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What is the best bug out gun? ( Handguns, Shotguns and Rifles)




What is the best bug out gun? The best bug out gun is the AR 15, Glock 19 and the Remington 870. However, this also depends on a lot of factors like the gun laws in your state, the ease of use of the weapon, the ammo and weapon availability in your area. In an SHTF scenario, your main concern if you are bugging out with a weapon is ammo and this is why you should use common caliber guns while you are bugging out. My personal favorites are the Glock 19, Remington 870 and the AR 15.  Having a common caliber gun will ensure that you will find ammo even if the SHTF scenario is much longer as expected because this caliber ammunition is used by most of the law enforcement and by a lot of civilians.

No matter which bug out gun you choose having a fast way to reload your magazines will save you a lot of time in the long run. My recommendation is to start with a magazine speed loader Click here to check price on Amazon.com

Best bug out gun

These weapons are not only good in a survival situation but also in a home invasion situation. Most preppers know that having a gun for self-defense is extremely important in a crisis situation not having one could make your bug out trip very short. Even if you are not planning to use it you should still have one in your bug out bag as a deterrent to looters and marauders. As a prepper versatility is very important and your weapons also should be able to be used in different situations like self-defense and hunting.

Things to consider before buying a bug out gun

Carrying around a lot of guns or even one heavy assault gun will tell its toll on your body if you are traveling long distances on foot. There is no point in carrying a massive assault rifle if it burdens you and it just slows down your progress. An assault rifle ain’t going to protect you from one of the biggest dangers of bugging out which is the natural elements especially if you live in a colder climate.


The ability to hunt and thus procuring fresh food should also be one of the main reasons why you should have a gun if you don’t have the skills on how to trap small animals you won’t have a lot of options without a gun. Also, you should consider the ease of use of your bug out gun, if you are bugging out with a larger group it will be easier for everyone if they know how to use all the weapons in your group.

One important factor to consider before buying a weapon is the price of it, most preppers work on a fairly tight budget and there is no point in straining your budget even further with an expensive gun which needs expensive ammo. Before buying take a look at the different ammo types, their availability, and their price and ask yourself if you can afford to buy the gun and stockpile 1000 rounds plus the rounds that you will use for practice.

  1. Ammo availability
  2. The weight of the gun
  3. Hunting capability
  4. Concealed carry

Ammo availability

How available an ammo type is in your country will also dictate its price. As a prepper, we usually hoard a lot of items like food, water, tools and ammo and these usually cost a lot of money. My suggestion is to go with a common caliber ammo as these usually are mass produced and cost a lot less than some of the other “fancy” ammo. Usually, if you ask any prepper on how much ammunition you should have they usually say that around 1000 rounds per gun.

However in a bug out situation carrying 1000 rounds while traveling on foot is going to be difficult unless you have a larger bug out group and family where you can divide the 1000 rounds evenly for ease of carrying.

Another important factor as you don’t know how long the emergency will last is that you can use the ammo as a bartering item. You might think that having a rarely used ammo type will be worth more in an end of the world scenario but odds are that there are very few people using that caliber ammo and this makes it useless for bartering. If you have read my article Chances of surviving a nuclear war, you already know how valuable ammunition will be especially after a nuclear war.

The weight of the ammunition is also a big concern for most preppers but you can preventively burry some of this ammo in strategic locations through your bug out route. This must be planned ahead of the emergency situation and stored correctly to avoid damage.

The weight of the gun

Having a lightweight gun will be easier for you to carry on your bug out journey if your gun is big, bulky and heavy carrying it will be very energy consuming for your body. Some weapons can be folded thus making them occupy less space or they can also be disassembled but in an emergency or even while hunting you don’t want to reassemble the gun which might take you a few but precious minutes.

If you have a bigger group while bugging out having a mix of lightweight and heavyweight guns is a good idea, as you can switch them around so you don’t feel the pain of carrying it constantly. Usually, heavy assault rifles also have bigger caliber ammunition and this also weighs a lot.



My suggestion is to go small and lightweight if you strain your body too much carrying heavy weapons and ammo you will use much more energy. Instead of packing a heavy weapon pack more food and water.

