Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist!

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Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist… Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! Join Kyle and Forrest as they talk guns for defense. As American diplomacy, politics, and society falls apart anyone with a sane mind should be considering owning a gun and preparing for a WROL (with rule of law) America. … Continue reading Best Guns for Preppers and Survivalist!

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The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

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The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

Image source: warrelics.eu

 

If there’s anything that will bring up controversy in the world of survival and prepping, it’s a discussion about weapons. Everyone has their own ideas about what’s the best, and most of those ideas are based upon some pretty sound reasoning.

The truth is there is no one perfect weapon or even set of weapons that is the perfect solution in all situations. What is ideal in one scenario might be the worst possible choice in another.

Then there are the individual factors that have to be considered. Not all survivalists are created equal. Each is an individual mix of skills, abilities, thoughts, needs and capabilities. Something that might be an excellent weapon for one person might be the worst possible choice for another, simply because he or she doesn’t have the strength to use it properly. What might be ideal at one point in our lives may turn out to be less than ideal as we improve our skills.

This probably has a lot to do with why many of us have an entire arsenal, rather than just the few guns we need. Granted, we like collecting guns, as well, but as our ideas about defense evolve over time, we decide that the tools we’ve selected to use aren’t the best for our needs and go in search of others. Of course, we keep the old ones, too, as there’s always the possibility that we can use them.

Even so, there are weapon options that we rarely consider, even though they are excellent choices. At times, our prejudices or our addiction to modern technology overwhelm what could be sound reasoning. Such is the case of the bow.

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

The bow is one of the two oldest weapons in continuous use in the world today; the other being the knife. While there are examples of other weapons that have been around longer than the bow, they don’t fit the criteria of being still in use. Yes, you can find swords and spears, even real ones, available for sale, but they are considered novelty items more than actual weapons.

The Silent-But-Deadly Weapon Missing From Most Survival Caches

Image source: Pixabay.com

In my way of thinking, any survival arsenal is incomplete without a bow. While you can survive just fine without one, there are times when a bow would actually be a superior choice over any firearm you could pick.

The bow has two things going for it that firearms don’t have. The first is that it is a silent killer. Even a heavily suppressed pistol is going to be far louder than a bow will be; and adding silencers to pistols makes it hard to shoot them accurately, regardless of what the movies show us. Typically, you can’t use the pistol’s sights if there is a suppressor installed.

If you are trying to hide from marauders or other two-legged predators, the last thing you want to do is advertise your presence by firing a gun. While you may find that necessary, you have to realize that it will attract the attention of every bad guy within a couple of miles. At least some of them will hear the shot and begin looking for supplies that they can steal – your supplies.

The second advantage that bows have over firearms is that you can make your own ammunition. Many ancient people groups used the bow, and they all made their own arrows. In a long-term survival situation, ammunition for guns is probably going to become scarce.

Now, I know that many are stockpiling ammo. But no matter how big your stockpile is, it has limits. Personally, I’d rather save as much of that ammo as I can for times when I really need it, such as when I have to defend my homestead from a hungry gang.

Using a bow, whether to hunt or for self-defense, means that I save the ammo I have. Then, when the time comes, I’ll have that much more available to me. I may never use all the ammo I have, but I have no way of knowing that. During a societal collapse, where I have to depend on what I have to survive an unknown length of time, there is no way to guarantee that I have enough ammo.

With practice, a bow is a very effective weapon. That’s why it’s been in use all around the world, throughout human history. But I must say: Our modern compound bows may not be the ideal survival weapons — at least not if they have more than 60 pounds of draw weight. Past that point, they shatter wood arrows, making it impossible to use them. Last I checked, making carbon fiber arrow shafts in a disaster situation – with stores closed — won’t be easy. So, you’ll either want a compound bow with a lighter draw weight or a simpler recurve bow.  Either way, it will be an excellent addition to your survival arsenal.

Do you believe bows should be a part of survival and self-defense arsenals? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

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

If I Could Own Only 5 Guns …

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If I Could Own Only 5 Guns …

Walther PPQ M2. Image source: YouTube

If you could own only five guns, what would they be?

I recently asked myself this question and the task proved surprisingly difficult, because there are a lot of different guns that I like — and it’s not easy making sacrifices.

In the end, though, I was able to narrow my selection by first determining the five basic types of guns that I would want to own before choosing the specific models for each of those types.

So what are the five types? They are:

  1. 9mm semi-automatic pistol
  2. .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol
  3. .22 semi-automatic rifle
  4. 12-gauge pump action shotgun
  5. .308 semi-automatic rifle

I’ll explain my reasons for choosing these categories below, as well as the specific make and model of gun I chose per category.

9MM Pistol (Walther PPQ M2)

I believe the pistol is the most important firearm you can own, simply because you can conceal it on your person and travel with it. I also believe that if you could own only one pistol, it should be a 9mm because it’s the most abundant and the cheapest to shoot.

While some may expect me to say the Glock 19 or 17 is my pick for a 9mm pistol, the truth is I would opt for the Walther PPQ M2. The ergonomics on the PPQ are incredible and it melts into my hand seamlessly. The trigger is also a wonder in its own right and is much more light and crisp than any other striker-fired pistol I’ve used. Reliability, of course, is excellent.

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

The fairly compact size of the PPQ means I easily can hide it on my person for concealed carry, while the 15+1 capacity (or 17+1 with the extended mag) offers plenty of firepower in a self-defensive situation. For these reasons, I find it to be equally as versatile as it is pleasurable to fire.

Granted, I am fully aware of the PPQ’s shortcomings as a survivalist sidearm. Because it has a short track record, spare parts and accessories are not nearly as available as, say a Glock or a Smith & Wesson M&P.

Nonetheless, the PPQ is one of my favorite handguns and one I have found great use and enjoyment out of over the years.  It would be my personal pick for a 9mm pistol if I could only have one.

.45 ACP Pistol – Colt Mark IV Series 70

If I could own five guns, two of them would need to be handguns (at least for me). I was very close to making my second handgun a .357 Magnum revolver (likely a Ruger GP100), as it would be very versatile in that I could shoot both .357s and .38s through it.

Ultimately, though, I decided if anything were to happen to my PPQ as my concealed carry gun, I would want another semi-automatic pistol that I could use as an alternative. I also wanted this pistol to be in .45, so that I would have a slightly greater variety of calibers instead of just 9mm.

Many people will disagree with my choice here, but I pick the 1911 (and specifically the Colt Mark IV Series 70) simply because it’s one of my favorite guns to shoot. There is no other handgun that balances as well for me as the 1911, and it’s the pistol I find myself enjoying the most each time I visit the shooting range.

The Series 70 I own, in particular, has proven to be very reliable, with only one malfunction during the break-in period (as most 1911s require) and none since then. Even though magazine capacity is limited at 7-8 rounds, the trade-off is that the 1911 is slim and easily concealable on my person.

Beyond that, the 1911 is endlessly customizable with no shortage of spare accessories and parts on the market, something that contrasts heavily with the PPQ, where aftermarket options are more limited.

.22 Rifle – Ruger 10/22

Image source: Ruger

Image source: Ruger

No gun collection is complete without a .22 of some kind, so I knew immediately that one of my top 5 guns to own would have to be a .22 semi-automatic rifle. A .22 is perfect for small game hunting, pest control, plinking, and for introducing new people to shooting. The ammunition is also so small that I can carry literally hundreds of rounds on my person without really noticing the weight.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, my pick for a .22 rifle is the Ruger 10/22. The very first gun that I ever owned was a Ruger 10/22, so it’s a weapon with which I have much experience. I have found the 10/22 to be a robust, accurate and dependable weapon. I could easily use it for tactical purposes if needed.

Another reason that makes the 10/22 my choice for a .22 rifle is how spare parts and accessories are literally everywhere. During a disaster scenario, this would be an advantage where I would have a greater chance of finding spare magazines or other parts in the event that anything broke over other .22 rifles.

12 Gauge Shotgun – Mossberg 500

I’ve heard many arguments supporting the idea that the pump-action 12-gauge is the most critical gun to own. No one can deny that the 12-gauge shotgun is highly versatile. When loaded with buckshot it’s devastating for home defense. With birdshot you can use it for bird hunting or clay pigeon shooting. And with slugs you easily could use it for big-game hunting.

My preferred shotgun is the Mossberg 500. The controls are convenient for me (more so than the Remington 870) and the fact that this was the only pump shotgun to pass the U.S. military’s brutal Mil-Spec 3443G torture test says a lot about its quality.

The specific 500 that I would choose would be a Mariner model with a 6+1 capacity. The Mariner, coated in Mossberg’s trademark silver Marinecote, has much greater rust and corrosion-resistant capabilities than standard bluing does. I would also pick the 6+1 version so I could alternate between a 28-inch vented rib barrel for hunting and a shorter 18.5-inch barrel for home defense. This option essentially gives me two shotguns in one.

.308 Semi-Auto Rifle – Springfield M1A

Finally, I need a center fire rifle to top off my five. It makes perfect sense to choose a .308 semi-automatic in this scenario, as I can use it for both big game hunting and tactical training.

My choice here would be the Springfield M1A, over the AR-10, FAL, and G3/C308. The M1A first entered U.S. service in the 1950s and continues to be used by some marksmen in the military today. There’s good reason why: It is a very well-built, rugged, and accurate rifle that will do everything you ask it to do.

I fully understand the M1A is heavy (and long with the full-length version) and that .308 ammunition is not as cheap as 5.56x45mm NATO. However, a rifle that fires the 5.56 like the AR-15 is simply not as multi-purpose for me, as the 5.56 round is far too light for elk hunting (something I do each fall). Ideally I would own both, but since I have only one gun left to choose in my list of five, I would settle for the M1A or any .308 semi-auto rifle over a rifle that fires a lighter bullet.

What would be in your top five? Let us know in the section below:

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

Choosing The Best Rifle Scope For Survival

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When you’re in a sudden SHTF situation, a lot of things will probably go through your mind. Have you prepared enough? Do you have enough food? Does your family have enough protection? Do you have a plan? Will you survive? One of the most important things to consider if ever caught in a survival situation […]

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The Forgotten Handloading Cartridge You’ll Want When Society Collapses

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The Forgotten Handloading Cartridge You’ll Want When Society Collapses

Image source: Wikimedia

Born in the early 1960s as the brainchild of Bill Jordan, Elmer Keith and Skeeter Skelton, there is a uniquely viable magnum cartridge that has stayed under the radar.

I’m talking about the venerable .41 Remington Magnum, which was designed with the idea of making a police service cartridge that was neatly balanced between .357 and .44 magnum, and also could be loaded hotter for hunting use.

What should have been the ultimate police revolver soon became a somewhat obscure hunting revolver, though, due to a poorly chosen introduction of heavy hunting guns paired with hot hunting ammo, while mostly ignoring the police and armed private citizen market. The end-result has been a cartridge that over the last 50 some-odd years has developed a cult-like following of skilled handgunners and knowledgeable handloaders.

While lacking the extreme high end of heavy bullets that the .44 magnum has, the .41 can be loaded anywhere from mild to wild, with heavy loads equal to most upper-end .44 magnum loads. But why should you want an obscure cartridge like the .41? The simple answer is ballistics and ease of shooting. The flat-shooting characteristics of the .41 make it a joy to shoot, and many gun owners find comparable .41 loads to be more pleasant to shoot than .44 loads.

The market has recognized this ongoing fascination with the .41 and, as of this writing, there are several single- and double-action revolvers from Ruger and Smith and Wesson being built, along with a lever-action rifle by Henry.  There certainly is no shortage of guns in which to shoot this round!

Learn How To Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

If you are living off-grid or preparing for an uncertain future, you’ve probably got or are considering at least one big bore revolver. You also are hopefully wise enough to secure your ammo supply with sufficient supplies to load your own ammo for a long period of time. Much can be said for choosing a very common cartridge like the .44 magnum, but unless you are expecting a world where you are reduced to scrounging for production ammo (and at that point I’d say you’ve got greater problems than what revolver cartridge you chose), the prudent survivalist is not limited by common market demands, but rather his or her own personal stockpile of bullets, powder and primer.

The Forgotten Handloading Cartridge You’ll Want When Society Collapses

Image source: Wikimedia

Revolver brass has a long lifespan if you don’t abuse it, and a few hundred pieces of brass and a couple thousand primers and bullets (and the powder to load with) should keep your revolver shooting for a lifetime during social collapse.

But that doesn’t really tell you why you should consider the .41. Remember: This is a round designed by three of the greatest combat handgunners of the 20th century, and certainly three of the last who understood in great detail the revolver as a hunting and fighting tool. The .41 isn’t just some sort of compromise cartridge; it is built from the ground up to provide exceptional performance. It shoots flatter and straighter than a similar .44, and a comparison of ballistic tables shows an uneasy superiority over the .44 in many similar loadings. Having been used to take everything from elephants and polar bears to deer-sized game, the .41 has proven its worth time and time again.

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

Because it does not have the market penetration of the .44, the .41 has become something of a handloader’s cartridge, and also the mark of a sophisticated, or at least well-informed, shooter. As with any cartridge, handloading lets you develop highly effective cartridges for your own personal use, and the .41 is no exception. Revolvers such as those sold by Ruger with their long cylinders all but beg for heavier-than-factory bullets, and if you are handloading, you gain far more authority over the whims of markets and law than if you rely strictly on factory ammo.

In short, the .41 magnum is a hard-hitting, straight-shooting magnum that can kill almost anything walking on the face of the earth, and certainly in North America if you do your part. It is a pleasant-shooting round, a fantastic companion in the forest, and if you are concerned about a really grim future, it is possible obscure ammo stocks will be less of a target for theft than more popular rounds. However, no matter how you cut it, the .41 magnum does everything the .44 does, but with greater accuracy and without the irritating cultural connotations of a “Dirty Harry gun.” Check one out, and you might be hooked, too.

Have you ever shot or owned a .41 magnum? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Learn How To Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

The Threats We Face!

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The Threats We Face! Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! The threats that face the average American family are many. They are part of a list that seems to be ever growing. Outside of the very real social and environmental risks there are true physical threats to our family. These threats … Continue reading The Threats We Face!

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Tactical Pens for Survival and Self-Defense

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Tactical Pens for Survival and Self-Defense   Although many people rely on guns for self defense even when they’re away from home, others cannot for a number of reasons. It could be that firearms are illegal where they live, or that they’re afraid of owning them, maybe even against it. In such circumstances, you’re left with …

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Heizer’s Newest Pocket Pistol Is Super-Low-Recoil … And Semi-Auto, Too

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Heizer’s Newest Pocket Pistol Is Super-Low-Recoil … And Semi-Auto

Image source: Heizer

Heizer Defense, famed for its fashion-forward, rifle-caliber derringers, will break new ground in late April.

At the U.S. Concealed Carry Expo, the company will release its first semi-auto pocket pistol, called the PKO45. As the name implies, it is chambered in 45 ACP.

Heizer reps call this a concept gun in which every feature is the interpretation of an ideal. Company founder Charlie Heizer has aching wrists from his cycle racing days, so central to construction was recoil management. With that in mind, the bore axis is set extremely low, with the guide rod being on top of a fixed, stainless steel barrel.

Like other Heizer Defense firearms, the entire gun is made of aerospace-grade stainless steel. It should be an extremely durable shooter. It has a tidy profile, just 0.8 inches wide, with snag-resistant edges all around. It weighs 25 ounces unloaded. Heizer says the PKO45 is the thinnest of its caliber on the market.

Operation is single-action only, with an internal hammer. True to single-action design, it has a grip safety — but not where expected. It’s on the front of the grip, just under the trigger guard. The recoil spring and slide are built for easy racking, another accommodation to hand injuries.

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

Magazines come in five- and seven-round capacity, both included with purchase. The mags are built on a Kimber body, with a Springfield XDS follower, and capped with what might be the industry’s first 3D-printed baseplate — a Heizer Defense invention.

Heizer’s Newest Pocket Pistol Is Super-Low-Recoil … And Semi-AutoThere’s an easy-to-operate safety lever on each side of the frame. I’m all for equality, but given the ease with which most manual safeties can be disengaged from the side of a handgun that’s exposed when the gun is holstered, a changeable lever would be preferable.

Hi-Viz sights are standard; TruGlo sights are an optional upgrade that I’d invest in were I purchasing a PKO.

Heizer Defense guns are known for standout finishes, and that tradition continues with the PKO45. Color choices are called copperhead, ghost grey, champagne and tactical black.

During the fall of 2016, I got to shoot a seven-round mag of ammo through a test model of the PKO45. It is indeed accurate; the trigger has a good feel and reset, akin to an off-the-shelf 1911. If I have to have a grip safety, this front-strap style would be my choice; my palms have hollow spots that sometimes disengage a backstrap grip safety just enough to cause an occasional malfunction.

Despite their abiding affection for big calibers, Heizer Defense is planning on meeting popular demand for a 9mm version in the near future. That one will be one to watch.

The PKO45 carries a $999 MSRP, with $849 predicted as the actual price. With its pricing and radically different styling, it won’t be for everyone. But those who choose a PKO45 will likely find it’s tough enough to last a lifetime. And there’s great peace of mind knowing it’s made in the USA by a family who understands that the United States of America is still the land of the free. The memory of political oppression in Hungary always will be fresh in the mind of Charlie Heizer, immigrant and Heizer Defense founder. His appreciation of the opportunities available in this great nation has been passed down to his children, who as adults now operate the business he established.

Would you consider buying a PKO45? Share your thoughts on this new gun in the section below:

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

Self-Defense Skills You Need to Know

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If you want to be truly prepared for any emergency situation, self-defense is an essential skill set. Preppers, in particular, need to know how to defend themselves during major emergencies, as they will typically be in possession of scarce resources that others will go to great lengths to get. Here are the four fundamental self-defense and combat skills that every prepper needs to know.

Using a Firearm

In a true emergency situation, having to use a firearm—such as a rifle from DSGARMS—for self-defense is always a possibility. Though everyone hopes it never comes to that, it is better to be prepared than to be caught off guard. For preppers in areas with wildlife, being able to use a firearm can also help with procuring food. Pick a firearm out and train with it extensively at a gun range. Also be sure to learn proper gun maintenance, as you’ll want your firearm to be in top firing shape should your life ever depend on it.

Basic Martial Arts Proficiency

If you find yourself in an unarmed combat situation, basic martial arts training could very well save your life. For the best in combat preparedness, skip karate and learn a martial art like Israeli Krav Maga or Russian Systema. Both of these martial arts were developed specifically for use in life-or-death modern combat and teach students to survive a fight by any means necessary.

Making a Cell Phone Trip Wire

If you end up in an urban survival situation, there’s a good chance you’ll need to secure a building or space. Installing real alarms may not be an option, but a simple hack with a cheap cell phone, some tape and a piece of paper can produce a functional intruder warning device. Just be sure to keep a spare prepaid phone handy, as you may have trouble finding one once an emergency situation is underway.

Disarming an Armed Opponent

A specialized subset of martial arts skills is the ability to disarm someone with a weapon. Though it’s tricky, knowing how to properly disarm an opponent could save your life in a real combat situation. The best way to develop this skill is to learn the basic techniques and then practice them with a training partner using rubber weapon replicas. With enough repetition, you’ll be able to deploy these techniques under pressure, giving you a good chance at success if you ever have to use them in real life.

Whether or not you end of facing war or famine, these are some very important skills that will definitely come in handy. Choose one of the above skills and try to learn it within the next month or two and you’ll be all the more prepared for any situation that might come

The post Self-Defense Skills You Need to Know appeared first on American Preppers Network.

10 Reasons Children Should Learn Archery

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Many studies have shown that students who are involved in extracurricular activities are far less likely to develop dangerous habits like smoking and drug abuse. Despite the heavy evidence supporting these facts, only 2.6 million of students from the ages 12-17 are actively enrolled in such activities. If you are looking for a good after-school […]

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Tactical Gear List & Considerations for SHTF

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Written by Orlando Wilson on The Prepper Journal.

The below personal tactical gear list is taken from a proposal I put together for counterinsurgency / tactical team in West Africa a few years ago, this should give you a few hints on kit etc.

The post Tactical Gear List & Considerations for SHTF appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Your Ultimate Weapon Guide: What are Great Survival Guns?

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When you set out on any hunting adventure, the only thing that occupies your thoughts is to get the most out of this trip. But hunting is not just about killing the prey. Your own survival, from any possible threat (of an animal or straying in the woods) also matters. Straying in the wood or […]

The post Your Ultimate Weapon Guide: What are Great Survival Guns? appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

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

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

Image source: Smith & Wesson Forum

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Make Your Own Ammo! Read More Here.

Gear Review: prO-Bub Kid Ear Muffs

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#probubearmuffs As a father and a firearm instructor, I have been on the lookout for good quality hearing protection for my son. Kid Ear Muffs are not something I am willing to compromise with. My bot is 4 and while I don’t think he is ready to shoot a “real gun”, I have more than […]

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

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

The Big Bang. Image source: Cabot

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

American Joe. Image source: Terry Nelson

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

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

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

Monarch. Image source: Terry Nelson

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

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

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

Legend of Sacromonte. Image source: Terry Nelson

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

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

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

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

7 Concealed Carry Guns That Are Perfect For Range Training

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7 Concealed Carry Guns That Are Perfect For Range Training

Image source: Glock

 

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

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

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

1. Glock 19

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

2. Smith & Wesson M&P compact

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

3. Springfield Armory XD subcompact

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

4. Ruger American compact

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

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

5. Smith & Wesson SDVE

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

6. Heckler & Koch P30

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

7. REX Zero 1CP

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

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

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

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10 Best Survival Shovels For Your Bug Out Bag

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survival shovels with a bunch of gearHave you ever dug a large hole or trench without a shovel? I hope not because it royally sucks.

Trust me; a stick is no substitute for a shovel.

It doesn’t matter what material you’re digging through – dirt, sand, mud, snow or ice. Plus, if you’re not wearing gloves you destroy your hands. With gashes, scrapes, cuts, blisters, and bruises.

Even worse, you end up wasting valuable hours and spending excess energy. Digging without a shovel is a difficult, tiresome, and even dangerous chore.

And that’s why Man invented shovels long (long) ago.

A Bit Of Shovel History

In fact, shovels may rank as one of mankinds oldest tools. Throughout most of the history of mankind, shovels were the only tool for serious excavation. They made it possible to build foundations, irrigation systems, sewage troughs, etc.

They allowed “ancient man” go from mud hut villages to planned cities. Right up to the second industrial revolution, shovels were the standard for excavation.

