Guns, Preppers and Survivalists – Is an Arsenal Necessary When TSHTF?

Early post!  I’m putting this up Sunday evening for those of you who like to check in early.


Today’s post is playing off Ranger Man’s Changing State of the Gun Industry and Gun Buyers article from a couple of days ago.  One aspect of the post that caught my attention is that gun owners are going out and buying more guns, which got me wondering how many of these people are Preppers or Survivalists vs regular old gun owners afraid of new regulations that might limit firearms and ammo somewhere down the road?

Now, if you’re a gun owner who owns guns because you enjoy shooting that’s one thing; however, if you’re a prepper stocking up for the zombie hordes it’s another.

Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate here for a moment.  I’m not going to discuss government regulations, but rather the actual need to own an arsenal for if/when the TS hits TF.

Common wisdom on most of the blogs is that you’ll need an arsenal when TSHTF, but is it really necessary to own a whole pile of guns and ammo if things go south?


Zombie insurance

“Hey Jarhead – have you lost your freakin’ mind??”

Let’s lay a few cards on the table right now.  First of all, I live in the country where a fair number of households have a smattering of hunting rifles, a pistol or two, and enough ammo to hunt for a few seasons, which sums up my arsenal pretty well.  I don’t have an AR-15 or an AK, although I’d love to own one someday because I like guns.

Let’s put it this way:  if I really  thought an assault rifle was absolutely necessary for my family’s survival I’d own one right now.  Kind of like people who live in the city – if they really  thought that their survival depended on them living in the country that’s where they’d live.

The point to keep in mind as we go forward is that I’m not entirely sure that you – as a prepper – need a full arsenal of heavy hitting iron if and when things go to hell.  I am NOT saying you don’t need a gun, but I am questioning the argument that you need an arsenal of machine guns to stay safe after TEOTWAWKI.


Let’s pretend for a minute that the world as we know it has ended.  Emergency services are breaking down or gone, communication is spotty, and people are resorting to lawlessness to get what they need because they’re not prepared.

Let’s also assume that you’re a target because maybe you haven’t practiced the best OPSEC in the world and people know you’ve got a nice stash of food and other goodies in your house.

What I’ve found in the past is that a superior force intent on gaining an objective will eventually succeed if they’re persistent enough.  If a mob approaches your house and you open up with automatic fire it might drive them off for awhile, but they’ll be back with more friends and guns of their own.  With enough resources they will eventually breach your defenses no matter how many guns you have.  Oh, you’ll make it tough for them, but if they’re determined they’ll get through.

Better not to be a target at all.  Practice OPSEC and stay out of sight before and after TSHTF.

Precision Shooting

If a larger group of people is trying to overcome your position, single well-aimed shots are more likely to actually hit something rather than blowing away all your ammo on suppressing fire.  Mrs. Jarhead is an excellent shot – probably better than me with a hunting rifle – and if I had my way in such a situation we’d be in different locations with our hunting rifles – with our pistols as backup – making anybody who stuck their head around a tree pay for their carelessness.

Controlled shooting, conserving ammo, and keeping a cool head is much better than blazing away with a light machine gun.

Falling Back

Back in the Corps they’d say, “Retreat!” and we’d yell, “Stand fast and die, Sir!”

Well, that might be ok for a bunch of 18 to 24 year olds making a last stand; however, I don’t have that luxury.  With two small children in the house I’ve got a fall back plan, which is to hit the woods behind the house running and not stop until I’m sure we’re not being followed.

I have the advantage of knowing those woods like the back of my hand.  The open trails, the hidden trails, how to bushwhack straight through the pines to get to the swamp, etc.  Once I’m in the woods I find it highly unlikely that anybody would follow me, especially at night.  Why would they when they’ve got what they came for?

Do I lose some food and stuff?  Yeah, but I live to fight another day.  And if it ever gets to that point where society has gone to hell I’ll probably have stashed a few goodies in the woods to keep us going for awhile – just in case.

Have a good fallback plan, folks.  It could save your life.

Team Up With Your Neighbors

“No man is an island.”

You’ve all heard this before, but the romantic notion of heading for the hills after some kind of societal shutdown just isn’t feasible.   No matter where you are the best thing you can do is get to know your neighbors.  They may not be into the prepping scene right now, but if something big happens they’re much more likely to listen to what you have to say if they already know you.

Why should you get to know the folks who live around you?  Aside from the fact that it’s nice just because it’s a neighborly thing to do, if the TSHTF you now have more people ready to stand guard with you than if you’re trying to do it all by yourself.  Not to mention the division of labor and shared skill sets available within the community.

Within the framework of this little exercise there is safety in numbers.  Chances are good that few of you reading this have the skills to become a one-man/woman kill squad capable of making your way to the zombie heartland to kill the zombie king .  (Or whatever.)

The exception would be a trained infantry platoon.    Most people are no match for the training and weapons of a combat platoon and if you come across something like this be respectful or go the other way.  (Which would be my advice for most fire fights.)

You may have to make a stand against bad guys at some point, but try and do it on your terms.


As usual when I get on a topic like this the post starts to take on a life of it’s own.  Time to end it even though I’ve got more to say.

So what exactly is my message here today?  First, for you preppers out there without a vast array of fire power at your disposal, I wouldn’t worry about it too much.  Sure, get a gun if you can, but take the time to learn how to use it!  You don’t want to shoot yourself or someone else accidentally when you actually have to use it during a stressful situation.

For those of you with a vast array of firearms:  carry on.  Nothing wrong with that at all.

I can’t wait to hear what you have to say.

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor

75 comments… add one
  • T.R. May 6, 2012, 7:49 pm

    I grew up rural and guns were a way of life . I think EVERY man and woman of legal age should own a gun , learn how to shoot etc.
    With the population growing worldwide unchecked and crime with it , Everybody should have at least a ” pocket pistol ” for protection .

  • JSW May 6, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Yup. Pretty much what I’ve been preaching for years, along with KISS in ammo compatibility. Being one who loves shooting, I have way more weapons than I need- no ARs or AKs, tho- and will probably add more just ‘becuz’. I do think having a fairly large amount of ammo on hand is more prudent than just a few boxes or couple of hundred rounds.
    And a Double Yup for those who think they’re going to wander into the Great Outdoors and survive. Best of luck, and find a big pile of it.

    • T.R. May 6, 2012, 8:14 pm

      I hear ya , I try to keep the calibers the same if possible , makes it easier . Not going to get into the handgun argument because its pointless , get what you are comfortable with , I have a few pistols ……….all 9mm . Only two types of ammo I get for them , FMJ for the range , and Nasty home defense rounds for everywhere else . Like most folks , I hope I never have to use it outside the range ……. but at least I have it .

  • KC May 6, 2012, 8:10 pm


    Very Good logical thinking in your post, about if the Operational Security is degraded and the “takers” are laying siege to the homestead, the last thing anyone needs to do is lay semi-automatic suppressing fire and subsequently exhaust the precious ammunition supplies. If Operational Security has been compromised, then one should begin to lay in cache all needed items to effect an exodus in the event it becomes necessary. Of course one should never make it easy for a “taker” to eat his fill of your hard-earned larder. It would be recommended that if there was time in between the arrival of the “takers” and your exodus, then the rigging of fatal traps and the deliberate contamination of said larder would definite tasks to perform in order to slow the “takers” down, exhaust their collective strength/morale and allow you and yours the time to formulate a retaking plan for the homestead. This doesn’t require semi-automatic military pattern carbines/rifles, night vision, remote sensors, and the other accouterments of the military rifle platoon. It requires will, a good operational plan and the individuals ready to execute operations in the event that it becomes necessary. A great book on this subject is; Total Resistance: A Swiss Army Guide to Guerrilla Operations. As it speaks about the importance of plans and the collaboration of all concerned in executing those plans. Additionally the book is a great primer for thinking about methods of stealthily initiating an ambush or in other words, firearms are great when the fight is in progress, but to begin, one should use a silent method of distance fighting (Archery/ Airguns ?) to dispatch your foes before the firefight begins in kind.

  • T.R. May 6, 2012, 8:28 pm

    Training snipers was almost a cottage industry in Russia just before WW2 broke out . The Germans feared the Soviet sniper in Stalingrad as there was no place they could hide . One good long distance shooter can destroy an attackers group moral fairly quickly , especially if the shooter knows to move around after a shot . The nickel and dime approach works , creating wounded for them to take care of rather than killing them is sometimes better . The history is there if you read it ;)

    • Jason May 6, 2012, 10:42 pm

      T.R. you are right –

      A very good friend of mine was a platoon sergeant with the Marines & knee deep in the bush in Viet Nam, ’65 – ’67. He did night patrols, dropped into many hot zones, was overrun twice & saw his share of firefights – the kind of stuff that gave him nightmares for years afterward.

      His choice of weapon? A modified 12 gage shotgun. He said “all I need is to be reasonably accurate because they were too damn close & I could at least knock them down”. He also carried a .45 side arm.

      He told me the worst of it were the snipers because everybody thought they were the target so it could keep them frozen for a time.

      • T.R. May 9, 2012, 1:04 am

        The history channel had a Vietnam series , they interviewed an ex NVA officer that said that one of the things they feared the most out of the entire American arsenal was the B-52 , they couldn’t see them , they couldn’t hear them , then all the sudden the ground would be turning inside out .

  • Sol May 6, 2012, 8:36 pm

    my personal thinking is that standardization and prioritizing is the way to go. i have two pistols..both glocks a 26 and 19. i also have an AR and AK.

    but when the SHTF i believe that our sidearms are going to be the most valuable weapon we have. work still has to be done. for a short while errands will have to be done. and we’re going to have to be constantly walking and stuff.

    i also believe that the Army is setup not to fight wars overseas now but that the Strykers are designed for internal law and order missions. that vehicle failed in AFghanistan yet they’re buying even more of them Homeland Security used an MRAP to bust a local gang in San Fran….i said all that to say that walking around with a full size rifle will get people the kind of attention they don’t need.

    the pistol will be king and keeping it up, running and fed will be the main thing in anyone’s arsenal.

