When the brown stuff hits the fan which gun would you grab if your survival depends on it? Making the right choice seems natural for some and many will argue that a .22 rifle or the AR-15 is the best survival gun out there. Unfortunately, things are never easy when one needs to pick the best survival gun available on the market. The choices you have are affected by multiple considerations.
Many survivalists recommend sticking with the survival gun you’re most familiar with. However, during survival scenarios, your weapon of choice may fail you. You may shoot well with your everyday carry, but things may change drastically if you have to kill a deer that is 100 yards away or more.
No matter how much you will argue about picking a single gun for your entire prepping plan, the truth is that no firearm is suited for all survival situations. Your AR-15 can be configured in an infinite number of ways. The parts are readily available and it offers more firepower. It has a higher capacity than other guns, but you can’t conceal it correctly if you think about it.
Before you make a choice and decide that a particular firearm is worthy of being the best survival gun for you, it’s better to look at the pros of cons of each type of firearms.
Pros: Highly concealable depending on the caliber and aren’t picky when it comes to ammo choices. The casings are not discarded and can be used for reloading, especially when ammo will be in short supply. There are hunting calibers available and the long barreled models can take down a target at longer distances
Cons: Generally slower to reload compared to other guns and this can become problematic during a crisis. Lower ammo capacity compared to other weapons.
Cons: Ammo choices can become problematic and long-range shooting is not the strong point of semi-auto pistols.
Rifles and carbines
Pros: Ideal for long-range shooting and provides more power even with moderate cartridges. Aiming and shooting are much more accurate with these types of guns. This is a much-needed luxury for long-term survival.
Cons: Unable to conceal it properly. Unable to carry it comfortably without attracting unwanted attention. Ammo is bulky and heavy to carry on you.
Pros: The perfect gun for close range, also known as the home invader’s nightmare. It has a devastating effect on the target although you can’t shoot accurately with it if you’re a novice. You can also use it for shooting small game and large game using the proper slugs.
Cons: Limited range compared to rifles and the ammo is bulky and heavy.
Now that you know the big picture about the pros and cons of each type of gun, we can move to the next factor. The survival scenario which settles the debate for the best survival gun, the one in which you will be forced to use your firearm.
Recommended article: 5 guns every prepper and survivalist should own
Best survival gun for various SHTF scenarios:
When forced to hunker down and defend your home and what’s yours, a shotgun would be the best survival gun for you. Another option would be a short, handy rifle that is easy to use and provides high capacity. Suggestions: Mossberg 500 Tactical Tri-Rail Forend, The Benelli M2 Tactical Winchester SXP Defender, Ruger Mini Thirty.
If you are forced to travel to get out of dodge, you will need a concealable handgun and a short rifle or shotgun that fits in your backpack without attracting unwanted attention. Suggestions: Smith & Wesson M&P .40, Springfield armory EMP, Bushmaster enhanced patrolman.
Surviving in the wild
If you plan on taking down big game, I suggest choosing a bolt-action rifle designed for long range. For small game, a .22 rifle and even a handgun will suffice. Suggestions: Steyr Scout Rifle, Leupold AR MOD 1 1.5-4X Firedot-G.
While the best choice for a long-term survival would be the AR-15, you should focus more on stockpiling parts, reload supplies and bullet molds for your gun. It doesn’t matter the type of rifle you chose as long as you are prepared to make it last for a long time and not use it as a club. Suggestions: MK47 Mutant, Ruger SR-762, Sig Sauer M400 SRP, Winchester Model 70, Remington 597.
If you need to defend camp and if the survival of other people depends on you, firepower is what you should go for. You need firearms that have an intimidating effect like assault rifles, the ones that provide high ammo and magazine compatibility. Suggestion: AKM 247-C, C39V2 SBR, PTR-32K PDW.
Related reading: How to form a survival group
One for the long range
Being forced to use a single gun is not ideal, but if it comes to that, you are better off sticking with a shotgun or medium bore carbine. These guns can be used by anyone with a little practice. Their versatility can handle all potential emergency situations. Suggestions: Ruger 10/22, Henry Arms AR-7, AR-30, M40A3, Winchester Model 70.
One for the short range
The type of firearm you chose for a short range shooting scenario depends significantly on your environment. If the concrete jungle is your action area, you are better off using a 9mm or .40 semi-auto pistol. In the countryside, where things are less intense you could rely on a .44 Magnum revolver. Suggestions: Beretta 92FS, Walther PPQ, Glock 17 Gen 4, Glock 22, Smith & Wesson M&P, Walther PPQ, Ruger GP100, Smith & Wesson Model 500.
Choosing the best survival gun for you prepping plan may seem complicated at first sight. However, the real challenge begins with you practicing and using the firearms you’ve chosen. There is no perfect weapon for a survival situation and undoubtedly, your choice may be different than the ones suggested in this article. Choosing the best survival gun is one of the longest, never dying debates among preppers and survivalists, but they all agree on one thing: never rely on one gun or one caliber.
Other Preparedness and Self-sufficiency Resources:
SPEC OPS Shooting (A Green Beret’s guide to combat and shooting and active shooter defense)
The LOST WAYS 2 (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)
Bullet Proof Home (Learn how to Safeguard your Home)
Drought USA (Secure unlimited fresh, clean water)
Survival MD (Knowledge to survive any crisis)
Blackout USA (EMP survival and preparedness guide)