A lot of great info here!! A couple more things to ponder. Sex sells but KISS Kills! In my Police/Swat background, we were always in search of the best ways. Simplicity is always best, and that needs to include mobility. Cops were/are some of the worst offenders of simplicity, with gadget loaded guns, way over-powered scopes or unnecessary optics-but that sh!t sure looked cool. If you are lucky to be able to remain in one area while SHTF, then those .308’s and .45’s are great…but if you have to move, then you’ll see why the military went from .308 to 5.56 way back when. Same with handguns/anyguns, take a test to weigh out what you’d want to have for SHTF, just guns and ammo, then make a pack of similar weight and go for a nice long hike, with the weight strapped around your waist and on your back. Please don’t go hiking around your neighborhood with guns and ammo to see how it feels…people are freaky.
Next is the total myth of stopping power. Forget that term forever, Please! What matters is where you hit someone, and it has to be in a critical location, head/vital organs, no matter what bullet size. You have to train to hit critical locations. One close range exercise we did was mozambique drills, two to the body, then one to the head. There’s a lot more but that is great for control and you won’t need a lot of ammo.
Like my intro to this forum, Beware the one gun man. Your SHTF weapon should be part of you. Know it inside and out, be an accurate target and stress shooter and for that YOU have to be comfortable with it! Any fact that the weapon(s) you choose are widely available, for repairable parts, and a common ammo, will only be a benefit. Know the basics of shooting and work to retain those skills as they are perishable.
And get to know your gear. Holsters, mag holders, slings, etc. Understand if you are using a concealable handgun holster, you will need more time to get your muzzle to target than an open carry. That means practice…. Practice reloads…. As for rifle slings, after using a bunch, the best turned out to be an adjustable two point sling from Viking Tactical(Vtac). That should do for now. Thanks, Steve