SHTF? I would prepare before that. Anyone i plan to include in my team would need to be familiar with crossbows and Bows, also slings if possible. Not just shooting and hitting, but also effectively hunting with them and shooting fast with them. ranged weapons that work on primitive projectiles (arrows/bolts for bows and crossbows, rocks for slings) are ideal for SHTF in my Area, since it would most like look like this:
>people all get locked in Megacities.
>Vaccination and registration mandatory for living in the MCs
>Anyone that doesn't want that can get fucked, no participation in social life, basically an outcast and free meat.
>Have to survive on your own, hide not only from the elements, but also from government, that doesn't want people like you running around inspiring others.
And since here you need loicenses and whatnot to buy firearms, and any ammo supply will dry up without resupply from the Cities (Who knows, maybe civilian hunting will be outlawed completely), it will be down to slinging rocks and arrows. A person Knowing how to use them effectively will be worth his weight in gold.
First of all: Stay ranged, or stay in massive groups.
Second: crossbows and slings are fucking scary. Crossbows are more complex, but anyone can use them with a little training, and they're incredibly effective against anyone without full combat gear. Slings are easy to learn, but hard to master, but if you manage to actually get the hang of it, and aim and sling rocks with high precision and power, you can kill grown men with metal armor with that shit, look it up, it's terrifying.
Third: If you are up against mostly melee fighters, and you have more than just a handful men, go for spears. They are cheap and easy to produce and replace, require practically no maintenance, and they're very effective at holding your ground and fucking up everyone who's bold enough to get to close.
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