4 Shotgun Accessories For A Better Home Defense

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4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

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

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

1. A sling

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

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

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

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

2. On-board ammunition

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3. Auxiliary light

4 Shotgun Accessories For A More Effective Home Defense

Image source: LA Police Gear

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

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

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

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

4. Tritium front sight

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hunting

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

Self-Defense

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

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

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

Image source: Pixabay.com

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

Survival  

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t have a shotgun? Get one!

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

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

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

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

Image source: Henry Rifles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pump-Action Shotgun – The Most Versatile Gun

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shotgun

Todd’s Note: This is a guest post by Vitaly Pedchenko, owner of Rem870.com.

A pump-action shotgun is without a doubt one of the most versatile survival shotguns in the world. One of the reasons for its versatility has to do with how well it performs and the multiple environments it is suitable for. When you operate the weapon, your hand will go on the specially designed handgrip near the stock while your other hand goes on the forend. From there, you just pump the forend back to eject the shell from the chamber that you just used and then pump it forward to replace the shell with a new one.

Pump-action shotguns are used for a variety of activities such as hunting, home defense, law enforcement purposes, survival, and even for stopping riots with non-lethal ammunition. Let’s take hunting, for example. If you are hunting deer and you see one running by in the distance, you may only have a couple of seconds to react before the deer runs away. That means you’ll have to hit the deer on your first try or else it’ll run away and you’ll lose the opportunity to get him. With a pump-action shotgun, you have multiple chances to shoot the deer within a much shorter timeframe. This increases your odds of hitting him before it can get away. As for home defense and law enforcement purposes, these can be a matter of life and death. If an intruder or suspect starts shooting in your direction, you’ll need to fire as many shots as you can to scare them off or incapacitate them. The pump-action shotgun is the most reliable in these circumstances and can result in your life being saved because of it.

Gun enthusiasts often refer to pump action shotguns as slide-action repeating shotguns because it describes how you slide the forend back to extract a shell and then pump it forward to load a new shell into the chamber. These shotguns only use a single barrel which is located on top of the tubular magazine that the shells go into. This is how the pumping of the forend is able to take shells out of the magazine tube and place them into the chamber. Of course, you have the option of replacing the forend with a better one if you know how to do so. Some shooters like to have forends with grips on them so it is easier to hold it more securely while they’re using the weapon. If you want to get really fancy, then you can even mount a tactical flashlight to the forend so you can see in the dark. Some forend upgrades, such as the Surefire Light Forend, features a light integrated right into the forend so you don’t even have to mount anything to it.

If you are a newbie to shotgun ownership, then you will find it easier to perform maintenance on the pump-action shotgun. Activities such as cleaning the bore and chamber of gunpowder residue and debris are much more simplified with the pump action shotgun. When it comes to firing the weapon, it will take a lot of practice to get comfortable with it if you’ve never fired a pump-action weapon before. After you have gotten enough experience operating it, you may want to perform certain upgrades on it that may be necessary for repair purposes or just because you want to customize the weapon to fit your needs. For example, a lot of shotgun owners get tired of the factory stock, forend, controls, barrel that came with their weapon. They’d much rather upgrade these parts to ones that allow them to use shotgun more comfortably. Making these upgrades is a piece of cake with the pump action shotgun.

There aren’t too many disadvantages with pump action shotguns. The only real disadvantage is that you cannot add a detachable magazine in order to reload the weapon quickly. You can’t just pop out the magazine and attach a new one like you can with most rifles and some other shotgun types. But if you are just using your pump-action shotgun for hunting or home defense, then it shouldn’t be an issue. On the other hand, if you truly need to extend the ammunition capacity of your shotgun then there are tubular magazine extensions you can add. But it will still take some time to reload them after you use up all the ammunition that they hold.

About the Author: Vitaly Pedchenko, owner of Rem870.com – blog and forum about the Remington 870 shotgun. Competitive shooter and gun enthusiast. Author of the Complete Remington 870 Guide ebook.

Peace,
Todd

Vehicles Used As Defensive Barriers

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vehicle_defensive_barries_protection

Remember back in 1935 when the .357 Magnum round was introduced? It was selected for use by defensive_vehicle_prep_urban_survivalmany law enforcement agencies across the country.  The new magnum was highly touted as being able to shoot through the block of a car and stop the engine dead.  Well, I’m not sure if that is true.  A vehicle’s engine and compartment makes for a pretty formidable bullet stopper.   That’s a good thing when using a vehicle in a defensive position.  We more or less expect (or hope) that our car, truck, or SUV will shield us somewhat during SHTF escapes, bug outs, or other defensive maneuvers.

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

Is the composition of a vehicle enough to protect you from incoming bullets? Some recent field trials bring new light to this question.  The results are both good and bad.

A Thin Veil 

First, understand that the exterior skins of nearly all conventional vehicles will not stop bullets from most handguns.  The field trial did not test rifles, but it did test 12-gauge shotgun buckshot and slugs.  Other reports suggest some rifle calibers such as the 5.56/223 fair no better, but the .308 does have some penetration success.

Interior Construction

The good news is that inside the doors and panels of a vehicle are a conglomeration of parts, defensive_door_survivalwindow winding mechanisms, radio speaker magnets, crash beams, wiring, and other fixtures.  These components seem to deter, slow down, or stop bullets quite well.

The field trial I studied used traditional bullets and loads in the .380 ACP, 9mm, .40 S&W, .45 ACP, and 12 gauge.  None of the pistol bullets had much success in fully penetrating a vehicle if the bullets struck an auto component.  The exception to this is with certain types of .45 ACP bullets.  Full metal jacketed bullets in the .45 produced some level of success in busting through a vehicle door.

Related: Best Handgun Calibers For Survival

If these bullets ferreted past one of these structural fixtures or parts, then the occupant could be struck, albeit to a lesser damaging threat.  Engine compartments including the radiator, water pump, and manifolds resisted penetration.  Wheel wells provide a good defensive position, although exterior coverage is far from complete.  It is difficult for an adult to huddle behind a car wheel and tire without being somewhat exposed.

I was recently instructed that the door beams between the front and rear doors offer a fair deflective structure for most handgun bullets.  In fact, the reason low-riding thugs are crunched down in their seats with their heads positioned behind this middle door jamb component is to avoid bullet penetration to the head.  Considering this part of the vehicle can stop incoming rounds, this strategy makes sense.

The Shotgun Conundrum 

Likewise, the shotgun buckshot did not perform as well as one might believe.  I think most of us rely upon a good 00 buckshot load to sail through just about anything.  Maybe we have been watching too many movies.  The buckshot pellets passed through car skins, but were then caught up by crash struts, electric window motors, door locks and other mechanisms.

The 12 gauge slug was extremely effective.  These loads punched right through both theinside_vehicle_protection_urban_survival exterior and interior panels of the test car, entered the ballistic gelatin and passed completely through the entire mold.  Bad news bears for those inside a vehicle.

Read More: Tru-Bore 12 Gauge Chamber Adapter

The shotgun slug should prove a highly viable choice, if you have to be shooting at an individual inside a vehicle.  While this strategy may be effective, keep in mind the skill it takes to properly shoot a slug load from a shotgun.  It would be wise to consider using shotgun slugs in a self-defense scenario.

Keep in mind that the recoil and muzzle blast can be abusive.  Decide if you need to go to a full 3-inch shotshell slug or if the standard 2 ¾ -inch can do the job.  The field report I studied did not specify this.

Auto Glass Resistance

Now let’s get some clarity on glass.  Today’s automotive glass is far superior to auto glass of the past.  Contemporary windshields, side windows, and rear glass are more durable and crash resistant. Moreover, modern auto glass produces cleaner fractures. This is a plus for armed interactions and for passenger protection.

Current auto glass is much more likely to deflect pistol bullets shot from various angles due to the composition of the materials and the rake of auto glass panels.  The “rake” of a windshield is the angle at which it rests inside the car frame.  For example, a sporty car or pickup truck has a windshield with a sharper rake.  By contrast, some Jeep models have front glass that stands square to the frame.

A severe auto glass rake helps deflect bullets and may prevent penetration inside the vehicle cabin. front_glass_vehicle_survival_urbanOf course, this is often contingent on the angle of the shot.  In the field trials report, most of the pistol bullets did not completely penetrate the plate glass panel.  The glass may have cracked and fragmented, but the bullets did not pass through.

So, while modern auto glass cannot be relied upon to provide complete passenger protection, it certainly affords a better barrier than older auto glass.  When engaging an adversary, putting several layers of glass between yourself and incoming bullets offers extra protection.

In practice this might mean hiding at the rear quarter panel of the vehicle thus putting the rear glass, side glass, and a windshield between yourself and an assailant shooting from a position in front of the vehicle.

Also Read: Urban Survival Food Strategy

So, there you go.  A vehicle is a reasonable barrier against oncoming gun fire unless the attacker happens to be using shotgun slugs.  If a pistol bullet dodges mechanisms inside a door, the passenger could certainly be wounded.  The same would occur if the bullet’s pathway hit glass just right.  However, I would rather have the structure of a vehicle in my favor than be standing out in the open.

Photos By:
John J. Woods

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The Five 12-Gauge Loads Every Homesteader Should Own

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The Five 12-Gauge Loads Every Homesteader Should Own

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The 12-gauge shotgun is one of the most common, most versatile firearms a person can own. The right shotgun can be used for everything from survival hunting to protecting the garden from critters to home defense.

The wide variety of ammo, ranging from powerful slugs to lightweight small game loads, is what makes this weapon so useful, and it should be in the arsenal of any homesteader or survivalist. But having the gun is only half the battle; you need to have the right ammo, and more importantly, the right assortment of ammo. With these five best loads, you will be ready for anything that happens on the homestead.

1. Slugs

Perhaps one of the most fearsome loads you can shoot from a shotgun, heavy slugs turn your shotgun into an oversized smoothbore musket. If you have a rifled slug barrel, you gain increased accuracy and a slight increase in range. Even with a regular smooth barrel, you can reliably take shots out to 75 yards or so. There are a great many slugs, ranging from the traditional rifled slug — contrary to popular opinion, the rifling doesn’t aid in accuracy, but merely helps size the slug through various choke sizes — to fancy copper and polymer creations. (Don’t shoot slugs through very tight chokes, because it decreases accuracy and can in rare instances blow up your gun.) One-ounce rifled slugs will do nearly all you want to do. The shotgun is a simple weapon; keep your ammo simple as well.

2. 00 buck

Packing roughly nine .33 caliber pellets into a shell (more with long magnum loads), this is the workhorse of self-defense and hunting ammo. Suitable as the name implies for deer hunting, and absolutely brutal in combat and self-defense, 2 ¾-inch 00 buck is a standard military and police load, as well as a go-to round for home defense.

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

While not some magical burst of all-destroying lead, the 00 buck load will drop almost any game animal in the Lower 48 and pretty much any two-legged predator in its tracks. The smart homesteader will keep this close at hand for big game hunting and personal protection.

