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25 7941

We all love firearms. Shooting is a fun and fulfilling hobby, and the pursuit of building an extensive gun collection is part of the experience. However, not everybody can afford to build up a massive arsenal like the ones we see online.

So what’s the best course of action if you could only own three guns? You want to have a wide range of flexibility when it comes to the type of shooting you can do, but you don’t want to break the bank. What should you do?

Well, if you’re interested in having just three guns that can serve as self-defense, hunting, and sporting firearms, then there’s a video you have to see. It tells us the best three guns to own, and it tells you exactly why.

Check it out below:

What do you think? Do agree with the video’s stance?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments.

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17 8762

Finding the right pistol for you is the number one factor in successful concealed carry. You can tweak your setup all you like, but if you’re not carrying the right handgun it’ll all be for naught.

Having said that, some guns are better suited to concealed carry than others. Size, weight, and ease of firing are all important things to consider, and it can be difficult to find a gun that meets all your needs.

By the same token, some guns are ideal for concealed carry. From grip to tip, they dominate the concealed carry market.

You’ve probably already got a few in mind right now.

What you don’t have in mind, however, is this awesome concealed carry handgun that practically nobody knows about.

It’s the Steyr S9-A1, and Off the Grid News just published a fantastic write-up on it. Check it out below:

One of my favorite carry pieces is a little known Austrian-made pistol: the Steyr S9-A1. On the surface it looks like a typical polymer framed, striker-fired pistol. But its utility is deeper than this.

Most people know of Steyr for their iconic AUG rifles. These futuristic bullpup rifles have been around for over three decades and represented innovations for rifle manufacture and deployment.

The S9-A1 pistol is no different.

Like the majority of polymer-framed striker-fired pistols, there are no external safeties or de-cocking mechanisms. This is not new, in and of itself. These types of pistols have proven themselves time and time again.

Where the Steyr starts to depart from the rest of the pack is in its trigger.

Wilhelm Bubits, who was the brain behind the Glock 20, developed this trigger. It is a two-piece type that is preset to a crisp-and-clean four pounds, and rearward movement is more reminiscent of a 1911 style pistol. A very short reset allows the shooter to make quicker follow-up shots.

Another key difference is the unique trapezoidal-type sights. Instead of traditional “three dots,” the Steyr S9-A1 makes use of a triangular front sight that reminds us of the reticle on our Trijicon ACOG. Diagonal lines cut into the rear sight allow the shooter to bring the sights to alignment and seem to allow the eye to capture this sight picture readily.

Some shooters have a hard time adapting to this sight picture, and that can be remedied by replacing them with traditional three-dot sights with tritium inserts.

My main reason for loving this pistol is the Steyr S9-A1’s superb-grip angle. Cut high into the frame, the shooter can easily maintain a grip which is close to the axis of the bore. I find it to be the most perfect grip design on any polymer-framed handgun, and think it needs no “grip reduction,” texturing or interchangeable back straps.

There is a short accessory rail on the frame to attach a visible white light or laser.

The magazines are masterpieces of construction, but this is one of the pistol’s shortcomings in my view. They are easily capable of holding 12 or 13 rounds, yet they are blocked off to hold only 10 rounds. They resemble circa 1994-2004 restricted capacity magazines and probably help sales in states with restrictive bans on magazine capacity, but I would like to see true factory magazines that are unrestricted.

Fortunately, magazines for the full-size M9 and L9 series will fit in the pistol, although they protrude from the bottom of the frame an inch or so.

Unlike other polymer-framed striker-fired pistols on the market, there are very few aftermarket accessories for the S9-A1. Part of the reason is that the pistols are just about perfect out of the box; the other is that it is not a well-known firearm.
The holster makers are getting better at producing holsters for the Steyr pistols, though. I went with a custom Kydex rig through L.A.G. Tactical of Reno, Nevada.

My main reason above all these for going with the Steyr is its accuracy. I regularly achieve sub-two-inch groups at distances of 50 feet with my Steyr. It replaced my H&K P7M8 for carry based on this alone.

They can be tough to find, but MSRP is less than $500, and every now and then you can find them on sale.

Caliber: 9mm

Weight: 26 ounces

Overall length: 6.7 inches

Barrel length: 3.6 inches

MSRP: $469

Had you heard of this gun before? What’s your opinion of it?

Tell us what you think in the comments.

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26 5092

The firearm industry, like any other, is constantly pressing forward with new technology. Making guns more efficient, accurate, and easy to shoot is always gun manufacturers’ top priority, which is why new developments like the single-action and striker-fired pistol are around today. But is new always better?

Some shooters don’t think so, especially when it comes to single-action pistols versus handguns that use the older double-action mechanism. And they make a compelling case.

