States agree on gun control code. AUSTRALIA.

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States agree on gun control code

Author: ANDREW DARBY, GERARD RYLE
Date: 26/05/1995
Words: 590

   


   

Publication: The Age
Page: 3

Hobart.

The states took a tentative step towards uniform gun laws yesterday when police ministers agreed to establish a national gun-control code on shooter licensing, mail-order sale, safety training and secure storage.

The Federal Government will also further restrict the importation of ammunition and machine pistols. But those attending the Australian Police Ministers Council yesterday left unresolved a national argument on the registration of all guns.

The federal Justice Minister, Mr Kerr, described yesterday’s code decision as “a step towards uniformity”.

He said quick responses to shooting tragedies in different states in recent years had led to ad hoc, potentially conflicting standards. Now ministers had set up a mechanism to take a more considered, long-term view.

Mr Kerr said the latest statistics showed that in 1993, only about 70 of Australia’s 526 firearm deaths involved violent crime.

The planned code was welcomed by Victoria’s Police Minister, Mr McNamara, as the most significant improvement in decades, and one that would remedy Victorian concerns about the effect of more relaxed laws in other states.

“It’s the hoons and lunatics that everyone wants to see firearms removed from,” he said. “We need to look at measures where we can more closely interact with mental health authorities so that we can identify persons who should be prohibited from obtaining firearms.”

The NSW Police Minister, Mr Paul Whelan, did not attend the meeting and is awaiting a briefing. Mr Kerr was confident that NSW and the other absent states, Queensland and the Northern Territory, would agree with the proposals.

While all jurisdictions now follow the principle that firearms be securely stored, the provision was variously interpreted. A Western Australian model is being proposed in which guns must be kept in steel cabinets with separate lockable ammunition storage.

The Victorian Justice Department is to coordinate the development of the code, which will be put before the next Police Ministers’ Council meeting in Tasmania in November.

The Commonwealth’s tightening of imports will outlaw a variety of ammunition, including military ammunition greater than 12.7mm, tracer bullets, armour-piercing and flechette ammunition.

Imports of standard hollow-point and soft-nosed ammunition will still be allowed, but a prohibition on military-style weapons will be extended to pistols configured as semi-automatic machineguns.

The president of the Sporting Shooters Association of Australia, Mr Ted Drane, said there were up to four million licensed shooters who ought to be consulted before changes were made to gun laws.

“We will never have national gun registration because that would mean that too many people (politicians) would lose their seats if they did in places like Queensland, New South Wales and Tasmania,” he said.

A spokesman said Victoria’s chief commissioner of police, Mr Neil Comrie, said he supported uniform gun laws.

THE PROPOSED GUN CONTROL CODE.

Recognition of licensing, perhaps with a categorisation system.

Control of mail order firearm sales.

Firearm safety training standards.

Pistol registration methods.

Secure storage standards.

Regulations governing types of ammunition are to be tightened.

BMS Custom Made Rifles

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bms_featured_custom_rifles

bms_rifle_customJust the idea of having a custom rifle built to your own specifications is enticing.  In fact, having anything created on our own behalf for personal use is rather satisfying.  For the prepper looking for something a little more special than a stock weapon, a firearm from a custom machine and gun manufacturing build shop is the way to go. Sure you can pull completely utilitarian products right off the shelf and in most cases they perform well.  Sometimes not.  

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

Ever bought a new pair of tactical pants or a jacket at the store or mail order, then after a few times of wearing it, the garment just does not feel exactly right?  Back in the closet it goes. Maybe later, you’ll sell it at a garage sale.  In fact, how many pieces of gear do you have collecting dust right now that just did not work out as expected?

The Custom Concept

bms_custom_builds_riflesEver attended a really big knife show?  Looking at all the blades hand shaped and hewn by small shop custom steel smiths is exhilarating.  Then examine those individualized handle panels of exotic woods, or high strength synthetics, all shapes, all colors, palm swells, fits and finishes.  Owning a new custom made knife is special.  Using them is even more special.  

Read Also: The SOG Pillar Knife

It is the same with having a custom firearm built to your own specifications.  There is usually a general platform, design, configurations, and materials, but many of the final details are left to the customer.  Options are the element of customizing the firearm to the customer.  That is the purpose after all of having a custom made gun.  It is tailored to just you and virtually nobody else.  

BMS’s Custom Manufactured Rifles

bms_rifle_top_profileBryant’s Machine Shop in Jackson, Mississippi creates specialized rifles from solid billets of aluminum or other materials.   This is not a factory assembly line rifle by any means of the imagination.  It is not a back room sweat shop either where assorted export parts are assembled in dim light to produce a finished rifle.  Quite the contrary as a matter of fact. BMS’s equipment is the best state-of-the-art CNC machines available on the market today.  They design and manufacture a lot of custom parts and pieces for a lot of different industries and purposes all in house.  For our interest, they also manufacture some of the finest AR platform rifles made as well as other rifles, rimfires, and now suppressors.  

They offer the complete package for sport shooting, hunting, and defensive work.  All of these purposes should appeal to preppers and survivalists of all survival core values.  

BMS has been manufacturing custom AR-15 type rifles for several years and can offer an amazing array of customer specific demands for that one-of-a-kind special rifle.  They can also custom build a more standard rifle built in the precision care mode for an exceptional firearm.  

BMS AR-15s can be customized with any number of features including different barrel types, styles, and lengths, various types of forearms, flattop rail configurations, pistol grips and stocks, and other hardware accessories.  Custom colors and coating finishes are also a trademark of BMS.  I suspect if you can think of it, they can figure out a way to do it.  

Related: How to Pick the Best Personal Protection Firearm

BMS can even supply optical options from conventional optical scopes, red dots, electronic sights as well as night vision and thermal units for night hunting operations.  You just have to contact BMS to explore all the varieties of customizations they can do with an AR rifle.  

BMS’s New Build

bms_rifle_custom_excellenceFor survivalists wanting to add a substantial increase in firepower to their prepping arsenal, BMS is now building AR-10 units chambered for the .308 Winchester or the 7.62 NATO.  The .308 of course amps up considerably more terminal ballistics on target, thus allowing shooters to reach out to touch longer range targets with greater target impact.  Bryant’s new AR-10 is configured from 7075 billet aluminum for both the upper and lower units.  

The set up includes a 556 barrel, a Velocity 3 pound trigger, a Strike Industries stock, Magpul pistol grip, and an extended charging handle for easier reach and operation.  The slim line type handguard can be offered with either M-Lok or KeyMod accessories attachment modes.  

If the idea of having a custom AR-15 or AR-10 built for you sounds intriguing, then contact BMS for details.  Pricing depends on which rifle is ordered and the features specified.  All you need on your end is a licensed FFL for the local transfer shipment.

 

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10 Best Survival Rifles To Protect Your Family

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Today I want to share what has become my favorite article on rifles. When it comes to rifles–and all firearms, for that matter–there isn’t a perfect choice that would be ideal in every situation. Rather, it depends on what your goal is. As the author says, “In the right application, a dump truck is extremely […]

The post 10 Best Survival Rifles To Protect Your Family appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

The 7 Best Rifles If You Want Cheap Ammo

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The 7 Best Rifles If You Want Cheap Ammo

Image source: ArmsList.com

When it comes to defending your home or harvesting big game, it’s time to go to the rifle. Handguns may be more convenient to carry for personal defense, but except for the most powerful Magnum cartridges, their performance is marginal. Rifles beat them in the accuracy department, too.

If you have rifles that you treasure but find that it can be expensive to feed them, then check out these seven rifles that can help keep you proficient without breaking the bank.

1. Ruger 10/22

As you likely suspected, this list has to start with a 22. It is the cheapest rifle on the market, and many fundamentals of rifle shooting can be duplicated with a rim-fire. We like the 10/22 because even someone lacking in gunsmith skills can customize these rifles with ease.

If your main rifle is a lever action, you can substitute the 10/22 for a Henry or if ARs are you thing, the S&W MP15/22 might be more to your liking. Maybe you roll with a bolt gun; we are partial to the Savage Mk II. Companies like Walther and German Sport Guns offer rim-fire versions of HK MP5s, AK-47s and a few others. If none of these appeal to you, you can usually find a 22 conversion kit for your AR-15 and possibly some other rifles. The key is that you have options.

Although supply has been short in many parts of the country, if you luck out and buy in the right quantity, you can expect to pay as low as 5 cents a round. It may run higher by a few cents depending on your area. Supply is improving. Stock up when you can, but don’t be a neckbearding hoarder about it.

2. Colt M4 Expanse

Sure, there are other rifles out there like the Tavor, Galil, Steyr AUG, Ruger Mini-14, the SIG MCX and hundreds of AR-15 variants, but a Colt M4 Expanse is a sub-$700 rifle made by the company that put the AR on the map. You can get quality rifles from your manufacturer of choice, but the key is to get one chambered in 5.56. If you hate black rifles, you can find a number of bolt-action rifles chambered in this caliber, as well.

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

For many people this is their primary long gun round, and we have seen it as cheap as $2 a box of 20. Average price is probably twice that or a little bit more.

If “black rifles” are not your thing, there is the Ruger Mini-14. Current versions are more accurate than their predecessors. If you have no use for a semiautomatic rifle, a number of companies make bolt-action and single-shot rifles in 223 Remington/5.56 NATO. This diversity is what lends the round its popularity.

3. Century Arms RAS-47

Some people might say SKS, but we have always preferred the AK platform. Either way, we like the 7.62 X 39 because it is cheap to shoot and can usually be found in great quantities. Average street price hovers around 20 to 25 cents a round.

We like Century’s AKs, whether it is the RAS-47 or one of the Yugoslavian imports (although those rifles lack chrome lined bores). Lovers of traditional stocks over pistol grips may prefer an SKS, and those who do not like former Com-Bloc designs can find an AR-15 or Ruger Mini-30 chambered in this caliber that performs much like the 30-30 Winchester.

4. AK-74

Similar to the last rifle is the smaller bored AK-74 chambered in 5.45 X 39. They are a bit harder to find than the AK-47, especially in our area.

I actually bought one of these rifles a few years back for the very reason I wrote this article. Having gone through numerous “rifle scares” and “panic buying sprees” over the past 30 years, I visited a gun shop that had several cases of 5.45 marked down to $88. The reason? They had problems getting rifles in stock. I picked up four cases and happened upon a rifle within a few months after that for a good price.

The price of ammunition has definitely increased since then, and it is on par with the 7.62X39 in the 20 to 25 cents range.

There are upper receivers and AR-15 variants chambered in this round as well as some old East German bolt-action rifles floating around out there. There have been rumors of conversion kits for the Israeli Tavor rifle and others for some time, but we have yet to see them.

5. Beretta Storm

Currently the most affordable center-fire pistol round is the 9mm Luger. Whether it is military surplus ammunition, Winchester White Box, or remanufactured ammo, 9mm is here to stay, and prices are reflecting this. We have seen it as cheap as $13 for a box of 100 recently. Beretta makes a carbine chambered in 9mm that should be part of everyone’s preps for the gun department, particularly if you have a number of 9mm handguns.

Some question the wisdom of a pistol caliber carbine. We like them in 9mm for their low recoil, ability to suppress and inexpensive ammunition. If you cannot abide a Beretta, you can find HK pattern rifles, Uzi carbines, ARs chambered in 9mm and Kel-Tec’s folding Sub-2000 rifle.

6. Rossi Model 92

We are looking at the 357 Magnum version, as it allows you to shoot the cheaper 38 Special round. If you have a 38 Special or 357 Magnum revolver, then this carbine makes a lot of sense.

Like any straight wall revolver cartridge, the 38 Special represents extreme low cost for re-loaders. We only caution that you avoid the bullets seated flush or close to flush with the case mouth for use in a lever-action rifle. They will not feed and the rifle will think it’s been stocked with empty cases.

There are other lever-action rifles available and a few pump-action versions were made, but we find Rossi’s guns to have the most value.

7. Yugo M98

With the prices of K-98 and VZ-24 rifles going through the roof, we thought we would clue you in on one that is not as expensive, especially if you can live with a straight bolt handle.

Ammunition performance of 8mm Mauser is on par with that of 30-06 or another low-cost round, the 7.62 X 54R. Military surplus ammunition is still relatively cheap, at just south of 30 cents a round.

If you know of another low-cost round that’s not in this story, post in the comments below and let us know about it.

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

What Skills Will Allow You To Do & Not Do.

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Medical Kit.

Medications.

Food bags & containers.

Water bottles or flasks.

Tools for hunting & defence.

Shelter & bedding.


What Skills Will Allow You To Do & Not Do.

The debate regarding equipment versus skills is ongoing, in my personal opinion, both are of equal importance. We are not just talking about survival; we must also be concerned with our quality of life. Yes learning primitive skills for long term survival are very important, but you have to think about what these skills can provide you with & what they can’t. For instance, if you need to cook a stew, then you need a fireproof container. You could experiment making clay vessels, you can also use animal skins & use the hot rock method. But how much easier is it to carry a metal kettle with you?

So why am I mentioning this? I am mentioning this because weight matters if you have to carry it on your back when travelling on foot. There has to be some compromise between two principles, minimum weight & maximum self-reliance. When people are asked about the hunting tools/weapons, top of the list is usually high powered breech-loading firearms. These are fine for self-defence, but how practicle are they for long term survival? The larger the caliber, the more the ammunition weighs, & the more space in your pack it takes up. We need to prioritise, is it more important to carry a lot of weight in modern ammunition? Or is it more important to carry more medical equipment & supplies, vitamin supplements, more food & more water? If we are travelling alone, we can not carry both.

If we are only carrying a modern firearm & we intend to use it for hunting & defence, then the ammunition will not last long. We can of course avoid a fire fight by keeping a low profile, & we can save on ammunition by setting up a trap line for meat. But how secure will you feel knowing that when your ammunition runs out, you will be left with nothing with which to defend yourself or procure game? Your alternatives are: carrying an air rifle, carrying a traditional bow & arrows, or carrying a flintlock muzzle-loading gun/rifle & pistol. Another alternative for those in America might be to carry a modern sidearm in combination with one of the aforementioned hunting tools, or carry a bow & a modern firearm.


Weight is the all important factor, that & sustainability. Solid form medications have a long shelf life, so we need to take advantage of this. Dry foods too have a long storage capability & it is important that we carry as much food as we can. Eventually we hope to be able to take the time to forage for edible flora & hunt & trap game, but until that time comes, we are on the move & we need to keep a low profile.

