There can be only One!

Something bad is happening… you have to go.  Now.  You grab one weapon… only one.  What do you grab?   I have a modest collection of arms, but I couldn’t grab all of them.  I’d have to pick one.   I suspect most of my readers are in the same boat.  I’ll give you guys about 1 second to guess what my choice would be.

Mine is “Heather”… She’s a Remington 870 12 gauge, 18” barrel with rifle sights, a side saddle shell carrier, and an extended magazine tube.  Simple, robust, and about as good as it gets.   Versatile doesn’t begin to describe her.

I have other Shotguns that are close second options.  For example, my Mossberg 930SPX… the first Auto-loading fighting shotgun that has convinced me to accept an auto as a serious defense gun.  I’ve owned several auto shotguns before… and none have stayed with me very long as they have all turned me off for different reasons.  The SPX however, I’ve found no fault.  It’s an amazing shotgun.

Yet I keep coming back to this old Police Trade-In that I picked up on a whim.  The local PD traded in a bunch of these old cruiser guns and I sold all the others, keeping the absolute worst of the lot for myself as a project gun.  I replaced every spring in the gun.  I soaked the trigger group in solvent to get the years of gunk out of it.  I put a tornado brush on the end of cleaned rod and chucked that in a DeWalt Cordless and to spin it… and used that to clean out the barrel and the magazine tube of all the rust and dried up crap that was in there.  I scrubbed the receiver and barrel for an hour with oil and steel wool to get rid of the rust externally.  But the stock, I left as it was.  Beaten on, storied, marred, and worn.  I hit the whole thing with Slipstream (and haven’t touched any oil to it since) and called it good.  Casual testing showed that this gun is utterly reliable unless I screw up.  The gun has something about it that I keep coming back to.  It has character.   I like that.  Something about it… something intangible and inexplicable draws me to it.  I have other 870’s… but this Retired Police Gun is the one I’d grab in that rushed moment.

Okay… in reality, I’d grab everything I could…   But still.  Tell me what is your Only One Gun, and why.


23 thoughts on “There can be only One!”

  1. For now, kvar sgl-21, because I have a buncha mags and ammo, it is accurate enough, and out of 1300 rounds it has had 1 ftf (and that was ammo).

    In a few days, and another successful 500 rounds down range that would change to my Sig 556R, for the same reason as above, with better accuracy.

  2. Glock 23 I have in my nightstand with an extra mag. Bushmaster AR with a 30-round mag I have in the corner. The go bag sitting right next to it (contains ammo, med kit, food, misc items).

    I know… that’s two guns, and a bag. But it’s still in the spirit of exercise; grab and go NOW.

    I do have a Winchester Defender loaded with 000 magnums. But it’s in the master walk-in (aka “the Alamo”). Not really situated as a bug-out gun. More of a hole-up gun. 😉


  3. there’s a Mossberg 500 in the closet. Full magazine (#0 Buck), empty chamber, hammer down. Hogue stock and forend to replace the original pistol grip, 18″ barrel with handguard. Got a deal on it I couldn’t pass up, the Hogue stock set and extended forcing cone mod added another $60 or so. My Gawd is it ugly…

  4. I’d go with a shotgun too. If it was a right this minute thing, I’d be snatching up my old lefever nitro special double barrel. I keep ammo on the weapon and it takes about two seconds to pop it open and load it. The barrel is a little long, and its got a two round capacity, but I can reload it fast as heck, and it makes a heck of an impact weapon if need be. I don’t know how it does it, but it shoots slugs to pretty much the same point of impact all the way out to a hundred yards (haven’t tested beyond that)

    If i’ve got a second’s more time, I’m grabbing my winchester model 12, loaded with 7 slugs, and more ammo in the but cuff, as well as a 25 round bandolier kept next to it, with an even mix of slugs and 00 buckshot. It slam fires, shoots very well with the bead sight at even a hundred yards, and fits me so well the recoil is nil. Feeds, points, and cycles like a dream. Its also got character in spades. It was my grandpa’s duck gun for 50 plus years, and now its my “battle shotgun”. Been toying with the idea of getting a 590 or 870, but this is the shotgun that will always be a go-to.

  5. Well I’d be wearing a pistol (625 JM or 1911) already, and grabbing my Sig 556 and a sack of magazines.

    My 870 is awesome, but I don’t have sufficient ammo for it, nor any way to carry that ammo. My #1 M1A is also great, but I’ve lost faith in my Type 57 magazines lately. My #2 M1A has never even been fired. My Marlin 1895G is just inappropriate for social events, compared to my other long guns. For obvious reasons the 10/22 would stay in the closet, unless I just needed to scramble zombie brains from a rooftop.

    So the Sig, which is utterly reliable, practically recoilless, and mounted with good optics (Aimpoint CompM3 and 3x mag) gets the go. I want to put a light on it–I need the Swiss type handguard before I can–and modify a Magpul MIAD to fit, but I wouldn’t feel bad about taking it into combat as it is right now. I don’t think it’s ever even considered jamming, something I can’t say about any of my other long guns, including my 870.

  6. I’d grab my Marlin 336 with its 18″ barrel and ghost ring sights. It’s fairly versatile, I shoot it well, and I have .30-30 ammo for it.

    My 870 has the typical sporting stocks on it. I have both a long ribbed barrel and a slug barrel with rifle sights, so it’s a good choice too.

    But I think I would still take the Marlin.

