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25 6987

Different guns have different strengths and weaknesses. That’s a given. Consequently, there will always be certain tasks that some guns are better suited to than others, and ability to perform on these tasks is often an easy way to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to picking a gun.

In terms of survival value, for example, one rifle stands above the rest. It’s arguable the best and most versatile survival rifle ever made, and every prepper should consider owning one if they don’t already.

Can you guess which rifle we’re talking about?

Off the Grid News has the answer:

It’s got a great power-to-weight ratio both in firearm and in ammunition, great flexibility in custom loading and commercially available cartridges, tons of platforms, and an excellent supply of military surplus rounds.  It can take animals ranging from a sheep to a small grizzly without too much alteration or planning and can be used accurately out to 175+ yards for hunting and protection.  In a world where choice pretty much trumps everything else, maybe the time has come to ask the question everyone who has held a rifle has asked in their head before:

Is .308 the perfect rifle round for all-around utility and hunting?

Ask any expert which rifle caliber will give you the most versatility, and they will invariably have to settle on the .308 as the clear choice.  Taking into consideration the availability and price of ammunition, the load customization capabilities, the power and speed of the projectile, the various manufacturers who make weapons in the caliber, the terminal ballistics as a defense round, and the reliability of the guns and cartridges in this caliber, it seems the answer is clear.

No other round can compete with it on such a wide range of attributes and potential uses.  The .308 can be an excellent choice for a rifle system or rifle portfolio to be built upon.

For all the benefits of the round, you must know its limitations as well to properly use the round:

  • For aggressive and massive game where you aren’t completely comfortable making a shot, this round may not offer the proper ballistics for the job.  At close range on a grizzly bear, for example, this round can’t be considered a true one-shot kill with any specific certainty.  It will serve you better than a .223 in this situation, but it’s not going to drop a bear in a stressful situation with any guarantee.  Similarly, in longer ranges for bear hunting, it is not responsible to use the .308, as it cannot guarantee humane and clean kills on such tough animals.
  • It is overkill on smaller game like varmints (coyote, etc.) unless you are using specific light loads with higher velocity, like plastic-jacketed penetrator rounds (think .223 projectile housed in a breakaway plastic case which is the size of a .308 projectile).
  • You cannot reasonably expect a military surplus round to take out a long-range elk in the .308 caliber, as it simply doesn’t have the long range terminal ballistics to guarantee a clean kill at super long ranges.  You will need to custom build or buy rounds made for the specific scenario you expect to encounter.

You can reasonably expect to cleanly take down the following animals with a .308 (with specific load characteristics listed after the animal):

  • Varmints: Using specialty ammunition with high velocity and low grain weights and a barrel capable of sending out a flat trajectory (rifling).
  • Pronghorn or similar-sized animal: Though the size is a bit small perhaps for the normal grain weight, look for a good mix of penetration and projectile heft to avoid causing overkill.  Typically a .260 or .270 would be about ideal for this sized animal, so plan accordingly with your grain weights and powder charges.
  • White tail and mule deer: These can be easily taken with a .308, but look for a flatter shooting projectile weight and faster bullet velocity to bring the conditions as close to perfect as possible.
  • Caribou and large sheep: These should be just about right for a .308, but look for a faster, flatter round within the .308 builds.
  • Large mountain goats: These will be in the range of even good quality military surplus rounds ballistics.  Any normal .308 load should be efficient for an animal for this size.
  • Elk: Because they are a bit on the larger size, you will want to take shots from under 100 yards with heavy bullets and be precise with your placement on the animal to ensure clean kills.  The flatter and heavier, the better.  High quality loads will make the difference here.
  • Moose: Think the same as elk. Look for heavier bullets, shorter distances, and try to find a flat-shooting premium round to ensure success.
  • Black bears: These can be taken using proper tactical or heavy-penetration rounds and with good placement.  Look for closer ranges, and try to shoot the heaviest high-penetration rounds you can.  Don’t fool around with light, fast loads here; go for maximum impact and penetration of a heavy projectile.
  • Grizzly bears: Make a good responsible shot with premium ammunition that has penetration and heavy bullet weights.  The dense body and bone composition of the grizzly bear will challenge the ballistics of the .308 without proper planning.  It’s almost too much animal for this round.  It’s not responsible to try with substandard loads at long distances.  If you feel you can’t follow these guidelines, look for more gun/caliber when dealing with these animals.  You could shoot a grizzly with a .375 or a .338 and still have concerns about proper kill certainty.  These animals are tough and aggressive, so be prepared to follow up your initial shot, even with excellent ballistics.

Humans are another animal which can reasonably be taken down with a .308, but it is slightly outside the scope of this article.  Know this: The .308 is a battle-proven long-range capable and terminal caliber when used against human beings.  It has been thoroughly tested and proven on battlefields around the world in conditions far exceeding those you can reasonably be expected to take a shot in on a normal day.  It is a widely used caliber for police and military sniper activities, and should not be discounted as an anti-personnel round.

Bullet weights come in 55, 110, 130, 150,155, 160, 165, 168, 170, 175, 178, 180, 185, 190, 200, 208, 210, 220, and 225 grain for the .308, which will allow for almost unlimited tailoring to your specific situation.

Safe powder capacity stands at around 48 grains, which allows for further load customization.

Every major rifle manufacturer makes a weapon in the caliber, from bolt actions to autoloaders, and even single shot “benchrest” guns.  A huge variety of military builds are available, including the FN-FAL, the HK G3, and the M1A1/M14—all decades-old proven battle rifles.

