March 30, 2014 at 7:08 pm #5513
Over the years, I have seen a lot of people debating types of guns and calibers. In this post, I will offer my opinion.
In the end it really doesn’t matter what you use– at least not enough to spend time hotly debating. Guns are tools. Some people like one kind and some like another. There are a lot of great choices, and beyond that, even more things that are not great choices but will probably work just fine. Use a little common sense, but pick what you want and use what makes you happy. Most bad guys won’t know what make, model, or caliber you are shooting them with.
Some type of semi-automatic magazine fed rifle is the gold standard. There are many good ones – do some research and pick the best one you have access to. If that doesn’t work for you – find what does.
Before your type of gun and caliber are even relevant, there are several other thresholds that have to be crossed.
With that in mind, here is how the sequence of importance breaks down:
Think of it as a series of tests. You have to pass each test to move on to the next test. If you don’t pass a test, you are out of the game and you cannot move on to the next test.
Test #1: “Will I kill someone?” It really doesn’t matter if you are equipped and able, if you are not willing. Don’t lie to yourself. Most people cannot proceed past this. If the answer is “yes”, proceed to the next test.
Test #2: “Is this the right time to kill?” This is a hard one. This is where setting a personal “red line” combines with training and experience. Killing at the wrong time is no good and not killing at the right time is even worse. While most people never make it to this “test”, the ones that do may find that this is the hardest to get right. If you do get it right, then proceed on to the next “test”.
Test #3: “Do I have the skill required to kill in this situation?” For the sake of simplicity, lets narrow the example to firearms. In other words, can I hit what I want to with speed and precision and use tactics appropriate for the situation? Can I do that on demand and under pressure? Can I deliver the basics mistake free under pressure? Again, don’t lie to yourself here – most people do. There is a reason top organizations have mandatory performance standards that personnel are required to maintain. It is because they have found that maintaining that standard will increase the likelihood of personnel bringing the skill needed to win the fight. They have also found that if a person cannot meet that basic performance standard, they are most likely deluding themselves by overestimating their capability.
Now, at this point, if you have passed test #1, #2, and #3 it is time to talk about the merits of vertical fore grips and fight about what caliber or type of gun makes you a better ass-kicking killer or barrel chested freedom fighter.
You can see that there are a lot of tests you have to pass before weapon selection starts to matter. I am not saying it isn’t important, I’m just saying in the grand scheme, it is a small thing. However, it is on that small thing that many people spend almost all of their time.
Please consider this before you make some gun, caliber, or piece of gear your “religion”.March 30, 2014 at 7:15 pm #5518
Often said , that the “best ” weapon is the one that is in your hand when you need it . Lot of truth to that , if its a 410 when somebody kicks in your door ……..and thats what you have in reach……..then thats what it is …….March 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm #5520
Tolik, very true.
I guess I could have condensed my post into the old saying…”Any gun will do, if you will.”March 30, 2014 at 7:22 pm #5521
Good post. Sound thoughts!March 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm #5523
Its a good post , we tend to get caught up in all the mechanics of it , but not the ” oh **** ” moment ……..scary thing is , unless you are a combat vet or actually have been in a fire fight , you dont know how you are actually going to react when the time comes ……………..there are countless stories in all wars of trained soldiers freaking out the first time they get the real thing .March 30, 2014 at 7:24 pm #5524
Good up front thinking. Only one more item to add.
#4: Give some thought to being able to live with your actions after a kill. Even when it’s the most justified reason, the memories last a life time; however long or short that may be. It’s not TV stuff.March 30, 2014 at 7:31 pm #5526
Good points there, and #4 from AncientVoice must be there too!March 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm #5529
Thanks for the comments Toby C and Tolik.
Ancient Voice, you make an important point and I will add that killing affects different people in different ways. My guess is that personality, resiliency, and cultural influences all play a role. There are probably many other factors as well. One thing is for sure – it is not like TV or your grandmothers funeral. Violent death is a sight that can never be unseen. The degree it will affect you personally, you can only know in retrospect.March 30, 2014 at 7:36 pm #5530
Thank you, Selco.March 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #5535
Very good Danie! Mental preparation to any potential combat is more important than any object used for that combat. It’s too hard to get your body to go where your mind hasn’t. I’ve known “trained cops” and “tough swat guys” who have ran, hid, cried, when the bullets started flying. Before that, they swore they were the best.
