5 Outstanding Firearms (+Their Budget-Friendly Alternatives)

If you want to get into a lively discussion at your local shooting range, just start talking about some gun being the best there is.

Everyone has their opinion on this subject, and the more they’ve shot, the more likely they are to have very firmly set opinions. Not only that, but they’re sure to be very vocal in making those opinions known.

Each shooter who joins that discussion is going to throw another gun into the pot. While there might be some agreement that certain guns are superior to the majority of what’s sold out there, it’s unlikely that you’ll ever find consensus on one best gun.

Part of that is because each shooter will be thinking about “best” in regards to the kind of shooting they do. One might be thinking about hunting small game, while another is thinking about a self-defense firearm. Each will be right in their own regard, but that won’t make their choice superior to someone else’s in the way that they want to use it.

Let’s face it; there is no one best gun on the market.

Different guns are designed for different purposes, and everything about their design, from the caliber to the optics, reflected that purpose. But when you try to take that same firearm and use it for something else, it might stink.

This makes it so that selecting a gun to be your personal survival gun is largely a process of making compromises. How you see the various survival priorities and how you plan on getting through a survival scenario is going to affect the choices that you make. Hopefully, we’ll all make the right ones.

But then there’s the other problem; buying those guns.

Quality firearms aren’t cheap by any standard, and often, the most popular models are also the most expensive. But there are often equivalents out there, often very similar equivalents, which will work fine, but at a lower price. Those may very well be the guns that you and I need to buy, in order to build up our survival arsenal.


It seems to me that everyone needs to start out their survival arsenal with a good sidearm. Pistols are useless for hunting, as well as any other long-range shooting. They serve one purpose and one purpose only: self-defense. Considering that many survival tasks will require you setting your long-arm aside, it only makes sense to carry a pistol at all times.

Best Survival Pistol – Glock 17 – 9mm

It’s really hard to pick a best pistol, with all the various calibers and models available to us today. Personally, I’m a .45 man, having learned to shoot with the Army Colt 1911. But, while I have a personal 1911 in my collection, that’s not my survival pistol. I’ve selected a Glock 17 for that.

There are two major reasons why I’ve selected a Glock 17 for my survival pistol. The first is Glock’s reputation. If you want a good, serviceable pistol, which will not jam, Glock is for you. They might take a little getting used to, but once you do, you’ll be convinced too. Besides, the Glock is highly customizable, which I like, as I’m the kind of guy who likes tricking out my guns to make them more usable.

But which Glock to carry for survival? I narrowed it down to the Glock 17, because it is a full-sized 9mm Luger. Considering that 9mm is the most popular pistol caliber in the world today, there will be a better chance of coming up with 9mm ammo in a post-disaster world, than any other caliber.

Alternative – Canik TP9 SFx – 9mm

You’ve probably never heard of this one, but if you’re looking for a really great 9mm pistol, take a good look at this. It’s from Turkey, of all places, but this is a very well designed gun. One of the nicest things about it is that the slide is designed so that you can grip it just about anywhere to rack it. It also comes with an 18 round magazine, which gives you one more round of capacity over the Glock 17. The only problem may be getting spare parts, so you’ll want to stock up on those, before the apocalypse comes.

Tactical Shotgun

There’s nothing that beats a short-barreled shotgun for close work, not even the best of pistols. Soldiers in both World Wars and Vietnam preferred the Trench Gun over just about anything, assuming they could get their hands on one.  If you’ve got to defend your home from multiple attackers, this is the way to go.

Best Tactical Shotgun – KelTec KSG Bullpup Shotgun – 12 gauge

I was instantly impressed when KelTec came out with their KSG shotgun. As far as I’m concerned, this was the first shotgun ever built, with tactical considerations in mind. The bulpup design allows for an overall length of only 26.1 inches, and that’s with an 18.5 inch barrel, keeping it legal, without having to get the ATF tax stamp. Their “tactical” model is only 21.5 inches long, but it only has a 13.5 inch barrel, meaning that you have to jump through hoops of red tape to buy one.

The other outstanding thing about this shotgun is the dual magazine, allowing you to load a total of 17 rounds. This allows you to load both buckshot and slugs, without having to worry about remembering what order you loaded them in. A simple switch, conveniently located near the pistol grip, allows you to switch back and forth between the two magazines, putting out an incredible amount of firepower.

A top-mounted rail allows the installation of optics, showing that KelTec realizes that a tactical shotgun isn’t just a point and shoot weapon, but that it can and should actually be aimed.

Alternative – Standard Manufacturing DP-12

It’s easy to think that Standard Manufacturing developed the DP-12 simply to compete with the KSG, but in reality, they solved a few problems that the KSG has. Specifically, it’s an easier gun to shoot, which comes complete with a good but pad and a cheek rest that the KSG doesn’t have. While being a bit demanding to shoot (actually both models are), the visible magazine and other features make up for it, as well as the lower price.

Hunting Rifle

Every survivalist needs a good hunting rifle. While not all that effective for home defense, a good survival rifle is going to help put food on the table, especially if you have to bug out. In the rare case that you actually need a sniper rifle, a hunting rifle with a good scope on it is going to take care of that need as well.

Speaking of scopes, a lot of people spend a lot on their hunting rifle, but then cut corners on the scope. Don’t do that; a good scope is just as important as a good rifle. You’re going to need that, in order to make every shot count.

Best Hunting Rifle – Remington 700 – .308 Caliber

If there is ever a hunting rifle which is going to gain consensus as the best there is, it has to be the Remington 700. First marketed in 1962, this rifle is not only a favorite of hunters, but has been used by the US Army as a sniper rifle as well. The simple design, coupled with quality workmanship, provides a reliable, accurate rifle for any need.

There are actually several different models of rifles in the Remington 700 “family,” as well as several different calibers. I’ve selected the .308 caliber because it is a common one, also known as 7.62 x 51 mm or 7.62 NATO. This is a powerful enough round for big game hunting, as well as being common enough that it should be available in a post-disaster world.

Alternative – Howa 1500 Varmint

While I personally own a Remington 700, if I was looking for a lower-cost alternative, I’d go for the Howa 1500. This gun is available in the same .308 caliber as the Remington 700. It’s also very similar to the Remington in many other key areas, but it comes with a lower price tag, making it a great option to buy for your survival arsenal.

“Survival Rifle”

Sorry, but I’ve always gotten a bit of a laugh out of “survival rifles.” That’s not because they are .22 caliber, but because I can’t really see any reason to carry a rifle that has to be assembled any time I want to use it. chances are, I’d need it while it was disassembled and not be ready for the shot I need.

Best Survival Rifle – Henry Arms AR-7 – .22LR Caliber

The Henry AR-7 has the reputation of being the best rifle in this small category. While there aren’t many contenders for that title, the Henry takes the prize. Originally designed by ArmaLite, the same people who created the AR-15, this design has passed through a number of hands, before finally being acquired by Henry Arms. They cleaned up the design and have made it a success.

What’s so great about this rifle is that it is so compact. Everything stores in the stock, making a package which is just 16.5 inches long and weighs only 3.5 pounds. If you need something to put in a backpack or hide under the back seat of your car, this rifle will do the trick. It is highly reliable and amazingly accurate for a rifle that is designed to break down and assemble easily.

Alternative – Crickett Single Shot Synthetic – .22LR Caliber

While the Henry AR-7 is an excellent rifle, you have to realize that you’re paying a lot of extra money just to have it break down and fit inside the stock. Personally, I just can’t see where that is all that useful, unless I’m looking for something I want to be able to hide; but that’s what pistols are for.

I’d much rather put my money into something like the Crickett Single Shot Synthetic, Bolt-action rifle. As a bolt action, it is highly reliable and accurate. Plus, it’s a whole lot cheaper. Overall weight is a half pound lighter, and the overall assembled length is half an inch shorter. Carrying this gun along, for shooting small game, really wouldn’t be an issue, even if you’re carrying another long gun.

Home-defense Rifle

The AR-15 has gained the lead as the best and most popular sporting rifle on the market. It is also widely considered to be the best home defense rifle, as well as the best overall survival rifle. The sheer versatility of the AR-15 makes it an essential in anyone’s survival arsenal.

Best AR-15 – Daniel Defense DDM4 V7 0 – 5.56mm NATO Caliber

It’s difficult to pick the best AR-15 out there with so many models to choose from. My personal one is a custom-built AR-15 that has the features and options that I want. But if I was to buy one off-the-shelf, I’d probably pick this model from Daniel Defense. The main reason is their reputation for reliability.

This particular AR-15 comes with a full-length 15” full-floating rail, flash supperssor, mid-length gas impingement system and a cold-hammer forged 16” barrel. A nice combination of features. Of course, the optics are not included; but that’s normal for AR-15s, as the first place any owner wants to customize is their optics. I especially like the long rail system, as it allows for the attachment of any number of accessories.

Alternate – Mossberg MMR AR-15 Tactical – 5.56mm NATO Caliber

I’m a big fan of Mossberg, mostly for their tactical shotguns. My personal shotgun, which is a Mossberg 500, has been heavily modified, like most of my firearms. But what I really like about it is the reliability. Mossberg is used by many law enforcement agencies, because they know they can count on it, when they need to.

The MMR AR-15 Tactical comes in at an amazingly low price, considering what it is. Unlike many other low-price AR-15s, this one has a quad rail, allowing you to install whatever optics you want. It uses a direct impingement gas system and comes with the iron sights installed. An amazing buy for the money.

