Why do you want a Semi-Automatic Rifle?

Lets start with I have read a lot of reasons to own a semi-auto rifle. Some of them are valid, some of them are plain crazy. Now I own a couple variations of the military service rifle (M-4 clone) and am a fan of them for plain old shooting, I own one and my wife has one of her own (it’s pink too). Now the question I started this post off with is “why do you want a semi-auto rifle” the answer I’ll present is why I want one for in case of TSHTF/WROL/ end of all that is civilization. I’m quite sure some folks will disagree with me, this is the internet after all.

Now I do not really have a rifle preference, I enjoy shooting so I’m just using the generic self-loading/ SEMI-Automatic rifle of whatever flavor as my driver in this case. That being said I am talking about those fed by an external magazine which rules out certain surplus and hunting rifles and really focuses on the dreaded “black” rifles of current and probably future media attention.

Between the many, many other opinions I have read about the value of self-loading magazine fed rifles I have seen many discuss the offense and taking down hoardes or even defending ones land (again offensively). None that I have found have brought up the defensive aspect. Again I don’t mean defending my land by assaulting a force before they attack me, I’d rather use other means to defend against such things… namely being incognito and not encouraging them to come around to begin with.

I have read articles and opinions that state that all sorts of manual action or even black powder firearms are the way to go for end of the world situations, all these tend to make valid points, in that you will more likely use your firearm for hunting and game getting than for battle, and that they will use their excellent marksman skills to eliminate threats one at a time… a course of action that I believe is more likely and much safer of a choice.

But, the reason why I want my self-loading, magazine fed rifle nearby when the world goes to the point I feel the need to have one with me is simple. To break-contact. The concept is one as old as battle (well modern battle) and if you read some of the literature out there about the Selous Scouts of Rhodesia, or the LRRP’s from Vietnam they went out in the unknown in order to gain intelligence on the enemy, not get into knock down fights. If you think about it for a second post WROL scavenging may be fairly similar, we will be wondering in areas of unknown threat looking for something of value to our Tribes. If you run into another tribe you will either negotiate, trade, fight, or flee. Much like those military scouting parties we will not want to engage in a prolonged fight, but convince the other side that we are stronger than them, long enough to get away.

The role of the magazine fed rifle in my little tribe will be quite similar to how those reconnaissance patrols of foreign wars used their Light Machine Guns and automatic weapons. Cause enough distraction and incentive to the other group I made contact with to not pursue and keep their heads down. Can you do that with a bolt action, or a lever action or even a flintlock… maybe, but I doubt it provided the other side has a weapon that can gain what’s known as fire superiority first.

So in summary the reason I want my chosen magazine fed weapon of destruction is so that I can gain “fire-superiority”, “break-contact”, and live on for another day.

You can find mention of both of these tactics in a variety of documents freely available on the internet. If you have a group that you train with, you may want to work these battle drills into your practice.

Is there such a thing as too many guns?

So the one of the big debates today has been over the number of guns that the Vegas shooter had.  With some arguing he had too many, some wondering why he had any, and of course Michael Moore jumping back for his five seconds to say guns are evil… essentially boiling down to accusations across both sides of the major political divides.

This did however get me thinking, is there such a thing as too many guns?  I said to myself, I have a blog now, why not put my thoughts out there… since that’s what blogs are for.

I love guns, don’t get me wrong when I ask the question if there is such a thing as too many, I’d love to have a collection… but I don’t “need” a collection.

So first of all what do I need a gun for?  That should be the question anyone should ask before they buy one.  I don’t hunt, nor live in Kabul, nor do I shoot competitions for a living, or have livestock and a hoard of gold hidden in my buried pirate chest.  I do know that the world is a dangerous place, and that there is a time and place where a firearm is an equalizer, because of that I feel the need to own them.  I am trained, mature and relatively in my right mind.

I believe that the 2d Amendment to the Constitution is not really a “right” to bear arms, but a requirement… I can get into that at another time, but the Founders, in my mind did not put the right to bear arms into the Constitution to allow you to join the NRA or be a hunter, I do believe they meant it as a way to protect the Constitution and the what that they intended this country to be.

I also enjoy target shooting as a hobby when I have the time, so just like a golfer who “needs” more than three clubs to perfect his game I have a few additional firearms for variety.  I enjoy shooting for sport, just like a golfer can rent clubs, but chooses to buy his or her own, I have done the same.  People like to own things they enjoy so that they know the quality, the value, that they will be able to use them when they want and don’t have to wait for someone else.

I own manual action, semi-auto, and even black powder firearms, because I like the variety… for no other reason than that, same reason some people own 5 cars, or a dozen golf clubs.  However I budget when I want to buy a new one so that I’m not buying guns at the expense of food or rent.

So is there such a thing as too many?  Yes, when ownership of the thing prevents you from being a reasonable person who can manage their responsibilities and their desires like a productive citizen.



Get Yourself a Scanner!

So a few things here, not the lest of them is leading off from the dreadful shooting in Las Vegas, and the aftermath of the storms that have hit Puerto Rico.  So in my line of work I’ve had the opportunity to develop a healthy respect for situational awareness.  If you’ve never used a Scanner of any type and are unfamiliar with how they work trust me you can figure it out, read the directions and go to some of the forums out there.  I will never be able to do justice to the combined amount of knowledge on the internet.

What I can do is explain why I say, “Get Yourself a Scanner”.  Situational Awareness… what I mean by that is there is a large amount of information relayed over unsecured radio waves (meaning not “encrypted” to prevent unwanted listeners).  That’s an issue you really won’t have to worry about unless you are trying to listen to military transmissions… which lets be honest that’s probably the least likely… but with the right scanner you can listen to trunked mobile that most Fire Departments, Police, Taxi, Bus, Air Traffic etc. (civilian infrastructure) will use the Whistler WS 1040 is the same model that I use even when I’m driving in the car to listen for Taxi and bus drivers talking about traffic, listen for emergency services who may be on the way to a crash that would impact my commute, etc.

Now the important key for using a scanner is having a “signal of interest list” which is actually relatively easy, most modern models allow you to connect to a laptop and import exactly what your area is and add in the frequency and commercial “codes” that are being used in your area.  Once that is all programmed in you may miss some, but you’ve essentially just loaded the original crowd sourced traffic alerts.  Who can tell you more about what’s going on than the bus drivers and the taxi drivers.

The plus side to all of this is that if you build the habit of listening with a purpose (avoiding traffic) you will build the habits you need to listen for danger should the world go to H in a Handbasket.