My Disaster Gun
If you had to choose one gun—and only one gun—to get you through a disaster (be it traditional or zombie-related), what would it be? If you could have one firearm (that’s realistically available) to protect yourself, your family and your assets, what would it be and why? Here are 10 choices made by some of the editors and contributors in NRA Publications. What would you choose? Let us know.
As a hedge against perilous times, such as the aftermath of a natural disaster when civil disorder can become the rule of the day, the prepared law-abiding citizen should seriously consider acquiring a semi-automatic rifle that is reliable, is chambered for a commonly encountered cartridge and that features a folding stock and provision for a bayonet. A semi-auto is to be preferred for sheer firepower in the event of multiple adversaries, and a rifle is to be preferred over a shotgun or pistol for the advantage it provides in range. Reliability is the single greatest attribute of any survival arm, and a common chambering will ensure that the gun will be in the fight for the duration of even a protracted disaster. As to the folding stock, the gun is likely to have to be carried during all manner of activities during which both hands may need to be free. Suspending it, folded, in front of the body from a two-point sling or, alternatively, across the back, keeps it reasonably ready and out of the way. Finally, a mounted bayonet might provide a measure of intimidation that could dissuade ne’er-do-wells from escalating a confrontation into a gunfight.
One example that meets the criteria, but is drifting more toward the collectible category every day due to its relative rarity and price, is the Ruger Mini-14/20GB-F. It was sold through law enforcement channels to police, prisons and others in the past and can sometimes be found secondhand at larger gun stores and through firearm auction sites. The Ruger is fundamentally a standard Mini-14, known to run well even if dirty and to digest less than perfect ammunition, but it offers the additional features of a right-side-folding metal buttstock that is quite rigid when extended and includes a bayonet lug and flash suppressor that accommodate current standard U.S.G.I. bayonets. The Ruger also has nearly fully ambidextrous controls, and its stout steel factory 20- and 30-round steel magazines, once restricted to law enforcement sales, are now reasonably priced and widely available. No gun is the perfect solution to every situation, but the Ruger Mini-14/20GB-F is more than capable of seeing the average armed citizen through the toughest social upheavals.