Author Topic: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)  (Read 199519 times)

Offline whatzhizname

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"Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« on: April 09, 2009, 11:33:32 AM »
As mentioned here: I've had the idea to do an updated version of Mel Tappan's classic book "Survival Guns" (not a direct sequel but using the same basic idea and themes) for a fun side project.  Many if not most of the popular survival firearms available now (SKS, AKs, AR variants, etc.) were not around when Tappan wrote his book in the early 70s, so I've been thinking it would be nice to have a modern version to serve as a primer for new preppers as well as grizzled veterans.  The information that follows has been begged, borrowed and stolen from my own experiences, the books and periodicals I've read, and the perspectives of other shooters I've talked to over the years.  Hopefully it will be entertaining and interesting to you and serve as a resource you can recommend to new members to the fraternity.  I'll try to add chapters as I write them and post each chapter in separate posts on this thread.
Whatz Hizname
NOTE: I'm trying very hard to just provide some basic information so this won't be particularly in-depth in some areas, but may be comprehensive in others.  I'm also trying not to be controversial in terms of firearm quality, legal matters, and other opinions.  That said, feedback is appreciated.  I am just posting shorter sections at this time and will expand/flesh them out as I continue work on this project.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 12:40:36 PM by whatzhizname »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 11:46:18 AM »

I am writing this book for the purpose of educating (and perhaps entertaining) others. 
Nothing less, nothing more. 
The basic idea for this work goes back to my youth when as a little fellow in the mid-80s with an interest in preparedness I read my father's old ragged copy of Mel Tappan's "Survival Guns".  I was fascinated with the idea of firearms as tools with various purposes and functions as opposed to the deadly killing devices they are often portrayed as in popular media.  It was from Tappan's writings that I gleaned the ideas of Working Guns, Defensive Guns, and the like although I have expanded some aspects of what he wrote about to better fit our current culture and climate.
A few years ago, I realized that a modern re-working of "Survival Guns" would be helpful for people just coming into shooting as a hobby or preparedness in general.  While a wonderful work already exists in this vein (Boston's Gun Bible by Boston T. Party) I felt that something that built upon what Tappan had laid down would be helpful, and interesting in an academic sense considering the new firearms options that have come on the market since Tappan wrote his tome in the 1970s.  I can not possibly cover everything that is out there, but have tried to at least do an overview of the concerns and considerations facing preppers who choose to arm themselves in the year 2009 and beyond.  I take sole responsibility for any omissions or errors and wish to thank any shooter who has ever shared their opinion either in person or online pertaining to these issues. 
I hope you this writing useful and educational.

Whatz Hizname
The Great State of Oregon
April 2009
« Last Edit: April 09, 2009, 12:06:16 PM by whatzhizname »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 12:05:57 PM »

You may ask "Why in this era of enlightenment, global harmony, and self-actualization do human beings need to arm themselves?"  Well, as anyone who witnessed the aftermath of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, the many random shootings by madmen in so-called "Gun-Free Zones", or spent much time out in the wild can tell you there are times when you can not rely on the thin blue line of law enforcement, the good behavior of your fellow man, or wild animals acting in the interest of your self-preservation.  When those times come a single tool can make all the difference.
It is the firearm.  A tool, not unlike a hammer or screwdriver in that it can take no action on its own but in the hands of a trained and competent person it can be a lifesaver.  For the firearm aficionado there are hundreds of books on the market that can fill you up with all the information you might need.  For those interested in backpacking or camping there exist many other books that cover basic needs for surviving in the outdoors.  What this book tries to achieve, on the other hand is to serve as an introduction to the issues facing our culture and civilization and the ways in which proper selection of firearms can give people an advantage in keeping themselves and their families alive.  It does not delve into politics or related issues but merely attempts to suggests areas of possible need and "tools" that can fill each niche. 
This book does assume that the reader is not of the mindset to rely solely on others to fulfill every need and indeed that the reader is choosing to be responsible for his or her own safety and provision.  While many in our culture have given over control of their lives to others in exchange for perceived safety and personal welfare, there remain those who understand the fact that our complex civilization and its remarkable level of interdependence could face difficulties in even the near future.  It is for those people that this book has been written. 
There are a few specific issues this book looks at in terms of why we might need firearms as part of our preparation for "The End of the World As We Know It".  There are probably many more that could be looked at, but at least having a baseline to consider gives us a starting point to begin our considerations. 
These possible issues we will explore are:
1) Economic Meltdown (being experienced worldwide as this book is written)
2) Terrorist Attack (now euphemistically referred to as "Man-caused Disasters" by our enlightened leaders)
3) Biohazards (ranging from intentional attacks to natural disasters like Avian Flue)
4) Major E.L.E.s/Extinction Level Events (asteroid impacts, nuclear war, cats sleeping with dogs, etc.)
5) Shortages of Civilization's Needs (Peak Oil, food/water shortages, eventual Starbucks bankruptcy)
6) Local/Regional Crises (earthquakes, tsunamis, forest fires, hurricanes, etc.)
Of course there are many other possibilities that we could explore but as many of the issues that would be encountered with the above-mentioned are likely to be similar to other disasters.  For the sake of brevity, we will give the responsibility to the reader of how to adapt the included information to other potential situations.
As Tappan said in his own introduction "I can think of no better way to close these opening remarks than by quoting a particale of wisdoom from Theodore Roosevelt: 'Make preparations in advance... you never have trouble if you are prepared for it.'"

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 12:25:39 PM »

Many people across dozens of online forums related to preparedness ask the same question, to the point that it is encountered almost daily: "What is the best survival/preparedness firearm?"  While there are as many opinions as people pushing computer keys is is helpful to consider what the individual is concerned about happening and use that as a beginning point for selecting a firearm or firearms. 
For you see despite the way they are shown in movies, television and video games firearms are merely tools like a wrench, eating utensil or communications device.  Most firearms do one or two things well and other things quite poorly.  This means the prepper/survivalist has really only two choices: 1) Exhaust their savings and buy many different models or 2) try to purchase the minimal number required to cover the greatest anticipated needs. 
It is my opinion that you can choose either path with the expectation of some success.  For example, many people recommend a good 12-gauge shotgun as a multi-purpose tool that can cover a multitude of possible concerns.  With birdshot flying creatures and small game can be taken for food, while buckshot provides an exceptional defensive measure and slugs can be used for larger game up to pretty much anything found on the North American continent.  On the other hand, there are many things that a shotgun does that can be done better by a dedicated centerfire rifle.  In this book we will discuss various calibers and their utility, as well as how certain options can cover multiple needs if there is no better option.  What you then choose will depend on your own perspective about the challenges facing our nation and world tempered with the amount of capital you have sitting around to devote to the cause.
One other consideration to entertain:  Firearms make solid investments and in fact the firearms industry seems to be the sole growth industry in the United States as of the time of this writing.  Firearms and the ammunition required to utilize them are flying off the shelves in record numbers.  You may find that it makes a lot of sense to use some of your savings in purchasing a few items that will also serve as useful tools down the road.  With that feeling of a secure investment also comes the PRICELESS feeling of being well-positioned to protect yourself if and when "the excrement impacts the spinning blades".  As it is often said, "When seconds count the police are minutes away."  And at the very least, target shooting is a whole lot of fun.  That alone is worth picking up an inexpensive little .22 rifle for plinking purposes.  And if things do get difficult firearms can be used to harvest game, provide defense for your family, and serve as valuable barter items beyond gold, food or anything else. 

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 12:39:34 PM »

It is interesting to note that FEMA's own materials on being prepared for potential disasters make little to no mention of protecting oneself.  This would seem to be because of political considerations rather than practical ones, yet firearms (or their pointy stick/sharp rock caveman precursors) as a component in disaster preparedness have a long and storied past.  It is the height of willful ignorance to think that defensive needs will not arise in an EOTWAWKI scenario.  The many and varied horror stories that come out of just about every part of the world where society breaks down should be enough to convince most people of the need to take some steps for their protection.
Please understand that this book does not mean to suggest that every person should own a firearm.  In fact, many can not or should not own a firearm.  Some people are almost pathologically uncomfortable with firearms, some people are too young to legally own one, and some feel they cannot afford one.  However, to everyone who CAN legally acquire a firearm it is suggested that they do so.  There are some fine firearms from American manufacturers that are incredibly well-priced and often used firearms can be had at a significant discount from face-to-face deals in states where it's allowed.  There are also a variety of non-lethal weapons such as pepper sprays, tasers, etc. that can be found on the market.  Whatever route you choose get trained with your chosen device and practice using it regularly.  It is my conviction that a firearm is by far the best option, but believe in each person's right to choose what works for them.  Martial arts and other training can be a valuable supporting system of defense, but it is best not to rely on those methods solely.  The author has studied martial arts since the age of six but considers it to be a secondary protocol to a firearm if things ever get really bad. 
So in summation, choose your tool(s) and practice, practice, practice.

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2009, 12:53:16 PM »

In his work on the subject of "Survival Guns" Mel Tappan made a basic two-fold division of the types of firearms one might want to secure for preparing for the unknown future.  The first were Defensive Weapons purposed to protect against "armed or otherwise dangerous human beings".  The second were Working Weapons meant for hunting and protection from dangerous animals.  I have further added a third category of specialty guns intended for specific non-regular uses like pest control, skills practice and other needs. 
I, like Tappan, believe that a Defensive Weapon requires perfect reliability with the absolute minimum level of maintenance.  They should be powerful enough to be effective in their role (high degree of stopping power) and capable of sustained repeat fire if required.  This limits the number of firearms that fit this category to mostly semi-automatic and some pump, lever and bolt action rifles.  I would also add that the ability to utilize a sufficiently common caliber (like .223, .308, 7.62x39mm in rifles and 9mm, .357 magnum, .45 ACP in pistols) is also a strong factor in the selection process.  But these weapons need to be dependable under the most stressful of conditions and wholly reliable.
Working Weapons, on the other hand, are typically a bit more precise in their function and with that precision comes the need for more cautious use and careful maintenance.  They do not usually need to be fired rapidly but do require greater accuracy.  It is also helpful if they are lighter as they will often be carried over a large area in order to locate game (although in some situations a Defensive Weapon may also be carried for long periods of time so this may be an issue for both categories).  The caliber chosen should reflect an understanding of the area where the prepper lives.  For those in Alaska and parts of Montana/Wyoming, for example, a heavy caliber that can be used on Grizzlies might be appropriate, whereas for most of us in the 48 states a caliber geared towards deer and elk might be more appropriate.  NOTE: In some cases this long-range hunting weapon may also serve as a long-range Defensive Weapon due to its intrinsic accuracy.  We will cover more of these factors when we explore Working Weapons in a later chapter. 

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2009, 01:44:32 PM »

The requirement for a capable centerfire rifle in a common caliber is intuitive to many preppers.  And the options available in recent years have become almost overwhelming.  For example, when Tappan wrote in the 1970s there were only a few examples of "sports utility rifles" (commonly mistakenly called "assault rifles").  Now there are a huge variety of semi-auto action rifles available in multiple calibers, sizes and even colors.  The most popular firearm acquisition at the time of this writing is the AR-15 family of semi-auto sporters based on the venerable M-16/M-4 lined used by American and other military forces.  Many of these models were not around back at the time Tappan was discussing them.
Which means we have a much greater variety to choose from.  Let us jump right in and look at some considerations and options starting with Defensive Rifles:


1) The rifle picked should be known for reliability.
2) It should be in a common caliber.
3) Parts should be easy to find in times of relative peace in order to stock up.
4) The rifle should be powerful enough for its intended function.
5) It should be easy broken down for cleaning/maintenance purposes.

There are other calibers that could be used for defensive purposes, but due to the need for a common caliber we will stick with the most widely used.  For that reason we are going to look primarily at .223 Remington/5.56mm NATO, the Russian .30 caliber round (usually called 7.62x39mm), .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO, and the venerable 30/06.

.223 Remington/5.56 NATO

Adapted from Wikipedia:

The .223 Remington is a sporting cartridge with almost the same external dimensions as the 5.56x45mm NATO military cartridge. It is loaded with a 0.224-inch (5.7 mm) diameter, jacketed bullet, with weights ranging from 40 to 90 grains (2.6 to 5.8 g), though the most common loading by far is 55 grains (3.6 g).

While the external case dimensions are very similar, the .223 Remington and 5.56x45mm differ in both maximum pressure and chamber shape. The maximum and mean pressures for some varieties of the 5.56 mm (different cartridge designations have different standards) exceed the SAAMI maximums for the .223 Remington, and the methods for measuring pressures differ between NATO and SAAMI. The 5.56 mm chamber specification has also changed over time since its adoption, as the current military loading (NATO SS-109 or US M855) uses longer, heavier bullets than the original loading did. This has resulted in a lengthening of the throat in the 5.56 mm chamber. Thus, while .223 Remington ammunition can be safely fired in a 5.56 mm chambered gun, firing 5.56 mm ammunition in a .223 Remington chamber may produce pressures in excess of even the 5.56 mm specifications due to the shorter throat.

WHATZ NOTES: I personally like this round as a defensive choice because of a few factors such as the number of rounds that can be carried due to the small cartridge size and the rifles it is available in like the Mini-14, AR-15, and others.  Many firearms people however think this round is not powerful enough for the intended purpose.  Your decision may be largely dictated by the type of rifle you ultimately choose but I recommend you spend some time exploring the various viewpoints of firearms gurus in print, online, and at your local range.


Adapted from Wikipedia:

The Soviet 7.62x39mm rifle cartridge was designed during World War II and first used in the SKS carbine.

The cartridge was likely influenced by a variety of foreign developments, especially the pre-war German GeCo, 7.75x39mm experimental round, and possibly by the late-war German 7.92x33mm Kurz ("Kurz" meaning "short" in German). Shortly after the war, the world's most recognized military pattern rifle was designed for this cartridge: the AK-47. The cartridge remained the Soviet standard until the 1970s, and is still one of the most common intermediate rifle cartridges used around the world. Its replacement, the 5.45x39mm cartridge, has less stopping power and armor penetration, but is highly lethal, has a flatter trajectory, and is more controllable in fully automatic fire due to the lower recoil. The change was in part a response to NATO switching from the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge to 5.56x45mm NATO.

On some occasions, this ammunition is referred to as 7.62 mm Soviet, 7.62 mm Warsaw Pact, or 7.62 mm ComBloc. It was also known in the United States as .30 Short Russian/ComBloc; the "Short" was to distinguish it from the older .30 Russian, which was the 7.62x54mmR. (Note that the "R" in 7.62x54mmR does not stand for "Russian", but "Rimmed".)

Hunting and Sport Use

Since approximately 1990, the 7.62x39mm cartridge has seen some use in hunting arms in the US for hunting game up to the size of whitetail deer, as it is approximately as powerful as the old .30-30 Winchester round, and has a similar ballistic profile. Large numbers of inexpensive imported semiautomatic rifles, like the SKS and AK-47 clones and variants, are available in this caliber. The SKS is so inexpensive as to have begun displacing the .30-30 lever-action rifles as the new "poor man's deer rifle" by being less expensive than the .30-30 Marlins and Winchesters that long held that role. In addition, Ruger produces the Mini-30 as a 7.62x39mm version of their popular Mini-14 rifles. Inexpensive imported 7.62x39mm ammunition is also widely available, though much of it is of the non-expanding type that may be illegal to use for hunting in some US states. However, both imported Russian ammunition like Wolf brand and American civilian manufacturers produce both hollow-point and soft-point rounds, which are suitable and nearly universally legal for hunting except in areas where the use of rifles for hunting is completely prohibited.

7.62x39mm ammunition has typically been one of the least-expensive centerfire rifle ammunitions on the market. It cost just over 17 cents a round for quality imported ammo in early 2006. In 2005/2006, prices began to soar (almost doubling in the US) due to the United States placing a massive order to supply the fledgling Afghan and Iraqi armies. Average price in early 2008 rose to 22 cents per round, bought in bulk packs of 500 to 1000. It is still cheaper than most handgun rounds and even some expensive target .22 rimfire ammunition. This cartridge has endeared itself to shooters in spite of its limited ballistics, because of the many inexpensive good semiautomatic rifles available for it, the availability of inexpensive ammunition, and because of its minimal recoil.

