Desert Island Guns

This post is a riff on the BBC’s program “Desert Island Discs”, whereby the guest is asked to list the five pieces of music they would take if exiled to or marooned alone on a desert island (such as this one, screw that grass hut nonsense).

So here’s my list of five guns I’d take under similar circumstances.  (Assume a healthy supply of ammo, targets, cleaning gear etc.  Also, assume you’re never going to be attacked by pirates or zombies, FFS.)

Colt Python (.357 Mag/.38 Special)
Every time I pull the trigger on a Python, I fall in love with shooting all over again.  It is quite possibly the perfect handgun.  I’d choose it with a 6″ barrel.


Ruger Single-Ten (.22 LR)
I could take the Single-Six but as any fule kno, ten is better than six.  And plinking is gonna be pretty much an everyday affair, yes?


Winchester Mod 62 gallery gun (.22 LR)
Plinking with one of these (or the Taurus knock-off) would be almost continuous, with a series of metal spinner targets set at various ranges.


Aguirre y Aranzabal (AyA) XXXV (20ga)
Of course  there’d be a multi-station shotgun range on the island.  I would probably need weekly shipments of clays, by the container.  (And if I could cheat ever so slightly and take two  of these to save on the barrels wearing out after only six months, I’d be very grateful.)  That’s also why I’d pick 20-gauge over the 12:  to spare my shoulder.


Finally, to the surprise of precisely nobody, my rifle choice:

Mauser M12 (6.5x55mm)
It is the finest bolt-action rifle I’ve ever fired, period.

Of course, it would be my  M12, as accessorized below:

Needless to say, compiling this list took lots of time because choices.  In the end, I went with guns I’ve fired before and enjoyed shooting more than all the others — and I have fired a lot  of guns in my time.  It’s all very well to think about AK-47s and such, but who actually enjoys  shooting them (other than South African criminals and Muslim/Marxist terrorists)?

And speaking of AK-47s, note the complete absence of semi-automatics in the above.  That was a coincidence, not by design.  I just like working the actions of my guns.

Anyway, those are my five Desert Island Guns.  Feel free to pick your own in Comments, and no cheating with stuff like T/C multi-caliber rifles, either.  Five (5) guns, one chambering per gun.  Have at it.

Update:   “Also, assume you’re never going to be attacked by pirates or zombies, FFS.”

Clearly, I need to emphasize the rules and conditions for some  people…  FFS.


  1. 1- .357 but mine is a S&W model 19 because I have one and love how it shoots.
    2- .22LR H&R model 999 for it’s unique look and top break action.
    3- .22LR Marlin model 60. Yeah it’s a semiauto but incredibly accurate at a bargain basement price.
    4- Browning Auto5 “Sweet16”. More oomph than a 20 less recoil than a 12
    5- .243 Savage model 110 again because I have one. It’s more accurate than I can shoot and factory ammo can be had for anything from varmints to whitetail.

    1. Not sure there’d be any whitetails on a desert island, unless you’re thinking Maine or Canada… but nothing wrong with a cartridge that doesn’t bust your shoulder after fifty rounds.

  2. That’s easy. I already own the fine five, (and a few more)
    1, .223 AR with match barrel, trigger, etc.
    2, ,22 rf High Standard Citation target pistol
    3, 9mm, Sig Sauer P229.
    4, .22 rf Anschutz 1413 super match rifle
    5, A toss up between my .308 AR and the US rifle of 1917, sporterised by hand over a years worth of work.
    All of the rifles shoot at least 1 moa or much better. All of the arms except the Sig,have optics mounted.

  3. Things I already have to take to the Island, just for fun.

    1. S&W 17 in .22 LR, just a six shot but it shoots them well.
    2. Beretta 686 in 20 ga. and you will never shoot the barrel out.
    3. Browning Citori 28 ga. because it is even more easy on the shoulder
    4. CZ 6.5 x 55 for all the good reasons
    5. Savage 22-250 heavy barrel, to punch nice holes one on top of the other.
    And for this trip no semi-autos because the hired help can do the defense stuff, or something like that.

  4. 1. S&W Model 617 6″ 10-shot .22LR
    2. AR15, 5.56, from a high-end maker
    3. Ruger GP100 Match Champion
    4. CZ457 Training rifle, .22LR
    5. Tikka centerfire rifle, preferably in 6.5 Creedmoor (a few years ago I would have said in .30-06, such a good all-around cartridge for so many applications, but the 6.5CM is a joy to shoot and has inherent accuracy, if there is such a thing)

    Guns that missed the list, but not by much: Walther PPQ M1 9mm, Marlin Model 60 .22LR, S&W Model 64-3 .38Spl., Marlin 1894 .38/.357 lever action

    BTW, Kim, what about five women you’d take to an island? They wouldn’t all necessarily need to be be sex bunnies, each could offer a special contribution: beauty, brains, culinary skills, etc.

  5. My list has only four…

    Dillion, of the reloading and catalogs fame, has a Navy anti-aircraft gun in a revolving mount. Four fifties. At night. One trigger.

    To dissuade those pesky rescuers. “THIS’S MY ISLAND! GET YOUR OWN!”

  6. All fine choices, I’m sure. That explains a couple of the duplicate answers:
    H&R #999
    Winchester model 62
    Any strong modern 1911 sprung for .450 SMC
    20 ga Benelli Ethos
    Something in .30 cal from Dillon Aero, You’d need a fire hose, just for fun.

