A quality firearm isn't just something for hunters. Hikers, backpackers, fishermen, and many others can benefit from having a firearm. Even if it's just something you keep stowed away until you really need it. Believe us when we say that most people who end up in a survival scenario end up wishing they had one of some kind. Even if it's just a simple single shot. The good news is there are plenty of nice, light survival rifles on the market today that fill this niche quite nicely. In a world of insanely expensive firearms, many are quite affordable too. Whether you're looking for something that stashed into the storage area of a float plane or something that's going to be a permanent part of your bugout bag, we've got you covered. These are our top picks for rifles that can be easily folded or quickly taken down for optimal storage. Any one of these takedown guns is great for small game hunting or plinking fun too. These rifles will help keep you alive if you ever do find yourself in a serious wilderness survival scenario.
Ruger 10/22 Takedown Lite
Almost anyone who has ever fired a rimfire gun has probably handled Ruger's classic 10/22 before. These semi-automatics are incredibly reliable and heavily customizable. So, it makes total sense for Ruger to offer a takedown model. Although it is more expensive than a standard 10/22 at $800. This gun utilizes a lock and twist system to disassemble and reassemble the weapon into a compact package. The 16-inch barrel has a 1:16 twist rate. This gun uses Ruger's modular stock system, so you can have a high or low comb. It includes a 10-round magazine which is a nice capacity for a gun like this. The only downside is it doesn't include sights from the factory. We do like it comes compatible with Ruger's Silent-SR suppressor straight out of the box. At 4.5 pounds, this rifle offers great portability for a survival weapon. Ruger even includes a carry case with this one to add a little more to the value of this firearm. This is the one to go with if you want to customize your takedown rifle for a specific type of survival situation.
Savage Arms 42 Takedown
This single shot break-action is a great choice for anyone looking for simplicity or versatility. You're essentially getting two guns for the price of one here. The top barrel fires either .22 lr or .22 WMR while the bottom barrel is reserved for .410 bore shotgun shells. Use the .22 on rabbits and squirrels and use some bird shot from the .410 to bring down flying game birds. You could even bring magnum defensive .410 ammo for extra peace of mind. It won't kill a bear or other large predator. But we're betting it would sure make them think twice about attacking you if you're lost in the wilderness. It's better than nothing or trying to use just a rimfire for animal defense. This firearm is fully ambidextrous and only weighs 6.1 pounds. The simple open front and rear sights are easy for anyone to master, even a novice gun owner. Press one button, and the whole thing breaks apart to fit into an included bug-out bag for transport or storage. The 42 is a $550 investment, but well worth it for the amount of practical uses you'll get out of it in a survival situation.
Henry AR-7 Survival Rifle
The Henry AR-5 has been stowed in the cockpits of planes by U.S. Air Force pilots for years as an emergency long gun in case they went down somewhere remote. The A-7 is the modern, civilian version. The designer of this rifle was Eugene Stoner, the designer of the original M-16. So, there's some real credentials behind the design. The big selling point of this one is the components pack into the stock when not in use. It's probably the most compact stowing rifle on the market today. This semi-automatic .22 features an 18.5-inch barrel length with a twist rate of 1:16 inches. The stock is a black synthetic that should hold up to the elements nicely. Speaking of the elements, the barrel and receiver are Teflon-coated to resist water when you're deep in the brush with no shelter. Another nice bonus about the Henry is that you get two magazines included standard. No need to buy extras right away. The entire package weighs in at a scant 3.5 pounds, perfect for hikers and campers that want to have a firearm in the bag. The other huge bonus is the price. At $330 for a standard black model, and $406 for one of the camo versions, they're cheap. We're not even sure how Henry makes money selling them for that low these days.
Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown
IIf you're looking for a higher-end rifle, the type you can stake your life on, the X-Ring Takedown is an option. It's not cheap at $1,600. However, it has almost everything one could want in a lightweight survival gun. It only weighs about four pounds, making it a breeze to carry on long treks. Press one button and twist to easily take it down. The barrel and receiver latch onto the stock for sowing in one piece. The 16.5-inch barrel offers a 1:16 twist rate and is both threaded and fluted. A 15-MOA picatinny scope base offers options for optics, but you can also utilize the fiber optic rear and front sights. This gun is also offered in a variety of different color and camo finishes to match the owner's personality or the terrain where they'll be using it.
Marlin Model 70PSS
If you're like me, you likely grew up learning to shoot with an old Marlin Model 60. This is essentially the takedown version of that. Marlin was bought out by Ruger a few years ago and this rifle is not currently listed as being in production. However, we're betting it's only a matter of time before they're re-introduced. There's also plenty still floating around for sale. In any case, Marlin cut the weight down to just under 3.5 pounds with this gun, which is also known as "The Papoose." The barrel is a 16-inch stainless steel beauty with a 1:16 twist rate. The stock is a black synthetic. Most survival guns look mostly utilitarian in nature, but this one has a nice look to it. The downside is a lower capacity on the nickel-plated magazines. They only hold seven rounds. The price is decent though, with an MSRP of $350.
Browning SA-22 Semi-Automatic
This takedown rifle because looks nothing like most other guns in that category. Compared to the utilitarian nature of many takedowns, this classic John Browning design is a real looker. The turn of a nut allows you to break down the rifle into two pieces. This gun features a unique bottom ejection design which makes the gun ambidextrous. It also has a longer, 19-inch barrel with a 1:16 rate of twist. The capacity is slightly higher than other rimfire survival guns at 11+1 rounds too. Browning makes a few different variants of this one that are all simply gorgeous thanks to the wooden furniture. The downside is that wood makes it heavier at around five pounds. They're expensive too, running anywhere from $800 to $1,700 depending on the variant you choose. However, for anyone looking for a versatile plinking and small game gun for use beyond the usual survival scenarios, this is a great option to consider.
Winchester Model 94 Takedown
Most takedowns are rimfire, so the lever action Model 94 is the option for anyone who wants the power of a centerfire rifle. Winchester chambers this rifle in three calibers, .30-30 Win, 450 Marlin, and 38-55-Win. This 94 is vastly different from a standard model because it can be broken down into two components for easy storage in a backpack. Winchester kept the weight right around six pounds, which isn't bad for a classic-looking lever gun. This gun features a brushed polish barrel and wooden furniture. It's a gun you'd never guess was a takedown model. Those looks do come with a price tag to match. Expect to pay about $1,600 for one of these brand-new. The good news is they do hold their value in case you're worried about resale later.
Chiappa Little Badger
The Little Badger may be one of the ugliest guns ever made, but it's built for function over everything else and we can respect it for that. Chiappa makes this rifle chambered for .22 lr, .22 WMR, and even .17 HMR, so there's some options with caliber. Thanks to that wire folding stock, these rifles only weigh about 2.9 pounds. There's also a shell holder in the stock that holds 12 rounds ready to go when you need them. Chiappa includes M1 Carbine-style front and rear sights, but there are also picatinny rails for adding optics. They also sell a model with a low-power scope. There's even an option handle and cleaning kit that can screw into the bottom of the receiver. The best part of the Little Badger is the price. It goes for only about $250. Even the premium Cerakote finish model has an MSRP of only $264.