PDW – Do You Really Need One? 2020 Debate

The PDW or Personal Defense Weapon is a creation by the gun industry as one more thing us “Gun Nuts” need to have in our arsenal but as you will find out in this “Survival Debate” do you really need one…..or just want one?  Let’s find out.


The closest cousin to the PDW is the sub-machine gun, with the difference between the two being that the sub-machine gun fires a pistol round (9mm, .40 Cal, or .45 ACP) and the PDW fires an often proprietary armor-piercing round which falls somewhere between a rifle round and a pistol round.  This class of weapons (PDW) has evolved into a gun that falls between the pistol and the carbine.

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The PDW market hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.  With the evolution of carbines with shorter barrels teotwawki, emergency preparednessalso known as Short Barrel Rifles (SBRs) the need for the PDW has fallen by the way side.  PDWs were developed during the late 1980s for troops who were confined to tight areas as a compact automatic weapon that could defeat enemy body armor.  This was the perfect weapon for tank drivers, military truck drivers, and possibility pilots.  It also has a place in the Executive Protection world as a weapon that can be easily concealed under a jacket while quickly bring firepower to the fight if needed.

I do think the PDW is something that is sometimes overlooked in a survival scenario.  They are survival rifle, survival knifelight weight, low recoil, super high capacity magazines and cross the divide between the power of a rifle and the conceal-ability of a pistol.  Could you hunt with one?  Maybe, not ideal but it is possible.  There is a good chance in a survival scenario that you will have to move locations and when you move you mostly likely be in your car or truck.  If you have ever tried to fire a rifle or shotgun from a car then you know it is painful at best.  Pistols are pretty easy to handle in a car but you might be bringing a pistol to rifle fight.  Not a good position to be in.  Enter the PDW, a perfect weapon for driving when the SHTF.  It also looks good under a trench coat (See movie – The Matrix).  With some PDW’s carrying up to 50 rounds in a single magazine (FN P90) and very compact, they make the  perfect convoy weapon (especially for the driver).

Concealment

The PDW’s ability to be under a coat or in bag gives it a distinct advantage over a rifle.  There maysurvival pdw, survival weapon, survival rifle be times when you are traveling that you want to keep a low profile and not be bothered.  The PDW would be perfect for these situations.   If someone picks a fight, you have the element of surprise and sustainable firepower to back you up.  Also, with limited space in your bug out vehicle, a PDW’s small size might come in handy.

The Downside

The major downside to the PDW is the round itself.  In a SHTF scenario, these rounds will be Survival PDW, Survival Rifle, Survival Pistol, Survival Knifeharder to find than an ice cream cone.  Since the PDW rounds are all different (depending on the manufacturer) and expensive, once you go through your supply of ammunition you can pretty much toss the weapon aside because the chance of coming across more PDW ammunition will be very low.  Also, since these rounds are under powered carbine rounds they will not be ideal for hunting or any engagement over 200 yards

Is there a place for a PDW in TEOTWAWKI?

The short answer is “No”, the long answer is “Yes”.  The first concern would be your budget, if you only have enough money for a rifle or a pistol, then I would start with a AR-15 or a 12 Gauge shotgun or if you are going the pistol route, a Glock 17 (or if you live in the United Kingdom, a sling shot and a double helping of optimism).  After that I would look at accessories, spare parts, and ammunition for your main SHTF weapon.  The spare parts and ammunition will be a considerable problem for the PDW unless you have done a lot of pre-planning.

The long answer

If you have teenage kids, someone with limited gun experience, you are a smaller frame person, personal defense weapon FNP90or have a disability that effects your upper body strength , then a full size rifle or shotgun might not make sense for you from a physical stand point.  If this is the case then the PDW is an excellent alternative with its’ low recoil, high capacity magazines, lethal self-defense rounds, and ease of use and maintenance.  The other consideration for SHTF is;  if you plan to travel a long distance to your bug out location (40 miles or more) and you have the budget for extra purchases, the PDW might be the perfect companion for you in the front seat.  With high capacity magazines and the ability to shoot through car windows, the convoy is the PDW’s sweet spot.  Other applications for the PDW might be motorcycles, bicycles, and urban survival scenarios.

Pro’s

  • Concealable
  • Light weight and easy to operate
  • High capacity magazines
  • Low recoil

Cons

  • Proprietary ammunition
  • Expensive
  • Under powered ammunition
  • Difficult to find spare parts

Notable PDW’s:

TEOTWAWKI

Photos by:
FN USA
HK USA
Sennin13
Knight’s Armament

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218 thoughts on “PDW – Do You Really Need One? 2020 Debate”

  1. Accurate on all points. The concept of a PDW is sound, but the price and availability of ammo will always hold the it back.
    If magpul ever gets their PDR on the market or if FN manages to cobble me up a P90 in 9mm Luger then I will eat my words. I'd love to have a compact bullpup weapon in a common caliber.

    Reply
    • Kel Tec has their RFB http://www.keltecweapons.com/our-guns/rifles/rfb/ which is a .308 bullpup with forward ejection of cases and an 18 inch or 32 inch barrel. The 18 inch is 26 inches over all and the 'Target' model with its 32 inch barrel is only 40 inches over all. Depending on model and where bought, price range seems to be $1200 to $1800. Interesting rifle in that it is CQB size but with a full battle rifle punch. Not a PDW but seems like it would sure fill that niche if you needed it filled.

      Reply
      • Kent, the Kel Tec website 'says' the PLR-16 is a 5.56 but the data list says it is a .223 Since these rounds are not the same I'd want to KNOW that what I had could handle the 5.56. Under the general heading of "I'm not smart enough to keep myself out of trouble" I don't think I'd own a .223 and if I did I'd try to exchange it for a 5.56 as soon as I could. I could be wrong but I THINK I know that a 5.56 chambering can safely fire the .223 (can't speak to accuracy – different discussion) but it is dangerous to fire the 5.56 in a .223 chambering. Since it is not a round I'm fond of I don't pay much attention to it but if I had an AR platform or a Mini-16 I'd want to be sure I had a 5.56. My eyes are not sharp enough to spot the difference. I'm a fan of Kel Tec but that web page is less than what it should be, in my not so humble opinion.

        Reply
        • What you said about the 5.56 and .223 is mostly true. It is not recommended that you shoot military spec 5.56 rounds (ie m885) in a civilian rifle. But this is only a general rule of thumb, and you are right again in saying that kel tech should list these kinds of details on thier site.

          Be aware that some military rifles have issues with their civilian counterpart ammunition. An M14 for example is prone to ‘slam-firing’ .308 ammo.

          Reply
          • NOT TRUE. I have an M1A Scout and fire civilian ammo through it regularly. NEVER had a slam fire. I belive that new civilian primers are better and less likely to slam fire that before.

          • Depends on who made the primer. If CCI made the primer it takes a good solid firing pin strike to ignite it, if it's made by Federal (the softest primer on the market) anything will set it off.

    • You might want to check out the bullpup AK-47 atlantic firearms has for sale. I'm sure you can find it other places too if you shop around, but I know they have one at a good price. Nothing like a compact 7.62

      Reply
    • FN 5.7 ammo is currently on par with 5.56. AR15 platforms for the 5.7 are now available. An FiveseveN (5.7 pistol) with a 20 round mag (30, with ten round extension) coupled with a PS90 (fifty round capacity) is a strong combination.

      Reply
    • Evening Specialist,
      I think you've missed the point.
      The PDW is a weapon of choice for the security specialist.
      If you are providing contracted services, I don't think the price of your host's
      life will be a question of cost – for that individual to deny the necessary budgeted
      costs.
      Yes. If you are just 'fooling around' and 'shooting ducks' (or pigeons!) then find a cheaper device.

      Reply
  2. One option for a driver would be the 20's gangster's "whipit" gun. It's a sawed off concept, though not quite as extreme as a double barreled 20 gauge shotgun out of mad max cut into a wild west "coach pistol." Honestly I've never tried this because of legal issues, but it's essentially just a pump action shotgun with a 4 round magazine tube, the barrel sawed down to the end of the tube, and the stock shortened to the length of a fully closed retractable stock so that it can still be brought to the shoulder effectively. Slugs would help penetrate auto bodies if necessary. My goal is to have a pump action shotgun, AR 15, 9mm full sized handgun, and a bolt action .308, so I haven't considered the PDW concept.

    Reply
    • Bolt Actions are great long range shooters, but they are also heavy, and relatively fragile compared to serious combat weapons such as an AR, or a Glock. Personally, I would like to have a Mossberg 590A1 12 gauge, with ghost ring sight, a Glock 19(somewhat easier to handle, and lighter as well), and a good lever action 30/30. Lever actions are relatively light, their caliber is decent, and terminal ballistics are fantastic, and if need be, you can pop off shots as fast as you operate the lever.

      Reply
      • I plan to travel in a small group, and hopefully make use of a bug out vehicle to stow additional weapons. The 9mm is my first choice after the shotgun because I live in an urban area and in a regional emergency situation where i need to go outside armed but don't want to add to hysteria or make myself a target the concealable firepower of a sidearm is my only option.

        Reply
        • As a carbine, the 30/30 shooting Hornady's Leverevolution ammo is tough to beat and is an effective rifle out to mid range.
          Depending on where your city is, the 9 mm might make sense. 9mm is never my first choice but since summers in Houston make concealment tough, I have a pocket 9 as my backup in winter and only carry in summer. I have a CHL and am never 'not armed' since if I knew when I would need my weapon, I wouldn't be there! A 9 will do the trick but I'm a major caliber bigot: rule #24 is never attend a gun fight with a handgun whose caliber begins with a number smaller than 4 (10 if metric). If large predators (bear) are not an issue, then a 9 works well and Kel Tec makes a carbine in both 9 and 40 that can use the mags from Glock or Sig or Smith. Not a bad combo for getting out of an urban area.

          Reply
      • That looks like an outstanding weapon, but unfortunately I have a very limited arsenal to work with because I live in California and I highly doubt that would be legal here.

        Reply
        • We, here in the land most likey to have major reginal SHTF event, are most limited on what we can protect ourselves with! I am so trying to find a way to get a PDW that is chambered 5.56 or .223. The PLR 16 is looking good for that. I just have to befriend a cop who wants one and is willing to get one for me too!

          Reply
          • pfffftt…
            limited? try getting a rifle in semiauto in australia. handguns are restricted and anything over 38/9mm up to 45 needs a special permit, pump action shottys are in the same class as semis [try to figure that out, something about how fast you can relaod a pump compaired to a lever action, where double/single barrels are as easy to get as a 22 bolt rifle.] centerfire is a step up in hardness to get than rimfire and selfdefence is not a good excuse to get one according to police. dont belive me ? search the government sites.
            dchil15

          • This is sad. There are lots of other countries in the United Nations that have imposed similiar laws. The UN is trying to preasure the U.S. into the same as we speak. Tell me one thing……what has the crime rate done as gun owner rugulations are tightened???

      • That is one fine weapon. The ONLY problem I see with such a gun is the DA holding it up at your trial rambling on about how NOBODY NEEDS THIS MAN KILLER shotgun with 15 rounds. It isn't even legal to hunt with so many. Yes, Yes, I know but before we get to TEOTWAWKI we have to survive TSHTF and not go to jail doing it. Folks living in places like California have a limit on how threatening their weapons can look. The fact that a cap and ball Walker Colt packs the power of a 44 Mag doesn't seem to impact politicians. Somehow you're nicer if you defend yourself with a 'safe' looking gun. If I lived in a place like California I'd look at the cap and ball stuff. The Feds don't consider them 'firearms' and they can be shipped via mail and DO NOT need a FFL holder. What California does with that I don't know but as a wild west/civil war fan, my replica weapons are only used for re-enactment of such things as the successful Bear State Rebellion. Not my first choice for survival but it worked for a lot of folks in the 1860's and 70's.

        Reply
        • My mother seems hell bent on a 92FS 9mm for "home defense" despite my protests. As a woman, she says she feels more comfortable with a 9mm and doesn't feel capable of wielding a 12 gauge. I've tried to explain that at extremely close range stopping power is essential. She also heard somewhere that three fourths of home shooting are accidents on family members (she didn't specify if she meant Accidental Discharge or mistaking "john" for an intruder) so I tried making the case for a 12 gauge for it's "less lethal" options. She seems more comfortable with being unarmed than being responsible for accidental death at times. I know that this was a bit off topic, but can you offer any advice on how to work with her?

          Reply
          • John,
            If she is willing to consider a firearm for home defense, then you have a start. There are 3 articles that might contain food for thought if you haven't read them – the two Survival Psychology articles "Deadly Force" and "Aftermath" and Family Survival: The Spouse. Be careful not to scare her into refusing to take effective measures.
            Several things can help. One is to put a laser site on the gun. 'She who must be obeyed' likes Crimson Trace but there are others. The point is that within 10 yards the laser gives a solid hit on the 'dot' every time. This builds confidence which helps. I don't know if there are small children in the mix but the key to avoiding 'friendly fire' is to establish and practice intruder drill. Have procedures for moving to the safe room (her bed room?) so there are no mistaken identities. Our LEO readers will tell you that sweeping a house is the most dangerous part of their job. That being the case, you don't do it. Get to a safe room (a designated spot that can be defended – doesn't have to be a 'survival safe'), call the police and STAY PUT. The LEO's will tell you when you can come out. Go to the range and practice. Don't worry about speed, it comes on its own but do practice double taps. Always shoot twice (triple taps if you feel better about them). It makes up for some of the reduced effect. Remember, a lot of bad guys are dead based on the 9mm. Do some research on what ammo you can use. Flangible rounds have maximum stopping power and don't over penetrate or needlessly endanger those in the next room but depending on jurisdiction there might be legal issues. Find out what the local LEOs use in their 9mm or used in their 9's if they've gone on to .40 or .45 and get that round. Probably a Hydra Shok or Hornady Critical Defense ( I have highest regard for everything Hornady has done) but you must buy some and make sure the 92 will digest it without misfire.
            The Taurus Judge is a .410/.45 Colt pistol but she probably won't like the recoil. The 9mm isn't my choice for me but the perfect gun for self defense is the gun you will train with, will have on you, and will use. For years, my bride carried a .32 S&W. It was what she liked and she is GOOD with it. She has the 9 now but it took her a while. She can shoot my .45 ACP but doesn't like it. A really good CHL course would help settle any doubts about using lethal force. This is a first cut at an answer. Read the other articles and then we'll talk again. If she has questions, I'll do my best to answer them.

          • John,
            I know we all have our little quirks when it comes to weapon platforms and calibers. But, triing to force your opinions/views onto your mother could backfire if she gives up the idea of a firearm for defense. The old adage “bring a gun to a fight” is more important than her using a weapon your comfortable with but she is not. In the end she will be the one using it for self-defense not you and she needs to be comfortable and competant with her choice.

