You’ll need these 5 firearms when the SHTF

Photo: Mitch Barrie/Flickr (cc by-sa 2.0)

ReadyNutrition fans, this segment is going to cover five weapons in particular that you should familiarize yourself with and train up on.  You don’t necessarily have to buy these weapons or even know a private individual that has them, although either case would benefit you.  One of the suggestions I make will depend heavily on the state you reside in.  There are many gun shops and firearms ranges that will “rent” a weapon to you…even full-automatic weapons…for use in their range.  Let’s cover five weapons that it would behoove you to train on: two pistols, two rifles, and a shotgun.

5 Prepper Firearms to Have When the SHTF

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

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!

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published April 12th, 2017
  • Buck

    Sounds good to me . Would not hurt to have a .22 rim fire rifle . Don’t make as much noise. An you can kill deer sized critters with it. Buck 🇺🇸⚔🇺🇸 100% disabled Vietnam veteran Christian Right wing republican lifetime member of NRA and friend to Israel

  • Holy Joe

    A Mk 3 .303 British Commonwealth Ex-Military Enfield is the fastest and slickest bolt action ever made. The rifle is highly accurate and was made in one form or another for use in three Wars, WW-1, WW-2 & Korea. It was also used in many other so called Police Actions in various hot spots after the Korean War. The Ammunition is also available in Modern Hunting style soft tips, as well as ex-military full jacket loads. A good revolver in either .38 Special, .357 or .45 is also a good choice as a defensive pistol. My experience with Self Loader Auto’s is that they all tend to jam sooner ot later. Weapons choice is more of a personal choice for individuals, especially for those with Militarty and Police active experience.

  • thecelt1

    I already practice with the AR15 (Original Model), M1 Garand, Walthers 9 mm P-38,
    Ruger .45 ACP P97, Browning 12 Ga Auto Five (or Remington 870 12 Ga). I truly
    don’t need any more.

  • M40

    If I had to pick just 5 in a bugout…

    AR15 – Glock (9mm) – 12ga.Pump – Bolt Action.308 (scoped) – Ruger 10-22

    All are fairly common, and thus ammunition and parts are easy to find. No use dragging along some oddball wildcat calibers. Better that you share the most common military, police and civilian calibers. Each of these platforms serves a very distinct purpose. And perhaps most important, all have proven to be eminently reliable in the field.

  • Clete Tacker

    It all comes down to caliber and ammo availability in a shtf scenario. 5.56×45/.223, 7.62×51/.308, 7.62×39, 9mm, .22 lr and 12 gauge are all very common and there are hundreds of millions of rounds already in citizens hands. While I like the .45, the ammo isn’t nearly as common as it once was, as most people don’t use the .45 since the surge in popularity of the 9mm, and you can’t carry nearly as much .45 as you can 9mm or as cheap. I also like the .380 for its light compact ammo and it is becoming much more common, available and cheaper.

  • attli

    Beretta is okay, but just as soon have a Glock or an XD. The 1911 is for right handed people, again I’ll take a Glock, Ruger, or Springfield .45 caliber. You missed having a good reliable revolver. And as for the shotgun, I’ll take my Saiga 12 and a Remington 1187. Oh, and one correction. A meter is just over 3 feet. 25 meters is better than 75 feet, not 50.

  • 2ThinkN_Do2

    I’d dump the AK for a 22LR pistol, something similar to my S&W 617 in a 4″ to 6″ barrel, or 22LR Ruger 10/22 or Savage Bolt action. As for the 9mm, I’ll take any of CZ 75 variants; the 75B Full Size or 75D Compact PCR. The CZ75 is very similar to a Browning Hi-Power, which seems to be the most popular Military and LEO firearm around the world, based on an internet search. Shotgun covered, Mossberg 12 gauge heavy barrel breacher model w/pistol grip too. AR15 check, 1911 check; and I can shoot my righty 1911 with either hand. Faster as a righty, actually more accurate shooting lefty (maybe I’m more focused as I am naturally a right handed person; so I get sloppy righty).

  • Greg Hannah

    I have all the weapons except in different forms for 2. I have a Browning Hi-power instead of a Beretta. I don’t like the feel of the Beretta or the extra weight. I don’t have a Mossberg shotgun. But I do have both a Winchester 97 and Winchester model 12. As I use the 97 for Cowboy Action Shooting and Wild Bunch matches, I am comfortable with it. Both the 97 and 12 also hold 6 rounds in the tube without a mag extension. I suppose if you added one that would make 9 rounds. But, as much as I practice reloading, the factory set up will be fine for me.

  • Mikial

    Check . . .check . . . check . . . check . . . and, check. As well as several .22LR pistols and rifle. Good to go.