Primary, Secondary, Tertiary: What’s Your Choice?

These aren't mine, but I think the AR platform and Sig are a great way to go.

For years, my friends and I have sent what must be thousands of emails to each other about a single issue: If you were going to be displaced or circumstances were altered to a degree that you would have to rely on only three weapons, which do you choose? Ultimately, the parameters of the conversation were constrained to choosing one rifle, one pistol and one shotgun.

There’s never enough information to make a completely informed decision. For example, growing up in Hurricane Alley, my prefered kit might be a little different from someone who is imagining a Red Dawn or WWZ scenario. The conversation usually gets bogged down in variables like gear, ammo availability, duration of need, etc. Those variables are crucial, but impossible to fully anticipate. However, it’s always a fun debate to have.

Out of curiosity, I’d like to have this discussion with as many people as possible. Also, I’d like to analyze any comments to see what the prevailing trends are. If enough people comment, I’ll post the results.

So, here it is: Using whatever scenario you’d like (natural disaster, zombies, Red Dawn, post-apocalyptic chaos, deployment, etc.), tell what three guns you’d want to have as a rifle, shotgun and pistol. Again, there is no way to account for all the variables, so your choices may differ. Include a knife if you’re so inclined.

Here are my current choices, which I already use and am familiar with: I would have an AR (preferably a LaRue or Noveske) in a dissipator setup with a compact optic. This is my preference as it is lightweight and reliable. I’ve certainly never had substantial issues with any of mine. I prefer the rifle-length handguard of the dissipator as well. I’d probably go with .300blk, but would make do with 5.56.

For a shotgun, I have to go with my Benelli. I have an m2 with an extended mag and slug barrel. I love it. I’m usually torn between this and an 870, but for now, I’ll go semi-auto.


benelli m2

For a pistol, I confess, I’m a lifelong Sig nut. Fanboy doesn’t come close to describing my obsession with Sig.I would most likely go with a 229, possibly a 226. Ideally, they would have Innovative Arms suppressors.

Finally, I have come to love and respect the Gerber Prodigy. It has fewer bells and whistles than the LMF, but it’s very rugged and comfortable. I used mine when clearing some property of brush and trees and was very impressed with it. The blade has kept its egde much longer than I thought. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see if it had the juice to cut down a tree. It does, even though by the end my hands were pretty beat up.

So, there are my choices. I’m confident these would be effective in almost any situation I’d be in.

What are your choices?



GD Crocker is a proud Southerner who has been shooting for decades. He is a competitive shooter, armorer, instructor and collector. He recently passed the bar exam and deals primarily with securities law. GD’s proudest moments are seeing his kids shoot and get excited about their 2nd Amendment rights. He’s no Rick Taylor, but then again, who is?


  • gendar

    I like Sig, but given what corrosion does to aluminum it’s not going to be my first choice in handguns if I’d expect to face terrible conditions with minimal maintenance for an extended time.

  • dcj

    My priority would be to keep a low profile I think. With that in mind:

    Krink SBR sidefolder to stash in the vehicle, 5.45 or 5.56 chamber, Glock 19 IWB, and a Benchmade Adamas.

    • Kappa

      “Krink SBR”
      I think I love you

      • dcj

        I should proofread my edits…

    • gallannd

      Me too. Micro Tavor, Glock 19 with reflex sight and sawn off double barrel shotgun pistol.

  • enforcer233

    Shotgun wound be a 12ga pump with a cylinder bore for some accuracy with either slugs or buckshot. Ammo should be easily available for any 12 ga even when pillaging for ammo. Make does not matter, but an 870 or Mossberg 500 would have the most available parts.

    Rifle would be any AR variant in .223 because of the sheer number of them and interchangeable parts, plus having military ammo and mags.

    For the same reasons above the pistol would be a Beretta 92 or M4. I would prefer a 1911 variant, but as I stated above, if you know what hits the fan, pillaging from deceased military would be easier.

  • UD

    Knife-needs-work knife, custom AR15, M&P-22 is all I have right now. Well, unless you count the 30-30 and the SKS.

  • FireTwoSeven

    Shotgun, Benelli M3 combo or Remington 887 Nitro. Rifle: Colt LE 901 modular .308/5.56 Sidearm FNX 45 (15+1 in a .45? Yep) Ka-Bar.

  • zardinuk

    My dpms lr308 ap4 3-10x scope, Benelli m3 (honestly wouldn’t care much for the shotty) and Glock 17. SHTF scenario. I’d replace the shotgun with my m11/9 smg if given the choice.

    • zardinuk

      For knife I’d go with the folded steel katana 😀

  • Mark

    AR15. Remington 870. Glock 17.

  • Broadkil

    HA! I am such a cheap bastard.
    Mossberg 500 Riot
    KelTec PLR-16
    12″ Kukri

    Note that I do not need a pistol! 😉

  • Assuming money and tax stamps are no objects . . .

    Rifle: Some type of AR (not well acquainted enough with modern makes and models to really issue a specific manufacturer. I’ve heard good things about LaRue and Daniel Defense though), likely with a ten inch barrel, chambered in .300 BLK, threaded muzzle with some type of can, running PMags with ranger plates. Optics? Probably an EOTech XPS-2/3 with a 3x magnifier, and a QD night scope just in case. And, to save on weight . . . perhaps one of those New Frontier Armory LW-15 polymer lowers 😀 Ammunition . . . I’m thinking I’ll balance the suppression effect of the suppressor with the ballistic performance for supersonic ammunition.

    Shotgun: In the words of Homer Simpson, “Oh yeah, slugs, ya gotta have slugs.” Probably a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500 with polymer furniture, 8 round tube, flashlight mount, 18.5″ barrel, standard fixed stock, ghost right night sights, and (if possible) a co-witnessed Aimpoint Micro T-1. And yeah, slug rounds. Lots and lots of slug rounds. I’d much prefer the range and accuracy boost over close range dominance.

    Pistol: This is strongly influence by my current load, buuuuut….

    Para-Ordnance LDA Nite-Tac, .45 ACP, stainless finish, double-stack magazine well, Hogue wraparound rubber grips, tritium-painted night sights, and a detachable Surefire weapon light/laser combo. I’d also run an I-Tac retention holster and 14-round or 20-round magazines (depends on how well they fit in my mag holder on my belt). As for ammo . . . Winchester Ranger SXT hollow-points, one of my favorites.

  • Jesse Welling

    City Living:
    Colt 6940 with Trijicon Accupoint 1-4X.
    Mossberg 590A1.
    Glock 17.

    Country Living:
    Colt 6921 with Aimpoint.
    Savage 12LRP in .260 Remington. Maybe a 110 in 338, depends if this is Southern or Northern States.
    Glock 17.

  • Oh, and for my “Insanely impractical but still fun” list:

    Rifle: Genuine AKS-74U with bakelite orange mags and original wood furniture, au naturale.

    Shotgun: SPAS-12 with the folding stock and 7-round tube.

    Pistol: FN Five-seveN with Surefire weaponlight, some type of rear-sight red dot, and an OD green frame.

    Blade: Lightsaber. ‘Nuff said.

    • Leonard

      I concur with the Lightsaber. Actually, with that you wouldn’t need any guns, as you were carrying a far more elegant weapons from more civilized times 😉

      • james

        I’d say no on the lightsaber UNLESS I had the force as well. I think most lightsabers were only turned on via the force but even if one were real and given to me and I could turn it on I wouldn’t touch it. Have you ever cut yourself with a knife? I have. Imagine how much more it would suck if that knife’s cutting edge was 2 inches wide and sliced through almost anything instantly. Nope.

        As for the gear question I’m going to stick with my Galil, 870, and Smith Mod. 65. or Glock 27 although I don’t know why I would ever be limited to just those guns when I have more available, but those are my choices for this game.

    • Geo

      SPAS-12 is too heavy. Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.

  • Reangelis

    I’d be happy with either of my ARs, but I’d probably rather have my Sig 516, and whether it was the Sig or the carbine I built, I’d want an Aimpoint on it (Not that my Eotechs haven’t been fine so far, but if we’re talking about a SHTF situation, I’d want something I wouldn’t have to worry about the batteries on, but could still use in low light conditions. Since my ACOG was stolen, the Aimpoint would be the next optimal choice…I’m saving up.), my 870 (reliability always trumps rate of fire, in my opinion), and my Glock 17. For a blade, I’d carry my BK9. It’s built like a tank, and large enough to fit nicely between the utility blade size and the machete size. Also, it could be used in combat, if need be…although I’d like to find a decent synthetic tomahawk to pair it with. So far, they’ve all been shaped funky, or just didn’t feel right to me. Until then, I’ll just cheat, and carry my wooden handled ‘hawk along with it.

  • Brian Freeman

    DA Arms OSW with AAC Can for all around good knockdown, light hunting and reasonably good ammo availability.

    Mossberg 500 with a CAR Pistol grip stock. Again, wide availability of ammunition (though a SMG can be better sometimes.

    FNX-45 with Reflex sight and can. Wide ammo availability, flexible uses and not super heavy.

  • Samuel Suggs

    izh-94 I dont have a selction but this in .308 wichester/12 gauge makes a pretty sweet survival gun with the right rust resistant finnish like ceracote!prettyPhoto. same with this airgun this plus a good bicycle pump and rust resistant finnish certainly betats the hell out of muzzle loaders

    • Adrian

      Almost perfect gun, but in my country i can get a 30-06/12G or a 223/12G. 30Euros for 50 rnds 223 and 62 euros for 50 rnds 30-06.. there is no point for paying 58 euros for 50 rnds 308… the 30-06 is a much better round for the same money

  • Case

    Rifle: LMT CQB
    Shotgun: Benelli M4 w/ extended mag tube and a mount for a light
    Handgun: HK P30L
    Knife: Survive Knives GSO 4.1

  • Lance

    By far a M-14, both great combat rifle and you can hunt for food with a 7.62x51mm, 5.56mm is too small for good game to eat. A Mossberg M-500 shotgun and a Beretta M-92FS so I could use 9mm ammo and mags found by both in Military and Police left behinds.

    • Lance

      Ohh and a Colombia River knife and tool M-21 tactical knife.

  • Drifting Fate

    SBR AR-15 w/Aimpoint, no shotgun – carry the difference in ammo and water (but an 870 if pressed), and a Glock 17 because survival isn’t emotional. If it were, then a Rifle Dynamics AKM & a Browning Hi Power. Pretty hard to go bad either way.

  • guest

    Just a HK 416. You don’t need a secondary when you can count on your primary.

    • Anonymoose

      Try breaching doors. Also if you’re limiting yourself to the D10RS (probably the most common one in US use) without any other uppers, try hitting anything past 400 yards with a 10″ barrel.

    • Duke

      What happens when you meet Murphy and something happens to your primary weapon?

  • Matthew McColm

    RRA 5.56, Benelli M4, HK USP Elite….It’s what I run now!

  • letsgetitrightthefirsttime

    My riffle of choice would be a Mossberg mvp patrol 5.56/223 my shotgun Mossberg jig 2ii marine with stock and duracoat matte black finish my handgun s&w 686 l-frame .357 magnum with duracoat mattematte black finishfinish knives grayman mega pounder titanium crkt m16-14dsfg victorinox explorer plus

  • floppyscience

    An AR-15 with a 12.5″ barrel, light FF tube handguard, ACE stock, carry handle and 20rnd PMAGS.

    Factory 18″ Mossberg 500 with a synthetic stock.

    Glock 26.

    OKC MkIII Trench Knife.

    I like boring and practical.

    • Frank

      I don’t know if I’d call a 12.5″ barrel AR-15 very boring or practical

      • floppyscience

        5.56mm is still more than effective out of a 12.5″ barrel, at least at the ranges one would be using it at during a “SHTF” situation. You’re just trying to survive, not going to war.

        • Cymond

          Yeah, but this is about more than just ballistic effectiveness. Muzzle blast & flash is going to be a major issue with a short barrel, unless you add a suppressor. In most cases, the 4″ of barrel aren’t going to be a problem.

          • floppyscience

            Hence the Gemtech HALO. If not a sound suppressor there are plenty of purpose built SBR flash suppressors out there.

      • gallannd

        Yep, have fun firing that indoors or at night. Although I can’t complain much cause I choose a micro tavor with 13 inch barrel.

  • Ben 10

    primary, well since i live in an urban area in a third world country, i would go with full auto full sized Uzi, with suppressor loaded with swedish m39 armor piercing rounds. pistol, i would go glock in 9mm. g17, g19 or g26. with happy sticks. also loaded with swedish m39 rounds. no shotgun for me. knife, kabar tdi, large, drop point.

    • Samuel Suggs

      SHTF in the Philippines and there’s no government to keep order (not to infer that their doing great as it is) you’d probably just be better off joining a faction vying for control of the island’s because I am fairly certain it would just ignite a civil war of epic proportions. thats probobly the most likely senrio for the philipines going into a state lacking the rule of the law anyway that is to say someone deposes the government igniteing choas. trying to RAMBO your way through that sort of mess will probobly get you killed so barring a swift exit bye air or bye sea its proboly pick a side time

      • Ben 10

        the full auto Uzi would be useful for fighting my way to the nearest airport or boat. lol

        • Samuel Suggs


  • Maverick

    Grab Mosin. Go inna woods.

    • floppyscience

      You misspelled SKS.

  • Tse Gee La

    Rifle would be the Noveske MOE light I have. Would love to have my 8″ 300 blk but, I’m sure ammo for it would be hard to get.

    Shotgun would be my Benelli M1.

    Pistol would be Ruger MkIII with suppressor.

  • FourString

    Tavor with 40 rd PMAGs, Winchester SX3 with 10-12 shot tube (extended), SIG X5 with 20rd mec-gar mags or H&K USP 9 with 18 rd mags

    • Samuel Suggs

      your in california do you have long pleasent dreams about that gear I know I used to

      • FourString

        lol you bet. the SX3 with the 10 shot tube should be Cali-legal though. England-legal, even, too.

        • Samuel Suggs

          wait are you in california or england

          • FourString

            cali lol. will be in england soon though. canadian/english gun laws are quite fascinating, really. not as bad as you’d first think. in some aspects, better than cali. -.- take “moderators” or suppressors in england for example. or tavors in canada.

  • Mike Knox

    Actually, the correct terms are: Primary, Secondary, and Sidearm..

  • Paweł K. Malicki

    AKM, 870, Glock

  • Mike Knox

    My set-up is: a Surplus Mk-18, Benelli M3, and Jericho 941 in 9mm. For my blade, an Eickhorn Phol 2. This is in keeping with an odd family saying for home security: “a pistol under the pillow, a rifle under the bed and musket under the desk with your blade on your person”..

    • Mr Silly

      I dispute the truth of what you claim. It sounds more like a family motto you just made up.

      • Mike Knox

        Well, that just sad. Trying to get personal after your other weak personal attack failed, eh?. “dispute the truth”? that’s one of the saddest attempts at an insult I’ve read.

  • Moxy

    I can’t pick just 3… nor can I pick just one knife.

    Based on what I could find available in the “great ammo crisis of 2013” (GACo2013) I think my primary would be my AK or a variant perhaps a Krink or similar. I always seemed to be able to find 7.62×39 on the shelf and hell I can’t break my AK and I break everything. If I could find it I’d add a Huntertown Arms Kestrel 762 suppressor

    I’d bring along my Glock flavored Kel-Tek Sub 2000 in 40 and stash it some place.

    Speaking of stashing I’d stash my Ruger 10/22 Takedown someplace too with a Silencerco Sparrow or Gemtech Alpine

    For a Shotgun I would love to say one of my 870’s – but I think I would go with my NEF single shot 12GA and a complete set of X CALIBER Shotgun Adapters or something similar. That way I’d be more likely to have ammo I could use.

    For a sidearm, I may just go with my Glock 21 or 22 (again based on the GACo2013) and a nice suppressor like the Silencerco Osprey or AAC Ti-Rant.
    And I always carry my Ruger LCR so that goes along for the ride also.

    And after all that… I’d still want a long range option. I’d go with my Savage 30-06 because it’s light an accurate.

    Knives… Thank goodness I always carry several pocket knives… but added to those I’d want a fixed blade that was tough and that I wouldn’t cry when it got scratched like my Busse Combat blades. Therefore I think I’d stick with my AK bayonet.

