The best survival weapons are simple and have multiple uses. Simple is always easier to repair and those that solve a variety of problems (a knife that works for chopping, prying, hunting, self-defense, etc.), means you can do more with less.
You probably have questions like:
Which weapons will protect your family, your property, your life?
Which are best for urban or wilderness settings?
What can you legally carry in town?
What about non-traditional weapons?
And is it possible to make your own if you had to?
Utilizing your resources to their full potential is essential in emergencies.
Only when you answer these questions should you make a purchase.
In an urban survival scenario, you’re primarily concerned with self-defense. Your choice of weapons must reflect that.
Odds are you’re not going to be building fires, hunting game, nor building camp in the city. The weapons you carry on your commute, or keep near the nightstand, should be designed to fight attackers / intruders. If they do other duties, great, but self-defense is paramount.
The problem with keeping weapons in the city is staying on the right side of the law. You need a license to carry a handgun and in some cases, even a pocket knife. And then you’re limited to carrying in public places and businesses that haven’t outright forbade them. Of course, all government buildings are off limits as well.
In an urban setting, locking folding knives and some tactical (also called combat or fighting) knives are good for self-defense. One particular style that is strong, easily concealed and versatile not only in the city but in the wilderness, is the fixed-blade neck knife.
If carrying a concealed pistol you’re limited by legal-carry size (typically a maximum barrel length) and style of firearm. For instance, if you qualify on your concealed carry test with a revolver, you may only be allowed to carry revolvers, but if you qualify with a pistol (a handgun with a removable magazine), you frequently may carry both types.
For home defense survival weapons, any large caliber pistol or high-powered, semi-automatic rifle will work, but a shotgun is probably your best choice, if for no other reason than it’s easier to hit something with a scatter gun. And when you’re under duress, this is a HUGE advantage.
Think it’s cake to hit a target center mass at 7 paces? Try it waking from a dead sleep, with adrenalin pumping and in the dark.
Wilderness survival weapons must be useful for self-defense purposes, but they typically need to do much more.
Your knife isn’t just for fending off two and four-legged predators, it will also be needed for heavy-duty camp chores like shelter building and cutting firewood.
Having a quality-hunting knife that can skin game and fillet fish is essential. You may even need it to perform emergency surgery (really).
A blade that holds an edge well, yet is very strong usually means finding a stainless, high-carbon steel hybrid. These knives are quite versatile, but, like anything, can be pricey. Weigh the risk reward; if you go camping every weekend, it'd be worthwhile spending a little more.
Rifles, whether a simple .22 caliber or military-quality .223, are far more valuable than pistols in the bush. Because they have longer barrels, rifles are simply more accurate over longer distances, making them better for hunting.
That said, a large-caliber revolver, like a .44 magnum or .50 cal, is great for fighting off aggressive bears and moose at close range. If you’re heading north, best to bring a rifle and revolver.
Why a revolver? If you have to take down a large aggressive animal, you may be on the ground, firing point-blank into the animal's hide. This may cause a pistol's slide to jamb, impeding successive shots. A revolver on the other hand, with its fixed barrel, can continue to fire regardless.
Survival bows are often overlooked by non-hunters, but are excellent wilderness survival weapons. They’re lightweight, easy to transport (most can be broken down and carried in a small tube on a sling) and, unlike firearms, they’re quiet. These qualities also make survival bows good additions to bug out bags and for other applications in an urban environment.
And don't overlook the humble air rifle as a worthy woodsrunning companion. Higher quality lever-action, pneumatic and CO2 or nitrogen-powered models are excellent at taking small-game like squirrels and rabbits.
Don’t limit yourself to just knives and guns when your life is on the line.
There are many non-traditional, commercially-made survival weapons available, including non- and less-lethal sprays, batons and tasers.
If you get creative, you can even fashion your own weapons out of everyday materials or repurpose innocuous items, like pens.
Having a foundation in martial arts and especially World War II combatives, allows you to remain armed anywhere, including government buildings and airplanes. Learn more here.
When building a survival weapons arsenal, stick with the weapons with which you’re familiar, comfortable and know how to use properly. For example, if you’re an expert bowman, pack that in lieu of the rifle you’ve never fired. When you’re in a survival situation, knowing your equipment boosts your confidence level when you need it most.
Imagine the problems you’ll encounter when preparing for an emergency and pack a combination of survival knives and guns (or other types of weapons) that will solve them.