Every gun has its place. Whether it’s for home defense, plinking, target shooting, hunting, or survival. But what kind of gun might you be willing to stow with your bug out bag and leave untouched only until a major emergency arises? First, we should take the normal considerations into account. What kind of gun are you most proficient with, and what do you have available to you? If you’re working on a shoestring budget, the best gun is always the gun you have.
When choosing a gun for long-term survival in harsh conditions, chances are you will want to try to strike a balance between defensive stopping power, and food gathering reliability. A larger gun might be best to fend off dangerous animals. However, a large powerful gun might be impractical for killing animals that you will actually eat, it will be heavier, and you’ll have to carry less ammunition.
If your survival challenge is to move on foot from a dangerous place to a place of safety, then carry weight will be of premium value. If you only have to hold out in a single location, a larger gun might be a better idea. Now, when it comes to fending off predators, your best bet might be a loud noise and maybe some bear mace. Even if it would be better to carry a shotgun loaded with slugs and to go for a headshot in a confrontation with a bear- the downsides to that load-out might be too great to meet other requirements of survival.
With these disparate concerns in mind, we’ve chosen three great survival guns that you would do well to consider for your bug out bag. In the scenario, we imagine for this mental exercise, you are limited to just one gun. In such a circumstance it is likely that you will be on the move- traveling on foot to a safe location. We will base our recommendations on that hypothetical situation. Because a survival situation calls for much more than just a gun, the following recommendations are all going to fall beneath the $300 price range.
Model 88 Mossberg
Excellent for home defense, inexpensive and easy to use- the Model 88 Mossberg can shoot a variety of ammunition. Whether you’re shooting for food, or for survival- this gun has you covered. Because of its high tolerances and rugged design, it can take more exposure to the elements than other guns might.
Anyone choosing this gun is advised to collect two or three different ammunition pouches that can be worn for easy access. This will allow you to change from bird-shot to a slug, for example, should the need arise. The great advantage of any shotgun is that the used shells are easy to modify and reload- and that can make a big difference out in the field. It’s hard to go wrong with a Mossberg.
Model 60 Marlin .22
Handsome, light, and easy to use- this reliable rifle has the advantage that you can carry a lot of .22 ammunition. Many people will have handled one of these as a child, which will give the user an advantage in emergency situations. There is a wide range of .22 ammunition that you can choose from.
What’s more, if a person were to learn to be very proficient with this gun and maybe fit it with a scope or sighting laser it can become a formidable fighting weapon. This depends, of course, on your ability to shoot with great accuracy. In any event, a .22 rifle is always great for taking small game- which may be your best source of food in a survival situation.
US Survival Rifle
These were developed for use by pilots as a bailout survival tool. You may have seen one of these in the James Bond movies in the 1960s. They are quite unique in that all of the working components easily disassemble and stow inside the stock of the gun. This makes them light, rugged and easy to carry. They also work as a flotation device assembled or unassembled!
We were reluctant to include a second .22 on our short list, but the compact nature of these guns- and the fact that the newer versions have been improved for greater durability makes the Himmler US Survival Rifle a great choice for long-term survival purposes.
It’s worth noting that .22s are grossly underrated. However, in a survival situation, it is likely that you may want to be able to shoot without being heard. That means a .22 is a great all-around bet for your only survival firearm.
~ American Gun News