Survival tips for the beginner: Weapons of mass survival

Survival tips for the beginner: Weapons of mass survival

One of the most important things you could have in any survival scenario, is a weapon. A weapon is a multi-use tool that can be used for self-defense and for hunting. If you’re living off the land as a homesteader, you’ll also need these tools for survival. This post is meant to be a quick guide to help you decipher what types of weapons you need for your particular situation. Even if you’re not a beginner, you may learn something new because I have some interesting ideas. Having a weapon at your disposal is one of the best survival tips I can give you–because you never know when you’re going to need it.


If you don’t have a knife on you most of the day, you’re likely not a homesteader nor are you someone concerned with survival. I never go anywhere without a folding pocket knife. Realistically, the best survival knife is something that you feel comfortable using that you can keep on you at all times. Some people like to use the multi-tool type of gadget. Personally, I use the largest legal folding knife I can find. Always keep it sharp because you never know when you may need it.

Guns by caliber:

It should go without saying that you should have at least a hunting long gun. It doesn’t matter if it is a shotgun or a rifle, you need something to put down game with should your family start to starve. But, there are a lot of other options that you could go with as well, that are perfect in their own scenarios. Let’s start with the smallest caliber, and work our way up from there:

  • A pellet gun is a necessity for any survival scenario. Don’t laugh, I mean it. Think about  it for a minute. A pellet gun is a quiet (not to mention cheaper!) alternative to a traditional bullet or shot shell type of gun. You could put down all sorts of small game with a .177 pellet gun to include rabbits, squirels, pigeons and multiple other types of small game. I have heard of someone who fired a warning shot at a dear in his garden, and put him down–in one shot. And, if things go from bad to desperate, and you didn’t have any other options, you could use it in self defense.
  • A 22 caliber is a must for small game, defense and accessibility. We’ve already gone over small game and self defense with the pellet gun. That also applies to the .22, but packs a bit more punch. But, as far as accessibility goes, you can’t find a round more common than the .22. The truth of the matter is that there isn’t a more popular round out there. And, just in case the you know what ever hits that proverbial fan, you’d do will with a gun that you can readily find ammo for. You can shoot .22 lr from a pistol or a rifle, if chambered correctly.
  • The next most popular round is 9mm. Many self defense “gurus” argue that the 9mm round isn’t quite big enough to stop someone. My response to them is always the same: “Well, since it isn’t deadly, why don’t we send you down range about 25 feet and let me practice at a moving target. Don’t worry, I’ll let you wear your vest. Of course, the 16 hollow point rounds in the magazine don’t care what kinda vest you’re wearing”. Without fail, nobody has ever taken me up on that offer. You know why? Because they hate the 9mm without cause. They are good to have because military personnel and law enforcement officers carry this round. Not to mention that it is popular for the price tag. I’ll probably upset most of my readers, but this is the last hand gun caliber on this list. The reason for this is because the price point combined with stop-ability can’t be matched–even though it isn’t as powerful as a .40 or other larger round. Now, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t own other sized guns in addition to a 9mm, but it should be in addition to and not in place of.
  • A rifle chambered in .223/5.56 Nato is awesome to have. These guns get a bad rap because they look mean. Well, they are supposed to be intimidating. Have you ever watched one of those police shows? Whenever they are getting ready to pounce on someone they always say that one of them has to carry the long gun. Why? Because people are less afraid of handguns. Cops carry 12 gauge shotguns and M-4/AR-15. Once again, this is a popular round that is easier to find should the fan start spraying stinky stuff on Americans. It is nowhere as deadly as many of its larger relatives such as the .308–which would be my first choice for knocking someone down. But, the .308 is much more costly and will be harder to find.
  • A shotgun is a necessity. 12 gauge is the most popular size shotgun, and is also one of the deadliest weapons that you can find. Many people don’t realize this, but if you scope your shotgun and use slugs, you can hit a target from 200 yards away with a round that is bigger than a .50 caliber. They are also great because they are cheaper than any other long gun and can be dragged through the mud and still fire (well, most of them). Don’t like the kick? Thinking about getting a smaller gauge for comfort? Don’t. I have a 20 gauge single shot and I can tell you that it kicks just as hard as the 12 gauge does.

Miscellaneous items:

Let your imagination run wild. You could make spears, use a bat, cannons and whatever else your imagination can come up with. I have a set of sticks that I practice fighting with that closely resemble martial art fighting sticks. They aren’t. They are actually part of a bed that I took apart. But, they are very, very strong and dense. Excellent for bashing things.

Opportunistic weapons:

When I was in the Marines, I was taught that anything can be used as a weapon, if utilized properly. For example, if you are attacked by someone with a knife, and all you have is a magazine, you could actually defend yourself and take them out with that magazine. All you have to do is roll it up as tight as you can, and you have a make shift club. You could deflect the knife and even use it as a weapon. One time I was talking to an old Vietnam vet who said he used a rolled up newspaper as a weapon against the enemy. He said he was about to bite the big one when he jabbed the enemies knee while being on the ground. He took him out and lived to tell me the story. Who knows if it was true or not, but it could be.


The point being, that you don’t want to be put into a survival situation and not be ready for the worst. It is always a good idea to be ready for whatever may happen. Sometimes, you can make your own weapons. Other times, you may have them pre-made from the factory. Whatever happens, make sure that your mind is ready for the worst, because if you find yourself ever needing to defend yourself, the world may have officially gone down the tubes.

What weapons do you like to use? Come on, lay it on me about the 9mm thing. I’m ready!

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