Top 5 Popular but Non-Optimal Guns for SHTF Scenario

Rick Grimes loves his trusty Colt Python.  But I'm not so sure It's the perfect gun to get the job done.  (Photo: AMC)

Rick Grimes loves his trusty Colt Python. But I’m not so sure It’s the perfect gun to get the job done. (Photo: AMC)

I love list articles. They’re typically brief, somewhat informative and always a good conversation starter. Yet, I feel that they’re a little binary in their approach in that they always seem to skew toward what is the best, most useful firearm for a certain application or what is the worst, most useless firearm for a certain application. Rarely, if ever, do list articles generated by the firearms community focus on firearms that are somewhat in between, meaning firearms that would be able to get the job done but would be less than optimal.

It’s in this vein that I’m revealing my most popular but also non-ideal guns for a sh*t hits the fan scenario. So, below is a list of five. As always, feel free criticize, commend or contribute to the list.

Revolver: Sorry Rick Grimes (of The Walking Dead), but if all hell breaks loose I’d prefer not to have a Colt Python or insert your favorite revolver. Yes, wheel guns are cool, durable and they’ll almost certainly take down an undead brain eater. However, they’re also heavy, bulky (to a degree, depending on barrel length) and are typically limited to six rounds. Plus, reloading a wheel gun without the help of a speedloader takes fine motor movement and time, two luxuries one may not have when confronting marauding hordes.

1911: I know, John Moses Browning is rolling over in his grave. Hear me out, though. Like my beef with revolvers, my beef with the 1911 is (a) its limited capacity 7+1 or 8+1 and (b) its weight relative to polymer pistols. It’s not a huge difference, but it’s not negligible either and might be even more noticeable if you’re constantly on the move. I guess you can get a polymer 1911, but still you’re stuck with a limited capacity sidearm.

M1 Garand: Battle tested? Yes. Iconic? Yes. A Classic? Certainly. Ideal for the end times? Not really. Why? One word: clips! Clips are outdated. Magazines are easier to load, safer to load (no Garand thumb) and more widely available. Of course, there’s also the issue of modern amenities (silencers, certain optics, lights, etc.) that just won’t affix neatly to an M1.

Joe Biden giving someone lessons on self-defense is like OJ Simpson giving out marital advice.  (NBC: News)

Joe Biden’s lessons on self-defense are about as good as OJ Simpson’s marital advice. Either one is likely to get you or someone you love killed. (NBC: News)

50 Cal: Plinking zombies from over a mile away with a Barrett model 82A1 would be a lot of fun, don’t get me wrong. But where on God’s green earth I’m I going to get the ammo to feed this beast? As it stands right now, .50 cal ammo is prohibitively expensive. Assuming that during the apocalypse it becomes even more scarce and hard to come by, what then? What will it cost to get more ammo?

Double-Barreled Shotgun: Despite what vice president Joe Biden tells you, firing two blasts from a double-barreled shotgun into the air is not going to scare away dystopian predators. On the contrary, it’ll likely give away your position and invite more trouble. Not good. If you’re going to carry a scattergun, go with a pump-action or semi-auto. While they don’t have the vice presidential endorsement, they do have more versatility and can carry more rounds.


By now you’ve probably picked up on one of the major themes of this piece, which is mainly that when the stuff hits the fan I want a gun that is light, easy to maneuver, durable, somewhat ubiquitous — so parts, ammo and accessories are easy to find — and that is capable of holding (or accepting a magazine with) a high number of rounds.

What comes to mind? For me, it’s two specific firearms: The AK-47 and the Glock 19. Those are the gold standard for zombie guns, in my humble opinion.

Your thoughts?

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Andy June 9, 2019, 8:56 am

    My carry gun is a glock and I am happy with that. Many years ago my carry was a 1911 and many people like the 1911. I have several 1911s and when I read your statement about low capacity magazine my thought went to my Para Ordnance 1911 with 14+1 yes it might be a little heavier then a glock with comparable caliber and size, but it will do the job. I enjoy your videos and discussions. Luckily my wife and I moved out of Calif. into a free zone.

  • JohnH June 27, 2017, 8:44 pm

    Any gun will serve to get you something better, even a lowly single shot 22

  • Auggie Will May 8, 2017, 6:18 pm

    Opinions are just like you know what.
    Go with whatever you feel comfortable with. The school I went to many years ago said if you don’t hit what your shooting at Fuhgeddaboutit!
    I have carried a 1911 all my life and I don’t have to think about the Safety, Magazine release Ect. It happens fast & easy.
    Looks like a lot of people have forgotten about the shootout in Miami FBI versus Bad Guys? The bad guys took two and three rounds before they went down while the good guys went down after one.
    Good guys were all shooting 9mm that day while the bad guys were using 45ACP & 357 !
    As far as a long arm I use 7.62 Nato.
    No leaves or twigs are going to affect it very much unlike 5.56
    45 with one spare mag + FA FAL 7.62 two 30 round mags & 4 20 round mags and if needed a bandolier of 7.62.
    I’m not telling anybody this is the way for them to go this is how I roll!
    Good luck to all when the lights go off.

  • Jackson Lewis February 12, 2017, 2:38 am

    id argue for the revolver as with a speed loader a 357 can be used for hunting and do 8 rounds now too still not best capacity but itll do…… also for clips they save a crap tonne of wight for full sized rifle rounds…… for my m1a i go with 3 mags then a bunch of 5 round striiper to save weight or use to top off mags…… for the garrand id still use one……

  • Jay0311 February 11, 2017, 1:29 pm

    Military vehicles will have cans and cans of linked .50 bmg, not just ball rounds either, api is common, maybe some SLAP rounds as well

  • f.e.coleman January 18, 2017, 11:55 am

    As an 84 year old geezer who has been handloading for multiple rifles and pistols since 1960, my stock of primers – powder – bullets is extensive. I own and shoot many rifles of various cals. and my latest addition is a S & W ar15 style in 223 “1500′ rnds in stock. My handguns consist of S & W 9’s and 40’s in sa/da, Springfield 9’s and 40’s, Taurus 92f, and three 22 cal handguns. All time favorite is my Remington Nylon 66 purchased in the 70’s. I have a very large stockpile of ammo for all as I am an old boyscout and still follow the motto ‘Be Prepared’. I will NOT leave, but stay put! This ‘zombie’ crap is ridiculous. A SHTF scenario will likeky be loss of power and access to food. If you’ve stocked properly, you’ll survive by staying with your supplies and defending them when necessary, not gallavanting around the countryside.

    • Mark January 18, 2017, 1:53 pm

      Agreed, These juvenile writers need to grow up. Zombie ammo and SHTF scenario is total crap. Get over it. An accurate 22 and a high-powered single shot and a good shotgun will put meat on the table. Go read your comic books if you want to live in a fantasy world.

      • Jeremiah Thompson November 15, 2017, 12:40 pm

        Yeah, zombies are indeed childish and fantastical, but societal collapse and SHTF has and will happen to every civilization that ever has, does, or will exist; there is no room for debate, this is established fact. And the unfortunate truth of the matter is that our own civilization is circling the bowl on final approach to the septic system. Therefore, equipping yourself with the best defensive and hunting tools to deal with that scenario assuming it takes place in our lifetime is simple common sense.

        • Lew September 18, 2018, 4:54 pm

          Jeremiah, you speak truth.

      • Nathan July 10, 2020, 7:22 pm

        2020 just called. Are you listening now?

    • Glen January 28, 2017, 2:31 pm

      Boy I bet you are riot at parties!

  • John December 4, 2016, 9:30 pm

    I’ll take mysemi auto thompson with a 1911a1 plus an inland m37 trench gun with bayonet and 00 buck oh and yes an m1 garand

  • Hohbb August 9, 2016, 9:55 pm

    I’ll take a semi auto thompson smg in 45acp with 6 30rd mags and my 1911A1 with around 4 mags and a backpack full of dried food and I’ll be good oh and a 22lr mk3 for small game

    • Robert October 3, 2016, 8:06 pm

      A Thompson smg weighs like 50lbs without ammo in it. If your going the smg route an mp5 would be much better.

  • Kim Schreyer May 21, 2016, 8:10 pm

    Glock 19C with 31 round mag in close proximity

  • John Seppanen May 1, 2016, 6:21 am

    my thoughts exactly.

  • Steven Hopkins March 21, 2016, 1:56 am

    First of all you need to look at environments right? if you live in the Plains like an urban environment, in the highest places, then you need to shift enough? answer me.

  • Chad Underdonk February 24, 2016, 7:45 pm

    You’re missing the biggest benefits to revolvers in your dismissal.

    #1 They eat anything. Got a .357? It will eat every .357 rounds even the shitty reloaded ones, and every .38 round, and with some creativity it would probably shoot a 9mm as well…even if it didn’t a 9mm or .357 sig could be effectively broke down and hand loaded into a .357/.38 with enough time and effort. It doesn’t matter what grain or what charge, it won’t cause it to malfunction. The calibers have also been around for along time and half the households with guns probably have ammo for it.

    #2 They tend towards utter reliability. No matter how hurt, how scared, or how crap your stance is while hanging from god knows where your revolver will not malfunction due to limp wristing. Nor will the magazine fall out after a stressful reload. Nor will a jam mean you die, because you can pull the trigger one more time and go to that next bullet.

    #3 That heaviness you were moaning about helps to control recoil, it also helps to brain your target if you have to barrel whip it.

    #4 reduced ammunition capacity means you have to slow down enough to be accurate. No wasting of ammo with spray and pray. While others are fighting hand to hand a cool head will still be reloading and firing for days.

  • Mark Whelan October 16, 2015, 2:07 pm

    AR not AK…for the zombies…one shot in the skull from as long away as possible,. 223 fits the bill. Maybe an AK for use against the survivors though, probably at least as big a threat as the zombies as time goes on, but definitely a .308. Plus a .308 for long range sniping (survivors again). Long slide 9MM with red dot optic and a smaller, maybe pocket 9 for keeping me warm at night. All with threaded barrels for suppressed fire, Nice crossbow with scope or compound box, a variety of edged tools/weapons including but not limited to machete, bowie, K-bar…Katana is flashy, but a ghurka or Roman gladius and a double bladed pole arm of some type would go well. Some kind of a compressed air weapon with a cycling rod like a captive bolt stunner used on cattle for killing through a fence or fortified opening. And an MRAP to operate out of… 😉

  • Seth October 16, 2015, 6:25 am

    Anything that can share ammo. The thing with zombies, assuming a walking dead scenario, is they’re basicly just walking brains, so the only kill shot is a head shot. So get a light rifle or carbine for mid to long range, and a pistol for closer ranges, my preference would be 22LR, easy to carry in bulk, and there are a ton to choose from. Not as glamorous, but effective. Plus the terminal ballistics are better suited

  • tsafa October 16, 2015, 12:30 am

    No that depends on how long your SHTH time frame is. If your time frame is two or three years, yes high capacity guns are great idea. If you are thinking ahead 20 of 30 years, my go to gun is the flintlock smooth bore. That is because I can make my own black powder, melt lead balls and I can also find Flint to use as a primer. When the Zombie Apocalypse comes, don’t expect people to be making smokeless gun powder factories for very long.

  • Mordru October 15, 2015, 9:33 pm

    I’ll go with what I know AR15 (Lighter than an AK47) Any 9mm with a high cap magazine. Plus a good edged weapon.

  • Cj September 7, 2015, 9:30 am

    SHTF senecio: most likely storm damage cuts supplies and services for up to 2 weeks or rioting ala Rodney King/ferguson/Baltimore as war with whomever Red Dawn style is almost as ridiculous as Zombie Fighting.

    Simply put the only drawn out gun battle in either situation happen at a cutoff police station in New Orleans after Katrina that was dubbed “Fort Apatche,” where gangs of thugs repeatedly sniped at the station.

    So high capacity basically was meaningless in that situation. Intimidation to avoid violence, reliability and accuracy however is priceless.
    What this means is a handgun should be here more than ever as a backup to a long gun instead of as a primary weapon as in concealed carry. As such capacity takes a back seat to accuracy and ability to stop a threat quickly. Those last two components are the realm of a long 5″ barrel .357 and/or .45 acp. Both can be had from old slab sides or a wheel gun. You say you still want high cap? Para Big Hawg 14-45 aluminum frame with a +2 mag extender unloaded is 28oz and carries 16 +1 rds of .45acp. As for long arms for a rifle I want 100 yd accuracy, reliablity, carriablity, readily accessible ammo and ergonomics and stopping power. That basically defines an AR15. AK’s are hit and miss as far as accuracy. They also wiegh more, are harder to find ammo for and are less ergonomic. Within a 100 yards stopping power is a wash. Now as far as the shotgun… These would be for the riot situation where the crowd has overcome their fear of what happens when you charge a guy holding an AR, ashotgun and pistol strapped to his hip. Meaning very unlikely. But for those that get past the hail of 5.56 they will be met by the barrels (yes plural) of my DP12 as its compact enough to be slung across my back and can deliver the most lead on target within 20yds of any firearm legal to own. The first 4 rounds will be 3″ dead coyote rounds which will unleash 200 .22 pellets traveling at 1600fps. If anything is still coming in my direction I still have 12 12 pellet OO rds before transition to that 1911 with its 17rds of 45acp.

    So keep your Glock and your AK for you Zombies oh wait… Zombies require head shots… Good luck with that with your plastic pistol and your AK.

  • Duckie July 11, 2015, 2:41 am

    Well, you guys can talk guns all you want.. SHTF.. I want all the powder and such I can get my hands on to make explosives to not only protect my position but to destroy in numbers! I’ll use the ammo for food and 2 legged critters when needed ; ))

  • Bill March 4, 2015, 4:18 pm

    SHTF mode to me means I will need to protect and procure under worst case scenarios. With (perhaps my wife as) backup I envision three scenarios:
    1. Glock 19, 9mm Carbine, & AR 15 backup
    2. Glock 19, AR 15, & .357 magnum backup (revolver or carbine)
    3. .357 magnum revolver, .357 magnum Henry lever action, & AR 15 backup

    I can reload all 3 of these rounds and they are the lightest yet most powerful available-to-share (handgun and carbine) rounds that I could muster-up for quite a spell, and even carefully alter the amount of energy output per round as needed (-P, +P depending on the target) thereby, hopefully, extending our supplies during SHTF.

    Bottom line – go with what you are most comfortable with and/or can re-supply as needed. I cannot really envision myself without at least one or two of my .22’s.

    • Russ March 5, 2015, 12:54 am

      Ya the .22 is a given.
      I just assumed everyone has a nice Ruger Takedown in it’s handy pack they use to hold extra ammo & blades, etc.

      • Bill March 6, 2015, 10:02 am

        The only problem with the .22 is it not being conducive to being reloaded.. Once you run out, you are out, unless you can procure (barter) for some. Too many people are hoarding way too much .22 ammo, but that does mean that it would be available (for the right “price”). Of course, judicious use of any type round will extend your ability to thrive in a SHTF scenario. The honored tradition of American self-reliance will be tested.

        • Russ March 6, 2015, 5:43 pm

          Your right.
          I’m saving my 3,000 round can for rabbits and squirrels.

  • Russ March 4, 2015, 2:48 pm

    Wow, your way of thinking surprises me to be parallel to mine on this subject.
    I also like your picks, even though mine differ slightly.
    In stead of an AK 47, I choose my equally simple and reliable Bulgarian 74.
    5.45 x 39 devastates flesh. Known by Afghans as the “poison bullet” It’s cheap and effective.
    And instead of the G19 I choose my very close, best friend; the Walther PPQ M1 .40
    No other pistol comes close to it’s perfection. Owners know this.
    If I move out of California, Republicans take it back, or Democrats come to their senses here, I will own these favorites->
    Side arm;

    • Russ again March 5, 2015, 1:27 am

      I thought we were talking about SHTF and am seeing many responses to a Zombie Apocalypse.
      I mean if we’re talking Zombies, I wouldn’t waste even 1 round of .22 on that shit.
      I have a couple of real nice Khukuri blades that will sacrifice any number of zombies that come within reach.
      One looks like the blade Denzel Washington uses in “The book of Eli” movie. I would act out some scenes just for fun with that one.
      The other is a double edged, full tanged, brutal lopping type with the traditional deep belly. It has a scull crushing pummel and a partially closed grip handle that has spike like points that stick out beyond your pinky and index finger. It’s actually called “Scourge Apocalypse”
      See inexpensive Traditional Khukris here at the Khukuri House –>

  • Chris March 4, 2015, 1:04 pm

    I choose a .300 aac blackout supressed. Being able to reload is a must. But if you can, the caliber is extremely versatile. You can go from very quiet subsonic to AK matching ballistics (but with projectiles having higher B.C.) supersonic and engage targets easily out to 300 yards. Travis Haley showed it can be combat effective out to 700 yards plus if you know the holdovers.
    Every part of the rifle is compatible with the AR 15 including mags except the barrel. If you have to replace a barrel in a SHTF… well just think about it.
    The brass is easily made using .223 or 5.56 by cutting it and resizing. .308 caliber projectiles inflict more damage than .224 ones and are the most popular bullets in America. The .300 blk can use .308 bullets of any weight accurately. The only downside is finding powder. So stock up.

  • PAUL W March 3, 2015, 4:34 pm

    The AR..check , handgun..check , and a Short shotgun, strapped to the pack… gotta eat. Cant see shooting a partridge with a 223.

  • MikeyMikeRN-BSN, USA March 3, 2015, 11:39 am

    My SHTF, TEOTWAWKI, WROL gun? It’s whatever gun and ammo YOU had when stumbled through my cross hairs… YMMV.

  • Dark Zen March 3, 2015, 9:16 am

    Top 5 optimal weapons to carry for SHTF zombie-style:

    1. A simple recurve bow with a quiver full of bodkin type arrows.
    2. A sturdy and light thrusting spear or rifle of any type equipped with a bayonet.
    3. A long bladed weapon that is light and easy to swing (machete, katana, etc.).
    4. A combat or hunting knife.
    5. A small pistol with a caliber of .380 or higher and a single round of ammo.

    The bow is light, silent, lethal, has a good rate of fire, and is easy to maintain. The bodkin arrows will penetrate well but not get stuck in rotting flesh or bone and can be easily recovered and reused. Arrows in general will be the easiest type of ammo for hunter-gatherer types to make after the apocalypse. If handled properly/ergonomically, the thrusting spear or bayonet requires very little effort to use and would be particularly effective at keeping small hordes of the infected outside of bite range or for dispatching them from behind cover (car door, garbage can lid, fence, etc.). The light sword would be the preferred means of dispatching small groups of walkers who are approaching from several directions or while on the move. The knife is either the secondary/offhand weapon or the last resort. The pistol and single round? Save that so you can do the honorable thing once you’ve been bitten.

  • Oregon Jimmy March 3, 2015, 2:59 am

    OK all you .22 LR fans out there. In the early 70’s there was such a gun called an American 180. It resembled a tiny version of a WWI Lewis machine gun. It had various sizes of flat round mags, and in the right configuration could achieve the incredible speed of 1200+rd/min. while still being capable of short bursts or individual firings. This thing is incredible. I was at the indoor range of the Portland Oregon Police Bureau when the company rep. brought in a sample gun to demonstrate its capabilities. The fastest and quickest short burst I was able to fire involved 10 rounds of CCI’s. The burst sounded like a single shot of a .410 shotgun. I had to look at the floor to witness all the spent cartridges to believe it for myself. The factory guy then loaded a 177 rd. mag. and proceeded to annihilate a 3/4″ plywood silhouette, cuting off its head, arms, and vaporizing the center mass area in one continuous spray of 40gr pellets, without a misfire in the bunch. I was duly in awe, and would have sold my Grandma to buy one on the spot. I don’t know what the status of this company is right now, but I know that their weapons were purchased by various state prisons, and used in other applications in which max firepower with minimum collateral damage was desired. My guess is that the company is now low profile, and not spoken about, while still receiving orders. Sufficiently suppressed, this machine would make a sound about as loud as an electric drill. Though not powerful, when you have 60 to 70 .22 lr’s chipping away at you every few seconds, your instinct will be to run. I have yet, to this day, seen a weapon so diminutive that could cause such a shit storm of devastation to anyone unfortunate enough to be in its path.

    • Bob Powell July 29, 2016, 4:27 pm

      The American-180 is a submachine gun developed in the 1960s which fires .22 LR cartridges from a pan magazine. The concept began with the Casull Model 290 that used a flat pan magazine similar to designs widely used prior to World War II. Only 80 Casull M290s were built as the weapon was expensive to produce. The American-180 is an improved version.

      A semi-automatic only variant called the American SAR 180/275 is still produced on a custom basis by E&L Manufacturing of Riddle, Oregon.[1]

  • Mc Ruger March 2, 2015, 7:07 pm

    Personally I rather think the Samurai Sword looks to be a great inside weapon. Give me a samurai sword and a Ruger SR40 and I will be pretty happy. Just for fun how about a 9mm carbine i.e. Uzi and a g19 on the side just to run the same ammo in both.

  • The Equalizer March 2, 2015, 5:17 pm

    Which SHTF scenario ? This author’s focus is obviously on a Zombie-Hoard scenario, some epiphany he had while watching The Walking Dead. Now, back here on present-day Earth, a real SHTF scenario to us normal, average “joe’s” is something simple as a hold-up, attempted mugging, car-jacking, or home invasion –in which case any of the listed firearms (save maybe the 50cal) would be fine, and welcome. Now, back there in OZ (Zombie-land) — considering the “remaining humans” seem to be scrounging for everything — they probably never had the luxury of selecting the firearm they use. Instead, they have the gun they were stuck with — the one they found that matched an ample supply of ammo. Because no matter what this knucklehead’s personal perfect SHTF gun is, if you can’t find matching ammo — in Zombie-land or in real life — its worthless. I’d rather have that horribly inferior 1911.

  • Charlie March 2, 2015, 4:21 pm

    My purchase of an HK Mark 23, Suppressed With Silencerco Osprey 45 Suppressor was made for just this in mind. This will gobble any 45 ammo, and last for tens of thousands of rounds. My S&W M&P 15-22 with a slide fire stock, and an ACOG red horseshoe sight is just waiting for the end of days. I have plenty of both types of ammo.

  • petru sova March 2, 2015, 4:20 pm

    The Glock 19 is a bad idea. Lose your holster and the gun is not safe to carry except with the chamber empty which means you have to rack the slide to get a round in the chamber. A gun with a hammer and a manual safety is way safer to carry and even handle in all of the stressful situations you might be in. Would you put your loaded Glock under your pillow, in your waist band or or even in your bed loaded. Only if you were an idiot. On the other hand a single action gun like a small 9mm is concealable and if it has a hammer and is single action it can be carried or slept with in perfect safety with the hammer down and the safety on. Even the H&K P30 with the manual safety can be carried with the safety in the on position and it has a long double action stroke for the first shot if the hammer is in the down position making it 1,000 per cent more safe to carry and handle than the super dangerous Glock. Even handling a Glock with a round in the chamber becomes a real danger once the gun leaves its hard shell holster. Never carry a Glock in a soft suede holster.

    In WWII in the Pacific Japanese would sneak into fox holes at night to stab American soldiers. Americans often slept with a 1911 with the hammer down and some even slept with the gun locked and cocked. Now in all honesty no one could sleep with a loaded Glock with a round in the chamber and not end up shooting himself as he slept. Is it not amazing a pistol like the 1911 invented over 100 years ago is a much safer weapon than the modern plasticky Glock.

    The Glock has a weak ignition system as well. All one has to do to prove this is take an empty case and seat a high primer and see if the Glock will set it off. It will not. Now try the same experiment with the average hammer fired gun. The bone crushing blow of the hammer fired gun will drive the high primer down into its socket and still have enough energy to set the primer off. This means that under very adverse conditions such as lint, dirt, extreme cold, too much lube etc. the hammer fired gun is way superior in the reliability dept.

    And how about take down to clean. Here the Glock is a disaster waiting to happen. The idiot that designed the Glock takedown system was an engineer not a gun owner. You have to pull the trigger to take a Glock apart and just forget one time not to check the chamber and you will shoot yourself guaranteed. Now compare this to a gun which requires you to put the safety on and withdraw the slide to the locked open position. Even if you forget to take a round out of the chamber it will come flying out of the gun when you jack back the slide to take the gun apart. NOW EVEN A MORON CAN SEE HOW MUCH SAFER THIS SYSTEM IS. People are human and they make mistakes. WITH THE UNSAFE GLOCK YOU CANNOT EVER MAKE A MISTAKE AND LIVE TO TELL ABOUT IT.


    • Christopher May 21, 2016, 9:43 pm

      This ridiculously long comment was clearly made by someone who was not practing simple firearm safety with a Glock and was either bit or had an ND. The firearm is a tool, safety is the responsibility if the operator not the tool. If you can’t be safe enough to handle it, you should keep your hands off of it.

  • Doyle March 2, 2015, 4:13 pm

    Using the Walking Dead scenario the slow zombies and bad humans are attracted to noise, therefore silencers are needed. In a World War Z scenario with fast zombies the armed old guys with prostrate cancer will kick ass.

