Guns are vital for hunting game animals and for self-defense. Your bug-out bag should have at least one pistol and one rifle, plus enough ammunition for both weapons.
Pistols and rifles are the best guns to take with you if SHTF and you need to bug out. Not only do these two types of firearms cover all of the requirements for survival weapons, but they also work well together.
If you need to bug out on foot, you will only be able to bring one to three guns. You need to select the weapons that will work in any given scenario.
For example, a machine gun is a fearsome weapon for defending a homestead. But it is difficult to conceal and transport, not to mention it will draw the wrath of the federal government.
Meanwhile, a .22 rifle is practically a requirement in any firearms collection. But it is not the best weapon for hunting or self-defense.
If you have a bug-out vehicle, you may be able to take more weapons with you. But you also have tons of other supplies to consider.
A pistol is the most vital gun for any prepper to bring. It is the one firearm that must be brought along when you bug out.
A handgun is easy to conceal. A concealable weapon is critical during any disaster scenario.
Showing a firearm in the open will draw a lot of attention that you will not want to attract. Other people will become wary and may react dangerously.
Instead, go for concealed carry. Bring several spare magazines or speedloaders at the same time in case the need to reload comes up.
It is not safe to stick the pistol into the waistband of your pants. Instead, get a high-quality holster that conceals the trigger guard of the gun.
Hide all of your other firearms. Do not bring them out unless necessary.
Get a medium-sized pistol that is reliable, small enough to hide on your body, and powerful enough for self-defense. The magazines must hold a lot of bullets while not being so long that they become too cumbersome to handle. Meanwhile, the caliber needs to be widely available so that finding reloads will not be difficult.
Supplement the pistol – or pistols – with a versatile rifle for use in various roles. The firearm must be capable of shooting at long-distance targets far beyond the range of a shotgun.
Next, it must be powerful enough to hunt big game like bears, deer, and wolves. That means the round has to be much bigger than a .22.
The lighter rounds include 5.56×45 mm NATO, .223, and 7.62×39 mm. Heavier options like the 7.62×51 mm NATO and .308 Winchester reach further and pack more stopping power.
The rifle may be a semiautomatic, a lever-action, or a bolt-action. A semiautomatic like the AR-15 and the Ruger Mini-14 have the highest rate of fire and the most ammunition.
Lever-action rifles occupy the middle ground. Guns like the Winchester 1894 and Marlin 336 are simpler than semiautomatics and fire faster than bolt-actions.
Bolt-action rifles are the simplest and most reliable option. Scout rifles like the Ruger GSR are good hunting weapons and also viable for self-defense with the right training.
Remember to hide the rifle. While it is much easier to conceal a long firearm inside a bug-out vehicle, a prepper bugging out on foot may camouflage his or her weapon with effort and creativity.