You’ve finally made it! After months of planning escape routes and gathering supplies necessary for your family’s survival in a disastrous situation, you have your emergency kit! Now that you know you can keep your family alive in a SHFT situation with emergency food and water, first aid kits, and procedures, it’s time to think about how to protect them against the external threats. Time to buy a firearm and stock up on ammunition.
The Right Firearm
A firearm is by far the best way to protect your family during an emergency. But the big question is: What gun should I buy? Some might opt for a fully-loaded AR-15 with a laser sight, extended magazine, and a flash diffuser. If this is your jam, more power to you! After all, this gun can cut down the bad guys and also provide a delicious, freshly shot dinner!
But, consider how the extra weight might hinder you. Don’t forget that in a long-term situation, you’re going to want a hefty supply of bulk ammo and carrying around 500+ rounds of .223/5.56 bullets will weigh down your pack immensely, not to mention their larger size and the space it will take up within your bag!
The Right Handgun
Your next best option is a pistol. The best semi-auto pistols for self-defense range from .380 ACP to .45 calibers. With so many options, which one is right? In the long run, it’s really up to you. Some will say go with the light, easy to hide .380 ACP guns. Others will suggest stopping power is what matters, and none do a better job than the .45 hollow point. With all these opinions, how can you choose?
In reality, what do you want from a gun? Most people will probably say power, portability, and capacity. If this sounds like you, take a look at the 9mm and .40 caliber guns. These pistols have plenty of stopping power while still being concealable, along with larger capacities in the magazine without having to use an extended magazine. The Springfield XDM 4.5″ with 9mm ammo has a capacity of 19+1, meaning less time reloading and more time focusing on the bad guys.
The Right Ammunition
Now that you hopefully have a better understanding of what types of guns are available, what kind of ammo should you get? Aside from different guns requiring different ammunition, each ammo has varying characteristics and uses as well. For self-defense purposes, hollow point ammunition is the usual recommendation. Other bullet types can be used as well, but they’re not as efficient in quickly stopping an assailant.
Hollow points have a lot more stopping power by design versus FMJ ammo, but this power comes at the cost of a higher price point. These rounds are typically used for self-defense as they provide great knockdown power and can quickly disable a charging attacker. Another advantage of hollow point rounds is that they’re unlikely to penetrate a target, ensuring that bystanders won’t get shot and property won’t get damaged by a wayward bullet.
The Right Practice
Make sure you practice! Owning a gun does not automatically mean you know how to use it. This also involves proper maintenance and safe storage. Clean it regularly; keep it and the ammo in a cool, dry environment, especially away from children.
When buying handgun ammo for practice, it’s best to go with full metal jacket ammunition. These rounds are significantly cheaper than hollow point ammo, so they’re well-suited for target practice purposes.
Don’t forget to occasionally train with hollow point bullets as well, if you’re planning to use them for self-defense. Aside from making sure that the rounds work well with your firearm, you also get to hone your aim while using them. Gun accuracy is affected by ammo type, so it’s best to get familiarized with the rounds you’re planning to use.
A firearm is an indispensable part of a sensible emergency survival kit. Loaded with the proper ammo and regularly maintained, it can be wielded as a powerful tool to ensure safety and protection.
In the end, it’s up to you to decide what gun and ammo you want. Go to a range and rent different guns of all different sizes. Research the different types of ammo available for your gun. Doing this will give you an idea of what works for you and what doesn’t. This way, you’re not caught out in an emergency situation with a gun that isn’t a good fit for you.
Article written by Jeff Oxford for Prepper’s Will.