The Ultimate Survival Guide II

   Remember, to barter helps to survive or negotiate for a better position, to provide or receive more value, both when we are with or without much money.

Barter – The Currency After The Crash
2006-09-29 21:44:32

Many survival "Experts" tell you to buy gold and silver to ensure your wealth after the SHTF. They argue that throughout history precious metals have held their value. While this is probably true, it may not always be so. They also encourage you to invest in pre 1965 silver (junk silver coins) which has no collector’s value, just the spot value of the silver content. They say that this will become the currency of the new economy and you will be able to use it to buy goods from those who may have what you want at a local barter fair.


John was headed to town today to check out the local Barter Fair that was being held every Friday. While he had prepared for the current crisis as best as he could, he still had run out of the few items he had apparently overlooked. Like toothpaste, dental floss, baking powder and ammo. Who would have thought that he would have burned through most of his 500 round stash of .300 Savage in just 2 months. He was down to 25 rounds and desperately needed more. Damned raiders anyway! At least he had experienced the grim pleasure of burying 15 of them.

He had not had any gas for 3 weeks now, so he was riding his $500 mountain bike to town. Riding was much better than walking, especially since it had started to drizzle rain. POP! ssssssssssshhhh…. "Oh shit!, there goes my tire!" The bikes tires were worn, and there wasn't much tread left on them. A sharp rock had punctured the front tire when he wasn't paying attention and now he was reduced to pushing his bike the last 3 miles to town. "I guess I will have to buy a new tire and tube at the local bike shop or at the fair, if someone has them". This was John’s first trip to the barter fair as he had thought he was fairly well prepared for bad times. He jingled the $50.00 in junk silver in his pocket, confident he would be able to get most of what he needed and have some left over. After all, he thought, just before the crash, silver was $70 an ounce and gold was $1000 per ounce and rising.


Henry set up his canopy and spread out his tarp, laying out his trade goods so that they could be clearly seen and evaluated by the throng of people milling about, looking for bargains and necessities, clutching their own goods which they hoped to trade for those items they sorely needed. Henry set out the 3 bottles of cold remedy and the bottle of Advil next to the pint of brandy and the pack of unopened Marlboros. He set the 3 emergency fishing gear packs he had made to the right of the cold remedies, and next to that he set out the 3 boxes of reloaded .300 Savage. Henry didn't have a rifle in that caliber, but had bought the reloading dies for it on sale and loaded up the 200 rounds of brass he had found at the local gravel pit. He had found many different types of brass there and one by one he had bought the dies and components to reload them all. Buying whatever he found at garage sales added to his collection of dies until there wasn't a common and some un-common calibers that he couldn't load.

Next to the .300 Savage he laid out 1 box each of 7mm Rem. Mag, 6.5×55 Swedish Mauser and .243 Win. The next items he laid out were the 12 aircraft cable cam lock snares and his 5 extra #110 Conibear traps. Those would fetch a fair price indeed! He next set out his collection of handmade knives, a hobby of his for the past few years. They always sold well and he would give a discount if someone brought him the proper steel and brass for making more. He also encouraged people to bring him whatever lead they could scrounge and he cast bullets with it. For those who brought him sufficient amounts, he would give them 5 of each of the calibers he cast on the spot; 9mm, .38/.357, and .44mag. They would then trade them amongst the other venders for different things, the bullets eventually coming back to Henry to be loaded into cartridges for trade. Next he set out the #10 can of vacuum packed garden seeds. He had bought 20 cases in the months just prior to the crash, having read the warning signs hidden in the news and on the internet newsgroups and forums. He had also printed up a bunch of how-to manuals on everything from Bee-keeping to Blacksmithing and hoped he would find some takers for them. The last items Henry set out were 2 beautiful black powder rifles, flintlocks in .54 cal to be exact. Nothing less than a pregnant heifer would get him to part with one. And Henry was always hoping…