          • John,
            If you go with the 9mm, get a box of Hornady's Critical Defense Ammo and see if your 9 likes the round. If it feeds OK, that might be the best round for your case. Everything I've seen says the CD ammo is really reliable stuff and Hornady has a great reputation (at least with me). I've used their Leverevolution Ammo to good effect. I emailed and ask and they said the CD ammo is also safe in a tube magazine (important for my .45 Colt lever gun) so it seems like a good choice. Hard hitting and in a 9mm. Seems like what you need. If she really doesn't like the 12, see if she can handle a 20. I don't think there is enough difference at home defense distances to matter between a 12 and a 20 and it is easier to handle.

  3. The PDW has the same problem that the M16 had. It is designed to be a fully automatic military weapon. Yes it has less recoil and more ammo but that is because it is supposed to be a suppressive fire weapon. The idea of using a fully automatic weapon of any caliber should be the last thing any survivalist is seriously considering. Use it in a crowd or when you can't predict where your rounds go and the best that can be said is that you are dangerously criminally negligent in the use of your weapons. Are you really going to guard your principal with such a weapon? Maybe a head of state (maybe) but no one else. This is a military weapon for a military event. If I'm cracking a hostage situation with a breaching team, OK, go for it. If I'm trying to get home or to my BOL do I really want (I certainly don't need) my weapon to be a PDW? Something like the Kel Tec RFB in .308 seems a much better choice at around $1200 to $1500. The only time full auto makes sense is if I'm dealing with MZB hordes and I then I need to have something like an M-2, M-60, or SAW – belt fed and plenty of ammo. Of course, I'm not going very far in that case because that stuff is heavy. To my mind, the logistics are prohibitive – if I'm carrying ALL my ammo, I'll carry rifle rounds. As much as I'm not a fan of an AR platform, I'd rather have an AR and a major caliber hand gun than one of these. No resupply, inadequate as a rifle, overkill as a pistol, wasteful of ammo resources – what's to like unless you're in a military convoy? Like the Battle Cruisers of the last century, this is a weapon that is too big to do the job of the little boys and costs almost as much as the big boys but can't play with them either. Battle cruisers were a good idea that didn't work. I think the PDW is a good idea that just doesn't work out well enough in practice to justify its existence.

    Reply
    • You are "preaching to the choir" again, at least in my case. If one feels that they really need "military grade" firepower then nothing delivers it like the good battle rifle clones in .308 (Springfield Armory M1-A, HK-91, FN/FAL). All of these rifles can be had with various different types of folding stocks and thus can be concealed in a duffel bag or some other type of luggage that does not by its very size and shape scream that it's got a rifle in it.

      If you are seriously going to be firing out of a moving vehicle, something that I would not recommend unless the situation was both extreme and bizarre, you're going to be using one hand to drive the vehicle and your other hand to operate the weapon, so you'd better be talking about a pistol if you're expecting to do that effectively. But you say a pistol doesn't have power? Depends on the pistol. At close range I'm reasonably sure my .44 mag can do what needs to be done. Those who prefer semi-autos would be well served by weapons chambered in 10 mm (actually a .41 magnum equivalent) and .45 ACP.

      IMHO, if one looks only at the "pros" and "cons" listed as bullet points by the author at the end of the article, then the "pros" do not outweigh the "cons". All of the pros listed apply equally well if not better to pistols, and if you're worried about being able to defeat body armor then you really need to be looking at a rifle or a 12 gauge shotgun with slugs.

      Reply
    • Absolutely well put. And besides, if it's MZB's, I'm just gonna stick with the a chainsaw and double barrel shot gun. It works for Bruce Cambell. 🙂

      Reply
      • Yeah, but he had the 'magic magazine' that never needs reloading and the magic gas tank on the chain saw that never needs fuel!
        An observation – if there are 'Golden Hordes' of MZB those who have prepared to survive with rifles and major caliber hand guns will survive as well as the mall ninjas with the really expensive AR platforms. The riflemen (disclaimer – I consider men the general plural for members of the human species as taught by teachers (not educators) decades ago; no gender bias intended or included. Doesn't it annoy you that you have to say things like that?) will be able to evade the MZB encounters and use aimed fire if necessary to escape. If he can't, nothing short of full auto, belt fed will get it done and the mall ninja would also be toast. A small group of riflemen or a small group of CQB carbine users can get out of such tight spots (We've been doing it since at least the 1840's) with training, maneuver and fire discipline. Afterward we have the proper weapons to ensure our survival and with the money not used on tricking out a space gun we have other survival tools like really good knifes and water filters. The prudent CQB carbine owner is not quite as well off, but if he bought prudently, he should be OK. The mall ninja better hope that the group of MZB is small and he gets all of them and they have what he needs to survive so he can take it from their bodies.
        If there are not 'Golden Hordes' of MZB the mall ninja is not equipped to survive in the world as it will exist. He has put all his preparation into a weapon system that may not provide all of his survival weapon needs and has spent so much he has really limited resources. Some folks might be able to take ducks with an AR but I think I really need a shotgun for example. A single shot 20 can feed your family from birds – if you could afford one before TSHTF with what you had left after tricking out your space gun.
        As Miniarchist-1776 points out, I'm probably still preaching to the choir but sometimes it helps to know that we are not the only one thinking along a reasonable track.

        Reply
    • Many military weapons were designed to have " full auto " capability , however anyone worth their salt knows that there is only one reason to go full auto . When in a low-profile survival mode ….worrying about breaking out of an ambush should be consciously avoided . Fire superiority is the last type of situation you want to engage in . Semi-auto is plenty capable of keeping heads down while you make your retreat . Situations requiring medical treatment should be avoided at all costs…..if you can live to fight another day…..do it !!

      Reply
      • Well thought out, Mark. The other thing full auto needs is the military resupply system. It is amazing how fast full auto (at 800 to 1000 rounds per minute) will burn through 10,000 rounds. Further fact is that over the short term most practiced shooters can fire semi-auto almost as fast as full auto. The trigger finger is fairly fast; I have seen guys shooting semi who were limited by the bolt cycle time, just like a full auto shooter is limited.

        Reply
    • The military version of the PDW is a viable replacement for a SMG for troops that due to their job are not issued a rifle or carbine, i.e. vehicle crewmen. I'd much rather have a FN 5.7 PDW than a M9 pistol or a MP5 subgun if I were driving a vehicle in a war zone. For any other use, no, and especially not the civilian version. Put a 16" barrel on it and make it semi-automatic and it becomes the size of an M4 with less than half the power. No thanks. I'll take the M4/AR15.

      Reply
      • Well said, Bear. For its unique mission, the PDW is well designed, just as the M1 Carbine was (essentially same mission) in the 1940s. Neither is a general purpose survival weapon although both are fun to shoot. My preference is still .30 caliber or above but you are quite correct. IF you have a viable role for a PDW, then get one. Just don't make the mistake of thinking it is a reasonable substitute for a battle rifle or a general survival weapon.

        Just my not so humble opinion.

        Reply
  4. Naaaw, don't see the use. My personal PDW is a pair of Springfield XD's in .40, a Bersa in 380, a Tarus Public Defender with 000 buck and .45LC alternating, and finally, a Stoger 12ga side by side coach gun with 00 in one barrel and slug in the other. If they get passed all that, they can have me. But that's is only if they get passed the .308 and 5.56 that was plinkin from farther away. Good luck.

    Reply
      • I find it amazing that folks think you need this new stuff when the BP stuff has been dispatching our fellow man quite effectively for a long time. A BP rifle, shot gun or revolver will kill you just as permanently as any lead pusher on the market.

        Reply
  5. The sub-machine gun maybe but the cost of rounds and availability of a PDW are not worth it. Now I have a M1 Carbine and I would never get rid of it. But I have also squirreled enough ammo to make it useful.

    Reply
    • Agreed, the SMG has the advantage of matching your sidearm. Still not a "survival" weapon but makes more sense to me especially if you are E&E-ing out of a large city. The bump up in performance from the SMG might make sense against smaller groups with a round less likely to be lethal a mile away. I note the Knight PDW does claim more velocity and energy down range than the 5.56 from an identical 10 inch barrel. That's a lot of energy for an automatic pistol round.
      The M1 Carbine has been singing a siren song to me for years – I may have to break down and get one. I KNOW it is not the optimal survival weapon. I KNOW I'll have no way to pick up reloads that I don't do myself. I KNOW there are other guns out there that are probably better weapons – don't care! I WANT ONE! OK, that's better; it had to be said. In my experience, a weapon you are comfortable and confident with is the best one to be carrying provided it is safe and will do the job. If I decide to carry the M1 Carbine, I'll have to adjust plans to account for its unique requirements. I think it would be worth it.

      Reply
    • I agree with this 100%, the M1A is a beast in all respects. And if you get the short barrel (16"), then it can make a pretty formidable close quarters weapon also.

      Reply
  6. I agree. If you want something small that can puke out rounds, why? For someone small or weak or both use the .22 LR. You can buy a ton of them for cheap and still take down small game with it. The CCR Stinger has the highest muzzle velocity of any commercially available round I know of and it’s a hollow point. Impact lbs. per square inch is up there with the really big boys yet, a little girl can shoot it. You can also get .22 bird shot.
    Sure a .22 semi-auto isn’t going to give you the Mission Impossible look to go with your black jumpsuit with all the d-rings and zippers but they are cheap and easy to modify. Instead of the “spy gun” get something practical. Where are you going to get .41 cal. Ammo?

    Reply
    • My only caveat with a .22 is that I think (my not so humble opinion) that if you carry a .22LR as your main rifle/carbine then you need a major caliber handgun as a backup. I consider my sidearm to be my "where the hell did that (name your least favorite predator here) come from and how did he get so bloody close?" weapon. If you're not in big bear country, this could be a .357 mag or perhaps a 9mm. My personal bias is .40 or bigger but that is my bias. I do occasionally carry a Smith & Wesson .357 Mag as a rough country gun in the area outside of Houston but in the tall and uncut it is a .45.

      Reply
      • Its mountain lion. Freakin mountain lions. Too hard to hit unless its already biting you; wolves are *just* small enough for me to fight off, kill with a knife. Bear are kind of hard to kill with a pistol anyway (read: Impossible), but aren't the most likely to attack you.

        Reply
        • Chris,
          pretty much – problem with wolves, of course, is there will probably be more than one. I might handle one but four or five? As to bear, your handgun had best be in the .357 Mag (black bear) or .44 Mag or .45 or .454 Casull if you want serious help from it. From what I understand about the big cats is that they are 'ambush' predators and you may not have a chance to put the weapon into action.

          Reply
  7. For those who can handle it a 12 gauge a great choice. Large variety of ammo from small shot to slugs, easily modified and ammo is readily available. They even have flares. Now that’s practical. Heck, even a .410 is better than one of those glam trench brooms.
    Perhaps the next debate should be about the best modifications for the tried and true weapons that most everyone has or can afford. Like the 12 gauge, or .308. Stuff with readily available ammo, in a variety of types?
    Humped a SAW and a 60… Too heavy and probably not going to get ambushed by a pack well armed rabbits.

    Reply
    • My comments to Jason on the Judge and Circuit Judge apply here as well. The question should be what is the role the weapon will play and how many various roles will each weapon fill? A single use weapon is a lot of weight and expense when we need to face unknown 'Black Swan' events. Flexibility is critical as is excess capacity.

      Reply
      • As my age increases and my recoil tolerance seems to decrease I've become more fond of 20's. The 12's biggest draw to me now is that there may be a town in the US where you can't get ammo for the 12's but if there is, I haven't found it. If there is ammo to be found, 12 gauge is there. The 20 is not quite so common. Of course, the question becomes, how much ammo will you really need post TEOTWAWKI? For a SHTF event, even a long term one, I have no doubt I have enough ammo for my weapons. But if we are never going to get more, how much is enough? The 12 gauge is the gold standard, there are bigger (10's, 8's and even the odd punt gun) and smaller (20, 28, .410) but always the 12. If for no other reason, that makes the 12 prime if you are comfortable with the recoil.
        I've seen 'reduced recoil' rounds but haven't tried them. Anyone have any experience with them?

        Reply
        • I buy Federal LE Reduced Recoil rounds by the case, and shoot it from my 12 gauge almost exclusively. The Fed LE reduced recoil performs as good or better than most standard bore loads thanks to flitecontrol wads and quality shot. Shot patterns are very tight and as the loads have change slightly over the years, accuracy has only improved.

          Reply
  8. The problem I see with a shotgun is "ammo portability". Is that a word? How much 12 guage ammo can you actually carry for a long distance?

    Reply
    • Jason, I think ammo portability is two words, actually, but your point is well taken for those of slighter build and strength. This is where you start looking at 20 gauge or .410. The .28 would work well but you're back into ammo questions. A combination of the Taurus Judge and Circuit Judge would give you a combination .45 colt and .410 shotgun, revolver/long gun combination that would fit most needs in a survival situation. The Circuit Judge is a 5 shot .45 Colt rifle that will chamber the .410. That is a potent combination for a carbine, pistol, shotgun that can handle most situations.

      Reply
    • Portable ammo isn’t going to bring down a bear threatening my family. I used to carry 13 or more, 30 round magazines on long range patrols… 15 rounds of slug and 25 rounds of shot isn’t much compared but is plenty for most long movements. The idea is if you come across any game during your movement you can harvest and still have rounds left over for security. A good hunting vest will help to distribute the weight and if you assign storage by type you will know where to get it when the adrenalin kicks in or in the dark. Keep the shotgun loaded for the priority of the moment… If your priority is security slug or buck shot should be loaded. If you are on the move and small game are available load smaller shot. You can always switch to slug or buck shot if you come across something big. The beauty of the shot gun is it versatility… It’s not just a one round, single use weapon.

      Reply
      • The revolver has a similar function as the shotgun. Load what you need and store TSHTF ammo a little father down the cylinder. My 'walk the dog' gun is a Ruger revolver in .45ACP. First 3 rounds are .45 shot shells (my semi won't feed them because of soft recoil) followed by 3 Hydra Shoks. The shot shells I can use in the green belt against wild dogs or rabid skunks or whatever without worrying that I'm going to kill a child in the house behind that rabid skunk. If 3 shot shells don't get it done then I have the Hydra Shoks ready to go to 'fine tune' the argument.
        If I'm out in the country where large predators are a problem, I tend to load my magazine with two or three 'bear' rounds and then a couple of deer or what ever I'm hunting rounds.
        I'll never get there hunting but if TSHTF and I'm faced with a big predator, the appropriate round is a couple of shots away if needed.

        Reply
    • I think you are exaggerating the amount of ammo you will actually need. As far as I can see it, the biggest reason to even have a firearm is to intimidate people and to hunt. And for hunting, a shotgun can't be beat, with the capability to fire rounds that will work for hunting anything from squirrels to moose. If you live in the city, and won't be hunting, then a pistol will do the trick.

      Reply
  9. my question is, when did a sub-machine gun become a primary survival weapon? i mean, let's be honest; a PDW in a survival situation is all bark, but no bite. most of the main stream caliburs that goes with PDWs, such as the 5.7 x 18mm round for the P90, are designed to outperform pistols, not rifles so you shouldn't use this as your main survival rifle. also, the price is probably going to prevent billy bob from purchasing a P90 or a MP7 any time soon; the whole sale price for either of these puppies could easily equal the price of a cheaper AR-15, for the 5.56mm fans out there. in my opinion, the cost plus the low potential of a PDW as a proper substitute to 5.56mm or .308 rifles makes it more of a luxury than an actual necessity.

    Reply
    • Nothing wrong with luxury items, as long as YOU know it is a luxury item. Any gun, even a PDW is better than no gun, but you are right: you get one of these after and only after your basic survival battery is set up. I've been buying firearms for years and I have some luxury items but frankly, I think someone with a Single Action Army and Winchester in .45 Colt plus a single shot or double barrel 20 gauge or .410 is better equipped than someone with one of these. If you don't like to hunt with a handgun, why would you want one of these? and if you do hunt with a hand gun, why would you exchange your effective hunting weapon for something that is, by design, not nearly as good a hunting weapon? the issue with a luxury item is that it may keep you from acquiring the weapon you need for survival. As I've said elsewhere, the Judge/Circuit Judge combination is a good mix if you have nothing. The .357/9mm/40 handgun and rifle match are also serviceable. Add a shotgun (.410 single is quite good) and you have a really viable setup.

      Reply
        • Well, actually, me and a few thousand Cowboy Action Shooters in the Single Action Shooters Society. I find them a lot of fun, I shoot them often, therefore I am reasonably proficient with one. Hey, if it worked for John Wayne, it works for me, after all, the Duke could do no wrong. 🙂

          Reply
    • The SMG or PDW are not in my opinion a survival weapon. However they are on the list of tools to survive the intiaual SHTF time period and my E&E from major urban area to BOL. The point being survival. Being a prepper kinda makes you a target for the bandits and desperate non-preppers out there. Others have stated that “me and mind first others after”. That is where I’m coming from.

      Reply
      • Ben,
        I understand your point but full auto weapons typically have hundreds or thousands of rounds fired per kill. Battle rifles run in the 2 to 5 round range. If you're packing a PDW and I've got a rifle/carbine/shotgun there is not going to be a firefight. You will be out of range when I open the hostilities and IF I'm any good, you'll never get close.
        Specialty weapons can be fun to shoot and use, but if survival is at stake, especially if you have limited ammo, the battle rifle, semi or bolt, or a good lever gun have a lot more flexibility. Check out my post further down as to the design purpose of the PDW. Outside of that niche, it is not the best tool for the job.

        Reply
    • The FNP90, if chambered in the .22 long, would be phenomenal. I'd literally move to the US in order to be able to own one.

      Reply
  10. also, if i had to choose a good sub-machine gun design for my Bug-Out Plan, it would be the .22 LR M&P 15-22P. first of all, everyone knows of the outrageous affordability of the .22 round so it would be the best choice for the trigger happy sub machine gun fans. also, the M&P 15-22P is comparably compact to other PDWs so it would be a good gun for those who needs a smaller gun; plus, the gun shoots straight enough at 25 meters while still looking awesome!

    Reply
    • I own one and its awesome. load it with Aguila hyper velocity rounds that spit out at 1750 fps, and it can do work, 30 bucks for 500 rounds. The M&P 15-22 is a good choice along with my colt .357 and my Mossberg shotty…until the kel tec ksg comes out!

      Reply
      • Question: do you believe a .22 lr DA/SA revolver would be a good survival/self-defense gun for the gun enthuasist, yet novice? i mean, since your obviously a revolver kind of guy, what is your opinion?

        Reply
        • LesStroudfan, I personally would upgrade that firearm ASAP to a larger caliber. Quite frankly, regardless of its intended use, the .22LR is simply not a good round for anything other than plinking.

          From an article written by Mike Boyle, a law enforcement firearms instructor:

          "Carry a Real Gun
          One block of instruction at the workshop was devoted to ammunition performance from smaller defensive handguns commonly utilized for concealed carry. Participants were encouraged to fire their chosen ammunition from their handgun into 10 percent ordnance gelatin covered with four layers of denim. Ordnance gelatin is a tissue simulant that replicates the density of human muscle tissue. Four layers of denim is roughly equivalent to heavy clothing that might be worn by an assailant.

          I’ll spare you all the gory details, but a number of trends became abundantly clear. Terminal performance of the 9mm, .40 S&W, .357 SIG and .45 ACP when using a quality jacketed hollow point, was uniformly good. Even when fired from the shorter barrels of compact and subcompact pistols, these bullets expanded and penetrated to ideal levels.

          The preferred hideout of old, the .38 Special snub, posted mixed results while the .380 ACP was a dismal performer. In the .380 ACP, only CorBon’s all copper DPX load expanded reliably when fired from a small pocket pistol.

          The moral of the story? Carry a real gun! Small, flat autoloaders chambered for service cartridges are a good bet. If you favor the snub, Speer’s 135 grain +P Gold Dot JHP or the CorBon 110 grain DPX load are the way to go."

          Reply
          • Point of order, sir. While I understand your meaning, I try to avoid the use of the term 'real gun' when used in a way that may infer a .22 won't kill you absolutely, positively and sincerely dead.

            I use a .22 single action pistol as a first handgun for training as it 1) has a low recoil; 2) has a low noise signature, 3) is excellent for teaching safe handling and 4) will not go bang if dropped by a startled beginner after the first shot. I treat it and insist that all associated with me treat it as I would a .44 Magnum. It is a real gun; not air soft or paint ball or demo – it launches real lead slugs that are unguided after leaving the barrel.

            When asking about a .22 revolver as a survival/defensive handgun it would not be my first choice. I advocate revolvers for safety and reliability reasons especially for someone who doesn't get as much range time as we would desire. I practice frequently and I am frankly not comfortable with my level of skill at one handed clearing techniques on my semi-autos, especially with my weak hand. Some of the required skills for a pistol require more strength and dexterity, especially under stress, than many people posses. I can clear a jam, reload and rack the slide of my Colt with either hand, so I carry it. I just don't think I'm good enough with it yet. In some cases the revolver is clearly superior due to the nature of the country or mode of transportation. I consider a revolver much safer for someone on horseback for instance. If the gun is dropped there is no shot fired. A spooked horse can make it tough to draw and fire at a cougar or snake for instance. Dropping a pistol can really mess up your day – a properly loaded revolver can not discharge on being dropped. A pistol is easier to carry concealed but is not easier to use.

            That said I consider a survival handgun, pistol or revolver, as my 'I blew it' weapon. No large predator should ever come within handgun range by accident but when one does, I want a weapon that will keep me at the top of the food chain. If you have an accurate handgun in .22 that you routinely hunt with and are competent using to humanely take game, I won't quibble about using it as a hunting weapon.

            However, it would never be my first go-to gun for defensive purposes if I had another choice. If I was hunting with a 22 rifle or handgun, I would want a weapon capable of handling what ever I ran into on the hunt to back up my 22 revolver. This is the same as my caveat for those who want a 22 survival rifle; always have a major caliber hand gun for the 'where did that (name least favorite predator here) come from and how did he get this close?' moments.

            I saw a story on National Geographic about a guide in Europe who carried a .22 revolver to scare off brown bears with the noise. One of them ate him. When the noise didn't work and he tried to shoot the animal, it just really annoyed the bear.
            One should always remember, use determines caliber and platform, not the other way around. Just my not so humble opinion.

          • my question to you is would .22 lr revolver be a good training pistol for the gun enthusiast, yet novice?

          • As a training weapon, a .22LR would be tough to beat. I have a single action .22 that also has a .22 Magnum cylinder for it as well. It is an excellent training round and with the magnum cylinder not a bad small game round. A pistol or revolver teaches good gun handling, does not instill recoil adverse reaction, is useful for proper targeting – all sort of good things. A .22 rifle and a .22 pistol are both excellent firearms that fill a variety of rolls. I'm not a particularly good pistol shot – by that I mean that I don't consider my skills adequate to insure a one round kill on my target with a handgun using iron sights at much distance at all. If you are good enough, a 22 handgun could be a good hunting weapon. I know of cases where it was used to good effect as a defensive firearm as well. It would never be my first choice as a defensive weapon but it beats bare hands against a knife.

            I really like it as a training arm, I enjoy shooting a 22, both rife and pistol – hard to beat them for just fun and inexpensive shooting. If you have no firearms, it is a decent first gun. If you have a basic battery of short gun, shot gun and long gun, it makes an excellent next gun. It is very flexible, great for small game and rodents and a good training weapon for maintaining skills. The only problem with the 22 is if you think you have more gun than you actually have. Yes, an expert shot who can stay absolutely ice water calm can take a large animal with a shot to the eye or ear canal. I am not that expert shot nor am I that calm when up close and personal with a large animal. Against a predator like a bear the shot might not present itself before you are fatally injured. My rule for hunting is one shot drops. If the animal runs off for 50 yards, I've missed what I wanted to do. That given, I select hunting arms and shots to accomplish that. A 22 can not produce those results reliably on animals larger than a coyote or bob cat.

            There is one other problem as I mentioned above. Some big gun bigots (like me for instance) make the mistake of not thinking of the 22 as a real gun. While, if I have to get shot, I'd choose a 22 before a 45-70, I don't want to get shot with one. As I paraphrased above from the 'Wizard of Oz'; a 22 can get you 'absolutely, positively and sincerely dead' if you get careless with it.
            If you can legally own one now, it would not leave you 'disarmed', it would teach you good handling skills and would be a foundation for a future battery when you can legally buy more. That and it will always be fun to shoot.
            I hope that answers your question. I tend to get verbose and sometimes forget to actually answer what was ask.

          • i would like to say thanks for your input. like you said, .22s are no laughing matter but they are not the best round on the market. the reason why im looking at it is because its a good training weapon since of its low recoil and economic benefits; plus, like you admitted, i am not a handgun expert or even amateur so i need a gun i can learn to shoot fast and inexpensively.

            if you like to know, my favorite handgun cartridge is the .357 Magnum for self-defense/survival. well, i dont own a .357 revolver but i heard they are basically the "all-rounder' on the market.

            quick question: what is your favorite .22 rifle/handgun?

          • LesStroudfan,
            First, haunt gun shows and see if you can find someone wanting to get rid of an 'old fashioned' wheel gun. You might be able to get a good deal. My S&W .357 is 30 plus years old and is a solid shooter. Just remember that on the older guns, you MUST leave an empty chamber under the hammer. The older guns have the firing pin either resting on the primer or is kept off of the primer by a thin 'safety' that can break if dropped. Rugers and some Taurus revolvers use a transfer bar and allow you to load all 6 but most '6 shooters' should only have 5 loaded. You add the 6th only if needed (like from a speed loader for use in a gun fight). I like wheel guns and the .357 has maximum flexibility. Ruger has one that also will handle a 9mm cylinder. That is a very flexible firearm.
            As to .22's, I've fired Savage, Remington, Rossi, Ruger, and Western Auto plus a couple that have no pedigree that I'm aware of. Pistol or rifle, I'd be leery of spending a lot of money on 'brand names'. Some companies have gotten very proud of their names, fair enough, but I'm adverse to paying an extra $400 for a brand name. I've never been disappointed in anything Ruger. They are not the cheapest out there but you're not paying a big premium for a brand name. Savage may be the single most under rated manufacturer in the states. That said, I think a Ruger Mark II or III is about the finest pistol out there and their Single Six is a great 22 single action revolver. In a rifle, Remington 22's are solid shooters but I think I'd look for something like a Savage or Stevens (owned by Savage). You're going to pay less than $250 for a brand new .22 that is solid.

          • LesStroudFan,
            Dont forget to look at a Ruger 10/22. Light, short, accurate and reliable. Also, if you don’t like the factory setup there are a lot of aftermarkt options that allow you to set up the firearm in a way that suites you (savage and Stevens don’t). A new one will cost about $250-270. It is also an autoloader which allows for quick followup shots and can be used for defense against 2 legged critters with ill intent with 30 round magazines if you don’t have something else.

          • Thanks, Brad. My grandson has a 10/22 and loves it. I'm hoping when they come down this month they'll bring it so I can shoot it. I do enjoy spending all day at the range for under a $100 in ammo and still getting home without a sore shoulder.
            Ruger does make quality stuff.

          • The 10/22 is a superb firearm, dont get me wrong. But in a survival scenario, if I am considering a .22 rifle as a possible BOB weapon, I would choose the Henry .22 AR-7. The first thing that caught my idea about this weapon was its nifty takedown feature; unlike other takedown weapons such as the Marlin Papoose, the AR-7 can be divided into 3 components (barrel, receiver, and shoulder stock) and be stuffed into its own shoulder stock. This has some incredible advantages in a survival situation since your most reliable gun is the one you can take with you; for this job, the AR-7 does it well. Also, the AR-7 can be just as accurate as any other good .22 rifles such as the 10/22 even though it is a takedown rifle; with a good scope and sub-velocity .22s, you would be shooting nuts out of a squirrel's mouth. Plus, the MSRP price of $275 is a hard to beat added bonus.

          • LesStroudfan,
            Your points are well taken and the AR-7 does look interesting. I just got back from a day at the range. My grandson brought his 10/22 carbine – that was a fun gun to shoot. My longer 22 rifles are fun but that little carbine is a hoot! I was amazed at the 10/22's accuracy right out of the box. We were blotting out the center of the targets at 50 yards, first rounds fired. I was impressed with the little gun and my grandson's shooting skills. Not bad for first time shooting; not bad at all! I may have to see if I can get my hands on a Henry AR-7 just to see how it feels. I really liked the feel of the Ruger – it actually sharpened my appetite for a Mini-30 – Ruger seems to make really decent slug launchers.

          • yeah, im looking into the mini 14 or mini 30 as a future survival rifle. got any likes/dislikes with the weapon system?

          • I like to shoot 5.56 – it is fast, flat and is easy to handle. That said I don't like it as a survival round because I just don't think it is flexible enough to get the job done in a wide enough set of conditions. I'd use a 7.62X39 for deer at 100 – 200 yards. I wouldn't feel comfortable using a 5.56 that way. Would if I had too but don't want to have to.