Can primitive skills supply you with medications? Yes of course they can, but finding the herbs you need will not be easy, & especially so if you are already feeling ill. We need to think about our well being, our comfort. Any item that is sustainable & will make life easier is worth carrying, within reason. Skills will enable you to make a survival bow & arrows, but if you should ever come up against someone with a gun, you may have some difficulty surviving. Something that people often fail to take into account is the shock factor of a firearm, the noise & the impact of the missile. A bow against a firearm can not deliver this.

Anyway, the purpose of this article is to make you think before you leap. Think about the equipment you are going to carry & how it will best benefit your survival physically & mentally. Learn all you can about primitive skills, & if you plan to survive on your own retreat, then think about the living skills you will need to keep things in good repair.

When it comes to transporting equipment on foot, you can use a hiking trolley, but like all forms of transport from vehicles to animals, there will always be a negative side. The tracks you will leave to be followed, the places you can’t go, the noise you will make.

4 Stunning Long-Range Rifles That Will Shoot Past 1,000 Yards

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4 Stunning Long-Range Rifles That Will Shoot Past 1,000 Yards

Image source: Cadexdefence.com

 

Perhaps the most impressive display of marksmanship is true long-range shooting. Reaching out to a target at 1,000 yards or beyond requires skill, knowledge and lots of practice to do it right.

While some may deem it as impractical to hit a target at half a mile, the amount of research that goes into selection of the rifle, optics and ammunition — plus learning how to read wind, observe the effects of humidity, air pressure and elevation are all factors that will make you a better shooter in the long run.

Yes, it is true that long-range shots can be made with typical rifle calibers such as 308 Winchester, 30-06 Springfield and 7.62 X 54R, but these calibers were not designed with extreme ranges in mind.

Here are four long-range rifles you should consider:

1. 300 Winchester Magnum

Prized for its ability as a flat-shooting cartridge, the 300 Winchester Magnum is capable of 3,260 feet per second (fps) and 2,658 foot pounds of muzzle energy with a 150 grain bullet, and 3,000 fps and 4,223 foot pounds of muzzle energy with a 180 grain bullet. Unlike most rifle cartridges, the trajectory stays level out to about 300 yards.

Maximum effective range is out to 1,200 yards, and the round really comes into its own at 800 to 1,000. One of the advantages of the 300 Winchester Magnum is that it can be loaded in a long-rifle action rather than a more expensive Magnum receiver.

All of the big-name rifle companies manufacture a bolt-action, but two of our favorites are the Savage 110FP with Accutrigger and the Winchester Model 70 Extreme Weather SS. The Savage retails for under $900 and the Winchester can be had for closer to $1,100.

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

For working your way up into long-range shooting, we recommend the 300 Winchester Magnum as a good starting point, particularly if you want to step down to a 308 and really put those long-range skills to work in a smaller caliber.

2. 338 Lapua Magnum

In what was probably the first round designed from the ground up as a sniper cartridge, 338 Lapua is our personal favorite long-range round. Developed from the 416 Rigby case, the inventors of the round learned a critical factor in designing ammunition with regard to pressure: hardness of the brass was more important than its relative thickness.

The world record for the longest confirmed sniper shot at 2,707 yards (1.5 miles) was achieved with this round by a British Army sniper, Corporal Craig Harrison.

As for stats: you are launching a 200-grain bullet at 3,300 fps with a muzzle energy of 4,967 foot pounds.

If money is no problem, then check out the Sako TRG-42 at $4,000 — pricey, but one of the best in its class.

Personally, I have been running a Savage 110 BA Chasis rifle for the past 5 years with no complaints besides its weight. I bought mine secondhand for around $1,200. MSRP is a bit higher, but rifles such as these turn up used every now and then due to their specialized nature and ammunition costs, and sometimes people want to upgrade to a SAKO, Accuracy International or a Barrett.

3. 408 CheyTac

408 CheyTac

408 CheyTac

The 408 CheyTac was designed by John D. Taylor and William Wordman specifically for military long-range sniper use. 408 CheyTac was developed specifically for anti-personnel and anti-material roles out to 2,200 yards.

It is based on the 505 Gibbs (an old-time rimless African big-game cartridge developed in England in 1911) and necked down to 0.408 inches. The parent case’s web and sidewall were beefed up to accommodate high-chamber pressures. The 305 grain bullet travels at 3,500 fps, with 8,295 foot pounds of muzzle energy and the 419 grain bullet travels at 3,000 fps with 8,373 foot pounds of muzzle energy.

The Chey-Tac M200 Intervention is the bolt-action rifle built to handle this round, and shooters have been documented firing a group of 3 shots within 16 inches at 2,321 yards. That kind of long-range accuracy comes at a hefty price with this model starting at $11,700 from the manufacturer. They throw in 200 rounds ($1,400 worth), but you still need to provide your own optics.

4. 50 BMG

While the other three rounds in this category may have an advantage in economics (300 Winchester Magnum), accuracy (338 Lapua Magnum) or range (408 CheyTac), the 50 BMG is still the king of the domain of long-range shooting.

Developed by the great John Browning for use in his M2 machine gun, the round is a scaled up 30-06 cartridge that launches a 660 grain bullet.

A number of manufacturers support the 50 BMG, such as Barrett Firearms, Serbu Firearms and small builders throughout the western United States.

Some states and cities outlaw the 50 BMG, as do a number of rifle ranges. This may be a factor in selecting another caliber or something that goes into the decision-making process if researching your own.

Ammunition prices fluctuate greatly on the 50 BMG; to get the most accuracy out of your long-range rifle, you may want to look into hand loading your own. Of course, be advised that components, dies, etc., will be more costly than most of the others.

Beyond extending your range with a rifle in defense of your home, developing the skills of a long-range shooter will increase your skillset in other shooting disciplines, from marksmanship and breath control to reloading ammunition. It also will give you an insight into how your other firearms perform and help you realize first-hand the concepts of having a free-floated barrel or a match trigger.

Which long-range rifle do you prefer? What advice would you add? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

5 Super-Accurate, Sub-MOA Rifles You Can Get For Under $600

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5 Super-Accurate, Sub-MOA Rifles You Can Get For Under $600

Image source: YouTube screen capture

“Only accurate rifles are interesting” — so said the late Colonel Townsend Whelen. While that may be debatable (AK-47s, for instance, are very interesting and effective rifles, but not particularly known for their accuracy), there is nothing in this world like being able to shoot a sub-MOA (minute of angle) group with a rifle.

The term “sub-MOA” means that a rifle will shoot a group of three to five shots at 100 yards that measure less than one inch from their farthest two outermost points. Fifty years ago this was the stuff of legends, but modern rifle makers have gotten better at building rifles, and — more importantly — are selling them for a fraction of what they were.

Many of us come to expect that out of a long-range tactical gun, but what about bargain-priced bolt-action hunting rifles?

We found five models that have that ability and all come in under $600.

1. Savage Model 14

I used to walk past these rifles sitting on racks for $399 because I was only guided by the price tag and a lifetime of hearing how you had to buy a stripped receiver, fit a custom crowned barrel, target trigger, free float the barrel, bed the action, square the stock and turn a bolt-action rifle project into the price of a classic car restoration when all was said and done. I owned rifles that cost five to 10 times the price of the Savage and scoffed.

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

That is, until I fired a friend’s rifle and achieved a 0.70-inch group at 100 yards.

With the AccuTrigger coming standard on these and the ability to perfectly adjust your trigger squeeze, I wondered why I overlooked them for so long.

2. Mossberg Patriot

When I think of Mossberg, I typically think of their shotguns, but if you have not seen their bolt-action rifles, then you are missing out.

I had a chance to play with their MVP in 223 Remington and walked away extremely impressed. Along the same theme is their Patriot line.

The line is impressive, and at last count there were more than 60 variants. Not bad for a rifle that is only a few years old. Stocks can be had in adjustable configurations and a wide variety of color schemes and materials. You can go with iron sights or optics ready, and I have seen some of these rifles available for as low as $350 at a big box store.

3. Browning AB3 Rifle

Probably the most expensive rifle on the list, the Browning AB3 has a lot going for it in the forms of a perfect factory trigger, premium barrel, and an excellent two-position safety. The barrel features button-rifling for precision and is constructed from cold-rolled steel. The walnut stock is optional but really classes up this budget rifle.

Best of all is that you can open the action with the tang mounted safety engaged.

Browning offers a lot of factory packages in this one, from installed optics to hard use cases. The MSRP is $599.

4. Winchester XPR

Winchester XPR. Image source: Winchester

Winchester XPR. Image source: Winchester

I always fall back to Winchester rifles when all else eludes me, and in this case it’s the budget-priced XPR. The rifle uses a push-feed type of action, and the bolt features three locking lugs machined from chrome moly steel that are nickel Teflon plated.

This makes for an amazingly smooth bolt travel. It is silky smooth, and coupled with an MOA trigger may make you think something is wrong with the rifle.

I was originally skeptical of the detachable magazine, as they do not enjoy a very good reputation for reliability, but this one seems to work well. Like the Browning, the safety and ability to open the action while safe is present here. I hope to see this option for more bolt rifles.

They retail at $549.

5. Remington 783

At $399, a rifle snob may turn his nose up at the Remington 783, but this rifle has some of the tightest tolerances found on a factory rifle. The stock is a dual-pillar bedded to the action, and the button-rifled barrel is fully free-floated.

The stock is plain black nylon, but Remington has always done these a bit better than everyone else in the strength and rigidity departments. Each rifle utilizes Remington’s proprietary CrossFire trigger, which is fully adjustable for your needs.

Again, we see another bolt-action hunting rife with a detachable magazine that holds four rounds in short and long calibers, and three in the Magnum calibers. Hunters and shooters have been clamoring for these for years, and it’s nice to see the manufacturers actually listen.

These budget-priced precision rifles are excellent for short- to medium-range hunting with the proper optics, and all are about half the price of a decent AR platform rifle.

They are definitely something to consider when rounding out your firearm preps.

Do you agree with the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Massachusetts AG Discovers New Way To Ban Guns — ‘Effective Immediately’

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Massachusetts AG Invents New Way To Ban Guns -- 'Effective Immediately'

Image source: YouTube screen shot.

 

BOSTON — Nearly a month after Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued an enforcement notice that added dozens if not hundreds of gun types to a list of banned firearms, the backlash continues.

Healey’s statement at the end of July noted that she was “stepping up enforcement of the state’s assault weapons ban, including a crackdown on the sale of copycat weapons.”

With her action, Healey, a Democrat, automatically banned guns that were legal merely hours earlier – and she did so without notice.

“Our action today is effective immediately,” she said.

Healey said a 1998 law – which at the time banned so-called “assault rifles,” including the AR-15 – gave her the power to take action against guns that were manufactured with slight differences. Such guns are sold as being legal in Massachusetts. Around 10,000 of what she calls “copycat guns” were sold last year.

One pro-Second Amendment group, the Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL), held a rally in Boxborough, Massachusetts, in mid-August, attended by hundreds of people.

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“This is a brand NEW interpretation of the law that has potentially made hundreds of thousands of lawful citizens ‘felons in waiting,’” GOAL wrote on its website. “… She unilaterally changed the rules and interpretations of long standing law overnight without seeking legislative support or consultation, without consulting the state agencies that have statutory authority over the laws. She did it in secret with no public input.”

Healey has the backing of the past five attorneys general, all Democrats, according to MassLive.com.

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“She is not exceeding her authority — she is exercising it. And she has our thanks,” a letter co-signed by the five former AGs reads.

But not everyone in her party agrees. Rep. Harold Naughton, a Democrat and the chairman of the House Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, opposed Healey’s action.

“While I understand your intentions in this matter, I feel this is a misuse and overstepping of authority,” Naughton wrote, according to MassLive.com.

The National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action also said Healey had gone too far. It explained in detail the legislative intent of the 1998 law.

“By 1998,” the NRA wrote on its website, “the federal ban on ‘assault weapons’ had been in effect for nearly four years, and almost from day one of the federal ban, manufacturers were producing the ‘compliant’ rifles that AG Healey is now targeting. Massachusetts legislators in 1998 were well aware of these compliant rifles, yet they chose not to alter their legislation to prohibit those rifles when they simply enacted a copy of the federal ban. It’s hard to imagine a more clear-cut example of legislative intent.”

There’s another problem, the NRA said: It is not clear which firearms Healey has banned.

“NRA is still assessing all legal and legislative options to protect the rights of Massachusetts gun owners,” NRA wrote. “Stay tuned.”

What is your reaction? Share it in the section below:

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

Smith And Wesson M & P15 Sport II

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m&P 2Most of my readers know that I tend to favor the AK system over the AR system for a number of reasons. I describe them here. But for a while I have decided to add an AR platform rifle to my battery. First, in about nine months I plan on increasing my small arms classes for those who carry an AR as their primary rifle. Secondly, with the election coming up and the possibility of Killary being elected, I decided now was the time to get an AR .

As I advise my readers. I did my research. When looking for a firearm for serious social work, quality has to be your first consideration. Then price. There are a lot of high quality AR system rifles on the market. And many of them have prices that reflect it. But after careful consideration of quality, features and price, I settled on the Smith and Wesson M&P-15-II . MSRP is $739.00 from Smith and I was able to get mine for $690.00. If you shop around, you can often find them in this range. I consider it a good bargain.

Right out of the box I was impressed with fit and finish. There is very little play between the upper and lower receivers. The bolt parts are tight and well finished. This is the Second Gen version that has the standard spring-loaded ejection port cover and the forward assist. Except for barrel length and only semi-auto, this rifle is basically the military M-4. However, the trigger guard is one piece and not the military style that folds down for arctic gloves.

MP-15-II

Basic Technical Stats

  • Caliber: 5.56 mm NATO (which means the chamber will also seat .223 Remington)
  • Action: Gas Operated Semi Auto
  • Capacity: 30+1 Rounds
  • Barrel Length: 16” (40.64 cm)
  • Front Sight: Adj. A2 Post
  • Rear Sight: Folding Magpul® MBUS®
  • Overall Length: 35.0” (88.90 cm) Extended, 32.0” (81.28 cm) Collapsed
  • Grip: Polymer
  • Weight: 6.45 lbs. (2,925.7 g)
  • Barrel Material: 4140 Steel
  • Upper Material: 7075 T6
  • Lower Material: Aluminum
  • Finish: Matte Black
  • Forged, Integral Trigger Guard
  • Armornite® Finish (Durable Corrosion Resistant Finish)
  • Chromed Firing Pin.
  • Rifling: 1/9, 6 groove
  • Picatinny rail forward of the rear sight for mounting accessories.

Magazines, Sights and Sling

GetImageThe rifle comes with one Magpul Gen 2 P-mag. I ordered four more from Gabe Suarez’s One Source Tactical. This magazine is a highly tested and reliable mag used by military units around the world. There is now a Gen 3 version but I have not tested it.

The front sight is the standard A-2 sight with square post, and even has the bayonet lug at the bottom. Since federal regs require a rifle barrel be at least 16″ the barrel is too long to effectively attach a bayonet. The rear sight isGetImage3 a folding Magpul® MBUS®. This is a spring-loaded flip-up sight with two apertures. The smaller aperture is for fine shooting and the larger is for CQB applications. The rear sight is windage adjustable only as elevation adjustments are done on the front sight. ( Please note that the sights that came with my rifle are black and not green as pictured. These photos are from the Magpul site and the sight comes in various colors)

WINDAGE ADJUSTMENT3

  • ~0.7 MOA (0.754″/100m) per click with a 14.5″ sight radius
  • ~0.5 MOA (0.547″/100m) per click with a 20″ sight radius

I decided to fit the rifle with a simple military black strap sling. I have never liked tactical slings. Tried a number of them in Afghanistan and always went back to a simple strap sling. To each his own.

Range and Zeroing

I took the rifle to Joe Foss Range in Buckeye Arizona where I do most of my training classes. The M&P15-II comes with a 1:9 twist barrel. This is a good compromise to allow for the stabilization of both the M-193 55gr. bullet and the M-885 62gr. bullet. I decided to zero the rife with the M-193 round to begin with. I was using Federal M-193 military production from the Lake City Arsenal. The cases had LC 2013 and the NATO stamp on the cartridge base. I set up a military zero target at 25yds and began zeroing from the bench. I started out with sights as they came from the factory. AllIMG_0321 zero groups were three shot groups using the small sight aperture . The first group was way low right. I made a sight adjust ment and was then a bit high left. I then went to the second target (pictured) first group slightly right, and the second in the center. After getting a 25yd zero, I then moved the target out to 50yds and did three shot  drills on a silhouette target. The rifle grouped nicely in the center chest area.  I then moved it out to 100yds and did three shot timed fire drills from the bench. The group was nice and tight in the throat area. I brought the front sight down a bit so I was hitting a bit high in the chest area. I wanted a good 100yd zero, as this is the maximum range I would probably use this rifle at most of the time. I then moved the target back to 50yds and did Mozambique drills ( two to the chest, one to the head) from the standing ready position using the larger CQB aperture for the remainder of the ammunition. All chest shots were centered and all head shots were also, with no flyers. This is one accurate little rifle! I fired a total of 120 rounds out of four brand new magazines with no malfunctions. My next range foray I will try it with M-885 ball and see what zero and accuracy changes might ensue.

Summation

This is an accurate, reliable, well made and reasonably priced AR rifle. I am really impressed with it. I plan on working out with it a lot more and if accuracy and reliability remain constant, it may just end up being my primary go to rifle. If you are looking to get an AR before the election, the S&W M&P Sport II would be a good choice.

Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Firearms, Rifles, Survival Weapons Tagged: Firearms, M&P 15-II, New preppers, professional firearms instructor

California’s Latest Plan To Ban Rifles Just Might Work

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California’s Latest Plan To Ban Rifles Just Might Work

Image source: California Rifle

 

It would be illegal to sell any firearm with a “bullet button” or a mag-locking device under a California bill that already has passed one committee.

The bill, AB 1664, would require owners of such weapons to register them with the state, and it also would make it illegal for owners of such semi-automatic firearms to sell them to anyone else.

Only firearms with permanent magazines could be sold.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Assemblymen Marc Levine and Phil Ting.

Vicious New Hand-Held Self-Defense Tool Turns Lethal In Seconds!

“Cutting through all of the legislative legalese, Levine’s proposal would force ALL owners of ALL semi-automatic firearms that employ a ‘Bullet Button’ or some other magazine-locking device to register them as ‘assault weapons,’” an alert from the Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) reads. “The bill would also BAN the future sales of any center fire rifle with a detachable magazine employing a ‘Bullet Button,’ cutting down the number of rifles Californians can buy significantly.”

The FPC alert ads, “If you own one of these firearms, your kids WON’T be able to inherit it, you CAN’T transfer it to anyone and you WILL BE in a special file at the Department of Justice.”

The bill has the support of state Attorney General Kamala Harris.

“We must close the loopholes in our assault weapons ban so that guns like the ones used in San Bernardino, Newtown, [Conn.] and Aurora, [Colo.] cannot be bought legally in our state,” Assemblyman David Chiu told The Los Angeles Times.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, opposes the bill.

“There are tens of thousands of these guns in the possession of law-abiding citizens in California, and they are not using them in crimes,” Paredes told the newspaper.

Related:

California Finally Discovered How To Close Every Gun Shop In The State

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

The 5 Best Lightweight, Compact, Easy-To-Use Survival Rifles

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The 5 Best Lightweight, Compact, Easy-To-Use Survival Rifles

Image source: Gunauction.com

In any outdoor survival situation, finding and procuring food is a major concern. Although there are numerous edible plants, finding and consuming protein isn’t always easy.

Protein is essential to good health because it increases your metabolism (which, in turn, increases body heat) and provides you with the energy you need to survive.

There are many different types of snares and traps that will enable you to harvest protein-rich small game and fish, but the fact is that carrying a rifle will make procuring this vital food source much easier.

First of all, a proper survival rifle should be compact, lightweight and should break down into two or more pieces for easy carry in a backpack, canoe or kayak. In addition, since the purpose of a survival rifle is to procure food instead of defending yourself against large predators, it should fire the venerable .22 LR rimfire cartridge. This cartridge is readily available, is very compact and easy to transport, and is capable of bringing down most any small game animal.

Vicious New Hand-Held Self-Defense Tool Turns Lethal In Seconds!

There are five rifles that fit this bill and each of them has their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look:

1. The Browning Grade 1 Semi-Auto .22 Rifle. This rifle is the highest quality and most expensive of the five rifles listed here. It’s an excellent choice for a hunting and plinking rifle and has a very attractive appearance with high-grade, walnut fore and buttstocks. Also, both the forestock and barrel are detachable, and it holds 11 rounds in a tubular magazine that is loaded through a port in the buttstock. It measures 37 inches when assembled and 19.25 inches when taken down, and it weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The current manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $699.99.

Savage Stevens Model 30 Favorite Takedown Version Rifle2. The Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite Takedown Version Rifle. The take-down version of the Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite is an inexpensive alternative to the Browning Semi-Auto 22 LR. It, too, features walnut fore and buttstocks and is has an attractive appearance. However, it differs from the Browning rifle in that it is a single-shot rifle with a lever action that retracts a falling breech block instead of a semi-automatic action. It measures 36.75 inches when assembled, has a 21-inch barrel, and weighs 4.25 pounds. This rifle is currently out of production, but it can still be found on the pre-owned gun market at sites such as Gunbroker.com.

3. The Marlin “Papoose” Model 70PSS Rifle. Unlike the two rifles listed above, the Marlin Papoose is a no-frills, purpose-built survival rifle. It has a stainless steel receiver and a removable, 16.25-inch stainless steel barrel combined with a black, fiberglass-filled buttstock and no forestock. It has a detachable, seven-round magazine, measures 35.25 inches when assembled, and weighs 3.25 pounds. The current MSRP is $328.82.

4. The Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 Rifle. This is also a no-frills survival rifle that has been the exclusive choice of the US Air Force since its introduction. It is available with your choice of a camouflage finish or a black, Teflon-coated finish. It features a semi-automatic action and two detachable, eight-round magazines, combined with a 16-inch barrel and a hollow, ABS plastic, buttstock. The buttstock is designed so that the barrel, the receiver, and both magazines can be stored inside it. It weighs 3.5 pounds and measures a mere 16.5 inches when disassembled. Plus, when the buttstock is sealed with the receiver, barrel and magazines inside, the whole affair floats. The current MSRP for the black version is $290, and the camouflage version retails for $350.

5. The Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair Rifle/Shotgun. This is a unique survival rifle that is available in both blue and matte nickel models. It is available in several different caliber/gauge configurations, but for survival purposes the .22 LR/.410 shotgun combination is the best choice since the shotgun barrel will fire both shot shells and .41 caliber lead slugs. Although no length specifications are listed on the Rossi website, it does say that this particular combination weighs 3.75 pounds. The current MSRP is $263.21.

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

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

The 5 Very Best Rifles For Rural Home Defense

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The 5 Very Best Rifles For Rural Home Defense

Ruger 10/22. Image source: Waltherforums.com

 

A common saying among tactical trainers is: “The purpose of a handgun is to fight your way to your rifle.”

That makes perfect sense on a battlefield in Iraq or Afghanistan, but what happens when that “battlefield” is in your home – especially in a rural setting?

When compared by sheer ballistics, the results of most handgun rounds are very marginal when compared to that of a rifle. Yet, handguns have the advantage of being more compact and portable. And since they only require one hand, your other hand is free to hold a flashlight or call 911.

So now you might be asking, “Should I choose a handgun or a rifle for home defense?”

I say choose the rifle. I’m not talking about old-style, single-shot Remington Rolling Block Buffalo rifles or a 300 Weatherby Magnum with a 10X scope on it for elk season (but if one of those are all you have, they beat a can of pepper spray). I’m referring to modern sporting rifles designed for more tactical use.

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Here’s my list of the five best:

1. The AR-15 in 5.56/223

Perhaps the most popular rifle in the U.S. is the AR-15. It was designed in 1960 by Armalite for the U.S. military and has remained in military use for six decades. For home defense purposes, I strongly recommend the shortest barrel length you can legally own. In some cases, this can be a SBR (short barreled rifle) registered with the National Firearms Branch of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) for a $200 tax. SBRs have barrels less than 16 inches in length and can be as short as 7.5 inches. This makes the rifle more compact and maneuverable within the confines of the home.

2. The Kriss Vector

A California-based company builds a unique variety of carbines and pistols known as the KRISS Vector. This radical design eliminates felt recoil and is chambered in 9mm or 45 ACP. Those are pistol rounds but the longer barrels give these rifles significantly more velocity. Best of all, they take extended magazines designed for Glock pistols in the same caliber, so they work well for Glock shooters, too.

3. The FN PS90

The 5 Very Best Rifles For Rural Home Defense

Image source: Wikipedia

This may seem like an odd choice, but this futuristic-looking firearm in its small 5.7mm cartridge was actually designed as a personal defense weapon and was used famously by the US Secret Service on president protection details. Compact with virtually no recoil, its bull pup-like design makes for a compact shooting platform. Having one of these converted to an SBR makes the weapon more desirable from a home defense standpoint.

4. The lever action carbine

Lever action rifles made by Winchester, Marlin, Rossi and several others chambered in one of the magnum handgun calibers such as 357 Magnum, 44 Magnum or 45 Colt make for a very effective and compact system for people who reside in areas where the ownership of semiautomatic rifles may be restricted or draw unwanted attention. Five to 10 rounds of a powerful revolver cartridge with the added ballistics of a longer barrel make these a primary fight-stopper. The late firearms guru, Colonel Jeff Cooper, used to refer to them as “Brooklyn Specials,” as they were one of the few firearms not castigated outright in what he viewed as the liberal courtrooms of the Northeast.

5. The Ruger 10/22

You read that right. I have been a longtime advocate of the popular Ruger carbine in a self-defense role. With the right ammunition and the correct bullet placement, these rifles can fill a vital role in any self-defense arsenal. Low recoil, fast follow-up shots and superb accuracy make for one heck of a home defense rifle.

Accessories

It may be tempting to deck out a tactical rifle with all sorts of gizmos from red-dot sights to lasers, bipods and bayonets, but I suggest you keep it simple. More moving parts leads to more potential for something to fail, particularly if it is an accessory that the shooter comes to rely on more so than basic marksmanship.

The bare minimum I recommend is a mounted weapon light and a sling. Some shooters prefer a red-dot optic and if that makes you a better shooter, then go for it — particularly if you inhabit a substantial piece of property and might have to engage threats at a greater distance.

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

There’s A Trick To Navigating Federal And State Gun Regulations. Read More Here.

If or When TSHTF Part Five. My choice of the best gun for long term wilderness living. The Muzzle-Loader.

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Any muzzle-loader will give you an edge in long term wilderness living except the percussion lock. The percussion lock, also known as a caplock, requires fulminate of mercury caps for its ignition. This method is NOT sustainable. Tinderlocks & Matchlocks are good but they require a burning fuse at all times making you visible in the dark & the gun not so pleasurable to use as other later locks. The wheellock is good but does require Pyrite for its ignition & this is not always easy to find.

The flintlock requires a siliceous or igneous rock for ignition & this type of rock can be found in the bush if you know what you are looking for. I find the easiest way is to carry a fire steel with you & simply test the rocks you come across to see if they are hard enough to create sparks by striking the steel.

Above: This is English flint, a siliceous rock which can occasionally be found in coastal areas of Australia where English ships dumped their flint rock ballast before taking on a new cargo.

Above: This is agate which can be very common in places in Australia. Agate was used a lot in place of flint for flint & steel fire lighting. Agate is also a siliceous rock.

Above: This is quartz, very common in places & although it tends to fracture easily it is still a good rock to use for gun or fire lighting.

Above: Green chert.

http://www.aradon.com.au/green_chert.html;

Jasper.

This is obsidian, an igneous rock or volcanic rock.

Advantages of A Flintlock Muzzle-loader.

Bolt Action Or Semi-Auto: Which Is Best For Hunting?

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Bolt Action Or Semi-Auto: Which Is Best For Hunting?

Image source: wideopenspaces.com

Today, there are primarily two major types of rifles that comprise the majority of what hunters use for game: the traditional bolt action and the more modern semi-automatic.

But is one better than the other?

Both bolt action and semi-automatic rifles share one major thing in common: They began their careers as infantry weapons for militaries. After they had been perfected for battlefield use, they were then adapted for sporting and hunting use by civilians back home.

Between the two, the bolt-action design is older and the more traditional option. Nonetheless, there’s no denying that the semi-automatic has become more and more popular for hunting purposes over the years, especially as soldiers coming back home from overseas have begun to use ARs and other “military-style” rifles for hunting big game.

Ultimately, it mostly comes down to the shooter’s personal preference, but if you’re caught at a crossroads between trying to decide between the bolt action and a semi, it’s important that you know about the pros and cons of each.

We’ll start with the bolt action. It’s debatable, but most bolt-action rifles will have a larger variety of furnishings and configurations to add on. It was only a matter of years ago that almost all bolt-action rifles had wood stocks. That changed when a range of new composite stock designs became more popular, cheaper, and were found to better resist the elements.

Learn The Secrets Of A Veteran Hunter As He Demonstrates How To Quickly Field-Dress Game

Bolt actions are also very reliable. The bolt is simply turned, pulled back to eject the cartridge, and then a new cartridge is placed into the chamber as the bolt is pushed forward as well. The con to this is a slow rate of fire; if a deer or an elk springs out of the brush and you need to get shots off fast, the bolt action puts you at a natural disadvantage. At the same time, it’s very rare that the bolt action will ever fail you. Even if dirt or grime gets into the action or if there’s a dent in the case of the cartridge, most bolt actions will continue to run fine. In contrast to this, semi-automatics will tend to require more attention in such a scenario.

The triggers of most bolt actions also tend to be more crisp and smooth than those of a semi-automatic. This aids in accuracy and precision in a rifle design that is already extremely accurate and designed to place bullets where you want at a long distance. There’s a reason why most long-range competition shooters still prefer bolt actions over semi-automatics to this day.

signs to watch for when hunting big gameA final strong advantage to the bolt action is that they are offered in far more rifle calibers than semi-automatics are. Your typical choices (most of the time) for a semi-automatic will be .30-06 Springfield, .308 Winchester, 7.62x54r, 7.62x39mm, or 5.56x45mm NATO.

While some semi-automatic rifles such as the Browning BAR are also offered in .270 Winchester, .300 Winchester Magnum or .338 Winchester Magnum as well, the overwhelming majority of military-style semi-automatics (such as ARs or M1As, for example) simply are not.  In contrast to this, there’s a bolt-action rifle made for almost every rifle cartridge out there.

In short, bolt-action rifles are very accurate, dependable, have smoother triggers, and come with more options in terms of caliber and stocks than most semi-automatic rifles. In defense of semi-auto rifles, there are models that have these exact same qualities as well. Nonetheless, there are still a number of advantages to the semi-automatic rifle that don’t exist with bolt-actions simply due to the separation in design.

We’ve already talked about one such advantage of a semi-auto: They shoot faster, which translates to faster follow-up shots. Obviously, one reason why semi-autos shoot faster is because all you have to do is pull the trigger instead of chambering a new round. But a second reason why semi-autos are faster shooting is because they tend to have less recoil than bolt-actions, which can really punch you hard in the shoulder hard if it’s a heavier caliber and/or a light rifle.

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The reason for this is because of the design of the gun. A lot of semi-automatic rifles are gas operated, meaning that the recoil of heavier calibers such as .30-06 Springfield is better absorbed and delivers less of a muzzle flip. This, in turn, means that not only that you can squeeze off more shots at a galloping deer or elk, but you’ll be able to keep them on sight because your muzzle won’t flip as high. In contrast to this, if you miss your first shot with a bolt action you’ll have to chamber a new round in addition to likely having to re-finding your game in your sights or scope.

Not all semi-automatics are “military style” like ARs, either. Granted, ARs are commonly used for hunting and are more than up for the task. But for hunters who are turned away by the tactical look of an AR (or an M1A, G3-style, FAL, Mini-14, AK, etc.) style of weapon, there are more traditional semi-automatic options as well. The Browning BAR, which is a very elegant and accurate weapon, is a prime example of a semi-automatic rifle that doesn’t look tactical. Like we’ve mentioned, the BAR is also offered in some bigger calibers that “military style” semi-automatics typically aren’t.

Last but not least, the majority of semi-automatic rifles on the market carry more rounds in the magazine than bolt-actions do, so you won’t have to carry as much spare ammunition on your person if that makes a difference to you.

Semi-automatics have the capacity, lighter recoil, decreased muzzle flip, and faster firing abilities that bolt actions don’t have. When it comes down to it, you’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of each to decide what works best for you, but just know that both designs will continue to be around for decades if not centuries and will continue to be improved.

Which one do you prefer? Share your thoughts in the section below:   

Learn How To ‘Live Off The Land’ With Just Your Gun. Read More Here.

Rifle Hunting

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For those of you lucky enough to live in pro-rifle hunting states, you have the opportunity to achieve some of the greatest successes that hunting has to offer with nearly unlimited range and the power to fell any size game from whatever distance. Of course, you also have the chance of adding your name to […]

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The Lever Action Rifle for Prepping and Survival

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1873--outside-spurs-etcThe subject of weapons for survival is hot and heavy in the prepper community. Magazines and blogs offer all kinds of opinions and solutions. If you follow the mainstream “Prepper press” you would be convinced that unless you own the most modern military style battle rife, then you are SOL when SHTF. Not necessarily so.

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Filed under: Azweaponcraftprepper, Rifles Tagged: Beggining preppers, Doomsday prepping, Lever action rifles for prepping, Lever action rifles for survival, New preppers, Personal defense, Survival and Prepping

Discussion on Gear Evolution – Battle Belts, flexibility and plans

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Last week, MVT posted up a video talking through his current fighting gear / load bearing equipment, which includes a new chest rig made to his specs. It also includes a pretty cool first person run through a shooting scenario – worth paying attention here to pick up on some of the tactics/techniques that Max teaches.

The set up that Max shows here – a light battle belt and midweight chest rig is interesting in that it is a pretty significant shift from the heavy British Para-webbing style battle belt that he used to be a big advocate for–here’s the most recent example that I can find:

Image via MVT.

10-12ish mags, handgun, 4x canteen pouches on the back and a couple handgun pouches to round it out. We’ll call it a “British-style” battle belt for lack of a better name.

I toyed around with a British battle belt, similar to Max Velocity’s, through part of last year. Went cheap on the belt – got a Condor knock off and their harness, bought a few surplus USGI canteen pouches and used pouches that I had lying around to cobble one together.

Found a lot to like about it – way better load carrying ability and generally more comfortable / better mobility than a comparable weight of chest rig. Gives you the ability to carry a decent amount of food, a canteen, survival gear and a big IFAK, which can be a challenge using other load carrying gear. Good place to put your sidearm and good access to it. Easily adjusts to different weights of clothing, too.

After a bit of T&E, I ended up giving up on a British-style battle belt for my purposes, at least for the time being. Why?

The big deal breaker is operations in/around vehicles, and to a lesser extent moving through structures/room clearing. Canteen/utility pouches on the back and triple-thick mag pouches on the hips extends your width pretty significantly and you start having to turn sideways to get through doors, can’t sit in a normal car comfortably, etc.

Image via BPRE

There’s also no lighter/low threat profile to choose from with just the heavy belt. A lighter battle gives you the option of operating with just the lighter, more comfortable, lower profile belt on. Options and flexibility are good.

Of course, this isn’t exactly a revelation–Max’s heavier weight battle belts were a bit of an outlier in the tactical gear world. Folks have been running lighter battle belts in conjunction with a lighter chest rig or plate carrier mounted pouches for a while.

It looks like Max has arrived at a similar conclusion and ditched his big ol’ battle belt, at least for general use. In his recent write-up on the new chest rig featured in the video above, Max says:

I have most recently been settling on using a light battlebelt, which is comfortable enough to wear most of the time, augmented by a chest rig. I feel that this is the most practical application across operational environments; it works well for both dismounted operations, vehicle operations, and with or without armor.

This matches my own personal assessment after running a variety of gear – plate carriers with pouches directly attached, stand alone chest rigs of a variety of sizes, ‘British’ battle belt, etc.

I’m currently mid-process of re-building my kit to incorporate three different layers – light battle belt, chest rig and slick plate carrier. In conjunction with concealed carry/daily carry gear, these standalone pieces give you the flexibility of different profiles to address different situations. Slick plate carrier and CCW if anticipating potential trouble but need to maintain low profile. Light battle belt for running drills on the range or hunting. Throw it all together if the Nazi Zombies are at the front gates.

Chest rig and carrier are sorted out – HSP D3CR and a Velocity Lightweight Plate Carrier. I may down the line drop some coin on a custom rig from Extreme Gear Labs, designers of the D3CR, but generally the stock D3CR does what I need it to do. Looking forward to a couple of the enhancements HSP has in the works this year. The ability to directly attach the D3CR to the carrier, or run it as a standalone rig is money.

Battle belt is a work in progress – ideally want pistol, pistol mags x2, 2-3 rifle mags, dump pouch, IFAK, H2O of some variety, flashlight and multi-tool. Maybe comms, too. Not sure if I can manage all of that with the given real estate, but we’ll see.

Follow up posts/reviews are incoming.

In my experience, most people are continually tinkering with/adjusting their gear. Trying new things, incorporating new ideas or revisiting old ones. Travis Haley makes a big emphasis on preaching the importance of staying dynamic and adaptive…and at worst, adjusting and evaluating what you’re doing exposes you to different ideas and keeps you on your toes.

Interested to hear from the tribe – are you tinkering with your battle rattle? What gear ideas have you tried out recently and left by the wayside?

More Thoughts on Retreat Vulnerability

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This 7.62mm rifle will 'automatically' sight and shoot accurately out to 900 yards.  No skill required.

This 7.62mm rifle will ‘automatically’ sight and shoot accurately out to 900 yards. No skill required.

We have written before about the problems we have protecting our retreats – see for example ‘How Many Acres Do You Need for Your Retreat – Defense Considerations‘ and our broader category of Retreat Defense in general.

A new development, announced at the Consumer Electronic Show in January this year, adds a new factor and concern to the mix.

Until now, it has been realistic to assume that in most cases, a ‘reasonable distance’ kept clear between your retreat and where attackers could shelter was sufficient as to give you reasonable protection.  We’ve always been a bit vague about how much that distance should be, because in truth, there’s no single magic answer and instead, it is more a case of having to make a compromise between what is practical and possible in the real world and what would be desirable in a perfect world.

We sort of suggested that you should try to achieve a 200 yard clear zone between where your retreat and farmed land would be and where attackers could shelter and attack you from.  That type of range would give you a little warning – note the emphasis on little – if attackers attempted to overrun your retreat, and you could buy yourself a bit more time by having some disruptive landscaping to prevent attackers from coming directly to you on a good surface well suited for vehicles, horses, or even just plain sprinting on foot.

But the really big problem is long-range sniping.  In skilled hands, even a .22LR rifle might remain reasonably accurate and definitely dangerous at 200 yards, and in a Level 2/3 situation, what should be simple survivable wounds become much more life-threatening than they do today when the local Emergency Room and state of the art medicine and antibiotics and painkillers is probably no more than 15 – 30 minutes drive away.

Being able to accurately get rounds on man-sized targets at ranges of 200+ yards starts to become a fairly demanding skill.  Hitting – well, let’s be polite and talk about, perhaps, 8″ or 12″ plates, at 100 yards is something that most adult shooters can readily master, particularly when firing from a supported/prone position.  But once ranges start to go the high side of 200 yards, you’re more into ‘precision shooting’ than regular shooting, and from our perspective as potential targets, our chances of suffering a first round hit/kill start to measurably decline.

Unfortunately, a new device looks to replace skill with technology, and promises (threatens!) to give even unskilled shooters an almost super-human ability to get rounds on target at long-range.

A weapons technology company, TrackingPoint, demonstrated two new sniper-type rifles at the Consumer Electronic Show.  It is very rare to see weapons technology at the CES – not only because of the slightly off-topic concept, but also because just a couple of weeks after CES is the annual SHOT Show which is the typical venue for new weapons technology.  But perhaps because the TrackingPoint product was more a technological solution than a weapon solution per se, they decided to release their products at CES.

They offer two new weapon systems with computerized targeting and fire control.  One is on a 5.56mm rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 0.3 miles (528 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 10 mph.  The other is on a .338 Lapua Magnum rifle platform, and claims to give accurate shots out to 1.0 miles (1760 yards) and with the target moving at speeds of up to 20 mph.

To be fair, TrackingPoint define ‘effective’ differently for the two products.  For the 5.56 rifle, they say it means being able to consistently hit a 5″ target, and for the .338, they refer to an 18″ target.

So, their one mile range claim can be considered optimistic rather than realistic, and also the moving target concept requires the target’s movement to be consistent.  If you’re semi-randomly zigging and zagging, the computer fire-control would not be able to predict that, and with it taking two or more seconds for a round to travel from rifle to target, if you’re not staying still during that time period, you’re probably in fairly good shape.  (But, remember, it isn’t a case of hearing the shot and then ducking – the round, traveling at supersonic speed, will arrive on target before the sound of the shot does.)

The good news is that you’re not very likely to find yourself staring down one of their .338 caliber systems.  Why?  The price is $50,000 (and each round costs $8).  On the other hand, the 5.56 system is a more reasonable $7,500, and for sure, this price is likely to drop as other companies start to adapt similar technology to their rifles, too.

Here’s a rather terrifying review of how easy it is for a non-shooter to land rounds on target with the 5.56mm system, and here’s a review of the .338 system.

If we were looking at deploying the technology as a defensive measure for our retreat, we’d probably choose their $15,000 system, based on a 7.62mm rifle.  At longer ranges, we much prefer the extra stopping power of the 7.62 round compared to the light 5.56 round.  Oh yes – their claim that it is good for out to half a mile (with an 8″ target as the objective) is another point in its favor, too!

To come back to the actual point of this article, the ugly bottom line is that the long-range accuracy and capabilities of attackers is likely to improve over time.  We’d guess that within a decade, the cost of these super-sniper-rifles will reduce almost ten-fold.  Well, the $7500 5.56 system might drop to $1500 – $2500, the $15,000 7.62 system might go down to $2500 – $3500, and the .338 system might reduce to $7500 or so.  Or, to put it another way, ‘intelligent’ fire-control systems will replace ‘unintelligent’ telescopic sights and cost no more than today’s best telescopic sights.

There was a time when any type of telescopic sight was rare and exotic and expensive, and most people did most shooting with open iron sights.  Nowadays, telescopic sights are abundant and on just about every rifle that its owner plans to use at any sort of range at all; our prediction is that the expensive rarity of these fire control systems will evolve and we’ll see them as common on rifles in ten years time as telescopic sights are today.

What to do about this?  We suggest two things, because in selecting and developing your retreat, you need to have an eye to the future as well as the present.

It further reinforces the value/need to cluster together with other retreat owners, having a central core where you all live and farm, and then an extended safe zone outside your core – perhaps for cattle grazing, or perhaps not.

And, secondly, the topography around your retreat and its perimeter becomes more relevant.  If there are natural features that obscure/block your retreat or limit the longer range threats, whereas previously they might have also acted as cover for shorter range attacks, now they might be considered more desirable, particularly if you incorporate responses to such features into your defensive plan.  Remote monitoring of such locations and the ability to surreptitiously and/or safely move people around your retreat become helpful considerations.

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