WHATZ NOTES: Due to the fact that it was such inexpensive ammo for such a long time as well as the two major offerings in this caliber (the SKS and AK families) this caliber is a favorite with a lot of preppers.  With ballistic characteristics very close to the well-loved 30/30 this round can be used for hunting as well.  Overall it is another fine choice like the .223/5.56mm NATO and commonly available. 

.308 Winchester/7.62x51mm NATO

Adapted from Wikipedia:

The 7.62x51mm NATO is a rifle cartridge developed in the 1940s and '50s as a standard for small arms among NATO countries. Specifications for the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge are not identical to the commercial .308 Winchester though they are safely interchangeable.

The cartridge itself offers similar ballistic performance in most firearms to the .30-06 Springfield that it replaced in U.S. service. Though shorter, standard loadings fire similar bullet weights at similar velocities. Modern propellants allowed the same velocity from a case with less capacity. The smaller case requires less brass and yields a shorter cartridge. This shorter cartridge allows a reduction in the size of the firearms that chambers it.

WHATZ NOTES: Some respected folks in the firearms community attest that this is the best caliber for survival/preparation purposes there is.  Unfortunately, most of the rifle options in this caliber are substantially more expensive.  Even so, this is indeed a full-power round compared to the .223 and 7.62x39mm options which is important to some peoples' considerations.  As stated above, look into all options and then decide what is best for your needs.  With offerings like the M1A, FAL, Saiga, HK91 and others there are numerous albeit expensive options.

30/06 Springfield (aka "Ought Six")

Adapted from Wikipedia:

The .30-06 Springfield cartridge (pronounced “thirty-aught-six” or "thirty-oh-six") or 7.62 x 63 mm in metric notation, was introduced to the United States Army in 1906 (hence “06”) and standardized, used until the 1960s and early 1970s. It replaced the .30-03, 6 mm Lee Navy and .30 US Army (also called .30-40 Krag). The .30-06 remained the US Army's main cartridge for nearly 50 years before it was finally replaced by the 7.62 x 51 mm (7.62x51mm NATO, commercial .308 Winchester). It remains the most popular big-game cartridge in North America, and among the most popular worldwide.

Commercially manufactured rifles chambered in .30-06 are popular for hunting. Current .30-06 factory ammunition varies in bullet weight from 7.1 g to 14.3 g (110 to 220 grains) in solid bullets, and as low as 3.6 g (55 grains) with the use of a sub-caliber bullet in a sabot. Loads are available with reduced velocity and pressure as well as increased velocity and pressure for stronger firearms. The .30-06 remains one of the most popular sporting cartridges in the world.

The newer 7.62x51mm NATO/.308 Winchester cartridge offers similar performance to standard .30-06 loadings in a smaller cartridge. However, the greater cartridge capacity of the .30-06 allows much more powerful loadings if the shooter desires.

WHATZ NOTES: This is the granddaddy of them all.  It was used by the US Military from 196 on in the old 1903 Springfields and M1 Garands, which are still both capable Defensive Rifles if you can find one in good shape.  It is a very capable round but correspondingly larger and more expensive than most of the other mainstream options. 

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2009, 02:18:19 PM »

Okay, now I'm wading into a bit of a minefield.  Obviously there are MANY differences of opinion about which rifle is the best for a TEOTWAWKI scenario.  As such, there are many things to consider when exploring the possibilities.  Let's start with the type of action a particular firearm uses.


1) Semi-auto- For a defensive weapon this will probably be the best action for most people.  However, the potential for occasional jams and need for additional maintenance make this a contentious choice for some.  However, the fact that these firearms were initially designed for combat (although for that matter so were bolts, levers and pumps) make them the best choices for protective weapons in the minds of many.
2) Bolt-action- The legends of the feats of good bolt actions (like Sgt. Yorks 30/06 in WWI) are indisputable.  In fact, there are amazing stories of a Finnish sniper who took out 500 enemy forces during the Winter War against Russia in 1939-40 that might make one think these are a great option.  And they are... if you know how to use one effectively. 
3) Lever-action-In situations where the asthetics of an "EBR" (evil black rifle) might not be a good thing some people opt for the relatively fast lever action.  The "Redneck Assault Rifle" is an old design but a proven one.  And many of them have relatively good standard capacities in their tubular magazines. 
4) Pump-action-There are a small number of pump-action rifles that might be solid choices for defensive weapons, including the Remington 7615 which actually uses AR-15 magazines.  This is a relatively fast action as well and definitely an option where legal or other factors limit the availability of semi-autos. 

WHATZ NOTES: While I think all options have a possible place depending on your own personal preferences, there's a lot to be said for choosing the tool best designed for the purpose at hand.  That is the semi-auto hands down.  And with the current political climate it should also be your first purchase consideration as well.

With that said let's look at some options.  I'll highlight descriptive material from Wikipedia and go in roughly order of popularity in the preparedness community.


Adapted from Wikipedia

AR-15 (for Armalite model 15, often mistaken for Automatic Rifle or Assault Rifle) is the common name for the widely-owned semi-automatic rifle which soon afterwards became the fully automatic M16 and M4 Carbine assault rifles, which are currently in use by the United States military. AR-15 was the original name for what became the militarily designated M16, the assault rifle first used by the U.S. in the Vietnam War. The name AR-15 is now used almost exclusively to refer to the semi-automatic (commercially available) civilian version(s) of the M16 and M4 assault rifles.

All standard AR-15 rifles accept detachable magazines of widely varying capacities, and have a pistol grip that protrudes beneath the stock. AR-15 rifles are highly configurable and customizable, and are commonly fitted with several accessories, including bipods, bayonet lugs, folding or collapsing butt stocks, threaded barrels for the attachment of a flash suppressor or other accessories, and a Picatinny rail in place of the fore grip for the attachment of vertical grips, flashlights, laser sights, telescopic sights, and other accessories.

The AR-15 consists of separate upper and lower receiver assemblies, which are attached with two through-pins and can be quickly interchanged with no tools. Under U.S. firearms laws, only the lower receiver is considered a weapon and subject to purchasing restrictions. The upper receiver assembly is simply considered a part, and may be freely purchased and mail-ordered in most locations. This is a very attractive feature for enthusiasts, who often purchase a number of upper receivers (often in different calibers) and interchange them with the same lower receiver. However, one must be thoroughly familiar with firearms laws before doing this as it is possible to make an illegal configuration. For example, an 11" barrel with only a pistol grip is a legal handgun in most locations. Adding a shoulder stock, however, makes it a "short-barreled rifle" under NFA rules. It is a felony to assemble or possess such a weapon without prior Federal approval.

WHATZ NOTES: I have fired a few different AR-15s.  They are fun, accurate but somewhat expensive and becoming more so.  The .223/5.56mm round turns off some because of perceived lack of stopping power but they are used by our military for a reason; they work.  They have also become extremely popular because of the all the accessories you can hang on them and they are currently the most popular firearm selling in America according to several sources I've heard.


Adapted from Wikipedia

The AK-47 (contraction of Russian: ??????? ??????????? ??????? 1947 ????; Avtomat Kalashnikova obraztsa 1947 goda; "Kalashnikov's automatic rifle model of year 1947") is a 7.62mm assault rifle developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov in two versions: the fixed stock AK-47 and the AKS-47 (S—Skladnoy priklad) variant equipped with an underfolding metal shoulder stock.

Design work on the AK began in 1944. In 1946 the rifle was presented for official military trials, and a year later the fixed stock version was introduced into service with select units of the Red Army (the folding stock model was developed later). The AK-47 was officially accepted by the Soviet Armed Forces in 1949. It was also used by the majority of the member states of the former Warsaw Pact. The AK-47 was also used as a basis for the development of many other types of individual and crew-served firearms.

It was one of the first true assault rifles and, due to its durability, low production cost and ease of use, the AK-47 and its numerous variants remain the most widely used assault rifles in the world—so much so that more AK-type rifles have been produced than all other assault rifles combined.  (NOTE: The variants available in the US are civilian-legal semi-automatic functioning devices.  They are not true "assault rifles" in that they do not possess a selective-fire capability.)

WHATZ NOTES: The other very popular "black rifle" is the AK family imported mostly from Europe.  While these aren't as much of the "plug-and-play" aspect as the ARs they also have many aftermarket accessories that can be used to personalize them.  The AK is considered the most dependable defensive rifle available by many as it was designed to continue to work even in terrible conditions.  Variants are available in .223/5.56mm, 7.62x39mm (the most common) and the 5.45x39mm (AK-74 spinoffs). 


Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 02:36:57 PM »

SKS (aka Simonov Carbine)

Adapted from Wikipedia

The SKS is a Soviet 7.62x39mm caliber semi-automatic carbine, designed in 1945 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov. SKS is an acronym for Samozaryadniy Karabin sistemi Simonova (Russian: ???????????? ??????? ??????? ????????), 1945 (Self-loading Carbine, Simonov's system, 1945), or SKS 45. The Soviets rather quickly phased the SKS carbine out of first-line service, replaced by the AK-47, but remained in second-line service for decades afterwards. It remains a ceremonial arm today. It was widely exported and produced by the former Eastern Bloc nations, as well as China, where it was designated the "Type 56", East Germany as the "Karabiner S" and in North Korea as the "Type 63". It is today popular on the civilian surplus market in many countries. The SKS was one of the first weapons chambered for the 7.62x39mm M43 round later used in the AK-47 and RPK.

The SKS is popular on the civilian surplus market, especially in the United States. Because of their historic and novel nature, Russian and European SKS rifles are classified by the BATF as "Curio & Relic" items under US law, allowing them to be sold with features that might otherwise be restricted. Chinese manufactured rifles, even the rare early "Sino-Soviet" examples, are not so classified. Because of the massive size of the Chinese People's Liberation Army, over 8 million Chinese SKS rifles were produced during their 20 years of use making the Chinese SKS one of the most mass produced military rifles of all time.

In Australia, the Chinese SKS rifle (along with the Russian SKS rifle) was very popular with recreational hunters and target shooters during the 1980s and early 1990s before semi-automatic rifles were banned from legal ownership in 1996. Since the introduction of the 1996 gun bans in Australia, the Mosin-Nagant series of bolt-action rifles and carbines have now filled the void created by politicians when the SKS was banned from legal ownership.
A sporterized SKS carbine fitted with an aftermarket composite stock and scope rail.

In the early 1990s, the Chinese SKS rapidly became the "poor man's deer rifle" in some Southern areas of the United States due to its low price, lower even than such old favorites in that role as the Marlin 336. Importation of the Chinese SKS into the USA was banned in 1994.

Due to its relatively low cost and widespread availability and usage, the SKS has spawned a growing market for both replacement parts and accessories. Many aftermarket parts are available to upgrade the rifle — sometimes so considerably that it bears little resemblance to the original firearm. This process, known as "sporterizing" (or by the somewhat derogatory terms "bubba'd"), may include items such as synthetic buttstocks, high capacity magazines, replacement receiver covers (which allow the mounting of scopes, lasers, etc.), different muzzle brakes, recoil buffers, bipods, and more.

WHATZ NOTES: I really like the SKS.  In fact, the first firearm I ever bought was an SKS when I became old enough.  Back then, ammunition was cheap so I bought a bunch and shot it up.  I still regret trading that rifle away, but have been able to shoot other examples in the intervening years.  They are very dependable, rugged, accurate (within their range at least) and still relatively inexpensive.  If you're planning to get more than one Defensive Rifle in order to have a spare or for other reasons, you can still get two or more of these for the price of one AR or AK.  At least for the time being.  

Ruger Mini-14/Mini-30/Ranch Rifle

Adapted from Wikipedia

The Mini-14, Mini Thirty, and Mini-6.8 are small, lightweight semi-automatic carbines manufactured by the U.S. firearms company Sturm, Ruger. The Mini-14 can fire both the popular .223 Remington cartridge and the similar military 5.56x45mm cartridge,[1]. The Mini Thirty uses the 7.62x39mm and the Mini-6.8 fires 6.8 mm Remington SPC. Since 2005, all models are marketed under the name Ranch Rifle.

In 1987, Ruger began production of the Mini Thirty. The Mini Thirty is chambered for the Russian 7.62x39mm cartridge, used in the SKS and AK-47, as many states prohibit hunting of deer with calibers smaller than 6 mm (.243 in). The 7.62x39 mm has similar ballistics to the well-known .30-30 Winchester. The Mini Thirty was only available as a Ranch Rifle, with integral scope base. Current production Mini Thirtys are similar to Mini-14's except for caliber.  In 2007, Ruger announced the Mini-6.8 utilizing the commercial 6.8 mm Remington SPC cartridge that has been growing steadily in popularity.

WHATZ NOTES: I always wanted a Mini-14 as a kid when I read through my dad's old survival magazines.  I've shot a few and they're fun and dependable with an action based somewhat on a downsized version of the M-14 (civilian version M1A) action.  However, they have really jumped in price if you can even find them.  I would also stick with the .223 version as there are more magazines and other accessories in that caliber as opposed to the Mini-30s and new 6.8 variants (In the interest of full disclosure I have not had a chance to fire the Mini-30s or Mini-6.8s and if you like those calibers they'd probably be good options for your consideration).  

« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:37:40 PM by Patriot2980 »

Offline whatzhizname

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A Link to a Fictional Piece I'm Working On As Well...
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 09:21:49 PM »
In addition to this non-fiction book thread I'm working on here, I also posted the first chapter of a fictional story I'm writing called "Stronghold" over at the Survivalist Boards in their Books/Fiction subforum.  If you like preparedness/survivalist fiction check it out.  There are going to be a lot of ideas gathered from Jack's podcasts, as well as other sources, and I'm hoping it can teach some lessons and give ideas like "Patriots" and "Lights Out" do.

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2009, 12:44:18 PM »

There are several additional carbine-type options for consideration as Defensive Rifles.  Like the ARs, AKs, SKSs, and Minis they too are thought of by some as "intermediate" rifles rather than true "Battle Rifles".  Here are some brief overviews of a few more before we move on to the heavier calibers:

Adapted from Wikipedia

1. M-1 Carbine

The M1 Carbine (formally the United States Carbine, Caliber .30, M1) is a lightweight semi-automatic carbine that became a standard firearm in the U.S. military during World War II and the Korean War, and was produced in several variants. It was widely used by U.S. and foreign military and paramilitary forces, and has also been a popular civilian firearm.  A pistol variant is also available from Iver Johnson Arms. 

The M1 carbine is still in use today by many civilian shooters and police around the world. The .30 Carbine cartridge is used for a number of types of hunting, including white-tailed deer, but is definitely underpowered for larger North American game such as elk, moose, and bear. Some U.S. states prohibit use of the cartridge for hunting deer and larger animals due to a lessened chance of killing an animal in a single shot, even with expanding bullets. The carbine is prohibited for hunting in several states such as Pennsylvania because of the semi-automatic function, and Illinois which prohibits all non-muzzleloading rifles for big game hunting. The .30 carbine cartridge and the M1 carbine are suitable for the same game targeted with the .32-20 Winchester and .32 Winchester Self-Loading cartridges and the hunting arms made in those calibers.

WHATZ NOTES: This used to be an inexpensive option as a short-ranged defensive carbine but in recent years they have shot up in value.  Not only that, but finding reasonably-priced ammo these days can be difficult.  If you do choose to go this route, take a look at the Civilian Marksmanship Program which sells military surplus versions for below market value (although you must qualify under a number of their conditions).  As far as usefulness in a defensive situation the .30 carbine cartridge can be thought of as roughly comparable to a .357 magnum.

2. Galil (and Golani variants)

Adapted from Wikipedia

The Galil (pronounced /gæ?li??l/) is a family of Israeli small arms designed by Yisrael Galili and Yaacov Lior in the late 1960s and produced by Israel Military Industries Ltd (now Israel Weapon Industries Ltd) of Ramat HaSharon. The weapon system consists of a 5.56 mm line chambered for the intermediate 5.56x45mm NATO caliber with either the M193 or SS109 ball cartridge and several 7.62 mm models designed for use with the 7.62x51mm NATO rifle round.

