Which firearms do you think would be the wisest to have in case of a major disaster or survival situation, such as a natural disaster in town, an EMP attack where the grid goes down, or an economic collapse even greater than the Great Depression? When disaster strikes, one of your biggest priorities has to be security and safety, and no security plan is truly complete without having quality firearms that you know how to use in your armory.


Technically, having any firearms for defensive, hunting, and other purposes would be much better than having none at all. But still, there are certain types, makes, and models that would be much preferred over other types, and if you don’t yet have any firearms at all, you’ll want to know with which models you can begin building your collection.


Here are the top five firearms you should have in case you find yourself in a survival situation, presented in alphabetical order:


Glock 19 9mm

A mid-sized 9mm handgun with a large magazine capacity, and that is both small enough to conceal and large enough to fight with, will be of the utmost importance. This is because having a firearm that you keep on your person at all times and can access in less than second during a disaster is critical.


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One of the best guns on the market today that fits this criteria is the Glock 19 pistol. Currently the bestselling pistol in the United States, the Glock is reliable, durable, simple, and is easily customizable to your exact specifications. Training others in its use is very easy because of its simplicity. The Glock 19 would be the perfect firearm to keep on your hip throughout the disaster, and the compact frame means that you can easily hide it under a shirt or jacket if you had to. Furthermore, the 15+1 capacity offers you plenty of firepower for fighting off multiple attackers; it will also accept larger 17 and 33 round magazines.

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Mossberg 500

One of the most practical firearms that you can own is a shotgun. The reason for this is because of the ammunition. You can use shotguns for big game hunting (within moderate distances) when using slugs, bird hunting or small game hunting when loaded with birdshot, and home defense when loaded with buckshot.


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The Mossberg 500 is one of the most popular pump action shotguns on the market. The 590A1, a militarized version of the 500, was the only pump action shotgun to pass the United States Army’s grueling torture test.  The 500 features an ambidextrous safety on the rear of the receiver, making it more ergonomic than the competing Remington 870. If you buy a Mossberg 500 with a 5+1 capacity, you will be able to switch between a short 18.5 inch barrel for home defense, and a longer 26 or 28 inch barrel for hunting. The barrels can be swapped out in as little as fifteen seconds, and essentially gives you a two in one combination.

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Ruger 10/22 .22 LR

A .22 rifle should never be overlooked as a survival rifle. In a disaster or survival situation, a .22 rifle can be used for small game hunting, casual target shooting, pest control, and even self-defense if you have to use it as such.


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The .22 round itself will be highly valuable during a survival situation because of the fact that it is very cheap, can be bought in bulk, and is very lightweight and small. You can store thousands upon thousands of rounds in a very limited space, and it’s also much quieter than other rounds when fired. In my opinion, the best semi-automatic .22 rifle on the market is the Ruger 10/22. Very affordable and in continuous production since the 1960s, it is the best-selling .22 rifle ever made and also one of the most customizable firearms on the planet. Besides the standard ten round magazines, it will also accept larger fifteen, twenty, twenty five, and thirty round magazines as well.

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Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II

There’s a solid reason the AR-15 is the bestselling rifle in America right now. It’s accurate, lightweight, ergonomic, easy to use, and has very limited recoil. The 5.56x45mm NATO round is also very plentiful, affordable, and large enough to bring down medium sized game such as deer or pronghorn.


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In a disaster, the AR-15 will be an excellent weapon to use for home defense because of the fact that it is one of the best firearms to defend against multiple attackers thanks to its large magazine capacity and low recoil. Furthermore, the AR-15 can be a more valuable and effective self-defense weapon than either a handgun or shotgun. This is because it has longer range than either a shotgun or a handgun, less recoil than a shotgun, and greater stopping power than a handgun. The Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II is one of the most affordable AR-15s on the market with a reputation for quality and reliability.

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Winchester Model 70 .308

A rifle that can reach out to tap targets at long distances and bring down big game is another important firearm that you must own. .308 Winchester will be the perfect caliber to fit this criteria, because it is one of the most plentiful and abundant rifle calibers in the world, is relatively affordable, has excellent ballistics, and will drop just about anything in North America.


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There are also an abundance of bolt action rifles that will chamber and fire the .308 round, but one of the best is easily the Winchester Model 70. In production since 1936 and available in a limitless variety of configurations, the Winchester M70 is colloquially known as the ‘rifleman’s rifle’ and utilizes a durable and smooth Mauser action. The only downside to the Model 70 is its price. If cost is an issue for you, you have cheaper .308 bolt action rifle options in the form of guns such as the Mossberg Patriot and the Ruger American.

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The reason we’ve recommended the above five makes and models is because each of these firearms has a well-deserved reputation for quality, and furthermore owning each of these five will ensure that all of your bases are covered.


Credit: Nick Oetken


Nick Oetken is a writer and avid outdoors enthusiast. He specializes in writing about firearms, self-defense, disaster preparedness, and wilderness survival.