Top 6 Survival Rifles And Why You Need One

Whether you are prepping for the zombie apocalypse or the aftermath of a hurricane, self-defense is an important aspect of surviving any disaster.

Everyone has their preference as to what qualifies as the best survival weapon. History has proven the rifle to be the best all-purpose firearm to face a variety of combat and self-defense scenarios.

However, a rifle should only be part of what many preppers refer to as a layered defense system. It doesn’t matter if you are bugging out or sheltering, your need to arm yourself with a variety of weaponry, self-defense skills and training is the same. With that said, if you could have only one firearm in a survival situation it should be a quality rifle.

Though handguns and shotguns are also to be considered, a rifle will give you the most versatility for handling a variety of post-disaster needs from hunting to perimeter security. However, the options and varieties when it comes to choosing a survival rifle are nearly endless and even the most avid shooters and preppers struggle to choose a favorite.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to your own personal preferences and needs, as there is no such thing as the perfect survival rifle.

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Below we will feature a handful of rifles that are commonly considered to be among the best all-purpose firearms to have on hand when SHTF.

1. AR-15 – The AR-15, which is manufactured by dozens of individual companies and comes in a variety of styles, is one of the most widely used rifles in the world.

ar15 rifleThe semi-automatic AR-15 was designed by Armalite, who then sold the design to Colt in the early 1960s. The updated fully-automatic Colt AR-15 became the standard infantry weapon of the US Military and has since become a favorite in military, law enforcement, and civilian communities alike.

The AR’s popularity comes from its accuracy, reliability, and nearly unlimited levels of customization thanks to its modular design and two-piece receiver.  The rifle is capable of firing either 5.56x44mm or .223 caliber rounds, typically delivered from a 30-round magazine. Both Armalite and Colt still produce semi-automatic versions of the AR for civilian purchase, but other popular manufacturers include DPMS, Smith & Wesson, Remington, and Bushmaster.

One of the best start-up AR-15s for survival purposes is the DPMS Sportical, which will only set you back about $700. It’s a lightweight and ready-to-shoot carbine-style AR with a 16-inch barrel and adjustable stock capable of firing either 5.56 or .223 rounds. Like most ARs, it can be upgraded with an endless array of accessories to suit your post-disaster survival needs.

2. AK-47
– Like the AR-15, the AK-47 is one of the most popular rifles in the world, and easily one of the most widely recognized.

AK47 rifleThe rifle has seen action all around the globe and is praised for its ability to withstand use and abuse in nearly any terrain, conditions, or combat scenario. An AK-47 can be submerged in water or mud, go through a sandstorm, or fall off a cliff and still fire without fail.

That’s because unlike most modern-day tactical rifles, the 60-year old design of the AK employs loosely fitting moving parts that give it the ability to sustain abuse. The tradeoff is relatively mediocre accuracy, but a 30-round magazine of 7.62x39mm rounds should be more than enough to hit your target in a survival standoff. If not, the sheer intimidation of the gun’s appearance and rate of fire will be enough to send a clear message to your attacker not to mess with you.

Though AK-47 is commonly considered a “bad guy” gun, the stereotype attached to it in normal times may come as an advantage during a disaster. Basic models can be purchased for about $500, also ammo is cheap and abundant. AKs are great considerations for preppers on a budget who want to send a clear message to anyone who tries to harm them when SHTF.

3. M1 Carbine – Though it hasn’t seen active duty in combat since Vietnam, the M1 Carbine was for years considered to be one of the best combat rifles in the world.

m1 carbineDesigned as a more compact and lightweighted version of the M1 Garand, a WWII infantry staple, the M1 Carbine was an incredibly versatile rifle that had high effect and tremendous accuracy, especially at mid-range.

To that effect, the M1 Carbine still serves as a great all-purpose rifle. The standard comes with a 15-round magazine of .30-caliber rounds, which aren’t the best for taking down targets at a distance, but serve their purpose at closer ranges and in hunting scenarios.

A modern take on the M1 Carbine, the AOM130, is available from Auto Ordinance for about $800. The rifle, made in the USA at Kahr Arm’s Worcester, MA plant, weighs in at just 5.4-pounds and features an 18-inch barrel and traditional walnut stock.

Unfortunately, the original models from WWII and Korea are getting harder to come by, which is unfortunate given the fact that even the old ones are still battle-ready anytime. However, .30-caliber ammo is becoming increasingly more expensive and harder to come across giving the M1 Carbine what is probably its only disadvantage as a modern-day survival rifle.

4. Ruger 10/22 – Some preppers insist upon arming themselves with the latest and greatest tactical firearms with the most firepower. Others believe basic is better and consider the .22-caliber Long Rifle (LR) to be the best and the only rifle you need to survive any disaster. If you subscribe to the latter theory, there are few better options than the Ruger 10/22.

Ruger 10/22Like most quality .22 LRs, the Ruger 10/22 is the perfect rifle for those new to shooting and a great starter gun for children and young adult shooters. The .22-caliber rimfire ammunition doesn’t deliver any kickback or recoil, but can hit targets at 100-yards with deadly precision and ease. The carbine-style rifle comes in stock with a 10-round rotary magazine that sits flush with the stock of the gun, helping to give it a lower profile and more comfortable carry.

One of the biggest advantages of a .22-rimfire long rifle is the abundance and affordability of ammunition. This will allow you to enjoy endless days of target shooting before SHTF and the opportunity to stockpile plenty of backup rounds to have on hand when disaster strikes. Fortunately, ammo costs shouldn’t be much of a concern to begin with, as the gun itself will only set you back a couple hundred bucks. From there you can customize and accessorize your Ruger to suit your specific survival needs.

5. Marlin 1985 GS – If you want a compact rifle with big stopping power that will take down nearly any type of game in any kind of whether, look no further than the lever-action Marlin 1985 GS. Despite the appearance of a menacing big-game hunter, which is indeed, the 1985 GS only measures 37-inches overall and weighs just 7-pounds.

marlin 1895 gsAt 18.5-inches, the barrel of the gun is only slightly larger than a carbine-style rifle, but the .45.70 Gov’t issued rounds over stopping power unlike most guns of its size. Whether you’re up against a mob of angry looters, zombies, or a wild bear, the Marlin 1985 GS will have no problem mowing down anything in its path.

In addition to its sheer stopping power, the rifle classic employs a classic walnut and stainless steel design that’s both aesthetically pleasing and practical for battling against corrosion in rough weather. The rifle starts at about $650, a reasonable price to pay for a rifle that’s guaranteed to put food on the table and stop enemies in their tracks when the going gets rough.

6. Henry Arms AR-7 – The term “survival rifle” was originally designated for those guns designed to be carried in the cockpits of military aircraft when a pilot was shot down in enemy territory.

Henry arms AR7 Survival RifleThe gun needed to be compact, lightweighted, and capable of taking down both wild game and enemy combatants with reliability and accuracy. To that tune, the US military adopted the Springfield Armory M6 Scout as their rifle of choice for aircraft pilots. This collapsible gun featured two barrels that shot both .22 LR and .410 shotgun rounds giving it added versatility.

Though the Scout could still be considered a good survival rifle today, a more modern take on the survival rifle can be found in the form of the Henry Arms AR-7. The AR-7 weighs a mere 3.5-pounds and measures just 16-5-inches when broken down, making it ideal for concealed carry in a bug out bag, vehicle, or even underneath your jacket.

The rifle comes with two 8-round magazines for chambering .22 LR ammunition, which is one of the best and most readily available all-purpose survival rounds. The gun will only cost you about $280 and can serve as either your primary or backup survival rifle.

The rifles featured above by no means constitute a comprehensive list of the best all-purpose survival rifles. There is a nearly unlimited array of options to choose from, each of which have their advocates and serve various needs in the military, law enforcement, hunting, and target shooting community.

If you want to have the best chances of surviving a disaster scenario you must equip yourself with a firearm that you feel comfortable shooting at both two-legged and four-legged targets to protect and provide for yourself.

The selections above were chosen for their popularity, versatility, affordability, and ability to be handled by shooters of all levels. The choice comes down to you, but in the end the best survival rifle is the one you have with you, the one you have ammo for, and the one you’re trained to shoot effectively.

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Written by

Cody Griffin is do-it-yourselfer, and avid outdoorsman. He is a self-proclaimed jack-of-all-trades and his work can be found across the web on several survival, outdoor, and lifestyle blogs. You can send Cody a message at editor [at]

Latest comments
  • AR-15? yeah, if you have money to burn. But for situations under 100 yards (and 50-75 more likely) I’ll take my Saiga 12 gauge. With a 12 round mag loaded up with 00 buck, they will soon know you mean business. Next AK-under folder with 30 and 75 round mags, need longer range, NMH91 and use the same mags and ammo. Closer in, .45 Glock…….Glock 39 in .45 gap, Beretta 92. Backup: S & W 3000 folder, 10 rounds, Mossberg 500. Marlin Tube fed .22 and a Marlin “Papoose” .22 A couple of M-14-S in reserve would be nice! And maybe a Bushmaster, I think if someone had something like this, he would have most of the based covered. I’ll have to ask Santa!

    • your talking about money to burn, and than list an arsenal…really?

      • Arsenal? Webster’s Definition is: A “place” for making and storing arms and military equipment. The word arsenal has nothing to do with anything that relates to an amount or quantity! So, please advise us, as to what you are implying. Thank you.

        • “The arsenal” can a place to store weapons, “an arsenal” can be the inventory within “the arsenal” … MS Word Dictionary … Arsenal = store, battery, cache, collection, stash, … it’s both.

        • Don’t be a semantics tyrant Fran. You know what he meant. sheesh

        • You know what he means., ‘picky-picky’.

        • know the difference between a gun collection and an arsenal? A gun collection is before an arrest, the other after! LOL!

          • They often refer it as a cache of weapons, after rest.

      • And for the money that the AR15 costs, a person can buy 2 guns, possibly 3.

        The Papoose he listed, for instance, costs 1/3rd to 1/4th what the AR15 costs, and can easily be taken down and fit into a backpack. It’s good for small to medium game for food, while being quiet enough to reduce the chances of you being found by someone who may kill you. And it’s less likely to scare animals away. I have a Papoose,and it’s a good gun for a great price, with storage space in the stock as well.

        And also way cheaper is the SKS. I have one as well. It’s more accurate than the AK, and can be used for larger game and human threats. I have 30 round and 20 round detachable magazines for mine that are AK style but designed to fit the SKS.

        The Mossberg 500 is also relatively inexpensive, with a lot of options and aftermarket support.

        The cost of those three guns combined would be about the average cost of the AR15, and would cover pretty much every situation you would encounter, except for where a handgun would be better.

        • Where are you buying those 3 guns for less than $650 (going rate for a SW M&P15 at my local shop)? Then on top of that, I can carry 300 rounds for an AR as opposed to the weight of 100 rds of your combined choices. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not insulting your choices. Those are fine weapons, but in my experience (15 years as an infantryman with 3 of them in Iraq), life is easier when you only have to carry one or two different cartridges, instead of three or four. 5.56 may have its drawbacks, but it has served me well and I have absolutely no problem trusting my life to it. It has stopped enough vehicle and bad guy threats to earn my respect.

          • First off, I said “two, or POSSIBLY three”. I didn’t definitely say three, just that it might be possible.

            Second, I was going by what appears to be an average price I’ve seen for the AR in gun shops, not a lower than average price like you mentioned.

            I paid $289.99 for my Papoose at Sportsman’s Warehouse, and since then have seen them for less online.

            The SKS isn’t hard to find for about the same price, assuming no more bans happen like the one passed during the Clinton administration. Although it may be hard to find new ones, unlike when I bought mine in 1992, which I paid $150 for. Prices went down to as low as $80-90 after that, but then shot up after the ban was announced.

            That’s two rifles for about, or maybe less than, the cost of the $650 you one you found, making what I said easy to do. And way less if the AR price is average.

            The Mossberg 500 lists at Bass Pro for $329.99, so it might can be included as well if the AR price is average. The total for all 3 I mentioned might run a little more than the average AR price, but it’s still in the ballpark.

            I already have all three (plus a LOT more guns to choose from), so why would I need to buy an AR too? I’m not saying it’s a bad gun, but I just don’t need one. And I have a choice that can vary according to the circumstances. It really depends on the actual type of survival situation and what’s needed.


        • if your life aint worth a $2000 rifle, (includes silencer, scope, Ciener .22lr conversion unit, luminous sights, trigger job,) why bother surviving? You coudln”t possibly be skilled with anything other than a silenced .22lr for the difference in cost. it takes 5000 rds per year to stay good and as much spent on training to get good in the first place. At 20c per rd, that’s $1000 a year just for ammo and we all know that the range trip costs as much or more than the ammo

          • Huh? “You coudln”t possibly be skilled with anything other than a silenced .22lr for the difference in cost”?

            That makes no sense. And you don’t know what guns I’m skilled with.

            It’s not about what my life is worth. A person doesn’t need a $2000 gun to survive. People were surviving long before there was “silencer, scope, Ciener .22lr conversion unit, luminous sights, trigger job”, and many of them were poor, making do with a little as a single shot or bolt action .22 LR.

            Oh, and “we all know that the range trip costs as much or more than the ammo”? No, “we all” do NOT know that. I don’t have to pay to go to a range when I can go to where I shoot in the desert, just like a lot of people around here do.

            In fact, I’ve never had to pay to shoot at a range. The only ranges I shot at were when I was in the military, or when I lived in Florida and shot at the range in the Ocala National Forest, which has no fee.

          • When the shtf the weapon of choice will be; drum roll, fog running around the room, clash of cimbals, WHAT EVER IS AVAILABLE!

            Get familiar with every type of weapon you can beg borrow or steal so that you will be able to pick up and use any weapon you can. I don’t need to itemize all the experience I’ve had to justify my advice. I gave up bragging after the first time I faced a life and death challenge and survived.

            None of you know what situation you will be faced with so prepare now while you can.

            Any military people will tell you that no plan survives the first contact. Heroics is doing something, and cowardice is doing nothing. Educate your self. Knowledge is the one weapon that can’t be confiscated.

            Survival is a mindset, not a trophy. If you think one weapon is better than another; prove it!

            Semper fi!

          • Wait, wait, wait, guys. Dang guys, I know survival is serious business, but lighten up enough to recognize satire. The computer doesn’t relay tone of voice, but look at the depth of his erroneous statements. That should be a give away.

          • Sorry Bill, but BS!

          • This comment doesn’t even deserve a reply but I had to anyway. $2000 rifle my a$$

          • Bill, I think you will lose this argument. When I look at what it takes to really set up a weapon for yourself, you are right on. Yes, there are those who can spend unknown hours finding the $20 cheaper price you can never beat, and will set up with the most economical parts, and pump through the cheapest ammo that leaves your gun a mess and a unknown added cleaning time, if properly addressed.
            In our county here in Florida, we are allowed safe shooting practices, as long as you own/rent greater than an acre, but who wants to irritate their neighbors and advertise to the world what you have? After all, a suppressor means you are paying for subsonic rounds. Again, this proves right on costs including range time.
            It still comes down to personal choices, as the author mentions. Some people are happy driving a 25 year old Yugo, another enjoys and can afford the Mercedes E-class. If costs were the only factor, then we would all be driving the unibody Yugo.

          • Out of that 2000.00 just give me an SKS for 400.00 or less and 30 round mags. I will spend the difference on ammo!

          • It sounds like you got it all figured out and that’s good. However just because you got to shoot 5000 rounds a year to stay good does NOT mean that everyone has to. . $2,000 is not easy to get for a lot of people. Everyone has a right to bother survivng riich,poor, or iin between.

      • I would add one more rifle for the hunter/prepper/survivalist/home defense and sport shooting. Made in the USA, licensed by AK and more accurate than the AK47 are the RAS47 and C39v2 made by Century Arms. It is a civilian version of the AK47, it is semi-automatic so you can legally own it and a well made rifle. Prices start around $700 and goes up depending how you order it.

      • I don’t think he meant to say have ALL of them. Let me review Cody. I like the AR-15 a lot, buy won’t pay that price. I’ve been on the wrong end of that AK, so that’s out. The Ruger 10-22 will be my first rifle, after I get my handguns sorted out. The Marlin is just AWESOME, but I don’t think it would do me any good. I would go get the AR-7 right now, if I could get the .410 barrel, also .Oh, the M1 has great sentimental value, but the ammo…. .

        • Sam, I have carried the M1 Garand, the M1 and M2 Carbine, the M14 and the M16. I am a Nam vet and yes I have been on the receiving end of both the AK47 and the SKS as well as several other former Eastern Bloc firearms. I have owned the M1 Carbine, the US made AK47 as well as the Romanian SKS and the Russian Mosen Naguant 7.62x54r (which I still own). I as a personal choice like the Mosen Naguant for long range I have a 20x40mm Graduated Scale Scope and Bi-pod on mine and have hit distance as far as 1000 yards. I hit solid hits at 450 yards with my SKS and a 4x9mm Graduate Scale Scope, I have my SK47 for anything under 300 yards and can do head shots clean and clear using Iron sights on it. I also own a Mossberg 12 Gauge which I have and only use PDX1 rounds in. I have 2 hand guns a Taraus PT 1911 in .45 ACP and a Highpoint also in .45 ACP. I am 75 years old and Retired from the Army after 40 plus years, having served as an MP and in MI, not bragging just being hones and factual. I presently live on the West Slope of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado in the High Desert Country and go shooting at my local County Sheriffs Range about once a week. The Sheriff and I get along because he likes to watch me drive some of his hot shot deputy’s while on the range, he often tells them they need to out shoot me and that just irritates the devil out of them.

          • You wouldn’t happen to have a JR. that’s in AF security? That aside, for vets in our age bracket it is easier to have a single tuck gun that does it all, or at least most. I find the 300 Blackout 10.5″ AR pistol capable of CQB and 1 MOA deer hunting at 450 yards. It is a legal CCW weapon at 25.5″ long. Dual IR lasers makes it day or night. For backup I have several Springfield XD types and calibers, but the simple Browning Hi Power 9mm works with modern ammo. For longer range the simple Ruger Predator 6.5CM, again with good ammo, will be effective at a mile. In general a pistol, AR pistol, long range bolt gun, 12 ga., and a 22LR covers 99% of what you would ever need.

          • Thanks Sargent for all your time defending me and our country. I only have seven years of active and reserve service. However, it is training and experience that cannot be realized in civilian life. I have a Ruger SR9 9mm pistol and a Marlin 30-30 Model 336. That’s all the money I have for firearms. I figure I can only shoot one at a time and they might as well cover the gambit of scenarios. Ii carried the M16 on active duty and the M203 in the National Guard. We also learned how to fire the M60 MG and a variety of other weapons. The M16 was only in service for about 4 years when I joined in 1972. Most of us, who hunted or shot in competition, were used to wood-stocked rifles and shotguns. The Mattel rifle was a completely different animal. I say Mattel rifle because the stock components were manufactured by Mattel, the toy maker. Easy to shoot compared to the M14 I got to qualify with at an Army ROTC summer camp after high school. The only thing with the M16 is that it is like cleaning a car engine with a toothbrush. Man do they collect the powder residue and dirt. Still would prefer the M14. The light weight was ok. When I went to W. Germany, I was in the 8th Mechanized Division, so weight was not a problem. I still prefer a .30 caliber rifle over a glorified .22. The 1903 Springfield and M1 proved the value of the .30 cartridge. Thanks Sargent for making sure I could live free and enjoy life in our country America. Semper Fi.

          • I think we were talking about survival riles. To me survival rifle is a take down rifle that fits in your bug out bag. I have an AR7 and it is neat. The Papoose looks good as well.

          • Way to go! Thank you for your service!!!!❤️

          • I fully agree with your assessment and presentation. I too am Retired and tired again. SSG E6 Army. The best part of the presentation is that most of the weapons are cost effective and stand the test of time as well as accuracy.

        • I would get the bag to carry the AR7 and extra clips if you like! Hade mine for 40 or so years now, never used it. I don’t know if the 410 will also fit on the 7, will have to look into that. It does sound very good!

          • Thankyou one and all we are certainly of the same mindset!
            As expected, the reason to be prepared has been the Boy Scout Motto ! So scouts ready now!

          • AR-10.308. Scoped. 12 mags and 600 rounds. Thank you.

        • 30 carbine ammo…been looking for over a year, and still can’t find .the bullets so i can reload…nothing!

          • Almost all reloading supplies are unavailable and have been for at least the last couple of years. Component manufacturers are supplying ammo manufacturers first. What little reloading supplies that are available for the most popular calibers sells immediately. And most old inventory for obsolete calibers is gone too, because when the popular calibers are not available, the obsolete calibers are resurrected by those who have the hardware to use it (like .30 Carbine).

      • I know right LOL

      • Ideally, one has been collecting what they may need “over the years” . And Very common ammo! 223, 308 or 30-06., AR7 is nice with extra clip’s. (mm, 45, 380, 9mm, 40 various Federal agency’s have stocked piled this 40 ammo. Glock ,Ruger, S & W, Wather PPKS , Bursa, pistil’s last 22 ammo. .Water purify equipment, food for on thee move rain, cold and hot clothing. Last Filed reloading equipment and buillets, some brass. Primers manufacturing have all been bought up by the Chinese under the Clinton precedency! So you can no lounger get them.. the so called pandemic has totally stopped there manufacturing and sales to America! Those who can get the 300 BO and in a war set, improvised a suppressor- go for it!

    • I agree with the Saiga 12, and while I own a M-4 and an AK, I prefer my Ruger mini 30 and mini 14. I think it is wise to get at least 2 rifles that handle the same ammo.

      • I’m with you about having two guns that take the same ammo. It’s easy to own a 22 rifle and a good 22 handgun. You can even find 357mags in both hand guns and rifles, which will handle 357, 38sp. and some even 9mm in the same gun. I’m surprised that no one mentioned the SKS as a very dependable rifle, more durable than an AK47 anyday.

        • “It’s easy to own a handgun”… unless you live in a high-density urban area in a state that hates handguns. You either need to be extremely lucky to have your permit approved, have a sitting Judge as a golfing buddy, or risk arrest by getting one illegally.
          7 times out of 10 a (insert your favorite caliber here) handgun is the perfect survival tool, but it is NOT “easy” to get!

          • Sir, I humbly have to disagree with you on this one. While it is good to own a hand gun, it is to be used only when your rifle or shotgun fails. A hand gun is a last resort at really close range, while your rifle and or shotgun is to keep the threat at bay. You do not want them to get close to you. even a rugger 10/22 with a 30 round magazine will lay down a good amount of suppressive fire that will give them something to think about and is also good for sniping. figure on a 100 yard range. it an inexpensive weapon and so is the ammo. You can carry 10 times the ammo that you can carry for a 5.56 nato because of weight. I am not saying that this is my opinion of the best rifle to own but cheap and dependable and better also at close range or CQB. I have a 10/22 to back up my M-4 carbine because it is light and small to carry. I also have a 12 gauge Rem.870 and several .40 cal Glock hand guns for when it becomes Katie bar the door time. LOL

          • I live in the great free state, that believes that if you make it harder for law abiding citizens to own guns the criminals won’t have any. Effective Oct.1,2013. Need for you guys to consider a handgun that will also fire your rifle ammo. Hi-Point which is all composit is made here in the U.S.A. their carbines are nice, their hand guns Personally I could care less about, but Stoeger Cougar makes a really nice 9mm
            Handgun, and if I could find one of the origional ones,would have to move out of state to buy it.

          • if you’re at lethal risk (necessary to even point a gun at somebody) why would you care about getting busted for gun possession, hmm? If you pay attention to what it is and how you carry it, nobody else will ever know that you have one, much less ccw it.

            I’ve had a score of traffic tickets and warnings issued to me, sitting in the cop’;s car, wearing a pistol that was a felony for me to possess in such a manner . 🙂 at that time and place.

          • aint no reply button on the 1022 guy’s post. So I’ll post it here. 🙂

            no, you CANNOT carry 10x as much ammo for the .22lr as for the 223. 55 gr 223 is 40 rds to the lb, .22lr is 135 rds to the lb. 62 gr 223 bullets, lowers the number to 35, but at best, you get 4 to 1 rds of .22lr, as compared to 223. While you either won’t need many 223’s or you’ll be dead, and you’d better have a silencer, being without the range, power and soft body armor (and car) penetration of the 223, and the ability to shoot our GI rd, is a really, really bad idea for a shtf gun.

          • So why not just carry a Springfield XDM .40 double stack (16 rounds) and two clips. Has a detachable flashlight and red dot lazer and is easy to conceal. Back it up with a 0.45 1910 Colt with a load of black tallon bullets. Just in case have you’re 12 gauge ready to go with a case of shells and a Remington 16 gauge. It certainly doesn’t hurt to have a .22lr browning stock feed and a ruger .22lr pistol, a colt .25 (from Korea). Then finally hide a 9 mm Rhobaugh'(?) 9mm in your pocket, just for fun. What do you think?

        • If I’m lugging around a longarm (possible exception of a Marlin Papoose .22lr) it’s not going to be limited by using a pistol caliber. It’s almost certainly going to be a shorty AR in 223, with a .22lr conversion unit and a silencer. the pistol will see very little use (or you’ll die with it) when everyone else is using longarms. 🙂 So my choice is to just retain the same gun that I ccw daily, a keltec PF9. in the same front pants pocket rig, cause it’s concealable, accessible, out of the way of the rifle and the pack, and protected from debris. It takes the GI rd, which shouldn’t matter, but it’s nice to have. 🙂 so is the .22lr conversion unit for it (from Twisted Industries).

          • My Henry .357 lever action is in no way limited by the use of a pistol calibre. Add some Buffalo Bore or Leverevolution rounds and critters within 150 yards don’t have a prayer. No fancy glass or dots required…

        • That really depends on where the SKS was manufactured. Those mfg. in Russia are far superior than those from China. I’ve heard mixed reviews regarding those made in other Eastern Bloc nations. The longer barrel may have something to do with the greater accuracy, than the AK-47. That is my personal experience with both models.

        • nah. why lug around a rifle that can’t do anything better than your pistol? Give me an AR15 with a silencer and a Ciener .22lr conversion unit and a pocket 9mm, and I”ll be well-covered. shtf is going to mean COMBAT, dont kid yourself. If it aint shtf, a rental satellite phone and your daily ccw pistol will do far more for you than any longarm.

          • Well at least we found the crack head of the group

      • I agree with your selection of the Ruger Mini 14 and/or Mini 30. For long range stuff I have a bolt action .308. But you’re right, most action will take place under 100 yards. If I were going to use a .22 LR then I’d choose a tube fed like the Marlin model 60, 15 rounds are better than 8 or 10. I like the accuracy of Winchester 270 pump and 290 auto.

        • We have AR 15 and mini 14 that use same ammo, two 9mm pistols and 12 gauge shotguns. That should cover anything we need, we also have hunting rifles, muzzle loader and bows. I love the mini 14.

          • Inherited: .35 Rem Pump, (2) .30-06 Semi-Auto, (3) .30-30 Levers, .243 Win, .22 WMR, .22 LR. Bought: .257 Weatherby Mag (before .30-06s inherited). Will sell all for the A-15 as configured in image One. Sorry folks, the fun is dun, and ALL of Hell is coming – get ready – ammo, and your state of mind.

          • I would think that most would want to have what your aggressor would use against you. Most common would be 12 gauge (prefer cut shells to 00 buck or expensive slugs). They are effective on deer 40 – 50 yards out.
            .556, .308 or 9mm would be the common man or (military) caliber of choice although an M1 Garand is a nice (deer) rifle when used with the new gas plug for commercial ammunition. Very accurate over great distances.

      • Wise and obviously the thinking of a realist.

      • Actually, when talking about a long range survival situation, the only time you would want to have two weapons that shoot the exact same ammunition is if they were the exact same weapon, so that if one became inoperable, you could use it for parts to keep the other weapon operating. A .22LR rifle for small game, a .30-06 rifle for large game/self-defense, both in bolt action, are the only two sensible choices for survival. Bolt action because it’s more reliable and lower maintenance, especially when you are in the boonies far from a gun store (or all the gun stores have long been looted), and, “Red Dawn” fantasies aside, you are going to want to avoid tactical situations that require rapid fire and high capacity if you want to survive long in a SHTF scenario. Evasion is going to be far more valuable than assault skills and assault rifles.

        • I think I would like to have (a bunch) of guys with the same weapon, but mostly able to use the same amm, rather than a variety – even my ‘snipers’.

        • Yah! I agree. No one will be wasting bullets shooting at something they do not know is “out there” and cannot see.

          But I got a question for readers, since I don’t own a gun yet, other than a pellet rifle [RWS 56] (which may explain why my focus is more on escape and evasion). The Pathfinder Store of David Canterbury fame ( sells shotgun adapter inserts for break-down shotguns (single shot, unless double barreled or triple barreled) allowing them to fire .22 cal, and three other calibers up to .45 cal. But I wonder about accuracy and barrel interior damage shooting bullets through shotgun barrel. Maybe it would be a non-issue in an emergency. I just don’t know; but the implemented idea sounds good to me from an escape and evasion perspective. Any experts able to respond to this?

          • dont limit yourself to a noisy, short ranged single shot, the caliber converters accuracy sucks and so does the bead sight and trigger pull of the shotgun. Save your money. If you can’t afford the real deal (Silenced AR15 shorty, with a Ciener 22lr conversion unit) then get a used .22lr autorifle, preferably a Marlin Papoose, testifre it before buying, and make your own silencer for it. Paladin press and Amazon sell a book ‘how to make a silencer for a .22″ that shows you how to thread your own barrel, internally, so you dont mess with your front sight. need to pay a $200 tax to the feds, tho.

        • you may WANT to avoid such, but that does not mean that the enemy will LET you do so. Deliberately not prepping for combat is just stupid. If shtf, millions of people will be perfectly willing to shoot you on sight, man. Dont kid yourself bout that!

          • Thanks Bill, for your info about the adapter inserts, and for your comments. I agree with what you said–that (1) survival tasks require people to get out to perform necessary tasks; and (2) that one must have an opposing weapon similar to weapons that will be used against you, to avoid being overrun. One thing that I did “kid myself” about is the whole matter of who will be under cover–everyone will be under or behind cover. Thank you.

        • Definitely a lot of bolt action use in “SHTF” survival scenarios overseas, right? Look to real world examples instead of assumong everyone else is inferior with their marksmanshop and survival skills. Darrell, meet my other brother Darrell.
          Yes, evasion is #1.
          Then when evasion fails and while you’re cycling your bolt action and loading 4 more rounds, the bad guy with a 30rd semi-auto will put 5 or 10 on you, and it’s game over. If one is putting together a basic gun cabinet for “what-if” coverage –
          It’s really simple:
          1) An AR or AK for combat situations between 300 and 50 yrs.
          2) Rem 870 or Mossberg 500 12 ga shotgun (or similar) for 50 to zero yards.
          3) 22lr rifle for small game hunting and soft targets.
          4) Pistols in common calibers that you can shoot effectively, and mags would be plentiful vs uncommon. Revolvers if you like reloading more often.
          5) Whatever NATO round chambered large caluber rifle you can afford for distance, Savage makes some accurate rifles w good triggers at low price point, for example.

          In a SHTF scenario, there will be a handful of common calibers one can source, for those who don’t have enough or perhaps get separated from your surplus.

          All the rest is brand loyalty or preference.
          Big picture, cover the major situations and work from there.

          And be evasive.

      • I sure agree with your Ruger Mini-14 and Mini-30. I have a Mini-14 and a Mini-30 is on my wish list. So I have a Savage bolt-action in .308, good scope. I also like your choice of .22, more shots, much cheaper than the 10/22. Large magazines for the 10/22 have a reputation for misfeeds. And I sure don’t want to have to shoot a 45-70! I’ve got a good used pump shotgun. My pistols are a little underpowered: a used .38 revolver and a S&W .22 auto. Both are very reliable. Have a good one.

        • What you said about the high capacity mags for the 10/22 is correct if you are talking about the many off brand mags, the Ruger BX25 mags for the 10/22 do not have a bad reputation and box mag is always better than a tube feed because of reloading speed. You can change a box magazine way faster than you can reload a tube fed rifle.

          • The Ruger 25 round for the 10/22 is reliable, most of the aftermarket magazines rely on copper plated projectiles (bullets) in the 22LR calibre. And the accuracy of the Ruger is simply outstanding. Get a small parts kit for the rifle and if you can obtain a suppressor do so. Quiet shooting draws less attention, and less accurate return fire.

    • AR’s can be had fairly inexpensively, and for less than a saiga 12 ga goes for. While they average the same price in today’s market, if you shop carefully you can easily assemble an AR for 100 bucks less than you can get a Saiga for.

      • Obviously your actual violent combat police, or other tactical experience is quite limited, if you have any at all.

        But even this article steered you and everybody else wrong. Especially since they also considered if you could only have ONE gun and thats it? You don’t see Any military infantry or Specops people carrying anything but one main personal weapon and that’s usually an AR-15/M-16, and perhaps a back up pistol. But they do carry a lot of extra mags/ammo. That’s because you really can shoot or carry only one weapon at a time.

        So by your analysis, Hoff, what are you going to do, when a couple ‘extremely’ suspicious cars come creeping down your driveway, stop periodically, and unass a couple ugly looking zombs with weapons to start to flank your house and continue driving toward your house at the same time? Say, ” hey, wait, dudes, lemme get my AK, or hmmm, maybe i’ll wait till they get under 50 meters so i can really knock em down with double ought, or wait once more, why don’t i just get the the .308 first and head em off before they get too close, oh, pshaw, decisions, decisions!.”

        While there is never anything wrong with having multiple guns, and in a military tactical situation, it is an advantage to have different equipment to suit different applications, but for all the practical purposes this won’t apply to the average citizen, even in an all out state of anarchy and chaos.

        If it’s a matter of money, The money spent on all those extra guns is better spent on a duplicate of your primary, more ammo and mags, and some other ‘stuff’, which would be much more valuable for self protection and ‘helping’ you in a firefight, than a rack full of guns sitting there that they’ll just take anyway after they mob and kill you.

        One properly set up lightweight AR carbine with a 1/7 or 8 twist to accurately handled heavier bullets as well, and with a good tac vest of magazines would be all you needed if you had any kind of half assed decent training or skills. Period.

        • WELL SAID!!

        • That M4 better have a silencer, luminous sight inserts, a scope option, a forend mount for a QD bipod, drop in trigger job and ..22lr conversion unit. I”ve heard that the 1 in 7″ rifling messes up .22lr use. If so, that’s a deal killer. I”ve only used 1 in 9″ rifling twist with the .22lr. that worked fine.

          YOu won’t have any chopper help coming, nor any buddies, so you’d better not miss, and you’d better not be slow, and you’d better not make a lot of noise. Also better not be in the open in daylight. Stick to darkness or thick cover. Or get shot. take your pick.

          • There is no such thing as a “silencer”. As for rifles, I’ll stick with my .308 caliber 18″ bbl Armalite AR-10 for both long & short range work. As for pistols, both 9mm and .45ACP are good to have as they are still the most carried sidearms on the planet and ammo can be picked off the dispatched scumbags if need be. Combined with a 12 gauge, and .22, I think my wife and I have it covered.

          • Everyone seems to be forgetting the underslung 20 mm grenade launcher. Laughing? Ok, take a second to laugh, but, about 20 yrs ago on the cover of a major news magazine that a Viet Nam vet, Green Beret, showed me while saying ‘this MF is ready for some serious S–T’ … was a mere Mexican Drug Cartel ’employee’ – no regular military required – now, can you say ISIS. You better get serious folks – REAL serious.

          • I think those of you who like the idea of a ‘steiner .22LR insert should consider what i’m seeing now in stores like CDNN and Sportman’s Guide, maybe Brownells, etc….actually for about the same price as the conversion. It’s a complete AR upper in dedicated .22lr with 30 round mags that go right into the standard lower receiver. These are nice uppers and Fast switch and you can set the sights better dedicated for.22lr purpose then hoping your 5.56 upper with the .22. inserts will be accurately set.

            Also, the rate of twist for the standard Nam era was 1/14 on many barrels. on a well worn barrel rounds tended to keyhole after about a hundred meters, which didn’t bother too many shooters, because accuracy wasn’t that important at those ranges, just anywhere body hits. and a 5.56 round entering anywhere on a body sideways does a hell of a lot of damage that would even impress the most anally retentive 308 fanboys, lol!

          • Go to and check it out.

        • Again, Widom spoken by a realist.

          • To cav scout the 308 round was made to be shot out of a 22 or 24 inch barrel so to shoot it out of a 18 incch barreled AR10 is drasticly lowering the power of the 308 round there for defeating the purpose of having the larger caliber rifle. If you are going to do that you would be better off with the AR15 because the ammo is way cheaper for the AR.

        • why bother with a duplicate of primary rifle? No, you dont want a 1 in 7 twist. you want 1 in 9″ and 60 gr Nosler Partition softpoint ammo. It will blow 3/4″ holes in people. Nobody is going to just keep on trucking after such a hit, and you have the ability to have a handy rifle with silencer mounted, as well as a Ciener .22lr conversion unit.

        • as a vietnam vet, i’m with you on the AR as longarm. Moss 500 12ga for close up/indoors. For me, shortarms are for CC.

          • BTW: I was there when we switched from M14 to M16. Both worked well for me. seldom used full auto, a lot of ammo wasted that way.

      • you can assemble a nice AR15 for $600, still. Ciener firearms offers a .22lr conversion for it (30 rd box mag) for $200, too. That unit weighs just 3/4 lb, accuracy is 2″ at 50 yds or better. The caliber swap takes just 20 seconds. Some of them need a bit of smithign to work in a given AR. Big deal. $50. The .22 unit save you 30c per shot, vs 223 ammo cost, so a mere 200 rds of practice pays for the smithing IF you have problems with it.

        the .22 unit is welcome at indoor ranges, 223’s, AK’s, and 12 ga usually are not. big calibers are wasted on livestock, dogs, and cats, and that’s mainly what you’ll be shooting, if shtf. (if you know wtf you are doing)

        • Most people have no clue that 1 billion people is 1,000 cities of 1 million people each, and at the end of the Baby Boom there was only 3 billion people on earth, 1960-ish, now there is 7 .3 billion – and nearly all of the new ones are Muslims and other ‘Blacks’. Point is, them livestock and wild game such as deer and elk will be gone in a matter of weeks, so unless you are heading to Yukon Territories, or farther out than that, don’t plan for shooting and eating animals.

          • Jederic! Glad to see that some are finally getting off the mythology Jeremiah Johnson fantasy and waking up to reality. Not to mention the high risk of waking around in the wilderness from two legged predatdors who will shoot you first, and then steal what you have.

            Spend you time better by planning to grow/raise your own food. Plenty of good articles on exactly that on this website.

    • Specific correction. Alec, you play into the ant-gunners hands when you refer to tha AR-15 as the fully automatic rifle used in Viet Nam. That was the sister rifle, M-16. The AR-15 is semi-automatic. Only the gov’t can afford the endless ammo for a full auto rifle.

      • First, the USAF got the first AR-15’s which WERE select-fire. They were meant as a replacement for the aging M-1 or M-2 .30 cal. carbine. They had a cyclic rate of fire over 1200 rpm and, I believe, a 1:12 twist. The idea was to have a very wobbly bullet that would tumble inside the body of your target and cause a more grievous wound.

        Next, for those who are considering an AK type weapon, I would seriously say chose the SKS instead. Not only does it have a milled or forged receiver, vs the AK stamped receiver, but it is probably 3 times as accurate as any AK. It shoots the same, cheap, 7.62x39mm ammo. There are conversion kits to make the SKS accept the 30 rd AK mag, or, if you can find one, the SKS-56 comes with a mag well for the 30 rd AK mag.

        Lastly, I have a Ruger 10-22 that I bought in 1969. (for $49.50) It has digested over 50,000 rounds without a misfire from its stock 10 rd mags. The only malfunction it ever had was from a 50 rd drum mag. The curved 25 and 50 rd mags all worked fine.

        My memory is aging, (I’m 71) but I still remember these distinctions.

        • not correct. the original rate of fire was 750 rpm, and the messed up Winchester powder jacked that up to 900 rpm, but nowhere NEAR 1200 rpm. That’s 20 shots per second, which is utterly uncontrolable with a lightweight 223. When the 223 M16 was being considered for adoption by the military, there was no consideration given to the bullet “wobbling” or tumbling. The issues were giving everyone a full auto option, with a gun, ammo and mags that were light in weight compared to 308, and having more range/penetration than the 30 carbine had to offer.

          • Don’t buy an AK-47 – by the time you need one, either you will be dead or there will be hundreds lying around … theirs.

        • Being 71 years old should allow you to have lots of memories. I’m now 71 too, and I can remember all sorts of things. Of course, some might not have happened exactly the way I remember them. I do remember that when I was married, my wife would often accuse me of having forgotten something she claimed to have told me. But I wrote that off as her not remembering what she had told me. Doesn’t matter now that she divorced me, I can remember things the way I want to remember them, and she can’t blame me for her poor memory.

      • Actually, AR-15 was the original designer’s (Armalite, which AR is short for) model number for the weapon, M-16 was the government’s official designation for the AR-15 when they adopted it. This is similar to Douglas’s DC-3 being adopted as the C-47 by the USAAF. Colt later trademarked “AR-15” for its semi-auto only versions for the civilian market, but using AR-15 and M-16 interchangably for the military weapons isn’t necessarily wrong.

    • the shotgun is too noisy, short ranged, no flashhider for night firing. The ammo is fragile, heavy, bulky. You have to seal shell at the center of the crimp, or it will draw moisture.

      Get an AR15, .22lr conversion unit from Ciener Firearms, and a silencer. the latter takes Federal approval, 20 states have state laws against them, but they are a priceless aid, if shtf. You can buy the AR a piece at a time, if need be. A stripped lower receiver is just $150. In fact, you can buy an 80% finished lower thru the mail, finish the machining on it and get the rest of the parts by mail and nobody will know that you have it. It’s perfectly legal, no serial number or license is required, but I’d make up a number and stamp it onto the gun, just in case somebody gets curious.

      Pay the next day delivery premium. UPS and Fed ex want a signature, but don’t ask for ID, pick a name and an address and BE THERE when the truck shows up. Personally, I would not use the same place for the lower and the rest of the parts. 🙂

      • ,,,That WE pay for with our tax dollars!

        • Actually, this is not funded by tax payer dollars.

          The NFA (National Firearms Act) requires an extensive FBI background investigation, finger printing, and a $200.00 tax stamp. The stamp can be redeemed if you ever give up the device that required it to selling to to a stamp collector. They cannot get them any other way, so you can get the full $200.00 for it. More if you are an adequate horse trader; less if you’re in a hurry.

          As for replacing a shotgun with any .22lr; that’s like comparing a VW Beetle with a farm tractor. The VW is fine with light work, but if you’re gonna do any heavy plowing, you’d better have a tractor.

          I’ve personally compared full auto weapons with 12 gauge shotguns and if for no other reason, a shot gun is less expensive to feed. Remember, a 00 buck will put 12 slugs downrange on one pull of the trigger. If it’s standing up after a couple of these hit them, call for air support.

          Semper Fi!

    • how to CARRY all those guns, and enough ammo to make them worth having wit you, along with a pack full of survival gear, food, water, etc, hmm? How to KNOW when you can get away with just having a shotgun, pellet gun, xbow, bolt action, (or similarly worthless in combat sort of arm)? Why bother with more than one pistol? they are horribly limited. I say that as a world class IPSC competitor and long time hunter with handguns. Get a Keltec PF9 and a Twisted industries .22 conversion unit for it, and call it good as far as handguns go.

      whatever you pick, it better have a .22lr option and a silencer. there’s lots, lots more livestock, dogs, and cats than moose, elk and bears, folks. 22 handles the former just fine, can handle wild hogs, people, and deer, too, given a knowledgable shooter. But without the silencer, subsonic ammo and rapidfire, long distance rifle, with .22lr capability and a pocket pistol, you will be lost.

    • 45-70’s a joke. short ranged, huge shell, even if loaded down, it’s a horrible waste on small game, slow to reload, low mag capacity, a silencer blocks the sights, not a GI rd, no luminous sights, no dark, rustproof finish, all sorts of problems with it. Even for stopping bear charges, I’d take a 308 auto, Like the Remington, for the cheap milsurp practice ammo. It take brain hits to stop charges (reliably) and that requires lots of practice. the 308 easily has 2x the effective range of the 45-70, and you can get a (single shot) adapter for the 308, to take 32 ACP pistol ammo. That .32 insert is a pita, but it’s not NEARLY as big a pita as reloading “squib” loads for the 45-70.

      • Sorry, buddy, but the .45-70 Govt. cartridge is no joke. The cartridge was originally designed as a man-stopper by the U.S. Army (Hence the Govt. designation.) at medium range (100-200 yards). Its current purpose is to stop a large carnivore (like a bear or large cat) or a dangerous herbivore (like a moose of a bison) at similar ranges. Each of these animals can kill you in short order. I carried a Marlin stainless steel (protective finish) in .45-70 Govt. for several years on the trail to my Alaska mining camp. I also carried a Ruger Redhawk in .454 Casull for those times when I had to answer the call of nature and put the lever-action up against a tree. I put my hat on the ground, placed the revolver on the hat, and completed my business without risking being surprised by a grizzly bear with nothing but TP at hand. Speaking of lever-action – it is at least as fast (if not faster) to chamber a second round as any bolt action rifle. There truly is no one-size-fits-all firearm or cartridge. While my Marlin .45-70 Govt. would not be my #1 SHTF firearm, it does have a valued place in my arms room.

        • Yes but his point still stands that there are so many better modern rounds which are lighter and with better ballistics than the .45-70 that it is a joke as a survival round.

          • He made a valid point, that he USES his 45 70 for an actual survival round in a practical real world application every day, and you refute him with nothing hypothetical situations and hubris.
            There i not one right weapon for everyone. PERIOD! The man is al Alaskan bush guide, concerned with large carnivores, not Chicom soldiers, zombies, or an Antifa uprising.
            If that is to him the most practical choice for himself, so be it.

    • How quaint, I’m on a budget but I’ll list an arsenal. Reality break. In a survival situation, you need something to respond to a threat and defend your home. Beyond that, you need food, water, shelter, etc. A firearm is a tool…not a dick extender.

      You don’t need an arsenal and simple is best. Any pistol / rifle combo is good. A 10/22 with a .22 pistol or revolver is good. A basic 12 gauge pump shotgun is very good. A .357 revolver with a .357 lever action is good. An AR carbine with .22 conversion barrel is excellent. Any of the above will be fine. As for the Saiga 12…fun at the range but if someone is bashing in my door, I don’t want to mess with a magazine, hope a round chambers, and hope the thing doesn’t have a FTF or FTE.

      I’ll take a Mossy or Maverick or 870 any day over a Saiga and I own or have owned all of the above. New toys are always fun initially but after awhile you look at them more like gardening tools than toys. Then you realize that some of ones you thought were so cool aren’t useful (Magnum Research that you shot twice, left in the safe for 5 years and sold for a profit) and some of the most useful ones (S&W Model 19, Glock 19) aren’t that cool but always seem to be in the range bag and are the first things you’d reach for in an HD situation.

      So I guess I’m just saying, if you can only afford a Maverick 12 gauge, or a 10/22, or an old 38 Smith or Ruger…awesome. Any of the above will get the job done as well as anything tacticool in 99.9% of situations.

      • I must have been using my firearm incorrectly all along. I should have instead been plowing with my shotgun attached to my dick. Maybe it will not as painful as it sounds. I’ll need a large gauge shotgun, perhaps a 2 gauge punt gun. I just knew something didn’t seem right, but I couldn’t seem to get my hand around it, at least not all the way. Thanks for getting me out of bed and on the right side of the garden. This will improve my survival chances by allowing me to grow more crops, and possibly by reducing the number of kids I’ll have to feed.

        • Hahaha. This whole thread is illuminating, frightening, funny and stupid. When all the dust settles the best firearm for survival is one you have trained with and are proficient with.

    • Why would I want that glock junk? In reality get good weapons . Sig/Hk for example

      • Because you can get 2 Glock 19s for the price of 1 HK or Sig in most cases. There is a reason most police and other security providers around the world issue and carry them.

      • Mags for a Glock 9mm are everywhere.
        Mags for Sig or HK are extremely uncommon.

        Glocks also highly reliable and moderate price. I prefer the better priced XD for my polymer choice – but it is very obvious why Glock and XD are more common than a $800 Sig or Hk.

        Brand loyalty doesn’t increase your survival odds. Common rounds and parts/magazine availability does.

