Tricking Out Your AR-15 For Survival: 5 Things To Do

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Tricking Out Your AR-15 For Survival: 5 Things To Do

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When the M-16 was first introduced to the Army during the Vietnam War, it was not readily accepted. On one hand, this is common, as military personnel aren’t quick to give up their old guns. But on the other hand, rumor has it that some of the plastic parts for the original M-16, specifically the buttstock and forestock, were manufactured by Mattel, and showed up with the famous “Made by Mattel, it’s swell” logo molded into the stock.

I don’t know if that rumor is true or not, as I missed the Vietnam War. But I was trained on the M-16 in boot camp, some years later and carried one throughout my years in the military. Now the M-16 has been replaced, or more accurately upgraded, and has become the M-4, incorporating the lessons learned through years of use in the field.

Shortly after the first M-16s reached the field, the Armalite company came out with the civilian semi-automatic version, known as the AR-15. Today, this rifle, in all its variants, is the most popular sporting rifle on the market.

Who knew, when the M-16, AR-15 and M-4 hit the market, that they were based on the most versatile and adaptable gun platform ever? Yet today, there are so many models of this basic gun on the market that they defy counting. Not only are these variations different from a cosmetic point of view, but from a functional one, too. You can find AR-15s that are set up for short-range CQB or long-range sniper fire. There are even a couple of models out there that are classified as pistols, because they are built specifically for one-handed shooting.

But does all this variation make sense to you and me in a survival situation? Is it just eye candy, or will any of it actually help us survive?

You Don’t Need A Firearms License For This Weapon!

To answer that question, we must first look at what survival shooting consists of. Basically, we can break this down into two separate things:

  • Hunting for food.
  • Defending yourself and your family.

Those two types of shooting are quite different. To start with, it’s rare that you’ll have animals walk up to you, asking to be converted into dinner. Hunting generally means long-range shooting, and in most cases, from 100 yards to 200 yards. While there are many hunting shots that are much further than that, the vast majority fall into that range.

On the other hand, defensive shooting is all short-range. While there are some who talk about shooting enemies at long-range, they haven’t taken into consideration the legal ramifications of that. It’s all but impossible to prove that anyone you shot at 400 yards was an “imminent danger to life and limb” unless they were shooting at you with a sniper rifle.

With that in mind, what we really need is a gun that’s good at close to medium range. While that’s still a lot to try and do with one gun, it’s much more doable than trying to build a gun that’s useful for both CQB and sniping.

1. Optics

Probably the most important thing you can do to make your AR-15 into a survival gun is make sure that you have good optics on it. Amazingly, many people spend a lot of money on their gun, but go for a cheap optics package. This isn’t limited to AR-15 owners, as it’s a common problem with big game hunters, as well.

Even so, there are several options to consider. For distances out to about 100 yards, a Red Dot or Reflex sight is the fastest and easiest to use. That gives you the ability to get on target faster than any other optics system you can put on a rifle.

But these sighting systems are limited range. Using a Red Dot at 200 yards is a lot like trying to use iron sights at that distance. At that point, you need a telescopic sight.

There are two ways of handing this. One is to use a system like the EOTech one, where you have a Red Dot sight with a telescopic sight that’s designed to work with it. While pricy, that gives you a lot of flexibility in one optics package. The other is to put an adjustable telescopic sight on your AR-15. While that’s not as quick to use as a Red Dot, it does give you the ability to work at multiple ranges.

Another thing you should definitely consider is to keep the iron sights on your gun, even when switching over to something more sophisticated. There are offset mounts you can buy for iron sights, which allow them to sit to the right of the telescopic or Red Dot sight. That way, you’ve always got something that you can use at close range, even if your battery goes dead in your other optics package.

2. Foregrip

One of the great upgrades that the newer AR-15s offer is a quad rail. This allows you to mount a plethora of accessories to your gun, some more useful than others. But probably the most useful of all (besides the optics) is a foregrip. Holding the forestock in the traditional manner is really not all that ergonomic, so your wrist will get tired after a while. A foregrip gives you a much more natural, comfortable way of holding the gun with your support hand.

I’ve got a foregrip with built-in laser sight and tactical flashlight. While I must admit that the laser sight is of limited use, it is nice having the ability to quickly acquire a target, even before raising the gun to my line of sight. The tactical light is handy for building clearing operations. Both can be turned on intermittently or left on, providing a lot of flexibility.

Keep in mind that any light you mount on your AR-15 will be able to be seen by any bad guys at a much greater distance, than it will reveal them to you. So you don’t want to walk around with a tactical light on, like you see in the movies. Rather, you want to turn it on briefly, catch a snapshot of what’s in front of you, and then move immediately, before anyone can shoot at where you were.

Some people mount a bipod on the rails of their AR-15, but that’s more of a sniper rifle accessory. Unless you are planning on doing long-range shooting, a bipod is nothing more than extra weight to carry around.

3. Sling

While the sling may not seem like an important upgrade to your AR-15, you’ll discover its true utility if you ever have to bug out. Carrying a rifle at the ready or even at port arms for hours is tiring. Those tired arms translate directly into inaccurate shooting. You can’t shoot accurately when your arms are shaking.

The newer one-point and two-point slings that they have available for the AR-15 allow you to carry the gun slung over your chest, rather than over your shoulder. A gun carried over your shoulder is not ready for use in the least. The seconds that it takes to unsling it and move it into firing position are critical. But with the gun slung across your chest, it only takes enough time to lift the gun into position.

4. Barrel and chamber

One point of discussion for many is what caliber is the best. I’m not even going to enter into that discussion, as most of what people say is nothing more than their personal opinion.

Barrel length is important, though. Since we’re talking short- to intermediate-range shooting, you don’t need to have a long one. The 18-inch minimum that the ATF requires for rifle barrels is enough. Please note that 18 inches includes the flash suppressor, only if you have it permanently attached to the barrel. That means welding it in place. Sticking with an 18-inch barrel prevents you from having to get a permit from the ATF for a “short-barreled rifle.”

5. .22LR conversion

While caliber isn’t important for most hunting or defense, there is one place it is important. That is, hunting small game. If you go with a 5.56mm/.223 chambered barrel, you can also buy a .22LR conversion kit for your AR-15. This kit consists of a bolt and magazine, allowing you to shoot the much cheaper and lower velocity .22LR ammo. With it, you can use your AR-15 for hunting small game, which will probably be much easier to find than large game.

What would you add to our list? Share your AR-15 thoughts in the section below:  

Survival Guns: Q&A On Deep Cleaning Your Ruger LCR

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There is no such thing as a gun that does not need routine cleaning and maintenance. You can count on Murphy’s law to render your gun useless at the worst possible moment unless you take good care of it.

Even when a gun is in storage it should be cleaned and lightly oiled a couple of times a year. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

But how often is often enough? Many people still have questions about cleaning their guns, and our reader T. – who owns a Ruger LCR – is only one of them. Keep reading to get the answer!

“How often should I send my Ruger 357mag LCR (5-shot) to the factory to be deep cleaned, inspected, parts replaced as necessary?  I really don’t want this job and quotes seem reasonable under $100. I shoot ~10min/week or  9hrs/year mostly HSM .357 Mag, 125 Grain JHP Ammo. Asking b/c my 6.5 year old Glock 27 acting up so had to send it in recently. 

Best, T.”

The Ruger LCR (5 shot) in .357 Magnum was designed primarily looking for a light weight, compact, easy-to-conceal revolver for self defense. Each time you fire your revolver, it must be cleaned and examined for signs of excess wear and tear.

Cleaning the revolver removes bullet and powder residue from all cylinder parts, the action, and the barrel in revolvers, while lubrication helps to keep the revolver operating smoothly without binding up or freezing under heavy use.

While the Ruger LCR can shoot 125 grain magnum ammo, I don’t recommend using this weight constantly because it puts a lot of wear on the internal parts. Not only will you have to deep clean the gun more often, it will more than likely wear out in just a few years.

For range practice I would recommend shooting either 38 Special or .38 Special + P ammunition. This will keep the wear and tear down to a minimum.

Finally only shoot a few .357 Magnum rounds (5 to 10) every 2 – 3 months to keep you in practice with the recoil and the muzzle flash – both of which are more intense with this revolver than they would be with a heavier weapon.

Click here to get your guide on how to build your layered survival defense!

Simple Wipe Down Cleaning For the Ruger LCR

If you don’t wish to clean your revolver at the range after shooting, at least wipe down all exterior parts of the revolver.

This will remove powder residue and finger oils that can cause your weapon to start rusting. This is only a quick fix and a standard cleaning should be done as soon as possible.

Standard Cleaning of a Ruger LCR Revolver

  1. Always open the cylinder and make sure there are no bullets in it.
  2. Be sure you have all of your cleaning supplies together where the revolver cleaning will take place.
  3.  Tie a clean, soft cloth or rag around the rear cylinder opening. This will prevent the revolver from being damaged while you are pushing the bore brush through the barrel. It will also keep dirt from the bore brush from getting into that area.
  4. Choose the correct size bore brush and dip it in cleaning solvent.
  5.  Insert the bore brush into the front of the barrel. Continue feeding until it passes through the barrel and exits the other end. Then pull the cleaning rod back through the barrel and out the muzzle. Sometimes if the barrel is really dirty, I will repeat dip the bore brush in solvent again to finish removing the fouling.
  6. Next dip a fresh cleaning patch in cleaning solvent. Then run it down the barrel from the muzzle to the cone of the barrel. As a rule of thumb I use one solvent covered patch, and then follow it up with 2 or 3 dry patches. Keep doing this until the dry patches come out clean. After the barrel is cleaned, remove the rag covering the rear cylinder opening.
  7. Clean around the muzzle with a small toothbrush or gun cleaning brush. Next, put some solvent on the brush and clean the rear cylinder opening.
  8. Use the toothbrush with a little more solvent on it and brush the cylinder on the outside and on each end.
  9. Next, use a small cleaning brush or tooth brush and solvent to clean the extractor rod. Be sure to clean the front, back, and outside of the cylinder. Push in the cylinder extraction rod, and clean the star. Do not forget to clean the rest of the rod that was sitting between the cylinders.
  10. Take a bore brush and cleaning solvent to clean each of the cylinders the same way you cleaned the barrel. Don’t forget to go all the way through on each side of the cylinder.
  11. To clean each individual cylinder, first use a clean patch with solvent followed by 2-3 dry clean patches to remove any residue.
  12. Get another clean cloth and apply some gun oil to it. Use this to wipe down the outside of the revolver without oiling the grips. Then oil the inside of the barrel and each of the cylinders.
  13. Wipe off all excess oil with a clean rag. Don’t forget to oil the ejection rod and ejector. Use just a drop of oil, and work the rod a few times to spread the oil.
  14. Finish the cleaning process by using a silicon gun cloth to polish up the gun.

How to Lubricate the Ruger LCR revolvers

Each time you do a standard cleaning, or deep cleaning for the Ruger LCR, you should also take the time to lubricate the following parts.

Start off by lubricating the cylinder and the ejector:

  1. Apply lubricant to two spots only. First, apply a small drop on the ejector where it contacts the cylinder, then work it in.
  2. Next put a small drop on the crane pivot and clean off the any excess.
  3.  Wipe off any excess lube, wipe down the entire, revolver and use compressed air to clean out and dry the firing pin channel.

Hammer pivot pin lubrication

Ruger recommends that you lube the hammer pivot pin every 1,000 rounds of live fire or dry firing.

  1. After you are sure the revolver is unloaded, remove the grip with a 1/8” or smaller punch and a small hammer.
  2. Open the cylinder then tap the pin out just a bit .10” (taking care not to push it out too far).
  3. Put one drop of lube in the pin hole and then flip it over and put one drop of lube on the pin itself. To help spread out the lubricant, twist the pin back and forth.
  4. After you have pushed the pin back in, Ruger recommends that you dry fire the revolver 5-10 times to work the lubrication into the action. Use snap caps for dry firing.

Crane pivot screw and fire control housing retaining screw torque check

Ruger recommends this be preformed every 1000 trigger pulls dry fire or live fire.

  1. To keep the screws from losing there torque setting I would recommend using lock-tight.
  2. For this procedure you will need a torque wrench that reads inch lbs. and a T10 Torx bit.
  3. The fire control housing screw torque settings are 6-9 inch lbs.
  4. The crane pivot screw torque settings are 23-27 inch lbs.
  5. After everything is properly torqued. Re-install the grip.

5 Deep Cleaning Q&A for the Ruger LCR

1. What is Deep Cleaning?

Deep cleaning is the total disassembly, and thorough cleaning of a firearm. If your firearm is used heavily, a more through disassembly and cleaning should be performed. This will extend the life of the weapon, and also ensure that it fires correctly each time you use it.

2. What are the signs that a gun needs deep cleaning?

  1. Trigger has trouble operating the cylinder.
  2. Trouble opening the cylinder.
  3. Misfires when trigger is pulled.

3. How often should you do it?

  1. After shooting about 500 rounds of cheap dirty ammunition.
  2. Have not fired the revolver in more than a year.
  3. The revolver has fallen in either salt water, or dirty fresh water.

4. Is this a good time to have your firearm inspected?

Yes! It is always a good time to inspect the Ruger LCR when they are totally disassembled as you can see the parts easily and examine them.

5. What are the costs to have your firearm deep cleaned and inspected?

Prices will vary depending on where you live and the fees set by each gunsmith. They can range anywhere from $50.00 and up plus the cost of the replacement parts and their hand fitting if necessary.

If you send your Ruger LCR to Ruger for deep cleaning and inspection, the cost may be more than having a local gunsmith do the work. As per the Ruger website, The average cost would be:

  1. $85 for reconditioning – Replacement of worn internal parts (does not include main components).
  2. $80 Labor charge.
  3. Cost of parts.
  4. $30 Return mail fee.

How to Do a Deep Cleaning on a Ruger LCR

Always take the time to read the manual that came with your revolver, and seek help from a gunsmith if you aren’t sure how to proceed.

Before you begin to do a deep cleaning and weapon inspection, be sure that you have all cleaning supplies and tools with you in the cleaning area.

  1. Make sure that the revolver is unloaded.
  2. Remove the grip screw and the grip.
  3. Use an air line or canned air to spray out the fire control housing and the trigger area to ensure that all dust and other debris are removed.
  4. Use a toothbrush or small gun cleaning brush soaked in solvent to scrub the forcing cone area to remove all build up. Take the time now to inspect the forcing cone area for any cracks or chips.
  5. Scrub the area under the ejector and firing pin area to remove all debris and build up. Now take the time to inspect the frame, ejector star, firing pin area, and the cylinder stop for wear and tear or broken parts.
  6. Perform a basic bore and cylinder cleaning by soaking the bore brush in solvent and scrubbing the bore and all five chambers.
  7. Run cleaning patches through them until they are clean.
  8. Wipe down the entire revolver to ensure it is clean and dry.

Ruger LCR Upper Frame Disassembly

  1. There are two screws that hold the assembly together. The first one out is on the trigger shroud top left side (beware the hex nut will fall out of the right side). The other screw is at the front of the revolver.
  2. Hold revolver in right hand to keep it together.
  3. Release and open cylinder.
  4. Remove front screw.
  5. Cylinder will come right out.
  6. Remove cylinder locking pin. Upper frame needs to be raised upward. Use paper clip to push pin out. Upper assembly will come apart. Cylinder latch will come up with it.
  7. Upper assembly will move forward and then you can lift it up and out.
  8. Latching assembly will be separated from the upper assembly. Do not loose the latching assembly spring! It is a very small and thin spring.
  9. Clean and inspect lower assembly for worn or damaged parts. The best way to clean the lower frame is to use a cleaning brush followed by using compressed air. This will remove any dirt or grime that found its way into this area.

Video first seen on Zolen Boogaerts.

Reassembling the Revolver

  1. Put cylinder latching assembly back in with spring facing forward. It will drop right in and catches in place. Warning! Do not lose the small spring!
  2. Re-install the cylinder latch pin.
  3. Put the top section back in the frame with the rear section corners pointing down. Then push backwards to let it slide back into place.
  4. Now hold the revolver in your right hand with the thumb and first finger at the back and the right hand middle finger pushing backwards on the trigger guard.
  5. With your left hand, put the top screw back in place to hold the upper assembly in place.
  6. Put the cylinder in place in the up position.
  7. Install front screw.
  8. Install hex nut in recess for the top screw and screw into place.
  9. Function test revolver by opening and closing the cylinder and pulling the trigger.

If you do not know how to clean your guns, you will be at a serious and expensive disadvantage now, and have many more problems in a social collapse scenario. Take your time now and learn how to clean your Ruger LCR, and practice your skills so you would be a better shooter.

A gun in perfect condition for shooting is one of the layers of your survival defense. Click the banner to find out how to build the rest!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

The Super-Dependable European Pistol That’s Finally Catching On In The U.S.

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The Super-Dependable European Pistol That’s Finally Catching On In The U.S.

Image source: FIME

Fans of the double/single action platform looking for a moderately priced but quality pistol for home and self-protection have a new, little known but solid choice — the Rex Zero 1 pistol series.

I have a test copy of the compact version of this pistol in hand for testing. Last fall, I had the chance to fire the full-size Zero 1. Based on these trials, I feel these pistols deserve more awareness in the market.

Rex pistols are made by the Arex (pronounced: ARRR-ex) factory in Slovenia, a modern manufacturing facility that has the latest CNC machining equipment. The brand is popular in Europe, but relatively unknown in the United States.

FIME (pronounced like “fine” with an m) Group of Las Vegas is the sole U.S. importer of Rex pistols, and local dealers can order from them.

For those familiar with traditional DA/SA design, such as the Sig Sauer P220, the Rex offers a couple of differences. First is 9mm chambering. Modern 9mm defense rounds are, of course, smaller than 45 ACP, but their higher velocity and improved bullet design offer undeniable destructive power. Also, you get higher capacity magazines. The standard model holds 17 rounds. The compact packs 15. A newer tactical model holds 20.

Goofy Gadget Can Recharge Your Laptop — And Jump-Start Your Car!

In addition to bigger capacity and the reduced recoil of a 9mm, the Rex adds a thumb-operated safety lever. It can thus be carried in the cocked and locked position, allowing the user to avoid the time and effort associated with its 13-pound double-action trigger pull. Of course, a sturdy holster that shields the trigger guard should be part of wearing or storing the gun in this configuration, keeping in mind there is no mechanical substitute for muzzle and finger discipline.

Another reason to choose a sturdy holster for the Rex Zero 1 is to protect the magazine release. It’s not unheard of for ambi safety levers to be disengaged during a struggle, whether with another human or a seatbelt.

Like a traditional DA/SA, Rex Zero 1 pistols feature a de-cocking lever on the left side only. Upon chambering a round or pausing during a string of fire, safe users will de-cock or put the safety on before re-holstering or storing in loaded condition. My own thumb, on my small/medium-size hand, has a struggle reaching and sweeping the decocker from the firing grip position. The decocker doubles as a slide stop.

Beneath the barrel is a Picatinny rail for mounting an auxiliary light. The addition of a light brings into question holster availability. FIME’s sister company, KVar, offers a variety of inside- and outside-waistband rigs.

Lots of survival-minded folks shy away from polymer pistols, preferring something that feels more durable. The lower is made of 7075 aluminum, which isn’t going to rust or go bad in severe elements. The slide is steel, as are the sights.

It’s Dependable, Too

The Mec-Gar metal magazines are equally durable. This company makes magazines for many big-name brands and understands the need for reliability in mags.

These are hefty pistols that fill the hand and deliver very little felt recoil. The full-size Rex Zero 1 weighs 29 ounces without the magazine. Despite the thickness of the grip, I am able to operate the trigger in double action without much effort, thanks to thoughtful sculpting of the grip that makes it thinner right where the trigger finger lies. That’s not true for every DA/SA pistol, including full-size Sigs. A short and light five-pound pull is found in single-action mode. Trigger reset is good, crisp, and what I consider just long enough to be appropriate for a non-competition handgun.

The white, drift-adjustable, three-dot sights are low-profile but highly visible. They are not, however, night sights.

Dependability is excellent — perhaps this should be the first criterion for a self-defense handgun! I fired two inexpensive brands of FMJ and one brand of hollow-point cartridges through the gun with no malfunctions. The ejection port is uniquely shaped, with a bit of extra room at the rear, and this surely enhances clean ejection.

FIME Group and Arex went the extra mile to develop a very detailed, clearly illustrated owner’s manual. In the age of generic manuals in which manufacturers force gun owners to head to YouTube to consult self-appointed experts for advice, The Rex Zero 1 series provides all needed information in the manual. It’s included in the hard case that comes with the gun.

These tank-like handguns are shootable by most adults and make a good choice for home or vehicle defense, as well as recreational shooting. Due to its size, carrying one concealed would require commitment and is best suited for waistband carry under loose covering garments. MSRP on the standard and compact Arex Rex Zero 1 pistols is $670. The tactical model’s suggested price is $200 more. Real market prices are substantially lower.

Have you ever shot an Arex Rex Zero 1? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Congress May Make Silencers Easier To Purchase … But Should It?

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Congress May Make Silencers Easier To Purchase … But Should It?

Earlier this year, Rep. Jeff Duncan, along with dozens of co-sponsors, reintroduced H.R.367, titled the “Hearing Protection Act of 2017.”

This short bill seeks to remove firearm silencers from the list of guns and gun-related items which fall under the regulations of the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1934). Weapons listed in the NFA require applying for and receiving a permit from the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms), a process that takes about nine months.

On the surface, treating silencers as deadly weapons, on par with fully-automatic machineguns, is a bit ridiculous. But silencers have a shady reputation, mostly created by Hollywood. After all, everyone knows that CIA assassins and Mafia hitmen alike all use silencers when stalking their prey … at least, that’s what Hollywood has told us.

In reality, silencers are about as dangerous as a can of beer, maybe even less dangerous. Should this bill pass, silencers would be treated the same as any hunting or sporting rifle, with the same restrictions on purchase. This would mean that any law-abiding citizen could buy them over the counter. This will make silencers much more available to the general public without the red tape the system currently requires.

Why Should You Care?

One could easily wonder why they should even care about this bill, especially if they have never owned a silencer. But there are several advantages for those who want to purchase a silencer for their personally owned firearm.

You Don’t Need A Firearms License For This Weapon!

Due to their rarity, firearm silencers demand a high price, often in the neighborhood of $800. This price reflects the fact that they are basically hand-made, rather than being able to take advantage of the greater efficiency and lowered costs of high-volume manufacturing. Making silencers legal for purchase over the counter will increase their sales, which will gradually bring the prices down.

Congress May Make Silencers Easier To Purchase … But Should It?

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If you keep a firearm ready for use in home defense, you might seriously want to consider buying a silencer for it, once the bill passes. Shooting a firearm indoors, without hearing protection, can be painful and even cause damage to the ears. Silencers are also helpful for farmers who don’t want to startle the livestock or gun owners who want to do some target practice without scaring the neighbors.

But Do They Really Work?

Let’s clear up a misconception here caused by Hollywood. We’ve all seen James Bond use a silencer to take out a bad guy, with his gun making little more sound than shooting a spit wad through a straw. While that result would be nice, silencers really can’t meet that expectation.

Even though we call them “silencers,” these devices are more correctly labeled “suppressors,” because that’s what they do. They suppress the sound of the shot by trapping the expanding gas, rather than actually silencing the gun. This will reduce the sound of the shot by about 30 decibels, which is a considerable amount. But when you consider that most gunshots are in the 150-decibel range, the 120 decibels that we are left with, while using a silencer, is still pretty loud.

How loud is 120 decibels? It’s in the range of a hammer hitting a nail, a clap of thunder, or an ambulance siren. So, it’s pretty loud. It can still damage your hearing. But it’s still much lower than gunshots typically are.

Herein we find the real purpose of a silencer. It’s not to totally silence the shot, like in the movies, but to make it unrecognizable. A softer gunshot may very well not be recognized as a gunshot and will not be heard from as far away. So, disguising the sound has some distinct advantages, ones that have nothing to do with the nefarious deeds of assassins and other criminals.

By the way, according to the ATF, very few crimes are committed with silencers, regardless of what Hollywood tells us. In a recent report, reviewing ATF policies, they recommended that the requirements for silencer purchase be dropped, as there was no statistical evidence to back up their nefarious reputation. While this report was issued during the Trump presidency, it was created by bureaucrats who were holdovers from the Obama administration.

Would you support making silencers easier to purchase? Share your thoughts in the section below:  

Survival Defense: How To Keep These Weak Spots Safe

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Fighting off an attacker isn’t just about hitting your opponent hard enough to make them stop trying to hurt you. It is also about making sure that any blows sent your way don’t harm important parts of your body.

When you are in this kind of fight, some of your efforts will aim defending vital body parts even if you’re also trying to strike your opponent. Staying safe comes first!

Here are five body parts that you must defend regardless of the nature of the attack. While not using other body parts will spell trouble, harming these five parts can cause permanent injury or loss of life. Keep reading!

But before going any further, there’s a DISCLAIMER that we should insist on.

Reading this article, or others, or watching videos is not enough to prepare you for an attack. You must practice these moves constantly so that you don’t panic or suffer from other adrenalin response related issues. Practice will also help you build speed, precision, and power behind each move.

In a fight, you may have, at most, 1 to 2 seconds (and that includes situations where you maintained good and accurate situation awareness and/or didn’t stray into a dangerous location) to make a good move and neutralize your opponent enough to stop them long enough to escape or prevent further attack if you decide to remain on the scene.

Watch Your Head

Aside from avoiding damage to your eyes, ears, and nose, protecting your head also helps you avoid loss of consciousness.

Pay attention to how the attacker moves. Usually, if someone is going to punch or use a small knife, their arm will move inward.

If the person moves towards the center of your body, move in the opposite direction instead of trying to “escape” by moving in the same direction or “away”. Even though this may feel like you are putting your head in line with being struck, it may throw off the attacker’s aim.

Remember, the attacker will expect you to startle and move your head away, and may already be compensating for that move so that they hit as squarely as possible.

If the blow cannot be avoided, try to move so that your forehead takes the blow instead of your nose, jaws, or eyes. This may be as simple as suddenly squatting down or using some other means to reduce the height of your head as quickly as possible.

You can also turn this move into the prelude to striking at the attacker’s legs by rolling into them, or smashing into their groin, knees, or other stable or sensitive areas. Clench your neck so that if a blow does land, it will not knock your head back and cause further damage to your neck.

In some cases, an attacker might throw a rock or something else heavy to your head or face. If you can’t move out of the way fast enough, cover your eyes and nose with your arms. Or, if you are already on the ground, tuck your head between your knees, and then cover the back of your neck with your arms.

Click here to get your guide to a layered survival defense!

Protect Your Neck

While your neck is a relatively small target, it is also a key one that many assailants will aim for first, so strengthen this part of your body as much as possible. Neck exercises won’t prevent you from choking, but additional strength in this area makes it easier to defend against any head and jaw blows that reach you.

If an attack is coming, keep your chin tucked in so that it is harder to reach your throat. Throughout the encounter, do not arc your head back, as it gives the attacker a perfect chance to grab your neck.

Make it a point to keep your arms and hands close enough to your head and neck so that you can block incoming blows easily, and also attack sensitive nerve junctions in the attacker’s arms.

Having your hands and arms ready to defend this region can also give you fast access to any other targets that open up on the attacker’s body as they try to strike. Remember, to land blows to your head, neck, and jaw, the attacker must reach in towards you.

There are many maneuvers to destabilize the attacker and send them flying past you as well as ones that can be used to attack in a more direct fashion. Remain calm and you will see the openings that will help you stave off the attack with as little injury as possible.

It may also help to keep your body in a position where one shoulder or the other is pointed towards the attacker. To make it work, however, you have to attack without revealing your intentions by rotating into an optimal position.

Once someone grabs ahold of your neck, it is still possible to escape, however you will need to use these maneuvers in a matter of seconds:

  • If the attacker is trying to choke you from the front, he/she will more than likely be looking to crush your throat.
  • To get out of this attack, put your hands together as if in prayer, and bring them up hard and fast between your attacker’s arms.
  • As your arms contact the inner arm area of your attacker, you can try gouging your elbows into the pressure points in the bicep and also midway up the forearm.

From there, you can use different pressure points to inflict maximum pain to the attacker, however they may not be enough to enable you to escape. Here are just a few options:

  • Continue the motion until your hands grasp the side of the attacker’s head. Next, lock your hands, and gouge your thumbs into the attacker’s eyes as hard as you can. If you cannot reach the side of attacker’s head, then just poke your fingers into their eyes.
  • You can also try sticking your thumbs hard into the mandibular nerve just below the ear, twist your thumbs, and pull forward. If you do this maneuver right, it will cause immense pain and cause the attacker to gag. It can also dislocate the attacker’s jaw if you pull forward hard enough.
  • The area just under the nose is also a trigger point for immense pain if you hit it just right. Needless to say, you can always aim for the attacker’s nose and try to break it. These maneuvers may not work as well because your attacker may try to bite you.
  • When working with nerve points, no matter where they are on the body, do not give up if the first blow or attempt doesn’t neutralize the attacker. In many cases, hitting a second time will neutralize the attacker because the nerve was weakened by the first blow, and may give in completely with the second one. If all else fails, try again; although if you practice diligently, two should be enough because you will know where to hit and have a well honed technique to work with.

Once you have inflicted some pain to the attacker, knee male attacker’s in the groin, perform a headbutt, or use other methods to break the attacker’s hold.

If you are a woman wearing high heels, you can also place the outside of your foot against the attacker’s inner leg, and stamp down hard. Practice this maneuver so that you have a good idea of how to jam your heel into the attacker’s ankle bone.

Don’t aim for the attacker’s foot, as they may be wearing steel toed boots, or something else that will make your heel less effective. On the other hand, even an ankle covered in a boot can be impacted with this method.

Don’t Drop Your Jaw!

A blow that lands squarely on your jaw can render you unconscious and lead to permanent injury.

While tucking your jaw into your neck can protect both vital areas, there are some additional things you must do to prevent damage to your jaw.

As simple as it sounds, keep your jaw as tightly clenched as possible. If a blow does land on your jaw, this will reduce the risk of breaking your jaw, and also help reduce damage to your teeth. A clenched jaw also moves less, which means that there is less chance of being knocked unconscious.

Warming up your jaw with a few exercises can also help reduce injury. But if you are caught unawares, you will not have time to prepare your jaw muscles.

On the other hand, if you have a good level of situation awareness, you will probably have one minute or two needed for these exercises. Individuals that have experience with gaining control of adrenalin responses may also use these exercises as a trigger that will help them prepare mentally and emotionally for conflict.

Solar Plexus and Abdomen

This is one part of your body where some of your defense can be grounded in exercises done before you ever get into a fight. Strong, non-bloated, abdominal muscles will be able to take a blow with less injury and pain.

There are many exercises and methods you can use to build up this core area of your body. Aside from improving the chance of recovering faster from a blow to this part of the body, any move you make will have more power behind it.

If you need to defend against a knife attack or some other weapon other than hands and fists, you will need to use more offensive moves than you would for breaking an attack to your neck.

Here are a few things you can try. Instead of dropping your arms and hands from their defensive position near your head and neck, use your feet and legs instead. Among other things, you can continue pivoting and moving so that your side remains facing the attacker.

If the attacker gets too close, you can pivot slightly towards them and use your knees or feet to attack their shin, groin, or knees. As with blows to the face, someone with a knife may expect you to continue pivoting away rather than take a chance of being stabbed or struck with a weapon.

The opposite move may throw your attacker off for a fraction of a second as long as you don’t give away what you are about to do. Needless to say, if you can kick the knife away or disable their arms first, you will be in a better position.

As you pivot, look for an opening where you can grab the attackers outstretched arm and pull them forward. If at all possible, try to combine this with stamping on the foot, or using your knee to kick behind their knee in order to drop them to the ground.

These actions must be taken very quickly, as they will leave your head and neck unprotected. If you practice enough different kicks and rolls, you can use different maneuvers that still keep your hands free for defending your head and neck.


Unlike other vital parts of your body, you can harm your back or spine more with improper technique than your attacker can with primary blows. A as a general guide, you better keep your back away from your attacker. If you are facing multiple attackers, put your back against a wall so that none of them can get behind you.

It is crucial to practice falling, rolling, and other techniques used during an attack scenario. No matter how much you practice, or how hard you train, you can expect to find yourself on the ground. To protect your back, knowing how to break a fall and roll will:

  • protect your back and neck much better than simply landing where ever and how ever the fight sends you
  • can also move you away from the attacker
  • can be used to set yourself in a position where you can attack your adversary.

Once on the ground, do not expect to get up immediately, and do not expect your attacker to simply stand around and wait for you to get back up. It may be necessary to kick, or roll out of the way to get into a better position or avoid other blows.

When you watch a skilled martial artist or other fighter, everything they do seems effortless. On the other side of the equation, each move they make is based on careful analysis that happens very quickly because they have the strength, muscle memory, and experience to carry out these moves as efficiently as possible.

Learning about different moves that can protect vital parts of your body will definitely help you face an attacker, but you must also take the next step and find a qualified trainer and a safe place to practice.

Survival defense is one of the skills that you just can’t miss if you want to keep yourself and your family alive. Click the banner for more!

This article has been written by Carmela Tyrell for Survivopedia.


6 Things That Could Attract Dangerous People After SHTF

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First, the disaster will come. It will come like they always do. It may start slow and steady but eventually, it will reach a fever pitch. The destruction brought on by man or mother nature will ravage all that dares step in its path. The audible effects of the disaster will give way to visual […]

The post 6 Things That Could Attract Dangerous People After SHTF appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

A Legal, Hassle-Free ‘Short-Barreled Shotgun’? Yep.

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A Legal, Hassle-Free ‘Short-Barreled Shotgun’? Yep.

I recently went to my local gun shop to do a firearms transfer, and while there, I glanced up and saw a shotgun that immediately caught my eye.

It was a 12-gauge, pump-action shotgun with an odd-looking pistol grip and a barrel that was clearly shorter than the ATF’s required 18-inch length. Traditionally, this type of weapon would be considered an AOW (Any Other Weapon) under the National Firearms Act (NFA), which is used to regulate weapons and accessories such as short-barreled rifles, suppressors and other similar items. This requires the buyer to purchase a tax stamp from the ATF and be subjected to a lengthy background check and waiting process before they can take ownership of it.

However, when I inquired about it to the shop’s owner, I was surprised to discover that this was NOT the case – the weapon is legal to own for any person 21 years of age or older who passes a standard background check, with no tax stamp or enhanced waiting period required. When I asked about this, I was informed that the ATF had recently determined that this particular firearm did not meet the criteria required to categorize it as an AOW under the NFA.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Technically, a shotgun is defined as a smooth-bore weapon designed to be fired from the shoulder; with a pistol grip installed straight from the factory, it does not meet this definition. Consequently, if it isn’t legally a “shotgun,” it cannot be classified as a “short-barreled shotgun,” either. According to the ATF’s finding letter to Mossberg (dated March 2, 2017), this new shotgun is classified as simply a “firearm” under the Gun Control Act (GCA), and has the following features:

  • 26 1/2 inches overall length.
  • 12-gauge, 14-7/16 smooth-bore barrel.
  • “Bird’s head” grip from factory (never had a shoulder stock attached).
  • 5-shell magazine capacity.
  • 35 pounds.

This firearm is essentially treated as a pistol, although most gun shops will treat it with even more care, not wanting to run afoul with the ATF on such a complicated issue. The shop I went to requires you to be 21 years old to even handle it in the shop. I was also informed that because state laws can be more restrictive on what firearms are permitted, it is not legal in all states.

I can confirm that Washington State does not restrict ownership of this weapon; if you live outside of Washington State, you will want to check with your local gun shop to find out if it is legal to own in your state. It is also important to note that the Mossberg 590 Shockwave’s classification is entirely dependent on its configuration from the factory – any modifications to it, such as changing the pistol grip or adding a shoulder stock, will take it right back to NFA territory … and land you in some serious hot water with the ATF. Consequently, once you buy one, don’t modify it.

In terms of practical application, the 590 Shockwave makes an excellent home defense weapon. Its shorter overall length makes room-clearing in your home much easier. However, because it is a 12-gauge shotgun with a shorter than normal barrel and no shoulder stock, it’s going to have a serious amount of recoil.

You will probably want to consider buying low-recoil ammunition, or short-length shells. Aguila makes mini-shells that take up less space in the magazine, increasing the capacity to eight shells instead of the standard five. While these shells are known to have issues feeding reliably, Mossberg has a nifty solution for that problem: the OPSol Mini-Clip. Installing this drop-in accessory will dramatically improve the feeding issues with mini-shells.

Have you ever handled a Mossberg 590 Shockwave? Would you want to own one? Share your thoughts on this weapon in the section below:

4 Underrated Guns – Hidden Gems

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While popular guns get covered more than enough, we rarely get to discuss the lesser known, but often still pretty decent firearms out there. Some well performing guns are highly underrated, so we’d like to shed a little light on some of our favorites. No matter what type of firearm you’re looking for, you’ll see […]

The post 4 Underrated Guns – Hidden Gems appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

10 Rules to Follow When Cleaning Your Guns

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How often should you clean your gun? What kind of gun cleaning solvent should you use? What happens when you don’t clean your gun? These are all important questions and you’ll find the answers here with our 10 Rules to Follow When Cleaning Your Guns Properly cleaning and maintaining your firearms is one of the […]

The post 10 Rules to Follow When Cleaning Your Guns appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

The New Holster That Fits 150 Modern Pistols

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The New Versatile Holster That Fits 150 Modern Pistols

Image source: YouTube screen capture.

If you’ve done any serious pistol training, you know that a good outside-the-waistband holster is a must. By “good,” I mean one that won’t collapse when you remove the gun, and one that has no features that present the opportunity for an unintended discharge upon drawing or re-holstering.

Especially for folks who have several pistols, buying a good holster for each can be a costly and time-consuming proposition. Blackhawk has changed that with their new Omnivore holster.  It’s made of Kydex so won’t collapse when empty, and has no straps or other annoying paraphernalia that can be unsafe. Better yet, it accommodates more than 150 modern pistols, so one holster can serve a whole collection.

There is a catch — well, two, really. The Omnivore only accommodates pistols that have an accessory rail, which is a lot of them, but excludes many small carry guns as well as most 1911s. The other catch is that its custom fit for each gun is simple, but converting it to fit different models can take 10-15 minutes once parts are in hand, and the small parts are easy to lose if one isn’t careful.

Blackhawk thought of everything in this holster’s design. There are right- and left-handed models. There’s a regular model and two that accommodate a light-bearing pistol, suited for the most common lights on the market made by Streamlight and Surefire. If your belt’s a little thinner than the average duty belt, there are tabs to temporarily shorten the belt loop and make for a good fit.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

The Omnivore is a Level 2 holster, meaning one intentional action is required to release the gun from retention. On this holster, that motion is a downward push by the thumb on the draw. With a few minutes of practice, I found this to be comfortable and not interfering with the speed of the draw. Different firearms rest at different heights within the holster, and Blackhawk’s design accommodates this by providing extensions for the lever, all of which are rubber-padded and non-slip.

Retention of the gun inside the Omnivore is secure. To use the holster, it’s necessary to attach a lightweight plate to the rail. Plates come with the holster.  It’s about an inch square and attaches with a single screw. It’s this plate that clicks into place when the gun is inserted into the holster.  This enhances the safety of the setup, as there is no involvement between the trigger guard or any surface the user is touching when drawing or re-holstering.

For light-bearing guns, it’s necessary to adjust the attachment screw on the side of the light to the horizontal position. It’s the groove of the screw head that interlocks with the holster. A push of the thumb lever releases that retention, whether there’s a light on the gun or not.

Fitting the holster to the gun and belt isn’t difficult, and Blackhawk provides a clear instruction manual to assist. It is a bit time-consuming to set up, and the myriad of loose parts could easily be lost.  If I have any criticism of the product, it’s that the inclusion of labeled, sealable parts bags would’ve been a very handy addition. The holster does come in a plastic clamshell case that seals tight, so I swiped some sealable sandwich bags from the kitchen and labeled them to keep unused parts organized.

Black is the only color currently available. The outer surface has smooth edges and textured sides. The texturing eliminates annoying and potentially hazardous glare, and is shallow enough that it’s very easy to wipe clean.

There was a real need for this holster, and Blackhawk met it. From professional departments that need an affordable Level 2 holster, to the owners of multiple guns who don’t want to drop the price of another new gun or more on a holster to fit each one, to instructors who need to equip students with safe range gear for a day, it’s a very practical choice.

Omnivore versatility and safety comes at a very reasonable price. As of this writing, they’re available online from a surprisingly low $14.99, up to $49.99. Before purchasing, it’s a good idea to check out Blackhawk’s extensive list of the pistols it accommodates, and be sure you’re looking at the Omnivore list and not their somewhat easier-to-find list for older models.  If you’re in a hurry, be assured the Omnivore will fit nearly all full-size pistols with a rail, including the major brands’ currently manufactured models.

What is your favorite holster? Share your tips in the section below:



7 Pro-Gun Quotes … Straight From The Founding Fathers

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7 Pro-Gun Quotes … Straight From The Founding Fathers

July 4, 2017

As we celebrate Independence Day this week, it’s a good time to look back at what the Founding Fathers said about our freedoms – and that includes the right to own a gun.

We should be reminded, once in a while, that this nation was built and established through turmoil and the right to self-govern and the right of self-defense. Many politicians and high-profile celebrities are chomping at the bit for more gun control — all the while enjoying the protection of armed guards.

They forget that, in essence, their mere existence was built on the use of firearms and the right of self-protection. They need to go back and read their history.

I have utilized firearms my entire life in a responsible and ethical manner. I continue to do so today by teaching others, and I occasionally still put on the uniform.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Here, then, are seven pro-gun quotes from the Founding Fathers:

“What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, Dec. 20, 1787.

“A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined.” George Washington, First Annual Address to both houses of Congress, Jan. 8, 1790.

“I prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery.” – Thomas Jefferson, letter to James Madison, Jan. 30, 1787.

“The Constitution of most of our states (and of the United States) assert that all power is inherent in the people; that they may exercise it by themselves; that it is their right and duty to be at all times armed.” Thomas Jefferson, letter to to John Cartwright, June 5, 1824.

“To disarm the people…is the most effectual way to enslave them.” – George Mason, referencing advice given to the British Parliament by Pennsylvania governor Sir William Keith, The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution, June 14, 1788.

“The Constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the United States who are peaceable citizens from keeping their own arms.” – Samuel Adams, Massachusetts Ratifying Convention, 1788.

“The people are not to be disarmed of their weapons. They are left in full possession of them.”Zachariah Johnson (delegate to Virginia Ratifying Convention), Elliot’s Debates, vol. 3, “The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution.”

What do you think about gun rights? Share your thoughts in the section below:

Things To Do When A Gun Is Pointed At You

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In today’s world, armed robberies and other situations involving guns have become the new normal. Armed criminals have taken over neighborhoods and rule by terror.

While legislative action aimed at gun control will not stop this, and will more than likely make it worse, there are things you can do when someone points a gun at you.

As dangerous as this situation is, you can turn it in your favor. Read the following article to find out how!

What the Criminal Wants Is…

If an individual is bent on killing you they will probably point the gun at you, then he will pull the trigger immediately, or feed off the fear that you’re generating, and then kill you.

If the criminal decides to pull the trigger immediately, the odds are you will be shot before you have a chance to react. Depending on the shot, you may be injured, but not dead yet. You’ll be dazed, stunned, or otherwise unable to respond with any defensive moves you may have practiced. While it may not seem like much, you must still remain calm and see what you can do for your survival.

Sometimes the shooter wants to feed off your fear or other debilitating emotions first. You should try to negotiate your way out of harm’s way before physically engaging the individual. If you are more than a foot away, try running away in a zig-zagging pattern while looking for cover, and hope they don’t have any formal training in how to shoot. This is a much better option than engaging.

When all is said and done, surviving when someone points a gun at you comes down to a decision to stay and fight or to try and escape. In many cases, trying to escape is your best option. If you are unable to do so, and have nothing left to lose, then you might as well give it all you have and fight as best as you can.

Click here to get your Green Beret’s Guide to combat shooting mastery & active shooter defense!

Two Common Mistakes to Avoid and What to Do Instead

Oddly enough, most people are overconfident about their ability to defend themselves. For example, many people think just because they can do household chores and watch a few action movies, they are strong enough and know enough to fake their way through a situation.

These people don’t take into account the very visceral and often debilitating effects that come with realizing that their life is in danger. Without proper training and practicing basic skills, it is very hard to get out of a situation in which someone else intends to hurt you.

Remember, it is overconfidence, sometimes borne of wishful thinking, that usually leads to a vast majority of deaths.

The second most common mistake is made by untrained individuals trying to take on and fight an armed attacker. Sometime you have no choice but to fight for your life, however, as with anything else, you must pick your battles carefully.

Remain Calm

The most important thing to do when an individual holds a gun on you is to stay calm. Clarity of thought is very important.

  • If you are not calm your brain seizes up and you will be unable to think clearly.
  • If you panic you may also cause the person with a gun pointed at you to panic as well. If that person thinks they are losing control of the situation, they will fire.
  • Remember that a criminal thinks they have leverage or control over because they have a gun and you do not.
  • Tell the criminal what you are going to do before you do it. In the case of surrendering a wallet or something else, speak in a slow calm voice, then reach into your pocket, slowly take it out, and give it to them.

Establish and Maintain Eye Contact

You must establish eye contact with the individual pointing the gun at you because:

  • Doing this could cause the assailant to hesitate and think twice about killing you.
  • You don’t want this person to feel out of control, but you want them to feel uncomfortable.
  • You want the robber to start considering the necessity of what they are doing and to begin looking for a way out the situation.
  • If the criminal was determined to murder you, you would already be dead. Remember that, because every second that passes is one passing in your favor when it comes to surviving the encounter.

Study the Criminal

While the assailant is holding you at bay, study them. Instead of trying to memorize exact height, weight, or every article of clothing, try to find something unique about them personally. Unless the person is exceptionally tall, short, heavy, skinny, it is not going to do the police much good later when you are question. As far as clothing goes the assailant is going to change their clothing and their looks as soon as they are clear of the crime scene.

When you are memorizing the criminal, you must be able to distinguish them from other individuals on a lineup that are similar to the criminal’s general features. Pay attention to hairstyle, scars or birthmarks, tattoo, piercings, language style, or anything else that is unique to this individual.

Regardless of specific aspects of the situation, you must always follow these three steps as early as possible in the encounter.  Now let’s have a look at some specific scenarios and some suggestions for getting out of them alive.

What to do if You Are Carrying a Gun Concealed

One of the most important things to remember if you are carrying a concealed weapon is the criminal still thinks they have an advantage. It is best to pretend to be a passive victim until you see a viable window for taking action. Remember, you actually have the element of surprise unless the criminal suspects you are carrying or actually found out via stalking you prior to the encounter.

A concealed weapon carrier must always keep their ego in check! If you don’t there is a strong chance that you could get shot or accidentally shoot an innocent by stander. Never try to draw your weapon in plain view of a criminal unless you have good cover that will stop and incoming bullet. Once you have drawn your weapon, shoot to save your life and the lives of others in the area not involved in committing a crime.

The following YouTube videos will show you wrong and right ways to draw your weapon when a criminal has the advantage over you.

To paraphrase the late, great Col. Jeff Cooper, “Owning a gun doesn’t make you a gunfighter anymore than owning a guitar makes you a musician“. You must know how to use it and, equally important, WHEN to use it.

Video first seen on Active Self Protection

When trying to shoot and hit a fast moving vehicle departing a crime scene.

Video first seen on Active Self Protection

When You Don’t Have a Gun and Can’t Fight Well

There may come a time when you are absolutely sure that an armed individual will pull the trigger and attempt to kill you. Regardless of the shooter’s intentions, you must do everything within your power to to defend yourself.

This may include running for cover, throwing objects at them, poke them in the eye if they’re close enough, or use any form of self-defense that you know of to protect yourself.

These actions are an absolute last resort. You must be ready for the possibility that you may be shot and killed. In this situation, it is better to do something than to do nothing at all.

What About Taking the Gun Away?

Your number one goal in this situation is to save your life. Fighting back greatly increases the odds of losing your life because it increases the risk of getting shot. Quite frankly, it takes a lot of skill and training to pull a gun out of someone’s hand and do it successfully.

If you have never been trained by the police or have not undergone extensive martial arts training, there is a chance you will fail in your efforts. To add insult to injury, even if you do manage to get the gun away from the criminal, that person will try to get it back. This, in turn, means you need to be prepared for an additional struggle.

The safest thing to do when faced with a handgun is to do whatever the individual says. The only exception to this is to get in a vehicle with this armed individual. Remember you are gambling with your life. This is not the movies or TV. The odds are the criminal has more experience in controlling terrified victims and will not think twice about shooting you.  

That being said, there are a few tactics you can try. As with any other maneuver, the more training and practice you have, the better chance you will succeed in your efforts. Once you have good muscle memory for these maneuvers, you don’t have to think about what steps to do in which order. The tactics just flow from beginning to the end without you thinking about it.

All of these maneuvers are dangerous if the criminal is stronger than you. They also increase the risk that the criminal will fire the gun and strike you or someone else in the area.

Criminal Facing You

Move your head out of the line of fire. Grab the gun directly from the criminal’s hand. Twist the gun to the right breaking the criminal’s finger as you do it. Remember the criminals finger will be on the trigger.

Take the gun from the criminal’s wounded hand. Use the right hand to stop the wrist as you use the left hand to bend the wrist, grab the gun, and push the gun down. This is very important. If you don’t grab the wrist before twisting the gun down, there is a chance the criminal will maintain control of the gun.

Video first seen on MMA Surge

Gun Pointed at Your Back

This video will show you the basics of what to do when a criminal points a pistol at your back. These techniques demonstrate a quick and safe way to disarm a criminal and give you the upper hand.

Video first seen on Gun Carrier

Gun Pointed to Your Head

Watch this video for a quick and safe disarming of a criminal. The film will demonstrate how to  disarm the criminal using  a single or double handed pistol holding grip.

Video first seen on Gun Carrier

In conclusion, being held at gun point can be a terrifying and possibly deadly encounter. There are many times when the criminal does not want to shoot, but feels they must point the gun in order to exert control in the situation.

Remaining calm and maintaining eye contact can rob the criminal of some of the psychological reward associated with the situation, and also help you buy some time in which to act. Protect your self by learning some basic self defense moves, as well as when and how to deploy them so that you have a better chance of surviving and coming out of the situation unharmed.

Learn from the experts the secret of self-defense! Click the banner below to grab your guide!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia. 

New Law To Gun Owners: Turn In Your Magazines By July 1

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New Law To Gun Owners: Turn In Your Magazines By July 1

California will turn large numbers of gun owners into criminals beginning July 1, when a state law that bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition goes into effect.

So far, though, gun owners aren’t showing any willingness to turn in their magazines, as the law demands.

“We see no compliance from gun owners,” UCLA School of Law Professor Adam Winkler told The Sacramento Bee. “As best as we can tell, no gun owners are giving up their high-capacity magazines or selling them out of state.”

Winkler was speaking of Proposition 63, which was passed by voters in November and bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds. It also restricts ammunition sales to licensed vendors.

Gun owners are required to turn in magazines but will not be compensated for them.

Sheriff Refuses to Enforce Gun Control Law

“We’re not going to be knocking on anybody’s door looking for them,” Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko told The Bee. “We’re essentially making law-abiding citizens into criminals with this new law.”

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Persons caught with magazines with a capacity of more than 10 rounds will be guilty of a misdemeanor.

Yet no one knows how many Californians will be in violation of Proposition 63. Estimates indicate that there may be more than 6.5 million gun owners in the state – and hundreds of thousands of such magazines in California.

Proposition 63 would ban common clips for popular semiautomatic rifles, including the AR-15 and AK-47, and the highly popular Ruger 10/22 hunting and target rifle.

Bosenko noted that no one in his county, which includes the city of Redding, has turned a banned magazine into his office.

The law still could be overturned. A civil rights lawsuit filed by the California Rifle & Pistol Association alleges that the law violates several provisions of the Constitution, including the Second Amendment, the Fifth Amendment’s Takings Clause, and Guarantee of Due Process.

“The reason for the popularity of these magazines is straightforward: In a confrontation with a violent attacker, having enough ammunition can be the difference between life and death,” C.D. Michel, the attorney who filed the suit, wrote. “Banning magazines over ten rounds is no more likely to reduce criminal abuse of guns than banning high horsepower engines is likely to reduce criminal abuse of automobiles.”

Others disagree. Said Ari Freilich, staff attorney at the Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, “There’s just a lot of data that shows that large-capacity magazines are particularly attractive to mass shooters and to individuals committing crimes against law enforcement. They do not have legitimate self-defense value.”

Do you think high-capacity magazines should be banned? Share your thoughts in the section below:

4 Reasons The 16-Gauge Shotgun Is NOT Obsolete

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4 Reasons The 16-Gauge Shotgun Is NOT Obsolete

Image source: HoneyKnivesOfChina

The phrase “16-gauge shotgun” often sparks memories of yesteryear: the dusty old single shot from the 50s you inherited from your grandfather, or the quirky old pump you once eyed in the gun store.

The 16-gauge shotgun is a strange gun, especially in the Western U.S. I understand it has a bit more popularity in the Northeast, and of course our European cousins seem overly fond of it. But just what good is a semi-obsolete shotgun that seems to stay alive out of sheer force of habit?

Here are four good answers you should consider one:

1. They can be cheap. Odds are that a comparable 16-gauge will be cheaper on the used gun rack than a similar 12- or 20-gauge. The market just isn’t there, and these things can languish on the shelves. They still go “boom,” though, and still are perfectly good for whatever use you might have for a shotgun. If you are into saving money, you can assemble a nice battery of quality shotguns at an incredible saving by going with a 16-gauge.

2. They fill a sweet spot between 12- and-20 gauge. The shot patterns fall nicely in the middle of the two, and often 16s are lighter to carry than a 12. The right-in-the-middle performance of a 16-gauge means better success in the field and better performance in the kind of circumstances where you might want to haul a light 20-gauge around. The 16-gauge really shines in thick brush, where hunters might normally choose a 12-gauge to bust through the cover. However, you wind up with small game riddled with more pellets than might be desirable, but often a 20-gauge just won’t cut it. The 16 is “just right” for those circumstances.

3. The 16-gauge is a handloader’s dream come true. Admittedly, this is because at some point you have to load for it, due to inconsistent availability of ammo, but once you are freed from the traditional market and cultural expectations of what the “ideal” load is, you are wide open to do your own thing. I have always maintained that if I must load my ammo, I’d rather do it for a niche gun than one where I can get whatever I want off the shelf in the gunstore. This is why I carry a .41 magnum revolver, shoot a Krag, and have a 16-gauge single shot for birds. Beyond that, you can make a 16-gauge do the work of a 20 or 12 with little effort, depending on how you load for it. What’s not to love?

4. The ammo really isn’t that hard to find. If you live near a population center or a large sporting goods store, odds are there are basic 16-gauge loads available to you: birdshot, buckshot, slugs and the like. It’s easy to overlook, but once you start shopping for it, 16-gauge ammo seems to pop up everywhere. Really, a good 16-gauge is a darn fine gun. What I like most about them, though, is that you can walk into almost any country gun shop, or old pawnshop, and find at least one or two neat old 16-gauges. There is something classy about picking up an old break-action shotgun, cleaning it up and bringing it back to life.

So many 16-gauge shotguns fed families, or were prized possessions and are now relegated to the dustbin of history because they aren’t the “latest” and “greatest” scattergun. When shopping for a used 16-gauge, you often will find they are well-preserved, often because at some point the owner decided it was too oddball a cartridge to keep using regularly.

I have seen fine semi-auto 16s at crazy low prices. I can’t begin to count the number of nearly mint 1950s department store branded pumps I’ve run across, either. And, of course, there are a great many old single-shot 16s out there. Well-used, well-loved, but still with plenty of life left in them. The 16-gauge is a direct link back to a different time in American history, when things moved a little slower and were at times a bit simpler.

Hardly an obsolete cartridge, with just a little bit of care, you’ll find a good 16-gauge shotgun is one heck of an off-the-grid companion or even just spare shotgun. Pick one up. You’ll be glad you did.

Do you own a 16-gauge? Have you ever shot one? What do you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:

The Best Guns and Ammo for Self-Defense

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It’s important to understand the relationship between the personal defense weapon you’re planning on purchasing and the kind of ammunition it uses.   This article is about the best guns and ammo for self defense – at least some general guides. One of the things that often comes up is “stopping power”. What is generally meant […]

The post The Best Guns and Ammo for Self-Defense appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

I Never Wanted An AK. Until I Found This Rock-Solid, Flaw-Free Model

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I Never Wanted An AK. Until I Found This Rock-Solid, Flaw-Free Model

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It took me a long time to buy my first AK. Put off by stories of inconsistent construction, even among higher-priced brands, I hesitated for years. But in the fall of 2016 I had the opportunity to test a Molot VEPR FM-AK47, and came to find room in my heart, wallet and gun safe for my first AK platform rifle.

The VEPR won me over for several reasons. The first is construction. Its receiver and barrel are milled from thicker metal than most AKs, as it’s modeled on the RPK machine gun design. It’s tough, and less subject to damage from the heat that results from repeated firing. The downside of this is that it comes in at 0.5-1.0 pounds heavier than many AKs. Of the three FM-AK47s in the past several months that I fired, none have shown the construction flaws considered typical for the platform — front sights that aren’t in a plumb line with the barrel, crooked sight rails on the receiver, and out-of-round rivet holes are absent. The FM-AK47s I fired had none of these problems.

Though the manual for the FM-AK says that slightly offset front sight posts are to be expected and should not impact performance, this potential annoyance has been absent on each of the several new ones I’ve handled.

Made In Russia … And America

Another reason I’m a fan of this rifle is pedigree. It is manufactured in a small town in the state of Kirov, Russia. The Molot factory is well-known for its production of military and sporting arms. The FM-AK47 contains eight major components, not including the barrel, manufactured in Russia. In keeping with Statute 18 U.S.C. § 922(r), the 1968 Gun Control Act, certain complete firearms cannot be imported into the States. Thus, the FIME Group (Firearms Importers, Manufacturers, and Exporters) of Las Vegas, Nev., established a relationship with Molot wherein FIME creates and assembles the remaining necessary parts to make the FM-AK47. The rifle represents a genuine international partnership with a company within another country. It gives me the chance to know the world’s most common rifle platform as well as support American manufacturing. Win-win.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

The FM-AK47 has earned my affection for what it has — and doesn’t have — in features. The rifle comes with a traditional AK cleaning kit, and the US-made polymer stock has a traditional trapdoor storage for that kit or other whatnots. In a break from tradition, it has no bayonet lug. Good for me, as if it did, I’d have the irresistible urge to install a blade and probably cut myself or my car’s upholstery. It has a sight rail mounted on the receiver (perfectly straight, I might add). It facilitates the rapid installation or removal of optics — a feature I’ve used extensively. Unusual for any AK product is an adjustable rear sight, with traditional meter markings. Should I be without a front sight tool, I can at least dial in elevation from the rear. The FIME Group-manufactured barrel is chrome-lined, another rare find for an AK.

How Does it Shoot?

Small arms designer and AK-47 creator Mikhail Kalashnikov was quoted as saying that, had he pursued his original career path of designing train engines, the machines would still have looked like AKs. The FM-AK stays true to the Kalashnikov vision with its solid black finish, ribbed handguard, no-frills appearance. Although looks can be easily changed, I think it fittingly hearkens the memory of a brilliant engineer.

All that is great, but how does it shoot? The answer: extremely well, for an AK. The rifle easily puts three rounds in a single hole at 25 yards, even with inexpensive ammunition. Some have criticized me for not testing accuracy at 100 yards; with my imperfect vision and no magnifying optic for the gun, I really cannot do it justice. However, I have managed to land all rounds in a torso-sized target from 100 yards in a qualification test, and that’s good enough to be confident that it’s effective at that range.

With the round count currently standing at about 600 through my copy of the FM-AK47, most of that ammo being cheap Tula Ammo, notorious for causing problems, there have been zero issues with firing or feeding. The rifle is inexpensive to run, un-fussy, and a lot of fun. The only issue I’ve had with the rifle is one of the traditional sling loops, made of something that resembles heavy wire more than steel, became bent with use. FIME Group replaced it promptly.

The FM-AK47 is more expensive than most entry-level AKs at $999.99. It’s substantially less than many premium brands, some of which have failed to deliver on expected construction standards. If you’re going to buy one AK in a lifetime, this is one that should last for several.

Have you ever fired an FM-AK47? Share your thoughts on this rifle in the section below:

Martial Arts: Boosting Self-Confidence In Your Kids

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The roots of martial arts date back to roughly fifteenth century China. In thousands of years, the various forms of martial arts have scored a high popularity all over the world among adolescents, elders, and children.  The art is also a great means of unarmed combating or self-defense, which makes martial arts the best choice

IPCS and Defensive shooting skills

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Yesterday I shot in the local IPSC Production division competition. It was fun, got to practice a bit and (allow me to brag a bit) I did end up in first place which is always nice.

I was planning on writing this post before I knew the results though, mostly because I feel that this kind of competition, done right, greatly improves your defensive shooting skills.

A few points I’d like to make:

1)Train as you fight

Practice with the kind of gun you’re likely to carry, which means you’ll most likely compete in Production (meaning common guns with little in the way of mods or custom jobs)

The only customisation my Glock 17 has is Mepro tritium night sight. I did install a ZEV V4 race connector a few weeks ago for 25m precision shooting competition but I got rid of it. It did improve the trigger pull but it also caused a noticeable click before resetting the trigger that was driving me nuts. For IPSC I didn’t see any noticeable improvement anyway and its not allowed as a modification for Production division anyway. For precision shooting at 25 meters the Glock 17 simply isnt the gun for that kind of thing either so there’s not much of a point.

You have to be honest regarding what you are trying to achieve here. If you want to train for defense or if you just want to win competitions, which is your priority. You CAN win with your stock Glock. I did. Other shooters had nicer Sig Sauer x Fives, Tanfoglios. Do these give you an edge for the competition? Maybe, I don’t know. The shooter is the one that matters the most though, and if you are doing it for the training like I ‘m doing, you simply won’t care. Whatever your carry gun is, if permitted in the production division, that’s what you should use. Same goes for holsters, their location, mag carries, even clothes, everything should be as close to what you wear and use on normal basis as possible.

2) Different stages, skills, learning to think

The mindset aspect of how to resolve a stage is also interesting. What sequence is more effective, faster or easier. For example, if you shoot a popper that will bring up another target, then you want to shoot that, shoot another card and only then go back to the new target that popped up so as to save time. Little things like these are mental exercise for your shooting brain. The you get to practice more typical stuff of course like drawing, reloads, shooting with either hand single handed in some cases, going prone, dropping to one knee, shooting around corners. Its fun but you also practice memory muscle that adapts to potential real world scenarios.

3) Fitness

Something else IPSC reveals is how good or bad your fitness level is. Sure, some stages have more running, kneeling or other physical requirements than others, but fit people do move faster and cut time, end up with faster and more accurate reflexes as well in general.

4) Working with stress

It may not seem like much but having a small crowd behind you and someone timing you does add a significant amount of stress, especially for new shooters. This stress serves as practice. If a timer stresses you then you don’t want to know what someone shooting at you will do for your nerves. The more you practice, the better you learn to control your stress. Sport and actual fighting aren’t the same thing, but this is just like a boxer going against someone that trained self-defense moves but was never in an actual fight (even one in a ring) Believe me, the guy that stepped into a ring for a few years always beats the one that never set foot in one.

The more you practice and compete, the better you get at shooting accurately and fast.

5) Meeting like-minded people

And of course there’s meeting people with your same interests. There’s usually a number of LEO and military, but then you just have guys (and women of course) from all walks of life with shooting as a common denominator. Shooters are pretty peculiar people in some cases. I at least have a bit of a problem making friends with people I have little in common so I tend to gravitate towards people that like firearms. This social circle can mean not only friends to shoot and hang out with, but also people you can count on when you need them.


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”

Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon

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Written by Pat Henry on The Prepper Journal.

When it comes to being prepared for disasters great or small, readers of this blog know I like to have different options. That isn’t to say that I roll out of my house with 3 different kinds of each piece of gear on me and 5 others in the pack in the trunk, but I do have more than one way to skin a cat so to speak. For food, I have different types of food stored and methods of producing my own food. For water, I have stored water plus many different filtration options and methods to obtain more. When it comes to security, I have plenty of options there as well.

Most of the articles I have written on the Prepper Journal look at security from the perspective of defense as in when you have bad things happening, bad people usually try to take advantage of the situation. My recommendation for most scenarios like this is to have firearms to defend yourself. They also have the added advantage of being able to be used to acquire food if you are lucky enough, but they aren’t without their disadvantages too.

Weapons need ammo, they need regular maintenance and cleaning and they aren’t quiet. Yes, you can mitigate these points to varying degrees by stockpiling supplies but even if you have a warehouse full of weapons and supplies that doesn’t guaranty this approach will work for you. Another huge issue is that for a lot of people, owning a firearm just isn’t realistic or possible due to where they live or personal issues. What is the option for security in that type of situation?

Alternative Survival Weapon

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

You can always go caveman and build your own homemade weapon in a pinch or you could embrace your inner Katniss Everdeen and look toward archery. I haven’t shot a bow since I was a little kid but when Howard Winther of Liberty Archery reached out to me to try out his Liberty I bow I was very intrigued.

I have long admired the skill archers have of taking down large game with accuracy and stealth, but I never had the time to take up the hobby. I sure would have appreciated getting out to the woods during deer season much sooner, but I was content to wait for black powder or rifle season. Bows are very common in hunting circles, but would they also make a good prepper option for a survival weapon?

The Liberty I Bow is unique in a few ways that make it worth a second look.

  • Compact – The bow itself is only 20.5″ axle to-axle* which makes it almost half the height of many traditional compound bows. Also makes this easier to hide.
  • Light – 2.3 pounds will reduce fatigue and makes this friendlier to smaller framed people.
  • Fast – 338 feet per second with Liberty Arrows.
  • Powerful – The Liberty 1 is a proven winner at taking down larger game than you will ever see running around North America, unless the zoos empty out.

Joerg from the Slingshot channel gave this bow a nice review below with some velocity measuring equipment I don’t have.

How does the Liberty I apply to Preppers?

“My intent was to create a very small, lightweight hunting package,” says Howard Winther, the bow’s designer and manufacturer. “I wanted a bow that I could hook onto my backpack and not even feel it as I hiked along. I was looking for a bow that would fit into the corner of my car truck and carry anywhere.”

There are likely some of you out there saying, of course! Who wouldn’t think of a bow as a survival weapon, I mean people for eons have been using them. I do get that, but I wonder if they aren’t second down on the list behind a firearm in the eyes of most preppers. Getting back to my first point about having options – a bow can be a tremendous prepper weapon in a few different ways:

Stealth – There isn’t a market for archery silencers is there? Well, technically there are string silencers but even the noisiest bow isn’t going to be heard more than 25 feet away. Say you decide that you are bugging out to the woods if disaster strikes. I maintain that you won’t be alone and this fact will mean that hunting for the food you need to protect your family is going to be more difficult. Wouldn’t you rather take down a deer with a quiet bow as opposed to any rifle you have?

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Peep Site on the Liberty I

Reloading/Reusability – Yes, you can make your own arrows too just like you can make your own bullets. Granted, there are different supplies and skill sets needed but it is just as viable a method as any. If that approach doesn’t work for you, there is always the possibility of making your own arrows from scratch. Additionally, if you don’t break an arrow, they can be reused again and again.

Legal Issues – Do you need a background check to purchase a bow? Nope! Do they register you in a database when you do purchase a bow? Nope!

Concealabilty – This one might be a stretch but with the Liberty 1’s compact size you will have more options with where to conceal this weapon should you need to keep it away from anyone’s attention. It’s so light you can throw it up in a drop ceiling tile and diminutive enough to hide behind your back if you don’t have the quiver attached. Additionally, it’s smaller size will make it easier to shoot from the ground. You can easily shoot this while sitting down because the bow’s short overall height won’t get in the way.

Shooting the Liberty 1

People seem to think you can pick up any weapon and become proficient in its accurate use in minutes. I know I have a lot of practice yet before I will head out into the woods and try to bring home dinner but the bow feels great in my hands. The pull is steady but when you reach the end, the pressure releases almost completely and maintaining a steady hold is simple and effortless.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

No. A bag of pine shavings is not a suitable backstop for an arrow. Fortunately, I had a big tree behind it.

I tried to save a buck by not getting a proper target but quickly learned that a bag of chicken bedding does not stop an arrow traveling over 300 feet per second. Lesson learned and I still need much more practice, practice, practice.

When I received my Liberty I, Howard insisted we talk on the phone so he could go over a few things with me and answer any questions I had. He was incredibly patient and helpful and I understand he does this for each customer he has. If you are looking for options, I suggest looking at the Liberty I from Liberty Archery.




The post Liberty I – Stealth Survival Weapon appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

5 Reasons I Choose Concealed Carry Over Open Carry

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5 Reasons I Choose Concealed Carry Over Open Carry

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Make no mistake, I believe in the right of self-protection and the right to carry a firearm. While there are occasions when I carry openly — mostly in more remote locations and on the firing range — I much prefer to carry concealed.

While there are some advantages to open carry, I believe as a general rule you are much better served carrying your handgun concealed. Let’s take a look at five good reasons to keep your pistol concealed.

1. Be the quiet professional.

I much prefer to NOT let everyone around me know that I am packing heat. Yes, it’s a constitutional right. But why insist on advertising one’s armed status to the world? As discussed in the following outlined points, consider keeping the tactical advantage by not letting those around you see your firearm. Some people will immediately believe you’re a demented person whose intent is evil. Your carry demeanor is best served by blending in, being quiet about it and having some consideration for those who just don’t get it!

2. Keep the tactical advantage.

Understand that not all criminals burst through the door and begin shooting. Some are very calculating and cunning, and take time to surveil their surroundings. That could play out two ways for you. If you’re carrying concealed, your ability is well-hidden.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

If you are carrying open, you may unfortunately be the criminals’ or terrorists’ first target. On the flip side, your open carry sidearm may dissuade the attack to begin with. Personally, I would rather maintain the element of surprise for myself and not be the focus of the bad guys’ ill-intent.

3. Don’t waste law enforcement’s time.

There are plenty of videos online showing confrontations between open carriers and law enforcement. And I get it: Many officers don’t understand the legalities of carrying open where it’s legal. But understand that law enforcement must respond when that call comes in of a “man with a gun.” Many times, officers don’t have a clue as to the circumstances, and therefore need to be cautious on their approach. Why waste the officer’s time in the first place when you can be discreet and avoid any contact with law enforcement? They have better things to do than have a discussion face to face with someone carrying open. It puts both parties in potential danger.

A self-examination of motives for open carry, and drawing the attention of police, can be a valuable exercise. If the aim is to educate, non-confrontational approaches are more likely to result in their willingness to listen with an open mind. If the reason is related to ego and drawing negative attention, that will likely be the outcome. Unfortunately, the resulting negative assumptions are often generalized to all gun owners.

4. Consider the view of the general public.

More and more of the general public today get downright upset when they see a gun carried openly. Being frightened or offended are common responses. Should you care? I believe so. Unless you live in a community where open carry is readily accepted and practiced, you’re asking for trouble. Gun owners all know that gun rights are generally under attack (now by individual states more than the federal government). Perhaps we all should choose our battles carefully. I would rather retain my ability to carry concealed than possibly lose it all.

5. Don’t encourage more restrictions.

The end result is the fight in state and local legislatures, not to mention at the federal level depending on who is sitting in the Oval Office. The unfortunate fact is that where you are sitting geographically in the country is what influences how big an issue you have ahead of you with concerning concealed carry — much less open carry. In recent months, we also have seen private business post signs against open carry or guns because of controversies surrounding the issue. Proceed with caution.

Final Thoughts

Some will interpret my position as anti-open carry. Nothing could be further from the truth. My only goal is to give you food for thought, having had a long career dealing with such issues. Bottom line: quiet and professional is a winning strategy.

Perhaps James Monroe said it best: “The right of self-defense never ceases. It is among the most sacred.” I couldn’t agree more.

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



Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

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Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

John Wayne, “Big Jake.”

Everyone loves a good movie. For those who take firearms and the use of them seriously, there are a few quotes from the silver screen that have real-world application.

Below are just a few of the many gun quotes from movies that stick out in my mind … along with my accompanying interpretation for everyday carry and defensive living.

1.“I bet you could almost get that fancy gun outta that fancy holster before some fast gentleman with on old-fashioned six gun blew a hole in ya.” Jacob McCandles, played by John Wayne, from the movie “Big Jake,” 1971.

Don’t let your equipment defeat you! I wrote an article on just that topic earlier this year. Whatever gun you carry for defensive purposes, know it well and be able to efficiently get that firearm into action if needed; your carry system is just as important as the gun. Be confident in your abilities through purposeful training.

2. “When you have to shoot … shoot, don’t talk.” Tuco, played by Eli Wallach, from the movie “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly,” 1966.

There indeed may be a time when it’s valid to give some warning prior to use of deadly force, and then again, maybe not. There is no requirement that you give a warning or that you try and talk yourself out of a life-or-death encounter; this hesitation may get you killed.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Don’t misinterpret what I am saying; if you can leave or avoid a violent encounter, then by all means do so. But if not, shut up and take care of business. Remember your actions must be reasonable and necessary to protect your life or the life of another.

3. “I’ve shot many a sassy bandit with just my pistol.” Gus, played by Robert Duvall, from the TV miniseries “Lonesome Dove,” 1989.

Most of us are not packing a carbine around on our person each day (although I have one in my vehicle 24/7). Again, refer back to No. 1: Know your pistol, be confident in your abilities, and train well and train often. A quote from the late Colonel Jeff Cooper comes to mind here: “The pistol, learn it well, wear it always.”

Silver Screen Gun Wisdom: 7 Movie Quotes That Apply To Everyday Carry

Mel Gibson, “Patriot.”

4. “Aim small, miss small.” Benjamin Martin, played by Mel Gibson, from the movie “The Patriot,” 2000.

The better you understand and are able to carry out marksmanship fundamentals, the better you will perform under the stress of a defensive encounter. I believe in accuracy first. I often utilize the “five shot drill” for students. In this drill, I challenge students, standing at three or five yards from the target, to fire five shots and put them all in one hole. Very few can do this right out of the box. The purpose? If I can shoot those five shots into one clustered hole, then I have the foundation of good shooting fundamentals. Under the stress of a violent encounter, your shooting accuracy will drop off. But if you have these solid fundamentals, you are on your way to winning. Another great drill that leads you down this path is called “dot torture.” You can find this drill and others at Your goal is a combination of speed and accuracy, but in the end I’d rather be accurate first than fast and miss!

5. “A gun that’s unloaded and cocked ain’t good for nothing.” Rooster Cogburn, played by John Wayne, from the movie “True Grit,” 1969.

Keep your everyday carry gun hot and ready to go! I hear much discussion from students as to whether they will carry a round in the chamber. Again, this is a training and equipment issue. The last thing you need under the stress of a violent encounter is to have to remember to chamber a round in your handgun to defend yourself. Take such nonsense and inhibitions out of the equation, being sure to use a carry system that keeps the gun both accessible and under your direct control.

6. “It ain’t so easy to shoot a man anyhow, especially if the son of a b—ch is shootin’ back at ya.” Little Bill Daggett, played by Gene Hackman, from the movie “Unforgiven,” 1992.

Mental preparation and related training that assists you in developing stress inoculation is invaluable if you intend to take defensive living and mindset seriously. Force decisions and Simunition training comes to mind. In this type of training, you are forced into a confrontation with another live human being in a controlled and safe environment.

7. “I just don’t wanna be killed for lack of shootin’ back.” Clyde (one armed deputy), played by Ron White, from the movie “Unforgiven,” 1992.

Don’t be without your pistol. When it’s needed, take decisive action.

As you can see, I’ve avoided the more popular quotes such as “make my day” or “I’m gonna blow your head off.” I am not glorifying the use of force. Just the opposite. My goal here is to apply some sound advice in your training process for EDC spoken in the movies that is, in my estimation, more than just Hollywood talk.

What quotes would you add? Let us know in the section below:

5 Concealed Carry Tips

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Ibropalic / Pixabay

Making the decision to carry concealed around family can be difficult. Carrying a handgun has become more culturally acceptable in America, especially in recent years. Carry permit issuances are up across the country, and handgun sales are through the roof. New demographics – women, younger adults, family members – are buying guns. But we won’t mince words here: Carrying a handgun can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Simple as that.

What’s even worse is the notion that an untrained or uninformed family member can end up injured or dead because they lack the knowledge they need to be safe with guns nearby, potentially accessible. Without getting political, general statistics show that hundreds of folks die every year from accidental or negligent discharges of firearms. Many of them are younger children.

In 2016, a mother had to tell her 4-year-old boy, as his brain swelled through the self-inflicted bullet hole in his head, that it was okay to die. She told her son that he, “may see mommy cry a lot, but it’s not because she’s mad, it’s because she misses you. “If that doesn’t drive home the need to be a responsible gun owner around your family, you should stop reading now. You should instead find your concealed carry license if you have it, tear it up, and sell your handgun if you’ve already bought one. We’re not trying to be rude, but responsibility matters here, folks.

If you’re ready to carry responsibly, if you’re ready to protect yourself, your family and your friends from the threats we all could face on a daily basis – and you want to do so in a way that protects your family from the very tool you’re using to prevent harm – then keeping reading. There’s a lot to cover before you put on that holster:

1. Practice gun safety at home and on the move

This should be self-explanatory, but we will never skip out on explaining common sense and safety. Before you even purchase your handgun, have a plan to keep it locked and secure, away from family members you should never have access to it.

Basic tips for gun safety:

  • Always treat your handgun as though it is loaded
  • If your weapon is loaded, it should be on your person
  • Store ammunition in a separate and secure location
  • Keep gun safe keys away from other house or car keys
  • Children should never know where your guns are stored

2. Talk to your family about your gun and decision to carry

Being informed is the first step to being safe when it comes to guns and family. Ignorance invites curiosity, especially in younger children. Before you take your gun home you should talk to your family and most importantly, your children, about your decision to carry a handgun. They should be made aware – for their safety and yours -that you may be armed at any time. Tell adult family members where on your person you’ll be carrying your handgun. If you’re carrying off-body, they should be aware of where your weapon is located, and both you and they should keep accountability of it at all times.

Guns and children:

Now we’re not advocating that you stick your handgun in your 3-year-old’s hand, but it’s important that they’re made aware of the dangers of guns and how to be safe around them. Explain the dangers to them. Set clear boundaries and instructions. Explaining death to a child is a difficult thing, and it may not always be interpreted correctly, or at all, but there are ways to get the point across. We don’t recommend simply saying, “don’t touch this or else!” , because uninformed fear still invites curiosity.

Help your children to understand, as best they can, that this item of yours is a tool that can have dangerous consequences. Improper use or touching by them can, “make very bad or hurtful things happen to the people you love that can’t be undone.” This is just one example of how you might be able to explain this concept to a younger child. Show your children how your handgun comes apart, how you clean it, assemble it, and how you safely operate it.

Showing them how it works, what it does, and why you have it gets rid of that mystery that a firearm comes with. It eliminates that “taboo” and vagueness that invites curiosity and dangerous handling. This message should not be isolated. Reinforce these ideas with your children until they recite it in their sleep. And then keep doing it.

Teach your kids what to safely do with a gun if they ever get their hands on one. As unlikely as the situation may be, your children should know how to avoid injury and death if they ever find the opportunity to interact with a handgun, and curiosity gets the better of them. Never assume they’ll listen to your requests that they avoid touching a gun.

Basic tips for children and guns:

  • Always assume a gun is loaded
  • If you find a gun, do not touch it
  • Pointing a gun at something means you want to kill it
  • Make children apply real gun safety to their toy guns

3. Invite family to train with you

If you decide to carry, it’s important that family members are able to interact with your handgun safely. There may be a reason that they will have to touch with your handgun, whether it’s something as simple as moving it from a glove box, putting it in a bag, taking it out of a container, or, under dire circumstances, using it for their own defense.

At the range:

You should always train to be proficient with the handgun you purchase in general use and as a concealed weapon. The family members you carry around don’t have to be expert shooters like you might become, but they should be proficient in basic operation and safe handling. Invite them to the range with you. Explain the need for good trigger discipline and pointing your weapon in a safe direction at all times. Explain to them that you should only ever raise that barrel, take that safety off, or put your finger on that trigger if you have the intent to kill.

Train as you fight:

Don’t treat the range as a separate environment from daily carrying. You’re not shooting at paper or steel. You’re taking out a real, living threat. Get your family members in that same mindset: Any time they’re touching that handgun, they should be anticipating danger – be it from the gun itself or from a threat in your environment. Get them to treat your handgun as though it’s always loaded, if even it’s been checked three times. Teach them how to react to a threat with a handgun even if you’re the one carrying. The situation could very well turn to them having to draw or shoot.

4. Teach family how to react to a threat

Training at the range will get your family comfortable with your weapon and they’ll at least know the basic principles of gun safety. Like we just briefly mentioned, your family must know what to do in a shooter situation or when a threat is present. Ask yourself the following questions:

Can my spouse defend themselves in my absence?

The answer should be, “yes” . If it isn’t, get them to the range and practicing basic shooting and handling your firearm. Get them familiar with your holster or concealment method. Let them try it out and practice drawing with it just like you do. If you’re incapacitated, they’ll need to know how to interact with it.

Does my family know what to do if I have to use deadly force?

Drawing your weapon to eliminate a threat means confusion, loud noises, panic, and a lot of life-or-death decision-making in a matter of seconds. You should practice with family on how they should react to you using deadly force.

  • Keep commands simple:Practice simple commands that will help your family react quickly to a threat. Commands like “Follow me!” , “That way!” , and “Call 911!” are self-explanatory and understood easily in a panicked situation.
  • Your family’s goal should be escape:It’s against human nature to leave behind a loved one, but your family must be trained to react to a threat with the goal of escape. You might be the only armed responder, and they cannot help eliminate the threat. Family remaining present increases their risk and may distract you from the threat. You should designate a “point person” who will act as the authority during escape. They must ensure all other family members are moving together toward safety so you can focus on the threat.
  • Make the call quickly:Never assume someone else will dial 911 and reach dispatch. As soon as it is safe to do so, ensure your family makes the call. The quicker first responders arrive, the lesser the potential loss of life will be – and if needed, the quicker the police can respond to a threat so you don’t have to.
  • When the threat clears, regroup:Getting out of a threat is priority #1, but once the threat is eliminated or removed, you must know where your family is so you can link up. Have a pre-planned evacuation point, depending on the environment. Reuniting quickly will allow you to further remove yourselves from the environment as a unit, ensuring continued safety. Any residual or secondary threats will then no longer be a concern.

5. Practice, practice, and more practice

There’s a lot to consider when it comes to carrying concealed with family, in the home and abroad. The only way to ensure family – young and old – are safe around you and your handgun is to practice, practice, then practice some more. Schedule monthly range days together. Rehearse for the environments you’ll be in before you arrive. Drill home the concepts of gun safety repeatedly. Involve your family and children in practicing those things with you. With these in mind, know that you can protect yourself and your family from the threats you may face. Practice these five considerations and you won’t be at the mercy of how quickly others can respond.


Howard Murphy is a 20 year member of the concealed carry community and the editor for His passion for all things “guns” was born from growing up hunting and sport shooting in his home state of Wyoming.

The post 5 Concealed Carry Tips appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Which Self Defense Weapons You Need?

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Self-defense weapons have become a necessity in today’s society where your personal and household self-defense is frequently threatened. If your prime concern is the safety of your loved ones and yourself, do not have second thoughts about being prepared. Just remember -– it is important to have the right self-defense weapon for your particular situation.

Yourself defense does matter. There are many ways you can prepare for the possibility of attack. Sometimes, preparation consists of nothing more than prevention. Knowing how to act, which situations to avoid, and moving with confidence can all help. But—-sooner or later—-you may be facing an assailant.


With the right self-defense weapons, you’ll have TIME to protect yourself and may even be able to bring your attacker down! Your attacker won’t know what hit him. Some weapons can even help you mark him, which will make him easy to apprehend.


Know that the safety and security of your family, home, office and property is assured because you’ve taken steps to protect yourself.


Have more peace of mind, sleep better at night, and walk the streets in confidence and control, because you have taken the time to learn about which self-defense weapons will best meet your needs. Your personal protection is at stake!

Here are a few weapons you might consider as you start to explore what’s available:


Although bolt-action hunting rifles may be perfect for taking large game, they make a wrong choice for home-defense. These guns load slowly, fire slowly, and the high-power cartridges they shoot produce excessive muzzle flash, noise, and recoil and are very likely to over penetrate the target. If you want a rifle for home defense, then consider a tactical semi-auto or pistol-caliber carbine. Always try to keep a rifle scope for perfect shooting.

Telescopic Steel Baton

This is the self-defense weapon that most law enforcement and police agencies use today. Many of these organizations are replacing the old “Billy Club” style baton with the more technologically advanced telescopic baton.


What could be better for keeping the attacker in place once he is subdued than handcuffs? You can also use leg cuffs or thumb cuffs to immobilize him.


There are many different types and styles of knives that you could use. You can read all about the many varieties of knives that are available, including butterfly knives, pen knives, and folding knives.

Metal Detectors

For security and law enforcement personnel, a hand held metal detector is an essential self-defense weapon. These small scanners can pick up almost any metal weapon, including pistols and knives.

And here are a few weapons that are not used as much for self-defense as for sporting and fun…

Cross Bows

A crossbow gives its user far more power and accuracy than a traditional bow. If you’ve never shot a crossbow, you can’t believe how powerful it is. This is more commonly used as a sporting weapon, but you never know when it might come in handy for self-defense too.

Blow Guns

Over 40,000 years ago, the first blowguns began to appear in many different parts of the world. In today’s world, blowguns, paintballs, and stun darts offer a wide variety of sporting activities.

Sling Shots

High-Velocity sling shots fold down to a compact size and have over a 100-yard range. They’re perfect for slinging insects, rocks or even bad guys Brings back memories of the good old days.

Air pistol:

This weapon is styled after some of the world’s most famous firearms. The air pistol maintenance free design and affordability make them an excellent entry level weapon for the hobby and recreational enthusiast.

This Guest article was written by Douglas Brooks. He is the founder of He was enthusiastic about hunting from the first shot. He is also Rifle optic guru.


The post Which Self Defense Weapons You Need? appeared first on American Preppers Network.

Top 9 Reasons Why You Need a Revolver for Self-Defense

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Written by Guest Contributor on The Prepper Journal.

Editor’s Note: Today’s article is courtesy of Ben Baker. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter the Prepper Journal’s Writing Contest today.

Packing heat is always a good idea because you never know what this world is going to throw at you next. Revolvers make an excellent choice as a Concealed Carry Weapon, backup or self-defense piece. Here are seven reasons why the wheel gun excels.


Revolvers have the earned reputation of being dependable under pressure.

A wheel gun can put up with a lot more abuse than an auto-loader. Drop it in the dirt. Roll it around in the mud. It is still going to function. Semi-autos are a lot more finicky about dirt and dust.

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter. You can mix loads too. Load the first one or two out the barrel with a hot JHP to avoid over-penetration. Then, lower power loads behind that like lead ball to fill the rest of the cylinder.

Auto-loaders definitely express preferences in ammo. I once had a 1911 that digested factory JHP and FMJ just fine. Drop some hand-loaded round ball and it jammed every time.

Revolvers do not jam. Auto-loaders can. Misfeeds can be caused by a bent lip that you didn’t notice before slapping a new mag home or a weak mag spring. Auto-loaders are also susceptible to “limp wristing”, a problem that a revolver never has.

Fits your hand better

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter.

Even a cheap revolver is going to shoot a round that fits correctly in a cylinder chamber. New ammo or reloads, it does not matter.

Revolvers come in all sizes from the diminutive North American Arms .22 and .22 Mag to the behemoth North American Arms BFR in .45-70

Auto-loaders do get small, but not as small as the NAA revolver.

The BFR is not suited for concealed carry, unless you are about 12 feet tall. A lot of people say the NAA revolvers are also not suited for concealed carry. If you must have maximum concealment and minimum size, the NAA offers fit both categories. If the choice is between no gun or an NAA revolver, these pocket powerhouses win every time.

Read More: Top 5 Firearms you need to get your hands on now!

Auto-loaders do not reach the sheer size of the BFR either.

A new generation of auto-loaders with different grips is out. Revolvers have had this for years and the choices are much broader.

A good revolver will also fit in the best hunting backpacks as a backup.

Shooter Friendly

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

The revolver is more shooter friendly than an auto-loader. Because the revolver does not require recoil or gas to cycle, you can load revolver rounds very light. If you load auto-loader rounds light, you run the risk of a jam. The slide may not come all the way back. It may come back just far enough to begin the ejection of spent brass, but not complete it. There is another jam.

Light loads are the perfect way to get used to shooting a revolver and to teach newbies. Shoot light and carry hot.

Auto-loaders have a slide that comes back to cycle the weapon. More than one person has been pinched by the slide, usually because of limp wristing.

Easier to repair

A revolver has just a few parts. Most revolver parts can be milled in short order by any good metal shop.

Greater Durability

Revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.

Revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.

The revolver is older than the auto-loader. What we know from a century of using both firearms is that the revolver lasts longer. Shooting does wear both firearms, but a well-built wheelmen will last longer than all but the most expensive semis.

The move to polymer parts on handguns in the semis is another reason many of these guns will not last as long as a wheelgun. Plastic, call it what it is, won’t hold up the way steel does.

Put another way, revolvers have the least chance of failure of any handgun except single shots and the derringer.


The revolver does not have a safety by and large. A few, like the Heritage rim-fire, do have a safety, but this is not common. Why no safety? Not needed. To make the revolver fire, the hammer-firing pin has to hit the primer hard enough to effect a detonation.

Double action revolvers do take some strength to pull that trigger to cock the hammer. Single action means you have to manually cock the hammer.

If the hammer is back, you know the gun is ready to fire. In a semi auto, especially with no exposed hammer, you have no idea if the gun is ready to fire.

Easier to Clean

Cleaning a wheelgun means running a patch down the barrel and through the cylinder chambers. Cleaning an auto means field stripping and putting it back together. For experienced shooters, this is not a problem. For someone who is new to guns, it can be daunting.

Law Friendly

Getting a permit to carry a revolver is easier in states that link a carry permit to the type of gun. Even New Jersey is more likely to issue a permit for a wheelgun than an auto. If you live in a state where the permit is keyed to you instead of the gun, a revolver still makes a good choice.


Hiding a revolver is easy. Modern holsters hide the profile very well. The holsters also come with features that make the holster snag in your pocket when drawing. You come out with the gun, the leather stays behind.

Revolvers also carry well in a shoulder holster, if that’s your thing.

I carry a Cobra hammerless snub .38 in a Bianchi 152 holster. The pistol is rated for +P ammo. The little holster fits most snubs. This is the second .38 snub I’ve had as a carry piece. The first one was traded to lady who wanted something for her purse and had a rifle I wanted. If I ever trade this one, its replacement will be a .357 snub hammerless or shrouded hammer. That way I can carry .38 Smith & Wesson, .38 Short Colt, .38 Special or .357.

About the author: Short, round, genius with a thing for hunting, fishing, well-aged bourbon and dark beer, Ben Baker is a hunter and fisherman based in South Georgia. He’s traveled North America hunting and fishing. You can read more articles from Ben at

The post Top 9 Reasons Why You Need a Revolver for Self-Defense appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Are Short-Barreled Rifles Really Worth The Government Hassle?

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Are Short-Barreled Rifles Really Worth The Government Hassle?

Image source: Sig Sauer

Short-barreled rifles (SBRs) and pistol versions of popular rifle platforms are interesting niche firearms that are designed to bridge the gap between your pistol and your rifle.

Traditional rifles provide excellent long-range accuracy and firepower, but are not as effective for use in close quarters. Conversely, pistols are not considered effective beyond 50 yards, and even that can be a stretch for most shooters. This middle ground is where SBRs and pistol variants shine. They are roughly the size of a sub-machine gun, giving the user greater magazine capacity and accuracy than their pistol, without the size and weight of a full-sized rifle.

What is legally considered a pistol, rifle or short-barreled rifle can be somewhat confusing to the uninitiated. In a nutshell, the standards are as follows:

  • A rifle has a total barrel length (including muzzle devices) of 16 inches or more, an overall length of 28 inches or more, and a stock.
  • A short-barreled rifle has a barrel length (including muzzle devices) of less than 16 inches, and a stock. SBRs are regulated by the National Firearms Act (NFA); they require a background check and tax stamp from the ATF to own. Not all states allow ownership of SBRs.
  • A pistol has a barrel length of less than 16 inches, and does not have a stock. If a stock is added to a pistol, it becomes a short-barreled rifle, and is subject to ATF regulations under the National Firearms Act. However, the use of a stabilizing brace is permitted on a pistol.

While an SBR is the ideal midpoint between a pistol and a rifle, not every state allows you to own one. Furthermore, the process of getting an SBR takes months to complete, and having to purchase a tax stamp for the weapon adds hundreds of dollars to the cost of ownership. Consequently, many people will buy a pistol version of a rifle as an alternative to an SBR. While it’s not quite the same thing, it’s close enough for most shooters.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

When considering a SBR or pistol variant, barrel length and caliber are important deciding factors. Most AR platforms come chambered in .223 Remington or 5.56mm NATO, but there are some models available in pistol calibers such as 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. Other platforms, including the Sig MPX, CZ Scorpion, and variants of the venerable H&K MP-5, are offered almost exclusively in 9mm.

You should select your weapon’s caliber and barrel length based on the maximum distance you may need to engage a threat. In terms of rifle calibers like .223 or 5.56mm, the shorter your barrel is, the less effective your bullet will be over great distances. Comparatively, pistol calibers are most effective inside of 50 yards. If you want a weapon that is effective out to 150 yards, a 5.56mm pistol with a 10.5-inch or greater barrel would be ideal, whereas a 9mm with a 7.5-inch barrel would be perfectly adequate for 50-yard engagements.

An SBR or pistol with stabilizing brace makes a great addition to any bug-out bag or 72-hour kit. They are ideal for maneuvering in confined spaces, such as the inside of a home or vehicle, and are easily stored in a bag or backpack when not in use. Many people keep a pistol variant as a trunk gun, just in case they find themselves in a hostile situation while on the road. When placed in a bag designed for concealed weapon transport, such as the 5.11 Select Carry Sling Pack or Blackhawk Diversion Carry Racquet Bag, a pistol variant or SBR can be stored discreetly while still being readily accessible when needed.

Before attempting to purchase a pistol variant or SBR, consult your local gun store to find out what is legal to own in your state. While pistol variants are technically pistols, open carry of this type of firearm is strongly discouraged, as it will likely cause concern among members of your community, result in unnecessary attention from local law enforcement, and identify you to criminals as a potential target. If you intend to carry this sort of firearm in a bag, you may need to obtain a concealed pistol license. When going on a road trip with this type of firearm, research gun laws in the states you will be crossing.

Have you ever owned a short-barreled rifle or pistol variant? What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below:  

It May Be The Best Pistol You Can Buy For $300. And It’s Brand New.

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Image source: YouTube screen capture / Mrgunsngear

Image source: YouTube screen capture / Mrgunsngear

Although popular gun culture in the U.S. doesn’t pay much attention, Turkey has long been a major producer of firearms, mostly for military use.

Historically, the country’s civilian handgun production included a 1911-based firearm made by a company once known as Canik 55. My sources say the brand is properly pronounced “JOHN-ick,” though I say it like the graduate of childhood phonics education that I am.

No matter how you say it, Canik eventually lost the “55” in their name, and has since claimed a stake in the big leagues of modern pistol production. The TP9 SA, their first striker-fired 9mm semiauto that I’m aware of in the U.S. market, became my choice of range gun four years ago. More than 6,000 rounds and with a few other Canik product experiences later, it remains my favorite handgun.

The TP9 SA emerged with apparent design influence from the Walther P99, but with an American magazine release. Canik wisely kept a low bore axis (hence low recoil) design, simple disassembly, and modular grip panels which are included with each gun. Other handy features include an accessory rail, lanyard hole in the grip, a highly visible three-dot sight system with a subtle vertical highlight on the rear sight, and a Serpa-style Kydex holster that can be used as a paddle or belt-borne. Color choices include black and desert tan. Magazines, now readily available for a reasonable price, hold an impressive 18 rounds in the same space a Glock mag holds 17.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

There’s a bit of weirdness in the original TP9, in the form of a striker decocker located on the top of the slide just in front of the rear sight. Canik’s rationale was to allow for the striker to be released without pressing the trigger, as in preparation for cleaning. It’s an unnecessary, but innocuous, device that has never caused a problem, nor have I ever used it, in the years I’ve used the gun.