At one time, manual shoveling became so important that scientists began studying the “science of shoveling.” This field of study was to help make shoveling as efficient as possible. However, that was just before the invention of the steam engine.

Shovel Uses

But for some jobs, nothing can replace a good shovel, and they still play a significant role in:

– Military regimens
– Small projects in mining and construction
– Emergency rescue (i.e. firefighters, EMTs and SWAT teams)
– Backyard gardening and landscaping

The basic design of a shovel is simple. There’s nothing fancy about it. It’s made up of a thin, flat, sturdy spade-shaped hard material with a handle attached. It’s simple, but it’s effective.

But the shovel has come-a-long way over the course of human history. Today, shovels are not just shovels. They are specifically designed for specific jobs.

For example, there are shovels made specifically for avalanche rescue. There are military shovels for digging foxholes for war. Some shovels are ideal for digging deep narrow holes, while others are made for planting gardens.

In recent years, the survival community began developing what we call survival shovels. Tactical shovels made specifically by and for wilderness survival.

The bottom line is there’s a shovel for almost any type of circumstance. And while any shovel is better than no shovel, as you’ll soon see, not all shovels are created equal.

Today, grabbing “any old shovel” for survival is a terrible idea. The standard backyard shovel is too long, too heavy, too bulky to take with you. Especially by foot.

These run of the mill shovels won’t fit inside your bug out pack and will slow you down.

Yes, a regular shovel will fit in most cars or trucks, but it will take up valuable space. And as you’ll soon find out, they can’t hold a candle to a modern day tactical survival shovel.

10 Best Survival Shovels

Survival shovels are designed, top to bottom, for survival. They pack down tight, they’re light but sturdy and fit into a large bug out bag or survival pack.

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The best ones incorporate critical survival tools. Such as hatchets, saws, fire starters, flashlights, and weapons. The handle of the modern day survival shovel has become a storage location. For all sorts of essential gear.

These new shovels are the pinnacle of shovel tech and would make our ancestors proud.

FiveJoy Compact Military Folding Shovel – RS

fivejoyThis survival shovel is the Swiss Army Knife of shovels. The shovel breaks down into several unique survival tools. Which is great when you’re trying to consolidate your gear.

If you choose this shovel for your bug out bag, then you won’t have to pack as many separate tools. This shovel’s got you covered and includes:

• Sharp Axe Blade
• Serrated Saw Edge
• Hammer
• Paracord
• Fire Starter
• Ruler
• Emergency Whistle
• Bottle Opener

These extra tools help make this well-designed survival shovel extremely versatile.

Obviously, it can dig holes and trenches, but it can also saw logs, chop wood, cut, pick and pry to your heart’s content.

You have two options to choose from with the FiveJoy Compact MilitaryFolding shovel. A lighter compact version (C1) or the larger heavy duty version (RS). If you’re planning to hike, backpack or bug out with it then go with the lighter option. Otherwise, you’ll want to upgrade to the heavier duty version.

Either way, this shovel is a tough son-of-a-gun. It’s forged from heat-treated high-quality carbon steel (blade and knife) and aerospace grade aluminum (knife). These metals give the shovel maximum strength and lifetime durability. It’s also rust, water, and fracture resistant.

Unlike other survival shovels, you can adjust the shovel angle with its unique screw locking mechanism, allowing it function in alternate positions. It can be setup at 40°, 90° or 180° angles to operate as a shovel or a hoe.

Smart engineered handle design optimizes comfort and control. The slip proof foam cushion on the aluminum handle is water resistant, quick to dry.

It’s the real deal survival shovel and worthy of an investment in your survival arsenal.

Click here to check out today’s price.

Here are a few other multifunction survival shovels worth taking a look at as well:

2 BANG TI Super High Strength Military Folding Shovel
3 Rose Kuli Compact Folding Shovel Military Portable Shovel

Cold Steel 92SFS Special Forces Shovel

cold steel shovelSome survivalists prefer their survival shovel to function as a shovel, and that’s it. I totally get that. Perhaps you have more fire starters, knives and whistles you’ll ever need, so why get a survival shovel that includes more of these items.

Or perhaps you’d prefer your survival shovel be compact but not necessarily one that breaks down. Because we all know, the breakdown joints are where a shovel will fail first. So how about just eliminating the joint all together?

If these arguments sound like you, and you prefer a simple and sturdy over complex, then you should check out the Cold Steel 92SFS Special Forces Shovel.

It’s both lightweight and robust, with the shovel head made from medium carbon steel. The handle is made out of durable hardwood.

No bells, no whistles, just pure survival shovel goodness.

Click here to check out today’s price.

Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade

gerber e trench shovelLet’s imagine you want to keep things simple, but for your situation, you also want it to fit inside a backpack. Then look no further than the Gerber E-Tool Folding Spade.

It’s a proven, rugged and reliable design and can be used in various military, hunting, survival, tactical, industrial and outdoor situations.

The shovel power-coated boron carbon steel head also includes a serrated edge on one side to allow you to cut through those thick roots when trenching. The shape of the blade also promotes deep penetration into the ground with each strike.

This compact but mighty trencher comes in at an easy-on-the-back 2 lbs and breaks down to only 9.37 inches when in its closed position. When fully open, just use the safety locking design, and you won’t have to worry about it collapsing on you during use.

Lastly, the open handle design allows for maximum grip and power helping blast through your trenching chores quickly.

Click here to check out today’s price.

United Cutlery Kommando Shovel

united cutlery kommando tactical shovelThis shovel takes the simple idea of the wooden handle shovel in its overall simplicity and then upgrades it in both build and style. The United Cutlery Kommando Shovel features an bang near indestructible, injection-molded nylon handle. With 30 percent nylon & fiberglass reinforcement.

The shovel head is made from tempered 2Cr13 stainless steel coated with hard, black oxide.

The shovel’s leading edge is sharp. Plus, the shovel blade includes a partially serrated edge on one side and a concave chopping edge on the opposite.

The shovel also includes a reinforced nylon belt pouch for safe storage and portability.

The bottom line is this survival shovel has a few extra worthwhile features without trying to do it all. It’s a badass survival shovel that looks as good as it digs. It’s ideal for all camping and outdoors adventures and helps with digging, light chopping, or even a defensive weapon in an emergency.

Click here to check out today’s price.

7 Iunio Military Portable Folding Shovel and Pickax

military mulitool backpacking shovelWhat’s the one thing that all the previous shovels were missing? Length.

If you use any of the shovels we already covered, you’re doing to be digging from your knees. They are too short to stand and use your feet to dig like you would a standard backyard shovel.

But that’s where the Iunio Miltary Portable Folding Shovel makes its mark.

This shovel not only has many additional survival tools built in (saw, bottle opener, nail extractor, emergency whistle, fire starter, hammer, etc.) but when fully assembled is 35 inches in length (get the 35-inch version, skip the 31 inch). Yes, you get to stand and dig.

However, if you ever find your in a situation where a shorter survival shovel would work better, just remove the extension sections. You get to choose your shovel length but by adding or removing extensions.

It’s a favorite shovel among outdoor adventurists including Off-roaders, 4-Wheelers, Backpackers, Campers, RVers, Cadets, Scouts, Military Personnel, Hikers, Hunters, Fisherman, etc.

The shovel blade and handle are made from high-carbon steel which is both high-strength and wear-resistant. The grip on the handle is rubber. This military shovel passed all the manufacturer’s durability tests and field trials with flying colors.

The shovel also folds up and fits nicely in a provided high-quality tactical waist pack. The package comes with a belt loop to carry at your side and will work with MOLLE. So it’s easy for you to hang it on your belt or bag for transportation.

But the Iunio Miliary Portable Folding Shovel is not the only option with the extending length function.

Click here to check out today’s price.

Here are a few more survival shovels with extensions:

8 Chafon Compact Multifunctional Detachable Shovel Kit
9 Pagreberya Compact Outdoor Folding Shovel with Knife and Fire Starter

10 Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping Folding Shovel

shrader telescoping folding shovelWhat I like most about the Schrade SCHSH1 Telescoping survival shovel is the telescoping features and the T-grip. These take your basic trenching shovel and add a couple of key features that help you get the digging job done.

It’s made out of 055 Carbon Steel and the head has is slightly sharpened. The overall blade length is 7.41 inches. The handle can telescope to different lengths as desired up to 19″ in length max.

The entire shovel only weighs 2 lbs. This is one tough shovel too, it won’t come apart under real use like some other shovels we’ve seen.

Click here to check out today’s price.

The Final Word

No matter what you’re digging, where you’re digging it, or why, there is a survival shovel out there designed for the job.

That is why it is so important to make sure that you have a survival shovel packed and ready with the rest of your bug out gear.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

You will thank yourself later – because a shovel is the kind of instrument you don’t need until you need it, and then it is necessary.

I can’t stress enough how bad it sucks to dig a hole with your bare hands or with a stick. In fact, it is downright dangerous. Those scrapes and cuts are prone to infection.

Having a shovel is a means of self-preservation – don’t waste any time. Make sure you’re prepared on this front by finding the perfect survival shovel that will best meet your needs and fit your survival plan.

Will Brendza

The post 10 Best Survival Shovels For Your Bug Out Bag appeared first on Skilled Survival.

6 Self-Defense Tactics For Weak And Small

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Self Defense

If you qualify as a small person, you may look as the perfect victim but when it comes to defending yourself, you have a couple of advantages that may make up for your stature.

First, the smaller you are, the more an attacker is going to underestimate you. They’re going to be more likely to assume that you’re an easy mark just because you’re smaller or perhaps physically challenged.

Second, they’re going to expect you to be afraid. If you don’t show fear, it’s possible that you can throw them off-kilter long enough to buy yourself a few extra, precious seconds. There are a few things that you can do to make this time count.

In this article, I am going to talk about some of those measures as well as share some other tips to help you defend yourself and your castle.

1. Take a Martial Arts Class

Martial arts are great both for self-defense and exercise. The health benefits of martial arts are out of this world. They help prevent muscle atrophy and bone loss and keep your connective tissues healthy. They also have the added benefit of giving you some extra skills that you can use to defend yourself if SHTF.

No matter what your fitness level is or what your physical abilities are, there are martial arts classes designed to meet your needs. The secret is to find a good trainer.

A huge advantage of martial arts or self-defense classes is that you’ll meet other individuals interested in learning to defend themselves. It’s likely that some of them will be doing it for the same reason that you are – prepping for SHTF.

Put out some feelers and you may just find some valuable allies that will be willing to join forces with you. That can be invaluable.

2. Learn to Use Your Brain as a Weapon

If your home is invaded in a survival situation, it may be more pertinent to use your head rather than your fists to defend yourself until you can gain the upper hand. For instance, trick the person into believing that you’re weaker than you really are.

Find non-traditional weapons that are handy such as your cane, a lamp, or even an ashtray. Make your first attempt count because you may not get another shot.

Offer to get your “money” from your purse and reach for you weapon instead. Don’t bother pulling it out; a gun will fire just fine though the bottom of your bag.

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3. Bring as Little Attention to Your Place as Possible

Wood cooking stove If your place is already boarded up and unattractive-looking, don’t bring any more attention to the fact that you’re there than necessary.

Make trips outside during times that nobody is likely to see you. If you can, build a path that’s blocked from public view in advance.

Using shrubbery or fencing will allow you a greater amount of privacy to come and go on your property undetected.

4. Take a Weapons Course or Join a Shooting Club

Knowing how to use you weapon is one thing but being comfortable with it is another. Taking a weapons course is a great way to safely learn how your gun works and how best to use it. You’ll also learn its shortcomings, which is just as important as knowing its strengths.

Joining a local shooting club has a few advantages. First, the more you load and fire your gun, the more comfortable you’ll be with it when it comes time to defend yourself. Gun clubs are also great places to meet like-minded people.

If you’re interested in being part of a community prepping network, chances are good that you’ll meet fellow preppers at a gun club. Just cautiously feel around. If nothing else, you might make some friends.

5. Plan Your Defense in Advance

The worst time to figure out how you’re going to respond in any given situation is when you’re actually in that situation.

Have an action plan based upon numerous scenarios and practice what to do in each situation. By doing this, you’ll identify possible holes in your plan and you’ll also be prepared to act instead of react when faced with the real-life problem.

Stockpiling ammo and guns is an important part of your survival plan. In order to determine your ammunition needs (or lack thereof), consider the following:

  • Are you planning on needing to defend yourself and your property aggressively?
  • Do you have plenty of excess storage space?
  • How long do you think the survival situation will last?
  • Are you planning on supplementing your food supply with game?
  • Is the disaster that you’re planning for a local event or a global one?
  • Do you have the funds to store enough ammo to get you through the disaster?
  • Do you plan on using ammo as barter?

Let’s take a look at these questions one a time.

First, are you healthy enough to operate a weapon? If you don’t have the physical or mental stamina to actually shoot another living being, then perhaps stockpiling weapons isn’t for you.

If you pull a gun on another person, especially in a desperate situation, you have to be prepared to use it and physically capable of doing so. Otherwise, you run the risk of your attacker disarming you and using your own weapon on you.

Next, if you don’t have enough space to store the amount of ammo that you think you’ll need, perhaps you should consider reloads instead.

If you’re only planning for a local disaster, remember that the rest of the world is going to continue to produce ammo so stockpiling it probably isn’t necessary and may even be a strain on your space and your finances.

Even if you’re planning on a global event, you may not need to stockpile more than a few boxes if the disaster is going to be a temporary situation that will be followed by a rapid recovery.

If, after you’ve considered all of these options, you still believe that you need to stockpile ammo, here are a few tips to help you do it.

  • Figure how long the disaster will last, then figure how many bullets you think you’ll use per day based upon what you’re going to be shooting at. Use those two figures to roughly estimate your ammo needs.
  • Make sure that your storage space is cool and dry, and likely to remain that way.
  • Store your ammo in containers that are airtight.
  • Rotate your ammo just like you do the rest of your stockpile. Make sure that you have the proper types of round for your weapon and for what you’re going to be shooting at.
  • If you still have kids in the house, store your ammo in a place that isn’t readily accessible to anybody who isn’t trained.

Sometimes the best self-defense is to back down and escape. It’s OK to run if you need to; if you’re faced with certain death or the need to leave your home, by all means, leave! If evacuation is part of your plan, you may want to hide a stockpile away from your home in a place such as a storage unit.

Try to protect yourself and your loved ones, as Brian M. Morris says in his “Spec Ops Shooting” guide to combat shooting mastery and active shooting defense.

Also, pack a bug-out bag with all of the necessary supplies that you’ll need to get you to your bug-out location.

6. Consider Buying Non-Traditional Weapons

In addition to your standard guns, there are common items that have now been weaponized. There are stun canes and that look like a regular cane but actually have stun-gun capabilities when engaged. There are cell phones like that, too.

Just about anything can be used as a weapon. Canned food, keys, a pen, lamps, rocks; really whatever you can get your hands on will be better than nothing but again, make your first move count by aiming for the throat, nose, head, groin or eyes if possible.

Carry your standard weapon, too. Pepper spray or your gun won’t do you any good if they’re in the upstairs drawer. It’s time to survive so be ready at all times.

There are many ways to learn how to defend yourself if you are weak and small, but the most important thing to remember is that you need to stick to the plan of attack (or escape) once you’ve committed to it.

This decorated former Green Beret shares a lot of lifesaving advice from his 25 years of service in this book. Click the banner below to grab your guide to gun mastery.

spec_ops_shooting_cover

This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia. 

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Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

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Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

Image source: KC Concealed Carry

There was a time when I used to feel bad anytime I bought a Ruger firearm. They made great guns, sure, but the founder’s vision for the right to keep and bear arms in America did not sit well with me — and the designs were strictly function over form. Look at a Blackhawk compared to a Colt SAA, and the Ruger might be the stronger, better and more practical revolver, but the SAA has a style all its own. About 10 years ago, the company began making changes and one of the new offerings — the Ruger LCP (lightweight compact pistol — brought this home for me.

The LCP was Ruger’s first major and might we say, highly successful step toward making a lightweight concealed carry pistol for the armed and prepared American. Chambered in 380 ACP, this was no sporting handgun, but one meant for concealed carry and self-defense.

Before it debuted it rode in on a wave of controversy. Many shooters thought it was a rip-off of Kel-Tec’s P-3AT. Looking at both handguns side by side will confirm these protestations, with higher points going to team Ruger for fit and finish.

Original LCPs had problems here and there, but Ruger was quick to address these and the LCP represents a great value for the shooter.

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The frame is glass-filled nylon, and while it is exceptionally light, it does kick like an angry mule. I tamed mine down by shooting it while contained within a DeSantis Pocket Shot holster. This is a wallet holster that encases the frame in leather to break up the outline of the pistol while soaking up the direct recoil of the little powerhouse that represents 380 ACP.

Ruger LCP: The Lightweight & Discrete Carry Gun That Won’t Let You Down

Image source: Ruger

Turning to the other half of the pistol, the slide is hardened steel with integral sights. Pistols like this are not intended as “bullseye” guns, so there’s no need for Novak’s, Heine’s, Trijicon’s or the like. They are a part of the slide – small and crude — but very useful at the same time. Chances are, when you need to use an LCP, you will not be obtaining a sight picture anyway.

The trigger is long and heavy and the reason I probably cannot tighten up my groups. It is not as atrocious as other pistols in this league, but it still leaves a bit to be desired. I suppose this is to accommodate the lack of a safety so that shooters gifted with the “Orangutan strength” of an adrenaline rush during a violent confrontation will not jerk the trigger and fire negligently.

Ruger did upgrade the pistol with the LCP2, which boasts an improved frame and trigger. Another offering which I have yet to try is the LC380, which is built on a larger frame for improved shootability and less recoil as well as removable sights.

Yet these are the compromises we make when it comes to carrying concealed. We want a smaller package, and that means lower profile sights and smaller grips and reduced capacity.

A number of accessories are available, including a laser sight, but the two best that I can think of are a Techna-clip pocket clip and a DeSantis Pocket Shot.

It is not the firearm you take to the range weekly to see if it will survive a 1,000-round session — it will, but your hands may not — and its accuracy and potency is not meant for long-range target shooting (you can pick up a Ruger Mk4 or GP100 for that). However, if you want a discrete carry handgun that will be there when you need it, you can count on it.

Have you ever shot the Ruger LCP? Share your thoughts on this pistol in the section below:

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Taking your Home Back!

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Taking your Home Back! Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! If you have lived through a terrifying survival situation the disaster itself could only be the beginning. This is especially true in urban areas. Are you prepared to be under siege by multiple attackers in your home? You may or may … Continue reading Taking your Home Back!

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The Pocket Pistol That Uses 22 Different Calibers

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The Pocket Pistol That Uses 22 Different Calibers

Bond Arms Backup. Image source: Bond Arms

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Whys and Hows of Contact Shooting

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Contact shooting is just what it sounds like. Putting the muzzle of the weapon in contact with the target and shooting it. This is done when you absolutely cannot afford to miss. An example of this would be your spouse or child being attacked and they are wrestling on the ground. Traditional aiming would be […]

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Burning Stumps with Thermite

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I wanted to burn a stump with some thermite – so I had to make some. What is Thermite? Thermite is a pyrotechnic composition consisting of metal powder and a metal oxide Normally this is aluminum and iron oxide. Correctly used, it is not explosive, but the extremely high temperatures is dangerous. Thermite is used […]

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Need An AR But on a Budget? Build It!

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Many people would love to own an AR style rifle, but most of them simply can’t afford it. Sound like you? Well, James from Plan And Prepared has the solution: build your own! He put together a detailed guide that covers all the basics of building your own AR. I haven’t tried this myself, but […]

The post Need An AR But on a Budget? Build It! appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

Home Defense Bow – Could It Be the Most Effective Self-Defense Weapon?

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This is a guest post, I don’t agree that a bow is anywhere close to being the most effective self defense weapon, but in the spirit that people who don’t/can’t own firearms still need self defense tools I am posting it.  Besides I still get comments on my video discussing why I don’t like the […]

The post Home Defense Bow – Could It Be the Most Effective Self-Defense Weapon? appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

4 Shotgun Accessories For A Better Home Defense

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4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

Image source: Pixabay.com

A shotgun is the ideal choice for a home defense firearm for many gun owners. There are great reasons for this: avoidance of over-penetration, slightly less demanding accuracy standards in less-than-perfect shooting conditions, and mighty stopping power. Practically every conversation about home defense shotguns also includes mention of that ominous racking sound—but I hope no one is depending on sound effects to scare off intruders, when real force may be necessary.

Like anything else associated with the word “tactical” these days, a plethora of add-ons are available for defense shotguns, not all of which are really useful. Here, I’ll point out a few that are worth the investment for mounting an effective—and ethical—counterattack with a shotgun.

1. A sling

The larger your property, the more complicated your responsibilities at home, the more a sling makes sense. Being able to navigate space hands-free is a major asset; however, it’s also a good idea to keep your gun with you. A sling lets you do both.

Options for slings and sling mounts are many. From a simple latigo strap threaded through the swivel loops on a hunting rifle (making a two-point configuration that’s easy to shoulder), to a one- or three-point tactical setup that allows more options for the method of carry, this is a highly customizable choice.

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

Expect to spend $20 to $35 for an entry-level tactical sling. Mounts are generally higher in price, starting at $25 and priced up to $75. Before purchasing a sling/mount set, make sure your shotgun has studs, rails or whatever is needed to attach the mounts. It would seem to go without saying, but make sure the sling’s hardware is a match for what’s on the gun. Paracord is a frequently used accessory for making stiff connections easier to work with, and for making a too-wide sling work with narrow loops or rings.

2. On-board ammunition

Let’s assume your gun’s capacity is more typical, between two and six rounds. Even six rounds may not be enough in dire situations where multiple attackers or poor marksmanship have created the need for more ammo.

Where will more ammo go? As with slings, there are choices. I’ll eliminate things like belt-mounted ammo storage for this discussion, since this is about ammo that’s needed in fast order—so it needs to be in or on the gun.

Extended magazine tubes are one choice, and the shortest distance between need and a hot chamber. Alternative mag tube choices exist for common platforms like the Remington 870, Mossberg 500, and their variants. A couple brands also have manufactured their parts to be compatible with Remington or Mossberg mag tubes, but be sure to check the specs before purchase. Expect to spend $50 to $80 on an extension for a magazine tube.

Not crazy about the idea of modifying your scattergun? One alternative is a cloth cartridge holder, which can stretch over or Velcro onto the buttstock, keeping ammo at the ready. I did find it necessary to secure this sock-like accessory with tape when I used one to prevent it from sliding around. That might be undesirable if you aim to preserve a finished wood stock.

Similar to a cloth cartridge holder, but possibly requiring some modification, is a sidesaddle-type shell carrier. These can be mounted anywhere from the buttstock to the receiver, depending on design, and price can vary from $25 to more than $100, depending on material and capacity.

Left-handed shooters should note that many cartridge storage products are made with a right-hand bias, and may not be usable without modifications.

One advantage of an external ammo storage system is being able to organize, and see, ammunition types in relation to their position on the gun. Methods vary, but some defenders like to have one type of ammo, like buckshot, in the magazine, and birdshot ready in the most available loading position. Perhaps slugs will be in the rearmost position. Storing the shells with primer up or down, or a combination thereof, also can help indicate ammo type in a high-pressure situation.

3. Auxiliary light

4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

Image source: LA Police Gear

It’s your legal and ethical obligation to correctly identify a threat before firing. The handful of tragedies and more near-tragedies that happen annually due to failure to identify the target are inexcusable.

We’re talking about a gun that you’re likely to use in the dark hours. Light is a must for identifying your target. It also might serve as a navigational or signaling aid, but this kind of use should be minimized since, with a weapon-mounted light, the muzzle will cover everything you light up—a shaky proposition from both safety and legal viewpoints; the latter especially applies when outside of your residence.

Wouldn’t a nice flashlight do just as well? Perhaps, but most people aren’t prepared to wield both a flashlight and a long gun while making accurate shots. So a gun-mounted light makes sense, though it cannot avoid the muzzling issue, so that safety rule about keeping your finger off the trigger until the sights are on target and you’ve decided to shoot applies — in spades.

Entry level long gun-mounted lights begin at around $65. Prices climb rather dramatically after that, with some excellent choices available for less than $200. You’ll want to select a light with a pressure switch — that is, one that you can operate with the hand that’s on the forend, and one that turns off as soon as you release pressure. When someone’s trying to kill you, it’s a good idea not to reveal your position with light more than necessary.

4. Tritium front sight

Least beneficial but still useful of the four items here is a front sight with a tritium insert, which glows in the dark and is visible only behind the gun. Without it, only a silhouette of the front sight will be visible with a weapon-mounted light. This accessory will cost $60-$100, but consider hardware and gunsmith costs. as well. Be sure to practice with any sight system so you know where your shots will impact at typical close-range distances, and adjust your sights accordingly, or adjust your hold if the sights are non-adjustable.

Hopefully. this has given you some ideas of choices to accessorize your home shotgun to make it safer and more effective for defensive use. While these gadgets are useful, having them is only half the equation. Practice, and with that, knowing how to use them in dim light, is equally valuable.

If readers have experience with other shotgun accessories they’re fond of, I’m interested in hearing about them.

Do you have other favorite shotgun accessories? Share your tips in the section below:

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

The World’s Most Versatile (And Underappreciated) Firearm?

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The World’s Most Versatile (And Overlooked) Firearm ...

Image source: Pixabay.com

 

The shotgun is perhaps the most versatile firearms on the face of the planet. From big game to small game to game birds, a shotgun will do the job. For home defense, the shotgun is more than capable and intimidating. Need a survival gun? The shotgun can cover it all in the most adverse conditions.

The choices of action types, gauges, barrel lengths and stock configurations are also an added incentive for owning a shotgun. Pump action, semi-auto, single or double barrel and even lever actions. The most commonly used gauge today is the 12 gauge, with the 20 gauge being a close second. There are others, but the old 16 gauge seems to have lost its popularity. Another, the 28 gauge, is primarily used by upland game bird hunters. The 10 gauge is a rarity in today’s times.

Let’s take a look at some specific uses for the shotgun today and my top choice for an overall shotgun.

Hunting

No surprise here. The shotgun has been used in this realm for more than 150 years. I personally have taken everything, including small game, varmints and big game. While the hunting of game birds is probably the most thought-of use for a shotgun when hunting, there are numerous other hunting uses. Use buckshot and you now have a viable option for critters such as coyotes, foxes, hogs and even big game at close distances. Deer hunters have long used a shotgun coupled with rifled slugs. Slugs are completely capable of taking larger game to include bear and elk. Distance is the only limitation for the shotgun and slugs, but the 100-yard mark is certainly within its capabilities.

Self-Defense

It has been in use for decades by police and military and the everyday citizen to protect and defend. The fact that the shotgun comes in so many configurations and offers such a wide range of ammunition choices makes it hard to beat.

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

The World’s Most Versatile (And Overlooked) Firearm ...

Image source: Pixabay.com

Consider adding an ammo carrier, sling and a light to your home defense shotgun. These add-ons will greatly enhance the defensive use of your smoothbore, but in the end these items are not absolutely critical for the home defender. It would benefit the defensive-minded citizen to obtain some credible training and recommendations in this category before proceeding too far down the road.

Survival  

It should be apparent that the shotgun has to be a top contender for an all-around survival gun; there is one in my vehicle at all times.

Consider the following. With the right selection of ammo, I can take winged game, small game, big game, defend myself and home from all manner of unwelcome visitors out to a distance of at least 100 yards, breech a door, launch tear gas (within legalities, of course) and create a high level of anxiety in anyone determined to do harm to me or my family. Another viable attribute is the durability of a good shotgun. It is generally very weather and harsh condition resistant — a good quality for any survival gun.

Other attributes include switching out barrels, chokes and the addition or deletion of any tactical option with ease. Areas of concern surrounding the shotgun for some folks could be weight, recoil and length. But in today’s world there are enough variations to fit most any person’s needs and abilities.

My personal pick for one shotgun to do it all: a Remington 870 pump action, 18-inch barrel, 3-inch chamber, extended magazine tube, interchangeable chokes with a ghost ring-style iron sight system. I prefer a butt stock ammo carrier and a two-point sling. A side rail or comparable attachment point for a light would be a nice option. I can live without a red dot or other optic system.

In today’s world of short-barreled rifles and high capacity magazines, the shotgun is often overlooked. Even many police agencies have eliminated it from their armory – which is a mistake, in my opinion.

Don’t have a shotgun? Get one!

Do you believe the shotgun is the ultimate survival gun? Share your thoughts in the section below:   

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

Castle Doctrine: Keep Yourself Out Of Jail

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One of the major concerns facing the prepper and homesteader community is self-defense.  Prepper and homesteader sites have acticles on how to properly shoot or various survival knife brands. However, many blogs (my blog Living Dead Prepper is guilty as well) tend to neglect the legal aspects of self-defense.  This negligence is a mistake though as

6 Basics To Follow When Building Your Weapons

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Basics To Building Weapons

From self-defense to fighting terrorists, the question of how to build newer and better weapons will always be a challenge. Where to start from? What weapon is the most effective one? What features to have in mind? A lot of questions are to be asked, and finding the answers isn’t the easiest task.

The basics are always where you will return to solve problems as well as where you will go to explore new innovations and ideas.

So let’s start with the basics!

When it comes to the arena of personal defense, a good quality weapon must have at least six basic features. We’ll take them one by one in the following article.

Be Effective Within the Limited Scope of Self-defense

Consider a situation where you believe that a nuclear bomb is the most powerful weapon on the planet, and a ballpoint pen the weakest. Do you really need a nuclear bomb (as they exist in known modern technology) to take out a thug trying to get into your home?

While you may be enraged enough to lob a nuke, that doesn’t mean it is an effective weapon for your situation. Oddly enough, the ballpoint pen will actually make a better weapon against a single attacker. A modified ballpoint pen that can deliver poison or a dart will work even better.

Video first seen on ValvexFTW – ” How-to’s Weapons Inventions “

Put the Element of Surprise Back on Your Side

There is no question that an AK-47 or an AR-15 can be used to deter one person or several from harming you and your loved ones, but the size of these weapons makes them a bit hard to hide.

If you are out in public, carrying these weapons can alert more determined attackers to the fact that you are ready and able to defend yourself. This, in turn, takes away any element of surprise that might have bought you both leverage and a second or two of time.

Because there are limits to legal weapon ownership, but no limit to what criminals can obtain, this can put you at a serious disadvantage.

Perhaps we can even say never bring an “assault rifle” to a machine gun fight. In this situation, you might be better off carrying a concealed handgun because it won’t be noticed unless there is a need to use it. At that point, your attacker will have already underestimated you and followed through with an opening action that you have a better chance of defeating.

Even if you have a .45 caliber handgun, you may be overpowered after taking out just one adversary. This is just one area where being able to innovate and design better weapons will serve you well as a prepper. Being able to pack the power of a machine gun with the selectivity of a conventional rifle into something the size of a handgun would put you well ahead of any attacker.

Be Focused in Target Acquisition 

As far as small, effective weapons go, grenades are certainly easy to conceal and add plenty of surprise to a situation. Now let us look at a situation where someone pulls a gun on you, either in your own home or while you are in public. Let us also say that a family member, or even other innocent people are in the area.

No matter how carefully you aim the grenade, there is a chance that innocent bystanders will be hurt by the shrapnel. Unless you have a well-staged fire zone to throw the grenade into, and an ability to limit damage to bystanders, it won’t make for a good personal defense weapon.

In a world where terrorists are running rampant, it can be said that a weapon with too limited an impact has just as harmful an impact on bystanders as one that is too far reaching. For this scenario, let’s say you are out in public and a terrorist wearing a suicide bomb vest pulls a gun on you.

Even though a grenade won’t work in this scenario, a knife or a ballpoint pen won’t do much good either.

A rifle, on the other hand might be more suited to stopping this tragedy because it will be possible to shoot the terrorists while he/she is still further away from large numbers of people. This is yet another area where innovation in consumer level self-defense weapons might do far more good than you realize.

Be Free of Interference by Others

This includes free of the cost of ammunition, repair, and legal oversight.

Many people look to guns as classic self-defense weapons because they are effective, reliable, and efficient.

As effective as guns, tasers, and other projectile based systems may be, they also come with a number of prohibitive costs that include:

  • The actual cost of the weapon. A good quality handgun from a reputable manufacturer can cost several hundred dollars even before you add on better sights and suitable hand grips.
  • The cost of basic training and practice. If you weren’t raised in a community where gun ownership is part of the society, then it can be quite expensive to learn how to shoot, store, and manage a gun. In a similar way, if you live in a city or other restrictive area, honing and keeping your skills up can be quite expensive. Aside from paying for time at an indoor range, you may also have to pay for ammunition provided by the facility.
  • The cost of advanced courses and situation awareness training. The legal definition of a crime includes having making a specific, knowing decision to commit that act. As such, it should come as no surprise that someone intent on committing a crime will also be as well prepared as possible to carry it out.

If you are interested in self-defense, then you must also be prepared with as many skills and strategies as possible. Unless you are in law enforcement or in the military, the cost of that kind of training is very expensive.

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No matter whether you choose knives, bows and arrows, guns, tasers, or swords, the cost associated with advanced training and practice may well be beyond your budget.

  • Weapons, like any other machine, require maintenance and repairs. Contrary to popular belief, guns aren’t the only weapons on the market that come with a high repair and maintenance costs. Bows, knives, and swords can also cost several hundred dollars to repair or maintain over time.
  • The cost and availability of ammunition. If you remember the scandal surrounding the cost and lack of availability of .22LR ammo? No matter how you look at it, the cost of weapons that launch projectiles can be very expensive. To add insult to injury, ammo scarcity can act as a control point that may make it difficult, if not impossible to use the weapon you bought for self-defense.
  • The cost of permits and licenses. While terrorists and criminals who get away with murder and mayhem on a routine basis never worry about these costs, the average prepper has to deal with them along with every other expense on this list.

In these times, you might not always feel comfortable with learning how to make your own weapons and ammunition. At the very least, the basics may come in handy if a social collapse occurs and you wind up having to develop designs that go beyond a crudely fashioned spear made from a sapling and knapped stones.

Even something as simple as understanding what kind of blade shape will be most effective can make the difference between life and death.

Expand Your Strategy Options, Not Limit Them

In the arena of self-defense, it is very easy to have too many weapons that don’t work well at close range, or ones that don’t do enough damage to the target regardless of the distance. Avoiding both traps will require a good bit of trial and error. Before you even begin designing a new weapon, take time to study existing weapons and try them out.

While you are studying different weapons, pay careful attention to the basic parts and how they work. Think about how the weapon would work in a building, in a crowded area, or in very close quarters.

By the time you complete your study, you should have a list of weapons that will work well within arm’s length, some that will work several feet away, and others that will work up to or beyond 100 yards away.

No matter which one you plan to build, think about how existing devices limited defensive and offensive strategies, and think about how you can change the fundamental parts of the weapon to better suit your needs.

The Best Weapon is One You Have

Over the years, considerable controversy has emerged over the “Top 5” guns, knives, tasers, crossbows, swords, and other weapons. People in the military, law enforcement, or other walks of life are always more than happy to share their experiences with any given weapon.

For every testimonial shared, you are sure to find dozens that had a similar experience, and just as many others that had differing outcomes.

If you actually go out and try these different weapons, you will more than likely find yourself agreeing with some people, but not all of them. From that perspective, the best self-defense weapon isn’t one that you heard about, and should aim to acquire. Rather, it will have the following features:

  • It should be a weapon that you are comfortable using. Just because a .45 caliber semi-automatic has plenty of stopping power, that doesn’t mean you should give up a lower caliber revolver that you feel comfortable with. In a similar fashion, if you feel more comfortable wielding a knife at close ranges, it doesn’t make much sense to draw a gun just because you have it on hand.
  • Your personal defense weapons should fit your needs, budget, and comfort levels. In a stressful, life threatening encounter with a criminal or terrorist, a weapon that you are uncomfortable with can cause you to freeze up, miss the target, or lose complete control of the weapon and the situation.

A personal defense weapon should be something you feel comfortable carrying at all times. Remember, even a ballpoint pen can kill at close range in numerous ways. Never underestimate the simplicity of a device just because it looks harmless, or others don’t see it for what it is.

Within some limits, a weapon that you design yourself can truly be more effective and more efficient than anything you might buy based on the beliefs of others.

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This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

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Field Weapon: Constructing a Bow & Arrows Using a Knife

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Using only what is available to from the natural surroundings and what small amount of belongings you have, it’s time to construct one of the oldest tools used by hunters, the bow and arrow.

The post Field Weapon: Constructing a Bow & Arrows Using a Knife appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

The Ruger 10-22 Takedown: The Perfect Survival Rifle?

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The Ruger 10-22 Takedown: The Perfect Survival Rifle?

Image source: Ruger

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.

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

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:

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

The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves, You Must be Aware of

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Self-defense is your right and it will be beneficial in a SHTF scenario, if you know how to tackle the consequences on your own with a sharp presence of mind instead of relying on others.

The post The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves, You Must be Aware of appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

34 Best Survival Hacks You Should Learn Right Now

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survival hacksSurvival hacks are solutions that break the rules. The best survivalists don’t just blindly follow rulebooks, so we hack when necessary. Sure, there are hundreds of survival guides we learn from but you’re at a huge disadvantage when you rely too heavily on any one resource.

Real survival is a creative endeavor that requires fast thinking and an open mind. Sometimes you have to improvise, adapt, and make it up as you go along. You have to make split-second decisions. You have to work with what you have got.

You have to think like McGyver by survival hacking your way to safety.

Some of the following survival hacks are my own personal tricks, others I have learned from different survivalists, but together they are very useful and applicable in most any survival scenario.

But remember: you can always “make up” a new survival hack on the fly. All you need is a goal and a handful of random materials. There’s always more than one way to solve any problem.

The following list of survival hacks is not comprehensive. In fact, these 34 survival hacks are just a small drop in a much larger bucket. But this list will inspire you in a creative survival sort of way.

The Survival Hacks (We’ll Start Simple)

1 – Dorito Fire Starters

If you need to get a fire started ASAP, but don’t have paper or lighter fluid, use Doritos (any corn chip will work well). These chips are flammable and will ignite quickly. They are a perfect makeshift tinder to get a small quick flame. Time to survival hack your way into building a much larger fire.

They are a perfect makeshift tinder to get a small quick flame. Use Doritos to survival hack your way to build a much larger fire.

2 – Alcohol Swabs as Fire Starters

Similarly to Doritos, alcohol swabs are incendiary. The alcohol makes them flammable enough to catch quickly and the cotton holds a flame long enough to establish a lasting fire.

3 – Battery as Fire Starter

Another great survival hack to generate flame is to use a battery and a couple small pieces of tin foil (or wire). By placing one tin foil strip on each end of the battery, you can get the foil to heat up and burst into flame.

Any battery will do, and the flame generated should be big enough to set fire to paper, thin bark, alcohol swabs or even Dorito chips.

4 – Pencil + Jumper Cables + Battery = Fire

Simply attach the cables to your car battery like you are giving someone a jump. But connect the other ends to a pencil.

The graphite core of the writing utensil will conduct electricity, heating up and causing the pencil to burst into flames.

5 – Crisco Candles

Often times, in survival situations, people lose electricity to power their lights. But fear not! As in times of old, you can use candles to generate light. But what can you do if you are fresh out of wax candles?

Crisco makes a good candle “wax” substitute. Just run a makeshift wick through a big glop of it and you’ll be good to go.

6 – Crayon Candles

Crayons are more than just art supplies for kids. They can be stood up on end, lite on fire, and viola you have a makeshift candle. Each crayon candle will only last about 15 minutes but you can get a box of 96 crayons. That equates to 24 hours of emergency light.

7 – Terra Cotta Heaters

Here’s a survival hack for when there is no electric heat, and you need to warm up a small room. Well, without a fireplace, starting a fire in the living room is out of the question. But there is another way: terra cotta conducts heat very well and radiates the warmth that it collects.

By placing a few candles beneath an upside down terra cotta pot (which can easily be bought at any hardware or garden store) you can create a mini-heater that will pump out a surprising amount of heat.

Set up a few of these makeshift heaters and your home will be nice and toasty in no time!

8 – Coke Can Alcohol Jet Stove

Cut the top of the coke can off about 2-3 inches from the bottom of can, and turn it upside down. Drill or poke holes in the bottom of the can so that air can flow through the ‘stove’. Place a gel fuel tin (or something similar) under the upside down coke can and light it.

You may have to adjust the size of your holes and the airflow somewhat, but once you get it, you should have a working jet stove.

9 – Wild Plants For Insect Repellant

Smoke of any kind works as a general insect repellant, but a few wild plants work as well.

The video below is proof that the right wild plants will keep these dangerous pests at bay.

10 – Super Glue Stitches

Super glue is small, easy to carry, and when there is an open wound that needs closing there really isn’t anything (short of actual stitches) that is better suited for the job.

Just make sure to pinch the laceration closed until the glue dries.

11 – Makeshift Slings

Slings are one of those things you don’t need until you really need one. Luckily, they are pretty simple and really easy to improvise: bandanas, t-shirts, hoodies, blankets and tarps can all work.

If it is too big, cut it, if it is too small, tie a few together.

12 – Hunting Broad Heads From Keys

With the right kind of tools and a file, a key can be shaped into a makeshift hunting broadhead.

13 – Duct Tape Fletching

If you are making your own arrows, you will undoubtedly need a form of fletching. Fletching is the feather (or foam, or plastic) “rudder” at the end of your arrow. It stabilizes the shaft during flight and increases accuracy by a great measure.

In a pinch, when you do not have the time to craft fine fletching on each arrow, duct tape can provide the necessary stiffness to balance the flight of your projectile.

14 – Can Top Fishing Hooks

Fishing is one of the best ways to gather food in wilderness surviving. But finding the right materials is not easy. Luckily, one very common item makes for an almost perfect fishing hook: pop tops!

The fun little tags on top of your beer and soda cans are a great shape to make a fishing hook out of. All you have to do is remove one segment of the top and file it to a point. And there it is: you’ve got yourself a functional fishing hook.

15 – Gorge Fishing Hook

Gorge fishing is one of the oldest methods for fishing. Human beings have been using this technique for thousands of years to catch fish, and it is pretty simple: sharpen both ends of a small twig or stick, and carve out a notch in the center of it.

Wrap line around the carved notch and stick your bait on one sharp end. Drop the gorge hook in the water, and when a fish swallows it, pull the line hard and the twig will turn sideways inside the fish, lodging in its throat and securing your dinner for the night.

16 – Fish Trap from 2-liter Bottle

Take the cap off of the top and cut that end of the bottle right just where it reaches full thickness. Flip the smaller piece and insert it back into the bottle, in reverse. You may have to make a few cuts in the cap end so that it fits snugly inside the bottle’s body. Tie (or otherwise secure) the inverted cap end inside with wire or string.

The basic idea of this trap is the same as any commercial crabbing trap: for fish to swim inside, where they will not be able to swim back out.

Of course, don’t expect to catch any monster fish with this, but it is a good way to secure a few mouthful of minnows.

17 – Yucca Sewing Kit

This is one of my favorites, but it is also only viable in certain geographic areas of the United States.

Yucca is a sharp, agave-like plant with big fat leaves that end in sharp barbed points. Cut one of the leaves off the plant, and start shaving off the edges, until you are left with a long thin, single strip of Yucca with the barb at one end.

Now, cut that thin strip in half and twist the two strands together like a small rope. This will increase the tensile strength of the twine and leaves you with a sharp needle and a thread with which to sew your torn garments.

18 – Water Bottle Ceiling Lights

Need a ceiling light, but don’t have electricity? We got you covered. Just fill a transparent water bottle with water and cut a hole in the roof of your shelter (this probably will not fly in the house).

Jam the bottle up in the hole, and there it is! The light will travel through the water and disperse (hooray for physics), creating a source of light to brighten up your darkest days.

19 – Desk Lamp Water Jug

Gallon jugs of water can work as lamps too! Just fill them up, and wrap a headlamp around them. The light from the headlamp will turn that gallon jug into a bright desk or table lamp.

20 – Improvised Compass

This is one of the oldest and most useful survival hacks in the “book”.

Get a cup or puddle of water (it does not matter as long as it is still and not flowing), lay a leaf in the center of it and gently place a sewing needle or piece of wire on top, so it floats. The magnetic fields of the Earth will naturally orient the needle to point North/South.

This trick has saved thousands of humans over the centuries and is a hack every survivalist should know well.

21 – Rain Collection from A Tarp

All you need is a large tarp and a 5-gallon bucket to collect a significant amount of water when the skies open up. Even in a light drizzle, you can collect a decent amount of drinkable water with this simple survival hack.

22 – Signaling Whistle from Bullet Casing

Maybe might have noticed that larger spent bullet cartridges look a lot like whistles. This similarity was not lost on us, and with a few precise cuts, you can make a very loud, very shrill whistle, perfect for signaling distress.

23 – Folgers Toilet Paper Protector

What is worse than going to the bathroom only to discover you have no toilet paper? Going to the bathroom and discovering that the toilet paper you did bring is soaking wet… I only had to make this mistake once before I changed my ways forever.

Now, I use a coffee can to house my toilet paper, keeping it forever dry! Zip lock bags work well too and pack easily.

24 – Condom Canteen

Yeah, you read that right. Those trusty rubbers are good for more than just baby-prevention, they can also save you from dying of thirst.

Fill one up with water, and carry it with you if there are not any other viable options for transporting the water. Just make sure the condom is not used, or flavored, or lubed.

25 – Improvised Reflective Signals

These can be fashioned from any number of reflective materials; rear-view mirrors, CD’s, polished metal and even jewelry can work.

Of course, some are easier to work with than others. But as long as it shimmers in the sunlight, you should be good to use it as a distress signal.

26 – Tarp Shelters

Survival shelters are hard to come by in many situations. Especially a waterproof shelter. But with a

But with a large survival tarp, you can make sure that you stay dry and protected from the elements.

Tarps do not insulate very well, though, so while it is possible to just hang one up and pass out underneath it, you won’t be staying warm for long. So, the best way to remedy this it to build a small stick frame (like that of a tent) and lay the tarp over it.

Then, pile dirt and moss and leaves up against the sides of the tarp, this will act as insulation and keep your heat from dissipating too quickly.

Snow can be substituted for the dirt in winter (like an igloo).

Here’s where you can get an Aqua Defender King Camo Tarp like the one in this video.

Complex Survival Hacks

27 – Hunting Bow from a Bike Tire

There are a few slightly different methods to accomplish this, but the general idea is the same. First cut the frame of a bike wheel in half, clean out the spokes and sand down the sharp edges.

Then create a guidance system for your string with a couple of well-placed eyelets along the cut rim of the wheel.

The video below goes into much greater detail. It takes time, and it requires a number of supplies to accomplish successfully, but this is the kind of thing that could be used for hunting or self-defense in a pinch.

28 – Makeshift Raft

If I learned anything from the movie Jaws, it’s that empty plastic containers float pretty well. That simple fact applies to smaller containers too; like drinking water bottles and gallon jugs.

By fastening a bunch of empty plastic containers together – either with string or by wrapping them all together in a tarp – you can create a pretty big flotation device capable of carrying at least one person.

29 – Coffee Can Wood Burning Stove

Coffee cans are useful for a lot of purposes. But perhaps my favorite (and one I learned years ago, back in cub scouts), is the wood burning rocket stove.

Turn the metal coffee can (plastic won’t work, sorry) upside down on the ground, and punch a couple of ventilation holes in (what is now) the top of the can. You can also cut a small circle of the flat part for increased airflow.

Cut a square out of the side of the can where you can feed the fire inside. Now all you have to do is collect wood, and keep the inferno inside your coffee can burning.

These stoves work great for cooking outdoors when you don’t have a gas stove or don’t want to cook over an open fire. They also generate a lot of heat and can act like a small heater on chilly nights.

30 – Blanket Chair

Just because you don’t have access to your favorite Lazy Boy recliner, doesn’t mean you have to forsake comfort entirely.

By building a tripod A-frame out of 4 or more solid branches, and tying a blanket or a tarp to it, you can make a very comfortable, single person camp chair, perfect for keeping your bum off the cold ground.

31 – Homemade Penicillin

If you are not familiar with the revolutionary excellence of penicillin as an antibiotic, you need to get educated. This awesome little mold was one of the first ever discovered antibiotics used to fight bacterial infections.

And in the wilderness, or in a survival situation, having an antibiotic to fight an infection will absolutely save your life.

Before antibiotics were discovered, people regularly died because of small cuts that got infected. And you will too, without antibiotics. But you need to be careful, making sure to follow every step in the process as closely as possible.

And I wouldn’t wait around until you have an infection to start growing penicillin – because that is already too late. This is one that needs to be planned ahead by growing your own or with survival antibiotics

32 – Ping Pong Ball Smoke Bomb

Have you ever tried lighting a Ping-Pong ball on fire? If so, you know that they are incredibly incendiary. They light up like the 4th of July.

By wrapping tin foil around the ping pong ball, and leaving a funnel for air at one end, you can create a fairly effective smoke bomb.

Put a flame to the bottom of the tin foil wrapped ball until the plastic inside ignites. And BOOM! Smoke will start billowing out the funnel.

33 – Grass Tire Pressure

If you get a flat tire and do not have an air pump, a spare, a patching kit, cell service to call for help, or any other viable option, you can fill a burst tire with grass and other foliage to provide just enough support to drive on it.

Simply cut a few holes on the inside of the tire and start stuffing! Obviously, you will not be able to use that tire ever again – it will need to be replaced – so don’t do this unless you have no other options.

34 – Improvised Perimeter Alarms

Security is important and becomes more important in survival situations. Air horns, firecrackers, or any triggering device can be rigged with string to go off when someone trips the wire.

A well-planned perimeter alarm system can help you get a good nights sleep when you’re concerned about trespassers.

You can pick up some Sentry Alarm Mines that work with .22 rounds. When tripped, these will fire off the .22 round and make one hell of a bang.

The Final Word

There is no “right way” to survive. Each individual is going to have his or her own survival style, tricks, and hacks. I highly encourage everyone to develop your own…

No website, book, or teacher will ever capture every possible survival hack. Quite simply because, there’s always new ones being developed by clever survivalists. Anyone with a handful of materials, a goal, and the will to survive, will rig together things in order to stay alive.

So share your own survival hacks with us today in the comments below!

– Will Brendza

The post 34 Best Survival Hacks You Should Learn Right Now appeared first on Skilled Survival.

9 Signs That Someone Is About To Attack You

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Being able to detect threats is imperative, especially during a major disaster. Whether you’re defending your family after a disaster or simply trying to feel safe going to the gas station at night, you need to be able to identify people with hostile intentions. While your brain can sometimes be tricked into judging someone as […]

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Prepper’s Armed Defense (Book Review)

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Armed defense is always an interesting topic when it comes to prepping, survivalism and suburban homesteading.  At the end of the day, I strongly believe in a person’s right to stand their ground and protect themselves.  Jim Cobb shares that belief.  He has used his latest offering, Prepper’s Armed Defense, as a means of explaining

Review of Twod Pistol & Rifle Flashlight/QR/Compact 200 Lumen Flashlight

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This $15.00 Pistol & Rifle Flashlight is pretty functional for the price.  It installed easily and worked well.  While it is not as sturdy feeling as a more expensive light, it shot well and was bright. My main concern with the light is the switch.  I killed the battery it came with the first night, […]

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

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

Image source: Glock.com

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

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

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

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

1. Belt and holster system

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

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

2. Magazines

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

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

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

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

3. Ammunition

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

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

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

4. The handgun itself

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

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

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

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

5. Failure to train

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

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

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

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

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

How To Make Your Own Arrows – Tips, Techniques and Tricks

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how to make your own arrowsThe art of how to make your own arrows is a survival skill worthy of our attention. Why? Because it’s major form of self-reliance. And as survivalists we love self-reliance.

Imagine pairing the power of learning – How To Make Your Own Arrows – with the skill of – How To Make A Longbow – and you’ll never be an unarmed and helpless sap again. No matter how bad our world becomes.

You’ll have the powerful ability, to take natural resources and mold them into a highly useful survival tool. And not only a useful tool but a deadly one.

Regardless of whether your motivation to make your own arrows is focused on self-reliance, as a fun hobby, or to just impress your friends, the following instructions will show you step by step how to do it right.

But before we can make an arrow, we need to fully understand the basic parts that make up an arrow.Basic Parts Of An Arrow

Basic Parts of An Arrow

Before you can make your own arrows, you must understand the basic parts of an arrow. The good news is arrows are fairly simple devices and only include a few component parts.

So let’s go through them from tip to end.

The Arrowhead

At the leading tip of an arrow is the “arrowhead”. This is the deadly sharp tip that does the real damage. It can be skinny, broad, and normally made out of stone or metal. But the good ones are razor sharp and can penetrate deep into your intended target.

The Shaft

The next part of an arrow is the “shaft”. As the name implies, it’s the long skinny part of the arrow that attaches the arrowhead and the fletchings. You can think of the arrow shaft similar to the chassis of a car. It’s not sexy but holds everything together. Which leads us to part 3.

The Fletching

The fletching is the thin blades of feather or plastic that are essential for controlling the arrows flight trajectory. Without fletchings on the back of the shaft, your arrow will fly erratically and out of control. Hitting a target without fletchings is much more difficult task.

The Nock

Lastly is the nock. The nock is a small “notch” at the base of the arrow where the bow string and the arrow meet. A proper notch is essential for the bow string to fire the arrow. Without a notch at the back end of the arrow, the full force of the bowstring release would not completely transfer to the arrow.

The bottom line is notch is critical for bow and arrow performance.

arrowsHow To Make Your Own Arrows

The process of making arrows can be broken down into making the component parts and then assembling those parts. So I’m going to start with arrowheads, end with the nock, and then wrap up with how to assemble the entire thing.

How To Make Your Own Arrowheads

Getting the arrowhead right is essential to building a good arrow.

You can make your own arrowheads out of a number of raw products. Stone, rebar, porcelain, or even glass can become an arrowhead. As long as the arrowhead has balance and is sharp as hell.

Here are the basic steps in making your own arrowheads:

  • Using a hammer or stone, break pieces of Flint, Slate, Obsidian or Chert into roughly triangular pieces – no longer than 2 inches and no wider than 1 inch.
  • Trimming and shaping the arrowheads is accomplished through a process called “Knapping”. To do this, strike lightly against the edges with a nail or screwdriver to produce jagged, sharper edges. This produces strong edges.
  • The next part is aptly called “Grinding” because you use a stone or sandpaper to grind away the edge until it is razor sharp. This weakens the edges that will wear down with use, but the edges are not as important as the point. So I wouldn’t worry too much.
  • Finally, chip away a couple of indents at the bottom of the arrowhead for fastening to the shaft. This can be achieved using the bolt or screw to sand away stone to create perfect little half-circle indents.

If an image is worth 1000 words, then a video is even better. So let’s walk through a few excellent how-to videos on arrow making.

How To Make A Primitive Arrowhead

How To Make Arrowhead Out Of Rebar

How To Make Arrowhead Out Of Razor Blade

How To Make Arrowhead Out Of Toliet Porcelain

So you may now be wondering, “these handmade arrowheads can’t possibly be as good as expensive store bought broadheads. Well, you should check out this test video.

Glass Arrowhead vs Modern Broadhead – Gell Penetration Test

Looks to me like the handmade glass arrowhead held its own in this test. But you must be patient and practice your arrowhead making skills to get similar results. If you not willing to invest this time and energy, then just buy some good broadheads online and attach them to your arrow shafts.

How To Make Your Own Arrow Shafts

Arrow shafts are typically made from wood or lightweight plastics. Because these are materials you can machine and mold but are still strong enough for our purposes.

The key to making good arrow shafts is balance and symmetry. When you’re done, you want it to be perfectly round.  The good news is that regardless of the material chosen the DIY arrow shaft process is the same.

Selecting Your Arrow Shaft Material

With wood, you want to find a slab with very few imperfections. So a limited number of knots or warping.

Now take your raw slab of lumber and cut it up into as many square pieces as you can. Cut them to your desired overall length. Here’s a video on selecting arrow shaft wood and initial cuts.

Arrow Shaft Making Jigs

Once you have your square cut shafts, you need to round them into dowels (arrow shafts). You can do this via several different methods (see the following videos), however, the basic process is the same.

You feed the square shafts through a router, saw blade, chisel or sharpener while rotating the square shaft. You create the rotating motion with a drill.

It’s this rotating and feeding process that creates your perfectly round arrow shafts.

Here are 4 videos detailing several unique arrow shaft making jigs.

1- Simple Dowel Making Jig For The Table Saw

2 – Making Arrow Shafts With The Veritas Dowel Maker

3 – Old School Dowel Making Jig

4 – How To Make Your Own Arrow Shafts With A Shotting Board

Fine Tuning Your Arrow Shafts

Now use your drill to quickly rotate the shaft in a piece of sandpaper. This helps to smooth the arrow shaft and fine tune it’s symmetry.

Finally, use an arrow spinner to test your shaft. An arrow spinner will give you visual feedback on arrow spinnerhow straight and balanced your arrow shaft is.

Keep sanding and testing until it spins smoothly on your arrow spinner.

You can either purchase a good arrow spinner or make your own (see video below).

How To Make Your Own Arrow Spinner

How To Make Your Own Fletchings

It’s important to get your arrow’s fletchings right. They are essential to keep your arrow flying straight.

Before you can add fletchings, you must choose your fletching material. Traditionally, bird feathers have been used as fletchings. But feathers are not the only material available. You can also use duct tape.

Make Duct Tape Fletchings

fletching jigRegardless of the material you choose. The best way to apply a fletching in the proper location and orientation is to use a fletching jig.

This is a device that will help you get the critical fletching application right. Here’s how to use a fletching jig.

How To Use A Fletching Jig (feathers)

What about those of us who are hardcore DIYer’s? Then make your own fletching jig.

How To Make A Homemade Fletching Jig

Adding The Nock

The nock is simply a slit in the end of the arrow shaft, right? Well, technically yes, but there’s more to it than that. For example, watch the next video to see how to properly add a nock in the end of your arrow shafts using only hand tools.

Self-Cut Nocks In Wood Shaft Arrows

You also might want to add some horn inserts for your self-nocked arrows. These help to strengthen your nock and prevents the ends from splitting after heavy use. Remember, this is where your bow string and arrow touch and so it’s the location on the arrow shaft that will take the most force during the energy transfer.

Horn Insets for Self Nocked Arrows

Finally, you may just want to purchase nocks online and then fit them over your wooden arrow shafts. It’s faster and easier, you’ll just need to taper the end of the shaft to allow the nocks to fit onto the shaft.

Putting It All Together

So now you have all the basic steps to making your own arrows but now you need to put it all together. Here’s a series of videos that show you one way to make your own arrows from start to finish.

How To Make Your Own Arrows – Part 1

How To Make Your Own Arrows – Part 2

How To Make Your Own Arrows – Part 3

Wrap Up

You now have all the knowledge you need to get started making your own arrows. However, if this is all new to you, then you don’t yet have all the skills.

And the only way to acquire those is to take meaningful action. To find some raw wood, cut it into square sections, feed it through a shaft jig, make an arrowhead, add fletchings and nocks and give it a try. That’s how to make your own arrows today.

Will Brendza
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The Discreet Self-Defense Weapon You Can Carry ANYWHERE Guns Are Banned

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The Discreet-And-Deadly Weapon You Can Carry ANYWHERE Guns Are Banned

Image source: Boker

It may seem small and not all that threatening at first, but attempt to overpower an individual with a tactical pen — especially a trained individual at that — and you will likely find yourself in lots of pain. Yes, somehow, this thing can land an attacker in a dazed, confused world of hurt, all by the mighty power of a strange writing utensil.

What’s the secret? Well, that’s what we’re here to discuss.

If someone were carrying a tactical pen, you most likely would never have the slightest clue. Quite frankly, even many security teams with metal detectors are not trained well enough to spot one.

It IS a pen, after all. But then, it just so happens to be an oversized pen with a reinforced exoskeletal structure, variants include gripping assists and sometimes a sturdy point that can drive into an opponent like a nail. It’s a deceptive thing. This pen simply asks, “Must a weapon truly have length in order to be an effective defense?” — to which it answers, “No.”

If you find yourself in a place that prohibits most types of defensive weaponry (and attackers are aware of this limitation), then your greatest advantage would be to outsmart them at their own game. Though. now, the real conundrum is: Just how powerful can such a small object be in a fight?

Silly Bad Guy, Physics Is For Smart People

Let’s put our thinking caps on for a moment and explore the physics behind fights. Essentially, fights are won by a combination of two basic principle elements that oppose and contrast one another. I call it the speed vs. mass dichotomy. I find that the most interesting UFC matches are the ones that give an accurate portrayal of this very principle. For instance, you’ll usually see that when a fighter is of smaller build, they’re much faster; whereas, the opposite is true when a fighter is a much larger individual (within the respective weight classes, of course). And when the two types face off, that’s when things get fascinating.

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

However, that’s in the UFC ring, and in the real world, human bodies tend not to be nearly as well-trained and hardened. I’d say that mass wins in the ring (due to rules), but speed wins on the street (due to tactical advantages) — but both can pack the same amount of punch.

And then there’s a little thing called leverage, which can multiply your energy potential without sacrificing speed. That brings us to the Kubotan.

The Flesh Is Weak. The Pen Is Mighty.

Essentially, the tactical pen is nothing more than a Kubotan with an ink distributor. This fist-load weapon is able to generate its defensive power through the principles described above by adding leverage to the natural mechanics and physical limitations of the human body.

One of those limitations happens to be the fact that human skin breaks at 100 psi (pounds/square inch). A short-range power punch will generate 178 pounds of force on its target. That essentially translates to 36 psi, based on the average human hand that’s about five square inches. But if you exert that same force with the unforgivingly rigid blunted end of half a square inch, then you can expect 356 psi, more than three times the force needed to break the skin.

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And that’s only the business end of the weapon. There are plenty of other uses, such as providing your fist with a secondary artificial skeletal support for strikes — and if you’re trained, you can strike pressure points with far greater effectiveness than what human fingers could inflict on a target. Overall, its most fundamental job is to essentially amplify the attacker’s damage and leverage your strength against their pressure points along with other critical target areas.

Applied Penmanship: An Honest Tactical Assessment

Now, let’s just tally up a few pointers on exactly how versatile this particular weapon truly is. Let’s get started …

  • Provides leverage for control, power against pressure points, and support for your knuckles.
  • Is a multi-purpose item. If there was a time when recording specific details became an absolute necessity, it would be after having employed a tactical pen in a defensive situation.
  • Makes skin breakage almost a given, providing you with a sneaky DNA collector/scraper for when you are able to discuss unfolding events with authorities.
  • Is an excellent non-lethal option for smaller-framed individuals that will need added leverage in a fight.
  • Is a situational weapon, suited for urban environments where other purpose-weapons (knives, firearms, etc.) may draw unwanted attention or be outlawed altogether.

Final Considerations?

I’ve said this before, and I will say this a thousand times: TRAIN. TRAIN … and then TRAIN some more. If you find yourself often in situations that pose considerable danger of landing you in a defensive situation, or you simply intend on carrying a weapon, it is essential that you seek out instruction and training on how to use a weapon such as this. Last thing you want is to employ it in a fight unprepared, since weaponry is a natural way to dangerously escalate hostilities.

Another reason why you should train before using this weapon (or any, for that matter) is that this weapon CAN kill an opponent if struck in certain critical areas, such as the temples or puncturing the trachea. If you have training, then you can adjust your technique according to the severity and/or intention of the threat.

Aside from that, if you train with it, then I’d certainly recommend getting one of these mighty little defenders.

Have you ever used a tactical pen? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:

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

Self Defense Options: More than Just Guns

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from valknut79. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


Imagine being in the middle of a crowded festival, enjoying your time with your family.  All of a sudden, you find yourself near some drunks who start a fight, and you can’t help but separate from your family, and get pulled into the fray. You’re a prepper, and like most preppers, you’re carrying a small firearm, in this case a small pistol.  Do you use it?

Some would say yes – it’s time to defend the family, and that’s what a weapon is for, right?  Others hold off – bringing deadly force into a relatively small conflict is a certain legal issue and is probably not necessary considering that these people are drunk.  That said, this is clearly a self-defense situation.  Considering that a gunshot in a crowded public space is one of the fastest ways to start a riot, potentially getting you or your family even more harmed, the balance point for many tends to tip towards leaving your weapon holstered.

Imagine again.  This time, you and your family return home, and see the basement window broken.  Alarm bells are going off in your head, and you draw your weapon, instructing the kids to wait in the car.  Upon entering, you are able to see that the dangerous infiltrator is actually a 14-year-old boy who lives down the road.  Is he dangerous, or just a neighborhood nuisance?  You have less than seconds to decide.

Maybe you are one to draw in these circumstances, however, I believe that these are two examples of situations where yes, a gun could be advantageous to you, but it would be better left holstered.

Of all the four major prep areas – food, water, shelter and defense – it is defense that is most often overlooked.  I know preppers who think that all they need is a pistol and some ammunition, while others stock an armory, but the fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep.  In reality, self-defense is so much more.

Personal Defense                

The fact remains that for most, defense is simply just about the weapons you choose to keep. In reality, self defense is so much more.

The first line of defense to prepare is your last line of defense – your ability to defend your own person.  Guns are fantastic, but are not always the best solution to a conflict.  The best way to start that process is to take a martial arts class regularly.

Martial arts classes are incredibly varied, and depending on where you live, you should find a broad spectrum of different styles.  You could opt for a striking art like TaeKwon Do, Karate or Kung Fu, or you could focus on a martial art that emphasizes grappling such as Judo.  There are many arts that are combinations by nature (any MMA style or Krav Maga), and there are many schools of striking or grappling arts that borrow from outside of the strict boundaries of their chosen style to incorporate a broad range of self-defense elements.

Striking arts are probably what everyone thinks of when they imagine martial arts, as they are based on using your hands and feet to punch, chop and kick your way to safety.  These arts value speed and quickness over size and power, and often incorporate a large variety of cardio exercise practices that will double as your workout for the day.  The major advantage to learning a striking art is clear – these arts are focused on disabling an opponent quickly from a (relative) distance, and allow you at least a small chance of fighting multiple opponents.  A typical class will involve practicing kata or patterns of movements, practice kicks and punches against air, striking heavy bags or padded opponents, and jumping techniques.

Grappling arts are going to be more similar to wrestling than what you’d likely think of as a “martial arts” technique.  Instead of punches and kicks, you’ll learn disabling holds, pressure points, and throws.  A certain amount of size and strength is not necessarily essential, but will definitely help.  Classes for grappling arts tend to emphasize one-on-one, back-and-forth style of practice (I’ll throw you, then you throw me), and may not be as exercise-heavy as a striking art.  The advantages of studying a grappling art are the fact that they focus on defending yourself from abductions and mugging-style grabs and unarmed defense against an armed opponent, which are highly practical scenarios.  In addition, many people who have studied street fights have noted that over 80% of these encounters end up on the ground, where grapplers have a distinct advantage.

