What Guns Should You Take Into the Backcountry?

Ruger Mini-30 Rifle Backcountry Guns & Gear - GunBroker.com
Ruger Mini-30 Rifle

Backcountry Guns & Gear You Might Need To Survive Out in the Wild

Are you heading into the backcountry? Whether you’re hunting or just trying to get away, along with food and shelter, having a firearm can help you stay safe and hunt wild game. But which gun should you bring with you? Here are some considerations, from what you will be hunting to the size of the gun, such as the small Ruger Mini 30, to ammo. 

Choose a Long Gun and a Handgun

Chances are you’ll want both a long gun and a handgun when choosing your backcountry guns. You might decide on a shotgun, as you will be hunting either for sport or to survive, but the shotgun isn’t likely your best bet in all cases. It is good for birds, but you are more likely to hunt game such as deer and rabbits, depending on where you live. If the area you live in is less forest and more marsh, where you’re likely to hunt waterfowl, you might look towards Remington shotguns. Otherwise, a rifle and a handgun are your best bet. The question remains: Which rifle and which handgun? 

Choose Your Caliber

There are a few factors to consider when it comes to caliber. First, do you want larger calibers to take down bigger game like deer easily? The problem is that these rounds are larger, heavier, and you can’t carry as many compared to smaller calibers. On the flip side, 22 is cheap, plentiful, and you can hunt small game with it. It is much harder to hunt larger game, however. You might want a larger caliber for your rifle and either 9mm or 22 for your handgun. If you choose a rifle with a handgun caliber, you may only need one type of ammo, simplifying your ammo storage.  

The Pros of Lever Action Rifles

Lever action rifles are an excellent choice. They come chambered in a variety of calibers and are generally reliable, providing peace of mind if you’re spending extended time in the backcountry. You can get it in 30 30 for deer, or 22 for rabbits, making them highly versatile carbines. They can be shorter than many rifles, which is a nice feature when packing space is limited.

When to Choose Bolt Action

If you plan on going higher caliber, you want a bolt-action rifle. They are very popular for hunting thanks to their reliability and wide range of calibers. It’s hard to go wrong with this choice. 

Is There a Place for a Semi-Automatic Rifle?

Thanks to their popularity and ubiquity, semi-automatic guns like the AR 15 are also a good choice. Ammo is still relatively easy to find. From 308 to the 762 family or 223 and 556, you have plenty of options. You probably want something short, like the Ruger Mini 14 or Ruger Mini 30 if you go with a semi-automatic rifle, as you hopefully won’t need to hunt at long distances. 

Why You Should Choose a Handgun

Semi-automatic handguns are very common, meaning you likely won’t have trouble finding ammo. A Glock 19 is small, easy to carry in the woods, and comes with a standard 15+1 magazine. Optional mags increase that number as well. 

It’s Hard to Beat a Revolver’s Dependability 

Revolvers usually just fire. Plus, they typically cycle ammo that a semi-automatic handgun won’t. They may be heavier, but they are incredibly reliable and handle a wide range of calibers. Plus, hunters often use them, offering a precedent when trying to survive on wild game. 

Scopes vs. Iron Sights

Iron sights are rugged, reliable, and lightweight. However, you might want to have one of your Redfield scopes on your rifle when spending time in the backcountry. They can help make you more accurate from a distance. When hunting skittish animals, this can be the difference between going hungry and having dinner. The extra weight is often worth it. 

Get more backcountry guns you can use to survive in the wilderness through user listings at www.GunBroker.com