- Cheap sufficient to afford it, mild sufficient to have with you whenever you want it essentially the most. Versatile, the Package gun fills an necessary area of interest on the earth of survival. It serves extra roles than many different survival firearms.
- Survival meals procurement is all about small recreation. Thus small-caliber handguns are nice instruments for meals procurement.
- Make sure to take into account your personal wants earlier than selecting a package gun since many firearms can fill this position.
Within the early twentieth century, the package gun was marketed as a light-weight .22 caliber revolver to fill the area of interest in what the outdoorsmen referred to as a ‘package bag.’ In case you come from a Navy or Marine household, it was a sea bag. In any other case, it’s a duffel, named after Duffel, Belgium, the place the material used to make the primary luggage within the 1700s originated. Duffels had been issued to non-commissioned personnel or bought as surplus and noticed broad use as a sturdy and handy bag for tenting, fishing, and different out of doors gear.
The standard roles of the package gun had been:
- Fill the camp stewpot with a small recreation.
- Ship the “coup de grâce” to wounded recreation animals and furbearers on the entice line.
- Leisure capturing.
- Euthanize injured horses and different injured animals.
- Slaughter livestock.
- Remove venomous snakes that might startle or injure animals.
- Management varmints that ate crops and dug burrows that might end in damaged legs and the lack of costly livestock.
- Self-defense, absent a extra highly effective weapon.
Marketed in 1953, Smith & Wesson’s helpful .22 revolver was light-weight, simple to hold, and cheap to shoot. Since then, many gunmakers have launched aggressive designs to compete with S&W for the position of package gun. In response, Smith & Wesson has refined the design and launched different light-weight fashions.
Suitability as a Survival Weapon
Inside its position, the package gun is suited as a survival weapon. Their small frames maintain their bulk and weight down, so that you don’t thoughts carrying them. You must have it with you whenever you want it. Examine to most firearms, package weapons might be held in pockets or backpacks. Rifles are inclined to get relegated to luggage and automobiles, take-down or not.
Whereas a pistol doesn’t need to be .22 caliber to fill a package gun’s position, .22 ammunition is mild, cheap (though not because it was once), and plentiful.
The place I reside, you’d be hard-pressed to select a house that doesn’t have any .22 shells in it. That may can help you barter for them in a pinch.
This ammo can be cheap and makes it attainable for the survivalist to sock away loads of ammunition even on a decent funds. While you eat what you shoot, you’d quite pay 2 cents/spherical than $2 a spherical. I purchased most of my present ammunition inventory at lower than 2 cents, however at present it’s a must to pay double and even triple that. This low value per spherical makes a .22 handgun a “must-have” in my e-book if solely so you’ll be able to maintain your capturing abilities sharp.
Survival meals procurement
Let me be clear: it’s all about small recreation. Within the typical wilderness survival situation, the very last thing you need to take care of is an enormous recreation carcass. Furthermore, there isn’t sufficient massive recreation inside the USA’s borders to feed the inhabitants or perhaps a vital fraction of it for any size of time. In case you’ve hunted massive recreation, you’ve an thought how far you might have to journey to hunt, seemingly on foot, after which return with cured meat. In most areas, this isn’t doable. You may shoot a doe in your entrance yard the primary day the grid goes down, however there can be loads of stress on massive recreation additional right into a large-scale occasion.
Taking pictures small recreation or pests whereas doing homestead chores or touring from A to B is one other story. The smaller the wild recreation, the extra biomass of meals there’s on the market comprised of it.
I desire to hold my S&W 317 in a hid carry pouch that I’ve modified to suit each belts and MOLLE gear. The pouch doesn’t seem “tactical” in any method and has a smaller exterior pocket that’s good for carrying a speed-loader or two and as much as 150 rounds or so of free ammunition.
Unzipping the pouch, the pistol is hid beneath a cloth panel held in place by Velcro. That permits the identical pouch to hold different gear that’s good to have helpful in your waist belt or pack belt. After I take away my pack, I transfer the pouch from my pack belt to my trouser-belt, so I don’t get caught with out the pouch and its contents.
Noise Degree & Vitality
Noise is a big consideration in a survival state of affairs. If you’re capturing first or signaling, you desire a firearm to be loud. If you’re making an attempt to not stumble upon different two-legged critters, you don’t. A revolver’s benefit is that you may hearth your selection of quiet or loud ammunition and not using a stoppage.
I carry very weak .22 LR ammunition akin to Aguila’s Colibri line when I’m doing discreet pest management or quietly filling the stewpot with out alerting others within the space. This spherical contains a tiny, 20gr projectile and comprises no gunpowder. The bullet is propelled by the stress generated by the primer alone. The result’s that the spherical is quiet. It’s quieter than some air rifles and far quieter than you’ll count on a firearm to be and with out the trouble of a suppressor. I can’t offer you a quantitative measurement (and it will depend upon the pistol and atmosphere if I did), however I as soon as shot a mouse that had fallen right into a basement window nicely with out waking the occupant of the room.
I additionally carry extra highly effective .22LR ammunition (for a .22LR) for searching, signaling, or speaking. I don’t suggest .22LR as a self-defense spherical in case you have a selection, however because it’s such a well-liked caliber, there isn’t any scarcity of information on it getting used to shoot individuals. Assassins have favored the spherical, however additionally they attempt to shoot them at shut vary unexpectedly and need to get the job finished with out creating any extra noise than vital. I wouldn’t shoot a grizzly with one except your life insurance coverage is paid up, however the diminutive cartridge is lots highly effective sufficient to take small and medium recreation, even from a handgun.
Compact & Lightweight
Each the Package Gun and the .22LR cartridge are about as compact and light-weight because it will get with out compromising the power to take recreation. It’s compliance with the strict measurement and weight necessities of a survival package that makes the package gun so well-suited to survival use. Ideally, a package gun ought to characteristic a small body, a 3″- 4″ barrel, and a weight of round a pound or much less. Just a little heavier is OK, however each ounce it weighs over a pound makes me need to go away it behind just a little extra. Survival gear is ineffective if you happen to left it again in your truck as a result of it was too heavy.
Accuracy is satisfactory for the position. I carried a Ruger MK II with a 5.5″ bull barrel for a while and it was definitely essentially the most correct gun I’ve employed within the position, nevertheless it was additionally the heaviest.
As barrel size will increase, so does contact time with the barrel and sight radius, considerably impacting accuracy. The draw back is that rising barrel size additionally makes the pistol heavier and fewer enjoyable to hold.
A consideration in selecting any survival weapon is a weather-resistant end since they get toted round in all climate, in salt air alongside coastlines, and will even find yourself buried in a cache in the future. Rust is the enemy of all handguns and ought to be given critical consideration when selecting weapons for survival.
Particular Package Gun Fashions
Any variety of small handguns with roughly 3″-4″ barrels are suited to a package gun’s position, however listed below are some particular fashions to think about and a few others I’d keep away from.
I’ve had the pleasure of proudly owning many fashions appropriate for this position and have shot many extra. In what follows, I’ll relate their foremost professional’s and con’s as I see them and the position and suitability of the package gun for survival.
I discovered to shoot as a small boy and was searching by the age of eight. At that age, my spindly arms couldn’t but heft a full-size rifle within the area. The answer was to achieve for a mannequin of package gun manufactured by Ruger, referred to as the Bearcat. The little gun was my fixed companion for a few years of day by day and weekly searching and scouting for archaeological artifacts and websites within the Sonoran and Mohave deserts. The little gun has harvested far too many cottontails and jackrabbits to rely. The pistol adorned my room with rabbit pelts, fed me, and crammed a small field with rattlesnake rattles, so I’ve no doubts about its reliability or suitability as a package gun.
Whereas the newer fashions of the identical pistol have an enthusiastic following, the standard of manufacture of the outdated mannequin Ruger Bearcat is straight away evident upon dealing with one facet by facet with fashionable manufacturing package weapons manufactured within the US. Newer fashions of the identical handgun really feel like they haven’t been dehorned.
Some shooters fear in regards to the lack of a transfer-bar security on the outdated six-gun. Ruger will convert them at no cost if you happen to like, however the motion gained’t be as easy. That’s primarily a consideration in educating kids to shoot, however the Bearcat is commonly pressed into this position as a result of its small dimensions are good for shooters with small arms. You probably have giant arms, you could desire a mannequin with a bigger body just like the Ruger Single Six or the S&W 317 Air Lite Package Gun. Some shooters desire the newer Bearcats as a result of they’ll swap cylinders to fireplace .22LR or .22WMR.
The outdated mannequin Bearcat ideas the scales at 17 ounces, has a 4″ barrel, holds six rounds, mounted sights, and is single motion. The gun is hard as nails and has motion as easy as silk. When bought, it value was $50 and has served the household nicely for the reason that 1960’s.
Smith & Wesson Mannequin 317 Air Lite Package Gun
The S&W 317 Air Lite Package Gun is fairly advanced as package weapons go. The primary time I picked up one, I used to be so shocked by its light-weight that I believed I’d picked up a plastic demonstrator for rubber handgun grips. At solely 11.7 ounces unloaded, the 8-shot double-action pistol is scarcely heavier than a toy cap gun or water pistol. For backpackers, that seals the deal proper there.