    • Carrying that many guns and ammo for all would be a feat that most would not be able to perform. Also, would not leave much room for other ness. Get one firearm that can do a variety of jobs to reduce weight. I have several firearms in a variety of calibers, but if I had to bug out I would probably carry one rifle and one pistol for wt. I have an AR-15 in 9mm and would consider it but would probability opt for my .308 or 30-06 with my .357/9mm SA revolver and one of my .22 cal. packable rifles.

    • May I point out one small fact that so far everyone has overlooked? There is no such animal as a Marlin 1985GS 45-70 Government rifle. The author should proof read his material BEFORE publishing it, in order to not mislead those who are not gun nuts like us.

      It is a Marlin 1895GS 45-70 Government. I know, small mistake, transposition, but proofreading is a MUST.


    • If it was a human issue and I’m going to have to be outside? I’m taking the DDI AK and the Glock 21 that has been converted to .460 Rowland (.44 mag anyone?), with the parts to turn it back to a 45. Backup pistol is the Glock 30.

    • Shotgun, not me! I want a cartridge that penetrates, that makes the AR-15 or Mini-14 worth saving up for.

      • A 12 gauge shotgun with slugs is much more potent than any AR-15 or Mini-14 at ranges of less than 100 yards.

        Try firing one of these against a Grizzly, Moose, or even a black bear in an emergency situation.

        The 12 gauge slug will down any of these with one or two well placed shots, while your AR-15 or Mini-14 will have you running with your tail between your legs.

        A good 12 guage shotgun can be used for close encounters, hunting larger game, smaller game, birds of any kind, and so on.

        A good 12 gauge shotgun is much more versatile at ranges under 100 yards than any single rifle.

        Try shooting a fast moving poisonous snake with a rifle!

        I have rifles, pistols and shotguns.

        The most versatile by far, is the shotgun.

        BTW, I was a US Marine for 17 years, instructor qualified with both rifle and pistol, and I won the Eastern Division Skeet matches in 1979. You could say that I have a little bit of experience with rifles, pistols and shotguns.

        • Exactly right, cousin stepped on black bear hunting in Minnesota with mini14, shot the bear while running from it, hit it 20 something times, his father downed it with a 30-06. No more deer hunting with the mini14. The bear was sleeping on other side of downed tree.

    • Survival from what ? This article is like an article that describes the best tool for everything. Huh ? What’s the job is the real question. In areas where there are four legged animals that can eat you, the 45-70 or a simple shotgun like a pump gun with modern saboted slugs is the best choice. In a light aircraft, a 12 gauge single shot shotgun and a variety of rounds (shotshells, slugs and 12 ga. flares) is the way to go. If two legged animals are the danger, an AR works.

    • 1) An AR15 is cheaper, holds more ammo and is much more practical than a saiga and way more practical than a fudd M14

      2) .45 cal glocks are horrendous and .45 GAP is difficult to come by unless you can find a steady supplier, which is why most people gravitate towards 9mm, 40s&w, and .45acp.

      I do like the list, but the only changes I would make would be swapping out the m1 carbine for a AR10 chambered in .308 and the 1895 for a mossberg 500 for the availability of ammo and reliability

    • I am an old man now. During the Vietnam war I joined the army, saw the elephant (as the civil war vets used to say) and came home in one piece. Then became a police officer in a very bad drug zone and finally ended up being disabled in the line of duty fighting the Bill and Hillary Clinton drug ring from Mena Arkansas that was providing the drugs to the kids in my area..

      Ive seen people that had been killed with about every weapon you’ve heard of, especially when I later worked in surgery near Kansas City, Missouri. I have helped pull bullets, slugs, and buckshot out of lots of people in surgery as a surgical technologist. When you have been in combat and also worked in surgery repairing the victims of gangsters, druggers, drunks, and idiots, you develop a pretty strong opinion as to what works well to stop those that must be stopped and what doesn’t work. So here is my opinion. from my experience( But remember I am just a grizzled old man who has done and seen a whole lot in this old world not an expert on anything. Take my observations for what they are worth.)

      1. Most non military attacks, shootings, and stabbings occur within 20 to 30 feet of you.. Unless it is a swat situation or military combat there is usually little need for a weapon that shoots and kills at a mile. But like golf clubs, it is nice to have one for every potential situation if you can afford it.

      2. Of all the wounds I have seen and worked on in surgery, the 12 Ga shotgun is the best stopper at the distance you usually have to defend yourself at, which is usually around 20 feet.. You can not beat a 8 shot, simi automatic, short barreled 12 GA shot gun loaded with 3/4 inch, number four (4) buckshot shells,. You don’t have to be a super marksman to hit the target with it and the hydrostatic shock on the target is explosive and puts a stop to the target usually instantly on the spot, The whole idea of defense is to stop the target from what they are doing or about to do and stop them in an instant. However, having said that, a 12 GA shotgun is too big and heavy and too hard kicking for a little person like a little, light, woman. A 20 GA shotgun loaded with no. 4 buck is almost as good as the 12 and will do the job. Almost every experienced police officer grabs that short barrel shotgun when a situation is real dangerous. We used to call them riot guns.

      3.Here is a bit of a curious thing. One terrible weapon no one talks about is an ice pick. I saw, while working as a surgical technologist in surgery, terrible internal wounds with great damage internally caused by .ice picks that were driven into a person and then wiggled around a while, moving the point of the pick from side to side. The point of the pick lacerates everything it is dragged across including arteries and heart muscle. Some black gangsters in Kansas City love their silent, quick, ice picks. Many competing gangsters have lost their hearts, not to a girl, but to a quick ice pick to the heart. I am not saying to defend yourself with a ice picks but just giving you the knowledge that there are many weapons you can use if you have nothing else. Just about any weapon is a bit better than no weapon at all. Ice picks, knives, clubs, even cans of acid oven cleaner with the spray spout drilled to be bigger and sprayed into the eyes of a target, can all be deadly if used with knowledge.

      4. Handguns:. I have seen people that had been hit several times with 45 cal. slugs, or 9mm slugs, or 38 slugs, or even magnum slugs, and live, because the slugs all hit areas of the body not immediately vital to life. I have also seen people arrive DOA at the Hospital from one little 25 Cal. or one tiny 22 cal. slug that hit a vital organ or a big artery or the brain. . The placement of a shot on a target is sometimes more important than the caliber of the gun making the shot. Any gun can be deadly or not deadly depending on where the target is hit. As a boy, on the farm at butchering time, I saw big heavy cattle dropped down dead by a single little 22 caliber bullet between the eyes. Placement of the shot is everything. in defense. Usually a larger caliber bullet will stop a bad guy quicker than a smaller caliber if the target is hit in a vital spot. But not always. There is nothing worse than shooting a bad guy several times and he just keeps coming at you. Lots of policemen have nightmares about that.

      5. A little old cheap gun in the hands of a person who really knows how to use that gun well stands a better chance of surviving then the guy who has a fancy, expensive, large gun that don’t how to shoot it correctly or really know much about the gun. Practice, Practice, Practice. Choose a gun you can comfortably use. Then practice with it and study it and learn about it and its ammo. Remember, the right ammo can make a cheap gun good or bad ammo can render the most expensive firearm ineffective and useless.

      6. I have gone thru great dangers in my life with people trying to kill me and I know from experience that One of the most important things in surviving is prayer. Never sell short the ability of the good Lord to help you survive almost anything.. I have personally had my life saved several times in ways that were just not possible to happen. My being saved was because of my prayers and my faith in Jesus. In the bible it says. “You have not, because you ask not.” that means you have not asked the lord for what you need and that is why you have not gotten what you need. You have to pray and ask the Lord for what you need before you get what you need, including a miracle to keep you alive in a very dangerous situation.

      The above are just observations are from my life of being in danger most of my life.

      • As a fellow Viet Vet, career DoD guy, and Grandpa, I would say that this is a great practical sense write up grandpa Bob. The bottom line is reality. Know the Truth and the Truth will set you free.

        However, your advise, although perfect for the environment of today, it does not address the much less likely SHTF scenario which is the focus of most people who comment here. In that limited SHTF case with proper Friend Foe recognition, you want to shot a known threat as far away as possible. If these type threats are within 100 yards or less you have already lost., unless you have set up an unescapable ambush. Remember. Never-the-less your bottom line stands in any and every scenario. Good job.

        • Shoot not shot, to recap, the 12ga. or 20ga. under the bed Mossberg maverick does the bump in the night job as Grandpa Bob detailed. For the other occasions I prefer a 300 blackout AR pistol 10.5″ truck gun. It handles CQB to beyond 400 yards effectively and you can hunt with it. 20 round magazines work just fine backup up by a Beta CMag for the ambush occasion. Being 25.5″ in length it is a legal CCW carry. I also recommend a Springfield XD in the length and caliber of your choice as a dismounted CCW and backup. The primary long range weapon is what works to shoot them as far away as possible. A properly equipped Ruger Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor with proper ammo will get you out to a mile and its affordable. Overall practice and prayer will rule the day.

          • Phantom30, I’m with you and Grandpa Bob…good job. Consider a can for your .300blk. A Silencerco Omega for CQ is awesome with Sig 220gr OTM subs moving around 1000fps and VERY easy on your ears. You can leave it on and switch out mags with supersonics like the Remington Hog Hammers 130 grain (2030fps) or Hornady Z-Max (2330fps) to reach out to 500+ yards if you really had to and I doubt anyone could figure out where it was coming from with good cover/concealment but be sure to practice with your ears on because the super will still produce a sonic crack. We think alike on weapon usage and backup. I’ve been eyeballing the Hellcat because it’s thinner, tiny, holds more and Springfield will sell it in their LEO program for about $615 with the mini optic. I think the Beta Cmag is cool, but decided against it when I realized it would be a one time use in a CQB. I went with the AT Schmiesser 60 rd mags that you could still snatch off the ground on the run and shove them in your pocket for later, whereas the Cmag would be a lot bulkier. The Schmiesser mags are on sale now at Palmetto for $50 but I waited until black Friday and got them for $39.
            Don Russell, I appreciate where you’re coming from. Check out Primary Arms for their sale on the CMMG 22LR conversion kit for $160 that comes with three 25 round mags. Looks like they worked out the kinks to play nice with Palmetto uppers. Oh, you can get stripped lowers now from Palmetto, Primary Arms, Brownells and sometimes Classic Firearms for as little as $39 on sale, and you mentioned trigger jobs….check out Franklin Armory’s BFSIII Binary for AR’s. I believe they say it’ll work fine with .22LR conversion as well as a dedicated upper

      • Dear Grandpa Bob,

        Excellent article on self-defense and the various alternative methods of response. You are right, about anything you can grab a hold of can be used for a defensive weapon. I would prefer to fight at a longer range, but if the threat is close, a butcher knife or cast iron frying pan is better than nothing. I hadn’t heard of using an ice pick, since I read of the “Outfit” using it during the heyday of the mob, After viewing real life medical war films in the service, I am convinced that anything man can devise can be deadly. You are also correct that the caliber may not be important, you just have to hit a vital organ or artery. When I worked for an ABC affiliate as a news photographer, I went to a shooting on Christmas Eve. By the time I arrived, there were 5 or 6 squads at the scene. The lady who was shot by her “boyfriend”, died from a .25 caliber bullet to the head. She was babysitting friends’ children at the time. The worst Christmas in my life. Thanks for sharing your faith in the Lord Jesus. Yes, whether in law enforcement or the military, Jesus does make the difference in a world gone mad. I met him in the Army and He still is my Savior and Lord. Semper Fi.

      • Amen Brother! If the shit ever does hit the fan, I hope I come across someone like you. I’d stand with you anytime

      • Good report, Sir. I always said the best weapon in any life/death situation is your mind. Second is whatever item is at hand. Also, as far as the big gun theory, a 22 in your pocket beats a 45 locked in the trunk of your car. A threat can occur anytime, anywhere. Situational awareness counts.

      • Amen, You sad all that needed saying. I think we would get along great bob!

    • This article is out dated and in one area, misinforms the reader. Colt has since stopped making the AR15 for public sales. And the HENRY AR7 was not what the early pilots were issued.

      Like the AR15, (which became the M16 for the military), Once again the Armalite Company was first. It developed the AR7 .(AR on both rifles, stands for Armalite Rifle) It too was Black in color, had just one magazine, and there was no way too add a scope or optic on it. When Armalite stopped production, Charter Arms obtained the patent and continued to make the rifle identical to the Armalite version.

      Charter Arms made the AR7 for some time, before Henry ended up with it. They modified and modernized it to the configurations you see today. Original Armalite and Charter Arms version can be found fairly easily. They will run in the $125 to $175 bracket. I buy them and give them to family, nephews and nieces, who can’t wait to have “Uncle” give them theirs. They make a good throw in the truck or trunk. And be carried on the Quads, I buy extra magazines, and using an elastic shotgun shell holder, I stick them on the stock

      Interestingly an early James Bond movie used one, and it was presented as a “High power snipper rifle, with a telescopic sight.”. This is a case of the movies influencing change to the AR7.

      The Henry AR7, has two magazines, and a scope inside the butt stock. With a rail, you can add a number of different toys. The Henry is a better bet, than the older versions for survival, backpacking hiking or canoeing. And it won’t cost that much more.

    • I see some bizarre comments relating to the cost of an AR-15. You should be able to build a quality AR-15 for around $400.00. Hell, you can buy an assembled upper one month and the assembled lower the next and still have less than $500.00 in the AR.

    • Crossman pump bb gun, SS ruger mini14, glock 21…funny, cant carry much more with .ax, knife, bow water and energy rations.. …sure if you are stationary collect everything you can…….but those of us that have trained in this know…there will be many remote supply depots, stocked up by those who think they are prepared…….

    • Every stash should also have a wheel gun. Few moving parts to go bad and always reliable.

  • Interesting topic. Everyone will have different ideas. I think it all boils down to what type of survival situation and where. War? Lost in the wilderness? Self-defense or getting food? Or both? I have owned an AR-7 and not all .22 ammo works in them. Their own instructions limit use to high velocity ammo. The 10/22 is a bit better as mine so far digests all .22 I have used. But the drawback with both the 10/22 and the AR-7 is the type of action – semi-auto – which has more moving parts than a bolt or break-action gun. So for me it is a bolt action .22.

    Missing in this list is a shotgun. I know the ammo is factor. But if it is war or survival you use what you have. If you prepare, you will be better off. For pure survival, lost in the woods, a combo gun like the old Savage 24 series works well.

    I would give the AK a slight edge over the AR. When the SHTF, you want dependability in all sorts of environments. Plus, most gun fights in a SHTF scenario are going to be short range affairs.

    Now I have a Marlin .30-30 and lots of ammo for it. It’s accurate, dependable, good for big game, and the .30-30 was used in a lot of Mexican revolutions at the turn of the 20th century. It’s not as sexy as an AR but it gives the AK round a run for its money.

    • Sorry Dan, Your information on AR’s is way, way, out of date. It’s right there in the never ending mythology of the .45 v. 9mm debate.

      All operators these days carry compact AR platforms. NOT AK’s that should say enough. And that’s because of one main reason. It’s excellent reliability.

      But just in case anybody is really weapons ignorant, The ‘jamming’ myth started in Nam when the ammo powder under certain circumstances fouled badly. And contrary to Marine Corps propaganda movies, nobody really had time to keep their weapons clean all the time during monsoon or red dust storms in a real combat zone. The main cause of shut down jamming was something else, however. The cyclic rate for the early AR’s in combat was way too high and sustained fire by feeding mag after mag for several minutes on full auto without ‘bursting’ eventually overheated and softened the aluminum on the upper receiver where the barrel goes in and it warped enough to jam a round.

      All of these problems were fixed pretty fast but it was too late to head off ‘urban legend’ at the pass. But that doesn’t change the reality.

      The AK’s on the other hand, compared to the AR, were heavier, less accurate, and just as subject to jamming from dirt also, despite other mythology to the contrary.

      But there was one dirty little disadvantage that virtually no one understands unless, like a few of us, you fired both AR’s and AK’s in hot CQB combat.

      The ‘shorty’ CAR-15 i wound up carrying most of the time in the jungles for general purposes, never jammed and one time when exchanging lead with a nice young fellow in black pajamas, we both needed to switch mags at the same time and he ducked behind some bambo shrubs and my drop and switch was so fast that i barely moved it from point of aim off my cheek but while i was then trying to get a bead on him, is spotted him kneeling down, desperately preoccupied with trying to unjam a mag that went in badly and got stuck hard.

      The last the that went through his mind at about 40 yards when he looked up and saw me me was a 5.56 full metal jacket bullet. A shot i wouldn’t have tried with an AK. I’ll never forget the pissed off look he had on his face.

      Today, you can actually put together an AR-15 Carbine that will unquestionably be the most reliable semi auto self defense weapon you can buy. Period.

      You put in a piston action to replace the gas impingement system. A special coated bolt carrier that requires no lube at all even though all AR’s were designed to fire dry, in case nobody new that, And last but not least, a specialized new bolt from the company that makes the old Sharps Rifles, that actually makes it almost impossible to jam a round! Change to the latest newest guaranteed feed magazines, and you’ll get really tired of shooting or break the bank on ammo costs before you’ll ever see a jam! But you now have something to really bet your life on!

      • Muhjesbude…could you be more specific on the brand name,model,etc. on the “coated” bolt carrier. I got the gas’m looking for a Relia-Bolt by Sharps (your suggested bolt) and would like to complete the assembly with the COATED carrier that you recommend (please point me in the right direction).
        I will always love my AKs, ( Izabella and Elizabeta have sent thousands of rounds down range with no problems), but Matilda (my lovely AR) could use a new BCG and it looks like your suggestions are the best for a reliable “jam-free” life.
        If only marriage could be the same way…
        Thanking you in advance ,

        • Yeah, kukriking, I’ll look up the carrier company for you, there’s a couple of them. I’ll do that now, and re post as soon as i find it. You google ‘AR-15 upper receiver parts for sale” I think it’s nickel-Boron coating or something. Hard Chrome plating is just as good in myhumbopinion, but might be more pricey. There are a couple good bolt companies out there. You want to make sure you have a good strong extractor/spring also, with the outside polished
          as well.

          Believe it or not there’s even a bolt i saw somewhere with NO GAS rings supposedly to preclude fouling or pressure problems. Well, might be nice for a spare part, but rings, and the alignment of them are really not that issue sensitive. You can actually fire the weapon without them in an emergency. And unless one somehow breaks off inside and jams the action, routine maintenance and/or replacement will cancel out all potential problems.
          I always have a couple AK’s. They’re actually collectors items now. The Norinco Underfolder i got many years ago brand new for less than $200. I could probably sell now for five times that to someone who collects AKS. For a while I carried one in combat just because at that time there were only 20 round mags for our AR’s. But AK’s were just too heavy with the mags, and thats why VC usually only carried two extra mags. Also liked the 9mm Swedish K’s we sometimes go our hands on. But when we got the 30 rounders for our shorty AR’s, that trumped everything. Unlike an AK, which has a very poor mag insertion ‘angle of attack’ and release, prone to jam-ins in high speed high stress application. And you gotta kind of look at what you’re doing, which is bad in any action, You can switch mags very fast with an AR-15, just like those competitive pistoleros do with their race guns. I can actually keep right up with comp gun shooters with my AR carbine in mag switching and lay down way more suppressive firepower on them, they can ever do on me with a pistol.

        • Okay, Johnny, go to ‘’ Then find the ‘FailZero bolt carrier EXO coated. and it’ll be the one that needs no lube. Obviously it’s back ordered so unless you can find it somewhere else you’ll have to leave them your email to be notified. There’s also a new firing pin which looks good that i’m going to order as well. Called a Voodoo pin.

          I mention this because a lot of wannabe snipers think that it’s mandatory to have a titanium firing pin for 30 bucks. Having been a military trained and police sniper all my misspent life, some ‘experts’ ‘perceive’ that this lightness creates a faster ‘strike’ on the cartridge for something called ‘lock time’ to give you a more ‘speed of thought’ shot the instant the crosshairs stop moving around and are right on.

          While this makes some sense, the negligable noticeable difference is not there without the entire tweaked trigger system in companionship. lighter ‘speed’ hammer, etc. By itself it is meaningless, and in fact, a possible disadvantage you pay more for in that titanium isn’t as ‘strong’ in terms of wear as a high quality conditioned STEEL machined firing pin. They don’t last as long. So I’ve always been interested in better firing pins.
          The best firing pin would be one that is virtually indestructible.

          The idea is to have no weak link in the action system.

          The parts DO start to wear after a couple thousand rounds. Barrels, especially chrome lined, are good for mayby 5k rounds of not rapid firing before accuracy begins to go (a whole ‘nother topic i might cover later if someone really wants to know the truth and asks me’

          Firing pin wear at the tip will obviously cause failures to prime with some hard military primers. And wobbly firing pins might cause primer ruptures.

          The often overlooked wear parts are the buffer spring. Most agree they start to lose ‘tension’ at over a thousand rounds. I just replace them at that point but i’m sure they now have some kind of super buffer spring available also. But i don’t know anybody in my platoon that didn’t fire many thousands of rounds, mostly on full auto, and never changed springs. Any ‘failure’ to lock completely due to dirt or ‘whatever was quickly ‘remedied by an instinctive slap on the foreward assist, and then back to the trigger. If for some reason we didn’t like the weapon we were using anymore, we simply replaced the whole thing.

          And the roller cam. should be hardened or chromed. They also have nice firing pin detents to replace the cotter pin, if that bugs you.

          One last thing about ‘reliability’ and not needing lube. Even though you technically don’t ‘need’ to slather the shit out her anymore if you tricked your grabgirl out to max ability. It doesn’t hurt to put a very light coat of some super slippery stuff they have now over at least the inside of the upper receiver, and the barrel throat/chamber, and of course the barrel rifling. And the buffer spring, and in the magwell. And a drop on the trigger sears.

          Sort of like lipstick on a handsome women. But you don’t want to slather it like vaseline in a butt party. They gave us something like white lithium grease called LSA lube that i think was part of the early jam problems. It never made the action that smooth, but it sure had a lot of insects and dirt sticking to it if you left the ejection cover open!

          And that should be it! Make sure your mags have no tilt followers and springs not compressed for years with a full 30 rounds in them. i know there are better mag springs these days that are supposed to last longer, and about all you’ll ever have to worry about is bad ammo?

          OBTW, the Cheaper Than Dirt website has an extensive selection of bcgs and everything else. Hope that covers it but if you have any further q’s don’t hesitate. I forgot more about this stuff than most so-called ‘experts’ these days know. So i don’t mind passing it on before my anti ‘forgetfulness springs’ start to wear out, as well, lol!

          Guns, these days, are right up their with politics and religion in terms of misrepresentations and bullshit.

          “It’s not that people don’t know so much, its just that so much of what people ‘know’, just aint so!” -Mark Twain.

          I do agree with you that like dogs, AR’s, are truly one of man’s best friend.

          And ‘reliability’ and trust are truly possibly the most important integrations in life with respect to relationships. What more important dynamics exist between people than ‘can you trust them to be reliable?

          As far as ‘marriage’…well, i won’t cop to ‘no comment’ Once was enough for me. And i don’t know why i even did that one? I agree, it is really hard to ‘unjam’ a jammed relationship. sometimes all you can do is salvage a few working parts and possible re-build?

          I console myself in this area of research when waxing philosophical, like this:

          Women are like beer, guns, and dogs. There’s no such thing as bad ones, but some are definitely ‘better’ than others!

          Take care, my friend.

          • WOW, I’m overwhelmed and very grateful. I asked for a point in the right direction and I’m blown away by an incredibly detailed description and explanation of what I need to get and where to get it and all kinds of other golden nuggets of info. You even distinguished between the type of pin a sniper would want (titanium) and what I might use ( hardened steel). So complete and thorough… My cup runneth over. Nobody has ever replied to me with that much information. I feel truly blessed. Thank you so much. Of all the commenters I’ve read, yours are the most real, convincing , and undoubtedly credible. How secure I would feel in a survival situation with you as our leader! I mean it, man. God bless you and thanks again.
            ILMAO half the time too(women=beer/guns/dogs…) GREAT letter


          • I thought I knew a lot about ARs, but I’ve learned from your posts.
            Thank you.
            On the subject of Fail Zero…I did a lot of testing and developing of the nickel-boron-carbide coating as applied to AR parts. One of the things I found was that new parts needed some prep before being coated with hard surface.
            If you choose to invest in these parts, make sure they broke the sharp leading edges of the contact surfaces before coating.
            For example, the right side of the gas key where it contacts the inside of the upper receiver.
            And if you have access to a bore scope, take a look at the interior surface where the gas rings slide inside the bolt carrier. I’ve seen machining marks rough as a cob in there. If a rough surface is hard-coated, it takes a looong time to wear smooth.
            Hopefully, they have eliminated these problems.

