I was pondering bug out strategies today for a little bit and I came up with a couple of questions. The assumption is that whether you are going on foot or by vehicle you are going to have limited space and can't take all of your guns, ammo and other essentials like food, water, tools, etc. So, here are my questions:
1. For a handgun, is it better to have:
a) 1 handgun
b) 2 handguns of the same caliber that preferably use the same mags
c) multiple handguns of multiple calibers
Personally, I think that I am inclined to take multiple handguns of multiple calibers. The idea being that if I come across some ammo and I have multiple calibers then there is a greater likelihood that I can use the ammo in one of my guns. Example, if I come across some .40 S&W ammo, but only have a 9mm with you then it isn't going to do me much good. If I were in a vehicle then I would take all of my handguns and mags. If I were on foot then I would take a 9mm, a .38 Special BUG and a .40 S&W. I'd take 3 loaded mags for my 9mm, 3 loaded mags for my .40 S&W and a box of 20 rounds for my .38 special. That would give me 137 rounds of pistol ammo. If I were on foot then I'd also take an AR with 5 loaded mags. That would give me a total of 277 rounds of ammo.
2. For leave behinds, what do you do?
a) Forget them, grab your other gear and go
b) Lock them up and if you have time then grab a couple parts that may be useful
c) Disable all, or as many as you can of the leave behinds
I think that I would be inclined to do a B and C, provided I have time. Since my primary long gun would be an AR, I would definitely want to grab the BCGs from my other ARs to have as backups. I would also want to disable the leave behinds if time permitted. Taking the barrels out of the handguns and the bolts out of the rifles would hopefully be sufficient. The thinking here is that any guns I leave behind are probably going to be looted and wind up in the hands of someone who use them to kill other people. If I were in a vehicle then I would keep the parts from the leave behinds in hopes of being able to restore the guns to working order once I returned. If I were on foot then I would probably dump them in the nearest body of water capable of sinking them. If I were able to return and the dismantled guns were still there then I could put them back into working order by buying new barrels for the handguns and new bolts for the rifles.
So, what are your strategies regarding leave behind weapons and what do you see as the flaws in mine?
If I'm going to bug out I'm taking all 3 of my handguns. .45, 9mm, and .38 special. IMO, 3 of the most common calibers out there, so if I ran out of ammo and found someone willing to sell me some, I would most likely have a gun to fit it.
As far as leave behinds, I never really thought about it. I guess I would throw them all in my safe and lock the door. Never thought about taking parts to disable them, that is a really good suggestion. Either that or take the parts and put them in a ziplock bag and stick them in an overhead air conditioning intake so they'll be there when you get back and nobody will find them.
I figure if I can bug out in my truck, all my guns are going for a ride (I have a Yukon so I'll have plenty of room for supplies and arms: 2 rifles, 2 shotguns, a 10/22, and 3 handguns).
If I can't, and have to take my XR400, then I'm going to have all 3 of my handguns, and if it's total SHTF and I'm not worried about drawing attention, I'll have my SBR as well. I'll even break it down and stuff it in my backpack if I have to to avoid drawing attention to myself.
I'll take only what I need and if I have time, I'll take rifle bolts and pistol barrels of the left behinds.
I would have to say Bring your AR and if you have more then 1 Bring your Best AR and alot of ammo as for pistol's I would say bring your 9mm that would be easy ammo to get if you did need more along with 5.56/223 for your AR-15.. I mean it all depends on how fast you have to be gone, that would be it if I had to pick up and go.. I think it is smart to at least have about 200 rounds for your AR.. I know most people stockpile more then that but I think 200 rounds of 223. and about 90 rounds of 9mm.. and as for the guns you leave behind take the bolts out and bring them with you for a spare.. I really do not think about this very much but maby I should..
Its all relative. What you take and what you leave really depends on what has happened.
If you have time, and know where you are going, then your load will be different than what you take if the nuke plant down the street melts down.
A prudent person prepares for all sorts of things, ya know?
In my case this is really an exercise in available time more than anything. I don't have a lot of firearms, so if there's enough time to say "Oh SHTF!" I'll be able to load-up everything. Two trips gets every weapon and a fair amount of ammo into the car - three long arms slung, one carried, bedside pistol shoved in my waistband, MTM case holding remaining handguns and an Ace shoulder sling pouch (eight AR mags, small cleaning kit, small survival kit) in one trip, two dedicated .50 cal. ammo cans and a bag with the remaining AR mags on the second.
If time is in such short supply that I can't get the car fully loaded five minutes ago, I don't think I'll be too worried about disassembling the guns I'll leave behind (bedside handgun, AR and Ace mag pouch go regardless). We're talking imminent flooding, rioters within blocks, etc. At that point my main concern is the safety of my family. I have CD-ROM's with detailed photos of all my firearms at three locations for the police and insurance reports.
I have a few different sets of web gear so I would decide what weapons I will be using and grab the appreciate gear. Normally that would be an FN FAL and a Glock 9mm. I always have my camping/BOB ready to go with the exception of water so I would have to fill up on that. We would have to take our dogs and some food for them. While I am doing that my wife will be getting our birth certificates and passports. She will most likely grab a photo album of especially sentimental pictures. Everything else in the house can burn to hell for all that I care. So the bottom line for us is weapons,food,water,dogs and documents/photos.
One thing that helps with preps is to have all your documents, copies of birth certificate, DL, insurance etc, on a flash drive or memory card.
Those valuable family photos also will fit easily.
if you can drive then take as much as you can stuff in but if you are on foot then all bets are off.
take some time and load up all of your hand guns and ammo and go for a walk. say 10/15 miles i think you'll change your mind about all of the pistols.
1) for me it's 1 pistol and 4 to 6 mags. it's your choice but take the best pistol you have don't worry if it's 9 or 45 or whatever. if you get to where you need more than 6 mags from a pistol it's over any way. you'll be on the way to heaven soon enough.
food, water, shelter, first aid, fire and a few other small things will save your life more than three pistols and 40lbs of ammo.
edit: forgot question 2
2) if i have time take out bolts and put them in ziplock bag then drop them in the backyard pond. lock the safe and hit the road.
My thinking is;
Take the AR and one handgun, a 40 or 45. If you take multiples, let a second person take the different caliber.
For instance, I will be taking the AR and the 40.
My wife will take the 9.
My son will take a shotgun.
Other guns hopefully will go along for the ride.
The problem with you personally carrying two or more different calibers is:
1. You will need larger quantities of different calibers.
2. It is too easy to grab the the wrong ammo in the heat of battle.
3. If the ammo is too close in looks and size, it is possible to cycle the wrong ammo in the wrong gun, and that would not be pretty. It has happened on the range and it certainly can happen when you are being shot at if you have more than one caliber to deal with.
4. Added weight. If you are going to add weight, I would add the same caliber of handgun, preferrably the same hand gun, and more rifle ammo.
Just my thinking.
Back in the opening post, I would only take a 223Rem/5.56NATO type rifle and a 9mm Para pistol. I would not be looking forward to getting into a fire fight etc, those are best avoided at if at all possible, especially when you have your wife and family in tow or even your dog. Anything left behind would be disabled, ie removing bolt carriers and bolts and storing them in a secure place.
For revolvers, I have Master lock trigger locks for each of them and I would try to hide them as best I could, and hopefully no one will stumble upon them, but you never know. Here is a good application for those built-in trigger locks.
Remember firearms and ammo are heavy, and you will probably need to move life sustaining food and water. Just imagine yourself if you were caught in a NOLA/Katrina debacle with your firearms, BUT you had no food or water.
I will also have to add in a nice backpack to hold your stuff bring nothing that will not fit into a nice 3day backpack, besides your AR-15 (just have a nice bag/sling for it) Laptop and car charger.. so pretty much my AR-15, Ammo and s few spare parts.. A 9mm pistol or a 45 but 9mm would be easy ammo to get along with .223 prolly the most easy to find.. cell phone, car charger, a first aid kit, a good pocket knife and a good flashlight along with batterys.. just stuff you need to not die.. if you can toss as much other crap into your (canned goods,water ect ect).
