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117 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Since I own a copy of The classic "survival guns" by Mel Tappin I figured that I would put up some of his basic recommendations on a survival battery for those who want to know. Before I do however I should point out that his book was written in the late 70's and things are different now. No longer is the 1911 the only reliable semi auto out there. Bullet technology is also much, much better. Most quality "name Brand" pistols will feed anything you put in them right out of the box. It is sad that some people keep insisting that the things that Tappin wrote are like a holy writ without acknowledging the advances in technology that we have today. Ok here we go. (I am paraphrasing and these are not his exact list as he said everyone is different and the list I am giving is just a basic starting point.)

The basic survival battery listed in "survival Guns" should include (per person)

One Fighting Rifle per person and a spare for every two people.
One fighting Handgun per / spare every two people
Combat shotgun every person (cant remember if spare for every two for this one also)
Working Rifle for every person spare every two.
Working handgun every person spare every two.
Small back up style handgun for every person
.22 Rimfire every person
.22 Handgun every person.
A few "special purpose" guns such as air rifles, black powder, combo guns, and a few cheap single shot shotguns.
If you are a bow hunter he advises you to keep any spare parts needed to keep your bow running, with enough arrows and broad heads.

Mel's definition of "working" firearms is what you would expect. It the revolver you use for snakes, and foxes. The "working" rifle or shotgun is the one you use for hunting large game, shooting varmints. Working guns are (according to mel) never expected to be used for defense (though most modern hunting rifles would make pretty good sniper rifles). Mel also was 100% against the idea of a revolver for defense. His argument was what in a survival TSHTF situation you will likely face multiple opponents and that a revolver just is not fast enough to reload. OK he also is really not a fan of handguns other than the .45 acp in auto pistols. His argument is that the others are not reliable enough for defense. Well since his untimely death new products have come out. The Glock, Sig and H&K pistols to name just a few. I never knew Mel, however for reading his works I think that he would have really liked the Glock's. He seemed to be a fan of anything that WORKED!

So with the advances on firearms, and bullets, and considering what is now legal, and available to people I changed things a little.

Fighting Rifle every person / spare every two.
Fighting Handgun every person / spare every two.
Hunting / marksman rifle every two
Combat shotgun every two people
Hunting shotgun every four people
.22 rifle every four people
.22 pistol every four people
A few special purpose guns for the group. Basicly firearms or bows, that the person already has, that sometimes may be used to harvest game, improve shooting skills, and protect livestock and the like.

Now my list is smaller, because I don't think that everyone needs both a hunting and combat shotgun. In fact get an 870 with a tube extension and two barrels and you are good. I don't think that a shotgun with its limited range and heavy ammo is as useful as say an AR15, or M1a. You may think differantly.
As I said above most hunting rifles today are very accurate. Many (such as savage) will shot less than 1.5 moa out of the box. Now I don't know about you but I don't do less then 1.5 MOA myself most days. To be really honest I am about a 2 MOA shooter. Still that means that I can reliably put shots in a human torso out to 600 meters. Anything longer than that I hope I have someone with me that can shoot better. (and be honest people how many of you have and can everyday, with every shot shoot better then 1.5 MOA?) So I figure that my hunting rifle can fill in as a marksman rifle if needed. Now if you are a trained sniper, or really good long range shoot then buy all means get yourself a rig that can do everything you can ask of it.

Fighting Rifles, well most of us have an ideal fighting rifle. Some of you like the AK 47 / 74 platform (commies :D:). I know others that like the M1a or the Ar15. Let me tell you what I did. I myself like the AR15 platform. I build them, and I tune them and all of my professional gun carrying time was spent with one of them. So I have the AR15 (or a few), but I also know that there are some things that the 5.56 does not do so well. Its not real great with the terminal ballistics past about 400. It does not punch through car bodies very well. SO I got the fighting rifle for every person, but the spare for every two I use rifles in the bigger 7.62x51 caliber. I figure for something like a road block, or shooting into cover sometimes the .308 just works. It also hit harder, and at longer ranges I feel the need for more. So I have an M1a set up as a long range semi auto marksman rifle. If I want it for more of an infantry rifle I can just pull the scope and bi pod off and there we go. So in my house the AR15 for every person is covered, then if needed we have 7.62 semi auto rifles. (I also have lots, and lots of spare AR15 parts, so they will not ever be down fro long.)
Because I just like guns I also have "special purpose guns" that can in a pinch fill in a fighting rifles. I have both the M1 carbine, and the M1 Garand, that if someone I trust shows up without a rifle I can arm them with those. (talk about a great gun for an over watch or road block the M1 Garand in my mind is perfect for that!)

