The Best Concealed Carry Pistol for a Defensive Prepper A concealed carry pistol could make the difference between life and death. A properly trained person with a CCP can make a whole area safer, but you already knew that. You’re here for the best concealed carry pistol on the market. The truth is, the …
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Self-defense is a huge part of prepping, but you don’t always need a gun. We’ve got 6 reasons why learning archery will make you a better prepper.
The post 6 Reasons Learning Archery Will Make You a Better Prepper appeared first on Survival at Home.
The 6.5 Creedmoor centerfire rifle cartridge was introduced by Hornady in 2007. It has taken a few years to catch on, but it has taken off like wildfire.
Earlier in 2016, I had the distinct privilege of being able to test one of Savage Arms’ offerings in the 6.5 Creedmoor — the Model 10 BA Stealth. While hitting a mark at 1,000 yards and beyond is often a sought-after benchmark for rifle shooters, today it has become almost commonplace.
I will have to admit, though, that the 6.5 Creedmoor has made that distance and beyond seem almost too easy. Don’t get me wrong; you have to do your part, especially if you have those nasty crosswinds. With relatively high sectional density and ballistic coefficient, 6.5 mm bullets, in general, are known for their success in rifle competitions. For some loads, the 6.5 mm Creedmoor is capable of duplicating the muzzle velocity or trajectory of the 300 Winchester Magnum with only minimal felt recoil. Along with its success as a competition and target cartridge, the 6.5 Creedmoor is exploding in popularity in the hunting and tactical markets.
The primary features of the Savage 10 BA Stealth in 6.5 are:
Factory blue-printed Savage Action.
- Monolithic aluminum chassis machined from solid billet.
- M-LOK forend.
- One-piece EGW scope rail.
- Fab Defense GLR-SHOCK six-position buttstock with adjustable cheek piece.
- A 5/8 x 24 threaded muzzle with protector.
- Detachable 10-round box magazine.
- Savage AccuTrigger.
The first day I had the Savage 10 BA Stealth on a long-distance range, I was hitting steel out to 1,000 yards. Admittedly I had the use of good ammo, American Eagle 140gr OTM (open tip match), a great optic — a Bushnell Elite Tactical LRS 6-24x first focal plane scope — and I made use of a good ballistics table. There seems to be quite the discussion on the gun blogs of the effective range of this cartridge, from as little as 400 yards and out to 1,200-plus yards. Suffice it to say with the right ammo, 400 yards is child’s play with 6.5, and in the hands of a good rifleman, 1,000 yards-plus is attainable for many.
There is a wide selection of good factory ammo and volumes of data for reloaders. Muzzle velocities for the 6.5 are in the 2700 to 3200 fps range, depending on bullet weight and load.
With the aforementioned Savage Stealth in 6.5 Creedmoor (Savage offers the Stealth in 308 Winchester, also) I personally took a mule deer in New Mexico this past November during legal deer season. Using Federal Fusion 140 grain soft point, I made a 327-yard uphill, one-shot kill and the deer never moved. I say this while holding the greatest respect to the animal and only to point out that the 6.5 Creedmoor is, in fact, a very suitable cartridge for the hunting environment.
If you’re looking for an ultra-flat shooting cartridge with mild recoil and want to challenge yourself at the 1,000-plus yard mark, the 6.5 Creedmoor is worthy of consideration. And I’m still enjoying the venison sausage in case anyone is wondering!
Have you ever shot anything – even a target — from 1,000 yards? What were you using? Share your tips in the section below:
You never want to feel vulnerable walking down a lonely street at night or when approached by someone near your home. It may also be a priority of yours to be able to defend friends or loved ones if they are ever threatened while in your presence. What are some ways that you can learn to defend yourself or those who you care about?
Watch Training Videos Online
The internet has tutorials related to almost anything that you want to learn about. Therefore, it may be a good idea to watch a YouTube video or order training materials from a local self-defense trainer. This may give you a basic idea of what to do if you are ever threatened or attacked. It may also give you some insights into how you can keep a lower profile to prevent a possible attack before it happens.
Take a Job in the Security Field
During your training as a security guard, you will be taught self-defense techniques that you can use while on the job. Some companies, like Security Services Northwest, Inc., know that these tactics may also prove useful if you are ever attacked while out on the town or by someone who breaks into your home. In addition to your basic training, you may be given access to advanced classes as you gain more experience in your line of work.
Sign Up for Karate Lessons
Karate is a discipline that teaches you both how to defend yourself and how to use discretion when facing a possible attacker. This helps you control your emotions in a given situation, which may make it easier to resolve a conflict without having to turn to violence at all.
Talk With a Police Officer or Security Guard
If you don’t want to be a security guard, you could always talk to one if you want self-defense tips. Police officers may also be able to help you learn more about the subject. This may be helpful if you are doing a report or a project for school about the topic and don’t actually want or need to master defense tactics yourself.
Learning how to defend yourself can prevent a scenario in which you are the victim of a violent crime. Even if part of your strategy is to run, hide or call for help, the goal is to keep yourself unharmed. Ideally, you will be able to do just enough to subdue or outsmart your adversary until the police or other help can arrive.
Rachelle Wilber is a freelance writer living in the San Diego, California area. She graduated from San Diego State University with her Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Media Studies. She tries to find an interest in all topics and themes, which prompts her writing. When she isn’t on her porch writing in the sun, you can find her shopping, at the beach, or at the gym. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @RachelleWilber
Renowned firearms trainer and the founder of Gunsite Academy, the late Col. Jeff Cooper, is credited with having said, “If you don’t have a gun within arm’s reach, you’re unarmed.” It’s a sound observation, considering that most criminal attacks transpire in five seconds or less.
As a concealed carry instructor, it’s no longer a surprise to hear more than half of the licensed carriers I encounter say they never, or rarely, carry a firearm on their person. Most have groomed a sense of satisfaction based on their handgun being a permanent resident of a car door pocket or nightstand. Unless a threat to their lives occurs when they are in the car or near the bedroom, however, they likely will be defenseless if that critical moment comes to pass.
Why do most folks who’ve gone to the trouble of receiving training and purchasing a handgun not carry? Most haven’t found a method of carry that is comfortable and secure for their typical day.
My own carry habits and methods have evolved over the 12-plus years since I made the decision not to outsource my personal safety. Purses, pockets, ankle rigs, “four o’clock” inside-waistbands, and various belly bands all had their turn. Now, and for the past few years, my everyday carry (EDC) gun has occupied either the right or left quadrant of the front of my waistband — commonly called appendix inside waistband (AIWB) position. Of course, it’s not the only way to carry; everyone needs to find what works for them. For purposes of this article, a working assumption is that any gun, carried in any manner, is inside a sheath of some sort that prevents penetration of the trigger guard.
Here’s why AIWB works for me:
There is no fuss associated with drawing the gun. Simply lift the shirt hem with the support hand and draw. It’s simple and fast, and works regardless of whether I’m standing or strapped inside a car seatbelt.
AIWB and front pocket carry are the only positions about which I’ve not encountered a news story in which a concealed carrier was relieved of their gun by a common thief or mugger. Of course, there’s probably a story about that somewhere, but compared to other methods, AIWB makes the would-be thief’s job nearly impossible. It also makes the gun inaccessible to children, unlike off-body methods. Compared to otherwise equally secure methods, AIWB prevails due to factor No. 1 in this article — ready access.
With a compact firearm, AIWB carry allows me to move from attending a meeting, to going for a run, to doing outdoor chores, and even driving long distances with the gun on my person. No need to take the gun off every time I get in the car. No more digestive issues from a belly band that feels like a boa constrictor when adjusted so the gun won’t pull it down. No more blistering from the seam of an ankle holster — you get the picture. It just works. There is no concealment system that offers zero discomfort, but AIWB has been the least bothersome for me.
4. Discreet carry
While I’ve had to abandon tucked-in dress shirts worn without a sweater or jacket, as well as giving up proper dresses in favor of shirt/skirt ensembles for dress-up occasions, AIWB offers one of the least obtrusive methods of carry. I thought the purse was discreet, too, until a co-worker asked why I carried it with me even for minor tasks.
5. Least disruption to my mornings
Sticking a holstered gun into my waistband every morning is fast and easy — which makes it easier to be a habit, and thus easier to be prepared. Systems that entail fiddling with straps, clips and the like are not likely to become a part of an already full routine.