You will find opinions to back up whatever choice you want to make.
I am simplifying these days and that makes it a whole lot easier for me to feel like I can take all my firearms or maybe leave one or two behind. But I don't worry about taking them all.
I would not try to just take all my firearms just because I can. It takes very little to disable a vehicle and then you find yourself on foot. You now have whatever you can't take with you locked in a vehicle and no vehicle is really all that secure if you are not there to protect it.
Leaving firearms locked in a safe and removing bolts or other important parts and hiding them elsewhere is what I plan to do.
As far as having a gun for every type of ammo you might run across, I used to think this way but I wound up looking at all the guns and parts I would wind up needing to have with me and decided I could not do it in a reasonable fashion.
My ccw firearms go. My favorite rifle goes. My 2 22lr firearms go. After that it becomes luxury for the most part but the shotgun would probably go as well.
Another thing about just loading up a vehicle because you think you have a lot of space to fill is that you are going to be driving that vehicle in what conditions?
I don't really like driving a heavily loaded vehicle that is wallowing on its suspension when the weather is bad or people are scared and worried and out in the streets looking around at each other because the power is out.
My grand cherokee and little trailer can haul a lot of weight. I find it much easier to lightly load them and have an easier time traveling.
It is the same as you carrying a 40lb pack vs. an 80lb pack.
I like identical firearms for backup, they can use the same ammo and holsters and magazines and what not. And if one gets damaged or breaks you have another one ready to use for ccw.
My 22lr handgun is the same design as my ccw handgun. Makes for cheap practice and the holster and mag holders work with both.
Basically I boil it down to taking what I really need vs. what I want.
Yeah I would like to take all the guns in the safe but a few gallons of water and some food and some camping gear and some clothing and my laptop setup and some other stuff is more important than having every single firearm in my safe.
And if my vehicle breaks down, I won't be trying to take all my firearms from my vehicle with me.
I will take a few and load down my mountain bike and go forward that way.
I used to think I'd be able to take everything...
Now, I'm down to two handguns that take common magazines and even more common ammunition (9mm), 4 mags per pistol, two ARs, and 7-10 mags per rifle. That stuff weighs a TON.
When we had our recent near SHTF with the wildfire evacuations in our area, I realized I wasn't going to be able to load everything into the vehicles in anything less than 45 minutes. That includes weapons, food, water, 72 hr BOBs, and all the other miscellaneous junk.
Try putting that gear on, see how much it weighs and whether you can move with it on. I changed my way of thinking. I loaded more ammo into magazines, and am keeping less in boxes. That way, I can load up already loaded mags into the ammo cans, instead of having to carry empty mags, boxes of ammo and ammo cans.
I would like to find a storage device I can pre load and then quickly place in my truck. Maybe a job box although it would be hard to lift into my truck. Maybe an elevated job box on rollers about the same height a my bed.
If I have to leave quickly it's the following for me and my wife:
2 Glock 17
1 Glock 19
1 RRA Mforgery
1 CMMG SBR
my plan is initially to bug in
IF I found it necessary to leave ALL would go
I drive a FJ Cruiser and the roof rack will come in handy as well as fold down seats
1 SIG P220
1 RRA .223
1 DPMS .308 LR
1 Ruger 10/22
1 Marlin 30-30
the BOL is yet to be determined
Well, I did a bug out drill at Tiger Valley in Waco TX the year before last. I took an AR, 200 rounds of rifle ammo, 5 rifle mags, 100 rounds of pistol ammo, a pistol 3 pistol mags, 10 - 16 oz bottles of water, some miscellaneous tools and a box of granola bars. The total drill was to complete a 15 mile hike with about 20 different challenges along the way. I made it 10 miles and completed 2/3rds of the stages. The weight wasn't a problem for me. Walking all day in the Texas sun was tiresome though. I am planning on doing the bug out drill again this year and I will be taking my planned gear this time to test it. I am confident though that 2 extra pistols (1 being an Airweight S&W) will not make much of a difference.