• Shop Brownells.com Today!
  • Shop CombatOptical.com Today!
  • Whatever you hunt, HuntSmart.com

Weapons And Stuff

The Ultimate Bug Out Gun? | SHTF Bug Out Weapon

Created on Monday, 07 May 2012 Written by Lloyd Tackitt

Download the pdf


Are You Really Ready?

You have a bug out bag. It contains everything you think you will need to survive to get to your bug out location, including items for long term survival for after you reach your BOL. But, does it contain the ultimate bug out gun?

A pistol is compact, but designed for close up self defense work. Not much use for long range shots, not very good for hunting. Certainly a good item to have along but not the ultimate. A shotgun is excellent for self defense and for hunting, but are big and bulky and who wants to put their shotgun in what is more or less long term storage? The shells are bulky to carry also.

The Refugee’s Ultimate Survival Weapon

There probably is no one single ultimate undisputed king of the hills everyone wants to have it bug out gun - not given the peculiar nature of us gun lovers. So... What do I consider my ultimate bug out gun? The AR-7. A compact, light weight, .22 semi-automatic clip fed rifle. The key feature that makes it valuable enough to take up space in my already too full bug out bag is that it disassembles into four components that store within the plastic butt-stock. It is extremely compact and light. If fires the .22 long rifle and is effective to 100 yards on a man size target.


Genius In Design

The AR-7 was designed in 1958 by Eugene Stoner, the man who brought us the M-16. AR-7's were originally designed as Pilot and Aircrew survival weapons. This is a rifle that was invented by a gun inventing genius - just for the bug out bag. Weight is 2.5 pounds. Dissassembled and stored in the (allegedly floats in water but I haven't tried that myself) stock it is 16 inches long. It has a peep aperture rear sight (my personal favorite) and windage adjustable front blade sight. The average shooter can hit small game at 50 yards with it. With practice of course.

The bolt and dual recoil springs are heavy compared to most .22 semi-automatics. It will function much better with high velocity long rifle bullets. The higher the velocity the better. That's exactly what I want, I use CCI mini-mag hollow-points. The patent rights have been sold several times. From Armalite to Charter Arms to Survival Arms to Henry to AR-7 Industries. My version is Charter Arms. This version has a reputation for jamming. I haven't had that problem with mine.

Simple Fixes

But, the solution if you get one that does jam is to lightly chamfer the receiver opening so that the feeding bullet doesn't catch. Use a .30 caliber FMJ bullet dipped in lapping compound, insert and twist back and forth. Check often by test firing, chamfering too much will make it worse. The original Armalite and the later Henry (aka Survival Arms) don't appear to have this reputation. Most of the jamming problems though can be taken care of by two simple measures - keep the internal moving parts clean and lubricated and use high velocity .22 rounds.

Escaping Enemy Territory

The original Armalite version, and a modified Israeli version are collectable items now, but the later variants are not and run from $175 to $250. This is not a rifle for long term heavy usage. It wasn't intended to be. It's designed to be light weight, compact, and functional for survival needs. It isn't the ideal all around weapon, there isn't such a critter, it is designed specifically for bugging out - although it was intended for downed air-crews to bug out of enemy territory. Come to think of it, other than being shot out of the sky, that's just what I intend mine to be used for.

Small Gun Big Game


This is a rifle you clean, test fire, maybe adjust a little, test fire and then store in the BOB and forget about until it's needed. You can hunt small game with it, and if you are a decent hunter you can certainly bring down deer with it. Shot placement is crucial for large game, but it can and has frequently been done. When I was stationed in upper Alaska the native indians there hunted moose with .22 rifles - successfully.

For defense it is obviously a light round, but it will still punch holes in a man. With high-velocity hollow points it definitely isn't something you want to be hit with. For defense, I have a whole nother strategy - a subject for a different article. For bugging out, I have my AR-7 in my bag right now, and it gives me a solid feeling to have it there.

Lloyd Tackitt


Lloyd's fishing blog: www.fishexplorer.com/tx

Lloyd's short stories at: www.lloydtackitt.com

Lloyd's Facebook at: Author Lloyd Tackitt


Be sure to check out Lloyd's new book "A Distant Eden"

Purchase "A Distant Eden"

Joomla theme by hostgator coupons