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Opinion:  Four Guns.  If just starting on building your personal Prepper / Survivalist / Patriot gun collection, I prefer these calibers / types in order and here is why;

 

1.  9 mm semi-automatic pistol.  Most prolific caliber cartridge in the US, also used by US military, many police forces as well as NATO troops.  Most ease of scrounge-ability of ammo.  A defensive pistol is more concealable and you are more likely to have it on you if you need to use it.

 

2.  .22 LR rifle.  Very cheap ammo that is also very available and can be used for hunting as well as close quarters self defense.  More deer have been poached by a .22 LR than any other caliber.

 

3.  12 gauge shotgun with a combo slug and shot barrel.  Ammo is very available  and can be used to hunt just about anything as well as very good close quarters self defense.

 

4.  .223/5.56 mm rifle.  The second most prolific caliber in the US second only to 9 mm pistol.  Ammo is very easy in scrounge-ability.  Used by US military, most police departments and NATO troops.  A good center fire cartridge for hunting most small to medium sized game as well as defense of self and country.  

 

Once you have gotten these basic 4 you are pretty much good to go in just about any situation.  If you want to improve on your collection a bit more I would recommend the following two in addition;

 

5.  .357 magnum revolver.  Very good ammo availability, plus this caliber gun can also shoot .38 special ammunition which is also very available.  There are still a few police officers that carry a .357 magnum as their duty weapon.  Since the ammo is contained in a cylinder of the gun its self, you don't have to worry about magazines getting lost or wearing out or breaking.  You can carry speed loaders and speed strips to reload quicker which could break or get lost, but you can always load the cylinder by hand and still have multiple rounds ready to go.  If you don't have a functioning magazine with a semi-auto pistol, then it is just a single shot until you get a replacement magazine for it.

 

6.  .308/7.62 mm rifle.  Long distance is the next best thing to being there!  With this caliber you can about double the practical range of a .223/5.56 and it will hit harder also allowing you to more easily hunt larger game with greater success.  It is also a more easily scrounge-able caliber as it is used by police, military, NATO snipers and also medium machine guns in the military as well as being a popular cartridge with civilians. 

 

I'm sure others have different opinions on this matter and there are certainly superior cartridges for different applications.  I am looking at this from a logical view of best utilitarian uses and ability to scrounge ammunition in difficult times.  In other words, the best all around bang for the buck collection.

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