My good friend of many decades, the Evil Dr. K, a noted and skilled surgeon of some reknown, has finally shown a strong interest in accumulating some serious firearms and having fun in the shooting sports. For years, as his friends all around him like Billy Ray and I expressed much interest in weapons and shooting and in accumulating firearms.
I recently wrote about how you could build a very effective arsenal for anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500, which relied largely on finding good used firearms. This post will detail a collection of guns that will cost several thousand dollars, depending on how many guns and what type are bought. I'm sure Billy Ray and I will end up hitting a gun show and/or a gun shop in Big D or Fort Worth since Dr. K lives near there and helping Dr. K assemble his arsenal.
The Evil Dr. K, who really isn't evil at all, but has been called that for years, has a larger budget. His main requirements will be simple: High Quality and Made in America. He's not enough of a firearm enthusiast (yet) to really want to spend the extra money for say a Les Baer AR-15 or a Wilson .45 1911. My recommendations to him will be a bit more encompassing than the basic firearms collection, because he'll want a variety of the guns he's seen his friends have. His first task, he already knows, is getting a gun safe.
Dr. K is a smart guy. He sees the things happening in the world that doomsayers have been predicting for years but people like us have been scoffing at.
Like me, he's pretty sure that societal collapse is not imminent but he knows that terrorist attacks, social unrest, poverty and numerous other current events could ignite either riots or some sort of man made tragedy. Not to mention a natural disaster and ensuing evacuation. The financial state of this country is horrible and our jobless are really suffering. I fail to understand why we are not penalizing companies who export jobs from the US. But that's another topic.
So part of my recommendation are items that could be included in a so-called "bail out bag" or "boogie bag". A medium to large sized duffle with an assault rifle, a shotgun, some pistols and a lot of ammo for them, in case hurried evacuation is needed.
My family has plans of where to go in case of some natural or man-made disaster and we need to flee the Texas city they live in. We've got friends with ranches and places in the far flung country, but you've got to get there first, and likely through all sorts of folks looking for someplace to go. So it's a good idea to have some weapons for protection in case things go really bad.
So here's my recommendations to my friend:
1. A HIGH CAPACITY ASSAULT RIFLE: A Smith and Wesson AR-15 clone in .223 caliber with a multi position collapsible stock. With a rebate or sale like the ones S&W and some dealers have been having, you can get one anywhere from about $800 right now to under $1,000 other times. A solid firearm and made in America. Get a few extra twenty round and thirty round magazines and lots of cheap ammo.
An equally good choice would be the reliable Ruger Mini-14, which is pretty much an M1 Carbine derivative that shoots better ammo and is better made. A folding stock can be found aftermarket for these as well. Priced at about $800 to $1,000 new depending on the store. It also takes 20 or 30 round magazines and comes in .223.
2. A good .22 rifle. For under $500, you can get the Smith and Wesson .22 caliber version of their AR-15, an extremely cool weapon. It also gives you another home defense weapon for a backup, even though the bullets are smaller, you can afford to buy a lot more of them.
There are lots of other options out there in .22 and .22 mag. Bear in mind that although .22 mag gives a bit more umph for the shot, it's bullets are much more expensive than .22 long rifles. With a red dot scope, you could do worse for a home defense weapon than the S&W AR clone .22 caliber assault rifle.
You want a .22 rifle and pistol for several reasons. One, many new and non-shooters prefer it, and if you can get them practiced for self defense with some kind of weapon, a .410 shotgun or a .22 is the only choice. Pest control as well. But I stress you can buy thousands of .22 rounds for the price of a few hundred of another caliber.
Plus, .22's are very cheap to shoot. You can shoot hundreds of rounds for the price of a box of 50 larger shells. Surplus ammo is available in some quantity for .223 and 9mm, and .38 special does not seem to have gone through the roof pricewise like other calibers.
3. SHOTGUN(S) If you can only have one shotgun in your collection, get a good name brand 20 or 12 gauge pump shotgun, preferably one with about a 18" or 20" barrel. If you live in the country you might want one with a barrel a little longer than that. The Winchester Defender or the Remingon 870 are excellent examples of this. Get a used one that was made in America if in doubt of the country of manufacture.
I'd also recommend, for wives that don't like guns but need a defense weapon, that either a .410 pump or a double barreled .410 coach gun is ideal for home defense. Get one of the bands that goes around the stock that holds extra rounds for each gun.
The Evil Dr. K has seen some of his friends with pistol grip shotguns. He'll probably want one of those too, for his bail out bag, with an extended magazine and a flashlight on it. Any shotgun meant for home defense should have a flashlight on it.
I'll recommend that his family get two revolvers. One, a .22 on a J or K frame Smith and Wesson sized gun with a 3" or 4" barrel. The Charter Arms Pathfinder is another good gun. A great home defense guns for those who don't like recoil or would only use a gun as a last resort and the .22 is the only gun you can get them to practice with. There are lots of nice .22's out there, and several are american made. You could even get a Ruger single action .22 for this gun.
I also recommend a J frame .38 caliber snubnose weapon. Rather than get one of the 12 oz. .357 "wunderguns", I say get a .38 special, a nice Model 40 Centennial with grip safety or an all steel Bodyguard. Either gun, by being all steel, will have less recoil. We'll have to buy some great rubber Pachmayr Compac grips for all revolvers that you have to make shooting them as enjoyable as possible. By being all steel guns, they can handle +P rounds with no trouble, and trust me on this, if you've never shot .357 mag rounds through a 12 oz. snubbie, it's not something you'll be getting in line for often.
Both of these guns can be pocketed safetly because they have either a shrouded hammer or an internal hammer, with no hammer to snag. With a nice simple IWB holster like the Bianchi #6, these small guns disappear under a t-shirt for concealed carry.
If you really wanna have a rocking revolver for self defense, the Crimson Trace laser grip is a great idea for the J and K frames. Sorta like the other rubber grips, it has an intergral laser that can be sighted in so that bullet goes where laser points. Very good for home defense and obviously great for point shooting. Since you have the money, spend the extra for the Crimson Trace for all the revolvers.
5. SEMI-AUTOMATIC HIGH CAPACITY PISTOL(S)
I suspect Dr. K may want one or more of these pistols. He's seen our Glocks and Browning Hi Powers and Colts and H-K's and lots of other guns Billy Ray and I have had over the years. Although I'd try to steer him as a novice to either the HK USP or a Sig-Sauer 226 or 229, he may end up wanting a Glock. He knows they are reliable, accurate and well made, from hanging out with us since the advent of Glocks. We've all been hanging out together since before Glocks were sold in America, and he knows how much he's heard us "glock talkin'" over the past several decades.
He may very well want a Glock. And as long as he gets some good training with a Glock, then it's a great firearm to have. Otherwise, I think the HK or the Sig is the better choice if he's not committed to some serious training, for the Glock is a different beast to safetly use and carry. For home defense, I'll recommend that he consider a flashlight/laser combo for the rail of whatever semi-auto he selects.
I suspect that after he gets his initial arsenal together, the next questions from Dr. K will revolve around concealed carry and holsters, which he as a law abiding citizen is certainly eligible to get his license. Then he and I can talk about some more guns for him, but for getting started in concealed carry, the venerable J frame and a good Glock/HK/Sig/Beretta is going to be a real good start.