  • Cold Warrior May 6, 2012, 9:39 pm

    I’ve carried a Smith “J” frame airweight since Viet Nam, so to me it’s my go to gun. We back that up with Glock 19’s and AR’s. Also a Mossberg 590A1, which is getting too much to handle in my old age.
    I hope to NEVER have to fire another shot in anger again, ever, but if need be my wife and I will protect each other as best as we can.
    The best gun fight is one that you can run away from.

    • Jason May 7, 2012, 7:35 pm

      Did you do any modifications to your Mossberg?

    • Jeff May 8, 2012, 8:19 pm

      For the Mossberg, I would change the stock for a Blackhawk brand stock. They have a few different models (but do NOT get the NRS type) and all models will cut down recoil very much.

  • J.W. May 6, 2012, 10:01 pm

    I think that everyone should have at the minimum a good pistol, what ever works for the individual but 9mm or bigger. A good hunting rifle close to .30 cal, a good 30-30 in the hands of someone who knows how to use it is a deadly combat weapon. A good 12 or 20 ga pump or semi shotgun for defense and bird hunting and a good quality .22lr rifle. There is no denying the use of a pistol when you need to be armed but still work. You’ll need a good larger caliber hunting rifle for bigger game and the unsavory trouble makers. A shotgun is a scary as hell defense weapon and very useful for hunting. The .22 will probably be the most used of the lot. Its great for small game, doesn’t really stand out like a big rifle but can take down or slow down almost anything with a well aimed shot. There are a lot other bigger and badder weapons out there but with these, proper training, and a good supply of good ammo I wouldn’t be afraid of much. Especially with the right group of like minded and trained friends.

  • Jason May 6, 2012, 10:56 pm


    Four great points in your article:

    1. “Common wisdom on most of the blogs is that you’ll need an arsenal when TSHTF, but is it really necessary to own a whole pile of guns and ammo if things go south?”

    Common wisdom & most blogs are not synonymous – ha, ha. Better to be highly proficient with one or two weapons than be half asked with many. For example, a highly effective bow shooter can scare the SHTF out of an invader.

    2. “Controlled shooting, conserving ammo, and keeping a cool head is much better than blazing away with a light machine gun.”


    3. “Better not to be a target at all. Practice OPSEC and stay out of sight before and after TSHTF.”

    Double Bingo!

    4. Stay away from Mrs. Jarhead & a high powered rifle- triple Bingo!

  • T.R. May 6, 2012, 11:12 pm

    If you think the term zombie hasn’t made an impact on modern society pop culture , then check this out : Hornady is making zombie killer rounds – no lie – it is on the box in big movie type letters .

    • late2TheParty May 7, 2012, 1:02 am

      It’s a marketing gimmick, that’s working. Since if’s no longer pc to shoot at ‘humans’ (black, white, yellow, green, blue…), ‘zombies aren’t people’ they’re not even animals – they’re walking disease. That, everyone can get behind destroying. Sad commentary that we’re down to using imaginary enemies to avoid controversy but you sometimes have to take what you can get.

      I use zombie targets for my archery, I don’t get as bored and the families around me seem to accept this better than a deer or person. Real difference? Nothing. Perceived difference? A world. Would I rather use a 3d deer? Heck yeah. But I’m certainly willing to compromise to get what I need. Practice!

      • T.R. May 7, 2012, 1:45 am

        LOL I hear ya , the liberal PC propaganda is destroying this country . People think PC stands for politically correct , but its darker than that ….. it really means pacification conspiracy . Dont let them tell ya how to think , you cant like everybody and its perfectly ok not to .

        • Jason May 7, 2012, 9:30 am

          Pacification Conspiracy – good one! Never heard that one …

        • Tim May 7, 2012, 9:59 am

          “PC=pacification conspiracy”

          Think I’m gonna ‘borrow’ that, iffn’ you don’t mind.

          • T.R. May 7, 2012, 12:12 pm

            Use it all you want my friend , proof is everywhere , liberals want everybody to be proud of who they are …..everybody except caucasians . if you were to judge by the media , all of it ( magazines , tv, advertising , etc ) you would think a minority that comprises only 10% of the nations population , was more like 60% . If there was a serious SHTF , the only good thing about it would be that all that love everybody , love the world PC crap , would go right out the window .

      • Jason May 7, 2012, 11:35 am

        Not so fast late2TheParty … Zombies are real! Check out ALL of this photographic proof (click thru all of the photos) –

        What a great & fun idea!

  • Michael May 7, 2012, 2:12 am

    No, you wont need an arsenal. Plenty of people have lived though hard times and scary stuff without any firearms at all. A .22 rifle and a non-tiny-pocket-pistol pistol that’s comfortable for you to pack around will do most folks just fine. After that I’d add a 20 gauge to the mix.

