For Part 1, go here.
Ok, so you’ve thought over Part 1 and you’ve come back. Great!
Let’s get started.
Before anything else you have to understand that you have very limited time in the way of making purchases (you never know what is going to be banned next by Executive Order or agency decree, or as things get sportier, how much and how fast prices will sky rocket on necessary items) and then learning to use what you’ve purchased, so you need to read this, comprehend it, and take decisive action! No putting this off until after the “holiday weekend” or after you get that new flat screen tee vee (you and your family’s gratification should be realized by getting what you need to survive what’s coming!). Everything mentioned herein will get more expensive by the day (bit by bit, but one day it’s going to take off, then, as time grows shorter, by the hour). Example: Right now you can get a 1200 round case for $ $550, shipped (about .46 cents a round). Tomorrow? One more ‘mass shooting’ could bring a panic like the one after Sandy Hook, and you’ll be paying a dollar a round and be glad if you can find it. When you take into account the old axiom that you have 1,000 rounds per rifle in reserve, and 3,000 per rifle on hand is only adequate for SHTF/WROL scenarios, you might want to start some budgeting. Soon as you finish reading this. The old rule of, “you snooze, you lose” will take on major significance to you personally in this case, because what you lose might just be your life, or at the minimum, what’s left of your tattered freedom!
Before anything else you have to understand that you have very limited time in the way of making purchases (you never know what is going to be banned next by Executive Order or agency decree, or as things get sportier, how much and how fast prices will sky rocket on necessary items), so you need to read this, comprehend it, and take decisive action! No putting this off until after the “holiday weekend” or after you get that new flat screen tee vee (you and your family’s gratification should be realized by getting what you need to survive what’s coming!). Everything mentioned herein will get more expensive by the day (bit by bit, but one day it’s going to take off, then, as time grows shorter, by the hour). Example: Right now you can get a 1200 round case for about $450, shipped (about .38 cents a round). That’s better than you could get in the last 2 years of the Obama administration. Tomorrow? Who knows? One more ‘mass shooting’ could bring a panic like the one after Sandy Hook, and you’ll be paying a dollar a round and be glad to do so if you can find it. When you take into account the old axiom that you have 1,000 rounds per rifle in reserve, and 3,000 per rifle on hand is only adequate for SHTF/WROL scenarios, you might want to start some budgeting. As soon as you finish reading this. The old rule of, “you snooze, you lose” will take on major significance to you personally in this case, because what you lose might just be your life, or at the minimum, what’s left of your tattered freedom!
First things first….
One thing you can do that won’t cost you a dime, and can be done immediately is simply this: Start a PT (physical training) program. Your fitness level is the foundation upon which your preparedness plans, tools, and actions must be built to be viable. While you’re at it, get the family off the couch, off the phone, away from the tee vee, and get them moving, too.
There are many PT programs out there; find the one that’s right for you. Make sure, if you haven’t exercised hard in a long time, that you get medical clearance; dropping dead from a heart attack doesn’t do your preparedness planning any good, nor does it help your family. Remember to start slow. It’s no good to bust through a session of hard exercise and hardly be able to walk for the rest of the week. Now, once you’ve gotten into your exercise program and have made some progress getting over the ‘sore muscle syndrome’, start including walks with your ruck (pack) on for varying distances, with very light weight at first, possibly even just the pack with nothing in it, and add to it as time goes on. There will come a time when you’re doing walks of 10 miles with up to 80 pounds.
Now, what’s the first thing you buy? You can argue all you want about it, but the simple answer is to take stock of what you have on hand FIRST, because that will be your determining factor. Yes, weapons for defense are essential, but if you have already possess a pistol or rifle (even a .22) but you don’t have something that will either provide or help you get things you must have to live you don’t necessarily need another weapon first. Like what? How about a worthwhile first aid kit? A water purifier of some sort? How about non-perishable food items? How about hygiene items, such as a year’s worth of toilet paper. Think about going without toilet paper for a day, let alone for a protracted length of time…..
The list can go on, but the point is not to presume that a bigger, better weapon is the first thing. It may very well be the first thing you want, but you must make yourself think in terms of needs based upon what is instead of what may be or is not. For the point of discussion, though, we’ll assume you don’t have a weapon at all and start there, because if you don’t have one, you need a weapon more than any other physical item you can think of. No weapon, no protection…where it counts…at home. Why? In any scenario that you cannot rely on local first responders (which is not the best move in the first place), you are on your own and subject to the ‘mercy’ of those who will be targeting you, your family, and your home.
So, what do you get? A pistol? Shotgun? Rifle? There are as many opinions on the subject as there are weapon choices, but most are influenced by the likes and dislikes of the person you’re asking. We propose to let the purpose of your weapon help you make your determination. Most times, getting a general purpose weapon (something that can do a great many things well, some things good, and only a few things poorly) is the best choice. Especially if you don’t have unlimited funds.
So, simply put: Get a Rifle.
All things being equal and you have reasonable vision and average muscle control and dexterity, if you can only have one weapon, make it a rifle. A rifle has more power, more ability to stop and put down any target at ranges in excess of a pistol/revolver or shotgun’s maximum effective range. A quick example of “knock down” power (aka terminal velocity): A 300 Winchester Magnum with a 200 grain bullet that hits its target at 1,000 yards (to illustrate how far this is, you would have to take 36 inch steps every second for 16 and a half minutes to walk 1,000 yards) with more energy than a .44 Magnum does at “point blank” range. Get the picture? Something or someone hit with a rifle goes down and usually does not get back up. Period. But on the chance they do, a follow up shot will settle the issue. Only after all other basic necessities are acquired should you consider getting a pistol, especially if you’re on a limited budget. And then, if you only have the one rifle, you should buy a second rifle before the first pistol.