            As to the platform, I've not fired either but I've never been disappointed by a Ruger anything. I've heard some comments about accuracy with the Mini-30 but even those comments say the platform is within the accuracy of the round. I'm looking at the Mini-30. It is a common round with she who must be obeyed's AK-47. I'd trust the 7.62 for use with larger animals than the 5.56 but neither round is a solid rifle round. Still, the 7.62 has more punch than the 5.56 and will do more.

            I'd go with either Ruger before I'd go with the AR platform. It looks like it is based on the M14 platform that I definitely like. I've handle both the -14 and -30 and can't tell much (any) difference in the size/weight/physical characteristics of the two. Some of the uppers (.338, .50 Beowulf or BMG, etc.) might make an AR attractive as a combination weapon but I just don't trust my life to the AR if I have any other choice. If you trust the 5.56 cartridge or have a need for it (prairie dog hunting? or ammo compatibility) I'd go with the Mini-14. Otherwise, I'd go with the Mini-30. Just my not so humble opinion.

          • Thank you for your input, CaptBart; I have always valued it. To the best of my knowledge, I heard Ruger has straighten out some of the accuracy issues with its rifles, including the Mini-30. Therefore, I would be looking into that weapon system as a possible survival weapon.

            As of right now, I am considering the SKS as a possible survival weapon. The SKS is just as reliable as an AK, but it's even cheaper. Overall, my philosophy concerning survival weapons for TEOTWAWKI is that they can be use both for defensive and hunting purposes; why have two different firearms for the two purposes? So far, I believe the SKS and the 7.62x39mm round fits that bill nicely. What is your opinion?

          • The main advantage the AK has over the SKS is a detachable magazine which makes for faster reloads. If it was a choice between the SKS and a 5.56 anything I'd choose the SKS. Both SKS and AK are reliable, well built firearm that delivers a decent punch with the 7.62X39 round. Not a .308 but at carbine ranges it should get the job done anywhere in the lower 48. I've looked at the SKS as well. Since I think that too much emphasis is placed on combat operations, I do not think the lack of a detachable magazine is that big a deal.

          • Just to make it clear, I have recently read that there are detachable SKS magazines on the U.S. market for sale to the general public; try looking at cabela's for starters. I thought this would be helpful if I went on the SKS side.

          • I own a Henry AR-7 and am mostly pleased with it. The takedown/store-in-stock feature sold me. It cycles well with most ammo, although with subsonics it will fail occasionally and pinch in the action. Not as accurate as some, but it does what it was designed for very well, and that is to travel with me everywhere. The stock is very wide and klutzy, due to having room for storing the barrel and receiver. A full mag will fit in storage inside the receiver, allowing a sort of Cond III carry for faster setup with no danger as the barrel with the chamber is separate. I don't practice speed setups with it, but I can go from stowed to shooting in under a minute without hurrying. All in all a great gun for the canoe, camper, under the seat etc. And too cheap not to own one!

          • first of all, i would like to thank you for your input OfficerOtto. however, the reason why i was asking that question was that i am in the process of considering a future survival/self-defense gun; as of this moment, i am not old enough to wield a handgun in my homestate of Virginia. because of this, i was simply saying a "what-if" question. still, what calibur/type of pistol should i be interested in if i want both a survival gun, but a nice-handling, self-defense pistol as well. ?!

          • By now you know I am a .45 bigot. It worked for me when I needed it to and saved my life. Not knowing the law where you live and assuming 'deep' concealment is not a requirement; one of the best 'first' handguns, in my not so humble opinion, is a .357 Magnum in something like the Ruger GP100. Ruger is one of the few wheel guns that is safe with all cylinders loaded and are excellent guns in general. The .357 is capable of shooting both .38 spl and the magnum. If you don't need a magnum load, the old FBI load is an effective defense load against human predators. In the tall and uncut, a .357 Mag is effective an effective round even against black bear which is the biggest threat in VA. There are multiple lever guns out there that will chamber the .357 round to give you a carbine as the long gun for your arsenal. The .357 rifle might be a little light on large game at ranges beyond 100 yards but out at 50 yards, even deer could be harvested. The ability to shoot appropriate ammo for the mission (full metal jacket, hollow point, shot shell, magnum, Hornady Critical defense or FBI load) makes it an excellent choice as the first gun in the battery.
            The heavier magnum frame makes the .38 SPL a delight to shoot in the gun. A 4 inch barrel is long enough to have good shooting characteristics and still small enough to be reasonably concealable. Ammo is readily available and not too expensive.
            Effective, versatile, relatively inexpensive and the round supports an effective carbine; what's not to like? I really like my S&W .357 with a 4 inch barrel. Its only drawback is that for safety I must leave the chamber under the hammer empty. I carry the .38 SPL FBI load in the gun and 3 speed loaders with .357 Mag. If 5 rounds of 125 grain, .38 SPL doesn't adjust the situation, I'm shifting to the magnum. Out in the field, I use .357 Mag all the way. If I get crosswise with my neighbors steer, I want to be sure I have sufficient power to get out of trouble. I think it is one of the most under rated hand guns out there and therefore a bargain. Just the not so humble opinion of a .45 bigot.

          • H&R makes a .357 bolt action that might make a nice addition to your battery, it is cheap – but I prefer it to the lever action.

          • Thank you, Jean. I've not seen a .357 bolt – it could be an interesting rifle. H&R makes good stuff. I personally prefer lever actions as I find the lever operation a tad more natural than the bolt. Thanks to the Cowboy Action sport, there are those out there who can tune a lever gun to use a short stroke if you wish. I rather like mine with the original stroke length on the lever but that is just me.

  11. Nah, you're better off spending your money on training to be a better shot with your handgun, learning how to make better baked goods, or first aid classes.

    To me a PDW is a military weapon, a survival gun is an old savage 24 .22/20 gauge O/U or a Henry .22 carbine.

    Reply
    • Michael,
      the old .410/.22 or .20/.22 are extremely viable survival arms. Add a handgun in .357 or better and you are well equipped. The question always comes back to are you preparing to survive or fight a war? If I really screw up, I may need an M1A with several full mags but the fact is, if I do my job, the .22/20 will take care of almost everything, including bear with the right ammo (shot gun slug). Five years from now, you'd hope to have an upgraded battery, but you are not 'unarmed' with a Savage and you are in good shape with a Ruger GP100 in .357 and that Savage. Just my not so humble opinion.

      Reply
      • I've been looking for an .22/20 O/U for a bit, everyone I find is either too expensive or really beat up. I might have to break down and just buy a pricey one. I'm looking at 20's instead of .410's as I already have a 20 and don't want to have to buy separate ammo for it, but a 22/410 will keep you fed just fine.

        "are you preparing to survive or fight a war?"

        This is a good question and one I'd love to see prepper blogs take up.
        From what I've seen, a lot of folks are buying stuff and buying it in quantities that seem better suited for fighting a war than keeping you and your family safe and fed. Honestly, it kinda freaks me out. I've seen what para-militaries and militias have done in third world countries and none of it is good.

        My dad's parents were back-woods hillbillies and they got by (and always had plenty of food in their house) with a .22, a .25-20, a 12 gauge and a couple of dogs that barked when strangers showed up. I doubt grampa went through more than 50 rounds year all three guns combined.

        Reply
        • I see what you mean: I checked gunbroker.com and found http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?It
          for $600 and found a sold one for $400. Blue book prices are $200 to $300. If you have a good gun store you might ask them and also put up signs at the local range. You might also pick up a 'beater' (as long as the barrels are good) and fix it up. Local pawn shots might also be helpful. Some folks have a lot of luck finding guns (they just seem to drop in their laps) but I've not been one of them.

          The common ammo is a big point – I already have 12, 20 and .410 but I don't plan to bug out and each weapon fits a niche for us. Starting from scratch, going all 20 is really a pretty good idea. As I get older I find I don't enjoy my 12's like I used to – I think the manufacturers have figured out how to put more recoil in their guns as the gun gets older (that's my story and I'm sticking to it). If there are folks with smaller frames in the mix, a 20 makes great sense as a starting point. There might be a situation that a 12 could handle that a 20 couldn't but I really don't know what it would be and that includes large bear using slugs. On the other hand, a softer recoiling 20 might get you hits where a 12 with a stout recoil would get a miss. Hits are all that count so 20 gauge does make sense.

          Lots of folks lived long lives with single shots and even muzzle loaders. Folks tend to forget that it was black powder, cap and ball that ruined a lot of folks' day during the 'War of the Northern Aggression' and the 30 years afterward. Difference was guys like your grandpa was a RIFLEMAN! (caps for emphasis) He aimed his weapon and hit his target. I suspect today's 'spray and pray' shooters would be appalling to them and in a fight, my money is on the rifleman.

          Reply
        • Double posting here to address your "good question" comment.
          I agree with you Michael. This site is better than most. I avoid most survival sites because they are full of 'mall-ninjas' talking trash. The hard truth is that without a logistics trail of substantial size, successful war is impossible. Even guerrilla war depends on the supply train of the conventional forces. Most military operations are not suited for survival if for no other reason than the size of the foot print you leave behind.
          If the 'mall ninjas' get their wish and shoot it out with hordes of MZB (Mutant Zombie Bikers) and are still breathing after the event (unlikely but possible) they have a clean up problem that is unbelievable. The only real option then is to move to your backup, backup location because this one is compromised. It is easy to go 'Rambo' in the gun shop and yes, fully tricked out CQB carbines are cool but without an infantry company backing you up with heavy weapons (machine guns and mortars), sniper, commo and scout support I'd much rather have a reliable (I'm a fan of lever guns) rifle, a major caliber hand gun (again, revolver for reliability) and a solid shot gun (I like doubles). I can't put the most rounds down range but I can put accurate fire down range as fast as (or faster than) the 40 round mag, flashlight equipped, sound suppressed, CQB carbine packing mall ninja. If I run into 40 or 50 MZB types, I'll either get them to duck with accurate fire so I can E&E out or I'll die. Interestingly enough, that is the same outcome for the CQB operator. On the other hand, I have a weapon that will be with me and usable where ever I am on my land or in the woods. If I run into a bear, big cat, rabid skunk (the CQB might work here) or annoyed gator I've got the system to keep me at the top of the food chain. It is about what is likely to occur not what might have happened in a Mad Max movie.

          Reply
        • Great post Michael.

          I am going with the three basics, shotgun (wife) pistol rifle.

          People geared up for combat are more likely to get shot and die. WTROL how are you going to take care of a bullet wound. (majority of us have military training, combat life saver, TCCC…but no hospitol, there is a good chance all you can do is stablize yourself.)

          If it is one person or an intruder any of the basic three can handle that. However no matter how much training I have im not going to instagate a mob, shoot at a group of 3 or more that might have fire arms themselves. My goal is to survive not show that i have a better gun. Actually they might like it and now im in a gun fight anways. I want to evade, escape. most times it is just talking or being aware of your surroundings

          defense yes, hunting yes, but I dont see any need to have an MP5 unless I am actually with an orginized group and we are starting some sort of community, gaurd, CQB, etc. Plus I really dont want to carry a 4th kind of ammo on me, 556 is heavy enough as it is than add a ton of 5.7 along with side arm ammo. Wife is carrying the shells for shot gun 🙂

          Reply
        • I would say both. You prep for your family but “what if” when SHTF ended you were left with a tyrannical government that cracked down on all freedoms making it impossible to save your family?

          How freaked out would you be then?

          The same could be said for the militias. So again how will you protect your family in not prepared for both?

          I understand about your grand parents. My father was one of them till he went to WW2. Survived Omaha Beach, the breakout, Battle of the Bulge till the end of the war. Then fought in 2 more.

          He saw what the government could become. Hope for the best prepare for the worst and plan for all eventualities’.

          Or do you trust the government implicitly?

          Still freaked out?

          Reply
  12. I have used the mp5 for a lot of years in the military and they are good for one thing, close quarters combat and that is it. Having a PDW has to many bad points, Smaller caliber weapon, shorter less accurate barrel, heavy for their size. You are better off with a highly accurate pistol of .40 cal or bigger with some dropping power behind it. Pistols are much more maneuverable and easier to conceal. An MP5 9mm is hardly any good against body armor unless it is a light weight armor. Spend your hard earned cash on a really good Glock or Springfield 1911 .45 acp. Plus a good shooter can shoot from a car and be very accurate with a handgun.

    Reply
    • Even a carbine in a pistol round adds some velocity and accuracy to the mix. A suitable major caliber pistol round in a handgun/rifle mix is a good idea in my opinion.

      Reply
        • Just so. If the caliber gets the job done for your area that would be a tough combination to beat. My personal choice would be in .40 but there's nothing wrong with the 9mm for the right conditions. I'd probably look at a Sig/Kel Tec combo but that's just me. I've never shot a Glock and have nothing bad to say about them but I'm a 1911 bigot. Sort of the TV add saying boxers or briefs. Still, if I was looking at this combination I would find a way to shoot the Glock – I would want to get the best fit and I'm logical enough that I wouldn't let my prejudice in favor of the 1911 keep me away from a good gun.

          Reply
          • Captain Bart,

            I have a Glock 22 in .40 and recently acquired a KelTec Sub 2000 that accepts my Glock 22 magazines. I also picked up one of the Glock factory 22-round extended magazines just to see how it would handle it. Because the Sub 2000 is foldable, it fits quite snuggly into the map pouch on the drivers side door, which makes it easily accessable. I feel comfortable deploying the Sub 2000 from my vehicle ('05 Chevy Impala) although it is far more cumbersome than my Glock.

            Personally, I'm a fan of 1911's as well (Springfield 1911 A1) but I can't find anything comparable for it.

          • Thank you for sharing your thoughts and yes, sir, a good .45 carbine is hard to find. That is the problem for me. The closest I've seen is the semi-auto Thompson .45 clones. That is a little too pricey for what you get for me. It fits, I just don't want to pay that much. For the price of a Thompson replica, I could get the Glock and Kel Tec in .40. The 22/Sub2000 combo is a really attractive mix for most of the country. I suspect it would be solid against anything except a really large brown or polar bear. My local gun store rents Glocks to test fire; I may have to indulge myself. As a 40 shooter, how is the ammo availability? Around Houston, there is less of it than 9mm but certainly no shortage that I've seen. .45ACP and .38/.357 are probably more available than .40 but it is certainly not 'rare' or hard to find. What is your experience with it, if you don't mine my asking? I have a .45 Colt lever gun that I like and matches my SAA but .45 Colt (outside of cowboy loads) is more rare than .40.

