Hurricane damage damaged houses storm
(AP Photo/Mark Foley, File)
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By Gale Newell

As a husband and father or two girls, my entire being is devoted to raising them well and giving them everything they need to be happy and thrive, and more. It breaks my heart to think our great country and world could come to a point in which their future is not as bright as mine once was when I was a young man growing up. But with the world teetering upon impending economic collapse and societal meltdown, it’s my duty to prepare for any such set of events.

My girls and wife are my life and I will do anything in my power to protect them and ensure their survival. So in a SHTF scenario, I have a plan. And you should too. An instrumental tool in affirming my family’s survival and home security is, of course, a firearm. When push comes to shove, a firearm is not only a defense mechanism, but a deterrent as well. Here are my choices of the best weapons in terms of reliability, performance, and pure stopping power.

Mosin-Nagant Model 91/30

That’s right, the lifeblood of the Russian military for much of the 20th century. The Mosin-Nagant is deadly-accurate, reliable, easy to find ammunition for, the cheapest rifle you can buy in terms of the performance you get for your buck, and a great piece of history. This rifle helped defeat Hitler. As a mid- to long-range option, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more solid overall weapon. Some may complain that the Mosin is a bolt action rifle. For those experienced shooters, one shot is all you need to dispatch an invading raider and secure your home.


AR Platform Rifle

Designed in 1957 by Eugene Stoner (developer of the Stoner 63 weapons system) and Jim Sullivan (contributor to the M-16), the AR-15 is a derivative of the M-16, one of the most popular firearms in United States military history and is the most-produced weapon of its caliber. The AR-15 is a semi-automatic rifle that’s lightweight, fires quickly, has low recoil, and is very versatile. Easily modified with additional sights, grips, and barrel modifiers (muzzle break, flash hider, silencer), the AR-15 can be customized to fit any shooter’s preference. I’d recommend an AR-15 over a shotgun any day of the week. Here is a comparison of a double barrel shotgun versus an AR-15, two popular choices for home defense.

You never know when a predator may strike. There may be two or three. They’re looking for easy pickings and to strike unknowing and unprepared families. In a surprise attack situation, it’s unlikely you’ll have the luxury of getting to a rifle or longer weapon, setting up and look down the sights, and dispatching attackers from range. For this reason, a concealed handgun is in order. This is my choice for best handgun to be within my grasp in a pinch:


Colt Single Action Army

Also known as the Peacemaker, the Colt Single Action Army is the single greatest handgun ever made. Six bullets, more than enough to kill anything that moves. Iconic for its rolkd in the American westward expansion, the SAA features a 6-shot cylinder and fires a .45 caliber bullet.

Carried by the U.S. cavalry and artillery during the late 1800s, the Colt SAA still stands true today. There are those who don’t like pulling the hammer back before each round sent downrange. For them a double action revolver or semi-automatic pistol may be more appealing. For me, one shot is all I need. The stopping power behind the SAA is second to none and nothing is getting up from a well-placed shot out of this weapon’s barrel.

Home security and protecting your loved ones — these are the two quintessential goals of being a prepper. These weapons, while unnecessary in the world today, will determine life or death when your family is in danger. Each of these weapons was judged based on reliability, performance, and stopping power. If you’ve got other thoughts — and I know you will — let us know your thoughts below. Only one caveat: guns must be legal and available to the average consumer.

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  1. Agree on Mosin. A good bolt action/straight pull is the best rifle for SHTF since cases last longer. Use mild loads and your cases will last pretty much forever.

    • While I’m not a Mosin fan, I agree on the bolt action. If I had to choose one gun to take into the bush in a SHTF scenario, it’d be my Sako TRG-22 in .308 and I’d never need anything…

        • Nothing at all wrong with reloading 54r. The lee enfield has a smoother action, larger mag and user friendly safety. It’s big failing is ammo. Unlike the Mosin you can’t get tins of surplus and factory fresh ammo tends to be pricey.

          If I was choosing a milsurp rifle for SHTF and did not reload it would be a Mosin. Which I do own. If I was a reloader it would be a no. 4 Lee Enfield which I owned in the past.

          The perfect marriage would be a Lee Enfield reworked to take 54r. But for that kind of change you could buy a new rifle.

        • What about using Dragunov or PSL mags in the Enfield?

          Also, you don’t really need a dedicated bolt action. Just get a gas shutoff on a semi auto and you are set. I was thinking a nice gun would be a SKS with a gas shutoff.

      • No, the Lee Enfield is NOT a good choice for the handloader. Due to the rear locking bolt setup, the cases stretch, and after as little a 2 reloads will separate the case head, leaving the remainder of the case stuck in the chamber.

        For a few hundred dollars you can buy a modern bolt action chambered for most modern cartridges at WalMart. That would be a better option than a Lee Enfield.

    • Why not a .22 with tens of thousands of round of ammo? It’s cheaper (or was anyway), and then you don’t have to worry about storing or lugging around components.

      A smokepole for deer allows you to literally make your own projectiles and powder – I guess the same is true for wheelguns and lever actions (you can reload primers using children’s snap caps).

      A good handgun will meet anyone’s realistic self defense needs.

      Most who talk too much about “stopping power” and wacky engagement scenarios in TEOTWAWKI have spent too much time in prepping fantasy land or watching zombie movies. These folks have probably never seen someone actually get shot.

      Getting shot or seeing someone get shot takes the fight out of most folks, and you have to remember that while most handgun injuries do not result in death nowadays, if hospitals are offline in an SHTF scenario, all bets are off.

      How many people posting here do you think have serious medical supplies on hand? Without them, a .177 pellet or two could be the end.

      In reality, in case of SHTS, the stuff you have to survive the heat/cold, drink water that won’t kill you, and feed yourself is way more important than what gun you’re packing. You can’t eat bullets, and when it comes to security, the people you can band together with are as important as any weapons you might have.

      • Absolutely true, but the weapons are so the supplies, food, and water you’ve gathered, and the people you’ve assembled, aren’t torn to pieces by the first mob or group of thugs that happens by.

        • Good point, you want decent guns to defend what supplies you have from those who want to take it from you.

      • Yeah, I agree with your last paragraph. This probably won’t apply if you are unfortunate enough to live in a big city run by Democrats, but the following web site is a more realistic scenario for people in bedrock America (aka “flyover country”):

        “People who decide to live felony stupid in or after any sort of problem have been foolishly conditioned like hothouse flowers for two generations to expect that everyone will helpfully stand around and wait for The Police and The Courts to enforce law and order while being preyed upon. The actual reality is that crime will dwindle and virtually disappear, because the death penalty will be back in vogue, and the waiting period will be about as long as it takes any citizen to squeeze a trigger or tie a knot. The people on Flight 93 are a typical guide to the reaction – and the OODA loop timeframe – once the average American realizes the rules are changed. About an hour, on average. As the new normal is where our nation lived for nearly 300 years, it won’t be a particularly difficult or strange transition to make, except for the people who are almost universally completely and utterly ignorant of both history and human nature. “

      • …and Bear, you are the kind of LEVEL headed person , i’d bring my BCM midlength, my water filters, my GLOCKS and my MREs to hook up with in a major social disaster!!!

        Too much talk is done on gum threads about “going down fighting”, and the “ELMOE” mindset(as in Last Man on earth)

        Reality is that once people get over the fear and panic, they will organize in one way or the other( the society crowd or the predator crowd)predator groups can only grow so strong in the modern concept of society, so even if it all went to hell, the worst society could revert to now is maybe 19th century living( no lights, farming) with all the technical advancements, power systems might be partially restored, limited travel and communications would return. Things like medicines and refridgeration could be available.

        And that would mean a return of civilian government, and even military and L.E..

        Doubt there’s,going to be a mad max
        Scenario, maybe a,post katrina situation for a short time

      • Not only serious medical supplies but know how to use them. WIthout modern emergency care most chest and abdominal wounds other than grazing at the edges are eventually fatal.

        The “gun nuts’ have chased stopping power in circles forever and a day. Basic fact – shoot anyone with a pistol larger than a .22 and no matter how small and crappy it is, and how bad the ammunition, they fall down and don’t bother you more than 2/3 of the time. Use a hand cannon with modern expanders and you’re up to about 96% of the time.

        So the first rule is any gun is a lot better than no gun. You want something you will actually carry around all the time (which means not too big or heavy), and that you’ll go shoot at the range a lot so you can hit things with the first shot (which means cheap ammo or you reload, and not too much recoil for your tastes).

        The next rule is just spend some time finding really good commercial ammunition and have some magazines loaded with it (typically a very puffy expander alternated with full metal jacket) that you don’t shoot up at the range – those are only for shooting at people or dangerous animals in extremis.

        A single action revolver is insanity – a lot of gunfights last more than one shot because people get excited and miss (cops miss on the first shot quite frequently – you are never going to be as good a marksman as a cop). A REVOLVER isn’t a bad idea since it is a lot less prone to jamming than an automatic. If you don’t go to the range a lot and load dummies to practice clearing jams, have a revolver. If it doesn’t go off, just pull the trigger again.

        The most basic rule of winning a gunfight is have a gun. So the most important question is what gun can you get that you really will carry ALL THE TIME. That is much more important than revolver vs. automatic, stopping power, caliber, yada yada yada. Doing a lot of target practice (and taking classes so you know when it is legal to shoot and practice) is also more important than what gun you have.

        Also shootings happen FAST. Unless you think and act fast, and like to do lots of training to really stay on top of doing so, you might do better to make sure other family members who do are armed and get a lot of range time.

  2. Hmm.

    Did you see the hoard of people that burned down the QuikTrip in Ferguson?

    Semi-auto pistol holds more rounds than the wheel gun. I go with a CZ 75 9mm, 15+1. Use hollow points for maximized effectiveness.

    • “Did you see the hoard of people that burned down the QuikTrip in Ferguson? ” I understand that you would want more ammo….but you don’t have to kill them all. After the first two or three people drop, MOST of the time, the others will flee…

      • There was at least one armed looter at that QT, so I hope you have enough ammo to dispatch immediate threats AND provide return fire when his buddies light you up.

      • After the first two or three people drop, MOST of the time, the others will flee…

        Especially after they see the eighteen-inch fireball coming from the muzzle and hear a blast that sounds like Judgement Day has arrived.

      • See the word you use is MOST of the time, what about when they do not?

        Better safe then sorry..Their are many reason why no one uses wheel guns in the armed forces…

      • Marc, its a 9mm. Its lethality is not top notch. If the idea was to kill everyone, I’d just carry around a good brace of claymore mines and a pocket full of grenades.

        9mm will, however, let people know you mean business, and if they decide to challenge you, your concealable weapon has 16 rounds to prove them wrong. Probably won’t take more than 3 rounds per challenger, too.

    • I agree. I carry a GP100 Wiley Clapp for EDC, but my SHTF pistol is my Beretta 92 with 17 round mags. The GP gives me greater power, range and accuracy and in most self defense situations that’s a good tradeoff for the round count, but if you’ve got hundreds of people rioting you’d better have some ammo ready. Come to think of it, if the SHTF I’ll probably strap both on, sling my Winchester pump 12 gauge over my shoulder and carry my Mini-14 to boot.

      • Share the wealth. I have more than one gun and I’m passing them out to those I trust in a SHTF situation. Plus, I only want ammo for one long gun and one handgun on me. Theoretically, of course.

        • Yes, it never hurts to have a buddy gun. Hmmm…I can’t decide which one to hand off, though.

          I do like to keep my ammo variety in check, but I don’t think a 9mm revolver would cut it (IMHO) for EDC and neither the Coonan nor the Desert Eagle holds 18 rounds (with one in the pipe). Life is full of compromises.

        • I don’t think I can even get my hand all the way around a Coonan, and stockpiling 357 ammo is way more expensive than 9mm. I know because I own guns in both calibers.

          And sure, 45 is a more powerful round. No question. I choose 9mm because the ammo is cheap, the recoil is light enough for my wife to fire it accurately (meaning that I could hand it to someone and they would have a decent chance at hitting what they were aiming at), and the round still makes a decent hole. I cannot confidently do that with 40 or 45 caliber handguns. So there’s my reasoning in a SHTF situation.

          That being said, a Coonan is the object of roughly 80% of all my gun lust. The remaining 20% goes to TrackingPoint, but that is so freaking expensive… it is just so high above me…

        • And the Desert Eagle is even bigger than the Coonan, although I’d step up to .44 mag if were to go with it.

          .45 is only more powerful than 9mm if you’re comparing the hottest +p loads. Even with .357 magnum there are a lot of light loads out there that aren’t any more powerful than most +p 9mm loads.

          My logic is that if I’m going to limit myself to 6 cartridges I’d prefer a little more stink on the bullet, and conversely if I’m going to limit myself on power I’d like to have a few more bullets. It’s a tradeoff. Revolvers are just plain more accurate than autos. You might not notice at 10 yards, but out at 50 yards it makes a big difference. Well in the real world 50 yards is just across the street. So since self defense shootings rarely require more than 6 rounds of .357 I like that tradeoff. That and the Beretta kind of jabs me in the side when I sit down. Anyway, my choice could save my life or it could cost me my life, but odds are it will do neither.

  3. No personal offense intended, but when you’ve taken a self-defense instruction course with that SAA and had to reload it under stress and can accomplish that in less time that it takes the average human to use a restroom, I’ll maybe agree. I’m not knocking the SAA as a handgun. I’m saying that in a prepper protect the home during the dawning of the apocalyptic death scenario, the SAA is going to be used once. Then it’ll be dropped on the floor for the remainder of the fire fight. It behooves you to use a handgun that can be reloaded rapidly. Again, nothing wrong with the SAA, just that there are SO many better choices out there now.

    • I have to agree, and I really like SAA’s and other single-action revolvers.

      A swing-out or flop-top revolver is a better choice for home/self defense. My bedside gun is a S&W 625 in .45 Colt. I love the .45 Colt round, that’s not the argument. The reloading issue is what we’re on about here.

      • +1 There is just something very cool about a DA 45 Colt revolver (and DA 45ACP wheelies too). As with any firearm train train train until re-loading the revolver is second nature.

      • I agree. Heck, even Jerry Miculek couldn’t reload a single action with blazing speed. Faster than all if us, I’m sure, but the semi auto handgun is a better option for us mere mortals.

        Also, when it comes to shotguns, a 7-9 round capacity semi auto 12 gauge is some pretty incredible firepower close in. Throw in a red dot / ghost ring / Tac light speed sight set up and you have an excellent combination of speed, accuracy, and stopping power. Switch to slugs and you’ve got decent range and combat accuracy. Throw on a sling and you can either reload on the run or transition to a handgun.

        And I have a dirty confession: I don’t yet own a 91/30, but that’s going to change one of these days.

        • I have to agree as well, especially coming from a prepper, who by definition had time to prepare, this does not seem like the go to option that is expected.
          Of course in a seconds-count scenario, grab the loaded revolver over the unloaded glock but otherwise, I don’t see that as my first choice. Maybe there were other variables in that preppers decisions which were not included above.

      • Right. It’s not about “oh you can’t use a .45LC” or “oh you can’t use a revolver” or any of that. It’s about, once you’re out of rounds in the SAA, it’s just a really pretty club to bash people with. Stress, adrenaline, sweaty hands, possible blood, all contribute to a reload which normally takes a mere 5 minutes becoming a disaster of a reload where you get one out of every 6 rounds into the cylinder while creating a nice pile of sweaty bloody unused cartridges on the ground or floor where you’re standing and takes about 27 minutes. So even if you carry 100 rounds, only about 15 will make it into the gun. I know, exaggerations, but all in good fun. I took a personal protection course where a guy brought an SAA. The majority of the drills started like this. “OK, I want 5 shots on target A, 5 shots on target B. Then we’ll all get some water while SAA guy reloads and finishes the drill.” (Just poking fun, don’t take it seriously)

    • “Again, nothing wrong with the SAA, just that there are SO many better choices out there now.”

      Yeah like Glock, Walther’s line or a S&W M&P which are inexpensive and carry more cartridges.

      • As I’ve said repeatedly, the DA revolver option has a lot of upsides, especially for people who won’t or don’t train to handle the typical failure modes of semi-autos. Revolvers don’t have failures to feed, failure to eject, limp-wristing failures, etc.

        A DA revolver is the original “point and click” interface.

        • Revolvers break though too, and their malfunctions turn it into a useless club.
          That is not counting: 6 shots < 17 shots. Or that most shooters aren't elite revolver competition shooters capable of reloading within a fraction of a second.

          Find me a revolver with the longevity and service life (when it comes to the quantity of rounds it will send downrange) of a quality semi-auto like a HK, Glock, or M&P.

    • The only efficient way to reload a SAA is to pull the other one. Compared to reloading a semiautomatic pistol or even a speed loader compatible revolver, its just not compareable.

    • His overall selection makes sense. I think he plans to use the AR as many would use a pistol but it gives him a leg up on longer shots with, as it was designed, no penalty for use at closer distances. If a threat gets real close he can use the SAA as a shotgun would normally be used for clearing the threshold. If more than six clearings are needed the user should employ the backdoor at shot three. The bolt action is more than adequate for longer distances. He’s a man with a plan.

  4. As much as I love reloading and find it exhilarating, I’d take a k or l frame 357 over the SAA. Also, a Kalashnikov over the AR.

    Can’t argue with the mosin.

  5. I think it depends on your location. For rural America I would say these are good choices.

    I would make some serious adjustments depending on population density with a focus on volume of fire as opposed to accuracy.

  6. If I could have more than one, I’d have every gun in the safe out and ready. If I could only have one: a quality 18″ barreled 12ga pump with a light/laser. My favorite is the latest Winchester SXP with a streamlight tlr4 clamped to a barrel band. 5+1 00 buck for general purpose, birdshot for small game, and slugs for medium/large game. Reduced recoil 00 make it pleasant for the lady and kids. In a real shtf scenario, I’d have it on a 550 cord sling as I walked the property.

    For CCW, any reliable handgun will do.

    There, after years of perusing prepper forums, I said it.

  7. I would put a semi auto pistol on the list over a revolver, especially a SAA. A double action that can be reloaded faster maybe.

    The mosin and AR are good choices. For the AK fans, a simple swap of the Ar for the AK works

      • Or you can get a 5.56 carbine and be able to carry 3x the ammunition for the same weight. Under combat conditions, you are not going to be sniping cannibals from over 800 meters way. It is going to be close, violent, and bloody within 200 meter engagement ranges, if not within 50 meters.

        There is no such thing as a caliber and weapon that can “do ‘er all!”.

        • The wacko that just beheaded the lady in Moore, Oklahoma was shot 3 times at close range with an AR-15 and was answering questions the next day. Had that been an AR-10 with .308 PDX-1 the taxpayers would have been saved a lot of money…

        • If the SHTF, you probably won’t have backup. Read military history, especially WW2 and Korea. The same thread comes up over and over…30’06/12ga./.45ACP…puts ’em down with ONE SHOT, and keeps ’em there. I would also want the penetration afforded by a 7.62 FMJ. You can even still find AP out there, which will stop just about anything. In regard to the SAA, while the .45 Colt round is fine, It’s 2014, not 1890, and you WILL be dealing with (groups of) adversaries that are armed with modern weapons, and if one has any hope of surviving,
          YOU must possess superior firepower.

        • There are also cases of AR15s stopping people with single shots, and bad guys overseas surviving multiple shots of 7.62 so your personal anecdotes are really irrelevant to the discussion. Some survive 12 gauge 00 buckshot, 357 magnum, and 243 shots, although nobody questions the lethality of those cartridges (funny how that is, which tells me both of you are perpetuating the “5.56 is a poodle shooter!” myth). Interestingly enough, 5.56 produces 44 magnum levels of energy and it is obvious with modern defensive ammunition, 5.56 displaces plenty of energy into the target without risk of over-penetration, so the real question is: where are the questions about the 44 magnum’s lethality? oh right…

          Funny thing, OTM or TAP type 5.56 seems to have no trouble killing bad guys. If I put even a 55gr FMJ in the upper thoracic cavity, mr bad guy is probably going to have a bad day, just saying, let alone a 77gr OTM or 55gr TSX.

          You are both wrong, but especially you, hugh

          for one, if you are a lone individual fighting it out, you are dead meat, so the smart ones with backup or a couple comrades will be harder targets to kill. Read history yourself. Nobody fights alone that wants to survive despite many rambo fantasies in the prepper community.

          LOL oh really!? one shot?

          hmmm, bad guy sure wasn’t killed with “one shot of forty five!”.

          45 ACP is not a death ray. Neither is 12 gauge (although 12 gauge is effective) or 30-06. You can find plenty of examples of people surviving all of them.

          There is no guaranteed “one shot stop” weapon. You are the reason why many dont take the prepper community seriously.

          I would also want the penetration afforded by a 7.62 FMJ.”

          yeah and be able to carry 3x less ammunition for the same weight. That makes perfect sense. LOL.

        • LC…Dude…You miss the point… Of course a 5.56 will put down the majority of assailants…I have several…but if I were telling the average Joe what to get as a minimum, I stand by 7.62/12ga./.45. One ALWAYS has to look at the worst case scenario, which is NO BACKUP and multiple assailants making use of cover. I want to shoot through things like vehicles, etc. 5.56 ain’t gonna do that like a 7.62AP rd….I don’t care what fancy bullet head you use in 55,62 or 77gr. We also weren’t (OK you were) discussing surviving a wound from a 5.56 or 7.62 or 12ga or .45…I said they stay down after being hit. So LC…my brother gun guy…you keep your AR, I’ll keep my Garand/M1A/HK91/FAL and someday when the SHTF, maybe we’ll have each other’s back.

        • people seem to forget how heavy ammo is.

          someone already said it…it depends on what kind of SHTF. ferguson type situation. AR/AK and a nice semi auto pistol.

          waste land wandering, id probably opt for a nice .357/.44 lever gun and revolver combo with reloading gear. if they are +300yds away and hostile, id beat feat vs engage in a fire fight. thats just a waste of ammo IMO.

    • Yeah, the mythical “stopping power”. Also that magical “one-shot”. In addition, it is spelled BRAKE, not break. Break is the when something is broken. Brake is the action or device to slow or stop. This was probably written by “that” guy at the local gun shop, too.

      • I agree.

        I used to be part of the prepping community on a few different sites.

        What I found is that most are populated by the wishful vets, as in they wish they were vets, and the wannabe mall ninjas. I saw “wannabe” mall ninjas because they don’t have enough money to be a real mall ninja.

        Prepping attracts a lot of poor people, because while preparing for a disaster (which is a good thing), the poor person can daydream about suddenly being the “richest” person around.

        I still keep a bug out bag and have a stocked pantry. I think it’s a good idea to keep a bunch of batteries on hand and I think having a way to purify your own water is smart.

        However, I don’t frequent those forums anymore for a few reasons. One is that the best site for actual information minus fat white supremacists writing EOTWAWKI fan fiction is Zombie Squad. It’s a great site with normal people because weirdos and mall ninjas get called out on their bullshit /quick/.

        The other reason is that I have done a lot of soul searching and decided that in a true, EOTWAWKI event that 6 months of provisions wouldn’t be able to cover is not worth surviving. We human beings are social critters, and I don’t know how much I’d enjoy simply existing while all my loved ones and friends pass away.

        An awful lot of stock is put in just surviving, preserving life. But based on my experiences in the middle east, I don’t think living just for the sake of living is enough for me to keep getting out of bed in the morning.

        • It is the last part that is hard to wrap my head around. I may be slim, fit and reasonably strong but…the odds are high the woman i’m with is not. And there may be zero chance of that.

          Discussion of the end of the world when some folks are just overweight and clumsy but you love them anyway is beyond awkward. It hurts.

          So consider the price of being an apex predator and surviving well. It may be a slow death via insanity and loneliness even if you’re the one standing when the smoke clears.

        • Think of this, your passed love ones would want you to live, so live for them. Survival isn’t just about being physically strong but mentally as well along with a strong will. You have to follow the warror code and be able to let go and accept loss in a SHTF event.

        • @LC

          Exactly. You get it.

          I know I could survive, but I don’t think most of the people I love could… And loneliness can me a mf’er.

        • Finally, a dose of reality from somebody that gets it

          Thats why the “rugged individualist” preppers amuse me the most, because it is not grounded in reality whatsoever. Groups of likeminded people are the ones that come out ahead, and sorry, pacifist preppers (I have encountered a few of them in the “prepper community”), but they also have another thing in common: they are willing to take up arms in defense of their group and kill if necessary, if not conduct a raid or ambush outright.

          If you take a group of 12 that is mediocre if not poor in their comparison, but relatively well rounded groups of individuals versus one survivalist with a years worth of provisions, ill take the group, hands down.

          But one thing is certain: in such a situation, children, wives, husbands, and parents will die. If you cannot wrap your head around that, sell your preps and become a sheep. Somebody else more inclined to survive and continue on will make use of it.

          Not only do we have a obligation to survive, but we I consider it a damned obligation to preserve the concept of a civilized society and humanity’s progress through history as much as possible lest our advancements become lost in another dark age. Allow your community to be *that* island of rationality and progress in a ocean of despair and ruin.

  8. I’d take a Garand over a Moisin, and if money no object, then Springfield’s M1A1. I love the SAA, but it would not be my first choice for SHTF, although it makes a nice home defense weapon if you can tolerate the recoil. A plain old 1911, which is much faster to reload and almost as powerful is preferred. In California, capacity is not an issue, since we are limited to 10+1 anyway. Can’t really argue with the AR.

    • Agreed. I’ll go with my scout scoped M1A Socom 16 and Glock 23 in .40. That should solve most problems. A Mossberg 590A1 would be a nice addition too.

  9. I certainly wish Gale well but I don’t like his choice of guns except for the AR. I have three bolt guns, 2 with scopes to engage targets at distance (and game as well) the other is a .22LR. Two AR’s with plenty of extra mags to engage midrange targets or several targets at relatively close range and several semi auto handguns for close action. Add in 4 shotguns and about 2,500 rounds for each caliber firearm (more for the AR’s and .22LR) and that forms the firearms part of my SHTF plan.

    • The right choice of shotgun, with the right training and choice of ammo, is the single most versatile firearm anyone can own.

      Short barrel, cylinder choke and 00 buck? Home defense.

      Long barrel, modified choke, #6 shot? Upland game.

      Long barrel, slug barrel? Good for big game out to 100 yards.

  10. If want to arm a squad (or platoon) of refuges then perhaps the Mosin makes some sense (if you lay in a huge/lifetime supply of ammo). Better alternative for a bit more is a bolt action that uses .308/7.62mm (as M60/M204/etc rounds). A Ruger American with irons would be great and something like $400 (NEW).

    A great great grandpa’s revolver? You’re to reinact the OK Corral? If comes to needing a handgun, more is better.

  11. Don’t ignore the shotguns, especially when they can be used to quickly take down a door, unless you’d rather use a few AR mags to shoot out your silhouette cartoon style.

  12. Agree totally with the Moisin. Colt is perfect except for reloading and capacity. AR15 got it,…debatable with the AK for a variety of reasons, however, would throw two cents towards a 12g pump action or semi auto. From squirrels to full slugs, a good shotgun should be included.

  13. “For me, one shot is all I need” The advice of anyone who talks like this is highly suspect… How did this nonsense even make it on TTAG? There is an lot of flawed thinking in this semblance of an article.

    • Seriously! Was this some kind of troll article? Maybe this is Dan’s way of saying, “This is the crap we have to put up with here at TTAG?”

      Anyone who looks at this can see the thread of the OP’s suggestions, they are literally all, “What are the most obvious guns that a prepper has heard of.”

    • Yeah, it came across as the prepper who ferments toilet wine. If the anti’s read this site, this is pretty much proof positive that we all are nuts.

    • “For those experienced shooters, one shot is all you need to dispatch an invading raider and secure your home.”

      Most experienced shooters should recognize that you will *NOT* be perfect all of the time. Heck, not even most of the time. And any research into ballistics and anatomy will tell you the one shot drop is largely a myth.

      Sorry, but I’m a big believer in Murphy’s Law, and by and large Murphy hates my guts. Anytime someone’s self defense strategy is to assume they won’t miss, I pretty much have a hard time taking them seriously. I forgot where I read it, but the hit rate for police officers is right around 30%-40% in a gun fight. 30%-40%!!! And these are folks who (in theory) train at least weekly for a life or death scenario. You expect me… with no military or police training… to bet my life on the assumption I’ll get a one shot stop the first time with a bolt rifle?

      Also, I used to own a Mosin. Great rifle for the first two or three rounds. After that, the action would heat up too much to cycle the bolt. I don’t care how long it served in the Russian/Soviet army, there are so many better bolt rifles with more common calibers than a Mosin. I have a Savage 110FP in .308 I’m going to trust my life to long before I trust it to a Mosin. And honestly, the new Ruger scout rifles with large box magazines, or the Mossbergs that take AR15 or SR25 and M14 mags make way more sense for a SHTF bolt gun.

