Let’s Make a List: Best Survival Guns

Best Survival Guns

Best Survival Guns
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Best Survival Rifle: Any pump-action .22 rifle.

It’s time to start naming names.

We’ve gone over the features of the best survival guns should sport: reliability, ruggedness, portability, simplicity and effectiveness. We’ve told you how the .22 is arguably the best survival ammunition. We’ve debated revolvers versus semi-automatics. We’ve explained that the best survival guns fill multiple roles, including defense, hunting, predator control, livestock harvesting and more. We’ve even talked about layered defense and choosing firearms that function well at a variety of distances.

It’s time to get to the heart of the matter. Whether conducting research, talking with experts or visiting with prepared people, there are a handful of firearms that stick out. Living Ready isn’t necessarily giving each the full stamp of approval, but it is telling when these models show up again and again.

Does that mean they’re the best survival guns? You be the judge. Leave a comment below with your comments and suggestions. Let’s make a list.

Are these The Best Survival Guns?

*Best Survival Rifle: Any pump-action .22 rifle – Let’s start with a no-brainer. Capacity. Reliability. Cheap, lightweight ammo. Versatility. Save that Ruger 10/22 semi-auto for the fun stuff. When it comes to SHTF, a pump-action .22 rifle is the do-it-all workhorse. Go with a pump and take advantage of a magazine tube full of .22 long rifle rounds.

* Honorable Mention: AR-15 – This one should also come as no surprise. AR-15s offer tremendous versatility to fill a variety of roles, from hunting to defense. The customization options are limited only by imagination. Despite the hype, these modern sporting rifles have more in common with grandpa’s favorite hunting gun from yesteryear than the military.

* Best Survival Shotgun: Ithaca Model 37 – And now for the controversial pick. While I’m a big fan of the Mossberg 500 (it’s my primary shotgun), I have to yield to the Model 37. Even proponents of the Remington 870 have to admit, the Model 37 has the smile of a sporting gun but the heart of a tactical firearm. That it manages to balance both themes so effortlessly speaks to its usefulness during SHTF. There are many flavors of the Model 37 on the market. Choose one that fits your tastes the best.

Best Survival Pistol: Beretta 92FS – There’s a line in the sand between this model and Glock‘s legendary simplicity. What pushes the 92FS above and beyond is its ruggedness. There are models functioning just as well today as they were 30 years ago. Some will (rightly) question the effectiveness of 9mm rounds in survival scenarios. They will point out that a 1911‘s .45s will pack that critical extra punch. Keep in mind, though, that the 92FS can carry 15 rounds per magazine. It’s a tough call, but capacity beats stopping power for SHTF.

* Best Survival Revolver: Taurus Judge – Here’s another controversial pick. This iconoclastic .45/.410 comes up time and again with prepared folks. Shooting shotshells is nice, but it’s how the Judge works in tandem with a high-capacity, semi-automatic survival pistol (like the Beretta 92FS) that really pushes it over the edge. Need to put a lot of lead out in a hurry? Use the pistol. Need to lay down the law with a .45? Use the Judge. Need a close-range shotshell for varmints, predators and other lowlifes that won’t knock your hat off like a shotgun? Use the Judge.

Your Turn: What are the Best Survival Guns?

This list will certainly bring out some strong opinions. Let’s hear them. Post comments below and let us know the best survival guns from your POV.

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31 thoughts on “Let’s Make a List: Best Survival Guns

  1. SpeedSix

    I disagree with most of your choices. The top choice for a defensive handgun with all things considered is a Glock 23. Now that might not be the best choice for everyone, it is the best choice, overall, especially if you get a 9mm conversion barrel for it and some 9mm magazines as well as some Glock 22 magazines for it. You can also get .357 SIG barrel for it for more versatility and a .22 conversion kit. That gun with Glock 22 magazines has just as much capacity as a Beretta 92 but beats it in a number of categories. It is more concealable and still has the abilities (for the most part) of a full-size combat handgun. It’s simplicity, durability, aftermarket parts, ability to be worked on, and on and on put it to the top. One could do very well with a two of these and a variety of magazines, night sights. Is it the best out there, no. However, it has over 90% of the takedown capacity of a .45ACP with a much greater capacity. Yes, the Glock 23 GEN4 with a 9mm conversion barrel, TruGlo TFO sights, and an Advantage Arms .22 conversion kit would be my first choice. However, a Smith & Wesson 40C with a 9mm conversion barrel would come in as my second choice (or a full-size M&P 40, followed by a SIG 229/226. The ergonomics on the Smith or the quality, durability of the SIG give them these distinct honors. And, in fact, givin the choice, I would prefer to carry a full size M&P 40 for its ergonomics and balance. It is my favorite gun, besides a CZ 75B to shoot, but, in a survival situation, I would still give the nod to the Glock. Again, give me two handguns for survival, SHTF, and I will take (2) Glock .40s with at least one of them a 23. Other honorable mentions would be of course the Glock 17, 19, 21, 30S, 34, or 35, the corresponding M&Ps, the SIGs, and of course .357 revolvers. My choice in a .357 revolver would be an older postal model Ruger Speed Six with a 3″ barrel. But, others will do, too. I give the Ruger a nod on durability over the Smiths. And for versatility, I would consider the Ruger SP101.

    As far as .22LRs go… the Ruger 10/22 has the lead. I’d get a Ruger 10/22 Take Down stainless with a Hogue stock, once available, and have a forward mounted scope put on it.

    As far as a .22LR handgun goes, I would have the Glock conversion kit for a semi-auto, so my first choice would be a smaller stainless .22LR double-action revolver. It would be tough, durable, and able to handle ANY .22LR cartridges I come across. I would choose the Ruger SP101 with a Hogue grip, but in truth would prefer one in DA/SA the size of the Ruger Bearcat that would fit the bill. I cannot recall the model number, but there a re some Smith & Wessons that would certainly suffice and that are smaller, but I am not sure if they are stainless. If I didn’t have the Glock conversion kit, I would choose a Ruger Mark III 22/45 Lite. As far as shotguns go, I would choose a Remington 500 Security and Hunting combo with a synthetic stock, maybe one with the marine finish. For a defensive rifle, I would choose an AK47 as my first choice. Reliable/Dependable with .30 Cal. bullet. The 2nd choice would be an AR-15 of some kind, and the third would be an M1A. To top it off, I would get a scoped bolt-action rifle such as a Remington 700 or Savage 10.

    So, here is my recap…
    (2) Glock 23 GEN4s w/ 9mm conversion barrels and mags, night sights, and a .22 conversion kit.
    I would add a converted Saiga 7.62×39 to the mix
    Ruger 10/22 TD carbine
    and a Ruger SP101 revolver in .22LR, or a Ruber Mark III 22/45 Lites.
    I would add a Mossberg Tactical Persuader with marine finish and extra hunting barrel, and either a Springfield M1A, Remington 700, or Savage 10 variety in .308. Lastly, I would consider getting an AR-15 of some kind and additional handguns. I would most likely choose between a Glock 30S and a Ruger SP101 in .357.

  2. reformer17

    I like most have to disagree with the picks. Especially the beretta 92 over glock. I would have to think that you havent used one for long term or in hard use to pick it, especially over a glock. Lcp for a backup was a great comment as they wiegh nothing and fit in a pocket. The biggest tragedy though was no mention of the ak47. There is no better arm for reliability, defense, hunting, high capacity, low/no maintenance, crowd control, light weight, the list goes on. The ak should be in no doubt #1. The only rifles that are in the same realm that do everything well are the sig 556(the ferrari of ak’s, yes the sig 556 design is more of the ak than ar), AR(piston driven) and mini14. But unfortunately people do need to understand that they may have to carry a few guns. So, get in shape. As much as I love 1911′s, there is no way that one should be a shtf choice. Just way to finiky and problematic without regular cleanining. Again this is were the glock shines. I know gun range owners that havent cleaned their rental glocks in over 5 years and they still run flawlessly. I know this is about guns but it kind of goes hand in hand. Dont forget body armor. At minimum soft armor and a molle vest. Remember, you can have all the gear you want, but unless you can carry it and get to it when you need it(ie. molle pouches) it doesnt do much good. It doesnt have to be fancy or top of the line. US palm makes great minimalist lightweight rigs. If you can afford it, the paraclete sohpc is one of the best I’ve used other than crye. but crye is more than most that dont use it regularily want to spend. Even though I disagree with many of these pics, this site is a fantastic resource and am very thankful for it being availible.

