Subscribe To the GunsAmerica Digest and News This Week

Top 5 Handguns for Bugging Out

Send to Kindle

You have only a few minutes to gather the family, grab what you can carry and get out. You don’t know when you’ll be back. You have to rely on what you can carry on your body – no guarantee that you’ll even make it far in your vehicle. The classic bugout scenario. SHTF. Sound farfetched? Maybe, if you’re thinking about the zombie apocalypse or invaders from Mars. But what about a natural disaster, a man-made disaster, or large scale loss of civil structure? All of these things have happened on various scales in the past, and all will almost certainly happen again… on some scale. You have room for only one handgun and some ammo. What do you take?

I am presenting this list in countdown order, so we’re going to start from the bottom. With one exception, they are all 9mm’s. While you might beat your chest about how that .357 magnum or 10mm is far superior, good luck finding ammo. I want the odds of any ammo I find fitting my gun to be high, and with 9mm they will be. And I love .45 ACP as much as anyone, but it’s heavy and bulky in addition to less available. Simple cost/benefit decision. No, for survival in the unknown it needs to be 9mm.

SIG P226

Buy Now on GunsAmerica

Elite military and law enforcement proven reliability. Personal experience – I can’t make one jam. With standard 15 round magazines for the 9mm, it is has adequate capacity. This gun will serve you day and night without fail. So why in the world is it sitting at the bottom of the list at #5? Mainly because of its complexity. The SIG has numerous controls that unfamiliar shooters might struggle with. And if you need to perform any maintenance beyond a field-strip, you’re in deep trouble. So, the P226 might be the most beautiful lady on the list, but she’s high maintenance.

XD-40

Buy Now on GunsAmerica

This is the only gun on the list that is not a 9mm. I gave in to my own desire to have something more potent in the mix, and .40 S&W is popular enough with civilians and LE alike that there should be ammo supply. Why the XD-40 over many other good options? Federal LE and others have begun to note that the Glocks chambered in .40, particularly the G23, show accelerated wear and tear from the pressures of the round. The size of the XD-40 puts it very close to the G23 even though it carries one round less, but it has always felt more substantial to me. It’s a natural shooter, handles the recoil very well, and has minimal external controls. It is also a dependable duty-proven design. If I’m packing a .40 S&W it’s going to be the XD-40.

M&P-9

Buy Now on GunsAmerica

The modern M&P line is well proven as a duty gun, and is hugely popular in the civilian market. The ergonomics, minimal controls, and excellent reliability make this pistol a great choice for a bug-out handgun. Add the bonus of ambidextrous slide-stop control (and reversible mag catch) and thin feeling grip, and you have a flat shooting pistol that most anyone can handle well. Because remember – unless you’re bugging out alone, you may have others in the family or group that will need to be able to use this gun if the wolf comes to the door. I’m talking full-sized with a standard 17 round magazine and 4 ¼” barrel. There is a good chance of finding parts in the wild – the M&P 9 will get it done.

*Caveat: I am referring to the M&P without an external manual safety and without the magazine disconnect safety. Add either of those, and this gun comes off the list.

Buy Now on GunsAmerica

Hugely popular is not always a guarantee of quality, but in the case of the Glock 19 it certainly is. The G19 is the quintessential carry pistol and the one by which all others are still judged. With a combination of a 15 round magazine, thin and light frame, simplicity and reliability – the G19 rightfully earned its spot as the go/no-go gauge for concealed handguns. The drawbacks to the G19 as a sole survival gun though, are some of those very qualities. Smaller and lighter means a little bit more recoil, and if other family members need to “take the watch”, it might be more intimidating for them. Less capacity with standard magazines is also a consideration. Spare parts should be available in the wild, given the number of G19’s out there, and it’s a Glock – which means simple controls and easy maintenance. This gun was nearly in a tie with the #1 choice, but a decision had to be made…

G17 and G19

Buy Now on GunsAmerica

There are a lot of handguns that are prettier, ones that chamber more powerful rounds, and models that bear brand names you might like better. But the Glock 17 is the best choice, and here’s why: It’s durable and reliable. The Glock 17 is the AK-47 of handguns. In unknown conditions for extended time, I want a gun that will run no matter what. It is also the single most popular (and therefore most plentiful) handgun ever made. This means that there will be lots more of them out there for parts, extra magazines, holsters, you name it. Whether Gen4 or previous, you should be able to scrounge parts. You can disassemble the entire gun with just a paperclip. Simplicity – there are two controls on a Glock, the slide stop and the trigger. Unless you’ve been on another planet you know what each does and where it is. Anyone in “the group” that needs to use it will be able to. Why did the G17 edge out the G19, you ask? Mostly because of the spare parts consideration, but also because the slightly longer barrel will give you a wee bit more velocity and energy and a longer sight radius. You might need to hunt small game with your handgun and the size and capacity advantages of the G17 are worth its slightly larger size. I don’t think deep concealment is going to be the biggest consideration in a survival situation, and the Glock 17 can still be tucked away pretty well.

{ 133 comments… add one }
  • dick August 12, 2016, 11:12 pm

    This list is flawed.
    I’ve owned just about every model of modern handgun and I can tell you that hands down the #1 best all around general purpose self defense handgun is the Walther P99 AS or it’s compact version the P99C AS.
    Yes folks, it’s better than a Glock in many aspects.
    And in recent times Walther has dropped the price to a more affordable $500.

  • rehren29 August 18, 2015, 8:59 pm

    the Ruger BlackHawk 357 convertible for a Survival gun only could take care of useing the more popular 9mm rounds if run out of 357 which would be a hunting round for me, but its definitely the two rounds I would have plus my 9mm sig, thats if only two could go, it would be hard to leave anything. oh wait I already live in the mountains I can hide some or have them all.

  • rehren29 August 18, 2015, 8:53 pm

    the Ruger BlackHawk 357 convertible for a Survival gun only could take care of useing the more popular 9mm rounds if run out of 357 which would be a hunting round for me, but its definitely the two rounds I would have plus my 9mm sig, thats if only two could go, it would be hard to leave anything.

  • Magic Rooster March 15, 2015, 4:34 pm

    Well, well. When, not IF, it hits the fan, just where the f**K do all of you plan on going? Your front yard? Down the street? Unless you live really close to the boonies or some mystical retreat, you will never get there. The roads will be closed or worse jammed with every other “bug out” minded person. Nope, we will wake one morning to power grid failure, banking system failure, societal failure, you name it. And no damn money either. Every one of Obama’s illegal (now legal) orphans will be roaming the streets along with the other members of his “extended family” ready to take everything you have. For sure, most of us will die, but for me I will die right here in my home with my family, my flag, and my dignity. With a 100 yd clear field of fire and the ammo I have, there will be a shitload of ’em dead when it is over . The Old Testament will need to be re written after this fight!

    • Steve Hughes November 27, 2016, 2:14 pm

      Yep I’m thinking same thing hear!! Of course we live out in the Country east Tennessee! Off road and see everything Comeing! Locked n Cocked! Not going any where!! Stand our ground unto death!

