In his book– Tools for Survival– JWR states that he is in the “narrow but deep” firearms camp rather than the “broad range” of firearms camp. I suggest a third alternative: Go for the “narrow but deep” philosophy first with a military style rifle with quality optics and a military style handgun and LOTS of mags and ammo for each (and, arguably, a shotgun). Then, slowly supplement that with other less expensive firearms with less ammo. These firearms should be non-military as, for example, lever action rifles, bolt action hunting rifles, and revolvers, with smaller quantities of ammo.
The non-military firearms are far less likely to be outlawed or seized by the government and would become quite valuable in such an event during which time the military style weapons could be “gotten rid of”. Also, these old guns are just nice to have around.
Finally, it’s a good idea to have lots of .22 rimfire ammo and weapons no matter what your philosophy, as most of us already know. When all the center fire is shot up, rimfire will rule the world, I predict.
HJL Responds: Despite the current administration’s push to outlaw certain military caliber ammunition, military ammo will always be the least expensive and most plentiful there is. The more esoteric the caliber you stock, the less likely you are to find sources for the ammo or reloadable components as time goes on. For that reason alone, a “narrow” philosophy centered around military arms makes the most sense. The sheer number of firearms that are already on the streets makes the possibility of removing those same firearms very slim through legal means. If you prefer not to use a military caliber, it simply means that you need to be aware of what your long-term ammunition needs are and stock accordingly. One thing I have been contemplating in recent weeks, due to the scarcity of .22LR ammunition, is a pellet rifle. Even the 3000psi cylinders can be refilled with a hand pump, if you have to, and they pack as much punch as the .22LR ammunition.