Which gun, for a one-gun user, in a worse-case scenario?


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Gildersleeve
July 2, 2010, 01:36 PM
Hey all, Im new here!
My experience with guns is limited to mid-sized game calibers in bolt and lever action (mostly .270, .32) some shotguns and of course .22s.
Ive been thinking for a long time about getting a gun for a worse-case scenario event where I have to bug-out, protect myself, family, etc..., live off the land, etc....
The area of choices, and the costs, are all a bit daunting to me!
id love to be able to focus on one gun that'll serve most of my needs reasonably well in such a scenario.
Ive assumed I want a high-cap semi-auto that is accurate to a few-hundred yards (at least), with the right power to serve self-defense needs, as well as hunting needs. I've assumed it should also be extremely reliable, durable, easy to maintain, and pretty dang common as far as parts and caliber are concerned.

Im sure this debate has been aired a fair bit already. Id appreciate any feedback or thoughts anybody has time for! Or even to just be directed to a previous thread where I might get some direction.

Incidentally, id also be interested in answers to the same question regarding a hand-gun! Though I feel like the long-gun is much more of a priority ... and my budget is quite limited regarding firearms!

Thanks, Nick

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hso
July 2, 2010, 01:43 PM
What would you be hunting?

Gildersleeve
July 2, 2010, 01:59 PM
In a worse-case scenario I'd probably be hunting just about any and everything, which no doubt increases the difficulty of selecting the right "one-gun." It'd be nice to have a caliber that could bring down at least a deer and even an elk (with a well-placed shot) ... but it'd also be nice to not obliterate smaller, and possibly more plentiful, game like rabbits or even squirrels.
I know it's a tough assignment.

sm
July 2, 2010, 02:06 PM
.44 Mag in either double action or single action.

-Proven
-Revolvers are not dependent on ammo or magazines to run,
-One can tailor loads for tasks (i.e. .44 Spl is a great round and will work in a .44 Mag).
-Robust, and since, if matters are that "serious" you can forget a gun store or gunsmith being nearby.

-I want .44 mag revolvers again.
*smile*

minuteman1970
July 2, 2010, 02:07 PM
What about a 12-Guage Shotgun, with removable barrels (rifled, choke tube, etc..) and an assortment of slugs, buckshot, and birdshot?

This should handle most situations and game small & large, up to a couple hundred yards (with quality sabot slugs and decent glass).

Kingcreek
July 2, 2010, 02:44 PM
12 guage with a smooth bore barrel will do it all, from bird shot to buck shot to slugs. I would prefer a pump action with 18-20" of tube.

XD Fan
July 2, 2010, 02:47 PM
I concur with Kingcreek.

JoeSlomo
July 2, 2010, 02:59 PM
My go to firearm for chaotic defensive and survival needs is an M4.

Short, light, very handy for up close encounters, and yet has the range and accuracy to take longer shots if needed. Ammo is light, prevalent, and you can find mags pretty much anywhere. While 5.56 is not a great hunting round, you can certainly use it to harvest deer in dire circumstances.

Contrary to popular belief, the M4 IS a reliable firearm...unless you are a 3rd world peasant who doesn't understand the concept of maintenance. The only environment I have NOT used an M4 or a derivative in is arctic. It fired every time I needed it to...

41magsnub
July 2, 2010, 03:03 PM
I'm on board with the 12ga shotgun with a normal stock, either pump or single shot, with a smooth bore and swappable chokes. With the right ammo you can literally hunt anything with it.. from birds to bears.

Carter
July 2, 2010, 03:11 PM
Revolvers are always very common answers for these type of threads. However, I feel if you ever need ammo it would be hard to find. Most ammo stores only carry the common military/leo rounds, and people who have it stocked up probably would be using it themselves or have it locked up to where you couldn't get it. Ammo is found in a barrel or drawer like in Resident Evil...usually :rolleyes:

A bolt action .223 would be a good firearm to have. Like a CZ 527. I've never shot one but its highly recommended on here and I plan on getting one eventually. An AR would a good choice, but I wouldn't want one in a desert.


One thing that was brought up in a thread of mine was the WHAT IF question that you had to conceal it at some point, thus making a pistol more viable.


If you're better with handguns there you go. If you're better with rifles there you go. Same for shotguns, bow, crossbow, etc.


A ruger mini 14 wouldn't be too bad for short to mid range shots. An ak is always cheap, yet they're always a questionable buy unless you get a saiga and convert it. An AR you'll want to spend a little money on IMHO.

Chances are you'll never have to road warrior it so an AR with a 100 round drum isn't the most reasonable choice (yet fun). I'd go with a good .223 bolt gun for now...then when you have more money get a high cap rifle or pistol to compliment it. That way you have two weapons for the family. Also, nothing is easier to clean that a bolt action.

ForumSurfer
July 2, 2010, 03:21 PM
I'm not good at these "end of the world" scenarios...but the option for something in .223, preferably bolt action seems appropriate. Ammo is cheap and easy to find and store. With a bolt action, you are less likely to be left with a paperweight. The .223 will take up less space for ammo and let you carry other important things...like food and water when on the move. With a bolt action, I'm not dependant on magazines that can malfunction.

A 12 gauge may be appropriate, but if I had to grab my kids and run into the woods I would much rather have lug 1000 rounds of .223 than 1000 12 gauge rounds. A box of 25 count 12 gauge shotgun shells would hold 200 loose 223 rounds or more very easily. When I head off to the back of my property to shoot skeet, I have to lug around a rather large box of 200 shells. If I carry my AR, 2-300 rounds and a few mags, it all fits on my person and I have two free hands (cargo shorts and a tshirt) assuming I'm using a sling on the weapon.

alohachris
July 2, 2010, 03:39 PM
12 Gauge. Remington 870 pump action.

Reliable, no magazines to damage or lose, broad range of ammo for any type of situation, little or no maintenance.

The only downside I see is low capacity & short range (100 yards).

dondavis3
July 2, 2010, 03:53 PM
+1 Kingcreek

Except I like a auto loader.

:cool:

Gildersleeve
July 2, 2010, 04:28 PM
Thanks for all the ideas so far guys. Very interesting, I hadn't even thought of the shotgun option. Id always assumed it would be something in .223 or maybe .308, but that's food for thought for sure.
I also hadnt thought about how much more maintenancep-intensive auto-loading is compared to bolt-action. Think this outways the firepower in a potential self-defense situation? So many pros and cons!
Also, I would love to of course have more than one gun along. Perhaps my wife carrying one, etc.... Does it change any considerations if I have two long-guns in my "crew"?

KodiakBeer
July 2, 2010, 04:59 PM
I'd also go shotgun. It limits range, but it's so versatile that it's hard to beat. Small game is probably going to account for more protein than large game especially when everyone and their cousin is out blasting game. With buck you've got a terrific short range defensive weapon. With slugs you can reasonably take big game out to 100 yards - more if you have an extra slug barrel. Bird shot for rabbits, fowl of all types.

I'd also want a .22 rifle of any brand or make.

jeepguy
July 2, 2010, 05:01 PM
bring a 12 gauge or .223/.308 semi auto rifle .22lr rifle and good defensive pistol. use the .22lr to take small game, ammo is light & cheap. 12 gauge or semi auto rifle for large game. the .22 would be alot quiter & would be less likely to draw unwanted attention. you could double up on ammo if you went with a rifle & pistol that took the same ammo. like .357mag or .44mag this way you have more then one option & if you had to defend yourselfs your wife would be armed as well. perfaeably one sidearm each, one semi auto rifle & one .22lr rifle. better yet team up with some family members or friends.

minuteman1970
July 2, 2010, 05:20 PM
If you're in the position to bring a second long gun for your wife, I would recommend going with an AR rifle in .223. With proper optics and removable mounts, you can quickly switch it from a close quarter weapon to mid-range tack driver. The low recoil will be more agreeable to friends/family members of smaller stature. The commonality of popular ammo, replacement parts and magazines may prove to be critical at a later point in time.

As a third choice, I would recommend a good .22 such as the common Ruger 10/22 to handle small game tasks.

geekWithA.45
July 2, 2010, 05:29 PM
Presuming adequate education, my answer to the what one gun should infrequent shooters tuck away for emergencies question is their personal choice of



A) Military pedigree mid rifle caliber carbine
B) 12 ga pump or
C) Levergun in 30-30, .357 or .44
D) Pistol caliber autoloading carbine (a sadly diminishing market)

The options are listed in order of preference, given estimates of power, reliability, durability, and ease of use. Cost is a secondary factor. If cost is primary, drop A to the bottom of the list, and eliminate from the list anything you find personally or legally problematic in your jurisdiction.