            As far as survival guns, I lost all of mine in a tragic theft. I’m looking in to a crossbow.

          • On the subject of buffer springs, I did reliability testing during a consulting gig involving the nickel boron coating development process.
            I fired at least 12,000 rounds using the same lower receiver (with the original buffer spring) without any problems. The firing sequence was one mag semi, one burst, another semi, then a full auto mag dump. Then a cooling period, and repeat.

            Are all buffer springs the same? I have no idea. Cheap and easy to replace, and if it makes you feel more comfortable with the weapon, it can’t hurt. Also wouldn’t hurt to carry the used one that you know worked just in case the replacement is a bad one.

      • bullshit, it’s not a myth. I have both weapons. I like the AR better but would still pick the Ak if I could only have one. You also forgot to mention the poor design of the Ar like the gas impingment design instead of using a piston and the bolt design which required adding the forward assist. Also the cleaning rod under the barrel for an ak which is an excellent choice. plus no need for a forward asaasist. It sounds to me like you got your firearms knowledge out of a book. I highly doubt that you ever served just from what you said.

  • Have you looked at the Keltec Sub2000 in 9mm and 40 cal?!!

    • Sweet weapon, and — to my mind at least — an ideal survival arm! While the .22 is better suited for small game taking, the 9mm Luger is reassuringly able to deal with larger game, and with those who might be inclined to divest you of same (and whatever else they might fancy!). I will not part with either my AR-7 or my SUB2000!

  • My personal and home defense arsenal and survival preparations consists of:
    1) Delton DT Sport AR-15 w/EOTech Hybrid II and 3x magnifier; 2) Mossberg SA-20 w/Holographic Sight, 150 Lumens Light and red dot laser sight; 3) Ruger 10/22 w/Tactical Micro Compact Mini Open Reflex Red Dot Sight; 4) Remington 700BDL 30-06 w/Pentax® 5 X 3-15 x 50 mm Rifle Scope; 5) Sears/Ted Williams Model 200 20 gauge w/variable choke and vent rib; 6) Glock 20C 10mm w/crimson trace laser sight; and, lastly … 7) Taurus PT111 Pro Millennium 9mm. In addition, I’ve over 6700 rounds with miscellaneous tactical accessories.

    The AR-15 and SA-20 are new in 2013, as are my Glock and Taurus handguns … My 700BDL 30-06, Model 200 20 gauge and Ruger 10/22 are from the early ’70s.

    Needless to say, these will prove more than adequate for defensive purposes and will also provide means to put fresh meat on the table whenever the SHTF … this is to supplement my 9-12mo of emergency food w/15-20yr shelf life. Also have 2 x 330 gallon water storage units – in garage and piped to ground level utility area.

    IMO, this combination of equipment and provisions is only “adequate” for 1 year… beyond that length of time I’m not sure any amount of prepping would suffice …

    God Bless America and We the People

    • May keep in mind Big Brother is now recording all e-mails

      • Good point. I even hesitate to list my guns with my insurance company. Confiscation of all weapons is the ultimate goal of the present administration & Democrat controlled Senate. Keep that in mind as you list your firearms on the internet, for all the world to see.

        • Reflecting also our previous posts, I am a Patriot … don’t have combat experience … have never been shot at … but, should America require my role, at any moment, to be a warrior, I’ll do my duty, I’ll neither back down nor yield my post … I may not be a seasoned, weathered or even well skilled warrior, but you’ll not find a more willing Patriot to do what is required … any role, any sacrifice, any time … I have prepared as best I know and am able … my survival must be in home defense, as I’m not fit for wilderness survival … in a past time, maybe, and one I still envision of younger legs, but that is no more.

          I will not survive and accept that role … for I know that where I fall, others will follow to fill the gap … others, more capable, with more following them … America cannot live without loss or sacrifice … I have been blessed to have known America in a better time … I wish to share this with my grandchildren, and beyond them, to theirs … my greatest wish is that it does not have to be so, but I fear the worst has been cast upon us.

          • Bless you Bob! I’ll be there with you. My legs won’t do it anymore either, neither will my lungs, but my heart will. We’ll do a good job as rear guard. Take care my friend.

          • I doubt if I will survive, either. I just hope to take an honor guard with me when I go.

          • I doubt if I will survive, either. I just hope to take an honor guard with me when I go.

            I just want to make the ground I am standing on as expensive as I can — because a free man stood on it.

          • To the gentleman who commented he had never been in combat and eventhough he wouldn’t expect to suvive, but would stand his post anyway, let me say this. After the U.S. suspended the draft, some years went by and I then realized we had an all volenteer military force that had never been shot at. That left me with concern. But with great pride I point to our military men abd women and say, “Look at what we have; still the greatest fighting force in the world, and at onr time they had never seen combat.”

          • To those who think that our military wasn’t shot at between Viet Nam and the first Gulf war, you might be surprised to find out how many were. And returned fire.

        • Insurance companies and banks are kin of the government.

          • ALL:

            Reminds me of the old 1980s song that was sung by Mike and the Mechanics, ‘Sient Running’, seems as if the words are so spot-on prophecy.


      • Thank you … knew that, but acted imprudently … a little wiser now

    • I certainly hope you don’t have to bug out when the SHTF, because you will have a hell of a time getting all of those weapons, ammo, food and water in a rucksack. If you have the luxury to be able to hunker down at home with all those goodies, I hope you have some very good friends and family to help you use all those multiple calibers to protect the food and water. You might want to rethink your prepping plan.

      • As in the days of our ancestors the caveman, survival was more often than not dependent upon a lone individual (except in dire emergencies). but to the small dedicated family, group and clan. We live by a sheer string of chance to being placed into very dire, life threating situations by the act of either nature or human folly. Funny it is to hear people talk of how independent and fearless they are with all the modern convencies of modern society, yet take it away and we have nothing but our wits and courage and too few people possess this as per the perlious situation into which society has landed itself on presently due to the poor actions of weak lambs led by timid lions.

  • Just thought that I would point out an important fact. If the SHTF, then you will need the ability to conceal your rifle…especially if Martial Law is instituted. Due to length, this leaves out some of my favorite rifles that you have listed here. One of the easiest rifles to conceal since it will fit into a backpack is the relatively new Ruger takedown version of their 10/22. Assembly takes two seconds and accuracy and reliability trump the Henry AR-7 for the additional pound.

    • Good point, Michael!

    • Not another “martial law” ignorant post. People wake up and READ the Tenth Amendment! The ONLY place the DC Despot can Declare Martial law is in DC! Martial law is the SOLE purview of the STATE, NOT the Federal Government! ONLY A Governor can declare Martial law within their state AND NOBODY ELSE! It is imperative that you start studying the US Constitution and LEARN the FACTS, and STOP Spreading this disinformation. Remember the LIE that a Soros owned company in Spain was going to count the presidential votes? Well the votes are counted municipally, confirmed by county and compiled by state and that is it no more counts, but people BELIEVED the disinformation and stayed home and didnt vote, thus with the voter fraud, it allowed Obama to win term # two. STOP Spreading the lies!

      • Hate to say it but in this world with the current president, it doesn’t matter where you live, martial law can still be enacted by the president. Our current president wants to do away with the entire Constitution.

        • Anyone who thinks we can relax under the protection of the Constitution had better wake up. This President is capable of anything. The socialist style takeover of our capitalist system is well underway. It remains to be seen what tactics Obama will be willing to use to finish the job. Some form of martial law is a real possibility.

          • Oh come off it. POTUS is an extremely limited position which can and is overruled by Congress. As for “socialist”, socialism: Social ownership of the means of production. McDonald’s is owned by shareholders, McDonald’s is socially owned. That’s socialism.

            You seem to be referring to Obama’s attempt at some sort of national public health insurance initiative but public healthcare isn’t socialist, that’s just good healthcare. You don’t seem to be big on education but just for the heck of it look up the cholera pandemics.

            You’ve surely heard of them, Polk died in the second one. Well over in England they tend to take potential extinction pretty seriously. If the peasants don’t get paid enough then they live in poor housing and have poor diets leaving them with weakened immune systems. If they can’t afford to see a doctor and get treated then any outbreak is going to “gain a foothold” in the same way that Marines gained a foothold in Afghanistan.

            Combine this all with lax regulation on essential services and water companies piped water from the same place sewage was dumped. Cue massive pandemics killing hundreds of thousands of people and Britain introduces minimum wages, pensions, public housing, housing, sewage, water, and sanitation regulation, as well as the NHS.

            Because as much as you hate poor people, it’s not worth dying over.

            The fight between public v private healthcare isn’t socialist v capitalist, it’s medicine/science vs ideology/religion. If you believe that sickness is a punishment from god then private healthcare makes sense. If you believe that just maybe people can get sick “just ’cause” then public healthcare is a damn good idea.

            And you know as well as everyone else that if Obama declared a national state of emergency and tried to use that to take guns (and he doesn’t seem that smart OR that stupid), then more than a few state governors would strongly disagree with that. That’s a state’s right and the federal government would need a damn good reason to declare a national state of emergency in the first place, and using it to seize guns would be…

            Well I’d say it’s impossible. There’s no way that can be rationalised and Americans like their guns more than they like their overlords.

          • How did we get away from the survival long gun subject?
            Lemme clear it up for you: leftist/socialist/Marxist/libtard=bad.
            Freedom-loving constitutional conservative=good. If your wanna debate, take it over to Alex Jones.
            We now return to our regularly scheduled program.

        • I think we all should be aware of the ‘true’ reality of ‘Martial Law’.
          Martial law is a ‘fluid’ concept. While Scott is presumably correct in that the Constitutional protocol suggests that the state only has the ‘legal’ authority from declaring martial law, it does not preclude other ‘authority’ from taking the initiative in their own power base.

          Last year’s episode with demonstrators in Seatle, i believe, with the 99%-ers? Where the Mayor declared martial law and even had the police confiscate ANYthing that could be used as a weapon. And don’t forget the infamous Mayor Daley of Chicago in the ’68 riots where he also declared martial law with shoot to kill orders of unarmed ‘looters’ and anyone out passed curfew. The state of course then sent state police, and national guard to assist.

          Essentially, we have martial law anytime a state of emergency is declared in an area like after a disaster or storm and police have to come in for security.

          Now, if we had the government declare a complete ‘National’ state of emergency, despite what the states do or don’t want to do, what do you think that means?

          Once the POTUS declares a National state of emergency perhaps from some perceived imminent or now happening terrorist action, then what do you think that is?

          Why do you think Mr. Obama recently signed a new improved version of the National Defense Resources Preparedness ‘executive order’. In case something like a major pandemic of the SARS virus or Ebola got started here? Or maybe even extreme civil disorder and anarchy due to political opposing factions–like in Ukraine?

          Why do you think the DHS was founded and supplied with all those tactical carbines and huge amounts of ammo?

          Does anybody really believe that the POTUS can’t establish the equivalent of ‘Martial Law’ virtually any time he feels like it if he was desperate enough to do it? Like Hutch says above. This current regime is ‘capable’ of anything bad. And he and Eric certainly don’t let anything as archaic as the ‘Constitution’ stand in their way.

          Just look at their ‘record’ of ‘honesty in liberty and justice for all? Any regime that uses the IRS to suppress the freedoms of the people will not hesitate to ‘have’ martial law anytime it suits their purpose. Tenth Amendment, or no Tenth Amendment.
          They certainly don’t care about the 2nd Amendment.

        • IF, it were to come to pass, ‘martial law’, I hope that our military being honorable men sworn to uphold the constitution, realize that the current president is not qualified to lead a flock of sheep across the street, no less claiming to be the commander in chief, would discount his actions as treason and nip Americas problem at the bud. Now back to the original subject, my bug-out gun is a Savage model 24 in .22 magnum over 20 gauge that I have had for over 40 years. It’s rock solid dependable and handles a wide variety of ammo. I’ve taken doves to turkeys, squirrels, rabbits, deer, a feral dog. All one shot kills. Not my first choice for ‘clearing the porch’, but the one I would carry if forced to leave.

          • I too HAD the M24 Savage 20ga./.22 Mag. acquired in the late 1960s and the rifle produced excellent groups. Hunted with it many times. Made the mistake of loaning it. Gone . . . and it no longer available from Savage.

          • Isugest allinvestigate the powers that will be instilled if FEMA is ever invoked. The agency desisigned to reconstitute the FEderAl government the powers are sweeping an amazing an suppercede mostothers

      • As if the Federal Government respects States rights…Please.

      • I seem to remember back in the 1960s that LBJ declared Martial Law in a few US cities and that Federal troops were brought in to restore order (not merely National Guard).

    • Pardon me for my thoughts, but why does any one want to carry a 10\22 rifle when you could carry a much smaller .22 pistol (long barrel). It could, in certain situations, out reach some one with a shotgun and keep them at a distance. It could put meat in the pot. Several hundred rounds could be stuffed in a coat pocket. I wouldn’t suggest that be the only gun but the portability of a pistol beats a rifle any day. One additional comment on the authors choice of rifles. A m-1 carbine? Really? wouldn’t a mini -14 work better. Try scrounging rounds for a obsolete military rifle while your on the move. The m-1 carbine isn’t even substitute standard anymore. O.K., so much for my old I corps comments. GOD BLESS EVERYONE! Chris

      • Agree!

      • Correct , that is your statement regarding the 5.56/.223 round being far superior to the .30 Carbine round, which has a rainbow trajectory. The Carbine should have incorporated either the .276 round originally proposed for the M1 Garand main battle rifle or a cut down 30.06 cartridge ala the MP 43/44 German Assault rifle, still the .30 Carbine was much better than the heavy TSMG .45 acp firearms in terms of range lethality, agility and lightness.

      • Yup, I love M-1 Carbines to death for their storied history from WWII to Vietnam, and I am the first to defend them from the bad rap they get from misinformed hearsay and plain tall tales that get repeated about them, but here we aren’t talking about taking a rifle for its heritage or good looks, we are talking about a tool for survival, and must put aside all other considerations. If you’re needing to move, one, maybe two weapons is all you are going to be able to carry, given the other gear you’ll need. The criteria for choosing a weapon would be:

        1. Weight/portability of the weapon itself – ie, you want something compact and light enough to be able to move quickly with, though this does not automatically mean handgun, as that would sacrifice too much range and accuracy.
        2. Weight/portability of the ammunition – you’re going to want to be able to carry a lot of ammunition, which means it’s going to need to be as small as possible while packing a big enough punch for your purposes. Honestly, the smallest you’re really going to want to go is .22 Magnum or .17 HMR, and largest you’ll want to go is 5.56 NATO.
        3. Ease of availability of the ammunition
        4. Versatility of ammunition – Red Dawn fantasies aside, killing people is not going to be your primary use for your firearm. While .22LR is about the least ideal self defense cartridge one could choose, in a desperate situation, you could defend yourself with it. So if you can defend yourself with .22LR, you can defend yourself even better with an even better round like .22 Magnum or .22 Hornet if you have to, but if you want to live longer, you’ll want to avoid people, not engage in combat against them. On the other hand, “manstopper” rounds are going to be of limited use against your mainstay food quarry – rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc. Sorry, but fantasies of living off deer and elk are just that, fantasies. With everything else you are going to have to do to stay alive, you’re not going to have time to track large animals (especially you guys who are used to shooting at deer attracted to deer corn bait), and the big game like that is going to be the first food source to be depleted in a big SHTF situation. So keep your cartridges small enough that they don’t waste the meat on small game.
        5. Durability/Maintainability of weapon – you don’t want a weapon with pistons or gas ports fouling or the weapon jamming after months or years living in the woods nowhere near a gunsmith or spare parts. Semi-auto should be ruled out. Lever and slide action are good, bolt action is better. Single shot break action is the most bomb-proof, but bolt action is a good compromise. Again, get these Red Dawn fantasies out of your head, you’re not going to need modern combat rate of fire to defend yourself, and if you get in a situation where you would need that, you’re probably dead anyway. Instead of thinking you are going to rely on a semiauto that could jam in the heat of things anyway after months in the woods, learn to fire a mad minute with a bolt action rifle, like British soldiers did with their SMLEs in the early 20th Century. Highly skilled British marksmen could take that 10 round weapon and put 36 round in a 46 inch target at 300 rounds in under a minute. Think about it.

        • I agree with Mark, I looked at this sight because I was thinking of a new survival gun. I had no intention of shooting people.
          And the author is wrong, history does not prove that the rifle is the best survival gun. Look at what aboriginal people use and used as soon as they got guns. – small gauge shotguns, muzzle loader trade guns at first and in modern times, break action single shots. Versatility, durability, simplicity! The 20 gauge trade muskets often found in the beds of the French River to this day are usually loaded with “Swan shot” – (just bigger than BB), good for everything from moose (don’t ask how I know!) to partridge without reloading.

      • RUGER SINGLE 6

        • I have a 9.5″ Single Six. It needs better sights and could use some trigger work, but I think it would work fine.

          I’ve since bought a S&W Victory .22 LR with a 5.5″ barrel, and it has excellent sights and a better trigger. I haven’t played with it enough to know how well it would work in real life, but I think it would do well.

    • It takes less time to break down your AR carbine from the upper and lower and put the two halves in your backpack for about the same size? And that new Ruger take down is pretty pricey for its limited application. But it’s still a decent choice.


    • Gentlemen, may I offer a little suggestion that might help on the length of the Henry rifles, as well as others! Go to your local builders supply, in this state we have Lowes, go to the plumbing supply section, and around to where they have located the underground PVC piping. Note that it comes in different sizes, two, four and six inch size. In lengths up to 10-12 feet! The six inch pipe might be used to help solve your problem. Note in that same section,
      they also carry various devices for the ends of their piping, from a sealable
      closed cap, to waterproof devices to open up to clean out the its contents! Tip: use straight clean out devices, some things do not bend. Mountainous
      property are good places for planning drainage. But then, that is for you to figure the best placement for these things. No! I am not a plumber! However, I am a thinker! While you are at the store, try to determine whether or not you will need extra footage, for other reasons. Try it and tell me if you like it? Any questions? God bless all of the old veterans, of which I am one, a draftee from the old Korean Police Action! 84 now, 22 then! Sixty two years ago. Also not a battle veteran, but should the SHTF arrive at some future date, and it is quite possible, I will do my share to back our younger generation in any capacity in which I might be wisely utilized! I was then a trained combat medic and have been using computers for many years!

  • Mine. Includes the AR, a 1911 Series 70 Colt, a 30-30 Marlin, and a 12 ya pump shotgun (Remington). I have enough ammo to last long enough for me to add to the food supply or to obtaining a few other weapons. A 30.06 caliber rifle is capable to take care of small vehicle if needed. KNO3 and some other similar chemicals can be mixed to make adequate protection for perimeters if needed. Good idea on digging in water supplies but underground springs are even better. We have a few of those in Texas and in Mo. Fresh water is a must! Caves in Ozarks offer much of everything and wild berries and roots to exist on. Meat can be obtained almost anyplace at night. Much of it tastes like chicken but salt helps everything as well as Tabasco ! Food poisoning doesn’t like Tabasco so it is a must for survival. A large knife, zippo, and. Gross of Bic lighters. Old Cotton sheets work for lots of needs including filtering. The problem with survival is it depends upon the situation which caused it, length of time, and mobility requirements. I can live a long time at home but if the SHTF who knows. Each day is a blessing and adjusting will determine if tommorrow is possible. If not, I will take as many of the jerks with me as I can!

    • Friend Steven; Bless You!!! A REAL WORLD REALIST!!!

  • There are many firearms that are excellent survival tools. My lever action, totally reliable Marlin 336C in .30-30 Winchester is good out to 150 yards. Most important…. know how to use your weapon without mishap, and shoot it regularly. A $3.500 SOCOM AR fully tricked out is no good if you don’t know how to use it, or shoot a loved one accidentally. Practice… practice…. practice!

  • Noticeably missing from any list is Ruger’s Mini-14, Tactical. I have the newer model 5831, with the aluminum Pic/Weaver top rail/hand guard. It is sweet and shoots flawlessly.

  • Please do a study on fire-woods. What trees to plant for fire woods, construction, blocking winds, concealment -hiding structure, etc. What trees are suitable to grow in which areas of the US and climate. Water wise trees – water guzzling trees, fast growing, slow growing, etc.

    • The door you knocked is opened. 🙂 Thank you for your feedback, M Nelsen.

  • GUNS GUNS GUNS. All you survivalists think about is GUNS. I have a superior mind. That is the greatest weapon against the greed, the gluttony, the selfishness and the in-the-box thinking of the modern prepper. lol

    • You can debate all you want with a bear … but he’ll likely not care much … same with the DHS or FEMA … I’ll tell you that WE also have superior minds and that’s why we’ll be prepared and you won’t … good luck, it’s all you’ve got in your favor.

      • AMEN! And you can not debate venison into the stew pot either. Firearms serve two purposes, protection and food procurement. While you do not go out actively hunting as it wastes calories, you do not blow off an opportunity to take game for the table, and despite what any vegetarian will try to tell you, meat has the highest level of usable protein per ounce of any food source. And Protein is the name of the game when it comes to survival food sources. it is the ONLY thing that can replace carbs AND fats in a diet during harsh weather condition when these items are needed most, and is also the building block for the immune system and is needed to repair any injuries and to burn stored body fat in cold weather as well… But lets go deeper int o the human psyche, when people are against the wall and dont have what they think are the necessary supplies on hand they turn feral and even the most civilized individuals will turn barbaric. And the difference between a barbarian and a civilized man is the type of weapon they carry, like it or not

        • Actually, not quite true. A hen’s egg is the best, most usable animal protein source. Start growing a few chickens!

          • what do you do when they come and eat your chickens..

          • Some good valid points Scott has, but a bit outdated for today’s survival needs. First of all, in a bad survival scenario, You won’t be doing many 700 meter shots at game with your .270 bolt action unless you were someplace so high up in the remote mountains where you also wouldn’t be ‘hunted’ by other two legged predators, who when they heard the shot, would come and take both your game, if you were a trained enough skilled sniper to even it it at that distance on a windy day, and take your 270 after they took your life.

            For you wannabe Jeramiah Johnsons, here’s the breaking news. The second use of guns WON”T be for hunting. If you do happen to be lucky enough to game resources in your hide out area even after hoards of zombies suck them dry literally in weeks, you’d be trapping them or cross bow-ing them.

            In an enduring catastropic survival situation, you had BETTER have your own food stock or self reliant resource. Chickens/eggs are, indeed, one of the easiest and best sources of sustainable food. You gotta be careful having a rooster, however, they might give away your location.

            But a handful of hens will provide all the eggs you need and they are easy to manage and feed, most eat bugs and/or any plate leftovers. fifty bucks of scratch corn could be stretched to feed four laying chickens for a year.

        • AMEN!

          • I tried raising chickens once. My project was a total failure.
            I think I planted the eggs too deep.

        • Actually, pound per pound, insects, larvae, grubs, etc have more protein than meat. Guess what guys, if you want to survive a bad situation, be it the zombie apocalypse, a plane crash landing in the wilderness, or getting lost while hiking, learn to find and eat insects.

    • If you actually had a superior mind, you’d arm yourself against the day you encounter an armed inferior one.

      • Your haughty appearance of superiority reveals only petty arrogance … evidently, you can conceive only one concept at a time and decry any others as barbarian and/or Neanderthal … get this straight – There are many with capacity to do both … an unlikely concept for you to grasp.

        As I replied earlier … “good luck” to you, as it’s all you have to hope for.


          • As you seem intelligently challenged, you’ll not fare well against this Patriot … I’ll gladly match my wit against yours, but feel regret that all you can offer is half-wit. If there were more you could offer, it might even be challenging and entertaining.

            Beyond words, you don’t have even a slight chance … so, once again, good luck …

          • Mr. Roemer,
            I didn’t know I was stirring up a personal confrontation. I have read over your previous submissions. Granted…they are well worded, but devoid of substance. What are your qualifications to criticize the opinions of some previous writers and myself?
            In a nutshell, my qualifications are as follows: Retired Marine Major with 20 yrs service. Viet
            Nam vet with personal decorations including Silver Star & Purple Heart. I know the meaning of SURVIVAL,. & I’d like to know what you bring to the table..other than arrogant BS.

