Being well-armed and trained is a cornerstone of preparedness.
I’m writing this to reiterate and expand on a subject that I’ve briefly mentioned several times in the more than 12 years that SurvivalBlog has been published. This is the concept of a taking a Systems Approach to firearms and firearms training. By this, I mean changing your entire mindset about simply “buying a gun.” You are not just buying a gun. Rather, you are acquiring a weapons system, including logistics and training.
Here is a thumbnail list to consider:
- The Firearm Itself
- Ammunition. (At least 1,000 rounds for each primary rifle or pistol.)
- Magazines (At least six per handgun and 10 per rifle.)
- Spare Parts
- Reference Manuals
- Modifications and Upgrades
- Registered Suppressors
- Optics (and spare batteries for them, if needed)
- For Precision Rifles: Rangefinder and Kestrel (and spare batteries for them)
- Targets for Zeroing and Training
- Ear Muffs (preferably electronic)
- Magazine Pouches
- Dump Pouch
- Web Gear Harnesses or Plate Carriers
- Holsters or Scabbards
- Transit/Air Travel Cases
- Cleaning Equipment
- Home Vaults and/or Rural Caches
As I’ve written many times, training is crucial. Owning a gun doesn’t make you a competent shooter any more than owning a surfboard makes you a surfer.
In short, you need to approach equipping yourself much like modern day infantry soldier–complete with your own logistics “tail.” These days, that includes batteries for night vision optics and rangefinders. In the civilian preparedness context, only the soldier’s bayonet is superfluous. (And some might argue, even that might come in handy.)
I would rather own just a couple of guns with a full complement of ammo and accessories–as well as the training to go with them–rather than owning a dozen or more guns with just a smattering of logistics and marginal training. It all comes down to effectiveness.
Also note that at least one of your rifles should have a detachable night vision optic. My favorite is the well-proven AN/PVS-14 monocular, preferably Generation 3 or 3+. They are available from several companies that advertise on SurvivalBlog.
That, in my opinion, is the rational approach to arming yourself in the 21st Century. It is a strategy that will serve you well. It is also an approach that will provide for your children and grandchildren, regardless of future legislation or shortages. – JWR