    Whew… Thank goodness I can have my wife help carry all this stuff

    BUT IF FORCED! – My 3 would be my AK, my 10/22 TD to replace the shotgun, and my Glock 22 instead of my 21 – these complete with all the trimmings above also.

  • JP

    Rifle: My .308 M1A with Scout Scope and Night Vision Scope, both scopes in QD mounts.
    Shotgun: Pump, either Remington or Mossberg; 12 gauge for versatility
    Pistol: H&K USP Compact .45 with the LEM for good trigger pull.
    My Damascus survival knife with forward weighted 9″ blade with saw back.
    Opinion: 9MM and 5.56 are good for Europeans and other non-dangerous game.

  • EJ

    AR-15, 10/22, Glock 31 (with 9mm and 40 barrels in the bag)

  • Adam James Pugh

    Primary: FNH SCAR 17S – Nightforce 2.5-10×42, offset Aimpoint T1 2MOA

    Secondary: Benelli M4 – Aimpoint T1 4MOA

    Sidearm: FNH FNX 45 Tactical – Trijicon RMR RM07 6.5MOA

    Blade: Fallkniven S1 (if I could stretch the loadout I’d also bring along a Fallkniven A2)

  • Anton

    Depending on who or what is attacking, something that has plenty of ammo around.

  • Leonard

    My primary weapon would probably be my german-made OA-15 AR-variant in 5.56×45 mm NATO, fitted with my Nikon Fieldmaster 6-18×40 scope, foregrip and Harris bipod. I’ve reliably shot 15 cm (roughly 5″) groups at 300 m with it, so it would function as both DMR and Assault Rifle for me.

    Since I don’t own a shot gun, I could alternatively carry my Swiss K31 carabine in 7.5×55 mm Swiss fitted with blade bayonet as a secondary weapon for more firepower and enhanced close combat capabilities. The heavier bullet would probably penetrate cover which the 5.56×45 mm doesn’t, and the K31 is as accurate as hell and still lighter than my OA-15. It is also mechanically much more reliable and easier to maintain, so even if the AR breaks down after extended periods of minimal maintenance, I still have proper and powerful rifle with me.

    My tertiary weapon would be my trusted Glock 17 in 9×19 mm. Since I already have the Swiss bayonet, I don’t need an aditional knife with me.

    With such an equipment, I’d have lots of long-range firepower and would try to keep any potential foes as far away from me as possible. Only if that fails would I even consider using the Glock and ultimately the bayonet (“CHARGE!”).

  • R. Grimes

    AKM/AKMS, M40A1, G19, KA-BAR.

  • Cobalt-60

    Rifle: AKS-74U I would want something compact and lightweight. In a natural disaster you probably want something you can throw into a backpack and have everyone around you be none the wiser, only to pull it out when SHTF or a situation goes really really south.

    Shotgun: Remington 870. You just cant go wrong with one of those.

    Handgun: Glock 19. Compact enough to conceal with a good capacity.

    Knife: I would probably choose something like a Mora or even a Swiss Army Knife. Something that can do more than one job and is more of a tool rather than a weapon. No one wins in a knife fight.

  • Peter (BE)

    A Walther PP .22 cal with BSA sound moderator and a couple of boxes CCI standard ammo. A few Yugo M75 grenades. A quality blackjack and a Terminator push dagger from Cold Steel 😉

  • Ian

    So many wrong answers all over the place.

    5.56 AK
    Remington 870
    AK bayonet

    • dude…come_on

      hell yes.

  • 5

    Rifle. Any rifle. Shotguns are for shooting birds and pistols are good for suicide. Anyway you only have two hands and can carry only a small amount of ammo.

  • Anonymoose

    M59/66 SKS, Mossberg 500 Cruiser, S&W M36, and a Glock FM81.

  • buetang

    SGL fitted w/ultimak, reflex & flashlight + two point sling
    Rem 870 w/mesa side saddle & light + sling
    CZ75 SP01
    Microtech Currahee on 762 tactical Chest Rig

    Waffen Werks AK74 or AMD65 + lights on both
    Rem 870
    Glock 17
    kbar USMC

    Ideally I’d like to get some redundancy w/the Pistol choices. But, I haven’t felt like buying a second one of either.. might pick up a G19 soon.

  • Nathan

    Rifle: My POF-308, an AR pattern .308 with the awesome NP3 coating, 14.5″ barrel. Yes, a little heavy in caliber but I’m trying to cover the range from goblin to game.
    Pistol: I’m torn between my Glock 23 and my S&W Model 13. The G23 is a better SD weapon, the M13 a better woods gun. I think the G23 wins out due to the better ability to carry extra ammo.
    Shotgun: I’m gonna cheat a little here. My M6 Scout. .22lr over .410 shotgun. It counts. Pure small game getter.
    Knife: I really like my Buck/Hood Punk.

  • Roger

    Keep it simple, Keep ammo availability in mind, Keep weight and durability in mind.

    AR; in my safe, .223. Built it myself with the best quality parts, good scope and back up Irons. As close to a do it all rifle I can think of.

    Handgun; on my hip, my EDC Kimber 1911, compact stainless II. Officers frame, Commander sized barrel / slide, CT laser sight & Tritium nite sights, .45 acp.

    No shotgun, Ammo is too bulky / heavy to transport, too few rounds in the gun.

    I’ll take my CZ 452 .22 rf rifle instead. Light, accurate quiet.

    All three are familiar companions with thousands of rounds downrange. Shooting any one of them is like putting on a well worn and comfortable pair of shoes, I have lots of ammo for all of them and their ammo is very common.

  • Jeff

    BCM Jack Rifle, 870, and G19. Short sweet and versatile.

  • teee

    Rifle:Ruger mini30 or CZ vz58
    Shotgun:Mossberg 590A1 or Stoeger coach gun
    Pistol:Beretta PX4
    Knive:Cold steel warcraft tanto and Benchmade 915

  • Billick

    1. AA-12 shotgun
    2. FN P90
    3. FN Five-seveN
    4. Expendable Baton 21″
    (yup no rifle)

    • Karina

      Good luck finding ammo.

  • Burke

    SBR tavor and suppressor, 4-14x optic with offset irons or red dot. Shortened VEPR 12 with a stack of 10 round stick mags.

    The pistol I’m torn on. Either a ruger blackhawk convertible in 9mm/38sp/357 Mag OR a single six OR a Buckmark with integrally suppressed upper.

  • allannon

    If we’re talking a wilderness survival situation: Ruger SA revolver in .44 mag, Browning BPS (12 or 20), Remington 700 in something like .270. Rugged, reliable, and maintainable.

    If we’re talking hostile invasion: XD9 in stock configuration, AR-15 with a 16.5″ barrel and a compact red-dot with absolute cowitness, and a short-barrelled automatic shotgun with an extended mag and a red-dot.

    In either case, I’d carry my Glock field knife; been very impressed with it over the years.

  • Matthew

    Survival Situation? Okay: For a Rifle, likely my Remington 788 in .308, and my .22 mag/20 gauge O/U Savage. Pistol? ehh.. I suppose my RIA 1911 Tactical, purely for SD. Knife would go to my KA-Bar, serrated matte. good enough setup for what I need.

    Invasion by the Russians/Commies/Chinese? likely not taking a shotgun, can I switch it for a Concealment mat? the kind Snipers use? no?…. a Flak Jacket?… Some poor sap who can run at them with the shotgun?…Fiiine. An 870. Rifle would be my M1A, Full size, with a Bipod, and a Scope of some description, even though I like my Irons. pistol would be the same as above, preferably all of my kit outfitted with suppressors. though it might not be needed at 750 yards..

  • Joe

    Galil variant, Browning A5 variant with a short barrel, and an HK USP .45

    • Silas

      Confirmed for never having to field strip an A5.

  • Mitch

    AR-15, My own custom build. 16″. Magpul furniture. Eotech sight. 6 PMags.

    Mossberg 590 Special Purpose with Mesa Tac AR Stock adapter. Factory Bead sight.

    Glock 19, TLR-3 Light. 2x 33 rd Mags. 6x 17 rd Mags.

    M9 Bayonet. (Also fits onto the 590)

    (I too, like practical and boring)

  • michael

    why on earth would you go 300blk in such an event as it’s availability is extremely limited?

    • Mike F

      Pre 2013 shortage I would have shared that thought, but after months of struggling to scratch by enough components to shoot regularly, I think you can only really count on what you have in hand. If someone has a decent stash of 300blk/6.5 grendel/6.8 spc etc I think they’re better off than someone who is counting on being able to find 5.56.

      • michael

        I hear you but there still be far more 5.56, .308, 9mm out there than anything else save .22.

        I’d actually bring my m1a scout and a 9mm. My m1a will be more than adequate for short, medium and reaching out, if out of ammo it can be used as a club, requires grease that stays on for more rounds than risk running my AR dry and the stopping power is first rate. I’d keep the 9mm for close and secondary.

    • chuckldotes

      I have 16 pounds of lil’gun, 5k+ rounds of mixed 300blk remington brass
      mixed with my own cut/resized 5.56 LC brass, 50k+ magnum small rifle
      primers, a 125gr 308 mold and tons of blem 110-125gr 208 bullets. 300blk
      is great if you shoot it regularly. That said I also have loads of
      clean 308 once fired brass, large magnum primers, powder and 1200+
      rounds of 208gr a-max blems in 308. Why no bolt gun mentioned? This
      isn’t about exterminating your fellow citizen this is survival. I’ll
      take my H&R 308 survivor in place of a bolt gun with the 300blk
      barrel suppressed (AAC 762SDN-6 for subs taking game long range or
      short. Along with a Carbine 300blk AR with supers for defense. G17 for side arm and a buck hoodlum for killing, gutting, and chopping lumber.

  • TRich

    I think I would go with a G-36C with a carry handle/built in optic instead of rail, a glock 21 with extended magazine and an AA-12 with a drum mag.

  • Chris

    Mossberg 930, Glock 17 and DS Arms FAL with stripper clip top cover, means u don’t have to carry a lot of magazines.

  • Brian W Cowell

    rifle m1 garand, shotgun ithaca model 37 defense, handgun ruger redhawk .44 mag, knive OKC 3S

  • Pancho

    Franklin Armory SBR-L in 5.56 with 1-6.5 Bushnell Tactical, ASC Magazines
    FN SPR 20 inch barrel .308 with 3.5-21 Bushnell HDMR
    Colt 1911 45ACP

    shotguns are great, but I’d still rather have another rifle.

  • verymiddleeuropean

    This is quite entertaining topic, so let me add two or three eurocents. In such fictional critical situation I would pick just some decent stamped AK variant in 5,45 or 5,56 without any electronics whatsoever and plain 9mm para pistol – glock or P99 – whatever, if its common and relatively reliable with shoddy amunition, that suits me. Shotgun? No way, because: what for, if I already have a selfloading rifle? And I am not that enthusiastic about bodybuilding by carrying two long weapons on my back. Well, if it absolutely positively clearly also have to be a shotgun – the 12 ga russian IZ 27 over/under would do just fine. Commonly found over here, cheap, sturdy, reliable with wide range of amunition and easy to maintain.
    But wait, if it is for real, and not some of those nice survivalist romances, then most probably I would go …. unarmed. In my verymiddleeuropean country of Poland all legally owned modern firearms are registered and therefore subject to inevitable confiscation, when need arises. The only firearms freely available here and not registered are originals and replics of all kinds of pre-1885 weapons (be it a medieval handgonne, sharps or a remington 1858 revolver) if they do not use self contained cartridges. So these might pass scrutiny, simply because many of them are second hand, sometimes purchased abroad, at the shooting events or flea markets and therefore do not exist even in the bookkeeping of authorized arms dealers.
    But, sadly, national history tells my that all SHTF and WROL rules of engagement were already applied here fifty and some years ago not by marauding zombies but totalitarian german and russian governments – back then firearms discovered in your home or baggage would get you killed along with all your relatives and pet cat. The only – more or less futile- hope for survival in such situation was laying low and obedient, applying some degree of collaboration, or (if man was utterly desperate, young, able bodied and without family to provide for) joining forces with resistance unit, albeit latter meant enduring hardships and, most often, death. During wartime in eastern rural areas there were also some small local self defence groups, which guarded the settlements against Ukrainians, and did not engaged Germans, but they did not dare to show weapons ( mostly some bolt action rifles and hunting shotguns) when faced with regular german forces. It was essential for armed civilians to look and behave like unarmed civilians . After the war – in the period of unrest from 1945 to, approximately, 1948 – common folks usually tried to avoid having anything to do with the guns. There were plenty of german and soviet ordnance left for potential use – but unauthorized obtaining of firearms was met with death penalty introduced by military penal code. No matter if you were partisan, bandit, poacher or just a curious boy. So most people were just fed up with five years of constant terror and tried to adjust, as good as they could, to new political circumstances, even if those more or less sucked.
    I don`t believe in typical madmax postapocalyptic scenarios in my part of Europe, since in time of nationwide crysis emergence of organized (usually military) forces proceeding as more or less (rather less) temporary ruler is inevitable, and usually pretty quick. And when martial law was applied here – there was absolutely no room for armed civilians without ties to effective government. In 1981 the only people left with firearms in my country were soldiers, policemen and some communist party activists (mostly drafted to military or Voluntary Citizen`s Militia Reserve anyway). Certificates were suspended, weapons confiscated, and that`s about it. And there were no digital databases back then.
    As long as industrial civilization exists there will be technical means to control the population. And even if there would be major breakdown and setback to preindustrial stage ( say XVIII-th century) there will be some form of government, and governments then were usually of absolute nature (see France, Prussia, and Russia), lacking only a technological efficiency, wchich is sometimes overrated.
    In that case of “early modern SHTF” I probably would go with my trusted pedersoli scout muzzleloader in 45 cal. (more bullets with less weight) with flintlock attached as primary, some axe as a secondary and good butcher knife in lieu of a pistol. And – this is critical part – proper military/LE uniform and credentials. Because I would not want to be civilian anymore – if armed. Not in Europe, anyway. As for the States – you know yourselves best whats good for you out there, I guess.

  • ClintTorres

    Rifle: Flat-top AR-15, Floated 16″ Fluted Barrel, 6.5 Grendel – Scoped, BUIS & offset Red Dot – CQB to 800yds. covered!

    Shotgun: Benelli M3, like the guys below have spec’d – can go to pump if auto fails

    Pistol: Glock 20SF – handgun hunting is an option with 10mm, + 15rd capacity

  • Drz450

    I never understand why some many people would want a AR-15 based system in a event of need where durability and reliability are key.

    Rifle: No question Id go with a Sig 556, (ak47 style bolt with piston reliability and chambered in 5.56, ammo it will be widely available and the gun will chew through anything i will find), Also the side folding stock will come in handy in tight spaces. Regardless of the scenario this gun is perfectly suited for the end of the world (optics would be a mid range scope with 2-6x power, offset iron sights)

    Shotgun: easy choice, rem 870, no complicated semi auto system to deal with in the event your situation becomes long term, if you need semi auto capability thats what your rifle is for. Also wide availability of parts and will fire pretty much any type of 12g round you can find.

    Pistol: This was by far the hardest choice but id go with a Ruger SP101 .357/.38 with a 4in barrel. The reason is simple if i need to survive in whatever situation im currenty in, I want a pistol that i know will fire reliably and has a round that will knock down whatever im shooting at (.357 cartridge) In addition, the pistol also fires .38 special so i now have a pistol that can fire two types of ammunition with zero modifications (close second was Colt 1911)

    • Isaac

      There are 1000s of people who can run their ARs better than you can run your SIG. The problem does not lie with the firearm, but the operator.

      The AR-15 is very durable and reliable. Your problem is a lack of knowledge of the system. Your AR needs to be oiled (like all other semi-auto firearms). You can use motor oil, transmission fluid, WD-40 or anything else to run it.

  • Matt Ware

    Primary: Mosin Nagant
    Secondary: PPSH-41
    Tertiary: Nagant Revolver

    • Samuel Suggs

      or you could get one of these babies

      • Matt Ware

        FO3 is a great game but I like my guns designed in a way that would actually function.

        • Samuel Suggs

          I suggested that because its based on the PPSH-41

    • Ben 10

      ww1 era and ww2 era weapons? why not just a svt-40? uses the same ammo as your mosin.

      • Matt Ware

        7.62x54R in any quantity would get heavy fast, and a semi auto would encourage wasting ammo.

  • Mandaloin

    My own Daniel M4V5 with an Aimpoint Micro
    A Mossberg 930
    A Ruger 22/45 with a supressor.

  • MacDeth

    Noveske AR, FN SLP, and .50AE Desert Eagle… nah just kidding, how about .45 Nighthawk or FN FNX

    • MacDeth

      If not a SLP for shotgun, definitely an AA-12

  • BigSal

    Rifle-AK 74m

    Pistol- Makarov (PM)

    Shotgun- Vepr-12

    This is what I currently own and run. Every other combination is inferior.

    • Ben 10

      those are all russian guns, are you russian? in russia? 9×18 is underpowered.

      • BigSal

        Nationality has little to do with my selection. The PM is the most reliable handgun, hands down. Each of my choices were made with durability and maintenance in mind. Good Luck to you.

        • dude…come_on

          the statement that “the PM is the most reliable handgun, hands down” is factually inaccurate. I have respect for Russian cold war firearms, but don’t be ignorant.

        • Karina

          The Mak is reliable as hell, that’s an evidence, but why go with such a tiny barrel and underpowered round when a Glock, an H&K or a SIG can perform the same if not better reliability for more power and capacity? Even a Glock 26 outdoes a PM in every aspect.

  • PatrickPM

    1: Larue PredatOBR 14.5″
    2: Glock 19
    3: Remington 870

  • Ian McCollum

    Hate to be a downer, but I don’t think the specific hardware matters. It’s the last 1% of an equation that depends much more on situational awareness, physical fitness, overall firearms training and practice, demeanor, and luck.

    For the sake of tabulation, I would probably grab my tanker Garand and Ballester-Molina, simply because they are conveniently at hand and I like them (I wouldn’t bother with a shotgun). But I wouldn’t be upset to find myself with an AR, AK, M1 Carbine, FAL, Winchester 94, Glock, S&W Model 10, etc.

    • Samuel Suggs

      why dont you have a writer account or at least a regular Disqus account

  • Nokloss

    Steyr Scout .308 with a Leupold Shortdot
    Glock 19 with Streamlight TLR-1s
    Remington 870 with a folding stock and a short barrel
    Markus Reichart MR103 knife

  • Simon

    12 gauge autoloader. 45 long slide with laser sighting. Uzi 9mm. And a plasma rifle in a 40watt range.

    • Prof68

      Ahem…PHASED plasma pulse rifle…sheesh!!!

  • Truk

    A Ruger Scout Rifle, 870, Colt Python and EESE 4. They are my go to choices now and nothing would change if the balloon went up

  • Mark

    AR-15, Mossberg 930 SPX, Glock 22, Cold Steel SRK

  • Ryan

    In a situation where I find myself “Gunning Up and Getting Out”, I’d really follow the KISS principle and look at the most common firearms and calibers I could find and run that way.

    Primary would be an AR, likely in 5.56 (although .300 Blk is extremely tempting) with an 8-10″ barrel. It wouldn’t be fancy, and it’d be pretty clean overall (EO Tech 512 and an Insight WL1-AA. I can find AA Batts anywhere versus CR123s).

    Secondary would likely be a Serbu Super Shorty patterned on the 870. The only real reason I can see myself (personally) using a shotgun is to breach doors, so there’s no point in carrying the weight of a full size rig when I can toss the thing in my pack and keep it moving.

    Sidearm would likely be (and this hurts for me to say), a Glock 26 with a conversion barrel in my bag to run .40.

    See, my thinking is this. For the first few days to weeks, I may have all the ammo and parts I need stockpiled, but if the situation draws out and things start breaking, I can find replacement parts for ARs and Glocks just about anywhere. I can source Ammo and even Magazines from just about anywhere as well. With the 26 versus the 17, it opens up the choices of magazines I can use even more.

    • Cymond

      From what I understand, converting a Glock 26 to fire 40 S&W requires a new slide, not just a new barrel.

  • pk

    BCM 14.5 middy w/12in centurion rail eotech and light. Mossberg 590a1 8 shot. 1911 Commander. Surefire defender and Extrema Ratio Nemesis.

  • Frosty_The_White_Man

    Rifle: M14 or M1A
    Sidearm: Sig 226
    Knife 1: Kabar USMC
    Knife 2: Cold Steel Recon One folder
    Misc 1: an ice pick. Never know when Leon Trotsky might rise from the grave.
    Misc 2: a crowbar.
    Misc 3: a Pip – Boy 3000

  • Urbaneddy

    Def my type 97nsr, rem 870, sig 226, and the formidable grayman satu!


    AR in 5.56 and a .22 upper
    Glock 17
    Mossberg 590A1

  • Jordan Hyers

    If we are talking natural disaster and i need to go into a minimalist setup i would go with an H&R Pardner single shot 12 guage modified choke with 8 in rifled barrel inserts for 9mm , 22LR, and .357 magnum.
    If what i will be engaging is more of the 2 legged classification i would choose
    – Remington 700 synthetic stock chambered in .308 NATO/Win with the best glass i could find
    – Mosbberg 590A1 18.5 in barrel cylinder bore speed feed stock 6 shell side saddle ghost ring sights night sight front post
    – Pistol would be S&W M&P 45 full size with trijicon night sights but other wise stock possibly an apex trigger pack
    – Knife would be ESEE #5

  • Leo

    I’d grab my Magpul R870,a G17L, and either my .22 HK416 SBR or a SCAR-L.

  • Ptm368

    Hmmm.. An interesting little question. I’m always thinking about the upcoming “zombie apocalypse”, so I’d probably go with an AK-47 (most popular assault rifle in the world; can’t go wrong with that), a Mossberg shotgun (00 buck; hit ’em hard), and my trusty Glock 19…

  • Jake Dorsey

    What the heck.

    Rifle: My WASR-10/63 works fine. I’ve no
    complaints about it, heavy as it is. It might get tiring, but I’m in
    good shape, so I’ll lug it. I also know it will work. As nice as 5.56
    would be, 7.62 does the job of killing animals and humans.

    Shotgun: My old Remington 870 with slugs and buck and maybe a little bird. If I could, I’d dump this for a .22 rifle, maybe my 10/22. The shotgun’s not going to do much for me, as I’m not counting on busting down doors and such.

    Pistol: Either my CZ 75 or a P-01. 9 mm only. Accurate, reliable, tanklike. Since I’m in the Northwest, if it’s a SHTF scenario I could find a Lionheart or two. ^_^

    In a fantasy world, I’d have the most elite AR and the most badass shotgun around (whatever those terms mean), but I’d keep my CZ pistols.

  • Jon

    Innogun Hybrid in 12ga+308, quite versatile and plenty ammunition

    Sig 551

    Pp-19 bizon in 9mm Para

  • Nathaniel

    Wait, what is this doing on TFB?

    This is like a bad THR thread…

  • Michael Bergeron

    Shotgun: Charles Daly clone of the 870 since I like the ergonomics better
    Rifle: Winchester model 70 in .308 with a pre-64 extractor decent hunting scope.
    Pistol: S&W model 19, giving you four varieties of ammunition you can safely fire is a plus and long term maintenance is much simpler.
    For the knife I can’t decide between my Schrade Machete and one of my many Gerber hunting knives so i would probably take both. And the machete does have the juice to chop down a tree if i really want it to.

  • Kyle_D

    Rifle: DSA SA58 SPR in .308 win. with a GEM-Tech suppressor, a nice 4-14 second focal plane scope, and a quality set of rail mounted diopter iron sights for a back up for mid-long range interdiction. 308 round has adequate people stopping power, penetration, range, and accuracy to either keep people away before they get to close, or also to use in a hunter/gatherer capacity for midsize-large game animals. I’m willing to sacrifice a small amount of accuracy in comparison to a bolt-gun for the ability to go semi-auto if I’m caught in close range by more than one enemy.

    Shotgun: Mossberg 500a with a 3″ chamber, cylinder bore. The pump action and 3″ chamber leaves me plenty of flexibility with ammo choices, from less lethal (trying to make it through a crowd of panicked bystanders) to home made rounds made from anything to scrounge up, to full bore 3″ slugs for serious short range stopping power if need be.