3. #4 buckshot

Used in the Vietnam War by the Navy Seals and others for its impressive ability to cut through heavy foliage and still drop a target, this is somewhat obscure but highly effective round. Delivering about 27 .24 caliber pellets, this cloud of high velocity lead is proven for home defense or hunting. This is my go-to choice for home defense, because I live in a close urban area, and I’d rather have smaller pellets than larger ones punching through my walls in case of a miss or near miss. Either way, my way of thinking is if it was good enough for the jungles of Vietnam, it’s good enough for the jungles of urban America. Shoot a couple of boxes and see if you aren’t convinced, as well.

4. Birdshot

There are several sizes, and you should probably have some of each. Use the smaller stuff on smaller game and the larger stuff when you need some reach-out-and-touch something. Ranging from the smaller #6 to the somewhat larger #8, birdshot is cheap, reliable and effective. As a bonus, it’s great for casual target shooting, teaching people how to shoot, and practicing with clay pigeons.

5. Non-toxic shot

In most places it is illegal to hunt migratory waterfowl with lead shot, and non-toxic shot is the next-best thing. Responsible hunters know that using non-toxic shot when hunting aids conservation and protects the wildlife we all enjoy. While it can be a bit more expensive than traditional lead shot, non-toxic shot is a must-have round if you hunt duck or geese, or simply want to stop filling your favorite hunting areas with toxic to wildlife lead. We are stewards of nature and owe it to ourselves and our children to hunt responsibly and ethically. Put some non-toxic shot aside, even if you aren’t required to use it. The land you keep clean may be your own.

Final Thoughts

My home-defense shotgun is loaded with #4 buckshot, and I’ve got ammo cans stuffed full of all sorts of 12-gauge ammo. It’s a mass-produced commodity and I’m not shy about grabbing boxes and cases when they turn up cheap. It is easy to put together the right collection of 12-gauge shells for your needs, and at a fairly low cost. Even heavy slugs and 00 buckshot can be had for less than a dollar a round, and if you handload, even cheaper. Having a 12 gauge is like owning five or six different guns, and all you have to do is change the load you are shooting. Much ink has been spilled over the notion of the “one universal gun” that can do everything, and I’d have to say based off of just these five simple types of shells, the 12-gauge shotgun isn’t too far from that mark.

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

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

Yes, Hillary Clinton Wants To Ban Guns — And Here’s Proof

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Yes, Hillary Clinton Wants To Ban Guns – And Here’s The Proof

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WASHINGTON — The belief that Hillary Clinton wants to ban or severely restrict private ownership of guns is not a fantasy. There is, in fact, plenty of evidence from Clinton’s own statements, and those of her supporters, indicating the former first lady would like to see an end to Second Amendment rights.

Some of Clinton’s most radical antigun statements even were made on national television.

A review of interviews and articles shows there are at least three reasons we should be concerned about her position on guns:

1. Hillary Clinton does not believe the Second Amendment grants Americans a constitutional right to “keep and bear arms.”

On June 5, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos had this discussion with Clinton on ABC’s This Week, where she refused to give a “yes” or “no” answer to a simple constitutional question:

Stephanopoulos: “Do you believe that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right, that it’s not linked to service in a militia?”

Clinton: “I think that for most of our history, there was a nuanced reading of the Second Amendment until the decision by the late Justice Scalia and there was no argument until then that localities and states and the federal government had a right, as we do with every amendment, to impose reasonable regulation. So I believe we can have common sense gun safety measures consistent with the Second Amendment, and, in fact, what I have proposed is supported by 90 percent of the American people and more than 75 percent of responsible gun owners.”

Stephanopoulos: “But … do you believe [the Supreme Court’s conclusion] that an individual’s right to bear arms is a constitutional right?”

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

Clinton: “If it is a constitutional right, then it, like every other constitutional right, is subject to reasonable regulation. And what people have done with that decision is to take it as far as they possibly can and reject what has been our history from the very beginning of the republic, where some of the earliest laws that were passed were about firearms.

“So I think it’s important to recognize that reasonable people can say, as I do, responsible gun owners have a right — I have no objection to that. But the rest of the American public has a right to require certain kinds of regularity, responsible actions to protect everyone else.”

Clinton never answered the question by Stephanopoulos.

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2. Clinton would like to see the US Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Heller overturned.

Heller was the 2008 decision in which the justices, along a narrow 5-4 vote, ruled that the Second Amendment gives Americans the right to own guns for self-defense and bars government from completely banning firearms ownership.

“Clinton believes Heller was wrongly decided in that cities and states should have the power to craft common sense laws to keep their residents safe, like safe storage laws to prevent toddlers from accessing guns,” Maya Harris, a policy adviser to Clinton, wrote in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg Politics. “In overturning Washington D.C.’s safe storage law, Clinton worries that Heller may open the door to overturning thoughtful, common sense safety measures in the future.”

The Washington, D.C., law essentially banned the ownership of handguns within the city.

The Heller decision was written by Justice Antonin Scalia, who died in February. Scalia’s replacement apparently will be appointed by the next president.

The four dissenting justices signed an opinion that read: “There is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.” That dissenting opinion also said the Second Amendment protects guns only connected with militia or military service.

3. Clinton has called Australia’s ban on guns a good idea.

In 1996, following a mass shooting, Australia banned semi-automatic rifles and pump-action shotguns. The law implemented a mandatory gun buyback program that resulted in 1 million rifles and shotguns being confiscated.

During a campaign rally in October 2015, Clinton said of the Australia gun model: “I don’t know enough details to tell you how we would do it or how it would work, but certainly the Australia example is worth looking at,” she said at a campaign stop in New Hampshire.

Australian law also prevents guns from being purchased for self-defense. “Personal protection will not be regarded as a genuine reason for owning, possessing or using a firearm,” reads the 1996 law, known as the National Firearms Agreement.

Do you believe Hillary Clinton wants to ban guns? Share your opinion in the section below:

Tired Of Losing Freedoms — And Looking For Another Country? Read More Here.

Field Reload Kit With Brass Shotgun Ammo

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“Urban Man: Here is another great video from a friend of mine.”
Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.

Tools/Equipment:

1. Brass shot shells (size for weapon system being used, 12 gauge, etc.)
2. Shot
3. Pyrodex Rifle and shotgun powder (or preferred brand)
4. 209 shotgun primers
5. Large pistol primers
6. Wadding material
7. Over shot card material
8. Lighter and glue stick
9. Primer crimp tool or “C” clamp setup with deep well socket
10. Primer removal tool
11. Powder tamper tool
12. Powder and shot measuring tool
13. Container for brass shells
14. Container to store kit
15. 15/64 inch drill bit
16. 23/64 inch drill bit
17. Wad and over shot cutter tool
18. Drill
19. Flat piece metal stock
20. Rubber hammer or similar 
21. Flat piece of wood stock

Converting brass shell to accept the 209 primer:

1. First use the 15/64 drill bit and drill out the primer hole.
2. Using a 23/64 drill bit, drill a slight recess in the primer hole deep enough to allow the primer rim to seat flush with the bottom of the shell. See photo above.
3. Seat the 209 primer like you would a regular 12 gauge shell when reloading.

Note: Shotgun firing these types of reloads need to be cleaned more often than factory loaded ammo.

Reload 209 Shotgun Primers Using Field Expedient Methods

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Warning: For educational purposes only. Use these techniques at your own risk.
Tools used for field expedient reloading
Items needed to reload 209 primer
Removing 209 primer components
209 primer assembly

“Urban Man” My survival buddy sent me another post in a series of reloading shotgun ammo. This video shows how to reload the primer as well when you have no primer replacements.”


Suggested tools used:

1. Antique hand primer crimp tool
2. Wood dowel for powder, wad and shot compressing
3. Primer removal tool with socket base (5/8 inch socket)
4. Rubber hammer
5. Wad cutter tool (for what ever size shell you are loading)
6. Flat punch that fits inside primer cup to flatten out dimple
7. Flat piece of metal stock
8. Flat piece of wood
9. Strike anywhere matches
10. Powder and shot measuring cups
11. Wad material (paper, plastic, wool, etc)
12. Over shot card material (cardboard, playing cards, etc)
13. 5.5 mm socket (used to remove primer cup)
14. Pin or finishing nail used to pound out primer cup.
15. Lighter or similar flame source
16. Glue stick
17. Rifle and shotgun powder with container (I used Pyrodex RS)
18. Bird shot with container (I used #7 1/2 in the video) 


Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

One drawback from reloading spent primers is the chance that the match head powder or what ever other ignition source was used may not ignite and you get a dude fire.

In the event the primer does not ignite, wait about 60 seconds with the end of the barrel pointed on target in the event there is a cook off. A cook off is when the powder could be smoldering but has not yet ignited. If it ignites and the end of the barrel is pointed toward someone, there may be a chance of an accidental shooting.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Fielding Expedient Ammo Reloading

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“Urban Man~ Here is an interesting lesson from a survival buddy of mine.”

Caution: This lesson is for educational purposes only. Gun powder is dangerous. Firing damaged or incorrectly loaded ammo is dangerous as well.

There may be a time in ones life when it may become necessary to have to reload ammo in the field, especially in a wilderness survival situation or the collapse of society. 

We are comfortable in knowing that at the moment we have access to ready made store bought ammo. But, what if that luxury was some how taken away? What if there were no stores left or available to purchase our ammo?

In such as situation, ammo can still be available if one knew how to obtain what was needed to reload their own. Spent ammo shells, especially shotgun shells can be found laying around all over the desert. Primers can be reconditioned and reloaded. Black powder can be homemade. Lead shot can be made from scrape lead.

You really do not need fancy reloading equipment in order to reload ammo in an emergency or self reliant situation.

Learn now to start saving your spent ammo hulls and shells. Set them aside to be reloaded at a later date when the time is needed.

Here are the steps that were covered in the video to reload a 12 gauge shell: (if this is the first time a plastic shotgun shell is being used, cut the top crimp fingers off the shell where the crimp line meets the star crimp.)

1. Remove primer
2. Install a new primer
3. Measure powder and add to shell
4. Using dowel rod, gently compress the powder in the shell
5. Add correct amount of wading (plastic, paper, animal hair, leather, etc.)
6. Using dowel rod again, gently compress the wad into the shell
7. Add correct amount of shot. (insure that there is enough room at the opening of the shell to add the over-shot card)
8. Add over-shot card and compress gently with dowel rod
9. Add glue over top of shot card ensuring that the inside walls of the shell receive glue as well
10. Immediately add another shot card over the top of the first one and apply gentle pressure to allow glue to spread out

Note: Do not allow the ammo to get wet. Do not jar the ammo around by throwing into an ammo can or something of that nature. Protect the ammo until it is needed. It is best to shoot this ammo from a single shot or double barrel shotgun rather than a pump action. A pump action can be used if you load and fire one round at a time rather than using the pump action.

