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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are my thoughts on guns for those starting out or thinking of adding a gun to their preps. This is for those staying put on their homes or what to have at your bug out location.

Staying in place gives you more options as you can own more guns and ammo than you can carry at one time. For each gun listed in order of priority I would spend as much on the ammo as I do on the gun, so if the gun costs $400 then you get $400 in ammo for it. That much ammo is only a starting point and you will want to add to that as you see fit.

Staring in place guns in order:

1. Remington 870 express shotgun or tactical shotgun $330-$400. Shot guns are the ultimate short range man stoppers, if you only have 1 gun for home defense this is it.

2. SKS ($299) or AK47 if you can afford it. This is your short range weapon up to 200 yards, ammo is cheap, easy to shoot and maintain, almost idiot proof and reliable.

3. Hunting rifle in .308, I like Savage for a remarkably accurate bolt action with scope for under $400. This will extend your field of fire to 400 yards and give you head shot capabilities at shorter ranges that the SKS lacks.

4. AR-15 with a target/varminter barrel that will shoot MOA, this gives you the ability to suppress at longer ranges and makes a good sniper rifle as well. I put this last as this one rifle will cost as much as the other 3 above combined. The varminter barrel gives the accuracy you will need at longer ranges, I would avoid the M-4 setups as they lack the long range accuracy.

5. Ruger 10-22 for training and small game hunting.

6. At this point I would start doubling up on the above but some would start on pistols.

I'd be interested in how this could be tweaked.
 

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I had to sell my firearms collection in the mid 80's due to a divorce. I only kept my Colt 1911A1 Government Model 45.
Living in densely populated South Florida, this was enough for my self protection needs.
Moving to the country and starting a farm in the mid 90's begat a different set of circumstances.
Being a po' boy, I could not run out and plunk down 500 or a thousand dollars on weaponry, so I bought according to need first then as time went on I bought for comfort. Especially as money became more available.
I started with a K-Mart special Marlin Model 60 22LR rifle. Next was a shotgun, but remember I'm poor so it was a single shot 12 gauge. Then I was given an SKS as a gift. After that it was all gravy.
Now that SKS's have gotten more expensive, a good used 30-30 lever action would be an option.
I prefer at least 30 caliber for defensive rifle work - I have an M1 Garand and a Springfield M1A, however a bolt action would work well. Military Mausers can still be had for $400 or less, for $600 I got a Springfield (Remington built) Model 1903A3. Mosin Nagants will not fail, but better hurry, they are rising in price.
I picked up a Ruger Mini 14 Ranch Rifle (used $400) for a farm varmint rifle, the .223 Remington round is effective against humans also if that's all you have.
Good American made shotguns can be found used at good prices. My Remington 870 12 ga was $185 including tax. My wife's Winchester 1300 Youth Model 20 ga was $165 including tax.
Handguns? I'm old school. Other than 1911's I prefer revolvers.
When it comes to firearms, everybody has opinions. My opinions are neither more nor less valid than anyone else's.

Edited to add: almost ten years ago I realised that once I hit retirement I would no longer be able to afford to buy much ammo, so I began buying just $10 to $20 worth every payday. When ever I went to the range I only shot as much as I could afford to immediately replace. The recent ammo shortage does not even cause a blip in my radar. :mrgreen:
 

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One rifle that has been ignored forever is the .303 British Enfield. For those unfamiliar with it, it is a magazine fed bolt action. Each mag holds 10 rounds. This is a supply & demand sort of thing. Millions of them out there but relatively unnoticed. I bought my first one in a pawn shop for $40.00 in the mid 90's.
Without a ton of work they can be made into decent shooters. Before the big ammo crunch surplus ammo was cheap too. This isn't my first choice but shouldn't be passed up if a deal comes along.
 

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The only thing I would disagree with Montana Rancher on is the need to have the AR along with the SKS or Ak. The reason being for long range I would rather use the hunting rifle, although I favor the 30-06 more and since he rates the SKS/AK as no 2 , to me it is being redundant. I would rather have similar type of weapons that used the same ammo than 2 different rifles with 2 different ammo. But this is just my opinion on my likes and not anything against Montana Rancher. If things went bad I would not mind him and his weapons being next to me helping.
 

