A large heavy-weight survival gun or a revolver with full ammo is a serious argument in any conflict, especially when you find yourself in a survival situation or on a hunting trip after a deer. If you want to be prepared for a situation when a gun can save your life, read the following article and learn all about it.
This piece will tell you all we know about the best survival handguns any camper or a person can use in a survival situation. Our top-10 picks will be suitable both for the wilderness and home self-defense scenarios. Read on!
Have you ever imagined yourself as an American blockbuster hero, with a proper handgun, in a leather jacket, coming in just the right moment to save everybody from another apocalypse? It seems so easy. You would be fearlessly fighting the villains left, and right, you would be able to shoot with your eyes closed from a distance no man could endeavor, and, of course, you would have the fighting skills of an avid ninja master. It would be super cool, right?
However, life is not a blockbuster, and wilderness survival is no piece of cake. Zombies are very unlikely to arise from the dead tomorrow, but there are plenty of other dangers and threats in the world that are just as real and you and I. Together we, as committed survival experts, must be prepared for such situations.
What would you put in your bug out bag other than a high-quality survival tarp, tact bivvy, a sleeping bag, food supply with a long shelf life, a survival knife, a first-aid kit, and a flashlight? A survival gun! Despite its small size, it is one of the world’s most universal and effective survival weapons. Nonetheless, it is not easy to choose a proper universal survival weapon. You must obtain certain survival skills and knowledge to know which gun would be most suitable for your specific case. But what do you do in the absence of the necessary survival experience and knowledge? Luckily, we have it all.
Hereunder, we suggest going through the list of the most famous survival handguns known to the public. We did a huge survey to present our ultimate Top-10 list for you now, and we are delighted to share. This is nothing but a comprehensive guide on handling various emergencies. This article may not be an American blockbuster scenario, but it does have quite a few unexpected twists and turns. It will be interesting and very intriguing, we promise.
But you are right—enough of suspense. Let’s go!
Why Should Get a Survival Gun?
You might ask. Well, first and foremost, you need to find out what you will have to defend yourself from with a survival gun. That is the only function of any firearm.
Nobody really expects to get into a survival situation. Still, if you happen to be wandering through a forest or any other place where everything and everyone is your enemy, you should know when and how to use your gun for self-defense.
Survival guns vary greatly depending on their key characteristics: shape, cartridge type, trigger mechanism features, barrel caliber, rounds’ destructive power, and their use in different emergencies. Further on, we will pick out the perfect handgun for each separate survival situation. You will learn what particular gun type to use for a big game and what will work better for hunting a small one.
Our top-10 is not a random list of different makes and models. We tried to adjust our choices to each specific case scenario based on our personal experiences. You should always remember that two emergencies are never the same. For example, you might be:
- Lost in the woods, alone or with friends and family;
- Dealing with a broken vehicle in the desert;
- Stranded afloat in the open waters after your fishing charter drowns;
- Desperate to defend your house against armed intruders;
- In the middle of the post “Captain-Trips” outbreak straight from Stephen King’s — The Stand;
- Faced with a full-on TEOTWAWKI scenario.
We’ve been there, done that, and now we want to share our experiences with you. Frankly speaking, self-defense is the only major role for any survival handgun, and you can only rely on its best performance. Remember that you do not have the right to a mistake when it comes to survival. Not all handguns deal with the same objectives equally great. That is why we are here, talking about the best and worst options there possibly are. When choosing a survival gun, pay attention to where and under which circumstances you might need it during a bug-out.
Of course, you can always put a Pro Hunter scope on top of a .44 Magnum and go hunting deer, but even a big game is no reason to carry such a hunk of a gun just in case of an emergency. Please, check out the Top Ten Survival Rifles article to find out more about the different roles that a proper survival rifle can play.
Don’t get us wrong, no one here is denying the fact that you can easily defend yourself with a big old Dirty Harry gun. But that one sure would not be good for long-range sniping or close-range hunting. This piece will be nearly perfect for self-defense in confined spaces or a small game, with ranges of 10-60 60 feet.
Let us get it straight. You wouldn’t attempt to race a Mustang with an F-350 pickup, for instance, would you? The same rule applies to employing a small game gun as a sniper rifle. You most definitely do not want to use a 22 LR against an angry grizzly bear, for example. So, here goes tip №1: always adapt your equipment to the objective.
Our Top-10 Best Survival Caliber Picks
All survival handguns can be divided into two main categories depending on the attacker. The first category of handguns will protect you against animals, and the second category of handguns will defend you from the world’s most dangerous predator — a human.
Upon answering the attacker’s question, the camper will be able to pick an ultimate self-defense survival gun. When making your final choice, keep in mind that, by far, not all handgun cartridge sizes turn out to be practical for wilderness survival. If we dismiss the impractical choices, we are left with the following firearms round options:
- .22 LR
- 9 MM Luger
- 38 Special
- .357 Magnum
- .44 Magnum
- .357 Sig
- .380 Auto
- .45 ACP
- .40 S W
- .500 S W
As we already said above, use the relevant tools to reach corresponding objectives. Do not expect a fish to fly and put your life and the lives of your significant others in danger. To get a better handgun use understanding, let us compare the cartridges according to their functionality.
