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A true survivor is one who’s always prepared for any circumstance.

If a survival scenario like mass looting during a riot occurred, would you be prepared to overcome it?

Having a good emergency kit can help you survive, but you need something more – and it has to be able to fill several functions, not just self defense.

When it comes to choosing the best survival rifle, there’s never going to be a survival weapon that does everything well. Unfortunately, it’s just a fact of life, because there are just too many scenarios to consider.

If we wanted to bucket the possibilities into different areas, the scenarios can really be split into 5 separate areas.

Take a look at these.

  1. Self defense over 200 yards
  2. Self defense under 200 yards
  3. Self defense in close quarters
  4. Big game hunting
  5. Small game hunting

If we were wanting a firearm that could do one of these really well, the choice would be a lot simpler to make.

All of the scenarios listed can be done very well with a specific gun, but if we want something to accomplish all 5, you really end up with a gun that can only do sort of well and fills around the middle of these areas.

There’s still a solution to this, though. It just takes some forethought.

So, down below you’ll find that we’ve listed several options. The reason for this is so that you know the pros and cons of each rifle and can make an educated decision on what firearm is going to be the best choice for you.

Prior to making that decision, you should map out your needs based on a knowledge of your surroundings, possible scenarios, and your bug out or emergency meeting areas.

With that in mind, here are 22 of the best survival rifles and all around survivalist guns.

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Survival rifles review

1. Henry AR-7 Survival rifle

The Henry ar-7 survival rifle is a .22 lr caliber small game weapon you can use to defend yourself against wild animals. If you’re looking for the best small game cartridge, the Henry 22 long is great and you’ll be able to use this henry arms ar-7 survival rifle successfully.

The Henry AR-7 survival rifle is one of the best semi automatic hunting rifles available. It’s an ideal choice for survivalists looking to pack a reliable, durable 22 lr caliber rifle.

I like the Henry ar-7 and would recommend it as a great small game firearm to take with you. One thing to note, though, because of the popularity of the 22 caliber round, as much as I like the ammo, it goes out of stock frequently. Make sure and stock up beforehand and know where to reliably get more.


2. Savage Arms Model 24 Combination Gun

While production for these survival rifles has since stopped, this .22 long caliber over .410 gauge can still be purchased from gun shops. You can also find it in gun shows and pawn shops on occasion.

The good thing about this best home defense gun is it accommodates a single shot shotgun and a single shot rifle. You’ll definitely love its grip. This rifle can also hold rounds in the stock.

3. Ruger 10/22 Takedown Silent SR Suppressed rifle

This is one of the best tactical rifles you can use in 22 long caliber. The suppressor, also known as a silencer is easy to clean. With this Ruger 10 22 takedown rifle, you can complete your small game hunting tasks quietly and with minimal disturbance.


4. Ruger SR-556 takedown rifle

This is one of the best semi auto hunting rifles available today. It can be a good choice for people stuck in a survival situation such as a firefight. It uses the standard AR-15/M16 caliber and magazines. It’s discreet, covert, and compact. It’s made by combining multiple parts to form one of the best pistol caliber carbines.

These survival rifles allow users to detach the barrel from its top receiver. This makes it smaller. As a result, you can easily store it inside the knapsack with ease. Assembling and disassembling this survival rifle doesn’t require a manual.

The Ruger SR-556 takedown rifle is divided into three parts. These are lower receiver assembly, barrel/piston system assembly, and handguard/upper receiver assembly.

5. Henry Arms Lever-Action .45/70 rifle

When you’re confronted by a huge wild animal, you’ll need a powerful rifle to shoot it. This is where the Henry arms lever-action .45/70 survival rifle comes in.

This Henry Arms short caliber, fast shot survival gun comes with a rear and front sight but can also be setup with a scope. While this is a small semi auto survival rifle, the Henry is ideal for a survival situation.

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6. Rossi Matched Pair

With this bolt action rifle, you can substitute single shot cheap rifles for an equal gun when the need arises. The Rossi matched pair is simple, rugged, and cost-effective. It’s available in .22/.410 gauge, and .22 LR/20 gauge. This 22 rifle is small, but comfortable and an accurate shot for what it is. Tall people can use these guns with minimal struggle.


7. Just Right Carbine Takedown

The best survival rifle comes with ArmaLite rifle (AR) -style controls and standard rounds. This 9mm carbine takedown rifle uses a 17-inch barrel and blowback action. It also runs a Picatinny rail on a stable machined receiver and M4 style stock.

I like it because it’s a tool-free takedown, making it easy to pack and take with you. It even uses double-stack Glock mags. The Just right carbine takedown comes in .45ACP which you can still get in camo or black versions. The camo version come with an identical Kryptek sling pack

8. Kel-Tec Su-16CA

This is an accurate, reliable, and lightweight bolt action rifle – ideal for survival. It’s also easy to operate and is better compared to the ArmaLite rifle options. These rifles are rare but you can still find them in gun shops. Kel-tec su-16CA is a gas-operated 308 survival rifle that comes in 5.56×45/.223 Rem Caliber.

Its operating system is a combination between an AK (automatic Kalashnikov) and AR. It uses the same style Op Rod/Piston as an AK rifle. However, the breach/bolt lock-up resembles an Armalite rifle. No debris or gas is released during action because this rifle runs cleanly. You can use this rifle many times without having to clean it.

The barrel of this rifle is chrome lined and can use both steel and brass ammunition. The other parts of this rifle are mainly made from glass-filled polymer. This makes it lightweight yet powerful enough to retain all essential parts together.

The magazines are compatible with AR weapon resources. This gun also has a section in the stock to fit two reserve 10 round magazines. Kel-tec su-16CA may not be a takedown-style rifle but it comes with a folding stock. This reduces the general length to 25.5-inches when stashed away.

9. Kel-Tec Sub-2000

This survival rifle is among the latest hunting rifles available. It’s a reliable and affordable semi-auto center fire gun. You can get it in either 9mm or 40 S W pistol calibers. Also, it’s versatility allows you to use pistol magazines from various manufacturers. The general length of this rifle with a Sub 2K folded is 16.25 inches.

Both the 9mm and 40 s w measures 30.5 inches when unfolded and weighs 4.25 pounds. Kel-tec sub-2000 can fit in a standard backpack or messenger bag well. The Sub 2K comes in Gen 1 and 2 models that can take Beretta 92/96 series, S&W, Glock, SIG, and Canik magazines. This gun is more potent in both the 9mm and 40 s w than many other rifles available, making it a powerful, medium close-range game gun.

Its simple blowback makes it safe even for new owners. While it has more recoil as opposed to a standard carbine, it’s still easy to control. Adding optics to this rifle requires some experience. You can use the Kel-tec sub-2000 with popular magazines available in your gunshop.

10. Marlin 70p Papoose

This survival gun comes with a fast takedown design and a 16.25 inch QD barrel. The papoose can easily fit inside a 21-inch space when detached for storage. It’s also a lightweight carbine that weighs only 3.25 pounds. Marlin 70p papoose is a .22 long rifle that comes with a 7 shot nickel-plated magazine.

It also features a nickel-plated auto loading, automatic last-shot bolt hold-open, and side ejection. This rifle has an adjustable open rear sight. It’s easy to use but you’ll need some practice utilizing the bolt release lever.

11. Savage Model 42 Takedown

This gun weighs 6.1 pounds. You might run into a compact version of this model that weighs 4.65 pounds. Both guns are takedown models that break down into two pieces, making them easier to take with you. This rifle comes with a Go Bag and one 410 barrel. It also features a rifle barrel in either .22 Magnum or .22 LR.

The bottom 410 barrel of this gun is more potent compared to its top rimfire barrel. The top rimfire shot makes it easy to contact a target at a distance. It also gives users an accurate location for medium-range shooting. The bottom 410 barrel allows users to release a medium game with slugs and buckshot.

This makes it a great choice for shooting small game. Savage model 42 takedown disassembles easily with the push of a button. The stock is made of a polymer making it easy to take with you when shtf.

These guns are single action and hammer-fired design which come with a crisp trigger. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for a versatile model that would shoot well out of the box. It’s affordable and consistently works well.

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12. Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown

This survival rifle is lightweight and easy to take with you. I like it because it’s designed to pack up small while still being reliable to shoot. It’s compact, accurate, and durable. Plus, you can fit a silencer. This rifle comes with a Magpul Backpacker stock. The for-end assembly and detachable barrel stow in this gun’s stock to make it portable.

It comes with a storage area below the cheek piece that holds magazines.

X-Ring takedown gun comes with a 15-MOA Picatinny scope base assembled on the receiver top. A channel along the scope base allows for a clear view of flexible fiber-optic rear sight and fiber-optic front sight. This gun uses the verified Ruger BX trigger and standard Ruger 10/22 magazines.

The creased bull barrel measures around 16 inches in length and is laced with a thread protector cap. You can easily store this semi-automatic rifle in a vehicle or carry it in a day pack.

13. TPS M6

The general length of this survival gun when assembled is 32.25 inches. It measures 18.875 inches when folded. Disassembling it is easy and you can do so through a captured takedown pin. This rifle weighs 5.1 pounds and comes with extra length for shot patterns and muzzle velocity.