          • .40 is coming on strong. The caliber was introduced not that long ago but has several pluses going for it.

            Pro: Good stopping power, Tamer recoil then .45, Harder hitting then 9mm, Lighter load out comperable then the .45 (165 gr. v 235 gr. x # rounds in mag x # of mags)

            Con: not uneversal as .45, Part issues, almost no cross platform options.

            Personally an XD .40 with a 4" barrel is my carry and I love it. Over 5k rounds thru it and only 2 feed issues, traced to faulting reloads. I picked up some extended mags (20 rnd), leaveing one out (only 19 rnds) fixes feed problems. So those and the 5 10 rounders makes for a go amount of ready ammo for an extended Bug Out Boogie situation.

            And yes it is a total shit sandwhich if I need anything like half of the ready ammo. But for the addition of the extended mags it is a load I'm use to humping along with me. Rather have and not need then need and not have.

  13. I definitely agree with the article. If you’re abosultely sure you have a specific role in your arsenal (that you will have a use for) that only a PDW can fill, by all means splurge on one. Otherwise, they’re just too specialized a firearm.

    Reply
  14. One thing we've all missed up until now. The PDW is a weapon for emergency use when TSHTF in a combat theater. Truck drivers in convoy should NEVER be required to defend themselves with side arms. If they must then things have gone horribly wrong. has it happened? Of course but choosing a last ditch, desperation weapon as my primary carry just doesn't make sense to me. I flew convoy cover with an OH-58 equipped with a mini-gun just so the drivers never had to use their weapons. If the helicopter escort and the armed guards fail, then this weapon MIGHT give the truckers (or the tankers bailing out of their disabled tank) a shot at survival. I just don't see this as a first choice for a survival weapon when the prime user considers it a desperation weapon.

    Reply
    • Hey skipper, I'm a desert storm frigate sailor,we flew on two kiowas from the night stalkers. Those boys did some serious damage.A. hellfire does make a mess of things. I saw the video on an oil platform/silkworm platform.It did'nt work out too good for them. Take care, H.

      Reply
      • hbarr,
        Thanks for serving sir.
        I LOVED flying the admirals and captains out to their ships. You guys had GREAT food! Of course, I always felt sorry for the ship's crew when I landed. Army birds didn't have rotor brakes at the time so we sat there on a frigate in the South China Sea as the blades spun down hoping not to hit anything. Crews were always great once I'd explained why I didn't use the brake like they were signalling. Easiest ship to land on was the old USS Card. The straight wing drivers might have thought that was a short deck but us rotohead pilots knew that a couple of acres of flight deck was pure heaven. I was always a tad nervous flying two hours out to sea in an aircraft that only had 2+30 of fuel on board. You guys were always there, but I was always nervous. Huey's and Kiowas don't float very well.
        Of course, it wasn't until I was back in the world and my baggage showed up that I understood why we were always left alone except for the poor ensign that was our escort. I simply burned my clothes and things when I unpacked. I couldn't smell when I was there but even on my 'clean' stuff the stench of jungle, burning "latrine leavings", etc. was unbelievable.
        I did love those Navy missions though. Good food, GREEN veggies, fresh milk and hot showers. WHAT A LIFE! Of course there was the time I bounced off the deck of a frigate at night but that's another war story.

        Reply
  15. As I recall the 10 is a more powerful cartridge than the .40; sufficiently so that the FBI thought the round (and bulk it brought to the gun) was too much for normal police work. That said, the .40 took off with LEO and the 10 sort of just stayed in idle. If I was going to buy one, I'd choose the .40 based on the availability of ammo and parts. If I could afford to fully stock a basic load of ammo (my comfort level is around 1500 rounds with re-supply at 1250 rounds left) for the 40 and if I liked the round I'd buy the pistol. If cost is really an issue, get the 9mm. Be aware that if you go that route, you will be 'uncomfortable' about being improperly armed; at least I was. I had a .38 for a few years before I got my first .45. After Viet Nam that .38 was never quite good enough. Still have it, still carry it on occasion but it is usually my second or third backup gun. Now that I know about the FBI load and that it shoots that well, I feel better about it but if your 'gut feel' says .40 and you don't have to wait 5 years to get one, that's what I'd go for. If a 9 is what you can have now, do it. At one time I had a 9X18 Makarov which is even less than the 9mm Parabellum. I traded it for a .380 auto (9X17 in metric) for my daughter. She trusted the Kel Tec but not the Mak. The LAST thing you want is a weapon you don't trust. As to the Ruger Mini-14, it seems like a good gun to me. I read in a post here that its accuracy is not quite what I would expect from a Ruger but I have no personal knowledge of that. California is funny in that they seem more worried about how big and bad a gun looks than what it will really do. If you wanted to stay with a common caliber for rifle and pistol, Marlin made their 'Camp Carbine' in 9 mm and Kel Tec has a 9 semi-auto; there are probably others. If you wanted to step up the Ruger Mini-30 shoots the same round as the AK-47 but again doesn't look so scary.

    Reply
  16. If you are going to spend a bunch of money on a PDW then why not get an M-4. At lease you can find round in most shops, parts are readily available, and you can still reach out with it to 4 or 5 hundred meters. 4 standard 30 round magazine pouches and one in the well give you 390 rounds to fend off all the Mall Ninja, Mutant Zombie, Convoy Hijackers one man can face. Or if you are sailing off the coast of Somalia. But, like it was stated earlier, these are for going to war. The wildlife in most places aren’t packing AK-47”s and most of us probably won’t need these kind of weapons for survival.

    Reply
  17. The Knoxx/Blackhawk SpecOps stocks are a great for the recoil reduction on the 12 gauge. My wife and daughters were scared of my Mossberg 500 prior to installing the SpecOps. Now they like shooting the "big" gun.

    Reply
    • Thank you, sir. These look interesting. I've bookmarked the site – I've used wood stocks on almost all of my long guns. I may well have to try these. Do they effect the time to reacquire the target for a follow up shot?

      Reply
      • This is my first foray into the cyber world of conversaton, gentlemen, so bear w/ me. Yes, I can vouch for the effectiveness of the SpecOps stocks – I have them on Moss 590, Winchester Dfender and Moss 500 12 Ga.s and they saved me from selling my shotguns. I am in same boat as you Capt, getting a little long in tooth and found the recoil just too much. The SpecOps made all the diff. Look carefully and you can find them for around $89 , Sportsmanguide, I believe. The pistol grips also helped me considerably as well. The installation is no big deal either.

        Reply
  18. Question, sir. Have you shot the .22 shot shells. We used to call them 'rat shot' when I was a kid. I was told (5 decades ago so a little dated perhaps) that the 'rat shot' could harm the rifling of a good shooting 22. I've also wondered about how effective the shot would be out of such a small round. The .45 shot shell is about #7 shot and there is enough of it to make a really nice pattern out to 7 or 8 yards. The .357 round is a tad anemic at that range in my opinion. I could see the .22 shot shell for up close (snake or rat in a barn maybe) but I'd like your opinion on how effective it is. Thank you.

    Reply
    • Exactly, we used to shoot rats at my friends grandmother house as a kid. She lived in the country next to a pig farm and a poultry farm. We would spot light the rats at night then throw the carcasses into the slop fire. Not very sporting but we weren’t trying to be sporting we were trying to clean the place up. As bird shot it’s almost worthless. Effective range is like 10-15 feet. Never heard about it hurting the rifling… Do you have any references for that? Never shot the .45 shot shell. Good idea.

      Reply
      • No references – I think it may have been something 'everyone' knew. The semi-autos may have had cycling problems just like my .45 ACP. When you think about it the .45 shot shell is like a .410 'short' shotgun round. It's like the .380 being a 9X17 – the short round of the 9mm world. Still if you happen to get up close and personal with a cotton mouth it could be good to have one or two of these to 'adjust' the situation in your favor.

        Reply
        • CaptBart. I would like to see someone write about the survivor’s number one mental tool situational awareness. Without it most people won’t survive the lights going out for a few weeks let alone a huge disaster. I’ve seen hard chargers out “hunting” walk right out into the middle of a meadow and scare away a big meal because they didn’t stop to look for signs of something already there. Good intentions but poor mindset. Know what I mean? Think you could write something along those lines?

          Reply
  19. Hello CaptBart. I find it helps on follow up shots due to the reduction in recoil. I really didn't enjoy shooting the Mossberg after a half dozen rounds or so prior to the SpecOP, now I can shoot as much as I like, with good control and still feel my arm on the way home ; )

    Reply
  20. Did anyone watch the Matrix link above?? How perfect is that music to their demeanor? It is like a walk in the park….perfect!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Regarding the PDW, I think the author said it best, Do you need one…or just want one. I don't need one but I would like to have one. FN P90 Short Barrel Rifle.

    Reply
    • i dont need a 357mag revolver or lever rifle but i sure as hell want one because the look sooo much cooler than a bolt action or semiauto that and in aussieland all i have to do is get the catagory b and h licences and be able to afford them

      Reply
      • Depending on the law, a Single Action Army in .357 Mag is quite popular with SASS (cowboy action shooting) folks. No SAA is the best choice for a combat handgun BUT I can put aimed fire down range with my .45 Colt at about the same rate as with a .45 ACP semi-auto. Aimed fire being the key. The place were the SAA loses big is in the reload. That said, if you could have a SAA but not have a DA revolver or a pistol, it is better than not having anything. As for the lever gun, I prefer lever to bolt every time. For me, the function of the lever is much more natural than the function of the bolt. I'm looking for a .308 in a lever just because it is my preference. Levers and SAAs might be acceptable to the politicians because they look old fashion so they aren't threatening. There are a lot of folks who didn't survive the War of the Northern Aggression in the 1860s or who are in boot hill outside of some western towns who can testify to the effectiveness of the SAA and lever gun as a problem remover. Just my not so humble opinion.

        Reply
  21. You could look at some of the machine pistols as well. They Glock 18, Jati, or the Beretta 93 FS(?). ( Damn this PTSD. They come in 9mm use Hi cap Mags. Have high rates of sustained fire. Downside Cost of weapon, FFL required and cost of stocking up on ammo.

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  22. Another idea is what i bought for my wife but enjoy shooting myself is the German made GSG5. This weapon is fairly cheap and they make a ton of assesories to convert and change to fit the needs and wants of the shooter. Just be careful because you can make this illegal with just a few additions. It does fire a somewhat weak round 22LR but is highly accurate with as much recoil as a paintball gun. Ammo is also super cheap and you can buy CC Stinger Hollow Points for a sure kill with head shot. This weapon is easy to hit the head every time. At the local shooting range the other weekend after buying a red dot scope and dialing it in, I was able to dump a full 23 round clip in the head area of my target. If you want more fire power than this would just be a great training weapon in fact some militaries around the world use it for just that due to the rising cost of ammo. They may be discontinuing them soon do to a law suit with H&K. This weapon is the exact clone of the MP5 but at an affordable price and of course it's not fully auto. It will dump rounds fast and has a nice spring loaded magazine for easy loading. It also comes with extra parts and tools as well as cleaning kit. You can buy one used for under 300 on Armslist.com or you can buy them new for around $500. You could also use this weapon for hunting if need be. Youtube it for yourself and read the reviews.

    Reply
    • The problem with your post is that when we get to TEOTWAWKI you may well be a guest of the Federal government if you've gotten crosswise with BATFE or the state equivalent. In many cases (like the possession of a full auto sear for a rifle, as one example) the fact of ownership, even if it has never been IN a weapon without the appropriate paperwork/license will get you 7 to 10 in the lockup. I am not arguing right or wrong here; the law is about the law, not about right and wrong. All the excuses won't work, you will be nailed. Even the guy who loaned his AR to a friend. At the range the AR malfunctioned (the shooter was using some strange ammo) and popped off 2 on one trigger pull. The owner (not the shooter) was arrested AND convicted of illegally owning and transferring a fully automatic weapon. Count on it, before TEOTWAWKI, even after TSHTF (think New Orleans), if you are caught with an illegal gun ANYTHING, you are going to do jail time. A survivalist must face reality; not what should be but what is. If you have a weapon that can easily be put into an illegal configuration, either be very, very careful or get rid of it. If you have an illegal gun part, get rid of it and I don't mean sell it. Even trying to turn it in could get you in trouble with the police. Drop it in a river, bury it far from any place you own or frequent, hammer it into oblivion but do not keep it. You probably won't get caught unless you tell someone, or you child says something, or ? If you have an illegal part or gun, you are in violation of the law. Either you are willing to go to jail to stand up for what you believe are your rights or you are being incredibly foolish risking your survival and the survival of all who depend on you for some tricked out firearm that is not needed for survival in the first place.

      Reply
  23. An AR with a T6 stock and a 10″ barrel does the job just fine for vehicle work and you can place the 16″, 20″ or 24″ barrel to do what ever task you need and all are interchangeable uppers so each tool does the job. If you don’t have the tax stamp on a 10″ barrel I think in a SHTF or EOTWAWKI no one will really care. Happy prepping everyone!

    Reply
    • The problem with saying legal won't matter after TEOTWAWKI is that you have to get there first. In most jurisdictions the possession of the 10" barrel is a felony. Just like a full auto, drop in sear constitutes a machine gun, no matter where the Feds find it on your property, the 10" barrel is poison before TSHTF. It is tough to prep from the inside of a Federal prison and if things start down hill, BATFE will be on the prowl for illegal stuff. Why risk it for a dubious requirement for a weapon that your current arsenal will probably already meet?

      Reply
      • Based on personal knowledge (though not firsthand experience) I can state that the Feds dearly love to entrap people. BATFE has been notorious in that regard. Why should they risk a lethal force confrontation with a *real* criminal when it is so much easier to get somebody to violate an arcane and unintelligible portion of an obscure law and then pound them to generate publicity? So, you want to buy a "spiffy" part for your weapon, short barrel, full auto parts, etc., whatever. Do you *know* who you're buying from? How well do you *know* the "friends" you may talk about your purchase to? Are you getting along well enough with your wife that you don't have to worry about stuff getting brought out in a nasty divorce case? One of the more common federal tactics is to get something on somebody and then coerce them into turning snitch.

        In general I do not recommend full auto weapons. Unless you're dealing with something that's tripod mounted and belt fed it probably won't put out enough firepower to make a difference, but it will run you out of ammo so fast you'll find that you brought a club to a gunfight. In terms of short barreled, weapons, if you really *need* a short barrel, then what you want is a pistol in a reasonable caliber. If you're really worried about people in body armor, get good enough with your pistol that you can go for head shots and upper thigh/pelvic girdle shots.

        Last but not least, if you shortened your barrel by taking a hacksaw to it, did you crown the new muzzle and reinstall the front site properly?

