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Three Weapons Every Prepper Needs

April 7, 2011

Hunting Weapons

When the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI) arrives, we will be suddenly thrust into a new reality, one where scarcity and want are prevalent. At that point it’s too late to begin acquiring the skills, tools, and supplies you’ll need. They’ll simply be too hard to come by.

The new post-TEOTWAWKI world will find many people looking for food through the traditional techniques of hunting and gathering. Hunting is far easier if you have the right weapon and ammunition for the game you’re attempting to capture.

At a minimum, there are three key weapons that every prepper should own. These weapons are not the extent of the prepper’s arsenal, just the bare minimum required to allow the widest variety of hunting options.

.22 Calibre Rifle

The .22 calibre, one of the smallest calibres available, is an easy to carry and easy to use weapon with a wide range of applications in survival situations. It can be used to put traditional fare, such as squirrels and rabbits, on your dinner table. It can also be used to harvest snakes, turtles, and even birds as the situation demands.

Many gun manufacturers make rifles chambered for the .22 calibre. One of the most highly regarded, yet reasonably priced, is the Ruger 10/22. The rifle has a 10-round rotary magazine and is available with barrel lengths ranging from the Compact 16.1-inches to the Standard 20-inch model.

.22 calibre ammunition is inexpensive and plentiful, at least right now, so it’s easy to stock up in preparation for TEOTWAWKI and the changes that will bring in our lives.

Every prepper’s arsenal should contain a .22 rifle.

12 Gauge Shotgun

The 12 gauge shotgun has earned it’s place in the hearts of hunters around the world. It’s become the de facto weapon of choice for avid bird hunters, and with good reason. It can used for small game birds such as quail and dove. With a change of ammunition, the same weapon can be used for much larger migratory birds such as ducks and geese.

The 12 gauge’s flexibility doesn’t end with small birds; it can also be used to hunt much larger prey such as turkey and deer.

The Remington Model 870 is a favorite among hunters, self-defense enthusiasts, police forces, and military personnel because of its simplicity of design, its dependability under heavy use, and its reliability in less than ideal environments. You can drop an 870 into a mud puddle and it’ll still work when you retrieve it. That’s the kind of reliability you’ll need post-TEOTWAWKI.

Ammunition for the 12 gauge is plentiful during the different hunting seasons. For example, the 7 1/2 shot and 8 shot dove rounds can be found in abundance during the late summer and early fall. Turkey shot is available just before the spring and fall turkey seasons. Stock up during those times.

The 12 gauge shotgun is an indispensable weapon for the prepper.

30-30 Rifle

Television shows and western movies have solidified the role that lever action rifles played in taming the American Wild West. They are a part of the American hunting culture still today. It’s been said that more white tail deer are harvested each year using a lever action 30-30 than any other weapon.

The Marlin Model 336 is a reasonably priced 30-30 rifle with a good reputation for quality and reliability. It’s a near identical copy of the more expensive Winchester Model 1894, at a much lower price.

The Hornady LeveRevolution cartridge has a unique pointed tip made of plastic, extending the range and accuracy of the round compared to the traditional flat-tipped ammunition of the 30-30. Hornady claims increased accuracy and 40% more energy with the LeveRevolution.

Hunting And Gathering

There’s a bit of nostalgia for many people when they think of returning to a “simpler” life of hunting and gathering. But life will be anything but nostalgic for most.

Too many people are too far removed from their food today. They won’t know where to begin when the store shelves are bare. Most will have little idea how to plant a garden, gather wild edibles, or hunt for food. Even if they do have the knowledge, their environment will soon be depleted.

Unfortunately much of the “gathering” will rapidly take the form of taking food from others who cannot defend themselves or their belongings.

The weapons listed above does not include those designed primarily for self-defense. To be sure, you’ll need those weapons too. Being a successful hunter does little good if you cannot preserve and defend what you’ve harvested. I’ll talk more about that in a future article.

Know Your Weapon

Although these three weapons represent a diverse collection of hunting options, simply owning them will not help when your life is on the line. You must be proficient with any gun you choose and have a good knowledge of how it works and how to maintain it.

Practice until you feel comfortable using the weapon so that when it really counts, you’ll have the knowledge and confidence to use it properly.

223 Comments on “Three Weapons Every Prepper Needs”

  1. jgreystoke Says:

    I agree with your choice of guns, but have some comments. 1. Shooting flying birds is fun for some, but not a good way to put enough food on the table. It is a good way to waste ammo. In a survival situation, you trap as much as you can, and only shoot sitting birds, probably with a scope sighted 22. 2. The Marlin 336 is not a copy of the Win 94. It is a much stronger action, and quite different design. Its side ejection makes scope sighting easier. 3. The 40% extra energy Hornady claims does not refer to muzzle energy, as most reading the post might think. It refers to downrange at around 300 yards. This is due to the improved ballistic coefficient because of the pointed tip.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Hi jgreystoke – Great comments. Thanks for sharing.

      Reply

      • Anisah Says:

        I agree with jgreystoke. Shooting “sitting” birds is the only way to go. But as a poultry person, I have a suggestion. WAIT until the molt of waterfowl, in August and “round em up” when most can’t fly. Save the shots for other times of the year, when you have no choice but to use the shotgun. If you become familiar with the molt of migrating birds (even chickens & other fowl molt) you can gather many in time for winter food storage. Fly nets for catching “soup” birds or even live traps for pigeons goes far further along, that scaring off all fowl in the region & going home with no meat. Here is one of several portable trap designsthat would work not only for pigeon, but other edible birds (and trust me even sparrow is food, in a pinch).

        Reply

    • T Says:

      When I was a kid we used to go out dove and quail hunting all the time …Pissed off my older brother that I was faster and more accurate with a 3 shot bolt action 410 than he was with his pump 12 g

      Reply

    • Ed Says:

      @ jgreystoke, Let me start off by saying, If you’re depending on trapping to get your food, well, you’re at a loss to start. Trapping is the most inefficient way to aquire game and I know this from real world experience. You talked about wasting ammo on moving game, specifically flying birds. Now I’m not sure where you’ve hunted or if you have ever actually been out in the field hunting, (anything other than deer) but I can tell you from experience, rarely have I been able to take sitting game. I would say that 85% of the game I’ve killed have been flying or running. Hunting for small game isnt like hunting deer, you cant sit in one spot and expect the game to come to you. That means you’ll be out walking fields, train tracks, fence rows… Game will not be sitting and waiting on you to take aim, it’s going to jump and run/fly. In that instance, the 22 is useless.

      This article tells anyone who reads it that these three weapons are the end-all be-all for hunting, grossly missinforming people that read and have read this.
      I’m 48 years old, I started hunting when I was ten years old, I had a .22 cal. rifle and a 410 ga.shotty. The majority of my hunting experience is hunting upland game and in my honest opinion the 410 is a far more versitile weapon.
      12 gauge.
      What can you kill with a 12 ga. that you cant kill with a 20 ga.? Nothing!
      Can you tell the difference between the rack of a 12 ga and the rack of a 20 ga? No!
      I have both, my 12 is a mossberg 500 and my 20 is a remington 870. My 20 is more fun to shoot, my 12 sits in my gun cabinet and is fired once a year.
      A 20 ga. has less kick and weighs less. I can shoot buckshot, birdshot and rifled deer slugs through my 20.
      30-30
      Really, I cant say anything bad about the marlin 336, nice rifle. But. Any 30 cal. rifle will do the trick. Quote “It’s been said that more white tail deer are harvested each year using a lever action 30-30 than any other weapon”. That might have been true a decade ago, not anymore. The 30-30 is the most popular lever action rifle, but not the most popular deer harvester. I’d rather have a .308, same round as the 7.62 nato, so finding ammo shouldnt be a big deal once the SHTF.
      This is just my opinion and should not be taken as the gospel. Do your own research. Find a shooting range near you and go chat with those people, chances are you’ll be able to fire most, if not all the of the weapons you’re intrested in.
      Just remember, any article that tells you that a specific caliber/gauge of a rifle/shotty is perfect, isnt being realistic. Thier specific needs and wants will differ from yours.

      Reply

      • mike I Says:

        there certainly are differing opinions… there are factors… there general ideas but econimics also plays in to it… you make do with what you have or can afford to buy. if you are proficient with what you have, a slingshot and hand pumping bb/pellet rifle could work in a given situation. if i could have an ar 15 type weapon, a 7.76 type, riot type shotgun and a couple of pistols. but i can’t afford that spectrum a small game weapon, a multipurpose rifle for bigger game and multi people control… an effective pistol for inside of you personal perimeter protection… just the opinion of an ex army guy

        Reply

        • Ed Says:

          @ mike, That’s exactly the point of my post. With our economy the way it is, weapon versatility is of primary importance. This article chose 3 specific firearms with the statement, “Three weapons that every prepper needs.” I’m not sure how you got the idea I was talking about purchasing an arsenal. Facts are I said nothing about an assualt type rifle or a riot type shotty. Maybe you should read my post again? In fact, I specifically mentioned hunting, not SD, not CC, Hunting only. No idea what a 7.76 is, but marlin makes a 336 in 308 cal. which is the same thing as a 7.62×51 nato round, as mentioned before.
          You made the statement, “A slingshot and a hand pump pellet gun could work in a given situation. Sorry, but I must disagree, a slingshot and a pellet gun will work in a specific situation, nothing more. See my statement about killing game while it’s moving.
          As I stated, I’ve been an avid hunter since I was 10 yrs old., which is precisely what this article is about and I quote “These weapons are not the extent of the prepper’s arsenal, just the bare minimum required to allow the widest variety of hunting options.”
          Articles such as this are an introduction into firearms for the person that is new to prepping, new to hunting, new to shooting, ect. You said you cant afford to buy that spectrum of a small game weapon. What small game weapon? The 410 or the 22?
          How much will a 20 ga shotty cost? The same as a 12 ga?
          How much will a 410 cost? The same as a 22?
          A marlin 336 is a marlin 336, reguardless of caliber.
          Quite frankly, in my honest opinion, there are better choises than the firearms mentioned in this article. Lets face it, the primary reason for chosing the 22 is cost of ammo, not because of it’s versatility. It’s very inexpensive to shoot and I believe it’s more ego than versatility when chosing a 12 ga.
          Once again, this is just my opinion and opinions are like A**holes, everyone has one and most of them stink. =D

          USMC,1983-1987

          Reply

          • Joe Says:

            By the way, Ed, since originally penning this, I’ve been giving more and more thought to the 30-30 choice. It’s still a good choice and one that I don’t think you can go wrong with, however….

            The .308 Win is has better ballistics and can use the 7.62 ammo as you mentioned (though technically, since the .308 Win is 0.004″ longer than the 7.62 round, the reverse is not necessarily true; a 7.62 chambered weapon may not shoot the .308 Win ammo).

            So the .308 may, indeed, be a better calibre in the long run, but I haven’t determined which the manufacturer or model. The only .308 Win I have is the Saiga AK variant and that doesn’t seem to be a practical choice for this list.

            Anyone have any thoughts on the manufacturer/model?

            Thanks!

            Joe

            Reply

            • Ed Says:

              Hey Joe, staying in the hunting theme, we’ll start with the semi-autos.
              Of course the Springfield M1A. RWC saiga 308 with the wood furniture no p-grip would work other then that detachable mag. The Browning BAR, Browning also offers a BLR which is a lever action. Remington 750, Rem. also offers a 7600 which is a pump action. FN Herstal FNAR, FN also offers a “AR” styled, which means it has a pistol grip.
              Tactical styled, Springfirld, Armalite, DPMS, DS Arms, Kel-Tec, PTR.
              Bolt Action, Rem. 700, Marlin XS7, Mossberg 100 atr, Rugar M77, Savage Axis.
              There’s a few that I’m aware of. All of which come with the classic wood funriture.

              Reply

              • Joe Says:

                Thanks, Ed. I’m familiar with some of these, but I haven’t had an opportunity to learn or shoot the rest.

                My first deer rifle was a Remington model 700 chambered for the 30.06. I still have it and love it. Great deer rifle. Heavy enough projectile to drop a deer immediately while still providing sufficient range for my tastes. It’s probably 40 years old now and still works as well as the day it was made.

                Joe

                Reply

              • David Says:

                What difference would it make if a rifle had a pistol grip or not for hunting? None that I know of other than cosmetics, especially after some type of post SHTF scenario. Why would a detachable box magazine make a rifle somehow make a rifle less than ideal for hunting? None, most quality bolt action rifles have detachable box magazines as do some lever action rifles.

                David

                Reply

              • Ed Says:

                @ David, I believe you missed the point of my post. The reason I listed these rifles in this manner is becuase there are a lot of people that dont want an “assualt styled” rifle. They’re more traditional in thier view point. I would be remiss not to include them in this discussion, reguardless of whether or not some catastrophy has happened.

                Reply

              • Pete Says:

                whew! good conversation! good list ED. Probably the two most common bolt action rifles are the Ruger M77 and the Remington 700. both great, I preffer the M77 because of the mouser action. Regardless a bolt action is going to give you the best accuracy, range, and weight (for caliber). I personally go with a synthetic stock to deal with weather variances and also lighten the load and absorb recoil. Wood can swell and move your point of impact around a bit, but most of us wouldnt even notice it.
                @david, I have done a bit of shooting and was a range instructor with the Teufel Hunden. Also did a trip to the sandbox and the rockpile. For a lot of people a pistol grip provides more control over the weapon, especially for smaller shooters. I also find that in the offhand and sitting positions the pistol grip allows the rear shoulder to relax into a better position. It is also a lot easier to clear a weapon with a box mag; also there is more wear and tear on your rounds if you have to load and unload an internal magazine. I would get an FNAR if I could afford it. Joe, I too have a 308 Saiga AK I put a synthetic aftermarket stock on it and a 2-7 power scope on it, it is efective for up to 400 yards, I usually wont shoot beyond that. If you want to give your Saiga a makeover there is a great site for that
                http://store.carolinashooterssupply.com also you can send it in to their custom shop.
                have a good one! Pete

                Reply

            • Sam Says:

              Very interesting discussion. There is very little here that I disagree with, but here are my thoughts for consideration.

              22s, I love them for lots of reasons. The biggest is that they are cheep to shoot and build confidence and skill. Our home has several. My favorite is a 22 LR pump. Great for plinking and ground hogs that are close up<75 yards. Also have a Ruger semi auto which is also good for the above but goes thru ammo faster. 22s are great for small game but not much more.

              Shot guns are more useful for flying birds, ducks geese, pheasants, and moving targets like rabbits, and bigger game like deer using slugs. But you will not make any great impressions at bigger distances. If you are close up a 12 gage pump is intimidating and dam loud. My favorite for birds and rabbits is my old Ithaca model 37 featherweight pump. It is bottom loading and ejecting so it can be shot either right or left handed. It is light so it is much easer to carry thru the fields all day. But for home defense I am going to use my mossberg 500 with tactical stock, fore-end, with attached light and laser and open red dot sight. 00 buck shot to start and slugs if needed. But if I am going into survival mode with a long trek it's going to be the single shot 20 gage which has the best fire power to weight ratio.

              High power rifles; if I had to pick just one it would be the Ruger model 70 bolt action in .308 caliber. This has punch and range and is good over 500 yards. This is my big game riffle for dear, elk, bear, moose, antelope. It's also my choice for a sniper rifle!
              The gun I like to shoot the most is my 1894 Winchester lever action 30-30 without scope. I love this gun between 50 and 100 yards where my shotgun is out of range but I may not have time to find you in my scope. This is what I want if I am being rushed by multiple targets. This gun is also easy to take on horse back and is my choice for coyotes and wild dogs. In between these two is my Remington 700 in .243. This is great for varmints and some larger game between 100 and 300 yards. But this doesn't have the knock down of the 308.

              Pistols: are lousy for hunting but are useful as a companion gun. I like to use my 22 single action revolver when trapping. For self defense I like my 357 revolver. It makes much more noise, a great big hole, and it looks like a cannon at 10 to 20 yards. But if it gets real close, one on one, I want my Smith and Wesson governor. This shoots 45 colt, 45 auto and 410 shot gun shells. I have mine loaded with 3 bird shot, then 3 buck shot with 2 speed loaders of 45 colt on stand by. You will get the first three as a non lethal warning and it will escalate from there. If all hell breaks out then Ill go to the 9mm semi auto with 4 15 round clips.

              So what is best? It depends on your circumstances and what you want to do (or prevent).

              Reply

              • denis Says:

                I recommend getting to be an expert with what you have now first. I wqill be sticking with my 45 year old .22, my 50 year old 12 guage and my 115 year old swedish mauser. they have worked without a problem since I was a kid and I know them well.

                Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Hi Ed –

        First off, thanks for your comments and for your service to our nation. I appreciate both more than words on blog post can express.

        I also appreciate your perspective, however I would like to clarify the intent of the article in case that was not clear during your reading.

        In the article, I don’t claim that these are the “end-all-be-all” of hunting weapons. Rather I explicitly state early on that they I would consider these selections to be part of a broader gun cabinet. However, for the budget-minded person, these weapons are a great starting point.

        Hunting is about situations. And like many things in life, having the proper equipment for a given situation helps you to make the most of the opportunity. These three weapons provide good coverage for most hunting situations.

        The .22 can be used to take small game. I’ve harvested many squirrel with it. If you miss the head, it doesn’t destroy too much of the meat.

        The shotgun is versatile and effective. From small game on the run, to birds in the air, to deer in the woods, the shotgun can handle it. 20 gauges are nice; I like them. However, for a TEOTWAWKI situation, I’d rather have the additional umph provided by the 12 gauge. I can always scale down using smaller loads or shot, but it’s hard to scale up with the 20 gauge.

        The 30-30 can be used to harvest larger game (than the .22) and at great distances (than the shotgun).

        As such, these three weapons form a good basis for hunting.

        Thanks again for your insight.

        Joe

        Reply

      • Goodeye Smith Says:

        I am new to this computer thing , just surfing the net, came across this (conversation)…
        wow , i dont know where some of you fellas hunt or who you learned it from , but this all started with (3 best bla bla bla) , then went way off into ballistics and such!
        here’s the deal , I’ve been around for a long time , probably shot more game than ANY of you on here (mostly because i’ve been living in the hills on my own w/o modern tech…for over 30 years,just came back to the world for my semi anual trade mission)I can tell you all this with complete confidence , For taking Bear ,Deer ,Rabbit ,Tree rats ,birds…(large and small) as well as just about any other eddible critter in the woods ,there is only one REAL choice…The plain ole’ 22 , yep thats right!! ,,,ya gotta learn how to use it boys.

        Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Hi Goodeye Smith. Thanks for the comment. I appreciate hearing your perspective.

          I’d liken hunting bigger game with a .22 to cutting down a giant sequoia with a machete. I’m sure it can be done by some with enough determination, skills, perseverance, and and luck, but it’s far from the best tool for the job.

          Survival is about improving your odds. Relying solely on a weapon that, by most standards, doesn’t have enough stopping power to bring down larger game, doesn’t improve your odds.

          The 3 that I mention cover a wide range of hunting and self-defence scenarios.
          Joe

          Reply

      • Scott Says:

        There are several things in your post that speak of lack of real world experience and knowledge that need to be corrected. FIRST AND FORMOST Trapping. HUNTING is the LEAST productive means of obtaining food and trapping is the most effective. Just because you failed does not mean otherwise, it means you need to LEARN HOW. A trap or snare when properly set will work without you there, when hunting you are expending energy, time and some form of ammunition is used or put at risk of damage if it is not a firearm.
        As for the most popular deer rifle there are more .30-30s used for deer hunting than any other caliber rifle bar NONE. As a gunsmith I can personally attest to this with REAL WORLD experience.

        Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Thanks for the comment, Scott. No where in the post did I say that trapping/snaring was a bad idea. In fact I didn’t mentioned it at all since this was a post about weapons. I agree that setting up snares is a force multiplier since it works while you’re doing something else.

          As for the current use of 30-30’s in deer hunting, in the post I said “It’s been said that more white tail deer are harvested each year using a lever action 30-30 than any other weapon.” So, I’m not sure why that “speak of lack of real world experience and knowledge that need to be corrected.”

          Care to elaborate?

          Reply

      • Mark Draper Says:

        I don’t agree with the comment about the 22 not being any good for fowl. I started hunting with my GGfathers single shoot 22 (Mag missing) I have taken many birds of all types on the ground and while flying. One time I took two ducks with one shot, just by waiting for them to line up on the pond. I am 58 now and still using that same Stevens model 22. One shot, one kill has always be my thing. This saves a lot of ammo, hunting was my main source of food out side of the garden. I love rabbit, Tree rats, birds, and rattle snakes are great to eat, but not worth a bullet when a stick and knife work fine.
        I have never used a shot gun, never will. I grew up a one shot. I use a Ruger 2506 for deer, they have always dropped without taking one step.

        Mark

        Reply

      • Zaire Says:

        Thanks Ed, that helps a lot!!

        Reply

    • James Says:

      yup, I own a marlin 336 and it is much better than the winchesters in my opinion… I also own a 12 gauge shotty and a 38 special pistol … while all of these are cheaper guns, they do just what I want them to… I do for sure feel like I need a 22 rifle for cheap ammo and small game purposes, as well as teaching my boy how to shoot… @Goodeye Smith :As to the comment about using a 22 for bear, it must be a tiny bear man, cuz the grizzly I’ve come across in North Idaho/Montana would eat you up in a minute with many a 22 bullet in their hide… I’d start climbin a tree if I was you sir :)

      Reply

      • mike I Says:

        i agree about using a 22 for bare… even bow hunters for bear will carry a 357 or something more substantial or have someone with a 308 or better to protect them

        Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Nothing wrong with cheaper guns if they work well and you’re familiar with them. Thanks for the comment, James.

        Joe

        Reply

  2. Beth Says:

    Hey

    Great Blog, I love this stuff.

    Reply

  3. scrambo Says:

    I agree with the .22 and 12 gauge shotgun, but I would recommend a .308 or .223 due to the abundance of nato rounds at a reasonable cost. Most people will be trying to survive raising a garden, a few goats, rabbits, and chickens. I doubt there will be any leisure time for hunting. Time will be short. Your weapons will be for protecting your flock and your garden. You might get a deer eating your garden, but four hours in the woods will be a rarity. Any weapon will do and even picking up archery as a hobby might not be a bad idea. I have seen a few you tube videos on making your own bow and arrows. Nobody can take that away from you, just go make another one.

    Reply

    • Tom Says:

      Thats a good list all those guns can be shot by both left and right handed people. The shotgun ammo can be upgraded if slugs are not available by simply adding melted parafin wax to the bird shot so that the lead stays together and hits more like a slug. The 30-30 also has other companys loading better bullets Winchester has a bonded bullet in the Power Max brand these bullets have controlled expansion and hold together with bone crushing power with deep penetration.

      Reply

    • marteeson Says:

      I’m with scrambo. forget 30wcf and go with 7.62 NATO. M1A is my rifle, or I would buy Howa bolt action with 10rnd mag, or Ruger gunsite scout if finances dont permit a $1400 springfield standard M1A. One gun, Varmits to moose, it is the rifle of choice.

      Reply

    • ensmingerjl Says:

      Very good discussion. Thanks to all of you for your experience and opinions. I believe that 22 LR will become the new currency in a SHTF situation along with silver(Gold to scarce). We need a small game gun(22), shotgun(12 Guage) for self defense, a long range accurate rifle for sniping and hunting bigger game(Nato round best for cost considerations) and your choice of sidearm(9mm or 45 ACP-I prefer 45 due to stopping power). Don’t forget the magazines kids, I could carry alot more 9mm with fewer mags in a shit fight…..

      Reply

    • Scott Says:

      Close but don’t count on military ammo sources after the fact. But before hand! Now you are talking!

      On the topic of WHAT centerfire rifle to OWN, I would NOT suggest the 30-30 if someone is going out to purchase a rifle. The reason is simply supply side logistics. The cost of .308 ammunition is lower than .30-30. Next is surplus ammunition availability. No such market exists for .30-30, where as the .308 is the 7.62×51 NATO round and can be purchased in bulk surplus via internet, catalog and in most larger sporting goods and even “farm and barn” type stores that handle firearms.

      And I would have also added a subnote on two other calibers worthy of having on hand. The .223/5.56 and the 7.62×39. These are both mid power calibers, both well worth having due to lower cost of ammo and capable of putting food on the table. While the idea is not to suggest spending more money on unneeded gear, the point on any and all firearms beyond those used to cover basic needs, is the number of people you are prepping for. Some say UNIVERSAL calibers are needed. Unless you are gearing up for battle, no they aren’t. The REAL idea is maximize your ability, and since we do not have unlimited funds, the best way is varied calibers which reduce over all cost.

      Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Since writing this, I’ve given a lot of thought to the 30-30 vs .308 discussion. The .308 certainly has some advantages, as does the 30-30 in my humble opinion. I don’t believe that someone would go wrong with either calibre though I’m starting to lean more toward recommending the .308.

        Reply

      • D.P. Says:

        Personally – Any weapon you are proficient with will assist you! Never forget that a 22 cal rifle with a scope = easy head shots on humans at 100 yards! Any size child or adult can shoot it with ease! Large rifle calibers and handguns should be in the calibers what your local law enforcement carry! After the first couple days of civil unrest – we will be able to pick up weapons and ammo off of victims! I carry an AK47 with 9-30 rd(in chest pouch rig) mags for back-up!. 40 cal XD Springfield with 6-12 Rd mags and an SR22 Ruger with 4-10 rd mags! Also a Gerber Fighting Knife! In my car- I keep a 500 Mossberg 12 guage with 250 rds of slugs and buckshot and a K-Bar Fighting knife also in my car at all times! I have stock-piled over 20,000 rounds of assorted ammo – I will be dead before I run out! USMC /Vietnam /Combat Vet

        Reply

  4. flyinsignmonkey Says:

    im gonna agree totally with the 870 choice, ive owned one for 30 years and it is an arsenal must have, ive got a trap barrel and a deer slayer barrel along with an extended mag tube. 22 also.
    but the 30 30 gonna say its optional. if you want to reach out further and do it cheap I would get a russian mosin nagant surplus rifle, you can pick one up for 110 bucks delivered from buds gun shop online, and 880 rounds in spam cans for 164 bucks along with a couple 20 round boxs of hollow point for big game hunting stashed in a pvc tube with the caps glued in place and you have a worst case scenario rifle and ammo supply for under 300 bucks to stash.

    food for thought rifles like the ar and the ak chambered in assault cartridges dont have the range, many times nato troops in afganistan were held of, or shot at successfully by taliban with this rifle and could not return fire successfully becuase nothing could bridge that gap, the taliban knew it and set up traps at pre-marked distances, later having marksmen with at least 308’s in the mix helped.

    this rifle could be a big game rifle and do duty as defense.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Thanks flyinsignmonkey. The idea behind the 30-30 was two-fold. One: to have a way to reach out further than the capabilities of the 870. Second to have a smaller, lighter-weight rifle that is easily carried and has few moving parts to wear out.

      Since I posted this article, the availability of ammunition has gone down and the prices have gone up. I’m more concerned that now. So, it may be worth considering a rifle chambered with a NATO round instead of the 30-30. The .308Win or the .223 are both pretty commonly available right now, though I’ve heard that this may change as governments are stocking up.

      Reply

  5. Corey Says:

    I generally disagree that all 3 weapons are firearms. In a SHTF or a TEOTWAWKI situation, ammunition will be in short supply.

    At least one weapon system should be a sturdy and utilitarian bladed tool, such as a hatchet, or a survival knife.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      You make a good point, Corey. In this discussion, I did pretty much limit the selection to firearms, however other silent weapons such as bows or crossbows have their place. So do items that don’t require ammunition, such as a machete.

      Thanks for mentioning it.

      Reply

    • Evan Says:

      i agree completely, ammunition is the variable in this equation that doesn’t make sense. In my opinion a quality simple scoped pellet gun (.177) is the weapon of choice. An economical choice too, for around $400 you can buy your weapon and 10,000 rounds of ammunition that you can actually carry in a pack. It may only be good for small game, but it is quiet and i promise you a shot to the face will detour any human looking for your dinner.

      Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Good addition to the alternatives list, Evan.

        Reply

        • Lee Says:

          I have recently started prepping (last year or so) and this is a point of concern for me. I have lost sleep over which gun/caliber would be best in a survival situation. I think you are ALL right in your opinions, however… My situation will be like many others – I cannot stay where I live for any length of time in an EOTWAWKI situation where power and utilities are down indefinitely. After a few days, the “have nots” will start looking to what other people have as a survival option. Then they will start to take. I don’t care how many guns you have, there are no generic (non-custom built) homes in America that I’m aware of that could stand even a short siege by loosely organized frantic neighbors who think you have what they need to survive. As desperation turns to anger and the situation breaks down someone will decide to burn you out or just plain over-run you. An amateur wanna-be sniper will wait and when you peek out he will take a shot from less than 50 yards that would be hard to miss. My point is that when it all falls apart, I have to go – Bug out and hit various cache’s along the way to place I have scouted and begun to prepare for life in the wilderness.

          For me a gun is a last resort in every way. I don’t WANT to kill anyone and I don’t want to have to use it to hunt. Ammo is a finite resource no matter how you slice it. Pellet gun ammo, .22 ammo, arrows (unless you improvise as previously suggested) all can be depleted. A gunshot – even from a .22 – can be heard from a fair distance. Even if they don’t know exactly where it came from, if the “have nots” hear it they will know you’re in the area. Shotgun ammo is heavy and bulky and high powered rifle ammo is not too much better. It doesn’t take too many rounds in your bug-out bag to start to weigh you down.

          Flyinsignmonkey made the comment about our troops being held down by Taliban with AK’s. That’s because the Taliban chose the battlefield and set the rules of engagement (If you have a .308 bolt action rifle, you don’t use it to clear houses). You can set up an area with choke points and trenches for those will ill intent to cross and hold them off indefinitely with a .22 (not saying that is the best situation but you can keep them busy enough to cover your family’s escape). For me the .22 rifle is the way to go. With a little practice there is almost nothing you can’t kill with one. Everything is vulnerable somewhere and I know a .22 can kill people, deer, pigs, etc…

          Spend some time learning tactics. You can practice at a paintball field and see what works and what doesn’t. It’s not exactly real life but it’s better than becoming a mercenary to get real world experience. You can also consider getting a rifle that fires the same caliber as your handgun. There are many rifles being made for popular hand gun rounds like the 9mm, the .40 cal and of course the .45 (can’t forget the Tommy Gun). Some like the .40 cal rifle have been reported to get decent accuracy out to 200 yards. Less ammo to carry and only one kind. I personally have two 9mm handguns of the same make, and 2 .22’s of the same make. If one breaks then I have a parts gun to keep the other one going and at least in the beginning I have 4 weapons for 4 people to cover our escape. The 9mm is for personal defense only and my ammo stock is more limited with this weapon. As of 2011 the 9mm is still the most popular handgun round in use. The chance that any enemies I encounter will have a 9mm is higher, thus if they should decide to engage me and I kill them (I am an optimist) then I will acquire what they have and replenish my stock. If they don’t have a 0mm I will have the option of taking what they were using as well as their ammo and keep moving.

          Sorry this got so wordy. I hope I wasn’t rambling too much. I guess I can say for me tactics are as important as the weapon. My escape route(s) leave little room for long range engagement by those who would do me harm and my fortifications at my new home will force them out of cover at a range that will put the odds in my favor thus a .22 will do 99% of what I need IF I need it. The ammo is light and small so I can carry plenty of it and cache even more and it is comparatively cheap so I can afford to have several caches without breaking the bank.

          The sound of a firearm, the smell of a fire, the sounds of a farm will all draw attention. The more attention you draw, the more likely the attention will be the kind you do not want. Study the encampments of Native American tribes in your area to see how they did it. It will at least give you some ideas. They dealt with other tribes trying to kill them as well as living off the land for thousands of years before Europeans got here. The Masai in Africa deal with predation by Lions and Hyenas. They cut thorn bushes and place them around the village strategically to help fend off these predators. These are examples and ideas and should not be taken literally or as gospel of any kind. I admire and respect you all and I hope we never need the info and ideas that we share and no one way is the right way for all. I wish you all the very best and may your preparations bring you peace and comfort.

          Reply

          • Joe Says:

            GREAT points, Lee! Thanks for sharing.

            With my last handgun purchase, I debated between the .40 and 9mm. Both have advantages. But the likelihood of find ammo in the future goes to the 9mm in my opinion.

            Reply

          • Ridge Runner Survival Says:

            While you make good points, I have to say that a decent flat shooting centerfire rifle is one of the best all around firearms for survival. Col. Townsend Whelen, a man who knew shooting inside and out said that. In this day and age, with bulk ammo web sites everywhere, there is no reason you cant find the deals and lay in a good supply of ammunition, especially for one of the major calibers. The Mosin Nagant was mentioned above and is a very fine rifle for a low price, and the ammunition for said weapon is still cheap and plentiful, especially in bulk. I LOVE my 22s and make sure to have a lot of ammo for them, but after a certain range, you are not getting the lethality needed for defense.
            Pistol Calibre carbines are a slighly unhappy medium but your point about having similar ammuniton is good.
            Stock up now while you can, there is no excuse short of financial hardship not to at least have the basics listed above or similar choices.
            Base the following on when this post is made:
            here is a location selling Mosin Nagants right now:
            http://www.impactguns.com/search.aspx?keyword=Mosin Nagant&soption=2

            here is a location where bulk ammunition can be purchased:

            http://www.bulkammo.com

            Reply

            • mike I Says:

              been ex-army we tend to have more knowledge than the average joe… i believe everything you said. my thinking is this… unless you are an expert shot as in 1 shot one kill. avoidance is the best security… things can be aquired again as long as one is alive. i’m disabled and my income is very tight. it’s hard to eat ammo if you get my meaning… i may be able to eak out 50 round purchace every 2 months or so.. hense you see my point.

              Reply

          • Scarlett Says:

            great post. you write like a pro and you made good points. thanks for sharing everybody.

            Reply

            • mike I Says:

              of you had to have only 1 gun i would suggest 12 ga shot gun… ammo 00 and 06..but i also suggest you have bow and arrows and/or sling shot… silent killers for closer target and draws less attention to your location. good luck

              Reply

          • Leslie Says:

            liked your comments about the 22 and doubling up on the same rifle for ammo and parts and about the reality of people getting in if they are determined… for me – i am one 50’s aged woman with no family or friends to join or back up at this pt. and a sr. mom to care for, hmmm, and i have almost everything to learn… gonna put myself to the task of learning and putting the basics in place that i am able and keep doing it as long as possible, and pray for wisdom and God to bring people in my life willing to teach…

            Reply

            • Joe Says:

              Praying for you Leslie.

              Continue to reach out through comments and we’ll be glad to share whatever we’ve learned along the way.

              Reply

              • mike I Says:

                you may want to go to a local gun store and ask them about shooting lessons. i would recommend the largest caliber that you can comfortably handle. there are pros and cons about every gun… truthfully for home defense, a shotgun mossberg styled would be better. you would be more likely to hit an intruder even if you aim was off a little. just sayin

                Reply

          • Rather Not Says:

            Lee you seem to be the only one that gets it! Been prepping for 40 years much has changed over the years but tactics really don’t… When SHTF it will pretty much be my wife & myself out here on our homestead – even though we are only 3 miles from town (12k pop — 35 miles from big city) our closest neighbors are 1/2 a mile away… we have the ability to raise and be self-sufficient but our biggest concern will be security – you are so right about getting popped in the head from 50 yards. We have enough provisions to stay in the shelter of home for quite some time but eventually one has to move… Camo and evasive techniques will be all important and the ability to be the chameleon will be the basis of survival depending on situations. From warrior to old disabled folk. Warrior state – me 1911 on thigh – 9 mm keltec in jacket pocket – walter p22 in back pocket –12 ga auto & buckshot and slugs in hand and Keltec su16 223 on my back — wife glock 45 thigh – same set up except 20 ga in hand and M & P 15 in 22 cal on back…the chameleon part WELL that’s a surprise LOL knife cane – throwing knifes & handguns in strategic places ;) — I would love to go on but I figure I should not let out my perimeter defenses… oh you need to that 223 or auto weapon to return the same kind of fire or you may be perceived as weaker.

