Hot Gear Friday: Special Tuesday Government Shutdown Edition

It’s Day One of the Government Shutdown.

 So as we watch society collapse all around us due to the lack of government, and await the hordes of crazed bandits, hungry for human flesh, that will doubtless be descending on society, people are asking me “what sort of collection of firearms do you recommend for a post-shutdownpocalyptic world?”

Let me make sure I’m clear here; I’m no expert.  Far from it.  But if I had to bet my life on it – and with the government shut down, I do – I’d bank on the following.

The Task At Hand

With the government shut down, we’re naturally all completely on our own.  There is no law enforcement out there; picking up 911 will at best get you a dead line, and at worst an insane reaver on the other end of the line shrieking for your intestines on a stick.

So what do you need?  Well, for my two cents, you really need four basics:

  • An absolutely reliable battle rifle
  • A solid combat shotgun
  • A defensive handgun
  • A “working” gun, useful for foraging as well as defense in a pinch.

We’ll go through each of the categories below.

Battle Rifle:  While this past year has brought a lot of attention to the AR15, this is (IMO) not an ideal weapon for a post-apocalyptic world.  The AR (like the M16 on which it’s based) is a fine rifle, but it is also widely known as an incredibly temperamental piece that is very prone to jamming if you don’t keep it immaculately clean, and sometimes even then.  And since you’ll be too busy scraping for food to keep your rifle clean, this might be a matter of life or death.

The point of a battle rifle is to never, ever, ever, ever jam, and to not run out of ammunition until  your oppponent runs out of attack.  No matter how many of them there are. 

So I recommend an AK-series piece:

The classic AK47

It’s a little heavy, and its accuracy drops off at 100 yards or so – but be honest, not only are you probably not that great a shot even at a rifle range on a clear day, but the odds that you’ll get a clean shot at a horde of bandits beyond 100 yards are pretty nil anyway.  And with the AK, you can dip the bullets in toothpaste and roll them in dirt, load the magazine, and the gun will still work.  And in a post-collapse world, that’s all that’s going to matter. 

Added bonus – its ammunition (7.62mm Communist) can actually be found, unlike the AR’s 5.56mm round.

Combat Shotgun:  One of the benefits of every police department in US being awash in DHS counterterror money is that they all went out and bought M4 Carbines and H&K MP5 submachine guns to replace their good old Remington 870 Express police shotguns. 

Which means they are on the market modestly cheaply these days.

It’s not as “tacti-cool” as an M4, but it’s short enough to use indoors, its reliability is every bit as legendary as the AK, and there is no better close-in weapon in the world for when a gang of cannibalistic bandits breaks into your family perimeter at 4AM and you need to, er, organize your community. 

Defensive Handgun:  Let’s call a spade a spade; for the time when you absolutely need a handgun to defend yourself against an immediately, lethal threat to your life, any gun you have is better than any gun you don’t have. 

But when you’re facing a ravenous cannibal in a dark alley while you’re dumpster-diving for oats, there is no substitute for the best man-stopper there is – any handgun in .45 ACP caliber. 

A Colt 1911, a Kimber Pro-Carry, an HK45, a SIG P220, or even a P250 with the conversion kit?  A Paraordinance 15/45?  Take your pick.  There is no substitute. 

Working Guns:  These are the guns that you use for dealing with varmints and foraging for small targets of opportunity to throw in the stew pot.  For this, I recommend the Taurus Judge revolver…

….which has the huge advantage of firing both the .45 Long Colt cartridge (not to be mistaken for the .45 ACP above) and .410 gauge shotgun shells – making it useful for dealing with large varmints like wolves and bears, as well as rodents and fowl that haven’t been already hunted to extinction and stripped to the bone by ravenous refugees. 

Your mileage may vary, of course – but this is intended as a starting point.

Except that with the government shut down and the ravenous mobs of bandits and reavers already dominating the streets, the time to start was yesterday.

Oops.  Sorry about that.

“But Mitch!  You’ll get some lefty ninny’s undies in a wad with this post”.

Well, duh.  Why else write it?


11 thoughts on “Hot Gear Friday: Special Tuesday Government Shutdown Edition

  1. Nix .45ACP and go with 9mm. Just like your 7.62 vs 5.56 comment above, 9mm are much more ubiquitous than .45. And from lethality standpoint, just as good with an added advantage of having twice as many rounds in the magazine as .45. And when you go with 9mm, nothing beats Glock for reliability.

  2. Timely column, Mitch. Thanks!

    I agree with your selections for short-term but let’s also consider long-term availability of ammo post-collapse. After I exhaust my personal ammo stockpiles, resupply must come from scrounging military or police ammo stripped from fallen heros. Might be nice to have a 9mm or 40 S&W pistol, available for about $200 from Hi Pointe.

  3. Dang it, Mitch! You forgot another essential – EOTech with a biohazard reticle. To make sure every shot counts.

  4. Tons of buckshot shells out there. No shortage.

    Uncle Joe Bidon says pump shotgun, 870 will work but I prefer Mossberg 535.

  5. H&K manufactured a few thousand MP5s in 10 mm specifically for the FBI. They quit making them though and all new versions are in 9 mm. I’d love to have one in either caliber.

    As for shotguns, I prefer a Winchester 1300 tactical. Pricier than a Mossberg and not as cool, but very reliable!

    Of course, I also love my Marlin Model 55 bolt action goose gun that my dad bought for me in 1967! Shoots 3″ magnums! Yea!

  6. Yeah, this stuff is cool but what good is any of it if there’s no one at the Department of Telling You Where to Put the Bullets? …to say nothing of the Department of Telling You Which End to Point.


  7. Ha! My EOTech lens cover specifically says “Front to Enemy” I can’t miss.

  8. Fortunately, I have two of these already covered along with “almost enough” ammo (isn’t it always “almost enough” regardless?). Last November Bill’s had the Mossberg 500M on sale for “Black Friday” for $329. Still kicking myself that I didn’t grab one.

  9. Bubba,

    There are some that are chambered for 5.56 – and the Israeli Galil and Finnish Valmet are both basically 5.56mm AKs.

    But usually AK is synonymous with 7.62x39R or 5.45x39R.

  10. The MP-5 was also chambered in .40 S&W. However, since factory support for them is not available, some agencies have dumped theirs.

    A young officer in an NRA Patriol Rifle Instructors class was able to get hand-sized groups with his department’s stock 9mm MP-5 at 100 yards using only the original iron sights.The MP-5 is capable of far more than many give it credit for.

    There a few sights sadder than witnessing a civilian model Valmet 7.62X39 being sent to the melter, taking it “off the streets.” Value around $3000, but it was “for the children.” Can’t put a price on that …

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