Disaster pack semi-auto handgun recommendations


February 8, 2013, 11:45 PM
So, I don't consider my wife and I to be 'preppers'. At least not the National Geographic thousand square foot underground bunker world-destroying solar flare kind of prepper.
On the other hand, we live here in the CA Bay Area where the earthquake clock keeps ticking and it truly is a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'.
So over the past year or two, we've equipped our cars with 'get home kits'. These are not 'bug-out-bags' as I've heard, but backpacks that are stocked with food, water, first-aid, and other odds and ends that can be used to hike it back home from 10, 20, or 30 miles away if the roads are deadlocked, damaged or shut down. We're fortunate enough that we have four cars between the two of us, which means four separate kits.
One of the items that I'm considering adding is a locked box hidden in the trunk with a firearm, and a separate locked box for magazines/ammo. All configured that way to comply with CA law.
So that would be four semi-autos and I'm looking for a recommendation. The constraints are that I'd want them all to be the same, all 9mm (the only handgun round we use), reasonably priced (we need four of them), preferably ambi (I am left-handed), mid-sized in that it is preferable for them to be reasonably light, but we could keep them in backbacks so CC per se is not required.
We own a number of nice H&K USP's and P7's but there's no way I'd keep those valuables in our cars with hot weather and the risk of theft. But the closer the MOAs is between the car guns and either the USP's or the P7's, the better.
So has anyone here done such a thing? The ideal (to me at least) would be four G19's. I was just wondering if there's a lower priced alternative. And any other thoughts on the issue would be appreciated.

If you enjoyed reading about "Disaster pack semi-auto handgun recommendations" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
February 8, 2013, 11:50 PM
Ruger SR9c with both 10 and 17rd mags may work nice. About $100 cheaper per gun.

February 8, 2013, 11:54 PM
The G19 would be a great way to go, the cheaper route would be 4 LEO trade-ins. You could also look at the Ruger SR series as a less expensive alternative. The tough part is finding 4 of anything in stock right now.

February 9, 2013, 02:43 AM
Stainless, jam resistant, proven . 5 extra factory mags and a Brick of Stingers. Shoot for the head, works for zombies and animals too.

February 9, 2013, 06:17 AM
I would go with the SR9c sugestion as well. Great gun, very reliable, and for me at least, very user friendly in terms of its design and ergonomics. Maybe get the stainless model if there's a concern about rust due to long term storage in the trunks of your cars.

February 9, 2013, 06:35 AM
S&W used to package their Sigma and M&P pistols in "disaster" packs. They had a case for the pistol, and depending on the package had maybe a flashlight, or flare, knife, etc.

I checked their website, but couldn't find them currently offered.


February 9, 2013, 06:55 AM
The G-19 is the right way to go if you must have a 9mm. I much prefer the G23 in 40 S&W, especially since they are much more available and reasonably priced right now.

February 9, 2013, 08:00 AM
for cost, used glocks would probably be your winner.

being a lefty myself I turned them down because if the mag release digging into my hand all the time. I hated the ergos as well, so that would be a detriment to training with it.

given that they'd be Bug-In guns only, if you're comfortable with the way they work enough and don't require extensive practice with them they might be ok.

once the shenanigans are over, they should be the cheapest price/best value.

have you considered Caracal F and/or C as choices? 18rnd mags in the F, 15rnd mags in the C, and you can use the bigger mags in the C as well if needed, and they have an ambi mag release. my understanding is they're also not that expensive... $500 new IIRC.

(edit: wait. It just caught up with me, you're in Cali. can you have 18/15 rnd mags? they also sell 10rnd mags for CA according to the web site.)

finally have you considered removable lock boxes with common mounting plates? that way you could cut down to 2+2 (2 ammo boxes, 2 gun boxes) that you put in the vehicles when you leave and take out when you come home.

February 9, 2013, 08:10 AM
In addition to the aforementioned police trade-in Glocks, you might also consider new or used Ruger P95s or one of the various 3 or 4 digit S&Ws. Perhaps a S&W Sigma as well. I've seen them NIB in my area for low $300s, and under $300 used from time-to-time. Nothing fancy, but they are usually dependable and are backed up by two companies with good CS reputations.

