In this post, we described a few good, basic general purpose rifles for individual SHTF preparation focusing on defensive capability and durability. Points that are still valid.
However, when taking the next step in either joining or helping form a Neighborhood Protection Team (NPT), before anyone hits the gun store, careful consideration and discussion should be given to the idea of standardizing the basic firearms each person will be armed with in a grid down situation. This should not an argument about which platform or caliber is best; rather, it should be a comparison of the group/individual skill mastery contrasted against the ‘user friendliness’ of the platform/calibers considered. Things like ergonomics, parts availability, ammo resupply once the local retailer just can’t seem to get anymore shipments in, ease of learning, cost per round spent in training (some people love to shoot 500 rounds a training session – that’s not necessarily a ‘bad’ thing, but at .38 cents per round for 5.56mm, as an example, that means a single training session will cost $190 for the ammo alone, so budgetary considerations have to be taken into account unless your NPT is individually wealthy), ease of cleaning & routine maintenance, and lastly, cost/ROI of any upgrades including optics.
If you’re joining an existing NPT (say that you’re somewhat new to the neighborhood, and the NPT has checked you out and determined that you’d be a good fit), they might have done this first step already and all you have to do is pony up the cash for the weapons, ammo, and equipment. Or sell something so you can ‘move up the food chain.’ It might mean selling that general purpose bolt gun referred to in the first post, or it might mean selling a bunch of other ‘stuff’ that you don’t use conveniently collecting dust in the garage.
Some folks get rankled when they are told they ‘must’ have this or that.
Be objective. Look at the facts unemotionally. If you can do that, you’re ahead of the learning curve. Remember the objective: Arming with the most effective tool you can afford balanced against your NPT’s objective, the job you’ll most likely be doing, and the amount of training you’ll be able to get in the near and intermediate term.
All things being equal, and the NPT is squared away, you might really benefit from standardizing your personal arms with theirs in terms of resupply during a hot situation, ie, you’re out of ammo, the rest of the team isn’t and you’re given a couple mags that make your Personal Defense Weapon active again, instead of being a nice club, or, in the case of a pistol, an imitation rock to throw.
Other authors and various schools all have their recommendations; we’re no different. Your mileage may vary, but if you’re looking for an ‘out of the box’ choice that’s very user friendly, this is what we recommend for the standard NPT ‘issue’:
Personal Defense Carbine: AR-15, 16” chrome lined barrel, Nickel Boron BCG and Bolt, upgraded 2 stage trigger, zero’d back up sights, with either a 4X ACOG or an Aimpoint CompM4, and 13 mags to start. 2 cases (2k rounds) to start: 1K for reserve; 1 K for the first 6 months of training (and replace the used case by the end of the six months, and shoot 100 rounds every six weeks for the rest of the year).
Personal Defense Pistol: Glock 17 or 19 (for concealability): Add Tritium night sights. 500 rounds 124gr ball for practice, 500 rounds 124gr Fed HST (or other ammo your team likes) for ‘real world’ use. After being familiarized with your Glock (having run several hundred rounds through it in focused practice), run 50 of the HST through it to note any differences in recoil in point of impact v. point of aim.
An option would be to choose the S&W M&P Shield, especially if your team has women or guys with small hands. Very concealable, great controls, and so far (my own) very reliable.
There are many others, to be sure. These recommendations are our, “You want to get armed now? Do this.” answer to the question.
Make sure you paint your PDC, minimally. Duracoat base; Krylon-type camouflage pattern. Earth tones. Nothing fancy. Ugly is beautiful. The picture taken of the AR was spontaneous; I laid the rifle down without any planning, walked a couple yards away, and snapped the pic. It works. It’s ugly, but it works.
Next installment we’ll talk about basic LBE set up and why/when things should be standardized.