I don’t think I need to convince many of you of the possible urgent need to build a collection for preparedness, my view is that we are about to see something of a magnitude not seen in several generations.
With that in mind I wanted to review a few ideas, until now I have shared with others only in private.
What would I do now?
A good question I would want to look at it several ways, I live in a western state that does not have the restrictions of other un-constitutionally infested areas suffer from so I may be free to gather some items not allowed in some states or countries where you may be reading this…
I should start out by saying that I find rifles far more utilitarian than a pistol, but I would suggest a pistol you find comfortable. I do not think you have to have a .40 (something) to be a man – in fact a pistol is a piss poor tool for fighting your way back to the rifle you stupidly left out of reach (my grandfather taught me that).
That said there are reasons to have a pistol and to even apply for your stolen freedoms with a “permit”, often just the extraction of your sidearm from its concealed holster will cause a “thug” to back down, but if ever threatened enough to think I ever needed to “pull” there would be no time to back down because that time would have already passed.
I favor the .357 revolver, and contrary to internet commandos, it is a very effective cartridge. The study of police fatal shootings shows the .357 to be far more lethal than most of the other rounds combined. I would gather that if you think the .357 is not “powerful” then you simply need to shoot a .357 with a 158 gr. HP full power load to see for yourself. I have hunted with a .357 in the past and it is a very effective round for hunting even large game. A very accurate round, if you put a scope on a .357 revolver NO ONE will laugh at you, contrary to the snickers you may get with a scope on an AK – there is a reason for that…
I am a fan of the 7.62x25mm Tokarev a hot version of the 7.63x25mm Mauser, very hot and very accurate
I like the 9x18mm Makarov, a small pistol that fires inexpensive ammunition, my wife favors her 9x18mm Makarov above all others.
I standardized on the 9x19mm Parabellum for the simple reason that it is a standard all over the world, ammo is available and inexpensive – not because it is better but because good pistols are easy to find and in the end any pistol is better than nothing. Future supply was the deciding factor.
Oh, and before you start busting my chops, I cut my teeth on .45 1911 pistols because that is what my dad loved, I gave up on the .45 the first time I shot my first .357 and never seriously looked back, and none of my .357 revolvers ever jammed on me – I could never say that about the 1911.
Regardless of what you choose, pick one, practice, stock up on ammo – I keep 500 rounds of factory loaded ammo (or more) for each pistol and components for lots more “home rolled”.
You also need a .22 lr pistol – pick one and use it, cheep shooting, I suggest getting a revolver or auto loader to match your main pistol, they even make some conversion kits that are nice to have.
Rifles (damn, I love rifles)
First on the list get a .22 lr rifle in bolt or auto-loader, and continue to shoot it until you get past 2000 rounds before you even think about putting it to the side, take one every time you visit the range.
How would I do it?
I don’t like the .223 and certainly don’t like the AR platform, but I do (now) have one .223 that survived the recent sell off (I made a bit of coin off this panic and I am still selling and giving away) and it belongs to one of the small children. It is an SU16CA from Kel-tec, embarrassing for Rugar that Kel-tec can make a better rifle for less that uses standard magazines, and is more reliable than the jammin’ jenny and more accurate than the POS mini-14 junker.
I did chose to make .308 my standard rifle caliber, but if I were to do this from scratch now I would choose the 7.62x54r…
Why? budget, effectiveness.
I would get an auto-loading mag fed rifle and several turn bolt Mosin Nagant 91/30, 91/59 or M44 rifles (and they are drying up in supply fast).
For the autoloader I would most likely get the Romanian PSL junker with a scope for less than 800 bucks, then sell the scope and replace it with a little 2 or 4 power fixed scope. In fact thinking about this issue with a compatriot I seriously considered selling off my .308 rifle for the cash and getting an Romanian PSL and a SVT40 with a hand full of Mosin Nagant 91/30 rifles for throw-downs.
If the Yugoslavian M76 in 8mm Mauser was less expensive the same thing could be done with 8mm and some M24/47 Yugoslavian Mauser turn bolts, but the autoloader and the ammo is a bit high.
Regardless, keep at least 1000 rounds for each rifle of factory loaded ammo and ONLY shoot reloads you have made for that rifle, keep the factory ammunition for when the need arises.
The reason for the turn bolt in the mix is for several reasons, one is for reloading, if in the worst case you had to shoot black powder and lead bullets you can load black powder, lead bullets (even paper patched/paper jacketed) and even press out primers knock out the firing pin dent and fill them with two or three toy cap gun caps and have a turn bolt rifle that functions. Damn, I hope it never gets down to black powder!
Just some random thoughts about the current situation, trying to look at this without a sense of panic but rather logic. I am afraid that this will be the last reasonable and possible chance before the hammer falls, in just a few weeks the first panic will subside (as it is now) and the second one will hit mid January. I write this knowing I have what I think I need, but I would have liked to keep my habit of trying out new rifles…
More thoughts on a collection for preparedness and additions.
1. Caliber compatibility – the more weapons that share ammunition the easier it is to store and keep a handle on.
2. How is the caliber ranked for range and power? (suitability for large US game for hunting)
3. Is it suitable for reloading? (hand-loading used brass)
4. Is it readially available? (both weapons and ammunition)
5. What is the cost vs. value?
6. Are there auto-loading rifles and or magazines available in this caliber? (ten rounds and up)
7. Will there be sources of ammunition later and if not is this a concern?
8. Are reliable weapons with spare parts available (for spare/repair parts stocking)
9. Are they reasonably accurate? – 20 rounds 8 inches in less than two min. (That will kick out a bunch of rifles).
We are not talking about delusions of the mall ninjas – I for one will be bugging in place if the need arises. We want to think about how many uses this can be matched to and if they fit the needs of your area.
I hand-load/reload so even current availability issues are almost always limited to concerns pertaining to the availability of components rather than new or surplus ammunition.
I have posted before, pistols just don’t hold the same interest for me as rifles, I have them, I think they are necessary, but I don’t put much stock in them past that possible “oh, crap” situation – like an attempted car-jacking or similar problem, and as I said it would be a last resort only if the fear of harm is imminent and then “no sword is sheathed without drawing blood” concept applies – the proper tool at the proper time, only when needed.
I also was looking over the load books to confirm and here is the general run down I found (changes from book to book, but they generally follow this trend).
7.62x54R Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 3,000 ft/s
Energy 2,905 ft·lbf
The 7.92x57mm IS (8mm Mauser) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type (.323 inch) 181 gr
Velocity 2,700 ft/s
Energy 2,902 ft·lbf30-06 Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type 150 gr
Velocity 2,900 ft/s
Energy 2,820 ft·lbf
30-06 Ballistic performance (M2 ball cartridge)
Bullet weight/type 152 gr
Velocity 2,740 ft/s
Energy 2,650 ft·lbf
7.62×51 (.308) Ballistic performance
Bullet weight/type146.6 gr
Velocity 2,756 ft/s
Energy 2,472 ft·lbf
Note this information is for “time era” factory or surplus loadings, modern loads designed for modern powders in new manufacture bolt action rifles can “UP” the power of the 30-06 but this would be damaging or dangerous in the M1, M1917, or 03A3.
The two highest are 7.62x54R and 7.92×57 then 30-06 and then 7.62×51 – if you look at commercial .308 rather than 7.62×51 then you find that it comes within and in some cases surpass 30-06. (again this could be problematic or dangerous for weaker actions such as the M1a or older rifles like the Spanish 7.62×51 conversion Mausers)
The common thought out there is that 30-06 is the most potent, but the numbers prove that the Russian round is the hottest. Also contrary to popular misinformation .308 commercial rounds have a higher pressure and loading parameters than the NATO rounds and so would chart higher.
Using the basic thoughts and my already chosen calibers I was thinking about getting one of the new Remington .223 pump action rifles that takes an AR magazine and a .308 bolt action rifle from Savage. I would order both with iron sights, this would be the logical thing, but there is the CZ52 and the PPSH41 semi-auto I have been eyeballing (to satisfy my curiosity). Logic may prevail and I may get a second SU16CA as it is cheeper than the Remington, and I may get one or two of the Spanish Mausers in .308.
As to shotguns – I had forgotten to list them, you need one. I don’t have one for myself but, my wife has an 870 riot gun for home protection (yes it is hers, she made me buy one for her) and my oldest son has an 870 pump fitted with a slug barrel that has interchangeable choke tubes, both are 12 ga. and are in almost unused condition, simply because we don’t use them.
And a high power pellet rifle – I was never a good shot on the wing with a shotgun, but if it lights and I have a post and notch on it, it’s in the bag. I note the preponderance of pidgins in our area and in a pinch you would have a hard time telling the meat from a dove.