Firearm or update basic equipment?

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 2now » Fri Mar 29, 2013 11:39 pm

I vote for a gun first. But not necessarily all gun. When you need one, The difference between no gun and ANY gun is a huge gap. Go ahead and get a less expensive gun. Think of it as buying a different type of gear rather than 'THE GUN!', and get what you can afford.

a .22 rifle, a 12 ga shotgun or a milsupr rifle are all good options and depending on your location should be findable for under $150 without a lot of work. I priced handguns for my step son recently and found that I could get an OK pistol for under $250 if I was willing to get him an odd caliber. Not always the best idea but right now it is often easier to find 9MAk than 9 Luger.

I bet there is someone here, near you, who would be happy to take you to a gun store and help you shop for a pic out your first gun. I've done that for people many times and it is always a blast to help spend other peoples money on guns.

good luck.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Kelvar » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:00 am

Do you have 2 weeks worth of food in the house? What about water? If the power goes out, do you have a plan for that? What if you go to turn on the faucet and nothing comes out? What then? Do you have a way to stay warm, keep yourself clean, cook your meals, use the toilet, see where you're going, stay entertained, keep morale up, etc. if you have to do without any modern conveniences for a week or two?

Have you considered putting the $500 in a savings account? Sometimes, money itself is the best prep you can have. Some say, "When the going gets tough, the tough have *cash*". Just because you have $500 doesn't mean you have to spend it. That's the difference between a guy who has $500 and a guy who *had* $500. Why not save it?

That being said, I have a hard time envisioning what it would be like to not own any firearm at all. If self-defense is an issue that troubles you, then certainly I could not criticize you for spending the entire amount on a decent firearm.

No matter how well reasoned, though, I must agree with those who said a Mosin (or other ancient firearm) is a horrible idea. Certainly not a great choice for a first time gun owner. I suspect if one tried to learn about guns from a Mosin, one would end up hating guns while developing horrible habits--and horrible marksmanship. I'd probably go one of two ways: Either a 12 gauge shotgun (also not a great "starter" firearm) or the best 9mm pistol I could get (and several spare magazines, and a quality holster). Both would be fine for self defense while being within the realm of affordability. Alternatively, one might consider a .357mag lever action carbine. I figure one could practice with .38spl rounds and work on some basic marksmanship and also have a firearm that (1) satisfies the first rule of gunfighting and (2) is affordable and (3) would serve well enough for self-defense to give peace of mind until one had the coin to trade up.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:42 am

Kelvar wrote:Do you have 2 weeks worth of food in the house? What about water? If the power goes out, do you have a plan for that? What if you go to turn on the faucet and nothing comes out? What then? Do you have a way to stay warm, keep yourself clean, cook your meals, use the toilet, see where you're going, stay entertained, keep morale up, etc. if you have to do without any modern conveniences for a week or two?

Have you considered putting the $500 in a savings account? Sometimes, money itself is the best prep you can have. Some say, "When the going gets tough, the tough have *cash*". Just because you have $500 doesn't mean you have to spend it. That's the difference between a guy who has $500 and a guy who *had* $500. Why not save it?

That being said, I have a hard time envisioning what it would be like to not own any firearm at all. If self-defense is an issue that troubles you, then certainly I could not criticize you for spending the entire amount on a decent firearm.

No matter how well reasoned, though, I must agree with those who said a Mosin (or other ancient firearm) is a horrible idea. Certainly not a great choice for a first time gun owner. I suspect if one tried to learn about guns from a Mosin, one would end up hating guns while developing horrible habits--and horrible marksmanship. I'd probably go one of two ways: Either a 12 gauge shotgun (also not a great "starter" firearm) or the best 9mm pistol I could get (and several spare magazines, and a quality holster). Both would be fine for self defense while being within the realm of affordability. Alternatively, one might consider a .357mag lever action carbine. I figure one could practice with .38spl rounds and work on some basic marksmanship and also have a firearm that (1) satisfies the first rule of gunfighting and (2) is affordable and (3) would serve well enough for self-defense to give peace of mind until one had the coin to trade up.
I wouldn't have the cash to spare if I didn't already have some fundamental preps. Food, water, waste management and electricity are covered or I would've included them in the initial query. Thanks for all of the suggestions guys. I pulled the trigger on the MSS, a pair of Danner boots, a Mora Robust, a tactical belt, a few drysacks, a hexogonal titanium wood stove, a titanuim cookset, the go primal 60# folding bow and some spare Israeli water purification tablets. I got $120 left which I'm going to save towards a rifle of some sort.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:34 am

You'll like the mora. Moras are a great value. I like the scandi grind for ease of field maintenance. My local companies don't have anything that touches it.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:02 am

111t wrote:You'll like the mora. Moras are a great value. I like the scandi grind for ease of field maintenance. My local companies don't have anything that touches it.
I was looking at Puukko knives, but they are too expensive and Mora comes highly recomended by ZS members.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by cap6888 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 12:27 pm

MSS plus a a nice 22 (Ruger/Marlin), and some ammo. Plus you'll still have some money left over.

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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:22 pm

itzybitzyspyder wrote:I got $120 left which I'm going to save towards a rifle of some sort.
So any idea of what you're going to get?

Caliber, purpose, any limitations on size/weight?
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:32 pm

You might be able to find a break action h&r 12 gauge new for that amount of $. Not the best for security... But it's a hell of a lot better than nothing. Get a modified choke for maximum versatility. (They have fixed chokes). Not a bad first firearm.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Sat Mar 30, 2013 1:43 pm

Browning 35 wrote:
itzybitzyspyder wrote:I got $120 left which I'm going to save towards a rifle of some sort.
So any idea of what you're going to get?

Caliber, purpose, any limitations on size/weight?
I've been looking at the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. Fits in the bag, ammo is light, mostly for hunting and I can take someone down if I had to.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:16 pm

That takedown 10/22 is very nice! My first firearm was the 10/22 all weather which is basically the same gun as a non-takedown version. (Synthetic/ss barrel). It is a great option as a first firearm. I had a chance to shoot a friend's takedown and I surely would have paid a few extra dollars for td capability.

Trouble is that's going to run you $350 or more in the current climate IF you can find one. If you can swing it or save till you have a few more dollars to devote... Yes it's a good option. Hopefully the bulk ammo and 25rd magazines will be back soon.
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Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sat Mar 30, 2013 2:20 pm

Two days after my daughter was born I went to a gun show where one vendor had several of the base model 10/22 for $189, he also had 100 bx-25's to sell for $25 each and bricks and bricks of 500 rd boxes of federal American eagle .22 for $18 each. Anybody have a time machine to go back to October 28th 2012?
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"No, but any blade of grass"

Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Gingerbread Man » Sat Mar 30, 2013 3:26 pm

I'd look for a good quality 9mm for about $350. They're around, you just have to look. Get one known for reliability.

Then a 22LR rifle for $150ish. They're around too. A 22LR out of a rifle is a completely different animal than out of a pistol.

That way, you can defend short and longer range plus get small game and be able to afford lots of ammo.

My take anyway. Basic gear will work in lots of situmications. I'd suggest testing the heck out of it then upgrade as you see fit, that's what I did.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by ODA 226 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 4:47 pm

Browning 35 wrote:If you got the most out of your dollar you could do a bit of both. Get both a gun and upgrade your camping equipment.

Not all guns are expensive, for instance I picked up this Marlin Mod 75 for $75. There are .22 rifles just like it littering the gun shows, pawn shops, gun stores, flea markets and swap meets around here for roughly the same price. This one's a little nicer than most of those (they usually have some cosmetic problems), but they work.

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Normally .22LR ammo is readily available everywhere and it's cheap. That's not the case right now due to the panic, but prices are starting to come down and when they do it's an accurate rifle. You could always buy a little bit of ammo now at a slightly inflated price and then when it comes down buy more.

If you look around you can still find it. I've been buying it at a local place everyone else seems to have overlooked for some reason. If you're patient and persistent you'll find ammo. Ammo-bot or that Walmart App helps too.

Most disasters don't require the use of a gun at all and a .22LR isn't exactly on a showstopper, but this allows you to error on the side of caution both ways. You'd have a gun and get new gear. Most everyone needs a .22 of some kind too.

This is just a middle of the road option though and you may have your heart set on some other gun and not just *A Gun*.

Damn fine little rifle!
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Browning 35 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 5:11 pm

itzybitzyspyder wrote:I've been looking at the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. Fits in the bag, ammo is light, mostly for hunting and I can take someone down if I had to.
I've heard of a few people here and there having QC issues. Some of the issues I've heard have been on here.
See JT's comments...
http://zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopi ... 9&t=101784

The people that buy the Ruger Takedown 10/22's by and large seem happy with them, just be aware that apparently not all the bugs have been worked out of the design.

I've owned a total of 6 of the regular 10/22's and they've all run great. Since you have a limited budget a regular 10/22 might be easier and cheaper to get since the Takedown is new. A folding Butler Creek stock would make it almost as compact. Just saying...:Shrug

ODA 226 wrote:Damn fine little rifle!
Yeah, it was an awesome little rifle for cheap.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by ODA 226 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 6:02 pm

Doctorr Fabulous wrote:No, let's throw the Mosin out because it's an innaccurate piece of shit with corrosive ammo, an unuseable safety, and a reputation for getting the bolt locked up to all shit.

So yeah, lets stop recommending the worst milsurp rifle ever just because it's cheap and ammo comes in apocalypse proof cans, and price check before you say an entry Savage costs $550. Shit. $2000 for an AR? I wish I could still sell an AR for $2000.

Personally, I think OP might be best served in the mean time with a comfy .22LR and a nice sleeping bag. Not likely to need the gun, but it's fun and good practice, and squirrel hunting is a hoot. Beats the shit out of a Mosin for utility as well.
I agree with Doc here. Save your lunch money and buy something of reasonable quality.

BTW Doc: I bought a Class III CAR 15 10" Barrel around 1984 for $2,500.00. I dropped a new 11" M4 quad rail upper on it a couple years ago for another $500.00 and now you couldn't touch it for under $10,000.00! :D
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Rick Blane » Sat Mar 30, 2013 7:53 pm

itzybitzyspyder wrote:I've got $500 to spend and I can't decide whether to get a gun or new gear. I'll put my current in gear in (). I need a better sleeping bag(ww2 down bag), woodburning stove(esbit), collapsable bow(slingshot), cookwear(boyscout aluminum set), knives(kabar 1271, ontario 12' machete), porable saw(crappy corona folder). I don't have a gun and I want to get one, but I know I need better gear. I'm really at an empasse as to which to take care of first.


1st a good knife. 2nd a good gun. Then everything else. (3rd a good bike?)

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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by CURLEY.FX4 » Sat Mar 30, 2013 8:45 pm

Remington 870 and ammo; fills the void of not having a firearm with a fairly versatile one and stays within the allotted budget. There should also be enough room to spare for gear as well if you scour the used racks and pawn shops in your AO.

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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sat Mar 30, 2013 9:03 pm

Kabar 1271 is fine for a large knife. The mora will be great for finer tasks. You probably don't want to baton either. You've got the corona, what's wrong with it? The ones I've seen have been ok. Not bahco's mind you, but ok. You can really 'nerd out' on cutting tools. It seems to me that between the kabar and the mora you should have your actual needs covered. I have a couple of kabars, the last one I carried in the woods was the Kraton version of the USmc knife. I never carried it backpacking because I thought it was too heavy/scared lean to cohabitants. Then I switched to a mora clipper a few years ago. It's lighter than a buck 110... By a noticeable bit. Your robust is a slightly beefier version of the clipper. Be prepared for a much lighter weight knife than that kabar.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by itzybitzyspyder » Sun Mar 31, 2013 1:29 am

Rick Blane wrote:
itzybitzyspyder wrote:I've got $500 to spend and I can't decide whether to get a gun or new gear. I'll put my current in gear in (). I need a better sleeping bag(ww2 down bag), woodburning stove(esbit), collapsable bow(slingshot), cookwear(boyscout aluminum set), knives(kabar 1271, ontario 12' machete), porable saw(crappy corona folder). I don't have a gun and I want to get one, but I know I need better gear. I'm really at an empasse as to which to take care of first.


1st a good knife. 2nd a good gun. Then everything else. (3rd a good bike?)
I've got a decent enough mountain bike, but I do need to pick up a cruiser.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by 111t » Sun Mar 31, 2013 3:09 pm

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/2 ... ?a=1164146" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

I have one of these. It's a totally serviceable little pot set. 2/$18=Train with one keep the other pristine. Or split the cost with another prepper.
All the best!
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Ferrocerium...You know how to spell it... This is how you pronounce it...[fer-oh-seer-ee-uhm]
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by ZomCon Sargeant » Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:47 pm

+1 on a Wood burning stove and the Ruger 10/22 Take Down.

I would purchase a firearm of some sort first. A Ruger 10/22 is a excellent survivalist tool.
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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by estoteparati » Sun Apr 14, 2013 12:09 am

Ruger 10/22 gets my vote

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Re: Firearm or update basic equipment?

Post by Aceman » Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:11 am

One of my primary rules: Having ANY gear - even if cheap, NOW, is way better than NOT having it when you need it because you were saving up for really good stuff.

#1 Do you have water, food and meds stocked? If not - take care of that before a gun. 1 week of food gets you way farther than 100 rounds of ammo. Have enough food and water to stay in, and you likely won't even need the gun.

#2 Do you have, in your bag: Water , fire, meds, knife, light, shelter? If yes, then great. If not, take care of that first. And I double/triple up on the first 4!!!

Now, on with firearm;

If I had to get the best overall firearm, and keep it cheap, I'd go 12g Shotgun.
- Best man stopper / indoor SD weapon period.
- Able to hunt anything that crawls, walks, or flies with right ammo
- highly reliable, easy to shoot, forgiving on aim (but you do have to aim!)
- Ammo is currently available.

I agree a Ruger 10/22 Takedown is pretty awesome. But again, ammo is an ongoing issue. If potability AND concealability is your thing, can't argue that either. .22 is a crappy choice for SD though, and not great for hunting more than squirrel rabbits and rats.

A Handgun RULES in SHTF - why? small, portable, and concealable. That said any I'd want would be 500 min, and again, ammo...

A used 12g will be ~ 200, and should be ultra reliable and last forever.

Also, you don't sound like a shooter, so consider, the cost of the gun is nothing compared to the cost of learning to shoot it effectively. think 100 rounds a week for a couple of months, and then maybe at least 100 a month for a while. $$$ I love me some Mosin Nagant, but for nearly the same price a 12g is way more utility in a gun

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