Further, the shot barrel uses compatible .410 choke tubes to deliver effective hunting of various wild-game. It features a standard choke tube range. This survival gun also comes with a choke tube wrench. Its stock is drilled and drawn to accommodate standard sling swivels. There’s a hole at this rifle’s front sight assembly where you attach the other end.

The comb of this rifle forms a hinged cover to a section with compatible shell storage. Loading and unloading rounds is easy because there’s no resistance. However, they can rattle when you shake the M6. You’ll need to be careful to avoid losing them.

14. Winchester 94 Trails End Takedown

This is a quick takedown model that’s designed for compact carry in a case or pack. Its buttpad is made of soft rubber for better recoil control. This survival gun comes with a ported barrel on 450 Marlin models. It features a flexible semi-buckhorn rear sight and marble arms front sight that are drilled and tapped to allow scope mounts.

The Winchester 94 trails end is made with the latest manufacturing technology to give users an accurate model. This gun is ideal if you want to hunt for a fast-moving game in thick bushes. It’s ported for less recoil ,minimal muzzle jump ,and also comes with a decelerator.

It’s easy to disassemble, pack, and you can do so in two compact sections. These are the stocked receiver and barrel assemblies. You can then put the survival rifle in your backpack or harness it on your all-terrain vehicle.

Some hunters opt to keep it behind the seat of their truck, bush plane, or boat. Reassembling this gun is an easy task and all you need is to put together its two pieces before turning the magazine tube.

15. Remington 700

This is considered among the top a the best long range survival rifle – designed with great power for hunting, and should be on your list. It’s also popular among gun collectors. The Remington 700 ammo comes in a vast range of calibers and designs, making it ideal for sport shooters and hunters. This rifle’s design relies on an action system that was used on the 700’s Model released in year 1962.

If you’re looking for durable survival guns that you won’t outgrow, then this is the right model. The manufacturer designs all their rifles with top notch quality materials. This model is made with three-layered steel barrels in different sizes.

The lightweight versions are designed with high-impact polymer frames and a compact, solid wood shoulder stock. I like the Remington 700 guns because they are reliable, well-built, and can be used for different purposes.

16. Ruger AR-556

This is a standard gas-operated AR15 rifle. It comes with a crushed gas block positioned at a carbine length for better handling and balance. Collective attachment marks include a bayonet lug for varying accessory and sling mounting options and a QD socket. These survival rifles come with a Ruger rapid folding deploy rear sight that offers air resistance adjustability.

It also matches with the height flexible front sight for a reliable, solid aiming system. It features a Mil-Spec buffer tube and six-position M4-style telescoping buttstock. This ensures system can be setup well for different shooters or varying levels of defensive gear. The flattop upper receiver is made with aerospace-grade 7075-T6 aluminum forging.

It includes a brass deflector, dust cove, and a forward assist. It’s a Type III hard coat plated for enhanced durability. Its medium cold contour hammer-forged barrel with ultra-accurate rifling allows for easy cleaning and longevity. Ruger AR-556 offers a 1:8 inch twist rate which balances bullets from 35 to 77 grains.

The NATO chamber allows use of both .223 Rem. and 5.56 NATO ammunition. This rifle’s M4 feed ramps offer enhanced operational reliability while the black matte oxide finish offers corrosion resistance and minimizes glare. These survival guns comes with a Ruger flash silencer while the ½ inch – 28 corded barrel makes it easy to install standard muzzle accessories.

17. AK-47

AK-47 stands for Avtomat Kalashnikova 1947. It was designed by Mikhail Kalashnikov used as a main assault rifle during the cold war by Eastern Bloc countries. The AK design is robust and designed from full auto operation mechanical torture. It’s easy to use and enjoys respect globally for its accuracy.

It’s also popular among sharpshooters and hunters. The rifle’s recoil allows users to fire heavy and powerful rounds with a tactical and lightweight gun. Police and military squads rely on it in combat situations. Modern AK 47 rifles have been modified to ensure users can fix additional hardware on the gun with ease.

This gun was designed with loose tolerances allowing it to withstand dirt and the negative effects of weather. If you’re looking for a versatile survival rifle, consider getting an AK-47.

18. Mossberg 500

These survival guns provide hunters with a reliable, rugged, and highly practical pump-action shotgun. The Mossberg 500 model is durable and comes with dual extractors that tightly grip the cartridge’s rim. The shotgun features dual-action bars to guarantee reliable cycling of the action without twisting or binding and an anti-crush shell elevator.

The bolt of the shotgun closes into a barrel extension through a top lug to offer sturdy steel to steel seal up. The centralized aluminum receiver maintains a well-balanced weight. These survival guns come in a simple design that eases field stripping. Its top-mounted safety is convenient to reach and highly visible.

Users don’t have to move the shooter’s trigger finger. This weapon is ideal for hunting various wild animals, informal sporting clays, and home defense. The stock model is synthetic and it features a vent ribbed barrel with a blue matte finish, and swivel sling studs matte blued finish, twin bead.

19. Chiappa Little Badger Series

This is a lightweight, affordable folding rifle chambered in .22 Magnum, .22 LR, and 17 HMR caliber. It’s a single shotgun that comes with a small wire stock, receiver, and barrel. It weighs 2.9 pounds and features four short rails where you can attach accessories. It’s little peep sights are adjustable and easy to use.

This weapon folds into half to measure 17 inches long. It’s thin and can easily fit in a backpack. It comes with a small plastic attachment that holds extra rounds. The .22 Magnum model is ideal as a survival rifle as it has game-getting abilities. This rifle is easy to operate. All you need to do is load it, close, and cock its hammer before pulling the trigger.

Chiappa little badger series is a simple rifle but not a rapid-fire weapon. However, you can use it to hunt for game meat and kill dangerous wild animals with well-directed shots. The trigger may not be great, but it’s consistent and light. Cocking the hammer is easy and operating these rifles is an easy process.

20. Savage M11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Scope

These survival rifles come with a unique out of the box accurate and factory fixed riflescope. It also comes with Savage’s AccuTrigger that’s flexible enough to give you a crisp and light release without a creep. It features a leer fixed in its trigger body that blocks this rifle’s sear except when it’s pressed in the center.

This cuts down the risk of unexpected discharge. The survival rifle’s basic design ensures that closing lugs contact the receiver fully. It also helps hold it’s headspace to a minimum when the bolt is locked. The rifle comes with a free-floating barrel and a tight headspace – which makes savage rifles so accurate. It features a Nikon 3-9x40mm capacity with a bullet drop compensator reticle to enhance long range precision shooting.

The synthetic barrel, stock, and receiver are finished in black matte that doesn’t spook your game. It also has a standard soft rubber buttpad and swivel sling studs. Users can easily reach a 3-position receiver tang safety with their thumb. This also allows the survival gun to be loaded and unloaded in a safe position.

These survival rifles come with a detachable magazine that allows for the guns safe and quick reloading and reloading. This is a highly practical and functional bolt action survival gun that can survive many years of rugged use.

21. Sig Sauer M400

This is an aluminum optics ready frame survival rifle. It comes with a 16-inch stainless steel barrel and a free-floating M-LOK handguard. It also features a hard-coat/single-stage polished trigger and left-hand controls.

Also included is a mid-length gas system and the Magpul™ SL-K 6 position telescoping stock. Its other accessories include a 3 chamber compensator and easy to install flip-up rear and front iron sights. These are also flexible and can be deployed quickly.

22. Winchester SXP defender pump shotgun

These survival guns are reliable, handy, and easy to pump. It’s lightweight and users can easily move it with one hand. It recoils very little, making it fun to shoot. This gun comes with sling studs allowing users to carry it on their back in the event of an emergency.

It features an 18-inch barrel and black synthetic stock. It also has a simple bead front sight. It uses an inertia facilitated slide action making it one of the quickest pump-action shotguns available today.

 Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s a survival rifle?

Survival rifles are firearms that’s meant for survival use in emergency situations. It consists of an easy to use, accurate, and reliable rifle, handgun, combination gun, or shotgun. These allow users to reliably defend themselves and hunt for food. See the Henry ar-7 22 lr.

2. What is a takedown rifle?

A takedown rifle is a long gun that’s designed to be detached to reduce its length. This makes it easy to pack, hide, transport, and store the stock and barrel.

3. Can you use a .22 lr rifle for home defense?

Yes. Many people use 22 lr rifles for survival and self-defense. Handguns and rifles setup for the rimfire cartridge are compact, affordable, easy to shoot, and common. A big percentage of American households have used 22 lr rifles for over a century now. Henry arms has several guns that fit this criteria for example.

4. What between the AR-15 and AK-47 is better?

Because of this survival gun’s popularity and availability in a common caliber (it can even be setup to shoot 22 lr), AR-15 guns offer a high level customization compared to the AK-47. However, the AK-47 is better in terms of short-range survival shooting and reliability. If you want a short-range tactical rifle, these would be the best survival rifles for you. Each model performs better in different areas and it all depends on what you’re looking to achieve. Overall, the AR-15 is easier to shoot.


Survival rifles are handy when you’re stuck in an emergency. Apart from helping you hunt for food, you can use them to protect yourself from the enemy. This guideline on survival guns should help you choose one that best meets your needs.

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