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


Basic Black

A black rifle may be the key to survival for preppers.


What exactly is a black gun? I think the conventional wisdom is that the term probably started out to define the AR-15 rifle and all its variants. But that definition is malleable and has mutated as these guns have become a bigger part of modern culture. Right now it has multiple meanings, many of which depend on the point of view of the person using the term. The media, the nanny staters, and the left-leaning weenies have a much different definition than I do.

For example, when I Googled “black gun,” the Urban Dictionary came up with this definition:

In gun collector terminology Black guns are: AKs, ARs, MAC-10s, GSGs, etc. generally the “scary” assault/automatic guns normal people are afraid of.

“When my friend saw a black gun for the first time he wet his pants.”

Never mind that whoever wrote this doesn’t have a clue. For example, the MAC-10 is the perpetual whipping boy of the anti-gun faction. They fail to understand that Military Armament Corporation (the MAC in MAC-10) went out of business almost four decades ago. The gun has been out of production in any recognizable form for almost thirty years and any transferable guns remaining are selling for as much as a used Prius. I can remember a member of Congress during one of the endless debates about banning guns saying the MAC-10 should be banned because it was the gun of choice for drug lords. When questioned on where he got that information, he proudly stated that he saw it on Miami Vice; so let’s not let the antis define black guns for us. Besides, the MAC-10 was a pistol, so it’s outside the realm of a black rifle.

The bigger point is that the anti-gun faction’s almost universal lack of understanding of anything to do with guns would lead me to suspect that their definition of “normal people” will be much different than mine or yours as well.

We know that a normal person will not have an unrealistic fear of any inanimate object. I tend to believe that the circles I travel in are populated by pretty normal folks and when the people I know see a black gun, they do not wet their pants.

Well, that’s not 100 percent true, one buddy starts to drool, which often will pool on his pants if he is sitting, making it look like . . . well, you get the picture. It’s lust that’s causing the wet spot, not fear.

My larger point is that the definition of a black gun belongs to the gun guys, not the media and the anti-gun people. Right now, black guns are hip and happening. They are gaining huge popularity with shooters and are probably the only rifle category that has recently seen their demand outstripping the supply.

So what’s a black gun? Well, as I am the one writing this book, I suppose my definition is relevant. Of course, the term refers to the AR rifles, but I think it also includes guns like the AK, SKS, FAL, and any other magazine-fed, semiauto rifle. So guns like the Beretta CX4 Storm carbine or the Ruger Mini-14 might be included. I think we should include the M14, but if we are going to do that, shouldn’t we also include the Garand, even though it’s not technically magazine-fed? After all, that rifle was the father of the brood.


Black guns are the key to surviving TEOTWAWKI.

I believe in being all-inclusive, and I would think that any semiauto rifle designed originally for battle or defense would qualify. I think the primary black gun will still be the AR-15 and its variants, so this section will focus heavily on those guns, but the term is pretty inclusive within a given class of rifles.

They don’t even have to be black! It’s a definition, not a color scheme. AR-15 rifles come in a wide range of colors, including camo, but they are still black rifles at heart. Many of the other rifles will have wood furniture, but they still maintain black gun status.

Black guns were born in battle, but they have been proven to be the gun of choice in many circumstances for hunting, competition shooting, personal defense, and simple “plinking,” or shooting for the sheer joy of shooting. But from a prepper’s standpoint, they are a very important class of gun. The black gun is the primary gun for preppers. It’s perhaps the only gun to consider during times of huge social unrest. If you are fighting off a large group of hostiles, the semiauto, magazine-fed battle rifle is your best chance for survival.

Well, I suppose your best chance for survival is to call in an airstrike or at least have a mini-gun or a SAW. But for civilians who for now must suffer under the repressive laws of this country, the best “legal” and affordable options are found in this category of guns.

The black gun is also versatile enough that in addition to being used for defense, it can work very well for hunting and foraging. The “black rifles” as we are discussing them here come as close to being universal survival guns as anything we can find.

Back in 1976 when Mel Tappan wrote his book, Survival Guns, the options for civilians were very limited. In fact, he only listed six semiauto battle rifles, and of those only one was AR-style: the Colt AR-15. Of the six, I think only the Ruger Mini-14 is still a viable option for civilians. Times change, but in this case they changed for the better. Despite our “of the people” government’s efforts to disarm us, today we have so many options for black rifles that I would not even consider trying to list them all.

