pinky grips and from then on I had the prettiest range buddy a man could ask for. Verdict: Absolutely love this gun and gonna buy a 2nd one [same size] for myself. Very well made, full capacity, and has great balance and weight.
Back when I was researching the AR-15 I stumbled upon a nice rifle called the GSG-522. It’s a spitting image of the Heckler & Koch MP-5 but chambered for .22lr. I did a search online and found one a few miles away for $400. It was the SD model which looks suppressed with a collapsing stock. Ordered some mags and a quad rail online and I had the coolest looking .22 I’d ever seen. Verdict: No recoil, tack driver, wife is a surgeon with it. 25 round magazine makes it the perfect firearm for all you Zombie hunters out there.
Last but not least I wanted a true high power CQB (Close Quarters Battle) rifle that I could use if the SHTF. Decided to go a different route than before so I did some paperwork, waited, waited, and waited some more and the next thing you know I had 7″ Surplus Ammo & Arms 5.56 SBR (Short Barreled Rifle – and NFA rifle that has a barrel shorter than 16 inches. You have to go through a heightened background check and pay a tax stamp for the privilege of owning one. But MAN, are they cool! – TRW) The upper receiver was $439, the lower was $179 and after some Amazon shopping then fees and taxes I have a BEAUTIFUL piece of machinery. VERDICT: Game Changer! It fits in a backpack and makes running drills much faster and agile. Excellent workmanship, and great customer service by the manufacturer.
I never imagined that I would have the group of tools that I have today and it makes me rest easier at night knowing I could defend my family thru any threat level encountered. I’ve covered most of the areas of my desire except for four. My final purchases will be another XD-9 Subcompact, a Savage Axis .308, a Kriss Vector .45acp SBR, and a Glock 21 to buddy with the Kriss since they use the same mags. My goal is for my wife & me both to have an XD-9 on the hip and an AR-15 in our hands. After those purchases I’m going to focus on reloading and more training. I feel like this is a good combination of firearms to have. That puts me in collector status of 9mm/.223/12 Gauge ammo. What are your go-to firearms? What’s on the wish list? Do you reload, if so what calibers? Thanks for reading!