Posts Tagged ‘guns’

“Firearms Week” coming to ModernSurvivalOnline.com

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

 

Stay tuned!! Coming soon is a full week of rifles, pistols, carbines – everything and anything related to firearms for 7 days straight right here on ModernSurvivalOnline.

If you are a gun nut like me or have a passing interest in firearms I am sure there will be something for you. Firearm reviews, commentaries, philosophy, accessories, shooting, defensive training – a variety of topics will be covered(maybe some just for fun).

Hey – if there is something you would like to see let me know.

Rourke

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Firearm Review: Henry Arms US Survival Rifle……..

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

This post was originally published HERE on ModernSurvivalOnline.

 

Introduction:

The Henry US Survival AR-7 Rifle is the latest rendition of the USAF AR-7 that many Air Force pilots carried “just in case” for the last 40+ years. Even today it can be found stored away by many backpackers, bush pilots, and ATV riders. The AR-7 is known for its unique ability to disassemble in several components and store it all in its buttstock. Worth mentioning is the entire gun will float when stored away – especially meaningful to boaters.

 

For the survivalist, the Henry US Survival Rifle is compact and light enough to fit inside a bug out bag as well as under most car seats. The .22LR chambering provides the ability to carry lots of ammunition with little bulk and weight. The .22LR is also one of the most versatile rounds affording the user to dispatch a variety sizes of game and if need be, used for self defense.

 

Specifications:

Action Type: Semi-automatic Caliber: .22 LR
Magazine Capacity: 8 Rounds (comes with two mags) Length: 38″ assembled, 16.5″ when stowed
Weight: 2.25 lbs Stock: ABS Plastic
Sights: Adjustable Rear, Blade Front Finish: Teflon coated receiver and coated steel barrel

 

Ergonomics(Handling):

The AR-7 is very lightweight and is a joy to handle and shoot. The buttstock does feel a bit bulky as its girth has to be wide enough in order to contain the guns receiver, barrel, and magazines. Some Henry enhancements to the traditional AR-7 design include textured ribs in the gripping area of the stock. These assist in maintaining stable control of the firearm, especially when wet.

There are no easy methods for mounting a sling. One could be fashioned my tieing one onto the stock and barrel. I didn’t try it and cannot tell you how well it would work. Overall handling is very good – no issues.

 

Ergonomics (Firing):

When firing the Henry the stock fit comfortably on my left cheek (I shoot rifles left handed). My right hand searched for something to hold as there is no front stock. I found that cupping the magazine and magazine-well area worked well for me.

 

Firing the gun I did discover what is likely my biggest complaint – the trigger pull. It is heavy and requires a pretty deliberate pull. This may improve over time and is not a deal breaker. I do not plan on entering any shooting competitions with the AR-7.

 

For those left-handers like me, I had no issues with hot brass hitting my face or arms. Cases were thrown to the right, away from my face.

 

Of particular note – my youngest, Christopher, loved the AR-7. He is 9 and has a small frame. He struggles holding all my other .22’s finding they are all too heavy. With the AR-7 he was all smiles and had no issues holding it up and staying on target. It made for a great day of shooting for him.

 

Reliability:

For my first shooting I headed to my testing area with CCI Mini-Mag’s(200 rounds) and CCI Blazer(50 rounds) .22LR ammunition. I used both of the 8-rd magazines during the afternoon. Firing in excess of 200 rounds I had one stoppage – a failure to eject a case completely. This was on the second magazine shot – approx round 10. The ammunition was the CCI Mini-Mag’s solid point.

 

Now, 200 rounds is certainly within what I would consider a “break-in” period. All the rest of my shooting was flawless and involved no cleaning or lubrication.

 

I had no other issues with the Henry US Survival Rifle. Everything work just fine.

 

Accuracy:

I found the accuracy potential of the AR-7 to be just fine for the purpose of the firearm. A better trigger would certainly lend to better accuracy.

 

Shooting at a standard M16A2 sight-in target at 35 yards I found windage needed to be adjusted. This is accomplished by moving the orange front sight blade. This is accomplished by simply pushing the blade to the left or right. Elevation is adjusted via the rear peep sight which slides up and down and is set with a small screw. For their purpose – they work fine.

 

The picture below which shows one of the group after adjusting for windage. I would consider the shot in the lower left and lower middle  “flyers”. Basically – my fault. The other shots were on target. All shots were from a standing, unsupported position. I did not have a small phillips head screwdriver to adjust the rear sight for elevation.

 

After sight adjustments I was routinely hitting 20 oz. soda bottles and sent them flying. I am confident that if I can see a squirrel or rabbit within 35 yards or so it could be taken with no problem.

 

35 yards

 

Overall:

I really like the Henry US Survival Rifle. Its light weight and compactness make it ideal where other firearms just can’t fill the niche. Priced around $240, the AR-7 is affordable and a good value. 

There are many other firearms on the market that are often considered for the role of “survival gun” and for many situations- the Henry US Survival Rifle can fill that role just fine.

 

 

Misc Pictures

Entire rifles packs away in the stock.

 

This is THE US SURVIVAL Rifle.

 

All components ready for assembly.

 

Receiver attached to stock.

 

Take down screw has a large knob which to loosen and tighten with.

 

Barrel slides into receiver and locks into place and is held securely by a screw on locking collar.

 

Raised ribbing on gripping surface.

 

Henry US Survival Rifle with spare magazine

 

Top of receiver – picatinny rail

 

Difficult to see here – but the AR-7 used a rear peep sight with front post for sighting.

 

Bright orange front blade

 

Magazine release works well.

 

Shoulder stock – ribbed area for secure grip.

 

Receiver, magazines, and barrel all tucked away in the stock.

 


 

 

Review: Magpul MOE Grip for AR Platform

Monday, June 30th, 2014

To be honest I often scoffed at the idea of spending my hard earned money on an aftermarket grip for my AR. I mean – it’s a just a grip, right? The standard AR grip has been around for decades and should be just fine. Well – several months ago I happen to have a few extra bills padding my wallet(rare occurrence) and was down in Columbia, SC at Palmetto State Armory. They had an entire section of the store dedicated to Magpul accessories and I checked out the Magpul MOE Grip.

AR-grip

standard AR grip

The Magpul MOE grip felt decent in the hand so I bought it. Once I got home I installed the grip on my Stag AR. Again, felt pretty good but nothing spectacular. A couple observations include:

  • Fills my hands more than the standard. I do not have large hands so initially was not sure if this was a good thing.
  • Ridges on the front and back provide some decent friction to secure the AR in the hand.
  • Has storage compartment but I do not use this feature.
  • There is a lip at the bottom of the grip which does help securement.
  • The “beavertail” portion that rides up the rear of the gun behind the safety and under the buffer tube provides a different feel. Good? I wasn’t sure initially.
Magpul-grip

Magpul MOE grip

I have attended two tactical carbine classes since installing the Magpul MOE grip. Although early on I felt like the standard AR grip was just fine – I have truly come to appreciate the Magpul. I very much underappreciated the importance of “grip” on the AR. During all methods of movement I found that the Magpul grip increased my connection with the rifle. That is a good thing, right?

With the Magpul MOE grip costing around $20 any benefit it provides is worth the minimal price.

By the way – the grip was easy to install. No issues at installation nor since. Construction is on par with other Magpul accessories which means very good.

Recommended.

– Rourke

 


 

 

I was just thinking….

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Not really sure why I started thinking about this tonight. When I was 14 years old I was an avid reader of SURVIVE Magazine and American Survival Guide. Yeah – maybe being 14 and worried about a nuclear war between the Soviets and the United States was a bit unusual but I was not the usual teenager. Anyways I really looked forward to a new issue coming out every month,

I can still remember many articles from way back then (80’s). One article in particular was a review on the Armalite AR-180. The author went through the normal description of the gun with all the specs and how you take it down and reassemble and all.  At one point he described a boating trip he went on. If I remember right it was a large pontoon and a couple families were on board with separate sleeping quarters. He described how he had a suitcase and within his AR-180 was safely tucked away. If you are unfamiliar the AR-180 was an AR alternative that had a folding stock. Due to this feature it was easily concealed inside the suitcase.

AR180-1

Now – I am getting somewhere with all of this.

Whenever I travel I am armed. Generally it is a pistol with a total of three magazines and a couple hundred rounds of ammunition. I do know people that travel on vacation to Myrtle Beach and the like with an AR in the trunk along with magazines and their loadout vest. To be honest my wife would seriously question me if I threw in my AR, vest, 8 magazines, 400 rounds of ammunition, and a cleaning kit beside the cooler and suitcases to head to the beach for the weekend. So – my Smith & Wesson M&P9 pistol is what comes with.

What are your thoughts? I mean, I have considered the possibility that if the SHTF (whatever that is) and I am out on the road I would like to have more than just my M&P. Then again it likely would not be the best thing to do depending on the severity of the SHTF to go walking around with an AR slung over my shoulder. That may attract unneeded attention. Well….then again it may be just what is needed.

Oh man….maybe I just need to stay at home. That’s it honey – no more vacations!!

Rourke

 


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SHTF ONE GUN DEFENSE

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

****This post originally appeared over at SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com. It can be seen in its original form HERE.

 

BY GREG RENTCHLER, Editor at Large

thesouthwesttactical.com

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my BOL  thinking about a one-gun solution for defending the family in time of SHTF. After much discussion with my survival family and colleagues, we collectively concluded that there is no such thing as a one-gun solution to address the plethora of variations of circumstances involved in a SHTF scenario.

 

SHTF gun, survival gun, survival shotgun,

Because times are tough and getting tougher, I decided that I would attempt to create a simple, cheap, and versatile weapon system, consisting of just one gun. The accompanying photos should give you an idea of what I have put together in hopes that many will see the attributes and limitations to this problem.

 

Let’s be clear. I don’t have all the answers. But I do have a background that that should legitimize my conclusions. So, just consider these words from a guy that wants to share an idea, based on a lifetime of firearms use, study and instructing.

 

You’ll immediately see that I have chosen a shotgun for my “one-gun option” or (OGO). The gun is a 12 gauge Mossberg/Maverick HS-12 , over/under, 18.5 inch improved cylinder barrel chokes(size of opening at end of barrel or “muzzle”). The gun is equipped with two picatinny rails, one fixed under the bottom barrel and the other on the top rear of the receiver. This is a clever rail on the receiver. The rail is cut thru with a “V”, allowing a sighted picture thru the rail to the front sight, which is  fiber optic, thereby creating a very bright, clear, accurate sight picture!

 

shtf-gun-2-1024x768

My general premise here is that a shotgun is the most versatile type of firearm produced. Let me tell you why-

* a wide range and type of ammo available to shotguns make it capable of taking game from birds/rabbits/squirrels(with birdshot), to coyotes/2-4 legged(buckshot), to larger mammals as elk/ moose/bear (slugs, either solid or hollow point).

Author’s note- I once killed a Corvette with a shotgun using a slug. What a surprise to the driver dirtbag and unfortunate for the owner.

* ease of use- simple design, break open action, slide safety, manually activated triggers

* shotguns can be used as less than lethal devices (bean bag or rubber rounds)

* less expensive than assault rifles and many handguns.

* reliability+

* ammo available in every store and every farmhouse

* accuracy is very good to excellent with sabot slugs

* extreme foot pounds of energy at close distance and with slugs at distance

* most terminal firearm made- some restrictions( I know, how terminal does a firearm need to be)

* can launch line, signal device, fire starter, club, water portage!

 

Now for building this gun, I enhanced it considering my thoughts for its use as a SHTF weapon:

I immediately test fired the gun for reliability, accuracy(where it printed with shot and slugs). Then, I applied camo colors using wide shoelaces to break up the paint and outline. A 200 lumen tac light was attached to the forward rail. I felt this gun should remain simple and effective. The light gives the operator surprise to the target and a very quick sight picture for same. A side saddle type of ammo carrier was affixed the the stock(L or R side) for backup reloading and as important, the ammo is a mix of #4 buck, 00 buck and slugs. The gun is rugged and reliable. A sling could be attached easily but is not necessary on this 6.5 pound weapon. The butt stock is hollow reducing weight and allowing for emergency storage .

shtf-gun-3-1024x768

You could even put a bayonet on the muzzle using the fixed bottom rail! You might note from the photo that I keep two rounds secured by rubber band at the muzzle end of the barrels. Those two rounds are bird shot that I keep for quail egg eating crows in the area. The gun is fast to action, easy to lash down, safe, simple and powerful.

shtf-gun-4-e1370215676794

If you look very closely on the butt stock, you will see a distinctive “Z” painted in bright green.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this offering as much as I do reading and discussing yours!! Be safe and Train!

Greg

” be the victor not the victim”


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LuminAID Solar Inflatable Light: This is a really cool new product that I have not seen in person but looks to be a great idea. For basically $20 you get a solar powered “lantern” that can be hung up to illuminate an area. Great idea.

Jericho- Season 1: SHTF TV show is turning into a classic. Awesome show I watch a couple times a year. If you have not seen it – it is highly recommended.

P-51 Can Openers: A must have for survival kits, bug out bags….and in the kitchen. Simple to use can opener will make you a hero when the power goes out. CHEAP!!

Wenzel Alpine 8.5 x 8 feet Dome Tent: This is one of the best deals I have seen on a smaller tent. Reviewing the questions and reviews – one guy camped for 46 days in Alaska in this very model and said it worked great. Inexpensive shelter and great for summer fun (especially for the kids).

Mora Military Green Camp Knife: A classic. Excellent blade for so many tasks where a durable and sharp knife is needed.

Zippo Classic Brushed Chrome Lighter: Fantastic fire starting insurance. Quality item Made in America and comes with a lifetime warranty.

 

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Grow your own food with the 4 Foot Gardening Blueprint!!

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Gardening is a passion of mine and I have made plenty of mistakes and learned from them. No survival & preparedness system would be complete without not only seeds to grow vegetables with – but the knowledge and know-how as well.

The “4 Foot Gardening Blueprint” is a simple, easy to follow guide to growing the maximum amount of food in the smallest amount of space. If interested in this $7.00 ebook there are two ways you can buy it. The first is to click on THIS LINK and watch a video that preps you prior to buying. I don’t recommend it. If you want to go ahead and purchase it without sitting through a 6-7 minute video follow THIS LINK HERE and then scroll down to the bottom of the page.  

Happy Gardening!!

 

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Initial Evaluation: New Frontier LW-15 Polymer AR Lower

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Several weeks ago I received a New Frontier LW-15 polymer lower for testing – and to build another AR. I know many may scoff at the use of polymer in an AR lower – much the same way traditionalists rolled their eyes at this new plastic gun that came out years ago – called a “Glock”. That plastic gun turned out to be OK. I was originally attracted to the New Frontier due to their low cost. An entire complete lower can be purchased for $119. This includes the lower, trigger group, 6 position stock with buffer assembly, and magazine release and bolt release parts. Watching many video’s on YouTube and reading other reviews I felt pretty comfortable with the decision to acquire the New Frontier.

DSCN0195

My initial impression upon receiving the lower was how light it was. Of course I knew it would be lighter than a standard aluminum lower but it is really light. It also felt very solid. Next, I felt the trigger pull being careful not to allow the hammer to fall free. The trigger pull was a little on the heavy side but extremely crisp with absolutely zero take up. The trigger pull is advertised at 4.5 pounds. I did not have a scale to measure it however it does feel heavier than that to me. I pulled the trigger with enough force for the hammer to fall, the trigger moves rearward slightly (hardly any overtravel), I then release the trigger and a clearly audible “click” is heard as the trigger resets – and it’s ready to go again. The only real issue I have with the trigger group is the use of polymer parts as the hammer and trigger is plastic (as well as takedown pins). Although I don’t care for this aspect of the components I had no issues during firing whatsoever.

DSCN0198

Overall fit and finish is excellent. I placed the New Frontier LW-15 on my Stag Arms upper and had no issues whatsoever. Everything fit extremely well. The polymer moldings and finish looks great with only a hint of “machine markings” or “mold flash” in a few places and I must emphasize this was minor. Really a very attractive lower.

DSCN0202

polymer hammer

DSCN0201

Accu-Group Trigger Assembly

DSCN0200

The safety selector worked with no issues and as seen in the picture above shows a “bullet” as FIRE and that same bullet with an X through it as SAFE. Pretty easily recognizable. 

The safety is NOT ambidextrous although it is reversible. The opposite side of the safety selector provides for the same graphics for identifying the current state of readiness of the firearm.

DSCN0199

I started the title of this article with “Initial Evaluation” as I am not done yet. I placed the LW-15 on my Stag upper and shot a couple hundred rounds. No issues at all…..none….zero…..zilch. I could feel the difference in weight which was welcome and firing through the rounds was uneventful.

So – now what? I am looking to try to build a lightweight carbine taking full advantage of the polymer lower. I am also considering replacing the trigger group – but time will tell. 

I know there will be criticism from those questioning the durability and “combat readiness” of the New Frontier LW-15. I may get asked the question – “Will it survive 3,000 rounds?” Answer – I have no idea as I haven’t fired 3,000 rounds through it however there are many accounts on the ‘net of those that have and had no issues. 

For more information on the New Frontier LW-15  – visit their website at https://newfrontierarmory.com/.

……to be continued.

Rourke

 

Review: Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 .22LR Semi-Auto

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

This post originally appeared back in May of 2011. I will be posting an UPDATE tomorrow on how my M&P15-22 has performed over the past three years. The original review can be seen HERE. – Rourke

I love the .22LR .

Over the years I have had a variety of .22LR pistols and rifles. From the Ruger Mk II pistol to a Squire Bingham M16R – I have shot thousands of rounds of .22LR and had a ball doing it. Ever since seeing pictures of the Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 – I have wanted one.

Well – I finally broke down and bought one. Although I know that the $469 price tag could have bought me larger caliber – more serious defensive-minded firearm – the M&P .22LR was a “want” buy – not a “need”.

I picked up my M&P new from Palmetto State Armory. Bringing it home I was excited to open the box and check it out. My initial impression was one of quality. This gun feels solid and well built. In comparison – it is certainly lighter than my Stag AR. One of the main reasons for this is its polymer construction. The vast majority of the M&P is polymer – including most of the lower as well as the quad rail.

I wanted to check out the internals – which was easy. Breaking down very similar to a regular AR-variant – access to the bolt assembly is super easy. In other words – field striping for cleaning  is simple and requires no special tools. The barrel can be cleaned easily when broken down as both ends are accessible.

Many accessories that can fit on a typical AR can often be fitted for the M&P. I plan to leave mine pretty much stock other than adding a red dot sight. The buffer tube cannot be removed – although other stocks can be fitted onto the non-removable buffer tube (so I am told). Even after market triggers can be dropped into the M&P15-22.

The barrel is fitted with a standard looking “flash hider/muzzle break”. I like it.  Even though it is just a .22LR – it adds to the AR-look and profile.

Sights consist of a fully adjustable rear and a A2-style front post. When I first checked out mine the rear sight was adjusted for windage way to one side. I thought that this could not be right – so I set it centered in the mount. I soon found out at the range that it came from the factory correct after I was shooting WAY to the left. Anyways – I had no issues with the sights and have no desire to change them – other than trying out a red dot sight or two. I like the looks of the Vortex Strikefire red dot. More on my testing in a bit.

Here are some specs from the Smith & Wesson website:

  • Model:M&P15
  • Caliber:.22LR
  • Capacity:25 Round Detachable Magazine
  • Action:Blow Back Semi-Auto
  • Barrel Length:16″
  • Barrel Twist:1 in 15″
  • Front Sight:Adjustable A2 Post
  • Rear Sight:Adjustable Dual Aperture
  • Overall Length:33.75″ Extended/30.5″ Collapsed
  • Stock:6-Position CAR Stock
  • Weight:5.5 lbs.
  • Barrel Material:Carbon Steel
  • Finish:Matte Black
  • Purpose:Recreational
    Hunting

I took the M&P to Georgia to my brothers land to test out. I had purchased a few extra magazines as well as an ample supply of .22LR ammunition. I decided to test the M&P15-22 with CCI Blazer, CCI Mini-Mag HP’s, and CCI Tactical ammo. I planned to test fire by firing 200 rounds of the CCI Blazers –  clean the weapon, fire 200 rounds of the Mini-Mags – clean, then finish with 200 rounds of the CCI Tactical.

Here were the results:

  • CCI Blazer ammo – 1 fail to eject out of 200 rounds. This was around round 160 during the initial break-in period.
  • CCI Mini-Mag’s –     0 failures of any kinds – perfect.
  • CCI Tactical –           0 failures of any kind – perfect

I consider this reliability test fantastic. 600 shots and only 1 failure – and that one failure within the first 200 rounds using cheap ammo – excellent!

Accuracy was just fine and what was to be expected. I did not do a bunch of group tests to show you per ammo type – I just wanted to see if I could hit what I was aiming at. To provide one example – my nephew was shooting an old 12 gauge and I hung up 2 empty shells from a distance of about 30 yards. I was using the M&P and he was using an old target .22 that belongs to his dad. I hit my shell the very first shot. He was impressed – especially after missing his over and over again and then I hit his within a few additional shots.

I had no problems with the magazines or function of the gun whatsoever. Magazines were easy to load, easy to remove and easy to insert. No issues. The controls of the M&P15-22 are….well……just like an AR-15. Magazine release……same. Safety……same. Cocking……same.

One of the advantages of the M&P15-22 over other .22’s is the ability to get used to an AR-type system for a lower cost. Practicing at the range – engaging and disengaging the safety many times over while shooting inexpensive .22LR has its benefits.

The quad rails provide plenty of area to mount lasers, grips, flashlights…..whatever. I like it – but they are not the most comfortable thing to hold while shooting.

My 12-year old son enjoyed shooting the M&P and did really well after a few rounds getting used to it.

Rourke having fun with the M&P15-22

Oh – for all you lefties out there (like me) – I had no issues shooting the right-hand ejecting M&P15-22.

My overall impression of the firearm has been very positive. I am really looking forward to my next trip to Georgia to shoot it again.

Take care all -

Rourke

 


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The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine – Not all of us have access or funds for personal firearms training. This book is an excellent teacher and provides great instruction and ideas.

Gerber Prodigy Survival Knife: This is a very rugged and durable medium-size bladed knife. Great price.

Condor Recon Chest Rig: Condor used to get torn apart for producing crap. Times have changed and they are now known for making quality products at great prices.

Mora Military Green Camp Knife: A classic. Excellent blade for so many tasks where a durable and sharp knife is needed.

Nebo ProTec HP 190 Lumen Weapons Mounted Tactical Light: I have two of these – one for my S&W M&P9 and one for my rail system on my AR. Extremely bright and work great. Great price too.

 

Washington Times reports soldiers have to modify M4 to make it reliable

Monday, February 24th, 2014

The M4 is a fantastic weapon and many thousands of soldiers and contractors use and love it. Regardless – there is evidence that many soldiers are modifying their weapons to make them more reliable and accurate depending upon the conditions of use. I have heard of military policies disallowing the use of high quality accessories such as Magpul PMAG magazines – and NOT allowing our servicemen the best equipment to do their jobs.