  3. onawhim

    After reading all the comments it’s like listening to a bunch of old farts sitting around drinking coffee. I follow the KISS method with a bit of twist on it. Just about any firearm will get the job done if you can use it and have the ammo for it. To me the issue is are you defending your location or on the move traveling light and fast. By the tone of the article it sounds as though defending your location and looking for food. If your in suburbia and securing your home a .22 just is not going to cut it and let’s face it they are not coming for tea! Me I want something with 30 round mags and is going to work no matter what and not mentioned is a AK47. AR’s are nice with all there do-dads but who has time for that when it’s tea time? As for a side arm any semi-auto will do, I don’t think the guests are going to wait while I reload my six gun. Taking a trip? Same thing, who is going to lug 3,4 or 5 firearms and ammo for all of them around, not me! Shot guns are nice for a riot with 5 other people at your side but what do you do after the 5th round in your 37? In the long run it will be what ammo you can get… So keep a baseball bat handy!

  4. finchase44

    Looking at it all from both a survival and weight point of view, I vote for the Henry AR7 takedown .22LR with a small Red Dot sight. that will fit nicely in my backpack and only weighs 2 lbs. .22 ammo is also light to carry. For self defense however, carrying a light 9mm like the Kel-Tec PF9 concealed with 2 clips and 50 rounds of ammo would do the job nicely for a long time without undo weight.

  5. Utilitarian

    I like versatility and reliability. My pick as all around firearms would be my old Marlin 1894 .357/38 Special lever action carbine paired with my S&W .357 Combat Commander. The ammo is common with a wide variety of projectiles, great stopping power and proven reliability. For semi auto, that would be Sig p220, and/or a Colt 1911, both .45′s, paired with a Ruger Mini-14. Again, proven, ultra reliable, common ammunition. Finally, in .22, Ruger’s iconic 10-22 would pair with a Taurus Tracker revolver. I know all of these selections well, they will go bang when inspired to do so, every time.

  6. BRASS

    I don’t disagree with any of those but for me based on my personal and professional experience I go with:

    Handgun: Concealed/backup – Glock 27 with 9MM/G26 barrel & mag conversion. *

    Handgun: Concealed/primary – Glock 19 with .40 cal/G23 barrel & mag conversion. **
    * G27/26 use same frame, slide & recoil spring – barrel & mags interchangeable.
    ** G23/19 same as 26/27 in frame, slide and recoil spring are same – barrels & mags interchangeable. All combos use same hip & ankle holsters, basic parts, ammo and accessories.

    Handgun: Open/truck gun – Springfield Armory stainless .45 ACP 1911 5″ with Millet Adjustable sights and Chip McCormick 10 rd Power Mags. Tolerances tight enough for good accuracy and loose enough for reliability, fires reliably with everything from 185 gr. semi-wadcutters to 230 gr. gapping hollow points.

    Handgun: Open carry varmint – Ruger 22/45 5″ stainless bull barrel w/fiber optic adjustable sights, small red dot sight, (permitted) screw off sound suppressor & Ruger mags. Indestructible, accurate, reliable, not ammo sensitive – shoots Walmart Federal 36 gr. copper hp (bought 20 boxes of 550, 20 yrs. ago) like match ammo. Fits same hip & shoulder holsters as 1911.

    Long gun: M4 type AR15 in 5.56 1 in 7 twist, (permitted SBR) 14″ chrome bolt, carrier & barrel, Adams Arms carbine length gas piston with flip up open sights co-witness w/Vortex red dot & screw on short 3x lens. Gives accurate CQB, short & medium range w/55 gr. to 69 gr. projectiles. Little cleaning besides punching bore needed w/gas piston.

