The 3 Best 1911 Upgrades After You Finish Your Build

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Firearms are an essential part of the preparing puzzle. Without the power and security that a gun provides you will struggle to survive the collapse. It could be impossible. There has been an explosion in building firearms at home because of some great build kits on sale and the help of videos that detail the …

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North Korea and Syria: A Chemical Weapons and Missiles Dynamic Duo?

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After World War II the whole of humanity has been paying attention to various alliances. There is a degree of fear in regard to multiple powers pulling resources and working on the side of evil. This was communism for a while. American spent many lives in far away lands just crushing what looked like it …

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Why I Carry Knives

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This is a very important topic of discussion. There are serious issues when it comes to self defense techniques. In fact, even with the quality of fighting techniques that have been exposed due to the UFC and MMA there are still somethings that need to be driven home. Ninjas don’t exist anymore because of guns. …

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The Best Calibers for Survival

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by John

If you do anything with a firearm, you probably have the “perfect” ammunition for that purpose.  It may be unsuitable for some or even all other purposes, but as long as you have a well stocked gun store nearby, who cares.

But consider a survival situation.  What kind of situation, we don’t know, but one thing we can be absolutely sure of:  there will NOT be a well stocked gun store nearby (for more than a few hours, anyway).  This means, that the gun or guns you have for survival purposes need to use ammunition which is adequate for their purposes, you have a reasonable supply of and is common enough that your odds of finding more is not close to zero.

So what ARE the purposes of survival guns?  Hunting for food (small game, medium game, birds and large game near and far), getting rid of varmints and pests, and protection (dangerous animals, people close by and people far away).  In addition, ammunition can be used for emergency barter, and as a subset of the primary purposes, for training and practice.

What are the most common calibers, in the U.S. at least?  Those would be 9mm and 5.56x45mm (.223), the current military pistol and rifle rounds.  Which is sad, because the military versions of these seem to have been chosen by bean counters rather than firearms experts.

Although cheaper, easier to carry and ship and store and even shoot, they are not as effective as the calibers they replaced due to their smaller diameter bullets.  These are, by international convention, “ball” rounds, or Full Metal Jacket.

But with modern versions of the bullets in these calibers, they can be made to serve.  Besides, there is an awful lot of that military grade ammunition out there, and it is not useless.  Other than the military, there are a zillion calibers in use by civilians.  The most common “civilian” rounds are 22LR and 12 gauge shotgun.

22LR (Long Rifle)

This cartridge is good for small game but for every other survival use, it is significantly sub-standard.  However it is cheap, small, light, low recoil, low noise and very common, so it is worth having a bunch.  It is very useful for practice and training, and many defensive arms have a 22LR version or conversion kit available to assist practice.

In a SHTF situation, this ammunition may become a de facto currency.  With a price as low as $0.04 a round, it would be wise to stock up.  For hunting purposes, High Velocity Hollow Points are best, and for the best accuracy or quietness, Standard Velocity (sub-sonic) Target rounds fill the bill.  Unlike most calibers, it is a RIMFIRE, which means it does not have a primer in the center, but primer material inside the rim all the way around.

9mm aliber

9x19mm Parabellum (aka 9mm Luger)

This cartridge is supposedly a defensive cartridge.  As used by the military, it has a pointy, fully jacketed bullet which does not have a reliable ability to stop an attacker, and when you get right down to it, that is the primary purpose of defensive ammunition.  Because it is the most common military and police pistol and sub-machine gun cartridge here and around the world, and there are a number of excellent guns to use it, it is wicked popular.

Fortunately, there are effective (expanding) rounds available for it, which ARE more able to stop an attacker.  What you are looking for is a JHP (Jacketed Hollow Point) which is “bonded” (the core is fastened to the jacket so they do not separate).  Examples are Speer Gold Dot and Federal HST which may not be the “best” but are pretty good and the price is not outlandish.

At twice the price, Hornady Critical Duty (service pistols, barrier defeating) and Critical Defense (short barrel, no barrier) have the hollow point cavity filled with a polymer plug which is claimed to make them a tad bit more reliable feeding and expanding. This self-defense ammo test is a great resource to see how each round compares to the others available for sale to civilians.

There are technologies other than JHP, but they have not been proven yet, and the price discourages experimentation.  A simple Jacketed Hollow Point will probably cost around $0.25 a round, with the Gold Dot or HST more like $0.40 a round and up.  Military ball can be had for as low as $0.14 a round.

Bullet weights usually are between 65 grains and 158 grains, with the most common being 115 or 124 grains.  I’d pick one of those (124 grain works better for me) and get some highly effective defensive rounds and a bunch of ball all of the same bullet weight and similar velocity (to have close to the same trajectory).  Make sure that any hollow points feed reliably in your gun before getting a lot of them.

5.56 mm caliber

.223 Remington & 5.56x45mm (aka 5.56 NATO)

These two calibers are very similar, with the .223 being the civilian version and 5.56 NATO the military version.  Unfortunately, they are not identical.  If you have a .223 chambered weapon, you should use only .223 ammunition in it.  The military ammo will fit, but has a slightly different dimension, and worse, a higher pressure.

If you shoot 5.56 NATO in a .223, it may work or you may have trouble getting the empty case out, which will disable the weapon until you get it removed.  If you have a 5.56 NATO chambered weapon, you can also use .223 ammo in it, but will probably lose a bit of accuracy.  There is a .223 WYLDE chambering which is the best in order to use both calibers interchangeably.

Stock up on the caliber which matches your weapon, and when you find any after the SHTF, make sure you know what you are getting.  Personally, if I had a .223 chambered weapon I was planning to use for survival, I would exchange it (often just the barrel) for a .223 WYLDE chambering or at least a 5.56 NATO.  These are all so close that attempting to rechamber a .223 to one of the others is likely to make things worse.

The primary uses for this cartridge are defense, medium game hunting and long range varmint control.  As with the 9mm, the military rounds are pointy and fast, and they penetrate well; too well.  As such, for their intended purposes, they are not optimal.  They are, however, common, and have a low recoil, and many of the rifles which fire it are suitable for combat applications.

Fortunately there is ammunition which improves its effectiveness, which will run you from $0.35 a round to $1.00 or more.  You can get cheap import JHP (or ball) .223 ammo for as low as $0.20 a round, but check out some in your gun before buying case lots, to see how well it works and how reliable it is.  Military grade ball seems to go for around $0.27 a round.

Bullet weights generally are between 40 grains and 87 grains, but there is a problem.  You need to know the “twist” of your barrel, because that determines which bullet weights should work “best” in your gun.  If your twist is 1:7 (1 revolution in 7 inches), then you’ll get your best results with 69 grains and heavier, and you don’t want to go below 55 grains.

With a 1:9 twist, you will be happiest with 62 grains and less (great with the common 55 grain bullet weight), and should avoid anything above 77 grains.  For  versatility, my preference is 1:8, which works best with 62 grains to 77 grains, and will be adequate down to 40 grains and up to 87 grains.  With this twist, in ball, I’m fond of SS109 (M855, Green Tip) 62 grain and try to match its trajectory to a 62 grain hollow point (Spear Gold Dot plus some cheap stuff).  For varmints, I’d want a longer barrel with 1:9 twist and 50 to 55 grain varmint bullets.  With an AR-15 platform, I could have one lower and two uppers instead of a separate gun for each purpose.

12 ga Buck

12ga (gauge)

There is no gun which will “do it all”, but the 12 gauge shotgun comes close.  With the proper ammunition, you can hunt any game and defend yourself.  The only weak point is this is strictly a short range weapon.  Not to mention that the ammunition is big and heavy and the recoil can be severe.

A pump shotgun is probably the best all around choice for survival.  A semi-auto can compensate somewhat for the recoil, but costs a lot more, is a bit less reliable, and some models have part of the “works” below the barrel, which means you can’t put on an extended magazine tube, important for defensive use.  You’ll want one with easily changeable barrels, and a short, cylinder choke (no restriction) barrel for slugs and defense, and a longer, multi-choke barrel for hunting birds and small game.

12 gauge ammunition is specified by the length of the shell in inches, the size of the shot, the amount of shot in ounces, and the amount of powder in “dram equivalents”.  Back in the day when black powder was used, it was measured in drams.

Modern smokeless power then, is specified as providing the same velocity of the shot as the specified amount of black powder did (to help people transition from black powder to modern powder).  Thus if a load is specified as being 3 1/4 dram equivalents, then the amount of powder in it will boost the shot to the same velocity as if there were 3 1/4 drams of black powder in there.

I’ve noticed that ammunition sold today sometimes has the velocity specified rather than the dram equivalent; I guess the black powder guys don’t need to be considered any more.  In any case, you can usually tell at a glance whether a shell is “high power” or “low power” by looking at the brass base of the shell.  If the brass part only reaches up about a 1/4″, then it is “low brass”; a light load.  If it reaches up over a 1/2″, then it is “high brass” and will kick pretty good.

“Magnum” shells are even higher power; usually they are high brass. Common available lengths are 1 3/4″, 2 3/4″, 3″ and 3 1/2″.  Most (modern U.S.) guns are chambered for 2 3/4″ and many are chambered for 3″.  You can use shorter shells than a chamber is cut for although the greater the difference between chamber length and shell length, the more effect on performance it will have.

Personally, I’d prefer a 3″ chamber for maximum versatility, but would accept a 2 3/4″ chamber, and would mostly stock 2 3/4″ shells, as they have the best variety and most reasonable cost.  In case you are wondering, the purpose of the 1 3/4″ shells is strictly to allow more to be carried in the magazine tube and they are only available in defensive loads.

Of course, you can get exactly the right load for any particular usage in normal times, but it would be impractical to do this when stocking for a disaster.  You want the minimum number of different loads which will adequately cover the likely uses.

For small game and birds, a light load with #6 shot is the most versatile, although having some smaller #7 1/2 shot for such game birds as dove or quail would be helpful if practical.  If you have a good chance of being able to hunt ducks, geese or turkey, there are additional loads you’ll need; be aware that they outlawed lead shot for hunting water fowl, so that messes up the ammo requirements we old timers are used to (because lead and steel don’t fly the same).  Shells with 1 oz or 1 1/8 oz of  #6 shot run about $0.22 each and up; #7 1/2 shot seems to be a few cents cheaper per shell.

For hunting large game, slugs are optimal.  These are usually “high brass”, although they do offer “reduced recoil” loads these days.  Keep in mind that the shotgun bore is smooth and so does not impart any rotation to the slug.  This means it does not have gyroscopic stability, which results in less than stellar accuracy.  You can get “rifled” slugs which improve the accuracy a bit, or get another, rifled, barrel just for slugs.

Unless you do a lot of big game hunting with a shotgun, the additional barrel is probably not worth the effort.  The other option is “sabot” slugs, which are smaller in diameter, encased in a plastic sheath which falls away when you fire it.  These slugs may be lighter and have a more aerodynamic shape, so are more stable, giving you better range or possibly trajectory than a normal slug.  Rifled slugs go for around $0.60 a round and up, and sabot slugs start around $0.80.

Slugs can be used for defense, and there are even some specialty slugs for maximum effectiveness… and maximum price.  Generally, however, Buckshot is optimal for defense, and for that matter, decent for hunting (the “Buck” in Buckshot refers to a male deer).  As with slugs, these are high brass; you may find some “reduced recoil” versions, but the selection and price are not great.

Generally you will be steered towards #00 Buck, by people educated by TV and the movies.  It will work and may be more available, but with only 9 pellets in a standard load, it is not the best choice.  That would be #4 Buck with 27 pellets.  Expect to pay $0.30 and up a round.

What’s Missing?

So far we have a good selection of common ammunition which can meet all our needs, except long range.  Handguns are generally best under 50 yards.  A 12 gauge with Buckshot is also best under 50 yards; with a slug good up to 75 yards or 100 yards if fired from a rifled slug barrel.  A .223 with 16″ barrel will reach out 300 yards, or with the correct barrel and ammunition, perhaps 600 yards or even more, but it is not really effective against man or large beast.

30 06 caliber

We need to add a big bore, long range cartridge to the list to be considered.  There are many effective cartridges which would serve, but for versatility and availability, it would be hard to surpass the venerable 30-06.  This round will do anything you need a large rifle cartridge to do (in the U.S.; its not a good choice for an African safari), except it’s too long to work well in a semi-auto combat rifle, with the obvious exception of a M1 Garand.  Otherwise .308 Winchester/7.62x51mm is a good alternative, designed to have nearly the same ballistics in a shorter, self-loader friendly cartridge.

As with the .223/5.56 NATO pairing, these are also a civilian and a military pair, which are similar to each other but not identical.  In this case, the military version is the lower pressure one, with thicker brass and a bit longer headspace.  Thus you can fire the 7.62 NATO ammo in a .308, but if .308 is fired in a 7.62x51mm (aka 7.62 NATO) chamber, there is a good chance the brass will rupture.

The .308 chambering would seem to be a better choice under most conditions.  If you have a 7.62 NATO chamber, you can measure how dangerous it would be to fire .308 in it by using a set of .308 headspace gauges.  If the bolt closes on the No-Go gauge, the brass will probably be over stressed, while if the bolt closes on the Field gauge, it would be risky to fire .308 rounds in that gun.

If you will be using it in a bolt action rifle, 30-06 is a very good choice.  If you want to use a semi-auto, .308 may be a better choice, but if you do go with .308, you should consider also having a bolt action rifle for long distance accuracy.  Think counter-sniper.  Bullet weights vary from 100 grains to 240 grains, with 150 or 165 grains being good choices for defense or deer, and heavier bullets like 180 grain suitable for larger game like elk or moose.

For large, dangerous animals such as grizzly bears, 220 grains would not be too much.  Quality ammo starts around $0.60 a round, with the fancy hunting ammo over $1.00 a round.  You can get cheap imports and military surplus, particularly for .308, as low as $0.30 a round, but try it out in your gun before committing to it.


So far we have looked at the best choices giving good service with top availability (#1 most popular handgun caliber, and the three most popular rifle calibers, all of which are, or used to be, U.S. military calibers).  Of course there are alternatives for some of these, with decent availability if any of the top choices are not desired for some reason.

For defense with a handgun, .45ACP ball is more effective than 9mm ball and is fairly available (ex-military caliber, #3 on the handgun caliber popularity list).  Alternatively, in a revolver, .357 Magnum (#2 in popularity) is pretty good, not only for defense but decent for hunting, and can also shoot .38 Special which if using a light target load is great for small game.

If the 12 ga is just too much to handle, 20 ga will do much of what 12 ga will do; not as well but adequately.

The Russian answer to the 5.56 NATO is the 7.62x39mm.  It’s a more effective round close up, and at the current time there is plenty available and much of it is cheap in cost.  Whether it will be available in a SHTF situation is unknown; it is only #9 on the rifle cartridge popularity list.  In the same performance class as the 7.62×39 is the 30-30.  It is very popular for deer hunting (#4 on the rifle caliber popularity list), so you may find some at places when nothing else is available.  And the lever action carbines which shoot it are pretty sweet and can even be used for defense in a pinch.

As for 22LR there really is no alternative; everything in its class is more expensive and is not particularly popular, so availability will be low.  Looking at 30-06 and .308, there are a lot of calibers in their class or even higher, but none of them come close to the availability of those two.  A decent round with fair availability might be .270 Winchester, #5 on the rifle cartridge popularity list.


Our primary goal has been to consider those calibers which are adequate for a variety of survival purposes AND are most likely to be available during times of crisis.  If there is a caliber which is significantly better, or you already have, that you like in place of or addition to, any of these, it is certainly an option to stock up on that caliber.

Just keep in mind that when you run out of ammo, your gun becomes a finely machined stick or rock, or if you desperately need something and the person who has extra cannot use the ammo you have, a satisfactory exchange is not likely.

Ammunition tends to be fairly pricey these days, so although going to the gun store to get a box may be convenient, it often is a poor choice for buying in quantity.  Of course, you can always talk with the person in charge and see what kind of deal you can work out, but usually you will be best served by finding good deals online.  This methodology may also prevent you from being charged sales tax.

On a daily basis, you can get an idea of the current market by using; however, these are usually not the best possible prices.  For that, you need to get on the mailing list of several suppliers and wait for sales.  Be careful; ammo is heavy and shipping costs can sometimes turn a good deal into a not so good one.

5 Worst States for Concealed-Carry and Gun Ownership Rights

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Concealed carry and gun ownership are two very hot topics in today’s world. It would seem that we are staring down the barrel of the unknown. On one hand we are looking at a reciprocity bill that would allow people to rightfully and lawfully carry firearms all over this nation with a permit. There are …

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Free PDF: HK Firearm Manuals

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Today I have 38 HK firearm manuals to share Hk 4 Hk 11 HK 33 Automatic Rifle Cal 5.56mm x 45 Nato Hk 33E-53 Hk 91 Hk 93 Hk 94 Hk 270 Hk 630-770-940 HK Binelli Shotgun Training HK G3 Automatic Rifle Cal 7.62mm Nato Hk G3 Hk G11 Hk Gpt Hk Mark23 Hk Mg4 Hk Mp5 Armorers Manual Hk Mp5 Hk Mp5A4 Hk Mp5N Hk Mp5Sf Hk Mp7A1 Hk P7 Owner HK P7 Pistol P7 9mm Hk P7 Hk P2000 HK Pistol P9S 9mm Hk Psg1 Hk Sl6 Sl7 Hk Sl81 Hk Sr9 Hk Ump 40 Hk Usc 45

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Ammo Storage & Stockpiling

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Ammo Storage & Stockpiling
Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

On this episode of the Gunmetal Armory, we discuss Ammunition Storage, Ammunition types, and Ammunition Stockpiling. We are also going to do the usual Product Pick Of The Week, cover any “Ask Dane” questions, and do a Give-Away. We’re going to be giving away an LAPG Ultimate Survival Pod from LA Police Gear. We will be doing a trivia question just like we usually do.

Continue reading Ammo Storage & Stockpiling at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Medieval(ish) Scrap Mace

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Ahh. The building of medieval weaponry. Is there anything better to do on a warm Sunday afternoon? This thing looks like something that would appear in the Lord of the Rings. It also looks like something you would crack zombies in the head with. How about a time, long after the last gun has fired. …

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6 High Tech Gadgets That Would Come In Handy During a Disaster

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There are hundreds of reasons people prepare for emergencies, and hundreds of scenarios that could occur that you may consider preparing for. Natural disasters, civil unrest, war, pandemic, solar flares – the possibilities are incredibly varied and no list of necessary tools can possibly encompass every scenario. In this article, we are focusing on high […]

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11 Best Knives to Have in a Disaster (and Why)

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A tool that has been around since mankind first began chipping rocks into weapons, few items are more essential to an outdoorsman or survivalist than a quality knife. As with any versatile tool, though, knives serve a wide range of purposes – some better than others, depending on the blade you choose. From skinning an […]

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Gun Sales Skyrocket As Gun Owners Brace For An All-Out Assault On Our Second Amendment Rights

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Who saw this one coming? Its really not surprising that when congress makes a run for guns that the public bristles and does the same. You will find that this is just how the pendulum swings. People want to be safe and when they see other Americans getting shot up it makes them want protect …

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2 Safety Tips For Your Kids: The Sound of Gunfire & Concealment vs. Cover

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Like it or not, these types of conversations are those that need to happen between parents and children today. A lot of people get upset and think its not fair that we live in a society like this. They are right. But what does fair have to do with anything. Fair is not what keeps …

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Carbon Fiber or Micarta? The Battle Between Two Chris Reeve Inkosis

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The world of survival and tactical supply is on the verge of a tremendous change. We are at the very beginning of a material revolution. We are finding out how to splice materials, weave micro fibers of incredibly strong materials and create things no one ever thought possible. This movement is just in its infancy. …

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Newly Expanded Australian Survival Forum.

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The Survival Connection.

This is a survival board on our groups forum. Many of our members joined our 18th century Living History forum because they had a strong interest in survival & prepping, so we also added The Survival Connection board.
This board is like a separate forum, it is not just for primitive gear & primitive skills, it covers anything & everything in regards to survival.

The Survival Connection Forum:

What’s the Best Cartridge for Personal Protection and Concealed Carry?

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Never talk about religion or politics. That used to be an old adage. Of course, since then people have had amazing careers doing just that and berating both subjects.  A similar train of thought could be had for people in the firearms industry or gun enthusiasts. If you really wanna fire some people up talk …

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Hidden in Wall Gun Cabinet With Hidden Keypad

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Hidden in Wall Gun Cabinet With Hidden Keypad Where are your guns right now? Have they checked in lately? While I kid about guns and their overwhelming affect on society, I think its important that we realize our responsibility as preppers and gun owners. Many preppers are not trained on how to use guns and …

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AR Adapter for glock Style Mags: American Tactical Imports Does it Right

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AR Adapter for glock Style Mags: American Tactical Imports Does it Right Ya know, sometimes its night to discuss articles that are deep in prepper philosophy. Other times I really enjoy bringing you articles that get into the homesteading aspect of prepping and self-reliance. These are gateways into freeing yourself and your soul. You know …

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Preppers And Gun Safety

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Preppers And Gun Safety Can you remember the first time you heard the word prepper? What about he the first purchase you made as a prepper? The reality is that some preppers get started on this journey with no experience in the military, outdoors or anything of the type. You begin to invest in survival …

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Preparing for Gun Control as Responsible Gun Owners!

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Preparing for Gun Control as Responsible Gun Owners
Host: James Walton “I Am Liberty” Audio player below!

While we have seen quite a bit of blame laid across the board I have noticed that the AR15 is taking a lot of heat. I have heard some of the solutions proposed and of course, for the average responsible gun owner its all very nerve racking.

No gun owner wants to see children shot and they don’t want to exist in a world where maniacs have access to guns.

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Arming A Squad Of Untrained Family Members

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Arming A Squad Of Untrained Family Members To best understand the importance of this article you have to understand the acceptable casualties. In war or in a battle of any kind there is a fighting force. This fighting force comes to war with weapons and the assumption of acceptable casualties. There will be a certain …

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6 Survival Guns You’ll Need After The End Of The World

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With all the different makes and models of guns, it can seem impossible to decide which ones you need in your disaster arsenal, especially if you’re new to guns or prepping. But in reality, selecting the right guns doesn’t have to be difficult. Not all guns (or calibers) are created equal, and the result is […]

The post 6 Survival Guns You’ll Need After The End Of The World appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

SHOT Show 2018

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SHOT Show 2018 What is more exciting than SHOT Show? Its one of the only good things about January, in my opinion. A giant collection of the latest and greatest equipment from brands that support the cause of preparedness and tactical thinking individuals. Well, I searched all around the internet for just the right resource …

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Free PDF: Anschutz Firearm Manuals

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This post contains 32 Anschutz Firearm Manuals.  I figure anyone who owns a specialized firearm from this company probably owns the manual, but in the interest of sharing, I had them, I share them. I’m trying to get all the firearm manuals from manufacturers that I have multiple models out first, and its easiest to stay basically alphabetical. I am not going to swear I will stay in order because I also jump around to what catches my eye at the time. From Wikipedia: J. G. Anschutz GmbH & Co. KG is a sporting firearms manufacturer based in Ulm, Germany,

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Free PDF: Colt Firearm Manuals

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Like the Browning manuals from last week, I am sharing my collection of Colt Firearm Manuals in the event you buy a gun and don’t have a manual. There are a lot here, some 46 different PDF manuals, so it may take a second to load. I probably should have loaded them individually, but even doing it this way I still have over 500 posts to write and schedule so you can access this free material. Colt 22 Caliber Conversion Series 80 Colt 22 Caliber Conversion Colt 22 Target Model Colt 25 Hammerless pdf-embedder url=”” title=”Colt 25 Hammerless”] Colt 32

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Best Non lethal EDC items

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Best Non lethal EDC items

Best Non lethal EDC items

When selecting a weapon for non-lethal self-defense, there are several essentials to keep in mind.

First, the weapon should be easy to carry on your person, located in a place that’s not too visible but not too hard to reach, either. Second, it shouldn’t be complicated to use since most of us don’t have time to go to a training session or five when we just want to protect ourselves.

Continue reading Best Non lethal EDC items at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

How to Turn a Handgun Into a PDW using KPOS kit from FAB Defense with a SIG Brace

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Carrying a handgun for self-defense (where lawful) is one of the most basic steps of being a prepared person. The old saying is that “God made All Men, and Samuel

The post How to Turn a Handgun Into a PDW using KPOS kit from FAB Defense with a SIG Brace appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Primitive Weapons!

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Primitive Weapons!

Primitive Weapons!
Host: Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

This week on the GunMetal Armory, we  go much deeper into the Armory where we store the Primitive Weaponry. Our topics will cover things like the AtlAtl, throwing/thrusting spears, blow guns, clubs & impact weaponry, tomahawks & hatchets, knives, bow & arrow, arrowhead types, bolas, throwing sticks, slings, etc.

Listen to this broadcast or download “Primitive Weapons” in player below!

Continue reading Primitive Weapons! at Prepper Broadcasting Network.

Gun Control Epic Fail

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Gun Control Epic Fail The battle for your guns will rage on for as long as you are alive and beyond. Even in the future I think we will see the AI and robots fighting over ways to pull the guns away from the crazy monkey people who made them. There is no getting away …

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11 Great Self Defense Weapons That (Probably) Won’t Kill Anyone

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The most popular self-defense weapon is a firearm, but that doesn’t mean it’s always the best self-defense weapon.  Many people are uncomfortable carrying a gun (as it is a major responsibility) and would prefer a non-lethal weapon instead, or they may live or work in an area where carrying firearms is not allowed. If either […]

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Free PDF: Browning Firearm Manuals

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John Moses Browning is the World’s Greatest Gun Inventor he is regarded as one of the most successful firearms designers of the 20th century, in the development of modern automatic and semi–automatic firearms, and is credited with 128 firearm patents. He made his first firearm at age 13 in his father’s gun shop, and was awarded his first patent on October 7, 1879 at the age of 24. Browning is no longer with us, but the Browning Arms Company is.  While it is now a fully owned subsidiary of FN Herstal, its firearms are all over America.  The odds of seeing a Browning firearm at a range, deer

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Video Monday: Pimping out a Mossberg 590 Shockwave

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Video Monday: Pimping out a Mossberg 590 Shockwave How about a little fun. For many in the prepping world there is just something about guns. I love looking at them, shooting them and day dreaming about them. I don’t know many preppers that aren’t up for a good mod video of a Mossberg. This video …

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Homemade Gift Knife

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Homemade Gift Knife Yes, the handle on this knife build is pink. I want everyone to know that you can change that if you want. It is incredibly intriguing that people all over the nation are making knives from scratch. Its also interesting how benign the knife has become. The idea that the knife is …

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Hollywood Myths About Using Guns That Easily Get You Killed

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Movies and TV present seemingly magical scenarios where the good guy always wins and high impact action scenes are over in a matter of minutes.  While these forms of entertainment are designed to make you suspend judgment and go with the flow of the story, they do not accurately portray how guns work in real life.

If you tried to use a gun as they are used in the movies or on TV, it may well get you killed or, at best, seriously injured. There are no shortcuts to becoming a safe, well educated gun owner and user.  If you gain nothing else from this article, at least know that movies, and TV (including reality TV and the news) are not good places to learn about guns.

Seek a qualified instructor and good quality courses.  Now let’s look at some of those misconceptions.

The “Gangster Grip” is as Useful as it is Cool

When criminals shoot in the movies or on TV, they tend to hold handguns so that the magazine port is angled about 90 degrees from the ground.   Two things always amaze me about these scenes.

First, I can’t imagine how they hit the target with the sights so far out of alignment, let alone put enough lead into the other shooter to kill him/her 10 times over.  The other thing that amazes me is that the gun never has a fail to feed problem.

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

Shooters that use the “gangster grip” claim that they hold the gun this way so they can shoot faster.  The fact is they aren’t doing more than “spraying and praying” they hit what they think they are aiming at.  In a lot of shootouts the target individuals are missed and simply escape.

Sadly, given the large number of bullets flying around, it is more than likely innocent bystanders will get hurt or killed.

The major problems with this way of shooting are:

  • You can’t accurately measure movement left or right.
  • You can’t get a reliable sight picture because you are aiming down the slide instead of via the sights.
  • There is also no way to know if the pistol is pointing down below your field of vision from the back of the pistol.
  • Even if you do hit your target, it is likely you will not make the same shot again because you are never actually aiming the same way twice.

Big Caliber Guns are Fine for Beginners

In movies and on TV, they often show a complete novice picking up a large caliber gun and firing it with no problems.  This simply isn’t the way to developing good marksmanship and safe shooting works in the real world.

You will need to start off with small calibers and master them before moving on to larger ones.  If you use a gun that has too much recoil, or is too powerful for you to control, you can easily hurt yourself and others.

Case in point. I have personally witnessed people using guns like the 50 Caliber Desert Eagle and winding up with severe head wounds when the gun escaped their hands and hit them after firing.  Aside from that, never forget that you won’t be just carrying a gun for a one or two hour TV show or movie.

You may carry the gun for years on end and never need to pull it let alone get through a problematic situation.  During that time, you will still need to practice and make sure you do not develop problems such as jerking the trigger, flinching, looking away from the target when you shoot, or being totally afraid to handle or shoot pistols.

You Will Shoot Like a Pro from the Beginning

In movies, the good guy always shoots perfectly even if they have never fired a gun in their lives. No matter whether they got a “lucky shot” at just the right moment, or managed to be some kind of genius that engaged in a complex shootout, chances are you will not have the same experience during a time when your life depends on it.

Not only will you have to manage the gun itself, your own adrenaline and stress responses can, and will wreak havoc on you.  It takes years of training and practice to become a master at shooting a pistol.

Getting Shot Looks Obvious

When a person gets shot in a movie, they are lifted up off the ground and thrown many feet behind them into glass window or some other spectacular background.  In reality the victim may only move back a little bit and then fall over dead.

If the gun is of a smaller caliber, the person is likely to remain standing.  In most cases, the impact of the average bullet has about the same force as the recoil.  This occurs mainly because the body has much more weight and mass than the bullet. In addition, remember, the bullet isn’t made to just push the target, it is made to lodge in it or punch through it.

As such, you simply won’t see a lot of movement backwards when the bullet hits a live target. Check with FBI’s Handgun Wounding Factors and Effectiveness Manual for some further insights.

The Ammo Supply is Never Ending

Even though large capacity magazines may seem like they hold a lot of bullets, the fact is  even 18 rounds can go very quickly.  Some researchers have found that even trained law enforcement officers in a situation may fire their gun many times before hitting their target.

In a situation, it is likely you will run out of ammo and still not hit your attacker.  While they never count their bullets in the movies, you must always know how many bullets you have left at every second.  You should also remember to carry spare, loaded magazines and extra ammo.

Treating ammo like they do in the movies is a good way to wind up dead regardless of your experience and skill level.

You Will Always Be Thrown Backwards When You Fire a Gun

New shooters, or those with little shooting experience believe that they will be thrown backwards regardless of the caliber of the firearm.  Smaller caliber guns have less felt recoil.  Unless you are firing  a weapon that is well beyond your capability, it is likely that only your hand and forearm will move out of position.

With proper training and skill development, you should have no movement at all backwards from the recoil of a gun.

Semi-automatic Weapons Fire Like Machine Guns

In a lot of action movies semi-automatic weapons are portrayed as if they are full-automatics.  There is a big difference between the two, which leads to the false claim that semi-automatic weapons are “assault weapons”.

A semi-automatic weapon shoots one bullet with one pull of the trigger even with or without it has a bump stock on it.  Without this type of stock, AK, AR, and other semi-automatic weapons are no different than any other gun insofar as the trigger operation.

A full-automatic weapon, which can be called a “assault weapon” shoots many bullets without needing to pull the trigger again.  This type of gun will only stop firing when the trigger is released.  It takes a lot of training to shoot a full-automatic weapon accurately.

Without this training, all the shooter is doing is wasting ammunition and spraying the area vainly hoping to hit something.  Both semi-automatic and full-automatic weapons must be aimed to get the best target accuracy.

Guns Will Always Fire When Dropped

In the movies, when actors or actresses drop a gun, it always goes off (and more than likely kills someone in the bargain).  Today, guns are designed to not accidentally fire when dropped as required by The Gun Control Act of 1968.

Guns designed before The Gun Control Act of 1968 have no safe guards to protect shooters from a dropped firearm going off.  This one movie myth alone has probably negated dozens of modern alibis to murder made by people that claimed they dropped the gun and it fired “by accident”.

While it is still possible for this to happen, the drop safety test conducted by the manufacturer ensures that 99.999% of the time, a dropped gun will not go off.  If the gun does fall out of your hands, never try to catch it while it is in motion.  It is very easy for a finger or something else to get into the trigger guard and pull the trigger.

There is no Need to Aim a Shotgun

In many movies and on TV, people just point the shotgun in a general direction of the target and fire.  To add insult to injury, once the shotgun pellets hits, everything and everyone is destroyed, dead, or dying.  You can’t just “point and shoot” a shotgun and expect to hit the target.

Good aim maters just as much when shooting a shotgun as it does shooting a pistol.  With a shotgun, the further away the target is, the greater the shotgun pellets will spread.  As such, it is easier than you might expect to completely miss the target.

Even if you shoot slugs out of the shotgun, you must aim at the target and compensate for the weight of the slug at different distances.  The farther away from the target you are, the more the slug will drop.

It is Easy to Buy Firearms and Ammo

Movies and TV often show people walking into a gun store and simply buying whatever they want. Others show people walking in and flashing enough money to buy something “off the books”.  Even worse, there are many other movies and TV that show people buying a whole arsenal from gun shows or off the streets.

The false idea here is that all you have to do is go to your friendly neighborhood gun runner and get everything you need at cheap bargain basement prices. These movies never show the gun blowing up in the buyer’s hands, or all of the problems that occur as a result of buying low quality junk that probably won’t hit the target even if it does fire.

Sadly, these movies and the cultural opinion are also being used endlessly to drive gun control legislation.

It is true that private gun sales can be made in some states without the seller having to do a background check.  Depending on the state, the seller may still have to make sure they are not selling to a convicted felon or someone else that is not supposed to have a gun.

Even in these states, it is already a crime to sell a gun to someone that shouldn’t have it.  As a result, if the buyer does get caught, the person that sold him/her the weapon will also face criminal charges.

Insofar as gun shows, there are some individuals that believe anyone can go to a gun show firearms retailers booth, lay down some money, walk out with a gun, and never file any state or federal forms.  Buying a gun at a gun show retailer’s table is no different from buying from any legitimate gun store.

All firearm retailers in the business of selling firearms must due the following:

  1. Have a Federal Firearms License(FFL).
  2. Perform background checks through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System(NICS).
  3. If you pass the background check, then and only then can you pay for the firearm and then take it home.
  4. If you don’t pass the background check because you can’t legally own a firearm, you will be arrested either right there at the show, or at home.
  5. At all legitimate gun shows you will find local, state, and federal law enforcement officers there to monitor sales and be sure all sales are lawful transactions.
  6. The so-called “gun show loophole” is a completely false construct. It is said that people can simply meet up outside the gun show and sell there; thus getting around straw purchase laws. This is no different from making a private sale in a remote location.

In fact, it is less likely these kinds of sales will be made on the ground surrounding a gun show because the police are actively looking for such sales and will act to put a stop to them.  If anything,outside of a gun show is the worst place to make a private gun sale.

Never forget that gun shows, like most gun stores, utilize cameras and other forms of surveillance equipment.  This includes on the grounds surrounding the gun show as well as inside the buildings.

In conclusion, if you believe everything you see at the movies or TV dealing with firearms you can wind up in some very bad situations. This includes being unable to defend yourself in a time of need as well as being largely uninformed about how gun laws work in the real world.

If you don’t want to wind up dead or on the way to the pokey for breaking the law, it is best to relegate “action” TV and  movies to entertainment purposes only and find a good instructor that will train you properly in gun use and ownership.

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Watch: Learn To Build Improvised Body Armor

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Watch: Learn To Build Improvised Body Armor Ahh, the plate carrier. It’s something many preppers watch from the periphery. Looking at body armor is a powerful moment in your life as a human being. That is particularly true if you have been a civilian all of your life. I liken it to looking at the …

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Free PDF: CETME Firearm Manual

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I used to have a CETME.  As a matter of fact I had a good time modifying it with G-3 parts.  I did a video on the roller system, as well as changing out the wood stock for a set of green hardware. I like how reliable these guns are once they are tuned up, but their ability to shoot comes with a price.  You can’t reload the ammunition because of the way the chamber is made. If you want to work on these guns, and if you own one your going to become a CETME gunsmith as most of

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Free PDF: Gunstock Finishing & Care

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Today’s PDF is Gunstock Finishing & Care. I don’t know any serious gun owner that hasn’t tried their hand at minor gunsmithing – normally it starts with refinishing stocks or bluing old guns. There isn’t anything wrong with someone modifying their own possessions, but I do caution on home gunsmithing. If you have a collectable […]

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Free PDF: Glock Firearm Manuals

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I have done several glock posts on this site.  We’ve shown how to totally disassemble both the frame and the slide of the glock pistol, as well as a lot of other tips to maintain and modify the glock, now I am sharing a couple of glock firearm manuals. I like glock pistols for the […]

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15 Improvised Weapons You Can Find Around the House

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When someone breaks into your home, you don’t usually get a five-minute warning. Oftentimes, you won’t even see the intruder until he’s already inside. If that happens, you won’t have time to run to your room and get your gun out of your safe. You might be forced to defend yourself with something that is […]

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How To Prepare A Prepper Battle Box

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How To Prepare A Prepper Battle Box You may not think of it as much as you should but your job has a emergency response plan. Hopefully, they have briefed you on that plan and offered you a packet that lays out the whole thing. This is the law and they are supposed to make …

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Concealed Carry: Important Considerations When Choosing What, How, Where and Why???

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Best concealed carry pistol

In my opinion, conceal carry is the best method to carry a personal protection handgun. To me and most folks, itbest way to carry a pistol has numerous advantageous over open carrying. Naturally, in a bad situation you wish to capitalize on all the advantages you can in order to survive and concealed carry gives you some advantage. In my role as a firearms sales person at a big box store, firearms instructor and educator, I constantly get approached by folks that are seeking firearms for personal carry. In most cases, the individuals are new to carrying a handgun; in some cases they have some experience with handguns, but not carrying.

By Dan C. – a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

And finally you have those with lots of carrying experience, but no exposure to training for bad events. In all cases the buyers are purchasing a personal protection handgun for the right reasons, but have a total lack of understanding about carrying in particular, the full dynamics of how to carry and the vital role it plays when you need to access your weapon rapidly.

So with that in mind, I wish to cover “five” major factors that you should consider when buying a carry handgun. Keep in mind you cannot pick any one of the 5 factors independently. The value in their roles is the sum total of all the factors combined. If you chose any of the factors independently or only pick a couple of them, then you are likely to fall short of the full advantages of carrying a concealed handgun.


It always amazes me, the number of folks that want to buy a small handgun, just because it is small. In most cases best ccw pistolthis is the first indication that the individual has very limited handgun shooting experience. So the first step in the process is to educate the individual about the role of ‘grip’. As mentioned in my previous articles “grip’ is one of the most important factors in buying a handgun. So it is important if you are considering a carry handgun, purchase one that you can grip well. Small handguns are exceedingly hard to grip correctly and thus more difficult to shoot, which means less practicing if you do not enjoying shooting it. So as much as one might think small is good, in most cases as it pertains to hand guns, small in not good. It is much better to buy a larger handgun that you can grip well and shoot comfortably than to buy a small one that you hate shooting. This point goes deeper than just practice. It also affects your mentality when a bad event happens. So if you have a handgun that you do not like shooting, you may have a reluctance to pull it out when you need to, due the negative feelings and lack of confidence you have about shooting the gun. Then what you thought was an advantage has now turned into a disadvantage, right when you need all the advantages you can muster.

