As an American and living in a gun friendly state I have chosen to own and carry firearms if SHTF. It is not for everyone though and is a very personal decision to make. I also carry pepper spray for a non-lethal option. Like many things in prepping, firearms are a personal thing and every person has their opinions. I don’t claim to be correct in my choices, because they are personal to me. Firearms and the ammunition you need to become proficient are also expensive so sometimes go with what you have.
What I like – If the SHTF moment occurs and firearms are needed for protection and hunting I have chosen the Springfield XD-9 subcompact as a sidearm and a Marlin 336 lever action 30-30 for a long gun.
Why I like – For my pistol I chose the XD-9 because it is chambered in 9mm, which is the most popular caliber produced so finding ammunition after SHTF should be easier. I chose the compact because it conceals easily, but is still comfortable in my hand. I have tried the XDS and some similar single stack sidearms, but I really didn’t like the feel when shooting. I also decided against the single stacks because most only hold 6 ish shells, which is the same as a revolver, and in a defense situation I would like more than less. For my rifle I chose a Marlin 30-30, which is also chambered in one of the most popular calibers. This caliber is good for most game from raccoons up to deer and hogs which are plentiful in my area, and in my area of the country there is much brush to shoot through. While it doesn’t have the range of many rifles, I believe at least in my part of the country that confrontations will occur at less than 100 yards. It is light weight, can accept a scope, though I chose to not have one for quicker target acquisition, and holds 6 shells with one in the chamber.
One of the main reasons I chose the lever action rifle is for the low-key visuals of it. One of the most talked about edicts of prepping is being a gray man. To me carrying around an AR style rifle is a clear sign that you have more or know more than your plain clothes and simple backpack are letting on, whether you do or not. The lever action rifle has been around for a century and most people associate it with an antiquated time and technology and not as big a threat as an AR style.
There is a belief among some that commonality between pistol ammunition and rifle ammunition is the way to go. There is merit in this of course. It means that you are carrying a single type of cartridge so any cartridge on you can be used for your rifle or your pistol. It also makes reloading easier. There is also a downside to this in the rifle because a cartridge that can be used in a pistol doesn’t have the range or power of a traditional rifle cartridge. I have chosen to carry both, because I believe a pistol round is for pistols, to be used up close at short distances, and a rifle round is for hard hits at a further range.
Whatever you chose to carry if you do chose to carry, practice……a lot. Go to the range and get used to the feel of your chosen firearms. Get instruction on proper techniques and certainly keep them in good working order. Your life and the lives of your family may depend on them. You should also instruct your family on them also, in the event they need them and you are not available.
Stay active, pay attention, and get prepared.