The Galil’s design is optimized for operation in arid conditions and is based on the Finnish RK 62,[1] which itself was derived from the Soviet AK-47 assault rifle. It was selected as the winner of a competition for the Israel Defense Forces that included many other rival designs (among them, the M16A1, Stoner 63, AK-47 and HK33) and was formally accepted into service in 1972, replacing the dust-sensitive FN FAL.

There are four basic configurations of the Galil: the standard rifle-length AR (Assault Rifle), a carbine variant known as the SAR (Short Assault Rifle), a compact MAR (Micro Assault Rifle) version, and an ARM (Assault Rifle and Machine gun) light machine gun.

WHATZ NOTES: Based on a number of features from early 'true' assault rifle designs the Galil is a well-respected entry into the civilian semi-auto Defensive Rifle market.  For a long time they were much more expensive than other options, but the recent Golani versions seem comparable in price to an AK or Mini-14.  Magazines and other accouterments are typically much more expensive, however, than items for the more popular AR and AK models, but the Galil is considered to be a dependable design that might serve your needs well.

3. Daewoo .223/5.56mm

Adapted from Wikipedia

Semi-automatic export versions of the Korean K2 assault rifle were sold as the DR-100 and DR-200, chambered in .223 Remington beginning in the 1980s. 

WHATZ NOTES: The Daewoo can be encountered occasionally as an option in the "intermediate" range of Defensive Rifle.  The author doesn't know enough about them to recommend them or not recommend them, but they might be worth evaluating.  Most people consider them to be good quality devices, but spare parts are often an issue for less popular firearms. 

Two other options that are available in either very old or recently re-introduced versions are the AR-18/AR-180, basically an improvement on the original AR-15 and the Steyr AUG, a unique science fiction-looking bullpup design.  Both are in .223/5.56mm and although significantly less-common than the others we've covered have their fans.  A simple internet search will provide some basic information on these two designs. 

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 12:58:11 PM by whatzhizname »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2009, 01:35:07 PM »


While the author is quite happy with considering "intermediate" calibers for most defensive needs (hey, if it's good enough for our military...) there are many who believe in larger calibers such as the .308/7.62mm NATO, 30/06, Russian 7.62x54mmR due to their heavier-hitting ability and penetration of cover (like car doors).  Here are a few options you might consider.  In general, they fire a much heavier bullet (up to 3x the mass) and have greater range than the previously mentioned carbine calibers like .223 and 7.62x39mm.  


Adapted from Wikipedia

The M1A is a civilian version of the United States military M14 rifle designed by Springfield Armory, Inc. in 1974. It is designed for semi-automatic fire only and cannot be modified to fully-automatic or selective fire. Certain variants of the M1A resemble the M21 Sniper Weapon System in design and appearance.

WHATZ NOTES: Well-loved by many preppers, the M1A is an accurate, rugged, and dependable option in the so-called "Battle Rifle" category.  The .308 cartridge is very similar to the old 30/06 but smaller so you can carry more of them.  Advanced variants are being produced like the SOCOM version which also has tactical rails and other features desired by the more tactical minded.


Adapted from Wikipedia

The Fusil Automatique Léger (Light Automatic Rifle) or FAL is a 7.62x51 NATO self-loading, selective fire rifle produced by the Belgian armaments manufacturer Fabrique Nationale de Herstal (FN) during the Cold War, and adopted by many North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries. It has also been adopted by many other nations for their armed forces and has proven to be a popular civilian rifle for hunting and sport shooting. The FN FAL was also produced under license in many of the adopting countries. Because of its prevalence and widespread use among the armed forces of many Western and other non-Communist countries during the Cold War, it was nicknamed "the right arm of the Free World".  The civilian version is semi-automatic only.

WHATZ NOTES: The author has fired the FN FAL and actually found them to be fun to shoot, accurate and dependable but with surprising recoil for a semi-automatic despite being relatively heavy.  However, despite their expense they are proven designs and there is no questioning the success of their assault rifle brethren around the world.  If you can afford one they are definitely worth the price, assuming you are set on including one of the more powerful caliber Defensive Rifles in your portfolio.

M1 Garand

Adapted from Wikipedia

The M1 Garand (officially the United States Rifle, Caliber .30, M1) was the first semi-automatic rifle to be generally issued to the infantry of any nation. In 1936, it officially replaced the bolt-action M1903 Springfield as the standard service rifle of the United States Armed Forces and was subsequently replaced by the selective-fire M14 in 1957. However, the M1 continued to be used in large numbers until 1963 and to a lesser degree until 1966.

The M1 was used heavily by U.S. forces in World War II, the Korean War, and, to a limited extent, the Vietnam War. Most M1 rifles were issued to American Army and Marine troops, though many thousands were also lent or provided as foreign aid to America's allies. The Garand is still used by drill teams and military honor guards. It is also widely sought by the civilian population as a hunting rifle, target rifle, and military collectible. The name "Garand" is pronounced variously as [g??rænd] or [?gær?nd]. According to experts and people who knew John Garand, the latter version is preferred.[3][4]

WHATZ NOTES: The "Best battlefield implement ever devised" according to General Patton, the Garand is still popular over sixty years after the end of World War II.  Although limited to eight rounds using the 'en bloc' system, with the powerful 30/06 round the Garand is still a high-performing option for a heavier Defensive Rifle.  They are especially worth considering if one of your Working/Hunting Rifles is also in 30/06.  As mentioned previously with the M1 Carbine, Garands are available through the Civilian Marksmanship Program at greatly reduced rates.  


Adapted from Wikipedia

The AR-10 is an American 7.62 mm battle rifle developed by Eugene Stoner in the late 1950s at ArmaLite, then a division of the Fairchild Aircraft Corporation. The rifle had some innovative features at the time of its introduction (1956); it was over 1 lb (0.45 kg) lighter than most other infantry rifles, it was significantly easier to control in automatic fire, was more accurate in semi-auto mode, and arguably handled better than any other weapon of the period. The unique features of the AR-10 would eventually be developed into the U.S. Army's M16. Over its production life, the original AR-10 was built in relatively small numbers, with fewer than 10,000 rifles assembled.

WHATZ NOTES: The precursor to the AR-15, the AR-10 has been updated and is once again available for sale.  If you like the basic "feel" of the AR-15 but desire the more powerful .308/7.62mm NATO then the AR-10 might be an option.  However, expect to pay double the cost of an AR-15 and parts and accessories will be correspondingly more as well.

SAIGA .308

Adapted from Wikipedia

The Saiga is a Kalashnikov-pattern weapon available in a wide range of configurations and calibers. Like the Kalashnikov rifle variants, it is a rotating bolt, gas-operated gun that feeds from a box magazine.

WHATZ NOTES: Considering it is based on the old AK design family, the Saiga has drawn a lot of interest for preppers.  Available in .223, .308 and 7.62x38mm as well as shotgun gauges, the Saiga has a lot going for it, but standard capacity (so-called "hi cap") magazines are significantly more expensive than those of the original AKs and parts seem to be less available too.  Still, they are much cheaper than most of the .308/7.62 NATO options and might be worth looking at for that reason alone.  The author has handled Saigas at the local firearms specialty botique, but has not fired them so you are encouraged to explore them on your own if they appear to fill a need in your tool collection.


Adapted from Wikipedia

The SVD (Russian: Snayperskaya Vintovka Dragunova, lit. "Dragunov sniper rifle") is a semi-automatic sniper rifle chambered in 7.62x54mmR and developed in the Soviet Union.  The SVD is a semi-automatic gas-operated rifle with a short-stroke gas-piston system. The barrel breech is locked through a rotating bolt (left rotation) and uses three locking lugs to engage corresponding locking recesses in the barrel extension. The rifle has a manual, two-position gas regulator. The weapon is fed from a curved box magazine with a 10-round capacity and the cartridges are double-stacked in a checker pattern. After discharging the last cartridge from the magazine, the bolt carrier and bolt are held back on a bolt catch that is released by pulling the cocking handle to the rear. The rifle has a hammer-type striking mechanism and a manual lever safety selector. The rifle's receiver is machined to provide additional accuracy and torsional strength. The SVD receiver bears a number of similarities to the AK action, such as the large dust cover, iron sights and lever safety selector, but these similarities are primarily cosmetic in nature.

WHATZ NOTES: Quite expensive these days, these interesting-looking rifles are supposed to be very accurate but their prohibitive cost makes them more of a collector's investment than a preppers.  However, if you do pick one up, consider also grabbing a couple of the much cheaper Mosin-Nagants in the same caliber.  (We will discuss the Mosins a bit later).  
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:27:19 PM by Patriot2980 »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2009, 02:12:36 PM »
Although I have clearly not covered everything available (not to mention that Pulse Rifles, Phased Plasma Rifles, and blasters haven't yet been invented) I hope that I have given you at least an overview of what is out there and some brief comparative thoughts about the purposes they can serve.  At the same time, I would like to offer some alternatives to the typical semi-auto that might better serve your purposes if you happen to be in a unique situation due to the state you live in or cost considerations.


LEVER ACTIONS (like 30/30 Marlin/Winchester, etc.)

Adapted from Wikipedia

A lever-action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located around the trigger guard area (often including the trigger guard itself) to load fresh cartridges into the chamber of the barrel when the lever is worked. One of the most famous lever-action firearm is undoubtedly the Winchester rifle, but many manufacturers- notably Marlin and Savage- also produce lever-action rifles. Mossberg produces the 464 in centerfire .30-30 and rimfire .22.

WHATZ NOTES: So you're probably thinking, "A lever action for a Defensive Rifle?  He can't be serious."  Well actually, considering the ubiquitous nature of the old 'cowboy rifle' and its relatively innocent looking appearance there are times a simple lever action might be perfect for your needs.  And just about any store/bartering hole in America is likely to have 30/30 ammo, if they have any.  For those reasons, you might consider a 30/30 as a backup to your main Defensive Rifle, or as your primary weapon if you can't afford a fancier "sport utility rifle".  More on the 30/30 in the Working/Hunting Firearms section.

TACTICAL BOLT ACTIONS (such as Remington 700s, Winchester 70s, and Ruger M77s)

Adapted from Wikipedia

The term bolt action refers to a type of firearm action in which the weapon's bolt is operated manually by the opening and closing of the breech with a small handle, most commonly placed on the right-hand side of the weapon. As the handle is operated, the bolt is unlocked, the breech is opened, the spent shell casing is withdrawn and ejected, and finally a new round/shell (if available) is placed into the breech and the bolt closed. Bolt action firearms are most often rifles, but there are some bolt-action shotguns and a few handguns as well. Examples of this system date as far back to the 19th century, notably in the Dreyse needle gun. From the late 19th century, all the way through both World Wars, the bolt-action rifle was the standard infantry firearm for most of the world's militaries.

WHATZ NOTES: While bolt actions are quite commonplace in the Working/Hunting Rifle category, few people think of them as Defensive Rifle options.  While most sporters are not designed to fire off a lot of rounds in an engagement, if the ranges are opened enough they can serve a duel purpose as standoff weapons to keep bad guys away.  However, due to their tighter tolerances and susceptibility to overheating it is necessary to use them differently than other Defensive Rifles.  Still, if you can't afford a "sport utility rifle" or prefer the more innocuous look, then take a look at the options available.  You could do a whole lot worse.


WHATZ NOTES: While there are several rifles that fit into this category, such as the 1903, 1917, British .303, Mausers, etc. the current top choice due to its low cost is the Russian Mosin-Nagant.  Shooting the same 7.62x54R caliber as the previously mentioned Dragunov SVD, the Mosin-Nagant is available in a rather lengthy standard version and a much shorter M44 carbine.  The ammunition also remains fairly cheap and is comparable to a 30/06.  1903 Springfields are still available through the aforementioned Civilian Marksmanship Program, and you can often find .303 SMLEs and Mausers for a bargain.  If you can afford to go with a modern semi-auto then that is probably your best option, but don't overlook grabbing a couple of these older designs on the cheap with some ammo and stashing them away as backups.  At the very least, you'll have some good barter items for down the road. 

« Last Edit: April 10, 2009, 03:07:02 PM by whatzhizname »

Offline Heavy G

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2009, 12:31:38 PM »
Way frickin' cool thread.  Should really help people.  A definite "best of" thread.

(This thread has been selected as a “best of” thread by Heavy G.  You can search for “best of” threads by using that term in the search mode.  Everyone on the forum is encouraged to reply to a post they think is “best of” worthy so we can all search for them.  For more information on the “best of” thing, see )

P.S.  This is a work in progress, so you'll cover .22s, shotguns, and handguns, right?

You might be interested in the ten-book prepper novel series called 299 Days.  I, like, wrote it and stuff.  Prepper Press is publishing it.  Seriously.  Check out

"If you pissed away your time and energy watching football and herding the family to endless soccer games, well, sorry grasshopper." -- post by jasonthomas on TSP

Offline DeltaEchoVictor

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2009, 01:27:03 PM »
Just a suggestion here take it as that & nothing more.

In order to keep this work in progress as uncluttered as possible, send your suggestions & or questions to whatzhizname via PM.  That way he can compose & answer them in a manner consistent with the intent of this thread.

The board mods/admins will try to keep the thread as uncluttered as possible so as to make the thread as easily readable as possible, but it would help us immensely if you all could conduct the questions/suggestions part off thread.  If someone would like to start a discussion thread in reference to this informational thread, that would be great too.

I'll leave the extraneous questions & comments for the moment so everyone has a chance to check in & see what's going on then I'll delete them in a day or two so the thread only contains the future pdf content. 

I've split the discussion parts of this post off into it's own thread.  You can find it Here

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 02:42:40 PM by DeltaEchoVictor »
We live, my dear soul, in an age of trial.  What will be the consequences, I know not.
- John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1774
If tyranny & oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy.
- James Madison

Heavy G was right. All the threads back here do end up as gay porn.  :o
Okay, just so it is noted, Doc is the one who started the gay porn on this thread.  ;D

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2009, 02:21:57 PM »


Before getting to the second category of rifles (the Working/Hunting types), I want to look at a few options for the defensive use of Shotguns.  Shotguns fill a special niche in a TEOTWAWKI armory as well as being extremely useful in a home defense role.

First a definition of what Shotguns are and how they work:

Adapted from Wikipedia:

A shotgun (also known as a scattergun, or historically as a fowling piece) is a firearm that is usually designed to be fired from the shoulder, which uses the energy of a fixed shell to fire a number of small spherical pellets called shot, or a solid projectile called a slug. Shotguns come in a wide variety of sizes, ranging from 5.5 mm (.22 inch) bore up to 5 cm (2 inch) bore, and in a range of firearm operating mechanisms, including breech loading, double, pump-, bolt-, and lever-action, semi-automatic, and even fully-automatic variants.

The shot pellets from a shotgun spread upon leaving the barrel, and the power of the burning charge is divided among the pellets, which means that the energy of any one ball of shot is fairly low. In a hunting context, this makes shotguns useful primarily for hunting birds and other small game. However, in a military or law enforcement context, the large number of projectiles makes the shotgun useful as a close quarters combat weapon or a defensive weapon. Shotguns are also used for target shooting sports such as skeet, trap, and sporting clays. These involve shooting clay disks, known as clay pigeons, thrown in various ways.

Shotguns intended for defensive use have barrels as short as 18 inches (46 cm) for private use (the minimum shotgun barrel length allowed by law in the United States without special permits). Barrel lengths of less than 18 inches (46 cm) as measured from the breechface to the muzzle when the weapon is in battery with its action closed and ready to fire, or have an overall length of less than 26 inches (66 cm) are classified as short barreled shotguns ("sawn-off shotguns") under the 1934 National Firearms Act and are heavily regulated.

WHATZ NOTES: No question that for many people a shotgun may be the best investment they can make.  They are extremely flexible because various loads allow them to be utilized for a wide range of applications.  Using birdshot can allow for birds and small game, buckshot is optimal for defensive needs and even deer-sized animals (hence the term "buck"-shot), and slugs can be used for larger game or to convert cover into concealment.  Shotguns also tend to be less expensive and a good Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 can be picked up for a couple hundred dollars, a much smaller cost than a semi-auto defensive centerfire rifle. 

