Guns for Bugging Out, by N.B.

My Situation Is Likely Not Yours

First off, my situation is not yours. What works for me may not necessarily work for you. Seeing as that I am yet another guy on the Internet with an opinion, I strongly recommend you read what I have written and then make an informed decision about whether this information applies to your circumstances. If it does not, please disregard it. If it does, I am glad I could be of service.

Intro To Bug Out Firearms and Ammunition

This essay refers to the firearms and ammunition load I would take along with me if my wife and I were to bug out. I am personally not a fan of the bug out philosophy. If you leave with nowhere to go, you are a refugee and will have a slim chance of survival. If you already have a retreat, you are either close enough to it where you could live there full time (with considerable inconvenience perhaps), or it is so far away that you would be unlikely to reach it before someone else does. In my opinion, the vast majority of the time a bug-in strategy is more suitable.

Plan For Bugging Out As Contingency

With all that said, I also plan for bugging out as a contingency. There are any number of scenarios where staying at my house would be untenable. I am not so wedded to a piece of soil that I am willing to die upon it. While becoming a refugee is a nightmarish prospect, a slim chance of survival is infinitely better than certain death. I’m not the type to lay down and die without making a try for life.

A Mission To Stay Alive

As survivalists, we have exactly one mission: to stay alive. You also cannot protect and provide for those you love if you are dead. All other concerns are secondary to this goal.

General Bug-out Plans

As a slightly off topic side note, if I were to bug out I would not carry the bulk of my belongings in a backpack. I have devised a system that I think works much better, with the caveat that it is less suitable for challenging terrain.

  • Obtain a high quality garden wagon.
  • Obtain a well-made, well-fitted battle belt with suspenders.
  • Run a strap from the handle of the wagon to the lumbar portion of the belt.
  • In my experience, unless the terrain is very difficult, you can move 150 pounds of cargo with this method with no more effort than a 50-pound backpack.

Now, we can get to the meat of the article.

Firearm Selection For Bugging Out

My bug out “team” would likely consist of my wife, me, and our two dogs. In my opinion, you are less likely than you think to use a firearm while bugging out, for one very important reason: it is not your job to get into a fight. Post-SHTF, you are not a solider, crusader, mercenary, LEO, or any other type of person who needs to engage hostiles in order to fulfill the mission. Your only mission is to stay alive. To that end, avoiding a fight is a much more viable strategy than engaging other people in battle. To illustrate my point, let’s conduct a brief thought experiment.

A Thought Experiment

In our experiment, let’s say it’s been three months since the balloon went up. You are trying to walk from Florida to west Texas. Somewhere along the way, you spot a man carrying a rifle approximately 300 yards from you. You know nothing about this man, but here are some possible situations:

  • He is the advance scout of a vicious gang bent on doing unspeakably brutal things to you,
  • The man is a desperate loner who may or may not try to kill you for your stuff,
  • He is a relatively decent person taking a leak while his wife prepares breakfast, or
  • He could be anything in between.

The point is, you have no idea who he is or what his intentions are. If he has not spotted you, withdrawing quietly and circling around him is by far the best strategy. In a post apocalyptic situation, there is also nothing cowardly about avoiding a fight. The best way to survive a fight is not to be in one.

How does this relate to my firearm selection? It means that the purpose of your guns is personal defense, not active combat. This means that you do not need specialized firearms, nor do you need as much ammunition as you think. Of course, a fight is still possible and perhaps likely, depending on the circumstances. Given this, you will need weapons that can adequately protect you.

Primary Weapon

The primary firearm my wife and I would carry for personal defense is the Keltec sub 2000, specifically ones chambered in 9mm and accepting Glock magazines. My rationale for this is as follows:

  • They are extremely light, with an unloaded weight of only four pounds. This means they can be carried slung all day with minimal fatigue. They are also extremely handy.
  • These gun accept not only the same ammo but the same magazines as our pistols (Glock 17s), which is a fabulous thing. That means any loaded mag we have can be put into any of our defensive arms. It also means we only need to carry one type of defensive ammo, which allows us to carry more of it than if we were trying to manage several calibers.
  • They have an effective range of 100-150 yards. This is more than sufficient for personal defense. Some may argue that more range is always better. That’s true in a vacuum, but that requires a rifle in a rifle caliber, which is one more cartridge to carry. Carrying additional cartridges limits how much can be carried.
  • As far as reliability, I have never had a malfunction with any of mine. A caveat to that is I have also not tried to make one fail. However, other people have done so and have put videos of the tests on the Internet. My analysis shows that while the sub2k is not the most reliable firearm, it is certainly reliable enough.
  • The sub2000 can be folded in half for easy concealment inside a backpack, which may be useful if hiding your weapons becomes an issue.
  • Some will argue that an “assault” rifle is a better tool for protecting yourself. It indisputably is. However, one AR-15 or similar with a moderate amount of accessories weighs more than two Keltec sub2000’s. It also requires packing another caliber, which is logistically cumbersome.
  • Lastly, it does not look as threatening as other guns, which could actually be a huge plus. Someone wearing a plate carrier, a dozen mags, and a massive tricked out rifle is also going to be perceived by literally everyone as a threat. A dirty, tired, less well armed couple may go unnoticed. Bugging out is one situation where going grey is your friend. Remember, most of the people you encounter won’t be looking for a fight either.

Sidearm

We will be carrying Glock 17s as our sidearms. This allows us to use the same ammunition and magazines as our primary arms, which is logistical perfection. I am going to assume that the reader is familiar enough with Glocks that no further explanation of them is required, except to say that I trust their reliability with my life. They are by no means our favorite pistols, but if we can only have one they’re what we would pick. As one of the most popular pistols ever made, there is a small chance we’d be able to scavenge replacement parts.

Defensive Ammunition Load

9mm was selected for two reasons:

  • It is the most common centerfire pistol cartridge, and one of the most common cartridges over all. While I personally do not think much ammunition can be gained by scavenging, it makes sense to maximize one’s chances.
  • My wife is unable to shoot .40 or .45, and obviously she and I need to use the same ammunition.

Carrying in Magazines, Not Loose Rounds

We will be carrying our ammunition entirely in magazines. No loose rounds will be packed. All rounds will be jacketed hollow points. To that end, we will be carrying the following:

  • Six 33-round magazines to feed the Keltecs. This also provides a good amount of firepower.
  • Sixteen 17-round magazines to feed our pistols and act as backups to our primary defensive arms.
  • This provides 470 rounds of ammunition. While this might seem to be critically low, it is important to note that even with a cart, weight is a consideration here, and we will be avoiding a fight at all costs. Survival is about more than sending large amounts of lead downrange.

Hunting/Backup Arms

In my opinion, hunting will be a relatively rare event during a bug-out situation. With tens of millions of desperate people, large game will likely go extinct, and small game will become extremely secretive and wary. With that said, it is possible a tasty looking small animal may be encountered. Therefore, it makes sense to have some method of dispatching it.

The firearm chosen for this purpose is the Smith and Wesson Governor. It has several advantages over other firearms:

  • The Governor is lightweight, certainly much more so than a comparable long gun. It is also concealable.
  • It can fire .410 shells, .45LC, and .45 ACP, although the latter requires moon clips. This means that it can use birdshot for very small game, buckshot for medium-sized game, as well as being able to fire legitimate self-defense rounds, allowing it to be used as a backup defensive weapon. Being a revolver, it is quite reliable.
  • As a revolver, loads can be organized according to need. My standard loading, to be fired in order, is three birdshot, two buckshot, and one .45LC. This allows me to cover nearly any situation.

Hunting Ammunition Load

  • 125 birdshot. The primary purpose of this firearm is to take small game.
  • 55 buckshot, for medium-sized game or emergency self defense.
  • 25 .45LC for self defense or larger game. This particular cartridge is quite powerful.
  • No .45ACP will be carried, but it will be an option. It is possible this ammunition can be scavenged. 50 moon clips weigh almost nothing and take up almost no space, giving me a third option if the opportunity presents itself.
  • This ammunition will be arranged on three 65-round bandoliers for convenience.

Final Weapon

Finally, an 8 shot S&W revolver chambered in .22lr will be carried. This gun and 300 rounds of ammunition does not weigh much, and it’s useful for taking small game or even self defense if all other options were exhausted.

There you have it. In my usual long-winded way, I have outlined my opinions on bugging out, what the goal of doing so is, and what firearms I would need to carry to achieve my goal. If you have found this information to be helpful, I am glad I could be of service.

SurvivalBlog Writing Contest

This has been another entry for Round 73 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The nearly $11,000 worth of prizes for this round include:

First Prize:

  1. A $3000 gift certificate towards a Sol-Ark Solar Generator from Veteran owned Portable Solar LLC. The only EMP Hardened Solar Generator System available to the public.
  2. A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate. This can be used for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,095 value),
  3. A course certificate from onPoint Tactical for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses, excluding those restricted for military or government teams. Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795,
  4. DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 NATO QD Billet upper. These have hammer forged, chrome-lined barrels and a hard case, to go with your own AR lower. It will allow any standard AR-type rifle to have a quick change barrel. This can be assembled in less than one minute without the use of any tools. It also provides a compact carry capability in a hard case or in 3-day pack (an $1,100 value),
  5. Two cases of Mountain House freeze-dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources (a $350 value),
  6. A $250 gift certificate good for any product from Sunflower Ammo,
  7. Two cases of meals, Ready to Eat (MREs), courtesy of CampingSurvival.com (a $180 value), and
  8. American Gunsmithing Institute (AGI) is providing a $300 certificate good towards any of their DVD training courses.

Second Prize:

  1. A Model 175 Series Solar Generator provided by Quantum Harvest LLC (a $439 value),
  2. A Glock form factor SIRT laser training pistol and a SIRT AR-15/M4 Laser Training Bolt, courtesy of Next Level Training, which have a combined retail value of $589,
  3. A gift certificate for any two or three-day class from Max Velocity Tactical (a $600 value),
  4. A transferable certificate for a two-day Ultimate Bug Out Course from Florida Firearms Training (a $400 value),
  5. A Trekker IV™ Four-Person Emergency Kit from Emergency Essentials (a $250 value),
  6. A $200 gift certificate good towards any books published by PrepperPress.com,
  7. A pre-selected assortment of military surplus gear from CJL Enterprize (a $300 value), and
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Third Prize:

  1. A Royal Berkey water filter, courtesy of Directive 21 (a $275 value),
  2. A large handmade clothes drying rack, a washboard, and a Homesteading for Beginners DVD, all courtesy of The Homestead Store, with a combined value of $206,
  3. Expanded sets of both washable feminine pads and liners, donated by Naturally Cozy (a $185 retail value),
  4. Two Super Survival Pack seed collections, a $150 value, courtesy of Seed for Security, LLC,
  5. Mayflower Trading is donating a $200 gift certificate for homesteading appliances, and
  6. Two 1,000-foot spools of full mil-spec U.S.-made 750 paracord (in-stock colors only) from www.TOUGHGRID.com (a $240 value).

Round 73 ends on November 30th, so get busy writing and e-mail us your entry. Remember that there is a 1,500-word minimum, and that articles on practical “how to” skills for survival have an advantage in the judging.




71 Comments

  1. I came to the same conclusions and purchased two Subs, configured to take the same mags as our G17’s. The idea is great, but the subs are hard to shoot accurately. They are so short that it’s hard for me to get my eyes to sight level with the rifle against my shoulder, even if I tilt the thing to the side. I’m reduced to pointing it in the general direction of the target and hoping. I’d have to extend the stock by several inches to make the thing work well for me. My wife is smaller, it’s perfect for her.

  2. Seems to me we spend a lot of time thinking about the ideal firearms… here is the acid test: strap on your backpack and go for 100 miles on foot with your multiple firearms. You want something lightweight and ballistically effective. If you are in the city, 9mm might suffice, but I’d trade you a mountain of ammo to have a basic inexpensive polymer AR15 and a half dozen mags in the countryside.

  3. As for discomfort firing the sub, there is an aftermarket stock tube cover that will help the beating you face takes tring to line up sight. Also, full earmuffs make this a pita to fire. I have aince switched to plugs only for this gun.
    I totally agree carrying a poly ar15. My omni is amazingly light compared to my other ar.

  4. I really like the emphasis on saving weight and simplifying logistics. I am coming around rapidly on the PDW-type stuff, right there with you.

    For those of us still figuring equipment out, a fun experiment to try is getting on a treadmill (or going for a hike) with a go bag, whatever gear you plan to have for your weapon(s), and then the weapon(s).

    Even as little as 3 miles will start to tell you what’s working and what isn’t. I carried just an M1 Carbine and my bag the first time I tried it, and I was struck by how little help a GI sling was, by how much having a short rifle helped avoid banging into things, and (after I finished walking) how much I fought my pack’s straps to get my carbine shouldered well enough for sight alignment. And all I did was walk on a treadmill with the incline cranked up in my garage as a simulation – none of the challenges that go with real terrain.

    Something small and light with a red dot and a decent sling makes sense in that context. Especially if your pack isn’t easy to take off.

  5. HJL: That was an interesting article. I have many times wondered and waffled about what weapons to take in a bug out situation. I spend winters outside of Phoenix, Arizona. However, I live within walking distance to a wilderness area. That area contains an isolated, limited access three mile long canyon that seldom sees mankind. (Kind of like the Lost World). It contains many deep pools of water. I have determined that the best use of firearms would be for small game hunting therefore I would take my S&W 351 22WMR, Winchester 9422M and S&W 386 .357 Ti with shot shells. I like the idea of a firearm functioning in the wilderness without magazines. But wait! In five minutes I will probably change my mind again after contemplating all this!

  6. I usually keep my critical comments to myself, but…

    I guess I can understand simplifying your battle load with 1 cartridge, and sharing the same magazines for all your weapons. But if that unknown guy at 300 yards goes prone and starts shooting at you, I believe you are screwed. With a 9mm at 300 yards you will be lucky to even suppress his fire let alone hit anything.

    I also realize weight is a factor so here is my 2 cents:

    Sell the Kel-Toy, sell the Governor,(and the various ammunition for it) sell the Smith and Wesson rimfire pistol and at least 1/2 the 9mm ammo, this will lighten your load by about 18 pounds.

    Buy a M4, a decent red dot sight (which gives you nighttime abilities you lack), buy 6 magazines and 360 rounds of ammo, buy a .22lr conversion kit to take your small game.

    There, your load is reduced by several pounds, your effective range is tripled, and you probably have $200 extra dollars in your pocket.

    P.S. Why would you want to go to Texas? That is a miserable place to live, think fly over country.

    1. +1 on the last line. People who think Tejas is the snizitz aren’t looking at the big picture of that state. It will be blue in the next 10 years. Hear me now, believe me later.

  7. I carry a breakdown .22 from Henry. 200 rds of .22 ammo. 9mm S&W Shield with 100 rds & an AR-15 with 500 rds in magazines. Keeps most common calibers available, lightweight and simple to use.

  8. Don’t bring a pistol to a possible rifle fight. A firearm is a tool and pdws are made for up close work moving in and out of cars or buildings. They are useless in the field and you will be out classed by just a hunting rifle beyond a 100 yrds. Your 22 pistol is good a choice.

    1. I agree, a rifle cartridge is superior. I’ve owned a Marlin 1894C .357 Mag, Uzi 9mm, Olympic Arms .45ACP and had friends with Marlin 1894 44 Mag, MP-5 9mm, Tec-9 9mm, & MAC-10 .45ACP. It is a great sounding concept, but the pistol round will never equal the rifle in accuracy, range, and power. Also, folks tend to hot load their carbine ammo, which can ruin a pistol. I now recommend an AK-47 over any pistol carbine, minimum, bigger is better.

      I had a S&W model 18, but it was awful heavy, hard to conceal, and sometimes the spent casings were hard to eject. Now I have a Beretta M21A, but it is less accurate and reliable.

  9. Bite your tongue, Texas is where you want to be, not west Texas, but Right in the heart of Texas. Rolling hills and rivers, lots of trees, abundant game. Not alot of cold.
    Ample growing season. Why not Texas???

    1. I think it is good that you mention that each person needs to determine for themselves what they need in regards to weapons. A 9mm maybe good for some, others will prefer a .40 or a .45 or whatever they think is best for them. My version is at a minimum to have a good handgun, a good shotgun, and a good long rifle. If you can get the rifle and handgun in same caliber even better. Though there are not a lot of options in that regard.
      Good point about keeping your weapons low-profile. You definitely get much more attention if you have one that is all tricked out, but again, its up to each individual to determine what they need.
      If you are already in a good place, the Redoubt is always mentioned on this site, though there are many other places just as good. If you are in a more rural area, no need to bug out anywhere, especially if you have a well or other source of water, and can grow your own veggies, have some chickens, or other small livestock for milk and meat, you don’t need to go anywhere. Sometimes it is better to hunker in the bunker than hit the road. Again, to each their own in that regard.
      It would be nice if there was a “one size fits all” weapon that could do everything you want but as far as I know there isn’t anything like that available. Maybe when they get a Phased plasma rifle in the 40-watt range on the market, that’ll do…lol.

    2. Texas would not be a bad place to be if TEOTWAWKI happens. Definitely, not the urban areas but then that is true in any State. East Texas or North Central Texas could be very good. Summers might be tough because of the heat, but then that is the same problem in a lot of States. Even West Texas between Amarillo and Wichita Falls could be good as there is rolling hills, wooded areas and lots of game available. The Panhandle and further south in West Texas might not be so good but guess it depends on how well you know the country.

  10. Tethering yourself to a garden cart? Not a good idea.

    And please folks, can we drop this fiction story fantasy where someone is able to walk half way across the country. It’s not going to happen in 99% of the cases.

    The reality is that many of us simply have too many weapons. Those in suburban areas need to have a plan wherein they pull the bolts and cache them separately. Then when you are overrun in the cities/suburbs, your collection of 12 pristine ARs you likely never have trained a lot with, do not fall into the hands of gangbangers and other raiders.

    “But my 75 other weapons are locked in safes so they should be fine.” OK, well you will open the safes for the BGs when they start cutting things off your wife, they will kill you after that anyways.

    A family consisting of a husband, a wife who probably hasn’t really trained and 2 small children don’t truly need 50 weapons. Have a handful of DEPENDABLE weapons you have TRAINED with regularly ready to go. If you feel the need to have dozens of other weapons for collector purposes, then keep the bolts separate so as not to up arm the gang bangers after they attack.

    I’m serious. Yes I love weapons and I train a lot more than the average “prepper” but we have to be realistic about our situation. God gave you two hands, not twenty. And the reality is that many a suburban prepper who stays put is simply going to become a resupply point for looters.

    1. Been thinking about my weapons collection as well. Initially I thought I would pickup one in each of the popular calibers: 9mm, 5.56, 7.62×39, 7,62×51, .22, .45, and 12GA. Main Battle Rifle, AR, SKS, marlin w/scope, Hi Points, and full auto shotgun. Then I wanted to keep my .303 and my 9×18 fed as well. Then I picked up a .300 AAC because I thought it was a cool caliber. Now, there is no way I can shoot all of these, and I need to pare down to something manageable.

  11. It seems that you strayed from your basic premise of not carrying lots of different firearms with multiple ammo to be carried. I don’t know much about the keltec but it seems a compromise just to have a long gun. If you carry a long gun, don’t trade away it’s advantages. If you want a gun for hunting small game, then pick one that will work. How about keeping the Glocks, and trading the keltec’s, governor’s and 22 pistols for a single lightweight 22 carbine that can hunt small game, give you a longer reach than the pistols yet not be terribly heavy or threatening? Maybe a ruger 1022?

  12. A Dixon Rollerpack is another way to carry a lot of stuff http://dixonrollerpack.com/ I would also concur on the lightweight AR15. If you really want to go light weight try the PMR30 and CMR30 in .22 mag. I guess anything is better than nothing and whatever floats your boat is in, BUT, realistically for me, I want something with some punch and the .223 gets the nod for light weight and common ammo. This is one of those arguments that can go on forever, like Ford vs. Chevy which is why I have a Dodge 🙂

  13. As I live in my retreat, I don’t plan on bugging out but my 30 mi. get home gun is an old single shot 12 ga. I’ve cut the barrel down to 20″ with a full choke and small bead front site. This allows it to sling carry below my shoulder to clear tree limbs. There is also a shell sock, light and survival stock attached.
    My theory is if I only have a few rounds, I’ll make every shot count and avoid situations that will not turn out well. A shotgun also increases the likelihood of actually hitting something vs the AR spray and pray approach.

  14. Getting into a life and death firefight regardless of which weapon you choose is insane. If you have to travel 30 miles or more to get to some safe place and need to carry an assault type rifle to do it you are probably not going to make it. Remember the books you read about this kind of thing are called fiction for a reason. If you believe strongly that the world is on the verge of SHTF then get yourself now to your bugout location while it is safe to do so. If in the future SHTF catches you in your suburban home I recommend that you bug in. Bugging out will get you killed. Seriously, do you have any real idea what you must travel through to get from Florida to Texas?

    1. I already live at my BOL. I thought the essay made it quite clear that I consider leaving to be the absolute last resort, as in staying will result in my death and leaving is my only chance of survival.

      Florida to Texas was used as an example. The logic still works for other locations.

  15. My question on your bug out plan is the inclusion of your two dogs. Are they trained police, military, sheep or hunting dogs? If they are, great as you trek they can at best help you by using the’re superior sense of smell, hearing and sight to protect you. If they’re pets, then it can spell trouble. Your scenario of the stranger on the road. Would your trained dog alert, point or freeze, but your pet bark and run toward the stranger giving you up. It’s a hard question to bug in or bug out. Another hard question is do you bring your pet dog(s). Will they help or hinder. The question is for the author, but it’s a question that any prepper with a dog needs to ask themselves.

  16. It’s good to have these discussions every so often, I think it helps us define or re-define our own preps.

    More so than anything, get to training with the guns you have. A solid training course with someone like John Farnam, Massad Ayoob, Clint Smith or at a place like Gunsite will help you find out if your chosen weapon will perform in the long term, and under heavy use.

  17. If hunting game is what you want out of a revolver the governor is a poor choice because of its’ small barrel. You won’t get enough velocity for those pellets to do serious damage to medium size game; if they even hit it. If you really want a side arm capable of hunting go get yourself a S&W 629 with a 6.5″ barrel. It’s capable of dispatching anything you should come across in North America, and its recoil is very controllable.
    Insofar as your main weapon choice I wouldn’t use anything with kel-tec or 9x19mm stamped on it. Reliability issues aside I understand it simplifies logistics but you do so at a considerable drop in performance compared to even an intermediate cartridge. If you were to come across some hoodlums with an LP/OP set up and they were using an intermediate or full size rifle cartridge they could engage you at distances that you wouldn’t be able to return fire accurately. Go buy yourself a colt LE6920 and put a trijicon ACOG on it so you can shoot in low light conditions and not have to worry about batteries. That is the absolute minimum I would take out with me as a main weapon.
    One last point on the following excerpt: “Lastly, it does not look as threatening as other guns, which could actually be a huge plus. Someone wearing a plate carrier, a dozen mags, and a massive tricked out rifle is also going to be perceived by literally everyone as a threat. A dirty, tired, less well armed couple may go unnoticed. Bugging out is one situation where going grey is your friend. Remember, most of the people you encounter won’t be looking for a fight either.” If a scumbag sees what they think is a non-threatening target they’re going to pounce on it. Ceteris paribus it’s always better to appear stronger than you are than weaker than you are. You’re less likely to be attacked by a hoodlum that way.
    God Bless,

    Jim K.

    1. Seems like many commenters are assuming the SHTF environment will be like a tour in Afghanistan — with hostiles more objectively identified via drone or intel. Would that be the case post-collapse for a guy moving through strange territory? At 2 and 300 yards, in a grid down scenario, how much can you actually discern about the distant target’s intent?

      Since the OP’s scenario was trying to get from A to B, not interdict bad guys (as the Army would) if he spotted a hostile LP/OP with a longer range weapon than his own, wouldn’t it be better to withdraw and go around than try to take him out with superior arms? Seems like that would be kicking the hornet’s nest.

      1. I can only speak for myself but I don’t believe that most of the commenters were suggesting that he just go around shooting up bad guys like a bad 80’s movie. My line of thinking is that you’ve got a guy traveling through unfamiliar and fairly well populated terrain with little or no intel per the OP: “In our experiment, let’s say it’s been three months since the balloon went up. You are trying to walk from Florida to west Texas.” Granted the Congressional EMP commission said that we could expect an up to 90% die off after 3 months with no power, but we don’t know for sure. Another thing that has to be taken into account is the fact the people that are left over, after that initial die off, will more than likely be trigger happy. So if the person in the OP were to inadvertently wander into someones territory that could be game over if they have the severely limited defense capabilities that a pistol caliber carbine would provide versus an intermediate cartridge, because they wouldn’t be able to effectively lay down fire to withdraw. That’s what I think most people were getting at.

        Regards,

        Jim K.

        1. Hi Jim,

          Actually, I didn’t say ‘most’, but there are several commenters (and not just on this blog or particular post) who appear to imagine (and plan for) contacts as fire-fights to be won ballistically.

          As you said, the oft-quoted 90% die-off may or may not happen. I tend to think it won’t be that steep, nor would it be evenly spread. A retirement community in Florida might hit 95% without modern medicine. Rural Iowa, maybe only 20%.

          But, whatever the actual percentage of survivors, my point was that the original premise was a man and wife trying to move a long distance cross country. Their goal is to get to Point B alive, not, as you say, to play-out a cheesy 80s movie.

          The problem, as I see it, is moving through unknown territory — someone else’s territory — means they’ll likely spot you long before you spot them. They’ll be dug into LP/OP spots. If they’re bad-guys, they’ll likely just wait until you’re close. Why risk a 300 yard shot missing and giving away their position when they can plug you for certain from under 100? (less walking to go get your stuff, too) You’d have little or no time to return fire. They’ll want you dead quick, not scrambling for cover.

          And, as I mentioned, even if you do find cover, being able to take them out (defensively) would have to happen very quickly. But, how likely is that? The LP/OP will be dug in and defensible. (they’re the 10% survivors, after all) Even with the best AR, load and optics, it wouldn’t be quick or easy. Prolonged fire would only bring more of whoever staffed the OP. At ambush ranges, a pistol caliber carbine could still return fire to keep heads down for a while. The goal would be to get heads down and withdraw quickly.

          Of course, if you strayed into a two-hundred-yard wide kill zone before finding out there was a hostile OP, you’ve made yourself a problem that even the best AR won’t solve.

          Better to try hard to avoid being seen and shot at in the first place. Someone else commented that such evasion made the garden cart a difficult bit of gear to manage. Seems like a valid point.

          Someone else commented about moving only at night. Night vision and probably need FLIR. If there are woods, move in the woods where there isn’t a 300-yard sight line, etc.

          That’s where I was going with my comment. Focusing on winning a firefight with superior arms at longer ranges seems like a doomed strategy for getting from A to B. You on someone else’s turf and automatically outnumbered. Thinking of increasing your range from 150 to 300 yards is solving the wrong problem. You’re likely to discover you’ve been seen either too late, or closer in.

