Prepper Guns: Firearms, Ammo, Tools, and Techniques You Will Need to Survive the Coming Collapse (2016)

HANDGUNS

Glock Handguns

The gun that Gaston built not only started a revolution, but is a top choice for preppers too.

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Glock G34 in 9mm top and Glock G35 in .40 S&W bottom.

While there have been uncounted new guns introduced over the years, not very many can claim that they changed the world. The Henry rifle, Colt’s revolver, Browning’s 1911, and the AK-47 did that, maybe a few more, but this is a pretty small and exclusive club. By any account it must include the Glock handgun.

The Glock G17 is the gun that shook up the world. It changed the way we look at defensive pistols and it’s one of the best options available for a prepper.

While there may be other striker-fired guns that I like better, I will always own a G17. It’s an icon in the handgun world. This pistol was a serious game changer and it launched a revolution that inspired a brand-new direction for defensive handguns. The G17 is high on my list of guns that every gun guy should own.

The compact version in 9mm is the G19, which is a smaller frame with a slightly lower capacity of fifteen rounds. The G19 will also take seventeen-round magazines as well as the extended thirty-three-round magazines and any of the multitudes of aftermarket magazines for the Glock 9mm handguns.

The G26 is the subcompact which holds ten rounds. The G34 is a longer-barreled version designed for competition. However, it’s also a good defensive pistol and I know several serious guys who carry this gun.

I prefer the .40 S&W in a fighting gun and the .40 S&W guns are identical except for the chambering and the magazines. The standard-size .40 S&W is the G22, which holds fifteen rounds in the magazine. This was my first Glock pistol. I was a bit slow to jump on the Glock bandwagon and I bought this gun in 1994. It has handled thousands of rounds of ammo and I think I might have cleaned it once, but my memory is fuzzy and I may be mistaken. I have had the gun long enough that the night sights have run through their life cycle and dimmed, yet I can’t remember a single problem with this gun. The only work that’s ever been done to it is a trigger kit, which to be honest I kind of regret. Now I suppose I’ll need to replace the night sights, damn . . . it’s always something. Kidding aside, this is as far from a “high maintenance” handgun as I have ever owned and in twenty-one years the G22 has given me zero problems.

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The author shooting his Glock G22.

The compact model in .40 S&W is the G23. Its magazine holds thirteen rounds. I bought a G23 as a carry gun some years back and I have logged a lot of miles with that gun on my hip. I added some Trijicon HD night sights. The HD front sight has a large, colored luminescent dot that stores light and glows in the dark. In the center is a tritium capsule that is always visible in the dark. The wide-notch rear sight has two tritium dots. I am a believer in night sights; I have these HD sights on several other guns as well, including a 1911 that I built and a S&W Shield.

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The Glock G17 Gen4 and G22.

I have a LaserMax guide rod green laser in the G23. This activates by pushing on the slide stop with your finger. It fits completely inside the gun so there are no holster fit issues. The green laser is visible in brighter light than red lasers, so it’s visible in most daylight situations. My G23 also has a Crimson Trace Lightguard light that fits on the rail and over the trigger guard of the pistol. The activation button is positioned under your ring finger so it comes on as you grip the handgun. With the night sights and laser, this light completes the pistol for bedside home defense use as well as carry. Unlike some bulky units, the slim light is very holster friendly and Galco has holsters to fit most handguns, even for a lefty like me.

Why My Favorite Carry Gun Is the Glock G23

Here is an edited and shortened piece I wrote for the annual Glock Magazine and catalog. Remember this was for a Glock publication, so I couldn’t really tell them that I am a fickle gun guy and I have a lot of “favorite” carry guns. The G23 is just one of them, but it’s high on the list.

There is something very personal about picking out a new carry gun. You will be spending a lot of time with your pistol so it must be comfortable. There is a big difference between when you put it in the holster first thing in the morning and later, when it’s been there for fifteen hours. Little things that you think you can ignore become very big things as the day moves on. Comfort is important because most people will find excuses not to carry an uncomfortable handgun; or they will replace it with a little gun because it’s lightweight and small.

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The Glock G23.

It’s important to remember that you are carrying this gun because you may have to use it to defend your life or the life of others. Sure, the little pocket pistol, mouse guns are comfortable to carry around, but stop and ask yourself: Do you really want one of them in your hand when you are fighting for your life?

There is a balance between the little mini-guns and a full size rock 'em sock 'em pistol that is too big and heavy to carry all day. For me, the compact size Glock G23 is the perfect balance. For starters, the Glock design has no sharp edges or protrusions to poke and prod me all day. The safe-action trigger ensures the gun is always ready for action. Your fine motor skills and cognitive thinking may both disappear in a high-stress situation. The simplicity of the Glock design means you have less to think about and nothing other than the trigger to manipulate. There is no need for you to worry about pushing off a safety, just pull the trigger. Also, a striker-fired trigger system is ideal for a carry gun. They are easy to master and shoot well with, yet they are much safer in a high-stress situation than a light, single-action trigger and will reduce the possibility of a tragic unplanned discharge.

The G23 is compact and at 21.3 ounces (31.32 ounces loaded) it’s light enough to carry comfortably all day. Yet, it’s large enough so that I can shoot it very well. The grip is big enough for good control over the handgun. The sights are clear and easy to see and with a 4.02-inch barrel length the gun has a 6.02-inch sight radius for more accurate shooting. In fact, this gun shoots so well that my son-in-law, who works in federal law enforcement, competes exclusively with his G23 in IDPA, 3-gun, and USPSA matches. This is the same gun he carries when he is off duty and has a choice in carry guns. (At least he did until my daughter commandeered it for her carry gun! That just meant they had to buy another Glock.)

Oddly enough, I never see a shooter with a pocket pistol at any of the matches. Why is this important? What good is a carry gun if you can’t hit the bad guys? (The IDPA BUG backup gun matches changed that, but this was written before those matches were introduced. It’s important to note that the BUG guns need their own match and own rules, as they cannot compete head-to-head with the big guns. There is a lesson in that when carrying a gun for defense. You will be competing head-to-head with whatever gun the bad guy brings, and in this competition there is no second-place winner.)

I am a firm believer that when it comes to defensive handgun cartridges, bigger is better. At least within reason. Unfair or not, the 9X19 does not have my trust. I shoot thousands of 9X19 cartridges every year in competition, but when it comes to defending myself or my family, I hold to the old adage that fighting pistol cartridges should start with a four.

The .40 S&W cartridge will fit in the same size handgun as a 9X19 because the cartridge overall length is actually slightly shorter than for the 9X19 cartridge. That means that the .40 S&W is the largest cartridge that will fit in the Glock handguns designed for 9X19 and similar size cartridges.

So if big bullets are the key, why not a .45 Auto? That goes back to the “personal” part of choosing a carry gun. The .45 Auto or 10mm Auto cartridges are longer and because the magazine is in the grip, a handgun chambered in those cartridges will require a longer grip size. If you have big hands that’s not an issue, but my wide hands have stubby fingers and I find the larger grips in any double-stack, striker-fired, .45 Auto handgun difficult to manage.

This brings up another very important point. Your carry gun should fit your body style well so that you are comfortable not just carrying it, but also shooting it. If you are struggling to reach the trigger, you will never shoot it well. In the end, if you miss, it doesn’t matter what cartridge or bullet you are using. With a gun that feels like an old friend in your hand, you will want to shoot it more often. Practice is critical if you choose to carry a handgun for defense. Handgun shooting is not a storable skill and it erodes fast. You must train often and if you enjoy the training experience you will be much more willing to do that.

Of course, a single-stack .45 Auto may well fit your hand with its smaller grip, but then the issue is magazine capacity. It’s often pointed out that most gunfights are over in a few shots, so a single-stack has plenty of ammo. But that conventional wisdom does not consider the times we live in and the changes that have occurred. The threat of multiple assailants is all too real now. Possible scenarios include terrorist attacks, a gang attack, home invasion, or angry mobs due to social unrest or the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster. A higher magazine capacity means more ammo to deal with these things, not only in the gun, but with your spare magazines as well. The old saying that it’s better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it applies to ammo. It would be tragic to lose your life over something you can so easily control as the amount of ammo you are carrying with you.

In the end, after I examine all the options and issues, logic keeps pointing at the Glock G23, which is why it’s my carry gun of choice.

The competition model in .40 S&W is the G35 and the subcompact is the G27 with a nine round capacity. They also make the standard, compact, and sub-compact sizes in the .357 Sig, and .45 GAP.

Glock has a full range of larger-framed pistols in .45 ACP and 10mm as well as long-slide pistols in 9mm and .40 S&W, not to mention the full-auto and LE-only line of handguns. They also have introduced pocket size single-stack guns in .380 and 9mm, which are covered in another chapter. In the end, detailing all of them will start to make this look like a Glock catalog.

I think, to put this in the simplest terms possible, you can’t go wrong with a Glock. They run well, rarely break, and are affordable.

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