The author’s hunting and protection weapons include the following .308’s:

  • A Custom short-action bolt-action built for 300 yard+ target shooting
  • A Remington 700
  • A Browning A-Bolt
  • A HK G3 with short barrel
  • A FN-FAL Paratrooper
  • An M1A1 from Springfield (New version)
  • An M14

All of these weapons serve different purposes and allow further customization of the round.  This caliber forms the basis of the author’s biggest weapon/caliber pairing.

If one had to pick the most versatile round for off-the-grid living, the .308 would definitely be among the top three, and it would likely take the top spot because of its amazing versatility, long-standing reputation, and the relative ease of finding ammunition and add-ons, not to mention the terminal capabilities of the round.  It is certainly worth the exploration if you are considering a new rifle this hunting season, as it can serve you outside of the hunting season as well.

What do you think? Is there any other rifle that could possibly match the survival utility of the .308?

Give us your thoughts in the comments.

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1 2998

When you get your first handgun, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the accessories you’ll need to go with it. Holsters, compression garments, locks – the list goes on and on. Some of these accessories are important, and others matter very little. However, there’s one accessory that every person who buys a handgun for self defense must have, and they should probably consider buying it before any other accessory. It’s the laser sight.

According to Off the Grid News, having an accurate laser sight could easily be the #1 accessory for every handgun owner.

Here’s more:

As long as handguns have existed, shooters have constantly searched for anything that would give them an edge. Training aids have come and gone and while some were quite effective, others have proven either ineffective or even harmful. However, we are fortunate enough to live in a time when truly effective training tools abound.In this article we are going to discuss one such tool that I consider among the best any gunowner can possess.

Most Americans were first introduced to the laser gun sight years ago in some action thriller movie. The view of the bright red laser cutting through the night was often enough to make the bad guys lose all will to fight. For years, these laser sights remained little more than a novelty item for gun aficionados, and were only rarely used for practical purposes. However, a few of the more clever handgunners discovered a use for these lasers, possibly even more important than their original purpose as an aiming device.

When I first entered the military, we learned trigger control using what was known as the washer drill. A cleaning rod was placed in the barrel and a washer balanced on the rod. We then dry fired the rifle, trying not to dislodge the washer from the rod.When we could do that consistently, we had effectively mastered trigger squeeze. Trigger control on handguns is even more critical. Here is where the use of the laser comes in.

Start out with a good, visible laser such as the Crimson Trace, and ensure it is zeroed exactly with your sights. Now you are ready to begin training. First the obvious. MAKE SURE YOUR WEAPON IS UNLOADED. I hate to have to state something so simple and common sense to experienced shooters, but it is just too important to ignore. Now using the laser, were are going to work on three major areas of handgun shooting.

The first is trigger control. This is undoubtedly the most troublesome aspect of handgun shooting for beginners. Anything less than a smooth trigger squeeze will send the bullet somewhere other than your intended target. A beginner will swear they are not jerking the trigger even though to any observer it is obvious they are doing so. With the laser, as they pull the trigger, they will have a strong, obvious, indisputable demonstration of exactly where the gun was aimed at the second of detonation. When they see the laser move off target as they pull the trigger, they will no longer dispute the evidence. Using this technique, the vast majority of shooters will quickly learn proper trigger squeeze with just a few dry fire practice sessions.

Another great use of the laser sight is teaching proper sight picture. New shooters sometimes have a hard time understanding exactly what they should see as they look down the barrel at the target. With a properly aligned laser sight, the shooter can place the dot on his or her desired target.Once on target, they then view the alignment of the sights. After developing an understanding of the correct sight alignment, they can then test themselves by first aiming with the sights and then activating the laser to see if they are properly on target. Using this technique they quickly learn the proper use of conventional sights.

The final use of laser sight training is for the more experienced shooter. Instinctive, non-sighted firing, is an essential skill for any combat or defensive shooter. Sights are great, but are not always an option in a high stress, close quarter engagement. Just as the laser gives the beginner feedback on trigger squeeze, it gives experienced shooters feedback on initial aim point out of the holster or low ready position. The instant feedback you get on each draw quickly becomes hardwired into your brain.

In summary, laser sights are a cheap, convenient, and highly effective tool for improving shooting skills at all levels. A few minutes of dry fire practice each day using the laser will lead to major improvements in trigger control, sight alignment and instinctive firing. But that is just the beginning.The instant, visual feedback provides a nearly endless variety of training scenarios for shooters at all levels. The choice to use laser sights on your firearms as a primary sighing device is up to you, but at the very least you should be using them to hone your skills. With today’s reasonable prices, there is no excuse not to give it a try.

What do you think? Do you own a laser sight? How has it affected your shooting?

Tell us in the comments.

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11 3990

Sig Sauer has manufactured some of the best pistols on the market for decades, and thousands of gun owners are undyingly faithful to the brand. But are all Sigs created equal?

According to a recent post from Off the Grid News, the answer is no.

In fact, it seems that there are five Sigs in particular that encapsulate everything that fans of the brand have come to know and love, and they may very well beat out every other Sig out there.

Want to know which guns we’re talking about?

Here’s more from the post:

1. Sig P210. For decades, this single-action, single-stack, full-size 9mm pistol was the standard by which all other service pistols were judged, and for good reason. Meticulous craftsmanship and assembly in Switzerland for the Swiss Army meant that the P210 was accurate and reliable, but unfortunately it was limited to Swiss military contracts and its scarcity on the common market kept it priced out of the realm of the average shooter.

When the manufacture moved to Germany, the pistol still commanded higher prices than any other factory pistol on the market. Yet the desirability was still there and a friend of mine in the VIP protection sector noted that this was the pistol he carried when he could not have access to a carbine, as it was accurate out to 100 yards.

Thankfully, Sig announced at SHOT Show 2016 that the P210 would now be made in America as a production piece. At least two versions are in the works, including an improved service model with more user-friendly controls, as well as a target version with adjustable sights and checkered grips.

We have been told that prices will range in the $1,300 to $1,500 realm and that the pistol is still capable of ringing steel at 100 yards and beyond.

2. X-5. The X-5 is built on the legendary P226 platform, except that it is a SAO (single action only) pistol designed for competition, although I know a few people who carry one cocked and locked 1911 style.

Because it was intended as a competition pistol, almost everything on this handgun can be customized, replaced or improved.

The 5-inch barrel length lends to the addition of an oversized rail. The pistol’s sights are fully adjustable and can be replaced with a variety of options. The trigger is adjustable for weight, reset, pre-travel and can be moved 0.4 of an inch forward or to the rear based on the shooter’s hand size or finger length.

We expect to hear the new US-made version announced at this year’s annual NRA Convention.

3. Sig P220 In 1975, Sig unveiled the P220. Based on the P210, some changes were made to make this a more affordable pistol in order to compete for a quality sidearm.

On the surface, the P220 resembles a Browning-style semiautomatic pistol that uses a decocking lever to safely lower the hammer carry with no external safeties. Double-action-only and single-action-only variants have been made as well.

The pistol operates by means of a linkless barrel without locking lugs. Instead, the P220 makes use of an enlarged breech block which holds the slide and barrel as one while firing.

Usually found in 45 ACP and 9mm, Sig released several variants in 10mm in 2015.

4. Sig P320. Released in 2014, the Sig P320 is a striker-fired, polymer framed handgun that is completely customizable to match not only the shooter’s hand but the shooter’s intended use.

A serialized chassis/fire control unit allows changing from full size to compact size on the frame and interchangeable back straps can allow the pistol to be configured for a variety of hand sizes. Calibers can be configured depending upon the barrel.

This is the pistol for the shooter who only wants to own one handgun, but has a need for different configurations.

A Picatinny rail and SIGLITE night sights round out the package.

5. Sig P229. The P229 is a compact version of the P226 that was designed from the ground up to handle the company’s potent 357 SIG caliber.

A CNC-milled slide of stainless steel was chosen to handle the higher pressures of the new cartridge and its higher velocity as opposed to the stamped slide of its predecessors. This allows the use of a lighter recoil spring.

Used by US Navy Pilots and military intelligence personnel as the M-11A1, it is much more compact than the standard issue Beretta M9.

We could have easily done a Top 10 list to include models such as the P226 (which has influenced at least two of these models), the compact P238, or their now classic line of 1911 pistols, but felt that these five Sigs have raised the bar high enough to give a better overview of the “best of the best.”

Obviously there’s something uniquely special about these five guns. Do you own any of them? Maybe you’ve got one you’d like to add to the list.

Tell us in the comments.

When it comes to the best practices in home defense, the waters can get a little murky.

First of all, there are some serious legal ramifications to downing an intruder in your own home, even if you live in a state with so-called “castle laws.” Simply protecting yourself and your family by neutralizing a human threat could lead to endless legal battles and never ending headaches. Granted, it’s better than the alternative of letting the threat run amok in your home, but it’s still a worrisome thing to consider.

Second, there’s a real risk of discharging your firearm on a perceived threat that actually turns out to be an unexpected family member or harmless entity. The results of such a situation are beyond tragic.

Non-lethal ammo for use in standard caliber firearms presents itself as the answer, but is it really worth it?

Off the Grid News weighs the pros and cons:

Preparing for a home defense situation is basically an act of arming yourself for a dark, nasty and unfortunate hypothetical scenario. Also, the chances of finding yourself in such a scenario increase in certain areas of the country — and thus, the responsibility of acquiring a suitable defensive weapon increases accordingly.

But then, there are variables to consider. In a home with small children, keeping a fully loaded AR-15 or Glock 17 by the bed is not something that every home defender is comfortable with. However, the eerie possibility of that nightmare scenario occurring still isn’t going to vanish in the presence of children.

So, what now? Are there alternatives to lethal weaponry, which don’t involve a Louisville Slugger or MMA training? Answer: yes. For this particular dilemma, you might consider purchasing a pump-action 12-gauge shotgun, such as a Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, but instead of loading it with 00-buck shot …

How about loading that sucker with “less-than-lethal” beanbag rounds?

The Most Basic Objective of Personal Defense

Here are a few reasons why I find these to be a considerable home defensive option, despite its unconventional nature …

First, let’s clear the air on this one: Killing a human tends to lead to some rather complex, life-altering implications (not including that of the psychological drawbacks of dropping some guy in the place you call home). Throw in a court case, teams of forensic investigators, and lots of paperwork, and this 30-second crisis just got a whole lot longer. So, because your home is not necessarily a military combat zone, let’s iron out what “self-defense” actually means, according to FindLaw.com:

“Self-defense is defined as the right to prevent suffering force or violence through the use of a sufficient level of counteracting force or violence.”

In other words, the point is not to cause death — instead, your objective according to the law is to stop the intruder’s ability to present a lethal threat, if one were presented, that is. In most cases, a home intrusion will happen because the offender is looking for anything they can sell on eBay, so they can purchase tickets to the next Eagles game … or something like that.

With that being said, it could be very difficult to ascertain whether or not the crook is armed and dangerous, or just plain stupid and didn’t realize you’d come back from vacation already. In which case, a 12-gauge beanbag round would do a beautiful job in securing the homefront — and not to mention, there would be a great deal less death going on.

Beanbag Rounds: They’ll Teach Crooks a Valuable Life Lesson

The beautiful side is the fact that this particular home defensive option would afford a less-than-child-hazardous method of keeping the crooks at bay. No, beanbag roundsare not meant to be used as a toy, especially due to the fact that they still maintain the power of being kicked in the (insert body part) by an enraged bronco.

Also, when people say that these rounds are considered “less-than-lethal,” that means they can kill on accident. Obviously, a human fist doesn’t possess the same lead-based killing power as a slug, but the FBI’s findings on the topic are astounding. In fact, more than half of all Americans in the 2011 survey suggest that punching and kicking are responsible for more homicides than shotguns.

However, the police do implement these less-than-lethal options, especially when things get out of hand but lethal force is simply not needed. From a law enforcement perspective, it’s usually best to have an immobilized crook with a notably bad Charlie horse, then have a guy bleeding on a public sidewalk, as the local news arrives five minutes before the EMS to the scene.

But, Then Again…

Unfortunately, there will be drawbacks to less-than-lethal ammunition. For one, using beanbag rounds is, itself, an $8 box for 5 rounds of tactical compromise. Quite frankly, a hotly debated topic of discussion is the so-called “stopping power” of live ammo, so beanbag rounds will certainly be problematic to that end. Also, it is rumored that less-than-lethal ammunition will provide auto-immunization before a judge in the event that the beanbag round ended up killing the crook; however, there are zero guarantees in such sticky situations, (and, let it be known, I’m no attorney and this is not legal advice).

The point to using beanbag rounds in your 12 gauge is to offer a way to provide a home intruder with a valuable life lesson that they can think about from inside their prison cell. But keep this in mind: According to most manufacturers, all less-than-lethal bets are off, if the target is hit in the head or chest within a range of seven yards. So that, too, should be an item of concern. And, of course, this also brings me back to the most obvious drawback: If proper firearm safety is to always treat the weapon as if it is loaded (with live ammunition), then to point a 12-gauge Remington 870 at an armed intruder should carry more-than-enough lethal meaning, since death is a primary function of a firearm, after all. Yet still, your best judgment and preparation will always be your primary home defense, no matter what.

Given the above information, how do you feel about non-lethal ammo? Do you think it has a place in the average self-defense/home-defense arsenal?

Tell us what you think in the comments.

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22 4016

Having a comfortable, easily accessible holster is arguably the most important part of carrying a handgun. Granted, the choice of handgun itself is important, but it won’t matter much if you can’t get your hand on the gun and point it quickly at your target when needed. And that’s exactly what a good holster enables you to do.

Furthermore, leather simply isn’t the ideal material for an effective holster. It might look pretty and be soft to the touch, but there are several reasons why you should look elsewhere for a holster material.

Off the Grid News tackles this controversial topic:

When it comes to gun holsters and magazine pouches, leather has ruled supreme as the material of choice for over two centuries.
Leather has much to offer when it comes to securely storing firearms and their accessories; not only is leather tough, water resistant, abrasion resistant and easily worked, but it is also beautiful to look at. Leather is cheap and available, and comes from a variety of sources – leather is not synonymous with cow hide, either. Some of the finest holsters out there are made from horsehide, among other things.

All that being said, leather does have some downsides where it pertains to firearms. The tanning chemical residue within the leather sometimes wreaks havoc on blued gunmetal, which is why it’s strongly advised to not leave blued guns within their holsters for extended periods of time. Also, leather most definitely needs a break in period before the holster will be any use at all. Inexperienced shooters will often return brand new leather holsters, claiming they are a size too small when in fact an ultra tight holster is the proper starting point for the gun. Quite simply, the leather needs to stretch over repeated use so that it fits the gun properly.

Leather and its associated issues is one of the main reasons why Kydex is so popular today as a holster material. Kydex, in case you haven’t heard of it, is a synthetic acrylic polyvinyl chloride material (PVC). It’s a material that’s a hybrid of acrylic and PVC – on the one hand, it is very hard and abrasion resistant, and on the other hand, it isn’t brittle like PVC and has excellent chemical resistance.

To your hand, Kydex will feel like a hard plastic with a curiously rough surface; mostly, it has a light gray appearance.

Kydex is a fantastic material for both knife and gun holsters as well as accessories like magazine pouches. It’s thermo-molded, which means that it starts life as a flat sheet and then is heated over a mold, where it assumes its final shape. While it’s never going to be as drop dead gorgeous as leather, Kydex does have some important benefits:

  • Kydex is thermo molded over an ultra precise mold, which means that when you get your new Kydex holster, it will fit your firearm precisely, with no slop or slack.
  • There is no break-in period with Kydex. The second you get your new holster, your gun will fit, and fit perfectly. No stretching the material, no special oils or other laborious processes. It fits the first time.
  • A snug and form fitting Kydex holster adds to the retention of the firearm as it is much firmer and less easily bendable than leather.
  • A Kydex holster never needs maintenance or oiling other than an occasional wipe down with a damp rag.
  • Kydex is pH neutral and will not eat your firearms coating.

The only true downside to Kydex, if it can be called a downside, is the fact that it is so precisely molded that you need to obtain the exact model of holster for your firearm. Many leather holsters will double as one-size-fits-all holsters for similar handguns – not so with Kydex. We recently tested a Kydex holster that wouldn’t accommodate the identical handgun it was designed for, except with an added light rail. That’s what we call a precise fit! Still, having said all of that, for a daily carry holster that will see lots of abuse, Kydex makes excellent sense!

What do you think? Are you convinced? Maybe you’re skeptical but willing to consider an alternative to your favorite leather holster.

Whatever your opinion, tell us about what you think in the comments.

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3 1811

Women interested in starting a concealed carry habit may find the process of buying a gun daunting. There are so many different options, and none of the differences between them are clear to a new gun owner. Plus, there’s a lot to consider in respect to weight, form factor, and comfort.

Where should women even start?

Well, Breitbart put together a great collection of 4 firearms that are perfect for women who wish to concealed carry.

Each gun is explained in detail, and the benefits are described for each firearm. Check it out below:

Now that women are a driving force behind the burgeoning firearms industry and the ever-expanding number of concealed carry permits in the U.S., it is only fitting to highlight four concealed carry guns that carry as comfortably in a purse or bag as they do in holster.

All these guns are light and compact, yet shoot a round of sufficient caliber to stop a threat should one appear.

Glock 42–The Glock 42 is a .380 caliber semiautomatic pistol that holds six rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber. That translates into seven rounds of .380 +P hollow point ammunition at the ready, in the event a sexual predator, burglar, carjacker, or other assailant emerges.

The Glock 42 weighs 13.4 ounces unloaded and it is only 4.3 inches from the front of the slide to the rear. So it is super compact yet super reliable because it is a Glock. This gun is light enough not only to carry in a purse or bag but also in a coat pocket during a morning walk in the Spring or Fall.

Even though the Glock 42 is extremely light, the recoil when firing the gun is minimal. This makes it is easier for women to be on target with follow-up shots, should they be needed.

The Glock 42 retails for around $450.00.

Kimber Micro–The Kimber Micro is also chambered in .380 and it operates on the same platform as larger, time-proven 1911 handguns. This means it has an external thumb safety and it also means the first shot fired from the gun is single action–so the hammer must either be cocked manually or cocked by racking the slide. The recoil from each round fired thereafter cocks the hammer back for you.

Breitbart News tested a Kimber Micro (Two Tone) for an extended period of time and the weapon was flawless–literally.  Though slightly heavier than the Glock 42–just over an ounce heavier–and barely longer, the gun is so accurate and dependable that carrying one on your person or in a purse or bag is a tantamount to carrying peace of mind.

The Micro holds seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber, for a total of eight rounds of .380 +P Hollow Point ammunition.

Suggested Retail – $597.00

Sig Sauer P238–The Sig Sauer P238 is chambered in .380 and operates just like the Kimber Micro. The P238 weighs slightly more than the Micro–approximately one ounce more–but that weight actually helps prevent stove-piping for any shooters who have a tendency to limp-wrist a shot.

The P238 holds six rounds in the magazine plus one in the chamber for a total of seven rounds of .380 +P Hollow Point ammunition for self-defense. The P238 can be obtained in various configurations, including the P238 Rosewood, which comes equipped with SIGLite Night Sights.

The P238 is extremely accurate, durable, and dependable. Like the Glock 42 and Kimber Micro, the P238 is a true pocket gun.

Suggested Retail – $723.oo

Ruger LCR .357 Magnum–The Ruger LCR comes in many calibers, but the .357 magnum version is a great choice because it allows the use of the magnum rounds or .38 Special. And .38 Special +P Hollow Points deliver a nasty punch to would-be attackers, intruders, or predators, while producing very manageable recoil in the LCR. (The recoil is lessened to an even greater degree by the Hogue Tamer Monogrips, which come standard on every LCR.)

The LCR has a polymer frame, which means weight is minimal at 17.1 ounces. Moreover, the hammer is hidden, which eliminates concerns about snagging it in something when pulling it from a purse or bag in an emergency situation.

The LCR holds 5 rounds versus the seven or eight rounds of the semiautomatics, but some people simply remain more comfortable with a revolver. And if you are one of the people who likes the simplicity of a wheel gun, the Ruger LCR could be the perfect concealed carry firearm for you.

Suggested Retail – $669.00

What do you think? Are there any other guns that should be on this list? Tell us in the comments!

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5 3868

Guns are complex pieces of machinery, and as such, they require a disciplined regimen of cleaning. Without regular cleaning, the crucial mechanisms that enable the firearm to discharge reliably and accurately will become hindered, resulting in non-optimal, unpredictable performance.

Having said that, rifles demand an especially careful cleaning routine, and there are specific methods that must be used to ensure proper care. Carelessness will result in poor cleaning, or worse, permanent damage.

Thankfully, you can use this post from Off the Grid News as a guide for the most important things to remember when cleaning your rifle:

1. Assemble Cleaning Supplies
Cleaning Rod or Snake
To clean the barrel you’ll want to use a single piece cleaning rod. The screw-together sectional cleaning rods are generally cheaper, but they can damage your bore and should be avoided. Usually the single piece rods are polymer coated, which is softer than the steel of your rifle bore, and won’t scratch it. I recommend purchasing a cleaning rod guide also to ensure you enter your gun’s chamber straight on. If your rod didn’t come with a bore brush, purchase one for your rifle’s caliber out of bronze or nylon.
Bore snakes are an excellent option, as well. These soft cords are usually made from washable materials. They can’t damage your bore and for general, quick cleaning, they’re priceless! They also come with a built-in brush, or an additional pull-through brush.
Cleaning Patches
If you’re using a cleaning rod, you’ll also need cleaning patches. These can be made out of any absorbent cloth material (i.e. not paper towels). A cheap option is to cut patches from old T-shirts, but any number of different fabrics will work nicely. You can also purchase patches from sporting goods stores or from online retailers. They may come in larger sizes and need to be trimmed to fit smoothly down the barrel. You also want to grab a clean rag and a few cotton swabs for wiping grime and dust from your rifle’s chamber and action.
Solvent
Lastly you’ll need a solvent, something to cut away at the fouling inside your bore. A favorite solvent is Hoppe’s #9. Another excellent option is Sweet’s 7.62 Bore Cleaning Solvent. Both of these are available at sporting goods stores or online from numerous retailers.
2. Clean the Rifle Bore
First, you’ll clean the barrel. Colin Cash (marksman, military surplus rifle collector, and gun aficionado) shares, “The first and last inch of the barrel are the most important to avoid damaging. If damaged at all, accuracy will suffer.” Keep that in mind as you approach your rifle. While there’s nothing tricky about cleaning a rifle, they do need to be handled with some care.
If at all possible, you want to clean your rifle’s bore in the direction that the bullet travels. Some rifles don’t allow for straight access, but for those that do, this is the best option. If you have a lever action, a pump action or some semi-automatic rifles that don’t allow for straight rear entry, you’ll clean from the direction of the muzzle to the chamber. Or you can choose to use a bore snake. Whichever option you choose, soak a patch or a portion of your bore snake with cleaning solvent and run it down through the bore. If you encounter substantial resistance with your rod and patch, remove the rod and trim the patch before running it again. Allow the rifle to rest for five to 10 minutes to give the solvent time to dissolve the fouling.
Next run a bore brush through the bore to loosen any grime. If you can, once the brush pops out the other end, unscrew it and pull the cleaning rod back out. Be gentle during this step. The solvent should have done most of the work for you. Don’t “scrub” away at the bore as this can damage the lands and grooves of the bore. Run the brush through and then move onto the next step.
Push another patch wet with solvent through the bore and let your rifle rest for a few more minutes. One to three minutes is plenty. Next grab a dry patch and run it through the barrel. This one should pick up plenty of carbon residue (depending on how dirty the rifle is and how long it’s been since it was last cleaned). Continue to run dry patches through until they come out completely clean and dry. If you continue to see dirty patches, you can repeat the above process again with more solvent.
3. Clean the Chamber and Action
While there is not much work to be done on the chamber and action, wiping these areas down with a clean rag is a good idea. You can also use a cotton swab to gently pick up any dust and grime in difficult-to-reach places. Be careful that the cotton swab doesn’t leave any cotton wisps behind though as this can cause malfunctions and attract dirt. There are chamber brushes and mops that you can purchase to clean out your chamber, as well. While not absolutely necessary, they do come in handy. Dental picks can be especially useful as well for more fine-tuned cleaning. Add these to your gun-cleaning kit as you’re able.
4. Clean the Stock and Barrel
When you are finished cleaning your rifle and readying it for storage, take a clean rag and wipe down the rifle barrel with a very light coat of gun oil. This helps remove any water or fingerprint residue that may have gotten on your rifle during the cleaning process. Remington Gun Oil works well, but any kind of gun oil should do the trick. Stocks don’t generally need cleaning if they have a waterproof finish (all synthetics, and sealed wooden stocks). You can wipe them down with a clean rag and brush off any dirt that may have accumulated. Before you store your rifle, wipe off any excess gun oil from the barrel. Close the action and safely drop the firing pin to release any tension in the rifle before storage.
5. Store in a Dry and Safe Place
Perhaps even more important than proper gun gleaning is the safe and dry storage of your rifle. Rust can be an ever-present enemy to rifles, and proper storage is essential to keeping it at bay. Choose a gun safe that fits your rifle collection. It is also a good idea to place some sort of dehydrator within your safe and check it periodically.
You can make your own dehydrator by collecting silica gel packets (like the ones you find in shoes). Cut them open and dump the beads into a tin or aluminum can. To reactivate the beads, simply put them in a 250 degree Fahrenheit oven for three hours. After that, place the open can in your gun safe. Depending on your environment and the size of your safe, you can hope to get anywhere from two weeks to a month or more of protection before needing to remove the moisture from the beads again in the oven.
Keeping a rifle in tip-top working condition is not difficult. A thorough cleaning every once in a while should be more than enough to deal with moisture-attracting carbon buildup and keep rust at bay. Using the proper tools and supplies will ensure that you don’t damage your rifle and should make cleaning a quick and simple process. Storing your rifle in a dry and locked area ensures that your rifle will be ready for use for years to come.

There you have it: the five essential steps to correctly cleaning your rifles. Do you think anything was missed in that post? What are your rifle cleaning habits? Tell us in the comments.

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Preparedness, simplicity, and efficiency are three difficult things to balance. It’s easy to achieve two of the three, but getting them all together is a challenge to say the least, especially when building an arsenal. Stockpiling as many guns as you can will get you prepared, but it’ll leave you with neither simplicity or efficiency. Conversely, having just a couple guns is simple and efficient, but it probably isn’t wise from a preparedness perspective.

All that said, could there ever be a single gun to satisfy all your core survival needs?

Actually, we all know that’s impossible, so let’s make it a little easier… Could there ever be one rifle to satisfy all your rifle needs?

According to this post, there might be a rifle that could do just that.

Here’s more from the source:

When most people think of survival rifles, they picture a compact, lightweight, single shot or semi-automatic rifle chambered for the venerable .22 LR ,or perhaps a drilling chambered for a .22 LR and .410 or 20 Ga.

However, when people think of the AR-15 rifle, they tend to automatically picture a home defense rifle or a US Military battlefield rifle, and certainly not a survival rifle! But, when properly configured, the AR-15 platform does make an excellent survival rifle. In fact, because of its .223 inch bore diameter and a chamber sized for either a .223 Remington or a 5.56 mm NATO cartridge, it makes an excellent choice for medium-size game species such as whitetail deer, feral hogs and wild turkeys at close to medium ranges, as long as the heavier bullet designs are used. On the other hand, it is also easily converted to fire the .22 LR cartridge via one of several different, readily available, drop-in conversion kits and thus, the AR-15 is a survival rifle extraordinaire!

