The following is a guest post regarding an interesting subject – survival guns. Written and submitted by Mr. Douglas Brooks. Enjoy
Survival Gun Logistics
This post is about a topic that is neglected by most of the firearms community. That is because most people buy a gun and then only fire a box of ammo through it once or twice a year. These guys will never need spare parts because they are barely breaking their guns in. MSG readers are training regularly and planning for the long haul, however, so a discussion of survival gun logistics is in order.
Logistics is the study of supply chains. Lifecycle Logistics is the study of a product and the supply chains that support it during its useful life. A good example of lifecycle logistics is the automobile industry.
When you buy a car, the original manufacturer agrees to maintain it for a period. Once the warranty expires you will have to work on it yourself or take it to a shop. Since oil and fuel types are standardized, it is easy to find these items just about anywhere. The original equipment manufacturer (OEM) will still produce parts and have them available for a period of years after your model is no longer made.
Aftermarket companies produce parts too and compete with the OEM to drive down the cost. Because of the system, we have in place it is not uncommon to see cars on the road that have been in service for 15-20 years and many hundreds of thousands of miles.
Here is how you put the same system in place for your firearms.
Part of your logistics planning needs to include ammunition. A common belief in the survival community is that if you choose common calibers, then they will always be available during a disaster. That belief was proved false during the 2008-2009 ammo shortage. During that time ammunition prices soared, and common calibers were on backorder for months.
Common calibers still have a distinct advantage. However, that should make them primary in your survival planning. That advantage is that they are relatively inexpensive and easy to find in bulk now. This allows you to do two things. First is to train regularly. An important part of preparedness is training regularly with your equipment. The second is that they will allow you to stock up affordable before a crisis.
Common calibers in the U.S. include .22LR, 9x19mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, 12 gauge, 5.56x45mm, and 7.62x51mm. These calibers are widely used by law enforcement and the military so bulk pricing deals can be had, and suitable defensive loads are easy to come by. Eastern Bloc calibers like 7.62x39mm and 7.62x54R are commonly available as well and could be reasonable choices also. Understand though that the quality of Eastern Bloc ammunition varies and some of it is corrosive. They are not as well supported by the commercial ammunition manufacturers either which limits the availability of suitable hunting and defense loads. Educate yourself and plan accordingly.
Nothing lasts forever. All machines require regular maintenance including guns. This means you’ll want to purchase guns that have good parts support. This will allow you to do some or all of your maintenance yourself at home. It will also allow you to lay up a supply of spare parts to keep on hand for hard times.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers see making spare parts available a liability. They don’t want to be sued when somebody puts a gun together wrong and then gets hurt. This is especially the case in the working gun category although it applies to some defensive guns as well.
Certain guns are particularly easy to keep running due to parts support. They include but are not limited to the Ruger 10/22, Glock handguns (any model), AR-15 rifles in 5.56mm, and Remington 870 shotguns. These guns have both good OEM and aftermarket support and have remained popular for a long period. Guns like these make ideal choices for your survival battery.
It needs to be said that the quality of parts, and guns for that matter, vary widely and need to be considered carefully. The best case study in this issue is the AR-15 rifle. The patents have expired on this design and its popularity has caused dozens of makers to get into the AR-15 business. Many, if not most, of these companies, are cutting corners by making their parts with cheaper methods, inferior materials, and no quality control. This contributes to the AR-15s reputation for poor reliability. Rifles made to government specifications are very reliable and make an excellent choice for a defensive rifle.
For a few dollars more, make sure you buy guns and spare parts that are built to a standard.
I will only touch on this briefly as it is a huge topic. The key takes away here is that certain models of guns have noticeably better accessory support. Choosing these popular models means it will be easier to get magazines, scope mounts, weapon lights, etc. Usually, guns that have been in long-term use by the sporting or military/law enforcement communities will have good accessory support.
The Bottom Line
When making a choice between gun A, that is unique and cool and gun B that is boring but has tons of ammo, parts, and accessories for it I choose gun B every time. It doesn’t matter how good something is if you can’t maintain it or can’t afford to train with it. Consider these issues carefully when planning your survival gun battery and chose wisely.
This post is written by Douglas Brooks. He is the founder of ProReviewly.com . He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot. He is also Rifle optic guru.