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Survival Weapons - Guest Contributor Gun Smoke

Updated: Sep 5, 2019


Welcome our newest Patriot reader who submitted the first in a series of articles on Survival Weapons, Offensive and Defensive Weapons and Weapons in General. Gun Smoke is a personal friend and Patriot brother. He is a respected gunsmith and gives excellent advice on personal weapons. Welcome Gun Smoke. Thanks for your professional input on this important topic.

Dear Patriot Sisters and Brothers,

My good friend, Butch, has asked me to submit an article for this website. After a little thought I have decided to write about survival weapons and each of their practicality. There are as many opinions about the best survival firearms as there are firearms. My focus will be mostly be on survival and survival hunting.

Before I get into this article, I need to introduce myself and give you my qualifications. I am a 22 year army veteran. I was a competition shooter for a number of years in the army. I was also a firearms instructor for several years. After retiring from the army in 1996, I went to school for Gunsmithing. I am now a master gunsmith and own American Pride Firearms.

I guess that 22 years as a combat engineer has taught me to be as self-reliant as I can. Since before Obama was elected, I was (figuratively speaking) screaming from the roof tops warning people that ammo would be really hard to find after he was elected. I was particularly worried about .22 caliber ammo. The response I got from my friends and family was, “I can buy 550 rounds of .22 for $10.00! You are crazy for being worried.” Well, we all know the rest of the story…however, Mr. Obama was the best firearm salesman that this country has ever had! Using this one example, what I am trying to say is the time to prepare for the worst is right now. You won’t have time when the worst arrives.

Let’s discuss different types of firearms and their practical uses. First, let’s talk about a rifle that not many folks would even consider. Most of the time they think of the air rifle as a toy. Air guns have come a long way since I was a boy. Most people didn’t know that Lewis and Clark used an air rifle on their expedition. Anyway, my favorite air rifle is a Gamo.

This is from the Gamo website. I don’t want to plagiarize.

The Gamo Magnum .177 caliber air rifle

The new Magnum air rifle features the powerful IGT Mach 1 system, Gamo's revolutionary internal mechanism that substitutes the traditional spring for a gas cylinder delivering up to 1650 fps in .177 Cal (using PBA Platinum ammunition).

This air rifle not only delivers more power, but also keeps the advantages of the IGT MACH 1 piston, such as better accuracy, constant power, and reduced stock vibration during the shot cycle making this rifle a great addition to any outdoorsmen’s collection.

The air rifle is available in .177 Cal designed for pest control and recreation. It feature a new all-weather thumbhole black stock with rubberized grips, the latest two stage fully adjustable Gamo trigger (C.A.T.), and a 3-9x40 with adjustable objective scope (AO). The Gamo Magnum also features one of the latest patent pending technologies from Gamo, the Recoil Reducing Rail (or triple R).

I own two of these great air rifles. This particular rifle can launch a pellet at velocities above 1600 feet per second! That is as fast as a .22 long rifle bullet will travel. This .177 caliber air rifle is good for hunting squirrel, rabbits, frogs, sitting birds and any other small creatures that you might want to eat. Pellets are small and you can stockpile a lot in a small place.

They come in these small tins and you can find them at Wal-Mart for $3.99 a container. I have about 10,000 rounds of .177 caliber ammo in a 3”x 5” card file box.

The next firearm I will discuss is the beloved .22 caliber rifle. Here in the state of Alabama, there is nothing that a .22 long rifle bullet won’t drop. (with proper bullet placement) For range and accuracy, I prefer a long barrel (22”-24”) bolt action. I have several. For our discussion I will focus on my favorite semi auto. The Ruger 10-22 takedown would be the best for a bug out survival situation.

The rifle comes apart at the breach of the gun and packs neatly away inside a padded backpack case. There is room inside the case for several 10 round magazines or several 25 round “banana” magazines. This gun is a rugged little rifle.

Another rifle that I have is the Henry AR7 Survival Rifle.

This rifle has its origins in the air force. It was originally designed for piolets survival after downing their planes. The rifle was originally developed by ArmaLite thus “AR7”. This is a unique rifle in that the whole gun is stored inside the butt of the gun and it floats! It has two 8+1 magazines. This is the first takedown rifle that I ever owned and is truly packable. As I stated earlier, with proper bullet placement, there isn’t anything in this state that a .22 won’t bring down. Keeping in mind proper bullet placement, the .22 rifle is a formidable close range offensive weapon too.

Next, we move on to combination guns. Savage makes the model 42 combo gun. It has a .22 LR on top and a .410 on the bottom. Years ago, Stevens made the model 24. I have two of these. One of them is the model 24 C it is a .22 over and 20 gauge under. To make this one more diverse, I reamed the .22 LR out to a .22 Magnum. Stevens 24 series aren’t in production anymore, but if you get the chance to buy one, jump on it! Savage arms are not the most expensive but they are quite resilient. The model 42 is .22 LR and .410 calibers only.

With one round of .22LR and one Shot shell, you are pretty much ready for anything. You can get .410 ammo in slug to #12 bird shot. The ammo isn’t expensive either.

Let’s talk shotguns…again I am focusing on survival hunting. I want as many uses as I can get out of each gun that I own. One such gun is the Mossberg 500. It is a pump action shotgun.

This gun comes with two barrels. The one shown here has a rifled barrel for shooting slugs. The ribbed barrel is for shooting shot shells. As you can tell by the above photo, it has adjustments for the cheek riser. Since I am old and brittle now I use a .20 gauge so the recoil doesn’t break any bones.

Now it is time to talk about a handgun. Again, this is a survival line of thinking. I have what I think is probably the best survival handgun to have…the Taurus Judge!

This bad boy will shoot .45 Long Colt ammo or .410 ammo. I bought one box of 45 LC.

It costs between $35.00 and $45.00 a box. I save this ammo for just-in-case… For most of the time, I keep #4 buckshot in it. Since I live on a farm, I carry my judge with me when I am doing my farm work. I shoot poisonous snakes, ground hogs, field rats and coyotes with it. In the house, I have special ammo for intruders. I bought some cheap birdshot shells and opened them up and poured out the birdshot. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a container of coper coated BBs and filled the shells with those and resealed them. From my bedroom to the kitchen it will get everything from the floor to the celling. By carrying the judge, you could have slugs in your handgun, .22 rifle and .410 shot shell in your long gun on a hunting trip. In a survival situation, you would want to have the lowest noise making gun that you can. The report from a .410 is a lot less than a 12 gauge or a 45LC.

For those of you that live in Alabama that would like more information about firearms you can find me on the internet or come by my shop. You can call me at 256-945-7609 or email me at My website is

Thanks for reading...Gunsmoke Out


Bravo Echo Out

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Hey Jager, glad to see you are still awake. Keep in mind, he is doing multiple articles in a series so he may address just what you are stating. We will see. This is a great topic to discuss and debate. Man vs woman. Size of quarters. Size of the man or woman. Yadda yadda yadda.


Interesting article, however you have nothing in your article that would protect yourself from an assailant with a rifle. ARs have got cheap. I have seen them starting in the $350 range. Everyone needs one IMHO. Nothing you have mentioned in your article will protect you or your family from an intruder with a rifle. I like you choices for hunting survival but not for self defense. Jager out

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