Whether you are staking out a vacant home for shelter, or trying to provide your family with food in the form of wild game, there are nearly endless scenarios in which it is critical to have a gun and the knowledge to operate it effectively. Equally important will be understanding of what your gun is and isn’t capable of.
Here is my list for the Top 5 firearms to have in a survival situation.
1. 12 ga Pump Shotgun – You can get a reliable 12 ga shotgun at your local hardware store for around 300 bucks. Skip the ones with a pistol grip and no buttstock they aren’t going to be as accurate and you will have problems hitting your target shooting only from the hip. A pump isn’t going to jam like a semi auto might ensuring that it will work when you need it most. You won’t have trouble finding ammo and it comes in everything from birdshot/buckshot to 1oz lead slugs and beyond. This will be your best bet for taking down wild game or up-close personal protection. BOOM!
2. Ak -47 or AR 15. Take your pick. Both have their pros/cons and will come down to preference. The AK is generally considered more reliable and easier to operate with the AR being more accurate with less recoil. Either way you go you will have a serious amount of firepower at your disposal. Both weapons are gas operated semi automatics with high capacity magazines that have been tested in battle all around the world. Get a few extra magazines, 500 rds of ammo and a decent shock proof optic. Don’t forget to PRACTICE!
3. Semi Auto .22 Rifle – Great gun to learn on and inexpensive to shoot (if you can find the ammo of course.) You can carry hundreds of rounds easily on your person and it can be used to hunt game up to deer size if necessary although that would not be recommended outside a survival situation. Don’t under estimate the effectiveness of the .22 cal bullet on human sized targets at distances < 200 yards. While operating at a much slower muzzle velocity than a center fire rifle the .22 bullet has a tendency to ricochet off hard objects (like bone) creating further trauma and internal bleeding.
4. Semi Auto 9mm Pistol – Why 9mm? Because it is the most common pistol round and you are going to need all the ammo you can find. It is very capable in the right hands and if you can’t bring down your target after 17+ attempts you have bigger issues. You never know when it may be useful to have a firearm that you can conceal and operate with one hand.
5. Multi Caliber Revolver – I know what you are thinking. What is he talking about? This is generally where you would see a scoped out high powered rifle however I don’t feel that is practical in a survival situation. Sure, I would like to have a 30-06 that is forever zeroed with unlimited ammo however that is unlikely. Many people underestimate the skill needed to consistently get hits at long range (500+yards) and if you don’t already know how there isn’t going to be enough time or ammo for you to learn. Check out the M-47 Medusa Revolver. Very rare gun and chances are you will never see one in your life however it is able to shoot 25 different Calibers. Talk about options! Similar is the Smith and Wesson Governor which shoots 45 acp, 45 Long Colt and 410 Shotshells.
Regardless of which firearm or calibers you prefer no one can argue that practice is hugely important. Many experts and firearm enthusiasts will recommend that you get out at least once a month to keep your skills sharp. Don’t waste your range time and money wildly blasting rounds downrange.
Keep track of your weapons tendencies and practice different shooting positions, speed reloading, or tactics. Get to know the basic mechanics of your chosen firearm and make sure to keep it clean!
At minimum run a Bore Snake through the barrel after every excursion to keep it from rusting or pitting. I like to have a minimum of 250 rds of ammo on hand for each of my firearms along with extra magazines.
After all an unloaded gun is nothing more than a paperweight!
Did I miss any must have guns? Let me know.