Every Survivalist Should Know These 5 Compact Survival Rifles


If you could choose just one rifle to take with you into a survival scenario, which one would it be? Chances are, you’d have a hard time deciding.

There are several variables to keep in mind when picking a rifle for survival, and chief among them are weight, size, and ease of use.

So what does that mean? Which rifles could you trust your life with?


Off the Grid News explains with their insightful post on the five best light, small, and easy-to-fire survival rifles:

1. The Browning Grade 1 Semi-Auto .22 Rifle. This rifle is the highest quality and most expensive of the five rifles listed here. It’s an excellent choice for a hunting and plinking rifle and has a very attractive appearance with high-grade, walnut fore and buttstocks. Also, both the forestock and barrel are detachable, and it holds 11 rounds in a tubular magazine that is loaded through a port in the buttstock. It measures 37 inches when assembled and 19.25 inches when taken down, and it weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The current manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $699.99.

2. The Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite Takedown Version Rifle. The take-down version of the Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite is an inexpensive alternative to the Browning Semi-Auto 22 LR. It, too, features walnut fore and buttstocks and is has an attractive appearance. However, it differs from the Browning rifle in that it is a single-shot rifle with a lever action that retracts a falling breech block instead of a semi-automatic action. It measures 36.75 inches when assembled, has a 21-inch barrel, and weighs 4.25 pounds. This rifle is currently out of production, but it can still be found on the pre-owned gun market at sites such as Gunbroker.com.

3. The Marlin “Papoose” Model 70PSS Rifle. Unlike the two rifles listed above, the Marlin Papoose is a no-frills, purpose-built survival rifle. It has a stainless steel receiver and a removable, 16.25-inch stainless steel barrel combined with a black, fiberglass-filled buttstock and no forestock. It has a detachable, seven-round magazine, measures 35.25 inches when assembled, and weighs 3.25 pounds. The current MSRP is $328.82.

4. The Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 Rifle.
This is also a no-frills survival rifle that has been the exclusive choice of the US Air Force since its introduction. It is available with your choice of a camouflage finish or a black, Teflon-coated finish. It features a semi-automatic action and two detachable, eight-round magazines, combined with a 16-inch barrel and a hollow, ABS plastic, buttstock. The buttstock is designed so that the barrel, the receiver, and both magazines can be stored inside it. It weighs 3.5 pounds and measures a mere 16.5 inches when disassembled. Plus, when the buttstock is sealed with the receiver, barrel and magazines inside, the whole affair floats. The current MSRP for the black version is $290, and the camouflage version retails for $350.

5. The Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair Rifle/Shotgun. This is a unique survival rifle that is available in both blue and matte nickel models. It is available in several different caliber/gauge configurations, but for survival purposes the .22 LR/.410 shotgun combination is the best choice since the shotgun barrel will fire both shot shells and .41 caliber lead slugs. Although no length specifications are listed on the Rossi website, it does say that this particular combination weighs 3.75 pounds. The current MSRP is $263.21.

Do you have a rifle you’d add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments!



  1. I have a Chiappa Lil’ Badger. It is a single shot .22 lr that breaks open to the point that it can be placed into a carry pouch (included). It is made in Italy and is very accurate and easy to carry. Cost me $195.99 and worth every cent.

  2. For me the top pick for .22 caliber would be the Ruger 10-22. No question about it. I have amassed an amazing collection of spring piston and gas piston air rifles and pistols over the years and I think those are an important part of any survival consideration. The accuracy of the better ones is every bit as good as the finest powder burners, and so much quieter. The ammunition is much cheaper and in good supply.

    • Te game you can take with an air gun is VERY limited. BTW, the Ruger has been made in many calibers from .44 mag. down. So a .22 is at the low end for s survival cal..

    • Absolutely right, the Ruger 10-22 is probably the best of modern rifles, especially if you purchase it in the “take-down” version. I’ve carried and used Ruger 10-22’s for the past 25+ years and never had a failure to feed or failure to fire. These weapons are accurate, right out of the box. Put a scope or a red-dot sight on them, or even a laser and you have an excellent shooter. Additionally, purchase extra clips and you have a ready re-supply of ammo, up to and including 50 shot clips.
      The AR-7 is also on my list of favorite rifles. I’ve never really owned one, but have shot several and while not as accurate as a 10-22, aren’t bad considering they are a task specific, “survival rifle”

  3. For 22LR I choose the Winchester model 63 semi auto. Grew up with this old timer and it is extremely reliable. 11rounds loaded in the butt stock tube.

  4. I would like the Rossi, but in .22WRM or .30 M-1 Carbine and 20 ga shotgun. A limited number of cartridges/shells stored in the stock. I would personally prefer the .30 Carbine rifle upper bbl as you can take game up to deer size without excessive tissue damage. The 20 ga. as the pattern thrown by the .410 is too strung out and thin to be effective at 30 to 40 yards excpt by the very best wing shots, not the average guy trying to survive under very difficult conditions.

  5. Rossi , but in .30 Carbine rifle bbl and 20 Ga shotgun bbl. Rifle can take larger game, like a white tail, and the 20 Ga. pattern is not a strung out thin .410 pattern requiring an expert wing shot to regularly take birds on the wing A few cartridges and shell need to be stored in the stock as well.

  6. The Ruger 10/22 takedown, very accurate, and comes with a carrying case, also takes 25 round magazines.

  7. I stated shooting squirrels when my Grandfather gave me his old savage 22. Since then I have been a shooter in all respects. I shot on the Navy rifle team and made Distinguished at Cam Perry in 1959. I was the marksmanship instructor for the 13th Naval District before retiring. If the floozies come to my door to take my guns, they won’t get them, but they can have a couple rounds of ammo. Just kidding…

  8. I have a lil Badger in 17 HMR, short barrel,very accurate, 17 HMR will stop small to mid size game. Great rifle. Wish I could find one in semi automatic.

  9. M6 Scout, Springfield Armory. Patterned off of the USAF survival firearm issued to the B-47 and B-52 pilots of the 50’s and phased out in the 60’s

  10. A Savage Model 24C would also be a good choice. The one I had as a kid was a .22 over 20 gauge. It disassembles in seconds into stock and barrel Savage also offered other caliber/gauge combinations, but with a slightly longer barrel.

  11. I’ve carried the same Ruger 10/22 for 50 years (bought used). It has never failed. Have 4 rotary clips. Thinking about one of the takedowns. Have the Rossi .410/22 combo, which is most unimpressive. The 22 is quite inaccurate and the grouping for SuperX slugs with the 410 at 30 yards is about 1 foot. I do NOT recommend it for anything.

  12. The Savage 29 (out of production) single shot rifle 30-30 barrel and a separate 20ga shotgun barrel. Whats especially nice is that it doesn’t have an exposed hammer only a
    shotgun style safety. Also was made with a .22 Hornet barrel.

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