One gun I have that I have long considered to be a suitable “Survival gun” is a Marlin (or Winchester, Mossberg or Rossi) 30-30. I bought mine about 35 years ago to be my main go-to hunting gun. It is light and handy. It comes in an extremely popular caliber. There is almost always some ammo to be found in this caliber. It has a side loading gate that makes it easy to reload after firing a couple of shots. It has such a mild recoil that most people-male or female-should be able to handle it. I always have liked lever action rifles because of the many western movies I watched as a youngster. I enjoy shooting them.
So, what’s not to like? Well, for one thing it is lower powered compared to the .308 and 30-06 etc. It doesn’t have extreme target accuracy. Another thing, at one time you could only use flat tip or round nose bullets because of the tubular magazine of this rifle.
But, Hornady has done a lot to improve this caliber with their “Flex-Tip” ammo. With these cartridges it is possible to use pointed bullets in 30-30‘s. This ammo adds another 100 yards or more to the range of this fine rifle.
Although it doesn’t have the firepower of a semi-auto, I believe that for most survival needs a 30-30 is all you should need.
There is one 30-30 rifle that is OK for fun shooting or hunting, but, I do not recommend it for tactical use. And, that is the Henry. While the other 30-30s load through a side loading gate, which makes it easy to top up the magazine when necessary, the Henry has a plunger in the ammo tube which must be removed to reload it. This puts the Henry out of action while being reloaded. The other 30-30s can be kept ready for action while ammo is added. This is better for tactical activities. I think that every survivalist should have at least one 30-30.