Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 3, by behind-the-counter

Steps 1 and 2 We started this series by recommending a .22 rifle as a first gun for a prepper battery or as an important addition to a well-stocked arsenal. We specifically suggested a 10/22 Takedown or any other 10/22 model and recommended dedicating enough time to become confident using this wonderful little rifle. The two structured alternatives we described for building competence and confidence were the Appleseed Project and Rimfire Challenge. In the second article we provided much more detail about Appleseed and Rimfire. We also described the specific upgrades recommended by Appleseed and four more that would improve the reliability and functioning of any 10/22. This article and then the final one in the four-part series provide more information and additional resources on the upgrades covered in the second article and provide details on a few more changes to enhance the performance of an already outstanding rifle. Part Three specifically covers the complete field stripping of the 10/22 and installation of an automatic bolt release and an extended magazine release in the trigger guard housing. At the end of the fourth article, which details the installation of the extractor, firing pin, and a replacement bolt handle and guide … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Start With A .22 Rifle- Part 2, by behind-the-counter

Appleseed or Rimfire Are you still pondering whether to get a 10/22? Or, have you already added a stainless Takedown to your gun safe and made several trips to the range? If you have also taken a class or done some serious practice, your round count is likely to be 300 to 500 rounds or more. You will have built some confidence in your rifle and yourself. The next step is really a personal choice. Either of the two recommended options, Appleseed or Rimfire Challenge, will result in a major improvement in your skills and put you on the path to becoming a very good shooter or what we call a “capable defender”. (Capes are optional.) Our advice: Go with your gut after reading the pros and cons of each. Whichever option you select to upgrade your skills, make a genuine commitment to one or the other. Stick with it. Which one? Appleseed or Rimfire? Let’s assume you are not an experienced rifle or pistol competitor and have had little or no formal instruction in four-position shooting (standing, kneeling, sitting, prone) and don’t have years of experience shooting varmints and pests. Which one should you pick? Appleseed Appleseed has several … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Start With a .22 Rifle– Part 1, by behind-the-counter

10/22 Takedown Are all of your defensive preps squared away? Do you have a full battery of firearms complete with magazines, spare parts, optics, and web gear? If yes, skip the following contribution and what may seem like heresy. Are you taking a close look at the “Personal Defense” part of your preps and wondering where to begin? Have you figured out a budget and started your firearms purchases but are still a little short on practical experience? Are you at the stage where you are putting more focus on this area of your preps, but your action plan has some holes? Or, do you have a clear concept of what you want but are experiencing real resistance from a spouse or partner? If any of those descriptions describe your circumstance, this article may be for you. As a gun store manager and a concealed carry instructor, I am frequently asked about the right gun to buy. Sometimes, the question is very broad but starts with a money emphasis. I may hear “I’ve been thinking about buying a gun for personal defense (or defending my family or home); how much will it cost?” Occasionally, the customer tries to show a … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Canik- 55 TP9SF, by Pat Cascio

As usual, I like to remind our readers that I’m a real stickler when it comes to buying just about anything. If what I’m looking at is a steal-of-a-deal, I have to pass on it. My finances demand that I spend every penny as wisely as I can, all the time. I certainly appreciate some custom firearms or very expensive guns, and I’ve owned a few over the years. I didn’t have the cash to buy them, but I worked deals, trades, or barter. While I think we all can agree that there is a certain amount of pride in ownership, we don’t all need custom or very expensive firearms to achieve certain goals. I’m at the point in my life where I don’t “need” any more firearms. Yes, I do want more, but I don’t need them. So I’ve all but cut back on buying or trading into new firearms. I have enough firearms to serve my needs for the rest of my life, I kid you not. Once more, let me clarify that I don’t not have a gun collection, far from it. Most readers would be surprised at how few guns I actually do own. Enter the … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Ruger’s SR1911, 9mm, by Pat Cascio

Even when I was younger I was pretty much “old school” in many things. Maybe it came from being raised by my grandparents and all their friends. It’s just one of those mysteries in life that I can’t explain. I still love to listen to “oldies” music on the radio. When I first started listening to “oldies” it wasn’t old; it was the music of the 1960s that I fell in love with. And, to this day, my favorite song is “Will You Be Staying After Sunday” by Peppermint Rainbow. Over the past several years, I have gotten to know several of the group’s members, and they are all super-nice people. Bonnie Lamdin-Phipps, her sister, “Peppermint” Patty Lamdin-Brown, and Doug Lewis are on my bucket list as people I want to get to meet in-person some day. For many, many years, I was old school in that I believed with all my heart that the grand ol’ 1911 handgun was always meant to be chambered in one caliber– the .45 ACP, and I don’t think many will dispute the fight-ending effects of the .45 ACP round. Some years ago, I guess you can say I saw the light, or the … Continue reading

Advertisement:

S&W Model 15, by Pat Cascio

We are continuing to followup on the many requests for more revolver articles from our readers, and we are more than happy to comply. As I pointed out in previous articles, there are some shooters who believe that the “old” revolver isn’t a viable option for self-defense work, and I couldn’t disagree more. Now, we aren’t necessarily talking about a SWAT team clearing a building of an active shooter or a terrorist. We are talking about everyday people who carry concealed or want a home defense handgun, and for whom the revolver might just be the perfect answer. In 1980 or 1981, I traded a customer in my gun shop out of a S&W Model 15; it’s also called the K-38 Combat Masterpiece. This was my first exposure to this particular model in a full-sized service revolver, and the gun was for my own personal use. Over the years, I’ve owned quite a few revolvers, from S&W, Colt, Ruger, and other gun makers. Most were snubby revolvers, as I carried those guns doing Private Investigative work. The Model 15 that I traded into didn’t have the skimpy small wood grips that came on most models; instead, it had a nice … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Product Review: Flamethrower from FlamethrowerPlans.com, by Mike Williamson

