6 Survival Rifles: An Essential Outdoor Companion

Survival Rifles
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In an outdoor survival situation, locating and procuring food is a major concern. In addition, although there are numerous edible plants available in the outdoors, consuming protein is extremely important to your continued good health.

Consequently, carrying a survival rifle can make the task of procuring this vital food source much easier. But, what constitutes a proper survival rifle? Well, a proper survival rifle should be compact, lightweight, and should break down into two or more pieces for easy carry in a back pack, canoe or kayak. In addition, since the purpose of a survival rifle is to procure food instead of defending yourself against predators, the venerable .22 LR cartridge is an excellent choice because it’s readily available, very compact and is capable of bringing down most small game animal.

1. Browning Grade 1 Semi-Auto .22 Rifle.

The Browning Semi-Auto .22 rifle is the highest quality and most expensive of the five rifles listed; it weighs 5 lbs 3 oz, and has an MSRP of $699.99.

2. Savage/Stevens Model 30

The take-down version of the Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite is an in expensive alternative to the Browning Semi-Auto 22 LR that weighs 4.25 lbs. In addition, although this rifle is currently out of production, it can still be found on the pre-owned gun market.

3. Marlin Papoose Rifle

The Marlin Papoose is a no-frills, purpose-built, survival rifle that weighs 3.25 lbs, and has an MSRP of $328.82.

4. Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 Rifle

The Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 is also a no-frills, purpose-built, survival rifle that has been the exclusive choice of the US Air Force since its introduction. It weighs 2.5 lbs, and has an MSRP of $275.00.


5. Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair Rifle/Shotgun

The Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair is available in both blued and matte nickel models and is available in several different caliber/gauge configurations; it weighs 3.25 lbs, and has an MSRP of $233.00.

6. AR-15 Rifles

.22 LR conversion kits are available for AR-15 rifles chambered for the .223 Remington cartridge. Therefore, this platform would make an excellent survival rifle since the .223 Rem. is sufficient to bring down small deer at close range, and the .22 LR would serve well for harvesting smaller game such as rabbits and squirrels.

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  • speccoat

    Any list of great take-down .22LR rifles for survival that doesn’t include the class leading Ruger 10/22 Takedown shows the author’s ignorance. The 10/22 is one of the most ubiquitous rifles out there, and the stainless barrel, poly stock, semi-automatic Ruger is the sales leader and can’t possibly be ignored. But you do it anyway in favor of rifles that can be much harder to find. Parts galore, after market add-ons galore, and what’s more, comes with a very survival like quality case right from the factory. I would even quibble with your choice of caliber considering that a .22LR would have a real tough time taking down a deer (the most widespread larger game) without a perfect shot, but it is true that if you want a take-down rifle, the options drop off in larger calibers.

  • mtman2

    …..The .410 x .22 combo is quite capable for potential needs!
    The .45 Colt cartridge could be used for close-range defense against a larger protagonist in the .410, if needed.(bear-or-creeps)
    …..The .22 has been around for close to 170-yrs and if the truth be known has killed more deer+other lg-game, than even the 30/30(1894), as every country boy from the civil war era has shot deer with a head shot, these amateur marksman snipers were the only way the family got meat(around the world), even in this day. It’s cheap+ quiet and very effective in skilled hands. Eskimo’s took Polar bear w/it when they gottem.(carefully!) Lots-n-lots of ‘night-hunting’ has gone on all the way back to lantern light, to see two eyes out back! The Stinger and ilk make a deadly round at farther distance than can be ascertained by theorists, but has been known for pass through
    head-shots at over 100-yds on deer.
    …..A normal rifled slug ld -1/4-oz .410 at 1,800 will do a lot out to 100-yds, though soft lead will bust softball sized rocks at 40-yds. Other limited wt. varieties are available, then there’s hand lds; .410 bird shot though less
    in number than larger gauges is effective within its pattern(#6-mags). Much more ammo can be carried in smaller space is it advantage -as are the .22’s.
    A .410 slug by Hoening Hvy ld 375-grain/slug at 1500-ft/per/sec w/ energy
    at almost 1,900-ft/lbs, is absolutely+seriously a stopper at close range as it is not rifled in a smooth bore gun. However IF in a rifled barrel(TC) would be a 200+yd moose killer. Good for backup in Grizz country for last resort in a survival kit.(just a thought)
    …..If a regular .22 is too small for you, the magnum is quite a bit more -though for a squirrel or rabbit, won’t be deadlier with a good shot to start with. They can be bought up to 50-gr solids and I wouldn’t want to be center shot with it at 200-yds(very-effective). The bird shot in both rimfires at under 15-ft would take small birds or rodents, not rabbit size etc.
    An additional slingshot along would save ammo on small game or deterrent for larger pesky ‘varmints’. Though an -arrow- in a slingshot makes it a seriously deadly tool, and -they- can be made on the trail if necessary!
    …..Now to step up, use a .22WMR x 20-gauge, with a .410 +/ or other inserts!
    Bigger of course mean heavier as w/ammo etc…

  • kevinh1

    I own a Ruger 10-22, and while it is a fine rifle those crappy helical magazines are why I wouldn’t want to bet my survival on it. As for the overpriced Remington and the nearly unavailable Stevens, pfffttt. A single shot .22 such as the AR-7 or the Rossi is a much better bet, and helps to conserve valuable ammo. Both are reliable and easy to keep in good repair. The Rossi .22 paired with a 20 gage Rossi shotgun is more than anyone in a true survival situation could dream of.

  • BenJones1

    You don’t go bear hunting with a BB gun. In my humble opinion, a .22LR is considered a enhanced BB gun. A .22LR is not reloadable but is nice for cheap shooting at paper plates and small game.

  • L Cavendish

    AR-7 is semi auto…not single shot or bolt.
    Good quality air rifle would be recommended, too.Good for rabbit, birds,other small game/varmints at closer ranges.

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