Letter Re: Firearms Selection for Times of Ammunition Shortages

Dear JWR, Last spring, with the ammo shortage clearing the shelves everywhere, I found myself in a position to expand my collection.  I decided on a Ruger .44 Magnum Super Blackhawk, with the 7" barrel.  Legal for whitetail in my state, you see.  Having neglected to actually check the retail supply, I assumed that the shortage would be primarily the military calibers (9mm Para, .45 ACP, 5.56mm NATO, .308, and 7.62x39mm) with the civilian calibers being readily available. Experienced wheelgunners are already laughing.  Took me a month to track down 100 rounds of basic .44 Magnum.  Eventually, diligent checking at …




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 …




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 …




Letter Re: Is the M1A the Ideal Rifle Choice?

Jim, Is the M1A the best rifle to have sitting in your gun safe?  Ever since there have been rifles and humans, there has been discussions about what is the best rifle to have when you are thrust into a survival situation.  That situation might just be a government fallout, natural disaster, or the end of the world as we know it (TEOTWAWKI).  Either way, you need a rifle that will take you thru that situation and give you a fighting chance to survive.  So what attributes make a good rifle to rely on?  For starters there are many of …




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 …




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 …




3D Printing: Is it in Your Future?, by Kevin L.

There is a lot of talk in the media these days about three dimensional (3D) printers. For our community there is the Liberator, a 3D printed gun. It is an amazing development but certainly not ready for widespread use. 3D printers also make it possible to print your own magazines, holsters, and just about anything else you can think of that is made from plastic. But how good are these printers? Should they be part of your survival arsenal? If so, which one should you get? You can get used 3D Printers for around $550 without trying very hard but …




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: Custom Magazine Pouches

Greetings Sir, I read your post concerning magazine pouches for some of the more obscure weapons systems favored by many in our community. I’m not sure if the demand is there to justify a full production run of the pouches you mention, but we do produce very limited custom articles from time to time for clients with specific needs. If you would like a truly custom, American made product to fit the systems you mentioned, we would be glad to provide that service for you. Your input will completely drive the design, including, the products style, color, material, mode of function, attachment …




Pat’s Product Review: Stevens Model 350 Shotgun

There’s not a week that goes past, that I don’t hear from someone asking me “what’s the best gun for home defense…” and I can’t give a pat answer to that question. First of all, what does a person mean by “home defense?” Secondly, what are your physical abilities – or disabilities – when it comes to handling a firearm? What is your budget? What is your skill level with any firearm? And, the list goes on and on. So, as you can see, there is no single or easy answer to what is the best gun for home defense. …