Survival: 4 Types Of Shelter-in-Place Guns

Survival: 4 Types Of Shelter-in-Place Guns
Shelter-in-place survival guns can be divided into four categories: extreme range rifles, moderate range rifles, close range long guns and intimate range weapons.
Shelter-in-place survival guns
Shelter-in-place survival guns can be divided into four categories: extreme range rifles, moderate range rifles, close range long guns and intimate range weapons.

When it comes to firearms for sheltering in place, one concept is key: the layering of weapon coverage for your permanent position.

Your weapons should cover threats at extreme range (200 yards+), moderate range (200 yards down to 50 yards or less), close range (15 yards and in), and intimate range (closer that 3 feet).  You don’t need a lot of guns; a minimum of four will suffice, but get more if you can afford them.

Requirements for such weapons, in addition to being from a military lineage, should be as follows.

Extreme Range Rifle

The 5.56mm does not get it for true extreme range shooting. It is accurate, but runs out of gas. For the AR-15 weapon system cartridge selection begins with the 6.8 SPC and goes up from there. The addition of an adequately powered scope sight is helpful, depending on the layout of your living area. If you won’t be shooting at extreme range, you may still need a caliber able to penetrate heavy cover or vehicles. For me, my M-1 Garand works well in that role (a Springfield M1A is as good as it gets), while my custom 6.8 SPC AR with scope works well at the extremes. Stay away from bolt guns if you can, as your threats may be numerous.

Moderate Range Rifle

Here is where the 5.56 ARs and 7.62×39 or 5.54×39 AKs, and the M1 carbine shine. If semi-autos are banned in your area, then your next best choice is a lever gun. Pump rifles are fine, but you can’t lay the forend on a solid rest and keep shooting. The .357 or .44 Magnum Marlin 1894 carbines come to mind here.

Close Range Long Gun

At 15 yards and in, the shotgun still shines, even though it has a reduced magazine capacity. If you have a semi-auto that runs good, the home is a good place to use it. You can even trick it out with high-capacity competition magazines or speed loading systems. Concealment is not an issue. Of course, your AKs and ARs are still good to go for this purpose, as are pistol-caliber carbines.

Intimate Range Weapon

Three feet and closer means pistols, weapons with bayonets mounted (as the ultimate weapon retention device), and combat tomahawks or large knives as last-ditch options. For pistols, I still err on the side of capacity. The 1911 or a classic combat revolver are great and reliable tools, but not when you are expecting a lot of company. If you can’t afford anything else, go with what you’ve got, and practice reloading.

Think about your defense mission at home and reevaluate what you have.  If you don’t have a gun safe, get one, and fire-lined ones are the best. You don’t want marauders cleaning you out in advance of a major event. Know your local laws and practice, practice, practice.



  1. i’m sorry but your article only makes sense to gun folks as we follow the calibers and action types. You really need to draw out an outline of what you are trying to convey and then flesh it out for the uninitiated so they can follow…

  2. Good info here on a VERY topical subject, given the COVID 19 panic buying.
    As to my readiness? Well lessee… my 6.5 CM competition rifle or 6.5PRC hunting rifle can easily reach out beyond 1,000 yards. My .308 Savage 99 lever gun is good to 800 yards. Closer in would be an AUG and a PS90 carbine and its companion Ruger 57 pistol, both shooting the 5.7 x 28 round. And then a couple of 9 mm pistols for “everyday use”.

  3. I’s say you have it very well covered. Those have got to be some of the most commonly encountered calibers available.

  4. I agree, I have a Springfield M1A Scout (7.62×51), an AR style in 7.62×51, an AR in 5.56, a 12ga shotgun, three 45cal 1911’s, a 9mm, a 357cal, and a 380 in 1911 style.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.