  • Russ March 13, 2015, 12:02 am

    Well everyone is adding what they think is the best.
    I thought he was just talking 9mm.
    Realistically when the SHTF the only ammo available will be what you saved, or found on dead people.
    Watch out! Bodies will be bait to draw you into an ambush.
    So what I think would be the best bug out weapon would be a PDW like the FNH P 90.
    You can carry more effective ammo than all the rest.
    5.7 mm x 28 mm will defeat soft boy armor coming out of a P90.
    But only armor piercing 5.7 will defeat it if your using a handgun. (The FiveseveN Pistol)
    ballistics—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8WrokNC3Clc
    Too many great attributes to this firearm to list, just
    watch.My favorite PDW; FN – P 90—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ohGsu4bhb04

  • Russ March 13, 2015, 12:02 am

    Well everyone is adding what they think is the best.
    I thought he was just talking 9mm.
    Realistically when the SHTF the only ammo available will be what you saved, or found on dead people.
    Watch out! Bodies will be bait to draw you into an ambush.
    So what I think would be the best bug out weapon would be a PDW like the FNH P 90.
    You can carry more effective ammo than all the rest.
    5.7 mm x 28 mm will defeat soft boy armor coming out of a P90.
    But only armor piercing 5.7 will defeat it if your using a handgun. (The FiveseveN Pistol)
    ballistics—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=8WrokNC3Clc
    Too many great attributes to this firearm to list, just
    watch.My favorite PDW; FN – P 90—> https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=ohGsu4bhb04

  • john March 12, 2015, 7:01 pm

    G23 & G27 parts are interchangeable with the g19 g23 mags fit both as well as g22 mags

  • Guru Dronacharya Shooting Academy March 12, 2015, 2:52 am

    Hiii, We are 10m shooting academy based on Gurgaon (India). We thought your suggestion about all 5 handguns are very helpful and if we needed to purchase these shotgun in future we will always think twice about your consideration. Thanks do much for very helpful article for people like me who have less knowledge about shotgun quality.

  • StinsonBeach March 11, 2015, 10:50 am

    ps . . . Gen 1 – 3 ONLY!!!
    NO GEN 4’s!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • StinsonBeach March 11, 2015, 10:47 am

    I’m a .45 guy.
    That said, the G27 is THE best choice of a “one only” bug-out gun.
    Why? It’s small & very concealable.
    “…but it’s a .40” – yes it is, but simply change out the barrel & it’s a 9mm. All the 17, 19, 26 & 34 barrels, etc., parts will drop right in. Get a G35 barrel & have a full-sized .40 to go along w/ your full-sized (albeit strange looking) G34 Franken-nine! …& everything in between!!!
    Grab the mags from 10 rd to 30 in either caliber & they’ll work just fine.
    So for a little extra weight in your kit you have a .40 & 9mm in all shapes & sizes . .

  • Russ March 11, 2015, 2:02 am

    My Top 5
    1. Walther PPQ M1
    2. HK VP9
    3. Glock 17
    4. S&W M&P
    5. Springfield XDM or Ruger SR9 (tie) or make it 6
    These are all great shooters, easy to operate, and made with quality materials

  • denlars March 10, 2015, 1:51 pm

    This is just FYI. I am sixty two years old now (man where did it go?) and have been an ‘old slabsides’ fan since I was old enough to hold one up. I have owned them in .45 and 9. I used a 5″ stainless steel Springfield 1911A1 in 9mm for 10 years in IDPA and never had a failure. Recently I purchased 2 Springfield XDm 9mm with the 4.5 inch barrel and these are the closest polymer handgun to a 1911 I have ever shot. With the 19 + 1 capacity, lighter weight and good trigger I sold all my 1911’s to my son in law (at a family rate of course). Who knows what the future holds but I don’t worry about it. My faith is elsewhere!

  • Gary Schack March 10, 2015, 9:28 am

    Since working as an RO at a Glock meet 2 years ago where I witnessed 2 different gen 4’s fail and sent to the on-sight armorers for repair, I will mike my primary bug-out my HK USP 40. May back that up with a colt 1911 gold cup though, just for “kicks”. Like you I do also appreciate the Springfield for cost and simplicity. You should-a looked at the Sig 229. This string of fire-arms have never, through 10s of thousands of rounds, never failed to send a round down-range

  • BUURGA March 10, 2015, 12:15 am

    The only bug out gun that can handle personal defense, hunting, and ammo conservation is the big bore revolver-period. Most of the pistols mentioned are fine urban/home defense weapons. But they do meet the other needs – how many precious 9mm rounds from your Glock 17 do you thinks you will need to stop that bear? How many people would take a 9mm hunting? And for those who think they’ll be able to ‘scrounge’ for more ammo, don’t count on anything you do not already have. A 357 with 4″ + barrel will do everything you need, and save you a few rounds.

  • Bob March 9, 2015, 9:53 pm

    One change I would make – I would choose the M&P40 over the 9. Along with a conversion barrel it is now dual caliber capable giving you more flexibility and the potential of the combined ammo availability. Heck you can even add a 357 Sig barrel to the mix in the rare chance you come across some of that.

  • Mongo March 9, 2015, 9:24 pm

    I bought an xd9, tactical and love it. I bought an xd9 subcompact for daily carry, just as sweet. Same gun, same mags (got 11 of them), simplicity at its best, if one gun goes down, grab the other and go. For my wife, .357 revolvers and a Rossi lever action in 357/38. She can manage the rifle and pistols well, so grabbing all the ammo for those makes it easier for her to load and shoot. Whatever she loads, even a mix of the two, it’ll still go bang. Don’t forget, bring weapons your lady can handle. Having two revolvers still gives you 12 shots, pull the trigger till it clicks, then pull the next one.
    Most people should have by now stocked up on something, so the best bug out pistol is the one you pick up. Pre-stage guns and ammo ahead of time, everyone should have a 72 hour kit to go. If you can’t or won’t bug out, have a plan to quickly secure/stash the remaining firearms and ammo (6″ PVC w/ end caps, screw caps can make a bunch of stashes simple and easy). Only keep out what you really need; high powered rifle, shotgun, pistol and ammo to feed them.
    Keep your head down and powder dry.

  • john milligan March 9, 2015, 7:29 pm

    i have two in my 3 day assult pack. a .45 cal glock mod 34 and the other a 9 mm bretta 92FS with 18 rnd magazines i have attachments to carry ammunition for my .380 sniper and .223 ar-15 my wife carries all the food and her own .308 carbine. we have places to stage ammunition and food. off the subject, stash stuff in 6-8″ pvc pipe glue a cap on one end and the other a screw cap. use lots of teflon tape and seal again with wax, throw in some desicant bags. bury 1 ft down.

  • usPatriot77 March 9, 2015, 6:07 pm

    I’ll keep my 1911 .45acp and snubnosed 357. Can conceal both of them at the same time and have the range and the firepower for anything i need.

  • Tac March 9, 2015, 5:28 pm

    All these are great choices. I love to shoot and carry 9mm pistols. But in states where 10 rounds is the max, the allure of the 9mm is reduced. Standard 9mm pistols with 15-18 round capacity, become 10 round max guns. So G26 prevails over other 9mm Glocks (more concealable and same capacity at G17 or 19), Also the 45ACP becomes more desirable (6-10 rounds of 45 are nice to have)…Hence a G30 or 36, a 1911, or any of the sorts become pretty decent last resort options.

  • Matt Kimbrough March 9, 2015, 5:09 pm

    I respect all opinions but I’m not bugging out without my Beretta 92FS. 20 years without a failure is good enough for me.

  • Bryant March 9, 2015, 4:50 pm

    If I was going to be bugging out there are 2 pistols that I would grab, first would be my Ruger Speed Six. How exactly is 9mm going to be available when everybody else is shooting one? Give me a 357 any day. Second would be my 10″ T/C Contender in 223. One gun for close work, the other for hunting or defense out past 200 yards.

  • Jay March 9, 2015, 3:11 pm

    Who’s bugging out? Not everyone for sure! Most city dwellers will have to hit the pavement if and when they can but you’ll have to be quick and decisive to get out of dodge! I originally hated the Glock up until I took the leap and bought the 21 many years ago. Still hated the hump in the grip so I remodeled it to my taste and feel but one things for sure, I’ve put every know ammo type in it and it spits it out, you just cant ask for more, especially since it’s on target too! I do however still prefer my 45, 1911. Yep I’m a die hard old goat!

  • Peyton Quinn March 9, 2015, 2:07 pm

    ‘I think the ideal gun would be one with a manual safety as well and at the very least one with a traditional long double action pull on the first shot. Although in normal times sleeping with a hand gun in bed with you is not quite the safest thing to do trying to do this with a Glock or copycat brand is not possible unless the chamber is empty and it will take two hands to charge the weapon as well if needed during an attack. Even the old fashioned single action hammer fired autos can be thumb cocked on the draw ”

    Exactly! Striker fired guns are popular since the Glock marketing machine sold them in such numbers and all but gave them away to PD’s. Bu remember it was designed by Beretta machinists who did so on their on time to produce a high quality striuker fired pistol (the cheapest was to amk pistol is the striker first designed) ,They tried to sell it to Berretta but they said it was too dangerous and th legal liability was too gret to manufacture this striker fired pistol.

    At this time Austria was looking for much less expensive pistol to make than the Steyr GB (19 shot,external hammer delayed blowback pistol).The Beretta machingsi sole their design to Glock.The rest is history and morfe ‘accidental discharges’ with Glocks have been recorded than any other handgun ever sold in history.

    There are some things I like about the Glock for sure, very reliable and natural pointer and I shoot amazingly with them. But the striker fired design is just too dangerous to carry chambered for my tastes and the safety record certainly supports that view. Just eneter ‘Glock Lawsuits” or such into any search engine.The pages go on forever.

    Some of the newer striker fired designs reduce the risk over th Glock but a doubleaction auto with external hammer solved all these problem much more than half century ago.

    And since I am on this tirade, the 45 Acp is not the death ray pople think at all. A 9mm with a jhp bullt and a velocity of1250 to 1350 fps will have better stopping power than .45 at 850 fps in FMJ. And to make a .45 nascp expand a real TSC you need to push it too 1350 or more and that is quite a wallop. and recoil and muzzle flash over a 9mm. IF you want effectiveness along with all that recoil and muzzel flip and flash get a 40 SW anyway

    And no matter what you shoot out of a handgun remember a handgun is a rather light weapon for an animal as large as human being ans seldom stops a person immediately such that they c an’t drfwaw and fired even if fatally hit by your bullett..So plan tactically accordingly and take cover and fire from covr.

    • Will Drider March 10, 2015, 12:58 am

      You said “and morfe ‘accidental discharges’ with Glocks have been recorded than any other handgun ever sold in history.”
      Accidental or negligent discharges? When the trigger is pulled on a properly loaded Glock and it fires, it is functioning as designed and without fault. The user who fires any weapon while not intending to is at fault. Whether the user inadvertly depresses the trigger/safety with their finger or pushing against an object protruding into the trigger guard, it is still the users fault. Same applies to all other firearms safeties included. Please educate us of all the self fireing Glocks you speak of. Maybe a recall is needed.

  • RJ March 9, 2015, 2:03 pm

    I personally prefer a Glock – Sig 40 S&W with Lone Wolf conversion barrel in 9mm and a .357/.38 4″ revolver and a carbine with over-under barrels in .22 long rifle and 20 gauge like the the excellent discontinued Savage/Stevens Model 24. An M4 AR 223/5.56 would round out the group. A semi-auto multiple caliber high capacity pistol, a backup multi-caliber revolver, a survival rimfire/shotgun carbine and the mil-spec AR M4 with room for “Dobbie” my “got my back” four legged friend.

  • law dawg March 9, 2015, 1:51 pm

    The one thing you must all do and it was already said…hide yourself, your ammo, your guns, and food. This is a must…..

  • greg March 9, 2015, 1:39 pm

    Why would you need to grab and pack stuff in a hurry? Isn’t your SHTF bag already packed? I’m heading for the hills instantly with the stuff already in my car, and if I have time to leave my house, a mountain bike is going inside or on top for the inevitable traffic jam. bug out bags are backpacks that can be worn while riding.

  • Greg March 9, 2015, 1:11 pm

    The Sig P229 in 40 S&W (newer model) can take any magazine the P226 will. You can get a 22lr conversion, a 357 Sig conversion barrel, and a 9mm conversion barrel. 1 reliable gun 4 calibers, shoot whatever ammo you can find until you get a rifle.
    I also assume the author is basing this on living in the USA, because worldwide, there MAY be more CZ75’s out there. I am going to have to try one of the posters suggestion of putting a variety of magazines in my CZ75. If it takes Beretta, Sig and other mags, then it would be my second choice. I love my 1911’s and striker fired polymer guns, but a low recoil 9mm with 19 rounds of Gold Dot or Winchester Ranger is what I would grab first. The CZ is all steel and would make a pretty effective club if you run out of ammo.

    • greg March 9, 2015, 1:16 pm

      There may not be as many CZ’s as glocks, but there are clones and multiple variants that take the same magazines.

  • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:11 pm

    All excellent pistols. I’ve used the P226 and still own a Glock G19 and G17. I can own any pistol I want and after 50 years of shooting and using them on the job, the Glock 17 and 19, are the best handguns around. Although not part of this pick, I still keep (2) K-frame S&W .357s and (2) J-frame centennials. After decades of having several score of handguns I’ve thinned the heard (an hair). The G17 I was issued performed exceptionally well. After reaching a recorded 22,000 rounds of +P+ ammo I simply stopped counting. I guess I went to 35,000 when the department finally issued me a Glock 34. Glock in the second and third generation are exceptional pistols. The Gen 1 and Gen 4 Glocks are simply OK once the recalls corrected the issues. The more complex recoil spring system in the G22 leaves me cold, as it has more parts to fail. The issues with premature wear on the .40 S&W chambered pistols is well known. With modern ammo the 9mm will do well in any gun battle where a pistol makes sense to use. Some have suggested the CZ-75-type pistols. Unless they have improved the ones I used in years past showed poor durability, and are too large for most people to use in the DA mode. Add a couple AR-type rifles and you can do just about anything imaginable, except for shooting birds on the wing.
    The authors picks are quite reasonable.

  • Entheo March 9, 2015, 1:06 pm

    I’d have to vote for the venerable Taurus Judge as the ideal bug out pistol. Probably the most versatile weapon one could chose with the smallest “footprint”. Larger game can be taken with the .45 LC or .410 slug while birdshot in .410 can be used to bring down some feathered fare for the stew pot. This is an all purpose pistol that will defend with the best of em while putting food on the camp table. Try that with your 9mm’s. Note: while I do have 9mm pistols, the Judge or Raging Judge is on my list of most wanted weapons especially after shooting one!