Opt for the .22 Long Rifle (22 LR) if you want to get maximum rounds there exists. Hunters and hikers worldwide prefer the 22 Long Rifle to the .380 auto for a small game, for instance.
Moving further, let us take a look at the good old 38 Special. It sure has an old-fashioned rimmed revolver cartridge that may not hold an advantage over most 9 MM semi-auto variations. However, it is still beautiful, especially for those who love an old-fashioned classic firearm. However, keep in mind when using the 38 Special that your round capacity would be minimal.
Past the Plus P hollow-point, here comes an ultimate .357 Magnum. It is devastatingly powerful and obtains a cartridge type used by the high-quality Sig Sauer. Although, again, it kneels before the 9MM in point-blank range. To sum up, the .375 Magnum is not nearly as widespread as the .45 ACP and not nearly as powerful as the .44 Magnum. But, if we actually were taking part in an American post-apocalyptic world blockbuster, you would be surprised how quickly we’d run out of .357s.
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The truth is, a 38 Special is a rather poor alternative for the .357 Magnum, just as the .357 Magnum is not the best alternative for the .44 Magnum. If you need a larger firearm, go with the or .45 ACP. Trust us, you will definitely not regret it, and we will tell you why in a bit.
Another great police round is the .40 S W. It obtains more stopping power than a regular 9 MM, but, again, if you want to go big, opt for the unstoppable .45 ACP. The .40 S W has its perks, of course. S W stands for Smith and Wesson. It is a big American weaponry manufacturer, which we will get acquainted with a little bit later. The .40 S W was extremely popular in the US back in the 90s for its truly devastating stopping power. It is only fair because the .40 S W was custom made for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Nowadays. not many self-defense and survival handguns come with a .40 S W, again, due to their abnormally strong stopping power.
If you are willing to possess a 9MM Luger, be aware that one 9MM round will cost you a fortune, and it will be way less powerful than the rounds of the previously described models in a survival situation.
Last but not least, comes one of the world’s most powerful revolver — the ultimate badass .500 S W. This piece was designed precisely for a big game, so it doesn’t really matter who you run up against. Your chances for survival are pretty high. However, it will be super difficult to find a .500 S W in an emergency.
A .44 Magnum, in turn, is way more compact and can deal with just about anything a .500 S W can. Sure, it might take you two shots rather than one, but it is better than dragging around a huge and incredible heavy handgun with a capacity of 5 rounds solely.
With all that said, let us narrow our best survival gun caliber picks down to the following ones:
- .22 Long Rifle
- .44 Magnum
- 9MM Luger (Parabellum)
- .45 ACP
The .22 LR Gun
A .22 LR pistol has quite a few advantages. This particular handgun is very accurate when aiming at an object, even at moving one. What is the secret, you might be wondering? The answer is simple — there is no recoil, and that is why your arm will stay steady during the shot. But let’s be realistic here. You clearly do not want to get yourself into a gunfight and be stuck with a 22 LR, for obvious reasons.
The sub-sonic .22 LR is capable of cracking an adult person’s skull effortlessly. If you need to stay undercover, you would be pleased to know that these handguns deliver a punch with the sound of a proper survival air rifle. Most .22 rifles are semi-auto, which, in our opinion, is another advantage in a survival situation. This kind of revolvers can hold for over six rounds, but be extra cautious as you will probably need each one of them.
The thing is, the .22 LR does not guarantee a 100 percent penetration. The punch energy of the .22 LR easily dissipates before managing to cause any real damage to the opponent, unless you aim for the head or the heart, of course. Keep this thought in mind when using the 22 rifles because it will take some extra energy and concentration to shoot through your potential enemies’ bulky winter clothes.
The one real advantage the .22 LR provides you with is the gun’s weight. All kidding aside, you can literally carry a whole lifetime supply of ammo in your bug-out bag and still not ruin your back. However, if you run up against a guy with anything bigger than your 22 rifles, you will run out of your seemingly ever-lasting ammo supply within minutes. So, make sure to pack in your bug out bag something that would truly help against a modern-time Incredible Hulk.
The .44 Magnum Gun
We have established earlier that the .44 Magnum is a lethal round survival gun. This savage model can easily take down a grizzly bear with a single shot, not even mentioning what it can do to a grown man. The gun can make big, messy holes in the metal engine blocks to illustrate it better for you. So, do not have any doubt, it will destroy any enemy you may run up against in the wild. Moreover, the piece is historically way more accurate than any existing semi-auto.
Of course, there is a price for such tremendous destructing power. The recoil from a .44 shot is just monstrous, and you can easily get traumatized by it. Remember, you need to avoid any trauma in a survival situation. It is a luxury that you cannot afford. Besides, it would be especially hideous if you traumatize yourself in front of a big predator or another enemy. Thus, you need to obtain a certain shooting skill to properly use a .44 and not get a serious shoulder injury yourself.
The .44, like most revolvers, carries six rounds of shots at its most. One single shot of its round will do the job of taking down a couple of bad guys if you are lucky enough. But do not get into a crowded gunfight with it. The same applies to a grizzly bear encounter. We strongly advise you not even to attempt to use this gun against a grizzly. Just run as fast as you can instead.
The 9MM Semi-Auto
Okay, now we’re talking. Even if you do not know a single thing about guns, you most probably have heard of the 9MM. It is the most widely spread caliber in the whole globalized world. International military forces use these guns for almost a century now and for a good reason. This semi-auto offers its users a double-stacked magazine with a holding capacity of up to 17 rounds. But, the more, the merrier, as they say. Besides, compared to the .22 LR, a 9MM Luger is more widely recognized. So, if we ever do end up in a post-apocalyptic in far, far away in the future, the last man standing would perform his last shot from a 9MM Parabellum.
As we mentioned, the 9MM is the most convenient caliber for a hiker. Military forces even widely use it. You may see it for yourself by just checking the Palmetto State Armory official website — these cartridges are very quickly out of stock. Therefore, you need to keep an eye on it or any other ammo store to ensure the necessary caliber. Its corps is made of highly corrosion-resistant steel, and the product is very high-quality in general. Trust us, for such an affordable price. You will not find anything better in terms of self-defense.
If you leave your E-mail address, the providers can send you notifications on whether the goods are back up on the market again. They restock their supplies really quickly due to the high demand, so you will not have to wait for too long.
The 9MM caliber ensures excellent penetration, but, unfortunately, this handgun will not do much good in a fight against furious grizzly bears or a pack of hungry wolves. In this case, your survival chances are pretty low.
It will be nothing but a mosquito bite for those species, which will not be your case if you happen to lose that battle. But it is not all that bad. A 9MM will perfect defend you against another man or a hiker with not so great motives and intentions.
The .45 ACP Gun
They say you never have to shoot twice with a .45 ACP. This particular caliber is extremely deadly and can incapacitate both humans and anything else with just one assailant hit. Check out a study called Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness made by a special agent teaching at a Firearms Training Unit to find out more information on this particular gun.
On average, a .45 ACP has at least an eight-round magazine capable of blowing huge holes in people and generally causing significant damage. This piece is represented by a semi-auto gun with very little recoil power. Most of the produced recoil will be absorbed in action, surprising considering the bullet size (typically 230 grain).
There is only one disadvantage that a .45 ACP has compared to a 9MM Luger, and it is capacity VS stopping power. However, it has been reported that at least one manufacturer produces 45s with a 13 round magazine. But still, one manufacturer won’t do it to resolve this huge ongoing argument.
Fun fact, there used to be a .45 70 so-called Government round. It is not used or produced that widely now, as far as we know, but way back in the days (especially during the Civil War), the .45 70 was very popular for its stopping power. They used these in several Gatling models until it was finally suspended by the US government, ironically.
Thus, each one of these survival handguns has its own niche. But, most importantly, they represent the full spectrum of firepower one may ever need in an emergency survival situation. Next up, let us discuss what those survival situations might be like.
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Possible Self-Defense Survival Scenarios
Very few people get into a survival situation intentionally. You can get caught in an unexpected breakdown absolutely anywhere, in any topography, climate, or weather conditions, and you will not be prepared for it. This is exactly what is going to happen because this is simply how Murphy’s Law works. Of course, you will encounter various deadly predators with different climates, circumstances, and weather conditions. In this part of the article, we suggest taking a few of them and the measures you can take in various survival situations.
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Snakes are pretty simple in a way that you always know what to expect from them. They do bite, and they most probably will if you are not cautious enough. The snakes are not the predators that would hunt a person down (although there are quite a few examples), but they certainly will not attack in packs, which is a major advantage for you. If you meet a snake in the wilderness, it would be most wise of you to give the snake wid-berth.
A snake will most likely not be the first one to attack either. These creatures always try to slither away from potential danger, and here we are much alike. However, there is a good chance of getting bitten by a snake if you provoke it on purpose. Hunting and even touching snakes can be extremely dangerous, but a snake will do too if you have no other food option. That is where a proper handgun may come in handy.
Snakes are not that hard to kill. Any of the above rounds will easily achieve this goal. Now, the real question here is, why waste a good .44 round when even the 22 LR succeeds?
Wolves, Coyotes, and Wild Dogs
If you ever get attacked by a wolf or a coyote, keep in mind that it is not one animal attacking you but a pack of them. Wolves, as well as coyotes and any other wild dogs, are primarily pack animals. So, only a high capacity handgun can save you in this situation if you happen to have a double-stacked gun with 9MM caliber — good for you.
Normally, neither wolves nor cayotes stalk people intentionally. But if you notice a pack nearby following you be aware, it means that there is not enough food in the forest, and they are desperate to find anything better than you. The bad news is, in this case, the animals would be furious and dangerous, so you need to coordinate and think through your actions very well to survive.
The good news here is that a good old.44 Magnum would make any wolf explode. However, you will only have 6 rounds, and god knows how many wolves in the pack. And what happens if you miss? God forbid you to miss. Plus, these revolvers are pretty big, heavy, and therefore clumsy. If you opt for the .45 ACP, it will manage the wolves as well, but mind the number of rounds you have. It quite a stressful situation, and not all shooters show a great performance under stress. Choose those only if you are sure of your long-range shooting abilities, and opt for the classic 9MM Luger for a close-range or even a combination of both power and capacity. And remember, be extremely careful, because any little mistake can cost you life.
Here are a few self-defense tips for you. Keep from walking alone at night in the woods to avoid meeting a pack of wolves in the first place. Yet, if you happen to be surrounded, do not hesitate. Get a gun in your hand as soon as you can and make precise shots to defeat your opponents once and for all. Otherwise, their brothers and sisters will try to find you and take revenge on you.
Grizzly Bears and Big Cats
Grizzly bears are a perilous game. Quick reminder, do not ever (EVER) try to run away from a grizzly bear. It truly is the dumbest idea you can come across. These creatures run way faster than the best of us. And yet another shocker, the bears can and do climb trees very well. It is only a myth that they cannot.
Keeping all the above in mind, you need to develop a good action plan for such an acquaintance. Have you ever seen “The Revenant” movie? Hugh Glass, the main antagonist, could have suffered way fewer losses if he has a proper survival gun at hand. Now, let us talk some more about the calibers that can actually help you survive after meeting a grizzly bear.
First thing you think of when you see a 9 feet tall, 850 pounds weight beast with long teeth and six-inch claws is proper stopping power. You will need to make one ultimate takedown shot to kill the bear. The .22 LR is a great survival rifle. The rifle that will only scratch the bear and majorly piss it off. You might attempt to hit the bear in the eye and hope for the best, but we cannot rely on blind luck as survival experts. Thus, the .22 LR would not be of great help here unless you grab an ultimate takedown rifle specifically for a grizzly hunting game with you, of course.
Our all-time favorite 9MM will not do much good either. The sure thing it will do is angry the beast capable of tearing you apart in a blink of an eye. We have to admit. You can kill the bear with a 9MM if you are lucky enough. However, you are more likely to bleed out faster than the bear does.
Remember, when you are in an area with large and potentially dangerous predators, like grizzly bears, large wild cats, dogs, wolves, or coyotes, pack a proper gun and a relevant caliber with you. You should make it possible to take whatever it is down with a single shot. Professional hikers and hunters say that you should never attend wild places that are a natural grizzly bear habitat with anything less than a .357 Magnum. But we suggest you go with at least a .44 Magnum, just in case.
Fellow Human Being
Finally, it has come down to the world’s most dangerous predator ever — the human. We are the species that can think, reason, strategize, plot, and adapt. Humans, provided certain circumstances, can attack you alone or with the company. The human being can sometimes be deviant and thus absolutely unpredictable. We may be a very civilized species now, but being a predator is our instinct, like it or not.
You v=can never plan your actions when dealing with humans. They possess guns too, and they will shoot you back if they have to. You need to keep in mind that your opponent may have a gun superior to yours, and he may not be willing to negotiate. Moreover, professional hunters and shooters can go very deep undercover and wear plate carriers, making them an even harder target.
If we ever get stuck in that post-apocalyptic scenario we described at the beginning of our article, the only humans we would be combating would be professionals at self-defense and survival after a few months. Basically, it is no place for amateurs, only the talented and well-equipped fighters will remain. However, any of the rounds that have been mentioned here can and will kill a human. So you can be equipped with a .22 LR or a 9MM. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is how good of a shooter you are and how great are your survival skills. Again, you may not have more than a single shot to take your opponent down.
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Our Top-10 Best Survival Gun Picks
Hereunder we have briefly described the world’s best survival guns, in our opinion. They all come with a video review, so if you want to find out more about any of them, just click on the relevant link.
1. Glock 17 — 9MM (17 rds)
The Glock Model 17 is a semi-automatic 9MM safe lever-action pistol. It truly is one of our all-time favorites on the market. This model is simple and incredible, and here is why.
The Glock 17 has been in business since 1982. The Austrian army then accepted the model, which set the prerequisites defining this particular gun’s motherland. Fun fact: the gun’s founder, Gaston Glock, had absolutely no experience in gun manufacturing. It had replaced the old German Walther P-38 with its outworn and outdated design. The new guns turned out to be very reliable and sturdy. When the gun first came out, people believed the Glock to be a “plastic gun” that could easily slip through airport checkpoints. But those myths are far gone now.
The guns are capable of functioning in any extreme conditions. They even function underwater! The Glock 17 gun is the ultimate AK-47 of the pistol world, without exaggeration. These guns are straightforward (with only 34 parts), very accurate, and super easy to use. The polymer frame that was the big argument subject not long ago has proven to be super light and comfortable.
