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

FINAL THOUGHTS

The End?

Is this the end?
Of the book? Yes.
Of the world? Who knows?

This is a gun book much more than it’s a book on prepping. I trust that if you have read this far you know a lot more about guns than when you started. That’s useful information for survival, with or without TEOTWAWKI.

The truth is, we are probably going to be okay. I have no doubt that some very bad stuff is in our future, but the world has been through bad stuff before and survived.

However, if you want to be there at the end, you need to be ready to deal with anything that comes your way. That’s the true spirit of prepping. You can store all the beans, Band-Aids, and bullets on Earth; if you are not smart, flexible, and able to deal with what comes, it won’t matter. The best survivalists are also the best problem solvers.

The thing about prepping, from a gun standpoint at least, is that while you are collecting and shooting all those guns, you can have a lot of fun and what good is life without fun? Shooting is a great hobby. No matter what level you end up at—training at the top schools, shooting competitions at a national or local level, or just practicing with friends and family on the weekends—shooting is big fun! I have introduced a lot of people to shooting over the years, and they all end the day with huge smiles, asking when we can do it again.

I recognize that this is a lot of information, and we covered a lot of guns. Clearly you can’t buy them all. Well, at least most of us can’t. If you made a billion on the dot-com market, that’s something else, I suppose. Call me; you need a good consultant.

For the rest of the world, start small and think about your protection now as well after TSHTF. Survival means living through today as well as surviving any future problems. You can’t predict when or where disaster will strike.

I just finished reading a series of novels on survival. It follows several people through months of problems after the world falls apart. In the first book, the guy was two hundred miles from his home when an EMP struck and shut down everything.

No biggie, right?

Think again! He had to walk the two hundred miles through chaos to get home. All he had was what was in his truck when the event happened. Two hundred miles is nothing by car—three or four hours of driving. But think about what would happen to you if you were two hundred miles away and had to walk home. Could you do it? Sure, good shoes, water, and some food are important, but how would you survive after the wheels came off society and all the stuff you stored up in preparation was at home?

What if you are just out shopping and you get caught up in a terrorist attack? What if you are carjacked? Robbed as you leave a movie theater? You can’t schedule these events and you can’t just carry a gun when you are sure you will need it. So when you buy your guns for survival, start with those you need now, today. Build from there.

I think your first priority is a good carry handgun. Then carry it every day. You will feel foolish at first, and most of your friends and family will give you crap about it. But you need to stay focused and all that will pass. How do I know? Because most people who decide to carry, including me, experienced the same thing.

Carrying a gun will seem awkward to start and you will feel sure that everybody you meet will know you have a gun, but they don’t. Most never notice anything if you conceal carry. I can’t tell you how many times I have taken my gun out to show somebody and they have said, “I had no idea you had a gun.” My response is always, “Yeah, that’s the point.” This has happened a bunch of times even with experienced, “switched-on” gun guys. If they don’t notice, that woman at the table next to you in the restaurant, the one with her nose stuck in her phone, won’t have a clue either. Don’t worry about her.

At first, the gun will always be on your mind. You will worry about getting into trouble for having it, even though it’s legal. You will find yourself apologizing to your friends and family for it and trying to explain your reasoning. Then you will be mad at yourself for doing that, because you know you should not have to. It’s a process and a lot of people have experienced it.

Before long you will realize that the awkwardness and uneasiness you were experiencing has passed. Carrying will be comfortable, natural, and at times you will forget it’s even with you. Then one day you will discover that you don’t have your gun and that will make you uneasy. Suddenly, not having a gun feels unnatural and uncomfortable. That’s when you are starting to get it. Having a gun is not the total solution to surviving, but it’s a good first step. So start with the handgun, learn how to use it and when to use it. Then ABC, Always Be Carrying.

The next gun should be a personal defense rifle. Pick some kind of semiauto, magazine-fed carbine. Equip it with good sights and maybe a few other extras; a quality trigger is one. Avoid the rookie mistake of loading the rails up with goodies. It makes the gun heavy and the other gun guys will mock you. Besides, the best accessory you can buy is ammo. Practice is how you learn to shoot any gun well and there is no substitute. Take some classes and shoot your guns a lot. Don’t worry about all the latest gadgets; just shoot that gun. You won’t wear it out, but you will become a better shot.

Those two guns alone will provide the foundation of what you need, even from a prepping standpoint. From there you can start building your personal collection of guns based on your specific and unique situation.

Or just buy guns based on what you want. No gun is ever a mistake. If you see something that catches your eye, buy it! Sure, there are some guns that will be better for prepping than others, but so what if you buy the gun you “want” today and leave the one you “need” for later? Isn’t it better to have a gun you want to take out and shoot, rather than one you will mostly leave at home waiting for when the world ends?