    Long gun: Ruger 10/22 in .22 LR w/laminated stock, stainless 16″ taper bbl. aperture front and rear sights co-witness w/Leupold fixed 4X scope and (permitted) removable .22 sound suppressor.

    Shotgun: Rem 870 12 GA w/syn. stock, fiber optic front sight & adjustable aperture rear sight; 7 rd tube, 6 rd sidesaddle shell carrier, modified stock forearm, 4″ 1913 rail on receiver & two – 2″ 1913 rails on bbl/tube bracket.
    *Both AR & 870 use interchangeable lights, lasers & red dots.

    I like interchangeability, versatility with power and penetration where needed but quiet, light and easy to handle and hump when possible. Simplicity of operation and ease of maintenance is a priority for travel. Complexity and weight is okay for home base.
    —————————————————————————————————————
    A retired Marine I grew up with 1911, M14/M16 & 879 so I know they’re reliable and I’m comfortable with them. Glocks speak for themselves although they aren’t sexy, but many parts are interchangeable on same size and even different size frames, easy to work on, clean and not picky about ammo. Rugers speak for themselves and I use three factory Ruger 10/22 LR mags on try-connector plus spares. 22/45 has same size, weight, control locations and configuration as 1911 for practice and muscle memory. I load/reload everything I shoot except 22 of course and can work on all of them. All chosen for durability, reliability, ease of maintenance, parts availability, ease of modification and aftermarket parts and accuracy. I have several 1911 frames with slide/barrel combinations for 9MM, 10MM, 40 S&W, 45 ACP & 50 GI. One recoil/firing spring pack for all, only drawback is separate mags. My selection gives me firepower (round count), velocity, penetration and knock down with little fiddling. As an old guy I’m a prep in place type (not leaving for anyone) given a choice but my kit is set up for travel just in case. My ammo supply plus reloading and minor smithing capability will keep us almost forever if we stay. (Lots of components on hand. Also have M1A1, M1 Garand, M1 Carbine, 1903 Springfield, SKS, AK and variety of others if needed but first selection mentioned are built, stocked and supplied for travel or siege, carry open or concealed, truck or hike by the wife, kids, grandkids or me.)

  7. RickC

    I personally would beg to differ on the editor’s choices for what is best
    My choice
    1-Ruger 10-22 with 25 round magazines or a lever action 22 such as a Henry. Easy to use/easier to reload unless one has purchased a tubular reloader
    2-Shotgun, I have carried on duty a Mossberg for over 30 years, although I like and have even used a 37/parts are not that common. I prefer either the 500 or 870 due to the available numbers in the real world. Parts-when your gun breaks down, you need to have the parts
    3-Handgun, my Glock22 carries 15+1 and it is lighter. If God gave me one and only handgun to carry, it would be a K frame 357 revolver and along with that would be a 357 lever action. If it worked 100 years ago it ought to be able to handle this century.

  8. pjmdy

    I would strongly have to disagree with the Beretta 92FS, at least the military version. This gun simply does not hold up under stress. Ask those who serve in Afghanistan about its track record. As far as the common Army soldier is concerned, it is a piece of trash. It jams, is not accurate, supply sources won’t change the barrels until they are ridiculously off target, like 10″ within a few feet. My son has been over there and he says most of the guys would just as soon chuck rocks at the Taliban. They would have a better chance.

  9. Army127

    I think I may have to disagree with most of your picks with the exception of the AR, as it is a truly versatile weapon that can be used for everything from defense, to hunting, varmint shooting, and anything else you can think of and it is offered in multiple calibers, some guns even have a quick change barrel system. For the shotgun I will go with my Benelli M2 Tactical which again has multiple uses, or the Super Nova pump. I have it in 12 and 20 gauge. For the .22 its either the Ruger 10/22 (25 round mags) or the Henry H001 lever action, I love my Henry, its a smooth, accurate, high capacity great rifle. For the pistol I can go with the Beretta 92 FS Compact, which I think is an improvement over the FS, or my Sig P220, actually just carry both, or you could substitute the PX4 Storm in any of the calibers 9mm, .40, .45. I also think if you want a revolver with multi caliber capability go with the S&W Governor it’s a better built gun, and I think it just feels better in your hand, and it shoots .45acp too. I would throw in the Ruger M77 Gunsite Scout .308 too if you like to use a compact bolt action rifle. Those would be my picks and I own every one of them.

    George
    SGT US Army MED RET.
    NRA Life of Duty Member
    VFW Life Member
    Wounded Warrior Project Alumni

  10. lstricklett

    My focus is on reducing the number of firearms to an absolute minimum since, in a bug-out situation I’ll already be loaded down with shelter, food, survival and medical supplies.
    Long gun? Hands down, AR-15. Mag capacity, low recoil, decent range, effective. In a “head for the hills” scenario, it will take deer size game.
    If I were including a .22 rimfire rifle, it would be the 10-22, hands down, simply for its ruggedness and reliability.
    As it is, my .22 rimfire is a Nordic Components dedicated .22 upper. Lighter, smaller, less space. Although I’m seriously considering loading up some 5.56 brass with Trail Boss powder and 40 grain softpoints, and sighting in and noting the point of impact difference and losing the .22 LR upper.
    No shotgun. Heavy ammo, limited range, limited capacity, slow to reload, too much recoil. I’ll take the 5.56 for CQB.
    Handguns? Glocks, 17 or 19, for their legendary (and justified) reputation for reliability with any ammo under any conditions. Much as I love the 1911, it has limited capacity and sooner or later develops feed issues. The 1911 is like a Porsche. When it’s running right, it’s great. But it requires TLC and knowledgeable maintenance.
    FWIW, my current survival battery is two ARs, thirty-five Magpul mags, 2000K ammo, two spare parts kits, the .22 LR upper and a brick of Power-points, two Glock 19s with lots of extra mags and a case of Gold Dots. Lots of weight there.
    If I had it to do over again, I think my long guns would be Kel-Tec SUB-2000s. take the same mags as the Glocks and save lots of weight on mags and ammo. But then I’d add a Ruger 10-22 Take-down, too.

  11. Wild Bill H

    .22 rifle: I’d expand that to any time proven design that can handle all three lengths of .22 rimfire. This would primarily be lever actions like Marlin 39A, Henry, etc but also from my experience the trusty Remington 550 auto.

    AR-15: Agree 100% especially with the ability to add more capable calibers with a simple upper change.

    Shotgun: Have to disagree based on personal and agency experience. We had chronic problems with Ithaca 37′s dumping live rounds from the mag during pumping. This was not a few isolated exeriences. I was very glad when we switched to Rem 870′s. But the 870 has its issues too. One is the unnatural safety location IMHO but the worst is the jam from not getting a fresh shell COMPLETELY into the mag tube. These are two issues the best shotgun of all time does not have….its the Win M12….100 yrs and never bested for reliability.

    Auto Pistol: Beretta 92 is a really good auto so are some others like Glock and XD. All three designs have been around for awhile. Pick the one you’re most comfortable shooting.

    Revolver: The Taurus Judge is a relatively poor choice. Aside from being able to use several types of ammo, they haven’t been around long enough to establish a reliability record and I’ve seen enough fired on our range to be totally unimpressed with their accuracy. A well made .357 Mag like Ruger or Smith&Wesson is far more accurate and better choice plus better craftsmanship/quality.

  12. frankdatank

    Just a few suggestions. I haven’t read any of the survival gun books. I just look at things in my own practical way. On the issue of .22. I own a Sig M400 with a 3X prismatic scope in 5.56mm. Got it cheap at Walmart before guns and ammo prices hit the fan. Just before Christmas, at a gun show I picked up a CMMG .22 AR conversion. I have shot 1000s of 36 grain golden bullets thru it. With only a hand full of hiccups. A little scrub and CLP cleaned those up. I keep the conversion bolt and 2 loaded mags in a zipper tool pouch in my bug out bag. It’s beside the bag of my AR spare parts. I have one more pouch their. It carries the lonewolf .40 to 9mm conversion barrel for my Glock 22 with three mags. My other two guns for survival are my 870 tactical and my Dan Wesson 8″ .357. In the scenario that I for see after you run out of what you can carry you are gonna have to scrounge or barter. I think this will keep my options more flexible than trying to carry enough guns and ammo for those guns to a place that is safe enough to stay. One of the cool things I notice on the M400 is the 100 yard sight in with 55 grain 5.56 ammo is 1/2″ high for the golden bullets at 50 yards.