The combat handgun. This one is a little weird, I know that many people have solid opinions about these, but i'll tell you what we do here. I have a very admitted bias for Sig Sauer Pistols. SO when the lady of the house got to choose a gun I tried to give her all the options. I really really tried to get her to like the Glocks, or anything. She refused, she says that only the Sigs (and a few H&Ks) fit her hands. So because she is a gun snob I had to get more sigs. She really likes my P229r 9 mm so I went and got another P226 (i had one in .40 / .357 sig already) in 9 mm. For those of you that don't know the sig magazines for the p226 fit in the smaller p228/ p229 if they are the same caliber. So I can carry the P226 9 mm and she can have the P229 and she can use my magazines if necessary. The same system works with Glock pistols. If you wife likes the G26 or G19 and you like the G17 or G34 the mags will fit. (the bigger mags just hang out of the smaller guns).

For those of you that like the 1911 platform you can get a commander 1911 for ccw and then a full size for TSHTF, but I an sure you knew that.

Working Handguns: Well what can I say here, I am not against the revolver for defense as much as Mel, but I can see some of the draw backs. But for those of you that like the wheel gun, and shoot it well, use it. I for a short time carried a .44 mag in the wilderness of Alaska. Then I conceded that I can't shoot it for crap.( its a Smtih & wesson Performance Center .44 mag, and its for sale if anyone wants it.) I am just not really good with a revolver. I figured that hits are far better than missing so I started to carry my P226 in .357 Sig. I loaded it with FMJ and had two spare mags. One mag would stay loaded with defense ammo for use against people. I could accuratly place many rounds in a small target from the gun. Now the .357 sig may not be your idea of bear protection, but remember then I always carried a rifle, and two missing with the .44 (or even worse wounding) does not do much. (Alaska is not the place to be unarmed so most times my rifle was a .338 win mag, or a .30-06). Point of all this is that a working gun only helps if you can shoot it, and a defensive handgun also has to hit something to help. Carry what you can shoot, and then always have it with you.

On the .22 and bows, well if you don't have a .22 you need a couple. most useful guns out there. If you calculate the weight of meat per oz of shell weight a .22 gets you more game than a shotgun most of the time. I know I have something against shotguns. I can't help it, but don't worry I have a few and maybe someday I will learn how to use them! :)

I hope this informed some of you and if you ever see a copy of "survival guns" pick it up, you will enjoy it. Just remember when it was written and you will learn stuff. I know I did

Super Moderator
12,373 Posts
I read the book way back when it first came out and it has influenced me ever since. But I seldom take anyone's opinion as gospel, and check things out on my own, based on that opinion. So I came up with my own set of firearms.

My planned firearms battery and why:
(I have some of these, but by no means all. And some of them are more or less wish-for items I may never be able to afford.)

1. Main Battle Rifle (MBR) - .308 in a folding stock PTR-91. .308 because it will do just about everything the M-16/M-4, AK-47/74, and SKS platforms in 5.56, 7.62x39, 5.45x39 will, just not quite as well for a couple of things, plus it can do things those platforms and cartridges can’t. Can also hunt most North American big game, and small game with .32 ACP adapters. PTR-91 because it is somewhat cheaper than the competitors and the magazines (right now, anyway) are only $2 - $6 for good used alloy ones. Next choice is M1A, but it is more expensive all the way around. Minimum of 3 load outs of magazines, dependent on your LBE. 1,000 rounds per gun.