          • I also am retired … USNR(Line) Lieutenant 1984 … private sector in 2112 … I’m moved by the manner you responded, regardless the message … and respect you for it … my responses are defensive in nature, although offensively delivered, as I felt an attack and ridicule from yours … I’d rather enjoy this discussion better over a beer, a shot and a cigar … though it is unlikely to happen. I’d enjoy it … cheers

          • I agree…lets call off the war of words & have a beer.

          • I’m in a small Wisconsin town … about 70 miles north of Milwaukee … you close?

          • I’m living on a small farm in Southern Virginia. Not close. Too bad…I would have enjoyed letting you buy this old Marine a beer.

          • It seems I mistakenly offended you and apologize … I didn’t realize your post wasn’t from Lexington Bill. Your post was taken (by me) out of context and my response was as if it was made by Lexington-Bill …

            My background is Marine Engineering, graduating in 1972 with degree and Commission as USN-Ensign … accept my respect and appreciation for your service.

          • BTW, what was BS about my reply to AliKahn?

            I thought it was a clear, relevant and valid message. I will respect and appreciate your feedback … thanks

          • My uncle, US Marine Colonel Herb Ing, was with Marine Training at Camp Lejeune in the ’60-’70s.

            Ever have connection during your time in service?

          • I believe he resided in Quantico, VA and our families visited once or twice … didn’t know him well, though.

          • As I recall, he was Commandant of Corp Training …

          • Sorry; don’t recall ever meeting a Col Ing.

          • Always watch out what you say, where, who and where. Watch what you write and all of it. Watch what sites you visit. Your rights are in trouble friends. Very troubling.

        • … a beer, and a shot … will you smoke (no inhale ok) a cigar?

          • I started smoking in a foxhole during a mortar attack in ’67 & didn’t quit for 20 years. I imagine I could smoke a cigar with you.

          • I’ll join as well, providing you’ve nothing against pipe tobacco (trying to quit cigarettes)!

          • Made the decision to quit “cigarettes”, as well … building a cigars inventory and awaiting delivery of a humidor … IMO, more cost effective than cigarettes with wider selection of shapes, flavors and sizes … might find less inhaling of cigars which (still unhealthy) may be less harmful … the wisdom time imparts to elders.

      • Ah man … 15 ups! You guys made my day!

    • Yuo ar an IDIOT ! ! ! !

      • You are an IDIOT ! ! !! 1 !

  • This list seems to be written by someone who has limited firearm knowledge…Although all of these rifles would stand up to an apocalypse scenario…a .22 caliber requires a degree of skill to take down medium-game such as a deer, and would be all but useless against large game such as a bear or a moose. I, personally would want more stopping power…especially for self defense (I have actually been shot twice with a .22 caliber rifle and I can tell you from personal experience that it does not have the stopping power required to defend oneself…if you don’t believe me, ask Ronald Regan.) Recommending either an AR or an AK can be a double edge sword. If you are familiar with the mechanics of the AR, go for it. Military surplus is widely available, but FMJ rounds are less than ideal for hunting or for long range shots. Due to the complicated nature of the action, those who are not acquainted with this rifle will have one hell of a time trying to disassemble and reassemble for cleaning and maintenance. The AK would have similar problems as the AR, and will have far less luck in the “fear by recognition” field as the author would lead you to believe. Your ideal gun depends all on your situation. As a semi-experienced hunter and long time gun enthusiast, my options would be larger than that of someone who has limited exposure. The main things you want to look at for a decent survival gun are:
    1) Availability of Ammunition-The most advanced gun is just a fancy hand club without bullets
    2) Reliability- All the ammo in the world is dead weight if your weapon goes *click* instead of *bang* (and than you have that fancy club again)
    3) Comfort- Every big bad gun guy seems to want the .50 Cal or the gun that takes the most rounds. But you have to be able to fire your weapon repeatedly and consistently. Find what fits your size, build and shape. Ive fired some of the biggest rifles out there…and the .50 Cal BMG is the worst survival gun in existence.
    4) Stopping Power- The larger the caliber doesn’t necessarily mean more stopping power. The .357 mag can crack an engine block, but has limited range. Same for anything in the .40 cal family. Do your homework before you invest hundreds of dollars on your rifle. My personal hunting rifle is a .270 with a 130 grain round. The gun can easily shoot 700 yards with enough energy to kill medium game; swap that out for a 180 grain round and I can kill a moose at a klik. But its limited due to the action, which happens to be a bolt action.

    The most important factor is understanding your weapon. A blackpowder rifle is more dangerous in the hands of an expert than the most advanced tech. in the hands of a liberal…just kidding, i meant amateur.

    • The list IS accurate, it has nothing to do with “firearms knowledge” it is about the most popular survival RIFLES, nothing more, nor nothing less. I’ve been ‘collecting’ firearms since the seventies, and have an extensive personal armory, including every rifle listed. They all have their niche. But to declare lack of firearms knowledge? I’d have to say it is you that is lacking, not the author. Every firearm listed was specifically listed for precise reasons. While I would not choose some of them, I would highly recommend others. I’m 54, working on 55, and I was born into this lifestyle. I’ve had to bug out due to natural and man made disasters, my professional ventures have paralleled the lifestyle, so I’d say I am one of the few people that is uniquely qualified to judge this. I find no fault in the choices, even though I would make others based on the fact that I have better weapons available to choose from

    • The list IS accurate, it has nothing to do with “firearms knowledge” it is about the most popular survival RIFLES, nothing more, nor nothing less. I’ve been ‘collecting’ firearms since the seventies, and have an extensive personal armory, including every rifle listed. They all have their niche. But to declare lack of firearms knowledge? I’d have to say it is you that is lacking, not the author. Every firearm listed was specifically listed for precise reasons. While I would not choose some of them, I would highly recommend others. I’m 54, working on 55, and I was born into this lifestyle. I’ve had to bug out due to natural and man made disasters, my professional ventures have paralleled the lifestyle, so I’d say I am one of the few people that is uniquely qualified to judge this. I find no fault in the choices, even though I would make others based on the fact that I have better weapons available to choose from . As for the maintenance of the weapons listed, if you do not know how to field strip and clean and oil them, you should not be using them. It is THAT simple

  • not. did you make ammo considerations for half of these choices?

  • Don’t forget about the M-14. Although a bit heavy, very accurate, durable and good stopping power !

  • to Ali Khan, as regarding your “superior mind”, it is written:
    Proverbs_16:18 Pride goeth before destruction,
    and an haughty spirit before a fall.

  • Old adage:
    never argue with a fool in public. It confuses the public which is which.

    • I like that.
      I’ve heard it as: “Never argue with a fool… he will be doing the same thing”.

  • I enjoy reading all the comments. It gives me a feel for what is good and what is best for me. Cost is definitely a consideration and I don’t think guns have to be exotic. Their are a lot of good hunting rifles out there which can double for self defense. I try to stay with common, affordable weapons, rifles and pistols. I believe I have a decent blend of each. I always think that if you have to many guns, and a lot of ammo, you have to deal with being able to transport, find ammo, and if need be conceal. Conclusion: Their are no magical answers.

  • I’m curious am I the only one that thinks that since the federal government has kicked the can on paying our debt and haven’t came up with a solution to reduce our debt and if we lose or when we lose our standing as world currency if the government can no longer print money. How are 47.3 million people living on social services going to feed their families. I assume they’ll be two types of people one will come looking for food with open hands asking for help the other will be in trucks loaed wjth guns ready go take what that want!

    • But, I hope that day never comes!!

      • IMO, it’s coming … perhaps sooner than you might think … it won’t be forewarned or announced, nor will a government response be discussed, negotiated or kind to American citizens … even a minor financial disturbance may be hyped and spun as a major crisis … and, once the trigger is pulled, the full effect of Martial Law with mobilization of DHS and FEMA will be unleashed … the coming 2014 elections may be backing Obama-tiger into a corner … Question is … will he “pull the trigger”?


  • Many great comments and ideas. But, as a Combat Veteran, the best weapon in a firefight is the one you have on you at the time; even if it is a Kabar and an entrenching tool. Buy the weapons you can afford and PRACTICE with them! All the guns in the world will not help you if you aren’t familiar with how accurate it is, what is the trigger pull like?, how rapidly can you reload it?, what about repair parts?, availability of ammo? Mold your weapons carefully and SET your mind in SURVIVAL mode. We Veterans took an oath to defend the Constitution against ALL enemies both foreign and DOMESTIC and we have never foresworn that oath; we WILL prevail! Thomas Jefferson said: “From time to time the Tree of Liberty must be refreshed with the blood of Patriots and Tyrants”. If I die defending my Country and Liberty; then so be it. I will have been true to my oath

  • Mostly good rifle comments. Thanks to one and all who served. A good rifle choice depends on terrain and population , and other factors. No one speaks of bullet choices. I can say a premium game bullet in many calibers will punch through a 1/4 inch steel plate at a 100 yds. with plenty of energy left over. I’m old enough to remember the 2nd Chance body armor commercials were body armor protected the wearer from .357 hits that knocked the recipient out (apparently your heart doesn’t like no blood scenarios and lungs don’t work well when the air is forcibly removed quickly). You had best be prepared with all the knowledge you can glean. (How long is a vehicle viable for transportation if you punch out the battery?)

    Handguns are not as effective , but do you think you’re going to sit on your butt while everything transpires or will you have 28 hours of work to do in a day? Will you get your work done one handed (’cause your rifle is in the other)? This may seem silly but re-read the “Little House ” series of books. Those people worked sunrise to sunset and took Sunday off to go to church and build “community”.

    • And they set their rifles nearby because a pistol is a limited use luxury. It’s a good idea to own one if you can use it well, and a bad idea to rely on it if you can’t.

  • I have designed my survival arms around the tactical envirnoment that I live in, which is large homes in the suburbs. As such, 9mm Walther p-38 pistol, MP-40 Schmeisser (9mm) semi auto submachine gun, Thompson sub machine gun(semi auto), AR-15 semi auto shotgun (made in turkey), AR-15 9mm, AR-15 .22lr. I can’t be shooting through other peoples houses a couple of blocks away so I have to scale it down. I think this configuration will work for me and my two teenage sons. (One Mauser 8MM rifle in reserve). Thoughts?

    • I like your thinking. A Remington .44 “Buffalo” revolver might be a good option to add, if you consider my earlier post. Big, slow bullet (still hard to outrun), ammunition that is not hard to get–buy a mold and run your own. There are plenty of black powder recipes, and even the caps can be made in a post crisis world, although stocking up is a better idea–they don’t take up a lot of space…

  • For simplicity and reliability a good bolt action hi caliber rifle such as the Remington 700, Winchester model 70, or Ruger model 77 are hard to beat when you are going for range and accuracy. My Ruger 77 in 308 is stainless steal barrel and auction with a rubberized stock, it will not rust, is easy to clean and is extreamly reliable.

    For back woods survivial I would pass on the M7, where the semi auto action may become unreliable. Instead I would choose a Rossi single shot break action with changeable barrels.. These come in either a 22/410 configuration or a 243/20 gage. It breaks down into 4 pieces (5 counting the other barrel) and all fits in a convienent carry case. It can fit into a bug out bag or be slung over the shoulder by itself. I like the single shot because it forces you to take better and careful aim where a semi auto may lead to over confidence and wasted shots.


  • Don’t forget ammo availability.

    How quickly will you empty that 50-round magazine?

    Keep a black powder piece, powder and caps handy. Better–a flintlock, also. That way, when everything else is used up, you’d still have a few shots left.

    Before you’d have to switch to rocks, bows and arrows…

  • These are interesting replies to the authors posting, and too bad for the arguing.
    My reply comes from being a former Infantry soldier and later Officer in the US Army, ’83-95 and a casual hunter since about age 11.
    So for survival we stand on the crossroads of hunting and defense. We also have gone though periods of ammunition scarcity, and/or inflated prices.
    Also for survival/prepper, there are many categories of other expenses in life to consider.
    the cost of a good rifle can exceed $1k, which is equal to a “year supply” of prepackages canned good for one person. So the expense for most of us needs to be balanced. I have over-spent in this category because a perceive a threat to the 2nd amendment, so I am guilty of misallocation. the funds could have bought a great improvement to our water/well system. So lets say you are starting out in firearm purchases and you are a regular family guy, with a wife and at least one child. ( if you are experienced in this category, you may not need my advice, or have developed your own opinions and arsenal already) I’m going to agree with a .22 purchase. its a great training platform and anyone over about 8-11 years old can be trained to use it. It takes small game, and could be a “deterrant” to a home invasion (note! I am not saying its a fight stopper). The Ruger 10-22 is the industry standard, but I personally like the peep sights on the “Appleseed Project” Marlin .22, or you could add these “techsights” to a Ruger 10-22. This is actually important. it will introduce the new shooter to military style sights, and they are much more accurate than the V blade type. so some sort of .22 with nice sights for an extra $40. The article was about rifles, so they did not mention shotguns, but they are a good item to have. Women and children have a tough time with 12 gauge recoil, so some may like the 20 gauge as an alternative which I cannot argue with except for the universal availability of 12ga, but Walmart has both 12 and 20. For my house I kept with the 12, but down loaded one with the “low recoil” type buckshot. its not great ammo outdoors, but within the home defense perimeter, my wife could handle it if I was unable to respond. There are many acceptable shotguns available. One option for the survivalist is to purchase a “combo” which comes with both a long and short barrel, my first shotgun, on an extreme budget was exactly this. at the bottom price end of this category is the “Maverick” brand, which is a fully reliable and functional downgrade to the mossberg 500, but the Remington 870 “express” was my first purchase. The mossberg gets a nod for its ambidextrous safety for lefties, and it was actually used by the military in a upgrade called the 590A1. important to note, bird shot is not for home defense. At close range bird shot inflicts nasty superficial wounds, but is documented as found guilty of not able to penetrate into critical tissue to stop a person if they are highly intent on assaulting you. if concerned about over penetration #4 buckshot is the compromise indoor loading. See box of truth website for actual result against drywall etc. The shotgun is a very formidable defense tool but has great limitations. in my training I learned how quickly and dangerous it is to shoot oneself out of ammunition with a 5 to 8 round shotgun. the tube is slow to reload, but lots of training improves this, the shotgun’s range is limited to 30 yards with pellets, +/-100 with slugs, the ammunition is very heavy compared to rifle and pistol rounds. But its still my first line of home defense during a mostly peaceful world, as i expect not more than a small group of home invaders as worse case, and there is another weapon of higher capacity for my wife to grab in an emergency. if you have a limitless budget for a shotgun see the Benelli M-4. next tier might be the mossberg 930spx or 590A1 (but many other competitors at this level so please don’t be offended, I am a lefty so the ambi safety is a must)
    Moving back to rifles, once again there are other things to spend money on. Not the least of which is ammo. there are three main cartridges in the affordable ammo segment (after .22)these are 5.56 NATO, 7.62×39 Chi Com, and 7.62×51 NATO. (close runner ups include Russian 7.62×54, 8mm mauser, 30-06 and maybe 30 30, 7.62×25 tokarev, 30 carbine with Tokarev being the cheapest, but only a couple “ppsh” type carbines even exist to the USA consumer.)
    So please allow me to focus on the first 3,
    The 7.62 Nato is the most powerful of the three, is chambered for main battle rifles like the M14(M1a) and PRT-91 (HK91) Fn FAL/L1a1. Fn Scar, These are Heavy big rifles, which I like, but its the most expensive (of these 3) to shoot. The 7.62 Nato will take most north American game, with the possible exception of moose, but proper hunting ammo is necessary. nearly all these rifles are $1000 and up, and ammo is 60 cent each, or worse, $18 per 20.
    The 5.56 is the AR15/M16/M4 cartridge, and has become the most popular rifle type in America. if you were trained on it you know what it is. For the rest, its a very high velocity .224 bullet, with little recoil. in hunting circles its considered a varmit gun and not allowed in most states for hunting big game. But a woman or child can shoot this as recoil is mild. in our home there is a firearm which my wife prefers for this reason. Now we are at am ammunition price of 40 cents each in bulk or $10 by the box of 20.
    Lastly is the 7.62×39 Russian or Chi com. This is the AK 47 bullet. Also SKS, and some others. This is in between 5.56 and 7.62Nato. slower than either, and bullet weight in between both. It is the least expensive ammunition of these 3 at $6 per 20 or a case of 1000 for $259. The round is capable of taking deer, hogs, small bear, and other game. The recoil is a little above the 5.56 so its manageable to nearly all adults, but most 7.62×39 firearms are heavier than an AR15.
    Training and supply are so important to immediate and long term effectiveness, that I now recommend this 7.62×39 round to all people with a budget and just starting out. While I really like 7.62 NATO and appreciate the fast handling 5.56 AR15, but realize the novice needs to buy a rifle, and train with it for 1000 rounds and store 1000 rounds. so for 7.62 Nato this is $1200 in ammo plus a $1000 rifle (Ptr 91 for example, but rifle costs goes up to $1500 and $2k for nice M1A or FAL or SCAR. ($2,200-$3k or more)
    For 5.56, the AR15s at walmart start at $700, plus $1000 for the 2,000 rounds is $1700, plus magazines, usually the sights are fine, but some folks like red dots and such, add $250 for a Burris Fastfire III
    Conversely a new AK47 or its cousin the Saiga can be found at or below $499 full retail,
    and 2000 rounds is $550, so you have a defense and hunting rifle with ammo for $1100. tech sights are a must have upgrade for $80
    and magazines are $12 each, so all in $1300+/- you can add the Burris Fastfire and train with an additional 1000 rounds and still be less money in than a similar set up AR15 with 2k rounds BUT with the AR you need a separate hunting rifle.( example: add $500 for a 30-30 or Savage .308 bolt action plus an entry level scope, and you might as well have bought the PTR, unless too small for the 7.62 Nato)
    Its taken along time to get to this conclusion, and I changed my hard set preference for 7.62 NATO after our family had a baby, we bought a house, and other expenses became real, and seeing my petite wife, while able to take 7.62 NATO recoil, cannot carry the heavy rifle and ammo for an extended time.
    So there are other things to spend money on than guns. the AK is not the best, but the best bang for the buck. ( almost ditto for the SKS, but magazine issue to be noted)

    • I have reloaded my own ammo for about 45 years now. I try to keep my weapons simple and to calibers not requiring special brass. I keep my components well stocked and made it through the pandemic and high prices with the exception of having to pay the ransom on 1 powder that I liked. I had enough to reload for 2 other friends also. I have at least 2 powders that can be used for each caliber I load. My closest friends and I talk about calibers of our firearms and keep on the same page for coordination purposes. Also remember, ammo will have high trading value in a SHTF senario.

  • Just an old timer checking in I know there are lots of new more modern guns for protecting your butt. But I will stick with the Garand of mine I have had since WWII in 30-06 with its antiquated 8 round clips and old slab sides 1911 Colt 45

    • Another old timer (like me) who shares our always wise ‘back to basics’ mindset. Good Man.

  • Is that Ali Khan for real? It’s got to be just some bored guy trying to push buttons…a troller, eh? Poor guy. Pitiful. Anyway, God bless all you other guys…very interesting comments. I do think a shotgun is usually considered smoothbore and therefore not a rifle. Maybe that’s why it didn’t make the list.

  • Excellent article. Whatever you choose, get trained and practice with it. Bells, whistles and fancy accessories on your AR (or whatever) may look “cool”, but if you’re not proficient, they are not worth much. Liked your mention of the lever gun, a fine powerful survival weapon. Personally, I like the ammo versatility thing, where I can use .357 magnum ammo in revolvers and lever guns, which will give you (with ‘hot loads’) enough knockdown power to hunt game or take out bad guys.

  • Just like Mr Heston said……”when you pry it from my cold dead hands” Prepare yourself Amerika

  • if I remember right, it was ben franklin that said,”prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.” as a combat veteran of everything from my first dance in Somalia to a tour apiece in Iraq and Afghanistan as an infantryman, I can say that is a rule to live by in unfriendly situations. another rule would be a layered defense based on your current financial situation. at a minimum a handgun carried at all times and a decent powered rifle within arms reach. rules for hunting weapon are going to be the same as they always have been. powerful enough to kill the target, but not so powerfull that said target explodes leaving nothing left to eat. ie, a 22. won’t kill a deer and a squirrel will explode if you shoot it with a 45-70. another thing to think about with all the high tech ELECTRONIC stuff, not usually a lot of electricity around in shtf scenarios for battery recharging. not to mention emp, if that happens. I personally am putting tritium night sights on all my weapons I can find them for. would also recommend spare flip-up sights for any weapons that have them as well as spare sliding buttstocks.(they tend to crack if you have to butt stroke someone). just a few ideas.

    • Capt. T. Nothing is as it seems with this situation and/or with the regime controlling it. They’re not worried about the debt ceiling and spending or the economy because they have a different plan that my ‘day job’ allowed me to realize.

      Everything will be changing much sooner than anyone would believe. The ability to print money by being the world’s reserve currency will no longer matter because ‘currency’ as we knew it, won’t matter in the new ‘World Government’ schema.

  • AK-47 it is very good weapon.

  • I enjoyed it all! As someone who has been a reloader and designed my own calibers since the 60’s and the gas lines, I add only do not be like the guy who went to a gunfight with a knife and you have a chance of survival, provided you practice and take care of your weapons!

  • Having grown up in Dad’s shop back in the 1940s and 1950s where he built custom stocked hunting rifles and did general gunsmithing . . . and when I cast bullets and loaded handgun cartridges primarily for the Bill Jordan recommended S&W Mod. 19 .357 Combat Magnum, that in anticipation of joining the USBrorder Patrol after collete graduation . . . but for my .22-250 & .338 Winchester & .358 Norma Mag. rifle cartridges as well . . . and thus having begun shooting at the old age of 5 yrs. with the trusty Daisy “Red Ryder’ BB Gun , MY ‘TAKE’ ON THE SUBJECT; FOR WHAT IT IS WORTH IS AS FOLLOWS: As always – IN A CRISIS SITUATION THAT WE ANTICIPATE TO SURELY BE COMING, Caliber and thus availability of cartridges are a major factor as well as choosing a rifle for survival. The .223 current military caliber cartridge in the Ruger Ranch Rifle is a good choice; scoped it will ‘do the job’ intended. Next a rifle in .22 rimfire (.22 long rifle ctg.) is almost a ‘have to have’ along with a handgun in that caliber as well. Finally the rifle featured in this article, the Marlin Lever Action in .45/70 caliber is an excellent choice provided you have accumulated a sufficient quantity of cts. for it and have cast bullet moulding equipment for the almost unlimited supply of auto tire wheel weights, power, primers and all necessary loading tools. The Marlin in 444 caliber is nice as well, it allowing handloading with the .429 dia. cast Keith or Thompson 240-250 gr. bullets that are for your .44 Special and .44 Magnum revolvers. This will cover the situation fairly well. As as our gunfighter friend, Bill Jordon, is said to have observed, “IF YOU CAN SHOOT (straight) . . . . the implication being that you should then have access to whatever your adversary has in the way of arms, ammunition, supplies, equipment, vehicle, etc.

  • It’s very silly to even think of survival-guns without mentioning the need for a silencer, luminous sight inserts, a rust-resistant, dark finish, concealability (at least when taken down) the ability to use GI ammo, AND .22lr. A Ciener .22lr unit (30 rd box mag) for the AR 15 is $200, weighs just 3/4 lb, and the caliber-swap takes just 20 seconds. The accuracy is 2″ groups or better at 50 yds, plenty good enough for foraging or fighting.

    You can easily build an AR16 for $600. Noise will kill you, if shtf. it will call in enemies from 2 miles around, and if all you have is a shotgun, you’ll be helpless against them. Prefering the shotgun is the mark of the inept/ignorant. A good “can” on a 223 makes full power, 60 gr Nosler Partition softpoint loads sound like a regular .22lr rifle,and it makes the 60 gr Aquila subsonic .22 rd sound like a BB gun. No joke.

    The 11.5″ barreled AR is concealable in a pack in 5 seconds (push out 2 retained pins) and reassembled to fire in 10 seconds. with the good softpoint ammo, the shorty AR hits just as hard as a 4″ barreled .44 mag revolver 223 or 9mm ammo is 40 rds to the lb, 12 ga ammo is 10 rds to the lb , .22lr is 135 rds to the lb. 308 is 18 rds to the lb. .30 AK or .45 ammo is 22 rds to the lb.

  • the shorty 223 AR will snipe effectively to 1/4 mile, given a scope, trigger job, forend mounted bipod, and 69 gr match bthp ammo. It is every bit as effective on game as the 30-30 ever was, as long as you use the deep penetrating Partition softpoints. Get a 1 in 9″ rifling twist-rate, by the way.

