Live in the Boonies? You Better Have These 5 Home Defense Rifles


If you have a vested, long-term interest in the survival lifestyle, chances are you’re holed up some place pretty far from civilization. Even if you’re only a few degrees from suburbia, you do your best to stay as far away from urban life as possible.

That’s a smart move, considering the risks that come along with living in a highly populated area. However, there are some risks that accompany the isolated homestead too, and you should be as prepared as possible to handle them.

Furthermore, these are the five self-defense rifles every remote outpost should have on-hand. The list comes curtesy of Off the Grid News:

1. The AR-15 in 5.56/223
Perhaps the most popular rifle in the U.S. is the AR-15. It was designed in 1960 by Armalite for the U.S. military and has remained in military use for six decades. For home defense purposes, I strongly recommend the shortest barrel length you can legally own. In some cases, this can be a SBR (short barreled rifle) registered with the National Firearms Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for a $200 tax. SBRs have barrels less than 16 inches in length and can be as short as 7.5 inches. This makes the rifle more compact and maneuverable within the confines of the home.


2. The Kriss Vector
A California-based company builds a unique variety of carbines and pistols known as the KRISS Vector. This radical design eliminates felt recoil and is chambered in 9mm or 45 ACP. Those are pistol rounds but the longer barrels give these rifles significantly more velocity. Best of all, they take extended magazines designed for Glock pistols in the same caliber, so they work well for Glock shooters, too.

3. The FN PS90

This may seem like an odd choice, but this futuristic-looking firearm in its small 5.7mm cartridge was actually designed as a personal defense weapon and was used famously by the US Secret Service on president protection details. Compact with virtually no recoil, its bull pup-like design makes for a compact shooting platform. Having one of these converted to an SBR makes the weapon more desirable from a home defense standpoint.

4. The lever action carbine
Lever action rifles made by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi and several others chambered in one of the magnum handgun calibers such as 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum or 45 Colt make for a very effective and compact system for people who reside in areas where the ownership of semiautomatic rifles may be restricted or draw unwanted attention. Five to 10 rounds of a powerful revolver cartridge with the added ballistics of a longer barrel make these a primary fight-stopper. The late firearms guru, Colonel Jeff Cooper, used to refer to them as “Brooklyn Specials,” as they were one of the few firearms not castigated outright in what he viewed as the liberal courtrooms of the Northeast.

5. The Ruger 10/22
You read that right. I have been a longtime advocate of the popular Ruger carbine in a self-defense role. With the right ammunition and the correct bullet placement, these rifles can fill a vital role in any self-defense arsenal. Low recoil, fast follow-up shots and superb accuracy make for one heck of a home defense rifle.

It may be tempting to deck out a tactical rifle with all sorts of gizmos from red-dot sights to lasers, bipods and bayonets, but I suggest you keep it simple. More moving parts leads to more potential for something to fail, particularly if it is an accessory that the shooter comes to rely on more so than basic marksmanship.

The bare minimum I recommend is a mounted weapon light and a sling. Some shooters prefer a red-dot optic and if that makes you a better shooter, then go for it — particularly if you inhabit a substantial piece of property and might have to engage threats at a greater distance.

Do you have any additions to this list? We’d love to hear them, so drop your thoughts in the comments.



  1. You made my mind up for me. Too little fact and too much fantasy B.S. on this site to keep reading.

  2. Oh, I “need” a Kriss and a FN P90? I prefer to stick to more commonly used calibers. I don’t need over priced guns that fire odd calibers like the P90, that’s for sure. As to getting an SBR, if the SHTF, the law kind of goes out the window. Then, you can always put a stock on an AR pistol. If you build your own guns, you’re always going to have extra stuff laying around. For defense of your “home”, I like the idea of a 9mm AR that takes Glock magazines and a Glock pistol to go with it. Then, you have two guns that use the same ammo AND take the same magazines.

  3. I don’t need you telling me what I need! I’m over 50, and I’ve owned guns since age 10 and I live in the country! You are an idiot! This site has none of my respect!

  4. No “fantasy lists” for me… For “home defense” a 12 Gauge Browning auto five loaded with 00 buck. 45ACP for “backup” I am 61, live in a rural area, and also have owned guns for 50 years My Grand Dad gave me my first 20 gauge pump shotgun at 10 years old. AND showed me how to use it responsibly. How times have changed!

