How Many Guns Should A Prepper Have?

Sharing is caring!

When prepping for the worst-case scenario, you will always stock your needs first – food, for instance. When you are prepping your needs, it’s often hard to know how much is enough. One thing is certain, though. No matter what kind of prepper you are, the consensus among preppers is that you need guns; they are not a want

How many guns should a prepper have?  Most preppers will say that you can never have enough. However, the answer depends on what kind of guns you purchase and how often you intend to use them. Generally, you need to account for several variables before making your decision. 

When prepping, it is not enough to know how many guns you need. There are more factors in play, as well. What type of guns do you need? How much ammo do you need? Why do you need guns in the first place? This article will discuss everything you need to know about guns when it comes to prepping. 

Why Do You Need Guns to Prep?

Prepping for any situation means prepping for the absolute worst-case scenario. If you bring an entire medical kit and only leave needing a band-aid, that is far better than only taking a band-aid and needing stitches or a wrap for a sprain. 

Therefore, when you plan for the end of the world or doomsday, then the worst-case scenario is that you will need to survive off your stock for months, maybe even several years.  With this thought process, everything needs to be non-perishable and easily opened and eaten.  

So, What Happens When You Run out of Food?

There are many arguments as to why people don’t need guns for hunting or protection, but in a worst-case scenario situation, you will be looking for the easiest and most effective way to complete a task. Guns will be the most efficient way to hunt and protect yourself. 

This is one reason why you need guns. Hunting is a vital part of survival.  Meat is an excellent source of iron and protein, and you will need that to maintain your health. It’s far easier to buy and store guns and ammo, rather than storing and setting up traps or crossbows. 

On the same note, you want to make sure you have easily concealable guns that shoot a bit faster and hold more ammo.  This prepares you for any situation, animal, or person that you may have a run-in with. 

You also need guns to defend yourself against anyone or anything that could be a threat to you or your stock. You must be very confident and comfortable with how the gun shoots, loads, and recoils.  The more comfortable you are with your gun, the more reliable you will be in an emergency situation. 

How to Plan Your Gun Stock

If you have to use your guns to defend yourself, you won’t have time to think about any processes or steps; everything you do needs to be muscle memory. You also need to have a part of your gun stock that is simple to shoot and handle, just in case you have to give a gun to someone who doesn’t know how to aim, shoot or use a gun.  

You may have to teach your kid how to hunt, and they need something small to become comfortable with first. Always allow the next generation to become prepared; it ensures that your legacy will live on through safe gun practices. 

When you start building your stock of guns, ammo, and cleaning supplies, you have to buy according to what you are planning for.  You also have to know that the bigger the gun, most of the time, the heavier it is. 

So, you can’t plan to carry 6 or 7 guns at a time, nor can you plan to carry boxes and boxes of ammo around with you. You have to make hard decisions about how prepared you want to be versus how slowly you want to move with your stock.  As a rule, you should have one long-range gun for every adult, and a handgun for each person as a backup.  

However, the number of guns you gather also depends on what type of prepper you are. Generally, you will fall under one of these categories:

  • Doomsday bunker preppers
  • “Bugging-out” preppers
  • Plan A, B and C preppers

Doomsday Bunker Preppers

Doomsday bunker preppers have built or bought a pre-built bunker capable of withstanding whatever disaster they are prepping for. This plan relies solely on being able to get to and stay in your bunker during the disaster. The bunker is where they are going to keep all of their stock, and they will plan to stay here when disaster strikes.  

If this is what you are planning for, then your gun stock can be as large as you have room for in the bunker.  You can keep a collection of any type of guns and ammo you want. Everything from small handguns, to long-range rifles, will make sense in your stock. 


If you are prepared to “bug-out,” then you are prepared to pack your car and leave at a moment’s notice. You are ready to get in the car and drive until you find a safe place to stay, likely with the knowledge that you may have to live in your car.

You will be able to have a decent stock of guns and ammo, but you are restricted by the weight limit and storage capacity of your vehicle. Generally, the best options for guns with this type of prepper is

  • Easily concealable handguns
  • Full-size pistols
  • Shotguns

Plan A, B, and C

This is the category most preppers fall into. This usually means you have a plan (plan A) that is your preferred plan in the case of disaster.  However, you also have plans B and C in case things fall through.  

No matter what kind of prepper category you fall into, you should be more than able to plan a stock of guns, and other things, based upon your plans for disaster. 

At the bare minimum, you should always have a bag that goes everywhere with you with some essentials in it, in case of an emergency.  

  • Handguns are the best option for this bag due to the small size and ease of concealment.
  • Rifles or shotguns are a good second option if you are able to easily carry these. 

What Type of Guns Should You Stock?

So, you’ve got an idea about how many guns you should need for your stock.  But do you know what kind of guns you need? Do you know the pros and cons of each? Guns are categorized as long guns and handguns, and you will absolutely likely need a combination of both. 

Long Guns○ Shotguns
○ Rifles
○ Included, but not limited to:
○ Sniper rifles
○ AR-15’s
○ Machine Guns
○ Long-distance
○ Close-range
○ Rapid-fire
○ High-damage
○ Hunting (Rifles are best)
○ Harder to carry
○ Less maneuverable in high-stress situations
Handguns○ Revolvers
○ Semi-automatic pistols 
○ Easily concealable
○ Hands-free carry
○ Lighter weight
○ More easily handled by inexperienced shooters

Long Guns

Rifles and shotguns are the two types of guns you would be looking at if you need long guns.  These guns are suitable for long-distance shooting, as well as rapid-fire. This type of gun is essential to your stock. 

