Estimated reading time: 5 minutes
There are many kinds of tools that every homesteader should have, and one of those tools is a firearm. You’ll need it for hunting, dealing with pests, or perhaps even self-defense if people pour out of the cities after a disaster.
That being said, not all guns are created equal, and some are certainly better for homesteading use than others. There is no one gun that will fulfill every use a homesteader has for one, so it’s important to know about some of the best types of guns that a homesteader can own to fulfill each of those uses.
Here are the top firearms that are great for homesteaders.
Want to save this post for later? Click Here to Pin It On Pinterest!
1. Ruger 10/22 .22 Rifle – No gun collection of any kind is truly complete without a .22 rifle of some kind, and the best choice here is the Ruger 10/22. While there are many other great .22 semi-autos out there such as the Marlin 60, the 10/22 is the superior option due to the fact that it is one of the most popular and customizable firearms on the planet, and also because it takes detachable box magazines that ensure a faster reload than the Marlin’s tube fed magazine. You will find the 10/22 to be excellent for plinking and pest control.
2. Ruger Mark IV .22 Pistol – In addition to a .22 rifle, you’ll need a .22 pistol to go with it, and Ruger has yet again served as the leader of the marketplace here with their Ruger Mark series of pistols. The latest incarnation is the Mark IV, which is noted for its far easier takedown process in comparison to previous models. Like the 10/22, the Mark IV is a great choice for casual target shooting or for taking care of pests.
3. Beretta 92FS 9mm Pistol – The next gun you’ll need is a full sized service pistol with a large capacity magazine, and while there are a great multitude of options, here the one we’ll talk about is the Beretta 92FS. The Beretta is an all-steel, rugged, accurate, and reliable semi-automatic pistol that has served in militaries and law enforcement agencies all over the globe. Standard capacity is 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, but 17 or 18 round magazines can also easily be purchased.
4. Ruger GP100 .357 Magnum Revolver – Even though they are of an older design, it’s still wise to include a revolver in your collection due to their simplicity and reliability. Anyone can learn how to pick up and shoot a revolver in a matter of seconds whereas the same cannot be said of a semi-automatic pistol. The Ruger GP100 is one of the most durable .357 Magnum double action revolvers out there today. Since it is chambered for the .357 Magnum cartridge, it can also chamber and fire .38 Specials, making it a highly versatile weapon.
5. Mossberg 500 12 Gauge Shotgun – One of the most multipurpose firearms in existence is the shotgun, which can be used for small game hunting, bird hunting, home defense, combat, and even big game hunting depending on the ammunition that you use. The Mossberg 500 has been a highly popular shotgun since the 1960s, second only to the Remington 870, and is highly customizable. It’s also more user friendly than the 870 thanks to the ambidextrous tang mounted safety and slide release on the trigger guard. Go with a 6-shot model with a 28-inch vented rib barrel for hunting and then a shorter 18.5 inch barrel for home defense.
6. Ruger Gunsite Scout .308 Rifle – The Scout rifle concept is a short, lightweight, and handy bolt action rifle that can easily be used for both hunting and defensive purposes. The Ruger Gunsite Scout is based on the proven rugged M77 action and accepts detachable box magazines that hold 3, 5, or 10 rounds of .308 Winchester ammunition for easy tactical reloads. The Gunsite Scout features a forward picatinny rail for mounting optics. .308 ammunition is readily available and is a highly useful round, being able to drop almost anything in North America while also being suitable for combat purposes.
7. Marlin 336 .30-30 Rifle – A good alternative or additional rifle to the Gunsite Scout would be a .30-30 lever action rifle. The .30-30’s are great deer rifles and excellent truck guns due to their narrow build with no protruding magazines, making them excellent for storing and transporting. Your best bet for a .30-30 rifle today is the Marlin 336, which features a slide ejection port in contrast to the top ejection port of the Mossberg 464 or the Winchester 1894. This reduces the chances of the spent shell casings accidentally hitting you while also giving you the option of adding an optic of some kind (and options are good). You can fire lever actions faster than you can bolt actions as well, which make them more suitable weapons for defense.
8. AR-15 – An AR-15 is the musket of the 21st Century. It’s one of the most customizable firearms ever made and also one of the most popular in the United States. For defending your property and homestead against multiple attackers, there are few better options than the AR-15s thanks to its low recoil, large magazine capacity, and longer range and higher velocity than a pistol or a shotgun. Two of the best budget AR-15s on the market today are the Ruger AR-556 and the Smith & Wesson M&P15 Sport II.
9. Winchester Model 70 .30-06 Springfield – For a long range bolt action rifle that can be used for bringing down large game at long distances, the classic Winchester Model 70 in .30-06 Springfield makes for a great choice. This rifle has been dubbed the ‘Rifleman’s Rifle’ for a reason and is today regarded by many as being the greatest bolt action rifle ever made.
Each of these firearms is an excellent choice for the average homesteader. You will find great use for each of them as each one is very versatile and fulfills its intended purpose well.
Like this post? Don’t Forget to Pin It On Pinterest!
Whether a bolt action or lever action is faster is really moot. The speed is marginal either way, but reloading a tube magazine can be a challenge compared to a box magazine or even stripper clips. But I would never say no to the venerable 30-30 lever gun.