Always inspect the shells for damage and cracks. Do not reuse or shoot damaged ammo. Use safety glasses when loading your ammo and keep open flames away from your powder. 

Remington 870 Vs. Mossberg 590: Which Pump Shotgun Is Truly Better?

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Remington 870 Vs. Mossberg 590: Which Pump Shotgun Is Truly Better?

Image source: YouTube screen capture

 

There are two flavors of pump shotgun that seem to dominate the market: the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 590. Each gun has its associated advantages and disadvantages when compared to the other, and fans and detractors seem almost evenly split into two camps, with a lot of us in the middle who shoot and own both types.

Let’s take a look at each design.

Remington 870

In 1951, Remington unveiled the Model 870 as the ultimate modern pump shotgun. Some 65 years and more than 10 million models delivered, it has proven itself to be the best-selling shotgun in history.

Remington 870 Vs. Mossberg 590: Which Pump Shotgun Is Truly Better?

Remington 870. Image source: RifleShooter.com

Available in a variety of barrel lengths, finishes and furniture options, the Model 870 has a vigorous aftermarket dedicated to improving its performance.

One of our gripes about the 870 pertains to Remington going with a dimpled magazine tube that inhibits the installation of a magazine extension.

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

Probably not a major concern to the millions of duck and deer hunters who cannot legally use them on their 870, it has plagued those of us in the competitive shooting and self-defense realms. There are a number of ways to circumvent this issue, but it is our only real gripe with the 870.

You can either pound the dimples out by inserting a socket head into the magazine tube, or simply drill them out.

I was first issued a 5-shot 18-inch barreled Remington 870 Wingmaster while serving guard duty at the armory during a stint in infantry training school at Camp Pendleton. I did not feel under gunned with it then, and still keep one in a safe with a magazine extension, Remington factory top-folding stock, Rem choke system and Magpul forend with a surefire light.

Mossberg 590

In 1961, Mossberg rolled out their Model 500. The 590 was an improvement upon this design that came about a few years later. The most significant change was the magazine tube that was closer in design to the Remington 870 by using a similar magazine cap that made maintenance easier.

Remington 870 Vs. Mossberg 590: Which Pump Shotgun Is Truly Better?

Mossberg 590. Image source: MossbergOwners.com

The design was further improved in the 590A1 by upgrading the plastic safety and trigger guard to metal versions and using a heavier barrel at the request of the US Navy and US Marine Corps.

Perhaps the most significant difference between the two is the placement of the safety. Remington uses a cross bolt type at the base of the trigger guard, whereas Mossberg places theirs at the rear of the receiver in line with the shooter’s sight.

Our gripe with Mossberg is that they offer very little in the way of a choke system on most factory models. A choke system gives the shotgun more versatility as a system. While it may be mostly negligible on shorter barrel home-defense guns, it is still the only way to attach a shotgun silencer like Silencerco’s Salvo.

In spite of my experience with the Remington, my first shotgun was a stainless Mossberg Marinecote 590. I chose this one because I felt its construction would inhibit rust while deploying for six-month Western Pacific tours with the Marines. That and despite being a Marine Infantryman for two years, I was still too young to legally purchase a handgun. I currently have two Mossbergs in my safe. One is a short-barreled 20 gauge that holds two rounds. The other a 9-shot 590A1 with a Speed Feed stock holding four extra rounds, a sidesaddle shell carrier holding six, a forend light and of course the ubiquitous bayonet lug that mounts either an M7 or M9 bayonet.

The Verdict

If World War III were to break out tomorrow and for some reason I needed a fighting shotgun, I might be more inclined to grab the 590A1 with its ghost ring sights, dedicated weapon light and advantages with capacity and on-board ammo storage.

My 870 is lighter and a bit nicer to shoot due to a better trigger and tends to be what I grab in the house most often when I hear a suspicious noise. It is simply easier to maneuver indoors than the bigger Mossberg. Fit and finish is slightly better than the Mossberg, but this is a shotgun that is over 30 years old and not representative of Remington’s current offerings.

As a gun writer, I have the luxury of shooting a variety of firearms, and placement of the safety is not a huge concern. I do urge new shooters or those who shoot less frequently to select a version where the placement of the safety is more comfortable for them, as that seems to be the only difference.

Both shotguns will serve you well as a self-defense weapon. In the end, it all comes down to personal preference.

Which shotgun do you prefer – the Remington 870 or Mossberg 590? Why? Share your thoughts on the weapons in the section below:

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

Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash

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Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash

Image source: Pixabaycom

 

If you ever want to start a debate on a survival or shooting forum, just ask, “How much ammunition is enough for an emergency stockpile?” Then take cover. You’ll be amazed at every single armchair general who comes out of the woodwork to offer his or her opinion on the matter. Some folks are minimalists: “Only what you can carry” is their cry as they announce their plans to survive by scrounging their way through the apocalypse. Others say, “Buy it cheap, and stack it deep!” These fellas are the ones who plan on getting into a gun fight every single day as soon as the power goes off.

Many folks out there don’t fall into either group, and they don’t believe there is any reason to stockpile rounds for an emergency. In fact, I know plenty of shooters who always say “buy only what you shoot.” I used to be that guy. But I had to be honest with myself that this isn’t the Pax Americana anymore. Turn on the news and each day we are confronted by the realities of our existence in an increasingly unstable world. Now, I’m a realist.

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As a gun writer and firearm instructor, I have heard the question more and more: “Hey Zach, how much ammo should I have in case something happens?”

Well, I just ran out of battery power for my crystal ball. But I can say that you should have enough ammunition to protect your family and feed them with fresh game and meat if needed. Here is the amount I recommend and strive to keep stocked in my own closet.

.22LR

Stockpiling Ammo: The Minimum Requirements For Your Survival Stash There is no better tool out there to constantly bring home game than a .22. From squirrel to rabbit, a .22 can bring home the bacon. Every homesteader and survivalist should have at least one reliable .22. During the depression, .22s kept families fed, and they can do it again. I strongly recommend aiming for at least 1,000 rounds per .22 — ideally 2,500-5,000 rounds. Start where you can.

The Shotgun

In addition to a .22, homesteaders and survivalists should have a .12- or .20-gauge shotgun. The shotgun can be used for small game like a .22 — for waterfowl and wild turkey, for instance. A round of 00 buck or a common deer slug can be used for much larger game. I cannot speak highly enough of the reliability of a good pump action over a semi-automatic shotgun.

I have two 12-gauge shotguns and a 20 gauge. I have two different barrels for each — one for slugs and 00 buck, and one for birds and small game. The slug barrels I keep are 21-inch barrels with a smoothbore and rifle sights. I have four-different chokes for each bird barrel.

At a minimum, I keep 200-400 rounds of game load for waterfowl, upland bird and small game, 100 rounds of 00 Buck and 100 slugs.

The Big Game Rifle

Although many claim that within months after a disaster there will be no wild game or anything to hunt, I think they are wrong. The person with a game rifle may be able to put more meat on the table over the person who does not.

Ultimate Tactical Self-Defense And Hunting Weapon That Doesn’t Require A Firearms License!

I try to aim for around 200 rounds minimally for big game rifles. I shoot common calibers such as .30-30, .243 and.308.

The Semi-Auto Sporting Rifle

A modern semi-auto rifle can be a great all-around firearm. For hunting, personal protection and home defense, these rifles can put a lot of rounds on target with decent accuracy.

For my AR-15s and AKs, I have about 4,000-5,000 rounds each. These rifles shoot a lot of lead, and have the potential to be “bullet eaters.” If you are on a budget, aim for at least 1000 rounds per rifle as well as 10 magazines.

The Handgun

My wife and I carry common caliber handguns — mostly in 9mm. I carry a Glock 19 daily and she carries a Smith and Wesson M&P Shield. I always aim to keep about 400-500 rounds on hand for each handgun.

What type of stockpile do you keep? What advice would you add on stockpiling ammo? Share your advice in the section below:

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

The Less-Than-Lethal Shotgun: A Safer Way To Stop A Threat?

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The ‘Less-Than-Lethal’ Shotgun: A Safer Way to Stop a Threat?

Preparing for a home defense situation is basically an act of arming yourself for a dark, nasty and unfortunate hypothetical scenario. Also, the chances of finding yourself in such a scenario increase in certain areas of the country — and thus, the responsibility of acquiring a suitable defensive weapon increases accordingly.

But then, there are variables to consider. In a home with small children, keeping a fully loaded AR-15 or Glock 17 by the bed is not something that every home defender is comfortable with. However, the eerie possibility of that nightmare scenario occurring still isn’t going to vanish in the presence of children.

So, what now? Are there alternatives to lethal weaponry, which don’t involve a Louisville Slugger or MMA training? Answer: yes. For this particular dilemma, you might consider purchasing a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, such as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but instead of loading it with 00-buck shot …

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

How about loading that sucker with “less-than-lethal” beanbag rounds?

The Most Basic Objective of Personal Defense

Here are a few reasons why I find these to be a considerable home defensive option, despite its unconventional nature …

First, let’s clear the air on this one: Killing a human tends to lead to some rather complex, life-altering implications (not including that of the psychological drawbacks of dropping some guy in the place you call home). Throw in a court case, teams of forensic investigators, and lots of paperwork, and this 30-second crisis just got a whole lot longer. So, because your home is not necessarily a military combat zone, let’s iron out what “self-defense” actually means, according to FindLaw.com:

“Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.”

In other words, the point is not to cause death — instead, your objective according to the law is to stop the intruder’s ability to present a lethal threat, if one were presented, that is. In most cases, a home intrusion will happen because the offender is looking for anything they can sell on eBay, so they can purchase tickets to the next Eagles game … or something like that.

The ‘Less-Than-Lethal’ Shotgun: A Safer Way to Stop a Threat?With that being said, it could be very difficult to ascertain whether or not the crook is armed and dangerous, or just plain stupid and didn’t realize you’d come back from vacation already. In which case, a 12-gauge beanbag round would do a beautiful job in securing the homefront — and not to mention, there would be a great deal less death going on.

Beanbag Rounds: They’ll Teach Crooks a Valuable Life Lesson

The beautiful side is the fact that this particular home defensive option would afford a less-than-child-hazardous method of keeping the crooks at bay. No, beanbag rounds are not meant to be used as a toy, especially due to the fact that they still maintain the power of being kicked in the (insert body part) by an enraged bronco.

Also, when people say that these rounds are considered “less-than-lethal,” that means they can kill on accident. Obviously, a human fist doesn’t possess the same lead-based killing power as a slug, but the FBI’s findings on the topic are astounding. In fact, more than half of all Americans in the 2011 survey suggest that punching and kicking are responsible for more homicides than shotguns.

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However, the police do implement these less-than-lethal options, especially when things get out of hand but lethal force is simply not needed. From a law enforcement perspective, it’s usually best to have an immobilized crook with a notably bad Charlie horse, then have a guy bleeding on a public sidewalk, as the local news arrives five minutes before the EMS to the scene.

