Some Firearm Tips for New Preppers and/or Those Who are New to Firearms

By Bob August 28, 2015 20:29

Some Firearm Tips for New Preppers and/or Those Who are New to Firearms

by Bob

Joe the New Prepper has got a pretty good plan in place to accumulate water, food, medical supplies, toiletries and other necessities for his family for in the event there is an occurrence that prevents “doing business as usual”.  In time, through careful study, it occurs to him that he has no provision for defense of his family and goods, besides the noisy Chihuahua and a well used softball bat that mostly reminds him of how much more athletic he was before he turned 40.

Invariably he realizes that the best way for him to even the odds is to acquire a gun.  Or two.  But Joe has no firearms experience and he quickly runs face first into the myriad of information, choices, calibers, manufacturers, styles, accessories and on and on.

Daunted, Joe approaches his neighbor Dennis, who Joe knows has at least a couple of guns.  A half hour of conversation with Dennis leaves Joe more confused…Dennis talked to him like he already knew all about something which he-Joe-knows little to nothing.  An hour perusing a few blogs on line helped to confuse Joe even more.  “This is the best, that is the best, you need one of these, you actually don’t need one of these”…too much contradictory information left Joe feeling a little more than hopeless.  So Joe decided to hop in the car and find a few gun stores.  At the first, Joe got the blank “idiot” stare-like “if you don’t already know this, it is beneath me to explain it”.  The guy at the next store answered Joe’s questions with the question “How much money have ya got?”  In  a half a day’s time Joe felt like he’d heard more, and actually knew less than he ever did about defensive firearms.  Poor Joe.

Let’s cut to the chase.  Point by point.

1. What’s the best handgun for defensive purposes?

The best handgun for defensive purposes is a combat worthy (this is key) handgun that fires a bullet that you can well manage for rapid follow up shots that fits your hand.  It must be reliable, durable and “combat accurate”.  Combat accurate is capable of 4 inch groups at 25 yards.  A combat worthy semi auto is probably going to run you between $550 to $600 minimum, and easily upwards of that.  If a weapon is issued to any major military or police force it is likely combat worthy.  The point being that the weapon has been built and tested to endure thousands of rounds of fire with minimal stoppages (jams) in less than ideal conditions.  You’ll quickly find someone that swears that their $200-300 handgun “goes bang every time”.  But the question remains “Is the weapon such that I’d trust the defense of my loved ones to it?”

Typically, a defensive handgun is going to be a semi auto, due to rapid reload capability, but there is nothing wrong with a quality revolver in the hands of well trained shooter.  It takes well trained fingers to reload a revolver (with speedloaders) approaching the speed of a semi auto, though.

A handgun, because it is small and shoots a medium-to-heavy bullet at medium velocities is a marginal man-stopper.  It is not a main line defensive weapon, but they are handy to carry, and serve as a great backup in a true, self defense emergency.

Calibers are various and the things to bear in mind-how comfortable/manageable is it to shoot, esp. for follow up shots?  How available is the ammo?  If I have to “forage” for ammo some day, how likely is it I will find this caliber”  For my money .22 LR, 9 mm, .40 SW, .45 ACP and .38/.357 mag are the only logical choices.  They are available, they are popular, and (except the .22) they all provide an acceptable level of stopping power.  Stopping power is a function of bullet weight and bullet velocity, and is usually measured in foot/lbs of energy, and typically it will be noted on the box of factory manufactured ammunition.  There are several other calibers out there, they just don’t pass all the tests.  Some are too powerful to effectively manage in a defensive scenario, some are to weak to be effective, some are not at all likely to be forage-able.

2. How many magazines should I have?

You should have at least three spare mags for each handgun at a minimum, and twice that is ideal.  In a protracted WROL, mags will eventually break, wear out, get lost.  For magazine fed defensive rifles, 10 mags per weapon is a good minumum.

3. Should I rotate my magazine(s)?

(That is to unload the magazine periodically to “rest” it).

NO.  Steel springs have a fatigue limit, like all steel,  and compression/decompression is what causes the spring to fatigue.  Ideally, one has a small set of “range mags” that get used regularly, and other mags that simply remain loaded, and beyond that a few more that remain in the packaging and won’t get loaded until replacements are needed.  Spare mag followers and springs can help restore old mags to good working order, so its not a bad idea to garner a few of those once you’ve rounded out your other preps.

4. If I get a semi auto defensive rifle what kind should I get?

First of all, a rifle is a much better defensive platform than a handgun due to stopping power and magazine capacity considerations, so in my mind, a rifle is kind of a must.  And like handguns, a combat worthy weapon is practically mandatory.  There are some inexpensive options out there, but my question, again, is “is this a weapon that I’d trust my family’s safety to?”  That said, if resources are limited, a $600 weapon is better than none.  Things to look for in a defensive rifle-the metallurgy of the barrel-“cold hammer forged”, “chrome lined” are good places to start.  This assures longer barrel life.  One thing I tend to avoid in a defensive rifle-barrel is stainless steel.  You don’t want the extra glare, and some makers will use a less expensive 416 stainless steel due to ease (expense) of manufacture, and such products have proved to be less than durable, showy as they are.  AR type weapons and AK type weapons are abundant and are chambered in calibers that are plentiful and likely forage-able in a tough situation.  My practice is to stay away from cartridges that will be hard to come by if times get hard.  A shotgun is also a great defensive platform at close ranges.

5. What kind of accessories do I need for my AR, or other defensive rifle or shotgun?

Number one-you guessed it-plenty of magazines.  Then, a sling and a reliable way to attach it to the weapon.  A sling provides that you can carry the weapon hands free and practically at the ready, which helps a ton if you have to: look at a map, forage berries, field dress a rabbit, forage firewood, build a shelter, eat your dinner, etc., etc., etc.  Don’t cheap out on a sling. There are a bunch of good ones out there.  Be thinking in the $50 to $75 range.  A flashlight that you can affix to the weapon is also a plus.  A scope might be handy, depending on the ranges you’ll be operating in, and many folks like the red dot or holographic sights.  I like the holographic over the red dot, because the holographic doesn’t actually project light out onto the target, which helps you stay unseen.    The main rule is to be trained and able to use the iron sights first, then consider augmenting the sighting system on your rifle.  Things break, and batteries wear down, so its good to be competent with the basics before going on to the fancy stuff.