February 9, 2013, 08:47 AM
As far as rust/storage issues go, you are packing for disaster not for CCW. Vacuum pack them with a desiccant pack in each bag. Plus it strengthens your legal transport case/claim. (Not readily accessible.)

With 4 guns you can take one out, shoot it, clean it, and repack it every three months. That way they all come out at least once a year.

Home vacuum sealers for the kitchen are not terribly expensive.


February 9, 2013, 08:50 AM
You're severely limiting yourself by specifying 9mm Luger. Everybody has bought up all the good deals on used 9mm Luger pistols; there are just about none to be had.

If you were to open the window to other, less popular but still very effective 9mm rounds, say, the 9x18 Makarov, then your options would be far greater. A set of police trade-in CZ-82s can be had for $240-270 each. If you open your cartridge window a little further, you could purchase CZ-70s, chambered in .32Auto, a round that gets a lot of criticism but will still get you home, for $100 less apiece.

The MOA for these CZs is not identical to the HKs, but is easy to learn. They're not exactly lightweight guns, as they are all metal, but they're compact. They're said to be rugged, dependable, and silly accurate. And at those prices, you could equip all four packs and have a couple of spares to practice with (master their MOA) and scads of ammo for the price of two new G19s, assuming you could even find the Glocks.

February 9, 2013, 09:09 AM
Heck, get your C&R FFL03 and you might (California?) be able to get the delivered to your door. Too bad you can't get mail order ammo out there. You could get everything you need shipped to your door in one box!


Taurus 617 CCW
February 9, 2013, 09:13 AM
The Beretta 92 FS is a little on the larger side but fits all the other criteria. Having an alloy frame, the weight for size is reasonable. It has ambi controls as well. I mention the 92 FS because used ones can be found for a good price.

My first choice is the Glock 19. The Generation 4 models offer more flexibility in ergonomics and reversible features. The previous Generation guns can be found used in larger abundance.

February 9, 2013, 09:15 AM
FN Five-seveN is what I have in mine, along with some extra ammunition.

- 20 Rounds of lead filled love in each of the three magazines
- Far longer range than nearly any other pistol
- The cleanest shooting pistol I own requiring little to no maintenance
- Would be very good at producing a wide variety of meat-cycles

February 9, 2013, 09:53 AM
Keep in mind that he is in California. He is probably limited to 10 round magazines.

If you wanted to go smallish, get 4 P64s. 6 + 1, barely pocketable, inexpensive, and built like a tank.

$229 each, 5 or more spare mags at $15 each gives you $995 plus tax and shipping for four pistols and 9 magazines.

That is a modest investment for a dependable (and expendable) car gun, plus if you run out of ammo you can use it for a club!


February 9, 2013, 09:59 AM
Beretta 92FS. Good value, extremely reliable, hicap, durable, accurate, and they are all over the place, so parts are available. They are also extemely easy to work on yourself if you need to. Even with the current unavailibitly of 9MM Luger, I'd stick with that as it will be available again and is our standard mil/NATO round.

All that being said I keep a Bulgarian Makarov with a couple boxes of 9x18 in my BOB. :)

February 9, 2013, 10:00 AM
Keep in mind that he is in California. He is probably limited to 10 round magazines.
^^Great point. I didn't see that......^^ But I wouldn't live there so I don't think about that stuff often! Regardless, it is a valid options for others who may be reading this thread with interest so I won't edit the post.

February 9, 2013, 10:14 AM
Whatever you get besure that the smallest handed person to use them can do so well. When I vouluteered on our club range as a range officer and while teaching the old NRA Personal Protection class I had husband wife teams show up on occassion.

Usually "he" picked the guns based on what he liked and what hee heard the other guys recommend. More than once a couple had GLocks and she could not shoot that well with it because of its girth and angles.

Take everyone that will be depending on these guns to a rental range and let them shoot a Glock 9silly meter of the type you want and see how it goes.

If it turns out that the GLock works, fine. if not, You might consider looking for trade ins on S&W single stacks based on the old 39 design.

I know you said left hand friendly, but one of my backwards built buddies likes his 1911s just fine. You might look into a Star B model of some sort. Single stack 1911-ish but small of grip.