But, Then Again…

Unfortunately, there will be drawbacks to less-than-lethal ammunition. For one, using beanbag rounds is, itself, an $8 box for 5 rounds of tactical compromise. Quite frankly, a hotly debated topic of discussion is the so-called “stopping power” of live ammo, so beanbag rounds will certainly be problematic to that end. Also, it is rumored that less-than-lethal ammunition will provide auto-immunization before a judge in the event that the beanbag round ended up killing the crook; however, there are zero guarantees in such sticky situations, (and, let it be known, I’m no attorney and this is not legal advice).

The point to using beanbag rounds in your 12 gauge is to offer a way to provide a home intruder with a valuable life lesson that they can think about from inside their prison cell. But keep this in mind: According to most manufacturers, all less-than-lethal bets are off, if the target is hit in the head or chest within a range of seven yards. So that, too, should be an item of concern. And, of course, this also brings me back to the most obvious drawback: If proper firearm safety is to always treat the weapon as if it is loaded (with live ammunition), then to point a 12-gauge Remington 870 at an armed intruder should carry more-than-enough lethal meaning, since death is a primary function of a firearm, after all. Yet still, your best judgment and preparation will always be your primary home defense, no matter what.

What do you think? Would you consider using less-than-lethal ammo? Share your thoughts in the section below:

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

The 5 Most Reliable Shotguns For Home Defense

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Image source: screen grab (YouTube: hickok45 channel).

Image source: screen grab (YouTube: hickok45 channel).

 

When looking for a home defense shotgun, the senses can be annihilated by the numerous varieties that are out there.

But what are the best, most reliable ones? Rather than choosing the top five brands or models, we decided to break this down by action-types or how the shotgun works.

For gauges, I generally recommend the 12, 20 and 16 gauges above all else. .410 bore shotguns can be useful, as the recoil is mild and a host of self-defense rounds are offered. In general, I avoid the massive 10 gauge and diminutive 28 gauge — unless you are attacked by a flock of birds — as there are severe limitations on the ammunition types for these two.

1. The pump shotgun

Easy to use and the hallmark of home defense for more than 100 years, the pump shotgun is probably the number one long gun choice for home defense in today’s world. Holding anywhere from 3 to 12 rounds based on configuration, the pump shotgun offers rapid follow up shots and the option of a quick reload.

Chances are that you already have one of these shotguns made by Mossberg, Remington, Winchester, Benelli or one of the myriad of other companies that produces shotguns today.

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

The most common examples include the Mossberg 500/590 series, Remington Model 870, Winchester 1300 or Defender, Winchester Model 12, Benelli Nova, Kel-Tec KSG and Maverick 88.

2. The semiautomatic shotgun

Older semiautomatic shotguns may have had their limitations with regard to reloading quickly or reliability, depending on the type of shells used, but modern semiautomatic shotguns have proven themselves to be adequate fight stoppers with the right ammunition.

Follow-up shots are quicker than the pump shotgun, and perceived recoil is only slightly greater as opposed to some of the original models used to protect home and family.

I prefer the Remington 1100 or 1187, or the newer Benelli M1 and M3 versions.

3. The side-by-side shotgun

The 5 Most Reliable Shotguns For Home Defense

Image source: Pixabay.com

Long before the semi-auto and pump shotguns came into common usage, the side-by-side double barrel put food on the table, quelled more than one riot and protected more homesteads than any of the various revolvers or lever-action carbines that claim to have won the West.

More modern renditions use internal hammers and can be had by European American Armory, Baikal, Remington and a few others that cater to the Cowboy Action Shooting realm.

4. The single shot shotgun

For the shooter on a budget, a single shot shotgun may be a sane alternative. Costing less than $100 in some places, these shotguns are better than a small caliber handgun as your only option for self-defense at times.

A shell carrier mounted to the butt stock provides quick reloads at your fingertips.

The most common single shots on the market today are produced by Iver Johnson, Harrington & Richardson as well as a few store brands made under license by these companies.

5. The lever action shotgun

Not as common in history as we may have been led to believe through the magic of movies, the lever action shotgun debuted as Winchester’s answer to keeping their tradition of fine lever guns going forward. With the originals now holding value as collector’s items, one need only look to the Italian replicas as examples of how costly it was to make these shotguns.

A number of Chinese-made versions are imported, and if you have to have one based on the nostalgia of watching Terminator 2 more than once, they make a great home defense shotgun with a little work.

What’s Missing?

We left out the over/under shotgun, for a number of reasons. Most have barrels that are way too long for maneuverability inside the home, and even a shorter barrel makes it slow to reload, as the action must almost always have to break a sharper angle to remove spent shells than a typical single shot or side-by-side shotgun.

Apart from those limitations, if it is the only firearm you have with which to defend yourself, it beats trying to hold down the fort with a sock full of nickels.

Accessories

I strongly recommend the shortest barrel you can legally use and the addition of a flash light (for target identification) and a sling (for portability). Some butt stocks will allow the use of shot shell carriers, and others can be mounted to the receiver.

The most important accessory, of course, is ammunition, so you can practice often with your self-defense loads of choice to see how the shotgun patterns and feel its recoil.

What is your shotgun choice for home defense? Share your ideas in the section below:

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

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

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The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

Image source: Bloomberg

The man sat on a chair across the table from me, a phone cradled to his ear, hunched over the clipboard in front of him in an effort to block out the din of the packed arena. He carefully spelled out the letters of my name and address to someone on the other end of the line, and went on to fill in other details.

He was reading the words off a federal form 4473 which I had just filled out and handed back to him. I stood waiting in nervous and happy anticipation while the gun dealer ran my information through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, or NICS.

It wasn’t that I was afraid of anything bad turning up. My background is about as squeaky clean as they come. It wasn’t that I am anti-government, either. It is indeed true that I would rather not share any more information with the government than I have to, including whether or not I drink raw milk or keep farm animals and whether or not I own a gun, but had already resigned myself to the fact that this is the way it’s done.

It was that it was my first-ever gun purchase. Although I am not new to guns — not brand new, anyway — I had never shopped for and purchased one for my own use.

Do You Know The Best Way To Hide Your Guns?

I am not really a “gun person.” But when my husband and I took up homesteading I began to see the usefulness of gun ownership in a whole new light. My husband taught me the basics on his hunting gun — just enough that I might be able to defend myself and my barnyard if I absolutely had to — but I recently began to consider taking it a step further.

The idea of having my own gun crept up on me. It seemed preposterous at first. I mean — me?!  Owning a gun?! My husband and I discussed it, and the conversation got serious last summer when livestock predation was on the rise. The firearms available to me were not adequate — they were either too big for my comfort or not accurate enough for the job at hand.

And it wasn’t just the animals that I became concerned about protecting. The world is changing, even way out in rural America where I live. It is becoming the kind of world where we hear about meth labs and opiate addictions in communities startlingly near to us. Violent crimes, home invasions, and robberies are no longer restricted to metropolitan areas.

An elderly lady was beaten in her own home in the next village over from me. Another neighbor had a man walk right into her house — and when confronted, he pretended to have mistaken it for someone else’s home and left. These are anomalies, but that may not always be the case.

I walked into a gun shop one day and began my education. My husband is savvy about guns, but I wanted to learn on my own.

I had done enough research to know I wanted a small shotgun. Between the two generally standard sizes — 12-gauge and 20-gauge — I knew I would prefer the smaller 20-gauge. Shotguns come in an even smaller “410 bore” as well, and I asked some questions that would help me compare and contrast the two smaller options.

Gun aficionados had advised me that a multiple shot is a better choice than single, and that a pump action is best.

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

Image source: Pixabay.com

What I learned at that first gun shop is that 20-gauges are a lot more common and only slightly more expensive than 410s, but ammo for the smaller gun is a lot more expensive.

“A lot depends on what you’re going to use it for,” the guy explained. If I was going to do a lot of target shooting, cost of ammo was a factor. If it was strictly for the occasional varmint or for self-defense, or “for the house,” as the salesman phrased it, cost of ammo was irrelevant.

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

The way he talked so casually about a woman owning a gun for self-defense, as if it were the most normal thing in the world, made me feel less self-conscious about it.

He had a wide variety of actions on hand to show me, as well. The “action” of a gun is basically how the shell — in a shotgun — or the bullet — in a rifle or handgun — gets into the chamber. There was a “break action,” where the end of the barrel snaps open and the shells are loaded into side-by-side chambers, and a “lever action” which loads the shell when a handle under the barrel is flipped forward and back. He also showed me pump action guns, which are generally able to store four or five shells in the magazine and load them one by one when an outer casing on the barrel is slid forward and back. There were single shots as well, which is just like it sounds — one shell is loaded right into the chamber.

There are also bolt actions made, but they don’t appear to be common. There are also semi-automatics, but the guy could tell I wasn’t ready to look at or pay for anything like that. Later in my shopping experience, I did consider the merits of semi-automatics. These are firearms which, once the first shell or bullet is loaded, the next one pops into the chamber automatically as soon as the first is shot out. I found a lot of them on the market, which may be because they are popular, or possibly because they are significantly more expensive — usually about twice the price — and the cheaper choices get snapped up first.

I had to chuckle at the pink camo 20-gauge pump shotgun he showed me, regarding it as a novelty. Little did I know in those early shopping stages that — pardon the pun — targeting women is a burgeoning trend. Pink is in!

As a busy homesteader who rarely leaves the farm, there wasn’t much time to focus on gun shopping. In the eight months that slipped past between the time I first made the decision to purchase a firearm and finally doing so, it seemed to me that the selection diminished and the prices rose a bit.

The Woman’s Jargon-Free Guide To Buying Your First Gun

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Wandering in and out of gun shops intermittently throughout that period of time, I felt that as a woman shopping alone for a gun, I was mostly treated courteously. I did encounter one gun shop owner who got pretty overbearing and pedantic when I told him I was new to guns. Later, when I went back to the same shop with my very knowledgeable husband, the man was less obnoxious.

I live in a state where guns are easily and legally sold between individuals, and I spent some time exploring that option. By the time I started looking at online classifieds, however, I had come to the realization that a regular-sized gun would not suit me. After handling dozens of guns at shops and a few friends’ guns, it was clear that I needed a short stock at the very least, and perhaps the whole firearm needed to be small.

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My husband advised me against a couple of brands — not because there’s anything wrong with them, but just not ones he likes. Factoring that into my search for a youth sized model 20-gauge pump action at a reasonable price, within a reasonable driving distance, made for slim pickings in the personal sales realm.

I ended up finding what I wanted at a gun show. I walked a little taller as I carried my purchase out of the arena, my receipt handy in case security had any questions at the door and almost a little crestfallen when they didn’t.

