Choosing Your Self Defense Rifle

Choosing Your Self Defense Rifle by Gun Carrier at

Choosing Your Self Defense Rifle by Gun Carrier at

It goes without saying that the world we live in can be a dangerous one. You can see it every day, across every news channel. People are being attacked in their homes, out on the street, and everywhere in-between.

What we know is that those of us who choose to arm ourselves are more likely to survive these kind of attacks, so long as we also arm ourselves with the skills to wield a firearm effectively. A dependable firearm combined with appropriate self defense strategies will help you rest easy knowing you're able to protect yourself, your family and your property.

Choosing Your Self Defense Rifle

Regardless of their intended use, rifles are often considered less reliable for self defense due to the very nature of their form. Long guns, primarily designed to shoot accurately from a distance, could hardly be seen as ideal in the closed quarters of a home, right?


For one thing, as gun expert Chuck Hawks reminds us, more and more people today live in expansive suburban environments. If the SHTF and you're at the end of a cul-de-sac while a marauding raid is heading down your street, you're going to want as much of an advance on them as possible. 

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Some Key Considerations When Choosing a Self Defense Rifle

    • Make sure it can take a reasonably powerful cartridge. Hawks recommends nothing lower than a .233 Remington caliber or equivalent.
    • But DON'T go too big! Pushing beyond .30-30 will make follow-up shots slower and less reliable.
    • Telescopic sights are a must, but remember that low-power sights will be practically useless during night action.
    • Red dot opticals might be the best option for nighttime accuracy.
    • Beginner shooters (as well as any shooter under duress) tends to achieve far more accuracy with a rifle.
    • Look for auto-loading, pump, or lever-action rifles so you don't waste valuable time reloading.
    • Your favorite big game hunting rifle is probably a terrible choice for self defense. Save that for the buck, not the band of rioting trash.
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Check out Hawk's full roundup, as well as specific model recommendations in the self defense rifle genre, here. His top picks include:


  • Ruger Mini-30P, 7.62×39 caliber.
  • U.S. Carbine M1, Caliber .30.
  • .30-30 Winchester Model 94.
  • Uberti 1866 Short Sporting Rifle, offered in .38 Spec., .44-40 and .45 Colt.
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An oldie but a goodie. Replicas of the classic Uberti 1866 Short Sporting Rifle might be a surprisingly good option.

We think your takeaway from his piece will be the same as ours: There is nothing wrong with long rifles for self defense. They are good weapons if you live in a large suburban lot, a ranch or estate. These days most people live in the city or the suburbs. To be able to defend yourself effectively in this environment, a short rifle would be the wiser choice. This is where assault rifles come in and are a great opportunity to outgun the bad guy.

It all boils down to your own preferences. If you feel that a long rifle is the best self defense weapon for you, then make sure you have the skills and agility to handle it. If you like to get the action done faster with more reliable results, go for short barrel rifles.

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