While you don’t have to buy enough guns to literally fill up an entire room, you will want to buy enough guns so that all of your bases are covered.
In this article, we’re not going to point out any specific makes or models of guns that you should have. We are going to outline the five most important TYPES of guns that you should own and suggest the order in which you should own them:
A PUMP ACTION SHOTGUN
The first gun that you will want to have in your SHTF armory is a pump action shotgun, chambered for either 20 gauge or 12 gauge. Avoid semi-automatic shotguns as they tend to be less reliable than pump actions, which will feed through anything you give them.
The reason why a pump action shotgun should be the first gun you own is its versatility. If you think about it, the only two ways you can’t use a shotgun are for concealed carry and long range shooting. But you can use it for two of the biggest reasons to own a gun: hunting and home defense.
While you can obviously go small game or bird hunting with a shotgun when it’s loaded with birdshot, you can also go big game hunting when you load it with slugs. It won’t have quite the range of a rifle, but it will definitely have enough power. Buckshot is the best load to use for home defense. Buckshot delivers more knockdown power than birdshot and more spread than slugs.
When looking for a pump action shotgun, look for a combo model that comes with two barrels, a short 18.5-inch barrel for home defense and a longer 24, 26, or 28-inch vented rib barrel for hunting. This will essentially give you two shotguns in one and greatly increase the versatility of the weapon.
After your shotgun, probably the next most important gun to own is a semi-automatic pistol. This is debated by many who say the next you should own is a .22 rifle. Nonetheless, the pistol gives you a unique capability that rifles and shotguns don’t, you can conceal it on your person.
This will be a huge advantage in an SHTF situation where you may not want anybody to know that you have a gun on you and want to preserve the element of surprise.
While some survivalists prefer revolvers for their simplicity, you should ideally opt for a semi-automatic pistol with a large round count instead. This is simply because you’ll have to reload less often. And it’s always better to have more rounds than fewer against multiple assailants.
An ideal semi-automatic pistol would be a mid-sized pistol with a large magazine capacity. (Something along the size of a Glock 19, though many other makes and models exist). This is because a mid-sized pistol will be small enough to conceal adequately, but large enough to be used effectively in an SHTF situation with its higher round count. 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP should be the only calibers you consider for your pistol as they are the most abundant and easiest to find.
In addition to your pistol, plan on having a minimum of five magazines in total for it. No, by no means should you carry all five magazines at once. But it’s still a good idea to have spares if any become lost or damaged. You should also have a variety of high-quality holsters (OWB holster, IWB holster, shoulder holster, etc.) that you can use for a variety of different situations.
A .22 SEMI-AUTOMATIC RIFLE
Some would say that the .22 rifle is even more important than the semi-automatic pistol. While you can’t conceal carry it by any means, it’s still almost as versatile as the shotgun. It’s an excellent weapon for general homestead and training use.
The biggest benefit of the .22 rifle is the .22 ammunition itself. It’s incredibly small, and lightweight can be stored in bulk in the same amount of space that you could only store a rather meager amount of pistol or rifle ammo in. For this reason, alone, the .22 makes an excellent training weapon because you can have plenty of ammunition to spare. Granted, the price of .22 has been higher in recent years than it was previously, but you can still store a lot of it.
The .22 is also an excellent caliber for small game hunting, and even for deer hunting if you need it to. While a larger caliber would certainly be preferable for bringing down larger game such as deer, if you shoot behind the ear with a .22 it will drop it, so practice your aim!
Go with a semi-automatic for your .22 over a single shot, bolt action, or lever action. A semi-auto will more closely mimic your centerfire semi-auto rifle for training purposes. It can hold more ammunition (a high capacity mag for a Ruger 10/22, for instance, can hold 25 rounds of ammunition).
A SEMI-AUTOMATIC CENTERFIRE RIFLE
The next weapon you should own is a military style, semi-automatic centerfire rifle chambered in an intermediate round (preferably either 5.56x45mm NATO or 7.62x39mm) Get one with a large magazine capacity of 20 to 30 rounds.
The primary purpose of owning a semi-automatic centerfire rifle is to defend your family and your property from multiple attackers. A rifle like an AK-47 or an AR-15 offers you plenty of advantages that other guns simply do not. It has greater capacity and more range than a shotgun and more knockdown power, velocity, and range than a handgun.
A shotgun is great for close quarters home defense. But a semi-auto rifle is far superior for defending your property against angry mobs and looters. With the larger magazine capacity, you’ll have less reloading to do. And the semi-automatic function means that you can send a lot of lead down range very quickly.
Plan on purchasing at least ten spare magazines for your semi-auto rifle. Like with your pistol, by no means do you need to carry all of those with you at once. But it’s still very wise should any become lost or worn out. While you can buy an optic for your rifle if you want to, it would be wiser to learn how to shoot with iron sights first. The money that you would have spent on an optic or a scope you should instead spend on ammunition for practicing.
A weapon that you will need a scope for, however, is the fifth and final most important gun. A long-range rifle. Regardless of whether it’s a bolt action, lever action, single shot, or another semi-automatic, it needs to fire a bigger bullet and be capable of tapping targets accurately at long distances.
Your long-range rifle serves two primary purposes: big game hunting and long range anti-personnel use. There will simply be no better rifle for big game hunting such as deer or elk than a large caliber rifle. It will also offer you more range than your semi-automatic, intermediate cartridge rifle would.
As far as calibers are concerned, you have a variety of options, but it’s hard to go wrong with .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. Both are very plentiful and offer you plenty of range and velocity. They will drop anything that needs to be dropped in the United States. Their extensive use by the U.S military proves their combat readiness.
In conclusion, if you could only have five basic types of guns in your survival armory, a pump action shotgun, semi-auto pistol, .22 semi-automatic rifle, centerfire semi-automatic rifle, and a long-range rifle are the ones to have.
The reason why these five are the most important is that, together, they fulfill every need to own a gun in the first place. There is no one gun that fulfills every role. Just like you have to have multiple tools in your toolbox, you must have multiple types of guns in your armory.
Now that you know the five basic types of guns that need to be in your armory, the next thing you need to do is to research specific makes and models for each type. Remember that you want your gun to last you a lifetime. Ideally, it will be passed down to future generations, so assuming you have the money, investing more cash in a high quality and reputable model. This will be a much smarter move than spending less money on a budgetary or cheaper made version.