            Reply

      • D Showman Says:

        Even one or two quality Chinese pellet guns are a good idea.I know Cabelas sells refurbished Gamo pellet guns very reasonable an stock up on pellets,quiet an effective on small game.

        Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Since they are pretty close to silent, pellet guns have the advantage of not notifying animals and other people that you are around.

          Joe

          Reply

          • Lee Says:

            The question I would have in regards to pellet guns would be their durability and performance in the environment they will operate in. I have considered air guns of many sorts before and for my situation they don’t seem to be the best option. My climate is very hot and dusty. In the event I have to get out of Dodge in a hurry, I will be living in the great outdoors in temporary shelters until I get something more permanent set up – even then, it will just be a little more elaborate shelter along the lines of a cabin. Under these conditions, the seals will tend to harden and deteriorate just from the exposure to heat. I could stock up on a few rebuild kits easily enough. Many pellet guns are easy to rebuild with a few seals and piston cups. All things being equal, I would rather get very good at trapping with deadfalls and snares regardless of the weapon I choose.

            You bring up a very good point with the aspect of the low noise signature of the weapon and the amount of ammo you can carry. It would be almost nothing to pack 10,000 pellets of .177 or even .22 caliber and you could be lethal with small game and birds. I am fortunate to know many people from many different walks of life and I happen to know a fellow not far from me that owns an airgun store selling everything from pellet guns all the way up to $5k import precision air rifles with electronic triggers and the works. He has suggested a couple of models that I plan to field test this fall when small game season opens up so I can really see for myself. He is the one that brought up the concerns with the seals and the local temps. Just the same, if I could find one that is easy to repair and shoots well I may reconsider – after all, the only absolute seems to be that there are no absolutes.

            The wonderful thing is that we can discuss these ideas and everyone has the chance to chime in. While they may not be the best solution for me, there is a pretty good chance that someone else reading this will say “Hey – I didn’t think of that..!”. These blogs and forums seem to be the best place where the smallest advice can literally save someone’s life – or at least make a big difference. I know they have opened my eyes on more occasions than I can count.

            A humble thanks to Evan and D Showman for their thoughts and suggestions. Well thought out and practical advice. I was thinking of eventually looking into a crossbow if anyone has any input. My reasons would include that they are silent, accurate, easy to learn to use, and since the bolts are much shorter, it would seem to be easier to find a bigger selection of branches that are straighter for when you eventually run out of bolts. I do not own one and I have shot one only once so the aspects of owning one are not very familiar to me. I know there are many different styles out there but they are not exactly cheap. Still, like anything else, if it is a good fit the money I spend will be less than the value of my life.

            Thanks again for the feedback.

            Reply

      • mike I Says:

        177 cal pellet may be ok if fired from a pellet rifle. i have a co2 pistol and it won’t even kill a possum at point blank range with a new co2 cartridge. 30-30 in the brush or woods is a better rifle… you really dont want to shoot anywhere and at anyone over 100m unless you know they are alone… basically 1 shot 1 kill… anything more draws attention to where you are…bow and arrow profiency for small game and quiet inclose protection. ar 15 type weapon for multiple attackers. 9mm pistol if someone breaches inside your cover/shelter.
        just my opinion.

        Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Can’t argue with that list, Mike. Though I tend to prefer the AK variants to the ARs and a .40 cal to the 9mm, but those are just personal preferences – the gist is the same.

          Joe

          Reply

          • mike I Says:

            i expect every individual can make a case for anything feasible that works especially financially… i’m ex military and have a fondness for m16-ar variants… truth is unless you are in a physical “community” where you have a platoon of armed people and the tactics knowledge… your best shtf tactic is avoidance of any gunfire or offensive tactic with more than offensive 2 people being engaged… anything else could have overwelming support whether it’s a gov. solders turn onto it’s citizens or a band of mauraders. now if defending an encapment or your home thats a different thing… and truthfully a network of tripwire flares and homemade clay more like devices would be way to go. yeah i have thought this out but nothing implemented. just an old soldier’s thoughts.

            Reply

          • Joe Says:

            Great perspective; thanks Mike. If things get really bad, I’d like to just hole up and be left alone. But I’m not planning on that actually happening.

            Reply

          • Ed Says:

            I agree Joe, I have an Arsenal saiga AK and 2 S&W M&P 40’s

            Reply

        • Leslie Says:

          Seriously you can hunt with pellet guns… what small birds, squirrels, rabbit? what make/model and what critters, how far… are these legal everywhere or is that another thing NYers can’t have, anyone know?

          Reply

          • Joe Says:

            Hi Leslie – Yes you can hunt small game like squirrels with a pellet gun. This month’s Field and Stream magazine offered some comparison on various models. I looked for an online link but couldn’t find one.

            I did however find a link to an older article that discusses some models. http://www.fieldandstream.com/pages/air-time-five-pellet-guns-reviewed-head-head

            These are pretty expensive, though.

            I have a simple Crossman that you pump multiple times (up to 10) that works great. I was also recently given a heavy duty Beeman single cock model but I haven’t had a chance to really test it out yet. It claims 1,000 feet per second using the .177 barrel or 800 fps using the .22 barrel.

            Joe

            Reply

  6. mike I Says:

    ok… if in the event you are stuck in place… unable to leave…. then you would have to do some heavy work… say putting diamond plate on external doors (bullet resistance)… reenforcing door frames ( door ram proofing) i live in a 2 story townhouse with only a crawl space for a basement… cover inside window with thicker plexiglass to keep glass breakage on the outside of the house…. that’s expensive i know and i’m sure there’s more that could be done… you do what you must i reckon

    Reply

  7. softwaremedic Says:

    I found a shotgun at Big5 Sporting Goods that seems practical for home protection. It is the Stevens model 320. They call it a security gun. It has a short barrel and a pistol grip. It holds 5 rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. This would seem more practical in close quarters than the longer barrel 870.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Thanks for brining up a great point, softwaremedic. The right weapon depends on the situation and the person using it. Each situation is different and each individual is different.

      For the purpose of this article, I considered not just home defense, but hunting as well. A shotgun can be used to harvest deer, squirrel, dove, duck, rabbit, turkey, etc, etc, etc. It also serves as an excellent short to mid-range home defense weapon.

      The Stevens model 320 (or a similarly configured 870) will slant the use toward defense and make hunting with it more of a challenge.

      The most important thing is to be familiar and comfortable with your weapon of choice. Know how to use it. Be able to work it as if it’s an extension of your own hands. Having to stop to figure out how to eject a shell/round, may mean the difference between life and death, between eating and starving.

      Thanks, again!

      Joe

      Reply

  8. Nightshift Says:

    Personally, I think the pellet gun is a great choice if you need to hunt quietly but as one poster said you can use it to defend your castle is you shoot them in the face, I think this would be a very dangerous decision because this is just going to aggravate any would be attacker and it would be pretty difficult to hit a moving attacker/invader in the face. Not sure if any of you have seen the movie “End of Watch” but the ruthless and incredibly violent cartel gangs have started moving into our border states and I think you would have to be naive to think they haven’t, These are the kind of people that will be after your food and other valuables, you really need a serious weapon to defend against this kind of threat. Im pretty new to guns so I wont really try to recommend one but I just happen to have the 3 mentioned in this article except my shotgun is a 16 gauge not twelve but that will have to do for now.

    Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Agreed Nightshift. I hope we never get to a point where defending our home from an onslaught of violent people fleeing their cities, but I think it’s important to consider that alternative.

      I have a 16 gauge as well. I like it a lot. It’s positioned well between the 20 gauge and the 12 gauge. Unfortunately, it’s fallen out of favor in the marketplace and ammunition is hard to find and more expensive.

      Joe

      Reply

      • mike I Says:

        i may have misread your post and i certainly was not critquing you choices… i was just saying you make due with what you can/have.. truthfully, as some have said, ideally hunting silently is preferred. that was why i mentioned a sling shot or better yet a bow. i was an avid hunter in my youth and had an old 20ga. bolt action. when deer hunting i used it with slugs… at this time i can only afford a 22 rifle. i would like to have others. i’m most familiar with “Nam” era weaponry as an all purpose protection weapon. there are better out there i’m sure… the best weapons are the ones you can use proficiently. so please i meant no offense with my comments

        Reply

        • Ed Says:

          @ mike, The Springfield M1A, is arguably, is still the weapon of choice. If I could afford to have one I most certainly would. 10, 20 and 25 round mags are available for it, Actually, I have ten 25 rnd mags sitting in my closet, At one time I was trying to save enough monies to buy the scout model. I ended up with an Arsenal Saiga SGL 21, an AK varient, but a russian made varient.

          Reply

          • Joe Says:

            Yup, if money were no object, I’d own a M1A as well, but that’s not the case. That’s why I ended up with the .308 Saiga AK variant as well. Great weapon, too.

            Reply

  9. Ed Says:

    I’ve seen a lot of people talking about using the 9mm pistol, one citing availablity of ammo. I would suggest going with a .40 cal, it has more velocity and energy than a 9mm and almost the has the knock down power of a .45. Basically, you get the best of both worlds. And finding .40 cal ammo will not an issue. Personally, I own 2 M&P 40’s.

    Reply

    • Nightshift Says:

      How does the 40 cal compare though with 9mm on recoil, if you are in a gun battle and have to shoot multiple times recoil can be a factor. Plus as a survival type gun you would want pretty much anyone in the family to be able to handle it if needed.

      Reply

      • Ed Says:

        @ nightshift Honestly, no idea, I’ve never shot a 9. I was issued a 1911 in the marines, bought a colt gold cup after I got out of the corps and had a 357 for a minute, but never had the oppertunity to shoot one, sry.

        Reply

      • Joe Says:

        I’ve shot both, but I don’t own a 9mm. I’d say that from a purely antidotal and non-scientific vantage point (as the shooter), the .40 does have a bit more recoil (kick) but I can’t say that it made much of a difference in my shooting.

        If recoil is a big factor for you, I’d go with the 9mm.

        Realistically, it’s a personal preference. You won’t go wrong with either one in my opinion.

        Joe

        Reply

    • Joe Says:

      Agreed, Ed. Those are the exact reasons I choose the .40 over the 9mm. The cost of the ammo is comparable to the 9mm and I’d expect it’s availability to be about the same, too.

      Yet from a ballistics perspective, the .40 seems to have the best of the .45 and 9mm characteristics.

      Thanks!

      Joe

      Reply

  10. Ed Says:

    You dont want to use your firearms to kill anything? I’m sorry, but in the event of a major collapse chances are you will have to defend yourself, your loved ones, your supplies, ect. Just because you dont want to, doesnt mean you wont have to. There will be far more have nots than haves, and the have nots will be on the move. I’m not even going to discuss the flotsum and jettsum of society, the drug adicts, the gangs, ect. Unless you live 1000 miles from anything in all directions, you will encounter other people and you need to have a plan to deal with them. Lets face it, people will be desperate and desperate people will do anything and everything they feel they need to. You need be prepared to do the same. Personally, I dont want to shoot anybody, but if I have to chose between keeping me or mine safe or ending a life. I’ll shoot you dead with a smile on my face. I truly hate to say that, but the alternative is not an option. You must remember without ROL people will be killing other people just becuase they can.

    There’s a show that has played on History channel a few times, After Armageddon. Its an excellent tutorial about how things will be after a major Apocalypse. I would recommend every person that is intent on prepping watch this docudrama. It’s quite the eye opener.

    Reply

  11. shockanawe Says:

    The perfect 3-gun choices: First a proven battle rifle. forget 30-30. no power. no range. try FAL, G3 clone, M14/ or M1A. Proven weapons in 7.62 NATO. 700+ yards and has enough energy to bring down elk or bear. Next a formidable, reliable sidearm. Glock 20. Most powerful, reliable, defensive autoloader in production. The 1911 cannot be disgraced, but the 10mm holds twice the rounds, and has more energy at 100 yds then the 45acp does out the barrel. Finally, a Ruger 22LR pistol or rifle, depending on skill. I love my 10/22, but in a bugout it will be left behind, and my 12 gauge. The Mark series pistols are great weapons, and don’t add much weight as a third weapon to carry. I have seen enough examples over the years if your life is threatened, especially by armed gunmen or bear, you want as much lb/ft of bullet energy as you can to get to eliminate the threat. And on a forth weapon, if optioned, it would be my 375 Ruger chambered 24″ stainless bolt rifle at 8lbs, I wanted a 338 lapua, but they’re overpriced, especially brass. most are too heavy to carry very far, except the Rem700 police medium range. But they start around $2000 then you’ll need optics, ammo, etc. that quickly reaches $5000+. overbores are great weapons, ie: 300rum, 7mm stw, but heat up too much and foul the barrel. All your firearms should be backed with lots and lots and lots and then some more ammo. A gun with no ammo is an expensive club.

