“Survival arsenals” are a mainstay of those in the preparedness community, but the cost of building one can quickly get out of hand. Sure, for a couple thousand dollars, you could buy a high-quality semi-automatic rifle, a dependable pump or semi shotgun, and a good pistol.
But not everyone has $2,000 to spend. In fact, not everyone has even $1,000 to spend on an arsenal of firearms. So how are you to build a quality survival arsenal for only a few hundred dollars?
Believe it or not, it can be done – although of course it won’t be as impressive as that $2,000 batch.
Here is how you can build a quality survival arsenal for $500, give or take just a few bucks:
1. Mosin Nagant OR .22 Rifle ($200).
You need a good rifle to put lead at a far distance down range. A good rifle is both a valuable hunting and anti-personnel weapon. AK-47s, SKSs, Mini-14s, and AR-15s  are obviously out for this price range. Your two best options here will either be a used Mosin-Nagant rifle  or a .22 rifle. Search around for sales and pay attention to gun auction sites. You will eventually find a used .22 semi-automatic rifle (Ruger 10/22, Savage 64 or Marlin 60), or a Mosin-Nagant in good shape for around $200. If you are unable to find a good semi-auto .22 rifle for $200, you should at least be able to find a used bolt-action model.
2. Single Shot 12-Gauge OR 20-Gauge Shotgun ($100).
It certainly doesn’t have the capacity of a pump action or a semi-auto, but a single-shot, breech-loading shotgun will work for a cost-efficient survival arsenal. Again, search for sales or used offerings on gun auction sites. A single shot 12 or 20 gauge in good condition will pop up sooner or later for around $100. A shotgun is a very versatile weapon: You can shoot game birds and have a suitable home defense weapon. Also, 12-gauge and 20-gauge rounds are very easy to find.
3. Hi-Point Pistol OR Cheap Revolver ($200).
Finally, you’ll want a trusty sidearm that you can keep strapped to your side as you work around the homestead. You are extremely limited with what you can buy here, but for around $200, you will be able to pick up a new Hi-Point pistol or a well-used Taurus or Rossi revolver for around $200. Yes, Hi-Point pistols could win the nomination for ugliest pistol on the planet, and yes, a $200 used revolver is going to be extremely well-worn and perhaps even rusted on the finish and grip. But both will work when you need them, and remember, you only have $500 to spend for your arsenal.
Of course, if you can afford an AR-15 rifle, a Mossberg shotgun and a Glock pistol in place of these, then purchase those instead. But if you’re on a budget and in need of some survival weapons, these options will work.
How would you build a survival arsenal for $500? Share your suggestions in the section below: