> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Open thread: Budget Survival Arms



Open thread: Budget Survival Arms

You can certainly spend thousands and thousands of dollars on the latest and greatest in survival weaponry, but that doesn't mean that you have to have high-end stuff in order to survive. While quality craftsmanship and modern tech certainly have their advantages, if you can't afford 'em then you can't afford 'em. Less expensive firearms demand serious attention, even if they're just for backups or handouts. 

And let's not kid ourselves--a skilled shooter armed with "budget" firearms is still most certainly a deadly foe.

As an exercise, let's put together a decent set of firearms for general TEOTWAWKI survival purposes, on a budget of $700. This is just for guns--ammo and support equipment will be purchased separately, however, their cost should be a consideration. If that was your budget, what would you choose?

The SKS used to be the "go-to" budget survival arm; a semi-auto rifle for under $200! Unfortunately, the market price for the SKS has crept up to about $300; still a decent deal, though. The Mosin Nagant rifle is the first that comes to mind when I think of "budget" survival arms--under $100, powerful cartridge and makes a good war club when empty. You can find used Marlin .30-30s for under $300 if you shop around a bit. WASR-10 AK-47s used to be around for less than $400, but the guns I'm seeing now are all around $450-$600. For around $400, you get into some of the cool surplus guns like the Suomi 9mm and the Sterling.

Pump action shotguns are a huge draw when you're on a budget. For $175-$300, you can get a capable 12-gauge that will work well for home defense and hunting. Even the cheap-o single shots, usually around $100, are compelling for survival work.

Handgun-wise, there are numerous options. There are several European surplus guns in 9x18mm that are out there today at around $250. Bersa .380s are out there in the $250 range and get good reviews; most of Kel-Tec's pocket guns and the Ruger LCP register in around there, too. The High Point 9mm is uuugly but cheap and supposedly rugged. Police surplus revolvers--usually Smith & Wessons--are often out there for under $300; new Charters Arms, Rossi and other brands are available in that ballpark. The tank-like Ruger P95 can also be found for around $300. 

Or, for the price range we're at, you could go with one quality gun and maybe something else. You could certainly get into a Glock and a pump action shotgun for $700, and you'd be pretty well equipped. Or you could just buy an AR or an AK and be done with it; a good rifle will get a lot done for you. If you look at pictures of soldiers in Afghanistan and Iraq, a lot of the guys don't carry a sidearm--just their carbine.

Anyways, what would you guys do? What would you pick?