Looking for a "survival rifle"


WJinTRSC said:
I personally always considered Remington's Mini 14 as a possibility if I ever really needed to stock up w/ my survival gear. It's relatively small, available in Stainless, reliable(being based on the M1 action) and while the shells aren't as "convenient" as the .22, they're not super huge and can take down a pretty wide range of food. Just my .02 fwiw.
Do you mean the Ruger Mini 14? Although i have never shot one they are supposed to be horribly innacurate.. I believe there are far better rifles out there than the Mini 14.


Yup, you're right. I'm sorry. It's been a while since I've even looked at one and I've still never shot one. Thanks for the correction. :oops: Like I said, I've still never shot one. I just said I'd consider it.


I have a Rossi Matched Pair Youth Model .22/20ga interchangeable barrel rifle. It's short, light, quiet (in .22), accurate, reliable and it brakes down small enough to be put into my camp kitchen or a daypack.

I use it primarily as my desert camp gun. I leave the .22 barrel on during the day, for plinking. I'd probably do the same for small game hunting, or switch to the shotgun barrel for larger birds. At night, I put on the shotgun barrel and load the stock with six shells: four buckshot, and two slugs. I figure that covers me for the gamut of defense from larger animals or, God forbid the need should arise, humans.

Edit to add: You can get them in myriad calibers, from large rifle bores, defense rounds like .223, 410/.45, or 12ga.


GeoTracker90 said:
Boy the gun in the link looks pretty close to the one that I have. I sure like my M6 Survival built by Sprinfield Armory.

I was wondering when someone was going to mention the M6. You can get them in .22lr instead of .22 Hornet if you desire. AFAIK Springfield has dropped them- I'd like a stainless one but can't seem to find one locally.

You should be able to fire .45 long Colt through the .410 barrel if in a real pinch and you can't find .410 ammo. Not that it is practical but hey you never know...


gooseboy said:
Do you mean the Ruger Mini 14? Although i have never shot one they are supposed to be horribly innacurate.. I believe there are far better rifles out there than the Mini 14.

They aren't great but they aren't exactly horrible either. Those I've shot would do about the same you'd expect from something like a Winchester model 94.


Fireman78 said:
I'm talking about SURVIVAL. If Mr Fish and Game guy shows up GREAT. Now I'm rescued and being taken back to the world. Real survival, not percieved survival. I'm not talking about living out in a cabin in the woods, or an 80K $$ fifth wheel and hunting a deer. Were talkin about being actually lost in the woods, starving, weak, disoriented, survival. :26_7_2:
Assuming you are comfortable and competent handling one, a twelve gauge shotgun is the likely answer to this situation. The different ammunition options make it very versatile, and they are generally rugged and require little maintenance.


Thank you everyone for your advice. Today I picked up a Remington 870 "security model", synthetic everything with an extended mag tube, a total of 7 rounds. I found it to more solid feeling than the Mossbergs in its price range. I almost blew my budget and went with a Mossberg autoloader, but thankfully I didn't. Next I am going to get a Knoxx Spec Ops stock, its adjustable and has a recoil damper. That should make it more pleasant for the wife, and for me too of course. So thanks again, I'll post again after I get some rounds through it.
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Expedition Leader
You wont be sorry!

Sorry to be so late to the party - but I wanted to chime in on a favorite subject of mine... I have a Mossberg 590 all dressed out for when I lived in coastal Alaska. I too got the Knox recoil stock and love it! I opted for the Mossberg for bush / tactical defense for many reasons. I also own and LOVE two Remmington's: 1100 and an 850, but the finish on the Mossy and the double extractors seemed best for big bear country. The EoTech Holosight is a wise investment too. I can drill the center out of a target 50 yards away with Breneke (sp?) slugs and that sight. It's awesome for fast target acquisition too. The Sure Fire Lighted fore-end is in the safe...I also ordered some UBER SLUGS from Dixie Land Ammo - soft to shoot 12ga slugs they use in Africa for Cape Buffalo defense.

If I could only grab one gun to take with me after the poo starts to fly, it would be the Mossy - any quality 12ga is more than a firearm - it is a weapons system.
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Welcome to Nevadafornia
I really like our Mini 14. Its from the 70's and still rocks.