Henry nodded and waved to the Sheriff's Deputy on patrol. There had been some trouble when the fair had first started and it was almost the end of it before it hardly even began! Some illegal immigrants had been in attendance and had tried to steal one pair of Henry's neighbor's breeding rabbits. While 2 of them chattered away at his bewildered non-spanish speaking neighbor, the 3rd tried to sneak off with rabbits. One of the other vendors saw what was happening and yelled at him to stop. The illegal pulled out a gun and shot at the man, hitting him in the shoulder, and then all three of them ran off with the rabbits. They got about 100 feet before the crowd pulled their own weapons and killed all 3 of them as they ran away. That was the last of the illegal immigrant problem at the barter fair. But there had been other problems as indignant, clueless shoppers could not understand why their debit cards were not good enough to buy a pair of dirty sneakers, and why nobody would accept their paper US dollars. They raised quite a ruckus until the Sheriff had shown up to escort them away for their own safety.


John was tired. He hadn't planned on pushing his bike to town and his feet were starting to hurt. He was also getting very thirsty and had long ago emptied his canteen. "Need to get another one of them too." he thought out loud. He was almost at the schoolyard where the fair was held and he could see where people had staked out their horses and chained up their bicycles and garden carts. There were some vehicles in evidence so someone still had fuel. Those guarding the horses and vehicles stared at John as he pushed his bike up to an empty space on the merry-go-round and chained it up. With any luck the bike shop would be open or the owner here at the fair. Maybe he would get one of those solid tubes that never went flat as well as a new tire.

While John was walking down the street looking for the bike shop, Henry was trading the last of his fishing kits for 5 lbs of homemade jerky. So far he had traded off the cold medicine and Advil to the town doctor for a rooster and 2 hens, 6 snares for 2 breeding rabbits and 10 lbs of feed, one box of 7mm Rem. Mag. for a complete working bicycle with new tires and generator powered lights, most of his how-to manuals for 1000 rounds of various caliber empty brass, 10 homemade candles, and 5 tanned rabbit pelts. A man with a pair of homemade moccasins was eyeing Henrys #110 conibear trap collection, trying to make up his mind whether to make an offer or not. Henry thought that those moccasins looked mighty comfortable. 10 minutes later the man was smiling as he walked away with his "great bargain" of 2 traps and Henry was trying on his new moccasins.

John stopped and stared in dismay. It was gone. The whole block was gone, only charred rubble where the bike shop and other buildings had been. "Damn Damn DAMN!" thought John. "There goes my best chance at getting what I need."
Disappointed, he turned and headed back to the school. As he neared the vendors he began scrutinizing each ones goods, looking for what he needed. It seemed that no one had any "real toothpaste" for sale, just some baking soda and some iodized salt that they were hawking as replacements. He had made them a generous offer of $2.00 face value junk silver but they weren't interested. They wanted a pair of size 10 boots in exchange, and as John had stood there trying to get them to change their mind, someone with boots to trade came along and John watched "his" makeshift toothpaste leave with someone else. "What is wrong with these people?" he thought.
"Don't they realize that silver and gold are the new currency?" Disappointed again, he turned and went looking for the items he needed from "more reasonable" people.

As John walked about he noticed that people were accepting almost anything but silver and gold for goods. In fact, he didn't even see anyone else trying to use coins for currency as they bought and sold items. John was no fool, he realized now that he was in a bad way if no one was trading in gold or silver. One old man came up to him and said "What’s amatter Sonny? You look a little long in the face." "Why don't people use silver or gold as a medium of exchange?" John asked. The old man laughed and said to him. "Them there coins you have, can you eat them? Can you plant them and have food grow there? Will they breed and have babies that you can raise and eat or trade for other things? Can you ride them into town and back home again? Can you wear them on your feet? Sonny, those were the old way of doing things, and someday they might be the way things are done again. But for now, they have no use to anyone, including you. What have you been able to buy today?" John said nothing; he just stared at the old man. Finally he nodded his head, acknowledging what the old man said. He turned and walked away into the crowd to where Henry had his remaining goods laid out. John saw the 3 boxes of .300 Savage there and he almost cried. He knew that his money would be of no use here as he saw the variety of things that Henry was packing up for his trip home.

