I posted this at J4G’s 1st, but changed it around for my place, removed a technical error I made and hit up on two things I should have done the 1st time around. Writing ain’t my bag baby
Howdy Y’all. People of all sorts ask me about survivalist type topics, mostly because of my military experience. So let’s start there. I joined the Army when I was 18 years old, signing up to be a Ranger. I was pretty good at that, and called up to the big leagues, injured and sent back to the minors and retired with 24 years of service. 12 in SpecOps, 12 as a light infantryman, with two of those 24 years doing staff time (when I was recovering from the injuries which ended my SpecOps career). I have 10 years of direct action combat time (4 in a SpecOps; 6 in a conventional light infantry role), 4 months as an observer of the USMC during their combat operations in Iraq and a year plus as a high risk defense contractor in Kandahar. My specialty was the scout/ sniper role. Which I did in some form or fashion for 21 out of 24 years. I worked as a designated defensive marksman in Kandahar and now leading my own crew of men somewhere in Afghanistan.
Militarily experience does not automatically transcribe to good survivalist advice. It’s highly unlikely you will ever defend your home with a squad of Rangers and AC 130 gunship in support from an unknown number of Taliban insurgents. However the basics are the basics are the basics. The most advantageous aspect of military experience is time spent planning high risk missions, making contingency plans and an understanding of logistics and hygiene. Time under pressure and training helps too. Hell it’s not the even the combat time that is the most vital but the training to do something purposeful, practical and calmly when shit goes bad.
Initially I was asked to focus on men living in the big city. While I took the king’s silver and fought the king’s enemies in cities all over the globe, I have lived in one major city for two short years. I will do my best. I am writing this with the newbie in mind, trying to give him an easy to follow plan and information he can act on. I will strive to make this easy to follow through on and not break anyone’s budget or give advice that hogs up a man’s time and energy.
I want to start with guns. Nothing stirs up pointless debates and brings out so called experts who don’t know shit then gun debates. Let’s avoid that. This advice is not for the gun nut or the blossoming gun nut but for the guy who wants to protect himself and his property without investing a small fortune.
Hand guns. Your 1st investment should be a hand gun. Hand guns are poor man stoppers but excellent tools as they are easy to carry, easy to conceal, and leave your hands free to do other stuff (which is why cops use them). I am not a fan of having a pistol for all occasions. Really you need one gun that you can take anywhere, which is where the pocket pistol comes into play.
Revolver vs. semi auto. Revolvers are solid choices and I carried one for years, thinking they were superior to semi-auto pistols. See I grew up when semi autos weren’t that great. Many had safety issues, reliability issues and problems with accuracy. Well for 20 plus years now, that has not been true. Today’s modern semi autos are more accurate, more reliable and just as safe as the best of revolvers. Hell some semi autos like Glocks have less working parts. Given a semi-auto’s higher round capacity it is the superior choice. However you won’t be out gunned or any such nonsense carrying a revolver either.
Caliber is where folks really like to argue. There shouldn’t be one. In the USA you’re most likely looking at getting a .38 or .357 revolver, or a 9mm, .40 or .45 semi auto. The .38, 9mm and .357 is the same bullet. The difference is the casing. What this means is more powder behind the bullet and an increase in velocity. This is important to know for two reasons. The faster the bullet, the more kick or recoil you have to deal with, and the faster the bullet the better it will penetrate the bad guy. So if you have problems managing recoil for whatever reason a .38 might be the gun for you and a .357 is most likely not, but many folks I know swear.38’s have more felt recoil then 9mm. The point being on this, try it before you buy. Find a gun range that will let you rent firearms and invest the money in trying them out before you decide to lay down cash.
9mm vs .40 vs .45. Which is better? Lame question. FBI research has them in a statistical tie for killing power, with a slight edge for the .40 but still within the margin of error (or standard deviation for you nerds). So…. Don’t waste time on debating silly stuff. In practical terms, most people will not enjoy shooting a .40, especially in the kind of gun I will suggest.
Let’s look at killing a man. Bullets are not magic death rays. A .45 bullet weighing 230 grains hitting a 170 pound man will remove less than 1% of his body mass. Men die because you shut down the central nervous center(CNS), because they bleed out, or they simply lay down and give up. (the FBI has done a lot of research on this too. Shooting a man in the heart leaves him about 30 seconds worth of blood and oxygen. He can still fuck you up in those 30 seconds). Never count on the bad guy giving up, and it takes a high degree of training to reliably shut down the CNS(head shots but even then it has to be in the right part of the head) so you are talking about waiting for the bad guy to bleed out. Two schools of thought on the best way to do that. Fewer but larger holes, more but smaller holes. Works about the same same. I recommend the 9mm because it A) works B) is generally easier on new shooters and C) it will save you money and D) they are somewhat easier to conceal then a similar hand gun in .40 or .45
I recommend a semi auto in 9mm. A semi auto gives you more rounds then a revolver, allowing you to speed up the bleeding out process or to engage a second target (unlikely but the need does occur), 9mm gives you the penetration you are looking for (what you are looking for is a round that will travel through a man’s out stretched arms, then all the way through his torso so the blood can flow freely) at a substantially lower cost and easier to manage recoil. Which means you can pull the trigger faster without giving up accuracy. It takes time to bring a .40 or .45 pistol back down on to target, while odds are good, your 9mm pistol won’t ever really leave the target….. Pardon this interruption….. Look 5 holes anywhere in a mans belly and chest is lethal, you get no style points for having all the holes touch. Speed matters more so as long as you are hitting the dude in the chest or gut you can speed yo the trigger pull…. I also recommend a 9mm in the pocket pistol class. These are relatively small guns that fit in your front pocket. You can most certainly carry them inside your waist band, or on your belt or what have you, plus you have the additional possibility of sliding into your pocket. After years of having a pistol for all occasions, I settled on a pocket pistol. It is the most easy to conceal, no matter what I wear.
Good quality defensive ammo for a 9mm is about $25 for 20 rounds. Don’t shoot too many of these. These are for carrying around. Ball 9mm ammo is cheap in bulk like $300 for 1000 rounds, and about $17 for a box of 50.
As for the gun, generally speaking, you can pick up a new KelTec for $300 without too much trouble. Sometimes cheaper on the web. Buying a gun from the internet dealer is pretty darn easy. Any rate, the PF-9 holds 8 rounds and weighs about a pound. The P-11 holds 11. There are is also a good chance you can buy a used Ruger, XDS or M&P shield for around $350, and used .38 snub nose revolvers are easy to find in the$300 range in my neck of the woods I know a shop locally that sells Ruger LCP with a laser for $380 but that don’t help y’all none… All will fit into a man’s pocket. Get an Uncle Mikes pocket holster for $15 or so to keep your trigger free of whatever random bullshit you stick in your pocket, including your fingers. Don’t go any smaller then a .38.You will lose reliable penetration power/ ability to kill your attacker quickly with calibers smaller then .38. The last thing you want to do is put 4 .380 rounds into your attacker and then have him bleed out 30 minutes after fracturing you skull (true story).
Quick note about .380…. they are trusted all over Europe. My biggest worry would be how long they take to put a man down and penetration up north where folks where like 20 layers of clothes or what ever it takes to survive in the arctic circle. The best gun is the one you will carry and if .380 is it, then it beats a sharp stick
So for about $400 your armed and on your way to being a Sovereign Man. If you have a bigger budget, I still suggest you buy something in the $300-$350 range. Use the extra money you have to buy concealable body armor, or add a laser to your pistol, or both. Look, Lord forbid you ever use your gun to defend yourself, the cops will take it from you. You may or may not get it back. It is an open murder investigation after all. Sure would suck to have your $2400 Kimber Arms 1911 gather dust in the local cop shop’s evidence locker.
Any rate, it isn’t that complex of a topic, but folks like to muddy the water. I promise you, for the average man, and for 98% of criminal events, a small 9mm in your pocket will do the job while not busting your budget. A dollar spent on one thing cannot be spent on another. I love guns, but they are tools, tools most men will never need. Be smart about how you spend your money, just like you should be smart about which street you walk down.