The New, Super-Low-Maintenance Ruger 9mm That Conceals Easily

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The Super-Low-Maintenance Ruger 9mm That Conceals Easily

Image source: Ruger.com

 

Ruger caught up with the times in 2015 when the company released a full-size polymer frame, striker-fired, easy-maintenance 9mm. In late 2016, the compact version of the Ruger American was unveiled, and it does everything its big brother can do — while doubling as a concealable handgun.

Last fall, I got to handle and fire the new Ruger American Compact 9mm at the Blue August gun writers’ conference. Factory reps explained the method behind Ruger’s seeming madness of delaying their foray into the striker-fired pistol market: customers who use modern pistols now know exactly what they want, and Ruger sought to provide it on the first try.

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Ruger American pistols incorporate common requests the company collected in its extensive pre-design market research. Here are ways in which the company says design is wrapped around customer demand:

  • Modular grip system. Three choices of grip panel that wrap around the rear and sides come with every gun. Grip can thus be customized for different hand sizes.
  • Quality trigger with clear reset. The trigger features a safety lever, a common feature on many mass-market, striker-fired handguns. It has moderate travel, about 4.5 pounds of pull, and a clear reset that’s comparable to triggers in the Springfield XD series. I think it’s a great trigger for both defensive use and range practice.
  • A prominent magazine release. The mag release is easy to feel and operate. Operation is ambidextrous with no changes required. This is my only criticism of the firearm. Too many people have reported that an exposed mag release caused the magazine to unseat as a result of pressure from a seatbelt or an attacker.
  • A no-cost optional slide safety. The Pro model of the Ruger American Compact Pistol has no safety lever other than the passively operated one on the trigger. The standard model has a sizeable safety lever on both sides. People feel strongly one way or another about having a safety. With the Ruger American, folks on both sides of that argument can have it their way.
  • Easy racking. The recoil spring is tensioned to ensure both dependable operation and light racking action. Although this is mostly an appeal to folks who haven’t learned good technique, it is a common complaint among novice gun owners, and Ruger is to be commended for aiming to encourage entry-level shooters.
  • Recoil reduction. Slide and frame design increases the time from striker hit to return of the slide. Though there is no perceivable delay while shooting, this reduces muzzle rise, ultimately making fast follow-up shots easier.
  • Accessory-friendly. A Picatinny rail allows installation of a light or light/laser combo.
  • +P-rated. Use +P ammo if you want, and the Ruger American Compact will handle it.
  • Easy takedown. The gun breaks down quickly with no trigger activation, and is easy to clean and reassemble.
  • Tough. Ruger reps swear the company didn’t design the American platform with the intent of competing for the coveted U.S. Army contract. Nevertheless, the gun meets or exceed U.S. Army modular handgun standards.
  • User-friendly sights. Ruger was wise to choose Novak’s Lo-mount sights. This snag-resistant, highly visible, durable sight set adds real value. Ruger’s custom shop allows buyers to upgrade to tritium sights if they want.
  • Pinky rests. The shorter magazine has a pinky rest, which some shooters feel is necessary for comfortable firing.
  • Big capacity. The Compact’s mag holds 12 rounds. It accommodates the standard Ruger American 17-round magazine. One of each is included with a new 9mm pistol.
  • Caliber choices. The popular, affordable 9mm was the first to roll out in 2016. It’s also available in 45 ACP.

Here are the specs:

Barrel length: 3.25 inches.

Slide: 1.05 inches of stainless steel with black Nitride finish.

Overall length: 6.65 inches.

Height: 4.48 inches.

Weight, unloaded: 28.7 ounces.

MSRP: $579. Real prices are in the mid-$400s.

The Ruger American Compact is a superb choice for anyone seeking low-maintenance, dependable mileage from their carry gun. It fits just about anyone and is easy to operate, but has none of the oddball features some other “easy” guns have. Those features often punish the muscle memory of experienced shooters. It’s great for families who share a pistol for home defense. For the money, it’s as good or better than similar choices on the market.

What do you think about the Ruger American Compact? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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The Best Concealed Carry Pistol for a Defensive Prepper

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The Best Concealed Carry Pistol for a Defensive Prepper   A concealed carry pistol could make the difference between life and death. A properly trained person with a CCP can make a whole area safer, but you already knew that. You’re here for the best concealed carry pistol on the market. The truth is, the …

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A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

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A $250 Reliable Pistol? Yep, And It’s Perfect For Home Defense

Image source: Smith & Wesson Forum

One of the most important firearms to have in your home defense arsenal is a reliable handgun. I would even go as far as to say that owning a handgun is more important than a shotgun, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it.

That said, you’re going to be very limited in choices if you’re on a tight budget. Fortunately, you have a few solid options. In fact, if you have only $250 or so to spend right now, there is a specific pistol that could be just what you’re looking for (and no, it’s not a Hi-Point).

It’s the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2 in 9mm (or the PT140 in .40 S&W). Yes, Taurus has had a blotchy reputation in the past, but their Generation 2 line of guns released in 2013 is widely regarded as having massive improvements over previous models in nearly everything: ergonomics, build quality, reliability and accuracy.

The PT111 G2, in particular, is a versatile little handgun that could be used for a variety of purposes, including concealed carry, home defense or as a disaster scenario sidearm. The primary reason for this is its size. The PT111 G2 is a compact gun, which means it can be concealed on your person very easily; the total length of the gun is just under six and a half inches, and weight clocks in at a light 22 ounces.

Despite its small size, the PT111 G2 still packs enough firepower to defend your home and family against multiple attackers. It holds 12+1 rounds of 9mm Luger, while the PT140 holds 10+1 rounds of .40 S&W.

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Moving on to the features of the gun, the PT111 G2 has a nice ergonomic grip with aggressive stippling on the sides, allowing you to get a secure grip on the weapon even if your hands are wet or slippery.

Not only does the PT111 G2 feature a Glock-style blade safety on the front of the trigger, but it also features a manual thumb safety mounted in the right side of the frame. While there’s nothing wrong with having a safety on a firearm you use for home defense or concealed carry, it’s important that you always remember to flick that safety off when presenting the weapon to shoot. It would be wise to train by conducting multiple, repetitive drills of drawing the PT111 G2 and flicking the safety off when you do so in order for this to become muscle memory.

One thing that makes the PT111 G2 unique compared to other striker-fired pistols in its class is the fact it is technically a double-action, single action pistol. This means that the first shot is long while all subsequent shots will be shorter. This long initial trigger pull essentially acts as a safety in and of itself, since the pistol has a lesser chance of going off with a long trigger pull than a short one.

The PT111 G2 comes installed with three dot sights, with the rear sight being adjustable. It also features a loaded chamber indicator blade behind the ejection port that flips up when the gun is chambered. Not only does this give you a visual representation that the pistol is ready to fire, but you also can physically feel the indicator in the dark should you not be able to see it.

As with all Taurus handguns, the PT111 G2 comes installed with Taurus’ trademark security system. A pair of keys ship with the gun and when you use it to turn a lock on the right side of the slide, the entire pistol will lock up and be rendered useless until you turn it back. You can store the gun knowing that a child or a burglar won’t be able to fire the weapon.

You’re getting a lot of gun for the money with the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2. If you want a dependable pistol for home defense, concealed carry or personal protection in general but are on a budget, the PT111 G2 is a superb option and excellent value.

Have you ever shot the Taurus Millennium PT111 G2? Share your thoughts about it in the section below:

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A $4.5 Million ‘Meteorite Pistol’? A $10,000 Mammoth Tooth Gun?

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A $4.5 Million ‘Meteorite Pistol’? A $10,000 Mammoth Tooth Gun?

The Big Bang. Image source: Cabot

 

Most serious hand gunners own a 1911 and admire what is considered to be one of the best handgun platforms of all time. It is still widely used in many arenas today, and I carried one for years as a state law enforcement officer.

If you are a 1911 admirer and love the lines and precision of a well-built pistol with that can be called a work of art, then you may want to take a hard look at Cabot Guns.

Cabot is an American company based in Sarver, Pa., with roots in Indiana. While not every Cabot is a one-of-kind, many are. One example is their mirror image, right and left hand set constructed out of a meteorite. Dubbed the “Big Bang” set, this pistol debuted in 2015 and is valued at $4.5 million. Of course, most of us don’t have that kind of money, but their other guns are quite amazing, too.

Cabot 1911s have been nicknamed the Rolls Royce of handguns. Most are milled from a single block of stainless steel. The company prides itself in the use of exclusive or rare materials in grip construction. Their left-handed pistols are engineered to be entirely left-hand oriented, including brass ejection.

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I had the opportunity to talk with general manager Michael Hebor at a shooting event in Florida in the fall of 2016 and again at the SHOT show in Las Vegas this year. At the Florida event I was also fortunate to test fire their Vintage Classic model 1911.

A $4.5 Million ‘Meteorite Pistol’? A $10,000 Mammoth Tooth Gun?

American Joe. Image source: Terry Nelson

The Vintage Classic is just that — a classic 1911 that is finished with a vintage worn look and sports a gold bead front sight and blued finish. Grips on this pistol are Turkish Walnut with other options, including Desert Ironwood and White American Holly. The vintage Classic is priced at $3,995 — not an economy gun by any stretch but certainly in the ballpark of any high-grade, custom-built 1911.

Feeling patriotic? Take a look at the American Joe Commander. It’s a beautiful gun with American flag panel grips with a commander size 4.25-inch barrel, available in 45ACP or 9mm. A brushed stainless finish sports engraving that is a tribute to the enduring strength of America and its industry. The American Joe Commander is $4,500.

A $4.5 Million ‘Meteorite Pistol’? A $10,000 Mammoth Tooth Gun?

Monarch. Image source: Terry Nelson

Want a prehistoric touch? Then you may want to consider the Monarch. This unique 1911 comes with your choice of ancient mammoth grip scales, made from the tooth of a prehistoric wooly mammoth. Other features include a 5-inch national match barrel and a mirror finish, hand-polished slide. The Monarch is priced at $9,950.

How about a mirror image right and left-hand matched pair of 1911s? Cabot offers a selection of these one-of-a-kind sets. Take, for example, the Jones Deluxe. This set offers an exact mirror image right and left hand 1911 set with mammoth tooth grip scales. These are by special order and you can commission Cabot to build the 1911 mirror set to your liking. The set I had the pleasure of photographing at the 2017 SHOT Show was priced at $25,000.

A $4.5 Million ‘Meteorite Pistol’? A $10,000 Mammoth Tooth Gun?

Legend of Sacromonte. Image source: Terry Nelson

Moving up the detail and price scale, The Legend of Sacromonte 1911 pistol is truly one of a kind. Certified master engraver Otto Carver was commissioned by Cabot to create this work of art. Inlaid into the Sacromonte is seven feet of 24-gauge, 24-carat wire and set against a prismatic background of triangular shapes. Thousands of lines were engraved into every available surface of this 1911. Grips are ebony, which brings the gold inlay and engraving to life. Price is set at $50,000.

Cabot has many other offerings and price ranges. If you are an admirer of the 1911 and enjoy history and an artistic touch, then you can’t help but to want to hold one of these pistols. Could it be there is one with your name on it?

Would you want to own a Cabot gun? Share your thoughts in the section below: Choice of Ancient Mammoth Grip Scales

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

7 Concealed Carry Guns That Are Perfect For Range Training

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7 Concealed Carry Guns That Are Perfect For Range Training

Image source: Glock

 

Many gun buyers new to concealed carry are eager to get out on the firing range. That’s great, but some subcompact guns suited for concealed carry are of limited usefulness for extensive practice. Low ammunition capacity and lack of outside-waistband holster and mag pouch choices mean the owner of the tiny gun may have to sit on the sidelines while his friends participate in a defensive pistol class or weekend match.

What’s more, a limited budget can put the purchase of two guns for these two roles out of the question. What to do? Fortunately, many companies are making guns that bridge the gap between range and everyday carry (EDC). These guns are truly jacks of many trades.

To keep the playing field somewhat level, all choices here are chambered in 9mm. It’s an affordable load that’s readily available in most locations. Due to cartridge size, capacity is generally higher, too, a factor I believe favors both range and self-protection use. Many are available in larger calibers and some are also offered in full-size versions of what’s listed here.

1. Glock 19

This compact, but not really small rendition of the Glock design, has a huge following among those who carry a gun for a living. Extraordinary reliability is its hallmark. With a generous 15-round, double-stack magazine and 4.01-inch barrel, it’s as easy to handle as a full-size range gun. It weighs in at 23.7 ounces unloaded. Glock’s Gen 4 rendition of this gun is more expensive, but the adjustable grips and improved texturing add value compared to past versions. Retail prices are around $550 for the Gen 4 model; sub-$500 for earlier editions.

2. Smith & Wesson M&P compact

Smith & Wesson’s popular design has undergone some updates over the years. Modular grip panels and an improved trigger are good upgrades to the 12+1 capacity striker-fired gun. Its low-profile rear sight on the 3.5-inch barrel serves the purpose of carry. This is one of two guns on the list available with or without a thumb-operated safety. At 21.7 ounces unloaded, it’s handy. Pricing hovers around $500.

3. Springfield Armory XD subcompact

With a three-inch barrel, this is one of the shortest guns on the list, but it’s big on capacity. The XD Subcompact 9mm ships with a 13- and 16-round magazine. Its chunky, 26-ounce frame soaks up recoil from the short barrel. Some prefer the XD line because of the passive safety device at the top of the backstrap. Priced below $450 and with a trigger that’s more forgiving of typical new-shooter mistakes, it makes an ideal starter handgun.

4. Ruger American compact

The folks at Ruger took their time and listened to customer feedback about their own and other brands before scaling down their relatively new, full-size American 9mm to a packable size. Their methodical approach directly benefits the consumer.

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Modular grip panels and an optional thumb safety help an owner make it their own. One of the larger guns on this list, the mag packs 17 rounds into a long grip balanced by a 3.55-inch barrel. Depending on options, it’s about 29 ounces unloaded. High-quality Novak three-dot, no-snag sights help make it a joy to shoot. Left-handed shooters could love this, as it is one of two fully ambi pistols on the list. Retail is in the mid- to high $400s.

5. Smith & Wesson SDVE

This is an older model that’s not been updated for some time. It’s earned my respect as I’ve seen two very different students have great success and enjoyment from this dependable pistol. With a 16-round mag and four-inch barrel, it’s not the smallest choice. It’s a modest 22.4 ounces. The SDVE is a very dependable choice for less money at around $390.

6. Heckler & Koch P30

Another ambidextrous choice is HK’s excellent P30. Modern polymer construction and features, combined with HK’s classic double/single action and a 3.85-inch barrel combine to make a packable and accurate shooter. HK’s luminescent sights and excellent trigger contribute to a gun that feels like an upscale choice, assuming the user is committed to the additional practice required to use a DA/SA platform effectively, especially under stress. The 15-round magazine capacity, 27- ounce pistol usually sells for upwards of $800.

7. REX Zero 1CP

This is a new release for the double/single action fans who want seriously solid construction. Made by major military arms producer Arex of Finland, the REX Zero 1CP is imported to the US by FIME Group of Las Vegas. It features a safety so it can be carried cocked and locked. The slide stop doubles as a de-cocker.  It comes in flat dark earth or black. The grip is rather thick, making the gun a good fit for medium to large hands. It has a 3.85-inch barrel and 15-round mag, and weighs in at 30.4 ounces. Though it’s not a mass-market gun like others listed here, holsters are available as it fits those made for the classic DA/SA Sig Sauer. MSRP is $650; real-world prices should come in at well under $600.

This is by no means an exhaustive list of concealable but range-friendly 9mm handguns. There are many folks who’ll also not consider them concealable for their body type. I’ve chosen them based on their track record as quality, dependable guns for myself and many friends and students.

What would you add to the list? Delete from it? Share your tips in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

The Pocket Pistol That Uses 22 Different Calibers

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The Pocket Pistol That Uses 22 Different Calibers

Bond Arms Backup. Image source: Bond Arms

 

Recently I had the opportunity to test a type of handgun that I have had little experience with — the derringer. I crossed paths with the folks from Bond Arms in the fall of 2016 at a media event in Florida and again at the SHOT Show in Las Vegas in January 2017. A homegrown company in Granbury, Texas, Bond Arms builds derringers with a wide variety of options. Admittedly, a derringer is not my top choice for a carry gun, but if it were, a Bond Arms derringer would be my pick.

I tested the Bond Arms Backup. Perhaps one of the greatest assets of this little gun is the fact that you can easily switch barrels, and thus switch calibers, in less than a minute. In our test, Bond Arms provided their Backup model in 45 ACP. It also comes in 9mm. Along with those were two additional barrels: 45 Long Colt/410 and 22 Magnum. The additional barrels are an added option.

Another Backup is handsome, with a gray bead blasted textured frame in a 2.5-inch barrel and black rubberized grips. All of the Bond’s derringers are over and under barrel two-shot system. While the company does make models without a trigger guard, I liked the fact that the Backup has one.

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At 18.5 ounces, the little gun has some heft which is probably good considering the recoil felt from 45ACP exiting a 2.5-inch barrel. While not excessive, the recoil does not go unnoticed. The 45 Long Colt/410 in a 4.25-inch barrel also displayed significant but manageable recoil. The 9mm and 22 Magnum calibers were both very easy to handle in the recoil department. The company provides an oversized black rubberized grip as an option that I would highly recommend for firing those stouter calibers.

Bond has a wide variety of barrels, from 2.5 to 4.25 inches in both a bead blasted matt and stainless finish. In all, there are 16 barrels and 22 calibers from which to choose. This hammer-fired derringer also has a cross-bolt style safety and a pronounced front sight.

At seven yards, all shots from both the top and bottom barrel were within defensive accuracy standards, easily within an eight-inch target area.

Some advantages of the Bond Arms derringer, which by the way is one of the oldest gun designs in the world, are fairly obvious. Among them: concealability, ease of carry and convenience. Bond Arms has a very nice leather holster that is an added option for all of their derringers.

Disadvantages of a derringer platform would include having to manually cock the hammer and defeat the safety before firing. Also, if using a pocket carry for concealment, the hammer could become a snag point in getting the gun into play. One must be cognizant of the short barrel options and keeping hands and fingers out of the way when getting the derringer out in a hurry.

MSRP on the Bond Arms Backup is in the $450 range. As a pocket or last-ditch gun, Bond Arms derringers provide an alternate choice for folks who may not be able to carry a small revolver or semiauto. It is perhaps one of the most overlooked options for concealed carry today.

Have you ever shot a Bond Arms Backup? Do you like derringers? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

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5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

Image source: Glock.com

When training new shooters, especially rookie law enforcement officers or those new to concealed carry, I always provide a solid foundation of basic marksmanship.

There is, however, another critical element of preparedness and training for those relying on a firearm for defensive purposes. When I started out many years ago in a law enforcement career, my training sergeant left me with a quote I will never forget: “Don’t let your equipment defeat you.” I find myself constantly using that doctrine still today, for both myself and students. Due to the constant new choices and technology for all firearms-related gear, it applies now more than ever.

So what, exactly, am I referencing? Simply put, do not allow your selection of equipment to be a hurdle to success in defending yourself. Tools must be deployed effectively and quickly when your life or the lives of others are at risk. If the gear you utilize for concealed carry impedes your ability to respond and deploy accurate fire … then that gear may in fact defeat you. Put another way, your gear can lead to a deadly encounter.

The following are areas where I regularly see students struggling with their concealed carry gear.

1. Belt and holster system

How may your carry system defeat you? By not allowing you to access your firearm quickly, wearing your gun in a way that others can access it, having too many retention devices to defeat in order to get the gun into play, or forcing you to draw in ways to which you’re not accustomed. These are but a few of the issues that can occur.

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Your holster or carry system must secure the handgun properly. That means retaining the gun in a way that prevents unintentional loss to gravity or another person, while giving you easy, rapid access. The shortest path to such a system is a sturdy belt and holster for waistline carry or a designated compartment for off-body carry (purse, pack, brief case, etc.). You must train with the holster system that you intend to use on a daily basis.

2. Magazines

How may your magazines defeat you? By not feeding ammunition properly, not allowing the slide to lock back, and possibly interfering with ejection/extraction. Again, to mention but a few!

I like to address the magazine separately because it is critical to proper functioning. My suggestion: Use good, factory-made magazines for your defensive pistol, and test them! There are some excellent aftermarket mags for certain handgun platforms, but day in and day out, I use original factory mags for everyday carry.

After hard use in training you may want to consider having a second set of mags for everyday carry. Inspect your mags and never hesitate to replace if needed. Also, consider carrying a spare magazine for your carry pistol — something I rarely see CC folks do.

Revolver carriers must make sure that their speed loaders and/or speed strips match the revolver they carry.

3. Ammunition

5 Ways Your Gear Can Cause You To Lose A Gun Fight

Image source: Pixabay.com

How may ammunition defeat you? There are two ways – by not cycling in your handgun of choice or not firing when you pull the trigger. There are a variety of causes; most commonly it’s old ammo, hard primers, poorly made reloads, etc.

Another cause is human-induced and may seem obvious, but I have seen it often enough to mention: inattention or misunderstanding of the caliber of ammunition your handgun requires. This can, of course, lead to injury to both shooter and gun.

Most folks train with ball/FMJ ammo, as do I. However, I never fail to test the ammunition I carry every day in my sidearm. This is to determine if the ammo will feed and cycle without fail in my carry gun. Anyone who has been shooting a semiauto handgun has probably experienced some failures to feed with certain types of ammo. Some handgun platforms and models are more prone to this than others. Bottom line: Shoot a magazine or cylinder full of that costly defensive ammo, just to make sure.

4. The handgun itself

How may your handgun defeat you? There are lots of ways:

  • Not a good fit for your hand.
  • Too many added features that interfere with reliable operation.
  • Safety and de-cocker mechanisms that the shooter cannot manipulate well, especially under stress.
  • Sights that are barely visible.
  • A magazine release that won’t allow for mags to drop free and clear when an emergency reload is needed.

The choices are endless. Caliber, make and model, single- or double-stack magazines, to name a few. Not to mention the add-ons: night sights, red dot sights, laser, extended mag or slide release, etc.

To me, the simpler and more reliable, the better! Don’t get me wrong: I like some added features (such as night sights), but I can live without most.

5. Failure to train

While training is not equipment, it cannot be minimized. In fact, it may well be the most critical factor. You cannot and most likely will not prevail in a defensive encounter if you have not drawn your carry pistol from its holster under stress. Or you have not fired some rounds down range in the last year. Or you’re using magazines with ammo that you’ve not tested together. Can you clear a handgun malfunction quickly if needed?

Bottom line: Does the handgun go “bang” every time you need it to? Does it have reasonable accuracy? Does it function well with all brands and types of ammo? Are the sights easily visible and highly functional? Is it easy to operate without lots of unnecessary manipulation?

I don’t get wrapped around the axle about caliber. Choose what you shoot well, have confidence in, and train with it often. All this will add up to not letting your equipment defeat you!

What mistakes have you seen concealed carriers make? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

FIREARM: First Thing to Do With Your New Pistol and A Short Survey

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In a recent article, I read that gun sales, even after the 2016 election, were still running high. Coupled with the Christmas holidays, there is a great possibility that there are quite a few new gun owners out there.  That’s a good thing for those of us who support the Second Amendment!

But with gun ownership, no matter why a firearm was purchased, there are some thing that need to be understood and learned, like the proper cleaning of your new firearm.  Since I haven’t come across a recent article on Prepper Website, I have decided to put together an article that links to several videos that I think are good for any gun owner to view.  Two videos discuss the need to clean your firearm before you shoot it for the first time.  This is due to the cosmoline that gun manufacturers put on the firearms before leaving their factory. Most new gun owners don’t know this.  The last video is a good generic video on cleaning your pistol.  Also, for future article considerations, I have created a short survey to ask gun owners their pistol of choice for home defense and/or concealed carry.  And don’t forget to get yourself a pistol cleaning kit and some lube – both which you will find endless debates about online! 😉

Although this first video uses a rifle as their example, know that you will find the same on your new pistol…to varying degrees.

 

NeverEnuffAmmo does admit that he talks too much for this short video, but you should still watch it!

 

And here is Iraqveteran8888, with a good generic and basic cleaning video.

 

I would greatly appreciate it if you would leave me a little info below (type and caliber), for future article considerations, on the pistol you purchased for home defense or your concealed carry handgun.

 

Loading…Peace,
Todd

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The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

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The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

PAK1. Image source: Terry Nelson

Missouri-based Heizer Defense makes a selection of unusual derringers that can fit the bill for a range of specialized needs, while having stylized appeal and serious power.

The company is family-owned and operated, and grew from humble beginnings. The family of Charlie Heizer, now 83, escaped Hungary during World War II and relocated to the Midwestern U.S. An engineer and inventor at heart, Heizer became educated as an aerospace engineer. Among his many inventions are a series of derringers — with looks and features entirely unlike others on the market.

On a recent range outing, I had the opportunity to handle and fire two Heizer pistols with rifle-caliber chambering. Who’d have ever thought you could fire a .223 (PAR1) or 7.62 x .39 (PAK1) cartridge from a palm-size pistol? The company also makes a .45 LC/.410 model. The barrels can be interchanged with either the PAK1 or PAR1.

The little guns have a single-shot, break-open action, operated by a zero-profile sliding lever on the left side of the frame. Loading is similar to a shotgun of the same style. The 45 LC model can store two extra rounds in the grip.

The iPhone-Sized ‘Pocket Pistol’ That Fires Rifle Ammo

PAR1

Construction is entirely of U.S.-made stainless steel.

“This is the same steel C-130 landing gear is made of,” said Heizer Defense’s Hedy Heizer.

The trigger is a patented roller-bearing design, with a long, eight-pound pull as a safety feature. (Though I’ll add, safe carry method and finger disciplines are the best safety features.) The molded, non-adjustable sights are small and plain, but usable.

These guns are thin and pancake-like, with a squared profile but rounded edges. The shape is conducive to discreet pocket carry. Overall dimensions are 3 7/8 inches in height, .7 inches in width and 6 3/8 inches in length for both the pocket AR and AK. Weight is 23 ounces. Muzzle velocity for the AK is 1,200 fps and 1,400 fps for the AR.

Heizer guns’ durable construction is made more so by the hammer and other action components contained in the frame. There’s nothing to gather dirt or catch on clothing.

The 7.62 x 39 has a ported barrel for recoil reduction. It’s still snappy. According to Heizer reps, the porting only sacrifices 110 feet per second of muzzle velocity. The .223 recoil is very manageable and would compare to a small frame 45 ACP.

Currently, there’s no holster customized for Heizer guns. Brand representatives were sporting Sticky brand holsters, which seemed to work well. I’m otherwise familiar with this brand, and they are pocket- and waistband-friendly. In essence, the Heizer Derringer is comparable to carrying today’s iPhone.

The PAK1 and PAR1 have the advantages of being light and packable or concealable, while having the truly unique advantage of being able to fire a high power cartridge from a tiny package. Powerful as they are, they’re still manageable to shoot. The Heizer Company recommends not using lacquer-covered ammunition for these guns.

On the downside is the single-shot capacity. If you care to look at it from a weight-to-capacity ratio, it’s a bit heavy. Cost is reasonable at $449 for the PAK1 and $399 for the PAR1.

Personally, I see these little guns as a great last ditch carry gun, or one you can throw in a pack with a bit of ammo for any potential survival circumstance.

Have you shot a Heizer PAK1 or PAR1? What is your favorite pocket pistol? Share your thoughts in the section below:

No, Your Walls Are Not Bulletproof … But They Can Be

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No, Your Walls Are Not Bulletproof … But They Can Be

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There are a lot of false ideas floating around about what works as cover — in other words, what sorts of things will protect you from getting shot. We’ve all seen actors on television turn a table on its side and hide behind it to shoot, or duck behind a corner and see the bullets hit the wall, but not penetrate it. This has left us with a false idea of how well common items will protect us from the damage caused by flying bullets.

Your Home Isn’t Bulletproof

In reality, there is little in a home that will stop a bullet. Appliances are often made of sheets of steel that are much too thin to stop a bullet, even a smaller caliber bullet like a .22 LR. Furniture is made of materials that don’t stand a chance against a bullet, even if it’s “heavy” furniture. Interior walls aren’t much better. Made of drywall and studs, a typical bullet can pass through several interior walls before losing enough energy to stop.

It is rumored that in the Old West they said that a .44 bullet (supposedly the most common round of the day) would pass through six inches of pine. If you think about it, that’s quite a bit. My personal testing has shown that a 9mm FMJ, which has more penetrating power than just about any round available, will just barely make it through that six inches. But to be honest, I used stacked-up pieces of plywood, which probably was harder to penetrate.

When you compare that to your home, you see that there is little chance of anything in your home coming close to stopping a pistol round, let alone a rifle round that has much more penetrating power.

Some might say, “But the brick of the home would stop bullets!” I used to think that, too. But then I stuck some bricks together and shot at them. Sadly, I found that the only bullet a typical brick will stop is a .22 LR. Everything else, from a .380 on up, busted through the brick. You see, the air holes in the brick weaken it tremendously. If it was solid, it would probably do much better.

Now, to be fair to the brick, let me say that I had stuck them together with construction adhesive and I didn’t have the weight of an entire wall. It is possible that the weight of the wall above the brick that is hit by the bullet would help hold the brick together, reducing the penetrating power of the bullet. But I wouldn’t want to bet my life on it.

Why Bulletproof Walls? 

So if your home isn’t bulletproof, what can you do? I mean, if you’re stuck in your home and have a bad guy outside, how do you fight effectively, without getting shot? Or if you live in a neighborhood where, sadly, there may be drive-by shootings, is there a solution?

Fortunately, the U.S. Army solved that problem long ago with an extremely low-tech answer. That is, the humble sandbag. Sandbags are effective at stopping anything and everything, up to and including .50 caliber machine gun bullets. Granted, enough machine gun bullets would tear the sandbags up, destroying their defensive capability, but that’s not likely to happen to you.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

A one-foot-thick sandbag wall is enough to stop any rifle and pistol bullet. Any home that is built to meet the requirements of the Uniform Building Code (UBC) will have floors strong enough to support a three-foot-high, one-foot-thick sandbag wall. Actually, they’ll probably support a bit more than that, but that’s all we’re concerned about. In a crisis situation, if you built such a wall below your windows, you’d have perfect firing positions to use in the defense of your home.

Something a Bit More Permanent

No, Your Walls Are Not Bulletproof … But They Can Be The only problem with the sandbag wall is that it’s a bit unsightly. I mean, who really wants sandbags stacked up in their living room or bedroom? That’s best left for emergencies only. But there are solutions which can be used more permanently, building the protection into your home.

Fiberglass

One solution is to buy the fiberglass panels that they use for making the walls of a safe room. They’re made of woven roving and high shear strength epoxy. Depending on the thickness of the panels you buy, these will stop anything up to and including 7.62mm rifle fire.

While an expensive option, this is one that is highly effective. These panels can be installed underneath the drywall inside the home, hidden away but still offering protection.

Ballistic Steel

Another material option, other than the fiberglass panels, is ballistic steel plate. Please note that for this to work, you need to buy ballistic steel, not just any steel. The steel you can buy in the hardware store or your local steel supply is what is known as “cold rolled steel,” which isn’t anywhere near as strong as ballistic steel.

A one-quarter-of-an-inch thick ballistic steel plate will protect you from rifle fire, up to 5.56mm x 45 NATO and .308 Winchester ammunitions. It will not protect you from any armor piercing rounds or larger calibers, like .50 cal.

Once again, the steel plate can be hidden under the wallboard, making it a permanent but unobtrusive addition to your home. But, like the fiberglass panels, it’s going to be an expensive option.

Sand

There is one inexpensive way that you can make your walls at least somewhat bulletproof. That is to fill them with packed sand. A home wall usually has 3 ½ inches of empty space in it, except where there are studs, wires and pipes. If you were to remove the insulation and fill that area with sand, it would stop at least all pistol rounds, although that isn’t enough sand to stop rifle rounds. Please keep in mind that the sand would have to be packed for this to work; loose sand isn’t as effective.

In order to fill walls with sand, you have to cover both sides with plywood. They can’t be covered with drywall or with the foam sheeting that is commonly used as sheathing on homes. The plywood should be screwed to the studs, rather than nailed, so that it can’t pull out.

What advice would you add on constructing bulletproof walls? Share it in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns For Home Defense. Read More Here.

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

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The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

Image source: Pixabay.com

Let me start this out with a bit of a test for you. Try to answer the following questions:

  • The last time you stopped for gas, how many other cars were getting gas?
  • What color socks was your boss wearing today?
  • What did the people in front of you and behind you at the grocery line look like?
  • How many of your neighbors left this morning, before you did?
  • Were there any unusual cars parked on your street when you got home today?

If you can answer any of those questions, without it being pure guess work, you’re doing good. The truth is, though, that most of us can’t. We become used to the situations around us and then just stop noticing them. Then, when something new or different comes along, we don’t even recognize it for what it is.

Instead, we’re looking at our smartphones — checking email, texting friends, or posting pictures to Facebook.

“So, what?” you might say. “Who cares about my boss’s socks or the other people stopped in the same gas station?” If that’s your reaction, trust me, you’re not alone. Most of the adults on this planet would say more or less the same thing. But then, those same people would step on a land mine, without even realizing it until it went “boom.”

The thing is, not being aware of what’s going on around you can be deadly. Just about every dangerous situation we can find ourselves in has some sort of warning. But like the intelligence before the attack on Pearl Harbor, ignoring those warning signs can have grave consequences.

What we need is situational awareness. Situational awareness is nothing more than being aware of what is around you and what the people or things around you are doing. It is being so aware of your surroundings that when something changes, you notice it. It’s knowing what to expect, so that the unexpected stands out. More than anything, it’s seeing things that could be a threat, and analyzing that threat before it can manifest.

Without situational awareness, we’re more likely to get mugged, to get carjacked, to get pickpocketed.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

I recently re-watched one of the Sherlock Holmes movies, starring Robert Downey, Jr. At one point in the story, his female companion asked him, “What do you see?” To which he responded, “Everything. That’s my curse. I see everything.” That’s part of what made Sherlock so successful. He saw things that others didn’t see. Had he been a real person, rather than just a character in a story, his situational awareness would have served him well.

Ask any soldier who has been in war, and they’ll tell you how important situational awareness is. Seeing things that can be a threat, before that threat manifests itself, can be the difference between life and death, especially in the close environment that is urban warfare.

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

Image source: Pixabay.com

But situational awareness goes totally against our nature. We are creatures of habit, and we normally go through life without noticing things around us. Few of us can remember details of what happened in the television shows we watched last night, let alone tell what the person in front of us ordered at our favorite coffee house. Thus, we’ll never be a Sherlock Homes and if we are ever put into a position where seeing is survival … we might not make it home.

Developing Situational Awareness

So if situational awareness is so important and is against our nature, how does one acquire it? What can we do, to make ourselves more aware of our surroundings, than we are today?

To start with, we must make a decision to become more aware — not a wishy-washy decision, but a firm one. That, in and of itself, will make a huge difference, simply because we’ll be thinking about the need to be aware. We’ll open our eyes and start looking around us, just because we know that we should.

Still, that isn’t enough. It’s just a start. Building situational awareness requires practice. We’ve got to train our mind to pay attention to what our eyes are seeing. So, we need to develop a series of exercises, which will help us to see. Things like:

  • Make a habit of knowing how many people are within 100 feet of you, where they are and what they are doing.
  • Count the number of cars of a particular color as you drive somewhere.
  • Look at what a co-worker wears to work every day and try to remember it. See how many days’ worth of attire you can recall, and if you can recall the last time they wore a particular shirt or outfit.
  • Learn what cars your neighbors drive. Then, make it a habit to look for new or different cars, every time you step out of your home. Look for patterns, to see if certain cars show up at certain times.

Once you are more aware, it’s time to start putting that awareness to use. Start looking at people to see what they are doing and try to evaluate how much of a threat they are. Use a scale from one to 10, with one being no threat at all and 10 meaning it’s time to draw a gun to protect yourself. Rate each person, even if there are many people around you. Then, keep track of those with a higher score, updating your score as you go.

Ultimately, that’s what situational awareness is all about — finding threats. Once it becomes a habit, it will help you in countless ways.

What advice would you add on becoming more situationally aware? Share your tips in the section below:

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

4 Steps To Ensure Your Ammo Lasts (Virtually) Forever

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4 Ways To Make Sure Your Ammo Lasts (Virtually) Forever

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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.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

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:

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

The Katrina Pistol

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glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_with_gerber_lmf

Ever since I created the Katrina Rifle, I’ve considered adding a Katrina Pistol to my loadout. glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_with_gerber_lmf-2 So when Glock read my mind and released their Modular Optics System (MOS) pistols, I knew the time was right to build a Katrina Pistol.  Based on the same survival philosophy as my Katrina Rifle, the Katrina Pistol needs to be good enough to sit at the top of my short list of things to grab when running out the door for possibly the last time.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Symptoms and Solutions

The features of the Katrina Pistol are based on the need for a versatile, multi-purpose firearm.  To be clear, the Katrina Pistol is not intended to be the simplest gun on the planet.  If that were the case, the Katrina Pistol would be an overbuilt revolver in .22, .357 or .500 S&W.  Instead, the Katrina Pistol is a hard working gun with features specifically chosen to make it effective and manageable.  The Katrina Pistol needs no instruction book, fires when the trigger is pulled, lights up the night, paints the target, floats a red dot on the point of impact, and launches jacketed lead downrange with extreme prejudice.

When developing this pistol, it was not hard to outline the general features. Choosing a Glock for the platform was an easy choice.  Perhaps, it was the only choice.  No other pistol has the same reliability and lack of external safeties as the Glock.  The cartridge, a 9mm, was another easy choice.  The ubiquity and global popularity of the parabellum round minimizes the likelihood that this bullet will ever be in short supply.

Read Also: Glock 42 Review 

The two Glocks most likely to claim my Katrina Pistol title are the Glock 17 and Glock 19.glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_red_dot Both are 9mm, have rails, and double-stack magazines. Since the G17 and G19 are available in MOS, or Glock’s Modular Optics System, it was a no-brainer to move in that direction. To be clear, the capabilities of an optics-ready pistol are a game-changer. In the same vein as the Aimpoint on the the Katrina Rifle, a red dot on the target can make all the difference in the world for the shooter.

The rail is necessary for a weapons-mounted light. If possible, so are attached lights and lasers. Running a weapon-mounted light is essential for one-handed operation and positive target ID. If two hands are needed to operate both a light and a pistol, then you are out of hands when it comes to climbing, carrying, and breaching. Without a weapons mounted light, there is a very real chance of needing to put the gun down in order to light the way. That’s just not in my plan.

Follow The Laser Brick Road

Adding a laser is an excellent sighting solution that does not require alignment of front and rear markers, or a red dot superimposed on the target. Lasers can mark the aimpoint right on the target so there is no need for the gun to be aligned with a dominant eye. A laser-aimed Katrina Pistol can be fired from the hip, around corners, and off balance.

Further Reading: Bug Out Long Term (B.O.L.T) Pistol

Green lasers are physiologically more advantageous than their red counterparts. The human eye is much more sensitive to short wavelength green than long wavelength red. There is an issue with green light than can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. Particles in the air will reflect (or Rayleigh Scatter) the shorter wavelength green light more than red light. This bit of physics is the reason a green laser visibly shoots a line through the air, and even into outer space if you point your gun skyward. The danger is that a bad guy can trace back the green line to its source. This can be to your advantage if you work it right.

Back on Task

The Katrina Rifle article followed two lists: things I did and things I avoided. The semi-auto handgun, like the semi-auto rifle, is a mainstay of any modern planning. Glock is an obvious choice for handgun load-outs. Here are seven features I chose for the Katrina Pistol

1. Caliber: The cartridge of choice is the 9mm. No questions asked. The parabellum round is likely the most common defensive round in the global arsenal. It’s a battle-proven round with plenty of bullet options. Other considerations include the .45, the .40, the .22 Long Rifle, and the .380. But those other calibers, while effective, each carry their own inherent disadvantages. So to simplify the start of this project, 9mm it is.

2. Weapon Mounted Light: There are small lights available today that fit small pistols, glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_front_endproduce small lighting areas, and have short lives from their small batteries. For my Katrina Pistol, I want a huge, mountable light output. The perfect choice is one that blasts out hundreds of photons across a wide area for a long time. CR123 batteries are fine since they are powerful and have a 10 year shelf life. Moreover, they work in freezing temperatures.

For this build I went with the Streamlight TLR-2G.  It’s a rail-mounted 300 lumens light with integrated green laser. Three hundred lumens is bright enough to travel fast and ID targets, but not so bright to impede your own vision. Just be careful not to Barney Fife a hallway mirror and blind yourself. I played with smaller light/laser options like the TLR-4, as well as slimline brighter lights including the Surefire X300-Ultra. In both cases, I felt the green laser was necessary for a pistol to be Katrina-worthy. If needed, the laser can be turned off or run separately from the light. 

3. Green Laser: The concept behind a laser is simple, but the execution of using one is a little more complex. Painting a target with a laser mounted on your handgun expedites ballistic performance.  Where a laser really comes into play is when using the pistol away from your face.  While red dot sights negate all discussion of sight radius, lasers negate the need to have your eyeballs behind the gun.  A further benefit is that he laser can be used for one point-of-impact distance and another sighting option can be for a different, likely much greater distance.

4. Red Dot Sight: As anyone who uses a red dot on their AR 15 knows, it simplifies the aiming process to epic proportions. One eye, two eyes, blurry eyes, daylight, darkness, through a gas mask, offhand, weaver stance, flat on your black, strong hand, weak hand, both hands, it doesn’t matter. The bullet hits the dot. 

For this Katrina pistol build I am going with toughest sight I know of, the Trijicon RMR. The RMR is glock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_slidea battery operated reflex red dot sight that is small, lightweight and one of the top choices for the Glock MOS system. Running for years on a single 2032 battery, the RMR, Ruggedized Miniature Reflex, is an adjustable-brightness red dot optic available in several MOA dot sizes. Furthermore, the red dot system is housed in an incredibly tough aluminium housing with specially engineered corners to distribute force. 

5. Co-Witnessing Iron Sights: Co-Witnessing is often overrated. Mostly it is used to guarantee that the backup sights or iron sights will work fine with the optic in place. In other words, a single sighting plane must contain both both the red dot, post, and valley of irons. For this Katrina Pistol, I selected the all-black Ameriglo Tall Flat Black Sights. Besides being on the inexpensive side, the Ameriglos are a fast and simple replacement for the factory glock hard sights. Rising above the fray, they are, unlike standard sights, easily visible through the Trijicon RMR. Alas, the Glock MOS for RMR does not entertain such indecision.

6. High Capacity Magazines: Sometimes called “Happy Sticks”, the Glock-branded 33 round magazines are worth every cent. While it’s true that some other guns will run oversized mags, few do so with the reliability, durability and capacity of the Glock’s. But that is not surprising. In reality, the Glock 19 will happily accept any magazine sized for the Glock 17,19, 34  and larger. In fact, the only double stack 9mm Glock mag the 19 won’t eat is the 10 rounders for the Glock 26. This particular Katrina Pistol will be running mags with 15, 17, and 33 round capacities.

7. T-Reign Lanyard: Ripping a page from military history, this Katrina Pistol has a lanyard option in the form of a T-Reign retractable lanyard. Using theglock_19_katrina_pistol_trijicon_streamlight_tlr2_surefire_go_box factory-installed hole at the base of the Glock’s grip, the retractable lanyard is easily attached and detached using a Nite-ize clip. It has the retention necessary to keep the pistol tethered under reasonable conditions. Moreover, it does not impede aiming the weapon. If this feature becomes unwanted, it can be detached with little effort. 

Related: Prepper Pocket Pistols 

There are many reasons to include a pistol lanyard. A Katrina-level event will provide plenty of opportunities to lose one’s grip on a pistol. Having a gun just a yard away is always a good thing. Furthermore, the lanyard will not interfere with holstering.

Taking it Home

The next step is to assemble the components and take them from theory to practice. I can’t initiate a Katrina-Level event to test the gun. This doesn’t mean I can’t test the Katrina Handgun in other ways. Keep an eye out for Part 2 to see how well the Katrina Pistol works.

Photos By:
Doc Montana

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Defensive Shooting Positions You Better Master Before It’s Too Late

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Defensive Shooting Positions You Better Master Before It’s Too Late

Image source: Wikimedia

You have made the decision to carry a sidearm on your person or in your vehicle daily. You have selected a handgun and obtained some baseline training, and perhaps shot a qualifying score in a concealed carry class. Your accuracy is good – if you are standing squared up in front of a non-moving target, under little or no stress.

So while you continue to add layer upon layer to your training regiment, consider giving positional shooting a try. This will add to your overall shooting abilities and boost your confidence.

Because many shooters do not practice often from alternate positions, they find shooting accurately can be difficult. These positions can change how you see your sights, grip your handgun, and therefore influence trigger press. Remember, though, that the fundamentals are still the same: stance (alternate stance), grip, sight alignment, sight picture, breathing, trigger press, and follow-through.

Listed here are the positions I believe are practical and will make you a better defensive shooter.

1. Kneeling.

Aside from a good standing position, kneeling is usually the first alternate shooting position I teach to new law enforcement officers. There are at least four kneeling styles commonly taught: speed, braced, California, and extended speed kneel. I prefer the California (both knees on the deck) for greater flexibility in upper torso movement and shooting around cover. The extended kneel (strong side knee on the deck) is a close second and allows for the shooter to recover from the kneeling position quicker. Making yourself a smaller target is also a plus.

2. Sitting.

We spend hours sitting each day — in our vehicles, at work, at a café and the movies … so it would be logical to devote some training time shooting from various seated positions. Getting your handgun into play while seated may well be the biggest challenge — and something you should not assume will be easy under high stress. How and where you carry your pistol will influence quick acquisition and the ability to draw it.

3. Prone.

While not the most likely defensive position to find yourself in, shooting from prone with a handgun is a skill set I want to have. It does, however, offer some unique challenges. Most folks would assume because your body is flat on the ground and you can use both arms and elbows to support the pistol that it would be easy to shoot accurately from this position.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

At 25 yards during training, I see about a 50 percent miss rate from law enforcement officers in the prone. Why? It is not practiced enough and it puts the shooter outside the comfort zone. I teach a rollover prone position that gets the shooter more onto their side and off their diaphragm. This method also allows for resting the head on your bicep instead of straining your neck while lying flat and square on with the target. If you have minimal cover or have something you can get under to shoot from (a vehicle), prone may, in fact, be just the ticket.

4. Supine

I have seen little training devoted to this position. In reality, it’s not all that improbable that you could find yourself on the flat of your back in a confrontation. If so, you may find yourself looking up at an attacker with a knife, bat or some other deadly weapon in their hands. You have only a second or two to react. Shooting at a threat standing over you or having to shoot between your knees from your back as a threat closes in is disconcerting at best. Run some drills with a good instructor while performing these tasks so that your reaction would be “oh yeah, I’ve done this before” if that day ever comes.

5. Using cover or a barricade.

There is little doubt that if you find yourself in an exchange of gunfire that cover will become your friend. Shooting from or around cover, just like the different positions mentioned above, changes how you see your sights and how you grip your pistol, because now you are doing something outside the box, forcing you to become uncomfortable. You must practice it, from standing, kneeling and prone. Use cover when it’s available and if the situation allows for it.

Adding these abilities to your skill set will boost your confidence and make you a better shooter. Along with these shooting positions, you will find that shooting with movement and shooting with one hand will also be advantageous … but that is for another discussion.

What advice would you add for those practicing defensive shooting drills? Share your tips in the section below:

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

Vehicles Used As Defensive Barriers

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vehicle_defensive_barries_protection

Remember back in 1935 when the .357 Magnum round was introduced? It was selected for use by defensive_vehicle_prep_urban_survivalmany law enforcement agencies across the country.  The new magnum was highly touted as being able to shoot through the block of a car and stop the engine dead.  Well, I’m not sure if that is true.  A vehicle’s engine and compartment makes for a pretty formidable bullet stopper.   That’s a good thing when using a vehicle in a defensive position.  We more or less expect (or hope) that our car, truck, or SUV will shield us somewhat during SHTF escapes, bug outs, or other defensive maneuvers.

By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache

Is the composition of a vehicle enough to protect you from incoming bullets? Some recent field trials bring new light to this question.  The results are both good and bad.

A Thin Veil 

First, understand that the exterior skins of nearly all conventional vehicles will not stop bullets from most handguns.  The field trial did not test rifles, but it did test 12-gauge shotgun buckshot and slugs.  Other reports suggest some rifle calibers such as the 5.56/223 fair no better, but the .308 does have some penetration success.

Interior Construction

The good news is that inside the doors and panels of a vehicle are a conglomeration of parts, defensive_door_survivalwindow winding mechanisms, radio speaker magnets, crash beams, wiring, and other fixtures.  These components seem to deter, slow down, or stop bullets quite well.

The field trial I studied used traditional bullets and loads in the .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 12 gauge.  None of the pistol bullets had much success in fully penetrating a vehicle if the bullets struck an auto component.  The exception to this is with certain types of .45 ACP bullets.  Full metal jacketed bullets in the .45 produced some level of success in busting through a vehicle door.

Related: Best Handgun Calibers For Survival

If these bullets ferreted past one of these structural fixtures or parts, then the occupant could be struck, albeit to a lesser damaging threat.  Engine compartments including the radiator, water pump, and manifolds resisted penetration.  Wheel wells provide a good defensive position, although exterior coverage is far from complete.  It is difficult for an adult to huddle behind a car wheel and tire without being somewhat exposed.

I was recently instructed that the door beams between the front and rear doors offer a fair deflective structure for most handgun bullets.  In fact, the reason low-riding thugs are crunched down in their seats with their heads positioned behind this middle door jamb component is to avoid bullet penetration to the head.  Considering this part of the vehicle can stop incoming rounds, this strategy makes sense.

The Shotgun Conundrum 

Likewise, the shotgun buckshot did not perform as well as one might believe.  I think most of us rely upon a good 00 buckshot load to sail through just about anything.  Maybe we have been watching too many movies.  The buckshot pellets passed through car skins, but were then caught up by crash struts, electric window motors, door locks and other mechanisms.

The 12 gauge slug was extremely effective.  These loads punched right through both theinside_vehicle_protection_urban_survival exterior and interior panels of the test car, entered the ballistic gelatin and passed completely through the entire mold.  Bad news bears for those inside a vehicle.

Read More: Tru-Bore 12 Gauge Chamber Adapter

The shotgun slug should prove a highly viable choice, if you have to be shooting at an individual inside a vehicle.  While this strategy may be effective, keep in mind the skill it takes to properly shoot a slug load from a shotgun.  It would be wise to consider using shotgun slugs in a self-defense scenario.

Keep in mind that the recoil and muzzle blast can be abusive.  Decide if you need to go to a full 3-inch shotshell slug or if the standard 2 ¾ -inch can do the job.  The field report I studied did not specify this.

Auto Glass Resistance

Now let’s get some clarity on glass.  Today’s automotive glass is far superior to auto glass of the past.  Contemporary windshields, side windows, and rear glass are more durable and crash resistant. Moreover, modern auto glass produces cleaner fractures. This is a plus for armed interactions and for passenger protection.

Current auto glass is much more likely to deflect pistol bullets shot from various angles due to the composition of the materials and the rake of auto glass panels.  The “rake” of a windshield is the angle at which it rests inside the car frame.  For example, a sporty car or pickup truck has a windshield with a sharper rake.  By contrast, some Jeep models have front glass that stands square to the frame.

A severe auto glass rake helps deflect bullets and may prevent penetration inside the vehicle cabin. front_glass_vehicle_survival_urbanOf course, this is often contingent on the angle of the shot.  In the field trials report, most of the pistol bullets did not completely penetrate the plate glass panel.  The glass may have cracked and fragmented, but the bullets did not pass through.

So, while modern auto glass cannot be relied upon to provide complete passenger protection, it certainly affords a better barrier than older auto glass.  When engaging an adversary, putting several layers of glass between yourself and incoming bullets offers extra protection.

In practice this might mean hiding at the rear quarter panel of the vehicle thus putting the rear glass, side glass, and a windshield between yourself and an assailant shooting from a position in front of the vehicle.

Also Read: Urban Survival Food Strategy

So, there you go.  A vehicle is a reasonable barrier against oncoming gun fire unless the attacker happens to be using shotgun slugs.  If a pistol bullet dodges mechanisms inside a door, the passenger could certainly be wounded.  The same would occur if the bullet’s pathway hit glass just right.  However, I would rather have the structure of a vehicle in my favor than be standing out in the open.

Photos By:
John J. Woods

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A Simple Way to Protect Your Child’s Second Amendment Rights

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protect-childs-second-amendment-rightsAfter reading Howard’s article about the new gun control laws in California, it struck me how the left never really gives up on any of their goals, no matter how unpopular they might be with the majority of the population. Gun control is a prime example. In spite of liberal politicians claiming they won’t touch our guns, these recent examples show that to be a lie.

Even if the citizens of California vote to overturn those laws, there is surely other restrictive legislation waiting in the wings. I’m convinced the legislation and regulations are written in advance by far-left activists, are filed somewhere handy, and then dragged out whenever the political climate might allow them to become reality. Of course, a liberal judge is always right there, ready to wield his or her power in support.

The fact that there are hundreds of millions of both firearms and firearm owners is immaterial. Enemies of the 2nd Amendment can and will come after our Constitutional rights from every conceivable angle. They’ve been doing that for decades. While we stand firm on the rights guaranteed to us in the Constitution, they are chipping away at the foundation with fervor and focus.

This has lead me to wonder if my kids will be able to buy firearms when they reach adulthood. This California law, in particular, worries me:

Assembly Bill 1135 and Senate Bill 880 would make changes of monumental scale to California’s firearm laws by reclassifying hundreds of thousands of legally owned semi-automatic rifles as “assault weapons.”  This legislation effectively outlaws magazine locking devices, more commonly known as “bullet buttons”.  As of January 2017, all AR-type of firearms and even some hunting rifles will no longer be legally sold in the state. There is still a lot of confusion about the law. Depending on the way it is interpreted, it may even cover M1 carbines.

If you register your gun as an assault weapon, there are draconian limitations on how you own and transport the gun. You can never sell, give, lend, or trade an assault weapon to another person. Nor can you hand down an “assault weapon” to your spouse, children, or grandchildren. Upon your death, it is turned over to the state for destruction. If you move out of the state, you cannot move back into the state with your guns.

This law focuses on the “assault weapon”, but what’s to stop other categories of firearms from being included in similar laws down the road? I can easily envision a future in which the purchase of firearms and ammunition become so onerous that few will make the attempt. As well, if simply giving firearms to our children becomes outlawed, then the 2nd Amendment dies by the time they come of age.

So what can we do now to insure that our children and grandchildren have access to firearms in the future?

First, we need to make sure the next generations fully understand the importance of the 2nd Amendment and why it was included in our Bill of Rights. In fact, a good education in our Constitution and Bill of Rights is vital. If you’re looking for a good book to use with your kids or grandkids at home, this one is highly recommended.

One of my life mottos is, “There’s always a work around.” In the case of these draconian laws, with more on their way, it might be very wise to begin equipping our kids with a selection of firearms and gifting them now, rather than wait until additional laws are passed which would outlaw that simple gesture.

Most of us would probably agree that the following firearms are the basics:

  • .22 rifle
  • 12-gauge shotgun
  • Pistol of a common caliber (9mm, .40, .380, etc.)
  • Revolver of a common caliber
  • AR15 Et al.

We can quibble over specifics, but overall, this is a decent selection, along with plenty of accompanying ammunition. If you’re concerned that your children and grandchildren may not have the chance to purchase firearms, why not begin making those purchases now? Private sales if at all possible, of course.

The firearms could be locked away until the kids come of age, but they would be there, nevertheless. Think of it as a sort of 2nd Amendment Hope Chest.

This solution isn’t for everyone and may not be your cup of tea, but our 2nd Amendment rights are under fire every single day and in every way. Liberals/progressives will never, ever stop. Yes, I know how many gun owners are in the U.S. and how many guns are out there, but laws such as these recently passed in California show the very creative, imaginative ways our rights can be limited and, eventually, extinguished.

If you agree with me, how would you put this plan of action into place, and if you disagree, explain why. I welcome your comments and opinions.

The post A Simple Way to Protect Your Child’s Second Amendment Rights appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

Revolver Or Semi-Auto For EDC? — A Policeman’s Perspective

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Revolver Or Semi-Auto For EDC? – A Policeman’s Perspective

Image source: TheFiringLine.com

The choices for an everyday carry (EDC) handgun are endless. Handgun make, model, caliber and double stack vs. single stack are but a few of the questions you will need to answer if you are new to EDC.

And then there is the age-old question: Do I stick with a time-tested revolver or move into the modern era of semi-auto handguns? Below are some of the key considerations when choosing between these two platforms. (My commentary here is for practical EDC guns, and not for competition or hunting.)

Revolvers

I started my career in law enforcement in 1985. At that time in New Mexico, very few law enforcement agencies utilized semi-auto for patrol officers. If the semi-auto was carried by law enforcement in those days, it was almost always the classic 45 ACP 1911.

Therefore, I began my journey of handgun training for defensive purposes with an S&W Revolver in 357 Magnum. (The 44 Magnum was carried by some.) Also at the time, little consideration was given to things like recoil and the fit of the gun to an officer’s hand; if you were a cop you qualified on what they told you and either passed or failed. So, I learned the revolver well, to include speed and tactical reloads and distance shooting. Very few of these skills are adopted today by the average person carrying a revolver, because so few carry one, or they choose not to train.

As I see it, there is a time and place for this action type. I have used almost every well-known make and model of revolver that’s commonly seen today. Let’s take a look at the pluses and minuses.

The Pros

Reliability: Although malfunctions can occur, the revolver is generally very reliable and durable for EDC.

Concealability: Select a small frame, i.e., a 2.5- to 3-inch barrel, and this gun can be easily and effectively concealed.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

Weight: With the advent of lighter materials being used for small frame revolvers, weight is seldom an arguing point.

Caliber offerings: The old standby 38 Special is a classic and probably the most common. But many of the rimless semi-auto offerings are now available, including 32, 9mm, 40 S&W, and 45 ACP. Charter Arms now offers a revolver, called the Pitbull, that works with rimless calibers without the use of moon clips.

Affordability: Many well-known companies are making revolvers. Selections start in the $350 range.

The Cons

concealed_gunReduced round capacity: The average carry revolver has a capacity of five to six rounds. Will you carry a speed loader or a speed strip?

Trigger pull: For some, a double-action trigger pull on a revolver is a drawback. With the average double action coming in around at 12-pounds plus, it can be a challenge for folks with grip strength challenges. I recommend only firing a revolver in double action for defensive purposes, even though many folks want to “cock the hammer.” As most of you know, some revolvers have the hammer bobbed or shrouded where you are unable to cock it.

Short sight radius: There’s little room for error when shooting snub-nosed revolvers past three to five yards. In addition, rear sights are often very minimal on small revolvers.

Semi-Autos

Somewhere around 1990, I was allowed to start carrying a semi-auto handgun for on-duty purposes as a law enforcement officer. My first was a Sig Sauer P220, in 45 ACP. Over the years I have carried everything from 1911s to Smith & Wessons and Glocks (various models of both). Calibers I have carried for law enforcement purposes have ranged from 32 auto to 380, 9mm, 40 S&W, 357 Sig and 45 ACP (the smaller of these for backup purposes only). I have seen a smattering of 10mms carried, as well.

The Pros

Reliability: Today’s semi-autos, although more problematic in some cases than the revolver, are very reliable. Most well-known manufacturers’ models have been very reliable in my experience.

Concealability: As with the revolver, the small- to mid-frame autos are very concealable with the right holster systems. As a whole, the auto allows a person to carry a larger-frame handgun as compared to the revolver.

Weight: Today’s striker-fired autos are all lightweight material, and there are a wide variety of choices to fit every person’s needs.

Caliber offerings: Wide and diverse to meet the EDC needs of anyone.

Magazine capacity: A double-stack, sub-compact or compact semi-auto has double to triple the round count of the revolver. Worth considering!

Affordability: At the lower end of $300 to $350, autos are competitive with the revolver category in cost.

Add-ons: Although the revolver does have some options here, I believe the autos have an edge for choices in the area of mounted light systems, lasers, night sights and part upgrades.

The Cons

Malfunctions: Yes, I know this relates to reliability. Many folks have experienced a malfunction while shooting a semi-auto. Most are related to magazine issues, ammo, maintenance or shooter error. There is a reason Glocks are so popular.

Operation: For those just starting out, the basic operation of the auto can seem formidable. From locking the slide back to loading ammunition in the magazine, it can seem a bit of a challenge. Get with a qualified trainer and you will overcome these obstacles in no time.

I am sure there are other pros and cons for both revolvers and semi-autos. Recoil is one I hear discussed for both categories when I instruct today. The reality is that recoil can be managed with proper grip and some consideration to caliber and ammunition selection.

There is a place for both systems in your EDC, depending on everything from the weather to your attire and confidence/skill level. In the end, I believe it all comes down to what you feel most comfortable with, and then your determination to train well and train often!

What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

Why You Must Take Advanced Shooting Classes

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Advanced Shooting Classes I didn’t grow up with guns in the house because my family didn’t live in the continental United States. Due to my Dad’s job, we were all over the globe and living in places that didn’t exactly have Second Amendment rights. However, during my high school years, two of my older buddies were finally of age and could legally go through the process to purchase firearms. We started target shooting. Not advanced shooting classes, but just shooting for fun.

Living near the ocean, we would sometimes go out to remote places where we could shoot into the water. We’d throw empty gallon milk jugs into the water and then do our best to shoot at them while they were bobbing on the waves. This, by the way, wasn’t exactly legal! At other times, we went out into the boonies and shoot at anything we could: soda cans, bowling pins, and even lizards. Those were not easy to hit! They were skinny and constantly moving!

My first advanced shooting class

During this time, I didn’t have any formal training. I just went shooting for the pure fun of it and the personal challenge of getting better each time. That changed during my college years, though, when I was allowed, as a civilian, to participate in a semester-long police firearms training academy. The other civilian was my lizard-shooting buddy, Paul.

It was during this semester that I learned, in a more formal setting, the fundamentals of shooting, and how to effectively shoot shotguns and pistols. This was probably the best firearms education a person could ever have. Our group went out every single Saturday for four straight months. We spent 8 hours on the range, getting about an hour of instruction and then 6-7 hours of shooting drills. I don’t think I even ate lunch on those days! I would be starving on the drive home.

Our 2 instructors were Mr. Hill, with a background in the prison systems and the main firearms instructor for this shooting academy, and Mr. Dennis, a former police/narcotics officer. Mr. Hill was a behemoth of a man and very effective with a shotgun, in particular. Both these instructors lived to shoot — maybe they were married and had families, but guns and shooting seemed to be their first loves. They were determined that not a single student would leave the class without being highly competent in shooting skills and comfortable with their “use of force” decisions.

The muscle memory developed from dozens and dozens of hours of (mostly) handgun shooting remains with me and is ingrained in my body, even after all these years. Techniques I learned to improve my accuracy are still effective, and I’ve taught them to my wife and kids. I feel very, very comfortable with a firearm in my hands, but it wasn’t until I took another class many years later that I was challenged on a whole other level.

Advanced shooting class with a military twist

This time it was, again, my buddy Paul who invited me to join him in an all-day class on a military base where he worked. The invite was irresistible. I would be spending the day with a group of Air Force combat personnel who were preparing to be deployed and were required to take this class in urban warfare. Naturally, I jumped at the chance, and nobody questioned my presence or credentials. I kept my mouth shut — definitely a don’t ask, don’t tell situation!

For the first time in my life, I was in a scenario in which live fire was being used and I wasn’t exactly behind the firing line. There was no firing line! We performed exercises in which we were constantly moving and engaging targets, tactical reloading while moving, maintaining communications with team members, and doing all of this under non-stop pressure by the instructors who were screaming and cussing and deriding us. One guy’s gun jammed and the diatribe by the instructor was merciless and, I have to admit, very funny at the time.

Initially, I had the jitters because this was very exciting to me and the setting unfamiliar. I had always wanted to be in a scenario like this — but without being a target by a real criminal with a real gun! Been there, done that.

After a few minutes, my mind and body became accustomed to the adrenaline and excitement. My nerves calmed, my breathing slowed down and became more regulated, and I was able to make the quick decisions and reactions being demanded of me. By the end of that day, even though I had been shooting for years and had received so much instruction and practice, I knew my shooting expertise had reached a new dimension.

Without the many years of casual and formal practice and instruction, there’s no way I would have been ready for such an intense training experience. A few of the Air Force guys in the group left that day realizing they needed more practice. When I think about the low training requirements of nearly all law enforcement officers — this is what they actually need, each and every year as our cities and streets become more dangerous and hostile to police officers, in particular.

Reasons every shooter needs advanced classes

So, why must you take advanced shooting classes? In a real life situation in which self-defense is necessary, you need enough practice hours behind you so that muscle memory is there each and every time you pick up that gun. You won’t be standing behind a line with your pistol on a bench and with a motionless paper target. You need to spend hours under some kind of pressure, so you become comfortable with all aspects of shooting. You’ll have to make lightning quick, on the spot decisions. Everything about shooting, from stance to grip to aim should all be so familiar that the only decision to make is whether or not to pull the trigger.

In my case, my upbringing and where I lived in the world was a little different. I happened to be at the right place and, apparently, had a connection or two that allowed some unique experiences to come my way. However, a good shooting range will offer advanced classes, and I encourage you to take as many as possible. When you find a good instructor, take every class he or she offers. Classes you might consider are concealed carry classes (if allowed in your state), defensive handgun, defensive shotgun, and tactical firearm classes. Courses that integrate mindset, marksmanship, and individual/team tactics under realistic conditions will not fail you.

Prepare to be challenged in every way possible. Your physical endurance will be tested. You’ll learn a lot about yourself and how you react under extreme duress — something that most people never experience in their entire lives. One more tip: be sure to get a good night’s rest the night before. You’ll need it.

Disclaimer: Know your local, state, and applicable federal laws. Shooting at lizards may not be legal where you live and I don’t recommend it anyway!

The post Why You Must Take Advanced Shooting Classes appeared first on Preparedness Advice.

The 5 Best Easy-To-Draw Holsters For Concealed Carry

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The 5 Best Easy-To-Draw Holsters For Concealed Carry

Image source: AlienGearHolsters.com

Choosing your holster is as big a consideration as choosing your gun. A holster needs to be comfortable, easy to wear, and should support and retain the weapon while encouraging an easy draw.

When it comes to choosing a holster, there are hundreds of options, but from experience we’ve found five that seem to be the best.

1. Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 IWB

I have a long history of disliking inside-the-waistband holsters, the main reason being the comfort level. I had difficulty finding one I could carry comfortably day in and day out. I resisted purchasing an Alien Gear because I couldn’t try it on, and I ignored the spew of positive reviews out there for Alien Gear holsters. What finally broke me was a deal Alien Gear was running on buying two holsters. I bought an outside-the-waistband one and an inside-the-waistband one. The purchase of the Cloak Tuck 2.0 came side by side with my purchase of the Ruger LCR 9mm, so I chose the LCR holster just to have a holster for my new revolver.

The Cloak Tuck 2.0 is a hybrid holster, meaning it’s a combination of Kydex and cloth materials. The base is neoprene, which looks and feels somewhat like leather. This neoprene base is comfortable against the skin, and flexible for different body types. The base is molded polymer and holds the weapon tight to the base. The holster performs like it should; it’s sturdy, easy to use and customizable. When ordering, you have lots and lots of options for different guns, belt clips, and you get an accessory bag of goodies to customize the holster’s fit. The main thing I have to say about this holster is how comfortable it is, to the point where I have taken a nap with it, and my weapon on, completely forgetting about it.

2. Sneaky Pete

The Sneaky Pete makes the list due to its bit of genius utilized when bringing the holster to the market. The Sneaky Pete original leather belt clip holster resembles a carrying case for a modern smartphone. With phones growing and growing in size, it seems the Sneaky Pete becomes more and more invisible. The Sneaky Pete is best used, in my opinion, for concealing weapons like the LCP and S&W Bodyguard, but they do produce larger options for weapons like the Glock 43, S&W Shield and Walther PPS. The design of the Sneaky Pete uses a large cover that does make the width of the pouch difficult to see.

Be Prepared. Learn The Best Ways To Hide Your Guns.

The Sneaky Pete uses either a complete leather belt loop or metal clips to keep the holster in place and steady. Once it’s on your belt, it would be nearly impossible to rip off. You can get a holster in either leather or nylon, and there are a few different colors. The Sneaky Pete is perfect in business wear, formal wear, and can be used in casual clothing. It is a little slow to draw because you do have to open the holster, but in some situations, it’s the only option some people can carry on a day-to-day basis.

3. Raven Concealment Phantom

The 5 Best Easy-To-Draw Holsters For Concealed Carry

Raven Concealment

If you carry a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P, then the best holsters on the market for those weapons is made by Raven Concealment. With Raven, you can choose to customize a Phantom holster just for you, or purchase a pre-made model. The concealment Phantom is an outside-the-waistband holster that comes in either light bearing or standard models.

The Raven concealment holster takes the cake by allowing the easy carry of a full-sized pistol. The holster clings to your body nice and tight but is still comfortable. This makes keeping the weapon concealed a breeze, and allows you to carry, say, a Glock 20 with 15 rounds of 10mm. When you build a custom holster, you can build the holster of your dreams for the gun of your dreams. As long as that gun is a Glock or Smith & Wesson M&P.

4. Stealth Operator Compact

The Stealth operator has a cringe-worth, tacticool name, but it’s honestly an amazing holster. I purchased one originally because of the claim of a multi-fit holster that could fit over a dozen guns. I test and evaluate guns all the time, and this often involves carrying them, so this holster solved a lot of carry problems for me. I’ve been carrying four different weapons in it, and at a price point of about $30, I am spending less than $10 a gun so far.

The Stealth Operator can fit dozens and dozens of guns, and it carries them securely. I suggest checking the Internet for the complete list. The Stealth Operator is an outside-the-waistband holster, made from Kydex. The holster uses a passive retention device, and it actually works; the gun doesn’t move. The guns I’ve carried in this holster are the Walther CCP and PPS, the CZ P09, and the Glock 19 without issue.

5. Miami Classic

The Galco Miami Classic is the choice for those looking to carry in a shoulder holster. Stay away from cheap shoulder holsters; they are often uncomfortable, hard to use and tend to dangle the gun. The Miami Classic is an all-leather holster which draws its name from Miami Vice. The holster is very easy to wear, and can be adjusted for an individual user’s body. The actual holster portion is molded for a specific weapon, and this aids in retention and reducing the dangle factor.

The Miami Classic is easy to draw from, comfortable to wear and provides options for those in specific positions where carrying a firearm on the waist is difficult. These holsters do, of course, require a cover garment, and this may scare some off. The Miami Classic holster is expensive and around $150, but it is quite high in quality. This was the perfect holster when I worked as a driver, and still serves me well in the winter when I want to carry a large handgun.

What holsters would you add to our list? Share your advice in the section below:  

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here.

Hunting & Defense. Which Tools Are Best?

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Hunting & Defense. Which Tools Are Best?

My .22 caliber BRNO Rifle.

Some people will disagree with what I am going to say here, so it is up to you the reader to use common sense & decide for yourself, based on what I say here, which is the best tool/s for hunting & defence.

Many people recommend the modern firearm for long term wilderness living/survival, & if they were just recommending this firearm for defence only, I would agree. What I disagree with is the fact that if a modern firearm is used for both defence & hunting, you will have to carry a lot of ammunition with you. When this ammunition runs out, you are left with a club.

The .22 is a reasonable choice for defence, but in a fire fight you can go through a lot of ammo unless you only choose targets that you stand a reasonable chance of hitting. Even then, you will need a lot of ammo. Modern firearms on the whole are reliable, but they can malfunction. I have had a rifle fail due to cold weather, the firing pin was sticking in the bolt. Another .22 had a duff firing pin & it had to be replaced. I could not replace this firing pin in a wilderness situation.

The .22 LR has it’s limitations in hunting. It is very good for small game such as rabbits, geese, ducks etc & a good shot will bring down a goat. Anything tougher or larger than this, shot with a .22 LR, may get away wounded. So what I am saying is, I recommend that if you are travelling with a companion or in a group, someone should be carrying a modern firearm, but keep it for defence purposes only.

Once the caliber of a breech-loader goes over .22, then the weight also increases, & there is a limit to how much weight you can carry in ammo without compromising your survival supplies in other areas. Water, food, & medical supplies should NEVER be compromised by carrying large amounts of ammo. With a muzzle-loading arm this is not such a problem, because (A) you can retrieve spent lead from shot game & easily remould it, & (B) gunpowder (black powder) is not as heavy as lead (or modern cartridges) & you can carry a lot of it in gunpowder wallets without compromising other survival supplies.

My .32 caliber flintlock muzzle-loading rifle with double set triggers. This rifle has more killing power than the .22 rimfire.

Hunting.

For hunting in a long term wilderness living/survival situation I think the primitive/traditional bow & arrows or the flintlock muzzle-loading firearm are superior tools. The compound bow is not a good option in my opinion because (A) there are too many bits to go wrong, & (B) it requires special arrows & bow string, neither of which can be replaced in a primitive situation. Whilst I think the bow is an excellent choice for hunting providing you are skilled in archery, they are a poor back-up for defence against firearms.

The flintlock muzzle-loading gun or rifle is an excellent tool to use for hunting, & it is a reasonable back-up for defence against other firearms. It is a little slower to load than a breech-loading firearm, but is still a viable option. Ideally if you are a member of a group, there would be modern firearms, muzzle-loaders & bows in the group. This would be the case in the group I belong to. BUT, if I was travelling alone, & could only carry one tool (breech-loader, muzzle-loader or bow), my choice is the flintlockmuzzle-loader.

Advantages of a Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

The Super-Accurate, Under-The-Radar Pistol That’s Perfect For Concealed Carry

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The Super-Accurate, Under-The-Radar Pistol That’s Perfect For Concealed Carry

Image source: YouTube

 

One of my favorite carry pieces is a little known Austrian-made pistol: the Steyr S9-A1. On the surface it looks like a typical polymer framed, striker-fired pistol. But its utility is deeper than this.

Most people know of Steyr for their iconic AUG rifles. These futuristic bullpup rifles have been around for over three decades and represented innovations for rifle manufacture and deployment.

The S9-A1 pistol is no different.

Like the majority of polymer-framed striker-fired pistols, there are no external safeties or de-cocking mechanisms. This is not new, in and of itself. These types of pistols have proven themselves time and time again.

Where the Steyr starts to depart from the rest of the pack is in its trigger.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?

Wilhelm Bubits, who was the brain behind the Glock 20, developed this trigger. It is a two-piece type that is preset to a crisp-and-clean four pounds, and rearward movement is more reminiscent of a 1911 style pistol. A very short reset allows the shooter to make quicker follow-up shots.

Another key difference is the unique trapezoidal-type sights. Instead of traditional “three dots,” the Steyr S9-A1 makes use of a triangular front sight that reminds us of the reticle on our Trijicon ACOG. Diagonal lines cut into the rear sight allow the shooter to bring the sights to alignment and seem to allow the eye to capture this sight picture readily.

The Super-Accurate, Under-The-Radar Pistol That’s Perfect For Concealed Carry

Image source: YouTube

Some shooters have a hard time adapting to this sight picture, and that can be remedied by replacing them with traditional three-dot sights with tritium inserts.

My main reason for loving this pistol is the Steyr S9-A1’s superb-grip angle. Cut high into the frame, the shooter can easily maintain a grip which is close to the axis of the bore. I find it to be the most perfect grip design on any polymer-framed handgun, and think it needs no “grip reduction,” texturing or interchangeable back straps.

There is a short accessory rail on the frame to attach a visible white light or laser.

The magazines are masterpieces of construction, but this is one of the pistol’s shortcomings in my view. They are easily capable of holding 12 or 13 rounds, yet they are blocked off to hold only 10 rounds. They resemble circa 1994-2004 restricted capacity magazines and probably help sales in states with restrictive bans on magazine capacity, but I would like to see true factory magazines that are unrestricted.

Fortunately, magazines for the full-size M9 and L9 series will fit in the pistol, although they protrude from the bottom of the frame an inch or so.

Unlike other polymer-framed striker-fired pistols on the market, there are very few aftermarket accessories for the S9-A1. Part of the reason is that the pistols are just about perfect out of the box; the other is that it is not a well-known firearm.

The holster makers are getting better at producing holsters for the Steyr pistols, though. I went with a custom Kydex rig through L.A.G. Tactical of Reno, Nevada.

My main reason above all these for going with the Steyr is its accuracy. I regularly achieve sub-two-inch groups at distances of 50 feet with my Steyr. It replaced my H&K P7M8 for carry based on this alone.

They can be tough to find, but MSRP is less than $500, and every now and then you can find them on sale.

Caliber: 9mm

Weight: 26 ounces

Overall length: 6.7 inches

Barrel length: 3.6 inches

MSRP: $469

Have you ever used an S9-A1? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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5 Reasons You Still Should Own A Revolver (No 4. Is A Bit Surprising)

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5 Reasons You Still Should Own A Revolver (No 4. Is A Bit Surprising)

Revolvers are here to stay, despite the fact that they hold a limited number of rounds and are slower to reload when compared to semiautomatic handguns. Does that mean that you need a six-shooter in your handgun battery?

It depends.

For more than a century revolvers were the de facto “go-to” handgun for civilians, soldiers and peace officers. They remained in service after the introduction and adoption of the semiautomatic pistol, and their decline has only been over the past two to three decades.

Manufacturers continue to produce revolvers, and it seems that every time we try to write them off as obsolete, that a new model comes forth.

What is it about the revolver that still endears it to so many shooters?

1. Nostalgia

For many shooters, revolvers hearken back to a simpler time. Whether it is from watching Western-themed movies or police dramas set from the 1940s through the late 1980s, the revolver played a dominant role from the taming of the frontier through the end of the Reagan era.

Many new revolvers coming to market are designed for period re-enactors who need to replicate arms from the Civil War, through the Old West up through the Roaring 20s.

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As a student of history, the author can certainly appreciate revolvers from this standpoint.

2. Reliability

There was a time when revolvers held the advantages of simplicity and reliability. The modern semiautomatic pistol has finally come into its own in this regard, but for many years they were denigrated as being “fussy with ammo types,” “prone to malfunction” and – heaven forbid — the “need to be maintained and cleaned.”

There is a lot to be said for any firearm that can be left loaded for long periods of time, remain reliable, have no worries about automatic ejection of spent casings before firing another round and no reliance on external safeties.

Many new semiautomatic pistols have this same advantage, but it is one thing that cannot be taken away from the revolver.

3. Concealability

Apart from the reenactor revolvers, there are two other classes of revolver that shooters want to see. The first of these are the small, compact revolvers that can easily slide into a pocket holster and be carried comfortably all day.

The J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers and the mini revolvers from companies such as North American Arms make for outstanding concealed carry or backup guns to a primary defensive handgun.

Some revolvers with concealed or shrouded hammers can be fired from inside a pocket; not even the best compact 380 can manage that.

4. Power

5 Reasons You Still Should Own A Revolver (No 4. Is A Bit Surprising)

460 S&W

The other type of revolvers that shooters seem to want is the Magnum caliber revolver. Beyond 357 Magnum, 41 Magnum and 44 Magnum, there is an entirely new class emerging in the 454 Casull, 460 S&W and 500 S&W cartridges.

These large caliber wheel guns have all but replaced the various single shot and bolt-action pistols chambered in rifle cartridges for handgun hunting due to similar and sometimes superior ballistics — not to mention their ease of use when compared to the bolt action “mini rifle handguns.”

Semiautomatic handguns in these calibers need to be overbuilt in order to handle the pressures and the slides made much heavier.

Even with some modern auto pistol rounds (like the 10mm fired through a 6-inch Glock 40), the power factor is at the lower end of the power scale when compared to the revolver cartridge it is trying to emulate.

For a hunting handgun, the revolver is still king.

5. Simplicity

Regardless of the type of revolver, the hallmark of a wheel gun is its simplicity and shorter learning curve. We learned how to shoot on semiautomatic pistols, and when we started as an instructor we were convinced we could teach all our students the same way.

For some shooters, though, the revolver has a quicker learning curve. It may be they are distracted by ejecting brass, have difficulty with slide manipulation or are enamored by the superior grip characteristics of a classic Colt or Smith. If part of your goal is to introduce new people to the shooting sports, a spare 38 Special revolver can help a newcomer who might otherwise give up.

I simply like revolvers, for many of the reasons cited above. My Colt SAA is a piece of history at more than 115 years old, and a Colt Detective Special conceals easier in the summer months than a Glock 19. Additionally, my S&W 500 can drop an elk at 50 yards.

What are your thoughts on revolvers? Share them in the section below:

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Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash

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Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash

Image source: Pixabaycom

 

If you ever want to start a debate on a survival or shooting forum, just ask, “How much ammunition is enough for an emergency stockpile?” Then take cover. You’ll be amazed at every single armchair general who comes out of the woodwork to offer his or her opinion on the matter. Some folks are minimalists: “Only what you can carry” is their cry as they announce their plans to survive by scrounging their way through the apocalypse. Others say, “Buy it cheap, and stack it deep!” These fellas are the ones who plan on getting into a gun fight every single day as soon as the power goes off.

Many folks out there don’t fall into either group, and they don’t believe there is any reason to stockpile rounds for an emergency. In fact, I know plenty of shooters who always say “buy only what you shoot.” I used to be that guy. But I had to be honest with myself that this isn’t the Pax Americana anymore. Turn on the news and each day we are confronted by the realities of our existence in an increasingly unstable world. Now, I’m a realist.

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As a gun writer and firearm instructor, I have heard the question more and more: “Hey Zach, how much ammo should I have in case something happens?”

Well, I just ran out of battery power for my crystal ball. But I can say that you should have enough ammunition to protect your family and feed them with fresh game and meat if needed. Here is the amount I recommend and strive to keep stocked in my own closet.

.22LR

Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash There is no better tool out there to constantly bring home game than a .22. From squirrel to rabbit, a .22 can bring home the bacon. Every homesteader and survivalist should have at least one reliable .22. During the depression, .22s kept families fed, and they can do it again. I strongly recommend aiming for at least 1,000 rounds per .22 — ideally 2,500-5,000 rounds. Start where you can.

The Shotgun

In addition to a .22, homesteaders and survivalists should have a .12- or .20-gauge shotgun. The shotgun can be used for small game like a .22 — for waterfowl and wild turkey, for instance. A round of 00 buck or a common deer slug can be used for much larger game. I cannot speak highly enough of the reliability of a good pump action over a semi-automatic shotgun.

I have two 12-gauge shotguns and a 20 gauge. I have two different barrels for each — one for slugs and 00 buck, and one for birds and small game. The slug barrels I keep are 21-inch barrels with a smoothbore and rifle sights. I have four-different chokes for each bird barrel.

At a minimum, I keep 200-400 rounds of game load for waterfowl, upland bird and small game, 100 rounds of 00 Buck and 100 slugs.

The Big Game Rifle

Although many claim that within months after a disaster there will be no wild game or anything to hunt, I think they are wrong. The person with a game rifle may be able to put more meat on the table over the person who does not.

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I try to aim for around 200 rounds minimally for big game rifles. I shoot common calibers such as .30-30, .243 and.308.

The Semi-Auto Sporting Rifle

A modern semi-auto rifle can be a great all-around firearm. For hunting, personal protection and home defense, these rifles can put a lot of rounds on target with decent accuracy.

For my AR-15s and AKs, I have about 4,000-5,000 rounds each. These rifles shoot a lot of lead, and have the potential to be “bullet eaters.” If you are on a budget, aim for at least 1000 rounds per rifle as well as 10 magazines.

The Handgun

My wife and I carry common caliber handguns — mostly in 9mm. I carry a Glock 19 daily and she carries a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. I always aim to keep about 400-500 rounds on hand for each handgun.

What type of stockpile do you keep? What advice would you add on stockpiling ammo? Share your advice in the section below:

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

The 5 Best Sig Pistols Money Can Buy

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The 5 Best Sig Pistols Money Can Buy

P210. Image source: TheFiringLine.com

One of the most popular firearms manufacturers is Sig Sauer. For more than six decades, the company has earned a reputation for quality rifles and handguns used by elite forces around the globe.

At last count, I own 10 different Sig models and decided to highlight what I consider the five best Sig handguns out there.

1. Sig P210. For decades, this single-action, single-stack, full-size 9mm pistol was the standard by which all other service pistols were judged, and for good reason. Meticulous craftsmanship and assembly in Switzerland for the Swiss Army meant that the P210 was accurate and reliable, but unfortunately it was limited to Swiss military contracts and its scarcity on the common market kept it priced out of the realm of the average shooter.

When the manufacture moved to Germany, the pistol still commanded higher prices than any other factory pistol on the market. Yet the desirability was still there and a friend of mine in the VIP protection sector noted that this was the pistol he carried when he could not have access to a carbine, as it was accurate out to 100 yards.

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Thankfully, Sig announced at SHOT Show 2016 that the P210 would now be made in America as a production piece. At least two versions are in the works, including an improved service model with more user-friendly controls, as well as a target version with adjustable sights and checkered grips.

We have been told that prices will range in the $1,300 to $1,500 realm and that the pistol is still capable of ringing steel at 100 yards and beyond.

2. X-5. The X-5 is built on the legendary P226 platform, except that it is a SAO (single action only) pistol designed for competition, although I know a few people who carry one cocked and locked 1911 style.

Because it was intended as a competition pistol, almost everything on this handgun can be customized, replaced or improved.

The 5-inch barrel length lends to the addition of an oversized rail. The pistol’s sights are fully adjustable and can be replaced with a variety of options. The trigger is adjustable for weight, reset, pre-travel and can be moved 0.4 of an inch forward or to the rear based on the shooter’s hand size or finger length.

We expect to hear the new US-made version announced at this year’s annual NRA Convention.

Sig p220

Sig p220

3. Sig P220 In 1975, Sig unveiled the P220. Based on the P210, some changes were made to make this a more affordable pistol in order to compete for a quality sidearm.

On the surface, the P220 resembles a Browning-style semiautomatic pistol that uses a decocking lever to safely lower the hammer carry with no external safeties. Double-action-only and single-action-only variants have been made as well.

The pistol operates by means of a linkless barrel without locking lugs. Instead, the P220 makes use of an enlarged breech block which holds the slide and barrel as one while firing.

Usually found in 45 ACP and 9mm, Sig released several variants in 10mm in 2015.

4. Sig P320. Released in 2014, the Sig P320 is a striker-fired, polymer framed handgun that is completely customizable to match not only the shooter’s hand but the shooter’s intended use.

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A serialized chassis/fire control unit allows changing from full size to compact size on the frame and interchangeable back straps can allow the pistol to be configured for a variety of hand sizes. Calibers can be configured depending upon the barrel.

This is the pistol for the shooter who only wants to own one handgun, but has a need for different configurations.

A Picatinny rail and SIGLITE night sights round out the package.

5. Sig P229. The P229 is a compact version of the P226 that was designed from the ground up to handle the company’s potent 357 SIG caliber.

A CNC-milled slide of stainless steel was chosen to handle the higher pressures of the new cartridge and its higher velocity as opposed to the stamped slide of its predecessors. This allows the use of a lighter recoil spring.

Used by US Navy Pilots and military intelligence personnel as the M-11A1, it is much more compact than the standard issue Beretta M9.

We could have easily done a Top 10 list to include models such as the P226 (which has influenced at least two of these models), the compact P238, or their now classic line of 1911 pistols, but felt that these five Sigs have raised the bar high enough to give a better overview of the “best of the best.”

What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

If The Grid’s Down And You Don’t Have Ammo, What Would You Do? Read More Here.

The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

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The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

Glock 19

 

The Glock pistol has become so entrenched in the firearms realm that I recently heard it was common for outsiders to refer to handguns simply as “Glocks.”

Indeed, the word “Glock” has become synonymous with the word “pistol” or “handgun,” much in the same way that “Colt” or “Smith & Wesson” may have in the past, or even how the term “Buck knife” became a catch-all for “pocket knife.”

Yet with seven different calibers, nine different frame sizes and 12 distinct slide lengths, one Glock does not cover all bases.

There are Glocks made for duty use, competitive shooting, concealed carry and even hunting purposes. Some can fill multiple roles and some are very user specific.

Here, we took a look at all of Glock’s offerings in order to determine a well-rounded battery of five of these handguns for the dedicated Glock owner.

1. Glock 19/23

The G19 or G23 is a compact offering with a shorter barrel, slide and frame than the standard models 17 and 22. The main difference between the G19 and the G22 is the caliber, with the G19 being chambered in 9mm like the larger G17, and the G23 chambered in 40 S&W like the G22.

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For a pistol that is a “Jack-of-all-trades” it does not get much better than the G19/G23. It is large enough to serve as a uniformed duty pistol, small enough to carry concealed and the G19 holds 15 rounds in its factory magazines. These pistols also take the magazines of their larger counterparts.

2. Glock 42

The smallest pistol that Glock makes is the G42 chambered in 380 ACP. It runs a little on the large side when compared to other pistols in this caliber, such as the Sig P238, Ruger LCP or Kahr 380, but that slightly longer grip and heavier slide makes for a compact pistol that is accurate, controllable and actually pleasant to shoot.

3. Glock 30S

The First 5 Glocks You Should Own For Self-Defense

Glock 30S

For years we hailed the G30 as the perfect Glock pistol. It was chambered in 45 ACP, held 10 rounds and was accurate and comfortable to shoot.

Die-hard Glock fans took it a step further, customizing their G30s with slides and recoil assemblies from Glock’s slim-line 45 pistol, the G36. The end result was a thinner slide that could fit most of the holsters intended for the similarly sized G19s and G23s.

Glock listened to its customer base and made it a factory offering in the G30S. This is the compact 45 ACP fighting pistol that makes the most sense.

4. Glock 41

Some readers might think we are a few tacos shy of a combination plate for mentioning this offering, as it is chambered in the powerful 10mm auto cartridge.

For years, gun magazine writers have been calling for the death of the 10mm round and proclaiming its recoil is too powerful for use in most handguns for comfort or fast follow-up shots.

That may be the case with the smaller Glocks, such as the compact Model 29 with its light weight and short barrel. However, the G40 sports a 6-inch barrel, a Gen 4 grip frame and a heavy slide that has a mass capable of absorbing nearly all the recoil of this potent chambering.

The longer barrel increases the velocity of most 10mm loads to push ballistics closer to that of a 357 Magnum or lower end 41 Magnum.

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When we mentioned hunting with a Glock, we had this pistol in mind and it is rapidly becoming a favorite of feral hog hunters throughout the United States, especially when equipped with an electronic sight.

5. Glock 43

We tested the G43 before its official release in early 2015, and at first had contempt for the pistol, finding it too small for our hands, too large for pocket carry and we were convinced we were going to hate it.

Then we actually shot it and completely changed our mind.

The G43 was one of the most accurate out-of-the-box pistols we had ever fired, especially for a Glock. It may have taken a few years of tinkering to get it just right, and critics claimed Glock was a day late and a dollar short when the G43 hit the market, but those critics are eating those words as the pistol outperforms platforms put out by Smith & Wesson, Ruger and other competitors.

These five pistols from Glock offer a multitude of options from basic home or self-defense to concealed carry and even the hunting of dangerous game with the G40. They are definitely our choices for a range of options.

Which Glocks would you take off the list? What would you add? Share your gun advice in the section below:

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The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

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The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

Image source: alloutdoor.com

Defending your home, and more importantly your own life and the lives of your loved ones, is a serious undertaking. If there is one thing that is true out there in the world of home defense it is that there are options.

Of course, specific needs can vary based on the individual and the layout of the home. An urban apartment dweller will have very different requirements than a rural rancher with thousands of acres.

But if you can own a gun where you live, these are the first five firearms we recommend for someone interested in self-protection in their home.

1. Pump shotgun

Based on reading Internet forums, one might conclude that the shotgun is an obsolete and antiquated tool for home defense. However, the shotgun has certain advantages that cannot be matched by any other weapon.

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First, there is the power factor. The shotgun may not be able to reach out and touch someone at 200 yards, but in the confines of your home, very few threats will engage you at a great distance. At close range, the shotgun is king when used in 12 gauge or 20 gauge and stoked with the appropriate loads like No. 4 Buck shot.

A short barrel will make the shotgun more maneuverable within the confines of the home. The federal legal limit is 18 inches. Anything less will require a federal tax stamp and National Firearms Act (NFA) registration. I recommend using a comfortable butt stock and attaching a white light to identify threats in the dark.

2. Handgun

The actual brand is not important, but I recommend something reliable with a minimum caliber of 38 special or 380 ACP.

For residents in areas of the country where gun ownership is restricted, I highly recommend choosing the same type of pistol and ammunition in use by local law enforcement, if permitted.

The only other requirement I look for is a rail to mount a flashlight and perhaps the addition of fiber optic sights (tritium night sights are largely useless outside of dawn and dusk).Backup handgun

3. Backup handgun

The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

Image source: Pixabay.com

Sometimes a more discreet handgun is needed. Maybe one that can be quickly dropped in the pocket of a robe when answering the door or checking on a strange noise in the basement. For this I prefer a five-shot revolver chambered in 38 Special with an interior or concealed hammer.

4. Rifle

It may seem like overkill for home defense, but sometimes your home or business may be attacked by multiple opponents – particularly in a riot-type situation. And threats may appear beyond 25 feet, with rifles of their own.

This is rare, but it can happen and when it does an AR-15 variant may be more comforting than a 380 ACP pistol.

I like to keep my rifles simple with a mounted flashlight, sling and usually a sight of some type.

5. Pistol caliber carbine

A rifle chambered in a handgun caliber may seem like an unusual choice as the extra barrel length seldom offers a ballistic advantage. But optics or simply the longer sight radius and stable shooting platform makes these carbines more accurate. Also, they can be legally bought by adults 18 and over. In certain areas, handguns cannot be purchased until a person is 21.

I recommend various AR-15 carbines chambered in 9mm: the KRISS Vector in 9mm or 45 ACP, or various lever-action rifles chambered in 357 Magnum or 45 Colt.

The disadvantages of the long gun come into play when the homeowner needs to call 911 yet still remain armed. For this reason, I recommend the use of slings – or even a pistol grip – to hold and control the weapon with one hand while calling the police.

What would you add to the list? Share your gun advice in the section below:

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9 ‘Survival Guns’ That Will Keep You Alive In Any Situation

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9 'Survival Guns' That Will Keep You Alive In Any Situation

Image source: Diffen.com

There are countless stories of folks getting stranded in the wilderness unarmed and with few supplies. And in many cases, their lack of preparation cost them their lives. There also are many stories of people who get lost and end up surviving. What’s the difference between those who survive and those who don’t? The vast majority of people who survived were sportsmen who came prepared with knowledge and supplies.

One tool for survival which can make the difference between life and death is the firearm. Food, defense and signaling are all possible with a good gun.

Here are my top picks for survival firearms.

Pistols

1. Glock 17/19

The Glock has arguably the finest reputation in the handgun world for reliability. I have carried a Glock 19 daily for a long time. It has never once failed me — not once. The 9mm is not a choice chambering for bear defense, but for hunting and defense against smaller critters it is plenty adequate. Magazine capacity is excellent with 15-round magazines standard for the Glock 19, and 17-round magazines for the Glock 17. If you carry a couple extra magazines you should have plenty of ammunition to get you through. The Glock safe-action trigger may unnerve newer shooters, but it is completely safe if you practice gun safety.

2. Springfield XD Service model or XDM

Springfield has built an excellent polymer framed handgun in the XD model. The XD, like a Glock, has an excellent reputation for reliability. The XD features a grip safety similar to those found on 1911 model handguns and it has a Glock style trigger.

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XDs are available in many different chamberings, including the big three for auto pistols: 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.  Magazine capacity differs slightly between the service model and the XDM, but is comparable to a Glock.

3. Smith and Wesson Model 29

Go ahead and make your day. If you are in bear country and in need of a handgun that will give you a fighting chance against a brown or grizzly bear, my go-to handgun is a Smith & Wesson 29 chambered in .44 Magnum. Recoil is stout and most new shooters will shy away from such firepower.

4. Taurus Judge

The huge advantage of the Taurus Judge is the ability to shoot both .45 Long colt and .410 shot shells, including slugs, 00 Buck and bird shot. This gives you a wide variety of munitions and you will only be limited by what you pack with you.

5. .22 Pistol

.22I also want to say that having a .22 pistol in your pack is a great tool for harvesting small game for sustenance. Semi-auto or revolver — anything that is accurate to 20 yards and allows you to hit baseball-sized targets with regular consistency is a good pick.

Shotguns

6. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500

This is kind of a no-brainer, and survival shotguns have been argued to death in article after article. Either one of these shotguns will do the trick. Both are reliable and I wouldn’t hesitate to use either. In bear country, slugs and 00 Buck is the ticket, and you can keep shot shells in your pocket for small game. A slug from a .12 gauge will handle any big game in the world under 75 yards. It has put down elephants, hippos, water buffalo, polar bear and Kodiak bear. You will be limited to range, but not on firepower.

Rifles

If you are out elk hunting and you get lost, you’ll be stuck with your elk rifle. A .30-06, .270 or just about any big game rifle makes a fine survival firearm as long as it is reliable, accurate and has some extra ammunition. I’m not going to list hunting rifles here, as the list would be longer than my arm. But my top picks for hunting rifles are both the Remington 700 and the Savage 11. Both are outstanding rifles. They would do well in a survival situation and are very simple in their operation and upkeep.

7. Marlin 1895G

The 1895 guide gun fires a .45-70 projectile. The .45-70 is a very old and very large hunk of lead that has been in use since the 1870s. With the right loads, it will put a grizzly in its place, put down a bison and bring home the bacon with any large game in North America. You’ll be limited to about 150 yards at most.

8. Ruger 10-22

The perfect lightweight carbine for small game is a great choice if you are not in grizzly country.  The rifle is chambered in .22 long rifle or .22 WMR. This small game rifle is utterly reliable, uses a 10 shot magazine and can be had for about $230.

9. AK-47

The US semi-auto AK variants on the market are fine choices for survival. I would rather have an AK than an AR in a survival situation, as there are fewer moving parts. The 7.62x39mm round is capable of taking up to deer-sized game. It is perfect for a truck gun or in a disaster scenario. The rifle feeds from a 30-round, detachable magazine and has plenty of firepower.

What firearms would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:

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The Best Used Budget Pistols You Can Buy (For Around $300)

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The Best Used Budget Pistols You Can Buy (For Around $300)

CZ-75. Image source: wikipedia

If you’re into self-defense, one item that cannot go overlooked is the budget-priced handgun. You might treasure your $800 Sig P226 or custom 1911, but there are times when something else is more appropriate.

We are not talking about “cheap pistols made from spurious materials,” but rather proven platforms that can be had for a fraction of the price of new state-of-the-art handguns. The reasons for these types of firearms are many, and we will examine each one of them.

In today’s day and age, not everyone has the means to buy a $1,000 pistol and heap the same amount in custom work on top of it. For the average working-class shooter who has to provide for a family, make the rent, factor in car repairs or gas to work, there is simply a matter of balancing the household budget — and the difference between a few hundred dollars can look like financial ruin.

But there are many other reasons you should consider a budget pistol. For starters, it could be stolen. This is more the idea of: “If my handgun is stolen out of my car or luggage, do I want to be out $1000 or $350?”

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My advice: Don’t leave a firearm in a vehicle. For many years I did (a police trade-in Smith & Wesson Model 6906) and one fateful day it was stolen. However, some people insist on doing this and in those cases a cheaper alternative is preferable.

Another consideration: Should your pistol be used in self-defense, depending upon the jurisdiction, it may be taken away from you as evidence. In the day and age of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, it may bring friends or family members of the assailant to your door looking for revenge. It makes sense to have another alternative, if necessary.

So What Are We Talking About?

Ten or 20 years ago, this would have been about the “police revolver.” Nowadays, though, those old police trade-in revolvers are appreciating as collector’s items and some of our budget handguns may do that as well, but this is not a collector speculation article. This is about choosing something viable to save your life.Beretta

Beretta

The Best Used Budget Pistols You Can Buy (For Around $300)

Beretta 92 FS Image source: Wikipedia

The hottest handgun of the 1980s has been turning up as a “police trade-in” from a variety of sources. One of the best deals is the Beretta 92S that were former Italian police pistols. These double-action 9mm auto-loaders resemble the same pistols used by the US Military with a few exceptions: a European-style magazine release, different magazines and a safety mounted on the left side only. I have seen these pistols offered as low as $229. It may not be an ideal concealed carry piece, but I would take it over a Hi-Point for home defense any day of the week.

For a little bit more money, genuine Model 92 FS pistols have been coming in from various departments that are a little rougher condition-wise, but the upgrades such as night sights, the ambi-safety and the US mag release puts them in the $300-$400 range.

How To Hide Your Guns, And Other Off-Grid Caches…

On the smaller side, various Beretta model 84s and 85s in 380 ACP have been turning up from former Israeli police service. A seven-shot 380 like the Model 85 for $300 may not sound very attractive, as these pistols run on the large size, but the Model 84’s double-stacked magazine holds 13 rounds.CZ

CZ

From CZ and Tanfoglio there are a number of double-action pistols hitting the surplus market for the same price point as the Berettas. Like the Berettas, they can be had from Aim Surplus, Southern Ohio Gun and CDI Sales.

The CZ75 is a classic design that is reliable, and spare parts and magazines are always in supply. Even if an actual CZ75 is not available, the Italian-made Tanfoglio clones, sometimes imported by EAA, can be had for very reasonable prices. Likewise, there are the reliable Jericho pistols made in Israel that operate on the same principle.

I have found the Tanfoglios as cheap as $225 in a little rougher shape finish-wise with some minor pitting, but this is for a dependable and accurate pistol, not an heirloom piece intended to be left in the safe.

Others

Working guns can come from the ranks of Glock, SIG and Smith & Wesson that were former police pistols. The prices may run a little higher, but magazines and spare parts are still widely available for these fine handguns. Some may show holster wear or have department markings on them, but they are usually just a casualty of either a department upgrade to a new caliber or more modern generation.

There are lots of options out there and while it might be comforting to have several high-end pistols at your disposal, do not be so quick to turn your nose up at a bargain priced pistol that is still completely functional and relevant.

What pistols would you add to the list? Share your advice in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns. Read More Here..

The 10 Very Best Guns For Concealed Carry

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The 10 Very Best Guns For Concealed Carry

Image source: Denver Post

There are lots of concealed handguns out there, and with so many options it can be difficult to buy just one.

These are my favorite choices. I’ve fired all of these weapons, and would personally trust my life to any one of them. I’ve given them each a specific category I feel they fit.

1. Beretta Nano – Best Ultra Small 9mm

The Beretta Nano is an interesting design and is about as small and thin as you can go with a 9mm semi-auto. The Nano offers an interchangeable lower frame and a variety of magazine sizes, and can equip a laser and swap sight easily. The Nano is rated for hotter +P ammunition and is still small enough for most people to carry comfortably. There may be smaller 9mms, but the Nano offers a lot of customization options and is plenty reliable. The only letdown is the heavy trigger pull.

2. Baby Glock – Best Double Stack CCW

The 10 Very Best Guns For Concealed Carry

Baby Glock. Image source: wikipedia

This isn’t one specific gun, but any of the baby Glocks, the 26, 27 or big babies like the 29 and 30. These double stack weapons offer plenty of capacity in a small package. Glocks are known for their reliability and ease of use and the baby Glocks are no different. One of the biggest advantages is the baby Glock’s ability to take magazines for their bigger brothers, giving them a much higher capacity if the situation calls for it. The Glock is a sort of Jack of all trades. It’s pretty good in most departments, but lacks the finesse of other, more expensive firearms.

3. Bersa 380 – Best Budget Option

The Bersa 380 is a clone of the Walther P series of small 380 ACP pistols. The Bersa lines are made in Argentina and sold in the USA for a few hundred bucks. There a variety of different Bersas, including the Thunder and the Concealed carry, but the original is often the most affordable. A Bersa 380 can be had for under $200 if you know where to shop. The Bersa is a reliable, accurate weapons with excellent ergonomics. This is one of the few weapons that makes a slide mounted safety work well.

4. LCRx and LCR – Best Compact Revolver

The LCRx and the LCR are the same revolver, but the LCR has an exposed hammer that can be cocked for single action shots. (For brevity, LCR will cover both models.) The LCR is a lightweight, compact, snub-nose revolver. Available in 22 Magnum, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 327 Federal Magnum and even 9mm. The LCR series has an excellent trigger and is surprisingly lightweight. The revolver heavily uses polymer materials to reduce both weight and cost. The LCR is relatively affordable when you consider how awesome it is.

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Available in 22 Magnum, 38 Special, 357 Magnum, 327 Federal Magnum and even 9mm. The LCR series has an excellent trigger and is surprisingly lightweight. The revolver heavily uses polymer materials to reduce both weight and cost. The LCR is relatively affordable when you consider how awesome it is.

5. Dan Wesson Guardian – Best 1911 for CCW

The 10 Very Best Guns For Concealed Carry

Dan Wesson Guardian. Image source: YouTube

The 1911 is probably the most popular handgun, and is easily the most-produced American handgun. It is a large and heavy platform, but is very thin, and the single action trigger is an absolute dream. The DW Guardian is a compact 1911, and the user can choose either 38 Super, 45 ACP, or 9mm. Dan Wesson 1911s are simply built to a higher standard at a decent price.

6. CZ P09 – Best Full-Sized Auto for CCW

If you are going to go big, go really big. The size difference between the P09 and other full-sized pistols is negligible, but the P09 offers a 19 in the magazine and 1 in the pipe, for a total of 20 rounds. The P09 is a modern version of the CZ 75, with a polymer frame, an accessory rail, a DA/SA trigger, and the ability to choose either a de-cocker or safety right out of the box. The CZ P09 is also cheaper than your run-of-the-mill Glock or S&W.

7. Ruger LCP – Best Pocket Pistol

The Ruger LCP is a great little pocket pistol for concealed carry. The Ruger LCP is one of the smallest, most effective weapons you can pocket carry. This 380 ACP gives you 6 + 1 rounds of ammo and is common enough that a variety of accessories and holsters exists for it. The LCP can be outfitted with a laser, an improved trigger, and there is an adjustable sight model The LCP can be found for under $200 for you savvy shoppers.

8. S&W 686 – Best Full-Sized Revolver for Carry

The revolver is far from dead and is still a favorite for a variety of different shooters. The 686 is one of the best-made revolvers on the market. The S&W 686 has a variety of different barrel lengths, but even with a 2.5-inch barrel, the 686 is a large gun. With a full-sized grip and heavy frame, a user can shoot 357 magnums much easier than from a standard air weight J frame. The 357 Magnum is still a hard round to beat for defensive use.

9. Walther PPS – Best Single Stack CCW

The Walther PPS beat both the S&W Shield and Glock 43 to market by years, and it’s still the better choice in my opinion. The Walther PPS is a slim pistol, but is not super small, so it’s more controllable and easier to shoot. The Walther PPS has a variety of different magazine sizes that actually affect the overall size of the weapon. The PPS features an awesome trigger, is lightweight and very reliable.

10. Sig Sauer P938 – Best Gun for Smaller People

The Sig 938 is a 1911 copy but is much, much smaller than any other 1911. The weapon is very easy to rack because the user can cock the hammer, reducing most of the pressure on the slide. The all-steel frame also aids in reducing recoil, making the 9mm more comfortable to shoot.

What weapons would you add to the list? Delete from the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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Need a gun? On a budget? Here are 3 possibilities…..

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Regardless of what the government figures and mainstream media reports the economy has left many families struggling. Those on a tight budget may find themselves overwhelmed and disappointed during a trip to the gun shop. With just a few hundred dollars it is absolutely possible to secure a very capable means to defend the homestead.

Here are a few examples:

1. Stevens 350 Security Pump Action 12 gauge Shotgun – The Stevens comes equipped with synthetic furniture, 5 round capacity, and ghost ring sights. The 350 also ejects out the bottom of the receiver.  It will fire 3″ shells and has a fiber optic insert in the front sight.

stevens

Priced at around $275.

 

2. Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro G2 9mm Pistol – If a pistol is desired the Taurus G2 is an excellent choice. Taurus seems to have a mixed reputation especially on Internet gun forums but my personal experience has been very positive. I own one. My brother owns one. A fellow group member owns one. We all love it. It has been extremely reliable, accurate and handles like a dream. Fantastic carry gun with a 12 round capacity.

taurus

Priced between $200-$275.

 

3. Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Automatic Rimfire Carbine – While I would never recommend a .22 for self defense it is better than nothing. The Ruger 10/22 is incredibly reliable and has excellent accuracy. Spare 10 and 25 round factory magazines can be carried for quick reloading. Also great for small game.

One .22 in me is one too many.

ruger

Price at around $250.

_______________________________________

There really are a lot of options out there. Many shops have lay-a-way available which allow some of the more expensive firearms to be paid on over time. Most importantly for those with nothing – is to get something(and train, train, and train).

Daisy Red Rider? No….you’ll shoot your eye out!

Rourke

 

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The Handgun (Home Workshop Guns for Defense & Resistance, Vol. 2)

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Home Workshop Guns for Defense & Resistance Volume II is a clear and simple guide to building a semi- or full-auto pistol or a single-shot, falling-block handgun from common materials in the privacy of your home workshop. In addition to offering many alternative workshop gunsmithing tips, the author explains how each part and section of […]

The post The Handgun (Home Workshop Guns for Defense & Resistance, Vol. 2) appeared first on Shepherd School – Home for DIY Prepper Projects.

Shooting Tomorrow: Fundamentals / Fundamentals

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Sometimes it’s fun to get out to the range and shoot up multiple targets with different weapons, various distances, all sorts of drills.  After all if you are spending the time and your own money to get out and train some element of it should be entertaining.  Yet there are points in time when it’s all about the fundamentals and repetitive drilling, continuing to build that foundation on which all shooting skills are based upon.  I remember someone once saying that there was no such things as advanced shooting, but rather doing the fundamentals faster.

In any event I don’t consider myself a great shooter but I do try to train when I can and (in addition to cool guy drills) focus on the fundamentals.  Before the first round goes down range I spend time dry firing and working my presentation, target acquisition and all the other important tidbits (stance / grip / sight alignment / trigger squeeze),   I’ll then work in 4-5 mags of ball and dummy drills where I load the mags with live and dummy ammo (randomly), hoping not to flinch when I pull the trigger and no live round is fired.  Once all that is over with I’ll move on to my one drill, which requires one target stand and a 3×5 card.

Items Required:

– A place to shoot where you can draw and fire (most stupid indoor ranges won’t allow this, btw I hate indoor ranges and shooting around people I don’t know).

– Target stand

– 3×5 Card

– Shot Timer

– Ammunition of preference

The Drill:

– Start at 5 yards, draw and fire 1 round into the 3×5 card which is placed between chest and eye level on the target.

– Start very slowly at first, checking the time of each shot.

– Gradually ramp up the speed until the rounds start to impact outside of the 3×5 card, and then back it down until you are within the comfort zone.

– Once in the zone I’ll work through 4 or 5 mags, 1 round at a time.  Timer goes off, draw and squeeze off a round while working the fundamentals.  Reholster and do it again.

– Back up to 7 yards, repeat process, times will be greater.

– Back up to 10 yards, repeat process, times will be even greater still.

– Replace 3×5 card as necessary.

The Bottom Line:

This is a great drill that works the fundamentals and although it can be somewhat repetitive and “boring” as compared to other stuff seen on YouTube, I guarantee you it’s worth the time and effort.  I have to give credit where it’s due, frequent contributor The Maj turned me on to this and it’s really increased my proficiency and especially my first shot hit percentage.  If you can draw and put 1 round into a 3×5 card at 10 yards in a decent amount of time on a flat range consistently, out on the street if the real deal goes down your chances of success are greatly improved.  Give it a shot sometime, pun intended. :)

 

Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 24 July 2015

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Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

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Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 17 July 2015

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Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aftermath Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 10 July 2015

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Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

Click widget below to listen.

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aftermath Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 26 June 2015

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Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aftermath Radio on BlogTalkRadio

Free Fire Friday (Gun Talk) 19 June 2015

Click here to view the original post.

Host Johnny Kempen broadcasts live from the wilds of Alaska about all things gun related. Call in using +1 (213) 943-3444 when the show is live every Friday at 6pm Pacific/ 9pm Eastern to ask questions and participate in the show. Call in and participate!

Click widget below to listen.

Check Out Politics Conservative Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Aftermath Radio on BlogTalkRadio