Also Read: 20 Things You Need In Your Get Home Bag

So when choosing a carry handgun instead of first looking for something small, focus on a handgun that you “grip” well, feels comfortable in your hand when shooting. You will be far more confident should you ever need to draw your weapon.


Carrying concealed is an art. It is not always easy nor does it work well without planning. Carrying a handgun forbest self defense carry gun personal protection takes planning, preparation and wardrobe consideration. In order to carry effectively you must do some planning. That means you must first determine how you wish to carry and then make subsequent decisions based on that decision. I cover the topic in more detail below, but I feel inside the waist band (IWB) is the best location to conceal a carry handgun.

The next part of the planning phase is to find a very snug, well fitting holster that will provide retention for your handgun. This process has two components: (1) the holster and (2) your ability to comfortably wear the holster. Though these two components must be considered together, they also are totally independent.

As mentioned above, you want to find a holster that fits the requirements mentioned above. I prefer a kydex one that allows you the ability to change the cant. For those that are not familiar with “cant”, let me explain. The “cant” of a holster is the angle in which the holster sets in relationship to your body. I like mine to cant slightly forward thus allowing me to grasp the handgun easier and it keeps the grip close to my side when bending over. I feel leather or holsters made of malleable material inhibit your ability to reholster your handgun and sometimes can make it harder to draw from.

Related Article: Urban Survival

Once you have found a good holster, now comes the hard part for most folks, what to wear when conceal carrying. 5_Hill_People_Gear_Recon_Kit_Bag_Ruger_Alaskan_homeGet ready because I am going to cover territory here that some might be sensitive. The recommendations below are for both men and women. If you are going to wear a handgun for personal protection, then you must have the mindset that you are going to need to dress differently and take that into consideration every time you get dressed and buy clothes.

If you are used to wearing your shirts tucked in, now you will need to buy shirts that are designed to be worn untucked. In most cases to wear inside the waist band you will need to wear your shirt untucked. In colder weather you can wear a tucked in shirt then a sweater or jacket over it to conceal your weapon.

Wearing inside the waist band has several more aspects that you need to take into consideration. If you are overweight or like to wear your pants or skirts very tight. Then you are going to have a problem. In each of these cases, to address the extra space need by your handgun and holster you will need to buy pants and skirts that are at least one inch larger than you normally wear.

Also Read: Survival Situational Awareness

Next you need to consider a belt that is firm enough to hold the weight of your handgun and holster. That means even when you dress up, you are going to need a belt that has more rigidity to it. A flimsy belt or a leather one that stretches will make carrying your firearm cumbersome and uncomfortable.

Attire is the one consideration that most folks completely forget about. Most folks that wish to carry feel that they can do so with their existing wardrobe. In most cases that is NOT the case. Dena Adams makes some great undergarments for women that enable them to carry a wide range of handguns completely concealed and still wear very feminine clothing. However, in most cases, you will need to revise your attire to comfortably carry your CONCEALED handgun. For me, that meant changing the type of shirts I wore. I traditionally wore all my shirts tucked in. But when I started carrying more inside the waist band I had to start buying shirts that were designed to be worn untucked. I also had to buy belts that were able to hold my holster more secure to my side.

So once you begin wearing your concealed carry handgun more frequently you will then learn that you must dress differently. Women have another option most men don’t and that is purse carry. Again, many women look for something small to carry in their purses. My limited experience in trying to find anything in a woman’s purse is that something small is sure to get lost in there.

Related: How to Spot Someone Carrying a Gun

So what can a woman do to enhance the finding their weapon in a time of need. Here is my suggestion. Go to your local hardware store and buy and piece of Velcro that is about 4 inches by 4 inches. Then empty your purse and glue the Velcro to the inside of your purse on one of the lateral sides. Next buy a holster that has Velcro on the outside of it. Stick that to the Velcro in your purse in a position such that when you open your purse, your handgun is perfectly positioned for you to withdraw it. This will greatly enhance the likelihood of finding and drawing your handgun from your purse smoothly, quickly and confidently in the event a bad situation should arise. Remember, drawing from your purse should be practiced often so you can become very comfortable with the technique. This brings us to Accessibility.


This is the most important aspect of carrying a handgun for personal protection. If you cannot readily access yourself defense shooting firearm when you need it then you are at a major disadvantage. There are lots of sources that provide a wide range of data on shootings, but most confirm that shootings are usually fast, last less than 5 seconds and involve at least 8 shots fired. So if you cannot access your weapon fast and get on target, you are most likely not going to be in a good position. Just a note here…. Just because you draw your weapon does not mean you are going to fire it. In many cases, weapons are drawn, but the need to fire it does not happen. However, the fact that you felt the situation was significant enough for you to draw your weapon, then you must be prepared to use it.

One of the most common forms of carry that I get asked about and many buyers consider is “pocket carry”. Pocket Carry to me, is most likely one of the two worst places to carry your “primary” handgun, ankle carry being the other. The reasons for my position on this are based on the following factors. First, you must have a very small handgun to fit in your pocket. So as mentioned above, the small size will make it hard to shoot, fairly inaccurate and there are far less rounds in the magazine than I would like. Secondly, it is going to be extremely or almost impossible to retrieve your handgun from your pocket while you are experiencing a bad event, just getting the handgun out of your pocket without any extraneous factors can be problematic itself. But add to it you may be running, knelling, squatting or laying down in response to the bad event that is in progress. That even makes it more unlikely you will be able to get your weapon out of your pocket in a timely manner. So my recommendation is that you never want your “primary” personal protection handgun in your pocket or on your ankle.

In my experience the best way to carry a handgun is inside the waist band. I carry my two “go to” weapons (Sig P320 compact or Sig M11-A1) inside the waistband at 4:30 at about a 12 degree cant forward. Again, for those that might not understand this terminology, the 4:30 location is just past your hip. I feel the 4:30 location allows you to readily access your weapon while in almost any position and even while running and the 12 degree cant keeps the grip of the weapon close to you body even when bending over, thus not exposing the fact you are wearing a handgun.

Many well respected firearms experts like the appendix position and I think there is nothing wrong with that location as well. But for me and my size, the 4:30 position is more comfortable.

Now I will say that there are times when I was working private security and or based on my attire I would wear in the middle of back. There are several factors you must take into consideration when wearing in that location. First, your holster must be reversed. So if you are right handed, you will need a left handed holster to correctly position the handgun in the middle of your back. Secondly, you must consider it is going to be much harder to access your weapon and that it takes extra practice to be proficient at drawing your weapon from this position. And finally, when you are sitting down it can be very uncomfortable and in some cases your handgun can get caught on seats, if the back rest has opening in it. So there several limitations you must consider when wearing in the position.

Also Read: First Aid – An Essential Survival Skill

In an article posted by Greg Ellifritz titled “STAND, MOVE, OR SEEK COVER…WHAT WORKS IN A GUNFIGHT? They found if you stood still during a shoot out there was an 85% chance you would get shot, if you moved it dropped to 47% and if you found cover it dropped to 26%. So as we all know, there is tremendous value in moving when the shooting begins. With that said, it is important and vital that you can access your weapon while you are moving and seeking cover. So it needs to be in a location that you can readily access in those situations.

Thus, I highly recommend that your personal protection handgun should be worn on your waist, where it is readily accessible no matter how compromised your position.


The last thing you want in a bad situation where you need to draw your weapon is to wonder whether it is going toEDC_gun_bag function or not. Nothing can be scarier than not having confidence in your weapon. To prevent this from happening your must do a few things.

Related: Katrina Pistol (How to Build a Survival Pistol)

First, spend your time researching the firearm you think you might like to purchase, secondly, get lot of advice from seasoned experts and finally shoot the firearm before you buy it. Remember, the Manufacturer should be your first consideration, followed by Grip, Trigger Control, mag capacity are your main aspects of choosing your handgun. You can read my article on this site on “How to Choose the Best Personal Protection Handgun”. My top 4 personal protection handguns you may wish to explore are the Sig P320 compact, Sig M11-A1, Ruger SR9C, Glock 19 Gen 4. I firmly believe the Sig P320 is the best personal protection handgun on the market.

Secondly, get good training from a well qualified instructor. There are lots of firearms instructors out there, but there are very few good ones… Find a good one…. Then practice practice practice. Be exceedingly comfortable handling and shooting your firearm. Semi-automatic pistols can experience malfunctions due to not holding the gun’s frame firmly enough when shooting, which can allow the frame to move back at the same time the slide moves back. This is called “limp wristing” and it can happen to even strong men who have the wrong grip or arm position as they fire the gun. It is one of the last things you want to happen, so having a good grip is essential to functionality.


The discussion is always about what round is the best for personal protection based on the effectiveness of the bullet. I strongly endorse the 9mm round. Here are my reasons for that caliber, not necessarily in the order of importance, but as a sum total of all the factors.

  • It is the cheapest of all ammo so you are more likely to practice more.
  • Most 9mm handguns have larger capacity magazines than other calibers, so you have more rounds if you need them.
  • There are more handguns made in 9mm than any other caliber, so you are more likely to find one that fits your grip.
  • The lethality of a 9mm is the same as a .40 or .45 when a vital area is hit.
  • It is easy to manage the recoil and shoot thus you are more likely to hit your target.
  • The various sizes of 9mm make it an easy caliber to carry.

The second component of effectiveness is to get good training. To know the correct method for drawing from a magpul_tejas_gun_belt_ruger_super_blackhawk_alaskan_riding_perfectlyholster, have an experienced instructor teach to the skills of safely drawing, presenting of your firearm, quick target acquisition and trigger control. In addition, you must learn the correct and safe means to reholster your handgun. There are numerous videos on Youtube that demonstrate great techniques for drawing from your holster. However, there is no better way to learn the skill than from a qualified instructor.

Also Read: B.O.L.T Pistol (Bug Out Long Term)

The most important aspect of effectiveness is practice. If you do not practice drawing from concealment, drawing from your purse, quickly acquiring your target and placing rounds accurately, then you are setting yourself up for failure if a bad situation should occur and you need to use your handgun. Practice creates confidence, helps you overcome fear, and builds muscle and mental memory; all important factors when dealing with a crisis situation.

So, in summary, concealed carry is not as easy as most folks assume it is. It requires you to take several aspects into consideration prior to putting conceal carry into action. Naturally, you hope you never had to access your handgun in response to bad situation. However, if you do, you want to be able to do safely, quickly and confidently.

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Top 5 Bolt Action Hunting Rifles for Survival

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by Nicholas

When assembling your survival armory, you will need to focus on buying guns that each fills a specific need. I recommend that at least one of those guns should be a bolt-action hunting rifle in a long-range caliber such as .308 or .30-06, fitted with a scope.

While a bolt action rifle may not be the gun that you use the most (in fact, it might be the gun you use the least in a SHTF situation), no gun collection or survival armory is complete without one. Let’s go over the reasons why you should own one, and then talk about the top five models to consider.


To many, a scoped bolt action hunting rifle with a blued barrel and wooden stock is the archetypal American firearm. That being said, there are still many more reasons to own a bolt-action rifle beyond trying to fit in with fellow preppers:

Big Game Hunting

First and foremost, a long-range rifle in a larger caliber does something that a smaller rifle in an intermediate caliber (such as an AR or AK) cannot do. It can take down big game. Granted, people use AR-15s in 5.56 for deer hunting all the time, but a larger round such as .308 or .30-06 is still a better choice. Especially if you plan on going after even larger game such as elk, bear, or moose.

Long-Range Anti-Personnel Weapon

All the same, you can also use the old hunting rifle you keep in your closet as a long-range anti-personnel weapon if you have to as well. If your home or property is being attacked by opponents at distances that are too far away for your pistols, shotguns, or even your AR-15, a hunting rifle in a bigger caliber will do the job. Yes, it has a slow rate of fire and reloading times, but it will still accurately reach targets at distances that none of your other weapons can.

Using a rifle as an anti-personnel weapon at great distances can be tricky, but one fellow writer (Reaper) breaks it down in his article “How to Shoot Like a Sniper”. In that article, he describes various techniques you can use to accurately engage targets at long distances. Since we’re on the subject of bolt-action rifles that can reach out to greater distances, check it out.


These days, there are plenty of semi-automatic rifles such as AR-15s, AR-10s, and FALs that are chambered in .308 Winchester. You might question why you need a bolt rifle when you could go with a semi-auto. When it comes down to it though, a bolt action is simpler. There are less parts that could fail. Simply load the magazine and chamber with a new round by manually cycling the bolt. If you’re out hunting and desperate for food, you simply can’t afford for your hunting rifle to fail. This is one advantage that a bolt gun provides over a semi-automatic.

For these three reasons, you need to have at least one bolt action hunting rifle with a scope in your survival armory. Your choice of caliber is up to you, but most survivalists would recommend that you stick with .308 Winchester or .30-06 Springfield. Both will kill practically any game in the United States, and they’re easy to find. Nonetheless, other calibers you could consider as well include the .338 Winchester Magnum, .300 Winchester Magnum, .270 Winchester, or 7mm Remington Magnum.

The next question then comes as to what specific manufacturer and model you should choose when looking for a traditional bolt hunting rifle. While there are a nearly limitless number of options, these five stand out above the rest:


The Remington 700 earns a spot on this list simply because it’s the best-selling bolt action rifle of all time. Not only does that say a lot about its quality, it also means that spare parts and accessories for the rifle are incredibly easy to find.

The Remington 700 was originally introduced in 1962, with the first models chambered in Remington’s new 7mm Remington Magnum round. Since then though, the 700 has been made available for practically any major bolt action caliber you can think of.

When the 700 was first released, the Winchester Model 70 was the top selling rifle in North America. But the Model 70 had just one problem: it was expensive to make and, thus, expensive to buy. Hunters in need of a high-quality rifle for less money were naturally drawn to the new Model 700, and it became a huge success.

The Model 700 has gained a strong reputation for accuracy, ruggedness, and reliability. Subsequently, not only has it been used extensively by civilians, it’s also been adopted by a variety of military and police forces. It features a push feed action, single stage trigger, and a two-position safety, which differed from the Model 70.

Today, the Remington Model 700 is still an excellent all-around option for a hunting or a sniper rifle. They are produced in a countless number of variants with different lengths, finishes, and stock types available. It shouldn’t be the only rifle you consider, but it should at least be one of them.

The Remington Model 770 is very similar to the Model 700, but is a more basic model. The Model 770 is limited on its options compared to its counterpart (barrel size for instance), but is less expensive. Because of this, the Model 770 is a great option for preppers looking for a more inexpensive way to engage targets at longer distances.


The Ruger American is the budget option on this list. Reasonably priced in the $300 to $400 range (sometimes with a scope combination), it certainly doesn’t offer the same level of eminence as a Remington 700 or a Winchester 70. But it does offer you the best quality for the price range.

The Ruger American is a unique rifle because it feeds from a rotary magazine, which can also be removed from the gun, so you can swap out magazines in a tactical fashion if you want to. Even though it’s fairly low-priced, Ruger still invested much time into making the American rifle as good as it can be.

To this end, the Ruger American is installed with a hammer forged barrel that has been coated in a rust resistant black oxide finish with a tang mounted safety that’s easy to use. It has a fully adjustable trigger and a composite stock that’s available in a variety of colors.

In short, if you need the best quality bolt rifle you can get for less than $500, the Ruger American should be your first choice.


Another option for a bolt action rifle from Ruger is the Gunsite Scout Rifle. This is a short, carbine length rifle with a detachable 5 or 10 round magazines, a rail for adding scopes, and chambered in the .308 Winchester round. While the Gunsite Scout doesn’t have quite the range as the other rifles on this list due to its shorter length, the trade-off is it will be more nimble in tight situations and better suited as a brush or truck gun.

The Gunsite Scout is today offered in a number of different configurations, including synthetic or wooden stocks, blued or stainless finishes, and right-handed or left-handed bolts. It’s also available in 5.56x45mm NATO. The .308 version is far better suited for big game hunting.


Also, known as the “Rifleman’s Rifle”, the Winchester Model 70 is perhaps the most iconic bolt action rifle of all times. The models made before 1964, also known as the “pre-64” variations, are considered by many to be the finest rifles ever produced in history.

Facing tough competition from the lesser priced Remington 700, Winchester lowered the price of the Model 70 after 1964, but they also changed the design to use a push feed operation rather than the Mauser-inspired claw extractor that the pre-64 used. This new Model 70 was regarded as lesser quality, so Winchester returned to producing the “pre-64” type action (only using CNC machining techniques) in the 1990s.

Winchester briefly went out of business in 2006, but in late 2007 it was announced that FN would be manufacturing new Model 70s under the Winchester name due to licensing agreements. Winchester Model 70s have been produced by FN ever since, and have sold well.

The Model 70 is today offered in practically any caliber and configuration you can think of. Not only are they very sleek looking and smooth in operation, they’re also very durable and accurate.  The Winchester Model 70 isn’t cheap by any means, but it truly offers the best you could ask for out of a production bolt rifle.


The last bolt action rifle that we will talk about is another highly influential design: the Weatherby Mark V. The Mark V was specifically designed to handle the biggest Magnum calibers there are. As a result, it uses a more durable receiver, bolt, and lugs. However, the Mark V is also available in more common calibers such as .300, .30-06, or .308.

Out of all the rifles on this list, the Mark V is easily the most prestigious and expensive. But you definitely get what you pay for, because the Mark V is specifically designed to last for many generations while also being able to handle the largest and hardest hitting calibers out there. If you want to find just the right blend between strength and luxury, and have the budget for it, the Mark V should be your top choice.

As with the other rifles on this list as well, the Mark V is available in wide variety of configurations, with different options for barrel lengths, stock types, and finishes.


In conclusion, every survival armory needs to have at least one rifle that uses a bolt-action operation and has a scope. Such a rifle will be the best gun to use for long-range anti-personnel use or for big game hunting. It’s also important that you select a rifle that will last you a lifetime and will deliver optimal performance, something that any of the rifles in this article will do.

Pros And Cons Of Modifying Your Firearms

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Pros And Cons Of Modifying Your Firearms The thoughts of a great light and a laser on your sidearm is enough to make the tactical minded prepper swoon. Maybe add a silencer to combat that attention catching gunfire and you have something that any prepper would except among their ranks. We live in a time …

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3 Best Ammo Calibers To Have After SHTF

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There are many reasons to be armed when a disaster strikes. Hunting food could be the difference between survival and starvation. A defensive weapon could prevent death by predators, both four-legged and two-legged. On the other hand, not all guns are created equal. Each caliber has its own advantages and drawbacks, and you need to […]

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Survival Gear Review: Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield

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best holster

Hello, my name is Drew, and I’m a concealed carrier. I want to stand up and admit to everyone that I perform a best concealed carry holstercardinal sin in the tacti-cool carry world – but I know a lot of you (probably) do it too. I find strength in numbers – solidarity! – so here goes: *deep breath* I carried a spare magazine for my EDC gun by throwing it in my weak-side front pants pocket. There, I said it.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

Yes, I can feel the great disturbance in the force caused by millions of tattooed, appendix-carrying, Glock-19-with-RMR wielding pistol hipsters rolling their eyes at once. (Maybe I can alienate some more readers later.) Not only is it not terribly trendy to pocket carry a spare magazine loose, it’s admittedly not a great idea for a few reasons: Dirt, lint, and other items that are in your pocket can enter the magazine through the cartridge count holes or magazine feed opening and gum up the function of the magazine. The distinctive pistol magazine shape prints through the fabric of your pantaloons. The magazine re-orients itself constantly, since there is nothing in your bare pocket to keep it in place: one minute it can be sitting proper and vertical; a couple steps later, and the magazine has dropped down to lie horizontally with unknown cartridge orientation.

