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As Most of you know, Im not a big fan of the bug out bag survival strategy. In a nutshell youre voluntarily becoming, a refugee, but looking at the recent disasters in New Orléans and Haiti it is obvious that a bug out bag and strategy are not only needed but required for anyone who is prepared.
When reading such lists it is important to keep in mind that any list is only a suggestion. Everyone should look at their skills, situation and location planning accordingly.
No two bug out strategies will be the same nor will the contents of the bug out bag. Your bug out bag should be put together with your personal situation and needs in mind only then will it be effective.
Today we will take a quick look at choosing firearms for the bug out bag. Anytime, I mention firearms or survival guns I get flooded with comments from readers giving their suggestions and advice.
I hope this post will elicit such a response. If you have suggestions or questions, by all means feel free to post them in the comments below. Please keep in mind that we are only discussing the head for the hills concept, and not the other possibilities available to the survivor.
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Most will suggest a .22 caliber rifle and often this is a prudent choice. A .22 caliber rifle can take small game as well as larger game such as deer with proper shot placement.
For foraging purposes, firearms such as the Remington International 410 Ga/22 LR Over & Under are difficult to beat.
With the addition of the 410 Ga shotgun being a significant advantage over having just to 22 LR. ammunition is cheap and lightweight when compared to other rounds and packing several thousand rounds in a bug-out bag isnt out of the question.
Another advantage is relatively low report especially when using CB caps and the ability to be effectively silenced with a homemade sound suppressor.
Just remembered that such a device is illegal without proper government approval and will land you behind bars if caught, and is suggested here for a worst case scenario only.
The downside of the .22 Long rifle round is limited range, penetration and stopping power when used in a self-defense mode.
I suggest a backup handgun chambered for a cartridge suitable for self-defense. I would not go below a 9 mm or 38 special here. Anything less powerful isnt enough.
Even with a 9 mm and 38 special, I would seriously consider using only the + P rounds such as the 115 or 124 grain JHP +P in the 9 mm or 158-grain lead semi-wadcutter hollow point .38 Special +P for defensive purposes .
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Your location would also determine weapons choice. For example those bugging-out in grizzly country should definitely consider something more powerful than the aforementioned 9 mm or 38 special.
My first choice for protection against such large game would be a center-fire rifle chambered for 30.06 or larger. My second choice would be a magnum revolver with a 5.5" to 7.5" barrel chambered for .44 Magnum or larger.
I think it is wise to avoid any armed confrontation if possible. Trust me you are not a coward if you avoid the possibility of being shot in the head. You are not expendable neither are the lives of your family or those in your bug out group. Those with the macho kill em all attitude will not last very long.
With that being said, a semi-auto military type rifle could be considered especially if you are trying to get from an urban area to the country, where facing organized gangs or other threats attempting to block your exit could be a possibility.
An AR-15 with collapsible buttstock or folding stocked AK-74 could help get you out of a dangerous situation.
What are your thoughts or choices for bug-out firearms? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below
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October 15, 2010
M.D. Creekmore [send him mail] is a full-time blogger and preparedness consultant. He currently lives completely off-grid somewhere in the Appalachian mountains and is currently working on his upcoming book The Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat for Paladin Press. To connect with M.D. Creekmore please visit his Survival Blog.