And there is always the possibility that you may be transported back through time with just your arms and ammo some night and need to survive with just what you have with you; in 18th Century Ohio, or somesuch.
Well the conventional wisdom, that I pretty much agree with, is that you’d have a 4-gun system: A rifle and pistol to defend yourself primarily, a shotgun for hunting primarily, and some kind of .22 for practice and light work. Of course all weapons can double in other roles to some extent. Lots of ammo is a given.
So what do you get? There are more opinions on that than there are guns in this country. Yes. There are exaclt 453,055,419 opinions on which 4 guns to have when the balloon goes up.
Here is one idea that I toy with (Cuz I like playing around up there, in my head. Ya gotta daydream about SUMTHIN in bad meetings. This is one of the things I can daydream about. Plenty of other stuff to ponder, sure. I am multi-talented. But this is a gunblog, so you get the gun related daydreams.)
Assumptions, you are on a bit of a budget, but aren’t dirt poor. It’s probably a good idea to spend a similar amount of money that you spent on the guns on the same quantity of ammo in this case, too.
For dirt poor you get a single shot, pawnshop .22 rifle, a single barrel Sear shotgun, a Mosin, and a .38 special revolver.
But for the purpose of THIS entry, I’m thinking a bit better.
An M1 Carbine. Good for defense. Fine against zombies, or Indian war parties if you get stuck back in time. It’s no sniper. Heck it’s not ideal for longer than 100 yard ranges. But it’s still very sound. Not a first choice for a deer gun, it may or may not meet power regulations in some state Dept of Natural Resources, but a shotgun can fill the deer gun role.
A Taurus Raging 30. It’s a revolver that shoots .30 Carbine ammo, so your ammo selection and inventorying is simplified. And I’ve always leaned toward as simple an ammo inventory as practical, with only a few noted exceptions in my personal firearms. As a rifle round the .30 carbine isn’t bad. As revolver ammo, it’s screaming. I’d guess it’s probably on par with .357, but a ballistics enthusiast would have to be here to confirm my suspicions. It’s a revolver, so a bit more reliable due to simplicity.
[Ok, ok, Taurus are hard to find, being discontinued. And right now there are NONE on gunbroker. A fella can dream, can't he? Get the Ruger, it's less than $600.]
Wait, I may have overlooked something. Do you need easily-lost moon clips for this revolver? Moon clips are small cylinder of metal that have cut out you press rimless ammo into so they will stay put in the cylinder and also load fast. If you do need them, that is a major headache that could kibosh the whole thing if you are counting on time warp or post-apocalypsical disasters. Dang. Let’s proceed as if that’s not an issue. Let’s pretend that this revolver has little tabs that hold the rimless cartridge in place. It’s a day dream after all. And it’s only a BIT of a hardship to get a gross of the little metal dealies for regular-Joe shooty prep.
Let me check the specifics on the Taurus website. Be right back…
…Yup, you need moon clips for the Taurus. Get a bunch. But there is a plus. The cylinder holds 8 rounds. Very good. Dunno how you use a moon clip on a gated revolver like the Ruger Blackhawk types...
Other companies may make a .30 revolver, but I know of the Taurus. Ruger made/makes one, currently, too. Either way. This gun may be the most expensive of the 4 whichever model you choose. M1 Carbines aren’t as cheap as they were, but they are still not TOO hard on your wallet.
I got this idea for this pair, a M1 and a .30 revolver, quite a bit ago from Kim Du Toit. Heck, even this blog entry is a take off of similar entries Kim has done back when he blogged.
What else? A double barrel shotgun. Specific model? I dunno. Something with a choke on one barrel so you can tighten a pattern up for birding, and no choke in the other for buckshot and an inducer of good manners for closer angry assailants. Would a pump action Reminton 870 be good? Yes, but we’re going minimalist, and fewest parts here. A military rifle is durable, more so than a cheaper, comparable action, hunting rifle. A revolver is simple and durable. A double barrel is more durable than a pump gun. And since the primary purpose of the shotty, here, is hunting a wide variety of game, more than 2 shells is a bit superfluous. Two is adequate. One probably would be, but then it might be a good idea to be able to swap out the chokes, and that adds another part and tool to deal with, and we already got more complicated with that whole moon clip fiasco earlier. Stick to double barrel.
Finally. A .22. Whatever. Really. A 10/22 might be overly mechanically complicated. A pump .22 like my Taurus model 62 would be fine. Whichever length. A single shot Steven .22 would be fine. As would the ubiquitous and simple bolt action .22. Even a revolver would be fine. Not a snub nose. You need to pot game with this as well as practice. Decent accuracy is a good idea. It’s hard to go TOO wrong with a selection of a simple .22.
Other foursomes, maybe for other entries? With a theme.
WWII themed: A Garand, a Colt .45, a mil-surp combat shotgun, and a .22 conversion kit for a 1911.
Cheap Russian: Mosin bolt action rifle, Mosin Revolver, a modern Russian import of a Coach Gun, and a .22 import.
English: Lee Enfield, Webley revolver, an over-under game gun, and some .22
Modern Simplified Italian: Berretta CX4 and PX4 with mag commonality, a Benelli (because the name SOUNDS Italian) and a .22
Nouveau Cowboy: Marlin 1894C, .357 revolver, double barrel coach gun, Stevens single shot .22.
It get’s MORE complicated if you inherited some rifle from Granddad, and you want to build around this unselected item, still trying to keep it simple, inexpensive, and limiting your eventual total to just 4. What if Granddad was crazy? Or what if he brought back some obscure set of Japanese weapons from WWII? The ammo situation alone is challenging in that last case.