Your Guide to Picking the Best "Survival" Rifle

By Photo Courtesy of PEO Soldier -, Public Domain,
October 7, 2019 Topic: Security Region: Americas Blog Brand: The Buzz Tags: GunsRiflesDefenseMilitaryHunting

Your Guide to Picking the Best "Survival" Rifle

All you need to know.

That means you need to know every round will do its job and the firearm isn’t going to jam. While an AR-15 performs admirably in these areas, it also takes a moment for spent rounds to eject.

And, when you’re under fire, that could be a second you don’t have. So, you are likely better served by the AK-47.

To be clear, we’re not talking about the full auto AK-47 that often makes the news. Instead, this refers to the variant that has the semi-auto functionality. Often, a fully automatic weapon just isn’t necessary.

Unless you’re doing battle with a small group or favor the spray and pray method, semi-auto helps you save ammo while still being able to respond quickly.

Since the AK-47 was originally designed to withstand the demands of full auto functionality, the semi-auto version is tougher than it needs to be. The mechanical operations are intended to empty a clip in a matter of seconds, so even heavy use won’t bog it down.

It is also one of the best survival rifles in regards to maintenance, as skipping a cleaning here and there won’t do much harm.

The AK-47 uses 7.62 x 39 mm rounds, which are less expensive than 5.56 mm in many cases. Additionally, the standard magazine holds 30 rounds, which can do a lot of damage in the hands of a skilled shooter.

If you want more fire power, consider switching to the 75-round drum. Yes, it’s heavy, but it works well for defending the home front. If you plan to carry the AK-47 with you, then the standard clip is a better choice.

With the addition of a better site, such as a holographic version, you get decent accuracy within 200 yards. This means you can bypass adding a scope, which does improve accuracy but also increases the weight.

It’s important to note that the AK-47 is quite heavy. That means you want to plan wisely when adding items that bring the weight up. Even if it is one of the best survival rifles, it won’t do you any good if you can’t lift it.


You may be wondering, what about close quarters self-defense? If a person makes it into your home, is there an ideal rifle for that?

To be honest, the AK-47 is likely the best survival rifle for that job as well. However, if you’re in a tight space, then switching to a handgun or shotgun is a smarter choice. Why? Because a high-powered rifle can easily shoot through walls.

Now, this might sound like a bonus if you want to attempt to hit again in the other room. But you also put your family members at risk if you aren’t exactly sure where they are located and fire in their direction. Finally, using a rifle in close quarters can be extremely unwieldy.

Therefore, what you do at this range is personal preference. If you have a trusty 1911that you favor, it’s suitable for the task. A Mossberg 500 shotgun can also work whether you use buckshot or slugs.

Granted, buckshot might not be lethal in all cases, but it still gets the job done. It also gives you some leeway regarding accuracy, as the wide pattern makes it hard to miss at close range.


As you can see, there isn’t a single best survival rifle for all situations. To make the choice that is right for you, assess your personal needs and preferences.

For example, if you don’t have a large, wide open property, then a long-range perimeter defense rifle isn’t necessary. Or, if you currently hunt locally with a shotgun, then a hunting rifle might not be at the top of your list. Some people also see the AR-15 as suitable for perimeter and general self-defense.

Ultimately, you want to choose the best survival rifle for your needs. Every person is different and has unique physical capabilities.

Consider your comfort level with various firearms, whether you envision staying at home during a disaster or taking off, and how you imagine taking care of your family when choosing your ideal weapon.

This article by Will Ellis originally appeared at Gun News Daily.

Image: Wikimedia.