NEW Front Sight Training Article #19 – The Bug-Out Bag
September 2nd, 2015
Our purpose at Front Sight is to positively change the image of gun ownership in our lifetime by training responsible citizens in the defensive use of firearms, to levels that far exceed law enforcement and military standards, and deliver the training without any boot camp mentality or drill instructor attitudes so the training experience is great for your entire family.
We are entering our 19th year, have trained nearly a million citizens, and look forward to the day when our training will positively impact every American.
Here is Training Article #19…
Y2K was supposed to be the end of the world, or at least the collapse of society. Everybody prepared for the impending Armageddon by stockpiling food, water, guns, ammo, body armor, medicine, generators, fuel, and even toilet paper! But, Y2K was a total flop…thankfully. The next big Doomsday scenario was the Mayan calendar mythology in December 2012. Again, fizzle. There have been a number of false starts like these but that doesn’t deter some folks from “prepping” for the big day. The scenarios range from the fairly basic like nuclear winter, earthquakes, super-volcanoes, and tsunamis to the outlandish like alien invasions, meteorite impacts, and unkillable Zombies wearing United Nations uniforms. Believe what you want, of course. At the very least, this all makes for interesting conversation!
The most frequent discussion around the survivalist water cooler is the “bug-out bag.” The bug-out bag is a backpack that you can literally grab-and-go to survive on your own for a period of time. The bug-out bag is designed to be an immediate, temporary solution, not a long-term living arrangement. The bug-out bag typically contains things like water, a water purification system, food, medicine, toiletries, flashlight and batteries, knife, radio, etc. It also contains a gun, obviously. Well, that’s something I know a little bit about!
So then, what’s the best gun to carry in a bug-out bag? Everyone has an opinion, of course, but to answer that question, you would first need to know what problems you are likely to face. If the mission is simply hunting small game, a rifle in .22 rimfire would be just right. If you want maximum diversity, a 12-gauge shotgun can shoot birdshot at birds and small game, buckshot at bad guys, slugs at dangerous game and vehicles, and flares into the sky to mark your location. If you anticipate a legitimate paramilitary battle, I think we would all agree that a .308 semi-auto rifle and LOTS of loaded magazines would be very comforting. However, nobody wants to carry such a heavy load for very long. Well, if weight is the primary issue, how about carrying a compact 9mm handgun, like a Glock 26? Sure it’s comfortable to carry, but does it have enough horsepower to save the day? Unfortunately, the real world if full of compromises. Obviously there is no “best” gun for your bug-out bag.
You may not need to carry as much gun as you think. Imagine a gunfight between two guys. The first guy is your average, everyday criminal and thus has absolutely no skill. He is armed with a state-of-the-art AR-15 (which he just stole!) The second guy is you. You have tons of skill and experience and you are armed with an itty-bitty Glock 26. Who’s going to win this gunfight? Correct; you are. And now your arsenal contains a Glock and an AR-15. See how this works? Use your little handgun to upgrade to a better weapon. But this approach only works if you are good with your handgun. In other words, you need training. (If you are untrained, then you are the first guy in the above scenario!)
I have one modest suggestion for your bug-out bag. You never know what weapons you might encounter along the way. Similarly, you have no idea what ammunition you might encounter. For example, if you just got your hands on an AK-47 but there is no ammo in sight, it’s of little use. So, in addition to carrying ammunition for your own weapon, I suggest that you carry a few rounds of all the common calibers. All you need are a few rounds of each. Don’t get crazy or you will be carrying a piano on your back! Here are my recommendations:
- .22 Long Rifle, 10 rounds
- .38 Special, 6 rounds
- 9mm, 6 rounds
- .40 S&W, 6 rounds
- .45 ACP, 6 rounds
- .223/5.56 NATO, 6 rounds
- 7.62 X 39, 6 rounds
- .308/7.62 NATO, 6 rounds
- .30-06 Springfield, 6 rounds
- 12-gauge bird, 3 rounds
- 12-gauge 00 Buck, 3 rounds
- 12-gauge slugs, 3 rounds
That’s a total of 67 rounds of ammunition that hopefully you never need. As I was preparing this article, I assembled the above list into a Ziploc bag and weighed it on a digital scale…2.8 pounds. Now that’s weight worth carrying.
The most important tool in your bug-out bag isn’t in your bug-out bag. It’s in you! It’s the training you have and the combat mindset to use it. You are the weapon. The guns, ammo, knives, food, water, flashlights, maps…are just tools.
Keep up the great work! Together, we are positively changing the image of gun ownership hundreds of times faster than any other group in America!
Thanks again for your participation in Front Sight’s phenomenal success.