    Pistol: S&W Model K-Frame Model 65 in .357 magnum. with a 4″ HB. Fixed sights leave little to break off or be off zero when it counts, and has very little potential for snagging on drawing. The ability to fire .38 spl and .357 magnum effectively doubles my chances at finding ammo, and the ability to load the cylinder with separate loads/calibers for what ever reason I need to. Not to mention that less moving parts equals less potential for malfunction. Its incredibly accurate for having such a short barrel and fixed sights, and would cover mid-range well enough for my purposes.

    Knife: As outrageous as it seems I would like to have larger, saw-back “survival” knife, as the ability to function as a knife, buck-saw, and possibly an impromptu hatchet if need be is invaluable.

    I live in Northern Maine, so my survival in a SHTF scenario is more of living off the wilderness and just avoiding as much human contact as possible. You can see this reflected in my choices as they are more utilitarian in nature, as opposed to a me vs. them attitude. It also reflected in the more mid-long range nature of my selections. As far as I’m concerned I don’t want people to know where I am at all, so the ability for long range interdiction with a suppressed high power rifle is invaluable to me. The Mossberg can also function well in a hunter/gatherer capacity, but also in a short range me vs. them scenario if I’m caught close with my pants down. The Model 65 is a very sturdy and reliable piece of machinery that has served me well in a hunting capacity since it was given to me by my father on my 17th birthday 5 years ago, but also has the knock-down power to stop someone in close-mid range very quickly, and revolvers are generally stupid proof and easy to maintain. The survival knife may seem like a choice more for vanity than anything else, but like a said above, the ability to be used in a foraging, shelter building, and trail breaking is again invaluable in the environment I live in.

  • Tyler

    If the shi* where to hit the fan…

    Rifle: Ruger 10/22
    Why? Well I live in Georgia and we are heavily forested so the longest site lines are about 75~100yds. With that being said I easily have 10,000 rounds of .22LR. Along with plenty of 25rd magazines. So with such short site lines, very few will have body armor, and the fact I can fire without worrying about ammunition running out makes this a great rifle. Plus I can hunt small game too.

    Shotgun: Maveric 88 12 guage
    A cheap and versital, no frills shotgun.

    Handgun: Model 586 S&W 5in .357/.38 revolver

    A powerful handgun that can use two different types of ammunition. Along with that its a very common ammo. Besides that its a very simple weapon so cleaning and mantiance easy.

  • pilot7474

    Any choice will have to be governed by one principle: KISS

    Keep It Simple Stupid!

    In any situation where you have no choice and no backup you will have to make sure that what you have works.
    No use for exotic ammo-wasting thingamajigs. You need something that reliably throws a ball in the proper direction. I might go for custom made guns made to be reliable, easy to fix and to last a lifetime.

    Choose standard ammo for it because if you get into a post-apocaliptic situation the 223, 308 and 9×19 will be lying in the streets and there will be no .337 eargesplitten loudenboomer in sight.Think Mad Max 2.

    My scenario: Sick and tired of the whole world. Pack up and leave to live somewhere where nobody bothers me. Not alone on the world, just far from the madding crowd.

    Remember, you are on your own, with no backup. You can not fight a war on your own, you need to take care of yourself (and family). You might not have fancy gunlube or even basic brushes to clean. Most important thing: Know your guns and know how to handle them. Maker sure every shot is a hit. Practice before going off into the wilds.

    Shotgun: Over under combination gun, 12 ga, .22lr. Think Savage but better quality. This gun is your allrounder and will get you protection and food at short range. Synthetic stock with container for five 12 ga rounds and some 22 ammo. You might even modify the gun so that the 12ga barrel can serve as a moderator for the 22. Alternative is a 12ga hammer gun, possibly with a .22 barrel insert but these inserts are not too accurate.

    Rifle: Bolt action 308. Any good quality stainless gun will do. Put a basic and sturdy scope on it (Hensholdt, Schmidt und Bender), no zoom just 4x or 6x. For backup a simple peepsight. Nothing with batteries. They tend to die on you.This will get you meat in the pot from longer distance and can take out any predator (human or otherwise) up to 500m, Can shoot military ammo (machinegun).

    Handgun: 357 magnum revolver with 4″ or 6″ barrel (I prefer stainless) with a conversion cylinder to shoot 9×19. Your carry gun and home defense.

    I would never take any semi- of fullauto. They are dependent on the quality of the ammo and after a while that will become a problem. With my guns you can even use ammo that is improvised (except the 22).

    So: KISS, the darn thing must WORK.

    Any gun that works is far better than a great gun that doesn’t

    Do you think you will have to go up against an army of zombies? Don’t stock up on ammo. see a psychiatrist

  • Timo Tan

    I’ll get the Tavor, SiG P226 (.40), either SOG SEAL Pup or Ops knife…not really a shotgun fan but i think i’ll go with a Saiga 12

  • Frank J

    A Benelli M3 and Chamber Adapters for 9mm, .45, .22, .38, 5.56, 7.26. basically shoot what ammo you can savage =)

  • Bill Allen

    My three would be my Mosin Nagant 91/30, 1911 .45 ACP, and 12ga pump shotgun.

  • jes834

    hmm for the most realistic survival situation either a steyr or ruger scout rifle. a mossberg 500 with a rifled barrel, a riot barrel, and a variable choked barrel. and a springfield mc operator 1911 in .45acp..for walking dead give me a ruger suppressed 10/22 and a mk3 .22 pistol… for resident evil /wwz zombies 1.ar15 w eotech either a dissapator or 18in bbl w a ching sling 2.saiga12g with 20rd drum and 3. fnp in .45 with a can..

  • Too Close to Chicago

    I would go with the following. I trust them all and it is what I have:

    Ruger Mini-14 tactical model
    Remington 870
    Glock 17 (Maybe my Glock 26 if I need to be more discreet)
    Benchmade Griptilian

    If I could being a few more I would add:
    Ruger SP101 – .357
    Spyderco Delica

  • Garrett

    A few of my friends discuss this from time to time, and we tend to lay out scenarios for the fun of it. I’ll see if I can lay it out like everyone else.

    “Red Dawn”
    Primary – Either M1A Scout or SCAR 17S with a low power optic. Picked this for the .308 penetration power. An army will have body armor, so the 7.62mm will have the best chance of penetrating the first time. The M1A I am familiar with, all I need is an inline stock (VLTOR Modstock for the M1A comes to mind) to help with muzzle climb. The 20in barrel on the Scout makes it slightly less bulky compared to the full sized 22 in.The SCAR 17 has pretty good recoil characteristics for the caliber, plus some Special Forces Units have adopted it, so there is potential for finding parts, guns, and magazines. the low power optic means I could turn it down to 1-1.5x for close in work, or extend it out to 4-6 power for hitting further targets.

    Secondary – Remington 870 Left Handed shotgun or Ithaca M37 Stakeout. Both shotgun choices would have 12.5 in barrels which to me makes it good enough for use as a CQB weapon if necessary or to quickly unsling to breach a door. The reason I picked a left handed 870 model is because I could single feed shotshells faster being a right handed user, being able to load a shell and shut the breach with the support hand.
    Tertiary – USP, M1911, or SIG pistol in .45 ACP. Again, like the in the primary’s caliber argument, any .45 caliber pistol with work. The USP is pretty soft shooting, but all choices have the reliability. Glock grip angles are not as fast and pointable for me.
    Knife – CRKT M16-14SFG. The Veff serrations are very mean, aggressive, and sharp. The thing almost disappears in my pocket, and can be used for just about anything. Yea, it is a folder, but it is very smooth to deploy, and it means I can fit it into a smaller space if I need to carry something.

    “Zombie Outbreak”
    Primary – VLTOR M4K w/o grenade launcher. Any 12.5 in AR-15 will work, but I am a sucker for VLTOR products. The 5.56mm is a very lightweight round, but still has a little bit of punch if needed. The idea for zombies is capacity at short ranges (<200 yards). A simple optic like a Trijicon SRS will work due to the large FOV and solar power during the daytime. Speed is also key, as there will likely be a lot of walking if all the cars run out of gas, so having a lighter and less bulkier gun helps.
    Secondary – Again, Remington 870 or Ithaca M37 Stakeout. Both guns are short enough and light enough to not warrant too much weigh increase. They could be handed off to someone else to watch your back as well.
    Tertiary – Glock 34, or other polymer frame long slide pistol. Weight is the game again, and capacity rules during the zombie outbreak. The more rounds you have, the better off you will be. Longer slides means better accuracy, so if you do need to destroy the brain like Max Brooks and all the other zombie movies make us believe, a longer barrel will help with reaching out.
    Knife- Cold Steel GI Tanto or KABAR. Simple is better. No moving parts makes it ideal in a shortage of replacements. Both knives can be beaten up on and still be used to cut trees or brain stems.