Many will say you don't need an MBR round in urban areas because of ranges. I disagree. There are long open stretches along streets, and if the attackers have long range weapons and you don't, you are pretty much out of luck and can be harassed until the attackers get close enough to take you out. Plus the penetration is much better with .308 for those that think they are under cover when it is only concealment to the .308. (Have)

Why no light combat rifle? (M-16/M-4 types, AK-47/74 types, and SKS platforms in 7.62x39, 6.8, 6.5, 5.56, 5.45x39) They tend to be lighter than MBRs, but only somewhat for some of them. Others are quite a bit lighter, as is the ammunition. One can carry more ammunition, yes. But it is not as effective as .308 by a long shot. Doesn’t have the range, when needed, of the .308. And though one can carry more ammunition with the lighter calibers, it boils down to how many targets can you successfully engage with that ammunition load? Where it often takes 2, 3, 4, or more rounds of 5.56 to successfully engage and put down an attacker due to cover, body armor, deflection of the round, and several other reasons, 1 or 2, occasionally 3 rounds of .308 is likely to take down that same adversary. 210 rounds standard load, divided by 3 is 70 targets engaged. 180 rounds (my standard load of .308 for the PTR-91) divided by 2 is 90 targets engaged. Now, there are a tremendous number of variables when it comes to targets engaged. But in aimed, controlled fire, I think the .308 has the lead. In spray and pray, or heavy suppressive fire, the 5.56 et al probably do.

2. Primary self defense handgun - .45 ACP in Glock 21SF. .45 ACP because it will get the job done quiet effectively with reliable FMJ rounds with moderate recoil in a practical size. Readily available ammunition. Glock 21SF for magazine capacity in .45 ACP and low cost. Next choice is ParaOrdnance P-14, but it is more expensive all the way around. (Have) 12 magazines. Minimum of 500 rounds.

3. Dual purpose shotgun – 12 gauge in Remington 11-87 26” barrel w/Poly-choke and various tactical accessories. 12 gauge because of readily available ammunition, it is most effective in most situations including hunting. 11-87 because it is semi-auto which helps reduce recoil, can use many different loads due to the gas system (26” barrels up only. Short barrels don’t have the gas compensation system), and is faster on follow-up aimed shots than pumps for most people. Next choice is the same gun w/o the tactical additions. (Have) Minimum of 500 rounds mixed 00 buck/slugs, 500 rounds mixed hunting rounds.

4. Sniping/hunting gun – Remington 700 .30-’06 with Bushnell Elite 4200 2.5-10 x 40mm. .30-’06 will take all but the largest most dangerous game at long range. Adequate sniping weapon at ranges up to ~600 yards. Availability of ammunition. Can use .32 ACP for small game very quietly with chamber adapter. Why .30-’06 instead of .308? Because it gives two calibers, both of which are acceptable hunting and defense calibers. Ammunition for hunting would be purchased for either weapon, so you would have the same number of rounds in either case. 5 magazines, 400 rounds sniping rounds, 400 rounds mixed hunting rounds.

5. Hideout handgun - .32 ACP in Beretta Tomcat. .32 ACP because it is useable in .30 caliber rifles as a small game load with the use of chamber adapters. Minimum power for self defense in semi-auto pistols. Tomcat because of its small size, quality, and price. (Have) 9 magazines. 250 defensive rounds, 250 for hunting in the .30-'06.

6. Secondary self defense handgun - .45 ACP in Glock 30SF. Slightly smaller package that will take 9 & 10 round magazines for better concealment plus Model 21 13-round magazines. Next Choice is ParaOrdnance P-10 Warthog, but it is more expensive all the way around. (have) 2 9-round, 4 10-round, 6 additional 21 SF 13-round magazines. Additional 250 rounds ammunition.

7. Dangerous/large game/light anti-materiel rifle - .375 H&H Magnum in Remington 700 bolt action. .375 H&H magnum for availability, and proven record on big, dangerous game. Moderately effective anti-material round. Better dual purpose round than smaller rounds and the bigger magnums because of recoil, availability, and cost. Remington 700 because of price and the fact that it is repeater, which is important in big/dangerous game and anti-material use. (Want) 5 magazines. 400 rounds anti-material rounds, 200 hunting rounds.

8. Hand-out gun(s) – Auto Ordnance.30 Carbine in M1 Carbine. .30 Carbine because it is small and light, works in a small frame box magazine semi-auto gun, has ballistics at 200 yards slightly better than .357 Magnum at the muzzle. M1 Carbine because it is light, handy, easy to handle, and more accurate in unskilled hands than a full power handgun or rifle. Also not too expensive for the carbines, magazines, and ammunition. (Want) 30 15-round magazines per gun, 1,000 rounds defensive rounds per gun, 200 hunting rounds for the .30-'06

8. Personal Defense Weapon (PDR) – PDR for primarily non-combatants. Same as the hand-out gun for all the same reasons. Small enough and light enough to keep slung when doing many tasks, unlike full power weapons. Pistols are ‘handier’ in that they are smaller and lighter, but inexperienced shooters seem to handle a light carbine more effectively than a pistol. 30 15-round magazines per gun, 1,000 rounds defensive rounds per gun.

8. Get-home-bag/trunk gun –Again the .30 Carbine, this time with a folding stock. For most of the same reasons above. There are guns that compact as much or more than a folding stock .30 Carbine, but most have a much larger profile and the gun and ammunition are heavier and bulkier. Some that seem ideal I don’t trust to be reliable. (Not a BOB or GOOD or INCH bag – they call for an MBR in my opinion) 30 15-round magazines per gun, 1,000 rounds defensive rounds per gun.

9. Long Ranger sniper/anti-material rifle – Vigilance VR-1 .408 Cheytac because of its effectiveness at long ranges for both anti-personnel and anti-materiel sniping. VR-1 because it’s light for the caliber (18#), semi-auto. .408 Cheytac due to its effectiveness compared to the .50 BMG and .416 Barrett, and the fact that it is available in lighter and easier to handle weapons. (Out of my price range at the moment) (Want) 5 magazines. 600 rounds of ammunition

Why no .22 LR or other rimfires – Simply because they cannot be reloaded. When you’re out of ammunition, you are out of ammunition. They are so common that finding one post-disaster shouldn’t be much of a problem. Same with the ammunition early on, and then, when it’s all gone, they aren’t useable. The .30 M1 Carbines can do pretty much substitute for a .22 rim fire rifle or carbine will do and the rounds are reloadable.

10. Black powder cartridge arms - .45-70 in Marlin 1895, .45 Colt in Ruger New Model Blackhawk Convertible, .32-20 in Ruger Blackhawk & Marlin 1894 rifle. .45-70 because it is the most plentiful of the big bore black powder cartridges is powerful enough for any American big game at short ranges. Marlin because of quality. .45 Colt because it is the most common powerful black powder hand gun cartridge easily available. Ruger for the same reason as the Marlin. .32-20 because it is a better small game cartridge than the .45-70 or .45 Colt, and available in Ruger and Marlin firearms. (Want) 1,000 rounds each caliber each gun.

11. Blackpowder muzzle loaders - .58 caliber flintlock rifle, .58 caliber flintlock handgun (x3), .32 flintlock rifle, 12 gauge flintlock shotgun. Flintlock because black powder, including ffff for priming, can be made, and bullets cast from scrap lead. .58 caliber rifle and pistol for bullet interchangeability. Any good quality brand for availability, quality, and cost. .32 for small game, 12 gauge for maximum power. (Want) Loading supplies for 1,000 shots each caliber for each gun.

Just my opinion.

5,208 Posts
I own "Survival Guns" also and agree with basic basic calculation (not 62 gun battery). I also agree with JDY on semi-auto shotgun versus pump but for a different reason. Now, there happened a revolutionary change since the seventies, significantly affecting both choice of guns and the tactics: the armor. It is no longer reasonable to shoot to center of mass, pistol or rifle. So, 600 yard rifle is now 300 yards. In many areas, 5.56 rifle has a range not much more than 150 yards (due to wind deflection). And the cost of both hard and soft armor now is negligible, so millions of people would have them.

10,017 Posts
I agree with much of your post. While I'm a S&W M&P fan I do think the bulk of the defensive handguns should be metal framed. Polymers just aren't as "fixable".
Respectfully, they aren't as breakable, either. You don't check a Glock for frame-cracks around the slide-stop hole (aka locking block, on a Glock, I guess?) like you do a 1911 at 15-25K rounds.

62 Posts
That's a lot of money to spend on firearms better spent towards food/water or land payment.

One rifle/shotgun and handgun should be sufficient for most needs. Perhaps a 22 would make a very useful addition. The concept of working rifle and fighting rifle is a little confusing. When your out hunting or working is the time your most suseptible to attack. If my working gun wasn't capable of being used as a fighting rifle I wouldn't have it in the first place.

All things considered having a lot of guns is never a bad thing. Just spend the money proportionately.