  • KMacK March 2, 2015, 3:12 pm

    AK or SKS, either one works and the SKS is slightly lighter to carry. Glock 19? I’d go with a Glock 17, 34, or 22. If I couldn’t grab my Glock, my Springfield XD 9mm Tactical has a decent magazine capacity. Ammo? Russian for the 7.62 stuff in a 30 rnd mag (and lots of mags) and either Gold Dot or Russian HP stuff. Yeah, the Russian stuff is dirty but that dirt is graphite as a flash suppressant and it works. Russian HP’s also tend to open later, so poor zombie’s skull would be missing its rear half and most of its contents (like most Liberals these days). No semi-autos? SMLE mk3 works and the .303 Brit round is easier on the shoulder than the 30-06 or .308. Failing that, maybe a Swiss pull-loader in 7.5 mm. Last chance, Mosin-Nagant, any version. They’re tough, simple, reliable, and accurate. Plus, you can fix them with just a hammer.
    Ultimately, my best weapon choice would be distance. The farther the better. Zombies are terrible drivers, sailors, or pilots, so a decent ocean would serve. Not being there beats every other choice.

  • Dave March 2, 2015, 2:20 pm

    All of the revolver bashers out there should look into and seriously concider some for the great revolvers that can shoot a variety of ammunition. For example the Taurus Judge (45 colt, 410) or the S&W Govenor (45acp, 45 colt, 410) even the old S&W 1917 a 45acp revolver loaded with moon clips (some will chamber 45 colt as well) the half moon clips are as fast to reload as mags (once you get the hang of it, this should be no problem because a SHTF gun you should practice with and become proficient with) with the added benefit of utilizing more than one type of popular and avalible ammunition.

  • Cantxsailor March 2, 2015, 2:08 pm

    I’ve been listening to this SHTF stuff for over 30 years. So long in fact that I’m pretty sure I’m no longer a particularly viable fighter. Now I will have leave all the combat fantasies to those who aren’t smart enough to avoid getting into those situations in the first place. I almost get the feeling some of them are just praying it’s going to happen.
    I’m well enough armed for any reality based survival scenario. Zombies need not apply.
    The knowledge I have stored in my brain is what would make the difference in surviving not the amount of fire power I could bring to bear. In any combat scenario I can seriously come up with we would all be dead.
    Anyone who thinks they can be a viable armed force for any length of time is dreaming.
    Of course when I was young and still bullet proof I thought the same way. Now I guess I’ll be relegated to fixing stuff for the Warriors.
    For now at least I’m still indispensable.
    I do have one question, asked to me many years ago by someone much smarter than me, “What one item you now own would you be willing to carry for a hundred miles”.
    I could only come up with my Swiss army knife. M

  • Peyton Quinn March 2, 2015, 1:45 pm

    Good people first, there are no such thing as Zombies. Second if you are concerned about fixing your weapon after a ‘Pokeylips’ simply buy spare parts now when they are cheap and easy to buy on the net. This is lot easier than picking through an NG Armory, which is armed well enough thy won’t be left unguarded anyway.

    Do you really think you are going to have to walk around the countryside scavenging for food etc? If that happens everything has already gone terribly wrong for you.

    Let’s set ammo aside for a moment and think on this, you can last maybe 4 days without water. How much water can you carry it is heavy stuff indeed?

    And incidentally you can’t eat bullets or firearms.Better stockpile some WATER AND CAN GOODS.

    AS far as guns, AR’s are lighter and you can carry more ammo, but an AK is more reliable. Can you keep that AR clean all the time in the field? Of course like mant of you I have both and more.

    Ok its fun to think about killing imaginary Zombies, But there really are potential disasters you really should prepare for. Consider Katrina, the NJ Floods. Consider that even if there is a big snow storm have you noticed the grocery stores have almost empty shelves?

    Now for a possible real Apoclips (: consider ISIS or such plants a dirty bomb or other nuclear device in major US city like Washington DC. OK we all can see some ‘silver lining’ there, but it would surly mean at least a partial collapse of society and martial law.

    I am not concerned about Zombies, but a plague either natural or ISIS type group spreading here is also a potential reality.

    God willing we won’t see any of these disasters but I think one should be prepared for them.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 2:45 pm

      Ah, this article isn’t about survival. If you want to literally talk about survival–living in a city with more than 5,000 people you’re screwed. There wouldn’t be enough available food to feed ¼ of the people and then only for a very short period. 5,000 people produce a lot of sewage–so, say hello to cholera & typhus–lg. #’s of very painful deaths. Figure that 25% of the population in an average city has a chronic illness and is dependent on medications, which means they’ll be dead within 3 months; probably sooner. Antibiotics (which take a lot of skill to use properly) age out in about a year. Without antibiotics, just about any penetrating trauma is going to result in a lethal infection. All the narcotic opiates will, probably, be gone within a couple of days. (Narcotics are used for a variety of other illnesses, for purposes other than for pain relief-like CHF, MI, etc.) Trauma is the leading killer among the 4-44 y/o age group; people will not stop falling off things and getting into accidents. The number of GSWs will soar. Trauma is a very complex disease that requires huge amounts of resources, not to mention highly skilled people. None of those resources and/or people will exist. Food poisoning, depredation of wildlife, contamination of the food water supply, eventually cannibalism, etc is all we would have to look forward to. We’d kill ourselves faster than the living deal could.

      A firearm will not save you from cholera. It will not help you if you are dying from osteomyelitis. It will not save you from the lack of medicine or doctors. Nor will it do you any good against natural disasters. I don’t think your notion of a box (or a cellar) full of canned goods and your trusty 5.56x45mm is going to do you, or anybody else, any good.

  • Steve P March 2, 2015, 12:50 pm

    Give me my Glock 19, sub 2000 and 10 glock 17 mags to start with. Then throw the10/22 take down and the suppressed SR22 in the back pack and I will be set. Light weight so I can carry enough ammo and other essential supplies.

  • Rumpelstiltskin March 2, 2015, 12:44 pm

    All these are great firearms, to be sure. However, a machete will work. So will a cal. .22LR (All you have to do is get a projectile in its brain, you don’t have to blow away half its head–unless you’re on ‘The Walking Dead.”) A .22 short might even work.

    A steel 1911 is a choice-Para makes double stack 1911s .40S&W, which will stop a zombie as well as a .45ACP. I wouldn’t consider any polymer framed pistol. Preferably a Kimber Eclipse in .40S&W, although I don’t think they’ve made many. (If they made them at all.) Other wise, chambered in .45ACP. I prefer all steel and something that has worked for the last 104 years.

    You’re not going to stop a ‘herd’ of zombies with any pistol, in fact you’d probably have a better chance with your pistol if you brought a machete along.

    Long/shot guns-CQB: Remington 870 alternating slugs and 000 buckshot in a ten round mag and/or a M4. Shotgun would be good at short range or for fighting off the inevitable human thieves who’re trying to steal your food/ammo/etc. Medium range: SAW; M4. Medium to long range M240B; AR10; M1A1; and my choice in bolt action rifles: .303 Enfield. (Which would be incredibly impractical, but I love ’em.) Actually, the government will have collapsed, leaving tons of 7.62x51mm, 5.56x45mm and 9x19mm ammo laying around–thus the AR15, SAW, M1A1, M240B and any 1911 chambered in 9x19mm. Any ammunition/firearm not in current use by the US military or US government use will be useless. I doubt there will be many Makarovs and, as popular as the AK47 is, the round is still not very common and the rifle and ammunition are ruinously heavy.

    An M2 or M107 would be good fun for about a day or two before you ran out of ammunition. Then you could throw the firearms at the approaching zombies.

    Remember folks: The Spine is Divine, but the Knee Works Just Fine. (WWZ)

  • Dave March 2, 2015, 12:38 pm

    Give me night vision and a silenced 22LR and I will be able to get anything else I would ever need.

  • TPSnodgrass March 2, 2015, 11:59 am

    I don’t use screen writers in “real life”, nor do I watch television or films with idiotic story lines. For those that fine them “entertaining”, good for you. I use what firearms I am comfortable with, and that I know work, every time.
    Television/film is not “art imitating life” at all.

  • WiscoGunner March 2, 2015, 11:59 am

    Someone probably mentioned this, but Rock Island Armory and Beretta among others make double-stack 1911’s (2011 for the RIA) that hold up 18 rounds (17+1). For a handgun, other than the PMR-30, you don’t get much more than that. The whole SHTF stuff is a bit ridiculous anyway. If it came to that, your best bet would be to get together with a group of 10 to 25 other people who are good with guns, mechanically inclined, self-sufficient and able to grow crops and raise livestock. You will only last as long as your group is bigger and better equipped than the attacking force. This talk of picking out 5 best SHTF guns is not going to make much of a difference if it is only you against the world. You might last a few more seconds or minutes if you have a gun, but if you fight alone, it will be short battle. The best SHFT prep is to know the Savior so that no matter what happens, you are good for eternity. This little spin in our temporal time on earth is just a blip.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 2:04 pm

      If there were enough of them and they were available, this is why I would go with the W54/Special Atomic Demolition Munition–AKA nuclear land mine with approx 1-1.5 kiloton yield.

      They quit making them in 1989, but there must still be some, somewhere.

  • bluegoose March 2, 2015, 11:34 am

    would think the best all round would be 300 blk out with both type bulletts on AR frame

    • oldjake March 2, 2015, 8:58 pm

      .300 Blackout supplies would disappear overnight in SHTF. Plus, it just isn’t much and in my opinion turns an AR into a .30 Carbine ballistically. Poor trade.
      An AR lower with multiple uppers in .22LR, 5.45×39, .223/5.56, 6.5 Grendel, 6.8 SPC, 7.62×39 calibers among possible others provide lots of options.

  • towerclimber37 March 2, 2015, 11:18 am

    I believe that if you know the rifle and pistol you carry then carry those. I own both an m1 garand as well as an m1 carbine and also an AR. If I needed to carry a rifle, it would be my garand. the 30-06 will take any creature on the N.A. continent and is easier to reload for than the ar rifle. while the ammo is heavier, it’s assured to put down any target at ranges out to 1000 yards. with a few modifications such as a variable gas tube plug, it will shoot any 30-06 ammo you can make or find.
    Also, whatever firearm you choose, if you go for what’s cool instead of what you know, you’re asking for trouble.

  • T March 2, 2015, 11:05 am

    One thing to consider is what’s your surroundings? Do you live in the Great Plains; an urban environment, in the hills, how much do you need to move? For distance give me a 308, maybe something like a hog hunter. Close maybe a carbine like a sub 2000 that folds.

  • oldjake March 2, 2015, 10:51 am

    Light and handy? If you have ammo the M1 Carbine is a fabulous 0-50yd weapon. It is far and away the most powerful pistol type cartridge weapon out there, yet easy to use, negligible recoil etc. I imagine an M&P Pro 17+1 9mm would be my handgun. Most any pistol is fine and there are extended mags if you like a single stack. Revolvers are simple to operate but those who think they are easier to repair in the field than a semi auto like the 1911 are incorrect IMHO. A 10 shot Mossberg 930 12 gauge would be great if one of your party carried that. Ammo weight makes it a poor choice but firepower out to 75 yards makes it a winner otherwise. In an out and out survival situation I default to the Kalashnikov. It will just plain work.

  • David - FL March 2, 2015, 10:50 am

    Bare minimum
    1. Any 9mm semi auto pistol preferably Glock 19 or Beretta 92FS
    2. An AR-15 (5.56 ammo is lighter then 7.62 and more common) *Not a .223 plinker*
    3. A 22 rifle

  • oldjake March 2, 2015, 10:49 am

    Light and handy? If you have ammo the M1 Carbine is a fabulous 0-50yd weapon. It is far and away the most powerful pistol type cartridge weapon out there, yet easy to use, negligible recoil etc. I imagine an M&P Pro 17+1 9mm would be my handgun. Most any pistol is fine and there are extended mags if you like a single stack. Revolvers are simple to operate but those who think they are easier to repair in the field than a semi auto like the 1911 are incorrect IMHO. A 10 shot Mossberg 930 12 gauge would be great if one of your party carried that. Ammo weight makes it a poor choice but firepower out to 75 yards makes it a winner otherwise. In an out and out survival situation I default to the Kalashnikov. It will just plain work.

  • John L March 2, 2015, 9:40 am

    Dang! I have my crossbow, my samurai sword and my python. I thought I was all set for zombies. I mean if you can’t trust the walking dead show for advice, who can you trust? At the very least I will look super cool right up until I get eaten:)

    • oldjake March 2, 2015, 11:28 am

      A sword or tomahawk are really pretty good ideas. Certainly a survivalist needs an entrenching tool. If you recall in the 20th century there were many hand to hand engagements where entrenching tools were used as battle axes in trench warfare. Many have a sharpened side on the shovel for “cutting roots” etc.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 2:20 pm

      I don’t think zombies breathe, so I am not sure what good a constrictor like a python would do. Then there is their tendency to go to sleep for a couple of weeks after eating a big meal. You’d have to carry a truck full to do any good. Who wants to drive a truck full of hungry snakes? LOL

  • READY March 2, 2015, 9:20 am


  • Chris March 2, 2015, 9:08 am

    Sounds silly… But I have done a lot of thinking on my inventory of firearms.
    So I traded out my MAK-91 and M-1 carbine for a Ruger Gunsite and a Ruger Mini Thirty.
    These are in addition to my S&W 686 and .22\’s
    So I think I\’m ready!!!

  • Chris March 2, 2015, 9:06 am

    Sounds silly… But I have done a lot of thinking on my inventory of firearms.
    So I traded out my MAK-91 and M-1 carbine for a Ruger Gunsite and a Ruger Mini Thirty.
    These are in addition to my S&W 686 and .22’s
    So I think I’m ready!!!

  • Chuck March 2, 2015, 8:38 am

    Anything with a HAMMER!

  • stinky March 2, 2015, 8:12 am

    I would go with an AK if I was stranded in eastern Europe or the middle/far east/Africa. Here in the States I would go with a suppressed AR SBR in 5.56/.223 and a S & W M&P .40 or 9mm. If I couldn’t have the 5.56 I would take a Suppressed Savage .22lr bolt action fvsr.

  • William March 2, 2015, 8:06 am

    I am an avid watcher of Walking Dead. Since we are using their scenario as an example, I would like to chime in. In my opinion most walkers are killed with a blade or something sharp. I just always thought it was harder to stick a knife into the cranium then it looks. The soft tissue yes, but bone?
    I agree with most of the comments here but would like to chime in with this. It’s what you have now more then what you can find on a run or wish for. I do have a Para 14 double stack 1911 and a couple 20 round extended mags. I also have a Beretta 92 with some extended mags. In one small go bag I can put the 92 and 155 rounds of 9mm ammo. It’s a little heavy but not as bad as you would think. I also have an older Winchester Defender in 12ga. Nice, lightweight and holds 8+1 with another 20 to 30 rds on a bandolier. You would think its all about common calibers that most people would have .22, 38/357 mag, 9mm, 40 (LE) .45 in handguns. What if you did come across some .380 or .22 mag or 32? I would keep it in case I did come across one of those firearms.
    The long gun is a different story tho. I would have to go with the AR/black rifle view. Anything in 223/5.56 because it’s everywhere. I even have an old Norinco AK in 5.56.
    To close, any port in a storm is the way to go. Keep it all and don’t tell anyone.
    If I could wish a gun into this scenario, I would wish a Kel-Tec PMR 30 with a threaded barrel. It’s nothing to carry that with 5 magazines. That’s 150 rds of .22mag. Find yourself a can for it then hide and watch.
    This is just my opinion, I could be wrong. Thank you for your time.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 1:58 pm

      Paramedic here (30 yrs.) There are some parts of the skull that are incredibly thin–face. You might take some advantage by hitting them in the sagittal suture (divides the parietal bones on the top of the skull; all bones in the skull are connected by sutures), right underneath the sagittal bone is the superior sagittal sinus–a very large blood vessel. Sutures don’t ever entirely ossify, they all can move to a certain degree, creating a weakness. The temporal bone is relatively thin, but presents a small target. I wouldn’t go after the parietal (side) or frontal bones. The mandible (jaw) is not attached to the skull by bone–remove the mandible and they couldn’t bit you. If I had a choice, I’d go for the sagittal suture from behind. If not, the face, below the frontal bone.

      The skull is VERY hard. Normally, without any indication, it isn’t even x-rayed routinely because it is so hard (and breaks show up on CT or MRI scan, anyway). However, I have no idea of the relative strength of the skull compared to the force generated by an adult male swinging a machete or ax.

      • The Equalizer March 2, 2015, 8:54 pm

        Some US Army study in the 50’s or 60’s determined it took a minimum of 108 FPE (foot-pounds-of-energy) to penetrate a human skull and result in a “terminal” (fatal) wound. It does not take much to “crack that egg” — heck a good swing with a crescent wrench will do it. Anyway, when reloading, my target/defense load “goal” is 3x this 108 fpe minimum, or 324 fpe.

        Now, using this as your a baseline minimum, search online for an FPE Calculator ( has one) and insert your ammo’s bullet weight (in grains) and its FPS (feet-per-second – it’s speed). This will give you it’s FPE. For example, a 230gr bullet traveling @ 800fps = 327 fpe — your basic military .45 Auto cartridge spec. How about 40S&W 155gr @ 1000 fps = 344 fpe. A 115gr 9mm @ 1100 fps = 309 fpe, or a 38Spl 158gr at 750 fps = 197 fpe. See a pattern here? All of these specs are your average defense load’s weight and speed, and all target to be at or over 300 fpe goal (save the 38 Spl). Now, how about a 240gr LSWC @ 1000 fps — a standard .44 Mag target load — that results in 533 fpe — that’ll leave a mark for sure :-).

        The only thing this simple calc and line of thought does not take into account in this “terminal” (to stop, kill, etc.) ballistic study is bullet diameter, which is also simple — the wider the bullet, the more its “terminal” effectiveness (bigger hole, larger resulting hydrostatic shock). Now, I am not a scientist nor medical expert, but with all things being equal, this line of thought has always seemed logical and consistent to me. I’ve been using firearms for 40 odd-years now, plus reloading, ‘smithing, and hunting, and this “logic” has always “worked”. While the study says 108 fpe is the minimum (barely enough), 2x that (216 fpe) is better, and 3x that (324 fpe) is going to “do the job”. Food for thought.

    • JeanClaude March 4, 2015, 5:51 pm

      William, I agree; a PMR-30 or CMR-30 would be the ideal weapon because of knockdown power and ability to carry hundreds of rounds of ammo with very little weight. Too bad I can’t count on being able to find 22WMR when I need it….

  • Dmitri_Ravenoff March 2, 2015, 7:57 am

    While some people have disparaged shotguns, they are probably the most versatile firearm you could have in a SHTF scenario. Slugs for longer range, buckshot for mid work, and bird shot for smaller game hunting. My Remington 1100 will eat anything I feed it and cycle just fine and the rifle sights provide good accuracy. Pump guns would be an even better option with questionable or fieldmade ammo.

    Although 12 gauge shells are bulky and heavy for transporting en mass, they are very common and possibly the easiest type of ammo to reload without a bulky bench system. It’d be dicey but I bet you could remanufacture shells out of disassembled ammo that didn’t fit your sidearm.

    • Dean March 2, 2015, 1:28 pm

      I am with you on the 12 gauge shotgun. in a pinch you can build an improvised one out of a couple pieces of pipe as well. not to mention versatility in making ammo… the guys on Demolition Ranch youtube channel have put just about everything in a shell and shot it out of a shotgun….

  • Chuckie March 2, 2015, 7:41 am

    JMHO—-AMAZING everyone thinks they re gonna be in flat out BATTLE needing 100 rounds of ammo, and be able to haul arse in a milk bucket. Only thing you really need in number rock jhard deleterious muscles possessing stamina,, common sense , neighbors and numerical superiority toting whatever. Do you really think a confrontation in the street is gonna go past 10 rds.? Watching way too many lousy movies. especially WALKING DEAD. jmho

    • Mig March 2, 2015, 9:48 am

      You missed the point of this discussion. It was in choices of weaponry, not tactics or strategy. Choices are supposed to be specifically for a scenario such as on “The Walking Dead.” If you think it’s a lousy show, then why do you care about this thread?

  • Daniel March 2, 2015, 7:23 am

    I think a good ammo would be a 9mm and a xdm 19 +1 and a ar 15 built on 9mm ammo platform with a 11.5 barrel and supressed
    I would also pack A-10 set up with a 16″ barrel supresssed for long range and taking down larger game as well as taking out threats at distance

  • deer slayer March 2, 2015, 7:03 am

    Not much thought was put into his opinion about revolvers. As stated in previous comments; revolvers have a lot fewer moving parts. The operation alone makes it ideal for a “1 or 2 years later when all the factory ammo has been used up” reloading scenario. Primers can be “reloaded” if you have strike anywhere matches. Bullets can be re-cast using all the lead that has already been shot. Brass can be found like anything else. Powder can be made if you learn how now. None of these skills will help you handload for a semi auto though. The pressure requirements are simply too specific. On the revolver side you can basically use any powder you find or can make and as long as the bullet leaves the barrel every time and pressures aren’t too high or anything you’re golden. I’d go with a .357 magnum because it can be a smaller bullet to conserv reloading resources and it can also shoot .38. In a world where people are running out of their factory ammo stockpiles the handloader is king.

    • Kenny March 2, 2015, 8:50 am

      I like almost any center fire in smaller cals. Big guns and high capacity mags use too much resources. Reloaders are kings.

      • Cifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 1:35 pm

        The relative unavailability of Jet-A (although it will burn other fuels) is what removed M1A2 from my list. Lack of ammunition and diesel fuel ruled out my other favorite piece of armor, the Paladin M109A6 155mm Artillery System. The scarcity of RAP rounds isn’t really a factor, because who wants to kill zombies 30km away. LOL

        Resources will rule the day!

  • Tugbromberg March 2, 2015, 6:55 am

    While the basic 1911 is as you say limited, there are other options such as the Para Ordnance P-12, P-14 pistols. a .45 ACP with a double stack magazine works for me with a backup .22 as a game getter and my AR15 for a primary rifle

  • Mig March 2, 2015, 5:35 am

    Glock made me an armorer after sitting through one 8 hr class. The guns are elegant in their simplicity, I’ve never felt underarmed with one.
    I have to disagree with the Garand fan. I don’t need .30 caliber punch against zombies that only go down with a head shot. 9mm or whatever’s available for my pistols and intermediate rounds for my rifles will do.
    I love my M&P-22 but can’t endorse it for apocalyptic duty because even after sitting out the last six years of an shortage, the one caliber I still can’t buy at will is that DAMN .22 lr, thanks Obama.
    One more thing, I love the Walking Dead but can’t stand that Andrew Lincoln, the British guy playing Rick Grimes doesn’t know how to aim a handgun. In the pic above you can see he’s aiming through the rear sight and the front sight is floating somewhere 4 inches below. He’s about as believable as the gangsters that held their pistols sideways in the ’90s.

    • Ed March 14, 2015, 5:37 pm

      i don’t watch the dead movie, but actors are taught to hold their handgund that way so they don’t block their mugs from the camera. a vain lot they are

  • Rob March 2, 2015, 4:18 am

    S.H. Blannelberry, I am not impressed with your your SHTF non-optimal gun assessment. The fact is any gun a person is knowledgeable about, proficient with, able to perform well with, actually hit what they are aiming at and able to maintain is a BMF gun.

    You come across as an idiot writing crap like this. Even if that was your intent.

  • milehisnk February 27, 2015, 5:13 pm

    I’d take a 92FS over the 1911 7 days a week…twice on Sundays. Why?

    Modern 1911’s are showpieces or race guns. They aren’t made to meet battlefield requirements. They are fickle machines that tend to have a very picky taste of ammunition they will run without jamming. In SHTF, the last thing you need is a chrome plated pistol that requires special match grade ammo that you can’t find.

    On the contrary, there’s the 92FS. Sure, it’s a 9mm not a .45, but in standard form it holds 15+1, the A1 standard mags are 17+1, and you can get 20 and 30 round mags as well. The other benefit? Military bases around the country have armories stuffed full of the things, so you can easily scavenge spare parts, or whole pistols for replacements.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 1:27 pm

      The 1911 is a ‘show piece’ pistol? Try telling that to the millions of men who have used it since John Browing invented it. I’ve owned several from very cheap to Kimbers and I’ve never had a 1911 jam on me, no matter what I fed it and I shoot a lot–competitively. This is not something I can say for Barrettas; Glocks; Sigs; Brownings; etc.

      The 92 is a Johnny come lately (1972). The open slide has had serious failure problems. The only reason the US military picked the M9 was 1) because it was incredibly cheap and 2) they had to conform to the NATO standard 9x19mm chambering. What became the M9 wasn’t even the military’s first choice to replace the 1911. I guess an M9 is better than having a bag of rocks.

  • Nate February 27, 2015, 1:49 pm

    The 1911 was good enough for Gunnery Sergeant John Basilone and Earnest R. Kouma. But its not good enough for you?

    Then the problem is probably not the sidearm.

  • chris February 27, 2015, 8:03 am

    I have to laugh at some of these comments. Im far from a expert. But every seems to have the exact oposite opinion. So i say, i will take whatever i can get my hands on.

  • Mark N. February 27, 2015, 1:27 am

    Capacity is less of an issue than ubiquity of ammunition , especiaslly for those of us in California who are capacity deprived any way. Stay away from odd calibers, because when you run out, you gun is useless. For hunting small game, definitely a .22 rifle, preferably a bolt action. Any pump shotgun, preferably in 12 gauge, which gives all around utility for hunting and self defense as needed, is extremely reliable, and a variety of ammo is abundant. One semiauto handgun in in 9, 40 or 45. And two revolvers, one in .357 (because it can shoot either .357 or .38) and one blackpowder revolver, for which you can make powder and ball when the cartridges run out. And above all, make sure you have a reloading kit and a large supply of primers.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 1:16 pm

      Mark, sorry to hear you live in CA. (I was forced to spend a large part of my youth there. Ugh.) As you know, zombies will come in on ships from Asia that dock at the Port of LA/Long Beach and Portland. Being as no one can shoot back, zombies will be able to create 20 million more zombies from the unarmed civilians. CA may be responsible for the downfall of North & Central America because of all the new zombies produced there.

