When heading out to the backcountry, there is a long list of handy little carbines geared towards tagging along on the trail without taking up valuable space. These are survival rifles that take up a limited envelope but can be there when needed for reasons ranging from plinking and small game hunting to personal defense, depending on the model.
Today’s evolution of Eugene Stoner’s classic AR-7, which was itself derived from an Air Force contract, the Henry US Survival breaks down into the receiver, barrel, and magazine, which can then be stored inside the polymer stock– that floats! The little 8+1 semi-auto, chambered in .22LR, weighs in at 3.5-pounds. Made in either black or camo, these guns start at $229.
Just Right Carbine Takedown
With AR-style controls, Just Right Carbine’s 9mm Takedown rifle runs a 17-inch barrel, Picatinny rail on a solid machined receiver, M4 style stock and a blowback action. Capable of tool-free takedown while picking up the bonus of using double stack Glock mags, the JRCT comes in .45ACP with the option of either black or camo schemes, the latter with a matching Kryptek sling pack. Price? $759.
While not a takedown-style design, Kel-Tec’s SU-16C has a folding stock that drops the overall length of the 5.56mm carbine down to 25.5-inches when stowed. Weighing in at 4.7-pounds, it is a no-frills design that still allows the user to bring a significant little rifle — that uses AR mags — along to the campsite without having to count too many grams. We have these in the Guns.com Vault starting at $460.
With the same concept as the SU-16 series, Kel-Tec’s SUB-2000 is a pistol caliber carbine chambered in 9mm or 40 S&W. With multiple magazine choices– including models that use popular Glock mags– the current generation of these folding rifles come standard with Magpul M-LOK accessory slots for those not satisfied with the gun’s 4-pound weight. Price on the SUB-2000 starts at $330 and includes versions with either a black or nickel boron finish.
Marlin 70P Papoose
Using the same receiver and action as Marlin’s classic .22LR Model 60 and 795 series of autoloaders, the Model 70P Papoose is a proven design that has the bonus of having a quick takedown design with a QD 16.25-inch barrel. Broken down using a no-tools-needed barrel nut, the Papoose fits inside a 21-inch space when disassembled for storage. It is also one of the lightest carbines on this list, with a weight of just 3.25-pounds. Not bad for a gun that starts at $273.
Ruger 10/22 Takedown
Ruger makes what sometimes feels like a hundred versions of their iconic 10/22 rotary magazine rimfire carbine, so you know that must contain some trail-friendly Takedown models. These include the suppressor-ready 4.5-pound Takedown Lite and one that comes standard with a Magpul Backpacker synthetic stock. Price on these, which can all quickly and easily be separated into two pieces for convenient transpo, starts at $347.
Savage 42 Takedown
A two-barrel over-and-under combination gun that blends either a 22 LR or WMR in its upper barrel with a lower as a 410 Bore shotgun, Savage’s Model 42 has been around for decades. The Takedown version of this break-action double-barrel is a little heavier than some of the other offerings here, at 6-pounds, and also carries 20-inch barrels, but you do get two guns in one package, so there’s that. Price is $408.
Tactical Solutions X-Ring Takedown
Described by TacSol as a “premium rimfire rifle,” their X-Ring Takedown is lightweight, compact, durable, accurate and threaded for the addition of a suppressor. They use Magpul stocks and carry fully adjustable rear/ fiber optic front sights while coming standard with a Picatinny rail and bull barrel. Prices start at $899 but have a range of options.
Minnesota-based TPS Arms says they have been fans of the old M6 Scout style platform for years, and recently decided to bring back the platform with a few updates. Their resulting M6 Takedown rifle features an AR-style takedown pin for quick and easy disassembly into its two components. A twin-barrel combo gun, it offers either .22 LR over 410 bore or 22 WMR over 410 bore. While it sports 18.75-inch break-action barrels, overall length when broken down is no more than 19-inches while weight is 5-pounds. Price is $467 in the Vault.
Winchester 94 Trails End Takedown
An old concept ready to slip behind the seat of a truck, boat or bush plane, Winchester’s Model 94 Trails End reboots inventor John M. Browning’s original takedown design for easy storage. Chambered in .30-30, .38-55, or .450 Marlin– the latter with a ported barrel– these rifles sport a 20-inch barrel with a full-length magazine tube. Carrying a Marble Arms front sight and adjustable semi-buckhorn rear sight, they are drilled and tapped for scope mounts. Price, with Grade 1 wooden furniture and a brush polished finish, is in the $1,200 range.