9 Firearms Every Prepper Needs

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9 Firearms Every Prepper Needs

In 2012 I was sitting in a small classroom in Doswell, Virginia at a Prepper show that I was both attending and speaking at. At the front of the classroom stood a man that was small in stature but just MASSIVE in presence. His name was Dave Jones and he called himself The NBC Guy. This man was about to change my outlook on preparedness in a number of ways.

I sat at a table with about 12 other people and watched as he laid out information about nuclear, biological and chemical threats, as this was his expertise. Then he asks a group of people a simple question about tactics and guns. This group seemed to be intent on knowing the best way to deal with another group should there be aggression.

Dave gave an example and then asked the most important question of the day. “In the Army we have something known as acceptable casualties. People may die during our mission,” He looked the group over, “Which one of you is an acceptable casualty?”

In that moment I went from thinking of guns as something everyone in my world should have so we could fight our way to victory in the post-apocalyptic world. When you consider which our your family members is an acceptable casualty you realize that a firefight and heavy use of firearms is the wrong goal set.

All that said, preppers gotta have some guns, right? The question is, which ones and what are we using them for?

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Air Guns


A pellet gun is certainly not as cool as a CZ Scorpion. However, you are gonna get much more use out of a pump pellet gun than you will some kind of fancy 9mm fed carbine. It’s just the nature of life. You might use a pellet or bb gun for something every single week.

This could be to keep birds and squirrels out of your garden, foxes out of the coop, or it might be to put squirrels and rabbits on the dinner table. Its way better to learn how to kill with an air gun because you can buy 500 pellets for around 8 bucks!

They certainly have their limitations, but air guns can be a lot of fun and very effective for the things that real preppers do each day.

Common Calibers

Preppers need weapons that can be easily repaired with common parts and easy to find ammo for. Sure, you might have all your ammo stored up already, but it is still important that your armory be made up of weapons that use all the most common calibers on the market.

This is also important for a survival group. If your weapons are common caliber, then there is a good chance that other members of your group are carrying weapons that fire the same ammunition and might even have some of the same parts.



The .22LR is a utility round. It is the cheapest ammo on the market and if you can shoot then you can take down 4 legged and 2 legged animals. I recommend having two separate guns that both take .22LR.

.22 Pistol


If you are on a homestead or managing any kind of land I think having a .22LR on your hip at all times is very practical. This gun is great for harvesting animals that you raised for meat. The gun is also great to pull out if you run into something like a dangerous snake or an ornery coyote around the property.

Iron Sights Rifle (Savage)

Iron Sights Rifle (Savage)

For hunting small game and dealing with shots that require accuracy at a distance, I really like a .22 rifle that is outfitted with nothing more than iron sights. I don’t know about you, but I do not take shots at things that are so far away I need a scope.

I put Savage brand above because these guns are very cheap and go on sale. I shoot a 30-06 from Savage and a .22 rifle. Both are great and have saved me hundreds of dollars.



In my opinion your everyday carry pistol should be 9mm. I have carried full size 9mm semi-automatic firearms and also subcompact 9mm like the M&P Shield or the SCCY. I like to shoot full size pistols over the subcompacts any day of the week.

Still, there is something nice about putting a pistol on your hip that you barely notice. I am currently carrying the SCCY CPX 2 which weighs less than 1lb and is just over 5 inches in length. It’s a 10+1 capacity magazine which is a lot of 9mm for such a small gun.

If you plan on taking your preparedness with you then you should consider carrying a 9mm pistol. It’s a powerful round and even small 9mm pistols carry enough ammo and pack enough punch to take care of an imminent threat.

12 Gauge


You are always going to be able to find 12 gauge ammo. If a person has only one gun in the home in most cases it is a 12 gauge shotgun. The 12 gauge shotgun is a sporting gun, it’s used to hunt or shoot clay pigeons.