When I think of a survival rifle, four criteria immediately come to mind. First, it must be lightweight so that it is easy to carry. Second, it must be compact so that it is easy to maneuver. Third, it must be extremely durable and well able to withstand the extremes of the elements — as well as harsh treatment and lack of care. Third, it must be able to fire the .22 LR cartridge.

While there are several extremely well-designed survival rifles out there chambered for the .22 LR, the AR-15 is a far better choice than any of them, because it is able to fire both a high-powered rifle cartridge and a low-powered one by simply exchanging the bolt with a drop-in replacement, and then exchanging the magazine. Also, by installing a collapsible, skeleton, stock in conjunction with a 14 ½-inch or 16-inch barrel, the rifle becomes both very compact and relatively lightweight. Plus, .22 LR drop-in conversion kits are readily available that will easily enable any AR-15 chambered for .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO to also fire .22 LR cartridges, without making any permanent alterations to the rifle.

So, simply by carrying the rifle in its standard configuration chambered for .223 Remington or 5.56 NATO along with a drop-in .22 LR conversion kit, you effectively have two rifles in one that will enable you to harvest game animals, ranging in size from squirrels and rabbits to medium-sized deer and feral pigs. Plus, because the AR-15 was specifically intended to be a battlefield rifle, it was specifically designed to function correctly every time it was needed, even in extremely harsh inclement weather conditions. It also was specifically designed such that all of the internal components can easily be replaced in the field by someone with only a moderate amount of mechanical skill. The AR-15 platform also meets my criteria for a survival rifle that is both extremely durable and very reliable.

Another reason that I feel that this rifle is such an extraordinary survival rifle is because it was specifically designed to be a modular system so that the rifle could be quickly and easily reconfigured to meet the needs of various missions. This has given rise to different manufacturers offering alternate caliber conversion kits in addition to the .22 LR, such as the 6.8mm Remington SPC (special purpose cartridge) or .300 Whisper.

By adding a second upper receiver/barrel assembly with a 14 ½-inch or 16-inch barrel chambered for 6.8mm SPC or something larger, you would have the ability to harvest larger game animals at much greater distances than you would with the .223 Remington, but you would also retain the ability to hunt medium-size game with the .223 and small game with the .22 LR, simply by sliding two pins out from the lower receiver and then exchanging the upper receiver at will.

If you have never considered the AR-15 to be a viable survival rifle, then perhaps you should take a second look at this amazing modular rifle. Not only is it compact, lightweight and extremely durable, but it can be easily reconfigured to fire any number of cartridges, ranging from low power to high power and thus, it actually makes the perfect survival rifle for hunting wild game species. Plus, if you happen to find yourself in a location inhabited by large, predatory animals, then having an AR-15 as opposed to a .22 LR can provide you with the means to defend yourself if necessary. As you see, the AR-15 is truly a survival rifle extraordinaire!

What do you think? Is the AR-15 really an end-all-be-all solution for your survival rifle needs?

Hash it out in the comments.

If you’re reading this post, chances are you’re here either to defend your love for Glocks to the death or to decry what some perceive to be rampant fanboy-ism for the Austrian gunmakers ubiquitous pistols.

Either way, your opinions on the matter are likely pretty strong.

But before you jump to your typical conclusions on Glocks, take the time to read what Off the Grid News has to say about why these guns continue to hold an edge over the rest of the handgun market.

Even if you get to the end of the article and still don’t agree, we’d love to hear your informed objections in the comments below.

Without further ado, here’s the post:

Nowadays, handguns from the Glock family of Safe Action pistols are among the most common you’ll see. The Austrian company makes their handguns in a variety of sizes and calibers from 380 ACP up to the awe-inspiring 10mm. If you have not considered one of these handguns in your survival strategy, you may be shortchanging yourself.

First, a Little History

The year was 1982 and a new handgun hit the market called the Glock 17. The concept was radical for its time: There was no hammer, no safety and the frames were made of plastic. The handguns even shipped in what could best be described as a black Tupperware box as opposed to the wooden or cardboard cartons more common in that day and age.

Myths surrounded the import. For example, some said it would be used by terrorists to hijack planes because it could bypass a metal detector thanks to its plastic frame. That statement, however, was flat-out ridiculous because the pistol still contains more than one pound of steel in its construction.

There also was great interest in the Safe Action feature. External safeties had always been seen as necessities on semi-automatic pistols since their invention. But Glock eliminated them by creating what they called a Safe Action trigger. This purpose-built, two-piece trigger performs the function of a safety and prevents the pistol from being fired should it drop on the ground or be struck by another object.

Eliminating a manual safety was key in allowing Glock to take over the majority of police handgun contracts as the firing sequence resembled that of a revolver, which allowed users to draw, point, aim and shoot without having to disengage a safety switch.

Perhaps Glock’s biggest advantage at the time was releasing their first model with a 17-round magazine. It was one of the largest pistol magazines available at the time without extending beyond the grip frame. And it has remained the ideal ever since. Glock and a number of aftermarket supporters also offer 10-round magazines for those who reside in restrictive states.

Shooting the Glock

There is a bit more muscle needed and a small bit of science involved with successfully and accurately shooting a Glock. The polymer frame forces the shooter to maintain a firm and strong grip. Otherwise, the frame can exhibit too much flex when the follow-through portion of the firing sequence is committed and the heavier-style trigger is the bane of single-action, semi-automatic pistol fans everywhere.

