It’s no secret I have a passion for firearms. Ever since the day I got my first cap gun I was hooked. In my adult years this has translated to a small gun collection. It is only now that I realize how most would be left behind and arm the looters in TEOTWAWKI unless cached or used to arm family and friends before the crunch.
For many preppers firearms were the start to their awareness of the threats to our society. If you go to a gun show and say the words “Prepper” or “SHTF” in ear shot of others you will see many heads pop up and their ears listening in. The firearms and prepper communities are very tightly intertwined. As such many preppers have a love for firearms, and all preppers should own at least one gun. If you don’t have a firearm in your prep you should put that as a top priority to get one and start training. It will take time to be proficient with your weapon. It is said that you don’t own a gun until you have shot 2000 rounds through it, until then it’s just a possession. Having a firearm is important but don’t make the mistake of investing too much of your prepping budget into massive amounts of ammo and various weapons.
A gun collection is fun no doubt, however if the goal is to secure your prep it may be a waste of money that could be better used elsewhere. Depending on your plan there are key things to think about.
THE BUG OUT: If a bug out is in order you will need to travel light. Unlike old school video games it’s impractical to even think of carrying more then 2 long guns and a pistol. The weight of additional guns, ammo, magazines and parts will slow you down and make you tire faster. Typically most people will have a defensive long gun like an HK91, AR-15 or AK-47, a .22LR rifle for small game hunting and a pistol for personal defense. Anything more and you might want to get your Inner-Rambo in check or it will get you killed.
ARMING A GROUP: If the intention is to arm people with the weapons and bug out that’s valid however you should consider arming them before the bug out. Give them the guns now so they can practice and have the ability to use the weapons to meet up with you.
BUG IN, HOMESTEADING OR CACHING: The only time a gun collection can really make sense is if you plan to cache weapons and ammo at your bug out location or are currently in your intended retreat. Extra firearms can be good to help arm others, replace lost or broken ones from your journey or barter after the initial chaos. If your plan is to use all the guns yourself you will need to train with each of them or the value of extra weapons will be minimal. The time you spend learning multiple weapon systems may be better applied to skill with a single system and greater ranges or varied conditions.
Focus your money onquality weapon you are going to use, rather then tons of cheap weapons. Those tons of weapons will ultimately be pillaged from your property in a bug out. So spend the money on high quality firearms that will last. Instead of buying a couple different stamped AK-47s, consider getting one quality Milled one. Buy extra parts like firing pins, extractors, magazines or other key parts likely to break, or be lost. Buy the best magazines you can as an unreliable bullet feed could get your killed. Put on the right amount of accessories you need on but no more. Folding stocks are great to have so you can stow the weapon in your bag. Slings to help you carry the weapon. For your .22lr think about light and compact. Synthetic stock and maybe a takedown model or a Henry survival model. For your battle rifle or combat shotgun, consider putting a flashlight on it, maybe a foregrip if it makes it more comfortable for you to shoot. In the case of a rifle, optics with back up flip up iron sights can be good, however I try to avoid ones that need batteries to display the reticle as that provides a dependency on batteries you will need to carry and find when those run out.
Practice, Practice, Practice
You don’t want to learn to swim when you are drowning. So take your firearms out to the range and start practicing. Work on move and shoot drills and various stances (standing, kneeling, prone, roll over prone). Find tactical training programs in your area where you can learn new skills. Your goal when SHTF happens is to make every shot count, so spend the time and money learning your weapon intimately. Heck go Full Metal Jacket on your training and give your rifle a female name and sleep with it. Kidding, unless that’s your thing, I’m not judging. Practice in all conditions, all weather, and make it muscle memory so when the time comes you are working off instinct not cognitive power. In combat we are going to do what we practice just a whole lot worse.