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Digital Subscriptions > American Survival Guide > June 2019 > OLDIES BUT GOODIES

OLDIES BUT GOODIES

THE PROS AND CONS OF BUYING MILITARY SURPLUS FIREARMS

When the time comes to protect what is yours, you will need some firepower. If you’re going the lone wolf route, you probably already have more than one plan in place. However, if you’re thinking about working with extended family, friends or of how a community can stand its ground, you might need to consider what should go into this “community arsenal.” One option is to look at military surplus firearms, which can be reliable, durable and simple to operate.

Soldiers are often taught the KISS principle (“Keep It Simple, Stupid”). This is because even in the 20th century, many armies weren’t made up of professional soldiers—those who volunteer to serve in the muck and treat it as a career rather than a stepping stone to something else. Instead, the grunt, the ground-pounder and, in some cases, the cannon fodder have consisted of conscripts. These were not the men and, in very few cases until recently, the women you issue complex rifles and handguns to. Rather, you give them something that, with reasonable cleaning and care, will be reliable when the time comes to use it.

Gun shows are excellent places to find surplus firearms, but larger shows, such as Wanenmacher’s Tulsa Gun Show, can be so massive, you might need to spend all day looking for “treasure.” (Photo: Peter Suciu)

Thanks to the fact that the Western world, along with some help from some various Asian powers, tried to destroy itself twice in the 20th century (World War I and World War II), there is now no shortage of readily available vintage rifles. And because military planners in the late 19th and early 20th centu- ries essentially perfected some reliable rifle calibers, these weapons use ammunition that is still commercially available today.

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