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Survival Guns-Got Food?


Need Food? Nothing Beats a .22 Rimfire
Why? While you might stumble into a herd of elk after being stranded in the wild, you’re more likely to encounter squirrels, birds and other small game, for which a .22 is ideal. Also, the ammo doesn’t weigh (or cost) much, so you can carry an ample supply. Lastly, anyone can handle a .22. The same can’t be said for a .300 Win. Mag.

Which? Pretty much any .22 can serve as an effective survival gun, but we happen to like the Marlin Golden 39A (above). It is a lever-action rifle that will feed shorts(26), longs(21) or LR(19) cartridges through its tubular magazine without a fuss, unlike some semi-autos, which can be picky about their diet. The take-down screw on the side of the receiver breaks the rifle apart for easy transport. The frame is tapped for mounting a scope, but the buckhorn iron sights that come with the rifle work well too. ($645; marlinfirearms.com)

How? Should you need to use a .22 to take down a larger animal, such as a deer or elk, aim for the base of the skull right below the ear. With a standard 40-grain lead bullet traveling at 1,100 fps, the animal will drop as if it had been hit by a locomotive if your aim is true.