Flamethrowers are primarily a tool and, accordingly, are not regulated under federal law as a weapon. As they do not fire a projectile from a fixed cartridge, they are not restricted under BATFE regulations. The FlamethrowerPlans.com flamethrower will be recognized by some as kitbashed from various industrial components. This, however, does not make it any less effective. You can buy the plans (as the site indicates), components, or a finished unit. I opted for the finished unit. The package is surprisingly compact considering the contents. There is the fuel tank, projector, hose, and pressure hardware. The instructions are very clear and simple. Also included is a modified propane torch as an igniter. All that is required is to charge the CO2 tank, fill it with fuel, and attach a propane bottle. Safety is obviously paramount with something that projects burning fuel. The instructions recommend a wet test with water first, to verify function safely. We did this, and we measured a range of right at 50 feet and a firing time of right at one minute. This is a shorter distance than historical military models but with a longer burn time. Fuel can be kerosene, diesel or gasoline, and thickeners … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Ruger/CRKT All-Cylinders +P, by Pat Cascio

For some reason I just can’t get some people to understand that gun makers don’t make the knives with their names on them. Remington knives have been around for a long, long time, and some are highly collectible, too. It’s the same with Winchester knives, and some are collectibles. I even suggested to one gun company, and I won’t reveal who it is, that they do collaboration with a knife company and have knives made with the name of the gun company on it. They did! This isn’t all that hard to understand, but it is for some folks. It takes a special kind of tooling and people to operate those machines and to manufacture knives. Gun companies simply aren’t interested in investing the time and money to do this, so they go to a knife company and have them produce knives with the name of the gun company on the blade and/or handle. Some knives are designed in-house; some are designed by well-known knife makers. Some of these knife makers/designers may or may not get credit for their efforts. Another area that remains a mystery to many people is that gun makers don’t make the magazines that go in … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Cold Steel Extra Large Espada, by Pat Cascio

We get a lot of requests at SurvivalBlog to test and review many products. Unfortunately, due to the sheer volume of these requests, we simply can’t review every product, or we’d have a website full of product reviews each and every day. I personally take as much time as I possibly can with each product I test to make sure I give it a fair test, in that the product does what it is expected to do. When it comes to firearms, I shoot them a lot, and in the case of a handgun I carry it, too. I’m not going to recommend a handgun to someone else if it isn’t something I’d carry myself. We get a lot of emails, at least I do, personally, for knife reviews. I’m happy to say I have some of the best contacts in the knife industry, and they are happy to send me their products for testing. Still, I can’t review all of the knives I’d like, because there isn’t enough time! I also get requested, or should I say readers asking me what is the “best” knife! I simply can’t answer that question; there is no “best” when it comes to … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Letter Re: 80% Lower Router Problems

Hugh, I wanted to add something here. You should not have to keep retightening a router bit after each cut. Having been a woodworker for 25+ years and having used routers to mill aluminum, here are a few safety tips: When inserting bit in collet make sure bit is not bottomed out all the way. Insert bit until it bottoms out and then slightly raise it up about 1/32 or 1/16″. The easy way to do this is to snug collet enough so you can insert bit into collet, and that bit will stay put when you take your hand off, then bottom bit out. Then while pulling outward, slightly twist bit about 1/8 of a turn to relieve bit from touching bottom, then tighten collet. I have noticed that if a bit is bottomed out, it can work loose even when routing wood. By relieving slightly so bit is not touching, I have never had one come loose. Hope this helps readers stay safe. – William in NC

Advertisement:

Letter Re: 80% Firearms

Hugh, I recently completed a Complete AR-15 Rifle Kit with PTAC Upper from 80% Arms with their Easy Jig system, and I would like to share a few things from my experience. 80% Arms shipped the kit within just a few days. There were no missing parts or tools. That was my only experience with their customer service, but based on the rapid shipment I would rate them “excellent”. The instructions were quite complete and understandable, but you do need to read them carefully (preferably twice or more) before cutting and then follow them exactly step by step while cutting. Two points I want to emphasize from the instructions: The Easy Jig system uses a router with a mill bit for much of the cutting. The instructions clearly state to ensure the bit is very tight in the router. They do mean very tight, as mine began to drift at one point in the cut causing a problem I will discuss shortly. Even though I had tightened the bit tight enough that I was worried about breaking my router, I found that I needed to tighten the bit after every cut, until it eventually “seated” in a sense and the … Continue reading

Advertisement:

Letter Re: 80% Article

Hugh, Concerning the article titled “Building an 80% Firearm,” I just wanted you (and the readers, should you decide to post this) to know that the 80% handgun market is continuing to expand. In addition to the Not-A-Glock and 1911s, there is a website (matrixprecisionparts.com) that offers 80% Sigs for construction. On the website, they also sell refinished German Sig Sauer P228 9mm parts kits for the 80% receiver. This is easily one of the most satisfying builds I have done. Now if only someone would offer an 80% M1A or mini 14 receiver and tooling. – F.M.

Advertisement: