When preparing for emergencies and survival situations, many of us will rely on firearms purchased for other purposes, such as hunting, target or informal recreational shooting, or defense of home or self during “normal” times. If you're thinking about the security resources you'd like to have on hand in not-so-unlikely survival situations, keep in mind the following important strategies, from Scott Wagner in his new book, Gun Digest Book of Survival Guns:
THE LAYERED DEFENSE
Layering your defense is a basic principle as old as armed combat itself. It simply means that, ideally, we have different weapons that are particularly effective for different distances. This is likely of greatest importance as you set up your plan for long-term sheltering-in-place. If you are going the emergency evacuation route instead, it will mean that you have fewer specialized weapons that you will need to make work in a wider variety of circumstances, unless you have an exceptional transportation system. Ideally, the weapons selected should cover these basic ranges/conditions:
Long-Range — While our modern military snipers are getting kills out to 2,000 yards or so, this is performance reserved for a few highly trained and exceptional individuals with very specialized rifles, mostly bolt guns. For the average shooter or law enforcement officer, “long range” is anything beyond 100 yards, especially when one considers we’re talking about being on the “two-way range,” where targets shoot back.
In these situations, a semi-auto rifle equipped with a lighted reticle variable scope of no more than 15-power works extremely well, although certain battle rifles with precision iron sights are also effective. Full-power battle cartridges on the order of .308 or .30-06 are excellent performers for this challenge.
Mid-Range — Anything from 100 yards down to about 25 yards. Several weapon types come to mind, but basically a high-cap semi-automatic rifle of intermediate caliber reigns supreme.
CQB — Close Quarter Battle, or 25 yards down to eye-gouging distance. High-cap semi-auto rifles, shotguns, pistols, pistol-caliber carbines, and edged weapons are at the forefront here. The intermediate semi-auto rifle, especially with a bayonet affixed, is an excellent choice, as well.
For Wagner's reviews of the hardware that’s the core to home defense and personal protection during emergencies – rifles, shotguns and handguns that make the best options for your survival – order your copy of Gun Digest Book of Survival Guns today.