My all time favorite ( and wife's) single stack 9 is the HK P7 PSP so I hear ya, brudder. Don't want to leave that in the car if you got it or one of its decendants. Wish HK would liscence some US out fit to make them at a reasonable price without the import duty. A Ruger made stainless P7 single stack even with a Euro mag release would be so nice for CCW........

Hey they ripped of KelTec......

Say for cheap and leave it in the car you might want to look at the KelTec guns in 9.


February 9, 2013, 10:31 AM
I see that most do not go cheap when it comes to their "personal" weapon,so why take a chance that your 'car gun' may become your INCH gun [ Im not coming home = INCH ].

If that could possibly happen,would you be a bit put off by the choice of the "cheap" gun you chose .

I think that a Glock 19 [ police trade in might be the 17 ] would be the least I would go with.

But having a quality .22 with a brick of ammo would be a pistol that would be included in the set,somewhere and yes that might be the 3 rd gun.

February 9, 2013, 10:49 AM
I bought a used glock 22 in 40 s&w. with a 9mm conversion barrel and a 357 sig on the way. One gun and 3 calibers. Incase I had to scavange for ammo. I got 3 options. It's all in a Mtm surviver box with 200 rounds of 40. It has been 100% with the 9mm barrel and g17 mags

February 9, 2013, 10:54 AM

conditions may not be that great and they keep on working..

thats just my opinion..

February 9, 2013, 11:27 AM
For rough service, which I would qualify this as, Glock will always be my choice in a semi-auto. Given that you're limited to 10 rounds in **** a Glock G26 would be my first choice. Discrete to carry if needed, virtually rust proof to prevent deteriorating in less than optimal storage, famously reliable, able to digest virtually any 9mm ammo up to +p+ rounds and no bigger than it has to be for a 10 round capacity. Get the factory nite sights or add the sights of you choice and install Pearce mag extensions to make it more comfotable to shoot & call it good. Not the cheapest option, but the optimal one IMHO.

The other plastic 9's would all likely do equally well if you have a strong preference for something else or a dislike for Glock.

February 9, 2013, 12:46 PM
The Smith & Wesson SD9VE and SD40VE (Not to be confused with the SW9VE and SW40VE) are very well regarded lower priced handguns. Pretty comparable to a Glock 19 or 23 at about half the price new. You should be able to find one at around $300-350 NIB.


February 9, 2013, 02:57 PM
Four cheap nines? Kel-Tec P11. About $1000 for all of them. Personally, I would pick .22 revolvers.

February 9, 2013, 03:47 PM
Keltec 9's or ruger sr9c. Both would suit you well. Nothing wrong with the 9 with today's loads regardless of what some people say.

February 9, 2013, 04:10 PM
I wouldn't want to face down rioting mobs with 10 rounds of .22 lr. Consider the Glocks or Rugers and consider an Uncle Mikes reinforced instructor belt (stiffened nylon with Velcro closure) and a kydex holster and magazine holder for spares.

Getting home won't be a backpack hike with the pistol stored away, it will be on guard, avoid crowds and be ready to defend yourself if need be affair. When price and availability normalize the Glock option will be very attractive for the added expense of accessories unless you can find some model like the XD that comes with the starter pack which includes the holster/mag carrier.

February 9, 2013, 04:17 PM
If you look at a Glock as if it was an erector set [ look it up if your under 50 y/o ].

Then you will see that there are a 'few' calibers that it can be adjusted to.

Glock 23 [ .40 S&W caliber ] can be fitted with a Sig .357 barrel.

.22 rimfire upper

9 MM barrel

so you have 4 possible calibers and VERY little to carry to attain the switchover.

February 9, 2013, 04:55 PM
IF I had it in the trunk in a lock box it would be loaded and ready to go!!

February 9, 2013, 05:08 PM
I don't believe that would comply with California law.

February 9, 2013, 05:22 PM
S&W used to package their Sigma and M&P pistols in "disaster" packs. They had a case for the pistol, and depending on the package had maybe a flashlight, or flare, knife, etc.

I checked their website, but couldn't find them currently offered.


I may be wrong but I dont believe the sigmas were ever offerd in that kit.