Related: 8 Tips for Flying with a Firearm (Legally)

Once that happens, trying to extract the magazine (especially during a high-stress period of your life, for instance: someone shooting at you) is damned difficult at best, and requires concentration, patience and dexterity – three qualities that you may not be blessed with if you REALLY need that spare magazine. If you carry a flashlight clipped to the inside of your weak-side pocket, add scraped knuckles and swearing to the magazine retrieval process. It’s not a great system, but like I said, I’m sure many of you also pocket carry your spare magazine – at least you have the forethought to have the extra insurance with you.

But what if I told you that there is an easier, more reliable, and straight-up better way to pocket carry your spare magazines – and other items?

Salvation By Raven Concealment Systems

Raven Concealment Systems, a company hailing from Ridgeville, Ohio, has the perfect solution to this particular waistband holster pistolconcealed carry malady: the Moduloader Pocket Shield. An odd-looking, shield-shaped polymer affair with a multitude of slots incorporated into the flat, you would never guess its purpose in life just by looking at it. However, the proudly USA-Made Pocket Shield is the perfect solution to low-profile pocket carrying and organizing EDC gear – knives, spare magazines, flashlights, even small pistols. It’s so simple you’ll feel stupid you didn’t think of it a long time ago.

The Moduloader Pocket Shield was designed by Chris Fry of MDTS Training, in conjunction with Raven Concealment Systems, to be able to retain a number of items in a fixed location while installed in your forward pants (or, upon further reflection, I suppose rear too) pocket. The slots allow the securing of any number of accessories to be mounted – MOLLE gear, Kydex holsters, clip-on accoutrements, screw-on accessories. Hell, you can even tie things to it – Raven Concealment provides line and a few Chicago screws for you to attach items to the Pocket Shield with. Your imagination, and the Moduloader Pocket Shield’s pocket-sized dimensions, are the only limitation you have for attachment possibilities.

Related: Ronin Concealed Carry Holster

The Pocket Shield is a flexible polymer that can be warped, bent, and moved around to conform to your pocket. It doesn’t have a memory per se to keep whatever shape you leave it in, but Raven Concealment Systems recommends wrapping a heavy rubber band around it (think breaking in a baseball glove) to help it keep a more curved, contoured shape.

Two hooked outer edges ensure the Pocket Shield grabs fabric and stays inside your pocket, even if you are performing a hasty emergency deployment of your pocket contents. If the provided shape doesn’t suit your needs, the unit can be cut and trimmed to your heart’s desire. Aesthetically speaking, the Pocket Shield follows the Henry Ford mentality – it comes in any color you want, as long as it’s black. (edit: it appears that Raven Concealment actually now offers Gray and Coyote Brown options as well.)

Setting up the Moduloader Pocket Shield

As stated before, the Pocket Shield is designed to be extremely adaptable, and can be fitted with any number of survival holsteraccessories. I personally wanted to be able to carry a spare magazine and a larger flashlight than my usual EDC Streamlight Microstream AAA flashlight. I set out researching accessory options that would best fit my needs.

I read about the Blue Force Gear Ten Speed mag pouch someplace – I don’t recall where – and the Ten Speed mag pouch was specifically listed as a great fit for the Moduloader Pocket Shield. The Ten Speed pouch is made from an elastic material that holds magazines and other are extracted. The Ten Speed mag pouch has a simple strap that can attach similarly to a MOLLE setup, and is retained by a hook and loop patch at its tag end. It sounded right up my alley, so I ordered one off Amazon -it set me back all of twenty dollars.

The Blue Force Gear Ten Speed pouch was indeed perfect for what I needed. The fastening strap weaved its way between the Pocket Shield’s slots, and fit perfectly, snugly. The spare 17-round magazine for my EDC Sig Sauer P320 Compact fit superbly in the pouch with perfect retention (single stack mags work too) – and there was room to spare for other goodies on the Pocket Shield.

Related: Survival Debate – Pocket Carry vs. Concealed Carry

In retrospect, I wish I’d ordered a double Ten Speed mag pouch so I could have some carry options – two spare mags, a magazine and a flashlight or larger folding knife, or flashlight and knife – or anything else I could stick in the little elastic pouch. I’ll have to remedy that someday.

As it is, the Blue Force Gear Ten Speed pouch and Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield are a dynamite EDC one-two punch. Having a spare magazine for my carry pistol and a Fenix TK20R 1000-lumen light make me feel better about life in general when the chips might be down.

Moduloading the Moduloader

So how well does this odd contraption work at its intended purpose? I have found, over the course of the past fewThe Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250 months of using the Pocket Shield, that it works very well indeed. I keep the Moduloader Pocket Shield in my Grab ‘n’ Go pistol bag where my EDC Sig P320 and other always-with-me gear resides if it’s not on my body. When it’s time to load up, I know right where all my gear is, and I extricate it for body deployment…and the Pocket Shield is the easiest piece of kit to deploy. My spare magazine is already in the Ten Speed pouch, the Fenix flashlight is clipped on, ready to go. All that’s left is to grab the assembled unit, pinch it slightly to fit in the pocket opening, and push it right into your front pants pocket – good to go. Done.

Pulling the Pocket Shield out of one’s pocket isn’t quite so easy – those small retention spurs do a pretty danged good job at their intended purpose – namely, keeping the unit from popping out of the pocket. While that’s a desirable asset when quickly ripping out a needed reload, getting everything out at the end of the day is a wrestling match whose difficulty is directly proportional to the size of your pocket. If you wear cargo pants or BDUs, you’ll find that removing everything comes relatively easily. If you wear skinny jeans (and why would you?), you’ll need a prybar and probably a couple friends or a team of draft horses to extricate the Pocket Shield – that is, assuming you could even get it in your front pocket at all in the first place.

Is that a Moduloader in your pocket, or are you happy to see me?

I’ve been using the Moduloader Pocket Shield for several months now and have found that it fulfills its intended raven pocket shield pantsrole admirably; here’s my take on utilizing it in daily use.  It was weird at first. As someone who really hates carrying extra stuff in his pockets (including the loose spare magazine), it was mildly annoying carrying the extra bulk in that front pocket. As an added bonus, the bulk of the extra gear (spare P320 magazine and the aforementioned Fenix flashlight) in my pocket definitely made a pronounced bulge in my front pocket. It was awkward and foreign, but I stuck it out even though I was sure the gear in my pockets for stuck out….like a sore thumb.

Also Read: Rothco Concealed Carry Jacket

I found with use that this resulting payload bulge needs to be put out of mind; 99% of the people you interact with or pass by won’t be looking at that one pocket. Besides, people carry license-plate sized cellphones, wallets, car keys,and other sundry items in their pockets; bulges or printing is present on almost everyone. The bulge in one’s front pocket resulting from a loaded Pocket Shield is much less expected than a spare magazine carrier on one’s belt – that sort of printing is harder to ignore and dismiss away.

Once I got over the fresh experience of a new, foreign method of carrying gear on my person, I began to really enjoy the Moduloader Pocket Shield and all it offered. I have one set up for pistol carry, and one set up with non-lethal options for areas when I can’t carry a pistol – the Fenix TK20R is still present, but a ASP Keychain Defender OC spray/kubaton takes the magazine’s place. There’s room for a multitool too, if I feel so inclined.

Wrapping it up… and stuffing it in your pocket

The Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield is a brutally simple and brutally effective way of adding extra gear to your EDC while keeping it accessible, organized, and well hidden. A couple extra accessories (such as a magazine pouch or flashlight holder) will make the usefulness of the Moduloader Pocket Shield’s utility skyrocket. The Moduloader Pocket Shield will set you back $24.99 through Raven Concealment’s website. A 3-pack is a deal at $59.99 (when they have them in stock!).

Also Read: 10 Tips For Concealed Carry

My favorite result of carrying a Raven Concealment Moduloader Pocket Shield is the sheer convenience of having a basic EDC kit ready to go at any given time. My carry pistol’s reload and a powerful flashlight can live in my nightstand drawer, ready to plop into my pants pocket without having to thread a still pistol belt through mag carriers and other Batman gear. When the day is over and I’m home, I simply extricate the Pocket Loader and payload out of my pocket, and place it in the drawer or in my go-bag, ready for the next day.

I’ve often found that simple items work best – and the Moduloader Pocket Shield is the essence of simplicity, ease of use, and sheer effectiveness at its intended job. Get you one and discover the new best way you never knew about to carry extra gear concealed.

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“Know Thine Enemies Weapons “

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“Know Thine Enemies Weapons” I am going to warn you. This article is a little brash. It will be borderline offensive to some. It is not the author who plans to be but it is the subject matter. You see, there are enemies in this world that live all around us. It’s not just the …

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AR15 Survival Rifle Set Up: Part 1

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AR15 Survival Rifle Set Up: Part 1-
Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

The survival rifle is a timeless classic in the rifle community and all throughout the world. Many versions of the survival rifle exist, from a specially designed rifle that a pilot might carry in his plane, to a 3 barreled rifle/shotgun combo that was carried by Cosmonauts, to an over-under rifle/shotgun combo, or just a simple 12 gauge shotgun with a couple extra accessories added to it.

Continue reading AR15 Survival Rifle Set Up: Part 1 at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Pros And Cons Of Modifying Your Firearms  

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Most firearm manufactures build their weapons based on what they think most shooters will want. But defensive, hunting, and target shooting all require specific adjustments, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone that most shooters wind up modifying their weapon to get the most out of it.

In addition, there are likely to be aspects of the firearms that might not totally fit your particular shooting style, eyesight, or hand size. While this not a good thing to modify your weapons just to be different, or to see if it can be done, other adjustments may fall into the category of necessary.

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

But how do you actually do it? Here are some modifications that you might take into consideration.


Night Sights

These sights give you a good sight picture even in low light conditions, which increases your chance of hitting the target. Even though this can be very useful, bear in mind that the sights must first be activated by a light source. They are also incorporate Tritium, a radioactive isotope of hydrogen.

Unlike other sights which can last for the life of the gun, night sights must be replaced every 8 – 10 years.

Fiber Optic Low Light Sights

Instead of using Tritium, these sights use small colored fiber optic inserts in the front and rear sights. Usually, the rear sight is green, while the front sight is red. They will only work if there is enough surrounding light.

Unlike the Tritium based sights, these will work as long as the fiber optic material is intact.

Trigger Spring Upgrade with After Market Trigger

This upgrade ensures the weapon to shoot easier and better. These upgrades can also address common complaints such as the trigger is hard to pull, excessive trigger creep, or the trigger is too light/heavy.

Some people prefer a lighter trigger for quick shooting, while others want a stiffer one to reduce the risk of accidental discharge when shooting or reholstering.

After Market Magazines

Even though the magazines that come with your gun are reasonable quality, the ones you can get after market are much better and are designed to give a lifetime of reliable service.

In many cases, the better quality magazines reduce the risk of malfunctions caused by bent magazines, faulty magazine springs, or followers. This increases the reliability of the weapon and also reduces the risk of damage to it. Always use match grade pistol magazines to get the most out of each unit.

Even though after market magazines are more expensive, they usually come with a lifetime warranty and are well worth the extra cost.

Upgrade the Pistol Grips

The easiest and fastest way to reduce felt recoil is to upgrade the pistol grips. Choose grips that fit your hands properly. This will also make the weapon more comfortable to shoot and improve accuracy.

If you choose slim grips, they will also make the gun easier to conceal, while thicker ones may give you a printing problem. To get the most options, try aftermarket grips that allow you to choose the side panel and back strap combinations.

AR-15 Rifles

Change the Upper Receiver to the Adams Arms Piston System

Piston driven AR-15’s function better because the hot gasses released from firing are not constantly being dumped into the body of the weapon.

The second advantage is the weapon operates more cleanly with no blow back of powder and gas into the breach. Instead, you only have to be concerned about a small amount of powder residue in a tiny area around the piston. These advantages make for a more reliable weapon that can be shot longer during each session. You can also wait longer between deep rifle cleanings.

Even though the piston system improves the overall performance of the AR-15, the complete upper is quite expensive. Since it is not a standard part like the impingement system, you will also have a harder time finding spare parts when needed.

If you are interested in this upgrade, there are two ways to go about it. First, you can buy a complete upper receiver and match it to the lower receiver that your rife came with. Second, there is also a conversion kit that can be used to modify your existing upper receiver.

Nickel Boron Bolt Carrier Groups

Nickel boron coatings on the interior and exterior make it much easier to clean the bolt carrier group. All you will need to do is rub the bolt a few times in order to remove the fouling. Even though the rear bolt will still be a little harder to clean, it is much easier than it would be if you were still wrestling with a traditional phosphate bolt carrier.

Over the lifetime of the rifle, you will also find that nickel boron bolt carrier groups are also more dependable.

As with changing to a piston system, you will find that nickel boron bolt carrier groups can be quite expensive. To get the most for your money, choose Mil-Spec to ensure your system will be compatible with military parts.

Replace Springs

If there is one chronic problem with AR-15’s, I’d have to say failure to feed issues are at the top of the list. While many people continue to believe bad magazines or fouling are the main causes, the AR springs may also be at fault.

Remember, it is the buffer and extractor springs that receive the most damaging wear and tear because they control the opposing reaction of the energy delivered by the gas.

Sadly, many weapons either have springs that are too weak to withstand this abuse and remain reliable, while others may have a buffer that is too light. The failure of these springs will render your AR-15 about as useful for shooting as a paper weight.

When replacing the springs:

  • Choose heavier ones that are on the recommended spring listings for your AR.
  • Field test the AR to insure the proper functioning of the new springs.
  • Always keep a spare part kit for every AR you own, including extra springs. You never know when something will break or wear out.
  • Never put in new springs in the AR and then fail to function test the rifle.

Use Duracoat or Cerakote as a Protective Coating

These coatings will protect your rifle from friction related problems and moisture. The additional barrier against corrosive elements will extend the lifetime of the gun and ensure its reliability. In addition, these coatings offer a tactical advantage because they can be used in camouflage patterns. Even though these coatings can be relatively inexpensive to do on your own, it is also easy to make a mess. While it costs a lot more to have a professional do this job, it is worth the cost.

Upgrade the magazines – As with pistols, upgrading the magazines for your AR-15 gives you a chance to buy better quality units that will last longer. In this instance, I recommend the Magpul PMAG. It is to your advantage to avoid cheap, poor quality magazines, or ones that do not have a good reputation on the market. Not only will they cause endless malfunctions, they will seriously hamper the performance when the rifle actually does fire.

Pistol grip – Most people replace the standard A2 pistol grip on the AR-15 because it is too small for shooters with larger hands. For comfort and increased proficiency, try the Magpul or Hogue grips.


Next to pistol grips, replacing the stock triggers is the most common upgrade for AR-15’s. There are many designs to choose from as well as manufacturers. Do your research carefully and consider what you want to use the gun for when selecting a trigger upgrade. Here are some designs to consider:

  • Single stage – These are heavier triggers that will fire after using steady pressure on the trigger until it fires.
  • Two stage – A two stage trigger will allow you to pull the trigger part way, hold it, and then fire when you are ready. It is useful for hunting or defensive shooting.
  • Match – Very lightweight trigger that improves accuracy when shooting targets.
  • 3 gun competition – If you have pistols, rifles, and shotguns, matching the trigger with the one on your AR-15 may be of interest if you have a disability or need consistency across all weapons for some other reason.
  • Adjustable – This trigger lets you set the weight, creep, and amount of trigger travel. This trigger is ideal if you want to test out different trigger configurations or want something that can be adjusted for different shooting types.
  • Non-adjustable – If you already know what you are looking for in trigger weight and other factors, choose this one to save money vs the adjustable model.
  • Straight or curved bow – This is purely a matter of personal taste. Some prefer a curved trigger, while others are more comfortable with a straight one.


Most AR-15 rifles sold today come with, in my opinion, a mediocre, cheap Mil Spec six position stock. Replacing it with a collapsible stock can increase accuracy and also make the rifle much more comfortable to shoot.

Video first seen on chanderson1.

You will still need to choose the right size stock for your rifle’s buffer tube. While a stock upgrade can give you a lot of advantages, you will need to do your homework to find a good quality stock. In this market, expensive doesn’t always mean better, and you can very easily wind up with an over-priced piece of junk.

Bump Fire Rifle Stocks

Contrary to the beliefs of some individuals, bump fire rifle stocks do not turn your AR-15 into a full auto weapon. They simply use the recoil from the past shot to operate the sliding action a bit faster. However there are people that can pull a trigger faster, and more accurately than the bump stock users! Here are some other things to consider before pursuing this upgrade:

  • Right now the BATF finds that this product is not a machine gun as defined under the Gun Control Act, 18 U.S.C. 921(a)(23), however this might change. If it does change, you will need to find out if pre-existing bump stocks will be grandfathered.
  • The stock allows the AR to shoot between 400 to 800 rounds per minute.
  • When shooting with the stock in the bump position, it will use more bullets and heat up a lot faster. As a result, it is likely to jam.
  • Bump stocks will reduce accuracy.

80% Finished Receivers

Even though this isn’t a modification of an existing gun, you can buy an 80% finished receiver and build your own. This receiver is usually made of aluminum.

Once again, contrary to popular belief, you cannot simply buy a kit and expect to produce a functional, reliable weapon with just a few hand tools and no experience in metal working. To finish the receiver, you must either install, complete or assemble the fire control group, trigger pin, hammer pin, trigger slot, and safety selector hole.

While the kit will include the instructions, jigs, drill bits, and parts, do not be fooled into thinking you can assemble with absolute ease. Drilling can go wrong very easily as can other assembly stages. If you are off in your measurements or make a mistake, the entire project will be ruined and you will have to buy a whole new 80% finished receiver.

About the only advantage you will get is you will not need an FFL to buy the receiver, and you will not have to fill out all the paperwork. As long as AR-15s are legal in your state, you will be able to own it where you live.

Pump Shotgun Upgrades


These are the most common and useful upgrades for the pump shotgun. You can shorten the stock to reduce the overall length of the weapon without making it illegal. Pistol grip stocks, top folding, and collapsible stocks will all make the gun more accommodating for people with longer or shorter arms.

You can also try a complete stock replacement system that includes a 6 position collapsible stock with shell holder, front picatinny rail, and military length forend. Even though there are several different materials available, the best and most durable stocks are made from lightweight carbon fiber reinforced polymer.

Rail Systems

Upgrading to a M1913 Picatinny top rail with key-mod mounts at the 3, 6, and 9 o’clock positions makes it easy to mount scopes and other accessories. When choosing a rail system, make sure it does not hang over the muzzle. An aluminum rail will keep the weight down without sacrificing the options offered by this rail upgrade.

Magazine Tube Extensions

Magazine extensions come in either 2 or 3 round capacities. When it comes to home defense, the addition of these two or three rounds can be a lifesaver.

This upgrade is also very easy to install and can be attached without making any modifications to the gun. Just remember that these extensions can extend past the muzzle. This can lead to a carbon buildup or discoloration of the magazine tube.

Upgrade the Barrels

If your pump action shotgun comes with the capacity to change barrels, you may want to have shorter and longer lengths on hand. This will make your weapon suitable for different purposes without needing to buy a whole new gun. You can use shorter barrels for home defense, and then longer ones for hunting.

Regardless of the length of the barrel, changing them out is no harder than cleaning the shotgun; and can be done with no tools. Just remember different barrel lengths have advantages and disadvantages:

  • Longer barrels improve accuracy, however they are harder to maneuver in tight spaces and weigh more than shorter barrels
  • Shorter barreled shotguns have a shorter sighting plane, more noise, more muzzle flash, and more recoil, all of which reduce accuracy and make them harder to manage when firing.

When you buy a new gun, that is only the beginning of a journey to make it as useful as possible for your needs. From customizing the gun so that it is more comfortable when firing to managing physical impairments, there are endless options to choose from.

As you consider the possible upgrades for your weapon, always keep in mind what you want to improve about the weapon’s performance, the reputation of the manufacturer, how best to accomplish the upgrade, and the laws in your area.

Once you know all of these, look at the cost and figure out if these upgrades are truly worth your while, so you could keep your family safe!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.

