When one is involved in the study of weaponcraft as long as I've been, one can see a sometimes dramatic evolution in what is considered "best" for general purpose use. When I first started, law enforcement issued six-shot revolvers more than any other type of sidearm, though the 1911 .45 was coming on strong thanks to the teachings of Col. Jeff Cooper and his "Modern Technique" of pistolcraft, and the most popular long arm was the ubiquitous 12-gauge pump-action "riot" shotgun; usually an Ithaca 37 or a Remington 870. By the late 1990's/early 2000's, the shotgun remained top of the heap, but the tactical carbine - generally the Ruger Mini-14 or the versatile AR-15 - was making serious inroads. When I was in the US Border Patrol starting in the late 90's, our issue long guns were a choice between a short-barreled Remington 870 shotgun or a select-fire M4 Carbine, and while the power the shotgun brought to the table was comforting in some situations I ultimately came to prefer the M4 due to its increased range and precision. Fast forward 20 years, and there appears to be a growing threat of breakdown of public order in some parts of the country, natural disasters, and just general situations where a citizen might want to make sure his personal "kit" includes a good long gun. Some people continue to think (with admittedly legitimate reasons) of the 12 gauge shotgun as being the most versatile and useful tool; being valuable for a broad range of survival, hunting, and defense situations. Being someone who is no longer in law enforcement, I look at my needs through the lens of being a private citizen, and as my father used to say: "Live for the best case, but plan for the worst case." For a long time I stuck with the high capacity sidearm and the standard tactical carbine as part of my EDC emergency response kit, but I also saw Col. Cooper's "Scout" concept - a lightweight, hard-hitting bolt-action rifle - as having merit as well; provided you trained for its limitations (and strengths) compared to the self-loading rifle. Recently, however, I found myself looking at the classic lever-action rifle, modified for the purpose, as being a legitimate "SHTF" weapon. Broken down and unobtrusive when not in use, but capable of effective defensive application or even light hunting should need be. I was originally thinking the traditional .30-30 round, which is available pretty much anywhere; but as I think more on it I think maybe in .44 Magnum. Shorter, lighter rifle, harder hitting at close range, and with a respectable ammunition payload; as well as a perfect companion for a handgun chambered in the same round. What say you?