Multi-caliber firearms have great appeal. Here’s a look at five choices of revolvers and long guns that add versatility to your gun collection while making your ammunition dollars stretch further.
1. Any .357 Magnum revolver
The 357 Magnum load boasts a fast-moving, heavy round. Although I don’t subscribe to the notion of stopping power, at least as it compares in importance to shot placement, there’s no denying that this caliber delivers tremendous impact, and commensurate recoil. Ammo isn’t terribly pricey for self-defense at approximately 50 cents per hollow-point round, but for practice, it can be both uncomfortable and costly.
Pick up some 38 Special full metal jacket (FMJ) for practice and plinking, and your 357 Mag revolver will serve as both a range and self-protection gun. This cartridge is the same diameter, but shorter, with a smaller powder charge than 357. Using 38 Special is also a great adaptation to make shooting more comfortable for arthritic or injured hands.
The Ruger GP100 is a popular and proven full-size 357 Magnum revolver that most people find pleasurable to shoot, even using the bigger cartridge. Prices are typically in the $600 range for plain models. Ruger’s carry-friendly LCR (lightweight compact revolver) is also available in 357. Expect snappy recoil from that one using 357. The LCR is priced in the $400 range, with many bargains available.
Safety and shopping notes: The 38 Special cartridge can be loaded into a 357 Magnum firearm, but the 38 Special handgun cannot be loaded with 357 Magnum ammunition. Similarly named 357 Sig and 380 are calibers designed primarily for semi-auto firearms, and are NOT cross-gun compatible to 357 Mag/38 Spl.
2. Taurus Judge revolver
This hefty Brazilian revolver can shoot 45 Long Colt or 2.5-inch 410 shotshell loads, or a mixture thereof, from its five-chamber cylinder. It’s available in barrel lengths starting at two inches, up to 6.5 inches — and there may even be a few in circulation that are even longer; these are just the lengths I’ve seen students bring to class. There’s no getting around the big recoil with the big cartridge. Suffice to say, the two-inch barrel model should be avoided by people with achy hands.
The Judge is very popular as a home-defense weapon. Its weight makes it impractical for daily carry, though there are surely some folks who manage to do so. The 45 Long Colt is expensive to purchase; defensive loads often cost in excess of $1 per round. On the other hand, 410 gauge shells, popular for use with the Judge as a defense against venomous snakes, can be picked up for less than 50 cents per round.
Usually found in the mid-$400 range, prices vary widely with the Judge depending on features and finish. In my experience, they require more frequent repairs and maintenance when fired regularly, thanks to the stresses of high-pressure rounds cycling through a comparatively small weapon. Nonetheless, Judge owners who embrace the “bigger is better” philosophy seem to glean a sense of security from having this model in the nightstand.
Safety note: Responsible self-protection includes proper target identification. None of the models mentioned thus far include an auxiliary light rail. A flashlight is therefore a needed accessory for dim-light defense. For most people, handling and flashlight and a 40-ounce loaded revolver are mutually exclusive activities.
3. Bond Arms derringers
Moving to the physically smaller end of the spectrum, Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas, makes a line of derringers with barrels ranging from 2.5 to 4.25 inches. Not only do the barrels range in length, but they range in caliber, as well. The same firearm that fires 22LR also can fire 45 Long Colt, as well as most popular handgun calibers in between, regardless of whether the case is rimmed or not. Quite an innovative design!
Bond Arms derringers have a two-round capacity, and are extremely compact. They’re big on Texas style — easy to conceal but lovely to behold. Firing them does require some familiarization, even for experienced shooters, as their single-action operation with cross-bolt safety and downward-favoring trigger press are out of the ordinary. Recoil from Bond’s short barrels and larger calibers is severe, but smaller calibers are easily managed, so a range of barrels will allow the entire family to enjoy one gun. A Bond Arms derringer will cost from $450 to over $1,000 depending on model. While extra barrels are priced between $100 and $200, the company runs half-off specials on barrels around the holidays.
4. Savage Model 42 over-and-under rifle
This old standby by Savage Arms of Massachusetts is versatile, and although it’s a classic platform, its looks have been updated with a modern synthetic stock. In addition to being ideal for small game, the 42 is a good snake/varmint control tool. Some will consider it their choice for home defense, too. It weighs just over six pounds, and is a modest 36 inches long including the 20-inch barrel. It’s therefore easy to handle for everyone, including the elderly and young shooters. People in both of these groups have made good use of “squirrel guns” in necessary home defense encounters.
The break-open action allows the user to load 22 Long Rifle, or 22 Winchester Magnum, depending on model, in the top barrel, and a 410 gauge shotshell in the lower barrel. A lever allows the user to choose which barrel fires. Add a scope for longer-range action on small game or coyotes. There’s no magazine, so extra ammunition must be stowed or carried.
MSRP on the Model 42 is $500, but expect real prices to be lower. Used models can be found for less than $200, and the high $300s can net a full-featured new Model 42 with a synthetic stock that will last a lifetime.
5. Frontier Tactical War Lock Multiple Caliber System and Rifles
Frontier Tactical is by far the youngest manufacturer on this list. Based in Florida, this veteran owned and operated business invented a new system that brings multi-caliber ease to the AR sporting rifle platform. The AR platform is already highly customizable, but the War Lock eliminates the time-consuming process of replacing complete upper receivers, or the removal/disassembly of the barrel requiring a shop and tools. With their $600 Multi-Caliber System 2-barrel kit, your AR15 can quickly switch calibers, to load and fire your choice of over 90 common or not-so-common calibers: 17 Remington, 17-223, 20 Practical, 204 Ruger, 223 Remington, 25-45 Sharps, 300 AAC Blackout, 5.56mm NATO, 6.8, 6.8 SPC, 6.8mm Remington SPC II, 6x45mm, and American 30 BHW. The War Lock even allows adaptation of the AR to pistol calibers, a way to save money on practice and perhaps make your handgun ammunition double as rifle fodder.
Frontier Tactical’s system is offered for regular and free-float barrels, but some firearms may still not be compatible due to manufacturing differences. Check with them before purchasing a conversion system for your own AR15.
Just starting as an AR owner or just want a whole new multi-caliber rifle? Frontier Tactical’s FT-15 War Lock Entry Carbine comes with War Lock components. It’s priced at $1,300, chambered in NATO 5.56/.223 Remington for starters.
Whether your choice is a model that’s been around for decades, or a newer platform that milks more mileage from your existing gun or ammunition supply, multi-caliber capability can increase the usefulness and economy of your trigger time. Options listed here are some, but not all, on the market today. More choices will likely crop up in the coming year.
Safety first! Always be sure you’re loading compatible ammunition into your firearm.
What is your favorite multi-caliber firearm? Share your advice in the section below:
Ammunition prices, where provided, were sampled from national retailer Lucky Gunner.
There are some good guidelines and tips on stockpiling ammo that will simplify this process for you and make it easier than it sounds on some forums you may have come across.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Ammunition sales in California have exploded ahead of the state’s rigid new gun control laws – and they won’t take effect for at least a year.
“In the last quarter, we saw a 33 percent [rise] in our ammunition sales and that’s projected to go up,” Monique Hall of Poway Weapons and Gear Range told San Diego’s CW6 TV.
On Jan. 1, 2018, a new law will take effect that restricts online ammunition purchases by requiring that all ammo sales or transfers be shipped through a licensed dealer. Ammunition purchased from out-of-state companies also will have to go through a California dealer.
Then, on July 1, 2019, a new law will take effect requiring background checks for all ammunition purchases.
The concern among gun owners: Ammo will be scarce and more expensive, as people stockpile it and stores get out of the ammo business.
“We’re selling a lot more ammunition right now,” Patrick Jones, owner of Jones’ Fort gun store in Redding, told The Sacramento Bee. “And we will continue to do so up until the time the registration kicks in.”
All total, about a dozen new gun-related laws are taking effect in California, either this year or in 2018 or 2019. Confusion over which law takes effect when has impacted sales.
“I’ve definitely been picking up a little more than I typically would,” target shooter Mark Ball told The Bee. “I do worry about – not so much about supply but prices. The fact California has these extra rules in place, what’s that going to be like?”
The new laws impose a $1 fee on each ammunition purchase to cover the cost of the background checks, and buyers will need an ammo license, which could cost as much as $50 under the law. (The price has yet to be finalized.)
Another fear is that large retailers like Walmart will stop selling ammunition in California, simply wanting to avoid the hassle, The Bee reported. It stopped selling guns in 2003 for a similar reason.
If large retailers get out of the ammunition business, prices likely would skyrocket due to a lack of competition. And if smaller stores decide not to sell ammo, it could force gun owners to drive long distances to buy it.
“It definitely makes it difficult for a guy or gal up, say, in the Susanville area, or Alturas, or someplace remote like that to get to a big-box store, and then especially if your big-box store is in Reno and you’ve got to cross the state line,” David Bess, the chief of enforcement at California’s Department of Fish and Wildlife, told the newspaper.
Bess, too, is stocking up.
“I was just over at a place the other day, and I was in there with my boys,” he said. “I saw some (ammunition I needed), and I said, ‘Hey, grab as much of that stuff as they’ll allow us to buy.”
Do you support background checks on ammo? Share your thoughts in the section below:
When it comes to defending your home or harvesting big game, it’s time to go to the rifle. Handguns may be more convenient to carry for personal defense, but except for the most powerful Magnum cartridges, their performance is marginal. Rifles beat them in the accuracy department, too.
If you have rifles that you treasure but find that it can be expensive to feed them, then check out these seven rifles that can help keep you proficient without breaking the bank.
1. Ruger 10/22
As you likely suspected, this list has to start with a 22. It is the cheapest rifle on the market, and many fundamentals of rifle shooting can be duplicated with a rim-fire. We like the 10/22 because even someone lacking in gunsmith skills can customize these rifles with ease.
If your main rifle is a lever action, you can substitute the 10/22 for a Henry or if ARs are you thing, the S&W MP15/22 might be more to your liking. Maybe you roll with a bolt gun; we are partial to the Savage Mk II. Companies like Walther and German Sport Guns offer rim-fire versions of HK MP5s, AK-47s and a few others. If none of these appeal to you, you can usually find a 22 conversion kit for your AR-15 and possibly some other rifles. The key is that you have options.
Although supply has been short in many parts of the country, if you luck out and buy in the right quantity, you can expect to pay as low as 5 cents a round. It may run higher by a few cents depending on your area. Supply is improving. Stock up when you can, but don’t be a neckbearding hoarder about it.
2. Colt M4 Expanse
Sure, there are other rifles out there like the Tavor, Galil, Steyr AUG, Ruger Mini-14, the SIG MCX and hundreds of AR-15 variants, but a Colt M4 Expanse is a sub-$700 rifle made by the company that put the AR on the map. You can get quality rifles from your manufacturer of choice, but the key is to get one chambered in 5.56. If you hate black rifles, you can find a number of bolt-action rifles chambered in this caliber, as well.
For many people this is their primary long gun round, and we have seen it as cheap as $2 a box of 20. Average price is probably twice that or a little bit more.
If “black rifles” are not your thing, there is the Ruger Mini-14. Current versions are more accurate than their predecessors. If you have no use for a semiautomatic rifle, a number of companies make bolt-action and single-shot rifles in 223 Remington/5.56 NATO. This diversity is what lends the round its popularity.
3. Century Arms RAS-47
Some people might say SKS, but we have always preferred the AK platform. Either way, we like the 7.62 X 39 because it is cheap to shoot and can usually be found in great quantities. Average street price hovers around 20 to 25 cents a round.
We like Century’s AKs, whether it is the RAS-47 or one of the Yugoslavian imports (although those rifles lack chrome lined bores). Lovers of traditional stocks over pistol grips may prefer an SKS, and those who do not like former Com-Bloc designs can find an AR-15 or Ruger Mini-30 chambered in this caliber that performs much like the 30-30 Winchester.
Similar to the last rifle is the smaller bored AK-74 chambered in 5.45 X 39. They are a bit harder to find than the AK-47, especially in our area.
I actually bought one of these rifles a few years back for the very reason I wrote this article. Having gone through numerous “rifle scares” and “panic buying sprees” over the past 30 years, I visited a gun shop that had several cases of 5.45 marked down to $88. The reason? They had problems getting rifles in stock. I picked up four cases and happened upon a rifle within a few months after that for a good price.
The price of ammunition has definitely increased since then, and it is on par with the 7.62X39 in the 20 to 25 cents range.
There are upper receivers and AR-15 variants chambered in this round as well as some old East German bolt-action rifles floating around out there. There have been rumors of conversion kits for the Israeli Tavor rifle and others for some time, but we have yet to see them.
5. Beretta Storm
Currently the most affordable center-fire pistol round is the 9mm Luger. Whether it is military surplus ammunition, Winchester White Box, or remanufactured ammo, 9mm is here to stay, and prices are reflecting this. We have seen it as cheap as $13 for a box of 100 recently. Beretta makes a carbine chambered in 9mm that should be part of everyone’s preps for the gun department, particularly if you have a number of 9mm handguns.
Some question the wisdom of a pistol caliber carbine. We like them in 9mm for their low recoil, ability to suppress and inexpensive ammunition. If you cannot abide a Beretta, you can find HK pattern rifles, Uzi carbines, ARs chambered in 9mm and Kel-Tec’s folding Sub-2000 rifle.
6. Rossi Model 92
We are looking at the 357 Magnum version, as it allows you to shoot the cheaper 38 Special round. If you have a 38 Special or 357 Magnum revolver, then this carbine makes a lot of sense.
Like any straight wall revolver cartridge, the 38 Special represents extreme low cost for re-loaders. We only caution that you avoid the bullets seated flush or close to flush with the case mouth for use in a lever-action rifle. They will not feed and the rifle will think it’s been stocked with empty cases.
There are other lever-action rifles available and a few pump-action versions were made, but we find Rossi’s guns to have the most value.
7. Yugo M98
With the prices of K-98 and VZ-24 rifles going through the roof, we thought we would clue you in on one that is not as expensive, especially if you can live with a straight bolt handle.
Ammunition performance of 8mm Mauser is on par with that of 30-06 or another low-cost round, the 7.62 X 54R. Military surplus ammunition is still relatively cheap, at just south of 30 cents a round.
If you know of another low-cost round that’s not in this story, post in the comments below and let us know about it.
I have always believed that when it comes to bugging out, (click the link to learn about when it’s time to bug out) speed is your friend. I have written articles in the past stressing the need to keep your Bug out bag/Get home bag, light weight. The faster you get to your destination, the […]
It’s a fact that without ammunition, your guns will be little more than metal and plastic clubs. But it’s also a fact that if your ammunition has been stored in poor conditions, it not only won’t last as long as it should, but it also could potentially become dangerous to shoot if it is corroded or deteriorated.
This is why you need to store your ammo the same way you store your firearms. After all, you store your firearms in a secure and environmentally safe location, so why wouldn’t you do the same with your ammunition in which you may have invested even more money?
All ammo has a definitive shelf life. Eventually, it will go bad. But if you use proper storage techniques, you can make your ammo last on the shelf for year and years. Ammunition that has been taken care of properly and stored in the right conditions should last for 12 to 15 years before you begin to notice signs of discoloration or corrosion.
Let’s learn about some basic and yet effective storage tips you can use to ensure that you get the most out of your ammo:
1. Store in metal ammo cans.
Regardless of whether you like to keep your ammo in the boxes it came in or store it loosely, you will need to place it in metal ammo cans for storage purposes. Green metal ammo cans can be found at virtually any sporting goods store, in the $10-$20 dollar range, depending on the size of the can.
The reason why you should store your ammo in these metal cans is not just for ease of organization, but also because the cans are airtight and waterproof. They are sealed around the edges, which means you could even dunk them underwater and they would keep the water out.
2. Store in a dry place.
Humidity and moisture in general will be the biggest contributor to corrosion and discoloration. Since corroded ammo is not safe to fire, it’s imperative that you select a storage location where the moisture is kept to a minimum.
Yes, storing your ammunition in the green metal ammo cans will do a lot to resist moisture, but it never hurts to be extra careful. Keep in mind that ammunition is not cheap, so you want to take extra good care of your investment. Store it in a dry place with low moisture levels, and you can sleep knowing your ammo should remain in good condition several years down the road.
3. Store at normal room temperature.
Whatever you do, never store your ammunition outdoors, or even in a garage or an outdoor shed, for that matter. This is because the temperature level fluctuates drastically outdoors, between night and day. In the summer, for example, it can be hot and humid during the day and then cool and chilly during the night. Excessively hot temperatures, in particular, will cause your ammunition’s overall shelf life to shorten. This is why you must store your ammunition indoors at all times, and what’s more, you must store it in a place that remains consistent at a normal room temperature.
4. Store it in a secure location.
Last, store your ammunition in a secure location where it will be safe from those who shouldn’t be handling it – whether that is children or thieves. If you can afford it, you could even store your ammunition in a separate safe from the safe where you store your guns.
At the very least, your ammo should be stored locked. This means either putting a small lock on each ammo can, or storing it in a room with a lock on the door.
Remember: Apply the same levels of precaution to storing your ammo as you do your guns. That way your family will be safe – and your ammo will be there when you need it.
What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:
I needed 500 rounds of 9mm ball ammo today. The reason will be clear later, that isn’t what this post is about. I went to the first place I thought I would find 9mm ball ammo in quantity and it wasn’t there. Went to the next place and it wasn’t there either. Went back to the first place and really looked.
I thought for a second and went to a third place where I found a can of 9mm ball. Winchester white box from probably 2008. Good solid ammo. Wish they had prices on them to show what I paid.
Anyway this was a big ole ball of fail. The bottom line is I currently have serious organizational issues beyond the home defense set up level. Access to ammo isn’t a realistic problem it is just a canary in the coal mine. We talked about ammo which I am not really concerned with. In my bedroom I think there are 5 loaded AR mags between my fighting load (hd) and a sort of active shooter bag. Also at least 3 spare glock mags. That more than meets any home defense needs I could possibly have.
My stuff both preparedness and otherwise needs to get better organized. I really don’t have any excuse except laziness for not doing this. Currently I don’t have anything big going on for most weekends so I could easily put in 3-4 hours 2 days a week working to fix this. Just need to get off my ass and do It.
So what are my goals:
1- MOP-After this weekend which is busy I want to spend st least 6 hours a week (probably on the weekend) on sorting and organization. The girl I’m seeing works weekends so I have the time. I plan to do this until the organization is done.
2- MOE- Within 30 days have full fighting load, bob and bug out stuff separated, organized and ready to go.
3- MOE Within 60 days have all prearedness related stuff organized.
4- MORE- Within 90 days have all of my various possessions organized. Donate a lot to good will, unneeded camping stuff to local Boy Scouts or survivalists,, sell some stuff and organize the rest.
People don’t normally think of non-food items as having expiration dates. As long as it’s not something you consume or some kind of liquid, it should last forever, right? Wrong. There are plenty of solid, non-food items that go bad, and many people are surprised to learn that ammo is one of them. As long […]
I was fortunate enough to be able to have some trigger time recently with a Sig Sauer MPX-C 9mm carbine. It wasn’t nearly enough time – probably 200 rounds over a couple of days – but it was enough to form an opinion on Sig Sauer’s next-generation pistol caliber carbine. It was also enough to help me learn about the limitations and viability of the 9mm carbine as a tool in a SHTF-type environment. I wasn’t able to run any drills or courses, unfortunately. However, I was able to collect some ballistics information and run a few different types of ammo through ‘er, and found some interesting tidbits of information along the way.
A Quick Overview of the MPX
The Sig Sauer MPX family of guns is a modern take on the submachine gun class of firearms that started with the Thompson “Tommy” gun, and has since evolved into well-known guns such as the German WW2 issue MP40, the Israeli Uzi, and the ubiquitous Heckler & Koch MP5. These pistol-caliber carbines are defined by smaller frames than their rifle-caliber counterparts, light, quick-handling characteristics, fast rates of fire in full-auto versions, and mild, controllable recoil.
The Sig Sauer MPX, on first glance, appears to be a conglomeration of an AR-15 and an MP5. Take the upper/lower receiver design of an AR, along with the AR’s charging handle, control placement, and general order of operations, then combine with a short magazine well and collapsible stock from an MP5, and you’ll have a pretty good idea of what an MPX looks and feels like. All of the MPX’s controls are fully ambidextrous – including the magazine release, charging handle, and bolt stop – usually rarities from the factory on an AR platform.
Read More: AR-15 Magazine Management Strategies
The operating system is still gas-operated, even with the comparatively low-intensity 9mm round. It’s a short-stroke gas piston system that sports an auto-regulating gas valve that allows the MPX to theoretically run all weights of projectiles, from target subsonic ammo to full-tilt +P loads without a hitch…and should also allow the use of a suppressor with minimal hassle. A nice design feature – especially since many of those who purchase 9mm carbines will do so to run them with a suppressor.
The Sig Sauer MPX platform sports an innovative free-floating rail with keymod attachment points, that interfaces into the upper receiver with a slick groove setup – and it is completely removable with no tools required. Once one pushes out the forward takedown pin, the rail is unlocked and is free to slide forward and off the gun. ost AR type handguard rails are clamped on the barrel nut with set screws in some fashion or another; the MPX’s system is slick and clean with no extra hardware needed. Rest assured that it is solid enough for a sighting system to be mounted; at the range I pulled the rail off the gun and reinstalled several times between magazines, and the sights’ point of impact remained unaffected.
Speaking of the sights, The Sig Sauer MPX comes standard with Sig Sauer’s line of folding iron sights, but the full-length picatinny rail in the top of the rifle, combined with the keymod accessory mounting points, allow you to mount your choice of optics, red dots, lasers, flashlights…you know the drill. Overall, the Sig Sauer MPX-C that I tried did not leave the user wanting or needing to modify the gun with aftermarket go-fast gadgets; the gun already comes ready to rumble once you add your accessories. It ought to; the MSRP of this little beast is just a bit over $2,000. Luckily, if you can find them on the open market, they usually bring between $1,600-$1,800.
The Sig Sauer MPX-C model I was able to test had a 16-inch overall barrel length, the last 2 inches or so of which was a three-pronged flash hider. The stock was a metal-framed collapsible unit that retracted fully to the back of the receiver, as well as having an intermediate length and a fully-extended length, for a total of three positions. However, one quickly notes that this is not a collapsible in the fashion of an AR-15, where the length of the buffer tube dictates overall shortest length. The MPX-C’s stock rails slide forward to nest in grooves built into the upper receiver, and the buttplate rests solidly against the back of the receiver when collapsed fully; this makes for a very short resulting 28.5 inch overall length on a full 16-inch-barrelled rifle. With the stock extended, the MPX-C measures in around 33 inches long.
The MPX also comes in much shorter and alternate configurations, some of which you’d need tax stamps for. For further information on other MPX setups, you can visit their MPX site here. The rumor is that the MPX platform is made to be modular, with easy-to-change barrel/bolt setups, so one can swap the 9mm barrel out for a higher-horsepower .40 S&W or .357 Sig setup. I didn’t test this personally, but it makes sense, with the increasing demand for modularity in the firearms world today.
Shooting The MPX-C
I only had the Sig Sauer MPX for a couple of quick range visits, so like I said, I can’t give you a full, strong overview of the system, with multiple different loads including handloads, across a spectrum of distances. I was able to run three different loads through the MPX: Federal American Eagle 115 grain FMJ, PMC “Bronze” 115 grain JHP, and Sig Sauer’s own Elite V-Crown 124 grain JHP, the defense round I use in my carry guns.
Once I got to the range, I deployed my gear and let the others at the range “ooh” and “aah” all over the MPX. The rifle does draw a crowd, and when handling the gun and admiring the fit, finish and the overall quality the gun exudes, well, I must say it deserves every bit of drool and coveting that is a consequence of its very presence.
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Once show and tell was over, I stuffed one of the two 30-round translucent polymer magazines full with the little cartridges, seated the magazine, and pulled back the charging handle to find my first surprise: the charging handle only pulls back maybe two inches before it stops, fully extended. Of course, because of the short length of the 9mm cartridge, this makes sense once one subjects a few brain cells of thought to the matter. However, when one is used to a 5.56/.223 AR platform and the much-longer charging stroke, the short MPX charging handle yank catches you off guard at first. This short charging stroke is just one of the ways Sig Sauer reminds you that they engineered this platform from the ground up to be made for pistol calibers.
I shouldered the rifle, and happily peered through the standard flip-up sight picture. And I squeezed the trigger. And squeezed. And pulled. The second surprise of the day came from the vicious, gritty trigger pull of a $2,000 rifle. What the hell? Expecting a fine-tuned machine and discovering a heavy, ugly trigger pull wasn’t what I’d come to expect from Sig Sauer – especially at this price point. I ended up inadvertently yanking the trigger and the round nose-dived into the lower edge of the target, 25 yards away.
Surprise number three came as soon as the trigger decided it would actually go off: BRIIINNNGGGGGG. The Sig Sauer MPX fired the round and cycled as it should, but the cool-looking, probably-maybe-effective three-pronged muzzle brake rang like a tuning fork that had been tapped on a steel plate. And it didn’t stop immediately; I had to reach out and physically grab the muzzle device to make it cease and desist the F sharp or whatever the hell note it rang. I pulled the magazine, jacked the round out of the chamber, so I could safely inspect the muzzle brake – and I noticed that just cycling the action of the MPX made hell’s bells ring again. Interesting – and I was rather taken aback that this was a feature that Sig Sauer let roll out the door. I checked the brake – it was pinned and welded properly and legally. I don’t know if this is the way all factory MPX muzzle brakes work, but I know this one did – and damn, was it annoying.
I ripped off the rest of that one magazine just to have some fun, but then put the MPX away for the afternoon to focus on the guns I brought with me that had nice trigger pulls, and the only noise they made was “bang”.
At day’s end, the owner of the MPX met back up with me, and we retired to my man cave to see what we could do about the trigger pull. He’d agreed it was pretty miserable; but he just wanted it smoothed out – no reduction in weight of pull. We stripped the gun into its main components – upper receiver, bolt and spring assembly, lower receiver, and rail. I dived into the lower to see what made it tick…
…and I was tickled pink to find out that the innards of the MPX’s fire control group are identical to an AR-15. That was a shrewd move on Sig’s part – if you want to drop in a Timney or Geiselle other such aftermarket trigger group, you just need to find the standard AR-15 parts…no proprietary parts searching, or waiting for the aftermarket to adopt the particular platform…if the aftermarket adopts it at all. Probably helps with inventory on Sig’s end, too, since Sig Sauer offers a full line of AR type rifles, as well as their new MCX rifle.
I pulled the basic fire control group out of the MPX’s lower, and treated the appropriate parts and areas to a nice loving 2500-grit polish. A liberal coating of bearing surfaces with TW-25B grease (I love that stuff) completed the package. About 45 minutes and an adult beverage later, I re-assembled the MPX’s lower and was pleased to find a nice, smooth trigger pull that weighed, by my guess, about 6-7 pounds. There was zero grittiness, and the pull was acceptable and useful for a MILSPEC type trigger. I didn’t touch any springs or remove any metal other than what was polished, so the trigger pull weight was largely unaffected.
Second Time’s a Charm
We hit the range again a few days later to finish sighting in the MPX and to do some more testing. I couldn’t do anything about the musical muzzle device (he will be swapping it out down the road for something that will interface with a suppressor) but with the trigger straightened out, we felt we could try our hand at some accuracy testing. I brought my chronograph and EDC Sig P320 Compact along too, because I was very curious to see how much velocity the 16” barrel of the MPX was worth over the 3.9” barrel of the P320 compact.
We dialed the gun in using the American Eagle 115 FMJ ammunition, since he has a readily available supply of this fodder. We sighted the rifle in at 50 yards per the owner’s wishes. The windage was spot-on from the factory, with just the front sight needing to be adjusted. My Real Avid AR tool came in handy to get the front sight to the desired elevation, and we were soon in business. Offhand, we were consistently getting 2” five-shot groups at 50 yards with the American Eagle ammunition. From the bench, we were able to tighten it up and pull in regular 1 ½” groups with the stock iron sights. Accuracy was very good; I’m sure if one was to run several ammunition makes with varying bullet weights, you could find a load that performed better. But the owner was very happy, and that’s what counted in this particular instance. 100-yard offhand fun shots at milk jugs were a hoot, with every shot connecting offhand once we got the “Kentucky windage” dialed in for the added distance.
We ran a few PMC “Bronze” 115 JHPs (I only had one box with me) to test function, group size, and velocity. The MPX fed the more open hollowpoint with nary a burp, though group sizes opened up to about 2 ½” at 50 yards, benched. I borrowed a few Sig V-Crown Elite 124 grain JHP rounds from my Sig P320 carry magazines for function, group, and velocity as well. These turned in the best group (just over 1 inch across, a ragged 5-shot hole) and functioned beautifully as well.
Overall, my time spent behind the trigger of the SIg Sauer MPX-C was thoroughly enjoyable. The gun shot quite well with open sights, and we had zero malfunctions over about 200 rounds. Not much of a long-term test, but one hell of a promising start.
Check Out: Buying SHTF ammo
Is a 9mm Carbine Worth It?
So, after having run a full-sized 9mm Sig Sauer MPX-C for a little while and having crunched some performance numbers out of the ammunition to compare a 9mm carbine to a 9mm pistol, I personally have to wonder if the 9mm carbine is worth the added bulk. The performance gains over the handgun just weren’t as high as I’d thought they would be. I’ll get into this further in another article – but for those of you like myself, who geek out over such things, I present the following data:
Federal American Eagle 115 grn FMJ:
Sig MPX average muzzle velocity: 1,321 fps
Sig MPX average muzzle energy: 446 ft. lbs.
Sig P320 average muzzle velocity: 1,113.3 fps
Sig P320 average muzzle energy: 317 ft. lbs.
Difference: 208.31 fps / 129 ft. lbs.
Difference per inch of barrel length: 19.65 fps/12.17 ft. lbs per inch of barrel
PMC Bronze 115-grain JHP
Sig MPX average muzzle velocity: 1,238 fps
Sig MPX average muzzle energy: 392 ft. lbs.
Sig P320 average muzzle velocity: 1,052 fps
Sig P320 average muzzle energy: 283 ft. lbs.
Difference: 187.67 fps / 109 ft. lbs
Difference per inch of barrel length: 17.61 fps/ 10.2 ft. lbs per inch of barrel
Sig Sauer Elite V-Crown 124-grain JHP
Sig MPX average muzzle velocity: 1,315 fps
Sig MPX average muzzle energy: 476 ft. lbs.
Sig P320 average muzzle velocity: 1,105 fps
Sig P320 average muzzle energy: 336 ft. lbs.
Difference: 210 fps / 140 ft. lbs
Difference per inch of barrel length: 17.35 fps/ 11.6 ft. lbs per inch of barrel
For comparison’s sake, a 62-grain M855 5.56mm bullet, traveling at 2,900 feet per second out of an M4 carbine, generates 1,158 foot pounds of energy. There are other factors to consider (muzzle blast/volume, magazine size, ammunition availability/expense, controllability under rapid fire, weight/added size of an AR or similar carbine), but this is something to consider when weighing the purchase and consequent utilization of a 9mm carbine vs. a 5.56mm carbine for a SHTF gun.
The other issue a potential purchaser would run up against is cost and accessories: When a new Sig Sauer MPX will run you $1,800, and then use proprietary magazines, you have to look long and hard at the system. If the MPX ran with P226 or c, I could see some definite appeal and justification on the price – you could stock one type of magazine for your carbine and your sidearm. But it doesn’t, so you can’t. This is a logistics conundrum you would have to figure out for your own SHTF/survival setup if you want to integrate a 9mm carbine into “the plan”.
For yuks ‘n’ giggles, I priced out a build using a Palmetto State Armory 9mm billet lower that accepts Glock 17/19 magazines. If you want to buy a pre-assembled upper and a pre-assembled lower through PSA, you can have a bare-bones 9mm carbine that feeds from Glock magazines for between $650-$900, depending on the configuration you like. You could upgrade to a couple Magpul accessories and throw an Aimpoint T-2 on top of it, and still have enough money left over from your Sig Sauer MPX fund to take the wife out someplace nice for dinner.
If you wanted to go higher-end than PSA and you have the ability to assemble an AR from parts, you could do a ground-up build using the PSA billet lower and high-end aftermarket parts to the tune of $1,200, no optics. Just something to consider, especially if you’re running a Glock.
I’m not trying to downplay the Sig Sauer MPX, but rather show that there are other options out there that will to the same thing for less money. However, what you will not have is Sig Sauer’s stellar customer service, unreal build quality, superb reliability, and the smug satisfaction that you have the best of the best protecting you. Your call.
