Well it finally happened; you are stuck in situation where you have limited resources, and no way to get out. Maybe your single engine plane crashed and you would like something more than a hatchet to use to survive. Maybe the zombies suddenly attacked western civilization. Perhaps you are lost on a multi-day hiking trip and need something to bag yourself some dinner, and fishing sounds boring. What is the answer to your survival woes? A survival gun might be the difference between eating at your own personal outdoor post apocalyptic steakhouse, and chewing on some woody tasting plant you read about in some military survival guide.
What should you consider when choosing a survival gun? There are a few things to mull over. There are several schools of thought on the subject. A gun that is capable of shooting small game at a decent distance would be ideal. Large game might not be the best idea. If you are stuck in the wilderness, you might not have the resources to store the meat safely. It’s not as if you can just pop it in the freezer. With that in mind, a small, collapsible .22 LR caliber weapon would come in handy.
The Marlin Papoose
Marlin produces the Model 70PSS, also known as the Marlin Papoose. The barrel easily separates from the receiver, making it small and portable. The included case floats as well, ensuring you still have a rifle if you crash in the water. A seven-shot detachable magazine gives you plenty of firepower, and the stainless steel construction gives you all weather versatility. When disassembled, the gun is less than 21 inches in length and only weighs in at 3.5 pounds. Marlin based the Papoose on the earlier model 70, a proven platform for delivering .22 rounds downrange with tack driver accuracy.
The Henry Survival Rifle
Beginning in 1959, the U.S. Air Force relied on the AR-7 for survival situations. Downed pilots needed something to forage for food with while waiting on an extraction, or making their way back to friendly lines. The rifle is highly portable. The barrel hides away in the stock of the gun when not in use, allowing it to fit in most small backpacks or day packs. The stock itself floats, eliminating the need for a floating case. The gun weighs in at only 2.5 pounds. In 1980, the production rights passed to the Henry Repeating Arms company and the Henry Survival rifle was born. Henry improved on the original design, replacing the plastic material with ABS, increasing durability. A full Teflon coating gives the gun waterproof capabilities.
The Springfield M6 Scout
For those looking for a bit more versatility, the Springfield M6 Scout survival rifle is a good choice. Featuring an over and under design, the top barrel fires a .22 LR cartridge, while the bottom barrel fires a .410 shotgun shell. The military version fired a .22 Hornet, instead of .22 LR. The gun collapses into two pieces via a removable hinge pin. Another unique feature is the strange looking squeeze bar trigger. Springfield designed the trigger to operate while wearing gloves or mittens. A disadvantage to the M6 is that it is a single shot weapon, as opposed to semi-automatic. The required reloading between each shot makes the gun a bit more cumbersome to use, but this disadvantage balances itself out due its shotgun-rifle combination.
Having a survival collection in your repertoire is essential to any survivalist. It may be the only thing that puts food in your belly in a hunt or starve situation. Would-be survivors should take note however, that a small portable survival rifle comes in handy when you are trying to survive your way back to a big stack of AR-15s.