Cry Havoc Tactical Homemade SBR, 100-round magazine
When disassembled the Cry Havoc Tactical Pocket AR SBR is just stupid small. Reassembly takes maybe fifteen seconds.
(Photo by Will Dabbs)

“Daddy, please help me!”

Theoretical physicists prattle on about countless imponderables. One classic is what might happen should an unstoppable force encounter an immovable object. I can tell you that as a dad, you get a text like this one and you suddenly become that unstoppable force.

We are living in literally unprecedented times. SARS-CoV-2 has killed more than 100,000 of us, and now rioting anarchists are striving mightily to burn the whole bloody country down. What happened to George Floyd was all but unforgivable. However, torching our nation’s cities clearly isn’t the answer.

Survival Weapons in Uncertain Times

A woman in Chicago called 9-1-1 to report looters setting fire to the store across the street. She got through on her seventh try, and the dispatcher hung up on her mid-call. Police in Minneapolis abandoned a precinct headquarters to be looted and burned by rampaging “protestors.” Nowadays it is legitimately possible that you or somebody you love could be mortally threatened and there might not be any backup, even in urban areas.

It’s different down here in the Deep South where I live. I count our local cops among some of my closest buddies. However, from a standing start they won’t get out to my place for at least 20 minutes; that makes us fairly self-reliant. No offense to our esteemed former President Obama, but down here we cling to our guns unapologetically.

Now what might happen if you live in the suburbs and get that text every dad dreads. Your daughter was in the city working a soup kitchen, or perhaps she was visiting a friend. Then she’s overcome by events. What she sees outside is terrifying. She doesn’t know if she’s safe. She texts you for help. What do you do?

In my case, I ruck up and go get her. Prep takes maybe five minutes even if I start naked. Before the screensaver kicks in on my phone I’m enroute with my survival weapons.

My Ballistic Philosophy

In this case I don’t care so much about “stopping power.” I’ll not be packing a slingshot, but I’m not humping a .44 Magnum Desert Eagle, either. I’ll be on foot and without resupply. I want something I can hide that looks scary and packs a whole bunch of bullets.

Anonymity is your greatest weapon. If you can get in and get out without anybody being the wiser then everybody wins. As a result, you’ll need something compact.

Should life go sideways, however, a little shock and awe wouldn’t be such a bad thing, either. Muzzle flash and noise suddenly become combat multipliers. Here’s what I chose for my survival weapons.

The Ruger-57

Survival Weapons, Ruger-57 pistol
The Ruger 57 is reasonably priced for its genre and offers unrivalled firepower in a compact, lightweight, portable package. (Photo by Will Dabbs)

The Ruger57 is that rare combination of uncompromising ruggedness and exceptional capability with a little pure unfiltered awesome sprinkled over the top. The little 5.7x28mm round was original designed by FN to penetrate steel helmets and body armor out to 200 meters. The government doesn’t trust us mere mortals with the original armor piercing ammunition, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The soft-pointed stuff likely makes a bigger mess downrange anyway.

I’ll spare you the gory details, but the controls are perfect. There is a bilateral thumb safety which just warms my heart. Use it if you want. Ignore it if you don’t. I like having the option. The magazine release is reversible, and the sights are readily adjustable. Slide a Streamlight TLR-9 on the rail and you have a blistering 1,000 lumens at your fingertips.

The really slick bit, however, is that each box magazine holds 20 rounds. Pack two spares and that means 61 rounds of blue-tipped chaos at your beck and call. The grip remains smaller than that of a typical standard capacity 9mm pistol. The gun also shoots flat and sports trivial recoil.

Cry Havoc Tactical

Cry Havoc Tactical Homemade SBR, short barreled rifle
This homebuilt SBR utilizes the Cry Havoc Tactical Quick Release Barrel kit to yield a ludicrously small package. That thing’s terrifying just sitting on the table. (Photo by Will Dabbs)

My favorite counter-riot gun is a home-built contrivance. I started with a Cry Havoc Tactical Quick Release Barrel kit. I then built up a registered short-barreled rifle using a receiver from Mississippi Auto Arms and a stubby collapsible Tomahawk buttstock from Troy Industries. Substitute a pistol stabilizing brace from SB Tactical and you can forego the SBR paperwork.

The final package rocks a 7.5-inch barrel and a blast can from Advanced Tactical Ordnance. With the front half removed, the gun will easily fit into a day pack or briefcase. Leave the front half intact and it doesn’t take up much more space.

Fit the gun with a 100-round BetaMag and it sports an all-up weight of about 10 pounds. The muzzle flash is also visible from the International Space Station. They can likely hear it up there as well.

The point here is not to defeat enemy infantry. The mission is to get people to leave you alone long enough to rescue your peeps. It is the rare anarchist sufficiently committed to his cause to press an attack in the face of such stuff as this.

If bulk is an issue then feed the gun with 30-round Magpul PMAGs and it will hide underneath a light jacket. My version rocks a Meprolight Foresight that keeps the gun shooting straight while enhancing situational awareness with a built-in digital compass and smartphone interface.


Survival Weapons, Ruger-57, Cry Havoc Tactical Homemade SBR
When disassembled the Cry Havoc Tactical Pocket AR SBR is just stupid small. Reassembly takes maybe fifteen seconds. (Photo by Will Dabbs)

I never imagined that I might seriously consider rescuing a family member from a violently contested urban space within the confines of the United States. Of course, I never imagined that Minneapolis, Minn., could look like a scene from “Escape from New York” either, yet here we are. As responsible Americans our duty is to steer clear of the chaos, live quietly, pray for our people and our nation, and remain productive.

The guys who penned the Second Amendment had not just returned from a hunting trip. They had recently liberated a country. It was for just such as this that the Constitution was crafted. Be safe. For more information on my survival weapons, please visit the following sites:

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