  • Clayborn Lewis March 9, 2015, 1:04 pm

    your one thing all you guys that want to bug out and get ready for bug out need to remember when you’re out of bullets you’re out of gunpowder and the world has gone to hell you’re not going to go buy bullets you’re not going to be able to make your own bullets so get yourself a high powered air rifle and I’ll add a little mold for melting led and remaking pellets for your air rifle and a hand and you will always be able to get food and maybe no one will hear you out in the woods with your Big Bang gun you will be heard you will not be heard whether 177 rifle and rabbit for dinner keep that in mind bugout fellows

  • Been there, Done that March 9, 2015, 12:50 pm

    I love this kind of stuff, nothing anybody else has to say is going to change anyone’s mind, we all have what we want and aren’t gonna change our minds.
    Case in point, I own a stack of 1911’s in most every cal. both single stack and wide-body, I’ve owned pretty much everything else in my life, I’ve shot in competition for over 30 years and at the end of the day, use what ya brought.

    I recently bought a Lone Wolf AR in 40 S&W that uses Glock mags, I bought a G35 and a 23, plus 9mm bbls and mags, I wanted a combo set up that was as useful as possible for a ” End of days” event, I wanted the .40 because every LEO from small town USA to the Feds carry the .40 and almost all use Glocks.

    The beauty of getting old is that now I don’t plan to run anywhere, here I be, here I stand and I have a ton of other things around me, I like this new plan, hunker in place and bring doom on those who come to take, I did my running around in the boonies eating snakes when I was a young Marine, now I’m an old fart and sit on the porch with a shotgun and a cold beer and wish all you folks good luck out there chasing rabbits while ducking the new ” Redcoats”.

    • John March 10, 2015, 8:51 am

      As one old fart to another ” Amen Brother “. I do not foresee my self running anywhere. 12 ga, 9mm, 30-06, and a Butt load of 22lr. A wise man once said ” Here I Be and Here I Stand “. Keep the Faith and Stay the Course.

    • Bickkel March 10, 2015, 2:29 pm

      Done That:
      You’re entirely right that half the comments on these “The 10 Best Anythings” type of articles ignore the criteria that the authors use in selecting their lists. We would rather continue to believe that our current handguns are “the best” regardless of any new or different circumstances.

  • John March 9, 2015, 12:27 pm

    All good guns, mostly just personal preference. I don’t prefer external safeties, while my brother does; I like my Glock 19, he likes his XD.

    If you shoot it well, then there you go.

  • Roger March 9, 2015, 12:18 pm

    I think I will stick to my wheels, I may only have 6 shots before reload but at least I don’t have to worry about jams or lost clips. I prefer a .357 for its weight/knockdown factor. Also there is the option of using .38 ammo and both seem to be in adequate supply.

  • shinerdesertdog March 9, 2015, 11:44 am

    Am just filling the truck with every gun I own and all the ammo. Then I will head out in to the woods and open up the first gun store of the new age. I will be rich.

  • jtns March 9, 2015, 11:06 am

    if you lose any pistol’s magazines you are left with a boat anchor. i prefer revolvers, and ruger single action convertibles (357/38 &9mm, 22lr & 22wmr, possibly 45lc & 45acp) at that. why? besides the clear ability to use a variety of scrounged ammo, one avoids the whole black gun stereotype that may invite confiscation. ruger single actions are built like tanks. shooting and especially reloading single actions are indeed slow, but practicing at a slower pace means better shot placement, no spray and pray ammo wastage, easier weak hand operation if injured, quicker instruction if you have firearms-ignorant persons helping you. finally, a true shtf survival situation is more about escape and evasion, not about combat where indeed a pistol would shine.

  • Dant March 9, 2015, 10:52 am

    The Keltec PMR-30 with its 30 round capacity in 22 magnum and two spare magazines gives you 91 rounds.

  • Buck O'Fama March 9, 2015, 10:21 am

    Ah, another “TOP FIVE!!!!!” list. Recently, I saw an article entitled “TOP 20 MOST MISUNDERSTOOD SONG LYRICS!!!!!”, and actually LOLed. Or is that LedOL? Someone had made up yet another “TOP!!!!” list. And I had to wonder where they got their information.

    So, I will toss in my .02 and say Ruger P95. After putting 5,000+ flawless rounds through my first, I bought two more. It’s a tank in your hand. But alas, like “Deadwood” and “Longmire”, the maker was flummoxed by their own success, and cancelled it. Shame on you, Ruger, for jumping aboard the Glock-esque cloning bandwagon.

    p.s. My input is somewhat jaded, as I’ve bugged out as far as I’m gonna go. I live in the Rockies, and my carry is a Colt 1911 (yes, .45 ACP). In a former life, the P95 was a mainstay of my truck’s BOB.

    • Ken Carwile March 9, 2015, 12:44 pm

      I agree with the P95. I had one for about 15 years and sold it to a friend who really wanted it. I’ll find another soon. I wander why the Sig P320 wasn’t listed? I have a medium carry and have put a lot of rounds through it without problems. It’s simple and you can convert it to 4 cals. We also live in the sticks and wouldn’t know any place better to go to.

  • Mike K March 9, 2015, 10:14 am

    I agree completely with the other 1911 people but, one comment on your list. I firmly believe that if the XD series came out before the Glock, there would be no Glock today. Glock makes a good gun, no doubt, but the XD series has it beat in every aspect. It has more safety features and a far better trigger. The XD doesn’t feel like you’re holding a two by four in your hand and the disassembly is much more logical and easier. I know! Glock ownership is a religion. I didn’t say it’s a bad gun. But, as a police firearms instructor of many years, I just feel that the XD is a better all around pistol. With that said, and cost not involved in the decision, I’ll take a Sig over either.

  • Marc March 9, 2015, 10:10 am

    I would take ar 2 9 s and 22 cover all

  • Roger Griggs March 9, 2015, 10:02 am

    All good choices but with so many variables on the market, each of us probably already have our choices in our gun safes. To complicate matters, for each gun I own and for that matter, each pistol on this list, I find factors that would deter me from choosing them as “bug-out pistols”. As for the novice, this article & comments are informative; for me, very good reading.

  • paul March 9, 2015, 9:53 am

    I would take my CZ-75 SP-01 tactical 9mm, 18+1 mag field strip easier than a 1911, @ 25yds I placed my 18 rounds on A(center mass) in a official USPSA silhouette target, I will take her any day.

    • Mike K March 9, 2015, 10:19 am

      CZ makes a great gun, no doubt, and I would put it on par with a 1911 that has had a little attention from a gunsmith. But if I could have only one, my 55 years of professional experience says take the 1911 in .45 ACP, thank you. With that said, I would not be terribly unhappy if only the CZ were available.

  • Mikey March 9, 2015, 9:53 am

    Let’s face it, those people who are reading this article already have The guns that they will bugout with. You can forget about spare parts unless you have food or women to trade. Or if you’re planning on being an outlaw and steal the parts. I will grab my guns and
    holsters a long range high power rifle and a bow. I will bury the
    Other guns in ammo cans packed with grease. I have been thinking about buying some cheapo guns to trade for laundry service from the liberals who
    have voted against gun rights.

  • Will Drider March 9, 2015, 9:46 am

    SHTF Bugout. Please explain just where all this available 9mm ammo can be found? A abandoned military base, I don’t think so. This often touted 9mm availability is pure B/S. If your getting it from a fallen civ “shooter” you get his 9mm handgun anyway.
    On the other hand almost all LE carry Glock 22 with 40 S&W. So fallen LE and evacuated LE Stations are a source for ammo, mags and additional G 22s that you have already trained with.
    The G35 takes the same ammo/mags and has enhanced features. Add night sights and your ready.

  • petru sova March 9, 2015, 9:44 am

    Unfortunately all of your choices were wrong. One must remember than in a catastrophic situation concealment will be even more important than in a normal situation and that the catastrophic situation is far more likely to occur during the hot summer months because that is when the weather is most likely to become extremely violent. In winter we do have storms but people tend to be bottled up to seek warmth.

    In such situations Law Enforcement will tend to confiscate all weapons to protect themselves and law or no law it will be ignored just as it happened during Katrina and despite the re-form law passed since this too will be conveniently ignored in a future Katrina even it takes place in the same city so the concealment factor is critical. Also during a disaster normal people will be frightened if they know you have a weapon and the scum bags will also take any weapon they see that is available including killing you to get yours. So once again concealment is paramount which leaves out your Sig P226 choice.

    Ah ha? But how about your choice of the Glock 19, that is concealable you say. Yes I agree but it is not a good choice as if you lose or do not have time to take a holster with you the super dangerous designed Glock has to be carried with the chamber empty or it will go off in your pocket or in your waist band. Just handling the weapon in times of stress is a bad idea with a round in the chamber as well because a slight snag of the trigger sets it off.

    I do agree with the 9mm caliber but not because you will be able to get spare ammo, you will not. No one is going to give you ammo or will any ammo be available either, what you have at the time is all you will have during the crisis. I agree with the 9mm because most have greater firepower and most people shoot more accurately with them because of the mild recoil especially under the stress of life or death situations and like it or not the big bore boys should look at this months article in Sho tGun News on the 9mm and the FBI findings as to the comparisons of actual shootings with the different calibers. The FBI found that caliber is largely irrelevant with todays modern developed and improved handgun ammo. The 9mm is cheaper to buy so you will probably have more on hand if a catastrophic situation arises. In other words when during a non-crisis you will be more likely to have bought and stored more 9mm than the more expensive rounds.

    I think the ideal gun would be one with a manual safety as well and at the very least one with a traditional long double action pull on the first shot. Although in normal times sleeping with a hand gun in bed with you is not quite the safest thing to do trying to do this with a Glock or copycat brand is not possible unless the chamber is empty and it will take two hands to charge the weapon as well if needed during an attack. Even the old fashioned single action hammer fired autos can be thumb cocked on the draw but with the hammer down can be kept loaded while sleeping but again this would only be done during an extreme crisis situation. Some more modern autos have manual safeties and well as exposed hammers and are double and single action. Again a gun of this type could be slept with as well.

    My first choice would probably be for the compact version of the CZ 75 compact series or even sub-compact series.

    Second choice although this is pushing it because of the slightly increased size would be the Walther P99 or HK P30S (manual safety)

    The Sig P228 or P229 is small enough to fit the bill but has no manual safety.

    And last but not least the Walther PPK or PPK/S versions that were MADE IN EUROPE ONLY are very concealable and lethal with modern ammo in both .380 acp and yes even in .32 acp and they have manual safeties as well making them very safe to handle, carry or even sleep with in an extreme emergency.

  • mka March 9, 2015, 9:41 am

    Don’t forget a good air rifle which will kill small game with little noise. Pellets are cheap also.

  • Roy March 9, 2015, 8:54 am

    Everyone has a favorite, and I cannot disagree with anything on this list. I initially had a gut reaction to the M&P but the annotation cured that concern. However, very rarely considered, I think largely based on numbers produced, this list should include the IWI BE99 (Baby Eagle) – it strips like a 1911 so it easy to clean and maintain, has a 15 round mag w/1 in the chamber, and ambidextrous de-cocking safety (I shoot left, my wife shoots right, and as your article points out, there needs to be consideration for family members who may need to use the weapon). I own two, one full size steel frame and a mid-size poly frame. While I and my wife (who is only 5’4″) both prefer the feel and handling of the full size steel frame, make no mistake, if the SHTF, that 3.9″ poly goes in the bag first and if time and weight allow, I am grabbing the 4.5″ steel frame for a backup.

  • RAM 6 March 9, 2015, 8:43 am

    I would grab my Taurus Millenium G2 9MM. I have one mag in and one spare already fully loaded. If time I would take my Remington .22 rifle also fully loaded and as many boxes of shells for both as possible to carry quickly. I’d like to take my 12 guage but you can only carry so much and 5 shots in a 12 guage don’t go very far. Deadly but limited. But the handgun would be my top priority.

  • Greg Smith March 9, 2015, 8:36 am

    I find it difficult to believe 40 cal ammo would be more available than the combination of 38 spec and 357, both fitting the same ubiquitous revolver. Yea, yea, I know, there is that ammo capacity thingy, but I continue to believe in the reliability of revolvers rain or shine even though I own more semi-autos than revolvers.

  • Lou March 9, 2015, 8:34 am

    I like those choices for me BUT!
    The bugout for my wife is the Kel-Tec PMR30. Very accurate and I can get her to shoot it regularly.
    Small game, carries LOTS of ammo, light weight.
    Mine, Springfield XD45.

  • Dana March 9, 2015, 8:29 am

    Glock fan boy alert! #1 AND #2 out of five – seriously?!?

  • Magicrooster March 9, 2015, 8:25 am

    Why has no one mentioned a long gun AND a hand gun that use the same ammo? I have that capability in 9mm (Sig 226/PSA M4 carbine in 9mm ), 38/357( Dan Wesson model 15-2 357/ Henry lever carbine), or 44 special/44mag (S&W 629/ Henry lever carbine). These hand guns are all good to 50 yds. easily, and the long guns 100 yds. If you have to bug out, one ammo and two reliable guns would be my choice. Short sightedness will kill you quicker than a mechanical malfunction, in my humble opinion.

    • Big Toe March 9, 2015, 11:44 am

      Because the article was about handguns.

  • Jim March 9, 2015, 7:41 am

    What I consider the best SHTF pistol is a Glock 22 or a Glock 23 because you can get a 9mm conversion barrel for either of them. Then get a flat plastic fishing lure box with individual slots to put the 9mm or 40 cal barrel & standard mags in. This allows me to shoot either 9mm or 40 cal ammunition. I also should mention Glock has some very high capacity mags ( 28 & 30 round ) available for either pistol when times get really tough. Lots of versatility in a small package. There will be larger groups of people wanting to take what you have.

  • codie sipe March 9, 2015, 7:07 am

    A 357 magnum is your best choice, 38spl is a common round still today and if you think a 9mm or a 40 is going to stop a bear from attacking? No Its not, I almost lost my life cause of it. If your bugging out you want something rugged and reliable that requires less cleaning.

  • Jim March 9, 2015, 6:38 am

    These are prolly all good , but the bottom line is whatever you can shoot well yourself is what works.. Me I will stick with my XDM 9mm compact, I carry two, with a capacity of 14rd each with the flush magazine, and these shoot awesome…

  • Gary Crispens March 9, 2015, 6:22 am

    I think the Kel Tec PMR 30 is a great choice when you consider the high powered 22 Magnum hollow points that are available. It has a 30 round magazine, is VERY lightweight and you can easily carry 500 rounds of ammo in your backpack. Try that with a 9mm or 45!!!

    • Damon March 9, 2015, 4:34 pm

      I was thinking the same thing. 120 rounds in 4 magazines? Sounds like just the thing for a bug out gun.

  • Dave March 9, 2015, 6:20 am

    I like the Glock G27. Really accurate and can use all of the Glock .40 magazines. Also I think the G27 has about the same felt recoil as the Glock G26, so I would prefer the .40 caliber.

    • bicycle boy March 11, 2015, 11:51 pm

      I love my Glock 22 in .40 and have ammo stashed away. I’m with Dave, plus a 22 lr and you’ll be OK.

  • HundredDollarDave March 9, 2015, 5:51 am

    The RIA .22TCM also has a 9mm barrel. Two guns in one. When the SHTF and you bug out, what will you come home to? I’d rather stay and protect what I’ve got.

    • George March 9, 2015, 8:28 am

      I never seen that gun how Manny rounds does it carry it shoots 22 and 9mm that sounds cool

  • Vinny (not your cousin) March 9, 2015, 2:53 am

    I have to agree with the writer, you cant beat a Glock 17. 9mm is hands down the most plentiful handgun ammunition (say in an scavenging scenario) Glock as a brand is excellent because it works and its dirt cheap, no complicated safeties or decockers which in high stress situations can hinder your ability to get off the very critical first shot, and you can easily teach a child to use one because of this.

  • teebonicus March 8, 2015, 8:22 pm

    Conspicuously absent is the Beretta M9 (92FS).

    I’ve shot the Glock. AAMOF, I have one (M27). But my Beretta is the easiest to shoot accurately, holds more rounds, and parts are widely available due to its military proliferation.

    Overlooking the Beretta was a major oversight.

  • Christina March 8, 2015, 7:02 pm

    Interesting read!

    I am curious to know how this was measured. Was this article written out of your own personal experiences with the above or did you pull stats/reports on how often certain makes/models were taken to a gunsmith for repair?

  • Concerned Citizen March 8, 2015, 12:00 am

    During the ammo runs 9mm was no where to be found. There was usually .357 Mag/38Spl, .40, and sometimes .45 on the shelf though. I don’t own any 9mm guns and see no need for them. I’d rather have a .22lr than a 9mm.

    • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 2:01 pm

      Where did you find .22 LR ammo? I could buy all the 9mm I wanted, often for less than the rare .22 LR of questionable origin.

    • Bikkel March 10, 2015, 2:13 pm

      Citizen, the reason there was no 9mm on the shelf is the very point the author is making – it is far and away one of the most prevalent rounds. Are you expecting to stock up at Walmart for .357 after SHTF?

  • What I know March 7, 2015, 3:12 pm

    WHY

    #3 – Smith & Wesson M&P 9*

    Why are all of the gun writers in love the Smith & Wesson M&P piece of shit.

    Its like they are payed to be in love with them.

    What about a 1911.

    • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 2:00 pm

      Because the S&W M&P is a fine pistol that is well engineered to function and it fits the hand of more shooters. There is a lot to be said about having a well fitted, light weight and high capacity pistol. Even several of the leading pistol instructors have come around to loving the pistols that share those features. M1911s are heavy, have heavy ammo, and in the real world are not superior in stopping power to other calibers. Historical mythology doesn’t make the war stories true.

      • Russ March 12, 2015, 11:11 pm

        Well Kivaari, he asked, and you schooled him.
        It’s 2015 (WIK), 1911 was long ago, snap out of it and enjoy the ergonomic and lightweight effectiveness of modern firearms.
        1. Lighter
        2. cheaper
        3. higher capacity
        4. better fit
        5. easier field strip & assembly
        5 more reliable
        What’s not to love?

  • mike bellofatto March 7, 2015, 10:28 am

    i think in my humble opinion your list is pretty good but,what do you think of having somekind of rimfire around for hunting of small game the less attention you attract the better plus you wouldn’t want waste your bigger rounds for small game.really i think they do a lot of jobs well.i personally have a 10/22 takedown that i would take with me.before someone says something i know its rifle and i know ammo been tough but jut wanted to get other peoples opinion on the rimfire thing.that being said i have m&p40 full size and shield in 9

    • R Brown March 8, 2015, 1:50 pm

      Agreed. There\’s a time and place for the big dogs but .22LR is extremely practical.

      • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:51 pm

        The .22 LR suffers from not being sealed against moisture. A better choice is the .22 Magnum. Much more water resistant.

  • KoogarKiller March 7, 2015, 8:51 am

    Good list .. I would have to give the #1 spot to the CZ sp-01 tho .. it out shoots the G17, is just as reliable, has way less recoil and comes with 19 round mags

  • Paul March 6, 2015, 10:08 pm

    I will stick with my XD.45, nice list , but my 45 tops them all.

  • Mike G March 6, 2015, 12:54 pm

    I’ll stand by my Beretta’s, M-9 and Nano for back-up. If SHTF really I wouldn’t leave the house without a long gun.

  • Jeff March 6, 2015, 10:04 am

    I love how everyone wants to talk about how much ammo they can carry. If you need more than a few magazines full that means you’re getting into extended firefights on multiple occasions in which case someone’s going to have a rifle and it’s gonna be game over for you. The key to long-term survival in that situation is stealth and concealment.

    • Al March 6, 2015, 1:03 pm

      Your last statement is spot-on and sums it up. A handgun buys you time to get to a bigger gun or make your escape to a safe place (if you can find one). I feel if you pack one on the move for long term, you’re more likely to need it for small game where stealth is the protocol (not much meat on a sparrow after a .45 or 9mm round hits it). For home protection indoors, ready access and engaging a wolf pack of predatory invaders, all the top five are excellent choices.

    • R Brown March 8, 2015, 1:31 pm

      I would agree…a .22lR can ruin anyone\’s day.

    • Uncle Nat March 10, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Not to mention, with martial law any of these weapons will make you considered an unlawful belligerent and land you in jail…or worse. Better keep you heads low when the SHTF for real.

  • Big Red March 6, 2015, 12:56 am

    I will stick with H&K n Baretta 9f

  • Mark N. March 6, 2015, 12:27 am

    What surprised me the most is that 4 out of 5 are available to California buyers. Only the M&P9 has gone by the wayside (but we still get Shields). Of course, none of ours have capacity in excess of 10 rounds.

  • Scott March 5, 2015, 11:52 pm

    i would think that the 1911 is the most popular handgun ever made, therefore more parts would be readily available for it.

    • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:49 pm

      The M1911 is popular. It doesn’t show up at many local matches, and those that do usually leave the field with malfunctions. It seems the higher the initial cost the lower they perform. I HAD around 15 M1911 variants. I will take a Glock 17 over all of them.

  • Wise Sullivan March 5, 2015, 11:05 pm

    I have one thing to say. How can you call yourself a writer, say they are all 9mm, then have the number 4 gun be a 40cal. Brilliant writing. Lmao

    • M March 6, 2015, 10:19 am

      Direct quote: “With one exception, they are all 9mm’s.”

      You should reread the article before critiquing it…
      Brilliant reading comprehension. Lmao

    • Ed March 9, 2015, 2:29 pm

      One advantage of the Glock 23 gen4 40 is you can with the lone wolf 9mm barrel change from 40 to 9 is less than a minutes time. Just carry in your pocket.

  • Brotherej March 5, 2015, 9:59 pm

    Surprised the XD-40 made it over the XDM-9 didn’t make it with its 19+1 capacity

  • preston March 5, 2015, 9:42 pm

    No 1911? I’ll take mine in any situation over a glock. Time and battle tested.

    • R March 8, 2015, 1:21 pm

      Agreed brother…

    • Michael E. Hensley March 9, 2015, 4:15 am

      Totally Agree!!

    • Mark March 9, 2015, 11:12 am

      1911s are fun and I own them but I will take ANY Glock over a 1911 if SHTF.

      • Devin March 14, 2015, 7:43 pm

        1911s are what you show your friends. Glocks are what you show your enemies.

        • Russ March 15, 2015, 9:44 pm

          Thanks Devin, that quote is a keeper.

  • Rod March 5, 2015, 9:41 pm

    I have 4 out of 5 of these. Good to know Im ready!

  • Michael Meyer March 5, 2015, 9:37 pm

    Wow no M92fs, but yea this is a good list, I have a M&P9 and love it.

  • Peter Scarborough March 5, 2015, 9:10 pm

    If I am taking one I have, it would be my Taurus 40 S&W. If I am buying something for the purpose, it would be a .45.

  • Jim Smith March 5, 2015, 7:52 pm

    Have no trouble finding .357Mag or .45ACP ammo. Still not a fan of 9MM.

    • Mark March 9, 2015, 11:10 am

      John Smith; then you either don’t, or refuse to understand ballistics. Are you also one of the Luddites who believe a snub-nose .357 loaded with five shots of .357 magnum is superior to a 6+1 9mm pocket size semi-auto in terms of “stopping” potential?

      I’ll answer that for you. The .357 was NEVER designed to be fired from a 2″ barrel and even “Short Barrel” .357 loads have less energy (and therefore less ability to penetrate) than any of the pocket 9mm’s produce with STANDARD ammo.

    • willowa March 9, 2015, 11:48 am

      I agree. .357 from a short bbl less damaging than a nine, as the other ‘commenter’ says, I don’t think so!

  • Phillip Halfhide March 5, 2015, 3:06 pm

    I think the G19 and G17 should tie for #1 I have both and the advantage is the G19 can use G17 magazines so the firepower is equally the same the only difference is the slide length. And you can put a G17 barrel in a G19 and it will work. Also the internal parts on both are interchangeable.

  • jay March 5, 2015, 3:01 pm

    i’m sure these are all outstanding choices, but if i have to rely on one handgun in an emergency, it’s going to be a .45.

  • Trunkmnky March 5, 2015, 12:35 pm

    The real question maybe what out of your 5 top picks sold the most over the last few years. Glocks are extremely plentiful and so are the parts – Hence back to glock again.

  • Jeff March 5, 2015, 12:22 pm

    Defiantly agree with number 1 –

  • Al March 5, 2015, 12:14 pm

    Nice collection. But if you cannot afford these guns and you’re on the run I would not rule out a Heritage Arms Roughrider single shot revolver with a 6 1/2″ barrel for hunting small game. It also comes with a .22 mag cylinder. The advantage is if you’re retreating and on the move you can take a brick of .22’s and some CB caps, and it also seems .22 magnum ammo will always be plentiful even when .22lr is not. While you could press it into service as a self-defense handgun you’ll have to change your tactics. Easy to handle, you can pick one up for around $200. I wouldn’t overlook it as a survival option for the long haul.

    • Rick March 7, 2015, 4:20 am

      I love the idea of a dual cylinder revolver.. Howwever the Heritage reliability cares. I personnally was handling one in a gunn store, pllacing it at halfcock. The cylinder, hammer and trigger all locked up. I couldn’t free it,,nor couuld the ownner gunsmith. He boxed it up on the spot for return.

      • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:28 pm

        The single action revolvers that lock up like that usually have the cylinder pin slightly pulled out. Usually you just push the base pin and wiggle the cylinder to free it. Then return it to its proper position and it is running again. The zine frames on those revolvers is junk. Even a Colt .22 revolver with a zinc frame is junk. Get a steel or stainless steel frame (like a Ruger Single Six) and they go forever.

    • Rick March 7, 2015, 4:22 am

      I have never heard the Glock 19 described as “thin” before.

    • Steven March 9, 2015, 5:34 am

      Better be a crack shot – and a very sneaky bastard – if you are going with a single-action, pull-pin 22. Has to have a swing-out cylinder, or top -break action.

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude March 9, 2015, 8:05 am

      AL, i regret that as usual i have to bust somebody’s SHTF bubble with certain things but i can’t help it. You gotta bust the myths before they get you hurt, especially in a survival or combat situation. First of all, any single shot/single action will be nothing more than useless weight slowing you down to get you killed faster. Secondly in a real bad breakdown, the more you try hunting, which will be a total waste of time because animals aren’t as stupid as people and when the rural areas become knee deep in retreating poachers the game, or what’s left of it, will go hiding and nocturnal. So you won’t be seeing any easy prey like you do during Federalized deer season. But YOU certainly will make yourself a big easy target stomping around trying to do some WABBIT Hunting as if you’re even going to have the time,LOL! And a group of two legged predators hear your squirrel pops and know just where to find you then, only they’ll be all armed with AKs and ARs and might take the Heritage Arms pistol they take off your perforated carcass and trade it for some moonshine to celebrate the kill!. Amazing how much stupid movies shape our thinking. Do NOT worry about ‘Hunting’ animals for food as a criteria for your choice of primary SHTF firearms. Think WEAPON, first and foremost. And don’t delude yourself about ammo ‘availability’ If you think it suddenly getes hard to get now every time the regime starts flexing its gun confiscation muscles do you really believe that .22 magnum will ‘always plentiful’! If you do, i got some good swamp land in lower FLorida to sell you, cheap?
      built in Alligator perimeter security 24/7

      The big problem with all this Prepper/Survivalist stuff is that there is so much bullshit put out TO so many BY so many more delusionists who don’t know Jack about reality scenarios. Get your mind and situational strategy straight first, then worry about equipment. Nsothing completely prepares you for everything. But you don’t have to get ‘stupid’ about it.

      Trade that stupid Heritage for one of the 5 pistols mentioned above with extra mags if all you intend to have is a pistol, instead of a lightweight AR carbine.

      • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:45 pm

        Good points. My suggestion is to have “real guns” and have the small caliber revolver as an accessory. Chances are you are right about the numbers of game and other varmints over stressing the hunting grounds. Many people think that they will bundle up the kids and hit the woods. Around here that’s easy as the wilderness is within 100 yards of my window. It is covered with deer and elk much of the year. When the fan gets hit, they will be gone. I suggest to those living in small towns to stay put. My little town has year around water. Firewood is there if you have the strength and tools to get it. Your own pets and those of your neighbors may be a primary food source for a short time. We already support the diets of coyote, wolf and cougars with neighborhood animals.
        Having food stocks, wood and water within 100-500 yards makes staying put more logical. If you live in a metro area, you are probably screwed.
        The next thing is to know your county emergency management plan. All the fear of FEMA and mass graves are included in that plan. Don’t let the photos of concrete or plastic burial vaults cause fear. People post those pictures and think the government is getting read y to use them. Trust me, when the time comes for mass graves the government will not be using those them. If luck they will have fuel for a back hoe and will dig orderly graves in an effort to stop spreading diseases.
        The mayor of your small town will be the one to assemble self defense forces – at least under the existing law. Then you and your trusted neighbors will be given the task of defending your community until outside forces (FEMA) gets organized enough to start food and medical supplies delivered.
        If it gets to a Mad Max time, most of us will be dead and if lucky buried. It’s at that time the cooler heads will organize a local government. You need to be armed and ready to do your part, and let’s hope it is on the right side.

