What Type of Guns does a Prepper Need?

By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)

gun store

I was visiting a friend the other week, who claims to be a fellow prepper, and he wanted to show off his preps; which is something I do not encourage any prepper to do. So out to his man cave, located in the back of his garage, we went so he could show off all his preps. The way he was talking I was expecting to see tons of food, gallons upon gallons of water, go bags and some guns. But what I saw were guns and more guns. Along with the guns there was box after box after box of ammo. This guy had so many guns and so much ammo that he could open his own store. What I did not see was much in the way of water storage or food.

Guns and ammo are an important part of most people’s preps but by no means would I ever suggest to anyone that guns and ammo be the most important prep you have; just like I would not recommend that anyone only prep water or food or junk silver. We must have a balanced approach to prepping.

All this got me thinking about my guns and ammo and the approach I took to picking out the guns I have and just how much ammo was really needed. After giving the subject a lot of thought this is what I came up with.

There are basically four types of guns and each has its own place in your preps. I strongly believe that each household should have a shotgun, a centerfire rifle, a handgun and a .22 rifle.

A good shotgun can be used for both hunting and home defense. I started out with a good 12 gage shotgun that my grandfather left to me many years ago. This shotgun, a Browning A5, is great for bird hunting and can be used to hunt squirrels and other small game. However it really is too big to be a good home defense weapon but in a pinch it will get the job done. Later in my prepping I did add a good pump shot gun to my preps for home defense.

The centerfire is for hunting bigger game and stopping people out at longer ranges. I only get to go deer hunting about three or four times a year and did not want to invest lots of money into a centerfire rifle but I wanted one that would not fail. I found a Remington 770 at a local store for under $200 and it came with a scope. I quickly found that the scope was a cheaper make and the optics were not good for long distance shots so I upgraded to some decent optics for under $200. I have been very happy with this rifle and it is very capable of taking down Whitetail Deer and wild hogs.

A hand gun is to stop bad people at close range. My wife, my oldest son, oldest daughter and I all have our Concealed Weapons Permits (CWP) and carry just about everywhere we go. However I did not start out with a handgun for everyone. To start out I went to a local pawn store and bought a good used .38 caliber revolver; this is gun my daughter currently carries. I would suggest that what every you decide to purchase I would get it in 9mm or .40 caliber. The reason for this is that these are the calibers that are most often carried by local police departments; which means that when you are stocking up on ammo these will be easier to find.

Lastly the .22 rifle is for hunting small game and keeping your shooting skills sharp because the ammunition is less expensive. I have a Ruger 10/22 and I mounted the cheap scope that came with my centerfire rifle on it. It is a great gun. I use it for hunting rabbits, squirrels, turtles and other small game. My kids love to take it to the range to practice with because it is so easy to shoot. In addition the Ruger is probably the most popular 22 rifle made and there are tons of accessories manufactured for it. I have purchased some of the 25 round magazines for it which I have found increases my odds of taking down a fast moving squirrel.

Now how much ammo do you really need? Only you can answer is that question but I will share with you what I have done. I try to keep 500 rounds of ammo for each gun I own, except .22 which I keep about 1000 rounds of. Now this number is not for each caliber gun but for each gun you own. If you had two 9mm pistols (one for you and one for your wife) then you would need to have 1000 rounds of 9 mm ammo on hand. When purchasing shotgun shells you need to be aware that there are many different types. I keep some target loads, turkey loads, small game loads and buck shot. That way I have the type of shells that I need when I need them.

I would not get all these guns at one time. Maybe after you have a good amount of water stored up then you could buy your shotgun. Then add some food to your preps and get a pistol and so on.

I would suggest that your first gun be a good 12 gage shotgun because it is dual purposed. You can protect yourself and family with it as well as hunt. Then I would get a pistol and I would encourage you to get your CWP.

6 responses

  1. Good article Alec, I have always had a dbl barrel stevens 12 gauge, .410 single shot, and a 22 remington. I just bought a 770 also (270) used and an 870 12 gauge pump. Looking for a 380 hand gun for wife and 1911 45 a dream. Look ing also to get a Mosin Negant because they are so cheap.

    1. Glad you liked it James. My wife has a Ruger LCP and loves it.

  2. I just thought of this, a buddy just bought a re loader, and we plan to use the same grain bullet and powder. Save your brass.

    1. I use a Lee Hand loader for my 308

  3. Very good article. Our preps in this area are similar to what you describe here. Plus we added the capability of reloading. One of my sons likes to reload and we’re about where I want to be with equipment. Still not where I want to be but close.

    1. The ability to reload is a plus.

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