The main motivator for me getting into guns was having kids.
I know, that sounds strange right?
Ok, so back in 2009, there was a pretty good ice storm here in the tri-state. We lost power at our house for about a day and a half. The wife was at work at the hospital, so it didn't really affect her too much. I was home as it was the weekend, so I lit a bunch of candles and shut all the doors to the bedrooms and stuff and hunkered down in our bedroom with the pets. We got off relatively lucky- there were places in Kentucky that were without power for like three weeks.
All in all, no big deal. We had food and water and other than being slightly more bored than usual, life went on pretty much business as usual. I was relieved when the power came back on, but I figured if push came to shove, I could probably walk to the hospital, hell maybe even drive there, if I had to. I'm still on the right side of 40 at this point, have some decent work boots, some decently warm coats and stuff I can layer up, no big deal.
Not actually during the storm I mentioned earlier, but still bad
In 2010, we have our first kid.
In 2012, we have our second.
That first snow after we had Nolan, our youngest, I remembered the ice storm back in '09, and that's when it hits me-
I can't just walk out with these dudes. The animals? Hell, they'd be fine. I'd put down some extra food and just accept that I was going to have to clean up some poop when I got back. The boys though? No way. I could carry them, of course, but they're too little to stay warm in that kind of cold, man. Not without some kind of consequences.
So I saved up a little money and started buying little things for that kind of situation- Mountain House food, paper plates and utensils, a small folding stove, first aid kit, several cases of water, etc. I figured we'd be set up at least for a weekend without power, no problem. Even longer being here at the house with the usual array of frozen food in the freezer, canned stuff, and everything else.
Then I start thinking about those places in Kentucky that were without power for three weeks, and I start thinking about what I might be capable of doing if I had to fend for the boys for three weeks without power.
In Soviet Russia, Nagant Mosin's you!
That was when I decided to buy a gun. Not to make it easier to take other people's stuff- Christ! I'm not a monster; to defend ourselves against somebody who might try to take our stuff.
Anyway, I started trying to figure out what kind of gun I should buy- and by kind I mean like type, not brand name. An AK-47 type gun? A hand gun? Shotgun? So I start weighing all the advantages and disadvantages and came to a realization I call The Four Gun Theory.
The Four Gun Theory states that one gun in an extended power outage type situation isn't going to work for all of the varying situations. There simply isn't one Leatherman multi-tool when it comes to guns.
Basically, the Four Gun Theory breaks down like this-
- Handgun, Automatic
- Shotgun, Pump Action 12 Gauge
- Modern Sporting Rifle
- Long Range Bolt Action Rifle
Now, why did I pick those? Well, a handgun is virtually a no-brainer. Any of the popular calibers with a few spare magazines will give you a weapon capable of quite a lot of shots, it doesn't weigh much, and it's handy to have in case one of the other weapons malfunctions. With the popularity of handguns, and the fact that there are really only about three calibers you're likely to see automatics utilize (9mm, .45, .40), finding ammo after you run out probably won't be an issue.
The shotgun I picked in case somebody comes knocking on your door looking to take your stuff, or in case you need to go and scavenge. It's a short range bane to bad guys and can double as a hunting weapon if necessary. It also uses a very common ammo type, is easy for even non-gun people to use effectively in home defense or urban combat type situations, and has a wide range of ammo types available which makes it useful in several different situations.
The modern sporting rifle because it serves as a decent all-rounder in this kind of scenario. Lots of rounds in the stock magazines, hits hard enough to penetrate some forms of cover that handguns won't (think windshields, car doors, etc.), versatile with lots of accessories available, easily accurate to medium ranges, and long ranges with practice.
Ok, so I'm like six inches high, but look at that grouping at 100 yards with an open sight Mo!
The final of the Four Gun Theory guns is a long range bolt action. I include this class of weapon because they make great defensive weapons if you can get some high ground, could double as hunting weapons very easily if necessary, and even a hit not on center mass is going to do significant damage.
The next four articles I'll go more into detail about the gun types and ultimately what I picked for my specific guns and why. Bear in mind, I'm no survivalist or military expert, but I do think there's some merit to the idea of having at least these four archetypal weapons in good condition at your disposal in a bad situation like a natural disaster, extended power outage, or
Of course, the last article in this series will tell you the flaws of the Four Gun Theory too!