The best weapon to use is your body. Relying on your body will make you more fit, increase your awareness in your surroundings and become aware of your body capabilities. This will also contribute to avoid even accidental damage to your most vulnerable areas. Learn to fight (or at least self-defense), you will become more self-confident and if you learn a martial art you can also expand mental capabilities as to face dangerous situations.
You will not have to carry the weapon, hide it or risk being disarmed. There will be no need for ammo or reload. Being "unarmed" forces you to carefully consider your choices and make less risky decisions, and you will be seen as a lesser threat by others. In a situation of survival every injury and energy spent can make the difference between life and death.
Your mind as part of your body can also be put to good use, most objects can be turned into weapons. A weapon is defined by its function for instance a staff can serve to increase reach but will hardly serve for hunting prey, but will be a good weapon for defense.
- stone/bone/metal blade
- staff - hard wood, can be improved with fire (hardened) and metal (hardened tips).
- lance - a lance is simply a trow-able light staff with a piercing tip, the tip of the lance can vary for different uses, for instance fishing and hunting require different constructs. It will need a longer and lighter staff and fire. With sap and/or fibers a stone, bone or metal tip can be attached to make it more effective in piercing.
- axe - a short staff with a weight in one end, that can be uses as a throw-able weapon (impact) or as an edge weapon (cutting) as with the lance the type of weight and its shape will not only determine durability but function, without metal forging one will need some sort of fiber and sap to keep the weight attached or it will require the carving wood in an axe like form, were a silex edge can be attached with sap.
- bow and arrows - a technological step above the lance, it consists in using tensile strength from fibers (a branch or animal tendons), a good bow requires expertise that is hard to improvise, any bow that is created only by improvisation will not outmatch a lance. It will also require several attempts before obtaining something the functions. Arrows can be seen as miniature lances one should also attach some type of airfoil to the back extremity as to increase accuracy again this is learned with experience and testing.
- crossbow - a crossbow is not very different that a bow, the advantage is that it permits to have less proficiency on use and a quicker reload time and is easier to find material as to increase the tensile strength because the structure is more stable. The consideration in opting for constructing a crossbow or a bow is based on time, material and experience for building, being the crossbow the one to select if all abound.
In a urban setting, finding good materials is more difficult that one would think at first, most items are already set for a specific function and will not easily and durably adapt to any other, for instance one would probably look for some type of broom to serve as a basis of a lance, but if you examine most brooms handles you will quickly notice that if they are not hollow (will collapse on lateral impact and untrowable) they are made from a brittle material, this problem will be generalized in finding suitable wood. Also hunting in a urban involvement is out of the question so protection and attack capability will the objectives. There will be a good chance in finding pre-made weapons like knifes or building tools, sport material that permits to be used as a blade or club, or even find some firearms.
Urban improvisable weapons:
A firearm will serve to protect you and and if game is available, to hunt but not all jurisdictions will permit to own a personal firearms, so that option will not be generally feasible (depending on local laws and availability of the weapons). Also worth considering is that an armed person is always a menace and a primary target in a conflict situation, there are times that openly demonstrate having a firearm will in fact put you in danger, even in "normal" day-life.
Consider that in most dire situations facing a stranger with visible firearm will probably result in getting shot on sight, a handgun will be easier to hide and most people will only perceive a knife as a weapon at very short range. A even better solution would be a bow or a crossbow, you will not advertise your presence as you use it (you can always use voice, fire, light or sun reflection for signaling) and you will not be dependent on ammo.
The real advantage of firearms is range and accuracy, unless you are competing with someone that also possesses them, old types of weaponry will be good enough to permit survivability, consider that we only had access to firearms very recently in human history. Note also that brought weaponry requires more technical maintenance and care and you will be more likely to fail to find replacement parts if something brakes.
- bow (Long bows and compound bow)
- crossbow (recurved crossbow)
- knife, throwing knife and machete
- axe and throwing axe