        Reply
        • 1776, you said, "but it will run you out of ammo so fast you'll find that you brought a club to a gunfight." Yep, and not even a very good club at that!

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        • I know of a FFl holder ( retired LEO who sells at regional gun shows ), that has made the statement that He wished the BATF would get better disguises or at least get newer ones as he is startiing to recognize some of the BATF agents when they come and try to get him to sell them something without back ground paperwork.

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  24. I agree with most of what is posted and my primary weapons are the AR .223, 12 guage, .45 ACP , 9mm and .22. I am set up to reload most all my rounds.
    However I an intrigued, the article states that they make a PDW in .30 cal carbine. My question is who makes one in .30 cal carbine. I have a couple .30 cal carbines and they are easy to shoot for small frames/women so I plan to have plenty of rounds on hand.

    Some thoughts on other comments – I am sticking with 12 guage only because it is the most common and we have 5 Rem 870's in the family now. I want all the parts interchangable, the 12 guage is the rmost common ammo and a 12 can do anything a 20 or .410 can.

    Concerning carrying shotgun ammo – I don't think that is too big a factor. I plan to have plenty of rounds on hand at both my bug in and bug out location. I also plan to move via some type of vehicle (situations will vary ) so carrying a lot on my body is not anticipated. Lord knows I carry at least a box when dove hunting (lol), so carrying 20-30 rounds should not be a problem.

    Reply
  25. forget it – the type of firearm is fine. but they odd round is not worth it. Need to have common ammo – as your friends and enemy use. Keep the arms simple and easy to work on. Would be better spend the money on more types of arms (ammo types) and the ammo itself

    Reply
  26. Your choice of firearms should be limited to what you need to vacate an area and relocate to someplace more easily defended. Like out in the bush maybe? Invest in a good street sweeper shot gun that is chambered for 3 inch mag rounds. You can shoot any choice of 12 gauge. Another excellant choice for side arm is a mil spec 45 acp. Once relocated, break out the black powder. Unlimited source of lead out there. A walker 44 has more knock down power than a 44 mag. Remember, survival and longevity is the key. Plus black powder is easy to manufacture at home. Proportions and components with proper parts can be found in old versions of encyclopedia britanica. just find a set made before 1900. I got a set at a used book store for a hundred bucks. If you choose to stay in an urban setting. Good luck.

    Reply
  27. I just purchased a Rock River arms LAR-PPS in 5.56mm. SWEET does not even begin to describe this little jewel. With a lenth of about 17 inches and the weight of a large handgun it is perfect for a PDW. I added a EOTech holosight and have ordered a Noveski Kx3 flash supp. It is dead zero at 75yds with .55gr ball. It will also fit into ANY backpack you care to hide it in. I carry a 20 rnd AR15 mag in the wpn and have 4-30 rnd mags in the pouches of the shooters vest I wear. Yes it was expensive, $1100.00 after tax but I now have the option of high firepower, intimidation(BIG TIME) more stopping power than a handgun and ease of carry. Overall well worth the money.

    Reply
    • The problem with the 5.56 round is that it depends on speed for lethality. With out a speed >2000ft/sec the round will not tumble and is the equivalent of being shot with a 22lr. Out of a 8.5-10in barrel you will be lucky to get 2200ft/sec. More than 50yds and the bullet is too slow to tumble. The round will also have difficulty penetrating at the slower speeds, forget penetrating a car door past 50ft even with armor piercing rounds. That is why SWAT teams love them. The round doesn't penetrate walls well- no collateral hits. So if your planning on clearing houses after SHTF, then go for it.

      Reply
  28. I thnk it all depends on where you live. If your out in the country somewhere, then the high caliber weapons would be ok. But in the city, where the next building is sometimes only fifty feet away, I would think a smaller caliber round would do well. Shot placement it the key.
    I have read in some of the posts that the .22 round would work. I agree and so does the Isreal military that uses the Ruger 10/22 in thier urban warefare arsonal.
    In my situation, I live in a major metro area in southeast Florida, population of around eight million. I am a retired police detective and carry a Glock 19 with me always on the road and when I have to go into Miami. I also have a Kel-Tec sub2000 that fits very nicely in a laptop computer bag, and no one ever knows the difference. Home defence is a 12 gage pump.

    Reply
  29. Bill,
    I basically agree but with a caveat. Shot placement is important, absolutely critical that you be a skilled craftsman with a tool that has a lethal effect. That said, it is also true that anytime you are using a weapon for real, the adrenaline will be high, the fine motor skills will be a vague memory, and only the most heavily trained actions will come easily. To plan on precise shot placement as an equalizer for a sub-standard round (substandard for the mission-not disparaging any round) is not realistic in my not so humble opinion unless your are a trained sniper who spends a great deal of time either practicing or doing your mission.

    Rather than range, I would consider the size of the target the determining factor in caliber selection. If your biggest target is a brown bear, a .22, .38, .357 and .9mm are inadequate rounds in my opinion. For that .44 or larger is in order. If you're worried about human sized targets, I still think a .22 is marginal but everything else works. For dog sized or smaller, a .22 is a good choice. Range determines platform (pistol, carbine, rifle, etc.) and caliber is only determined incidentally by the range.

    Reply
    • Bill & CaptBart,

      lethality of a round is much more dependent on energy delivered and penetration than anything else. Hornaday's 380 self defense round is more lethal than a standard FMJ 45ACP rd. Why, because the 380 rd dumps its energy in the first 3-5 in vs. 6-9in with the 45. This results in a giant temporary cavity that cause hydrostatic hypertensive shock- basically a rise in B/P then a massive drop in B/P. This is what drops someone with a center mass shot. In hunting traditionally, you prefer over penetration this minimizes meat loss as the animal bleeds to death from piercing major organs, not shock. But in a gun fight you don't want your opponent to take 10min to die. When confronting a human opponent you usually don't need to worry about penetration unless they are wearing very heavy clothing or armor. To be on the safe side I alternate in the mag hornaday Critical defense with federals sxt (better penetration). There aren't really any good hunting /self defense rounds out there- particularly in a handgun caliber. Just as 00 buck is very lethal but just rips meat apart-a slug is much better for big game. So buy both and have two platforms one hunting and one self defense.Anything else is a compromise that could get you killed. The other thing to consider is that it is very difficult to zero in handgun calibers (even using a carbine) past 50yd D/T bullet drop.

      Reply
      • tps,
        I run Hornady CD ammo in my .45 for the same reasons. That ammo is absolutely the best self defense rounds I've found on the civilian market. The smaller the caliber, the more critical the ammo. I put Hornady into the handguns of every member of my family. It is good stuff for its mission. I only partially agree about the suitability of handgun ammo for hunting. I've known too many folks who successfully use it, either in a hunting handgun or in a handgun caliber rifle, to say it isn't suitable. A .44 mag sited in for a zero at 100 yards is quite usable out to 150 yards, more if the shooter knows what he's doing. Around Northeast Texas, a 100 yard shot is extremely long range; in west Texas it can be as close as you'll ever get.
        You are correct, the perfect self defense round is almost certainly not the best round for bruin defense. May not be best for a big hog even so a couple of CD rounds and some FMJ's after that is not a bad mix. Should you need to do more than "discourage" a large, tough skinned predator you have the proper rounds in the clip.

        Reply
        • I agree that a 44mag can be used for big game hunting- but have you seen what it will do tho a squire? Not much meat left to eat. the other problem is that a 44mag sited in for 100yds will have a 6-8 in rise at 25ft. That is a lot to compensate for when shooting at some one hiding behind something. So the optics are pretty much useless in the urban gun fight, where the distance is rarely more than 25ft. Your situation may be more rural, mine is urban. Long term my choices are a 12g shotgun with a mixture of shot/ slugs-for big game/birds & a 22LR for small game.

          Reply
  30. I can’t see a need for the PDW. To me it’s more a “want” than “need item. It’s like a full auto firearm. To expensive to shoot and I wouldn’t want to go to court after lighting up the “poor neighborhood thief triing to make a living” by breaking into my home. Jurys can be kind of unforgiving when it comes to using a SBR with 30 rounds used (with one pull of the trigger) to stop an intruder when 2-3 from my 357 would have done the job.

    Reply
    • I can see a need. Most of the combat in Iraq was inside the operational theory of the PDW (200 yards), and the designed need (convoy ambush). I'm in a built up urban area where I dont have 200 yard sight lines and the thought of having something spitting .223, 5.56m or 7.62m out of a manuverable platform thrills me no end.

      Now you going to say my shotgun can cover this range. Yes and no: Yes the shotgun takes it out to 100 yards,if I happen to have slugs loaded in it, but no it doesn't take me to 200 yards.

      I agree that oddball caliber ammo is bad but, some of these PDWs come in standard calibers(as listed above). Any other calibers I agree are not worth the effort/expense in a SHTF situation.

      JMHO,
      Ben228

      Reply
      • Ben,
        I think you are at the crux of the matter. I tend to see survival weapons as multitasking weapons. I don't have money or room for single purpose weapons unless there is a compelling need for a unique weapon to fill a niche. Anything a PDW can do, a solid carbine/pistol combination can do, cheaper and with standard ammo. The niche of defending from within a convoy just doesn't apply in most cases and the weapon doesn't really fill any other niche. If you have a solid battery (rifle/pistol/shotgun/carbine) with enough ammo and still have 'discretionary' funds available, then perhaps a PDW makes sense. But until the major needs are met, the PDW is insufficient return on the cost of the investment. Buying the PDW means I don't have the money for another use. That cost/benefit/flexibility exchange doesn't seem to balance well in this case.

        Reply
  31. Any of you guys ever hear of the Kel-Tec PLR 16? Fires 5.56mm rounds from standard M-16 mags. 9.5 in barrel. U.S. BATF classifies it as a pistol and if you don't live in the Peoples Repulic of California, you should be able to pick one up in the 600 to 900 range. Google this bad boy!

    Reply
    • Nice looking pistol that should be fun to shoot. Other than the fact that I prefer a larger caliber, it seems to me that this pistol lives in the gun safe unless TSHTF. I can't carry it concealed and it isn't a service weapon in any law enforcement agency I'm aware of. If you want a fun handgun, or a hunting handgun for varmint sized prey it would work but otherwise, it is still a single tasking weapon and doesn't serve the role of a major caliber handgun as a final defensive weapon against major predators.

      Reply
  32. My Ruger mini 30 does just fine . Simple , easy and light , and with the 20 rnd magazines i’m good to go . Price is right as well

    Reply
    • T.Rapier,
      I read in here somewhere that the Mini-30 had some accuracy problems. Has that been your experience? I really like the Mini-30 for its compatibility with my wife's AK-47 and the heavier round than the 5.56. I don't expect sub-MOA from any carbine but I want to know that I can deliver center mass shots at 150 yards with it. Your opinion would be appreciated.

      Reply
  33. The poster above had a good point when he said at the very least have a good pistol and a good rifle . Im not living under the money tree so I buy more ammo and fewer guns , with some of them being handed down ( free) . I have two 9mm pistols , a Ruger mini 30 carbine ( love it ) , a trusty hard hitting winchester 1895 30-06 , and pump 12 gauge ………..Thats it ! , ( I do have others but they are antiques , these are the ones I use ) Ammo is easy to get and I have a lot of it ! Unless you have the gunsmithing skills or a license for full auto , why bother with these things when you can get more bang for the money buying a more standard weapon and a butload of ammo for it ? Guess Im more an old school survivalist and not the ATF / Johnny Ringo type .

    Reply
    • Don't disagree but, while I think it is a lot of fun, shooting full auto is just not a survival option. The military gets to do it because there is always a helicopter or a truck bringing in the next load of ammo. After TSHTF full auto gets you a very expensive club. Just my not so humble opinion.

      Reply
  34. If it's a got to have,one could consider a folding stock ak in 7.62×39 although rarethey are also in 223. in a mid price range .some are out and sold as a pistol .

    Reply
  35. Good point . Its a personal choice , but I think your far better off getting a high caliber pistol like the 1911 .45 , and lots of ammo for it than these things . The article reads they were designed for close quarters ………… well then I cant think of anything better for close quarters than a pistol or shotgun , with the pistol is king . Also a pistol only requires the use of 1 hand , important if your injured .

    Reply
  36. Hate to be the late comer , cutting against the grain of conventional wisdom, but I think a PDW is a great option and tool for a survival type weapon cache. More for us homesteaders who have to be concerned with every knuckle head who thinks they are going to "Bug Out" to the type of area I call home.

    In a survival type situation, where myself or my wife will need to stay home with the kids, and be working our land, drying laundry, pumping water from the well, harvesting our vegetables, etc etc, we will need to have two hands.

    I can sling an assault rifle across my back, or we can sling the shot gun in a tactical position, but it isn't convenient. If I have my sons hand in mine, and a basket of veggies in the other, walking back to my home when something unexpected comes my way, I will want something with more suppressive power then my hand gun, but that won't take as long to bring to the ready as my assault rifle. Most PDWs can hang tactically from a hip harness, or tactical sling, are light weight, and can be drawn as quickly as most other small arms I could holster.

    Ammo is likely to be exotic yes, but I would be good with storing 1000 rounds of it. If I burn through that too quickly, then something is seriously wrong with our situation.

    Reply
    • You have actually hit on a potential use for a PDW post TSHTF. It is still a single task weapon but that task is important. If after you have your basic rifle/shotgun/pistol/carbine battery complete you still have funds for an additional weapon, I can see where this role would be a niche to fill. Not in a bug out role but in the role where I'd carry a revolver. I still prefer a revolver for rough country work but that is a different argument. I'd not consider it as a first weapon but I do see where it could have a place.

      Reply
  37. I could not disagree more with the premise that a PDW is near useless in a SHTF scenario. I have both the FNH PS90 with SBR carbine ($200 stamp) and the FNH FiveseveN handgun.

    They both use the same round, the 5.7x28mm round. The handgun holds 20+1 and the PS90 holds 50+1. The handgun weighs LESS fully loaded than my Glock 36 empty. The Glock 36 is .45ACP which holds 6+1. The ability to use the same round in your handgun and rifle is a huge advantage – and that round is NOT a pistol round. The 5.7x28mm round has a flat trajectory for 200 yards, almost no recoil and burns extremely cleanly, It can be reloaded – the bullet is .224 and is available everywhere. Brass is rare and will need to be hoarded before SHTF.

    Is it the popular .223 (5.56 NATO)? Nope. Nor is it a weak 9mm pistol round. With the right ammo, it will penetrate 30 layers of Kevlar and defeat Level II body armor. More importantly, the velocity is 2500fps in the FiveseveN handgun and over 3000fps in the PS90 carbine.