  • The shotgun is a bad joke, due to the short range, heavy, bulky ammo, no repeating .22 conversion, fragile ammo, lack of a flashhider/silencer, you can’t carry 2 longarms and a backpack in a hostile environment. So you have to choose, and if you leave out the rifle, the shotgun will soon belong to your killer.

  • U will be way ahead with a silenced Marlin Papoose than any noisy gun, especially centerfire bolt actions or shotguns. But it’s silly to limit yourself to JUST a .22 or JUST a centerfire, when a .22 conversion from Ciener Firearms gives you the option of BOTH, for $200, with a 30 shot box mag, 20 second parts swap, and for 3/4 lb of weight difference.

  • the idea, guys, is to kill hundreds of the enemy, and not be hurt yourself. Have a bit of sense about your gear and tactics, and that can be done. Don’t wait until they are coming for YOUR gun, when you hear that they are seizing guns from anybody, put the silencer on your takedown rifle, and go hunt THEM first. Nothing will point a finger at you. Beware cameras everywhere. Use a disguise, a spare license plate, and the last couple of miles, take a bicycle out of your car. 🙂 Leave no prints or dna. Wipe each round as you load the mag, wearing gloves. Use a brass catcher (or get rid of that gun). take nothing (ie, wallet, glasses, dentures” that will ID you if you get in a fight and lose them. the ID on the latter 2 can be ground off, but the fit is still for ONLY you, and the scerip-xray might be tracable, dunno.

      Experience counts ALWAYS.

    • You’ve been watching waayyyyyyyy too many movies.

  • u CAN’T shoot or intimidate anyone with a gun you aint got at hand. You aint got any crystal ball telling you when the looters won’t be around, and the looters aint letting you go trade your bolt action, pellet gun, xbow, shotgun etc for your fighting rifle.

    So, if it’s shtf, you will have no choice but to always carry your fighting rifle, and that rifle BETTER be silenced, .22 and 223-capable, long range capable, concealable, rust-resistant, have luminous sights, able to pierce concealed armor, be rapidfire-capable, powerful enough to stop a man with one chest hit, and be lw, compact enough to ALWAYS be on your assault sling, with a BOB pack on your back.

    • Us elderly folks are involved primarily with defense of our home . . . occupied by only an elderly disabled husband and wife and thus the husband at least should always to wear a handgun . . . always and of a major caliber an in a model with which one is very, very familiar. A shotgun is the second logical arm for defense; a 12 gauge Brownining A5 and a pair of pumps good choices. Rifles for us in our home are down the line quite a bit. Most of us savvy folks have them, especially we who grew in the South with firearms frequently used in hunting, plinking and ‘target’ shooting and thus have a lifetime of practice; some 70+ years in our case. Most of us readily aware that we will not survive an attack by mobs or government goon squads and, belonging to Our Lord for almost 65 years now have no problem with that, death inducing no fear and considered a certainty based on the exponential increase in ‘police’ attack home invasions, beatings, shootings and downright

  • I have heard, but don’t know for sure, that 1 in 7″ rifling twist means that normal 40 gr .22lr wont be accurate in the conversion unit of that AR, and I aint willing to waster $150 on a barrel swap to find out. 🙂 So I’ll stick with 1 in 9″ rifiling twist. I know that works ok. The 1 in 7″ probably works fine with Aquila 60 gr .22 ammo, but that stuff’s expensive and hard to find. It’s great for the BOB, but a bit much for weekly training.

    Correct me if I am in error, but it seems that there are almost NO crimes committed now days that result in the Death Penalty being handed down by the courts; that including premeditated murder, rape, kidnapping, and similar what are or should be considered ‘hennas crimes’.

    It the above observation is, in point of fact, valid, recent discussions regarding the ‘cops gone wild’ situation that seems to be a daily occurrence and involves not just one incident that is brought to ‘light’ but many, and this raised the question as to why the cops are permitted to not only point their weapons at ‘suspects’ that they seek to arrest for crimes where the death penalty is never involved . . . and thus by pointing a deadly weapon in these situations indicate their willingness to kill the individual that they have ‘under the gun’; that from any point of view furnishing prima facia evidence of a willingness to murder and with malice of fore though . . . and they seem – almost without no exception – to ‘get away’ with this crime or, at best, get a ‘slap on the hand’ by the authorities and courts!!!

    A classic example involves a driver who reportedly was involved in an apparent speeding-traffic-stop or stopped for an even trivial reason, that a classic example which reportedly involved an old fellow with a walking stick who got our of his vehicle as I might as I am an old hearing impaired disabled fellow and, lo and behold, the cop not only pointed his weapon at the man but proceeded to shot him.

    Now that is a classic example of a trigger happy fellow that clearly indicates his being anything but level headed and responsible and thus he and his kind should never be armed and most certainly not be hired for any job involving authority over anyone; he, at best, fitted for a manual labor job where there is minimal potential for him to cause harm he is able to any of us.

    I fully am aware that times have undergone a drastic change from the 1950s, when, while in college, I served as a Special Deputy Ranger Volunteer with the County Ranger-Coroner’s office; that when I was home from school and especially in the Summers. Having literally ‘grown up’ in Dad’s shop where he built custom hunting rifles and did general gun-smithing, in this environment gained was a ‘gun savvy safety first’ knowledge of handing and shooting with safety and respect for firearms and, more importantly, how NOT TO USE THEM’.

    Back then the understanding was that if you pointed a firearm at someone you had better be in a life and death situation . . . and most certainly never in a situation that involving a suspect that was not an armed felon or strongly considered to be one.

    But that was back then when sanity ruled as opposed to this day and time when insanity seems to be the NORM.

    • In 2010, 39 inmates were executed in the United States[2] and 3,108 were on death row[3] – an execution rate of less than 2%. Many states such as Texas, Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio and Arizona regularly execute convicted murderers. Texas has performed the most executions by far, and Oklahoma has had (through mid-2011) the highest per capita execution rate.[4]

      Looks to me like PLENTY get convicted of capital cases (doubtless many more could have been charged with same. 3000 are on death row. even if they average being there 10 years, that’s 300 convictions per year. If typical conviction/plea/threat ratio applies, the possible # of people charged with a death case is 4x that high, too. Civilians get to point guns at people if they are threatened and they are not charged with upholding the law. Cops are.

      source, wikpedia.

      Contents [hide]
      1 History

  • as far as i’m concerend, what ever firearm your comfortable with and you can use it to the best of your ability, well use it!, for a rifle I use a 44-40 and a shotgun, for a hand gun I use a P-226 in 9mm, or my 45ACP, not every one can afford those fancy AR15’s or something bigger, bigger is not always better and don’t forget the cost of ammo!!!.

    • 44-40 and a shotgun is going to total at least as much as the $600 you’ll need to spend on a kit built AR-15, for a fact. The .22 conversion unit for the AR15 saves you 30c per shot on 223 ammo, even if you pay 12c per shot for the .22lr (which is much more than you need to pay, if you’ll just look around, back order, buy off the guy at wally’s etc. ) 🙂 And when all you have is a lever and a shotgun, you aint got a real fighting rifle. YOu don’t have range, you don’t have vehicle penetration, you can’t use GI ammo, parts, or mags, you don’t have a dark, rustproof finish, you don’t have a threaded muzzle for a silencer, nor a flashhider, you don’t have drop in luminous sights. If you want such sights, folding stocks, silencer, etc, on your guns, it will cost you a fortune. On just the AR and .22 unit, you only have to buy ONE set of such accessories.

      • silencers block the iron sights on many guns, and ruin the handling of a 12 ga (if they are big enough to actually reduce the noise enough to matter). putting luminous sights on a 44-40 is probably going to cost you $250 for the smithing work. 🙂 It’s dark half of the time, and not being able to aim is a horrific handicap. The 12 ga’s flash is so bad, using buckshot at night, that it destroys your night adapted vision for several minutes. Better keep a pair of Norton “earvalve” type earplugs or electronic (both ears) earmuffs hanging with your body armor and your flashlight, if the 12 ga is your game plan. 223 also, of course, if it’s not “wearing” a silencer.

    • Personally, I consider you well armed and from your commentary O hope rightly assume that you shoot those weapons with a comfortable familiarity! Few folks can afford $!,000 firearms, pistol, rifle or shotgun. God bless them for finding the money to put into all those firearms and ammunition. They have jobs that pay pretty well. You did not mention the gauge of that shotgun, so I assume it is a 12 gauge, with its many forms of loads to ward off
      undesirable things, or various food items. God bless you friend, and do not worry about vanity firearms, two, three, four and five thousand and up. The gold and fancy engraving, and things affixed to those expensive items. Their owners love them and lavish money on further customizing them. WE will shoot ours, though not as costly, but they shoot both very well and quite dependably. Collect ammo, for without it, any firearm only treats you ears to a well deserved “click.” May you them in great health for hell of a long time!

  • This question is un-answerable; like asking who is the hottest women on Earth. Ask a thousand people, get a thousand opinions.
    The best survival long gun is…the one you’ve got.
    If you forced me at gunpoint, (pun intended), to make a list…one 12 ga shotgun, any configuration. One full-power. 30 cal rifle for game, 2 legs or 4. One .22 LR for small work.
    Side arms are anyone’s choice.

    • I agree, Bob. The best survival gun usually turns out to be the one you’re shooting at the time you need it. And due to the enormous amount of choices these days and the attendant subjectivity according to personal preference, your suggestion would generally fit the bill.

      After decades of my own experience and reading the comments here by those who obviously have some knowledge and experience, i’ll just add a couple other angles to consider.

      Survival is very different from just getting the best gun for the hunt, or the police work, or the target match.

      There are other considerations not so necessary in the above ‘civilian’ usage of firearms. There will be virtually No ‘civility’ in a bad case survival scenario.
      So the best analogy for the best apocalyptic survival firearm would be a military warfare scenario weapon, as opposed to a simple .22 rifle barrel over a 20g shotgun just for very basic predator protection and general hunting use.

      And the other thing is, while there is no such thing as having too many guns or too much ammo, budgets and logistics are the limiting factors here, especially in a major supply and resource emergency’

      So bottom line, in my humble but vastly experienced opinion, that leaves only one choice–for the ultimate survival gun, especially if you ‘can only have one gun’.

      The lightest .223 AR-15 carbine you can get that suits your particular optic and accessory preferences. The modern AR platform is peerless. It can cover just about every contingency of survival fairly decently and since it IS the main individual combat weapon of the Military, it obviously is one of, if not THE best choice for the average survivalist in actual firefight usage.

      As for back up sidearms, i agree with you, there are so many good ones, it’s almost useless to debate it, except if you are not a well practiced pistolero, i’d suggest a Glock 17 (9mm) with extra extended HI-cap mags just because it’s simple action and proven reliability is better for inexperienced shooters, even though it is a major choice for professionals, as well.

      A 12g is a good choice ONLY in the hands of an experienced shotgun shooter/hunter. Otherwise you’ll miss more than you’ll hit, like a lot of cops i’ve trained with who were never skeet shooters or bird hunters and couldn’t hit much with them. Mythology not withstanding. And the other thing is that they have the most performance and application limitations that wouldn’t be good in a general survival situation.

      • One more angle on this discussion. I find too often, we focus on the best gun, and not ammo. Ammo ammo ammo.
        My collection consists of only common calibers; .22LR, .38/.357, 7.62×39, .308, etc etc. I dont own a. 357 Sig, a. 22 Swift, .300 WinMag and so on. And no wildcat calibers. Unless you’re a hand-loader, and I only know perhaps two people out of a hundred who do, (and one of those grenaded his K-frame Smith when he double-charged a. 357 mag round. Nobody got hurt, just his pride after much laughter), then uncommon calibers will do you little good.
        If you should find yourself trading for ammunition, it will be a helluva lot easier to locate 12 ga than 16 ga., . 30-06 than 8mm Mauser, 9mm Parabellum than 9mm Makarov and so on.
        Does not matter what you shoot, but ammo needs to be possible to obtain. Otherwise, it’s just a club.

        • Yup, more people than you think don’t consider ammo. Both in the caliber department AND stocking up enough.

          That’s why i like the AR-15 platform above anything else. With one lower receiver you can have additional uppers in many different calibers.

          The two most ubiquitous pistol calibers these days are 9mm and .40. Not many people know that a Glock .40 caliber Glock 22, the most common police carry, can switch to a .357 Sig barrel and use the same .40 magazines. AND, ‘Cheaper than dirt’ sells a drop in 9mm barrel for the Glock 22 and since the 9mm Glock 17 magazine will fit and work in a Glock 22. (basically the same frame), you can shoot three different calibers (four, actually, if he get one of those .22 conversion kits also) out of your Glock 22 which makes it a hard sidearm to beat for all around survival and everything else.

          Also, i read a survival article somewhere that the 30-06 would come in even above .308 as being the most common high powered rifle cartridge in terms of widespread availability. You can find a box of 30-06 ammo virtually anywhere in the country. Every small town hardware store anywhere might not have .223, but they’ll have some 30-06.

          Which is also the main redeeming factor for a 12 gauge. The ammo, and reloading components, is everywhere.

          But for those of you who think that the 12 gauge is ‘boss’ of the applesauce, for firefight confrontations, make sure you get out there and prove it to yourself with some practice. You might be surprised how ‘limited’ it is, ESPECIALLY if you are not skillfully well practiced with it.

          I know police tactical shotgun INSTRUCTORS who will not use one in favor of their AR-15 carbine, unless that’s all they have. And they still better have a good pistol backup on them.

    • Like fake news, sometimes the narrative diverts from reality to create a seriously erroneous fallacy, especially with some of these aphorisms which are no longer valid outside the relative comfort zone of anecdotal armchair warrior advice, like the constantly mentioned ‘the best survival gun…is the one you’ve got. The modicum of justification for the statement being that you were stupid, lazy, uninformed, too cheap, or all of the above in prepping and getting optimized for self-defense or too cognitively distressed to prefer quality over substandard equipment. A potentially terminal mistake in emergency reality. Actually, if you have a choice, there definitely IS a best option for a particular weapon to suit virtually ALL survival situations. That, of course, is the short lightweight AR-15 carbine in 5.56 caliber. If you don’t already have one, but have other weapons you think will ‘be alright’, because you can’t afford one at the moment, sell all your other guns if you have to to get one,, Because it won’t be alright. You will be at a serious disadvantage. But after you do have one, you’ll have the spiritual ephiphany that you don’t really NEED any other guns because you can get extra ‘uppers’ that quick pop right in to cover any contingency which would only be limited by your shooting skill level, Not the AR. You can even have a .22LR upper, or a drop in bolt conversion if you like practicing without breaking the bank. Or get a 6.5 Grendel, or .25-45 which will work as good as anything else for deer out to 20o meters or so if you fantasize that you’ll be having the luxury of doing any hunting for your food in an all out SHTF scenario. If you have this as your primary defense system, and train with it, and your ammo stock is up there, and you can afford other ‘weaponry’, that’s not a fault., because it helps preserve our 2nd/A, (about ready to be diminished as of this writing). But for those of us who need little catch phrases to justify our lack of knowledge, here’s one for ya’all:
      In mortal conflicts ended by the last man standing…Don’t bring bare kuckles to a knife fight. Don’t bring a knife to a revolver fight, Don”t bring a revolver to a tactical shotgun fight, don’t bring a ttacticl shotgun to an AR-15 fight, and don’t bring anything to an M-60 belt fed fight, Just RUN!

  • @ Don:
    If the 45-70 is a “JOKE” like you state, when can you be available to be shot with one?

  • You know It’s kind of stupid to mention survival without the knowledge of how to collect the protein needed to care for yourself . Anyone who intends to live off the land and not know how to set a snare is only planning his own death . A roll of para chord or two , in different camo colors , will take all the game needed to sustain any number of people . I’ve snared deer with telephone wire so it is possible . Every prepper should get a book on snares and dead falls and learn how to use it . You’ll have all the meat you need and never fire a shot . A couple large rat traps will catch squirrels and other rodents . My dad and I used to go on survival trips and we’d eat like kings for 4 or 5 days . Think ahead , be smart , be prepared . Don’t waste your ammo or give yourself away . Get a copy of Fur – Fish and Game from your news stand , go to the back and buy a good book on Snares and Dead falls , learn it , use it and eat well .


  • Kel-tec Sub-2000 chambered in 40S&W, a couple of Glocks also chambered in 40S&W, and your own handloading setup. Voila, total flexibility, good firepower. Add a scope on the Sub-2000 and lasers on the Glocks, and you’re hard to beat.

    • Keltech 2K40? You bet. This was my vote months ago, but it seemed no others were in tune. My Keltech 2K40 is

    • Keltech 2K40 is accurate enough to pop a squirrel or rabitt and hits hard enough to take a deer at 50 to 75 yards. Its been reported that at 50 yards it hits almost as hard as a 41 mag. Most all deer in my area are taken within 45 yards. If I do get into a firefight I figure I could take a two legged advisary at 100, maybe 150 yards by adjusting for drop. Coupled with a Glock 40 and an extra mag for each, what more is needed.

      • To dave and Duane, good points you guys bring up. The Kel-tec .40 carbine is a good inexpensive defense or short range hunting platform. It’s light, handy, and with a 3 or 1 MOA dot sight, it’s fast, accurate, and has enough power out to 100+ meters.

        Those who ‘know’ the reality of such things understand that there is nothing a .45 can do better than a .40. or even a 9mm anymore depending upon the ammo you use. The standard fmj truncated rounds you see everywhere pretty cheap for around 12-16 bucks a box now, can be drilled for a better CQB round or drilled tight and a hardened 1/8″ or less steel core can be glued and pressed a drilled hole for better ‘penetrating’ power in an anything goes shtif no laws applying anymore survival scenario.

        So yes, it’s a very good all around ‘grab and go’ all day carry platform for the cost effectiveness with the back up pistols in the same caliber if you don’t need to reach out to starwars distances. It’s a huge urban myth these days that just because you have a .308 ‘sniper’ or battle rifle you can easily pick them off at 300 plus meters. As Mark Twain would say…”that just ain’t so…” You need to be fairly well trained and continuously PRACTICED before you can guarantee yourself 98% consistency of hits past 300 meters, even with a good scope. Especially on windy or rainy days…which will be just when ‘they come’.

        But it doesn’t take that much practice with a rifle to make consistent enough hits under 100 meters. That’s why after all was said and done, most actual combat infantry soldiers waited to return rifle fire if an enemy was attacking, until they were under a couple hundred meters, but not yet in grenade throwing range.

        Did you know that the Glock 22 (.40) caliber is probably your most versatile pistol in the world? Not only do they have very nice Israeli dropin-or up, rather- folding stock carbine attachments–unfortunately pricey at around 500 bucks, that fit the Glock 22, and 30 round magazines, (.40 glock mags also fit the 357 sig cartridge)
        So all you need to convert to what amounts to almost a light rifle cartridge in terms of sheer power is to switch barrels in you glock 22!

        But wait! There’s more, lol! If you order in the next 10 minutes!” …for instance frome Cheaper than dirt, you can buy a 9mm barrel that drops right into Glock 22 to fire the 9mm cartridge!

        I know you’d say, what about the magazines? Well, while the 9mm won’t work in the .40 magazines because of the lip size, guess what? the frames of the Glock 22 (.40) and Glock 17 (9mm), are basically the same! So the glock 17 9mm mags fit right in the Glock 22! How’s that for coolness? As far as the 9mm cartridge working on the .40 slide. the actual outside case diameter between the two cartridges is only 1mm, which is even more insignificant when spread in a circumference, so it works with the slide face and extractor in a .40 slide!

        How’s that for survival versatility?! And i’ll bet they even make a .22 long rifle conversion kit for it also?

  • Cody, I agree with your choices proposed here. For the .223 cartridge, I have a Mini 14, which is based on the M1 carbine design. Then, the AK and the lever gun (not that caliber). I like to get maximum versatility or usefulness from all my survival gear and weapons as well. I build a system, so to speak, based on commonality of shared resources such as ammo caliber. And like most folks, am pretty limited in finances for my ‘armory’. In that idea of selecting my gear out over many years, I ‘settled’ for the AK and it’s ammo type. For my AK (7.62×39) I back it up with an SKS, both rifles being well proven on the many battlefields on earth, so that if some wildly unforeseen problem knocks out the AK, the SKS backup is pulled out, and loaded with the same ammo reserves. Works for the lever gun as well, in .357 magnum, which fired from the much longer barrel of the carbine, gives that ‘pistol cartridge’ about a 50% boost in velocity and foot pounds of energy, and is of course shared with all my revolvers.

    • The very first thing to do is break it down and thoroughly clean it, then lightly re-lube it! Take it to the range and run 40 -80 quality rounds through it and go home and clean it again, as above. All firearms need a break-in period. A new gun that had never been fired, or cleaned nearly cost me my life, several years ago! Never trust a weapon, that you lack personal range time with. Especially, a new never cleaned or fired one.

  • First off there is no fully automatic version of the AR-15. Colt and Armalite don’t make semi-automatic versions of the AR-15 they make AR-15 other wise it would be called an M-16 or M-4. 45-70 gov ammo is expensive and heavy recoiling. Probably not every ones gun. .22 are easy to stop with just some thick hard material and I wouldn’t trust them to stop people. The smartest thing this guy said was the AK-47 and if you add a 12 ga I am not sure there is any situation you can’t handle.

  • “M1 Carbine was for years considered to be one of the best combat rifles in the world. Designed as a more compact and lightweighted version of the M1 Garand”

    Wrong on both counts. It was never considered to be one of the best combat rifles. It was designed as and considered to be a good personal defense weapon for officers, drivers, radio operators, and other non-infantry personnel. Its butt and longer barrel made it a more stable, accurate self-defense weapon than a handgun, and the .30 Carbine round, which is ballistically almost identical to .357 Magnum, served that self-defense role well, but it received a lot of complaints when it was pressed into service as a main combat rifle in WWII and Korea – a role it was never designed for.

    • Forgot to emphasize that the M-1 carbine is a completely different design than the Garand, it isn’t a scale-down exercise or even based on the Garand. It has only one part in common, a short butt plate screw. It uses an entirely different gas system and trigger mechanism.

    • I have heard that there are one million M1 carbines stored in South Korea, I own one and enjoy shooting it. I have read that Obama will not allow them to be shipped back to this country, to be sold off to our private citizens, even though they are still considered to be a “lesser cartridge.” Put that on hold for a bit, and know that I have also read, that again, in South Korea there are also
      one million M1 Garand rifles, and Obama will not allow them to be brought back to the United States, for sale to the citizens of this nation. For those who are informed, please answer two questions? Note the short description of each rifle are “M1”. First is it possible that there is actually only one million M1 rifles in South Korea? If so which rifle are they referring to? Second, why will Obama not allow these rifles (either one or two million them, allowed to be returned to the taxpayers who paid for their manufacture in the first place.
      The NRA used to arrange the sale of military weapons to the citizens of our nation, why not again, and put all the money obtained by the sale of one or two million rifles be given to offset a nice part of the 18 Trillion national debt?
      There must be some sort of storage fee for keeping them in that foreign nation. The firearms are not going to be the latest development in the our battle inventory. Surely they will not be sold or given to Iran, as part of their
      new pact with Obama. The Irani’ and other Muslim citizens seem to love the AR-47 and its off-shoots. I feel like converting those firearms into cash toward the immediate payment toward our national debt would be a wise move on the part of our government. Our citizens will gobble them up, for they are pieces of our national defense history. Some of you in-the-know gentlemen can furnish those answers or it can be debated!

  • I hate reading all the know it all letters from guys.It is bad for our cause to argure guns.In a true shtf or eotwawki the guns and ammo is the least important thing.shelter,hiding food,first aid,warm clothes,are way more important.knives,arrows and traps will feed you.Mindset will be everything.So when everyone panics and heads to wal mart to only be killed,I will be underground,not wanting to watch the carnival.I have been watching that my whole life.

    • Scott these debates are to help each other with suggestions, not be “know it alls.”The BEST mindset in a SHTF is to treat ALL of the elements of survival as EQUALLY as possible. Since self defense WILL unfortunately be a part of it, the best way to protect you and yours is with a rifle/firearm. This article specifically addresses the top 6 rifles for survival. When the ammo is all gone, then knives ( as you mentioned ) will be the next best tool for survival. So why not have the BEST method/mindset until it’s not available anymore? What survival/self defense blades do you have? I prefer the kukri for all around, and a dagger for self defense

      • I totally agree. This discussion of what is the best weapon is useless. The truth of is all is the best for you is probably what`s in you closet or on your hip. What is best depends on your view point formed from your personal surrounding and conditions. Why opt for a weapon that reaches 500 yards if your neighbors are 40 yards away. Collateral damage must be in the equation. If we view survival for self only what is of value is this world. Even a .22 with a one mile range must be viewed with this in mind.
        So, let’s get back to the basic question of how to ensure survival for us, our families and those within our circle of influence that we all might live to find a better day. How about meat, vegetables, water, shelter. And remember encouraging others to minimize panic.

