If you could have only one blade, one handgun, and one long gun, to survive an economic collapse where there was no electricity, no food on the shelves, no water in the faucet, etc, what would you choose? That’s the question that I posed to you last week. I wanted to hear your selection, your choices, your reasons before I shared mine.
You’ve done that. As of the time of this posting, there have been 51 comments to the post. Thank you! I’ve enjoyed reading your comments and many of them were quite enlightening and got me to thinking. They challenged by thoughts about it and I appreciate that. I never want to become complacent or reach a point where I think I know it all. When that happens, I’m doomed.
Jarhead Survivor, my friend who runs SHTFBlog, was one of the commenters to the post. He also thought it’d be a good question to ask on his site. Head on over to his site and read the comments there. Good stuff.
So, what would I choose?
Laura and I live in a rural community. It’s more of a wide spot in a seldom traveled road really. It’s about 3o miles from the nearest somewhat large city, but we’re not on the way to anywhere. So, while there will certainly be some people who flee the city in our direction in the event of TEOTWAWKI, I don’t expect a massive Golden Horde to come knocking.
Our largest concern will be from the “have nots” that live a few miles from us. There is a small community whose residents frequently appear in the local paper for crimes such as domestic assault, drunk driving, illegal drugs, and theft. When things turn south, they will be our biggest security threat.
We store food and have a garden each year. We have nut trees on our property as wells as some fruit trees. There are deer in the area and squirrels are currently plentiful. I know this will likely change during TEOTWAWKI, but for now it’s nice.
If I could have only one blade for survival, what would it be? Some commenters advocated a small hatchet. Some a machete. Others, a good fixed blade.
Since my concerns will primarily be survival, I’d turn to the knife I currently use while on camping trips and weekend wilderness survival practices. Jarhead Survivor turned me on to this knife a year or two ago and I’ve got to say he was 100% right about it. It’s the Ka-Bar BK2 Campanion.
Whether it’s batoning wood for a fire or processing wild game for dinner, the knife is up for the task. It, of course, can be used for self-defense if it comes down to it.
Weighing in at a pound with it’s 1/4″ spine, it’s a bit heavy. But it’s girth has the benefit of making it nearly indestructible.
When the end of the world comes, I want a pistol that I can rely on. One that is dependable in it’s action. One that has enough stopping power to halt an intruder or aggressor with a single shot, yet holds enough ammunition to apply multiple rounds if necessary.
I like the simplicity of a dual action revolver. There’s not much to jam or break. But most only hold a maximum of 6 rounds whereas a semi-automatic can hold more than twice that number.
So, my choice for a pistol would be the Springfield Armory XD-40. The .40 caliber round has great ballistics and combines the best of the 9mm and the .45 caliber. Many may argue that the 9mm, 10mm, or .45 are better choices. And that may be for you. But for me, I’m going with the XD-40.
One Long Gun
Now for the final component of my choice: the long gun. The first two components really come down to personal preferences. Although there were exceptions, most people chose some kind of fixed blade knife and the differences were largely the size and manufacturer. For the pistol, the caliber was the primary distinguishing a factor since most commenters considered it a defensive weapon for close quarters combat.
But the choice of long gun really highlights the varying expectations of the situation. Some turned to the AR or AK variants citing their defensive capabilities. Others opted for a smaller caliber weapon that could be used for smaller game.
Me? I’m going with a 12-gauge pump shotgun such as the Remington 870 with 3.5″ shell capabilities. I like the flexibility that it affords me. I can use it to harvest small game such as squirrel, small birds, and rabbits. Yet, I can also bring down turkey, deer, and moose with it.
It can be used very effectively in combat situations. The pump action is extremely reliable and there aren’t many parts to break or malfunction. In short it’s flexible and reliable.
The only drawback I can see for the choice is that it doesn’t offer a long range use. This could be very important if you live in the plains of the midwest where hunting involves long-range shots. That’s not my situation, though. As for defense? My preference would be avoidance. If they are out of range, I’d rather avoid a conflict or engage only when I have the advantage. The shotgun supports that tactic.
It’s a Balancing Act
For me, the choice is not one of purely defense nor purely wilderness survival. For me, the choice is clear: I need a blade, a pistol, and a long gun that will help me hunt and survive while at the same time allow me to defend myself effectively. The fixed-blade, the handgun, and the 12-gauge seem to offer the most flexibility.
My choices also put a premium on reliability. I want a weapon that I can depend on, requires little maintenance, and is rugged.
But what do you think? Am I missing something?