Notice I didn’t go right to the shotgun. I think you should have one or more shotguns, but I do not think they are as necessary or as useful as the handgun and rifle. As explained in the shotgun section, I do not share the belief of some other preppers that a shotgun is the best “do-all” gun for a prepper.

Shotguns can be a good defensive tool and in some circumstances they can have a tactical advantage. I think shotguns are important to a prepper, but not as a primary defensive gun. That statement alone is going to raise some hackles but I don’t care; the truth sometimes hurts.

That said, I think that shooting a tactical shotgun is edging close to first place as the most fun you can have with a firearm. (It’s hard to beat shooting machine guns!) Shooting in a tactical shotgun match or a 3-gun match with a shotgun is great training for gun handling and shooting ability, but it’s also a pretty exciting way to spend your day.

Don’t rule out any gun. Whatever floats your boat, buy it if you can and shoot it all you can. Just don’t get stuck on stupid. I met a guy the other day who had just joined our club. He asked if we shot IDPA pistol competition and we told him we did not, but that we shot USPSA Pistol competition and that we would welcome him at the next match. He got mad, waved us off, and walked away, mumbling that he only shoots IDPA. His loss. We had fun and we worked on our pistol skills. I can only assume he spent the day mowing his lawn and grumbling about not having IDPA at the club.

We also set up some tactical shotgun stages to shoot after the match. I even offered to let anybody who wanted to shoot to use my gun. Several people left because they “only shoot pistols.” The rest of us had a blast (pun intended) shooting the shotguns.

Don’t ever limit yourself. You will meet friends at the shooting range, gun shows, and gun shops that will take you in directions you never expected, if you let them. Not only will you open new horizons in the shooting world and perhaps discover your next great love, you will also be learning valuable skills for survival. That IDPA shooter might be in deep doo-doo if he is trying to survive with a tactical shotgun and no skills in how it works.

Keep it fun and keep it interesting. If you go at this like it’s a job, or it’s something you must do, it will burn you out. We see them every Spring, right? They’re the slightly overweight people with the hand weights and determined scowls on their faces? They are staring straight ahead as they execute a forced power walk while swinging their arms with precise gusto.

You know they won’t last. A month later they are nowhere to be seen. Why? Because they attack it like it’s a job they have to do. It pisses them off and burns them out. The people who just walk and enjoy it? They are still there every day. The “power walkers” will bitch that the other guys “aren’t doing it right,” but my point is they are still doing it. Who cares if it’s right or wrong, at least it’s getting done.

Look at the gun side of prepping the same way. Do what’s fun, what interests you—whatever makes you excited about the prospect of “going shooting!”

Don’t “specialize.” Instead, try to learn it all. Don’t get caught up in the trap of thinking that sticking to one “platform” or one shooting style is the way to excel. That is foolish on too many levels to list. The best shooters in the world, guys like Jerry Miculek and Danny Horner, can pick up any gun and shoot it well. They can enter any style of competition and win. Jerry is a buddy of mine and he is a hard-core gun guy. He shoots anything and everything and yet he wins just about every major competition he enters. (Danny and Jerry shoot in different classes so they rarely go head to head.) It doesn’t matter: rifle, shotgun, revolver, or pistol, he wins them all. It’s the same with Danny, who is the best shooter alive. I doubt there is a gun out there he can’t run, and run well. Those guys who think they will excel if they stick to a single gun or shooting style lose to these two every time and they also don’t have half the fun or build a fraction of the skills. It’s a big world of shooting out there; explore all you can of it.

One day you will wake up and realize that you are now a gun guy. It may even surprise you to discover that you have a lot of guns and you can shoot all of them pretty well.

How can that be a bad thing?

I guess my point is that the key to Prepper Guns is building a lifestyle around the guns that will make them part of your life. If you are in the “gun culture,” as the left loves to label it, your collection just seems to grow. If you shoot, your skills will grow too and in the end you are well prepared to defend your family and yourself if it becomes necessary.

The best defense against the potential problems that may force us to use these skills, though, is not found in the bullet box. It’s found in the ballot box.

Our best defense is to become active and aware of what is happening in the world. Learn the issues and vote. The best survival tactic is to avoid getting into a survival situation. We have some people in leadership positions in our country and around the world that do not have our interests at heart. Here in the United States they gain power by depending on an uninformed and greedy voting population. The best way we can prepare is by getting rid of those people and putting true leaders in charge, leaders who follow the Constitution and who will always have America’s back.

But remember, in case that fails, always have a backup plan!

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Nathan Towsley shooting a custom-built 6.5 Creedmoor rifle. It has a Stryker Ridge action, Bartlein barrel, and an Accuracy International chassis with an X-Treme Shooting Products trigger and Leupold scope.