Let me set the scenario for you. A natural disaster or attack has just occoured. There is looting, and it may not be safe to stay at home. I know before I go any further you are thinking that this is a subject that has been discussed around many campfires for a long time. The purpose of this article is to help you decide what your hand gun is going to need to do, so that way you know what it is you need to get.
If you do not have a lot of time to practice, a semi-auto handgun may not be a good choice. My .45 is a fine weapon for self defense. However, if I need to take game with my handgun it may not be the best choice. The next handgun that I would look at would be my Ruger Blackhawk .357 Magnum. Again, it is a respectable weapon, and an added advantage to a .357 is that you can also fire .38 special ammunition. The Ruger also has more range and is more accurate for the more accurate shooting that as you might need in a hunting situation.
I'm not going to be the guy to tell you that there is only one type of hand gun to use in a survival situation because that would not be true. The reason we have so many different types of guns out there is because there are so many different people. In a household survival situation or a fire fight on the street, I would pick my .45 any day. However if I had to bug out and head for the hills I would take my .357 (though in reality I would take both) but I am trying to look at this from the angle of only having one gun.
So now you need to ask yourself what is the logical choice for you? How much experience do you have with handguns? If you have to bug out, what type of animals might you have to shoot (not counting the two legged ones that will probably try to take what you have). If you don't have a lot of experience with guns, I would suggest the revolver. You can also buy ammo specifically for home defense so you don't have to worry about shooting through your wall and your neighbor's wall.
Most survival minded people usually become more independent after awhile. This would mean the possibility of reloading your own ammunition or at least having the components available to do so. I recently did some price checking and found that .38 special components were a few dollars cheaper than .45, a plus if you want to stock up.
Next, be realistic in your choice of a weapon. I have friends that have shot deer with a .45 ACP. I also know people who have shot deer with a .357 Magnum. If you are limited to only one handgun don't let a T.V show decide what you should get. By this I mean that it looks really cool to see an actor do amazing things with a 9mm but how realistic is it? There are different types of revolvers you can purchase I mainly stress the .357 because of affordability. I try to stay away from .44 magnums due to the cost of ammo and the excess power doesn't make it a good home defense gun. However if I lived in Alaska where I might have to defend against a Grizzly Bear I might choose that for a weapon.
Many survival minded people out there are also going to have at least one rifle or a shotgun with them to. The simple fact of the matter is if you are in a bug-out situation always having a handgun makes sense since it is harder to carry a long gun at all times.
If there are plenty of rabbits in the area where you live like there are where I live a revolver makes good sense since it is easier to make a long shot at smaller game. If I had to shoot a rabbit with a handgun a .38 special will tare up the meat a lot less than a .45 ACP.
So in my view a revolver preferably one with at least a 6" barrel would serve best as a survival handgun. No matter what weapon you choose remember to practice every chance you get. Small game is not easy to hit, especially if you are not used to shooting with a handgun.
Also, remember that if you are going to have a weapon for a survival situation, you're going to have to have ammunition for it. If I was going to bug out with my .357 I would at least have 50 rounds of .357 ammunition and 50 rounds of .38 special ammunition. Just make sure it is quality ammo and Practice! Practice! Practice!
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