Mossberg 500-ATI Scorpion

Five Guns Every Shooter Should Own

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Owning firearms takes money, which comes as no surprise to anyone here at MSS. So one important question is, when you’re building your collection, what are your must-haves and can’t-do-withouts?

Everyone’s list is different, but here’s one that makes a lot of sense to us for five guns every shooter should own:

#1
.22 LR rifle and ammunition to feed it. What action and brand of rifle? Your pick. How much is enough rimfire ammo to have on hand? We think keeping a rolling stock of 5,000 rounds minimum is about right.

#2

.22 LR handgun. A complement to #1, so it can be semi-auto or wheelgun.

#3
Defensive concealable handgun. Most will prefer semi-autos, but wheelguns are fine. Need to keep on hand at least 500 to 1,000 rounds minimum — and extra mags or speed-loaders depending on your pick.

#4

Semi-auto battle rifle. 5.56 chambering is a mainstay, of course, but 30-cals do more farther away. Again, money raises its ugly head when you’re counting round inventory, but we think 1k is the minimum to have on hand for this.

#5
A 12-gauge shotgun. Pumps are famous for their reliability, and upkeep is minimal. Rounds to have on hand include at least 250 bird-suitable shotshells (#7’s), a similar amout of buckshot loads, and a similar amount of slugs.

If we were to expand the list one slot, we’d next include a bolt rifle chambered in the same cartridge as #4, which would suggest the semi-auto and bolt gun both be .308s. Another way to go would be to co-chamber #3 and #4 in a handgun round, such as the 45 ACP. A handgun-cartridge-chambered carbine has a lot going for it, but you would have to accept reduced range.

What’s your lineup of five must-have firearms? Let us hear about it in the comments section below.

 

MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?
MSS isn’t recommending any particular brand or models here, just a suitable collection of five should-have firearms. Top, Ruger makes several rimfire rifles and handguns that can make this list, including the SR22 pistol, the 10/22 rifle, and the 22/45 pistol. The company is also selling suppressors for them now as well. Cans are handy, but optional, on our list. Second from top is a suitable self-defense sidearm, this one being Springfield Armory’s 1911 Range Officer Pl9129LP chambered in 9mm Luger. Below that is a semi-auto self-defense rifle; this one is a Daniel Defense DDM4V7LW chambered in 5.56 NATO. And rounding out our list is, bottom, a Mossberg 590 Magpul 50669 Pump 12 Gauge. What does your list include?
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69 thoughts on “Five Guns Every Shooter Should Own”

  1. Your list is acceptable, I personally like having a good bolt action 30 caliber rifle with high end optics. There is so many situations where this tool would be so valuable.

  2. Largely I set up my battery three years ago; pistol/revolver calibers include .22 LR, .380 ACP, .38 Spl/.357 Mag, 9mm Parabellum, .40 S&W & .45 ACP. Semiauto rifles are .22 LR & 5.56mm/.223 Rem. bolt and levers in .22 LR, .22WMR & 7.62 mm/.308 Win. Shotguns are all 12 Ga. I agree with your minimum round count recomendations for ammo, although I can’t swear I’ve shown that much restraint

  3. Good list. I’d substitute a bolt-action rifle in .30-06, .270 or .308 for #2 though. A .22 pistol is a nice to have, in my view, not an essential. Also, 250 rounds each of buckshot and slugs seems like overkill.

  4. When considering the basic requirements for when things go sideways, this formula can make much sense. Pick your favorite brands, but become proficient with the hardware you acquire.

  5. I think you covered the basics quite well – a little bit of everything. I would lean toward the .308 (as opposed to the 5.56/.223) because of it’s greater range and lethality but heavier as AR style rifle and heavier ammo. Lots of good light weight .308 bolt action rifles. Perhaps the 6.XX and/or .300 Blackout cartridges offer good compromise alternatives but admittedly I have no experience with these.

  6. I would include a 9mm because of availability of ammo in a bad situation. Military uses it, law enforcement use it and .40 cal. mostly.

  7. Interesting list. I think it is just about right..I have at least two of that list. The only thing I might add is on old mosin nagant and a couple of spam cans of surplus ammo.

  8. I have all 5 plus a couple more. Rather than a bolt gun in the same caliber as your battle gun, I’d opt for something that would be more like a sniper rifle. Mine happens to be a 7 Rem Mag. with a VX3 on it. It’s deadly to 700-800 yards easily.

    Now that I have the guns, I’m working on the ammo supply. I’m a little short of your numbers right now but they’re growing.

  9. I agree with your line up, it depends what type of scenario you may using all of the weapons you have listed. I do not rule out the 5.56 or the .30 cal. But I do not think you could legally use these for self defense shooting someone beyond the confines of your home. But for a civil war situation they would be ideal.

  10. 2 out of the top 5 are 22’s? After seeing that absurd and unexplainable run on .22 ammo a while back I refuse to ever own this caliber, not because I’m worried about availability but because I don’t want to be associated with the obviously unbalanced people who shoot them.

    1. I found a range that no one polices the brass. Bought a single stage press, dies that I needed for all of above and have cheap ammo. So far haven’t had a problem with supplies and gives me something to do on rainy days.

  11. somthing to think about is caliber 22 great 5.56 is great your 30 cal should be 308 your next 30 cal should be 7.62×39 you should have something in 9mm and 45acp. Think about it when the fertilizer hits the ventilator these are all military calibers and should be readily available for resourceful patriots, just saying

  12. somthing to think about is caliber 22 great 5.56 is great your 30 cal should be 308 your next 30 cal should be 7.62×39 you should have something in 9mm and 45acp. Think about it when the fertilizer hits the ventilator these are all military calibers and should be readily available for resourceful patriots, just saying i havent said this before

  13. I found the thinking logical. But I’m more “one of each size”, with the most effectiveness. So, a .22 rifle, concealable pistol, home defense pistol, 5.56, .308, shotgun. Yes, that is 6, but I really want a larger caliber pistol for home defense though the others could be used to do the job.
    Looks is about personal preference. I go with black, like with #3, because I don’t want a bad guy to know what is in my hand until it is too late.

  14. I have those covered and more, I also have the ammo. What I would suggest for the concealable pistol and semi-auto rifles is that you purchase military clones in military calibers. The ammunition and magazines will be easier to obtain in a shiite hit the fan situation. Also, those calibers are cheaper to purchase ammo for. So think AR-10/15/AK and 1911 or M-9… What ever you purchase, practice with them often so you are intimately familiar with the weapons, and can be absolutely sure they are competely reliable….

  15. I suggest a Remington 11-87 semi 12 gage. You can buy several different barrels for specific uses and it takes about one minute to change barrels.

  16. I agree on your suggestions for firearms, but ammo numbers should be doubled or more, depending on amount of shooting you plan on doing for practice!

  17. Decent combo; I also have all 5 but added a .44 Mag Rifle/Pistol & .357 Mag Rifle/Pistol Combo for a little extra kick.

  18. What shotgun is in the partial picture at the top of the article. Interesting looking two-tone modifications. Magpul parts, maybe?

  19. I think it is a very good basic list of a shooters collection. I would suggest adding at least 6 mags for each rifle and pistol.

  20. Sig p226 with 10 mags, Ruger 10/22 with at least 6- 25 and 5 -10 round mags, Ruger lcp with 5 mags, Ruger single ten in 22, Ruger Blackhawk in 357 preferably with the 9mm second cylinder, Beretta or Remington 12 gauge semi auto, Ruger bolt action 223, and an AR. Minimum of 15,000 rounds of 22, 4000 of 9mm, 4000 of 38 special/357, 1000 of 223, 500 12 gauge in 00, bird and slugs.

  21. I Would suggest any firearm that fits you and your purpose and that you could enjoy shooting without the recoil or flinching ,Able to get ammo Near by ,One Rifle for all around Target, Varmint ,Hunting , Flat Shooting Caliber <Bolt action or Pump , If it is a Shotgun , Fit , Recoil ,Gauge ,Purpose,is most important ,Pump, Semi Auto, Double Barrel , Most people have the tendency of spraying the target ,when all that matters is the one Shot that connects in the right place , Bullet selection as well,Pistol ,Purpose ,how well you can shoot , plenty of practice ,Fit Recoil ,Price of ammo available .

  22. Ammo is very important..In time of emergency you should hoard precious metals; ie. brass & lead..Also have a set of dies or at least a “Lee Loader” set for every caliber you shoot..Pistol and a carbine that shoots the same round is also a way to minimize expense..Pistol caliber carbines are getting very scarce, and folks know something is in the wind..The .22 cal. rifle/pistol is a great sugestion for pot meat..

  23. a center- fire hunting rifle, that shoots the same ammo as your
    handgun, is a plus when it comes to maintaining an ample supply
    of bullets. I prefer a .357 chambered single-shot rifle w/ scope,
    for providing game. A .22 cal. rifle & handgun might have it’s
    advantages also. The 12 Ga. shotgun truly is the mainstay for
    both home defense & game hunting. Your list has it’s merits!

  24. Marlin .22 caliber semiautomatic carbine, Ruger .22 caliber Mark 1 semiauto pistol, .30-06 Garand, Glock 19, 12 gage Winchester 1200

  25. p220st 45acp, ar15 6.8spc, 10/22 22rim, ruger mkII gov 22rim, mossberg 930 spx 12ga, Rem/700 300w/mag.

  26. Ruger 10/22 rifle
    Ruger Mark III .22 pistol
    Smith & Wesson 38 special revolver
    Beretta 92FS 9mm pistol
    Kimber 45 ACP pistol

    Then, 223 rifle, .270 rifle, 12 gauge shotgun, and a bunch of cowboy action revolvers, rifles and shotguns! Yee Haaa!!

  27. I also have the must 5 lineup plus the bolt action and so does my wife, like everyone else, I still need more ammo.

  28. I also have at least one of everything on your list, except for the #6 bolt action rifle. I’m not a big fan of bolt actions for combat because they are slow firing, but I can see the advantage for long-range hunting.

    For the handgun/rifle combo, I have a Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum revolver and a Henry Big Boy rifle in the same caliber. These two are my favorites for self-defense and mid-range hunting.

  29. Almost any center fire rifle above .243 Cal will suffice. It doesn’t have to be semi-automatic. The pioneers and frontiersmen did just fine against the Indians without a semi-auto. Ditto on shotguns. A 20 is just as deadly at most shotgun ranges as a 12

  30. Some suggestions would be, learn how to cast bullets and stock up on the materials to do it with. Often free lead can be found along with wheel weights although this is getting harder to do. Learn how to reload. Using the cast bullets reduces costs for practice and can be used to hunt with also. Note: cast bullets should not be used in any gun with a gas port i.e. AR style rifles as they can plug said port. These two things can help keep a good stock of ammo on hand. If cost is a factor perhaps getting together with friends and sharing the costs would help.
    Try finding guns that you can use conversions on i.e. AR style rifles and handguns that use 22 conversions on the same frame or other calibers although right now it’s almost cheaper to shoot 223 than 22 LR plus you can reload 223! The point is, once you have the frame, you can buy uppers and conversions through the mail without the paperwork hassles and you have the same feel and trigger pull so half the battle is won. Save all your brass and any you find laying around even if you don’t shoot that caliber. If it is damaged you can sell it for scrap, if it’s good you can reload it or trade it for some you can use. There are people that buy brass to reload and sometimes will trade for loaded ammo or even reload your brass for you. I always look at metals as cash in a different form and people just leave it laying on the ground, it’s like walking across a parking lot strewn with coins.
    The gun list above is basic and by no means complete, it’s just a guide for what is considered minimum. Feel free to embellish!

  31. Interesting lot of weaponry. I have always believed in the KISS principle. Wheel guns and or DA/SA autos are fine for P-D but may not be what the doc ordered in an emergency…is it loaded/ chambered round. Semi rifles same way…convenient to load and be ready but caliber selection is not necessarily your pet hunting loads. Handgun cartridges and rifle need to be common calibers for replacement / survival and replace-ability. Same with all weaponry…common cartridges…

  32. Hmmm, the 22LR would likely be an S&W 617 10 shot 6 inch barrel, a larger multi-purpose caliber handgun would be an S&W 460V (45LC, 454 & 460), CZ 75D PCR 9mm Compact for carry, the shotgun would be a Mossberg 500 20 gauge 18 1/2″ pump w/pistol grip, and last, Ruger Mini 14 Tactical 5.56/223 or a Springfield Scout M1A 7.62/308.

  33. I have all of those guns and more. I am trying to rehabilitate my gun buying habit. And the ammo is pilled high around here. Let Bernie or Hillary come and try to take it!

  34. Very good choices 870, 10/22, Ruger .22 mag bolt, .22 mag Taurus, Colt officers.45 for carry, FNX .45 & 9mm with a S&W shield 9mm for back up last but not least S&W Sport 15 in .223 with a 300 BLK barrel just for kicks. Lee 4 hole turret reloader w/ dies and enough cases, powder and bullets to keep the reloader busy.

  35. My list would be somewhat different.

    .357 Magnum

    45 ACP or 40 S&W

    12 ga. pump

    5.56 AR15

    300 Win Mag

    After that you could consider other guns to plink with.

  36. Marlin Mountie .22LR w/scope
    Browning Buckmark Target .22LR w/Red Dot
    Colt Gold Cup Commander .45ACP
    Bushmaster XM15-E2S Carbine 5.56X45 NATO w/scope
    Winchester 1897 Pump 12 Gauge

    These 5 guns have served me well, some for over 55 years.

  37. There is little context to this list. It’s like trying to put together a list of the top 5 tools to make sure every carpenter has. A weapon is a tool. Each has its usefulness. Is the shotgun for hunting or self defense? Pumps are reliable but their capacity is small (except the KSG 12, the DP12 and the UTS-15). Long barrels are more of a liability than help in urban defense. And for close range defense go with a bigger caliber. A 9mm CCW like the LC9 is good, another thought is a .45 Auto for in the car. Range isn’t the issue. It’s stopping power. Even with a vest, a 45 will stun an attacker long enough for you to get to safety.

    More than the weapon, its the familiarity and capability of the shooter that counts. Just having a gun does not make one safe. Knowing how to use them in different situations (i.e. TRAIN with the weapons) that makes them useful. Practice, Practice, Practice!!

    1. too expensive to shoot, ammo is hard to find and carry ( twice as many .22s to .22WMR. and why? what gain would you get?
      you wont find any 22 mag on any needed gun list when you need to survive.

  38. If you are comfortable with the Pmr-30 I guess it would work in some cases. But a good 40 cal or 45 acp has a lot more stopping power.

  39. Ruger 10-22 with at least 4 25 rd clips: I don’t see what a 22LR pistol will do for you, jump to a PMR30 if you can afford Hornady ammo, 4-5 clips of 30 and you’re a one man close encounter army: M&P Shield in 9mm or 40 for CC: Battle rifle, simple AK47 with open sights or a POSP scope.. doubles as a home defense weapon, ammo is dirt cheap, and the 154 gr SP round is almost as good as a shotgun slug, you can fire 3-4 of them instead of yanking on the 12 ga for a follow-up slug: Mossberg 500A with ample supply of 6s and 4s….forget the slugs.

  40. You’re all missing the boat.My most valuable is a Russian SKS.They always, I repeat ,always fire.Throw ’em in the mud ,or the lake and they always shoot !As for their accuacy(sp) , their good up to 250 meters .And ammo, their 762×49, a high power round. And guess what ? It can be purchased anywhere , I repeat anywhere on this planet!And price, in the 400.00 range .

    1. Boy I think I need to get me one them high powered SKS’s in 7.62 X 49. Not sure about brass though….. $400.00 is kinda high for an SKS. There like $150-250 around here but there only the regular power in7.62 X39.

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