Both styles give you opportunities to practice against your classmates in simulated fighting scenarios.  Striking courses usually incorporate sparring practice where you use heavy pads and light contact to simulate a fight and test your reflexes and skills.  This allows you to safely practice your skills so that you’ll know you can function in times when you need to defend yourself. Grappling arts use amateur wrestling, or kneeling wrestling known as rendori as sport-practice.  In rendori, you maneuver your opponent on the mat in an attempt to make them submit from a painful or inescapable hold.

Finding a style is a good choice, but it may be better to find a school first and a style second.  Not all martial arts courses are created equally.  Many are black belt factories, where you pay a certain fee and are guaranteed a black belt after a certain amount of time.  Other schools are going to emphasize tournament performance or flashy-but-not-realistic jumping and leaping attacks.  Good schools are hard to come by, but they’ll offer a variety of different types of skills and performance elements, have a wide variety of people at varying levels of abilities and ages, and have experienced instructors.  Park districts are an excellent place to begin, but there are some valuable strip mall dojos that offer different types of instruction.  Ask for a free trial class, or at least to watch a class before signing up.

Non-Gun Weapons

Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality.

In addition to a basic level of skill in hand-to-hand combat, I think it’s also important to find a hand-to-hand weapon to supplement your firearm and EDC kit.  My personal choice is a tactical flashlight that functions as a striking weapon, a strobe light to distract and disorient my attackers, and a tool that I can use in my everyday life.  Some models of tactical flashlights have stun guns or preprogrammed SOS signals that can add to its functionality, and since it’s a small flashlight it is a very inconspicuous weapon that is never taken away from me at sporting events or theme parks.  If you don’t like that suggestion, consider some of these other hand-to-hand weapons that are easy to carry:

Remember that no matter what weapon you choose to carry that you are well equipped and ready to use it.  A knife may not be the best weapon for every encounter, but if that’s what you choose, that’s what you might be stuck with.  If you pull pepper spray from your pocket or purse, know how to use it, or it will be taken away and used against you.

Dogs

Best Prepper Dog for SHTF

My final suggestion for personal defense is to get yourself a dog.

Dogs are fantastic companion animals that are also overlooked but highly practical pieces of a prepper’s armory.  They require much more regular upkeep than what you’re storing in your gun cabinet currently, but are also useful for a wide variety of situations.

Dogs are not a fail-safe mechanism for security.  Just check YouTube and you’ll find hundreds of home security videos of dogs peacefully approaching burglars and not making a peep if that burglar thought ahead to bringing some dog treats with them.  That said, training and mentally stimulating your dog will certainly help in developing his senses enough to make him a versatile tool and defense mechanism as well as a companion.

Training your dog to be a more aggressive “guard dog” is certainly an option, but one that I would strongly discourage.  It is important for your dog to be socialized among other animals and be extremely selective about whom he attacks.  An “attack dog” is not a good choice, and will likely do you more harm than good, both in terms of legal trouble and difficulty in raising and training him.

If you don’t want a traditional guard dog, and if your dog is more likely to lick your home invader than attack him or warn you, then why bother?  It’s easy – prepper dogs are a highly effective deterrent for would-be attackers.

There is an old adage that states “When you’re running from a bear, you don’t need to be the fastest, you just need to not be the slowest.”  Choosing a large breed of dog, such as a Rottweiler, or an American or Olde English bulldog will definitely make your home significantly less appealing for any home invaders or burglars. More intelligent breeds, such as German Shepherds can act as an early warning system for people approaching your home, and may be able to be put to work around your home for basic tasks if you keep livestock.  These kinds of dogs are also those that have a reputation of being aggressive (even though they’re not), and their reputation alone can be a deterrent.  Keep in mind that many of our modern breeds, even those poorly designed for defense like bloodhounds or greyhounds, were originally bred to be hunters or highly specialized seekers, and have many practical applications in SHTF or survival situations

Taking dogs with you when you go outside for exercise or a walk is a good way for urban preppers to discourage muggers and attackers.  Even rural and suburban preppers can benefit from having a dog along on walks or runs in case of twisted ankles, or in the event that you are involved in some sort of accident.  My mother-in-law was riding her horse that she’d ridden thousands of times in the past, along a trail that she had ridden hundreds of times before, and when her horse was inexplicably spooked she fell off.  It was her golden lab that ran back to the farm alone to find help while she was knocked out.

All told, the advantages of having an animal companion are significant, specifically in terms of defense.  For those with allergies, there are some hypoallergenic dogs that are available, and depending on the breed you choose, you may find yourself unaffected by short-haired breeds.

A dog is not the highest priority on the list, but can certainly be a helpful addition to a home or personal defense system.  I certainly feel better about leaving my teenage daughter home alone for runs to the store or when I’m out to dinner with my wife when Arthur (my 90-pound monster of an American Bulldog) is home with her, even those he’s secretly a big softie.

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Shoot To Kill: Instinctive Shooting

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Written by Orlando Wilson on The Prepper Journal.

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In close quarters, defensive shooting, you do not aim as such using your handguns sights, because you usually you do not have time for this. You use a method known as instinctive – or point shooting. Instinctive shooting is simple you point the gun and pull the trigger. You need to ensure you have a good grip on your handgun, your wrist is locked and the forearm of your gun hand is in line with your handgun.

For instinctive or point shooting at ranges of about 3 to 10 yards, you should bring the handgun up with stretched arms at chest or chin level, with both eyes looking at your target area. Point the handgun at the target area (i.e. head or chest); when the target is aligned, you fire. There is no need to use the sights, you simply point and shoot. I have seen students, who have been taught to always use the sights on their handguns, even at close quarters, and have difficulty getting good results when shooting. This is usually because they are concentrating too hard on lining up their sights. They are usually amazed how easy, fast and what good results they can get from point shooting. You want to practice instinctive shooting with an unloaded handgun before you go to the range. To start, pick a point in the room you are in, for example, a light switch. Now with a straight-arm point your finger at the switch. Look down your arm and see where your finger is pointing- it should be pointing at the switch.

You have been pointing at things your whole life right? Practice this a few times and then try it with an unloaded handgun. Point the handgun at the switch without using the sights and then look down the sights to see where the gun is pointing. It should be pointing at the switch. If not, adjust your aim and try again. You should practice this strong and weak handed while sitting, standing or lying in bed, this will build up your muscle memory and make you flexible with the weapon. You want to work up to drawing from a concealed holster, pointing and dry firing (handgun unloaded) at different points, from different position, this is good training and will improve your shooting.

Instinctive Shooting takes practice

To train in instinctive or point shooting at the range with live ammunition, place a silhouette target at approximately 5 yards down range. Hold your handgun with a relaxed two-handed isosceles or modified weaver / boxer’s stance and pointed at the bottom of the target. Look at the chest area of the target and raise your handgun until it is pointing at the area where you are looking at, without using the sights. When your gun is stable fire one shot, check the target to see where the shot hit. Lower the handgun and continue with this until your shots regularly hit the chest area, then move on to the head. Next bring the target in to 2 or 3 yards and practice firing from the hip. The handgun should be fired with one hand; just look at the chest area of the target and point the handgun where you are looking and fire one shot. Check the target to see where the shot hit and adjust your aim as required. Continue with this until your shots regularly hit the chest area. You need to practice these drills strong and weak handed, I will discuss this more later.

You want to practice instinctive shooting with an unloaded handgun before you go to the range.

You then want to progress to firing two quick shots; this is called “double-tapping”. At first, take this slowly; as you get more confident and accurate, speed up, make sure both of the shots hit the target. You want to work up to being able to fire at least five shots instinctively, rapidly and accurately into a target at 5 yards/meters and beyond. If you are involved in a hostile situation you need to put as many rounds as possible into the criminal as quickly as possible to end the confrontation before you, your family or clients get hurt. Remember, you need to have a good grip and keep your wrist locked and forearm aligned with your handgun. As you will see Instinctive, or point shooting, is simple: just get a good grip on the weapon then point and shoot. A lot of instructors over complicate things to try to make themselves look intelligent. This is OK for competition shooting but could ultimately cost you your life in a street situation- keep it simple.

As I have previously stated, if you are unfortunate enough to ever have to use your handgun for defensive reasons, you need to continue to put rounds into the criminal or terrorist until they go down and no longer present a threat. If you do not think you could ever shoot and possibly kill a person, then don’t carry a gun and consider other non-lethal methods of self-defense. If you pull a gun and freeze, you could be giving the bad guys a weapon they could take from and used against you.

When starting out use the center of the chest area of the target as your point of aim and, in time progress to head shots. As you will have read, the best place to shoot someone in order to immediately incapacitate them is in the head. The issue with head-shots lies in the fact that the head is a smaller area to aim at and hit than the chest. You stand a better chance of getting a bullet in your opposition by aiming for the center of the chest but one round to the head and the confrontation will be over. You must remember that in a real-life situation things will happen quickly, as you and your target will most probably be moving and chances are it will be dark and you will need to put bullets into your opposition quickly. Head-shots are best and you should train for them, with practice you should be able to put rounds into the head area of a silhouette target at 5 yards/meters with little effort. A lot will depend on your capabilities with your handgun, if you know you cannot get head-shots past 5 yards/meters go for the chest. If you are engaging moving targets at your medium distance go for the center of the chest and as always fire multiple rounds.

When starting out use the center of the chest area of the target as your point of aim and, in time progress to head shots.

Do not get into the habit of shooting the center of mass on police qualification silhouette targets as this is usually the middle of the stomach area, shots there will kill someone in time but there are no vital organs there that immediately incapacitate someone. A good example of this could be the Toulouse (France) terrorist incident in March, 2012 where the terrorist “Mohamed Merah” was killed by French Security force. The terrorist “Merah” was responsible the numerous attacks on unarmed French military personnel and Jewish families which resulted 8 deaths and others wounded. The French police and security forces located Merah at his 2nd floor apartment and a siege situation developed. After several days, the tactical team “RAID” assaulted Merah’s apartment, which he had barricaded to slow down attackers. When the RAID team made entry Merah attacked them with guns blazing, in the resulting gun battle 3 members of the RAID team were shot. Merah was shot over 20 times but still managed to jump through a window, where he was finally killed by a sniper with a head shot.

It was reported Merah received multiple shots to the arms and legs, it’s clear the RAID assault team were not going for head shots, the after incident reports state over 300 rounds were fired. Especially at close quarters you must be hitting vital organs and bones to end the situation as quickly as possible. The RAID team is very highly trained but at close quarters when lead is flying and there is no cover luck has a lot to do with not getting hit! So, avoid the situation or end it as quickly as possible!

After a while of practicing instinctive shooting, you should be consistently hitting the target in the chest and head areas, without using your sights and firing multiple rounds. You should then practice with the target at 7 yards and then at 10 yards as your shooting gets better. Novice shooters are usually surprised at how inaccurate a handgun can be. Numerous times we have had students who fire a 5-round aimed grouping at a target 25 yards and are baffled why they missed. Everyone misses to start with and you must remember that you cannot become an expert marksman after shooting 50 rounds- it takes time and practice.  It is only in the movies that someone can shoot from the hip with a handgun and hit a person running 100 yards/meters away. Handguns are meant in general for close quarters conversational range targets.

You need to practice firing with one and two hand grips both left and right-handed, firing from cover, firing from a seated position, firing from a kneeling position, etc.

If you intend to carry a handgun, you must learn to draw the handgun from your holster. You should buy a quick draw holster, without thumb breaks or retention devices, but I will discuss this in a later chapter. To draw a handgun, you simply grip the handgun, pull it from the holster and point it at the target in one smooth movement. The handgun should take the shortest route from the holster to the target. Care must be taken when you initially start drawing from a holster and you should practice first with an unloaded handgun until you feel confident enough to draw with a loaded handgun.

When you can draw from a holster and instinctively shoot and hit your target make things a little more difficult by practicing drawing while wearing a shirt or jacket. Additionally, you need to practice firing with one and two hand grips both left and right-handed, firing from cover, firing from a seated position, firing from a kneeling position, etc. Again, these drills can and should be practiced dry firing, until you feel comfortable enough to do them with a loaded handgun.

If you are training properly after putting several hundred rounds down range, you should be able to smoothly draw your handgun from a concealed holster and put multiple rounds accurately into the vital areas of two targets at 7 yards/meters. You will then be ready to carry a handgun for defensive purposes and be better trained than many supposed professional’s firearms experts, criminals and terrorists.

About the author: Orlando Wilson is ex-British Army and has been in the international security industry for over 25 years. He has initiated, provided, and managed an extensive range of specialist security including investigation and tactical training services to international corporate, private, and government clients. Some services have been the first of their kind in the respective countries. His experience has included: providing close protection for Middle Eastern Royal families and varied corporate clients, specialist security and asset protection, diplomatic building and embassy security, kidnap and ransom services, corporate investigations, and intelligence, tactical, and paramilitary training for private individuals, specialist police units, and government agencies. You can learn more about Orlando and his services at his site Risks Incorporated.

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Is This The Most Overrated ‘Prepper Gun’ On the Market?

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Is This The Most Overrated ‘Prepper Gun’ On the Market?

Image source: ArmsList.com

One of the more interesting firearms used by the U.S. military was the M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon. This was a superposed 22 Hornet rifle barrel over a .410 shotgun barrel that was usually stored in collapsed form in a tool bag aboard airplanes, particularly long-range bombers that flew over the Arctic. Spare ammunition was stored in the butt stock.

The point of these firearms was to give a downed aircrew a fighting chance at survival until they reached safety or were rescued. Based on its design, it sounds almost like the perfect survival rifle to store in a vehicle, boat, aircraft or backpack.

Instead of a typical firearm trigger, the shooter has a large trigger bar to depress in order to fire the M6 Scout. This design shows the lineage from the Cold War because it was made so the shooter could fire the M6 while wearing extreme cold weather mittens.

It is definitely interesting, but it has a few quirks.

A civilian version was offered by Springfield Armory called the M6 Scout. The rifles were actually built by CZ and came in two caliber choices: 22 Hornet over .410 shotgun or 22 long rifle over .410 shotgun. Parkerized and stainless steel versions also were available.

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

“Civilian version” is a key term, as the M6 Scout had 18-inch barrels in order to comply with the National Firearms Act that prohibits smoothbore barrels shorter than that, without paying for a tax stamp. For safety reasons, a “trigger guard” was added over the trigger bar.

Small Hands Needed

Is This The Most Overrated ‘Prepper Gun’ On the Market?

Image source: GunListings.org

In order to fire it as it shipped from Springfield Armory, you need to have tiny hands. The trigger guard also keeps the M6 from compactly folding in half. I just remove the trigger guard to make life simpler.

With the trigger guard out of the picture, the shooter needs to cock the hammer like a single-action revolver and can choose which barrel to fire by pulling the hammer up to fire the top barrel or pushing it down to fire the shotgun barrel.

The sights are crude, but scope mounts are available to aid in accuracy. Yet the weakest link is that trigger bar. It is almost never consistent, besides being heavy and awkward.

There is no forend on the M6. Some shooters wrap the lower barrel in paracord to aid in shooting and to give a ready supply of paracord should they need some. I leave mine the way it is, but do run a sling made from paracord.

This is another area where the ball was dropped. There is a front swivel of sorts: a hole in the barrel band that can accept a European swivel. Smaller Euro swivels can be ordered for more money than a custom sling may cost; I drilled mine out to take a standard U.S. swivel. For the rear swivel I removed a stock screw and installed an M1 Garand stock swivel using the existing stock screw to keep it in place.

Accuracy is not the best with these, but if you get used to that trigger bar, you can use the M6 on small game. If space allows it and you can find the mount, a small red dot sight might come in handy, as well.

They may be one of the most overrated prepper guns on the market. One of the modern Savage or Chiappa superposed rifle/shotgun combinations will work better in this regard — such as a 223 or 22 Magnum over a 20 Gauge.

As a collector’s piece they are interesting and they certainly fit a minimalist role as a take-down rifle, but I think there are better survival rifles for real-world purposes out there that offer improved accuracy, better take-down power on small game as well as higher capacity.

Have you ever shot an M6? Do you think it is overrated? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

The Lightweight, Ultra-Portable Survival Rifle That’s Just 16 Inches Long

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The Lightweight, Ultra-Portable Survival Rifle That’s Just 16 Inches Long

Image source: Henry Rifles

A survival rifle is typically a minimalist rifle that can be broken down and stored in a vehicle, boat, aircraft or backpack and brought to use as a “last resort” firearm for taking wild game. As such, it is typically chambered in calibers like 22 LR, 22 Hornet or 410 shotgun. A typical survival rifle is not the ideal firearm for big-game hunting or home defense. This is something to have when you may need it most. One of the most popular designs was built by Armalite as the AR-7.

The concept of a survival rifle goes back to World War II. Pilots who were shot down but survived behind enemy lines were mostly lucky to have a revolver or maybe even an M1911A1. Those might be good for personal defense if you had to parachute into no-man’s land, but what if you had to bail out on a deserted island with no food prospects?

One of the first answers to these was the M4 Survival Rifle, made by Harrington & Richardson with a 14-inch barrel and wire collapsible stock. These were chambered in 22 Hornet and stowed under the pilot’s seat. They were replaced by the M6 Aircrew Survival Weapon, which was an over/under 22 Hornet/410 shotgun combination.

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

In the 1950s, Eugene Stoner of Armalite came up with the AR-5, a takedown bolt-action rifle chambered in 22 Hornet and all the components were stored in the rifle’s butt stock. The Air Force never picked it up in an official capacity, but the research and development enabled Armalite to improve the idea and develop a semiautomatic 22 LR version for the civilian market.

By making the majority of the rifle from aluminum, Stoner was able to reduce the weight dramatically.

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The AR-7 breaks down into four components: action, magazine, barrel and stock. The entire rifle can be stored in the stock – it’s about 16.5 inches long that way — and is capable of floating in the water in this state for a brief period of time.

Armalite built them in three variants (camo, brown and black stocks) from 1959 to 1973 and in my opinion, these are the best of the breed. Although never adopted by the U.S. Military, they were built to a MILSPEC standard when the standard still meant something.

In 1973, the design was sold to Charter Arms, which made it until 1993. Charter Arms offered the AR-7 Explorer in black, woodland camouflage and a “silver” hard chrome plated version. In the 1980s it offered an Explorer pistol, which resembled a Mauser Broomhandle pistol, but was chambered in 22 LR and used many of the parts from the AR-7 rifle.

You get a mixed bag with a Charter Arms AR-7. Some work great and some are ammunition sensitive; others are complete junk. They may represent the majority of AR-7 rifles in the wild and are most likely the source of the rifle’s less-than-stellar reputation with some shooters.

In 1996, the rifle was offered by Survival Arms of Cocoa, Fla. Information is scarce on this entity, but in all likelihood it was simply an offshoot of Charter Arms to set the rifle apart from the revolvers the company was more famous for offering. They seemed very similar to the Charter Arms rifles I had tried.

A few years later the rifle showed up on dealer shelves with the markings: “AR-7 Industries, LLC of Meriden, Connecticut.” I have not tried one of these models, but heard that Armalite Industries bought the company out and dissolved it for whatever reason in 2004.

Henry Arms picked up the design around that time and has been making the AR-7 for more than a decade. While early rifles had some feeding problems, the current versions have shown a lot of improvement.

For one, they ditched the fiberglass stock (which was prone to cracking on every other variant, including Armalite) and went with ABS plastic. The butt stock has room to store three magazines instead of one (the trick is to leave the third magazine in the action).

Most importantly, they eliminated the old-style aluminum barrel with a steel liner, which had a tendency to bend or warp and opted for an all-steel barrel, which may weigh a bit more but increases accuracy and reliability. In addition, all of the rifle’s parts are coated in Teflon, and they added a legit scope rail to the top of the receiver.

If you have been intrigued by these rifles and are thinking about one or two for your preps, I recommend Henry’s version, first. It was made with all the right upgrades and it is relatively inexpensive. If you’re looking at a used rifle, I would recommend Armalite or AR-7 Industries over the versions by Charter/Survival Arms.

With quality magazines and quality ammunition, these rifles work as intended. The other half of the problem may be over their use. That is, these were never meant to be taken to the range every weekend to see how fast you could burn up a brick of 22 rim fire. I like to think of them in the same way I think of the “mini spare” tire in a car.

It’s enough to get you home, but you don’t want to run the Indy 500 with it.

Have you ever shot an AR-7? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Alternative Weapons for Self-Defense and Survival

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lanchaku

For most people, stockpiling weapons for hunting and self-defense in a survival situation means choosing the best combination of firearms and bladed weapons. But there are some people for whom firearms aren’t a feasible or desired choice. If you’re one of those people who prefers not to use firearms for hunting and self-defense, if you want a backup to your blade, or if you are unable to use firearms for some reason, below are a list of alternative weapons you can consider.

Deterrent Weapons

No conversation about alternative weapons would be complete without pointing out the usefulness of deterrent weapons.  Sometimes the best way to win a fight is simply not to stick around long enough to lose.  The weapons in this section can be useful to deter or distract your opponent so you can escape safely.

Use deterrent weapons in a survival situation you’re not planning to stick around to defend your territory, and your only goal is to distract your opponent long enough to get away. Sometimes your only option is to grab whatever item is closest to you. But if you don’t have any practical self-defense or hand to hand combat training, you will want to make getting training a top priority.

  • Pepper Spray, Bee, or Wasp Spray
  • Keys
  • Dirt or Sand
  • A ball bat, shovel or metal rake
  • Bleach or Cleaning Solutions
  • Boiling Water or Cast Iron Pan

Air Soft Guns

If you are seeking non-lethal alternatives to firearms, you might consider one of the many airsoft guns on the market or even one of the airsoft guns you can make yourself. Airsoft guns are lightweight, quieter than a traditional firearm, and ammunition is accessible and inexpensive to stockpile. An airsoft gun will not kill or maim your opponent, but it can be used to distract them long enough for you to get out of reach.

Defensive Weapons

Bows and Compound Bows

These are long-range weapons and a good alternative in a survival situation. They are used primarily for hunting, but if you are skilled in its use, it can be used to defend your territory. Bows and Compound bows are one of the cheapest weapons to make, obtain and own because with the right know-how and practice; you can make your arrows and even a bow from natural materials.

