You’ve survived the breakdown of civilization. Most of humanity is gone. What weapons would be best for long-term survival in a hostile and primitive world?
A few survivalists follow the philosophy of Mel Tappan in Survival Guns. His feeling: You can never have too many firearms and too many calibers. A great article on TotalSurvivalist.com challenges that philosophy. It’s better to have a substantial stock of ammo for a few select calibers.
Makes sense. If you have 5,000 rounds for your 308 Winchester, what’s the point of owning a 30-30? Do you really need a 30-06 too? Not really.
Here are some of the top long term survival weapons:
1) Ruger 10/22. My first choice would be a Ruger 10/22 in 22 LR. The reason: The 22 LR with a well placed shot can kill anything in North America. In a pinch, it can serve effectively as a self defense weapon. It’s an autoloader. This gives you some firepower.
The biggest reason to put the 22LR first on the list is that it allows you to deeply stock your ammo supply. 22LR ammo is much cheaper than centerfire. You can easily squirrel away 5,000 rounds, 10,000 rounds or more.
2) A bolt action 308 Winchester. Why a bolt action? Bolt actions are the most robust rifle action available. They’re serviceable. With a few spare parts, you should be able to keep your bolt action rifle going indefinitely. Theoretically, the barrel will eventually wear out. Realistically, you’ll never fire that many shots through a hunting rifle.
Add a 2-7x adjustable scope on your rifle and you’re good to go. If it fails have a good backup sight. If you want the best compromise between shootable sights and robust sights, install an aperture or peep sight. It will out survive a scope and outshoot traditional iron sights.
3) A defensive semi auto pistol. The Glock would be perfect. So would be the Browning Hi Power. This gives you a weapon for person protection. Stock up on plenty of magazines.
4) Optional. Semi auto “Assault” rifle. If you can afford it, add a semi auto defensive rifle to the mix. If you’re going to stock 5,000 rounds of 308 Winchester, you could go with the 308 as your caliber. Given the cost of most of those rifles, I’d suggest looking at the AK-47 in 7.62 x 39 mm instead. It’s not as great a caliber as the 7.62 NATO but Russian surplus ammo is relatively inexpensive.
The AR-15 is another option. Tappan and many other popular survivalists poo-poo the 5.56 mm caliber. It’s not as powerful as a 7.62 NATO, but ammo is less expensive and weighs much less. If you were ever forced to flee, you could carry much more 5.56 ammo with you.
From my old book, Checklist for Survival by Tony and Jo-Anne Lesce, 100 rounds of 303 British (about the size of 308 Winchester) weighs 7 pounds. 100 rounds of 223 ammo weighs 2 ½ pounds. You can pack more than double and nearly 3 times as much 5.56 ammo as 308 ammo for the same weight.
Charlie Palmer, Author The Prepper Next Door.
Here’s a great article comparing pistol shooters with rifle shooters.
People today just aren’t familiar with nature. This guy wanted to take a “selfie” of himself with a rattlesnake. Little known fact: Rattlesnakes are camera shy. It bit the guy. The rattlesnake bite wasn’t the worst bite put on him that day: The hospital charged him $83,341.25 for the anti-venom.