Re-Post from MDT
What does the term “Survival Arms” mean to you? At it’s core, it’s what ever you have on you when you become engulfed in a do or die survival situation, right? Whether it’s a knife, or some type of device that propels an object through the air at high speed, it has just become a “survival” tool. We all know there is a lot of crap info on the internet, right? Fortunately, there are some excellent sites for “Survival Arms”, skills, and recommended gear. One that I know of, where the administrator puts out a lot of good info that he tests regularly is my friend and fellow Survivalist, Bergmann at ALASKA Escape and Evasion Survival. He tests what he writes about on practically a weekly basis, and you’d be wise to heed his guidance (especially if you’re gonna do the cold weather thing), so check it out if you get the chance. In the below post are listed some recommendations that I have used over the years (everything I recommend, is gear that I have used, not just a cut and paste generic recommendation from the web), and they cover a wide spectrum of “survival” scenarios you might be involved in.
Some of my recommendations, started as ideas (as a young teenager) from the book “Survival Guns” by Mel Tappan. As you can see by the pic, I’ve had the one on the left for a while (read that as FOREVER), and the one on the right is what’s in print now. It’s a good book to own for reference (some info is dated, but still applicable), and is available from Paladin Press here. There are a number of other good books out there, by some excellent writers, but this was my first book on the subject, and was written by a Survivalist, for Survivalists.
This post is about “Survival Arms”, so let’s get too it. Above is pictured two popular combo guns, (A Remington Spartan IZH94, and a Savage 24V) this gun type, is usually what comes to mind when people think “Survival” gun. Both rifles are great as multi-purpose firearm go, the only downside (if it’s a downside), is that each barrel is single shot. The Savage was my first gun, and has killed everything from squirrel to deer. Both rifles can be broken down, and the longest piece would be the barrels/scope section. Accuracy for the rifle barrel on both rifles is usually within 2 MOA, (sometimes better) and the shotgun barrels pattern well. Keep in mind other adapters are available for the shotgun barrels, to match a pistol caliber you might be carrying.
Next on the list is the AR-7 rifle, currently manufactured by Henry Arms. Yes, I know Marlin has a takedown .22 semi-auto, the Model 70PSS, but I don’t have much experience with it, but I have not heard anything bad about it (doesn’t break down as compact as the AR-7 though), and it’s known for it’s accuracy. I’ve had an AR-7 since the 1980’s,(Charter Arms), and fortunately, the Henry Arms version does not have the reliability issues the CA version had, and doesn’t need tweeked like my first one did. The AR-7 has decent accuracy (2.5 MOA with irons), good reliability (the Henry Arms models), and is very light and compact (it actually floats). The new version has two 8 round magazines, and both store in the stock with the receiver and barrel. I can tell you from decades of experience, that this is a great small game gun, and is still going strong after tens of thousands of rounds.
If you feel you need for more firepower, in a compact (25.5″ folded) semi-auto centerfire, the 4.7lb. Keltec SU16C is the ticket. The SU16C uses AR15 mags, and the “C” model actually can be fired with the stock folded (“A” and “B” models can’t), and has great reliability, and plenty of acceptable accuracy (1.5-2 MOA on average). One of the convenient things about the SU16C is that, just like an AKMS, it will fit in an M60 barrel bag (available as surplus), and will easily strap onto the side of your pack. This rifle is excellent for those who want a compact, very lightweight, centerfire, semi-auto for protection from two or four legged vermin, that conveniently uses the most popular magazine available for 5.56/.223 caliber rifles, and has that evil threaded barrel feature in the AR thread pitch (1/2×28) for suppressors, flash “hiders”, etc. I’m not listing AR’s AK’s etc., because this post is about lightweight, and/or versatile firearms options, not standard issue “battle” rifles.
Next up is the ubiquitous .22Long Rifle J frame sized revolver, or “Kitgun”, as it has been called. There are a number of reasons for having a small, accurate .22LR handgun, capable of using any standard or high velocity .22 LR, Long, and Short ammo available. The Taurus rimfire revolver is both economical, accurate (minute of squirrel), and with nine rounds, is comparable to most rimfire auto loaders on the market in capacity, but smaller than average semi-auto. One advantage of a revolver is progressive loading. First three rounds might be snake shot, then three CB caps, then three standard, or high velocity loads. Progressive loading in a revolver gives the shooter the option to cycle through the ammo (cock, decock till you’re at the round you want to use) in the cylinder. The purpose of snake shot loads is obvious (small shot loaded cartridge. CB Long Caps are a lightweight (29 grains), with a reduced load of propellant, for a very quiet discharge, in relation to a standard or high velocity load. They are used for small game out to about 10 yards (in my experience), and are quieter than some airguns. I’ve taken squirrel and rabbit out to 20 yards with this pistol, and it has been nothing but reliable and accurate in the decade I’ve owned it.
Well, that’s it for now. As I said, these are just some of my thoughts, reflected by years of ownership and use of these firearms.