The election in November is anything but a sure thing and it is quite possible that the USA will have Hillary Clinton as its next President. One of the first things that totalitarian tyrants do is disarm the populace so that they cannot resist oppression, and Clinton will be no different. While we of Return of Kings have had plenty of articles on the election, today we will cover something I wanted to write about much later after preliminary articles, but, as there is a clear and legitimate threat to at least buying new firearms in the future by the presumptive Bitch-in-Chief, here are the five firearms a man should own.

A Pistol (portability, discretion, and universality)

The first gun a man should get is a pistol. Fortunately, I can at least refer you to my back catalog on these. Pistols are important for a whole bunch of reasons, none of which are relative firepower. Friends, pistols flat out suck in terms of ballistic performance; they are literally one-third of a rifle in terms of cartridge power, action robustness, and accuracy and energy of flight.

However, the compromises made in performance are returned in practicality. You can wear them, as opposed to carrying a rifle. You can conceal them on your person, in your car, and in your home. If you are doing your job right, you will be armed and no one will know unless you need the gun, in which case you have bigger issues at hand. Lastly, a pistol can do a lot for you; it can defend your home, defend your car, defend your person, and can be thrown into your overnight bag as just another part of your kit.

CZ-75B, Glock 21, HK USP Compact, and Kimber Custom II (1911) from left to right. Any of these will work just fine.

To recap picking your first pistol, if a man is to have one pistol, it needs to be centerfire, and of a popular caliber that is powerful, yet easy to shoot, and it would help to be cost effective as well. If you are going the semi-automatic pistol route, you should go for 9mm Luger (9×19, or 9mm Parabellum), and it should be a modern pistol, hammer fired or striker fired, of either the full sized or compact sized format. Do not get a pocket pistol.

For revolvers, you want a double action revolver with a medium sized barrel (like 4 inches.) Too long a barrel  is impractical, and too short is loud, recoils harshly, and tends to limit bullet performance. The best revolver caliber for starting is the .38 Special / .357 Magnum. Buy a pistol that will do .357 and feel free to run the lesser .38 Special in it most of the time, just clean the cylinder bores well so that the carbon ring of the shorter .38 doesn’t build up and block the longer .357s from seating fully.

Any semi-auto gun requires extra magazines. I like at least six mags, guns typically come with two, so the first thing you need after the gun itself and ammo is magazines. Get online to Midway USA, Brownells, CDNN, Natchez, or even Gun Broker and get some for cheaper than your gun store.  For spare parts, you need to get all springs first, a spare barrel, then maybe a hammer and internals.

You need two types of pistol ammunition; full metal jacket for range practice, and hollow points for defense. Make sure the defense ammo runs reliably in the pistol.

A Shotgun (power and versatility)

Shotguns make no compromise on power, although you can download them to low brass shotshells for easier shooting. They are not particularly concealable, although collapsible stocks, folding stocks, and pistol-grip only stocks help, as well as shorter barrels.

My guide to combat shotguns has yet to be written as of this article, but I can point you to a background article on shotguns in general of mine. A shotgun is a short to medium range weapon that excels at being a home defender. There is absolutely nothing better with which to hold a house and its surrounding lot than a good shotgun, with the only caveats being it will be louder than hell, and you need to worry about over-penetration of interior walls.

The best defense shotguns are either slide action (pump) or semi-auto. The pumps are cheaper, simpler, and will digest more types of ammo, but the semi-autos are semi-auto. You want one that can chamber at least 3 inch shells, and can handle variable chokes (use a full choke for self defense unless you want to run slugs.)

Saiga 12 (top) and Benelli M4

Run high brass, 3 inch, 00 Buckshot (that’s pronounced “double ought buck”) for defense. It’s a good balance between nasty power in each pellet, and enough of them to do damage. Practice with whatever you want for fun, low brass birdshot is fun for clay pigeons and shooting up stuff in general.

Get a sling for the thing, and some way to carry more ammo. There are side-saddle clips that mount to the receiver, butt stock cuffs that slip around the stock, and belts and bandoliers for you. Unless you run a Saiga, you will need to practice feeding the tube, as magazine capacity is tight on these beasts (a full length mag tube will help there some.) Get a full set of chokes for versatility, and all springs that the gun needs for spares.

If you’re going to have two guns, get a pistol, then a shotgun. A shorter barrel (18 inches to 24 or so) is combat shotgun length, and, although folding and collapsible stocks are ok, pistol grip only stocks will eventually truck your trigger hand’s wrist because the recoil that is supposed to go into your shoulder via the butt-stock is now going into your wrist. Full length fixed butt-stocks are also useful as clubs for when someone is being rude, but not a deadly threat.

A Carbine (capacity and intermediate range)

The shotgun was rated above the carbine because of the versatility and close range defense, but, for intermediate range  laying down of the law, the carbine rules supreme. “Carbine” is the correct term for a shorter barreled rifle shooting an intermediate cartridge in a semi-automatic manner, “assault weapon” is a bullshit, made-up term by the media, and an “assault rifle” has a longer barrel and is fully automatic.

