Everyone knows about ak-47s and ar-15s and these options are among the best options and most popular options in the prepping community. Although these weapon systems are outstanding, they do have drawbacks.
The ar-15 is an outstanding rifle. It is chambered in 223 or 556 and is standard issue for the US military grunt. This system is extremely accurate, has a small but powerful round, and is arguably one of the most ergonomic weapon systems available to date. The drawback to this weapon is its expense. Most ar-15s are about 900 dollars and require regular maintenance.
The ak-47 on the other hand, has larger round and more powerful round, is not as accurate, and not as ergonomic, but has a lot better ease of use and simplicity. These will run around 600 dollars so they are cheaper and surplus ammo is a lot cheaper and readily available.
Both of these weapons are outstanding for any prepper, but some want something else. Below you will find many different alternatives to the ar-15 and ak-47 rifle platforms. The first thing to consider is combat effectiveness and price. Obviously a 22 long rifle bolt action will not get you far in defending yourself. So when picking an affordable weapon you want to make sure it is semi-automatic. Good alternatives are the M1A. This is a semi-automatic version of the military issued m14. it is chambered in 7.62 or 308 NATO. This packs a huge punch and it an outstanding rifle and is expensive.
Some other options include the kel-tec sub2000. This is a cheap and very light carbine that only costs a few hundred dollars. This is an outstanding choice with price considered and is great for going on long marches due to it’s weight. The drawbacks are that magazines are a bit difficult to acquire and parts to the gun will not be very evident in the post apocalyptic world. It is chambered in 223/556 like the ar-15 how ever and ammunition will not be difficult to find.
Shotguns are also another great option for preppers and if you have around 500 dollars than you can buy almost any shotgun on the market. These weapons are great for close quarters, pest control, and bird hunting. They offer a great versatility of uses but are limited by their range. A good shotgun for a prepper can range from a single shot 20 gauge all the way to a 12 gauge semi-automatic. It is up to personal preference but all shotguns have different levels of capability. To give you a good idea, a Mossberg 590 is probably the best option when choosing a self defense 12 gauge shotgun. There are many similar shotguns such as the Remmington 870 and Mossberg 500, but the 590 is simply a better option for many preppers searching for a defense shotgun.