Every method of carry requires compromise, and AIWB is no exception. The holster I use must be set aside when using the restroom — an act that requires one to be extra-present, mentally speaking, in public facilities. This isn’t true of all AIWB holsters. The slightly looser shirts this method requires hide the waistline that is a benefit of exercise. As a female, the biggest compromise has been the kind of pants or shorts I wear. An adjustable drawstring or substantial belt loops are a must.
There are some holsters, like the magnetic Quick Click & Carry (QCC) made by JM4 Tactical of Abilene, Texas, that even overcome some of these minor drawbacks. Holstered AIWB carry isn’t for everyone, but it’s been a panacea for me after having tried numerous other methods. What’s your favorite method?
Do you use AIWB carry? Share your thoughts in the section below:
When I use the term “survival skills,” most people think of classic skills like making fire, purifying water, building shelter, first aid treatment, and so forth. Few people think of unarmed combat as a survival skill. But if you think about it, unarmed combat is one of the most important skills, especial in urban areas. […]
The post Unarmed Combat: An Often Overlooked Survival Skill appeared first on Urban Survival Site.
Multi-caliber firearms have great appeal. Here’s a look at five choices of revolvers and long guns that add versatility to your gun collection while making your ammunition dollars stretch further.
1. Any .357 Magnum revolver
The 357 Magnum load boasts a fast-moving, heavy round. Although I don’t subscribe to the notion of stopping power, at least as it compares in importance to shot placement, there’s no denying that this caliber delivers tremendous impact, and commensurate recoil. Ammo isn’t terribly pricey for self-defense at approximately 50 cents per hollow-point round, but for practice, it can be both uncomfortable and costly.
Pick up some 38 Special full metal jacket (FMJ) for practice and plinking, and your 357 Mag revolver will serve as both a range and self-protection gun. This cartridge is the same diameter, but shorter, with a smaller powder charge than 357. Using 38 Special is also a great adaptation to make shooting more comfortable for arthritic or injured hands.
The Ruger GP100 is a popular and proven full-size 357 Magnum revolver that most people find pleasurable to shoot, even using the bigger cartridge. Prices are typically in the $600 range for plain models. Ruger’s carry-friendly LCR (lightweight compact revolver) is also available in 357. Expect snappy recoil from that one using 357. The LCR is priced in the $400 range, with many bargains available.
Safety and shopping notes: The 38 Special cartridge can be loaded into a 357 Magnum firearm, but the 38 Special handgun cannot be loaded with 357 Magnum ammunition. Similarly named 357 Sig and 380 are calibers designed primarily for semi-auto firearms, and are NOT cross-gun compatible to 357 Mag/38 Spl.
2. Taurus Judge revolver
This hefty Brazilian revolver can shoot 45 Long Colt or 2.5-inch 410 shotshell loads, or a mixture thereof, from its five-chamber cylinder. It’s available in barrel lengths starting at two inches, up to 6.5 inches — and there may even be a few in circulation that are even longer; these are just the lengths I’ve seen students bring to class. There’s no getting around the big recoil with the big cartridge. Suffice to say, the two-inch barrel model should be avoided by people with achy hands.
The Judge is very popular as a home-defense weapon. Its weight makes it impractical for daily carry, though there are surely some folks who manage to do so. The 45 Long Colt is expensive to purchase; defensive loads often cost in excess of $1 per round. On the other hand, 410 gauge shells, popular for use with the Judge as a defense against venomous snakes, can be picked up for less than 50 cents per round.
Usually found in the mid-$400 range, prices vary widely with the Judge depending on features and finish. In my experience, they require more frequent repairs and maintenance when fired regularly, thanks to the stresses of high-pressure rounds cycling through a comparatively small weapon. Nonetheless, Judge owners who embrace the “bigger is better” philosophy seem to glean a sense of security from having this model in the nightstand.
Safety note: Responsible self-protection includes proper target identification. None of the models mentioned thus far include an auxiliary light rail. A flashlight is therefore a needed accessory for dim-light defense. For most people, handling and flashlight and a 40-ounce loaded revolver are mutually exclusive activities.
3. Bond Arms derringers
Moving to the physically smaller end of the spectrum, Bond Arms of Granbury, Texas, makes a line of derringers with barrels ranging from 2.5 to 4.25 inches. Not only do the barrels range in length, but they range in caliber, as well. The same firearm that fires 22LR also can fire 45 Long Colt, as well as most popular handgun calibers in between, regardless of whether the case is rimmed or not. Quite an innovative design!
Bond Arms derringers have a two-round capacity, and are extremely compact. They’re big on Texas style — easy to conceal but lovely to behold. Firing them does require some familiarization, even for experienced shooters, as their single-action operation with cross-bolt safety and downward-favoring trigger press are out of the ordinary. Recoil from Bond’s short barrels and larger calibers is severe, but smaller calibers are easily managed, so a range of barrels will allow the entire family to enjoy one gun. A Bond Arms derringer will cost from $450 to over $1,000 depending on model. While extra barrels are priced between $100 and $200, the company runs half-off specials on barrels around the holidays.
4. Savage Model 42 over-and-under rifle
This old standby by Savage Arms of Massachusetts is versatile, and although it’s a classic platform, its looks have been updated with a modern synthetic stock. In addition to being ideal for small game, the 42 is a good snake/varmint control tool. Some will consider it their choice for home defense, too. It weighs just over six pounds, and is a modest 36 inches long including the 20-inch barrel. It’s therefore easy to handle for everyone, including the elderly and young shooters. People in both of these groups have made good use of “squirrel guns” in necessary home defense encounters.
The break-open action allows the user to load 22 Long Rifle, or 22 Winchester Magnum, depending on model, in the top barrel, and a 410 gauge shotshell in the lower barrel. A lever allows the user to choose which barrel fires. Add a scope for longer-range action on small game or coyotes. There’s no magazine, so extra ammunition must be stowed or carried.
MSRP on the Model 42 is $500, but expect real prices to be lower. Used models can be found for less than $200, and the high $300s can net a full-featured new Model 42 with a synthetic stock that will last a lifetime.
5. Frontier Tactical War Lock Multiple Caliber System and Rifles
Frontier Tactical is by far the youngest manufacturer on this list. Based in Florida, this veteran owned and operated business invented a new system that brings multi-caliber ease to the AR sporting rifle platform. The AR platform is already highly customizable, but the War Lock eliminates the time-consuming process of replacing complete upper receivers, or the removal/disassembly of the barrel requiring a shop and tools. With their $600 Multi-Caliber System 2-barrel kit, your AR15 can quickly switch calibers, to load and fire your choice of over 90 common or not-so-common calibers: 17 Remington, 17-223, 20 Practical, 204 Ruger, 223 Remington, 25-45 Sharps, 300 AAC Blackout, 5.56mm NATO, 6.8, 6.8 SPC, 6.8mm Remington SPC II, 6x45mm, and American 30 BHW. The War Lock even allows adaptation of the AR to pistol calibers, a way to save money on practice and perhaps make your handgun ammunition double as rifle fodder.
Frontier Tactical’s system is offered for regular and free-float barrels, but some firearms may still not be compatible due to manufacturing differences. Check with them before purchasing a conversion system for your own AR15.
Just starting as an AR owner or just want a whole new multi-caliber rifle? Frontier Tactical’s FT-15 War Lock Entry Carbine comes with War Lock components. It’s priced at $1,300, chambered in NATO 5.56/.223 Remington for starters.
Whether your choice is a model that’s been around for decades, or a newer platform that milks more mileage from your existing gun or ammunition supply, multi-caliber capability can increase the usefulness and economy of your trigger time. Options listed here are some, but not all, on the market today. More choices will likely crop up in the coming year.
Safety first! Always be sure you’re loading compatible ammunition into your firearm.
What is your favorite multi-caliber firearm? Share your advice in the section below:
Ammunition prices, where provided, were sampled from national retailer Lucky Gunner.
In the market for a safe? Don’t make the mistake of buying one that’s not entirely secure. Find out what to look for so you know how to pick the best safe here. Homeowners have been using safes for centuries to store everything from cash to expensive belongings. But how “safe” are these home safes […]
The post Which Safe is Safest? How to Pick the Best Safe for Your Valuables appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.