      One thing’s for sure: As the zombies are eating their way up 99 and up and down I5 for Sacramento, Governor Moon Beam and the legislature will be busy passing more gun control laws. And requiring counseling for all zombies to try to talk them out of eating people’s brains.

      The best solution: Check out Brady’s list of states with the worst gun control laws and move to one of them.

      I mean, theoretically, of course.

      • pregonjimmy March 3, 2015, 3:49 am

        Portland? Give me a break Pilgrim. Oregon is as gun friendly as Idaho, and nothing beats any of the two states. Get your geography texts out, and quit making such broad statements!

  • Josh February 27, 2015, 12:13 am

    Para double stack 1911 trusty accurate and 14 + 1 capacity with the punch of the great 45acp.

    • Craig March 2, 2015, 3:22 am

      Gotta go with ya on the Para, the 14.45 1911 layout. I have 2 of the NRA “GUN RIGHTS” in SS…and you can also get a 20-rd mag, and carry several of those, to decrease your reload necessity. Great gun, higher capacity, and maybe a ‘BIT’ (ahem) heavier than a poly, but I’ll take an American based design any day. Thank You John Browning !

    • W. Clardy March 2, 2015, 8:12 am

      How about Springfield Armory’s XDM 5.25 instead?
      It gives you 13+1 in .45 (goes up to 19+1 in 9mm), a little more length on the barrel, and a much more comfortable grip (at least for my mitts)?

  • Johnny February 26, 2015, 11:41 pm

    Never trust a guy that refers to a suppressor as a silencer on firearm advice.

    • Kevin March 2, 2015, 7:55 am

      Hiram Percy Maxim, the man credited with inventing the first “suppressor,” called it a silencer. My Form 4 from the ATF states that I own a silencer. I made my purchase from “The Silencer Shop” in Austin, TX. My advice is to not get hung up on semantics.

      • John L March 2, 2015, 9:29 am

        Also don’t forget “moderator “. That is what they call them in the UK. Good comment Kevin, spot on.

  • Andrew February 26, 2015, 9:40 pm

    The Garand is absolutely my end of the world rifle. 30-06 is readily available us wide, clips are cheap plus hold 8 rounds. The author states that the Garand is out dated due to the fact that you can’t hang a bunch of gadgets on it, 90 percent of the world’s military small arms have open sights. For a fighting rifle I prefer open sights, a simple gun that I can operate blindfolded, reloads quicker then an AR, 500 yard accuracy, and packs a .30 cal punch. Not many semi autos fit the bill like the Garand. If the author really thinks the Garand is a bad choice he most likely has no experience with this rifle or has hands to weak to load the clips.

    • Andrew March 2, 2015, 8:46 am

      I think rifles like the SKS and Garand make excellent weapons to use from fortification. No magazine means you can get lower on cover. Long barrels means more sight radius, .30 cal punch is always good. If you have cover, capacity is not as important. However, I wouldn’t want to pack one all over the country side. Ammo is quite heavy.

  • SDH February 26, 2015, 8:11 pm

    I have a Saiga 5.56 / 223 rifle I had converted to use AR mags, best of both worlds as it were. For pistols I would carry 4.

    1) Beretta 92FS (M9)
    2) Sig Nightmare 1911, so I can fire .45 ACP when I come across it.
    3) Kimber Micro because it’s light and I can stow it or hide it if needed.
    4) 357 revolver, for backup once the rest of the guns break…

  • Bill February 26, 2015, 8:03 pm

    Anything that doesn’t have the safety on the trigger!

  • James Fugate February 26, 2015, 4:54 pm

    They make a double stack 1911 that holds 14+1 of 45 acp, and why not carry a ruger 10/22 with a 550 drum?You can carry thousands of rounds with you. Its relatively quiet and light weight. Both 22lr or 45 acp would be fairly easy to find and the 1911 can be a hell of a hammer if your out:)

  • MattM February 26, 2015, 2:37 pm

    Think you’re on the right track woth the G19. Also think that the AK is a good bet. However, at the risk of rolling eyes, I’m going to say I’d swap that AK for an AR.
    Lemme ‘splain my logic before anyone get bent out of shape.
    I’m looking at this from a purely logistical sense. Like the 1911 and 10/22 there are a TON of aftermarket spare and OEM parts out there. Additionally, since Police Departments, the military and civilians alike keep them, ammo and mags will be plentiful.
    I own an AK-74 and, while parts and aftermarket goodies are out there for it, the availability pales in comparison.
    Replacing a broken firing pin might be as simple as locating an overrun military checkpoint. Plus, ammo might remain! With an AK, ammo will not be as available(look at 5.45 ammo!) and ordering parts online no longer an option. Even with the proloferation and popularity of the AK lately, I just don’t think the logistical base is available yet to overrule going with an AR

  • Grimes February 26, 2015, 1:26 pm

    I actually like the idea of a revolver . they are more reliable that a pistol. dont have many moving parts. and you dont have to worry about loosing mags. odds are ammo is going to be.very limited a few months once said apocalypse starters. so having full mags will be a pipe dream. I also like a 1911 over a gluck because a steel frame will take a heavier beating.
    my 4 guns would be
    Remington 700 supressed in a .243 or 22-250.
    an at. with quality optic.
    a Remington870 12 have.
    a 1911 because its the most popular gun to get parts for.
    and a wheel gun. because it will go Bang every time. and more often than glocks..

    • Tom March 2, 2015, 8:12 am

      I love my .22 Colt Diamondback. I have S&W, Sigs and Kimbers. I love my Diamondback as do the kids.

    • Glock guy March 2, 2015, 10:30 am

      Grimes, I agree with everything you said…however, while carrying and shooting a Glock for the past 12 years I’ve never had it not go bang when I pulled the trigger. I’m a man of many guns, and I will say, minus a revolver, a Glock will perform as advertised every time.

      Just my 2 cents 🙂

  • Alex February 26, 2015, 1:22 pm

    I’ve got to disagree with you on revolvers for two reasons. First, not everyone in your group is likely to be proficient with fixing guns. If your designated gun-smith gets eaten, a revolver is far less likely to fail catastrophically. Additionally, a .357 revolver can fire .38 spl ammo. Both ammo types are readily available, and having dual access to ammo would be invaluable. Not everyone should carry one, but it has its niche.

  • Dan February 26, 2015, 12:53 pm

    im ready for SHTF days with my mossberg 500 18″ barrel w/side saddle & 75 shell sling
    AK-47 w/ 3 30rnd mags & a 75rnd drum
    FNX 9mm w/4 mags
    & my XDS .45acp w/4 7rnd mags & 2 5rnd mags

  • Stephen Burkhalter February 26, 2015, 12:36 pm

    Rick, While I’ve owned and loved 1911’s you are dead wrong about recoil, my Glocks have significantly less felt recoil in .45ACP than a 1911. The poly frames absorb recoil, I’ve noticed the same thing with M & P’s.

  • Mark February 26, 2015, 12:30 pm

    Using The Walking Dead as an example, all you would ever need is a .22 because those walkers seem to be made out of melting cheese. It’s light, quiet (especially when suppressed), minimal recoil means pretty much almost anyone in your party can handle it, and you can carry a ton of ammo for it.

  • Thayne High February 26, 2015, 12:24 pm

    Sorry, I am one those that is not a fan of the Glock. While I see the merits of the AK-47, I prefer the AR-15.
    I would say find your favorite 9mm, good all around round and readily available. The. 5.56 had better range and is lighter. So, you can carry more ammo and hit your target farther out without having to “lob” the 7.62 and pray. Don’t forget good optics.
    The ultimate for someone large enough to carry a third weapon, would be a Tavor bullpup, your “go to” 9mm and a quality .338 Lapua magnum with great optics. Hopefully, you are proficient with all three.

    • Clifford the Big Red Dog March 2, 2015, 12:56 pm

      As much as I like the Tavor, it has two almost insurmountable problems: 1) It is almost impossible to get to the bolt face to clean it. 2) It’s gas piston (although, I heard they are going to start making impingement rifles) and there is no way to get to the piston to clean it; period. Even though the piston is right out there in the open where it will attract tons of garbage. You’d have to disassemble the stock to get to it and I am not even sure the stock is made to come apart. Probably someone else knows about this, if so feel free to correct me.

