The one gun I usually have near to hand is the 1911 in .45 acp. Today with the world as it is, I cannot realistically carry one of my rifles or shotguns everywhere, while the 1911 rides quietly in its holster ready to help me get to where my long gun of choice resides. Tomorrow should The SHTF the 1911 will be riding quietly in a holster ready to help me get to where my long gun resides. Because of the way things work in my life, I spend much more time doing things that a long gun even slung would make much harder so it usually is nearby, but the handgun is at hand, always. (well except when in the shower it is right outside, but I pick times when oldest son is in the other room to provide some security.) Now I know not everyone has realized that John Moses Browning perfected the self defense pistol in 1911 (he did) but most of us do have some handgun that we feel is a decent defense weapon. It is the one type of firearm that can be with one about 100% of the time. Because of this I have spent the time to master my chosen handgun to the point where I can make one handed head shots out to 50 yards and always hit my target assuming no other stress like ducking from incoming rounds etc. I have drawn and fired so many times that I keep spare barrels for the ones that after about half their practical life is gone get semi retired into back up emergency status. I value having a handgun so much that in addition to spare parts, I keep several duplicates of my 1911 and rotate them out daily so each one gets constant use / attention / practice. I value having it so much that when I want to enjoy my revolvers they go into shoulder holsters with my trusty 1911 in the holster on my strong side. Do I sub in other self defense hand guns? Yes from time to time, but my #1 choice is at least in a carry bag where I am so I can switch to it should things get grubby. IF it is SHTF and I am at a trade ground, a handgun will be with me. IF the neighbor in a SHTF shows up on the door step asking if I have any food left and demanding his "fair share" (TBH my neighbors are bigger survivalists / farmers than me so this isn't happening but you get the point) I have my handgun with me to help me be confidant of control of the situation. If the car breaks down, I stop to help a nice little old lady with car trouble, or any other social encounter, I have the confidence of my handgun ready to make sure nothing ugly happens. We can all dig up our ifs, or just watch the news. Every day bad things happen and had the victim had a firearm he would have had a much better chance of surviving the problem than had he been unarmed. I love my long guns. My choices have changed over the years since I am no longer an active marine being sent to kill people and break things. AT one point I wanted my m14. Now I prefer my ruger gunsite scout rifle. The point being that many long guns exist and are mission specific and mission changes. The same / similar applies to shotguns for defense and food gathering and even to some extent to the 22LR weapons out there. The constant is that a handgun as a backup or means of reaching our long guns makes sense to me and many others. I advise everyone to own and master one. There is truth to the saying that the best gun is the one you have with you when you need one. The one gun you can have most of the time with you will be the handgun. If you are a survivalist (or if you must - a prepper - to me a survivalist is many things including someone who prepares for things but that is just semantics ) will master both the best tool for the goal, and also master the compromise tool that can actually be carried constantly. I have no intention of Getting into anymore fire fights. If fortune somehow forces me into a situation where break contact is needed, the handgun is probably what I will have and deploy first. I can draw in fire and hit a head size target in under one second consistently. I have a SAK that i carry and use because it is in my pocket even though I have better knifes for specific tasks and will go get or carry them if I know I will need them. I have better firearms, but the handgun is like the SAK always with me. I cannot really think of any other firearm that offers as much for instant at hand availability, and still allowing one to live life instead of just be at combat ready with the belt in the pig and the assistant gunner grabbing some z's. Thanks for letting me try to get my thinking out. If it helps anyone else welcome, if anyone else wants to add to my thinking welcome. if you dont like it, well thats cool too. Each of us is responsible for ourselves. I chose my way ya'll go yours in peace. Thad.