Guns have fairly specific purposes, typically either for hunting, defense, or military use. Any one can be used for a different purpose if needed, but are associated with their primary use when someone is interested in making a purchase.
Survival weapons are a little different in that they are designed to be light, easy to carry, yet provide firepower for both hunting and defense. In a survival situation, it’s best to avoid combat but rather make a show of force to run off a potential looter or thief — and be prepared to hunt small game for food. There are a few guns which are great for such a purpose, if perhaps a hurricane, tornado, wildfire, or planned camping trip puts you in a position in which you may not need a gun but want to have one nearby just in case.
M6 Aircrew Survival Rifle (Springfield Armory M6)
The military M6 Aircraft Survival Rifle (or more readily available civilian Springfield Armory M6) is great for survival with an over/ under double barrel typically chambered for a .22LR and .410 shotgun shells. The rifle was designed to fit in the storage compartment under a pilot’s seat so he could have some form of firepower in case of needing to eject. As such, it can easily break down and fit in a pack. The cartridges it uses are ideally sized for hunting small game and birds, but with proper aim and knowledge can be used for turkey or deer as well. It won’t perform as well as a 9mm pistol or AR-15 for defense, but looters who doesn’t realize you only have the two shots are not going to stick around after the first.
The Henry AR-7 was designed as a replacement for the M6, but never actually made it into military use. The AR-7 initially used the .22 Hornet ammunition, but was rechambered for .22LR and sold to civilians. Without the shotgun barrel, the rifled barrel has room for a standard eight round detachable magazine (larger magazines are available as an option) and a semi-automatic firing system. For easy transport, the barrel and action break down and stow in the buttstock with a total weight of 3.5 pounds.
The Ruger 10/22 is a traditional favorite and for many people was their first training gun as a teenager. It is also available in a takedown version which allows for transport, and is available in either semi-automatic or bolt action styles. Again, the .22LR ammo isn’t the best for either hunting or defense, but is great in a survival situation for the light weight while being able to what is needed in the hands of a well practiced shooter.
Keep in mind, under normal circumstances it isn’t legal to hunt large game with .22LR ammunition, so be sure to check local laws before using it to hunt outside of an actual emergency situation. These are the types of guns you hope to never need, but they can be fun at the range and should the power ever go down for an extended period, you’ll be glad you planned ahead and found a light gun which is easy to carry during a bug-out.
~ Ready to Fire News