Showing posts with label .22. Show all posts
Showing posts with label .22. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Bug Out Vs Operational Pack Out and Survival Gun Discussion With American Mercenary

Packing for an Operation vs Packing to Bug Out
Interesting reading. In my mind a bug out is just a different type of operation with a more nebulous end time and few, if any enablers.

Inevitably the discussion went to firearms. Personally my "go guns" are the same guns I would take in a bug out situation though if going by vehicle I would beef it up to our survival guns by including my Ruger 10/22 and a Remington 870. The latter 2 guns are included in the heavy bug out to round out a basic firearms battery and since they are good food gathering weapons.

In a predominantly nonviolent wilderness based scenario I'd be rocking a .22 pistol if it was planned or a Glock 9 if unplanned and a pump 12 gauge as wilderness walk out guns. Those guns give a lot of options in gathering food and could protect me from dangerous game.

Back to the discussion of more man portable options American Mercenary returned with
Using a .22lr adapter as part of your fighting/ bug out gear
One of the unique attributes of the AR is that it's barrel is compatible with .22 lr ammo. Some time ago a .22lr adapter was made for the Military eventually followed by several civilian models. I have one of them. I would say it is sufficiently accurate, if just marginally, to serve as a backup way to procure game. Given that an adapter, a mag and a couple hundred rounds of CCI stingers would probably fit in a 16 ounce "Tall Boy" can I think that is a huge ability for an individual who needs to carry an AR-15 but wants some food gathering capability. With a simple swap of the bolt and magazine you can hunt with .22lr and save the 5.56 for bigger game.

The topic of .22lr dedicated upper's came up also. These are inevitably more accurate than the bolt swap kit but I can't see a reason to carry one around. It's 75% of the hassle of carrying a second rifle without it being a functional rifle. I'd rather have a second .22 rifle if I was going this way.

 .22lr pistols came up which I think has a lot of promise. They are of course harder to shoot well than rifles but are also less bulky. That being said .22 pistols can be plenty accurate. A friend and I went shooting once. He brought along his Father's .22 pistol just for fun. It was a bull barreled stainless Ruger with an el cheapo red dot on it. We were able to keep golf balls moving out to 20 yards or so with it easily. I'd say it would be an excellent squirrel gun.

I mind the idea of swapping a centerfire pistol for a .22 much more palatable than sacrificing a fighting rifle. Honestly for a combatant WITH A RIFLE a pistol is just icing on the cake anyway.

So those are my thoughts on that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Wilderness Walk Out Guns



I saw this video from Iraqvet888 then thought about it off and on all day.The basic scenario is that you find yourself stuck in the woods somewhere then have to walk out. I believe they mentioned Alaska but I would keep it more generic.

For parameters to me the "walk" portion means you are limited to 1 long gun and 1 pistol.

Long gun- My immediate thought was between a .22 rifle and a 12 gauge shotgun. After a few minute's of consideration the shotgun won hands down. A 12 gauge shotgun with a variety of shells can take anything from little squirrels to (obviously at fairly close range) the biggest bears. I'm not worried about taking tiny game (let alone a right fight with people) past 40-50 meters so I'd rather have the versatility of the shotgun. Also since this is a limited time scenario (vs batman in the boondocks) the weight of shotgun ammo is not a huge issue.

A pump shotgun is ample for self defense against animals and people in anything but a crazy SHTF situation.

I would take a Remington 870 with a 28" barrel and a mix of shotgun shells all the way from #6 shot to slugs. Another pump shotgun like a Mossberg would be fine also.

Pistol- If I was gaming the scenario for the ultimate wilderness survival handgun it would be a .22 of some sort. This would be to save shotgun ammo by taking closer, easier shots on smaller game with the pistol. A .22 mag revolver of some sort would probably be ideal, given that ammo is limited to what I'm carrying anyway might as well have the extra power over the more common .22lr.

That being said realistically if I was getting stuck in an accident or whatever I would be carrying a centerfire pistol for defensive purposes, probably a .357 mag revolver so that is what I would have on my waist by default. If I move to Alaska I'll buy a .44 magnum revolver so I would be carrying that.

What are your ideal wilderness walkout guns? Do you actually take them to the woods with you?

Saturday, June 22, 2013

.22lr Ammo Availability

An interesting take on the ammo situation.

I think .22lr deserves some discussion. Do not think any of the reasons for that suprising shortage are wrong necessarily but do have my own thoughts.
1) The sheer amount of guns in .22lr is very high. It's used for pistols as well as rifles and has been for a very long time.

1.5) Sort of continuing from 1 almost every gun owner has some sort of .22. 

2) Many firearm owners do not keep much ammunition around. They probably have a box or two up to a couple hundred rounds. All of a sudden firearmagedon happened and many of these people wanted more ammunition. The problem is they were all looking for .22lr. 

This is a big part of the problem. I have been looking primarily for 9mm to feed my Glock and .223/5.56 to feed the AR. Another guy might have been looking for .40 and .243 and another guy for .45acp and .308. However all these guys were looking for .22.

3) Substitution is a fancy economic principle where people replace one item with another due to increased prices or scarsity. This is nothing new. Every housewife does this intuitively; when they have lots of money it's Ribbeye and nice roasts and when times are rough it's hamburger. You get the idea.

Ammo at normal prices vanished pretty fast and prices skyrocketed accordingly. People either did not react fast enough. Also many of them just plain could not afford to buy a lot of centerfire ammo. However coming back to #2 they probably have a .22. These people purchased a brick or two of .22lr to feel better when nothing else was available in their price range.

4) Good old fashioned hysteria. Once it wasn't available people wanted the stuff even more. That got folks like me who were fairly comfortable to get some when they could find it at sane prices.

5) People shoot .22 ammo. Unlike rifle and pistol ammo which I think many people purchased recently to build a little ballistic wampum a lot of .22lr ammo is shot during normal times.

Combine these all together and you get the current lack of .22lr ammunition. Anyway those are my thoughts on that.

On an unrelated note Lucky Gunner has 12 gauge Seller and Bellot Buckshot @ $139 for 250 rounds. That is a heck of a deal I recommend you jump on if defensive shotgun ammo is on the list.



Saturday, June 8, 2013

5 Guns

It's well past midnight but I'm still rocking gun porn Friday. The 5 gun topic came up and I feel like chiming in. To make things a bit interesting I will do our family (Wifey and I, kids aren't near age yet) setup then what a hypothetical bachelor setup would be.

Family. Sort of like we talked about before Glock 19, AR, .22, Wifey's .38 and a Remington 870 12 gauge. With that setup I/we can hunt pretty much anything in North America (.223 can kill deer sized game an 12 gauge slugs will kill anything albeit at limited ranges), and defend ourselves.

In a hypothetical batchelor scenario Wifey's .38 would be swapped out for a Glock 26. The rest of the setup G19, .22, Rem 870 and AR would stay the same.

That's my .02 on that.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Rambling Gun Stuff Discussion

In my recent discussion of the J frame Chris of Arma Borealis mentioned the reload advantage of automatic's vs J frame .38 or .357mag revolvers. For the sake of convenience I am going to break subcompact type automatics into 3 categories: subcompact double stack, subcompact single stack and tiny.

Subcompact double stack: Examples of this are the Glock 26/27 and the M&P/ XD equivalents. These guns offer a lot of firepower in a small package. A 9mm Glock 26 holds 11 and the grip extension (a must) buys you another round. I think the Glock .40 is 10. Unsure about the M&P/XD but they are probably similar. They are also pretty shootable if you have enough grip to get the pinky on it. Also these guns can take larger magazines like a Glock 15 rd or 17 rd mag which is handy. Power is good too as these guns are generally chambered in 9mm/.40S&W/.45acp.

 I notice little difference transitioning between subcompact and compact's of the same flavor. Being shorter in terms of length and grip makes these guns easier to conceal than their compact and full sized siblings. Also if the gun is of the polymer flavor (vs a tiny steel 1911 or whatever) they are pretty light. Reliability is comparable to their siblings, a Glock will of course fare better than a Kel Tech. However nothing is free.

The downside of these guns is that they are the same width as the bigger guns. As we saw before a J frame revolver is much thinner throughout (obviously not the cylinder).  This means while their height/ length and weight are minimal the width is a consideration. Depending on your method of carry it could be an issue.

As compared to the J frame these guns shoot better, hold a lot more bullets and reload faster but are thicker and this a but harder to conceal.

Sub Compact single stack: Old school examples are the Walther PP/PPK/S/PPK and the Bersa .380. Newer examples would be the Ruger LC9 and S&W Shield. These guns often hold 7-8 rounds. I think some of the .45 models hold 6. These guns offer moderate, at the high end of 8 to a J with 5, to negligible, the mini .45's with 6 to a J with 5, capacity advantages.

The reliability varies. Walther's have been made by so many people over the years with some better than others. In general they are well, German. A precision machine that functions perfectly however it demands good fuel (bullets it likes) and some maintenance to do so. If you cannot do this, or the concept of use does not allow it, then choose another gun. If you can meet the fairly modest requirements these guns will do their job well. Bersa's by every account I have heard will run all day long. The downside is they are a fairly big and heavy .380. The new Ruger and S&W offerings are by every account I have seen built to a professional standard and will perform as such. If you get a Kel Tech or Taurus that is a roll of the dice, some run all day long but many do not.

Power varies between adequate with 9mm to marginally adequate with .380 or weak with .32 (the only .32's I am aware of in this size are the Walther's like Brigid's). IMO as we compare to the .38 the only round that is equal in terms of power is the 9mm.

Accuracy is pretty good. The quality guns in this category are capable of excellent accuracy. The Walther's particular are very accurate. A buddy of mine had a little j frame .38 but at some point realized he couldn't hit squat with it and bought a beautiful Walther PPK/S that shot wonderfully. A HIT with a .380 is indisputably more effective than a miss with a .38/.357mag.

Measured up to the J frame. These auto's are thin and thus easy to conceal. The J is thinner in spots but not by a whole lot. Capacity varies but the reload goes decisively to the semi auto. Power varies from a wash (.38 to 9mm) to decisively favoring the J.

Tiny pistols: Examples of old school ones are the Beretta .22lr/.25/.32. Newer examples are the Kel Tech P3, Ruger LC380. These guns are IMO really in a different class than the J frame. Power sucks to varying degrees, they do not hold many bullets and are often difficult guns to shoot well. Some can be shot accurately and other's not so much. Realistically effective ranges vary from across the room to 'belly gun's. Some manufacturers do not bother putting sights on these guns. The J beats them in every category except concealability.

The real advantage of these guns is that they beat the hell out of knives, fists or harsh words. Short of a speedo/ bikini or nekid they can be carried any time.

Between a small semi automatic or a J frame .38/.357mag both are servicable weapons. Both type of weapons have pluses and minuses. In the last few years a lot of really viable options by professional grade manufacturers have come out on the semi automatic side. On the other hand I can see why there is still a market for the J framed revolver.

I recently handled a Glock with two common modifications; an extended mag release and an extended slide stop. The extended mag release was terrible. It stuck out too far and rubbed like crazy on my side when carrying the gun. Personally I have never had an issue hitting the mag release on a Glock, the extended one is not wider (which might let you hit it instead of missing it if you were off a bit) but just stuck out further, like not needing to push my thumb another 1/8th of an inch really matters. I see no reason for this modification. Maybe it would buy 1/32 of a second which matters to gamers. To me for a practical use CCW/ tactical pistol the trade off is not worth it.

The extended slide stop I was ambivalent about. The part looked similar except a tiny nubbin towards the back that stuck out a small fraction of an inch. Unlike the terrible extended mag release it did not bother me par se but it did not do anything for me either. I've never had an issue hitting the slide stop to bring the slide forward. My thumb sweeps down in light contact with the frame and there is so much surface area covered I can't see how the stop could be missed.

Personally I will stick with a 3.5lb connector and a steel guide rod as my choice Glock mod's.

For my Remington 12 gauge 870P I've done some thinking and plan to stick with a 1 point sling indefinitely. Between cycling the action and (once I get one) using the light there is enough going on toward the end of a shotgun that I do not need a sling up there.

Got a Blade Tech IWB holster as part of a trade. It is pretty nice. An undershirt is important as the edges can be a touch abrasive but otherwise it's comfortable and being able to reholster 1 handed with an IWB holster is nice. A good piece of kit.

Well that is all I can think of to talk about right now. Hope you all have a great Friday. As always input is welcome.



Monday, June 3, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I had a good unplanned power outage test. Fun stuff. Coming out of that I topped off our battery stash. That sort of reinvigorated my World Band Radio hobby.

Also Walmart had 12 gauge #6 shot so I grabbed 3x 25rd boxes of it. Recently re read One Second After. There was a brief discussion between a couple characters about ammunition availability awhile after the event (a couple months I think). What folks were running short on was .22lr and small game shotgun shells. The bigger stuff was generally being held onto for rather obvious reasons. Anyway that small game type ammo was being used the most made sense to me. For whatever reason that has sort of stuck in my head over time.

We are doing OK on .22lr. Sure when it's back to $17-20/500 I will buy another 10 bricks but the situation is not desperate situation. In terms of total guns out there to availability I think a significant minority of folks have 50-100 rounds of .22lr and the majority probably have under 1k. Purchasing at normal prices .22lr represents an almost perfect (aside from that it could be used to hurt somebody) trade stock. Allocating some for trade/ charity to friends and family is probably a good idea.

Now in terms of small game shotgun ammo I'm not doing so well. Would like to stash about 500 rds of #7/8 shot and 500 or #4-6 over time. Right now small game type shotgun ammo is pretty available at normal prices so I am working on it.

This article on Wants vs Needs via Modern Survival Online is worth reading and considering. We have all been guilty of getting stuff we WANT instead of stuff we NEED a time or two. I am no exception. Heck I should have read that article late last week.

Speaking of which there have been some interesting developments in our pistol battery. Sort of trying to do a thing or two so I'm going to wait till the dust settles before talking more. A person who pays attention to guns I have been looking for and recent questions I've asked could probably make some good guesses there. Interestingly my handgun buying/ trading in the last several months has been entirely focused on concealed carry sized pistols. Sure I would LIKE 5 Glock 17's put away just in case but getting the right pistol to carry around is probably more important. Anyway I've gotten way off track and this has turned into a sort of rambling discussion.

Coming up this week I am going to keep fiddling with the world band radio. Will do some more bug out food testing also. May talk about holsters as I stumbled into a batch of em. Who knows what else will happen.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Firearmagedon and Garden Update

Today I had some idle time around mid day. Decided to go out to all the local gun shops kind of inventory/ price checking. Here is what I found

Gun availability- A wide variety of guns were readily available. All sorts of AR's plus other military pattern rifles. Of course lots of hunting/ 'precision' rifles, shotguns and .22's. Pistols were available though you might not be able to get a specific model. Part of that I think is just that a lot more variance is in the pistol market. [EX I wouldn't notice the lack of a 16" mid length BCM rifle when they had a half dozen various AR's on the wall. I would be far more likely to notice a Glock 19 not being there.] You could probably get something pretty comparable though. Lots of XD's and M&P's present. Glocks were sort of hit and miss.

One guy was definitely trying to get some pre panic prices (they may be consignment at which point he doesn't determine the price) on a few military pattern rifles but I've been seeing the same guns there for awhile so there do not seem to be any takers. However broadly speaking prices were OK. They are probably around 125% of normal or so.

Mags- Lots of AR mags. Prices for PMAG's, Lancers, etc were about $21ish. TAPCO AK mags from $15-20ish. Glock mags were semi available with prices around $30. That's not too bad since they were $26-27 retail in a local shop before this. Bunches of XD mags available. Didn't see ANY .Ruger 10/22 mags and only a few off brand AR .22 conversion mags. The shop that had the silly rifle mag prices had some silly prices for AK (unambiguous used steel @ $30) and M1A mags (unambiguous metal @ $50) . Hell I guess you can't fault a guy for being optimistic.

Ammo- Prices are generally coming down but availability is spotty. Saw .223 at a couple places. It seems to be running .60c a rd or so for brass cased range meat. .308 everywhere but it's running a buck to a buck and a quarter for brass cased range meat. No 9mm/ .40/ .45 ball to be found. The stuff is coming in a trickle then going out just as fast.

Full availability of shotgun ammo. Target loads, small game hunting, turkey and buck/ slug are all available. That in and of itself might be a reason to own a 12 gauge shotgun.

.22 ammo. Availability was limited at best. The shop that had the optimistic rifle and mag prices had a few inflation adjusted 325 round bricks of Federal Auto Match for $40. That price was probably optimistic guess somebody might need .22 ammo who will pay that. (In the last month and a half or so I've purchased 3 of them, 1 at $21 and 2 at $17.)

At other places I saw a few various 50-100 round boxes of .22lr. Some Winchester and some CCI. 

Well that's the firearmagedon update. In general things are getting better which is good. Unfortunately ammo is lagging behind. Hopefully that will get better in the coming weeks.

As to the garden. The strawberry plants did not die but they were definitely not going to bear fruit. They went into the trash today. The tomatoes are going well. Except a bird ate the two almost perfectly ripe tomatoes I was waiting to pluck from the vine and put into a meal. That filled me with more rage than was probably reasonable. Talked to some folks about it. Apparently you need nets to protect the maters from birds here. I'll do that tomorrow. The taters and beans seem to be doing just fine. The cherry tomatoes are good. The peppers just haven't done anything, not dead but haven't grown or anything. I'm kinda thinking they might have been in too small of pots. Stuck em in the larger ones the strawberries were in so maybe that will help. Well that's the garden update. Some good, some less good, lots of time outside and learning.

Anyway I hope you all have a good Saturday.

How is the firearm/ mag/ ammo situation in your area?

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

How Are Your Ammo Cans Organized?

This week I had the occasion to pick up a couple more ammo cans. Got to thinking about how I organize them, the reasoning behind that organization and overall how it's working.

Most of our ammo cans are standard 50cal cans or the comparably sized M249 SAW cans. These are a good size while still being light enough to move around. We have a few of the smaller 30cal cans these are great for commercial boxes of rifle ammo like 30-30 or 30'06. If I recall they neatly fit some bricks of .22 ammo also. We have a few big 120mm cans. Don't like them as they get stupidly heavy plus of course the stuff you need will be at the bottom.

Previously our ammo cans were just filled as stuff came in so it was a big mess. Recently I went through inventorying and reorganizing our ammo cans.  Between different sized objects, especially sealed cases and part cases of ammo, quantities of different stuff and available can sizes there is an inevitable game of Tetras. As many cases as can be homogenous are. Cans are marked on the outside with the caliber, round count and when applicable bullet type. This is how approximately 80% of our cans are set up.

Two ammo cans are set up as "Go Cans". They are set up to feed our Survival Guns and are identical except for different (backup) accessories inside. The only change I've made since writing that article is swapping the '06 out for 30-30 since there is no longer an '06 on inventory. Also nothing says 'Merica like a 30-30.

Anyway last week we picked up 2 more ammo cans.  Both had an intentional purpose.

One is for range ammo. My biggest fail of this current gun/ mag/ ammo hysteria is that I did not plan for continued practice, zeroing guns, etc all. I had what I considered (of course more is nice but we have to balance a lot of things) OK amount of ammo but there wasn't a budget for training, etc. That meant if I needed 100 rounds to test fire and zero a rifle it came out of the amount of ammo I considered sufficient for an emergency. That is obviously a problem. On the other hand if I was smart like Tam who keeps disaster/ operational ammo and range/ practice ammo separate I could practice through an ammo shortage without worrying that it's coming out of operational ammo. 

Range ammo typically doesn't stay around long enough for storage in cans to be strictly necessary but a can is a good way to keep things organized or grab it all in a hurry. This way there aren't random boxes of ammo here, there and everywhere which lets me look in one place to know what is in the range stash. On top of it is a piece of tape that says Range Meat. I made an intentional decision not to bother keeping written inventories on range ammo as it is going to fluctuate. When things get better I would like to keep 500 rounds of .223, 500 of 9mm, a couple hundred .38, 2k in .22, a hundred rounds of 12 gauge and a couple boxes of 30-30 to be able to shoot whatever, whenever, without dipping into our core ammo stash. [Once buying in bulk is practical again I'll rotate the ammo. EX buy 500 rounds of 9mm ball, pull 500 rounds out of the stash and replace it with the new stuff, shoot the old stuff, repeat. It's just not worth it to dig out a 50 round box of 9mm here and 40 rounds of .223 there.] At that point the .22 will get a small can and the rest will likely split a large can.

The other can is what I call an 'Orphan Can'. It is the transitional place where I keep various ammo that has been purchased until there is enough of something to put into it's own can. This is largely a function of our current environment with high prices plus spotty availability. Honestly I'm just buying enough to replace what I'm shooting these days or building stocks of what we are especially short on [Example, I have a .22 that only seems to feed a certain type of ammo so I buy it whenever it's available. That gun is handy but picky so I will buy that particular ammo (CCI Mini Mag or Velocitor) till I've got 2k or so stashed.] Unless you are really short it is IMO not a good time to stock up. Prices are getting back to normal so if you have a bit stashed for a rainy SHTF day I would wait a little while to probably save a lot of money. In any case the orphan can takes the random boxes of ammo I buy until there is enough of something to put in it's own can or the thing gets full at which point I'll figure it out.

So basically I have a bunch of relatively homogenous (1 type of ammo) cans, 2 go cans, a range can and an orphan can. I plan to keep this setup more or less. The only change I can see making is if/ when new caches are established. They would obviously have ammo cans associated with them which would be set up for their purpose but probably look a lot like our go cans.

How are your ammo cans organized?





Friday, March 29, 2013

Basic Guns Part 4: .22lr Rifle

To catch folks up who haven't seen this series the concept is as follows. It is the Basic Guns series and we are talking about affordable but still reliable guns that will fill a lot of roles. Remember this is not "the coolest most expensive guns that fill a specific roll well". I am trying to help people make good choices that are quality but heavily consider price and in the current environment that eliminates a lot of options. Instead of making people feel bad they cannot afford an AR and a Glock with 4x basic loads of mags I want to help by proposing some viable, affordable options. So don't be a sharp shooting dick saying how a gun 3x the price is better, we already know that, just go with the spirit of the series.

So far we have a .38 revolver and a Remington 870/ Mossberg 500 pump shotgun. Now we are going to get a .22 rifle. I put a .22 before a centerfire rifle for 3 primary reasons; first the rifles are cheap, second ammo is cheap, even at today's temporary inflated prices .22 is 10-12x cheaper than standard center fire rifle ammo. This means it is easier to stock a lot of it and shoot a lot. Third since most people who need this series are not really gun people it is a great way to learn to shoot rifles so you will be more ready for a center-fire rifle down the road.

The price point we are looking at for a .22lr rifle is pretty low. $175- 200 can get you a solidly serviceable .22 rifle today in Southern Arizona. Since many of our used guns are smuggled into Mexico and sold on the black market  prices are a little higher here you can probably get one a bit cheaper elsewhere. I suspect the $150-175 is probably reasonable in a lot of areas with slightly lower used gun prices.

Primarily the gun I want to talk about is the Marlin model 60. It is semi automatic and tube fed. Most of them work great and run forever. I have personally seen a couple have problems though I suspect they would probably work just fine after a good cleaning. They are cheap, and since they have a tube fed mag do not require detachable mags which is good as they are stupidly expensive these days, so you really just need the gun, a sling and some ammo.

[I do not currently own one of these but the next time there is cash in the gun fund and one pops up at a good price it will come home with me.]

If you are lucky or patient Ruger 10/22's can be found for just a bit more money which they are totally worth. For other options there are a lot of .22's made. I cannot recommend against the Remington 597 strongly enough; wasted money on one that never worked right then eventually gave it away to my buddy's little brother. Savage bolt action .22's are nice (at least I've heard so) and affordable though I do not have personal experience with them. The AR-7 take down .22lr is a nice idea but the gun patent/ production has been sold more than a cheap hooker so more lemons are probably in circulation than gems. There are many other .22's out there. So many old bolt action Marlin/ Remington/ Winchester's out there it would be impossible to talk each one. At the end of the day if it is made by a major manufacturer, you can get spare parts for it and the price is right then go for it.

If you want to spend a bit more and get a better gun purchase a Ruger 10/22. They are awesome, modular and magazine fed. Just great guns. 

My setup would be:
Marlin model 60 .22lr
sling
2,500 rounds of .22lr ammo

Thoughts?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Ammo Shopping and Gratuitous AR/ Burris MTAC Pics

Overall I am fairing well through this gun/ gun stuff/ ammo panic. Sure there is stuff I want but that's life. The biggest mistake single mistake I made was not differentiating between operational ammo and training ammo. We stocked about enough to be comfortable if something happens. However I did not have a separate stash for zeroing optics, test firing new guns, training and such. A half case each of .223 and 9mm plus a couple bricks of .22lr, 250 rounds of .38 and 150 rounds of mixed 12 gauge ammo (mostly bird shot, some buck and a few slugs) or so that is allocated for training and such stuff would be really nice.

It isn't a great time to buy ammo but as Tam noted you have got to keep something coming in even during the bad times. So I've been doing some looking around at the local shops. The last few days have been pretty good for me.

Can't figure out how to get the picture the right way. That is three of the new fangled midget 325 round bricks of Federal .22lr, three 20 round boxes of 55gr XM193 and a 50 round box of 9mm FMJ. One box of .22lr was $22 and the others were $16. The .223 was $12.95 and the 9mm was painful at $22 something. This leaves me happy for .22 training ammo. The .223 will get burned up on my next range trip to really zero in the scope on Project AR. The 9mm is headed to my upcoming class.

To conclude this topic it seems like ammo is slowly becoming available again. Some is at less than ideal prices and some at ok prices. It's just selling as soon as it shows up. There is always that trade off of driving around to different places and waiting in line or paying a bit more. The options are to put in the energy/ time/ gas shopping around, pay steep prices or bitch about the situation. What's right for one person might not be for another. I don't think it is time to go big and stock up on cases of ammo (at these prices) but getting a few boxes of stuff you are seriously short on or replacing some shooting ammo is probably realistic.



It occurred to me that I have not really talked about or shown a pic of the new scope on my rifle.
Here is my rifle these days. Still need to get a DBAL and free float the rail but otherwise this is what it's going to look like, well at least till it's done and gets painted. I am pretty happy with it. Actually that is an understatement as this gun frickin rocks.
A close up of the Burris MTAC and La Rue mount. Shooting it is great. Zeroed it in about 15 rounds, well at least a 90% solution anyway. Specifically it's zeroed at 25 but I need to back out and confirm/ adjust to 50 meters. I think the 50 meter zero is probably the way to go. On the last range trip I sort of got sidetracked, which is another story I'm not ready to write yet, and ran out of time. Will go back and get it finished on the next trip. Since my training ammo budget is a bit better I'll throw some rounds downrange to confirm. One feature I particularly like about this scope is that the illum turns off between power setting. That means unlike an aimpoint where you have to cycle through all the power setting to get to the one you like it can be put to the setting you want with a slight twist.

A pic that shows the La Rue mount more clearly. I like the quick detachment option a lot and consider it a prerequisite for a fighting rifle, especially if you cannot co witness. This way if the optic goes down, which seems unlikely as it's ridiculously stout, I can pull two levers then flip up the BUIS and get back into the fight.

How are things looking in your neighborhood?


Friday, March 15, 2013

New Years Resolutions- Finalized a bit late



I dropped some draft goals awhile back and was recently reminded of them. It is high time I solidify them.

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run a half marathon (I changed to this because it's March and I haven't tracked mileage which was a big fat fail)



Continue working on barefoot running towards the goal of running on a  variety of terrain up to 5k barefoot

Transition to running fully in minimalist shoes

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. (Specifically a nice Bravo or Raven concealment kydex holster for the Glock with TLR-1, a good OWB holster for the J frame, and an ankle holster.)

Purchase a DBAL and free float the barrel on project AR.  (The DBAL is almost funded I just need to do a bit more research then pull the trigger.)


Finally complete Project 870. At least the tube extension and sling. The light angle I've got to do some thinking on.

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff (firing pin, extractor, ejector, springs, pins, etc) for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it.

If things work out and decent deals come along I would like to get a single shot 12 gauge and another .22 rifle. 

Subcategory Ammo: I am only doing this if prices get back to normalish. Would take my best whack at it and if I get half done be happy.
5k .22lr
1k 9mm
1k 12 gauge (mixed about 400 buck, 100 slug and 500 mixed small game loads)
2k .223


Food:

Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Continue with my garden this year.

Pursue fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Maybe purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.

Financial:

Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

If we reach our food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:


Start on the AR Pistol.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Standardization of Weapons

Through a lot of effort and energy some good things have happened over the past few months:
We have standardized pistols to .22lr, .38/.357 revolvers and 9mm Glocks.
Our shotgun platform is the Remington 870 3".
Rifles are still where they are with .223/5.56, 7.62x39, 30-30 and 30'-6. That may or may not change. The working stuff is pretty much consolidated. The outliers are still in common calibers and good guns so I am disinclined to get rid of them.

 It might be worth considering swapping your oddball(s) for another gun that fits into your  situation. Simple is good.

 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Yeah it is Wednesday. I sort of forgot to do this earlier in the week. PT and the usual stuff happened. Some dry fire training also. Picked up a few extra household items to stash away. Also got another 200 rounds of CCI Mini Mags which is nice. Can never have too many good .22 shells.

