I caught part of a discussion on guns in get home bags the other day. In general for the purposes of getting home I think whatever your normal carry piece [you do carry a gun right? I do not mean some ultra compact .32 but a decent fighting handgun you can hit stuff with, right?] is sufficient and a couple extra reloads are a sound idea. If you do not carry a gun then having one in your kit is a good idea because it is difficult to shoot somebody without a gun. In a scenario where you are headed home in a unorganized fashion, possibly on foot due to who knows what being able to shoot somebody could come in handy.
To me the ideal gun for this situation is a compact or full sized pistol, whichever you prefer and have anyway. Glock 19/17, a 4” .357 or a 1911 or whatever else suits your fancy it doesn’t matter. Personally I would have a Glock 19 because I like them. The point of this handgun is to let you defend yourself from an immediate personal threat while you are driving, walking or whatever home if things get wonky.
Unless you work/ travel so far from home that you can’t make it on an MRE and a handful of granola bars, and that area is rural I don’t see a need to have a .22 or something to hunt small game with. On the other hand if I lived and traveled long distances in rural Alaska or the real isolated parts of the West I would have a rifle capable of taking large game, a .22 and whatever pistol I was carrying in addition to my other supplies. In my opinion with the exception for long distances (say 100 miles plus) in seriously rural areas a get home kit doesn’t need anything except your normal carry pistol.
Now we will move on to the topic of guns in vehicles. For pistols I can sum it up in one sentence, better than the nightstand but nowhere near as good as the waistband. There is one exception. A friend of mine carried a Walther PPK/S and kept a Browning High power in his car just in case. Not a bad way to go all things considered, especially if you won’t carry the bigger gun.
For long guns it is not as simple. Long guns in vehicles can have two good roles: rural work tasks and opportunity hunting or disasters\ civil disorder. Rural work tasks and hunting is pretty much self explanatory. A rancher with a coyote problem keeping his .22-250 in the truck to take a shot when he gets a chance or a guy putting his rifle in the truck during hunting season in case he has a slow afternoon at work and can skip out, etc.
Disasters that are bad enough that (or happen in a way especially unlucky for you where) they will prevent you from immediately going home are where these long guns come to shine in my opinion. If you happened to be visiting a cousin at the start of the LA Riots or Katrina an AK or a pump shotgun with a few hundred rounds in the car would be awful handy. Also it would be good for a Zombie apocalypse.
The biggest issue of this plan is if you have to move on foot. The places where it is socially acceptable to walk down the side of the road with a rifle are not ones likely to have traffic which would impede vehicular traffic. Walking out of the nearest town with a mall carrying a rifle is going to lead to interaction with the cops and quite possibly incarceration. For laymen that is really bad. Zombie apocalypse excluded all the situations which would require you to move home on foot that I can think of offhand are not ones where a rifle at low ready would work.
That would leave you with two options. Have a long gun you can conceal somehow or leave it behind. I don’t know about you but leave it behind is not a great option to me. For concealing it an SBR would be perfect but that has its own issues. Something with a folding stock also has a lot of promise. An AK with a folding stock gets pretty small as does Mini 14 or really anything else with a 16-18 in barrel and no stupid AR buffer tube. It wouldn’t be the fastest to bring to bear but you shouldn’t need it and you’ve got a pistol for that anyway.
I would bear in mind that this long gun (a shotgun could do fine too if you are so inclined) stands a higher than normal likelihood of being stolen as it will live in your vehicle. Along those lines if you can’t afford to lose it then don’t keep it in the car. I had one rifle it would not pull full time trunk duty but that is just me. This is a great place for a backup rifle or a second or third of a kind weapon.
Personally I do not see a reason at this point to keep a long gun in my vehicle all the time. I bring one if I am going far from home or out into the woods. Needless to say guns need bullets so bring plenty of those too. 4-5 magazines and 200-300 rounds seems reasonable to me. In writing this I realize I should add a decent system to carry those magazines on me and a small cleaning kit.
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