Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guns. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

White Knight Syndrome



Truth by James Yeager. You might not agree with everything he says but the man is dead on about this one. Personally I have thought a lot about the actual situations where I would intervene/ get involved with violent (or potentially so) situations that did not involve me. Admittedly as the years have gone by I have gotten older and wiser about this topic. Honestly the times I would get involved are pretty narrowly defined and vastly outnumbered by 'not my problem'.

If White Trash (I say as the most likely cultural group I would encounter in this context, not an insult. Pot says to kettle.) Joe is slapping around White trash Betty May  who is a stranger to me that is not my problem. If Betty May is my family member or good friend it is probably going to be Joe's problem but that is a whole nother discussion. The truth of those situations, from watching years of Cops, is that you are more likely to end up fighting both of them then save this gal or whatever.

Honestly if strangers are doing whatever sort of madness to each other and life/ limb/ eyesight are not genuinely in danger I sort of figure it's not my problem.

In a clear cut situation (ex random guy tries to grab old lady's purse in a parking lot, meth maggots assaulting a school girl a la Training Day, etc) I am more likely to get involved that some sort of DV or mutual combat situation. Then again I guess even that is scenario based.

If I'm walking around with 2 buddies who are also armed I'm going to get involved, we've got that purse snatchers number. If I'm alone I still really like my odds and will probably help Granny out.  On the other hand if I'm alone coming out of a store holding an upset/ tired/ sick/ whatever 3 year old in my left arm whilst wrangling a cart full of whatever that also holds my baby daughter the idea of getting involved in any fight I'm not forced into is a hard sell. Personally I consider any  potential risk to my loved ones as far more important than some random person. I'd see Granny in the dirt before risking my kids getting hurt. That is harsh and not nice to say but absolutely 100% true.

I don't mean to be uncaring here, nor that I do not value human life. If I can realistically help somebody without undue risk to my loved ones I would do so. True story... a few years ago in a shopping complex where my little sister used to work a woman was randomly murdered by a transient type guy. Just a normal gal doing some shopping or getting lunch and some asshat attacked her. He probably had a knife but I honestly do not recall. Anyway a bunch of people watched this goblin kill that poor gal. Ryan don't play that. At that point in life I was not legally able to carry a gun but I'd have stopped that guy or died trying. Knife (mine), improvised weapon like a metal chair or my bare hands there is no way I'm going to watch some monster butcher a person. The only way I wouldn't get involved is if I was A) alone with my children. Usually Wifey is with us and she could thus take them speedily in opposite direction while I go do what must be done AND B) I was not carrying a firearm.

[Admittedly a strait up lethal force situation is easier to deal with given that realistically my kids would be there. I say this because I'd tell crazy murderous transient to "stop or I will shoot you" then do precisely that. The odds of risk to my children, sitting in the grocery cart, when I am between them and knife wielding psycho and engage him while holding a pistol at the high ready are pretty darn low. The Tueler Drill goes out the window if the gun is already aimed and the shooter is willing to immediately open fire.]

Anyway as a person who may potentially (you bloody better) choose to carry deadly weapons I urge you to think about the situations where you might choose to get involved in a violent or potentially violent encounter. Consider the legal as well as social/ moral angles. Think about this now before you might have to make a split second decision that could change your life. Do the right thing for your family, yourself and strangers in that order.

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, December 23, 2013

Operational Cache Financing and Item Selection



I'm in the midst of setting up the Operational Cache. Waiting for some ammo to show up from Lucky Gunner as well as a chest rig for the AK. Those plus some extra cleaning stuff will round it out.

Going to do some shooting this weekend then put the guns away.

Additional items have been forming up generally along the lines of our previous talk on the matter. Boots, water bottle, mora knife, poncho, etc. My general goal is to be able to show up and pick up the stuff for concealed carry or if need be go from street clothes to a functional combatant.

Somebody mentioned price once. I shutter to actually do the math but it was a lot. Full price today on everything would probably be over 2k USD. Part of it is that gun prices have gone up considerably (over 200%) over the past few years so replacement cost is very different from cash I have in that stuff. However that was not an issue because it was all stuff I already had. Like many survivalists I have been buying guns, ammo and gear pretty consistently since I was legally able to do so.

What I basically did was pull together a bunch of stuff that was lying around and put it together to set away someplace else, just in case I need it there in the future. 

When I was choosing stuff for this it went like this. What is currently used regularly? What are heirlooms or prized guns I want around to ensure the care of to someday pass on to my children? Everything else was looked at. I kept an eye toward keeping redundancy at home while also balancing similar firearms and compatible calibers with the people on the other end. In the end I chose 2 guns. Would have brought more but the case I already owned was pretty tight already.

You might not have 1-2k to buy guns you can stash. However I bet most folks reading this have got a spare SKS or Mosin Nagant or pump shotgun, probably a pistol you tried for tactical use or CCW and didn't quite like but never sold. Guns gathering dust back in the safe or closet can be taken elsewhere to be priceless backups.

The rest of the stuff was picked in a similar way. I need a knife, go to the extra knife stash to pick one that will work. I need mags, go to the mag stash and grab some, etc. Even the case the guns went into was lying around taking up space in the garage.

The only real cash I'm putting into this is for an AK rig which I have been delinquent in buying for some time, a case of 7.62x39 HP and some .38 special ammo. I went longer on ammo than originally planned since I was able to avoid buying a new rifle case which freed up some cash.

The point I am trying to get at is that most of the people reading this have the stuff to set up at least one of these caches right now without meaningfully lowering their preparedness at their primary location. In other words I am trying to motivate you all to get off your duff's and start making caches. If you already have all the caches you want/ need then by all means disregard but if you've been admiring the problem of setting up caches for awhile get to actually doing it.

Got Cache?

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Gun Time Warp: Skills and Strategy Matter Not Hardware

Lets just say that tomorrow I woke up and my firearms battery was very different. Instead of the more modern guns in our current battery I had a Remington 870 Wingmaster with an 18.5inch cylinder bore barrel and a 28" modified choke, a Marlin model 60, a J frame .38, a 1911 or maybe a K frame .357 and a 30-30 Winchester. All of these guns were available a half century ago in the 1960's.

I could hunt anything in the Continental US, have a solid CCW pistol as well as a house gun a shotgun that will do anything plus a good rifle and a .22. I would be down a lot in capacity but honestly that is rarely the issue which decides the day for Joe Six Pack civilian. Realistically this setup could handle all manner of sporting, home defense and a pretty nasty Katrina like SHTF scenario. I won't lie and say it is equal to a Glock 19 and AR or AK but assuming the operator does their job in anything short of a full on war the difference in capacity is rarely needed.

What I am getting at is that skills and strategy matter a lot more than hardware. If you are on a basic guns type budget it might be worth putting money into training before looking at upgrading your guns.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Justifying New Gun Purchases


 There are some valid points here. Assuming a gun is purchased at a reasonable price and sold in roughly comparable condition in a non fire sale 'got to sell it today' way they hold their value quite well. Do however note there are a few qualifiers there.

 I think this decision is a lot easier for gun enthusiasts/ tacticly minded type folks than survivalists or their toned down better dressed cousins 'preppers'. A shooter can buy the cool new gun they want and assuming it's not a financially ruinous move (buying a SCAR-H on a credit card, etc) then rock on. A survivalist on the other hand has different stuff to look at. It's not just 'do I need this gun' or even 'do I want this gun' anymore.

For a survivalist it's more like 'Do I have enough ammo for the guns I own now?' All the guns in the world are useless without ammo. From a utilitarian survivalism perspective a pair of good fighting rifles or even better one per family member of either something AR-15 based or AK-47's then lots of ammo is probably the right answer. (If your pockets are deep I guess .308's are fine) Stocking deep on 5.56 or 7.62x39 to keep the guns you own fed is more important than buying a SCAR/ Steyr-Aug/FN-2000 for fun.

Even aside from ammo should that money be going into food or fuel or a Berkey water filter, or a Titan Ready Water barrel rack system to hold a couple hundred gallons of water or training to use the guns you have?

In short for survivalists you cannot have too many guns but can certainly short yourself elsewhere to get a new toy.

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?

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Louisiana Tax Free 2nd Ammendment Weekend 6-8 SEP 2013

It seems once a year Louisiana does a tax free weekend for guns, ammo, hunting stuff, etc once a year. This is pretty cool. Don't think I'll be buying much. Most of my significant needs are in the bulk ammo spectrum; I've been eying a case of 7.62x39 and some 9mm ball but will probably pick up a couple boxes this weekend just because. Anyway for folks who can use a gun or pick up their ammo a few boxes at a time locally this is a cool deal.

Speaking of cool deals remember the huge Mountain House sale at Camping Survival.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

RE: What To Do With Extra Firearms

This came up in the comments for the latest chapter in You Took Away Tomorrow:

One question I've had off the top of my head is arsenal wise. If you were a guy that had hunting bolt and lever rifles or extra pistols laying around, would you take those? Say your .243, .270, .30-30? For me I can't imagine leaving them somewhere, but taking 5-10 non tactical weapons that wouldn't help a lot seems like a lot of space and weight to carry! Thoughts? Click to read the rest

My response:
I would recommend spreading your proverbial extra eggs out. Cache them or leave them in convenient locations. [EX if you always meet up at Jim's to go hunting leave the .243 and your big .357mag there with some spare ammo. This means you have couple guns in a place you regularly travel to away from home. Maybe they'll help you and maybe they'll help Jim. Either way it beats them sitting as extras you couldn't move in a bad situation.]

They key is doing these things, to some degree, now before you need to.

General diversification strategy aside I would not underrate non tactical type guns. A good .22 and a hunting type shotgun are some of the most practical guns out there and a scoped deer rifle can be pretty handy also. Not tacticool but really useful for game gathering.


What are you doing with firearms beyond your basic needs? There are lots of viable options but I would submit that putting them all in a big gun safe at home is  probably not the right answer.

On another note this evening somehow vanished so you get somebody else's stuff with my thoughts on it. Good news I ordered a bunch of stuff to complete various systems today; a couple metal sporks, another steel water bottle, a streamlight flashlight and some other things. Had craziness with amazon but eventually I got it to take the right payment and hopefully to ship to my current address. Expect a normal post tomorrow.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Basic Gun Variations

I have talked about the basic 4 (rifle, pistol, .22, shotgun) before. My basic 4 would be Project AR, a 9mm Glock 19, a Remington 870 and a Ruger 10/22. We also did our Basic Guns series. A person who went that way would get a good used  revolver in .38 or .357 mag, a pump shotgun in 12 gauge, a decent .22 and some sort of rifle like a Mosin Nagant, Bolt 30'06 or lever 30-30.

Today I thought it would be fun to talk about some possible variations from the general basic 4 theme. I have a hard time going below the basic 4 setup and anything less than 3 has some definite limitations but not everyone has the same needs. Here are some possible combinations of between 2-4 guns that will potentially meet different needs. In no particular order here we go:

Defensive Minimalist:  The setup is a handgun like a .38 or 9mm and a pump 12 gauge with an 18.5-21 inch barrel. This person thinks it is prudent to have weapons around but is not a hunter or shooting enthusiast.This person has a pistol for the house or CCW and a shotgun in case of a break in or there is some sort of riot or disaster. Realistically for a normal person who doesn't hunt or shoot this setup is sufficient. The downside is that Joe cannot really reach out and touch somebody if needed and the lack of a .22.

Guerilla: AR-15 and Glock 9mm. To me both choices are very clear (especially the AR in 5.56 due to logistics) though other semi automatic pistol and a military pattern rifle combinations could work. A good ole 7.62x39 AK 47 and an M&P .40 or a mighty .308 'Battle Rifle" and a .45acp 1911 would be fine also though the logistics would be a bit harder. The downside is that Mr Wanna Be G really needs a .22 and the versatility of a shotgun would be nice also.

Joe 6 Pack Hunter: Joe has a centerfire hunting rifle, could be a .243 or a .308 or whatever depending on the environment and the game he hunts. He has a full sized revolver like a .357 mag or .44. and a .22 rifle. Joes rifle does hunting duty and his revolver is carried in the woods and serves as a house or truck gun. (Note If Joe is in bird territory his 3rd gun would be a shotgun instead of a .22lr.) The downside is Joes big ole wheel gun is too big to realistically conceal and he could use the versatility of a shotgun.

Dave Canterburyesque Woodsman: A Mosin Nagant M44 in 7.62x54R, a 12 gauge single shot or pump shotgun and a .22lr revolver.The downside of this setup is that it lacks a center fire pistol, also if you go the single shot 12 gauge route there is not a viable close quarters (under 50 meters) defensive weapon present.

Defensive/ Tactical Well Set Up: CCW pistol, tactical pistol (both compatible ex Glock 9mm M&P .40, etc), AR-15, precision rifle. The main downside of this setup is not having a .22lr.

Anyway those are some possible variations of the Basic 4. They all have strengths as well as downsides that may work well for different people. Also it is Friday gun rambling day so this is time to talk guns. Your thoughts are always welcome.




Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Quote of the Day

"Being as I am a self proclaimed gun expert......."
Yankee Marshal

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Guns Aren't Going Away

Every now and then some gun grabber or gun grabber group starts talking about how all the guns are just magically going away. Typically the mechanism is some sort of confiscation. I find that unlikely on a wide scale but it doesn't matter. We could also certainly debate what that world would look like, personally I think it would be a very bad place, however that is not the point.

There are so many reasons any sort of gun confiscations scheme wouldn't work. You can purchase a piece of metal and with basic tools turn it into an AR-15 lower receiver (considered the gun) without any records (especially if you pay cash).

Folks came up with a new version of the Liberator using a 3d printer.  As AM noted recently it would be difficult to overestimate what a skilled machinist with access to the normal tools of his trade could do. 
For someone who builds complicated, precise tools and components for a living guns would not be magically different.  Barrels, stocks, parts and even basic guns like the old school Liberator, Sten and such would certainly be realistic.

Of course there are the usual variety of Zip guns typically just seen in correctional facilities and places with serious anti gun laws like Britain.

The point is that I am not particularly worried about being able to get my hands on a gun if one is needed. Of course I do not recommend relying on plans like this. Right now all manner of guns can be purchased by normal folks. Many basic guns are quite affordable. Picking up a few for a rainy day if you can afford it would be a good idea.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Gun Show Report 4/27/13

Turns out our little town had a gunshow today! So needless to say I had to check it out. As I'm in the market for a Glock 26 it made sense to go look. It was interesting for sure. Aside from the baby Glock I wasn't really looking for anything but was open to a great deal or something small to fill a need.

Guns: Tons of AR's, AK's, SKS's and Mini 14's. A good variety of semi auto .308's; M1A's and PTR-91's, a FAL n a solitary genuine HK G3 (semi). Older guns like Garands and M1 carbines were present as well as lots of hunting type rifles. Plenty of semi auto pistols like XD's, M&P's, Sigs, Glocks, etc though due to the sheer variety in that market the specific gun you want (in my case a Glock 26) might not have been be present. As to Glocks there were at least 1 each 17 and 19, a few various .45's and a couple G27's.Shotguns and .22's were also present in large numbers.

Prices varied widely. Some politically incorrect guns (mostly AR's n AK's) were priced OK considering the state of things. A couple AR's were at or around a grand. They were DMPS, the basic M&P's or comparable brands. Saw 2 nice new (dealer) rifles (BCM and Stag) for $1,150ish. Other rifles varied from optimistically priced to just silly. Several AR's from brands I have never heard of were listed at $1,600-1,700. AK's ran from $1,200 Norico Mac-90's to a $850 WASR. SKS's were running $500ish. M1A's were $2,200-2,500 and PTR's were 1,200-1,400.

Hunting rifles, shotguns and .22's were a little high but if you consider that bargaining is a given part of it's probably their padding. Ruger 10/22's were consistently priced at $325.

Pistol prices were consistently 50-100 higher than they should be. Glocks were 550-600. A guy was trying to get $850 for XDm's and another wanted $800 for a Jerico (IMI the same gun as the Baby Eagle I think) in 9mm. Revolvers were priced pretty optomistically also.