Henry noticed John starring at his ammo and saw the look on Johns face. He knew that look. The look of the desperate individual who sees what they need, nearly within their grasp, but know they will not be able to get it before it slips away. "Can I help you with something Mr.?" said Henry. John shook his head and said, "Not unless you are willing to trade for silver. I have nothing else of value with me." Henry was feeling good because he had a great day trading, so he decided to see what this guy was all about. "I'm Henry " he said. "I'm John" was the reply.
"Well John, what are you hoping to trade for?" John replied, "I need some ammo, which I see you have 60 rounds of. I had 500 rounds when the crash started but now I am down to 25. I also need a bike tire and tube since mine blew out on the way to town."

"Well John, I really don't need any silver as I have no need of coins. Most of the small purchases around here are made with cast lead bullets which I make for a percentage of the lead. Most people use it as currency for a while and then bring it back to me to load into cartridges for them as they need them. Here's what I can do for you though. I will accept your silver as collateral. You take 20 rounds of that .300 Savage there and bring me all of your empty brass. You did save it didn't you?" John shook his head yes, not sure he could believe what he was hearing. "OK. When you bring me your empty brass I will give you the other 40 rounds and all your silver back but $2.00 face value. Bring me your old bike and I will trade you this one here for it and another $2.00 face value silver coins. Do we have a deal?" John hesitated for all of half a second before accepting the offer and strolled off to get his bike. Maybe he didn't get everything that he wanted, but it sure beat pushing a bike 7 miles home with nothing to show but sore feet. Besides, Maggie liked to make homemade scented soap and he didn't see any at all while searching for his needs. And his uncle Bob had taught him to make his own charcoal several years back. Perhaps these 2 items would trade fairly well on his next trip in…


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   Next, what is survivlism?  When does it begin or when did you develop this mindset to survive?


What is Survivalism?
2006-06-27 13:48:31

My first exposure to survival came in the early 1980's. I was browsing the Magazine stand at our local store and ran across the Jan issue of Shooters Journal and Survival Guide, what would later become American Survival Guide. What I read in there made me re-evaluate my core beliefs. I was 25 years old and single at the time, struggling to save enough money to buy my first house. At the time, I needed to prepare for the then immediate threat, the escalation of the Cold War. Nowadays, the Cold War is history but many other threats have reared their ugly heads, either thru my education by reading new material or by careful review of the world around me. So what is Survivalism? Is it merely stockpiling material for a perceived shortage or is it something else?

For me it has become a way of life. I incorporate it in my food purchases, my recreational choices, and my environment. Threat assessment has become second nature and I no longer have to consciously make the effort to look for inherent dangers. No, I am not perfect, but I learn everyday and apply those lessons to my life. I am a firm believer in learning from the mistakes of others.

For others it is a daily struggle to provide enough food to live another few days in a very harsh life. Most everyone on this planet is part survivalist without even knowing it. Going to work each day to earn money is a facet of survival. That money buys food, shelter, clothing and other necessities of life, as well as items not essential to life's continuance.

Those who raise a garden are a type of survivalist. They can provide basic foods for their family through their gardening skills. By canning, pickling and dehydrating, they can preserve their harvest for using later in the year. The same with the hunter who harvests wild game thruout the year. His skill in bringing meat to the table is one which will serve his family well in lean times.

Those who rely on the government's handouts exclusively are in no part a survivalist. They will die if the Government ceases it's handouts. Just look at the helpless sheeple displaced by the hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Without the Gov's handouts the best they could do is congregate together and wait to die.

The term Survivalist has been trashed by the media in the later years of the movement. The media tried to portray them (us) as loonies and right/left wing nut cases, running around in the woods wearing cammies and waving guns. This portrayal nearly drove everyone underground or out of the movement altogether. It is only lately that the stigma has faded and people have started to become interested again, as they wake up to the dangerous world about them today.