The SD and M&P are the only ones I have seen offered in the "Home Defense kits"

February 9, 2013, 05:25 PM
If New York's mag limit somehow stands, expect the same for California. When I read the OP, my inclination was to recommend revolvers also. 357s with HKS speedloaders would be my choice.

Regardless of gun choice, I would include a cheap nylon belt and holster in the backpacks. If you need to carry a gun, then you will probably need to use it with little or no warning. For an expensive option, check out a Safepacker holster.

February 9, 2013, 06:13 PM
If you need 4 guns on a realistic budget I would look at a HiPoint. The magazine is usually the cause of failure or difficult operation. Vet each gun before storing it. If there is anything wrong with a Hi Point the magazine hits the bottom of the slide. Just file the top of the magazine down until the slide works freely.

I have picked up several Hi Points over the years for the price of chicken feed. Every one of them had magazine issues. I was able to fix every one of them.

wild cat mccane
February 9, 2013, 06:19 PM
Call me crazy...but I would be more concerned about helping people around me.

I guess I live in a different America where natural disasters doesn't make every other American a threat to my life.

February 9, 2013, 07:33 PM
One of our bob's is full of medical supplies and a Heritage .22LR revolver with two sealed "tuna" cans of ammo and a ziploc bag of .22 shotshells. The other bob has a Keltec P11 with two extra mags (total of 3) with 350 rounds...I've always thought if things really went downhill in the US that 9mm could be had from bodies laying around? Our plans also include a 12ga and AR but our plans are ambitious and would have to include the Jeep to carry everything.

Of course, we would need a generator for hair dryers and curling irons (I guess that stuff is in her bob) so that means extra gasoline, extension cords, etc, etc....ok, I'll just surrender now! Lol!

February 9, 2013, 07:47 PM
I'm just catching up on these great responses. Extremely helpful. Just some quick comments:
Here in CA we can, and many of us do (at least for now) purchase internet/mail-order ammo. No problem.
Re Kel-Tec, there is something called a CA Roster of Legal handguns - which lists every make/model of guns allowed to be sold here. Although there are some techniques that enable access to other make/models, this is pretty often 'THE LIST'. And that list doesn't contain even one Kel-Tec handgun on it. Not a one.
The idea of the police/used G19 is a great one. To me, the leading contender (I'm still working through the feedback). I've never shot a Glock nor has my wife (she is right-handed) so it would take some training but that's usually fun. I also like the idea of a G26 but they are unlikely to be found in police returns at lowered prices. Either way, despite the fact that I'm an H&K fanboy, I have huge respect for the simplicity, quality and reliability of all Glocks.
The FiveSeven is interesting but a non-starter. It both violates my 9x19 preference, but it also makes a lot less sense when, here in CA, it is limited to 10 rounds. A gun that is designed and optimized around shooting from a large magazine is not as clever when it is strangled.
I'm not sure that the .22LR, even with a brick of ammo, is a great idea. My hope (presuming that the car does not become an 'INCH' (clever acronym there) vehicle) is that I'd take 1-3 days to head home. I don't need the gun for food but only for SD. Seems like a .22LR is not the best choice there.
The instructors belt is a good idea as well. I already have one (or equivalent) in each pack. I must have been thinking that I'd be heading toward this phase of the GEBP (get home back pack?) project. I also did it because there is one K-Bar-class non-folding knife in each pack with the option of a belt mount.
The comment about keeping a fully loaded gun 'ready to go' in the trunk lockbox is a likely non-starter. Although the laws can be interpreted differently, in general the read on the law is that the gun has to be locked in its case, out of direct reach from the drivers seat, and the ammo stored separately. It may be that they can be stored together if out of reach, but I am not sure, and have no interest in testing the ire of a LEO when things are likely to be tense anyway.
I just can't get behind the HiPoint recommendation. From everything I read, and just understanding their design, the handgun is not a very dependable or accurate design and it's quite heavy. It is inexpensive though...
Regarding the impact of an earthquake on people's behavior, most of CA is no different than other community's around the U.S. That is, people come out of the woodwork to help one another. I've been through a good sized quake here in 1989 (though the next big one is likely to be much stronger) and nearly everyone was looking to help everyone else. Myself included. Please don't think that CA is any different or lesser, or that I have a rare and evil view of civilization. But every community has it's odd citizen, looting can become a problem if the situation becomes dire, and I don't want to depend only on good will to aid my way home.
Thanks again everyone, and please keep the suggestion coming.