  • Medic760

    Shotgun/Rifle – .62 cal smooth bore flint lock. Can be filled with shot for small game or minie ball for deer size game or buck and ball for defensive purposes.

    Sidearm – any 9mm. ammo is plentiful and (as much as it pains me to say) it is less weight than .45

    Knife – cattaraugus 225. High carbon, holds a sharp edge well, mine has gutted and skinned 4 deer since its last trip to the stone and will no doubt do another.

    If you really need to disappear quickly, less is more. And that is coming from someone who generally lives by the “Go big or go home” philosophy.

  • DaveC

    1. Bicycle, pump, spare tubes, patch kit…
    2. Beretta Cx4 9mm carbine + six 20-rd. magazines.
    3. Ruger Speed Six .357/.38 revolver
    4. Hatchet/ Machete

  • steve

    Mossberg 12 with full choke and turkey loads(3in mag), Mini 14 with a bull barrel, Springfield XDm 45 on my hip, XDs 45 in my pocket, my kbar campanion strapped to my leg.

  • Jorg Schreier

    I’d go much simpler but it really depends on the situation.
    Anything other then a war I would go with.
    Ruger 10/22 TD because I have a boatload of .22LR and it is lightweight, I also have a bunch of 25rnd magazines for it.
    No Shotgun for me I’d rather take a nice hunting bolt action rifle in 30-06 with a good scope mounted so that I can reach out if need be.
    Sidearm I would take a Glock 19 or a Ruger P95, I shoot the Ruger better and would most likely take it and it’s 7 15 round magazines I have.
    For a knife I use a K-Bar USMC one.
    To be honest though I also would like to have a small pocket pistol in 9mm too as a Bug.

  • Tom Stelene

    For an all-around battery of guns each of which can stop bad guys AND take big game I’d go with

    Shotgun: Mossberg 590A1 12 ga.

    Carbine: Rock River AR-15 6.8mm SPC

    Handgun: Glock 20SF 10mm Auto

    Thus armed, there are not many problems one could not solve. If we want to include a scoped rifle, then I like a Remington 660 .308 with a low-power variable scope.

  • Lucky Red

    I agree with Tyler, or am at least assuming that I am not fighting a war but rather trying to stay alive, fed and sheltered with gear I can carry. For me, that’s about 30 pounds realistically. Like several other commenters, I see no need or the additional weight of a shotgun or handgun.

    Rifle: Henry AR-7 survival 22. Low weight, easily carried, stores in the stock to a package that fits in a pack and is waterproof and floats. Day to day, I think I’ll be eating squirrel, birds, frogs, snakes and other small game and mighty happy to have it.

    Knife: Ka-Bar tanto. Serves as a large knife, pry-bar, hammer or small hatchet.

  • Hunter57dor

    .357 magnum lever action rifle by rossi. lightweight, durable, no magazines to lose, very simple. i can run .38 special or .357 magnum, which are EVERYWHERE, and dirt cheap to boot. easy cartridge to load for, with common specs and many different loadings.

    im not usually a fan of carrying a shotgun if im on the move, its extra weight, and usually stays in a fixed location, such as the home.
    but if i need a shottie, im grabbing some pump variant that will take full 3 1/2″ magnum loads, and anything in between, in 12 guage of course. i wanna be able to run any ammo on shelf instead of being limited to just 2 3/4″ shells. many manufacturers will do, the remmy 870, mossy 500, etc.

    for my handgun choice, its either a .40 s&w glock, or 9mm beretta 92.
    these are the most common handgun choices out there, and as such, easy to find replacement parts for, cannibalize other guns to get it working, find mags, find ammo from other people.

    if i had my way, i would ditch the shotty for something else to finish out my 3 gun setup: some form of bolt action, scoped hunting rifle, manufacturer is whatever flavor you like. cartridge would be something over the power level of a .30-30, so i can take any north american game animal i like to.

  • Mike W

    Tough call- I guess I would go FAL with a variable power optic (or ACOG -I could go either way), M1897 Trench Shotgun, and M&P 9.

  • Matthew

    KAC M110 Suppressed
    Benelli M4
    Glock 17 3rd Gen
    CRKT Hissatsu

  • Prof68

    #1 – HK 416 with EOTech Hybrid Sight
    #2 – Mossberg 590A1 with bayonet mount
    #3 – H&K USP in .45 ACP
    #4 – USMC Ka-Bar
    #5 – Cold Steel Gladius Machete (like the double edge – and yes there is a coolness factor)
    #6 – Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

    and just for fun…the Gerber Zombie Apocalypse Kit.

  • Karina

    Rifle: AK-102 or AR-15 with 16 inch barrel (5.56 NATO)

    Shotgun: Benelli M4 Super 90, or Remington 870 with extended tube (12 gauge 2.75 inch)

    Handgun: H&K USP (9x19mm)

  • Scott

    PWS mk114

    Glock 19

    Mossberg 590A1

    Khukuri House mini panawal

  • gallannd

    I know the pump shotgun is ubiquitous and offers unbeatable knockdown power but it’s role is incredibly niche, Modern rifles are superior in every respect. Far superior range, accuracy, stopping power ,(double taps and fragmenting bullets),ergonomics, size and weight.

    The shotgun is a relic.

  • ggpal

    Rifle: Ar-15 in 5.56 with 20 inch heavy barrel, 2-8x scope, upper & lower separated in a backpack with extra mags. I can hit man-sized targets out to 700 meters with this setup if the wind isn’t blowing too hard, and the low recoil coupled with semiauto operation would make it suitable for defending a position and providing overwatch for friends etc. The only drawback I can imagine is the inability to stop civilian vehicles, but I would imagine that any SHTF scenario would involve a gas shortage of one type or another, and the weight savings while being able to carry more ammo is worth it.

    pistol: springfield XD in 9mm carried concealed. The XD, while not as romantic as a 1911 or sig, will eat any ammo I feed it and is fairly accurate. 9mm provides more shots for the same weight, and with hollow-point bullets the stopping power is plenty on human targets.

    shotgun: not needed. For the same weight I would rather have some water, communications equipment, plate carrier, grenades, etc. A shotgun is great for home defense and raiding buildings, but outside of those uses it is dead weight.

    knife: multitool. I just don’t predict needing to kill anyone with a knife, and a multi-tool is very useful to have on hand.

    My reasoning is that this setup is fairly lightweight and completely concealable, while still providing lethal semiautomatic capability from 100-700 meters. Also, it doesn’t use any uncommon or hard to find ammunition. The only weakness I can think of is that in the event of a sudden altercation at close range, I would be relying on a 9mm pistol to save my life.

    Yes I know the AK is reliable and that 7.62×39 practically grows on trees in conflict zones, but I just couldn’t justify the weight of the rifle and the ammo given the lower effective range.

  • txsecede

    Hunting without drawing attention to yourself is paramount. 10/22 with suppressor. AR for defense and abundance of parts/mags. Mid-size glock in 40, u can use 357 sig ammo in a pinch, find a 9mm barrel and use that too. flexibility trumps desire.

    • Samuel Suggs

      you can use a 5.56×45 suppresor for a .22lr if your only concearned about not making a gun shot sound

  • Cymond

    It REALLY depends on the circumstances. I’m assuming some kind of emergency/societal breakdown, and I basically separate my choices in to 2 scenarios: short-term with a good supply of parts & ammo, versus long-term with no supply chain (scavenging for parts & ammo). Oh yeah, suppressors are always good. Suppress the carbine, and maybe the pistol.

    Carbine: I generally prefer the AR platform. In some cases, it could be useful to have a 22L conversion kit handy. A kit is smaller & lighter than a dedicated 22LR carbine. If size/weight are not an issue (you’re primarily in a vehicle), then it could be helpful to have a stockpile of uppers in different calibers for scavenging ammo. However, the AR platform is known for needing a lot of upkeep compared to some other systems. The 300 Blackout is nice on paper, but you’ll never scavenge any. I think I’d go with 5.56 for ammo cost, availability, and the option for a drop-in 22LR kit. In a post-Apocalyptic scavenging scenario, I’d probably go for something like an AK because repair parts would be a minor issue.

    Handgun: It depends. I really like my XDM but it’s a bit heavier than a Glock. Id go with the XDm for short-term use where weight is not an issue. A FNX-9 would also be a good choice, and lighter than a XDM (but still hard to get ahold of repair parts or conversion kits). Glocks have unpleasant ergonomics, but they’re lightweight and repair parts are widely available. With the right aftermarket barrels, it’s easy to convert a Glock 22 to fire 9mm or 357Sig. A separate slide can convert it to 22LR. A revolver is the best choice for scavenging ammo if you don’t want to mess with barrel/slide changes. I like double-action pistols (Sig, FNX, USP, whatever) because I appreciate the single-action trigger pull, but I don’t actually own one yet.

    Shotgun: I don’t have enough shotgun experience to choose one. I think I would only use the shotgun for occaisonal special purposes like door breeching (possibly bird hunting). I’d be tempted to go for a pump shotgun with a folding stock just to keep it compact. After all, I’d only use if on rare occaison.

  • Cymond

    It REALLY depends on the circumstances. I’m assuming some kind of emergency/societal breakdown, and I basically separate my choices in to 2 scenarios: short-term with a good supply of parts & ammo, versus long-term with no supply chain (scavenging for parts & ammo).

    Carbine: I generally prefer the AR platform. In some cases, it could be useful to have a 22L conversion kit handy. A kit is smaller & lighter than a dedicated 22LR carbine. If size/weight are not an issue (you’re primarily in a vehicle), then it could be helpful to have a stockpile of uppers in different calibers for scavenging ammo. However, the AR platform is known for needing a lot of upkeep compared to some other systems. The 300 Blackout is nice on paper, but you’ll never scavenge any. I think I’d go with 5.56 for ammo cost, availability, and the option for a drop-in 22LR kit. In a post-Apocalyptic scavenging scenario, I’d probably go for something like an AK or vz58 because repair parts would be a minor issue. For ultra brief situations, a bullpup would be an advantage. After all, the biggest complaint against bullpups is the reloading process, which is a non-issue if the confrontation ends before the magazine is empty. A low-power variable optic (1-4x) would be good & versatile.

    Handgun: It depends. I really like my XDM but it’s a bit heavier than a Glock. Id go with the XDm for short-term use where weight is not an issue. A FNX-9 would also be a good choice, and lighter than a XDM (but still hard to get ahold of repair parts or conversion kits). Glocks have unpleasant ergonomics, but they’re lightweight and repair parts are widely available. With the right aftermarket barrels, it’s easy to convert a Glock 22 to fire 9mm or 357Sig. A separate slide can convert it to 22LR. A revolver is the best choice for scavenging ammo if you don’t want to mess with barrel/slide changes. I like double-action pistols (Sig, FNX, USP, whatever) because I appreciate the single-action trigger pull, but I don’t actually own one yet.

    Shotgun: I don’t have enough shotgun experience to choose one. I think I would only use the shotgun for occaisonal special purposes like door breeching (possibly bird hunting). I’d be tempted to go for a pump shotgun with a folding stock just to keep it compact. After all, I’d only use if on rare occaison.

  • legersois

    Zastava M70ab2 7,62×39

    SPAS 12

    CZ SP01 Shadow

    Gator Machete Pro GERBER

  • RetroG

    Since I’m running around with 3 guns, I’m not going to worry about concealing them. So a FN SLP shotgun or equivalent 12 gauge semi-auto shotgun (shotguns are so versatile), a long distance scoped rifle in 30-06 (again, versatile and reaches out past shotgun range) and a 1911 in 45ACP, because I don’t shoot any handgun better, and even ball ammo will get your attention.

  • Adam Kadir

    Primary: Zastava M70AB2
    Secondary: … Eh. I was never a fan of shotguns. Ever… and I don’t know anything about sniper systems. So I’d pick something like the ‘Uzi Pro’ or the SIG-MPX.
    Tertiary: Browning Hi-Power, or a CZ. 75 Sp-01 or 97b, don’t care which.
    ~ As I’m writing this, my good friend made the crack of saying “Why not take a Gsh-18? In apocalyptia, there’s nothing you need more than armour-piercing incendiaries in your pistol.”
    Knives are a tough one though. I’d probably pick something by Spartan Blades, CRKT or ESEE. For a smaller knife, ESEE, for a bigger one, Spartan Blades.

  • SamF1911

    1. BCM Mid-16 Mod 0 5.56
    2. Remington 870 Express 18″ 12ga.
    3. Smith & Wesson M&P 9mm
    4. Becker Campanion

  • john huscio

    arsenal slr106 w/pk-a venezuela red dot, glock 30s, mossberg 590a1, bark river rogue with macassar ebony scales. in other words, my current setup

  • Jager1952

    M14, 870 w/slug barrel 7 shot tube and side folding stock. Glock 21, Navy M8 fighting knife

  • Rick Harvey

    Mossberg 590a1 12 ga
    Colt le901 moduler 7.62/5.56 carbine
    FN FNX-45
    BECKER BK-2 Companian

  • BigShotBob

    Excellent selections – if you have an unlimited budget. $5,000+ is a lot to tie up in a single set of hardware if you still have to feed (and equip and train and prepare) a family in this tough economy.

    IMO, there are several criteria worth considering in planning for any even slightly plausible SHTF scenario:

    1.a. Reliability (Tactical) – Does it go “boom” – every time, even under non-ideal conditions?

    1.b. Reliability (Strategic) – How complicated is it? When – not if – it breaks, can you find replacement parts and/or fix it without a plastics/machine shop?

    3. Ammo – More is better, and you will run out. Where and how do you get it? (Unless you plan on clubbing Zekes with that fancy LaRue, .300 BLK is not the way to go.)

    3. Effectiveness – Does it do the job?

    4. Versatility – Does it do more than one job?

    Saiga .308 w/ optics
    Ruger 10/22
    1911 .45 ACP (But for relative scarcity, this would be the CZ 75)
    Knife Bonus: Kukri

  • Dibby

    Modified R700 in .300 WM and TBA Suppressor
    M70AB2 AK
    Busse Battle Mistress

  • ThatSwissGuy

    I know this thread is old but I’m gonna add my 2 (swiss) cents anyways 😉

    Realistically speaking my SHTF loadout would be my SG550 Assault rifle and a Sig P220 in 9mm. As those are the only two guns that I own so far. I’m quite happy with the rifle (which is my service weapon) but a full size pistol with just 9+1 rounds of 9mm… mehhhh…

    For the pistol I’m soon gonna buy something with more capacity and possibly a larger caliber. Either a Glock 19 or 23, a CZ75 SP-01 Phantom, an S&W M&P9 or a FN FNP45. But I’m not sure which one yet.

    The shotgun would almost certainly be a Maverick 88. As those are really cheap and (as I’ve been told) almost as good as a Mossberg 500 and they also share all aftermarket parts. But a shotgun wouldn’t be that helpful anyway, as they (and therefore their ammo) are quite uncommon in Switzerland and I already have a high quality full auto rifle, so why carry a second long gun and twice the ammo?

  • JT

    Tertiary? you mean people actually consider running around with a dozen guns hanging off of them? In reality, it will be one gun and maybe pistol and every gun you can fit in your car. How are you supposed fight with a shotgun with dozens of rounds of shotgun ammo AND a rifle with 3-9 fully loaded mags AND a pistol with at least 3 mags? Sounds like a sitting duck.

    I’m preferential to a shotgun/pistol. The only situation I’d see a rifle shining is out in open spaces, which could be avoided. Can always carry a rifled barrel and high powered slugs if I want my shotgun to reach out to 300/400 yds

  • ajblease

    I live out in the sticks, so people aren’t as much of a worry. I’d take my Remington 700 in .308, Glock 23, Marlin 60, Benchmade ADAMAS folder and Council Tool Velvicut Hudson Bay axe. I have a small, custom made skinning knife and crooked knife that would go too, and my lady. I’d just disappear into the woods and wait.