Of course, there are also more modern crossbows you can purchase that release arrows with a trigger, but it may not pay to channel Darryl Dixon in a survival situation once Martial Law is declared. Confiscation of all firearms and recognizable weapons is likely early on. Far better to have the skill and knowledge to make your own for hunting and self-defense once you reach your bug out location.

Spears

Although it may seem antiquated, the spear was probably one of the most widely used weapons in history and are still useful for self-defense, hunting, and even fishing. Spears can be thrown to hit a target farther off or thrust into an opponent at close range. They require more strength and practice than other alternative weapons but can be made entirely from materials found in the wilderness if needed.

Slingshots

A slingshot is another great alternate weapon during a survival situation. The huge benefits of using a slingshot as an alternative weapon are that it is relatively easy for most people to use, you can make one yourself using just a few materials. Use a Y-shaped branch and stock up or scavenge surgical tubing, a bicycle tube or thera-band strips.

Consider one of these 14 slingshot designs by Jorg Sprave of The Slingshot Channel. He even includes one you can make yourself and one specifically for self-defense that includes a flashlight and a canister of pepper spray.

Flare Guns

A rocket flare fired from a flare gun signals for help during an emergency, but the benefit of this as an alternative weapon is that it’s not a target during a weapons confiscation raid. There aren’t many opponents who will give you much trouble if you shoot them in the stomach or chest with a ball of fire from a rocket flare gun.

Obviously, there are many more alternative weapons to firearms for a survival situation. To choose the best weapon to use to protect yourself and your family following a SHTF event, consider your options carefully. Make sure you review the pros and cons of any alternative weapon you choose and take the time to learn and practice using it so you will be confident in its use when it matters most.

The post Alternative Weapons for Self-Defense and Survival appeared first on My Family Survival Plan.

The Karambit Knife: A Great Self-Defense Weapon

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Some have stated that the Karambit Knife has a dark appeal, well that may be so, but we here like to use the word “wicked”. The Karambit looks wicked with an incredible grace about it, and we like it that way.

Once you receive the knife, you will want to stare at it, handle it, hold it up so the light reflects a certain way, and you will find yourself considering all the possibilities as you gaze at it. It is almost like a fine work of art on canvas. You want to move the knife as you would your body as you stare at a painting. Because every time you move a new angle appears on the canvas, one you never knew was there. However, unlike a painting hung for your pleasure, a Karambit knife is meant for action, it cries out to be used.

The forebears of the modern Karambit first surfaced in Indonesia during the 11th century as a farming tool and utility blade. The thriving trade industry at the time allowed the knife or tool as many at the time considered it, to migrate throughout Southeast Asia. You simply cannot keep a good thing hidden, and while designs may vary and there are several copycats, the Original Karambit maintains its arcing blade, which provided functionality well beyond that of a straight blade.

Based on a tiger’s claw the blade is designed for tearing, ripping and slicing, yes wicked is the word.

The knife’s safety ring keeps the knife in your hand whether you are cutting rope, canvas, carving wood, or defending yourself. The design allows you to hold the knife in various positions to rip, tear, or slice. If you ever have to defend yourself against an assailant with a straight bladed knife you will likely get cut by your own knife, you will literally have skin in the game. Your hand will slide up the handle to the blade in most cases due to sweat, dust, water, or even from blood on your hands. With a safety ring, however, you maintain control and reduce or eliminate wounds inflicted by your own self-defense measures.

The knife’s safety ring is positioned at the end of the handle. This allows the user to insert a finger through the ring before closing their hand on the knife’s handle. Some Karambit knives have an additional safety ring located on the shaft of the handle below the blade itself, which allows for palming of the blade. The design makes it hard for someone to disarm you, and to use your own weapon against you. The design is all about retention and allows use at awkward angles, particularly when you are fighting for your life.

Attack and counter attack. Some of the knives have multiple cutting surfaces or edges with various configurations, each of which provides distinct advantages and benefits for both utility and tactical use. 

The Karambit may very well become part of your everyday carry. This is not to say that you should toss out your straight-bladed knife. Consider a Karambit an additional tool in your arsenal.

There is a learning curve, and like any knife, they can be dangerous if handled improperly. You need to take the time to “get the feel” for the knife. Learn its capabilities, and discover just what a versatile tool it can be. Remember it started out as a tool mainly used in an agricultural setting, but of course, the self-defense applications became readily apparent to the users.

You can practice with a training Karambit if you want to use it as a self-defense weapon only. A mockup version, if you will, allows you to make mistakes without losing a finger or considerable amounts of blood because you do need to practice moves to increase your own capabilities. Remember the knife itself is harmless. It is the well-trained person using it, which is dangerous. Always respect your tools, train with them, and build your confidence up, which can only come from intensive practice and then hope you never have to use one to defend yourself.

There are no specific laws regarding a Karambit. The laws that pertain to any knife folding or straight bladed would also apply to this knife. Each state dictates what is allowed to be carried on your person in public, and which knives are not, so know the laws in your state.

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It’s The Ultimate Survival Cartridge (Because It Won’t Ever Be Banned)

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It's The Ultimate Survival Cartridge (Because It Won't Ever Be Banned)

Image source: Flickr. License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

Developed for use in the famous Model 1873 “Trapdoor” Springfield rifle, the 45-70 cartridge has managed to remain popular and in regular use for nearly 150 years. While commonly regarded as a big-game load – it has been used on African safaris to take elephants — it can serve as the ultimate survival round with a little care in loading and understanding, thus making any .45-70 firearm into a one-gun-does-it-all game-getter.

It originally was issued with a 405 grain bullet over a 70 grain black powder charge, but later versions included rounds with a lighter 55 grain powder charge for carbines, and a 500 grain bullet over 70 grains of powder. Any of these loads would be devastating on large game, and the full power loads suitable for even buffalo or large bear. These loads, developed with black powder pressures, are commonly referred to as “Trapdoor” loads, indicating their suitability for guns that cannot handle higher pressures. These include the many original and replica Springfields running around, and certain older Harrington and Richardson single shot rifles, and such.

However, stronger actions have been developed, and many modern .45-70s can take higher pressure loads made with smokeless powders — typically Marlin and Henry lever-action rifles, and .45-70 pistols. These loads are sometimes called standard or intermediate loads, and should never be shot in Trapdoors or old black powder rifles. Moving on up are loads for strong-action rifles, such as the Ruger Number 1, and the NEF Handi Rifle. When shooting these high-pressure shoulder bruisers, it is important you only shoot them in guns warranted by the manufacturer of the ammo or gun as suitable for high-pressure loads.

After the .45-70 was invented, it didn’t take long for the Army to issue so-called “forager rounds.” These are .45-70 cases loaded with a shot-filled wooden bullet and issued for hunting game, and also where we start exploring the world of the .45-70 as an all-around survival cartridge. We are probably familiar with “snake shot” or “rat shot” rounds for the .22 and some common handguns, and the same concept can be scaled up for the .45-70, and will successfully take game out to a few yards. While it’s no long-range game-getter, it is suitable for taking small game at realistic ranges. Since these sorts of shells have to be made by hand, some experimenting with powder and shot charges will be needed to find the right load for your gun. While not a substitute for a traditional small-game gun, these will work, and are the first step into creating a survival loadout for your favorite .45-70.

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It's The Ultimate Survival Cartridge (Because It Won't Ever Be Banned) We also have the “collar button” bullets. Developed to allow troops to practice marksmanship indoors with a low-recoiling round, these 150ish grain bullets are easy to shoot, accurate and more importantly, can be used to hunt all sorts of game, saving both powder and lead. This is another case where the patient handloader will have to get molds, cast their own bullets and work up a load suitable for their rifle and their needs.

Beyond this, there are a huge array of 300-500 grain bullets suitable for the .45-70, and depending on the powder charge, suitable for literally any living creature walking the face of the earth. With a little care and effort, a person with even a trapdoor Springfield can have a survival weapon that will harvest everything from small to big game.

The .45-70 firearms have been made for a century and a half in this country, and the popularity of this round shows no signs of abating. It is not only a classic American cartridge, but it is rich with the history and romance of the Old West and has proven itself in combat and survival situations. The well-equipped homesteader or prepper gains another advantage with the .45-70, in that it was originally a black powder cartridge. If you have a supply of lead and primers, you can make your own powder, and turn your big bore rifle into the ultimate off-the-grid shooting iron.

As an added bonus, nearly every .45-70 made falls into some sort of “traditional” looking form, be it single shots or lever-action rifles. These are commonly seen as “safe” in the eyes of anti-gunners, and are rarely targeted for increased regulation or confiscation. It is possible that in some horrible future, your old buffalo gun might be the only firearm you can openly own or discuss, and combined with the huge array of loads for it makes it an excellent under-the-radar gun.

While not as sexy as an AR-15, or cool as a modern tactical bolt-action rifle, with the right loads, the .45-70 has been feeding and fighting for America for generations. It is an unbroken line of culture and defense handed down from our ancestors to the present day, and if you listen closely, you, too, can hear the wisdom of keeping that big boomer around for another generation.

Do you agree or disagree? Are you a fan of the .45-70? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Leather Vs. Kydex: Which Is Truly Better For Everyday Carry?

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Leather Vs. Kydex: Which Is Truly Best For Concealed Carry?

Image source: Pixabay.com

Leather vs. Kydex — it’s been a point of contention among shooters since the first days of the Kydex holster in the 1970s, but leather has endured and doesn’t seem to be budging anytime soon. And for good reason.

Let’s just say they’re both pretty awesome, but we should not give them a pass that easily. Though both options definitely have their strong points, the cons on these weapon carry options can make a grown man cry (literally). For instance …

You know that clacky-scrapy sound, when someone fast-draws from a Kydex thigh rig? If you’re like me, then chances are that you would always think, “Hmm… sounds cool, but it also sounds like this 1911 will soon be headed back to the blueing bench again.” Hey, let’s face it: Kydex can be very tough on weapon finish. It might not be able to remove the hard water stains off the Hoover Dam, but it’s definitely known for giving a handgun’s blueing the wire-brush treatment.

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On the other hand, we should also not forget that Kydex holsters have always been known for being safe and effective. Leather holsters, on the other hand? Well, to be fair, I am reminded of this old video. Viewer discretion is advised.

Story continues below video

 

Turns out that if you don’t take care of your everyday-carry leather holster, then it could deform near the trigger well. And if you’re also running a 1911 with a trigger that tends to pull about the weight of an average Chihuahua … well, yes, then you’d have the perfect storm for an accidental discharge — not to mention a subsequent gunshot wound to the leg.

When it comes to leather, the rule is simple: Take care of your holster, and it will take care of you.

Ye Olde Benefits of Leather

Leather holsters basically last forever. Believe it or not, some holsters that are being used today will remain functional longer than most humans will remain living. Heck, there are even holsters from 167 years ago that are still on display, and they look great! So, you might as well write your leather sheath or holster into your will, because it’s not going anywhere anytime soon.

With that being said, leather simply has no equal in classiness, general attractiveness, and has been making gunslingers swoon for a century and a half. You just can’t beat the sight of a Colt Peacemaker, nestled gently inside an oiled piece of cowhide and fitted to a gunbelt. Speaking of which, another interesting — but often overlooked — benefit of leather is that they make for a great CCW holster. They’re smooth, won’t snag on clothing, and they’re more form-fitting, flexible and comfy.

Why Kydex Rocks

Kydex is way cheaper (at least in comparison to leather holsters) and simply refuses to bow down to mud, dirt, grime, moisture, sweat or even fish guts. Not to mention, it barely requires any form of regular maintenance. Basically, just pray over it once a year, and you’re good. Allow me to elaborate by quoting one of the greats, Robert Farago from The Truth About Guns:

KYDEX 100 is known in the business as “The Gold Standard for Thermoforming.” It’s super tough and durable. It arrives at the holster or sheath maker’s shop in a proprietary “alloy sheet.” It offers excellent formability, rigidity, break and chemical resistance. It also withstands high temperatures.

Now that sounds complicated enough to convince me on the durability factor. (But just to be fair, Farago does rip on Kydex earlier in the same article, due to its hate for gun finishes.)

To be honest, I’m not exactly sure that this article had much of an impact on the Kydex vs. leather debate, but hey, at least we had some fun in the process. To recap what we’ve learned here today, I will leave you with a good rule of thumb when trying to decide which holster is right for you:

Pick the leather holster for your Sunday clothes.

For everything else, there’s Kydex.

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

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

Gunfight Video: 10 Lessons Learned

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1)Carry a gun,  a FIGHTING gun, not a microsubcompactnano pocket carry special in 25 ACP with a capacity of 2+1.

2)Train. A lot.

3)Awareness. Enough of it and you may even avoid the fight entirely.

4)Apendix carry isnt that great. Its more obvious when drawing and that can get you killed. Stick to strong side, 4 oclock.

5)When shooting, shoot to kill and shoot a LOT.

6)If you’re not shooting, get out of the way (like his wife did)

7)Even at just a foot away, you can still miss.

8)Down doesn’t mean dead. Make sure he’s no longer a threat, kick his gun away.

9)Look for his friends, there may be more.

10)Brazilian cops do NOT mess around.

Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

No Need to Be Afraid of the Dark with the Right Night Vision Scope

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Hunting in low or no-light is possible – and it’s easier to catch more – with the right night vision scope. This buyer’s guide will share everything you need. Are you tired of missing your Read More …

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Realities of Defensive Conflicts

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I have seen a couple good things recently and addressing them both at once seemed to make the most sense. The first is a post by Larry Correia “The Legalities of Shooting People”

The second is security camera footage of a real life defensive shooting in Brazil a few days ago. I will talk about them in order. This is intentional because legal realities affect our tactical options.
Larry Correia is not a lawyer. You should not consider his excellent post to be legal advice. I am definitely not a lawyer or in any way qualified to give legal advice. If you are making life and death decisions based on random crap you read on the internet from a guy who admits he is not a specialist in the area you are an idiot. 


That disclaimer aside Larry Correia’s post is excellent. Other people such as Massad Ayoob are probably more knowledgeable but the way this post explains the issue is clear and simple. If a normal person without a legal background were to read one document to understand the criteria for use of lethal force this may not be the absolute best document but they could certainly do a lot worse.
The Reasonable Man point is key. In the event of a shooting you will need to convince somewhere between a couple and a dozen plus people that your actions were in fact those of a reasonable man in order to not go to adult time out. 


The discussion of the breakdown on Ability, Opportunity and Jeopardy needs little addition. The only real point I would make is that if you are a healthy normal sized adult man (being loose with all those terms) convincing people you were in legitimate fear of your life from another normal sized man; who does not show a weapon and isn’t stomping you while your on the ground or slamming your head into something is not a situation I would want to be in. 


Hell George Zimmerman was getting the shit beat out of him and he, though ultimately (legally at least) was vindicated had a heck of a time. 


The point there is unless you are elderly (I mean real old like 70+), a woman or an actual midget there are violent situations that can occur where you will not be able to justify going to guns.
The article then starts talking about police use of force and to be honest shifted out of my area of interest. The first half or so is gold though.

In closing a point that a girl I used to date brought up after her CCW course came to mind. Taking a handgun out in a dangerous situation is a bit complicated because as we have learned from South Narc stuff and Street Robberies and You it is a lot better to get your gun out earlier instead of later. At the same time you can’t just be whippping out guns or  pointing guns at people all the time. There is some ambiguity in situations where you might draw a handgun. When it comes to situations where you would shoot someone it is a lot simpler. The situations where you should shoot another human being in self defense are usually pretty clear cut. If you are in doubt that you should be shooting another person the answer is no you should not.

Next we have a video of an off duty Brazilian cop who was the victim of an attempted robbery. I find stuff coming out of South America particularly interesting as the level of crime in some areas is high, verging on completely ridiculous. Where it is now is also where we are generally headed as our country slips down to whatever state of collapse it will end up at.


The breakdown on The Firearms Blog is very good. My thoughts.
Mindset
The scenario of 2 or 3 goblins with guns is becoming fairly common. The old (3 shots, 3 yards, 3 seconds) conventional thoughts about self-defense are becoming less and less accurate. Since we want to prepare for violent conflicts today and TOMORROW, not a decade ago we need to consider this.


Also notice the bad guy’s waited until they were right on the cop to draw their guns. This is realistic. Bad guys aren’t going to take out weapons 50 yards away, or probably 10 yards away. They are going to get right on you. Like John Mosby said they will get close to you with some pretext like “Hey can I get a dollar” or “Can I borrow your phone?” to get close then the weapons will come out.


Coming back to the first point about legality. The time you are probably going to be justified in taking out your gun is probably (lots of scenarios and different thing can apply) when the bad guy takes theirs out so that means they will have the jump on you. Also they will probably be relatively close. 


Training:
This particular fight was close to but just outside contact range. Remember within a few feet the odds of a fight having a hand to hand component are high. As Tam says ‘You don’t have a gun, y’all have a gun.’


While partly a awareness/ mindset issue the time of getting your gun into action from the training side is based on your draw stroke to first shot. Faster is better. This is why you train for a reasonably fast draw.


The TFB post mentions the drill of 6 rounds at 6 feet in 6 seconds from the holster. Solid idea. It does not mention target size in the standard. My gut says that is a bit slow, especially for that distance.


Depending how far down this particular rabbit hole you want to go the case that a little .380 pocket pistol or ambiguous .38 snubby is not sufficient for this task can be made. This is certainly a complicated thing and I would prefer you carry a small gun to no gun but at least consider for some situations a small gun may not be enough. Filling one of the 2-3 armed men with bullets then running dry could leave them quite mad and you with an empty gun.


Certainly in a realistic violent encounter such as the one shown (as well as most potential scenarios) you need to be carrying a handgun where you can get it in a hurry. Basically this means on your waist or, while few if any serious instructors recommend them unless you are spending hours in the car, a readily accessible shoulder holster. This means that carry on ankles, in backpacks/ purses, fanny packs, in those under shirt holster things, etc are all no go’s. You aren’t going to be able to get to the damn gun in time. 


Reload, carry one. This is by far most important for lower capacity guns but depending on the level of risk a good idea in general. As my buddy Commander Zero put it a G19 is a snubby with 3 reloads. There is some truth to that statement. Still putting a reload in your pocket won’t kill you. 


Anyway I think these are a couple things you should think about.

Home Invasion And What To Do…

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Home invasion happens. While there are geographical areas more prone to home invasion than others due to socioeconomic and other circumstances, no household is immune. Home invasion could indeed happen anywhere. And you can be guaranteed that as we descend down further into the depths of economic turmoil, home invasion will become more wide spread […]

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

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The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

Image source: Cody Assmann

One of the most popular topics within the survival and prepping community is firearms, and it seems there are as many opinions as there are people.

Although there is a great deal of disagreement on which guns and what type of ammo you should stockpile, there are a few calibers that frequently enter most conversations. Two that come to mind are the .22 rifle and the 12-gauge shotgun.

Both guns have proven their usefulness in a variety of situations and can be effective hunting and defense tools. Survival aside, these guns consistently rank on lists of the most popular guns in America, year in and year out. If you happen to own either a .22 or a 12 gauge, one company, Aguila, is producing some ammunition you might want to explore.

Aguila Ammunition has been churning out ammunition to suit the needs of hunters, law enforcement, sport shooters, and the military since 1961. Recently I was able to get my hands on a few of the specialty cartridges they produce. Those rounds were the .22 Colibri and the 12-gauge Minishell slug.

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What caught my eye with the .22 Colibri was the advertised silence of the cartridge. The folks at Aguila promote the Colibri as a round that eliminates the need of a suppressor. As a guy who operates a trap line, many times near cattle feedlots, an ultra-quiet .22 round was definitely something I wanted to check out. Cattle in feedlots can be spooked, and the sharp report of a .22 in the grey light of morning has always been something I’m concerned with. I’d hate to have a rancher’s expensive heifer get torn up when I’m dispatching a cheap raccoon. Needless to say, the Colibri seemed like an ideal fit for my needs. After testing the round I found out how truly quiet it is.

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

.22 Colibri shot damage. Two separate shots through one-fourth inch of shoulder bone. Image source: Cody Assmann

Incredibly, the .22 Colibri is about as loud as a BB gun. Check that, about as loud as a firing pin. When I touched off my first Colibri round I was actually a bit startled by how quiet it was. It is an absolutely perfect cartridge for someone looking to quietly dispatch certain animals at extremely close ranges. On my trapline I plan to use it to dispatch small animals I catch in my footholds. As I mentioned, this will allow me to trap in closer proximity to feedlots and other similar situations. The Colibri is also perfect for introducing kids to shooting sports. Although a standard .22 has no recoil, if you happen to have a little one who is a bit spooked by the report of a gun, the Colibri may be a good round to use.

Another Aguila cartridge I was able to procure was the Aguila 12-gauge Minishell slug. Minishells are unique in that they offer the ability to load up a standard 12-gauge shotgun with more shells at one time while not totally sacrificing on power. In my backyard test I was able to punch through three 1×6 pine lumber scraps screwed together before blowing off the back of my target. Although you will obviously lose a certain amount of power in a smaller shell like the Minishell, the loss doesn’t appear too substantial in my book. At distances of 30 yards and less I could definitely see the Minishell being an effective hunting and defense round. It would be especially useful in situations where you have to carry your ammunition for long periods of time or distance.

The main advantage of the Minishell lies in the undersized shell dimensions. In my Remington 870 Express Supermag 12-gauge shotgun, I was able to load my tube with six shots in addition to one in the chamber. In contrast, when I am using standard 2 ¾-inch shells I can only load four in the tube at a time, plus one in the chamber. Even though the difference may seem minimal, two extra shots may make all the difference. The small nature of the shell also allows you to carry more ammunition in a given space. That benefit really increases the shot you can carry in a bag or store in an ammo can or safe.

The Silent .22 Round That’s Quieter Than A BB Gun

12-gauge Minishell slug damage. Image source: Cody Assmann

This space-for-power trade-off gave rise to the popular .308 cartridge after World War II. In a situation where space is one of your biggest concerns, the 12-gauge Minishell may be worth a look.

Neither of these two cartridges comes without their own set of drawbacks, though. With the .22 Colibri, you are definitely not going to be doing any big-game hunting. It is best suited for small-game animals at short ranges. With a paltry 20 grains of bullet weight leaving the barrel at only 420 feet per second, it doesn’t take a degree in physics to realize the limitations of this shot. I did test the Colibri on a few materials, including wood and bone. It proved capable of penetrating wood and around one-fourth of an inch of shoulder bone. The shoulder bone appeared to be near its limitations of penetrating power.

