You also have to keep in mind what could happen during a struggle with an attacker, or if someone broke into your home while you weren’t there.
Any weapon you possess can be used against you if an attacker can get their hands on it. The farther away you can stay from an attacker, the safer you will be; therefore, I believe a gun is the best alternative (this is just my personal opinion).
Here are some basics to consider when purchasing your first gun to compliment your bug out bag:
1. Cost – This is always a big stumbling block to people wanting to purchase a gun on a budget. You not only have to consider the initial cost of buying the gun itself, but also the cost of the ammunition. Typically, the higher the caliber, the more expensive the ammunition will cost because more powder and metal is used in making the bullets.
2. Ammunition availability – If things go terribly wrong in your area and people are rushing to the stores, will you be able to get the ammunition you need for your gun? Obviously, a small stockpile would be wise to keep on hand, but if you need to resupply, this is something to consider. You want to have a caliber that is relatively common. For example, .22, 9 mm, 20 gauge, 12 gauge, and 30-06 ammunition can all be found at your local Walmart, but you might only find 7 mm, .35, and .300 magnum at specialty/outdoor stores or online only.
3. Weight – If you are possibly going to be on foot for an extended period of a time, an 8-10 pound 12 gauge shotgun will become more of a burden than a 2 pound .22 caliber handgun. The numbers of rounds you can carry on your person will also decrease as the caliber of your gun increases. Consider this – you can carry 100 rounds of 12 gauge slugs at 9.5 lbs or 1,263 rounds of .22 caliber ammunition at the same weight.
4. Maximum Effective Range, point target – By definition, this is the longest distance at which an average shooter can hit a human-sized target 50% of the time. MER (maximum effective range) will vary based on the specific gun and type of ammunition used, even if it is the same caliber. For example, a .22 rifle can be accurate out to 200-300 yards, but a .22 pistol’s accuracy can probably only go out to 100 yards if that far.
5. Your expected need – What kinds of things might you need to use your gun for? Are there large animals in your area – bears, mountain lions, wolves, elk, moose? Are you going to be in wide open fields, densely forested areas, or populated urban areas? Are you going to use it to hunt small game primarily or defend yourself in close quarters?
The only person that can choose the right gun for you is you.
The majority of people in the survival/bug out bag mind frame prefer a .22 caliber weapon. It’s lightweight, has cheap and readily available ammunition, easy and comfortable to use, and the handgun version can easily pack away in your bug out bag.
Remember, a gun is only as good as the person shooting it – practice, practice, practice!
Feel free to comment below!