It can be intimidating to consider buying a gun if you are new to them, and difficult to know where to begin. Based on my experience, I would encourage anyone in that situation to give it a try. Do not be afraid to shop on your own, and treat each encounter as an opportunity to learn, but follow up with your own common sense research and evaluation. Give yourself permission to be new, and do not accept being judged for inexperience or trepidation. No one has the right to treat you as if being uncomfortable around guns is a character flaw — we all start somewhere. If you do have someone in your life whom you trust and is comfortable with guns, get that person’s advice before you make your final choice if you can.

And above all, be safe, and get trained. This article is a about the fun and challenges of buying a gun, and not about safety and training. But please don’t interpret that to mean that those things are not important — they are absolutely crucial and should not be dismissed or minimized.

Whatever your style and whatever your choice, may your journey into gun ownership be fun, productive, and safe.

What advice would you add for women shopping for a gun? Share it in the section below:

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

The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

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The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

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Defending your home, and more importantly your own life and the lives of your loved ones, is a serious undertaking. If there is one thing that is true out there in the world of home defense it is that there are options.

Of course, specific needs can vary based on the individual and the layout of the home. An urban apartment dweller will have very different requirements than a rural rancher with thousands of acres.

But if you can own a gun where you live, these are the first five firearms we recommend for someone interested in self-protection in their home.

1. Pump shotgun

Based on reading Internet forums, one might conclude that the shotgun is an obsolete and antiquated tool for home defense. However, the shotgun has certain advantages that cannot be matched by any other weapon.

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First, there is the power factor. The shotgun may not be able to reach out and touch someone at 200 yards, but in the confines of your home, very few threats will engage you at a great distance. At close range, the shotgun is king when used in 12 gauge or 20 gauge and stoked with the appropriate loads like No. 4 Buck shot.

A short barrel will make the shotgun more maneuverable within the confines of the home. The federal legal limit is 18 inches. Anything less will require a federal tax stamp and National Firearms Act (NFA) registration. I recommend using a comfortable butt stock and attaching a white light to identify threats in the dark.

2. Handgun

The actual brand is not important, but I recommend something reliable with a minimum caliber of 38 special or 380 ACP.

For residents in areas of the country where gun ownership is restricted, I highly recommend choosing the same type of pistol and ammunition in use by local law enforcement, if permitted.

The only other requirement I look for is a rail to mount a flashlight and perhaps the addition of fiber optic sights (tritium night sights are largely useless outside of dawn and dusk).Backup handgun

3. Backup handgun

The First 5 Guns You Should Buy For Home Defense

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Sometimes a more discreet handgun is needed. Maybe one that can be quickly dropped in the pocket of a robe when answering the door or checking on a strange noise in the basement. For this I prefer a five-shot revolver chambered in 38 Special with an interior or concealed hammer.

4. Rifle

It may seem like overkill for home defense, but sometimes your home or business may be attacked by multiple opponents – particularly in a riot-type situation. And threats may appear beyond 25 feet, with rifles of their own.

This is rare, but it can happen and when it does an AR-15 variant may be more comforting than a 380 ACP pistol.

I like to keep my rifles simple with a mounted flashlight, sling and usually a sight of some type.

5. Pistol caliber carbine

A rifle chambered in a handgun caliber may seem like an unusual choice as the extra barrel length seldom offers a ballistic advantage. But optics or simply the longer sight radius and stable shooting platform makes these carbines more accurate. Also, they can be legally bought by adults 18 and over. In certain areas, handguns cannot be purchased until a person is 21.

I recommend various AR-15 carbines chambered in 9mm: the KRISS Vector in 9mm or 45 ACP, or various lever-action rifles chambered in 357 Magnum or 45 Colt.

The disadvantages of the long gun come into play when the homeowner needs to call 911 yet still remain armed. For this reason, I recommend the use of slings – or even a pistol grip – to hold and control the weapon with one hand while calling the police.

What would you add to the list? Share your gun advice in the section below:

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

9 ‘Survival Guns’ That Will Keep You Alive In Any Situation

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9 'Survival Guns' That Will Keep You Alive In Any Situation

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There are countless stories of folks getting stranded in the wilderness unarmed and with few supplies. And in many cases, their lack of preparation cost them their lives. There also are many stories of people who get lost and end up surviving. What’s the difference between those who survive and those who don’t? The vast majority of people who survived were sportsmen who came prepared with knowledge and supplies.

One tool for survival which can make the difference between life and death is the firearm. Food, defense and signaling are all possible with a good gun.

Here are my top picks for survival firearms.

Pistols

1. Glock 17/19

The Glock has arguably the finest reputation in the handgun world for reliability. I have carried a Glock 19 daily for a long time. It has never once failed me — not once. The 9mm is not a choice chambering for bear defense, but for hunting and defense against smaller critters it is plenty adequate. Magazine capacity is excellent with 15-round magazines standard for the Glock 19, and 17-round magazines for the Glock 17. If you carry a couple extra magazines you should have plenty of ammunition to get you through. The Glock safe-action trigger may unnerve newer shooters, but it is completely safe if you practice gun safety.

2. Springfield XD Service model or XDM

Springfield has built an excellent polymer framed handgun in the XD model. The XD, like a Glock, has an excellent reputation for reliability. The XD features a grip safety similar to those found on 1911 model handguns and it has a Glock style trigger.

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XDs are available in many different chamberings, including the big three for auto pistols: 9mm, .40 S&W and .45 ACP.  Magazine capacity differs slightly between the service model and the XDM, but is comparable to a Glock.

3. Smith and Wesson Model 29

Go ahead and make your day. If you are in bear country and in need of a handgun that will give you a fighting chance against a brown or grizzly bear, my go-to handgun is a Smith & Wesson 29 chambered in .44 Magnum. Recoil is stout and most new shooters will shy away from such firepower.

4. Taurus Judge

The huge advantage of the Taurus Judge is the ability to shoot both .45 Long colt and .410 shot shells, including slugs, 00 Buck and bird shot. This gives you a wide variety of munitions and you will only be limited by what you pack with you.

5. .22 Pistol

.22I also want to say that having a .22 pistol in your pack is a great tool for harvesting small game for sustenance. Semi-auto or revolver — anything that is accurate to 20 yards and allows you to hit baseball-sized targets with regular consistency is a good pick.

Shotguns

6. Remington 870 or Mossberg 500

This is kind of a no-brainer, and survival shotguns have been argued to death in article after article. Either one of these shotguns will do the trick. Both are reliable and I wouldn’t hesitate to use either. In bear country, slugs and 00 Buck is the ticket, and you can keep shot shells in your pocket for small game. A slug from a .12 gauge will handle any big game in the world under 75 yards. It has put down elephants, hippos, water buffalo, polar bear and Kodiak bear. You will be limited to range, but not on firepower.

Rifles

If you are out elk hunting and you get lost, you’ll be stuck with your elk rifle. A .30-06, .270 or just about any big game rifle makes a fine survival firearm as long as it is reliable, accurate and has some extra ammunition. I’m not going to list hunting rifles here, as the list would be longer than my arm. But my top picks for hunting rifles are both the Remington 700 and the Savage 11. Both are outstanding rifles. They would do well in a survival situation and are very simple in their operation and upkeep.

7. Marlin 1895G

The 1895 guide gun fires a .45-70 projectile. The .45-70 is a very old and very large hunk of lead that has been in use since the 1870s. With the right loads, it will put a grizzly in its place, put down a bison and bring home the bacon with any large game in North America. You’ll be limited to about 150 yards at most.

8. Ruger 10-22

The perfect lightweight carbine for small game is a great choice if you are not in grizzly country.  The rifle is chambered in .22 long rifle or .22 WMR. This small game rifle is utterly reliable, uses a 10 shot magazine and can be had for about $230.

9. AK-47

The US semi-auto AK variants on the market are fine choices for survival. I would rather have an AK than an AR in a survival situation, as there are fewer moving parts. The 7.62x39mm round is capable of taking up to deer-sized game. It is perfect for a truck gun or in a disaster scenario. The rifle feeds from a 30-round, detachable magazine and has plenty of firepower.

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

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

The Dirt-Cheap Survival Ammo You’ll Want In A Crisis

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The Dirt-Cheap Survival Ammo You’ll Want In A Crisis

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If you are preparing for any contingency, whether simply surviving a disaster or getting ready for the collapse of civilization, there is one ammo you need above all others.

It is the .22 long rifle (.22 LR).

I discovered the .22 rather late in my shooting career. Growing up in New York City did not afford me the simple pleasure of going into the woods with a .22 like millions of other youngsters. Our first firearms as teenagers were the M16A2, M249 SAW and M1911, courtesy of the US Marine Corps.

We dismissed the .22 LR as something a child would shoot. We were content with center-fire cartridges in both rifle and pistol until it was pointed out how cheap and available .22s were. That may not always be the case these days, but in the mid-1990s it was true enough.

Admittedly, the .22 LR is not the best choice for a self-defense scenario. This is due in part to the finicky nature of certain brands of ammunition as well as certain firearms chambered in .22 LR and its marginal ballistics.

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However, in a true survival situation you often need a firearm for more than self-defense or big-game hunting.

One of the things we saw after Hurricane Sandy was that the flooding drove rats, mice, possums and other vermin from their lairs and into the habitats of people. For this reason alone, a .22 LR pistol or rifle is a necessity.

Hunting big game animals with a rim fire round is illegal throughout most of the US because the round typically lacks the power to kill a large animal humanely when shot at a distance. Rounds that miss the intended target or penetrate can pose a hazard to others for up to a mile.

In all actuality, a .22 LR is effective on big game with proper shot placement. More than one poacher has been caught using a .22 LR since its invention, and ranchers routinely slaughter their cattle for butchering with a single shot.

The Dirt-Cheap Survival Ammo You’ll Want In A Crisis

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Likewise, .22 can be suitable for self-defense, particularly when fired from a rifle yielding greater accuracy and improved velocity.

In a genuine survival scenario, many people will take refuge outside the cities and rely on nature for food. This has the potential to severely decimate local deer herds. Stockpiles of full-sized rifle calibers will be useless to hunt smaller sources of food, such as squirrels.

Speaking of stockpiles, the small size and weight of the round allows them to be stored more easily than center-fire ammunition. For example, 1,000 rounds weigh less than three loaded AR-15 magazines.

Above all else, the .22 LR is quiet and can be easily suppressed with a silencer if you have one available to you (and if it’s legal where you live).

Keep in mind that when choosing a firearm you should consider the user’s abilities. For example, we find the various Ruger target pistols to be accurate and reliable, but we are terrible at getting them back together (tearing them down is the easy part). So I would not not include one in my preps.

On the other hand, I prefer the Ruger 10/22 rifle and have found a Beretta Model 71, Smith & Wesson Model 41 and Smith & Wesson Model 17 to be my personal favorites from an accuracy, reliability and maintenance standpoint.

If you have a few .22s in your possession, you are way ahead of the curve. If you have not considered the full scope of their utility, you may want to revisit them.

Are you a .22 long rifle fan? Or is there a different gun you’d prefer? Share your thoughts on the .22 LR in the section below:

Pump Shotguns Have One BIG Advantage Over Other Shotguns In Self-Defense. Read More Here.

Three Important Homesteading Guns

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I find nothing to argue with. Some might note the lack of a .22 but as Pastor Joe Fox has noted aside from shots of ammo you can fit in a coffee cup anything a .22 can do a shotgun can do as well or better.

Even at new prices you could easily buy new solidly brand name guns (Glock, Mossberg/ Rem 870 and Savage bolt gun) and come out at around $1,300. Figure reasonable (not once a year deals) used price would be closer to $1,100. Folks on tight budgets could compromise a bit (Say S&W SDVE, Maverick 88 and Savage Axis and easily come in under a grand, probably under 900.

Sure more cool guns are better but if you are on a budget 3-4 basic guns will do just fine.

Patterning Your Shotgun

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I do not currently own a shotgun  but a lot of people have a house gun or old hunting shotgun lying around so this is a worthwhile topic. 

It is important to know how your individual shotgun does with a given load of buckshot. Oddly enough we could both buy Remington 870’s on the same day in the same store, shoot the same ammo and get different results. It’s weird that way.

Inevitably we will have to discuss ammo type here. Keep it 2 3/4 and buckshot. #4, 1, 00 or OOO, whatever makes you happy. I like #1 though #4 is more common and 00 the most common of all. Have some slugs handy if you need to make a longer or more precise shot. 

The best piece of advice I have ever gotten in the area of shotgun ammo is to go to your local store and buy the little 5 round boxes of 3-4 common types of buckshot. Remington, Winchester, and federal or whatever. Shoot them all for patterns at say 5, 10 and 20 yards then see which your gun likes best. After you know load your gun with that and keep a few extra boxes put back. For economic reasons you will probably end up with a SHTF stash of Seller and Bellot buckshot or those 15rd packs Wally World sells at a good price. I would make sure your gun doesn’t hate the bulk pack stuff but it doesn’t have to be perfect. If God forbid you have burned through say 50 or a hundred rounds of whatever your gun likes best and all digging in the closet/ garage for that ammo can full of bulk pack stuff you prudently bought when it was still available a slightly less perfect pattern is the least of your concerns.

The topic of pattern comes up in the video. In my mind the biggest thing would be consistency and lack of ‘fliers’. If a load is pretty close to or a bit under the general inch of spread a yard rule I would be happy.That would give me a nice vital zone pattern at in home distances and keep it inside the torso at across the yard distances.

Some people get all bent around the axel about keeping patterns super tight. It used to be defensive shotguns with chokes and stuff. Currently Federal’s premium Flight Control Buckshot is the hot thing. This is a great load for an LEO with a cruiser gun who wants to push the range they can use buckshot effectively out more. Also if you are a citizen in a restrictive state (or with a restrictive budget) who is left with a shotgun as the only practical option I would look into this. However for a normal citizen’s home defense shotgun I do not like it. The reason is that the spread is most of the power of the shotgun. It will probably be dark, they will be moving and so will you. Spread gives more chances of hitting something vital at close ranges.

While slugs have a role I like buckshot for close range defensive type work. That being said I do not own an HD shotgun and am using my AR-15 instead. At some point, probably during the next gun run when they are still widely available I will get another 870. I think my first project 870 (plane Jane with long and short barrels) was a lot closer to the truth than the more recent one with the ghost ring sights and all that stuff.

Thoughts?

Need a gun? On a budget? Here are 3 possibilities…..

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Regardless of what the government figures and mainstream media reports the economy has left many families struggling. Those on a tight budget may find themselves overwhelmed and disappointed during a trip to the gun shop. With just a few hundred dollars it is absolutely possible to secure a very capable means to defend the homestead.

Here are a few examples:

1. Stevens 350 Security Pump Action 12 gauge Shotgun – The Stevens comes equipped with synthetic furniture, 5 round capacity, and ghost ring sights. The 350 also ejects out the bottom of the receiver.  It will fire 3″ shells and has a fiber optic insert in the front sight.

stevens

Priced at around $275.

 

2. Taurus PT111 Millennium Pro G2 9mm Pistol – If a pistol is desired the Taurus G2 is an excellent choice. Taurus seems to have a mixed reputation especially on Internet gun forums but my personal experience has been very positive. I own one. My brother owns one. A fellow group member owns one. We all love it. It has been extremely reliable, accurate and handles like a dream. Fantastic carry gun with a 12 round capacity.

taurus

Priced between $200-$275.

 

3. Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Automatic Rimfire Carbine – While I would never recommend a .22 for self defense it is better than nothing. The Ruger 10/22 is incredibly reliable and has excellent accuracy. Spare 10 and 25 round factory magazines can be carried for quick reloading. Also great for small game.

One .22 in me is one too many.

ruger

Price at around $250.

_______________________________________

There really are a lot of options out there. Many shops have lay-a-way available which allow some of the more expensive firearms to be paid on over time. Most importantly for those with nothing – is to get something(and train, train, and train).

Daisy Red Rider? No….you’ll shoot your eye out!

Rourke

 

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Shotgun Hunting

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Shotgun Hunting By Richard Bogath Hunting with a shotgun is about as cliche as you can possibly get. No, it’s true. From those of you who remember who Elmer Fudd is to the quintessential red-plaid, red-necked, beaver-capped representation of hunters in America today (especially portrayed by anti-hunters), hunting with a shotgun is eye-rollingly plaid out […]

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Saiga 12 Afterthoughts

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I purchased a Saiga 12 about a year ago and decided I would test it out in a variety of ways that I found suitable for my primary home defense shotgun. The Saiga 12 is one of the sexiest shotguns I have ever seen, unfortunately that is all I have to say about the Saiga in a positive manner. There is not much out there in the market for magazine fed shotguns and you have to wonder if it’s for good reason. Why would I need a 20 round drum weighing 10lbs in any scenario that is realistic? If you need that much shotgun ammo you should have grabbed your rifle. This shotgun on average weighs in at 8.5lbs. Throw a 10 round magazine that is about a foot long and weighing about 3lbs and you have one heavy ass gun.

By now everyone reading this should know the basics of a Saiga 12, if not do some research and then read this, it will save you some time. In this nontraditional style review I will be comparing the

Saiga 12 to a Mossberg 500/590 as a common reference point. I decided to compare the Saiga 12 to the Mossberg 500/590 because they are what I feel is the standard to which every shotgun should be compared to. The Saiga has a few fatal flaws for me and yes most of these can be overcome with modifications to the gun. Keep in mind this review is on a factory Saiga 12, not a super modified aberration of this firearm. The only modifications that I did to this firearm are the addition of the

Carolina Shooters Supply reliability kit, a Polychoke muzzle brake, and some de-burring of the internal rails. If you decide to purchase a Saiga after reading this please follow these steps prior to purchase. Take off the gas plug, visually inspect the gas ports for sign of a “Vodka Special” meaning there is only 2 of the 4 gas ports that are required, if you have a 3 gas port gun and you can live with a possible issue then buy it, but by no means can I suggest that you buy a 2 gas port gun. Yes, you can have the 2 other holes drilled. But why? Buying a brand new gun should never require you to fix a known factory issue. Second item to look for is proper fit of the top cover (some can be a bitch to get on and off). When you are inspecting this gun prior to purchase be sure to disassemble it and inspect all moving parts including the internal rails, feel for burrs or deformities. If you have 4 gas ports, an easy to remove top cover and smooth rails you have a good Saiga. If any of these parts are not up to snuff I suggest waiting or buying a different shotgun. Where you live and the availability of this gun will influence the asking price for this gun drastically. Let’s just agree they are an expensive shotgun. Keep a running count of potential money you will be sinking into this firearm prior to purchase to achieve the end result you require. Let me know if it is a monetarily responsible purchase for your needs after reading. For the purpose of this review I am using the MSRP of $799.99. If you stop reading here and buy a Saiga 12, you have a shotgun that will run 3” magnum shells with relatively no issues and you might be happy with this, I was not. I had major feeding and ejecting issues that got me running to online gun forums to figure out what I can do to relieve myself of an issue that could be a disastrous if I was defending myself or home. Carolina Shooters Supply has an overwhelming amount of parts to maintain, replace, and modify your shotgun and they do a great job of explaining what may suit your needs best. I just went simple and got a reliability kit and went to a 5 position adjustable gas plug, a better functioning gas puck, and a low recoil spring. This kit took me about 3 minutes to install, it takes no skill to do so. This kit gave me the opportunity to now shoot high brass and low brass of most kinds 2 ¾” and 3” both ran decent and after some fine tuning I was satisfied. I went to the range for some fun with a state trooper I know and he brought along his Mossberg 590A1. First thing I noticed in comparison is the simplicity of design and function of the Mossberg. Economy of effort is big with me and the Saiga takes too many movements to get into action compared to the Mossberg.

 The reason for me getting rid of the Saiga is that you cannot have this gun in Condition 3. You cannot have this gun with a magazine inserted, bolt forward, safety on and no round in the chamber. When the bolt is forward it sits too low and does not allow for the magazine to be inserted and locked into place on this firearm in the factory configuration. The purpose of this shotgun for me was to be a home defense firearm and not having the option of a magazine inserted was not acceptable. Yes I could have the bolt locked to the rear and hope that it stays locked and nothing horrible will happen, but that is just not safe to do. I also could have left the gun in condition 1 with a round in the chamber but the downward pressure that the low sitting bolt puts on the rounds in the magazine starts to deform them over time and can lead to a malfunction. Again this is not acceptable to me.  A misfire or jammed round is not something we need to deal with in a serious scenario. Putting aside the life or death scenarios, this shotgun is some of the most fun you can have with your clothes on. You can modify the magwell to accept an AR15 style magazine operation, making the gun accommodating to Condition 3. You can move the trigger group and convert the gun to take anything from a side folding stock to a 6 position Ar15 collapsible stock. The aftermarket support for this gun is massive; you can go full retard quite quickly by adding a 30 round drum, full length quad rail, a door breaching barrel shroud, ambidextrous charging handles, rock n’ lock magazines etc. Try to keep in mind what your original reasoning for buying this was for in the first place. If you bought it just for 3 gun competitions or just some range fun then knock yourself out and modify it till the cows come home. But when you are done you could have bought yourself 5 Mossberg 500/590 pump shotguns or a high end Benelli M-4 semi auto. Sometimes we lose our way when trying to make our firearms reach their maximum potential. A shotgun will never be anything more than a heavy, low capacity, and short range firearm. Try not to become the person who tries to make their shotgun into an AR15; it’s not a good look.

I sold my Saiga and went back to basics; I replaced the Saiga for a Mossberg 500 Flex with XS Ghost-Ring Sights. I was issued a Mossberg 500 during my time in the military so I had a bit of familiarity with this firearm already. I took the Mossberg to the range and put it through the same tests as I did for the Saiga 12 at distances of 25-50 yds. I used 2 ¾ and 3” slugs to establish zero on both guns. The Mossberg was easier to acquire proper sight alignment and sight picture in 

comparison to the Saiga12.  I am no shotgun guru but I was able to shoot 6” groups at 25 yds. and I shot 8” groups at 50yds. In comparison on the Saiga I was able to get a 10” group at 25 yds. It was ugly at 50 yds. The rear sight on the Saiga is terrible; there is no method of elevation or windage adjustment on the Saiga. If your shotgun is like mine and is extremely off target you are stuck with that, just make a Kentucky windage adjustment and try to remember that when your life is on the line. You can again drop some more cash into an improved set of adjustable sights. This is again your call to keep throwing money at this gun or to cut your losses and go in a different direction like I did.

Bottom line is this; are you looking for something that is fun to shoot but could cost more money than the gun is worth on modifications to make it run reliable?  If you answered yes, the Saiga may be the perfect shotgun for you. On the other hand if your shotgun is for defending your life/property or tactical shooting, and you don’t want to spend all of your money on making it run as good as a gun that costs 1/3 of the price you initially paid, then maybe a shotgun such as a Mossberg 500/590 or a Remington 870 maybe is in your best interests.

Short summary on Saiga 12

                    Magazine fed.

                    Semi-automatic.

                    Threaded barrel for chokes, muzzle devices.

                    Fantastic aftermarket support.

                    Most mechanical problems can be fixed.

                    Fun factor is 10 out of 10 when working properly.

                    Factory sights are pure junk.

                    Will not make condition 3 in factory configuration.

                    Condition 1 configuration will warp shells in mag over time causing failure to fire.

                    Weighing in on average of 8.5lbs unloaded is heavier than most shotguns.

                    With magazine inserted this gun is awkward and not easy to maneuver with.

                    Factory configuration will not feed or eject 2 ¾ inch shells in a consistent manner.

                    Size of 8-10 round magazines are massive and are difficult to reload.

                    Storing extra magazines in your pockets or plate carrier is near impossible.

Drunk Ramblings Of An Idiot

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It seems there is some sort of hysteria these days about these “Doomsday Scenarios” and the End of the World or Economic Collapse. People don’t want to die so they decide they want to know what sort of items to keep around them to be prepared for anything other than a sunny day, and it got me thinking that maybe I should try to put some on a different sort of spin onto which scenario most everybody assumes will happen, like thinking it’s going to be complete chaos and people running around rampant in the streets like something out of a movie like Mad Max, or some weird zombie apocalypse, I feel none of those scenarios are accurate.
 If there were to be some sort of mass hysteria or zombie apocalypse or any sort of just boring old civil unrest it is not going to be crowds of people running through the streets screaming and lighting people on fire or suddenly feeling the need to just be mowing people down in their Prius while marveling how great the gas mileage is.
 If the event that took place was to a level that deprived us of services such as gas, electric, trash removal even police and fire protection services, it would be a slow burning fuse not an immediate rush of panic. Imagine your small town without something as simple as trash removal or when you lose power for 5 days in the winter, now picture losing power but there is no chance for a reconnection for months. How could you realistically expect to be prepared for something like that? You can’t, if you work a job and have the same bills I have it is not realistic to expect you can be properly prepared for more than a week of complete self-sustainment. With that being said just do an assessment of your surroundings, take a look at your neighbors, do they have a garden or have some sort of flag that hints they have military or police training. People such as this could be of great usefulness to your survival, just make sure you have something to offer to a group before you try to assemble one or you could find yourself on the outside looking in. Obviously this doesn’t mean have American Idol style try outs for your Zombie Apocalypse Squad, but just be a neighbor and have a casual conversation about their hobbies and make a mental list of people that you know or could get too quickly so you could start the process of preparing for when your supplies run out. This is where you get to see if you are able to sit back and wait it out or if you need to start the process of playing catch up and scrambling to find things to keep you and your group surviving.

If we are left with no one but ourselves to keep us alive for extended period of time we will need to be able to provide the basic necessities such as proper nutrition, clean water, medical care, security and some form of a chain of command. After enough time cut off from what we used to know as society things would change slowly and there will be a decline in basic humanity and compassion. Canned food will run out, fresh food will rot, that is when sheer panic will set in, unless of course you have prepared for a crisis. The hard reality of “Holy Shit, this is real”, and for the holy shit phase of survival to set in we don’t need Zombies or Godzilla. All we need is a car wreck into a ravine in the winter coming back from a ski trip or a home invasion. What will you do as your first act after saying Holy Shit? Your first move after the holy shit phase begins is what will determine the outcome. If you take one thing from this ramble you are now balls deep in to reading, remember this one instruction. Get off the X, this phrase is the key to surviving anything from Jason Voorhees swinging an axe at your head to knowing what side of your vehicle to get out of if you break down on the highway. Get up and move, do something don’t be that person who dies because you failed to act or you froze in fear. Fight or flight, there is no stand there and die option.

I guarantee if you are reading this you have either had a dream about or déjà vu or unfortunately lived through a home invasion or carjacking, these two examples are terrifying to think that could happen to you and for me I try to think of what two items I would say are the absolute must haves in these situations   to help me best get out of or to deal with the after math of these scenarios. If I could snap my fingers and pause a home invasion or carjacking to get two items for my use in either of these situations I would grab my cell phone and my Glock 19. These two items can get you out of almost any undesirable situation that I can think of. Modern cell phones have taken the place of about 15 to 20 items depending on what apps you have installed. If you were asleep in your house and you hear the stereotypical glass break and your front or back door creak open the first thing that you should be doing is dialing 911, press send and grab your gun (if you have one). If alone put your phone on speaker and give the dispatcher your name and address and a brief description of what you are calling about and if you are armed make sure that the dispatcher knows this, you do not want to be mistaken for the assailant. Now having a gun doesn’t mean the next step is to go room to room gun blazing, use your brain and think and listen. Is this actually a break in? How many sets of footsteps do you hear? What language are they speaking and are they taking items or heading to a bedroom. If the person/people that have broken in to your home are taking your television you need to make the decision of do you let them take it and avoid confrontation and just file an insurance claim or do you try to stop the robbery by force of the threat of force? Is your $800.00 television worth your life or a wrongful death suit? If so then proceed as you will, but for me I’ll take the hit in my pride and insurance rates to avoid unnecessary possible jail time or worse endangering my family when it could have been avoided. But if it is clear they are not in my house for items I can go to the store and replace, that is something completely different. If the intent of entering your home is to cause you or your loved ones bodily harm you should again dial 911, press send, grab your trusty firearm (hopefully you have another person to arm as well), if there is children in the house clear to the rooms of the children and get them to your hopefully most desirable room to defend. Post up security at the door, this is where something like as simple as you chambering a round and stating out loud that the police have been called and that you are armed and you don’t want to die. I know if I broke into a house and I heard someone chamber a firearm of any king and spoke with authority regarding their will to live, I would get the hell out and move on to an easy target. There are few things in this world that will put fear into a person more than the sound of a shotgun chambering a round. But if that also fails to deter this person you need to be prepared to escalate things 1 step more. If on a second floor, do not leave the high ground. The funneling effect of a stairwell could mean life or death for you, ever stepped on a set of stairs in a house that doesn’t squeak? Neither have I, you will be heard and prime for bad things to happen. This also works in your favor, make this person funnel themselves you will hear them coming and they can move anywhere but up or down. I would in this situation sound out the second I hear someone on the stairs that they will be eating buckshot if they take one more step in my house, and advise them that if they value life they should leave immediately. If you are wondering why I am conservative on dealing with these situations, well sure if I had my old fire team from when I was clearing houses I would without a doubt go down in force and deal with the situation quickly and decisively but this isn’t that. Chances are this is you, in your undies; no shoes, half awake and you need to realize you may be at a disadvantage and the odds of you getting the drop on a burglar or someone trying to harm you is really out of the question. They will know you are awake and they will also need to make a decision, will they take what they can and leave or will they stay and try to harm you. Please proceed methodically and carefully if this situation unfortunately ever arises. And always call 911 first.

If you are in your car and someone taps on the window for you to get out and give them the car, immediately look, does this person have a weapon? If so get out happily give them your car and try to get your phone. Call the police and just have a beer and thank god that you didn’t get shot. There is no way in hell you are going to be able to do anything if a gun is pointed at you if you try to speed off they will see the panic in your eyes widen and they will most likely not shoot, but is it worth the chance? But if this person taps on your window with a knife or something they have to hold and swing to harm you and if you have the room to drive away just flip them the bird, call the cops and be on your way. But of course there could be the situation where your window is down and this person tried to grab you, if this happens I hope you have a knife, gun pepper spay or something to establish the upper hand for you. If your life is in danger and you have no doubt that your life will end by the actions of this person, you need to act in a manner to buy you another day on earth. But again if you know that you would not be able to gain the upper hand on the situation, decide if possible think if you can get out of the situation reasonably unscathed if so give up the car, time for a new model anyway. Feel free to practice real world but realistic ways to come out on top in the above stated situations but know your limits don’t make a small inconvenience into a tragedy, objects can be replaced.

My week at the Big Run Ranch

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I was fortunate to be invited to the Defensive Preparedness Summit hosted by ORSto share ideas and philosophies on defensive shooting tactics and wilderness survival in a practical application environment. The ranch facility is a sprawling hilly terrain which is perfect for anything ranging from shoot and move drills to shelter building and animal tracking.

When the group all arrived we did our hugs and handshakes and then we got down to business. Lance went over the range safety rules and safety procedures, showing us the location of the medical kits and the information necessary to call for EMS in the event of an injury. Lance has clearly done his homework on how to run a safe range, it felt good knowing that the person running the range to the time to educate himself on proper range procedures.

Lance shooting steel.

We began our first course of fire with some basic pistol shooting drills to reinforce the basics of the SAFE series. Once our fundamentals were solid and we were warmed up we started to do some drawing from the holster drills and Getting off the X type drills. Being from Massachusetts where drawing from a holster is mostly banned at ranges these drills were a breath of fresh air to me, drawing in my living room with snap caps just isn’t the same as drawing and firing live rounds. We did variations on these drills for quite some time and moved onto strong hand only firing and reloading drills in which we would rack the slide off of our holsters or belts to get the pistol back into action. We moved on to shooting some Vtactargets in which Lance would call out a color and number and we would close on the target and shoot the designated number of rounds into each called target. I did almost all of my training with rifles in the military so pistol shooting is far and wide my weakest skill-set. I struggled a bit on these exercises, but anytime that I needed assistance or when Lance would see that I was getting sloppy he would be right over to reinforce the fundamentals in a manner which translated directly into hits right on target. Over the next few days we did some shoot and move drills with everything from a KRISS Super-V to some nice custom Ar-15 rifles in which he hid some of my favorite targets, the Ivan!

Me shooting the KRISS

It wouldn’t be an ORSclass without some serious PT involved, so we did a great deal of hill climbing and pull-ups because you only fight as hard as your body is capable. Lance setup 4 steel targets ranging from a sniper’s paradise target to some really challenging gong targets at distances of 15yds – 320yds. Lance was able to make our long days on the range seems like mere minutes when in reality we were spending upwards of 10 hours a day honing our skills in defensive shooting and long distance shooting.