    • This is healthy discussion, a friendly debate, if you will, about the preferred weapons for SURVIVAL. There’s NOTHING bad about that (for our cause). Even YOU are gonna have to come out of your bunker (not to mention we ALL can’t have a bunker) at some point and I’m sure you’d want more security than just a knife. Don’t get me wrong, a good blade is THE most essential tool to have ( kukri:#1) but firearms w plenty of ammo is better. Sorry man, but I don’t see ANY know-it-alls here. We’re just trying to help each other out.

    • Note that I have purchased ammo there, in Walmart for my grandson and me to use to sharpen our shooting skills. They are always out or in very short supply of .22 LR, and I cannot understand why the American and perhaps world’s largest retailer does not have a larger priority on the ammunition market, with all the major ammunition firms manufacturing , why Walmart is not getting their share. I have been there at our local Walmart when the ammunition is sold at 8 o’clock at night, on Tuesday. Three boxes to each
      customer and there is generally only one box to share, among those few customers are there! The week before last the ammo went to about five people and it was gone, one small package of .22 LR, for bout 12 folks patiently standing in line to get their meager ration of .22′ ammo. It would seem that someone at Wal Mart are not doing their job correctly, and the person ordering the ammunition is not familiar with firearms or their ammunition re-supply methods. Perhaps they should get in touch with foreign manufacturers and get a more plentiful supply for their customers! Apparently someone needs to be replaced, in their purchasing department!
      Any suggestions or solutions?

  • For me it is a mix breed tnh.
    Lee Enfield No4 Mk2 .303 (shoots Hornady 174gr BTHP .312), Weaver 4-16 F/C dot scope, AAC Suppressor, original wood stock + wood cheek piece. This is my 150 + yard gun.
    Kimber Stainless Target II 10mm (200gr HP bullets / 220gr JHP ), 6in flutted barrel & 5.90″ slide. Side Arm.
    Glock 29 10mm (200gr JHP) fugly gun but works. back up.
    Ruger Mini-30 7.62×39 (loves 150gr Hornady SP interlocks). Main rifle for med engagements.
    FN FAL (Siera 168gr BTHP) Swarovski Z6 5-25 4W scope, wood stock and cheek piece, bi pod, free floating barrel, McGowen 24in Med weight barrel, AAC 300-TM suppressor.
    I got others but these would be my choices from my collection

  • Fascinating comments and mine is small but not insignificant! For those of you who have an item too long for conventional storage, one might go to their local plumbing shop or supply store, and they will discover long lengths of PVC pipe, with appropriate plumbing devices which can be opened for clean out the contents. The come in various circumferences , to at least six inches, and might be precisely that which you seek for problems which can occur with underground installations. Seal them well, but use devices which will help in removing anything inside. Seek and you shall find!

  • i have an m21 on a sage chasis system w/ leupold mark 6 glass and a aimpoint 45 degree red dot for my long range purposes. I have a Daniel Defense AR double tax stamp 10 inch barrel w/ silencer ( along with the .22 conversion BCG) . Para Ordnance black ops 1911 double stack, Glock 23 (.40 cal) and have a 9mm lone wolf conversion barrel. This setup allows me to be reasonably light weight as my system is vehicle based. The piece of equipment that allows me to run 2 rifles is my eberlestock gunslinger 2 which has a built in rifle scabbard. For my personal well being I also have a crye precision plate carrier which is set up bare bones with my glock 23 ( w/ tlr-2 light laser) on the high chest portion and “IFAK” on the rear portion and tournaquit and 1 single AR mag pouch 2 glock mag pouches. I have a ” battle belt” with a drop leg holster w/ para black ops w/ tlr-2 the belt itself has 3 double ar mag pouches and 3 m21 single mag pouches. The jeep wrangler has all emergency ammo and a comprehensive medical bag that can treat anything from a skinned knee to chemical warfare exposure ( limited treatment to nerve and blood agents)

  • Why not just stick with a good old mosin? The M1 is great, but for solo survival you need range.

  • People underestimate a good accurate 22lr.
    I have remington’s rugers and marlins.
    By far my Marlin 22 mag bolt actions is the most accurate weapon that I have ever fired other than the m1 G.
    10,000 rounds under 300 dollars.

    People also neglect to think about preservice ammo CORRECTLY!
    You want your ammo to last 1000 years. get some 2 inch pvc and caps drill some holes and put a stocking full of sodium hydroxide in it.

    I have one acrylic box I keep under vacuum.
    I know that sounds crazy…. but it works

    • Sodium hydroxide? What for? Sodium hydroxide is corrosive, eventually it will corrode the cases. If you’re trying to keep moisture away, better silicon dioxide.

  • Now you’re talking good sense. It

  • Now you’re talking good sense. It’s your wit more than your weapon. Oh, and don’t forget your family.

  • I read the initial article and fat forwarded here bypassing the other comments. In your initial list, I find it surprising that the SKS was not included. It is more affordable than an AR, has a healthy amount of aftermarket upgrades, is more accurate than an AK, and is also one of the most available rifles on the planet and has more manageable recoil than a Marlin 45-70. It uses the same ammo as the AK-47, so it is cheap to keep in ammo, and for under $500 you can land the rifle and a few upgrades to make it a good, comfortable shooter. Shame on you for not including it.

    • A buddy of mine literally did this yesterday took the wood stock off added the collapsed one matte black. It made me realize now I want one too. My brother also uses this rifle too. At 100 yards it has the stopping power of a 303 at 200. A good rifle for shorter distances.

  • thank you for your article. couple of other options to consider: Airforce Condor air rifle and shotgun, such as the Rossi Rio Grande lever action .410. The Condor can shoot .22 pellets at 1250 fps, comparable to a .22 LR. Suppose worst case you could cast your own pellets but haven’t heard or seen molds. I like the shotgun option because of its versatility — shoot anything from bird shot to buckshot to slugs. 100 yds would be pushing the limit with a slug but otherwise you can’t beat the flexibility. 7.62×39 is plentiful and cheap which makes Ruger mini 30, AK47, etc. worth considering.

    • .22 pellet might match a .22 LR in velocity, but being MUCH lighter it won’t have anything near the energy.

  • The m1 carbine sucked. No stopping power, and it was unreliable. In todays survival situation ammo would be hard to come by. Bad choice, I have no clue why it would be on this list.

    • While the cal .30 M-1 Carbine gets a bad rap, it does have it’s own redeeming qualities. First and foremost is its reliability. Like the cal .45 M-1911A1, you can drop it in the mud and still fire it.

      It was designed solely for the purpose of providing troops on crew served weapons a shoulder fired weapon instead of a pistol. As a pistol round it performs admirably. It will actually penetrate deeper into armor plate than a cal .30 M2 ball round. (personal experience)

      If you re-barrel this little carbine to cal .357 Magnum you will find similar ballistics in ammo that is easy to find. You could then shoot cal .38’s, .38+P’s, and .357 Magnum interchangeably. Convert it to 9 mm and you will find even more ammo available for it.

      The carbine also lends itself to easy conversion to an automatic weapon.

      Again, as a replacement for a pistol, the carbine is a good choice. Besides, ever try to put a bayonet on a pistol? Giggle

      Semper Fi!

  • At the end of the day, it’s the round that matters, regardless of your choice of firearm. Where you take your combat or survival to, decides what you ought to use, based on availability & affordability of ammo. Without the ammo, the rifle is only good as a grave marker.

  • Does anyone other than Ruger manufacture a good quality low price mini 14 or 30’rifle? Ruger 14 and 30’s are very expensive here in California.

  • At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what you have as long as you are proficient with it. Training is, and always has been, the great equalizer. My personal choice is my AR and either a glock 19, a Beretta M9 or my 1911 .45. I spent the last 16 years carrying one or the other during my time as an Infantry Marine or as a DSS security contractor. A .22 in the hands of someone that knows how to employ it, is far more effective than a .50 cal in the hands of someone who doesn’t. And the thought that a .380 or any caliber smaller than a 9mm is not nearly as effective, I say nay. If that were the case, they simply wouldn’t be made. I know several former SEALs, Delta operators, Recon Marines and the like who carry .32s and .380s as their EDC and trust their lives to those calibers. It’s about effective employment. To put it in locker room speak, what good is having a 10 inch horsecock if you can’t get it up? She laughs and hooks up with a guy with a 6 inch thing that knows how to use it. Yes, that’s a crass example, but I think it makes my point.

  • I will take my 1874 sharps in 45-70 and my 1851 navy revolver think the sharps is overkill let me know

  • The ar-15 can replace every firearm on the list in respect to capabilities, a 5.56 .223 rifle has the ability to fire .22lr with a cmmg
    conversion bolt and special magazines for cheaper than you can purchase a dedicated .22 rifle. There are .50 beowulf and .458 socom conversions to mimic the ballistics of the 45-70 lever gun, and a .300blk conversion to add an easily suppressor ready caliber that is slightly superior to the ak 7.62x39mm caliber. All the conversions are cheaper than buying entire weapons, and while no one is capable of carrying all the individual rifles, their ammunition , spare parts, and respective ammunition and magazines plus any needed survival gear that the author described one feasibly could carry two or three conversions for the ar15 with no additional accessories than one already has on the rifle such as lights, lasers, optics, slings, and iron sight enhancements. The ar15 provides all of the mentioned perceived needs at a lower cost then buying two or three of these guns to cover all of your survival bases. And, I don’t recall him mentioning a pump shotgun either. (However some shotgun calibers are available for the ar15) so, as politely as I can say to this article…what the fuck is this guy and the rest of you talking about ?

    • You made some awesome points, coolhand! Personally, I will do my best to survive in place. We worked too hard and too long to get here and I keep a close watch on socio-economics. I have prepared for the coming economic crisis. I can set a perimeter, provide water, food & shelter. I can hunt, fish and garden, if supplies become depleted and/or we get over-run, we have several places to go deeper into the country. I would not choose the same weapons for personal defense, that I would choose for competition target shooting. Ones ability to standardize calibers and gauges, and reload are important, as well as the knowledge and ability to stealth hunt. Noise not only scares game away, but gives the hunters position away.

  • Just finished reading the article on the 870 Remington for home defense ! Very informative guidelines! But I’m wondering, would you leave the barrel as is or saw it off since you would likely be in close quarters?

    • why bother with bolt action or shotgun at all? they are too limited. who says you will know if you need range and penetration (along with silencer)? The Ciener .22lr conversion unit, with subsonic ammo and the silenced AR15 is many times better for foraging or fighting than either of those 2 picks. and you can’t carry 2 longarms.

      • shorty 223’s take deer reliably to 150m, no problem, with 60 gr Nosler Softpoints to the chest. The AR will take down in 5 seconds, to conceal in your pack, and reassemble in 10 seconds, to fire. You can have a chromed bore and chamber, luminous sights, a dark, rustproof finish, effective sniping to 1/4 mile, and a BB gun quiet .22lr conversion unit (with subsonic 60 gr Aquila .22 ammo)

    • Don’t buy the Remington 870. Buy a bullpup semi-auto magazine fed 12ga. Handles close quarters etc. and has massive suppressive firepower.

  • 45-70… absurd.
    22lr, 5.56, 12ga. , .308. common rounds, easy to find. pick your favorite platform and go. who writes this stuff?….

    • Jack, agreed. My brother just bought a .45 Gap, (Glock). I gave him endless amounts of harassment for it. If/when SHTF, what are the odds of finding. 45 ACP vs Gap ammunition.
      All my calibers are military/common, including the calibers you listed and 30-30, 7.62×39, etc and of course, a variety of 12 gauge.

    • 12 ga and 308 are absurd, too. You will be stuck with always carrying 30+ lbs of gear, food and water, so, no, you wont be carrying more than one longarm. Also, there will be no safe place to leave your other guns, once shtf. You’ll have to remove their bolts/firing pins and cache them (separately)

  • Im European so our thinking may differ from yours. Lot of us in southern Europe prefer something like this.
    1. AK47 even with mediocre accuracy still can hit a man size at 250-300m with mechanical sights, variable 1.5-6x optics wide view can be of good use in short range ‘sniping’ for urban combat at least. Also can be used for mid-size –big game hunting if needed (easy to hit a deer or even a beer if you must with FMJ (few rounds would do boog job for sure).
    2. 12ga semi shotGun Saiga 12 or something similar at least 4+1 capacity. Saiga 12 with drum magazine can be a great choise as they are lot cheaper in US than in Europe (here is 1.400$ basic version, in us 10 round capacity. Personaly I prefer CZ99 (later 999 never version) as its all steel, dirt cheap <300$ (here at least) and proven in Balkan wars of ‘90s as a small ak since it took a lot of punishment and worked perfectly. But any other will do great job, if you are looking at awesome hand gun in 9mm and have money to spare I recommend Czech made CZ75 SP2 with that gun even semi trained shooters made good shots at 80-100m away that is remarkable for a 9mm pistol (factory made competition gun for ‘’common folks’’ with 2k in its pocket )

  • Oh for crying out loud people! Some comments are sooo picky! who cares if can carry X10, or X4 ammo, who cares what the definition of ‘arsenal’ is! People have their own ideas and that’s fine, what works for one…. One comment about handguns, that come decry, it makes it MUCH easier to have on you at all times. does it do everything, et al? Of course not, but for handiness……

  • that should say, ‘some decry…’

  • What’s up to every , as I am truly eager of reading this blog’s post to be
    updated regularly. It carries pleasant information.

  • I know several former SEALs, Delta operators, Recon Marines and the like who carry .32s and .380s as their EDC and trust their lives to those calibers. It’s about effective employment. To put it in locker room speak, what good is having a 10 inch horsecock if you can’t get it up? She laughs and hooks up with a guy with a 6 inch thing that knows how to use it. Yes, that’s a crass example, but I think it makes my point.

    • No offense intended, and although those calibers would be okay for most self defense situations, there’s times they would fall short regardless of how good of a shot you are. And especially .32 ACP. Several examples are:

      Heavily clothed criminals during winter time, where you need a round that will go through clothing and still have enough energy left to stop the criminal.

      Another example would be people on certain drugs. That’s one reason why police departments at one time were trying to find a suitable alternative to the 9mm, and why 9mm ammo was improved drastically, performing better these days than it once did.

      Another example is defense against certain wildlife. Bears are often used as examples, but they aren’t the only possible examples where you could likely need something more. And, something big enough to take down the hardest to kill animal that you would encounter in one or two shots, as an attacking animal may be charging so fast that you may only have time for 2 shots.

      I personally wouldn’t carry a handgun less than 9mm or .38 Special at minimum. And where I go hiking, that would be no less than .357 Magnum (I’m more of a revolver fan).

      But after all is said and done, what do handguns have to do with the top 6 survival rifles, the actual subject of the story?

  • For survival, a person needs a rifle that works for them. Having been a sniper in Viet Nam, any rifle I opt to use will be a SCOPED rifle of some kind. One good example of people using scoped rifles is what the Filipino Marine Scout Snipers have done. They’ve taken M-16 rifles, upgraded them, mounted 3 by 9 scopes on them and are using 62 grain bullets for their sniper rifles. In a survival situation using an M-4 type civilian variant carbine with a 3 by 9 scope mounted on it would not be a bad idea at all.

    By having a good scoped rifle, a handgun and a good sheath knife you pretty well cover most of your combat needs when they arise. That’s what I had in Viet Nam. I had a XM-21 sniper rifle, a Colt .45 semi-auto pistol and a sheath knife on my person most of the time over there. This time I plan on using an AR of some kind with a scope mounted on it, a Glock 9 mm of some kind and a good Kabar as well. My next choice will be a SAR-1 in 7.62 X 39 with a scope on it for hunting feral game like deer and wild pigs. So either way it goes I’ll be ready.

  • There is noticeably a bundle to know about this. I assume you made certain good factors in options also.

  • I think semi automatic, like AR or SMG, is just wasting our precious ammos in SHTF condition, iI prefer battle rifle, like M1A, for my survival. with reliable handgun as my own survival defense

    • Isn’t the M1A semiautomatic also genius

      • So, what is most effective weapon for survival for you, Sir?

  • When I was a police officer I was often having to look for criminals who broke into warehouses. Nothing felt better than my old 12 GA riot gun in my hands while creeping along in the dark between rows of stock. I knew that a thug could pop out of a hidey hole any second and slice me up or shoot me a half a dozen times before I could aim my service revolver and shoot, but with that good old 12 Ga scatter gun I could shoot a wide pattern without careful aim and my chance at a quick effective, saving my ass, shot would be increased. There is no better weapon on earth at close quarters than a 12 ga short barreled shotgun for stopping what has to be stopped.
    My old great grandpa was a young confederate soldier in the civil war and brought down Kansas General Lyons with his 12 Ga double barrel coach gun down in South Missouri Shot him right off his horse.. He always told my grandpa that the south was winning the war as long as they were using shotguns but when they went to rifles they started missing when they were scared. I have his old muzzle loading coach gun to this day but of course I used my modern riot gun for police work. I am an old old man and my experience is probably a lot different then the young men’s experience but as for myself give me a 12Ga and a backpack full of 12 Ga shells and turn me loose in the dark and I will come out ahead. just like my old great grandpa I don’t need a $2000.00 dollar rifle but would like to have one, id sell it and buy one of the new fangled auto loading 12 Ga shotguns that hold a dozen shells.

    • Thanks for your sharing, Sir. Very useful to me. The question is, should we carry handgun as backup, or we should grap our shotgun alone!? Thanks.

  • You should always carry a handgun unless you know exactly where and when shtf. I don’t see many people walking around Carrying rifles.When it happens you need to bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be.

    Tom D

  • I find it so discouraging to see these comments devolve so often into “you’re a moron ’cause you’re not doing it…have…see things my way” peeing contest and flame wars…We’re all on the same side re: our 2nd Amendment right to keep and bear arms…Please don’t disparage the views of other gun owners; help, instruct and educate each other…We already have enough enemies on the Left who want our guns…If you can shoot, it matters not to me what you bring to the battle…

  • AR -15, Remington 870 Tactical, Lever action chambered .357( can also fire .38 special making it very versatile), Ruger 10/22, Model 700 SPS Tactical in .308 with superb optics and AK 47. In my humble opinion. Really your choices depend on personal preference, where you live, your bug out location and your skill level. I recommend for Hand guns, Glock 17, S&W .38 Special, Ruger 22/45, Sub nose .38 special, Colt 1911.

    • You mentioned a .357 Magnum lever action for versatility, but then mention .38 Special revolvers rather than .357 Magnum revolvers for the same versatility.

      Or for that matter, something like the Taurus 692 or Ruger Blackhawk Convertible, that also shoots 9mm.

      • Very true. Oversite on my part.

  • I couldn’t read all of the comments because most of them were not even on topic. Of the ones that I did read, none mentioned that there is no such gun as a Marlin 1985. The Marlin brand does have a line of 45/70 guns that are labeled 1895. As far as guns go, when the SHTF, I’d carry an AR, something light in a light weight 6.5 Creedmoor (like a Savage rifle with a scope,, and a Beretta APX in a 9mm. But that’s just me…

    • Concur with your on topic assessment, but this thread started in 2013. Your SHTF choice of a LR308 class AR in 6.5CM is good but heavy, 11 to 13lbs. A tactically configurable 300 Blackout AR pistol 10.5″ will do both pistol and rifle jobs out to 400 yards. Beyond that you can get a low cost bolt gun in 6.5CM to fill in. See my 29 May 19 posting.

  • As an avid hunter and a young man with no money to burn, filling the freezer is my first priority. With that being said I’ve hunted with my 270, taken rabbits in the head at 25 yards, or deer dropped dead 130 grain ammo at 300… on a windy cold day in November rain sleet and snow. Next would be my savage semi auto, or Co0ey. .22lr I have also taken any sized animal in relation. Place the bullet in the eye socket or soft tissue with yellow jackets. Your going down down down. Lastly. My 12 ga will do just fine. Any of these I’ve carried big game hunting, bug out scenarios, and in the truck,

  • well as a family defense capability. The whole package should also be affordable and ammo available.
    1) Family Defense has a standoff requirement, engage established adversary as far away as practical. So you need a sniper rifle. Most cost effective family friendly rifle is a 22” Ruger American Predator in 6.5 Creedmoor ($460) with an ADE Advance Optics 6-25×56 MILDOT bar reticle with 140 MOA adjustments ($235), Millett clone, using S&B 140gr FMJBT (60 Cents each) for targets < 1200 yards, and tactical 147gr Hornady ELD Match ($28/20) or A-Tip for greater ranges out to a mile.
    2) AR-10.5” pistol in 300 Blackout ($400). This is your primary day night defense system in the 10 to 350 yard arena, with dual green and IR laser ($90), and 3-12×40 compact optic ($133). This assumes you have NVGs of some kind, if you don’t, you might as well get on the bus to the FEMA camp. Ammo is S&B 147gr ($10.40/20) and S&B 200gr Subsonic ($11/20). Or you can make your own from 223 brass and 308W bullets. Its tactical capability for defense, CQB, and deer hunting environments. [if you live in PRCa then your choice is a Yugo SKS ($400) with same optics, bandoleer with stripper clips ($22), 7.62×39 ($7/40)]
    3) Springfield XDS-9 ($379), Your CCW personal defense weapon. The tactile features are essential for bump in the night readiness confirmation. Forget Glock.
    4) Ruger 10/22 ($250), training and small game. 60gr Subsonic Aguila SSS ($4.60/50) plus regular 40gr 22LR ($12/500), Federal game-shok 25gr No.12 bird shot ($10/50).
    5) Mossberg 500 Persuader ($290), 12ga. 00 buck ($73/250), and appropriate bird shot ($25/100). Mostly for bird hunting and around house backup.
    Collectively the five can support five defenders, system cost $2,227 less ammo and accessories

  • First line got dropped off
    The real key to selecting survival weaponry is fit and function. All weapons should have a hunting as

    • Why the 300 Blackout AR pistol and not the standard 16”barrel AR-15 carbine you ask? 223 does not hunt well. When you add the optional Can on front the performance is better than carbine and the total length is under 30”. CCW max length is 26”, without can length is 25.5”. With or without can, subsonic ammo and IR laser makes weapon very effective and maneuverable inside or around the house at 100 yards plus. An added pistol legal QD bi-pod provides the additional stability to be effective to 400 yards with the 2,000fps muzzle velocity ammo. Pistol buffer tube to shoulder with cheek weld is legal so you have the most versatility in a single firearm.

  • I never have read so many opinions, right or wrong, on what is the correct firearm to defend yourself with. As many sensible respondents said, “use the one you are comfortable and competent with”. Also one you can afford to practice with and train with consistently. I have been in the Army and carried the M16 and the M203 version with the 40mm grenade launcher option, Great rifles and the M203 adds another dimension. However, they get dirty easily (especially the 203 launch tube), when used in the environment they were designed for. Not the local range or your basement gun safe. They are time consuming to clean thoroughly after being in the dirt and mire of the field after just a few days. Dirty guns do not fire accurately like clean ones. I was in Army ROTC in high school and we learned the M1 and almost every military weapon in the inventory from WWII and Korea. The real ones were in our weapons safe. I also fired the M14 at summer camp. I do not like the 5.56 cartridge. Easy to fire and for me accurate to 300 meters with iron sights. However, the ..30 variants that came before were definitely killing cartridges, man or beast. As such, I have a Marlin 336 in 30-30 Winchester. Affordable to shoot and with practice good to about 150 meters. My other weapon is a Ruger 9mm. Both are economical to fire and will do the job of self-defense and if need be put food on the table. Use the KISS principle and practice, You can only fire one weapon at a time anyways. Good luck.

  • i have yet to hear anyone mention the 10/22 magnum! i have one as my primary rifle,
    as well as a ruger 22mag pistol. then my 870 12 gage shotgun. i feel as that is all i need.
    plus thousands of rounds of ammo,

  • Personally, I like the Hi-Point 10 mm carbine. Its relatively new and I think you can find a 10 mm Hi-Point pistol. Same magazine for both. If the 10 mm is too much, such someone who has upper body joint issues, .45 scp or even 9 mm Hi-Point are also excellent choices. If you need to less expensive, you can find them used at a gun show.

  • One firearm that should be included in your inventory is a bolt action or single shot interchangeable barrel rifle/shotgun. Firepower is great for defense, but absolute reliability is another thing to consider and the fewer moving parts, the more reliable a firearm is as repairs may not be possible or available for more complicated actions.

  • Guys, ultimately it depends on what you are most comfortable with and how much you are willing to spend. I have an AR15, it’s what I’m most familiar with because of my military experience. I also have a shotgun and a couple of pistols. A 357 can shot .38 and is cheaper to practice with. .22 is cheap and would be good for trade in case of emergency.

  • Hello gentleman I’m just an old Vietnam Veteran who is owned and collected many gun But one day I came to my senses And figured out what am I going to do to carry all those guns. Now I Have my AR15, A Remington 870, And 9 mm pistol. I also live in an area where I do not have to bug out, As a matter of fact 9 of my buddies will bug out to my location. There’s an old saying if you see a manWho only has 2 or 3 guns he is probably and very likely very proficiantWith all his guns. Good luck God-bless stay safe and keep your head on a swivel.

    • Roger That Brother! I’m from the hills around Mt St Helens in Washington State. Our concern here is that outsider’s may try to “Bug Out” to our neck of the woods. We’re gonna knock down a few tree’s across the rode it things get bad…lol That will slow em down. Just like any other tool, a firearm is only as good as the person using it.

      • Wow Bug Out to Cascadia?, don’t think so. Save the chain saw work you’ll need the free access to get out of there.

        • No worries there. Only the tourists travel the blacktop road leading in. Few know the old logging skid trails out. We all have quads, and there are enough of us to repel all boarders.

  • Best survival rifle is a good air rifle. It will put meat on the table and is quiet, a HUGE plus. Ammo is a penny apiece, doesn’t go bad in long term storage, and if you run out you can shoot sharpened sticks or pebbles. If you don’t mind calling attention to yourself get a 9mm pistol and a 9mm rifle. Ammo is reasonable and, unlike 22, is re-loadable. The KelTec sub 2000 comes to mind. I wouldn’t go after a moose with one but it will certainly take down a deer. Don’t count on hunting too much anyway. During the depression wild game was hunted to near extinction in the first few months. Stock up on canned goods and concentrate on staying quiet and out of sight.

  • Wow! Lots of whining and bickering here. Too much to wade thru.
    If you end up going for an AR-15 type rifle, make sure it’s chambered for 5.56.
    Although they are nearly identical, there is enough difference (leade length) to cause problems.
    Usually won’t show up until a lot of rounds have been fired, but not something you want after SHTF
    and your means of defense becomes inoperable.
    If there is any doubt, have your local gunsmith check.
    Better safe than dead.

  • In my opinion it depends on the situation no gun is the best at every thing. The best thing to do is have one handgun and one rifle/shotgun if you can yeah you can own more than that but in a shtf situation you can’t hall your whole gun collection with you. What you take is up to you what the situation you finde your self in like for instance if your faced with a hurricane after its over most likely there going to be copes going around and other lawinforcment take people guns if they see them with them,so you won’t want to be running around with a rifle. In my opinion even thoe I like the ar15 It probably would not be my first choice my first choice would be a an ak pistol with a brace and a 45acp pistol full size or compact 4 mags for each if I was to bug out or have to move on to new location if things went really wrong we’re there are no cops or gove. Why only 4 mags each because less weight more room for other things and I know it be harder to finde ak ammo but all ammo is going to be hard to come by. Heck might be better to bug out with a 12g pump shotgun because it does just about everything but long distance.

  • At one time … 30-40 years ago there was a “Federal”
    definition of the word “arsenal”.

    I believe at one time (and may still be a law) if you
    had 12 or more rifles of the same caliber you had an

    “arsenal” that came under Federal Law.

    I do Not know if Federal Rules still apply.

  • Well being concerned I checked the ATF website. Was not able to find anything related to owning an “Arsenal”.

  • I have two main guns, one is my remington 870 shotgun, and the other is a 10/22 magnum .I don’t hear anyone talking about this outstanding gun.
    With my rfle I have a 22 mag s/w revolver, 357 mag revolver, and my carry is a sig 380.

  • Personally, I prefer to purchase and store the least amount of different rounds possible.

    Even better, if the magazines are also interchangeable.

    As such, I prefer to buy handguns and rifles that fire the same rounds.

    The .45 ACP can be fired from both pistols and rifles (carbines).

    The 10mm can be fired from both pistols and rifles (carbines)

    The TNW Aero Survival carbine uses standard Glock magazines, and comes in different calibers.

    The TNW Aero Survival carbine even has interchangeable bolts and barrels, so you can fire multiple different calibers from the same carbine.

    And, the TNW Aero Survival carbine is a takedown, which allows you to carry it completely concealed inside of a large day pack.

    The .22LR can be fired from both pistols and rifles.

    I have the Ruger 10/22 takedown, with folding stock, which can also be carried inside of a large day pack.

    Unfortunately, Ruger does not make a pistol that uses the same magazines… ))) That would be sweet.

    The 410 can be fired from both pistols and rifles.

    I have the Circuit Judge, which fires both 45LC and 3″ 410 magnums.

    Each of the above pistol and rifle pairings are fairly inexpensive.

    If you want a more powerful alternative:

    The .454 Casull and the .460 S&W Magnum can be fired from both pistols and rifles, although the cost can be prohibitive.

    The 45-70 can also be fired from both rifle and pistol, but because of the slower burning powder, does not perform well with factory loads in a pistol.

    Personally, I have the TNW Aero Survival rifle with interchangeable .45 and 10mm bolts and barrels..

    I also have both 22LR and 22WMR in both rifles and pistols.

    For everyday concealed carry, I prefer the .380, and I have several different models..

    If I was concerned about protection in bear country, I would choose the .460 S&W rifle and pistol combination, but again, the cost is prohibitive.

    If I needed a reasonably priced long range rifle, I would choose the very inexpensive Ruger American, chambered in 30-06, with synthetic stock.

    Yes, I know that many people consider the .308 similar to the 30-06, but if you need a longer reach, the 30-06 will outdistance the .308. Both are almost the same, out to 1,000 yards.

    And yes, I have the Ruger American in 30-06 myself.

    Let me know if you liked any of my recommendations.

  • There is a lot of bloviating here about this gun or that but as for me I’m just gonna go with a bag of rocks. Easy to operate never run out of ammo. Fits my budget.

  • I have chimed in on this article several times mostly to talk about the benefits of an 300 BO AR Pistol truck gun. However, for the first time buyer or the situation where you have only one you can grab and go with, there is a new offering which can provide a robust solution for one gun and done not only for self defense but with hunting utility as well. The answer is a 12 gauge Bullpup shotgun. Why? A shotgun has robust ammunition choices, non-lethal, Slug, buck shot, bird shot, flares, etc. You can hunt deer, anarchists, birds, or quad rotor drones equally well. It is not long range, with 000 buck you have effective lethal range of about 125 yards. Whether urban, suburban, or around the house environment that is sufficient. A magazine fed Bullpup will have suppressive firepower that exceeds that of a sub-machinegun like an HK MP5A3. Two sick magazines in a sub-machinegun will put out sixty 9mm 115gr bullets at 800 rpm. The Bullpup will put out eighty 9.14mm 71gr bucks at 300 rpm. Do the math. The Bullpup has greater suppressive capability. Why Bullpup? It’s 28″ long with an 18.5” barrel that supports both indoor and outdoor maneuverability using appropriate ammunition. Precision aiming is not necessary, neither is forming a good cheek weld. Add a simple dual band Green and IR laser designator and you are good to go day or night. Ammunition is affordable. Shotgun cost is similar to a rifle or pistol. Further as a long gun there are fewer acquisition delays or complications. Total cost with ammunition and accessories will be around $850. This solution is for most folks who have not previously invested in self-defense, one and done, or to get away with one gun and a messenger bag full of ammo and magazines. Of course if you are in a rural setting then you graduate to the 3 gun solution, by adding a long range sniper rifle, and the AR pistol truck gun.

  • PS to save cost you could consider using your AR Pistol truck gun lower with a new 6mm ARC upper to make a sniper rifle

  • Sorry I meant sniper pistol

  • All in all, I enjoyed your article. Other than current prices which have dropped, it is shows plenty of options.

    I do have a couple of notes to your article. The AR-15 was in fact sold to Colt, who then received the military contract. Only the earliest ones were known as an AR-15, before it was changed to the military designation M-16. The Henry’s AR-7, was also a Armalite creation, and was once used as a survival rife for the Air Force. First produced by Armalite, it was sold to Charter Arms, and finally sold to Henry’s, who made the updates and subtle changes to its current configuation today.

    I own most of the firearms you list, plus other’s. Each has its own advantages, and disadvantages. And will all work despite the nitpicker’s.

  • Goodness gracious. We will have a better chance of survival, if some of you lose your weapons. Father forbid all these cantankerous men get to arguing after S starts H-ing the F – we will wind up killing each other and Charlie will just haul the women and children off lickety-split… guess that’s America for us. What a shame.

    • Just focus on the front sight amd I guarantee c harlie will simply be another pile of laundry in your front yard.

  • I do love the way you have presented this problem plus it does present me a lot of fodder for thought. Nevertheless, through everything that I have experienced, I basically trust as the actual remarks pack on that people keep on point and in no way start on a tirade involving the news of the day. Yet, thank you for this superb point and while I can not necessarily agree with this in totality, I value the viewpoint.

  • Attention left hand shooters. Left hand version of BAT FD-12 semi-auto magazine fed 28″ bullpup with 18.5″ barrel became in stock at Atlantic Firearms on election day.
    Having left hand bullpup is a good thing for left hand shooters and this thing is the best home defense tool out there today.
    with #4 Buskshot you are putting out 27 6mm bucks from a 12 round stick magazine in about 3 to 5 seconds. That is 324 6mm rounds in spray and pray mode. “These balls in ballistic gel penetrate about 14.5″. Using FBI ballistics testing as a standard, this penetration is sufficient to cause instantaneous incapacitation.” So right hand or left hand vesion this tool can be vary useful in home defense.

    • Long range “sniper shots”, invites impossible to correct errors, when directed at humans, whose intent is unknown to the shooter.. Personally, survival in an orange jump suit is just to liberty restricting, to be an acceptable. means of survival, unless those long range firearm are for putting food on the table..

      The anti-gun politicians, gained on us, today with Arizona electing Gabby Gifford’s husband “the former astronaut”, to the Senate. Gabby is the congress-woman, that was shot in the head, by a mentally defective Democrat and, of course it was blamed on THE GUN, instead of the idiot that pulled the trigger.

  • Survival, obviously means more, than just defending your home in a SHTF situation. Defensive of home weapons need not be more than common sense hunting gear. A good shotgun, the largest caliber pistol that each adult can handle safely and a hunting rifle. Of course some fishing gear and toilet paper, pairs nicely with MRE’s, eh?

  • With so many comments ahead of mine, very few will probably see this one.

    Survival firearms and defense firearms can be very different. True survival firearms have to be as simple , reliable. and of the most common calibers/gauges. Single shot, bolt action, and lever action, in that order, are the most reliable and easiest to repair. Avoid less common calibers in both cases.

    For defensive fire power the semi-autos are of more use although the survival arms would serve well also.

  • I once had a single shot, bolt action 410. I built a blade front sight and a rear peepsight. With slugs over a chronograph that gun would print sub 3″groups at 75yards and speeds of my .41 magnum. I’m not bragging, but I enjoyed stupifing others at the shooting range.

  • It would be nice to have a 2020 update of this

  • Well here we are on the very eve of SHTF. or TEOTWAWKI depending on your perspective. I’ve posted several times over the years on this topic. But its getting down to the bare minimum. So thought I’d recap the minimalist theory as I see it today.
    1:) Home defense: Inside and outside near house. 28″ Black Aces Tactical FD-12 Bullpup semi-auto 12ga, with large capacity magazines, Green and IR laser optics. Inside bird shot, outside #4, #1 or 000 Buckshot dependent on your collateral damage environment.
    2) Backup: Self-defense, Springfield XD or XDM not new stuff because of tactile features, 9mm or 40S&W Sig V-crown ammo
    3) Road: Truck gun, 8″ 300 blackout AR pistol with IR laser and optics, Magazines, bandoleers and stripper clips, CCW overall length, accessories
    4) Long Range: (lethal 1,000 yards +), 6mm ARC AR upper or full AR with optics, magazines and bandoleers
    5) Domestic Utility. My wife’s 223 AR-15 pistol with CMMG 22LR conversion kit, optics, lasers, shoulder suspension mount. Gentler lady gear, plus excellent urban sniper device with aguila 60gr SSS
    Accessories: NVGs, IR lasers, Thermal Scope, bayonet, other tools as required to leverage these items
    Summary: these few tools cover hunting, small game up thru deer, pig etc., plus birds. Tactically: CQB, Standard tactics, Snipping urban to rural, shooting down small drones. Day and night operations, indoors or out. Everybody has their own preferences but this is good affordable minimalist coverage for survival.

    • I would agree with the 12Ga semi-auto, but not necessarily the bull pup. Any magazine fed 12Ga would work as an excellent close range protection weapon, around the home. The Mossberg, and Black Aces brands are fairly inexpensive, and you can get folding stocks and shorter barrels for them.

      I would agree with the Springfield XD, XDM or XDS, but I carry mine in both 45ACP and 10MM. (The 45ACP is a proven round, and because of its long standing history, you can get ammo pretty cheap… Maybe even less than 9MM or 40S&W.

      I have a folding stock carbine with short barrel in 10MM for the road, with laser, flashlight, reflex sight, and pop-up sights in case the batteries run out in the laser or the reflex.

      For long range, your 6MM ARC is too expensive for the average Joe… A good 30-06 is accurate to 1200 meters and beyond, and it’s a very inexpensive rifle to own.

      The Ruger take-down 22LR is a great packable rifle, and you can add a folding stock to shorten it even more.

      I also have a folding carbine in 22 Magnum. This is also a very light, handy rifle to have, with a significant performance increase over the 22LR..

      And, of course, some smaller semi-auto pistols, small enough to conceal. (Don’t forget your CCW).

      Note that when the Sh.. hits the fan, you may not be able to get batteries to work all of your electronics, so you better have manual sights that do not require any kind of power source, for all of your weapons.

      • I have a broader range of firearms, that when the need arises… I once had an 1100 Remington. Great shotgun, but it failed me in the field. The cause was a 50 cent “O” ring in the gas chamber. I believe in pump shotguns. I buy them with dual barrel’s so that they can serve in multi-purpose roles. Next are my rifles, I have an old 1903 A3 Springfield 30-06, bolt action, Sport stock, with iron sights only. It serves as a loaner that still shoots and can’t be hurt. I have a Remington 600 Mohawk .308, bolt action. Scope and Iron sights. Small and light, but it can still reach out a ways. In the AR category I have four AR dedicated Upper’s, one in 22lr, for teaching and plunking. One is in 223/556, for what they were intended to do. One is in 9mm, and I can carry a pistol with it, for all of the plus’s that brings. Finally I have a 762×39, another Upper that can be used as required. Each upper has their own bells and whistles.. 10-22’s in four different configurations, A folder with built in laser. One Original in its original Walnut stock. One all black, scoped, with a threaded barrel. There’s S.S. Take-down, in a Folding stock, I adopted from an old Butler Creek folder. Instead of a Henry, I have a AR7 Charter Arms,. There is an AK all dolled up, A Mini-14 in a folder. There are even a couple of Winchester and Browning lever’s in various caliber’s just because I like them. I also have a couple Black Powder’s. In hand guns, I have a wide selection as well. Revolver’s in .22lr, 22 Mag, 38sp, and 357 Mag. Pistols in 22Lr, .308 Acp, 9mm, and 45 Acp. Two high end Compound Bows, and one “Super” Crossbow on steroids, I call it my SBD. And just like its namesake, you never new it happens, until its to late. – Now someone may say, “WOW talk about money to burn”, here’s the deal. I’m single , in my 60’s, no other bad and expensive habits.. SO while my friends and family buy boats, and cars,. When they drink or go to pro sports, I stay home, have better seating, and cheaper goodies to eat or drink. Save my money and try to buy firearms with. I’m the oldest in a vast family, and I give them to the family as they grow older, and show respect, and safety mindedness when we go shooting.

      • Well the truck gun is the CCW baseline, the 6mm ARC upper is a back pack swap-able, and the XD is pure backup. That is the minimalist 3 gun carry for htree missions. I bought the 6mm ARC stuff early on when ammo was less than a buck a round. The V-Crown ammo is the 45 ACP equalizer. Although I have 5 XDs in 45. I field the others because of magazine capacity given equivalent effectiveness and less recoil.

  • i learned a long time ago to get what i wanted/needed immediately. my AR 15 was about $800, ammo so cheap and available, so now i can just sit and feel sorry for those trying to get your stuff now. Get it now while you can, because it’ll just be more down the road if it’s even available again. i.e. 30 carbine components to reload…good luck. i”ve spent over a year trying to get some more projectiles, but nobody wants to make them…too busy making .45 ,9mm, 357 etc.. any tips on where they might be available?

  • I am a combat vet that served in a Recon unit and also an Armorer as well, I don’t know everything and that is for sure nor am I going to pretend that either. I have read many articles from many experienced and knowledgeable writers and the one thought that has come to mind is that everyone of these individuals seem to be basing their decisions on what the best choice of bug-out guns would be is more about the environment that they live in and how this SHTF is going to play out. Everyone out there should think through their scenarios of what could possible happen and make their best choice. The AR and AK platform are great for certain situations as well as a shotgun and long rifles, question is how many weapons can you carry and include your ammo, food, sleeping and cooking gear, basic survival equipment and medical supplies. I got a bugout out bag packed and I have over 700 rds. of 9mm and 75 rds. of 12 gauge and I can tell you that without any food I am already at 50 lbs. ruck, I have thought thru many scenarios and I feel like if it is going to be that uncivil and like a war time environment most of us won’t make it no matter what kind of weapons we have, a small wound in a SHTF scenario can mean certain death due to the lack of proper medical and sanitary means. If your mind is to go out there like Rambo you won’t last long because someone may see you first or be a much better shot and remember a 9mm can kill you at 400 yds. too. It doesn’t take an AR or AK to defend yourself or your family, Macho Men can be seen and heard and remember thats all it takes to get removed. Stealth and vigilance are the keys to survival and it will be difficult enough when you have to hunt for food. I have chosen based on my different scenarios that the 12 gauge is one of my choices because it is great for deer and bird and small game and a slug can drop a bear and has a 100 yd. range easily, the 9mm pistol and a 9mm carbine make it easy on the amount of ammo to carry and more than likely there will be some still out there.. No matter what you do the best advice I can give is to have extra parts for your weapon systems, learn how to do repairs as needed and carry types of weapons that will have ammo availability.

  • i am a bit tardy to your comments on this article, but if i may let me add a couple of points i have not seen mentioned much in the comments section. My viewpoint is based upon the fact that I actually did it, bugged out and went off grid over seven years ago in 2015. I lived in a van on public land all over rural America having fallen in love with the nomad life., My children were grown and established and having always been an outdoorsman as well a prepper i thought why not. So, for five years i lived in a van with all my earthly possessions learning to live minimally and put into practice what i preached. In 2021 i blew the motor in my van in rural Kentucky coming back from a summer in Oregon and Idaho and decided that instead of buying another van (I got 375, ooo miles out of mine before it died) I decided to take the ultimate step as a survivalist and travel by foot and live out of a backpack., carrying everything i own on my own back. and if I may say so it was a pretty gutsy move for a seventy-year-old. man. I didn’t know if i would last long at my attempt but lo and behold i am now even at my advanced age in the best shape of my life. The learning curve has been tremendous from house to van to being on foot. and below are some lessons i have learned that i will pass along for whatever they are worth in this discussion of survival firearms, and shtf scenarios if you have to bug out and survive in a world without the benefits of our modern way of life.

    Nearly all of the weapons listed in many of the comments i would find to be inappropriate in a long-term grid down, bug out, survival situation. Far too many assumptions are based upon an almost subconscious mind set we Americans have that one way or another everything you need for your weapon will be available somehow. Well experience showed me quickly from living outdoors for months on end that the fewer moving parts in your weapon the better off you will be. Simplicity is the key to a survival weapon. Weather, dirt, cold, heat all come into play when there is no supply chain for weapons needing much in the way of replacement parts and heavy maintenance. Carry them with you.? Not so much when you have to carry it all on your back. There ain’t no ammo dump or supply base when you are on foot a hundred miles from nowhere. Even with a flap holster my 1911 acp suffered the effects of dust dirt and weather. A gun I had had for years with no problems was in constant need of attention to work properly. There is no gun safe or dry warm place to keep your weapon in the wild. They are exposed to the elements for months on end. Solution. I got rid of all my auto loading pistols and now carry a Smith and Wesson Model 13-2 357. and not once has there been an issue with this revolver. Simplicity was the answer. Simplicity and reliability. The same thing goes for my long gun. I have owned them all and the truth is the more bells and whistles on your long gun the more unreliable your weapon becomes. It is not a military situation with logistics and supplies available, that’s why they call it a grid down scenario and to think you are going to pack more than one long gun and ammo, or lots of parts and haul it around for months on end is pure fantasy. My answer without doubt has been a 12-gauge Remington 870 pump shotgun.: devastating firepower, variety of ammo options, superb reliability in all kinds of environments. My absolute go to weapon. Many may object saying it has limited range, well my experience in the thick woods of the deep south or the forests of Appalachia or the northwest has been that it is rare you can even see more than twenty or thirty yards in front of you unless you are standing in the middle of the road or on a power line so why the need for the 400-yard shot. It is a wonderful capability but not of much use unless you are standing on the prairie in Kansas or Wyoming and in a survival situation you won’t be surviving long no matter what you carry if you are standing in the open. Your survival weapon is for defense, defense, defense and nothing is better in the bush than a shotgun.

    Any kind of rifle with a scope is a bad idea in a true grid down, shtf situation, where you are constantly on the move. Constant unending jostling while driving off grid, or weeks on end of the gun on your shoulder while you hike makes them nearly useless if needed quickly. Resighting becomes constant. Most agree scopes can be finicky in the best of situations and in a long-term survival situation they can quickly become nothing more than dead weight.

    No matter what caliber weapons you carry. You are not going to be able to carry a lot of ammunition which makes any auto loading rifle a questionable choice. Consider me packed out. My backpack topped off with the mere essentials weighs around forty-five pounds when i include rations for 10 days or less. This does not include my weapons or ammo. I carry a mess kit, canteen, ground mat, sleeping bag, pup tent, raincoat, cold weather jacket, one set of thermals, three pairs of socks, three underwear, two pair of pants, three shirts, hat, first aid kit, my meds, gloves, water bottle with purifier, fire can, long knife, folding knife, small shovel, knife sharpener, fire-starting material, googles, compass, iphone and chargers., basic fishing gear, two wire snares, spoon , hatchet and bug spray.. Forty-five pounds may not sound like all that much but all day all the time, trust me you won’t be adding to it by packing 500 rounds of this and five hundred rounds of that. To drive home the point, by just carrying my minimums i went from 6 foot 1 and 238 pounds to six foot one and 183 pounds in one year. Get my drift. Weight matters, ammo is heavy, so you have to learn to make your shots count, learn not to use multiple shots to accomplish your task and always remember the best way to do that is avoiding confrontation with man or beast. in the first place. Stealth is essential to off grid survival and anyone getting into 200 yard plus firefights in a bug out situation is doing something wrong,

    My grandfather was a Sherriff for over forty years and had more than one deadly shootout in his career. His two pieces of advice to me about guns:

    1. Whatever gun you carry learn it inside out and get good with it. Pick the one you like best and try to use it exclusively, making it more like an appendage than a weapon.
    because familiarity is of paramount importance where your gun is involved.

    2. The key to success: Make sure you put the first one in their wheelhouse. Do that and all that other talk you hear about gunfighting don’t mean squat.

    Well, that’s my two cents worth. thanks for posting.

  • My husband was givin his firrst gun for Christmas when he was 9 years old. It is a Rifle for hunting. When we were young we did not have to worry about kids shooting each other. We all knew how to use a gun and yes that included us women. I have a gun from the early time of our country by one of the premier gun maker at the time. It does not work and my father made sure I promised to have it repaired,. I call it Betsy. My dad worked in construction and he found it in the basement of a house they were taking down in Cleveland Ohio and his boss told him you found it its yours.