For those who are new to Survivalism, I welcome you to the lifestyle of the self reliant, self sufficient and personally motivated non-sheeple! May all your preparations sustain you thru turbulent times.

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What is Survivalism? Pt II
2006-07-13 22:26:56

Survivalism is a mindset, a way of life that focuses on being prepared for harsh times. It is a return to the self-reliance principles that our forebears practiced as a way of life. They had no choice, unlike we have today. If they failed to prepare they died. Survivalism is a way of organizing your life to make the best use of your personal resources; time & money. The Principles of Survivalism encourage us to learn and practice new skills. My father lived thru the Great Depression and practiced survival skills his whole life. To him, it was nothing special, it was just how things were and you did what you needed to "git along".

The Principles of Survivalism are:

Diversity of Knowledge
Self Reliance
Self Sufficiency
Preparedness for Adversity

With Diversity of Knowledge comes Self Reliance.
With Self Reliance comes Self Sufficiency
With Self Sufficiency comes Preparedness for Adversity
Preparedness for Adversity encourages and requires the 1st three principles

Each of these principles build upon the others.


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   Finally, here's some additional "ammo" with strategies and guidance to help you survive now and always!

The Survival Arsenal
2006-08-8 23:17:48

What you choose to fill your arsenal is largely dependent on your whole philosophy of what you are preparing for. Here are some possible scenarios:

1) Pandemic
2) Natural Disasters
3) Economic Instability/Social Breakdown
4) Martial Law/Civilian Disarmament
5) Civil War
6) UN/NWO Takeover
7) World War (Nuclear or Biological)

Other factors that could influence your choices are as follows:
1. What can you afford?
2. Where do you live? Are you planning on bugging out or hunkering down?
3. How old are your children? Can they competently shoot a .22lr? How about a larger caliber?
4. Do you plan on hunting for sustenance?
5. How does your family perceive your preparations? Are they behind you 100% or consider you eccentric? This will affect how well they will train/prepare for TSHTF.

The 1 Gun Scenario:
If you can only afford one gun, make it a single shot, over/under style. Try to get .22 LR over 12 GA. Other gauges (20, .410) are acceptable as long as you can stock enough ammo for it to last the life of the gun. The ammo is common enough for both as to probably be available in almost anyplace you might be.
Primary – Hunting small/large game animals
Secondary – Home Defense against Intruders

Your geographic location will have an effect on what make the best arsenal, so I will break this down into Rural and Urban choices.

Let’s examine what I consider to be the basic survival arsenal for a rural area:

Basic (Budget)
1) Shotgun, 12 Gauge
Primary – Hunting small/large game animals
Secondary – Home Defense against Intruders

2) Large Bore (Bolt/Lever Action) Rifle, Legal Hunting Caliber
Primary – Hunting large game animals
Secondary – Sniping/Home defense

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber, Bolt Action
Primary – Hunting small game animals
Secondary – Home defense

This selection provides a diversity of calibers that each compliment the other.

The shotgun is capable of taking deer and bear, as well as vehicles when using slugs. With #6 shot, it will be adequate at close range for home defense without too much risk of over penetration. A pump shotgun is 1st choice, followed by the double barrel and then the single shot.

My recommendations are Mossberg pump (500/590/etc…) and the Remington 870. There are lots of choices for accessories for these guns.
The large bore rifle should be a common, preferably military cartridge. The Mosin-Nagant 91/30 is a great value for the cost and is a good long distance and hunting round. They cost around $90 at chain sporting good stores (Big 5 in my area) and 440 rds. of 7.62x54R 147-grain FMJ Ammo is $49.97 from the Sportsman’s Guide Stay away from the 200 grain surplus ammo that is available as it may be designed for machineguns and therefore have too high of pressure for your rifle!
The M38 is a good choice also but has a pretty good muzzle blast. The same holds true with the M44. The M44 was designed to be fired with the bayonet extended so that is something to keep in mind if you are considering this rifle. Accuracy will suffer if it is shot with it folded. These rifles have been arsenal reconditioned and are in pretty fair shape. The Finnish m/39 Mosin-Nagant is reputed to be a better quality rifle, but as such it is harder to get and more expensive.