February 9, 2013, 08:01 PM
For what you're proposing, I'd suggest a S&W Model 10 instead of any semi-automatic.

Several boxes of 158 gr. LRN, a box or two of something like BB +P 158 gr LSWCHP & a bunch of shotshells for it. Put it all in a zip lock at the bottom of your bag. If you really need it, it's available & simple enough for anyone in your group to use with minimal training (point this end at bad guy. Pull trigger.).

February 9, 2013, 08:45 PM
So over the past year or two, we've equipped our cars with 'get home kits'. These are not 'bug-out-bags' as I've heard, but backpacks that are stocked with food, water, first-aid, and other odds and ends that can be used to hike it back home from 10, 20, or 30 miles away if the roads are deadlocked, damaged or shut down. We're fortunate enough that we have four cars between the two of us, which means four separate kits.
One of the items that I'm considering adding is a locked box hidden in the trunk with a firearm, and a separate locked box for magazines/ammo. All configured that way to comply with CA law.

While I understand having a bug to or bug out bag (depends on which way you are going)
in each of your vehicles I do not understand having a gun, magazines and ammo in each of them all the time.

First you must be flush with money to afford equipping four vehicles with lock boxes, guns, etc.

Second do you have a family member to drive each vehicle?

If you can't get home to your other vehicles you are losing the contents, including the gun, in them.

Fourth you will need to set up so kind of maintenance program and ammo exchange schedule.

Fifth how are you and whoever happens to be driving that vehicle going to pack your roscoes?

Sixth unattended vehicles are a target for theft...those lock boxes will not be much of a deterent to a determined thief with a little time on his hands.

February 9, 2013, 09:21 PM
I guess I live in a different America where natural disasters doesn't make every other American a threat to my life.
Sounds like you live in an America where there are no natural disasters at all, or that you've never been involved in one. Crime is most rampant during natural disasters.

To the OP, I'd stick with the G19 you originally had in mind. If you want a cheaper alternative, the Ruger SR9c would be a great choice. There wouldn't be much else that I would consider.

February 10, 2013, 06:15 AM
What about legality? If you need it locked in two separate boxes just to transport it in a car boot, should you worry that you might find trouble on the way home while carrying it on your person? I would be considering Hi Points. I might end up leaving it with the abandoned car.

Funny thing is under California law, a handgun outside of your own home would only be good for real, true-to-movie zombies. The slow, shuffling kind that will give you time to unlock those boxes and load your gun.

February 10, 2013, 06:28 AM
Call me crazy...but I would be more concerned about helping people around me.

I guess I live in a different America where natural disasters doesn't make every other American a threat to my life.

Nothing wrong with helping your neighbors or anyone else, and working together to make the situation better. However, have you seen events like Katrina, where people loot, rape, murder, or riot situations like after Rodney King where store owners had to defend themselves, from harm and death? There are no police to be found in these situations, 911 is inoperative, and the police can't be there anyway.

How well can you help people if you are maimed or dead? How will you help save your family, friends, neighbors etc from harm? If you want to help them be prepared for ANYTHING.

February 10, 2013, 09:27 AM
Back during Andrew thugs around Homestead/Miami were pretty bold. One group noting Nation Guardsmen without magazines in rifles accosted a group of four guardsmen and went away with four M-16A2 rifles. Others learning most Guardsmen were not given ammo bullied their way int food and water dispensing areas and made off with more than the perperson/ family limits.

When I was taking Community Emergency Response Team training (CERT) everyone there was interested in helping their neighbors. When the topic of self defense while doing so came up the instructors from Emergency management made it clear that no weapons were allowed while performing CERT duties. Of the class of 31 at least seven folks were CWL holders and carrying at that moment. These were folks willing to forgo an evening a month for eight weeks and to attend weekend classes on special skills and drills and be expected to respond to local emergencies.

Wanting to help others does not preclude wanting to be able to defend one's self or other innocents.


February 10, 2013, 10:04 AM
Walther P99? It's closer in size to a Glock 19, but it's DA/SA w/ a decocker like your USP. However, no safety to worry about and they go for $600 or so if you can find them. I bought two that were lightly used in the last month and they both cost me $580 OTD. Sold one of them for $735 + shipping on Gunbroker, so the price can vary depending on where you look.

A Glock wouldn't be my first choice for many scenarios, but I have to admit that the 19 fits this role rather well. LEO trade-ins go for $350 in my area (and they are still available), magazines are cheap and abundant (maybe not right now though), and replacement parts are easy to find. That and the firepower it packs in such a small package would make it a great gun for this job. You don't want a gun that's too big and bulky if you need to conceal it in a jacket pocket temporarily while you're trying to make your way home. Then again, if the gun is going to be chambered when you pull it out and you don't have a nice holster already strapped on and ready to go, it might not be a good idea to have a loaded Glock bouncing around in a pocket or duffle bag. It wouldn't take much for the gun to discharge if something got caught in the trigger guard.

If you can afford it, going with a USP compact 9mm makes sense as well considering you are already familiar with the MOA. It is DA/SA with a safety, so it can be safely transported/carried in any situation. It's also an H&K, so reliability and durability is there.

February 10, 2013, 11:02 AM
Get Glock 17s or 19s. It's not an off-the-wall suggestion and parts are more readily available for them than just about any other make. 9mm is a good choice. It beats the hell out of 9x18, which I have never seen anywhere but in a gun shop behind a counter. For what you want, you're looking for something easily maintained and lots of parts support and commonality from model to model.

Once the dust settles with all this AWB stuff, they'll be easy to get.

February 10, 2013, 11:12 AM
Iíve been around some mobs when the gunfire started, and people took off in all compass directions as fast as they could. Nobody stood around to analyze whether the shooter was firing a Glock 9mm or a Lorcin .380 or a .22. People form mobs to do things they are not brave enough to do alone, and they quickly dissolve the bonds when they decide it has become dangerous to participate.

February 10, 2013, 11:41 AM
but I am not sure, and have no interest in testing the ire of a LEO when things are likely to be tense anyway.
So how will the LEOs feel about you being armed and most likely concealed and armed if and when you find yourself walking home in a disater scenario? I'm not picking on you, just suggesting that there may be a bigger picture to focus on than your choice of firearms. PM if you are curious since your topic is brushing up against the forbiden topics.

February 10, 2013, 12:10 PM
I like the suggestions of the G19, G17, or ruger sr9c. There are many other good suggestions.

But may I suggest a cheaper alternative?

Whatever gun you carry every day, keep some mags (or speedloaders) with good carry ammo stashed in each vehicle.

That way, you only have to invest in one gun for you, and one for the wifey.

February 10, 2013, 12:48 PM
Given those criteria, I'd go with the Ruger P95. If I was willing to spend more, FNX or FNS-9. For cheaper guns too, the Stoegar cougar, or that Steyer 9mm are good choices too. Glocks...... I guess. I just don't like them much. Oh yeah, Sig Sauer SP2022 are good guns too I hear.

February 10, 2013, 01:48 PM
If the user is permitted in CA there should be no problem with concealed carry.

February 10, 2013, 02:00 PM
From the comments in his OP he is not a CCW holder.

February 10, 2013, 02:02 PM
What we really need to look at are concealable, CA legal handguns, which are actually available to be purchased. Matching handguns make sense, of course.

There are multiple right answers. Rather than focusing on the handgun, I'll suggest planning a means of concealing and carrying it on your body once you get into the kit. Concealing it effectively, and in a way that allows quick deployment, are important-- as with any CCW. The wrinkle here is that you have to store the set-up in your bag until needed. Maybe something as simple as Blackhawk! or Uncle Mike's nylon IWB holsters, and a belt in the bag.

This post assumes that you are CA concealed carry legal, which I recognize is a big assumption.

Edited to add:

Well... Finally submitted my reply, and saw that the OP is not a CHL holder. I guess... Big folding knife, mace, and a rape whistle.

Good luck.

February 10, 2013, 02:17 PM
I guess... Big folding knife, mace, and a rape whistle.

Good luck.

I'm so happy I am in a Shall Issue state!

As far as knives go:


I don't know much about the site and I did not read much into it since I don't live in California, but it may be a good reference for keeping out of trouble on the knife issue.


February 10, 2013, 02:27 PM
The OP makes no reference nor do I interpret his response to mean he is not a CCW holder. His reference was in regards to comments about improper storage in the vehicle. While I can unholster mine and toss it in the lockbox before shopping at the local mall, CA residents cannot.

If the OP is stopped by a LEO and a loaded pistol is found in a pack it will either be a seizure (new pistol for the "lienent" cop) or charges, fines, jail time and a loss of rights. The OP has thus far been clear about his intention to stay within the scope of the law.

February 10, 2013, 04:17 PM
My suggestion would be Ruger's LC9. 9mm like you requested, compact but still affords a full grip with the pinky rest magazine. Its from a major brand and has been out for a few years so you wont be buying "guinea pig" first run models. Some places have them for $350 or so. Then grab some 4 Fobus or similar holsters so you can slip it on the belt to open carry.

February 10, 2013, 05:23 PM
my first pick would be four glock 19s. if you can find them used or as police trade-ins, all the better. they are very resistant to rust, very reliable, fairly accurate, very simple to use, and easily withstand neglect. when a pistol is preferred, they are just about the perfect trunk gun.

February 10, 2013, 08:50 PM
More great feedback. Let me provide some context, status and comments:
No, like almost every Californians, I do not have a CCW permit and have never applied. There is little chance that I would qualify and don't want to go on any list as being denied. To add some color, in case some are not aware of the CCW climate in CA, there is a very very high bar and/or you need some very close connections to qualify for a CCW permit. And in the general (non-semi-apocalyptical) state of the world, I have no interest in generally carrying.
The picture I am trying to paint is one in which all police/fire/social services are completely unable to manage the workload; that the damage to infrastructure, commercial and domestic environments is incalculable. I saw that happen, in the midst of a relatively mild earthquake that was not centered in the City, back in 1989. I'm simply at work, I can see that the major roads are impassable, and am compelled to hoof it. My wife and I assume that in such a disaster, we will rally at home so that is the POR.
In this case, as long as I am not swinging one on my hip, threatening others, or pillaging the local 7-11, I suspect I'm not going to get the attention of any LEO. There will be so many other pressing things for them to do that a gray-haired, middle age, reasonably fit looking guy wearing a backpack and staying out of trouble will likely get a pass. Worst case I suspect that if spotted, it would be confiscated. Oh well.
Regarding questions:
BSA1: Flush with money? No, not really. But I've been a successful silicon valley executive and have been fortunate enough to be able to equip our cars with a moderately priced firearm if it seems prudent. It doesn't make my Bill Gates or the late Steve Jobs. Most definitely not that class of money. And, per the last election, maybe we're one-percent'ers. Who knows and why does it matter?
We don't have a family member to drive each vehicle. But I don't want to choose a car to drive in the morning and move our get-home-kit including the items we're discussing here, to the vehicle of the day. I'm not sure I follow your point about losing the contents in the other vehicles. I'm just not following you there. And yes, there would have to be some type of quarterly maintenance program for each one as mentioned by another contributor. But that doesn't sound to imposing. And part of the question I am asking is exactly how to pack such items, particularly while staying within the limits of CA law. And the only unattended vehicles will be the ones left home at the house. The others will be with us, and we'd be taking the 'rescue contents' from them to get home. Of course, all of this is moot if I/we (each) can just drive home. This scenario implies that we can't.
To the many comments citing the carrying of the gun/magazines, it is a delicate issue. In general, I'd hope to keep the items separated and stuffed in the bottom of the bag. Yes, making it less accessible to me, but less obvious to anyone who would be concerned. Alternatively, if the situation looked energized, with no police around to curtail it, I'd be more abt to be more prepared.
For those who are implying that without a CCW, I should just carry something else and forgo a firearm, you might be right. It's part of the reason I initiated this thread. I have not faced the situation yet. I always have the option of not taking it with me and keeping it legally locked in the car. It all depends on the time and the place. But ultimately, as others have said, I'd rather have the option of looking after myself (and family members perhaps) rather than dogmatically following the law. I am, and have been throughout my life, a law-abiding community aiding citizen. The scenario I paint is, although not unlikely, is an extreme case. So I really would like to hear, within the limits of the rules of THR, what others would do in this part of the world.
Back to the handgun side, I'm still biased toward the used G19. The Walther as referenced is, from what I've read, really really nice but the Glock is the only one I know that can be readily (or at least occasionally) purchased used from LEO's. And as others have noted, I'd really like to have a USP9C in each car, but it's hard to imagine that not costing at least twice or three times the used Glock scenario. Oh, and I've converted our two USP9's to LEM (w/safety - sort of like wearing a belt and suspenders) so they fall somewhere between a Glock and a DA/SA.

