If You Only Had Four
Yesterday on The Survival Podcast, Jack Spirko answered a listener's call about the 4 Gun Battery. Essentially, that's what might work for an all-around defense and hunting battery if a person was limited by money or laws or whatever to only four guns. Most folks give it a kind of generic .22 rifle (usually a Ruger 10-22), pistol, center fire rifle, and a shotgun.
I've got way more than four guns, but I thought today about what direction I might take if I were so limited. I also looked at as a resident of rural Central Virginia, and also as a land owner in SE Wyoming where we hope to move at some point. The four guns that work here would not be the best choices for out there.
It's pretty wooded around here, with gently rolling hills, and plenty of game of all sizes up to white tail deer. I'd be hard pressed to take a 100 yard shot from anywhere on my property.
1. .22 rifle - If I'm only going to have one, I'm going to go with the Henry lever action. The lever action will feed the usual .22 long rifle round - good for small game (or pests) like squirrels, the small rabbits we have around here, skunks, opossum, or sitting birds. It also handles shot rounds that are good for snakes and small rodents. It will also feed and function with .22 CB caps which are as quiet in my rifle as sub-sonic rounds in a friends suppressed Walther pistol. For different types of ammo, the lever action is much more versatile and capable than a semi-auto.
2. Mid-sized, high quality .357 Magnum revolver - Something like a Colt Python or Trooper or a Smith & Wesson model 19 or 66 - I'd go with a 4 inch barrel. The .357 is a very versatile round, and can be loaded very hot or very mild, with full metal jacket or expandable defense or hunting loads, and even with shot rounds. It will also take .38 special rounds for target or practice. The .357 is a proven self-defense round, and from a pistol is quite capable of taking small-to-medium sized game.
3. A .357 Magnum lever action rifle - again, the ammo versatility, out of a rifle, a hot load is great for the white tail deer we have around here, and with practice, it can be just as rapid as a semi-auto. I've shot a lot of Cowboy Action matches and it's amazing how fast one can get. The accuracy is fine within the ranges we have here. I'd stay away from the Model 66 or 73 reproductions and go with a Model 92 Winchester or 94 Marlin. The 92s will need to be 'smithed by someone like Steve Young. The Marlins are much better out of the box. The biggest shortfall is the slow reloading process, but unless you are in a true firefight, that wouldn't be an issue.
4. A 12 gauge pump shotgun with adjustable choke - You can shoot #7 or 8 bird shot on small mammals or dove, quail, etc...; larger #4 or 2 on larger game like duck, turkey or beaver; #4, 1 or 00 buckshot for large mammals, including two-legged predators; or slugs for longer range, hard hitting accuracy. The adjustable choke changes how tight the end of the barrel is and makes the shot pattern tighter or looser, depending on the purpose.
Our land in Wyoming is open prairie, at about 7,000 feet, no trees, clear views for dozens of miles. The game ranges from great big jackrabbits to antelope to elk. I'm sure there are birds to hunt, but I don't know the details of the area yet.
1. .223 semi-auto rifle - AR15, M-4, or similar - Useful for the jack rabbits, as well as defense to several hundred yards.
2. .357 Magnum revolver, same reasons as above
3. Bolt-action rifle in .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Lapua Magnum, possibly a Remington 700 or McMillan M86. These calibers will reach out farther and hit harder than the .308, and good for the largest of game or long range perimeter defense.
4. 12 gauge shotgun, same as above
These are my thoughts for my two specific situations. Your millage may vary, depending on your terrain, local game, perimeters, skills and experience.
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.
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