All posts tagged Firearms

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, the purpose of this article is to list the many reasons why it is important to own a firearm.  It is a choice that certainly is your right to exercise or not to exercise: to have a firearm in your home.  This piece is not to present a moral basis for ownership, but rather the practical reasons it is important to exercise your 2nd Amendment rights.  The moral questions are best answered in the privacy of your own home according to the way your family lives and worships.

Your Right To Defend Yourself

That being said, the primary reason for ownership of a firearm is defense.  This used to be a requirement during the days of the American Revolution and upon the founding of the United States.  If you do your research, most of the State Constitutions for states that are “border states,” meaning upon the outer edges of the United States…these states had provisions that either required or requested the citizens residing in them to own a firearm.  Why?  Because the U.S. citizen is the cornerstone of the phrase “common defense” in the preamble of the Constitution.

The United States is a nation formed by citizen-soldiers who knew their first responsibility to the nation involved taking up arms on its behalf…for the good of all.  That hasn’t changed. 

The bottom line for the 2nd Amendment (equally as important) is that if our government ever “morphs” into a tyranny that attempts to subvert individual rights under the Constitution…the ability of citizens to bear arms is a recourse to that tyranny.

The average citizen has been conditioned for more than 100 years to place all faith in the government.  Soldiery nowadays is not generally viewed as an honorable profession, but rather as a “necessary evil” that you only do “when there are no other options available to you.”  We had a Secretary of State (John Kerry) that publicly expostulated that drivel.

Six Benefits Firearms Have for the Average Joe Prepper

Firearms ownership and knowledge of them have many benefits.  Let’s cover some of them, shall we?

  1. Hunting: In either a survival or non-survival scenario, you must put meat on the table. Hunting is the way to do it, and firearms make it easier. In recent articles I have recommended the Winchester ’94, an outstanding lever-action rifle in 30-30 caliber.
  2. Home Defense: This varies from state-to-state with gun ownership laws and what you can or cannot do, per the law, with the firearms. Some states (Montana being one of them) have the “castle” doctrine…where if a threat is perceived, the homeowner can take action.  Other states will practically sue you if you don’t offer the burglar/rapist a meal when he breaks in.  My personal rule is simple: it’s better to be judged by 7 than carried by 6.  A firearm can prevent Mr. Rapist from carrying out his plans. Some ladies carry around a Saturday Night Special to deter unwelcome advances or perhaps some of these firearm suggestions would do the trick.
  3. SHTF Collapse: Yes, either the EMP has struck or the economy has collapsed…or both. What then?  When the marauders are coming down the street, do you pick up a bullhorn and tell them to leave or you’ll call the police?  Do you think that “Brinks” sign on the front lawn will cause them to shiver and shudder and move away?  The answer to both questions is probably “No,” and I guarantee…that Mossberg 500-A 12 gauge pump will be the best. I’ve gone into a lot of detail on the subject in this article. As well, consider the .357, .45 ACP and these other post-collapse firearms.
  4. Barterable Skill Post SHTF: Yes, the ability to reload cartridges or repair firearms will be a barterable skill…and a skill you will need for yourself with a collapse. Consider diversifying your ammunition for this very reason.
  5. Legacy to your Family: Don’t those words sound great? What they mean is that with proper instruction on the use of, safety with, and care of your firearms, you’re giving your children an education in something that they can use the rest of their lives…it’s their birthright as American citizens to have the right to own and keep firearms.  Why not give them a head start and show them all the fundamentals?
  6. Sport: Yes, sport! You can develop your marksmanship skills on targets…paper targets and at different ranges and clubs.  You and/or the kids can all compete in matches.  Sometimes there are prizes in the form of money, equipment, etc., that can be won when competing.  There are no limits except the ones you set upon yourself.

Other Considerations

Preppers, I must stress how important it is to maintain your weapons, as well as to having as much support equipment for your firearm as possible.  A good cleaning kit with all the component parts for multiple calibers is essential. You can make your own cleaning kit with these items.  Another thing you need is a gunsmith’s tool kit.  They’re precisioned for the set-screws and special screws for mounts, scopes, and the firearm in general.  Along with other things, such as reloading kits and presses, optics, and other books and videos to make you a well-rounded marksman.

As well as basic maintenance, I must emphasize the important of practicing regularly with your firearms. It is one thing to be a fast shot, but it is more important to be an accurate one. Read more about tips to improve your marksmanship here.

To summarize, firearms have held their place above the mantelpiece and mounted on the wall in American homes since even before the days of the American Revolution.  Firearms are a part of your American citizenship heritage, and they can serve a multitude of needs and functions.  For further training, hook up with a veteran or a qualified NRA instructor, and get started on something that is your fundamental right under the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.  Keep that powder dry, and keep fighting that good fight!  JJ out!

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: A Green Beret’s Guide to Prepper Firearms 


5 Durable ‘Budget Pistols’ That Won’t Ever Jam

Smith and Wesson SD9. Image source:

By Zach Dunn Off The Grid News

A few years ago when one said the words “cheap” and “handgun” in the same sentence, you were obviously talking about a Jennings, a Hi-Point or an AMT. To be fair, AMT makes a great little concealed carry handgun, albeit mostly in .380. Hi-Point’s firearms are functional but unattractive. Jennings — I can always count on a Jennings. That is, I can always count on a Jennings to jam on every single magazine.

Cheap pistols have come a long way over the past couple of decades. Foreign and domestic manufactures have really put the effort into producing cost-efficient and highly reliable handguns for the masses.

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: 5 Durable ‘Budget Pistols’ That Won’t Ever Jam

Image source:

Image source:

By Kevin Danielsen – Off The Grid News

When it comes to choosing “tactically” purposed firearms, I’ve found that it’s easy to drop loads of cash on all the bells and whistles, whether we actually need them or not.

With that being said, there will always be one factor that rules the day for firearms which ultimately take up residence in my gun safe: If the gun doesn’t shoot 99.99 percent of the time I pull that trigger — provided I’ve maintained the weapon and fed it properly manufactured/loaded ammunition — then I’d rather not depend on it to keep me alive when the chips are down and blood loss is a possible outcome for the scenario in question.

Here are a few other criteria that I used to compile the list of the following weapons …

Continue reading at Off The Grid News: The 4 Most Reliable Tactical Firearms You Can Buy

Best Prepper Guns

As another year draws to a close, I find myself considering a host of issues that I routinely pause to reflect on at the end of each year. Since I started prepping back in 2007, my days to varying degrees are filled with a sense of expectation that wanes or increases with current events and trends. My reason for prepping was and remains to be able to protect my family from disasters whether man-made or natural in origin and it is that goal that causes me to look to the future for warning signs. Some days I see problems just over the horizon and others the risk is further away. The sense of something in our future never leaves but the intensity changes.

If you consider yourself a prepper you may have had similar thoughts. In the beginning there was for me a greater sense of urgency to get ready, but as I have learned and gathered supplies, that urgency has relaxed a good bit. I chalk that up to actually being prepared at some level and the comfort I gain from knowing if something does happen, I have a lot of bases covered already. It seems that I start each year with a reasonable belief that it is all going to tank “this year” only to be sitting at my home at the end of the year with my family safe from any disastrous EMP, a pandemic that ravages the planet or an economic collapse that destroys our wealth and throws everyone into a second great depression. I am not depressed or disappointed in this fact, don’t get me wrong but time passing does have a way of making me recheck my priorities and reevaluate my personal prepping plans.

I think there are 4 key survival concepts that every prepper should work on at all times to place you in the best possible position to survive anything that happens. These are Water, Food, Shelter, and Security. If you have these four bases covered, you will be so much better prepared to survive anything from a flood, hurricane or Global pandemic. We talk about all of these survival concepts on the Prepper Journal, but there is one topic that comes around frequently that generates a substantial amount of debate so I wanted to write an article that focuses on Security.

There are a lot of opinions on firearms as defensive weapons. There are also numerous laws and regulations that govern what you may be able to legally purchase. I believe that all things being equal, the best defensive weapons you can own are firearms and with that I mind I want to discuss what I recommend everyone have if you are considering a firearm as part of your preparedness strategy.

What are the best prepper guns?

A shotgun makes a great first firearm for a prepper.

If you can legally own firearms I believe that there are 5 firearms that make up a well-rounded prepper battery of arms. With these 5 firearms, you will be able to deal with situations that we routinely talk about in a breakdown in society. Even if you never go through any disaster, having these firearms will benefit you in terms of security and firearms generally do not lose value, only appreciate so they are an investment that pays off in multiple ways.

I have listed the weapons below in priority order. If you can only afford one weapon, you should buy the first one on the list and add to your arsenal as your budget/resources allow.

  1. Shotgun – If you can only have one single weapon for home defense in a collapse scenario, I recommend a shotgun. Shotguns are easy to use, the ammunition is reasonably cheap and they can pull double duty as both defensive weapons and hunting firearms. In terms of price, shotguns are cheaper than pistols (generally) and can be purchased a lot of times without the same background scrutiny that you get with other handguns.
  2. Semi-Automatic Rifle – Also known as “Assault rifles” by anyone trying to demonize guns. A semi-automatic rifle is simply one that automatically chambers another round when you pull the trigger. For the weapon to fire again, you would need to pull the trigger again. Civilians cannot buy fully automatic weapons so to compare these rifles to what the police or military has is not accurate on one side. They do have many advantages though and when we think of a semi-automatic rifle for a prepper there are two that are the most common. Those two options are the AK47 and the AR-15. When it comes down to choosing which one to go with like anything on this subject there is a lot of debate, but for me personally I believe the AR-15 is the better of the two for a variety of reasons. Either one will work fine and you should have one.
  3. Full size pistol – Again, another topic that causes a lot of arguments but for the sake of inclusion I will say a 9mm, .40 or .45 would work equally well as your main defensive pistol. I am not talking about a concealed carry firearm here as I deal with that in another article. This is the  nightstand gun that can also be used as your backup weapon in the event your main battle rifle (semi-automatic) is unavailable for some reason. I do not recommend only having a pistol but I think they are great to have and compliment the other firearms nicely.
  4. Long Range Rifle – The shotgun is perfect for close range. The AR-15 will definitely reach out to several hundred yards, but you likely won’t be engaging anyone at that distance. To go further 400-600 yards or to take large game animals I would go with a .308 or a .30-.06. Some will say you can simply purchase an AR chambered in .308 and kill two birds with one stone. That is one solution but it comes down to preference and who is shooting the rifle. .308 certainly has more of a kick than a .556 or .223 round.
  5. Small game Rifle – For me this is a .22 rifle. I would not buy a .22 pistol unless I was purchasing this for a younger child or for plinking (practice). A .22 will actually kill larger game and even humans as many will argue but I would not count on that as my main weapon for defense. It is great at taking small game though and the ammo is still much cheaper than any of the other options.


Is there a best gun for home defense?

There are arguments for shotguns, pistols and even Semi-automatic rifles as your home defensive weapon and it really comes down to what you have, what the threat is and where you are in your home at the time in relation to the weapon. I have all of the items above but my home defense plan is different if I am in bed as opposed to out in the kitchen. It also depends on whether we are in a normal situation like now or in the middle or wide-spread riots and looting.

If I am in bed and someone breaks in, I won’t grab the shotgun or the rifle, I would go for the pistol. Now, that is because I have one in close proximity and I am comfortable using and firing this particular firearm. If I didn’t have any weapons at all, I would still purchase a shotgun first and that would be my home defense weapon.

Shotguns are more forgiving with aim and this could help you in a high stress situation. Now, before anyone starts beating me up on that comment let me clarify. A shotgun is going to shoot what you are aiming at so I am not trying to say that you can just wave it in the general direction and actually hit someone, but shotgun pellets spread. If you aim at a person, the spread of the shot will more likely hit them even if your aim is a little off. Naturally, you need to practice with any firearm you have that you are planning to shoot. If you have in mind the potential for shooting someone who has entered your home you need to know exactly how this deadly tool works and become proficient in hitting what you are aiming at.

There are always considerations for penetration in a home since our walls are made from sheet-rock and not concrete, but this applies to any firearm.

How much ammo do I need?

How much do you plan on shooting and how confident you will be able to purchase more ammunition when you need it? We are starting to see a return to normal on ammunition availability and cost but any upcoming legislation could change that again. When the last ammo shortage hit you were not able to easily find many of the most common calibers and what you were able to find was much more expensive. I had the benefit of having plenty of ammo stored up so I didn’t need to purchase anymore. Had the end of the world happened, I would already have full stock of ammo for each of my weapons, but I started stocking up years ago. I have recommended ammo storage amounts listed on another article.

You should also consider an inventory system and we have a free ammo inventory spreadsheet available for download that you can use to set targets and track your own personal ammo storage amounts. This will help with budgeting as well as give you a clear idea of what you need to purchase if you have some extra money.

Now it’s your turn! What do you think are the best prepper guns to own?

This information has been made available by The Prepper Journal: The Best Prepper Guns List – Must Have Weapons for SHTF

i will not comply

By Joshua Krause – The Daily Sheeple

Last Saturday, one of the largest open carry protests happened in front of the state capital building in Olympia, Washington, to protest the passing of I594. This outrageous piece of legislation was ostensibly written to enact a system for universal background checks.

While simple on paper, in practice this law makes it illegal for residents of Washington to lend their firearms to anyone, or to so much as hand their weapons over to a friend. For those of you who are gun owners, you’ll recognize this as something you’ve done numerous times without a second thought. It basically makes every gun owner a criminal.

The event was organized by activist Gavin Seim, who described the gathering by saying “This isn’t just a protest, we are here to openly violate the law“.

The event went off without a hitch. Thousands came together on the front lawn of the capital building, armed with a myriad of weapons. They broke the law in full view of the police; some by passing their guns to fellow protesters, while others offered their firearms for sale.

What’s even more interesting, though not surprising, is the nearly complete lack of response from the mainstream media. So far only a few local news outlets have picked up the story while the rest of the dinosaur media decided to completely ignore one of the biggest open carry protests in recent history. There’s barely any footage to be found.

Not only did these folks come to the state capital armed, but they publicly violated the state’s unconstitutional law in front of the police, and nobody was arrested. And yet there hasn’t been a peep out of Fox or CNN

I guess their corporate handlers learned their lesson after the extensive coverage of Bundy Ranch. They don’t want you to know that when enough people come together to break the law, that law becomes unenforceable. In practice, it becomes null and void. They don’t want you to know that you can stop these unconstitutional violations, and they certainly don’t want you to know that you are not alone. There are millions of people who don’t want to put up with this, and if they come together they can stop any gun grab.

Delivered by The Daily Sheeple

Contributed by Joshua Krause of The Daily Sheeple.

Joshua Krause is a reporter, writer and researcher at The Daily Sheeple. He was born and raised in the Bay Area and is a freelance writer and author. You can follow Joshua’s reports at Facebook  or on his personal Twitter. Joshua’s website is Strange Danger




Today’s Preppers have thought hard and spent a lot of money on all that is needed  to get through  a time of major crisis.

In today’s rough and crime filled world a firearm is also necessity of life. Those who do not believe  this can not comprehend what is really going on in the world around them. They just feel that being a victim could never happen to them.

Firearms are purchased to defend the stockpile and stop those who would murder, rape, torture your family, or do anything else that their sick little minds can think of.

If you do not secure your loaded firearms, but only hide them out of plain sight, this is a recipe for  disaster. In particular, your own child or some other person could find your gun and shoot you long before you need the gun for survival or stopping a crime.

Then, you just become another statistically irresponsible gun owner, and if you live, your grief and other problems will never end. This is why you must have safe, secured places to store loaded firearms and  keep them at the ready.

Here are a few things to consider to make your home safer and more defensible in a time of major crisis. These suggestions will also buy enough time to enable you to access stored and loaded weapons without as much danger to yourself and others.

Strengthen All Exterior Windows and Doors

The outer doors and windows are your first line of defense against home invasions, burglaries, robberies and other criminal behavior.

These areas must be reinforced and strengthened to with stand multiple hard kicks or strikes from a heavy battering ram. Windows must be made to withstand repeated attacks.

Here are some ways to strengthen the windows:

  • Have double pane extra thick glass windows installed.
  • Have the windows frames reinforced and anchored deeply into the outer wall.
  • Have good window locks installed on the windows.

And here are some ways to strengthen the outer doors:

  • Install steel heavy duty outer doors with heavy duty hinges.
  • Install high quality lock sets to include dead bolts.
  • Have the door frame reinforced and anchored extra deep in the outer wall.
  • Install heavy duty storm doors with a heavy duty latching area.
  • Install removable extra heavy duty bracing bars to give extra support to the door.
  • Install door peep holes instead of door chains so you can see who is outside.

Teach Your Children Firearms Safety

It is the responsibility of the parents to teach their children firearm safety. Start with them young and explain it to them in a way that they can understand. Do it often so that they remember, but never assume that they or their friends are going to act responsibly in the presence of a gun.

Here are a few topics to talk with them about.

  • What to do when they see a gun laying a round with no one else around: Stop, do not touch it, leave the area, and tell an adult immediately.
  • The steps of “stop” and “do not touch it” are the two most important parts to teach children. It is a natural impulse for a child to touch a gun. Your children must totally understand these two steps and what might happen if they do not.
  • In today’s world where adult supervision is lax or nonexistent, your children must be told why, and understand the reason why they must “leave the area”.
  • To “tell an adult immediately” emphasizes that children should tell an adult that they trust if their their parents or guardian is not there.
  • A gun is not a toy, and can cause great bodily injury or death no matter who is holding it.
  • Always assume that a gun loaded.
  • Never point a gun at another person.
  • Never handle a gun.
  • Never throw, drop, or horse play with a gun.
  • If you carry regularly, secure the gun immediately when you get home and tell your children why.
  • Teach your children not to be influenced by peer pressure and do what you told them to do.

Children Can Find Almost Anything or Do Anything When They Put Their Mind To It

Parents should never hide a gun thinking a child will never find it. They will find it.

You may have put it way up on the top shelf of a closet. Children will do unbelievable feats of climbing to get at what they want.

The only thing that will keep a child safe from firearms is education and a well built lockable container.

Hiding Places to Avoid and Why

Most states impose laws that define the firearm owner’s duties to deny access to firearms by children. One of the most used criminal charges placed on adults by police after a child finds, discharges, or shoots someone with a firearm is Child Endangerment or Child Neglect. Civil liability is the next nightmare that comes your way.

Here a plaintiff sues you for your actions of not properly securing a firearm, all damages, and putting a child’s life in danger or worse.

Even if you are single or married without children do not use the following hiding places. Your family or other visiting friends may have children visiting with them, and just as badly, any criminal entering your home may gain access to these guns long before you do.

Aside from that, if you aren’t feeling well, get drunk, sleepwalk, or forget there is a gun hidden in these places, you can easily put your own life at risk.

  • In empty cereal boxes. Children would think that there is food in the box and would find the gun.
  • Duck taping a gun under a table. Most children play in and around tables and would notice it.
  • Kept in hollowed out books left around. Children are very interested in books and magazines and would open them and find the gun.
  • Hiding rifles and shotguns under the couch. A lot of children play on the floor and would find them.
  • Hiding a gun in a hollowed out space behind a picture. Children notice everything. Seeing a new framed picture or one that is hanging differently may interest a child to investigate why and find the gun.
  • Hiding a gun inside a large vase. Children pick up and play with different types of pottery and will find the gun.
  • In a closet hanging over the door. Children like to hide and play in closets. The gun will be noticed and the child will climb up to investigate. The child has found the gun.
  • In a car, hiding a holstered gun inside the front passengers seat closed by Velcro. Children sitting in the back of the vehicle can see the change in the appearance of the front seat and will investigate and find the gun, not to mention you will spend a fortune on refurbishing if your vehicle is leased. Also if you do not have a concealed carry permit you might be charged for a hidden gun within the driver’s reach.
  • Hiding a gun under a pile of towels in the bathroom. Children like to play in closets and will either feel the gun or see it.
  • In a brown paper bag next to the refrigerator. Children are curious and love to play with paper bags almost as much as cats do!
  • Hiding a small compact gun inside of a small CD wallet in your car or home. Children are curious and they will open the CD wallet when you are not looking and find the gun.
  • Hiding a gun behind the heat pump or air return filter. Children are very curious and like to explore what is behind air vents or air grills and they will find the gun. Another thing to think about is what would happen if the gun became dislodged and fell into the air return system.
  • Hiding a gun between the mattress and the box spring. A child playing on the bed could feel a hard lump and reach under the mattress and pull out the gun. Worse yet, if they decide to use the bed as a trampoline, they might cause the gun to fire.
  • Hiding a gun on top of a book case. Most children love to climb and sooner or later they will find the gun.
  • Hiding a gun behind a door.This is a no brainer, children will find the gun the next time they are in that room with the door closed.
  • Hiding a gun under a pillow. Children will feel the lump and move the pillow aside and find the gun.
  • Hiding a gun in the bedside table drawer. Easy for a child to find there. Just open the drawer and there it is.
  • Hiding a gun in the toilet water tank. Hope it is in a water proof container or you will have water damage and corrosion to your gun and ammo. Also a child’s curiosity will cause them to lift the lid and see what is in there and find the gun.
  • Wearing a gun 24/7. This is not practical at home. Even a small light handgun gets heavy by the end of the day, and people have other interests that make having a gun on at all times decidedly impossible. If you take off the gun you have created another gun safety problem. Wearing a concealed weapon outside without a permit can cause you a legal problem.

Safe Storage Places For Firearms

hiding gunsIn the days following a major crisis the high crime rate and chance of home invasion also creates a real need for safe storage places for firearms and valuables.

Everyone’s needs will be different. Here are a few ideas to consider:

1. Use a standard manual combination lock for a gun safe.

When choosing a safe be sure that it does not have a electronic push pad system only. These safes need batteries to operate the lock, no power you can not open the lock.

These heavy well built safes are designed to withstand fairly long periods of time when being hammered on, trying to cut open with torches, or trying to manually rip them open.

Also they offer a decent protection time against fire or heat. These safes should be kept out of sight in safe rooms. Bolting these safes down on to the floor is a required precaution. A good floor safe can cost between $499.99 to $1299.99.

2. The handgun quick access safe.

These are small lockable metal safes that are designed to be bolted under desks, tables, inside cabinets, or closets. They use either a key or a palm finger push pad to unlock. The average price of these safes is between $90.00 to $199.99.

3. Rifle or shotgun quick access safe. These lockable metal safes are designed to be bolted down in closets or behind large couches. They use either a key or a palm finger pad to unlock. The average price of these safes is between $100.00 to $300.00.

4. A 50 caliber ammo can that can be locked with a padlock. This lockable handgun container should be placed out of plain sight and secured to the floor behind light furniture, in cabinets, or in closets. The average price of the 50 caliber ammo can is about $25.00.

During the time of a major crisis there will be a need to have firearms to protect your family and your stockpile. Your best and first form of defense is to have reinforced exterior doors and windows.

This will stop or slow down those individuals that are trying to break in and give you time to retrieve your weapons and set into action the home defense plan.

Keeping loaded weapons in a secured location protects you and your family from disaster. Use a combination floor safe to store unloaded firearms and valuables.

Always use quick access lockable safes when hiding loaded weapons for quick accessing in times of extreme danger. If you do not have a quick access safe, use a 50 caliber ammo can that can be locked and secured to the floor.

Find out more about survival home defense in Bulletproof Home.

 This article first appeared at Survivopedia: Safe Storage Solutions For Your Survival Weapon

Pictures – Dance’s Sporting Goods.

About the Author:

Fred Tyrrell is an Eagle Scout and retired police officer that loves to hunt, fish, hike, and camp with good friends and family. He is also a champion marksman (rifle, pistol, shotgun) and has direct experience with all of the major gun brands and their clones. Fred refers to himself as a “southern gentleman” – the last of a dying way. He believes a man’s word is his bond, and looks forward to teaching others what he has learned over the years. You can send Fred a message at fred.tyrell [at]



The bayonet has a long an illustrious history and has resulted in many victories, but it has also been the weapon of choice for suicidal mass charges against entrenched positions. When it comes to individual survival, is the bayonet just another useful tool to tote along, or should you leave it as a nostalgic tool of a bygone era? Let’s look at the pro’s and con’s and see what you decide.

Disclaimer: I’m no lawyer, firearms expert, or bladed weapons expert. Please check all local, state and Federal laws particularly before affixing a bayonet or carrying it on your person. Some may qualify as bladed weapons, and you don’t want to be arrested! Furthermore, bayonets are intended to kill and stab, so treat them with proper respect to avoid accidental injury.

Looking at the bayonet

This weapon is made to be attached to long arms like rifles, despite the ludicrous attempts in the past to make “mini-bayonets” designed for handguns. It is primarily a weapon of last resort, only to be used to hold an incoming enemy or to charge him when ammunition runs low and there is small chance of immediate resupply. Secondarily, some modern bayonets are also designed as a camp tool and utility knife, with some even including a wire cutting hook for use in the field.

Depending on the country of origin, differing bayonets use different levels of modern or ancient design. The M-7 and M-9 bayonets in use by the U.S. Army, for example are largely modern. They look like knives and the handles even have improved grips in case a soldier uses one without his rifle. The French Army by contrast uses a more traditional spear-point bayonet on their FAMAS rifles, which can serve as a knife but isn’t quite as versatile as the true knife-shaped bayonet designs.

Use in history

As mentioned above, the bayonet has been a weapon of glorious victory and horrific defeat depending on the era and the how they were used. The muskets the first bayonets were designed for fired extremely slowly, and the bayonet allowed soldiers to charge through the single volley an enemy was likely to get off and smash into enemy infantry lines. They could also be used as polearms to halt cavalry charges without the need for a dedicated company of pikes or halberds.

They continued to see frequent use in mass charges, with acceptable losses and many great victories up until the advent of the American Civil War. The concentration of fire, the speed of reloading, and the accuracy of the weapons involved turned many mass charges into total slaughters. This was also true during World War 1, although bayonet charges that actually made it to enemy trenches were sometimes successful owing to having melee weapons at the ready, making them marginally more useful than they were during the Civil War.

In modern times, they have seen better use as commanders have limited their presence to only the most dire of circumstances. They have even been used during the Falkland Islands War and the Second Gulf War, though unlike the mass charges of previous centuries these were limited to a few men and a single taken position. Relative to the total number of casualties inflicted these uses were minimal, but they saved lives and took positions that might otherwise have remained in enemy hands.

Pro’s and Con’s for a prepper

For the average prepper, a bayonet is a mixed bag. There are positives and negatives to this weapon, some related to training and proper use which can be cured by proper instruction while others are simply owing to the weaknesses of a melee weapon in a world of rifles and handguns. Here are the primary strengths and weaknesses that would be most important for you:


  • Bayonets are psychologically reassuring for you, scary for opponents. Generally speaking having a weapon on hand can’t help but make you feel better, and so being equipped with one could be helpful for keeping your morale up. Enemies that see you fixing a bayonet may see the implication that you will fight face-to-face, to the horrible, drawn out and painful death. It’s basically an indication that you have no desire to surrender, which can turn off looters or opportunists who may see a lot of risk and little reward in fighting a man who has nothing to lose.
  • The utility aspects may make it more practical to carry than another knife. This depends on the quality of the knives you have, but the bayonets are generally fairly decent at the jobs they are made for. They’re not going to outdo dedicated utility knives, but if you see a use in having a bayonet the minor inconvenience may be inconsequential to you.
  • A bayonet gives you slightly more reach and more “punch” to your strikes than a knife in your hand. Being able to drive a blade into an opponent with the long “handle” of your rifle can do some serious damage to the poor sucker you just stabbed.


  • Bayonets are generally heavier and bulkier than normal knives. They are designed to be rammed into things like a spear and they have to remain firmly attached, and all that extra stuff makes it heavier to lug around all day. This could also affect you if you decide to use one without its rifle in hand-to-hand combat, as it would tire you out sooner.
  • Without proper training, bayonets are likely to get stuck, fall off, or otherwise perform poorly. It sounds silly that you need training to figure out “stick the sharp end in the guy” but the proper motions for maximum damage with minimal risk of getting the blade stuck does require some practice and instruction. Furthermore, if you just try to muddle along and figure out how it works by yourself, it is possible that you won’t attach, secure, and aim it properly. Certainly it will still work most times, but it adds an extra element on unpredictability to a combat situation.
  • Your rifle may not be able to handle it. Unfortunately even rifles with bayonets designed specifically for them may not be up to the sheer amount of force used when stabbing someone. I have heard more than one soldier complain that his M16 would never be able to withstand the stress involved in smashing into a human being again and again in furious combat.
  • It may give you a false sense of power or security. People can act stupid when they think they have some advantage over their opponents, and you wouldn’t be the first one to use a bayonet to get yourself killed. This is more of an issue with people who are inexperienced or who lack training, as they can imagine some Rambo-esque adventure where they tear through ranks with their trusty rifle-spear. The bayonet has limitations just like any weapon, but it’s hard to get people to understand that in some cases.
  • You’re bringing a knife to a gunfight. In the end, the truth is that spears went out of fashion for combat once people developed detachable magazines and semiautomatic fire. Short of true desperation, there are very few times when you will need a bayonet for actual combat.

So, should you use it?

Honestly that has to be up to you. If you have the weight and room to spare, maybe a bayonet would be a helpful option to have. If you’re already struggling to pack in what you’ll need, maybe that added bulk is too much. Personally, I would want proper training before I could decide either way in order to understand exactly what it would be like to fight with a bayonet. Without that, you’ll be making decisions based on uneducated guessing which rarely ends well.

Your thoughts?

Would a bayonet seem like a good idea to you? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments below!

This article first appeared at Prepared For That: Should You Bother With a Bayonet for Survival Self-Defense?