        • Bruce Steger March 10, 2015, 4:50 pm

          I have a 30 06 auto rifle with 3 X 9 Nicon scope and a Savage pump 12 guage shotgun for hunting but my S&W 22 mag 8 inch barrel revolver on my hip. I have a good spot in the Sierra mountains FAR(40 miles) from any one with good water, some protection from wind/weather and large herds/flocks. About 450 acres of great soil along the river to plant crops. PLENTY of amunition and three other couples that will be there with us at this bug out sight. Plus the sight is easyly defended because it is high ground! It is possible this sight is unknown because I see NO litter and no disterbed follage (from other parties). Planning??

    • Mahatma Muhjesbude March 9, 2015, 8:17 am

      AL, i regret that as usual i have to bust somebody’s SHTF bubble with certain things but i can’t help it. You gotta bust the myths before they get you hurt, especially in a survival or combat situation. First of all, any single shot/single action will be nothing more than useless weight slowing you down to get you killed faster. Secondly in a real bad breakdown, the more you try hunting, which will be a total waste of time because animals aren’t as stupid as people and when the rural areas become knee deep in retreating poachers the game, or what’s left of it, will go hiding and nocturnal. So you won’t be seeing any easy prey like you do during Federalized deer season. But YOU certainly will make yourself a big easy target stomping around trying to do some WABBIT Hunting as if you’re even going to have the time,LOL! And a group of two legged predators hear your squirrel pops and know just where to find you then, only they’ll be all armed with AKs and ARs and might take the Heritage Arms pistol they take off your perforated carcass and trade it for some moonshine to celebrate the kill!. Amazing how much stupid movies shape our thinking. Do NOT worry about ‘Hunting’ animals for food as a criteria for your choice of primary SHTF firearms. Think WEAPON, first and foremost. Any true ‘survivalist’ knows you won’t be giving away your position by blasting at bambis and such in the woods. If you were so stupid as to not prepare enough stock up or a self sufficient food supply and have to ‘eat off the land’, you will be SILENTLY TRAPPING the critters, NOT wasting valuable ammo. And don’t delude yourself about ammo ‘availability’ If you think it suddenly getes hard to get now every time the regime starts flexing its gun confiscation muscles do you really believe that .22 magnum will ‘always plentiful’! If you do, i got some good swamp land in lower FLorida to sell you, cheap?
      built in Alligator perimeter security 24/7

      The big problem with all this Prepper/Survivalist stuff is that there is so much bullshit put out TO so many BY so many more delusionists who don’t know Jack about reality scenarios. Get your mind and situational strategy straight first, then worry about equipment. Nsothing completely prepares you for everything. But you don’t have to get ‘stupid’ about it.

      Trade that stupid Heritage for one of the 5 pistols mentioned above with extra mags if all you intend to have is a pistol, instead of a lightweight AR-15 5.56 carbine.

      • Mike Beckham March 9, 2015, 10:45 am

        I agree with Mahatma here. When speaking of bug-out handguns, nothing beats a proven high capacity 9mm in my opinion. I love my .357’s and .38’s and .45’s and so on, but in a SHTF senario, I want as much firepower as I can get, as well as cheap and plentiful ammo. The 9mm delivers on both counts. I won’t argue that the .45 has a higher percentage of 1-shot kills etc.. That doesn’t matter in an all out everyman for himself catastrophe. You need bullets, and lots of them. I also agree on having a high capacity semi-auto carbine for the same senario. My first choice is an AK, but I also have and shoot an AR. If single shot pistols and lever guns were the way to go, the military would be using them. (Not that I don’t love both, I do.)

  • Mike March 5, 2015, 11:54 am

    Hard to argue against any of these… If I had to bug out and had any of these on my hip I would feel OK.

    The Glock 17 would be my first choice. Add a Ruger LCR in 9mm in an ankle holster, you could deal with anything you might run across until things calmed down.

    • Tony B March 8, 2015, 11:14 am

      I would do the G26 in the ankle. can share magazines and no additional training for family/friends on operation or cleaning

    • Dean March 9, 2015, 8:17 am

      No revolver? You should have at least mentioned one quality 38/357 in the choices. I’ll take my CZ75 over any of the autos listed. Did you know that a CZ75 will accept not only CZ mags but Beretta, Sig, Desert Eagle, etc mags? If the world goes to heck and in a handbasket I can stick almost anything in it.

      • Kevin March 9, 2015, 11:22 am

        You did not read the introduction paragraphs and especially the second paragraph where he states the following: “I am presenting this list in countdown order, so we’re going to start from the bottom. With one exception, they are all 9mm’s. While you might beat your chest about how that .357 magnum or 10mm is far superior, good luck finding ammo. I want the odds of any ammo I find fitting my gun to be high, and with 9mm they will be. And I love .45 ACP as much as anyone, but it’s heavy and bulky in addition to less available. Simple cost/benefit decision. No, for survival in the unknown it needs to be 9mm.”

        So in here you will notice he does in fact mention .357 magnum caliber and he does give the reason why for not including it on the list.

        • willowa March 9, 2015, 11:40 am

          The .357 ammo may be hard to find, not so much the .38 special. The versatility of a .357 is apparently not taken into account. There are probably a dozen different loads (.357 & .38 spec) available, not to mention a shotshell, which not only makes the usage more versatile, but ups the odds of finding ammo.

          • Kivaari March 9, 2015, 1:22 pm

            The .357 revolver has its place. In face to face confrontations the revolver can keep its own for 6 rounds. If it was not for the slow reloading it does what needs doing. In years past we used S&W M19/66 4 inch loaded mostly with .38 special. The .357 rounds create excessive recoil and flash. In a hunting situation that’s a don’t be bothered issue. In a gunfight, it is a big issue. The use of .38 Spl in a +p loading, with contemporary modern ammo, the flash is mitigated. The .357 at night will cause you to go blind for a couple minutes. I suggested we carry an expandable white cane instead of the collapsible baton.
            For hunting for subsistence the revolver in a big caliber is great. I’d prefer to have just about any center fire rifle for hunting game animals. Even a carbine in 9mm would be superior to any handgun if you needed food. It’s too bad Ruger stopped making the 9PC and the P95DC, which interchanged magazines, and for the money are excellent firearms. Even the P95 was a reliable as any Glock I used.

        • willowa March 9, 2015, 11:44 am

          PS: If you have a misfire (and as ammo and its various sources, handling or mishandling, become more scarce, is more likely) in an auto loader, it’s like…’oops’, in a revolver, just pull the trigger again.

    • Bill March 13, 2015, 7:47 pm

      i like the sig 226 out of the 5 but the best is my kel-tec pmr 30 hands down

    • Bill v March 13, 2015, 8:19 pm

      my pmr30 holds 30 rounds & is by my bed with 2 mor mags with 30 rouns i have 1 of the verry fue cmr30 ever made same mag over 7k runds in my bug out box if you work at kel-tec you may have an atvantage over a glock anething good luck making it out of your house my pmr is 19 oz fully loded

    • Bill v March 13, 2015, 8:19 pm

      my pmr30 holds 30 rounds & is by my bed with 2 mor mags with 30 rouns i have 1 of the verry fue cmr30 ever made same mag over 7k runds in my bug out box if you work at kel-tec you may have an atvantage over a glock anething good luck making it out of your house my pmr is 19 oz fully loded

Leave a Comment

Send this to friend