Wrapping It Up
I thoroughly enjoyed every second I spent with the Sig Sauer MPX-C. It is a thoroughly thought-out platform, designed to be the very best at what it does within its envelope. And the gun certainly does that; the MPX is beautifully made, very accurate, and from what I could tell from my experience, flawlessly reliable, even with gaping hollowpoint ammunition. If I decided I needed a 9mm carbine for my arsenal and I had the money to buy and support it (extra magazines, spare springs/parts/bolt) I wouldn’t think twice before reaching for my wallet.
Where the Sig Sauer MPX-C would really shine is running with a suppressor and subsonic ammunition. A fast, light, quick-handling carbine that is quiet is definitely an arm that would be the pride and joy of any survivalist/prepper’s arsenal. This would go doubly if you lived in an environment where you would be indoors much of the time or clearing houses/apartments or other similar tight spaces. Even without a suppressor, the blast of a 9mm carbine is timid compared to a 5.56mm carbine or shotgun if you have to pull the trigger indoors.
However, even for a high-end system that will run you towards $2,000, it does have a couple caveats – that miserable trigger and the singing muzzle brake. Replacing these parts with items that are equal to what SHOULD have come on a firearm with this price tag could set you back another $300 or more – then you add in the price of a few extra magazines ($60 a copy) a high quality optic (at least $300 before mounts), and suddenly you’re sneaking up on 3 grand without even blinking. Considering that you could build/purchase two extremely badass AR-15s for that price tag, you have to think long and hard about your situation and whether or not the Sig Sauer MPX is the perfect fit for your situation. If it is the perfect fit and money is no object, you can truly do no better. It’s worth every penny if you have the niche to fill and the dough to spend.
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We live in a time when handguns may be priced the most reasonably in more than 100 years. However, ammunition prices are volatile and the sources always seem subject to regulation and shortages of certain types.
We looked at the market to see where a shooter could get the most savings in the quest for ammunition, and came up with seven pistols that deliver the least expensive bullets.
1. Ruger Mk 3
The list has to start with a 22. It is the cheapest pistol round on the market, and many fundamentals of pistol shooting can be practiced with a 22 trainer like the Ruger, or if you prefer a Browning, Smith & Wesson, Walther, Sig or Chiappa. Anything that gets you to the range to practice sight alignment, sight picture and making smaller groups in your target can be achieved with a quality 22 pistol.
Yeah, we know. It may be as cheap as 5 cents a round when you can find it, but the problem is finding it. Supply is improving. Stock up when you can, but don’t hoard it to make a profit on the secondary if you can help it.
2. Glock 17/19
There are other pistols out there in this caliber. On the low end you have the Hi-Points and S&W Sigmas and, of course, you can spend the price of a used car on an authentic Sig Sauer P210 made in Switzerland. We just find the Glock platform to be a good middle-of-the-road pistol that fits the needs of most shooters.
By far, the most affordable center-fire pistol round has to be the 9mm Luger. Whether it is military surplus ammunition, Winchester White Box, or remanufactured ammo, 9mm is here to stay, and prices are reflecting this. We have seen it as cheap as $13 for a box of 100 recently.
3. TT-30 Romanian Tokarev
This may be one of the best deals out there for an inexpensive pistol and ammunition combination. Obviously, there are other flavors of this pistol from Yugoslavia, Russia and China, but supply on these variants has been limited the past few years. In the same caliber, you can also find the CZ-52. Some of these pistols come with a 9mm conversion kit or can be converted via barrel swapping.
They are all chambered in 7.62X 25 Tokarev, a bottlenecked military pistol cartridge that can still be had reasonably cheap, particularly if you find surplus ammo, but new rounds are made by Sellier & Bellot and Prvi Partizan, among others.
4. Glock 22/23
40 S&W may seem to be on the decline, which means you can stock up on ammunition, components and magazines for your favorite 40 S&W handgun. We mentioned the Glock models, but you can find excellent pistols made by Steyr, HK, SIG, Beretta, Springfield and Smith & Wesson in this caliber.
As more police departments adopt 9mm, we expect to see savings on handguns as well as over runs of ammunition in the near future.
Bulk ammunition prices and remanufactured ammunition will yield the biggest savings. It is currently averaging about 18 cents a round.
Although its popularity has declined a bit in the past decade, the various Makarov pistols make excellent handguns when it comes to inexpensive ammunition. The 9X18 Makarov round is 1mm longer than a 380 and 1mm shorter than a 9mm Luger. It uses a larger diameter bullet (.365″) than the aforementioned rounds. Our favorite pistol in this caliber is an East German Makarov that we picked up when imports were in their heyday. Now they have become collector’s items along with the original Russian military pistols.
You don’t need to find a rather pricey Russian or East German Military Makarov, either. The round has been used in the FEG PA-63, SMC-918, P-64, P-83, grand Power P9M and the CZ82. While not as cheap as 9mm Luger, it is often cheaper than 380 ACP.
It is currently averaging about 18 to 19 cents a round.
6. S&W Model 64
There are, of course, hordes of revolvers chambered in 38 Special and even a few semiautomatic handguns (S&W M52 and AMU 1911’s converted to the HBWC only bullet type), but we recommend this particular revolver, as they tend to be found on the used market and they are very well made and accurate firearms. You can also go with your favorite 357 Magnum revolver and shoot the cheaper 38 Special, as well.
Some may balk at the price of the ammunition in certain areas (we faced sticker shock more than a few times recently), but the beauty of the low cost is there for hand loaders.
If you are a beginning hand loader, it is the easiest pistol case to work with, and using an HBWC (hollow-based wad cutter) bullet in your loads saves money on powder and makes for an accurate round. Always remember: The point of target shooting and practice is to make you a better shot, not just to make noise!
7. Medusa M47
For number 7 on this list we threw in a model that will be hard to find, as it has been out of production for quite some time: the Medusa Model 47 Revolver.
Phillips & Rodgers launched the Medusa in 1996, and the revolver had two unique characteristics: it could chamber any 9mm diameter bullet between .355″ and .357″ in diameter, and the barrel’s rifling was cut with nine lands and grooves. We suspect this type of rifling was necessary due to the wide variety of ammunition types that could be fired from the Medusa.
If you find a secondhand one, then make sure the inserts are included. A shooter can fire 357 Magnum, 38 Special, 9mm Largo, 9mm Luger, 9X21mm, 380 ACP, 38 S&W, 38 Super, 38 Colt, etc.
The manufacturer advised 25 calibers, but in theory inserts can be made to accommodate over 100 as long as the diameter of the projectile is smaller than the bore diameter. Accuracy will suffer in that regard, so we advise to stick with the original 25 listed in company literature.
That’s our list, and chances are that you already may have a few of these calibers ready to go. If you are a devoted 45 ACP or 44 Magnum fan, that’s good, we love them, too, but for this list we concentrated on handguns that are simply cheaper to shoot.
What is your favorite gun with cheap ammo? Share your advice in the section below:
How To Understand Ammo From Bullet Sizes To Bullet Types
Do you want to learn how to understand ammo right? What does caliber mean? Do you know what the anatomy of a bullet is? What is the difference between magazine and clip? I will answer all these questions and more today.
How is a bullet caliber measured
Rimfire and Centerfire
Magazines and Clips
I have gone in depth on how to store magazines in the past. Therefore I won’t cover it in depth. My method is to load half that you own. Under load by 2. And rotate every six months. So you can read the article or wait for the infographic on Monday.
- How is a bullet caliber measured
- Parts of a bullet
- Rimfire and Centerfire
- Can you reload Rimfire ammo?
- Magazines and Clips The Great Debate
- Storing Magazines
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I built the rifle and bought some AR/ G19 mags. Also ordered 2 cases of 5.56. Next month I will buy some other ammo probably 7.62×39 and the FAL mags. The month after that if its available I will buy 7.62×51. Ammo availability at current prices may not happen again so it could be a major savior for me and mine. Absolute worst case (best case overall but worst for this choice) nothing happens and I’ll still have the ammo.
It isn’t too late but the time is getting short. You may want to look at your own stuff as well as your finances and fill in some holes.
It wasn’t all that long ago that you couldn’t find the ammo you needed anywhere at any price. Store shelves were bare and reliable online distributors were out of stock. And unscrupulous vendors took advantage of the shortage to raise prices to astronomical highs.
Well, folks, those times might be coming again if the election doesn’t go the way gun owners are hoping it will go, and while we are enjoying relatively easy-to-acquire ammo again, it’s time to stockpile.
Here, then, are five rounds to stockpile before November.
This one is a no-brainer. It is probably the single most common handgun caliber, and if you don’t have 9mm, one of your buddies probably does. Lay in a good supply of lightweight ball ammo so you can continue to enjoy target practice during the next shortage, as well as a goodly supply of combat-suitable rounds. I’d make sure to have at least a thousand rounds of assorted hollow point and +p ammo. You can get some great deals right now on steel-cased plinking ammo, and if your gun likes it, it’s certainly worth putting some away if cost is an issue. Otherwise, stick with brass case, because even if you don’t reload, that brass will be valuable trading material, or should inspire you to start loading your own.
2. .223/ 5.56
Yes, the rounds aren’t identical. And yes, there are millions of rifles and handguns that can safely shoot either round, so for the purpose of this article, we are lumping them together. The .223 or 5.56mm round is found everywhere. Aside from the ubiquitous AR-15, there are bolt-action rifles, handguns of all sorts, and even AK-47s in this caliber.
As an added bonus, it’s also the standard round of the US military and many law enforcement agencies. A critical round to stockpile, buy cheap steel case if it works for you, but know as always, brass case will have more value in an ammo crisis.
3. .22 magnum
I had thought about recommending .22lr, but not only is that stuff still hard to come by in some places, but a brick or two can feed your family for a very long time. I figure any smart survivalist already has some on hand, and if you don’t you’ll get some anyway. But the .22 magnum has a special place on this list. Not only does Kel-Tec build an incredible handgun and carbine in this surprisingly powerful round, but there are a plethora of inexpensive bolt-action rifles and even revolvers that will shoot .22 mag. This round will take small game (probably even deer-sized in a pinch if you do your part) and is a surprisingly good self-defense round if nothing else is available. Use it for predator control, varmint hunting, or when you just need a little more power out of a .22. Thanks to Kel-Tec, there is a demand for this round that exceeds its traditional hunting role, and pushes it into a limited combat or self-defense position. Even if you don’t have a .22 mag yourself, put some of it aside if you can and watch it be a wildly popular trader among those who need it.
4. .308/7.62 NATO
Same deal here as with the .223/5.56. Know your gun, and know that no matter what, these nearly identical rounds WILL be in great demand. The .308 is not only a hard-hitting, long-range round, but it figures in many people’s disaster plans. A must-have for those who prefer hard-hitting defensive rifles, long-range hunting or sniping rifles, or those who simply appreciate the power of a true battle rifle, this round is expensive in the best of times, and in the worst of times is sure to dry up fast. Found in everything from single-shot rifles to top-of-the-line combat arms, this is one of the most popular cartridges in the world. Unless you score a deal on what little military surplus 7.62 that turns up now and then, simply lay in .308. It’s more common, and you don’t have to worry about the real dangers of shooting the wrong round in the wrong chamber. Steel case is out there, but a few more cents per round gets you invaluable reloadable brass. Remember: The apocalypse might be fought with 5.56, but 7.62 will be sounding the trumpet.
From Russia, with love. Widely used in SKS, AKs and even AR-15s, and a few bolt-action rifles, this is perhaps one of the best general purpose, medium-powered rounds. The 7.62×39 is mostly imported, making it really easy to cut off at the whim of any anti-gun president. There are about umpteen million rifles and more than a few AK-style handguns running around in this caliber, and one of the best things about it is that it’s cheap. Probably the only time you won’t care about buying brass or steel case, just grab an extra case of whatever is cheapest and call it good. When bad times come, you’ll be amazed at how many SKSs and AKs come out of the woodwork, forgotten sometimes for decades. If you don’t already use this round, it will be invaluable for trading.
Is this list comprehensive? Of course not. Will you agree with it? Probably not all of them. There are other calibers I could have ran with, but odds are you have at least one on this list, or know somebody who does. Feed YOUR guns first, but be sure to lay in a good supply of popular rounds, especially those in common use by military and police. When the grid goes down, and anti gun governments go after our ammo supply as a default gun ban, you’ll be glad you stocked up.
“Urban Man~ Here is an interesting lesson from a survival buddy of mine.”
Caution: This lesson is for educational purposes only. Gun powder is dangerous. Firing damaged or incorrectly loaded ammo is dangerous as well.
There may be a time in ones life when it may become necessary to have to reload ammo in the field, especially in a wilderness survival situation or the collapse of society.
We are comfortable in knowing that at the moment we have access to ready made store bought ammo. But, what if that luxury was some how taken away? What if there were no stores left or available to purchase our ammo?
In such as situation, ammo can still be available if one knew how to obtain what was needed to reload their own. Spent ammo shells, especially shotgun shells can be found laying around all over the desert. Primers can be reconditioned and reloaded. Black powder can be homemade. Lead shot can be made from scrape lead.
You really do not need fancy reloading equipment in order to reload ammo in an emergency or self reliant situation.
Learn now to start saving your spent ammo hulls and shells. Set them aside to be reloaded at a later date when the time is needed.
Here are the steps that were covered in the video to reload a 12 gauge shell: (if this is the first time a plastic shotgun shell is being used, cut the top crimp fingers off the shell where the crimp line meets the star crimp.)
1. Remove primer
2. Install a new primer
3. Measure powder and add to shell
4. Using dowel rod, gently compress the powder in the shell
5. Add correct amount of wading (plastic, paper, animal hair, leather, etc.)
6. Using dowel rod again, gently compress the wad into the shell
7. Add correct amount of shot. (insure that there is enough room at the opening of the shell to add the over-shot card)
8. Add over-shot card and compress gently with dowel rod
9. Add glue over top of shot card ensuring that the inside walls of the shell receive glue as well
10. Immediately add another shot card over the top of the first one and apply gentle pressure to allow glue to spread out
Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.
Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder.
Carrying a concealed weapon is a major decision one must make, and ultimately you as an adult are solely in charge of defending your life. It can be an intimidating venture, but I have a few tips I’ve discovered after carrying a weapon for the last five years.
1. Wear your rig everywhere
Wearing a gun in a concealed fashion for the first time is quite uncomfortable. First off, holsters are often like boots: They have to be broken in. Not only does the holster have to be broken in, but you have to be broken into carrying a gun. If you are a new concealed carrier, or waiting for your permit, or scheduling a class, go ahead and start looking for holsters and guns. When you decide on one holster or another, just start wearing it. The more you carry, the more comfortable you’ll be with a gun.
You’ll also learn how to comfortably conceal your weapon. This means you can test your belt’s mettle, making sure it is supportive and comfortable. You’ll learn that if you use an inside-the-waistband holster, you’ll have to up your size of pants. You’ll also learn how to adjust a shoulder holster, and you’ll see if carrying your weapon is viable with your everyday attire.
2. Try a variety of holsters
When it comes to purchasing a holster, be prepared to purchase several holsters. You may read rave reviews about one holster or another, but find they simply don’t work for you. I love Alien Gear Holsters, but you may not. Be prepared to try some holsters out, and to start your own small collection. As a side note, stay away from cheap nylon holsters, and if your holster costs the same as a box of ammo, you’re doing it wrong.
Most people are going to face situations in their life where their normal method of dress will change. I wear a shirt and tie to my day job, and typically jeans and a T-shirt when I’m off work. These sets of clothing have different restrictions and challenges for carrying a weapon. I own a Sneaky Pete for carrying at work, and a simple Stealth operator compact holster from Phalanx Defense systems. I keep an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck for deep concealment in casual clothes. These three holsters give me options for nearly every clothing I choose to wear.
3. Know your weapon and holster inside and out
This is a big one. If you use multiple holsters like I do, then you want to train with all of them. Each of my holsters is similar enough to make cross training easy but different enough to make it necessary. If you choose to use different holsters and one has a retention device and the other does not, then you’ll have to practice for that. You’ll have to train how to draw the weapon not only with your strong hand but with your weak hand, with your back on the ground, and so forth.
Knowing your weapon is another major factor. For example, I typically carry a Walther PPS in 9mm. The Walther PPS has a different magazine release than most weapons, and I have to train to use it. If I carried a weapon with a safety, I’d train to disable that safety on every draw during practice. You need to practice mag changes with both hands, disabling the safety with both hands, and be able to use the weapon with one hand competently.
4. Practice with your everyday carry ammo
Most practice you do will be with standard full metal jacket ammunition; it’s cheap, effective and commonly available. No doubt, training with FMJs is valuable and will be the majority of training you’ll do. You do need to occasionally shoot your defensive ammunition. When you first purchase a gun and choose your defensive ammo you should buy two boxes — one for carry, and one for practice. Make sure your weapon can reliably feed in the weapon. Some defensive ammo may have a tweaked overall length, which may affect reliability. Some defensive ammo has a polymer tip to it, and this may affect reliability with your weapon.
Outside of reliability testing, you should shoot your defensive ammo just to remember how it handles. For example, I use Speer Gold Dot 124 grain that is +P. That +P adds some more power to the round and some more recoil. I want to make sure I am capable of handling this recoil and to expect it. Also, if you constantly rechamber defensive ammo after practice over and over, you may push the bullet into the case, reducing the overall length.
5. Be willing to fight
The last tip is a mental block some people may have to climb over. As a CCW instructor, I have heard it from a few people that they never want to shoot anyone, and hope the gun will simply scare the attacker off. This is a dangerous mindset, and if you aren’t willing to pull the trigger, you shouldn’t be carrying the weapon. If you pull your weapon and can’t pull the trigger, you may lose it to your attacker and suffer some serious consequences.
You need to be prepared to fight, to truly take hold of your responsibility to defend yourself, and, if necessary, shoot your attacker. Carrying a gun without the willingness to use it makes the weapon useless.
What concealed carry tips and advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Companion planting makes sense in an organic garden by creating plant diversity and using garden space more efficiently. Some plants work as pest deterrents, while others act as traps, drawing harmful bugs away from more susceptible veggies. Some gardeners are convinced that companion planting doubles the harvest, making it well worth the extra effort.
The Native American Three Sisters planting method, which involves corn, beans and squash, is one of the best examples of how companion planting works. As corn stalks gain height, they provide support for vining bean plants, and the beans repay the favor by fixing nitrogen in the soil. Squash, a fast-growing plant, does its part by shading the soil, preserving moisture and helping keep weeds in check.
Keep in mind that companion planting is not an exact science, and what works well for your friend across town may not work for you. Experimentation will reveal what natural friendships crop up in your garden.
Beets – Cabbage and related plants do well near beet plants, as do members of the onion family. Beets also like bush beans, lettuce and chard, but it’s best to keep them away from pole beans.
Beans – Bush beans interact positively with cucumbers, corn, radishes, celery, beets and members of the cabbage family. Pole beans, on the other hand, are a little pickier; they get along famously with radishes and corn, but hate beets. Plant potatoes next to either type of bean if you have problem with beetles, as potatoes tend to repel the pests. Avoid onions, garlic, leeks and chives, which may stunt bean plant growth.
Carrots – Onions, garlic and leeks help repel carrot flies and other pests, while members of the cabbage family also tend to discourage various pests that bug carrots. Beneficial carrot buddies also include peas, beans, lettuce, radishes, peppers and tomatoes.
Sweet corn – Beans are super helpful companion plants for corn, attracting beneficial insects that feast on corn-ravaging pests. Other companion plants that may enhance corn plant growth include potatoes, beans, melons, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers and peas. However, plant corn and tomatoes at least 4 feet apart, as the two don’t do well together.
Cucumbers – Cucumbers thrive on nitrogen that peas and beans provide to the soil, while radishes help by drawing cucumber beetles away from tender cukes. Corn is a good companion for cucumbers, but potatoes and melons aren’t so good. Plant them in a different area of the garden.
Lettuce – Plant onions, garlic and chives nearby to deter aphids, maggots and other pests. Additionally, you can plant lettuce under tall tomatoes or corn, as lettuce appreciates the cool shade. Lettuce also gets along well with carrots, cucumbers, parsnips, beets and members of the cabbage family.
Onions – Onions grow well alongside many vegetable plants, including tomatoes, beets, peppers, lettuce, carrots, chard and most members of the cabbage family (with the exception of kohlrabi).
Peas – Plant peas near radishes, carrots, corn, cucumbers, parsley, tomatoes and turnips, but not in close proximity to onions, garlic, leeks or chives.
Peppers – Peppers get along well with most vegetables, including eggplant, parsley, carrots, tomatoes and members of the onion family. On the other hand, beans and peppers aren’t a good combination.
Radish – Radishes are cheerful little plants that get along with most vegetables, including carrots, beets, parsnips and spinach. Many gardeners think companion planting radishes and lettuce makes radishes more tender. However, it’s best not to plant radish in close proximity to members of the cabbage family.
Spinach – When you plant spinach and radishes side by side, the spinach works as a trap plant, meaning it attracts leafminers that are capable of decimating your spinach crop. Chinese mustard works in much the same fashion. Spinach also grows well alongside eggplants, celery and members of the cabbage family.
Potatoes – Plant spuds along with beans, eggplant, corn, peas and members of the cabbage family, but locate tomatoes, melons, squash, turnips and cucumbers in another corner of your garden.
Tomatoes – Many gardeners believe that chives can make tomatoes even sweeter. Other good tomato companions include parsley, carrots, celery, asparagus, onions, garlic and leeks. Tomatoes and corn are enemies, primarily because they tend to attract the same pests. Similarly, potatoes are susceptible to the same blight, which means they aren’t good companions for tomatoes. Plant tomatoes away from cauliflower, kale and other members of the cabbage family, which are believed to stunt tomato plant growth.
Which vegetables do you plant near one another – and avoid planting near one another? Share your tips in the section below:
How to Make a Quickie Survival Bow from a Sapling When the SHTF and you run out of ammo or you want to hunt silently making your own bow is a fantastic alternative to guns and knives. A quickie bow is a fast-made bow for immediate use in a survival situation. It is carved from a sapling …
If you’re a survivalist, then chances are you’ve already stocked up on plenty of ammo. But if you haven’t, this video is sure to change your mind. There are probably a dozen reasons why you should stockpile ammunition, but VP Prepping & Survival narrowed it down to the top 5: 1. Ammo shortages are common. […]
Preparing for a home defense situation is basically an act of arming yourself for a dark, nasty and unfortunate hypothetical scenario. Also, the chances of finding yourself in such a scenario increase in certain areas of the country — and thus, the responsibility of acquiring a suitable defensive weapon increases accordingly.
