Best Rifles For Hunting, Self Defense, Survival & Doomsday When SHTF

Best Rifles For Hunting, Self Defense, Survival & Doomsday When SHTF

Best Rifles For Hunting, Defense, & Long Term Survival

For hunting and combat at a distance, a rifle is the best choice for a firearm, hands down due to better accuracy and power at long range. is reader-supported. When you buy via the links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

There are many different really good choices in rifles that are suited for an end of the world SHTF scenario. Keep reading to see pictures, watch videos, and learn more about all of these outstanding and unique rifles that are perfect for Doomsday.

Why you might need one or more rifles on hand for Doomsday

If society were to collapse due to an EMP, economic collapse, virus pandemic, food shortages, super volcano, or some other cause, the world and your neighborhood are going to turn chaotic and very dangerous within a very short time as the unprepared quickly run out of food and water.

Preppers are aware of this and understand the need to defend their family, homes, land and resources, and also the need to be able to hunt to survive.

The best hunting and self defense firearm at long range is the rifle and there are many great choices that will appeal to a prepper and gun enthusiast that are suited for long term survival.

Having a variety of different rifles on hand for hunting and self defense is not a bad idea as long as you properly secure, store, and train with all of your firearms.

Some of the rifles below can be found new at outdoor retail stores such as Palmetto State Armory, GritrSports, the Sportsman's Guide, Bass Pro Shops & Cabela's. Others might be found used or new in gun shows, at brick & mortar or online gun shops.

Our Top Picks for the Best Rifles for Doomsday Preppers when SHTF

The following are our top picks for rifles that preppers may want to have and train with before a possible Doomsday scenario and long term survival situation might occur.

1. Ruger 22 Charger Model 4938 - Ultimate Custom Build

The Ruger 22 Charger - Ultimate Custom Build

The Ruger 22 Charger - Ultimate Custom Build is a great doomsday survival rifle with performance resembling a small, lightweight, very accurate, foldable fully automatic rifle.


  • Hands down, if you can afford it, this custom build Ruger 22 Charger would likely be your favorite gun to shoot and practice with all of the time. Watch the YouTube video below and see for yourself.

  • It would make a nice small game hunting rifle, is super light with negligible recoil for smaller shooters, plus it folds down compact enough for easy concealment.

  • For small game hunting, you can carry a lot more .22LR ammo with you than larger calibers, plus you can afford a lot more ammo to practice with and keep in your stockpile.

  • Granted a .22LR doesn't have great knockdown power, if you had a half dozen loaded magazines, it would be very effective raining bullets against oncoming zombie attackers.

  • The Ruger 22 Charger is basically a .22LR pistol version of the popular Ruger 10/22 rifles. This custom build in effect converts it into a small tactical rifle even though technically it is still a pistol.

  • The Ruger 22 Charger comes in several different versions. If you get the Model 4938, you can build the ultimate custom build that has performance resembling a small, lightweight, very accurate, foldable fully automatic rifle that is extremely fun to shoot.


    • When you're going all out, the main downside of a custom build is higher cost plus you have to source the parts from multiple sources, and many are on back order in the current environment. Many of the suppliers will notify you when they are back in stock.

    • This custom build is not difficult from an assembly standpoint. The hard part is waiting on just about every part to ship from back order, but that seems to be the standard today for all firearms with current excessive demand and shortages.

  • MSRP - $2000.00, minimum If you purchased every upgrade in the YouTube video plus a half dozen magazines and plenty of ammo. However, you do not have to purchase every upgrade. The 22 Charger gun itself is approx. $350.

Check Current Prices & Availability: Ruger 22 Charger - Ultimate Custom Build

Watch the YouTube video below

See exactly what this particular amazing custom build looks like, how it performs, and how much fun it is. Watch how jaw dropping fast it shoots in binary mode, and how it nails a small metal target at 100 yards using the fast target acquiring Crimson Trace (CT) CTS 1400 Red Dot.

The Ruger 22 Charger - Ultimate Custom Build Is A Game Changer In Fast Shooting Fun

2. Kel-Tec SUB-2000 Carbine Rifle (.9mm Luger or 40 cal. S&W)

Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 9mm

Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 9mm semi automatic folding rifle can easily be disassembled for cleaning or inspection without tools.

Kel-Tec SUB-2000 Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

  • By rotating the barrel upwards and back, the SUB-2000 rifle can instantly be reduced to a size of 16.25 x 7 inches for ease of storage. It will stow away easily in a backpack.

  • The SUB-2000 is a semi-automatic rifle chambered for the 9mm Luger or the .40 cal. S&W cartridge.

  • Different versions of the SUB-2000 rifle will accept most double column handgun magazines (see list below).

    • The 9mm SUB-2000 can be configured in the following magazine types: GLK17, GLK19, S&W59, BERETTA92, SIG226.

    • The .40 SUB-2000 can be configured in the following magazine types: GLK22, GLK23, BERETTA96, S&W4006, SIG226.

    • SUB-2000 will be configured in the Smith and Wesson M&P in the near future.

More Kel-Tec SUB-2000 Features (click to expand)

  • The polymer of the weapon is made of an impact modified glass reinforced Zytel.

  • Two integrated Picatinny rails come standard on the SUB-2000 forend for mounting compatible accessories.

  • The forend also includes five mounting slots per side, configured for various M-LOK accessories.

  • The stock can be adjusted to three different positions for shooter's comfort. Each position adds approximately 5/8 of an inch to the overall length of the weapon, with a total extension of 1.25 inches in the further rearward position.

  • The stock includes a single point sling loop attachment, a slot for adding a nylon sling loop (1.25" wide is ideal), and a Picatinny rail on the bottom for adding small accessories.

  • The SUB-2000 features a push-bolt safety located behind the trigger on the grip assembly. The bolt can be locked in the rear position by cycling the bolt to the rear and rotating the operating handle up into the cutout on the receiver.

  • The rear sight is of aperture type and the AR style front sight can be adjusted for windage and elevation.

  • The thread protector on the SUB-2000 is removable, if the shooter desires to replace the thread protector with a compatible accessory for the 1/2"-28 threads (9mm model) or 9/16"-24 threads (.40 cal S&W).

  • The SUB-2000 can easily be disassembled for cleaning or inspection without tools.

  • MSRP - $500.00

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 Folded View

The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 9mm semi automatic folding rifle will stow away easily in a prepper’s backpack for long term survival.

Video Review Of The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 Gen 2 Carbine Rifle

3. Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout

Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout

The Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout has great performance and power, low recoil, and can be suppressed in a sub-sonic velocity to be very quiet.

Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

  • 300 AAC Blackout rifles are the perfect upgrade from an AR-15 or AK-47 rifle. They have better overall performance and power, low recoil, and can be suppressed (requires tax stamp) in a sub-sonic velocity to be very quiet compared to a normally very loud round from an AR-15 .223 or 5.56 NATO or AK-47 7.62× 39mm round. Take a look at the 2nd video below to better understand why the 300 AAC Blackout is the future of the AR-15 and combat.

More Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout Features (click to expand)

  • Whether you're in the backcountry, on the farm or need personal protection, Ruger MINI-14 and MINI-Thirty rifles continue to be the firearm of choice for ranchers and homeowners alike. Shorter barrels make them excellent in any situation where maneuverability is important. Integral scope mounts are machined directly to the receiver to provide a stable mounting surface. Side ejection clears the top-mounted scope. Recoil buffer protects the scope from damage or shifting as the semiautomatic action cycles. Integral sling swivel studs.

  • Simple, rugged, Garand-style action

  • Breech-bolt locking system

  • Fixed-piston gas system

  • Self-cleaning moving gas cylinder

  • Chambered in the popular .300 AAC Blackout. Synthetic stock and blued barrel create a sleek stealthy look. Front blade and adjustable rear sights. Includes 20-round magazine.

Technical Specs (click to expand)

  • Caliber - .300 AAC Blackout

  • Capacity - 20 rounds

  • Barrel Length - 18.13 inches

  • Barrel Twist Rate 1:7

  • Length - 36.25 inches

  • Weight - 6.75 lbs

  • MSRP - $899.99

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Video Review Of The Ruger Mini-14 Tactical 300 AAC Blackout Rifle.

The following YouTube video explains 300 AAC Blackout rounds and compare them to the 5.56 and 7.62x39 rounds, while explaining all of the advantages of this really versatile cartridge. See a 300 Blackout shoot suppressed and see just how quiet a 300 Blackout rifle can be.

Video Review - 300 AAC Blackout - What's The Big Deal?

4. Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Nikon BDC 3-9x40 Scope Package

Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Nikon BDC 3-9x40 Scope

The Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP is a quality big game hunting rifle with a nice scope that every hunter, prepper, and long term survivalist needs.

Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

  • Every hunter, prepper, and long term survivalist needs a quality big game hunting rifle and a nice scope. These hunting rifles and scopes can typically break the bank, but the Savage Arms Model 11, and Savage Arms Model 111 are a great value for a highly accurate big game rifle. Many hunters will argue each other into the ground about which caliber is best. The bolt-action rifle is the most reliable straightest shooting big game rifle tested over time for the most serious hunters. We recommend that you stick with the most common big game calibers like the .270, 7mm Remington Magnum, .30-06, .308, and .300 Winchester Magnum plus the short magnum versions of these same calibers. These calibers are proven and provide ease of finding ammunition and maximize versatility in hunting large game. We personally prefer the .270 Winchester for its versatility and flat trajectory for hunting whitetail deer, but there will be an argument by plenty of skilled hunters for any of the calibers. See the chart below for the different large game calibers and what the size animal they are typically used for.

  • Instead of breaking the bank, the Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle Nikon BDC 3-9x40 Scope is a highly accurate big game rifle that is a great choice at a budget price. If you want to spend more money you can, and you can get a more expensive better rifle with more features. However, this rifle is an exceptional value and you get a highly accurate, high quality, reliable & durable rifle that will put food on the table.

More Savage Arms 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Features (click to expand)

  • The Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle comes ready to take into the field with a factory mounted riflescope and exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy. The Trophy Hunter features Savage's AccuTrigger that is easily adjustable by the user to get a light, crisp release with no creep; while a lever mounted within the trigger body blocks the sear unless the trigger is intentionally pressed in the center, virtually minimizing the risk of accidental discharge. The basic bolt design assures that the locking lugs fully contact the receiver, holding the headspace to a minimum every time the bolt is locked. The tight headspace and a free floated barrel contribute to the excellent accuracy Savage rifles are known for. The Trophy Hunter XP combo comes with a Nikon 3–9 x 40mm scope with a BDC (Bullet Drop Compensation) reticle that gives hold-over points for precision long range shooting. The synthetic stock, barrel, and receiver are finished in matte black that won't spook game, and sling swivel studs and a soft rubber butt pad are standard. A 3-position receiver tang safety is easy to reach with the shooter's thumb, and allows the rifle to be loaded and unloaded in the safe position. A detachable magazine provides quick and safe reloading and unloading of the rifle. The Savage 11/111 Trophy Hunter XP combo is a highly functional, yet practical bolt-action rifle that will serve years of rugged use.

  • Exceptional out-of-the-box accuracy

  • Soft rubber butt pad and durable synthetic stock design reduce recoil

  • Fully adjustable and safe AccuTrigger (this trigger pull adjustment technology helps make the gun highly accurate and customized to your preference and you'll know exactly when the rifle will fire)

  • Free-floated matte finished barrel

  • Factory mounted Nikon riflescope

  • 3-position receiver tang safety

  • Drilled and tapped receiver

  • Detachable magazine

  • Available in the following calibers:

    • .30-06

    • .270

    • .223

    • .243

    • .22-250

    • .25-06

    • 7mm Remington Magnum

    • 7mm-08 Remington

  • MSRP - $569.99

Check Current Prices & Availability:

“Hunting With The Right Caliber” chart showing all rifle calibers and the animals each are appropriate to hunt with.

Video Review Of The Savage Arms 11 Trophy Hunter XP Bolt-Action Rifle with Nikon BDC 3-9x40 Scope

5. Hi-Point SemiAutomatic Carbine Rifle (.380, 9mm, .40 S&W, or 45 ACP)

Hi-Point Model 4095TS (.40) Woodland Camo

The Hi-Point Model 4095TS (.40) Woodland Camo semi automatic rifle is an inexpensive quality rifle valued by preppers as a hunting and survival rifle.

Hi-Point Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

  • Very affordable. They cost about 1/3rd as much as other semi-automatic rifles like a typical AR-15. That means you can buy three times as many to arm your survival network. These rifles give new meaning to self defense on a budget!

  • They shoot pistol rounds. You do not have to purchase different ammunition rounds as you can share the same rounds with your pistols. Less ammo to stockpile means more savings.

  • This gun is accurate, fun, affordable, well built and has a lifetime transferable warranty. Don't let the low price scare you off, it's worth much more. Read the customer feedback's at the Cabela's link below.

More Hi-Point Features (click to expand)

  • It has a recoil butt stock, but it doesn't really even kick at all, so it's perfect for smaller shooters and women.

  • Lightweight all-weather black polymer skeletonized stock. Also available in 3 different Camo colors (Woodland Camo, Desert Digital Camo, and Pink Camo)

  • Fully adjustable Ghost-ring rear peep and post front sights.

  • Weaver-style accessory rails.

  • Quick thumb safety.

  • Includes one 10-round magazine (.380, .40 or 9mm) or a 9-round magazine (.45), and a trigger lock.

    • There is also a 20-round magazine now available for the 995TS (9mm) model and other magazine manufacturers (such as ProMag & others) have higher round magazines available for the other calibers.

  • Hi-Point firearms are 100% American-made from top to bottom.

  • MSRP - $300.00 to $500.00

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Learn more about these carbines at the manufacturer Hi-Point web site. You can buy them equipped in different combinations of optional Forward Grips, Flashlights, Lasers, and 4X Scopes.

Hi-Point Model 4595TS (.45) Black

The Hi-Point Model 4595TS (.45) is a nice low cost tactical rifle.

Hi-Point Model 995TS FGFL-LAZ (9mm) Black with Forward Grip, Flashlight, and Laser

The Hi-Point Model 995TS FGFL-LAZ (9mm) comes equipped with a forward grip, flashlight and laser.

Hi-Point Model 3895TSPRO (.380) Black

The Hi-Point Model 3895TSPRO (.380) black has very low recoil and is perfect for smaller shooters.

The following YouTube video reviews the Hi-Point .380 Carbine and why these carbines are a very good option with many good reasons why you might want one or more of these.

The following YouTube video reviews the Hi-Point 45 Pistol and Carbine Rifle.

6. IWI Tavor XB95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle

IWI Tavor XB95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle

The IWI Tavor XB95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle is a wicked self defense and doomsday bullpup survival rifle.

IWI Tavor XB95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

Due to the dynamic changes in the modern battlefield, the threats of global terrorism and the demands of ever-changing combat situations, there was a need for a new versatile, innovative and technologically advanced weapon. The TAVOR assault rifle was especially created to answer these varied demands, thus distinguishing itself as the ultimate weapon of the 21st century. Thanks to a decade of collaboration with Israel Defense Forces and research and development teams, IWI Tavor XB95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifles feature the ultimate bullpup configuration.

  • Work well in open-field or close-quarters engagements

  • Short-rifle convenience with long-rifle accuracy

More IWI Tavor XB95 Features (click to expand)

  • Updated model includes several new features.

