Gear Review: Turn the Savage Model 42 into the Perfect Prepper Gun

by David Higginbotham,  |  published on April 11, 2013

All of the recent talk of North Korea, and potential black-rifle bans has really shifted focus off of one of my favorite gun conversations: basic bug out preparation. But the conversation is still worth having. And in an attempt to get back to my Boy Scout roots, I’m taking another look at the Savage Model 42. The gun is great, and a fundamental place to begin making plans for the unexpected.

The gun
The Savage Model 42 is a light polymer and steel .22LR over a .410. The single shot functionality means it isn’t fast. It doesn’t even eject shells automatically when the barrels are broken open. You have to do everything. But this means there are fewer parts to break. In fact, I don’t think there are many parts on the gun that couldn’t be fixed easily in the field, which is what you want from a prepper gun.

The hammer is the only tricky part of the gun. You move the barrel selector on the hammer to determine which round will fire, and if you forget to switch it, you will make some noise when you pull the trigger (but not as much noise as you’d like).

The Model 42 has an MSRP of $480, though it is selling for less.

The buttstock shotshell holder
Allen makes some great gear for sporting guns. Their Rifle Buttstock Holder is the perfect fit for .410 shells. The elastic sleeve slips over the end of the buttstock and holds reasonably securely. There are 9 elastic loops, which hold .410 shells perfectly. Not too tight that they won’t come out, but not loose enough that they’re going to bounce around and fall out.

This means you can mix and match .410. A couple of slugs, some bird shot, some buckshot, a personal defense round or two. This is the essence of preparation. You can’t know what you’ll need. Be prepared, and be organized.

On the Model 42, the rear sling swivel stud would be covered. Not a problem. A quick hot melt hole in the nylon of the shell holder, and the stud pokes through. And then the sling acts as an anchor, which helps insure that the shell holder isn’t going to slide around.

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