Essentially any firearm can be used for hunting and the firearm you have with you is the best one of all. But what rifle can be classed as the best hunting rifle for wilderness survival.?
When you have a choice however, how do you choose, your hunting rifle.?
You have to be able to take advantage of any situation so if a grouse flies up as you are moving across a field you want to be able to take advantage as well as bring down a deer as it crosses your path.
Your hunting rifle has to easy to bring to the shoulder, aim and fire.
The rifle must be light enough to carry all day and be ready to fire under any environmental condition.
A little dirt and grime should not prevent it from firing because you may not be able to properly field strip and clean your weapon in a survival situation.
One rifle that fits the bill for an all round survival-hunting rifle is the Mosin Nagant – which fires a 7.62mm round that is equivalent to the 30-06 caliber so it has all the stopping power and range you would need.
It is bolt action, and the chamber is fed by an internal magazine.
The Mosin-Nagant is Russian made, they were made by the millions, and they are easily obtained today even though they first came off the assembly line in 1891.
The price is right as well and typically, you can pick one up for less than 200 dollars and the ammunition can be bought in bulk so 400-600 rounds would cost less than 100 dollars.
The Mosin is a workhorse, can take brutal conditions and rough handling, and can function without being cleaned for days on end. It was built to send rounds downrange in any type of conditions by virtually anyone that can work a bolt and trigger.
The Mosin Nagant or a rifle of similar design is ideal for hunting and survival. Bolt actions are probably more suited for rough conditions because you can work through jams and a little dirt and grime will not slow it down.
Iron Open Sights or a Scope
If a pheasant, duck or grouse flies up in your path you would never be able to get a scope on the bird to fire but with open sights you can shoot over the sights or track in flight with the open sights as you would with the bead on a shotgun muzzle.
Scopes are ideal for long range hunting if you are stalking a deer or large game but in a wilderness survival situation you may not have the luxury of waiting in a deer stand for one to wander into your sights. You would have to pursue your game actively so open sights would probably be more suited overall for survival hunting.
Rifles such as the 22.caliber would be ideal for small game but it would be difficult to bring down large game. A higher caliber rifle like a 30.06 or a 7.62mm can bring down larger game as well as smaller game.
A .22 would be good for rabbits, squirrels, and some waterfowl possibly and land birds but this means you would have to hunt and bring back small game sometimes several times a day to keep ahead of the hunger pangs.
Bringing down larger game means you can cure/preserve the meat to eat off for several days or longer and this allows the game to settle down as well. You do not have to be out there several times a day banging away and running it off.