There are way too many carbines out there to analyze fully here, as well as their cousins with longer, full rifle, length barrels, and, while I will get into sizes and brands in future articles, the upshot is that you either want an AR pattern rifle, or an AK pattern one.

SKS (standing in for the AK), above, and AR-15

The AR platform is based around the AR-15 design, and can be made to more-or-less military standards by many manufactures, or you can roll your own. The AK platform is based around the AK-47/74 series of Kalashnikov rifles, and are made internationally as well as from surplus parts. Natively, these rifles run the .223/5.56×45 round (get one set up for 5.56×45) and the 7.62×39 (later 5.45×39) respectively. Although an AR can run .223 and it is sometimes cheaper, the 5.56×45 round performs better and should be used. One of the AK arguments is the fatter 7.62×39 round, and the 5.45×39 round sort of negates that, plus, as I understand it, the latter is harder to get, but any of these rounds are just fine.

Defense ammo is less of a concern for a rifle that it is for a pistol as there is so much more kinetic energy already there, but, the same idea for full metal jacket for target, and hollow or expanding tip ammo for defense applies here, too. Get a bunch of good quality magazines and a lot of the ammo of your choice, as well as springs and other internal spare parts. Get a rifleman’s sling and learn how to shoot (I’ll cover three position field shooting in a future article.)

Upgrades to your carbine worth considering are: collapsible stocks, an optic, a sling, a fore-end grip, a light, and perhaps a laser sight. A good trigger upgrade should be your first stop if your trigger sucks; don’t make it too light for a combat gun (as opposed to range toy), but there’s no need to put up with grit, slop, or creep.

A .22LR Rifle or Pistol (discretion and economy)

.22s are something I’ve yet to delve into here, but the family of cartridges (which used to be .22 Short, Long, Long Rifle, and Magnum, but Long is dead and Short is rare) is economical for training, doesn’t recoil much, and is a great little varmint cartridge in the Long Rifle variant, and the Magnum is good for turkeys, ducks, and the occasional bothersome cat.

I’m loyal to American manufacturers for 22s, and Ruger particularly. For rifles, there’s the 10-22 in semi-auto and there’s a bolt action American. For pistols, you can go for the Mark III for semi-auto, and any variant of the Single Six for a revolver.

Ruger 10-22 Rifle and a double action .22 Revolver.

They’re great guns to just have a fun afternoon plinking stuff, or blasting small woodland creatures. Although I think a very little kid should start on a BB gun, I can and have taught 6 year olds to shoot with a 10-22, and they definitely work well for girls on dates who are trying to be cool but are scared of things that go bang underneath.

.22s run kind of dirty, and are prone to all sorts of quality control issues. Since the ammo is not reloadable, you should endeavor to find a particular brand your guns like and stack it deep. 22 has not come back to pre-Obama and Sandy Hook prices, although it is getting closer.

A Battle Rifle (long range firepower and control)

The pistol is the most adaptable to our lives, the shotgun is the most versatile, the high capacity carbine has the most volume of fire, the .22 has it for practice and little furry pests, but it is the full power rifle that is the birthright of all Americans and renders the rest of them unneeded if you can keep the enemy at range.

Russian Mosin-Nagant 91/30, US Rifle M1 Caliber .30 (the Garand), Fabrique National Herstal (FNH)’s FNAR, from top to bottom.

While bolt action surplus rifles are nostalgic and sometimes quite affordable, the best bet for a modern ranged battle rifle (meaning shooting a full power cartridge like .308 Winchester or greater) is either a model geared towards hunting sport, or a civilian copy of a military rifle. Semi-automatics are more expensive, but allow easier, faster follow-up shots, while the bolt action is simpler and cheaper.

Refer to my rifle introduction articles for more specifics, but the accessories you want are good sights, whether that be scopes, irons, or optics, a good marksman’s sling, and a good trigger, in that order, and only them. The rest of the money you have allocated should be spent on ammo and practice.


If you can only have one gun, have a pistol. If you can have two or three, add a shotgun and an AR or AK. More than that, get a .22 then get a M1 Garand through the CMP. Spare mags, spare parts, cleaning supplies, holsters, slings, and cases, and lots of training and defense ammo.

I recommend 1000 rounds practice, and 500 rounds defensive ammo for each caliber weapon you have, and as much .22 as you can find at a good deal. This is an eventual goal, not an immediate mandate. Get in the habit of buying ammo when it’s a good deal.

There are a lot of types of guns that didn’t make the list. Lever action rifles, double barreled shotguns, muzzleloaders and other black powder weapons, pocket pistols, massive revolvers, semi-auto machine pistols, bullpups, and semi-auto belt feds are not what I would recommend for your core armament, even though this guy is badass, just for reasons of mission role.

Like a local gun store to me says “I would buy it now.” Hillary Clinton, if elected, is going to go after the Second Amendment hard. I doubt she will be able to confiscate guns, but she may be able to stop civilian sales of firearms and ammunition, especially if she loads the Supreme Court with other treasonous liberals. Be safe and practice, then pass on what you have learned.

Read More: How To Properly Aim A Firearm