  7. I guess, if pressed, I would take a Python as an art object and a Hi-Power as both an art object and Browning relic. I am ashamed to admit in this company that I have different hammers for different purposes, but none that I would take on holiday because I like pounding nails. No hobby hammers.
    I look forward to Kim’s lists of “5 guns I would throw in the car if the commies were chasing me” and “5 guns I would pack into the wilderness, if I could find some”.

  8. Yes, Jeffery Epstein owns Little St. James Island in the BVI’s. However, in the last few years it’s been hit by a 4.6 earth quake, a fire and a direct hit by a Cat 4 Hurricane. I suspect it’s not a lush as it was when Bill Clinton was a regular visitor. Nor is it still populated by an assortment of underage ……..

    Never mind … Getting back on track . I’m thinking I’d need a couple of “Rat eliminators”, 1 as a constant carry hand gun, and a scoped light weight long gun. then a ” personnel defense – Anti Pirate” 1911 45-cal . A “stay away from my Island – Shot across the bow ” Barrett. 50 cal and ” OK you were warned ” gun. Something in the 10 inch Turret gun caliber.

  9. It looks like we’re discussing guns that are fun to shoot so I’ll throw my choices into the mix.

    Smith and Wesson 686. I hate to admit that I’ve never been a Python fan so I’ll go with what I consider to be the classic Smith .357. Mine’s an older model 4″ 6 shot without the Hillary lock and it shoots well with everything from mild .38s to full power .357 loads.

    Browning Buck Mark .22. We can argue Ruger vs Browning all day – they’re both excellent .22 plinkers but I just like the Browning.

    M-1 Garand just because everybody needs a piece of history in their collection. I’m not recoil shy and my Garand is fun to shoot.

    I’m not a shotgun guy except for my almost worn out Mossberg 500 and a newer Remington 870. Both are set up as law enforcement guns. I’ve never owned a good side by side double so I’ll just say that I’d look for a nice 12 gauge that would be unaffordable unless I was in Kim’s fantasy world.

    For number 5 I’d like a Civil War era muzzle loading 12 pounder mountain howitzer. Its light enough to be manhandled by a couple of guys and I can fire salutes on Christmas, New Years Day, July 4, and my birthday. Should “repel boarders” ever be called away it would do good service with solid shot, exploding shells, and canister.

  10. Wading in to the waters of my five for the island adventure. I’ll start with my favorite .357 mag, a Performance Center Smith & Wesson Model 327 TRR8 and a 5 inch barrel. I take it to the local steel challenge matches and pretty much hang with the polymer kings and queens, much to their surprise. I pair it with a Model 1894 Marlin in the same caliber….love at first fondle, feels like a .22 lr but packs a bit more punch, you did say we have wild boar on the island, right? For more pure plink, my model 617 S&W with a 4 inch barrel. You’re correct Kim, 10 is better than 6 and I have a passel of Speed Beez re-loaders for it, so down time is negligible. This is another firearm I like to take to the local meet to tweak the polymer noses a bit. Actually, I get a few oohs and aahs as it has a very nice set of Rosewood grips on it. For my Shotgun, gotta be a now extinct Browning side by side with a nice beaver tail fore end and perhaps Invector chokes, although the one I had was modified / full and sufficed for a number of upland bird doubles, an economic downturn forced me to relinquish it, never have found a replacement. Lastly, the high powered bolt gun; Browning X-bold in 6.5 Creedmore. Yeah, I’ve fallen for the new sexy chick on the block, so shoot me….ah, maybe I shouldn’t say that around here , but hey she’s light, sleek, fast and accurate, a great mountain rifle (ever been to Hawaii, those mountains are valleys are steep!) packs plenty of punch and has the best factory trigger I own.

  11. Just 5 ? We’ll open up the safe and see what comes to hand. First, the CZ Tactical Sport Orange 9mm. Finest centerfire pistol I’ve ever owned. I suppose there are better out there, you can certainly spend more money but I don’t see the point. There’s the High Standard match pistol to fill the .22 auto slot. The revolver pick would have to be the S&W model 10 converted by a previous owner, no doubt at great expense, to a 5 inch PPC gun in 38 special, of course. Gotta have a .22 rifle, so that would have to be the Remington 504T bull barrel bolt action repeater. Finally, the centerfire rifle is going to have to be something on the AR platform. Out of several choices I’d have to pick the Bushmaster Varminter for its ability to neuter gnats at 100, one after another.

  12. Glock 20, because always bang, trust life to, etc.
    AK, because sand and usually always bang, etc.
    Really nice 1911, because in the presumed absence of native girlies, I’d need something cute to play with.
    Walther P22, because 22.
    Steyr Scout in .308.

    Skipped a shotgun because an AK more or less qualifies in most situations.

  13. Sorry to be so late to the party.
    I’ve thought about this since Kim posted the challenge, but I can’t do it in less than six.
    1. S&W 686 w/4” bbl.
    2. Colt Huntsman
    3. 1911
    4. My grandmother’s Winchester M62 in 22 short.
    5. Winchester Model 12 in 16 ga. (My 10th Birthday present.)
    6. Savage 110DL in 7mm Rem. Mag.

    My excuse is that I already have all these guns and will be leaving a few behind.

    I second the nomination of a Desert Island Dames contest.

  14. This reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode with Burgess Meredith, Time Enough At Last. A book guy who survives nuclear war and is the only survivor comes across a library. I personally at my age would never leave said island.

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