Looking for the best gun safe to add to your home? We’re sharing everything you need to know to pick the one that best suits your unique needs. Check it out! There are so many gun safes you may actually get lost if you walked into a warehouse that sold them. Choosing a safe can […]
When you’re out in the woods at your stand or stalking your prey in an open prairie, you want the hunting rifle that will bag your buck. You’ve got to be able to trust your tool. It’s like your own limb. You wouldn’t leave home without it. So, since you’re choosing a trusted companion, you’ve […]
This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com Krav Maga Tactical Survival is about using Krav Maga techniques in real life situations. It is all about evaluating a dangerous situation and neutralizing attackers before they get the upper hand. As a reader who knows very little about Krav Maga, I thought the book was very interesting. I liked the section on Armed and Unarmed Self Defense Scenarios. The author goes over how an angry person responds and also talks about de-escalation. […]
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If the average gun owner is asked what the most important weapon to own for home defense is, the answer often is the 12-gauge shotgun. Yes, some will say go with a pistol and others will prefer a semi-automatic rifle, but the 12 gauge is probably the most commonly recommended firearm for home defense.
There’s good reason for that. Twelve gauge 00 buckshot or any other kind of defensive load is devastating at close range and will incapacitate the attacker, likely with only a single shot. The pump-action shotgun itself is a very rugged, reliable and simple weapon that practically anybody can pick up and quickly learn how to use.
Many will claim that the pump-action design is now outdated in the age of automatic rifles such as the AR-15 or AK-47, and indeed, there are some very high-quality semi-automatic shotguns out there. That said, semi-auto shotguns (at least the quality ones) almost always tend to be more expensive than pump actions, and they also can be just a little more finicky with certain types of ammo. For those reasons, the pump action is still an excellent defensive weapon even in the 21st century and likely will continue to be for many years to come.
The next question then is: What is the absolute best 12-gauge pump-action shotgun for home defense? Well, if you knew that there was only one pump shotgun that has passed the U.S. military’s brutal and unforgiving torture test, you would probably agree that that shotgun would be a top contender, right?
The specific shotgun is the Mossberg 590A1, a further development of the hugely successful Mossberg 500 and 590 series of shotguns. The 590A1 incorporates all of the same features of the 590 and then makes several improvements of its own. The overall weapon itself is insanely rugged and durable.
Why It’s So Rugged
First of all, let’s become familiar with how the Mossberg 500 series of shotguns work. The 500/590 is a very basic pump shotgun that features a polymer safety, trigger guard, and blued barrels (that are easily interchangeable). The safeties of Mossberg 500s are ambidextrous and located behind the receiver, while the slide release lever is located behind the trigger guard for convenience.
Right off the bat, the 590A1 uses more durable materials than the 500 and 590. All of the parts of the gun are constructed out of aluminum (trigger guard, safety, slide release lever, etc.). Furthermore, the 590A1 also uses a heavier durable barrel that is intended to better take abuse, as well.
The overall finish of the 590A1 is parkerized, which is rust- and corrosion-resistant in contrast to the standard bluing of the 500 or 590 that will require constant care and attention. In other words, the 590A1 is a shotgun you can take out in wet environments and not have to worry as much about.
Granted, 500 and 590 models called the Mariner are made in a corrosion-resistant stainless steel finish (called Marinecote), but these specific models tend to be significantly more expensive.
Additional notable features of the 590A1 includes a bayonet lug on the front for mounting an M7 bayonet. The 590A1 also incorporates a swivel mount on the stock for easily adding a sling. In contrast to this, you generally have to add the swivels yourself to the 500 or 590, which, of course, increases the amount of money you have to spend. The 590A1 will have a 6+1, 7+1, or 8+1 capacity, depending on the model that you get.
All in all, the 590A1 is essentially the ultimate pump-action combat shotgun and a superb choice for home defense or personal protection. The Remington 870 is also a great shotgun, no doubt, but keep in mind it was the 590A1 that passed the military’s torture test, which says a lot about its capabilities and quality.
Do you own a 590A1? What is your favorite pump-action shotgun? Share your tips in the section below:
Would a time tested, durable, dependable, reliable, reasonably accurate firearm at a low price interest you? A firearm also tinged with historical significance? Then I’ve got news for you: You’re looking for a military surplus rifle.
With the end of the Cold War, stockpiles of older Warsaw pact weapons have been making their way to our shores. As nations like Russia seek to turn their old military surplus rifles into dollars.
To be fair, these older rifles no longer have much military value on a modern battlefield. But, this shouldn’t detract from their worth to a savvy firearms enthusiast. Which makes a military surplus rifle an excellent choice for survivalists, preppers, and hunters.
Today, I will be limiting this discussion to bolt-action military surplus battle rifles.
Why Invest In A Military Surplus Rifle
So why invest in a military surplus battle rifle versus a new Remington, Savage or Winchester? Let’s look for a moment at that brand new rifle.
There’s nothing wrong with a brand new Remington 700. They are wonderful rifles. Variants of which are still used by our own military. But then again, there’s nothing wrong with a 1903 Springfield.
When it comes to sheer power, bullet weight, and velocity, the older battle rifles are roughly in the .30-06 power range, the cartridge of the Springfield.
So the cartridge power and range are comparable to modern rifles.
If you need the .300 Win Mag (or another of the other popular modern rounds), then don’t bother with a military surplus rifle.
What About The Cost?
Some surplus battle rifles are cheaper than modern rifles, some are not. One thing all the battle rifles have in common over a modern rifle, though, is durability.
These weapons are stout, heavy, and for the most part easy on the recoil. Many are encased in wood all the way down the barrel.
Modern rifles are precision machined wonders. But for sheer durability in the muck, mire, rain, snow and sleet, give me a Soviet Mosin-Nagant.
How About Accuracy?
Here’s where the modern rifle does come out on top. If you’re looking to drive a nail at 200 yards, the Remington 700 or a quality AR-15 will beat most old battle rifles.
These old warrior rifles are designed to hit man-sized targets from 100 to 2000 yards out. (Of course, just because the rear sight graduations run out to 2000 yards doesn’t mean your Mark One Eyeball can see that far).
However, some of these old gems in scoped sniper versions can give the modern rifles a run for their money.
So here are the 4 military surplus rifles we’ll examine in detail today:
- Mosin Nagant 9130 – Russian/Soviet Union – 7.62x54R
- Mauser Model 98 – Nazi Germany – 8 mm Mauser
- Lee Enfield No 1 Mark III – England – .303 British
- Arisaka Type 99 – Imperial Japan – 7.7 Jap
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1 – Mosin-Nagant 9130
The Mosin-Nagant was arguably the most prolific battle rifle ever manufactured. Over 17 million of these rifles were produced over a 50 plus year lifespan. Russia has been dumping these military surplus rifles on the market for the last twenty years.
The 7.62x54R cartridge it fires is currently the longest serving rifle cartridge still in front line service in a major military force. This round is still used in the famous Russian Dragunov sniper rifles.
It has a rimmed bottleneck cartridge paired with a boat-tailed, 148 grain, full metal jacketed bullet. It can reach speeds of up to 2840 feet per second.
The Mosin-Nagant 9130 holds five of these rounds in an internal magazine. Which can be loaded individually or using a stripper clip.
Surplus ammunition can still be found for this rifle. Though most have corrosive Berdan primers and require a thorough cleaning after firing. Otherwise, the chemicals will destroy your rifling and barrel.
The Mosin Nagant was first conceived in Imperial Russia during the 1890s. This is the result of an arms competition between Leon Nagant and a Russian Army captain named Mosin.
The Russian military could not decide which rifle it favored. So it took elements of both designs and combined them into the first Mosin-Nagant 1891.
The rifle was manufactured in standard infantry lengths. Shorter Cossack versions for use on horseback. Then later carbine versions such as the M39 and M44 variants.
In 1930 the Mosin Nagant went through a major upgrade to become the Model 9130. The rifle overall length was shorten down to a manageable 48.5”!
This is the most commonly found Mosin on the market today.
The rifle is both durable and heavy at 8.8 lbs. It is not a pretty rifle. It is solid and functional; very Russian.
The action is good with the firing pin cock coming as the bolt comes out of battery to eject the fired round. It cocks on opening, rather than closing the action.
My one major complaint about the action is its bolt is a tad short. Tho, I wouldn’t have noticed had I not owned other military surplus rifles to compare it.
Sometimes a cartridge swells during firing and takes a fair amount of force to eject the round and cock the firing pin. This often requires a smack on the bolt with the palm of the hand, rather than a smooth ejection.