    Reply

    • firebug Says:

      ive been reading some of these and what im not seeing is good advice for everyone. people need to pick their wepons acording to their area and needs a 22 is a must in most cases but not all.people need to look at where they plan on being and buy wepons that suit there needs. your not going want 223 if you have 1000 yds of open ground all the way around you . an 06 or even a 7 mag are much better choices for this. each person needs look at the big pic and understand if the world comes apart at the seams there choices in a wepon and ammo will probaly be the most important choice they make.

      Reply

      • mike I Says:

        i’m about repeat myself… in most cases, you will not want to shoot at all, especially if you are by yourself or have your family with you… you really don’t want to shood at much over 100 yds and then only if it’s dire. chances are you will be outnumbered or your opponent has a radio. shotting draws attention to your direction… evasion is still the best option… you really want to shoot only if your camp, family can’t escape. then you want a shot gun close quarters up to 40 yds… a 223 cal semi auto for up to 300 yrs and 10 cal. as for the 22cal… as a forth for small game food hunting it’s great and not as loud as any of the other guns

        Reply

      • Joe Says:

        Yes, Firebug. The three recommendations were designed to provide a good basic set of weapons with which to survive. One for small game, one for larger game, and one all-around & very versatile shotgun.

        Of course, those may be need to be tweaked depending on your area. The 30-30 doesn’t have the range for the large expanses of big sky country. For heavily wooded areas a 7 mag is not the best choice since most shots will be 60 yards or less.

        So location does matter.

        Thanks!

        Joe

        Reply

  12. douglas villella Says:

    DAMN I hope some of you never make it to RURAL PENNSYLVANIA with your crazy ideas of assualt rifles WE DONT WANT YOU HERE stay in the cities and fight it out !!! We have our 22’s and 30-30’s and love em and know how to use em if you cant down a deer with a 22 you shouldnt be in the woods !!! PS Have you checked the price of your assualt ammo compared to 22 shells ? LOL and I bet when the S- it hits the fan you wont be able to buy your ammo anywhere and I bet every house in RURAL PENNNSYLVANIA has a box of 22 shells laying around !!! GOOD LUCK PLEASE STAY AWAY !!!

    Reply

    • mike I Says:

      i say AMEN. i’m from Susquehanna Co. yes kill a deer with a 22cal is certainly possible..just need to be closer to it than 100 yds. 30-30 is the best bush gun for hunting deer as well… my sister uses s 222 for deer hunting and she is the deer queen of the family. ammo right now is cheap… for both… the only point is nato rounds will be carried by the enemy and will be plentiful

      Reply

      • Firebug Says:

        its funny cause nobody takes into consideration there are 7 billon people on this planet .all of them trying to surive deer-beef-pork-ect will be the first things hunted.that said how long do you believe they will last 3-6 months a year?and you people with asault rifles good luck with that. the rambo concept will die quickly outside the city.and most ive seen are not good for hunting and as far as the 30-30 . it is not the best choice the 06 has more bang for the buck and ammo is priced about the same and easer to find it was also the first cartridge ever made and every serious gun owner has one or two .and it boils down to this as far as guns go if you have them and know how to use them already your most likely to surive and those just now trying to start i wish you luck .but honestly you will probly be the ones supplying the more experienced shooters with guns and ammo.and im not trying to mean just realistic. iknow my guns very well and have been buying ammo for a long time and i hope the day never comes that i need to shoot a man but you can trust that i wont have a problem defending myself and family and as for those A-R toteing fools stay in the city those of use who hunt and shoot regularly have the advantage of knowing the woods and in my case i have range i shoot a 7 mm rem mag with an easy effective range 800 yrds

        Reply

        • Joe Says:

          Absolutely agree, Firebug. In fact I wrote a short article on why you cannot depend on hunting after TEOTWAWKI.

          http://preppingtosurvive.com/2011/09/29/you-cannot-rely-on-hunting-after-teotwawki/

          As for the 30-30 or the 30.06, I own both. I’ve killed more deer with the 06 and it’s my go-to weapon for hunting. The price of ammo is a toss up. The 06 has better range In size & weight (which may be a factor) the 30-30 has the edge.

          In short, I don’t think you could go wrong with either.

          I’d even add the 308Win in there as well. And it has the advantage of being able to fire NATO rounds.

          Thanks for your comments.

          Joe

          Reply

          • Firebug Says:

            i liked the web page joe and agree completely . have everything to build a cold smoker on hand if needed.been buying in large quanties of seeds after the growing season at discount prices .stockpiling dry rice,beens,herbs,spices in the event its winter and cant grow anything. we heat with wood.and as far as guns go early on bigger will be better out of work military and law enforcement have body armor and that is why i also have the 7 mag if i can help it they will not get close. but have guns for every purpose 22 22 mag 223 243 30-06 7mm mag 410 20 12 and there are several of each and a 24 gun gun safe packed completly full ammo not counting reloading supplies hunting will not be a safe way to obtain food for many years my weapons are for protecting the property and everyone here. and if there is any thing im not prepared for i guess we will find out when it happens this world will face a major die off in population i dont know when but it will happen.and if i had to guess when id say inside of the next 5 years

            Reply

            • shockanawe Says:

              Amen to reloading. I have to quit soon because my bug-out trailer is too heavy. Just finished another 1,000 rounds of 7.62 NATO/ 308 for $435. The 7.62×63/ 30-06 is very common for a hunting gun, but surplus brass is all bought up. The 7.62×51 is 95% the power and readily availible anywhere.

              Reply

              • Joe Says:

                That’s a good problem to have shockanawe.

                Reply

              • Firebug Says:

                It’s not a good problem. Shockanawe, you need to understand that fuel may be a potential cause of TEOTWAWKI. The U.S military has already issued a statement that the surplus fuel will be used up by the end of 2012, and major shortages by 2015. With a trailer, it implies you’re planning on driving somewhere. That being said, if you have to leave where you’re at, you’ve already screwed up. People are best suited in areas they are most comfortable or knowledgable about, if you change that, you don’t know the food sources and where to obtain supplies. Plus, the hazards of being on the road in this kind of situation are extreme. If you can afford to be able to drive a vehicle with a trailer, people will assume you have goods in it and you become a target. If I needed something and I saw someone driving down the road with a trailer, I wouldn’t think twice about shooting him and seeing what’s in it. Maybe you need to rethink your “bug-out” idea. Bugging out should not be your first plan unless you live in a city, then you need to be getting out before anything happens. Your best chance of survival is in a small group or community. It is much easier to target an individual as opposed to a small group or community. As for the 30.06 to the .308, the .308 is not nearly as common and will be less likely to be available in the future. Every serious shooter has a 30.06. You don’t go out and buy casing to reload, you shoot those you have and buy supplies to reload those. For example, I have 3500 30.06 rounds and enough powder, bullets, and primers to reload them at least 3 times. Now 3500 rounds just became 1400 rounds. I can do this for all the guns except the rim-fires. There are infinate different ways TEOTWAWKI can come about and you can’t focus on just one and you should be aware of them all. Quit trying to rely on military ammo, it is unlikely that you will be able to find someone from the military to get it from in the future. You should, instead, focus on the more common rounds that people are more likely to be carrying on them. It is nice to be able to buy surplus ammo, but you can’t rely on it later.
                Basically, in a nutshell, your thinking needs to be modified. Anyone who thinks getting in their vehicle after the fact is not thinking ahead. If you don’t already live in the woods before, you’re likely to be shot by those who already do.
                Just a little food for thought.

                Reply

                • mike I Says:

                  having enough is the key…. enough ammo shelter food water… the problem is the have nots and defining their intentions…. if there is warning and some natural disasters don’t a niclear attack usualyy has bout 30 min warning…civil unrest you may have warning… but in most every case you’ll have to walk as safe passage won’t be guaranteed or the ability to drive on roads will be limited

                  Reply

            • Pete Says:

              hey fella, you need to look around a bit more before you throw out bad advice.
              .308/7.62 is Far more numerous and available in both weapons and ammo than 30-06. This includes the U.S. and worldwide. it is true that most hunters do have a 30-06; however, since the mid 60s-70s the 30-06 has gone down a bit in usage. Mostly beacause of militarys developing new weapons and ammo in different calibers. In the US inventory we have three common 7.62/.308 weapons currently in use, the M-40 series sniper rifle system, the M-240 series medium machinegun, and M134 Minigun. FN (Fabrique National) of Belgium makes several weapons that fire the 7.62, like the FAL which is one of the top 3 most common battle rifles in the World. The Germans also make a 7.62 weapon, the HK-G3 which is among the top 5 most common battle rifles in the world. Most countries make or have made a weapon or a copy that takes 7.62/308. Then there are M1As, M-14s, CETMEs, Saiga .308, and common bolt action rifles available from Ruger, Remington, Winchester etc.
              Name one 30-06 that is currently made, distributed, or used by a military or law enforcement agency.
              The 30-06 is a great round, and there are some great weapons too. The BAR, M1 Garand (also in .308), the Enfeild, the 1903 Springfeild, etc. But 30-06 is Not more common than 7.62/.308.

              also check your #s, I think you meant 14,000 rounds not 1,400. but the math says 10,500.

              People will have to do what they have to do to fit their situation. Some people live in cities and most of us agree that they will become untenable when sh!t goes bad. Also the guy may live in a place that is not defensible, has a bad water supply, bad food situation (crappy growing season or weather paterns), be in the path of mass migration, etc. Sometimes getting out is the only logical solution. I agree staying where you are is usually a better option, especially if you are set up for that. But no need to ride someone else about it. Offer your advice, but keep in mind everyone can learn something new even you.

              Reply

              • Pete Says:

                That last from me was directed at Firebug By the way

                Reply

              • Firebug Says:

                Well, Pete, if you really believe that, you are sadly misinformed. The top selling guns in America are bolt action hunting rifles, not FALs, or AR15s, or the HK-G3s, or any other assault rifle. The average American is not in the military. Most Americans buy their guns to HUNT with. In fact, the top selling guns in the U.S. are the 700 series bolt action Remington rifles. In a survey done last year, by Field and Stream, guess what the most common caliber was- the .270 (a neck down version of a 30.06) and the 30.06. The .308 barely made the top ten (scoring in at 9). Not to mention, the .308 rounds are being constantly burned up by Military and police use. In the event of teotwawki, what ammo do you think is going to get burnt up first? The fact remains that the 30.06 is more commonly found in American households than any other high powered rifle. Ammo is cheaper if you buy it in bulk- that is a fact, I just looked it up (it’s about 10 cents cheaper per round). If you have to go to a gun dealer, the ammo is the same price, if you go to Walmart the ammo for both guns is $18 (and some change). You will be lucky if the military doesn’t take your ammo for their weapons later down the road. But you need to look at the bigger picture- this is going to last for (possibly) twenty years or more. Twenty years could be considered short, but hundred years could be considered drawn out. This is not going to be over in five minutes. The assault rifle has it’s uses- such as mowing down large groups or fighting in confined spaces (since the idea behind an assault rifle is “point-and-pray”). But when you’re competing for ammo with the military in later years, thats not a good thing. That is why I say that you should stay away from NATO rounds. Most people in the civilian world do not know what most of these shells are. If I tell an average woman I have a .22 or a 5.56, she knows what a .22 is. The average guy is the same way. Unless you’re into guns, the 7.62×54R, the 7.62×39, or the 5.56 or any of the metric NATO style rounds, people have no idea what you’re talking about. So to understand the facts, to compare apples to oranges, do that. It will be your mistake. The next time you go into town, randomly pick 20 guys you don’t know and ask them a few basic questions. Pick a round. “Do you know what a 7.62×39 is?” or “What kind of guns do you have?” Simple questions like this can be very enlightening. The answers will shock you. If a guys does tell you he has an AR15 (which is probably the most common assault rifle on the market today), ask him a few simple questions about the gun and you will most likely find that he knows nothing about it and does not own one. But, on the other hand, you have to know something about the gun in order to figure out if he knows what hes talking about or if hes full of shit. If you knew anything about general population or guns, you would know that the 30.06 is more common than the .308. The 30.06 began production in 1906 and the the .308 began production in 1952 (just so you don’t have to do the math, thats almost fifty years difference). Keep in mind that civilian firearms out number military firearms more than 5 to 1.   For the record, 14,000 is the correct number. If you start with 3,500 rounds and add 10,500 rounds, it becomes 14,000 rounds. You neglected the original 3,500 rounds.   Next time you want to confront someone of statements made, bring your ‘A’ game because I know my weapons, I know history, and I know people.   If you have anything else to say, step up. I invite it.   But end results are: THE 30.06 IS THE MOST COMMON HIGH POWERED RIFLE ON THE NORTH AMERICAN CONTENEINT. If you’re going to buy a gun and ammo, always go bigger if you can do it for the same price or less.