The 12 gauge shotgun is also an incredible home defense weapon because of how a bird shot or buckshot spreads the shot out. This means hitting a target in the dark of night is easier if you are shooting a spray of bird shot down the hallway.

The other thing about the 12 gauge shotgun is that it is incredibly affordable! You can get a tactical shotgun or a simple pump shotgun for around $300!


5.56 AR-15

The caliber that feeds the maligned AR platform is not only a very popular round but the AR platform itself is the most popular semiautomatic rifle in the nation. When it comes to finding ammo and parts, if you can strip the parts from an AR15 then you will be able to sustain this platform for a long time using spare parts.

While the semiautomatic tactical rifle appears mostly in pictures and even videos of preppers. The truth of the matter is that you will use this weapon the least of all! If you are homesteading, hunting, and raising animals, you will use the above-mentioned weapons much more often than the AR15 chambered in 5.56.

Hunting Rifle

30.06 RIFLE

After common calibers I think it is good for a prepper to invest in a serious hunting rifle. When I say serious I don’t mean serious in price but in caliber. I think you should have a rifle that kicks a serious round out for killing big game.

As I mentioned the 30-06 is my choice but you may prefer something like the .308. This is all about preference but every prepper should have at least one high powered hunting rifle that can hit an animal at a distance and put that animal down quick.

Inject Fantasy


There has to be a little fun in all this prepping for the end of the world, right? The weapons we mentioned above mostly have practical uses. However, there are some guns out there that are just fun. They are the guns more suited for something like a zombie apocalypse of a video game.

A friend of mine was bent on owning his own CZ Scorpion. This is a weapon that fires 9mm and will not be what you reach for during hunting season or even to put down the hogs. The .22 pistol is a much cheaper and easier option.

Still, if you aspire to build your own prepper armory then you might want your own MPX 9mm PCC. Maybe you want that wild looking Kris Vector. Maybe you’re after something crazy from Keltec. They are always putting out innovative guns.

Now, you should at least have a few of the common calibers above before you go buying a R50 that holds 50 rounds of 5.7x28mm but if you want something as fun as this, too. It’s all up to you! I would make room for at least 2 fun guns in the prepper armory.



You might be wondering why I have airsoft on this list. What good is an airsoft gun in an apocalypse?

About 2 years ago my son came to me and said he wanted to shoot airsoft. I knew very little about it. The only experience I had was in paintball. We started bringing these airsoft guns into the home and as I began to understand these weapons I realized they are an invaluable training option.

These weapons do not have recoil like a real firearm, but they do emulate the firearms you use, they have magazines that look and feel like the ones you use. They will fit in a chest rig just like your PMAGs or even in a pocket or backpack.

The cost of ammunition is unbeatable. You can buy 10,000 airsoft BBs for about $30. You can spend an entire afternoon unloading on each other in full kit and getting better without going broke.

Frankly, you can run and gun with an airsoft and shoot at dynamic living targets that are shooting back at you. You can practice reloading, managing cover and aiming while you are gasping for air. If you have groups of people, then you can practice force on force with tactics and really shoot each other!


Stop worrying about sticking a gun in the hands of everyone in your household. Remember, bullets go both ways, and we have to be very careful with our families. Do you really want everyone ready to pick up an AR at a moment’s notice and head for a window? This is not the best way to keep your family safe.

That said, there are some firearms that every prepper should have. These firearms are more utility than they are self-defense. That doesn’t make them any less a gun. It is just that for the longest time preppers had a very narrow view of what your firearm should be used for.

Once you have bought your utility guns you should also get yourself something fun for the armory. When you are at the range it is nice to pull something fun out and let it rip downrange.

Trust me on the air rifles and even the airsoft. You can get a lot done with that air rifle and there are few ways you can train with gear similar to your own, like you can with airsoft. If you are going to go SPECOPS on some bad guys then you should know how long you can run, crawl, duck, cover with all your gear on while being shot at and returning fire. Airsoft is the cheapest and best way to make that happen.

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