Top three guns for your homestead
When thinking of living the homestead life, self-sufficiency is often a topic that comes up fairly early. In order to be self-sufficient, it is important to own and know how to operate and maintain a variety of tools. It’s understandable that when most people think of homestead tools the most common variety is hand and power tools. Firearms are also important tools, especially these top three guns for your homestead.
22 caliber rifle
One of the most versatile weapons you can have in your arsenal is a 22 caliber rifle. Common configurations include bolt action, pump, and semi-automatic. A 22 is handy to have around to take care of varmints that are threatening homestead livestock, harvesting a variety of small game, and dispatching homestead livestock on their final day.
Another reason to have a 22 on the homestead is the hours of relatively inexpensive fun that can be had target shooting. A safe backstop is a priority to ensure the bullets stop where you want them to but it can be as simple as shooting into a mound of dirt or a hillside or as high-tech as a steel trap into a bed of sand.
Rivaling the 22 for versatility is a shotgun. Shotguns come in a variety of actions and styles. Action choices range from a single or double barrel “break-open” to bolt action as well pump and semi-automatic, both of which allow fast follow up shots. Styles range from classic wood stock and blued barrels to hunting specific camo versions to tactical home defense weapons.
Another choice you’ll have to make is about what gauge will suit your needs. Gauge is most easily understood as how much power the shotgun has. Popular gauges include the 410, 20 gauge and 12 gauge ranked from least to most powerful. There is a more powerful 10 gauge as well as some gauges in between those listed but they can often be hard to find ammunition for.
A 410 is handy for small critters but a 20 or 12 gauge will be most versatile, filling the needs of home defense to hunting large or small game as well as upland birds by choosing from a variety of ammunition available just about anywhere sporting goods are sold.
No matter which gauge, action, or style you choose it makes sense to pick out one you are most comfortable with. At the very least during the selection process try shouldering the gun with your eyes closed (unloaded of course). Open your eyes and see if you are on target or at least have your eyes lined up the with the bead or sights.
Last on our list of top three guns for your homestead is a center-fire rifle. There are a lot of options in this category and it seems like anytime one asks which one is best it leads to a spirited debate.
Typically when we talk about center-fire rifles on the homestead we’re thinking about harvesting large game. Of course, the area that your homestead is located has a lot to do with what is considered a large game animal. Alaskan homesteaders face a quite different scale than Oklahoma large game.
Some common choices for deer size game in the lower 48 include the lever-action 30-30, and bolt-action rifles chambered in 270 or 30-06. There are many others but choosing one from this list will ensure a wide array of choices in both the firearm selection as well as available ammunition.
If you are unfamiliar with firearms or would feel more comfortable with some instruction it is likely that there are resources available in your town. At the very least most wildlife departments or DNR offices offer hunter safety courses. If yours does not feel free to use the one from the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation.
And as a responsible gun owner please secure your firearms and ammunition separately away from the reach of anyone that should not have access to them. Here is my affiliate link to Tractor Supply. They have a good selection of gun safes.