Monday, March 23, 2009

The Best Survival Gun

There are a great number of lists advocating one type or firearm over another as the best survival gun. A different viewpoint may well be in order to determine the best survival gun. There are certain qualities that have little to do with the actual firearm that should be taken into account in order for a specific firearm to be considered the best survival gun. A set of guidelines for determining the use of any firearm as a survival gun should be given priority in your security and defensive efforts.

Survival Firearm Guidelines


If the firearm is not readily accessible when you need it, it probably won’t be of much help to you in a survival situation. The pistol in the night stand or the shotgun setting in the corner will be of greater use than the rifle tucked away in a gun cabinet.


An unloaded gun can be useless in a defensive situation if the ammunition for it is not easily accessible. An unloaded firearm is a safe weapon and depending upon the situation may be entirely appropriate but a loaded one is the most dangerous. You should be able to access and load rounds for your firearm quickly if needed.


Being comfortable with the ways in which your firearm handles and its capabilities and limits will only help you in your hunting or defensive efforts. Can you quickly clear a jam? Do you know how to keep it clean or do simple repairs? An unfamiliar firearm may not be your best choice. Heavy recoil from an unfamiliar firearm can be more of a deterrent than a benefit. You will need to be comfortable in its operation and use. There may not be time for instructions in a survival situation.


Practice, practice, and more practice. If you can’t hit what you are aiming at, you may be better off with a pocket full of rocks than a loaded firearm. Practice is the best way to become proficient in its use.


If you are not comfortable with the fact that you may have to use your firearm in a defensive situation, you may be better off exploring other options that are more suitable for you.

Whether it’s a .22lr pistol or an AR-15, an SKS or a .410 shotgun, the best survival gun will be the one you have easy access to, plenty of available ammunition, knowledge and proficiency in its use and are comfortable using in any required survival or defensive situation. The choice of which gun is the best for survival should be a choice you make to fit your individual circumstances.

“Beware the man with only one gun….”

Staying above the water line!



Bitmap said...

You forgot training. Practice is only worthwhile if you know what and how to practice. You sort of mentioned this, but going to the range with a guy that says "I was in the navy 30 years ago and they taught me everything there is to know about guns" probably isn't going to help much.

Taking a good, difficult training class with a shotgun and one with a rifle and another with a handgun will teach you a lot about the relative merits of each.

Having experience with different systems is a plus. Knowing how to run an AK or an AR is a plus even if you don't own one.

As far as being aware of the man with only one gun, my experience must be different than most peoples. My version is:

Beware of the man with only one gun - he probably doesn't know what he is doing and will probably point it at you and then tell you "It's ok, it isn't loaded."

riverwalker said...

To: Bitmap

You are absolutely right about training. Training should be included with knowledge of your firearms and others as well. Who knows when the only firearm available may be one with which you are unfamiliar and proper training will solve this problem should it arrive. Thanks for this important insight.


P.S. I will give you a stick to bash some sense into to my thick skull for missing this point! BTW, It's going to be a small stick!

Anonymous said...

My take on beware of the man with only one gun is (If he's only got one gun he sure the hell knows how to use it)

Bullseye said...

Very good info RW. I have always thought that the best of anything is the one you already have.

Thanks for the info my friend.

vlad said...

to learn how to win gunfights
watch Gabe Suarez AK-47 videos.
I learned much.

John Wesley said...

Excellent guidelines. Family members should know how to use the firearms on hand as well, with emphasis on safety, of course. They need to learn that firing a gun can be a lot of fun and not intimidating. I'm glad for the new items I've seen periodically that show the growing interest in firearms training among women.

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:58

If they've only got one gun, I wouldn't bet against them be able to use it extremely well.


riverwalker said...

To: Bullseye

Better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.


riverwalker said...

To: vlad

Thanks for the link! Will check it out.


riverwalker said...

To: John Wesley

Knowledge, training,and practice for everyone in the family is a good thing. Thanks.


Jeannetta said...

Best advice yet.

riverwalker said...

To: Jeannetta

Use what you've got has been my general thoughts. Thanks.


Anonymous said...

“Beware the man with only one gun….”

I've got seven with three more on my wish list (Heaven help me if I move to an area that allows me to have semi-auto rifles then the wish list blows out completely)

FWIW I've got the ammo stockpiled as well (except for my 17hmr rabbit slayer)

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. Having a gun and being proficient with one are completely two different things. I am a complete advocate of women being proficient with firearms and the good it does for the safety of women as a whole.

Great comment, John, about family members proficiency with firearms also. Just did some research on the subject of children and guns and found some amazing incidents of children and youth using a firearm to protect their families. Links here:

riverwalker said...

To: womenofcaliber

That's great to hear. If more people(women included) would take a serious interest we would have a lot fewer victims out there. John had a most excellent point about family members being knowledgeable about firearms and Bitmap had an excellent point about "good" training as well. Thanks for the great links!


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 11:23

Ten is a nice round number but an even dozen would be OK also.

My wish list is so big that I'd run out of ink before I could get it all printed! LOL


Anonymous said...

I have acumalated a Remington 870(Rifled&Turkey Barels), S&W 44mag revolver 8 3/8 barel(2 Speed Loaders), Glock Model 23 .40cal(5Clips), Remington 700 30-06 bolt action rifle and an old single shot .22 Darenger for myself if all else fails! With luck, my uncle a Korean War Veteran, gave me his reloader. I have the die set for 44mag but I need to get sets with my other guns ASAP!(Ammo is hard to get these) I have two more guns on my wish list to be totally comfortable with my arsenal, that would be an AR-15 or something similiar and a Taurus Judge(Lovely:) in .410 Shotgun. Henry Lever action 44mag rifle would be nice too! lol Hopefully I can get them in due time!! But tell me, how would u grade my survival arsenal thur far? P.S. I'm a good shot with my 44, no scope, accurate 100+yds. I think it is my most reliable weapon in a fire fight! In my opinion it is my second best hunting weapon to the shotgun(cant beat a 12gauge w/cpl interchangeable barels for that!!)I recomend all to get a long barel, quality revolver in the highest caliber you can comfortably fire!

riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:51

You've got what sounds like a very impressive arsenal. I've always tried to cover the three major areas as well...handgun for close quarters, a shotgun for intermediate ranges and a good rifle for long distances. I try to keep a back-up for each and a similar set-up for every family member. A rifle, shotgun and handgun for me and a separate rifle, shotgun and handgun for the wife...with back-ups for both of us. I figure this will cover most of our needs.



Anonymous said...

Rural or urban..... all you need is a Saiga 20 ga and mix of ammo with a reloading components.....and a couple 22's.

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