Soldiers inspect Kirkuk landfills

The Washington Times article is reporting that there is evidence that M4 carbines manufactured by Colt  provided sub-par performance. Even with this knowledge – the military continued to issue them to soldiers. Beyond that – evidence shows that the M4 is being issued for mission objectives that involve required work beyond the design of the weapon. 

Although Colt lost its exclusive contract with the military in 2013 – I do not know how the performance of the M4 has changed since FN has begun supplying the M4. All of the negative reports and studies discussed in the article were published prior to FN coming on board.

 

Here are few excerpts from the article:

Army Senior Warrant Officer Russton B. Kramer, a 20-year Green Beret, has learned that if you want to improve your chances to survive, it’s best to personally make modifications to the Army’s primary rifle — the M4 carbine.

The warrant officer said he and fellow Special Forces soldiers have a trick to maintain the M4A1 — the commando version: They break the rules and buy off-the-shelf triggers and other components and overhaul the weapon themselves.

“The reliability is not there,” Warrant Officer Kramer said of the standard-issue model. “I would prefer to use something else. If I could grab something else, I would.”

Documents obtained by The Washington Times show the Pentagon was warned before the Afghanistan and Iraq wars that the iterations of the M4 carbine were flawed and might jam or fail, especially in the harsh desert conditions that both wars inflicted.

“There are enhancements you can do to your weapon to bring that reliability level up. While we’re not authorized to change our weapon or modify them in any manner, obviously there are some guys out there, including myself, we’ll add some things to our guns to bring that reliability level up,” he told The Times. “I’d rather face six of my peers in a court martial versus being 6 feet down.”

 

Should this effect your decision as to buy an AR or not? In my opinion – not in the least.  The AR-type firearm “fits the bill” for my needed application and has been extremely reliable.

BOTTOM LINE: Our service men and women put their lives on the line protecting this country and ensuring the freedom it provides. They should be provided the best equipment to do the job…..period.

The full Washington Time article can be seen HERE.

 – – – Rourke

 

 


 

brownells-mag

Brownell’s Aluminum 30 round AR Magazine – only $9.99!!      

These Brownell’s 30 round AR magazines are an incredible bargain on a quality AR-magazine. Remember several months ago when these things were going for $40-$50? 

From Brownells.com – 

A battle rifle is only as reliable as its magazine – make sure the one in your rifle is from Brownells. When the difference between a “bang” and a “click” is life and death, a magazine failure is more than inconvenient – it can be fatal. So when we decided to build our own AR-15/M16 magazines, reliability was our first priority.

Some of us have sons and daughters serving overseas or in law enforcement, and we aimed to build the kind of magazine we’d trust their lives with. We started with a clean slate, then worked out the bugs on the drawing board and the test range before we offered a single mag for sale, so you get a magazine of uncompromising quality and reliability that’s built to last and ready to run hard.

When failure is not an option, these magazines deliver on the range, in the field, in a tactical situation, under fire. Load these smooth-feeding magazines to maximum capacity and fire the full 30 rounds you expect. No jams, no misfeeds, no hangups. 

 

 

If interested……

click-here-button

 

 

 

 

SHTF ONE GUN DEFENSE

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

****This post originally appeared over at SeasonedCitizenPrepper.com. It can be seen in its original form HERE.

 

SHTF ONE GUN DEFENSE

BY GREG RENTCHLER, Editor at Large

thesouthwesttactical.com

 

SHTF gun, survival gun, survival shotgun,

 

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my BOL  thinking about a one-gun solution for defending the family in time of SHTF. After much discussion with my survival family and colleagues, we collectively concluded that there is no such thing as a one-gun solution to address the plethora of variations of circumstances involved in a SHTF scenario.

 

Because times are tough and getting tougher, I decided that I would attempt to create a simple, cheap, and versatile weapon system, consisting of just one gun. The accompanying photos should give you an idea of what I have put together in hopes that many will see the attributes and limitations to this problem.

 

Let’s be clear. I don’t have all the answers. But I do have a background that that should legitimize my conclusions. So, just consider these words from a guy that wants to share an idea, based on a lifetime of firearms use, study and instructing.

 

You’ll immediately see that I have chosen a shotgun for my “one-gun option” or (OGO). The gun is a 12 gauge Mossberg/Maverick HS-12 , over/under, 18.5 inch improved cylinder barrel chokes(size of opening at end of barrel or “muzzle”). The gun is equipped with two picatinny rails, one fixed under the bottom barrel and the other on the top rear of the receiver. This is a clever rail on the receiver. The rail is cut thru with a “V”, allowing a sighted picture thru the rail to the front sight, which is  fiber optic, thereby creating a very bright, clear, accurate sight picture!

 

shtf-gun-2-1024x768

My general premise here is that a shotgun is the most versatile type of firearm produced. Let me tell you why-

* a wide range and type of ammo available to shotguns make it capable of taking game from birds/rabbits/squirrels(with birdshot), to coyotes/2-4 legged(buckshot), to larger mammals as elk/ moose/bear (slugs, either solid or hollow point).

Author’s note- I once killed a Corvette with a shotgun using a slug. What a surprise to the driver dirtbag and unfortunate for the owner.

* ease of use- simple design, break open action, slide safety, manually activated triggers

* shotguns can be used as less than lethal devices (bean bag or rubber rounds)

* less expensive than assault rifles and many handguns.

* reliability+

* ammo available in every store and every farmhouse

* accuracy is very good to excellent with sabot slugs

* extreme foot pounds of energy at close distance and with slugs at distance

* most terminal firearm made- some restrictions( I know, how terminal does a firearm need to be)

* can launch line, signal device, fire starter, club, water portage!

 

Now for building this gun, I enhanced it considering my thoughts for its use as a SHTF weapon:

I immediately test fired the gun for reliability, accuracy(where it printed with shot and slugs). Then, I applied camo colors using wide shoelaces to break up the paint and outline. A 200 lumen tac light was attached to the forward rail. I felt this gun should remain simple and effective. The light gives the operator surprise to the target and a very quick sight picture for same. A side saddle type of ammo carrier was affixed the the stock(L or R side) for backup reloading and as important, the ammo is a mix of #4 buck, 00 buck and slugs. The gun is rugged and reliable. A sling could be attached easily but is not necessary on this 6.5 pound weapon. The butt stock is hollow reducing weight and allowing for emergency storage .

shtf-gun-3-1024x768

You could even put a bayonet on the muzzle using the fixed bottom rail! You might note from the photo that I keep two rounds secured by rubber band at the muzzle end of the barrels. Those two rounds are bird shot that I keep for quail egg eating crows in the area. The gun is fast to action, easy to lash down, safe, simple and powerful.

shtf-gun-4-e1370215676794

If you look very closely on the butt stock, you will see a distinctive “Z” painted in bright green.

 

I hope you have enjoyed this offering as much as I do reading and discussing yours!! Be safe and Train!

Greg

” be the victor not the victim”

 

Guest Post: You’re doing it wrong. Another article on gear…gun gear

Monday, May 27th, 2013

You’re doing it wrong.  Another article on gear…gun gear. 

By Solomon Shorter

 

I know what you’re thinking right after you read the title.  Another guy that thinks he’s going to tell me what gun I need or the type of training I need to defend my family in a SHTF situation.

Nope.  Not me.  That’s a personal decision and all I can do is wish you well.

What I do want to touch on is gear.  In particular the stuff that you’ll be wearing when you’re trying to take care of business in those bad days that we hope will never come.

First off, think like a Marine…a Marine in training and not in constant combat.

 6601619863_3e4dd4c618_b

If you take a look at the picture above you’ll see a common setup that’s all the rage today.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my gear, but what you’re looking at isn’t exactly what I would recommend during the days of SHTF.  In the gun world we’re seeing a mixture of cultures.  You’re seeing the competition, combat, law enforcement, security and sports shooting cultures all swirling together.  Instead of providing solutions its causing confusion.  A quick critique of that setup goes a little like this.  The weapon is unprotected in that style of holster, the pistol mags are retained only by the tension of the fabric, the rifle mags are good to go but they’re also exposed to the elements, the first aid pouch is good and so is the utility pouch.  The knife is OK if you’re looking to use that for defensive purposes but its limited to only protect in a weapon retention scenario and not for utility tasks and as a final line of defense tool.

The above photo is of the popular “battle belt”. Below you see a chest rig.

 hg_thechestrig_03

Chest rigs are extremely popular today but have some of the same disadvantages as the battle belt.  They’re evolving too, at the beginning of our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan they were high on the chest but as things have dragged on they’re getting closer and closer to the belt line.  That’s not by accident.  Troops have been suffering a higher rate of back injuries and many blame it on the chest rig.  But I haven’t gotten to the solution so let me get there now.  The answer is the old Alice Gear of Vietnam fame.

 alice

 

That simple belt that you see above holds a total of six M-16 magazines, two canteens and in the back you’ll find the old style medical pouch.  On the suspenders you can hang a full size utility blade such as a Ka-Bar which can be used as a last line of defense and if you replace the canteen with the Bianchi holster (which you can find for whatever full size pistol you own) then you’ll also have your side arm with you but protected from the elements.

 Bianchi-14563-rw-18635-15312

The best thing about using the Alice style setup for your SHTF scenario, you can mod it to fit your needs, your equipment is protected, its miles more comfortable, its designed to be worn while doing actual work around the house or out in the field, it doesn’t place any additional strain on your back and last but not least its cheap.  Even if you buy new items, you’ll save money when compared to the new style gear that’s so popular today.  So cheap in fact that you can have a couple of sets of each piece for the price of one of those kydex holsters.

So think about it.  Sometimes the new style is not the right style when it comes to preparing properly for SHTF.

 


 

 


 

The above post was an entry into the ModernSurvivalOnline Preparedness Guest Post Writing Contest.

First Place winner will receive:

Second Place will receive:

 

Third Place will receive:

 

Commentary – Thoughts on the shotgun as a “one gun” arsenal

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

A common thread with lots of comments at forums all over the net is “If you could only have one gun….what would it be?” I try to stay away from discussions like that because they tend to end up with bickering and displays of juvenile antics.

The truth is most of us do not have to have only one gun – so the discussions are somewhat fruitless. However – for those on a budget, reality sets in and a “one gun arsenal” may be all that can be afforded.  So – for them – the discussion of a one gun arsenal is very important.

Everyone has different needs and situations they may find themselves in. So – what one may choose as a one gun arsenal may not work so well for someone else. A popular concept is the good ole shotgun as a “go to” gun.

Not a bad choice in my opinion.

mossburg 500

Mossberg 500

The shotgun is a good consideration for numerous reasons:

  • several quality models available at relatively  inexpensive prices
  • generally very reliable and durable
  • lots of accessories to modify the shotgun to fit your own needs
  • diverse selection of ammunition to meet varying needs
  • single models can change barrels to meet varying needs
  • ammunition availability at publication time excellent
  • firearms can be modified to meet the needs of many missions

Shotgun shells can be purchased with different loads from small bird shot to powerful slugs and can reach distances from point blank to over 100 yards. The shotgun is truly one of the most versatile firearms out there. With a single gun small game can be taken close up, a home can be defended at varying distances (depending on loads used), and a deer can be dropped at 100 yards.

remington870expresstac

Remington 870 Tactical Express

I have a Remington 870 Tactical Express. Great shotgun and purchased for well under $400. I am now looking at getting a semi-auto shotgun added to my system.

If you are on a budget – a good shotgun is an excellent choice.

Rourke

YouTube Video: Price Gouging on Firearms and Ammunition During a Constitutional Crisis

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Certainly a viable topic – ammunition availability seems to be getting better. Well – I haven’t seen any .22LR in  couple months. Regardless – I saw one online supplier that is supposed to sell ammo “cheaper than dirt” had basic PMC 9mm 50-round boxes for over $60 a box. Ridiculous.

Anyways – here’s the video:

 

SURVIVAL PRIORITIES: A Series of Articles on Smart Survival

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Survival Priorities

A SERIES OF ARTICLES ON SMART SURVIVAL

Dealing With and Overcoming “tachypsychia”

 

 

This is a must talk about subject when one discusses survival events, or personal involvement in a survival/combative situation. Let’s start with the technical definition: Tachypsychia is a neurological condition that alters the perception of time, usually introduced by physical exertion, drug use, or traumatic event. For someone affected by tachypsychia, time perceived by the individual either lengthens, making actions appear to slow down, or contract, objects appearing as moving in a speeding blur. It is believed that tachypsychia is induced by a combination of high levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, usually during periods of great physical stress and/or in violent confrontation.

Also called the “fight or flight” response of the body to an event our mind considers life threatening, tachypsychia is believed to include numerous physical changes. Upon being stimulated by fear or anger, the adrenal medulla may automatically produce the hormone epinephrine(aka- adrenalin) directly into the blood stream. Common physical changes may range from increased heart and blood pressure rates, which may cause the fainting or something close which could cause someone with these symptoms, to quit or shutdown. This is not an advantageous condition to experience when trying to survive! Dilation of bronchial passages and the pupils then causes a higher absorption of oxygen into the blood stream( good) and allows more light into the pupils, leaving us with visual exclusion or tunnel vision(bad). We can also experience a release of glucose into our system generating extra energy.

*It is common for an individual to experience auditory exclusion or sensitivity. It is also common for individuals to experience an increase in pain tolerance, loss of color vision, short term memory loss, decreased fine motor skills, decreased communication skills, or decreased coordination. The most common experience during tachypsychia is the feeling that time has either increased or slowed down brought by the increased brain activity cause by epinephrine, or the severe decrease in brain activity caused by the “ catecholamine washout” occurring after the event. It is common for individuals to have serious misrepresentations of their surroundings during the events, through a combination or their altered perception of time, as well as transient partial color blindness and tunnel vision. *

 

This ,my co-preppers, is the issue of survival!

It is my personal observations that prolonged periods of tachypsychia or several occurrences within a short time period(routine combat patrol) is the major factor relating to post traumatic syndrome. Just my observations.

Tachypsychia is a mainstream subject in my tactical firearms classes and I feel a most important one to understand. When I introduce this subject, discuss it and hear first-hand accounts that we can all relate to, I then let everyone know there is something we can do to decrease or minimize the effects of tachypsychia.

I am and will always come back to “TRAINING”! And by that, I mean good, relational, appropriate, meaningful training. Everyone wants to shoot around cars, repel from helicopters, leap tall buildings and spray rounds in the vicinity of the target. Of course, this is what you’re going to get from a seasoned Marine and LE. This is what I mean:

Basic Skills- one round at a time, deliberately, slowly, accurately, sight picture, sight alignment, center mass, good solid skills.

Advanced Skills- improve on your basic skills! Become more accurate, faster, smoother, better.

People can spout all day long about advanced, expensive equipment, lightning fast methods, secret handshakes and video games. If I can impress just one reader with this article that “meaningful training” is your best friend when experiencing a life threatening event, then I have fulfilled my mission and made at least one person safer.

So, to help manage or cope with tachypsychia, I have listed a few points that should help you:

 

  • Get in better physical condition. Improved cardio will assist in minimizing the negative effects of stress.
  • Understand what is happening to your body in times of acute survival.
  • The best weapon and caliber to use to defend yourself is the weapon and caliber you have at the time it is needed. Training is the important factor!
  • Military video games will not make you a better warrior- idiot!
  • Even if you train a little, if the training was meaningful, some part of that training will come to your aid in the form of (don’t like this term) muscle memory. It will also be apparent what is happening to you physically and that it is not life threatening.
  • The more quality time you spend training with your equipment , the better and safer you will become and most importantly your confidence will become positively grounded. Hence, a better warrior!