Buffalo Leather Sheath for a Carving Knife

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Buffalo Leather Sheath for a Carving Knife It’s hard to believe that just 100 years ago if you were looking to sheath a firearm or a knife of any kind it had to be done in leather. There was no kydex or even plastic in 1917. This really puts our advancements in perspective. Still, we …

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The Designated Marksman Carbine (DMC)

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best survival rifle

The concept for the Designated Marksman Carbine or DMC has been around for awhile now, but not in the pure DMC form. Instead it was eithersurvival carbine hopping up a 5.56mm to maximums, or dumbing down a larger cartridge so it could be shot effectively off-hand. To really capitalize on the Designated Marksman Carbine concept, I had to do it myself to ensure the spirit of the DMC was in play for my imagined needs.  The Designated Marksman Rifle or DMR is a middle ground between a battle rifle and a sniper rifle. 

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and 

It is usually a semiautomatic in the pattern of the M16 or AR15 rather than a bolt action hardstock version that could be mistaken for grandad’s hunt’n rifle. Almost. The removable box magazine options of the DMR allow a larger capacity than bolts, and the manual of arms is often nearly identical to the battle rifle like the M4A or the SOCOM 16.

The DMR is an accurate long distance shooter when compared to a battle rifle built with a 16-inch or shorter barrel. But compared to the 24-inch barreled sniper rifle, the DMR is a medium distance shooter with near-MOA accuracy out to 500 meters any day of the week and 800 meters on Sunday. But the DMR is not without it’s issues. First and foremost, it is yet another rifle to ruck around the battlefield. And second, it requires a DM or designated marksman to operate with it. A third issue that may or may not be of concern is that the DMR usually takes a different larger cartridge compared to the battle rifle with accompanying need for different mags, different bore brushes, and it is likely mounted with a heavy optic that prevents fast operation in close quarters.

Related: Review PWS MK214 Battle Rifle

Just as the DMR ran interference between the carbine and the sniper rifle, I saw a need in my personal preparation for something that closed the gap The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250between the AR15 carbine, and the bolt action hunting (think sniper) rifle capable of reaching half a mile with enough energy to make the trip worthwhile. While the 55 grain .223 round can reliably touch targets at 700 yards, it won’t make much of a statement when it’s get there. Even if the 5.56mm bullet extracts its pound of flesh, its effectiveness is limited to flesh and not hide, leather, canvas, plastic, glass, wood, sheet metal, and especially not sheet metal. At 800 meters, the .223 bullet drops into double digit energy. That’s almost a 90% drop compared to the energy the .223 has at 100 yards and might even be less than a traditional .22 long rifle at 100 yards!

Contradiction as Opportunity

So while the need for a Designated Marksman Carbine seems obvious, I’ve found many of the off-the-shelf AR10 (.308 in an AR pattern) carbine rifles to be less reliable than I’ll tolerate. I don’t live on the gun range, and don’t imagine that a dark future will have covered bays or sunny days on the square range. Therefore, any AR10 in my preps will need to be above average and with hand-picked Designated Marksman Carbine components.

In a nutshell, the AR10 I built up started with a matched pair of Mega Arms upper and lower receivers with the Mega Arms nickel-boron finish. The receivers are named the Maten presumably for “Mega Arms Ten” instead of AR10. Umm. Whatever. I was hoping the Maten was some exotic jungle dwelling apex predator that captured prey at long distance.

The parts that matter include a single stage CMC drop-in flat-shoe trigger set at 3.5 pounds, and locked in place with anti-roll pins. An Aero Precision stainless steel 16”  barrel with matching Aero Precision bolt with phosphate finish. The handguard is a smooth round aluminium beauty from Unique AR, a McCall, Idaho based ARtisan company that makes CNC artwork where a boring quad rail used to live. For a build like this Designated Marksman Carbine I wanted a smooth round handguard to allow for an unobstructed rest when on rough or non-level surfaces.

Level Headed

A rifle is only sighted in as well as it’s held level. A perfect vertical alignment between optic, barrel and gravity is imperative if you want to know withEpic Smart Shield ad - kids water glasses with frame 300x250 certainty if the bullet will hit is mark. Since the optic is not affected by the pull of the earth, but the bullet is, sighting in a long gun means dialing in the intersection between crosshairs and bullet drop (or rise) while holding gravity as a constant. Like shooting a basketball towards a distant hoop, the arc of the projectile’s flight whether ball or bullet is only as precise as it’s vertical alignment with gravity. If a rifle is tilted, the arc is at an angle to the direct force of gravity so the accuracy is compromised. For close shots, the difference is minimal but still, the offset iron sights should be on target for a 45 degree counter-clockwise rifle rotation of the rifle.

Also Read: Survival Debate .308 vs. .223

Back to the round handguard, when a railed handguard is placed on a compromising surface, it either tugs the rifle in a rotational direction as it searches for stability, or balances precariously on a point causing the rifle to teeter back and forth. A round handguard can sit still on many surface shapes.

For those shots where a bipod is prefered, a bipod is available. Sitting out near the muzzle, it usually won’t interfere when not active, but the free-floating barrel allows the bipod to be at the furthest point away from the stock providing a rock-solid platform on such a short marksman sight radius.

Welding Flesh

Rounding out the other end of the Designated Marksman Carbine is a Magpul UBR or Utility Battle Rifle stock. What makes this an Unusual Buttstock MAGPUL Battle Rifle StockReplacement (UBR?) is that the cheek weld remains fixed and only the shoulder pad section moves. The two benefits of this design are, first the position of face to sight (cheek weld) remains constant regardless of the position of the stock. And second, the lockup of the stock in any position absolutely rivals a fixed stock in solidity and quietness. Of course that does come with a bit of a weight increase, but it’s not as bad as it seems given that the UBR comes with its own buffer tube.

In the middle of muzzle and stock is a Leupold 3x-9x tactical scope on a Mark 2 integrated mount. The premise behind integrated or single stage mounts is that the scope has only one large point of contact with the rifle rather that dual scope rings. Dual rings can work great and are the staple of hunting rifles, but in that case the scope was not to be removed unless another sight-in session was possible. Integrated mounts like this Leupold maintain zero much better, and can cross rail lines between receiver and handguard if necessary without much if any loss in accuracy. In the case of this Designated Marksman Carbine, the Leupold mount resides completely on the upper receiver rail. If you scope has long eye relief you might have push it further down the barrel crossing real estate lines that can introduce alignment disputes.

Related: Review Windham Weaponry R18FSFSM-308

Since the point of the Designated Marksman Carbine is to manage the territory between 300 and 800 meters with enough dignity to bother with, the survival ammo.308 Winchester seems a perfect round. It’s almost as common as the 7.62 NATO, and just as good. Plus it’s one of the most common rounds available surpassed only by the 9mm, .223/5.56, and perhaps the 12 gauge. In other words, don’t worry about availability. But if you want something smaller like a 6.5 whatever, or larger like a .33x, I won’t be able to share ammo with you. And likely nobody else will either. That said, I appreciate the finer nuances of the recent calibers and cartridges for long range shooting, but there is no room in the Designated Marksman Carbine concept for nuances.

Magpul is THE source for magazines, providing a mild choice of capacity and color for the AR10 platform. With cartridges as large at the .308, weight adds up literally twice as fast compared to the .223. A boxmag of twenty .308 rounds is about the same as a box of forty .223s. Further, the size of a container holding noticeable and anything longer will mess up the rifle’s ability to move freely when bipod or resting low. This is the reason that hunting rifles and most sniper pipes don’t use or even have so-called high cap mags. Accuracy trumps volume every time. However, the Designated Marksman Carbine is not a ridiculous choice for CQB and janitorial work, but it is near the threshold of overkill and awkwardness. So considering a more-than-20 .308 mag is not foolish, just not as practical as it might seem.

Can It

Cans, suppressors, silencers, regardless of what you call them, they are an excellent idea for many reasons. With a noticeable reduction in the loudnessDesignated_Marksman_Carbine_Mega_Arms_308_Magpul_Silencerco_Omega of a rifle shot, there is also a reduction in stresses on the trigger pull from flinching and apprehension. Setting off a 60,000 PSI explosion inches from your face is bad enough, but a literally defining concussion is something to be avoided. The can on this Designated Marksman Carbine has a muzzle brake built in that really does noticeably reduce recoil to a pleasant level. With a recoil impulse up to four times more than a .223, while not scary for most shooters, it certainly is not enjoyable. Recoil is just a fact of life so lessening that fact is always a welcome change.

Home on the Range

Mobility is a key to Designated Marksman Carbine success so building a go kit for the Designated Marksman Carbine was the next logical step. As a Designated_Marksman_Carbine_Mega_Arms_308_Magpul_go_kit_511_casecarbine with collapsible stock, the entire rifle and bipod minus the can easily fits into a 36-inch gun case, the 5.11 Vtac MK II Double Rifle Case in particular for this project. Thirty-six inches is just a yardstick. It’s barely noticeable in the big picture.

Rather than a tube or pouch-type gun case, the 5.11 Vtac MK II Double Rifle Case completely unzips along three of the four sides turning it into a 36” by 24” range mat. Not as good a as a dedicated mat, but far better than nothing and much better than a tarp.

Also Read: The Best Survival Carbine (Part 1)

Other additions to the Designated Marksman Carbine Go-Kit include a Leatherman MUT multitool for the AR platform, a wind speed meter, A Sig KILOleatherman mut 2400 Ballistic Rangefinder (with Applied Ballistics/SIG app on iPhone), a flashlight that can turn on in lowest mode (non-tactical), a camo baseball cap, and ear protection. And on the ear pro side, if possible I carry electronic ear muffs that can amplify the local sounds and take a radio input if needed. Regular earplugs/earmuffs block all sounds to a degree so it easy to miss things like someone sneaking up on you. Amplifying the sounds through electronic earmuffs is truly a bionic upgrade. They ate also a go-to for inhouse personal protection when you really want to hear those bumps in the night.

Another addition to the go package is a tarp of 3-D camo material. Behaving as a ghillie suit for a prone shooting position, the tarp is a quick and versatile concealment option that runs double duty as a hunting blind as well.  Gearing up for when it matters is never inexpensive or flawless. Choices have to be made, and money must be spent. Moving forward on your preparation plan ends in action. All the best intents will be meaningless if there is no action before the deadline.

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Have You Included a Tactical Laser in Your Preps?

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UPDATE: The tactical laser linked to in this article is completely sold out and due to changing regulations, it will not be returning for sale. I’m leaving this article up for informational purposes, since you may very well find a similar product elsewhere, if interested.

Most guys I know tend to focus on 2 categories of self-defense weapons: firearms and knives. On this blog, plenty has been written about both categories, and it’s interesting how some guys identify themselves, “I’m a knife guy,” or “I’m a gun guy.”

Have You Included a Tactical Laser in Your Preps via Preparedness Advice

Well, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I’m a laser kind of guy,” but with this Tact Laser, it’s something that’s worth checking out.

Not many people consider a laser when it comes to defense, but they are used by the military very effectively. In most cases a military-grade tactical laser isn’t something you can easily find on the marketplace. In fact the Tact Laser is in very limited supply because of changing regulations. By the time your read this, it may already be sold out.

Just as a firearm, knife, walking stick, slingshot, and heck, a flame-thrower, for that matter, are all most effective in trained hands, so is the Tact Laser. The good news for those of us with limited time to master yet another self-defense skill, is that this laser is about the size of a smaller flashlight, just a little over 6 inches long, and is as easy to use as flipping the switch and pointing. In a woman’s purse or backpack, it would pack an effective and powerful punch against an attacker.

Because the Tact Laser uses a particularly powerful beam, bright enough to light up a dark room and certainly bright enough to overpower an attacker, it’s easily effective without a lot of training and without the expense of additional ammo. It’s powered by a rechargeable battery, so you don’t even have that cost to cover.

It’s not a toy, though, and therein lies my one caveat. Kids are used to seeing lasers and bright lights sweep over the skies of Disneyland — nope. This isn’t that type of laser. This is the type of laser that can cause blindness, which is why it comes with a key-lock. And, since it looks like an ordinary flashlight, a lot of inquisitive kids would probably leave it alone.

Currently, Survival Frog is including safety goggles with the purchase of each Tact Laser, just as a precaution.

As I’m writing this, the biggest gift-giving season of the year is drawing closer and closer. I’m not a genius when it comes to buying the perfect present for anyone, ask my wife!, but the Tact Laser is unique and intriguing. It would be really hard to go wrong with this choice.



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Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons

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Air Force Error Allowed Texas Gunman to Buy Weapons We are learning more and more about the situation in Texas. There are some staggering reports about the mental condition of the killer. It is clear he was a bad person to say the least. These accusations seem to spread throughout much of his life. We …

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Host: Dane… “The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided!

This time, we’re going to be talking about “Building the Prepper Armory: Part 2”. In the next installment of Building the Prepper Armory, we’re going to talk about various accessories, Optics, calibers and which calibers to stockpile, primitive weaponry, slings and sling bows, archery, blowguns, ammo for the more primitive of these weapons, and a whole lot more.

Continue reading BUILDING THE PREPPER ARMORY part 2 at Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

USAF Developed A New Bomb that Creates General Darkness: “CHAMP”

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Electromagnetic pulse attacks are one of the most alarming threats facing the western world. There are two reasons for that: #1. The damage the attack would actually do, would be

The post USAF Developed A New Bomb that Creates General Darkness: “CHAMP” appeared first on Ask a Prepper.

Meet The NBC Guy!

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Meet The NBC Guy! David Jones “Prepping Up with the Jones “ Audio player provided! This Premier episode will be packed full! Dave introduces himself and how he became the NBC (Nuclear, Biological, Chemical) Guy. Learn about his back ground and find out why you can trust him when he tells you personal experiences with … Continue reading Meet The NBC Guy!

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BUILDING THE PREPPER ARMORY Dane, The Gunmetal Armory” Audio player provided! Listen in to this premiere episode of The Gunmetal Armory, Dane will dive into what you should stock in your Prepper Armory, and its purpose. We talk firearms, edged implements, ammo, accessories, optics, and more. Get ready, cause this is going to be an epic … Continue reading BUILDING THE PREPPER ARMORY

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Survival Gear Review: Fällkniven MB Modern Bowie

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Trigger Alert: This article is about a very big knife. If that scares you, then click here.  March 6, 1836 was aFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_posing-survival bad day for Jim Bowie. In fact the two weeks prior weren’t much better since the small mission building in which Jim and a hundred others took a stand was under attack.  Remember the Alamo? But long before that fateful Sunday morning James Bowie was famous for his knife prowess whether true or not. In 1827 Bowie (pronounced BOO-ee) was involved in a skirmish known as the Sandbar Fight where Jim Bowie essentially won a gunfight with a knife. A very large knife. And, as they say, the rest is history.

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and 

Modern Sporting Knife

The Bowie Knife is a pattern much like the AR15 is a pattern. The so-called Bowie Knife is general form withfallkniven knife review some characteristics, but there is no one type of Bowie, nor any particular feature that makes or breaks a Bowie Knife. In general a Bowie Knife is a large blade, something eight or more inches, an overall length more than a foot, a crossguard separating the blade from the handle, and a clip point blade tip. Finally, there is the appearance of a false edge running along the top of the blade from tip through a curve ending at the spine proper. The false edge may or may not be sharpened, and thus the Bowie might cut both ways. Today, however, most Bowie Knives are not sharpened on the upper portion of the blade due to weapons laws in many jurisdictions. But originally as a fighting knife, that was the point.

Related: CRKT Redemption Knife 

The origin of the Bowie Knife is a little tangled in lore and opinions. Even the facts depend upon which story Fallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_Granfors_Bruks_hand_hatchetyou subscribe to. But in the end, and even with all the unknowns, the Bowie Knife is one of the most recognizable and famous blades in the world. And just as the initial Bowie Knives were evolving and upgrading as each one was pounded into existence on the blacksmith’s anvil, the Bowie is evolving even today some 187 years after James Bowie brought a wooden model of his ideal knife to an Arkansas blacksmith named, of all things, James Black who then pounded Bowie Knife life into an old file. So a blacksmith named Black made a Bowie for Bowie. Even more, David Bowie, the famous rock star, took his stage name “Bowie” from the knife because, as David noted in an interview, the Bowie Knife “Cuts both ways.”


In addition to the famous Rambo blades of Hollywood fame, the silhouette of the Bowie Knife can be found inBest Rambo Survival Knife real life in the popular Buck 119 hunting knife, the famous leather-handled USMC KA-BAR fighting knife, and in a smaller form factor, the SOG Seal Elite, Seal Pup and their multitude of versions. However, the rich history of Bowie Knives and its variants are pretty much still using historical designs and antique blade technology. Until now, that is. At the moment, the most modern, the most durable, and the sharpest Bowie Knife in the world is the Fällkniven MB or Modern Bowie.

Although Jim Bowie did not travel much beyond the southern territories of a fledgling United States, the Bowie Knife is a worldwide phenomenon and therefore fair game for all knife makers. But with that fame comes a majority of so-called “Bowies” that are more art than substance, or those versions that substitute size for quality. For Fällkniven to produce such a monster knife rich in American history and then to openly name it a Modern Bowie takes guts. And confidence. So I’m very happy to announce that the Fällkniven Modern Bowie truly honors Jim Bowie and adds yet more cutting magic and lore to the never ending supply of tall tales that Bowie Knives generate. I certainly intend to add my own Bowie adventures to the story line.

Also Read: Review of the SOG Pillar Knife

A Muscle Blade That Would Make Jim Proud

The MB version is not completely new for Fällkniven, but in fact building on both their large Northern LightsFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_A2_compare series of knives crossed with their professional survival knives. An NL1 crossed with an A1 Pro to be more specific. And the result is bigger, thicker, and certainly badder. The Modern Bowie, abbreviated MB by Fällkniven, is a true Muscle Blade (abbreviated MB by me) . Borrowing heavily from the Survival Pro series, the MB including cobalt steel, a convex edge, a protruding tang, and a Thermorun handle. Even the presentation box and included DC4 diamond sharpener are straight out the Pro playbook. However, three notable deviations with the Modern Bowie include a larger, thicker handle, a double sided guard, and a mild index finger groove just aft of the stainless steel crossguard.

Dynamite in the Hand

The balance of the Fällkniven Modern Bowie is exceptional. The grip provides both the comfort and control necessary to wield such a large blade with elegance and precision. This is especially important since a key feature of the Bowie concept is a sharp and deadly point effective for stabbing and piercing. In reality the point of the clip point blade is to move the blade point lower and more line with the grip when thrusting the knife like a sword. Unfortunately the clipped nature (almost like a bite (clipped) was taken out of the spine of the blade) causes some limitations in daily work. Fällkniven preserved the spirit of the Bowie clip point but tempered it with the wisdom learned from the A1 Pro blade.

The original Bowie was from a time before multi-shot handguns existed. Once a holster full of bangs replacedThe Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250 a sheath full of large fighting knife, the Bowie spirit moved on to embrace the rest of its original list of tasks. Those other chores, by the way, include work as an axe, a machete, a sword, a razor, and even a canoe paddle. Some add being a mirror to the list since a variant of Bowie Knives had a huge girth of shiny steel. But also notice on many of those deep shiny walls of metal in that they often have spine covering of a softer metal like copper, bronze, or aluminium. The metal blanket covering the back of the blade is not for trapping an opponent’s blade during a fight, but rather preventing one’s own blade from breaking during a strike due to brittle or poorly forged iron. The mirror polish on those knives is, at best, lipstick on a pig.

Related: The Mora Camp Axe

The brute thickness of the Fällkniven MB is a staggering 7.4mm or a few hundredths shy of a third of an inch! Survival SHTF Fallkniven Knife Bowie The blade length is a full 10 inches and the overall length of the Modern Bowie exceeds 15 inches. Fällkniven’s laminated cobalt steel uses an incredible edge steel sandwiched between durable and stain resistant stainless steel faces. Laminated steel can be much stronger than solid steel. Fällkniven also uses its famous convex edge profile adding further strength and sharpness to its world class supersteel composition. Add a beefy stainless steel crossguard that is effective without being a tripping hazard, a swollen Thermorun grip, and a full tang that is bigger than some knives and you have a Muscle Blade worthy of proudly wearing the name Bowie.

Bring It On

The Fällkniven Modern Bowie cuts with dangerous impunity whether a small task or massive challenge. WhileBest Fallkniven Survival Knife the Modern Bowie sadly lacks as a canoe paddle, it does chop wood like a beast, and behaves very well when batoning. You can shave arm hair with care, and clear brush with reckless abandon. You can lunge and slope and long point without embarrassment, but when the MB is sheathed on your belt you will be conspicuous.

The Modern Bowie is a vastly different experience than carrying the Fällkniven A2 Wilderness Knife. In factFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_A2_grip_compare the MB is almost as large as the A2 is when inside its overbuilt leather sheath. And the MB is certainly longer. The A2 seems a perfectly reasonable camp knife when compared to the Modern Bowie, yet in proximity of popular knives the A2 is eye-openingly large on its own.


The sheath the Fällkniven Modern Bowie sleeps in is a four-layer double stitched leather dangler that wouldFallkniven_MB_Modern_Bowie_Knife_Cobalt_in_hand double as a canoe paddle. Perhaps that’s what Mr. Bowie wanted given that swinging a two pound sharpened steel blade back and forth in the water might be a dumb idea. The blade slides into the sheath in either edge direction, and the single leather snap strap is reversible by rotating it vertically. The stern end of the sheath has two grommet holes that are necessary for using a leg strap which is not a bad idea for field work since the Modern Bowie dangles just north of my knee. On the A2 sheath, there are also two grommet holes on each end of the insertion slot of the sheath. On the MB sheath, east and west of the insertion slot are removable screw bolts opening similar holes but without grommets presumably for some more creative mounting options.

The Third Century

Knives claiming to be Bowies range in price from $10 to $10,000 with the extremes for show only. To get a Bowie that actually performs like the Bowie you will need to spend something much closer to four figures than two.  The Fällkniven MB Modern Bowie is a brand new knife with deep and rich history. If you have a weakness or need for a Bowie-class knife, then the MB should be your starting point. And for everyone else, the Bowie Knife will be waiting right here for you just as it has for the past two centuries.

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3 Types of Guns Every Prepper Should Own

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Every prepper knows that disaster could strike at any time – be it nuclear war, asteroids striking the Earth, or simply Mother Nature going haywire. Regardless of the method, we are definitely on a path towards fundamental destruction, and if we want the human race to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, we need to be […]

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What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety

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What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety Guest, Cherie Norton Cat Ellis “Herbal Prepper Live” Audio player below! Special guest is Cherie Norton, an accomplished firearms instructor. More and more women are taking up shooting for sport and self-defense, and I couldn’t be happier. Cherie is such a woman who has attained high marksmanship skills. She … Continue reading What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety

The post What’s In Your Holster? Personal Safety appeared first on Prepper Broadcasting |Network.

Survival Gun Tips: How To Buy A Rifle Scope

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There is a sheer volume of different scopes and rifles on the market, so it can take some research to figure out which one will best match the types of shooting you intend to use it for.

Some hints can be followed though, so you could choose the best for you.

Read the article below to find them! 

Overall, there are three basic steps to take when choosing a rifle scope:

  • Start off by deciding what kind of shooting you plan to do.
  • Look at basic scope features and make a list of those that will best meet your needs.
  • Study manufacturers, models, and testimonials to determine which scope will give you the best quality for the lowest price. Speaking of price, since some scopes can cost hundreds to thousands of dollars. Rather than cover all possible options, I will focus on features that you can get on most scopes for under $500.00.

Two Questions to Ask before Buying a Scope

Why do I need a scope?

A scoped weapon can enhance accuracy over longer distances, improve range estimation, and improve target estimation. That being said, even the best scope cannot compensate for poor shooting technique or lack of practice.

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


What type of shooting will the scope be used for?

There are three basic types of shooting:

  • Target – Consider whether the distance is greater than 100 yards, the size of the targets, and your eyesight.
  • Hunting – Think about the kind and size of the game, and the terrain you will be hunting in.
  • Self defense – The amount of land you must cover is important. A high magnification scope will not be of use for a small parcel. In this case, you will need to focus on low magnification scopes.

12 Aspects to Consider when Buying Your Rifle Scope

Beside the purpose of buying the scope, you should take into account a few more things before purchasing this item.


A scope can cost anywhere from fifty dollars to thousands, however most people spend between $400 – $1200.00. Here are some of the most important features to consider while you are shopping:

Power Settings (X Settings)

A 10-14x power scope will give you a reasonably clear picture of the target. If you need something clearer for target identification and spotting, move to a 20X or greater.

The better you can see the target the more accurately you can place the cross-hairs as long as you don’t outdistance the rifle’s accuracy range.

For lower caliber rifles, a 4 or 6x power scope will work well because it has a shorter maximum effective range.

When it comes to getting the most from the scope’s power settings, remember that higher power optics also have more distortion from the wind; and mirage will distort the clarity. If shooting from an unstable position, choose the lower power settings to cut down on the target “jump”.


No matter which scope you choose, it should be easy to make sight adjustments. Some scopes you may need a screwdriver to make adjustments, while others may only require turning a knob.

There are scopes that use ¼ MOA, ½ MOA, or 1 MOA adjustment increments. Some scopes also have bullet drop compensators. They have bold numbers on them that once zeroed will act as a guide for which yard line equals what scope setting to use.

Good bullet drop compensators have a fine tuning of ¼ MOA or ½ MOA for more accurate adjustments.


If you drop your scoped rifle, it is always important to re-check the zero before any serious shooting is done.

If the scope can’t hold a zero, or there isn’t a distinct click when turning the adjustment knob, or the scope body is bent, don’t use the scope. Even though most scopes are built to take rough (but not abusive) handling, it is still important to examine the warranty details as well as what is required to keep the scope in good condition.


There are many reticles that are commonly used in scopes. They are Cross hairs, Dot, Mil-dot, BDC, and Duplex.

  • Cross hairs – This is an older reticle that uses one horizontal and one vertical line that cross in the center to make the aiming point.
  • Dot – Uses just a dot in an open circle to tell you where the target is. This reticle may also include cross hairs to extend through the full field view.
  • Mil-dot – These ballistic reticles are measured in Miliradians (Mrad) At 100 yards 1 Mrad = 3.6”. At 1000 yards= 36”. This reticle was designed for the military as a ranging reticle and doesn’t use MOA. It is used to give the shooter the approximate size and distance of the target as well as the bullet drop. Some hunters use this reticle type for extreme long distance hunting shots with excellent results.
  • Duplex – Uses thicker lines that thin out to draw your eye to the center of the cross hair. This is the most popular reticle for hunting, and is also considered useful for general purposes.
  • Bullet drop compensation (BDC) – This reticle will give your true point of aim for a known distance to compensate for bullet drop. It is an excellent scope for long range hunters.

Low light capabilities

In low light conditions, the target may be visible, but not the cross hairs. To resolve this problem, choose a scope with an illuminated reticle (ILR). There are different types of (ILR) scopes.

Depending on manufacture, the scope may only light up a red dot, the center cross hairs, or the entire reticle.

Size of the objective lens

The larger the objective lens, the more light that you can gather into the scope, which makes longer cross hairs more visible in lower light conditions.

You will also have a larger field of view, especially in the lower power settings. If you do choose bigger objective lenses, however, remember that you will need higher scope rings, and possibly a higher cheek piece.


The following accessories should be bought as a package to insure they are correct for the scope you intend to buy:


  • One piece – The one piece base is made of a single piece of metal. It is better than a two piece base because it flexes less and also keeps the scope and rifle together better. This enhances your ability to shoot tighter groups.
  • Two piece – This base is made of two pieces of metal. It won’t give good consistency, and will also flex more.
  • Tapered and flat – This base will be needed for longer ranged shooting. Some scopes run out of adjustments for elevation after 500 to 600 yards. A base that is tapered to approximately 20 MOA enables the shooter to save some elevation adjustments on longer ranged shots.


  • Use a good quality ring that will not strip out easily if you need to change it or readjust it.
  • Always use hex head screws over Allen screws. The hex head screws are stronger and will not strip out as easily as Allen screws.

Scope covers and flip up caps

  • A good scope cover or flip up cap is a necessity. It keeps the scope lens and scope body protected from dirt and dust.
  • If the scope cover is padded, it can give some protection to the scope if it’s dropped or bumped.

Shooting data information cards

These cards give you a good point to experiment with rifle loads to get the optimal performance. They should have the following sections listed on them:

  1. Date, time, and location where the shooting took place.
  2. Type of rifle and scope used.
  3. Type of ammunition used.
  4. Distance shot to target.
  5. The altitude, humidity, and barometric pressure of the area you were shooting at.
  6. The temperature of the location you were shooting at.
  7. Number of shots fired.
  8. Record the elevation and windage adjustments used on the scope from the scope’s known zero.
  9. Your call of each shot as to where it hit the target (on target, pulled shot up, down, right, or left).
  10. Type of targets used.
  11. Light conditions when shooting.
  12. Record the speed and wind direction of each shot.
  13. Notes section used to record other important information dealing with that day’s shooting.

How to Setup a Rifle Scope

Let’s say you bought your prefered rifle scope and now you want to make use of it. You need to set it up first, and here’s what you need to do.

Mounting the scope to your rifle

Buy scope bases and rings that are compatible to your rifle. When using scope rings, remember the inside diameter of the rings must match the outside diameter of the scope. Mount the rifle base and rings to manufacturer’s instructions.

Setting up your scope

Before you can use any scoped rifle, it must be setup correctly. The first thing that must be adjusted is the reticle and the eye relief.

To adjust the reticle, loosen the mounting rings a bit and turn the scope until the reticle is upright and centered. Once the reticle is in the proper position and you can see normally in the firing position, lightly tighten down the rings to hold the reticle setting in place.

The eye relief is properly adjusted when you see the target clearly through the scope when they eye relief is 3 – 6 inches from your eye. On most scopes you will have to move the entire scope back and forth through the scope rings slowly to get the correct sight picture.

After you have set the reticle and eye relief, apply Loctite to the lock ring screws and firmly tighten the mounting rings.

Scope adjustment knobs

On most scopes, there are two and sometimes three control knobs that must be adjusted to get the scope zeroed in.


This knob is usually located on the right side of the scope. This adjustment moves the reticle from side to side to compensate for the blowing wind and any effects the wind has on bullet travel.


This knob is located on the top of the scope and allows you to control the adjustment of the reticle up and down. On long shots, the reticle will need to be elevated slightly to make the bullet travel further.

By adjusting the the elevation, it is possible to bring the target back to zero even though the bullet must travel in an arc to get there.


Scope manufactures usually set their scopes up to aim properly out to 100 yards. If you are not using a zoom scope or other ways to increase the magnification, your scope will not have a parallax knob.

If you are using high magnification on the scope, there should be a parallax knob located on the left side of the scope.

You will only need to make parallax adjustments at higher magnifications if the position of your eye changes to see clearly though the scope while keeping your aim on the target.

Sight picture

Before firing the rifle your sight picture should be perfect. To check the sight picture of your scope:

  • The reticle should be upright and centered.
  • The target should be crisp and clear. Any black on one side or the other should be symmetrical.
  • If any of these properties are not exact, readjust them now.
  • Check to make sure your eye relief setting is correct. If you feel the eye relief is too close, this is the time to add another inch to be on the safe side. Remember, you will not want the rifle’s recoil to push the scope backwards into your face.

Basic sighting

In this sighting phase you will be sighting in the target through a scope with live ammunition. At this stage, you might have to make several adjustments before hitting a bullseye. Just take your time and work through the steps until the scope is properly sighted.

Adjust elevation and windage adjustments

Elevation adjustments moves the point of impact up or down.

  1. Aim through the scope putting the reticle exactly on the target. Before making any adjustments, shoot a 3 shot group.
  2. If the bullet hits too high, move the reticle upwards. Alternatively, if the bullets hit too low, then move the reticle downard.
  3. Continue adjusting after each 3 shot group is fired until the bullet hits at the exact height where the reticle is on the target.

Windage adjustments moves the point of impact left or right

  1. Aim through the scope putting the reticle exactly on the target. Before making any adjustments, shoot a 3 shot group.
  2. If the bullet hits to the left, then move the reticle to the left. If the bullet hits to the right, adjust the reticle to the right. Keep firing and adjusting until the bullet hit is at the exact center of the target.

Zeroing in

  1. Place the rifle in on a rifle stand so it will not move. Use the adjustments on the stand to zero the reticle onto the target.
  2. Just like basic sighting, fire a 3 shot group, and check the results.
  3. Use the elevation and windage knobs to zero in the scope.
  4. Fire as many shots as needed until each shot is hitting consistently in the center of the target.
  5. Once the scope is properly sighted, you should hit the bull’s eye. In the field, if you keep the rifle perfectly aimed and still, all of your shots will be directly on target and zeroed in.

Preset scope adjustments for non-zoom scopes

If you are going to shoot targets at a certain distance, it will be to your advantage to zero in the scope for that distance.

  1. Set up a target at the required distance.
  2. While the rifle is on a stand, adjust the reticle to compensate for the bullet arc. Once you make this adjustment, you will not have to guess how much elevation to add in order to make the shot hit in the center of the cross hairs.

Preset scope adjustments for zoom scopes with parallax adjustment knob

  1. Set up a target at the required distance.
  2. Once again, set the rifle on a stand and adjust the reticle until you see it and the target clearly at the desired magnification and distance.

In conclusion, now that your scope is mounted and zeroed on your rifle, it is time to practice with it at many different distances.

This will help you to learn the capabilities of the rifle and scope. If you want to be a better shooter, there is still no substitute for practice and patience. These are the skills that save your life!

This article has been written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia.


Worker flees as armed thugs storm Melbourne store with bats, hammers.

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Yet again this store worker was not able to defend himself because it is illegal for any law abiding citizen to purchase and or carry ANYTHING for use in self defence. The criminal on the other hand abides by no such law & can use anything they want. In this case they were carrying base ball bats & hammers!
The police can not be on hand all the time, in fact they are rarely there when you need them! They can’t reach you in time either when you call 000 & yet the government persists in keeping us defenceless. Why is this? My first thought was that if you make it legal for citizens to purchase guns, pepper sprays or tasers for defence, then it will mean that criminals can do the same thing, BUT THE CRIMINALS ALREADY ARE ABLE TO USE WHATEVER THEY WANT! It is only the law abiding people that are being disadvantaged!

Bug Out Travel Security

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Bug Out Vehicle Security

During an emergency situation or a full blown SHTF caused by any of a wide variety of events, a big part of the Best Car Gunimmediate concern may not be that you have a backup site in mind, but in getting there.  Some of the most perilous times can be during the travel from home or work or Point A to Point B, or Z as the case may be.

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

The Imminent Reality of Evacuation

During Hurricane Katrina those evacuating the coastlines even a little too late in responding to advanced landfall warnings, were caught literally out in the open.  In many of the cases that “open” was an interstate highway with all lanes headed north away from danger.  This was the worst kind of bumper to bumper traffic.  And in some cases these people were in fact heading into a different sort of danger, often defined as the unknown.

A great number of the storm escapees in fact had no real end game destination in mind.  I think many of them thought they could drive a hundred or two hundred miles to find a motel room or another safe haven with hot food, showers and air conditioning.  Wrong!  Often they had to keep moving, some over a thousand miles or more just to find available space in a shelter or a hotel.  Then it was weeks before they could return home to find everything was gone.

Related: How To Build A Hurricane Katrina Rifle

Along the way their immediate supplies depleted quickly if they brought any at all.  Gas lines were long, fuel non-existent in many places along the prevailing evacuation routes, station tanks long emptied by the traffic flow.  Food stocked shelves also ran out.  Tough lessons learned.

In time many reports were verified of robberies, assaults, and other crimes upon the evacuees, and first responding law enforcement were tied up with other duties.  Those escaping the wrath of the storm were simply left to fend for themselves.  Many could not.  So what are the lessons learned here and how can you better prepare for the next crisis?

Being Ready

A stocked and ready Bug Out Bag is not a theory.  You had better have one that is ready to go.  Depending on family The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250size, it could take several.  Pack the essentials of food stuffs that don’t need cooking, medical supplies, clothing, important papers, cash money, personal hygiene items, and all else needed.  Have other stocked supplies like cases of bottled water, blankets, and such ready to toss into your vehicle quickly.  Have your personal protection gear locked, loaded, and ready to deploy.  Trust in redundancy.

The evacuation rationale here is to supply for 72 hours at a minimum.  If it is a natural type disaster that has driven many hundreds of people onto the roadways heading away, then it would be prudent to plan for a longer time frame just in case.  As was evidenced in the case of Katrina, even well-meaning communities with established evacuation centers, found their supplies and patience quickly ran short.  These are tense times with stresses and pressures maxed out.

Related: How To Build A Katrina Pistol

Though you may find help along the way, the smart thing to do is to not count on it.  Have your own supplies, food, water, personal and general medical, clothing, hygiene and security bases covered, and provided by you.  Don’t rely on others for your survival.  Keep to yourself and all your supplies and preps under wraps.

Bug Out Vehicle Readiness

Keep one essential escape vehicle tuned up, gassed up and ready to roll at a moment’s notice.  This vehicle should be SHTF Bagkept at peak maintenance at all times, with good tires properly inflated, belts, hoses, brakes, good front and rear wiper blades, fluid levels, licenses, title, paperwork, and everything else in absolute readiness mode.  All scheduled maintenance should be performed and kept up to date, always.

Such a vehicle designed as the Bug Out choice should never be allowed to have a gas tank fall below at least half a tank, ever.   Finding available fuel along an official evacuation route can become problematic within hours of a full scale event.  Nobody prepares for such things including gas stations, convenience stops and grocery stores.

As to the Bug Out vehicle choice itself, it needs to be large enough to be comfortable, powerful enough to carry a load, and strong enough to stand up to the rigors of a Bug Out including breaching a road block if necessary.  It does not need to stand out in a crowd per se.  Forget blatant graphics, window logo stickers or bumper adornment that offers any clues.

Know Where to Go 

If you are running from a natural disaster, a chemical plant leak, or a riot, your established plans should naturally Best Bug Out Planinclude some options on where to escape to from multiple places you and family are likely to be, home, work, school, out, etc.  Once you Bug Out and are on the highway or back roads is no time to pull out a map to pick a final destination.

Such plans should be worked out way ahead of time, long before the necessity to enact them.  Then such plans and routes should be run and practiced several times taking note of available resources along the way.  Jot down everything on the map or in a travel plan notebook.  On each dry run trip note anything that has changed to update the escape travel book.  Keep this book close.

Also Read: Holsters For Bug Out Carry

You may be fortunate enough to have established a Bug Out escape camp or site.  A cabin at a faraway lake, another home in a rural location, a remote hotel or resort, or maybe a campsite in a forested area, or even more primitive, hidden away from the public and open view.  Plan out multiple routes to this same location to give yourself options.  Options are good.

In Route Security

The entire time you are on the road in an escape mode you are subject to threats.  These can come in many forms from innocuous local police at traffic stops, or a state highway patrol roadblock checking licenses, and residency paperwork.  That’s the good news.  All those stops you should pass with flying colors if you behave yourself.

Let me interject here that if you have a concealed weapons permit or other gun ownership papers, admit to them only if asked, then show them.  Be absolutely sure you know the gun laws, carry laws, guns in vehicles laws in your state.  For these reasons you should avoid crossing state lines if possible.  If you have to go to another state, know their laws, too.

Now comes the other possible threats which could be virtually endless.  Regardless of what they might be, you should be prepared to handle anything.  This means equipping you and your ride with ample security support gear from personal carry to vehicle compartment support with adequate loaded magazines as well as an additional backup supply.  You choose what.

