Your gun should be one in which you're comfortable and proficient. The threat and scenario your planning for may dictate the weapons system you choose. Carry a primary and secondary weapon on your person and vehicle. You handgun should be concealed and your rifle should be in your vehicle if needed. A shotgun, long range rifle, and 22 Rifle should be at the homestead for a last line of defense, perimeter security, and other tasks. See our Target Hardening guide.
Choose a caliber that is widely available, think bartering and scavenging, we've got a guide for this. You'll want a stockpile of rounds but you'll also want to easily be able to restock if SHTF. At a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to have 7 times the amount of ammo the weapon's magazine holds. So if your AR magazine holds 30 .223 rounds you'll want to have 210 defensive rounds for immediate access. This is a standard loadout for the US Army and is the minimal accepted quantity a prepper should attain. Additional ammo of range quality may be cheaper but should only can be used for practice. Consider the need to observe targets at a distance with a simple 1-4x scope.
🔫Handgun (for concealment, backup weapon, mid range) Example: Glock 19 9mm. Always carry an additional magazine, one in the chamber, and on your person at all times.
🔫Shotgun (for home defense, bird hunting, intimidation factor, close range) Example: Mossberg 500 12 Gauge. Add additional exotic ammo to your arsenal such as incendiary shells.
🔫.22 Rifle (for small game hunting, pest control, and casual target shooting, cheap ammo) Example: Ruger 10/22 .22 LR. Choose a magazine fed option.
🔫Semi-Automatic Rifle AR-15 (for defense, hunting, best overall option) Example: Colt 5.56x45mm NATO. Consider a mounted flashight and red dot sight. Look for an AR with picatinny rail.
🔫Long Range Rifle (for big game hunting and long range shooting, perimeter defense) from outpost) Example: Winchester M70 .308 Winchester. Your scope should be raised so that iron sights can be used for close range or sight failure.
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