  7. Ditto on the Marlin. I slapped a Scout mount on it a few years ago topped with a Leupold Scout scope and it does fine with the new LEVERevolution fodder. I do love my Sig C3 (Ogre, blessed is his name) but I’m with whoever said that your pistol is what you use to get to your long gun.

  8. Gotta go with Ogre’s #2 choice, my Mossberg 930 SPX. I ran it through a shotgun course when it was new out of the box, and it fired +200 rounds without a hitch. And that was with reduced recoil shot shells. Add a butt stock shell holder and some Esstac shotgun cards and you have plenty of onboard ammo storage.

  9. It’s impossible to just choose 1 much less an unrealistic scenario…if you can already tell I HATE the “choose one” questions as in reality it will never happen. First off, my wife is going to get handed AT LEAST 1 firearm and possibly a bag of mags & ammo to carry. I would more than likely give her my H&K P30L simply because I have the most magazines for that pistol and thousands of rounds of ammo for it. A handgun is perfect for firing from a driver’s side window when someone is RIGHT THERE possibly trying to carjack or cause other harm. A shotgun is impractical in that situation. For me I would more than likely grab my AR that I built because she is set up with various optics all on A.R.M.S. mounts(Aimpoint CompM2 for close, Trijicon ACOG TA01 for out to 300yds, 6-24x scope for out to 600yds) and I have literally dozens of magazines and 5000+ rounds of ammo. If I had an extra minute I would like to grab my Benelli M3 shotgun, Browning Buckmark w/suppressor (to take care of small animals and whatnot), possibly my Colt 6450 9mm carbine and most definately all of my Surefire flashlights & batteries. Again, it’s an impossible question as 1 gun can’t do it all in every situation. If you have time to open the safe and cherry pick through it, then you actually have time to grab at least 1-2 more while you are already there.

  10. The shotgun is a great choice. Its ability to adapt to almost any situation cannot be ignored. I’d probably roll with a shotgun as well.

    That being said, I’d find a way to bring the trusty Glock 19 as well.

  11. I’d grab my AK and one luxury item, a P220. I’m breaking the rules, a backup is required. I would also bring one decent folding knife. It’s not a weapon it’s a must have tool.

    I bought my AK and mags for senarios such as these. I made some minor improvements to it (tapco trigger, tech sights, T6 stock, sling) and fired it enough to prove it reliable. It comes out of storage once a year, but otherwise it sits while I spend my time on other firearms I enjoy.

    It’s my least favorite firearm, until you tell me I can only grab one and I’ve got 2 minutes to leave.

  12. My AK is almost always in my trunk and ready to go, so I guess that makes it the one I’ve decided on.

  13. Now,Id get my Marlin 336, Fully loaded. Since my dad is home, i believe he would grab the Maverick loaded with 00 Buck and 5 more in the Butt cuff

  14. CMMG Midlength w/ Eotech 553. I’ve got DD lite rails on it with Fenix flashlight. Really lightweight setup. Lots of ammo with the ability to engage up close or out to decent distance. Plus the light is nice to have.

  15. Another vote for the CMMG carbine, I’ll be adding one to my collection soon with red dot and tac lite for those hard to see moments.

    For now, just my Glock 17 with a few spare mags full of hollow points. If I had a chance, I’d dump half my closet into my go bag (about 800 rounds of 9MM, 5.56, and some other assorted goodies.

    My S&W M&P AR-15-22 would come along in the trunk to take small game.

  16. Ruger .44 Rifle.

    Kills any big and dangerous game. Extremely accurate to 200 yards with open sites, 300 with a scope. Short stock and barrel for urban combat and clearing buildings. Shoots both .44 special and .44 mag depending on situation. Ultimate brush gun with a round that blows through foliage to kill your target. Never jams, easy to clean. Easy to manage recoil using magnum rounds shooting from the hip because of the smooth action.

    The cartridge is common enough to find anywhere you go in two flavors. Easy reload specifications and components are common.

    1 drawback is that it can be time consuming to reload under duress, but with a magnum round, you can shoot through obstacles to hit, maim, terrorize or kill your target.

    If I still had a shotgun, I would take that over the Ruger.

  17. Ok, I’ll be the goober here. I have a Tac vest with six 20 round and four 30 round loaded magazines for my AR. I’d grab the vest and the rifle (flattop with Aimpoint and irons). Ammunition is federal 55 grain SP.

  18. I’d probably catch some flak for this, but as it stands right now, I’d grab my PS-90 with EOTech. Aside from all the normal shooting I’ve done with it, I’ve run a three-gun course with it and already have a tac-vest set up with magazine reloads and spare ammo (two boxes of 5.7×28 fit PERFECTLY in a issue grenade pouch). If I’m doing a “grab and go”, it’s a lot of firepower in a package that is compact enough to be used from inside a vehicle and lightweight enough not to be a burden if I need to hoof it.

  19. Hmmmm … I always hate this question because it never gives you the “why” you have to leave so urgently. Is the impetus for the hasty departure man-made or natural??? If I have to leave soooo quickly that I can only grab one weapon, I’m not going to the safe to look it over and decide what to grab. It’s going to be what’s already on my hip … the GLOCK 19, two G17 magazines and a S&W 442 stashed somewhere else on my body (probably my pocket). The wife’s S&W 340PD in her pocket will be joining us as well.

Leave a Reply to epnurse Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *