Choosing a weapon, and accessories is always going to be dependent on what they are being used for. For instance, you might be looking for an easy to use pistol for home protection, or the best red dot sight, to help make hunting trips more successful. It’s no different with survivalism; you need to make […]
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.
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:
The number designation 10-22 has universally become synonymous with America’s most popular rimfire rifle. It is perhaps the most prolific semi-auto rifle firing the venerable .22 long rifle rimmed cartridge ever to be manufactured in this country. There is little doubt this very capable .22 rifle is a perennial favorite among shooters. This admiration, too, is carried on by many preppers and survivalists as a most basic firearm for a SHTF arsenal.
By Dr. John J. Woods, a contributing author to SHTFBlog & Survival Cache
The gun manufacturer Sturm, Ruger and Company first introduced the 10-22 Ruger rifle in 1964. Since then, it has sold literally millions in its same basic configuration, though it has seen some upgrade modifications, and has been offered in a wide variety of models and versions.
The 10-22 is ideal for every rimfire application including informal plinking at tin cans, safe targets of opportunity, small game hunting, and even formal rimfire related action shooting events. Survivalists even argue its use for close quarter’s defensive work if needed.
The Basic Specifications
The initial model 10-22 for which the base model remains essentially the same includes Ruger’s legendary semi-auto rifle action. Fed from a detachable 10-round rotary magazine that drops from below the action out of the stock, its reliability in feeding is renowned. The rifle just simply, rarely, ever fails to feed and function when using quality ammunition. It can function virtually indefinitely even when black dirty with powder and bullet fowling. The cold hammer-forged barrel comes standard in an 18.5 inch length with a gold bead front sight and a simple adjustable rear in the base model. The barrel is locked into the receiver via a Ruger designed 2-screw V-block system. The rifle’s overall length is 37-inches with a weight of only 5 pounds.
It is indeed lightweight, easy to handle, and shoulder for firing. The length of pull from trigger to buttstock end is 13.5 inches, so the rifle fits nearly every shooter from adult veterans to youth shooters, and lady’s alike. It is a highly adaptable rifle, easy to tote and quick into action.
Read Also: Ruger 10/22 Upgrades
The standard stock is hardwood finished in a handsome walnut color. Black synthetic stocks are now available as well. Ruger 10-22’s come in either alloy steel in a black satin finish or stainless steel with a clear satin finish. The rifle’s safety is a positive push-button cross bolt manual safety positioned just ahead of the trigger guard. Also ahead of the trigger guard is a bolt hold open slide lever as well as an extended magazine release for easy removal of the flush mounted rotary magazine. Many “banana” type 25-round magazines are available as well including Ruger’s own fine BX-25 magazine.
Ruger 10-22 rifles come standard with an included scope base adapter that handles both Weaver-type and .22 tip-off scope mounts. The Ruger can handle a wide variety of conventional optics from glass scopes to battery powered red dot sights, to more sophisticated electronic tactical type sights. This makes the 10-22 very adaptable to a variety of missions.
The standard hardwood stocked model with blued steel retails for about $210. The stainless version with a black synthetic stock goes for roughly $260. They could be less when sales are shopped a various outlets and used ones occasionally come up for sale at gun shows.
Ruger 10-22 Model Variations
The Ruger factory now produces 11 model variations of the 10-22 rifle. By model name these include the Carbine, Sporter, Compact, Tactical with flash suppressor, Tactical with target trigger, heavy contour barrel and bipod, Target with target trigger and heavy contour barrel, and the Takedown. Several sub-models exist within these main model categories. For full details, model variations and exact specifications, consult Ruger’s web site www.ruger.com.
The Ruger 10-22 Charger
Newly designed in 2015 from the original 2007 model, Ruger re-introduced a very unique 10-22 model trade named the Charger. This is a short-barreled pistol version using the same 10-22 action with a new BX-15 magazine with 15 round capacity. This pistol version has a 10-inch barrel. The rear of the pistol sports an AR-15 type A-2 pistol grip. The overall length of the Charger is 19.25 inches and weighs just over three pounds.
The receiver top comes standard with a factory installed Picatinny rail for optics mounting. The barrel’s muzzle is pre-threaded and security capped for the simple screw on installation of a suppressor. The cap serves as a thread protector. The stock of this model is a brown laminate.
Brand new for 2015 came the takedown version of the Charger. This makes for a super compact and concealable pistol package with the Ruger quick take apart design that permits the pistol sections to be quickly taken apart or as quickly assembled. The laminate stock of the takedown version is a handsome, cool, green mountain coloration. Both the regular and takedown Chargers come supplied with a bipod that affixes to the front sling swivel stud. The bipod legs are adjustable for height. This permits steady shooting off the bench or other stationary platforms. The Charger comes with either a soft carry case or a hard plastic carry case.
The Ruger SR-22
I have only seen one of these and the dealer sold it in fifteen minutes before I could secure it. Eventually the supply lines with fill up, I hope. The SR-22 is an AR-15 type configured rifle, but built on the 10-22 receiver action. At a distance you would swear or think this rifle was truly an AR-15.
Check Out: The Walking Around Rifle
Specs on the SR-22 include a 36-inch overall length, 6.9 pounds, matte black (Or other colors. I have seen coyote tan.), a flash hider, M-4 type collapsible stock, and front and rear flip up adjustable open sights atop a short front Picatinny rail riser, and a rear Picatinny rail riser. The rifle retails for roughly $550 if or when you can find one at a gun shop dealer.
A Plethora of 10- 22 Aftermarket Accessories
If you thought the world of accessories and goodies was crazy for the AR-15 breed of rifles, just check into what is available for the Ruger 10-22s. If you’re curious, then check out Cheaper Than Dirt as just one example.
The list of add-ons is long but it includes for the standard rifles many types of replacement stocks including popular pistol grip tactical type black synthetic stocks as well as the new Magpul Hunter stock. All kinds of replacement stocks of wood, colored laminates, thumbhole stocks and other configurations are available.
Other accessories for the 10-22 includes laser sights, all kinds of magazines including 50-round drums, butt pad extensions, extended magazine releases, hard and soft cases, custom barrels, muzzle brakes, flash hiders, triggers, recoil buffers, magazine speed loaders, scope mounts, rings, and armorers component bench mats. For example CTD lists 273 separate items for the 10-22. Let the shopping begin. One other minor sidebar here. It has been reported, but perhaps just a rumor, that the Takedown standard rifle, and the Takedown Charger’s components can be interchanged creating an impromptu SBR or short barreled rifle, but it could be just a rumor.
The Ruger 10-22 in any configuration demands to be included in any prepper or survivalist weapons cache. There are few other firearms so universally adaptable to multi-tasking for SHTF purposes. It may just be a meager .22 long rifle shooter, but its applications are just too suitable to be passed over. In fact, a prepper ought to have several of them.
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The Tree Trunk of a rifle is the “stoc” or as we say today, stock. In a nutshell the stock holds the important gun parts and is placed against one’s shoulder when shooting. I think tree trunk is an apt description since until recently, gun stocks have evolved about as fast as trees. But today there is little sacred ground with rifle stocks to the point they have jumped species and the thing we used to call a stock might now be called a chassis and could be confused for an alien visiting from another planet.
I decided I was done with wood stocks back in the 1980s and have never looked back. Sure I enjoy the beauty of a artistically carved and finished gunstock, but for real world applications in my life, tree trunks are out. So with my loyalty to the woodstock in the rear view mirror, I am quick to adopt new designs and new technology especially when it comes to interface points between me and the machine. So optics, triggers and stocks are are always on my radar.
Few companies in the history of the world have revolutionized the rifle stock as fast Magpul. And given that the stock has been referred to as such since 1571, Magpul’s ability to shake up an almost 450 year old technology really says something. Of course, others have dabbled in the buttstock but none with the same vim and vigor as Magpul and its polymer wizards. Beginning with the AR-15 platform, Magpul quickly diversified our appreciation for choice and customization. And then just as fast, Magpul moved beyond the AR and just recently entered the glorious 10/22 marketplace.
See also: 10/22 Takedown Review
Magpul’s first 10/22 stock was the Hunter X-22. An overbuilt chassis with fabulous ergonomics and features. Frankly, my first thought when I held an X-22 Hunter was that Magpul cares more about the 10/22 than Ruger does. My feeling was an outgrowth of something I’ve noticed in the past, and that is that often aftermarket builders of gun parts put quality into their designs proportional to the initial cost of a gun or by its cartridge. And thus the lowly .22 Long Rifle was not worth a full-on stock. Just plastics, lookalikes, and underbuilt experiments. Sure, some were much better than others, but it seemed any major upgrade in .22 stock was as special order.
Compared to the base model Ruger 10/22 Takedown’s black plastic factory stock, the Magpul takes all of the “toy” feel out of original and moves the gun into a whole new rifle experience. There are two primary pieces to a takedown stock, the buttstock with grip and the forend which in the case of the Magpul also contains a separate barrel tray. The weight of the Magpul buttstock is 29.6 ounces while the factory Ruger buttstock weighs 16.7. The Magpul forend weighs in at 8.6 ounces, and the factory Ruger forend is 5.7 ounces. So overall, the Magpul X-22 Hunter stock adds about one pound more than an out-of-the-box Ruger 10/22. The price in weight of the X-22 Hunter is more than made up in performance and off-hand accuracy.
There are two ways to look at the 10/22 Takedown. One way leans heavily towards minimalism. And the other is to overcome the limitations or shortcomings of a light rifle that breaks in two. The Magpul X-22 Hunter Stock clearly bends towards making the 10/22 a better shooter regardless of adding some additional size and weight. But don’t fear, Magpul is working on bending the otherway as well. Stay tuned on that.
The Magpul X-22 Hunter stock has an M-Lok friendly forend, and a sling-ready back stock. There are also several points to screw in Quick-Detach receptacles. To adjust the length of pull, the Magpul X-22 Hunter comes with additional buttplate spacers. Two spacers are installed at point of purchase, and two more are included in the box allowing the shooter to dial in the perfect length of pull to fit their needs. Additionally, Magpul sells cheek risers that fit the X-22 Hunter. So you can really customize this chassis for serious precision shooting and hunting.
In my case, I installed a M-Lok AFG or Angled Fore Grip on the underside of the X-22 Hunter’s forend. On the right side of the forend I M-Loked (there is no noun I can’t verb) a QD Sling Mount. So of course I put on a Magpul MS1 Padded Sling. I’ve been using Magpul slings since they first appeared in the homeland, but this is the first padded Magpul sling I’ve used. First of all, the MS1 works as great as the other Magpul slings but the padding really takes the bite out of a long carry over the shoulder or across the back. And for those high-speed situations, the I attacked an Magpul MS1/MS4 Adapter to add a QD or Quick Detach option to the top end of the sling. The Adapter snaps into the M-Lok QD attachment point on the forend
Read also: Leatherman MUT Gun Tool Review
The forend of the Magpul X-22 Hunter stock has a reversible barrel tray that accommodates the so-called “pencil barrel” of base model 10/22s as well as the 0.920 diameter bull barrels. And proving that Magpul really loves us, adjustable shims are included that allow the shooter to adjust the barrel harmonics through a set screw directly under the shim.
The Next Level
To trick out my 10/22 Takedown Hunter X-22, I first swapped out some internals of Bill Ruger’s 10/22 clockwork. There are obvious upgrades that 10/22s need right out of the chute. The first is a bolt buffer pin and the second is a bolt release plate. To soften the bolt’s equal and opposite motion backward when a shot is fired, I replaced the metal pin from the Ruger factory with a TANDEMKROSS “Shock Block” Bolt Buffer. The Shock Block is a polymer cylinder that works like a drift pin, but is softer and absorbs the shock of a cycling bolt. The Shock Block also reduces the wear on the bolt from repeatedly slamming into a metal stop. I’ve struggled to insert a softer pin into the 10/22 receiver on many occasions so I usually put a mild taper onto the far end of the buffer pin, a TANDEMKROSS Shock Block in this case. To install a subtle taper on the polymer pin to aid in seating without risk of mushrooming either end, I first insert the polymer pin into the jaws of my drill’s chuck. Then I spin it with a piece of sandpaper pinched around the the tip. Ten seconds later I have just the hint of taper to make the pin behave just like a metal one. Better in fact.
See Also: Survival Rifle Debate
In order to sling-shot the bolt closed, I used the TANDEMKROSS “Guardian” Bolt Release Plate. Rather than the “tired but true” clunky bolt release plate of the factory 10/22, a quick swap of the plate makes the 10/22 behave like one would expect this far into the 21st century.
Another important TANDEMKROSS upgrade I made to my X-22 Hunter 10/22 Takedown included swapping out the factory bolt for hardened tool steel CNC-machined “KrossFire Bolt. The KrossFIre is a thing of beauty and has a vertical movement restricted firing pin for more reliable and predictable .22 ignition reducing misfires.
Since I was replacing the bolt, I also swapped out the small but dense factory charging handle with a longer Spartan Skeletonized Charging lever. The TANDEMKROSS Spartan is easier to grab thorough its larger and more ergonomic human interface. But the low mass of the skeletonized grip keeps the bolt cycling at the proper speed.
The final receiver upgrade I made, well almost the final one, was to replace the factory bolt-on scope rail with the TANDEMKROSS “Advantage” Charging Handle and Picatinny Scope Base. While providing a slightly elevated scope platform, the real advantage of the “Advantage” is that you can easily cycle or charge the 10/22 bolt from both the left and the right side of the rifle. Rather than being a total rework of the bolt, the Advantage charging handle is component that engages the existing charging handle but offers an ambidextrous option. When I first saw a picture of the Advantage charging handle, I was skeptical that it would offer the fluid and smooth charging of the factory bolt. But at the 2015 SHOT Show I got some hands-on time with one and was impressed. It worked beautifully.
Shooting the Dream
In the field, the Ruger 10/22 Takedown with Magpul X-22 Hunter stock was like a whole new level of 10/22. The feel of the stock in hand felt so much more precise and natural compared to the classic but ancient lines of the traditional stock.
The Ruger rotary magazines are legendary for their durability and reliability. But there is still some room for improvement and I thought I would take a few mag upgrades for a spin. First is a TANDEMKROSS “Companion” magazine bumper. The Ruger magazines are known are smooth and fairly featureless which makes them difficult to extract when they don’t pop out on their own. The Companion bumper adds a rigid base with wings onto the factory magazine.
Another TANDEMKROSS adventure is the “Double Kross” dual magazine body. The Double Kross is a transparent housing that combines two magazines into one piece with a two 10-rounds mags 180 degrees apart but in one housing. The Double Kross works great, just like the original. However, it uses the internal parts of two existing magazines so one must swap out the guts, twice. And that is where the adventure is. If you’ve never disassembled a Ruger rotary magazine, you are in for a treat. So much so that TANDEMKROSS makes a “10/22 Rotary Magazine Tune-up Tool which I can attest is worth it’s weight in gold when the springs start flying.
With all this 10/22 magazine goodness, I went ahead and installed a TANDEMKROSS “Fireswitch” extended mag release lever. Using a cantilevered design, the Fireswitch will release the magazine with either a push or a pull on the lever. The Fireswitch is also much easier to use while wearing gloves compared to the stock mag release.
Ruger packaged the 10/22 Takedown with an oversized backpack. I was not thrilled with the pack, and considered it far too large for the svelte Takedown. But a 10/22 Takedown wearing the Magpul X-22 furniture fits wonderfully into the Ruger backpack. So I put it back into service again.
Big Boy Pants
The Ruger 10/22 Takedown is finally maturing into the rifle I knew it would be someday. But wait, there’s more. But you will have to wait. So stay tuned right here.
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We recently took a look at a few old-school “survival rifles” but found them lacking in some respects due to either reliability or accuracy. As times change and rifles improve, there is always a new contender for this role and we may have found it in this next rifle: the Ruger 10/22 Takedown.
It may not be as iconic as a Winchester lever-action or the new heir-apparent to the title of America’s rifle (the AR-15), but millions of these rifles are owned by millions of Americans and in many instances they were often a “first rifle” to introduce someone to shooting.
Like a Chevy small-block engine, they can be customized with match triggers, heavy barrels, thumbhole stocks or you can drop one into an after-market stock to make it look like a bull pup rifle or even a Thompson SMG.
However, at its heart this rifle was always compact, lightweight and most importantly, reliable. That’s all the qualities you would want in a survival rifle. Someone high up at Ruger recognized this and a few years ago the company began offering the venerable Ruger 10/22 in a takedown format, specifically for the modern prepper and survivalist.
Original versions of the rifle gave you two choices: stainless or blue. However, as the company listened to their customers, we have seen new versions emerge in various camouflage patterns as well as threaded barrels.
The threaded barrel is a key component for adding a silencer (also known as a sound suppressor), and this improvement made it perfect for what we look for in a survival rifle.
In case you are not familiar with the 10/22 platform, it is a semiautomatic rifle chambered in 22 LR that has similar lines visually with the M1 Carbine. Originally they shipped with an innovative and indestructible 10-round rotary magazine. The takedown versions we have seen come with a longer 25-round magazine.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and the barrel has a rear sight mounted close to the chamber and a front sight by the muzzle. Ruger includes a scope mount and a carrying case in which you can store the rifle, broken down. The case is made well, aside from the single nylon strap, but we upgraded ours with dedicated pack straps for ease of backpack carry.
One of the first things we do is remove the barrel band. It really serves no purpose beyond looks and coming from a background in precision shooting. We do not like anything touching our barrel that might affect harmonics. Our other gripe is that the rifle has no sling swivels. We still regard the sling as the most important accessory for any rifle, not only as a means for carry, but as an aid in accuracy.
When it comes to accuracy we found the “fly in the ointment.” The scope mounts to the receiver and while the barrel is removed by pushing a button and twisting it out, every time you remove and reattach the barrel you will have to re-zero the rifle. The shift in point of impact may be minimal, but if you are using it to forage for wild game as it was intended, that will almost certainly cause you to miss a small target.
But the iron sights, being contained on the barrel, remain more consistent than any optic we have tried over the past few years.
Unlike the other survival rifles we reviewed, the Ruger 10-22 Takedown is available with a threaded barrel. A good 22 silencer really makes a difference with this rifle over everything else. We have had success running a Gemtech Outback II-D, Underground Tactical Little Puff, and a Q El Camino. However, the 16-inch barrel does add velocity to the rounds unless you use subsonic ammunition.
Some readers may be shaking their heads at the thought of using a 10/22 in a disaster or end-of-the-world scenario. Consider this: In a true disaster that causes people to bug out to the rural areas for an extended period of time, there will probably be no deer population left. Your AR, AK, FAL, SCAR, 30-30 or whatever else you thought would make you king of the mountain may be nearly useless on whatever is left in the form of squirrels, rabbits or chipmunks. Thus, the 10/22 may be the perfect fit.
Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on the Ruger 10/22 in the section below:
The Ruger Vaquero was introduced in 1993 by Sturm, Ruger & Company for the fast-growing sport of cowboy action shooting. This single-action, six-shot revolver was based on an earlier model that Ruger had introduced in 1955, the Blackhawk. The Blackhawk, in turn, was a modernized version of the colt single action Army revolver of 1873. Blackhawks had been allowed in the “modern” category of cowboy action shooting, as the revolvers were equipped with adjustable sights, but these sights kept the revolvers out of the general categories.
The Vaquero was made with fixed sights, similar to the Colt. The lower price point and the overall quality of the revolver appealed to shooters who either did not want to take an expensive (and possibly antique) firearm into a match or those who were not satisfied with the quality of imported Colt “clones” that were on the market.