5,606 Posts
Respectfully, they aren't as breakable, either. You don't check a Glock for frame-cracks around the slide-stop hole (aka locking block, on a Glock, I guess?) like you do a 1911 at 15-25K rounds.
Nope, not the 15K round count, but you should start looking around the locking block for cracking when you reach the 15 year mark.

The frame cracking above the 1911 slide stop cut is nothing in reality. There's a reason Colt and other makers have left that part of the rail out of modern produced handguns, it really does nothing. The frame cracks above the cut, you remove the area and the problem is gone and doesn't return.

And the metal frame guns are truly more 'fixable' and repairable, I have a early
'70's Combat Commander that had a nice crack at the recoil shield portion of the dust cover, as will all those that are run with cut/weak springs, steel or aluminum.
With the help of a master welder, the crack was TIG'd up and some 6000 rounds later the frame is going strong.

Properly maintained, with proper springs, a steel framed gun will outlast (time) the polymer framed gun.

I had a Les Baer vintage ('89-'90) Springer custom shop 1911 race gun, it had some 125-150K rounds through it when I picked it up. It was nicely broken in. I put some 25K+ rounds of jacketed ammo through it and probably another 125K of lead bullet loads (I used to keep primer box ends to keep track). The barrel looked like it was polygonal rifled and it wouldn't shoot into 6" at 25Y.
With a new barrel fitted, and the customary spring changes at the proper intervals, it's again shooting into 4" at 50Y normally with good ammo, and just as tight as the day I picked it up. It's current owner is trying his best to shoot out the new barrel.

I can see the gun still being in use in use in 50+ years.
I've seen enough @20 year old Glocks with frame cracks, that while I can accept them for short term/high round use, their long term life is beyond suspect.

2,513 Posts
Way Too Many Guns And Nothing Else

He also was to supposed to have said that all you need in SHTF is guns and ammo and nothing else because the guns will take care of all the rest. Kinda scary thinking if you ask me. A predator mind set? Perhaps. Others may have different memories.

He also was fiddling to a high income news letter client list, (Survival Tomorrow?) who imagined that all SHTF concerns or worries could be easily fixed by just throwing guns, gadgets or money at it. FWIW and IMHO only. HB of CJ (old coot)

5,606 Posts
He also was to supposed to have said that all you need in SHTF is guns and ammo and nothing else because the guns will take care of all the rest. Kinda scary thinking if you ask me. A predator mind set? Perhaps. Others may have different memories.

He also was fiddling to a high income news letter client list, (Survival Tomorrow?) who imagined that all SHTF concerns or worries could be easily fixed by just throwing guns, gadgets or money at it. FWIW and IMHO only. HB of CJ (old coot)
Actually if you read "Tappan on Survival", and his newsletter (remember those?) he advocated more than just guns and ammo. And even in "Survival Guns", he stated that the wise will stockpile a substantial supply of storable food (P.3), and spoke of growing/raising food and animals.

Tappan put more time and effort defining firearm needs than any other writer of the day. And as such, he put that information into a single book, which while dated is still viable and worth reading.

And again, while dated, the weapons and ammunition recommended still work today. His recommendation of the pre-64 Winchester Model 70 over other rifles is still a valid recommendation, as the parts are less likely to have the issues that other rifles commonly have.

Here's a bit of reading for you. on Survival.pdf

Tappan may have appreciated some of the modern guns, but I feel that he would have remained with many of his choices including the 1911 as to many there are still no more effective choices, just different ones.

Happy to be here!
5,114 Posts
I’m in the process of putting together fighting systems for my family of 4. There’s a lot more to it than what it appears to be on the surface. We’re going the rout of standardization, meaning everyone has the same gear. It’s very tricky finding effective gear that works for an entire family of 4. It’s also very expensive.
1) 4 quality fighting rifles- $4,000
2) At least 10 mags per rifle -$600
3) At least 1000 rounds per rifle- $2,000
4) LBEs in order to carry all the rifle’s support gear- $250
5) Spare parts, cleaning kits, slings- $250
So we’re at $7,600 spent on just the rifles, and we haven’t even looked into red dot sights, mounted flashlights, ect. The process starts all over again with each firearm added. Then we get into a safe that’s big enough to house all these guns. Anyhow, my point was that it’s a great idea that I’m actually working towards, but the reality is fraught with problems and is financially prohibitive. It ain’t easy.

