There are many types of gun enthusiasts. Those who like to hunt, those who like to shoot competitively, those who do it for recreation and those who do it to prepare for WWIII. I do HIGHLY recommend training on basic gun use. If nothing else, you should know about loading/unloading, malfunction clearing, shooting positions/stances and target acquisitions. Obviously there is much much (nay I say MUCH a third time) more to learn, but those are the minimum basic areas to know so you may safely operate your firearm to defend yourself and your family.
For those that are assembling a firearm battery for self defense in the event of an emergency they are specific considerations. Here are some issues that make assembling a survival battery different than hunting or competitive shooters:
- Standardization: Henry Ford revolutionized car manufacturing based on the theory of standardized and interchangeable parts. This allowed all models of car to use the same parts which allowed for simpler and less costly repairs. When starting or expanding your battery, keep this in mind. Choose one or two calibers for each class of firearm. Choose one or two types of firearms in each class. For example: I like Glock and Heckler and Koch for my pistols. I have chosen the manageable 9mm round and the harder hitting .45 round as my standards. Therefore, I buy Glock 17, 9mm pistols and Glock 21 .45 pistols. I buy H&K USP 9mm pistols and USP45 .45 caliber pistols. I have only 4 types of extra barrels, magazines, repair kits, etc to buy and it will support my entire pistol battery. If one Glock 17 should fail, I have can use it to supply parts to the remaining. The magazines are still useful. The same goes for the ammo, by having only two types of rounds, I have a deeper reserve of rounds. If my 9mm fails, I don’t throw away or lose all of my stored rounds. I have other pistols that use that round. Yes, I have other pistols, but those are for fun. If you are interested in building a survival battery, think standardization.
- The same theory applies to all rifles and shotguns. Choose a main caliber (or two) for your rifles. Choose one (or two) platforms, i.e. AR, Springfield M1 series and then expand on that. Avoid getting an AR, and M1A, a FAL and a SIG 556… get four ARs or two and two, etc… you catch my drift. I recommend sticking with 12 gauge shotguns, you just can’t go wrong.
- Avoid the latest and greatest: You don’t need the latest and greatest in a survival battery. In fact, you want the tried and true. Get firearms that have a history of solid, wide use. There have been several firearms introduced that were recalled within a few months due to manufacturer defects. Stick with companies like Glock, H&K, Kimber and choose models that have been in the market for YEARS!
- Bullets: Have bullets. Enough said. Without bullets, firearms make a poor striking weapon. 100 rounds minimum for each caliber of weapon.
- Magazines: Get at least….AT LEAST 3. Come on, that is only one more than they usually come with. Buy them when you buy the gun. I haven’t ever had to load a magazine in a fire-fight, but I can’t imagine it would go well for me.
- Go Slow: Don’t rush out and break the bank and burn yourself out. Think each purchase through especially since you should be buying a multiples of each gun. I recommend a Glock 17 9mm or Glock 21SF (get the slimframe model, the grip on the standard is only for giants!) as a starting point.
Good Luck out there!!!!