Ruger incorporated a transfer bar in the Vaquero for safety reasons. Colt Single Action Army revolvers had an inherent safety problem: With the cylinder fully loaded, the fixed firing pin attached to the hammer rests on the primer of a loaded round. Dropping or striking a revolver loaded in this manner can cause it to discharge, which is why traditionally, Colt SAAs are loaded with five rounds and the hammer resting on an empty chamber. Ruger had addressed the issue in 1973 on the Blackhawk and Single six revolvers by the addition of a transfer bar, which makes it safe for a shooter to carry six rounds in his revolver without a safety concern.
Two finishes are available: stainless steel and blue, with an imitation color case-hardened frame. This second option was a chemical treatment which gave the look of the color case hardening found on the original Colt revolvers.
Ruger offered the revolvers in three barrel lengths: 7 1⁄2 inch, 5 1⁄2 inch and 4 5⁄8 inch, which were similar to the three most common barrel lengths offered by Colt. Ruger initially offered the Vaquero in 45 Colt and later in 357 Magnum/38 Special, 44 Magnum/44 Special, and 44-40 Winchester (44 WCF).
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In 1998, some Vaqueros began shipping with faux ivory grips and engraving complete with gold inlay. In 1999, a limited run of 1,000 Vaqueros was offered by Ruger through a distributor. These revolvers featured a 3 ½-inch barrel and a shortened ejector rod. They were called the “Sheriff’s Model,” and half of these revolvers were stainless and the other half finished in blue. In 2005, this was added as a standard option to the catalog.
Ruger has offered three grip frame shapes in the past: the standard, the Bisley and the Bird’s head. The standard or plow handle is shaped similar to the traditional Colt Single Action Army. The Bisley has a shape based upon the Bisley Colt Single Action Army, which was designed as a target revolver. The Bird’s head recreates the unique shape of Colt’s double-action Lightning and Thunderer models of 1877 in an improved contour.
Aficionados of cowboy action shooting and single-action revolvers in general bought the Vaquero in droves. Because of the larger frame and the quality of the steel used, these revolvers could fire loads of higher pressures than the Colt Single Action Army and in some instances, these revolvers caught on in handgun hunting circles.
However, the larger and heavier guns received some detraction from purists of the sport of cowboy action shooting. Additionally, the Ruger “warning label” which appeared on the left side of the barrel cautioning the shooter to consult the owner’s manual was visually unattractive to many shooters. Ruger addressed these concerns in 2005 by introducing the “New Vaquero.” This version incorporated a smaller frame, making it closer in weight to the Colt Single Action Army and able to accept the two-piece grip panels made for the Colt. Ruger moved the “Warning label” to the underside of the barrel, making the revolver more appealing to the eye. The New Vaquero is offered in .45 Colt and .357 Magnum/.38 Special and is not meant for the heavier loads that the original model could fire.
My preference is for the original Vaquero due to its strength. With proper loads and the correct bullet, the 45 Colt is capable of taking any game animal in North America. I don’t feel under gunned when packing one for protection, either, and unlike the original Colt Single Action Army, you can load all six chambers in the Ruger.
Have you shot a Vaquero? Which model do you prefer? Share your thoughts in the section below:
Purchasing a new pistol does not need to be an expensive or complicated task. Some buyers are under the impression that you need to spend more than $1000 on a handgun — and then another $1000 to bring it up to standards.
While this may make for a nice-to-have pistol, it is definitely not a “need-to-have” item. In fact, there are a good number of brand-new firearms that can be had for under $500 that will serve you well, without going the route of the “used gun counter” or bargain basement pieces made by questionable manufacturers.
1. Sig Sauer P250
That is not a misprint. Sig Sauer offers a handgun for less than $500 that is extremely advanced for the price point. The P250 is a double-action-only style pistol with a modular system that allows the shooter to change to different calibers, barrel lengths, grip sizes, etc.
It may not be the US Navy SEAL’s pistol of choice, but is built in the same factory by the same skilled workers who make those very pistols.
The P250 can be had in 9mm, 357 SIG, 40 S&W, 45 ACP and 380 ACP. For less than $500 including tax, a new owner can walk out the door of his favorite gun shop with a Sig pistol, including a holster and two magazines.
2. Smith & Wesson SD9VE
As one of America’s oldest arms makers, Smith & Wesson is known for its history in building revolvers, but the company produces a variety of quality semi-automatic pistols as well.
The SD9VE is considered a budget model handgun, as it can often be found for less than $400. It is a polymer framed striker-fired 9mm pistol with a magazine capacity of 16 rounds.
Developed in the 1990s as the SIGMA, Smith & Wesson is said to have invested millions of dollars and countless man hours into researching the shape of the human hand in order to develop the grip profile on this pistol.
S&W has concentrated more of the company’s efforts toward the M&P series, but do not let the low price of this pistol fool you. They are reliable, accurate and affordable. They are just not intended to be “heirloom guns.”
3. Ruger LC9
Ruger has been making firearms for over 50 years, and while they were mostly known for sporting guns designed for hunting or competitive shooting, they entered the personal defense market in a big way around 2010 or so.
The LC9 is a striker-fired 9mm defensive handgun with a fiberglass-filled nylon frame that retails for less than $400. Backed by Ruger’s lifetime warranty, these handguns represent tremendous value while providing a reliable and concealable package.
4. Stoeger Cougar
In 1994 Beretta unveiled a new pistol known as the model 8000 or “The Cougar.” It was intended to be a more compact version of the company’s flagship Model 92. With declining sales and the company moving in a different direction with its handguns, the design was given to its subsidiary, Stoeger Firearms, who sent the machining to Turkey and changed it to the Cougar.
It has the same reliable double-action/single-action trigger, tips the scales at 32 ounces and can be had in 9mm, 40 S&W and 45 ACP. However, it is close to half the price of the Italian-made original at an MSRP of $469.
5. FNS 9C
FNH (Fabrique Nationale d’Herstal) is one of the oldest manufacturers of firearms in the world and is known for producing such spectacular firearms as the M249 SAW, Browning Hi Power, FN P90 and M4 carbines for the US Military.
It’s hard to believe the company produces a handgun that retails for $499 and includes several magazines and other accessories.
The FNS9C is a compact-sized, double-action hammer-fired pistol that takes a 17-round magazine and comes equipped with a Picatinny rail for mounting accessories.
Out-of-the-box accuracy is exceptional, and the hammer gives the shooter a “second strike” capability that striker-fired pistols do not offer.
These five pistols are proven designs by top tier manufacturers that offer affordability due to their polymer frames in four cases, or overseas manufacture in the case of the one non-polymer framed handgun.
Accessories and ammunition are available for all of them, and they will keep you well-armed without breaking the bank.
What would you add to the list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
In the time before a major crisis occurs, private ownership or use of firearms, bows and arrows, and crossbows may be illegal and banned. As the situation gets worse, the government will impose martial law and confiscate weapons no matter how well you may think they are hidden.
Here are a few weapons that may be overlooked and that can be used to protect your family and loved ones.
Edged weapons are the oldest implements used by man. Then, as now, you can make knives and other edged weapons from flint, obsidian, bronze, arsenic copper-bronze, tin-bronze, iron. Today, there are three kinds of steel that you may be interested in:
- Damascus steel – originated in India about the 5th century BC. The steel was heated to red hot, hammered, folded, and then quickly cooled in water. This process was repeated at least 500 times. This produced a better weapons grade steel.
- Carbon steel – will rust if exposed to air and moisture. The rust if heavy will flake off causing the steel to weaken and break.
- Stainless steel is an alloy with a minimum of 10% chromium by mass. Stainless steel does not rust or stain by water as ordinary steel does. When heated the chromium becomes chromium oxide that acts to form an air and water tight film that seals off the metal. This steel comes in many grades and finishes.
The following edged tools and weapons can be used as a substitute for firearms for protection. All of them can be dipped in poison so that even a single glancing blow can be a lethal one.