                Reply

                • Pete Says:

                  hey there fella,
                  I was not trying to indicate which firearm was the most comonly sold in north america. The key here is AVAILABILITY and VOLUME! There are FEW, IF ANY militarys, governments, organizations, departments, etc. that USE the 30-06. If you buy a weapon you need to be able to make or procure amunition for it! No matter how many weapons are sold to the civilian population you still need to take a step back and look at the big picture. If the only people using the ammo are chaps shooting 20-100 rounds a year there is no pressure to produce ammo to fill the demand! A minigun fires 2,000–6,000 rpm and the M240 fires 750–950 rpm; so therefore you would need quite a supply to feed it, thus demand produces a vacume that needs to be filled with a healthy supply above and beyond what it may need. You don’t think the surplus ammo is put out there just to help us stock up do ya? Indeed, it is excess or old supply that is sold off as the demand waxes and wanes. NATO countries keep a stockpile of the calibers that are in current use. So VOLUME is a major part of the equation.
                  Lets take the US, say teotwawki happens. The Military/government/LE needs ammo. They will probably try to keep some factories running to produce ammo for their weapon systems. Do you think they are gonna produce ammo in a caliber they don’t use? It is more likely they will make ammo that is compatible with their weapons. Since 30-06 is not in use at an organizational level then the existing stocks are gonna dissapear quicker.
                  Beleive it or not, if they need ammo they probably are not going to go house by house to find ammo.
                  1. it would probably use up more ammo they would find, on average.
                  2. going house to house is VERY dangerous. so you would most likely have an Unacceptable level of casualties. (personal experience)
                  3. House to house is Very time consuming.
                  4. people hide stuff. Unless you like to advertise what you have to passerby in a teotwawki situation.

                  I agree buying in bulk is cheaper. Reloading in bulk is even cheaper. That is where we come into 7.62/.308 (as compared to 30-06) There is more of it worldwide! So thus Cheaper in the long run. Now, since most the 2 most common battle rifles are the AK and th AR that means the most common (and usually cheap) ammo is actually 5.56 and 7.63×39.

                  “The assault rifle has it’s uses- such as mowing down large groups or fighting in confined spaces (since the idea behind an assault rifle is “point-and-pray”)”- (quote from your last) “my weapons are for protecting the property and everyone here.”- (quote from your Dec. 4 post)
                  Most battle rifles are accuurate out to 300 yds or so, (I say 300 to include AKs). In most situations a battle rifle will be a better choice than a bolt action for defese Or offense. Unless you live on a nice piece of private property with really clear lanes of fire and either have a good night sight/night vision or area light setup (and a power source). and remember, fuel will be short (your Dec. 7 post) Almost ALL of your fighting/defense is going to happen a lot closer than you would expect (200 yds or less). I say 200 just to account for a favorable terrain layout in your area of defense. Most likely you will be working at 50 yds and closer, thus your semi-auto followup is going to become fairly important. This takes into account night, weather, terrain, foliage, etc. Hey, pick em off at long range if you can! But I hope you have good IFF (Identification, Friend or Foe) and it is not an innocent family accidentaly traversing your property.If you are fighting at long range then you should be trying to maneuver, either to avoid them or identify. Long range is great but there are limitations. Know Them!

                  “The 30.06 began production in 1906 and the the .308 began production in 1952 (just so you don’t have to do the math, thats almost fifty years difference). Keep in mind that civilian firearms out number military firearms more than 5 to 1.”- (quote from your last) We are not talking Longevity here! we are talking AVAILABILITY!!! A rifle without ammo is just a really expensive club! Who cares how many civilian firearms are out there? I am talking VOLUME! I am active duty, and I would be willing to bet I shoot more ammo in training in a 6 month period than 90% of the civilians in the US. Even when I was in the Guard I shot more ammo in training than I could afford if I tried to do it on my own budget! There is way more 7.62/.308 ammo out there than 30-06. Yeah, we are going thru a buying craze right now (thanks Obama!) Go to a couple stores and ask the guy who works the gun counter how much 30-06 they usually try to keep in stock, then ask how much 7.62/.308. Remember VOLUME!!!!

                  “In a survey done last year, by Field and Stream”- (quote from your last) I didn’t get surveyed, and I doubt anyone reading this got surveyed. Surveys are not all inclusive they represent a TINY percentage of the possible. And we all know or suspect media of skewing “surveys” to their own ends. Like, oh I don’t know, to help boost sales for a customer buying add space on the next page maybe.

                  “The fact remains that the 30.06 is more commonly found in American households than any other high powered rifle.”- (quote from your last) The FACT? How many American housholds have You checked? True, it may be the most common in your area, or even among your acquaintances. Again, Not all inclusive.

                  “You neglected the original 3,500 rounds.”- I appoligize about the math crack, I actually didn’t count the 3,500. Ha ha, I used the computer calculator because I suck at math so I use fingers, sticks, pebbles, and calculators. (and sometimes even my toes) ;-)

                  The 30-06 may be the most common rifle in the US, but we were talking about ammo, not rifles.

                  By the Way, I didn’t see you name one 30-06 that is currently made, distributed, or used by a military or law enforcement agency.

                  Reply

              • Joe Says:

                Hi guys – I’m really enjoying the discussion. You are both making great points and this type of conversion benefits a lot of people; not just the few that comment on it.

                I also appreciate that you are keeping it civil. That can be tough when we are passionate about something. Please continue along those lines.

                As for me, my go to weapon for larger game has historically been the 30.06. It’s a great combination of accuracy, relatively good distance, and knock-down power. I’ve only had one deer that I’ve had to track, the rest dropped where they stood. And even that deer only ran 50 yards into the woods.

                A year and 1/2 ago when I wrote this article, I recommended the 30-30 since it is essentially the same as the 30.06 (I know the differences, but for the purposes of the article they are similar enough) yet the 30-30 is typically smaller and easier to carry. Some would argue that it’s faster to chamber the next round too, but I’m sure that’s open to debate.

                The original article primarily considered hunting and only secondarily considered defense needs.

                Nevertheless, since writing the article, I’ve become concerned about the availability of the 30-30 and 30.06 rounds in the future. I can stock up on them now on both rounds and reloading supplies, but I’m not sure that when push comes to shove, new rounds will continue to be manufactured.

                The commercial .308Win is great alternative to the 30-30 recommendation. As I understand it (and please correct me if I’m wrong here) the .308Win specs allow it to be 0.004″ longer than the 7.62x51mm NATO round. It’s also produces a bit more psi in the firing chamber than the NATO round (about 2,000 more psi if my memory serves me). So the .308Win can safely fire the NATO round but the reverse is not necessarily the case. (Readers: please don’t take this as definitive, though, I’m a bit outside my area of expertise here.)

                So, in my mind there is little downside to owning the .308Win instead of a 30.06 or 30-30. In fact, I own an AK-variant chambered for the .308Win for this exact reason.

                This discussion would probable make for a good article if either of you are interested in sharing your experiences in a guest post.

                Thanks, again, guys.

                Joe

                Reply

              • Firebug Says:

                Well, Joe, I love hearing from you because it’s always good. You brought up a very, very good point that I actually forgot about. Taking the NATO rounds and putting them into civilian guns can be very dangerous. Most manufactors of the weapons discourage use of the NATO rounds through civilian guns unless stamped otherwise. The NATO rounds are slightly larger and hotter. You can go the other way- you can put civilian ammo through NATO guns with no issue-, but you run into the same issue with the .223 and 5.56. Basically, the manufactors fear the the civilian guns will fail under the higher pressure and tighter loads- example, .308 is 7.8 and the 7.62 is 7.82 (the NATO rounds are fractionally larger). Another unknown fact is that barrels on assault rivals are fractionally larger to cut back on friction, allowing them to fire more rounds with less heat. Downside of this is accuracy, accuracy falls off at longer range, and that is why you don’t see people hunting with ARs. When the average person prepares for TEOTWAWKI, they’re going to want a round that he can obtain on the civilian market that he can get by trade or by buying or selling. Gun dealers will most likely not be available. Now, as far as reloading, all three of the civilian guns (the 30-30, the 30.06 and the .308) all take the same bullet- they’re all the same caliber (which is 7.8). The only difference is the amount of powder and the amount of brass behind them. But most civilians do not own guns made for NATO rounds and, therefore, should stay away from NATO rounds. If you throw a NATO gun into the mix with civilian guns, now you need two different types of ammo that your civilian guns shouldn’t fire. Also, if we do have a major conflict, the NATO rounds will be burned up very quickly, diminishing the supply of said rounds. It is also very inpractical for the average person to spend $1,400-$1,500 on an assault riffle platform when you can buy the same characteristics in civilian grade semi-automatics. A civilian semi-automatic may cost you half as much (around $600), but it is, still, only chambered for civilian rounds- again, another good reason to stay away from NATO rounds. Not to mention, the extra $600-$800 you save can be put towards ammo. I understand that a military man thinks military, but I’m not military. Most military men don’t realize there is a difference between what they’re using and what we’re using, but there is, and our stuff is just as effective. And as far as having clear shooting lanes, I have already set myself up. I have, roughly 600 yards plus 360 degrees around the house. I have also chosen weapons accordingly- that is why I have chosen a 7mm Rem mag with a 10×50 Sightron. In 800 yards, I can tell who you are, what your intentions are, and if you are armed (how’s that for IFF?). Although the 7mag isn’t a practical gun I would suggest for just anyone, it definately has it’s advantages in range and power. But, in the bigger picture, we are part of a small community and, my job in this community, is to gather small rimfires and high powered rifles up to the 30.06. There are others in the group working on larger weapons, such as the 50cal and the 338 lapua mag. Each person in the community has responsibilities for buying things- some buy ammo, some buy guns, some buy both, and some buy tools. There are more than 40 individuals in the area that are part of this. Our intent is not to go out and shoot people, or hunt them, but to maintain what we have and maintain safety for the community. But, I wouldn’t want to be the person coming in here with hostile intent. But, back to the reloading, just to make it clear, you can buy excessive amount of 30 caliber bullets and powder, and you can use them for all three of the guns. All you really need is the bullets, powder, primer, the reloading press (and all the dyes that fit your shells). People need to understand, also, that reloading is not perfect. The brass can be reloaded roughly 3 to 5 times before it grows too much or splits, depending on how hot your load is. Lighter loads would be encouraged to lengthen case life and preserve powder, because powder may become VERY hard to come by later. And, also, a lot of your surplus cheap ammo is steel and cannot be reloaded. Example, the Tulammo is very cheap and it is steel. We just bought 1,000 rounds of .223 for $227. Downside, you cannot reload them. And, Pete, everytime you open your mouth, you shoot yourself in the foot. You say that NATO rounds are more abundant and accessible, and, on the same note, you talk about mini-guns that burn thousands of rounds a minute. So the abundance goes hand-in-hand with the usage. Civilian grade weapons, don’t have this issue. And, yes, the 30.06 may only have a hundred rounds laying around for every gun in every household, but they’re already there. They don’t need to buy the gun, they just need to buy the ammo. They don’t need to come up with the hundreds of dollars for the rifles, they can use that money, instead, to put towards the ammo. And you keep bringing up that the 30.06 isn’t used in military or polce applications, this is a good thing. It means that they’re not burning them up in assault rifle and semi-automatic usage. Which means they’re more likely to be around later. I, personally, do not want to have to compete for ammo with military and law enforcement in later years. And, for everyone reading these, you can make up your own mind, these are just some facts and opinions, but you need to do what is best for your own application- and you need to think HARD about your application before you start buying just anything.