      In addition, the parts are non-standard, impossible to get in the US and I’ve never even seen one with open sights-all had red dot or telescopic sights. Open sighted Tavors exist, I’ve just never seen one. If you are going to get a Tavor, get a G-Tavor. You can mount a M203 on the G models.

      • Bob March 2, 2015, 3:56 pm

        I have a tavor and this would be my go to rifle. The rifles were designed by the Israelis to use in “garbage” conditions and work without jamming. As far as the bolt and piston being difficult to clean, all you have to do is pop a pin out of the stock and the bolt and piston all come right out. The gun also comes with backup iron sites built into the rail. All you have to do is pop them up. I would agree that the parts are not readily available because it is a newer rifle and will probably never be considered any agencies “standard” but IWI does sell all of the parts that could fail on their website so I have a backup for just that.

      • Joe D March 2, 2015, 10:23 pm

        What is with you people and needing parts? If that weapon breaks before your lifetime is up, it was a piece of junk anyway. I did 5 years in the army and never needed spare parts.

        Also, piston is far more reliable (think AK, garand, galil, m14). Impingments = jams, and I don’t know why everyone keeps buying AR’s with this feature. Military people have been complaining about it for years, but the only ones that get piston operated rifles seems to be tier one.

        • JeanClaude March 4, 2015, 5:09 pm

          Have to agree with Joe D; If you own a gun that you believe that you are going to need repair parts for, why would you carry that gun?

          Also agree with Joe that impingement operated weapons like the AR are just trouble waiting to happen. Gas piston is the way to go. The only reason that I would carry an my AR is that the ammo is light (comparatively) and I have Surefire 60 round magazines for it.

          My first choice go-to-gun in 223/556 is a Ruger Mini 14. The ammo is light, so you can carry a ton of it. Sure, you black gun guys don’t like the Mini 14 ’cause it’s not sexy enough and your don’t-know-shit buddies won’t understand your choice, but if you insist on carrying a semi-auto rifle in 223/556, it’s cheap (comparatively), gas piston reliability, tough as nails and just as accurate as any off the shelf AR.

          That being said, taking into account the 30% more knockdown power, gas piston operating system, battle proven reliability, ease of maintenance; If I could only choose one gun to survive with, I’d choose any AK.

          If you believe that there’s a better choice I’d like to hear about it and why you thinks so.

  • Rueben February 26, 2015, 12:07 pm

    ps90 for quietness and a 50 round magazine standard. Pistol if it was quieter FiveseveN because of the 30 round magazine. And they both use the same ammo.

    • Juan Rico February 28, 2015, 1:15 am

      That’s great in the short term, but where are you going to restock on ammo?

    • retpat88 March 2, 2015, 5:10 pm

      Reuben, of all the posts that I have read yours is the one that makes the most sense. That is why I own a five seven pistol with 10 extra cap magazines which weigh less than 3 ar mags. You are talking 300 rounds at your disposal. I am not even counting my AR 57 rifle with 4 mags (200 rds). All and all I have over 2000 extra rounds. Almost no recoil, low weight to carry and that round is deadly up to 200 yds with the rifle. If you are going to wait until it hits the fan you are way behind the power curve. Glock 9mm? I will use it as a backup. 5.7x28mm rocks.

  • Rick February 26, 2015, 12:06 pm

    Polymer is easy to carry, but not always easy to shoot accurately. The reason for a steel frame 1911 is to absorb the recoil. Comments on capacity are good, though. A SiG is a good middle choice, aluminum frame, high capacity, and reliable. You can always pick up a Glock from the cops the zombies already ate.
    The trunk of your car needs an AK and an AR.

    • Mark July 10, 2015, 10:24 pm

      1911s are also made in high cap. Look at the para p14. 14 in the mag one in the tube of 45 acp. There are others also. Not saying it’s the best choice but the capacity thing isn’t a fit all standard on all 1911s.

  • Brian February 26, 2015, 11:53 am

    FANBOY! When and if I find myself in a SHTF situation I want any and every gun I can lay my hands on.

    • Paul February 26, 2015, 12:28 pm


    • W. Clardy March 2, 2015, 8:03 am

      Sorry, but I’ll only move out with guns I actually have ammo for.

  • matthew scanlon February 26, 2015, 11:50 am

    I agree with the block 19. It would be my personal choice as well. I do however disagree with the AK-47. Ammo is incredibly heavy when carried in bulk. When the SHTF you want to be able to manuever. I would carry an M&P 22 or anything else in 22LR. Ammo is super light and can be carried in very large quantity.

  • Will Drider February 26, 2015, 11:16 am

    #6 All rifles: over 9lbs, that are not gas piston, don’t have a folding stock and not made by Sig.
    #7 All shotguns
    #8 Any gun you don’t have 12 mags and +++++ ammo for.
    #9 Any handgun that fits in your pocket.
    #10 All guns (or from parts) that originate outside the U.S.

    • Aczewolf July 31, 2015, 5:40 pm

      I have to admit no one could argue very many of your points while keeping common sense in the mix. Just a few points. If a revolver is in proper working order, and the ammo primer is good, a revolver will not misfire. A Glock is proven, very reliable, but a semi auto in perfect working order can [rarely] fail to feed, fail to extreact, stove pipe and simply jam. Having to stop to load under the right situation could get you killed, but so could clearing a jam. If your speed loader is lost or breaks, you are forced to hand load the cylinders by hand on a revolver, if your clip is lost or damaged you are stuck with a single shot if using a semi auto. A 357 revolver will digest 38’s 38+P’s and various 357’s with different powder loads and lead weights, A semi auto is limited to a certain load weight and powder charge range to work reliably. So in a SHTF situation the 357 revolver is 4 times more likely to find usuable ammo. A big heavy bulky Python revolver is more accurate than a service duty Glock. Both very easy to maintain and clean, each has advantages over the other, both good choices in a SHTF reality. As far as the AK-47 goes it is not really a battle proven weapon, unless you count the fact it is the most manufactured gun in history, has served in countless wars and battles, and is still in service 62 years after it first came out. It is hands down the most reliable war rifle ever. There is one different point on stripper clips, let’s compair the AK to the SKS which feed by stripper clips. The AK shoots 30 rounds before reloading, the SKS 10. The AK loads 30 more quickly, the Sks loads ten more, fast, but not as fast as a banana clip. Well, that’s it, the AK is better, or is it? Suppose both guns were empty, no banana clips, or strippers were loaded. The SKS can be loaded much quickly by hand than loading a banana clip, and with this little trick, it can throw many more rounds down range than an Ak. load the SKS with ten, shoot nine, turn the gun over and open the box magazine, drop, yep just drop, nine bullets in, close the box, and shoot nine, then repeat. Also the SKS will hold open to let you know you are empty, not so with the AK. Should you lose, or damage the Banana clip, you are In bad shape with the AK, if you run out of stripper clips, you can still load from the top, from the botton, or even single shot since the bolt locks back each time. Hand to hand, the SKS is longer, more solid and heavier, advantage Sks, battering down a doot, samr thing, running through thick brush loaded, SKS wins, no banana clip to hang in brush. Caught in an open field and forced to lay flat on the ground to fight, no problem with the SKS, you can’t with a banana clip gun. Also the SKS has a bayonet that folds under the stock, always ready, does not hang on your side and can be flung open in less than a second. Sks is slightly more accurate, and has slightly more muzzle velosity with the same shell as an AK. 120 rounds would require four banana clips to keep up with, 120 rounds could be carried on strippers in a fanny pack. A real soild milled army gun can be had in grsat shape for 380 bucks, you could but a lot of surplus rounds for the difference in price of a run of the mill AK. In all fairness, I did not mention the advantages of an AK, I was only giving an opposing view for thought to support stripper clips and the SKS. Again, there are advantages to both, and given the situation, I would chose one over the other today, and change back tomorow. Your article was very good and I can tell you are a thinker and not someone who goes with what’s popular or cool, me neither. Aczewolf

      • Dan October 16, 2015, 4:46 pm

        You referred to magazines as “banana clips” therefore everything you just wrote is hogwash – be it true or not

    • greg johnson October 16, 2015, 7:17 pm

      although it doesn’t hold very many rounds; I think I would like a revolver. in a shtf scenario; you not only have to find ammo but also magazines for the particular handgun you are using. a revolver doesn’t require magazines. I would def carry a large volume handgun but would use it sparingly. I watch these shows and they go empty and just drop the magazine and reload. that magazine is probably gonna be harder to come by than the ammo.

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