A great book to read by Col David Grossman, is On Killing. That will give you what you need to mentally understand and accept, then train hard. He’s written other good books, but stick with this one.March 30, 2014 at 7:57 pm #5536
I’ve always said that the best weapon there is is the one you have. Especially if you know that weapon system inside and out.
There’s an old saying, goes something along the lines of “the man with one rifle is more dangerous than a man with 10″.
Canadian Patriot. Becoming self-sufficient.March 30, 2014 at 9:27 pm #5553
MR Ts HaircutSurvivalist
OP, your commentary is too deep and abstract. I like to go with this practical application: You should use what you know. If you trained on .45 use it. If you only shoot .22lr but can kill a squirrel at 200 yds.. use it. If you trained on the 5.56 AR, use it… it will come down to muscle memory, training and reflex.March 30, 2014 at 11:19 pm #5593
I took a multi-level course call “shoot to live” (Similar to Gun Site). It is very intense with a number of levels, beyond IDPA type pistol shooting, but uses some of the same set ups hostage, bad guy, things, windows, doors, weak hand strong, scenarios etc. Force reloads, in the dark, low light up close, vehicles (FTF literally etc. Now one thing is for sure, the adrenaline dump WILL make you stupid as this course is designed to do. So practice, practice and some more etc. so it becomes memory. We are all preparing for “some” event. Being on your guard 24/7 isn’t realistic either. So train with what you are going to have access to understand threat levels and what will or could happen afterwards. Be sure to break it in (enough rounds down the tube to be sure it will work). The coldest sound you will ever hear is a hammer on a empty chamber. Follow that little voice in your head, if you feel strange, could be a reason, pay attention to around you. Look them in the eye, most will not look at you. I have stuff stashed all over close, and plans for other options. You can hide things in plain sight, which is good too and alternative cashes are good. I have found that synthetic wheel bearing grease is great for use, and cheap good to -20 and +600. Cleans up nice very similar but better than old GI lube pots. Made storage tubes made from PVC with sealed ends and a threaded cap work good too. I also use a vacuum sealer for stuff in tubes, sealing up EMP DOD rated bags etc. You can put a cell phone in a EMP bag, roll it up, presto no signal in or out. I have made false panels and panic exits. I have stuff stashed also. Bottom line, make sure you have ammo hardware and stuff stashed. My pre-64 50cents worth. thanks
vettom.March 31, 2014 at 6:56 pm #5885
Selco, interestingly, my combat sidearm of choice is also a Glock 21. I selected it because it meets my requirement for ubiquitous ammo (at least in the USA), simple gun, and stopping power. I use the model 30 for every day concealed carry. In a hot war I might move to the model 17 because stopping power becomes less of an issue than firepower. If you’re returning to base every day it’s OK to carry fewer heavier rounds but if I’m going to be away from supply for some time, I prefer a lot of small rounds to shoot rather than running out of a few big rounds. Hey, something is much better than nothing. One of my gunfighting schools has the motto “Any gun will do if you will do!” so I’m not too picky and use what’s available as well as possible.
As for rifle, in the jungle the M16 is best if used with the M193 ammo (55 gr lead core, FMJ). It blows out chunks of meat and is inhumane but, hey, the other guy is trying to kill you so who cares? The 62 gr steel tipped M855/SS109 is terrible because it goes right through nice and neatly. The bad guys keep fighting, especially if they’re on some drug, and maybe die hours later. For non-jungle I like the .308 but you can carry much less of it. The 7.62×39 is a good compromise where longer range is common. However, use soft points because the FMJ rounds will go right through again. You need at least 3000 ft/sec of velocity for a FMJ lead round to break up and the 7.62×39 only hits about 2,400.
Shotguns, *laugh* not very useful except for very close up fighting. In that case, attach a bayonet and use slugs to give yourself some reach. Slugs are great knock down power too. If you’re going to use shot, use #4 shot not 00 buckshot. 00 buckshot goes through and you have fewer pellets. The #4 keeps many more of the pellets in the body for fully energy transfer, and more pellets for better spread coverage.April 1, 2014 at 5:27 am #6069
It’s interesting when you look at various people who survive gunfights. There is no definable stereotype, no one size fits all attitude.
Some people agonize over it for the rest of their lives, others no more troubling than taking out the trash. Literally.
You can learn much from the real gun fighters such as Cirillo, Askins and the like.
Hardware is hardware, some is better than others for different uses, make a reasonable choice and move on.
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