Many of these hard to eject incidences occur when using commercial ammunition. I’ve never seen this happen with military surplus rounds.
The trigger pull of the Mosin is typical Russian. It’s not bad, but it doesn’t break near as easy as a Mauser or Lee-Enfield.
If you want accuracy, you have to consider trigger pull with this weapon.
Keep the rifle clean, oiled and practice, practice, practice. Here are a few interesting tidbits of trivia about the Mosin:
1. The rifle barrel is harmonically tuned to be fired with the bayonet in place. You will lose some accuracy with the bayonet removed.
2. The Mosin was designed to hit high from point of aim. Russian peasants were told to aim at the enemy’s belt buckle, this being a prominent point of aim. The rifle sights were set to his about 4-6” above this at roughly 100 meters. I’ve read this from various sources, but I own two 9130 Mosins and neither of them hit that high from point of aim. Of course, I don’t fire it with the bayonet attached, either.
During testing, I averaged within 2” from point of aim at 100 yards and within 2.5” at 200 yards. These results were with 50-year-old eyes and shooting military surplus, steel core ammo.
The front sight is a single post, protected by a steel loop. I don’t particularly like this sight. The post is about as wide as my target at 100 yards, not allowing for much fine aiming.
The rear sight is a notch sight on a slide with graduations out to 2000 meters.
Recoil. This rifle has it.
The Russians, in the typical sensitivity we expect from them, installed a thick, hard-edged, stamped steel butt plate on the end of this rifle.
This is more of a skull crusher than a butt plate. It absorbs no recoil. It transmits it beautifully into your shoulder.
Twenty rounds through this rifle with no add-on recoil pad will leave you bruised. It can be brutal. My first accessory for this rifle was a Limb Saver recoil pad.
That being said, I do like the kick in the shoulder and the blast of the round but I don’t like to be bruised in the process. Besides, it’s harder to control your shot if you know you are about to get hit in the shoulder with a Louisville Slugger.
Mosin-Nagant M44 Carbine
I also own a Mosin-Nagant M44 carbine. The carbine is several inches shorter than the full 9130. It has an integral, attached folding bayonet.
This little carbine is actually a little heavier than the full sized battle rifle at 9 lbs even. This is due to the integral bayonet. It’s also a blast to shoot and I mean a blast.
The 7.62×54 R is designed for long range and uses the full length of the 9130 barrel to gain velocity. This means the powder is burning all along behind the bullet and the powder is completely consumed by the time the bullet leaves the barrel. This, in turn, imparts as much of its chemical energy into the bullet’s velocity.
However, the carbine is a shorter version, yet fires the same round. So the powder is not completely burned as the bullet leaves the barrel. This unburned powder produces a fireball of spectacular proportions (and a much louder boom).
It is loud and visibly impressive. The bullet is actually slower, but who cares, it looks and feels amazing to shoot.
Accuracy is also pretty decent with the carbine, though it does tend to shoot high in testing.
Also, the felt recoil from that blast actually feels worse than the full-sized rifle. This makes no sense since the rifle is heavier and the bullet has less kinetic energy. Still, the bruises don’t lie.
Mosin-Nagant Sniper Rifle
My last Mosin-Nagant is a sniper version – yes, like the one Jude Law used in Enemy at the Gates.
The little PU scope is a simple, non-adjustable 4 power scope.
Hitting a man sized target at 300 yards would not be a problem and further kill shots were made by real Russian snipers in WWII.
Though I laugh at the movie where Jude Laws cuts a telephone wire at 155 meters.I don’t think you’d even see the wire in a 4 power scope at that distance.
The rifle itself is exactly the same; a 9130 only with a scope and side rail mount.
I’m told Russians did pick the best 9130s from the assembly line to be used as snipers. Especially the ones with a light trigger pull.
My Mosin sniper is far more accurate than a standard 9130. However, due to my aging eyes, I’d take my 1903 sniper over the Mosin any day.
To give you some idea of pricing, I bought my first 1942 Mosin in 2011 for $99. Then I picked up a 1933 Mosin in 2012 for $150. A 1942 sniper version in 2012 for $595 (yes, a $100 rifle with a five hundred dollar scope). And finally my M44 carbine in 2014 for $245.
Mosin Nagant 9130 battle rifles can still be found for under $200 today. But, the prices are starting to creep upwards as the Russian stockpiles are running out.
If you wonder how good a $200 rifle could be, let your heart not be troubled, it’s a damn good rifle for $200. The price is $200 because they made 17 million of them. Supply outweighs demand.
If you are looking for quality, fit and finish, buy a pre-war version.
My 1933 Mosin is visibly superior to my 1942 version in machine finish and smoothness of the action. Although they shoot about the same accuracy.
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Germany first produced the Mauser Gewehr 98 in 1898. It was a revolutionary design for its day. It includes multiple locking lugs on the bolt, a five round internal magazine, magazine cut-off lever and firing the 7.92×57 mm cartridge.
Earlier, the United States first encountered Mausers in its 7mm form in Cuba during Teddy Roosevelt’s ride up San Juan Hill.
The Spanish troops fired down at the Americans with a very high velocity, flat shooting 7 mm round. While the Americans returned fire with Krag-Jorgenson rifles firing ballistically inferior rounds.
The Mausers were deadly accurate; at a distance.
This led to the development of the 1903 Springfield to counter the Mauser. And it countered it very well since it was almost a direct copy. Even the courts at the time thought so and awarded Mauser a judgment for patent infringement. The payments were discontinued during WWI.
Like other major powers, early GEW 98s were long. This was intentional to take full advantage of the cartridge. To get every foot per second of velocity possible from the 8 mm round.
The Mauser evolved in through WWI with the Gew 98, eventually evolving into the shorter K98 of World War II in 1935.
The 8 mm Mauser round was almost as revolutionary as the rifle that fired it. It was a rimless design, copied by both the US and Japan for their rifle cartridges.
The 7.92x57mm Mauser was first produced in 1905. It’s often referred to as 8 mm Mauser and sports a bottle-necked, rimless design. It’s a .323” diameter bullet of 198 grains.
Velocities are around 2600 feet/second.
In general, the Germans opted for less speed and more heft in their bullets. However, there were some military ammo versions that could hit as high as 2700 feet per second with this massive bullet.
The good news is that the 8 mm Mauser is still popular among hunters and sportsmen. It’s also readily available online and in specialty gun shops.
The K98K I own was produced in Nazi Germany in 1942. However, at some time during the war, it was captured on the battlefield by the Yugoslavians. They refurbished it and placed in their arsenal sometime after WWII.
How do I know this?
1. A Yugo code on the rifle defines it as a foreign refurbished rifle from a factory known for this operation.
2. The words Mod 98 appear on the action. Only German rifles say Mod 98. Yugo rifles have a different designation.
3. I can see the “ghosting” in the metal of the original date of manufacture that has been removed—1942.
K98-Karabiner Mauser Pricing
In any event, I got a deal on this rifle.
Yugo Mausers are actually very good rifles. And they don’t cost nearly as much as a German manufactured version.
I got the German rifle for the Yugo price. Like I said a good deal.
Typical Yugo versions Model 24 and 48 go for $300-400. A true typical German Model 98s in the $400-800 range.
The rifle’s action is butter smooth. With a bent bolt, cocking on opening, like the Mosin-Nagant, but much smoother. Although the bolt is bent, the bolt rotation is still a full 90 degrees, like the Russian.
The rifle’s action is butter smooth. With a bent bolt, cocking on opening, like the Mosin-Nagant, but much smoother. Although the bolt is bent, the bolt rotation is still a full 90 degrees, like the Russian.
The trigger pull is firm, but breaks cleanly and is very easy to control. Accuracy is pretty good once you get the sights dialed.
One odd thing about my Mauser: I have to dial the rear sights out to about 300 yards to hit level at 100 yards. The sight graduations go all the way to 2000 meters. Left and right error are typically within 2” at 100 yards.
I fire from a rest, but not from a clamped vice like a Lead Sled. In other words, a lot of the error I describe for these rifles is most likely mine.
The rifle is solid and heavy; like all the other military surplus rifles.
It’s slightly shorter at 43.5” length, being designated a carbine or karabiner K98K. It’s also a bit lighter than its Russian adversary. At 8.2-9 lbs it is still a handful of steel and wood.
The barrel is protected in wood out to a few inches from the end of the barrel. The front sight is protected by a spring style steel hood.
One thing I like about the Mauser is the front sight. Unlike many old battle rifles with blade or post front sights, it comes to a point, which helps in fine aiming.
The butt plate is steel, but is curved and contoured, conforming nicely to the shoulder. Felt recoil is not as bad as the Mosin Nagant.
For the size and power of the round, this rifle is a pleasure to shoot. No additional recoil pad is required.
To be fair, the Russian butt plate would be a better choice for crushing your opponent’s skull. However, for a pleasant day at the range; I’ll take the Mauser thanks.
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Lee Enfield Number 1 Mark III
The British Lee Enfield Number 1 Mark III was the main battle rifle of the British Empire through World War I and well into World War II.
Like the other military surplus rifles I am reviewing, this rifle is heavy and durable.
In fact, this rifle takes barrel protection to a whole new level. It’s encased in wood all the way out to the tip of the barrel, making this rifle a little heavier than its peers. The overall length comes in at 44.25”.
The action of the Enfield is also extraordinarily smooth. It cocks on closing, unlike its German and Russian contemporaries.
The bolt rotation is only 60 degrees. So in the hands of an expert, allows for quicker bolt manipulation and a faster rate of manual fire.
This was hailed as revolutionary at the time of its introduction. Some even claiming two Enfields firing was equal to three rifles with 90 degree bolt actions.
Indeed, the world record for rapid, accurate fire from a bolt action rifle was set in a Lee Enfield. However, it is a stretch to say an Enfield is the equivalent of two other rifles.
The trigger of the Enfield, in my humble opinion, is the best of the lot. It’s smooth with a very clean break.
The front sight is a blade side protected on both sides by guards integral to the end cap of the rifle. The whole end cap assembly bolts to the front of the rifle. Which in turn holds the front wood handguards, bayonet and front sight guards in place. This is good and bad.
It makes for a very durable design. But also means you can’t adjust your front sight without removing the whole end cap. Of course, one the front sight is adjusted and locked down you may never have to do this again, so it’s a minor annoyance.
The one thing I don’t like about the front sight is that it’s nearly the thickness of the two vertical sight guards. It is very easy to look down the barrel, cocked a little sideways, and pick up one of the guards instead of the blade.
One day at the range, I shot three rounds into the weeds. Puzzled by my Enfield’s sudden lack of accuracy, I discovered I was sighting on the right sight guard instead of the the sight itself. Of course. I felt like an idiot; with some justification.
The Number 1 Mark III Enfield’s rear sight is a notch design with graduations out to 2000 yards. Later model Enfields used in World War II came with aperture sights, like the 1903 Springfield and M1 Garand.
The Enfield fires a uniquely British cartridge, the .303 British. This round is similar in appearance and power to the Russian 7.62 x 54R.
It’s a rimmed, bottle-necked round with a 174 grain, hollow-point, boat-tailed bullet. Riding out front at a sedate 2500 feet per second.
This round can still be found from time to time in sporting goods stores, for a hefty price. Better to buy cheaper European commercial ammo online, or even better reload your own.
I invested in several boxes of ammo and a reloading die and now I reload all the ammo my Enfield digests.
Most Lee Enfields were produced in the United Kingdom. However, some were produced in Australia and India. Don’t be afraid of these. I own an Indian Enfield manufactured in 1916 and it looks and shoots beautifully.
The Enfield’s produced in India during British rule have the same quality standards as any Lee Enfield.
After liberation in 1948, the Indian government continued to produce Enfields into the early 1960s.
Abandoning the .303 British for the 7.62 NATO round. The quality of those rifles may be adequate, but I can’t confirm that.
The Lee Enfield Number 1 Mark III is a pleasure to shoot.
I don’t attach the additional recoil pad when firing this rifle. The recoil is firm, but more of a shove than a slam. I admit, as durable a rifle as mine is, I look at it more like a treasured heirloom than a rifle to take into the woods.
In an emergency, you will also be hard-pressed to find .303 British ammo anywhere. So it’s not a top survival rifle.
Arisaka Type 99
This military surplus rifle has been the biggest surprise of all my battle rifles.
The Japanese Type 99 in 7.7 Jap was designed to replace the Type 38 in 6.5 Jap. However, both rifles were produced in large quantities during the war. And the pre-war supply of Type 38s was too valuable to throw out.
Since they fired non-compatible cartridges, this presented an ammunition logistics problem. The simple solution was to assign the two rifles to different theaters of combat. That way they didn’t have to supply two types of ammunition.
It also eliminated confusion for the soldiers, sailors, and marines who would worry about using the wrong ammo.
The Type 99 fires a rimless, bottlenecked cartridge, like the 8mm Mauser, with a 150-grain 7.7-millimeter bullet riding out front. It moves at a leisurely 2600 feet per minute.
The previous round, the 6.5-millimeter was deemed too small and the 7.7-millimeter was viewed as an upgrade with more power.
The rifle itself screams simplicity. Although actually a half inch longer than the K98K, it feels shorter to its dimensions and weight. The woodwork is adequate to protect the rifle but is both lighter and smaller in diameter. The rifle feels thin and lightweight, which it is at 8.4 lbs.
The front sight is a simple blade, which can be drifted right and left. The rear sight is an aperture with graduations out to 1500 meters.
On some Type 99s, the rear sight actually folds up with two wings that extend outward. These wings have speed references on them and act as primitive anti-aircraft sights.
The trigger pull is surprisingly light with a crisp break, nearly as good as the Enfield and not a liability.
The action is okay, with a straight 90 bolt turning to 90- degrees to chamber and eject the round. The firing pin cocks on closing.
Type 99 has an integral 5 round magazine, like most other WWII battle rifles.
I don’t know if it’s a function of the aperture sights or what, but this is my most accurate WWII battle rifle. Especially when it’s fired off-hand or standing.
The weapon is light and easy to keep on target.
I’ve always heard the aperture sights were the best for accuracy. And this sight is best suited to the human eye and how it focuses. When tested I could hit within a 1-2” from point of aim at 100 yards with the Type 99.
Arisakas were never imported to the United States in huge numbers. But there were a lot of GI bring them back from WWII. So there are still lots of them on the market. Though nowhere near as many as the Mosin-Nagants or Mausers out there.
When the Arisakas were in the Emperor’s arsenal, they engraved a chrysanthemum (“mum”) on the receiver. Most Arisakas had the “mum” ground off, though a few out there still have an intact engraving. A rifle picked up off the battlefield likely had an intact “mum”.
Having the “mum” intact raises the value of the rifle a few hundred dollars for its historical accuracy.
Rifles physically taken from a Japanese soldier or captured “off battle” will likely be missing the “mum.” The “mum” is a symbol of the emperor and designates the rifle as his property. Out of respect for Hirohito, Japanese soldiers ground off the “mum” if they knew the rifle would fall into Allied hands.
Type 99s with an intact “mum” can go for $400-$600, depending on condition. My Type 99 has the “mum” ground off. I paid $240 for the rifle a few years ago.
It’s an early version manufactured at the Nagoya arms factory in the first quarter of 1941. Pre-Pearl Harbor.
Early Type 99s have a chrome-lined barrel, a neat option that was eliminated as the war progressed when both time and money became critical.
Other Arisakas known as “Last Ditch” rifles were produced late in WWII.
These rifles do not have near the machine work or detail of the previous rifles. Gone is the chrome-lined barrel. The butt plate is wood, rather than steel. The aircraft sights are gone. The knurled knob at the back of the bolt was replaced with an awful-looking welded knob.
These rifles got a bad name because, frankly, they look bad.
There is no evidence, though, they were made of inferior metals or are dangerous to fire. US GIs did have a series of deaths and injuries in the days immediately following WWII while firing “Type 99” rifles. It turns out many of these accidents occurred because the GI wasn’t firing a Type 99.
Instead, it was a training rifle or color guard rifle that looked like Type 99s.
These replicas looked like the real thing. Even chambering their ammo and using real bolts and firing pins. They also blew up in some GI’s faces.
These “accidents” gave the Arisaka, and particularly the Last Ditch versions, a bad name. In fact, the Arisaka has one of the strongest actions of any WWII battle rifle. After the war, it was tested to over 112,000 PSI before failure.
So Of These Four Military Surplus Rifles, Which Is The Best?