          Regards as well,

          — Mic

  18. 1) Your strategy is to stay hidden. In that event, if you are pursued by a group of 5 robbers then you need a flat shooting rifle so you can snipe at them from 200 yards while in hidden cover.
    (Maybe 100 yards in summer East Coast but out to 200 yards in winter.) You also need a rapid firing, rapid stopping firearm if they manage to sneak up close and charge –or if you are surprised by sudden discovery or ambush.

    2) In that regard, choice of the low-powered 9mm pistol round over AR15/5.56 seems ill-considered. You don’t want to have to fire repeated rounds at just one assailent while his buddies are firing at you.

    3) I don’t see any weight advantages — 5.56 and 9mm ammo weigh the same — 300 rds of either will be 8 lbs. The Sub2000 (4.25 lbs) and
    Glock (2 lbs) come to 6.25 lbs vs 8.5 lbs for an Ar15.

    4) A 9mm out of a sub2000 has dropped 54 inches at 200 yards — compare that to the 5.56. Note that the 9mm has dropped 25 inches
    at 150 yards. So if you choose the Sub2000, be prepared for some complex range estimations/mental calculations when shooting at targets fleeing from one piece of cover to the next while their buddies do fire and manever on you.
    http://www.mcarbo.com/9mm-trajectory-chart-vs-40-s-w-trajectory-chart.aspx

    5) Hunting is ruled out with either selection — one shot will be a dinner bell for every starving cannibal around.

    6) But the same problem applies to use of a firearm in self-defense. If you are discovered by one hostile, shooting him will bring his buddies down upon you.

    7) A possible alternative would be a Chippa Little Badger (2.9 lbs) in 22 WMR and fitted with a suppressor. For lesser sound, you could
    also shoot the 22 Winchester Rimfire which mimics the ballistics of the 22 Long Rifle but in the longer 22 magnum case.

    This firearm would allow you to shoot a single hostile in the head with little sound and also let you do deer poaching at night in less populated rural areas. It is single shot so would be of little use in a firefight — but your odds on your own in a firefight with multiple enemies are not good in any case. Maybe better if the Chiappa is supplemented with the Glock –in which case you would need only 100 rds of 9mm unless you are really optimistic.

    8) Another alternative would be to suppress the Glock 17 (although it would still be much louder than the Chiappa 22) and add a PDW rifle stock/extended magazine to it:
    https://suarezinternational.com/pdw-glock/
    (See video)

  19. PS Note from the link in my post above that out at 100 yards, the drop of a 9mm shot from a Glock 17 fitted with PDW stock is not much greater than the drop from a Sub2000: 13 inches vs 10 inches.

    The longer barrel of the Sub2000 gives 200 fps greater velocity at the barrel but that velocity difference has been reduced to 100 fps by air resistance out at 75-100 yards.

  20. Interesting article, but probably a little obsessive with firearms while neglecting other needs. We can pardon that.
    Thinking back to the story of The Long Walk, by Slavomir Rawicz, a featherweight .22 rifle would probably have been as much weapon as they (7 men) would have been able to use and would have wanted to carry. But, they would have loved to have had a knife each, and a canteen! They had relatively good clothing, thankfully.
    On a walk like that, you’ll need concealment more than firepower. G26 or G43, maybe LCP? Remember, you are a stranger bumbling in someone else’s territory, and need to avoid frightening or antagonizing the locals (including the Military Police). You’ll be fortunate to complete the trip with any firearm you started with.
    Most likely, an AR-7 would be more effective than the S&W .22 and Governor combined (with no more overall weight), and would probably take care of most of what you would actually do with the Kel-Tecs. (The Sub-2000 is a really clumsy choice for small game/pests up close.)
    A light .223 (SU16?) would be nice for big animals and long ranges. Ammo is as light as 9mm.
    Military survival training tends to work on the presupposition of only one magazine being available for the duration. And it’s interesting to note that most military “survival rifles” have been replaced with the M9 and M4.
    Weight in a wagon is still weight. The wagon itself is also weight. Try pulling it behind you while opening trail with a machete.
    It is in the rural homestead situation where we have the maximum capacity to own and use weapons. Beyond that, our practical abilities shrink rapidly.
    Straws weigh heavy on a long walk. May your feet carry you well!

  21. PPS Clarification: I mentioned the GLock PDW for what is really a separate situation.

    If the SHTF, but law enforcement is still in effect then a Glock 17 lets you carry a weapon concealed, with a reasonable ability to take out up to 3 hostiles if surprised at close range (<25 yards.) In SHTF, it will be difficult to travel without being seen by at least someone occasionally — barking dogs will ensure that. If you have a concealed Glock the observer will be less likely to call the local police down upon you than if you are carrying an AR15.

    But if the SH REALLY hits the fan, then law enforcement will either be at home with their families or well occupied elsewhere and having an AR15 really to fire will be better for what is a much more dangerous environment. War zone vs high crime ghetto.

  22. Any fun or pistol over 22LR will have ammunition that is so heavy you will not be able to carry it. A 22LR at 24-50 yards with a head or chest shot will work, and I have even killed a black bear with one. 1000 rounds weighs very little, and a take down Ruger, and ruger pistol are all you will need. I love the idiots with assault rifles or sniper rifles….try to carry 500 rounds….good luck. The idea is to NOT engage, and a gillie suit with 22LR is all one needs.

    1. This was my response as well. 6 or 8 compact 10 round magazines, maybe one or two 25-round mags for defense. How many firearms can you carry 500 or even 1000 rounds for?

  23. Being the owner of many guns, if I would only have a choice of one gun it would be a bolt action Tikka T3 chambered in 308, with a Nightforce NXS 8-32x riflescope.

    To many of my hunter friends are able to outgun me on the range with their scoped bolt action .308 over my scoped AR over long distances. The safe action seems to me is to be able to neutralize a target before it becomes a threat.

    In a SHTF scenario, urban gangs which will pose a highly probable threat. They have a fascination with the AK and simalier platforms as well as easy access to pistols. These gangs for the most part are extremely inexperienced in long range shooting.

    I know quite a few hunters and country folk with high powered bolt action rifles that would be able to find their target before they are in range themselves, and protect their families and property.

    Being able to find targets at a higher distance also can be perceived as a force multiplier.

    God bless

    1. Unfortunately the city folk are probably not going to march up to your house at port arms so you can snipe them at your leisure.

      They will come in several vehicles and storm your place at close range with those AKs, shotguns, and handguns. They’ll trade a few of their guys to take everything you have. The Patriots books do a good job of showing how this would happen.

      1. I concur — especially on the East Coast, a hostile with the most basic training will use cover and concealment to get within 100 yards.

        Maybe 50 yards after all the lawns get 3 feet high in weeds because only an idiot would run a loud lawnmower out in the open.

        Plus there is the oops factor — accidently bumping into a hostile group. Because a solitary individual or small family does NOT have a large supply of recon scouts to go ahead and spring any traps.

