5 Guns Every Prepper Should Own

5 guns for every prepper   Some people own a gun right now, while others are looking for one to buy. One thing is certain, during a crisis or in a society where rules no longer apply you will not survive without a firearm. You will need to be able and take care of yourself and your loved ones, to be prepared for whatever comes. Maybe you will need a gun to hunt for food or maybe you have to be your best bodyguard and this means you will need these guns in order to survive.

Your guns will be your tools and as with every tool you have to make the right choice based on the needs and of course, based on your budget. The recommendations provided should cover any needs, even if you are on a limited budget.

Before you rush out and purchase your first gun you will need to learn about gun safety. The gun is not a toy, is not a revenge tool and most certainly is not an extension of your masculinity that you can flaunt around. You can take a local gun safety class and your firearms vendor can point you in the right direction. He could recommend someone if they don’t organize a class themselves.

Here are the basic rules of firearms safety:

  1. Every gun should be treated as it is loaded. Even if it is not, it’s better to start with this assumption in order to avoid possible accidents
  2. Your finger should be off the trigger and out of the trigger guard until you’ve taken your target in sight and you are ready to fire. Accidental discharge can occur when handling the weapon if you don’t follow this rule.
  3. Point the muzzle at your target when you’re ready to shoot. Never point it at something or someone unless you’re not willing to obliterate the target.
  4. You have to be sure of your surroundings. Most importantly, you have to be sure of your target and what is behind it.
  5. Always have a safe place to keep your firearms, out of children’s reach. You need to get a gun safe that is robust and quickly accessible.

The reasons you need more than one gun can vary from person to person. You might need it for self-defense, for hunting, as a show of force to discourage any home invaders or even for rodent control. You won’t find a gun that does all of that just like you won’t find a tool that does all the work. Why would you hammer a nail with a screwdriver when you can buy a hammer?

Based on the research I’ve conducted, I’ve come to the conclusion that there are 5 type of guns that every prepper should own. All this based on the use made for every gun, as follows:

  1. You will need a small, highly concealable handgun for everyday carrying. It will be needed for when it’s inappropriate to carry your main handgun of choice. It is a backup gun that no one should know about it and it’s imperative that it stays that way. Your coworkers might not like the idea of you carrying a gun, regardless of the reason. This is the type of gun that you can rely on, in any situation. It will not show and you will be the only one knowing about it.
  2. For small game and pest control or even as an all-around survival gun you will need a .22 rifle. This is an economical rifle since the ammo for this type of gun is cheap and makes stockpiling ammunition easier and cheaper for the prepper. It is also easier to handle and less intimidating for novice shooters (including youngsters).
  3. To fight your way out of a nasty situation and to reach the gun safe where you keep your rifle you will need a reliable handgun. A handgun that packs a deadly punch and one that you can maneuver without difficulty. It should be your weapon of choice for day to day activity when it’s appropriate to carry a handgun.
  4. A shotgun is what you need for home defense and for hunting. Just the sound of cocking your shotgun will make any home invader think twice about their actions. Not to mention that shotguns have another advantage. The shot pellets spread upon leaving the barrel and the power of the burning charge is divided among the pellets. This makes it effective for hunting birds but also for close quarters combat weapon. You don’t necessarily have to be a good aim with a shotgun. However, you shouldn’t put all your trust in luck and shotgun spread.
  5. A “War” semi-automatic rifle is what you need for hunting large game, gun fighting or even as a visible show of force, to discourage your enemies when the situation calls for it. This is the type of gun that wreaks havoc and makes people rethink their actions, providing you a greater advantage.

Once you’ve done your homework and you have decided from where you should by your weapons. Here are the guns recommended based on a limited budget:

The Ruger LCP – A gun that you can easily conceal

Ruger lcp survival gun  This is amongst the most popular firearm selling today. It is especially favored by the ladies as it can easily fit in their purse. It is a light handgun with a weight of only 10 ounces and its size of 5.2 inch makes it easy to hide. Ruger LCP carries six rounds of .380 ACP in a magazine with one round in the barrel. It is considered a good capacity for a self-defense situation in which you cannot fire more than a few shots due to the distance and the speed of the combat.

Nonetheless this is viewed as a compromise by some. Both the front and rear sights are contoured close to the slide frame to allow for a quick draw while still providing an adequate sight picture. The grip is long enough for most shooters to wrap two full fingers around the grip in addition to the trigger finger. It might be one of the best weapons for self-defense. It was specially designed with concealed and carry in mind and is an affordable protection for anyone.

The Ruger 10/22 – The prepper’s rifle

Ruger 10-22 survival rifle If you want to develop good marksmanship and not spend a lot of money on the rifle itself or the rounds of ammunition, then the Ruger 10/22 is the rifle for you. It is a semi-automatic rimfire rifle that chambers .22 caliber long rifle ammunition (.22LR), one of the most commonly used and widely available ammunition in the world. This is a rifle very popular amongst small game hunters due to its accuracy, ease of use and light weight.

For the standard rifle you will find a ten round rotary magazine. However, there are also rotary magazines with only five rounds, designed by Ruger for the states that have magazine restrictions. It is a versatile rifle that can be easily customized. You won’t find anything else on the market that has so many options in terms of accessories and customization. The Ruger 10/22 comes in six basic models and are available in hardwood, laminated wood or synthetic stocks. This is a quality .22 caliber rifle and is an excellent choice as your first gun purchase since you may customize it as you like due to the aftermarket parts available out there.

The Glock 19 – An Everyday Guard Dog

Glock19 Gen4   Austrians know their way around guns and this semi-automatic handgun is the proof. This polymer coated wonder is a durable weapon designed to resist shocks, caustic liquids and high or low temperatures. You don’t need rocket science when you have to disassemble the Glock 19. It can be taken apart in five major parts: the slide, the recoil spring assembly, the barrel, the frame and the magazine. You can leave it like that and hide one of the major parts in a different location. This will prevent anyone (especially children and youngsters) from using it. It is advertised by the Austrian company as a “Safe Pistol” due to its three safety mechanism that protects the gun from discharging accidentally.

The Glock 19 is compact handgun easy to handle even by the beginners. The 9mm round, it’s easy to control and is a very popular round, making it easy to stockpile. The size of this handgun makes it easy to conceal and the weight doesn’t pose a problem. It is a weapon approved by the United States military and law enforcement agencies (including in many other countries, outside the US) and most Americans own one. It might be the obvious choice for the urban prepper when it comes to choosing a main handgun.

How to double your accuracy

The Remington 870 – A nightmare for every home invader

Remington 870 survival shotgun   Owning a pump action 12 gauge shotgun is a statement for every prepper when it comes to home defense and survival. No other gun is quite versatile as the shotgun. It is considered a “scatter gun” and it does its job well, keeping you and your loved ones safe. The shotgun can be single-barreled, double-barreled or a combination of the two. The size of these guns can range from very small to very large with a barrel diameter ranging from .22 inch to 2 inches. The role of this weapon change depending on the type of ammunition (shells) being used.

The shotgun shell contains, besides the gun powder, pellets, balls or solid slugs. The shot spreads after leaving the gun, forming a pattern of shot, so hitting a target does not require perfect aim at farther distances. The recoil of the shotgun is directly related to the weight of the shot with buckshot and slugs delivering the greatest amount of recoil. The Remington 870 shotgun is one of the most popular home defense shotguns today. It still holds the record for best-selling shotgun in history. It is a 12 gauge, pump-action gun that requires the user to grip the pump and pull the shell into firing position with a quick pull back on the pump.

Related reading: Choosing the best survival gun for your prepping plans

A modular version of the Remington 870 is available on the market, the MCS (Modular Combat Shotgun) allows the user to customize the barrels, magazine and stocks depending on the needs. Due to the low round capacity and the time needed to reload your shotgun, it’s recommended to keep additional ammunition on the stock, providing you with an advantage in a difficult situation. This is a weapon used for riot control due to its incredible stopping power and it’s the best choice for every prepper when it comes to home defense.