    Are they expensive? Yes. Very. But I think they both have a definite use in a SHTF scenario. However, use whatever you are most comfortable using. I'll stick with my FNH duo.

    Reply
  38. Screw those things. I would just get a ruger 10/22 compact with a youthstock and do what most of those things try to do.Put a aftermarket 30 round mag and call it good.If I wanted to daydream about James bond the pdw is the way to go. Snhemi

    Reply
  39. We have added a couple PDW to our gear, in our case, PPS-43's cheap ammo, a nice cross between a pistol round and a rifle round, flat shooting, really good out to 100 yrs and decent at 200yds. 35 round mag's of 7.62x25mm, good AP ability. Gun and 4 mag's cost around 400 federal Reserve Fiat Notes, What's not to like???

    Reply
    • Nothing except that the 7.62 x 25 round is seriously under powered and has very poor penetration. you aren't really saving that much in weight from the 7.62×39 round for a much reduced punch.

      Reply
    • Well said! I have a Hi-point 995 carbine and two Browning Hi-power clones. All in 9mm. All IO have to do is carry one style of ammo. My son in law reloads mine with lead wheel weights and a good bullet mould. Have about two thousans rounds now. Can never have enough.Also at a recent gun show, came across some 9mm bird shot shells. For long range I have a Mosin-Nagant 91-30 can really reach out there with it. Put a zippo flint in a 7.62 and you have a pretty good armor piercing round. Woorks reeeeel good!

      Reply
    • Ya I have a SU 16 D from Kel Tec and I will take it over an AK or AR any time it has an AK like piston and uses AR mags I get 3 inch groups at 200 yards with it and if thats not good enough then what is also I'm a combat vet and know of what I speak so all you wanna be's check it out or shut the F up it's light small and will get the job DONE

      Reply
  40. PDWs are great for defence…not offence. i would use one for home security and BOVs, but if i was going to a fight, full size rifles maybe pdw as backup for buging out of the fight and of course the sidearm

    Reply
  41. use something you can get ammo for. 30-06 30-30 243 12ga 20ga on down the line,pray and spray is fine for some. ill take 5 shots one at a time and have 5 things to eat or bury. the oppisition will stop when the have to climb over their friends.

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  42. as far as sidearms go 357 mag also shoots 38 spl. available everywhere. wheelguns hardly everfail. if you get a misfire pull the trigger and go to the next one. as far as having large clips to deal with,learn how to hit your target, and yes i have 45 autos 22 autos . one well placed round will do it.

    Reply
    • And if you have the right wheel gun, it also has a 9mm cylinder so you can use that as well. My wheel is a .45 Colt that shoots .45ACP with a different cylinder. I really LIKE that system.

      Reply
  43. If I ever need to grab and go it will not be a PDW, I need my firearms to serve multiple purposes both to hunt and defend , I do not plan to engage anybody at 500-1000 yards away why ?
    Because they are not a threat to me and if they do not see me why fire off a round that will let everybody know where you are ?
    KISS ( keep it simple stupid) Get An AK or and AR for the times that you need to do what you have to do, I am not recommending one over the other ( Im leaving the lid on that can of worms )
    Depending on where you live and the climate and other factors pick the one best suited for you.
    I will however recommend a .22lr ( Ruger 10/22 ) because the .22 round is probably the most versitale round known to man. It will kill large game If you are a good shot ( not the best for large game) and will keep the pot full of small game .
    It will also be a good deffensive weapon in a pinch. After all last year the .22 round was responsible for killing more people in the United States than any other , and the Gun ? thats right the ruger 10/22. Bottom line is this any where you go you will find 7.62×39, .223, and .22 the sane cannot be said for most PDW,s

    Reply
  44. I have numerous firearms, and have been collecting ammo for a while, try http://www.ammoman.com as you can get large lots at reasonable prices with shipping being part of the price of the ammo.

    I decided to standardize on standard calibers and 12 guage shot gun shells. and stock up
    on them. Even if I do not shoot them, I can trade them.. better than money, silver, or gold in
    the aftermath.

    Bug out… Rem 870 with Knox Stock, laser and flashlight with extension shell holder.
    Springfield XP in .45 and 9mm and Kimber 1911 in .45 and a 10-22 and my Beretta Storm compact in .40 .. always with me in a pocket holster. Also have a ruger .22 auto in my bug out bag with ammo. Also have a number of survival knives always in my truck and a case of water.
    as well as 5 year survival bars in the truck.

    Reply
    • Curious about the Storm in .40. I carry a pocket 9mm – the recoil isn't bad but I'm not getting MOA groups at 15 yards either. That is my fault but I wonder about the recoil in the storm. A pocket pistol in .40 would be nicer than one in 9 mm in my not so humble opinion IF I can control it.
      Thanks.

      Reply
    • Sounds like you are good to go just get rid of the AK they are junk I have never seen one that will shoot into less then 6 inches at 100 yards

      Reply
  45. It's not a true PDW as it uses a pistol round, but the Beretta Cx4 Storm I find to be a good alternative, especially for the novice shooter. I have used Beretta for years and have owned several of their 9mm and .40s. I switched all of my gear over to Beretta recently, Px4 storm 9mm, the Cx4 Storm that uses Px4 magazines, the U22 neos .22 caliber pistol with the optional rifle assembly (literally turns your .22 pistol into a rifle). I am currently waiting to get the Tx4 their new semiauto 12 gauge. I know it looks like I'm just a Beretta fanatic, but the way that I look at it if you get the same manufacturer you are looking at the same basic firearms in different styles, it makes part replacement easier.

    Reply
  46. Personal Defence Weapon, hence the name. Notice it did not say assault rifle or battle rifle. The PDW is meant to provide protection, not assaulting a hot LZ. Assault /Battle rifles are to big and cumbersome to use like in cars, rooms etc… Having cleared rooms with assault rifles I wished for a PDW. Some of the things that are better in the PDW than the assault rifles are lighter weight, carry more ammo, 50 rounds verus 30 rounds in the magazine. 350 rounds in 7 magazines (P-90) or 210 rounds in 7 magazines (M4). Weight of magazines and ammo put together? PDW magazines and ammo are lighter in weight then rifle magazine and ammo. Anybody remember why we went to 5.56mm? more rounds per magazine, more magazines to carry in combat… the 7.62mm battle rifle (5 mags 100 rounds) vs 5.56mm assault (7 mags 210 rounds).

    Reply
    • Edgar937,
      Actually, the biggest concern was the use of full auto fire in the M14. It was too difficult to control. Of course, if you're not assaulting a position or not trying to use suppressing fire you don't particularly want full auto. Then you get to what weapon will do the most jobs you need done. Since I don't anticipate large scale combat operations, I much prefer weapons that can get the most jobs done. Not have an infantry company in support, I'll stick with rifles, carbines, shotguns and pistols. Specialty weapons belong in a specialty role while I see survival as a generalist problem.

      Reply
  47. Let's talk Rate of fire, both semi and full auto. 900 rpm (P-90) verus 660rpm (m4) which would you have? yes I hear everbody saying you should have common ammo blah blah. What is common? commonavailability? common for rifle pistol interchangeability? Common what the next person is carrying? Wait I have a 5.56mm rifle and a .45cal.9mm/.40 S&W WHATEVER pistol, but is my ammo I'm carrying for both common? NOPE. Can you put your rifle rounds in your pistol? but you say, Why would I want to do that? Sometimes rifles get hit and stop working abruptly in fire fights. In my case I can use my rifle rounds in my pistol and my pistol rounds in my rifle should I not be able to resupply. Would'nt that be fun times trying to G.O.O.D and grab the wrong rounds. One common ammo for both guns.

    Reply
    • At 900 rpm what is your hit rate? Full auto is not needed outside of full up large force combat. Full auto is suppressive fire. It is designed to make the other guy duck. The argument about ammo doesn't work if it takes 3 or 4 of the 5.7 round to accomplish what 1 .308 has done there is no advantage. Full auto is a siren song, it is a LOT of fun, but it is a trap for a survivalist. You do not have the US Army providing your resupply. If you are walking out, full auto changes a gun to a very expensive and very inefficient club. Me, I'd rather have a rifle.

      Reply
  48. But you say there not common store or odd ball round. Bull. The 5.7x28mm use the same 55 grain FMJ and rifle primer as the 5.56mm family, which you say is everywhere. But I don't reload. Then do what the rest of us will do when TSHIF. Carry my 3000 rounds that I stored up in 30 separate 100 round Beta C-mags, Right? Nope shoot the next person trying to do you harm and use his rifle and ammo. As for not enough power to hunt with or only a 200 meter gun tops. watch must of your hunting shows on TV. the range is less then 200 meters. When taking any type of game and them dang deer stands are 500 meters in the air to get too, maybe you will need that high power after all but if you need to shoot across the street or down the next city block and put all 30 rounds into a 1inch MOA group in the next valley.

    Reply
  49. The 5.7mm fires a 40 grn FMJ or HP @ 2200 FPS. I don't know about you, but I would not want to get hit by it, especially when it goes in the eye or ear of any 2 or 4 legged animal. The .32 ACP has taken more game throught out record hunting then any assault/battle/high powered rifle will. Just ask someone's grand Papa. I know everyone has their favorite assault, battle, PDW rifle and opinion. In terms of survival, make sure you know all the facts. Survival is to be in a place/situation with nothing on hand and stating alive. Survival/SHTF I'll use anything I can get my hands on, I'm not going to pick up that wimpy PDW with a full mag because my rifle (that's empty) Shoots so much better.

    Reply
    • Sorry,
      appealing to precise shot placement from a full auto weapon is a non-starter. Secondly, during combat when lead is going both directions, precise shot placement is a dream unless you are a trained sniper with a solid sniper weapon (which is never, I might add, full auto).
      Secondly only an idiot wants to get his with anything, BB gun on up. That is not the point. The point is what platform/round combination maximizes your survival chances. It isn't a PDW. They are fun to shoot, cool to own but they do NOT replace a primary survival weapon. They may supplement for some roles but will not perform the full spectrum of survival tasks.

      Reply
  50. Mankind has been bashing in each other heads with rocks for a long long long time. So should we not use something because other people say so? Hey your rock is much to small, or my rock hurls throught the air faster than yours or better yet I got a folding stock for my rock….Well you can see I like humor and PDW. I have used an M4 in anger for 24 months and not putting them down. So just beacause something is not the normal in society does not mean it can't be used.

    Reply
  51. I own a GSG-5P and it will most definitely make the trip in a TEOTWAKI situation. Why? Intimidation, common ammunition (.22) and it is insanely accurate.

    Reply
  52. I will take an AK over ANY PDW why ? Not only the availability of ammo, But when the first dirt or grime get gunked in that PDW that AK will still be punching holes through cinder block's.
    And being an Aresenal SLR 107F folded it is roughly the same size as a P 90 with a hell of a lot more stopping power.
    5.7×28 roughly 25-30bucks a box and then you have to find them 7.62×39 roughly 5 bucks a box and they are everywhere.
    An AK is both an Offensive and Deffensive weapon and it can be 150 degree's or -60 jungle, desert, mountain , sandstorm snowstorm or heat wave that AK will operate in all condition's
    A gentleman asked me if I thought they would ever make a rifle as dependable as an AK, I said sir they have been trying since 1947 and have not done it yet.

    Reply
  53. Not to mention most violent encounter's in take place from 150 yard's and in a urban or war zone. With that said an AK will do anything a PDW will do at that range , so what if i can't put a 1 inch group at 100 yard's I can still hit center mass and with one shot stop you.

    Reply
  54. Unless you are willing to go with something extremely light like my suggestion below, I don't see the value in it unless you find yourself in the middle of complete anarchy and even then, I'd much prefer a compact AR. If I did feel it necessary to go with a PDW, I'd honestly go with a Glock 17, numerous 33 round mags, and the Glock accessory kit from Zahal.org (link pasted below). Cheap, increased accuracy, easily concealable, common caliber that's shoots fairly flat for a pistol cartridge, and good ammunition availability.
    http://www.zahal.org/products/basic-glock-accesso

    Reply
  55. well ive been reading all the post, I for one have a sig 556 rifle w/ folding and collaspable stock and the sig 556 pistol w/ 10" bbl. Now i cant legally put the pistol upper on the rifle lower, but when the SHTF its all up to me keeping those i love alive and well. I have put the upper and lower together at the range and zero'd the scope i have on it and i would say that it fits the bill as both a PDW / Rifle

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  56. Just a thought. In what i would view as the most likely SHTF scenario people would be banding together. Shared ammo is nice, but has anyone considered the benefit of using un common calibers. I went shooting with some friends not to long ago and my friends emptied hundreds if not thousands of rounds in just a couple of hours. After they shot all their rounds they started shooting mine. By the end the only Ammo I had left was some .30 cal M1 Carbine ammo because they had sucked our common ammo dry. If I have an uncommon caliber people may be less likely to try and bum rounds off me or feel that I am" Hoarding" them for myself. when in reality i just worry that the common idiots will just shoot through all their rounds on "target practice."

    Reply
  57. As far as PDWs go. I am a fan, but I don't feel it is a necessity. It ranks fairly low on my wish list, My substiute is a 9mm Ruger P95 with extended 32 rnd mags. I can shoot it out a window if necessary. I'm getting fairly accurate with it at 40-60 yds. anything farther than that I have my M1 Carbine, AR15 with scope, and 30-06 with Scope. Also, Semi Auto 12 gauge. I can cut it down if I need to, but for now it's my bird hunting shotgun. I really just need to stock up on Ammo.

    Reply
  58. In a case where you must egress from and or through a large metroplex to your bugout or other safe location, I'd consider an AR type pistol. This keeps ammo simple, parts interchangable, and still provides the PDW platform this article describes.

    Reply
  59. Ok, now not all of us live in states that have laws that allow ownership of selective fire weapons let alone fully automatic ones. What would you say about those who opt for the carbine version of the P-90 if they live in those states that limit or prohibbit ownership of automatic weapons as Machineguns? I also agree with Ward3 that the odd round and limited supply and ability to reload make's this type of weapon not an option for me. I will stick with the M1 Garand and the M59/ 66A1 SKS I already have. At least I can find the rounds for these and will have a stock of barter items for those with the same calibers of weapons.