Since I purchased mine again within the late ’90s, it got here with the metal entrance ramp sight as an alternative of the fiber optic sight they ship with now and I desire it. I’ve had searching companions which have the fiber optic insert fall out of their entrance sight whereas searching on different weapons, so I attempt to keep away from them. The adjustable goal sights that prime the pistol are excellent. This pistol comes with a 3″ barrel and is an 8-shot double-action, so if you happen to had to make use of it to defend your self, you could possibly pump out as much as 8-rounds of .22LR as quick as you could possibly pull the double-action set off. Because the pistol contains a swing-out cylinder, it may be reloaded utilizing pace loaders, however that’s not the huge benefit it may appear at first look. Because it’s a .22, you gained’t be beating Jerry Miculek on the vary any time quickly since you’ll be lining eight little tiny bullets up with eight tiny holes (not as a result of he’s higher than you.)
All in all, it’s an awesome package gun. Evaluating the 2 pistols, each have impressively crisp triggers with zero creep in single motion, though the Ruger has the slim set off you’d count on a single motion six-shooter to have, and the S&W has a large, easy set off. The motion of the 317 can’t compete with the Bearcat and it’s considerably bulkier, however the further bulk will not be essentially a foul factor in case you have massive paws. However for the reason that Bearcat is single-action and contains a 6-shot cylinder and glued sights vs. the S&W’s double-action, 8-shot, swing-out cylinder, and adjustable sights, the Ruger is barely simpler to hold by way of bulk. Individuals are amazed by its light-weight after they decide up this pistol. For me, the S&W 317 is the larger deal on the path and finds its method onto my belt extra usually than the Bearcat today.
A trio of options is that pistols within the S&W 317 Sequence are considerably rust-resistant, designed to take lanyards and are mild sufficient to hold round your neck. That makes it simple to get your pistol up off the underside of a kayak in a rush and makes it attainable to wade with out worrying you’re going to dunk the sidearm. It’s additionally an honest gun in snake nation down within the southern states, particularly alongside rivers.
Causes a shooter may select an older, heavier S&W Package Gun mannequin is to get it in one other caliber (akin to .22 WMR, .32, .32 H&R Magazine, .38 Particular, and even .44 Particular) with an extended barrel or simply desire a traditional older mannequin. I can perceive that. In case you reside in bear nation, you may even select an S&W Mountain Lite in .357 Magnum, the S&W 329 PD Air Lite in .44 Magnum, or leap over to the Taurus Tracker in .44 Magnum.
Ruger “Mark” Sequence
These had been all nice .22 caliber pistols that noticed use as package weapons. For survival use, I desire revolvers for causes beforehand said, however the Ruger semi-auto .22s have 9 or 10-round capability and are each dependable and correct. As a result of older semi-autos had to make use of extra metal earlier than the polymer body’s introduction, older semi-autos usually weighed round twice the load of revolver package weapons. In case you select a Ruger semi-auto from this collection for a package gun, I like to recommend the 22/45 Lite because it weighs 22 oz, over half a pound lighter than the goal, threaded & hunter fashions.
Some SERE instructors favor semi-autos with dot sights. When searching small recreation, extra alternatives current at daybreak and nightfall. Lighted sights are simple to see in low mild, however tritium sights accomplish the identical aim and are extra rugged and lighter. Dot sights are easy to shoot although, you merely put the dot on the goal and pull the set off. That could be a bonus to inexperienced shooters or shooters distracted by harm, chilly, publicity, dehydration, starvation, or stress.
Designed by John Moses Browning, the Woodsman was licensed to Colt and produced from 1915 to 1977, with a short swap to focus on fashions throughout WWII. The pistol was well-liked, and Hemmingway was a fan. He even misguidedly really helpful it as a superb selection for self-defense.
Whereas the pistol was described within the Commonplace Catalog of Colt Firearms as a “near-perfect package gun for the outdoorsman.”, at practically 29 oz, the Woodsman is greater than double the load of a contemporary light-weight revolver and, like different semi-autos, won’t reliably cycle .22 Quick, .22 Lengthy, low-pressure (quiet) .22LR or snake shot.
The Buckmark is a blowback semi-automatic, is correct and dependable, and underrated. At 34 ounces (simply over two kilos), its weight is towards the higher restrict of what I desire in a package gun, however not extreme. Capability is typical at 10 + 1. Worth is round $400 give or take $100, relying on the mannequin, so that’s the reason the Buckmark is considerably underrated. It doesn’t stand out to the buyer on paper, however if you happen to’re out there for a semi-auto package, I’d at the least shoot one. You may prefer it.
Fashions to Keep away from
- I.E. Lil Ranger – An FIE Tex 22 single six with a 6.5″ barrel was the second firearm I purchased with my very own cash as a child. I used to be placing loads of rounds by firearms at that age and it didn’t final lengthy. The corporate additionally made Lil Ranger single six with a 3.5″ barrel and a fowl’s head grip that match’s the package gun description, however I’d keep away from it because it used largely the identical elements.
- Harrington Richards Mannequin 900 – I owned considered one of these and wouldn’t suggest it. The motion was tough and ultimately the “hand” that advances the cylinder failed. Nonetheless, this mannequin within the 2.5″ & 4″ barrel lengths are typically used within the package gun position.