The 8mm Mauser would be my 2nd choice for around $120; 380 rds. of 8 mm 154-grain FMJ is $32.97 The condition of these is not as good as the Mosin-Nagant, but is acceptable for the price.

The Mauser can be re-barreled to .308/7.62x51and makes a nice rifle as such. Re-barreling though may be beyond the reach of some, lacking skill to do it themselves or income to pay to have this work done. If that is the case, they are better off to invest in Mil-surp ammo than spend the extra dough re-barreling. There are other bolt actions rifles available, but probably pricier than the Yugo m24/47 Mausers hitting the Surplus market currently. Surplus .308 is also more expensive than the other calibers mentioned above. Some of the Indian surplus ammo also has problems so avoid it if you go this route.

Since the ammo is fairly inexpensive for these you should be able to stockpile plenty and still afford to practice with your rifle. It must be noted that the ammo I have mentioned above is for the most part Corrosive Primed and your weapons should be cleaned soon after firing it. The primer in this ammo leaves salts in the barrel when fired and these draw moisture from the air forming rust. Hence the need to clean soon after firing.
Visit and read up on the available Mil-Surp rifles and their ammo.

Other non-military rifles in common calibers are available, but will cost more to purchase and buy spare parts for. Unless you are flush with cash, stay away from exotic calibers as ammo for these will become hard to find. The .243, .270 and 7mm are popular hunting cartridges, but unless you are into reloading, and have lots of supplies, the ammo cost to support these rifles long term is prohibitive. They may however have a place in a limited Sniping role.

Another choice is a lever action Marlin 336 or Winchester mdl 94 in .30-30. It is a common enough caliber and it is more than adequate for harvesting deer. Lever actions are available in other calibers but I wouldn't recommend them as a primary weapon for survival.

The .22 LR is available in so many different models and brands that it could fill a whole book. I will only mention those here that I believe meet the requirements. The cheapest model worth purchasing would be a magazine fed bolt action. No Single Shots.

So why not an assault rifle?
Because the Assault rifle is too costly for the basic budget.
Most assault rifles come in .223 caliber.
The .223 is not legal to hunt with in most states.
The effective range is less than a battle rifle
The cost is generally more than a Mil-surp battle rifle.
The penetration of the .223 is less than a battle rifle.
Even the 7.62×39 is not as effective as the major military calibers for battle rifles
Hunting with an Evil Black Rifle will draw possible un-wanted attention to you and your family.

The assault rifle has its place, just not in the basic arsenal. Read further on to find where AR's fit in.

A basic budget Arsenal would be the 22 LR, Mossberg 590 and the Mosin-Nagant bolt action. This arsenal can be assembled with some ammo for under $1000 dollars. It is also capable of filling all hunting roles from squirrels to Elk. Also, it is adequate for home defense, up to a point.

Once you have established the basic arsenal, you might wish to expand it as your finances allow. Don't over buy if you can't afford to stock the ammo for it. Your money would be better spent on food, spare parts and other gear. Few things are more useless than a gun without ammo. It just becomes an awkward club. Spare parts are a must! Learn how to install them.

In addition to the above choices:
Advanced (Budget)

1) Military Surplus Semi-Auto Battle Rifle
Primary – Home defense
Secondary – Hunting game animals

2) Semi-Auto Assault Rifle
Primary – Home defense

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber, Semi-Auto
Primary – Hunting small game animals
Secondary – Home defense

There are many choices here but only 2 are actual Mil-Surp. The rest are re-assembled parts from de-milled selective fire military rifles with new Semi-Auto recievers. And since we are talking low budget, these 2 fit the bill. They are the M1 Garand and the SKS.
Now the question. Why the SKS?
1. Low recoil.
2. Ballistics are comparable to the .30-30.
3. Low cost – about $200.00, less on sale or possibly at gun shows.
4. They are designed for people of smaller stature. (wife, children)
5. They are very reliable with a simple design to maintain.
6. There are lots of accessories for them.
7. Adequate firepower. Better penetration than smaller calibers.
8. Ammo is fairly cheap and is readily available. (for now)
9. It can also somewhat fill the role of the assault rifle due to its magazine size and caliber.
10. It is legal to hunt with using a 5 rnd mag.
11. It is capable of taking deer sized game.

