Best Guns for Survivalists

September 4, 2019
Best Guns for Survivalists

Food, water, and shelter are the three top elements necessary for survival. Protecting your family and obtaining food in the wild requires weapons. Your survival arsenal needs more than your best semi-automatic rifle.

Ideally, you will want several guns used for specific purposes. Here are some of the top choices of the best guns any survivalist should consider as part of his or her arsenal.

.22 Semi-Automatic Rifle

Farmers, hunters, and homeowners have been using .22 rifles for small game hunting and pest control for over 100 years. The .22 was, and is, a great way to train new shooters how to shoot.

A .22 rifle is easy to use, durable, and the ammunition is cheap! The caliber has reasonable penetration, doesn’t make a lot of noise, and you can learn to be accurate very quickly.

One of the most iconic and successful .22 rifles is the American-made Ruger 10/22. The gun has been around since the mid-1960s. The simple design has resulted in the ability to make one with after-market parts.

Buying a 10/22 or a similar model, and hording a few high-capacity box magazines as well as the standard 10-round rotary mag, is a must-have gun.



A good 12 gauge shotgun has a lot of uses. A shotgun is even more versatile than a .22. You can hunt small or big game and birds with a shotgun.

For home defense and close-quarter shooting, most people will tell you nothing compares to a shotgun. Whether you have a 20 gauge or a 12 gauge, a shotgun will serve you well when protecting yourself or your family from two-legged intruders.

Pump action shotguns have some characteristics that make these weapons slightly more advantageous than semi-automatics, especially for long-term survival needs. Pump action requires less care than a semi-automatic. A pump will shoot almost as fast as most semi-automatic shotguns also.

The ammunition is relatively inexpensive compared to hunting ammunition or 9mm handgun ammo. The three main types of shells, buckshot, birdshot, and slugs give you plenty of options depending on the circumstances.

The two most popular pump action shotguns, the Mossberg 500 series or the Remington 870, have proven their reliability during the over 50 years each has been on the market.

The popularity of both weapons with law enforcement and the military is a testament to how well the guns perform.


Ideally, you want two handguns: a semi-automatic pistol and a revolver. You likely carry the semi-automatic as your primary weapon, but you should consider carrying a revolver in the event the primary armament gets broken.

A 9mm is the most popular semi-automatic caliber, and hence 9mm ammunition most likely will be easier to find in emergencies. You will need at least 5-10 magazines for the weapon, and if available in your state, a couple high-capacity ones too.

If you choose to have a second semi-automatic, you may want one with greater stopping power, one that chambers a .45 ACP. Given the proven reliability and simplicity of the weapon, you can’t go wrong if you get Glock. If you want to mix it up, a Glock 9mm and the old reliable .45 caliber 1911 A1 make great choices.

For your revolver, a .357 is a good choice as you can stockpile .357 rounds for greater stopping power but can also use .38.

Consider buying and practicing with speed loaders to make up for the lower capacity of the revolvers compared to the semi-automatics.


You want to have two rifles for survival situations: A semi-automatic and a bolt action.

With the automatic, you can more easily defend your family against multiple enemies. An AR-15 using a 5.56 round makes a great choice.

For a bolt action, a .308 Winchester with a good, water and fog proof scope allows you to hunt big game and defend yourself with equal confidence.

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