- Farm Tools: Any of the metal farming or gardening tools can be used as weapons to protect yourself or the family. The spade, rake, pitchfork, pick, sickle, hand hoe, and garden claw all make excellent choices for either offensive or defensive weapons.
- Bayonets: Either spike or flat knife designs can be used as is or cut back to make push knives. You can also add a set of brass or other metal knuckles by welding it to the shortened bayonet.
- Daggers and Boot Knives: These double edged knives have a blade longer than 6 inches and are used to stick or slash. Most have a skull crusher at the back of the hilt.
- Small Knives: Usually the blades are shorter than 6 inches long and can be a folding or a non-folding version. These knives are good defensive or offensive weapons because they can be “palmed” and used without them being seen.
- Swords: There are two different edge designs for swords. The first is the single edge the other is the double edge. There are several lengths of swords. The first is the short sword which is 16 to 18 inches long, regular size sword which is 20 to 24 inches long, and the two handed sword that measures over four feet long. The short and the regular size swords can be used for protection and carried inconspicuously, but the long two handed sword is too large to be practical for anything other than staving off an attack on your home.
- Spears: Have a 4 to 6 foot shaft with a metal spear point at the top. These weapons are designed to be thrown or thrusted into a human target.
- Throwing Stars: Are metal shaped stars that have sharpened points that were designed to be thrown at a target and stick into it. In the hands of a trained individual they can kill or do great bodily harm.
- Axes or hatchets: Are used for chopping. Some axes have double or single edges. As a weapon it can be thrown and deliver a bloody crushing wound or blunt trauma if the back blunt end hits first.
Blunt Force Weapons
Blunt force weapons use weight instead of sharp edges to kill or do great bodily harm. Damage to the body is caused by crushing instead of cutting.
- Canes: originally used to steady and help a person in walking. A cane can be used as a nightstick type weapon and can deliver knockout or death blows to the head, break arms or legs, or cause deep blunt trauma wounds to the central body core. Historically the cane sword was a way to carry a sword concealed and at the ready if needed. This weapon is easy to carry in plain sight.
- Clubs: Usually made of heavy wood or metal scrap. These are crushing weapons that break bones or deliver deep trauma to inner organs.
- Bats: Wood or aluminum bats used to play baseball also make a good weapon. A bat can easily break bones or kill if they hit the right part of the body.
- Staffs or walking sticks: For thousands of years staffs were a defensive and sometimes offensive weapon for the poor or peasants. An individual who was good with a staff could disarm a person with a sword or a gun.
- Maces: Maces were a medieval blunt force weapon made of steel or other strong metals. It was designed to crush skulls and brake limbs with blunt force. Today it is still a good defensive weapon in times of major crisis.
- Chains: Chains made of steel or other heavy metals can be used as weapons in a defensive roll. They can be made to look like every day clothing accessories such as belts. They can deliver deadly crushing blows or break limbs.
- Slings (2 Cord Type): Is a very old weapon that goes back thousands of years. It is easy to hid or conceal. With a little bit of practice it is possible to hit or kill your target out to 200 feet or better with rocks or scrapes of metal. Slings can be either defensive or offensive weapons.
- Slingshots for stone, metal projectiles, or arrows: Slingshots are no longer a toy. They can be used to hunt small game by launching a ball bearing, rocks, and even arrows with deadly accuracy. This weapon can also be used defensively to protect your family in the absence of firearms.
- Hand to Hand Fighting techniques: There are many forms from boxing to martial arts. Choose the fighting technique that best meets your needs and start studying today. Do not wait until the last moment to start the training.
In a time when all private firearm ownership is banned or illegal, the above are a few alternatives for weapons that might be put into service to protect your family and loved ones. Almost anything can be used as a weapon regardless of the situation.
As with prisons and jails, you only need a creative mind and the will to have a weapon in order to get around any law or force used to try and take away your ability to defend yourself.
Original article – http://www.survivopedia.com/svp-survlgnsnotalwd/