      And while I’m not knocking going with a revolver or .45LC, a SAA is the last thing I would choose. Again, so many better options… both revolvers and pistols… in more readily available calibers that are easier to reload in a fight.

    • Yeah, I was wondering if this was a joke… Recommending a single action revolver for SHTF? Either a major troll or a major gun newb.

  14. Hmmm … for “SHTF” … and he says “best” … good lawd.

    If you’re strapped for cash … sure, stack up a couple of Mosins, why not?

    But if you’ve got the money, why wouldn’t you just buy a decent semi-auto in something like .308 as your “long distance” rifle? No logic was provided on this point.

    A 6-cylinder, single-action revolver? Seriously? Especially when you note that there “may be two or three” predators? Jeez, at least update to a 1911 if you don’t have the sense to get a Glock.

    • If there are 2-3+ predators (2 or 4 legged) one would be
      better off using a semi-auto rifle or shotgun instead of a
      pistol. While I would place a wheel gun high on my list,
      it probably wouldn’t be a SAA but a GP100 or similar.
      Personally, I’d take the revolver over an auto for one
      reason, reloading. A revolver can take a far wider range
      of bullets and loads with no ill effect. Of course you can
      stock up on ammo, but when it comes to reloading
      the revolver is far more forgiving, especially if you have
      to make your own bullets.

  15. A bolt action rifle isn’t a bad choice if you are sniping at a few hundred yards. At close quarters, it isn’t fast enough to put down multiple assailants. A lever action would be a better choice and a self loading rifle with a decent magazine capacity is best.

    Single action revolvers are nice toys. As combat weapons, they were superseded long ago by double action revolvers and semiautomatic pistols.

    Why not a semiautomatic or pump shotgun? At ranges from across the room to across the street, they do very well. The Beretta 1301 just reviewed would be an excellent choice.

    • The US Army hasn’t issued the Single Action Army since the turn of the LAST century. Colt took it out of production as obsolete when we entered WWII, over 70 years ago. I doubt any police department or sheriff’s office has issued one in anyone’s living memory.

      I sincerely hope I never have to reload a gun while someone’s shooting at me. If I do, I very sincerely hope it’s one of the many fine autoloaders that have been introduced in the last 115 years or so.

      I’d give him points for style, but unfortunately there are no points awarded in the style category when the SHTF. I mean, are braces of flintlock pistols getting too expensive these days or something?

    • P.S. I reload 200 grain hard cast bullets in .44 magnum cases which go at 1400 fps from the rifle. They are very easy to shoot and to shoot fast from the revolver. I use these for IDPA. Case life is virtually forever.

      If I wanted to be less of a curmudgeon I’d go with:

      Glock 17, AR15, 12 gauge shotgun, M14, and a bolt action .22LR. But now I have an extra caliber to maintain and both 9mm and 5.56/.223 have a much poorer case life than the light .44 magnum loads do.

      • Honestly it is a very good idea though. Save the 9mm and 5.56 for the human threat if ever necessary. Keep your .44 Revolver and Rifle as absolute backup and hunting, they should be able to take out any game in America. Keep a shotgun handy for fowl.

        • I feel like there is a sweet spot between power and manageability with a 200 grain bullet going just over 1000 fps from a revolver, 1400 from a rifle.

  16. The SAA is a cool gun, no doubt there. But you can NEVER plan to drop someone with one shot, and your can NEVER plan to hit your target 100% of the time. With that in mind, I’ll take something with the ability to reload faster 100% of the time. There is a reason we don’t send our troops off to war with a SAA, and that reason is it’s a dated design and is more cumbersome than it’s abilitys are worth. There are plenty of good .45acp double stack guns out there that would be better than any SA revolver. That’s simply the way it is. And that’s with the idea of “bigger bullet = better”, which isn’t always true. A 9mm is still plenty of bullet for your average person to get hit by. Also with the SAA there is the issue of pulling the hammer for every shot, there is a reason that was designed out of guns= It took more training and was more prone to the shooter messing up an getting shot because they were stressed out. The less the shooter needs to manipulate the weapon during operation the better.

    The AR I can’t argue with, though I will say that there are other good guns that will essentially do the same thing. .308 isn’t so expensive or hard to find to take that out of the option list. It’s probably a better option if you can only take 1 gun. Make that an AR-10 or a Scar-17 or something along those lines and that’s a good option.

    Mosin is also good, but I would definitely recommend getting a good one and making sure the sights are ok. I have seen/heard stories of ones that weren’t all that accurate at all, because of multiple reasons. Find a good one and make it better with a mild trigger job, some polishing here and there to make the action smoother and then your solid.

  17. I disagree with two of the three, and have a bone to pick with the AR

    Nothing was said about mounting a white light on the AR, which is very critical for target identification. Very important. Any decent quality AR with a Burris adjustable optic or Aimpoint will work fine, with a quality adjustable two point sling, and surefire G2x or any of their other weapon lights.

    Note: AKs are fine too if you have one. I wouldn’t be opposed to using a quality AK74 for SHTF home defense either.

    Shotguns: Excellent for close quarters home defense, whether loaded 00 buck or slug. As with the AR, mounting a weapon light is critical alongside a two point adjustable sling. Velcro mounted cartridge holders on side of receiver for tactical reloads. Rem 870 or mossberg 500/590.

    Handgun: Either Glock or M&P for the money, although Walther or HK are fine too.

    • Weapon light? In a SHTF situation? You apparently have no idea how fast your ASS will be lit up if you were to use your weapon light. Not wise to spotlight yourself in combat conditions.

        • Using a light in your house for an intruder is an option – if done properly.

          Using a light at night most anywhere else during SHTF times is like chumming for sharks while you tread water in the middle of the chum.

        • “Using a light in your house for an intruder is an option – if done properly.”

          What the fvck is the matter with you people!?


          how about essential to keep you from accidentally shooting a family member or person you dont want to shoot!? does target ID mean anything?

          You are the third person from TTAG that I’ve had to address this issue with. Its quite frankly ridiculous and embarrassing.

          and why is it in the remote provinces of afghanistan were white lights not magical attraction signs when properly used tactically??? (even in a small section or squad, so dont throw the platoon or company argument at me)

          if you think they’re only useful for illumination, then you are not experienced enough to have this discussion with me or you are being dense.

      • LOL oh really? and what do you base this “expert” opinion on?

        While you can have your position given away by a white light, it can also be used for escalation of force, signaling, or, most importantly, target identification to keep you from shooting unarmed refugees instead of the looting thugs that are after your property.

        That and a 300 or 500 lumen white light does a good job in disrupting a bad guy’s OODA loop in the dead of night, forcing him into a position of either capitulating or fighting back (with temporary disorientation due to blinded vision and surprise).

        What do you expect to do? just shoot and find out who it was you shot later? that doesn’t work in reality.

        Funny thing, the US military and law enforcement, whether in small fire teams or squads, is able to utilize white lights to their maximum utility. Hell even two man teams can find the utilitarian value in splashing and identifying targets.

  18. First, I thought that the authors name was Gabe Newell at first. Second, the Mosin and AR are good, but something other than a SAA would be best for a sidearm. If you insist on a revolver, try a GP100. Also, you never know how many rounds of ammo you’ll need. Don’t ever count on one shot stops.

  19. excellent choices. my SSA replica is the best quick pointing close range guns I have ever shot.
    many other good choices, but the SSA is still viable for defense.

  20. I just got in one of the last Molot VEPR-12 shotguns before Nobama’s ban/executive dis-order. I also picked up a couple of SGM 10 and 12 round mags for it, which seem to be out of stock everywhere now. I also picked up 1 extra 5 round Molot mag just for the heck of it. This would be my go-to SHTF, with the AR and AK close by along with some other surprises.

  21. Ahhh I love a good ‘what gun for SHTF’ thread. So many different opinions, so many different options. I have mine of course, but won’t droll on here – but only say that it’s good to have some protection, but don’t lose focus of the big picture. The last thing you really ever want to have to do is engage in a firefight, especially if there are no ambulances rushing to pick you up. Something as minor as a scratch could take you out in a matter of days or weeks. After seriously looking at the issue (and all having awesome gun collections already), a few of my ‘prepper-type’ friends and I have joked that perhaps (just perhaps) the cold reality of it all means that the best gun to have is a shotgun, so if and when it really does ever actually hit it (really bad), you can peel your own cap with one big Boom – and be the one that suffers the least.

  22. M14, socom 16, mossberg 12 ga. with my browning 40, life is complete and all is safe! Now let’s all be careful out there, keep your eyes open and be ready!

  23. I own all of these “best SHTF guns,” but if the S really did HTF (which I do not expect), they would not be the guns I reach for first.

    I’d depend on my M&P, M1A and Pardner Pump shotgun. Any semi-auto handgun with its high capacity will out-perform the SAA. The M1A will out-perform the 91/30 (and I looove the Mosin rifle) and the shotgun is, well, a shotgun, and a damn mean one at that.

    • Haha nice. With ya there. Have em all too…. Reality is, (and a little to JohnF’s point below), I’d really only need my G19 tucked in my waistband. Concealable, Super-reliable, Quick to bring to bear… almost maintains itself. Always there. Very discreet.

      But of course, could always open the safe if I had to… and break out my shotgun haha

  24. I see these kinds of recommendations a lot. But they always seem to come from gun enthusiasts who have not lived through a real SHTF scenario. I haven’t either, but I prefer to seek out advice from people who have lived through it. I have read articles, and you can find them online like I did, from people who survived the collapses in the early 90’s in Argentina in one case and in Bosnia in the other. These folks went without any real police, fire or medical, and no public utilities or markets for over a year.

    Some things I choose to believe based on these accounts: 1) Don’t worry about hunting. Very quickly, there will be nothing to hunt, even in rural areas and if you go out hunting, people will be hunting you. 2) You cannot afford to get in engagements at rifle distances. You might win, but you will have attracted attention you do not want. 3) Having a long gun outside the house will make you a target unless you can conceal it. 4) Engagements happen at close range with no notice. 5) Be prepared to have your guns stolen or confiscated.

    So, the conclusion seemed to be that handguns are the most useful. They are easy to conceal and hide, they are quick to get into action and they have high firepower at close range. Shotguns may be OK for home defense only. One guy says he now has four handguns with 2000 rounds each for SHTF. The big deal is to have some really basic stuff you can barter with, but not anything that could get used against you.

    My plan is to have a gun or two to let the confiscators have and others hidden with plenty of ammo and perhaps a 12 gauge for the home. The rest will go into barter materials and other preparedness supplies. My funds for this are limited.

    • Would that be Ferfal for Argentina? What is the source for Bosnia? Chile earthquake had some lessons learned too, folks in middle class neighborhoods guarding the cul-de-sac or neighborhood roads for two weeks blocked off to deter people driving around looting homes, until order was restored.

      I agree on the hunting. Its hard enough now in SoCal for regular hunters, that realistically this is a non-starter for most who haven’t hunted or are in suburban/urban areas, unless stray dog and feral cat are on the menu, and those will go fast.

      Better to have two useful weapons you have trained enough to be good, and can routinely carry, with lots of extra ammo, for barter in a common caliber. Maybe a couple extra guns of same type, to share with a trusted neighbor or relative who helps you.

      That would be a handgun, and shotgun for me, for same reason as Dys suggested,
      plus easy enough for most to figure out and use, with a bit of hasty training, on the barricade, on watch.

    • Selco’s blog is an excellent resource and the theme of the entire SHTF experience and anecdotes from survivors is: networking. Groups of people survive. Single individuals dont. (sorry rugged individualists out there)

      Argentina was a excellent example of why “bugging out into your remote cabin/farm” is not a end all solution if you are by yourself. If you are in a community of people, or at least a squad sized element, you are able to work in shifts pulling security and can plan for sustainable interlocking fires.

      So yes, dont get wrapped around the latest gear. Get your group formed now.

      • It’s the kind that only happens in someone’s head. But that’s OK, the ammo and guns still get sold.

        The comment about getting friends, joining a team, a side, is clearly the right one. As for the guys stocking up but living in remote areas: Better buy some night-vision gear and a thermal imaging camera. They’ll probe to see if you have it. If you don’t, they’ll hit you at night, burn you out, shoot you, and take your stuff. If SHTF, people turn ugly fast. (Now to buy some ATN stock….)

        • A hard dose of reality that might destroy the myths perpetrated on the masses. The stories of lone wolf survival are great but the reality is people will survive as they have historically survived. By forming communities that provide an abundance of sustenance. People will be forced to rely on each other and communities will be forced to trade with each other. There will be a threat from thugs but then there always is.

        • Thats why it is essential you have a group of hard charging, trained fighters that patrol…like a section or squad. To ambush the fvckers vying to make a half hearted attempt at taking your HQ’s stuff. The best defense is a good offense.

          Waiting for them to surround you and burn you out is the absolute wrong answer. You couldn’t have said it better.

  25. For super long term, zombie apocalypse type stuff, those choices may be valid. For a temporary natural disaster type of thing (you know, the ones that are actually possible) I think you are going too far back to the stone age. A Colt SA with 6 rounds is not going to be nearly as effective as a modern 9mm or .45 handgun, and you can easily prepare for such an event by keeping an ammo can or two full of food for it.

  26. In SHTF, it is more about how much you can carry and what are your likely threats. The elements (heat, cold, rain, snow, etc.), dehydration, and hunger are the top threats. Big game will be scarce, so I am prepared to go after small game. If attacked by an armed mob, I am pretty sure I would not make it. .22 caliber, 5.56mm, and 9mm are compact and light, so I have gone that route. Ammunition will be worth its weight in gold, so I plan to trade it if I do not use it. In other words, I plan to carry a lot of it. I have a 10/22 takedown for small game, an AR-15 with only the basic accessories and a Sig Sauer 229 for defense, and a Sig Sauer 938 as a backup. And since gunsmiths and parts may be hard to find, I plan to take a backup for each if I am in a vehicle. Did I over think this? 🙂

    • No. But you better be ready to stay put or have a lot of gasoline and extra tires. That stuff is way more weight than can be carried.

  27. You pays your money and you makes your choice. I won’t argue the AR with you, but I would suggest that if you are looking long range with iron sights you better have excellent eyesight, a modern bolt gun or really anything that will easily mount a 4 power scope would be a better choice for most folks, if you are on a very limited budget an old 30/30 Marlin would work fine. I would rather have a 4 power scope on an NEF handy rifle running a modern flat shooting 7.62×51, you could even hang a silencer on it if you live in one of the free states in the union. As to your 45 Colt SAA, I will tell you I loved my Ruger Vaqueros when I use to shoot Cowboy Action, I could even load them quickly, perhaps 20 seconds to charge each one. My Glock can get 15 in three seconds or less and can get recharged without being run dry.
    All of the above said, I currently lack a scoped long range rifle myself and love taking Anja my Finnish Nagant to the range for the fun of it.

  28. I’m a fan of:

    Remington 870
    Glock 17
    AK chambered in 223/556 (for ammo availability)

    In such a situation, I have no need of nostalgia or fancy gimmicks. I just need a working weapon that is effective, durable, and chambered in a commonly available ammunition.

  29. Lame selection.
    Why the comparison to a double barrel shotgun?
    Semi auto pistol.
    Pump or auto shotgun
    AR or AK .
    AR-10 or M1A.

  30. Im at kind of an advantage over most as being an FFL for last 25 + years ,and no longer do bussiness have a nice supply to choose from . left over . for a handgun a taurus tracker revolver in 45acp takes moon clip rounds or without,, no longer made ,,bad ,bad! Taurus ! but is the sweetest accurate mildest fast loading revolver i ever handled . well they still make the tracker, in other calibers but are banned from acp, because it is military rd . but they let a few slip out ,,,.for a long gun ,yes i have your mosin too, but have ak’s in 7.62 x39 and .308 nato., dont trust AR’s have had too many malfunctions with ones ive owned and shot . for shotgun ,,a saiga 12 semi auto with 10 and 20 rd mags and a 30 rd drum ,, with no. 4 buck ,,wow!!! and for longer distances go to 00 buck . bought a same gun in 410 for wife but she feels down trodden insists can handle the 12 ??? always have a NAA 22 mag mini revolver in pocket when out and about the place , also numerous smaller lighter revolvers and autos for pocket or grab it about the house .. all are locked in safe when go away . incase of an unarmed break in. so cant use em on me . a mech tech carbine in 45 auto or 460 rowland is great too ,and the rowland will still handle acp’s if you have a 1911,can use the frame to activate the mechtech upper which is a non gun and anyone can buy ,no paper .made in Mt. a keltec folder 2000 carbine is nice in 9mm .handy and light and takes s&w 59 mags (longer ones) anyhow these are my favorites ,, do keep a couple shotshells in pocket revolvers for about the place for rattlesnakes ,and an intruder woud catch the 1st 2 rds in the eyes and face if he persists ,, then the bigger stuff if still in the fight .

    • I mean no ridicule in asking this, but you’ve seen too many failures from AR’s to the point that you wouldn’t employ one in such a situation, but you’d take a Saiga 12? Don’t those require substantial working-over to even run semi-reliably? You may have had good experiences with Saigas, but from my point of view that seems a bit strange. Again, just asking for clarification, not ridiculing your personal choices. They are, after all, personal.

  31. I am debating if I should write my own SHTF story and see if TTAG will post it in counter-argument to this posting, as I fundamentally disagree with the entire post. This guy is preparing for a SHTF situation in 1930, even which he would have been heavily outgunned by criminals with tommy guns. In today’s environment, I would arm myself equal to the threat which I face. At least in a semi-auto fashion. So as I am set-up today the following 3 weapons are my go-to for all home defense/SHTF bunker down situations. If I am on the move, I may re-think the list, but most likely not.

    1. SCAR-H – 7.62 with short and long range lethality. 20 rounds per mag, and I own “a lot.”
    2. Mossberg 500 JIC – Pistol grip with a sling. Waterproof container. It’s a 12 gauge. ‘Nuff said. Also breaching purposes for on the move as previously mentioned.
    3. Sig P226 Tactical Operations – 9MM yes, but 20+1 capacity. Again I have “a lot” of magazines. Outfitted with Streamlight TRL-2 Green with strobe. OR
    3. H&K 45 – Reliable, durable and 10+1 capacity of .45 auto. I argue with myself everyday which sidearm I keep. Of course I start out with both, but dual calibers, magazines, et al is not sustainable long-term.

    As I said I own all of the above. If it were a wish list situation, it may look completely different but it would never be:

    1. Bolt Action Rifle
    2. Revolver

    Nothing wrong with the choice of AR, as I may be at a disadvantage with a SCAR as the AR is much more common therefore picking up spare parts, magazines, ammo will be easier.

    • I refer to the actual research done by the US Army in the time immediately before and after WW1. The researchers are LaGarde and Hatcher. Hatcher also referred to LaGarde. The 9mm is not particularly deadly. In tests on live beeves and “savage tribes”, it is less than 10%as deadly as the .45 Colt. This is corroborated by my son, who tells me that the USMC instructs that each pistol target, using the 9mm Berreta, should be shot 5 times. Hatcher and LaGarde did not test the 5.56mm, but my son tells me that USMC requires minimum 3 shots on each target with this weapon. My son tells me that frequently 15 shots fail to down an attacker, resulting occasionally in the issue being decided by a blade.
      I should imagine, if I found myself in a SHTF situation, I would evade contact where possible. I have some experience in the woods of East Texas (my most likely faraging area), and I think I could avoid a large party of potential adversaries. Most of the deer I have shot, I heard several minutes before I saw them. People are less stealthy. So, I would want weapons which would give me an overwhelming advantage on a single or small group of adversaries. If I encountered a larger group, I would plan on a “fighting retreat”, giving them ambush after ambush if possible. Mainly I would run like hell.
      The author of the original article has the right idea: the Moisin is very deadly, which is what is needed, not some piss ant 5.56. But, I dis-agree on his choice of pistol. The SAA in 45 Colt is a fine weapon, but in point shooting is a bit barrel heavy. The most accurate point shooting pistol in all of human history, is the 1851 Navy pattern revolver. And, by coincidence, in either .36 or .45 is considered to be always fatal with a “solid hit”. Which is more than you can say for a 9mm. You can load such a weapon (cap and ball) in about a minute and a half with practice. While you set up your next ambush, you’ll have that much time and more. By the way, the 1851 Navy, with round ball and 30 gr. powder defeats the kevlar plate flack jacket with a ROUND HOLE! So, eat it 9mm.
      All I’m saying is, in SHTF scenario, I’m not going to be charging any machine gun nests. If I get into any shootouts at all, it will be against 1 or 2 opponents, and rather suddenly and unexpectedly. The most rapid deployment and single deadliest shot will be a real premium in that case.
      By the way, most of LaGarde’s and Hatcher’s experiment would be illegal these days, so don’t expect any updates.

      Mike of Pasa-Get Down-dena

  32. Raise your hand if you were astonished the author didn’t mention a shotgun. I live in a city with houses close together. Anything other than a shotgun is iffy in terms of penetrating a wall. In a Zombie apocalypse I wouldn’t care so +1 RALPH. I 2nd the Chinese shotgun & gun choice 🙂

    • That was my thought as well. If sh!t goes down, I’m either handing every single gun I own out to family and trusted friends, or lining em up along with every mag available and shooting each until I have not one more round.

  33. I wouldn’t call the Mosin deadly accurate, nor do I agree on the SAA, but yes have guns and have guns you know intimately and shoot well.

    If that is the Mosin and a SAA, then a Mosin and SAA it is.

  34. In a very long SHTF scenario, I believe simplicity and reliability with minimal/no maintenance is paramount since most people will not have access to cleaning solvents, cleaning supplies, and replacement parts. This almost has to rule out semi-auto handguns and long guns.

    Thus I would take a lever action .30-30 Winchester (with 20 inch barrel) for large game and long range engagements. I would also have a double action revolver in a large caliber such as .45 LC or maybe .44 Magnum with lightly loaded 180 grain pills. Of course I would have a .22 caliber lever action rifle for small game hunting and deterrence. The lever action .22 is nice because it can shoot .22 CBs, Shorts, Longs, and Long Rifle cartridges and marauders would figure it was a rifle chambered in .30-30 Winchester for the deterrent factor. Additional bonus: .22 CBs are as quiet as air powered pellet rifles for small game hunting without attracting unwanted attention. Most importantly, all of those firearms enable a fairly rapid rate of fire and fairly fast reloads after months/years of horrible/no maintenance … which is critical if you stumbled into an ambush.

    Finally, I would have a simple in-line muzzleloader with an ample supply of primers, black powder, and balls or sabots/bullets. All you need to maintain a muzzleloader is water, fat/lard, and fabric patches along with your range rod. A bit of soap would be helpful as well but not critical. And if you lose your range rod, you can use a suitable wood stick. The good old muzzleloader has no moving parts other than your hammer. About the only thing that could ever break is the hammer spring and perhaps the firing pin. Those are tiny, light-weight, and cheap replacement parts to have on hand. You don’t have to worry about reloading presses, dies, scales, etc. nor casings, tumblers, polishing media, etc. And in a pinch you could create your own lead balls from wheel weights or even shoot carefully sized rocks with fabric patches.

    • “This almost has to rule out semi-auto handguns and long guns.”

      You DO realize that ARs are capable of 10s of thousands of rounds of worthy service right? Or AKs, with hundreds of thousands of rounds in their abused lifetimes. Ditto on a few semi-automatic handguns.

      AKs in pakistan, for example, without SLIP2000 and other high tech oils (snake oils) have had tens of thousands of rounds in their lifetimes with their care regimen being rather questionable to say the least. So I doubt SHTF in the US will be significantly worse than Waziristan over the past 30 years. Or the balkans during the war.

      So I dont think you should be too concerned about the life of a military-spec AR15 or well built AK, as they will be spitting out lead minute of man accurate through slick barrels far longer than any lever gun will last. Or go bolt action milsurp, which have equal longevity.

  35. I’m good with AR but I’m thinking ammunition supply and sheer utility for my other choices. When we talk long gun. its got to be in a common US caliber – one that everybody and his brother and his dog has: .30-06, .308 or even .30-30 for the nostalgic among us. If you want a bolt gun, a Remington 700 in .308 is a pretty good choice. An Ishapore Enfield in .308 wouldn’t be bad either. If .30-06 was preferred I wouldn’t hesitate to take my Garand to the party as long as I had a good supply of military style loads. Even my beat out Winchester 94 would give me reasonable service until it was time to reload – and they still load faster than a SAA Colt.

    A Remington 870 or Mossie 500 with an extended magazine would work out pretty well. Given a choice I’d probably go with the 870 but they’re both pretty good.

    I’m not totally against wheelguns, but let’s move into the 20th century. A 4″ Smith 686 would be my first choice if I had to specify a revolver. A hot .357 load will “stop” as well as anything out there and with a couple of speed loaders and some practice the gun is up and running again after six pretty quickly. .357 and .38 special ammo is still pretty common and very easy to reload and economical of powder.

    A modern automatic would be a much better choice. Since I’m a dinosaur I might carry my 1911, but even this old man will admit that a Glock or M&P would probably be a better choice. I’ve got no real preference in caliber – 9mm. 40 and .45 are all readily available.

    So I’ll go with my Garand if I need to reach out, my AR for close work, 870 shotgun for social purposes, and 1911 just because it fits my hand.

  36. Mossberg 500, Ruger 10 22, Springfield XD 9mm. $1,000 in guns. (a bit of a stretch i know) $500 in ammo. That is a solid $1,500 budget collection that should get you through most situations you will experience in America. (hopefully)

  37. BTW TTAG are you f’ing kidding me? One guy talking about societal collapse and economic meltdown AND an article about discrimination of Muslims. I know you guys have to play to (some of) your readers but two looney tunes in one day? You’re making my head explode.

  38. Everyone’s got their opinion on this subject. Just so happens mine’s the only one that’s right. An AR15, a semi-auto, hi-cap sidearm, and a pump 12gauge. These three guns cover all scenarios.

  39. For SHTF I would like a quality bolt action rifle for long range work in a popular hunting cal. .243, 25-06, 7 mm, 308, 30-06, or .338 Win. Mag. A little closer I would go for AR-15 or mini-14. Lots of hot lead down range. For really close I like the Ruger Blackhawk in .45 for a SA revolver But I think high capacity auto in 9 mm would be better. Due to capacity and recoil in case you had to hand off to a kid or the wife.
    For food I would go back to the bolt action rifle above, and supplement it with a .22 rifle bolt or semiautomatic. I like the Ruger 10/22. I would also want a 12 ga.

  40. And none of those guns can be fitted with a silencer. Seriously, if the SHTF really happens do you want your shots fired drawing attention to your position?

  41. Ill stick with my fnx45 tactical and my 300 blk AR… and then my 30.06 if it had to come down to it… but ill hold onto my shotguns and blackpowder rifles and revolvers for luck…

  42. .45 Long Colt SAA? Really? Why wouldn’t you just get a double action .357? The gun will be the same price (or cheaper) it shoots the two most common revolver calibers in the world, .357 is cheaper than .45 Colt, .38 is way cheaper, both are much easier to find. Your effective rate of fire will be faster not to mention reloads that take a third of the time. There is literally no reason to use the more expensive, less effective option.

    • When people start out talking about surviving, but then bring up guns tied to the romance of the “Old West” or get nostalgic for WWI-era weapons, I just cringe. If you were ‘prepping’ in 1874, would you want the Winchesters and Colts of 1873, or the stuff that was being peddled in 1832? Thought so.

    • Right on Nagurski. Pair that .357/38 revolver with a .357/38 lever rifle and you have a potent package. Both are easily handled by women and young adults. I have several S&W 65/66’s and Marlin levers in .357. Super reliable, easy to use, plenty of power. You can hunt medium game or large humans.

      Multi cal is why I have 9mm barrels and ejector blocks for my 40 cal Glocks. I can buy all the ammo I want and it will never be enough or last 20 years. .357/38 and 9mm/40 cal is in at least 1 in 10 households in America (probably much more). Keep your options for resupply open.

    • Because many preppers, frankly, dont know what the fvck they’re talking about

      You look at a article about the subject (like this) and read some of the BS some people post, and you will have a good idea why

  43. If you actually carry a true SAA, not a River style, it is a 5 shot weapon, not a 6 shot. Always keep the hammer over an empty cylinder unless you have a transfer bar safety in a single action revolver. Also while a SAA will work for defensive use, pretty much ANY other type of handgun would be better.

  44. excellent choices if your a Gamer, not for dense of your family against mob violence
    you say your wife and daughters are going to defend themselves with these firearms a some point do you think they can hold and swing a Moisin, empty and reload a cowboy gun?
    the Moisen and Cowboy six gun are OLD designs, and though I have several Colts SAAs
    I would not consider them for self protection. “stopping power is second to none”, what century did you just emerge from?
    Sell the Colt and buy 2 ARs and 2 HiPoints
    This article reads like a shake and bake cut and paste I see no core knowledge, no wisdom

  45. The CEO of Valve’s full name is Gabe Logan Newell. Use the ‘L’ from “Logan” to replace the ‘b’ in “Gabe” and what do you have?
    Gale Newell, the author of this article.
    3 guns are listed.
    Thus, Half Life 3 is confirmed (and all 3 of those guns are likely going to be in HL3).
    I’m sure “Gale” would have listed a crowbar but didn’t want to be too obvious.

    I hope the Mosin doesn’t replace the rebar throwing crossbow (that thing is just awesome) but it should be pretty cool. Having an AR-15 will really be welcome, though I’m not sure I’ll pick it over the AR2. And a SAA should tone down the over powered-ness of the .357 revolver (by slowing down the rate of fire).

    As to the actual content of the article, I think everything worth saying has already been said.

  46. Foe me it’s the VEPR12 with velocity shells. These guns are battle guns, no need to use light loads in a SHTF situation. At range, sure. Along with that a wall of lead, my trusty AK and Glock 20.

  47. Reading what has been expressed! one thought about TEOTWAWKI, Its the weapon you have at hand that counts! personally I believe I’m going to be too busy thinking about surviving than what is the best Gun, Caliber Or type of Firearm!

  48. This is one of the poorest articles of its kind that I have ever read. I’ll give him the Mosin & the AR, not bad choices all things considered. But an SAA? For the arm that you’re most likely to have on you at all times? Absurdity. And here’s the reasoning: “Six bullets, more than enough to kill anything that moves.” Kind of an interesting quote from an article where just a few paragraphs earlier he admits: “You never know when a predator may strike. There may be two or three.”

    So he admits there may be a need to service multiple targets, and he thinks the best way to be prepared for that is with the SAA??? Even more ridiculous, he chooses this gun for CONCEALED carry. “For this reason, a concealed handgun is in order.” That’s the direct quote. If there is anyone in the US that regularly conceals an SAA I would like to know. This is just stupid advice.

    Then it’s got other ridiculous quotes as well: “For me, one shot is all I need. The stopping power behind the SAA is second to none and nothing is getting up from a well-placed shot out of this weapon’s barrel.” Well that’s just great for you, super-ninja, but for regular people to take this rubbish seriously would be a disaster.

    Here’s another odd quote: “These weapons, while unnecessary in the world today, will determine life or death when your family is in danger.” Is a sentence like that really the truth about guns? They are unnecessary in the world today? Give me a break, this is garbage.

    • I find the mosin to be ridiculous frankly. Most people cannot shoot well under pressure anyways, or when they’re being shot at, and will be struggling to reload each cartridge while they have a hail of bullets coming their way. There is a reason that bolt-action rifles became obsolete during WW2; its because they have shit for firepower within typical combat engagement ranges. Anybody that thinks they’re going to be sniping people 800 meters way with their Mosin is a delusional idiot.

      At its best, it is a mediocre choice of firearm when nothing else is available. At least its ammunition is cheap and its better than fighting with clubs and bows like in post-hurricane sandy NY.

      Anyways, your point was very well said.

      (I have another pet peeve. Revolvers are not uber-reliable, indestructible wheel guns of death. They break. They wear out. And a overwhelming majority of six guns dont have the service life of a quality semi-auto. Not even close).

      The days of semi-autos being unreliable, sensitive liabilities are long gone.

    • Yeah, this was one of the more schizophrenic articles posted here on TAGG since Ferguson… I’d almost compare it to Rolling Stone ‘Most Dangerous Guns’ hit piece.

      And now one of the best SHTF firearms: The revolver!

      I mean, really? You wasted all of our bandwidth for this paltry, barely informed post? What, you ran out of police and TSA to report on? It’s kinda sad, really.

  49. something semi auto in .223. perhaps a ruger mini14, a ruger blackhawk convertible(can use 38spl-.357mag-9mm) and a ruger gunsite rifle. Oh and don’t forget a good 12ga pump shotgun (rem 870 is hard to beat) . Those choices make ammo easiest to find.

  50. Love seeing all the various ideas and clearly, most on this thread will fare fine for a while if SHTF. Totally agree with an earlier poster that banding together with like minded neighbors is essential. Personally, I’m trusting my Glock 19, my Ruger 10/22, my Sub2K in (Glock 9m), and the newest edition to the family, the mossy 590 8+1. Looking to possibly add an affordable AR15, but I’m feeling pretty good for now.

  51. I call this my “Four Food Groups” of SHTF guns.

    1. 12-gauge pump-action shotgun (Mossberg 500 or Remington 870, for example)
    2. .22 LR rifle (dozens of possibilities; many are better than a Ruger 10/22)
    3. 9mm Luger “high cap” semiauto pistol (lots of good choices out there; it boils down to preference)
    4. .38 Spl or .357 Mag compact revolver (reliable pocket gun for trips to the outhouse or to keep under your pillow)

    The optional fifth “food” item, if you live out in the country or if you anticipate long-distance engagement of a group of armed thugs…

    5. .223 or 7.62x39mm semiauto rifle (dozens of possibilities; it boils down to preference again)

    Be sure to stock way up on ammo too. Guns without ammo are like hammers without nails.

  52. what were the rules again?
    doesn’t matter. first, a .22 rifle. takedown makes sense. maybe that fits in the stock thing. something. maybe you can’t find rimfire rounds right now, but you will when you’re scrounging. they’re everywhere.
    a handgun that you’re good with in a common caliber. share mags with a carbine? plus. share caliber with a bolt or lever? plus.
    shotgun. any 12ga 20 to 26″.
    get hunkered- you won’t be firing much.
    now what i really need to know is what is the best motor oil?

  53. Shotguns aren’t really that important if you have a rifle and a .22 LR. Those two can do everything (except hit birds in flight) that a shotgun can do, plus they can do it more efficently/quietly.

    Though they are versatile and easy to reload for.

  54. SHTF or TEOTWAWKI? Most of these sugestions are for complete societal break down and most forget the rules of gun fighting. Those rules apply to SHTF (Katrina or a tornado).

    0. Avoid gunfights (use indirect fire).
    1. Bring a gun.
    2. Bring enough gun (and enough ammo).
    3. Bring lots of friends with guns.

    For a katrina/sandy or a tornado you best first line of defense is a reserve LEO badge. Otherwise you will probably be removed from your location to “a place of safety”, wheather you want to or not. Resistance is fuitile, no guns allowed. All your stuff will be looted (or retained as “evidence”).

    In more civilized areas, read rural, firearms may be useful. Friends will be usefull. Have lots of friends.

  55. Whatever you shoot the best with and feel the most comfortable with is what you need to use , on matter what practice is the key . Be prepared and ready . Keep your powder dry .

  56. Ok, we’re talking SHTF not home defense. There’s a difference, you know. You have to be able to carry your what you have; there are no supply lines. Thousands of rounds of ammo are heavy, take up space and are useless if you have to leave it behind. Maybe, maybe you’ll be able to scavenge supplies. Can’t count on it.

    First thing I’d want is the family’s 10/22. I called it “the family’s” for a reason. Everyone can shoot it well. Even my 11 year old son consistently hits red at 100yds using decent rounds. I can carry a reasonable supply of good ammo at little weight and space. Where I live, it’s more than enough to keep the family fed and defended. And the ammo situation is improving… I’ll be picking up 700-1000 rounds of CCI Minimags next week and a decent price. It’s accurate. It’s reliable. It can go 1000’s rounds between cleaning (I’ve tested that this season).

    There’s two pistols I’d have. One is an SR22. Same ammo as the rifle, good reliability/accuracy and everyone in the family is effective with it. This is the trail and general purpose pistol.

    For me, personally, though, I want an FN FNX-45. It will handle anything that the .22’s can’t. .45ACP is easy to find, cost and defense effective. 15 round mags in the gun or on the hip means less space/weight taken up in the back. Basically, this is a serious fighting gun.

    A final “wish list” rifle would be either a Steyr or Ruger Scout in .308. Why?
    For the obvious reasons. But only if my wife or son are carrying the 10/22. If it’s a choice between the two, I’ll stay with the 10/22.

  57. But for the inclusion of the AR-15 in this list, I would have thought this was a parody or April Fool’s Day article. Muddled in focus and laughable in suggestions.

  58. Also known as the Peacemaker, the Colt Single Action Army is the single greatest handgun ever made. Six bullets, more than enough to kill anything that moves.

    This is a direct quote from the 1998 videogame “Metal Gear Solid” by the character Revolver Ocelot.

  59. Wait, not an indestructable AK or an AK variant? Maybe an SKS, the undisputed lifetime member of SHTF firearms with a shelf life that just won’t quit and cheap, plentiful ammunition? I understand the price point of a mosin, but if you’re going to play in the AR pool I gotta ask, “What the hell?”

  60. Best choice is to avoid having to use your gun at all. Avoid trouble at most costs. Even at home,carry a pistol that you conceal and shoot well. Concealing a firearm is a skill that people should develop before they need it. The idea that you are going to carry a mosin or 6 shot revolver around for home defense, SHTF or not, doesn’t make sense to me. Those things are HEAVY and require two hands to operate. Finally, they have zero ability to lay down enough firepower to convince a mob of thugs to break contact and move on to the next neighborhood.

    In my opinion, even for home defense, the best firearm is one that you can conceal and shoot well. For me that is a G26 or G19. I can easily comfortably carry G19 IWB, 200+ rounds with happy sticks and a G26 bug on a chest rig concealed if needed. I can conduct pretty much normal activity while no one is the wiser unless I get patted down which would be unlikely at home. If things get really sideways and I am protecting the house, then again presenting the lowest profile and highest firepower is the best strategy. Armpit slung concealed AR pistol with Aimpoint and a low profile chest rig +200 rounds will be how I roll. Not quite as comfy as an IWB pistol. However, it provides fast handling fire power proven reliable with hits out to 100 yards off hand kneeling and standing on man size steel with 69g defensive ammo.

    At my house, if trouble was unavoidable, both of the above would used to fight my way to my 308 and 556 ARs.

  61. Good Grief! All these fantasy scenarios! C’mon guys! The S**T is not hitting the fan. Nor are the zombies on their way. Honestly, what are you prepping for? Think for a moment. We have local police, county police, city police, township police, the sherrif’s office, National Guard, state police, fire police, FBI. CIA, Secret Service, Regular Army and the other services, plus the discharged ready reserve than can also be called up. America is an armed camp. Yes, we have some idiots who will try and loot and cause some mayhem, but they’re few and far between. And of course we have our good neighbors, family and friends. This is America. We’re not falling apart. We’re not under attack. The sky is not falling. In most catastrophic events we’re all there to help each, not to destroy each other. This is a special country. Not because we indulge preppers in their fantasy scenarios but because we stand up for each other. When the SHTF we’ll stand by each other and help. This is not Asad’s Syria, or Putin’s Russia, or Hezbollah and ISIS’s slaughter house. This is still America. Remember what happened after 911 and everyone raced to scene even at their own risk? Remember the fearless men who rushed up the Twin Towers to help people who they never knew? Remember how the nation pulled together and began to pick it self up and then strike back? Zombie apocalypse? SHTF scenarios? Gangs running amok? Preparation for doomsday? How about Americans putting aside fear and pulling together to help each other and restore peace and safety and restoring law and order. I have faith in the men and women of the greatest Democracy in the world. I have faith in America.

    • JB wrote>>> “This is America. We’re not falling apart.”

      I’m writing this on the morning after Baltimore just experienced a huge riot by “protesters.” According to news reports, and dozens of news photos on-line, the rioters took over a large area of town near the baseball stadium and attacked fans and anyone else that wasn’t the correct race before and after the game. People were beaten, robbed, cars smashed, stores looted. Reporters were shouting at police to help people and arrest the rioters. But the police did nothing because they were ordered not to by the Democrat mayor. They are on video watching thugs destroy property and attack people. It wasn’t until the riot squad showed up that things calmed down – a bit. Tonight it will probably happen again.

      Take a look at the photos on-line and tell me “We’re not falling apart.” No you and I aren’t. But there is a very large criminal element that is, and wants the country to. Ferguson was just the beginning. The Missouri governor ORDERED the state police an National Guard not to arrest looters, assaulters, and arsonists. They parked their cowardly butts a couple of miles away and let it happen. Same thing happened in Katrina and the L.A. riots. Remember the photos of the Koreans who went to the rooftops with their Mini-14s, shotguns, and lever action rifles after they were attacked? Remember the truck driver pulled from his truck and his brain smashed in on the helicopter camera? In Katrina, the police ran away, some looting along the way with the dirtbags. A group of tourists in the Dome were nearly raped and killed. They were saved by ONE Guardsman who decided he was not going to obey the politically-correct orders to leave them at the mercy of the thugs. Read the articles today and look at the photos. Maybe your view will change.

      Yes, the majority of people are good and will help out their fellow citizens in a disaster. I have done years ago when we used to call it “Civil Defense.” In Joplin, Missouri there were very few looters and thugs roaming after the tornados there. The few that were were immediately arrested. But Joplin is not Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis, or St. Louis. Anyone that lives in those places is only one day away from a SHTF situation created by the thugs roaming among us. Thugs that want to “fundamentally transform America” along with a certain political party that enables their criminal lifestyle. Wake the hell up.

  62. Semi Automatics are notorious for having ammo issues, as time goes by quality and quantity will be reduced by damaged cases. As the ammo ages and is reloaded many times there will be problems with feeding and cycling semi’s. Bolt action rifles, and revolvers are much more forgiving, and allow case recovery with less damage. While it is true that semi’s are better for military trained people and other personnel who study and become competent with them, I never recommend them for everyone. If you balance your survival community, there will be a place for revolvers and lever action rifles that utilize same cartridge (this principal has served the USA well in the past) and for civilians who are with you that are not military grade people, they are better served with the other types of firearms. Food for thought?

  63. you are dreaming if you “think” that you wont need a fighting rifle. If you need to forage to survive, millions of othes will have the same problem and too many of them will be perfectly happy to shoot you. They will be afraid you’ll do the same, or they’ll not want your competition or they’ll want your stuff. So much for pistols, shotguns, single shots and bolt actions, right there. What ever it is, it better be an autoloading rifle, it better have a silencer, it better either be in .22lr, have a .22lr conversion unit, for it (ie, AR, AK, or Mini-14, ala Ciener Firearms), or you’d better be really skilled with a silenced .22 handgun.

  64. So what? you won’t be firing much, and if you are, the gun better be a 223 autoloader with a silencer, or you won’t be around for long. 223 Ar’s WIN the 600 yd NRA rifle matche, all the time, beating out bolt actions. That’s twice as far as you’ll have any biz firing if it’s shtf.

    What you’d better do is stay underground diuring the day,and use darkness and NVD goggles to run your trapline, trotlines and nets. In fact, you’d better have at least 6 months worth of grain and legumes buried at your BOL That location better be your local water source, cause you won’t make it much further than that. 4 wheeled travel will be out of the question

  65. I can clear a malfunction as fast as you can work the bolt, and I aint gonna have a malfunction with every shot, not even 1 in 10, regardless of how bad the ammo and gun get. You’re nuts to want a bolt action for every shot. Sheesh.

  66. better (by far) to have to hunt big game with “just” a silenced, scoped M4 than to have to fight M4 or ak armed men with nothing more than a shotgun or bolt action. A 223 with a softpoint will drop the great bears, moose or elk with a brain shot, and do so at 100 yds. that’s 3x easier than taking them with a bow, which hundreds of people manage, under legal regulations. If it’s shtf, you’ll be jacklighting, using snares, bait and the like. Sport/trophy hunting has nothing to do with survival poaching.

  67. The .22 conversion unit for the AR is $200 (30 shot box mag) The caliber swap takes just 20 seconds. the unit weighs just 3/4 lb and it groiups 2″ or better at 50 yds. That’s plenty of accuracy for foraging. The silencer makes the 223 so ‘tame” that practice with the .22 unit (without the “can” being mounted) really DOES make you skilled with the 223 (when it’s “wearing” the silencer). with $100 worth of local machine shop work on some parts, the “how to make a silencer” books from Paladin press (for the .22lr and the Mini-14) and some of your own work, you can have a fine silencer on your AR15. The fed tax on it is $200 of course. Amazon sells the same books for less money.

  68. bs, if shtf, the $100 bill will be toilet paper. NO pension or life insurance for your loved ones. What will happen, if you are not there to prevent it, is that they’ll get anally raped and then sold as slaves. so, no, there won’t be any “bonding together” or recovery. it will make the great depression look liike a picnic. It will be hell on earth.

  69. if it’s not TEOTWAWKI, then very little preps will be needed. Mostly a handgun, some cash, some gold coins, and a bit of camping gear. Just get out of that small, localized problem. The only reason guys suffered in Bosnia or Agentina is they lacked the good sense to get out. But if the US falls, the rest of the world falls with it.

  70. Having been in combat for 19 months many years ago in Viet Nam, I still remember “the pucker factor” associated with armed confrontations. Bolt action rifles don’t cut it for me. I want speed in reloading (magazine changes) and semi-automatic fire at the minimum. While I don’t believe in spray and pray full automatic fire, there are times such full automatic fire does have it uses. But the key to survival shooting situations is good precision shots delivered with a decent amount of speed to handle multiple targets. Also any rifle used for survival purposes should probably have either a telescopic scope on it or some sort of red dot sight system to enhance overall accuracy, not turn the shooter into a sniper.

  71. Long term-short term survival. Which are we dealing with ? Short term, auto loader My choice !911, AR-15. Fire power, fast reloading, all important. But for long term, Guns are going to break, magazines are going to wear out. When you are down to your last mag, you wont find loading so fast. When the ammo for these auto start to run out,you’ll find reloading for an auto isnt as easy as one might think. One bad reload in your autoloader and you are in trouble.(The revolver shooter just might take this time to shoot you in the head) I’m a gunsmith been one for fifty years, and this I tell you is a fact. All guns break. When that happens, you had better be able to fix it your self. Tools, a work bench, all that, are going to be hard to find. Working gunsmiths will be even harder to find. So the simpler the gun design the better(Mind you Im talking long term here) Also everything you own you will have to carry, and keep track of. As few guns as possible, using the greatest range of ammo, in a very reloadable caliber. Either way long term short term, one other fire arm should be considerd a single shot derringer, maybe a 45.. If and when the shtf dont be to surprised if things dont go well for you. Oh by the way When I was in Nam I carried a Colt saa. No I didnt have to fire it in combat, but I did. It worked. (The movie Patton had just come out.)

  72. I don’t own a bunch. I have 2 ruger Blackhawk in .44 spl with 500 rounds. I own a ruger gp100 and s&w 640 and a Rossi 92 all in .357 mag with 1000 rounds. A mini-14 with 2500 rounds. A bolt action ruger American with 20 round mags and 200 rounds of 7.62×39. I own 4 12 ga shotguns with 1000 rounds of buckshot. I also have a Sig 320 in .40 cal and 100 rounds. I don’t have as much as everybody else but I’m content with it.


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