When prepping a go bag for SHTF, make sure you lock and load the best and fitting guns for the job!
In this article:
- Including Weapons and Firearms in Your Go Bag
- Picking the Right Guns for Your Go-Bag
Ideal Guns to Stash in Your Go Bag for SHTF
Including Weapons and Firearms in Your Go Bag
Well-prepared survival bags load-out ideally includes some type of hunting and self-defense firearm. Why a firearm?
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There are surely plenty of other options when it comes to self-defense and hunting. While this is partly true, firearms can be arguably more powerful for their weight and size and have the added use of being a compact valuable item.
You can also use such items as a bartering chip further down the road if you decide you don’t need a firearm. This makes go-bag guns vitally important.
Factors and features used in judging were primarily weight, size, ammunition, versatility, and availability. In the event you resort to an emergency go bag for any number of reasons, those factors are some of the most important to take into consideration.
Picking the Right Guns for Your Go-Bag
The main use in mind here is survival first and defense, secondary. Using a small-caliber rifle to hunt in a survival situation has several advantages.
Hunting small game is going to allow for quicker field dress and preparation. That's because attempting to process an entire deer or other herd animals can quickly lead to waste and scavengers/predators to find your kill.
Also, in order to make these rifles easy to break down and stow away, the lower chamber pressure created by these small calibers results in less gun weight to carry overall. Ammunition itself is another factor to consider in choosing a firearm for your bug out bag.
For this reason, a 22LR rifle is on this list because it’s ammunition is so light and compact in comparison to even the handgun caliber rifles. In short, though, the best firearm to have in a survival situation is the one you have with you.
Preparation is key, and that is why these firearms are here; to assist you in making the best-informed decision for your particular situation. Drawing on my professional experience with firearms, spending some time at local gun shows, researching, and asking a lot of annoying questions, here is the spread I can best recommend.
1. Henry US Survival AR-7
As a military veteran myself, I am aware of the pros and cons which come with trusting military selected equipment. The joke on the ground always is, our gear was ‘built by the lowest bidder’.
With that said, the AR-7 entered into service during wartime, when the standards were still high. This survival rifle was built to demanding specifications by the US Air Force and Henry arms delivered with this successful offering.
The AR-7 has all of the features a downed pilot would need nearly anywhere in the world. When it comes to survival situations, the Air Force and their pilots have to plan for some of the hardest to imagine survival situations across the world.
For this reason, the AR-7 is space-saving with all components fitting neatly in the buttstock. Its waterproofing serves the dual purpose of not only keeping the components dry but also floating the entire rifle should it become submerged or dropped in water.
Hunting small game with this 22 is going to be one of the most efficient ways to find food. Perhaps one of the major advantages of the AR-7 is its caliber.
A 500 round brick of 22LR ammunition weighs less than 4 pounds. It is surely something you can't say about any other handgun or rifle cartridge.
For the rifle's durability, weight, space-saving nature, and its ammunition, the Henry AR-7 top this assessment of ideal go-bag guns.
2. KelTec Sub-2000
Sure, there will always be classics, but what about modern technology? This is where the KelTec Sub-2000 settles into this list.
The Sub-2000 is a versatile platform, offered in 9mm and .40 handgun calibers used by the M&P line, Sig Sauer, Glock, and Beretta. Each design is made to fit the corresponding handgun magazines as well, giving added versatility.
This is, on the surface at least. Digging deeper into the ballistics of the 16-inch barrel, it’s added length doesn’t actually add the velocity implied at best by this ‘sub-rifle’ as it is classified.
This is due to a number of reasons. Primarily, most 9mm handgun ammunition is designed and balanced for 3 to 4-inch barrels.
To get the most out of the Sub-2000 it is probably beneficial to find or manufacture purpose-made cartridges. Reliability and KelTec aren’t exactly synonymous with each other, and you can expect for malfunctions to come with the territory.
What it really offers is a more stable platform to deliver sub-50-yard shots at. The Picatinny rail system and a well zeroed optic complete this stable platform which would enable more confident shots at small and medium-size game.
As most collectors will admit, the Picatinny rail also invites your imagination to a myriad of accessories to maximize the utility and accuracy of the Sub-2000.
Overall, by itself, the KelTec Sub-2000 may not be one of our top choices to solely depend on. However, when used as a complement to whatever handgun you carry, the Sub-2000 finally shows what it was purpose-built to support.
3. Glock 17
Of all the handguns to choose, why the hell, not a Glock 17. Besides its compatibility with the aforementioned Sub-2000, the Glock 17 has proven itself several times over in the field.
With the compact size of a handgun and the capacity and reliability of a Glock, the 17 was bound to make the list. While this is a great self-defense choice, it has also been increasingly acknowledged as a viable hunting gun for small game.
Of all these firearms, maintenance on the Glock 17 is going to be the easiest. Its rugged and weatherproof design is meant to keep the firearm functional through heavy use and exposure to water, mud, dust, and everything in between.
Even when you may have to do a quick field strip, the gun breaks down into four large pieces and concentrates carbon build up in only a few key areas. In short, the Glock 17 is going to be the ideal go-bag gun if you already own one.
If you don’t, adding the Glock 17 to your collection was probably already in the back of your mind. Now you just have another reason to sell it to your significant other!
This video from SensiblePrepper will show you seven self-defense go bag options when SHTF:
In conclusion, these suggestions are not by a long shot exhaustive. The analysis and research done are not only to give a professional recommendation but also give you the reader factors to consider and details to look for when selecting your survival firearm.
As I mentioned before, when all else fails, the best firearm is the one you have with you. For this reason, it is also important to fully familiarize yourself with your firearms, which is where professional training comes into play.
Find a local trainer today and push your training limits.
What do you think of these guns for your go-bag and which firearm(s) do you plan to get for your go-bag? Let us know all about it in the comments section below!
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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on April 20, 2017, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.