Letter Re: Which Ammo to Stockpile?

Dear Sir, When stockpiling ammo, should one focus on FMJ and soft nose/hollow points or FMJ only?  FMJ is a better value per bullet, plus it’s supposed to be a lot more accurate and reliable than SP/HP, but of course, it sometimes comes at the cost of stopping power. I’m packing a semi-auto in 308/7.62×51, and to my knowledge, there haven’t been many complaints about the stopping power of the 7.62×51 ball cartridge in military circles; many complaints come mainly from the kick and weight.  Add to that the fact that after TEOTWAWKI, shooting through cover and mass fire will …




Bug Out: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly–You Can Arrive Alive, by Semper Paro

I.  Introduction – Possible Scenarios.   Your automobile becomes inoperable for a period of time while traveling – it is extremely hot or extremely cold and hours to wait. A natural disaster occurs and you have to evacuate. Chaos occurs due to financial collapse or other major event causing civil unrest. An Electro-Magnetic Pulse (EMP) or Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) caused by solar flare(s) renders your vehicle dead miles from home. Or, an EMP occurs as a result of a nuclear strike (with collateral fall-out to follow). Use your imagination…in reality, nothing is too far fetched. While these are listed in …




Cleaning and Lubricating Your Lead Launcher, by Keith H. in Ohio

In the course of most firearms related articles there is the usual debate over caliber, brand names, action types, magazines, super-duper sights, LED lasers/lights, savvy slings, hot holsters and of course the great rail debate. Very little is written on the after effects of all that lead launching other than the firearms needs cleaned. In reality most shooters should spend as much, if not more, time cleaning and maintaining their firearms then they did actually tripping the trigger. The vast majority of shooters I see at public ranges and gun clubs do not even bring rudimentary cleaning and firearm maintenance …




Letter Re: Advice on Buying Legislatively Resilient Guns

James, As a daily reader of your blog, I’ve read over and over again about how Pre-1899 guns are legal. The Internet is full of such advise dating back a long time. However, I still fail to see how that would add much protection against confiscation. The ATF has seized Airsoft guns and police confiscated muzzleloaders from one home in my area after one resident (who was not the owner of the weapons!) was arrested there. The list goes on from there and contains nothing that shows that law enforcement makes any distinction between antiques and modern guns. I believe …




A Terrifying Awakening, by Mike C.

“My grandpa taught me how to live off the land, and his taught him to be a businessman.” Remember those words from “A Country Boy Can Survive” by Hank Williams, Jr.?  Those lines are the story of my life.  I was born just outside of San Francisco in 1963.  I was raised overseas and lived in Singapore, a nation where possession of guns by citizens was (and is) illegal.   The extent of my outdoor life was exploring what was left of the jungles around our home, and digging up WW2 relics (casings, helmets, hubcaps etc.)  I returned to the US …




Letter Re: Loading Your Own Ammunition

Mr Rawles, I’m writing to make a few points about the article Ken in Montana wrote about reloading, as there are some issues I have with it. I’ve only been reloading since 1999, but . . . . First, Winchester primers are also brass in color, so anything other than silver doesn’t automatically mean they’re Remington. Additionally, people who are just getting into reloading should ask around about the reliability of the primers they’re going to use, as some primers have harder cups and don’t detonate reliably. I generally only use Winchester and CCI. I’d be interested to know where …




Loading Your Own Ammunition, by Ken in Montana

With the current shortage of ammunition and the consequent high prices, it makes more sense now than ever before to learn how to reload your own fired brass casings.  I even suspect that in the future, this may well be the only way for the ordinary citizen to obtain ammunition. It’s not at all difficult, it only requires a little understanding of the process, and the ability to follow directions. This will become very important later, as each caliber requires its own set of powders, charges, primers, and bullets. No one can learn them all, there are millions of potential …




Life on the Edge: The Importance of Blade Maintenance, by Dr. DAC

INTRODUCTION Most of us use a cutting edge every single day, be it a chef’s knife, pocket knife, or scissors.  We typically suffer with overly dull cutting surfaces, and that is OK for cutting a zucchini after the daily nine-to-five routine.  However, when faced with a long-term survival situation, the importance of cutting edges will skyrocket, quickly shifting this humdrum facet of daily life to center stage.  Knowing how to restore and maintain blades and edges will take on new importance, as sharp tools will be necessary for survival, and sharpening will be a marketable and barterable skill. Besides knives …




Prioritized Prepping, by Z.T.

