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According to the raving loons over in mikeb302000’s slice o’ heaven, we gun owners are all knuckle-dragging homophobes, just a-waitin’ for an excuse to go all Mediaeval on someone. Not so much. But all this Liberal finger-pointing got my mind wandering today…never a good thing when I’m driving, but turns up some interesting grist for ye olde mill when I’m not. Thankfully, today was a ‘home’ day…

So let’s take a walk on the wild side for a second. Let’s pretend (and hope it’s ONLY pretending here) that the wheels really do someday come off the country. Doesn’t matter how. These Doomsday scenarios may start differently, but they all end the same, with the destruction of Civilization As We Know It® and men living in trees.

Don’t wanna go that far out. I’m far more concerned with the Jericho Scenario. You remember. That show that was sooo damn spooky on CBS, about a post-nuclear USA? The one where it covered, in minutia, what would likely happen to a small town, if the bombs got dropped on the major metro areas, taking out those cities, and our commuinications networks. Yeah. THAT show. The one that had everybody watching it thinking, you know…those guys who own a gun or two…they might be on to something.

The show that, once CBS realized it was making the case for Conservative values, gun ownership, the 2nd Amendment, and a strong national defense, promptly canceled it? Yep. That’s the show.

In the World of Jericho, the trucks and trains stopped delivering food, the crops rotted in the fields, looting was common, and neighbors either banded together or turned on each other like rabid dogs. Oh, and there were the obligatory slams against companies like Halliburton and private security firms. (Gotta be a WASP bad guy in there somewhere, right CBS?)

So I’m thinking, in the last two years, we’ve seen the prices on ammo surge, the supplies dry up, amid reports that the Chinese were buying all the lead, copper and brass they can get their hands on. Then lead bullets, primers and powder became hard to get (due to the ammo shortage), so reloading became difficult. So what happens if some great calamity occurs, and there just isn’t any ammo?

Some of you are way ahead of me on this one. For those of you that still have the words “discretionary income” in your vocabulary (sadly lacking from mine, I can assure you), the drill has been to stock up. I’m sure some of you guys have what amounts to an ammo depot somewhere on your property, with a growing supply of essentials – ammo and non-perishable food. That’s not that wacky, for your Liberals visiting TTAG land. In fact Homeland Security strongly recommends that every citizen keep at least a three-week supply of non-perishable food, drinking water, toiletries, first aid kits, and prescription medicines on hand. (They don’t mention ammo, but that’s not very P.C. nowadays.)

But let’s say that things go from bad to worse. The cavalry and/or Marines are otherwise occupied, and you have to hold down your own bleedin’ fort for the nonce. Looters are a major problem, and bullets are suddenly in short supply. Or perhaps your livin’ the rural life, but realize there’s a finite amount of rounds in the cupboard, but you can envision outliving your ammo – if you can. What are you gonna do THEN?

I’m hoping we won’t devolve into some semi-civilized society that looks like a cross between A Boy and His Dog and Mad Max: Thunderdome. But I’m thinking of taking the advice of several Army guys I know, and buying a (wait for it…) crossbow.

I know. Sounds whacked, doesn’t it? But think about it for a second. Arrows are the original “green” ammo. Use and reuse and reuse and reuse. A modern crossbow can stop large game. Smaller ones can take out squirrels, or even a coyote on occasion. And I’ve seen a whole bunch of movies where bad guys get their dirt naps, courtesy of a strategically-placed arrow. (And by the by, yes, I do know the difference in a longbow and a crossbow, and I realize that Flynn is holding a longbow. Got it. Thanks. Now back to my regularly scheduled screed…)

Now I’m not advocating that you run right out and get fitted for tights in Sherwood Forest green. Nope. But while you’re sitting there, thinking about what happens when the wheels come off, maybe it’s time to take a cue from the guys that were defending themselves back when the wheel was the latest in high-tech, and consider a crossbow. Think of it this way. If Col. Cooper thought of a pistol as the thing you use to fight your way to your rifle, perhaps a crossbow is the thing you fight with, once your ammo is gone.

Now pass the popcorn. The Jericho reruns are on, and I wanna get some first aid survival tips.

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  1. For the same amount of money you’d spend on a crossbow and a goodly supply of bolts (say 20) and an nice stash of both field points and broadheads for those bolts, you could get the following.

    1) A quality used .22 rifle of some sort. Say a Ruger 10/22 which I have seen frequently at gun and pawn shops used but still very nice for $100 to $150. Or if you like, one of the nice Marlin or Mossburg or Savage or even old Sears and Roebuck bolt action .22s.

    2) Enough .22 LR ammo from Wal-Mart to last unto the end of days.

    I mean for $100 beyond the rifle, you could have 3666 rounds of .22 LR ammo. (that’s $15 per box for the 550 round bulk-pack boxes). That’s one shot per day, every day, for the next 10 years for only $100.

    Now a .22 LR isn’t a magnum, but it is absolutely lethal. It is used all the time to kill squirrels and coyotes. It isn’t legal for deer hunting, but it is lethal enough to do the job, and if you’re in a Jericho survival situation, what law will you need to worry about anyway?

    But I think for the same amount of money, you can get a good .22 rifle, and stash enough ammo to eventually hand plenty down to your grandkids.

  2. Brad, I never said, “gun owners are all knuckle-dragging homophobes, just a-waitin’ for an excuse to go all Mediaeval on someone.” I said it without the ALL, leaving the statement purposely ambiguous, but true.

    About this: “Let’s pretend (and hope it’s ONLY pretending here) that the wheels really do someday come off the country.” I rest my case about the fantasy world you guys live in.

    • MikeB – sorry to be late in replying to you on this one, but it kinda got swept up in the Safeway Massacre hysteria.

      I’m not one of these guys that has a cabin in the woods, a stock of non-perishable foods, or a 10-year supply of ammo. But I’ve seen just how fragile our society is, and I don’t think most people understand that. Let’s you and I drop the finger-pointing for a sec, and think back to 9/12/2001. We were all Americans then. Not Liberal-Americans, Conservative-Americans…just Americans. Do you remember how eerily quiet it was, with no planes flying? How some vendors tried to price gouge on gasoline? How everybody sat there, glued to their TVs, waiting to see what was next? I do. And I don’t think you realize how close we could have come to a complete breakdown of our society. What if (God – or whatever higher power, if any, you believe in – forbid) we were to see massive, coordinated attacks here, of the same kind that happen almost daily in the Middle East? You wanna see the economy crater? Watch what happens after suicide bombers or chemical weapons attacks at a bunch of malls in the heartland. Or an attack on our food supply or water? I hear our electrical grid is pretty fragile…how would either of us blog with no electricity?

      When I talk about the wheels coming off, that’s the kind of thing that worries me. I don’t worry about nukes. I don’t stay up at night worrying about Kim Jung-Il or Putin. But I get how fragile our society is, and it worries me. If you wanna mock me, go ahead. And like I said before, I hope this never happens. But you know what? The Boy Scout in me says to “Be Prepared.” And I don’t think that’s a bad thing. Do you?

  3. Mikeb, the most recent case of a collapse of society as we know it for those of us in hurricane territory are the multitude of Katrina stories. It seems unfathomable that the entire country would plunge into Jericho-world, but it happens fairly regularly for various disaster regions. I’m sure people can tell stores further back of other hurricanes, rioting in CA, etc. I have personal friends in FL who have been glad for their collection when they got storm flooding that shut down the area for half a week…

    Brad, I don’t really understand the different between crossbow ammo and cartridges. Crossbows operate as such high velocities that you wouldn’t get many re-uses of bolts if you’re doing any shooting at ‘real’ targets. A modern compound bow is no different if you’re shooting at anything other than soft foam. I have built and shoot my own traditional bow and arrows (with wood arrows) that truly are reuseable as the velocities are low enough to not shatter the ammo, and the ammo is robust enough to survive (usually).

    • And then there are some of us who are old enough to remember that when Hurricane Hugo hit the Virgin Islands back in ’89, the local National Guard troops fragged their officers and joined in the looting. President Bush had to send in the 82nd Airborne Division to restore order–this was called “Operation Hawkeye,” for those who wish to verify.

      But I digress. My point is that peace and civilization are fragile, fragile things, and it is appropriate from time to time to look over one’s shoulder and wonder what we would do if we flipped the switch and the lights didn’t come on, if we turned the tap and no water came out. Others say that this is the behavior of a “survivalist nutcase” who “lives in a fantasy world.” I call it “being a responsible adult.”

      As for crossbows, aye, modern compound-leverage designs are sufficiently powerful that, when shot at anything other than foam practice targets, the quarrels often break on impact, even when made of aluminum or carbon fiber. But for those with a bit of woodworking skill and some appropriate hand tools, it is not terribly onerous to make new quarrels of wood, the way our ancestors did a thousand years ago. It is certainly easier than smelting copper and zinc to make brass, then attempting to turn the resultant metal into cartridge cases with a file–and let’s not even get into what would be involved in attempting to make homemade primers or smokeless powder.


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