The Glock has three internal safety constructions, and all of them are in the trigger, which is pretty amazing. You cannot physically fire the gun without pushing the safety lever along with the trigger. The next safety construction is firing pin safety that keeps the firing pin blocked and is deactivated by the trigger. And the third one is the drop safety, which keeps the Glock from accidental discharge if you happen to drop the gun. There are only two parts on this gun that you can actuate externally, and they are the magazine and the slide releases.
The other peculiarity of this gun is that it is straightforward to disassemble. All you need to do is check the two little levers on top of the Glock. But make sure to check if the chamber is empty and pull the trigger before you try to disassemble the gun. When the top comes off, you will notice how truly lightweight the gun’s frame is.
The Glock obtains a very durable polygonal hard steel barrel. The only precaution is, you do not want to use reloads with this barrel. Manufacturers warn against using any soft-led bullets because the led deposits tend to build up. However, technically, you can use full metal jackets and hollow-points as reload.
The slide is covered in Tenifer coating, which is very resistant to scratches and corrosion. Each gun has a magazine that can hold 17 rounds of 9MM. Nowadays, they make 39 different Glock models. Model 17 is one of the first ones out there, but it is not called “17” due to the seventeen rounds that it can hold but due to the number of successful patterns.
To find out more about the model, check out this video.
2. Glock 41 — .45 ACP (13 rds)
The Glock 41 was only introduced in January 2014, but it has already managed to win quite some people’s votes ever since. It was launched along with the Glock 42, the smallest Glock pistol in the class. But the Glock 41 is, in turn, one of the longest models ever.
The slide of the 41 gun models has been reduced if you take a quick glimpse at it. However, the frame is the same as the full-size version. So keep that in mind when you purchase a gun holster. The reason behind such a long slide is in a longer sight radius, which makes it easier to get on target, improves accuracy, and gives a lot more balance to the gun itself. Thus, the follow-up shots can be brought together really quickly if you did not succeed with a single shot. This gun would be good for competitive shooters as well as in a home defense situation. But one thing that it’s not is a concealed carry option.
Now, let’s talk a bit more about its design. Besides the fact that this pistol has a longer slide and a longer barrel, it is generally a bigger gun except for the slide dimensions. The 41 model weighs just slightly less than the original model, which adds some more points to it, frankly.
The Glock 41 pistol with a .45 ACP caliber will provide you with better sight options during the rain and in the dark and a generally softer shoot than an original model. The is a whole variety of aftermarket sight sizes and shapes that you can get for your pistol. You get a u-shape Glock sight, or two dots shape, or whatever you might like. There are only so many accessories because these guns are so popular.
The Glock 41 comes in a generation 4 configuration as well. It has a larger backstrap on it and a handle covered in little pyramids that make it more convenient to hold. This is a really exceptional ambidextrous grip system with a larger magazine release. To break down the gun, please ensure that it is unloaded, pull the trigger, and pull back the almost 4-inch barrel and the indicated tabs to get the double recoil sprain and the barrel. This is a very comfortable length of pull, by the way.
The Glock 41 really stands out for its internals. There is a special cutout at the top of the chamber that you will not be able to find in any other Glock models. It serves to reduce the muzzle flip. Your gun mass will be much lighter when traveling back from a shot, so you are affected much less by the recoil power. The barrel is much thinner than in most Glock models, and this was only done to make the slide smaller.
To sum it up, the model 41 is incredibly reliable and accurate and obtains an unbelievable sight radius. If you are a competitive shooter and you want to use a major caliber, definitely opt for the Glock 41 model, no questions asked. Please, check out the following video to learn some more about the model.
3. Springfield Armory XD9 — 9MM (16 rds)
The Springfield Armory XD9 survival weapon has really stepped up its game. The Springfield Armory has always been a part of the big three. This XD model guns were designed in 2001, and the XD-M (Extreme Duty Match) was only introduced in 2006. In fact, the Glock 41 became the handgun of the year back in 2001.
They have obtained a lot of different enhancements ever since, and we are going to consider some of them in this very article. First up, the gun’s grip zone is absolutely fantastic. If you take a quick glimpse at the handle, you will notice how comfortable and ergonomic it looks even from the side. Fun fact, to produce this kind of grip, the Springfield Armory had held a whole study to examine the firing hand positions. They did a lot of research, and this is how the new handle design was born. If you look closer, you will notice that it is reminiscent of the old P-30 grip, which was considered one of the most comfortable back in the day.
The gun comes with two magazines (of the maximum capacity 16+1) made of stainless steel. The described grip helps your index finger and thumb come close together for a significantly more comfortable hand positioning. The grip also has nice texturing right where it counts so that the gun doesn’t slip.
Another improvement is that the manufacturers have shaped the trigger snag down, so it is no longer square. The model has improved serrations both in the back and the front of the chamber, so you could grab them better to recharge or discharge the gun.
The 41 model has an outstanding external grip safety and internal trigger safety, just like the previous Glock model. The latter keeps the gun from being fired unless you fully pull the safety lever along with the trigger. Some people are really bothered by the grip safety element, but it will provide you with an extra safety element if you just put your mind to it. The grip also has a little edge that allows you to do a one-handed gun reload.
These award-winning guns have a slide stop lever and a takedown lever at the lower part of the chamber. They have been around for a while now and have a design that has been proven very reliable over the years. Besides the black finish, the manufacturer can offer you a two-tone as well. It has fired and loaded indicators, making your life a lot easier in an emergency.
The Glock 41 design is nearly brilliant. To find out more about the model, check out the following review video.
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4. Springfield Armory XD(M) — .45 ACP (13 rds)
As we have already mentioned, the Springfield Armory XD-M model was introduced back in 2006. The gun has a 4,5-inch barrel (a slightly increased length of pull compared to the previous model) and two 13-round magazines. It all comes with a fired showcasing.
To tell you the truth, it is an awesome piece of weaponry. With the Springfield Armory XD(M) itself, you will get a hollow-point lock, a two-magazine pouch, a paddle holster, two additional backstraps, a mag loader, and a big luggage suitcase as well. These guns are also made of stainless steel and a fully supported ramp. The frame is made of black polymer. The gun’s height is 5.75 inches, and its weight (with an empty magazine) is about 31 ounces.
Like its brother, the Springfield Armory XD9, this gun has a very convenient handle and improved serrations both in the back and the front of the chamber for better recharging or discharging. The other improvements have a grip safety, a loaded indicator, and a thumb rest.
The XD-M is very accurate and does not concede to other Springfield models. However, the model does not have the night sight option compared to the XD-9 version.
With all that said, an XD(M) is most definitely an improvement. Do not forget to check out the latest review video to learn more about the model.
5. Beretta Model 92FS — 9MM (15 rds)
Bereta was first introduced in 1526, which makes it the world’s oldest gun manufacturer ever existed. They have produced an enormous amount of high-quality pistols, rifles, shotguns, and other firearms. However, pistols are now the most popular firearms across the country.
Amongst all the pistols, the Beretta Model 92FS is the most common and popular model, and here is why. The model was adopted by the US military forces a while ago. You probably would not argue that a design examined and improved by a military test can be called reliable. However, some slide cracking has been known because of the heat-treating process, but now, all of the issues have been remedied.
The gun is not the smallest or the lightest in its class. It has a unique open barrel system that helps to keep the breed clear. With this design, the barrel does not tilt. Ever. Which, in turn, makes the model even more reliable. The original Walther P-38 inspired its locking system.
The gun is hammer-fired. It is a double, single lever action pistol. By pulling the trigger, you immediately actuate the hammer. Please note that the trigger is quite heavy to pull. The triggers on all Bereta models are exceptional. Thanks to the double-action and safety technology applied to the gun, it is very smooth and easy to use.
Bereta is truly one of the best survival options. It is a very accurate gun because of the locking block system. This savage model has a slide safety de-cocker. Once you bring the safety lever down, it brings the hammer down as well. Please, always remember to pull the safety lever up before deploying your Bereta gun. Otherwise, it will not shoot. There is no magazine disconnector in the safety system, which is a good thing, in our opinion.
The Bereta 92 FS is ambidextrous and very convenient in use. Plus, the manufacturer offers the users a compact 92 FS version for a more comfortable concealed carry. If you liked the gun, do not forget to check this video to get even more information and interesting facts about it.
6. Sig Sauer P320 — .45 ACP (10 rds)
The Sig Sauer P320 really delivers on its promise. The gun is very comfortable and not at all fatiguing to shoot. All P320 guns come with a halster, a caliber exchange kit, and a takedown lever. However, many users tend to dislike the takedown improvement considering it too big and sticking out too much at the side of the gun. This particular feature can turn a perfect firearm into quite an uncomfortable carry. Therefore, we’d say the engineers better had worked some more on that last Friday and figured out a way to make this work. But, anyway, it still is quite an impressive and savage model, indeed.
The magazines on this Sig Sauer pistol model are top quality. The capacity of these guns is, on average, 10 rounds of .45 ACP. The P320 corps is polymer-framed and striker-fired. All models in the line have reversible magazine release, one of the best releases in the business, one must say. It is straightforward to push and has a great positive injection. The slide stop and slide release are both ambidextrous as well.
These guns have a steel guide rod and a flat recoil sprain, which is also quite amazing. The material makes the P320 guns resistant to any kind of stretches.
The only thing that does really bug us about this particular pistol from the fit and finish perspective is that the chamber play. If you push the upper and lower parts of the slide, you will see how big the gap between them is. This distance is way smaller on post polymer models. However, this little disadvantage seems to have exactly zero effect on the gun’s performance. P320 guns stay very durable, reliable, and accurate.
One of our survival expert colleagues has made incredible comparison research on the Sig Sauer P320, its main features, capacity, and accuracy. Please check out the video to find out more about this model.
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7. Sig Sauer P226 — 9MM (15 rds)
Our nest best survival pistol is the ultimate Sig Sauer P226. Let us get a closer look at this particular savage model.