Black Knight
July 2, 2010, 05:31 PM
I would say forget about the one gun idea and look to a two gun combo, and mybe even three gun. All should be good to high quality that is 100% reliable and relative low maintenance. For a handgun I would consider a 357 Magnum revolver with a 4 or 6 inch barrel. You can fire 38 Special ammo as well as Magnum ammo in it. You can somewhat tailor the ammo to the circumstances you expect. It also is good to have a gun that can use two seperate calibers (I know the magnum is a stretched 38), your ammo is not so restricted. Also you should have at least one long gun. I recommend a 12 Gauge shotgun. The ammo selection is great. A pump shotgun with twin actuator bars should fit the bill nicely. For a rifle this is more of a personal choice deal. Do you plan mostly to hunt with some defensive use or more defensive use than hunting? The rifle is an optional item. I believe you could do very well with the handgun and shotgun combination.

Cosmoline
July 2, 2010, 05:51 PM
Realistically, assuming some earthquake destroys the town and you have no choice but to get out of there, you'll be best served by a quality rimfire rifle. The CZ 452 would be at the top of my list. A brick of 500 rounds is cheap and easy to tote. To the extent you actually have to live off the land (and you should be planning to avoid this option at all costs!) you're going to be targeting mostly small game because it's going to be the easiest to get to. And the .22 can be used to poach in an emergency with minimal noise. When I did my little homesteading experiment the expensive heavy centerfires got left at camp and I used the CZ almost exclusively. Big game means lots of preparation and facilities. It's a big job. Too big to deal with if you're on the run from something or trying to lay low.

Remember, IRL "bugging out" means becoming a refugee or dying badly. Or both.

bannockburn
July 2, 2010, 05:56 PM
1) 12 gauge pump action shotgun with three or more choke tubes. (Remington, Mossberg, Winchester, Benelli, or Beretta)

if at some point finances permit another firearm:

2) .357 double action revolver four to six inch barrel (S&W or Ruger)

Kingcreek
July 2, 2010, 06:13 PM
I already said 12g but I gotta add that choke tubes are great when shooting sporting clays or hunting but choke tubes are not essential. a barrel choked IC or Mod will still do it all. I don't really like playing these SHTF scenarios but if I did, I would be thinking simple, uncomplicated basics. My 3" chambered 870 with 20" smoothbore, a QD sling and a selection of shells and I'm good to go- anything from wrens to rhinos. If I'm truly in a worse case situation, I'm gonna have a lot of other things to think about besides choke tubes or weapon types.

benEzra
July 2, 2010, 06:35 PM
My experience with guns is limited to mid-sized game calibers in bolt and lever action (mostly .270, .32) some shotguns and of course .22s.
Ive been thinking for a long time about getting a gun for a worse-case scenario event where I have to bug-out, protect myself, family, etc..., live off the land, etc.

Ive assumed I want a high-cap semi-auto that is accurate to a few-hundred yards (at least), with the right power to serve self-defense needs, as well as hunting needs. I've assumed it should also be extremely reliable, durable, easy to maintain, and pretty dang common as far as parts and caliber are concerned.
I would recommend a reliable 9mm pistol with good capacity, a holster for it, and a couple of spare magazines, as the first priority. Odds are that in most disaster scenarios, you won't have the option of having a rifle in your hands everywhere you go and whatever you find yourself doing. A semiauto rifle or pump shotgun is superior to a handgun for defending against a home invasion, but if you're driving from point A to point B in a car, or using a chainsaw or an axe to try to clear that tree out of your driveway, or filling a water bucket, or loading your car, or whatever else you're doing, that rifle or shotgun is not going to be immediately accessible like a holstered handgun would be, and the most likely threat is going to be up close, not 300 yards away. So IMO get the handgun first (my own first choice for a rainy day would be a Glock 17, if I were starting from scratch), and then supplement with a semiauto carbine with good capacity when you can afford to.

A 7.62x39mm AK is three feet long, probably ten inches high, a couple of inches thick, and weighs at least eight pounds loaded, plus an additional two pounds per loaded magazine.

I also hadnt thought about how much more maintenancep-intensive auto-loading is compared to bolt-action. Think this outways the firepower in a potential self-defense situation?
No, not at all. If an AR or AK gets messed up enough that it stops cycling---which is exceedingly unlikely in realistic scenarios---what you are left with is a straight-pull bolt-action with a 20- or 30-round magazine. Is that so much worse than a bolt-action with a 5-round magazine? And not maintenance-intensive; a shot of oil (heck, motor oil) in the works every once and a while and you're good to go. Just buy decent magazines, and before you buy the rifle, inspect it to make sure it's put together right (which can be a problem with both AK's and AR's).

If I were on a budget, I'd look hard at a 5.45x39mm AK. If I couldn't afford that, I'd see if I could find a Saiga (.223 if I could get it) and convert it to use full-capacity magazines. 7.62x39mm is a little better for hunting deer and such, and penetrates cover a little better, but subsistence hunting of big game animals is not realistic for most Americans due to geography and competition.

Does it change any considerations if I have two long-guns in my "crew"?
Personally, I'd get a full-size 9mm pistol first, then a long gun.

Also consider that in a crisis, you may not end up facing any armed threats, but you will have to eat and drink. Prioritize accordingly; self-defense is important, but food and water are even more so, so don't skimp on the latter. We had a couple of hurricanes hit us when we lived in the Florida panhandle, and we didn't have any looters but did had to survive without electricity for a few days and without running water for a week.

Gildersleeve
July 2, 2010, 06:41 PM
Yeah, Ive actually procrastinated this whole subject for a long time, and for some reason it's recently gotten to bugging me too much to ignore, so Ive deciding to start addressing it in a real way. Believe me, I really dont want the S to HTF. I actually dont enjoy camping very much, and rather doubt I would enjoy camping-on-steroids, with some Lord of the Flies thrown in, for the rest of my life.
But, prepare reasonably and hope you dont have to use it.

I'm definitely seeing that a one-gun setup is pretty undesirable. Im liking a lot the idea of getting a 10/22 and a pump shotgun, soonish ... I think that setup would be well within budget in the near future, and would satisfy alot of imaginable needs. As time passes Ill begin thinking about a possible semi-auto rifle and handgun.
My wife and anyone else with me can handle the extra guns. We need to start training together. If Im alone in that situation, god help me anyway, and I dont think any gun could do much for me.

On the subject of a best semi-auto rifle ... any takers?

mgkdrgn
July 2, 2010, 06:43 PM
Couple hundred yards? Only if you intend to make your living as a sniper.

IMHO, the best "all around gun to have if you only have 1" is the standard 12 gauge pump shotgun. Remington 870, Mossberg 500, Chinese or Charles Daly clone ... take your pick.

Stone simple, reliable, and capable of knocking down anything that walks on the planet.
------------------
Your mileage may vary. No warranty expressed or implied. Void where prohibited by law and in Puerto Rico. Do not bend, tear, mutilate or spindle. An resplendence to any persons or evens, past or present, is purely coincidental. No animals were harmed in the expression of this opinion.

oneounceload
July 2, 2010, 06:47 PM
Realistically, a 12 gauge pump will handle everything from small game to large game to HD/SD...............

Gildersleeve
July 2, 2010, 06:48 PM
benEzra, all your points are excellent. Hm. And actually the first recommendation to get a handgun first rather goes agains the later point that subsistence is a higher priority than self-defense! But I think that both points made, and the reasons for them, are right on. Lots to think about. Maybe a handgun and 10/22 for hunting?
Dont laugh, but how do you all think a 10/22 would stand-up self-defense wise?

benEzra
July 2, 2010, 07:13 PM
benEzra, all your points are excellent. Hm. And actually the first recommendation to get a handgun first rather goes agains the later point that subsistence is a higher priority than self-defense! But I think that both points made, and the reasons for them, are right on. Lots to think about.
The problem with subsistence hunting and fishing in some sort of crisis is that it works great as long as you don't have a hundred thousand starving people in the woods with you doing the same thing. If you are in Alaska or rural Maine, or live in any other very rural area surrounded by thousands of acres of forest, and are an experienced hunter, it's a good plan. But for most of us, in a crisis, $400 of Ramen noodles and canned goods, water, a saucepan, and a cheap camp stove or some firewood will feed you far longer and far better than a $400 in guns and ammunition.

