There can be no one answer for the “best survival rifle” question. With enormous differences in the requirements of various shooters, the conditions under which they operate dictate the kind of rifle that would work best for them. It is for this reason that instead of choosing a single survival rifle, we have come up with an inventory of some of the best in the market for a variety of situations and environments.
- Characteristics: Ruger 10/22 is a 22 caliber, semi-automatic rifle which is magazine fed. It is compatible with the 22 long rifle cartridges and comes with a price range of $12-20 for a brick of 550 rounds.
- Highlights: The 22 long rifle is economical, simple to stash and hold without any loud report and is perfect for small games. The best part of owning a 10/22 is that it is extremely durable, accommodates a wide variety of Ruger 10/22 accessories from barrels, stocks, scopes and magazines and highly consistent and dependable. It is ideal for those looking for long lasting options that would not burn their pockets.
- Characteristics: The AK 47 is also a semi-automatic. It is 7.62×39 caliber and magazine fed. The 7.60×39 with a 130 grain bullet comes with a power of 2057 – 2232 feet per second in accordance with the load, which is slightly lower than the Winchester (1879-2304 feet per second). Unlike the 30-30, the AK-47 or SKS is not regarded as an ideal partner for a deer hunt. As the specs indicate, the 7.62×39 works well enough for 100-150 yard deer sized targets.
- Highlights: The best trait of the 7.62×39 round is its stopping power. The AK 47 is highly dependable and is capable of accommodating a variety of AK-47 accessories and alterations. The only glitch is that AK 47 uses steel magazines which are susceptible to rusting and require proper oiling and maintenance before storage.
- Characteristics: The Marlin 30-30, as the name indicates, is a 30-30 caliber with lever action and is tube fed. The 30 caliber bullet is powerful and precise enough to take down deer or hog sized targets at a distance of about 100-150 yards.
- Highlights: The Marlin 30-30 is quite dependable and is blessed with lower recoil than the 30-06. It is also quite compact and therefore ideal for adult shooters with a small frame and youngsters. Though it has a lever action, combined with the efficiency of the 30-30 Winchester, it is an extremely worthy choice.
Remington 750 Woodsmaster
- Characteristics: Remington Model 750 Woodsmaster is a semi automatic and uses a wide array of calibers. It is magazine fed with detachable magazines.
- Highlights: The Remington is ideal for both urban survival situations and for targets that are larger than a deer like a moose or bear.
- Characteristics & Highlights: The FN/FAL is hard wearing, dependable and robust and is a common choice among military around the globe. The SA58 FN/FAL is manufactured in various configurations by the DS Arms Manufacturers in the United States. One major drawback is the price of the magazines. With a tag of $15-20, it is quite expensive for normal use.
PTR-91 & M1A
Characteristics & Highlights: The PTR-91 is a highly economical choice with the price tags of magazines ranging between $1-5. It has a H&K 91 design and build. The M1A, as already known, is a high end, military grade rifle that has seen hundreds of battles around the globe.
Among the semi-automatic 308s, your choice would probably depend on whether you prefer a rifle with a military or civilian look. While Remington satisfies those who prefer a civilian looking weapon, those with the military style preference can go for FN/FAL, PTR 91 or the M1A.
Characteristics: The Remington Model 700 has a bolt action and is magazine fed with a wide range of calibers.
Highlights: The build and design of the Remington Model 700 is uncomplicated and its precision and reliability factor is high. It is ideal for both small games and bear hunts.
- Characteristics: The Weatherby Vanguard has a synthetic stock, bulky barrel and comes with a wide range of calibers. It is available in 270 and 30-06.
- Highlights: Weatherby Vanguard is economical and is an ideal choice for a majority of wild games
Marlin Model 60
- Characteristics & Highlights: The Marlin Model 60 is a tube fed 22 rifle. For those who prefer tube fed rifles, this is a perfect choice to go for.
This inventory includes those rifles that are ideal for a variety of situations and conditions. The AR-15 semi-automatic might be a preferred choice for many but the 223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO are miniscule when compared with .308. These rounds therefore have much less penetration power which is just not ideal for hunts, not to mention the fact that many states do not allow deer sized hunts with smaller rounds. It also does not help that the price range of an AR-15 is $800 to 1500. The Ruger mini 14 and mini 30, though great in quality, have a pretty huge price tag between $700-800. Few people also prefer to use pistol rounds in a rifle. These might work perfectly for close range shots but do not come close to the above list when it comes to long distance shooting.
While picking a survival weapon the single most important point that should figure in your checklist is that it should be adaptable for urban survival situations as well as hunting. Picking such a flexible rifle would ensure that you need to stock only a single type of ammo. Ultimately, your rifle should be good for the hunt and for the pocket.