What is the optimal Survival Rifle?

Discussion in 'Large-Bore/Small-Bore Rifle/Shotgun' started by scotticism101, May 30, 2003.

  1. scotticism101

    scotticism101 New Member

    May 30, 2003
    Hey all, Im looking for what is the optimal survival rifle. This is a rifle for a bushplane in Alaska, and a takedown rifle is needed. I need it to fit my budget, under about $500, and it should be realativly easy for a beginner shooter to shoot if they have a basic knowlage about guns, in case anything happens to me in a crash situation, so not a really large caliber.

    thanks to all

    Happy Hunting
  2. Welcome to you scotticism101...

    Nice handle!...Gunna have to think about the kind of gun your looking for?...Don't you have any caliber desire?...[​IMG]

  3. scotticism101

    scotticism101 New Member

    May 30, 2003
    sorry smokin guns, i dont know a whole lot about guns, thats why im askin you!:) somethin smaller, like a .223, .22, to about a .30 .
  4. pickenup

    pickenup Active Member

    Hello scotticism101.
    Welcome to TFF.
    If you are just talking about a 22 caliber. Where you can throw a box of 50 rounds of ammo in your pocket, with room to spare, then the Charter arms AR-7 is a dandy little survival rifle. It all folds up into the plastic stock. Snaps tight and floats. This rifle is NOT a tack driver, but it would put meat over the fire, if you do your part.
  5. bigboom338

    bigboom338 New Member

    Mar 27, 2003
    South Dakota
    Welcome to TFF Scotticism ,hope you enjoy our site.
    Another option would be a Springfield armory M6 Scout rifle it is a break action stack barrel ,the top barrel comes in 22 lr or 22 Hornet and the bottom is a 410 shotgun, stainless steel or parkerized for around $200 bucks. I will assume that other guys and gals will come along and give you 20 more suggestions and really confuse you. Good luck in your search.;)
  6. misiu

    misiu New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    British Columbia
    Hello Scotticism and welcome to our site:

    Firstly let me say that the above post is right-if you ask 20 of us you will probably get 20 different answers. One of the reasons for that is that you don't provide enough info as to your use for this gun. Eg: Do you just want it to be able to shoot small game for food? Do you want it for a source of self protection against predators? These answers will make a big difference in the type of gun you want. I live and hunt in Grizz country and I fly airplanes so I will give you an alternative that will offer some protection against bears, wolves,etc. and yet be usable for hunting smaller game while not kicking the heck out of you.

    Three choices come to my mind:
    1-Winchester model 94 in .307 Win. - While not a powerhouse will give some protection against bears and shoots relatively flat. Rifle is not a take down but is short enough to fit into a small airplane comfortably.

    2-Winchester model 94 in .356 Win. - A much better gun for protection and same comments as to size.

    3.Winchester model 94 Trapper model which comes in 3 or 4 calibers of which the best for you would be 30-30 Win. This gun while being the poorest for protection (but still better than any .22) comes with a short 16" barrel which makes storage very easy.

    Finally consider a short barreled shotgun which may be your best all around choice.

    Good luck:
  7. Slimslam

    Slimslam New Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    SE Michigan

    I'm looking at the Henry US Survival 22LR. It comes in black, silver or camo. It breaks down to 16.5". The MSRP is $189. Go to Henry Repeating Arms website for more info. Good Luck!
  8. warpig

    warpig Guest

  9. steelshooter

    steelshooter New Member

    May 24, 2003
    Northern Michigan
    I guess when I think about a “survival rifle” I think about a gun that I would bet my butt on to keep me alive when times got tough. Plane down in nowhere land, lost camping or hiking, camping when the bad guys showed up, home defense, etc. So I’d need a rifle that could put food on the fire, is reasonably lightweight, and had enough firepower to curb the minds of evil doers, be they man or beast.

    My choice? An AR-15 and a few magazines. I could take small game, deer sized game, defend myself and family very well from those with less than good intentions. If you ran into the rare bear that would like to see you on “his’ dinner plate ( most would just as soon leave you alone ) a magazine of .223’s in the face is likely to send him looking elsewhere. Something to think about, a 55 grain .223 turns out about 1200 ft/lbs. of energy compared to a 240 grain JHP from a .44 mag at 750 ft/lbs.

    As you can probably tell I’m not a fan of “survival” rifles. I just don’t believe that I would trust the life of myself or that of my families on some (fill in the blank) rifle. As misiu pointed out with his choices, use a quality rifle. My second choice would be a shotgun as well.

    Is an AR expensive? Yup but if “survival “ is at stake…

    Oh last minute thought, a Mini 14 would fit the bill nicely. Tons of stock options, reliable, plenty of firepower, lots of high cap magazines out there, and in your price range.
  10. calicollector

    calicollector New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    all around survival "rifle"

