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Bug-out Guns

The perfect survival gun doesn’t exist. There are so many survival scenarios that might crop up that no one firearm can be expected to handle every contingency better than all its peers. But you can tailor your personal “bug-out” guns to the situations you’re most likely to encounter, whether it’s in the Brooks Range in Alaska or in the dark hallways of your house in the dead of night. Common to all survival guns, however, is the need for rugged dependability, and by that standard the firearms listed here measure up.

Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle
The scout rifle is perhaps the purest centerfire survival rifle you can find. Everything about its design is geared toward all-around use. Its compact length makes it handy and easy to carry.

With a forward-mounted, low-magnification scope, you can shoot quickly and accurately with both eyes open out to 300 yards. And it’s difficult to imagine a more versatile cartridge than the .308. Ruger’s model, designed with input from the instructors at Gunsite, is fed by either a 5- or 10-round magazine, and unlike other scout rifles, it carries a reasonable price tag. ($995; ruger.com)

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from bruk 6/23/2014 at 04:57pm

I have a Savage stainless 22 mag bolt action rifle with a Nicon 2 to 9 power scope with raised mount to see the rifle sights under it. Painted Camoe and a folding stock when folded it is 26 inches long and fits in the pack. Ten ten shot magazines and 1250 rounds 36 grams bullets in the pack. A Rugar 22 mag revolver on my hip. Six days of dehydrated food, salt/pepper, quart container powered lemonade, sealed tube with 50 waxed matches, a flint stick, a change of cloths/socks, a sweeter, a small first aid kit and tent. Sleeping bag wraped with a small tarp secured to the bottom of the backpack. 22 mag bullet is going at 1800 fps at 100 yards and will take down a deer.

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from Chapie 6/5/2011 at 12:25am

Bug out guns - what are you trying to survive for the $2,991.00 invested - which does not count taxes, magazines (for rifle and pistol), and ammo.

For the same money (and better results?)

AK in 7.62x39 for under $700

Mossberg 500 or Maverick 88 12 ga pump shot gun for under $350

Stainless Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum revolver with 4" or 6" barrel for under $600

Ruger 1022 .22LR rifle for under $350

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from 25-06 guy 6/4/2011 at 09:30pm

Why no pump action shot gun for the bug out gun? In a survival situation would a pump be less to keep clean to function?

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from theonlyarcher 4/22/2011 at 10:56pm

Do me a favor and let me know how shooting that semi shotgun one handed works out.We'll see if it fits the image in my head!

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from eli 4/10/2011 at 02:00pm

Once again, Outdoor Life brings us "Survival for the Richest!".

For the price of the $1300 shotgun alone, everyday income folks can have a reliable handgun, rifle and pistol with change.

$230 - $350, Finn Mosin Nagant M39, 7.62x54r, possibly the best bolt action war rifle ever! Easy to reload, .30, made by some of the finest riflemen and survivors of extreme conditions ever. Eerily accurate, this rifle can be still be had in unissued condition, though most used are just as good.

$501, Glock in 9mm, .40, .45, etc, my preference is the G30 in .45 acp, conceals well, hits what it's pointed at and hits hard!

$350, Remington 870 12g., Finest, most reliable pump shotgun ever made, period!

Buy used and put the savings/excess into a used Ruger Super Single Six and you've got a .22 short, Long, Long Rifle, (CB, subsonic, Standard, Hyper V', Mini-Mag, ) & WRF and WMR tool that can keep game in your belly and pest at bay, all year long, on a pound or three of rimfire.

With Lee Classic loaders, about $25, are available for both the Mosin Nagant and 12g so keep both long guns feed on hand tailored reloads.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Warmil 4/10/2011 at 01:31pm

John's choices are his but definitely not mine. Three grand for three weapons leaves a lot of room for personal choices in my "Bug Out" guns. First I like autos more so than bolt guns and the difference in accuracy is not a problem. Second a 3.8" barrel pistol is a no no, give me 5-6" any day because I might need to reach out a little farther than across a room. Third, if I'm gonna carry the weight of a shotgun and extra shells, I want a collapsible stock, magazine fed, 16-20" barrel, 12 that will ride easy strapped across my back, accessible when I need it and out of the way when I don't. I'd also grab a compact .22 rifle, in my opinion the most versatile and indispensable weapon anyone could have in most situations. All, like water and meals should be easily resupplied from NATO Forces stock. Sorry to be so wordy but if I'm bugging out I want to be able to carry or pick up what I need. Just MTC...

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from mark5763 4/10/2011 at 10:13am

Glad to see that your bug out guns are in the price range of everyday John Q. Public, NOT. $1300 for a shotgun that will probably stay in your closet all the time until you decide to scare the neighbor hood cat roaming around you trash cans one night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mark5763 4/10/2011 at 10:07am

If anyone has ever shot a lighter weight rifle in .308 they will know it is not very forgiving. A quick followup shot maybe, but expect to be hurting. I would think something a little lighter kicking would be a somewhat easier on the body.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Western23 4/10/2011 at 10:01am

I am always puzzled why "pumps" are so popular...when talking about "survival" situations. Oh well....if I am injured and only have the use of 1 arm...I'll be happy I mave a semi-auto shotgun...anytime! Your choice I know, but I'll stick to pumps at the trap and skeet ranges, hunting upland game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):

from mark5763 4/10/2011 at 10:07am

If anyone has ever shot a lighter weight rifle in .308 they will know it is not very forgiving. A quick followup shot maybe, but expect to be hurting. I would think something a little lighter kicking would be a somewhat easier on the body.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from eli 4/10/2011 at 02:00pm

Once again, Outdoor Life brings us "Survival for the Richest!".

For the price of the $1300 shotgun alone, everyday income folks can have a reliable handgun, rifle and pistol with change.

$230 - $350, Finn Mosin Nagant M39, 7.62x54r, possibly the best bolt action war rifle ever! Easy to reload, .30, made by some of the finest riflemen and survivors of extreme conditions ever. Eerily accurate, this rifle can be still be had in unissued condition, though most used are just as good.

$501, Glock in 9mm, .40, .45, etc, my preference is the G30 in .45 acp, conceals well, hits what it's pointed at and hits hard!

$350, Remington 870 12g., Finest, most reliable pump shotgun ever made, period!

Buy used and put the savings/excess into a used Ruger Super Single Six and you've got a .22 short, Long, Long Rifle, (CB, subsonic, Standard, Hyper V', Mini-Mag, ) & WRF and WMR tool that can keep game in your belly and pest at bay, all year long, on a pound or three of rimfire.

With Lee Classic loaders, about $25, are available for both the Mosin Nagant and 12g so keep both long guns feed on hand tailored reloads.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Western23 4/10/2011 at 10:01am

I am always puzzled why "pumps" are so popular...when talking about "survival" situations. Oh well....if I am injured and only have the use of 1 arm...I'll be happy I mave a semi-auto shotgun...anytime! Your choice I know, but I'll stick to pumps at the trap and skeet ranges, hunting upland game.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mark5763 4/10/2011 at 10:13am

Glad to see that your bug out guns are in the price range of everyday John Q. Public, NOT. $1300 for a shotgun that will probably stay in your closet all the time until you decide to scare the neighbor hood cat roaming around you trash cans one night.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Warmil 4/10/2011 at 01:31pm

John's choices are his but definitely not mine. Three grand for three weapons leaves a lot of room for personal choices in my "Bug Out" guns. First I like autos more so than bolt guns and the difference in accuracy is not a problem. Second a 3.8" barrel pistol is a no no, give me 5-6" any day because I might need to reach out a little farther than across a room. Third, if I'm gonna carry the weight of a shotgun and extra shells, I want a collapsible stock, magazine fed, 16-20" barrel, 12 that will ride easy strapped across my back, accessible when I need it and out of the way when I don't. I'd also grab a compact .22 rifle, in my opinion the most versatile and indispensable weapon anyone could have in most situations. All, like water and meals should be easily resupplied from NATO Forces stock. Sorry to be so wordy but if I'm bugging out I want to be able to carry or pick up what I need. Just MTC...

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from theonlyarcher 4/22/2011 at 10:56pm

Do me a favor and let me know how shooting that semi shotgun one handed works out.We'll see if it fits the image in my head!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from 25-06 guy 6/4/2011 at 09:30pm

Why no pump action shot gun for the bug out gun? In a survival situation would a pump be less to keep clean to function?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Chapie 6/5/2011 at 12:25am

Bug out guns - what are you trying to survive for the $2,991.00 invested - which does not count taxes, magazines (for rifle and pistol), and ammo.

For the same money (and better results?)

AK in 7.62x39 for under $700

Mossberg 500 or Maverick 88 12 ga pump shot gun for under $350

Stainless Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum revolver with 4" or 6" barrel for under $600

Ruger 1022 .22LR rifle for under $350

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bruk 6/23/2014 at 04:57pm

I have a Savage stainless 22 mag bolt action rifle with a Nicon 2 to 9 power scope with raised mount to see the rifle sights under it. Painted Camoe and a folding stock when folded it is 26 inches long and fits in the pack. Ten ten shot magazines and 1250 rounds 36 grams bullets in the pack. A Rugar 22 mag revolver on my hip. Six days of dehydrated food, salt/pepper, quart container powered lemonade, sealed tube with 50 waxed matches, a flint stick, a change of cloths/socks, a sweeter, a small first aid kit and tent. Sleeping bag wraped with a small tarp secured to the bottom of the backpack. 22 mag bullet is going at 1800 fps at 100 yards and will take down a deer.

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Write a Comment Your comment (200 characters or less):