I've been looking at the idea of a purpose built "survival" gun lately, so I thought I'd start a discussion here and see if I get any ideas from you guys. Mainer in AK had a similar thread a few years back, but I didn't find much else here on this topic.
I've been thinking about a gun that one could carry as a "just in case" mostly to shoot camp meat. I know that most people think of "survival gun" so as to include self defense, but that's not really on my radar. A secondary use might also be as my son's first gun, with which to hunt grouse and hare. (That's the official story to tell the lady of the house to justify the gun purchase in the first place. lol)
Two things I noticed soon into my research were a.)there isn't much out there to choose from when one is looking for a survival specific gun and b.)what is out there is all very similar.
Of course the first two things that come to mind are the Henry Arms AR-7's (22LR, take down, floating) and the no longer in production CZ/Springfield Armory M6. Something new that I just found is the Savage Arms Model 42, which appears to be a synthetic stocked reincarnation of the old Model 24-a 22/410 over and under. H&R makes a survivor gun, but, near as I can tell, one has to carry two separate barrels and switch them out-hardly a combination gun or even a small/packable gun. What else have you guys seen out there?
I like the idea of having a shotgun available. I like shotguns, and I like their versatility. Heck, maybe I should just be buying an HR Topper in 410 or something. Looking at the AR-7 being 22LR only, I almost wonder if one would be better off with a 22LR revolver. (Don't get me wrong, I really like the AR-7, I'm just not sure how versatile a 22LR only would be in AK.
My initial question, however, is about calibers and gauge (bore in this case). The M6 came in either 22LR or 22 Hornet over a .410 bore, and the Savage 42 comes in either 22LR or 22WMR over a .410 bore. I have zero experience with 22WMR or 22 Hornet. Are either of them THAT much better than 22LR or THAT much better than the other? I've read that 22 Hornet can be used, in a pinch, to take down a deer, but I know someone who took a deer with a 22WMR also. I also have zero experience with .410, but I've read or heard a lot of people denigrate the .410. I've heard stories of shot spreads so bad and so inconsistent that one could miss a bird as it flew between the shot. I've also heard that range is quite limited, even for a shotgun. If those are true, then it would make the decision on buying a gun a lot easier if the shotgun portion was largely impractical anyway.
So what is your opinion and how would you make a comparison?