      2. El Dude ring,
        You maybe right, however as I have stated I own several types of firearms.
        My personal retreat is well stocked in terms of various types of firearms and ammunition.
        I do however have a plan B, if this retreat becomes untenable.
        I do appreciate your concern, however I do have members capable of assuming defensible locations at the current site.
        My paticular geographical region offers an extreme advantage in overall defence.

        Thanks for you advice and keep in touch
        God bless,

  24. A couple comments:
    During the Depression my grandfather kept his family fed with venison with a single shot Springfield .22 rifle. A 50 round box was made to last. I know a Savage bolt action .22 with its AccuTrigger shoots accurately a lot farther than he ever could. Always use a field expedient rest. A .22 LR hollow point in the neck area of a deer or a man is big target for a capable shooter.
    On the trail taking anything larger than small game means you are going to waste a lot of spoiled meat unless you have the ability and safe location to smoke or dry it.
    The most effective and least labor intensive and silent way to harvest small game is with wire snares. Do you have the skills to use them? Do you know what plants are edible to augment the game?
    Do you have multiple ways to purify water? Disease will get you long before the 300 yard marksman if you don’t.
    In many of the areas in the eastern half of the country 100 yards is a long shot because of the woods and underbrush, even in suburban areas. Stay off of kill zones like streets and roads.
    I agree that most dogs are not as useful as we read about in stories. They have to be fed, too. The dogs owners have let go because they can’t be fed will be looking to feed on your dogs, and possibly you.
    I, too, live in the suburbs and have the same concerns you do, but I sure don’t plan on walking to Texas!

    1. I am also partial to the 22 round. These days they make awesome tactical chassis as well.
      I’ve seen some amazing shots with 22.
      Even my infantry buddies love the limited recoil, and lightweight nature of a good “Tacticool” 22; Especially with an extended magazine.
      II am not mistaken, the 22 round has killed or injured more people than any ammo in history.
      Anyways thanks for your post and keep in touch.

      God bless

      1. Israeli Defense Forces are well-known to use Ruger 10/22 against riot leaders. The knees are targeted, leading to accusations of “death rays” dropping selected targets.
        I’ve had good luck with the 10/22 Takedown with a folding stock and peep sights making quick accurate groups on multiple targets. The weapon is more accurate than I am.
        This would be my “going for a walk” carbine, with a couple BX25-round magazine and 10 round rotary mag’s in-pocket, and a pound or 2 of ammo in waterproof packs. Pistol might be a Ruger Mark III with some upgrades and extra magazines or a .22 revolver, but the weight and capability of the pistols seems to not be worth it. Mobility is really important, more so than armament. I’m not going to bother a modern military by myself, and expect that I’m less than a gnat to them.
        When an auto or an RV is part of the movement, weight stops mattering much, compared to walking.

  25. I believe that some of you people credit urban gangs, who seem to be the favorite post apocalyptic boogeymen, with far more marksmanship and courage than they actually posses. These guys are not the Imperial Japanese Army island defending fame. They will run at the first head shot punk you and your presumably prepared defense prep group get off. These guys are by nature nasty, and mean, but the have the save your own a*s syndrome to the core. Couple that with the fact they can’t hit crap ( note in Milwaukee and Chicago urban shootings how many innocents get shot vs their intended targets ) and if your group has a modicum of preprared defensive perimeter you will be able to drive them off with little problem. They will look for softer targets, like nursing homes or daycare centers. Your problem will of course be much greater if your opponent is any organized unit, like the military or a band of ex-veterans bent on scavenging anyone or anything by force.

    On weapons, use what works for you. If you can’t hit with it, it’s useless. I agree pistol rounds at range are not desirable. .22 LR is not a great stopper, but very useful in many ways. I never want to bugout, but if forced to I will probably grab one of my AR’s or AK. But I would do anything to avoid any confrontation if at all possible.

  26. First I like the concept. However you strayed away with all the weapons. I would keep the SUB 2000 for your wife and hide the other at your bug out location as was said earlier about loss of weapons along the way. Same pistols real good idea as long as both can use them effectively, however if your wife can only shoot a 22 LR well don’t give her a 9 mm you are just setting her up to die. I would go with either a 22 LR hand gun or the AR-7 rifle for small game. Now for you unless your wife is better at long range shooting and toting it, go with an AR 15/4 series for all the reasons already said. If you want something that you can hide try the Keltec 16 series, they fold up almost as small as the 2000 (carry extra retaining pin as it is not captive like an AR), weigh about 1 lb more than the 2000 and shoot a longer range cartridge in.556. That being said the Keltec 16 may not hold up to a lot of use and abuse so at your bug out location hide a M4 Series AR. Your bug out firearms would be Keltec series and 7 magazines, Sub 2000 and 7 magazines, Glocks 3 magazines each. 22 lr with as many rounds as you could carry. Last do not tie yourself to anything, it could get you killed. Cart is a great idea.

    1. Given the scope and length of the essay some pertinent details had to be left out, leading to confusion in the comments. This being the internet, such things are bound to happen.

      To clarify:

      I already live at a well concealed and very well stocked BOL. It would take a disaster beyond reckoning and a healthy dose of bad luck to force me to leave. However, such things are certainly possible, and thus contingency plans must be developed.

      We would each carry a sub2k. My wife is extremely comfortable and experienced with this particular firearm. She is not a fan of traditional assault rifles which limits our options. The lightweight and compact design is attractive to her, and she finds the controls on an AR to be cumbersome and inefficient. This is not to say the AR is bad, but in defense of our lives her being comfortable with her weapon is infinitely more valuable than fumbling with something that she doesn’t know well.

      We both have approximately 100 hours of professional firearms training, split about 70/30 between handguns/long guns. My wife is by far the deadliest woman I know.

      My bug out buggy as I call it turned out so well that later I will likely do an article on it.

  27. Hi N.B,

    Thanks for your great article.

    I like the Kel-Tec guns. If I had unlimited budget I would look into it more.

    I went for a hike and had a chance to reflect.
    I am partial to the weopons I was formally trained on, particularly the AR 556/223.

    You can get a DMR or designated marksman rifle at 18.5 inches or what is called a PDW or Personal Defence Weopons, at about 13 inches barrel length.
    Again in my opinion there is nothing wrong with your Kel-Tec choice.

    I just think in the long run you will be able to find parts, and ammo for your AR more than a Kel-Tec.

    I kind of believe your choice in firearm should be one you are most comfortable with. I have seen a person take out a Wild Pig at 400 yards with simple .22 with one shot.

    I hope you the best with your choice. To reiterate,
    An AR offers so much versatility these days, that would be a personal reccomendtion. An AR with a decent scope, aLong with a tactical flashlight; seems like a good choice to me. Think nighttime scenarios as well.

    Whatever you decide, let us know; and get good with your tool!

    God bless,

  28. The question isn’t which gun or guns to carry but instead it’s how to get from point A to point B. without ever needing a gun in the first place. The answer is an AN-PVS14 night vision monocular. Travel ONLY at night and pray for really dark nights. If you dress in dull colored clothing, keep your mouth shut and keep moving silently you should be able to make quite a few miles per night and with any luck you will never encounter a bad guy thus avoiding a firefight. Of course you will want some type of firearm for hunting but keep it light in weight.

