Low-Cost Firearms: Building a Survival Cache on a Budget

When I teach my two-day Spy Course, one of the topics I discuss is caching certain supplies for a crisis.

When it comes to survival situations, caching is a great way to store emergency items away from your home in case you need to leave your house. Two survival items I regularly recommend caching are guns and ammunition.

The fact is whether you are caching guns in preparation for a disaster or out of fear of government overreach causing you to lose your guns, caching weapons is something everyone should consider.

That being said, I would never recommend burying your family’s treasured heirloom or some gun for which you paid tens of thousands of dollars. I do recommend caching more than one firearm. Specifically, I suggest stashing different types of guns — such as pistols, shotguns and rifles.

Obviously, firearms are expensive and caching more than one can quickly add up. So today, I want to share with you some inexpensive (but still quality) guns that you can cache on a budget.


As far as caching pistols is concerned, I would stick with 9 mm semi-autos. The reason is 9 mm is a more common caliber, so it will be easier to find ammo if you run out.

If you are digging up a buried firearms cache, you are most likely in a survival situation. A semi-automatic holds more rounds than a revolver. Plus, it’s easier and faster to reload. In an emergency, you want a firearm with multiple magazines that you can reload quickly while moving to safety.


Kel-Tec PF-9 semi-automatic pistol

A few pistols I recommend looking at are the Century Arms Canik 9 mm, Kel-Tec PF-9 and the Ruger 9E — all under $400. And most importantly, these three pistols are dependable when it comes to less-expensive 9 mm pistols.


The biggest advantage of a shotgun is that it is highly effective for hunting — especially when it comes to birds, rabbits, squirrels or any type of small game.

There are many different types of shotgun ammunition, which makes shotguns even more versatile. You could easily cache a few different types of shells with your shotgun so you have the option to use it for hunting or self-defense.

A 12-gauge shotgun is one of the most well-rounded and popular shotguns around. It’s what I would cache for an emergency.


Mossberg Maverick 88 12-gauge shotgun

A few models to consider are the Mossberg Maverick 88, the Stoeger P3000 and the Savage Stevens 320. These three shotguns sell for under $300 each, and they can all serve multiple purposes in a survival situation.


If you decide to cache a rifle, I suggest either a .22 or .223. Like a shotgun, you can use it for hunting small game and self-defense.


Ruger 10/22 carbine .22 LR semi-automatic rifle

You can’t go wrong with a Ruger 10/22, which you can get for around $250. However, if you want to spend a little more money, go ahead and get an AR-15.

One More Option

Another option to consider when building up your cache is buying used firearms. If you like a specific type of pistol that’s a little more expensive and you don’t want to bury it, look into buying a used version. Used guns are still high-quality, but often cost much less because they’re not brand-new.

Of course, before you cache a firearm be sure to give it a good cleaning as well as put plenty of rounds through it. You need to be just as familiar with your cached guns as your everyday guns so you feel confident using them when you need to.

Lastly, don’t forget to store the necessary ammo and cleaning supplies with your guns. You have no idea what condition the firearm may be in when you dig it up. You’ll want to be able to give it a good cleaning before you use it.

Stay safe,

Jason Hanson

Jason Hanson

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