  5. are you kidding me a pump shot gun mossberg 500 sires a bolt action maybe an AR defiantly a 22 as for hand gun 9 45 40 357 38 but noting lower this the most popular ammo in this country as far as guns go this what i would have if i were out in the booney”s why in gods name would you have anything else like one of the other comenters said why on gods green earth would i want crap that would be hard pressed to find and it”s keep it simple stupid

  6. My advice is to have;
    One shotgun preferably a 12 gauge or a 16 gauge,
    One 22 bolt rifle,
    One rifle above 223 caliber for bigger game,
    One revolver above 9 mm with defensive ammo and hollow point ammo.
    One semiautomatic pistol above 22 caliber with defensive ammo and hollow point ammo.
    Keep your weapons “run of the mill”. No exotic weapons unless you are an armorist.
    The number of weapons you have increase with the number of individuals who know how to use them.
    I love shooting the semiauto, modern sporting rifles, rifles of all calibers. I, myself, can repair most weapons.
    Be safe, be free and prosper.

  7. I do like the 10/22 I found 10/22 in the Magnum persuasion. AND one of the last Winchester Levers in 22 magnum so naturally I had to find a Henry. Scoped it but it’s pretty much exactly like the Winchester. Gotta get a Red Dot for my cheap Panther Oracle. With 12 ga. pump, pretty well set.

  8. Shotguns have limited range; good for cloer up shots, but a rifle is necessary for longer distances. And yes, a good ‘ol lever action, whether a .22 mag, or a .30-.30 Winchester, is a good self defense gun as well, at least in the country side.

  9. Personally I like the 45/410. I have a rifle and handgun , a rifle that can use more than one caliber would be more handy when SHTF . It’s not as accurate as some other rifles but for home defense you will most likely be up closer anyhow.
    A 12 or 20 gauge is good for most game as well as home defense and also cheaper ammo than rifle calibers.
    Long range and brush, the 30/30 has always been a good gun for me, the key for long range with these is knowing your gun and practice.
    As with any gun you choose , if you do not know what you can and cannot do with it and also practice then your chances of surviving are that much less.

  10. Interesting. I think most who read this missed the point, BE PREPARED. Learn your Weapon, its your friend. Shoot it until its part of you. Care for it like your life depended on it, cause it may. , Weapon choice is another topic. Choose weapons that ammo can be easily found or stolen. Ask your self what ammo would I find on a dead soldier. 5.56/223, 7.62×39, 9mm, 45acp and 12ga, maybe 7.62×51. As a Custom AR Manufacture and Reloader its simple. This may seem off the wall but my trusty 1911/45acp, 300 Blackout, Mossberg 12Ga pump and when I want to reach and touch someone my 6.5 Grendel. I know Ill get loads of flack but these are my Friends, I know them as well as my Wife of 25 years. O Ya she also shoots. For Her, 9mm and a 300 Blackout.

  11. Mossberg 500 with 7″ tube, 6 on sidesaddle and bandolier of 50 (00, #4 and breeching + 2 flares), Rem 700 in 7mm Mag, 26″ bbl and 8-32×50 scope, M1 carbine, Henry .22 and .44 Mag, Ruger Super Redhawk in .44 Mag, S&W M&P R8.

  12. I noticed that you left out the use of shotguns. Many bypass the shotgun as they are perceived as kicking too much and doing too much damage. Yep that is correct when you use buck shot and I use number 4 buck shot for my first shot. I can buy another door and pay for the damage I do the room on the other side. My butt is worth all of that. I use an Remington 870 short barrel stainless riot shotgun. If you don’t use a pump gun and wish to I suggest you go out to the skeet range and get use to shucking the next shell in and getting the second shot at the second clay bird. Good practice. I live in a three level house and I have a shotgun and pistol on each level. MR. H.

  13. Why would anyone want so many rifles to begin with? It’s not the amount of guns but the quality of the guns, how comfortable you are with using them and the ease of getting or storing ammunition. You’re just going to end up storing a whole lot of different caliber ammunition. Four calibers and that’s it. Good quality doesn’t mean more expensive. Good quality means reliable. A good bullet proof pump shotgun in 12 gauge from Remington, Berretta or Mossberg etc. is good. A pistol of your choice in 9mm or .45 cal. Then a semi-automatic rifle in 5.56/.223. I would not recommend a bolt action hunting rifle because their magazines don’t hold enough cartridges., no matter how accurate they may be. When you’re exchanging gunfire with the crazies, you need a rifle with a 30 round magazine, not one that holds four or five. Finally a .22 Ruger or Henry for small game. Don’t overlook a good bow also.

