One of the most important concerns of modern times is disaster survival. This is mostly because disasters can strike suddenly and cause chaos and damage.

Whether they’re a result of nature or man-made, the only option is readiness to cope with the situation. This readiness should be both a mindset and an actual preparedness plan for survival and protection.

Being prepared includes being equipped with reserves of water, food, medical supplies, basic tools and of course, firearms.

There are many disaster preparedness organizations providing information and guidelines as to how much of each survival necessity to have on hand, but no official recommendation for how many firearms are needed for disaster survival.

We’re here to help. The American Gun Association will review how many firearms are enough when disaster hits.

Understanding the Role of Firearms for Disaster Survival

Many people consider firearms as necessary equipment in disaster preparedness for self-defense and/or potential hunting. In addition, some survivalists anticipate firearms will be valuable commodities to trade or sell when SHTF.

The level of protection becomes limited if there are insufficiencies. For example, a gun owner can have a large number of firearms without enough ammunition for use, which renders them ineffective in a short period of time.

Additionally, some people are under the unfortunate impression that just the presence of a gun is adequate preparation for defense.

If gun owners don’t take proper care to operate and maintain their guns on a routine basis, and instead just store them so they’re present, they put themselves and others at great risk of injury or gun malfunction.

Incorporating guns as part of disaster survival means owners need to take responsibility for understanding, training, maintaining, operating and safely storing each firearm.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to the “perfect” number of firearms for disaster survival: as many as possible and only a select few.

As Many As Possible

When considering disaster preparedness, some gun owners believe it’s best to have as many firearms as possible for survival. Some arguments to support this strategy include:

  • Each type of firearm fulfills a different role, and having as many as possible will cover most needs, like home defense or hunting
  • Having a variety of firearms means a variety of calibers, which will allow for back-ups in the case of gun loss or damage
  • A number of firearms require a substantial supply of ammunition, limiting the chance of shortage or depletion
  • A stockpile of guns could be viewed as an investment if firearms are used for barter or sale

However, there are some drawbacks to having a large number of guns on hand for the purpose of disaster survival.

For example, guns stored without regular maintenance or operation are far more at risk for malfunction with eventual use. Additionally, if gun owners are unfamiliar with the way a specific stored gun operates, it could result in damage to the gun and serious injury to the user or bystanders.

Therefore, having as many guns as possible as a disaster survival strategy could be an elevated and counter-productive safety risk.

A Select Few

Other gun owners argue having a select few firearms on hand is a far better strategy. Here are some claims to support this idea:

  • Choosing a select few firearms allows for more focused, extensive training and knowledge in operating and maintaining weapons
  • Gun owners can invest in more ammunition for a small number of guns, rather than spending more for a variety of calibers
  • A few firearms allow users to become experts in familiarity and marksmanship with their weapons of choice

However, like stockpiling firearms, having just a select few for disaster preparedness can also lead to drawbacks in certain situations.

For example, if any guns are damaged or subject to malfunction, there won’t be as many options for backup weapons. In addition, a limited number of guns means less variety of calibers.

This might interfere with the effectiveness of the guns when it comes to the level of capacity, power and range. For this reason, there really isn’t a magic number when it comes to how many firearms are enough for disaster survival.

The most important criteria when making the decision is the level of training and familiarity the gun owner has with the weapon, as well as an adequate supply of proper ammunition.

In a survival situation, the best method of preparedness is expertise. This ensures not only effective defensive use, but also protective measures for the user, bystanders and the gun itself. Know your guns, and continue to build your disaster stockpile once you’ve become an expert in maintaining and using your current collection.

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