Ruger 10:22 Takedown (courtesy shootingtimes.com)

Survival knives I get. You want the biggest knife you can comfortably and perhaps discreetly carry that can do just about anything that won’t lose its edge. Survival guns are a trickier proposition. There are way too many survival scenarios involving way too many variables to select one survival gun to rule them all. If I’m humping through the backwoods shooting small animals to stay alive, then sure, the Henry U.S. Survival AR-7 or Ruger 10/22 Takedown (as suggested by americanrifleman.org) would be ideal. If I’m hunkering-down in a post-Katrina storm shelter deal, an LC9 would be the way to go. Zombies? I call shotgun! Fast moving Zombies? AR you kidding? Still, if you had to pick one gun – not having the slightest clue where you’re gonna be when SHTF and what dangers you’ll be facing – what gun would you choose?

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174 Responses to Question of the Day: Is the Ruger 10/22 Takedown the World’s Best Survival Gun?

  1. My 5.56×45 SBR. Light, compact, and takes a very common cartridge while still having the stopping power to deal with most four and two legged threats.

      • pwrserge and Vhyrus, hope you pack ear protection with your guns; one shot from either of those WITHOUT good ear protection, and people will be able to sneak-up on you in a bulldozer…

        I’ve fired my 9mm without protection a few times, and while not pleasant, it’s “doable”; can’t say the same for short-barreled centerfire rifles. I carry earplugs on-person anyway, more for protecting me from annoying kids on airplanes and people in other confined spaces like hotels than anything more serious.

        • Meh… It’s not much worse than firing an M4 without ear pro. Besides, that’s what the suppressor would be for if my state allowed me to own one.

  2. I prefer my 1892 take down but that won’t play well with smaller critters in a survival mode. It’s also hard to carry more than 50rds of cartridges for it. A Chiappa Little Badger in 22WMR might be a good “if you only had one gun” choice.

  3. The 10/22 Takedown is not a bad general-purpose choice. Most folks that bad-mouth it, have one or two specific scenarios in mind where something else would do a far better job, but this is not an honest argument against the Ruger, just a plug FOR something else in that situation.

    My 10/22 Takedown has been sunrise-reliable with quality ammo and factory mags, even the Ruger 25-shot extended versions. Several different models are available, and I believe they all come with a nifty carry case that includes enough extra storage space for ammo, mags, and a few other critical items (knife, fire-making materials, etc.).

    Yeah, I have ARs, bolt-guns in various calibers, and other choices, but none that I’m willing to leave in a vehicle’s cargo area for years on end.

    • For something to stay in the car for a long time, a Remington 870 Mariner edition would seem a good choice. It’s legal most places and it’s very rust-resistant.

    • How well does the 10/22 takedown hold zero? I am curious about it since it mounts the scope separate from the barrel. Unscrewing and screwing on the barrel has got to affect the zero.

      • You probably won’t believe this (I wouldn’t blame you), and it probably says more about my shooting consistency over the span of a single 10-shot group, but twice now I’ve run the following test with the same results. One ten-shot group, off the sandbags, at 50 yards, fired one shot after the next, all from the same position. A second ten-shot group, fired in this manner: load a one-shot magazine, shoot one shot, clear rifle, remove barrel, replace barrel, pull and release bolt 3 times, reload with a one-shot mag. Repeat entire procedure to fire 9 more shots.

        Both times the second group (gun broken-down between shots) was slightly tighter than the first group. Point of impact between the two groups remained the same as well. I won’t mention the size of the groups, because with cheap bulk-pack HP ammo and a compact 4x scope, they were nothing to write home about, but it was representative of the model (10/22s in general) and the breed (factory-produced semi-auto .22 rifles).

        At that point, I stopped worrying about accuracy related to the takedown mechanism.

      • Actually, mine holds zero very well. I haven’t had a problem with it yet and I’ve had it 2 years now. I have a 3-9X42mm scope on top. It’s level with the gun and only time I have to check it really is if I take off the scope while cleaning. I’ve had the scope off once when I did all my upgrades. I hope more chime in. Either I’m very lucky with mine 10/22 or they are just good at holding zero.

  4. AR-7? Not for me. The ruger is kind of heavy and cumbersome compared to the Marlin Papoose! That’s where it’s at boys and girls. Light, accurate, breaks down and you can carry a ton of ammo.

    Papoose! Papoose! Papoose!

    It’s just fun to say.

    • Yep, my papoose fits in the storage in my motorcycle. That and a couple pistols and the wife and I are off for a nice afternoon at the range.

    • OMG you used the “P ” word. That is a racist insult to the native Americans. How can TTAG allow racism in its comments? The world is going to be in an uproar now. Tribal leaders will call for lawsuits. Childern will have to be sheilded from the “P ” word….

      • Are you referring to Native Americans(folks who were born here, according to Russell Means, Lakota activist), or American Indians?

        • Yep the folks who’s ancestors stole the land/women from other older injuns but then could not defend it from the evil white man. Sucks to be a bunch primitive tribal yahoos.

  5. Before everyone starts talking about the impossibility of obtaining ammo to feed a 10/22 during the Zombie Apocalypse, I’d like to point out that every retired OFWG and/or hoarder in the country who I see standing in line at Walmart / Gander / BassPro etc. must have MILLIONS of rounds of 22 LR stashed in their basement by now. That’s were I’m going when it’s TEOTWAWKI.

    • I took it to mean, in a “government” shelter (hockey stadium, etc.) where concealment is key, and firearms likely forbidden.

  6. Good question RF! Obviously if you need some sort of small form factor basic protection, small game, bug out gun, then yes either of these guns are great.
    I think if we consider firepower in the same realm as security with rings. The take down rifle has it’s place. 22LR is cheep, and you can keep it around to keep you alive. While you may also have let’s say an AR or AK, and a bolt action 30-06 or something along those lines ready as well.
    Of course for personal protection, a couple of pistols would be on the list as well. Is it short term or long term scenarios? What level of our infrastructure has failed, what kind of natural disaster just happened. All of these factor into the response, but then again each scenario would carry a tailored response.

  7. AK-104 with folding stock and some other things would be ideal for most situations.

    Pistols aren’t that a big deal as long as you can hide it on you.

    .22 LR rifles it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it can hit a pie plate at 100 meters and has a suppressor.

  8. Whatever gun I happen to have available when SHTF is the best survival gun.

    If I get a choice, I like my 22 WMR’s. 22 WMR packs a decent punch and my wife isn’t afraid to shoot it.

  9. If it has to cover the largest possible range of SHTF situations *and* be with you when that unpredictable disaster happens, then the first choice can only be a pistol. A full-capacity semiauto that’s concealable enough to be an everyday carry piece and is chambered in an effective self-defense caliber (although a revolver would work, too).

