When it comes to wilderness survival, having the right gear and skills can mean the difference between life and death. One piece of equipment that is often overlooked, but can be crucial in a survival situation, is a firearm. Whether you are hunting for food, defending yourself against wild animals, or signaling for help, a gun can be a valuable tool in the wilderness. In this article, we will explore the importance of firearms for wilderness survival, and provide tips on choosing the right gun, improving shooting accuracy, maintaining firearms in the wilderness, and using them for self-defense.
Choosing the Right Gun for Wilderness Survival
When choosing a gun for wilderness survival, it is important to consider the type of firearm, caliber, weight, and reliability. There are several types of firearms that are well-suited for wilderness survival, including rifles, shotguns, and handguns. Rifles are a good choice for long-range shooting and hunting, while shotguns are better for close-range hunting and defending against wild animals. Handguns, on the other hand, are more compact and easier to carry, but are less accurate at long range.
The caliber of the gun is also important to consider. A larger caliber, such as a .30-06 or .308, will have more stopping power and can take down larger game, but it will also be heavier and more difficult to carry. A smaller caliber, such as a .22 or .223, will be lighter and easier to carry, but will have less stopping power.
When it comes to weight, it’s important to choose a gun that is easy to carry, but not so light that it is difficult to control. A good rule of thumb is to choose a gun that weighs no more than 7 pounds.
Reliability is also an important factor to consider. A gun that is reliable and easy to maintain will give you peace of mind, knowing that it will work when you need it most. Some of the most reliable firearms for wilderness survival include the Marlin Model 60 .22 LR rifle, the Mossberg 500 shotgun, and the Smith & Wesson Model 686 handgun.
Improving Shooting Accuracy
Once you have chosen the right gun for wilderness survival, it is important to practice and improve your shooting accuracy. The basic shooting stance is to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with your dominant foot slightly forward. Keep your elbows close to your body and your non-dominant hand on the pistol grip of the gun. Use your dominant hand to hold the gun steady and to pull the trigger.
Common mistakes to avoid when shooting include jerking the trigger, flinching, and not keeping your eye on the sight. To avoid these mistakes, practice dry firing your gun (firing the gun without any ammunition) and use a snap cap (a dummy round) to get used to the recoil.
To improve your shooting accuracy, practice shooting at different ranges and in different positions. Start by shooting at close range and gradually increase the distance. Practice shooting in a standing, kneeling, and prone position. This will help you become more comfortable and accurate with your gun in different situations.
Gun Maintenance in the Wilderness
Proper maintenance is essential to ensure that your gun will work when you need it most. In the wilderness, it can be difficult to keep your gun clean and lubricated, but there are a few simple steps you can take to protect your firearm.
To clean your gun, first, make sure that it is unloaded and disassembled if possible. Use a cleaning rod and patch to remove any debris from the barrel. Use a cleaning solution and a brush to clean the rest of the gun, including the action, trigger, and magazine. Make sure to wipe down the gun with a clean cloth and lubricate the moving parts with a quality gun oil.
In the wilderness, it can be difficult to keep your gun clean and lubricated on a regular basis. To make things easier, you can use a lubricant that doesn’t require frequent reapplication, such as a lubricant that has a wax or silicone base.
It’s also important to have the necessary tools and supplies to make emergency repairs to your gun if needed. A basic gun repair kit should include spare parts, a screwdriver, pliers, and a punch or drift pin.
Using a Gun for Self-Defense in the Wilderness
Using a gun for self-defense in the wilderness can be a tricky situation. It’s important to be aware of your surroundings and to always be prepared for an encounter with wild animals. When carrying a gun for self-defense, it is important to follow safety guidelines and to properly store and transport your firearm.
When it comes to self-defense against wild animals, it’s important to be familiar with the behavior of the animals in the area you will be visiting. For example, bears can be aggressive if they feel threatened, while wolves tend to avoid human contact. Knowing the behavior of wild animals will help you make the best decision on how to protect yourself.
When carrying a gun for self-defense, it’s important to keep the safety on and to have a round chambered. This will allow you to quickly and easily defend yourself if the need arises.
3 Most Commonly Used Handguns
- Glock 19: The Glock 19 is a compact and lightweight handgun that is popular among law enforcement and civilians. It is known for its reliability, durability, and ease of use. The Glock 19 is chambered in 9mm and has a 15-round capacity. It is also very easy to disassemble and clean making maintenance easy. One of the main cons of the Glock 19 is that it has a polymer frame which some people dislike.
- Smith & Wesson M&P 9: The Smith & Wesson M&P 9 is a popular handgun among law enforcement and civilians. It is known for its reliability, accuracy, and comfortable grip. The M&P 9 is chambered in 9mm and has a 17-round capacity. It also has a Picatinny rail for easy attachment of accessories. One of the main cons of the M&P 9 is that it has a higher price point compared to some other options.
- Sig Sauer P320: The Sig Sauer P320 is a popular handgun among law enforcement and civilians. It is known for its reliability, accuracy, and modular design. The P320 is chambered in 9mm and has a 17-round capacity. The modular design of the P320 allows the user to easily change the grip size and frame. One of the main cons of the P320 is that it has a higher price point compared to some other options.
It’s important to note that these are only a few examples of the most common handguns, and there are many other options available. It’s important to research and handle different firearms to find the one that is the best fit for you and your needs.
In conclusion, firearms can be a valuable tool for wilderness survival. They can be used for hunting, self-defense, and signaling for help. Choosing the right gun, improving shooting accuracy, maintaining firearms in the wilderness, and using them for self-defense are all important considerations when planning for wilderness survival. With the proper knowledge and training, a firearm can provide added protection and peace of mind when venturing into the wilderness.