Also Read: How To Bug Out From Mother Nature

Having said that, we assume you and your riders if appropriate have had the appropriate training to handle all this.  That will be essential.  If at any time you may become overpowered or you can back out, get away, and escape any threat, then do so.  Never get yourself into a bind, if you don’t have to or have a way out.  It is after all called survival.

So, long story short.  These are complicated times.  We can’t predict the future for natural disasters, but they will happen again.  The daily news would tell us the seasons are ripe for the unnatural kind.  There is still a lot of unrest in this country and in the world.  We all need be on our “P’s” and “Q’s” when it comes to survival readiness.  Our Bug Out travel security plans play a crucial role in all of this survival business.  Be ready, stay ready.

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8 Types Of Knives Every Prepper Needs

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The knife is one of the most important, versatile, and practical tools ever invented by man. As such, it is an invaluable item to have for survival and disaster preparedness. In fact, a case can be made that if you could only have one tool in a survival situation, a knife would be the one […]

The post 8 Types Of Knives Every Prepper Needs appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

A Firearm Is a Weapon but Not All Weapons Are a Firearm

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The kids are playing on the floor surrounded by toys. You are putting lunch on the table when the door crashes in. It is a smash and grab, and the intruders are inside in seconds. You have a firearm in the home however, as a responsible gun owner it is locked up. Anyone that owns […]

The post A Firearm Is a Weapon but Not All Weapons Are a Firearm appeared first on Preparing for shtf.

Comparison: Beretta 92FS vs. Taurus PT92

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by Nicholas

One of the most popular handguns was a former U.S military sidearm (they switched to the Sig Sauer in 2017), the Beretta 92FS/M9 and related variants. The Beretta 92 has firmly established itself as an accurate and reliable pistol that serves well in hostile environments. The Beretta is a great choice as a home defense weapon or as a SHTF sidearm. The Beretta 92FS can be price prohibitive for some.

Fortunately, there is a less expensive clone of the Beretta 92-series called the Taurus PT92, which has been around since the 1980s and uses the same profile. Is it wise spending less money on a PT92, or should you save up your money and get the Beretta?

While we won’t tell you what to do, we will list the differences between the two so you can make that decision.

History and Development

Many people believe that the Taurus PT92 is a recreation of the modern day Beretta 92FS, when it is in fact a clone of the earlier Beretta 92 pistols.

In the mid-1970s, Beretta released the very first Beretta 92 pistol that utilized a heel magazine release, and a framed mounted safety similar to a 1911. Brazil decided to use the new 92 as the official sidearm of the Brazilian Army, so Beretta set up a factory in Brazil to begin producing the 92.

Taurus was an incredibly small Brazilian gun manufacturer that had been most well known for making economic revolvers. When Beretta’s contract for the Brazilian military ended in 1980, they sold the factory (including the blueprints, machines, and workers) to Taurus. It’s a decision Beretta has probably regretted, as in a few years, Taurus went from a small gun company into a major competitor.

The Beretta 92 later evolved into the Beretta 92S, which placed the frame mounted safety to the slide like we see in today’s modern Berettas. The 92S evolved into the 92SB, which moved the magazine release from the heel to the traditional position behind the trigger guard.

The 92SB developed into the 92F and then the 92FS, which squared off the trigger guard and replaced the blued finish with Beretta’s tough Bruniton finish. The Beretta 92FS serves in the U.S Army designated as the M9.  Beretta has since developed many more variants of the Beretta 92FS since then, such as the 92A1 and the M9A1, but the 92FS has remained the mainstay in their 92-line.

The Taurus PT92 has undergone many developments in its history. Unlike Beretta, Taurus kept the frame mounted safety but moved the heel magazine release to the traditional location behind the trigger guard.  Later, a decocker was added to the PT92 that allowed you to decock the gun without engaging the safety.

PT92 pistols remained in this configuration until 1997, when the cocking serrations on the slide were widened and an internal trigger lock was installed into the gun (all Taurus guns have this).  The next major change came in 2005, when Taurus added rails to the PT92 increasing the magazine capacity from 15 to 17 rounds.

Today, the new Taurus PT92 pistols are sold with rails and available in either a matte bluing or polished stainless steel finish.  They are consistently available for $150 to $250 less than the Beretta 92FS.

Here is an actual demonstration of the Beretta vs. Taurus:

Advantages and Disadvantages

While the Beretta 92 and Taurus 92 are definitely in the same family of guns, significant differences exist between the two.

Safety location

The most significant advantage to the PT92 is the location of the safety. Granted, if you prefer the Beretta’s slide mounted safety, you may disagree. The safety of the PT92 is located on the frame like a 1911, making it more accessible than the Beretta’s slide safety.

Decocking and safety

The decocking and safety are separate on the PT92.  Press the lever down to decock the pistol, and press it up to engage the safety. This means it is possible to carry the PT92 ‘cocked and locked’ like you do with a 1911. The decocking and safety lever on the Beretta are the same: press the lever down, and the gun decocks and engages the safety simultaneously. The Beretta cannot be carried cocked and locked like the PT92.


Both can have the corrosion and rust resistant Bruniton finish, of have one of several finishes including stainless steel,

Frame construction

Both use aluminum alloys in the frame construction. While the PT92 is slightly more lightweight in build, the Beretta’s is still slightly longer (though both pistols will probably last longer than you can shoot them).


The two pistols have minor differences. The forward part of the grip frame on the PT92 is straight, whereas the Beretta’s is curved at the end (it’s been that way since the U.S military requested it) for a fuller grip.

While the Beretta 92FS is not railed like the PT92, Beretta does sell a railed option called the M9A1.


The 92FS also ships with 15 round magazines out of the box, in contrast to the PT92’s 17 round mags. Factory Beretta 17-round magazines are available for purchase separately. Mec-Gar (an aftermarket supplier of pistol magazines) manufactures 18 round magazines for both pistols. Firepower between the two pistols is equal.

Which is more reliable: the Beretta 92FS or the Taurus PT92?

In terms of reliability and accuracy, the Beretta and Taurus seem to be on equal footing. The Beretta definitely has a superior track record having served the U.S military servicemen and law enforcement officers, and military units all over the globe. The PT92 has seen military and law enforcement service across the world, but not nearly as much as the Beretta.

Quality and accuracy

This isn’t to say that the Taurus is a worse gun than the Beretta. The two pistols are nearly identical in basic design. After all, the PT92 was constructed based on Beretta 92 blueprints with the same machinery and workers, and what they perfected Taurus went back and added details to their newer ones. In that regard, overall quality and accuracy between the Beretta and the Taurus should be considered on equal ground as they used one another to improve the original design.

Optimizing the Beretta 92 for Self-Defense:


When it comes down to it, if you’re on a budget or have been trained to use a 1911, you’ll probably prefer the Taurus due to its lower price and safety position respectively. If you want the original manufacturer of the 92-series, prefer the slide mounted safety, or feel more comfortable with Beretta’s track record go with the Beretta 92FS or one of its variants.

Survival Gear Review: Benjamin Trail NP2 Air Rifle

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Best Survival Air Rifle

I peered through the ocular lens of the scope, reached up with my trigger hand, and cranked the Survivalmagnification dial up to 9x. I needed precision for this shot; my quarry wasn’t going to let me get a second chance if I missed. Fifty yards away, the beady-eyed, fanged animal peered back through the cross-hairs at me – almost as if it was daring me to try to end its until-then-peaceful meal, high up in the tree. I sneered, spat on the ground, and started my breath control and taking up the trigger slack as the duplex cross-hairs commenced their rhythmic dance around my opponent’s cranium.

By Drew, a contributing author of Survival Cache & SHTFBlog

I could clearly see the offal of the animal’s prey in its mouth, and falling on the ground around the tree, cascading down into a grim pile below. Time stood still as the perfect combination of heartbeats, breath, and trigger pressure coincided, and I clearly recall the magnificent beast, darkly silhouetted in the dappled light of the late afternoon sky. The fierce animal shifted on its perch, muscles tensed, ready to lunge at me, or effect its escape.  I squeezed the trigger. I felt it break cleanly beneath the pad of my finger. Perfect.

The calm afternoon couldn’t have been shattered less; the integrally-suppressed barrel of my rifle made a whispered “whap” noise as I sent the projectile hurtling through the crisp winter atmosphere, coursing towards my quarry’s cranium. The soft lead met skin-covered bone with an audible “whack!” and I saw my worthy challenger hunch up on the tree branch and freeze, as if pondering what course of action to pursue next. Gravity and high-velocity lead poisoning joined forces to hasten the animal’s decision-making, and the creature slowly toppled backwards and fell, fell, fell….meeting its ultimate demise upon sudden Earth-induced deceleration. A shower of quills, a final kick, the body relaxed, and it was over….I had prevailed. That was one porcupine that wasn’t going to eat my sugar maples anymore.

The Hunting that slew this particular Grendel’s Mother is a mighty tool indeed – but it’s not a firearm.

Air-Powered Ecstasy

Aside from the classic Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the SHTF Pellet Gunstock, and a summer’s worth of fun with an old Sheridan Blue Streak pump-up pellet rifle years ago, I had absolutely zero experience with air rifles. I’d been shooting .22 rifles since the heady age of 5, so there was never any need or want to explore the world of arms that used pressurized atmosphere to propel tiny lead pellets at high velocity. However, once Crosman sent me a Benjamin Trail NP2 to try, I quickly realized that I’d been missing out on a lot of fun and practicality without an air rifle in my arsenal.

The Benjamin Trail NP2 is a rifle-sized and -weighted pellet rifle that breaks open at the barrel to load its single shot. Offered in .177” caliber or .22” caliber, the rifle is powerful enough for serious small-game hunting, pest removal, or good old-fashioned plinking.

Also Read: Pellet Guns, Not Just For Kids Anymore

The proudly Made-in-America Trail NP2 utilizes the second generation of Nitro Piston technology epic banner 250x250 evolution of portable water filtration(hence the “NP2” moniker) to launch lead, as opposed to springs, CO2 cartridges, pneumatic pump-action, or pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) systems. The Nitro Piston system has a nitrogen-filled cylinder onboard; when the rifle is cocked via the break-open barrel, a piston compresses the nitrogen in the cylinder. Once the trigger is pulled, the compressed nitrogen drives the piston forward. This compresses the air in the chamber – and the pellet rockets out of the bore at a zippy clip, propelled by the blast of compressed air from behind. It’s a great system, and has several advantages over standard spring-powered pellet rifles.

A piston-driven air rifle can be left cocked and ready to go for a long time – days, weeks even – without any fear of a compressed spring losing its power or accuracy or messing with spring harmonics. There are no high-tension parts to wear out; however, it’s recommended you fire and work the piston system every couple months in order that the air rifle’s innards and seals don’t bond or compress semi-permanently. Temperature swings don’t fiddle with Nitro Piston air guns, either.

Related: Why Every Prepper Needs A Pellet Gun

A real benefit to the Nitro Piston system – and the Trail NP2 rifles in particular – is that they are VERY quiet. I’m told spring-powered air rifles can be quite noisy when the springs do their job, but the NP2 system’s nitrogen-powered piston is effortlessly noiseless – the only noise you hear from the rifle is a “whap!” sort of sound – about as loud as a handclap -that emanates from the barrel when the trigger is pulled. It helps that the barrel has an integral “suppressor” of sorts, with the last few inches of tube taken up by baffles that capture the noise of the compressed air being driven from the rifle. While unsuppressed air rifles certainly aren’t exactly like a .30-06 going off in your ear, the sound of compressed air rushing can be quite loud and distinctive-sounding; the baffles at the dangerous end of the Benjamin Trail NP2 do their intended job very effectively. I was able to do some target practice out the kitchen window this morning with my wife sleeping in the next room – she snoozed like a baby right through the whole process.

The Benjamin Trail NP2 does not have any fixed sights; rather, the rifle comes out of the box with a Picatinny rail mounted to the receiver. A set of inexpensive Weaver-style scope rings and a Centerpoint 3-9x scope make up the sighting package for the Trail NP2. The scope itself is not a high-priced item, especially to a guy who’s used to peering through Leupold and Burris scopes. But for the price point – and considering there is zero recoil for the scope to contend with – the Centerpoint does its job acceptably well. The crosshairs have stadia lines integrated into the reticle – why, I don’t know; you’re not going to be shooting at antelope in a 15mph crosswind 300 yards away with this rifle. But once the ocular-end focus is adjusted, the scope is decently clear and effective. It’s a solid starting point for optics on this rifle, and can be upgraded down the line simply by popping a new scope on the rings.

Rounding out the onboard accessories of the Benjamin Trail NP2 is a rear stock mounted QD sling swivel and a front sling loop for the included nylon padded logo sling. Offered in black synthetic or hardwood, the stock sports a thumbhole stock and a high comb for good cheek weld with optics use. A rubber non-slip recoil pad brings up the tail end of the Trail.

Breaking Bad – in a Good Way

The Benjamin Trail NP2 offers a newly designed “Clean Break Trigger” or CBT in the hopes of The Answer Water Bottle Filtration Solution 300x250maximizing the shooter’s accuracy experience. The CBT is a two-stage affair with a healthy amount of smooth, even take-up – probably a half inch of travel in total. After the initial take-up is pulled through, the rest of the trigger pull is decidedly short and relatively crisp, though with some definite creep. Considering that the Trail NP2 and scope is a $250 retail package, the trigger is quite good – certainly better than most AR-15s or even modern-production .22 rifles.

As a bonus, the trigger is adjustable – according to the instructions that come with the rifle, the trigger pull “second stage length” can be changed by accessing the adjustment screw that resides behind the trigger. Turning the screw clockwise shortens the length of the stage, counterclockwise increases. I fiddled with the settings a bit to make sure it worked, but then I returned the trigger to the factory setting; I was quite happy with it out of the box. Changing the “stage length” isn’t going to turn the trigger into a tuned match affair…but it does offer a bit of adjustability for those who like to tinker with their toys. It’s nice to see some effort by manufacturers put into providing a clean trigger on a rifle like this that’s capable of excellent accuracy.

Don’t Miss: 10 Best Survival Items

The safety is a positive affair, very similar to an M1 Garand. There is a tab inside the trigger guard that slides forward and back; with the tab in the forward position, the gun is ready to fire. In the rearmost position, the tab gets in the way of trigger access, and provides a tactile reminder that the safety is engaged. It works very well, gloves on or off.

Feeding the Beast

As stated, my particular Benjamin Trail NP2 is in .22 caliber – which I find preferable to the .177” for a Pellet Rifle Reviewforaging/hunting rifle due to its heavier punch, even though velocities are slower. The Trail NP2 is advertised as being capable of pushing alloy pellets to velocities approaching 1200 feet per second (fps) – which is 22 Long Rifle territory. However, the very low sectional density of aluminum alloy pellets means that the little pill will lose velocity very quickly, and penetrate miserably. Alloy pellets might work for dispatching sparrows, but for the survivalist’s consideration, they’re really only good for hyping up claims of velocity or target practice.

That brings us to lead pellets, which is where our looking for serious projectiles begins and ends. There are myriad designs for .22 pellets – domed, hollow point, flat-nosed wadcutter, conical, hybrid lead/polymer, match…the list goes on, and each has its specific usage. Domed, hollow point and conical pellets will penetrate targets more effectively and are best for hunting, while wadcutters are best for accuracy, generally speaking. But realistically, once we find a pellet design or two that works well in our air rifle, there’s no reason to stray. Lay in a healthy stockpile of your chosen pellet, and be happy. Pellets are cheap – The Crosman Ultra Magnum domed pellets my rifle likes are $8.99 for 500 projectiles. Some companies make pellet assortment packs to help you figure out the best projectile for your pellet rifle. Buy, try, then buy more of what your rifle likes best.

Realistic Performance, Not Advertised Performance

As I stated, the Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 air rifle is advertised to push a pellet around 1200 fps. While that may be true with an alloy pellet, I wanted to know what kind of velocities one could actually expect from this rifle utilizing actual useful ammunition. So I dug out my trusty chronograph, and set it up 10 feet from the muzzle when sighting at the bench. I shot ten rounds each of two different types of pellets to see what the performance really was, versus advertised.

The RWS Superpoint Extra Field 14.5 grain pellet showed a low velocity of 743 feet per second (fps), and a high velocity of 770 fps, giving up a spread of just 27 fps. Average was 762.76 fps, resulting in 19 foot-pounds of energy (fpe).

The Crosman Premier Ultra Magnum 14 grain Hunting Pellet uses that half-grain less weight to get a bit more velocity. Low chronographed velocity was 768 fps, with a high speed of 805 fps. This leaves us with a 37 fps deviation, and an average velocity of 768.17 fps for the ten shots fired. This average velocity offers – once again – 19 foot-pounds of energy.

Related: Project Squirrel Gun

In comparison, a .22 Short propels a 29-grain bullet at just over 1,000 fps for 70 foot-lbs of energy, and a .22 Long Rifle varies, but usually offers a bullet in the 40 grain range at about 1150 fps and 117 ft-lbs energy for standard velocity loads.

However, don’t “harumph” away that air rifle’s lower velocity and “only” 19 ft.lbs energy – this rifle is definitely powerful enough to harvest small game and varmints. I’ve sent countless numbers of chipmunks and nuisance red squirrels to the great stuffed cheek gathering grounds in the sky with this Trail NP2. I’ve shot three porcupines and a surprised woodchuck – all good clean kills – with the Trail NP2. A solid hit in the melon at close enough range should easily dispatch anything from small coyote sizes on down…and in a survival situation, I’d definitely see if I could head-shot a deer if the Trail NP2 was all I had to feed my family. I have no doubts that a hit in the head, especially the temple or other soft spot of the skull, could kill or incapacitate a human. This tool is not a toy, by any stretch of the imagination. As with any other firearm, all firearms safety rules definitely still apply to this rifle.

To satiate my own curiosity, I collected some scraps of lumber from my workshop and set them up outside, air rifle and some Crosman Premier Magnum domed pellets in tow. At a distance of five yards, the Benjamin Trail NP2 sent .22 caliber pellets sailing through ⅝” OSB board, and they completely penetrated every piece of ¾” wood I had – pine, maple, and red oak. 5/4 pine proved to be the rifle’s match, though, but just barely – the pellet stopped just short of breaking through. Friends, that’s pretty decent performance from a projectile that’s pushed by nothing but air.

Accuracy is quite good as well. Resting on my window sill, I can group five pellets into an inch cluster at 30 yards – the length of my backyard. I have found that maintenance plays a big part (whodathunk?), and when my accuracy starts going to pot, I run a .22 caliber bore brush through the rifle a few times and swab out the bore. Accuracy then returns again to normal.

Loves and Hates, Cheers and Jeers

I don’t have much to complain about with the Benjamin Trail NP2. My biggest beef is the lack of iron Benjamin-Trail-NP2-22-air-rifle-huntingsights and complete dependency on optics. While I understand this – the barrel is not fixed and putting a sight out on the end might not have 100% repeatable results – I still would like to have a set of iron sights for foul weather or in case the optic suffers damage.

My other complaint is pure snobbery with a touch of function – the scope. I do realize the rifle needs to be competitive price-wise so the choice of the Centerpoint scope is…tolerable…in that regard. However, I found that modest bumps or bangs will send the scope off zero – not something I find tolerable if my life depends on the rifle. I will be upgrading to Leupold rings and a 2x-7x Leupold Rimfire scope as money allows.

I do love the repeatable accuracy of this rifle (provided the scope isn’t nudged). Once I found a pellet design the rifle liked, the Trail NP2 was a shooting machine. I use the air rifle almost daily to cull nuisance critters from my garden and property, and its works terrifically well for this purpose.

The Nitro Piston design works slick as greased butter, and it’s not terribly difficult to operate. A bit of strength is required to cock the rifle, but a basic understanding of leverage principles and a little bit of practice will counteract that.

I’m also a fan of the included sling mounts. Hell, even a Ruger 10/22 Takedown doesn’t offer sling mounting locations right out of the box. This is a nice touch, and the provided Benjamin sling works well for its intended purpose. I might upgrade it down the road to a leather military sling, but that’s not a huge priority. Being able to carry your rifle slung while hunting or backpacking is a lovely option – especially for an air rifle that’s headed for the eight pound weight range.

The Clean Break Trigger is also a refreshing touch – this air rifle sports a trigger that is better than many stock modern .22 rifles. Thumbs up to Benjamin for providing a product with a decent trigger for those who appreciate the feature and will take advantage of it.

Wrapping It Up

The Benjamin Trail NP2 .22 caliber air rifle is a must-have tool. If you’re a prepper/survivalist, the Trail NP2 offers the ability to (relatively) quietly harvest small game and nuisance animals. Ammunition is very inexpensive, and its small size means you can have a huge quantity of projectiles stashed away without taking up much room.

For the everyday guy, the Benjamin Trail NP2 offers an inexpensive, ridiculously fun method of maintaining your shooting chops and providing pest control. Your neighbors won’t balk when the rifle goes off, you can order ammo off Amazon, and the Trail NP2 technically isn’t a firearm so many gun control laws simply aren’t applicable (depending on jurisdiction – research your laws!)

Overall, the Benjamin Trail NP2 is a dynamite addition to one’s arsenal – and I daresay it would be a fine choice more many who choose to have a one-gun collection. While I don’t think an air rifle could ever supplant a good .22 Long Rifle – especially when ranges are past 50 yards – I do know that I find myself reaching for the Trail NP2 more often than the Ruger 10/22 to complete shootin’ tasks around the homestead. It’s fun, lethal on small game, and supremely practical to own, even if you own a hundred firearms. I don’t want to say you’d be a fool not to have one, but, oh, what the hell – you’d be a fool not to have one.

Questions? Comments? Do you have an air rifle as part of your preps or daily use? Sound off in the comments below!

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10 Defensive Shooting Tips That Could Save Your Life

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Owning a gun is one thing, but knowing how to wield it is something else entirely. If you don’t know how to properly use your firearm in a self-defensive situation, not only do your chances of survival go down, but your chances of accidentally harming yourself or somebody else go up. Fortunately, this can all […]

The post 10 Defensive Shooting Tips That Could Save Your Life appeared first on Urban Survival Site.

32 DIY Projects for Preppers

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If you’re the type of prepper who likes to spend time in the garage or outside building your own things, then you need to check out these articles from Skilled Survival. There are enough DIY projects here to keep you busy for a while. The first article is about DIY survival gear and includes a […]

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The Best SHTF Rifle Cartridge

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by a guest contributor

The AR 15 has a reputation as a SHTF firearm, and while there is a reason for this reputation, a lot of us forget exactly why it’s one of the better options. We stock up on the 5.56×45 NATO and the tactical rifles that are chambered for this cartridge, and we can tell you why we believe it’s the best SHTF rifle cartridge out there.

Before we jump into the meat of the article, we do want to point out that there is no one all around, godsend, holy-grail of a cartridge out there. While we have gone with the 5.56×45 round, we are in no way downplaying the effectiveness of other combat rifles or even hunting rifle cartridges. At some point, you just have to make a choice and have the facts to back it up.

Why the 5.56×45

In this article we are going to look at several performance categories and compare the data from five 5.56×45 rounds. Below are five rounds that we have selected for looking at these categories. This is a small sample size for the options that are out there but will give us a look at what this cartridge can do.

  • 56×45 NATO Hornady BTHP Superformance Match 75gr
  • 56×45 NATO Federal American Eagle FMJ 55gr
  • 56×45 NATO Winchester FMJ 55gr
  • 56×45 NATO Hornady FMJ Black 62gr
  • 56×45 NATO Magtech HPBT 77gr


While having ammo stocked away somewhere might make this section irrelevant for some, the lighter weight of the 5.56×45 NATO compared to other cartridges is important to note.

If you’re having to go on the move for a few days or haul out somewhere quickly, these lightweight rounds are going to allow you to carry much more ammo without being fatiguing. In survival situations, cutting down on unnecessary weight and reducing the amount of fatigue can be a major factor in staying alive.


The effective range of a cartridge, especially one to be used in survival situations, is extremely important. From CQB to shots at several hundred yards, a go-to SHTF rifle cartridge needs to have the capabilities for all of these ranges. While up close and personal isn’t an issue for most rifle cartridges, not all shots are going to be at 25 yards. If you are put in a position where you have to take shots at 50 to 200 yards, are you going to be confident in taking the shot?

Using our selected rounds, let’s take a look at the short range trajectory measuring bullet drop (in inches) over the course of the bullet’s flight.

Graph 1

Most 5.56×45 ammunition you go with can handle shots out to 100 yards. If you have good optics, you can even extend that range with the flat trajectory of this cartridge. The heavier bullets are going to take some more adjustments.

But what about extended ranges?

Graph 2

The trajectory for the 5.56×45 rounds and the cartridge as a whole is still relatively flat out to 300 yards. Once you get into the 400-yard range, you are looking at some heavy adjustments to shot placement while 500 yards is tough shooting for just about anyone. However, if you compare the trajectory of the 5.56×45 vs the 7.62×39, the latter just shows too much bullet drop to even be an effective round out past the 300-yard mark, which is one of the reasons we picked the 5.56×45 for this article.

Of course, none of this matters if the bullet doesn’t have any pop behind it.

Stopping Power

When things go south, and you are fighting for survival, the opportunity might arise that you have to protect your own or you must go out and hunt for food. Both of them require a cartridge that is going to be able to provide enough stopping power to deter and kill targets.

Stopping power encompasses several different factors such as the energy associated with the bullet traveling downrange, the bullet’s penetration, and the wound created. In this section, we will take a look at our selected 5.56×45 rounds and discuss how their kinetic energies make them a viable cartridge when SHTF.

Like the trajectories, we are following the bullets from the muzzle out to 500 yards.

Graph 3

What we are measuring is the force (ft.lbs) that is associated with the bullet and will be transferred to the target on impact.

While there are more deadly cartridges on the market, these 5.56×45 rounds are carrying over a 1,000ft.lbs of force at 50 and 100 yards where the vast majority of shots are going to fall. Even out past these ranges we are still talking about 500-800 at 400 yards.

Most criticism for the 5.56×45 is that it loses its effectiveness at distances out past 100 yards. And yes, they drop off, but 700ft.lbs of force slamming into is going to make you turn the other way, and we can’t be told otherwise.


The low recoil of this cartridge provides the biggest reason we like the 5.56×45 cartridge for when SHTF. Take a look at the recoil of the five 5.56×45 NATO rounds we have been looking at.

Graph 4

photo source: Shooter’s Calculator

All of the 5.56×45 rounds we have selected and most factory loads have less than 10ft.lbs of recoil energy generated when firing. What this means in our eyes is you have a firearm that can be handled easily in close quarters and can be fired in semi-auto or auto for successive shots without losing too much accuracy. That’s a game changer for survival situations.


Look, you can read all the blogs you want of some guys groupings, but the simple fact is that accuracy depends so much more on the shooter than on the equipment. While your firearm, optics, and the cartridge itself needs to be of high enough quality to perform reliably, most factory loads are going to perform as well as the rifle operator is trained.

The 5.56×45 has minimal recoil compared to other cartridges used for similar purposes, short range trajectory is relatively flat, and even long range trajectory is manageable with a high-quality scope that has been sighted correctly. With some time on the range, the 5.56×45 cartridge’s bullet is going to go where you put it.

Price and Availability

Below, we have listed some of the retail prices for the rounds that we looked at in this article. As you can see, it can be expensive, or it can be relatively cheap. These rounds can often be found in bulk quantities as well. What matters is that you are compiling a stock of ammunition that you are comfortable and confident in and that will fit your shooting situation.

Availability, as most of us have experienced, can swing one way or the other pretty wildly depending on a lot of outside influences. For right now, things are looking good, and you should not have any problems getting your hands on the specific round you need. With that, things can shift any day so don’t put off stocking up for too long.

Ammunition Price
5.56×45 NATO Hornady BTHP Superformance Match 75gr


$17.79 (20 rounds)
5.56×45 NATO Federal American Eagle FMJ 55gr


$53.99 (120 Rounds)
5.56×45 NATO Winchester FMJ 55gr


$8.99 (20 Rounds)
5.56×45 NATO Hornady FMJ Black 62gr


$12.49 (20 Rounds)
5.56×45 NATO  Magtech HPBT 77gr


$600 (1,000 Rounds)

The Drawbacks

We don’t believe there is a perfect round, especially when SHTF. There are cartridges that have better performance characteristics for certain situations. The 5.56×45 cartridge, while an excellent self-defense round for when things go south, it does have its weaknesses when compared to other cartridges.

It does not have the stopping power of other cartridges used on the AR platform and other high powered rifles. This, of course, means you get some of the better qualities of the 5.56×45 that we have discussed earlier. For possible intruders, it’s got enough force behind it to dispatch, incapacitate, and at the least deter unwanted guests.

Where it falls short is in the big game hunting category, especially at distances of 200 yards or more. When SHTF, sooner or later hunting is going to be a factor in your ability to survive. Small game and even deer within 100 yards are still possible. With the right shot, you might even be able to take deer a bit further than 100 yards without having to spend the day or night tracking a wounded animal. For anything larger, the 5.56×45 just falls short compared to other cartridge options.


Like we stated at the beginning, there are plenty of cartridges available that are viable options. What we hope is that we presented the case for the 5.56×45 NATO round as a go to rifle cartridge for when SHTF.

Its low recoil makes it fabulous for handling in tight situations, it has a flat trajectory that allows you a wide range of shots and has the knockdown power to bring down targets within 200 yards and at the minimum deter them at increased distances. It’s readily available ammunition, and we think that if you give it a go, you might find you have a new favorite cartridge to stock up on.

How to Make Gunpowder Step by Step (With Pics)

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In the Chinese culture, there are four great inventions that are celebrated. You may have recognized them at the Beijing Olympics as they made an appearance at the games. They are: papermaking, printing, the compass, and gunpowder. Although there is a widespread belief that the Chinese only used gunpowder for fireworks, they also used it […]

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The USA: The Ultimate Survival Arm

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Best Survival Rifle

In the never-ending journey for the ultimate survival arm, a quest buried deep in the DNA of everyone concerned Best Survival Riflewith preparedness, yet another giant leap in the evolution of survival arm capability just spread it wings across the USA (via gun stores, UPS and FedEx). The Magpul X-22 Backpacker Stock for the Ruger 10/22 Takedown is finally available!

By Doc Montana, a Contributing Author to SHTFBlog and

It took almost 50 years for Ruger to take the 10/22 from a one-piece 37” wooden stocked masterpiece to a two-piece 37” plastic stocked vision of the future.  Then a scant five years later, Magpul teased us with it’s X-22 Backpacker at SHOT Show 2017. Magpul took the essence of the Takedown to it’s rightful destiny creating a dynamic, integrated, self-contained survival rifle that is just at home in a home, active in the field, or packed away discreetly in a the bug out bag.

For the moment, and likely for many more moments into the future, a Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock filled with Ruger 10/22 and upgrades is the best, yes the best option for such a compact bullet-throwing machine. Add in the shear depth of importance of such an item when the SHTF making every decision and purchase and rifle build just that much more critical. So for this build, I addressed three particular survival gun tangents that are critical to preparedness and performance. The three tangents are 1) Mobility and Concealment, 2) Operational Accountability, and 3) Overall Durability.

Magpul Magic

On the Mobility and Concealment side of things, the stock and a daypack sum up the magic of this tangent. SBRs or Best Short Survival RifleShort Barreled Rifles are advantageous, not in long range shooting, but dexterity and speed. Uncle Sam needs at least 16 full inches of barrel to avoid the SBR label, and this U.S.A. build delivers on that four-squared promise, but when separated into pieces, all bets are off. No matter the law, you have the right, without tax or paperwork (in my neck of these here USA woods anyway) to carry a short rifle as long as it takes time to assemble it into a viable weapon from pieces as long as the pipe is 16 inches chamber to muzzle.

Also Read: Ruger 10-22 Takedown Review

Operational Accountability is both a critical step and demand. As much as I would like firearms to flow from factories with the utmost of perfection there is an unfortunately large number of almosts, nearlys, and close-enoughs. And those are just the ones that work out of the box. In the case of the 10/22, there are some maddening aspects of the gun that Ruger really need apply some attention. Look, I get that Bill Ruger, had specific intents for the 10/22 back before we ever went to the moon, but today, more than five decades later, we have greater expectations that need addressing. Lucky Ruger has plenty of help namely from TandemKross, Volquartsen, and now Magpul.

So to turn up the volume on Operational Accountability, it means that those elements you see fit to enhance on the 10/22 platform are all fair game and likely even some aftermarket competition in that particular space.

Durability is found in both design and materials. The for a semi-automatic, the 10/22 is remarkably durable, but it pure pitcher made in usa EPIC20 english 99.99 400x250 USAdoes have its wear points and limits. Essentially, the 10/22 is an aluminum receiver shell holding steel parts and pins connected to a blued or stainless barrel. The trigger group has some non-ferrous parts, and of the few spring, only one is actually needed to get the rifle to fire. Two if you want the trigger to reset. Three if you want the bolt to cycle. Four if you want the case to eject, and five and six if you want the magazine to stay inserted and actually feed. With a little help and low expectations, it’s often surprising just how few parts are required to make a bang. All the rest of the parts and cost are only essential for making subsequent bangs.

Taking Stock in Stock

The origin of this Ultimate Survival Arm build centers on Magpul’s new X-22 Backpacker stock for the Ruger 10/22 Best 10-22 StockTakedown rifle. Magpul has been in the stock business since shortly after it’s start in 1999. Magpul eased into the residential gun market using the Remington 700 bolt action as the transitional bridge between military pattern accessories to hunting and target shooting upgrades. It seems everything Magpul’s polymer finger touches turns to gold. And the Ruger 10/22 is no exception. Currently Magpul makes three stocks for the Ruger 10/22 rifle. The X-22 Hunter for non-takedown 10/22s, the X-22 Hunter Takedown, and now the X-22 Backpacker Takedown. And it is this latter and latest stock that is catching the attention of just about everyone with more than a passing interest in the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. In fact a few folks I’ve talked to are interested in getting a 10/22 takedown just to take advantage of this new Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock.

The magic of the Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock is that when in two pieces, the foregrip portion of the pair snaps into a receiving mechanism in the main stock locking together the two halves of the 10/22 Takedown rifle. The single unit now can be packed, carried, and mounted numerous ways without concern of separation all while the chamber-end of the barrel is protected inside the receiving hole of the buttstock. The barrel is attached with the top pointed away from the stock meaning that the two halves will mate perfectly regardless of optics or top-rail mounted accessories.

Related: EOTech vs Aimpoint

The Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock has two storage compartments, one on the stock’s comb under a swinging door Survival Riflethat also provides an adjustable cheek weld platform.  A suggested use for this particular compartment is to store extra Ruger 10-round rotary magazines. The space will easily hold three mags, or one mag and a box of shells. The aft end of the compartment dips down about three inches allowing some creative options for storing cleaning supplies or survival gear.

The second storage closet is a lightly watertight O-ring sealed compartment inside the grip similar to those found on AR-15 pistol grips. It is less convenient to access and of interesting shape, but a great long-term storage that leans towards those items you may or may not need anytime soon.

Takedown Lowdown

The rifle choice for the Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock is limited to the Ruger 10/22 Takedown. However, there are many options when it comes to off-the-gun-shelf Takedown variations and almost every part has an aftermarket option. For this U.S.A. build, I kept everything Made in America, and about the only true Ruger parts were found in the receiver, and the mags. Alway use Ruger’s mags. Well, at least until Magpul addresses that. Of the two larger pieces I swapped out, the Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock was the obvious starting point. After that was the pipe. So for the barrel, I chose the Volquartsen carbon fiber bull barrel for its lightweight yet durability composite design, improved accuracy, and thread muzzle. The optic mounting platform on Volquartsen’s barrel is a bolted-on five inch rail that rides above the barrel. The rail is reversible so to minimize the overall length of the folded X-22 Backpacker, the rail was reversed. The downside is that optics are moved further down the barrel and away from the eye. Running a red dot sight on this platform, however, is not significantly affected. And speaking of red dots…

A Dot of Red

For this project, I selected the American made Leupold Deltapoint Pro red dot sight. It is a fine sight that plants a Best Red Dot for Survival Riflerock solid crystal clear red dot on the target. It mounts securely on a standard rail, and is operated by a center push-button just behind the glass display window. Running on the common battery that is changeable without removing the sight from its base such as is required with the Trijicon RMR sights that I used on my Katrina Pistol project.

The Leupold Deltapoint Pro mount attaches with a simple twist of a 3/32” Allen wrench. And that’s the same 3/32” wrench that will separate the DeltaPoint Pro from the Cross Slot Mount, or retighten it to the rail. Additionally, Leupold thoughtfully provided a removable rubber housing that completely covers the DeltaPoint Pro when not in use.

Red dot sights are an incredible invention that gives superpowers to new shooters and simplifies the aiming process when any number of events intervenes with aligning the muzzle and target. In fact, the parallax-free wonderment of spec-ops grade red dot optics leaves little to the imagination: Dot = hit. Well, more or less.

But Wait, There’s More…

A couple other things I built into my build before taking it to the field include Magpul QD ports, a sling, a few receiver action upgrades, and some magazine enhancements. The Magpul X-22 Backpacker stock contains two double-sided round ports for accessory Quick Detach (QD) plugs. I added QD ports fore and aft, which then begged for a sling. The Magpul MS1 Sling with QD points to be exact.

There are four receiver action upgrades I feel are essential for every one of my 10/22s. So when I started this U.S.A. Survival RifleUltimate Survival Arm build, I immediately headed to the TANDEMKROSS website. The four essentials include 1) a better extractor, 2) a bolt buffer, 3) a bolt release plate, and 4) a Takedown Knob that allows you to free the receiver from the stock without tools. While this last upgrade may not be critical for occasional firing operation of the 10/22, but for those of us who launch lead with the 10/22 on a regular basis, taking the system apart is a common practice. So imagine when things go south and you don’t have a nice gun cradle and cleaning supplies, you will thank me and TandemKross for a simple solution to unplug your Ruger receiver from the stock. At that point, you can knock out any necessary pins and work on your gun with reckless abandon.

Related: The Katrina Pistol

The bolt-release plate makes up for Ruger’s insistence that one fiddle with an oddly behaving piece of sheet metal in Best Survival Rifleorder to close the bolt. For a few bucks and a few minutes, you can install TandemKross’s Guardian Bolt Release. And then your 10/22 bolt behaves just like a good bolt should.

As a semi-auto, ejection of a spent case is just as important as feeding a live round. And the key to a good ejection is a good ejector. The stock 10/22 ejector is nothing special, likely make of the same stamped steel as other receiver parts. However, the hooked end on this tiny piece of metal is where all the important stuff happens. If the hook doesn’t grab the case firmly and instantly during its one shot at it, a failure will occur. By using hardened tool steel and a stronger spring, TandemKross’s Eagle’s Talon extractor is an essential upgrade even if the end of the world is not in your plans.

The final essential, so to speak, is a non-metal bolt stop. At the back of the 10/22 receiver is a pin that the bolt crashes into when the gun is fired. While rare, with enough collisions bad things can happen. But the simple remedy is to replace the bolt stop with a bolt buffer. The buffer is a softer polymer material that the bolt can slam into all day long without complaining. Plus it’s quieter, produces a softer vibration, and won’t fall out into the mud should you need to remove your receiver from the stock while outdoors.

Move Out

One of the great things about the QD attachment points is they are at the polar opposites of the stock side of of this stock. With a total length of 19.5 inches, the buttstock of this stock is surprisingly short. That means a small footprint on your back, in your daypack, backpack, car, truck or Bug Out Bag. And it is this last area where I think my Magpul X-22 Backpacker will shine. But for more on that, you will have to wait for part 2 of this story.

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