Survival Guns

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    I am one to say shoot what you like/think is best for your situation as for me I feel that a shot gun a .22 rifle, a center fire rifle of .270, 30-30, 30-06, .308, .303 British, 8mm Mauser 7.62 by 54 is a good basic set you can expand on as money allows.
    ammo amounts twice as much as you think you can afford.


    not long the skining takes the most time.


    @frankd4 wrote:

    This is my Saiga 12 guage Shotgun with ten round magazines since it’s box fed it reloads bunny rabit fast folding stock makes it easy to hide.

    I have won a few three gun matches with it.


    There is a business in Dayton, Ohio making and selling 20 RD drums for the Saiga 12. They take a little bit of fitting to your individual piece, but I’m told are worth the cost and effort.



    I agree that every survival battery should include a 22 rimfire because of it’s versitality. But you also need something more substantial for survival. In a shtf survival situation, there will be alot of feral animals around. Now I know a 22 will kill a dog or wolf with a well placed shot, but as a law enforcement officer, I’ve had to shoot several large dogs that were attacking me or others. I have had to shoot pit bulls, rottwiellers and shepherds. (I’m not bragging, I am also a K-9 officer & hate having to kill dogs) My duty weapon was a Glock 40 S&W with 180gr. hollowpoints. On the majority of these incidents, I had to shoot 2 rounds to kill the bigger breads as there was rarely an exit wound.This was after making a good neck shot as we couldn’t do head shots because the dogs always had to be taken to animal control to do a rabies check of the brain when they have attaccked humans. The point I’m trying to make is if a 40 S&W 180 slug rarely will stop a big dog, you really need to plan on being really good with a 22 because there will be a major problem with feral dogs. When people don’t have food, they won’t be worried about feeding the family pet, they’ll turn them loose because they won’t have the heart to kill them or watch them starve.


    @koeelvry wrote:

    The point I’m trying to make is if a 40 S&W 180 slug rarely will stop a big dog, you really need to plan on being really good with a 22 because there will be a major problem with feral dogs. When people don’t have food, they won’t be worried about feeding the family pet, they’ll turn them loose because they won’t have the heart to kill them or watch them starve.


    You are spot on. One image burned in my brain from the final days of Desert Storm, was that of a mid-sized yellow dog running along some road carrying a human forearm in its mouth. I always like to think the dog scavenged in this case, but will never know.



    I recently have had several preppers ask me to start training them in firearms use. I am telling them to purchase a B-B gun ad I will teach the basics on it and they can practice at home with it. It will also come in handy to run pests off later as well as discouraging the family dog from chasing the chickens.


    I figured I chime in with my two cents (though it’s not worth that much anymore – thank you Fed). Like many of you, I don’t believe that there is one perfect survival gun. Each one is designed for a specific purpose and should be viewed as tools in a toolbox. Like the saying goes; if all you have is a hammer, then you will approach each problem as if it’s a nail. Personally, I like to have lots of tools.

    If you’re going to limit me to just one firearm, then my choice is a 12-gauge pump. I chose a Remington 870, but a Mossberg 500 would do just as well. Because of the ammo variety, the shotgun gives you flexibility like no other gun. Its versatility allows you to go after birds, critters and also bigger game. From a home-defense, it’s hard to argue with a shotgun. It even gives you a non-lethal option. JD, the armorer that built my 870 suggested that for home-defense, you should load a rubber buckshot cartridge as your first shot. This allows you one mistake. I know what Col. Cooper’s Rule #4 says, but this might not be such a bad idea, just in case. I’ve never shot anyone with rubber buckshot, but JD assured me it would ruin someone’s day. As far as the 12 versus 20 debate, I vote 12. It is more popular, and as such, more choices. If (or when) the SHTF, ammo should be easier to find. I firmly believe that with the right training, nearly everyone can handle the recoil, and if not there’s always ammo choices to fix that too.

    If you allow me a second gun, I’ll choose a handgun. As I go about my daily life, I can’t usually carry my shotgun (or any other long-gun). However, I can carry a handgun), at least most of time. But there are so many choices, revolvers, semis, calibers, makes and models. These choices are very personal, and need to be made on an individual basis. For me, the current choice is Glock 19. I say current, because it’s actually the fifth handgun I bought (I’m a little slow). Why Glock 19 for me? First, I decided I wanted more bullets rather than bigger bullets. 9mm ammo is significantly cheaper than 45, which means I can practice more at the range. I also believe that in a bad situation, it will be easier to find. The Glock 19 gives me 16 rounds, plus another 30 when I carry two extra magazines. That’s a lot of rounds. Why Glock? Two things; reliability and weight. Are revolvers more reliable than the Glock? Maybe a little bit. But for me, it’s not reason enough to sacrifice 10 rounds. And if it’s good enough for all those LEOs, it’s good enough for me. I know there’s a bunch of 1911 and revolver fans that want to argue with me, but let me say again, this is my choice. In a survival scenario, I think it will be important to have a firearm with you at all times. How likely are you to have a rifle at the ready, even while you’re planting seeds, feeding chickens, mending fences? A handgun’s easy to carry at all times.

    Third choice, 22LR. Need I say more?

    Finally, we get to the centerfire rifle. Here I choose two. First, I went with an AR-15, mainly because it has the U.S. military and LE stamp of approval. Also, like my above choices, ammo availability and cost factored into my decision as well. With this platform, I have the ability to carry a lot of rounds on my person, and send them down range rather quickly. Second, is a bolt-action .308. Here I can deliver more punch at greater range. Unlike the others, I haven’t made this purchase yet, and would love to get some guidance from the forum. Yes, I have considered the AR-10, and after shooting a colleague’s LWRC REPR (awesome) the other day, I’m torn between coolness and affordability/practicality.

    These are tools that I have/want in MY toolbox. It should go without saying that training is just as important, or even more important than gun selection. I have taken several classes already, and have enrolled in four more classes this summer. Going to the range and dry fire practice in your basement is a must, but like anything else, professional training has to be in the mix. I believe that in a gunfight, you will not rise to the occasion, but default to the level of training you have mastered.

    And again, any help with a .308 bolt-action would be much appreciated.

    Stay safe.


    A very well thought out list there, TColt. I’m of a similar thought right down the list.

    Shotgun: Yep, I have a 50+ year old Winchester Model 12 in 20 ga. I’ve been tempted to get a Remington 870 Express in 12 ga, but reports of rough operation and undersize chambers has me concerned about reliability. I expect this is a case of the squeaky wheel syndrome, but on the other hand, I can buy a lot of 20 ga shells for $300+ instead.

    Handgun: Also my second choice for everyday carry in times of emergency. I’m a revolver guy, so my choice os a S&W 686 in .357 Mag. I have a large stockpile of cartridges, and an even larger stockpile of components for the Dillon press. I’ve never shot a centerfire autoloader, so I’ll stick with what I’m familiar and comfortable with. A secondary handgun is a .22 for pest control. I have three old autoloaders, and every time I use one of those after an emergency is one more.357 round I’ll have available.

    .22 rifle: Absolutely. This might almost be the second rather than third option. Small game, easy to suppress the sound, accurate, and saves a centerfire round.

    Rifle: Last choice (although first for many) I already have the .308 bolt gun, and I think you’ll find that if this is like most firearms forums, the overwhelming recommendation will be the Remington 700. I happen to have the 700P with a tactical 4-14, but any will do from an old hunting rifle to a souped up military clone. I don’t have anything between .22 rimfire and .308, so I might add a Ruger Ranch Rifle in the mix. A little less intimidating if you want to keep a low profile than the AR variants, but uses the same ammunition as two of the more common military rifles.

    Thanks for your post,


    Thanks Steve.

    I’ve heard that the Remington 700 has had problems with accidental discharge. Any truth to that? What about Winchester or Weatherby?

    I’m a big fan of the .357 magnum, in fact it was the first gun I ever bought. Unfortunately the six inch barrel makes it a little too big for carry. I really like the ability to use either .38 or .357. I had planned to carry my Ruger LCR more, but after taking a tactical handgun class last year, I converted to the Glock. The more I shoot it, the more I like it. The LCR still gives me a good option in the summer.


    @TColt82 wrote:

    I’ve heard that the Remington 700 has had problems with accidental discharge. Any truth to that? What about Winchester or Weatherby.

    There was the possibility of accidental discharge, but they’ve been making that same trigger group for decades, and it has never been a problem. I know current production changed whatever the “problem” was, so that possibility is now gone. Google search to make sure I’m not talking out of my ass, though.

    Weatherby makes beautiful rifle, as do Kimber and many others. But they cost a lot more than a Remington 700 or a Savage, which a lot of people like now, too. Depends on if you are after basic functionality or an heirloom. I have a stupendously beautiful SAKO, but I could buy a couple of 700s and spare ammo for the cost. I still don’t regret buying it. What a rifle!

    I haven’t had a Winchester since they were sold the first time, so I can’t comment on quality or reliability. My last was a Model 94 over30 years ago.

    I don’t have a concealed carry, so the 6″ 686 works fine with a hip holster if I need to carry in an emergency.



    If I had to choose just “one” survival long gun, I’d take a hard look at one of two Saiga models. Both are over-under single shots that have a 12 guage 3″ under and either a .308 or 30.06 upper.

    Granted, you’d get only one shot with each, but it does provide both a shotgun and center fire rifle in one combo.

    If I could add a pistol, it would be a quality copy of the old 1911. Springfield Arms makes several different versions. If you want a larger capacity mag in same caliber go with the XD or new XDM.



    Regarding the Remington 700’s going off. Im a certified police sniper, Basic, advanced, and advanced advanced LOL! I shot a .308 700 police package at work. Ive been thru countless sniper schools and have shot close to 17,000/20,000 rounds thru my 700’s .”308″ in every kind of weather god can throw at us. Enough rounds to have to rebarrel both rifles, I use a stock trigger in one adjusted to 2 1/2 lbs trigger pull, and now the other has an aftermarket trigger.

    I have never had an AD nor have I witnessed one in any classes or training sessions attended. Ive been thru this 700 thing on a couple of other boards and am aware of the suits past and present.

    Keep you finger off the trigger, the gun won’t go bang!.

    If anybody here has actually witnessed or had an AD with a 700 please share your story Id love to hear it. I’d like to clarify that I have at AD’s in my career with a pistols, only when I touched the trigger.

    There are many great rifles out there, the 700 is the standard and the work horse for LEO’s and the Military, there’s a reason for that.

    Have a good one.


    I agree with Dirk. I’m also a police sniper as well as a general/ tactical/ sniper firearms instructor. The only problem encountered with the Remington that I’m aware of is sometimes people would try to disengage the safety while having their finger on the trigger. On my 700 the safety would not come off when there was pressure on the trigger. I have seen one instance where this action was the cause of an A/D as the person was trying to take the safety off to unload as he walked into camp, and shot the left front tire out on my landcruiser while I was standing by the drivers door. It was pure operater error. The guy was lucky there wasn’t alot of grease on the rifle because I was ready to shove the thing up his fifth point of contact…….Like Dirk said, keep your finger off the trigger.
    The Remington 700 action is obviously the standard since the Marines as well as all the federal agencies and most law enforcement agencies use it. You can’t ask for better endorsment than that.


    The gun you should have first depends on were you live and what your most likely needs are. The gun(s) you should have are ones that you can handle, are legal, use common ammo, easy to find parts for and can be used for the purpose intended for. Some people go out and buy the most wicked looking firearm they can based on a movie they saw and then brag about the specs of the weapon like they’re an expert. Guns are tools and you need the right tool for the right job. You might be able to remove a lug nut with a cresant wrench but a lug nut wrench works better and you won’t look so stupid.

    I’m with both Dirk and koeelvry on the Remington 700. Industry standard, uses common ammo, inexpensive as far a large bore rifle goes and easy to find parts for.

    For me:

    .22LR – inexpensive, small game, cheap ammo and perfect to train kids and novices marksmanship and weapon handling.

    Colt .45 1911 for home defense. Never had a jam when I used the proper ammo (Ball). Had a problem when I tried some HP. Because I have kids, I must keep my weapons unloaded. In a stressful situation it’s a lot faster slapping in a clip than to try to thumb in rounds in my revolver. Since it was the weapon I had for most of my Marine Corps career, operation is second nature. Downside, my wife won”t touch it.

    .357 – Use it for a back-up and a finish kill when hunting. Wife likes it with .38 cal loaded.

    12 GA dbl barrel side by side – Home defense but like it better in most cases for hunting than my pump. Wife won’t touch this one either. Most females would do better with a 20 GA

    Remington 700 – Big game hunting (if you can call deer in California big game)

    Lever action Marlin chambered for .35 Remington. Prefer it for deer hunting in heavy brush with iron sights but impossible to find ammo in California. Used to reload or get it occasionally at gun shows. Will be ordering from

    Just my 4 cents worth (inflation)


    I am a 28 year range master and have seen a revolver jam. Both due to malfunction and shooter error. Nothing is fool proof.

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