Survivalist Forum banner

1 - 20 of 46 Posts

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I’ve decided to buy a gun, how do I get started?

Deciding to buy a firearm can be overwhelming, or anti-climactic, depending on how you go about it. Trying to buy something you don’t understand is stressful , but you can change that.

So what do you do? I recommend first finding a gun range and take an NRA sanctioned safety course for beginners. I know, you’ve been told all your life that the NRA wants to kill and eat your children. Thats not the only thing “they” have lied to you about, but that’s for another day. The National Rifle Association is the premiere firearms safety and training organization. Almost every professional firearms instructor is Certified to teach by the NRA.

If you can’t afford a safety course, get on Youtube and watch every gun safety video you can. That is WAAAAY better than nothing and will at least give you a bit of a head start.

Hopefully, you can find a local range that rents a variety of different handguns and some will even rent rifles and carbines you can try. Rent some and shoot them. Decide for yourself which one fits your needs, then buy it. Then learn everything you can about maintaining it. Firearms are mechanical devices and MUST be maintained. If you can’t keep it in proper working order, it will fail you when you need it most.

What is the best gun for Survival purposes?

Simple answer, the one you have. Very rarely will you have time to “go get” your survival stuff. If its not on you when the SHTF, odds are you won’t have it. That goes for your knife, lighter, flash light, multi-tool etc. Have you ever tried to charge something and remembered you left your credit card at home? It will feel like that, only worse. Use the Forum “search” function and look up “EDC” (short for Every Day Carry). There will be a wealth of suggestions, many examples and even some pictures. We’ll get into this later.

What gun should I buy for a SHTF gun?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer for this one. This has been debated ad nauseam on this Forum and others. After almost 55 years of playing with firearms, here’s my suggestion;

The one you’re most comfortable with, shoot the best, and can maintain the best.

Kind of anti-climactic, huh? Well, this is the best suggestion I can provide. It will do no good to purchase a .44 Magnum revolver and expect your Wife, children or anyone that’s new to firearms to effectively use it. They won’t practice with it enough to be good with it, at least not in the first 10 or 20 years.

What should I start out with, a rifle, shotgun or a handgun?

Only you can answer that. What are you going to want it to do? The old gun store question “I’m going to Alaska to hunt Kodiak Grizzlies, but I’ll also want to hunt squirrels with it and by the way, I need to conceal carry it, too. What do you suggest?”

Establish what your needs are; do you want to use it as a CCW, do you want to defend your bug-out location, will you need to hunt with it, are you wanting to take 1000 yard shots at magpies pillaging your blackberry patch? Each use requires a different tool. Decide what your most common need is, and address that. Some choices are versatile, and can do different things. Others are specific, and somewhat limited in what they can do, but they’ll do the job they are designed for very, very well. You just need to know the limitations of your choice.

My friend told me to get a 22mm Boominticker, that’s what he uses.

To paraphrase the Legendary Col. Jeff Cooper, “Asking a friend what gun to use is like asking the bellboy what wine to have with dinner. He might know, but do you want to bet your life on it?”

Every single person that owns a firearm has a bias, whether it is because of his choice, favoritism or loyalty. “My Daddy showed me how to shoot when I was 3 with his 12ga.” Thats all fine and dandy, but might not be right for you. Question the motives of someone who offers a specific suggestion. Are they trying to sell you something? Are the trying to justify a bad decision they made? Or are they overstating their knowledge? This is another “you” decision.

What caliber is best for self defense?

Boy, if I had a dime for every word that’s been written on that subject. The best caliber? The one you can hit the target with every time you fire it. The old adage “ hits with a .22 are way better than miss’s with a .45” is very true. All the power in the world is wasted if you miss your target. And todays new bullets perform better than ever, with more consistent expansion and great penetration. But it all come down to hitting your target.

I like to sum it up this way; Accuracy is King. Penetration is Queen. Everything else is just Angels dancing on the heads of pins.

Ok, I’ve bought my new “Wonderboomer”, how often should I practice?

You should shoot 500-750 rounds per day for at least 3 years.

Are you done laughing yet? Shooting is like any other activity. Practice makes perfect. How long did it take you to master bowling? Tennis? Chess? That damn stair master at the gym?

No one is born a natural marksman. All of the great shooters from history had one thing in common. Practice. If you buy your firearm, shoot it a few times and lock it up in the closet, you might just as well not have bought it. You need to practice as much as you can, until you can perform at a level that is acceptable to you. That could be 50-100 rounds a week, or every 2 weeks, or every month. Only your life and your wallet get to choose your schedule. But you will need to practice. Figure that in to your cost.

In a perfect world, what should I have to cover all the bases in a SHTF situation?

Again, as many answers as the people you ask. Some will say a .22 rifle, because of the amount of ammo that can be stockpiled or carried along with the versatility. Others will insist it must be an AK47, AR15 etc. Some say it must be a pistol so it can be easily concealed. And they all have merit.

But once again, what will fit your needs? Will you be staying at your home and riding out the SHTF situation? Will you be heading to a bug-out location? How will you get there, riding or walking? Take my word for it, you don’t want to go on walk-about toting an M1a and 10 spare magazines.

Theres a lot to be said for the 3 gun battery, a rifle, shotgun and pistol. You would be well prepared if you had one of each available to you, with the intent to carry only 1 of the long guns if you have to travel anywhere on foot.

What is an "EDC"

EDC is an acronym for Every Day Carry and refers to the items you carry everyday. Some include their wallet, keys and change in this. Most refer to the items carried in relation to their Concealed Carry Weapon, CCW.

What should I carry for EDC?

You should carry what you need, and what you think you might need, within reason.
“With in reason?”
Yes. If you are not walking through Death Valley in some ‘Stan, you won’t need a plate carrier, 6 magazines and an M4. Tailor your choices to the environment you’re going to be in. If you feel a threat level increase because of a destination you’re going to out of your normal comfort zone, adjust accordingly.

For me, in addition to my keys, wallet and money clip, my CCW, a spare magazine, an auto-opening pocket knife (legal where I live because I have a Concealed Weapons Permit. Know your local laws.), and a multi-tool (Leatherman REV) are with me from the time I put my pants on until I take them off at night. I state this as an example, and in no way suggest this would be right for you. Only you can decide what’s right for you. If you search “EDC” on the forum, you will get some ideas of how diverse the Members are in their choices for EDC.

Some safety tips by Mr. Sockpuppet;

ALWAYS Keep The Gun Pointed In A Safe Direction
This is the primary rule of gun safety. Common sense dictates the safest direction, depending on different circumstances.

ALWAYS Keep Your Finger Off The Trigger Until Ready To Shoot
When holding a gun, rest your finger alongside the frame and outside the trigger guard. Until you are actually ready to fire, do not touch the trigger.

ALWAYS Keep The Gun Unloaded Until Ready To Use
If you do not know how to open the action or inspect the chamber(s), leave the gun alone and get help from someone who does.

Know your target and what is beyond.
Be absolutely sure you have identified your target beyond any doubt. Equally important, be aware of the area beyond your target. This means observing your prospective area of fire before you shoot. Never fire in a direction in which there are people or any other potential for mishap. Think first. Shoot second.

Know how to use the gun safely.
Before handling a gun, learn how it operates. Know its basic parts, how to safely open and close the action and remove any ammunition from the gun or magazine. Remember, a gun's mechanical safety device is never foolproof. Nothing can ever replace safe gun handling.

Be sure the gun is safe to operate.
Just like other tools, guns need regular maintenance to remain operable. Regular cleaning and proper storage are a part of the gun's general upkeep. If there is any question concerning a gun's ability to function, a knowledgeable gunsmith should look at it.

Use only the correct ammunition for your gun.
Only BBs, pellets, cartridges or shells designed for a particular gun can be fired safely in that gun. Most guns have the ammunition type stamped on the barrel. Ammunition can be identified by information printed on the box and sometimes stamped on the cartridge. Do not shoot the gun unless you know you have the proper ammunition.

Wear eye and ear protection as appropriate.
Guns are loud and the noise can cause hearing damage. They can also emit debris and hot gasses that could cause eye injury. For these reasons, shooting glasses and hearing protection should be worn by shooters and spectators.

Never use alcohol, or mind altering over-the-counter/prescription drugs when handling firearms.
Alcohol, as well as any other substance likely to impair normal mental or physical bodily functions, must not be used before or while handling or shooting guns.

Store guns so they are not accessible to unauthorized persons.
Many factors must be considered when deciding where and how to store guns. A person's particular situation will be a major part of the consideration. Dozens of gun storage devices, as well as locking devices that attach directly to the gun, are available. However, mechanical locking devices, like the mechanical safeties built into guns, can fail and should not be used as a substitute for safe gun handling and the observance of all gun-safety rules.

Additional Safety Precautions
Be aware that certain types of guns and many shooting activities require additional safety precautions.

Cleaning
Regular cleaning is important in order for your gun to operate correctly and safely. Taking proper care of it will also maintain its value and extend its life. Your gun should be cleaned every time that it is used.
A gun brought out of prolonged storage should also be cleaned before shooting. Accumulated moisture and dirt, or solidified grease and oil, can prevent the gun from operating properly.
Before cleaning your gun, make absolutely sure that it is unloaded. The gun's action should be open during the cleaning process. Also, be sure that no ammunition is present in the cleaning area.
A .22LR round is great for rabbit, and a .308 for deer, but the calibers are not interchangeable for either, and for a number of good reasons.

Handguns may be fine instruments for everyday carry and convenience, but are generally outperformed by rifles and shotguns.

A firearm is not a substitute for the application of good sense.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
69 Posts
Very good points and write up.

The only thing I would add is talk about caliber commonality/availability, and firearm part availability/commonality. As well as ammo/magazine interchangeability with others around you.

As preppers we need to standardize on as few of calibers as possible and have a lot of those calibers stocked, and of course have capable firearms chambered in those rounds.
 