But then, there are variables to consider. In a home with small children, keeping a fully loaded AR-15 or Glock 17 by the bed is not something that every home defender is comfortable with. However, the eerie possibility of that nightmare scenario occurring still isn’t going to vanish in the presence of children.
So, what now? Are there alternatives to lethal weaponry, which don’t involve a Louisville Slugger or MMA training? Answer: yes. For this particular dilemma, you might consider purchasing a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, such as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but instead of loading it with 00-buck shot …
How about loading that sucker with “less-than-lethal” beanbag rounds?
The Most Basic Objective of Personal Defense
Here are a few reasons why I find these to be a considerable home defensive option, despite its unconventional nature …
First, let’s clear the air on this one: Killing a human tends to lead to some rather complex, life-altering implications (not including that of the psychological drawbacks of dropping some guy in the place you call home). Throw in a court case, teams of forensic investigators, and lots of paperwork, and this 30-second crisis just got a whole lot longer. So, because your home is not necessarily a military combat zone, let’s iron out what “self-defense” actually means, according to FindLaw.com:
“Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.”
In other words, the point is not to cause death — instead, your objective according to the law is to stop the intruder’s ability to present a lethal threat, if one were presented, that is. In most cases, a home intrusion will happen because the offender is looking for anything they can sell on eBay, so they can purchase tickets to the next Eagles game … or something like that.
With that being said, it could be very difficult to ascertain whether or not the crook is armed and dangerous, or just plain stupid and didn’t realize you’d come back from vacation already. In which case, a 12-gauge beanbag round would do a beautiful job in securing the homefront — and not to mention, there would be a great deal less death going on.
Beanbag Rounds: They’ll Teach Crooks a Valuable Life Lesson
The beautiful side is the fact that this particular home defensive option would afford a less-than-child-hazardous method of keeping the crooks at bay. No, beanbag rounds are not meant to be used as a toy, especially due to the fact that they still maintain the power of being kicked in the (insert body part) by an enraged bronco.
Also, when people say that these rounds are considered “less-than-lethal,” that means they can kill on accident. Obviously, a human fist doesn’t possess the same lead-based killing power as a slug, but the FBI’s findings on the topic are astounding. In fact, more than half of all Americans in the 2011 survey suggest that punching and kicking are responsible for more homicides than shotguns.
However, the police do implement these less-than-lethal options, especially when things get out of hand but lethal force is simply not needed. From a law enforcement perspective, it’s usually best to have an immobilized crook with a notably bad Charlie horse, then have a guy bleeding on a public sidewalk, as the local news arrives five minutes before the EMS to the scene.
But, Then Again…
Unfortunately, there will be drawbacks to less-than-lethal ammunition. For one, using beanbag rounds is, itself, an $8 box for 5 rounds of tactical compromise. Quite frankly, a hotly debated topic of discussion is the so-called “stopping power” of live ammo, so beanbag rounds will certainly be problematic to that end. Also, it is rumored that less-than-lethal ammunition will provide auto-immunization before a judge in the event that the beanbag round ended up killing the crook; however, there are zero guarantees in such sticky situations, (and, let it be known, I’m no attorney and this is not legal advice).
The point to using beanbag rounds in your 12 gauge is to offer a way to provide a home intruder with a valuable life lesson that they can think about from inside their prison cell. But keep this in mind: According to most manufacturers, all less-than-lethal bets are off, if the target is hit in the head or chest within a range of seven yards. So that, too, should be an item of concern. And, of course, this also brings me back to the most obvious drawback: If proper firearm safety is to always treat the weapon as if it is loaded (with live ammunition), then to point a 12-gauge Remington 870 at an armed intruder should carry more-than-enough lethal meaning, since death is a primary function of a firearm, after all. Yet still, your best judgment and preparation will always be your primary home defense, no matter what.
What do you think? Would you consider using less-than-lethal ammo? Share your thoughts in the section below:
The AR-15 rifle is by far the most popular rifle in the US, especially among survivalists and people serious about home defense. The rifle is accurate, powerful enough, and endlessly customizable. The AR-15 has its detractors, and they have their arguments, but ultimately it is still the most popular rifle out there.
The AR-15 is typically chambered in 223/5.56, a caliber that is common, as well as small and compact when compared to rifle rounds. In fact, their size was one of the many reasons the US government chose the AR 16/ M16 platform over the larger, heavier, and more powerful 7.62 rifles. The average soldier can carry more 5.56 ammunition than they could ever carry with the heavier 7.62 rounds.
But even the 5.56 is still a giant when compared to the diminutive .22 LR round. The .22 LR is another popular rifle with survivalists who already own a main defensive rifle. The .22 LR round may be a poor defensive round, but it’s handy for hunting small and medium game, fending off predators, and as a general utility round. The .22 LR is also very small, quite light, and you can carry a box of 500 in a cargo pocket.
The small size, low recoil, low cost and easy shooting ability makes it the perfect round.
So what does all of this have to do with anything? Well, what about the ability to convert your AR-15 to shoot .22 LR? You have probably seen these kits before and heard about how unreliable they are. That is generally true but, thankfully, CMMG has produced a kit that actually works. The CMMG kit is a stainless steel bolt that is an all-in-one kit.
This kit comprises of a bolt, a long extension that acts as a chamber, and an internal buffer. The kit requires you to use a 5.56 or 223 rifle. The internal 223/5.56 bore is close enough to the diameter of a .22 caliber long rifle that the round will remain accurate for shooting. The kit itself is a one-piece design that simply drops into the upper receiver of an AR-15. All you have to do is remove the 5.56 bolt, drop in the CMMG kit and close the receivers.
The kit does require the use of a specialized magazine, as one would expect. The kit comes with one polymer magazine, which will fit with any standard AR-15 lower receiver and locks in rock and ejects easily. The main difference, besides the caliber, is the fact the bolt will not lock open after firing the last round.
But Is it Reliable?
Most of these kits fail in some way. I believe the reason the CMMG kit works so well is because of its polished stainless steel. This allows the weapon and bolts to run with the dirty .22 LR round consistently, round after round. CMMG has had some minor problems with some of their more experimental rifles, but this kit has run like a champ over 450 rounds of Federal auto match. And I didn’t lube the rifle or the kit before firing it. I just dropped it in, threw in a magazine of Federal auto match and started shooting.
The kit’s magazine loads 25 rounds and is easy to load until those second two rounds, where it gets pretty stiff. The charging handle only goes back about a 10th of the standard charging handle range. This is a bit odd at first, and takes some time to learn how to do it. At first, I would instinctively try to rip the charging back.
After 450 rounds, I had 10 misfires. These were rounds that failed to fire, which I chalked up to the standard unreliability you get with bulk .22 LR rounds. Cleaning the kit was as simple as spraying on some CLP, rubbing it down with a rag, and brushing the crevices. That stainless steel finish is a huge aid to cleaning the bolt.
Overall, the kit is excellent. It ran with some basic, cheap bulk ammo. I plan to do more testing with different ammo types, and a variety of brands. If the kit keeps working, it will replace my dedicated .22 LR for my rim fire needs. The only downside is the small loss of accuracy and having to purchase extra magazines online. The magazines cost around $25 apiece, which is somewhat expensive. But the CMMG kit is rock-solid so far, and it’s by far the best .22 LR conversion kit I’ve ever used.
Have you ever converted an AR-15 to a .22? Share your tips in the section below:
I should also note having done more than a little business with AIM over the years. Their products are as good as described and often better and the service is excellent. My only incentive in mentioning this deal is to bring it to your attention.
Be sure to have enough 7.62×39 to keep that gun fed no matter what.
-A regular Reader
In this type of circle emails like this come up. The reason I am sharing this one with you is because of who it came from. The person is one I have known as an invisible friend for awhile now. A smart prepared individual who is almost always right. I’m not saying they know EVERYTHING but they keep their mouth shut about stuff they don’t know about. They are also not prone to hysterics in a screaming The Sky Is Falling Alex Jones sort of way. It is complicated that I won’t say who it is but they are frequently a positive presence here and in the larger blogosphere. For their personal OPSEC I am not sharing any of their info.
What COULD you do? Well you could relook your overall financial position. Think about getting your money a bit more accessible. Since interest rates are so low you might just keep cash in the gun safe at home. Maybe you want to put some money into precious metals. Right now prices are pretty good. Think about putting some money into tangibles you could barter or sell as needed. Turning a new in box Glock 19 into cash is easy, ditto a case of 5.56 ammo.
So what should you do with this? I cannot answer that for you. I am obviously not a financial advisor or an accountant and I didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn last night. Your own situation is unique and so are your tolerances for risk as well as your goals. The right answer for me might not be the right answer for you. If you start talking about 401k’s and IRA’s there could be significant tax implications. Of course the advice to keep a cool head and not make emotional decisions out of fear is always good.
Be sure to consider how a worst case scenario economically would affect you. Also be sure to consider what things, as they probably will, going on more or less normally would mean. Look at both of those for your current situation and the one you may decide to move to.
What am I going to do? I am still thinking about it. This is a situation where sleeping on it for a couple days is fine. I am moving money to a place it is easier to transfer/ spend. I am also thinking about putting a bit more money into precious metals, both silver/ gold and lead/ steel. Whether I do that by trading dollars for metals or just shift my ratio in time with new purchases remains to be seen. I need to think about it.
So those are my thoughts about that. What do you think?
One of the drawbacks to certain new firearms is the cost of the ammunition. Experienced hunters and shooters typically know this, but it can still be shocking on occasion. I may see a new firearm that does everything I want it to do, and 10 minutes later get sticker shock when I find a box of 20 rounds is selling for $110. Yes, even after three decades of shooting, I have had this happen to me.
At one time, 22 long rifle was the cheapest ammunition available. But in the past few years the price has risen and availability is limited.
Let’s look at five options for cheap ammo, focusing on center fire cartridges.
One of the most common and relatively inexpensive handgun rounds is the 9mm Parabellum or 9mm Luger. I have seen a box of 50 for less than $9, but the typical street price is closer to $12 to $15 for a 50-count box of 115 grain full metal jacketed rounds. Sometimes this price can be beaten if you buy in bulk.
There is an exhaustive list of handguns in this caliber by Sig Sauer, Glock, Beretta, Heckler & Koch, Smith & Wesson and just about any manufacturer over the course of the past hundred years that produced a semi-automatic pistol. Long gun shooters can find the round chambered in Uzis, AR-15s, Kriss Vectors and various conversion kits for Steyr AUGs and IWI Tavors.2. 40 S&W
2. 40 S&W
Although declining in popularity as of late, the 40 S&W round is still very affordable and a plethora of firearms are available for this mid-sized caliber. Not very many long guns were chambered in 40 S&W, but if you like Glocks, Sigs, Steyrs, H&K’s and of course Smith & Wesson pistols, chances are that you will find one in 40 S&W.
The average retail price is typically a little higher than 9mm.
3. 5.45 X 39
I was a little reluctant to list this one, but more than once I have been tempted to pick up an AK-74 variant just because I saw cases of this ammunition in excess of 1000 rounds for around $100 delivered.
That may not be the case anymore, but I still see it cheaper than 5.56 or 7.62 X 39. Whether it will stay that way in the future remains to be seen.
Rifles in this caliber are mostly AK variants, but I do see an occasional AR-15 or bolt gun every now and then.
4. 20 gauge
Most of my shotguns are chambered in 12 Gauge because of its versatility, but I recently picked up a 20 gauge at an estate sale and could not believe the price difference in ammunition. Plus, the lower recoil is an added bonus.
Shopping around, I have found 25-round boxes for as low as $5.5. 7.62x54R
If a tin of 440 full-sized rifle rounds for less than $80 delivered sounds like a deal to you, then you will love the 7.62x54R round. It is, ballistics-wise, comparable to the venerable 30-06 but a lot cheaper.
The most common rifle for this caliber is the Mosin-Nagant bolt action. However, that is not the only option. A few semi-automatic rifles were built around this cartridge, such as the Dragunov, SVT-38 and SVT-40. Believe it or not, Winchester made 300,000 lever action Model 1895 rifles for the Russian army in this caliber in 1915.
This list is not complete. Ammunition prices tend to fluctuate, particularly surplus rounds. At one time I might have listed 7.62 X 25 for use in Tokarevs, CZ52s and other Cold War-era pistols and carbines, but that round can get expensive when it is not being imported on a regular basis.
What would you add to this list? Share your ammo suggestions in the section below:
Dealing With A Gun Misfire By Richard Bogath I cannot adequately explain the looks of puzzlement and confusion when one of my students pulls the trigger and nothing but a resounding “click” issues forth from the handgun. What’s interesting is that not five minutes before they pulled said trigger, they received one of their first […]
The post And The Gun Goes Click – Dealing With A Gun Misfire appeared first on Expert Prepper Blog.
At Expert Prepper we’re committed to bringing you the best survival posts and preparedness information. There was a lot of great stuff out there this week, from survival gear reviews to breaking news and the latest and greatest survival tips. Check out this weeks top blog posts below: Three Preps Your SHTF Stockpile Cannot Do […]
Are Guns and Ammo the New Gold and Silver?
As the economic crisis has worsened over the last several years we have made it a point to inform our readers about the possibility of a system collapse so severe that the regular flow of commerce comes to a screeching halt. Planning for such a far-from-equilibrium scenario, which may very well involve the collapse of a nation’s currency, requires that we consider alternative monetary vehicles to help us get through tough times. In What is Money When The System Collapses? we outlined several supplies that would become essential in a post-collapse world. Thing like food, water, gas, and clothing would become necessities not just for your personal use, but as barterable assets.
We’ve always advocated investment into precious metals like gold, and especially silver in “junk” form, as these will likely be some of the few recognizable emerging currencies if the worst were to happen. Another asset class that will likely experience a boom in a post-collapse world is guns and ammunition.
If there’s one thing you may have noticed about guns and ammunition over the last ten years, and especially since the economic and financial collapse of 2008, it’s that prices for these assets have steadily risen. Some may suggest this is a side effect of inflation, and while we won’t disagree that inflation has played a part, it is only a symptom of a deeper, more fundamental issue that is driving the value of these assets to historical highs.
The people have lost confidence in the government’s ability to mitigate this crisis and they have no trust that government officials have their best interests at heart. Recent developments on financial, economic, and political fronts have left aware and responsibility-minded Americans with no choice but to take their financial and physical security into their own hands. As a result we’ve seen sustained multi-year growth growth in the value of traditional wealth preservation assets of last resort like gold and silver. Moreover, and quite telling of the lack of trust the American people have in their government, there has been an unprecedented growth in the number of Americans investing in non-traditional stores of wealth that include assets like guns and ammunition.
For many, guns and ammo are the new gold and silver. Historically these assets have retained or increased their value, while also serving a practical purpose for post-collapse emergency preparedness planning.
Some of the fear-based psychological reasons for gold’s popularity in times of economic crisis appear to be similar to the reasons cited for purchasing guns and ammunition. Michael Thompson, a small business owner from Virginia, had this to say about why he recently purchased 2,000 rounds of 223 ammunition to go with his growing collection of AR-15 assault rifles: “Since ARs are so well-known & widespread, quality ones don’t really go down in value. I don’t trust what’s going on in Washington and a reliable firearm that’ll hold it’s value plus ammo that I can always re-sell later if I don’t use it up seems like as safe a place as any to put my money in these uncertain times.”
Dustin Ramsey, a 28 year old self-proclaimed “realist” from Tennessee who says hunting and fishing are two of his favorite outdoor activities, counts the 5,000 rounds of 9mm ammunition he keeps on-hand as one of his investments along with gold coins: “I’m a hunter so I know I can use my guns & ammo to feed my family if something happens to our usual food supply and there’s a run at our grocery store. Plus, it seems like somebody on Wall Street is always getting bailed out nowadays and my faith in the stock market has been gone for a long time. Look, I’ve seen what happens when times get tough and I figure I can always barter a popular caliber like 9mm for other supplies like I would with gold if push comes to shove. And if a crisis never materializes where I need my stash of ammo, I still love to shoot so those bullets won’t go to waste. Given the uncertainty in our world, ammunition seems more practical to me than gold, whether there’s an economic crisis or not.”
The following fact sheet (via Ammo.net) offers some compelling statistics for the viability of guns and ammunition as investment and/or wealth protections vehicles:
Firearms and ammunition may not be a typical investment asset for most, but considering the growth we have seen in the last decade, many more Americans are turning to them in times of uncertainty, crisis and distrust. We have yet to see our government make any significant changes to our economic policies, regulators continue to ignore the fraudulent activities and outright scams in financial circles, our currency is under threat of losing its world reserve status, more Americans than ever require government assistance just to put food on the table, and our liberties are being progressively restricted on an almost daily basis.
Given the reaction to these circumstances thus far, it should be apparent that for those looking to protect their wealth, as well as their lives as crime and violence rise, guns and ammunition may be an excellent egg to add to the diversification basket.
Hattip Gunsmith, Red Leader
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Source : shtfplan.com
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I have posted this video before, twice if I recall. Anyway it brings up a very good point. Ammo matters a lot and it is prudent to consider A) stocking it deep and B) the opportunity for resupply in your chosen caliber during some sort of event.This is a point I like to occasionally revisit.
After watching this video I opened the safe and pulled out my ammo and mag records. I am very pleased to say we are finally above my desired ratio of 5.56 ammo. 3,000 rounds per military pattern rifle is not a bad place to be. You can always use more ammo but I am happy with my 5.56 situation. I have spent a lot of money to get here but the blissful calm that came over me when I saw that the stash exceeded my desired ratio was worth it.
This video is, for me, a sort of gut check that I occasionally revisit. Buying the FAL sort of complicated my situation but then again I sold a 30-30 so it is a wash on logistics and a capability upgrade. This gut check sits well with my goals for the rest of the year which are (roughly in order):
An AR stripped lower receiver (more of a gun ban insurance thing than a SHTF thing)
10-20 more FN-FAL mags
Some more FAL spare parts. Specifically springs.
Another case of 5.56
A case of 7.62×51
maybe some Glock mags if I get to it.
Let us now take a walk into a possible future with reality as the paving stones down this path of thought…
Many preppers store lots of firearms and ammunition. I am not free from this rightful practice of defensive and hunting purposes. Although firearms are the top tool for self-defense and acquiring meat for the table, it is not realistic to consider them as long-tern tools if the shit hits the fan. Your first and foremost tools in this regard must be your mental ability to make other defensive and hunting tools, as well as having a fit, strong, and capable body.
By capable, I mean that you have some level of fighting skill in hand to hand combat. Whether you have wrestling, submission, or striking and kicking skills, you should have something to bring to a possible conflict where no firearms are available. Having a solid depth of fighting skills, with weapons making and using abilities, is the best level of capacity you should set as a goal if you are a serious prepper.
I cannot find a way to say this nicely, because living in the delusion that you can be fat, unhealthy, and have lots of firearms and ammunition to live through SHTF, is a death sentence you have imposed on yourself. If you do not prepare your body as a defensive tool and weapon, and continue to depend on something like firearms and ammunition that can fail and run out, then you are preparing for a painful death or slavery when they are no longer available.
How long will they last after a possible collapse of infrastructure and main supply lines? That depends on where you live, how well you have prepped in this regard, and number of shots needed over a certain period of time. If you live way out in the backwoods, your ammunition should last longer than someone near highly populated areas where someone will be fighting battles daily until most people have died and the ammunition runs out.
When that comes to pass, only the strongest, most cunning, and highly skilled fighters will continue on without assistance and protection from other people. Some of these more capable people will rule over the weak or trade their services for precious metals or some sort of favor. If you cannot defend yourself, then you will basically be someone else’s bitch, to say it plainly and realistically to suit these times we live in now. If that sentence offends you in some way, wait until it becomes your reality, as it is for some people in cultures around the world right now, at this very moment. If you are female, then this should serve to motivate you. Fear is a great motivator.
This is just another area that physical fitness, internal health through appropriate eating habits, and combat training comes into play with respect to overall preparedness. I have had contact in person and here on the internet with many preppers in the past few years, and one thing seems to be common, with respect to a serious dysfunction of preparedness. That is that preppers want the easy way. The majority of preppers are going to die in the aftermath of SHTF, because they prepared in the easiest and laziest way, with very little depth of ability in the physical realm of reality.
Of course stock every single defensive tool you can acquire, but also prepare your first and foremost one, which is your body. Make it strong through physical training. You’ll also need endurance in a real face to face battle in hand to hand combat. Eat healthy with regards to nutrition, rather than just calories, and do the same with what you store in your preps. All health and cellular development, along with building a strong immune system, starts with what goes into your manufacturing plant. They receiving dock is your mouth and stomach area. Eat crap, build crap.
Get to a martial arts center of any kind or get with a friend to show you how to fight hand to hand. Train together with your wife, friends, and group. Why the hell not? Are you a prepper for real or just for show and to belong to some kind of club. If you look out into the future if the shit hits the fan, and you see people baking cakes and laughing together, you are not looking into reality. Snap yourself back and get busy readying yourself to kick some ass and defend yourself, your loved ones, and your rightful property.
Self-defense is a right that the founders of the Unites States enshrined into the constitution for every single American. Bearing arms is about taking action to protect your family in case something was to go wrong. With terrorism and political instability in the world, who knows what the future may hold. However, building an arsenal isn’t always cheap. Below are a few ways you can purchase what you need without spending a fortune.
Purchase Your Ammunition in Bulk
One of the purposes of building an arsenal for self-defense is to have a cache that can’t be quickly depleted. If you don’t have enough ammunition on hand, you could be overpowered rather quickly. To solve that problem, you should probably purchase the ammunition you need for your firearms in bulk quantities. Thankfully, buying more means saving per shell and per bullet.
Shop and Save Online
You shouldn’t limit your arsenal to weapons and ammo purchased at your local gun shop. Instead, check out some of the major online firearms dealers like Brownells. Some stores have very competitive prices due to the fact they do higher volume business. Also keep a look out on websites that publish online coupons and sales for other websites like Discountrue. You may eventually see a significant discount on something you need for your arsenal.
A firearm does not have to be new to work well. It simply needs to be well maintained. With this in mind, you should consider buying some used firearms if you want to pad your arsenal. Gun shows and pawn shops are both excellent choices. Just make sure to test the guns you buy this way out on the shooting range before you place them into your arsenal.
Take Advantage of Military Surplus
The US has one of the largest military budgets of any government in the world. Not everything it pays for actually gets used. You can benefit from this by purchasing some of that surplus from military surplus stores at a significant discount. While you won’t find surplus military guns and ammo, you can find plenty of other things you can add to your stockade such as ammo cans, knives, survival supplies, military grade boots and tactical gear.
Develop a Relationship with a Dealer
Gun shop owners and sellers at gun shows do have some leeway in regards to what they charge customers. If you are trying to slowly build up a decent arsenal over time, try to develop good relationships with a few sellers. They may be willing to give you discounts because they know you’ll continue giving them business in the future.
Some people take action to protect their families by using the second amendment right to bear arms. Thankfully, there are ways you can do so while not spending all of your disposable income.
Written by Rachelle Wilber
Defensive AR Platform By Richard Bogath I’m probably going to get a lot of crap for writing this article. Far be it from me to tell a person what they should use to defend themselves, their home and family. Some are just as comfortable with a Louisville Slugger as others might be with a handgun […]
It is only at the margins where things start to matter. To briefly summarize faster twist rate favors heavier bullets and slower twist lighter ones. If you want to shoot the newly popular 77 grain open tip match ammo which are well reputed for both long range accuracy and terminal ballistics you want a 1/7 or 1/8 barrel. If you are a varmit shooter always using those light 50 grain bullets go 1/9.
Good info to have.
Shotgun Hunting By Richard Bogath Hunting with a shotgun is about as cliche as you can possibly get. No, it’s true. From those of you who remember who Elmer Fudd is to the quintessential red-plaid, red-necked, beaver-capped representation of hunters in America today (especially portrayed by anti-hunters), hunting with a shotgun is eye-rollingly plaid out […]
For those of you lucky enough to live in pro-rifle hunting states, you have the opportunity to achieve some of the greatest successes that hunting has to offer with nearly unlimited range and the power to fell any size game from whatever distance. Of course, you also have the chance of adding your name to […]
Probably the highest density of e-mails I receive are questions regarding survival guns. Readers ask me what weapons or arsenal of weapons I would consider suitable to survive a total collapse. The bottom line is: Have a gun, in fact have several; have sufficient ammunition for each gun; be competent with each gun you own and train your family members to use them as well.
Having said that there are some guns that are more suitable than others for particular or general situations. Here are some instances or things to consider:
If you have a bug out location,such as a house of cabin with hundreds of yards of cleared fields of fire or observation, why would someone limit their survival firearms to handguns, pistol caliber carbines and Shotguns? You would run the risk of being out ranged.
If you are an urban dweller and plan to bug in the urban environment or to transit large urban areas during your bug out, why would you limit yourself to long barreled shotguns or rifles?
Consider your environment. Consider your ranges. Consider your potential threats and density of threats.
While the M1911 .45 caliber semi -automatic is a great gun, with a single stack magazine, it may not be the best choice of a high density threat environment. I, for one, would prefer a large capacity 9mm for a handgun. Same as for a rifle. A .308 caliber M1A1 rifle is a great weapon, but perhaps an M-4 carbine could be better suited for the urban environment.
So that bring me to the latest question I received, and that was what do I think about the latest pistol caliber carbine to hit the market, the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm. The question was if I thought a decent survival arsenal would be the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm carbine to go with a Glock 17 handgun.
Here is the data on the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm:
Price: MSRP – $966.00
Company Narrative: The grip is our most ergonomically designed grip system incorporating a “Solidworks” designed profile allowing the use of standard Glock style magazines, with a low profile magazine release and “Decal Grip” grip panels. The lower is machined from aircraft grade aluminum, provides cleaner lines and lighter weight than our standard steel receivers. The Hand guard is produced from an Aluminum Extrusion, has no fasteners, and is free floating.
Barrel Length: 16.2
Side Folder Stock
Adjustable Front and Rear Sights
Accepts Standard Glock Style High Capacity Magazines (1 Mag Included)
Coating: Cerakote (Burnt Bronze is standard color – other colors available including Black, Tungsten, Sniper Green, Gunmetal and FDE.
Decal Grip Grip Panels
Hammer with Disconnect plus original Hammer
MPA Polymer Case
While I have carbines – M4 and M1’s, I do not own a pistol caliber carbine. My reasoning is why have a large platform that only shoots pistol calibers? Although it may be useful for some of your survival teams members, e.g.. ladies, old people and children. But if you have to own one, then own one that has magazines that are inter-changeable with your handguns.
We all know how Obama feels about the 2nd Amendment that is nothing new or something that needs to be addressed. What does need addressing is what exactly is going on with this ban/ not banned situation. Since late February, the plan to ban M855 AR-15 ammo was a hot topic across the web and millions of gun owners were in an uproar over what the administration and BATFE were planning which was early February they introduced “Framework for Determining Whether Certain Projectiles are ‘Primarily Intended for Sporting Purposes’ Within the Meaning of 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(17)(c). The ammo was previously exempted from the Gun Control Act of 1968 because it is primarily intended to be used for sporting purposes. That exemption is what was changing, as the law would be narrowed to only two categories of projectiles under the new regulation, both of which would not include M855 ammo. On March 2, 2015 The White House said Monday that President Obama believes a ban on bullets commonly used with the AR-15 rifle will save police officers’ lives. White House press secretary Josh Earnest was quoted as saying “This seems to be an area where everyone should agree that if there are armor-piercing bullets available that can fit into easily concealed weapons, that it puts our law enforcement at considerably more risk. So I’d put this in the category of common-sense steps that the government can take to protect the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans while also making sure that our law enforcement officers who are walking the beat every day can do their jobs just a little bit more safely.” During that press conference, Earnest deflected questions about the administrations involvement in a recent BATFE push to ban common M855 ammunition by claiming that such a move was “common-sense” and that “everyone should agree” with steps that promote officer safety. In doing so, Earnest all but confirmed the President’s involvement with the BATFE’s proposal; however, by invoking the tired “common sense” argument, Earnest essentially conceded that the administration does not possess a reasonable counterargument in the debate.
When using law enforcement as its spear head to lead the charge for the ban the Obama regime apparently failed to consult anyone from law enforcement, which brings us to Fraternal Order of Police’s National Legislative Office, the voice of our Nations’ Law enforcement according to the FOP.net website. Taken from an NRA-ILA article which was then taken from a WND.com site is a quote by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke, “I’m disgusted that this administration would use the safety and well-being of our nation’s law enforcement officers to accomplish their gun-control agenda by circumventing the Congress and circumventing the Constitution in rewriting this law… That’s all this is. They don’t fool me. No fraternal order of police, no sheriff is going to fall for this”. The same WND.com piece goes on to cite a public information officer with Georgia’s Cobb County Police Department. After speaking with a colleague regarding the AR-15 handguns the BATFE has deemed a threat to officers, the official noted; “I haven’t seen any, so I called our training range and asked, ‘in all fairness, has anyone ever taken one of those (AR-15 handguns) off the street?’… Any time a weapon like that would be used against an officer, there would be an officer-safety bulletin going out, and the range would be notified. If there was a situation where either they took one of these off the streets or an officer had been threatened with one of these weapons, we would immediately launch an internal memo, and we have never had any of those go out to my knowledge. So for Cobb County police, at this moment, this is not something we are so concerned about.”
Police officer Brent Ball, a 17-year veteran of the force, told the News-Leader in Springfield, Mo., an AR-15 handgun would — contrary to the White House’s claims — be difficult for a criminal to conceal because of its size. “As a police officer, I’m not worried about AR pistols because you can see them,” he said. “It’s the small gun in a guy’s hand you can’t see that kills you.” Small guns do not fire the M855 cartridge.
These comments shouldn’t be surprising, as in the 38 years the FBI has been keeping track of data on firearms used against law enforcement officers, there never been an instance of a law enforcement officer having been killed with the use of a .223/5.56 caliber handgun. Of course, it follows that there is no documented instance of an officer having been killed when an M855 round fired from a handgun penetrated the officer’s body armor. You can read the NRA article here.
Now we are at March 10, 2015 and the ATF is stating that the entire backlash for the ban is based on a “publishing mistake”? If it was a “publishing mistake” then why did it fool the Obama administration and bring them forward making statements on why it is a common sense idea and was done to protect our law enforcement officers? If it was a “publishing mistake” why was there over 80,000 published gun-owners protesting the idea, not including the ones that didn’t sign a petition but wrote their congressman directly. If it was a “publishing mistake” why did congress get involved to fight the ban? Something is not adding up with this whole situation and people do not need to let their guard down. This could have been a trial run for something bigger down the line for ultimate Obama’s agenda against the American people that do not agree with his version of America. As I said there were a lot of petitions and names written down in protest of this ban which now is in the hands of the Government. So when we have a president that already despises the 2nd Amendment, the people that stand behind it and now has specific names and addresses of those people we need to be concerned.
Who know he may just fade out and do nothing on his last stretch in the White house, but as Americans we can’t assume that will happen. I’m not a conspiracy theorist by nature but this guy has seen fit to throw his “executive” power around as he sees fit. In March of 2012 he has bypassed congress on issues like sending foreign aid ($1.5 Billion) to the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt. Jan of 2013 Obama bypassed congress on gun control. July of 2013 he bypassed congress and to order waiver on ban of aid to Palestinians (totaling about $1.3 Billion going to the Palestinian Authority), in 2014 he made it clear he would bypass congress where necessary, meaning what he feels fits his ultimate agenda. There are many more congressional heel stomps he made over his time in the Whitehouse and we know he is a very vindictive president and one that needs to be watched closely.
When you have a dictator in the Whitehouse and he refuses to call ISIS a Muslim extremist group but will bash a right wing Christian to the point of a hate crime, but it’s ok not to be politically correct toward Christians, right? So if you are a Christian and/ or you own a gun you need to keep your eyes and ears open, the fight of your life is just beginning. War has not reached our shores yet by foreign countries or caliphates but it has reached our capital and that battle is being lost. Mainly because the American people just don’t want to see the writing on the wall, they say ignorance is bliss, until it cuts your head off.
I’m just saying I would strongly consider the temporary ban on M855 ammo a strategic move by the Dicktator (spelled correctly for my purpose) in the Whitehouse and not a loss. I truly believe but hope I am WRONG that he has a plan unfolding over the horizon and it will open the eyes of every American, at which point it will be to late to do anything about. So STOCK up on all ammo you have a weapon for and rounds of ammo you don’t for trade or to give your fellow American when the true SHTF.