The Hill

We ended our last range day with a competition, a modified version of H.O.R.S.E. we would take turns calling the most difficult shot possible and it was no surprise Lance tied for first, I surprised myself and got second place but there was no better ending to one of the most memorable training experiences I have ever had in my life. Enough can’t be said to the level of approachable professionalism Lance has integrated into his company’s philosophy of training. I cannot wait to go back and get some more rounds down range, if you are looking to get some training in I highly suggest reaching out to ORS, you will thank me after and tell him KERsent you.

Stay fit and keep a Warrior Mindset!

If I got a Facebook notification saying the world was having a catastrophic event what would I do?

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1.      Like the status

2.      Change my undies

3.      Get to working on a plan to thrive

 I would actually assemble my so called “A-Team” established from people I know, who would be useful to me in dealing with an impending catastrophe. Would I need some liberal hipster who hates confrontation and has no actual skill? Hell no, let him and his skinny jeans fend for themselves.

The key to success is going to be having a diverse group of people who can work together, and are willing to teach their skills to others in the group. You almost always see in apocalypse movies two types of people; you have the “gun nut” and they survive solely by that gun. Let’s face reality here, how does the gun get you medical care or food? How does the gun do anything besides provide security and meat? You then have the “complainer”, everyone hates this person. The only thing this person brings to your group is certain death to everyone but themselves, they manage to put everyone in constant danger and do nothing to help. If you need an example watch Saving Private Ryan and take note on how many people die directly due to Cpl. Upham and his poor decisions or pure inaction when his comrades needed him most.

 What am I looking for in my survival super group, and what can I offer them in return? Think of basic things needed to sustain life and and ask; can I facilitate any of these basic needs? Clean water for hydration and cleaning our food and bodies, can I successfully grow vegetables and medicinal herbs? Am I able to hunt or provide a stable and reliable security perimeter, if someone is injured or falls ill will I have the knowledge to be able to help that person in need? The list can go on and on, but I’m trying to keep from boring you. The point is help to you see what if any group of survival skills you fall into and to help you find the remaining puzzle pieces to create a cohesive team that will no doubt thrive in any adverse long term survival situation.

If you find that after reading this you are sweating due to realizing that you may not currently posses the skills that would consider you a member of my “A-Team”, don’t worry some of the most critical survival skills are the most simple and quite frankly there is too many different valuable skill sets to even list.

If you find yourself on the couch after work thinking about the Food Network, get your ass up and exercise or read a book on gardening or basic survival, take a course a couple times a year on things such as CPR/AED or self-defense. Head to a local gun range and sign up for a class on marksmanship and responsible gun ownership.  I am not someone who believes in wasting your savings on some “Doomsday Bunker” or some other ridiculous thing, but I do firmly believe you should be physically able to keep yourself alive in a short or long term survival scenario. Nothing drives me more crazy than people who are prepping for the end of the world but don’t even have a simple flashlight in their car. Who says your survival scenario has to be the end of days or total collapse of American society as we know it? Most likely your life or death scenario will be far less spectacular, such as blowing a tire and spinning into a ditch late at night or even losing power in the winter for two weeks. These are things that happen way more than we even give a second thought to, if you are able to have some crazy ass bunker with food storage for 35 years then by all means do so, I am one that cannot do that. My plan is far simpler; prepare for what you are able and know your limits.

I try not to make these too long winded and your comments fuel the future posts, please leave your thoughts in the comment section, thanks for reading my ramblings!

Let’s talk guns

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This is strictly from my point of view and obviously you do not have to have a gun or guns in a survival scenario but it would make a few key things quite simpler for you. I think long and hard about what I will have for protection and survival if something happens? I try to peer through a realistic lens when talking about these kinds of things, I know I will never have enough ammo or have every gun for every occasion, so I apply a simple approach to this, how can I be best suited for self-preservation with the smallest amount of crap to carry?

 It’s a pretty simple answer, either have a way to carry all of your junk or have multipurpose items. Look at a Gerber or Leatherman multi tool, these things can take the place of up to 15 different tools. Put this same principle into what you choose the take with you if you had to leave your home to survive.

For me it comes down to three firearms, I’ll take a Semi auto pistol, a shotgun, and my AR-15. Try to stay with popular calibers such as 9mm, .45cal, 12ga, .223, or .22lr. Try to stay away from ammo that is hard to find now, imagine how difficult it would be if you resorted to scrounging for ammo. If you are like me I go with the same calibers the police, military carry if SHTF that badly there will be plenty of gun parts and ammo laying around in my caliber. If you are not a fan of guns or if you do not possess the skill to properly employ one, there is plenty of alternatives to be able to thrive just fine but life could get difficult when it comes to protection or hunting for food. This doesn’t mean you need to go stock up and spend your life savings on guns and ammo, take a class or two and just be informed on how guns work and how to use them properly and safely, but like I said if something were to get that bad to where its “Apocalyptic” there will be plenty of guns and ammo laying around. Do yourself a favor while on the subject, social media is great but try to understand that having a public profile where you showcase how much ammo and how many guns you have with your current city of residence is a real good way to get broken into and robbed. Keep an eye on your privacy settings and on what you post and who you are friends with.

To be fair let’s say guns are not your thing or you are not able to purchase one, plenty of options are out there for you to thrive quite well on your own. Some people may even argue that you are eliminating a crutch by not having a gun, take a look at what would be a “sustainable weapon”. What probably comes to mind is a bow or an edged weapon, these items don’t require cleaning or manufactured ammunition, if your bow breaks you can fashion a new relatively easy and if you break your edged weapon chances are the thing you broke it on is not a threat to you any longer. A tree could supply you with unlimited arrows and replaceable bows and string, reloading ammunition requires equipment, skill, black powder, lead and useable casings. After writing this I feel the need to get a bow and some archery classes.

Your feedback on these provides insight to something I may have missed or gotten wrong. Feel free to comment or subscribe!

Diversity in your skills

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When it comes to survival, being a jack of all trades but master of none could prove to be helpful to you. Would you rather know how to hunt but have no clue on how to sanitize water or not know which plants are safe to eat? Or would you end up like Christopher McCandless from the book “Into the wild”? If he trained for his surroundings prior to such a difficult journey he would probably still be living in an abandoned bus in Alaska.
 Training or researching in one particular field makes you well suited to write a fantastic article on that one item or will make you great on the gun line, but we are talking survival from zombies rising or the Russians or whatever catastrophe you desire. Having a multitude of resources in your brain on how to not only survive but to thrive on your own will be the key to your success. I mention repeatedly on your own for a reason. You can’t count on having a group to help you in these situations. Who says that your crisis will be an invasion like Red Dawn? Your struggle to survive will most likely be a personal one, whether it’s you against an attacker or you against nature.  Having a car accident and ending up in a ravine or being snowed in for 8 days with no utilities happens to people all over the world on a pretty regular basis. Don’t be the person who has spent thousands of dollars prepping for global chaos only to lose a battle against Mother Nature when all you needed was some knowledge on how to make a field expedient shelter and smoke signals until help arrived. Be well rounded, take a second before you leave your house and make a conscious thought. Does my phone have a charge, do I have a lighter, do I have my pocket knife, should I bring my gun, does anyone know where I am going and how long I will be gone for? Something as simple as you informing someone of your plans could save your life.

Reasonable prepping items for the real world

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Let’s be real here. Are you able to dig up your yard to pour a concrete bomb shelter or are you willing to give up your man cave for your heirloom seed repository and armory? Me neither. I try to evaluate what is reasonable for me in my living situation to be prepared for possible situations. I have set aside some space in my basement, pantry and a few other rooms, keeping certain things around in each area. I have about 500 heirloom seeds, keeping in mind the region I live to give me the capability to grow vegetables year round.
 The mini seed bank cost me about 65 dollars and takes up less space than my empty shoe box in the corner of my closet. Next on the list is basic camping gear; tent, battery and gas lanterns, multi fuel stove, coffee pot, water filtration device, 3 internal frame packs, and lots of fishing gear. If for whatever reason I was forced to bug out, I would have enough gear to make a manageable camp for my group to get situated. This stuff takes up very little room. I would love to have at least 8 firearms. This affords me the luxury to issue each person a primary and a secondary firearm. I try to keep a set amount of ammo aside which I call my “Zombie Invasion Reserve”. It’s basically my SHTF cache. I put this designated amount of ammo aside and I date it. Doing this is not mandatory but rotating ammo is the same principle as food. Why not shoot the older ammo first for range time? You don’t want to chance that the round you need to defend your life got moisture in it and it hang fires or dust doesn’t fire at all. There is no use of carrying a heavy ass gun if you don’t have any ammo for it. Remember, guns get dirty and guns need maintenance. Unfortunately this is the bulkiest part of prepping for me. There is no easy way to carry 1 handgun and 1 rifle/shotgun per person plus the ammo for it. This is where having multiple levels of back up plans come into the fold. Bugging in would be optimal for obvious reasons, but let’s say you have to relocate for whatever reason and you need to go mobile. Are you going to just toss your supplies in your trunk, put the guns up front but accidently toss the ammo in the trunk during your nervous frenzy? I hope not, don’t lose your mind and just start throwing your junk. Think about stuff like; what is my destination, what will I need easy access to, and am I permitted to have these items visible in the current state of emergency? Is there a chance I will have to go out on foot so maybe flip flops are a bad idea? Take a few minutes and pack accordingly, you would not want rush and completely screw yourself in the end such as having unloaded guns with the ammo unreachable in your trunk.

Many of us have animals; do you take your animal or leave it behind? I am taking mine. Aside from the companionship and comfort they naturally provide. They can carry their own supplies and have almost unlimited uses to you. You will need that dog more than it needs you in a survival scenario. If you have a cat, you are screwed sorry. Maybe it can carry your gummy bears or a nip of whiskey. I have 2 dogs one of which is a fat ass. He will be a detriment if we are on foot or worse if we need to double time. Hard decisions, lucky for him he’s cute. I would carry him in my pack if I had to, but hopefully it wouldn’t come to that. My other dog is built like a brick shithouse. She could easily carry her own supplies and then some. Spend a few bucks and buy one of those saddle bags for dogs and just take them on walks with some treats in it for your dog to get used to the feel and weight. Keep in mind you will be splitting your food and water rations with your animals, calculate what your dog’s food and water intake is and plan accordingly.

I hope that at least one sentence made sense and if something you read here makes you giggle or makes you adjust your routine, then buy me a beer, a cigar and call it even.

Keys to success in any situation

·        Keep calm

·        Get off the X

·        Violence of action

·        Communicate

·        Have a plan

·        Be diverse

·        Be prepared

·        Know your limits

What do you do prep for and how do you do it?

Do you incorporate your pets as a tool in your survival or just a companion?