Other than fit for a variety of hands, which is becoming the norm for new polymer-lower pistols, is the quality of the TP9 trigger. Its moderate uptake, smooth break, and relatively short, crisp reset are as good as that on my HK VP9, which retails for twice the price. Though a great trigger is just part of what makes a satisfying choice of firearm, there’s no denying that this one is superb in its class.

The Downside

A downside does exist to the first couple years of production models of TP9 SA and its first successor, the TP9 SF. I have owned both. This issue is related to the trigger I just described as outstanding. After having cycled in excess of 5,000 rounds, the striker on my SA model was no longer functional. The trigger would activate, with no corresponding activity by the striker. The then-new (2015 model) SF worked well, but its trigger would reset in two subtle stages.

As I was the original owner and had registered the warranties on both pistols, Century Arms, the U.S. importer/distributor, agreed to fix them. I was given an ominous reminder upon sending them that repairs may take up to six weeks. In reality, both guns were returned in just nine days. Though the repairs were done quickly and well, Century’s customer service left much to be desired in terms of communication; they’re email-based only and managed to confuse the guns’ serial numbers during the repair process, finally creating an accusation that I’d confused the frames and slides. That’s hardly possible, especially when the SA has significant visible wear.

Despite the bizarre customer service experience, the guns were returned fully repaired and with the outstanding triggers I have by now come to love. It was after the repair experience that I learned that premature striker failures are common among TP9s made earlier than 2016. A gunsmith who knows the TP9 SA well showed me the seemingly minor difference in construction between the trigger on my repaired handgun and the original. Unfortunately, it was on a range setting where I couldn’t get a photo or take notes, and the names of the involved parts now escape memory. He bemoaned the fact that Century Arms doesn’t sell repair parts, nor are non-original owners or owners who’ve had their pistol for more than a year offered free repairs, though the premature wear is not the user’s doing.

But Still a Fan …

Despite the mixed experience with repairs, I remain a fan of the TP9 series. The SA is now offered in a V2 version that eliminates the decocker and has the improved trigger. The series has also added the SF, with aftermarket-friendly sights, a lower profile, and matte-finish magazines. The competition-grade SFx has a 20-round magazine, lightened slide, and large mag well. Rising in popularity this year are the two compact models, still with 15-round mags and slightly shorter, match grade barrels, called the TP9 SF Elite and SF Elite S.

Every one of these feature-rich pistols offer excellent handling at an astonishing price. Original SA models can still be purchased new for as low as $310. Other models range in price from $350-495, with the SFx being the highest.

Canik has had time to learn from early mistakes in the TP9 series. From my own experience and conversations with people in the industry, it seems those issues have been resolved. TP9 pistols deliver real value in terms of handling, trigger quality, customized features, and reliability. Based on my experience even with an older model, I believe there to be no better pistol available for the money.

Have you ever shot a Canik? What did you think? Share your thoughts in the section below:



“Dad, it hurts”

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Matan a un nene de 3 años que iba a comprar pizza con su papá: identificaron al asesino

Last night in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 28 year old Martín Bustamante was walking with his 3 year old son Agustin to buy a pizza for dinner. It was 9pm when two scumbags robbed them. After taking their money they started walking away, but one of them turned back one last time and shot the 3 year old that was still holding his dad’s hand in the back. He smiled as he shot the 3 year old, his father would later say.

Agustin only managed to say “dad, it hurts” before dying in his dad’s arms who was rushing him to a hospital. The loot? 15 USd for a pizza and a cheap cellphone. The killers? 14 and 16 years old.

This happened in my neighbourhood where I lived most of my life, in Lomas de Zamora.

This is why I left my country, because you just can’t live like this. Because that could have been my son and once your son is dead then it’s just too damn late to take action.

Now people are pissed, a family has been destroyed. There will be a protest tonight, and people will speak on tv, and those 14 and 16 year old scumbags will walk because the idiotic Argentine laws protected them and the corrupt politicians who are just as bad as they are don’t want to lose any votes from criminals so they wont change anything. And 3 year old Agustin will still be dead.

When we talk about survival and specifically armed self-defense the idea of killing is glorified as a transcendent event. Experts debate about people being able to pull the trigger or not and being able to live with taking another life. Those experts never lived in Lomas de Zamora. How I wish someone had shot those two scumbags. I’m sure the family of Agustin wishes so too. There’s no remorse in killing these beasts because they aren’t even people, they are worse than savage animals. This is why killing one of these bastards isn’t a solemn event but a celebration, a service to society.  One less animal out there to murder, rape and destroy lives.


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”

Revolver Vs Semi Auto Which Is Best For Concealed Carry

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Revolver vs Semi Auto

Today I want to break down the pros and cons of carrying a revolver vs semi auto to help you make an informed decision on this hotly debated topic.

Any Breaking Bad fans out there?

“If five rounds won’t get the job done, you’re into spray and pray, and another six isn’t likely to seal the deal.”

“You can’t get more dependable than a wheel gun.”

Recognize those words of wisdom imparted to Walter White just before he bought his snub-nose 38 Special?

So maybe you’re considering your handgun choices for daily concealed carry and the revolver has captured your eye. You’re drawn to the simplicity, ruggedness, reliability, ergonomics and even beauty of a wheel gun – but do they make good carry weapons?

In a day when many are carrying semi-autos with up to fifteen double stacked rounds of 9 mm – what good is a five shot revolver?

Actually, the revolver is a very good choice.

Revolver and bulletsThe Trusty Reliable Revolver

One issue with semi autos is that they must be kept pristine and oiled to prevent their bad tendencies such as jamming during feeding or stove piping during extraction. A little powder residue goes a long way to gumming up your semi-auto.

Suddenly your fifteen round 9mm becomes a single shot weapon while the small frame revolver still has four more rounds.

Revolvers can take a little powder residue and still function. In fact, it takes quite a bit of carbon build-up to jam up a revolver.

If you’re the type who does not keep his or her weapons in a pristine condition (and you know who you are) you need to fight the urge to invest in weapons that require this level of care. Or they may fail to function when your life depends on it.

Personally, I wouldn’t carry any weapon for self-protection in a dirty or neglected condition – but if you do – make it a rugged revolver.

One word of caution: I’ve often heard the advantage of a revolver is if you have a misfire you can just pull the trigger again to move another round into position for firing, unlike a semi-auto, where you will have to the rack the slide. This is true, however, keep in mind, if the reason the revolver failed to fire was a slow primer and you rotate the cylinder into the next position you run the risk of an explosion.

Pulling the trigger again moves a dud out of the way, but a hang-fire may result in an out of battery explosion, destroying the gun and whatever human parts happen to be in the way of the flying metal.

So again, it’s nice to have a double stack of 9mms, but have to hit the target.

And – by the way – we talk a lot about 15 round capacities and double-stacked magazines, but let’s get real for a moment. These full-frame pistols conceal carry with all the subtlety of an ISIS pick-up truck.

Pistol and bullets on targetRevolver vs Semi Auto Accuracy Differences

Many semi-autos suffer from accuracy issues due to several factors. During firing, the explosion of gases from the cartridge is used to force the slide rearward, extracting the spent cartridge on the recoil and grabbing a new cartridge from the clip during the return to battery.

The bullet is moving down the barrel when the recoil begins.

This recoil consists of a mass of metal slamming rearward. The vibration and jolting forces imparted to the shooter’s hand and the barrel itself during this recoil can shift the barrel’s alignment slightly – especially guns with “floating” barrels – or barrels that are not fixed.

Floating barrels are used on higher power locked-breeched pistols. This is due to the higher chamber pressures associated with them. The barrel locks into the slide by pressure until the pressure drops enough to unlock and allow the slide to function.

This is necessary for safe operation of the pistol.

Without this locking breech function, the higher chamber pressures would slam the slide backward hard enough to damage it and also possibly causes the cartridge to explode rather than containing the pressure until the bullet leaves the barrel. This locking and unlocking of the barrel cause a very slight movement in barrel alignment as it locks and unlocks.

The sights on a semi-auto pistol are also integral to the slide, the large moving part of the weapon, rather than a fixed barrel.

Another problem with the 9mm semi-auto accuracy are the people who shoot them. When you have over a dozen rounds in a fast-firing semi-auto, the tendency is to spray and pray.

This is what occurs when you read about those cases of gunfights where dozens of rounds were shot from near point blank ranges and by both parties and neither was hit – or several bystanders were hit by accident.

In A Real Gun Fight, Spraying And Praying Is A Quick Way To Die

Any self-defense instructor worth his or her salt will tell you, you bring the weapon up and out so you are looking down the sights while firing – unless you are in very close quarters – like knife fighting close quarters.

The sights are there to aim the weapon – use them – and learn to use them quickly.

Having only five rounds in your weapon forces you to consider the value of each shot and you may aim accordingly.

So maybe you’ve heard revolvers are inherently accurate. Revolvers have fixed sights integral to the barrel – which is also integral to the frame. They do not move – at all.

Firing single action, the revolver’s accuracy does not suffer from jolts and vibrations of a recoiling mass of metal or a floating or tilting barrel. That being said, although there are no moving parts subject to the forces of recoil, the recoil of the weapon itself is more easily felt when firing a revolver.

The recoil, or kick, tends to be absorbed by the moving mass of the slide in a semi-auto, so the shooter doesn’t feel the kick as much as in a revolver.

The actual energy of the explosion is the same, but due to the motion of the slide and return spring, the force is distributed over more distance and time, reducing the “impact” of the recoil.

The big difference is this: the recoil might feel larger in a revolver, but the gun itself is rock solid and the barrel alignment is not affected by any mechanical forces in the weapon’s action.

By the time the recoil moves the weapon in the shooter’s hand, the bullet has already left the barrel.

Old military instructors tell us to “just let the barrel rise on the recoil. Don’t fight it.” If you try to anticipate the recoil of a revolver, you’ll wind up pushing the barrel downward and shoot low.

So there are some trade-offs: more weapon movement in a semi-auto, but more felt recoil in a revolver.

So How Do We Fix This?

Simple. Leave your .44 Magnum at home and carry a 38 Special. There is very little recoil from these cartridges, but you still get 158 grains of copper flying death at 850-1000 feet per second or more.

If you want no recoil – go with a .22 LR or, even better, the .22 Magnum – usually in a revolver with 8 shots.

Yes, small bullets, but more of them. And no recoil and pretty darn good accuracy.

Still, I’m not a .22 man, myself. Maybe it’s because my mother carries a .22 LR revolver…

concealed firearm in waistband 2Now, Let’s Consider Concealed Carry.

Revolvers, while having rounded edges, are straight up fatter weapons. The geometry of the revolver is simple, it has to be wide enough to accommodate the width of three bullets, the one in firing position and essentially one on each side of the circle, as well as the thickness of steel designed to contain the pressure of the explosion.

The traditional six-shooter is not a good conceal carry weapon – the cylinder is just too big. So manufacturers solved the problem by dropping a bullet and reducing the spacing, making for a smaller cylinder.

Note: this doesn’t apply to the .22 caliber revolvers. The bullets and chamber pressure make for a small cylinder. But if you want any power approaching an equivalent 9mm Luger, you can only have five shots, traditionally in 38 Special or .357 Magnum.

Single stack 9mm semi-autos can be very thin by comparison.

Now, remember my previous comments?  I’m not talking about the full framed 15 round Wonder-Nines.

I’m talking the 6-7 shot single stack weapons, like my Walther PPK or a Smith and Wesson Body Guard or a Kimber Micro 9.

These semi-autos are thin and conceal more easily than a comparable revolver.

They don’t print nearly as easily and are more comfortable to carry. “Comfortable” is a very relative term in the concealed carry business equating to almost anywhere on the body. Such as in the waistband, small of the back, ankle holster, etc.

Just about the only place it doesn’t have an advantage in this regard is in a woman’s purse.

You notice, though, if talking a single stack 9mm or .380 auto, you’re talking about a six shot magazine and maybe one more in the pipe. Not that much more than the revolver. And the risk/reward of this is two extra two shots balanced against a possible failure to feed or failure to extract.

Now, What About Single Versus Double Action?

Revolvers with exposed hammers can be fired either single or double action. Single action means you have to cock the hammer. The advantage here is the single action trigger pull is usually less than 4 lbs and your beefy finger won’t pull the weapon off target during a heavy trigger pull.

Double action means the hammer is not cocked, or you have a striker fired weapon, and the trigger pull itself cocks and fires the weapon in a single stroke.

The trigger pull of a DAO semi-auto is definitely heavier than single action, but also typically way less than a double action revolver.

In a revolver, that double action has to not only pull back the hammer but also rotate the cylinder and it can be a hefty pull, throwing off your aim.

So here’s the Catch-22: single action, a quality revolver’s accuracy is hard to beat. However, when shot with double action, it’s probably worse than any semi-auto using double action only.

To be fair, though, many SA/DA semi-autos with exposed hammers have very heavy double action pulls for that first shot. The trigger pull has to cock the hammer.

That first shot racks the slide and re-cocks the hammer, so the follow-up shot will have a very light single action pull.

On the other hand, some DAO semi-autos, like Glocks, are striker fired and their double action trigger pulls are pretty darn light.

I don’t like them. The trigger pull just doesn’t feel right to me, but many people really like them and they can be very accurate in the right hands. Just not my hands.

Gun Range 1So The Question: Is What’s Your Technique?

Are you going to fire single action or double?

But what about exposed hammers versus guarded hammers on a revolver?

Some small frame carry revolvers have guarded hammers. The hammers are only visible for “staging” the trigger.

This involves putting slow gradual pressure on the trigger to rotate the cylinder and bring the hammer back slowly. The idea is you can be more accurate in that first shot if you can see the hammer move. You’ll have a feel for when it will break.

Supposedly they design these weapons in this manner to avoid the exposed hammer catching on the insides of a woman’s purse or perhaps on a jacket pocket.

Personally, I wouldn’t own one. To me, they are great Mafia guns. Perfect for jamming a pistol into someone’s stomach in a dense subway crowd. Or for Michael Corleone to shoot the cop eating spaghetti across the table from him.

This Begs The Question: In What State Are You Going To Carry?

By state I don’t mean New York or Texas or Tennessee – I mean the state of the weapon.

If you have a revolver, it’s a no-brainer. You will have five rounds in the cylinder – one of which is always in firing position. Most revolvers have no safety.

If you don’t want to shoot – don’t pull the trigger.

Modern revolvers also have an internal safety bar which prevents the firing pin from striking the primer if you drop the gun right on the hammer. They basically block the firing pin unless you cock it.

Now, you could carry it with the hammer cocked if you want to blow your foot off. With the hammer cocked – that trigger pull gets really light.

But What About Semi-Autos?

Depends on the design of your weapon and your personal choice. Some people carry a bullet in the chamber, others carry an empty chamber. If you carry with one in the pipe, you increase your capacity from six shots to seven.

If you carry with one in the pipe, you increase your capacity from six shots to seven. If you carry with an empty chamber you’ll have to slide the rack when you draw.

Some people are comfortable with this, others not so much.

My little Kel-tec .380 semi-auto has no safety. It relies on a double action pull to act as a safety. I carry it with the chamber empty.

My Walther PPK .380 is both single and double action. I can load a round into the chamber then hit the decocker/safety lever.

This little lever decocks the hammer and blocks it from the trigger. When drawn, I simply flip the little lever up, taking the safety off, and then I have two choices.

I can either manually cock the hammer, giving me a very light trigger pull, or I can just squeeze the trigger harder and the hammer will cock and fire double action.

I carry this one with one in the chamber and six in the magazine, with the decocker/safety engaged.

Many double action only semi-autos, like the Glocks and Springfield XDS, are carried with a round in the pipe and the safety on. Flip off the safety and you are ready to rock and roll. No need to rack the slide again and no hammer to cock – these have internal strikers.

Some semi-auto allow for the cocked and locked condition.

This means there is a round in the chamber, the hammer is cocked full back, but the safety lever, usually flipped up, simply blocks the trigger and prevents the fall of the hammer. In this configuration, the weapon can be drawn, the lever flipped down and the trigger pulled immediately in single action.

Many people carry this way. Many do not.

Some people just aren’t comfortable carrying a cocked weapon, even with the safety engaged.

Revolver Vs SemiAuto (c)So Revolver vs Semi Auto – Which Is Right For You?

So there are lots of choices. Revolver vs semi-auto? Caliber? Single action, double action or both? Exposed hammer, guarded hammer or striker fired? Carry with chamber full or chamber empty? Decocker? Cocked and locked?

Then, of course, where are you going to carry it? Purse? Ankle? In the waistband? Out of the waistband? Small of the back? In a pocket?

So, based on my comments above, you are probably asking why I don’t carry a revolver if I love them so much. For me, I like the slim, easy to carry outline of my Walther—as well as the extra two shots.

For my daughter, carrying a purse, the little Smith and Wesson Airweight is perfect.

It really boils down to what is right for you. What are you comfortable with? You need to be comfortable with the mode of carry and confident in the manipulation and operation of the firearm.

Any or all of these choices can be valid, but you need to find which combination is optimum for you. Your life may depend on it.

The post Revolver Vs Semi Auto Which Is Best For Concealed Carry appeared first on Skilled Survival.

4 Pistol Modifications Every Concealed Carrier Needs

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4 Pistol Modifications Every Concealed Carrier Needs

Image source: Shield

I’ve been shooting for quite a few years, although I really don’t consider myself a competitive shooter. As with anything else that one does repetitively, I’ve noticed a few things – particularly things about my fellow shooters.

Key among those things is that few shooters ever modify their guns, especially their handguns. Most will stick with the way they came out of the factory. Those who do modify their guns tend to go for cosmetic modifications, rather than anything functional. The one exception to this is serious competitive shooters, who go to great lengths to make their guns as accurate and easy to shoot as possible.

But, for the most part, competitive shooting isn’t the same as shooting to defend yourself. This means that most competitive pistols aren’t really useful as defensive weapons — with the exception of one category: pistols that are used in tactical shooting competition.

Tactical shooting is different from other forms of competitive shooting in that it is built around creating realistic scenarios where you would be expected to use a pistol in self-defense or the defense of others. As such, many of the modifications that would help a tactical shooter also will help anyone who needs to use their pistol in a defensive role.

Even though I’m not a competitive shooter, I’ve learned that it’s worthwhile taking a page from their book and customizing my guns. In fact, I’ve customized all the guns that I use regularly, including my daily carry gun. These customizations aren’t cosmetic, but functional, and each of them make it easier for me to use my guns if I ever draw one in a live-fire situation.

1. Trigger

The first and most important thing to consider modifying on your gun is the trigger. Most pistol triggers are set for a five- to six-pound pull. That’s okay, but there’s a reason why competitive pistols have light trigger pulls. That’s because a lighter trigger is less likely to cause you to jerk or pull your gun off target.

Not all guns give you the capability of changing out the trigger or of lightening the trigger pull. But if you can, it’s well worth it. Glock has a replacement bar, which drops the trigger pull down to 3.5 pounds. That’s enough to make quite a difference. On a 1911, you can change the trigger pull by adjusting the mainspring. Some other pistols, like the Springfield XD and XDS series. have replacement springs to lighten the trigger pull.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Trigger control is the single most important part of accurate shooting — even more so than sight picture. Aftermarket triggers not only adjust the trigger pull, but are usually of finer quality fit and finish. This lowers friction, which reduces the chance of the trigger sticking while pulling it.

2. Controls

Your two other main controls on any semi-automatic pistol are the slide lock and the magazine lock. Typically, these are designed to be as non-obtrusive as possible so that they don’t hang up when drawing the pistol. But those minimalist designs also may be harder to find and operate when you need to do a quick magazine change.

Extended slide and magazine release controls can speed up your mag changes, shaving as much as a second off your time. That second is critical in competition, but it’s even more critical in the only competition that really counts — when someone is shooting at you.

Speaking of easing magazine changes, adding a flared magazine well also can speed your mag changes. There are several manufacturers who supply these, in both polymer and aluminum. They help eliminate any fumbling that can happen while trying to find the mag well with your magazine.

The only other real control that most pistols have is the safety. Once again, this can be worth changing out to make the gun easier to use. A larger safety control lever will make it easier to find the safety and operate it when you’re drawing your gun out to use it. If you happen to be left-handed or have someone in your family who is, you also might want to consider an ambidextrous safety lever.

3. Sights

One of the most customizable areas of any firearm is the sights. The plain iron sights that come on most handguns are fine for short-range shooting in the daylight. The ones with white dots on them are a bit better. But neither will do you much good in a low-light situation. For that, you need something else. Besides, iron sights become harder to use the farther you’re trying to shoot.

While most defensive shooting is done at a range of five yards or less, there is a small percentage that happens at about 50 feet. Shooting with iron sights at that range is difficult at best. Doing so if you don’t have perfect vision is even worse.

Tritium Night Sights

Pretty much every handgun I own, with the exception of ones that don’t have removable sights or are only used on the shooting range, has tritium sights installed. Tritium is a radioactive gas which glows in the dark. So, instead of just having three white dots painted on the sights, you end up with three white dots that will glow in the dark.

Granted, this really isn’t much help in total darkness, when you can’t see our target. But it’s ideal at twilight, when you might be able to see your target, but really can’t see your sights. This makes the addition of tritium sights a lifesaver in some cases.

Reflex Sight

The reflex sight or red dot sight was originally developed for military use. Rather than having to align two sights with the target, it allows you to align one thing — a dot projected on a small, transparent screen — with the target. This saves considerable time in getting on target.

While originally designed for use on rifles, smaller reflex sights now exist for use on pistols, as well. They provide the same advantage that they do for rifles. However, they are not good in low light. So, if you install this type of sight, you might want to have another gun available to you with tritium sights on it.

Laser Sight

Most firearms instructors will advise you not to use a laser sight. If you become dependent on one and then the battery dies, you’re stuck without any sights. So, if you’re going to install one, practice with your metal sights, too.

The other problem with a laser sight is that it can give your position away to the bad guys, just like a flashlight can. The red or green laser light coming out of the front of your gun is visible for a longer distance than it is usable for.

Nevertheless, I use laser sights for one important reason. My eyes aren’t all that good. Unless I have my computer glasses on, I can’t see the all-important front sight clearly. A laser sight allows me to keep my focus downrange, which I can see just fine, with my normal glasses.

If you’re going to buy a laser sight, only buy one that is triggered by gripping the gun. This is accomplished by a push-button switch, which is located where you will be gripping the gun. So, your normal grip turns the sight on. There are only a couple of brands that do this. The rest require you taking the time to turn them on, which might be time that you don’t have.

4. Tactical light

The last thing you might consider is a tactical light. You’ve probably seen this in movies, where the cops have a tactical light mounted to a short rail under the barrel. Not all guns have this rail, but for those that do, having the light readily available is convenient.

There’s just one problem with a gun-mounted tactical light. That is, your light will be on all the time, which means that it will be advertising your location to the bad guys. Tactical instructors say the way to use a tactical light is to flash it on briefly and immediately change position. Then you can act on what you saw. Moving is necessary, in case the bad guys shoot at you. With the light back off, they won’t see you move.

I have a couple of pistols with mounted tactical lights, but I prefer the idea of using a hand-held tactical light, so that I can flash it on and off, as needed. This gives me the light I need, without making me a target.

What would you add to our list? How have you customized your pistol? Share your tips in the section below:

4 New Pistols That Turned Heads At The SHOT Show

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4 New Pistols That Turned Heads At The SHOT Show

Colt Government Model 32

This year’s SHOT Show featured tons of new guns and products – too many for one person to see. But a few models and manufacturers kept popping up in conversations. Below are a few of those pistols that attracted many admirers all week. I was fortunate to handle most of them and even to shoot a few.

S&W M&P M2.0

4 New Pistols That Turned Heads At The SHOT Show

S&W M&P M2.0

This pistol comes in 9mm (17 +1), 40 S&W (15+1) and 45 ACP (10+1). Barrel lengths vary, from 4.25 inches in the 9mm and 40, while the 45 sports a 4.6-inch barrel. The barrel, frame, grip and finish all have been upgraded. I especially like the aggressive grip texture (called cat’s tongue) and Armornite corrosion-resistant finish. The M&P M2.0 pistol can be purchased with or without a thumb safety and comes in matte black or flat dark earth. It also comes standard with two magazines and four interchangeable palm swell grip inserts. A low bore axis makes this pistol comfortable to shoot and reduces muzzle rise. MSRP is $599.

KAHR CT9 and CW380 (carbon fiber finish)

Kahr Arms has always been a name worth considering for your pistol needs. A black carbon fiber finish on some of Kahr’s most desirable carry guns is new for this year. I handled this pistol and I like the feel of it. The carbon fiber grip is appealing; the textured weave provides a realistic 3D appearance as well as allowing for more grip stability in your hand.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

4 New Pistols That Turned Heads At The SHOT Show


The carbon fiber finish is new for 2017 in the CT9 and the CW380. It was available in 2016 in the CW9. With the Kahr 9mm and 380 being some of the slimmest handguns available, I dare say these three pistols with the carbon fiber finish will be in high demand in the concealed carry market. The carbon fiber Kahr pistols ship with one magazine, a polymer frame, and a drift-adjustable white-bar dot sight configuration. MSRP for the carbon fiber finish pistols range from $419 to $495.

Canik TP9 SF Elite

Canik has been leaving a mark on the striker-fired pistol market in the last couple of years. Now the company has come out with a mid-size carry pistol, the TP9SF Elite. Canik has been known for pistols running tens of thousands of rounds without a hiccup. The Elite has a barrel length of 4.19 inches and a magazine capacity of 15+1. I personally own the TP9 SF and have had zero problems — it runs! The Elite comes standard with two 15-round magazines, Warren Tactical fiber optic sights, a poly holster with paddle attachment and interchangeable backstraps. The Canik Elite will be available in a Tungsten Gray finish in the USA. MSRP is $459.99.

Colt Government Model 32

If you are interested in classic designs from the past, you may want to take a look at the Colt Model 1903 General Officer’s Model in 32 ACP. The gun is part of Colt’s classic remake program and is an exact remake of the classic John Browning design of over 100 years ago. Although this pistol was introduced at SHOT 2015, it was still a hit among visitors to Colt’s booth at the 2017 show. Colt joined forces with US Armament to produce this classic design. The pistol is made in both parkerized and standard blued finish and is marked “U.S. PROPERTY.” If you are a traditionalist and always wanted to own a classic gun, this pistol could be for you. You may want to hurry, however; there is a limited availability on these reproduction models. MSRP is $1,100.

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

Choosing the right Red Dot/ Holo sight for you and why the answer is Aimpont

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So I found myself in that position. A new gun that needs a glass. In this case it’s a Colt M4, 14.5 inch barrel. Sure enough, I’m looking at a gun that is intended for short to medium range, so not a big magnified scope but instead a red dot sight or holographic sight.

If you’re like me, you want quality but you hope there’s something good out there that doesn’t break the bank. Here’s the thought process I went through and how I ended up with an Aimpoint Micro in spite of having initially discarded it.


The military uses them, so they must be good. Circle and Dot? Sounds good. A big circle for quick shots close up and that 2MOA dot for more pinpoint accuracy at longer ranges. Perfect.

Well… no. Turns out the US military is currently suing Eotech because they have lied about their specs. They wouldn’t keep their zero and also had problems with their water resistance. While many people do still trust them, to pay that much money for a product when the company is being sued by its main client didn’t make much sense to me.

So a red dot it is.

Holosun, Vortex, Primary Arms…

Knowing that Aimpoint was crème de la crème but not wanting to spend that much money, these are the brands I started to look into. Most of the reviews were very good, lots of happy customers. Vortex are rugged and have good specs, Holosun have neat features, auto on/off, models that have motion detector to turn on, Solar powered sights. Vortex has the Spark AR which seemed ideal, using common AAA under the optic.

After taking a good long look at these brands, watching youtube reviews, reading articles and such I came to the obvious conclusion: These are nice “budget” red dots made in China. Some are better than others, have slightly better reviews or better durability, or better features, better runtime, but at the end of the day… budget light made in China.
What does this mean? Well, it means less quality, less durability. The battery won’t last as long, or the design and built quality isn’t as good. Even more important nearly all of them suffered sudden death at one point, even after one or two shots in some cases. Switches would break or fail, the red dot, was more of a line, the auto on feature would stop working, the zero would be impossible to keep. With every one of them there was always something. And here is where you come to the obvious conclusion I mentioned above, which is that if you want extreme reliability and durability in spite of the intrinsically fragile, state of the art tech, you need to buy the crème de la crème. You need that “Made in Sweden” quality. If you want to be sure that sight will still be on and bright 3 or 4 years from now when someone breaks into your house, if you don’t want your sight to die, move 5 feet to the left or become so dim its impossible to see in the middle of that gun fight you wished you never saw in your life, then go for it. Save up those extra couple hundred bucks, save money here and there and get yourself the Aimpoint. An Aimpont Micro T2 may be worth 600 bucks, but a broken Holosun or Vortex is worth 0.00 USD.  Even worse, it may cost your life, and that’s a damn high price to pay.

Ok.. which Aimpoint?

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic

Aimpoint PRO Patrol Rifle Optic $449

So you made up your mind and are spending the big bucks. What about Triijcon red dot? Tirjicon is still rather new to the red dot game, and Aimpoint is still king of the hill. If you want something like an ACOG then sure, Trijicon is what you go for, but for red dot sights Aimpoint is still the best most proven brand.

Aimpoint Micro T-2 2 MOA Sight with Standard Mount

Aimpoint Micro T-2 2 MOA Sight with Standard Mount $715.99

Aimpoint options are basically Pro,  micro T2 and H2. The Pro is clearly bigger, almost twice the weight but very durable. The micros are almost half the weight, much more compact and yet very durable. This is why you seem them so often being used by guys running nice guns. The H2 and T2 are very similar, look the exact same, but the T2 is night vision compatible and has better water and temperature resistance specs. My advice is to go for the T2 or Pro if you don’t care about the extra weight and size, but if you don’t care about the night vision, the H2 is still tough as nails and wont let you down. Any of the three would make a great purchase if one sale, so maybe just buy the one your see priced best if you don’t care about night vision compatibility.

As the saying goes folks, Buy once, Cry once. Words to live by.


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”

Coligny Riots: More trouble in South Africa

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South African riot police officers run to disperse protesters in Coligny

“They are throwing rocks at the house and are coming through the walls – please hurry,” the panicked voice of a woman, speaking Afrikaans, shouts into a two way radio.

Minutes later her home was in flames after being hit by petrol bombs.

The attack on the Rietvlei maize farm, on the outskirts of the remote South African town of Coligny, came just half an hour after two white farmers were granted bail for the alleged murder of a 16-year-old black teenager.

Pieter Doorewaard, 26 and Phillip Schutte, 34, are accused of throwing Mathlomola Mosweu off a speeding pick up truck on April 20 after catching him picking sunflowers.

An autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of Mathlomola’s death, but the facts of the case have mattered little in Coligny, where the case has inflamed long simmering racial tensions.

Riots and fears of race war as South African farmers bailed over black teen’s death

WEB_PHOTO_Coligny_Protests_260417: The chaotic scene of the violent protests which left two homes reduced to ashes on April 25, 2017 in Coligny, North West.

I’ve always been very interested in the situation in South Africa, especially from the Afrikaners white farmers perspective.

It gets rather little attention from the main stream media but having actually met with some Afrikaners I believe their struggle is just packed full of valuable survival information. What do you do in a worst case scenario, in a country ravaged by crime, corruption and even the government itself turned against you? Under constant attack and kicked out of their land, Afrikaner farmers have mastered the art of defensive homesteading, showing us how to harden and defend an isolated residence but ultimately showing how such a strategy is doomed to fail eventually. Many of them have quit and moved to more secured communities in the city. Many others have left the country entirely. Unfortunately, thousands have died as well, while a few still remain, struggling to keep their way of life.

In this recent incident, two farmers are being accused of brutally killing a teenage boy in Coligny outside Lichtenburg. This death sparked a mass violent protest in the small maize-growing town. In a space of a day, three houses and three trucks were torched.

The link explains in more detail how events unfold and how it quickly escalated to rioting, looting and houses being torched.


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”

A Safer Home Defense Ammo Without Backsplash? Yes!