- Which should you buy?
- Which is the best deal?
- Which offers the most utility?
All good questions. So here’s my final analysis:
While the Enfield is fantastic, the ammo isn’t prevalent enough. Plus, the rifles are a little pricey due to supply and demand.
While the Arisaka is a pleasure to shoot, very accurate and easy to lug through the wilderness due to its light weight; the ammo is too rare.
The high quality but more expensive runner up is the K98 Mauser (or Yugoslavian variants which are a little cheaper),
The best military surplus rifle for price, availability, acceptable accuracy and price of ammo is the Mosin-Nagant 91/30.
The post Analyzing 4 Of The Best Military Surplus Rifles For Survival appeared first on Skilled Survival.
Most of the time when shooters are looking for quiet firearms, they will look for something on which they can mount a suppressor. That is all fine and well if you live in one of the 42 states where silencers are legal and if you can shell out the money ($250 -$1500) for a proper suppressor plus $200 for the permission slip from the ATF. Even if you go the form 1 route to make your own, there are still material costs and once again the $200 tax stamp.
However, if you stop and think about it, there are a number of firearms that are “quiet” in their own right. They may not give you the level of comfort experienced by shooting a suppressed rifle or pistol all day, but a handful of shots from one of these will definitely not “ring your ears” — and some are as quiet as an air rifle.
1. Mosin Nagant M91/30. If your Mosin’s barrel has been cut down in any way or is something like an M91/59 or M44, please do not attempt this, as you will go deaf. I found out by accident on the M91/59.
I had been testing a group of rifles, three suppressed and one unsuppressed. After replacing a target from a suppressed string of fire from an M1A, I went back to my bench and picked up a Mosin Nagant M91/30 sniper rifle.
After charging the rifle with a stripper clip of copper-washed military surplus (milsurp) ammo, I fired a shot. Then I fired another and another and finally realized that my ear protection was sitting on the bench next to me. My ears were not ringing. Out of curiosity, I cranked off another shot. My ears still were not ringing.
Since much of the noise from a gunshot has to do with the combustion of the powder before the bullet has left the barrel, I came to the conclusion that the powder charge was well-contained within the optimal length of the barrel. Coupled with the fact that the long 29-inch barrel was putting that signature about three-feet away from my ears meant I could shoot that all day with no indication of tinnitus.
Make no mistake, if you shoot something like this, people from a mile away may hear it, but you probably will not damage your eardrums if you have no ear pro.
2. Beretta M950. It seems like yesterday that these pistols were everywhere. It was a distinctive-looking, small 22 Short semi-auto pistol with a tip-up barrel. However, these pistols were notoriously quiet because there is just not a whole lot of powder in a 22 Short case. Fully extended, that barrel is going to be three feet away from my eardrums, even if I use the longer 4-inch version.
I used mine about 12 years ago to shoot a field mouse on the back porch. No ears rang, no neighborhood dogs barked, no neighbors came out to investigate and no police were called. The sound signature is like a pellet gun.
3. Marlin 25MG. This was a short-lived rifle manufactured by Marlin and has been out of production for at least 15 years. They were only made for about four or five years and were designed to be a “quiet” garden gun.
Chambered in 22 WRM and intended to use shot-shell loads, it has a smoothbore, like a shotgun. They were bought up by airports, warehouse workers and even a few museums for pest control without NFA hassles. They are a bit expensive when they come up for sale, but if your survival scenario calls for short-range small-game hunting without waking up the countryside, this is the one you need.
4. Smith & Wesson Model 17. This one does require special ammunition be used. I have tried it with Gemtech Subsonic, CCI Quiet and Remington Subsonic. Most 22 match ammo that uses a lead bullet and has a low velocity will do the job, too. You can use other double-action revolvers like a Ruger Single Six, Colt Scout or NAA Mini Revolver to the same effect.
I mentioned the Smith & Wesson Model 17 because that’s my double-action rim fire revolver of choice with an 8 3/8-inch barrel. All of those subsonic rounds that would not cycle my semi-autos work like a champ in this revolver, and if the cylinder gap is close like in my Smith, it sounds like a kid’s cap gun (back when they let kids play with cap guns).
5. Remington Rolling Block in 45-70. That may seem like an unusual choice based on the size of the bullet and case. But if you are a hand-loader, you can get a 200-plus grain bullet moving about 750 feet per second that meters about 130 decibels on a sound meter. Because it’s a long-barreled, single-shot rifle, you won’t be able to put too many lead balls in the air close enough to damage your ears.
These are but five examples that I found worked for me, but if you do a little research you may find some of your own, like a 148 grain Hollow Based Wad Cutter through a 38 Special with only two grains of Bull’s-eye powder behind it, or maybe a 30-inch goose gun single-shot 12 gauge that brings down birds without alerting the neighbors on the next ridge.
What is your favorite quiet gun? Share your advice in the section below:
I got this idea from Dave Canterberry so I cannot take any credit. This has been done on youtube many times, but I don’t like seeing, I like doing… This Sling Bow was a fun project, and if I spent the time to practice, this has the potential to be a useful tool. However, right […]
A never-ending discussion among firearm owners is about the “best” survival gun. Heck, I’ve chimed in on that a couple of times already here, and am about to offer another choice, because in many ways it is the ultimate survival firearm, capable of shooting almost everything, from .22 to .45-70 and can be configured as a rifle or handgun at your pleasure.
I’m talking about the Thompson Contender series pistols. First introduced in 1967, this venerable single shot pistol was redesigned in 1998 as the G2 Contender and has the ability to change barrels.
In the 50 years the Contender has been in production, barrels from tiny rimfire calibers to .45-70 have been made in it, along with specialized rounds adapted for the Contender platform like the 7-30 Waters (a necked down .30-30). Arguably one of the most popular single-shot hunting handguns out there, with a careful barrel selection, the Contender can allow you to carry an entire armory in your survival kit.
While there are literally hundreds of barrel combinations for the Contender series in dozens of calibers and lengths, with careful shopping, a few will stand out for the devoted off-gridder or survivalist. The .22 LR seems like an obvious choice, but this is one I wouldn’t go out of my way to get. If you already have an accurate .22 handgun that you can harvest game with, lugging around a Contender barrel won’t give you any edge, although it is hard to argue against the potential increased accuracy the Contender offers. Put this one low on your priority list, along with many of the highly effective but essentially unique to the Contender rounds like the aforementioned 7-30 Waters, or any of the other specialty rounds popular for the Contender. Remember: The name of the game here is survival gun, which means common calibers, unless you are well-equipped already to provide the ammo for an oddball round.
In no particular order, I would choose either .357 or .44 magnum due to the commercial success of those rounds. I’d follow it up with a .30-30 barrel, maybe a .223 and a .45-70 for taking big game. If you can find one, and it is legal in your state (sorry, California) a .45 Colt/.410 barrel with a special choke can be had (although sometimes at great expense), expanding your cartridge choices.
Story continues below video
Now, obviously, we are looking at getting a few barrels for very common, commercially successful calibers and for obvious reasons; if things ever go truly south, you will have an easier time finding such common rounds over hard-to-find rounds. However, there is a place for less common rounds for the well-prepared homesteader. One of my favorite revolver rounds is the .41 magnum, and this is by no means a common round to find. Guess what the first barrel I bought for my Contender was? In fact, I sold the .44 mag barrel that came with mine to get the .41. Chances are if you are invested in an oddball or uncommon caliber, you’ve got dies, brass, bullets, maybe molds to keep it going. And if you are a reloader and have a proper stash of powder and primers, then you are golden. If you plan to include an uncommon caliber in your Contender arsenal, then just make sure you have the ability to keep that round going for a few hundred rounds. Otherwise, your barrel is little more than scrap steel.
As a hunting pistol, you won’t be shooting thousands or even hundreds of rounds out of your Contender a year. This isn’t a combat weapon, and in a grid failure scenario, even a few dozen rounds can keep you in meat for a long time. That does not mean you should neglect a proper ammo supply, though, of at least a couple hundred rounds for each barrel you have.
With the right combination of barrels, the Contender can give you the luxury of multiple firearms in a single package. Barrels are inexpensive, and several can be easily carried at once, along with a small supply of ammo for each. As a compact and hard-hitting hunting handgun, the Contender can keep you in meat year-round and can increase the versatility of your bug-out kit. With a great many common calibers available to choose from, you can readily make the right barrel set for your needs and inventory, and be assured of being able to hunt, even in socially and economic uncertain times.
Have your ever shot or do you own the Contender? Share your thoughts about it in the section below:
The title of the story linked above is pretty self-explanatory. A girl sneaks a boy into her house, apparently the boy hides in a closet. Dad thinks someone broke in, ends up shooting the boy.
Its one thing to kill someone you are 100% sure you want to kill. Its another, VERY different story, to look down on a person you just killed and realize you made the worst mistake of your life.
I’ve said it a hundred times but I haven’t said it enough: Keeping a loaded firearm for defense without proper firearms training is like getting on a car for the first time, turning it on and getting on the highway. It’s a disaster waiting to happen.
Any clown pulling the trigger is a shooter. Now, someone that has received advanced training and keeps it up to sustain the level of proficiency, that’s who your’re supposed to be. Someone that actually trains to fight with his gun. Not in the sense of the old west gunslinger and professional duelist, but a modern day gunfighter that has trained for the martial use of his weapons.
My old instructor used to say, “we don’t train shooting machines here, we train hitting machines.” Anyone pulls the trigger and shoots, not everyone hits what they are shooting at in a violent dynamic encounter. There’s a big difference. My first firearms instructor when I was 14 or 15 years old insisted on target recognition. “ID the target before you put a round in it”. Till this day, I believe that’s the most important lesson I’ve ever learned regarding firearms. The truth is that for most normal people, far more often than not whatever went “bump in the night” will be something you do not need to kill. Yes it can be a home invader, but far more likely it’s the dog, the cat, one of the kids that went down stairs to get something to drink in the middle of the night. It’s the friend that stayed over for the night. It’s the wife that is a day early back from that trip or the son that “broke in” through a window in the middle of the night because he forgot his keys and didn’t want to wake everyone up.
Lesson of the day folks: ID your target before shooting. Once the round leaves the barrel you can’t take it back.
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”.
Editor’s Note: This post was contributed by Joe. 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 a perfect world, one would like to think that when disaster strikes, people would rush to help and support each other through it. And while people certainly will, such catastrophes unfortunately sometimes bring out the worst in many people as well. And these opportunistic predator types don’t target strapping he-men either. They’ll be looking for what they think are vulnerable victims; the elderly, the disabled, and women.
While in these more enlightened times few people still think of women as the “weaker sex”, most men still retain some advantages in physical height and strength.
Fortunately, there are a number of self-defense tips and techniques that can level that playing field and allow women to protect themselves and those that they are responsible for protecting. Some of them involve an outlay of money, some involve exercise, some involve surprisingly simple preparation, but all of them should be considered now, not after the worst happens. Below are some of the more effective ones.
Get And Stay Physically Fit
The healthier and more physically fit you are in the aftermath of a crisis, the better.
You’ll be able to run from danger. You’ll be able to run and get help and possibly track down prey.
Weight lifting will allow you to…well…lift weights.
Rock climbing and ropes courses now may help you to extract yourself and assist others in escaping from collapsed buildings, scale cliffs, and climb trees.
And the great thing about physical fitness programs is that they need not involve memberships at expensive gyms. An exercise regime as simple as daily rope-jumping may have you putting others to shame when trouble strikes.
Don’t Be Afraid Of Fear
It’s a perfectly natural emotion, designed by nature to help you avoid serious problems. But there’s a fine line between breaking down into hopeless hysteria or running blindly off of the edge of a cliff, and making your fear work for you.
Don’t be crippled by fear, but do listen to that little voice warning you when going into unfamiliar areas, encountering strange groups, etc. And remember that the adrenaline produced when you enter the “flight or fight” mode actually increases your physical strength. Use it accordingly.
Every Heel Has His (Or Her) Achilles Heel
Even physically fit women may not prevail in a confrontation with a man that involves running or brute force. So don’t let him get the upper hand, but calmly and effectively go on the offensive by attacking him in areas that will hurt, with blows and kicks to the:
- Adam’s apple (that “bulge” in the throat)
- Solar plexus (between the sternum and stomach)
- Sternum (the flat bony area in the center of the chest)
Make sure that these blows are hard, and yes, they work just as effectively on women. And in situations like these, biting is absolutely fair play, and effectively painful. For some defense moves that you can try out, check out this article on The 3 Essential Self-Defense Moves.
Take A Class
There are a couple of reasons to take formal self-defense courses now.
The first one is that you will be learning in a safe and comfortable environment with professional instructors. This guarantees that you’ll be learning how to use techniques effectively, having questions answered by knowledgeable sources, and reducing the chances of injury to yourself or another student.
The second reason is that retentive learning of this nature tends to go better in a group situation, with the positive feedback, support, and hands-on learning opportunities offered by this type of classes.
Join A Shooting Club/Go To A Firing Range
Waiting until the apocalypse is nigh upon us is a bad time to become comfortable with using a firearm. It’s also possible to receive instruction at these locations to insure that you know how to effectively protect yourself with a firearm against attackers.
Other (Non-Lethal) Firearm Knowledge That All Self-Defenders Should Have
Neither the survivor party that you’re trying to protect nor the gang of slobbering attackers that you’re facing will be too impressed if your gun jams or you shoot yourself while firing it, now will they?
Survivalists or preppers who know or think that they will be handling guns should:
- Know how to load and unload various types of firearms
- Know how to clean and perform at least minor types of other maintenance on guns
- Be conversant with various parts of firearms
- Know how to correctly wear a holster, as well as correctly drawing from and returning a weapon to it
It would also be very helpful to master the not-difficult but time consuming art of reloading, or manufacturing your own ammunition.
Prevention Is The Best Cure
The most effective self-defense? Avoid putting yourself in situations where you have to use self-defense!
Avoid traveling by yourself, traveling at night, or traveling in exposed or isolated areas. Sometimes of course, one has no choice. In such situations, keep a straight, tall posture, walk quickly and purposefully, and keep weapons out and in your hand.
Use Caution In Making New “Friends”
Until you actually get to know them, all unknown parties should be treated with caution. This means maintaining a distance of a couple of meters when meeting and speaking to them. You say this seems rude? Consider this. It buys you some space if the “friend” goes into attack mode, and allows you to observe what most vulnerable body parts the attacker (see #3) is exposing to you.
It can be hard to keep a stiff upper lip during the End of Days, but remaining calm and assertive will not only help you combat depression and feelings of self-hopelessness, it will make you appear less of a “mark” to attackers and other unsavory types.
Hunker Down At Home
If the crisis is short-term or there’s no immediate danger, like Dorothy said in the Wizard Of Oz, “There’s no place like home”. Make sure that your palace is a fortress though, by pre-stocking plenty of non-perishable foods, potable water, and medical supplies. Regardless of weather, all unused doors and windows should be secured. Install an “alarm” system even if it’s just a dog, and if possible, create a well-stocked “panic area” in the home where you can flee from intruders, and they can’t follow. Better still, be cautious about admitting any strangers to your home.
What do you think, are there other important factors women need to keep in mind to be able to effectively defend themselves? If you have some thoughts on the subject, please share them with us by commenting in the comments section below. We would love to hear from you!
About the author: This article was contributed by Joe from SmokingBarrelUSA.com. Joe is a gun enthusiast that started his blog specifically to not only learn more himself, but to also share what he learned with others in the community. SmokingBarrelUSA.com aims to help promote gun safety, debunk some myths that exist today about firearms, as well as help folks to choose the right equipment to suit their specific needs.
An almost two-year quest led me to the goal of finding the most versatile 22 long-rifle ammunition on the market. After trying rounds from CCI, Remington, Federal, Winchester, Norma and a host of others, I settled on one brand: Gemtech subsonic to meet just about all of my rim-fire needs.
If you learned anything about ammunition over the course of the past several years, it should be that the availability of 22 long-rifle ammo is very volatile. It can be in abundance one day and gone within an hour, not to be seen at normal prices for as long as a year.
I am fortunate to live in a part of the country where even 22 LR ammunition shortages are fleeting, but it got me thinking:
As a hand-loader, I can make any type of ammunition I need, from 22 Hornet to 50 BMG. I can size for peculiar chambers, download for revolvers and produce hot loads for machineguns or subsonic loads for silencers.
Unfortunately, there is not much I can do about most rim-fire loads, beyond using whatever I have available.
This can be problematic, as hyper-velocity loads will not be effective through my suppressors and subsonic or match loads will not always cycle my semi-autos, let alone subguns.
I set out to find the one 22 load that would fit most, if not all of my purposes, and the result was surprising, to say the least.
During the shortages and the hoarding, the word “subsonic” threw off many shooters who were lead to believe that it was little more than a CB Cap-type round or CCI “Quiet” load. Most people did not think it would cycle the bolt on their Ruger 10/22s, or feed in their pistols. I found that it would, with a suppressor or without.
The velocity is 1,020 fps, which is subsonic and only 50 to 100 fps below standard velocity 22 LR. The engineers at Gemtech wisely determined that this would cycle the majority of semi-autos out there without the supersonic crack.
These rounds are loaded with 42-grain lead bullets, with no jacket or plating, just a moly-type coating that acts as a lubricant to aid in feeding. Gemtech worked with CCI on a clean-burning powder to use in the subsonic load to eliminate unburnt powder and fouling problems associated with rim-fire ammunition. It is probably the cleanest 22 ammo I have ever fired, period.
I tried it in a variety of pistols, including a Beretta Model 71, Smith & Wesson Model 41, SIG Mosquito, Benelli MP95E and a Walther PPK. Moving on to rifles, it functioned flawlessly in a pair of Ruger 10/22s, a Smith & Wesson M&P 15/22, and best of all it was consistently accurate. In some cases, I was shooting sub 1-inch groups at 50 yards.
Moving over to bolt-action 22s and 22 revolvers, I had zero complaints. The round remained consistent, accurate and reliable. Most importantly, it lived up to its name and kept the sound levels low.
My shooting experiment was not completely trouble-free, however. I had a few problems getting it to run consistently in a full-auto Uzi with a 22 LR conversion kit and using it in an Armalite AR-7 gave me a few failures to extract/eject.
Aside from the Armalite notoriously being a finicky beast, the cycling through the Uzi also was less of a concern. In a real preparedness situation, I am probably not going to be shooting up 22s at the rate of 1,450 rounds per minute. We just want something accurate, reliable and quiet going through our suppressed Savage M93 or Beretta M71.
So should another panic start up and you are looking for something to hold onto in order to keep your 22s running, check out Gemtech Subsonic in 22 LR. Don’t blow it off as a pipsqueak JV type of rim-fire round.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts in the section below:
If you are robbed, do your best to remain calm. If you can’t remain calm, at least ACT like it.You must decide in advance your belief in resistance. Personally I believe in the morality of self-defense but everyone must decide for themselves. I will say that if you are robbed and do not know what […]
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!
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.
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.
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 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:
- 9mm semi-automatic pistol
- .45 ACP semi-automatic pistol
- .22 semi-automatic rifle
- 12-gauge pump action shotgun
- .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.
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
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:
Wanna know the secret to becoming a better shooter? Actually, there is no secret, but dry fire, can significantly increase a persons shooting ability.
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 […]
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!
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.
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.
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:
There are some good guidelines and tips on stockpiling ammo that will simplify this process for you and make it easier than it sounds on some forums you may have come across.
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!
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 …
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.
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.
There’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 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
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 […]
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.
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.
Dennis Tueller, a now retired Salt Lake City police officer, had asked the question “At what distance is an impact weapon an imminent threat?” Is it five or ten feet? Fifteen feet? More? In other words, at what distance will someone handling a baseball bat or a knife (for example) become a potential threat to […]
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.
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:
#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 […]
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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:
Have 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.
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.
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
• Fire Starter
• 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.
Here are a few other multifunction survival shovels worth taking a look at as well:
Some 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.
Let’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.
This 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.
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.
Here are a few more survival shovels with extensions:
What 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.
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.
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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.
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.
3. Bring as Little Attention to Your Place as Possible
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.
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This article has been written by John Gilmore for Survivopedia.
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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.
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.
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:
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!
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.
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:
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 […]
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 […]
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 […]
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.
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.
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
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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.
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.
This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.
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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.
We recently took a look at a few old-school “survival rifles” but found them lacking in some respects due to either reliability or accuracy. As times change and rifles improve, there is always a new contender for this role and we may have found it in this next rifle: the Ruger 10/22 Takedown.
It may not be as iconic as a Winchester lever-action or the new heir-apparent to the title of America’s rifle (the AR-15), but millions of these rifles are owned by millions of Americans and in many instances they were often a “first rifle” to introduce someone to shooting.
Like a Chevy small-block engine, they can be customized with match triggers, heavy barrels, thumbhole stocks or you can drop one into an after-market stock to make it look like a bull pup rifle or even a Thompson SMG.
However, at its heart this rifle was always compact, lightweight and most importantly, reliable. That’s all the qualities you would want in a survival rifle. Someone high up at Ruger recognized this and a few years ago the company began offering the venerable Ruger 10/22 in a takedown format, specifically for the modern prepper and survivalist.
Original versions of the rifle gave you two choices: stainless or blue. However, as the company listened to their customers, we have seen new versions emerge in various camouflage patterns as well as threaded barrels.
The threaded barrel is a key component for adding a silencer (also known as a sound suppressor), and this improvement made it perfect for what we look for in a survival rifle.
In case you are not familiar with the 10/22 platform, it is a semiautomatic rifle chambered in 22 LR that has similar lines visually with the M1 Carbine. Originally they shipped with an innovative and indestructible 10-round rotary magazine. The takedown versions we have seen come with a longer 25-round magazine.
The receiver is drilled and tapped for a scope mount and the barrel has a rear sight mounted close to the chamber and a front sight by the muzzle. Ruger includes a scope mount and a carrying case in which you can store the rifle, broken down. The case is made well, aside from the single nylon strap, but we upgraded ours with dedicated pack straps for ease of backpack carry.
One of the first things we do is remove the barrel band. It really serves no purpose beyond looks and coming from a background in precision shooting. We do not like anything touching our barrel that might affect harmonics. Our other gripe is that the rifle has no sling swivels. We still regard the sling as the most important accessory for any rifle, not only as a means for carry, but as an aid in accuracy.
When it comes to accuracy we found the “fly in the ointment.” The scope mounts to the receiver and while the barrel is removed by pushing a button and twisting it out, every time you remove and reattach the barrel you will have to re-zero the rifle. The shift in point of impact may be minimal, but if you are using it to forage for wild game as it was intended, that will almost certainly cause you to miss a small target.
But the iron sights, being contained on the barrel, remain more consistent than any optic we have tried over the past few years.
Unlike the other survival rifles we reviewed, the Ruger 10-22 Takedown is available with a threaded barrel. A good 22 silencer really makes a difference with this rifle over everything else. We have had success running a Gemtech Outback II-D, Underground Tactical Little Puff, and a Q El Camino. However, the 16-inch barrel does add velocity to the rounds unless you use subsonic ammunition.
Some readers may be shaking their heads at the thought of using a 10/22 in a disaster or end-of-the-world scenario. Consider this: In a true disaster that causes people to bug out to the rural areas for an extended period of time, there will probably be no deer population left. Your AR, AK, FAL, SCAR, 30-30 or whatever else you thought would make you king of the mountain may be nearly useless on whatever is left in the form of squirrels, rabbits or chipmunks. Thus, the 10/22 may be the perfect fit.
Do you agree or disagree? Share your thoughts on the Ruger 10/22 in the section below:
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.
Survival 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
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 […]
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
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, […]
The post Review of Twod Pistol & Rifle Flashlight/QR/Compact 200 Lumen Flashlight appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.
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.
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.
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.
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:
The 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
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.
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 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 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.
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.
How 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 how 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
Regardless 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
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.
The post How To Make Your Own Arrows – Tips, Techniques and Tricks appeared first on Skilled Survival.
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.
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.
Story continues below video
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.
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:
Selecting good routes is extremely important part of your security planning especially in hostile areas or in times of civil unrest.
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.
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.
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:
- Pepper Spray
- Tazers or stun guns
- Brass knuckles
- Small hand tools like hammers, screwdrivers, or keys
- Hardened forearm armor
- Expanding batons
- Fixed-blade knife (preferred), or folding pocket knife (discouraged)
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
“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
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:
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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.
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:
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.
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
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
While many government authorities advise evacuating, in some situations it is vital to stay and protect that which you’ve worked so hard to build. Before we jump into the spider
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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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.
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:
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.
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.
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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: