What To Do, or Do Nothing.

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by ergon, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. ergon

    ergon Member

    Nov 6, 2005
    I've been trying to figure this one out and don't have a definitive answer. I'm a 65 year old retired federal agent and run one gun, why, because I know it. Now, do I need to add an AR, but at my age? The same thing goes for a shotgun. I'm too old to run and gun if things were to really go bad as far as the government goes. I don't want to get caught up in this "SHTF" stuff although anything can happen in an instant. Should I just keep my money or get a long gun. I was taught to use a handgun to get to my rifle. That was then, and this is now. My view on an AR is it's easy for house clearing and good out to "300-400" meters, a great weapon. A shotgun has so many different types of ammo that can be used and with 1oz slugs is good out to 200 meters even with a smooth bore. I'm looking at the Core 15 MOE AR, and then there's the Mossburg 590 A1 with ghost rings or on the high end the Bennilli M2. I've thought about getting a G-21 and just forgetting the rest. What's the general consciences with everyone here?
  2. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

    Jan 3, 2003
    0 hrs east of TN
    Many will consider you to be inadequately equipped without a semi long gun, shotgun, and handgun, but it begs the question "equipped for what?".

    If you're great with a handgun you're far better off than the poseurs who are barely able to run their stable of guns.

    What do you think you need to be able to do that you can't do with what you have? If there's an answer to that question then pick what fits and don't worry about the rest.
  3. JoeMal

    JoeMal Member

    Jun 30, 2009
    I would choose an AR over a shotgun is because of capacity. But hso brings up a good point.

    If you can afford it...why not get an AR or a shotgun (or both?) If anything, it'll get you to the range more and get you more proficient in another weapon system. If something were to happen, you'd be ready.

    Being able to 'run and gun' is one thing, being able to defend what's yours is another. If you think you can do that with solely a handgun, then stick with that. If you think you may need more, which it sounds like you may, then shop around. Doesn't hurt to look.

    And if we do hit a SHTF situation and you want to bail on your AR...it'll have huge trade value.
  4. PabloJ

    PabloJ member

    Oct 17, 2010
    The panacea is Springfield Armory M1A 'Scout'.
  5. ball3006

    ball3006 Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    I am 69 and well equipped. I am also a former police chief. It is better to have and not need than need and not have. ARs are easy to shoot and maintain. Shotguns are a no brainer. If a 12 ga seems a bit much, get a 20 gauge. My wife also has what she needs incase THAT happens. Just go to a gun shop or show and see "what speaks" to you. Then, when you have what you want, practice, practice, practice......chris3
  6. MagnunJoe

    MagnunJoe Member

    Jan 27, 2013
    South Florida
    Besides a good tactical 9mm, I would get a semi 12 gage shotgun. And a good bolt action rifle to snipe those zombies at 200 meters. With those 3, u are good to go. Home defense, good hunting, good snipping.
  7. plodder

    plodder Member

    Jan 1, 2011
    Deep in a bunker behind the cheddar curtain
    If you're opening this up for a vote, I'd vote for an AR. I lived about 55 years without one and was blissful with my modest stable of .22s, bolt rifles, shotguns and pistols. Then, when I started hearing that I didn't need, or shouldn't have an AR I suddenly bought one. Then another..........

    If you spend any time on the range, you will probably learn love the AR as much as me. Now the ARs are getting twice as much range time as all my other guns combined.

    Should we ever get to SHTF the AR would be one of the first things I grabbed, but if only for home defense, a short barrel 12 ga. semi-auto would be my choice.
  8. Schutzen

    Schutzen Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Far Western Kentucky
    I'm not ex-LE, but a former infantryman and I too am on the far side of 60. My primary weapon is the 1911A1 because, like you, I can use it day-night-cold-wet-hot-sleepy-and even hurt. It is like an extension of my arm.

    For long guns it depends on your location. I live in a very rural area with long fields of fire. I keep an AR handy. I also keep a 20 gauge shotgun handy. My only backup is my wife. We can expect to be on our own for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour if and when we call the police. My wife can handle the pump 20 gauge quite well. If I lived in an urban or suburban environment, I would chose the shotgun over the AR. The one I use is a Remington 870 Youth model with an 8 round extended magazine, large head safety, and a Side-Saddle ammo carrier.

    I'm not an EOTHEWAWKI guy, but I am too old to run and too young to give in to the bad guys.
  9. gbran

    gbran Member

    Jan 21, 2003
    Shotgun? AR? The Crossfire is a shotty/AR style combo, but it's pump, not SA.

  10. Lex Luthier

    Lex Luthier Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Twin Cities
    Not quite retiring yet, but I would be willing to have only my Sig P229, the 870 12g, and the Sig 5.56 rifle. Nothing beats knowing exactly what to expect when you pull a familiar trigger.
  11. J-Bar

    J-Bar Member

    Nov 24, 2010
    Springfield, MO
    Hm, I'm thinking location, location, location.

    If you are living on a ranch in Kansas or some other place with a long horizon then a long range gun makes sense.

    If you are living in a city where the longest shot is likely to be much shorter range, then an 800-yard sniper gun probably will not be needed.

    So if the balloon goes up, where are you gonna shoot? If it is just preventing home invasions in your house or apartment, I'm thinking shotgun is a good choice.

    I don't spend much time on the SHTF scenarios myself... just so you know.
  12. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    ohio's northcoast
    I'd take the shotgun because I believe the ammo situation still isn't resolved, now is the time to buy shotgun ammo with hunting seasons coming on. A few boxes each of bird, buck and slug will get you practicing and protected. If recoil isn't an issue with you then I'd also try some informal clays shooting to keep that hand/eye thing sharp.
  13. crazyjennyblack

    crazyjennyblack Member

    May 19, 2008
    I would go out, handle a bunch of different things, and pick something that appeals. A person who is good with a handgun will generally be good with a long gun, while the reverse is not necessarily true. Sometimes you might need to make that longer shot that a handgun isn't quite suited for. Remember: don't plan for the gunfight you see in your head. Things won't turn out that way.

    Plus, long guns are just plain fun! You don't need the latest fanciest battle rifle. If you want one that's great, but a $300 used something will often serve you quite well. Then you save your extra money for practice. If you pick up a used SKS for example, the extra $700 you didn't spend buying the latest tactical whatnot will purchase over 2,000 rounds of ammo - enough to become proficient and a little bit more. And light enough recoil to have fun while you're doing it.

    Bottom line - enjoy yourself! Don't just imagine the worst, think of it as a new activity.
  14. denton

    denton Member

    Feb 22, 2011

    No one gun excels at all tasks. Find something you will enjoy taking to the range.

    I'm 69 and still take my grandsons deer hunting. That's a 50 cal muzzleloader job, or a job for a bolt action rifle.

    Lately, I've gotten more fond of handguns. The plate racks at the range are a blast.

    Shotguns are probably the most versatile firearm out there. A nice day, with a case of clay pigeons and a case of ammo is hard to beat.

    I enjoy shooting my AR. I see more people shooting those at the range than any other long gun.

    Look for something fun. You aren't going to clear buildings anymore. And I never have.
  15. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    Here is somewhat the deal on choosing and having firearms. It is not so much for the self defense as it is for the enjoyment. I take self defense very seriously, but I take enjoyment in life as the reason to stay living.

    If that makes sense to you then choose whatever you will likely enjoy the most on all the normal days of your life. Any abnormality (self defense) that comes along should be able to be handled by what you already have.

    Disclaimer : Other opinions may exist
  16. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    N.E. Ohio
    Great thread for us older guys

    I am a 65 yr old myself. I have a bunch of guns but the OP was suggesting he is considering a G21 Glock. That is my go to gun if something goes bad around my home. I only have one gun out of the safe at night and the G21 is it. It might not be the best for everyone, but I am comfortable with what it will do for me. A set of TFO sights makes it my all around home protector. I shoot it every week or two and it still shoots where I point it. I keep it in a military M9 nylon holster on a military duty belt with spare mags and a flashlight. Just have to grab the belt and I am in the fight for as long as I last.

    I am enjoying the thread and reading others suggestions.
  17. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

    Sep 15, 2007
    The Mid-South.
    What bad guy in this country would take a shot at any of us from over 50 feet, but especially 50-100+ yards?
    There was a tv news show about the guy with a scoped rifle who zapped the victim from another building in a city, but anything else escapes me.

    Otherwise, except for western (cowboy) movies, I've only read about bad guys trying to sneak up close to victims. Some LEOs or US Border Patrol agents might have exceptions they can describe.
  18. smalls

    smalls Member

    Feb 8, 2011
    Macomb County, MI
    What kind of gun you should have depends on your needs. Only you can decide on what your own needs are.