Hunting capability

Your bug out gun should also be able to be used as a hunting weapon. You can hunt small gain with something as simple as a handgun just keep in mind that usually, you have just one shot before you scare off the prey. While hunting with something like an SKS is much easier due to its range you can still use a small handgun for this, of course only in an SHTF situation, don’t go out and start hunting as a hobby with a small handgun.

While you are bugging out and have made it to your safe location or compound there will come a time that you will start thinking of replenishing your food supplies as your food will run out eventually and you should eat foods with the longer shelf lives as a last resort. If you are serious about hunting and you need more information about it, check out my article What is the hunter’s most important item of clothing.

If you have the know-how on how to trap small animals you should still have at least one gun with which you can hunt small or even larger game. In addition to having a weapon for hunting you should also have this kill on how to hunt, without it you will waist a lot of precious ammo and nothing to show for it so make sure you practice.

Concealed carry

Some say that in an SHTF situation that concealed carry will be the last thing on your mind this is true in some situations. But if you live in a densely populated area where there is still some rule of law during the emergency you could get in a lot of trouble. Also do not underestimate the psychological factor of having a gun, what would be your reaction to a group of heavily armed people coming towards you and your family.

Usually, in an SHTF situation, there is a lot of panic mostly by people who have not prepared for it in any shape or form so having a gun is very important but you should only show it if there is an immediate threat to you and your family.

In densely populated areas there are usually a lot of drug addicts, think of what will happen when they can’t get their fix and they see you with your bug out bag, they will probably think that you have something of great value in it and this is true.

In my opinion, blending in is the best way to bug out as it does not attract any attention to you, so no visible weapons, no fancy backpacks and none of those tactical gear outfits. Some think that hiding bigger weapons in their vehicle is a good plan, but if you live in a densely populated area odds are that you won’t be able to bug out with your vehicle due to the traffic congestion.

Once people are panicked and head to go out of the city there will be massive jams and eventually people will start abandoning their vehicles thus bugging out with your vehicle in these densely populated areas is not the best idea.

Bug out handgun

The reason why would I chose a handgun as a bug out weapon before all other weapons is because it is very concealable. This is a weapon that you can easily hide even when you are on the move, by concealing it you are not going to alarm anybody and this is an excellent self-defense weapon. The handgun also can be used in a home defense situation as well while bugging out.

One of the things of having a handgun especially a Glock 19 is that it has a common caliber of 9 mm which is usually cheap and you can find it all over the place even while looting in an SHTF situation. If I had the option to only take one gun with me the Glock 19 would be it. What I love most about handguns is you can easily hide it in places where nobody will think of, like in your dogs bug out bag, check out my article Dog bug out bags.

Other preppers might go for the 1911 or a revolver, these are great personal self-defense firearms but you should also consider that these have ammo types that are not that common. If you have only a revolver is that you have only 5-7 rounds at the max and the reload will take a while.

So the revolver has 5-7 rounds, the 1911 has 7-8 rounds and the Glock has 10-15 rounds and one of the things that I have learned in a lot of self-defense classes is that having multiple rounds does make a big difference. Without having to reload as much and having a higher ammo count the Glock 19 is my personal go-to gun in a bug out situation.

You can have any handgun but my suggestion is that it should have a good decent standard capacity magazine with around 10 rounds or more. There are a lot of states that limit the maximum amount of ammo in a magazine of around 10 but this is still better than having 5-8 rounds.

The problem with any handgun is that they usually good for about 50 yards, this is about the max distance that you can shoot accurately. Obviously, you can shoot further than 50 yards but at that point, you will mostly miss your target unless you are some kind of expert in long-distance handgun shooting. The effective range of your typical handgun is around  50 yards so this limits you on how you will use it but it is still a great bug out handgun.

With choosing a handgun I would definitely choose one with decent quality, that is going to be reliable and durable enough to work in harsher conditions. If you are serious about prepping and have the budget for it a Glock 19 is a must have for any prepper.

One of the big things about buying a single handgun is that you need one that can fit a lot of different roles. You want something that is really good and accurate, high capacity magazine. But you also want something that you can possibly conceal. The problem with concealing a gun is typically that it is a smaller gun, shorter barrel, shorter sight radius and a little bit less on the grip.

