Owning firearms takes money, which comes as no surprise to anyone here at MSS. So one important question is, when you’re building your collection, what are your must-haves and can’t-do-withouts?
Everyone’s list is different, but here’s one that makes a lot of sense to us for five guns every shooter should own:
.22 LR rifle and ammunition to feed it. What action and brand of rifle? Your pick. How much is enough rimfire ammo to have on hand? We think keeping a rolling stock of 5,000 rounds minimum is about right.
.22 LR handgun. A complement to #1, so it can be semi-auto or wheelgun.
Defensive concealable handgun. Most will prefer semi-autos, but wheelguns are fine. Need to keep on hand at least 500 to 1,000 rounds minimum — and extra mags or speed-loaders depending on your pick.
Semi-auto battle rifle. 5.56 chambering is a mainstay, of course, but 30-cals do more farther away. Again, money raises its ugly head when you’re counting round inventory, but we think 1k is the minimum to have on hand for this.
A 12-gauge shotgun. Pumps are famous for their reliability, and upkeep is minimal. Rounds to have on hand include at least 250 bird-suitable shotshells (#7’s), a similar amout of buckshot loads, and a similar amount of slugs.
If we were to expand the list one slot, we’d next include a bolt rifle chambered in the same cartridge as #4, which would suggest the semi-auto and bolt gun both be .308s. Another way to go would be to co-chamber #3 and #4 in a handgun round, such as the 45 ACP. A handgun-cartridge-chambered carbine has a lot going for it, but you would have to accept reduced range.
What’s your lineup of five must-have firearms? Let us hear about it in the comments section below.
69 thoughts on “Five Guns Every Shooter Should Own”
Very good choices 870, 10/22, Ruger .22 mag bolt, .22 mag Taurus, Colt officers.45 for carry, FNX .45 & 9mm with a S&W shield 9mm for back up last but not least S&W Sport 15 in .223 with a 300 BLK barrel just for kicks. Lee 4 hole turret reloader w/ dies and enough cases, powder and bullets to keep the reloader busy.
My list would be somewhat different.
45 ACP or 40 S&W
12 ga. pump
300 Win Mag
After that you could consider other guns to plink with.
Marlin Mountie .22LR w/scope
Browning Buckmark Target .22LR w/Red Dot
Colt Gold Cup Commander .45ACP
Bushmaster XM15-E2S Carbine 5.56X45 NATO w/scope
Winchester 1897 Pump 12 Gauge
These 5 guns have served me well, some for over 55 years.
There is little context to this list. It’s like trying to put together a list of the top 5 tools to make sure every carpenter has. A weapon is a tool. Each has its usefulness. Is the shotgun for hunting or self defense? Pumps are reliable but their capacity is small (except the KSG 12, the DP12 and the UTS-15). Long barrels are more of a liability than help in urban defense. And for close range defense go with a bigger caliber. A 9mm CCW like the LC9 is good, another thought is a .45 Auto for in the car. Range isn’t the issue. It’s stopping power. Even with a vest, a 45 will stun an attacker long enough for you to get to safety.
More than the weapon, its the familiarity and capability of the shooter that counts. Just having a gun does not make one safe. Knowing how to use them in different situations (i.e. TRAIN with the weapons) that makes them useful. Practice, Practice, Practice!!
Change #3 to a 22 wmr , like a Pmr-30.
too expensive to shoot, ammo is hard to find and carry ( twice as many .22s to .22WMR. and why? what gain would you get?
you wont find any 22 mag on any needed gun list when you need to survive.
If you are comfortable with the Pmr-30 I guess it would work in some cases. But a good 40 cal or 45 acp has a lot more stopping power.
Ruger 10-22 with at least 4 25 rd clips: I don’t see what a 22LR pistol will do for you, jump to a PMR30 if you can afford Hornady ammo, 4-5 clips of 30 and you’re a one man close encounter army: M&P Shield in 9mm or 40 for CC: Battle rifle, simple AK47 with open sights or a POSP scope.. doubles as a home defense weapon, ammo is dirt cheap, and the 154 gr SP round is almost as good as a shotgun slug, you can fire 3-4 of them instead of yanking on the 12 ga for a follow-up slug: Mossberg 500A with ample supply of 6s and 4s….forget the slugs.
How soon does anyone believe We the People will need to complete this list?
You’re all missing the boat.My most valuable is a Russian SKS.They always, I repeat ,always fire.Throw ’em in the mud ,or the lake and they always shoot !As for their accuacy(sp) , their good up to 250 meters .And ammo, their 762×49, a high power round. And guess what ? It can be purchased anywhere , I repeat anywhere on this planet!And price, in the 400.00 range .
Boy I think I need to get me one them high powered SKS’s in 7.62 X 49. Not sure about brass though….. $400.00 is kinda high for an SKS. There like $150-250 around here but there only the regular power in7.62 X39.