Working Guns for Homesteading/rural/off grid lifestyle?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by Glamdring, Dec 10, 2009.

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  1. 52grain

    52grain Member

    Jun 21, 2009
    I think it really depends on where you will be living and what the predators are. Also, what is your budget? It's hard to imagine what a 12 gauge alone wouldn't handle, but it is probably not the ideal tool for a lot of jobs.

    Edit to Add: The most limiting aspect of the 12 gauge is range. If the area is flat, the predators fast or especially dangerous, a 12 gauge might not be your best bet.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2009
  2. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    Central Ohio
    1. 12 ga shotgun
    2. a .22 rifle
    3. a scoped bolt action in .223, .308 or .30-06
    4. a sks or ak
    5. a handgun in 9mm or .45
    6. a .22 pistol
  3. ArfinGreebly

    ArfinGreebly Moderator Emeritus

    Oct 10, 2006
    North Idaho
    Off-Grid Selection

    Don't have a shotgun. Yeah, I know, sacrilege. Still, it's the most glaring omission in my safe. So I will have to make up for that another way.

    Rifle in .22 LR? Check. While I have both a Marlin 39A and a Ruger 10/22, the Ruger is handier and the Marlin is more accurate, but heavier. Assuming the .22 rifle is mostly about pests and food, and not about long hikes in the woods, I'd go with the Marlin.

    Pistol in .22 LR? Check. Ruger MkII, 7" stainless bull barrel.

    Rifle in .357 mag? Check. Marlin 1894C.

    Pistol in .357 mag? Check. S&W 586-7, blue & walnut.

    That pretty much covers the bases for everything that's not flying overhead. The .22 LR ammo can be stocked in quantity and is available everywhere. The .38 & .357 ammo is available most places, and gives a wide range of loads.

    I'm inclined to add the Marlin 336C, just to have a reasonable 200 yard rifle. Yes, I'd have to scope it: my eyes need help out past 50 yards.

    And, if I just had to have a general purpose hiking/walking rifle, something light enough to lug around all day, enough punch for varmints, adequate for upright rodents of unusual size, capacity sufficient for unexpected social engagements, I'd grab the M1 Carbine. It would be the oddball in the set, but just about perfect for its purpose.

    I've skipped the CCW piece. We're out in the country here and, up in this neck of the woods, "rural" means open carry is good to go.

    There are a number of assumptions that go with this: ammo availability either in stores or via reloading, essentially peaceful environment, normal game availability.

    If you mess with the parameters, then you get a different selection.

  4. Schutzen

    Schutzen Member

    Apr 27, 2007
    Far Western Kentucky
    Just a couple of country boy observations;

    The 870 Remington has been the best selling shot gun in the US for many years, the primary reasons are low cost and reliability. Granted the Mossberg 500/590's are good guns, but they have not been around as long as the 870.

    The Ruger 10/22 is an excellent rifle, but I have had problems with the magazines. I have to change them every 3-5 years. I have an old Remington 510 that shoots as accurately as any factory 10/22 and the magazine never wears out (single shot, but easy to load).
  5. Erik M

    Erik M Member

    Jun 14, 2009
    Hails from Parts Unknown
    Since this thread comes around about every two weeks or so i will stick with my pervious answers.

    12 ga. shotgun with assorted ammo
    .38/.357 revolver

    -not needed but a good additions-
    bolt gun between a .243 and 30-06
    M1 Garand
  6. goon

    goon Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    Some argue with at least a little logic that a 12 gauge can cover all bases. Although it is a versatile choice, I also see it as a compromise choice.
    It does close range home defense well, would work well for defense against dangerous animals (with slugs), and is a pretty good choice for hunting. I have to admit that going out with a shotgun has generally gotten me more meat than a .22 has (although I did get better until I stopped hunting).
    Still, you can't really carry a shotgun for self defense in most situations. You're likely going to need a handgun. And you can't shoot as far as you can with a rifle. I have seem some shoot slugs really well but when you buy a shotgun, your probably shouldn't expect it to behave like a rifle.
    If you can really only have one gun... maybe.
    But if you can have three guns...

    My personal requirements for a bare minimum include a good centerfire rifle, a reliable centerfire handgun, and a good .22 LR rifle.
    For me, that's my SP-101 in .357 Mag, probably a CZ-452, and at that point I think I'd keep the Marlin 336 in 30-30 or go to an 1895G in .45-70. I can always load a .45-70 down but a 30-30 only goes so hot. But as a practical choice, I think a good used .30-06 would do very well.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2009
  7. huntsman

    huntsman Member

    Apr 11, 2003
    ohio's northcoast
    just get what Burt Gummer had. :)

    the only thing I'd like to add to my safe is a good .22 cal bolt action.
  8. ClayInTX

    ClayInTX Member

    Nov 17, 2009
    For the typical boonies working guns it would be a 22 rifle and a 12 ga shotgun. If defense is an issue I would add a 357 revolver.

    However, the Apocalypse was mentioned. In that case it would be:
    For the initial period of time a powerful rifle, a shotgun, several knives, and a handgun; all of whatever you have when the fall happens.

    For the long run when all the primers and powder are gone:
    A pump-up air rifle, either 177 or 22, and a muzzle loader shot gun. Pellets and bullets and shot can be hand cast and black powder components can be obtained from natural sources (not all in the same place nor easy but get-able).

    For the long, long run: A simple recurve bow, BIG knife, and a sword if you can find one. A knife is always needed. Arrows can be made by hand. The bow will end up being the most useful weapon of the lot. The sword will make the BG’s mutter, “We ain’t gonna mess with no Errol Flynn.”
  9. Boolit

    Boolit Member

    Dec 4, 2009
    For those of you who are Savage 24 fans, here's a .22/.410 version I picked up and refurbed.


    Notice the nice grain in the stock that was hidden under the schmutz they called a factory finish back then. I replaced the firing pins, and did some trigger work. I parkerized the receiver and barrel.

    On the 10/22:

    Its a good little rifle, but if I had to have one .22 it would have to be my Ruger 77/22 All-weather. The stock is ugly as sin, but the darn thing is pretty rugged, and shoots real nice. I think I would choose a bolt-action .22 over an autoloader, but if I had to have one I would go with the 10/22 or a Marlin-Glenfield Model 60.

    MICHAEL T Member

    Feb 3, 2004
    outback Kentucky
    Really off the grid a Smoothbore flint lock Will shoot about any thing you can stick down barrel .Flint can be found and you can make own BP One gun does it all and you can maintain and keep supplied cheaply Worked for many years Open up the America continent as well as others in world , Long before the grid was thought of
    Or you can but a 10/22 and a shot gun
  11. orvpark

    orvpark Member

    May 20, 2008
    in the woods
    AR with a drop in 22LR Kit will (and does) handle any game without wings in my area.


    .357 Lever/Revolver combo
  12. oneounceload

    oneounceload member

    Apr 24, 2008
    Hot and Humid FL
    While a .22 rifle would be a necessity, IMO, it would NOT be a 10/22 - as popular as they are. They are not that accurate out of the box, they can be finicky about ammunition, and you might need parts not readily available. I would go with a decent quality bolt action that could shoot CB, short, long, lr.

    For a shotgun, it is hard to disagree with a pump from one of the major makers. Personally, I prefer a decent O/U - less finicky about ammunition issues, can be easily used with a variety of ammunition as well as the pump, but - FOR ME, it swings a lot better and thus, with limited resources, I would be able to make every shot on game count - (that's for ME).

    For a rifle - anything in a bolt action, (again least amount of parts to go wrong), in any basic caliber from 26 caliber through 30.

    For a handgun, if it is to act as SD/HD, and back up for other possible
    scenarios, then a 38/357 would be on the top of my list with a 41 or 44 close behind

    IF there is some more in the budget, I would add a good bow - arrows can be reused over and over for proficiency and can do most of the above requirements just as well. Another possibility, in lieu of the 357, would be a blackpowder gun. Gun powder CAN be made, along with ball and a flint to work.
  13. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Member

    Apr 16, 2009
    South of Hell....Michigan.
    All great but....

    I would include a set of dies and components. Who needs outside ammo when you can make your own?

    My choices

    Remington 870 in 12 gauge, 3 inch with a slug barrel, shot barrel, and various chokes.

    Bolt action in 30-06 (I have a 1903) with irons and knowledge as to how to use the irons. Scopes are great, but they do break. I chose 30-06 because of the wide number of possible bullet selections as compared to .308.

    A 1911 in .45. They are easy to load for and have a larger number of bullet possibilities. The 1911 is easy to work

    An AR 15 in .223 wylde with a .22 long rifle adapter. I know a lot of people would disagree, but they don't call it the "Lego" rifle for nothing. I can tear the whole thing down in my garage and work on it. Also, it is extremely accurate. The .223 wylde would allow me the ability to shoot civilian or military ammo. My choice would be a standard A2, 20 inch barrel.
  14. 84B20

    84B20 Member

    Aug 4, 2005
    New Mexico
    For some reason I have never been a fan of .22's (probably because my parents would never let me have one when I was a kid) so I would substitute my MAK90 in 5.56/.223 for it. Besides I have 30 round steel mags already and the ammo to go with it.
  15. JamisJockey

    JamisJockey member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Northern VA
    If you're going off the grid, you might starve if you rely on hunting game for sustinence. Learn to trap wild game, fish, and gather native wild edible plants.
    If you're going to hunt large game, you'd better know how to prepare and preserve it without refridgeration.

    Firearm choice? A .22 rifle for small game, and a pistol/levergun combination for larger game and self defense. .44mag seems to make the most sense there. If you're out west, you might need a dedicated centerfire rifle for hunting game at longer distances.
  16. Waywatcher

    Waywatcher Member

    Sep 15, 2006
    #1 Regular size Pump Shotgun--The most general purpose firearm there is. Birdshot, buck shot, or slugs, it can handle it all. Any short range hunting or defense.

    #2 Regular size Pistol. Nothing tiny, nothing big. a 4" revolver or 5" Auto are about right. Something that won't pull your pants down if you have it holstered at your hip.

    #3 Semi-Automatic Centerfire Rifle. With 20-30 round magazines. Longer range hunting and an all around defensive arm.

    I would feel very well equipped with only those three guns.
  17. JamisJockey

    JamisJockey member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Northern VA
    I forgot to add cost. I'd imagine you can get the lever gun/pistol combo and a .22 rifle with scope for under $1400 without much trouble. Add to that some ammo and handloading equipment.
    Oh, and full manuals for all firearms, as well as basic gun smithing tools and extra parts.
  18. d2wing

    d2wing Member

    Nov 10, 2008
    Reloading is good, but you still have to buy powder and primers. Bullets too unless you cast your own and have gas checks and sizer. I wonder if there is way to make your own powder without blowing yourself up.
    I forgot a big plus for shotguns. I've used a 12 guage to cut down small trees and make firewood. Uses ammo up though. LOL.
  19. goon

    goon Member

    Jan 20, 2003
    How off the grid are we talking here?
    From about 1866 on there were lots of people "off the grid" (since there kind of wasn't one yet) who didn't really have any problem keeping ammunition on hand.
    Not that I'm saying a flintlock smoothbore (which I would like to have) or a bow wouldn't be a good thing to have around. Just saying that even people who live in remote areas can still obtain ammunition or reloading components.
  20. Norinco982lover

    Norinco982lover Member

    Mar 14, 2008
    South Central Kansas
    Pretty simple thread. My answers will only include firearms that I do own/or will own in the near future.

    1) Ruger 10/22 (I hope to get one for Christmas from the wifey!) $200

    2) AK (WASR or Saiga) $350

    3) Springfield XD, any caliber $450

    4) Reliable rifle in .308 with good scope (I have not narrowed down my personal choices in this category yet--I am thinking either Saiga .308 with 20 rnd box mags or perhaps something simple like a Remington 700) $600 (varies with scope choice)

    Total: $1600 + ammo/extra mags

    p.s. I forgot to mention that a 12 gauge, any caliber and style would be a good addition as well. $200
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  21. enderwig

    enderwig Member

    Nov 9, 2009
    In order of importance (to me)

    A 12 gauge shotgun, there are many excellent economic choices, from the Mossberg 500 to the Remington 870 and others

    .22LR either the Ruger 10/22 or the Marlin 60

    Handgun, only one choice for me, the Ruger GP100 in .357mag, minimum 4" barrel

    My last choice, only if I had extra money, some 30 calibre rifle (as mentioned previously)
  22. JamisJockey

    JamisJockey member

    Jan 4, 2003
    Northern VA
    Hhmmmm, bow or cross bow might be a good choice to have for hunting, also. Arrows and bolts are generally reusable. You might even be able to keep the supplies on hand to produce more bolts or arrows.

    Again, going off the grid intentionally, I'd be very disinclined to take firearms that require magazines. Magazines can be damaged, ruined, and 30 rounds of ammo are heavy, adding to the weight of the gun you're toting around the woods all day. Proven, reliable designs such as the revolver and lever action rifle, preferably in concert with each other so that you're not toting around several types of ammo. There is a reason that many cowboy lever guns were chambered in the same cartridge as their pistol. Lever guns are also lightweight, which means if you're hunting you can carry more than one weapon afield.
    A bolt action .22lr for small game.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2009
  23. MetalHead

    MetalHead Member

    Nov 1, 2009
    If I had to start over on a budget:
    Savage 24, 22mag over 20 gauge, this is the carry everywhere gun.
    22 Win Special for quiet game harvesting, many 22 mag ammo choices, some will say ammo is to costly but this is a gun that will be carried much and shot seldom, and I have ground the rim off 22mag emptys so I can shoot 22rf, not a great idea but it will work.
    The 20 has many options when you reload for it, might upen the choke up to Mod or IC.
    Add a insert barrel for your centerfire pistol caliber and if you can still find one a Savage FourTenner insert barrel.

    A 22rf bolt gun that will shoot near 1moa, add scope that will suit area being hunted. This is the gun you use when activly hunting for food or dealing with long range pests.

    A repeating 12 gauge for short range defence, many will think of wing shoting but if table meat is the goal a 22 to the head of a goose is a much better return on your investment than ten shotshells spent for a couple of doves or grouse. Plus the more shooting you do the greater the chance of being found.

    A 1911a1 for every person in your party fit to shoot one I prefer 45acp but that is up to you. Shoot the rounds that get rough looking through the insert barrel or a NEF chambered for it.

    Defence rifle, much depends on what you like, can afford, and even what your defending, a small athletic group with a site of low value might only need covering fire to escape to a predetermaned location, reclaim whats yours early the next morn after the thugs have drunk all that booze you left behind. In harsh conditions, a large group or a high value site bugging outs not so good. Choose guns for the range they will be shot at.

    Or get a copy of Mel Tappen's Survival Guns and go from there.
  24. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

    Dec 29, 2002
    Los Anchorage
    It's still nice to have something bigger but I wasted far too much time and money trying to find the perfect big bore considering how little I actually used it.
  25. kmrcstintn

    kmrcstintn Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    realistically...I would pick the following from what I have available...

    my Marlin 925 in .22 mag scoped w/ Brunton 3 - 9 x 40 scope; dad's bequeathed Remington 760 in .30 -6 scoped w/ Bushnell Trophy 3 - 9 x 40 scope & see through mounts to allow use of open sights; my Mossberg 500 12 gauge shotgun with its long field barrel w/ interchangable chokes & 'cut down' psuedo security barrel; my Ruger GP100 in .357 mag with 4" barrel and open sights
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