    I own a handgun for carry/HD/plinking and a shotgun for HD, plinking and I hope to get into bird hunting in the future. Those two cover my basic needs.
  19. husbandofaromanian

    husbandofaromanian Member

    Feb 3, 2008
    Nashville, Tn
    My only shotgun is my Taurus Public Defender... Federal ammo with 4x000 groups very tight and accurate...
  20. Apple a Day

    Apple a Day Member

    Dec 24, 2002
    I'm with J-Bar. It's going to depend on where you live.
    • What's available and reasonably priced
    • What ammo is available
    • What are you comfortable/trained with
    • What's the longest distance you expect

    If you already have a handgun then you might also consider a long gun in the same caliber.

    There isn't a generic answer, I think. Your situation, your decision. If you're good with your one gun then you're already steps ahead of the knuckleheads who buy a gun, stuff it in a shoebox after banging off one box of ammo, and think that means they're ready for the zombies.

    And keep in mind that as far as anyone knows we're all a bunch of 11 year old Chinese video game addicts giving everyone advice with no credentials whatsoever.

  21. bayjoe

    bayjoe Member

    Dec 9, 2012
    SW Colorado
    I too am close to your age and I say if you want an AR and a shotgun buy them both.
  22. Captain33036

    Captain33036 Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    SE FL
    Well, another opinion, from someone close to that age. I cannot predict the kind of scenario I might get into, so, I think it terms of capability:

    1. I like a high capacity 9mm or a 1911 .45 for HD. Both equipped with lights, ready to go. Easy to be accurate and proficient enough with each that you can feel confident having to engage and defeat an adversary out to 25m. My top choices for a high cap 9 would be a SIG 229 or Glock 19.

    2. Stand off capability, a low probability, high impact scenario. So, for that I want a low cost, multi purpose weapon. Love a lever action 30-30. One of the most inexpensive, yet capable arms you can find. FUN to shoot. Can take any game in NA and keep aimed fire on an adversary to 300m, with a scope. Not very high capacity, but I am not spraying high powered rounds out 300m without regard to where they are going. Top choice, the Marlin 336 (still $387 at WM...or find used).

    3. CC. Keeping cost down allows you to round out the inventory with weapons dedicated for special tasks. A G26 or other for CC or stow in the car. Inexpensive, high capacity (12 with the pinky extension), very capable, possible to share magazines with your HD weapon, if you chose another 9mm Glock for that.

    4. Rounding things out. With the money left over, you get a nice older Beretta 390/391 SA 12ga shotgun. Great for HD, great for wing shooting, great for trap and skeet. Or a very inexpensive pump 870.

    The acquisition scheme would be to start with #1, then go to #2, 3 and 4, as time, budget and requirements dictate.

    Hope this helps

    ps - for really rounding things out, I do have a complete AR lower and a couple hi cap magazines. Several good friends have several uppers each...so....if I ever felt the need, that is that. Put the lower together myself for under $200, and it sits in a box as a cheap "just in case" item.
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  23. 460Shooter

    460Shooter Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    I had a similar thought process about having the right equipment on hand. I've had 2 ARs and realized I just don't care about them. Never again. Fine weapons, and I shoot them fine, but they just don't do it for me.

    I'm going a different route. Lever action and shotgun. I'm undecided on either. Handguns I have covered.

    But as hso stated, equipped for what? What is it we think is going to happen? If you just want them in your inventory, then go for it.
  24. we are not amused

    we are not amused Member

    Jul 24, 2011
    Smallvile, Kansas
    What do you want it for?
    Personal enjoyment?
    Personal self defense?
    SHTF, or what is otherwise known as the "Zombie Apocalypse"?

    For self defense in the home, either a shotgun or AR-15 style weapon makes a lot of sense, for a longer range defense, I would go with the AR.
    Which particular model you buy is personal preference, and what else you want to do with it, hunting or just fun at a range.

    "I'm too old to run and gun if things were to go really bad as far as the government goes."

    I hate to sound paranoid here, but as a retired Federal agent, do you know something the rest of us ought to?

    As much as I resent and distrust the Federal Government, I really don't see a general collapse and or "SHTF" moment coming soon. Local disasters such as riots, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods and fires, but not a widespread apocalypse.
  25. tomrkba

    tomrkba Member

    May 30, 2010
    If you cannot "run and gun", train others to do so. Become an Appleseed and NRA certified instructor. This gives you a clear "GO" on a Garand, M1A, and several AR-15's. ;)
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