The P226 has been in the market for about three decades now. It came out in 1984 when the US army was looking for a new service pistol. This particular model was based on the P220 model, which is a .45 caliber single stack handgun. Over time, they have developed the old design into the current P226 model. During the XM military trials, the P226 performed better than many similar design pistols, including the Bereta M9. But, rumor has it the model eventually lost the military trials due to its cost and not the functional problems.
Even though the P226 pistol did not become the new US military armory invention, the gun was adopted by the US navy, the Texas Rangers, professional competitive shooters, and many other security organizations globally. And here are a couple of reasons why. It is a double-action single-action style handgun. The model has a stainless steel slug barrel, which makes the injection and extraction process super easy. The gun is designed for carrying around with the chamber hammer down at rest for the first shot to be fired double lever action. This handgun has no manual safety, which technically means that if you carry the pistol cocked, you cannot lock it with the manual safety.
The P226 has a series of levers, making it very different from other models on the market. The first lever in the row is a decocker. The second lever is a slide stop. This mechanism is pretty simple and conventional. Now, the curious part of this pistol is the hammer. When the gun is decocked, you cannot push the hammer forward. However, if you push it along with pulling the trigger, it will work. And that is another part of the safety mechanism. Internally, this safety system has the firing pin blocked. All the P226 guns have a double-safety mechanism that makes them very safe to carry, even with loaded round magazines. Moreover, the handgun is also drop-safe, and that is the fourth external safety lever there is.
Frankly speaking, we could talk about this savage model for hours because it has an inquisitive design. If you want to learn more about it on your own, please check out the following review video.
8. Smith and Wesson Model 629 — .44 Magnum (6 rds)
The Smith and Wesson Model 629 is an old Smith and Wesson classic. It is hard to believe that they are still making the 629s, but these are in high demand nowadays and widely available. This model has never gotten out of favor, as it turns out. Let us see why.
The new models can still fit a big .44 meg caliber, but they also have only six-round magazines. These guns are made of stainless steel, so they are not afraid of the rain or any water, actually. The 29 models came out in 1955 originally. And only about twenty years later (in the 70s), the steel 629 version came along. The 629, just like all the Smith and Wesson models, shoot pretty well. They probably will not kill a grizzly bear with a single shot, but they are accurate and very durable.
Besides everything else, these survival guns are rapid to load. If you look at the review video, you probably won’t even notice the loading moment because that’s exactly how quickly it happens. This is excellent quality for a handgun in a survival situation. Again, it is a shame that this revolver only has six rounds to shoot. In turn, it gives a great advantage of rapid-fire, considering how fast it can reload.
This gun would be good for competitive shooters or really just big handgun appreciators. The 629 pistol model looks incredible. It is an old-fashioned revolver, by taking a look at which you seem to travel in time back in the days when these were extremely popular. But again, as it turns out, they are prevalent now as well.
9. Ruger Single Ten — .22 LR (10 rds)
The Ruger Single Ten comes with 10 rounds of .22 LR caliber is an ultimate savage model. That is why we would like to tell you some more about it. The manufacturer started making these back in 1953, but this new model can hold 10 rounds of .22 LR instead of six. The Ruger 10 22 takedown has about a 60 percent increase in the number of cartridges it can carry.
Ruger has an exciting design. It looks like an ancient classy revolver, which it most certainly is. It has a corps and a barrel made of steel with stainless finish and a wooden handle. The gun is reloaded a little slower than the similar semi-automatic models, or even the fellow Smith and Wesson 629 mentioned above. But it can still deliver pretty great rapid-fire.
The Ruger 10 .22 takedown rifle has fiber optic sights on it, which can help your small game hunting. You can also use the Ruger 10 .22 takedown rifle for making for a single shot game or competitive shooting. The Single Ten Ruger is very accurate.
The bottom line is that the Ruger 10 22 is an excellent revolver. If you want to know more about the Single Ruger 10 22, just check out this review video.
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10. Ruger Super Blackhawk — .44 Magnum (6rds)
The Ruger Super Blackhawk is a significantly longer rifle compared to the Ruger 10 22. This is a new Ruger model that comes in the .44 caliber. It is a Magnum pistol, but it is way more moderate in other Ruger models.
The handgun’s corps is made of unpolluted silver, and it is one of its distinguishing features. The Ruger Super Blackhawks have been around for a long time. It used to be very popular back in the days when people liked single-action revolvers. We mean, the thing is very durable, “can’t break it with a jackhammer” kind of durable. They can handle some pretty stiff loads. The real question here is, can you handle them?
Of course, there are some b=negative things to say about this model too. The trigger ring is made in a square shape, so when you shoot, it can really hurt your knuckle depending on the hand’s size and shape. Luckily, the manufacturer had fixed that disadvantage later on in the hunter’s special small game models. Those rifles already do have a more round-shaped trigger ring.
With the Ruger Super Blackhawk, you can shoot some really hard armory without causing any damage to the firearms themselves. That is another illustration of just how durably and sturdy this Ruger is.
There cannot be too much history with the Blackhawk revolvers cause they are history. They are very classy, yet, they require some particular skill to handle them, and therefore are not a universal firearm in a survival situation. The Ruger is truly legendary, so if you are interested, please check out the review video.
11. Smith and Wesson Model 686 — .357 Magnum (6 rds)
Those were our ten best survival handguns and rifles. But here’s the runner-up for our most committed survival expert. We hope you enjoy the bonus.
The Smith and Wesson Model 686 in .357 Magnum did not make it to our top-10, but it sure is worth your attention. This is a 3-inch barrel, 5 56 models. The piece looks stunning. But the truth is, Smith and Wesson have always had trouble making ugly weaponry. Maybe, this particular 5 56 would look better and be more convenient with shorter grips on it, in our opinion, but this small detail is most definitely not a dealbreaker here.
The 5 56 takedown model is small enough to be a concealed carry in many different ways. You may be surprised by it, but a 3-inch 5 56 barrel makes a very shootable load gun. Its frame is designed in a way that makes the handgun extremely accurate. This petite piece of weaponry is even capable of taking down a big predator with a single shot. Sure, you can use the 3-inch 5 56 models for a small game too. However, as you may already remember from the previous sections, the .357 hollow-points have a great stopping power potential compared to the same old 22 rifles.
This new Smith and Wesson model have a lot of new features and improvements. For example, it has a key lock, a semi-automatic firing pin, and a new hammer safety mechanism. Another fun addition to the model is a seven-round magazine. Thus, the little 686 stands out from its model line.
The Smith and Wesson pistol can easily replace a Ruger GP100, another heavy 3-inch gun, and a lovely shooter. These two short barrel models once more prove that you do not need a long barrel to reach out. Do not forget to check out this review video to find out more about the Smith and Wesson 686 model.
To Wrap It All Up
As you can see, the real choice of a perfect survival gun is between capacity and sheer power, which together make a winning survival combination. Your life literally depends on the gun choice you make, so you have absolutely no right to mess it up. We have provided you with all the necessary tools, and now it’s your turn to show us what you have learned.
We have to confess. We have made this comprehensive top-11 list of the best survival handguns based on the average survival expert. This, in turn, means that all represented pieces of weaponry are no custom $3500 Les Baer 1911. Our goal was to list the firearms that most people could afford without losing in utility and capacity.
Survival one on one with nature is difficult enough in itself, and we have to come up with a plan to make it easier for you. Therefore, we have studied ergonomics, reliability, sturdiness, recoil power management, sight precision, accuracy, and pricing. These features combined shall give you your perfect survival firearm for any game you choose. Oh, and another important detail, all of these models are typically restricted to ten round magazines.
Do not forget about our tip №1: always get equipped and adapt your choices for the relevant occasions. Whether it is a small game or any other hunting game, make sure you follow all the recommendations of our survival experts. That is one rule to remember.
You have read about survival rifles, old-school revolvers, heavy metal short barrel shooting monsters in this piece. We have told you so much about firearms that you can use for a small game, protect yourself against a big and dangerous predator, or an aggressor. You can easily put together a takedown rifle survival bug-out bag and aim at any major game you want with this knowledge. We really hope that the information stated in this article was useful for you. Use our tips wisely, but other than that, go have a proper bug out.
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Why do I need to buy a survival gun?
You need a survival gun for multiple reasons. You never know what or who you may run up against in the wilderness. You can run into a grizzly bear, a pack of hungry wolves, or simply an angry tourist that wants you to mind your own business, and by far, not every encounter will be a friendly one. Keep that in mind and get prepares for your emergency survival along with us. We will get prepared for a big hike alone or a small game in the suburbs with your friends.
Can I buy an inexpensive survival gun?
The answer is absolute. We have made a comprehensive survival gun list that includes improved and expensive versions and their simple and affordable alternatives. Nowadays, the market has something to offer for any taste and wallet, so go through our top-11 list once again and choose your perfect survival gun. Use our guidelines and recommendations to do so.
What are the best survival guns on the market?
As we have stated above, our all-time favorites are the Glock and Springfield Armory models. They have proven to be very convenient, accurate, reliable, very durable, safe, and easy to use. We have reviewed the models based on the materials quality, accuracy, weight, capacity, stopping power, hand comfort, and pricing to make our top-11 list. The models are common, so that you can find them in nearly any ammo store. We, in turn, strongly advise you to use the one and only Glock 17 savage model.
What are the laws regulating survival guns in the USA?
Honestly, the gun laws and policies differ from state to state. Some states implement very strict and even drastic measures for concealed carriers and handguns in general. Usually, it concerns big cities with a high-density population (for obvious reasons). These policies may apply only to public spaces, places of worship, governmental buildings, or schools. If you are going on a bug-out trip, make sure to take care of a gun permit. Check out the local laws and regulations to do so. It is in your own interest to obey the requirements, as the penalties for gun law violations are very high.