I would suggest for adults 1 ea. SKS's with the standard 10 rnd magazines and a minimum of 1000 rnds stored. Average combat load for the SKS is 180 to 240 rnds with other gear. Why the 10 rnd magazine? Less chance of malfunction than with the larger capacity magazines. I feel that the ones that I have owned were of questionable quality and I would not risk my life with them. If you have children they can be outfitted with an SKS or .22 LR., depending on their stature and age. Say from 6 to 12 years a .22 LR. From 13 up, arm them with an SKS. Give them what they are comfortable with shooting. An alternative to the SKS or .22 LR for kids would be a carbine in 9mm, .45 ACP or .30 carbine. Another possibility would be lever action carbines in .357 Magnum and .44 Magnum. I believe that you can shoot .38 Special in one .44 Special in the other. These cartridges should be manageable by some children.

Next I would look at the M1 Garand from the CMP. (Civilian Marksmanship Program) Their prices are getting higher all the time and are reaching the point where you are almost better purchasing a new one from either Fulton or Springfield Armory’s.
Surplus ammo is still fairly low priced and can be found in the 8 rnd en-bloc clips. 280 rds of .30-06 150-gr. FMJ with ammo can for $49.97. Includes 8 rnd en-bloc clips.

The Garand is much heavier than the SKS as is the case with its ammo, so it is primarily a weapon for adults. It also has better penetrating power and will allow you to shoot thru some types of cover. It has a longer range than the SKS also. It is also a better made, if not a little more complex weapon.

The assault rifle is a much debated weapon with many saying it is not necessary and others that it is. If you can afford one and the ammo/magazines/spare parts for it, get one. They are hard to beat for perimeter defense against multiple targets at shorter ranges, up to 100 yards. If you are rushed by 20 hungry sheeple intent on looting your home, the Garand and SKS might not be enough firepower.

The AK-47 is a better penetrator than the .223 and shares the same ammo as the SKS. The Mini-14 comes in 2 Military calibers: the .223 and 7.62×39. There is some debate as to whether it will hold up under combat situations but since you are using it for defensive purposes this shouldn't be an issue. I hope. The AK-47 is the least expensive of the two rifles.
Some of the common assault rifles are the AR-15 family and other more costly guns such as the Galil, Valmet, Steyr AUG, AR-180 and HK-93. I may have missed some but it doesn't really matter since they are beyond the cost limitations of a basic budget.

Everyone should be taught basic gun handling and marksmanship with the .22 LR to become proficient with a rifle.
.22 LR = no flinching from recoil/muzzle blast as well as low cost practice.
Then move up in caliber to your main rifle.

For the .22 LR, next up would be the tubular magazine feed. The Marlin Glennfield model 60 is one such gun that comes to mind since I am familiar with it (my 1st Gun). I have never had any experience with the Remington Nylon 66/77 but have heard good things of them.

Last would be the best of the .22 LR's, the Ruger 10/22. Make yourself afford it.

The roles of weapons are basically reversed in an urban environment from hunting to home defense.
Let’s examine what I consider to be the basic survival arsenal for an urban area. The choices of weapons are quite broad:

Basic (Budget)
1) Shotgun, 12 Gauge
Primary – Home Defense against Intruders
Secondary – Hunting small/large game animals

2) Large Bore Rifle, Legal Hunting Caliber, Semi-Auto
Primary – Sniping/Home defense
Secondary – Hunting large game animals

3) Rifle, .22 LR caliber
Primary – Home defense/Feral Dogs
Secondary – Hunting small game animals

With the exception of the large bore Semi-Auto, the choices for shotgun and .22 LR in the Basic category remain the same as in a rural environment.

Let’s look at suitable large bores. First, what do I consider a large bore? Anything .30 caliber or larger in a Rifle cartridge. If you live in an area that is largely urban or suburban and plan on staying there, I would suggest a Semi-Automatic with a magazine of at least 10 rounds. This would be good for self defense during a riot or other civil disorder/natural disaster.

I recommend the SKS once again. It is hard to beat this inexpensive semi-auto without spending lots more money.

Most of the HK's on the market now are actually rebuilt G3's using newly stamped sheet metal receivers. These can be had for a reasonable price. An original HK-91 will set you back a tidy sum though. 20 rnd magazines can be had for as little as $2.00 each in good condition. Stock up.

The Cetme's are also a fair value, but there have been some quality issues with the various receivers available.
They will for the most part accept the HK-91/G3's magazines, having the same heritage.

The Chinese made M1A (Polytech) has one of the best receivers ever made, however the rest of the parts are questionable. Fulton Armory will rebuild these with Original GI parts to a better than new condition.

When I first got into survival the cadillac of all firearms (at the time) was the FN-FAL. If I remember correctly, they were going for about $1200 new then (early 80's). New and rebuilt ones are available but are still expensive. DSA make some nice ones. I wouldn't call these “budget” though.

Any of these are suitable for your large bore choice as long as they are dependable.
So why not a Bolt action for urban areas? You may need to use your Large bore for defense against crowds of looters or gangs intent on doing you harm and the greater firepower of a semi-auto with detachable magazines may be needed.

If you are still in the urban environment WTSHTF, you will probably need the firearms in the advanced section just to get out.

Advanced (still Budget)
1) Assault Rifle
Primary – Defense
Secondary – Hunting small/large game animals

2) Carbine
Primary – Defense

3) Combat Shotgun
Primary – Defense

Note: Avoid firefights at all costs. The odds are you or some of your family will die as they are not trained for Urban combat.

The Mini-14 and AK-47 rifles in caliber 7.62x39mm are adequate for both defense and hunting (with the addition of quality optics).

For strictly firepower, the AK-47 can't be beat, followed by the AR-15 family. Dollar wise, you will get more bang for your buck with the AK since it is priced well below the AR-15 family of weapons. You can get ammo, magazines, gear and gun for the price of 1 AR-15. The AR-15 has the edge over the AK in weight and accuracy, as you can carry considerably more .223 than 7.62×39. The quality of manufacture is better also.

In considering carbines, their use is best left to those who are unable to carry heavier weapons and ammo and are not accurate enough with handguns. Some carbines to consider are the Keltec SUB-2000 in 9mm & 40 S&W, Hi-Point Firearms carbines in 9mm & 40 S&W, The Marlin Camp Carbines Models 9 (9mm) and 45 (.45 ACP), the Ruger Police Carbine in 9 mm Luger or .40 S&W and the Beretta Cx4/Px4 Storm in 9mmx 19 and 9mmx21 IMI, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. These range in prices from affordable to expensive and you will get what you pay for in these. There are others out there. If a carbine suits you, look around you'll find what is best for you.

Another choice is the .30 Cal M1 Carbine. Ammo for this rifle is no longer cheap and it is basically a pistol caliber in performance. Many people love it and you may still find it around for a reasonable price. Lots of different capacity magazines are available for it too.

Many other guns are acceptable, as long as you can stock the ammo and spare parts for them. If you are part of Preparedness Group or a Para-Military organization you will want to standardize your choices to maintain compatibility within your group.

So what is a Combat shotgun?
It can be either a Mossberg 500/590 or an Remington 870 with an 18” to 20” barrel and a 7 or 8 shot magazine. It can have a folding stock as well as a pistol grip front and rear. Most come with a heat shield on the barrel that has Ghost Ring sights. You can deck them out with Sidesaddle ammo holders and under barrel flashlights/laser sights. There is even now a 10 shot drum magazine and 6 shot box magazine available from Knoxx Industries. These are only for the Mossberg line currently.

Another is the Saiga-12 self-loading smooth bore shotgun manufactured by IZHMASH of Russia. It is built on the AK-47 action, comes with 12-ga. smooth bored barrel and the chamber which accepts ammo equipped with shot or slugs including "Magnum" cartridges with 2-3/4" and 3" cartridge case. It is magazine fed. Since I do not have any experience with it yet I find it hard to say it is a good choice, but it is available. Some older military weapons are the Winchester Model 1897 and the Winchester Model 12 as well as the Ithaca Model 37. These are not readily found in the civilian gun market so I will just mention them in passing.

The combat shotgun is good for clearing rooms and hallways of intruders allowing you to get out of a bad situation in a hurry. You can put a lot of hits on multiple targets with this weapon. The biggest drawback to a combat shotgun is the weight of the ammo you must carry to have a fighting chance against adversaries. If you are using a combat shotgun you should have someone backing you up with either an assault rifle or a battle rifle. Even with slugs, these are not a long range weapon.

This is a very personal choice and what works for one may not for another. At the very minimum I would recommend a .22 LR revolver for your emergency pack along with 500 rnds of ammo. That’s 500 potential meals.
Buy and shoot what you are comfortable with. If you are afraid of the recoil, you will have a hard time hitting what you are shooting at. Before you buy, go to a shooting range that rents handguns and try out several. This is less expensive than buying a .44 mag only to find out you need a .38 special.

Buy at least 15 each 30-rnd for each Assault Rifle, and an extra 5 for replacements. For Battle Rifles, purchase 15 each 20-rnd mags with 6 extra. The Garand uses the 8 rnd clip, so buy 100 each. They are much easier to loose than a standard magazine. Handgun magazines should be 6 to 10 each depending on capacity and price. Mil-Surp battle rifles use stripper clips, and while some ammo comes on it most does not. 240 rounds on 5 round clips is 48 stripper clips.
Purchase an even hundred. The SKS stripper clips hold 10 rounds so 240 rounds would require 24 clips. Since these are still fairly cheap, get a hundred of them also.

Ok, the minimum for the .22 LR is 5000 rnds (about $100)
For the shotgun, 1000 rnds with various loads
For the battle/hunting rifle no less than 2000rnds FMJ and 500 rnds JSP.
Less than this will leave you using the rifle for a club at a later date.
Most of your money spent will be for the hunting and shotgun loads. The .22 LR will be used more than any other gun in foraging small game animals and disposing of pests.

I recommend 10,000 rounds per .22 LR caliber Rifle and 2,500 rounds per .22 LR handgun. This caliber is not reloadable and in a survival scenario it may not be available anywhere except your own stash. Also makes a good barter currency. WARNING: Only barter ammo with those you know and trust as it may be used against you!

For shotguns, I suggest 2500 rounds of various loads; Slugs for hunting and vehicle disabling, Buckshot for Hunting and Combat, #4 & #6 for hunting and home defense. Stockpile more if this is your only/primary weapon.

Assault type rifles can chew up ammo fast, so I recommend a minimum of 5000 rounds.
Battle/Hunting Rifles can fall into the same category as above, so plan on 5000 rnds, again with various loads
(lets say 3500rnds FMJ and 1500 various grain JSP)
Bolt Action/Lever Action Rifles should be at least 3000 rnds, but plan on paying a bundle for any non-military caliber that you choose.

Handguns should stock at least 2000 rnds per weapon.

Amounts will vary depending on what you envision coming down the road. Plan for the worst, multiply that by 5 and you may be close.
Store your ammo in ammo cans if it is not stored in some type of container other than cardboard. It makes it easier to transport as well as better protected from environmental conditions.

As always, these are my opinions and are just guidelines for you to help build your own Survival Arsenal. Weapon selection is a choice that must be made with patience and lots of thought. Don’t just rush out and buy something based on someone else’s experience. Plan well now, you won't be able to do it WTSHTF and you will live or die with your choice.


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