In the first part of this series, I gave a description of what an Active Shooter Kit might be. I also covered why I think it’s an essential part of our preparation for today’s volatile, and hostile world. While there may be some crossover between an Active Shooter Kit and a Bug Out Bag, there is a distinction between every day survival equipment and specific situational gear. Today, I’ll discuss some choices for the weapons I believe should be on board with an Active Shooter Kit. It is important to clarify that the weapon choices I arrived at are not necessarily picked for an all purpose long term survival scenario, nor for a trip to the grocery store. These are the weapons I would suggest when the situation dictates you must be in the public arena, but the potential for social unrest is high.
The Primary Firearm: At the heart of every Active Shooter Kit is the primary firearm. This is the firearm that will be employed to defend against multiple attackers, powerful enough to penetrate body armor(at least 2A soft body armor often seen on active shooters). The primary firearm needs to be able to accept full capacity magazines, compact enough to store easily, but not too compact to lose ballistic effectiveness. While there are many options for a weapon of this description, my personal choice is the AR15 platform in the pistol configuration with a 10.5 inch barrel. If your local laws do not allow for an AR15 in pistol format, a 16” carbine version of the AR15 is a great alternative.
This is the ideal compromise between easy of storage, ballistic efficiency, and sufficient fire power. It is also the platform most likely to be used by first responders and LEO. An AK rifle or pistol may offer the same, or better performance according to some, but bad guys tend to favor the AK platform. In the split second that a SWAT team member has to make a decision, I want to have a gun they may identify is in the hands of a good guy, not a bad guy. Every detail counts when it comes to maximizing your chances of surviving an active shooter scenario.
The Secondary/Back Up Firearm: In my opinion, a full/midsize service/combat service pistol in a double stack configuration in the caliber of your choice. In an Active Shooter situation, concealability is not a premium, firepower and medium range ballistic capabilities are essential. Defending yourself against multiple attackers or a mob will require multiple shots which will most likely take place beyond 21 feet. Remember, you are defending yourself, hopefully not advancing on your target. When you are defending yourself, the greater distance you place between yourself and the shooter/s, the better chance you have of surviving the fight. My choice is the Glock 17 or 19. Glocks are as reliable and battle tested as it gets. Glock pistols can accept 33 round magazines giving you enough “stand off” ammunition capacity to hold off multiple attackers. This is the gun you will need if your primary firearm runs out, or goes down.
The LoadOut: How many magazines should you have for your weapons? As many as you feel is necessary. However, I would recommend a bare minimum of 2 spare pistol magazines and 3 spare rifle magazines to go with the ones already loaded in the weapons. My personal load out is 5 spare magazines for my AR pistol, three 33 round and 2 17 round magazines for my Glock 19. It may be overkill to some, but this is riding in my kit and in the trunk of my car or in my truck for an emergency I hope never comes. It’s better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it .
It is important to note that often times first responders to a scene of an Active Shooter situation may be out gunned by the perpetrators. Your weapon may be handed off to an officer who does have a long gun, or just has a shotgun with less lethal range. Your excess ammo may be used by officers who may run out of ammunition. Typically, the average street cop may only have 2 or 3 spare mags for their duty pistol and nothing else. Having the same gear and ammo as your local PD may not only save you from being misidentified as a bad guy, it is invaluable back up to the LEO responders who may be caught off guard.
These are my personal choices. I’m not in LE. I’m not a Special Forces guy. I’m not a Team Tactical Rambo Mall Ninja. This is just the personal opinion of an every day Joe. If you have your own choices, feel free to share with us what those choices are and why. This is not a caliber or weapon debate so there are not right or wrong choices, just what is right for you. Thanks for your support. Please follow and recommend. As always, if you’re not an Armed Citizen, become one. If you already are, arm the rest.