Thoughts on when to deploy your SBR

| December 19, 2013 | 4 Comments

When do you deploy your short barrel rifle or “bag gun?”

The short answer is: it depends.

Are you otherwise armed?

Is the threat near or far?

Are you by yourself, or with another armed partner(s)?

Immediate threat and you’re alone: pistol first

If the threat is right in front of you and you’re by yourself, draw your handgun first and deal with your immediate aggressor. If you are too close to draw, use your knife. If you’re too close for a knife, go hands-on until you can create space.

Trying to get a bag gun out and deployed is going to take way too long if you can see the facial expression of the most immediate threat.

Use your pistol first, then deploy your SBR from concealment or cover.

Single immediate threat and you have a partner: pistol first

Sure, your buddy might be able to get the bad guy, but what if they’re not paying attention or they don’t perceive the threat before you do? If you can see the facial expression of the single threat, go pistol first.

You may not even need your SBR.

Immediate threat, you have a partner, and there are many threats: move and deploy SBR

I know I just wrote not to leave your pal to handle the immediate threat, but the surprise and firepower of a bag-carried rifle may be the equalizer between yourselves and a group of assailants.

If things don’t look too sideways, run to concealment or cover while your partner(s) engage the immediate threat.

Here’s a video of me running to concealment, unlocking my sling bag, and deploying the KPOS Glock SBR:

My total time to deployment from a locked bag was 17 seconds. I moved the bag to my chest, unlocked the 3-digit combination a fellow student scrambled earlier, unzipped the bag, took out the KPOS, deployed the stock and trigger guard, and chambered a round. Unlocking the bag took 11 seconds alone.

Things like this is why it’s absolutely critical that you practice with your SBR in the configuration in which you’ll carry it. It is not enough to theorize how long it will take you to do XYZ, it’s important to practice. While I did some bag manipulation and drawing the unloaded SBR out at home, doing it with someone shooting next to you feels very, very different.

Your experience and situation will help you decide to engage with your pistol first, or go to your big guns if time allows.

Far-off threat, you’re alone: deploy SBR first

You might hear or see an active shooter in your office, church, or shopping mall but not be in contact yet. You could use your pistol, but if you have time, go for your rifle. That’s why you lug it around all the time, yes?

In the break room when the shooting starts? Deploy your SBR right away.

In the break room when the shooting starts? Deploy your SBR right away.

Deploy your SBR if you hear trouble in your area but are not in immediate danger.


In the end, it’s up to you to decide when to deploy your SBR or bag gun based on your skill level and situation.

I strongly encourage you to practice, both by yourself and with any regular training partners, so you can make the best decision possible.

About the Author:

Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd is a regular guy and works to make Web sites and mobile apps easier for people to use. He spends his free time attending fight-focused firearm, knife, and combatives training, motorcycling, writing, and playing games. His daily carry is a Glock 19 pistol and an AR15 .300 Blackout pistol in a backpack.

4 Comments on "Thoughts on when to deploy your SBR"

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  1. Robert says:

    Im currently putting together my bug out bag. i have my 72 hour survival kit for protection against the elements and for basic life sustaining needs, and now im putting together what i need to protect myself and im trying to decide on a good gun combo and first i thought good pistol and a good bolt action rifle but then i figured id need more portection against 2 legged critters so i thought about putting an ar 15 in there because of how simple it breaks down and assembles and can easily fit in a pack, but then i leaned towards and ak because i need somegthing that will never need cleaning because in a SHTF situation i might not have the luxury to clean everytime after it shoots, but then how do i fit an ak into a back pack, s i thought about an ak pistol, but then most reviews said its hard to get a good grouping after 50 yds, and im looking for something that can take a deer out to 100-120 yd range. So then i thought sbr ak but i havent found as much about accuracy as i have on the pistols. so i guess really all im asking is how accurate do you find it? would you feel comfortable shooting at a deer at 120yds with it? and can you put an underfolding stock on it? all the SBRs that ive seen online have side folding stocks. is there a reason for that?

    • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

      I would definitely feel comfortable shooting a deer or deer-sized fleshy object at 120 yards with it. Additionally, we load our 7.62×39 weapons with Federal Fusion, which is supposed to be good for deer. So you can have your hunting ammo and your self-defense ammo be the same, which is great for sighting your optics in.

    • JC says:

      In answer to your last question about sidefolding versus underfolding, I have personally found it easier to get a consistent cheek-weld with a side folder versus the underfolder. But that is my experience, others may say just the opposite of me.

      • Short Barrel Shepherd Short Barrel Shepherd says:

        Ah, I didn’t answer the underfolder question. Underfolders may loosen over time and become wobbly / unstable.

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