                Reply

                • Pete Says:

                  I was wondering when the 7.62/.308 difference would be brought up. The 7.62 IS different as provided for in theStandardization Agreement (STANAG). however, the difference is an Allowable Variance that the gov. contract allows. As we all know the gov. buys from the lowest bidder, so multiple manufacturers provide the gov. supply system. So the 7.62 is allowed to be within set limits. the upper limit is a bit hotter and you get higher chamber pressures in some chambers with some lots of ammo. When you are talking 30,000-50,000 PSI in a mid range caliber rifle a couple thousand is not that big of a deal. unless you are shooting an AR platform where the extra psi might eventually mess up the weaker components. Shooting nato stuff in a bolt action won’t give you a problem. I would say any quality firearm that is chambered for .308 can handle the 7.62. Plus! the Nato rounds generally have thicker casing walls so they can be reloaded more times.
                  I sugest that anyone thinking about using 7.62 in their weapon to do a little Research. Check to see what your weapons tolerances are as far as chamber dimensions and max. chamber pressure. The Manufacturer has alread done tests for you, just look around the info is out there. I Have checked for my weapons and have no qualms about puttin NATO rounds through them. I mostly plink with my Nato stuff then reload to My specs. (which are much more exacting)
                  I do not recommend steel cased rounds for anything other than plinkin’. and the steel is harder so it can wear your weapon faster even though most is coated. and alot of it has corosive primers. and/or is berdan primers, which are not the same as the boxer primer system we use here in the US. I read that a British chap developed the boxer primer system we use here in the US, and an American came up with the berdan that is used in Europe.

                  Hey, glad to hear that you have the space and setup where you have good lanes of fire and a defensible position. But we aren’t talking about you, we were talking about equipment to fit more than one situation, not the perfect solution set. And you still didn’t address night, or inclement weather that will shorten that range down to immediate action distances. Do Your have night vision capabilities? Thermal imaging? On a snowy, moonless night I am positive you will not be able to see 800 yards. More like 100 or less. And anybody with sense ain’t comin strollin up your clear lanes of fire in daylight in nice weather for 800 yards with clear intent that you can identify through plain optics!
                  “In 800 yards, I can tell who you are, what your intentions are, and if you are armed (how’s that for IFF?)”- (quote you last post) I am pretty sure at 800 yards I could Not tell what someones intentions are. Unless they come screamin’ along like a barbarian horde.

                  “And, Pete, everytime you open your mouth, you shoot yourself in the foot. You say that NATO rounds are more abundant and accessible, and, on the same note, you talk about mini-guns that burn thousands of rounds a minute. So the abundance goes hand-in-hand with the usage.”-(quote your last post) Yes, machineguns and miniguns Do burn alot of ammo. You missed my point. There are large stockpiles currently and surplus that we can pick up and store for our own use. I do not sugest that you wait until the ammo hungry weapons start firing to go get some ammo. I was giving an example to show supply and demand and demonstrate the massive stockpiles that the US maintains. Also manufacturers have to make those rounds so when they have an overrun in pruduction or do not get the lowest-bidder-contract then they gotta sell em to someone, thus surplus! If usage goes down and stockpiles get overstrength the excess is sold off (usually the older stocks) as surplus. Unless/Until there is a Major conflict that breaks out those stockpiles and surplus should be available. The current conflict(s) have been going on long enough that the manufacturers have been able to bring the stockpiles back up to strength and generally keep up with expenditures. Our government has decided to do a RIF (Reduction In Forces) over the next several years so we will see what that does to the surplus market. So since you misinterpret what I was trying to say I believe it is you who is showing your ass. But I could be wrong, anyone outside this conversation wanna give a ruling?

                  Yes, I am military. That doesn’t mean I am unaware of what is what. I have been reloading since I was a kid before I joined the military and have not stopped learning new things. I don’t like to just say “hey I have a 30-06. so I should not try to learn about anything else. I have my situation so I should spout off that as the standard everyone else needs to focus on.” Instead, I look and analyse situations, methods, and equipment that will work in more than a single narrow focus. So do some research, learn something new, and don’t get tunnel vision.
                  “I understand that a military man thinks military, but I’m not military. Most military men don’t realize there is a difference between what they’re using and what we’re using,”-(quote you last post) So you aren’t military but yet YOU Know what WE Think and Know? I would slow down for a minute an think a bit before you start spouting onmniscient crap about what Other people know. Have some respect for the men and women that keep you free. Beleive it or not we don’t get lobotomised when we join the military, we simply get trained. And Guess What? That training is in subjects that acctually give me a WIDER base of knowledge and experience than before. That training is probably a bit closer to the knowledge and skills needed in these end of the world scenarios than most people.

                  Reply

              • Joe Says:

                Hi Firebug – thanks again for your reply. I really appreciate it.

                As for the NATO rounds being hotter than commercial rounds my understanding is (and the overwhelming majority of the information I’ve read confirms) that the .308 Win creates more psi than the NATO counterpart, making it unsafe to fire in a weapon chambered for 7.62×51. However the reverse would not be true – a .308 Win chamber can safely fire a 7.62×51. The .308 Win creates between 60,000 and 65,000 psi while 7.62×51 produces 55,000 to 58,000 psi.

                Another consideration is the length. The tolerances of a .308 Win is around 0.004 of an inch longer than that of the NATO round, once again making the commercial rounds unsafe for NATO weapons but the reverse would again be ok.

                A very quick search of the internet yield these:

                http://how-i-did-it.org/762vs308/chamber.html

                http://www.thefirearmsforum.com/showthread.php?t=64621

                Again, I’m certainly no expert in this and may be wrong.

                Thanks!

                Joe

                Reply

              • Firebug Says:

                Well hi again, Joe. What you need to understand is if you put the longer rounds in the NATO gun the only issue you will have is that the cartridge will expand slighty in the barrel making it harder to extract the shells. Pressures are not an issue due to the oversized barrel, the projectial moves with less restricton, but, in the reverse, NATO rounds are larger in diameter, fitting tighter in the barrels and forcing pressures much higher than normal. And, as far as hotter loads, yes they are. Remember when I said assault rifle barrels are oversized to cut back on friction to help keep them cooler during rapid fire, at the same time, the rounds are hotter to achieve the same velocity and most assault rifles are gas operated, relieving some of the pressure- this is all part of the design. But when you reverse the process and constrict the bullet tighter, now you could have major problems. Now, Joe, keep in mind what you’re looking at when you’re looking at the pressures and velocities in the proper gun, its a little decieving. Some of the pressure escapes around the NATO round. And, with the civilian rounds designed just to fire a few shots at a time, barrel heat is not an issue, therefore, the bullet fits the barrel tighter which allows much greater accuracy over distance. So you really don’t want to use an oversized bullet in a civilian gun. If you look at wikipedia for the guns, the bullet diameters are fractionally different (7.8 for one and 7.82 for the other). Also, check out the .223 and the 5.56- they have the same issue. They are showing you the pressure ratings, not the powder behind the shell. Naturally, when you squeeze down the barrel, pressures are going to rise.

                Reply

              • Lee Says:

                Wow..! This has gotten pretty… Interesting. I didn’t expect this thread would generate so much feedback. It is AWESOME the information being shared here. I wonder if the post should have been a bit more specific though… Maybe broken into several parts or something. To be blunt there are NO three weapons EVERY prepper NEEDS (no disrespect Joe). Here’s why:

                1) If I had a fortified location that was prepared for siege somewhere that was completely defensible I would like to think that I would have enough ammo and weapons that I would know how they would behave with the ammo I decided to purchase and use. If I were in this situation I would likely have the finances to stockpile what I wanted for every situation. I might even have a weapon caddy that would follow me around so I could bark out the weapon I needed for the situation and range of my taget. Sorry, that was a weak attempt at some humor… I learned a valuable lesson when I was a kid hunting deer in southern Michigan – you don’t change ammo the day of the hunt. The same would apply in this situation. Every reasonable person wants accuracy. You don’t get accuracy by just randomly mixing brands of ammo and grabbing a handful when it’s “go time”. You sight your weapon and try different loads under as controlled of circumstances as you can generate, you find what works best, and you stock up on that kind of ammo and train with it. But if you’re expecting chaos and mayhem in the form of needing to fire hundreds of rounds in a short amount of time, you had better train that way at least once to be sure your weapon/ammo combo will perform the way you want when it counts. Maybe I’m mistaken here but the value of your life is not worth the sum of money you will spend on weapons/ammo to know what will happen when it counts. But…

                2) If you live in Canada let’s say, and you are relying on being far away form bad people when bad things happen and you and your retreat is depending on the cover of thick woods to keep you from the wandering eyes of those that would do you harm, your needs will be very different. A long shooter will do you no good when you can’t get a good line of sight for more than a couple of hundred yards in any direction. Yes – there are variables like the sniper you posted on the mountain top to watch out for people and hopefully pick them off from xxxx yards away. If you split hairs long enough you can argue ANYTHING. My point is that in a cabin in the woods a 30-30 might be a great answer. Reliable, accurate, plenty of power for most situations, and if you have to get out it is a great brush gun to cover yourself. However…

                3) You’re like me. You cached food, seeds, weapons, medical supplies, some clothes, etc… in various places in different directions. Would carrying a couple hundred 12 ga shells be practical? Maybe. In the right conditions. I agree with posters who say the best way to survive is to do all you can to avoid conflict. I grew up in a bad place and I know first hand that sometimes trouble will find you no matter how hard you try to avid it. While this is not the place to get into tactics, it does go hand-in-hand with what we are talking about. If your plan is to sit tight in a heavily fortified place with prepared lanes of fire (tactic) then your best weapon might be a long shooter with some shotguns in case things get up close and personal (bad people are sometimes known to be sneaky). If your defense plan is based on being somewhat nomadic until things start to settle, your weapons of choice will be defined by your tactics for defense.

                4) You live on Gilligan’s Island. You didn’t even know the whole world blew itself up and your biggest concern is getting the professor to invent ear plugs that work well enough to not hear the whining of those around you as you sip coconut milk on the beach. (Hey – everyone’s gotta dream…) However if Gilligan had a 50 cal and knew how to use it, there would be few unwanted visitors that could get close enough to cause any real trouble ( and he could have Marianne for himself).

                My point is that all weapons are perfect in a situation they are designed around. Another point is that you had damn well know your weapon as well as how it handles the ammo you stock piled. This, in my opinion, is more important than anything. If you haven’t figured this fundamental point out yet then it doesn’t really take a psychic to figure out how things will likely end for you. You can never prepare for everything. You can train for most things but Mr Murphy is going to be looking over your shoulder in the heat of things and he will want to see how well you prepared. Mr Darwin will be right behind him taking bets from the Grim Reaper…

                You guys have GREAT points and while ballistics and breach pressures are fascinating, when are they relevant? PLEASE don’t think me disrespectful, it is an honest question that I am wondering as I would think the answer would be a bit situational. I feel it is ABSOLUTELY relevant that you know this before you need it (when sighting in your weapon and making your ammo choices before TSHTF) BUT if I’m running my a$$ off trying to stay alive and get away, breach pressure will be the furthest thing from my mind if I have to remove ammo from some poor bastard that won’t need it where he’s going, and use it in my weapon to cover a hasty escape.

                For me the first question would be “what’s best for your situation?”. While a 12 ga shotgun is not part of my plan, the mere sound of one being fired near by can sure take the fight out of someone. Psychologically some weapons are better than others on your part as well as on the part of your enemy. If you think a 30-06 is the answer, it will bring you some comfort in battle. It becomes a variable that has been eliminated. This might be the edge you need. In this situation a 308 might make you anxious and take away a little confidence. The reason we have so many weapon styles and calibers is because we don’t have one that works universally. I can’t criticize anyone’s choice because I don’t know their background, situation, training, or the skill, age, health of those they will be working with to survive.

                I LOVE this article because it forces you to THINK. And since your best weapon is your brain, I feel like it has already done a lot for many people. Everyone is passionate about the same thing – surviving. The methods and tactics that work for one will not work for another. That is why we need to be able to adapt. So maybe another article might be “The most versatile weapons every prepper should consider” or something like that. What if your impenetrable fortress gets over run..? If you have to get out quick and you can only take three weapons, what would you choose? As a secondary thought, do you have a plan to scuttle your fortress so your enemy doesn’t benefit from the spoils of battle? Sorry – getting side tracked…

                As a famous boxer once said “Everyone’s got a plan ’til they get punched in the mouth”. The stakes here are much higher. All we can do is prepare the best we can for our situations. My plan relies on my ability to GTFO in a hurry and avoid people at all costs. Since there is no perfect plan, I have contingencies. Will they be enough? Truly I don’t know – but it’s more than most of my neighbors have. I hope all of you consider all possible outcomes in your preparations. Make plans A through P. Let your beliefs be challenged so you might double check your info and adjust if necessary. There are things here I had never considered – and I think about this A LOT.

                Sorry for being long winded again. Please take this in the spirit it is intended which is to inspire thought. I hope I didn’t offend anyone and I look forward to reading your thoughts.

                Reply

                • mike I Says:

                  Finally some one who agrees with me. Lee a voice of reason… some folks can afford military styled concrete bunkers… some may only be able to live under tarps if that. avoidance would be the 1st rule of survival especially in the 1st few months. ok 7.62 sniper rifle if you can hit something 1/2 mi or further. bullet hits seconds before the report but still lets someone know you’re in the area. a slingshot can kill at 20 yrs and no noise.

                  you brought a few good point. commonality of “found ammo”… it also depends who your enemy is… if it is nato or us gov forces maybe Nato rounds could be laying around… if it’s marauding bands of gangsters 12 ga. shot guns 9 mm… let’s say this, any weapons & ammo “found” on the road is an asset.

                  tactics are important again they are situational. in this case knowledge is king… if you don’t have it get it… can’t remember, write it down print it out have it available… remember 4 things if nothing else… water: (where to find it, how to make it safe), shelter: ( stay dry, stay warm), food: ( most common weeds are eatible.. insects are too) and lastly pick only the battles you can win or run and fight another day.

                  Reply

                • Stevie Joe Says:

                  Just an ole Hillbilly talking here..Our awesome gov. has made it legal now to use drones on it’s own people..All that has to be done is to label you ( or your home ) as an armed combatant..That brings up the fact that you shouldn’t be at home..Find some place that’s deserted..run down..Make it your place..Make it a place that nobody would ever think of looting because it looks like there’s nothing to loot..NATO troops ( or our own ) will always out gun the people..They have better more powerful weapons..Make them find you..Don’t hang around at the house waiting on a drone strike..If you have only one registered firearm….You will be labelled an armed combatant..LIVE FREE..STAY STRONG..

                  Reply

              • Lee Says:

                Sorry – I let myself get off topic. I got so caught up in reading the other posts I forgot this was meant to be more based around hunting. My apologies… Although the revolutionary war was won by common men with hunting rifles, times have changed – and yet they haven’t.

                Should we get this discussion back on topic? Is this the place for these particular thoughts? It still boils down to individual situations I think and really if you don’t have the option for a stockpile of weapons then ones you choose will have to fit the purpose of hunting as well as defense so the topics are really tied together at the core. I might put a squirrel on the dinner table with a slingshot but I wouldn’t want to defend myself with one against a determined mob. Just an example – not meant to start a debate.

                Personally my main focus for either situation is portable and quiet. Big guns make big noise and attract a lot of attention. The appearance of overwhelming fire power can be a benefit when dealing with some attackers but will merely whet the appetite of others.

                As for game being depleted, it is possible I guess and there’s some speculation to support it but if you rely only on meat to survive you have other problems to worry about. Gathering and farming will be important – and don’t forget a fishing pole or two. Until things get stabilized for a time I think farming has its issue but again, that’s a discussion for another place.

                No one will know until “it” happens and frankly I hope I never know. But these are uncertain times and if I were the only one that noticed then this would be a much shorter thread. I love the internet but I am still old fashioned in the sense that I think it would be truly awesome to be able to have these discussions over a plate of steak and potatoes. You simply can’t experience the energy of sharing opinions and inspiring original thought in a thread on an internet post. I guess the bonus is that people can share from anywhere so perspectives on the subject come from many, many walks of life and truly varied personal opinions. Many would say opinions are like a$$holes – everyone’s got one, they all stink, and no one wants to hear it. I think here it’s just the opposite. While everyone has one, none stink, and I would like to hear them all…

                Reply

              • Joe Says:

                GREAT points, Lee. I appreciate your comments and no offense taken at all.

                You’re right. Different weapons are designed for different purposes and situations. My point in the article is that we’ll all most likely have three different types of needs: a light calibre for small animal, a heavier calibre for larger and possibly more distant game, and a shotgun for everything else since it’s so flexible in its use.

                Of course, as you’ve pointed out there will be outliers to that. Some may need a 50 cal (probably not for hunting but may be), others may live in a place where a 7mm is more appropriate.

                Thanks!

                Joe

                Reply

  13. shane Says:

    Just buy a rifle and live with it they all will be fine I have my markin 60 22lr that I have had for oddly enough for 22 years it serves me just fine.I have a 12ga mossberg my 9mm M&P,SKS and my next rifle will be a savage 308 thats all I need and I think they each will serve me well if the SHTF.

    Reply

    • shane Says:

      That is suppose to read Marlin 60

      Reply

      • firebug Says:

        look guys in all honesty.pople with a small budget should really consider one gun if u dont already have one .and that is a ruger 10-22 and this is why.almost every issue ive seen in here can be solved .(a simple oil filter and adaptor) now you have slincer the adaptor can be bought online.ammo is dirt cheep 550 rds under 20$ spare clips can be bought 10.25.30.50 rds this gun can be made fully auto. its light and easy to carry + a large qty of ammo .its short and easly used in tight areas.easly cleaned and maintaned. it has very few parts compared to other 22 semi autos .very dependable and durable .priced around 200$ depending on the model and sales. you can hunt or defend your self this little gun can be made to fit most evrey need what it lacks power it makes up for in every other way

        Reply

        • mike I Says:

          i have a mossberg 702 plinkster that i just bought… there is a 25 shot clip available for about $30… 333 round of ammo was near $20… i was nearly new at a pawn shop for $119. … we do what we can do… it still can kill a human (G_d forbid) at 50yards. accurately…

          Reply

    • Joe Says:

      That’d be a nice basis, Shane.

      Reply

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  15. Brian Says:

    I have the AR, the Mossberg 590 12 ga and my 9mm handgun. I dont have the funds to rearm myself with other calibers weapons so i had to keep it simple with what i’m familiar with.
    I have no lans on bugging out but instead am going to stay put.

    Reply

  16. Hellista Says:

    The 3 guns I would pick are: an AR-15, 12 gauge shotgun, and a Glock in 9mm or .40 cal.

    Reply

  17. Country Says:

    Silly Me – Here I thought the three things you would need is: (what I call) 3B’s.
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    (jk ppl)

    Reply

  18. Ronald David Morris Says:

    My first choice for a survival weapon would be a .22/410 over and under with peep sights. Sure it’s single shot but if you miss spraying bullets is not necessarily a great idea. Just practice now. The .22 is great for small game and the .410 only 3 things I can think of offhand I would not hunt in the US with this would be wild pig, bear, or elk/moose. Mine was carbine sized, very light and handy in the brush.

    I have small hands so a single stack .45 is easier for me to grip than a doublestack 9mm. My second choice is a classic .45 1911.

    After those two I suggest saving up for your expensive, fancy rifle with all the bells and whistles. Pick a good basic battle rifle like an 03 Springfield, M1, M1A or Mini-14. None of these is an EVIL Assault Rifle. It avoids the hassle from the idiots who know nothing about guns. The 4 I ;listed were all American but foreign weapons like the Moisin Nagant or Lee Enfield are fine too as long as you stock up on the ammo. Battle rifles have been tested to the point of high reliability and can be expected to consistently hit targets beyond most urban, suburban or woodlands line of sight. Invest in a high reliability weapon and then invest in a good gunsmith. Take your time, save your money and learn your rifle. Gradually invest in the bells and whistles you know how to use and are comfortable with.

    This works for me and I suspect would work well for someone new to survival weapons. Now for some of you other combos will work better of course. Most of us dream of a .50 Barrett M82 or M109 with an AA30 or H&K CAWS shotgun and a custom built .458 AR15 hog killer from Red Jacket. Most of us also have neither the skills to use them nor the money to afford them. And I for one refuse to eat a squirrel that has been shot with a .50 BMG. There isn’t enough left for the soup pot!

    Reply

  19. David C. Says:

    I have many different firearms, quantity witheld for obvious reasons. But, out of the many, there are several that “fit the bill” for bugging out or SHTF. I have a 30-30, 12ga, .22WMR and 9mm pistol. But, if I could take one rifle and nothing else, I would take my .308 H&K. One thing I point out in my Youtube videos is to pick a firearm(s) wisely. Take into account the size and species of wild animals within 250 mi of your location. If there are med. size predators (Yotes), a .22-250 or .223 caliber is good. If there are large animals such as black/brown bear, .400 H&H Mag is a good choice. One of my “prepper groupies” says he can survive with just his 9mm handgun and his PS90. He maybe right but who knows but him? I personally don’t like .22LR because I always seem to have mailfunctions eith all the .22LR ammo I buy. I ONLY have problems in my semi autos. I have a Walther G22 which works the best.Usually, less that 10/100 fail to eject or something in that rifle.
    Great article!!

    Reply

    • shockanawe Says:

      PS90 is a centerfire cartridge 5.7×28 not a 22. Where do they stock ammo for 400 H&H?
      How many hundreds of 400 H&H cartridges do you have stocked? Why a wildcat? What is a HK308? Bolt action? Anti-Aircraft link-fed Machine gun? G3 clone?

      Reply

      • David C. Says:

        Shockanawe, I never said I have any 400H&H and I wasn’t mentioning that cartridge in a specific sense; just generally speaking. Also, his PS-90 (I might have the model mixed up) is chambered in .223. Yes, the .308HK I refered to is a HK G3, not a clone though. You would be suprised when it comes to wildcat rounds and odd firearms. My uncle has a collection of unusual firearms, such as a 100+lb beast chambered in .950JDJ. He has probably 1,0000 rounds for it too.

        Reply

        • John Says:

          Ten thousand rounds 950JDJ? 223 chambered PS90? Kalifornians Must have good hallucinogenic drugs.

          Reply

          • firebug73 Says:

            wow the same old arguments and now its stupid hell you cant buy ammo for most of these guns right now 22 lr yea good luck with that 22mag theres some out but get your wallet out boys cause your going to pay for it same for the 17hmr hand gun rounds same thing 223 all but gone 222 yea right dont think so 225 win cant find any more 30-30 22-250 204 all of these rounds are in very short suply 308 i hate to say it but told you so 308 can still be bought here and there on line 500 rds 7-8 hunderd dollars while the 30-06 is about 200 dollars cheaper for the same 500 rds and i can still go to wallmart and buy them so much for all that voulme of the 308 it is not going to help any of us now that the goverment is hording ammo that fits there guns i warned about this some time ago and now ammo is in short sulpy keep in mind they get first choice and we are left scrambleing for whats left and now do you really want to compete for your ammo with the gov and just for ref alot of this ammo was on backorder 4-6 weeks 2months ago and now there showing 4-6 months

            Reply

            • firebug73 Says:

              and david c as for your 22 lr problems stop buying junk its that simple get a 10/22 ruger i have 5 and next to no issues with any of them they may screw up 1 mabey 2 times out of 1000 and the first one i bought 20 years ago has never had prob and know it has had at least 10000-15000 rds through it over the years as for your 308 i find them lacking all the way around ill do evey thing you can with my 06 then when thats done ill do things you cant and ill do it cheaper people will never learn

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