Picture yourself and your loved ones in real-life wilderness survival situation. How do you make it through the days you’ll spend there? You’ll surely need to hunt as well as defend yourself and your loved ones from any potential dangers. And that calls for arming yourself with the most reliable weapons possible.
The battle for the best weapons to use in survival scenarios boils down to bows and guns.
BUT…which between the two wins the battle?
In this post, I’ll talk you through the beautiful and ugly sides of using each of these weapons in SHTF situations and, hopefully, you’ll be in a better condition to pick the ideal weapon for your survival journey.
Let’s start with the guns…
Using Guns for Survival:
The Beautiful Side
- Easy to use
Probably the best part about using guns for survival is that they’re relatively easy to use. You don’t need to attend any classes to learn how to pull that trigger and fire a perfect shot at your target.
Heck, even kids as young as you can imagine can learn how to use them without any training. We’ve seen children being issued with guns in conflict zones to defend their people/territories.
Even here in the US, news has always emerged of kids who have sued their parents’ firearms to hold the intruders.
Even if you can’t take perfect shots with your gun, the deafening sound it produces when you fire about is enough to scare away your enemy.
- High Rates of Fire (and Long-distance targeting)
You may argue that this heavily depends on the type of firearm at hand, type of metal used for the bullets, and even the ammo powder grain weight.
That is true!
Even with all these factors, you’ll be in a better position to make long distance shots with your gun (even if you’re using the simple .22 LR round) than when using a bow.
- Guns have the Stopping Power!
You know this – rifles have got the stopping power as well as the ability to take your target down at the point of impact. I doubt if your bow and arrows can do this (unless you’re using bows with explosive tips, right out of Rambo!)
The Ugly Side
- Guns are Noisy
This is actually the most unpleasant side of using your gun in survival situations. The deafening sound they produce can present you with many challenges which the bow doesn’t have.
Let me give you a few instance where the sound can work against you:
Imagine yourself hunting around and luckily guns down a buck. Considering that there are nearby hunters in the area, they’ll quickly get alerted about your catch, and this can turn out to be dangerous as they’re also hungry and looking for food to feed their family with.
Or you could be targeting a deer and unluckily miss it. Needless to mention, it will know you’re around because of the noise of the stray bullet. And trust me; the deer will run for its dear life!
What if you’re confronting an enemy and you open fire at them. Wouldn’t that alone notify them of your location (or hideout, if you like it)? And what do you think will happen when your enemy know exactly where to find you?
- Ammo shortage
Let’s face the painful reality… ammo demand keeps getting higher, even when their manufacturers work day and night to produce them. As if that’s not enough, ammo is costly compared to the arrows. Not forgetting that you can’t reuse your gun ammo while you can use your arrows again as many times as you want.
- Guns demand regular maintenance
This is particularly the case for firearms whose primary role if self-defense and hunting. You never know when the intruder comes into your home, so you ought to keep that gun well maintained – clean, properly oiled, and ready for sue in a minute’s notice. Luckily, there’s nothing like maintenance in the world of bows and arrows.
- All ammo is made the same?
I mean, you cannot use just any ammo you come across with your rifle. As for arrows, they’re uniform, and you can shoot them with all types of bows, making them a more flexible option.
And now the bows…
Using Bows for Survival:
The Beautiful Side
- Quiet Operation
One thing that puts bows far ahead of the rifles is that they operate silently. They produce nearly undetectable sound – which goes a long way in helping you maintain a low profile.
This is a huge plus for you as your target will have a hard time detecting your location – whether you’re hunting or taking on intruders.
- You’ll never go short of ammo!
Another aspect that makes bow the best weapon choice for survivalists.
If you run out of your firearm ammo, you’re done. But if you run out of your bow ammo (arrows), you can simply reuse the ones you’ve already shoot your target with.
And if you can trace them, you can make new ones quickly (out of the surrounding materials) and continue shooting.
- Arrows have a slower speed than bullets
“Does this make them any better?” you might wonder…
The answer is YES! Because, when you fire your arrows, and they move slowly, without making any sound, you’ll be long gone by the time it reaches your enemy. This makes it extremely hard for them to discover your location, which puts you on the winning edge.
The Ugly Side
- You’ve got to learn how to use bows
To become an expert archer, you need to put in a lot of time, effort, and determination in learning how to use bows and arrows. If you want to correctly shoot up to 3 arrows while running, you might need to take years to master archery.
The point is, if you’re a beginner archer, you might as well forget using bows for survival situations.
BUT…do not let this keep you from learning archery. The industry keeps on inventing new bow accessories to help you learn this great skill easily and quickly…
…for instance, the bow release, which helps you fire arrows with minimal torque and better stability.
- Slower firing rate
Another downside of bows and arrows is their slower rate of firing. They’ve faced this criticism since the middle-ages.
- Not ideal for long range shooting
If you want to shoot any target with a bow, you have to get closer to it. Based on my bowhunting experience, this means that you’ll have to observe extra caution to ensure your target doesn’t detect your presence.
Gun vs. Bow for Survival – Which is The Best?
Now that you know that ups and downs of using guns and bows in survival scenarios, you can draw a better conclusion on what to use in such situations.
Your gun will help you shoot long distances, shoot precisely and is easy to use. But if you run out of bullets, you can’t scramble to make news one from surrounding materials or reuse the one you’ve already fired, as it is the case with bows.
The bow makes it easy to keep a low profile and even sneak up on your target (with great caution, though), which gives you greater chances of taking them down. Unluckily, it can’t shoot long distances.
So, what do you choose to use in survival or SHTF scenario – a bow or a gun?
Jenifer is an outdoor enthusiast with great passion for archery. She spends most of her free time in the woods, taking down the game with a bow and arrows. She believes in the power of archery in the modern world of rifles. Find more about what bows and arrows can do here: https://buckwithbow.com/