    • Most of the reason I keep a rifle in my trunk in a nice discrete bag with a plate carrier and some magazines. A survival pack and basic gear also live in the trunk. Depending on just how badly the fecal matter has hit the rotary air impeller, different things come out of the trunk.

  10. No a shotgun is. wide selection of ammo types, buck, bird, slugs and so forth. Just my 2 cents worth.

    • Isn’t the ammo for a shottie heavy? Like really heavy? I like them but they are jacks of all trades and masters of none.

      Then again a cut down Ithaca 37 with suppressor and red dot is tempting.

    • Heavy isn’t really the problem; ALL ammo is heavy. Bulky is the problem. 25 rounds of shotgun, 100 rounds of .223, or 400+ rounds of .22 LR each take up about the same space.

      And scattergun fans who tout the versatility of various shotgun ammo types have never tried to figure out a way to successfully carry all the various types and swap them in and out of the gun as needed under real-world conditions. Great in theory, virtually impossible in practice.

      • VEPR-12, 8 round mags, 6 in the vest, each marked with a different colored marker to show loads at a glance. Swapping loads is as simple as reloading an AK.

        • That’s certainly a far better setup than the average pump-gun.

          Have you had any problems with shell deformation if the mags are left loaded for extended periods? I’ve heard that can be a problem with detachable-mag shotguns in general. Oval/flattened shells apparently don’t slip smoothly into the chamber…

        • The higher quality SGM mags I use haven’t caused any noticeable deformation, at least not on the high brass shells I keep them loaded with. Then again, it could just be the beefy AK bolt and the generous feed lips don’t really mind a little egg shaping. This is a Vepr, it’s basically a Russian heavy machine gun that was redesigned into a combat shotgun. I call it the Honey Badger, because it doesn’t give a [expletive deleted].

        • Good setup but how many rounds of each type do you have? Is it one or two mags of birdshot and the rest split evenly between buckshot and slugs?

          Also 6 mags with 8 rounds each is 48 rounds, going by 1 shell=50 grams on average that is 2.4kg (which is 5.3 pounds). 5 lbs of 7.62x39mm is about 150 rounds. 5 lbs of 5.56 is about 186 rounds. This is without counting the weight of the mags.

          Small game can be taken with an AR/AK if you are patient and go for the headshot, it is also unnecessary if you know how to make and place snares. Also don’t forget range, even the best slug guns can’t shoot slugs accurately past 150-200 meters (most use slugs at 50-100 meters) while with an AK/AR you can easily reach 300 meters accurately.

          Nothing against shotguns (Getting that Ithaca 37 one day) but not very useful IMO in a critical situation like social collapse and the like (which can happen in my country since it did happen 20 years ago). The advantage of shotguns IMO is in compact firepower, since shotgun powder is almost the same as pistol powder. You can cut a shotgun barrel from 28 to 12 inches and lose about 100 fps which is not that much. While they are inaccurate without a stock that can be compensated by either having a folding stock or using a red dot sight.

        • nitpicking for sure, but the VEPR is based on the RPK, which definitely fits into the light machine gun/SAW category.

        • The loadout changes depending on needs, but it’s usually 2 slug mags, 4 buck mags, and 1 bird mag. Don’t forget the mag in the gun. The bird mag is for food, which may be rare, and would be the easiest to scavenge ammo for. As far as weight and effective range, it depends on the situation I find myself in. If I’m stuck walking through the woods, I’d take a 10/22 and a 10mm pistol in case of predators. But the VEPR is my urban warfare gun, if I find myself having to scavenge through the abandoned ruins of Dallas-that-was and killing mutants at bad breath range. Carrying would be done on person in buildings, but worrying about weight is silly when I’m going to be mobilizing in a Mad-Maxed pickup truck that carries all my stuff for me. I have been playing far too much Fallout and Metro.

  11. How about a Savage 24 in .22WMR over 20 gauge?

    Or the breakdown “Camper” version, .22LR over 20 gauge.

    • That would be my choice.
      .
      I have a .22LR/.410 Model 24 that could be bored out to .22WMR.
      .
      .410 000Buckshot rounds now being available.

    • Great for feeding yourself and your clan, but poor choice for defense, especially against multiple humans. Better than a sharp stick, but…

      • That’s the problem with these imaginary scenarios. Any single gun is going to be a poor compromise for all the myriad roles that a gun can fill. In reality, if shit gets super bad and I only have one gun with me, it won’t be long before I start trying to find my way to another gun.

        • Basically true, but I think defaulting to “I’d rather learn to feed myself using a gun suitable for defense, rather than defending myself with a low-capacity, hard to reload quickly gun” is a more sound concept.

        • Valid point. I guess when I see the phrase “survival gun” I tend to think more about subsistence in rough conditions than marauding gangs. After all, I’ve eaten many tens of thousands of meals, and haven’t had to have a even a single gunfight yet in my life (knock on wood).

        • True, but failure to harvest meat for a meal every now and then isn’t a huge problem (Lord knows I could afford to miss a few meals, or eat more dandelion salads), but failure to successfully defend yourself and/or your loved ones, even once, is catastrophic.

          Here’s hoping your (our) string of success, as you described above, continues indefinitely.

  12. Only allowed one gun? Make mine a PWS Mk110 pistol with the Sig brace, a solid set of irons, Magpul AFG, MAYBE an Eotech, and a tac light.

    Two guns allowed? My trusty EDC Sig P229 would definitely come along.

  13. Probably a 5.56×45, preferably either an SBR or an AR pistol with a Sig Not-a-stock. Either that or a 12 gauge Mossberg 500 / Maverick 88 with a 20″ barrel and 7+1 capacity, if (like me) you’re on a tight budget. .22lr gets an honorable mention, but I’d be concerned about its lack of stopping power against two-legged predators.

  14. The gun you have being the best SHTF gun, always I’m sticking with the LC9 . Of course there’s a bigger, badder gun in the trunk (just in case) and that’s usually a 12 ga shotgun.

  15. The Takedown has advantages over the AR-7 for being a 10/22 so there are tons of aftermarket parts for it and it has a history of reliability. I do wish the bag was a little bigger because I can barely fit the gun in there with a scope on it. Had to buy a folding stock as well.

    • Try a smaller scope, maybe? Not just to fit in the bag, but because you don’t really need a honkin’ huge scope on a .22. I’ve got a small 1-4x Leupold on mine, mounted so the front lens is flush with the end of the receiver. Set up in this manner, it still fits perfectly in the bag. YMMV.

    • The AR-7 has the advantage that it floats. The Marlin Papoose also floats ONLY if it is in it’s case. Once upon a time there were LOTS of aftermarket goodies made for the AR-7. Mine currently has a collapsable wire stock with a pistol grip, a mounted 3 cell Maglite and 50 round magazines. It certainly will not float in this configuration. Looks really “cool”, but I doubt it is nearly as durable as the Papoose or Ruger would be over the long haul. If I have to pick only one firearm out of the rack for general survival in the rural area in which I live, the Papoose is probably it. Or maybe the Marlin Camp carbine in 9mm that I have 30 round mags for. I sure would miss having a handgun as well, but you did say only one firearm allowed

  16. I personally guarantee that I will not ever knowingly enter a SHTF scenario with just one gun. With that said, the 10/22 Takedown would be next to the AR and the Glock, with as much ammo, food, and water as I could carry. And I suppose I should take the wife and kids, too. They’d each get their own pile of hardware.

  17. One gun to cover the widest range of possibilities? PMR-30.

    One gun out of the ones I own? Marlin 1894c. 357/38 is a helluva versatile set of calibers.

  18. I am not sure what the best survival gun will be but the one in your hands at that time will be ranked high on the list. I have looked at a lot of ‘survival’ knives but in my experience in camping and hiking my $20.00 Mora knife has been just fine for a majority of tasks. My point is… Cost does not equate survivability. Awesome survival rifle with rare ammo caliber is a no go. Expensive knife that you are afraid to take out of the sheath is a no go. Practicality and utility seem to be the winning factors in survival.

  19. What kind of survival are we talking about? Survival in the woods, if we are backpacking in, or a suvival weapon to keep in your car, “just in case”
    The biggest problem with keeping a weapon in your car, is the chance of having it stolen.
    A 22 rim fire doesn’t cut it! An AR would be a dandy choice, but I would not want to risk it. A 12 ga. is only good for short range, unless your using slugs, and know where they are hitting at longer ranges.
    One idea might be a Mosin, if you can find one cheap enough, and then a cheap single shot shotgun, to go along with it.
    It all boils down to money, a commodity many of us are in short supply.

  20. It depends, if you want to shoot squirell or small rabbits sure, but for almost everything else .22 is unacceptable.

    • I don’t agree. Not the best choice for armed defense, but it has a decent stand-off capability, and a quick burst of shots to the face/torso would deter/stop most attackers just fine. The lower noise level will help preserve your hearing (critically important in almost every possible scenario), and also helps hide your position from distant forces if you need to use it. Low recoil, so anyone can use it effectively, and it also can be fired in awkward or off-balance positions easily (even one-handed).

      • Very good points DJ9 … you have me rethinking my choice near the bottom of the this discussion.

  21. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned an SKS. It’s a short, accurate rifle that would be great for hunting anything except very small game, up to quite large. It is a very durable rifle, and you can rebuild it with little to no tools, depending on how far down you go. The ammo is very common. Even though their value is climbing, it’s less monetary risk to keep in your vehicle than even a bottom priced AR. I can still find them for under $300 in my area.

    • Where do you live because I can’t find one for less than $400 in my area? And I would really like one but do not want to shell-out $450 for an SKS, especially the Chinese versions that I have found.

      • There has been a flood of imports in the past year of early (1956-57 era) Chinese SKSes that were given as military aid to Eastern European countries back in the day (this is why they’re importable now, because they’re not technically coming from China). Lots of the online dealers in surplus/C&R guns have them, for right around $300 (Classic Firearms was selling them for $269 at one point). These are well-made, but well-used guns, with chrome bores, milled receivers and blade bayonets. Stocks are usually beat up, and not much bluing left, but the two I got are great shooters and had no rust. Being old, they’re also curio and relic eligible if you have a C&R license, so you can have one shipped right to your house. Be warned, though, if you buy one of these, they’re super greasy. A nine pound rifle with ten pounds of cosmoline in it. Took forever to get all the cosmo out of the wood on mine.

    • Well, you can build a VZ58 for $550. Silver solder a thread extender to the barrel, press said barrel, swap FCG & piston. Done, compliant. Lighter than an AK, as/more accurate than an SKS.

  22. It depends. Can you find ammo for the 10/22? Here is what I have. I always have a pistol. AR-7 is for my backpack because it is light and extremely compact. 10/22 for the jeep survival kit. AR-15 for SHTF regardless of transportation. I am considering a .410 for my jeep survival kit.

    • Don’t forget the accessory tank-truck to follow you around and keep the fuel topped-off.

      Do those get a MPG rating, or is it GPM?

    • Good choice but my only concern is conceal-ability. Added bonus is you get shelter and protection covered.

      • I think it was some guy named Rick that told me you shouldn’t shoot a Colt Python inside a tank, unless you have really good ear protection in place.

        He was yelling while he told me this, but I don’t know why…

  23. A good old Kalashnikov. Not perfect for every situation but just good enough for every situation.

  24. Loaded question. I suppose if you had to choose just one for purely defense and small game, then the 10/22 or something comparable certainly allows you a ton of ammo. If I have my numbers right, I believe that 10 pounds of 22lr is 1300 rounds or so, versus ten pounds of. 308 being 180 rounds. Definitely plenty more trigger pulls, and it’s not like bigger creatures, humans included, would particularly enjoy getting hit with it… That being said, I bought my 308 AR as my one and only. I figure that any threat or prey can be taken care of, but yes, ammo is the issue. The 10/22 is under 5 pounds, so it wouldn’t be difficult to use it as your regular piece and save the big guy for rainy days. As for the added weight, well, training. I just don’t like having to do certain things more than once…. Obviously ammo conservation would be paramount, but it can be reloaded for one, and force you to be more situationally aware. Only if you absolutely must. Maybe I’m wrong, but me and my baby are excessively accurate;I think it could work. Then again, while switching between shotgun round types quickly may be slow, it’s not like you’d lack for Ammunition. The everlasting conundrum of the perfect gear load out. I intend to enjoy the back and forth to the end of my days. Hey, a man needs a hobby.

    • The only rifles I own are a 10/22 takedown and an AR-10 (308). I figure I’m covered. Distributed the bolt and lever actions to the family.

  25. If I only get one and I don’t know what I’ll be facing in terms of threat, needs, gov’t intervention, etc., I have to go with a subcompact 9mm- GLOCK 26, Shield, XDS, et al.

  26. A nice Sig Sauer 516 with a variable IR 3X9X40 or 4X12X40 optic, Ergo Collapsible foregrip, Adjustible or foldable stock, laser light/ strobe flashlight, and the piece de resistance, a suppressor. you could swap out the optics listed for an Eotech red dot and a magnifier, i prefer the scopes, you can adjust them accordingly.

  27. Or alternatively, a 240g with 50000+ rounds at a static position to hold out in. Not that I’m willing or able to pay for either the gun, the Ammunition, or NFA junk.

  28. I would agree with the ar7 as the best if you needed a survival rifle for “oops I got lost in the woods and need to find my way back to civilization”

    For a SHTF civilization is out the window post apocalyptic situation,on the other hand, my first choice for an “I can only have one gun” scenario is a browning m2 .50cal (vehicle mounted on a gasifier converted vehicle). With that setup maybe the guy with the 12ga and the guy with the AR will want to join forces with you and maybe not, but they sure as hell won’t want to go up against you.

  29. My good ol trusty Model 94 in 30-30. Pretty common ammo as it’s found nearly everywhere and nearly everyone and their brother has a 30-30. Dang good accuracy, even with iron sights. Reliable to a fault. May be a little heavy and not very concealable but I don’t mind that. It’s enough to handle big game but not too much for smaller game. Just my $0.02.

    • I thought about that too, but:
      A- Concealment, which may be necessary, is all but impossible.
      B- In a SD scenario, with just one shot of .410 and one .22 before needing to reload, undergunned is an understatement.

      • Eh, you’re comparing to the 10/22, though. I’d rather have one good self defense round, then a handful of people annoyers.

        Definitely those are fair criticisms, though.

  30. An AR- pistol with a .22lr conversion kit. A good pistol scope, with 500 rounds of .556 and a 2000 rounds of .22lr. You can keep it in a day pack nearby.

    • That’s actually a great idea – of course, those were illegal in CT even before the 2013 changes. If you also get a sidearm, a G-17 with the .22 conversion kit would not be a bad idea. Just in case your AR craps out, your can still use all that .22 ammo.

  31. Assuming it’s a perfect buyers world, It’d be hard to argue against it. Currently, I would say AR variant would be the best option. For those that have 10k in 22lr stock piled, even a nice 22 conversion lot along for the ride would be best in my opinion. Money not an option? Whatever your heart desires.

  32. Depends on the person and depends on the scenario.

    There are literally thousands of “one gun” threads that exist on prepper forums.

    Personally, I think the 1 gun thing is kind of stupid unless your SHTF is to gtfo of town. And in that case, your “one gun” is pretty much just a convenient self defense wepaon.

    I mean hell, even in Afghanistan I bought a makarov off the locals because I wanted a backup to my M4 that went bang.

  33. My first choice for a SHTF/wilderness survival rifle is my Winchester Model 70 featherweight in 243. 243 has a round for everything from varmint to white tale. Being a bolt gun it is super reliable and being a Winchester it is super accurate. I have been tempted to get a Remington M25 if I could find one in 243.
    That would give me the flexibility of 243 and the capability to outgun your average AR-15 owner in the SHTF scenario.

  34. A real pity both the 10/22 takedown and the marlin papoose are only available in 22LR. Either would have made a great pairing with a Kel-Tec PMR-30, except that’s 22WMR only.

    Sigh. I like commonality of ammo for EOTW scenario gedanken-experiments.

  35. Via the way back machine….remember reading a great article in the old timey magazines about a guy stranded in the big woods of Canada. Survived a couple of months with a Colt Woodsman .22LR pistol and a couple of boxes of .22 ammo (circa 1940’s – lead, 40gr. std. vel.). Like most survivors, the food was small game shot at relatively close range with one of JMBs great guns…

    http://www.nramuseum.org/the-museum/the-galleries/ever-vigilant/case-61-the-great-inventors/colt-woodsman-semi-automatic-pistol.aspx

  36. For regular survival, a Takedown or Papoose. Sidearm would be my CZ P07 concealed.

    For a Red dawn scenario a VZ58. Why a VZ58? Stripper clips! If I run out of full mags I can keep popping stripper clips into the rifle like an SKS. The stock folds to the side and it weighs about as much as an AR but fires 7.62×39. I can hide it in a small backpack and have room for accesories and gear. Sidearm with the VZ would be my CZ P01. It’s small but durable and reliable.

    For zombies? Saiga 12 with drum and a few 10 rounders all with 00 buckshot. Sidearm would be my CZ P09 because it holds 20 rounds.

    Yes I love my CZs.

  37. I read an article many years ago where the author tackled this question, and in his mind settled on a solid bolt-action .308 as the one gun to have if you can only have one gun. His reasoning involved a lot of handloading, suggesting the capability of very light loads for most small game to hot loads for most big game (in North America, that is.) If he’s right, then I guess something like the Ruger Gunsite Scout would be ideal.

    For long term rural survival, I’d probably want a .22, and I really like the look and feel of the Takedown. I was just (last night) looking at all the aftermarket stocks that are available now, and I have a pretty good idea of how I’d outfit one. Around here, the two legged predators aren’t much of a concern, people really get together fast in rough situations (we had a guy come by with his bobcat this winter to move some of the snow out of our driveway to his yard, just because he had the room to move it).

    However, if I needed it TONIGHT, I’d probably get the most use out of my M44. I may have stocked up on surplus ammo last time the price dropped.

    • For “long term rural survival”, I actually suspect a bolt-action or even a single-shot .22 would be preferable. Much simpler mechanically and easier to maintain, and lighter, too. A “youth model” single shot .22 can go under 2 lbs weight. If you have money to waste, Ruta Locura RPK will get you under 1 lbs.

      Why? Mainly because you can use the weight you shave off in this way for ammo. Every pound you save on the rifle is ~130 extra rounds of .22 that can be carried. Or even more if you go .22 Short (which you probably should for at least part of the supply – it’s perfectly adequate for small game, yet weighs less and is less bulky). And for “long term”, I’d be worried about ammo supply.

      • Honestly, I live in an area where a need for extended mobility is seriously unlikely, and I’m not limited to a single arm. I’d most likely be plenty able to arrange specific loadouts for different types of expeditions. And, like I said, it’d be even more unlikely to be going it alone. Barring some type of horror movie scenario, of course. Besides, any action other than semi auto on a .22LR feels weird to me (grew up with a 10/22).

        If we’re talking extended (weeks or longer) carry, and we’re dreaming of anything, a mil spec M6 and a backpack full of ammo. .22 hornet over .410, easily stowable, designed to be effective even for a potentially injured person, plenty to like. However, finding an actual military model (or one of the converted civilian versions) is next to impossible, incredibly expensive, and requires an AOW stamp.

        • Sure, the whole premise of “you can only have one gun” is ridiculous to begin with, and when that’s not an issue than there are many fine-tuned options and combos. I was going with it for the sake of a mental exercise, though.

        • I understand the premise, it’s just a little difficult to run with in my mind.

          I can think of one scenario: I have a pretty extensive survival kit in my trunk, and a small, easily stowed rifle would be an ideal companion. In that situation, I think I’d want the 10/22 takedown. Purely as a survival rifle, .22 is plenty. It’s not going to be much good for defense, but it’s plenty to get food in a desperate situation. Alone or even with one or two other people, squirrels are plentiful. And this scenario gives me a decent argument for semi-auto: you’re potentially injured, and your marksmanship isn’t all it could be. Two or three quick follow up shots may be necessary.

    • Can I get a complete second barrel assembly with the integral suppressor, ready to lock into the receiver of my existing 10/22 Takedown?

  38. If limited to .22LR, I would put the 10/22 Takedown models in second place. My first place selection goes to the related although discontinued Ruger 22 Charger pistol with a pistol scope.

    In larger calibers my top choices would go to magazine-fed bolt actions like the Mossberg MVP in .223 Rem/5.56mm or Ruger Scout Rifle in .308 Win. AR’s rifles and pistols are runners-up on my list.

  39. Keltec sub2k. Small enough and cheap enough to leave concealed in my vehicle and common ammo and mags with my pistol. The ammo is lighter than rifle rounds, but of a sufficient caliber to take down small to medium game if needed ( although not ideal). Lack of firepower is offset by the ability to have it close by at all times.

    If its really shtf and I have a choice, my preference would be ideally an AK. Semi auto, reliable, 30 caliber, good to 200 yds. Etc…..

    • Great choice. Ketlec sub2k in 9mm that takes Glock mags. Glock 17 as well share the mags, have tons of 9mm.

    • >> The ammo is lighter than rifle rounds

      Try weighing it, you might be surprised. It’s actually about the same as 5.56 (in fact, many 9mm rounds with heavy bullets will be heavier than M193).

    • + 1 chambered in .40 w/Glk22 mags. Didn’t the Russians make a pilot-survival rifle that folded the other way and looked like a long flat metal box?

  40. Impossible to answer without knowing what “SHTF” really means.

    Fictional SHTF, sure I want a AR15, lots of ammo and mags, with a good red dot. In this fictional SHTF, everyone is out to get everyone. Don’t worry about, you know clean water, food etc, just worry about getting them before they get you.

    In a more realistic SHTF, where society is broken to some point but is still working at some level…..a Glock 17 with lots of ammo and mags. In this more realistic SHTF I don’t want anyone to know I have gun. I want to AVOID conflict if possible. If they see me strapping a rifle, someone will want to take me down for whatever reason. I want my Glock in my back pack so when I have to still possibly go to work, to the store etc in a broken down society with increased threat, I have some protection.

    I got nothing against a rifle for SHTF if I have a pistol, or a few, first. Hide the rifle until you really need it.

  41. If it needs to be concealed, it’ll be my SR9c.

    If it doesn’t, my AR. Or maybe I’d carry my .308 and give the wife the AR?

  42. “SHTF” is so broad a term as to be virtually meaningless.

    If I had to grab only one gun out of a dozen and a half that I have, without being told anything in advance regarding the purpose or the circumstances in which I might have to use it, or their duration, it would probably be my 5.56 Arsenal AK (which has a TWS rail cover with Aimpoint Micro mounted on it).

    If any specifics are provided, then it’d depend on the specifics – a lot. But if I know that I’m not heading into an all-out warzone, a 20ga pump shotgun would rank pretty high on my list.

    • Agreed it is such a broad term. People instantly go to crazy movie like thoughts and really have no concept on what it would really be like. We don’t need to prepare for Zombies or Nuclear War…. more like inflation, unrest, crime, and food shortages.

  43. 12 gauge shotgun with 3.5″ chamber. Specifically I would take my Benelli SuperNova.

    It can shoot anything from small critters to two legged threats to moose. If you have two barrels, a long one say 24″ for hunting and a short one (can have once been long one cut down at emergency time) for self defense, etc they can be easily swapped out.

    With the 3.5″ chamber it will shoot anything you can scrounge from super duper slugs to bird shot. I’d trust it with even the most questionable improvised hand loads as well.

    The gun itself is mostly plastic so maintenance is very low. Personal experience proves this; after 8 years of owning a SuperNova and not cleaning it any more than running a bore snake through the barrel every now and then it has never jammed or malfunctioned in any other way. Edit – I will add that I used to shoot 100 rounds or more through it every weekend for a couple of years shooting skeet. All the cheapest ammo I could find too, including lots of old paper shells.

    The only downsides I see to a shotgun are the slow reloads and the heavy ammo. I see a pistol caliber carbine/sbr as a viable alternative. Light ammo, compact, suitable for small game, good pdw.

    • A 9mm pistol caliber carbine does not have any advantage over a .223 rifle in terms of ammo weight, and only marginal advantage in terms of firearm weight. It’s counter-intuitive, I know, but go look up the raw numbers and see for yourself.

      WRT shotguns, one thing I’ve been thinking of is how good Aguila mini-shells might be. Obviously they’re nowhere near a match for 12ga, but they still send lead flying, and they are much smaller and lighter, so you could considerably extend the round count by replacing part of your supply with them. The other disadvantage is that they can only be used as single-shot (they don’t reliably feed in most pumps), but then for hunting that would be good enough anyway.

      What would be nice is a mini-shell with birdshot, as a lightweight all-around small game round basically.

      • Well in terms of the pistol caliber carbine I think it is 6 to one half dozen to the other; the advantages and disadvantages between that and a 5.56 sbr are negligible indeed. I just leaned towards the pistol caliber for terms of all around performance and possibly less susceptibility to ammo choice in terminal performance.

        The mini shot shells with bird shot is a great idea though.

        Not in reference to you points, but in SHTF why would anyone still consider using a SIG brace? Remove the stock from your other AR or put your spare AR stock on your pistol. Throw SIG brace away. Now you have a much more functional sbr. It’s SHTF, presumably anything goes; is the ATF still going to come and throw you in prison?

        • >> I just leaned towards the pistol caliber for terms of all around performance and possibly less susceptibility to ammo choice in terminal performance.

          I would actually lean towards a .223 rifle (not SBR) for those same reasons. The problem with pistol carbines is that pretty much all pistol calibers are a fairly short range proposition due to their trajectory. You can extend that a little bit with fast-and-light ammo (like say going 100gr or even 90gr with 9mm), but even then your direct shot distance will be limited by 150 yards or so.

          If you go SBR, then 9mm makes more sense given the sucky terminal performance of .223 from short barrels. Though this can be mitigated by ammo choice – by all accounts, heavy 75+ gr 5.56 bullets fragment very reliably and devastatingly even from 10″ barrels. In fact, superior terminal performance (from any firearm) is exactly why my stash includes 500 rounds of Mk262.

          Then, of course, it doesn’t have to be .223. For an SBR, .300 BLK sounds like a perfect caliber, with only slightly heavier ammo, but the one that performs great even out of an 8″ barrel, and with trajectory that makes it quite usable out to 300 yards. I’m eagerly waiting for an Extar pistol in .300 BLK to see what can be done with that, especially if SBR’d (now that this is finally legal in WA) – the dry weight of 1.5 lbs for the existing Extar-556 model is pretty damn impressive!

          I think the main advantage of a pistol caliber is ammo commonality with the handgun. I’d actually expect the handgun to remain the primary defensive firearm in most cases (you don’t want to go around with a long gun in your hands all the time, even in a warzone, unless you’re a combatant), so you’d still need to carry that, and ammo for it. Being able to share that ammo (and, ideally magazines) with your rifle is a lucrative proposition.

          My main annoyance with pistol caliber carbines is that most of them are heavier than I’d like them to be – usually somewhere in 6lb ballpark, comparable with a lightweight AR. The only exception is Sub-2000 – I have one, and it’s a great gun – but I also have reservations about its long term durability.

        • I agree with you there, no doubt about it that a 5.56 sbr will be a better terminal performer with proper ammo such as the mk 262/mod1 you suggest. I just suspect coming across what I would consider semi exotic ammo is a much chance lower than coming across 115grn 9mm (the caliber I was thinking of in my mind) or 9mm of any flavor for that matter. Weight of the rifle is not a concern of mine but I understand it’s importance to some people.

          Same goes for the 300blk, its a great terminal performer but ammo availability makes it an unlikely choice for me. It is too exotic still and doesn’t have the availability of 9mm/5.56/12ga IMO to be a good idea.

          Ammo commonality with a handgun is a nice aspect I wasn’t really considering since I would more than likely choose my .357 n frame revolver for similar reasons as the SuperNova; it is nearly indestructible and I would shoot anything that fit in the cylinder/barrel from .380 to .357 out of it in a pinch.

          But again I think in the end all things are equal here, and both platforms, pistol caliber or rifle caliber, would likely serve you equally well.

  44. If you’re a bug-out and hide type of prepper, the 10/22 takedown fits the bill: light, compact, and _quiet_. My biggest complaint is the “manual of arms” – the bolt-lock and mag release are awkward and requires aftermarket modifications. For the shelter-in-place types, we’re all better off with higher caliber weapons, although it’s always nice to have a reliable semi-auto 22lr. The winner for me is the bx-25 mag design, with constant feed pressure whether it’s the first or last round.

    • The problem with .22 is that it’s good enough for subsistence hunting, but not good enough for most everything else. Yet those semi-autos still weigh quite a bit – e.g. Ruger takedown is 4.7 lbs; you can get a .223 rifle (Kel-Tec SU-16) for that same weight. If you only have one weapon, arguably a .223 is better – for self-defense and such it’s far superior, and you can still use .22 ammo in it with a chamber adapter (or, if it’s an AR, with a conversion bolt).

      It makes more sense if you trim it down further by going with a single-shot .22. At the low end of the scale (RPK), it’s so lightweight and compact that it can actually be combined with a full-size rifle of whatever caliber without the combo being overly heavy.

  45. “Still, if you had to pick one gun – not having the slightest clue where you’re gonna be when SHTF and what dangers you’ll be facing – what gun would you choose?”

    I would choose a revolver in .44 Magnum with a 6.5 inch barrel. Assuming that I can carry any ammunition that I want, I would carry 200 grain hollow-points in .44 Special for human attackers, 240 grain semi-jacketed soft points in .44 Magnum for deer, wild hogs, and smaller black bears, and 300 grain hardcast lead rounds in .44 Magnum for large and dangerous game.

    In all honesty, if I could only own one firearm for all possible scenarios, that is what it would be. If I were allowed two firearms, it would be an extremely difficult decision between a .44 Magnum rifle and a .22 rifle.

    • Unless you live somewhere where you have a real chance of meeting with a grizzly, I don’t see much point in .44 Magnum vs .357. It’s heavier, so you’re going to carry fewer bullets; and its ballistics are worse, so it won’t reach out quite as far. On the other hand, heavy .357 loads are perfectly adequate for most everything else.

      • int19h,

        While your arguments have merit, the question did not specify where we might end up. I assumed that means we could end up in Africa facing dangerous game. While the .44 Magnum is definitely underpowered for African dangerous game, it would be better than .357 Mangum. And when it comes to stopping human attackers, the effectiveness of a .429 inch diameter 200 grain hollowpoint bullet at 1000+ feet per second (.44 Special) is on par with any .357 Magnum round but that .44 Special round doesn’t cause permanent hearing loss like .357 Magnum ammunition.

        Even if we limit ourselves to scenarios in the continental U.S. and eliminate brown bears (grizzlies), these days we have to consider wild hogs of 300+ pounds and black bears of 400+ pounds in much of the lower 48 states. If I am facing a large, seriously pi$$ed-off hog or black bear on the charge, I’ll take a .44 Magnum over a .357 Magnum every time.

  46. My choice would be an old Ruger All Weather 77mkii in 30-06. This one has the old “boat paddle” stock. It has never failed me in 20 years. I know where it shoots and what it will kill. I have more expensive guns but if I could only grab one it would be that one.

  47. Rossi 92 in .454, holds 10 rounds in the tube and can run .45 colt for lighter work. light, quick pointing, and with the right ammo i could kill your vehicle with it.

  48. I’ve never really understood the mentality behind 22lr as a self defense/end of the world gun. For small game hunting only, sure. But surviving Katrina, or some societal collapse, how do you plan on defending your resources? For straight accuracy and portability, any modern 5.56 MSR is a strong choice. But it lacks punch, period. Not every bad guy is going to be in the open, standing still, and I happen to live in bear country. Shotgun ammo is heavy, mag capacity is limited, and reloads are slow. A pistol is handy, but it’s still only a pistol. Possibly a pistol caliber carbine like a sub 2k in 9mm. Which leaves ak47 or 74. 5.45 is light, but is outperformed by x39. So, back to the wall, I’m grabbing an ak or a sub 2k.

    • The main attractiveness of .22 is light weight and the sheer amount of ammo that you can carry.

      A 5.56 is going to have way more punch than any pistol caliber carbine with proper ammo selection (i.e. no “penetrator” rounds). For that matter, it can actually have more punch than many typical 7.62×39 rounds.

  49. No gun or knife to rule them all. However, living in Pinellas Florida I would feel limited with only a 22lr. In my opinion I will stick with my tactical mini-14 or a 9mm/40 s&w carbine.

    The mini because of common ammunition, reliability and the ability to inflict significant injury over a greater distance then a 22lr. My second choice would be a pistol carbine. I would prefer a 9mm carbine as 9mm is the new 22lr. As to the specific carbine I leave that up to your experience.

  50. My choice – a 5.56 AR with the.22lr drop in bolt as well as the 5.56 bolt. The conversion takes 30 seconds. Small game hunting and self defense covered by one gun.

  51. I’d want an AK-74 variant. They’re super reliable, 5.45×39 is good for anything from squirrels to 200+ mammals under 200 yards; and you can carry more ammo, as the bullets are 60 grains or less (making the overall cartridge light).

  52. Torn between my 870 and Ruger M77 in .30-06. Both are relatively idiot-proof and use cartridges that are not subject to hypothetical import restrictions, are available virtually anywhere and can be reloaded relatively easily. For versatility and urban combat I’d give it to the 870. The M77 wins against large game or in any situation I can take a shot longer than 50 yards.

  53. 10/22 would be great, but you never know if you might need to conceal. GLOCK 19! I don’t have or even really like the G 19 all that much but it would be my first choice. Why? Because it can be concealed, has adequate stopping power (I know all handguns suck at that), and it is common. It would be easier to find more mags for it than other handguns (Sig, XD, M&P, etc.) Long guns are usually ideate for EOTWAWKI senarios but you might not always be able to have them on you.

  54. Best survival gun? At worst a very broad question as all the responses above prove. The best survival gun is the one that is on my person, as everyone is so fond of saying, when SHTF. I would be happy with anything that shoots a projectile at a high velocity, with some reasonable ability to hit a target.

  55. Little Bro has that exact 10/22 takedown.. After shooting it a bit, I’d be glad to have one just like it with a stack of bx-25’s. It’s accurate, light, small & can throw a lot of lead quickly, and quietly (to avoid unwanted attention). The only improvement would be a can, and I guess he’s starting the paperwork on that pretty soon..

  56. Rossi trifectra – barrels in 22R, 20ga, .243Win w/scope..

    A selection of 20ga rounds for various purposes. 22LR for general use. Good quality .243 for long range/”dangerous game”. Decent

  57. To answer the specific question of the article:

    Is the Ruger 10/22 Takedown the World’s Best Survival Gun?

    The answer is no. There’s at least one rifle that is better, which is the Ruger 10/22 non-breakdown. Why? One less weakness or failure point in the weapon. That is more important than portability.

    Anyway, the .22 LR just isn’t enough gun. It’s much better than nothing, but I would take an M4 instead. Hunting is a non-issue. There’s a hundred year’s supply of food out there, much better than skinning a rabbit for 2 ounces of lean, crappy meat. I’d rather eat Ramen like a human being!

    The M4 is for self-defense.

    Anybody ever read “A Boy and His Dog”?

      • I’m referring to an end of the world situation, and I wrote 100 year’s supply, not 1 year, as in all of the supermarkets, warehouses, homes, etc…

        If you’re just stuck out in the woods somewhere a good set of boots and a GPS will be infinitely more useful than any gun, and much more likely to be on your person. Indeed, I have those items on me every single day.

        Nope, it’s the end of the world and your fellow man is your biggest concern, not starvation.

  58. A lot depends on what is going on. For small game, the Ruger 10-22 or Nylon 66 is not bad. A good older Marlin 39A would be good as well. For a variety of game, an older Remington 870 Wingmaster or Ithaca 37 would be great. I suppose there are better fighting guns, but then they become less effective for small to medium game. I personally think we may be eating dogs, cats, pet birds, pet rabbits, horses, goats, maybe humans, who knows? I do not know if in the post apocalypse environment if too many long range guns battles will be taking place as ammo conservation will be a priority. I do not think handguns will be very effective overall; maybe to supplement the long guns.

    • This actually made me wonder before. If the primary purpose of a .22 rifle is for it (and ammo) to be light while still being able to hunt small game, wouldn’t an air rifle serve that purpose while being even lighter, and having more compact (and often recoverable) ammo?

      The question then is though, break open or pump?

        • Is it subjective preference, or can you think of any specific reasons to go with one vs the other in such case?

  59. Well, if it can shoot a musket ball pellet well, then re-molding spent rounds would be an easier option, like you said.

    • I’m not particularly knowledgeable about air rifles – do break barrel ones generally fare better with ball pellets?

  60. No, round-ball isn’t really a standard pellet for any pellet gun I don’t think, I read that they “knuckleball” because they don’t deform and catch the rifling to impart enough twist. But they are good enough with mine and they mash into a pancake like a mother when they hit for some good varmint 1-shots.

  61. This is one of the oldest debates in Prepping/Survival.
    Is the Ruger TD 10/22 the worlds best survival gun? In my humble opinion, no.
    There is no one firearm that is the end all be all survival gun.
    This is by far the best rifle to accentuate your primary defensive/go to weapon. Mount its carrying case to the outside of your backpack. Then you constantly have it with you. Grab your backpack, grab your ak/ar or what have you and head out foraging. Doesn’t really matter what type of game you come across, deer to squirrel, you have either harvest option available at all times.

    • Are you really suggesting a single person to lug around two rifles while backpacking?

      If all you need it for is to “harvest squirrel”, you don’t need a semi-auto .22. Get a Crickett single shot with a stainless barrel – much cheaper, much lighter, very low maintenance.

  62. Owning a gun based on the ability to scavenge a particular caliber is questionable logic at best. Counting on someone else to provide your ammo,voluntarily or otherwise, is not what I would call “prepared”.

    SHTF = BYOA (bring your own ammo)

  63. Mine would be my MK18….I just hope a ITEOFWAWKI situation doesn’t start before it gets out of NFA jail. And since I don’t expect that to happen till HIldog takes office I should be g2g…. knock on wood.

    My wife has the takedown, she likes it…not as much as my daughter’s M&P22 but that’s only cause she’s a wannabe operator :D.

    Once Larure makes this kt for the takedown
    http://www.laruetactical.com/ruger-10-22-arrow-conversion-kit
    She will be feeling operator as f*ck

  64. One gun, not knowing the dangers I’ll face? Many thoughts ran through my mind, but I’m tempted to settle on a 300BLK SBR with a can. It’s not the lightest, nor is it very concealable, but it does break down small and is decently portable and, most importantly, it’s versatile. I can use it on the move or hunkered in place. I can hunt with it or fight with it. I can swap out uppers (which may well be a problem to solve in the course of longer-term survival).

    I appreciate concerns like ammo weight and availability, but if the S has HTF and I only have the luxury of grabbing one gun with little to no idea why then there is no one gun I can grab nor amount of ammo I can carry to guarantee my survival indefinitely. My first priority is to grab something that gives me the most options to maximize my ability to deal with the unknown dangers.

  65. I disagree with the 10/22 mostly because of the calibre. Not to start a calibre war but is the .22 really powerful enough? I don’t think so quite frankly. .223? Possibly. 7.62? Yes, probably. A lightweight AK would be good: a 16 inch barrel, a side folding stock, a Krebs-style sight relocation to the rear of the gun, a flashlight/laser, a foregrip/angled foregrip, jungle-taped mags, a sife-saddle mag holder on the folding stock, bayonet, scope. Reliable as the proverbial f*ck.
    If that’s too big then the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is brilliant, capable of shooting to 400 yards in 9mm. I would probably take it in .45 ACP for the extra power.

  66. >> Not to start a calibre war but is the .22 really powerful enough?

    Powerful enough for what? For subsistence hunting? Yes, definitely. For self-defense? Depends.

    >> A lightweight AK …

    … is a contradiction in terms. If you want something AK-like and lightweight, that’s Vz 58.

    >> If that’s too big then the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is brilliant, capable of shooting to 400 yards in 9mm.

    I have a Sub-2000, and I can assure you that you won’t be shooting it at 400 yards, or even at 300 yards. The sights are just too crappy for that. Ballistics of 9mm is also not conductive to such exercises – fire up your ballistic calculator and look what the trajectory looks like if zeroed at 100. At best, you can stretch it out to maybe 200 yards by using lighter & faster ammo (but then compromising its close-up efficiency), but beyond that 9mm pistol bullets just drop like a rock.

    >> I would probably take it in .45 ACP for the extra power.

    If 9mm drops like a rock, .45 ACP drops like a brick. With that, forget about 200 yards, too.

    • Have you seen Iraqveteran8888’s video ‘How Far Will 9mm Kill’? Eric shoots to 440 yards with a Sub-2000 in 9mm. The round is proven still to kill. By the way, you’re one lucky guy, from what I’ve heard, Sub-2000s are very hard to get.
      “If 9mm drops like a rock, .45 ACP drops like a brick. With that, forget about 200 yards, too.”-From hearing this, I think I’ll stick to 9mm.
      Vz.58? I never really considered the Vz.58 actually. Is it a decent rifle? I don’t actually know much about it.

      • A lot of rounds will kill at distances that exceed the normal effective range (i.e. where you can shoot and hit within a reasonable timeframe). For example, there is a video that conclusively demonstrates that a .22 LR round will completely penetrate a frozen turkey wrapped into three layers of denim at 300 yards. I don’t think that’s a practical distance for a gun in this caliber, though. MP40, for example, was rated for 200m, and in practice rarely used even that far.

        More importantly, with Sub2K’s sights, you’ll have a hell of a time trying to aim that far, at least unless you get a railed handguard and stick a red dot on a riser there.

        For me, Sub2K’s main advantage is weight and size when folded. It’s my trunk gun, stored folded in a laptop bag with several mags. When unfolded, it’s featherweight (under 4lbs), and with a single point sling – which is trivial to attach, since you can put many AR sling back plates onto it – you forget it’s there. Also, magazine compatibility, if you pair it with a handgun…

        >> By the way, you’re one lucky guy, from what I’ve heard, Sub-2000s are very hard to get.

        They’re very easy to get if you know of GunBroker. The question, rather, is what you’re willing to pay for one. Right now, you’ll pay $400-500 for the privilege of owning a new one. Used can be had for less.

        Some models are harder to find than others – e.g. there’s plenty of the ones that take Glock and
        Beretta mags in either 9mm or .40 S&W, but finding the S&W mag one is a challenge. The reason why you might want S&W version is because it also takes CZ-75 mags. That’s the one I have (paired with CZ-75 SP01), and it works great, but I had to pay extra and buy used back when I got it. I also haven’t seen any in .45 ACP for a long time.

        >> Vz.58? I never really considered the Vz.58 actually. Is it a decent rifle? I don’t actually know much about it.

        It’s a great rifle. Still standard issue in Czech Republic and Slovakia. For a rifle that’s over 50 years old, that’s something.

        You can think of it as an unholy Czech hybrid between AK and SKS with some of its own twists. 7.62×39 like both of them. Its gas and locking system is more similar to SKS with its tilting bolt and short-stroke piston, but it feeds from AK-like 30 round mags (except they’re aluminum and so lighter, and they have bolt hold open). The mags are detachable as usual, but it can also be loaded from the standard SKS stripper clips while attached. The rifle is milled not stamped, but even so it’s significantly lighter than a stamped AK – somewhere around 6.5 lbs. Oh, and it’s striker-fired, rather unusual for a semi-auto rifle.

        By all accounts, very reliable, so long as you get the “true to the spec” D-Technik version (which is Czech import), rather than the abomination that’s Century’s Vz 2008 – the latter has the usual Century monkey quality control, so your chances of getting a lemon are very high. OTOH, it’s cheap – cheaper than most AKs on the market.

        TTAG had a review recently:
        http://www.thetruthaboutguns.com/2014/04/joe-grine/gun-review-czech-vzor-58/

        • I would definitely consider the Vz.58. Sounds like a great gun, and also cheap. Great. Good review.
          I think the Sub-2K would serve well as a Bug Out Vehicle weapon, stored with a holster and belt for a mag compatible handgun. I think that you should have separate reserves of mags, one for pistols and another set for the Sub-2K. A drop-leg rig with the pistol on one, the pistol mags on the other and the rifle mags on the waist belt.
          I never really thought about sidearms in my original post, so here goes:
          A CZ P-01 in 9mm. would be good, ergonomic, reliable and accurate. CZs fit my hand well, but my hands are rather small so other, larger, handguns like Glocks and Beretta 92s have an unsuitably long length of pull.

  67. No single gun is the world’s best survival gun because for each unique survival event (major city riot, lost in the wilderness, someone breaking into your house, etc., etc., etc.) one gun would obviously be better than another for that unique event. But if I had the choice of only one gun for all situations, fully realizing that any gun is going to be a compromise for each unique survival event, I would go with a Ruger 10-22 Takedown. And that was the original question, i.e., if you were limited to a single firearm for all situations, would it be a Ruger 10-22 Takedown? For me, hands down yes.

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