The AR-15 – A solution for every situation

AR-15 survival rifleThe AR-15 .223/5.56 caliber rifle is a highly versatile rifle that can satisfy any prepper. It’s a rifle that can be customized to chamber calibers other than the .223/5.56. It is capable of handling several types of stocks, sights and other accessories. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle and the civilian rifle is different from the M16 military rifle, although it looks somehow identical on the outside. It is an all-purpose weapon that will serve in any situation, either if is home defense or self-preservation during a crisis. The rifle’s modular design makes part conversion and maintenance and repair easy. Most AR-15s manufactured for civilian use are heavy barrel models. However, it is also available in a shorter carbine length and can have an adjustable length stock.

Traditionally, the AR-15 chambers the .223/5.56 caliber ammunition which is an accurate, lightweight, high velocity round. It is easy and quick to change the receiver to allow the rifle to chamber many different rounds. Rounds such as the .45 ACP and the .50 Beowulf. The AR-15 and the aftermarket parts might be illegal in some states and the right to own such a rifle may vary greatly from one state to another. The accuracy, dependability and ease of operation of this rifle makes it an ideal choice for the preppers. If the law from your state allows it, you should get your hands on it.

In my opinion these are the guns every prepper should own. If don’t have them already, you should consider adding them to your armory.

Stay Safe and God Bless!

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Other Useful Resources:

SPEC OPS Shooting (A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting and active shooter defense)

The LOST WAYS (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

The Stockpiling Lesson (How to make a one year stockpile of food and other survival items)

Food For Freedom (The easiest solution to produce food during a water crisis) 

Sold Out After Crisis (Best 37 Items To Hoard For A Long Term Crisis)

Blackout USA (Video about EMP survival and preparedness guide)

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15 thoughts on “5 Guns Every Prepper Should Own

  1. Big fan of the AR15 both for home defense and hunting. It really is a very versatile weapon and very easy to maintain. I have one with a tactical scope and thinking of getting another one with a hunting scope. This would help with only keeping one set of spares.
    I like the Glock 19 you mention, especially the fact that it comes apart in so few parts.

  2. My husband and I have been thinking about getting a gun and so I really appreciate this post listing five of the must-have guns. Personally, I really like the Glock 19. That handgun looks like it would be easier to shoot and that I could easily learn how to use it by taking it to the gun range. However, which type of gun, out of these five, do you think has the best accuracy?

    • Not to be rude Faylinn but if you even need to ask that question you need to do a lot more homework before you own a gun. To answer your question the AR15 will be the most accurate with the 10/22 second and probably as geod up to 75 yards. Handguns are a whole other subject as are shotguns.

    • Faylinn, If you have gotten a Glock 19, spend a little more money on a Ciener 19/23 22Lr conversion. This is a very easy conversion, just take off the 19 slide and then slide on the 22Lr slide. This will allow you to shoot 22Lr ammo with the same weight as the 19. Training may be cheaper and easier for a new shooter.

  3. You don’t mention revolvers– capacity is the issue I know — but accuracy and reliability, simplicity is an advantage for the new shooter or the only occasional shooter who doesn’t want or isn’t able to practice too often.

  4. Great article I would certainly include one 30-06 bolt action rifle for hunting game sometimes long shots are necessary one quality 4″ .38 spl revolver for those who are not handy with semi autos. Otherwise you have an excellent list of high quality weapons and have everything covered.

  5. Every time I see one of these SHTF gun list I notice that one type of gun which I consider vital is almost always missing. I am talking about a quality small caliber air rifle. They are the cheapest of the cheap when it comes to ammo and cost of gun, They are quiet in comparison which means not drawing attention to yourself while hunting.

    .177 caliber is sufficient to take squirrels and some birds. I prefer .22 caliber for rabbit sized game and up and have even managed to take out a fox that was unlucky enough to cross my path at the wrong time. They make the big bore stuff that can take out large game like deer and elk as well but by the time you get up over .22 caliber air rifles are more costly than their conventional counterparts and they aint very quiet anymore either thus they lose their main advantages.

  6. Before anyone talks about the necessary guns for “prepping,” they need to establish some premises for the situations that might arise. Until those premises are established, all of the talk is meaningless.

    The first question is whether someone will be able to defend his/her home or whether the scenario will force people out of their homes. If someone can stay at home during a survival/prep situation, then having multiple guns and plenty of ammunition for all of the guns is feasible. If someone will be forced to leave home, then the situation changes depending on how the escape will be made.

    If a person has to walk into the woods with only what he/she can carry, multiple guns using different kinds of ammunition will not be practical. In that situation, the best option will be a Ruger 10/22 rifle and as much ammunition as one can carry. This rifle won’t do anything particularly well except small game hunting, but this rifle can do an adequate job on a large number of tasks. If the person has a .22 pistol, the pistol could be carried for extra defense. I’d suggest the Ruger .22 pistols, but almost any .22 pistol could work.

    If a person can drive to a secure destination in the woods, then more firearms are feasible, but even a vehicle will have space and weight limitations. In that scenario, I’d still recommend limiting the number of calibers of ammunition that one will carry. If one is going to be hunting for food and large skins to make clothing and shelter, I’d recommend a rifle that is considered good for deer hunting. In parts of the country where only white-tail deer live, a .30-30 might be good enough, but a .30-06 would be better and more versatile. If one remembers to pack plenty of gun-cleaning supplies, an AR-15 is good for self-defense and hunting. Without cleaning supplies, an AK-type gun might be better. I wouldn’t bring a shotgun unless duck hunting were available. In the woods, I’d stick to an AR or AK for all self-defense. I’d still recommend the Ruger 10/22. In the escape into the woods, a full-sized pistol could be helpful, but when that scenario arises, the tiniest concealed pistols won’t have much value.

    I’d always vote against having to keep two pistol calibers if possible. If one is going to have a 9mm Glock as the “big pistol,” I’d recommend finding a small model as the super-secret concealed pistol. I like the Ruger LC9s. This pistol is slightly larger than an LCP, but having interchangeable ammunition is too good a bonus to ignore.

    If I were staying home or escaping in a vehicle, I’d also consider an air rifle. The ammunition is inexpensive and easy to transport in large quantities.

    • Bill, I agree on all points that you posted.
      Assuming that someone isn’t operating solo in the woods (or desert/swamps/mountains/plains), I would expect that other members of the group will also be carrying one or more firearms. If that is the case, one of those should be a bolt action hunting rifle, preferably in the 30-06 or .308 class for its range and knock down power. The reason for one of these calibers is that ammunition is plentiful and the firearms are easy to maintain.

      Again, assuming you aren’t traveling solo, side arms are probably going to be on every adult in the group ( and possibly a competent youngster or two). In that case, it is better that everyone be carrying a common caliber (although that is unlikely). The key factor in my view will be competence and comfort factor. You simply don’t want to hand a Desert Eagle .45 ACP to someone that isn’t a qualified shooter and can’t effectively handle the size of the gun or the recoil. Frankly, the defensive ammo now available in 9mm provides devastating stopping power at the distances that handguns are most likely to be used. And, 9mm is highly available and less costly than larger calibers.

      I have somewhat mixed feelings about shotguns (other than for personal defense), particularly in areas where bird hunting is not available. The ammo is bulky and heavy and, depending on where you are, you may never see bird worth shooting. My choice for a shotgun is a short-barreled 12 gauge pump. If you can afford a box fed semi-auto, go for it, but I would keep the barrel length at 18.5″ or less. In my own case, I keep one shotgun that has a 16.1″ barrel.

      As far as the argument regarding AR vs AK, ammo is highly available in both calibers and ‘relatively’ inexpensive if purchased in bulk. Whether intended purely for personal defense of the group in a standoff situation, or for hunting, the AR 5.56X45 is clearly the more accurate, but the AK 7.62X39 has more knock down power beyond 100 yards. In either case, if you can’t hit the target it you are just making noise.

      Considering the huge increase in firearms purchases over the last couple of years, I do worry that there are many people who have no idea how to handle a firearm. If this article is the starting point for gun purchasing decisions by individuals that have no prior experience, they need to do a lot more research, as suggested by “poorman,” above.

      • No, you don’t want a shotgun barrel much less than 18.5 inches, and certainly not less than 18 inches. Not because it is not useful, but because that makes the gun a “Short Barreled Shotgun” (AKA “sawed off shotgun”) which is illegal unless you can get the appropriate tax stamp (NFA at $200 or if it was manufactured with a pistol grip and has no stock, possibly AOW at $5)

        • Maybe the laws have changed. My 16.1″ barrel was legal when I got it. I’ll check into that. The best information I have is that the minimum overall length is 26″.

          • Must have had it for quite a while then 🙂 The NFA, passed in 1934, attempted to “eliminate” manufacture and transfer of weapons determined to be overly supportive of criminal activities by imposing a prohibitive (at the time) tax of $200 to make, transfer or possess such a weapon. Shotguns with barrels less than 18″ were specifically listed. Since the “tax” included an extensive registration process, which resulted in state residents who owned NFA weapons being prosecuted by states with even more restrictive laws than the Feds, this was ruled unconstitutional (5th amendment, self incrimination) and the GCA of 1968 amended the NFA to eliminate the requirement forcing registration of already owned restricted (Title 2) weapons and to “fix” the unconstitutionality of the NFA by restricting the taxing authority from providing registration (still required for the weapon to be legal) details to the states.

            This seems to mean that there is no way to register an unregistered Title 2 weapon. What this means to the possessor, I can’t say, but I do know that if the owner dies, any unregistered Title 2 weapon is contraband and must be turned over to the BATF by the executor of the estate. It cannot be transferred to any Title 2 licensed dealer or beneficiary even if it is specifically bequeathed. Registered Title 2 weapons can be transferred or bequeathed to a new owner who pays the tax and undergoes the registration process.

            Note that this is FEDERAL law, and state or local laws concerning possession of even registered Short Barreled Shotguns may be more restrictive than Federal law.

            In addition to the shotgun (smooth bore) barrel restriction, there is an overall length restriction of 26″. A Short Barreled Rifle is one which has a rifled barrel less than 16″ or a length under 26″. Oddly enough, a standard pistol to which a forend grip is added is then considered a SBR because it then would be intended to be fired using two hands.

            A smoothbore “pistol” (a shotgun made to be fired one handed) is classified as an “Any Other Weapon” which also requires the $200 tax stamp to manufacture, but to transfer it only requires the $5 AOW tax stamp.

  7. The .223 round is not reliable at stopping an attacker, is too violent for small game and not reliable on large game. Aside from medium sized game and varmint control, it is not really effective for anything. It’s biggest selling point is the availability of ammunition and the nifty guns which shoot it.

    The 7.62×39 round is a bit better for defensive purposes, but the .308 or .30-06 is much better for defense than either of .223 and 7.62×39, and is adequate for most big game hunting. Having a semi-auto in one of these two calibers is optimal, as is the #6 gun, a bolt action rifle in the same caliber for long range hunting/anti-sniper work.

  8. We moved, unknowingly, to what my husband called a ghetto apt. complex.and day 1 there I saw 2 women arguing both with pistols in hand.
    I am older and in a wheelchair and a minority race here. When I was young I hunted with my father. At 8 he bought me a 22 short rifle. At 12 he bought me a 12 gauge shotgun. I am respectful of weapons and well trained by my father and husband.
    My husband bought me a 12 gauge shotgun and a friend cut the barrel, street legal, so I can manipulate it in my wheelchair. My nephew and his wife are the only others who know of this. I am confident I will shoot to kill to protect my loved one as we all should be.

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