I can remember not so many years ago that the SHOT Show, the premiere gun industry trade show, would not allow any black rifles or banners or signs showing black rifles. They fought the trend, but the people spoke and black guns became too big to ignore. Today black rifles are a big part, perhaps the dominant part, of this huge show.

The black gun boom in this country has been enormous. The result is that we now have so many black gun makers that it would take half this book just to list their names and addresses. Somebody is buying these guns to keep all these companies in business. If you are smart about prepping, you will buy some too.

Shooting is fun, but it’s always more fun with a black gun. I don’t care who you are, if you can rattle off a magazine from an AR and not have a huge smile on your face, well then you are just not a normal person.

AR-style rifles have even become mainstream in hunting. They will work well for anything from prairie dogs to black bears. I shot an 1,800-pound Asian water buffalo with an AR-15 in .450 Bushmaster. My friend Randy Luth, the founder of DPMS, has hunted the world with AR rifles. Some of the game he has taken with an AR includes Dall sheep, African leopard, and, most recently, an Alaskan brown bear, on top of countless deer, bears, elk, and other game.


The black gun is the best choice for hunting, foraging, and fighting.

The AR is also just about the perfect rifle for culling coyotes or for hunting hogs, which proves its worth for preppers for foraging. I am going to be pretty damn hungry before any coyote steaks are on my grill, but hogs are delicious.

“Black” is the preferred rifle for 3-gun competition, as well as other shooting sports like High Power. They can be competitive in long-range precision shooting, as these black rifles have proven to be extremely accurate.

Competition is good training for preppers. You may read otherwise on the Internet, as it’s become one of those perpetual arguments that seem to fuel cyberspace, but those arguing against it are almost always cops or trainers who are afraid to shoot in front of an audience. Read into that what you may. I would love to see one of the detractors of competition, the guys who keep saying that “competition will get you killed on the street,” show up and shoot a few matches, but that never happens. They argue from a position of ignorance.

Most of the guys I know who make their living exchanging gunfire with bad guys think that competition is a good training ground for surviving a gun fight. Consider that many military and law enforcement agencies use competition as training for their people who go into harm’s way. For example, the Army Marksmanship Unit exists in part to test guns and techniques in competition to assess their viability in combat. Some of the techniques that were developed and perfected in 3-gun competition were taught to soldiers fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan and are credited with saving a lot of lives in combat.


Competition shooting is excellent training.


Building an AR-15.

In my never-humble opinion, when it comes to home defense there is no better rifle than a black gun, and when the zombie apocalypse finally comes, this is the only rifle that will see you through alive.

If you are a tinkerer, the black rifles, particularly the AR, are the ultimate kit guns. The additions, changes, parts, pieces, and bolt-on accessories are just about limitless. The guns are easy to work on and are user-friendly for a home gunsmith. You can build one from scratch or just switch out parts to show your individuality.

Check the sales records for centerfire rifle cartridges and you will find that the .223 Remington is number one, while the .308 Winchester is right on its heels. Any ammo maker will tell you that is because of the rapidly expanding popularity of black guns. But those two are hardly the limits of cartridge options, and black rifles can be chambered in cartridges ranging from the .17 HMR through fire-breathing dragon stompers.

As for the guns, it’s not all ARs. I once had the pleasure of spending an afternoon with General Mikhail Kalashnikov at his home in Russia. His design, the AK-47, and its variants are probably the second most popular semiauto rifles in the United States. The relatively inexpensive surplus rifles on the market are fun to shoot and easy to work. Now that these imports are drying up due to the Obama administration’s efforts to damage the gun industry, we are seeing a lot of AK-style guns being newly manufactured for the US market.

I recently built an FN FAL from parts and discovered another iconic black rifle. Actually, the list of black guns is almost as long as the list of cartridges. But the one universal truth for preppers is that these guns will be the key to survival.

The bottom line is simple. Every serious prepper should have at least one magazine-fed, semiauto, battle-born black rifle if they have any plans to get through what’s coming alive.