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If you had to make do with a 3 firearm inventory....

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What would you choose, and why?

Your answer might vary, based on location, terrain, population, and training.

Perhaps you should include a .22 LR in the kit.  If so;  Pistol or Rifle? 

Ubiquity and versatility will also play a role.  .38/.357?  9mm?  .45 ACP?  10 mm?  .44 Magnum?

Shotgun is a likely choice –  but the ammunition is so bulky and heavy.

Perhaps a rifle.  Lever, bolt, or semi-auto?  If so, which caliber?  .223?  .308?  .30-30?  .30-06?

This is a brain teaser,  and Jeff and I will be discussing this very topic on The Gunslinger Hour, this coming Sunday morning, April 5, from 7:00-8:00 a.m., on 790 AM, KABC.  Feel free to call in with your thoughts or comments, at 1(800) 222-5222,  1 (800) KABC, or just listen in.

The show is also available as a podcast, posted the following Monday, on the KABC website.




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A bolt action 22lr - For small game, pests, and being lightweight and handy. Reliability

A 12ga double barrel shotgun - mooving targets of all kinds be they critter or varmint. Reliability

A bolt action 308 Win or 30-06 - For large game. Self protection. Each of ammo availability. Reliability


The above does not include the spear,  knives, bow and arrow and atlatl that I have hidden away!


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A fascinating and difficult question.


My choices:


A S&W K frame .38 or .357 for carry.  A Model 10, 15, 19, or 686 (yeah I know it’s an L frame!)  with 4” barrel. Reliability of a superb revolver, ammo universal.


A Ruger 10/22 .22LR with scope for stuff beyond 25 yards. Ammo and parts everywhere.


One of my 12 gauge BSS for shotgun appropriate targets. An indestructible tank of a birdgun.

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saw the title and thought " he's researching for sunday morning" ..............  I wuz rite:D


still get error code 16 and access denial ......... :(




Anybody want the job of sending the whole podcast to wallabyjack300557@gmail.com ?   .............................. please



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I've had a setup of 4 for a while, 32 Win Spl wrangler Lever, Mini 14, AR7 22lr & 1911, not sure which one I would eliminate.  All were chosen based on reliability ease of transport and easily available ammo.  This has always been what goes to the woods with us.  (Had to edit the Lever, got the cal wrong)

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So, I'm a little confused, but that is normal. Am I limited to a three firearm inventory because Mrs. Doc put her foot down and said "three guns is it?" Or, instead are we talking a SHTF sort of situation, and we're arbitrarily limiting the number to three?


Given the first situation and Mrs. Doc gave the ultimatum, so I was getting rid of all but three I own, I would choose:

Colt Lightweight Commander in 9mm. A 1911 that is small enough to carry concealed if I need to, ammunition readily available, with recoil Mrs. Doc and my daughters can readily handle at the range.

My Winchester 9422M in .22WMR. A great little all around gun, fun to shoot, and my first ever gun that I owned.

My Browning BT-99, My first trap gun, that also happened to be my father-in-law's first trap gun.

(I've often said if I were homeless and living in a car I would have the 9422M and the BT-99 with me.)

Now, If we're talking a SHTF situation, it would depend on the situation. Assuming we're not talking the zombie apocalypse, but more massive depression of some sort where we've gone "off-grid" and are trying to make the best of it:


A Remington 870 with a 26" field barrel in case I wanted to go bird hunting, a rifled barrel for deer, and a rifle sighted, cylinder bore short barrel for close quarters defense. To quote Gimli from The Lord of the Rings, "that still only counts as one!"

A .22LR Rifle for small game. Likely a Ruger 10/22.

A K-Frame Revolver in .357 Magnum, for carrying on the hip to keep various varmints at bay while out and about.

"Zombie Apocalypse" brings yet other choices:

An AR-15 in 5.56mm due to availability of ammo, magazines and parts.

Beretta M9/92FS for pretty much the same reasons.

Ruger 10/22 for a good multi-purpose gun that one can carry plenty of ammo for.



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My AK 47, well, cause it's an AK 47.

Ruger Wrangler

My Browning pump shotgun.


Ammo availability? I bring my own. If I need more I'm in deep shit.

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3 guns?



Cat  Brules

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Most days it's a smith and Wesson 8 shot 357 magnum with a sig 938 9mm backup, and a North American arms belt buckle 22lr as a backup to the backup.


You was just talking about if I had to limit myself to only carrying 3 wasn't you?

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I don't participate because its not reasonable.

And some would reinterpret my participation as

an endorsement that its a good idea.

and its not.




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1 hour ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Didn't we do this about six weeks ago???


Yeah, but I reached the last page of the Internet a few hours ago so let's do it again...


1. Colt 1911 for home defense, and just because.

2. Ruger LCP for discreet carry.

3. Ruger 10/22 for recreational shooting.

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From the guns I own now and supposing this is due to a breakdown in society


In my city environment, I would not be hunting. 

1. Glock 45 9mm

2. Ruger PC Carbine in 9mm

3. Smith & Wesson model 63 .22lr


If I were in a rural setting.

1. Never mind- see above. 


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I’m assuming this 3-gun limit is a gun control system based on a european owner card system.  Step one- start a baby factory to get more cards.  In the mean time..


10/22 Takedown- easy barrel changes: long, short, rate of twist, suppressed, smooth bore, archery.


Proof Research 30-06 Springfield, light, tough, accurate, strong enough to ethically take anything on the continent.


A long lived 9mm or 40S&W pistol.  Something like a Glock 19 or Springfield XDM that have been around a while creating plenty of available parts, magazines and holsters.  These popular pistols can be used as a concealed weapon or as a carbine with a Mech Tech or similar slide replacement.