But for all of this, you should read Simple Gun Hacks That Will Instantly Double Your Accuracy from Decorated Green Beret!

Written by

Bill White is the author of Conquering the Coming Collapse, and a former Army officer, manufacturing engineer and business manager. More recently, he left the business world to work as a cross-cultural missionary on the Mexico border. Bill has been a survivalist since the 1970s, when the nation was in the latter days of the Cold War. He had determined to head into the Colorado Rockies, should Washington ever decide to push the button. While those days have passed, the knowledge Bill gained during that time hasn’t. He now works to educate others on the risks that exist in our society and how to prepare to meet them. You can send Bill a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Well, I knew this article was going to be problematic when he didn’t start with the Glock 19. Not problematic for me, but for the majority who hold the 19 up as THE hand gun. I scanned down for the remainder of the “outstanding” firearms and saw nothing note worthy. But all is not lost, we agree in the 1911.

  • Is the Glock 17 good for women for concealed carry? I have a Beretta PX4 but it’s kind of large for me for concealed carry.

    Thank you,

    • I would try a glock 43 it’s a 9mm but a single stack so 6 round magazine, and would fit best my wife loves hers.

  • Hey Bill, two things.
    1. Handgun, I too am a 45 guy, but as for the Glock, the 22 or 23 I believe are better choices. I personally have a 23 which can shoot 4 different calibers, 9, 40, 357sig, and 22LR. Extra barrels are readily available. This gives you more options.

    2. Rifles, all three of yours can be done with 1 1/2 AR-15s. I have mine chambered in 300blk. This gives me more knockdown than 223, plus I can run silent under 100yds, change bullets and I’m now good to 600yds. Pop the top, and replace it with a 22LR upper and Shazam instant small game getter.

    Just my thoughts. I think yours are great too.

  • Well, Bill . . . I have some disagreements – No Surprise there. ANYONE Who would choose a Glock (Any Glock) with its high price and Terrible Ergonomics – over a CZ 75 (With its Various forms in 9mm) – is just missing out. I will say no more about that. As for Bolt Action Rifles (In .308, .30-06, et. al.) you can get great Quality, Great Accuracy, and a GREAT Trigger, in the Savage 110 for a Better Price, period. And be very careful choosing a shotgun (Any shotgun) – since 90 % of them are laden with Gimmicks. And a 20 Ga. will give you equal stopping power to a 12 Ga. (Higher M.V. in 3 In. Magnum) – just fewer pellets.

    • High price for Glock?????? You can get a glock gen 3 G17 for $500 or less. If that is too my g to spend on a VERY reliable, proven self defense tool, then I guess you put little value into self defense.

      • NO, Paul. I put my value into a sidearm with Superb Ergonomics and Performance – so that At Least I can hit a barn wall from the inside. The Ruger is vastly better than the Glock – Any Glock.

        • There are more than a few thousand law enforcement agencies that would argue that point with you. And though there may be some pistols slightly better than the Glock, nothing is VASTLY better than a Glock, not until they invent one that is self shooting. Or guided bullets. Drop the hyperbole.

          • Gotta agree. I’m a Ruger fan, don’t care for Glock. But the Glock has some benefits. So, better, yes. But vastly better is a stretch.

      • Bill,
        Where can I get a copy of your book?

  • The pictures chosen to accompany this article display sub-par trigger finger discipline, which is easily remedied.

  • best survival firearm is the .22 rifle. preferably one with a 10 inch barrel and folding stock which makes it concealable. it does not do any job perfectly but can do every job partly. the 2 main benefits. first is it is cheap to buy and cheap to stockpile thousands of rounds of ammo. second carrying 500 or a thousand rounds of ammo is possible. the ruger 10/22 is my preferred option. I have five of them and a couple AR22 variants. (and a 12 pump and .556)

    • While I agree with you, and the Author, that a .22LR should be ‘Standard’ in any survival situation… it Clearly falls Far Short as an “Only Rifle”…
      In a survival situation, you may encounter Man and Beast of Various sizes that MUST be STOPPED..!! I don’t mean shooting rabbits for dinner, but STOPPING a pack of wild dogs, or even a Bear or feral pigs… or a couple of half-crazed Mad-Men that have been eating wild berries of the Wrong kind. Even a .556 may fall short of stopping those attacks….
      I have “One of each” of the 5 types listed. Not always the #1 choice. But at least one I feel I can count on. MY biggest challenge is that I am Left-handed… and many of these weapons are quite difficult to operate “Backwards”… safeties and mag releases and slide locks etc all on the opposite side of where I need them. I don’t care about ejection ports — from either side makes little difference. But controls SHOULD be ambidextrous !! Not only to accommodate Lefties, but for Tactical reasons as well… best use of cover, a possible injured strong hand, etc.

    • Yes, I think the 10/22 is the .22 rifle to go with. I have 2 of them and several extra mags. I don’t see how anyone could not list a Ruger 10/22 as the rifle to go with ! This guy has a loose screw ! !

  • “Pistols are useless for hunting, as well as any other long-range shooting. They serve one purpose and one purpose only: self-defense.

    Where did you get that from? The lol .22 LR can get small game and while not ideal can serve for self Defense if that is all you have and make good shot placement!
    REMEMBER Eskimos kill polar bears with them…..So…….
    10mm Mag is capable of taking game and in capable hands no doubt can take 100 yard shots……. .

    I like the KELTEC KSG and was contemplating getting one to replace my Mossberg 500 BullPup……..HOWEVER

    I thought about having to reload one under need…..Easy to fire it dry then what? STOP TIME OUT?? Drop the weapon
    go to handgun mode???

    So I started looking at other shoguns
    There are various AR and AK Platforms that use various sized magazines including up to a 20 round drum.
    For the Price of the KelTec KSG one could get either an AK or AR Platform and numerous magazines or drums..

    A Bolt gun…..I have a Ruger M77 in .270 Winchester I bought years ago. The ammo is easily available in most any place that sells ammo.
    I also have a Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle in ..308/7.62 NATO.

    The Remington being a great platform I see no need to my Ruger GSR……..Remington did a safety issue and lawsuits.

    The AR Survival Rifle used to be able to bu them for $75.00 USD The last time I saw a Henry Model was around or over $400.00 USD……and they still have limited capacity of what 10? 15? round magazines…….. had friend that owned an AR-7….I do not recall who made it but it had some serious issues and never worked properly!

    Ruger is making the 10-22 in a lightweight Take Down.. One an get 25 round or larger mags easily…….light and easy to carry and one does not have to burn their fingers on the barrel…….

  • Your entire article is laughable.
    That you omitted Sig Saur and Ruger American 9mm as high quality, affordable options proves the point.
    Your 15 minutes of fame are over.

    • Dang, Ben. Bill White has had more than 15 minutes of fame. Unless you mean this 15 minute op-ed. Way too short to cover every possible ‘best’. Even for his own circumstances. Always remember, your mileage may vary.

  • Personal opinions will always vary but whatever is your preference, “Learn it like a brother”. Regards

  • Still not convinced Glock is “the best” handgun out there I haven’t found anything better than Browning 9mm “high power”….
    Bill is right about everybody is going to have different opinions. I think he left out several factors when choosing practical weapons like shot guns or trench guns . Mossberg 500, Remington 870 or Winchester 1300 12ga. pump with a 20” barrel and pistol grip are all very affordable and easily obtainable without restrictions. Winchester model 70 was also used by the military as a sniper rifle much smoother action and just as accurate as Remington 700..
    As for the AR-15 platform I understand the appeal to customize your own version but generally they are semi-auto so I’ll stick with the Ruger mini 14 proven to be just as reliable than anything out there. in that category. IF and when a full auto rifle is needed I’ll pick an “AR” up from somebody who isn’t using it anymore.

  • Where the AR-7 excels is as a cache firearm. Not only small but WATER RESISTANT packaging, making it safer to store for long term hiding.

  • It’s not often, but I see that I’m in disagreement with every choice and every alternative choice that’s on this list. Not only do I disagree with this list I think it’s pandering to the wannabe sect that’s out there.

    First let’s look at what these firearms would be used for and the type of individual that would be using these guns.

    A person looking to prep for a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation where firearms would be needed would be: “A person familiar with living off grid, trained in ground and cover, movement from cover to cover, rifle marksmanship, map reading, observation, and accurately acting upon the results of his observation.“ That’s about as good a definition of the firearms/fighting skill set of a prepper/survivalist that I can think of.

    Now, lets look at the suggested firearms that the person with the aforementioned skill set would be using. The list includes 5 outstanding firearms and their cheaper alternatives. Well looking at the list I would say no to every firearm on it because they are all pointed at the survivalist wannabe. In reality what’s needed are three firearms. A pistol, a rifle and a shotgun.

    The pistol listed in this article is a Glock in 9 mm. While nice, there are issues with this choice the biggest being safety. Glocks require a lot of training because of the trigger. Several police forces have gone away from Glocks in recent years because of accidental discharges when drawing the gun. In the case of NY PD, they have gone to the extent of having all the Glocks altered so the trigger pull is 12 pounds (5.44 kg) to mitigate the safety issue. The problem is when the pistol is grabbed the natural instant is to grasp with all four fingers and thumb. This leads to the index finger coming into contact with, and pulling the trigger. You’re better off with a pistol that has a de-cocker (SIG P-226) or manual safety (Colt 1911, Browning Hi Power).

    An even better choice for a pistol, would be one in .22 that is easily concealed with a suppressor. The Browning Buckmark and Ruger Mk 3 come to mind. Now for those who say this is a horrible choice, I would point out that (a) you can carry more .22 than 9 mm, (b) .22 ammo is cheaper which means it will not bust the bank when you train, (c) unlike the movies and TV, the little .22 is the caliber used by the majority of intelligence organizations around the world for wet work. Another nice thing about a .22 pistol is that at close range it will do what a .22 rifle can do, hunting wise.

    The hunting rifle and Ar-15 can all be replaced with a general purpose rifle. Now what is a general purpose rifle? Col. Jeff Cooper said this about it: “The general-purpose rifle will do equally well for all but specialized hunting, as well as for fighting; thus it must be powerful enough to kill any living target of reasonable size. If you insist upon a definition of ‘reasonable size’, let us introduce an arbitrary mass figure of about 1,000 lb (454 kg).” Well that takes the AR platform out of the picture and as for the Remington 700, it’s cumbersome and heavy and as a guy who once carried a rifle (FNC1-A1, 10 pounds empty) for a living, I hate cumbersome and heavy. The rifle that fits this bill is the Ruger Scout in 7.62 mm. With a good LER optic, anything within 800 meters is toast if that’s what you want.

    As for the listed shotgun, while the KelTec looks sexy, do you really want to bet your life on the quality of KelTec? Then there is the replacement shotgun. At 9.3 pounds empty isn’t exactly a featherweight, and a price tag of $1395 the Standard Manufacturing DP-12 ain’t exactly cheap. You are better off getting a Maverick 12G with a 14-inch barrel plus another barrel at 28-inch that can be used for bird hunting. With light loads the Maverick can also do the job of the .22 and can be taken down and stored in a case.

    Well that’s my two cents worth, may the mud slinging begin.

    • Hey Mike, when you said you carried the FNC1-1a to work I thought to myself maybe Mike is a fellow CAF brother. Eh?

    • Hi all,
      Interesting selection of firearms.
      I suggest everyone either buy a compound or crossbow for hunting. As well,as a muzzle loader and save the modern ones for when they needed.

  • Damn, this audience is brutal! For me whatever I am most familiar with and comfortable with is the best choice. A well-placed shot from any gun is the best.

  • Glad to see Mossberg MMR Tactical 5.56mm make your list I don’t ever see much about it .think there a great weapon. Thanks.

  • Mike, I did carefully read and enjoy your comments. I can see we’re lined up on a lot.
    Bill, You Already Know – I Like, Enjoy, and Benefit from your articles. But on this one
    I must Disagree on a number of points. My commentary in January was short and thin.
    I have decided to flesh out my opinions – just a bit, anyway !
    Item 1.) The Glock 17 (or any Glock, for that matter) has worse Ergonomics than
    a $2 kids cap pistol. If you are going to spend money (no pistol is cheap), I can honestly
    recommend the CZ75 in its original form. The Ruger 9mm’s come in pretty close, too.
    Item 2.) For Hunting style rifles, the Remington 700 is a good choice – Good Trigger
    and Excellent Accuracy. The .308 Caliber (NATO 7.62) is a good choice, but I like the
    .30-06 Springfield better. For a Lightweight Rifle, the Savage 110 is Unbeatable – Best
    Trigger and Superb Accuracy.
    Item 3.) Why buy a .22 LR Survival Anything, when Ruger is producing such excellent
    survival type weapons in 9mm. Buy the 9mm +P’s, and you are good to go.
    Item 4.) As for shotguns, my comment in January sums that Item up pretty well.
    Item 5.) If you insist on some version of the AR-15, At Least do yourself a favor
    and Install a New Barrel for the AAC .300 Blackout. You are Far Better Off.
    And I Do Not bow down before the altar of designer Eugene Stoner. Case Closed.
    The Russian Made AK-47 is W-a-a-y Ahead, anyway.

  • Hey Bill
    Just have to throw in my 02 cents. I was a licensed hunting guide in ID, MT, and WY for 40 years. Now retired as a pro utility pilot and flew in at least 40 countries and hunted in many of them. Learned long range pistol shooting with none other than Elmer Keith. Like one or two others who contribute to your newsletter, I am also Distinguished Pistol and Prez 100 along with a many year HP Master card, etc, etc. Years ago I wrote an article for SWAT magazine and included the Rem 700 in 30/06, the Rem 870 in 12ga as the heavy hitters. I carried a Ruger .44Mag as a guide but have shot more than a million rounds of 45 ACP alone, and can make anyone dig a hole out to 300+ yards with one. Did training with Cooper in 1980. I’ve been shot a number of times and took notes. The fact I am still here tends to lend credence to my opinions. All too many people think they can just buy a pistol, rifle, shotgun and a box of ammo and are good to go. No serious training and no serious mind set. They won’t last 3 days if/when the SHTF.
    I’ve gotten some good stuff from your blogs but have to chuckle at some of it. Keep up the good work and I’ll chime in from time to time.
    Best Regards and Semper Fi

  • My choice for a survival rifle is a break-barrel air rifle. The good ones are just as lethal as a 22, quieter, and you can shoot them for a penny a shot. Also the ammo can be stored indefinitely and never go bad. If you did run out of ammo you could shoot small pebbles or whittle wooden darts.

    An AR for home defense is a bad idea. They can easily penetrate three walls and kill your innocent neighbor. I have an AR but if I heard glass breaking in the middle of the night I would grab the 9mm. If they are close enough to be a threat the 9 will be plenty effective.

    The cost effective hunting rifle has to be the Savage Axis in 308. It’s less than HALF the price of a 700 and shoots perfectly fine. Black finish instead of blueing, synthetic stock instead of fancy wood but who cares. It gets the job done. I have two, one in 308 and one in 223.

    I also feel there are better low cost options to the Glock. SCCY, and Taurus come to mind.

  • OK., Here’s mine. Go ahead and start laughing, I know you are going to, But my choice in hand guns is my Glock 40. People want to point to the lack of a safety as we have come the think of safeties, To me, a Glock is like a revolver, Like a revolver, you pull the trigger and it goes bang. Keep your finger off the trigger, When I draw my weapon, my trigger finger goes to the side of the slide, I also have a Tarus .22 MAG. that has an 8 round cylinder and is easy to control. Close in work, I figure I’m good, As for my rifle: I have a Keltec Sub 2000 that uses the same box magazine as my Clock 40. Granted, the range is not great. I figure 100 yards. But I can’t see beyond that anyway and at my age I shake too much for a scope. There. Now you can laugh But think about it. Makes sense to me.

    • Actually Duane,
      I was going to suggest the KelTek sub 2000 myself as a “survival rifle” since it can fit in your bag and share the mags with your 9mm pistol.
      It also increases the range a little if you use +P+ ammo and while not giving you super long range, is enough for both selfie defense and hunting as well as concealability, while still reducing the weight of carrying more ammo for yet another caliber.
      Range wise, I have a MN 91/30 which back in the day was used a s sniper rifle and honestly I can’t accurately get much farther than my KelTek sub 2000. And just as an aside I LOVE my MN 91/30.
      As far as mags go for the KelTek And if you don’t like Glock but want to carry a different 9mm pistol this “rife” has the option of being compatible with other large name manufacturers magazines. Mine works with Berreta 92.
      Not the greatest choice for a “survival rifle” probably, but I think worth considering. For the aforementioned options.
      Anyhow mainly, I say go with what works for you. I have been around and shot different kinds and caliber of guns my whole life, fro scouts, military service, hunting, and general personal enjoyment and enthusiasm. We are all different and in my experience what works amazing for one shooter works like crap for another. Try things out and see what works best for you.

  • How about the FNP-9mm?

  • These “this best gun,” debates and columns are growing tiresome. The comments always degenerate to the same weary remarks, many of them by people who genuinely know very little about firearms and do not frequently use or depend on them, let alone survive with them. If the comments were filled with testimonials by people commenting on when where and why a firearm let them down, or pulled through unexpectedly in some challenging situation, it would be one thing, but most of the time its a comment by someone with, ” my friend was in Vietnam and did 4 tours and he said,” comment. It is not the testimonial of some veteran or a Alaskan bush hunting guide or a trapper in the Yukon.
    Even this article follows this folly, as the writer mentions some very obscure firearms which clearly happen to be his own collection. He doesn’t include data or sound logic in his picks. They are not off the rack, common firearms readily available to most people without them special ordering them from a FFL dealer.
    I will put in my 2 cents now. I am a infantry veteran with over a decade of service. I have broken 2 M16s on active duty and one SAW weapon, and seen and know of actual human beings who have had weapon malfunctions. Soldiers do not have much say in their selection of weapons, they are bid on but the Pentagon Brass, who mostly are non combat type servicemen.
    If I had to recommend a firearm for long term survival I would not be able to settle on one. It is like picking just one tool for a tool box. A Adjustable wrench alone will not cut it. Sometimes you need a philips head screw driver or a ratchet wrench and a extension bit.
    Personally I like RUSSIAN firearms. I have several firearms and they were not among my first acquisitions but I favor them now. They are built to take abuse and have lower tolerances than Western firearms which are finer machined but more prone to weather and dirt, A good old Mosin Nagant is pretty damn durable, its accurate enough, the sniper models in WWII were used by Russian marksmen to terrifying affect on German soldiers who employed captured Mosin Sniper rifles in response. Thousands of soldiers fell to this rifle. I also like the AK style weapon. It is a robust, effective weapon and no, it is NOT innacurate in the hands of a practiced shooter, and it can be easily upgraded. I also LOVE my Bulgarian Makorov automatic pistol, though its cartridge is not the most powerful of handgun rounds, it is like the AK, damn near unstoppable. It is a very simple design and has very few parts.
    A man is almost castrated without owning a shot gun and a .22 rifle, and there are many good ones on the market. I personally like the Marlin tube fed .22s but that is only due to this being the gun my brother and I grew up on and gifted by our granddad. Ive never had one malfunction other than rimfire ammo stoppages. As far as shotguns Id stick with the Remington pump which has been used by many military and law enforcement personnel all over the world for good reason. The Mossberg is a fine shotgun too but it is a bit more delicate which is why it was phased out of most military and police service.
    I like to stick to owning guns that eat common military ammo, not ammo I have to buy by th box of 20 for a high cost. I want to buy 1000 round cases for a couple hundred bucks or less. I stick with service weapons because the parts and ammo is out there. Hunting rounds and obscure calibers are less likely to be available, period.
    So I say stick with 9mm p and 9mmm makorov, .357, .45, for handguns. I like .308, 7.62x 39 or 5.56 for rifle for that reason. I own a couple AR rifles but honestly I rank them low on the list due to reliability and sensitivity of these weapons. and the 5.56 cartridge itself I dislike but it will do the job and is widely available.