Mags: Lots of mags available. Big stacks of various AR mags and a decent speckling of PMAGs. Sig and Glock mags were present as well as some Glock 33rd 'happy sticks'. A lot of AK mags also. A speckling of less common rifle mags like Mini-14, M1 carbine, SKS detachable mags (d model?), HK G3, FN-FAL. Probably 2 dozen Ruger BX-25's and a dozen various off brand 10/22 25rd type mags. Several old guys with stacks of used mags for just about every gun made in the last 50 years.

Mag prices: USGI used AR mags $20, new aftermarket type (Brownells, Lancer, etc) AR mags $25, PMAGs $35 which is odd because a shop in town has a bunch @$21-22. Those big 60 rd surefire mags from $160-200. AK steel presumably surplus $25 except a solitary mag @$45. BXP's $60-80. Glock mags $35-40, HK G3 mags $20-25 and they were pretty rough. Those are all the prices I remember but they generally fit the same relative price point as the ones I paid attention to.

I saw 2 CMMG .22 conversion mags for the first time in awhile. Wanted to buy them but didn't see the .22 conversion kit sitting nearby and justifiably the guy would not sell them without the kit. He of course tried to sell me an AR to go with the kit I didn't want to buy (wanted the mags) then we ended up talking. He wanted my opinion of the kit. I said without changing my rifles sights it offered sufficient practical accuracy out to at least 25 meters to train or I suppose shoot small game. Told him that was sufficient for my needs and I am happy with the kit.

Ammo: This was just silly. The big local shop had a table selling .223 (PMC X-tac 55gr) around $11/20 with a 2 box limit. They had a bit of pistol ammo but I think it was for folks buying guns. Everybody else pretty much lost their damn minds. 9mm 25+/50 for brass FMJ's. .40 and .45 were more like $30/50 brass FMJ. .223 at 17/20 at one booth with the rest at a buck a round (for various low end range type ammo). 7.62x39 from $9/20-$11/20. .308 was at least a buck a round. A solitary spam can of 7.62x54R for $140, surplus 30'06 was a buck a round. Surprisingly shotgun ammo was pretty expensive also. The dudes selling .22 ammo must have been smoking a special type of crack that breeds optimism. Bricks (500-550) of bulk type .22 lr were on tables varying from $80-120. Saw the little 50 round boxes of CCI Mini Mag for $30.

One dealer in particular seemed to have utterly lost their minds. They were trying to get $40 for standard (Federal or Remington, I don't remember) 20 round boxes of 150gr soft points and $179 for a brick of federal .22lr. They had ammo cans (albeit the plastic with rubber seals) at a decent price but out of principle I did not buy any.

Discussion: Loaded guns were not allowed inside. Some guy cleared my Glock 19 for me into a makeshift (think it was a 5 gallon bucket of sand but it faced a cement wall) barrel then it was zip tied, marked with a white sticker and returned to me. Not sure how I feel about that but considering folks have been shooting each other fiddling with guns inside or busting caps all over the place trying to clear their guns on the way in it makes sense.

Now that we have talked about what folks were TRYING TO SELL it makes sense to talk about what was actually being sold. Semi automatic pistols were moving. I was driving around trying to find the place and saw a dude walking down the street with a pistol in his hand (think it had a tag on it) and asked him if it was the gun show to which he relied that it was. People were looking at handguns then some of them were buying. Hunting rifles and shotguns priced right were moving. Various collector type stuff as well as little odds n ends (holsters, etc) were getting picked over, examined, bargained over and occasionally purchased.

As to mags they weren't going anywhere. Didn't see a single AR/ AK/ G-3 mag sold nor any common pistol mags like Glock/ Sig/ XD/ etc. Saw one guy getting Mini-14 mags plus a few people looking for a spare mag for their hunting rifle, .22 plinker or an oddball (50's era .380, etc) pistol mag.

Plenty of people seemed to be looking at ammo but few were buying.  At the prices I saw it is hard to blame them. One dude really wanted .22 but not at the prices being asked. A couple folks picked up 1-2 boxes of .223, a couple got a box or two of pistol or shotgun ammo and a few folks wanted a box for various hunting type rifles. Nobody was picking up arm fulls of the stuff.

Some individuals were selling doing the walk around with a sign on their chest thing. Most had the usual odd mixture of a 40 year old .22, a 1911 and whatever. One dude had an FN-AR .308 which was pretty cool, didn't even ask the price. A dealer I asked about G26's tried to buy my Glock 19.

Personally I bought a book and 3 of those little plastic AR muzzle caps. Stickers said 12 to which I offered 10 which was accepted.  Looked at lots of guns, handled a few, laughed at some ammo prices, chatted with some nice people and generally had a fine time. Would have liked to leave with a Glock 26 but it wasn't a bad way to waste a couple hours.

How does this compare with your neighborhood?


Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Busy Day and Gun Selling

Had a long day at work today. On the plus side I ended up getting the 200 rounds of 9mm (Win white box) needed for upcoming training @ 30 cents a round. After that ended up selling my 30'06. That puts me out of the caliber. Think it's just temporary. Will probably own another one, albeit in a different configuration, sooner or later. Time will tell.

Well anyway I've been slacking a little bit lately. Put some much needed admin energy to the blog. Efforts at work have been draining me mentally. Will put out something good for tomorrow.

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?

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Surviving Real Life

Commander Zero wrote a post that inspired this. A whole lot of real life happens between crazy regional events, let alone larger national and world ones. Folks get so caught up in stocking up on beans, bullets and band aids that they can forget about more practical things.

We have raided the emergency fund more times than I can recall. Car repairs are the usual culprit but unexpected bills, unforeseen expenses and the occasional sudden trip home have all had their turns. Conversely we have yet to NEED stored food. Sure it has been nice to have an extra bag/ box/ can of whatever to finish a recipe or for those times you decide to deviate from the weeks meal plan. However nothing has happened to us that the typical couple days worth of food in an average household would not cover.

We have had several times somebody ended up needing significant medical care. Without insurance we would have been financially ruined. Conversely while we can all agree guns are comforting the need to have them is rare. Those needs are amply covered by basic guns. One can forgo an expensive AR-15 or precision rifle with almost no risk of it coming back to bite them.

I'm not saying you should stop storing emergency food or sell those politically incorrect guns. What I am  saying is that in addition to those fun survivalist things you need to have an emergency fund and a realistic plan for inevitable medical problems. These are far more likely to save your behind than a pantry full of food and an AK-47.

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.

 

Monday, March 4, 2013

Basic Guns Part 1.75

I forgot to add yet another thing in Basic Guns Part 1.5. You need to consider not just the cost of the gun itself but ammunition, magazines (if applicable), slings/ holsters/ cleaning gear and the like. Depending on where you are in terms of shooting training might also be a good option.

Chris said he uses 4x the cost of the gun as a guideline. The real cost depends significantly on what you consider as "equipped". Obviously 6 spare mags and 500 rounds costs less than 10 spares and 1k ammo which costs less than 20 mags and 5k rounds.

These costs can vary wildly from gun to gun. (Pre panic) Glock factory spare magazines were somewhere around $25 while HK and SIG mags were more like $45. If you are a person who wants 10 pistol mags that is a lot of money. It's the same thing with rifles. AR mags are typically fairly common and cheap while Valumet or Galil mags can be quite rare and expensive. Rare ammo like 6 mm Rem will typically (especially once the bubble bursts anyway) cost more than .223 which is much more common.

The point is to look at these costs when you are weighing say a Smith and Wesson .38 vs a Glock 9mm vs a Sig in .357 Sig. The wheel gun is going to be a lot more affordable than the Glock to equip and the Sig will cost an arm and a leg to get going.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Basic Guns Part 1.5: Common Make, Common Caliber and Compact

We did Basic Guns Part 1 and upon reflection I realized a few things were missing.

I am a big fan of common manufacturer/ model guns. This is for a few reasons. First the nature of business is that good gun manufacturers stay around and become common. Winchester, Ruger, Marlin, Remington, Colt, Sig, Glock, Smith and Wesson, Mossberg and the like tend not to make junk. Conversely Bob's Basement Armory might make something very questionable.

Common models are just as important. First they are important because, like the manufacturers, they stand the test of time for a reason; that they tend to be good guns. A rifle like a Ruger 10-22 which has been around forever is around because it is a good gun.