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A Safer Home Defense Ammo Without Backsplash? Yes!

Image source: Ecomass

We live in an era of dramatic advances in ammunition technology. Consider, for example, the 9mm, once considered an ineffective round. With the help of modern ballistic experts, the 9mm has now eclipsed 40 and 45 in popularity.

Like the sea change of acceptance with 9mm, another old, but advancing, technology is set to rock the world of self-defense and hunting: frangible ammunition.

What is frangible ammo? It’s a round that looks like any other, but the bullet is made of compressed powder. The composition of that powder usually includes copper as well as other ingredients, some of which are manufacturer-specific. Tungsten is among the substances used by one manufacturer, Allegiance Ammunition. Other companies have been less forthcoming about what’s in their secret sauce.

Historically, frangible ammo was pressed into round- or flat-nose bullets for use in “shoot houses,” structures made of concrete or railroad ties for the purpose of training, usually for advanced police and military work. These bullets are made to disintegrate on impact with any surface that’s harder than they are. For years, frangible has allowed folks to add the realism of live indoor fire to their training.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

But now, “frange” is breaking out of the shoot house. New formulations and formats — think hollow point — are now available for anyone to purchase. Companies like SinterFire are showing off gel block tests that show what these rounds are capable of. In short, specialized frangible loads produce massive wound channels that spell “stopping power” for game or violent criminal actors.

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Why bother switching from your regular hollow point load to frangible?  Here are three reasons:

Cost – Current prices for frange pistol ammunition hovers around that of factory-new FMJ ammunition, and less than premium HP.

Performance – Frange delivers a real wallop on most targets. I’ve tried it on watermelons, concrete blocks, and 2x4s. Entrance points look normal, but melons are turned to mush inside; blocks were cut to pieces, and the wood was heavily splintered on exit.

Safety – What frangible won’t do is punch through concrete or heavy metal. For civilians living in homes or communities where concrete is present, that means an errant shot won’t ricochet and wreak unwanted destruction. For new shooters, it also means you can get up close and personal to steel targets — even with rifle ammunition — and suffer no dangerous bullet jacket backsplash as is common with traditional ammo. For folks who enjoy steel shooting at any distance, it offers massive risk reduction. For people whose self-protection milieu includes concrete, which is most of us, it should be considered a more responsible choice where ricochet potential is concerned.

While I’ve not personally used frangible for hunting game, accounts are emerging of stunning performance. From hogs to elk, it seems frangible is on the cusp of giving the HP market some serious competition.

The light-bulb moment for me came one night when my dogs’ bark alerted me to the presence of an unwanted visitor. A large diamondback rattlesnake had decided to occupy the rear exit of my home, where there’s a door made of glass, set on a concrete porch. Having a recent wrist injury, I found myself unable to swing a shovel to save my dogs and self from this very real threat.

The thought of firing a 12 gauge to eliminate the snake was the natural next development, but I didn’t want to risk breaking glass or having shot bounce back onto myself. Then I remembered some frange ammo that I’d used to test on watermelons and other stuff. Perfect! I loaded up my pistol, and with one crack, the snake lay in three pieces. Zero property damage had been done, save for some blood to wash off the concrete.

It’s my opinion that frangible has a place in the civilian arsenal — definitely for self-protection and possibly for hunting. There are virtually no occasions when a civilian would be called upon to fire through a car door or hull of a steel boat, places where frangible is likely to fail. There are, conversely, a myriad of circumstances in which a civilian wants to avoid damaging effects to property or life from a round or shrapnel that’s deflected from concrete or steel.

As for function, frangible has cycled dependably in my 9mm and 40 S&W striker-fired pistols, as well as in many associates’ semiautos. I’ve seen it perform perfectly in .223-caliber AR15s. My only experience witnessing its use in revolvers leads me to lend a word of caution to check with your revolver’s manufacturer before loading up your wheelgun with frange. The function issues I witnessed may or may not have been typical.

When I asked the owner of Lucky Gunner, a national ammunition retailer, about sales patterns for various ammo types, he responded, “I don’t know why frangible doesn’t get more love.” I can’t agree more. There’s a lot to be gained by the responsible armed citizen when frangible is added to one’s ammo selection.

Have you ever fired frange ammo? Share your thoughts on it in the section below:

Carry Firearms and Gear – What I Recommend and Why…

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Carry Firearms and Gear – What I Recommend and Why… We have taken in a lot of people over the last decade. We have saved a lot of people from the hellholes of the world. For these actions we are not rewarded. Instead, we had to bring in some of the most horrific members of …

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Secure Your Perimeter!

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Secure Your Perimeter! Forrest & Kyle “The Prepping Academy” Audio in player below! This go around our host Forrest & Kyle will be discussing how to secure your perimeter. Choosing and knowing your terrain is imperative to proper home security. It’s time to consider what supplies and tools you will need to protect your castle. … Continue reading Secure Your Perimeter!

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3 Pistol Problems That Could Ruin Your Range Time

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3 Pistol Problems That Could Ruin Your Range Time

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As an instructor of many new shooters, I’ve come to expect certain equipment problems that crop up repeatedly. Here are some insights to help you not be that person whose enjoyment of shooting is diminished — or worse, injuries are sustained — as a result of gear issues on the range.

1. Inadequate pistol holsters.

Holsters, whether for open or concealed carry, come in two general types: rigid ones that stay open wide when the gun is drawn, and soft ones on which the opening collapses to some degree when empty.

There’s nothing wrong with a softer holster as a storage device for a gun that’s rarely used, or for uses in which you have lots of time to re-holster the gun after use.

Where problems arise is when people attempt to use non-rigid holsters for serious training, like rapid draws. Usually, they fail to position the gun in the same place every time, forcing the user to fumble around during the draw. If it’s a life-or-death situation, or a serious defensive shooting class you’re preparing for, soft holsters are a poor choice.

Fully collapsible holsters, like the soft one I wear in my waistband as a concealment aid, are great for comfort and everyday wear. For practice, I must remove the holster, safely re-holster the gun using two hands, and then put the whole business back in my waistband. There’s nothing fast about it. If I were in a situation where I had drawn my pistol for self-protection and the threat is still active, and I still had the gun out when police arrive on scene, I’m better off dropping my gun to the ground and trusting its drop-safe construction than fooling with a holster, gun in hand, and risking the appearance of being a threat to police.

The most frequent problems I see with soft-sided holsters, purses included, are safety issues. People often fail to realize they’re passing the muzzle over their own hand during the draw or re-holstering. On belt-mounted holsters that feature retention straps that cross over the backstrap and snap into place, risk of shooting oneself in the leg is presented by not making sure the holster opening is clear of the strap before inserting the gun.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

There’s a time and place for soft-sided holsters, and a time to choose a rigid one. Although rigid holsters generally cost more, acceptable ones can be found for less than $45. That’s cheap prevention of a disabling injury.

2. Revolvers that aren’t maintained.

3 Pistol Problems That Could Ruin Your Range Time

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Virtually every presentation geared toward new shooters touts revolvers as an easy, user-friendly choice. Yet they are by far the most problem-riddled firearms that show up in my classes. Why? Lack of maintenance. Most users pull out or borrow a revolver, or ammunition, that’s been in storage and neglected for years. Then it’s a surprise when the cylinder won’t rotate, or won’t open, or when bits of hot shrapnel are spewed back to the shooter’s face (one reason you MUST wear glasses when shooting).

Revolvers, like any firearm, require occasional maintenance. Lint and dust can build up around the extractor. Repeated firing can change the barrel-to-cylinder gap, or cause excessive side-to-side travel when the cylinder is closed, among other problems. Any of these can cause a revolver to malfunction. Attention to cleaning and lubrication, even when in storage, can go a long way to prevent frustrating or unsafe experiences with your revolver.

3. Handgun sights that aren’t up to snuff. 

Whether they’re an aftermarket add-on or factory-made, a loose, broken, or fallen-off sight can ruin your plans for practice. Regularly check your front and rear sights. Ensure they’re not cracked or broken, missing parts like the day-glow or tritium insert, or loose.

There are many advantages to high-visibility sights, especially for that all-important front sight. Many aftermarket front sights are elongated to accommodate light-collecting tubes or other features. Especially with those designs, but with all models, there will at some point be leverage exacted on those sights, usually during re-holstering. Knowing this may affect what sights you select to replace the stock ones.

Many times, it won’t be immediately obvious that there’s a problem with the sights. Often the first sign is when shot patterns on target begin to be uncharacteristically inaccurate and random, especially for experienced shooters. Choosing sights made of steel instead of plastic can increase the odds that your sights will remain solid over time. Installing sights according to manufacturer’s instructions, particularly those that screw in, is not to be overlooked. It’s tempting, but can be disastrous, to over-tighten screws, for example. Follow instructions, and be vigilant about inspecting sights at the beginning and end of your practice time.

It’s Not About the Money

Usually with firearm equipment, the least expensive choice of product delivers the most disappointing results. However, it’s almost never true that the priciest choice is superior, either. Choosing reputable guns and gear is important, but the biggest advantage is gained by paying attention to the condition and maintenance of equipment. The only investment needed is a little time.

What problems would you add to our list? Share them in the section below:

4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Holster

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So, you’ve finally got your perfect handgun, with all the features you need. Before you take it down the range, though, you’re going to need something to carry it in. A good holster is essential for any serious gun owner. First a foremost, a holster protects you against accidental discharge, which can have very serious […]

The post 4 Things to Consider Before Buying a Holster appeared first on Dave’s Homestead.

Compact & Lightweight Guns Every Bug-Out Bag Needs

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Compact & Lightweight Guns Every Bug-Out Bag Needs

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The size and content of a bug-out bag or survival kit varies based on the needs and location of the person, but there are some items that always should be included. Among these: firearms that can be used for either hunting or self-defense.

In this article, we will discuss the different types of weapons that you should consider picking up for your bug-out bag. If you are looking into getting a firearm or two for this purpose, these criteria will help you pick the right one:

1. Size. The firearm(s) should fit inside the bag, if possible. This can be a challenge when looking at rifles and shotguns, so find one that can collapse or break down into smaller components for easy storage.

2. Weight. You may be carrying your bug-out bag for an extended period of time, so you’ll want any firearms in it to be as light as possible. You also will need to carry ammunition, cleaning supplies, and accessories for it, as well, which adds even more weight to your pack.

3. Cost. Unlike any other guns you may own, the firearms you get for your bug-out bag should stay in it unless you are shooting or cleaning them. If you can afford to spend a bit extra on a higher-quality firearm, do it; however, you can easily find a firearm for this purpose without breaking the bank. Your firearm just needs to be reliable. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.


A pistol or revolver is a critical tool to have in your bug-out bag. Ideally, it should be one that shoots centerfire ammunition suitable for self-defense, such as 9mm, .40 S&W, or .45 ACP. In addition to your pistol, your bug-out bag also should contain ammunition, spare magazines, a holster and a magazine pouch. Check out our “best pistols under $300” article for some low-cost suggestions.

Break-Action Shotguns

Break-action shotguns are simple to operate, have few moving parts, and are very easy to maintain. They also can be disassembled for storage without using tools. When buying a break-action shotgun for your bag, try to find one with a defense-length (18-inch) barrel.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

If you can’t find one with that barrel length in your budget, you always ban buy one with a longer hunting barrel and have a gunsmith cut it down to defense length. Certain companies are also making inserts for break-action shotguns that allow you to fire other types of ammunition types through it. This is a great addition to any bug-out bag, and not something that you can get for a pump-action or semi-automatic shotgun.

Pump-Action Shotguns

If the thought of having to reload after every one or two shots makes you cringe, then a pump-action shotgun is an excellent alternative to the break-action for your bug-out bag. You can easily find one with a defense-length barrel, and aftermarket parts can be found at relatively low price online. These tend to be a bit larger than a break-action when disassembled, so it would be a good idea to buy an aftermarket folding stock or pistol grip for it.

Pistol-Caliber Carbines

While pistol-caliber carbines may not be the best option for hunting larger game, they definitely will handle small game, and work admirably in a defensive role. Some have the added benefit of accepting pistol magazines, which makes them an excellent companion for a pistol in your bug-out bag. Some models, such as the KelTec Sub2000, can be folded and placed in your bag, while others like the TNW ASR or JR Carbine are designed to be easily disassembled for compact storage.

Depending on your state’s restrictions, you may be able to purchase a “pistol” version of a pistol-caliber carbine, which has a short barrel and no buttstock. Some examples include the Chiappa PAK-9, ATI MilSport, or Angstadt Arms UDP-9. These types of weapons are great for close-quarters defensive scenarios, and their smaller size allows them to fit easily in your bug-out bag.

Semiautomatic Rifles

For both hunting and defensive situations, a semiautomatic rifle chambered in .223 Remington, 7.62x39mm NATO, or .308 Winchester is a great tool to have in your bug-out bag. Unfortunately, most of the AR- and AK-variant rifles in this category are not easy to fit in a backpack. One alternative, the KelTec SU16, is a survival rifle that lets you use high-capacity AR magazines, and folds into a compact 25-inch package.

Another option is to purchase an entry-level AR-15 and install a “takedown” kit, which allows you to quickly remove the barrel for storage. These can be purchased from a number of manufacturers, including Vision Defense, DRD Tactical and Cry Havoc. AR-platform takedown rifles like the Ruger SR556 are another option, although they are a bit more expensive. You also might consider a side- or under-folding AK-platform, which are reasonably compact (roughly 28 inches folded).

Other Rifle Configurations

There are a number of single-shot and lever-action rifles in various calibers that can be disassembled and stored easily. There are many to choose from, including the Rossi W, the Browning BLR-81, the CVA Scout, the Thompson/Center Encore Pro Hunter, and the Chiappa 1892. If you want a combination rifle and shotgun, the Chiappa X-Caliber is an-over-under shotgun/rifle combination in 12- or 20-gauge and .22 LR or .22 WMR. Other rimfire options include the Henry Arms AR-7 and the Ruger 10-22 Takedown.

What are your favorite firearms for bug-out bags or survival kits? Tell us in the section below:

Serrated Vs Straight Edge Knives

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I have heard many arguments in regard to the serrated vs straight edge knife dilemma. The truth is that there are pros and cons of both types of knife edges, and the choice of which type is better largely depends on the function you expect it to serve and the situation you will be using […]

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Is CCW Insurance Worth It?

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Is CCW Insurance Worth It? Its hard to believe that this is such a good article. That is no reflection of the author. Its merely the idea that litigation has spread so far into every avenue of our lives and that lawyers are so hungry to make a dime by any means necessary that we …

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Building Your Own Firearm (Part 4 – AR-15 Upper Parts)

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

Last time, we investigated parts for the AR-15 lower.  Now we turn our attention to the upper and some important accessories.  These choices were researched in February, 2017.  Note that this means this list of parts, prices and sources may not still be valid, and was based upon my preferences and budget, so may not be the best choices for you and your particular needs.

The AR-15 Upper

The upper consists of the top part of the receiver, Upper Parts Kit (dust cover and forward assist parts), chambered barrel, barrel nut, hand guard (to keep you from burning your hand on a hot barrel), gas tube system, bolt carrier group (BCG) and charging handle.  You can get this as a complete assembly, complete minus the BCG and charging handle (because there is a wide variety of possibilities for each of these), or as individual parts so you get exactly what you want.  Personally, I prefer that my barrels be professionally head spaced, so I would tend to not get individual parts unless I could not find a satisfactory complete upper or there was a MASSIVE savings achievable.

The choice for the top part of the receiver is generally aluminum (forged or billet), steel or stainless steel.  Most common is a “flat top” which just has a picatinny rail on the top, or you can find one which has the “handle” reminiscent of the M-16.   The gas tube selection is fairly tightly controlled by the ammo the barrel is chambered for and somewhat by barrel length; the major choice left is the gas block style.  This system sends some of the gas back into the upper, which can lead to fouling in the action.  The latest technology seems to be to replace the gas return system with a piston to remove any chance of fouling, but this will cost between $250 and $350 additional; it can be added later and I would recommend ensuring the firearm works “normally” first.

Your most difficult choice is likely to be the barrel.  Start with the caliber.  There is the 223 chambering which is the civilian version of the round, and may have problems firing (more accurately, extracting after firing) the 5.56 military version of the round.  Or there is the 5.56 military version of the round, whose chamber will function with the 223, but loses some accuracy with it.  A nice compromise is the 223 WYLDE, which will shoot both versions of the round with good accuracy.  Or you can get a barrel set up for 7.62×39 (the AK round), or various “wildcat” calibers like 300 Blackout, 458 Socom or 50 Beowulf, or a number of other calibers which are less common.  Someone, somewhere, has managed to accomplish any caliber with a magazine short enough to fit into the AR-15 receiver (or for that matter, longer calibers as single shots).  Next there is the length of the barrel, pistols generally being about 7.5″ or 10.5″ and rifles being 16″ (the legal minimum, for easy handling and up to 200 or 300 yard effective range) and longer (for more range).  For a tougher choice, there is the spin rate of the rifling which is rather dependent on the weight(s) of bullet you are going to be using.  Actually, the length of the projectile and the velocity are the actual key factors, but the weight tends to be related to length, and velocity tends to be related to weight.  Thus weight is used because it works “well enough” and is easier to use.

Spin rate, or “twist” is specified as “1 turn in # of inches”, for instance 1:9″.  At any weight bullet, a shorter distance for one complete revolution results in a faster spin, and enough spin to act as a gyroscope ensures accuracy.  Heavier bullets do not go as fast, so do not spin as fast as lighter ones in the same twist barrel.  All bullet spin slows down over distance.  When a bullet spin slows down enough to lose gyroscopic stability, it can tumble and accuracy becomes terrible.  Thus bullet weight (more precisely length and velocity), barrel length, and spin rate are key factors in defining the effective range of use, and this can vary with temperature and altitude.

Here are the most practical current twists:

“Not the best” on the heavy end means that the bullet spin slows down and discards accuracy at a relatively short range.  “Not the best” on the light end means that the bullet might fly apart (due to being fragile and spinning very fast), which again means no accuracy.  So unless you know just what twist you need for a specific purpose, 1:8″ seems the most versatile choice, with 1:9 optimized for light bullets and 1:7 optimized for heavy bullets.

Then there is barrel profile, either standard or HBAR (Heavy BARrel).  HBAR tends to be more accurate (flexes less as the barrel heats up), but is heavier.  “Fluting” (grooves or dimples) removes a little of the weight of a heavy barrel and it looks sharp, too.  Many “standard” barrels have a “M4” profile, which “looks clunky”.  There are also “pencil” barrels which are quite light, but heat up very quickly, causing the point of impact to “string”.  And there is the material to choose:  steel or stainless steel or even carbon fiber wrapped (another way to lower weight).  The steel barrels are available in a number of finishes to combat corrosion.

Handguard length and style are a matter of personal preference.  You don’t want one which is LONGER than the barrel or SHORTER than the gas tube system, but between those limits it can be whatever you prefer.  Some are set up to allow flexible attachment of accessories; the major competitors for this are the pubic domain “Keymod” system and the Magpul’s free license “M-Loc” system.

My Upper Choices

Delta Team Tactical has been sending me regular emails with sales on with what seem like good uppers (by Davidson Defense) at good prices, which is half the reason I got interested in this project.  Thus I’ll likely get my rifle upper from them.  Without a BCG or charging handle, they start around $209 and go up to one WITH these parts for $425.99, so I can get pretty close to what appeals to me.  They have a pistol upper or three for $199 which look pretty good as well.  Note that they seem to run a few weeks behind in shipping uppers and a few other parts, and may require a reminder phone call.

One alternative which intrigues me is the “no lube” claim made by Anderson Rifles.  This is due to a “RF85” treatment which is mostly available only on their complete firearms.  They do have complete uppers with and without barrel and handguard, but not a barrel I like.

Variation between BCGs is a bit of a mystery to me; the major difference seems to be the “coating” or “finish”.  Looking at companies with a good selection, it appears that “Nitride” finished ones seem to be entry level in the $75 range, while “Nickel Boron” seems to be a better grade, in the $150 range.  And I have seen “light” ones, as well as AR-15 (seems to be “standard” weight) and M-16 (sort of heavy weight) styles.  I prefer the heavy one and the buffer to match.  As for the charging handle, any mil-spec one will do, although one with an extended latch may be useful if you’re putting on a scope and Delta Team Tactical has one like this for $18.99.

The barrel will often have a flash hider or recoil compensator on it.  For many people, this is mostly decorative, but if you need one more capable (or California compliant) than the one there, you’ll need to search for one which will meet your needs.  And perhaps pay a fair amount, since some of these cost over $100, such as an alleged top performer, the Lantac Dragon.  I’m not concerned with, nor can I afford, this at the current point in time, and don’t like the “jagged” end ones, so will probably go with a simple round one with ports only on the side and top, and a price of $25 or less.  Or I might just stick with whichever one comes with the barrel.  If you choose to not have one for aesthetic (or legal) reasons, it would be wise to put a threaded collar on the barrel end to protect the threads or get a barrel without the threads.  And be careful that if you remove or replace a flash hider that the barrel length (of a rifle) does not drop below 16″ (some barrels are 14.5″ and use the flash hider to meet the 16″ requirement).  As I understand it, this setup must have the muzzle device “pinned” to the barrel in order to be legal.

AR-15 Accessories

That is everything you need to make the gun shoot, but there are still things to add to make it usable.  Most important are sights.  If you got an upper with the “handle”, the rear sight is part of that, and you’ll need the matching front sight which clamps on the barrel.  But if you got a flat top, you will need a set of sights which clamp to the picatinny rail which runs the length of the upper receiver and the handguard.  Note that a lot of people add battery powered optical sights or scopes.  Even if you plan to mount optics it is a good idea to have flip-up “iron” sights as backup in case the fancy optics batteries die or it gets broken.  For inline sights, you can get a set for as little as $20 a set, but many of these are junk.  Magpul has some good ones made of polymer; one of the few companies that do that well, and they will cost $70 or more a set.  Going up from there, you can easily spend a couple of hundred.  Another option is “45 degree” sights, which clamp onto the picatinny rail and stick out to the side at a 45 degree angle.  To use these (without having to remove your optics), just rotate the firearm 45 degrees until they are vertical.  These are particularly useful if you have a scope, while the flip up ones can sometimes be used without removing the “red dot” optics.

Note that you want to have your eyes perfectly in line with your primary sight system when you bring the firearm to your shoulder.  If the sight system is too high, add height to the comb using risers which permanently attach or strap on, or are part of an elastic sleeve around the stock.  If the sight system is too low, and there is no way to lower the comb, you could try a different stock, or just get a riser to raise the sight system.

A sling is very helpful, and in order to attach a sling, you need sling mounts on the firearm.  Many stocks have one or more built in sling mounts or places to attach sling mounts, and a tactical sling mount plate can be mounted between the stock and receiver.  For the front end, there may be a sling mount on the handguard or which can be attached to the handguard, or clamped to the picatinny rail.  As for the sling itself, a two point sling convertible to single point is often the most effective choice for a tactical firearm.  For heavy firearms, the 2″ UrbanERT e-RUSH seems a good choice, but if the firearm is relatively light, the 1 1/4″ MagPul MS3 or MS4 sling or the 1″ Cetacea Rabbit also look to have promise.

Of course, you need some magazines.  The bigger the magazine, the more rounds you can fire without reloading, but the further it sticks down from the firearm, the heavier it is, and the greater the chances of a feed failure or the magazine catching on something or getting knocked.  A drum can fix the length problem, but not weight, and the cost of these tends to be high.  I probably would not have any magazine with greater than 30 round capacity, and would be more comfortable carrying with a 20 round capacity magazine inserted.  I’d also get at least one magazine (ten rounds or less) which would fit flush into the receiver.  I’m planning to go with Magpul PMAG Gen3 (Gen2 have durability issues) for my primary magazines, as they are pretty much the current standard, available in 10, 20, 30 and 40 round capacities, have colors other than black, and are available for $15 or less.  Lancer has a hybrid with translucent polymer body and metal feed lips which seems to have potential, but a higher cost.  If metal magazines are preferred, insist on at least international military (STANAG) quality ones, preferably from D&H or Colt.  Ammo Storage Components (ASC) magazines also seem to be a decent choice.  Magpul or equivalent anti-tilt followers are recommended in any magazine to minimize feeding issues.

A short picatinny rail on the bottom of the handguard is useful for mounting a light or laser or even a combination.

Total Cost

If you have the tooling, settle for the basics and shop wisely, you should be able to bring this in under $500; I found a kit with everything (including sights) except for the receiver for $399 and you will likely be able to beat that if you shop hard and effectively.  Of course, pretty much every part can be upgraded, so $800 is a better target for a significantly improved version.  And if you want “the best” and/or don’t have the inclination to shop around for best price, $1200 and up is not difficult to manage.  If you can’t afford the firearm you want, build one which can be upgraded later.

In the next article, I will relate my experiences completing the Tennessee Arms receiver using their jig and a drill press and a forged receiver using the Easy Jig and a router.

The post Building Your Own Firearm (Part 4 – AR-15 Upper Parts) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

Essential Survival Self Defense Tips

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By The Survival Place Blog

When you’re a survivalist, you have to be ready for any eventuality, and that includes an attack that comes when you’re unarmed. Such a scenario can be completely terrifying, especially if your attacker has a weapon, but if you are prepared, and you know how to defend yourself, chances are you will come out the other side with nothing more than a few scratches and bruises.

Here are some of the most essential self defense tips every survivalist should know about:

Just Fight Dirty

If someone attacks you and you’re unarmed, you don’t have to play by any rules. You should do whatever you can to get yourself out of the situation you’re in. At this website, they recommend going for the groin, eyes, and throat of your attacker, and this is certainly a sensible course of action to take if you are able to. I would also add biting at exposed flesh to that list.

Don’t Fight on the Ground When There are Multiple Attackers

When you’re fighting one on one in sports like wrestling and many martial arts, tackling your opponent to the ground and fighting them there can be a very effective technique, but you should never be tempted to do this when you are facing two or more attackers, because it simply isn’t possible to effectively fight more than one person at a time in this way. Try to stay standing, move around as much as possible and attempt to take the assailants on one at a time.

Find a Weapon

Wherever you are, you should try to find a weapon. Look around you for anything that could be used to incapacitate an attacker, whether that be a broken off tree branch, a knife from your kitchen or boiling water from the stove. You need to find any advantage you can get if you want to be able to fight your way out of the situation you find yourself in.

Distract Your Attacker and Take Control of Their Weapon

If an attacker comes up to you holding a knife or gun and you have no option but to stand your ground and fight, your best course of action is to do whatever you can to distract the assailant, and then remove their weapon from their possession. If they are trying to steal from you, you could do this by dropping your wallet and making a move as they bend to pick it up, but if their motive is to simply do you harm, you will need to think on your feet and perhaps pretend to speak to someone behind them or make a move they weren’t expecting, to distract them effectively.

Lay Low

Of course, sometimes, one of the best things you can do to defend yourself is to keep your presence hidden. If you feel like someone threatening is approaching you, and you are able to move quickly, go hide out behind the trees or in a nearby ditch and wait for the threat to pass.
Have you ever found yourself in a threatening situation? What did you do to successfully defend yourself?

This article was originally published at The Survival Place Blog: Essential Survival Self Defense Tips

Filed under: Emergency Survival Tips

8 Dependable Pistols You Can Buy NEW For Under $300

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8 Dependable Pistols You Can Buy NEW For Under $300

Image source: Bersa

A center-fire pistol is one item that every homesteader should consider owning.

Sure, shotguns and rifles may pack a greater punch, but they are larger and significantly heavier than a pistol. Unfortunately, pistols also can be fairly expensive, and not everyone has the disposable income to spend $600 on a new Glock, Sig Sauer or Springfield.

While buying a used gun is always an option, pricing and availability of used pistols are wildly inconsistent. Besides, you never truly know if a used gun will work until you take it to the range for the first time. Speaking from experience, I can tell you that there is nothing more disheartening than pulling the trigger on the used pistol you just bought and hearing “click” instead of “bang.”

If you buy a new gun, you can be much more certain that it will function properly out of the box. Sure, there will be a “break-in” period of several hundred rounds before it reaches peak performance, but that timeframe is essential for you to familiarize yourself with each nuance.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

In this article, we will look at some pistols that you can purchase new-in-box for $300 or less. Note that this price does not factor in shipping, tax and transfer fees, so you’ll want to consider those items in your budget. You also will want to pick up a holster, spare magazines, and (of course) ammunition.


Taurus 800 series

Taurus’ 800 series are full-sized, polymer-framed pistols chambered in 9mm, .40 S&W, and .45 ACP with 17-, 15- and 12-round capacities, respectively. They feature a “strike two” capability, which allows you to pull the trigger again to fire if the chambered round’s primer fails to ignite. These pistols have recently been discontinued by Taurus, but can still be purchased either online or at your local gun store.

1. Sarsilmaz CM9

The Turkish-made SAR CM9 is a full-sized, polymer-framed, double-action/single-action pistol chambered in 9mm. Based on the design of the CZ-75, it has an ambidextrous manual safety, adjustable sights, and a 17-round capacity, making it an excellent option to consider for your kit.

2. FMK 9C1 G2

This budget-friendly, striker-fired 9mm pistol is physically very similar in size and overall profile to a Glock 19; both feature a low-bore axis, similar grip angle, and trigger safeties. It also accepts Glock aftermarket sights, and has a 14-round magazine capacity. If you like the ergonomics of Glock pistols, you definitely should consider picking up an FMK 9C1 for your emergency preparedness kit.

3. Taurus 100 series

The 100-series by Taurus, also called the “Millennium Pro G2,” are compact polymer-framed pistols chambered in 9mm and .40 S&W. They feature moderate magazine capacity (12 rounds and 10 rounds, respectively), a manual safety, aggressive grip texturing, and adjustable sights.

4. KelTec P11

This compact, polymer-framed pistol might not have the polished look and feel of a more expensive gun, but it handles reasonably well, has a 10-round magazine capacity, low-profile 3-dot sights, and weighs less than a pound unloaded.


The SCCY CPX-2 is similar in overall profile to the KelTec P11 – they both feature a double-action trigger and a 10-round magazine capacity, although the CPX-2 is a bit more polished in terms of fit and finish, and comes with two magazines versus the P11’s single magazine. The CPX-1 is reported to have had some severe reliability issues, but CPX-2 owners have reported having few issues.

6. Bersa Thunder 380

If you want a compact pistol for your kit but dislike the heavier recoil of the 9mm round, check out the Bersa Thunder. This .380 ACP pistol is similar in style to a Walther PPK, featuring a single-stack 8-round magazine, a manual safety, and a double-action/single-action trigger system.


7. Rock Island Armory M200 and M206

If you prefer revolvers over automatics, Rock Island Armory has a pair of budget-friendly .38 Specials. Both have a 6-round capacity. The M200 has a larger grip, an exposed hammer, and a 4-inch barrel, while the M206 is a compact, hammerless model with a 2-inch barrel and smaller grip.

8. Taurus Model 85

The Model 85 by Taurus is a compact, 5-shot revolver; it has a 2-inch barrel, rubberized compact grip, and can accept +P ammunition. The Model 85 PFS can be found in the same price range; it features a polymer frame, a slightly larger grip, and a fiber-optic front sight.

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

The 5 Very Best 9mm Pistols For Concealed Carry

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The 5 Very Best 9mm Pistols For Concealed Carry

Glock 43. Image source: Yeti Firearms

Easily one of the most popular categories of handguns for concealed carry — if not the most popular — is the 9mm single stack.

It makes a lot of sense: It’s light, slim, easy to control, is quicker to reload than a .38 snub nose, and offers more punch than a comparatively sized .380 pocket pistol.

But with all the different options out there, it can be hard to choose the right one for you.

Here are our top five single-stack 9mm pistols for concealed carry:

1. Glock 43

The Glock 43 was perhaps the most anticipated gun to be released in the last few years. While people had been waiting for a single-stack 9mm from Glock for a long time, the anticipation really grew when Glock released the 42 in .380 ACP. Many felt that the 42 should have been a 9mm, and Glock listened and released the 43 in 9mm soon thereafter.

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The G43 has already proven itself to be a popular concealed carry and defensive handgun on the market, and it comes with the same level of reliability and simplicity of Glocks. The biggest downside to the weapon is that it only holds six rounds in the standard magazine, whereas its competitors hold seven or eight. However, magazine extensions can be purchased that increase the round count, but that still adds to the gun’s overall dimensions.

2. Ruger LC9s Pro

No, not the Ruger LC9 or the LC9s. The LC9s Pro. There’s a critical difference here.

When the original LC9 was released, it was a hammer-fired model, and many shooters complained about the extremely long and gritty trigger pull. Ruger responded with the LC9s, a striker-fired version with a much improved trigger. However, the LC9s maintained the external frame safety and magazine disconnect (where the gun can’t fire without a magazine being inserted) of the LC9, which didn’t sit very well with some shooters.

Thus, Ruger released the LC9s Pro, which is the LC9s without a safety or magazine disconnect. It holds seven rounds in the standard magazine, with a magazine extension increasing capacity to nine.

3. Smith & Wesson Shield

The 5 Very Best 9mm Pistols For Concealed Carry


It wouldn’t at all be surprising if more people owned the Smith & Wesson Shield over any of the other single stacks in this list (or ever). The Shield represents Smith & Wesson’s popular M&P line that has been slimmed down to less than an inch thick, making it an absolutely perfect option for concealed carry.

More importantly, the Shield has proven itself to be dead reliable. It can be available with or without a manual safety, and in addition to 9mm, also comes in .40 S&W or .45 ACP. Standard capacity of the Shield is seven or eight rounds, depending on the magazine.

4. Taurus PT709 Slim

Those looking for a 9mm for concealed carry would be hard pressed to ignore the Taurus PT709 Slim, which can be had for just around the $200 range. But the fact that it’s cheap isn’t what earns the PT709 a spot on this list.

The main feature that sets the PT709 apart from other guns in its class is the fact that it has re-strike capability. This means that should you fire the trigger on a live round only for there to be a “click,” you can pull the trigger one more time for another strike rather than having to chamber a new round.

The PT709 also comes installed with a manual frame mounted safety and Taurus’s trademark Security System where the entire gun can be locked up with the simply turn of a key. Some people hate this feature, while others like it knowing they can store their gun away and it won’t be functional should a child or a burglar find it.

5. Walther PPS M2

Last but certainly not least, we come to the Walther PPS M2. The PPS M2 is an improved version over the original PPS that was released in 2007. (However, the original PPS is still available as the “Classic” model). The main differences are that the PPS M2 has enhanced ergonomics similar to the PPQ, a button magazine release rather than a paddle, no rails under the frame, and no back grip panels.

The PPS M2 comes with three magazines: a six, seven, and an eight round, with each larger magazine making the grip slightly longer. Both variants of the PPS have proven to be extremely capable firearms and certainly rival the Shield and G43 when it comes to reliability and ergonomics.

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

Muay Thai Clinch Techniques For Self Defense

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Muay Thai Clinch Techniques The ancient fighting style of Muay Thai has proven itself to be one of the most effective fighting methods in the world. It has forged champions in the UFC and still remains the military martial art in Thailand. This is not a fluke but fighting method that employs the use of elbows, …

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The post Muay Thai Clinch Techniques For Self Defense appeared first on SHTF & Prepping Central.

Kidnapped? These Tips Will Help You Escape

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Kidnapping is a frightening experience no matter how old you are or why it is happening to you. Being locked in a vehicle trunk without any mean of defense is a challenge that nobody would choose to face, and takes toughness and a survival mindset to get over it.

Even if your kidnapper is only looking for ransom money, you must still know how to avoid making the things worse. They may not want to hurt or kill you, but the fact remains: you were taken away against your will and that you are dealing with a criminal.

Your safety is at risk, so you need to know how to act for your survival. Would you know how to untie your hands, or get rid of the trunk and signal for help?

Read the following article and you’ll get what you need to face the unexpected!

What to Expect if Kidnapped?

Kidnapping can happen anywhere, however most kidnapped victims are grabbed within 10 miles of their home, and never even realize that they are being targeted.

Contrary to popular belief, it isn’t just strangers that may try to kidnap you. According to stats, friends, family members, ex-relationship partners, and others known to you commit this felony for different wrong reasons.

A kidnapper that is known to you will seek to get close to you and gain your trust. Use your intuition and always be prepared. A change in behavior or activities should always make you wary.

Strangers may keep appearing where you are shopping or seem to follow you around stores or other places. Always be on the lookout for people that may be watching you or trying to gauge your activities. No matter whether the person is known to you or not, they will have to get physically close enough to you in order to gain control.

The first 30 minutes are the most dangerous for a kidnap victim. Here the kidnappers are on edge and anything can go wrong for them.

As a kidnapped victim it is to your advantage to stay calm and don’t do anything stupid that could get you killed!

3 Second SEAL Test Will Tell You If You’ll Survive A SHTF Situation

Once the kidnapper gains control of you physically, they will have to get you off the scene and to a location where you will not be found, which usually means you will be forced into a vehicle. Since there is very little time to tie your hands up, many kidnappers will simply throw you in the trunk and drive off.

Before they throw you in, however, they may blindfold you. Blindfolding is done for three reasons: to keep you from recognizing them in the future, to dehumanize you, and to make you feel afraid and unable to control the situation.

Depending on the kidnapper, they may also beat you or drug you, and both actions are meant to make it easier to control you and transport you. If you haven’t been drugged, or if you are conscious, follow the kidnapper’s instructions to the letter, to save you from further physical injury now and later on when you are moved to another location. As long as you are conscious and able to move, there is a chance to escape.

While you are being transferred to an unknown destination, keep a calm mental attitude and concentrate on surviving the ordeal.

As you are being driven to another spot, count the number of turns, and remember any street noises, smells, or anything else that stands out. Most importantly try to keep track of time from where you were taken to your destination and how fast you are moving.

Once you have arrived at your destination, you may be placed in a temporary holding area before being moved again to a more permanent holding site.

Remember, never antagonize your kidnappers with obstinate behavior. Always concentrate on surviving. If your captors are using you to collect a ransom, there is a good chance you will be kept alive.

Quickly settle into the situation after you have reached your permanent holding site.

  • Be observant. Notice the details of your room, the sounds in the building, and the layout of the building by studying what is around you. Listen for sounds through walls, windows, or out in the streets. Pay attention to any smells that will tell you what is going on in the area around you. For example, if you smell a lot of food related odors, then you would know that a restaurant might be nearby and the hours when there are limited amounts of distraction for someone that might be able to help you. Also try to note the number of kidnappers, names, physical descriptions, accents, habits, and the leadership structure of your captures.
  • Get to know your captors. Memorize their schedules, look for patterns of behavior to be used to your advantage. Seek to identify weaknesses or vulnerabilities. If it is possible to escape then use this information to assist you.
  • Try to establish a rapport with your kidnappers. Family is a universal subject. So are sports and many hobbies. Your goal is to get the kidnappers to see you as a real person rather than simply an object with a price tag attached.
  • When speaking, don’t complain. Avoid being belligerent and comply with all orders and instructions. Once a level of rapport or communication is achieved, try asking for items that will increase your personal comfort. Don’t be afraid to ask for anything you need or want such as medicines, books, or papers. Make all requests in a reasonable manner.
  • Watch for signs of the Stockholm Syndrome. This occurs when the kidnapped individual begins to relate and empathize with their kidnappers. Establish a friendly rapport with your kidnappers, but always maintain your personal dignity and never compromise your integrity.

As a kidnapped individual, you must be patient as negotiations are often difficult and time-consuming.

Always remember your chances of survival increase with time. Most kidnappings end with no loss of life or physical injury to the kidnapped individual. Eventually the kidnapped individual will be released or rescued.

How Long Would it Take to Get Free?

The amount of time that you remain abducted can vary greatly. If you are kidnapped outside of the United States, it can take weeks to months to finally negotiate your release.

Never try to negotiate your own release, always leave this to an expert in kidnapping negotiations.

If the kidnappers are after money, they may try to find out how much money is available to get you released. Be very careful about the numbers you use, and how you express this information. If the price is too low, they may just decide it is of no use to keep you alive. It is also very important to buy time.

The longer the kidnapper is willing to wait for the money, the better chance there is of someone finding you.

What to Do During a Rescue Attempt

If there is an attempt to rescue you, keep a low profile and follow all instructions to the letter. Rescues will generally be attempted only after negotiations have failed. This means that the lives of the kidnapped victim, the kidnappers, and the rescue team are all at high risk. You don’t want to get shot in the confusion during the rescue attempt.

To protect yourself during this dangerous time do the following:

  • Never try to run away. Drop to the floor and remain still. If this cannot be done, cross your arms on your chest, bow your head, and stand perfectly still in a passive position. Never make any sudden moves that may be interpreted as hostile.
  • Wait for instructions and quickly obey all instructions you are given.
  • Most importantly do not get upset if a rescuer is not sure if you are the kidnapped victum or one of the kidnappers. Even if you are handcuffed and searched, do not resist. Just wait for the confusion to clear.

What If I Have a Chance to Escape?

Not every kidnapper is going to be a professional, let alone able to keep you under control. There may be times when you can try to escape and succeed.

It will be up to you to decide when it is best to use these measures. If at all possible, take some self defense classes and find out more about how to use these methods.

When to Escape?

The best opportunity for escape is in the beginning, while there is still some confusion and you are still in a public place. If escape is impossible or too risky, try to cause as much commotion as possible to draw attention to the situation.

At least, if others are aware of your situation, and realize you are being abducted, they can notify law enforcement, and a search can begin.

Locked in the Trunk? Here’s How to Escape

How to Cut Your Bindings

If your hands are tied, it may be possible to cut your bindings even if you are in the locked trunk of a vehicle.

What most people don’t known is that most vehicle trunks are made of stamped steel, and the edges of stamped steel are sometimes sharp and can be used to cut rope, flexcuffs, Duck tape, or wire restraints. All the kidnapped individual does is rub their bindings on a piece of exposed stamped steel until the bindings are cut.

The best area of the trunk to find exposed stamped steel is the underside of the trunk lid.

Warning: be careful when cutting your hand bindings or your might cut yourself deeply!

Video first seen on ITS Tactical / Imminent Threat Solutions

How to Find Escape Tools

If a kidnapper is going to use the trunk as a holding area, they will empty the trunk of all unnecessary items such as tools, top off liquids, or anything else that might be used to help free yourself from the trunk.

The kidnapper may forget to remove the spare tire, jack, and the lug wrench in the spare tire well because they are under the fiber board at the bottom of the trunk and don’t take up much space. These items can be very valuable to you.

To get at them, pull up the carpeting and bend up the fiber board cover. A lug wrench is an excellent weapon that can maim or kill. The pointed hub cap remover end is excellent for stabbing and slashing, while the heavy lug nut section makes an excellent steel club that can crush a skull, break arms, leg bones, or ribs.

Today most vehicles no longer use bumper jacks to raise a vehicle when repairing a flat tire. Instead a scissors jack is used to lift the vehicle. The scissors jack is a small compact jack that can be used in tight areas. If used in the trunk it is possible to bend or push metal out of the way.

How to Escape From a Locked Trunk

What most people don’t realize that it is extremely easy to escape from a locked trunk. As mandated by motor vehicle safety laws, all vehicle trunks must have an emergency release lever that is located at the top of all the trunk locking mechanisms.

Pushing this lever either to the left or to the right will unlock the trunk. This lever only needs a couple of pounds of pressure to activate the trunk unlocking system. You should be able to unlock the trunk even if your hands are tied.

Many cars manufactured over the last 20-plus years have a folding rear seat. In some vehicles, there is a unlocking lock located on the rear shelf.

To release the rear seats from the trunk, there is usually is a pull lever that is located under the rear shelf. If the lock was accidentally left unlocked, all you have to do is pull the release lever in order to escape the trunk and enter the passenger area of the vehicle.

If the backseat lock is in the lock position, bend and break the locking bar out of the way and pull the locking lever to release the back seat. Even though most vehicle locking attachment parts are made of heavy duty plastics, they can be broken easily.

How to Destroy the Electric Emergency Fuel Pump Reset Breaker and Box

Most cars today have electric fuel pumps on top of the vehicles gas tank. These vehicles also have a safety reset circuit breaker that cuts all of the electricity to the fuel pump.

This reset circuit is designed to prevent or reduce the extent of fires that may result from rear end collisions. If there is no electricity going to the fuel pump, the vehicle will stop running and cannot be restarted until the breaker is reset.

These circuit breakers are usually located on the driver side of the trunk wall behind the fiber board and the carpeting.

To get to the emergency breaker, first remove the carpeting and the fiber board. The breaker is a small plastic box about 3″ square with a push lever on it. If you are locked the trunk, you can shut down the vehicle’s motor by crushing this box or ripping the electric wiring off the breaker box.

Once the vehicle is no longer able to move, it will be blocking traffic and draw attention. The busier the road, the better chance you have of other people coming up to investigate. Once you know someone is around, you can pound on the trunk and let others know you are in there.

How to Signal for Help When Locked in the Vehicle Trunk

Cell phone

Your cell phone is perhaps your greatest signaling tool in the event of a kidnapping. If your phone has a good signal strength, you may be able to call 911 and let the dispatch know what is going on. In areas with weak signals, it would be to your advantage to text an emergency message.

If you are using a smartphone, it is likely that it has a GPS chip on it. As soon as you call 911, the chip will report exactly where you are. If your cell phone is an older model without GPS, it will be harder to track the kidnapped individual, but not impossible.

Here your phone number will have to be tracked signal tower to signal tower, and this tracking will occur as long as your cell phone is turned on.

Using the Tail Light Assemblies to Signal to Other Passing Drivers

If you are locked in a trunk of a vehicle, it is also possible to signal other outside passing vehicles with the use of the tail light assembly.

To get to the tail light assemblies, first remove the trunk carpet and the fiber board that covers the back of them. Next, pull out the light bulb sockets and the wires.

The kidnappers’ vehicle will no longer have brake lights, turn signals, and rear running lights. If you can do this to both rear tail light assemblies without the drivers knowing about it, there is a good chance that other vehicles driving around the kidnapper’s vehicle will take notice that something is wrong and call the police.

Or, the police themselves may see a problem with the lights and make a routine traffic stop.

Another way to use the rear tail light assembly to attract attention is to remove the mounting pins, light bulb sockets, and let the tail light assembly fall away from the vehicle. Once again, you must remove the trunk carpeting and the fiber board around the tail light assemblies. Next the light bulb sockets must be removed.

There are usually three or four pins that are visible from the back side of the tail light assembly. These pins hold the tail light assembly into the sheet metal safety cage of the vehicle. By pushing or kicking these holding pins backwards, it is possible to free the tail light assembly from the safety cage. When this is done the tail light assembly will fall from the moving vehicle.

Once the tail light assembly is gone, you can try sticking your hand out through the safety cage and wave for help to passing vehicles. Try to do this on the passenger side, just in case the kidnapper is watching the back corner of the vehicle through the side mirror.

If the hole in the safety cage is too small for you to put your hand through it, try putting long strips of rag through the hole in the safety cage to get people’s attention.

If all goes well and someone notices this strange activity, hopefully they will call the police to report it.

Knowledge is the key if you want to stay alive in any life or death situation. How long will you survive?

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This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Further reading:

7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

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Most people who apply for a concealed carry permit fail to take into consideration that effective concealed carry is actually a lifestyle change.

Approximately 80 percent of the licensed students I work with report that they usually don’t carry on a daily basis. Most say they carry only in their vehicle or while traveling.

Along with the decision to carry daily come some changes in how you go about day-to-day life. Your attire most likely will need to change. (I recommend concealed carry over open carry.) If you carry off-body in a purse, bag or other off-body manner, this will require some adaptation.

Once you’ve established carry methods, your training should continue. This article will cover some key areas to cover in your concealed carry training.

As always, practice and live by the four critical gun safety rules:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded.
  2. Don’t let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy.
  3. Keep your finger off the trigger until the sights are on target and you’re ready to shoot.
  4. Be aware of your target and what’s around it.

With that in mind, let’s examine seven critical skills you need to practice for everyday carry:

1. Getting the handgun into play if needed

Can you draw your handgun from its place of concealment efficiently? For most folks, getting the pistol out of concealment will present its own challenges and must be practiced. It will require more effort than when drawing from a strong-side open carry setup. Also, what about getting the gun back into its hiding place once the incident is over? You will want to establish a good grip while drawing (a fundamental of marksmanship), and your concealment method should help facilitate this. Practice your concealment draw method now, ahead of any stressful incident in the future that you hope never happens.

2. Defensive accuracy

If you must shoot, then hit what you’re shooting at. There is bullseye accuracy and then there is self-defense accuracy. Your goal should be to blend the two…. meaning you want a combination of speed and accuracy. Shooting lightning fast is great — to the extent you can hit the intended target. Shooting well is a perishable skill; you must hone this skill with solid training. Visit for some excellent drills, or spend some lesson time with a qualified trainer.

3. Running the gun

I always have suggested to students that shooting accuracy is only half the battle. Skills such as emergency or speed reloads, malfunction clearances, one-handed shooting with both right and left hands and again drawing the gun from concealment are just some basic skills every armed citizen should develop and feel confident doing. I teach and practice these skills constantly, both for students and myself.

4. Moving to and shooting from cover

A deadly force confrontation happens in seconds. However, the situation may allow you escape and avoidance (which you should do if at all possible), or you could find yourself needing to take cover. Cover is any object that hopefully will stop incoming bullets. If possible, you should add into your training the act of moving to and shooting from cover.

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7 Critical Concealed Carry Skills That Will Keep You Alive

Image source: Max Pixel

For most people, this will be a different experience that can change how a person grips their handgun and sees their sights. Practice shooting from kneeling, sitting and prone now, instead of always keeping your feet planted in one place and hoping you will never have to move into an uncomfortable shooting position.

5. Dim light shooting

You must be able to identify your threat! There have been far too many tragic cases where a person shoots their own loved one believing they were an intruder. I ALWAYS carry a handheld flashlight and know how to shoot with the light in my support hand. You should have this skill, too. After all, approximately 60 to 70 percent of crime happens in dim light conditions. Depending on the technique used, this may mean firing your pistol one handed … a skill I recommend you train for. A weapon-mounted light system may or may not be appropriate, depending on the risk of flagging innocent people and your carry method.

6. Distance shooting

While most encounters (over 90 percent) occur from about seven yards or less, there could be a situation where a longer shot must be made. With the increase in active shooters, a shot from 12 to 25 yards or farther may be the only option. With a handgun, this can be a challenge for even the seasoned shooter. Train to make center mass shots at least out to 25 yards with your EDC handgun. As with all shooting, your marksmanship fundamentals must be constantly reinforced.
Distance shooting will test these skills.

7. Scenario based or “force decisions” training

Scenario-based training is one of the best techniques you can employ to prepare for an encounter you hope never comes. This type of training should be done in a highly safe and secure manner with qualified trainers, and only with Simunition or airsoft guns. Force decisions (also called reality based training) will challenge you mentally. Your mental prowess is, in my opinion, where the rubber meets the road. You can be the best bullseye shooter in the world, but making decisions under immediate high stress and reacting appropriately is what this type of training is all about. We use this training often. Many students begin to realize where their strengths and weaknesses really are.

A Final Thought

Remember that everywhere you carry, there is now a gun on the scene. Don’t let your gun be used against you. There are many cases of open carry or even concealed carry guns being taken right off the citizen carrying them. Carry discretely and securely.

As a fellow trainer once told me: “Train well and train often.”

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

The 5-Minute Pistol-Cleaning Trick That Will Save You Time

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The 5-Minute Pistol-Cleaning Trick That Will Save You Time

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Most of today’s striker-fired pistols, like Glock, Smith & Wesson’s M&P line, Springfield Armory’s XD series, and others, are made to be easy to “take down,” or disassemble for cleaning. Despite that, I often encounter new owners of these guns who’ve never cleaned it for fear of doing something wrong.

This is the five-minute routine I do after a long day on the range when my gun is headed to storage for a while, after my gun’s been in damp or wet weather, or for a student who brings a dry, dirty, or brand new gun to class and is having problems. It’s not my aim to neglect what an owner’s manual says, but a quick cleaning is better than nothing.


If you’re pregnant, nursing, or have open cuts on your hands, wear rubber gloves. If you choose to go glove-less, at least wash your hands at the end of this process. The responsibility for preventing toxin exposure lies with you.

A scrap of a clean T-shirt and a bottle of CLP (cleaner, lubricant and protectant) are my go-to supplies. Frog Lube is my favorite CLP; it’s non-toxic and even smells nice. Extreme Force Weapons Lube is a new CLP that may work better for folks who use their gun in extreme cold. Both Frog Lube and Extreme Force are American products.

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One thing you should NOT have is ammunition. Start with a gun that’s completely unloaded — magazine out, chamber clear. Ammunition should not be within arm’s reach of your cleaning station. Many unintended, sometimes tragic discharges occur at cleaning time.

The Task

The order of parts described here isn’t necessary. Pick your own order.

Disassemble your pistol and lay the parts on a relatively clean surface. Pick up the slide, put a dot of CLP on the rag, and wipe out the entire visible interior surface. Be sure to take a fingernail (or other similarly shaped object, like a flat screwdriver head), and run the dampened rag through the grooves along the length of the slide’s interior. This is a place where gunk builds up. Once the rag is coming up from the grooves clean, put a fresh drop or two of CLP on each groove and smear it in with a fingertip.

Now, pick up the recoil spring/guide rod. Wipe both ends using a clean section of the rag. Wrap the spring/rod unit inside the rag and turn it in your tightly closed palm. No lube is needed here.

The 5-Minute Pistol-Cleaning Trick That Will Save You Time

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The barrel is next. With the rag moistened with CLP, rub the entire outer surface with pressure, getting off all the buildup. The feed ramp of the barrel is an important place to clean. There’ll be some buildup here, even if you’ve only fired a few rounds. Wipe hard until it looks smooth. Depending on your barrel’s composition and finish, it may become shiny like chrome. Wipe the feed ramp dry.

Do the same around the locking lugs. Basically, any place on the barrel with sharp angles will have carbon accumulation. Get it off to insure your pistol continues to function smoothly.

If you’ve neglected cleaning, fired a lot of +P ammo, or have been rolling in the dirt, the accumulated gunk may be stubborn. A nylon bristle brush like an old toothbrush, cleaned and dried, works great for such occasions. But that’s beyond the five-minute rule. A partial cleaning beats neglect!

Notice I didn’t talk about cleaning the barrel interior. At least take a look through the bore for any abnormal accumulations or damage. If you feel you must clean it, a dry patch or Bore Snake is more than sufficient for a quick cleaning. The bore and feed ramp do not require oil.

Put one or two drops of CLP on the outside of the barrel, and smooth it all around with your finger, avoiding the feed ramp and muzzle ends. This is a high-friction, high-heat surface.

On the frame, give the locking block and exposed parts of the trigger mechanism a wipe-off with a dry rag. If you’re not sure which parts are which, just wipe off the metal parts you can see.

Finally, use the rag to clean the rails on each side of the frame. These match up with the grooves on the inside of the slide. Put a dab of CLP in each rail, and spread it along the rails’ length.

All Done!

Reassemble your pistol. If any excess lube is seeping out the sides, wipe it off. Give the outside of the slide a wipe-down to remove fingerprints and any remaining smudges.

That’s it — doing it takes a fraction of the time reading this did! Don’t forget to wash your hands in cool water if you’re like me and do this job bare-handed.

A Word on New Products

Conventional wisdom has held that we never oil the bore. Especially in a firearm that’s carried or stored with a round in the chamber, it is possible that oil will penetrate the cartridge, causing a misfire or dangerous squib (insufficient pressure resulting in a bullet that’s stuck in the barrel).

Technology has a way of running contrary to conventional wisdom at times. A couple of new firearm oils are made for use in the bore. In rifles, there is evidence that the behavior of these products, on a molecular level, results in increased precision, i.e., smaller shot groups. For a striker-fired pistol, accuracy gains caused by oil are likely to be undetectable. While I have used new barrel oils from Modern Spartan Systems and the Hoppe’s Black line, keep in mind these products were made for rifles, not pistols. Use these products sparingly inside the bore if you use them, and swab them well so that no visible oil remains in the barrel when it’s time to reassemble the firearm.

Do you have any gun-cleaning tips? Share them in the section below:  

S&W Airweight Review – A Badass Little Revolver For Conceal Carry

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S&W Airweight ReviewSo you’re on the lookout for a new conceal carry weapon (CCW). One that’s small, light reliable, and accurate while still packing a punch.

Maybe you currently carry a popular semi-auto CCW (such as a Glock 26, S&W M&P Shield, Ruger LCP) but are looking for something even lighter and smaller.

Or perhaps you’ve heard about the reliability of the revolver over a semi-auto and are reconsidering your options.

Or you’re looking for a solid conceal carry firearm for someone new to carrying. Something reliable, simple and not intimidating.

Well, then I may have just the right gun for you.

Smith and Wesson Airweight -S&W Airweight Review

Today I’m going to review the Smith and Wesson Airweight. Specifically, the model 637 because it’s the one I own. The 637 is an SA/DA weapon chambered in 38 Special and rated for Plus P rounds (we’ll talk more about the slight difference of the 642 model a bit later).

All S&W Airweight models hold five shots, and they are very compact at only 6.31” long with a 1.875” barrel.

The Airweight frame is an aluminum alloy, and at first touch, you may want to hold on tight lest it floats away. But alas, gravity still holds down its 15 oz empty mass.

This reliable revolver is so damn light it makes for a worthwhile self-defense choice for a survival pack or a bug out bag.

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The cylinder is fabricated of stainless steel coupled with a steel barrel liner. The little S&W J-frame pistol comes with a synthetic grip in black or pink (for the ladies – or men who can appreciate pink). Or you can get upgrade with a popular aftermarket Pachmayr grip.

Like most revolvers, there is no safety. If you don’t want to shoot, don’t pull the trigger.

The S&W Airweight has a front sight integral to the barrel and a fixed rear sight. The sight radius is what you’d expect for a small revolver. That being said, I was surprised by the accuracy demonstrated.

Like most conventional S&W revolvers, the Model 637’s single action trigger pull is light with a crisp break. I’m sure this contributes significantly to the inherent accuracy of the revolver. I wasn’t expecting much in the way of accuracy with a 1.875” barrel but was pleasantly surprised.

Testing The Airweight On The Range

I shot the weapon at my brother’s range the weekend before Christmas. We sat up some paper targets and fired single action from 7 yards to start.

Most of the hits were within 2” of the bullseye after we got the little revolver dialed in. Very, very repeatable performance.

Then we moved on to shooting steel. Nothing gives me a sense of satisfaction than hearing the thunk and ring of lead on steel. The range had a series of six 8” diameter steel plates lined up in a row. We took turns knocking these down and resetting them.

The little revolver put the bullets right where I asked it to with no qualms at all. I finally backed off to fifty feet to see what it could do at a distance. After very little practice I could hit five for five steel plates at this distance.

Much more accuracy than I expected from such a small revolver.

Of course, this is all single action shooting. The double action trigger pull is much harder, and I make no accuracy claims for this mode of operation. Frankly, I’m just not as steady a shooter with double action.

We fired fifty rounds of 130 grain Federal .38 Special copper jacketed target rounds. Finishing the day with fifty rounds of hand-loaded 125-grain copper-plated cartridges (from my ammo stockpile).

The recoil was very mild, another surprise from such a lightweight weapon. To be sure 158-grain bullets will have more felt recoil, as will Plus P rounds. But still, the felt recoil of the 130-grain bullet was a little more than a .22 Magnum.

Felt recoil had no impact on accuracy that day. The little Airweight was a joy to shoot, unlike some other pistols where I’m happy to have shot my last shot of the day.

The little J-frame is compact and seems easy to conceal in a woman’s purse or an IWB holster. It has curves in all the right places and, as I said before, it’s so damn light.

Make no mistake though; this is not an ideal pocket pistol.

It’s J-frame and dimensions are far too large to go unnoticed in your front pants pocket, unlike my Kel-Tec .380 auto. However, unlike my Kel-Tec, the Smith will never fail to extract or fail to feed.

I carry my Kel-Tec because it’s so damn easy to carry. If I wanted to upgrade to more firepower, this little snub-nosed 38 Special would be a good choice. But more firepower also requires a holster.

The S&W Airweight and five quality Plus P defensive rounds represent a fair compromise between size, price, and power.

The weapon I bought retailed for $388 (check out today’s price).

In the revolver world, the 38 Special is the last of the lower recoil rounds. It’s the last stop off on the way to .357 or .44 Magnum – serious recoil rounds not for the timid. But don’t let anyone tell you the 158 grain 38 Special is weak-kneed, especially the Plus P rounds.

And finally, the size of the little revolver is what drives the five round limit. But the weight and concealability of this weapon is a good trade-off for the loss of a round of capacity.

You simply can’t build a revolver this compact and fit six rounds, unless you drop in power exponentially to the .22 LR.

If I’m going to aim at my target, I’d rather have five 158 grain 38 Specials, than eight .40 grain .22LRs – but that’s just me.

Here’s a video covering all the features and details of this “dandy little revolver”.

Speed Loader

As you saw in the video, it’s worth getting a high-quality speed loader for this gun.

When I was researching speedloaders, I found a few people who added thicker grips who had clearance issues with this speed loader.

Quick Strip

If that’s your case, I suggest you look into using quick strips.

S&W Airweight Model 637 vs Model 642

Ok before we wrap this review up I want to talk about the S&W Airweight Model 642.

It’s damn near the same gun with nearly all the same features. The main difference between the two models being the exposed hammer with my 637 and the fully concealed hammer with the 642.

Now, this concealed hammer vs exposed hammer is no small matter, especially when discussing concealed carry and self-defense

Many firearms this CCW category are DAO (Double Action Only) with no exposed hammer like the 642. The DAO pistol is hammerless to prevent the hammer from catching on a man’s belt.

The design also makes it easier to extract from a woman’s purse, but the internal striker and double action nature of a revolver  (you still have the move the cylinder) require far more trigger pull than a single action-capable revolver.

Heavier trigger pulls translate to error in aiming and holding the weapon on target.

I always use a hammer with at least the first shot as single action. While at the very short ranges usually associated with a gun fight the error induced by DAO may not be significant.

However, if you want to use the revolver for recreational purposes, like a morning at the range, the SA/DA revolver allows you to shoot for accuracy.

Frankly, I have a DAO carry gun (the Kel-Tec mentioned above) and I’ll never be as good a shot with it as my Smith and Wesson Model 15-3.

On the flip side, even if your shots are more accurate with SA, if the exposed hammer gets hung up when it matters, you may never get your self-defense rounds off because you couldn’t get the gun out you pocket or off your belt in time.

The bottom line is you’ll find this topic under debate across the web and I’m only sharing with you a few of the main arguments.

Ultimately if you decide the S&W Airweight is the right gun for you, you’ll need to decide which model suits you best.

Here’s a great video worth watching that compares in detail the subtle differences between these two models.

Final Word

I realize you have many everyday carry firearm choices. And at the end of the day, only you can make the final choice on what works for you. But you should take a nice hard look at the S&W Airweight it offers reliable protection at a mere 15 oz.

For the combination of size, weight, and accuracy it’s a tough little CCW to pass up.

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The Top Three Best G26 Holster to Meet Your Needs

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The Glock 26 pistol comes with ten round magazines that will expand to as much as 12 rounds with floor plates. If this is the type of weapon you own or have purchased, you’re likely looking for a G26 holster. But what type of G26 holster is right for you? If you want to protect […]

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The Surprisingly Quiet Ammo That’s Often Misunderstood

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It’s The Misunderstood Ammo That Makes Less Noise

Along with the rising popularity of gun mufflers, usually called suppressors or silencers, has come an increased interest in subsonic ammunition. Often, though, there are more questions than answers.

This article seeks to inform the reader with basic knowledge of subsonic ammo.

Subsonic ammunition is ammunition made primarily for use with a suppressor. It also can be used in a handgun or rifle all by itself, unsuppressed, though weapon performance may not be the same as with regular ammo.

When compared to other cartridges within the same caliber, subsonic loads have a smaller powder charge inside the case, and are generally a heavier bullet. In extraordinarily simple terms, we can think in terms of the formula mass times velocity equals force. When velocity is decreased by having less powder, and therefore less gas to drive the bullet down the barrel, through the air, and into its target, a bullet of more mass compensates to a degree. For example, Atomic Ammunition’s subsonic load in .223 has a 75-grain bullet — not an extraordinary weight, but one associated with match rounds. An average .223 target match bullet weighs 55 grains.

The Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

It is the moment a bullet leaves the barrel, and the explosion of gas that’s behind it, that creates the “bang” of a firearm. Subsonic ammunition, traveling at lower-than-normal velocity relative to the caliber, is quieter. It still, though, makes enough noise to necessitate hearing protection when used sans suppressor.

Story continues below video

In tandem with a suppressor, subsonic ammunition makes a hearing-safe pop, the kind you hear in the movies when the bad guy fires a gun with a silencer. Funny, isn’t it, how it’s always a bad guy in the movies? On the street, most criminals aren’t interested in making the effort to conceal these bulky attachments.

Why Use Subsonic?

Subsonic can be used when less noise and/or less recoil are desired. It’s a great choice for indoor or urban ranges. With a suppressor, it’s beneficial for hunting, especially when a landowner may want to eliminate more than a single varmint or pest animal. The minimal report is less scary to the rest of the herd. Some hunters claim the remaining animals may still spook, but since subsonic offers no muzzle flash and no directional bearing on sound, they actually may run in the hunter’s direction.

It’s also a good choice for teaching gun handling and marksmanship fundamentals to a new or very young shooter without the complication of recoil.

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

Subsonic protects the irreplaceable asset of hearing. Quieter shooting is an asset not just for gun users, but also for non-shooting neighbors who are less likely to object to our hobby — at home as well as in the voting booth.

What Are the Downsides?

Some subsonic loads will, consistently or occasionally depending on the semi-auto firearm, fail to automatically cycle the action. This challenge is gradually being overcome as manufacturers fine-tune components. I found it to be quaintly enjoyable to hand-cycle my AR-15 while using subsonic.

A notable exception is the popular .300 AAC Blackout caliber, purpose-made for suppressed shooting. With a bolt carrier group and barrel change, it can be fired through the AR-15 platform. This widely available load offers the AR owner great versatility from one firearm, although many feel it’s unnecessary unless it’s used with a suppressor.

Subsonic ammunition is a bit less accurate at longer distances. The smaller doses of powder in subsonic loads can shift around within the case, producing less reliable flight. I experienced this in a 100-yard field trial of .308 caliber subsonic. In several three-shot groups, two rounds would be remarkably accurate; their impact holes touching. A third would be a modest flyer, three to five inches away from the others. It’s not a huge difference for most applications except where absolute precision is required.

According to Jerod Johnson, a company rep for Atomic Ammunition, subsonic rifle loads such as the .308 are rather ineffective beyond 300 yards, where velocity loss is rapid.

The price of subsonic is, like match ammunition, reflective of the specialized manufacturing process. Expect to spend double or more the price of FMJ.

If there’s no admonishment against subsonic ammunition in your firearm’s user manual, trying out a box of subsonic is an interesting experience, whether accompanied by a suppressor or not. Especially with centerfire calibers, there’s a surprising ease to firing powerful rounds, while getting sound and recoil that are closer to the rimfire range. Try some!

Have you ever used subsonic ammo? Share your thoughts on it in the section below:

Should your handgun have a manual safety?

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US Army details new modular handgun based on Sig Sauer P320 | IHS Jane ...

US military new gun, the Sig P320


Your video showing the victims who went for guns that did not have a round in the chamber tells us that they most likely had pistols that did not have mechanical safeties, or if they did have safeties they did not have them engaged.

Either way, they probably thought that keeping the chamber empty was a way to keep the gun from being discharged accidentally by themselves or others who might pick it up.

We have exchanged notes before about the desirability or the undesirability of mechanical safeties on pistols.

While adherents of the no-safety guns make various arguments in defense of their position, a couple of points can be made.

I can send you many articles on many accidental shootings with guns that just “went off” and shot somebody.  These guns were fired by toddlers who somehow got their hands on them (gun owners’ neglect) all the way up to “highly trained” people such as law enforcement officers.  (Interesting that these articles don’t ever disclose the model of pistol involved—wonder if they are worried about legal liabilities.)

But since toddlers probably don’t know how to disengage a manual safety, and competent adults would not deliberately disengage a safety in an unsafe setting, we might conclude that these shootings overwhelmingly are with pistols that do not have a manual safety.

A few months ago, one of the popular gun magazines had an article by a lady firearms trainer who swore that she would never have a pistol with a safety, saying “That is just something else to fumble with” if she had to use her gun.  Strange—you would think that a professional would be trained to the point where there would be no “fumbling.”

Certainly, a gun with a round in the chamber and a manual safety engaged would have been better than the “rack and then shoot” scenarios in your video.



Hello Larry,

That’s a good point but you have to keep in mind two words: police and military.

For concealed carry I can tell you one thing; Go with a Glock. Round chambered, no safety.

Your child should NOT take hold of your gun, a safety does not make you a good parent, it does not compensate for lack of training either.

Now for a cop that may lose his gun in a struggle with a suspect, a soldier that may lose his gun in a fight, maybe when handling prisoners, these can be reasons for a safety. I do remember though a cop that had a negligent discharge with his Beretta 92, a gun that has a safety. Safeties do not in any way compensate for improper gun handling. But when it comes to losing the gun to someone that may use it against you (and lack the training to quickly disengage the safety) it may save a life.  Maybe that’s why they required it for their new issued handgun, the Sig Sauer P320.  I bet special forces will stick to their Glocks though, and so should you. A well trained operator, civilian or military, will take the most advantage of a gun without manual safety and a chambered round.


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”

Taking Aim at Concealed Carry!

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Taking Aim at Concealed Carry Bob Hawkins “The APN Report“ Audio in player below! No topic seems to draw more fire (sic) from both sides of an issue than the right to keep arms. When it comes to opinionated debate, any discussion involving personal defense can be counted on to be full of passion, since … Continue reading Taking Aim at Concealed Carry!

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Are you training to Survive or to Kill?

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Are you training to Survive or to Kill? James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio in player below! We often get the best look at ourselves when we separate from what we do on a daily basis. In survival and preparedness heavy introspection is so important. It’s a lonely and oftentimes thankless effort that only shows … Continue reading Are you training to Survive or to Kill?

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Introduction to Gunsmithing – Part 2

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

In the previous article, we discussed what gunsmithing is, and saw that it had three components, tools, knowledge and skills.  We started out by looking at some of the universal basic tools of gunsmithing.  In part two, after some final thoughts on tools, we’ll look at knowledge and skills needed in gunsmithing.

Other Tool Considerations

In most cases, a firearm will come with everything securely fastened in place.  If you remove a screw which was “Loc-Tited” in place, you should have a little tube of Loctite on hand to allow you to refasten it.  If a part is “staked” in place (surrounding metal is “mushed” into the part), don’t remove it unless you know what you are doing and have the appropriate staking tool.

A set of magnifying glasses or an Optivisor can help you see small details better, and safety glasses will ensure you can keep seeing anything.  If lighting at your work station will be a problem, a small, bright “headlight” would be in order.   I find the Bushnell headlamps from Sams Club to be small, light, very useful and dirt cheap.

So far we have discussed a good beginning set of general tools for testing, basic maintenance, disassembly and reassembly.  If you get good quality tools and shop wisely, you should be able to get started for well under $400 (not including headspace gauges) and probably under $200 if you go with medium quality.  As to “specialty” tools for each firearm you intend to work on, the trick is to have the ones you need and not waste money on ones for tasks or firearms which are not in your current plans.

If you are going to start changing things while you are inside the firearm, the general tool list gets bigger (and more expensive too).  Here is a gunsmith tool set recommended by AGI, one of the better “distance” gunsmith schools, for a “professional” gunsmith.  The video on the page has more information about the recommended tools than does the printed list and is interesting to watch.

All of the tools they include are “general purpose” tools, so their set does not include any specialized tools for particular models or classes of firearms, which is completely understandable.  They don’t have a clue what firearms you will work on or what procedures you will do.  I think the $2000 estimate mentioned is quite low if you get good quality tools (some of the ones they show look like they could have come from a “bargain bin”), and if you add specialized tools, the total tends to really zoom upwards.  In case you were wondering what the top end training package which includes all these tools as well as all the training runs, it is $15,000.  But unless you are becoming a “professional” (when there are tax deductions and professional discounts available), you don’t need all these tools or education to begin with.  Get the basics, and add the other items as you need them.

Some of the tools you can get from common tool sources, or Amazon or eBay.  For some of the more esoteric ones you will probably have to go to a gunsmith tool supplier.  Brownells used to be the standard for gunsmith tools, and they are still around today, although the ratings of some of their tools seem to indicate the quality of some items may have declined.  I really don’t know of another “go to” place for specialty tools, although many of the standard tools and a few specialty tools are available from online firearms stores such as Midway or Optics Planet, or my new favorite, Primary Arms.  Let your fingers do the walking through the internet.

It is a good idea to have a specific container and location for your gunsmithing tools.  If you mix them in with your “regular” tools, you will tend to use them for non-gunsmithing tasks, and they can get scattered or worn out early.  If your set is fairly small, a portable tool case or pouch may do.  For a medium-sized set, a multi-drawer toolbox or two is just the ticket.  I used a four drawer toolbox for assembly, disassembly, lubrication, adjustment and measuring tools and supplies, and a three drawer one with tools and supplies for making modifications, which worked out perfectly for my needs and still could be carried in one trip.  For a large or professional set, you want a room or part of a room, with workbench, power tool stands, peg board and tool drawer systems.


This one is tricky.  For convenience, we divide this into “general” and “specific”.  General knowledge is the “basics”; including types of firearms and how each type works (or is supposed to work), basic tools and their usage, “universal” disassembly, reassembly and minor modifications.  This will be covered in a good gunsmithing curriculum, or you can get a good handle on this from books, internet articles and online videos.

Gunsmithing the AR-15, The Bench Manual

“Specific” knowledge is knowledge some of which you don’t need – until you do.  For instance, details of a specific model firearm you don’t have any immediate plans to work on or a specific procedure which you don’t currently plan to perform.  Since it is somewhat impractical to learn it all (and remember it 10 years later when you finally need it), generally this is best covered (or relearned) by reference books (paper or online) which you refer to as needed.  If you plan to specialize (use some specific knowledge a lot), then learning that subset of specific knowledge would seem the only practical methodology.  In this case, you may be able to get it from self-study, or you may be better served going to classes in that area of study.

For classes in gunsmithing, there are a number of possibilities.  If you have a local gunsmithing school or junior college/trade school/specialty school which offers courses, that may be a viable option.  It will be expensive and probably take up to two years for a degree, although a “certificate” may be a shorter time option.  If you don’t have live classes locally, then generally attending classes “away” is not practical, since not only are there the tuition costs, but lodging and other expenses.  Not to mention existing and temporary employment.  In the “old days”, they had mail order courses, which have been replaced with online training and DVD based training.  If you can keep engaged, some can provide INFORMATION as well as or even better than local “live” classes (you can repeat something as many times as you need), but there are some severe weaknesses.  Many of these don’t have a method for you to get questions answered, and none provide guided “hands-on” experience.

As a point for comparison, AGI’s basic “108 hour” video course is about $5000.  On the other hand, Phoenix State University claims their online training is “the best and quickest and cheapest”, at $99 for the basic certification, $149 for the intermediate one and $199 for the top one.  I’ve always heard that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is not true”, and that seems to be the case with PSU, based on the huge number of similar complaints (them not providing what was promised and using delaying tactics until the grace period for a refund has expired) I found about them.  A legitimate online course seems to run about $1500.

The instructions which come with specialized tools you buy is “knowledge”.  As a hint, store them in a good location.  When I dusted off my set, I found that I had forgotten not only how to use some of the specialized tools, but even what they were for.  If the instructions had not been in one of the drawers of the toolbox, I might still be trying to figure a couple of them out.


“Skill” is the difference between “knowing how to do something” and “being able to do it”.  If you have a fair amount of mechanical experience, you might be able to become competent at many gunsmithing skills fairly quickly through trial and error.  If you are not mechanically-minded, you will likely need to be shown how to do something, and then practice it.  The best place for this is gunsmith classes which have guided “laboratory” sessions.  If you have a school locally, at a reasonable price, you are lucky.  Otherwise, online or video classes may be able to show you what to do, but you won’t be able to do it until you have done it, and that may take someone who has done it before watching over your shoulder or even guiding your hands.  You may be able to find a local gunsmith who will work with you; perhaps even set up an apprentice relationship.

The other option is just to try things on your own.  Here’s a hint:  the first time you try something, don’t try it on an expensive firearm or critical firearm part…  In fact, go to gun shows and get the cheapest beaters you can find, even non-working or partial ones, to practice on.  To learn skills, videos are often better than written descriptions; being set up in front of the TV screen is about as close as you can get to a live expert present.

To be clear, there is no “distance” course which can provide you skills.  The best ones can guide you in attaining the skills on your own.


A functioning firearm generally has all the parts it needs included.  But parts break or wear out.  And if you take the firearm apart, small parts can get lost.  Sometimes stock parts are sub-standard, such as the MIM (Metal Injection Molded) extractor in modern Remington 870s replacing the machined part in older production.  Many aftermarket companies put out parts which are easier to use, more accurate, more durable or just cooler looking.  Improving the functionality of a firearm, such as replacing the safety with an extended version, is often wise.  For disaster planning, having some spares for firearm parts which are at risk of breaking or loss is wise.  Things like a firing pin, extractor, and springs and pins seem a good choice, and usually are not terribly costly.  Some sources even have gathered together a set of parts in an “Oops Kit”.

Gunsmithing, Why Bother?

You may have noticed that I am suggesting that you spend money on tools and possibly education, and perhaps worse, a significant amount of time.  Presumably you are already spending money on getting survival supplies and time learning survival skills; I’m not saying this is MORE important than any other skill or equipment.  But if you plan on relying on firearms in a crisis situation, you had better be able to keep them working, and if one happens to stop working (or if you come across one which is not working), get it working again.  It might even save you money in the long run if you don’t have to always go running to an expensive gunsmith when a firearm needs repair or modifications for optimal utility.  It can be a source of extra income or an alternate career.  Even if you can’t see gunsmithing as a worthwhile part of your personal survival plans, remember that gunsmithing will be a “primitive profession” which will have a lot of value in bartering in a post apocalypse world.

The post Introduction to Gunsmithing – Part 2 appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

4 Hot New Concealed Carry Revolvers For 2017

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4 Hot New Concealed Carry Revolvers For 2017

Revolvers have enjoyed a resurgence in popularity the past few years and have earned a place in the everyday carry category, especially when considering the reliability and concealability of some models.

Let’s take a look at a few of the most talked-about models that made their debut at this year’s Shooting, Hunting, and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show in Las Vegas.

1. Colt Cobra

Colt has brought back a classic from the past with the Cobra, a six-shot, 38 special stainless steel revolver that has been redesigned. Colt opened up the trigger guard and straightened out the trigger, which allows for less knuckle impact on the trigger guard, a problem not uncommon on the original Cobra. All Colt revolver cylinders rotate counter-clockwise, which the company says creates a better lockup and consistency in the frame.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

A fiber optic front sight now comes standard, with night sights optional. This nice double-action revolver is offered in a two-inch barrel with a Colt rubberized grip. It’s rated for Plus P ammo. It’s worth a look for anyone considering a revolver for everyday carry. MSRP is $699.

2. S&W 986 Performance Center 9mm

At SHOT Show range day, I was able to handle and shoot Smith & Wesson’s new Performance Center 9mm revolver, which boasts an L-frame, 2.5-inch barrel and is new for 2017. It is a double/single action, seven-shot revolver (moon clips required) with a titanium, non-fluted cylinder and trigger over-travel stop. Other features include a red ramp front sight and adjustable rear sight. Grips are custom wood. The revolver weighs about 32 ounces, unloaded. This new release from Smith &Wesson is an attractive handgun and is easy to shoot, with a nice crisp trigger. It could certainly be a consideration for everyday carry. MSRP is $1,129.

3. Ruger GP100 44 Special

I was fortunate to shoot the new Ruger GP100 offered in 44 Special last fall in Florida, and handled it again at the 2017 SHOT Show. The new Ruger double-action wheelgun has a 3-inch barrel with a fiber optic insert front sight and adjustable rear sight. A stout handgun, the 44 Special is offered in stainless steel and a five-shot cylinder. The 44 Special is a new caliber offering in the classic GP100, a revival of a once-common cartridge. It comes with a Hogue Monogrip, which allows for good purchase when firing. For those wanting a historic cartridge that’s a bit easier in the recoil department and on your pocketbook as compared to the 44 Magnum, take a look at this new Ruger GP100. MSRP is $829.

4. Kimber K6S Stainless

Kimber introduced the K6S 357 revolver in 2016 with a single model. In 2017 they have four new variations of the K6S, primarily with different sight options to include a fiber optic sight and crimson trace grip version. Rear sights on the K6S can be drifted for windage adjustment. This 2-inch barrel, 38 Special/357 Magnum double-action-only revolver is built with concealed carry in mind. It has the flattest design (1.39 inches wide) on the market for a revolver and still allows for 6 shots instead of the more common 5 shot snub-nose models. Some gun experts claim the K6S has the best factory trigger on the market. At 23 ounces, the K6S is comparable in weight to other revolvers in its class and comes with a speed strip when purchased. This is a revolver worthy of serious consideration if you choose to carry a revolver daily. MSRP starts at $899 in the K6S series.

Revolvers are far from being a gun of the past for everyday carry, and in fact may be a better choice for some folks. They are simple to use and rarely have any operational issues. If you don’t own a revolver or have never tried one, you might be missing something worth considering.

Do you own a revolver? Which revolver is your favorite? Share your tips in the section below:

Should You Shoot to Wound?

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Should you shoot to wound?  I talk a lot about lethal force, and one concept comes up almost universally. I call this idea the leg shot syndrome. The leg shot syndrome is expressed by the statement “I wouldn’t aim to kill; I would shoot the robber in the leg”. I believe I know where this […]

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Training Survival: Building Shooting Muscle

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Since you carry a gun for self-defense or to save the life of another, then you are concerned with combative firearms skills rather than shooting merely for the experience of shooting.  To reach this goal, you engage in training, mostly in the form of practice on a range.  How close you get to your goal […]

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Tennessee Laws on the Use and Carrying of Batons

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I am NOT a lawyer and am not giving legal opinions.  The following information is copied directly from the State of Tennessee website and is the code of law for the state.  I believe that if you want to carry a baton, you need to be familiar with baton law.  Law also changes, so please […]

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AR-15 Lower Build

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I’m no lawyer, so check this yourself.  My understanding is that as long as you can legally own a rifle you can make one for your own use (NOT WITH INTENT TO RESALE).  The firearm you build must meet the legal guidelines in your area (i.e no 3 inch anti-aircraft guns). If you can do […]

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5 Easy Tips for Choosing Your First Handgun

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If you are considering purchasing your first handgun the options can be overwhelming. There are many choices out there and you want to get the best value and enjoyment out of your handgun. An estimated 55 million Americans own guns, and handgun ownership is up 71% in the last 25 years. There are an estimated […]

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4 Careers That Teach Individuals Basic Self-Defense and Endurance

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If you are looking a new, exciting, and rewarding career then you might want to focus you energy on enter a field that requires self-defense and endurance. Modern society is in constant need of professional and trained men and women that can bring safety and security to local communities around the country. As you think about this, consider the following four careers that teach individuals basic self-defense and endurance.

Law Enforcement Officer

To keep our communities safe, it is important to have law enforcement officers who are self-confident, physically fit, and able to combat the evil forces that lurk among us. A police officer is supposed to be defender of all that is right within society, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen. But nonetheless, proper training still keeps good cops safe. It is important to have self-defense and endurance skills in order to stay safe on the job as well.

Correctional Officer

A correctional officer is tasked with helping protect society from criminals that have already been found guilty. It can be a dangerous environment at times, so prison guards certainly need to be able to defend themselves. It is also important to have the endurance necessary to see the job through to the end of the day.

Security Guard

With more and more businesses need round the clock security, guards play an important role. Not only to keep the premises and the surrounding area safe, they function as a hedge of protection for the individuals that visit the building during working hours. Some companies, like Trident Security, know that because of this, security guards need to be trained in self-defense in order to keep themselves safe in a variety of situation. They also need to be fit because of the demands of the job on a daily basis.

Muay Thai Instructor

Muay Thai is a traditional martial art that is growing popularity throughout the West. Muay Thai instructors must know how to defend themselves, because this is exactly what they will be teaching their students. In addition, the career itself is highly rewarding. Where else can you get paid to stay fit? This sports requires a great deal of endurance. If you have what it takes, you will have a great career opportunity at hand. These are just four of the many rewarding careers that one can enter and learn self-defense and endurance skills at the same time. These sure beat sitting at a desk all day, and all of them put you out there with members of society. This is also a great way to stay in shape and remain healthy as well.

About the Author: 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

Building Your Own Firearms (Part 2 – The Methods)

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Written by John Hertig on The Prepper Journal.

[NOTE:  I am not a lawyer, or a representative of any law enforcement or government agency.  The information provided here is the best I could find, but must not be taken to be legal advice.   If you decide to engage in the described activity, you assume all responsibility of ensuring that this information is CURRENTLY accurate, and investigating the CURRENT state and local laws of your location.  Furthermore, you assume all legal and physical liability resulting from your engagement in this activity.] 

In the last article, we looked at the option of building your own firearm and found that it is (or was) legal (most places in the U.S.)   And we saw how it could possibly cause you legal problems even though you met all laws and regulations.  Also, note that although it might not necessarily be the cause of legal problems, if someone were to steal your self-manufactured non-serialized firearm there would not be a reliable way to get it back if it ever shows up again.

Fortunately, there is a way to reduce these annoyances.

How to Improve the Situation

As mentioned, no serial number is required by Federal law or regulation on your self-manufactured firearm.  But, rightly or wrongly, (modern) firearms without serial numbers are looked at with suspicion, and might even violate State or Local law.  To avoid this problem, as well as be able to identify it as yours, put on a valid serial number.  This gives you the “appearance of legality” and some recourse if the firearm is lost or stolen.  Even if you intend for no government organization or database to ever be aware of the firearm, you might as well meet BATFE regulations that serial numbers be “unique” and “hard to alter or remove”.  Practically (and legally), this means the serial number should be unique TO YOU (that is, don’t make several with the same serial number or use “trivial” serial numbers like “1”), and should be at least 0.003″ deep and 1/16″ high in a visible, non-removable location on the receiver.  It is best to do this before the 80% receiver has any work done, so it can be easily shipped, and anyone can do the engraving for you if you prefer.  Once you make even a start finishing the receiver, it is considered to be a firearm and getting any professional to work on it is has risk of violating laws or regulations, to the detriment of everybody involved.  While you are at it, there is some additional specified text, which if you include on the receiver, makes it even less “suspicious” looking.

These are the same labeling requirements that a licensed manufacturer must follow, specified in 27 CFR § 478.92, making the self-manufactured firearm appear “equivalent” to a commercial firearm.  Several text elements are specified by this regulation:

  • (A) The model, if such designation has been made; if no model is intended, no model marking is required.
  • (B) The caliber or gauge; for an AR-15, whose caliber is not controlled by the receiver, this is not required on a receiver for which the caliber has not been finalized. You could mark the receiver “Caliber: Multi” or “Caliber: Various” if you wanted.  When you assemble the complete firearm, the exact caliber is to be engraved somewhere; the barrel would seem to be the most reliable location, since that is the thing which actually determines caliber.  If you know what caliber it will become and that the caliber will never change, then you can mark that caliber on the receiver if you prefer (I wouldn’t).
  • (C) The name of the maker or an abbreviation recognized by the BATFE (usually the DBA name on the manufacturing license). Since you don’t have a license, you don’t have a “recognized abbreviation”, but since you are not a licensed manufacturer, you don’t HAVE to put your name.  I wouldn’t; I’m still stuck with a bunch of obsolete stuff which I can’t get rid of because of the old “just engrave your social security number on it to discourage thieves” suggestion.  Initials or a nick name should be an adequate alternative for a self-manufactured firearm.
  • (D) The city and state where it was made.

Starting in 1994, when “assault weapons” were banned, any new “assault weapon” also had to be marked “RESTRICTED LAW ENFORCEMENT/GOVERNMENT USE ONLY” or, in the case of firearms manufactured for export, “FOR EXPORT ONLY”.  Although the AR-15 is (wrongly) considered by many (including the government, who ought to know better) to be an “assault weapon”, this ban expired (due to a 10 year sunset provision) in 2014, making this annoying marking fortunately no longer required, even though the regulations have not been updated to remove this wording.

There is no law or regulation requiring the safety to be marked, but if you are already doing any stamping/engraving/etching, you might as well mark the FIRE and SAFE positions.

The SBR, Another Risk

Most people know that a SBR (Short Barreled Rifle) with a barrel less than 16″ or an overall length less than 26″ is illegal, at least without going through the registration and taxation process the BATFE uses for “non-sporting or destructive” weapons defined by the NFA (National Firearms Act of 1935).  If you make your own firearms, you need to make sure that not only do you never create a SBR, but don’t even give the appearance of intending to do so.  If you build your own rifle and then decide you would rather turn it into a pistol, don’t.  You would be creating a SBR, which would be illegal unless you filled out all the paperwork and paid the $200 tax stamp in advance.  If you even store a receiver which was originally built as a rifle with the parts to make a pistol, you could be in for harassment.  A better process is to get the receiver intending to make it a pistol, document that intention via notarized statement, and then keep the receiver separate from any obvious rifle parts until the pistol is completed.

Note that there is no problem with turning a pistol into a full-sized rifle, and even turning it back into a pistol (ATF ruling 2011-4).  Just make sure that you never “pass through” a state where it has a stock and short barrel and, per the regulations quoted in the ruling, it would be risky to store a receiver which was made as a rifle “in close proximity” to a short barrel.

What You Need to Complete the Receiver

The key characteristic of a legal non-completed receiver (at least for AR-15 and AR-10 type firearms) is that the trigger/hammer cavity is not milled out.  To complete the receiver, you must mill this cavity out.  The best way, of course, is with a CNC (Computer Numerical Control) milling machine.  The odds that a person owns one of these personally or can even rent or borrow one have been infinitesimally small until recently, but there is now a company selling the “Ghost Gunner” for $1500 which may be an option if you think you might complete several receivers (or one if cost is no concern).  Possession of a “manual” mill machine is a bit more likely; you used to be able to get a “drill/mill” for very little, and can still get one for as little as $500.  A more common setup, particularly for making only one or two firearms, is a “jig” and vise used with a drill press or a good router.  You will also have to drill the holes for the hammer and trigger pins and the selector, which a drill press will do nicely, or you may be able to manage it with a hand drill.  Of course, you will need the correctly sized End Mill and drill bits, and perhaps some “cutting fluid”.  A shop vacuum to suck up the chips will be handy.  Possibly a file or Dremel tool may be needed to clean up any roughness, and for some jigs, a digital caliper will be very helpful setting your depth.   The jig will probably require some wrenches for assembly and disassembly, and safety glasses are a must.

Usually you will be working with a receiver which is made out of aluminum or a form of plastic.  If the receiver is steel or some other tough material, the drill press and router techniques probably will not be up to the task.  The “Ghost Gunner” is air-cooled and light duty, so even though it is a true mini “CNC mill”, it also will be inadequate to the task.  For a steel frame, you will probably need a true mill and lots of oil to cool and lubricate the cutter.

Make sure the jig you get is designed for the method you are using (drill press or router).  If using a drill press, remember that unlike a mill or drill/mill, it was not designed for side to side pressure, and is somewhat fragile in that axis.  When milling sideways, make sure you do shallow cuts with minimal pressure.  The router IS designed for side to side pressure, but in wood, not aluminum, so again, shallow cuts and light pressure keep the odds of disaster low.

People have been known to mess up this process, so getting a backup 80% receiver may be worth considering, particularly if you have rented or borrowed any of the equipment and can’t afford the time to order a replacement receiver.  If you want to get rid of a receiver which is past that 80% barrier but “unusable”, you shouldn’t just throw it out (because it is legally a firearm now).  Cut it in pieces so it cannot be reassembled or deliver it to the local police.

Future Changes to Laws and Regulations

Not only are there efforts at the some State and the Federal levels to “ban” (re-ban) the AR-15, but as you might expect, those who think firearm ownership needs to be tightly controlled are outraged about this self-manufacture “loophole”.  There have been and almost certainly will continue to be attempts at the Federal level to restrict self-manufactured firearms, if not entirely, at least to the same degree as commercial firearms.  And some states have and likely will continue to pass laws which directly or indirectly will limit your ability to build, or require registration of, or ban, certain firearms or types of firearms.  So if you have the skills, equipment access and desire to build your own, it might be better to start on it sooner rather than later.

The Other Options

For full disclosure, I will mention that an AR-15 receiver can also be printed using a 3D printer.  It would require a machine able to do something of that size and complexity, and using a material which was adequately strong and stable, and powered by the appropriate programming.  I don’t have any personal experience with 3D printers, and in the only case I know of where someone did print an AR-15 receiver, it was judged to be not safe or even usable without more work.  This is not to say the technology is not viable, or even will never be viable, just that I would want to see it “proved” and reasonably priced before I considered it.

Also, you can cast your own resin receivers with metal reinforcement.  Prior to the metal reinforcement, they seemed resistant to heat, cold and chemicals, and seemed ok for aimed (slow) fire, but in rapid fire reliably cracked at the takedown hole and did deform and eventually broke when stress was applied sideways to the buffer tube.  I have no indications on whether the metal reinforcement overcomes these weaknesses, but this option seems interesting if your talents are more “chemical” than mechanical.

If you want to build a firearm, but not mess with “manufacture”, you can buy a complete “stripped” receiver through normal firearm purchase channels, making the completed firearm legally indistinguishable from one made by a licensed company.

In the next two articles, we will look at what parts you need to complete an AR-15.

The post Building Your Own Firearms (Part 2 – The Methods) appeared first on The Prepper Journal.

3 Reasons To Carry A Full-Sized Pistol Instead Of A Compact One

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3 Reasons To Carry A Full-Sized Pistol Instead Of A Compact One

Concealed carry is a big responsibility, but before you can begin “packing heat,” you first need to select the right pistol.

The decision, of course, can be intimidating. There are an abundance of different guns to choose from, ranging from tiny pocket pistols to big full-sized firearms.

Most people will favor something small, such as a compact single-stack 9mm pistol or a pocket-sized .380. But I carry a full-sized pistol, specifically a Walther PPQ M2 in 9mm.

Why do I carry a full-sized pistol instead of something that would be smaller and easier to conceal?

Let’s examine that question.

1. Greater capacity.

The single biggest reason I favor conceal carrying a large handgun is the greater capacity in the magazine. The PPQ holds 15 or 17 rounds, depending on the magazine you use. Why is this important? The answer is that you may find yourself going up against multiple attackers, and in this scenario it’s always better to have more bullets than less. In contrast to full-sized 9mm handguns, the single-stack counterparts such as the Glock 43, S&W Shield, or Walther PPS hold 6, 7 or 8 rounds in the magazine.

2. Recoil control.

Another huge advantage to the full-size pistol is greater recoil control. Not only does the increased weight and size help dampen the recoil, but you will have improved control over the weapon, as well. It always will be easier to shoot a Glock 19 or 17 than it is a pocket pistol like a Ruger LCP or Kel-Tec P3-AT

 3. Versatility.

Finally, I also prefer a full-sized pistol for its overall versatility. While I can conceal carry the PPQ, I also can strap it to my hip for open carry for a sidearm when I venture out into the woods, such as for camping, hunting or motorcycle/ATV riding. In other words, I don’t have to buy one pistol for concealment and another for general purpose use. I can use one gun for both purposes.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Now, could you technically also carry a smaller pistol such as S&W Shield in this fashion? Sure, but most people would agree that a larger pistol is more preferable for general purpose outdoor use than a smaller one.

Next, let’s go over a couple of tips you can use to make conceal carrying a full-sized pistol as easy as possible.

Invest in a quality belt and holster

Quality holsters almost always cost more money, but they are well worth the investment. Factors to look for in a holster include rigidness, touch stitches or rivets, and the ability to hold the pistol tightly while also permitting a clean drawn. High-quality leather or Kydex works great for this; nylon or anything cheaply made will not suffice.

In addition, don’t forget to buy a high-quality belt. Avoid some dress belts, as they may not be able to support your holster, firearm, spare magazine(s), and whatever else you have for the whole day and could end up breaking. Instead, go with a thicker leather belt made specifically for supporting the increased weight of your gun and equipment.