Also, after shooting a half box of 12-gauge Minishell, the biggest drawback I could detect was the ability to cycle the shot cleanly. With some practice I was able to compensate my draw cycle to accommodate the shorter shell, but early on I was jamming shells fairly frequently. It seems to be a challenge you can overcome if you appreciate the compact size of the shell enough.

Both the .22 Colibri and the 12-gauge Minishell are cartridges you may want to explore, as both offer unique benefits. They certainly are capable of doing the jobs they were designed to do.

Have you shot either the 22 Colibri or the 12-gauge Minishell? What advice would you add? Share it in the section below:

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

Freedom – How to Escape Handcuffs

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by Ryan

We have all seen it in the movies… the hero has been captured and picks his handcuffs to escape. I recall a time from my youth when I found myself in handcuffs and pulled a staple from a cork board to try and pick the lock. It did not work.

Needless to say this is a skill that takes some practice. Unlike the movies, you cannot just grab a hair pin and pop open your cuffs. The good news is that this is a challenge you can handle. Once you understand how the lock works, you should be able to consistently free yourself.

Also, if cuffed behind your back you should always be able to sit down on the ground and move your bindings to the front. This is the easiest way to break free.

Caution: Never practice picking handcuffs without having two keys within reach. Also, never tighten them down to the point that they cut off the circulation to your hands. You do not know how long it will take you to get your hands free.

Make Your Own Key

When you see people using a piece of wire or a paperclip to pick the lock, they are essentially creating a makeshift key. A paperclip is the perfect thickness to accomplish this as the metal needs to be thick enough to hold its shape.

Step 1) Straighten out your paperclip or thick wire

Step 2) Insert the end of the wire into the keyhole and bend it to the side.

Step 3) Insert it further and bend it back the opposite direction so you create a zigzag in your metal.

Step 4) Twist the metal just like you would with a key. Be patient. You may have to wiggle it a bit or twist in the other direction to get the cuffs to pop free.

Step 5) Remember to hold onto your key to free your other hand. You would not be the first person to make the mistake of discarding it too quickly.

Some handcuffs are double-lock models. This means that they have to be released in two different directions before the cuffs can be released. The only difference with this is that your key needs to be twisted in both direction before you will feel them click loose. It should still be fairly easy to escape from this type of model.

Make a Shim

A shim is simply a thin piece of flat metal that is used as a barrier between the teeth of the cuffs. A good shim must be flexible and should be no thicker than a credit card. The metal clip from an ink pen can work, but my favorite shim is made from cutting a square out of the side of an aluminum can..

Step 1) Insert your shim into the opening where the teeth slide into the rest of the cuff. You want your shim centered on the teeth with any excess metal wrapping around the sides.

Step 2) Wiggle and push the metal in as far as it will go without pushing so hard that you bend the metal. It is important that your shim stays flat.

Step 3) Simultaneously apply pressure to the shim and tighten the cuff by one tooth. You should be able to feel and hear it click in place. If you do this right, the mechanism will drop on the shim instead of the tooth.

Step 4) Push and wiggle on the shim being sure not to let it back out of the mechanism. The cuffs should come free.

Escaping From Alternative Handcuffs

Anymore many captives find themselves being bound by something almost as convenient and strong as handcuffs, but much less expensive. Zip ties and duct tape are two examples that are commonly used. The key to escaping either of these bindings is outward pressure.

Duct Tape

Step 1) Raise your hands as high as you can being careful not to let the edge of the duct tape roll. You do not want to wiggle your hands back and forth as it will turn the tape into more of a rope. This makes it stronger. The weak point is the exposed edge.

Step 2) Practice a downward motion striking yourself and ripping your hands apart. You will only get one shot at this so you have to get it right. If your hands are bound in the front, bring your hands down across your chest or belly. If they are bound behind your back, bring them down on your butt or move them to the front. When practicing, do not actually make contact.

Step 3) When ready, raise your hands and bring them down as fast as you can. Strike your body hard and rip outward when you make contact. If done correctly, this should rip the tape breaking your hands free.

Zip Ties

Step 1) Move the square plastic lock on the zip tie to be centered between your hands.

Step 2) Tighten the zip tie as tight as you can get it.

Step 3) Unlike duct tape, you do not have to worry about rolling the edges and making the binding stronger. However, thick zip ties may have to be weakened by rubbing them on a sharp surface. You can find the edge of a table or door to get the process started. Try to focus on the plastic lock holding the zip tie together.

Step 4) Just like with the duct tape, you will raise your hands as high as possible and bring them down swiftly striking your body. When you make contact you will rip outwards popping the lock on the zip tie.

Note: This works even if one zip tie is used for each hand or if a third is used in between. You can also use a shim to break the zip tie lock free, but it has to be narrow enough to fit inside the plastic square.

Saw Method

I always replace my boot laces with 550 paracord, and this is one of its best uses. If you are having trouble getting out of zip ties or duct tape, you can saw your way through. To do this you need to pull one lace out of your boot and tie a loop on each end. Put a loop over one foot, drape the cordage over the bindings, and then put the other loop over the other foot. Then just saw back and forth with your feet until the friction breaks through the bindings.

Want to Cheat?

If you want to be sure you can get out of your handcuffs, there are several products you can buy to help you. I like to have a lock pick kit with me as much as possible so I can get through any lock. It includes a shim and a handcuff key, so it has all my bases covered.

You can also buy some spy level gear to help you get free. There are pieces of jewelry like pendants and rings that have shims or handcuff keys built in. Most people would never think to look that closely at these items. There are also boot laces that you can buy that have a hidden handcuff key in the tip.

Want to Practice?

There are several ways that you can practice these techniques. The least expensive and easiest way to test your skills is to start with duct tape and zip ties. This is a lot of fun, and it’s easy to get the whole family involved.

When it comes time to move on to handcuffs, a normal set is fine. However, it may require several attempt with a helpful assistant to get you free. The easier way to learn is to get a see-through set of cuffs so you can see that movement in the mechanism. Handcuffs are quite simple and seeing the movement is very helpful during the learning process.

Once you master handcuffs, you may want to get a lock pick set along with a see-through padlock so you can further your skills. When SHTF, having the ability to get through almost any lock or door will be very helpful and could save your life.

I would be remiss if I did not give some advice about escaping from handcuffs. Getting out of your cuffs when in police custody is a good way to get shot. In addition COPS get you into the back seat of their car as quickly as possible, so getting the cuffs to the front is very difficult. I would only ever remove police cuffs if you feel that your life is in danger.

In hostage situations, this can be just as dangerous. Remember that trying to escape from a captor is the most dangerous move you can make. I would only suggest freeing yourself to escape if you know for sure that you can break free or if you know for sure that your captor is going to kill you. If there is any question, wait it out to see if your situation changes. If nothing else, this is a fun party trick to show your friends.

The Big, Overlooked Problem With ‘Constitutional Carry’

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The Big, Overlooked Problem With ‘Constitutional Carry’

You have made the decision to obtain your concealed carry license, but is that enough? In all likelihood, no. Don’t get me wrong; I believe in your right to protect yourself and your family. The problem as I see it, though, begins in the requirements to obtain the license to carry in the first place. In other words, I believe in solid training before you carry on your person. If that means mandated training to obtain your concealed carry license, then so be it.

Twelve states now have constitutional carry, meaning no training is required. Others require a simple application that includes a background check and payment. Some require classroom training only, and then there are those who require both classroom and live fire, such as New Mexico and Texas.

In a nutshell, my belief is carry in your home, your property, your business, your car is all fine. But carrying a handgun on your person in the public every day is a responsibility that should be undertaken with solid training. That’s not to say that training can’t help for home, car and property carry; it does.

Little to no training does not fit the bill for the level of safety and judgment required to effectively carry — and therefore plan to use a gun, if necessary — in public. Outside of your private property, it’s not just your life and your family, but perhaps an innocent person’s life (not to mention your life savings) that could be placed at risk when a gun is mishandled.

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

Sorry to say that in my experience, even those who have handled firearms their whole life are still a long way from being ready to carry a handgun daily. You are taking on a greater responsibility when you make the decision to carry into the public realm every day.

The following are several ways to address the training concern.

1. Take a credible concealed carry course.

Too often, concealed carry courses are offered with only two to four hours of training and no live fire required. Such a course is absurd, in my opinion. You can’t begin to get a handle on such key issues as gun safety, state laws, conflict avoidance, use of deadly force parameters, and basic defensive shooting in such short timeframes. Any course that is offered with such minimal time requirements and no shooting should be suspect and avoided. Remember the old adage, “You get what you pay for.”

2. Take your training to the next level.

John Farnam, a well-known nationwide firearms trainer, recently said, “Only serious students need apply.” I couldn’t agree more when it comes to serious gun training. Too often, I see students who want to do the bare minimum. Move past this mentality. In today’s world of active shooters, terrorist acts and other real threats, you should be continually proactive in your commitment to training. Beyond concealed carry, look at training such as defensive pistol (to include dim light shooting), force decisions (simulated confrontations) and emergency medical, to mention a few.   

3. Find a credible instructor.

In the last couple of years there has been an explosion of firearms and self-defense instructors. Many have seemingly popped up overnight. Do your homework. Ask for proof of state licensing and accreditation. Does the instructor have a well-established background of instruction in firearms and tactics? While I believe current or past law enforcement and military trainers are some of the best, I don’t believe they hold exclusive rights to imparting solid gun training. In fact, I believe that an instructor that came up through the civilian ranks, so to speak, can provide some of the best connectivity to defensive firearms training for the everyday citizen. However, they still need to show a solid background of instructor credentials and a record of ongoing training themselves, in my estimation.    

4. Challenge yourself.

Once you have established a good foundation of firearms training, keep challenging yourself, both physically and mentally, in your training regimen. Remember: Shooting is a perishable skill. You can’t go to the range only once every year or two and expect to keep your skills honed. Even dry fire practice, along with malfunction clearance and reload drills in a safe environment, can do wonders for keeping skills sharp. The reality is that it’s not hard to hit a bullseye target at three to 10 yards when you’re under no stress. It’s the dynamic of an immediate threat, multiple attackers, dim-light conditions and a pistol malfunction all at once that you should consider training for. In other words, train for worse-case situations.

Carrying a firearm every day for protection of yourself and others is taking your role as a good citizen seriously. Along with that goes the responsibility to be well-trained and educated in the realm of defensive living.

Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

Watch Your Back Book Review and Giveaway

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This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Every year, as we get closer to the holidays, we hear news reports about people being victims of crime.  We are also hearing about possible terror threats.  With all these possible hazards, I thought this book is worth a look:  Watch Your Back:  How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life by Roger Eckstine. What is the Book About? The author presents various potential risky situations that come up in every […]

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Gun Suppressors For Survival: The Science Of Silence

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Modern Gun SuppressorGuns are loud. Anytime you detonate a powerful explosive in a small confined space, it’s going to be noisy. And often, that BANG put off by your firearm gives away your position.

That’s why gun suppressors are an excellent survival tool. Nearly everyone understands that suppressors turn ear-splitting explosions, into muffled, discreet THUMP’s. So if you want to be sneaky (for whatever reason), using a gun suppressor is a smart way to avoid unwanted attention.

And in a survival crisis, I  highly recommend you own at least one suppressor or or at least understand the principles to craft one. Because being able to fire off quiet shots will be the difference between being a predator or being prey. And if such a situation arises, you’ll be grateful you took the time to learn how to make a suppressor.

There is one thing I want to make very clear tho: Gun suppressors are not silent. There’s a reason I’m mostly using the term “suppressor” instead of “silencer. When you call a suppressor a “silencer” people get the impression that it will make your gun 100% silent.

And while absolute silence would be fantastic, it’s not how they work. Because, like most things, suppressors are not 100% perfect. Even the ones made by experts.

Yes, they significantly reduce noise associated with a shots explosion, but can’t reduce it to zero. However, suppressors make a significant difference nonetheless. Especially when you’re firing from a great distance (the further the target, the farther the sound of your shot has to travel to be heard).

And more than just being extremely useful, they also look badass. A gun with a suppressor attached looks scarier than one without. And while that may seem arbitrary, inspiring fear is not arbitrary and is a legitimate combat tactic.

Suppressors were used by John McClane in the Die Hard movies, they were used by nearly every James Bond, and, of course, by Chris Kyle in American Sniper. The bottom line is, putting a suppressor on your gun makes it look meaner, makes it sound cooler, and increases your undetectable firing ability.

Which brings us to our next section:

using a gun suppressor for huntingA Brief History of Silencers

The gun suppressor was patented in 1909 by a fellow called Hiram Percy Maxim. He named his invention the “Maxim Silencer”, and it was advertised in sporting good magazines across the country. The same man was responsible for engineering the muffler for the internal combustion system. A device that works in much the same way.

When this suppressor first came out, Theodore Roosevelt – America’s big-game-hunting-turn-of-the-century-president – was a big fan. Reportedly, he put it on his Winchester 1894 carbine.

Then when Franklin Roosevelt became president during WWII, the OSS director, William Donovan marched into the White House, straight into the Oval Office where FDR was dictating a letter. He then fired a gun (with suppressor) ten times into a sandbag he had brought with him.

He then handed the smoking gun to the President. FDR was taken aback, amazed by the tool, and soon after American soldiers started using suppressors regularly in action.

Since then the suppressor has become a staple of the US military. A tool that our soldiers have come to appreciate. And in an end-of-the-world or shit-hits-the-fan scenario, they will likely become a valuable survival tool that you’ll want.

A Quick Public Service Announcement

Suppressors are illegal in much of the developed world. Why? Because no one owns a suppressor for peaceful reasons. They are bought to make your guns more dangerous. They deaden the sound of a shot so whoever’s on the receiving end, won’t hear it.

Of course, in the good ol’ U.S. of A. you can legally own one (in 41 out of 50 states), for “lawful purposes.”

suppressor-legality-by-state-map

But the prospective buyer must undergo an application process with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). And if you’d rather keep your name off the federal registries, and out of government’s files, then this is not a viable option.

Because to get approval for a gun suppressor, the ATF needs to know everything about you and your past. So if you have any criminal history expect your application to be quickly rejected.

So how are decent American’s supposed to prepare themselves for a shit-hits-the-fan scenario, when the government is prohibiting us from acquiring the necessary items? Well, in the case of gun suppressors, survivalists are in luck because they are relatively straightforward to make.

rifle with a gun suppressorThe Science of Silence

To understand how a gun suppressor works, you need a basic understanding of how sound works. Sound waves are vibrations of air, and obviously, a firearm puts off intense vibrations.

These vibrations spread out in every direction at the speed of about 767 miles per hour. These vibrations bounce off reflective surfaces but are absorbed by softer ones. here’s a suppressor there to catch the sound waves right off the barrel.

But a suppressor’s will catch the sound waves right off the barrel. The general idea of a suppressor is to allow a clear passage for the bullet but not for the sound waves.

In order to do this, there are three types of silencers:

  1. Those with baffles on the inside
  2. Those with screens (or other sound absorbing materials) around the inside
  3. Those that are just straight up mufflers.

We will get more into the types of silencers later on, but for now, just understand that suppressors catch the noise coming out of the gun barrel while allowing the bullet to fly through, unhampered.

And this is why suppressors work better at longer distances. The explosion sound (which is dampened as the bullet exits the barrel) will not make it nearly as far as the bullet. Thus, increasing your capacity for stealth, dramatically!

3 Benefits to Using a Suppressor

1 -Built-In Hearing Protection

Never forgo a good set of firing range hearing protection when shooting your weapon. But it’s a nice bonus to suppress the high dB noise at the barrel when on the practice range.

Because being both unprotected and exposed to even a single unsuppressed gunshot can (and often does) cause permanent hearing damage. But after you slip on a suppressor, you can worry less about firearm related permanent hearing loss.

2 – Reduced Noise Complaints

Whenever I fire guns off my back porch, my neighbors always seem to file noise complaints. What the heck, right? Well, when I use a suppressor, it’s never a problem.

Suppressors make it easier to fire your guns in population dense areas without being heard. And that’s the whole point, isn’t it?

3 – Improved Accuracy

The argument is that using a suppressor can increase your accuracy. The main reason is they help to minimize flinching. Most people flinch slightly (or sometimes a lot) in anticipation of the recoil and subsequent BANG!

Well, a good suppressor will lower the loud noise and they also reduce the recoil as (up to 40% for some calibers).

Making Your Own Improvised Suppressor

It is easier than you think. Well, some of these options are, at least. Depending on what you have available, how much time there is, and how badly you want to stay quiet, some of these homemade suppressors might be more useful than others. But it is helpful to know how you could make any of them. The more prepared you are, the better off you will be when life gets dangerous.

But it’s always helpful to know how you could fashion one in a pinch. The more prepared you are, the better off you will be when life gets dangerous.

1 – A Pillow Suppressor

You’ve probably seen this trick in the movies, and contrary to what your instincts might be telling you, pillows actually can make pretty effective suppressors. Just make sure you are not using a revolver (the noise from a revolver will come right back out of the cylinder).

All you have to do is wrap the pillow as tightly around your firearm’s muzzle as tight as possible. However, this will only really work at very close distances. At long range targets, a pillow suppressor will make it impossible to aim properly.

So while using a pillow in a pinch is good information to know, it’s a terrible long-term plan. Running around with a pillow on the end of your gun is going to get noticed. And it’s a logistical nightmare (i.e. a pain to travel with it).

So pass on using a pillow for most of your firearm suppressing needs.

2 – A Potato Suppressor

Okay, this one made the list because my old man told me they used these as makeshift suppressors back in ‘Nam. Will it actually work? Hard to say…

Pops is full of shit. But he also knows a lot about improvised survival, and as far as I can reason, there is no reason it wouldn’t work. Just expect a mess. Using a potato as a suppressor will UNDOUBTEDLY send potato salad careening off into space 360-degrees around your muzzle. But, so long as you are okay with that, simply jam a spud on the end of your bang-stick and BOOM! … Or perhaps more aptly: Fwump!

But again, even if this does work in a pinch, it’s not a sustainable way to suppress your firearm in a long-term survival scenario.

3 – Oil Filter Suppressor

Oil filters are designed with internal baffles and filter materials. This setup removes impurities in your engine’s oil system. But the design also makes for a great way to filter out the vibrations of a loud firearm shot.

The oil filter even has a threaded end. So you need to find the right sized oil filter to make this work and also add a threaded tip to your barrel. Then you can screw on the oil filter to the barrel and viola, you have a makeshift gun suppressor.

4 – The Flashlight Suppressor

Not just any flashlight, though. You are going to need a heavy-duty steel flashlight to make this work (none of that cheap plastic crap). This video has an excellent tutorial for anyone interested in the details.

The flashlight option takes more work than the first 3 options and requires more tools and access to a hardware store. So if you plan on making one of these, I would recommend doing it before shit-hits-the-fan.

Build it in advance to fit your gun of choice and keep it in your house, vehicle, or bug out bag.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Turning a flashlight into a suppressor is absolutely doable, it would just be difficult to do successfully in a pinch.

Note:once you move past a certain point of fabrication, you will move from a legal device to make to an illegal device to make. We never advocate doing any illegal; if you do, that’s on you. 

Assorted Tubes

Any tube will do so long as it’s durable and fits properly. I have seen people use cardboard, rolled up tightly and fixed around a gun’s barrel. It was not the most effective method, but it certainly did something to muffle the sound of the shot.

PVC pipes can also work well, especially since PVC can come in a variety of sizes. PVC is also very easy to work with and can be lined with sound absorbing material with relative ease (or, if you have the time and resources, you can take the baffled interior approach).

row of gun suppressorsBuying a Suppressor

As mentioned before, it is a tricky process no matter where you live. In most developed nations on Earth, you cannot legally obtain a suppressor. In the US, it’s currently illegal to own suppressors (for any purpose) in California, Indiana, New Jersey, and Massachusetts.

So if you live in any of those states, you are going to have to go the improvised route. Otherwise, it’s legal for gun owners to also own suppressors. You just have to apply with the government first.

There are a lot of useful facts on suppressor legality here, on the American Suppressor Association website.

But here are the basic rules:

  • You must be 21 years of age to purchase a suppressor from a dealer (or 18 to purchase it from another individual).
  • Must be at least 18 years of age to own a suppressor (sorry minors).
  • Have to be a current, legal resident of the US.
  • Be eligible to purchase a firearm in the US.
  • Pass a BAFTA background test (which you can access from this website).
  • Pay a $200 “Transfer Tax”.
  • Reside in one of the forty-one states that currently allows suppressor ownership.

There are only a few places online to help you buy a suppressor and make certain you have the adequate paperwork. Here’s our favorite online suppressor retailer: Brownells

Just take a look at their massive suppressor selection. Plus they make they make the application process a breeze.

The Final Word On Gun Suppressors

Why do we want a silencer? Well, for a lot of reasons. But mainly: to kill a target as quietly, and as sneakily as humanly possible.

But practice makes perfect. Do not expect to be able to make a perfect suppressor now that you have read this one article. If you want to actually get good at this, you are going to have to get out there and try it a few times, with a couple different set of materials. Plus, it encourages quick thinking and efficient survival.

Suppressors can be incredibly useful survival tools, and I would highly recommend that anyone interested in preserving their own future:

Because I think we can all agree that a gun suppressor can save you a lot of unwanted trouble. Once you have one you’ll realize how much they increase your overall capacity for survival.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #104 Item Bug Out Bag Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Will Brendza

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Survival Skill: Unarmed Combat

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from TekNik. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.


In an ideal world when a SHTF scenario takes place you’d be wearing your bullet proof vest and have immediate access to your hand gun and assault rifle. Unfortunately this may not be the case because of several factors. The laws in your country might prohibit you from carrying any weapons or the place you are attending might not allow you to carry weapons, such as universities and hospitals. So how do you defend yourself using unarmed combat skills if you get stuck in such an unpleasant situation? This article will go through the steps involved in defending yourself from the initial assessment of the threat, how to avoid or eliminate the threat with your bare hands or with any improvised weapon that you’re likely to come across in everyday life.

Assess the threat

As with everything else, the first step is to assess the situation. The extent of your assessment will obviously depend on the prevailing circumstances. You can’t take out pen and paper and start drafting an action plan if there’s a hyped up guy slashing with a machete right in front of your face. Each situation warrants a different level of assessment. An imminent threat requires split second decisions that are mostly based on muscle memory acquired through hours of training whilst a hostage situation requires careful planning. Whatever the situation, the aim of your assessment is to identify any weaknesses of your opponent, availability of improvised weapons and escape routes. We’ll cover all these aspects in the sections below.