There are also boatloads of modifications one can make to an AR, or other types of defensive rifles, and a person can spend alot of money adding features and gear to one’s weapon.  My rule is KISS-Keep is Simple Silly.  In a nutshell, I don’t have unlimited money to spend on unlimited gear.  I also don’t want to tote around a weapon that weighs ten pounds or more, when I can keep that closer to seven or eight pounds.  Lastly, and for me most importantly I almost never augment a weapon with custom features if I feel that the features may erode my ability to operate with a similar weapon in stock trim.  That is to say, if I have all the latest and greatest fancy stuff on my AR, and in the course of events I am forced to fight with my enemies’ weapon and his weapon is without all the “extras” could I be then handicapped in my ability to operate the weapon?   In Chuck Yeager’s words, “Its the pilot, not the plane”.  My ability to defend myself and my family should be a function of my training and my mindset, not my gear.  That said, if, due to some impairment like arthritis or missing digits, a person needed an extended charging handle or a different trigger group, then it is what it is, and that person can be grateful someone thought up a devise to make the weapon usable.  Short of that situation, I tend to avoid alot of the customization that is available for today’s weapons.

6. What else do I need?

We already covered magazines,  so obviously ammo in abundance.  You’ll have to decide how much of your financial resources you want to devote to that, but consider that in a really bad situation ammo will be as good as cash or better.  You’ll also need holsters for your handguns-another area to not cheap out.  A good quality belt.  Mag pouches for spare mags.  A pouch you can hang on your belt to put emptied magazines into.  A good cleaning kit, spare gun oil, and extra cleaning solvent.  Water tight containers (like surplus ammo cans) to store extra ammo in.  Spare batteries if you have a flashlight on any of your weapons and/or for your holographic sight.  And, as you round out your preps, spare firing pins, , recoil springs, mag springs and followers, bolt carrier groups.  Redundancy, baby!  And don’t forget training.  “If you want to be good at a thing, do it 10,000 times!”

7. How many guns do I need?

a lot of guns“One is none and two is one”.  When building a battery consider, for instance, that it may be more helpful to have two Glocks, or two Sigs, rather than one of each.  Why?  Because if one breaks, you can salvage parts from the one to keep the other running.  Also, it minimizes the training aspect as you need be familiar with as few weapons as possible.  Further, consider the applications.  You may need to hunt to survive, so a bolt action gun in .308 gives you alot of versatility, as well as a shotgun (12 gauge is the order of the day, due to the possible necessity of foraging for ammo).  .22 caliber handguns and long guns also add alot of versatility to one’s battery.  Also, consider how many people will be in your group, and how to best suit their defensive abilities and needs.

8. Where can I go for more info?

Let me say, I’d be happy to answer questions if I can.  Secondly, find a local gun store that wants your business bad enough to treat you like they do want your business, to answer your questions thoroughly,  and to let you handle a variety of weapons to find the type/style/manufacturer that best suits your needs and your price range.  If the person at the gun store tries to talk down to you, turn around and leave.  You’ll find someone out there that wants to earn your business.  The internet is also a great resource, but one does have to wade through a bit of nonsense at times to find the nuggets.

Remember – Safety First!

1.  Treat every gun as though its loaded at all times.

2.  Never put your finger in the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

3.  Never, ever, point a weapon at anything you are not willing to destroy.

4.  Double, then triple check to be sure a weapon is unloaded when handling.

5.  Educate your family members on how to safely operate the weapons.

6.  Store the weapons properly to be sure that no unattended individuals, especially children, can gain access to the weapons without your supervision.

Get all the training you can.  Youtube has tons of videos relating to such.

By no means am I any manner of expert.  However, I’ve studied the field carefully and I have more than a couple of decades experience with defensive firearms.  While I probably haven’t even scratched the surface of all the questions that come up for someone that is new to firearms, I hope this has been helpful.

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By Bob August 28, 2015 20:29
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  1. Tad August 29, 03:05

    Mental understanding is the first key to deciding what gun and here in Australia even if you need one. Firstly a gun is not a magic wand that makes you braver or more invincible, no matter how brave you feel holding it it is just an implament of enforcing your will on either an animal or another human. It’s your will and decision processes that are most important, Think it through now, am I ready to use this tool (gun) when the SHTF? A gun is a tool that allows you to switch off another creature from a distance, forever. A knife or an arrow can do it too but only at much closer range. You want something that will kill at the range you need it to. Expect it to be a messy bloody process. Decide now if you need this tool because once you have one and pull it, you better be ready and able to use it.

    Reply to this comment
    • The Blue Max December 14, 18:08

      I do not consider my weapon as a tool to “enforce my will on another”, rather it is a tool to prevent someone from enforcing their will on me or mine.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Richard August 30, 12:46

    re: stainless steel barrels – SS is usually a premium product and may have a superior chamber and fit. Shiny? Buy spray paint. It’s a weapon, not an object d’art. If it doesn’t look right, paint it. The paint won’t last long in heavy use but it will last long enough. Want a permanent coating? Look at Cerakote or BlackT. All of my rifles have stainless barrels and none of them are shiny.

    Reply to this comment
    • J-Dub August 30, 14:32

      The author was right in stating you don’t want a stainless barrel in shtf. For one, they heat up quickly under rapid fire which will not only wear your barrel out faster but affect rifle accuracy. Go with chf if possible. Most are made with machine gun steel and have double thick chrome linking if they are made by FN. Chf barrels will work fine under sustained rapid fire. CHF barrels will last much more than 20k rounds. Stainless would probably last 1/4 the life of CHF. If you get an FN made midlength CHF, they are also much lighter than a govt profile barrel. FN makes chf for Spikes, PSA, Noveske and others.

      Stainless are slightly more accurate, that’s it. Stainless barrel has no business on a shtf rifle.

      Reply to this comment
      • Richard August 30, 23:09

        The heat capacity of chrome moly steel is 0.477 J/g-degree C. The heat capacity of 316 stainless is 0.5 J/g- degree C. So stainless doesn’t heat up as fast as chrome moly steel.

        I find that stainless is more accurate than steel. I think that is because someone took more time to make the barrel. CHF stands for cold hammer forged, that is a barrel making process where the barrel is hammered over a “spud” with rifling on it. The stainless barrels I use are cut using a single-point rifling tool. Cut rifling takes longer so they cost more.

        I have a standard mil AR barrel from Colt Government that is shot out. I just replaced it with a Daniel Defense steel barrel, the new barrel shoots fine. I have stainless on my long range rifles and handguns, and steel barrels on the poodle shooters.

        Cite some research to prove that a chrome moly barrel lasts longer than stainless. If chrome moly is almost as accurate as stainless, name a benchrest shooter with a winning record that uses one.

        Reply to this comment
  3. JAFC August 30, 19:40

    The crucial point is being able to hit what you’re aiming at – at any distance – with the least ammunition expended. In this regard, a proven battle rifle such as a Mauser, Lee-Enfield, or any of their reliable but simplified design descendants (such as the current variations of the Remington 700/M40 series) may be of more value than any of the AR or AK variants.

    Every shot that misses is a total waste of valuable ammunition, no matter what the weapon.

    The shooter should learn NOT to be dependent on telescopic sights. The same applies to battery powered Aim-Point type sights. If the weapon they’re mounted on is dropped or struck, those sights often become worthless. And if a battery goes dead, you’re also SOL.

    WHATEVER weapon you choose, you must REGULARLY practice with it, shooting from all positions (sitting, standing, prone, etc) until it becomes an extension of yourself and the accurate placement of each round becomes instinctual.

    Likewise, you must discipline your mind to develop the instincts on when and when NOT to pull the trigger.

    Good luck.

    Reply to this comment
  4. jhollon August 31, 14:06

    I do not consider myself “Old School” but I have been accused of old school mentality. That being said, for DEFENSE purposes, I have different choices. First of all, for long term use, (think years), I would rather have a revolver than a semi-auto. Simply put, there are fewer parts and fewer things to go wrong. If I get it wet, it dries out just fine. I have had several semi-autos and cleaning them is a chore. Cleaning a revolver is simple.
    As for the amount of ammo: IF I cannot solve my problem in 5 shots or less then I should have been carrying a shotgun instead of a handgun. While I do not EVER want to be put in a situation where I have to shoot to survive, I believe my .357 magnum or my Taurus Judge in .410/45 LC will perform well enough to stand up to some punk with a 9 mm. Training is what counts.
    This leads me to my second thought: Why an AR? (Or, AK for those in that school.) We are talking SURVIVAL, not WAR. Seriously, the mentality of one guy surviving the onslaught of a group of attackers is stupid. People have allowed Hollywood to permeate their thoughts. Stick with what has proven reliable. A 12 ga shotgun. I have 3 shotguns that are my “go to” guns. I have a 12, 20 and 410. They all have adjustable stocks and 18.5″ barrels. Two of them have 24″ barrels, should I decide I need the length. The 410 has interchangeable ammo with my Taurus Judge handgun. With the right ammo I can flush out an attacker in hiding, take care of the situation and then, just like that, I will probably own an AR.

    Reply to this comment
  5. AK Johnny1 August 31, 14:55

    For a defensive rifle, I would recommend the AK-47. It’s plenty accurate enough for inside 200 yards. Further, the things are bone-easy to learn and operate for the novice AND seasoned user, and the rifles are near indestructible.
    AK’s were MADE for SHTF scenarios! You don’t want a rifle that you’ll have to pamper, as when the grid goes down and almost ALL tasks become manual ones. These manual tasks become energy AND time consuming, and you do not want to be divesting time constantly cleaning and babying a rifle that has trouble in rougher conditions or constantly jams between cleaning opportunities, or gets finicky with ammo between cleanings.. The rifle fires consistently AND predictibly in both sub-zero weather, AND humid hot, wet conditions of like say, a jungle or tropical locale. It will also fire EVERYTHING you feed it, from the higher end ammo, to the utter crap without fail.
    The AK also has very few moving parts. Thus, those fewer parts are built much heavier than parts from other lighter rifles, and they tend to last longer and break down a lot less frequently. You can go for months on end, even YEARS without ever cleaning an AK-47. It will still fire reliably…. This rifle does not even need lubrication! No kidding….
    Parallel to Bob’s advice, I own multiples. Just in case one breaks down, it becomes an instant parts gun to feed the others.
    The AK-47 is sheer genius in it’s simplicity. It was designed to take the DUMBEST Ukrainian farmboy, drop him at a recruitment depot, and have him proficient in ALL aspects of the weapon, IN UNDER 4 HOURS OF CONCENTRATED TRAINING.
    Advantage; If you find yourself in a SHTF situation, and you have neighbors that need firearms training, yet have NEVER even HELD a firearm in their hands, THIS is the firearm to teach them if you need them up to snuff quickly. This weapon was DESIGNED for that scenario.
    Don’t let folks dissuade you on the weapon, calling it a “Commie” weapon and such….. These were designed to be WORKING MAN’S RIFLES, peasant rifles if you will. They were created for rough usage and reliability, like the REST of a working man’s tools.

    Anyway, we all know what’s coming down the pike very soon…. Best of luck to all my fellow “Preparedness Advocates” out there.

    Reply to this comment
  6. TPSnodgrass September 1, 21:19

    Best handgun to select? Find the one that fits, YOUR hand first. Test drive several before investing the money to purchase, it’s money well spent. I have one adult child, that can’t hit the broad side of a barn with a revolver, her sister is deadly with her S&W .357 magnum, “Magnum daughter” stinks with any pistol, Pistol daughter’s EDC is her Glock 19 and she is deadly with hers. Fit is an individual thing.
    First rule of any gunfight, HAVE a firearm.
    Good information in the article to start newbies off with. Good job!

    Reply to this comment
  7. Randy August 22, 16:50

    I am 65 years old and have always been around firearms. I have always heard the question if I buy 1 gun what should I buy answered with 12 ga shotgun. If I were to buy 2 guns what should I buy ? Answer was always 12 ga shotgun and a rifle that uses ammo that is readily available. Preferably a common Military round which in this day and age would be .556/.223 and possibly 308. The old guy always said a gun without ammo is just an expensive stick.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Jack January 17, 04:41

    This is a post I put on the thread related to EMP, but in the bottom part I make mention.. suggestions and why.. I think would be a good bases for arms selection. I did not suggest the AR15 but it would DEFINATELY be my first choice, first because it is VERY common and pretty much standardized.. If your butt stock fails you can easily find a replacement.. even if it isn’t the same as the one that failed; it will work! Magazines are interchangeable as well..
    If you have something else, great! Im just saying if you want to go buy something.. some food for thought.
    Since all of you are fellow preppers I wanted to suggest some reading materials .. some of them are directly related to EMP.. and some have sections on EMP.. some are homesteading/off grid info.. but they are some of the best Iv come across. This is very limited.. many of my own are to do with cold weather survival as I live in the “northern most frontier”..
    As Iv mentioned earlier, Im an Extra Class ham with decades of experience with radio waves and radio electronics.. not that I know it all but I do have extensive understanding of radio waves.. and EMP is basically a radio wave.
    One of my books that might be helpful (especially for engineers).. is “EMP protection for emergency operating centers” United States, Defense Civil Preparedness Agency.
    Another book I HIGHLY recommend has to do with nuclear war survival. Many people say they want to be at ground zero and not survive a nuclear war.. trouble with that is if you are not. Sticking your head in the sand will not only not make it go away.. but the relatively simple procedures that would save you.. you wont know so you will suffer the very death you fear most.
    I would suggest checking out KI4U website.. I also suggest getting a copy of “Life Saving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions.. NUCLEAR WAR SURVIVAL SKILLS”.. by Cresson H. Kearny.
    What people do not know.. the worst of radiation deteriorates rather quickly.. This book can be downloaded free at I would recommend BUYING the book on Amazon.. but you can certainly review it online. It covers a great deal.
    Another book I suggest.. not that Im a Mormon but they are the MASTERS at prepping. But that would be THEIR own prepping book.. I will have to look it up.. I have copies of it in 2011 and 2013 or so.. Much the same.. but they offer a great deal.
    Planning and building designs.. “The New Pioneer’s Handbook”.. they approach everything scientifically… calculating calories of food for what you will need per person/per day sort of thing.. They also show you how to calculate your energy losses for your home.. how to calculate heater size for a cabin.. that sort of thing. Iv absorbed much of it but haven’t memorized all these things..
    Cheese making.. if you like cheese’s.. is Rickki Carrolls “Home Cheese Making”..
    Please folks, I do not get a single penny for recommending these books.. I gain ONLY that others are more prepared, survive.. I believe the better people are prepared.. the less people will be trying to burn me out to steal what I have.. and the better we are as a nation, to rebuild.
    A VERY good book to read .. to get a much clearer concept of how things might be if we should have an EMP that is anywhere near as bad as many think it would be.. is “One Second After”. It tells in story form, of the things that might well happen.. and the things that follow.. The story is fictitious .. but the places are not.. and the sequence of events are not just possible.. but probable. Its a good read as well..
    Another good read is “The Patriot”. its written by James Rawls, the guy at the helm of “”, one of my highly esteemed sites.
    One of the things I strongly encourage.. (I should put this under the guns section!).. is if you are choosing a weapon for TEOTWAWKI .. or any situation where you are defending your place..possibly as a group of people.. you want to have COMMON AMMUNITION… but not only common ammunition but common magazines at minimum. Imagine the chaos if you were in a war.. and everyone shot a different ammo?.. Or, you run out of ammo in a shoot out.. and I through you a magazine of the same ammo.. but different clip. YOU will have to unload the magazine and reload it into yours.. WHILE PEOPLE ARE SHOOTING AT YOU. Not a good idea.
    Now I know this will be WAY out there for many of you.. but it COULD all happen! Personally, my concept is to have it and not need it .. then need it and NOT have it… cause then you die.. and your family.. and all the stuff you worked to be prepared for.. is now someone elses.
    I have made the decision to go with 5.56mm (.223).. because the round is small, light.. and one can pack a good deal of ammo in a small space. Another reason.. many sources of ammo will dry up. Powder will be hard to find.. as will primers, projectiles.. This round is not only very common but its a military round as well and has a much better chance of being around for that reason.
    308 would be a second choice, although it is larger, heavier and gear for it is heavier. For me in Alaska I would probably want at least something suitable for large game…In the lower 48, while 223 is not legal for big game in most states, a decent shot will drop a deer. if you are lucky enough to find under dire circumstances.
    Books on identifying wild plants.. knowing those that are toxic/poisonous.. Mine will be different from yours!
    Anyway, these are just some good backbone books I think you will find invaluable!
    Best to ALL of you out there!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Yosemite August 17, 19:28

    To the Author
    Overall it is an okay article….
    Recommend for the Newbie that has made the choice to exercise their 2A Rights.

    Make a list of what of what you want the firearm to do and the questions you want to ask. Be sure to add follow up questions.

    Contrary to popular opinion Most revolvers do have more moving parts.
    A tough as a tank revolver is the Ruger GP 100. The have just released an 8 shot .357 Magnum revolver. The good thing about the .357 Magnum is that one can also shoot .38 Special. FYI The .44 Magnum one can safely shoot .44 Specials. BUT NOT THE REVERSE
    One can safely shoot .223 Remington in an 5.56 x 45 aka 5.56 NATO.
    BUT DO NOT shoot the 5.56 NATO in the .223 as the NATO round has a much higher chamber pressure. It can be done but it is not safe and cause a catastrophic failure and result in SEVERE or GREAT Bodily harm.

    The 7.62 x 51 NATO aka 7.62 NATO and the .308 Winchester is just the opposite and is quite safe to shoot in any .308 Winchester in good shooting condition.

    Get a good idea of what you want and how you are going to use it and what you want it to do. From there you can start asking about calibers.

    Handle as many different types of hand guns (or long guns/rifles/shotguns applies IF you decide to buy one) as possible BEFORE you buy it!.
    Find the ones that fit your hand the best and feels good in your hand. IF it does not feel good or fit our hand then move on to a different one. IF at all possible shoot as many as you can before buying.

    Also if it dose not fit your hand, you are not going to have a good grip and your accuracy is going to suffer and you are not going to like shooting it and that means less practice.
    I would HIGHLY SUGGEST if you have never fired a firearm before is to learn the basics of proper grip,aim, and safe handling.
    If a friend has one of those look like CO2 air pistols see if they will let you train with it. They make great trainers and are inexpensive to shoot . Then move up to a .22 LR handgun.This is not necessary but it can and will benefit your accuracy in the future. It will help prevent flinching. A bad habit that is hard to break once developed.

    Depending on the state you live in you may be limited to 10 round magazines instead of 15 or more round capacity. IF you are limited to that that is all you can get in that state.

    IF you do not live in such a state then you are good to go.

    Do you want a smaller compact handgun to carry every day that an also be concealed?

    Do you want a full sized handgun that is larger and heavier,and generally hard to conceal?
    and whatever other questions you want to ask. Write them down and take them with you and ask them!

    ALL firearms are tools. Just like any tool some are made for specific use and other tools can be used for multiple purposes.

    For info and the do have classes to pay for if you opt in
    to pay and take.
    The do have all sorts of information tailored to people new to shooting and even experienced shooters and are quite friendly.

    Also a site that is dedicated to selling firearms an ammunition. You can buy online and have it shipped to a person or business/firearm dealer IF you so choose. It is like Ebay but is about firearms new and used and other firearm related products.
    It will give you an idea of accurate prices and you can see pictures of handguns rifles and shotguns.That might help you get an idea of hat is available and what you might like to look at and to actually handle

    This a place one can buy kits and parts to build AR/M-4 PA-10 type rifles/carbines/Short Barreled Rifles aka SBRs. different caliber uppers for ARs/ Ammo. Complete Firearms and other related items.
    One can build a good quality M-4 5.56 NATO from them depending on their sales that come around
    all the time for around $400.00 USD or so.
    IF you are lazy or not very good with tools……
    Buy the the complete upper then buy the complete
    Lower and put them together by pushing in Two pins.
    The Lower MUST BE SHIPPED to an FFL Licensed Store/shop/dealer of firearms.
    Fill out the paperwork and pay the dealer
    the transfer fee and you are good to go put it together.

    All you will need is perhaps a an optical site or rear site or both rear and front sites depending on what you buy and want..
    Then all you will need are magazines and ammunition to go out and fire it.

    Bulk ammo is currently on sale. The have daily and weekly sales.

    Firearms are as only good or evil as the person holding it.


    To the Author
    Add Ons and Accessories

    You seem to confuse the Red Dot optic with the laser sites. Red Dot optics do not project anything out on the target. Think of the Red Dot as you would as the cross hairs in a scope.

    The lasers project a Red or Green dot on the target and if a person they can see where it is coming from. Also lasers are inhibited by Smoke or Fog.

    The Red Dot optics are designed to be shot with BOTH eyes open. Allowing one to see the whole situation.
    They originally came out for shotguns IF I remember correctly.
    They are battery powered and one can select the brightness of the Dot. Some have an automatic shut off to save battery life. They are usually are a 2 MOA or a 4 MOA. Long shelf life batteries are roughly the same size as a quarter more or less an a decent price for 4 of them I think. Can easily be carried and read to change in a minute or less.

    THAT being said I do firmly believe in using Iron sites. But the red dot is also sturdy an pretty much dummy proof and works great in low light situation and in broad daylight.

    Stainless does not shine like Nickel or Chrome plating unless polished……shin perhaps a bit but you can get more glint off a blued barrel.

    Shotguns….if one can handle the recoil of the 12 Gauge by all means go for it!
    I prefer #4 Buckshot for self defense. More pellets and more damage.

    For people of slighter stature there is nothing wrong with the 20 Gauge. They can handle the recoil. They can shoot it more accurately and shooting a bad guy/s with a 20 Gauge slug or #3 Buckshot Center Mass is never going notice the difference in the damage.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack August 17, 21:47

      Nicely stated! But you did forget to mention that there is usually optional GRIPS for different firearms. I had a pair on my (Ruger) Redhawk 44.. they were a little large but at the time there was little option. Iv moved up to shooting the Casul in a Super Redhawk. These weapons are not for the timid, nor home defense. After shooting the Casul for so long.. I pick up the 44 and its like shooting a 22LR!
      I wanted to comment.. You said the 5.56 is MUCH greater pressure. WHERE do you get that from? I do not have a reamer for the 5.56 to compare to the .223 reamer.. but what I have learned is the military ammo, being a larger bullet… that extends further forward (and has a longer OAL… needs longer lead so the ogive doesn’t cram into the rifling. THIS can CREATE higher pressures.
      I am not aware of any differences between 7.62 NATO and the 308. I don’t shoot 308.. YET. And I don’t know what the 7.62 NATO uses for the standard bullet.
      Can you be so kind as to reference your info regarding the 7.62 NATO? And also, if you have info regarding the higher pressures OF THE 5.56 NATO CARTRIDGE itself, Id like to know WHO is saying such. I find it NOWHERE in my reloading manuals, cartridge manuals and gunsmithing manuals or training (of 3 decades ago!).

      Reply to this comment
      • Yosemite August 18, 08:47

        Thank you and much appreciated. I had a couple of phone calls interrupting and derailing my train of thought while typing that post and I thank you for bringing up aftermarket grips!

        On some handguns they can make all the difference in the World. They can make shooting more comfortable and thus increase accuracy and perhaps more concealable.
        I like the grips on the original KGP100..Stainless Steel Bull Barrel .Black “rubber” with the wood inserts.

        I also did not mention the 7×39 Russian AK-47 round is Roughly the ballistic equivalent of the 30.30 Winchester. A tad bit better (IMNSHO) than the 30.30 Winchester mainly due to or because of the bullet design.

        As for shooting 5.56 NATO in .223 Remington….I and some friends had been doing so for years. e never saw any indication of excessive chamber pressure…. NONE! I forget exactly when and where I first heard about. Perhaps a magazine article…later I started hearing about it from Dealers…..I did not have a computer at the time to look it up on. So after a while after hearing about it for long and I did hear it from at least a couple people that did have some issues NONE Catastrophic thank God. I took the safe route from then on.
        Here are some links about for you The difference in chamber pressure is there and the difference does not really seem that great but there are differences…..

        . There are numerous other sites out there easy enough to find in a search BUT can be a bit difficult to wade through what is BS and what is fact.

        I hope these help and do not leave you more confused than ever.

        IF you do decide to get an AR or an M-4 make sure you get the proper rifling that will stabilize both the 55grn and the 62grn Green Tip and other rounds. I do prefer the 62gn green tip but that is MY preference, Just an FYI. There are frangible bullets for home defense (another FYI)

        No to address your questions about .308 Win and 7.62×51 NATO. Yeas ago I carried the M-16 and the M-60 among numerous other and assorted weapons.NOT that such matters. The M-60 is chambered for the 7.62×51 NATO and all of the ammo for it is MATCH GRADE or used to be. I think they were 147grn Military Ball besides the Tracer and other types of rounds. I could be mistaken about the bullet weight that was back in the early 1980s. God has it really been that long?
        No matter here are some links for you. I hope they help.×51-ammunition-my-serious-purposes-warning/#axzz5wvZwQSo0×51/

        There are man numerous other sites but I hope these will help.

        If you want to get into the .308 World as inexpensive as possible and get GREAT value for you money the Palmetto State Armory PA-10 is hard to beat! Match up both half”s within the generation example Gen2 lower to Gen2 Upper.
        There is not a MilSpec standard in the AR-10 World like there is with AR-15s. Pretty much there are TWO different patterns for the Rifle: Armalite and DPMS and they do not play well or work with each other.
        IF I understand correctly PSA builds the Uppers and Lowers for DPMS.
        I HIGHLY suggest to get the A2 type FULL Butt stock Lower. This makes it easier and more stable platform to shoot at long range and handle the recoil……BUT THAT is strictly up to you.
        PSA has recently released a GEN3 PA-10. I am not sure what the difference is between the GEN2 and the GEN3.

        IF you want to save up for an M1A that is up to you and you can still do so. Meanwhile I really don’t think you would mind or regret having one of these while you wait and save.
        It works EXACTLY like the AR-15. The main difference you will notice is when chambering a round. The charging handle is bit stiffer to pull all the way back.

        IF you like bolt actions take a look at the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle in .308 Winchester.

        Reply to this comment
        • Jack August 19, 22:13

          WHOA buddy! I think my question may have given you the wrong opinion of my knowledge level!
          I am not a neophyte! Iv been shooting since I was a kid.. and got into reloading later, in the early ’70’s.. then casting.. and experimenting.. and finally in about 1990 moved to Colorado to attend gunsmithing school… Where I found my background was already pretty thorough already. I have a shop.. Iv never opened my doors, however, and that’s another story. I retired as an electrician.. with additional technical backgrounds.
          My orientation has long been more conventional.. Over the last decade Iv gotten more into AR’s and come to appreciate their design..
          I BUILD rifles.. I reload.. and I cast. When I can catch up, I will be finishing my wheel type casting machine.. I measure my cases by the bucket… (why Im building the casting machine!). Im well acquainted with internal ballistics as well as external ballistics and ballistics of long range shooting. Of course I understand .. and have my own theories on internal ballistics.. Iv looked into the chemistry of powders.. how they are made.. nitrocellulose.. and double based powders (nitrocellulose + nitroglycerin) .. (but then you can get into foreign powders that do not necessarily use the same base(s) for their chemistry). And primers, their chemistry, how they are made…. And, Iv done some experimenting with chemistry.. (wont say to much there.. but have studied explosives of many types as well!) I would not use the term of the powder detonating, just burning very fast.
          On internal ballistics, the case serves as a package.. It holds the powder charge.. ignitions source… and holds the projectile in place.. all in one little package! It also serves to SEAL the chamber upon firing. The primer “throws” a flame front out towards the forward end of the cartridge.. igniting the powder in the front. It will burn back towards the rear of the case and this happens.. it creates a pressure wave that pushes the front out against the chamber, sealing it.. and pushes the sides of the case outward against the chamber ..working rearward.
          The firing pin will usually slam the case forward.. leaving any room between the bolt face and the case which has stopped against the datum line (or whatever limits headspace)… and, with the case gripping the chamber up front, the rear of the case (head).. will, under the pressure, be stretched to fill that headspace gap. The bolt in a Remington 700inserts into the back of the barrel.. and it is right there, just forward of the web.. where the case will stretch. and sooner or later, separate. This is why headspace matters!
          Now, Im not trying to tell YOU this, Yosemite.. I think you understand most if not all of this. I just think some readers may benefit.. and, honestly, trying to give you an idea of where Im at.
          I have not gotten into twist rates.. that gets really interesting.. and very complex. The larger bullets do not need to be rotated as fast as smaller diameter bullets.. due to their increased centrifugal force because of the spin. The primary reason, folks, for rifling.. is because you are trying to keep the lighter end of the bullet facing forward. Without it, the bullet will tumble as the heavier end will want to be in the front. This makes for poor accuracy (to say the least!).
          Now, as for the difference between 308 and 7.62 NATO, Iv always heard they were the same! I did some looking online.. pulled up the SAAMI specs on the 308 and compared to the 308.. and I see about 0.0055″ difference in length.. and about 0.0035″ difference in GO/NO_GO gauges. Enough to be dangerous in the different chambers. I also looked into the 5.56 NATO vs. the 223. I didnt have time to look at every detail but found nothing different between the CASES themselves. I would need to do some math to compare chambers.. but in your statement of using heavier bullets, it largely makes my point. The lead on the rifling is pushed forward. Also, it was noted that on the NON-SAAMI rounds.. NATO and others, these are all, technically, Wildcats.
          Regarding the AR style 308’s.. I favor the DPMS and am vested in that line.
          My goal is to have something suitable to shoot military ammo. As I reload all I shoot, I can control the headspace.. I am in process of building the 308(s).. and will be chambering to shoot the NATO round.. and reloading my “308” cartridges to shoot safely in the NATO chamber as well!. When I chamber.. I like the bolt to close with just a slight feel of compression on the case. Head space is ZERO!. Never had an issue.
          Yosemite, I live in Alaska.. and for hunting, I carry larger bores since moving here 13 years ago. That’s why I carry/shoot a 454 Casul in the field. I favor either my 5 lb. 300WSM .. or my 375HH… but I shoot MANY calibers and guns. I was not aware of the differences between the 7.62 NATO and the 308.. so I thank you for that tip!!!
          Now, gotta check out the websites you reference..
          Iv made many write ups on this sight.. perhaps more on EMP, electronics and Faraday cages/boxes… as my previous background was .. is.. in conventional electronics and radio (and Ham Radio).

          Reply to this comment
          • Jack August 19, 22:33

            In re-reading, I find many things that could be misleading in my meaning.. for instance, I reference the datum line.. then whatever limits headspace. I am referring to different cases.. as some headspace on the forward lip of the case.. and some on the rim itself. The datum line refers only to those that headspace on the shoulder.
            Also, bear in mind.. in many cases Im thinking of bolt action rifles.. until I refer to the AR’s.
            Wildcats.. NATO I wouldn’t call a wildcat.. but apparently there are several NATO manufacturers that carry slightly different specs to THEIR NATO rounds.
            When I looked up the 5.56 NATO, they had chamber measurements .. referenced from other locations ON THE BARREL. Will have to do some math to bring things to a common reference point to see where the lead (freebore) is cut to compared to the .223.

            Please understand, I don’t feel Im in a place where I have learned all there is on ANY subject! Im always looking for further info on things! Mostly, it just seemed you were putting a lot of rather basic info out there as if I was a neophyte.

            Reply to this comment
          • Yosemite August 20, 03:36

            No insult was intended and I never know the level of knowledge or competency of who may be reading the post. I have been shooting and grew up with firearms.I am prior service a strong security background and I know enough to know that I still have more to learn.
            Thank you again for bringing up grips.You are quite right I should have mentioned them and I did not.

            While I am not an NRA certified instructor I have taught quite a few to shoot that have never handled a firearm in their life. Some of them can out shoot me. which makes me rather proud of them.

            I am not into reloading….yet. I post all over in here and perhaps we have posted back and forth in other threads such as one of the EMP threads. I have an old Hummerland tube SW/HAM radio that will transmit Morse Code. No I am not a Morse Code operator.

            I did pick up on you being an experienced shooter. I was getting interrupted while I was posting.

            Again My Bad and no insults were intended.

            Reply to this comment
            • Jack August 20, 05:54

              LOL..No.. you didn’t insult me. Im not that easily insulted! I was deliberating if I should have said something or not. Many readers might have benefited by the info. Iv generally been addressing the general public in most of my write ups.. but then I was thinking, a lot of this IS people like you and I chatting.. and others learning from our public chat.
              A few decades ago I was involved in a women’s classes on shooting. It was expressly for women as the concern was that women tend to NOT ask questions when there are men in the class. We presented an assortment of revolvers and pistols for the ladies to examine, ask about.. spoke on benefits of different guns .. and ways to avoid becoming a victim. The DA gave a presentation on what to expect if they were ever involved in a shooting.. and the local police gave a talk on this.. and was part of the presentation on NOT becoming a victim. We then allowed the ladies to do shoot some pop-caps in an indoor range where we gave instruction on shooting procedures and firearms handling. Then, on the weekend, we did a real ammo shoot.
              Like you, Im NOT an NRA instructor.. Id like to get that endorsement sometime however. But much to do .. always.
              I don’t remember conversing with a Yosemite regarding EMP… Im an Extra Class as far as Ham radio.. but I do not have CW endorsement (Morse Code). CW stands for Continuous Wave.. in other words, its an unmodulated carrier; you are literally turning the transmitter on and back off every time you push down on the key. The blank transmitted radio wave, being received at the receiver end .. and the receiver has a special.. oscillator, which, creates an off beat frequency giving you sound. Used to label this the BFO or Beat Frequency Oscillator. SSB uses some of the same technology.. Very interesting…
              But, this is better discussed in the EMP/radio communications/electronics page of this website!
              I DO understand loosing your train of thought! My wife tried to hold a conversation with me while Im typing.. and with things that have SO MANY directions to address.. its easy to leave things out. Besides, not every seller is excited to offer unpacking different grips to see what a customer might like… but KNOWING the options is important.
              My goal of having a “223” and a “308”.. is if and when the SHTF.. if something ever happens where I/we cannot get ammo, Id like to be able to use ammo the government is using as they will ALWAYS have ammo! Just have to secure it ..
              Anyway, Now Im distracted! Nice chatting.. and thanks for the links!

              Reply to this comment
              • Yosemite August 21, 07:46

                I am glad you are not thin skinned or seemingly Politically Correct. I would like to have the chance to talk with you more and/or exchange email.

                By all means if you see something I missed or think of something to add….or I made posted something that is a mistake DO NOT HESITATE to post and call me out. Or ask whatever questions you may have. I must say I can learn a lot from your experience and knowledge. I am not sure what I could share with you that would be of possible use or perhaps anyone else but I am willing to share what little I do know. Some is sort of hard to explain in this type media/forum and is more visual. I am more of a hands on type so to speak Just for example and example only…..Is/ are various proper shooting stance. one can type it out and a reader can try to do it ……BUT… unless one is there to make sure the are doing it proper and keep them from developing bad habits. It is far easier to teach them not to have bad habits than for them to unlearn bad habits,

                You have very large critters in Alaska that will not hesitate to turn you into a “Happy Meal”. I was talking with someone that did a lot of hunting up there and how big the bears really are. He also mentioned he knew people that took .243 Winchester and other smaller calibers up there……

                I told him I have a Ruger M77 .270 Winchester and while I would NOT WANT to use it on those big critters. BUT if I had to and proper bullets I would not hesitate to do so. Accuracy and bullet placement count.
                That rifle will definitely out shoot me and is more than capable of taking on most any critter in the Lower 48 if not on the North American Continent…No I am not saying every critter but certainly most of them.

                Definitely would want a bigger heavier bullet for some of them. I do have a Weatherby .460 Mag that I KNOW
                will take care of large dangerous critters. which is mainly a rifle made for Africa elephants and Cape Buffalo. But I definitely earn Bagging Rights with it LOL
                I special ordered a box of ammo and a guy asked me what I going hunting and going to use it for. I told him “Armadillos”. He said something along the lines of you can shoot and skin them at the same time. I said “No there are some that are so big I was afraid if I shot them I MIGHT make them mad!” LOL

                I have heard it said Eskimos regularly kill bears with a .22 LR. Not something I would care to try. Bears are not much of a threat and are seldom seen but they are around and much smaller than the ones in Alaska . Brown bears here, I think but again very seldom seen. We do have alligators, Wild Hogs, and assorted venomous snakes. I carry 22 LR on my side while out and about.I almost got bit by a timber rattler while I was mowing…. missed me by a foot or so. It was tad bit longer than a standard shovel. around 6 ft overall maybe a tad bit longer.

                As for my old Hummeland I need a speaker and an antenna. I have a digital scanner SW/AM/FM/Weather and I forget what else that died on me. I got it from Radio Shack years ago. I have two hand held digital scanners that die on me too.
                I used to listen to the receiver all the time from music to news from all over the world. That was in days before the home computer.
                I like the old Hummerland with tubes and waiting for it to warm up and fine tuning with the dials. A real PITA when compared to today’s instant on and all of their automatic settings. But there is something that I like about the old beast. It was given to me yeas ago. I really don’t care about the Morse Code part. I would never make an MC operator. My ears aren’t that good to tell the dots and dashes unless they are VERY slow. LOL but I guess I will scrounge up a speaker and get an antenna for it maybe an outdoor TV antenna while I am at it.
                In a way and in it’s day it was the original internet I suppose. People could go around the World without leaving their home.
                Stay in touch!

                Reply to this comment
  10. Yosemite August 18, 20:53

    Hi Ya!
    Thank you. I thought I responded to this earlier hours ago.
    No matter. Thank you for bringing in more good and useful information.

    If you would like to get into the .308 at the best pice out there check out the PA-10 from Plametto State Armory.

    The Gen2PA-10 and they have just released Gen3PA-10. Keep an eye out for their sale prices. You can buy Complete Upper and Complete Lowe or buy them stripped and put them together yourself.piece by piece.

    Thee are no MilSpec standards for the AR-10 and thee are Two different platforms out there. Armalite and DPMS platforms and they do not play well or go together very well Stick with one platform or the other.

    I would also suggest looking at the Ruger Gunsite Scout Rifle in .308 .

    Here is a link that explains about the Chamber Pressures and it explains the confusion..I ha posted a lot of links in post I made earlier.
    Let me know your thoughts and I hope it helps!

    If my earlier post does not show I will dig up those links on the differences in the 5.5 and the .223 I want to say the chamber dimensions being different in the 5.56.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jack August 27, 08:15

      Sorry for not getting back to you sooner! Iv had to move my shop and everything else too ! (and still not done!).
      I don’t know how I can give you contact info.. unless it thru Claude. Obviously, I wouldn’t put it publically. Most of the folks on this website are here to pick up what ever info they can.. but some Iv seen, like to get into a pissing contest. Iv always tried to be constructive and have no need or time for that kind of crap. So, there are some Id rather not give that info to.
      If Claude will provide you with my email address, Im OK with that. Of course, you know that Claude is the monitor.
      Hope you can get my email.. be sure and subject me with “Yosemite” so I don’t suspect/spam it!
      gotta go!

      Reply to this comment
  11. Yosemite August 27, 10:23

    No worries all is well you did get back and that is what counts.
    Hopefully Claude will catch this and come through.

    I have recently found out that The Ohio Prepper has a system in place to let people swap emails. He practices good OPSEC and values peoples privacy.

    He has a process to go though. Respond to one of his post and ask him about setting it up.
    Hope all is Well! Stay safe!
    I finally found it.
    The Ohio Prepper
    August 25, 23:41
    Several things.
    The USPS box weight limit is 70 pounds. We used them a lot when my daughter was first in college out of state. They have several sizes, and you pay a fixed price based on the size and you can fill the box up to 70 pounds for that price.
    For the cast iron, one might take one into the post office and see what box would be the best fit.

    If anyone here would like to contact someone I’ve been doing this for 10+ years for folks on Click on my name and you’ll be taken to a simple website ( where you can click a link to send me an email. In the body include this sites name and your nom de plume / screen name / handle / used here. I keep track of these and can hook people up when both make the request either here or by email. I do keep OPSEC, and don’t share anything without the permission of both parties.

    I’ve made quite a few friends and developed some interesting relationships over the years with people in the preparedness community.

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