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Circumstances dictate choices, why am I reduced to 3?


Circumstance 1.   The sky has fallen chicken Little is dead, fuel is impossible to get, the grocery has been raided movement not likely.

                                 Rifle: Remington 700 in 308.  ( pro; does everything from hunting to protection.  Con: Heavy, bulky, ammo takes up storage space )

                                 Pistol: Colt 1911 45acp or 10mm (Pro: does everything a pistol should do,  Con: heavy

                                 Shotgun: Benelli M4 ( pro: It works, its fast and handles well.  con: bulky, ammo takes up storage space)


Circumstance 2.  Same as above but movement likely.

                                 AR 15 platform 5.56mm. ( pro: lighter, ammo lighter, magazine fed.  Con:  decreased engagement distances hunting or protection.

                                 Colt 1911

                                 Semi-Auto in 22 LR with scope and suppressor.  ( pro: accurate quite, lots of shots per pound.  con: not as effective for hunting or protection.  

Circumstance 3.  The Government has outlawed the ownership of more than 3.

                                  Ruger m-77 in 25/06 ( because my wife gave it to me for our second anniversary)

                                  Colt 1911 in 45 acp ( because I like it)

                                   Browning Over/Under ( yep, my first birthday present from my new wife)




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.357 Lever action 73

Python .357 6" barrel

Mossberg 12 gauge

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It would depend on the circumstances!!


Handgun: Para P13/45.  Holds a lot of bad guy repellant, uses ammo that's common and plentiful, will work with larger compatible magazines, feeds and fires ANY .45acp ammunition.


Rifle: AK47.  Mine's a milled receiver model with top quality plastic furniture, accepts drum magazines and works with them, uses ammo that's common and plentiful, feeds any ammunition reliably.


Shotgun:  Mossberg 835 12ga.  Has ceramic cammo finish and plastic furniture, uses ANY 12ga. ammo from the mini shells to 3.5" magnum shells, feeds reliably, can hold up to a dozen mini shells for those times when you need lots of rounds.


These are the weapons I have, have modified to suit my needs, and have made them reliable and familiar to me.


In a case where it's all close quarters, I'd delete the shotgun and add another pistol. I have a P14/45 that's equipped just like my P13.  I have LOTS of magazines for these and the AK just holds more rounds than the Mossberg without a reload and magazine changes result in faster reloads as opposed to stuffing one shell at a time into the shotgun to reload it!!


In a best of all worlds situation, I'd likely substitute a reliable magazine fed semi-automatic shotgun, go to a fully automatic AK, and substitute an Ingraham .45acp machine pistol for the Paras!!

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I’m too old to hit the woods and fight zombies so here’s the ones I’d keep if the guvmint said three.


LH Carolina halfstock 50 cal.  .....I built it.

Stevens 94 .410 shotgun....my first gun

Ruger Single Six ca. 1967 ....first pistol


Cause I like them!


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For my bug-out bag:


suppressed ruger 10/22 - not sure why everyone says "for small game"  A headshot will drop a deer at 50 yards with no problems being suppressed means the heard dont run when the first one falls. 


X2 beretta 92fs - incase things get to close for comfort. The fastest reload is a second pistol. If 30 rounds doesnt get me out of a bind it should at least buy me enough time to swap 2 mags :lol:


Now given any weapon available on the planet:


Home defense: M249 saw. fires 5.56 which is readily available and capable of running belt fed or magazines. With proper placement you should be able to keep the hoards at bay for quite some time.  


AA 12 shotgun Just in case the masses breach the castle gates. 12 ga shells are easily acquired and readily available.  


M40-A5 outfitted with a S&B glass and  suppressor for putting food on the table while making sure there's no danger of someone/thing laying in wait. Granted I wont be taking many squirrel or rabbit with it but I dont think too many would complain about having venison steaks over squirrel pot pie. 








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OK, I'll take a stab at this.

Ruger.308 Scout Rifle (hit and keep things at a distance. Also magazine fed for ease of reload)

S&W 5906 (it's a tank and because I'm wearing one right now and it has 17 bangs with multiple reloads)

Ruger 10/22 takedown (lightweight, versitile and easily portable)


No shotgun because it will be my intention to keep activity at a distance. If not, refer to handgun selection.

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I figure a defense gun will be used in a home invasion situation.
#8 AA shotshells are not my idea of a defense round because of poor penetration and stopping power.
#00 or #1 is far more effective for this.
12-gauge slugs will bring down deer and hogs.

A stout handgun is useful in an out-and-about defense situation.
Except in CA of course...

22 rifle for small critters and pests.

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1.   IWI Desert Eagle in 9MM - self defense and allows access to the next two firearms.

2.  IWI Tavor in 5.56 - Property defense

3.  Springfield M1A in 7.62 - When there is a need to reach out and touch someone or something.


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I don't think make is quite as important as long as the firearms are high quality guns.  So here is my list.  Just put high quality in front of my answers:

1.  1911 in .45 ACP for self defense.  I just like the big bullet.

2.  Bolt action rifle in .308 or .30-06 with 4X12 scope for big game and to reach out when necessary.  Keeping ammo availability in mind.

3.  12 ga. Remington 870P with multiple barrels for small game and birds.  Pump, especially the P model is more dependable than semi-auto and with multiple barrels, very versatile.

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Rifle:  Ruger 10/22.  Cheap ammo, readily available.  Best aftermarket support.


Shotgun:  Mossberg 500  12 GA convertible (hunting and riot barrels).  All bases covered.


Pistol:  Glock 17.  Why would you want anything else?

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