Glock 26 fits these parameters but it is fairly large and this would be the limit of what I personally consider for an SHTF firearm. The Glock 19 is concealable enough, not quite as much as the Glock 26 and yet it shoots like a full sized gun and it shoots 15 rounds. Handguns due to their versatility will be an extremely valuable item in case of an SHTF situation, if you want more information check out my article 75 Tips for economic collapse preparation.

While I am not necessarily saying that you should get the Glock 19 there are many medium-sized guns that you can conceal carry but will also be an excellent handgun for self-defense. What to consider when you are buying your handgun for your SHTF scenario is that is has a caliber that is readily accessible and it has a reasonable price. One of the reasons why I love the 9 mm is because it is prolific and it is proved and tested by the military and the law enforcement agencies.

They sell more 9 mm handguns than any other one combined, it uses NATO rounds which a lot of police agencies use.

If you are a gun owner you probably love shooting your 45’s and your 38 handguns but when you are really serious life and death situations you need to consider the round count, ammo capacity, availability and the price so that you can stock up with around 1000 round. If you love your 45 caliber gun or any other caliber gun and you have the means to store 1000 round then go for it just keep in mind that these won’t be as effective bartering item in an extreme SHTF situation.

Types of handgun

  1. Single action
  2. Double action
  3. Semi-automatic

Single action handguns

What the single action means is it really only fire one way as you need to cock the hammer in order to fire it, you can not just pick it up and pull the trigger unless it is cocked. The trigger usually has a very short travel time to the point of firing. I generally do not recommend the single action handguns for any preppers as these usually have only 6 rounds in the magazine and they are kind of hard to use due to ist single action mechanism.

Now if the only weapon for bugging out is a single action handgun go ahead and use it just keep in mind that these need constant cleaning and the single round reloading is kind of a pain.

Double action handguns

These are a more common type of revolver as it has been used by the police in the ’80s and the late ’90s. Double action means that it actually cocks the hammer for you, you can still cock the hammer manually but there is no need. People using these guns as self-defense are usually advised not to cock it as the mechanism does that automatically. These usually have a longer trigger pull and it is more difficult to shoot them long range.

If you want precision shooting you will need to cock it before shooting, not cocking it will affect your aim due to the hammers small but powerful kinetic force while cocked automatically. Once the trigger is cocked the trigger also has a shorter travel time until firing thus making it more sensible.

These are a better option for a prepper altho I do not recommend them due to its limited ammo capacity and massive recoil.

Semi-automatic

A lot of people call these automatics but there are not a lot of people walking around with a fully automatic 1911. Semi-automatic means that it will continue firing once it is loaded until it runs out of ammunition as long as you keep pulling the trigger. Once you load the round you have to rack a round in the chamber by pulling on the upper part and this way the slide picks up the first round from then onward you have to continually pull the trigger to fire.

The big danger with semi-automatic weapons is that if you are not focused you can have a round in your chamber while you think that the gun is empty. Just because the magazine is out doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a bullet in the chamber. In fact, there are a lot of accidents on record of people who thought that a semi automatic without a mag is not having a round in its chamber.

These I highly recommend, they have a large round count, fairly cheap and extremely effective no matter if you are getting it for self-defense or for bugging out porpuses.

Best bug out handguns

As you have already read the Glock 19 is my favorite handgun in a bug out situation. But this doesn’t mean that there are not any other good handguns out there, as I previously stated it is mostly a personal choice on which handgun you choose for your bug out set up. My aim is to give as much information as possible and you have a lot of choices of handguns, so here is my list of 9 mm handguns for personal defense and prepping, they are in no particular order.

best bug out pistols

Ruger American

This is definitely a worthy gun for any prepper altho it is a relatively new design and unproven in combat situations. In my opinion, this is the best pistol that Ruger has ever built, it has 17 rounds, interchangeable grip modules and all in all a very nice handgun.

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S&W M&P 9c

This model represents the entire M&P line of pistols with the biggest difference being the size. This weapon has a lot of fans and some law enforcement duty pistols are currently being changed to this one. What I like about these that they are very customizable.

S&W M&P 9c best bug out gun preppingplanet.com

 

Springfield XD 9

Springfield makes the XDM and XD model also and these handguns are known for their reliability. One thing that people either love or hate is the grip safety, without that being pressed the slide will not pull back and the trigger will also not fire. This gun comes in different sizes and one of the most popular ones are the subcompact ones. In my opinion, this is a great choice for a prepper if you can get a handle on getting used to the safety lock.

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Beretta M9

This is a full-sized handgun and has been the military’s choice of handgun for a number of years. The M9 itself is a nice shooting handgun and some people consider this the best and most accurate shooting handgun. You can use this in double action and even on single action trigger pull.

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Browning Hi Power

This gun has amazing accuracy and if you are familiar with guns you will know that this is John Brownings last designed gun. If you are a fan of the 1911 you will love this gun. This is a single action only pistol so keep that in mind.

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FNS 9C

I consider FN underrated but an excellent handgun, the cool thing that FN offers is their 3 magazines when you buy the pistol. It has a hinged trigger, very reliable and accurate.

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Lionheart LH9

This has an alloy frame coated in cera, has heavy texturing on the grip for a nice firm hold. This is a double action and single action firearm both with a short travel time for the trigger. Usually, these have a 4.1-inch barrel but they also offer smaller models with 3.1-inch barrels.

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Grand Power X-Calibur

This is an incredible competition gun, the cutouts on the sides balance out very well with the bold barrel that is fluted and it also has a rotating barrel. The single action trigger pull is right at 3.5 pounds. Altho this is n excellent gun keep in mind that it tends to take a longer time to clean this one then any other gun in this list and as a prepper I would rather do something useful than constantly clean my gun.

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Kahr CW9

This is an every day carry 9 mm and its small size makes it easy to be concealed. This gun not only looks nice but it also feels great. As usual, the reliability and craftsmanship of the Kahr Arms are amazing, the trigger pull is at 6.5 pounds and it is a double action only.

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CZ 75

This is the most copied handgun in the world next to the 1911. This is also very popular with military and law enforcement throughout the world and for a good reason as it is extremely accurate good magazine capacity. CZ 75 sold over 1 million handguns and a lot of preppers do use them.

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HK P30sk V1

The “sk” stands for subcompact and this is quite a small gun. The one thing I like about this is that it has a double action extremely light trigger and the hand ergonomics makes it feel great in your hand.

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Magnum Research Baby Desert Eagle III

This has a full metal frame, good magazine capacity with a great single action trigger but it also has a double action.

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Walther PPQ M2

The main thing which I love about this gun is the grip itself, the cross directional texture makes the ergonomics of this gun very nice. It holds 15 rounds in the magazine and the trigger is 5 pounds with a very short reset for the followup shots. This a compact gun but it shoots like a full sized gun.

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Sig Sauer P226 Elite

Some may consider this the best 9 mm gun on the market. it is well crafted and combat ready. It is a popular law enforcement pistol due to its amazing accuracy and reliability. It has an SRT trigger which is a short reset trigger so in single action the pull is very short.

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Bug out shotgun

A 12 gauge shotgun with a pump preferably, also the 12 gauge is very common. If you have a smaller frame or a woman with less experience in shooting them you may want to go with 24 gauge as it is smaller. A lot of homes do have shotguns, the main reason is they use it for hunting but it is also an excellent self-defense weapon. The good thing about having a pump shotgun is that you can remove the barrel and put on a different smaller or longer barrel depending on what you are going to use it for.

My personal favorite is the Remington 870 but is somewhat heavy if you have a lot of accessories on it. You don’t necessarily need a Remington 870, any good basic pump action shotgun is your best home defense weapon, in fact, most experts agree that a good  12 gauge shotgun is one of the ultimate home defense weapons.

Going against a shotgun with a  handgun the shotgun is always going to be superior as it has a lot more capability but at higher ranges, things don’t look so good. The shotgun can be also converted with a longer barrel or a shorter barrel into a hunting shotgun so you not only have a home defense but also hunting capabilities. The downside of the shotgun is that you are limited to a range like you are with the handgun.

The effective range of a shotgun is around 40 yards compared to the handguns effective range of a handgun of around 50 yards. At longer ranges, you are peppering your target and at that point, the shotgun isn’t lethal anymore. If you use slugs you can increase the effective range to about 100 yards but the pump action shotgun is mostly an up close self-defense weapon.

Best bug out shotguns

As I have previously stated the best bug out shotgun should be a pump action shotgun and you have probably noticed that the Remington 870 is my favorite one. As it is in the case of all firearms personal preference will dictate which one you get. Personal preference aside these shotguns usually cost a lot more than your average shotgun. Below is a comprehensive list of good bug out pump shotguns, if you are not a fan of Remington 870 then you should definitely check these ones out.

best bug out shotgun

Mossberg Maverick 88

This is a multi-function shotgun it is just as effective on the hunt as it is for home defense. The pump action dual extractors and twin action bars provide a smooth and very consistent shooting ability. This has a capacity of up to 8 12 gauge shotgun shells, this shotgun has weather resistant synthetic stock which can handle all weather conditions. It has a trigger guard mounted cross bolt safety, interchangeable barrel and chokes on the barrel are also compatible with the Mossberg 500 models as do the majority of the other parts.

The Maverick 88 is not equipped with any sling mounts as the 500 series is.

DP 12

This is a bullpup 12 gauge pump action double-barreled shotgun with 2 independent magazines located below the barrels which each feed their own barrel. Each magazine tube can hold up to 7 shells this gives it a total of 14 12 gauge ammunition plus the extra 2 in the chambers. The shells are loaded into the magazines through large loading port located at the bottom rear of the gun on the stock behind the pistol grip.

Empty shells are ejected down the same port, the first trigger pole fires the right barrel and the second fires the left, this coupled with the center loading and the ejection makes this shotgun also suited for left-hand operators. It is equipped with a cross bolt manual safety button located above the grip. The DP 12 provides a lot of accessories on its rails and slots, it allows you to customize it with your own accessories.

Benelli SuperNova

This is a lightweight rock solid pump action shotgun, the heart of this weapon is the lightweight steel skeleton framework which is molded over with high tech polymer for lightweight, strength and weather resistance. It has dual action bars makes this pump action shotgun a solid reliable choice for every prepper. The proprietary tehnology Mag Stop allows a rapid interchange of the chambered ammo in order to have the right round for the operational need in seconds.

This shotgun is also equipped with a host ring or an open rifle sight and a form shell stop button. It has a capacity of 4 shells plus one in its barrel. The SuperNova is available with the choice of 3 modular buffs stocks.

  • Pistol grip
  • Telescoping stock
  • Molded Grip

Hatsam Escort Almguard

This is the best pump shotgun for small framed people because the pump is unusually close to the rear of the gun, that makes it easy for shooters with short arms. The guns construction is fairly solid despite its low price. It has an 18.5-inch barrel and holds 5 shells plus 1 in the chamber, it weighs around 6 pounds when empty which means that it is a very good bug out shotgun. It has everything that you should expect from a good pump action shotgun.

The receiver is made from aircraft alloy and it has smooth edges and the rear end is rounded. The stocks shape is even slightly adjustable for increased comfort.

Winchester SPX Defender

This pump action shotgun is known to be rugged, reliable self-defense weapon, it uses a rotary bolt and thanks to its inertia assisted slide action it is the fastest shotgun in the world for follow up shots. Three shots can be delivered in just half of a second, all SPX shotguns come with an in flex technology recoil pad which helps direct and channel recoil impulse moving the comb down and away from your cheek.

A solid lug attaches the 18-inch barrel to the magazine tube which holds 5 rounds plus one in the chamber. It has a durable synthetic stock with textured grip and a tactical ribbed forearm gives a non-slip grip in any environment and also enhances overall control. It is also equipped with a cross bolt safety button which is located on the front of the trigger guard for easy access even if you are wearing gloves.

FN P-12

This is perfect for bugging out, general purpose and for hunting, it has a 5 round plus 1 capacity. Chrome lined magazine tube and polished shell carry with precision contouring for smooth reload and reliable cycling. At 18 inches in length, the barrel is fully chromed for long life and it also has an added corrosion resistance. The barrel is factory installed with an improved cylinder stainless steel choke.

Aggressive checkering is present on the buttstock and formed for positive control, it features a fiber optic front sight and flip-up iron sight for rapid target acquisition and precise aiming as well as a weaver rail pattern for mounting additional optical accessories.

Mossberg 500

These are known for their high reliability and durability combined with an affordable price. This shotgun utilizes a pump action system which is operated by the sliding ford. The ford connected with bolt group with dual action bars. The feed is from the under barrel tubular magazine and one specific feature of this shotgun is that the cartridge lifter stays in raised position through most of the feeding cycle ensuring trouble-free feeding of the cartridge into the barrel.

Its capacity varies from 5 to 8 rounds. The manual safety is conveniently located at the rear top of the receiver and it is easily accessible. Sights vary from the model from simple bead sights to a receiver mounted telescopic sight. All model 500’s feature interchangeable barrels which may be removed without the use of tolls by loosening a screw on the end of a tubular magazine.

Remington 870 Express Tactical

If you have read through this post you already know that this is my recommended bug out shotgun as this is one of the most proven firearms design in history. This is a rugged, value-priced shotgun making it one of the most useful tools that a prepper can own. At the heart of the ultra-reliable shotgun is a receiver milled from a solid billet of steel for maximum strength and twin action bars that prevent binding and twisting while cycling the action.

It usually comes with a black synthetic stock with a forearm that is impervious to water.

Benelli M3

This stands out for its exclusive dual action design which combines the Benelli inertia system with the pump action design. This shotgun is designed for special applications like hunting and practice shooting. The M3 can accept the widest range of 12 gauge ammunition which is possible due to its 2 action system selectable by the means of a simple lever. The receiver is made from ergo aluminum alloy, its folding stock features a stock which can fold down to the back of the shotgun and latches on to the rear side.

This reduces its overall length to only 78 centimeters. All models and configurations ensure efficiency and are also very easy to maintain. their great versatility makes them ideal for all preppers and hunters. Its capacity varies from 5-7 shells.

Mossberg 590A1

It was designed to meet military requirements and it seems to be tougher than any other pump action shotgun on the market. This provides unmatched reliability and durability under a variety of environmental conditions, it does that by incorporating all metal construction with a  heavy thick wall barrel and a tough parkerized finish. It is combined with Mossbergs tried and true model 500  pump action design, the trigger group holds most of the firing system and can be removed for cleaning by tapping out one pin.

A tubular magazine is threaded into the receiver which is held in place by the magazine cap. Its capacity is 9 rounds, fire control includes a 2 position safety involved release is located just behind the trigger.

Bug out rifles

A lot of people see the need for a shotgun and a handgun but a rifle which is fairly expensive lacks from most preppers setup. The number one reason why I like to have a good rifle is because of the range, with a shotgun or a pistol your range is around 50 yards but if you go against someone with a rifle they can pin you down 300 yards away and you are going to have very little success of defending yourself against a  decent centerfire caliber rifle.

Most rifles are fairly expensive but you can get a Mosin Nagant at around $150 with which you can defend or hunt at longer ranges. If you are just getting into firearms and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on a high-end rifle then go for a Mosin Nagant. The effective range of the Mosin Nagant could be up to 700 yards but the big problem with this rifle is that you are limited to round count, as you have 5 rounds in a bolt action WW2 vintage rifle.

A ar 15 is a much better rifle as it has the range but also has the larger ammo count of 30, this is the same for the AK 74. The SKS is also a good rifle but you are limited to your rounds and mag changes. With more rounds, you can multiply your capability, if you have 5 rounds in a bolt action rifle you are going to be very limited. You can easily carry 6 magazines for your ar 15 and have 180 rounds of ammunition at hand with quick reloads.

Being able to have a long range, high round count and ease of reloading capability is very important. These high-end rifles are also easy to accessorize with stocks, scopes, sights and a lot of magazines.  One thing I like about the ar 15 is that it has a lot of magazine types for an affordable price. On the downside, the ar 15’s 556 or the 223 caliber is not quite as effective as the 7.62 by 39.

One of the things that I want to point out about the AK ammunition that as most of the Russian imports are being stopped the price of the magazines are not as cheap as they were before but they are still around the cheaper side then for some of the other rifles.

What I love about the ar 15 is that it uses NATO 556 rounds which you can find almost everywhere. Whatever you choose make sure you find a good rifle with plenty of ammo available, if you have only 6 magazines you are at a bare minimum for an SHTF situation.

Best bug out rifles

In my honest opinion, the best bug out rifle is the AR 15 due to its versatility and ease of use. This also has a high round count of 30 and the ammo is fairly cheap to be stockpiled. Altho a lot of preppers do like the AK 47 more due to its higher punch and arguably better aim the fact that the ammo type is not being imported to the US anymore will cause the weapon and the price of the ammunition to rise.

best bug out rifle

Winchester 1873

This is a lever action carbine, it is one of my favorites due to its ease of use, it has a 16-inch lever action and you can get it in a number of different calibers. My suggestion is either pick the 357 or the 44 because they are very potent coming out of that 16-inch barrel and they are very easy to shoot rapidly in case you need to shoot follow up shots. This weapon is well known for its slick action as it was the assault rifle of its day back in the 1800s.

Another reason why I like this gun is that you can shoot cheaper 38 special with it making the shooting experience very pleasant to help with that training especially if you have a family or a prepper group. While bugging out it is important to have a gun that everybody can use as you can’t be everywhere all the time. The 1873 is legal in almost every state, not only it is effective but you can fire multiple shots quickly and it can hold anywhere from 10 all the way up to 20 rounds.

Extar EP 9

This is a pistol rifle making it lightweight, very reliable and fairly cheap. These are also lightweight and you can shoot 9 mm rounds. As a prepper, it is very important that you practice all the time and as the 9 mm ammunition is fairly cheap you can practice and stockpile without too much of a cost. The extra power of a 10 mm or a 45 sounds appealing but the cheaper cost of the 9 mm will allow you to train more and more.

The 9 mm rifles allow the 16-inch barrel allows for a lot more velocity on the cartridge and gives it more hitting power then your standard 9 mm handgun would. The EP 9 is very easy to use due to its low recoil and if you have a smaller framed person in your bug out group you should let them use this one as they won’t be able to use the AR 15 or the AK due to their recoil.

Ruger Mini 14

This rifle has a lot of the advantages of something like an AK or AR as far as ergonomics and the detachable box magazine but it doesn’t come with the drawbacks of an AR or AK. You will be able to buy this in most of the states in USA where you wouldn’t be able to buy an AR 15 or an AK. I consider this weapon like an AR 15 alternative that works almost as well 95% as well without having worry about some of the legalities.

The Mini 14 also has that very reliable and classic M1 Grand action in it and that is an already battle-proven system.

AK 47

I do like the AK 47 altho any AK variant would be good in a bug out scenario you can buy these at any caliber you want 223, 545, 762. The Ak 47 packs a good punch, has a 30 round magazine and it also has a lot of accessories available allowing you to customize the rifle however you want it even has options to put rails on it to allow the use of a red dot which is a big advantage up close. It also allows you to easily mount a weapon light which I do suggest for any bug out weapon and if you have to improvise you can always ducktape a flashlight on it.

This weapon has been around for a long time and it is probably the most proven and definitely the most popular rifle in history. It is extremely reliable reasonably cheap and will work under any adverse conditions. The only thing which holds this one back is that it is not as ergonomic as the AR 15 due to the safety and the fact that it is just a little front heavy for some smaller built shooters.

The AK 47 due to the pop culture of these days is the classic bad guy gun so if you need to use this as a self-defense weapon you are not going to want to show the courtroom that you have defended yourself with an AK simply because of a lot of biases but if you are not worried about that then the AK 47 is an excellent bug out weapon.

AR 15

This, in my opinion, is really the best choice for a prepper, the 223 or the 556 is very effective up close and for a medium distance while still having a very light recoil and manageable platform. Not to mention it is very affordable some go as low as $300 altho I would suggest you to buy a more premium AR 15 like a BCM if you can afford it. The parts the ammo are all readily available and very affordable as well.

It is very easy to train with and the rifle itself is a very fun platform to shoot despite the media bias. You can also get an AR 15 pistol for a more concealable weapon altho this won’t fit in your pants it will fit easily in your bug out bag. The only downside to an AR 15 is that it is very loud being a very fast lightweight round it does cause a lot of hydrostatic shock when t hits but it also causes a lot of noise when it breaks the sound barrier coming out of the barrel.

This sound is made worse by shorter barrels and it is made even worse by being inside a structure.

In conclusion

At one point in time, you will going to start thinking about self-defense as a prepper not only for your safety but for your families safety also. If you are not a fan of big guns you can find several lighter weapon types which I included especially for people who are gun shy. Keep in mind that any weapon you use while bugging out should be able to, defend yourself with, hunt and even act as a deterrent to others.

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