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The original post makes many great points. I'd prioritize the shotgun, 10/22, and AR in that order if it were me. We are speaking of SHTF needs. Since most people live in urban settings a hunting rifle would be last and SKS next to last. My additions to the list would probably come after the 10/22 and before the AR:

1). A Ruger SR22 I think is still under $400. A great starter pistol, small, concealable, and once mastered I'd step up to a Ruger P series 9mm ideally with high cap magazines. I've seen these listed new at $349 retail. I might put after the AR a base 1911 like the Rock Island or basic Springfield 1911 in 45 with a Kimber 22 LR conv kit.
 

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There has been quite a bit of discussion on the .22LR in other threads but I'll add my 2 cents here. A couple of major advantages to the .22LR is the fact that you can easily carry a few billion rounds and the noise from discharge is far less than larger calibers.
As for starter weapons, I'd say both a .22LR rifle and handgun. The prices are in-line with any budget, ammo is cheap so there is no reason not to practice and become intimately familiar with your weapon(s). I wouldn't worry so much about long range defense. If your attacker is so far away that you are worried about muzzle velocity you should have the opportunity to escape in the other direction.
Ample for nearly any size game animal and the same advantages apply. Larger calibers simply don't work on small animals you plan on eating.
There is good reason for the variety of calibers and weapon designs. Each serves a particular purpose. I clearly understand the advantages & disadvantages of each but the topic here is "Defense Type Starter Weapons".
 

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For anyone contemplating one of the budget bolt action rifles, there is a reason that there are a lot of Remington 770's on the used market. I personally have not even held one, but according to friends that have owned them they are not very good. Likewise the Savage rifles with the synthetic stock - the early versions of this stock had too much flex to achieve the accuracy that Savage is famous for. They have since put an aluminum stiffener in there and renamed it the AccuStock.
I recently picked up a Mauser GEW98 made at the Danzig Arsenal in 1917 which was rebuilt in Germany sometime after WWI, and then the stock was cut down sometime after it's arrival in the US after WWII (ruining all collector value). I got a great shooter for the sum of $188.
There is not too much in the Lower 48 that can not be dealt with by an 8MM Mauser firing commercial 170 grain or 198 grain soft points. And somewhere in my parts box is a scout type scope mount for the old girl if I ever decide to scope her.
Do not over look well proven designs just because they are not "tacticool".;)
 

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Well adding my opinion. to me one needs to adapt his starter weapon to their enviroment. If it was an urban area I would want a shotgun and/or pistol to start with.If it was a rural area, I would go with some type of rifle with a medium range weapon first. My medium range is one that can kill a deer out to al least 200 yards with relative ease if I place my shot right.
 

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Two things to keep in mind when you are looking for guns for "survival" situations.
Versatility and availability of ammo.

In order of priority for me:
1. 12 gauge pump - universal utility with a lot of different combinations of ammo and chokes
2. 22 revolver or bolt action rifle - small light-weight and quieter can use 22 s, l, and lr ammo
3. hunting rifle (best if it comes in NATO caliber) - for long range lethality, hunting or offensive/defensive use
4. magnum revolver - can use minimum to maximum loads depending on situation and shooter
5. semi-auto carbine - in common NATO or locally available ammo for heavy defense against multiple enemies at ranges beginning at 50 + yards.
6. semi-auto handgun - in common NATO ammo for close defensive work - you have put yourself into a bad situation and now you need to get away.
 

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A family member finally prepping asked for a complete list for him and his wife to have, and their situation is no gun experience, and likely to bug out to my location. He asked for a complete list. Their age and health dictates they use a vehicle for bugging out or stay home:

Handguns
- Ruger SR22 for her
- 1911 45 ACP / 22 conv kit him

Rifle
- Ruger 10/22 for her
- AR 15 M4 with second 22LR upper for him
- bolt action 300 WM

Other
- Mossberg 500 dual barrel

Ammo
- 5,000 22LR, get, store, and always have a case. Buy and use as needed for practice
-1,500 223 5.56
- 500 45 ACP
- 200 300 WM
- 250 00/04 buck 12 gauge
- 500 bird shot 12 gauge.
 

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Home defense hard to beat a 12 gauge pump Mossberg 18 and 26 inch barrels. Concealed carry if you can't do it with a five shot .357 you probably shouldn't try to do it with a handgun. SKS? love them have had a few over the years. Just got a Ruger American in 30-06 anxious to see how it stacks up. These are my thoughts how about yours?
 