    • Fire control pack with a 5- to 6-lb. trigger pull.

    • Repositioning of the ambidextrous mag release to an AR15 location.

    • Forearm with Picatinny rails at 3, 6 and 9 o'clock positions with removable rail covers.

    • Relocation of charging handle.

    • Modular Tavor-style pistol grip.

    • Smaller low-profile bolt-release button.

  • Also maintains several features from previous models.

    • Ergonomic construction for ease of use.

    • Long-stroke gas piston is clean-cycling for reliable operation.

    • Cold-hammer-forged CrMoV chrome-lined steel barrel to prevent corrosion.

    • Ambidextrous configuration and operation is friendly for any shooting enthusiast.

    • Field stripping to service the sub-assembly is easy.

    • All metal parts are treated for corrosion resistance.

    • Integrated rubber recoil pad.

  • Available in all Matte Black or Flat Dark Earth as pictured below.

  • MSRP - $1999.99

  • We know this rifle is expensive, but see the video below and fall in love with this rifle.

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Video Reviews Compares The IWI Tavor X95 Semiautomatic Tactical Rifle To The Older Tavor Version

7. Ruger 10/22 I-TAC .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle

Ruger 10/22 I-TAC .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle

The Ruger 10/22 I-TAC .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifle has a threaded barrel with a flash suppressor and one 25-round BX-25 rotary magazine.

Ruger 10/22 I-TAC .22 LR Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifles have the following significant advantages for long term survival and prepping:

  • Ruger’s 10/22 .22-cal. Semiautomatic Rimfire Rifles are legendary. With proven performance, they’re ideally suited for target shooting, plinking, small-game hunting and action-shooting events. With their reliability, durability and accuracy, any 10/22 model is a must have in any gun enthusiast's or prepper's firearm collection.

  • Detachable rotary magazine is renowned for its reliability.

  • Hammer-forged, alloy-steel barrel is durable for long-lasting use.

  • Polymer trigger housing and aluminum receiver.

  • Push-button manual safety.

  • The 10/22 I-TAC has all of the reliable features that come standard with the 10/22 series and then some.

    • Folding, six-position ATI stock can be positioned how you want it, no matter the situation, and it folds for easy transport.

    • Threaded barrel with flash supressor.

    • Comes with one 25-round BX-25 rotary magazine.

  • MSRP - $399.99

Check Current Prices & Availability:

Video Review Of The Ruger 10/22 I-TAC Tactical Model

The Ruger 10/22 is an exceptional choice and is available in many different versions that would be appealing to preppers and gun enthusiasts. Check out this article by to learn more about the Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite and how it compares to other 10/22s.

8. Convert Your Existing AR-15 to 300 AAC Blackout!

While AR-15 5.56 NATO is a widespread platform loved by many gun enthusiasts, some demanded a round with better performance plus with subsonic performance greater than standard 9mm. As a result, the 300 AAC Blackout round was invented.

The 300 AAC Blackout cartridge gives performance very similar to the 7.62×39 (but with significantly less recoil), but also in a cartridge that works perfectly with standard AR-15 bolts, magazines and lowers. Plus it can be shot at subsonic speeds, making it a quieter round, and even more quiet with a suppressor.

Converting Your AR15 to .300 Blackout: Instructions and Benefits of The Cartridge

There are two options to convert your existing AR-15 to 300 AAC Blackout!

  • OPTION 1 - You can convert any standard 5.56 AR-15 to .300 AAC Blackout by merely changing only the barrel. You have to have a few specialized tools, but this is the less expensive option.

  • OPTION 2 - lf you don’t want to mess with changing out your barrel, another option is to just change your entire AR-15 upper with a 300 AAC Blackout upper very quickly. This option is more costly, but less than buying an entire new rifle and gives you the extra advantage of flexibility to quickly convert your existing rifle from .223/5.56 NATO to 300 AAC Blackout and vise versa. Plus, you may already have a large supply of AR-15 ammo so being able to quickly convert back to a .223 and/or 5.56 NATO would be invaluable.

The following YouTube video goes over the process of changing a .223/5.56 AR-15 to 300 AAC Blackout by simply changing the barrel. This video will instruct you on the tools needed to accomplish this task as well as a step-by-step process to change your barrel.

Video Demonstration - Convert A 223/5.56 AR-15 To 300 AAC Blackout By Simply Changing The Barrel

Check Current Prices & Availability:

How To Trade New & Used Firearms Online (click to expand)

Buying or selling firearms online is a lot easier than you think. You can do pretty much everything online, and you'll be in less direct contact with people versus standing in line at a gun store. You do have to pick up your firearm, but chances are there is an FFL closer to you than a gun store. is an FFL and is the easiest online place to buy or sell new and used handguns, rifles, shotguns, magazines, ammo, & accessories! They have the easiest online process and do all of the hard work for you including locating and verifying the license of the closest FFL to you.

Not going into too much detail, follow these easy steps at most online firearm stores:

1. Find the closest reputable FFL Dealers at a site like FFL Dealer Network. Call the FFL dealer and/or drive by their location to check them out.

2. Shop online for just about any gun made and comparison shop at stores such as, Palmetto State Armory, GritrSports, Sportsman's Guide, Bass Pro Shops, or Cabela's. For example, stores like Palmetto State Armory have over 10,000 firearms online. Use filters and search functions to narrow your search. Firearms are in demand so you may want to filter by what is currently available.

3. All online gun stores will have basically the same steps/directions. Check out these simple online firearm purchasing instructions as outlined by Palmetto State Armory.

4. It's that easy. Make one trip to your FFL to pick up your new firearm.

For ammo, we really like Palmetto State Armory & GritrSports, but comparison shop for ammo just like you would for firearms and also check out, Sportsman's Guide and Cabela's for ammo.

Additional Videos Of Interest

Video Demonstrates How Far A .22LR Will Kill

Video Demonstrates How Far A 9mm Will Kill

Keep in mind, this video is with a pistol. A 9mm Carbine rifle will acheive more muzzle velocity than a 9mm pistol.

Recommended Accessories (click to expand)

Flip Up Sights

Optical Sights

Best Affordable Shooting Glasses

Best Electronic Earmuffs

  • Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff (These are exceptional shooting ear muffs for the money. With them on, sound is amplified 4x, so you can hear anyone sneaking up on you or if you are hunting, you can hear game that you are stalking! The moment you shoot, the loud bang turns off the amplification and your hearing is protected. If the batteries go dead, then these ear muffs behave as normal hearing protectors.)

  • 50 Pack - 12"x 18" Silhouette Splatter Target (Instantly See Your Shots Burst Bright Florescent Yellow Upon Impact!)

Rifle Cleaning & Protection

  • Hoppe's BoreSnake Rifle Bore Cleaner (Choose Your Caliber) (Throw away the rods, brushes and patches. One swipe and your gun bore shines like new. These gun cleaning kits are unmatched in quality and design. Cleaner, faster, period. Choose the correct bore.)

    • Here's a video to show you how to use a Bore Snake to clean a rifle.

  • Foaming Bore Cleaner

  • Gun Oil



Use at your own risk. Please note that the information provided on this web site is for information only. and it's owner have no liability or responsibility for anyone using any items described on this web site including rifles and other firearms. Please take proper care of your firearms, learn how to use them responsibly and train frequently. Understand the gun laws in your state and always properly secure your guns.

See Our Other Firearm Related Pages

For more information on firearms, ammo, and accessories for the typical American who is thankful for our 2nd Amendment rights, see our additional firearm related pages.

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To see an exceptional article by on building the ultimate sniper rifle at a much lower cost than super expensive sniper rifles keep reading here. The article specifically includes how to upgrade the very popular Remington 700 into an ideal sniper rifle.

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