 

 

Respectfully submitted,

Greg Rentchler- Editor at Large  -NV ModernSurvivalOnline.com

thesouthwesttactical.com


smalllogcabin

 

 

 

 

From the Supply House…..

 

300 Lumen Mini Cree Led Flashlight Torch Adjustable Focus Zoom Light Lamp – under $6.00

LifeStraw Personnal Water Filter – less than $25.00 FREE SHIPPING

Single Point Tactical Sling – less than $6.00 FREE SHIPPING 

Been to a gun shop lately?

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

I live in South Carolina and have visited several gun shops as well as stores that carry firearms and ammunition.  All are pretty much the same – no semi-automatic firearms (centerfire or rimfire), no magazines, and several calibers of ammunition virtually absent.

gunsandammo

Don’t see this anymore.

With the threat of a new Assault Weapons Ban just over the horizon, there has been a massive rush on guns, magazines and ammunition – specifically AK’s, AR’s and the like. 7.62 x 39mm, .223/5.56mm, and 9mm ammunition have disappeared off the shelves along with .22LR.  Any and all magazines holding over 10 rounds are gone or selling online for big bucks.

.....nor this.

…..nor this.

I felt pretty squared away with all of the above. I felt that way until I suddenly couldn’t buy any more. I have been lucky. Over the past two weeks I have almost doubled my ammunition inventory due to networking with others who let me know locations where shipments arrived.

Most online retailers are totally sold out and are not even taking back orders any more. I have several order in and have no idea when shipments will be made.

Magazines for AR’s, AK’s and pretty much anything else semi-automatic are gone. PMAG’s are selling upwards of $50 on Gunbroker. Crazy. Retailers that get them in sell out quickly.

MAG210

I have a friend that managed to buy an AR a couple weeks ago and ordered some magazines online. Now he has a wonderful firearm, and magazines – with no ammunition.

Events like this are why we prepare. I sincerely hope that all this “panic buying” is all for not. If you find yourself not in the position you feel you need to be when its comes to guns, ammunition, and magazines – get to it and do the best you can.

Rourke


smalllogcabin

 

 

 

 

From the Supply House…..

Smith & Wesson Bullseye Extreme Ops 4.1″ 40% Serrated Black Tanto Blade

Israeli Bandage Battle Dressing, First Aid Compression Bandage

Without Rule of Law: Advanced Skills to Help You Survive

Video of the Week: Chuck Woolery on Assault Weapons

Saturday, January 5th, 2013

I grew up watching Chuck Woolery on TV – love the fact that he is one of the rare pro-2nd Amendment celebrities out there.

Thanks Chuck!!

Rourke

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evEg1VNfX3o

Shooting the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 9mm carbine

Monday, December 10th, 2012

So many guns, not enough money. Well – this is true unless you know someone and can borrow theirs. A couple weeks ago I had the chance to borrow a friends Kel-Tec Sub-2000 9mm Carbine. I have been interested in owning one of these for the past coupe years but it just never happened.

Over a weekend I was able to take a look at the Kel-Tec, handle it, shoot it, and get an overall impression. I was not able to do a full-bore review but certainly got a feel for it.

The Kel-Tec Sub-2000 is a 9mm carbine which accepts all Glock 17 magazines (17 or 33 round). There are other models and calibers of the Sub-2000 available. One of the things that interested me in the Sub-2000 was that one could have a “long” gun and a side arm of not only the same caliber, but taking the same magazine as well. There is certainly an advantage there.

Many make decisions on firearms based on appearance. I certainly want to like the looks of a gun, but I gotta tell you – this thing is Ugly with a capital U. Know what? Don’t care. Beyond the fact its not mine so my money wasn’t involved – the thing works. More on that later.

One of the most attractive and unique features of the Kel-Tec is its ability to fold in half to a very compact and storable. When folded the carbine can easily fit in a backpack – even a small one. In fact – a backpack could hold the carbine, a couple of 33-rd magazines and a few 17 round mags as well. You’d still have room left for some other supplies.

If you haven’t gotten the sense yet – I like this gun. It is lightweight and quick handling. Grip feels good. This is no Remington 700 and pulling it up to cheek certainly is not as comfortable. For what it is – I had no problem getting a sight picture.

 Speaking of site picture – take a look at those sights. Gotta say it – UGLY. They are functional but I do see them as a weakness. The rear sight sticks up and looks to be saying, “Please – hit me up against something so I will break!!” I am not saying the rear – or the front sight are delicate by any means – just say’n.

The mag well of course is in the grip. It is flared and  accepts magazines easily. No issues.

Rear sight is of the peep variety. It is not adjustable and there is only one size available. For the guns range – it works. The front sight is adjustable for both windage and elevation. The gun was right on when I received it so no adjustment were made. The front site  is orange in color and gives a nice contrast when looking through the black peep hole.

 My shooting was done entirely within 50 yards. Hitting center of mass? Easy. My brother shot it better than I an nailed 20-oz bottles and soda cans at 25 yards with ease and repeatedly.

I would like to be able to ad optics to the gun – but there is no easy method to do that without modification and purchase of other parts.  Besides – adding and optic would negate being able to fold it.

 

I found the gun reliable, handy, compact, portable, and able to send rounds downrange in a hurry. So – what didn’t I like about it?  There were a few things:

  • The trigger could be much improved. It is heavy.
  • The charging handle moves back and forth with the bolt. I see this could get caught on clothing while firing and potentially cause a malfunction or stoppage of some kind.
  • I am a lefty – and the mag release is on the left side. When I first shot the gun the mag kept falling out of the gun until I realized the side of my left hand was hitting the mag release during firing. Once noticed – I changing my shooting position but this is a problem (for lefties).

That is about it. I like the Kel-Tec Sub-2000. If I can find one at a decent price I would like to pick one up.

 

 - Rourke


From the Supply House -

The Home Schooled Shootist: Training to Fight with a Carbine  – book

Without Rule of Law: Advanced Skills to Help You Survive – book

Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart – book

 

 

Equipment Review: ProMag M&P15-22 32-round magazine

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

The Smith & Wesson M&P15-22 is one of my favorite guns to shoot. I have a few thousand rounds through mine and it continues to perform extremely well. Is it 100% reliable? No – but I know of no rimfire that is. I’ll tell you what – it is extremely close – maybe 99.8%. The factory capacity magazine hold 25 .22LR rounds and much like the rifle has an appearance that lends itself much to the AR/M4 appearance.

 

Like any other red-blooded American male (and quite a few females out there) – higher capacity is welcomed when it comes to firearms. Looking around at my local Academy Sports store I saw the ProMag S&W M&P15-22 32 round magazine.

 

I have never had any ProMag products before as from what I have read online their reputation is not the best. Looking at the magazine in the store it looked to be of good quality and build. In fact – it looked to be a VERY close clone of the factory magazine other than being a bit longer. At a price for $14.99 – I couldn’t pass it up and bought one.

 

 

Appearance

Over Thanksgiving I spent some time at my bug out location in Georgia and was able to test the ProMag magazine. As stated already – placing the factory magazine and the ProMag next to each other they look very similar. I actually mentioned to my brother that I would not be surprised if they were made in the same factory on the same equipment with minor cosmetic changes. Likely they are not – but the point is they are very similar.

 

Fit and Feel

 The ProMag M&P15-22 32 round magazine looks to be well made. I work in a polymer manufacturing facility – and reviewing the magazine for any molding issues – it looked very good. Lines are clean, seams are tight – no issues. Inserting the magazine into my M&P15-22 it fit securely with no excess wiggle or wobble. Again, very similar to the factory magazine.

 

Purpose & Reliability

The obvious purpose of any magazine is to supply ammunition to the firing mechanism. The ProMag 32 rounder does just that at a capacity that is 7 rounds of .22LR higher than the standard factory magazine. This should be done with durably and reliably. 

