9 months, 2 weeks ago
Over the last few years, I’ve seen a lot of ink spilled about the one—that is the ultimate, end of the world, SHTF, need no other, bug out bag firearm that will carry you and yours at the end of days. These articles usually go into great detail as to the how’s, what’s, and why’s of the caliber, model, and make for that ideal, one and done gun but I’ve seen precious little written about one very important issue that could turn your uber-pistol into a good looking paperweight. What if it breaks?
Recently I had one of my Smith & Wesson revolvers put completely out of action by the tiniest of parts, a hand torsion spring. This spring is what keeps the hand engaging the ratchet on the rear of the cylinder. This little two-dollar part shut the gun down completely and it was eye opening for me because, if the bombs start dropping, I know I would want to have that wheelgun with on my hip.
So, if you are into buying a gun for one of those dreaded “what if” occasions, how do you guard against mechanical failure when ordering a replacement part from Brownell’s or another part is no longer an option?
Author David LaPell does a good job of discussing the need for some rudimentary Gunsmith skills, having spare parts and the right tools, buying reliable guns, and the virtue of purchasing in two’s (although this is an interesting option and one that I have thought about, it could get much more expensive than the average person’s bank account can sustain).
The article is worth the read time. I have a number of guns, all of them reliable personal defense weapons except one, and that one will never go anywhere with me except to the range as a range toy.
I realize that your so-called bug out provisions are weight-limited. You cannot carry unlimited water, freeze dried food, water filter, first aid and medical supplies, tactical lights and batteries, cordage, cover (like a tarp), electronic gear and ammunition (frankly, to me ammunition seems the most important of these provisions and yet the most weighty).
Here is a side bar comment about cover. You can purchase a tarp covering from Lowe’s or similar store, but I constructed my own by using house wrap (used for vapor barrier) in 12′ X 12′, double-side-taped the edges with Gorilla Tape, and then used grommets (purchased from Lowe’s) to place holes in the corners and middle. It makes a perfect covering in the absence of a weighty tent if you have cordage and trekking poles, and if you can find a housing contractor to give you a piece of house wrap, the supplies cost $15. You can also use the hole in the middle and some cordage to lift the center of the tarp above the rest of it, making provision for water run off.
But even something like this isn’t weight-free. So I understand that the premier concern is weight. Hard decisions must be made. But here is the crux of the issue. Do not ever carry one bug out gun. Have a bug out gun, and a backup, and a backup to that one if you can carry it. And enough ammunition for all of them.