Putting together a dedicated Katrina Pistol to complement my Katrina Rifle was an entertaining exercise in apocalyptical scenarios. But seriously, a deadly extension of the human hand with a semi-auto pistol and a few enhancements will ensure you’ll be packing more firepower than most foes would expect. And it is for that very reason that my Katrina Pistol will be the last surprise in a bad guy’s life when the SHTF.
By Doc Montana, a contributing author
In Part 1 of the Katrina Pistol I outlined seven straightforward considerations with the Katrina Pistol. But there were also some loose ends and dead ends. As this Katrina Pistol effort unfolded, some directions were not pursued, and others took longer to resolve. Two areas where I chose not to enhance the Katrina Pistol include suppressing it with a screw-on silencer, and tinkering with the internals pistol gears including the trigger. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s take a closer look where we left off in Part 1 and where we went in Part 2.
The gun of choice was an Glock 19 MRO. As of note here is the low Glock number. The very first Glock was the 17, and the second Glock was a full-auto (select-fire actually) version of the 17 named the 18. But unlike the Glock 18 used in the opening train scene of the James Bond film Skyfall, a real G18 eats through a 33 round magazine in under two seconds!
Continuing the Glock 9mm trend, Glock produced a compact version of the 17 and it was christened the Glock 19 because it came after the 18. So in essence, the Gen4 Glock 19 is a solid gun that has been evolving steadily since 1988, and the Glock 17 for six more years than that. To add some closure here, the Glock 26 is a subcompact double-stack 9mm and the Glock 34 is a long-slide 9mm. And the most recent Glock, the 43, is a single stack subcompact 9mm. And, of course, there are many variations of the above including threaded barrels, compensated or ported barrels, Modular Optics Ready (MRO), colored frames, Cerakoted slides, various generations of some numbers, and a new Glock 19S.
Read Also: The Katrina Pistol
Except for the select fire switch on the driver’s side of the Glock 18’s slide, all the Glocks are pretty much the same. However, there is often a tremendous urge to mess around with inner workings of your gun. Or at least that’s what the after-marketers want you to believe. While I’ve been known to “Barbie Up” a gun on occasion, I’m going to leave the dark parts of my Katrina Pistol Glock alone at the moment. But if I was forced to make a change, the trigger is a good starting point since it, like almost all other Glock triggers, drives like a pickup truck. No more, no less.
Shut Up. Or Not.
Silencing the Katrina Pistol seemed like must-do for any total makeover. And I had planned on going that route when Katrina was still on the drawing board…well actually a bar napkin. That is, until I hit the wall of reality. It quickly became apparent that a suppressed 9mm Glock was neither quiet, nor small, nor light, nor simple, but with plenty of conspicuous reasons to lock up whoever is carrying it when the thin blue line is at it’s breaking point.
A suppressed Glock 19 is twice as long, near twice as heavy, and maybe only a third as quiet on a good day. While subsonic 147 grain and heavier 9mm bullets are finding their way onto local gunshop shelves with occasional regularity, it is not really the ammo I’m worried about with the Katrina Pistol, it’s the silencer. A suppressed Glock 19 has a total barrel length in the realm of an SBR or short barreled rifle. Now consider that unless the suppressor lives on the Glock through thick and thin, there are two components that must be managed in addition to mags and ammo.
And remember that lanyard? Well that’s for those times when the gun takes a hike on its own. Although suppressors are fairly durable, a not-too-hard blow to the far end of the gun might just be enough to allow a baffle strike rendering the suppressor useless. And the last thing, the very last thing you want to worry about with a Katrina Pistol is a fragile component, especially one that is longer than the gun itself and twice as expensive. But building a suppressed Katrina Pistol is only an aftermarket-threaded-barrel away should that feature be desired later. I still have the napkin.
A recently resolved component of the Katrina Pistol was the holster. Finding something reasonable in looks, function, retention, and price has thus far been near-elusive. There were some off-the-shelf solutions on my radar, but the custom options seemed the only clear route. I started with a Fobus holster that fits the Glock with a laser/light as well as a pile of other pistols. The Fobus was not expensive so I am quick to take the hacksaw and utility knife to it in order to explore optics options. Instead, the Fobus ended up on the Island of Misfit Toys. Why? Because I discovered a wonderfully effective and intimately customizable Bravo Concealment Kydex holster that not only met my Katrina Pistol holster needs, but also asked me exactly that I wanted in a Katrina Pistol holster. Every choice from color, to belt width, to specific weapon light, optic, and hard sight height was offered. And then there is the military/LEO discount. I searched high and low of what really might be my very last holster, and the Bravo Concealment answered the call with zero complaining and zero issues. As much as I love new gear, I really will not be looking for another holster for my Katrina Pistol anytime soon.
Related: Put a BUG in your Bug Out
One added benefit of the Bravo Concealment Kydex holster I had not thought much about was complete coverage of the muzzle. This became apparent to me during one wet expedition. Not that I was worried about putting a ding in the crown, but instead I was concerned about packing the pipe with mud. So without knowing it, I took another page from the WWII playbook and enclosed the barrel of my pistol inside a holster. It’s not perfect coverage, but plenty good enough that any barrel-plugging debris would have to squeeze through a Kydex crack first.
Another layer of protection I employed was to add the Trijicon RMR Adapter Plate. Its literally nothing more than a thin sheet of metal that sits between the exposed battery housing of the RMR and the mountain plate that comes with the Glock MOS. Without it, you can see just a hint of the rubber gasket peeking out along the edges of the RMR above the slide. Under magnification it appears there is a complete seal, but the exposed portion of rubber O-ring is of concern. I don’t see it lasting all that long unless able to fully seat against a flat surface. So for a few more bucks and a couple more grams, I now feel more confident in the mounting interface between electronics and cold, hard, fast moving steel.
Take the Fork in the Road
The Katrina Pistol is a self-contained fighting tool that must function independent of everything else in the universe. That means it can be part of a bug out loadout, or run solo as a grab-and-go package. While I considered this duality of survival, I opted to place the Katrina Pistol in a Pelican case and surround it with some necessary kit. And then I filled in the remaining space with a few components that, if needed, are true lifesavers.
Inside the Box
In addition to the 17 round mag of the Katrina Pistol Glock 19, are three 15 round Glock mags and one 33 round Glock mag. And on one of the 15 round mags is a Glock loader which is nothing more than a plastic collar that depresses the top round in a mag allowing the next one to slide in easily.
Filling out the extra space in the box are a compass, a few pairs of ear plugs, the T-Reign Lanyard, an oversize Ferrocerium rod, a Bic Lighter, a Boker neck knife, four CR123 batteries (for the Streamlight TLR-2G), a pair of CR2032 batteries (for the Trijicon RMR), a couple 1/16” allen wrench for the Trijicon sight, and, perhaps most importantly, 120 rounds of loose 9mm ammo (that’s eight 15-round mag refills), and an aftermarket Glock manual of arms. Oh yes, and a few hundred dollar bills stuffed under the lid foam.
For the record, the Glock manual is for those who might need some lessons. It is a spiral bound book about pistol shooting in general and the Glock’s care and feeding in specific. I know my way around the this Katrina Pistol and Katrina Box since I built it, but others who depended upon me will need help when if I’m not around. I cannot overstate the importance of planning beyond you. Giving a Katria Pistol is a gift. Giving the Katrina Pistol to a loved one who has limited experience with guns and security is a potential disaster. And that would be on you…or me.
Think Outside The Box
Next to the Katrina Pistol Box is a Bug Out Bullet Bottle containing another 300 rounds of 9mm FMJ. Since the Katrina Pistol Box already weighs in at 12 pounds, adding a quart of ammo increases the Katrina Pistol loadout another 7.7 pounds. Of course you can always dump out weight. But as also noted, you cannot dump out what you do not have.
The holster presented a problem in the smaller Pelican case. I could fit it inside the case but would have to scrub the 33 round mag and the 17 rounder. Also some of the smaller kit would not fit except under extreme Pelican pressure. I opted to kick that problem down the road, but will likely just use a larger Pelican case and reassess the theory behind the box in the first place. Stay tuned for that.
Katrina Means You Are On Your Own
There were many lessons from the original Katrina event, and many, make that most, were true SHTF implications. If this Katrina Pistol truly comes into its own, then not only are you on your own, but you are likely your own thin Red, White, and Blue line. Don’t be scared, but do admit the reality when it presents itself. No matter the direction the future takes, a multi-use, near-indestructible pistol with light, laser and optic is now on my short list of what to grab for any situation.
The last thing on earth I want when the grid go’s down is a semi auto pistol. IF I carry a handgun I want three things. (1) KISS: I want the simplest weapon available with the most man and animal killing ammo. (2) Iron sights. (3) A holster/ammo carry system that I can fix in the field with nothing more complicated than a needle and cordage. A weapon that can be cleaned and maintained with soap & water and “3in one” oil .Bonus points for ammo that can be reloaded with a hand reload kit common lead and black powder. “Firepower” is my least concern as any one with any brain AT ALL wants to avoid a gun fight, and if the grid is down there “ain’t no medics to run to if you get shot”. Modern “semi-Auto” firearms are making the gun industry rich. BUT: AR-15’s and the whole stable of striker fired plastic handguns are the worst possible choice as survival weapons. THEY MUST have a working global factory grid to feed, supply and maintain them. They have VERY SHORT lifespans compared to historic 19th and 20th century weapons. They are for the most part chambered for ammunition developed by military or law enforcement to WOUND humans (not kill them or hunt game with). They are complicated , fragile and cannot be fixed without highly specialized tool kits and a standing parts inventory. AND LAST: They take magazines that are impossible to fix when damaged and render your PEWPEWPEW pistol or AR into a flintlock when lost.
Thanks for the read and for a serious list of considerations.
I am curious, however, exactly what weapon you would use as your Katrina pistol?
Wheel guns are certainly in my wheelhouse, from .22 to .44. But when I considered each of them as a potential Katrina Pistol all of them had fatal flaws. Not that the Glock is without sin, but rather the featureset and dependability of the Glock 19 MOS far exceeded its shortcomings, and numbers don’t lie.
So Ray, what specific gun would you substitute for the Glock 19 MOS as your Katrina Pistol?
The one I have at present is a 1975 Uberty SAA in .45LC. I’d prefer an old four or five inch S&W in stainless, but HATE the current S&W build. A “mountain gun” or 66 would be great. Almost: as I consider the S&W DA a little too complicated and “hard to fix” if it go’s down in the bush. I like Rogers Contender Idea as with few “add on’s” you have a sweet little carbine. My “go to” would be my Mauser , Garand , or M1903 and I’d lean toward the bolt guns and revolver.
Funny you should mention Mountain Gun. My next gun article will most likely be on the Ruger Super Redhawk Alaskan in .44. As you know, it’s a overbuilt stainless steel beast that can handle the hottest +P+ load all day long. And those are loads that the manufacturers suggest never be shot in a S&W of any model. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
My safe contains about equal numbers of cylinders, bolts & breaks as it does semi-autos. But the way I see it is that it will be easier to find another gun than it will non-AR parts, non-Glock mags, and non-military ammo.
Not much of an armorer if you think a pistol is harder to repair than a revolver. Every weapon listed requires a higher level of training and skill to repair compared to the Glock or even an AR/AK platform. This coming from an experienced armorer!!!!
Ray, you have to be kidding.
Can’t agree with you at all, Ray. I have over 20,000 rounds through an old Bushmaster AR-15 carbine and have only (pre-emptively, I might add) had to replace the hammer spring. I keep spare parts in the buttstock storage cavity. Also, if a firefight breaks out, you’ll wish to God you had more shooting capacity than a wheelgun or a bolt gun. Ask anyone who’s been in one.
In short, saying that weapons designed to win modern fights are not good for SHTF is just personal preference over real fact. I’d rather avoid the fight also, but if a fight does happen, I would not want to be in it with 1800’s era weapons when the fight is occurring in 2017. Because, you can be sure, the bad guys will have the weapons you just railed against. And if you’re up against that, you’re a goner my friend.
I like the kit and can’t argue a single point you’ve made. I think a Glock is a great choice – I personally wouldn’t run an RMR on it but that’s a personal call; I know they work very well at what they do.
Bravo Concealment makes great stuff, good call on that. You can’t put the pistol in the holster, then put the holstered gun in the kit?
Hi Drew. Thanks for the read.
Is your reluctance with the RMR with electronic optics in general or the Trijicon in specific. Frankly, shooting a Pistol with a red dot feels like cheating. It also makes a great charging handle.
The Bravo Concealment holster will fit in the case, but the blades of its paddle design prevent efficient use of space in the Pelican. If I use a bigger box so all the mags fit, then I have much more space than before as well which is just begging to be filled, and at that point I’m crossing over into another project I’ve nicknamed the B.O.L.T. Box.
I just don’t like adding dimensions (especially battery-powered ones) to my handguns; I like them lighter and easier to carry. If it’s the only gun I know I’ll have with me, then, yeah, add the RMR, add the light, add the 33-round mag. But if it’s a secondary to a Katrina rifle, then I go KISS on my handguns. Having to turn my guns “off” is always a bit disconcerting to me.
Personally, I agree with Ray as far as not using a semi-auto, but the simplest, most reliable handgun would be a break-open, single-shot pistol like the TC contender which has many caliber options (including possible the same caliber as your rifle) but it’s not IMHO an idea weapon for a fire fight! The GP100 (.357 cal.) works for me, iron sights, (no need for batteries and much tougher than electronic sights) six rounds plus reloads will do the job unless you watch too many gang-banger movies. The pistol is a backup for a shotgun which is a backup for a long gun! If only ‘allowed’ two weapons, I would choose a semi-auto rifle and a large knife, the first being obvious (I hope) and the second because it’s not only a good close-in weapon (that doesn’t run out of ammo) but also a great tool that can help you make other weapons if necessary! As far as your grap-and-go package, I would suggest that you add a small bottle of Break-free (or other cleaner/lubricant), cleaning rag and bore-snake since a SHTF situation is bound to a whole lot dirtier than a hour at the firing range, and especially semi-autos are notorious for misfires when dirty. IMHO, you should have a single bag/package that supports both your Katrina rifle and pistol, KISS! And don’t forget a small knife sharpener, because you’re a lot more likely to need your knife in both normal and otherwise situations! GLAHP!
Thanks for the read. I get the appeal for the simplicity of a wheel gun, but where’s the data to support avoiding a semi-auto in a SHTF? Sure, there are brands to avoid, but no an entire class of actions.
The only instance I know of where M&P went back in time with handguns is when there was a serious need for a wheel over a box mag by a narrow subset of SWAT boys who had some misfeeds with their Glocks when pressing them against the firing ports of their riot shield. The solution was a flat black Mad Maxian Smith and Wesson with a 7″ barrel that had top and bottom rails. Here’s a pic of the monstrosity:
With my Glock 19 MOS and Trijicon, I can put 33 rounds on a dinner plate 20 yards away off hand while wearing goggles. And many of those hits land on the salad plate.
So running the numbers on my G19 MOS, I cannot find fault with it in a SHTF situation especially given that pretty much all military and police around the world carry semi-autos. Yes, I have heard of all kinds of failures, but I honestly believe that the Glock has proved itself as being more than competent to stand up to bad stuff. Bugging in affords many choices, but a Katrina-level SHTF requires a realistic assessment for the best choice of what’s available. And I am absolutely going to have my Glock 19 MOS available.
Of course your mileage may vary.
I’m with Doc Montana on this one.
I don’t run a Glock, although I have nothing against besides them being mostly not US made, but it’s rather funny to me to see how often people try to say semi autos are unreliable. I’d really like to see a revolver go through some of the torture tests people expose semi auto pistols to, I’m talking mud in the action (simulating that you got thrown on your ass by something and that fancy revolver flew out of that pricey leather holster you thought had good retention), I’ve never seen anyone try it and would be curious to see the results.
Also Roger, you say that your revolver is a back up to your shotgun which is a back up to your rifle? So you’re actually carrying two long guns on you plus a handgun?
You must be Superman, because a realistic weight loadout for me with rifle plus ammo/mags and pistol plus ammo/mags is it for me, I don’t see how the benefits of that shotgun outweigh the actual weight of the shotgun plus it’s ammo…
I do agree with your suggestion of keeping cleaning supplies with the pistol, I keep my cleaning kit with my choice of CLP next to my grab and go ammo.
Only pistol I’ve ever had fail on me was a Ruger revolver. Shot some cheap range reloads with dirty powder. Deposited enough residue that the cylinder would bind when trying to pull the trigger. This was after only 20 rounds or so. Makes me question the “superior realibility of the revolver”
Obviously the same will happen running crap powder Through. Semi auto, but it made me aware of the unforgiving tolerance around the cylinder on the revolver. Would a wet pocket of lint and the like foul the cylinder in the same way? I don’t know…
I wouldn’t turn my nose up at a revolver, but I think I would go quality semi auto. I can disassemble and clean a semi much easier then a revolver.
Katrina situation, I think a Glock, or the equivilant with some night sights and a light would be a fine piece of gear. Pair that with a good knife and a telescoping baton and your in pretty good shape.
I agree Steve, many people assume revolvers are these super simple weapons, the fallacy of that gets revealed when you take of their grips and look at the inter workings, everything needs to be in time or it won’t work.
Thanks for reading. Can you put a finer point on your specific Ruger. I’ve never heard of 20 rounds fouling a revolver to the point of failure. I have heard of stuck cases and the dreaded crimp jump (a serious issues with bear loads), but not dirty powder or soft lead.
Something real that I do fear with revolvers is timing issues. Unless you have a bombproof wheel gun like the Alaskan, it will loose timing and create its own set of problems. And there is no way Rick’s Python would still be working much past season 2, and certainly not in season 7. Pythons are Swiss clocks and finicky ones at that. Accurate, yes. Silky smooth, yes. But also fragile and needy. I think that’s why there are so many available for sale that have never been shot. Super cool, but mostly to look at and fondle.
That’s why I like the Single Action revolvers like the SAA. They hit hard even with home made Pyrodex or BP + lead loads, in stainless they are stupid easy to clean even with nothing available to you but water, soap and “oil”. With a screw driver and parts kit the size of great Grandady’s tobacco pouch in your pocket you can keep an SAA in the field for generations. The Idea behind them was to give any illiterate farm boy a “solder proof” revolver that would “founder a running horse”. You are right about that TV revolver being unrealistic. The Python and its big brother the Anaconda (well any of the “snakes” really) are useless as survival tools. They, like all the current crop of “collector” revolvers, are show guns. Not field guns. However; The only DA revolver that ever failed me in the “bush” was a factory box new Redhawk in .44 mag. I was shooting factory .44 SPECIAL ammo and the frame BROKE. That was the second Ruger that went T U on me. The first was a .22 pistol that had the barrel fly off while shooting and land about fifteen feet from me. And NO there was no obstruction in the bore. I owned some really good early “Black hawks” in the 70’s but I don’t care for the slipshod way that most gun factory’s build today.
Ruger SP 101. Unable to pull the trigger far enough to fire. Necessary to clean the front of the cylinder with hops and a brush. Once cleaned pistol resumed operation.
Please allow me to clarify my previous comment. I didn’t say that I expected to carry a handgun, shotgun and rifle, I tried to impart that my first choose (in a SHTF) would be a semi-auto rifle (mag. fed, of course), then if not available, a shotgun (12 ga. pump, personal preference, lots of ammo choices, multiple sub-caliber adapters available), and if neither of those were available to me, a DA revolver. Yes, no firearm is perfect, any one can fail! But, I shoot quite well with my GP100s, a 50 yard shot at a stationary man-sized target is quite repeatable for me, (practice, practice) and I’ve never (fingers-crossed) had any serious problem with them. If a round fails to fire, I pull the trigger again, problem usually solved (at least temporarily). I have fired (without failure) my GP100s when they were filthy, not a good practice and of course, accuracy suffered. IMHO, using the AK-47 as an well-known example, the ability of any firearm to be thrown into mud, etc. and then fire is uncommon, and rather unlikely. Yes, I’ve seen the videos usually made by people trying to sell you something, hint, hint; ever notice that they don’t bring that freshly muddied AK up into their shoulder to fire or that they don’t show you whether they actually hit a target farther than a stone’s throw away! No one seems to post any videos of an AK failing to fire when filthy or worse, blowing up! Use what works for you, as long as you’re not aiming at me, I have no problem with it! By the way, since the whole idea of this Katrina rifle/pistol seems to me to be about efficiency in a SHTF situation, and I believe they make carbine conversions for Glock handguns, then wouldn’t carrying two Glocks (of the same make and caliber) with one converted to a carbine be more efficient! My question to you is whether when push-comes-to-shove and the only gun powder available is home-made black powder, will the semi-auto be able to function at least as well as a revolver or will it be reduced to a single-shot handgun? Not trying to ruffle any feathers here, I have no experience with using black powder cartridges so I’m looking for information, just in case! GLAHP!
BP will cause a SA pistol to cycle weakly for a few rounds then lock up(jam)from fouling. If you use a light bullet (round ball) you might get 700FPS out of a .40 or 9MM. They just won’t hold a charge big enough to give much in the way of MV. With a BP cartridge bullet mass+ powder charge size=killing power. Most 19th century BP rifles only developed around 1300 to 1500 fps MV. That is why the best “killing” rifles all used massive bullets backed with big charges. The “44-40” and “.45 Gov. pistol” AKA the .45 long colt both held 40 grain BP charges with + 200 grain bullets. ( contrary to modern re-enactor myth both the civil war “cap and ball” .44 handguns used by the Union army used mostly 190 to 200 grain conical bullets–NOT round balls)
Still a great read and very relevant. I like the idea of extra batteries and the necessary Allen wrenches. I would add a little bottle of CLP and the rod/brush that comes with the Glock. You can get crazy with “cleaning kit creep” keep adding this and that to cover all guns in all scenarios till you end up with a tool bag. Then all the little bits and pieces to keep track off. Just my 2 cents.