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.
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.