  • Rifles: You will need rifles when you hunt, or if you need to see long distances for protection. These types of guns can help get you out of a hairy situation with their rapid-fire abilities, as well. Their only downfall is the lack of ability to grab these in a quick emergency for protection. 
  • Shotguns: are great for close-range and high damage. You do not want to use them for hunting because they will tear your meat up and leave shards in the animal you kill, but if this is your only option, it’s better than no gun. However, for protection, this is a great option.  In high-stress situations, it’s hard to focus on aiming, and with a shotgun, your radius of fire is much higher, giving you a greater chance that you hit your target. 


Handguns are fantastic to have for a myriad of reasons.

  • Handguns are easily concealable, and most of the time, you can find a holster, so carrying them is hands-free. 
  • They hold enough ammo to do what you need without changing a magazine. 
  • They are light. 
  • The easiest to use when teaching someone to shoot

Most of the time, you can use handguns for whatever you need a gun for, except when you would normally use a sniper rifle. While it would be much harder to use a handgun when hunting, it’s possible to do so. 

Advice From a Seasoned Prepper

After doing some research, you may be able to find preppers who are more than willing to list out the preferred guns they have in their stock.  I discovered a man who has been prepping since 2007 and has done extensive research on all possible scenarios.  

He has shopped sales and been through several ammo shortages to maintain his stock. He gives us quite an example of how he stocks for security with guns and ammo.

5 Must-Have Guns for a Prepper

ShotgunEasy to use, cheap ammo that is always available. Shotguns can be used for safety and hunting and are a great deterrent when you have a problem with security. 

He stocks 500 rounds for hunting and 500 for defense.
Semi-Automatic RifleGreat for medium-range defense or hunting. Semi-automatic means it loads the next round into the chamber, but you must pull the trigger again to shoot it.  

He stocks 2000 rounds. 
Full size PistolCan be used well for security, and easy to use. However,  it is not easily concealable. Would be great for defense when stored in a table or nightstand. 

He stocks 1000 defensive hollow point rounds and 2000 rounds for practice. (You always want to keep your marksmanship skill sharp). 
Long Range RiflePerfect gun for long-range hunting, anything further away than 400 yards. Will do well with large game for large amounts of meat. 

He stocks 500 rounds.
Small game RifleGreat for hunting in a pinch, can be used as a defense, but not recommended for the gun you would solely rely on. 

He stocks 2000 rounds. 

This prepper makes a point to explain that he is not an expert, but this gives you an idea of what a prepper stock would generally look like. He highly recommends having some sort of inventory system to help you know what is in your stock at all times. He labels his shelves with the product and amount on each shelf; it’s very easy for him to see what he has at a glance.

To some people, this may seem like overkill, but to many preppers, this is just simply being prepared. 

Ensuring Gun Safety

Now, of course, when planning to have this many guns around a large group of people, you must take the time to make sure everyone knows how to handle a gun safely. When prepping for a disaster, you need to prep for the worst-case scenario, but you definitely don’t want to deal with an accidental shooting because you didn’t teach someone gun safety. 

Starting off by going through these basic rules should maintain a level of understanding with everyone and how to handle their firearms. Everyone who might be handling a gun in your shelter, bunker, or home should be familiar with these safety basics. 

  1. Always keep your firearm pointed in a safe direction. Should always be pointed in a direction where it cannot cause harm or damage if it were to accidentally be fired. This includes ceilings or walls because bullets can absolutely penetrate them and hit someone on the other side.  This also includes when the gun is unloaded. 
  2. Don’t rely on the gun’s safety. This is a precautionary measure and should not be relied upon to catch mistakes that can easily be avoided. 
  3. Use the correct ammunition. Using the wrong, or poorly made ammunition can cause gun malfunction or explosions, which lead to injuries and sometimes death. 
  4. Know what to do in the event of a misfire. You need to keep the muzzle pointed away from people, and slowly and carefully take the gun apart.  Dispose of the bullet that caused the issue and put your gun back together. 
  5. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting. When firing your gun, eye and ear protection are essential to keep your hearing and eyesight protected.  
  6. Know how your gun handles and know the mechanics. The more comfortable you are with your gun in everyday life, the better you will be able to use it in an emergency. Also, know how to clean and load your gun so you can take care of it
  7. Always know what’s beyond your target. You have to always plan for what is beyond your target.  So, it is wise not to shoot when a house or building is behind your target. If you miss, the bullet could easily penetrate a wall and hit a person. 
  8. Keep your guns cleaned and maintained. Cleaning your guns regularly keeps the misfires and malfunctions down to a minimal chance. The more you take care of your gun, the better it will shoot, and the greater chance it will work exactly when you need it.
  9. Store your firearms safely. Keep your firearms in a location where they are not easily accessible to children or those who should not have access to firearms. Never store your firearms or ammo near fireplaces, space heaters or ovens.  Extreme heat can cause your guns to warp, or certain parts may melt and malfunction. This can lead to injuries, fires, and sometimes death. 
  10. Always be as careful as you possibly can when using a firearm.  If you think it may be risky behavior, don’t do it. If you see someone mishandling a firearm, don’t ignore it.  Correcting someone on their lack of safety could save someone from an injury or even save a life. 

In Conclusion

When prepping, you need enough guns for each adult to arm themselves.  Generally, adults are going to protect the children, so you just have to make sure the adults are armed. Once you do that, the only thing left to figure out is if everyone can use a gun and knows gun safety. 

Prepping for a disaster is not a complicated process. If it is thought out well, you just have to know your logistics and desires for your stockpile. Guns are necessary for a disaster plan because you never know precisely what you will encounter when up against a disaster in the future. Prepping and guns go hand in hand. 


Shanna is the 2nd half of Top Outdoor Survival. Like Forest, she has a passion for guns and knives. They love to go on a survival trip at least once a year. They love to go camping, hiking, and traveling.

Recent Posts