Also common manufacturer/ model guns have much wider availability of spare parts, mags, etc. Ask for a 17 cal mag for your Old Commie Arms Romanian varmit rifle and the guy at the gunshop will laugh at you. Ask him (in the more common non firearmagedon environment) where the Ruger 10/22 mags are and he will point to a big shelf of them. Ditto for a Glock 19/17 or 23/22, Sig P226, 1911, etc.

I believe even more strongly in common calibers. The reason I believe even stronger than in guns/ parts is that ammo is very consumable. Mags can wear out but ammo just can't be shot twice. Pick up a dozen spare mags, a few sets of springs and a few key spare parts and you will probably never need to go hunting for a firing pin for the oddball pistol you love in a lifetime of shooting. This can typically be done for $300 or so and will easily fit into a shoe box. On the other hand all the ammo a semi active shooter will burn up would take up much more space and cost more. Also if you end up at Bob's or in Smithville the ability to use their ammo is almost immediately important, while the ability to get more mags and potentially parts is a more distant theoretical concern. I talked more about the common caliber issue awhile back.

Lastly it is worth talking about pistols a little bit. If you are going to have 1 pistol due to financial or space constraints it needs to be something you will readily conceal in fairly normal clothing. Note that I said "will conceal" instead of "can conceal". The reason is that strictly speaking carrying a big old Glock 34, steel 1911 or 6" N frame revolver concealed is possible. The issue is that the vast majority of people will not actually do it. The old saying 'if somebody says they carry a  (standard size/ weight) 1911 ask them to show it to you right now and they will inevitably mumble some excuse about why it is either in the glove box or nightstand." is definitely true. Now if you are one of the folks who rocks a steel 1911 or 6" .44 mag every day you are the exception and probably will not get much out of this article anyway. The whole point of a pistol is that it is a gun you can carry as close to all the time as possible.

That being said I would recommend against going too small for your only handgun for a couple reasons. First the bullets get smaller and there are fewer of them. Having a decent fighting handgun can be important in rough times so you want that capability. This is a balancing act with the concealability you need to make it practical. Second and more aimed towards beginning type shooters smaller compact (certainly below J frame size and very arguably including the J frame) handguns are usually hard to shoot well. Small grips, short sight radius, microscopic sights and rough triggers can all make these guns difficult to master. Without getting into the weeds I would look hard at guns like the Glock 19, M&P Compact 9/.40 or 3" barreled J/K framed /38/.357mag revolvers to fill a 1 pistol role.

Well that finished up the stuff that should have been in part 1 of this.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Basic Guns Part 1

LyndaKay said "Thanks for #5. [Get basic guns, read the rest here. TOR] Hubby and I are trying to decide what to buy and don't want to go overboard on the spending when there are good and less expensive alternatives.

I would LOVE to see threads started on this blog listing a specific gun and asking what brands of ammo everyone likes for that particular model. I'm a little overwhelmed by everything I read and have no one locally to give me their opinion."


Ryan here: Lynda, I will do my best.

It is worth noting that we are in a weird gun environment right now.  Guns that were realistically affordable for Joe Common Man are now quite expensive and probably out of Joes budget. In particular semi auto military pattern rifles have gone up 50-100% in price over the last couple months. All manner of full capacity mags over 10 rounds have gone up in price 200-400%. .223, 7.62x39 and .308 have gone up significantly in price also.

Example: A $650 SW M&P AR-15 with 20 mags and 2 cases of ammo would have cost around $1,500 (give or take) in October. These days the rifle would be 1,200, the mags 600 and ammo is about a buck a round totaling $3,800 for the same package. So the gap between a $400 30-30 or $500 30'06 and a $650 decent basic M4/AR-15 has increased significantly.  This gap will probably slip back to where it used to be in time but till then it is here.

I think Lynda's phrase "[We] don't want to go overboard on the spending when there are good and less
expensive alternatives" deserves some examination. I am not saying it is wrong or gaming the situation or anything just that it leads us down some interesting paths.

 First I think it's worth discussing that overboard is a very relative thing. It is relative to your finances and financial situation as well as your overall preparedness goals and progress towards them. What your budget can handle and what your goals are matter a lot. What is right for one person might not be for another. Also your goals and level of interest matters a lot. Lets look at two guys with the same income and family situation. Bob loves nice guns and is preparing for a short term disaster. After he has enough food to feed the family and a few add ons for 90 days, a generator and sufficient gas to keep the freezer cold and charge some batteries plus some basic gear then buying a custom shop 1911 and a Knight SR-25 is just fine. Tom is pretty ambivalent about guns and worried about a really dark scenario like an economic crash or a black swan. Tom has a lot of different places for money to go. He might just keep the same .38/.357 that has lived in the nightstand forever and his hunting rifle, get plenty of bullets and then put the money towards other things. See where I am going.

Second 'good and less expensive alternatives' bears considering. Money gets you something. At times it is superior fit/ finish. Sometimes it is a certain name that gets you bragging rights at the gun club or on the web. Now other times the money will get you a more durable/ reliable pistol, better quality control, more common spare parts and aftermarket accessories or something else meaningful. The real question is whether you need what the additional money brings. Looking at that from the other side it is whether you can accept the downsides of a less expensive weapon. If it's a bit less perfect finish or a slightly less smooth trigger that's easier to accept than durability/ reliability issues or a lack of readily available spare parts/ holsters/ accessories. The cost to benefit is a consideration. A Smith and Wesson coming out of their custom shop will have a better trigger than a stock Ruger but probably at 3x the cost. On the other hand if you can get a lot better gun for $40 then you probably should just save for another 2 weeks.

Anyway moving on.....

What would constitute a basic firearms setup?
Rifle
Shotgun
Pistol
.22 rifle

In terms of priority it gets complicated and needs to consider a persons goals. As a general rule I would say pistol, shotgun, .22 then rifle. The thinking is that a pistol is the weapon you are realistically going to have available to defend yourself. Though pistols have unimpressive ballistics and limited range they are far better than a long gun at home. Shotgun is next because they are quite versatile and affordable. .22 would come next because they are also affordable are cheap to shoot (except right now) and a great way to train for rifle shooting. I think the rifle could arguably be last simply because of cost. Shopping carefully you can get a pistol, shotgun and .22 for the price of a lot rifles (at pre panic prices).

While I do prefer rifles for CQB shotguns are perfectly adequate for that role as well as (with slugs) killing just about anything out to 100 meters or so. A shotgun is far better than an envelope with $300 that has the name of the rifle you want written on it. It is true that a rifle would be very important in a true full on collapse that is relatively unlikely. I would feel quite confident with a good shotgun as my long gun in an Argentina like collapse, a Katrina like disaster or an LA style riot.

I am going to stop this now because of time. In the next part I will get into specific guns that are relatively affordable but also quality guns that will last and serve you well.





Friday, March 1, 2013

Claire Wolfe on Gun Caching

Claire Wolfe wrote an excellent post Hiding a Gun: The Rule of Three and linked to an oldie but a goodie Burying a gun and ammo for 15 years. All great stuff.

It is worth bringing up Resistance S4: The Logistics of Successful Re-Supply Cache Planning by John Mosby.  John's method of wrapping the contents of the cache individually then putting them into a container which is suitably prepared is a bit belt and suspenders but it is as sure of a thing as you can get. Also starting at a solid reference point, recording distance from 2 readily identifiable known points (for Petes sake do not use a tree, they fall down, rot, burn and best case all look the same in the dark. Now if you have a 3,000 pound boulder and a metal corner post to a fence that's a workable plan.) and writing down the GPS coordinates (not recording them as a waypoint!) is equally solid and redundant.

I would be remiss if I didn't remind you  of John Mosby's reminder that guns needed to put food on the table and protect you from predators both 2 and 4 legged should not as a rule be cached. Digging up a cache and degreasing your 12 gauge house gun when goblins come knocking is at best problematic. Raiding the cache this September for deer season doesn't make sense either. On the other hand a pistol you won in a poker game and an AK (hopefully from when they were cheap) from the gun show or your older less fancy hunting rifle are all good candidates to be stashed away. Obviously ammo, mags, cleaning stuff and some key spare parts should go with it. 

Hope this gives you something to think about. Consider putting this thought into action sooner instead of later.

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