On some other thread, the topic of ammunition reloading in adversity was briefly talked up. I’ve reloaded pistol and shotgun rounds, and even a few rifle rounds; so this isn’t entirely hypothetical.
When it is the EOTWAWKI and the SHTF, what do you want in your “Go Bag”?
( End Of The World As We Know It and Shit Hits The Fan)
At one time I spent many hour contemplating this. Usually while waiting for a backup tape to finish turning or a disk fsck to finish. (file systems consistency check – usually pronounced ‘F-Suck’ and can take hours). Gotta have something to keep the mind busy while thumbs are twiddling in a cold, locked computer room with limited access and you can’t leave…
My conclusions were pretty simple. A “9 mm / .357 / .38 special” bullet mold (yes, I know the 9 is imperceptibly different…). A 9 mm handgun – since just about 100% of every military uses it as does lots of police forces so ammo is plentiful and compatible, an optional .357 rifle – Marlin, lever gun, good for everything from squirrels to ‘deer sized mammals’, and a 12 Gauge shotgun – ever try to hit a flying bird with a rifle? I’ve done it, but…
While the .22 LR is great for “small stuff” and you can pack 1000 rounds in a pocket of your overalls, it’s a 3rd tier choice. Chuck it in the trunk of the car if you have time kind of thing. The simple fact is that the 9mm stops just about everything you need to stop, is also a very dense ammo pack, and is going to be available from any military and paramilitary you find to hook up with. Then a nice lever gun in .357 is a good enough hunting gun, can be easily reloaded with a Lee Loader (think sandwich box sized hand tool) and can be loaded with black power in a pinch. Since you ought to only need it on rare occasions (and a disciplined hunter will maybe use 100 rounds a year) it is easy enough to put it in the trunk and be done.
But the one that always caught my fancy was the 12 Gauge.
Mine has both a bird barrel (smooth bore, long, interchangeable chokes) and a 24 inch rifled deer barrel. It can be used for all those difficult things like pheasant, ducks, quail, running squirrels, and hard to drop things like wild boar and bear (with slugs).
The 12 gauge also has the advantage that the primer cups are really big and can be reformed by hand with simple tools, loaded with match heads, and reused. The Filipinos did that during W.W.II against the Japanese. Then the shell can be reused almost forever without any need for reforming dies. It can also use various propellants (handgun, shotgun and similar smokeless powder, black powder, and even home made cordite) with some care to not load too full. Then, the really good part: Just about anything you can stick into the shell makes a decent projectile. Nails, bolts, rock salt, rocks, coins, etc. etc.
So it is sort of the “Hail Mary” end of the line option.
When nothing else works, grab it.
The 12 Gauge also has the “advantage” that it is typically seen as the PC-Approved gun. For some reason the folks who know little about guns think it is just for shooting clays or ducks and not for anything else. Lost on them is the history of the Trench Broom of W.W.I and the Police Riot Gun… In reality, for ranges under 100 yards, it is one of the most lethal guns out there. The typically 4 round tube magazine on pump guns even makes them feel comfortable with “limited capacity”. Having never been to a speed shoot, they don’t realize your “magazine capacity” is the size bag you can sling. Many shooters can stuff them up the load ramp as fast as they can get a bead on a target.
So long after States, like California, and countries, like the UK, have criminalized just about every other choice; they typically leave shotguns alone. I have 3 of them… (The Defender version with an officially 5 round magazine – but 7 shorter 2 3/4 inch shells fit for 7+1 chambered, 8 total), and an adapter lets me move the bird barrel and Deer Hunter barrels onto it if desired… then a double bbl). I’m a bit low on 00 Buckshot ( some other buckshot loads can be 36 pellets / shot and about the same “lumps of lead down range” per minute as a machine gun) and slugs ( what can an ounce of lead at about Mach 1 do on impact? Um, stop any animal not found only in Africa…)
So my general ideal get out of Dodge plan is to put 2 shotguns and about 25 lbs of ammo (did I mention it’s heavy? ;-) in the trunk with the .357 and 100 rds or so, then have the 9mm and a few more hundreds “at hand” and head out. IF time permits and I want something spouse (or in prior times, the kids) could handle then the .22 LR guns got loaded to the trunk, too. Now not so much. Besides, the spouse is good enough now to like the 9mm ;-)
Figuring the 9mm is more than enough for most “protection” needs and will stop a mountain lion when camping out in the wilderness. It can be used for some “game” on an opportunistic basis, but realistically, that’s the job of the .357 lever gun with scope. Then the shotgun mostly sits around waiting for that WTF Wild Boar charge, or the fall bird migration hunt. And maybe the odd bear that decides to not leave when you bang the pots together… A 12 gauge slug can be a fearsome thing…
But even I was not ready for what was on these videos.
Think bolts is a wild idea? How about armor penetrating rounds? 3D Plastic printed slugs? What about when everything is banned but Gummi Bears and Vienna Sausages? (Seriously, they fire a sausage slug…)
This one is just crazy. Hand blown glass slugs with iron bits inside them. Really. Glass slugs. Who knew?
Then this one is just getting silly. Random pellets stuck into Flex Seal…
At which point you can see why I’m not really worried about “Ammo Bans”. (At present, in California, you must present ID so your purchase details can be stored in a database about you, and pay an ammo tax – that goes to a special fund that is used to persecute gun owners, and jump through other hoops too, just to buy any ammo in any quantity. So I reload…)
Go ahead and ban 12 Gauge ammo, don’t worry about me… I’m just buying some sausages and a bit of Flex Seal… ;-)
Then, for folks who think a 12 Gauge just “isn’t enough gun”, there’s this little round. It is a BYO 22 blank from your nail / anchor construction tools, though… The blank in the nose sets off the powder filling the lead slug.
And that, boys and girls, is why I have 3 x 12 Gauge shotguns and not even one AR-15 or other “Politically Incorrect” rifle. The State Of California has decided I must have a much more lethal gun and the ability to create thousands of rounds of my own ammo, so I’m just doing as I was told…
Then, just for fun, on to “Stopping Power”. Endlessly used as fodder for long discussions. This video does a very good job of sorting out the crap. Only thing where I think they missed a trick is on the issue of specific ammunition. I have a small .32 ACP pocket gun I like. Technically way too under-powered (even if it IS the James Bond gun). BUT, put a particular kind of high tech ammo in it that opens into 6 small hooked knives on impact, it has a 1-shot-stop rating almost the same as .45 ACP Military Ball. Not a “bug out gun”, but something you can hold in a dressing gown pocket and look like nothing is there, yet have quite something… Other than that, I agree entirely with their conclusions. Most any “regular defense caliber” is good ( Roughly anything .380 / .38 special up to 45 ACP / .44 Magnum) and the major problem with small rounds ( .22 LR, .25 ACP, .32 ACP) is that stopping a drugged up big angry guy doesn’t work reliably enough. Shotguns and big rifles stop everything.:
One surprise for me was just how much “any gun” does almost everything you could want most of the time.
Then, just because I know there are some folks here who love it, the same folks evaluation of their ultimate EOTWAWKI gun:
As I’m not limited to “just one”, I come to a different conclusion. To be expected with a different premise.
My “Just One” choice? Likely a Rebel Gun. The LeMat. Shoots black powder (we ARE talking EOTWAWKI) has a 9 shot revolver (from .36 to .42 caliber with .44 reproductions) and a .60 caliber / 20 Gauge central smooth bore short shotgun barrel… I’d want the modern reproduction version. Seen in Firefly and Serenity… ;-)
No price listed but last time I saw one it was about $1000 which is why I don’t have one ;-)
The mid-1800s were a time in American history that gave birth to a number of innovative firearm designs, and this truly unique, unusual sidearm was also known as the “Grape Shot Revolver.” Developed in New Orleans in 1856 by Dr. Jean LeMat and backed by Pierre G.T. Beauregard, who was to become a general with the Confederacy. Roughly 2,900 were produced. An accurate reproduction of the First Model LeMat, our Cavalry version has a nine-shot, .44-caliber cylinder and rifled 6-3/4″ barrel. What sets it apart from other revolver designs is the 20-gauge, .645″ diameter 5-7/8″ smoothbore barrel, originally intended for firing buckshot. Both are fired by a pivoting striker. In combat, the firepower from the pistol barrel plus a hefty dose of “blue whistlers” made the LeMat a fearsome weapon to face. Accurate details like the swivel lanyard ring and trigger guard spur duplicate those found on originals. The loading lever is mounted on the left side. N-SSA approved. Don’t miss this opportunity to own a classic firearm that was part of the transition from single-shot to repeating arms. Replacement Nipples are available and come Per 10.
Now That’s an EOTWAWKI gun!