In my opinion, a well-equipped prepper should have four firearms for self-defense. Gun cranks can own more, obviously, but with four weapons you’re basically all set. You can defend yourself in pretty much any situation. You won’t be undergunned.
1) The first weapon is your defensive sidearm. Yes, soldiers would make their first weapon a battle rifle, but most of us are more likely to need a handgun. It’s portable and for most defensive situations, it’s really all you need. It can be carried semi-concealed and draws little attention. That’s a huge plus. It isn’t awkward to maneuver in tight locations, like inside your home.
There are many great pistols to choose from: The Glocks, the Beretta 92, 1911s, and many others. It could be a 9mm (9×19) Parabellum. It could be a 45 Automatic (45ACP). It could be in another caliber of your choice.
This is your main “Go To” self defense weapon. Whatever you choose, it should be completely reliable and you should learn to shoot it well.
2) A backup pistol. This gun serves as a smaller concealed carry handgun. Sometimes you just don’t want to carry a full-sized gun. In a more violent world, this gun would serve if you became separated from your main defensive pistol or if it failed.
There are many choices for this weapon. It could be stub nose 38 Special. It could be 380 ACP. It could be one of the smaller Kahr 9mm pistols.
This gun is very likely the weapon you’ll have with you in most self-defense situations. Is it the best choice for the Zombie Apocalypse? No. But, it’s great for daily life.
3) A shotgun. Probably in 12 gauge. It could be an autoloader or a pump. This weapon has several nice features. It has better stopping power than the two first weapons. It has more intimidation value. That could be important if you’re trying to discourage somebody from attacking you.
The shotgun does have some downsides: It lacks range, which could be an issue in some situations. On a battlefield against rifles, a shotgun isn’t really a great weapon. Buckshot is easily stopped by most body armor. Beyond maybe 50 yards buckshot really starts to loose effectiveness.
For most of us, we’ll never need to engage an attacker beyond 20 yards and most attackers won’t have body armor. This makes a shotgun a great choice.
If you have the three above weapons, especially, if your defensive handgun is a 357 revolver and your backup a 38 Special, you’re about as well equipped as a law enforcement officer from the 1970s would be. With the revolvers, many today would consider you a bit undergunned. 9mm Glocks have more firepower.
4) A defensive rifle or a battle rifle would be my fourth choice. This is a weapon you’d never need except in the most dire circumstances. If there is a complete breakdown of law and order, this weapon would give you the most firepower to defend your retreat and your family.
Your rifle should be a semiautomatic version of one of the battle proven assault rifles. It could be an AR-15 (OK, some say those aren’t battle proven!), it could be an M1A, it could be an FAL. It could be an AK-47.
To make this weapon most effective, you should have several magazines for it.
Those are my four general “go to” self defense choices. What four self-defense weapons would you choose if you could only have four firearms?
Charlie Palmer -author The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning