It’s been a month or so since I published the post Thoughts on Budget Guns for Survival, Part One, and honestly I haven’t given this much thought since then. However, I think with the new year, and with many new resolutions out there, I want to get this post completed as the final post in the short series.
I caveat this series with the fact that I am NO expert, am not a gunsmith, nor am I in the business of guns. I am simply coordinating some old notes and putting them in order so that I can make sense of them. The bonus is, I get to share them with you. So, down to business…
How many? How many what, Jack? How many guns and what kind of guns are right for a prepper for survival? How many times have you asked yourself this question? When I started buying guns, I was in pre-prepper lifestyle. So my gun purchases were strictly for recreational shooting. I had, and continue to own guns in many calibers, because recreational shooting is one of my favorite pastimes. Even if I do not get out to do it as frequently as I used to. That said, let’s examine a list types of guns “I” think are good for the prepper. Cam Green of GAPPNJ, posted a two part article some time ago on carbines for the new prepper:
- Carbines and the New Prepper, Part One, by Cameron Green of GAPPNJ.com
- Carbines and the New Prepper, Part Two, by Cameron Green of GAPPNJ.com
The calibers I think that are important to the perpper are as follows:
Admittedly, I do not have a shotgun. I know what you are going to say… Home defense and all that. Yes, I know. I am with you there. It just happens to be the one type of gun I have not purchased yet.
Now, let’s examine each one. I may play favorites here, and I think every prepper is different in their budget, and what kind of rifle they like. So bear with me.
- Rimfire: .22 caliber. I am not sure you want anything else. I have one, I may buy another. It doesn’t matter if it is bolt action or semi auto, in my opinion. I happen to have a Ruger 10/22 and a Henry AR‑7. If I showed you pictures of my Ruger, it looks nothing like the day I bought it, thanks to the accessory manufacturers. You can pick up a .22 many times used for under $100.00. My Ruger was $200.00 new. I don’t have to tell you the ammo is cheap either, and you can shoot it all day for a $30.00 brick. In addition, they have a good range, there are generally a plethora of accessories and add-ons for them. Larger game capable, I would not want to use it for this. Home defense, depends on the situation at hand. For plinking and training inexpensively, absolutely. For small game, most probably. If you have nothing else, definitely.
- Centerfire: Not gunna get into specifics here. Long range, large game, self defense, etc. You gotta have one. I prefer a .308 round. Others prefer other rounds. I like the range, can take larger game, and be used in a carbine as well as a rifle made for other purposes.
- Shotgun: With more power than a handgun and the spread of the BB’s these are preferred by many for their default home defense gun. Their effective range is “about” 25 — 30 yards, unless you are shooting a hunting slug. I recommend a 12 gauge, personally. But based on your size, frame, etc. you may want something like a 20 gauge. When I buy one, I will buy one with interchangeable barrels for hunting slugs and other purposes. Not very budget friendly, I know, but I think a utility like a shotgun requires a couple of options.
- Handguns: We discussed kn the previous post Thoughts on Budget Guns for Survival, Part One
So, where can you procure these items or items like them on a budget. Well, let’s examine wehre you are not going to find them. Ebay, Craigslist, Backpage, or other mainstream online services. Your local gun shop, is always a good place to start, but I can tell you with “some” experience, that guns are either priced to sell or they are not. And, if they are priced to sell, you should know what you are looking for prior to getting there, and have a good idea what they go for, and what you are willing to pay for the condition it is in.
That said, if you already have a shotgun, consider a handgun for your next purchase if you do not have one, or a rimfire, etc.
Places I would start to look for budget guns:
- Friends who are in need of some cash. Yes, your buddy who bought that 1,200.00 AR-15 when times were better for him may actually be willing to part with it for half what he paid if he needs the money. And, I am sure he would be happier seeing it go to a friend than someone he does not know. That’s been my experience, anyway.
- What does your family have? What has been handed down or is going to be handed down in the future. See if you can buy it from it’s rightful owner prior to that. Family generally cuts family a deal on guns. Again… In my experience. I bought my Springfield XDm from my sister (she was a police officer) for $400.00 cash. Came with three magazines. That was a deal, and still is a deal.
- Private Sale:
- Google “Gun Shows [insert your state and/or city here]” and see what comes up. You can go to a gun show and compare prices from table to table, speak to the gun and gun shop owners, and feel more comfortable about spending the money on what you are looking for.
- Garage Sales. Probably less frequent today, and based on your geography and the laws, someone’s grandpa’s rifle sometimes makes it to the garage sale table table. In states like Pennsylvania, a long arm does not need to be re-registered and a private sale is allowed.
- The Internet. Yup, if you are not familiar, there are sites like:
I have personally used a couple of these websites to either contact the gun owners and discuss the gun with them prior to making a decision, and purchasing a gun that had to be shipped to an FFL dealer, and registered. I had no issues, and if you think something sounds or looks hokey, ask someone that might know the answer. In my experience, 99.9% of the sellers are on the up & up.
I guess two posts was a long winded way to give you a few areas to look for budget arms.