Should A Bug-Out-Bag Contain A Firearm?

Ah, the contents of a Bug-Out-Bag, one of the great points of discussion amongst Preppers and on survival blogs.  Everyone has personal preferences and different needs so naturally the contents of a good BOB are going to vary.  There are certain items that just about every bag should contain and other items that only certain folks would require (such as prescription medicines or eyeglasses).

As we dialogue back and forth through the prepping community there is one item contemplated for inclusion in the BOB that brings out more strong feelings than any other.  That is, of course, the firearm.

Some would say they absolutely have to have a gun in their go-bag.  That having one is vital for self defense and they couldn’t imagine having to bug out without one.  I can see the point here and do agree that bugging out without a firearm would be a terrible position to put oneself in.  After all, a situation that has gotten bad enough to make you flee your home absolutely calls for having weapons handy.

On the other hand I’m not a proponent of storing firearms in insecure places.  I personally keep most of my firearms in a big safe that’s bolted to my floor.  I have one handgun in a more accessible location for easy access in a smaller safe that opens quickly but still keeps it secure from burglars or curious children.  I could not imagine having a gun in my bug-out-bag, especially since mine spends most of its time in my vehicle.  Recall that my bag was actually stolen earlier this week.  I can’t imagine having to tell the local police that there was a stolen handgun floating around town.  They probably would have locked me up for having it in my car in the first place.  Definitely think about your state and local laws before deciding where to store a firearm.

My situation may be different than many others though.  My BOB has always been intended to get me home where I plan to bug-in.  Many others pack their bags with the express intention of having to bug-out and may keep their bags in secure locations inside their homes.  If I had a bag expressly for this purpose it would almost certainly contain a firearm.  If it did contain a firearm then it would definitely be stored in my big safe.

So let’s say you’ve thought through all the scenarios, weighed the pluses and minuses, and have decided that you want to keep a firearm in your go-bag and you have a good plan to keep it secure.  Now the question is which gun to choose.

Personally I would probably go with two.  One being my favorite handgun, the Beretta PX4 Storm and the other the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 .22 rifle.  The PX4 is the obvious choice for me as I’m very confident with it and can even carry it with a decent degree of conceal-ability even though it’s a medium sized pistol.  In a tough situation it’s important to me to have a gun I’m comfortable with, not some micro-sized pea shooter.

Regarding the Henry, I think this is a great gun to have in a survival situation.  The company’s motto for the gun is actually, “Don’t leave civilization without one”.  I wrote a bit about it here and will only repeat myself to say that the rifle breaks down quickly into three pieces all of which fit inside the stock, which in turn would easily fit into a backpack.  It’s extremely light, easy to put together quickly, and pretty accurate as well.  I think the option of having a long-gun in a bug-out situation, especially one that is so concealable, is awesome.

So there you have it, my thoughts on firearms in  bug-out-bags.  Would love to hear what you all think in the comments section.

~Butch

7 Responses to Should A Bug-Out-Bag Contain A Firearm?

  1. A henry AR7 lives in my NCB (not coming back) bag, along w/ 300 rds 22lr,and 200 rds of 9mm. The glock 17 is always with me. As is a keltec su 16 in my truck. Good to go.

  2. If you keep your handgun concealed on your person you pretty much avoid the problems you mentioned, as well as a few other problems that come to mind.

  3. No guns in the BOB/GHBs per se, but in the cars next to the bags we have a Kel-Tec SU-16 and a Springfield M6 Scout (mine and my wife’s respectively.) They are in there own little bags that can be slung over the shoulder as well.

    We don’t have handguns in the bags as the handguns are always on us regardless.

    We do keep extra hand gun and rifle ammo in the bags though.

  4. Yes, you’re not fully prepared without a firearm. They’re a tool like any other, and they have a purposeful design like any other tool.

    If you envision an “I’m never coming home” scenario then you’ll need weapons suitable for hunting a variety of game as well as self defense. Something practical and cost efficient like the Mossberg Super Bantam Combo is a good option as is the aforementioned packable Henry .22LR.

    Many preppers think of wilderness when they speak of bugging out. I’ve never been able to wrap my head around that, and I’ve been prepping for a very long time.

    If you’re like me, you’re resolved to going home regardless of the scenario short of having your neighborhood nuclear power plant melt down. The prudent and reasonable prepper has considered natural or man made, disaster, economic calamity, and pandemic as chief items on the list. In those scenarios, angry mobs and panicked hordes are your initial threat followed by drug seekers and those willing to steal to survive.

    Pulling cash at the grocery in a last ditch effort to stock up on golden preps will likely happen, and you’ll be witnessed by those that can’t afford or procure in any other manner but theft. In that instance, strolling to the car with a fine bird gun over your shoulder won’t work, marching in plate armor with an assault rifle won’t work, but storing a concealed handgun that you’ve rehearsed (notice I didn’t say practiced) with will.

    I keep spare magazines for my daily carry handgun in a holder in my glove box and know all too well that I need to grab them if I ever pull my bag out. I keep one spare magazine in the bag itself along with a compartment of shotgun shells for the concealed Mossberg 590 with shortened LOP stock that I have for the express purpose of vehicle transport. A bag isn’t a place for a gun though. Get a sidearm, keep it on you, and rehearse. Practice to me means shooting colorful paper. Rehearsal means training for the fighting role.

    Learn to unholster, retain, reholster (without looking!), drawing from an offhand, load and reload ambidextrously, and fire from a variety of positions while stationary and on the move at an eagle eye distance and close enough for a bear hug.

  5. Hey unistat, have you done any work on your m6′s trigger? I find it difficult to hit anything reasonable with mine due to how terrible the trigger is. Mine is one of the original american made .22/410.

  6. I think one thing people should think about for a BOB is not a bag but a good quality backpack. You can throw it in your vehicle but if the vehicle becomes disabled or you can’t even use the vehicle before leaving home you can carry it on your back keeping your hands free. I think everyone knows what I mean by keeping your hands free. You can also carry more on your back than you can in your hand for any distance. Even small children can carry a small backpack with a change of clothes and jacket contained in it.

  7. @ highdesertlivin

    I haven’t done anything other than remove the trigger guard. I may have lucked out in that my trigger doesn’t feel too bad. It’s weird as all get out and has a pretty heavy pull, but it breaks cleanly.

    I’ve found that technique helps a lot. I actually use both my middle finger and forefinger to squeeze with about 75% of the squeezing done by the middle finger.