Be conscientious about what you wear

A major goal of concealed carry, regardless of which firearm you are carrying, is to minimize or prevent printing. The best way to prevent printing of a full-sized pistol is to wear loosely fitted outer layers, such as a long and loose T-shirt, jacket or sweat shirt. In addition, the darker the color of the garment, the less the pistol will show. Remember: You don’t want to draw attention to yourself, so wear something that looks as casual as possible.

What do you prefer for concealed carry – a full-sized pistol or a compact one? Share your observations in the section below:

Bushcraft Gear – 7 Of The Best Bushcraft Tools For Survival

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bushcraft gear - survival knife cutting

Bushcraft Gear For The Serious Survivalist

The ability to invent, create and use tools are one of the major ways humans differ from animals. Bushcraft gear is the group of tools we first invented as a species. The gear we first crafted from sticks, stones, and bones found in nature. In order to make knives, arrows, spears, fire, shelters, etc.

The best bushcraft gear is the tools that give the ability to make a large array of other tools. For example, having a bushcraft knife opens up a world of possibilities to build hundreds of other useful tools and items.

Before humans became advanced engineers and scientists, we played by the rules of nature. If you go back far enough in history, survival was an everyday endeavor; it was the only lifestyle we knew.

There was no comfortable couch waiting for us at home, or steamy hot shower either. There were no grocery stores and no prepackaged food to meet our hunger pains.

And worse yet, no indoor plumbing so when “nature called”, we were already there because the wild was our home.

Living in those circumstances required a very particular set of tools and skills. What we today call bushcraft.

So What Is Bushcraft?

Over the years we’ve refined and perfected our instruments of survival. And bushcraft became an art form, much like martial arts or rock climbing.

For centuries the tools have remained unchanged while our computers and iPhones seem to evolve every few weeks. However, bushcraft gear and tools are timeless.

Today living in a remote off-grid wilderness is much the same as it was for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Our bodies need the same securities: fire, shelter, food, and water. And the tools used to secure those needs are impressive in their simplicity and functionality.

Now, in today’s society, we typically don’t get to choose when and where and under what circumstances we end up stranded in the wilderness. So a collection of bushcraft tools does you no good stored in your garage.

For example, if you go down in a plane over the high country, you’re not going to have many bushcraft tools with you. (And if somehow you do, kudos, that’s impressive).

So I’ve compiled a list of the best, most essential bushcraft gear. I’ll describe their purpose, where you can buy them and a brief explanation of how to improvise each. But first, let’s get one important definition out of the way:

Bushcraft is the art of surviving in the woods. The official definition is:

“The skill gained by or necessary for living in bush country.”

But I’m going to applying the term more generally in this article. I am not limiting it to surviving “in the woods or forest” but to in the wilderness at large.

Surviving in the mountains, lost in the woods, stranded on an island, or traversing a desert. Bushcraft is the art of survival anywhere. And bushcraft gear is useful in any survival situation.

Bushcraft Gear – The 7 Essential Tools You Must Own and How To Make Them In Nature

1 – Survival Hatchet

If you haven’t read Gary Paulsen’s book, Hatchet, you need to do yourself a favor and get it now. The book follows a young man, stranded in the wilderness with nothing but his trusty hatchet.

He then uses this hatchet to survive through a winter in the wild alone. It’s an incredible example of how versatile and useful bushcraft gear can be.

With a quality survival hatchet, you can cut wood for fire, shape branches for arrows/bows to hunt for food or build a shelter. The possibilities are endless! Which is exactly why I bring a hatchet with me on every excursion I go on.

For the most part, using a hatchet is relatively straightforward: just hack away. And, if the hatchet’s edge is sharp enough you can also use it to shave and score wood.

There are tons of places to buy a hatchet. Any outdoor store or hardware worth visiting will carry an assortment of hatchets.

And if you search online, you’ll find a selection of brands, shapes, weights, and styles to choose from. You’ll be able to find the right hatchet for you regardless of your style, need, or budgetary restrictions.

Don’t worry there’s a hatchet out there for you.

Wetterlings is my favorite company for hatchets and axes. These hatchets are high-quality but they are not the lightest (nor the cheapest).

If weight is your primary concern, then go with this Friskers 14-inch hatchet. This hatchet one only weights 1.4 lbs due to its light (yet still strong) Nyglass (nylon/fiberglass composite) handle construction.

Improvising a Hatchet

The most important part of any hatchet is the head. It needs to be thick and sharp. However, it doesn’t need to win a beauty content.

There are a lot of things that you can use to achieve this. Scrap metal and sharpened stones are usually the best improvisation options.

Once you have a hatchet head selected, lash it securely to a handle using cordage. When you are sure the head will not come flying like a lethal projectile, it should be good to go.

Here’s a video showing a stone hatchet without using cordage.

2 – The Fixed-Blade/Folding Survival Knives

Few tools in a bushman’s pack are as versatile as a survival knife.

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There is a reason the knife has been one of the most prominent survival tools throughout history. Knives are extremely functional.

They serve a lot of different purposes:

• Cutting
• Digging
• Self Defense
• Poking Holes
• Splitting or Batoning
• Perforating
• Shaving
• Using As A Utensil For Eating
• Skinning
• Flathead Screwdriver

In generally, if you think you can use a knife to do it, you most likely can.

Knives come in all shapes and sizes. Some fold, some are fixed, some are double edged, and others only single edged.

Some come attached to multi-tools, while others are as basic as possible. Some are expensive while others are cheap. Some are sleek, and some are just badass looking.

It all depends on what you’re looking for from your bushcraft knife, to decides which one to invest in.

If you want a big “screw-off” hunting knife, check out Kabars (the official knife of the US Marines).

If you want a super lightweight, reliable, folding pocket knife, you can’t go wrong with a Benchmade Knife.

For a fixed blade knife I like Helle knives and blades. They are traditional Norwegian made and reliable.

Improvising a Knife

Improvising a fixed blade cutting tool is far more efficient than wasting time, energy, and resources trying to make a folding knife.

Sure, you can do it. But if you’re in a survival situation and need to make something functional, go with a fixed blade knife. Fix blade knives are easier to make, and they get the job done.

The concept behind improvising a survival knife is similar to making a hatchet: you need a handle and a blade.

Blades are relatively easy to come by, just think like a jailbird and shive up. Use sharpened scraps of metal, sharpened stones, even glass can work.

Handles can be either fastened to the blade with cord/tape or made entirely by wrapping tape around the end until you have something to grip. (A note on using glass: not all shards of glass will work well as a knife blade – but some forms of glass, like obsidian, are better than even the sharpest metals).

Obsidian blades were commonly used by the Maya people, and are SO sharp they cut on a molecular level. Obsidian can still be found naturally today, so keep your eyes open.

3 – Survival Saws

When you are dealing in the wilderness, efficiently cutting wood is a lifesaving skill. And even armed with a hatchet and a pocket knife, you are not going to be removing felled trees from across trials. You won’t be able to cut precise lengths of wood for home building.

For that, you need a saw.

Saws are an ultimate bushcraft tool. Even if, in your day to day life you never need a saw, when bush crafting you’re undoubtedly going to use it. And use it often. That saw is going to be essential, I guarantee it.

There are so many types of specialty saws:

• Coping Saws
• Veneer Saws
• Hacksaws
• Crosscut Saws
• Keyhole Saw
• Fret Saw
• Table Saw
• Rip Saws
• Bow Saws
• Band Saws
• Meat Saws
• etc.

But no one is realistically going to lug their table saw with them in a “shit hits the fan” scenario. So here is a short list of my favorite survival saws.

Forester Survival Pocket Handsaw – This saw fits in your pocket, it’s lightweight and effective at cutting branches. Yes, it would be tough to bring down a tree with this one, but hopefully, you won’t have to.

Gerber Saw Folding Gator – Comes with a fancy little pack making for easy packing. The saw is a lightweight bow saw, with easily replaceable teeth.

Gerber Vital Pack Saw – This is a small, super packable backpacking saw. It will easily fit into some unused nook or cranny of your pack.

Ultimate Survival Technologies Saber Cut Saw – Yeah, the name is a mouthful, but the saw is minimalistic. It looks more like a loop of wire than anything that could detach tree limbs but don’t get fooled. This survival tool is adept at doing exactly that.

How to Improvise a Saw

Improvising a saw in nature is a bit tricky. Saw blades are both precise and unnatural as far as bushcraft gear goes. So you won’t find them lying around in nature.

The closest thing to making an improvised saw is to make a wire saw.

To do this, you will need two key rings, and a length of coarse wire (electrical fencing wire, stripped electrical wires, etc.). Measure out roughly 3 feet of wire and slip the first key-ring halfway along the wire.

Start twisting the wire around itself from the middle (so that you can use the key-ring as a handle). Continue twisting until you get to the end, and incorporate the other key-ring.

The twisted coarse wire should function as a wire saw. But remember this improvised version is nowhere near as effective as the real deal. But it’s better than nothing in a pinch.

4 – Flint and Striker

Fire is the granddaddy of a survival essential. I never leave the house without a lighter on me. I keep packs of matches in every backpack I own and bring a flint and striker on most trips.

I don’t usually use the flint/striker because I don’t usually need to. But the age-old spark making duo has saved countless lives over the years.

The best part about a striker and flint is that they even work if they get wet. So if you want to keep an emergency fire starter on your boat, you should use one of these. If you plan on backpacking through a coastal region, use a flint and striker instead of matches.

Lots of outdoor manufacturers and survival companies make flint and striker setups. Some are cheap and lightweight; others are a little more expensive and flashier. But they all serve the same purpose, and they are all reliable.

All-Weather Emergency 2-IN-1 Fire Starter & Magnesium Fuel Bar

Basic, simple, lightweight, reliable, cheap, easy to use, makes fire. What more could you ask for in a survival tool?

Traditional Hand Forged High-Quality Carbon Steel Fire Striker

Fancy, a little heavier, but very elegant. This handcrafted artisan flint and striker set up is for those who do not mind spending a little extra.

Survival Magnesium Fire Flint Steel Fire Starter Ferro Rod with Wood Handle

At only $8.99 (at the time of this post) this is by far one of the more economical ways to go. Buy a bunch of these and store one in your car, one in your bug out bag, and one in your backpacking pack.

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Improvising a Flint and Striker

The best part about this piece of bushcraft gear is the fact that it does exist in nature.

Unlike a saw or a knife, you can find the materials for a flint and striker laying around. Find two rocks that spark when banging them together. And then get banging.

Or, use a piece of metal to strike against a stone at an angle to generate some sparks.

Not all stone will work, so you may have to try a few different types. But sparks are possible to make in nature without any man made supplies.

5 – Compasses

With luck, you will never get lost in the woods without a compass. They are essential not only to bushcraft but all outdoor activities.

Whether you are hunting, hiking, fishing, kayaking or camping having a true sense of direction is key.

It makes it easier to explore the unknown and find your way back safely. There is nothing worse than getting lost; compasses help you avoid that.

However, investing in a compass relies heavily on how much you want to spend and how you’re planning to use it.

I keep a simple Suunto compass in my hiking backpack and transfer it into my other bags if I need to.

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

But when I was mapping out geologic formations in Boulder we used a very high-tech, multi-purpose compasses. Specifically, one known as a Brunton Pocket Transit Geo Compasses.

Now obviously, these are not made for survival, but it illustrates the variety available.

Find one that serves your needs and fits your budget.

Improvising a Compass

Despite being a clever article of technology, the compass is simple to recreate in nature. And it requires only a few basic supplies.

Find a quiet pool of water – preferably a bowl, but in a pinch, a still puddle will work too. Get your hands on a metal needle. A sewing needle works but small lengths of wire also works so long as the metal is magnetic (i.e. contains iron, cobalt or nickel).

Next, place the needle on something that floats (a leaf or a small chunk of cork or on a small piece of wood) and gently set it into the center of the still water.

Make sure there is no breeze or wind.

The needle should align according to Earth’s magnetic field. This alignment indicates North and South. Magnetic needles are a tried and tested method, but requires a bit of patience and very stable conditions (i.e. still water and air).

6 – Whetstones

Equally important to any bladed bushcraft gear, are the tools which sharpen them. Whetstones have been around for as long as bladed tools have, and are vital to maintaining a sharp blade.

Here is a good video to learn the techniques of sharpening knives.

Get the stone wet, and run the blade backward along the rock’s surface at a consistent 20-degree angle. Repeat this until the edge begins to sharpen.

Whetstones are available at most hardware stores and outdoor stores. Wusthof, Accusharp and Culinary Obsession whetstones are a few common brand names available.

Make sure you get a whetstone with a coarse grit side and a fine grit side. These are by far the best for honing your blade edges.

Here are a few more unique ways to sharpen a blade.

Improvising a Whetstone

Almost all whetstones you find on the market are made from artificial stone. Plus, the material particles are all the same size and grit found in nature.

Finding sharpening stones in the wilderness is difficult. You need something very flat, smooth, and dense.

I have heard of people using cinder blocks to hone a rough edge, or flat river stones high in quartz. But finding a random rock that will work well to sharpen your blades is going to be a difficult undertaking.

7 – Fishing Line and Hooks

These two items are so light, cheap, and packable that every survivalist should carry them.

Hooks and line fit into small zip locks and weight close to nothing. And fishing is an essential bushcraft survival skill.

You don’tt have to have a full fishing rig to catch something; you just need a line, a hook, and some bait.

Fishing line and hooks are available nearly everywhere:

• sporting stores
• outdoor stores
• hardware store
• everything store
• dollar stores
• reuse stores
• military surplus stores
• even many grocery stores

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Improvising Fishing Lines and Hooks

As far as bushcraft gear goes, it doesn’t get much simpler than this. So you need to get your hands on some thin line, and a few aluminum can tops.

The can tops can be cut or broken/bent into a near-perfect improvised fish hook. Find some bait, and you are ready to cast your line.

The Final Word

Of any life skill, I would argue that Bushcraft is one of the most important. Kids who grow up never learning how to use a hatchet or to widdle things with pocket knives are not missing out.

They also are not being adequately prepared to handle themselves in the real ‘real’ world. There is always time to learn, though. It is never too late to get out into the wild and start practicing bushcraft. Who knows, you may even master the art.

Of course, no bushman was ever successful without their trusty bushcraft gear. The gear essential to the trade. And without them, you will struggle to survive in the wilderness.

The bottom line is owning key bushcraft gear is an essential preparation. But knowing how to improvise any one of these bushcraft tools is equally important. Because you never know when you might get stranded in the remote wilderness.

-Will Brendza
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The post Bushcraft Gear – 7 Of The Best Bushcraft Tools For Survival appeared first on Skilled Survival.

Ammo Supplies: Why You Can’t Relax Just Because Trump Won

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Ammo Supplies: Why You Can’t Relax Just Because Trump Won

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It appears the current political environment concerning guns and ammo may have relaxed a bit. But constant vigilance by all who want to maintain an ammo supply for their favorite firearms should be the norm.

As a current firearms instructor in both civilian and law enforcement venues, it never ceases to amaze me as to how little thought is given to ammo and its availability. In many instances, students often arrive for training reporting they have limited ammo for that day’s range work because they could not find it at the local retailer in the required quantity. Likewise, ammo cost and supply are a constant concern and discussion in the law enforcement arena.

With increasing frequency, ammo is becoming the focus of control efforts by politicians on the local and federal level who view guns — and all associated with them — as evil.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

The following are just a few of the challenges we are facing today when it comes to ongoing ammo acquisitions:

Leave your fingerprint/show a license to purchase ammo. California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois and Massachusetts all have passed such laws or are considering them.

Environmental. In a nutshell, the shaky theory holds that lead-based projectiles will compromise certain wildlife species (and humans, too) if ingested or physical exposure occurs. The result is lead-based ammo being restricted or banned.

Public safety. Attempts to eliminate .556 green tip or other “ballistic tip” ammo because it could penetrate all law enforcement body armor. Any high-velocity rifle round has this capability … it’s just political posturing.

Quantity restrictions. In some states, there are many restrictions on purchases of large quantities of ammo via the Internet. In addition, some retailers restrict how much of certain calibers one may purchase at any given time. This is still not uncommon for 22 rimfire ammo.

Import restrictions. There has been much discussion on limiting or banning importation of foreign-made ammo in such highly used cartridges as 7.62×39 and 5.45×39.

Non-availability. Ammo manufactures may limit how often they produce certain calibers based on the market demand. This means you better have laid in a good supply of all necessary reloading components if you need a particular, less common caliber. I personally have encountered difficulty in finding 218 Bee and 348 Winchester. To my knowledge, neither is currently in production. And one that’s around but continues to be difficult to find is 22 Magnum!

So, what are your needs and use for ammo? And how much is enough?  That depends on you. Uses and needs in my world encompass the following: hunting, shooting sports/competition, training, defensive, bartering/investment, and leaving something for kids/grandkids when they find ammunition even harder, costlier and perhaps commercially unavailable to obtain in the future.

Many methods exist for long-term storage. But keep in mind: It must be cool and dry! Also, don’t store all your ammo in one location; spread it out. This provides some degree of insurance against fire, theft and catastrophic events.

Bottom line, if you want to have ammunition available at all times, you need to have a continuous plan for acquiring and replacing it. Just remember that just a few years ago, it wasn’t merely rimfire ammo that became scare; many pistol and rifle calibers also were hard to find!

Can you have too much ammo? That is for you to decide.

What do you think is “too much ammo”? Share your thoughts in the section below:

5 Portable, Takedown Rifles You Can Hide Anywhere

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5 Portable, Takedown Rifles You Can Hide Anywhere

Savage Model 42

Takedown firearms, which can be disassembled for compact transport, are booming in popularity. Why? Who wouldn’t want long gun-scale effectiveness in a package that fits discreetly into a day pack or business case, or even under the truck seat? For hunting, varmint control and protection, these budget-friendly shooters are a great option.

Though takedown guns are available in high-power models, the focus for this article is lightweight models, usually in rimfire chambering with a couple of shot shell models thrown in. All are easy on the wallet. Within those parameters, here are five favorites

1. Ruger 10/22 Takedown

Sturm, Ruger, & Co. has a wise approach to business. Rather than peddle new guns that no one’s asked for year after year, they crank out new versions of proven ones. It’s a winning strategy that benefits the consumer. The internals of the 10/22, a 10-round semi-auto in 22 LR, are the same as ever. The takedown model comes with a handsome pack, a choice of finishes including but not limited to camo, TALO brights and tactical. Some even have a threaded barrel covered by a handsome flash hider. This little rifle delivers camp and prep-friendly convenience. Assembled, lengths vary by package, in the area of 35 inches. Weight is less than five pounds, unadorned by optics. New prices range from $250 to $550, depending on features.

2. Savage Model 42 Takedown

The Model 42, a longtime hit among small-game hunters, has been updated into a series of takedown models — regular and compact/youth. In any version, its over-and-under barrels offer the choice of firing 22LR or 22 Winchester Magnum on top, and .410 on the bottom. Its single action-only operation requires cocking the hammer, an element of safety for those who like to carry “hot,” as well as lending a traditional look to the profile. Another lever allows the user to choose which barrel fires.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

A black synthetic stock features austere environment-friendly sculpting for easier grip and carry. The 42 Takedown is available in regular and compact models. Overall length of the compact version is 34.75 inches. An Uncle Mike’s carry pack is included. Although MSRP is $500, the Model 42 can be found new starting in the mid-$200s.

3. Chiappa Double Badger Takedown

5 Portable, Takedown Rifles You Can Hide Anywhere

Chiappa Double Badger Takedown. Image source: YouTube screen capture

With shoes and mopeds, consumers count on Italian design to be unique, with great quality. The same goes for guns. The first foreign entry on this list is Chiappa’s Double Badger. Unlike others featured here, it folds in half, rather than completely separating receiver from barrel. It is therefore a little harder to pack, as the V-shaped folded firearm takes up more space than the others. However, traditionalists will appreciate the classic look and feel of its lever-action operation and checkered walnut stock. Subtle but important modern touches include fiber optic sights. Like the Savage 42, it comes with 22LR/WMR and .410 or 20-gauge chambering. Chiappa sells a range of chokes to customize the shot pattern, too. A dedicated backpack is sold separately, which is a bit of a disappointment considering most others include the pack. Retail pricing for the Double Badger typically hovers in the mid-$300s, although feature-dependent pricing can push actuals $100 higher or lower.

4. Ruger 22 Charger Takedown

The second Ruger entry on this list is a short so-called pistol (okay, legally called a pistol) chambered in 22LR. The Charger has modern features like a Picatinny rail for mounting your favorite optic, and can easily be fitted with a bipod for stability, which is a helpful feature on this stock-less platform. It comes with colorful wood or synthetic furniture. The Charger’s 10-inch barrel breaks away from the lightweight receiver that features a pistol grip, making it a very compact package. Fully assembled, it’s only 19.25 inches long. Weighing in at 3.5 pounds, it’s also the lightest choice here, sans optic, which is necessary since it comes without front or rear iron sights. The Charger does have a threaded barrel, making it ideal for urban varmint sniping where legal. Unlike the 10/22, the standard magazine of this semi-auto holds 15 rounds. Ruger sells it with a hard plastic case. Although some accoutrements and effort are required to fire accurately, this is by far the most packable choice here. Some will take a shine to its non-traditional profile and will be happy to pick up a Charger/bipod set for under $400.

5. Browning SA-22

Stepping well into the zone of legacy, Browning offers several grades of its long-standing takedown model. For purposes of this article, we’ll discuss the plain and most practical Grade 1 SA (semi-auto) 22. The company makes a range of finishes, as well as centerfire models on the takedown platform. With a classic black walnut stock and 19-inch blued barrel, the SA-22 has a tubular, 10-round, bottom-loading magazine and crossbolt safety. It comes drilled and tapped for scope installation, or use the brass bead front sight and rear blade. At 37 inches with the 19 3/8-inch barrel attached, it’s the longest rifle on this list, but misses being the heaviest at just 5 pounds, 3 ounces. No bag is included. Expect to pay close to $500 for this classic. Also, expect it to hold its value for resale better than others presented here.

What is your favorite takedown? Share your thoughts on takedowns in the section below:

Top 5 Best Anti-Carjacking Guns !

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Top 5 Best Anti-Carjacking Guns Carjacking is any pugnacious attempt at stealing an occupied vehicle.  Thousands of carjackings occur in the United States each year, and if you don’t want to become another victim, keeping a gun in your car at all times is the best option possible.  A ‘car gun’ is simply a weapon … Continue reading Top 5 Best Anti-Carjacking Guns !

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6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns

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6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns

A firearm is a critical defensive tool to have in your survival kit, but there are a wide variety of non-firearm alternatives available on the market.

While a gun might be your first and best defensive option, it has some drawbacks, too. One of the biggest is noise – guns are loud, and even suppressed firearms are fairly noisy. Shooting an unsuppressed firearm can cause severe hearing damage, give away your location to an imminent threat, or scare away wild game that you are trying to hunt.

Another downside is that firearms need ammunition to function – without it, your expensive new gun is just a menacing-looking paperweight. Your supply of ammunition is limited by its cost, the amount of space you have to store it, and (in survival situations that require you to leave your home) the weight you can carry. Consequently, you may only have a limited amount of ammunition on hand when your survival plan needs to be put into play. You should consider purchasing one or more non-firearm defensive tools if:

  1. You want a backup to your firearm in case you run out of ammunition.
  2. You want a quiet defensive tool.
  3. You cannot carry a gun in some locations.
  4. You have moral, philosophical or ideological objections to the use of firearms.

This article will discuss your options for purchasing alternative defensive tools to add to your bug-out bag or emergency stash. Remember: You will need to practice and become proficient with any defensive tool to ensure that you can operate it effectively when a disaster strikes.

Projectile Weapons

1. A crossbow or compound bow.

While crossbows and compound bows are traditionally used for hunting, they also can be used as a defensive tool. While not as effective as a firearm, a good crossbow or compound bow will provide lethal accuracy out to 60 yards without the loud report of a gunshot. A well-constructed entry level crossbow (firing at 300fps or greater) will typically cost around $500, though lower-powered variants can be purchased for much less. Entry level compound bows firing at 300fps or greater will typically start at $200, and go up from there. You will want to purchase a case, spare bolts or arrows, replacement arrowheads, spare bow strings, and bow wax.

2. A survival bow.

As with the crossbow or compound bow, a survival bow is a hunting tool that can double as a defensive weapon. Unlike compound bows, a survival bow can be disassembled easily, and stored in a small pouch or carrying case. Aside from its ability to be disassembled for compact storage, the main benefit of the survival bow is its simple design when compared to a compound bow. However, survival bows are not as easy to shoot as compound bows because they have a much heavier draw. Your bow should have a minimum of a 40-pound draw – if the manufacturer doesn’t provide you with draw information, it is likely under the 40-pound mark. A decent survival bow can be purchased for as little as $90.

3. A slingshot.

They can use virtually any small object as ammunition, are compact enough to store virtually anywhere, and are very quiet. Steel ball bearings are the best ammunition for this type of weapon, but marbles, rocks and even steel nuts from a hardware store will function adequately.

The Self-Defense Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

While a slingshot may not kill an attacker, it can certainly break bones and cause substantial bodily trauma. The best part is the price – a decent slingshot can be purchased for under $100.

Handheld Weapons

4. A machete.

A machete is a great tool to have in your prep kit, regardless of whether or not you are looking for an alternative to firearms for defending yourself. You can find a high-quality machete for less than $50 at any hardware or sporting goods store. Just remember that machetes are designed to slash, not stab.

5. An expandable baton.

6 Intimidating (And Quiet) Alternatives To Guns This compact, concealable defensive tool is an excellent choice for close-range defense. The expandable baton is composed of a handle that contains telescoping metal shafts, and a weighted tip.

It’s The Low-Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Criminal Scum!

With the flick of your wrist, the baton expands to its full size, and makes a formidable impact weapon. An entry-level expandable baton can be purchased for around $25, and high-end versions for under $100.

6. A knife.

A fixed-blade knife is an ideal defensive tool because it is designed to withstand a lot of abuse. However, they are harder to store because of their length. Folding knives may not be as durable or reliable as fixed blades, but are good to have because they are easy to store or carry unobtrusively. When looking for a high-quality knife, expect to spend at least $50, maybe more. Some can be purchased for under $20, but their quality and durability may be questionable.

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

Home Owner’s son kills 3 Home Invaders with AR-15

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max cook, jacob redfearn, jake woodruffThe three The three home burglars that got killed

23 year old Zachary Peters shot the 3 intruders with an AR-15 rifle after they broke into his home, carrying weapons and wearing black clothes.

The link to the story includes more info and the audio of the 911 call, which is worth listening so as to understand better what happens when talking with 911 during such situations.

This goes to show how important it is to teach our kids safe gun use from an early age. I know of much younger children, even pre teens that have used their father’s gun  to protect themselves and their families.

Also its important to remind everyone about the risks of gun handling by children that are too young or not mature enough to handle such responsibility. Be extremely careful with this given how common that type of accident is when it comes to children and firearms.

If your child is old enough, besides safe gun handling the KEY thing to teach  is proper identification before shooting any target. This right there saves lives and avoids tragic shootings of friendly fire.

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”.

How To Build A Survival Gun Cache On A $500 Budget

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How To Build A Survival Gun Cache On A $500 Budget

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Survivalists who find themselves on serious budgets always will be faced with the problem of accumulating the gear they want within a price point that they can afford. Putting together a survival armory of guns is no exception.

Let’s say that you only have $500 to spend on guns. Many would say that with this budget, it’s A) impossible to build a complete armory that covers your bases, and, B) the guns that you do buy for your armory will be cheaply made or of low quality.

Both of these are absolute nonsense. While $500 is certainly not going to buy you as many guns as a $2,000 or $3,000 budget will, it’s still not impossible to gather the guns you need for this amount.

In fact, you will be able to acquire the three most important guns that you need for just $500.  The specific models that you can buy may not be the fanciest examples on the market, but they are still reliable and will work well enough.

Let’s outline what the three most important categories of guns to have are, and then list an example of a make and model of gun that you can have in that category.

12 GA SHOTGUN – MAVERICK 88 ($180)

It’s hard to say no to a 12-gauge shotgun being the first gun that you own. The 12-gauge round is highly versatile. You can use buckshot for home defense, birdshot for target shooting and bird/small game hunting, and slugs for hunting bigger game such as deer or wild boar.

You also should ideally make your shotgun be a pump-action model over a single shot or semi-automatic, the reason being that you have more capacity than a single and greater reliability with feeding different types of rounds over the semi.

We’re going to cap off the price of a budget shotgun at $180, and the best model that you can buy for this price is going to be the Maverick 88 shotgun, which is the budget model of the world-renowned and highly popular Mossberg 500. While the Maverick doesn’t come with a lot of the same features as the 500, it is still highly reliable and more than adequate for defensive or hunting use.

The Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

Although the Maverick 88 usually costs around $200 for a new model, you can very easily find used ones for $180 or even a little less on online auction sites such as


No gun collection of personal battery of arms is complete without a .22 rifle, even if you only have $500 in total to spend. .22 ammunition is very small, meaning you can store and carry lots of it on you. It’s also a perfect round for small game hunting, plinking, general homestead use, and for introducing new people to the sport of shooting. If necessary, it could be used for self-defense, as well.

Normally, the three .22 rifles that I would recommend first would be the Ruger 10/22, Marlin Model 60, or Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. Unfortunately, none of these options is going to work, since I’m capping off the price for a .22 rifle at $100.

At this price point, your best option will be the Mossberg 702 Plinkster, which can be found used for even $80 or $90 if you look hard enough online. The Mossberg 702 is available in a wide variety of configurations and comes standard with a 10-round magazine, although higher capacity 25-round magazines also are available.

9MM PISTOL – TAURUS PT111 G2 ($220)

We’re now left with $220 to spend on our final firearm, which absolutely must be a pistol. The pistol is the gun you will have strapped to your side at all times during a disaster scenario. You want it to be easily concealed. I also recommend in this case that your pistol be a 9mm, simply because it’s the cheapest and most plentiful pistol caliber there is.

The specific pistol that I am going to recommend at this price point is going to be a pistol I wrote about recently, the Taurus PT111 G2. While it normally sells for around $250 new at most sporting goods stores, a quick perusal on Gunbroker shows that it can be purchased new or used in good condition for the $200-$220 range.

The PT111 G2 is a compact firearm, which makes concealment easy, but is also large enough so that you can get a full grip on the weapon. It holds 12 rounds in the magazine plus an additional round in the chamber, which is plenty of firepower for defending yourself against multiple attackers. Reviews of the PT111 G2 have been mostly very positive, and owners applaud its reliability, ergonomics and overall value. And besides, it looks much better than a Hi-Point.


So, there you have it. For $500, give or take a few dollars, you should easily be able to acquire a solid survival armory. And they cover your bases: target shooting, home defense/personal protection, and small-game or big-game hunting.

What do you think? What would be in your $500 survival gun armory? Share your thoughts in the section below:

If You Run Out Of Ammo, What Would You Do? Learn How To Make Your Own! Read More Here.

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

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

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

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

The Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

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

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

Here are the specs:

Barrel length: 3.25 inches.

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

Overall length: 6.65 inches.

Height: 4.48 inches.

Weight, unloaded: 28.7 ounces.

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

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

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

If You Run Out Of Ammo, What Would You Do? Learn How To Make Your Own! Read More Here.

The Best Concealed Carry Pistol for a Defensive Prepper

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

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The Rifle That Makes 1,000-Yard Hits Seem Super-Easy

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The Rifle That Makes 1,000-Yard Hits Seem Super-Easy

Image source: Terry Nelson

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.

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

The primary features of the Savage 10 BA Stealth in 6.5 are:

  • The Rifle That Makes 1,000-Yard Hits Seem Super-Easy

    Image source: Terry Nelson

    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:

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

How to Learn More about Self Defense for Emergency Situations

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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

Is This The Most Comfortable & Secure Concealed Carry Method?

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Is This The Most Comfortable & Secure Concealed Carry Method?

Image source: Dara Holsters

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.

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

Here’s why AIWB works for me:

1. Accessibility

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.

2. Security

Is This The Most Comfortable & Secure Concealed Carry Method?

Image source: Monderno

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.

3. Comfort

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:

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

Unarmed Combat: An Often Overlooked Survival Skill

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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.

5 Nifty Multi-Caliber Guns That Will Save You Big Money On Ammo

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5 Nifty Multi-Caliber Guns That Will Save You Money On Ammo

Taurus Judge. Image source: Taurus

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.

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

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.

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

Which Safe is Safest? How to Pick the Best Safe for Your Valuables

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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 […]

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How to Choose the Best Gun Safe for Your Needs

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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 […]

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