We all have a BOB, right?
Oh, you don’t?
What’s a BOB you ask?
BOB = Bug-Out Bag.
A Bug-Out-Bag serves many different purposes. From natural disasters to revolutions. Your Bug-Out-Bag will have the basic provisions you and your family need to survive for whatever period of time you decide, should you need to make a quick escape.
It’s the bag you grab when you head to your storm shelter during a tornado or when the government comes knocking on the doors of patriots.
Obviously, the size and contents of your bag(s) are greatly affected by the number of people in your family and the length of time for which you include provisions. My BOB consists of the Condor 125 3-Day Assault Pack and the Red Rock Shotgun Scabbard (both pictured at right).
But the bag I chose and the majority of the contents therein are another article for another time.
There are a few areas to think about when considering a gun for your BOB.Regardless of what type of bag you choose or how you choose to fill it, one item that I believe needs to be included in every BOB is a reliable firearm. Like the BOB itself, your BOB-Gun will serve different purposes in different situations. The most likely uses for your BOB-Gun will be self-protection and hunting in a time of great need.
You want a firearm appropriate for the task. Your Ruger Super Redhawk 44 might be one heck of a gun (really, it is). But it might not be appropriate for taking a rabbit or squirrel for dinner.
You need to be sure that your BOB-Gun will operate as expected if and when you need it.
Should you find yourself in a situation that requires a BOB-Gun, you want to spend as little of your precious hours maintaining it as possible.
4. Shooter Capabilities
Whoever might need to use the BOB-Gun needs to be able to safely and accurately shoot it. My 95-pound, 5’2″ 15 year old daughter is a very capable shooter. But that Super Redhawk might be a bit much for her.
5. Size & Weight
Your BOB-Gun is is going to be part of your BOB – your emergency bag that you grab in case of great need. You don’t want your BOB-Gun to be so large that you waist valuable space and create unnecessary weight in, what is sure to be, an already heavy pack. Which brings us to…
Do you have or can you get ammo for your BOB-Gun? If so, how much of it can you carry? 300 rounds of 45ACP weights a lot more and takes up a lot more room than 300 rounds of 9mm, which weighs a lot more and takes up a lot more room than 300 rounds of 22LR.
Your BOB-Gun is likely to be tucked away, only to see the light of day once every six months or so. While it needs to be reliable, it doesn’t need to be expensive. There’s no point in spending a ton of money if you don’t need to.
I’m sure there are many other areas of consideration; these are the ones that readily come to mind and form a solid foundation for choosing a Bob-Gun.
So… what’s the Gun in my BOB?
Let me first preface my choice by stating that I almost always have a firearm on my person capable of aggressive and meaningful self-defense and my recommendation takes into consideration the likelihood that it will not be my only firearm in an emergency situation.
The Gun in my BOB is the Phoenix Arms HP22A (with deluxe range kit)
I have owned an HP22A for many years without a single reproducible failure. I am convinced that each of the few failures I have had were all ammunition-related. It requires very little maintenance and doesn’t seem to mind bing a little dirty.
It’s easily fired by anyone in my family and with the positive hammer and trigger safeties, magazine well lock, and loacking hard case I have no safety concerns about having it sit in (what amounts to) a large backpack on the closet floor.
Even with the case and everything included in it, it’s more than manageable as far as size and weight are concerned.
My only real concern about choosing the HP22A right now, would be ammunition. 22LR is still scarce and expensive when you do find it. But if you have some (especially in those small, easily manageable, 50-round boxes) it may still be a wise choice.
And lastly… it’s cheap. It’s not uncommon to find them for under $200.
In addition to meeting all of my above-mentioned criteria, the HP22A (with Deluxe Range Kit) comes with the following:
• 3″ Barrel
• 5″ Barrel
• Magazine-well lock
• Cleaning rod with 2 tips
• Small bottle of cleaner/lubricant
• Owners manual
• Package of cleaning patches
• Keys for the case/magazine lock
• Hard case
• 2 Magazines
With both a 3″ and 5″ barrel, the HP22A is useful for self-defense and small game hunting. Now, there are those who claim that the 22LR is not suitable for self-defense. But I’d rather have a reliable 22LR in a self-defense situation that no gun at all.
But if you’re able to throw your Mossberg 500 Cruiser in your scabbard on the way out the door… that would be good, too.