I've found it fairly accurate up to say 200 yrds with the iron sights.


Expedition Leader
Ruger Mini 14 .223 is a good rifle. Certainly could fit the bill as a survival rifle. They are light and you could get a folding stock to make it more compact. Ruger improved the rifles around 2005 quite a bit. The new guns are even better made and more accurate out of the box.

They are also producing 20 round factory magazines again. The "NRA" version rifle comes with a shorter, heavier barrel and two 20 round magazines.

I'm looking at getting a Mini 30 myself, as the 7.62 x 39mm russian cartridge is more useful against medium sized game. Basically it could double as a target rifle and light deer gun.


I've had the AR-7 locked away in the Jeep for some time now...but I've always had my eye on the "Alaskan Copilot" from www.WildWestGuns.com (no affiliation).

I've often thought about sending them my .450 Marlin to have them make a take-down version.

Also, the new M4 shotgun from Benelli is SWEET!



Glad you found your 870....

I take a Leveraction most times I am in the back country. I have too many leverguns, but I usually take a .30/30 or a .44 Mag. My .44 is a Marlin 1894P. It was a special run they made a few years ago and is very compact. It hold 9 rounds and compliments my Ruger Redhawk. After you play with your new Remmy for a while you might think about adding a good levergun.

Here's a pic of my .44

And here's a couple of photo's of my CAR (Cowboy Assault Rifle) that I made up:

have fun a be safe..



Expedition Leader
1leg said:
My .02
If your only going to hunt small game like Rabbit and squirrels and Coyotes, I would recommend a Ruger 10/22. A shot gun with the right ammo would do fine also. For self defense a rifle in the small confines of a tent or auto would be difficult to handle I would suggest a pistol. In an attack you don't have time to set and aim a rifle.
1 thing to consider is what states you will be taking the gun into. Some guns are illegal in California for example.
I have a old sears mossberg 22 semi-auto(I need a clip). and a 22-250 tekka my coyote gun. I don't take any guns unless I plan on hunting. However I'm considering a pistol for defense when camping. Maybe a 380 or 9m
i'm with this guy /\...:D

i live in california, and there are a LOT of stupid laws here.

here's what you need:
-870 pump. don't alternate your shells. its just stupid. all you need are birdshot and slugs. 00 buck is too small for bears and to big for birds. i have a 6 round side saddle and 3 are slugs/3 are shot.

-10/22 ruger. best and last .22 you'll need. very upgradable and very fun and very robust. this is great as plinker, and camp gun.

-.45ACP or .357 pistol/revolver...this is do everything gun. here in cali where theres only black bear, cougar and two legged theives, these are all the gun you'll need. lots of handgun laws, but my family is worth enough to me to ignore most of them.

anything other than that is just a hobby :D.

my 870 is out and ready every night next to my bed. burglers don't get "wounded" in my house. they die from massive shotgun wounds. i don't want anyone's story considered but my own and the responding officer.

a survival rifle is something light enough that you have with you all the time, and will be a game-getter when there's game to get. the 870 is a heavy gun. hard to tote on a 5 mile hike into the wildy-ness. for that job, the .22 or the handgun gets the nod. a .45acp or .357 round will easily kill deer, pig, raccoon, squirrel, bobcat, cougar (if you see it first)...you'll have meat loss on the smaller animals, but i'll bet you'll have enough to live on.

the .22 rifle would be good on small game, but hardly a defense against a bigger animal, but if you shoot it enough...maybe...lol. the great thing about the .22 is that the longer sight radius (distance between the front and rear sights) equals a weapon more easily aimed, which equals higher hit ratio's. its why wars are fought with longarms and pistols are last defense only.

wow, thats a long post i just puked all over your screens...enjoy! :D

p.s. the handgun needs to be reliable (1911 clone, sigsaur, glock, ruger, XD-45, etc. will all go bang reliably) and you can get a break down stock for your .22
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Expedition Leader
ECVMatt said:
I take a Leveraction most times I am in the back country. I have too many leverguns, but I usually take a .30/30 or a .44 Mag. My .44 is a Marlin 1894P.
Welcome to Expo Matt. Nice lever guns! I'm SO jealous. "Cowboy assault rifle? What calibre? I'm thinking hard about the new Marlin 336 in .308 Marlin for my new game rifle.