When I say the word apocalypse, many people immediately think of the zombie or mutant infested wasteland full of grizzled survivors and danger around every corner. Of those people that picture the end of the world like a survivalists playground, just about all of them picture themselves as one of those survivors taking on what remains of the world with nothing but an AR-15 with the best red dot scope, a backpack and maybe a loyal dog. Unfortunately, the odds of things coming to an end like that are slim to none, and most that picture themselves surviving in that environment will probably get unlucky in their first week and die. Nothing wrong with preparing just in case! Assuming you don’t want to take your chances with an old 9-iron from your garage, you’ll want some serious firepower on your side. Here are five guns to have in your arsenal that are reliable enough that the only thing you need to worry about is lugging around the ammo.
Let’s start with the sidearm. Your most loyal companion besides the dog I mentioned earlier. This is the gun you will use to defend yourself in all kinds of situations. The main two types of sidearms are revolvers and semi-automatic pistols, and for the apocalypse situation I will have to endorse the revolver. The revolver is a simple design, and that is precisely why it’s more reliable than the semi-automatic. Less parts means less can go wrong and easier fixes. Not to mention they are almost impossible to jam, which is useful when you’re trying to stop a charging bear or a group of zombies in the back of the grocery store you were looting.
Remington Model 700
The next issue you need to tackle is a sustainable food source. There may actually be other more important issues, but we are discussing what can be solved with a gun. In this case, a solid hunting rifle is what you’ll want. The Remington Model 700 is a great choice for those nights where you can’t stand another can of beans for dinner. It’s a jack-of-all trades for rifles, with the accuracy and stopping power to take down most prey from a good distance. On top of that, the wide variety of ammo that it can use makes it perfect for a desperate scavenger in the apocalypse. When you’re not using it, be sure to store it in a long gun safe.
Now to combine the joys of hunting with the security of self-defense. Whether it’s taking down small game or blasting your way through an undead horde, what better weapon to use than a shotgun. When it comes to reliability, the semi-auto isn’t even a contender compared to the pump. The pumps are simpler, take more kinds of ammo, and make the user look far cooler when it’s in use. The Remington 870 is perfect for either situation, although the length of the barrel dictates which it’s better at. The shorter the barrel, the better it is for self-defense due to the convenience of being able to use it effectively indoors.
Chances are the biggest threat you’ll face is not the wildlife or the undead. It will be your fellow man. No matter how charming or friendly you are, the apocalypse will bring out the worst in people. An assault rifle is the perfect choice if you do have to wage war against some fellow survivors, and what better choice than the AK-103. More modern than the famous AK-47, this assault rifle is in fact, not the most accurate. However, this gun will hold up to the worst conditions and continue working despite all odds. After a dramatic fistfight in the mud under the pouring rain, you don’t want to worry about what will happen when you pull the trigger on your opponent’s backup.
Now for the gun that will make you seem like a one-man army. You can either mow down hordes of enemies coming for your survival base, or take the fight to their home turf. It’s time to bust out the machine gun. The M240 is a very heavy gun, making it best to use only when you think it’s necessary. That seems to be the only downside, as it’s reputation for being absurdly reliable makes it perfect for any environment. You will use this gun far less than the others, but I can promise that when you do you will not be ignored.
Just to clarify, this list is not the absolute best of each gun type. This list is the best gun of each type in being able to work when you need it to. These will only fail in the most extreme of circumstances, and I’d say that the apocalypse is where you want this kind of reliability. You likely won’t even need to prepare for this version of the end of times, but it’s always better to be prepared. The chances that you’ll survive long enough to get use out of all of these are pretty low, but it’s still much higher than if you didn’t have these weapons. Just make sure you keep your canine companion safe while you’re at it.
Richard Douglas writes on firearms, defense and security issues. He is the founder and editor of Scopes Field, and a columnist at The National Interest, 1945, Daily Caller and other publications.