    Shoot straight and stay safe!

  13. JSOG6

    Reading all the comments: A .22 weapon (rifle or pistol) is in the majority. For a pump .22 rifle, only one manufacturer makes one, while there are multiple choices for other actions. The key is shoot what you pack and pack what you shoot. A simple saying, but it is essential to know the strengths and limits of your survival gun. One is none. Two is one and three is two is a solid approach. A.22 rifle and a.22 pistol. Common ammo and yes you can trade boxes with others for something you need. A lot of preppers spend considerable time on the “cool” stuff. In a bug out or survival event, the real danger is injury, infection, bacteria, etc. Apply the one third two thirds rule. Focus 66% of your planning on first aid, sanitary water, back-up food, warmth, and 33% on the cool stuff. Remember you are not engaging targets or holding terrain. Survival is all about avoidance whenever possible. SHOOT STRAIGHT. LOOK COOL. JSOG6

  14. wodrp

    I do agree with the pump .22. For an honorable mention, I would prefer and AR-10, I like the .308. For the shotgun, the Ithaca does appear to be the best choice though cost may change that thought. I do not like the 9mm that well so would personally choose a 1911. Maybe the Paraordnance 14/45. If I had to choose a DA/SA, then it would be the Beretta 96A1. It’s a .40 caliber with only three rounds less than the 92. For the revolver, the S&W Governor. You get an extra shot with it. I would also consider a Ruger Scout rifle.

    1. JSOG6

      The 308 is a awesome round and a 45 ACP is like hitting a nail with a 15 lbs. sledge hammer when compared to a 9mm. Disadvantage, hard to conceal and heavy. Packing 5 or 8 loaded 308 mags and 7 loaded 45ACP and the weight goes up. The consideration is on mobility: vehicular or on foot. Taylor your kit to the environment and your conditions. That is what SHOOT STRAIGHT. LOOK COOL MEANS.
      JASOG6

  15. Dr_Detroit

    Best Survival Guns:
    Browning Buckmark Sporter Rifle .22 LR – magazine fed, easy to feed another magazine rather
    put shells down a tube, (put one down the wrong way and you’ve got trouble)
    Ruger 10/22, larger magazines than a pump, plus one doesn’t need to pull off of the target
    when firing a second shot as in the case of a pump action .22 rifle.
    Beretta A300 Outlander 12ga. Semi-Auto, self cleaning, less parts to malfunction
    Browning BAR 300 Win. Mag. – long range rifle
    AR 15 because of the firepower & high capacity magzines
    Beretta 92 9mm, very reliable, good stopping power & high capacity magazines
    Taurus Judge .45/.410 in six inch barrel
    S&W Model 49 Body Guard 38spl., good concealment, hide-away gun (backup)
    S&W Model 29 .44 Mag. – Great Stopping Power

    1. MiddleFinger

      Nice selection Doc.

      I forgot to mention the LCP in my first aid kit. Can never have too many mouse guns tucked away. They actually do work better than a knife in some cases, and not much bigger.

  16. MiddleFinger

    Don’t forget availability of parts. Glocks, 10/22s and ARs are easy. Diverge into lesser popular guns or higher priced models, and you might be on your own. Kind of like cars. If you have a Porsche Cayenne for a BO vehicle, good luck. Hope you carry a metal lathe and welder.

    For me, the three that make the most sense are a G19 with Surefire 300 Ultra and various cap mags, 10/22 takedown with scope, mags, and bricks of ammo, AR15 with all the goodies.

    Shotguns are great, but not my first choice when on the run. Nor my second or third.

  17. Meathead

    For the .22 pump, you finished with “nice, long magazine tube full of .22 longs”. Hopefully, you meant “long rifle” since a “long” has much less “killing power”. Do ammo manufacturers produce a .22 long anymore?

    1. MiddleFinger

      I wondered the same thing. Young’ns today don’t remember the long or even the short. I’ve seen new shorts at gun shows, and I think boxes of longs, but they might be “old new” stock.

  18. PorterRockwell

    I purchased the excellent gun gigest book on survival guns by Scott Wagner. I have read it twice. I have purchased about 7-8 other books and gun/survival annual magazines and have made several notes. My list would be similar but a bit different. I would score them in this order based upon the research of these:

    1. An AR High Capacity rifle (or my Preference due to Reliability the Mini-14). This was heavily touted by Scott in his book and by many others. A Semi auto is a must with high capacity for defending one’s camp or castle. 2. Pistol was a battle between the aforementioned Beretta 9mm and the Glock 19 9mm. Both arguments for reliability, durability and high ammo capacity. Hon. Mention went to the Glock 20 in 10 mm due to the ability to be both a woods and urban gun. 3. The Ruger 10/22 was far and away the number one .22 mentioned and i personally feel the new takedown model makes this an even more viable option. Tons of options and extremely reliable. Of course .22 is a must, no matter the gun. 4. The Ruger GP-100. Reasons reliability, ability for .38/.357. Ability for heavy load ammo for small bear/deer and .38 for small game hunting. Shot shells for snakes and birds. Ammo Range from 80 grain Blue Glaser Safety Slug to 200 grain Corbon and Double tap. Choices are endless! No tools needed to field strip this particular gun. The consensus was any .38/.357 revolver is a must. I do not agree with the Taurus Judge. It is agreat gun, but .45 Colt is near impossible to find. Great load, not much distribution. Shotguns were not high on the list but if they were it was toss up with the Mossberg 500 and Remy 870. No disrespect to Ithaca.

  19. ddthien

    Those are some excellent choices, and I would like to offer the following. I recently read an article concerning having many guns of different calibers and the problems that it can cause if you have to use one of them quickly. Having to remember where all of the safeties are, magazine ejectors, etc can cause a real problem if you have to access your guns quickly. The author suggested having the same style of gun for the several calibers. For example; you can use an AR style of rifle for your .22cal, 9mm, .223/5.56, and .308. Another idea is to use the 1911 format for you pistols. Again, you can get your .22, 9mm, 40S&W, .45 and several other calibers. If you shoot and train with the .22, then you can transition to any of the other guns efficiently and effectively. Plus you don’t have to spend as much on the various ammo varieties and can concentrate on building up your supply of ammo. Thanks, and get out and get some training to become more proficient.

  20. esmoke

    Amen on the Ithaca 37. The Ithaca 37 has been a favorite of military and law enforcement.
    The fact that it is a bottom load and eject keeps the mechanics dry and free of muck.
    As long as you keep the muzzle pointed slightly pointed down, you can stand in a downpour and keep your ammo dry and it will shoot 10 times out of 10. My favorite is the smooth bore 12 ga 20 inch Deer Slayer with a folding stock. It has sights and can be used with slugs, buckshot or birdshot. I reload all of my ammo and use the Lee slug mold for making my slugs. The Mossburg 500 and Remington 870 are both fine shotguns but because of the exposed bolt, in my opinion, they are not as weather tolerant and the Ithaca 37.

  21. hunter480

    ” They will point out that a 1911‘s .45s will pack that critical extra punch. Keep in mind, though, that the 92FS can carry 15 rounds per magazine. It’s a tough call, but capacity beats stopping power for SHTF.”

    Negative. As ANY credible self-defense trainer will tell you, magazine capacity NEVER trumps stopping power and ability to deliver rounds to the intended target effectively, period. The .45 acp ALWAYS beats out a 9 mm for carry, whether SHTF or not.

  22. mm051473

    Looks like a pretty good list. I would just replace the Beretta with a Glock 17. You mention capacity trumps stopping power and I totally agree. G17 gets you 2 more rounds than the Beretta in the standard magazine.

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