    I’m also a big fan of .22 shorts. So, .22 wise I’d go with either a bolt or lever-action with a tube feed for the first .22.

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 3:58 am

      As a kid, back in the day , Winchester made a good carbine that was tube fed , the model 190 . still have it . It still works fine . shoots the whole .22 line ( not sure about the magnum tho )

      • Michael May 7, 2012, 1:04 pm

        I have a Henry .22 carbine, tube fed lever-action. The whole thing’s only about 34″ long.

        • T.R. May 7, 2012, 2:42 pm

          This thing is about the same size .

          • Jason May 7, 2012, 7:25 pm

            Hey T.R. – stop telling lies about your thing ….

          • T.R. May 7, 2012, 7:55 pm


  • irishdutchuncle May 7, 2012, 7:45 am

    … as many firearms as you can stash or carry.

    plus lots and lots of primers for reloading.
    whether they are now trotskyites, or stalinists, most of those in positions of power today are familiar with one “saying” from chairman Mao: “all political power ultimately comes from the barrel of a gun”. that is why they want to take them away from us. that’s why they send out overwhelming force to oppress us.

    make every shot count.

    there’s lots of advice out there about which weapons to choose. (i’m really no expert) you need to be willing to use “whatever ya got” when the situation calls for it.
    in town, or the burbs, you need something effective against coyote, or pit-bull. a little further out, you need something effective against the wolf, mountain lion or black bear… in the far northwest: something effective on a grizzly, or polar bear.
    every “grown-up” has a duty to protect the neighborhood children from such predators. (but the most dangerous predators go on two legs)

    a twelve or twenty guage shotgun, loaded with #4 buck shot, and a pocket full of slugs would probably be a good start.

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 12:20 pm

      Can you imagine how different things would have been if Hitler had attacked a europe with an armed population and had to fight every single town and village they entered , instead of simply rolling in unopposed if that nations army didnt happen to be deployed there ? would have been much different indeed . Two world wars on their soil and the Europeans still havent learned .

      • Watchdog May 7, 2012, 3:05 pm

        Socialist hate guns.

        However, a .303, .308 or whatever wouldn’t have been much help against the panzer blitz krieg of ’39-’40.

        70 years later the Germans are trying to save Europe from itself and the French elect a socialist. Go figure.

        • Tim May 7, 2012, 4:20 pm

          “Socialist hate guns.”

          C’mon, man. Socialists *love* guns!
          They just don’t love it when *you* have guns.

        • 3rdMan May 7, 2012, 4:31 pm

          Have to get out of those tanks sometime!

        • T.R. May 7, 2012, 7:54 pm

          Aye that , but after WW2 the western allies should have had “Soviet liberation ” as in : go in – then never leave , eventually making it an extension of your own country through propaganda and resettlement ;) , would have done that to Japan also . Cold I know , but if you start a world war , you better win it .

      • Tim May 7, 2012, 4:34 pm

        Damn straight. And it’s the same (good) reason we nuked Japan instead physically invading it. We would have had to fight door-to-door, window-to-window against every man, woman & child on that God-forsaken rock.

        A lot of our grandfathers never would have made it back to our grandmothers if Truman had tried that.

      • irishdutchuncle May 7, 2012, 7:39 pm

        i’ve read the remark a few times about how “Dolf” should have been just “a footnote in the history of the Wiemar Republic”.

        the problem is: knowing when homocide is justifiable, and the willingness to have acted, then.

      • Michael May 7, 2012, 10:16 pm

        You made me curios, but I can’t seem to come up with a # for how many French people had guns prior to WWII. Currently the rate of private gun ownership in France is 31.22 firearms per 100 people or round about 19,000,000 guns.

        • T.R. May 7, 2012, 10:34 pm

          Well it sounds like its getting better , France now has a muslim problem , perhaps the number of gun ownership will grow also ? When I hear how Canada is about that by our canadian posters , im glad I live here .

      • Joe July 22, 2018, 8:21 am

        The third world war will also start in Europe but this one will be started by the tens of millions of Muslims who bite the hand of those who let them into the EU as part of “humanitarian” efforts. The problem is that while we in the US see this coming, idiots like Merkle of Germany are oblivious to it. When this one starts, you folks in the EU are on your own……don’t tell us we didn’t tell you so….

  • Spook45 May 7, 2012, 9:20 am

    If you want t ostay alive, stay free and eep what you have, then yes an arsenal is absolutely necessary.

  • Leon May 7, 2012, 9:33 am

    I interviewed a hometown Marine back from Afghanistan last year. He was in recon, and his squad was in constant contact with the Taliban. The Marines’ weapon of choice, he commented, was usually the M-40A3 (scoped, bolt-action 7.62mm) The Taliban carried full-auto AK-47s, and their tactics frequently included full-auto spray-and-pray shooting.
    All the Marines in the recon squad had graduated from sniper school.
    Results were predictable.