    Reply
  60. For the money, a pistol caliber carbine that shoots the same ammo as my primary carry handgun would be one plausible approach to SHTF get home carry. The KelTec Sub 2000 comes in 9mm and 40 S&W and uses standard pistol magazines like Glock. Shooting 180 gr JHP in the Glock pistols is an effective round inside of 25 yards. In the much longer barreled carbine with a decent optic it is good out to 100 yards. The carbine folds for easy storage, and can be found for less than $500 new. It makes for a suitable compromise to toting around an MBR all the time, especially in less rural environments. The Glock, KelTec, and half a dozen magazines can all be kept in a briefcase. Finding more ammo is not nearly so difficult as for these PDW rounds. In a SHTF get home scenario, you are not likely to come across anyone wearing body armor except LE, so the whole point of a PDW for that purpose is moot.

    Reply
  61. I was just wondering after rereading the main article here; has anyone looked into the Sig-Saurer convertor that makes a pistol into a PDW. I saw the video on their homepage the other day. Now I live in a state that limits access to weapons that are sellective fire or even fully automatic (Kansas) and I am wondering if this device without a collapsible stock or any stock could be used to get extra use out of your sidearm?

    Reply
  62. My advice is to get the new Kel-Tec KSG , almost as small but you get 14 rounds of 12 gauge blasting power , split up into two 7 round tubes , this means you can have both buckshot and slug when you need it , just by selecting the feed tube . Fantastic home defense/urban design .

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  63. If I could get ahold of one of those MP5/10mm sub guns it would all be worth it. The most powerful defensive pistol cartride in a stocked platform, with a low power optic. The whole purpose of a PDW is controllable auto fire, semi auto just makes those worthless. I carry a M1A, and my friends have G3 clones, but a 223/5.56 in a Sig 556, SCAR light, ACR, Saiga 556, or Galil 556 are miles ahead of a 5.7×28 joke.

    Reply
  64. New to this blog/forum. But now for my 2 cents. in a SHTF scenario I would say having AR as 300-800 yard rifle such as an AR Platform. This is an excellent platform because you could have a 12" entry style upper for in close and personal and a 20" for the longer range shots. Also you can use both .223 or 5.56 ammo if you get both in 5.56 uppers. To make it better you could get a PSE Crossbow upper and drop it right on your lower and you have a Crossbow and can find arrows/bolts a lot of different places when they might be out of ammo. Another reason this is a great platform to start with is the fact that many have you have said they would have a .22 rim fire in their arsenal and there is also a .22 conversion kit that just utilizes a different magazine and drop in bolt replacement. But lets say you want to make your rifle match your pistol for over all ammo compatibility then the AR platform still makes sense, because there is the AR57 upper which utilizes the same AR lower but PS90 mags. This way you can have a Five SeveN Pistol with up to a 30 round mag and a rifle that utilizes 50 rounders. Remember it's about shot palcement! But if you are worried you can't hit the head or a vital organ and believe it it 100% about knock down power you can throw on a .300 Blackout, 6.5 Grendel 6.8 SPC or even the .458 Socom or .50 Beowulf for the punch through the engine block of a car. These are a few reasons why I think the AR Platform is the perfect choice.
    But I could make a case for my HK .45 UMP Conversion and HK45ct.. Either way I would have sound suppressors for my .45 or my AR Platform.

    Reply
  65. Im am really confused? He mentioned you have a rifle but your not going to shoot it in a car. Dont bring a pistol to a rifle fight. So now you have your PDW.

    AMMO. not only where are you going to get the 5.7 ammo I am certain I am not going to carry that all either. It is bad enough lugging around 240 556 and 60 9mm every where i go in afghanistan, i am certianly not going to add 300 rounds of 5.7 to that too because my PDW has a 50 round cap.

    Dont get me wrong i feel sub machineguns have thier place but if I am going out somewhere I am definatelly a good enough shot to hit with a rifle or a pistol. If im in the car it is a pistol…Im not going to all james bond out with 7 different weapons in my trunk. That is a good way to lose 4 of them if your car gets broken in to because your only going to carry around 3 at most on your body.

    Rifle and pistol, (shot gun is a close 3rd as the wife will have that one, lol she can carry her ammo too!)

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  66. I'm currently turning a Draco 7.62×39 into an sbr. This will be my pdw, talk about concealable. Only do an sbr if you file the correct battle forms. If a Draco is to big look at the mini Draco. You have to check these out. Get one now, they are not being imported anymore. So you have concealability, rifle calibre, ak reliability and easy to find ammo.

    Reply
  67. I've read over all of the posts again and I have noticed that the AR-15 pistol has been mentioned at a PDW, but nothing has been said about the 300 BLK round.

    A PDW is for a specific situation which is fighting from confined spaces and needing added firepower. Add in the added constraints of cost and availability of ammo and you have a limited options. In the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation, non standard ammo types are out in my book. So that means I'm down to 22, 223/5.56, 308, and 30-06 as the most common commercially available rifle/carbine rounds and 22, 9mm, 38/357, 40 and 45 Auto for pistol. I like 44s and the AE-50 but finding that stuff is going to be tough. If I'm going to acquire a weapon, it is going to be related to one of these calibers.

    Putting this together I'm thinking an AR-15 pistol and if I can afford a second upper for it, I'm going with the 300BLK. I am now getting comfortable with reloading and getting brass and is not hard with this puppy when all you do is chop down 223/5.56 brass from 45mm to 35mm and voila, 300BLK (7.62x35mm). I can now use all of the same parts that make the AR-15 but just change the barrel. I also use the same slugs that I would use with a 308 or 30-06. This is truly the reloader's place to be to pack hard hitting rounds in a package that is easily handled in a confined space.

    If that wasn't good enough for you, the 300BLK also out performs 7.62 Russian in accuracy, effective range and foot pounds of energy. 7.62 Russian by the way is .311 of an inch whereas SAMMI and NATO 30 cal and 7.62 is .308 of an inch. No AK for me.

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  68. Many posters are missing the point of the article. The intent is not to use a PDW as your primary survival weapon. The question is what is the best weapon for suppressive fire from a confined space (ie: a car) against an enemy who may be wearing body armor. This is not an unrealistic scenario. I live in a major metropolitan area and would need to travel a significant distance to reach a "safe" area. In all likely hood gangs will set up road blocks to trap travelers. The prevalence of level IIIA body armor( I have mine) makes it likely they will have some. The size of a shot gun or carbine make there use in a vehicle impractical, and the shot gun lacks penetration through armor. Handguns are maneuverable but lack penetration through body armor or even car doors (yes 40cal. will ricochet off windshield glass) The above mentioned PDW's primary drawbacks are price & ammo. The solution is a AR15 or AK47 pistol. Both have 40rd mags. the 5.56 armor piercing rounds will give penetration with a low recoil. However, my choice is the AK47 pistol with a 8in barrel in the 7.62×39 cal. The steel core ammo is cheap and plentiful. The penetration is equal to the 5.56 with more lethality. The obvious drawback is the recoil, but it is manageable with practice and again this is suppressive fire not sniping.. These guns are relatively cheap with the AK under $600 and the AR15 under $800. .

    Reply
  69. my AK47 is inexpensive,parts and ammo are all over the world, the pistol is legal everywhere exept calif.of course,and its certainly not underpowered….My wife likes her .22 cal.10-22 ruger chargerpistol, 30 rnd mags,threaded barrel for additions there with 60 grain slow ammo,and a small red laser for quick conveinence.

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  70. I've been doing survival prep for nearly 35 years now, so I've heard and participated in just about every type of "gun debate" you can imagine. As funny as it is, I have an M4 and the Glock 17 with my bug-out stuff, so kudos to the author of this. As far as a PDW as a survival weapon of choice, it is fine. My base line for determining an effective survival weapon is "Are you most comfortable with this weapon?" If the answer is yes, then it is the right one for you. Everything else concerning the firearm is up to the person to adapt their pack around, whether they are now forced to carry a lot more of specific ammunition type, or understand that this weapon choice is only going to last as long as the ammo does. It may even be conceivable that a person choosing any of these style firearms also choose to carry a second (or oddly enough, a third) weapon.

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  71. My MP5 uses regular old 9mm ammo and never breaks , my other PDW is a AR based gun , again with cleaning its never an issue

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  72. well, an alternate option would be Beretta's Cx4 Storm. it's essentially a 9mm Carbine that takes the all-too-common 92fs mags, as well as it's own extended clips with the interchangeable barrels for 9mm/40 cal/.45 acp

    apparently, it does "pretty well" in all-around categories and also has an almost completely incasing weatherproof frame. unfortunately, though not quite rifle sized, it's quite bulky – no real way to conceal it without winter gear and you'd still be hard-pressed at that.

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  73. Into the Void! As far as shooting from a vehicle, are you the driver and are you moving? If so, then I suggest (from personal practice) using a S/S 12 gauge shotgun '00' buck with a rack/mount that holds its for reloading one-handed. Why? Have you ever tried to drive and accurately aim/shoot anything one-handed; bet not! I've only been able 'consistently' to hit a man-size target driving 30 MPH with a shotgun! Perhaps the most important thing to remember if you or someone else is firing ANY firearm in the same vehicle you're in is EAR PROTECTION! (and roll down the window) Unless you like saying 'Huh' a lot! If you're not moving, then I would suggest a semi-auto rifle in a common caliber (.223,.308,.30-06, etc.) since hitting a target or two is more likely with well-aimed fire! If you're not the driver, then whether the vehicle is moving or not, I suggest again the fore-mentioned semi-auto rifle with the additional tip of sitting in the back seat so you can use the top of the seat back to steady your aim. Why, over shotgun: more ammo in mags. and longer effective range! Why, over pistols or PDWs, since you should be firing a rifle from the shoulder, that plus your cheek weld, and both hands gives you four points of contact, and especially if moving on a rough road/trail reduces the ping-pong effect! Still "need" a PDW, then how about a Calico Arms pistol or carbine! 50 or 100 round magazines, .22LR, 9mm, .40 cal., maybe more; semi-auto, yes, but in truth, most weapons (not mounted on a spindle or other mount) are difficult to fire effectively and you usually waste a lot of ammo. Yes, practice may make you better (not perfect), but will you have that 'extra' ammo in a SHTF situation! I'm assuming that the person who wrote that the .32 ACP had killed the most meant to say the .22LR! My grandfather used a .22LR as his deer/elk gun quite successfully; and if you don't think the .22LR has enough penetration/killing power, then 'lightly tap a small steel ball bearing into the hole of the hollow-point round to 'ruin a lot of meat', not important for a head shot! BUT, please remember that this is probably an illegal alteration of ammo by law, so unless S'Has'HTF, don't do it or don't get caught! After SHTF, I'll bet that most, if not all law enforcement officers (COPs) will be ditching their uniforms and heading for parts where they're NOT known!

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  74. A friend has a FN 5.7 pistol OMG it is friggin wicked 30 round mags I would not be worried about any animal in the lower 48 you could trurn their skull into jelly PDQ.

    beyond 200 yards OK you have the need for a real rifle but within that circle if you can hit it they are not going to be
    viable let say.

    as has been mentioned you have to have your own stock of ammo and I do not see an up side to the doughnut handled rifle even if it is in the same caliber.
    Urban survival or thick woods or dense swamp this is fine BUT open prarie or long range NO it won't do that
    the ammo weights little more than 22 mag so as in theory you can carry quite a bit of ammo.
    And I will say it is better than any other handgun only problem is ammo is not availible everywhere.
    with a Fn pistol and a 308 rifle people would be hard pressed to come and take your lunch money.
    BUT the creavat is that you cannot hunt chichi birds a 5.7 will vaporize anything less than 10 pounds
    it would be a head shot only and hope it does not go PIFFTTT or kablewie not good to kill a squrriel and all you end up with is the toes and what looks like strawberry jello.

    to me it is about dollars these puppies are not cheap nor are the mags and accessories ammo is higher than 22LR
    so if your all fluffy with money no problem if not then other alternatives are your option.

    some things like MAC's micro UZI's and such are more comic book fair not as easy to operate well and accurately
    bulky and again weight of ammo and the weapon sinks that boat.

    I hate to say but it is always possible to get pushed out the indians did it to settlers it happens if you have to cut and run big heavy and long are not helpful like a 338 Lapua in a swamp every firearm has it's place and where we live has evrything to do with our choices like 200 rounds of 12 ga and a shotgun and you live in the mountains I don't think so.
    seems as if everyone thinks they can go hunting & fishing and come back and the homestead will still be there what if it is not ? back to the Indian wars families and settlements were wiped out by roving tribes in fact raids are happening now in south Texas kidnapping and killing wait until the real SHTF.
    Wehn you leave you best be planning on never coming back and having a cache away from your POD so if your in that situation your not screwed.
    I have yet to read where raping and pilliaging has been ended have any of you read it? people come home every day to a home invasion and family gone and we live in a civilized society so please consider it will change drastically after a huge natural disaster or a TEOTWAWKI scenario, it could take months or years to see
    outside help a hurricane here and it takes a couple of weeks and that is normal stuff along the gulf coast in some areas— just think about it.

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  75. With all the recent talk about the ar and ak pistols, the concept of a pdw in some obscure caliber is a bit obsolete. Me personally, I would use them as a back up to my system plan on using a 12 gauge or a 30-30 as the main firearm. WE ALL know how plans tend to "work" out, so back up that reaches out to 200 yrds is pretty good on my opinion.

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  76. I disagree with repeated statements in the article about the use of proprietary ammunition in PDW's. While some manufacturers do use special ammo, most of them I have seen are chambered in .223/556. Either way, the concept of the PDW is ridiculous, given the reasons stated in the article. Short barreled rifles are now so small, light, and prevalent, that the PDW is barely managing to stay relevant as a concept. More than a SMG but less than a rifle? Give me a break. I'm always looking for a reason to buy a new piece of hardware, but even to guys like us, this just feels contrived.

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  77. Simply put… PDWs have a specific application. If said application is a standard role that you find yourself in, then yes. It's necessary. However, a PDW is not meant for SHTF. SHTF is not SOLELY a personal defense situation. Which a lot of people here sound like they are forgetting based on these comments. SHTF could mean you're on the offense as well. A PDW isn't meant for offense. It's purse is literally in the name. It's a defend and likely a fighting withdrawal style weapon. When you think PDW, maybe think Secret Service and their action plan when defending POTUS if attacked. Not launching an offensive or holding down a fort. And if they are, they're not going to simply use PDWs. I'm sure they'd employ rifles with more punch that they could care less about concealing. With a PDW, they are personally defending a subject in a fighting withdrawal manner. It's not a charge the hill weapon. Sounds like this is lost on a lot of you. I doubt anyone would use a .22 to take down a lion. So in that aspect, yea. .22s are terrible. But we know they're not. .22s are great round for a myriad of applications. Applying PDWs to SHTF and TEOTWAWKI in a debate is as silly as applying a .22 to drop a lion.. Every gun has its own purpose, and there's no one gun to rule to them all. Don't forget that. Unless it's a drone strike, then well……..yea.

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