From Collector to Prepper: Part 3. Handguns

Hello again, so far we knocked out ammo choices and the value of a 22LR. Today I want to discuss a handgun’s value and usage’s in a world that has gone down the tubes. I admit I am personally a bit prejudiced against them but they do have some merit’s.

First, I want to set the scene for this series of articles, I should have done this sooner. Nobody even knows for sure what this “bad situation”, “rainy day”, “zombie apocalypse”, “post apocalyptic world”, “economic collapse” or whatever the heck you want to call it is even going to be. Nobody…So let’s just make it this, the worst case scenario. For whatever reason the world as we know it is gone. It is lawless, violent and a fight to stay alive day by day. Food, water, medicine, power and every other necessity is in short supply. It’s the laws of the jungle again and pretty much most of mankind has turned into your darkest nightmare. You’re on your own. It is not a pretty picture and you will need your guns. Are we going to see this world? I don’t know…I hope not but I sure can’t rule out the possibility. As far as I’m concerned better safe than sorry. I was going to buy guns and enjoy them either way, so I just decided to lean my efforts towards the prepper line of thinking over the whole wide variety, collection thing.

Ok, now that the scene is set for this whole series let’s talk about handguns. Do you need one? Yes, I think so. Is it going to be your most valuable asset? I hope not. Handguns are for sure nice to have, they are small, concealable if need be and lite-weight. They offer a “convenience factor” that a long gun just doesn’t have. They are handier for enclosed spaces and quite possibly quicker to employ if you got “caught with your pants down”. You are more likely to have it on your person too, as it isn’t as cumbersome as carrying a rifle 24/7 and admit it or not we ALL get lazy from time to time. So better a 9mm on your hip than your M-4 30 yards away leaning against a tree. So I can certainly see having a good 9mm. I choose the 9mm because the world over there is ammo for it. It’s as mainstream as a pistol cartridge can be. (I have pictured a couple of my 45 XD’s but in the end I’d go 9mm for my one pistol choice)

What I don’t want people to think is because you bought a 9mm, 3 spare mags and 300 rounds you are somehow “ready for the end of the world”. You’re not…period. You’re still not ready to fight off hordes of evil do-er’s or even hunt for food. Handguns are an accessory at best. Limited range, limited power, accuracy limited to the experience of the shooter but regardless of how good you are with it, it is still NOT a semi-auto rifle. In my opinion a handgun has little value in the world described above. I still support having one but don’t expect miracles to happen with the thing. In the end if you rely too heavily on a 9mm pistol then what’s going to happen is some cretin with a rusty, pile of junk Italian Carcano is just going to sit back 90 yards and shoot you. Then they will come take your pistol, your lunch and anything else they want. Pistols are NOT an offensive weapon and as far as I’m concerned are not much more than a “last chance” defensive weapon.

Obviously in the world now pistols are the best way to go, concealed carry and all. We are not talking about this world though. I support having a good 9mm pistol for sure, just don’t bet the farm on the thing. I personally went with the XD line from Springfield Armory. I like the 4 inch service model the most if I had to choose only one. (pictured at top of page) It is big enough to be useful and small enough to hide. It holds 17 rounds with one in the pipe and after 6 years or so of shooting it I have never had an issue of any kind. You can pick whatever kind you like but I wouldn’t choose one outside of these six listed due to their quality and the fact there are so many. Those six would be the Springfield XD, the Ruger P95, the Glock 17 or 19, the Smith M&P or the Sig 226. If I didn’t have one and had to choose just one pistol it would definitely be one of those six.

I did want to touch briefly on the UZI’s I mentioned in Part 1. I have a few of them and I kept them only because they use the same cartridge as my pistols do. I already owned them as a collector, so it’s not like I shelled out $1000 a piece for them since I began to shift my efforts to prepping. The pistol caliber carbine does certainly extend your range and accuracy. It will add velocity due to a longer barrel as well. Still I do NOT recommend them as your rifle choice when prepping. In spite of the simple logistics having your rifle and pistol use the same round it just in my mind isn’t enough power. The range while improved over a handgun does not match the range and power of say a 5.56. Not even close. So if you own an Uzi, MP-5 or whatever other 9mm carbine I can see keeping it. I can’t see buying one now though and certainly not in place of a rifle like an M-4/AR-15.

Wrapping up: I think a good 9mm is the best choice. I do think a 9mm pistol is a “must have” but barely so, I think in the world I described its value is limited. If your an owner of a big collection like me and are trimming down then yes, keep a couple. If you are a new shooter trying to start preparing for something terrible then get your rifle, 22 and shotgun bases covered first. The only way I would buy a pistol first is if you intended to get a concealed carry permit for this world. Then yes, GREAT idea. Get your permit as soon as possible. I recommend all normal people do. Other than that though, for prepper purposes, it isn’t near the top of my priority list.

As always thanks for reading and train often.

By: Cary Kieffer

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Cary Kieffer

USMC Infantry/Combat Veteran - Med Retired LEO/8yrs.

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