Basics of Self Defense

When faced with a threat you have two opposing options; fight or flight. Backing off from a confrontation might make you feel like a pussy but it’s better to feel that way for a few days rather than being killed or injured because of your pride. If you decide to run away from a confrontation/threat you have to be sure that you can run faster than your opponent, avoid any weapons he may attack you with whilst you are running (mostly applicable to firearms), and find adequate shelter before he catches up with you. If this is not possible then you’d better stand your ground and fight because once you turn your back on your opponent you’ll become much more vulnerable.

The human body has multiple weak spots that you can target to your advantage.

The human body has multiple weak spots that you can target to your advantage.

Once you’ve decided to fight, or are forced to fight your way out, there are some basics you have to keep in mind. The fundamental principle of self-defense is to reduce to the least extent possible the damage your body receives in the attack. Key areas to protect are your entire head and face and vital organs in your torso. However do not underestimate the importance of your limbs. You won’t be able to attack with enough force if your arm/s gets injured and you’ll have problems standing and moving about if your leg/s gets injured. How you protect yourself will depend on how you’re being attacked. We’ll go through these in the coming sections.

The next principle is to stop your assailant from what he is doing. This is achieved by hitting a delicate part of your opponent’s body with a tough part of your own body (or any hard object that comes to hand). Your attack should be vicious and aggressive. This is not the time to have sympathy. You want to cause intense pain and damage in as little time as possible in order to neutralize the assailant.

Tough Parts of the Body

  • Knuckles
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Sole of the foot
  • Forehead

Delicate Parts of the Body

  • Temple
  • Eyes
  • Nose
  • Jaw
  • Neck/throat
  • Solar plexus
  • Ribs
  • Kidneys
  • Groin
  • Knees (when hit from the sides)

Unarmed Assailant

When your assailant is unarmed it’s a fight on equal par and the outcome will depend on strength, stamina, technique, aggressiveness and as always a bit of luck. Although it’s important to be aggressive don’t forget about defending yourself and protecting your vitals. If you get injured, you drastically reduce your chance of winning that fight. Once into the fight do your utmost to knockout (make unconscious) your opponent or cause an injury that makes him harmless. Do not start throwing useless punches and kicks in the air like a drunkard. Instead aim all your shots and focus on making contact with most if not all your attacks. Hit with all your strength but make sure not to lose your balance. Do not opt for fancy spinning kicks and that stuff unless you’re a professional kick boxer. Aim your kicks to his knees to knock him off-balance and aim your punches to his face and ribs if you get the opportunity. Do not unnecessarily expose yourself whilst attacking and always be ready to block his attacks. Follow these basics and you’re likely to be the one standing next to an unconscious body.

Armed with a Knife

knife

When faced with an opponent with a bladed weapon you must concentrate on that weapon and move in such a way that it never contacts your body. Keep at a distance and let your opponent slash and trust in vain. You have to wait for your opportunity to move in swiftly and grab hold of the hand holding the weapon. Do not grab the weapon from the blade. Your best chance of moving in is when he has swung the blade and is about to slash back. Once you gain hold of his weapon bearing hand hit him with all you’ve got but never let go off the hand. When you feel that he’s become weak enough, grab the weapon bearing hand with both your arms and twist it ferociously to break as many bones as possible. At this point he should drop the weapon or loosen enough his grip such that you can safely take it away from him. Once the weapon is in your hand, it’s up to you how to proceed but keep in mind there might be repercussions, both legal and psychological, if you decide to end his life.

Armed with a Firearm

An assailant with a firearm is much more difficult to disarm due to the extended range and deadliness of the weapon. Here your initial approach will be drastically different in that you want to come in physical contact with your assailant. You’ll have to do this gradually whilst distracting your assailant with conversation or a decoy. Once close enough your objective will be to grab the gun by the barrel and hold the gun pointing away from you and ideally away from other people. Movies and some martial arts experts demonstrate techniques to disarm an assailant with a gun pointing towards your head/torso. I am not judging the capabilities of these individuals but I strongly suggest you do not try this technique. All the assailant has to do is squeeze the trigger. This only takes a split second and your attempt to twist the gun might actually be what causes the trigger pull. The approach I suggest is much safer. Wait for a moment when your assailant points the gun in another direction. This is likely to happen whilst he is shouting instructions and uses the armed hand to point towards what he’s talking about. As soon as the gun is pointing in a safe direction, grab the gun by the barrel (obviously without any part of your hand obstructing the barrel’s end) and hit the assailant with all you’ve got. It’s interesting to note that if the firearm is a pistol it will shoot the loaded round when the trigger is pulled but it will not cycle another round since you will be hindering the slide’s motion. Be careful in the case of a revolver due to the hot gases escaping from around the cylinder. If it is a long firearm, grab the barrel with both hands so that you can exert more leverage. Obviously in the latter case you’ll have to attack with your lower limbs.

Arm Yourself – Improvised Weapons

Even a fire extinguisher makes an effective weapon. Spray the compound to blind your attacker and then bash them over the head with the empty cylinder.

Even a fire extinguisher makes an effective weapon. Spray the compound to blind your attacker and then bash them over the head with the empty cylinder.

This article is about unarmed combat in view of situations where you’re not carrying any weapons. This however doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try to arm yourself with whatever might come handy. The following are a few ideas of easily obtainable weapons in everyday life.

Sticks such as a broom, billiard or long umbrella-You can swing such sticks to keep your assailant at bay but usually such sticks are fragile and immediately break upon impact dealing very little damage to the target. Instead use ‘weak’ sticks like you would use a lance. They will be less likely to break and will deal a lot of damage due to the low surface area which results in a lot of pressure.

Metal pen-This has a very short reach but you could easily incapacitate someone by stabbing him in the eyes or neck. You can also use a metal pen for pressure points techniques to subdue an assailant. This however requires training.

Stones or any other hard object such as a soda can (full)-These can be used as projectiles especially when you have an ample supply of them. If you’ve got only one it might be better to hold on to it and use it for battering your opponent.

Chair or stool-These can be used as a shield and to keep your assailant at bay as well as for striking. Obviously they can be thrown in the typical western movie style.

Fire extinguisher-You can direct the escaping gas (CO2 will be extremely cold), water, foam or powder in your assailants face. You can also use the cylinder as a battering device or throw it at him. You could even approach the assailant from above and simply drop the fire extinguisher on him.

Stiletto Shoes-If you or anyone accompanying you is wearing stiletto shoes, take them off. You’ll be able to move with more agility (be careful if there is glass or other sharp or hot objects on the ground) and you can use it for stabbing just like you would with a metal pen.

Conclusion

You never know when things are going to turn sour. We do our best to always be prepared to defend ourselves but we might end up in a threatening situation whilst we’re officially unarmed. That doesn’t mean we’re all gonna die. It means that we have to prepare for that scenario like we would for any other. Always be alert of your surroundings and book yourself for a few self-defense classes and keep practicing those techniques. You’ll be glad you have if the need ever arises.

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

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

PAK1. Image source: Terry Nelson

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

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

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

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

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

PAR1

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3 Urban Escape & Evasion Tips For Losing a Tail

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If you haven’t yet, you should check out Modern Combat & Survival Magazine. Every week they post a podcast and at least one article about things that would interest preppers in the city: home security, self defense, weapons, and so forth. In this article, they talk about how to lose a tail. If you spend […]

The post 3 Urban Escape & Evasion Tips For Losing a Tail appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

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

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

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

Your Home Isn’t Bulletproof

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

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

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

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

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

Why Bulletproof Walls? 

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

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

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

Something a Bit More Permanent

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

Fiberglass

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

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

Ballistic Steel

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

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

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

Sand

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

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

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

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Vehicle Security Basics for Survival in Bad Times

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Written by Orlando Wilson on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: This article was generously contributed by Orlando Wilson. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Writing Contest today!


Wherever you are working or living at some point you will have to use vehicles, for most people they are part of their everyday lives. Driving itself can be a dangerous task in many places and as we have seen many kidnappings, robberies and assassinations occur when people are in or around their vehicles.  In times of civil unrest or if you’re traveling to a potentially hostile area your vehicle security and travel must be planned for and taken seriously.

Vehicles should be regarded as an important piece of your equipment and should be well maintained and never treated as a toy.  Before you take a vehicle out basic maintenance checks need to be done, like checking the battery, oil, fuel level, tires, water, spare tire, break down and vehicle emergency kit. You should always ensure you have a good means of communications and that you regularly check in with trusted people who can send assistance in the case of an emergency. You should also always know the routes you are driving and the location of any facilities along those routes that could be of use to you whether it’s a coffee shop with a bathroom or a hospital with an emergency room.

Basic Vehicle Security

Vehicles need to be secured or manned at all times, if they are left unattended, they, and the area around them, must be searched for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices, contraband and anything suspicious. The area around a vehicle must be searched as you approach it for any suspicious vehicles or people; the criminals may have found your car and are waiting for your approach it to kidnap or assassinate you. I always try to park my car as far away from others as possible, that way there is no cover for anyone to hide and if any other car is parked close to mine they are immediately suspicious.  If you keep the vehicle in a locked garage still always lock doors and trunk, you will also need to search the exterior of the garage for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and signs of forced entry in a high-risk environment.

If the vehicle cannot be garaged, try to park it in a secure, guarded area or somewhere that is covered by surveillance cameras. Drive-ways and regularly used routes from your residence to main roads should regularly be search for IEDs and signs of criminal activity. A vehicle needs to be searched after being serviced or repaired and after being left unattended for any length of time, here are some guidelines on how to search a vehicle:

  • 100 Deadly Skills - Great information for people who want to make sure they can survive any dangerous situation.

    100 Deadly Skills – Great information for people who want to make sure they can survive any dangerous situation.

    Always search the general area around a vehicle for any explosive devices or suspicious people waiting to ambush you. Always check the outside of a garage for any signs of a force entry before you go in and check garage doors and drive ways for signs of booby traps, land mines and ambushes. The roofs of garages need to secured!

  • Turn off all radios and cell phones and check the immediate area surrounding the car for disturbances, wires, oil/fluid stains, footprints, etc. It helps to keep vehicles a little dirty as you will be able to see smears in the dirt if someone was trying to break in.
  • Visual check through the windows for anything thing out-of-place or wires, etc.
  • Get down on your hands and knees and check underneath the vehicle, inside fenders, wheels and arches for any devices. Also check for cut tires, lose wheel nuts and devices placed under the wheels. This is where a flashlight and a search mirror can come in handy.
  • Check the exhaust as it is a very easy place to put an improvised explosive device. You can have bolts or wire mesh put in to exhausts to stop IEDs from being placed in them; if you do this, make sure the bolts or wire mess is not visible as this can draw attention to the car.
  • Slowly open the car doors and check the Interior of the vehicle even if there is no signs of a forced entry. Do the same for the trunk and make sure to search the spare tire and break down kit.
  • Open the hood slowly and check the engine. Again it might be helpful to keep the engine dirty as new wires and hand prints are easy to see.
  • Final turn on the engine and check all the electrics.

This is just a guide to searching vehicles but as you can see to do a thorough search can take time and would require someone to be watching the back of the searcher. Your best defense is to deny the criminal access to your vehicle but this can prove to be very difficult in the real world.

Vehicle Drills

If you are consider undertaking some advanced driving training, I see little need for evasive driver training but can see applications for people to learn to be able to handle vehicles at speed and in hazardous weather.  Again, vehicle drills cannot be learnt from manuals or videos, you will need to learn them from an experienced advanced trained driver. Always check out the instructor’s background, qualifications and reputation, look for those that offer sensible driving courses and not wannabe spy holidays.

6-cases-that-show-why-you-should-always-have-a-gun-in-your-car-evasive-driving-661x496

The main thing you need to learn is how to drive safely and to be able to identify any possible threats and avoid them. In most large towns and cities you will not be able to perform such things as J turns or other evasive maneuvers due to lack of space and traffic, so you must always be aware of what is going on around you.  The main thing I tell people is to keep as much space as possible between you and the car in front as this can give you some space to maneuver in congested traffic.

When you watch the movies and there is a car chase and the cars are skidding all over the place check the state of the roads they are on. Chances are the roads will be wet, and the tires on the cars will have minimal tread. This is the same on most evasive driving courses, but these are also usually done on private roads or open areas where there is no other traffic.  Think about why you put decent tires on your vehicles; to stop them from skidding and spinning out of control right? When you are driving around you always want to be thinking of where you could take evasive action, in urban areas there will be few places where you could spin your car around and drive against the traffic flow; that’s Hollywood.

If the criminals or terrorists are in any way professional they will attack you when your car is penned in and you cannot take any evasive maneuvers, not on wide open roads. It’s a common street kid tactics in a lot of Latin American cities to rob cars at traffic lights that are at least two cars back from the stop light with other cars behind them; these cars are stuck and cannot escape. If street kids on bicycles with at most a rusty revolver have worked out how to jack people in cars don’t you think their big bothers have also?

I am regularly asked about whether I favor armored cars or not, as with everything they have their pros and cons. Armored cars do have an application, the first thing you need to consider is what level of armoring the car your buying or using has. I have come across people driving around in cars armored to stop pistol caliber rounds in areas where the bad guys carry assault weapons, they thought an armored car was all they needed and were unaware of the different levels of armoring. You will also need to confirm where the car is armored; doors, windows, floor, engine, roof etc. Some cars may only have some armored panels in the doors and rear seat, always check for yourself and do not believe what people tell you.

highthreat1

Now think like the criminals, if you knew your target was driving around in a SUV armored to B6 level are you going to shoot at them when they are driving around or wait for them stop and get out of the car, or stop them and make them get out of the car? Think about how can you get someone out of a car; what would you do if a female driver bumped into the back of your car, get out to inspect the damage and then possibly be kidnapped by her two armed accomplices crouched in the back seat of her car? Always be aware of decoys that are intended to make you stop and get out of your vehicle, such as accidents or even bodies next to the road. Basic rule, stay in your car and keep moving between safe areas.

A criminal tactic when targeting armored cash-in-transit vehicles is to box them in, cover the van in gasoline, then give those inside to option of throwing out the cash, surrendering or being burnt alive. An issue with armored vehicles is that you cannot shoot at the criminals from the inside. There was one incident I recall from the mid 1990’s where an unarmored van that was moving cash was stopped and ambushed in an Eastern European country, the fact the van was unarmored enabled the security personnel inside to be able to shoot through the sides of the van and drive off the criminals, which they could not have done if they had taken an armored van that day. There have also been numerous incidents where criminals have assassinated targets traveling in armored vehicles with IEDs, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and improvised shaped charges. An armored vehicle can assist you in your security program but it should not be all there is to your security program.

Security Considerations when using vehicles

  • Always check the area around the vehicle before you approach it.
  • Search the vehicle prior to use for IEDs, electronic surveillance devices and contraband.
  • Always keep a spare set of keys for the vehicle on you in case the driver loses his or is taken out by the criminals.
  • Be aware of the vehicle’s capabilities; make sure the driver has experience driving that type of vehicle.
  • Always drive safely at the maximum, safest speed, within the legal speed limit.
  • Always carry out basic maintenance checks, before you go anywhere and check that communications work before leaving a safe area.
  • Make sure you know what to do if your car breaks down; will someone come to get you or will you call for roadside assistance?
  • In rural areas things that should be included in your break down kit should include cans of fix-a-flat, air compressor, jump leads, tire plugging kit, tube to siphon gas, gas cans and a tow rope.
  • Know which routes your taking and keep maps in the vehicle for all areas you’re traveling in. Also have alternative routes prepared that have been driven and checked out.
  • Inform personnel at a location 10 to 15 minutes, before your arrival.
  • Constantly check behind you for criminal surveillance vehicles and be suspicious of motorbikes, especially with two people on them.
  • When being followed by a motorbike always watch to see if both the rider’s hands are on the handle bars, if you only see one hand, what is the other holding or doing?
  • Make full use of your mirrors; put a mirror on the passenger side for the passenger to use.
  • Regularly carry out counter-surveillance drills and always be watching for any cars following you or suspicious people along regularly used routes.
  • Keep a good distance from the car in front, so you can drive around it in an emergency and try to avoid being blocked by other vehicles.
  • Never let the vehicle fuel tank to go below half full and know where all gas stations are along your route.
  • Keep doors locked when traveling between locations and in urban areas do not open windows or sunroof more than an inch, so things cannot be thrown in.
  • Always be prepared to take evasive action, be aware of danger points on your routes and drive towards the center of the road to have space for evasive maneuvers.
  • Blend in with your environment; don’t drive expensive cars in poor areas, etc.
  • Be suspicious of all roadblocks, temporary stop signs and car accidents, etc. Never stop to pick up hitchhikers or help other motorists, as these could be covers for an ambush or carjacking.
  • Keep vehicle keys secure and know who has all the spare keys and access to the vehicle.
  • Remember others can monitor tracking devices and help services such as OnStar, then get the details of where you are and you’re routine without the need for surveillance.
  • Be extra vigilant at traffic lights and in slow-moving traffic.
  • Keep the vehicle in a locked garage when not in use and lock all doors and the trunk.
  • Wherever legal reverse park; this will help if fast get away is required.
  • Always use seat belts, especially when driving at speed or taking evasive action.
  • Keep a safety knife handy to cut away seat belts and break windows in the case of a crash.
  • When driving on dangerous roads or taking evasive action open the vehicles windows to make escape easier in the event of a crash.

About the author: Orlando Wilson is ex-British Army and has been in the international security industry for over 25 years. He has initiated, provided, and managed an extensive range of specialist security including investigation and tactical training services to international corporate, private, and government clients. Some services have been the first of their kind in the respective countries. His experience has included: providing close protection for Middle Eastern Royal families and varied corporate clients, specialist security and asset protection, diplomatic building and embassy security, kidnap and ransom services, corporate investigations, and intelligence, tactical, and paramilitary training for private individuals, specialist police units, and government agencies. You can learn more about Orlando and his services at his site Risks Incorporated.

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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.

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

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The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Surprisingly Simple Way To Avoid Being Robbed

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

Developing Situational Awareness

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Is This The Absolute Best Gun For Concealed Carry During Winter?

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Is This The Absolute Best Gun For Winter Concealed Carry?

Image source: Glock.com

News flash: There’s been almost a century-long debate on which is the best caliber for CCW. Groundbreaking stuff, right?

Well, if I’m going to contribute to the conversation on this one, then here’s my thoughts: There is no single perfect round, in the same way that there’s no single perfect survival knife. If anything, perfection in this case is situationally dependent — meaning that perfection in a CCW round for one person may be the exact opposite to what perfection means for someone else.

Additionally, one of the variables in our ongoing search for personal CCW perfection has to do with the changing seasons. Given how we’re finding ourselves peering down the barrel of the coming winter, then I feel it’s time for us to gear up and get our CCW needs squared away before the snow starts falling. And this is why I, personally, am a fan of the 45 ACP for the application of winter concealed-carry. Here are my reasons …

It’s High Time For a Full-Size

Though the Bob Munden-types may be able to put a .38 Special round on a pie plate-sized target from 200 yards off with a “belly gun,” for the rest of us it’s just easier to achieve better accuracy with a full-sized weapon. There’s greater distance between the front and rear sights, subsequent shots are easier to make with more weight at the muzzle, and you’ve got a greater contact area on a larger frame, allowing for increased stability and handling. At the end of the day, a full-sized handgun offers better shooting and easier shooting.

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However, in the warmer months, it’s MUCH harder to successfully conceal a full-sized weapon under a T-shirt or light button-down — that is, unless you’re Lou Ferrigno. But in the winter, you have the option of wearing a blazer, thicker fleece jackets, etc., and fewer worries of the awkward hip bulge that seems to draw unwanted attention.

Speaking of drawing, on the other hand, some of us need to wear gloves when temps really take a dive (depending on which region of the country in question). Try drawing effectively with gloves while carrying a compact handgun, and you probably know what I mean. And don’t attempt that last part if the weapon’s loaded … it’s just that clumsy of a situation. On a full-size weapon, however, this is actually a feasible possibility (with proper practice and training, of course).

Rounds Behave Differently Against Layers

When it comes to selecting a round, the primary issue is often centered around its capacity to effectively stop a person’s ability to present a lethal threat, once shot placement has successfully been achieved.

It’s really a question of velocity vs grains, the proper balance of which should lead to the necessary amount of energy transfer with just enough target penetration to get the job done. Often, the 45 ACP’s primary setback is the fact that it packs too much penetration power, and tends to exit the target, creating a dire situational need to watch the target’s background. This is one reason why concealed-carriers tend to opt for the more lightweight, higher-velocity semi-auto rounds: 9mm and 40 S&W.

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But in the winter, even potential lethal threats will be wearing additional and thicker layers of clothing: leather coats, lined parkas, etc. This means that either the velocity of the round needs to increase (+P), or the round itself needs to get heavier. The problem with higher velocities, however, has to do with fragmentation and the theoretical lack of energy-transfer that results — which is unfortunately one of the frustrations concerning the 9mm round.

With that in mind, a heavier round will maintain its power without the need for increased velocity. For instance, if a 45 ACP hollow-point has successfully been delivered on target, then something interesting should happen: the wad of clothing fibers that accumulates in the conical gap will not only cause the round to expand like a 9mm round, but this should also prevent over-penetration of the target, thereby maximizing energy-transfer.

And when the physics makes tactical sense, that’s called “stopping power.”

A Few Considerations …

But, of course, no caliber is without problems, so there are a few things to keep in mind with the 45 ACP.

It’s probably not much of a surprise that crime rates statistically fall during the colder months of the year, and this has been the case over the last 30 years. In short, you’re going to have a profoundly lower chance of encountering a lethal threat outdoors, while the probability of indoor encounters will either not change or slightly increase. And that means you’re hypothetically going to have to fire a 45 ACP weapon indoors in a defensive encounter … certainly not an ideal situation, because again, over-penetration-power remains a problem.

Also, if you do encounter a lethal threat outdoors, then magazine capacity could pose a bit of a problem, as well. Especially in the frigid cold, fingers go numb and the body is less responsive to motor commands from the brain — commands that you will depend on for accuracy when the adrenaline gets pumping. So in order to overcome this potential loss in accuracy, it’s just like everything else when it comes to firearms: train, train, train … and then train some more.

What is your preference for concealed carry during winter? Share your tips in the section below:

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