There’s something to be said for the extra safety and control a double-action pistol can provide. And the benefits don’t end there.

Watch the video below to hear the details for yourself:

What do you think? Does this give you enough reason to switch back to a double-action?

Give us your opinion in the comments.

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37 6647

When we think of revolvers, we automatically start seeing images of gunmen in the wild west shooting up saloons and putting down bad guys. The revolver is a quintessential part of American gun history, and it holds a special place in our hearts.

Unfortunately, many people believe that revolvers are quickly turning into a novelty item with little potential practical use, and it’s a crying shame.

Despite the growing sentiment that revolvers should be relegated to collectors and old movies, there are plenty of good reasons to keep these guns in your regular carry rotation. Furthermore, there’s a strong argument to support the notion that these guns will NEVER be outdated like some people say.

You might be surprised to hear that, but give us a chance to tell you why.

Off the Grid News tells us more:

Revolvers are here to stay, despite the fact that they hold a limited number of rounds and are slower to reload when compared to semiautomatic handguns. Does that mean that you need a six-shooter in your handgun battery?
It depends.

For more than a century revolvers were the de facto “go-to” handgun for civilians, soldiers and peace officers. They remained in service after the introduction and adoption of the semiautomatic pistol, and their decline has only been over the past two to three decades.

Manufacturers continue to produce revolvers, and it seems that every time we try to write them off as obsolete, that a new model comes forth.

What is it about the revolver that still endears it to so many shooters?

1. Nostalgia

For many shooters, revolvers hearken back to a simpler time. Whether it is from watching Western-themed movies or police dramas set from the 1940s through the late 1980s, the revolver played a dominant role from the taming of the frontier through the end of the Reagan era.

Many new revolvers coming to market are designed for period re-enactors who need to replicate arms from the Civil War, through the Old West up through the Roaring 20s.

As a student of history, the author can certainly appreciate revolvers from this standpoint.

2. Reliability

There was a time when revolvers held the advantages of simplicity and reliability. The modern semiautomatic pistol has finally come into its own in this regard, but for many years they were denigrated as being “fussy with ammo types,” “prone to malfunction” and – heaven forbid — the “need to be maintained and cleaned.”

There is a lot to be said for any firearm that can be left loaded for long periods of time, remain reliable, have no worries about automatic ejection of spent casings before firing another round and no reliance on external safeties.

Many new semiautomatic pistols have this same advantage, but it is one thing that cannot be taken away from the revolver.

3. Concealability

Apart from the reenactor revolvers, there are two other classes of revolver that shooters want to see. The first of these are the small, compact revolvers that can easily slide into a pocket holster and be carried comfortably all day.

The J-Frame Smith & Wesson revolvers and the mini revolvers from companies such as North American Arms make for outstanding concealed carry or backup guns to a primary defensive handgun.

Some revolvers with concealed or shrouded hammers can be fired from inside a pocket; not even the best compact 380 can manage that.

4. Power

The other type of revolvers that shooters seem to want is the Magnum caliber revolver. Beyond 357 Magnum, 41 Magnum and 44 Magnum, there is an entirely new class emerging in the 454 Casull, 460 S&W and 500 S&W cartridges.

These large caliber wheel guns have all but replaced the various single shot and bolt-action pistols chambered in rifle cartridges for handgun hunting due to similar and sometimes superior ballistics — not to mention their ease of use when compared to the bolt action “mini rifle handguns.”

Semiautomatic handguns in these calibers need to be overbuilt in order to handle the pressures and the slides made much heavier.

Even with some modern auto pistol rounds (like the 10mm fired through a 6-inch Glock 40), the power factor is at the lower end of the power scale when compared to the revolver cartridge it is trying to emulate.

For a hunting handgun, the revolver is still king.

5. Simplicity

Regardless of the type of revolver, the hallmark of a wheel gun is its simplicity and shorter learning curve. We learned how to shoot on semiautomatic pistols, and when we started as an instructor we were convinced we could teach all our students the same way.

For some shooters, though, the revolver has a quicker learning curve. It may be they are distracted by ejecting brass, have difficulty with slide manipulation or are enamored by the superior grip characteristics of a classic Colt or Smith. If part of your goal is to introduce new people to the shooting sports, a spare 38 Special revolver can help a newcomer who might otherwise give up.

I simply like revolvers, for many of the reasons cited above. My Colt SAA is a piece of history at more than 115 years old, and a Colt Detective Special conceals easier in the summer months than a Glock 19. Additionally, my S&W 500 can drop an elk at 50 yards.

Now that you’ve heard the case for revolvers, what do you think? Was that enough to sell you, or are you still skeptical? Maybe you’re already a faithful revolver fan. No matter your inclination, give us your thoughts in the comments.

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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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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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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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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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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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