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Here is my 2 cents because I love to travel on boats, I felt the need for a 20mm rifle (125lbs breaks down into two pieces) to stop larger targets that may be armored, but My first line of survival prep is 10/22 take down in BOB and 22lr on bag or hip/leg. The reason for the 22lr and not a larger caliber is ammo weight. My BOB has 1500 rounds of 22lr stored in two aluminium air tight water bottles and my total pack weight is still under 35lbs. As far as accuracy goes i can hit an 8" plate 10 out of 10 times at 250 yards with my 1022 using cci stingers, and if i want to shoot at small game with in 25 yards and keep quite I use aguila super colibri (they are quieter than a pellet gun but will take out rabbit,****, ect if close enough with head shot). Though it is not legal under normal conditions you can take down many large game with proper shot placement with 22lr or if you need to in a survival situation you can quickly modify a 1022 to full auto for fire suppression in about 20 min. 1022 shoots very fast in full auto so many rounds will be needed. If I know I will be stationed somewhere for a while any 7.62 x 39 will work fine for me for those who may attack with body armor on.
 

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870 combo with the rifled slug barrel will get you out to at least 150Yards
]
$5 per shot would cut down on my practice sessions, that's for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Good feedback, some things I should have explained.

I did 1-3 first, as under the current market conditions, you could get all 3 of those guns WITH the ammo for the price of doing number 4 (the AR-15).

I picked .308 for the NATO ammo availability, the other calibers listed for hunting rifles are just fine.

I would not suggest BOAT ANCHORS like the .303, Mosin and the 30-30, specifically because of limited ammo availability. If you have a 30-30 you could sell it and get the SKS with ammo easy and have a significantly better weapon.

Although I wasn't addressing bugging out in this thread there is some merit to taking a .22 especially if it was suppressed, however shooting a .22LR 250 yards is about as good as fighting with a sling shot. Not only does the bullet drop 5 feet getting there but ANY wind at all will make the shot practically impossible, for instance a 10mph crosswind drifts the bullet 40 inches and will have the impact of a bee sting. I can see where it would be fun to see how far you could fling a .22, but there isn't any practical application for it.
 

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Someone referred to my M1 Garand as a boat anchor. I laughed at that too.
 

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1) .22LR semi out rifle should be the 1st gun one buys. Its good to learn with and when there is not an ammo panic ammo is easy to find.
2) 12 gauge pump action shot gun. easy to use, shots a wide range of loads from bird shot, to bbs to buck shot and slugs. ammo is easy to come by and if you live in a urban environment its a perfect weapon.
3) handgun. this is less cut a dry then the others depending on your level of skill and where you are you may want a semi auto, or a revolver. As for caliber that's a personal choice. If you are new to guns and in less then ideal conditions a revolver may be better. However if you know firearms a semi-auto might work just as well.As for caliber well .357 is good for revolvers as it can shoot .38's as you learn. For semi's .40sw has a good blend of power and recoil and even with the last ammo shortage I saw a lot of .40sw at the stores. However a .22 is also a good option.
4) if you live in a urban or semi urban area a semi auto rifle .223 cal. a ranch 14, AR ect. as any need for it will be closer range. If you live in the country or more spread out areas I recommend a hunting rifle in 308 or 30-06 or 7mm rem mag. SO you can use the distance to your advantage.
5) if you got the semi auto above get the hunting rifle here and if you got the hunting rifle go with the semi auto.
6) add what ever you feel is missing. maybe a 2nd handgun or a 30-30 rifle.

As for what I have:
ruger 10-22
ranch 14 (in ca and it does not require a bullet button)
mossberg 4x4 7mm rem mag
stoager m3500
Rem 870
Winchester 94
Glock 19
XD 45
Rugr gp100 .357

I have others but don't use them beyond hunting and don't keep much spare ammo for those...

As for ammo can you ever have enough...
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Someone referred to my M1 Garand as a boat anchor. I laughed at that too.
M1 is a superior weapons platform, put it in place of #2 any freeking day of the week, come to think of it you might not need a #3 with one of those but I'm a sucker for a 3x9 scope.
 

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Well, since I have the OP's list in hand already it's kind of hard to disagree:smile:

I will speak up in defense of the Enfield 303 though. Ya, it's heavier than a synthetic stocked bolt action hunting rifle, but if you have a decent specimen, and already have the ammo put away, it can be a remarkably effective rifle. The unique bolt design gives it an amazing rate of fire for a bolt action and it will certainly reach out and touch someone. While the surplus ammo has been hoarded by folks like me, errrr, I mean been sucked up, there are still plenty of regular commercial rounds available. When you are the longest tenured combat rifle in history, there will be ammo.

I'm pretty handy out to 600 meters with mine, and practice time is all that keeps me from extending that.
 
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