    well this is going to fit the bill, but rather loosely. what about a rifle sighted 12 gauge pump shotgun? simple to use, realibale, built to run and runs to last, assuming that its a quality rig, and for $500 theres NO reason it shouldnt be! with rifle sites on it, you could procure deer sized game out to 50 yards reliably using rifled slugs, an assortment of different shot shells could yeild you anything from ptarmigan to bear repelant. its also about as basic and easy to use as i can think of, short of a NEF Handi-Rifle or a NEF type single shot shotgun.
    if the shotgun isnt your thing, what about a USED .300 Win Mag, .30-06, .308 bolt action rifle?? a few sub caliber inserts fro potting small game, and the full house premium hunting ammo for taking care of business?
    the AR-7 is a good foraging tool, reliable, easy to use, although some folks for some reason dont seem to be able to put one together without some instruction.. wich never ceases to amaze me. ive got an AR-7 Industries AR-7 and im happy with it.. henry currently produces one as well right now, shamelessly marketed as the "Henry Survival Rifle" ... just a pot hunters rig, no more.
    the Savage model 24 is another good choice thats been mentioned, BUT they aint a light rifle, and they are single shot respective of rifle or shotgun, BUT they are a VERY good rifle. ive talked to quite a few folks who own them and they love them.
    the Springfield M6 Scout rifle that was mentioned is another good foraging rifle. they have a new version that is chambereed .22lr or .22 Hornet over .45LC/.410 with screw in choke tubes... available in S.S, of course. prety much a good small game forager, no more no less, with teh ability to take deer sized game. i question its bear repelant properties though.
    i dont want to sound like im pimping anyone off to another forum, and i dont want to sound like i have ANY doubts as to the knowledge of the extremely knowledgable members of this forum, but if youd like to talk to some survival oriented people about this subject, i can suggest 2 forums on EZBoards. Survival Oriented as in Wilderness type survival.
    first is Hoods Woods, ran by Ron and karen Hood. very good people, they produce a video series to teach people wilderness survival. they know their stuff! plain and simple. the link is:
    the other is Plainsmans Cabin, its ran by a gent whos name of course is Plainsman. a good guy with a forum that deals with subjects ranging from wilderness survival to other sorts of survival. the link is:
    the first place id go to would be Hoods Woods being that this would be primarily a wilderness survival thing, and then Plainsmans cabin. if youd like, tell them i sent you... theyll treat you well at both places as you are though. hope this helps, Ray in California
    p.s. im known as CaliCollector on those forums.
  11. wuzzagrunt

    wuzzagrunt New Member

    Apr 20, 2003
    Up here...

    ...or down here (depending on your perspective) in the Northeast the weapon of choice for nutritional sustenance would be a book of coupons from a Denny's resturant. There's hardly anyplace you could go down that's not within a few hours walk of a sit-down eatery. A pistol would be handy to deal with (two-legged) predators.

    For an Alaskan bush pilot, the equation changes. There are lots of ways to snare small game without a gun. With a little ingenuity, you could feed yourself like a king without firing a shot. Defense against bears would be utmost on my mind. That means a repeater with some real energy.

    For bears, a 12 gauge pump gun is pretty effective and the price is right (about $300 used) They are not take-down in any meaningful sense but you can get one with a folding stock--so I guess that qualifies. The Marlin 1895 Guide Gun in .45-70 or .450 Marlin are very handy and under $500.00. Wild West Guns makes a take-down Marlin Guide Gun in .450 that is the bees knees. They are way expensive, though. Remington makes a nice short action magnum based on the old Model 600 in .350 Rem. Mag. That also is a bit more than you wanted to spend but still a spiffy little rifle. Just the ticket for negotiating real estate deals with big bears.

    I'd say: get a used Remington 870 slug gun and carry slugs for bears, 000 buck for two legged vermin and a couple of shells loaded with #6 shot for bagging grouse and ptarmagin. For survival purposes, you have my permission to bushwhack 'em on the ground.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2003
  12. Slimslam

    Slimslam New Member

    Dec 26, 2002
    SE Michigan
    AR-7 v Henry?

    Please elaborate from your experience as to the better value/choice between the Survival Arms AR7 v. the Henry US Survival 22 LR, ie., durability, reliability, etc. The price appears to similar. I appreciate your help. Thanks.
  13. Logansdad

    Logansdad New Member

    May 31, 2003
    Alabama's Gulf Coast
    I was born and raised in Alaska...I wouldn't recommend a .22lr..I'd be more inclined towards a Remington 870 Marine Magnum or a stainless Marlin 1894 in .44 Magnum with a peep sight
  14. Marlin

    Marlin *TFF Admin Staff Chief Counselor*

    From one Scot to another, Welcome, Scotticism. Hope you will join us frequently.

    I would buy into the Marlin 1894 .44 mag. I have one and love it!
  15. calicollector

    calicollector New Member

    Apr 12, 2003
    well lets see

    SlimSlam, i own a AR-7 Industries Ar-7 and am happy with it. i bought it over a henry for a couple reasons. one id heard of folks having probs with henry's and i figured the AR-7 built from the original plans and improved would be better. not really a trial and error purchase. Henry kind of pi$$es me off with their shameless name of "the HENRY Survival Rifle" like THEY designed and invented it instead of Eugene Stoner. so me being the irritable kinda sort i am, i dont buy shameless fallacies like that. my AR-7 has only had one real problem.. and it was kinda MY fault i guess for not paying attention. the rear sight screw backed out of my rifle and got lost, the peep site plate stayed though thankfully. AR-7 industries wanted more than i was willing to spend for a stupid screw, so a trip to Orchard Supply Hardware and about $0.65 got me a bag of a few stainless steel screws of appropriate thread size and pitch, so now i have a SS screw that i may or may not ever paint to match... memory says the rifle has been reliable and accurate, its been awhile since i shot it.. i havent been shooting for tooo long... and i can only shoot so many at once...lol.
    im sorry, but i doubt ill be of any help on this one.. i like my AR-7 Industries AR-7 and ive advised people before to puchase one, and those that i know who have bought one, have been happy with them. the rifles arent tack drivers, just foraging rifles. sorry i cant be of more help. Ray in California
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