These choices are fine guns, but There are equally serviceable choices from each category That would run a more compact price tag…take the 10-22 for example, fine gun..But my mossy 702 has never let me down and got it new for $98 can’t beat it with a stick and it’s lightweight too.
Keep at the article thing though because this info is valuable to the community as a whole.
Sarah Querry says
MORNING the last day of 2018 YAHOO ! I have SUBCOMPACK V10 45 ACP THEN BACK it UP with a LEE ENDFILD IN 45ACP and use the SAME MAG as my 45 ! I use in it 230 grain HOLLOW POINTS ! And I have over 1,000 rounds to be safe ~!
Knowledge Is Power says
The Beretta 92 is not “all steel”. The frame is aluminum.
Great article! While I’m sure you knew when you was pondering this idea when you talk about “best” anything about guns you will get backlash like nobody’s business. Each shooter has their own favorite for them and that’s fine. I own many of the guns on your list. I have many high end guns but I’m a hard core ruger fan. The guns are so darn accurate usually right out of the box. Beside that the are super reliable, can take abuse although that should be avoided with any firearm my CCW sr9 has been through the ringer and back and still performs flawlessly. The best part is the price! They perform like guns I’ve paid thousands for which costing a fraction of the price. Another gun that is overlooked for a homestead or even more for a survival situation is the 12 gauge single shot. I have a small stock pouch on mine with the supplies and tools to shoot at least 600 rounds. I have several adapters that allow for .22 .17hmr and others. And 22 ammo is light. Also I have a adapter to shoot it like a muzzleloader along with powder shot and primers. I bought the adapter but they are super easy to make as well. Also with those supplies and my lee handloader I can keep my spent 12 ga shells to reload easily. While this wouldn’t be idea for defense it is a great setup for putting food on the table in a true survival situation without needing to carry multiple guns. Anyway as always great article and very informative. Keep it up. Have a great Thanksgiving!
TIm johnson says
Very good points on the various weapons mentioned. As for me as a prepper/homesteader I agree the #1 weapon is the Ruger 10/22. Cheap and abundant ammo, so many accessories, and can kill just about anything with correct shot placemet. #2 Would be the 12 gauge Mossberg 500. As a homesteader most of my targets will be well less than 75 m, buckshot and slugs for big game, 4,6, or 8 shot for birds and small mammels. I would lean to the 9mm pistol for #3, Browning Hipoint cause I love the way it fits my hand, only 7 shots, that is what extra clips are for. Since I’m a prepper/homesteade, I have sold my 30-30 and a few others to consolidate ammo. #4 is a 995 Hi-Point 9mm Carbine, accurate and uses same ammo as pistol. An AR15 is #5, good long range, ammo and parts very easy to obtain. My good ol 06 is a Remington Model 700, #6 as ammo may not be as easy to come by as 5.56, 223 or 9mm. But this bolt has helped me gain much foor for the dinner table.
Someone mention the 995ts earlier and I’m going to jump on that bandwagon a little. it’s great to have guns for specialty purposes but in the end the fewer calibers of ammunition I need to stock the better and since my pistols are mostly 9mm, having a carbine (100-150m range depending on what you’re feeding it) that takes the same ammo is a plus. in the old west cowboys carried a rifle and a pistol that took the same round so I’m liking that as well I’m a fan of the 10/22 and Taurus TX22 pistol feeding both CCI velocitors (40gr hp @ 1430fps) or Aguila Interceptors (40gr. HP @ 1460fps). 22 is not an optimal defensive round but both of these rounds meet the FBI penetration standard so they’re what I feed both pistol and rifle and in a pinch it will beat the heck out of harsh words. So there’s 4 guns and two types of ammo. The 12 gauge with a slug barrel for deer and feral hogs and a smooth bore for birds. I’m rounding out with an AR sporting an 18-20″ barrel and a 1/8 or 1/7 twist that will stabilize a 77gr. round out to 500-600m. and that would about cover it.
Jim Kramer says
Another lever gun to consider is something in 45Colt or .357/38. Very versatile at shorter ranges.
Considerations… time. The longer there is RWOL the more valuable ‘basic’ becomes as magazines deteriorate, fail, get dropped, etc. Most all of the advice bases its assumptions on ‘infinite resupply’. At some point there may be none. So that tube fed Marlin may be just the ticket. Even black powder and ball…. Also, dont forget Mil-Surplus; a well maintained Springfield 1903 A3, 1917 in .30-06 requires no magazine, enbloc clips. Is excellent for big game, and defense.
John Browne says
Excellent article and decent choices suggested. My homestead arsenal starts with weapons passed down to me: model 12 Winchester 12 gauge shotgun and a Remington chambered for .22 short, long and long rifle. As a retired LEO I’m sticking with my Glock 22 in 40 caliber. For lager game and distance shooting I like my Remington .308. To these basic weapons I’ve added a Henry in .357 and one in .22WMR. Another commenter noted that over time factory ammo and powder sources may get scarce. With that thought in mind my arsenal includes black powder arms as well as bows and arrows. I tend to believe in keeping a wide range of options on hand. Don’t forget to keep physically and mentally fit. Remember, the mind is the most powerful weapon in any arsenal. Darwin pointed out that the animal most likely to survive is the one which is most adaptable to changes.
Only 3 of these are available for the average Australian with a license. It’s not only Americans signed up to this blog.