Top 7 Survival Rifles for Beginners

Editor's "M4"gery AR-15

When it comes to survival situations, skills and a little bit of experience should give you an advantage. But, what if you are a beginner who lacks these things? What tools should you prepare to survive the unexpected situations that you might encounter?

A reliable survival rifle should be helpful. However, picking the best survival rifle can be tricky, especially because there are a lot of options to choose from. Luckily, this article will help you narrow down your options and discuss the top 7 survival rifles for beginners.

1. The Scoped Ruger 10/22 Takedown

For beginners in an actual survival situation, it would be best to live off land and hunt smaller animals such as rabbits, possums, squirrels, and other varmints. Thus, you will need an excellent rifle that can fire a respectable caliber. An ideal rifle for hunting small game is the Scoped Ruger 10/22 Takedown.

The Scoped Ruger 10/22 Takedown has a durable and lightweight design, which makes it worth the investment. This type of rifle has been in production for decades but that did not stop it from producing newer more innovative versions. The Takedown versions can be easily disassembled, allowing you to conveniently store it in your survival backpack and reassemble again when you need it.

Moreover, the Scoped Ruger 10/22 Takedown was designed to be a rugged, easy to clean, and maintain rifle. This is one of the primary reasons why it is ideal for hunting small animals that hide in trees or thick underbrush. Small, light, and durable the 10/22 will last the workload.

2. Remington 700

If you are a beginner who wants to survive in the wild by hunting large animals like deer, then choosing carlibers suited for the task is a necessity. Look for a rifle that can shoot accurately over long distances. When we talk about on-point long distance accuracy, there are few options than the Remington 700?

The Remington 700 is an iconic, center-fire rifle that has been a consistent weapon hunters have relied upon for decades. The Remington 700 is chambered in a variety of calibers in varying power factors, certain calibers giving it an effective range of beyond 1,000 yards.

3. AR-15

Personal defense is an essential survival task. Having a rifle that can do both is also essential.

While the Remington 700 and 10/22 offer excellence in basic hunter setups they both have their limitations

In this case, what you need is the AR-15, which is an accurate and lightweight semi-automatic rifle that can protect you from any nearly any type of likely threat. AR-15’s are widely made, largely affordable, highly controllable, and well supported firearm in the US. It works well as a beginners rifle too.

Aside from being a lightweight rifle, the AR-15 has low recoil, ergonomic controls, and adjustable length of pull on the stock to fit a variety of body profiles. So, whether you are wearing body armor or backpack strap, you can size the rifle without struggling. Besides, the rifle’s manual of arms can be easily learned and is widely available for review online.

4. AK-47

An alternative to the AR-15, the AK-47 (AKM Pattern rifles) are another excellent option.

In the past, they have offered an even more affordable option when compared to AR’s for both the rifle and the ammunition. That has leveled out somewhat today but still holds some merit.

The downside, which has also leveled out in recent years, was the accessory market was generally more limited and of more dubious quality. In 2020 though, AK prices have come up, but so have the quality offerings in available AKs.

5. Mossberg 500 (Yes, this one isn’t a rifle)

For close in and limited space situations, sometimes there is nothing quiet like the shoulder claymore, more commonly known as the shotgun. It can hunt, it can fight, and in it’s pump action variations it is simple, inexpensive, and dependable.

For beginners, one of the popular ones you can choose is the Mossberg 500. With a reputation like unto the Remington 700 (and 870) the Mossberg 500 has barrel options, light options, optical options, and more all for a very affordable total and in 12 and 20 gauge.

With a midlength rifled barrel the Mossberg 500 will have a range better than 150 yards shooting a slug and those barrels usually accommodate scopes quiet nicely.

6. Ruger Mini 14

While the AR and AK are the star of the modern survival mythos, they aren’t doing much that a rifle in their caliber and with their magazine capacity cannot also do. The Ruger Mini 14 (and 30) is a venerable rifle with a reputation as simple ranch hand type work horse. They even have ‘Ranch’ models.

You can still put an optic on it and run larger capacity magazines while not worrying about grips, PEQs, MAWLs, DBALS, Binary, Trinary, thermals and the like if you don’t want to. It’s a simple solution that you can make work well.

7. Browning BLR Lightweight ’81

The Browning BLR Lightweight ‘81 rifle is simple lever action with an additional feature. This rifle can accommodate a variety of hard hitting calibers that is perfect for big game hunting survival type situations. The added feature that we don’t find on most lever guns is a detachable magazine.

The detachable box magazine is the marvel of reloading technology and allows a much quicker replacement of expended ammunition compared to tubular or other internal magazines. It also avoids any pesky semi-auto restrictions in locales where that might be a problem.


It is evident that different types of rifles cater to different purposes and situations. Each survival rifle (and shotgun) mentioned above performs best for specific tasks, so choosing one is certainly tricky since it could be your lifesaver. But, when making a selection, remember to pick a rifle that is durable and reliable.

Additionally, picking a night vision rifle scope might also come in handy. At the end of the day, choosing a survival rifle that is packed with many features for hunting and self-defense is a huge factor that can help guarantee your survival.


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