Guns seem to go hand in hand with survival, like peanut butter and jelly, macaroni and cheese, or Las Vegas and gambling. Most of the popular survival message boards are found on websites like GlockTalk, AR15.com, WarRifles.com and so on. It's a natural association, as firearms are an important part of survival/preparedness (S/P), and one of the more entertaining parts of the hobby/lifestyle of a devoted "prepper".

There seems to be long and seemingly endless debate and conversation over which weapon is the best, which weapon to use in what situation, and the long and illustrious debates between AR15 vs. AK 47, Carbine vs. Battle Rifle, 9mm vs. .45, Glock vs. (insert other handgun here)...the list goes on and on. Many search for the "best" survival gun--is it the SKS, the AR, the AK, the FAL, the M1A? Which is it? Which gun will be your magic wand, to eliminate any threat at the pull of a trigger? The AR is more accurate, but the AK is more rugged? The SKS is cheaper, and the FAL or M1A pack more of a punch?

Does it really matter? Firearms, like all weapons, are tools, not magic wands. Sorry to break the sad news. Different makes and models might have different pro's and con's, but what really matters is that you have the tool when you need it.

There are different tools for different jobs, and there are different firearms for different jobs. There's long range .50 cal rifles, tiny little holdout pistols, and everything in between. If you have a need, find a suitable tool and fill it.

What I think really matters, is not so much the specific firearm you choose, but how you can handle that gun. Use what works best for you, what's most comfortable for you, and what you shoot best with. Not what the latest consensus for ultra survival gun may be. Go with the gun that you're good with--whatever that may be.

Skill beats gear, pretty much every time.

Non-plinking caliber rifles all accomplish the same task: shooting things with a powerful rifle round. They just have different ways of accomplishing the task, whether it's a bolt-action, semi-auto, or old lever action. They have different qualities--power, accuracy, speed, etc. But at the end of the day, they're all rifles. In the same way, in the end, handguns are all handguns.

There really isn't much need to get caught up in the details, as interesting and fun as they might be. The details aren't as important as finding what works for you, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

If you like 9mm, then go with 9mm--in the same way, if you like .454 casull, then go with it. If you love your Bersa .380, great. If you're best with a Hi-Point in .45 or a single-action revolver, then that works too!

If you're an AR-15 guy, sweet. If you'd prefer an old M1 carbine or you grandpa's old lever action, great. If you're a crack shot with an Enfield or a Mauser, awesome. Maybe it's your trusty hunting rifle or shotgun. Heck if the only gun you can shoot worth a darn is a single-shot rifle or a Ruger 10/22, then go with it.

If you have no idea what you're good with or like, go to a range, rent a few guns, and burn through some ammo. Even better: go shooting with some friends, borrow their guns, and shoot their ammo. Some will be "not your cup-of-teat", some will be "ok", and some may just be "perfect". That's what you want, the "perfect", or as close to it as you can get.

Find the gun that feels like an extension of your body, like a long lost part of your soul. Don't worry if it's the survival "norm"...the norm isn't necessarily important. Your skill with the weapon definitely is.

There's so much to worry about in S/P, and the "details" of firearms often become a distraction from other, equally or more important preps. Get firearms you're comfortable with, preferably designs with a proven track record. Don't sweat the survival "norms" or the endless arguments out there--the AR15 vs. AK47s and 9mm vs. .45s of the S/P world. Spend that energy elsewhere--like at the range.

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