  • I’ll stick with the antiques. .45 is a one per costomer round. Mine is 1943 stamped property of US government. Solved the smooth bore problem with a new barrel. The other is south american similar vintage built on Colt dies. One per hip. I’ll stick with my 1917 Stevens Favorite 22LR single shot take down as a varmit gun. I could wonder off with a Winchester 1890 but the Favorite is accurate and simple. My shot gun is a Sears Ranger mule eared side by side. I have been to the range with people with semi-autos and pumps having problems. Mine shoots all the time. For a long gun I guess my ’50s russian SKS would be a decent choice. I do rather like my Springfield trapdoor in 45-70.

    Many a groundhog has fallen victim to the Favorite. They have learned the click of the hammer cocking is time to get out of dodge.

  • As a fighter jet is only as good as the pilot fying it, a gun is only as good as the person firing it (aka: the man who took out the shooter in the Texas Church with one shot to the head). If you can’t hit a bull in the but with a base fiddle (like me) then ir dosen’t mattwer how good the gun is.

  • Any gun that you shoot well
    and can supply with easily accessible ammo is a good survival gun.

  • Bill your comments about the value and utility of a tactical shotgun are right on. However there is another product, Hunt Group FD-12 Semi-Auto magazine fed bullpup 12ga., 28″ long with 18.5″barrel. It has high versatility. You can perform urban, suburban or around the house home defense CQB with this tactical shotgun. It is very good at hunting deer, anarchist, birds and quad rotor drones. The magazines come in 20 round drum, 2, 5, 10 round stick formats. The ability to switch stick magazines is vastly superior to reloading tube magazines. With 000 bucks you can put out 160 9.14mm rounds in less than 10 seconds. That is more fire power than a 9mm submachingun and it is effective out to 125 yards. Another new product that has multi-category capabilities is the 6mm ARC AR. Finally, long range hunting with an AR is practical as well as all the other standard AR features and it outperforms trusty old 308W. You can actually just have an upper in this caliber and swap it out as necessary on your 300 BO AR pistol CCW truck gun..

    • updated comments:
      Black Aces Tactical FD-12 Semi-Auto Bullpup 12 ga. Best Home Defense Shotgun, 8 fellow owner friends concur, get a puppy
      Springfield XDM 9mm full length is best pistol, the Tactile features whip Glock for utility
      22″ 6mm ARC shoots groups under a dime and is a light weight AR QED, Double utility as hunter etc, no need for bolt gun.
      Put a rare breed trigger in the truck gun, pray and spray options are available
      When you have these four there is little need for something else called a survival gun

  • I believe a better article is where to get ammo or how to make your own. Having been raised loading shot for the shotguns and doing well as a kid shooting handguns was not done as much, Being a woman and marrying a man (no comments) who didn’t shoot or have any idea or desire to has been interesting as my brothers (marines) and sons also served they all enjoy and understand firearms LSS I let one of the boys “borrow” my shotguns and so have only a S & W handgun. Getting ammo has been a real problem as this state is one of the worst. Hard to practice when you are so low on ammo.

  • Not Impressed. None of these firearms would be a choice for me.

    ESPECIALLY the AR7 survival rifle , which has been easily and faultlessly eclipsed by the Ruger 10/22

    The writer of this article should get some more real life experience. Some of the droolers out here are hanging upon his every word,
    and he’s telling them the glock, with it’s horrendous safety record, ans spotty design, is a good pistol, for new, untrained people..

    He should also know that using the brand Kel-Tec, and “dependable” , in the same sentence is a bad idea, let alone offering a “cheaper alternative”.

  • My personal favorite survival gun is a Savage 24 in .22 magnum over 20 gauge. iI have a Ruger Single Six to go along with that. Basically take down any critter on the continent. My Winchester 94 in .30-30 is my rifle if I should ever get in a firefight. I have a few sxs doubles that I like to shoot, but my Mossberg 500 fills the bill for a defensive weapon.
    I have several muzzle loaders, in fact, I build them. When the ammo is gone, black powder can be home made, and I even have a tool for making percussion caps.
    I also have moulds for all my calibers, and reloading dies for all my cartridge guns.
    As for extreme circumstances, Ruger revolvers in .357, .44 magnum,.45 Colt, and a S&W .500.help, as well as a few other arms. Never been fond of the AR format, not especially into semi autos,though I have a Mark3 that’s accurate and fun to shoot, and a 10/22.
    I like Rugers, though all but my .45 Colt needed trigger jobs to satisfy me. My .44 maggie with the 10-1/2″ barrel is the most accurate handgun I’ve ever had, and scoped and shot from a rest will accurately take a deer at 100 yards. So much for being useless for hunting…

  • Interesting selections. For the economically challenged, remember that surplus/used weapons can often be a good choice.
    For reliability in an inexpensive handgun, the Eastern Bloc Tokarev pistols with 9×19 mm and 4.25″ barrels are excellent, and under $350. Get matching numbers because barrel bushings matter. I bought one through Gun Broker for just over $200 a year ago and I picked up 5 extra 7 rd mags for $80. I also got two in 7.62x25mm with xtra mags. Surplus 7.62 Tokarev ammo is still easy to find as well, and even cheaper than 9×19. All three pistols with a total of 11 mags was under $1000. I also bought a tool to make FMJ 7.62 Tok rounds into HP rounds, dropping the bullet weight from 90 grains to 82 grains, and muzzle velocity went from 1360 fps to 1440 fps.
    For concealed carry, the Ruger EC9s has impressive accuracy and the slim profile makes it easy to conceal. Extended mags give 10 rd. capacity for only another 1/2 inch magazine extension. My wife loves it, and switched to this from a Charter Arms Lady Detective .38. The used EC9s was only $215 at a local gun show from a private party. I bought 4 extra ProMag 10 rd. mags on ebay for another $70. Already had lots of ammunition or this.
    The Mossberg Maverick 88 is only $275, and takes many 500 accessories, including shoulder stocks with a pistol grip and extended mags. I found two of these used locally and spent just $380 total, and one already had the pistol grip and extended magazine. A neighbor and I went in together and purchased 2 1200 rd. cases of 2.75″ 12 ga. in .00 a couple of years ago.
    Not counting ammunition, our total family armory costs less than $3000, with one high-powered rifle, two handguns, a shotgun and a .22 lr rifle per person x 4 persons.
    I, however, still prefer muzzleloading.
    You can still buy surplus large-ring Mauser action rifles for under $225 in both 7x57mm and 8x57mm. The 7×57 can be re-chambered into 7mm-08, and .308 cartridges resized to 7mm-08 easily, making brass readily available. I bought one for my wife for $190, paid another $45 for a nylon sporter stock, cut an re-welded the bolt handle myself. A local gunsmith re-chambered the rifle and installed a scope mount in return for my labor rebuilding his outboard carburetors. It still has the military stepped barrel, but from a bench rest it now shoots sub 2″ spreads at 200 yards. My total cost was under $275.
    For a survival rifle, I picked up a Bronco .22LR at a garage sale for $25 just a week ago. 5000 rds of Winchester .22LR HP ammo was only $450 through Gunbot.

  • I have a Beretta PX4 in 9mm. Is this a good weapon or is there one better? It seems to shoot fine for me, but I have large hands.

    • If it works well for you and you’re comfortable with it, not much more to be said. I personally prefer the larger Berettas for the same reason as you, and yes I carry them concealed comfortably and without printing.

  • There is not a big game animal on the North American continent that has not been taken with a 357 Magnum. I personally have taken 2 deer with my 686, so I call B/S on the idea that sidearm is no good for hunting. BTW, snake loads are also available for wheel guns and 22’s too.

  • “Favorite firearms’. Always a loaded topic. I have my own ‘favorites’, but, then, again, I am proficient with all of them. The absolute ‘best’ firearm is the one you own, are familiar with and can shoot well. Example…One day at the range a guy was shooting a ‘Hi-Point’ 9mm. A lot of those there kind of poked fun at him and a couple even challenged him to a ‘match’, so-to-speak. He smoked them without breaking a sweat. While certain brands or makes have better reputations than others…it comes down, ultimately, to the shooter and their skill. Just my 2 cents. Oh…and ‘no’…I wasn’t the guy with the Hi-Point. I was shooting a Sig.