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Is a pistol the most useful SHTF weapon?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by glock39, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. glock39


    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    I was reading a post on another website (which, alas, I forgot to bookmark). Anyway, the gentleman had gone through hurricane Andrew. Power and phones were out for 6 weeks, police patrols were few and far between. He had a long gun and a Glock 19. Although he carried the long gun around his property, he found that "95% of the time, it wound up being left in his truck, or leaned up against a tree" (as he was busy working at cleaning up the mess, dealing with no electricity and generally needing both hands free). The Glock was carried 100% of the time. When he went to town, he did not carry the long gun, as walking around with a rifle tended to upset people. Again, the concealed Glock was carried all the time.

    So, the situations where you would actually be carrying a long gun are few and specific. They also assume some advance warning, as long guns are more difficult to carry around everywhere you go. Carrying a long gun off of your own property would require very specific circumstances. A long gun is the weapon of choice for home defense. But for a SHTF situation would you actually be better off with a pistol? Or perhaps a full-size, easy to shoot pistol (if you normally carry a pocket pistol)? While rifles are what people choose to fight with, the lowly pistol is what you're likely to actually have at hand when you suddenly need it.

    Note - There are certain social situations, such as riots or hurricanes, where just being visibly armed may be it's own protection. I've always thought that one of the side benefits of a rifle or shotgun is that carrying one serves as an indicator that you do not wish to be robbed, looted or lynched. However, you could get an external holster (even an old WWII web belt and flap holster) that could be just belted on over whatever you're wearing. This serves the same function, but you could quickly transfer the pistol to your concealed holster whenever you wished to present a lower profile.
  2. quake

    quake Millennium Member

    Aug 4, 1999
    Arkansas, USA
    I'd say yes, or at least that they're the most versatile defensive weapon.

  3. I know FerFAL is a big fan of pistols as a STHF defensive weapon. It is much better for the "unnoticed greyman" style.
  4. Jeepnik


    Mar 5, 2008
    Nope. Your brain is.
  5. glock39


    May 26, 2005
    Tyler, TX
    I can't argue with that. Except, of course, for the number of sheeple walking around with "unloaded" weapons. :whistling:
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2011
  6. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    It is perfect for preventing anything if carried openly. :supergrin:
  7. Maine1


    Jul 20, 2007
    I have gone from rifle to pistol for EDC/SHTF/EOTWAWKI . its with me 24-7, where the rifle did get left behind sometimes.
  8. Bushflyr

    Bushflyr ʇno uıƃuɐɥ ʇsnɾ Millennium Member

    Mar 17, 1999
    Western WA
    I'd say yes.

    The problem arises with the definition of SHTF. I, personally, think of Andrew, Katrina, or the LA riots as SHTF. Basically a temporary breakdown of law and order coupled with some inconveniences like flooding, mayhem, or power outage. Mad Max stuff is TEOTWAWKI. Many people can only think of prepping in terms of black and white, normal everyday go to the market and Mad Max, with nothing in between. For them SHTF is Mad Max.
  9. Spiffums

    Spiffums I.C.P.

    Sep 30, 2006
    Your handgun by virtue of being small and easy to carry is always with you. It will allow you fight your way back to the house or tree to get your long gun.
  10. Unqualified yes. Whether the S has HTF or just day to day living. It is first, foremost and should always be there for you.

    Unless of course your crystal ball is way better than mine, mine has never forewarned me that trouble was coming. I need to get my money back.

  11. A pistol in the hand is better than two rifles in the bush.
  12. Big Bird

    Big Bird NRA Life Member

    Aug 7, 2003
    Louisville KY
    The pistol's only redeeming quality is its convenience. Otherwise, a long arm beats the crap out of a handgun in any situation where you might actually have to do some shooting.
  13. j-glock22


    Sep 20, 2001
    Central Ohio search blogs regarding defense weapons and pistols vs. long guns and the realities of the situations that he has and continues to live in. Very insightful and iseful info for such a thread as this.
  14. But Big Bird, that convenience is huge. Don't sell it short.

  15. 1 old 0311

    1 old 0311

    Jan 2, 2006
    Planet Earth

    Really. Unlike 99.9% of the people here he LIVES in a SHTF situation.
  16. MadMonkey

    MadMonkey Spershul Furces

    Aug 18, 2010
    Most of my friends carry Condition 3 :supergrin:
  17. UneasyRider

    UneasyRider C.D.B.

    Dec 1, 2005
  18. rhino673


    Feb 7, 2010
    Very true.
  19. fourdeuce2


    Nov 13, 2003
    Yes. Too bad he thinks HIS situation applies to ANY survival situation.:rofl:

    Carrying a rifle around all the time is a pain in the ass(ask any soldier), but they are still required to do it. There's a reason for that. If you need a firearm, a rifle is much better(more effective at getting the job done) in most cases than a handgun. Having to put up with the hassle is a small price to pay for the huge gain in efficiency.
  20. Blast

    Blast 'nuff said

    Aug 2, 2002
    NKY/Cincinnati area
    Long gun is best in SHTF. However, depending on circumstances, a high powered magnum revolver might be a good option.