Sunday, October 23, 2005

The "OH SHIT!" Test of basic skills

Aa reader of the NoR asked what personal weapons skills could a civilian acquire easily, that would properly perpare them for an SHTF situation.

Not necessarily survuval and tactics, but what weapons should you know the manual of arms for, and if you're really paranoid what should you keep spare parts, mags, manuals etc.. around for.

Now at first I though "Huh, not a very useful question" but then I thought about it again for a mintue, and I realized, it's probably a good idea.

See I acquired my first Glock for exactly one reason. If I needed to give a gun to someone to back me up in an emergency, the gun they would most likely be able to operate properly would be a Glock. It's the nearly universal gun at this point. Everyone can figure it out, and everyone can shoot it with at least some degree of facility. If I had to give a gun to someone who'd never fired one I'd choose a revolver, but the Glock would be a close second.

So I recognize the utilit of having "universal" gun skills. My picks are designed to give the most utility and cross platform knowledge, as well as to be the most likely scrounged weapons if in the US or operating near US forces.

Oh and it's not a bad buy list either, if you may have to equip folks at some point.

OK so what should you know in terms of basic firearms use for SHTF situations - in appx order (assuming you are an American, operating around US or US supported forces):

1. AR based systems (especially malfunction drills)
2. AK based systems
3. Pump action shotgun basics (any one of the three majors should let you operate and figger out t’others)
4. 1911 and other browning tilting link based handguns
5. Browning Hi-Power and the MANY modern handguns based on that system (especially in Europe)
6. Beretta M92
7. Glock
9. Revolver
9. Basic bolt action rifle. Rem 700 or Win model 70 (or both).
10. M1/M1A/M14 based systems

If you understand the manual of arms, and maintenance for each of these weapons you should be able to operate effectively most of the individual small arms you are likely to come into contact with.

Oh and a note: if you understand 4-7 above, there should be NO semiautomatic handgun you can’t figure out, except perhpas the Mauser M2, HKP7, and the gas operated guns like the Desert Eagle.

Also useful would be the HK personal weapons operating system, which is shared across most of their line (SMG’s, assault rifles, sniper rifles, machine guns).

The SKS is certainly a gun you ought to know, but honestly, if you can’t figure out how to work an SKS in just a few minutes, including cleaning, diassembly etc… I don’t think I want to hand you a gun.

Which is also why I recommend the SKS for a bulk buy if you need to gear up some folks. Personally I'd also get some synth stocks, and cheap red dots (with mounts) and youd be good to go.

Someone on the NoR forum recommended knowing the FAL, and while I agree it’s a useful thing to know, they aren’t nearly as common as they once were, nor as common as the other choices above when operating around U.S. forces. On the other hand if you are operating in Africa, and DON’T know the FAL, you are in deep shit.