 

I loaded and shot right around 300 rounds through the single ProMag 32-round magazine I bought. Reliability was excellent. The only issues I had occurred on the very first, initial 32 rounds. In fact – I had 3 failures for the bolt to move forward on the first 6 shots fired. After that – flawless. I believe that the cause of those failures involved the magazine lips slightly rubbing up against the bolt on initial shots, thus slowing the bolt down. After just a few shots the feed lips were “broken in” and there were no more issues. 

 

Summary

I am very pleased with the ProMag’s performance. Shooting the M&P15-22 with the 32 round magazine felt no different than the standard 25 round factory magazine. Yes – it is longer but the feel of the gun really changed little. Obviously shooting prone, walking through brush,  navigating any type of tight spaces could prove a bit troublesome with the longer magazine. What I have found thus far – at least with this single example – is a cheaper alternative to the standard factory magazine at a higher capacity. 

 

At a cost of $14.99 – I went ahead and purchased another to go with my 6 factory magazines. If you cannot find one at your local sporting goods store or gun shop – MidwayUSA.com has them and currently on sale for $12.99.

 

 - Rourke

 

 

 

 

AK-47 question…..

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

Question for everyone…..

 

Do you have an AK-47 and if so what is the brand/model and do you recommend it?

 

Thanks – Rourke

Special Report: Building a Survival Battery

Monday, July 9th, 2012

Building a Survival Battery

By John Rourke

http://modernsurvivalonline.com

 

 
Firearms must be an integral part of any survival and preparedness system.

 

Why? The reason is simple.

 

Consider a solar flare or EMP attack which causes most all electronics to fail-

 

The power grid is down. Communication methods do not work. All businesses are closed. No method for pumping gas. Groceries cannot be purchased. Medical prescriptions will not be filled. Most automobiles won’t start. No TV. No drive thru’s. No calling your loved ones on your cell phone. No going to work. No running up to the corner store for a gallon of milk and loaf of bread. Life as you know it has ended.

 

How are people going to deal with this situation? Within hours panic will set in as no one will know what happened. People will be displaced from their homes with few methods of traveling other than to walk. Within days food, water, and medical supplies will start to run out and desperation will set in. It is a cold hard fact that people who are not prepared will either die or more likely they will look to take from others. Guess who “others” is. It is you and you must be prepared to protect your supplies and your family.

 

Survival situations vary widely as to conditions, threat level, environmental specifics and longevity. During Hurricane Katrina in 2005 gangs of looters violently rampaged throughout New Orleans– even in broad daylight. Armed robberies and even sniper fire went on for days and gunfire could be heard throughout the city. The point is that in any serious situation – predators will take advantage and violence will spread.

 

Due to the unfortunate fact that no one knows what the future holds or what type of situation one may find themselves in – I approach the structure of a survival battery with diversity and flexibility in mind. It is a requirement for a battery of firearms to be able to function successfully in as many situations as possible. For the rest of this article – this is a given.

 

 

My preparedness philosophy regarding firearms and selection may not work for everyone. Firearms are a very personal thing to most people. What follows is a general recommended structure for building a survival battery.

 

  1. Semi-Automatic Rifle/Carbine – Used for ranges short (0 yards) to medium (150 yards+) depending upon specific model and caliber.

 

Required characteristics:

 

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 150+ yards with either open sights or optics
    • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 15 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
    • Quick Handling – A long gun is not nearly as maneuverable as a short gun. For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – shorter firearms make such tasks easier.
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort needed to carry it around.

 

Preferred Model: Stag Arms Model 2 5.56mm M4-variant

 

 

Having owned the Stag Arms Model 2L pictured above for 3 years I have found it to be extremely reliable and accurate. My preferred firearm for this category would be any quality AR-15/M4-type weapon. I prefer the AR-platform of weapons as it has a proven track record of reliability and performance. Another advantage to the AR is the availability of many accessories available so each firearm can be tuned to fit its owner. Quality high capacity magazines are very plentiful and as of this writing are very inexpensive (due to varying political climates this could change at any time).

 

Largest drawback for the AR-type firearm is the lower powered cartridge,which limits its range, and the cost of the firearm itself. AR variants are not inexpensive.

 

 

Alternative #1: Ruger Mini-14

 

A very popular and capable semi-automatic firearm is the Ruger Mini-14. Costing a few hundred dollars less than most any AR-variant the Mini-14 is reliable (with proper magazine selection) and with some recent manufacturing improvements very accurate. The Mini-14 fires the .223 Remington cartridge which is nearly identical to the AR’s 5.56mm round.

 

 

 

 

Alternative #2: AK-47 variant

 

The AK-47 is very popular and has an exceptional track record of reliability in most any condition found on the planet. Firing the 7.62x 39mm cartridge – the AK edges out the AR platform in the power category. The AK-47 is worthy of consideration when looking to purchase a semi-automatic rifle/carbine.

 

 

 

  1. Pistol – Used for short range situations such as house clearing and when a long gun is not available. Generally carried on the hip ready to be accessed when needed. Allows hands to be free and still be armed.

 

 

Required characteristics:

 

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to a maximum range of 25-30 yards
    • High Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 12-17 rounds
    • Quick Handling – For moving though tight spaces, room to room, and getting in and out of a vehicle – pistols are excellent.
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around – and the quicker the pistol can be moved into position.

 

Preferred Model: Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm semi-automatic pistol

 

The Smith & Wesson M&P9 9mm is a fantastic pistol. Extremely reliable and superbly accurate – the M&P is an excellent choice for a sidearm. The ergonomics are fantastic and recoil is negligible. Trigger pull is better than acceptable and quick follow up shots are easy. 17 rounds of 9mm are held in each magazine. Cost is in right in line with other polymer framed combat pistols.

 

Alternatives: Pistols are very much like cars – everyone has their personal preference and this is one of the reasons there are so many to choose from. There are many reliable quality pistols on the market today. Most any of them would do just fine as a defensive pistol.

 

A few that fit my requirements are as follows:

 

  • Glock Model 17
  • SpringfieldXD9
  • Ruger SR9
  • FN FNP 9
  • Taurus 24/7

 

 

 

  1. Shotgun – Meant for short ranges from point blank to 25-30 yards. Shotguns can fire shells of different load types for different purposes. Due to the ability to fill many roles – the shotgun is often looked at as the most important and versatile piece in a survival battery.

 

 

Required characteristics:

 

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds
       without disruption
    • Full Cylinder Bore – This means no choke on the end of the barrel.
    • Magazine Capacity – minimum of 5 rounds in the tube
    • Quick Handling – 18” – 20” barrel maximum length and full stock only – no pistol grip stocks.

 

Preferred Model: Remington 870 Express Tactical 12 gauge Pump-Action

 

 The Remington 870 is one of the most popular shotguns in the world and is used extensively for purposes such as hunting, sport/target shooting, and self-defense. The 870 is a shotgun with a proven track record of reliability and performance second to no other.  Alternatives: Mossberg 500

 

 

 

The Mossberg 500 carries an excellent reputation for performance and value. Available in many different models – the Mossberg 500 can be purchased with a multitude of options and due to high aftermarket support can be outfitted to fit each owners needs.

  

 

 

  1. Bolt Action/Long Range Rifle – For engaging targets out to 300 yards and beyond. Excellent for hunting large game.

 

Required characteristics:

 

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit targets effectively out to 300+ yards
    • Caliber –  .308Winchester

 

Preferred Model: No preference

 

 

There are so many great bolt action rifles like the Winchester Model 70 pictured above – can’t pick just one. Ruger, Marlin, Savage, Mossberg, and Remington all make rifles of varying prices and each carrying unique features of their own.

 

Prices for these quality firearms can vary from just a few hundred dollars up to a few thousand. Budget-minded folks can buy a bolt action .308 with a scope for under $400 and be able to hit a gallon milk jug at 200-300 yards.

 

 

 

  1. Utility Firearm – Versatile firearm to be used for training, harvesting small game, potential – but not recommended – for self defense.