At the store I stumbled into 2 more of the Energizer LED lanterns that we just love. These came with inserts to run on AA's instead of D's. This is significant because it should mean we can run AA's in the D inserts with the other ones we have. I have got to test them and see if they work with rechargeable batteries.

Been fiddling with the loadout for my HPG Kit Bag. I use it rucking and trail running more than I planned so have lightened it up a little bit. Still reading Max Velocity's book Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises. It just keeps getting better. Almost done and a review will follow shortly.

Anyway that is what has been going on here. What have you been up to?


Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Questioning Common Caliber Wisdom

Modern Survival Online did a post recently questioning the conventional wisdom. Though I consider .38 special/.357 mag a common caliber (probably behind 9mm but narrowly ahead of .45 acp and .40 in the real non gunnie world) his point is valid. I have been stewing over it for awhile until today Tam talked about the availability of 5.45 commie which made me want to chime in.

Since common calibers are something I promote it made me really think. First I got to thinking about what makes a caliber common. A few characteristics come to mind:

1-Wide commercial availability. If a small place like a hardware store sells ammo  what they will (normally) have is a pretty common guide. This varies slightly regionally but 12 gauge, 9mm and 30.06 are common while 16 gauge, .357sig and .204 Ruger are not.

2-In the closets/ ammo cans of a large number of average people with whom you could potentially cross level or trade. The stuff your paranoid neighbor, gunnie uncle or whatever are likely to have. Odds he will have a 12 gauge or .308 are higher than that he will have a .300 blackout or 6.8.

3-Modern ammo made in the USA (or wherever you live) is available. If importation was restricted this stuff would become unobtanium even though it's all over the place today. This affects the economy of a lot of old WWII surplus rounds putting them on par with conventional hunting rounds in terms of economics. It is a bigger problem for 5.45 commie and some other rounds that aren't (to my knowledge widely) available in the US made variety at all.  If you choose to go this route stock ammo DEEP. I'm talking closer to pallets than cases because there is a viable possibility you may never be able to find it again.

4-Total rounds available. The sheer amount of a given caliber of ammo in a specific region. This is interestingly different from the first two because it may include military calibers that aren't really used by civilians. Example .50 BMG is not in many gun stores and few people have a gun in it. However there are millions if not billions of rounds stored away at various military installations and a few larger police departments. While admittedly rounds not widely on the market are uncommon by definition in the race to the bottom this gives it an advantage over a round like .408 CheyTac.

I think these criteria are more or less listed in terms of importance. While it isn't exactly quantifiable we could arguably rate these from 1-10 (or whatever) then add them up and divide to get a number. Stuff like .22lr and 12 gauge would probably be 10 but .475 Linebaugh would be more like a 2.

As it relates to the current firearmagedon:

-Since everybody is scared about evil black rifles being messed with this means the ammo associated with them (.223, 7.62x39 and .308) are naturally in high demand. You CAN GET THEM but just at sucky prices. It seems like around here in Southern Arizona bulk pack type .223 (55gr PMC, etc all) is going for 80 cents to a buck a round with more desirable (M855, JHP's etc) ammo going for 85 cents to a buck and change a round. .308 is running at least a buck a round. However you can get it. Since the supply is larger somebody will eventually be induced to sell at the right price.

Conversely there is simply no 6.8 or 10mm auto to be had locally at least without swapping a nubile 18 year old daughter or something else of comparable value. If there are 7 boxes of an uncommon caliber in town it's a lot less likely you can get your hands on 4 of them.

-Any time you try to buy something that is in high demand it's going to cost you no matter how common the item is. Hot pizza is worth more when the pizza joints have closed down. A bottle of Jim Beam is worth more after the liquor stores and bars close. If there are a bunch of hungry folks who want to drink more both are going to cost you dearly. It's simple economics.

-To me the answer to this is to stock enough to ride out the occasional bad 3-6 months. Have some doomsday ammo but put aside a few boxes for range duty to get you through a dry spell.

-Sure like Tam said getting an AR upper or AK in 5.45 commie could give you an option  but you would have to be putting a lot of rounds downrange to break even on the initial investment. Personally since it's a nitche item I wouldn't buy it at the expense of an AK in the common 7.62x39 or another .223 AR.

Anyway those are my .02 cents on that. Thoughts?




Monday, January 21, 2013

1 Long gun, 1 Pistol and 1 Knife

Saw this over at SHTF Blog and have been thinking about it ever since. We talked about our top 3 guns previously but the jump from 3 to 2 is a lot.

Pistol- Glock 19. A great compromise between conceal ability and capacity/ shootability. Also you just don't get any more common than a Glock 9mm. Though a Glock 17 would be fine also as the two aren't that different in size.

Long Gun- AR-15 with a CMMG .22 conversion kit. This is arguably gaming the question but since it is just a spare bolt and a magazine I don't think it is too ridiculous. I think arguing the technicality that the lower is the part and saying I would also have a 6.8 or 300 blackout upper would be gaming things. 

A narrow second place would be a Remington 870 with both long and short barrels. The Remington 870 is very versatile but the AR's ability to shoot .22lr gives a pretty good option to put meat into the pot. While you cannot LEGALLY hunt medium-large game with .223 I believe with decent shot placement and the right ammo it is a viable option.

Knife- I am sticking with knives as a discrete tool category and thus not slipping into machete's or hatchets or whatever. The knife would definitely be a fixed blade with a 4-5inch blade. The good old Ka Bar came into my mind but it is a bit too big for most tasks. Of knives I currently own the Pathfinder Trade Knife would be the best candidate. Of knives that are out there the new Benchmade Bushcrafter seems like a darn good candidate. I definitely want one and will eventually make the purchase.

Anyway those are my pistol, rifle and knife choices. What are yours?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Earlier this week I went shooting testing a variety of things and working on the zero on my rifle. At Good Will I picked up a pair of line new USGI desert boots with the rippled vibram sole. They are a half size too big but you can never have too many boots and the price of $15 was right. An AR-15 stripped lower receiver came to live with us. Picked up a hundred rounds of American Eagle 9mm FMJ and 100 rounds of excellent CCI Velocitor .22lr that has been totally unavailable for a couple of weeks. Also grabbed a few little things, some OTC meds and packets of instant coffee for my BOB.

All in all a darn good week here. Pretty 2A oriented but that is to be expected these days.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Range Report- Project AR, New Night Sights and Other Fun

Went to the range today. The way things came together today was the day to go and pleasantly the weather cooperated. It has been quite cold for the last several days with daytime highs in the low 30's or so. Sure I would have gone shooting in colder temps but today was nice enough that I ended up in just a t shirt. As this is Arizona of course it was clear and sunny.

Had a bit of anxiety about taking out the new lower since a complete buffoon I put it together. Project AR has been shot before but on a different lower.  Pleased to report that the new lower receiver works just fine. So Project AR is now a complete rifle which is good. Still want to free float the barrel and put an IR laser on it but those things will wait indefinitely on funds.

The first order of business was getting the zero on Project AR up to standard. It was almost perfect at 25 meters but when I went back to 50 to confirm things needed work for sure. Was shooting way high (which is why a zero that is level at 50 and 200 is far better than 25/250) and a bit to the left but pretty much got it figured out. Eventually I ran out of ammo and motivation/ energy at about the same time. Probably went from a 70% solution to a 90% solution which is meaningful progress.

Pistol shooting pretty much sucked. My grouping was like an 8 inch shotgun blast at 10 meters which leaves something to desire. Sort of expected as my consistency in pistol shooting over the last 4 years has seriously left something to be desired. Over the course of a hundred rounds or so things improved noticeably to a tight shotgun blast which is something. In any case it was a reminder that I need to make consistent bi weekly or at least monthly range trips and be better about dry fire practice.

Not sure exactly how I feel about the new night sights on my EDC Glock 19. Will stick with them for a few range sessions and try them at night if I can do so conveniently. In awhile I may switch back to the 3 dot ones that I am used to.

The 'if I have time' piece of this trip was my Christmas present which was a CMMG .22 conversion kit for the AR. I had some time waiting for the range to go cold to check my targets and figured why not. Loaded up the mag, replaced the standard BCG with the CMMG bolt and gave it a shot. It fed the bulk pack (Remington IIRC) ammo without a hitch. Once I figured out the hold over it was quite accurate. Definitely not sufficient for competitive marksmanship but it seems just fine for training, plinking or putting a rabbit into the pot. I will fiddle with it some more and get back to you with a review down the road aways.

I realized while trying to stuff guns into a cheap plastic case that came with a rifle that I can really use a nice double rifle case. Also some sort of a legit range bag (vs the random duffel I have) with little useful compartments and mag pouches would be very helpful.

So aside from my mediocre pistol marksmanship everything was good. As always shooting is fun.





Saturday, December 29, 2012

Niche Guns: The Really Small Pistol


I've said for a long time that to cover the basics a person needs a center fire rifle, center fire pistol, shotgun and .22. That makes sense to most folks as it should; I stole the idea from Massad Ayoob who is a smart dude. For me those weapons would be an AR, a Glock 19, a Remington 870 and a Ruger 10/22. This is not to say a guy who chooses an FN-FAL, a Glock 21, a Mossberg 590 and a tube fed Marlin is at all wrong. Just doing things a bit differently.

If something happened and these guns were all I had that would be fine. Of course that is for ME. For a couple I would *like* both people to have a pistol and ideally a rifle of their own. These should be compatible when possible/ practical. The shotgun and .22 can be 'pool' weapons unless you need 2 at the same time for hunting or whatnot. A reasonable person could stop at 4 guns and be just fine. Some like redundancy by owning two or more of the same weapons platform and that is great if you have the money and inclination to do so. However moving past these 4 basic guns there are a few really useful things to have.

Depending on what the first rifle is a military pattern semi auto or a surplus/ bolt action hunting type rifle getting the other type really gives a lot of options. This is probably the biggest benefit of the semi auto .308's. You can really do both pretty well with any of the common 'battle rifles'. Or you could pick up a bolt gun to round things out and only have one cartridge. Regardless our first niche gun will be the scoped rifle (or semi auto if you had a scoped in the basic 4).

The next one that comes to mind is a really small pistol. Yes I coined the title myself. Genius I know. We could debate the exact top end of this size but I don't feel like putting that much thought into it. To me the universal snubby .38, Walther PPK and Baby Glock's are a  little bit too big to really fit here. We are talking guns like the Kel Tech P3AT, S&W Bodyguard .380, Ruger LC380, baby Beretta's, NAA tiny revolvers, etc all.

Calibers range from .380 down to the good old .22 Long Rifle. Personally I do not see a huge point in arguing ballistics here. They all suck to varying degrees. Seriously it is a race to the bottom like a Toyota Prius owner arguing with a Smart Car owner and a Hyundai Accent owner about who has the best performance.

Strait Forward in a Crooked World makes a good case for the little .22 that I touched on awhile back. .22 ammo is uuber common and generally considered more benign, and thus easy to acquire, than other pistol calibers. Something to think about anyway. The new breed of little single stack 9mm's such as the S&W shield, Ruger LC9 as well as the older established Khar and Kel Tech's make a good case for skipping the .380 entirely. 

After a lot of consideration these guns have a viable, if narrow role. Dressed in anything more than a Speedo these guns can be concealed. There is a lot to say for this ability. Carrying a small or really small pistol as a backup is something people do for various reasons.   For cops and other various folks who tend to be at higher than average risk this is probably smart. For Joe Everyday CCW it probably isn't necessary but then again a little pistol in a pocket holster isn't a huge sacrifice.

Some folks carry these guns as a primary weapon. I am not a huge fan of this. As these guns (to varying degrees) are difficult to shoot well AND carry small amounts of weak cartridges it doesn't seem like the best idea to me. Certainly better than harsh words but if better options are realistically possible I would suggest them.

Not sure if I would go really small pistol before or after the scoped rifle (or semi auto) first. It probably depends on your situation. A dude living in the hinterboonies should probably get the other rifle while a suburbanite would be well advised to pick up a really small pistol.

Do you have a really small pistol? What role does it fill?






Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas To All!

Our Christmas got off to a great start with Walker sleeping in until 8 o'clock in the morning. Kiddo was mad that Santa was in our house (he does not like the man after a bad mall experience) and after finding a couple matchbox cars in his stocking decided he was done opening gifts. We helped him with the rest and then had some breakfast.

Kiddo got a cowboy outfit for Christmas and somehow it ended up on the dog. Dog is not amused by this. Anyway the picture came out well and we had to share it. Don't worry Dog is being well rewarded with all manner of (dog safe) people food so his Christmas is still going well.

Wifey got a nice designer wallet, a wool coat and some end tables. I got a CMMG Conversion kit for the AR and an IPOD Nano.

After breakfast we have just been hanging out. Kiddo played with toys and generally was himself and is down for a nap. Dog is sleeping. We are relaxing before dinner and doing some light snacking.

I pulled out my rifle (calling it Project AR Upgrade is getting old) and fiddled with the conversion kit a bit. It is a nicely manufactured little piece of kit. "Installation" is stupidly easy. Just take out the bolt and put in the kit bolt then insert a .22 magazine. I'm looking forward to testing it out at the range later this week. Will check the darn schedule this time though.

To me there are two real roles for this kit. As a survival toon and for affordable short range training with the AR. For me being able to carry a little bolt with a mag or two and shoot .22 ammo through my rifle would be really nice. A great option if I have to travel light for whatever reason. Secondly I can't afford to shoot anywhere near as much .223 as would be ideal but a trip to the range with this sucker won't break the bank.

For me two criteria will determine if this bolt is a useful tool or a little gimmick decent accuracy and OK reliability. What I want to be able to do is shoot .22lr accurately at 25, or ideally 50 meters, sufficiently to do SRM, plink and if need put some meat into the pot. Don't need or expect it to win small bore competitions, just to be accurate enough to fill a legitimate role. As to reliability I am a bit less concerned. So long as it doesn't jam every third round or in complicated unpleasant ways that make the whole thing a hassle I am prepared for a few eccentricities. Absolute best case some duds are inevitable with rim fire ammo anyway. I'll share some more thoughts after it gets some range time.

Well kiddo is up and it is almost time to start moving towards dinner so it is time to wrap this up.

Hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas



Thursday, November 8, 2012

Thinking of Panic Buying?

I have talked to a couple people in the gun biz and they are really busy. I'm not talking rumors over the internet from a guy who knows a guy but actual humans I regularly interact with. Since the election went to our President Barrack Obama the speculation is that he will try to push through some sort of Assault Weapons Ban or other gun control measures.

Personally I do not think the winds of our time are for gun control. Between Heller, the Republicans owning the house and arguably the Democratic party at large learning from '94, a lot of states adding or going to 'shall issue' with concealed carry and the popularity of many modern weapons including Glock pistols as well as other polymer double stack's and the AR platform I don't see it happening. For goodness sake Walmart sells AR-15's these days. There could be too many people who own them or have vested interests in making them for it to happen. However I could be wrong.

Honestly part of the reason I am not all that worried is that over time I've built up a decent stash of weapons as well as magazines and ammunition to feed them. It didn't happen overnight. An order of Glock mag's here, some .223 there, a few AR-15 mags for my birthday, etc. It turns out that if you make 3-4 orders for mags or ammo a year for several years it sure adds up. It certainly wouldn't be ideal if what I've got is all there will ever be but it wouldn't be disastrous.

As we discussed before there are some problems with panic buying. Also as Commander Zero once noted (more or less) if you can comfortably afford something and want it then why hasn't it come home with you already. The guy they find for the news who never liked guns but goes out and gets 2 AR's with a bunch of mags and several cases of .223 ammo because they might be banned is IMO very rare. If you wanted a case of 9mm ammo or a nice AR-15 rifle then either you own it or there is some reason like money, motivation or whatever that it hasn't happened already.

A more realistic scenario I think is that you might re prioritize things if it looks like a ban might be coming. While they are also really important medical stuff, extra boots and commo stuff are unlikely to be banned in a month or two. Depending on where you are low and where you are comfortable it might be prudent to move item #3 on your list which is a spare set of mags for your pistol and #4 which is some more .22 ammo to the front burner. You might even feel strongly enough about the urgency to skip drinks with the guys and bring leftovers or a sack lunch to work a few times to make things happen in a hurry.

Of course it is worth noting to be reasonable about it. Do not be financially stupid or bet too heavily on one possible scenario. I certainly wouldn't recommend spending money you cannot afford or going into debt. Also be careful not to get gun/ mag/ ammo/ accessories tunnel vision. Yes guns and the stuff to run them are important but you still need food, fuel, cash, extra clothes and medical supplies. I think it is reasonable to slightly adjust your priorities (especially for a short period like 3-6 months) to fill needs that may become more difficult or expensive to fill later.

Please note that I am not at all against having a good stash of guns and gun stuff.  If I stumbled into a bunch of money from my dead Zimbabwean Uncle tomorrow another AR and Glock 9mm (or a few of each) with plenty of ancillary stuff would come home with us. It is just that we have limited resources to prepare for all sorts of scenarios. Also to be blunt it is more likely that I will need a Coleman stove w/ fuel and some canned goods than a bunch more shotgun shells sitting in the closet by the other shotgun shells.

As to putting my money where my mouth is. Recently I have purchased 4 of those new 25 round Ruger 10/22 mags and 1 more 10rder for the .22 Buckmark recently. That being said those were shortages identified in recent inventories. I am toying with a few future purchases that might be made in the next few months: a handful of PMAGs and Glock mags as well as a new AR-15 lower for Project AR Upgrade  would be nice. However I'm not going to be prioritizing this stuff above food (which we are short on) and new funding streams that may or may not develop are also a factor so who knows.

Anyway those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

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