  14. Keep it simple and reliable. Loose the Kriss and the PS90 they are close rainge with limited stopping power. Lever guns have short magazines and are slow to reload as are shotguns. The Ruger 10/22 is a great plinker but unless you are an expert shot not much else. A military rifle like and AR but with a full length barrel. The 5.56 round works because of small bullets at high velocity. Short barrels may be easy to handle but you loose too much velocity and that limits their range. A 20 inch barrel AR will Reach out and also take a bayonet.The extra 4 inches is not that much of a disadvantage. Back that up with a good pistol in 9, .40 or .45. Stock a good supply of spare magazines for your rifle and pistol. Finally a good set of web gear with magazine pouches (preferably universal ones) first aid kit, two canteens and puouches for other necessities. Now you have something you can defend a position or go on patrol with. Good dot sights work well. Cheap ones are….cheap. Remember you do not get what you do not pay for. Buy good and buy once,

  15. What kinda list is that,..? lol Well, I say an AR-15, a 12ga. Moss. 500 , a semi auto 9mm of choice, a 7.62 something bolt gun(ie; Ruger Gunsight Scout), and 10/22 model of your choice. Couldn’t be any more simple than that !

  16. I agree with the AR15 rifle however if you want a short barrel get an AR pistol so you do not have to go through the government BS to own it. I also like the idea of a lever action in a common caliber whether a pistol round, a 22, or the old trusty 30-30. If you live in a rural area then you should have something in a common 30 caliber such as 308 or 30-06 preferably bolt action. The only reason I choose them over the many other effective choices is the ready availability of ammunition for them. A shotgun, preferably 12 gauge, is good as is a handgun either semi-auto or revolver in the most common calibers. An accurate rimfire rifle whether the 10/22 or another would definitely be desirable. Personally I like my old Mossberg semi-auto squirrel rifle and an old Mossberg bolt action that takes shorts, longs, and Long Rifle rounds. Those are my thoughts on the subject and if you disagree that is your privilege.

  17. Around here seems the .410 snake charmer, or judge .410 seems to do most of the lion’s share of work.
    A 22, a semi auto carbine in a pistol or short round (kept by the door), a rifle and pistol or revolver of you choice.
    I would also recommend a 12 gauge shotgun for number 6.
    If ya have to limit it.
    All handy tools for rural living. (from someone who actually lives the rural life)

  18. Geez, what rough comments. Anyway, I go with simple being simple myself, have many rifles however limiting to 5 the Ar, 10-22, and where I live I have a 45-70, Chiappa .44 mag and an 870 12 gauge, have grizzlies and Mountain lions around.

  19. What about the Ruger Mini 14 ? In states like NY the AR is hard to get and now is almost illegal, the Mini 14 is cash and carry in any store including Walmart ! Also a .308 or 30-06 would be a perfect addition for a long range sniper rifle or a big game taker and ammunition can be found everywhere. A shotgun is more useful for defense and hunting then a FN PS90 or The Kriss Vector and ammuntion (12 or 20) is available everywhere that sells guns and ammo.

  20. I will stick with the Ruger 10/22 (NYC outlawed them so they have to be great ) and a Bernilli M-1 shot gun of course a SKS o r Saiger 7.62 x 39 Cheap and battle proven

    Marlin h 30 cal lever

    Sigsauer 226

  21. did you see the shark before you jumped it kriss is kinda cool but you’d have to graduate M.I.T. to work on it the 5.7 give us a break you have to be rich to feed it and the civilian rounds are enemic

  22. at least a rifle of .300 win mag or 30.06 for big game, 5.56/ 7.62 x 39mm variants, one rifle in 7.62×51, ruger 10-22 take down, challenger take down, .30-30 win lever if in deep brush have or substitute .444 marlin or 45.70, one 50. cal muzzle loader, maybe .58 cal if you prefer. pistols, one or two revolvers preferably .357 through .45 calibers, semi auto glock or springfield in model 40,(10mm), 40, or .45 cal (model 41) or even 1911 if you prefer. Shotguns, Rem870/ 1187; or Mossberg 500, 590, and or 930 .12 guage. could add a scout rifle of some sort in .308…

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