I, like so many people across the country, can’t walk out of my local sporting goods store without buying the limit of ammunition. Now, before you judge me, realize that most places limit you to small boxes of ammunition, and usually one two per caliber. Is it being prudent or just being obsessed? While the firearm and ammo situation is very much a media-hyped thing,  I have even talked about things you must buy every time you are out, like my article on Things Commonly Overlooked.  But what about those items that you pick up, look at the price tag, but pass …




Letter Re: Advice on Firearms Caching

James, In “Letter Re: Advice on Firearms Caching”, Mark J. wrote “Should I simply use a Hot Hands hand warmer inside the mylar bag and then another one inside the PVC tube? I should not have to worry about moisture if it is vacuum sealed? right? “ Well, no–regardless of the chemicals in the heater. Putting any temporary heat source in a sealed container may actually cause corrosion or water damage that wouldn’t have happened before. This is why: Heating air does not remove moisture from a confined environment; it simply increases the air’s ability to absorb moisture from other …




Waterproofing and Long-Term Storage of Small Arms Ammunition, by Nebraska Farmer

Did you ever wonder just how waterproof your ammunition is?  Over the years I’ve seen ammo stored in everything from cardboard boxes in the attic to sealed ammo cans in the basement, to fruit jars in the refrigerator.    Case corrosion and propellant degradation can occur as a result of exposure to elements, oxygen, and extreme fluctuations in temperature and humidity.  Think of the times when both you and your ammunition were exposed to the elements…wouldn’t it be nice to add one more layer of reliability to your primary weapon system – by ensuring waterproof reloads?  Okay, I’m not going to …




Letter Re: Advice on Firearms Caching

Hi James, After a firearm has been oiled up with RIG grease and vacuum sealed, I want to put it into a rifle length mylar bag as well and then put into a 6″ PVC tube.  Should I simply use a Hot Hands hand warmer inside the mylar bag and then another one inside the PVC tube?  I should not have to worry about moisture if it is vacuum sealed? right?  I do have some silica gel packs but did not know if you can mix the two together. I tried to do a search on your site but could …




Letter Re: Pre-1899 Antique Gun Clarifications

Hi James, I was just looking at your FAQ article about antique firearms. Apparently, there has been some controversy over the dates of manufacture of some Winchester firearms. The discovery of so called Polishing Room Records have dates of “manufacture” which apparently disagree with the previously established “Madis” dates of manufacture. I was just wondering what your take is on this subject. Also, I’ve been trying to find out if there is any logical reason for selecting December 31, 1898 as the Antique firearms cutoff date. Did someone just arbitrarily pick this date? I know that there were cartridge ammunition …




Letter Re: Query on Knife Recommendations

Mr. Rawles, Could you recommend a style of survival knife? I’ve read several recommendations by various people — everything from a K-Bar to a parang. My wife and I are newcomers to the survival game, but as a hunter and outdoorsman I tend to favor a good, short, fixed-blade (drop point) Buck knife, augmented by a decent folding saw. Are these good choices, or should we really look for a versatile (if not “do-it-all”), long-bladed knife with a partially serrated edge? I’m a bit skeptical of hacking / sawing through things such as tree limbs with a knife, and equally …




Letter Re: Air Guns as Long Term Survival Weapons

JWR, Reader M.D.W. wrote a very informative article, as far as he went.  The newest technology in the air rifle race is the nitrogen piston, replacing the metal spring on the break action guns, both in rifle and pistol format.  The nitrogen piston, or nitro piston as it is known, uses the technology of the auto shock absorber.  When was the last time that anybody heard of one of those failing?  The nitro piston can be purchased as a spare and stored indefinitely on the shelf with no special attention.  The major advantage of the nitro piston is no spring …