When it comes to survival weapons there are many choices. I'd think having a wide variety of calibers, with one being your primary for which you have significant ammo for, and others as backups would be ideal. My primary handgun is a 9mm Glock, but I have others including black powder if things get REALLY spartan. One caliber of weapon often overlooked is the venerable .22. I recently bought an inexpensive single action revolver from Heritage Manufacturing in .22 LR and .22 WMR. The two cylinders are interchangeable, and the weapon comes with both if bought in a combo for around $250.00 out the door. One reason for a .22 is that you can carry a heinous amount of ammo without burdening yourself, ammo is ridiculously cheap, and it is effective at anything from small game taking to medium game if shot placement is perfect. The .22 WMR can even be used for self defense in a pinch, the 40 grain jacketed hollow-points having as much energy as a 9mm 115 grain hollow-point.
Would the .22 Mag be my first choice for self defense....no. Will it do the job....certainly. It has better stopping power than a .380, which many use for self defense. Accurate shot placement is paramount when using marginally effective calibers, but the .22 is low recoil, and very accurate. The weapon I just purchased has a 3.75 inch barrel and the bird's head grip. I confess I always wanted a “gambler's gun” style single action and the price was too attractive to pass up....but the weapon has excellent utility as a “backpacking gun” since it's compact enough to pack away and take with (along with a significant amount of ammunition) without much burden. I tried fishing with a backpacking rig I purchased from sportsmansguide and found that well, not to put too fine a point on it.......I can't count on fishing netting anything in the way of edibles to sustain me. I can, however, shoot small game, even with a short barreled pistol, well enough to feed myself without any difficulty.
Another consideration is that most common .223 platforms have “conversion kits” that allow the use of .22 LR in them. I can purchase a conversion kit for my AR-15 for around $200.00 and install it as quickly as field stripping my AR. The AK-47's also have a conversion kit available if they are chambered in .223. This has the effect of dual purposing your primary weapon, which makes it doubly useful, especially in a situation where you may not be able to pack several weapons with you such as a Bug Out situation. A .22 makes much less noise and out of a rifle barrel the “CB” .22 shorts make almost NO noise at all, still being lethal out to 50+ yards on small animals and quite accurate, if not hitting the same point of aim as .22 LR. Stealth Bullets!
Now being an old west style handgun with a shorter barrel, mine is not the best target pistol, but it's quite adequate. Other more suitable barrel lengths and sight options are available, and I do recommend the Heritage Arms revolvers. They are not any less robust than any other aluminum alloy framed firearm, and the price is significantly lower than any other options. They are also available in a steel framed version, but I didn't want to order it and wait for it to come in so I decided I could live with the aluminum frame as well as the aluminum frame's price. The ability to use a .22 WMR or .22 magnum cylinder and ammunition makes it effective at shooting and killing game up to the size of medium sized dogs or coyotes, and with extremely good luck and shot placement a even taking deer. Of course you'd have to hit a deer in the head to drop them with a small caliber weapon, but I can hit a target that size at 50 yards almost for certain and at 100 with a reasonable chance of success with my short barreled revolver. One with a longer barrel and target sights would certainly do the same job better and costs about the same. So dust off the old .22 and put it through it's paces.
I just picked up a used Ceiner .22 conversion for my Colt 199A1 for $125 and am looking at getting .22 conversion for my AR. I have to agree with your review of the Heritage Arms .22/WMR combo revolvers. My brother had one and we were hitting golf ball sized groups out to 50yds with boring regularity in the kneeling position. I have taken all kinds of game up too deer-size with the lowly .22 and always enjoy taking my old Mossberg .22 out and plinking with it.
The AR-7 does the job it is intended too do, survival. I would like to own one in the near future as a good backpacking and travaling gun in the truck. The gun conceals real go, as everthing goes into the stock.
Since presumably were already alive, how is "survival" different than what were doing already?
...As he slowly stirs the pot...
I'm not going to delete this post, but I don't want to see any more pot stirring like this in here again. This is a classic definition of a trolling post, nobody's biting. Give it up or I'll dust off the ban hammer.
22cal ammo will make good barter and I have the Ruger 10/22 as being about the best 22 semi-auto ever made.
But it doesn't break down.
From a backpack to urban unrest viewpoint I could suggest the Kel-Tec Sub2000 in 9mm or 40S&W. Its boiler plate,
folds in half and is completely safe with a full mag inserted. Mine takes hi-cap Glock mags. The 9 or 40 cals are still
useful for hunting over short distances but have an added advantage of being able to quickly neutralize any 2 legged
threats - something the 22LR round dont do - in a hurry anyway...