·
Always Loaded
Joined
·
2,184 Posts
I think the best advice for 90% of people is a reputable 9MM handgun. After that it depends on taste and finances. A firearm that will always be with you is slightly better than a rifle that is somewhere in the house.
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
I think the best advice for 90% of people is a reputable 9MM handgun. After that it depends on taste and finances. A firearm that will always be with you is slightly better than a rifle that is somewhere in the house.
The human critter is not a "one size fits all". While a 9mm is a good choice for some, so is the .38spl, .380 .40S&W, 10 mm or 45acp. Only you can decide what's best for you, if you're buying. If someone else is buying, I'll take two.
 

·
Tin Can Sailor
Joined
·
3,224 Posts
I think the best advice for 90% of people is a reputable 9MM handgun. After that it depends on taste and finances. A firearm that will always be with you is slightly better than a rifle that is somewhere in the house.
Assuming it's legal in your area, probably +95% of people would be more than well armed with a 9mm Glock and 5.56mm AR-15.

That combo may not be the best for a specific situation, but should be good enough for almost anything.
 

·
Freedom Freeloader
Joined
·
432 Posts
I better just get a revolver; don't think I could hand one of those anti-climatic guns.

Seriously, good post, OP.

Sent from my XT1650 using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
443 Posts
As a novice, I would say the following. Guns are a little like motorcycles. It's probably better to start out small and practice the basics with something you can easily manage and isn't expensive to own and operate. Then, if you've take a liking to it, invest in bigger, more powerful and more costly equipment.

Also, whatever your budget is, spend a portion on it on a lock box or gun safe. And if you got kids in the house, plan to spend more than you would otherwise and take extra steps to protect them. Perhaps store ammo in an ammo box with a small lock, for extra redundancy and/or get trigger locks.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,365 Posts
Also, whatever your budget is, spend a portion on it on a lock box or gun safe. And if you got kids in the house, plan to spend more than you would otherwise and take extra steps to protect them. Perhaps store ammo in an ammo box with a small lock, for extra redundancy and/or get trigger locks.
I collect old stuff, I like having it out to see. I also have grandkids, and my son had friends that came over to play, back when he was not a college student.

ALL of my guns that aren’t on my body or in a locked container have trigger guards on them.

People get bent out of shape when you mention trigger locks, thinking they are supposed to stop thieves. Nope. They are to prevent people from pulling the trigger. Nothing else.

I buy them by the dozen, I prefer the combo type, I set all of mine to the same combo.
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
As a novice, I would say the following. Guns are a little like motorcycles. It's probably better to start out small and practice the basics with something you can easily manage and isn't expensive to own and operate. Then, if you've take a liking to it, invest in bigger, more powerful and more costly equipment.

Also, whatever your budget is, spend a portion on it on a lock box or gun safe. And if you got kids in the house, plan to spend more than you would otherwise and take extra steps to protect them. Perhaps store ammo in an ammo box with a small lock, for extra redundancy and/or get trigger locks.
Some folks will not like this, but if you have children in your home and firearms, train your children in firearm safety.

DO NOT CREATE THE "AIR OF MYSTERY" AROUND FIREARMS!!!

Children are naturally curious. If you make firearms mysterious and awful you can just about guarantee your child will explore that awful mysterious thing Dad hides under the bed.
 

·
MortarMaggot
Joined
·
3,280 Posts
Some folks will not like this, but if you have children in your home and firearms, train your children in firearm safety.

DO NOT CREATE THE "AIR OF MYSTERY" AROUND FIREARMS!!!

Children are naturally curious. If you make firearms mysterious and awful you can just about guarantee your child will explore that awful mysterious thing Dad hides under the bed.
Yep. I always let my kids watch me clean, reload etc. Answered whatever questions they had & let them hold them when I was done cleaning. Let them know that as long as they asked 1st the wife or I would let them look at them, look/hold not play with. When they got old enough to ask & answer questions I'd take them out to the range with a few water jugs & melons to show them what happens when you shoot something. I would make sure they understood what would happen if that was a person or a pet, etc. When something is a mystery it's an irresistible attractions for a kid. I grew up from as early as I can remember with guns everywhere & it never occurred to me to use one when I wasn't supposed to or in a way I wasn't supposed to. When I was in H.S. & during football season a bunch of us had shotguns in our vehicles & nobody cared. One of the guys got a new shotgun & was showing it to 1/2 the team & coaches but nobody thought it strange. If my kids tried that today? Holy hell they'd call in SWAT, FBI, ATF & who knows who else. :mad:
 

·
Curmudgeon
Joined
·
1,691 Posts
Discussion Starter #20
This is also the reason I'm against starting children out on .22's. I know, I know, pluck the chickens and boil the tar.

A .22 is easy to fire. Absolutely no recoil, sound isn't deafening and the rounds come in boxes of 500. Usually, when a child is shooting a .22, you have to stop them. They can do it all day long, and now that they know how, do they really have to wait for you?

Start them out with a .410 or 20ga. (I prefer a youth model 20ga.) Even if its just mowing down grass or something similar, let them shoot until they say "I'm done!". And they will. They've experienced the recoil and the concussion, and when they are ready to walk away, you'll never have to worry about them getting and shooting it when you're not there. Then introduce them to .22's.
 
1 - 20 of 46 Posts
Top