February 10, 2013, 09:53 PM
The next step in preparation I would take is to seek advice (in the legal forum) from other High Roaders about obtaining permits for you and the Mrs. I'm sure there are ways and people who can tip the odds in your favor and make any encounters with LEOs or assailants safer for the both of you. I cannot in good conscience offer further advice toward arming yourself or not. Though our Constitution and Founding Fathers made their intentions clear, yours Bingo is a State without the fortitude to uphold such rights. I wish you luck and stay safe.

February 11, 2013, 11:50 AM
I'd go with an older, pre Gen 4, Glock 19. Older due to cost. Best bet would be to buy the number you need and move them from car to car or buy all 4 and negotiate a better deal.

Here are a few pros...
The Glock 19 is a very reliable and proven platform over many years of active duty use - critically important for what you are talking about.
The Glock can stand up to long term storage and still fire when you need it to, vs an all steel gun that will require more preventive maintenance. I've seen all steel guns fail in long term storage in humid environments.
Many law enforcement people carry them, so in a SHTF scenario there will be parts.
Anyone with entry level skills can completely detail strip them and replace parts.
Parts are few and very cheap.
The Glock or Schearer 32 Round Mags will work in them, or you can go with the higher capacity Glock 17 round mags. So, if you have to navigate a bad situation or riot, you have the firepower to put a lot of rounds on target and get away.
The Glock is pretty light even when fully loaded and very comfortable to carry concealed.

So, bottom line, don't think you can go wrong with a Glock...

One other point... I wouldn't worry about a CCW License. You will be transporting your firearm in a locked box in your trunk separate from the ammo, so you should be good to go in CA for normal driving around town (please verify with your local laws). If the SHTF and you lose your ability to use your car and have to hike home, then who cares, carry it fully loaded. So, you will need a good concealment holster for it. Your only option then, is to get to safety...meaning home where you have a rifle, ammo, food and water and can hold out until the situation normalizes.

February 11, 2013, 11:55 AM
One comment re: the Glocks. If you're used to P7's, you're used to a gun that is VERY resistant to AD/ND's. Glocks are not. Once loaded, Glocks require only require one mistake in order to have an AD/ND. OTOH, there's little chance of forgetting the manual of arms for them!

February 11, 2013, 11:11 PM
Well, look, it isn't the tools that make the difference, it is the training and the willingness to use them appropriately. You can split hairs all day long about which gun will be the most reliable of them all, but that's sort of pointless given that none of the guns mentioned so far are inherently unreliable (though I am sure I will get lit up about CS, or My gun X was awful, or whatever). Just because Tom's gun is 100% doesn't mean yours will be.

Also, on the subject of disasters, since someone brought up Katrina, we had a couple of people on THR go through Katrina, and none of them needed to face down rampaging hordes. This isn't to say that having a gun handy is a bad idea, but it is to say that the far bigger issue with all of those guys was fuel, food, and water. Unless your going to shoot a well literally, or unless your particular area is teeming with game (which, even if it is, it won't be after very long), and unless you live off the grid when it comes to your power needs, those are far bigger threats than worrying about hordes of people coming at you. If that is genuinely your concern, you need to be looking at rifles anyway.

Anyway, this is getting closed. While the question itself was reasonable enough, at the end of the day we don't do SHTF threads here, as there are a number of good forums that cater to those questions. The other reason, this has just turned into a call out of favorite brands and I don't see it getting any better.

If you enjoyed reading about "Disaster pack semi-auto handgun recommendations" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!