Bug Out Gun
as a Means of Protection and Hunting Following a Collapse

It's a sad truth that you'll need a bug out gun of some description if you hope to survive in the long term in an apocalyptic scenario. You have to assume that normal laws and rules of behavior won't apply and in panic situations, life quickly reverts to survival of the fittest. In this case, a trusty gun will act as much as a deterrent to those who want what you have or keep your loved ones safe, as it will to actually provide the means for hunting and putting food on the table. 


Key Features

Choosing the right bug out gun will be important as you want something big enough to scare people off but not so complex that you'll never be able to fix it if it breaks. When you're buying your bug out gun, keep in mind these features:

  • Caliber - the caliber of the bullets that you can fire will have a big bearing on which gun you buy. If you go for something too heavy, you won't be able to use it to kill animals as the bullets will destroy the flesh. However, going too small and light means that you're more likely to wound your target rather than kill them. In a survival scenario, you can't take the chance of leaving someone wounded as they will still be able to fire weapons and call for assistance.
  • Lightweight - you'll be carrying this gun with you just about everywhere that you go, so be sure to weigh the weapon before you buy. Anything under eight pounds without ammunition will feel like air in your backpack, but this will limit the power and range of your weapon. A simple shotgun will combine weight with the ability to shoot over longer distances.
  • Sturdy design - the last thing you want to happen is to have your weapon get damaged as you travel around. Plastic molding tends to be cheaper than metal but much less durable. In an ideal situation, you want a gun that has a polymer internal frame as this will make it almost impossible to break. Pistols tend to be much more sturdy than rifles due to the shorter barrels, but again you'll be sacrificing range.
  • Sights - most guns that will be good in a survival scenario will have some sort of built in scope. You should make sure that the barrel has built in sights that don't require glass so that you don't lose your long range capabilities if the glass smashes. For rifles, you should find out how long the range of the weapon is and make sure that whatever scope you buy will allow you to see clearly over that distance. 

You should also make sure that your bug out gun has at least two different safety catches, especially if you have children as part of your survival party. Ammo will be at an absolute premium in a TEOTWAWKI event and you can't afford to let interested hands fire off rounds unnecessarily. Allowing random shots will also attract unwanted attention, so you'll need to place strict rules about who, where and when the gun can be used.

Bug Out Gun Practice

When you first get your bug out gun, your instincts will be to leave it in it's original grease so that you know that it will be in perfect working condition when the time comes for you to use it. However, each gun is different, even if they're the same model by the same company, and you'll need to give yourself some time on a firing range to get used to the kick and weight of the weapon.

This will also give you time to get used to the safety and loading mechanisms so that when you come to use it in a tense, high-adrenalin moment, the motions will be second nature.

Note: This information is provided only for consideration for a time when societal collapse may mean the police are not able to protect you.

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