  • anon May 7, 2012, 10:08 am

    — I’m the guy with with the 7 figure ammo stash, and a huge collection. My other preps are way above what most other preppers have in stock. I plan on a gathering in of friends and family, some of which may only get out with their skin, hopefully intact. Lots of vets and hunters, so most all have gear and skills.

    • 3rdMan May 7, 2012, 4:34 pm

      All I can say is Sh@&. You have over a million rounds on hand. Tell the truth your an ammunition wholeseller!

  • RoyG May 7, 2012, 11:45 am

    Good points and i do agree with you… I have decided to keep spare parts, and extra ammo for the weapons i intend to keep that is most important for our survival… ammo compatibility for fire arms and enough to barter if i have to… the weapons that we as a family train with are going to be the best one for any situation….

    I would love to have the latest Ar-15 but im going to settle with my old SKS that im and my family are very familiar with… besides ammo is still cheap and it will work with an Ak if i ever decide to get/ trade for one

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 12:26 pm

      The new Mini 30 is a poor mans alternative to the AR-15 , I have one , I love it , its simple , clean , reliable , not fussy about ammo . Good pack gun , your not going to be making any 500 yard shots with it , but then again , thats what your Mosins and others are for ;)

      • Lumberjok May 7, 2012, 5:35 pm

        Ruger Mini-14…$727. DPMS Panther AR15….$729. My DPMS will group one minute of arc (one inch groups at 100 yards). The best I could do with the Ruger was minutes of pie plate. It lasted all of one afternoon at the range before I traded it.

        • T.R. May 7, 2012, 10:47 pm

          Good point , but most ARs are upwards of $1200 , I got my ruger for about $620 , paid no sales tax , and that includes the FFL fee for the transfer . 100 yard shooting is all Im concerned about s a backpack gun ( too many trees in the way out in the deep woods ) put an accustrut on it and no complaints about accuracy . I know the older models with the thin barrel had big problems with that , but the thicker barreled ones seemed to have addressed that . They are both good guns , an AR is a much more specialized weapon , the Ruger is for general purpose .

  • Watchdog May 7, 2012, 2:53 pm

    Everybody is different. Likes, dislikes, fears, concerns, abilities, training and money.

    Basically all you NEED is a good bolt action rifle with good optics and the range and power to reach out and touch someone. A good pump action 12 gauge shotgun with ghost rings, a quality handgun that you are comfortable shooting and a ‘reasonable’ amount of ammo for all the firarms you own.

    Practice and COMMON SENSE are invaluable to your ability to stay alive. The best gun fight IS the one that you can avoid. I doesn’t
    matter how many full auto AR’s , AK’s or rounds you have…..Remember you’re only ONE shot away from making yourself and all your equipment redundant.

    • Michael May 7, 2012, 4:52 pm

      “The best gun fight IS the one that you can avoid.”

    • irishdutchuncle May 7, 2012, 8:18 pm

      sounds like a good list of arms to have.

  • john May 7, 2012, 3:11 pm

    If you want to turn cover into concealment then you can’t have too much ammo in an urban setting, especially dealing with a sniper and not having heavy weapons or weapons of mass destruction, imho.

    A sniper does not have to be anyone that can actually hit a target at 200 yards, it can be any low life with an AK-47 that tries to kill you from concealment or cover just by taking pot shots at your house. Most 7.62 rounds (39,51,54r) will go right through most brick walls at 200 yards.

    So, I can see blowing through 30 rounds a day for a week at a time, of rifle ammo, times that by 12 months and you have gone through 2500 rounds. If you are part of a standing army, supplying yourself when the government and stores are gone, lack of ammo becomes a critical detail, right after food.

    During our Civil War, they went through what, 50 rounds per engagement? It was not exactly spray and pray back then with black powder. Many of the gangs have AK-47s, if they are spraying your house with fire 200 yards off, even for only two shooters moving room to room, you are going to spend a lot of ammo ventilating his cover to suppress him.

    Suppose you don’t run out of ammo, but, your neighbors do that are ill prepared. If you can’t supply them, then your chances of surviving go down when they go down. If you can’t hold your neighborhood, you are not going to hold your house either surrounded on all sides.

    This is the great weakness of doomsday bunkers in my opinion. Anyone in a bunker, especially below ground, can easily be burned out because they require air.

    This is why you need a lot of ammo, you have to be able to supply your neighbors to help protect your perimeter.

    So, my rifle ammo is where I put most of my stores, money wise, even though it is the 22LR I have the most of by round count. The rifle ammo is for me, the .22lr is for them, the kids guarding windows, and barter.

    You can stock pile everything, but, be wiped out by a tornado or other natural disaster, leaving you at the luck of the draw, which is why I think convincing America of the need to prep and the the value of the 2nd amendment is one of the most vital parts of prepping.

    If my neighbor who preps is wiped out by a fire or such, after SHTF, I will have good guns, ammo, and food for him, because I prepped too. A few bags of rice, a .22LR semi auto with 500 rounds and two magazines, and a few pieces of junk silver. will be better then nothing, and give him a fighting chance. It will be more then what I had when I started in 2008.

    So, I don’t think you can have too much food or ammo WHEN the SHTF.

  • T.R. May 7, 2012, 3:29 pm

    On the top 10 most worthless guns ever made is a single shot , bolt action .22 short . WTF !!!!!! why would anybody waste the time materials and energy to make something like that !!!????? As I remember the gun in question was VERY old , it was one my dad used as a kid . After he passed away , I remember we were hard pressed to even give it away , we were about to toss it in the trash when a kid down the street asked if he could have it . He did toss it away in favor of a pellet gun .

    • irishdutchuncle May 7, 2012, 8:13 pm

      probably useful against rats or squirrels, indoors.

    • TiredOldGuy May 7, 2012, 9:12 pm

      That depends on where you live. In countries where gun laws are much harsher, a .22 of any sort might just be the ticket.

      At the very least, a rimfire will give you an advantage in the knife fight that follows.

      • T.R. May 7, 2012, 10:54 pm

        thats true , but would still take a muzzle loader over that thing . at least the loading process is fun ;)

    • joe July 22, 2018, 8:35 am

      Depends on what you mean by single shot. Is it a single round that you have to eject and then manually put another round into the chamber using your fingers or is it like my tube fed, single shot bolt action Mossberg where you cycle the bolt and it feeds another round into the chamber? If it’s like mine, it is useful! A bolt action is stronger and shoots straighter than does a semi auto. My tube fed 22 accepts shorts, longs and LR, all mixed together. It also shoots MOA at 100-200 yds. Three through a quarter sized object at 100 yds. Equip it with “quiet” rounds and one would be hard pressed to tell where the sound came from. Also, some semi autos won’t properly cycle the next round due to insufficient blow back from a short or silent round. Yes, I also have a tube-fed semi auto marlin 60 with ss barrel and 4x tiny scope but my Mossberg with a $49 Simmons 4-8x scope is a killer well out beyond 100 yds.

  • Waterboy May 7, 2012, 6:58 pm


    Arsenal is kind of a subjective term I think. Having sufficient firepower to maintain your security and family safety is what matters the most. Great article

  • Chupa Cabra May 7, 2012, 7:21 pm

    Thanks, great article, good to hear the voice of reason. The S has alreadyHTF. People think there will be alarms going off and red lights flashing, not so. The cascade has started and the next 5-10 years will get worse before they get better. If you plan to stay in an urban environment, remember all those people will have guns and bullets will be flying through sheetrock. Thats why I don’t think everyone should have a gun, only those that want one. The odds of city people staying alive are diminished with the increase of the number of people shooting guns in the city. I say if you really want to protect yourself and your family, be out of population dense areas, be off grid and have a managable number of guns with heaps of ammo.

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 7:39 pm

      Thats all well and good if you can , Im not saying your wrong , Im just saying that is impractical for most people who are not unemployed with a family to support . Small towns and rural areas are ideal ……. but they are nice for a reason ……… unless your a farmer ……….. there is nothing there to support you . No offense to This sites crew but Maine is kind of that way as well , I lived there and loved it ……… but there are no jobs to keep people there, even in good times that state is on the poor side , but in bad times……….you got to go where the work is . just sayin

  • Chupa Cabra May 7, 2012, 8:24 pm

    Not really, I guess it depends on how seriously you take living sustainably. There is a lot of land available for sale that is relatively cheap. I lived and worked in the city while I bought my rural land, I am not wealthy and went through periods of unemployment. When I had no money I camped out on my place and built my house one stick at a time, designed my systems paying with credit cards. I made it a priority instead of spending on clothes, going out to dinner, exotic weaopns and paraphernalia. Its about priorities. Everyone has a reason for hanging out doing what they’ve always done instead of getting out of the comfort zone.

    The act of living sustainably is training for the time that you are forced to live with much less under increasing threat. It’s a mindset, if you are serious about survivability, you live that way. Its alot harder to grow a garden, cut firewood, develop your water and conserve it, learn about alternative energy and live on it. Pretty soon it becomes automatic, you know not to leave lights on, you don’t depend on air conditioning, you cook with gas in the summer and wood in the winter, you don’t run to the store every time you forget to buy a quart of milk. All the bulk purchases of top ramen and coco puffs aren’t going to sustain you but understanding how to work with nature, the seasons, reaping what you sow, will.

    The survival of the fittest is about situational awareness, knowing where you need to be and when.

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 11:27 pm

      Not saying I disagree with that at all . And for those that are doing just as you are , are far ahead of the game . My point was that if ( like a great many folks ) that are prepping and do believe something is going to happen BUT have a wife and kids that are not on board with their ideas , it gets more complicated . So a person has a choice , either get a divorce and possibly have a nasty custody battle ( the prepper will most likely loose that one , Judge: ” Mr. Jones , you want to do what and live where ? and your wives attorney is saying that you believe that this and that is happening and this and that is going to happen to the point that your doing this and that ……….. I suggest you get some therapy ………judgment for the defendant for full custody . ” ) or if you love your spouse and divorce is out of the question , then you just have to do the best you can where you are . Hope for the best , prep for the worst . Things are not as black and white for a lot of people , if they are for you , then as I said , your far ahead of the game than most people are . Your living your convictions , again , your ahead of the game .

  • EZE May 7, 2012, 8:29 pm

    He’s a prepper w/o an AR? *shaking head*

    • T.R. May 9, 2012, 4:02 pm

      ARs are still only semi auto – sure they look cool , but that can be a drawback if your not wanting to attract attention to yourself . LEOs tend to give you a hard time when stopped vs. another more sporting looking carbine that is also semi auto and the same caliber . Want to be the grey man , blending and moving freely , then dont strap a flashing light to your back .

  • JAF May 7, 2012, 9:04 pm

    I can not run with as many guns as I want or would like to. I decided long ago that it is better to be good with what you have than have what you want and not be so good with it. I was raised on 1911 45’s. I graduated to 9mm out of necessity and learned to love the High Power because it was the earliest of the high cap mags, (13). I learned to appreciate it in my travels with the Marine Corps, as an observer. We could only carry a pistol so I started out with a 1911 and about 12 mags, for defensive purposes only. After witnessing an SAS officer stop an attack by Vietnamese regulars with AK’ s on full auto, by dropping 8 with one mag, reloading and getting five more while I provided cover fire, I have carried a High power ever since. Its not what you have or how many or how many it will hold or even how big the hole in the end is, it is the ability and willingness to point and shoot and hit your target. James Butler Hickok said it best when asked why he was the greatest of pistoliers, ” it not about being the fastest or the best shot but being the one more willing to pull the trigger” You must have the right frame of mind regardless of how many guns, what kind they are and how many you can shoot at once. Be deliberate, as accurate as possible, and more willing to act to protect your loves one and you will be the winner. As the man said I don’t want to kill you and you don’t want to be dead, but whoever is more willing to make a decision first is going to win.
    I too appreciate a modified shotgun, such as the Winchester 97 pump which I used in the bush to great advantage. Works well on 110 lb asians.
    Semper Fi,

    • T.R. May 7, 2012, 11:32 pm

      You will love this shotgun then , look up the Kel -Tec KSG .

  • Padre May 7, 2012, 11:35 pm

    I do agree that OpSec is a must, I also agree that marksmanship is better than wasting a massive volume of lead, and that the more people you have helping you out the safer you are.

    I keep guns, lots of guns for three reasons:

    1) I LIKE GUNS
    2) They are a good investment, and maintain value!
    3) Lots of people in my area of the country don’t. Meaning that if I want my neighbors to help me with home defense then I am going to arm them.

    • Joe July 22, 2018, 8:46 am

      I wouldn’t arm them…. You tell people BEFORE the SHTF what THEY need to do to prepare and let THEM make the decision themselves BUT you also caveat it with this: “when SHTF truly happens, if they haven’t listened to you and haven’t prepared, that when they come knocking on your door, that they will be turned away”. I hate people who don’t spend the money and prepare and instead spend it on all the nice things you and I can’t have because we had to spend some of our money preparing for disaster and then when SHTF does happen, they come to you…… Not a gonna happen…..

  • Robert May 8, 2012, 10:39 am

    I agree that preppers don’t need an arsenal, but then again, who defines what an “arsenal” is? According to my wife, I have an arsenal. According to me, I just have a few good guns.

  • Vondutch May 8, 2012, 12:45 pm

    Currency – while most of the arguments above are sound and defensible, I would like to offer that a Mosin and 100 rounds of ammo could probably be traded for a small child.

    • 3rdMan May 8, 2012, 10:19 pm

      Not sure how to take your trading a rifle for a child. Sounds like a slave trader!

  • SurvivingPrepper May 8, 2012, 4:12 pm

    I think well placed precision shooters are great! Having someone with an automatic weapon will boost overall performance of the group. Having a couple of snipers will draw attention to themselves if they are attacking a large group. The automatic weapon “slayer” will take out some bad guys, but actually is drawing attention away from the snipers.
    As far as having an arsenal, mechanics don’t have two or three wrenches. Nor doctors have two or three prescriptions. The right tool for the job is important. That may mean small calibers for pests, varmints, and slaughter. Larger calibers for larger game, protection, or fear factor. Multiple projectiles from shotguns have their many uses too. Just my two cents.

    • sput May 9, 2012, 8:15 am

      SurvivingPrepper, well put. The right tool for the right job, the right tactic for the situation. A layered defense, long range bolt guns, semi-auto carbines mid range, loads of buck shot and pistols close up.

  • DrRus May 13, 2012, 7:43 pm

    Having multiple weapons is clearly the better plan than just a few.

    Like others said – you have to have a tool for each situation. My prepping include:

    – .410 for bird hunting

    – 12 gauge for close quarters/ backup hunting

    – Large caliber rifles (8mm Mauser, 7mm Swedish) to cover hunting anything from a deer to an elephant :)

    – .22lr (semi-auto) to have with you at all times, small game hunting

    – AK47 + SKS, no optics on either. Best defense weapons to have around – very accurate for close/medium distance combat (let’s face it, you’d likely defend from your home, not in the middle of a prairie). A scoped weapon will limit your vision and would be generally an overkill. A hit by a 7.62×39 is enough to put anyone out of commission no matter where they are hit. Iron sights AK or SKS with a large clip are also perfect for fast aim-shoot-cover, where a scoped rifle would require much more time to acquire a 2-3 targets, leaving you exposed for much longer.

    – a good air rifle. Those things are perfect for small game hunting and virtually silent.

    And let’s not forget that if you were successful defending your home you will have some loot to collect. Having a variety of firearms will ensure you’d have better chance to recover ammo, since the condition of the firearms of the attackers could be very questionable during TEOTWAWKI.

  • Ken May 20, 2012, 1:29 am

    I own a RRA AR-15 .223 cal. ( with optic and backup iron sights) for defensive accurate shots-not for rapid fire, Remington 770 30.06 (with scope) for long distance sniping and/or hunting larger game,a Taurus .45 cal. on the thigh as a back up, and a Taurus 9mm slim on front of vest,as backup. I keep a well rounded array of weapons for different tasks but no need for more.But,I have noticed lately online that finding ammo in stock and/or a good price is getting harder. I have changed my thinking that instead of buying some rounds a little every month along with other prepping items, I am going to plunge into a lot of stock of ammo now this month and my family knows how to smartly fire them all,clean and lube so the job gets spread around if defensively needed, not offensively. I found a website that HAS stock and not having to wait till next year (on some sites) to get the ammo I need. I am also going to get back into reloading. But I will get my ammo minimums to where I need and then start reloading. I don’t know what is going on but I do admit to having some level of concern (or fear if you want to call it that) about losing our right to bear arms and running out of ammo to buy. If that happens, will the government just come to your door and ask for your weapons? How do we get them off the books so to speak without getting into illegal activities? I served in the Army as a sniper spec ops and cannot conceive of harming my fellow brothers as they are just following orders “against foreign and DOMESTIC”. I bought mine to protect my family and myself against those that would try and harm us to get to my supplies by force. Not to shoot anyone just for asking. We are not trigger happy folks and should remember that when forecasting and prepping. It is supposed to be for “defense only”. You want to be offensive and I will put a 2 keyhole shot centermass. Here’s another thought for everyone I put to my sister when she bought her little .22 pistol this year. How will you feel and deal when you have just shot another human being and they lay dead on the ground? yes, you may have had the right or conviction to do that. I am not debating that. But, unless you have actually killed someone before, you….do….not….know…. that….feeling. I have been in combat and have seen that firsthand and know it is something you will remember the rest of your life. It never leaves your memory. All these people I read on different blogs say all cocky and confident “I will shoot anyone that comes in my house; or, I will empty a full mag on them.” Wow, you don’t understand the magnitude of those words. I agree with others here in OPSEC is number one and having force multipliers near your area is a must. I can do this but not many can survive out in the wilderness like they may dream they can as seen in the movies. I have had training and would be alright but most would be better setting up their group of neighbors and banning together. I have multiple egress routes in case my property is over run and I too will set traps,spoil supplies so they will not walk more than 5 steps and fall down for good, and cache the rest. But, that is a long shot away. I don’t allow myself on all these survival, SHTF blogs/websites to get hyped up on end of the world talk. If it is like the movie “2012”, then folks, it doesn’t matter how many guns and ammo you have, there is nothing you can do to change that, if it is apocolyptic like Mel Gibson and Road Warrior, then most won’t make it too long due to stress and mental toughness. That lifestyole will get to you after a while and then you only need ONE bullet. Stay Safe, think straight, prepare moderately, don’t go overboard reading about the hype, and most of all don’t forget to enjoy life now even if you think this is all you have left. Otherwise, why prep?

  • Nattleby April 4, 2016, 4:53 pm

    I am a collector of WW2 and Cold War era Firearms. SHTF is not my primary concern, but knowing I have the capability of defending myself does make me feel secure.

    I think some of the people who are buying up multiple firearms, besides preppers, are collectors and reenactors who are afraid that the surplus market is drying up.

  • kevin October 29, 2016, 8:01 pm

    You probably don’t need the thousands of rounds that you may think.You really only need ammo if under attack,in which case,either you die and don’t need ammo,or you prevail and take the attackers ammo.One point about pistols no one ever mentions,as far as revolver vs auto,if in a firefight you loose track of all your mags,game over.I always have a revolver in my arsenal just in case it comes to that.

  • ThePhotogsBlog May 26, 2017, 3:41 pm

    Some very good points are made here, but chief among them, is that just having a gun or guns alone, even awesome ones is no guarantee of survival in a bad situation. Survival requires that you engage your brain before you engage your weapon.


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