Some shooters claim the bore axis is too high, or that “they shoot too high” when firing a Glock. This varies depending upon the shooter, as most shooters do not experience this.

Aside from that, the Glock is one of the ultimate handguns to have when a disaster strikes. Aside from its reputation for reliability in the most adverse conditions (Glocks have been dropped from helicopters, run over with HUMVEEs, buried and caked in sand and mud, and even frozen in a block of ice without suffering any negative effects) they can be completely disassembled by only using a single punch.

For those concerned with home defense and self-defense, Glocks remain a great choice.

The smallest handgun in their lineup is the Model 42, a single stack handgun chambered in 380 ACP. This is part of Glock’s Slimline, along with the slightly larger Model 43 in 9mm and even larger Model 36 in 45 ACP.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the competition frames represent their largest handguns, including the 17L, 34, 41 and 40. The latter is probably the most powerful handgun that the company produces – a 10mm with a 6-inch slide that pushes the ballistics of that cartridge toward true Magnum revolver performance. This makes for an ideal sidearm in bear country, and Norwegian Police have been using the shorter Model 20 in the same caliber for decades in areas frequented by polar bears.

Their most popular handguns tend to be in the three basic sizes: full size (represented by the Model 17 in 9mm and 22 in 40 S&W), compact (Model 19 in 9mm and 23 in 40 S&W) and subcompact (Model 26 in 9mm and 27 in 40 S&W). The larger calibers such as 45 ACP and 10mm are built on slightly larger frames, with the compact models having a length that falls between the compact and subcompact pistols.

In recent years, Glock has been incorporating other features into their latest pistols. They have added rails to attach lights and lasers, included removable plates on the top of the slides to install optical sights, and added threaded barrels for use with silencers. They even offer interchangeable back straps to fit hands of all sizes.

The aftermarket support for the company makes them a hit with customers who want to try different calibers, triggers or install a stock and convert the Glock into a short-barreled rifle. Personally, I never leave my Glocks in factory condition and have customized them. I have installed, among other add-ons, fiber optic sights on a few and find them superior to night sights for a variety of reasons.

Just about every holster manufacturer offers leather or Kydex rigs to carry the Glock and in many ways, this Austrian-made pistol is more of an American handgun than the ones actually made here.

Ok, now you have your chance to say your peace about the Glock. You’ve heard one side of the story, so now you can give us yours. Or maybe you just want to chime in with some good-hearted support for the pro-Glock camp.

Regardless, give us a shout in the comments.

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If you could choose just one rifle to take with you into a survival scenario, which one would it be? Chances are, you’d have a hard time deciding.

There are several variables to keep in mind when picking a rifle for survival, and chief among them are weight, size, and ease of use.

So what does that mean? Which rifles could you trust your life with?

Off the Grid News explains with their insightful post on the five best light, small, and easy-to-fire survival rifles:


1. The Browning Grade 1 Semi-Auto .22 Rifle. This rifle is the highest quality and most expensive of the five rifles listed here. It’s an excellent choice for a hunting and plinking rifle and has a very attractive appearance with high-grade, walnut fore and buttstocks. Also, both the forestock and barrel are detachable, and it holds 11 rounds in a tubular magazine that is loaded through a port in the buttstock. It measures 37 inches when assembled and 19.25 inches when taken down, and it weighs 5 pounds, 3 ounces. The current manufacturer’s suggested retail price is $699.99.

2. The Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite Takedown Version Rifle. The take-down version of the Savage/Stevens Model 30 Favorite is an inexpensive alternative to the Browning Semi-Auto 22 LR. It, too, features walnut fore and buttstocks and is has an attractive appearance. However, it differs from the Browning rifle in that it is a single-shot rifle with a lever action that retracts a falling breech block instead of a semi-automatic action. It measures 36.75 inches when assembled, has a 21-inch barrel, and weighs 4.25 pounds. This rifle is currently out of production, but it can still be found on the pre-owned gun market at sites such as Gunbroker.com.

3. The Marlin “Papoose” Model 70PSS Rifle. Unlike the two rifles listed above, the Marlin Papoose is a no-frills, purpose-built survival rifle. It has a stainless steel receiver and a removable, 16.25-inch stainless steel barrel combined with a black, fiberglass-filled buttstock and no forestock. It has a detachable, seven-round magazine, measures 35.25 inches when assembled, and weighs 3.25 pounds. The current MSRP is $328.82.

4. The Henry Repeating Arms AR-7 Rifle.
This is also a no-frills survival rifle that has been the exclusive choice of the US Air Force since its introduction. It is available with your choice of a camouflage finish or a black, Teflon-coated finish. It features a semi-automatic action and two detachable, eight-round magazines, combined with a 16-inch barrel and a hollow, ABS plastic, buttstock. The buttstock is designed so that the barrel, the receiver, and both magazines can be stored inside it. It weighs 3.5 pounds and measures a mere 16.5 inches when disassembled. Plus, when the buttstock is sealed with the receiver, barrel and magazines inside, the whole affair floats. The current MSRP for the black version is $290, and the camouflage version retails for $350.

5. The Rossi Single Shot Matched Pair Rifle/Shotgun. This is a unique survival rifle that is available in both blue and matte nickel models. It is available in several different caliber/gauge configurations, but for survival purposes the .22 LR/.410 shotgun combination is the best choice since the shotgun barrel will fire both shot shells and .41 caliber lead slugs. Although no length specifications are listed on the Rossi website, it does say that this particular combination weighs 3.75 pounds. The current MSRP is $263.21.

Do you have a rifle you’d add to this list? Tell us about it in the comments!

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