  29. Maintaining strong magazine spring tension would be a consideration in extended travel…I would prefer to fully load 1/3 of my inventory and then rotate by 1/3 on a weekly basis in order to extend their functional life…

  30. In a Schumer Hits The Fan scenario, where we have no choice but to bug out and we’re not in a fight or flight situation but we must survive until we reach a safe location, it would and could call for different weapons depending on the location of where you start and where you hope to end up. If your in parts of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Alaska or Western Canada where there are lots of large predators you would probably want to carry something different than you would in some other parts of the country. Where I live I wouldn’t want to have to spend a lot of time in the outback with just a 9mm but in other locals a 9mm might be all that you would need. Just because you see someone at 300 yards doesn’t mean that either party is just going to start shooting. That being said, if I had to bug-out and try and survive I personally would carry my Ruger MK2 with 500 rds. of ammo to take small game such as rabbits, squirrel,coons,chipmunks, grouse and such along with my 12Ga Pump with 25 rds.of #6 for turkey, pheasant,and waterfowl if they presented themselves and 10 rds.of 00 buck and 15 rds. of slugs for large game and defense should it become necessary. Even with million of people on the move, much large and small game will still survive in remote areas, but they will be a few miles off the beaten path because few people will venture back into rough rugged country over a couple of miles. The 22lr and the 12 ga. are not what I normally carry, but they would be my go to gun if I had to bug-out. Trekker Out. To Each His Own!

  31. A view I am sure is shared, is that anything you own might end up being all you have should things go terribly wrong. So with that in mind, I treat my 75+ year old bolt action war horses as what I might end up with, and act accordingly with the spare parts required to keep them going. Since the professional opinion is to not use the higher powered hunting rounds for things like the ’03 Springfield, I buy the lowest powered ammo. After firing a hotter round the first time I shot it, deciding to go lower powered in that featherweight rifle was an easy decision. American Eagle (?)markets a 148 grain round for the Garand, so that is what I buy for my ’03A3. Picking up an old mauser to clean up for a winter project, I followed the same idea. Though heavier and easier to absorb the recoil, I buy the lower grain 8mm when I see it, although I wouldn’t walk out of a gun store empty handed if all they had was 196 grain ‘artillery shells’. Should my families collective necks be on the line, I can live with a bruised shoulder. While more modern options are available, there is no guarantee if the Schumer hits the fan, that they will be at hand. Personally I would be content to have them sitting in the closet collecting dust, but there seem’s to be a “Guns Of August” mindset working towards a more confrontational scenario.

  32. Just a quick comment on your garden wagon. You might want to consider getting some old snow skis, cutting them down and finding a removable way to attach them to the wheels. Under some terrain conditions it might be easier to cross potholed fields without having to pull the wheels out of each micro ditch. Wheels kind of make you dependent or roads.

  33. Jarhead John- re: magazines being loaded.

    Depends on magazine I guess. I’ve had AK mags fully loaded for 5 or more years that ran without a hitch. We have very few unloaded mags in our storage- except deep storage “extras.” But if your TRAINING regularly, your probably going through them if you keep 20-30 mags loaded.

    You need to run your “extras” when they are first purchased to KNOW they work correctly. I’ve found many a mag in storage that was “new in wrap” quality mag that didn’t run well. Put an X on the bottom of them, give them one more chance then get rid of them at a gunshow. Most preppers don’t spend enough time working clearance malfunctions anyways, having some ganked up mags makes things worse.

    Attend some good rifle classes and you’ll find many people trying to sort out ganked up gear, mags, rifles on the first day. Items people swore were “reliable” because they READ THAT on the internet break regularly. That’s another advantage of TRAINING regularly- you will get your gear and weapons sorted out. Waiting till “on the job training” in the PAW is a dumb idea.

  34. I bought a Sub2000 in 2010 NIB at Ace Hardware for $300+Tax. It is in 40 S&W since I own two Glock 22s. With reloading, I am able to get 180 gr to +1300 fps out of that longer barrel, which makes this like a hot 41 mag pistol. To overcome the sighting issues, I have a removable red dot that co-witnesses with the open sights out to 100 yards at about 2 moa precision most of the time. I got this because it was inexpensive, functional, and worked in combo with my Glocks. It is not my most desirable BO config, but it has its applications.

    If I have time to prepare and the means to get to my primary arsenal, then it will be my AR15 carbine or my AR10 carbine loadout. If I think I am going into harm’s way while beating feet to a new operating area, I want the most effective weapons I can handle. While the AR10 is going to be a bit of a concern for the load, I am quite loathe to leave it behind in the face of unknown threats for unknown periods. But that is me, and YMMV. Stepping into the shoes of any opponent I might face, I would think they would be least interested in facing sustained accurate fire to 300+ meters in 7.62. The sub2000 is much more like the pistols. It is there to help me get to my primary weapon more than anything else. The fact that it is more portable makes it more likely for EDC. I really consider it an extension of the Glocks rather than a MBR. If contemplating a firefight during an E&E, I would much prefer humping an MBR. Suffering with the load is far more desirable to being outgunned.

    As for Texas, I prefer NW Texas to any other part of the state (pretty much anywhere north of Midland). Plus, there is so much ordinance buried in that state you could equip a modern army for a world war and be fairly competitive. The folks that own the land that stuff is buried on are not inclined to the left of center. Anyone thinks Texas will just roll over in a firefight will get their hearts broke.

  35. Bugging out with a garden cart would seem a decent idea if you’re walking on a highway, but anywhere else and it’s a lost cause. Walking down a farm road would invite attention from all who live along it. Some of it not wonderful. Walking cross country, at least where I live in the northern Midwest, is almost impossible. Any kind of cart would get stopped by the first hill, swamp, river, brush tangle or even a plowed field.
    In the old days, Australian miners used to walk hundreds of miles in the desert with wheelbarrows. There’s even a statue of one in Kalgoorlie, WA. Of course they were tougher back then. The wheelbarrows used iron wheels, but solid rubber wheels are available now.
    Frankly, I can’t really think of how any kind of “long walk” in SHTF would ever be successful.

  36. I would prefer the one wheeled cart with shoulder straps that can be detached with quickly. I have the sub 40 and glock 22 sub 9 with suppresser with glock 19 22 rd mags for the 40 along with 12 extra mags for the pistol 12 extra mags for (g/17)and 33 rd mags for the sub and g/19 would carry an AR in the cart with loaded mags in harness the pistols are carried on a battle belt. I would rather take my chances staying in my home making it defensible as possible knowing that the odds of surviving a melt down whether bugging out or staying is going to be difficult trying to protect the extended family. the dogs being mentioned could be a problem or benefit and if it came to the need for food you could eat them.

  37. Speaking of carts, this one is the best game carts I’ve ever seen. My brother took an entire bull elk out using this one, he did have to quarter it to get it to fit.

    http://www.neetkart.com/

    Going over logs, side hill, up and downhill is easy with the brakes, AND about double the weight capacity.

  38. I agree with you concerning the Sub 2K, except mine is in .40 and uses the Glock magazines. 22 rounds vs. your 33 rounds. It’s my get home bag gun, supplementing my G-22. My son also has a Sub 2K in .40 that goes with his G-23. As you can see we’re both a Glock family and .40 lovers. However, the Sub 2K is just to get me home where I will switch it for my AR and pass the Kel-Tek on to my wife. If we have to bug out, that’s what she’ll be carrying while I keep the AR.

  39. I agree with the notion that gangs will be among the first to go, as locals know who they are. We have gangs because we have a functioning justice system that protects them. When rule-of-law goes, the gangs will be hunted to extinction.
    Water will kill far more of you than bullets, but firearms get all the attention because they are more fun to use, own, talk about. Once you reach the gun saturation point, stop buying ever-more guns and spend some serious money on good water gear that will see you through years and years of being on your own. That eliminates the popular ones we see advertised all the time.
    Pic ONE rifle, and ONE pistol, standardize on that, and go (if you have to bug-out). If you are already at your homestead, you have a wild list of options. I go along with the battle carbine people….you want a serious rifle to deal with a wide spectrum of threats. Don’t try to make a pistol round do a rifle’s job. It’s a fantasy. Don makes the most valid points in the least amount of space. I also like the idea of hiding the bolts of weapons left behind. Hadn’t thought of that! We don’t get do-overs, so plan accordingly. Also, don’t plan on harvesting a lot of game. 300 million other people will be trying the same strategy….so that eliminates the small game rifle. Within a week of the siege of Leningrad, there wasn’t a cat or dog left in the city.

  40. Intriguing article with a number of interesting points, but I have some of the same concerns mentioned by others. Of course, your situation is unique and perhaps your plan suits that situation best, but I can think of a number of alternatives worth considering. First, none of the calibers you mention compare to a 5.56/.223 or 7.62 X 39 in power or range (especially a 9 mm). Other combo rifle/handgun calibers such as .357 magnum or even .44 magnum have the same problem. The Governor with .410 shells is an extremely short range weapon and the .45 LC or .45 auto only marginally better.
    If you are thinking in terms of yourself and your wife I suggest a carbine (AR, AK) or, for minimum weight a Kel-Tech SU-16C with red dot for yourself and a .22 semi-auto (Ruger 10/22) with low power variable illuminated reticle scope like the Vortex Strike Eagle or Leupold equivalent for your wife. Together you would have effective hunting/defensive capabilities to 300 yards. Couple these with matching Glock 17s (or whatever) and you have well rounded capabilities in 3 calibers. You would not need an excessive quantity of hand gun rounds as they are last resort and special purpose: go heavy on the 5.56/.223 and .22 LR.

  41. As a former corpsman, what keeps me awake nights is the very idea of one of my family members being shot, period.

    Most have never seen what a rifle bullet does to human tissue. If more folks food, they’d stop all this fantasy nonsense and do their level best to avoid others at all costs until they’re wherever they want to be. Even then, it isn’t safe.

    I’m trained to use a firearm and to treat those injured by them. I have no desire to do either.

    I’m prepared as well as I can be, but pray to the good Lord that day never comes.

  42. @G3Ken
    Well, of course, anyone with sense would avoid conflict to the greatest extent possible. But robbers sometimes don’t let you walk away — try walking through a high crime area at night. And the point about SHTF is that everyplace could become a high crime area if people become desperate. If a hostile group is on your trail, what are you supposed to do?

    Anyone who thinks they can stay 100% hidden while covering several hundred miles has never walked through a rural or suburban area at night and heard the chorus of dogs barking. And if SHTF, some of those dogs may be turned loose to run you down. How do you think they catch escaped convicts ?– who are trying to flee without notice. If evasion was easy, there wouldn’t be so many soldiers made into POWs.

    In a mountainous area, one might try hiking along a route that is halfway up the side of a steep ridge and which follows the ridge. But that is much slower/more difficult travel than following lines of commuication — railroads, power lines,etc. A big issue if your food supply is running out.

  43. Great article and followup comments.If I may add my two cents worth. Here in Oregon I too already live in a great location for a SHTF scenario. My wife works in a gun store,need I say more. I have three safes and every firearm has it’s purpose. First off fortify your location and by that I mean bodies. Like minded people who you trust. By ourselves we cannot afford to be stationary we will always have to be on the move.If I have the option of staying put my FAL will always be at hand. If we have to be on the move it’s a total game changer. Are we going to be on flat terrain,heading for the hills,are we going to move only at night? What I’m getting at is each geographical area allows a different firearm to rise above the other. Ideally you can travel in a group and each person has a different gun for a specific purpose.As far as which firearms to carry we could debate that until a situation plays out.My recommendations:1.Make sure your fate is secure in Jesus Christ 2.Keep your powder dry 3.Shoot straight(practice often)4.Keep prepping

  44. This kind of bugout scenario is mostly a fantasy. The garden cart means you will only be able to travel on roads. If so, why not bugout with a motorcycle or some other type of off-road vehicle and get to your destination in a matter of hours or, at worst, days? With planning, you could easily carry enough fuel to get from Florida to West Texas. And, if you knew where you wanted to go before the shtf you could plan a route that was off road or along lightly traveled roads. Even a mountain bike and bike trailer are much better than the garden cart on the roads.

    Also, I wish you would assemble all your recommended gear,weigh it and let us know how much it weighs. Where I live, Northern Arizona, if you want to live very long walking and pulling a garden cart your cart better mostly be full of water. To save weight for water I would take the smallest, lightest guns I have and a limited amount of ammunition. Their primary purpose would be to deal with wild dogs and discourage other small groups of refuges from messing with me. You and your wife, exhausted, dehydrated, discouraged and walking through unfamiliar terrain are not going to win any firefights with any type of organized group operating in familiar terrain, regardless of how much firepower you brought.

    Long walks in a shtf situation are not realistic.

  45. I’d like to point out one item for bugging out: The need for binoculars. Seeing what’s down he road, or across a field matters, and if all you have is a rifle scope, then you really run the risk of getting shot at when it might not have happened with binoculars. Think about it, how would you respond if someone lined a rifle up on you. The other person does not know it’s just to look.

    Ok, 2 cents spent, thanks for the article.

  46. If your really bugging out with no destination then it will be 3 firearms per person MAX! probably 2. if it is 2 then one REAL rifle of your choice (AK for me) and one sidearm. (Sig 9mm for me) if your a tough guy maybe you can haul a 12 gauge along also. No matter what your choice your ammo load will be a problem, It’s HEAVY!!! I honestly cant see many scenarios outside of sheer last resort desperation where taking the long walk alone (you your wife and your kids is alone)is a good idea. In most cases it would have to be part of some sort of group where collectively you have more resources.

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