Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Best Prepper Bugout Gun: A case for the Glock 26

The blogosphere is littered with high energy beliefs by hardcore opinionators who know beyond a shadow of a doubt that Aimpoint is better than EOTech, and a .40 is better than a 9, and there is no reason on earth to carry a .380, and a .308 is always better than a .223, and billeted receivers stomps forged ones into the ground. 

Well, whatever. But I am here to tell you that the single best bugout gun is a Glock 26.

Don’t worry. I am fully aware of the near-heresy of the 26 as a do-all-end-all, but hear me out. Let’s take the long view for a moment. The really long view like when the tritium in your Trijicon has raised daughter isotopes of its own. If things truly head south-and I mean polar south, you will need at least one firearm that without exception meets these requirements: 1) is the most dependable, 2) eats the most common size and brands of ammo, 3) takes the widest variety of magazines, 4) most serviceable, strippable, and cleanable, 5) highest size to accuracy ratio, 6) is small enough to carry everywhere you go regardless of situation or dress, and 7) intensely simple to operate.

I know the all usual complaints about Glocks in general and the 26 in specific, but unless you are comparing the 26 to the 19 or 17, save the complaints for when times are good. It won’t be pretty where we are going, and if you have any hesitations that we will be going there then I cannot help but wonder why you are reading this.

Bugging-In affords you all the gun and ammo storage you can dream of, but a true bugout carries significant penalties when weight, size and dependability are compromised. You can’t run your fastest with a Desert Eagle strapped to your leg. You cannot draw quickly when your H&K is in its protective case because it’s pouring rain. Instead, what you need is an ugly workhorse of a gun that never complains, never gets sick, never asks for help, and never ever fails to go bang. The Glock 26 is designed for only one purpose: to punch holes in people every single time it is called upon to do so. Every-single-time!

It is highly unlikely that you will ever need to fire a shot at another human during your bugout, but that is not what you plan for, it is what you hope for. By the way, if you have something in your bugout bag that is worth dying for, I’d like to know about it. In most cases, the firearm will be the most expensive item in a bugout bag, but not likely the most useful.

The 26 is affectionately known as the Baby Glock. While it is small for a Glock, it not the smallest (that honor now belongs to the 42), and there are many of other 9mm pistols out there that are smaller in one dimension or another. But regardless of it’s diminutive size, the 26 will accept any Glock 9mm magazine, and many aftermarket high capacity mags as well bumping your capsules of potential energy into the three figures.

Quick question, would you rather carry a box of ammo, or a loaded magazine of ammo? It’s a no-brainer. So for general carry, run a stock G26 mag loaded with 10 rounds, or perhaps with one or two more shells if you want the extended grip mag. Then stuff 33 more FMJs or hollow points each into of a pair of Glock brand high cap mags. I’ll do the math for you, that’s 76 rounds ready to go with just two mag changes. And this Baby will chew its food all day long without so much as a burp, stovepipe or jam.

Believe me, if you get yourself into a situation where 10 rounds is too few, then you won’t mind when your Baby grows into a man with 33 more reasons for the threat to choose lesser prey.

In addition to magazine interchangeability, a holster for a larger 9mm Glock will easily consume the 26. A popular preferred carry option is the Blackhawk Serpa, and I concur. I really hate it when I’m hanging upside-down  and have to wonder if my holster's grip on my gun is stronger than gravity. The Serpa has an index finger release button that smoothly lets go of the pistol only when you give the command. Not a second before or after. 

Imagine all the scenarios where a friction-fit holster could fail. Like taking a pretty good dive while running through the woods at night. Or crashing your bugout bicycle. Or getting into a little hand-to-hand with a critter. Or rolling your bugout vehicle, or falling down a mountain, or slipping in the sewer, or jumping from roof to roof, or unsuccessfully fording a river, or the least glamorous but most likely event, falling down the stairs.

The Serpa type of holster is critical if you have to mount the holster on anywhere else but a belt or pant waist. Backpacks have an up orentation only when you wear them, not when exhausted you drop it to the ground. Maybe you need to rig a chest harness to hold your piece while the real estate around your waist is compromised by position or activity like rowing a boat, or paddling a kayak, or bicycling with a backpack, using a climbing harness, wearing ill-fitting clothes, or wrapping yourself up in a sleeping bag or blanket. Do you really need me to go on?

If you need more retention, or worry about the placement of the release button being so close to the trigger, Safariland has options. Here's a take on holster security:

Strangely, for a gun known world-wide as a Baby, the accuracy of the 26 is not an issue either. In fact some multi-Glock owners have noticed that their groups are tighter with a 26 than with their 17 or 19. So if you can hit it with a larger pistol, then you can hit it with a 26. End of story.

The reliability of Glock is also a non-issue. End of that story too.

Cleaning and maintenance? Two more non-issues.

As far as I care, you are more than welcome to own, carry, and shoot any gun you like. But as the herd thins out when the rules take a holiday, you are going to need…make that demand perfection from you gun. My suggestion: Glock 26 Perfection.

Carrry on.

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