224 Posts
I read his book and liked it also. I agree with the OP that there have been many improvements in guns, and especially bullets since he wrote his book. I have more faith in the 357 and 9mm with modern bullets than he did for sure. Anyway, he has some good ideas. My version I'd like to reach someday is

Long Range
Pair of bolt action 270 rifles with detachable magazines and good 4.5-14 or 4-12x optics & BDC reticles. One light barreled for scouting/hunting and one heavier barreled for defense/stand hunting (barrel heats up slower for more shots before it begins walking bullets.) I have a real light hunting one now, and a mid-weight one without a detachable magazine. Plus I have reloading equipment and components for them.

Defensive rifles
Pair of AR carbines with 1-4x scopes with lighted reticles & tritium back-up irons. They work without batteries, can be shot with both eyes open up close or zoomed in for accuracy at longer ranges. Right now I have a 7615 pump rifle with a 1.25-4x Leupold VX-R scope as one instead of a second AR.

Handout/back-up rifles
Pair of SKS carbines w/ 10 stripper clips per gun. Nothing fancy, just stock SKS rifles zeroed with the iron sights and a couple hundred rounds each. Good for back-up or barter. I also have a 30-30 lever action with a good 1-4x scope that would probably fit in this category.

22 rifles
Have a pair of Marlin 60's with 2-7x scopes. Also have a 10-22 with several mags and a trigger kit I use most, keep the Marlins in the safe.

Working guns
Pair of 357 lever action rifles and revolvers with speed loaders. These are the handy guns to pack around working. These can handle any size game in my area with the right ammo, light 38spl for small game or hot 357 for deer/defense. Also they don't draw the attention an AR would. For any trip further from home I'd want someone packing the lighter 270 also. The AR and SKS rifles I'd want to stay at the BOL for defense as they can be loaded much quicker. If we encountered trouble scouting the objective would be to get out of there. I want the best defensive rifles to guard the fixed location. The 30-30 lever gun would be a good one for a scout also with it's low power scope that allows fast shooting with both eyes open. Also it's the only gun I have that uses the limited amount of 30-30 I have so it would be more expendable than the others.

Get Home guns
I like the little Rossi 357 lever gun and Ruger Security six for my road trip bag. Neither gun is real expensive if something happens, both are accurate and reliable. The stock comes off the Rossi by removing one screw with my multi-tools and it will then conceal in my bag. The versatility of being able to take small game with light loads or deer/defense with heavier loads is handy here also.

I have a Beretta semi-auto hunting shotgun and a Remington 870 with a 21" turkey barrel and 8 shot extension. The shotguns have a limited place in my plans so I'm fine with that. I also have a single shot in 12, 20, and 410 gauge I accumulated over time so I can use any ammo.

Defensive handguns
I have a couple Sig 226's one in 9mm and one in 40S&W. I also have a 22LR conversion to fit either of them. I want to add a second 9mm conversion so I can share ammo/magazines between the two. The "working gun" 357 revolvers can round out the mix going to whoever is packing the lever actions.

Repair kits
I have a Sig spring kit, AR repair kit, and spare magazine extension spring for the 870

As a hunter I have other rifles that are specialized for big game hunting that would have a limited role in my preps. My bolt action varmint and hunting rifles I'm only going to stock so much ammo or components for. My list is to long as it is and could be shortened but I like all the guns I currently have. The guns I'd plan to rely on are 270 win/223/357/9mm/22LR. If I was starting over today I'd have to look hard at a simpler list of 270/7.62x39/40S&W/22LR. With todays ammo pricing that list would be more cost effective, although the effective range of the defensive rifles would be shorter. When I started though 9mm was considerably cheaper than 40S&W, and 223 hollow point ammo wasn't much higher than 7.62x39.

143 Posts
Although I don't believe a "main battle rifle" is necessary in my situation I own one semi-auto "battle" rifle. If I have to shoot someone who is a threat they will have to be:
1. close enough that I could take them out with a 22
2. a group of people that I would take out long before they got close enough to use my "MBR" on them.

My situation is almost ideal because I have enough clear area around my home that nobody will sneak up on me. I know a vehicle is coming before they know there is a home there. If they are on foot and on the wrong side of the fence then my dogs will take care of them or let me know they are coming.

I suppose a drone or helicopter could get close enough to get to me but I don't see that as a real threat - if it comes to that then I will have to use some other means to handle it.