A quick overview of the various gauges available so you can determine what is best for you:

The caliber of shotguns is measured in terms of gauge (U.S.) or bore (U.K.). The gauge number is determined by the number of solid spheres of a diameter equal to the inside diameter of the barrel that could be made from a pound of lead. So a 10 gauge shotgun nominally should have an inside diameter equal to that of a sphere made from one-tenth of a pound of lead. By far the most common gauges are 12 (0.729 in, 18.5 mm diameter) and 20 (0.614 in, 15.6 mm), although .410 (= 67), 32, 28, 24, 16, and 10 (19.7 mm) gauge and 9 mm (.355 in.) and .22 (5.5 mm) rimfire calibres have also been produced. Larger gauges, too powerful to shoulder, have been built but were generally affixed to small boats and referred to as punt guns. These were used for commercial water fowl hunting, to kill large numbers of birds resting on the water. Although relatively rare, single and double derringers have also been produced that are capable of firing either .45 (Long) Colt or .410 shotgun shells from the same chamber; they are commonly known as 'snake guns', and are popular among some outdoorsmen in the South and Southwest regions of the United States. There are also some revolvers, such as the Taurus Judge, that are capable of shooting the .45LC/.410 rounds; but as with derringers, these are handguns that shoot .410 shotgun shells, and are not necessarily considered shotguns themselves.

The .410 bore (10.4 mm) is unusual, being measured in inches, and would be approximately 67 "real" gauge, though its short hull versions are nominally called 36 gauge in Europe. It uses a relatively small charge of shot. It is used for hunting and for skeet. Because of its very light recoil (approx 10 N) it is often used as a beginners gun. However the small charge and typically tight choke make it more difficult to hit targets. It is also frequently used by expert shooters because of the difficulty, especially in expensive side by side and over/under models for hunting small bird game such as quails and doves. Inexpensive bolt-action .410 shotguns are a very common first hunting shotgun among young pre-teen hunters, as they are used mostly for hunting squirrels, while additionally teaching bolt-action manipulation skills that will transfer easily later to adult-sized hunting rifles. Most of these young hunters move up to a 20-gauge within a few years, and to 12 gauge shotguns and full-size hunting rifles by their late teens. Still, many who are particularly recoil-averse choose to stay with 20-gauge shotguns all their adult life, as it is a very suitable gauge for many popular hunting uses.

WHATZ NOTES: My preference (and this is my opinion only) is for the 12 gauge due to the common nature of the ammunition.  If a place is going to stock shotgun ammo or you are able to find it after TEOTWAWKI it will most likely be 12 gauge.  20 gauge is also common, although less so than the 12 gauge, but easier for smaller-framed people to shoot.  Other gauges like 10, 16 and 28 are much more rare and for that reason (unless you can REALLY afford to stock up in advance) should probably be relegated to collectors and specialty shooters rather than general preparedness planning.  The diminutive .410 bore is useful in a couple firearms (like the Taurus Judge .45 Long Colt/.410 combo revolver or single-shot anti-snake shotgun) but in general is much less desirable for survival situations, especially considering the greater power, throw-weight, and range of the 12 and 20 gauges.  (Again, this is opinion so consider all your options and make your selections based on YOUR specific needs).

A little more on the three major types of Shotgun loads available: 

Adapted from Wikipedia

The extremely large caliber of shotgun shells has led to a wide variety of different ammunition. Standard types include:

1. Shotshells are the most commonly used round, filled with lead or lead substitute pellets.  Of this general class, the most common subset is birdshot, which uses a large number (from dozens to hundreds) of small pellets, meant to create a wide "kill spread" to hunt birds in flight. Shot shells are described by the size and number of the pellets within, and numbered in reverse order (the smaller the number, the bigger the pellet size, similar to bore gauge). Size nine (#9) shot is the smallest size normally used for hunting and is used on small upland game birds such as dove and quail. Larger sizes are used for hunting larger upland game birds and waterfowl. In Europe and in other countries that use the metric system of measurement, except Canada, the shot size is simply the diameter of the pellet given in millimeters.

2. Buckshot is similar to but larger than birdshot, and was originally designed for hunting larger game, such as deer (hence the name). While the advent of new, more accurate slug technologies is making buckshot less attractive for hunting, it is still the most common choice for police, military, and home defense uses. Like birdshot, buckshot is described by pellet size, with larger numbers indicating smaller shot. From the smallest to the largest, buckshot sizes are: #4, (called "number four"), #1, 0 ("one-aught"), 00 ("double-aught"), 000 ("triple-aught") and 0000 ("four-aught"). A typical round for defensive use would be a 12 gauge 2 3/4" (7 cm) length 00 buck shell, which contains 9 pellets roughly 8.4 mm (.33 inch) in diameter, each comparable to a .38 Special bullet in damage potential. New "tactical" buckshot rounds, designed specifically for defensive use, use slightly fewer shot at lower velocity to reduce recoil and increase controllability of the shotgun. There are some shotgun rounds designed specifically for police use that shoot effectively from 50 yards (46 m) with a 20" diameter grouping of the balls.

3. Slug rounds are rounds that fire a single solid slug. They are used for hunting large game, and in certain military and law enforcement applications. Modern slugs are moderately accurate, especially when fired from special rifled slug barrels. They are often used in "shotgun-only" hunting zones near inhabited areas, where rifles are prohibited due to their excessive range.

3b. Sabots are a common type of slug round. While some slugs are exactly that - a 12-gauge metal projectile in a cartridge - a sabot is a smaller but more aerodynamic projectile surrounded by a "shoe" of some other material. This "sabot" jacket seals the barrel, increasing pressure and acceleration, while also inducing spin on the projectile in a rifled barrel. Once the projectile clears the barrel, the sabot material falls away, leaving an unmarked, aerodynamic bullet to continue toward the target. The advantages over a traditional slug are increased shot power, increased bullet velocity due to the lighter-mass bullet, and increased accuracy due to the velocity and the reduction in deformation of the slug itself. Disadvantages versus a traditional slug include lower muzzle momentum due to reduced mass, and reduced damage due to smaller bullet diameter.

WHATZ NOTES: Whatever classes of ammo you choose to purchase for your Shotgun make certain you get as much as you can afford.  A good mix of Birdshot (say a selection of #6 and # 7 1/2), some #4 and 00 Buck, and some good slugs (the best you can afford) would give you the ability to both protect yourself and harvest food.  The downside is that compared to other ammunition types shotgun shells are large, heavy and take up a lot of volume.  If you are operating from an area where you can have a stash of ammunition set aside this is unlikely to be an issue.  However, if you are ever compelled to "Bug Out" and be mobile there will be limitations on how much shotgun 'fuel' you can carry.  So, as always, consider your situation and plan accordingly.
One other quick note...  You will find many people who suggest birdshot for defense, at least in a home defense situation.  That may be a fine idea in some situations, but there are many who say that birdshot lacks the penetration if you are facing someone with heavy clothing or leather apparel so it is recommended you do some research and come to your own conclusion.  My own not-so-humble opinion is that anything birdshot can do buckshot can do better.  My preference is for #4 buckshot due to the greater number of pellets (all roughly about the size of a .22 long rifle projectile) but since it is harder to find that flavor I often defer to my number two choice, the ubiquitious 00 buckshot, which launches a number of round balls roughly the size of a .38 Special or 9mm bullet. 

« Last Edit: April 13, 2009, 02:51:04 PM by whatzhizname »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #16 on: April 13, 2009, 02:47:08 PM »

WHATZ NOTES: There are many different types of shotguns available that would serve well in defensive applications.  In fact, almost any quality sporting gun would fill this role if needed.  However, if you have time, money and opportunity there are some factors you can considering when choosing a shotgun for defensive purposes.  In general, the shorter the barrel (within legal limits) the better.  20 inches is a good length and some shotguns (like the Mossberg 500) even come with a second 28" barrel making them a good "swing" firearm that can be used for both Defensive and Working/Hunting applications.  A pump seems the most reliable, but a good Remington 1100, Benelli or SPAS-12 shouldn't be ignored if the opportunity is there.  Some prefer a simple side-by-side double because even a pump can have issues (short-stroking, etc.) but whatever you choose, as I've said so many times, learn how to use it safely and properly and get training.  

A few options:


Adapted from Wikipedia

The Remington Model 870 is a U.S.-made pump-action shotgun manufactured by Remington Arms Company, Inc. It is widely used by the public for target shooting, hunting, and self-defense. It is also commonly used by U.S. police and the U.S. military.  The 870 features a bottom-loading, side ejecting receiver, tubular magazine under the barrel, dual action bars, internal hammer, and a bolt which locks into an extension in the barrel. The action, receiver, trigger system, safety catch and slide release catch of the Remington Model 870 shotgun are similar to those used on the Remington Model 7600 series pump-action centerfire rifles and carbines. 20 gauge stocks will also interchange. Several parts of the 870 will interchange with the semi-automatic Remington 1100 and 11-87.

WHATZ NOTES: A Remington 870 with a 20" slug-and-buckshot barrel and magazine extension was always my "dream" shotgun, but I never got one.  I've only fired one once (I think) but have always heard positive reviews of them.  They seem to be a solid option, but ask around as always before purchasing anything that you're going to depend on to save your life.


Adapted from Wikipedia

The Mossberg 500 is a shotgun manufactured by O.F. Mossberg & Sons. Rather than a single model, the 500 is really a series of widely varying hammerless, pump action repeaters, all of which share the same basic receiver and action, but differ in bore size, barrel length, choke options, magazine capacity, and "furniture" (stock and forearm) materials. Other models numbers included in the 500 series are the 590, 505, and 535.  

Introduced in 1961, all model 500s are based on the same basic design. Originally using a single action bar this was changed to dual action bars in 1970, which are (at least in theory) less likely to bind than a single action bar design. A single large locking lug is used to secure the breech. The magazine tube is located below the barrel, and is screwed into the receiver. The slide release is located to the left rear of the trigger guard, and the safety is located on the upper rear of the receiver (often called a "tang safety"). Sights vary from model to model, from simple bead sight to a receiver mounted ghost ring or an integrated base for a telescopic sight. Most models come with the receiver drilled and tapped for the installation of a rear sight or a scope base. The factory scope base is attached to the barrel via a cantilever-type mount, which places the scope over the receiver but keeps it with the barrel if the barrel is removed.

Intended for use in harsh and dirty conditions, such as waterfowl hunting or combat, the Model 500 series is designed to be easy to clean and maintain. All Model 500s feature interchangeable barrels (given a particular gun's mag capacity; a barrel designed for a 4-shot tube will not fit a gun with a 6-shot tube) which may be removed without the use of tools, by loosening a screw on the end of the magazine tube, which allows the barrel to be removed.

WHATZ NOTES: This is my favorite shotgun design, because of the combination of low cost, ease of changing barrels, and the location of the safety.  You can still pick up one of these in most parts of the US for a couple hundred dollars (or slightly higher).  They seem well-made and durable and are used by police and military (well, the 590 variant I should say).  The Maverick 88 is a slightly cheaper version with the safety in a different location but seems to be decent for the price range.  Still, the 500 is superior enough to recommend it for the relatively minor additional cost over the Maverick.

WINCHESTER 1200/1300

Adapted from Wikipedia

The Model 1200 is an American pump-action shotgun that was marketed by Winchester and manufactured by Olin. It was produced in 12-, 16- and 20-gauge.  The Winchester Model 1200 was introduced in 1964. A number of them were acquired by the United States Army in 1968 and 1969 along with Model 1400s. The Model 1200 was succeeded by the Winchester Model 1300 when U.S. Repeating Arms Company became the manufacturer of Winchester firearms. Production of both the 1200 and 1300 has since ceased.

WHATZ NOTES: Although they aren't being made anymore, the Winchester pump is still available used and many consider it to be up there with the Remington and Mossberg models in terms of craftsmanship and reliability.  The ability to get replacement parts may be an issue since it's no longer being manufactured, but if you already have one in your closet or can find one for a good price they seem to be a worthwhile addition to your battery.  


Adapted from Wikipedia

The Ithaca 37 is a pump-action shotgun made in large numbers for the civilian, military, and police markets. Also known as the Featherlight, it utilizes a novel combination ejection/loading port on the bottom of the gun which leaves the sides closed to the elements. In addition, the outline of the gun is clean. Finally, since shells load and eject from the bottom, operation of the gun is equally convenient from either side of the gun. This makes the gun popular with left-handed and right-handed shooters alike.  The Ithaca 37 was a popular choice among civilians for both sport and personal protection. With higher prices for new Ithacas and decreasing availability compared to the Mossberg 500 and Remington 870, use of the Ithaca 37 continues to decline. Interestingly, Ithaca's loss of market share was hastened by competition from a copy of the shotgun. Chinese copies of the Ithaca 37 (itself a copy of the Remington Model 17) have been imported recently. Additionally, the supply of used civilian and departmental shotguns has been a steady competitor.

WHATZ NOTES: I don't know much about this model, other than it used to be extremely popular but has lost a lot of market share and is also more expensive than the Remington 870 or Mossberg 500.  If this is already in your closet I'd consider yourself well set in the Defensive Shotgun category.  If you find a good price on one, same thing.  However, there are less-expensive options that seem more than adequate like the aforementioned models discussed above.  
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:33:36 PM by Patriot2980 »

Offline whatzhizname

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« Reply #17 on: April 13, 2009, 03:23:38 PM »

(NOTE: This section should go at the beginning of the book, and will be reordered when editing this work into a PDF book).

I do want to mention here at the beginning what the purposes are for a book dealing with firearms and their applications in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.  But first, what is a TEOTWAWKI event?  Well, as I see it, it is basically the breakdown of existing human systems into a long-term situation where life will NOT return to its previous state. Like a cascading effect, our existing vulnerable systems will begin to fail to an irreversible state.  Many believe we are at the beginning of the transition into a TEOTWAWKI time period due to anything from Global Warming (which I'm not sure I buy into) to Peak Oil (again a "I'm not sure" prospect) to the ever-present threat of Nuclear Armageddon.  While I do not believe there will be a worldwide return to primitive existence, I do think history shows us that this could take place in some locales (for that matter there are people today who exist in Stone Age societies so it's really not far-fetched at all). 
Regardless, while I believe firearms to be a necessary part of preparing for an unknown future (if your location allows it and if it doesn't you should consider moving) I do not advocate people thinking of using firearms in an OFFENSIVE rather than Defensive manner.  I've heard of nutty survivalists who stock up on "guns and bullets" with the idea of taking from others if the poop hits the spinny thing.  That is not rational, humane or even likely to be successful for moral, ethical and even practical reasons.  Nor do I advocate people stockpiling firearms to try to take on existing governmental structures.  The way to institute change is at the ballot box, and if you don't like what you're seeing take place in our nation then work within the system to fix it.  People who have bad intentions or who are motivated by ideas beyond protecting themselves and their families give everyone in the preparedness community a bad name (this should not be construed as any denigration of true patriots who believe in supporting the Constitution and the democratic foundation this country is based on provided they advocate for their beliefs in a non-violent and appropriate manner).  While Hurricane Katrina showed how bad things can be there are many examples of communities coming together to face disaster and becoming stronger for the effort.  So plan to be part of the solution rather than making the problem worse.  (Again, these are just my opinions.  Take them or leave them as you wish.)

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #18 on: April 14, 2009, 09:10:45 AM »

Handguns are available in almost countless actions, styles, calibers, makes, and models, for every shape and size shooter, for any purpose imaginable, from defense, to plinking and target shooting, to hunting everything from small game like squirrels, all the way up to large game like bears, and everything in between.  While they lack the power and range of Long Arms such as the rifle or shotgun, they have the advantage of being lighter, smaller, and more readily concealable.  This places them into a very special place in the survivalists battery, as it provides access to a firearm is situations where a long arm would draw unwanted attention, or the weight and size would make their carry prohibitive.  Handguns are highly favored as Defensive weapons, due to portability and potentially high rates of fire.  Another advantage of handguns is the fact that their ammunition is usually significantly cheaper per round than rifle ammunition.


We'll begin with the biggest division in handguns, whether they are Revolvers or Autoloaders.  I am omitting derringers as they are impractical, and a better choice for practically any situation can be had at as good or better of a price.  I will finish with Specialized Hunting/Target revolvers.


This is a Revolver.