So then, which rifle? Simplicity is the key here, especially as you may have only shot a rifle a few times in your life or others who will use the rifle fall into that category. So, you need a rifle that’s easy to learn to operate, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, is fairly accurate, and won’t take all the money you have available to purchase. Here’s an example that fits those requirements:
The K98 or M48 Mauser (later model) is rugged, can take down anything in North America, ammunition is reasonably cheap, and it’s maintenance requirements are extremely simple! Cost: Depending on if you get a Yugoslavian M48 or go for the WWII German, you can pay as little as $450 (prices are rising!) for a “Service Grade” rifle and about $475 for a 900 round case of surplus ammunition. So, for less than a grand or so, you have the weapon category taken care of. Remember, the K98/M48 is a good general purpose rifle, but it is purely for defense. It’s a bolt action, and as such, aimed fire combined with its large projectile and ability to punch through light barriers is its advantage. These relics have another really good advantage to them in that if all else fails, they are superb clubs and will put down whomever they are hit with. If you have a bit more disposable income, or you don’t need extensive training or are ex-military and therefore are at least familiar with the AR type rifle, and want a more prolific weapon you may want to consider the ubiquitous AR-15 carbine family or its descendants. Try to get one chambered in 5.56mm rather than .223 caliber. The differences are minute, but the 5.56mm chamber can take the differences in pressure from the .223 more easily than the .223 chamber can take the 5.56mm pressure differences. It’s a peace of mind thing. Also consider a longer barreled model if the price is right. The options are endless, and a bit of study will be required, but if you’re going to go that route, it’s time well spent. An excellent primer on the AR 15 type rifle/carbine can be found here.
These will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1500 (no change there, as of today), depending on the source, and the price for a case of 55gr Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) will run $375 and up per 1200 rounds for M-193 55gr. M-855 is still available; get it while you can. That’s the 62gr, heavier bullet with a steel penetrator. Another option at this point might be the 62 or 77gr “Open Tip Match (OTM). It’s barrier blind (means it will go through the barrier) and still do a number on the zombie. You’re going to pay almost twice as much as you will for 55gr or 62gr FMJ (about $700 per 1K shipped – when you can find it) but you get better performance, so seek good advice from friends with expertise and then make your choice. Next, you have to add in an absolutely minimum seven 30 round magazines, so that will be another $88 at the bare minimum, again, depending on your source and type of magazine chosen (Magpuls are more expensive than ‘old school’ AR magazines, but they take more of a beating from some reports, and they have a model with a window in the side along with a ’rounds left indicator’ which is handy). So, at the low end, you’re talking about $1,000 ; at the high end, $1,975 or more. More expensive as the Mauser set up, but it’s your call. And, that doesn’t take into account the time and money you will need to spend on learning the weapon you’ve chosen and range time, which means buying more ammunition. Remember this: The more complex the weapon, the more intricate the cleaning and maintenance requirements are and the increased amount of training required to effectively employ it. (ABOVE ALL: Learn appropriate weapon safety and handling! LEAVE NOTHING TO CHANCE!!) This estimate doesn’t include necessary maintenance and cleaning solvents, either. A good lube is your friend; we recommend a couple: Frog Lube and Gunzilla. You can find them anywhere. And if you choose the AR, it doesn’t take an awful lot, so a bottle can last quite some time.
To be sure, there are many other fine weapons you could go with, but the two examples cited above give you an idea of the spectrum you can operate in when you are getting your “kit” together. If you know someone who is experienced and knows military pattern rifles well, ask them what they think, but stay focused on ‘general purpose’ in your evaluation and choice. The various blogs in the ‘liberty/preparedness/patriot’ community are a treasure trove of information, but again, stay focused on ‘general purpose’. The 1,000 round examples with each rifle are considered to be a minimum of what one would need to stay viable in a scenario such as described above for an extended period. Something else you need to know: You are your own supply chain. You cannot count on having someone to provide extra, so everything you have needs to be able to fill more than one function. Additionally, when/if things go South, and you are lucky enough to join with others who are like minded, showing up with a good, general purpose rifle and a case of ammunition will go a long way in their determination whether or not to let you stay.
Ammunition: Just like with the weapon category, there are many, many types of ammunition you could elect to purchase. The examples above were military surplus “full metal jacket” or FMJ examples (except for the OTM – it has a small open tip, so technically, it’s not, “full” nor is it a true ‘hollow point’). FMJ is a good, all around general purpose bullet for self-defense purposes. It doesn’t expand like hunting rounds do, but it rarely fails to chamber and can reliably kill any animal or adversary you need it to take down (especially if you pay attention to shot placement, which means learning to become accurate as possible). If you’re just starting out becoming prepared, don’t waste your time and money trying to get several types of ammunition for different purposes; get the FMJ and use the money you have left to get other items you’ll need. As previously mentioned, the standard “rule of thumb” is that for each rifle you depend on, 1,000 rounds should be held in reserve to ensure you have a reasonable supply if ever needed. That means you should buy at least 1,500 rounds, so you can get proficient with your choice as soon as possible. 500 rounds will get you started, so long as you are properly trained. And remember, without ammunition, a rifle is basically an interesting paper weight.
Well, that’s an awful lot of information to consider. See you next time.