 

Required characteristics:

 

    • Reliable – must be able to fire many hundreds of rounds without disruption
    • Accurate – must be able to engage and hit small targets effectively out to 100 yards with either open sights or optics
    • Magazine Capacity – minimum 10 round magazine capacity with a preference for 20-30 rounds
    • Lightweight – The lighter the weight the less effort will need to be made to carry it around.

 

Preferred Model: Ruger 10/22 .22LR Semi-Auto Carbine

 

 

The Ruger 10/22 is arguably the most popular rimfire rifle ever sold. With its rotary 10-round magazine this carbine can fire literally thousands of rounds without experiencing failures of any kind (proper cleaning needed of course). A proven firearm – the 10/22 has good accuracy and due to tremendous aftermarket support can be accessorized per the owners requirements.

 

Alternatives: Although there are several very good rimfire carbines and rifles on the market made by major gun manufacturers – the Ruger 10/22 in my opinion is inexpensive, ultra-reliable, accurate and fills the role of “Utility Firearm” like no other. You can’t go wrong with the Ruger.

  

These have been my recommendations for a basic survival battery. As already stated – not everyone will agree with it nor will it work for everyone. Folks living in the city will certainly require a different composition to their battery than those living in rural or country areas. This should serve as a basic guideline to assist in developing your own survival battery.

  

A few random thoughts on building a survival battery:

 

  • Safety, safety, safety – Common sense I know but when dealing with firearms that have no compassion for you or your family – the person behind the trigger must. If unfamiliar with firearms – take a course and learn to handle your firearms appropriately and responsibly.

 

  • Ammunition – A rifle without ammunition is a very expensive and poorly made “club”. Find what ammunition your firearm likes (reliability and accuracy) and stock up on at least a few thousand rounds of each caliber for each firearm.

 

  • Magazines – Several spare magazines should be purchased for every single magazine-fed firearm in your survival battery. Factory magazines are often the most reliable however some aftermarket models work extremely well. Research your particular weapon to determine what to buy. Regardless – stock up as many as you can afford as what you have may be all you can get should a serious situation develop.

 

  • Take care of your firearms – After each use each firearm needs to be cleaned and lubricated. The better you take care of them – the more likely they will work to take care of you. Cleaning kits can be found at any local gun shop or purchased online very inexpensively.

 

  • Optics – Make sure you can shoot each firearm accurately prior to placing any optic on it. Optics such as red dot sights and scopes are great – but they can fail. Should your optics fail – be ready to use standard open sights.

 

  • Equipping members of your group – Assuming a survival battery of firearms are meant for more than just one person – how should each person be armed? One pistol and one long gun is my suggestion.

 

 

Remember……gun control is being able to hit your target!

 

 

Weekend playing airsoft……

Saturday, May 5th, 2012

This past weekend I spent some time playing Airsoft. If you are not familiar with airsoft it is similar to paintball except the guns used are very realistic and fire small bb’s at varying velocities (200 – 500 fps). Yup, people take these airsoft guns out in fields and buildings and shoot each other.

I had a ball.

I have seen that police departments, SWAT units and other tactical units train with airsoft. Why? There are aspects of airsoft that as a hobby and fun activity makes it a positive training tool for preparedness. Many of the available airsoft guns are very close replica’s of the real deal. Magazines are shaped the same. Magazine are inserted the same and also are released from magazine well the same. Optics are often the same along with all controls.

My M4 airsoft carbine......

So – it’s a fun game/sport to play. It is competitive and takes strategy and sometimes a bit of luck to be successful.

I will be playing again this weekend and looking forward to it.

Check out this short video:

Rourke

Guest Post: I REALLY NEED A GUN SAFE BUT THEY ARE WAY TO EXPENSIVE….

Thursday, April 5th, 2012
When we go to the range the topics of conversation we have are predictable – Weapons – Ammo – Targets – Range Fees (always a winner) – Women – Harleys – And last but not least – Gun Safes.

 

Most of us have our own. A few use the extra space in a friends to store their weapons (never really understood that thinking myself but it is better then trying to explain to the police and your insurance company why your weapons weren’t secured in the first place). Then there are the guy’s who won’t store their weapons out of their homes and their sight and can’t afford a secure safe.

 

The cost of a secure gun safe can run in excess of a couple of thousand dollars. Not to many people I know can afford that these days and if they could under the current political environment they would most likely spend it on another weapon. Then it happened. Out of the blue one of the guys says that he uses a Delta Jobox for his safe. It cost him less then five hundred dollars.

 

I am in construction. I can tell you truthfully that these things are as impenetrable as most gun safes . I have had them on job sites  chained to a post and have returned after a weekend off to find that someone tried to break into it without any success. I have discovered pry bar attemps on them . I have found them hammered with whatever was available (and trust me a job site has plenty available just lying there to do some serious damage with like rebar, concrete block, steel posts just to name a few). All failed.

 

They are available in quite a few sizes. The ones we use are the 48″X24″X27″‘s. If you needed to you could place a long gun in it diagonally up to 54″s.  The interior space on this chest is 15.4 Cubic Feet. They can be bolted to the floor through the feet at all four corners
I would suggest that you stick to the chest type Jobox with the Site-Vault Security System . I cannot personally attest the the security of any of their other products.

 

I hope this gives you an option to think about.

 

Frankie

Response RE: My one firearm

Sunday, March 18th, 2012

 [This is a response to recent post Guns, guns, and more guns…. – Rourke]

Rourke,

 

Both the US Rifle, Caliber .30 M1 (Garand) in .30-’06 and M14 (M1A) have killed a lot of people. Their lethality is proven. However, my one firearm choice would be the Ruger Gunsite in .308WIN. I would top it with a Leupold MK4 LR/T on a modified mount over the bolt but would retain the iron sights. I chose Leupold because of their good optics with second focal plane reticule, innovative aluminum flip up lens covers and reticular objective lens obscurator and this telescopic sight specifically because of its variable power and parallax compensator. I believe the Gunsite to be a better one gun choice than the M1 or M1A because of the inherent greater reliability of a bolt action, less chance for malfunction, and easier maintenance.

 

My next firearms to acquire in order would be:

 

Ruger MK III Hunter in stainless, .22 caliber;

Ruger 10/22 tactical rifle with the same Leupold MK4 LR/T, .22 caliber;

SIG P220 in .45acp;

and then either the H&K M21 or British L1/A1 (FN/FAL), both in 7.62 NATO.

 

I believe both the H&K and British battle rifles to be superior to the M1/M14 primarily due to the more enclosed and smaller ejection ports that should better keep out debris. Of these I might mention, the L1/A1 has an integral bipod, a slight advantage. Of course the Germans make an excellent removable bipod for the H&K.

 

Regarding revolvers, I believe the Smith and Wesson L frame in .357 magnum to be the best in class. The Python is a fine weapon but in the latter decades of revolver use, the FBI preferred S&W which might have been a slightly more rugged and reliable design.

 

Best,

Panhandle Rancher

 

PS Late last year, I stopped drinking diet Coke. The first month was hard and I really craved one. Three months later and I didn’t like the taste of diet Coke. Water is my preferred drink now. Going off Pepsi will get easier. Hang in there.

 

Guns, guns and more guns…..

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

If you read any gun magazines or visit gun shops you may have noticed just an unprecedented number of new firearms coming out. Pistol’s… rifles….shotguns……”oh my!” .

Over the past couple of years I dream with every issue of Guns & Ammo or Handguns Magazine. So many new models that I would love to have…if I only would win the lottery.

Regardless of all the new eye candy coming out there is one gun that if I could snap my fingers I would have sitting in my gun safe.

That gun is the Springfield M1A……

My dream gun might be a bit conservative in nature. A M1 Garand would run a very close second. Always loved the Colt Python .357 Magnum.

So – if you could choose one gun  – just to own with no strings attached – what would it be?

Rourke