It holds between 5 and 9 rounds in the cylinder, and is available in Single Action,  Double Action  with Single Action, or Double Action Only.  I am not going into unusual designs like the Mateba Autorevolvers, as they are beyond the scope of this article.  They all fire by rotating a cartridge into place in front of a Hammer, then having that hammer strike the Firing Pin, firing the round.  They are some of the most rugged and reliable handguns available, and are available in plenty of sufficiently powerful calibers for any purpose, with the advantage of retained brass for all you reloaders out there.  However, compared to modern autoloaders, they are slower to reload and lower on in gun ammunition capacity (especially against a double stack autopistols).

Adapted From Wikipedia:  A revolver is a repeating firearm that has a cylinder containing multiple chambers and at least one barrel for firing. As the user cocks the hammer, the cylinder revolves to align the next chamber and round with the hammer and barrel, which gives this type of firearm its name. In modern revolvers, the revolving cylinder typically chambers 5 or 6 rounds, but some models hold 10 rounds or more. Revolvers are most often handguns, but other weapons may also have the design of a revolver. These include some models of grenade launchers, shotguns, and some rifles.


Adapted From Wikipedia: In a single action revolver, the hammer is manually cocked, usually with the thumb of the firing or supporting hand. This action advances the cylinder to the next round and locks the cylinder in place with the chamber aligned with the barrel. The trigger, when pulled, releases the hammer, which fires the round in the chamber. To fire again, the hammer must be manually cocked again. This is called "single action" because the trigger only performs a single action, of releasing the hammer. Because only a single action is performed and trigger pull is lightened, firing a revolver in this way allows most shooters to achieve greater accuracy. Additionally, the need to cock the hammer manually acts as a safety.

PistolWhipped Notes:  These are your classic "Cowboy Guns" in all their variations, a lot of your mini or micro revolvers, and most of your large bore hunting revolvers.  They are relatively slow to fire, but the fantasically light triggers make the potential for aimed fire very accurate.

Colt Single Action Army, Schofield, Cimmaron Model P and the like fit into the Cowboy gun category category.  Cambering rounds like .44 Special, .38 special, .357 Magnum, .44-40 and others, these are capable defensive arms in the hands of a TRAINED shooter.  That said, these require large amounts of practice to become skilled with.  Still, if it's all you have, it's not a bad handgun by any means.  Just don't get into a lead throwing contest with an autoloader.

Mini revolvers for concealed carry, like the North American Arms Black Widow, are often found in single action, as the simple mechanism can be condensed to fit as small a frame as will hold a bullet safely.  The NAA Black widow for example chambers either .22lr or .22 Magnum, depending on cylinder, and with optional Concealed carry grips, which fold over the trigger mechanism, is no longer an only a hair thicker than an average tactical folder.  They lack power, and are ludicrously slow to reload, but these will fit ANYWHERE.  Nothing impressive, but the first rule of a gunfight is have a gun.  and with .22 MAG, the 1 shot drop rate is between 40-50%.  5 of those would be better than nothing.

Finally are the heavy duty hunting Revolvers.  Ruger Super Blackhawks or Vaqueros, or the like.  They are loaded for MASSIVE cartirdges like .454 Cassul, ,44 Magnum, .460 Magnum, or the new most powerful handgun cartridge, the .500 S&W Magnum.  You may see these with long eye releif scpes mounted on the top of these.  They have been used to take Grizzly Bears in the wild of the northern US.  These are the biggest, baddest handguns available.


Adapted From Wikpedia: Most double action revolvers may be fired in two ways. The first way is exactly the same as a single action revolver; the hammer is cocked, which advances the cylinder counter-clockwise (clockwise on a few models) when viewed from the rear and when the trigger is pulled, this releases the hammer. Double action revolvers also can be fired from a hammer down position, by pulling the trigger. In this case, the trigger first cocks the hammer (thus advancing the cylinder counterclockwise or clockwise, depending on the gun's manufacturer) and then releases the hammer at the rear of its travel, firing the round in the chamber.

Certain revolvers, called double action only, lack the latch that enables the hammer to be locked to the rear, and thus can only be fired in the double action mode. With no way to lock the hammer back, double action only designs tend to have bobbed or spurless hammers, and may even have the hammer completely covered by the revolver's frame. These are generally intended for concealed carrying, where a hammer spur could snag when the revolver is drawn. The potential reduction in accuracy in aimed fire is offset by the increased capability for concealment.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  These are some of the most common and versatile handguns about.  The advantages of a Single Action with the option for a semi-auto style firing.  Good makers include Ruger, Smith & Wesson, and Colt's "Snake Series" of revolvers.  Taurus and Rossi make pretty good revolvers for the budget minded.  I personally like a .357 Magnum snubnose Revolver for a basic beginners handgun, and a pretty nice carry pistol too, due to common ammunition and ability to accept .38 Special.  Add to that the near impossibility to jam, and you have a good beginners handgun.


I'll be focusing on Rimmed cartridges for revolvers specifically here, and specifically the more common calibers. The cool thing about these is that there are a lot of lever action carbines in many of these calibers, which would simplify ammo storage to an extent. 

There are a few revolvers chambered for autoloader rounds like 9mm or .45 ACP, but those are more esoteric.  Charter Arms is developing a series that will include the first .40 S&W revolver.  Again, esoteric and odd, but cool none the less.

.22 LR  - Mainly for target practice and small game hunting or pest control.  Still, If you have the money for one, they are handy and FUN little revolvers, and great to train on.  Might I toss out the Ruger Single Six as a good choice for a person in the market for a nie .22LR revolver.

.327 Federal Magnum - A newer magnum loading commonly found in J-frame revolvers.  It has less recoil than a .357 but still packs a punch.  I'd recommend it for recoil sensitive people looking for a fairly hard hitting cartridge.  I definitely wouldn't want to be shot with it.

.38 Special - Old reliable, this is approximately equivalent to a 9mm, though one shot drop rates tend to be a bit higher.  These are available in everything from airweight "hammerless" aluminum, scandium, titanium, or even polymer carry revolvers (which kick like a mule for the cartridge they shoot) up to loading these into a full sized .357 Mag revolver for a pretty gentle experience. 

.357 Magnum - Based on the 38 Special case, but lengthened to hold more powder (and prevent it from loading into 38 special revolvers), this is one of the highest rated one shot drop rated cartridges in data from actual street shootings.  They penetrate like a lightsaber through jello, but they do the job like few others.  One of of my top three recomendations for revolvers used for personal defense.

.44 Special -  One of my other recommendations for personal defense is the .44 special   Another old cartridge, the bullet wight, diameter, and velocity closely mimic the .45 ACP, one of the most respected (and effective) defensive pistol rounds in history.  This is a heavy bullet that punches big holes.  Damn good combination for a defensive round.

Charter Arms Bulldog with .44 Specials

.44 Magnum -  Following a similar developmental path to the .357 magnum, this is a big, fast, hard hitting round that I'd recommend for hunting.  Or personal defense . . . fom bears that is.  It isn't the best cartridge for defense due to massive penetration, heavy recoil, and huge muzzle climb.  That said, it certainly would work in a pinch.

.45 Colt - An old classic also erroneously known as .45 Long Colt, this is still found in a few personal defensive revolvers, and many cowboy guns.  With good reason too.  It is my third revolver recommendation for defensive ammo.  Capable of being loaded heavier than a .45 ACP with a similar or even higher velocity, it hits as hard as I'd trust a defensive round to without blowing completely through the target like a magnum.  A good round all around for defense, and when loaded hot is easily serviceable for hunting in a carbine or Blackhawk.

.454 Casull - Once being the reigning champ of power and penetration for a quite while, the .454 Casull is best described as the Magnum version of the .45 Colt.  A premium hunting round in a pistol, and an absolute beast in a carbine.  If you want a big, bad, fairly easily available bear caliber, this is it.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 01:10:59 PM »
Hmmm, wouldn't let me edit.  Whatever.


Single Action

Ruger Single Six

A handy, durable, and fun .22 LR single action revolver, it get's my vote for a great training/learning pistol.

Adapted from Wikipedia: The Ruger Single Six is a single action rimfire revolver produced by Sturm, Ruger. The Single Six was first released in June 1953.

The Single Six is currently produced as the New Model Single Six. The term "New Model" simply means that this model includes Ruger's transfer bar mechanism for increased safety, allowing one to carry the revolver safely with all 6 chambers loaded. Prior to 1973, the Single Six was produced without the transfer bar mechanism, making it less safe to carry with all six chambers loaded, and with the hammer resting on a loaded chamber. The transfer bar safety allows the weapon to fire only when the trigger has been pulled. Ruger provides the transfer bar safety upgrade free of charge for owners of any old model Single Six.

North American Arms Black Widow

An exceedingly small caliber capable of firing .22 LR and .22 Mag, this revolver is about the size of a pocket knife and capable of being concealed almost anywhere.

Colt Single Action army


The gold standard of SA revolvers, this is one of THE cowboy guns.

Adapted from Wikipedia: The Colt Single Action Army handgun (also known as the Colt Peacemaker, Single Action Army or SAA,[1] Colt .45 and sometimes as The Equalizer or Colt Peacekeeper) is a single action revolver with a revolving cylinder holding six rounds. It was designed for the US government service revolver trials of 1873 by Colt's Manufacturing Company and adopted as the standard military service revolver.

The .45 Colt cartridge was of center fire design containing charges of up to 40 grains (2.6 g) of fine grained black powder and a 255-grain (16.5 g) blunt round nosed bullet. Relative to period cartridges and most later handgun rounds, it was quite powerful in its full loading.

The Colt Single Action Army handgun replaced the Colt 1860 Army Percussion revolver and remained the primary US military sidearm until 1892 when it was replaced by an enclosed frame Colt double action revolver. By 1875, 15,000 units chambered for the .45 Colt cartridge had entered service along with an additional 1863 chambered for the .44 Henry rimfire cartridge (Wilson 1985.)

Ruger Vaquero

A cowboy style pistol manufactured by Sturm-Ruger, this rugged pistol is capable of withstanding very powerful loads in whatever caliber it shoots, and as such is a favored hunting revolver.

Adapterd From Wikipedia - The Ruger Vaquero is a 6 shot single-action revolver manufactured by Sturm, Ruger. It is based on the .357 Magnum New Model Ruger Blackhawk frame that was introduced in 1973[2]. It comes in blued steel, case colored, and a gloss stainless finish (the latter gloss stainless finish is intended to resemble closely a 19th Century nickel-plated finish), all of which are available with wood, hard rubber, simulated ivory or black micarta grips and fixed sights. It arose with the popularity of Cowboy Action Shooting from which came demand for a single action revolver that was more traditional in appearance.

Ruger Blackhawk series revolvers

The biggest and the baddest, these are built to chamber the hottest loaded cartridges they can be fed.  These are almost exclusively hunting revolvers.  Still, I'd never want to look down the barrel of one in a gun fight.

Adapted from Wikipedia: The Ruger Blackhawk is a 6-shot, single-action revolver manufactured by Sturm, Ruger. It is produced in a variety of finishes, calibers, and barrel lengths.

Double Action Revolvers

Smith & Wesson 686

Adapted from Wikipedia: The Smith & Wesson (S & W) Model 686, is a six or seven shot double action revolver chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge. It will also chamber and fire .38 Special cartridges, as the .357 Magnum was developed from the .38 Special. The magnum case is slightly longer to prevent magnum rounds from being chambered and fired in handguns chambered for the .38 Special. The 686 has been available with 2-1/2 in. (64 mm); 3 in.(76mm); 4 in. (102 mm); 5 in. (127 mm); 6 in. (153 mm); and 8-3/8" in. (214 mm) barrel lengths as standard models and other barrel lengths either by special order from S & W's Performance Center custom shop, or acquired from or built by after-market gunsmiths. The Performance Center also made a limited number of 686 in .38 Super for competitive shooters.

PistolWhipped Notes: A great full sized revolver for most any purpose you'd need a revolver for.  Premium stopping power, bulletproof reliability, S&W's "Smooth and Wesson" trigger (One of the best Double Action triggers out of the box), a long sight radius for easily accurate shooting, and the option of a featherlight Single Action trigger.  Not much more I could think you'd need in a handgun.  Just be careful of our grip, too high and you could accidentally unlock the cylinder by pressing the release due to recoil.

Colt Python (or other "Snake series" Guns)


Adapted from Wikipedia: The Colt Python is a .357 Magnum caliber revolver manufactured by Colt's Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut. The Colt Python is considered to be a premium American revolver. Along with the Colt Peacemaker it is considered to be one of the finest revolvers ever made by Colt.

Colt Manufacturing Co. announced the termination of its production of Python revolvers in October 1999 due to lack of sales and rising production costs.[1] The Colt Custom Gun Shop continued making a limited number of Pythons on special order until 2003, when even this limited production was terminated.

PistolWhipped Notes: Daddy wants.  I've shot a few of these, and they are some of the smoothest, tightest, and quite possible most mechanically accurate revolvers I've shot.  While out of production, they can be had on the used market, albeit for a pretty penny.  Still, if there is one in your gun cabinet, it is a fantastic handgun for any purpose you'd need a handgun.  Te pull back release negates the chance of unlocking like the 686, but takes a bit longer to manipulate.

Ruger GP-100/SP101



Ruger's five shot .357 Magnum revolvers\, both some of the ruggedest available,  I have a friend whom dropped his SP101 in a creek, didn't notice until he hiked back to the ATV, went back, dug it from the mud, and after a quick shakeout, fired all 5 rounds.

Adapted from Wikipedia: The Ruger SP101 was introduced as the smaller frame counterpart to the GP100. Both of these revolvers, together, replaced the long-standing staple in the American firearm's market, the Ruger Six series revolvers. While no longer manufactured, a 9mm Parabellum version was also available until around 1998 and a .22lr version was also available until 2003.

Pistolwhipped Notes:  Retailing at about $500 each, they are good choices for someone wanting a powerful, low maintenance, relatively high performance handgun at a good price.

Ruger Redhawks

Adapted from Wikipedia - The Sturm, Ruger & Company Redhawk was first introduced in 1979 and was one of the most powerful handguns in the world at the time of its introduction. This large frame revolver has several unique design features, making it a very useful and affordable hunting revolver.

The Redhawk is a conventional double/single action revolver. Made from high grade steel, it is available with either a blued or stainless steel finish. The Redhawk is reinforced to handle extra stress, making it very popular for use by hand loaders as it handles the hottest of Magnum loads with ease. In addition, the cylinder itself is longer then most competitors, allowing ammunition to be loaded to a longer overall length, thus increasing effective powder capacity. Custom ammunition manufacturers even have loads made specifically for Ruger revolvers that can not fit in shorter chambers. The revolver has forward ramp sights with four various interchangeable sight inserts. The rear sights are fully adjustable featuring a white outline. The Redhawk is also available with scope mounts and rings.

The Redhawk holds six rounds of ammunition in its cylinder and is available with a 4 inch, 5.5 inch, or 7.5 inch barrel. When introduced it was offered in .357 Magnum/.38 Special, .41 Magnum, .44 Magnum/.44 Special, and .45 Colt. Gradually options in chambering were pared down, and by 2007 the Redhawk was only offered in .44 Magnum. However, in 2008 Sturm, Ruger & Co. once again began marketing the Redhawk in .45 Colt chambering.

PistolWhipped Notes - The DA analog to the Blackhawks, these are big, powerful revolvers with the ability to shoot at semi-auto speeds.  A good budget hunting revolver if you are in the market.

There are other good revolvers on the market, and this is far from a comprehensive list.  If you see a model you are interested in, check the condition, or have a knowledgeable friend come along.  Most all new revolvers today are of sufficient quality for protection, especially with good defensive ammo.  Just remember to learn to use it well.

Next up Autoloaders.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:19:56 PM by PistolWhipped »

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #20 on: April 21, 2009, 10:05:33 AM »
Autoloaders (aka. Semi auto pistols)

From Wikipedia:  The next development in handgun history after a practical revolver was the development of the semi-automatic pistol, which uses the energy of one shot to reload the chamber for the next. Typically recoil energy from a fired round is mechanically harnessed; however, larger calibers may also be gas operated (e.g. Desert Eagle). After a round is fired, the pistol will cycle, ejecting the spent casing and chambering a new round from the magazine, allowing another shot to take place immediately.

Some terms that have been, or still are, used as synonyms for "semi-automatic pistol" are automatic pistol, autopistol, autoloader, self-loading pistol and selfloader.

Pistolwhipped Notes:  Okay, here is where we get to the newer high capacity lead throwers.  Favored by law enforcement and militaries worldwide, these fire faster, hold more on gun ammo, and are faster to reload than revolvers.  And when maintained are just as reliable as a revolver.  Being recoil operated, these are more dependent on the operator handling it properly.  A weak grip or limp wrist can cause autoloaders to jam, unlike a revolver.  Intrinsically, they are just as accurate as revolvers, though usually have a bit shorter sight radius.  Still they are more than capable of engaging targets at up to 100 yards (or even a bit more) if you do your part.  My preferred defensive weapon.


I'm going with the big 6 here, as these make up the majority of defensive handguns.

.380 ACP

From Wikipedia: The .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) pistol cartridge is a rimless, straight-walled pistol cartridge developed by firearms designer John Browning. It was introduced in 1908 by Colt, and has been a popular self-defense cartridge ever since. Other names for .380 ACP include .380 Auto, 9mm Browning, 9mm Corto, 9mm Kurz, 9mm Short, and 9x17mm.

The .380 ACP cartridge was designed for early blowback pistols which lacked a barrel locking mechanism. The locking mechanism that is found on most other pistols is not necessary for the .380 because of the round's low breech pressure when fired. The guide spring is enough to buffer the energy displaced to the slide. This simplifies manufacture of pistols chambered for such a round, generally thereby lowering the cost. It also permits the barrel to be permanently fixed to the frame, which promotes accuracy.

The .380 ACP is compact and light, but has a relatively short range and less stopping power than other modern pistol cartridges.[3] Even so, it remains a popular self-defense cartridge for shooters who want a lightweight pistol with manageable recoil. It is slightly less powerful than a standard-pressure .38 Special and uses 9 mm (.355 in) diameter bullets. The heaviest bullet that can be safely loaded into the .380 ACP is 115 grains (7.5 g), though the standard has long been 85, 90 or 95 grains (5.5, 5.8 or 6.2 g).

Pistolwhipped Notes: About the bare minimum I can recommend for defensive use, it is best described as 9mm Lite.  Still, loaded with good JHPs it can be a sufficient round, so long as you have correct shot placement.  Available in small frame handguns like he Walther PPK or Bersa Thunder, these are good for people who want a small handgun for times when concealing a full size, or even compact auto, would be difficult.

9mm Parabellum

From Wkipedia: The 9 mm cartridge combines a relatively flat trajectory with moderate recoil. The main advantage lies in its being among the smallest of the "large caliber" rounds, allowing users to carry greater capacity compared to larger rounds like .40 S&W and .45 ACP. Combined with the lower felt recoil as compared to a larger round, 9x19mm Parabellum-chambered handguns allow the shooter to place more shots accurately and more quickly than a handgun chambered for a larger cartridge—this is compared to calibers such as .22 LR, where minimal recoil is more than offset by minimal effectiveness against human targets. The "Wonder Nine" design theory, resulting in handguns like the Glock 17, is the result of attempts to maximize these advantages by more than doubling magazine capacity over comparably-sized pistols in larger calibers like the M1911.

PistolWhipped Notes: One of the most common handgun calibers in the world, this is the current caliber issued to the US Military.  Available in many incarnations, from small slim concealed carry pistols, to "Wonder Nines," high capacity, full sized, double stack pistols, with magazine capacities as high as 20 rounds, or even over 30 with extended magazines.  While military ball ammo in 9mm is subject to severe overpenetration, defensively, good JHPs like Federal Hydrashock can give this round over a 90% one shot drop rate with proper shot placement.

.357 SIG

From Wikipedia:  The .357 SIG pistol cartridge is the product of Swiss firearms manufacturer SIG-Sauer, in cooperation with the American ammunition manufacturer Federal Cartridge. While it is based on a .40 S&W case necked down to accept 0.355-inch (9.0 mm) bullets, the .357 SIG brass is longer.

The goal of the .357 SIG project was to offer at least the level of performance of lighter .357 Magnum loads and +P/+P+ 9x19mm Parabellum loads. The .357 SIG accomplishes this goal with a 125 grain (8.1 g) bullet. Using heavier bullets, however, shows the cartridge to be somewhat inferior to the original Magnum. The recoil of the .357 SIG cartridge is strong, often noticeably more so than the .40 S&W, but not so much as full-power 10 mm Auto loads or the original .357 Magnum.  Like the 10 mm Auto, the .357 SIG can be down-loaded to reduce recoil, to the point where recoil is similar to that of a 9x19mm Parabellum. However, since the .357 SIG uses bullets that are generally the same as those used in the 9 mm Para,[4] downloading it to this point would defeat the purpose of having the SIG cartridge in the first place, as recoil and ballistics would be identical to the less-powerful 9 mm cartridge.  Because the .357 SIG fires at relatively high pressures, muzzle flash and noise are significant with standard loads, even with longer barrels. Utilizing loads with specialized powders and experimenting with different bullet weights can reduce flash.

Because of its relatively high velocity for a handgun round, the .357 SIG has a very flat trajectory, extending the effective range. However, it does not quite reach the performance of the .357 Magnum with bullets heavier than 125 grains (8.1 g), with the same usable barrel lengths, the typical commercial loadings using 125-grain (8.1 g) bullets, fired from a four-inch (102 mm) barrel; a typical commercial .357 Magnum load propels a 125-grain (8.1 g) bullet to 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s), while a typical .357 SIG load propels the same bullet to 1,350 ft/s (410 m/s), with only a usable 2.85-inch (72 mm) barrel. Specialty loads, such as Double Tap Ammunition, are able to propel a 125-grain (8.1 g) bullet to 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s) from a four-inch (102 mm) barrel. Offsetting this general slight disadvantage in performance is the fact that semi-automatic pistols tend to carry considerably more ammunition than revolvers.

Also like the Tokarev, the .357 SIG works well when shooting through barriers. There has been a documented case in Texas where a police officer's .45 round did not penetrate a tractor-trailer's shell, but a .357 SIG round from a backup officer's gun did, killing the suspect inside. The round's ability to penetrate barriers is the main reason for its adoption by law enforcement agencies. However, other documented police shootings have confirmed the round's ability to not over penetrate the body, even though ballistic gelatin shows 16 inches (410 mm) of penetration through heavy clothing (125 grain Speer Gold Dot). The Virginia State Police have had several documented officer-related shootings involving the .357 Sig, and in every case, not only were the felons stopped instantly with one shot (except one who was shot several times while attempting to murder an officer), the bullet either didn't exit the felon, or was stopped in the clothing upon exiting, proving that even at such high velocities, the round when used with adequate expanding hollowpoints will not over penetrate soft tissue. The same department has also reported that attacking dogs have been stopped dead in their tracks by a single shot, whereas the former subsonic 147 grain 9 mm duty rounds would require multiple shots to incapacitate the animals.

PistolWhipped Notes:  Basically something like a 9mm bullet in a necked down 10mm case.  It has noticeable kick, but the flat trajectory makes it a very accurate round for shooting with a good level of distance involved.  It hits hard and the casing shape helps it feed reliably.  There's not much to dislike here.

.40 S&W

From Wikipedia:  Performance

The .40 S&W cartridge has become a huge success in the United States because, while possessing nearly identical accuracy, drift and drop, it adds almost 50 percent more energy over the 9 mm Parabellum with a more manageable recoil than the 10 mm Auto cartridge. In the rest of the world it has become a popular combat pistol shooting sports cartridge. With good JHP bullets in the more energetic loads (> 500 ft·lbf) the .40 S&W can create hydrostatic shock in human-sized living targets.

The energy of the .40 S&W exceeds all standard-pressure and +P 9x19mm Parabellum loadings and many standard-pressure .45 ACP rounds, generating between 450 and 600 foot-pounds (550 J and 800 J) of energy, depending on bullet weight, with mid to high 500 foot-pounds force (680 N·m) typical. Both the .40 S&W and the 9 mm Parabellum operate at a 35,000 psi (240 MPa) SAAMI maximum, compared to a 21,000 psi (150 MPa) maximum for .45 ACP. Some small ammunition manufacturers offer .40 S&W ammunition consistently developing energy well above 500 ft·lbf (700 J) in all their .40 S&W ammo as off-the-shelf items. While SAAMI has not established a +P standard for the .40 S&W, there are companies marketing ammunition claimed to be +P, but they do not provide pressure data to support +P labeling.

Despite the .40 S&W's popularity amongst American law enforcement and the private sector, it has yet to be adopted by a significant number of military forces worldwide. The mainstay for military use in the western world largely remains the preserve of the 9 mm Parabellum, or for a few special forces, .45 ACP in their respective adopted handguns. The United States Coast Guard, however, has adopted the Sig Sauer P229R DAK in .40 S&W as their standard sidearm.

PistolWhipped Notes:  My second favorite defensive caliber, it has more power than a 9mm with higher capacity than a .45ACP.  A good compromise, this round provides phenomenal stopping power (95% or more one shot drops with premium defensive ammo) with manageable recoil and high capacity.  Being favored more and more by police departments, this is a great defensive round.

« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:44:27 PM by Patriot2980 »

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #21 on: April 21, 2009, 10:05:59 AM »
10mm Auto

From Wikipedia: The 10mm Auto (10x25mm) is a semi-automatic pistol cartridge developed by Jeff Cooper introduced in 1983 in the ill-fated Bren Ten pistol, and originally produced by ammunition manufacturer FFV Norma AB of Åmotfors, Sweden.  Although it was selected by the FBI for use in the field, their Firearms Training Unit "concluded that its recoil was excessive in terms of training for average agent/police officer competency of use and qualification," and the pistols that chambered it were too large for some small-handed individuals. These issues led to the creation and eventual adoption of a shortened version of the 10mm that would evolve into what is today the .40 S&W.  Although respected for its performance and versatility, the 10mm never attained the mainstream success of its downloaded variant—the .40 S&W. It is considered a niche cartridge, with a small but enthusiastic group of supporters.

The 10mm Auto falls between the .357 Magnum and the .41 Magnum in muzzle energy for popular loadings. With certain JHP bullets, these energy levels may produce an effect known as hydrostatic shock in living targets. The existence of this phenomenon has been questioned, however.  Some commercial loadings are as follows: .357 Mag: 584 ft·lbf (792 J) for 125 gr (8.1 g) @ 1,450 ft/s (440 m/s); 10mm: 750 ft·lbf (1,020 J) for 200 gr (13 g) @ 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s); .41 Mag: 788 ft·lbf (1,068 J) for 210 gr (14 g) @ 1,300 ft/s (400 m/s). The 10mm load given is about maximum for SAAMI established pressure levels, while the .357 and especially the .41 Magnums are commonly handloaded to significantly higher levels than these samples. Recoil energy of full-power loads is also comparable, being 9.4, 12.4, and 15.6 ft·lbf (21.2 J) respectively for these loads (computed using the same powder and weight of gun). The 10mm Auto may be used for deer or other medium game at short range. Ted Nugent is known for using a Glock 20 with an extended barrel when hunting wild boar.

Most 10mm handguns are not designed for long range shooting often desired in hunting; a few revolvers (using half-moon clips to adapt the cartridge) are made in this chambering, and offer another choice for hunters. Much currently manufactured 10mm ammunition is closer in performance to the "FBI load" than the full power 10mm; these still offer sufficient power for defense applications, yet their recoil is more comparable to the .45 ACP in similar guns. A few smaller companies offer full-power ammunition for this chambering. Due to the less common availability and higher than average cost of commercial ammunition, it is more a handloader's cartridge than most other popular auto pistol rounds. 10mm Auto ammunition should be available in a well stocked shooting retailer, though it is less likely to be stocked than more popular defensive calibers. Major ammunition companies do produce ammunition, and it is readily available through special order.

The 10mm Auto cartridge operates at very high pressure in comparison to other defensive pistol cartridges, such as the .38 Special or the .45 ACP. Its maximum average pressure of 37,500 psi is closely comparable to that of the .357 Magnum or the .44 Magnum allowing it to develop higher velocities. The original loading was a 200 grain (13 g) bullet at 1200 ft/s (366 m/s), yielding 635 ft•lbf (861 J) of kinetic energy at the muzzle. The 10mm is able to match or exceed both .357 Magnum and .45 ACP performance in similar bullet weight.

PistolWhipped Notes:  A proven hunting round and more than sufficient man stopper, this would be a great choice for double duty as a hunting pistol.  There are overpentration issues however, so it is not ideal for standard home defense situations.

.45 ACP

From Wikipedia: The .45 ACP (11.43x23mm Automatic Colt Pistol), also known as the .45 Auto by C.I.P., is a rimless pistol cartridge designed by John Browning in 1904, for use in his prototype Colt semi-automatic .45 pistol and eventually the M1911 pistol adopted by the U.S. Army in 1911. 

The result is one of the world's most effective combat pistol cartridges, one that combines very good accuracy and stopping power for use against human targets. The cartridge also has relatively low muzzle blast and flash, as well as moderate recoil. The .45ACP also operates at a relatively low maximum chamber pressure rating of 21,000 psi (145 MPa) (compared to 35,000 psi/240 MPa for 9mmP and .40S&W, 37,500 psi/260 MPa for 10mmAuto, 40,000 psi/280 MPa for .357SIG), which helps extend service life of weapons it is fired in.  Like many pistol cartridges, it is a low-velocity round, and thus not particularly effective against body armor. Another drawback for large scale military operations is the cartridge's large size, weight, the increased material cost of manufacture compared to the smaller 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, and lack of compliance with Standardization Agreements pertaining to handgun ammunition currently enacted between the US and many of its allies.  Even in its non-expanding full metal jacket (FMJ) version, the .45 ACP cartridge has a reputation for effectiveness against human targets because its large diameter creates a deep and substantial permanent wound channel which lowers blood pressure more rapidly. However, some writers, such as the published work of Marshall and Sanow, have cast the reputation of .45 ACP as being the "best" at this task into debate. Marshall & Sanow's work, while receiving heavy criticism from Dr. Fackler and others, show the .45 ACP, loaded with the best hollowpoint bullets and fired from a 5" barrel to be a good "one shot stopper", somewhat better than the 9x19mm, equal with the .40 S&W, and only a few percentage points behind the "King" of the Marshall and Sanow study - the .357 Magnum fired from a 4" barrel. Nevertheless, the .45 ACP remains one of the top handgun cartridges for stopping power, when figures are compiled accurately.  Being a moderate-powered cartridge, the wide diameter of the .45 ACP bullets produces a decreased tendency to overpenetrate, which reduces the projectile's possibility of passing through the intended target with enough velocity to injure another person. The combination of stopping power and controlled penetration makes the .45 ACP practical for police use, although numerous issues, including the resulting decrease in magazine capacity and the larger size and weight of pistols chambered in this caliber, have led more police departments in the USA to adopt sidearms in 9x19mm, .40 S&W, and .357 SIG.[8] Many US tactical police units still utilize the .45 pistol round, including the FBI's Hostage Rescue Team. While high capacity firearms are available in .45 ACP, the greater length and diameter of the .45 ACP means that the grip of the pistol must be longer and wider than the grip of a comparable pistol of a smaller caliber; this increase in grip size can make the pistol difficult to use for shooters with smaller hands.  Today most NATO militaries use sidearms chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge, but the effectiveness of the .45 ACP cartridge has ensured its continued popularity with large caliber sport shooters, especially in the United States. In addition, select military and police units around the world still utilize firearms firing the .45 ACP.  Because all standard .45 ACP rounds fired from handguns or short barreled "submachine" guns are inherently subsonic, it is one of the most powerful pistol calibers available for use in suppressed weapons since subsonic rounds are quieter than supersonic rounds. The latter inevitably produce a highly compressed shockwave, audible as a loud "crack", literally a small sonic boom, while they travel through the air. Suppressors reduce the audible "report" by slowing and channeling the high speed gas generated by the burning/expanding gunpowder before it exits the muzzle resulting in a muffled "cough". Suppressors of course can't act on a supersonic shockwave generated by the bullet breaking the 1,100 ft/s (340 m/s) sound barrier as this happens after it exits the barrel. The downside to the use of .45ACP in suppressed weapons is that increasing the diameter of the passage through a suppressor decreases its efficiency - thus, while .45ACP is among the most powerful suppressed pistol rounds, it is also one of the loudest. Most .45 suppressors must be fired "wet" (with an ablative medium, usually water) to bring sound levels down to "hearing-safe" (under 140dB, generally).

PistolWhipped Notes:  My favorite defensive caliber, bar none.  Unlike 9mm, even .45 FMJ Ball is an acceptable defensive ammunition, and with Federal HSTs, it is the new champ of the one shot drop, with a staggering 98% of recipients ceasing all violent action and falling down immediately.  Hard to argue with a caliber that as worked since the early 1900's.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #22 on: April 26, 2009, 09:49:22 PM »

From Wikipedia: A semi-automatic pistol is a type of handgun that can be fired in semi-automatic mode, firing one cartridge for each pull of the trigger. This type of firearm uses a single chamber and a single barrel, which remain in a fixed linear orientation relative to each other while being fired and reloaded semi-automatically. Some terms that have been, or still are, used as synonyms for semi-automatic pistol are "automatic pistol", "self-loading pistol", "autopistol", and "autoloader".

A semi-automatic pistol functions by using the energy from the recoil of a single round of ammunition to extract and eject a fired cartridge from the pistol's chamber and load an unfired round from a magazine into the chamber for the next shot. Most types of semi-automatic pistols rely on a removable magazine for supplying new ammunition to reload the chamber to be able to fire the gun again. The removable magazine is typically located inside a hand grip.

PistolWhippeds Notes: Some of the most common defensive weapons around, the autoloader is favored over the Revolver for it's capacity, slimmer profile (usually), and ability to reload faster with magazines. However, it has some drawbacks, as it cannot be kept loaded and ready indefinitely (like a revolver can), it requires more stable handling to allow the recoil to operate the mechanism, and it is more susceptible to jamming than a revolver.  That said, a maintained autoloader in the hands of a skilled shooter can be a vicious weapon, more so than a revolver.


This is one of the more common ways to divide autoloaders, and as such is how I will divide them.


From Wikipedia:  Single action (SA)

A single-action trigger, sometimes single-action only, performs the single action of releasing the hammer or striker to discharge the firearm each time the trigger is pulled. Almost all rifles and shotguns use this type of trigger. Single-action semi-automatic pistols require that the hammer be cocked before the first round is fired. Once the first round is fired the automatic movement of the slide cocks the hammer for each subsequent shot. The pistol, once cocked, can be fired by pulling the trigger once for each shot until the magazine is empty. The M1911 is a single-action pistol that functions in this manner.

PistolWhippeds Notes: My preferred trigger on a handgun, the SA triggers are usually lighter and shorter than other mechanisms.  This translates into improved potential for accuracy and speed.  The 1911 series is an example of this operation.

Double action (DA)

From Wikipedia: Invented by Robert Adams, a double-action trigger performs two functions when pulling the trigger, first cocking the hammer then releasing it to discharge the firearm. When this term is applied to revolvers, the trigger also rotates the cylinder. Though this is technically a third action, it is correct to refer to the mechanism as double-action. Most pistols and revolvers with a double-action trigger mechanism retain the single action functionality: See the Double action/Single action (DA/SA) description below

PistolWhipped's notes: Double Action, while not my favorite, is definitely serviceable and the longer, heavier trigger provides an extra measure of safety.  With proper trigger control, this is a fine choice.  Para Ordinance has developed a system called the Light Double Action, or LDA, that while still a long pull, is light enough to make is easy to shoot.  Many manufacturers, such as Walther, Sig, H&K and others produce DAO mechanisms for their handguns.

Double action/Single action (DA/SA)

From Wikipedia:  A double action/single action firearm combines the features of both mechanisms. Often called traditional double action, these terms apply almost exclusively to semi-automatic handguns. The function of this trigger mechanism is identical to a DA revolver. However, the firing mechanism automatically cocks the hammer or striker after the gun is fired. This mechanism will cock and release the hammer when the hammer is in the down position but on each subsequent shot, the trigger will function as a single action.

PistolWhipped Notes: While I personally do not like this style, with practice, one can learn the two trigger pulls.  Still as I prefer my weapons to do the same thing every time I fire, this often throws me.  Not my favorite, but the Beretta M9s that the US military is issued are DA/SA Handguns, so if it's good enough for the military, it's good enough for me.

Double action only (DAO)

A double action only is similar to a DA revolver trigger mechanism however there is no single action function. For semi-automatic pistols with a traditional hammer, the hammer will return to its decocked position after each shot. For striker-fired pistols such as the Taurus 24/7, the striker will remain in the rest position through the entire reloading cycle.

PistolWhippeds Notes:  These are heavier and longer than most triggers, but as such, the mechanism acts as a passive safety in and of itself.  And the trigger maintains an identical pull each time, something that makes learning trigger control MUCH easier.

Striker Fired Pistols

PistolWhipped Notes: While these are usually advertised as a DAO or Safe Double Action or the like, it is a bit different mechanism than traditional hammer fired pistold.  The trigger is used to release a striker/firing pin to hit the primer rather than a hammer to hit the striker.  This eliminates a step and allows a more compact and enclosed mechanism.  While some triggers are soft, like the Glock, others have a crisp let-off like the XD.  These are some of the most popular handguns today, and I cannot knock their reliability.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #23 on: April 27, 2009, 11:36:30 PM »


First Generation Glock 17

I have to get this outta the way first, else I know BigDan (and maybe James Yeager) will come for me. :D

From Wikipedia:  Glock is the name of a family of pistols designed and produced by the Austrian company Glock GmbH of Deutsch-Wagram, founded in 1963 by engineer Gaston Glock to manufacture high-strength synthetic and steel components.

The Glock 17 (so named because it was the 17th patent of the company) is a 9 mm short recoil-operated locked breech semi-automatic pistol that uses a modified Browning cam-lock system adapted from the Hi-Power pistol.[7] The firearm’s locking mechanism utilizes a linkless, vertically tilting barrel with a rectangular breech that locks into the ejection port cut-out in the slide. During the recoil stroke, the barrel moves rearward initially locked together with the slide approximately 3 mm (0.12 in) until the bullet leaves the barrel and chamber pressure drops to a safe level. A ramped lug extension at the base of the barrel then interacts with a tapered locking block integrated into the frame, forcing the barrel downward and unlocking it from the slide. This camming action terminates the barrel's movement while the slide continues back under recoil, extracting and ejecting the spent cartridge casing. The slide's uninterrupted rearward movement and counter-recoil cycle are characteristic of the Browning system.[8]

The slide features a spring-loaded claw extractor and the stamped sheet metal ejector is pinned to the subframe.[6] The striker firing mechanism has a spring-loaded firing pin that is cocked in two stages, powered by the firing pin spring. When the pistol is charged, the firing pin is in the half-cock position. As the trigger is pulled, the striker is fully cocked. At the end of its travel, the trigger bar is tilted downward by the disconnector, releasing the striker to fire the cartridge. The disconnector also resets the trigger bar so that the striker will be captured in half-cock at the end of the firing cycle. This is known as a pre-set trigger mechanism, referred to as the "Safe Action" trigger by the manufacturer. The disconnector also ensures the pistol can only fire in semi-automatic mode.

The Glock features a triple safety system that secures the firearm against accidental discharge and consists of three independent safety mechanisms: an external trigger safety[9] and two automatic internal safeties – a firing pin safety[10] and a drop safety.[11] The external safety is a small inner lever contained in the trigger. Pressing the lever activates the trigger bar and sheet metal connector. One of the internal safeties is a solid hardened steel pin that, in the secured state, blocks the firing pin channel (disabling the firing pin in its longitudinal axis). The firing pin safety is only pushed upward to release the firing pin for firing when the trigger is actuated and the safety is pushed up through the backward movement of the trigger bar, the second, drop safety guides the trigger bar in a precision safety ramp that is only released when a shot is triggered by pulling the trigger right back. The safeties are systematically disengaged one after another when the trigger is squeezed and then automatically re-activated when the trigger is released. This triple safety system guarantees safe handling with a cartridge introduced into the chamber, reducing the time required to deploy the pistol. This allows the user to concentrate on tactical considerations, rather than manipulation of levers, hammers or external safeties found in other, conventional handguns.[6] However, in the case of a misfire this design provides no way to re-cock the striker without manipulating the slide and ejecting the unfired cartridge.

The Glock 17 feeds from a double-column box magazine with a 17-round capacity or an extended 19-round magazine. Magazines feature a steel body overmolded with plastic. A steel spring drives a plastic follower. After the last cartridge has been fired, the slide remains open on the slide stop. The slide stop release lever is located on the left side of the frame directly beneath the slide and can be manipulated by the thumb of the shooting hand.

The Glock 17 has a fixed polymer combat-type sighting arrangement that consists of a ramped front sight and a notched rear sight with white contrast elements painted on for increased acquisition speed—a white dot on the front post and a rectangular border on the rear notch. The rear sight can be adjusted for windage as it has a degree of lateral movement in the dovetail it is mounted in. Three different factory rear sights are available apart from the standard 6.5 mm (0.26 in) height sight: a lower impact 6.1 mm (0.24 in) sight and two higher impact versions—6.9 mm (0.27 in) and 7.3 mm (0.29 in).[12] Adjustable and illuminated night sights are also offered.

The cold hammer-forged barrel has a polygonal profile[13] bore with a right-hand twist.[6] The rifling's polygonal profile consists of a series of six small arcs (eight for .45 calibers) connected by flat surfaces. This provides a better gas seal around the projectile, greater consistency in velocities, increased accuracy and ease of maintenance.[12] One problem with a polygonal barrel is the tendency of soft lead bullets to deposit lead in the bore. This has been known to cause damage to the barrel, often bursting the barrel and causing damage to the pistol and injuries to the shooter.[14] Glock warns against using reloaded ammunition.

The Glock's frame, magazine body and several other components are made from a high-strength nylon-based polymer. The injection molded frame contains 4 hardened steel guide rails for the slide: two at the rear of the frame, and the remaining pair above and in front of the trigger guard. The trigger guard itself is squared off at the front and checkered. The grip has a non-slip, stippled surface on the sides and both the front and rear straps. The frame houses the locking block, which is an investment casting that engages a 45° camming surface on the barrel's lower camming lug. It is retained in the frame by a steel axis pin that also holds the trigger and slide catch. The trigger housing is held to the frame by means of a plastic pin. A spring-loaded sheet metal pressing serves as the slide catch, which is secured from unintentional manipulation by a raised guard molded into the frame.

The rectangular slide is milled from a single block of ordnance-grade steel using CNC machinery.[8] The barrel and slide are finished with a proprietary nitriding process called Tenifer. Three hardening processes are applied to the slide and barrel prior to the final nitride bath. The Tenifer finish is approximately 0.5 mm (0.02 in) in thickness and is characterized by its extreme wear and corrosion resistance. The Tenifer process produces a matte, non-glare surface with a 64 Rockwell C hardness rating and a 99% resistance to salt water corrosion (which meets or exceeds stainless steel specifications).[8]

A current production Glock 17 consists of 34 parts. For maintenance, the pistol disassembles into five main groups: the barrel, slide, frame, magazine and recoil spring assembly.

The firearm is designed for the NATO-standard 9x19mm Parabellum pistol cartridge (bullet weight – 7.5 g, muzzle velocity – 350 m/s), but can also use high-power (increased pressure) +P and +P+ ammunition with either full metal jacket or jacketed hollow point projectiles.

The Glock pistol accessories include several devices for tactical illumination, such as front rail mounted lights with optional lasers and an adapter to mount a flashlight on the bottom of a magazine. Polymer holsters in various configurations and matching magazine pouches are also available. Glock also produces optional sights, triggers, recoil springs, slide stop levers, and underwater spring cups. Three open sight systems are produced.

In 2003, Glock announced the Internal Locking System (ILS) safety feature. The ILS is a manually activated lock that is located in the back of the pistol's grip. It is cylindrical in design and, according to Glock, each key is unique. When activated, the lock causes a tab to protrude from the rear of the grip giving both a visual and tactile indication as to whether the lock is engaged or not. When activated, the ILS renders the Glock unfireable as well as making it impossible to disassemble. When disengaged, the ILS adds no further safety mechanisms to the Glock pistol. The ILS is available as an option on most Glock pistols. Glock pistols cannot be retrofitted to accommodate the ILS. The lock must be factory built in Austria and shipped as a special order.


Following the introduction of the Glock 17, numerous variants and versions have been offered. Variants that differ in caliber, frame, and slide length are identified by different model numbers with the exception of the Glock 17L. Other changes not dealing with frame and slide length are identified with suffixes such as "C", which denotes compensated models. Minor options such as frame color, sights, and included accessories are identified by a separate model code on the box and do not appear anywhere on the firearm.

Glock pistols come in three main sizes, all modeled after the original full-size Glock 17. "Standard" full-size models are designed as duty firearm with a large magazine capacity. "Compact" models are a slightly smaller with reduced magazine capacity and lighter weight while maintaining a usable grip length. "Subcompact" models are designed for easier carry being lighter and shorter and are intended to be used with two fingers on the grip below the trigger guard. .45 ACP and 10mm models are slightly larger than smaller cartridge pistols and are not offered in the 'compact' size. Glock produces a special single-stack "Slimline" .45 ACP pistol, the Glock 36. "Competition" versions have longer barrels and slides, adjustable sights, and extended slide and magazine release.

Some Glock pistols are available as "C" models (for "compensated"), which have slots cut in the barrel and slide to reduce muzzle climb and perceived recoil.[19][20]

    * Glock 17: Standard 9x19mm model.
    * Glock 17C: Introduced in 1996 and incorporated slots cut in the barrel and slide to compensate for muzzle rise and recoil. Many other Glock pistols now come with this option, all with a "C" suffix on the slide.

    * Glock 17L: Introduced in 1988 and incorporates a longer slide and extended barrel. Initially, the 17L had three holes in the top of the barrel and a corresponding slot in the slide; however, later production pistols lack the holes in the barrel. The Glock 17L is effectively discontinued, with the exception of very limited production runs.

    * Glock 18: Selective-fire variant of the Glock 17, developed at the request of the Austrian counter-terrorist unit EKO Cobra. The Glock 18 is not available to the civilian market. This machine pistol-class firearm has a lever-type fire-control selector switch, installed on the left side of the slide, in the rear, serrated portion (selector lever in the bottom position – continuous fire, top setting – single fire). The firearm is typically used with an extended 33-round capacity magazine. Early Glock 18s were ported to reduce muzzle rise during automatic fire. Another compensated variant was also produced, known as the Glock 18C. It has a keyhole opening cut into the forward portion of the slide, not unlike the opening on the Glock long-slide models, although the G18 has a standard-length slide. The keyhole opening provides a venting area to allow the four, progressively-larger (from back to front) compensator cuts machined into the barrel to accomplish their job, which is to afford more control over the rapid-firing machine pistol. The compensator cuts, of varying widths start about halfway back on the top. The rear two cuts are narrow, while the front two cuts are wider. The slide is also hollowed, or dished-out in a rectangular pattern between the rear of the ejection port and the rear sight. The pistol’s rate of fire in fully automatic mode is approx. 1100-1200 rounds/min. Most of the other characteristics are equivalent to the Glock 17, although the slide, frame, and certain fire-control parts of the Glock 18 are not interchangeable with other Glock models.
    * Glock 19: Effectively a reduced-size Glock 17, called the “Compact” by the manufacturer. It was first produced in 1988, primarily for military and law enforcement. The Glock 19 has a barrel and pistol grip that are shorter by approx. 12 mm (0.5 in) compared to the Glock 17 and uses a 15-round magazine (the pistol remains compatible with standard and high-capacity factory magazines). To preserve the operational reliability of the short recoil system, the slide's mass was kept the same. With the exception of the slide, frame, barrel, locking block, recoil spring, guide rod, and slide lock spring, all of the other components are interchangeable between the models 17 and 19. In 1990 the Glock 19 was accepted by the Swedish Army and entered service as the Pistol 88B.

    * Glock 20: Developed for the then-growing law enforcement market for the 10mm Auto, security forces and introduced in 1991. The pistol will handle both full-power as well as reduced "FBI" loads that have reduced muzzle velocity. Due to the longer cartridge and higher pressures, the pistol is dimensionally larger than the Glock 17, approx. 2.5 mm (0.1 in) wider and 7 mm (0.3 in) longer. Though many small parts interchange (close to 50% parts commonality), the major assemblies are scaled-up and do not interchange. In 2009, Glock announced they would offer a 152 mm (6 inch) barrel as a drop-in option.[28]

    * Glock 21: .45 ACP version of the Glock 20 designed primarily for the American market.[29] The barrel, like all other .45 models, features an octagonal bore[13] and the slide is lighter to compensate for the lower-energy cartridge. The Glock 21 magazine is of the single-position-feed, staggered-column type with a capacity of 13 rounds.

    * Glock 22: .40 S&W version of the Glock 17 introduced in 1990. The pistol uses a modified slide, frame, and barrel.

    * Glock 23: .40 S&W version of the compact Glock 19. It is dimensionally identical to the Glock 19 but is slightly heavier and uses a modified slide, frame, .40 S&W barrel and 13-round magazine.

    * Glock 24: .40 S&W competition variant of the Glock 22 similar in concept to the target Glock 17L model. The Glock 24 was officially discontinued upon the release of the Glock 34 and 35.[30]

    * Glock 25: A derivative of the Glock 19, adapted to use the .380 ACP (9x17mm Short) cartridge. Due to the relatively weak cartridge, the pistol features an unlocked breech and operates via straight blowback of the slide. This method of operation required modification of the locking surfaces on the barrel as well as a redesign of the former locking block.

    * Glock 25 Secretara de la Defensa Nacional or Glock 25 SDN: Version of the Glock 25 used by Mexican law enforcement with S. D. N. MEXICO DF engraved on the slide.[25]

    * Glock 26: 9 mm "Subcompact" variant designed for concealed carry and introduced in 1995, mainly for the civilian market. It features a small frame with a pistol grip that supports only two fingers, a short barrel, slide, and a 10-round double-stack magazine. More than a shortened Glock 19, design of the subcompact required extensive rework of the frame, locking block, and spring assembly.

    * Glock 27: .40 S&W version of the subcompact Glock 26, with 9-round, double-stack magazine.

    * Glock 28: .380-caliber subcompact version of the blowback-operated Glock 25.

    * Glock 29: 10 mm Auto equivalent of the Glock 26 introduced along with the Glock 30 in 1997. The pistol has a 96 mm (3.8 in) barrel and a 10-round magazine.

    * Glock 30: .45 ACP version of the Glock 29.

    * Glock 31: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the full-sized Glock 22.

    * Glock 32: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the compact Glock 23.

    * Glock 33: .357 SIG (9x22mm) variant of the subcompact Glock 26.

    * Glock 34: Competition version of the Glock 17. It is similar to the now-discontinued Glock 17L but with a slightly shorter slide and barrel than its predecessor. It was developed and produced in 1998 and features a 21 mm (0.8 in) longer barrel and slide. It also has an extended magazine release, extended slide stop lever, 20 N (4.5 lbf) trigger pull, and adjustable rear sight. The top of the slide is milled out, creating a hole designed to reduce front-end muzzle weight to better balance the pistol.

    * Glock 35: .40 S&W version of the competition Glock 34.

    * Glock 36: "Slimline" version of the .45 ACP Glock 30 that features an ultra-compact frame and is chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge; the barrel, slide, and magazine, are unique to the model. It has a 6-round capacity, and is the first Glock to be manufactured with a single-stack magazine.[32]

    * Glock 37: .45 GAP version of the Glock 17. It uses a wider, beveled slide, larger barrel, and different magazine, but is otherwise similar to the Glock 17. The Glock 37 first appeared in 2003. It was designed to offer the stopping power of the .45 ACP with the frame size of the Glock 17. The concern with the size of the Glock 20/21 has also been addressed by the Glock 36, 21SF, and 30SF all of which featured reduced-size frames.

Pistolwhippeds Notes:  If that is too much of a wall of text to read, then let me give you the basics.  Available in numerous frame sizes and calibers, the Glock is a reliable, accurate, light, high capacity weapon, though to many, like myself, it feels a bit awkward in the hand.  Still, with practice, it can be a combat or defensive pistol that is second to few.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #24 on: April 27, 2009, 11:43:04 PM »

Colt 1911 (and 1911 variants)

From Wikipedia:  The M1911 is a single-action, semi-automatic pistol (handgun) chambered for the .45 ACP cartridge. It was designed by John M. Browning, and was the standard-issue side arm for the United States armed forces from 1911 to 1985, and is still carried by some U.S. forces. It was widely used in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Its formal designation as of 1940 was Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911 for the original Model of 1911 or Automatic Pistol, Caliber .45, M1911A1 for the M1911A1, adopted in 1924. The designation changed to Pistol, Caliber .45, Automatic, M1911A1 in the Vietnam era. In total, the United States procured around 2.7 million M1911 and M1911A1 pistols during its service life.

The M1911 is the most well-known of John Browning's designs to use the short recoil principle in its basic design. Besides the pistol being widely copied itself, this operating system rose to become the pre-eminent type of the 20th century and of nearly all modern centerfire pistols.

Current users

The M1911A1 design is favored by a large number of police SWAT teams throughout the United States. Many military and law enforcement organizations in the United States and many other countries continue to use (often modified) M1911A1 pistols because they favor the greater stopping power of the .45 cartridge and the superior shootability of the weapon.[citation needed] Marine Force Recon, Los Angeles Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics, the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment - Delta (Delta Force) are among them. The Tacoma, WA Police Department made history in 2001 by becoming the first metropolitan police department in nearly 50 years to adopt the M1911 as its official carry weapon. The Tacoma Police Department selected the Kimber Pro Carry II or Pro Carry II HD as optional, department supplied weapons available to its officers.[5]

he M1911A1 is also extremely popular among the general public in the United States for practical and recreational purposes. The pistol is commonly used for concealed carry (thanks in part to a single-stack magazine, which makes for a thinner pistol; thus easier to conceal), personal defense, target shooting, and competition. Numerous aftermarket accessories allow users to customize the pistol to their liking. There are a growing number of manufacturers of M1911-type pistols and the model continues to be quite popular for its reliability, simplicity, and patriotic appeal. Various tactical, target, and compact models are available. Price ranges from a low end of $250 for an imported model to more than $3,000 for the best competition or tactical models from such as those by Ed Brown[1], Wilson Combat, and Les Baer.

Due to an increased demand for M1911 pistols among Army Special Operations units, who are known to field a variety of M1911 pistols, the Army Marksmanship Unit began looking to develop a new generation of M1911s and launched the M1911-A2 project in late 2004. The goal was to produce a minimum of seven variants with various sights, internal and external extractors, flat and arched mainspring housings, integral and add-on magazine wells, a variety of finishes and other options, with the idea of providing the end-user a selection from which to select the features that best fit their missions. The AMU performed a well received demonstration of the first group of pistols to the Marine Corps at Quantico and various Special Operations units at Ft. Bragg and other locations. The project provided a feasibility study with insight into future projects. Models were loaned to various Special Operations units, the results of which are classified. An RFP was issued for a Joint Combat Pistol but it was ultimately canceled. Currently units are experimenting with an M1911 platform in .40 which will incorporate lessons learned from the M1911 A2 project. Ultimately, the M1911 A2 project provided a test bed for improving existing M1911s. An improved M1911 variant becoming available in the future is a possibility.[6]

The Springfield Custom Professional Model 1911A1 pistol is produced under contract by Springfield Armory for the FBI regional SWAT teams and the Hostage Rescue Team. This pistol is made in batches on a regular basis by the Springfield Custom Shop, and a few examples from most runs are made available for sale to the general public at a selling price of approximately US$2,500 each.

The Rapid Action Battalion (RAB Forces), an anti-terrorist tactical team in Bangladesh uses this gun.

PistolWhippeds Notes: A proven Manstopper for almost a century, this weapon is reliable when maintained, and lethal when learned.  If fits the natural grip angle of most shooters impeccably, and as such offers excellent point-shoot ergonomics.  My personal favorite design, it is quick and easy to stip, clean, and reassemble, an is ruggedly reliable.  And when higher level "match grade" versions are used, it is as close to a tack driver as many pistols get.  Think of it this way, if Special Forces still use these 100 years after their development, that says something about their power and reliability.

EDIT: Had to replace that giant image with a more "normal" one.  ;-]
« Last Edit: April 28, 2009, 06:50:03 AM by BigDanInTX »

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #25 on: May 02, 2009, 10:42:37 PM »
Thanks for the edit.  Rough night at work, so guns should be able to put me into a better mood.  :D


Springfield XD (eXtreme Duty) & XD-M (eXtreme Duty - Match)

From Wikipedia:  The Springfield Armory XD is a semi-automatic pistol manufactured in the city of Karlovac, Croatia by HS Produkt (formerly I.M. Metal), and licensed and sold in the US by Springfield Armory, Inc. The HS2000 (Hrvatski Samokres (Croatian Pistol)), or XD (X-Treme Duty) series of pistols are polymer-framed and striker-fired.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  Feeling like a cross between a Glock and a 1911, this is another handgun I recommend.  For around the price of the Glock, it offers a similar level or performance, and many find the ergonomics to be more natural.  Available in sizes from 3" barreled sub-compacts to 5" Tactical models, and everything in between, this handgun allows the end user to find a size to suit their needs.  Capacity is usually on par with the Glock, though the XD-M models actually exceed that capacity.  If you want a double stack polymer handgun but find the Glocks grip angle and soft trigger to be a bother, the XD may just fill that role for you.


From Wikipedia:  The USP (Universale Selbstladepistole or "universal self-loading pistol") is a semi-automatic pistol developed in Germany by Heckler & Koch GmbH (H&K) of Oberndorf am Neckar as a replacement for the expensive and somewhat complex P7 series of handguns.

As the USP was developed at the same time as the SOCOM MK23, the pistol underwent much of the same rigorous testing. The barrel is cold-forged from chromium steel for increased life. USP barrels post-1994 use a polygonal profile, whereas 1994 and earlier models utilize traditional 'land and grooves' rifling. During testing, a bullet was deliberately lodged in a USP barrel. Another cartridge was then fired into the obstructing bullet. The second bullet cleared the barrel, resulting in a barely noticeable bulge. The pistol was then fired for accuracy and the resulting group measured less than 4 inches at 25 meters.[16]

Temperature testing required the USP be frozen to ?42 °C and fired, frozen again, and then be heated up to 67 °C and fired. These temperature tests were continually repeated with no adverse effects on the USP.[16]

The gun was also subjected to NATO MIL-SPEC mud and rain tests, which were passed without difficulty. Water immersion and salt spray also presented no problems. German Navy combat divers have used the USP for two years without any signs of corrosion.

Safety testing exceeded the ANSI/SAAMI requirements adopted in May 1990. These included dropping a USP with a primed cartridge and decocked hammer on a variety of hard surfaces without discharging. The USP surpassed these commercial requirements, as well as German Army and police tests, including repeated drop tests from six feet (1.8 m), hammer first, onto a steel backed concrete slab. Proof round firing resulted in no cracks, deformations, or increase in head space. Attempts to fire the USP pistol with an unlocked breech proved unsuccessful.

Testing with a variety of ammunition proved the USP meets these high standards. During the USP testing phase, it was shown the recoil-reduction system reduces the force on the USP grip to approximately 300 newtons (67 pounds-force). Peak force shock on competing .40 caliber polymer and metal framed pistols was around 5,000 newtons (1,100 pounds-force). The primary benefit of low peak shock is a decrease in wear and tear on pistol components, a great concern with the +P cartridge in 9 mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP. Reduction of peak shock forces also contributes to softer recoil for the shooter, although these "felt recoil" values are much more subjective.

PistolWhipped's Notes: I have a friend whom was a former Special Forces operative and is now with the DoD, and the Heckler and Koch USP (in .45, Expert model I believe) is his personal choice for a carry weapon.  He carries one at work (both here AND abroad), and he has two more at his home.  I must say, after shooting the handgun NUMEROUS times, I am hard pressed to disagree with him.

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #26 on: May 03, 2009, 12:42:50 AM »

SIG 226

From Wikipedia: The SIG Sauer P226 is a full-sized, service-type pistol chambered for the 9x19mm Parabellum, .40 S&W and .357 SIG. Its design is based on the SIG Sauer P220.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  Another quality handgun from a reputable manufacturer, the Sig P226 is one of the more accurate pistols in "box stock" form due to the tight tolerances of manufacture. 

Armalite AR24

From Wikipedia:  The AR-24 is a semi-automatic pistol chambered for the 9 mm Luger Parabellum round. It is manufactured at the Sarsilmaz Silah Sanayi factory in Turkey under contract by the Armalite corporation.

The weapon is similar to the Tanfoglio variant of the Czech CZ-75, with design elements borrowed from the SIG P210, though few of its parts are interchangeable with the Tanfoglio weapon from whose machining dies and blue prints it was derived. It has a hot forged steel frame mated to a heavy milled slide treated with Manganese Phosphate, and coated in heat-cured epoxy.

The AR-24/15 Standard model has a parkerized finish and fixed dovetailed rear sights and a proprietary front sight with three white paint dots.

The AR-24/15C Tactical Custom Model has checkering machined on the front and back grip straps and its rear notch sight is adjustable for windage.

The AR-24K/13 Compact and AR-24K/13C Compact Tactical Custom are like the full-sized variants, differing only in their shorter barrels, grips, and amount of ammunition carried.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  Feeling like a Sig raped a cz75, so far this handgun handles like a champ.  I have only shot it once, not enough to give a detailed review, but suffice to say, I was left impressed.

CZ 75

From Wikipedia:  The CZ 75 is a semi-automatic pistol made by ?eská zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZUB) in the Czech Republic and originally introduced in 1975. It is one of the original wonder nines featuring a staggered-column magazine, all-steel construction, and hammer forged barrels.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  Another Damn good handgun, considered by some to be among the greatest fighting handguns in the world.  All I can say is that with Hogues, it feels like the pistol almost points itself.

Browning Hi Power

From Wikipedia:  The Browning Hi-Power is a single-action, 9 mm semi-automatic pistol. It is based on ideas conceived and patented in 1922 by American firearms inventor John Browning, and later patented by Fabrique Nationale (FN) of Herstal, Belgium. Browning died in 1926, before he had finished developing a production version. The design was fully developed and realized by Belgian arms designer Dieudonne Saive, working at FN.

The Hi-Power pistol was named for its 13-round magazine capacity, which was almost twice that of contemporary designs such as the Luger or Mauser 1910. The Hi-Power had the first functional double-column magazine of 9 mm rounds, and was capable of holding 13 cartridges, with a 14th loaded in the chamber. Flush-fit 15 round magazines are now available, as well as higher capacity magazines which extend past the end of the butt.

The pistol is often referred to as an HP (for "Hi-Power" or "High-Power"[1]) or as a GP (for the French term, "Grande Puissance"). The term P-35 is also used, based on the introduction of the pistol in 1935. Another common nickname is the "King of Nines."[2] It is most often called the "Hi-Power", even in Belgium. It is also known as the BAP (Browning Automatic Pistol), particularly in Irish service.

PistolWhipped's Notes:  The ORIGINAL "Wonder nine", this is still a capable handgun today.  While not as refined as some of the newer handguns, the Hi-Power mechanism is a military grade one, and as such is still very reliable.  They're not too bad in the accuracy or capacity depts. either.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2009, 12:59:03 AM by PistolWhipped »

Offline whatzhizname

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #27 on: September 17, 2009, 09:21:31 PM »
(Additional updates coming soon, as well as this material rewritten/edited in PDF form, assuming I can get PistolWhipped's permission and see if Jack or someone will host the PDF downloadable book).  :)

Offline PistolWhipped

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #28 on: September 18, 2009, 10:13:14 AM »
Have fun with it.  It's just here to help fellow preppers out.  I'm not worried about most any use of it.

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Re: "Firearms for TEOTWAWKI"-(PDF Book Under Construction)
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2010, 04:28:35 PM »
Hope you guys didn't mind, but I was tired of looking at the little red "x"s. LOL
Please note that not all the "x"s were fixed, since I wasn't sure what some of the photos were of at the time.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 04:45:12 PM by Patriot2980 »
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