5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF
- AR-15: The mainstay of the U.S. Armed Forces (M-16, now the M-4) for the past fifty years. It’s not going to be mothballed anytime soon. Those .223 rounds are about as common as they will ever be. Everything in the military and law enforcement is geared around this system. M16A4 and the M-4 carbine being the designators for the model carried by the U.S. Armed forces. Cyclic Rate of Fire: 700 – 900 rpm (rounds per minute). Caliber: 5.56 x 45 mm. Effective Range: 500 meters/550 yards.
- AK-47: Widely available in semiautomatic form, firing a 7.62 x 39 mm round. The Russian ammo is harder to come by now; the Chinese ammo is more readily available, and the rounds are coated, unlike the Russian rounds. Winchester and Remington also make “boxer” primed rounds that can be reloaded. The full-auto version can be found in your higher-end ranges and fired for a price. Cyclic Rate of Fire: 600 rpm. Effective Range: 300 meters/328 yards. The availability, coupled with the fact that the upgraded versions are almost identical is the reason to train on such a weapon…a rifle that, if the “Red Dawn” scenario occurs, you will surely see again…and possibly need to employ.
- Beretta 9 mm Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol in service with the U.S. military for more than 30 years. Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards. Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic. Caliber: 9 x 19 mm. The U.S. military phased out the M1911 for “economics and accuracy,” only to find the stopping power is less than the .45, which is presently experiencing a resurgence and possible complete return. Still, the 9mm Beretta is an excellent “starter pistol” to train with: it’s still in service in the military and law enforcement and is not disappearing anytime soon.
- M1911 Pistol: A semiautomatic pistol, arguably (and I follow the “pro” argument) one of the finest weapons ever produced. In service with the military more than half a century. Effective Range: 45 meters/50 yards. Rate of Fire: Semiautomatic. Caliber: .45 ACP. The U.S. military should have never let it go…for a good recap on the .45 cartridge, refer to my recent article at ReadyNutrition entitled “The Great Defender: You’ll Want This By Your Side When It Hits the Fan.” Stopping power, ease of operation, and durability…you can’t do better. The 1911 is making a comeback and is as plentiful as ever.
- Mossberg model 500-Series 12-gauge shotgun: As Rage Against the Machine so eloquently phrased it, “Pistol grip pump on my lap at all times!” Yes, indeed, the 500 series is the successor to the Remington 870 (another beauty that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it). You can do no finer. Stick with that pistol grip pump or leave that stock on the back if you feel more comfortable. Many recommend the Bennelli Black Eagle, etc., in semiautomatic version, but the semis tend to jam in a manner that the pump shotgun does not. Stagger your ammo with 12-gauge slugs and 000 (“triple-ought”) buckshot. Effective range is about 25 meters (50 feet) unless you train with it frequently for longer distances. In any event, what’s in front of you will go down.
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By training with these weapons, you will be familiarizing yourself with firearms you will definitely see in one way, shape, or form in a SHTF scenario. Learning how to operate these will stimulate you to develop skills and perhaps to purchase one or more in civilian/legal ownership form. There are also plenty of qualified instructors to be found in these ranges, and a high-end range that is worth its salt will provide one for you to familiarize you with the weapon free of charge before you fire it. Keep your powder dry, don’t stop the training, and try out these five…you won’t be disappointed. JJ out!