What is the best survival gun? There is no definitive answer to the question because it depends on your situation. The best survival gun for me might not be the best survival gun for you. Anyone telling you there is a “best survival gun” for all situations is at best full of crap, and depending on what they’re telling you they might be spouting crap that can get you killed. Just the other day I ran across a blog post claiming to answer the question “What is The Best Rifle for a Backwoods Survival Scenario?”. I enjoy reading others’ opinions on guns, but the crap this guy was spouting was just that – crap. Some examples:
“The .22LR caliber rifle is also good at protecting survivors defending themselves while lost at deep jungles and forests with wild animals. With its lightweight casing, it could be brought by the survivor on whatever terrain he/she is threading. And because of its lightweight and inexpensive ammunition, the survivor can carry enough amounts of it to be used for self-defense against wild animals such as cougars, lions, tigers, and other wild carnivorous predators. But the .22LR caliber rifle only works at its best when the target is far away.”
I don’t know about you, but if I were facing a carnivorous predator, I’d want something a little more powerful than a 22LR. Yes, it can kill, but by the time it does that predator might just have torn you apart. As for “works best when the target is far away”, I guess that depends on your definition of “far away.” To me, a 22 LR is a 50 yard round at best, and then only on small game. I wouldn’t shoot a deer or even a coyote with a 22 LR, my hunting ethics wouldn’t allow it. Next he moves on to defense guns…
“In situations where the survivor confronts a close wild animal or ‘unwelcoming’ human settlers, the survivor must prepare a bigger firearm. The best survival rifle for these close encounters is a bigger rifle.”
OK, so far so good, but his recommendation is… the Harrington and Richardson NEF Handi Rifle. That’s right, if you’re going to be facing dangerous game or human predators, he recommends you arm yourself with a single shot rifle. Lunacy or idiocy? You decide… I mean I get that some people don’t like semiautomatic weapons, or live in places where they’re illegal to own, but even a bolt action rifle would be better for hunting or self defense than a single shot rifle.
If you want to get the low down on what the best survival gun for you is, it’s worth your money and time to buy and read Survival Guns by Mel Tappan. Some of the information is dated (it was written before Glocks, the easy availability of reliable AR-10s and AR-15s, etc) and some of his scenarios seem a little melodramatic, but he does a really good job of teaching you the thought process you’ll need to go through in order to choose the survival gun(s) best suited to you and your individual needs. Don’t let some self-proclaimed expert tell to what survival gun is best for you. Read the book, visit some gun shops, go to a range and rent some guns so you can try them before you buy. If you haven’t done so, take a Hunter’s Safety course. Consider getting a concealed carry permit (CCW). After you’ve done these things, you’ll be much better prepared to choose the best survival gun for you personally.
Until next time,