In my opinion, most potential crises in the United States---whether the result of weather, economic depression, whatever---will look a whole lot more like the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina than they look like an episode of Grizzly Adams. If I were contingency planning, I'd be thinking of preparations to handle a "widespread Katrina event", rather than an "alone against the wilderness" scenario.

In Argentina in the early 2000's, they had a major economic collapse and for the poor and middle class, it was a SHTF scenario in a lot of regions. The middle class turned poor and the poor turned desperate, but almost no one survived by subsistence hunting. There's a good writeup here by Fernando "FerFAL" Aguirre, IIRC a fellow THR member, who lived through the crisis:

http://ferfal.blogspot.com/2008/10/thoughts-on-urban-survival-2005.html

Maybe a handgun and 10/22 for hunting? Dont laugh, but how do you all think a 10/22 would stand-up self-defense wise?
I actually think that's a good idea. A 10/22 doesn't have the per-shot effectiveness of a shotgun or centerfire rifle, but it's very portable (you could consider adding a Butler Creek folding stock someday if you want it to store more compactly) and with a .25-round magazine it would be a pretty decent defense weapon, IMO. If you were preparing for a firefight rather than a crisis, it wouldn't be my first choice, but since you can stash away 500 rounds of .22 for less than $20, and in a severe crisis it could be used not only for defense, but for whatever level of subsistence hunting you do have the opportunity to participate in. Certainly you can get a more effective gun if you are willing to spend a lot more money, but for an all-around long gun to supplement a handgun inside 100 yards, a 10/22 is a decent and very economical choice if you factor in ammo cost.

http://www.gunweek.com/2004/feature1001.html

http://www.gunweek.com/2004/pix1001arc/1.jpg

benEzra
July 2, 2010, 07:14 PM
Oops, double post.

huntsman
July 2, 2010, 07:22 PM
I’d choose a 12ga but it wouldn’t be a pump or semi only because it difficult to feed less than perfect shotshells.

If you’re a rifle guy the .22LR would be more than effective IF you carry a pistol for SD.

LS240
July 2, 2010, 07:26 PM
In my opinion, AR15. Reliable, lightweight, great handling, accurate, etc. 5.56 is a great round that is very lethal inside a few hundred yards, and the ammo is small and light as well allowing more to be carried. 5.56 is by no means the best hunting round but it could get the job done on Deer and Elk even if need be.

AR15s are also the most common type of center fire rifle in America so if you need parts, you're more likely to find them for an AR than any other rifle. They're also used by the US military so if you happen to run into friendly former military members they may have parts and ammo to trade.

Of course, you could also take a .22 upper or conversion kit to shoot the even more prevalent and light .22 ammo for very small game hunting.

Honestly about the only things you couldn't hunt with an AR15 are fish and flying birds. :evil: Combine the versatility with the light weight of the ammo and rifle, accuracy, reliability, capacity, rate of fire, etc., and it's easy to see why it's the best overall choice.

I would also say an AK47 is a good choice but with both ARs and 5.56/.223 ammo being more common the US it's not the ideal choice. Certainly an option though. I would stay away from shotguns purely due to ammo size and weight. You're only gonna have with you what you can carry, and 12G ammo adds up quick.

My $.02

content
July 2, 2010, 08:21 PM
Hello friends and neighbors // For me these days the choice is .357 rifle and 6" .357 revolver, with a Lee Hand Loader.

Having used a 7 1/2" Ruger Redhawk .44 a bit I'd be just as happy to go with .44 rifle/revolver combo ( I'm just too cheap). IIRC There was a hunting video with a scoped Super Redhawk .44 used to take down elk at 200yrds but I never tried it.

As stated in post#4 you can power down loads by using .44 special or your own hand loads. I carry .357/.38 of different bullet types (HP,,FMJ...and velocities as well as shot shells. I don't think of the .357 as a great 200 yard shooter but I do think a .357 lever and a .357 revolver make a very good bug out do all combo. If you check into the .357 Magnum History you might be surprised at the size game taken with even a 4" barrel.

I have though about the .22.
The .22 is great for bug out I have several including a Marlin Papoose.
You can carry many rounds but you can't reload them without some difficulty.
The .22 is good for some but not most needs where the .357/.38 is good for "most" needs including shot shells with more force and a better pattern.
"Most" of the jobs a .22 can do could be done with a good pellet gun or wrist rocket much more economically.

I have thought about the 12ga.
Awesome power, decent range, great diversity in ammo but way too heavy(gun and ammo) for a bug out. Especially if you want to carry food and water....as well as ammo. I do have a Remington 870 3" Express Magnum 20ga. with choke tubes that is tempting, light, manuverable and powerful but I prefer the .357 platform.

Here is my old (I've upgraded the Knife and Flashlight) woods walking set up.


1987 Inter Arms (rossi) , Model 92, .357 8+1 or .38 10+1, lever action rifle with night glow rear sights.
1983 S&W 6" Model 586 Distingushed Combat Magnum .357/.38 6 round Revolver.

I hope you find something that works for you ....enjoy the search.....and last but not least welcome to THR......Content

benEzra
July 2, 2010, 08:33 PM
BTW, I should have posted this earlier, but this is a very interesting take on the aftermath of Katrina on the Gulf Coast, and what things were like for those caught up in it:

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/

PH/CIB
July 3, 2010, 06:45 PM
I would hate to be limited to one firearm but if I was it would be a good reliable accurate centerfire rifle.

I love handguns, there is nothing better for concealed carry, but they are underpowered and short range compared to a rifle or a shotgun.

I love shotguns and bird hunting, but except for bird hunting almost anything a shotgun can do with slugs or buckshot a rifle can do equally well or better, while extending the maximum range of a shotgun by 200 yards, for example I shot an Elk at 350 yards with a 300 Win Mag try that with a shotgun or a handgun.

For self defense at the longer ranges you will probably be killed if you are unlucky enough to go up against a man with a centerfire scoped rifle if you are using a hangun or a shotgun.

To carry the most ammo an AR in 556, to have a better round for big game an AK in 762x39 or my choice a 308 in one of the many rifle platforms for it, bolt action, Fal, M1A, HK91, AK, Ar10 etc.

I would much prefer to also be carrying a 22 pistol with hundreds of rounds to hunt small game, and if in a self defense situation, silencers for both guns, a pump water filter, fire starter and no fires or light at night no big fires with smoke during the day, and always stay in cover and concealment, as you would now not only be the hunter, but also the hunted. Some of us have been hunted before, it brings a whole new unique feeling and thinking to the perspective.

Harvey
July 4, 2010, 08:57 AM
Only one gun for when SHTF?

I'm going to cheat just a little bit on the one gun thing. If you ask me, any reasonable person would have the venerable 1911 for personal defense, but also have one of these on hand:

http://www.mechtechsys. com (http://www.mechtechsys.com)

That's still only one gun. Right?

Brian Williams
July 4, 2010, 10:10 AM
I often think Cowboy or Mountain man for this type of situation give me a levergun and a single action or a good flintlock Hawken.

For me I would grab a Marlin 1894C in 357 and my S&W 65 or 13. I will not be a sport and wing shoot any fowl I might meet up with I will shoot them on the ground so I do not need a shotgun.
I often think about a centerfire rifle and a rimfire handgun or vice versa would be a great combo. Having a heavy caliber rifle with a small lightweight 22 handgun would be great where larger game would be plentiful. While having a very accurate 22 rifle and a heavy caliber handgun would be great where smaller game would be plentiful. While many people suggest a shotgun for this type of situation they often do not take into account that a box of 25 shotgun shells takes up as much room as 500 22lr and 25 centerfire handgun cartridges. if I needed to depend on my gun for survival I would not want to throw that much lead down range just to get one animal. Taking the time to know the game animals of the area will allow one to be a better hunter so you would not need to throw a shot pattern to kill an animal a 22 slug would do it.


Here are a number of guns that would work
a Ruger 10/22 with a folding stock and a good set of peep sights.
a Colt Woodsman or Ruger mkII
a Ruger MkII with a silencer and a scope and a wire stock. Wire stock, think Sten gun, drill and tap a hole in the back rear of the grip and screw it in with a knurled lock nut.
Marlin 1894C with a tang sight in 357, 44mag or 45 Colt.
Win 1894 or Marlin 336 in 30-30.
A Ruger superblackhawk in 357 or 44mag. (the Hunter version allows a scope to be removed and replaced easily.)



Lost in the woods, give me a Ruger SuperBearcat modified with a small dovetailed rear sight and with one chamber reamed out to 22mag and and a bag of 22lr and a bag of 22mags and while we are at it a good slimline trapper knife.

Brian Williams
July 4, 2010, 10:34 AM
A gun that would be slick would be a Savage 24 clone in 22 hornet/28gauge. I would have it built with the shotgun barrel on top and put a tang sight on it so that using the shotgun would be easier with just the front sight and then when the rifle is needed one could flip up the tang sight and have the accuracy needed.

Silvanus
July 4, 2010, 10:57 AM
Something like a Mossberg 500 or Remington 870 would be perfect for you intended purpose. There's nothing you can't hunt with one and it's a very effective weapon for defending yourself. They are also easy to use and maintain and ammo is commonly available everywhere.

postalnut25
July 4, 2010, 11:08 AM
If you could only have ONE gun, and you need it to do multiple things, you should look at the Baikals. It's an open sighted long gun, 20ga over a .223 barrel. There you have all the advantages of a shotgun and a rifle in one neat package, If you can get a second gun on top of that, go for a 4 inch 357.

Spencer_OKC
July 4, 2010, 11:18 AM
Glock 9mm or .40 caliber. The Glock pistol is the most popular pistol in American law enforcement today, with the .40 caliber being the most popular caliber. 9mm is also a good choice since it is standard military issue.

While I prefer the larger guns, my thought process says a subcompact might be a good choice because it will feed any of the magazines, so you don't scrounge a Glock 19 magazine that won't seat in your Glock 17 for instance. You can also put longer barrels into the gun if you think that is necessary. If we're not talking about a forever-after type event, I would go with the Glock 17 or 19.

Ruger Single Six 6.5 inch barrel. Serves in the .22 role without another long gun to carry. Not as good as a rifle, but not bad either. A bolt action or 10/22 folder would also be an excellent choice.

Either an AR platform rifle or a Remington 700 in .223/5.56. I would personally take the AR platform rifle. Again, the most popular rifle for military, law enforcement, and recently the general public makes for easier scrounging if that become necessary in a long term scenario.

While an 870 pump or a good break-open 12 gauge would be excellent for a myriad of problems, the sheer volume the ammo takes up is a negative. Would have to think on a shotgun.

For the original poster I would probably recommend the Remington 700 in 5.56 since he indicates a familiarity with bolt action rifles. Then modify the gun to accept detachable box magazines and buy spare mags, this would increase a shooters volume of fire if the rifle needed to be used in a self defense/multiple assailant type scenario.

FTSESQ
July 4, 2010, 11:26 AM
BenEzra and Mr. Williams have said it best.

That said, I think that it really depends where you live. If you live in a city, then your primary objective would be getting the heck outta Dodge. I certainly wouldn't want to be around hundreds of thousands of ill prepared people. Also what are the most likely disasters/ obstacles that you would face. Would it be hurricanes, fire or zombie hordes? :D

The way I see it, Hurricanes, floods, massive fires (ala California wild fires, but on a larger scale), nuclear/ biological, terrorist etc are disasters that mean that you have to get out and far away, so portability is key.

Cromlech
July 4, 2010, 11:40 AM
http://www.mechtechsys. com
That's still only one gun. Right?
I would love something like that. The 'Glock CCU with a Quadrail installed along with some accessories' looks like a lot of fun, and hey, plenty of magazines and ammunition can be had for cheap!

FTSESQ
July 4, 2010, 11:52 AM
As a reality check I quickly weighed some ammo that i had on hand-

Your numbers may vary based on manufacturer and bullet weight, but based on some quick and dirty math, here's how many rounds you get per pound:

22LR- 135-140
223- 36-39
7.62x39- 27-28
6.5 Grendel- 25-27
30-30 21-23
308- 18-19
12 GA (2.75) 9-11

Loaded AR mag
.223, 30rd = 1.12lb
6.5 Grendel, 25 round = 1.35

357mag- 35ish (only had one brand)
9mm- 32-39
40 S&W- 28-30
44mag- 18-20
45ACP- 22-25

TCB in TN
July 4, 2010, 12:42 PM
+100 on the 12ga pump, there are trade offs on about everything, but in your situation I would say that the pump shotty will give you a lot more versatility than any other option.

22-rimfire
July 4, 2010, 01:47 PM
This is a very broad question. Choices have ramifications. Here is what I have done...

I have a Ruger Mini-14 (223) for whatever and I don't expect to ever shoot further than 100 yards. They are utterly reliable and you can expect pie plate accuracy at 100 yards with open sights. It is adequate for hunting larger game with well placed shots.

You will want a good 22 rifle for woods use/foraging. This is for food, but can be used for limited protection. I like the Marlin 39A for this, but more than likely I would choose one of my very accurate bolt actions in the event I had to leave home. The Marlin is a great rifle for this purpose. I would probably take both... more than one person in my scenario....

For handguns, I prefer a good 22 and have mixed emotions about choosing only one... but my choice would be either a Ruger Mark II (with 5.5" heavy barrel) or a Smith Model 18 (4" barrel). You will need holsters for each handgun you might choose.

My other choice would be probably a Glock 23 (40S&W) for urban considerations where self defense likely takes a higher priority, but I am very comfortable with a 357 mag revolver like the 3" GP-100 also. I wouldn't be hunting with either of these unless it was VERY close range. Holsters are required for either.

The other alternative I see is to simply take one of my 41 mags and a fair amount of ammo. I'm pretty accurate to 100 yds with one of these and could probably carry a 22 rifle and the revolver as my only choices in a rural setting. I could hunt with this combo quite well and defend myself under a normal scenario barring an armed gang set on killing me. This would not be my choice for urban uses.

A Thompson Contender is also a reasonable choice as well with several barrels including 22LR and 223. You can shoot them fairly quickly if you had to, but it is no gun for urban survival. You want something concealable in an urban setting because the world has not ended. It may be chaotic, but there will likely be some law enforcement or military around and you don't want to look like a bad guy to them lugging around your AR.

Shotguns are always good choices. The 12 ga Remington 870 or Mossberg comes to mind as primary choices. Be sure to have a sling on them.

AZ Desertrat
July 4, 2010, 02:48 PM
I will agree with the 12ga.....although I find it hard to leave the house without one of my .38 snubs, and/or .357.....

migkillertwo
July 4, 2010, 03:26 PM
Spikes Tactical ST-15 LE

migkillertwo
July 4, 2010, 03:28 PM
or, Arsenal SGL-21-61 (Its a type of AK-47). 7.62x39 will knock down a dear.

Justin Holder
July 4, 2010, 03:39 PM
Stainless Synthetic Bolt Action Sporter Weight 308 Winchester

Medium Power Scope

Lots of Bullets

LRS_Ranger
July 4, 2010, 03:49 PM
The first thing that came to mind is a lever gun in 357. The only concern I would possibly have with that is ammo avalability. In which case maybe an AK variant may be in order. Personslly, a 22 rifle is hard to beat for a survival gun. Also a 12 Ga is useful for almost anything. Maybe a cheap shotgun in conjuction with a cheap 22. Forget pistols. They are cool, and you can hide them, but for a survival gun, they suck.

One other thing to consider, I don't know what kind of situation you think you might find yourself in, but I always figured if there was some kind of major civil unrest/war, there will be plenty of rifles laying around for me to pick up if I run out of ammo in mine.

cauberallies
July 4, 2010, 05:40 PM
Going by what you said in your initial post, I'm going to suggest a Glock 20 in 10 mm auto if capacity and concealability are priorities. As far as an autoloader goes, not counting gimmicky stuff like the Desert Eagle, it's at the top of the power scale. It's without a doubt a huge compromise to a long gun, but it's about as close you can get to a happy medium given your criteria.

If your one gun doesn't absolutely HAVE to be a pistol, it shouldn't be. The only reason I suggested the Glock is that it's probably the most realistic solution to your given problem. For a high capacity autoloader, it's pretty powerful, but it pales in comparison to a rifle or a shotgun.

If you are only able to have one gun, a pistol of any kind would be a poor choice unless maximum conecealibility is of the utmost importance. If you are able to get around the pistol requirement, I'd suggest a pump shotgun. Especially if price is an issue. Aside from pinpoint long range accuracy, there isn't much a shotgun can't do. They are durable, reliable, powerful, proven tools for both hunting and defense. Unless greater range and accuracy are the most important criteria, or your personal preference lies elsewhere, I'd suggest a shotgun. Inside of 100 yds, a 12 gauge with the proper load for the given situation is as good as, or better than just about anything out there. Some of the disadvantages include large, heavy ammunition, poor iron/bead sights for the most part, shotgun accuracy, the need to carry several different types of ammo to cover the basics, relatively low capacity(5 or 6 + 1 standard, although you can get up to 9 + 1 with certain models), slow reload time, and gunsmithing usually necessary to mount optics, unless it's a dedicated slug gun, or something like a Mossberg 590 like I have. But while the 590 comes drilled and tapped for a scope mount, it also comes without a rear sight, making it almost mandatory to make use of this feature. I personally have a holographic sight on mine, and find it to be the quickest, most all around effective sight system for a multi-role shotgun.

If you need to reach out a bit further than the capabilities of a shotgun, or if you feel more comfortable with something of this nature, I'm going to suggest an AK, SKS, Mini 14, or AR. I am personally one of those people who feels most comfortable with something like this. A short list of advantages would be the longer effective range, the ability to carry far more ammo for a given weight, semi auto function, reduced time and simplicity of reloading. I'm running short on time, so I'm not going to type out all the disadvantages. I'm sure you're at least somewhat familiar with them, and if you're not, there are countless places to read about them all over the internet.



Hope this helps!

Pizzagunner
July 4, 2010, 06:43 PM
I happen to believe that just like in FerFAL's crisis in Argentina, a high capacity auto pistol is going to become your most valuable firearm. It's a 24/7/365 bodyguard. In a background of social decay, you can carry on as normally as possible and still be armed enough to be a "hard target" to criminals, but not raise alarm or suspicion among random strangers.

Social breakdown and the public corruption that comes with it are going to be much more likely immediate problems than a need to maintain one's self through hunting. A long gun in an urban or suburban setting makes one a threat to any remaining "honest" authorities and an "opportunity" for quick confiscation by corrupt ones. So, unless in a rural area where a long gun can be brandished with impunity, a concealable duty pistol makes more sense as the "one" gun.

Besides, successful and far more stealthy hunting and trapping was done without firearms for most of humanity's stay on this planet. It wasn't the rifle that made men equals in social settings, it was the implicit threat of being discretely or openly armed with a lethal object that gave one deadly range out of arm's reach, something only a handgun can really provide.

Handguns are indeed underpowered, but they can certainly ruin an assailant's apocalypse.

huntsman
July 4, 2010, 09:05 PM
I happen to believe that just like in FerFAL's crisis in Argentina, a high capacity auto pistol is going to become your most valuable firearm. It's a 24/7/365 bodyguard. In a background of social decay, you can carry on as normally as possible and still be armed enough to be a "hard target" to criminals, but not raise alarm or suspicion among random strangers.

+1 Especially in the urban areas, but for us country folk I'd add a shotgun to the sidearm.

I can understand the OP’s budget constraints but I don’t think only one gun is a satisfactory answer.

David E
July 4, 2010, 11:11 PM
What about a 12-Guage Shotgun, with removable barrels (rifled, choke tube, etc..) and an assortment of slugs, buckshot, and birdshot?

Are you going to carry all that? A large box of a mere 25 shells weighs about 2.5 lbs.

Even if you're not, the ammo is bulky and aside from the slugs, are very short range.

Also, the ratio of "ammo to meat" is slanted too far the wrong way. To bring down a rabbit with one round of a 1 oz load of #6 shot vs. a .22 LR bringing down that same rabbit down, possibly at greater range, illustrates the point.

Can't shoot a flying bird with a .22? Ok, so you shoot it with your 12 gauge and hit it. Was that enough meat to warrant the shot?

There is "survival" as in foraging for your dinner and there is "survival" where you need to defend against armed looters. Which would you perceive as the greater problem?

benEzra
July 5, 2010, 12:17 AM
That said, I think that it really depends where you live. If you live in a city, then your primary objective would be getting the heck outta Dodge.
IF you have someplace safe to go---rural relatives, vacation home, an inn you can afford to stay in for quite a while, a known campground plus adequate shelter and a stockpile of food/water, etc. If you are planning to drive/hike into the woods with a week's food and water and live off the land in an unfamiliar area while trying to out-forage ten thousand other people, you might be better off in the city or suburbs keeping a low profile and maintaining a neighborhood watch a la Katrina or Argentina. It's hard to say, but only you can assess the risks of staying vs. the risks of leaving in a crisis, because everybody's circumstances are different.

50caliber123
July 5, 2010, 12:35 AM
A one, single gun for a worst case scenario. Owned by someone who rarely shoots. That sounds to me like a pump 20ga or even .410, depending on how much gun they can handle. Simpler is better. With little or no practice, it might be better to just have a simple, reliable point and click weapon. A rifle is a precision instrument.

12ga may have too much kick an prove to be unweildly, especially with a short 20" or less barrel.

Handguns, in my opinion, are a skilled trade. To stay better than mediocre, you have to practice regularly. To just put away for a rainy day may not be that effective for the given scenario.

Just some thoughts, but if its gonna be for "just in case" a simple 20ga pump and at least 50rds of slugs and buckshot, 50rds birdshot, you're covered for all survival needs on the most minimal cost and practice level.

jeepguy
July 5, 2010, 12:53 AM
this has been on my mind recently, on another forum some asked this queston after watching the movie the road. they had a discussion on how much ammo is enough. in one of the responses, it was suggested to read the fiction books patriots & one second after. which i went ahead & did, although they are fiction they depict what i believe things would look like after a disaster. the patriots was after an economic collapse & the other was after an emp goes off. i realized how much i didnt know or just hadn't thought about. they are both great books.

MinnMooney
July 5, 2010, 01:13 AM
Not to be a wise-guy but is there such a person as a "one gun user"?

lloveless
July 5, 2010, 04:17 AM
1 + on using crossbows, and traps for small game rather than firearms. Save the noise. Even bears become habituated to come to a gun shot for food. I also think a quality shotgun with ammo will cover the needs well. That being said. Depending on where I am when SHTF all I may have with me is my sidearm.
ll

bri
July 5, 2010, 09:50 AM
12 gauge pump shotgun with a couple barrels and/or chokes.

huntsman
July 5, 2010, 10:57 AM
There is "survival" as in foraging for your dinner and there is "survival" where you need to defend against armed looters. Which would you perceive as the greater problem?

At best you have to pick the platform that gives you the best chance at both; neither would be fulfilled 100% nor is each individual going to excel in both areas.

That’s why I choose a gun with some flexibility built in, and it’s all about knowing your limitations.

Tallinar
July 5, 2010, 11:02 AM
Another vote for the 12 guage smooth bore pump.

Defense Minister
July 5, 2010, 11:34 AM
Personally, I feel the handgun will be your number one priority as far as weapons are concerned. Following hurricane Katrina, no one with a long gun was allowed to get very far, and food wasn't a priority for most folks the first couple days.

Get a reliable, semi-auto handgun, a few mags for it, and train to defend yourself from violent criminals. But, even before you go shopping for a gun, buy a quality water filter with a spare filter cartridge. I recommend the Katadyn Hiker. After that, you can think about guns.

If I had to leave home, I would highly consider the combination of a Glock pistol, and the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 that would accept the same magazines. A long gun and a handgun that use the same ammo and mags, and weigh a total of 5 1/2 pounds combined, would be a hard combo to beat if on foot. I don't personally own this combination, but I think it would serve this purpose well.

One more thing. If you're thinking about living off the land from a survival standpoint, contact Cody Lundin at http://codylundin.com/. He'll be a lot more help to you than the guy behind the counter at the gun store.

NMGonzo
July 5, 2010, 01:10 PM
Shotgun.

Pick your favorite.

chaim
July 5, 2010, 02:38 PM
I'm a little late to the game here, but...

These "what gun for " SHTF type threads can be a fun intellectual exercise. For those of us with half a dozen or more guns they can be a fun excuse to buy another gun (and a way to prepare for that one in a billion scenario- those things we don't really need to be prepared for, but if everything else is covered, why not).

In this case, it sounds like you are looking to buy your one and only gun and you are thinking end of society SHTF scenarios. Forget them, society ending, every man for himself, SHTF scenarios are so unlikely that to prep for them before much more likely needs are covered is, well, silly.

So, what uses are more realistic? Home defense, CCW, hunting if you are interested in starting to hunt (before any SHTF situation), plinking, target shooting, etc.

Even in the kind of SHTF scenarios that we may see in our lifetimes (Argentina or Great Depression like collapse of the economy, extreme localized natural disasters like Katrina, less extreme natural disaster situations, urban rioting), our likely gun needs mirror our everyday needs. In most, we are more likely to hole up in our homes than bug out, and in most (including where we may need to evacuate) we will want to be more under the radar than we'd be toting a long gun.

First, I'd get a home defense pistol. Preferably something semi-compact (CZ Compact, Glock 19, 3" K-frame, SIG 229, etc.). It can always be on your person when you need it (i.e. it can be very quick to get to). In a pinch, any auto 9mm and above, or revolver .38spl and above can even be used for light hunting. Heck, even in the complete societal breakdown you are envisioning, as has already been pointed out, you will usually be doing something (cooking, clearing, chopping wood, gathering, building, etc.) and you won't be standing guard like a soldier with your long gun in your hands. A handgun will be far more easily accessible when you need it.

Next I'd get a rifle. Yes, a shotgun can be very versatile as many have pointed out, but the shells are bulky and heavy (a problem in your SHTF scenario, or in real life for those of us with limited storage). A revolver caliber lever gun is very versatile as well, the ammo is more compact, and it makes a good self-defense or hunting gun (.357 can be used for both large-game and small-game hunting with the right loads). A .223 would also be good for home defense, and can be used for most hunting needs.

For a one gun only household, I'm not sure I'd want a shotgun. Sure, they are very versatile, but in addition to the ammo, you may not enjoy shooting them. Some people love them, but if you are a casual shooter you may not. A 12ga shooting heavy buckshot or slugs feels like being punched in the shoulder. You may not want as much range time with it as a rifle or pistol, and finding places to practice with your defense or hunting load may not be easier either. Meanwhile, range time to become proficient with your gun is essential.

For some of the possible economic collapse situations (not entirely unlikely) I'd want a .22 rifle. Small game is easier to hunt than large game- it is more plentiful, and hunting seasons are usually longer (if restricted at all). My dad grew up a dirt poor farmboy in Western Pennsylvania. They had a 30-30 and a 30-06 for deer hunting, but they largely relied on small game hunted with the .22 to put meat on the table. Also, if you get to where you find it too expensive to put meat on your table at the store, you may find the larger calibers to be too expensive (look at what a box of even 30-30 costs now, then look at a brick of .22).

For the highly unlikely SHTF where we are looking at the end of society as we know it, I'd also prefer a .22lr rifle to put food on the table. Others have already pointed out that .22lr is cheaper and easier to store. If society actually was to end and resupply became uncertain, you would have to rely on what you already had stockpiled and you may need it for a long time. Most people can afford to stockpile a lifetime supply of .22lr (even in a pretty limited time period if they had to) but not most other calibers. What is a brick of 500 today, $12-20? That same 500 rounds of even the cheaper centerfire calibers (.223, 762x39, 30-30) is going to be over $200 (well over in many calibers). Then there is space- you can store several thousand rounds of .22lr in a fishing tacklebox, you'd need most of your closet for most other rifle calibers. Also, a .22 rifle is relatively quiet and you'd be less likely to attract unwanted attention. I'd still want a pistol for my self-defense needs (think individual and family protection here, going into combat isn't going to happen).

stuckinsocal
July 5, 2010, 04:31 PM
+1 on Kingcreek. A 12 gauge pump gun is a really versatile gun and can be used for things such as short/medium range self defense, small game hunting, medium/large game hunting, and birds. If it's something that you would be able to have accessories for, you can have several different barrels and several choke combinations, along with many varations on loads ranging from bird shot, to buckshot, to slugs. I may be wrong, but the max. effective range of an accurate slug is about ~150- 200 yards; not as accurate as a rifle, but still plenty accurate and I'd take that trade-off since you'd still have a whole lot more versatility than a rifle.

That's really only for a situation where you can only have one gun, though. Rifles, pistols, and shotguns all have advantages and disadvantages and have been around for a long time because of that. I think that guns are like a lot of other things, there really isn't one gun that will work as well for all situations as a gun for each specific type of situation. I think that at minimum, you need one rifle, one shotgun, and one pistol. That way you can taylor each one of those guns to the uses you think you'll need them for, and each one will work better at that specific use than asking one gun to do the job of three guns.

In short: if you can only get one gun, get a shotgun. But you also should have a rifle and pistol in addition to that.

benEzra
July 5, 2010, 08:18 PM
+1 on Kingcreek. A 12 gauge pump gun is a really versatile gun and can be used for things such as short/medium range self defense, small game hunting, medium/large game hunting, and birds. If it's something that you would be able to have accessories for, you can have several different barrels and several choke combinations, along with many varations on loads ranging from bird shot, to buckshot, to slugs. I may be wrong, but the max. effective range of an accurate slug is about ~150- 200 yards; not as accurate as a rifle, but still plenty accurate and I'd take that trade-off since you'd still have a whole lot more versatility than a rifle.
Actually, you'll only get decent accuracy at 100 yards or beyond with a dedicated slug gun, generally with a rifled barrel and rifle-type sights (or a scope), and that is not going to be all that versatile as shotguns go.

One question though---other than hunting birds, what can you do with a shotgun that you can't do with, say, a .223 or 7.62x39mm carbine? I don't see a 16" AR as being any less versatile than a shotgun, and the AR gives you capabilities that the shotgun does not beyond 100 yards. I'm not knocking shotguns, but I don't find myself agreeing with the unstated assumption that rifles aren't similarly versatile.

MistWolf
July 5, 2010, 09:22 PM
Have you thought to see what single weapon, since the invention of reliable gunpowder has overwhelmingly been? What did the majority of explorers, and mountain men take? Soldiers, adventurers and empire builders? Was it a shotgun? Pistol? No. It was a rifle. Shotguns and pistols were packed after the rifle and it's gear was selected. The Pennsylvania rifle, the Kentucky rifle, the Plains Rifle, Trapdoors, Sharps, Remington rolling blocks, Martinis,Spencers, Henrys, Winchesters, Springfields, Mausers- all rifles and the first choice to be carried into the wildest, most dangerous places on earth.

Make mine a rifle

opie4386
July 6, 2010, 12:14 AM
this is why i will never get rid of my shotgun and why i would tell everyone to get one

http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-337819.html

...............................and as for survival.. if our ancestors killed deer with bows and bears with spears and you cant eventually learn to hit anything with a shotgun, Im sorry, learn to fish.

woodswalker2
July 6, 2010, 11:00 AM
I've read lots of these "one gun posts" .
1st , forget about "living off the land" . A] If it was a "worst case scenario event" , you could not bag enough game to feed you or your family . B] you are relatively inexperienced with guns and probably with hunting . C] If things were that bad , game would become very scarce very fast .
That said , IMO , a 12ga. pump or double barrel shotgun would be a good choice . Versatile , easy to maintain , many choices of ammo , almost everybody who owns a gun has at least 1 shotgun , used by military and police for years , great for hunting and self defence . It's the multitool of guns .

thebigc
July 6, 2010, 11:06 AM
probably a .22 rifle of somekind and an additional handgun in .357 you can kill a black bear with .357 and its the biggest they get around here.

a .22 will kill deer birds squirrels rabbits pretty much anything if you do your part its light and you can carry a lot more ammunition 100 rounds of .22lr could fit in something the size of a ciggarette pack.

i would find myself hard pressed to lug around 100 rounds or a long term ammount of 12 guage expecialiy mixing it between slugs and birdshot it sounds good at home but even going through the feild for a few hours with 25 rounds of birdshot and the gun you will feel the weight if you dont work out.

Blakenzy
July 6, 2010, 11:07 AM
Bugging out, living off the land... M6 Scout survival rifle

http://jamesazacharyjr.blogspot.com/2009/03/springfield-armory-m6-scout.html

Edit. Many companies have made some version of this gun but I think currently no one does so anymore. Shame.

amprecon
July 6, 2010, 11:53 AM
If 6.8spc ammo were as available as .223 or 7.62X39 my rifle would be my RRA AR, but since it isn't I'd have to grab my SLR-95. Ammo is readily available and inexpensive. These rifles are handy, hi capacity, utterly reliable, .30 caliber and everyone (even looters) recognize the profile, a good deterent in itself. The milled receiver version I own is accurate.
For a pistol I'd take my Glock 23, they are also handy in size, hi capacity, utterly reliable and in an effective caliber.

CSballer89
July 6, 2010, 12:45 PM
I vote Ruger 10/22. Few parts, very plentiful and you can carry TONS of ammo. It works for self defense because it will shoot as fast as you can pull the trigger and 3 or 4 shots would definitely kill someone/thing if put in the right spot. there is PLENTY of high-cap magazine options out there and optics as well! :]

easyg
July 6, 2010, 12:46 PM
Have you thought to see what single weapon, since the invention of reliable gunpowder has overwhelmingly been? What did the majority of explorers, and mountain men take? Soldiers, adventurers and empire builders? Was it a shotgun? Pistol? No. It was a rifle. Shotguns and pistols were packed after the rifle and it's gear was selected. The Pennsylvania rifle, the Kentucky rifle, the Plains Rifle, Trapdoors, Sharps, Remington rolling blocks, Martinis,Spencers, Henrys, Winchesters, Springfields, Mausers- all rifles and the first choice to be carried into the wildest, most dangerous places on earth.

Make mine a rifle
This was true once upon a time.
But consider how things have changed in our world....

Those pioneers and mountain men and adventurers were exploring a world that was not so populated and not so settled as the one we live in today.
And many of the indigenous peoples these frontiersmen encountered did not have firearms at all.
Also consider that the average handgun at the time was a 6-shot revolver, often a slow reloading black-powder revolver at that.

But a person trying to survive in a end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it scenario today faces different threats.
There are not that many wild and unsettled places these days.
And the "natives" today also have firearms (Glocks, CZ's, S&W's, Mossberg's, Makarov's, AK's, etc....).

If you are staying put and defending your refuge, then certainly long-guns are a must have.
But if you're wandering the countryside and moving from place to place, carrying everything you own on your back, then a long-gun might not me the best option.

The biggest negative to carrying a long-gun is that it instantly makes one appear to be a threat.
And when you're wandering form place to place, through the proverbial backyard of others (others who have a huge defensive advantage) the last thing you want to appear as is a threat.

StealthyBlagga
July 6, 2010, 01:24 PM
Either:

1) Glock 17 + Advantage Arms .22LR conversion.

or:

2) AR15 + Spikes .22LR conversion

CZ223
July 6, 2010, 11:24 PM
A Remington 870 or a Mossberg 590/A1 would be my choice. For anything from bunnies to bear and moose to men.

MistWolf
July 8, 2010, 09:39 PM
The biggest negative to carrying a long-gun is that it instantly makes one appear to be a threat.
And when you're wandering form place to place, through the proverbial backyard of others (others who have a huge defensive advantage) the last thing you want to appear as is a threat. It's better to look like a victim instead? There's more to survival than simply carrying a firearm.

Do we take up shotguns against our enemies? Or rifles? Do our enemies fight us with shotguns? Or rifles?

There is no denying a shotgun can be devastating or that a handgun has it's place. Still if, heaven forbid, limited to only one, mine will be a rifle. Greater versatility, better range and when chambered for rifle calibers, greater power. It's the first weapon my father taught me to shoot, the first my father learned to shoot and the first my grandfather was taught to shoot. The rifle what I first taught my sons to shoot.

There is a reason why we are first and foremost, riflemen

Seattleimport
July 9, 2010, 02:25 PM
I'll go ahead and cheat, and suggest The Wizard: http://www.rossiusa.com/news-detail.cfm?newsID=28

The new Rossi Wizard's revolutionary stock design allows the user to shoot with every popular caliber imaginable, plus all shotgun gauges, two muzzleloaders, .22 rimfire and .22 rimfire magnum.

It shoots pistol rounds. It shoots rifle rounds. It shoots shotgun shells. You can even dump raw powder straight down the barrel, follow with wad and ball, and shoot it muzzle-loader style.

So... yeah. That's the one gun I suggest. Essentially: every gun.


If that's too cheaty, then I'd recommend a shotgun with collapsible stock.

Cubes
July 10, 2010, 06:59 AM
OK - my answer for entertainment's sake. Someone also said earlier if you could have two long guns in your crew, so just because I can (and would):
-A 12ga Mossberg 590 pump for the animals (various loads, birdshot, buckshot, slugs)
-An AR-15 in 7.62 for the people/zombies/mutants/whatev :D

Of course, this is after playing far, FAR too much Fallout3. And leaving home unless it's on fire or radioactive (at which point you're probably toast anyway) or underwater is probably a bad idea anyway - it's the one place on Earth that *most* people can actually shore up to be defensible, and safely store large amounts of supplies with a minimum of transportation. If you do have to move, you'll need a truck/suv, a trailer and a crapton of gasoline. And that AR-15 to keep people away from the gasoline. Just kidding. (Unless they are trying to eat you/your truck/your gasoline)

During the Hurricane Rita fiasco in Houston, I actually managed to get to Nacogdoches in 9 hrs by driving in the blank parts of the map and using my mad Eagle scout skills to navigate. Most people just got stranded on the road, and many even died during the exodus. Of course, the stupid hurricane followed me, but that's not the point ;) Let's just say, unless you are facing nuclear/biological/fire annihilation, stay in your home. When Ike came around, pretty much everyone in Houston rode out the storm and it went surprisingly well. No power for two weeks, but we were well stocked and prepared, and made it pretty comfortably.

It has been said by many already, but it is more practical to have a lot of sterile water and non-perishable food, along with a modest cache of weaponry, than your own personal National Guard Armory. But this is all kind of a tangent, so I'll stop now.

Tallinar
July 10, 2010, 07:43 AM
Given the OP's original criteria: AR-15 with 16" barrel.

In the event of the "zombie apocalypse", ammunition and parts will be easier to come by than some other options.

chaim
July 10, 2010, 01:03 PM
Did some more thinking, and while I highly suggest you consider more likely scenarios for your first gun and buy your second or third gun thinking about your end of the world as we know it scenario, I have refined my thinking a bit.

I still highly suggest the .22lr rifle (if you can carry a rifle). Still, in an end of society scenario I'm with those who say it is better to be as low profile as possible, so I'd probably go with a .22lr pistol. Small game will probably be more plentiful than large game (many people will have the same idea as you, smaller game is more plentiful already and it reproduces faster) and the .22 will destroy less flesh. Further, with well placed head shots at short distances you could easily take large game as well- in a normal situation with any gun available to you people don't usually do it due to humane considerations (though people do hunt bears with .22s, relying on hiding out until they can get a good head shot), but in an every man for himself survival situation things are different. Also, you can store 10 500 round bricks of .22 (for 5000 rounds of ammo) in about the same space as 200 rounds of 12ga, 800-1200 rounds of pistol calibers, and 300-500 rounds of most centerfire rifle calibers (and with a similar financial investment assuming the less expensive rifle calibers). A big advantage (remember, the best defense is not to draw unwanted attention and to stay out of firefights) is that .22 is pretty quiet so one or two shots may not be heard a distance away, and would be hard to pinpoint the location if it was heard. In a pinch, it could be used for self defense (though I may cheat in such a situation and take my .22 pistol and something like my compact Taurus PT140 Millennium Pro or Commander sized S&W 1911SC- far less weight and size than one rifle, both guns could be easily concealed yet accessible, and I'd have a good self-defense caliber and a good subsistence caliber).

For subsistence I think I'd be looking more at fishing though. Broken down you could strap your rod and reel to your pack with virtually no additional weight, you can take plenty of tackle in a limited amount of space, and you can dig or catch your own worms and small fish (bait) when/if your artificial lures run out (you can carry TONS of hooks in a small space and with little weight). I'd bet the fish population would hold out longer in such a situation than the game population, especially on the coasts or in more isolated areas.

If you really are worried about a long-term, end of society survival situation, I highly recommend this for your next vacation:
http://www.rootsvt.com/

In addition to food, we would have many other issues: water, surviving the elements, and especially shelter. Your tent would only last so long, and if you are thinking about building a permanent shelter, why not just stay with your house. Plus, it just looks like fun.

tmajors
July 10, 2010, 01:20 PM
Without question a 12-gauge pump action shotgun. Nothing beats it in utility.

Only thing it really lacks is range. Think the max effectiveness of a slug round is about 100 yards. Sabot can get out to about 200 I think.

Mossberg or Remington exceedingly easy to maintain and there are millions out there for spare parts.

oldbanjo
July 10, 2010, 01:57 PM
A Mossberg pump with three barrels 18 1/2", 28mod and a slug barrel. A 22 cal rifle or a good pellet rifle, may need less noise. I like revolvers, S&W or Ruger. I have a single six Ruger 22 lr/22 mag. A 38 chief special S&W. A sp101 Ruger. A gp100 Ruger. All these are outstanding guns.

roscoe
July 10, 2010, 07:09 PM
I don't know how many people actually hike with weight on their backs, but if you have a rifle (8-10 pounds) and 200 rounds (6 pounds for .223, and 10 pounds for .308) you are well burdened. Add a pistol and you got 25 pounds before you have a drop of water or a Snickers bar. Add water, food, shelter, a raincoat and a knife, and pretty soon you are at 60 pounds, which will slow you right down unless you are pretty fit. Not to mention And if recent history is any guide, a long gun makes you a target for over-enthusiastic deputies and Blackwater types.

If you have a decent handgun, you can carry 80-100 rounds and keep the whole thing under 5 pounds. Mobility in emergencies is key, so ideally you will be carrying under 30 pounds. And, importantly, it is concealed and lightweight. A modern handgun is effective beyond 50 yards with practice. Imagine trying to explain to the police why you shot someone from 50 yards when the situation normalizes. And imagine shooting more than 100 rounds in the 5 days-week it takes for the problem to resolve as you get your family to high ground.

With a concealed handgun you can hunt game, defend yourself, and move quickly while still being able to access emergency services without getting yourself in trouble. I know we like to imagine Mad-Max style marauders if the SHTF, but if you look at natural and social disasters in the US over the last 150 years, that just hasn't happened. I can't think of a bad situation in the last century and a half where you would have needed more than a decent modern fighting handgun. We don't live in Somalia where battle technicals roam the earth. Even in the Rodney King riots, a handgun would have kept the crowds away from you. Crowds hate getting shot.

And I don't buy the whole EOTWAWKI scenario - that is a fantasy (albeit a fun one). A reliable handgun in a decent caliber is the realistic choice.

oldbanjo
July 11, 2010, 11:02 PM
ROSCOE, You're right if you intend to walk. I don't walk, I have bad joints. I use a motorscooter or motorcycle to walk the dogs, to go to the pond. Believe me we could have some bad problems. Lack of food for long periods of time. If this was to happen you would have to defend your food and family. There is woods all around me, you may have to hunt for meat. These woods are full of Turkeys, I'm not sure I could get close enough to hit one so I added one more gun to my collection, a Marlin MD 55 Goose gun w/36" barrel. I have also stocked up on flour, cornmeal, coffee, salt, sugar, grits and rice. I vacuum sealed everything. Even if nothing happens I have saved money because these items are going up in price everyday.

SSN Vet
July 12, 2010, 04:32 PM
Ive been thinking for a long time about getting a gun for a worse-case scenario event where I have to bug-out, protect myself, family, etc..., live off the land, etc....

I would suggest that one of the least important aspects of "living off the land" is what caliber of type of firearm you employ.

My quite limited hunting experience has led me to believe that hunting involves a lot of skill and experiential knowldege about both your hunting grounds as well as your prey.

Sure there are a lot of guys who have gone to hunting camp primarily to drink beer and managed to score a lucky buck. But if you're going to rely upon the fruit of you hunting to feed people, you're going to need repeatable performance.

Keep in mind also, that in the unlikely TEOTWAWKI scenario you describe, there are going to be a lot of people trying to do just what you've described. So a realistic plan would include the contingency that all the woods withing easy access of suburbia will be game free within weeks.

Having some place in the remote country to go is, imho, the real key to that scenario.

Laying hens and a fresh cow named Daisy will likely go further than a hunting rifle of any caliber.

But just for kicks and giggles, my vote is for an M1 Carbine.

WaywardAce
July 14, 2010, 03:14 AM
Lever Action Rifle - Marlin 1894C in .38spl/.357 magnum
Handgun - Ruger GP 100 .357 magnum

islandphish
July 14, 2010, 03:19 AM
10-22

I don't like the OP's criteria as I don't think they realistically reflect the needs that would be faced.

easyg
July 14, 2010, 07:24 AM
It's better to look like a victim instead? There's more to survival than simply carrying a firearm.

Do we take up shotguns against our enemies? Or rifles? Do our enemies fight us with shotguns? Or rifles?
What's with all the talk about "enemies"?

Even in a mass disaster the majority of folks will not instantly become vicious killers right out of The Road Warrior.

Yes, there will be some predators, but most folks will only be interested in keeping what they have, not taking what you have.

And just because one chooses not to carry a long-gun that does not make one look like a victim.

tex45
July 14, 2010, 03:43 PM
Which ever one I've got, then work my way to a better one.

robby101
July 14, 2010, 04:00 PM
Which gun, for a one-gun user, in a worse-case scenario?
Worst case scenario? Um, er, gee, well, I guess, a minigun gift wrapped in a Huey Supercobra.:)

sixgunner455
July 14, 2010, 07:06 PM
Cobra would work. :D

230therapy
July 14, 2010, 07:38 PM
SHTF? Caliber heavy enough to fight and to hunt?

The rifle is the way to go. A handgun is only a sidearm. The rifle gives you versatility and range.

A bolt gun is a great hunting gun, but I wouldn't want to fight with one.

Take a hard look at the AK-47 in 7.62x39mm. It is reliable and accurate enough for short range hunting. If you get a higher end gun like an Arsenal, it will be a bit tighter and higher quality. You can get one with a rail and add an Aimpoint Micro optic on it for very fast target acquisition.

Another alternative is to consider a FAL by DS Arms, M1A, or an AR-10. DS Arms' FAL rifles can handle both 7.62x51mm and 308 Winchester ammunition. M1A's are held in high regard. AR-10's can be expensive so do your research.

A Garand can be had for around $600 from ODCMP. It's a serious consideration if you need to get something quickly. Acquire two bottles of Brite-n-Kleen, steel wool and get to work on that stock!

Yet another option is an AR-15 in 6.5 Grendel or other caliber. I like the Grendel's performance at long range. Do some investigation into this caliber. You can get a gun with an upper in 5.56x45mm and buy a 6.5 Grendel upper later. What's great about the AR platform is the modularity. Mounting optics on Garands and M1A's can be expensive; the AR is built for it.

There are so many options...you can spend as much or little as you want.

The AK-47 or the Garand may be the way to go for initial entry.

wlewisiii
July 14, 2010, 07:41 PM
.22 rifle
12 ga shotgun
.38 Special revolver

No one weapon can do it all but these three come closest in my experience.

TrickyDick
July 14, 2010, 08:21 PM
Well, as everyone knows, an AK is what works best in and "end of world scenario" it can handle any climate, and has ammunition all over the world, as well as parts. It is big enough for some big game but maybe a tad bit much for a squirrel unless you can take his head clean off and leave the body for eating. But to most people's knowledge and experience, The AK is the gun you want to be able to maintain with little to no effort at all. even a shoelace with knots along it could prove to be sufficent enough to clean the barrel in a jif. It's simple operation is reliable and consistant, As long as you have a well built AK then you should have no problems. I personally suggest the YUGO M70AB2 model.

huntsman
July 14, 2010, 11:20 PM
As long as you have a well built AK then you should have no problems. I personally suggest the YUGO M70AB2 model.

If import ammo ever gets banned will there be enough domestic manufactured ammo to feed all the AKs ?

blacktailhunter
July 15, 2010, 01:46 AM
I think a 308 is all a person needs .good for big game ore small game

piece of meat
July 15, 2010, 03:18 AM
all i would need is a lighter and a roll of duct tape. and maybe a box of paper clips

benEzra
July 15, 2010, 07:21 AM
If import ammo ever gets banned will there be enough domestic manufactured ammo to feed all the AKs ?
Yes, considering the size of the market. I believe 7.62x39mm is probably the #2 centerfire rifle caliber sold in the United States annually, so if imports are cut off and there is a 7.62x39mm crunch, the domestic ammo manufacturers will cut back their production of less-common rifle calibers to meet 7.62x39mm demand, just like they cut back on less common handgun calibers in 2008-2009 to devote more production to 9mm, .40, and .45. It would be more expensive than imported ammo is now, but it would be available.

There's also the fact that 7.62x39mm ammunition is currently one of the least expensive centerfire long gun calibers on the market; it is a lot cheaper to set aside a rainy-day stash of 7.62x39mm than (say) .30-30, .270, or 12-gauge.

The main downside of 7.62x39mm is weight, IMO. It's not as heavy as 7.62x51mm/.308, but it is almost twice as heavy as .223, compounded by rugged-but-heavy magazines for the platform. Loaded steel 7.62x39mm AK magazines weigh in at just under two pounds each, so three loaded mags weigh almost as much as the empty rifle. Not a problem if it is a home/neighborhood-defense carbine or if you are evacuating a natural disaster in your car, but be realistic about the weight if you're envisioning hiking somewhere carrying six months' worth of supplies on your back.

PAPACHUCK
July 15, 2010, 07:28 AM
12ga pump will do all that needs done.

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