Premium Member
13,312 Posts
just had to post this from Tappan

[*Mel wrote this in August, 1980.]
''To round out the picture, you may want to recall that the federal government is presently
spending more of your money on public education than ever before, yet increasing numbers
of high school graduates are functionally illiterate. There are more government social
programs paying more benefits to more people than at any other time in history, yet the
recipients' demands are escalating and so is the level of violence with which these
demands are underlined. Crime, especially violent crime, is setting new records and we are
just beginning to see terrorism expand in this country as it has in Europe.
However unsatisfactory our present national status may be -- and it is considerably worse
than this brief recital may indicate -- it is obviously tolerable. More Americans have
enough food on their tables, the telephones work, there are no riots in the streets --
except occasionally -- over 90 percent of the work force is employed and there is still a
measure of individual freedom here that surpasses that of any other nation on earth. The
nature of our malaise, however, is not static and our condition is on the verge of
becoming critical.

Either by sinister design or by incredible stupidity, the fools and scoundrels we have
elected to represent us in government have debauched our currency, crippled our economy
and driven us to bankruptcy. As if that weren't enough, they have created a vast army of
bureaucrats -- unelected and virtually untouchable -- to implement their will: a faceless
horde that can create rules with the force of law simply by recording them in the Federal
Register. It is through this means that government has reached into almost every phase of
our private and professional lives to interfere in ways that elected officials would never
dare to do directly, and it is through this means that the vigorous free market which
built this country has become so fettered that it will not be able to save us from the
impact of more than 40 years of unwise government social engineering and economic meddling.''

on topic,
our current tool kit: 1 .22lr rifle, 2 45acp handguns, 2 30tok handguns, 1 .380 hideout, 2 7.62 nato rifles, 3 7.62x54r rifles, 1 30/30 rifle, 2 20ga shotguns, 1 12ga shotgun, 1 specialty handgun 7.62x39 mini-draco.....all steel no polymer.

203 Posts
There's to much stuff on this list. I just need one handgun, I carry full sized everyday. I just need 2 rifles. 556 for the city, as I don't want to over penetrate and 308 for long shots.

I never understood the shotgun craze but we have one all the same.

free man
626 Posts
There's to much stuff on this list. I just need one handgun, I carry full sized everyday. I just need 2 rifles. 556 for the city, as I don't want to over penetrate and 308 for long shots.

I never understood the shotgun craze but we have one all the same.
2 is 1.. 1 is none.. I'd feel completely naked going into any coming hard times with only 1 handgun. Same with only 2 rifles. That leaves zero room for confiscation, loss of a weapon, theft, mechanical defect, no option of loaning out to a family member, etc. I, more options then that. But thats just me.

58 Posts
Interesting thoughts. This is definitely a time-consuming sort of effort. I started getting into survival and firearms somewhat late, and I've worked to try to build up my collection intelligently. I currently have:

-.38 Taurus revolver (my wife's SD weapon)

-Ruger 10/22

-Nagant carbine

-Yugo M44 (I know, but it's remarkably accurate for me)

-12ga single shot shoutgun

-Plus my own SD handgun.

So, now, I'm sort of struggling in terms of priorities on what to get next. With a young family, money is of course a key concern. I need to be smart, and I need to try to keep my ammo expenditures reasonable.

269 Posts
A proper cache filling all the needs for a family of 4 is indeed financially daunting. I never pulled it off .... but slowly plodding towards your goal is much easier to swallow financially too.
Sure ...if the balloon goes up tomorrow, where are you? But realistically.... being unprepared for other aspects of life in these times but having a nice big cache of weapons and ammo isn't really a better alternative ....just one with different challenges.
I found myself overwhelmed with the magnitude of money required and chose to plod in the direction of my goals end state.
Naturally, over the years the goal changed ...or at least the tools I thought best changed.
Now, I would start small ... not a huge array of calibers and address needs with quailty weapons (but as low cost as possible) in as few calibers as possible ...too much variety was too hard to stock ...
Get the range of weapons you want ...before buying 6 of them ... and I like the idea of low cost guns to hand out .... I think of it like loaning out my tools ... I don't give away my highest priced and prized knife ....I have some good quality low cost alternatives that will do the job. I like Mora knives for this role personally ....

When the balloon goes up do the best ya'll be ahead of those that did nothing.
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