The gun that sits next to my bug-out bag is an old Savage Model 24 combo gun chambered in .22 over 20 gauge. To me this is the perfect survival gun. It is light, well made, accurate, and has few moving parts. It can be used to hunt anything from wood rats to deer, and in a pinch it can serve as a personal defense weapon. I particularly like to shoot .22 CB’s in my combo gun. CB’s are small .22 caliber subsonic rounds that have a signature about like an air rifle but are capable of penetrating 300 pages of a telephone book. Someone 100 yards away won’t even hear the discharge.
I decided to make a few modifications to my combo gun so that even if the gun was all I had time to grab, I would still have a fighting chance at survival. The first thing I did was buy a set of sling mounts and attach them to the gun. Then I used fifty feet of 550 para-cord to tie up a nice cobra knot sling. The sling makes it easier to carry the gun and it can be dissembled to provide a lot of cordage.
Next I bought a cartridge sleeve for the stock. This sleeve has five loops on it, so I placed 20 gauge buckshot shells in four of the loops. In the fifth loop I inserted a plastic coin tube with a screw on lid. This tube holds sixteen .22 long rifle hollow points and ten CB’s.
I removed the butt plate and found that a nice, deep hole had been drilled for the nut that attaches the receiver to the stock. I scrounged up a long plastic tube that would hold 18 more CB’s and 6 more long rifles. When this tube was inserted into the hole, I had about an inch-and-a-half of space left over; so I cut a strip of cloth, rolled it up, and stuffed it in the hole. I figured this would keep the tube from rattling around and provide me with some cleaning patches.
I took a 7/8” paddle bit and drilled another hole into the butt that is about two inches deep. In this hole I placed a small compass, a fire striker, some jute string for tinder, a small packet with 5 fishhooks and 5 sinkers, a 30 feet of mono-filament fishing line.
I put a piece of duct tape over the butt of the stock to help protect the contents and then screwed the butt plate back on. Now, if all I have is my combo gun, I feel that these few additions will help keep me alive in the wilderness.