With the upcoming presidential election, American gun owners are facing a time of great uncertainty. If Hitlery Clinton is elected, it is anticipated that she will not only issue a large number of anti-gun executive orders but during her term in office she will also appoint several ultra-liberal Supreme Court justices. That would dramatically alter the balance of the court. These frightening prospects have prompted many gun owners to increase the size of their collections and readjust their composition. As recent gun sales statistics attest, people are definitely stocking up. This news is not evidence of paranoia. It is simply rational self-interest.
By way of conversations at gun shows and with my consulting clients, I am now witnessing some deliberate “rebalancing” of gun collections. Here in The American Redoubt, the rebalancing that I’ve heard described is summarized as follows:
- Buying guns “off paper” (using cash, without a paper trail).
- Selling off some non-family heirloom guns in obsolete or oddball calibers.
- The addition of a few rifles in the most popular civilian hunting calibers, such as .243 Winchester, .270 Winchester, and 6.5 Creedmoor.
- Double or treble redundancy in “group standard” calibers.
- Selling some previously “papered” guns to Federally licensed dealers, in order to extinguish their paper trail to you.
- Buying “Sleeper” bolt action rifles. (I have more on that later.)
- Buying some complete guns or dedicated uppers that are compatible with suppressors, with corresponding muzzle adapters.
- Buying AR lower receivers (or 80% complete unserialized lower receivers) and parts sets.
- Stocking up on handloading components.
- Purchasing guns of particular action types and calibers that are legal in the host countries of clients’ offshore retreats.
- Buying full-capacity magazines in quantity.
- Acquiring caching tubes and desiccants.
- Stacking ammunition, deep.
- Diversifying ammunition reserves by adding small quantities of some exotic loadings, such as tracer, incendiary, AP, API, APIT, and Raufoss.
- Buying limited numbers of Federally exempt pre-1899 “antique” cartridge guns.
- Adding night vision equipment and weapons-mounted optics that are specifically compatible with night vision gear.
Even if you don’t plan to shift the basic composition of your family firearms battery, then you should at least stock up in quantity with more guns to match what you already have. This is with the best interest of your children and grandchildren in mind. But remember: A gun just by itself is not sufficient. For each gun, you will need: ammunition, magazines, a set of web gear (to carry magazines), a spare optic, and a few spare parts.
Hedging Into Sleepers
In the automotive world, the term “Sleeper” or “Q Car” refers to a car that has high performance but with an unassuming exterior appearance. In the context of firearms, a Sleeper is a rifle that is highly capable of a counter-sniper role in modern combat, yet it has the outward appearance of a humble “hunting rifle”. Having Sleeper rifles may prove to be important in the years to come. So, I strongly recommend that you buy at least one bolt action rifle that is chambered in .308 Winchester, and:
- Have its muzzle threaded to 5/8×24 for installation of muzzle devices
- Retrofit it with a detachable magazine triggerguard,
- Install a variable-power scope with a tritium-lit mil-dot reticle,
- Buy at least a half dozen spare magazines of various capacities, and
- Buy a large supply of .308 Winchester and 7.62mm NATO ammunition, including some armor piercing and tracer rounds.
Note: For muzzle threading a .30 caliber rifle, I prefer to use 5/8×24 right hand (RH) threads, which have become semi-standardized for AR-10 rifles. Hence, there are a large variety of flash hiders and muzzle brakes available to use without any need for modification. And by the way, I DO NOT recommend using 1/2×28 threads on a .30 caliber rifle, since there is not enough steel remaining to safely contain the pressure– rifling deformation, distorted threads, or worse might result. 1/2×28 threads are fine for a .223 caliber rifle but not for a .30 caliber rifle!
Needless to say, spend plenty of time practicing with that rifle. Once it is zeroed, be sure to research and confirm a drop table out to 800 yards for your primary match grade loading. (Bullet drop data is available free at the web sites of major ammunition companies, such as Hornady.com. But you need to confirm that data with testing on the range.) You should attach the confirmed chart to the rifle’s stock, for quick reference.
Some good candidate .308 Sleeper Rifles include:
- Remington Model 700 (make sure that it is “post-recall”)
- Winchester Model 70 (get one with a large tab Mauser-style extractor)
- Ruger Model 77 Mark II
- Ruger Scout Rifle
- Savage Scout Rifle
- Savage Model 10 or 110
I generally prefer to buy stainless steel rifles for their rust-resistant longevity. But if you opt for stainless steel, then be sure to either have it camouflage dipped by a hydrographics shop, or lay in a large supply of removable camouflaging tape.
Hedging Into Lower Receivers
For the past 15 years, the American semi-auto rifle market has been dominated by Stoner Armalite Rifle (AR) pattern rifles. They are popular in part because of their modularity and versatility. An amazing variety of AR parts and accessories are available. Because of their clever “automatic headspacing” design, they can also be assembled at home with a minimum number of tools, even by folks with rudimentary mechanical skills. Both the 5.56mm NATO (AR-15 pattern) and 7.62mm NATO (AR-10 pattern) are now incredibly popular. It is estimated that more than 4 million additional AR pattern rifles have been built during the two terms of the Obama Administration. Dozens of manufacturers are presently cranking out millions of these rifles, of varying quality. One peculiarity of both the AR family design and of U.S. gun laws is that it is the so-called “lower receiver” (trigger group), which that is the serialized part, that constitutes the “firearm”. All of the other requisite parts for building an AR can be purchased by mail order. (This is not the case in most European countries.)
With many new gun restrictions on the horizon, prescient American shooters are stocking up on AR lower receivers for later builds. Although there might eventually be sales restrictions placed on barrels and upper receivers, at least for now buying stripped lowers represents a great window of opportunity to buy “firearms” for less than $70 each. Buy plenty of them. Someday you may be very glad that you did. (Once Clinton gets the Democratic nomination, the price of lowers is expected to jump up to $200+.)
By the way, if you are a member of a retreat group or a circle of friends that intends to buy a sizable number of 80% complete AR-15 lower receivers, then I recommend splitting the cost of a Ghost Gunner 2 automated milling machine. A full review of these amazing little machines will be posted in SurvivalBlog sometime in the next few weeks.
Hedging Into Antiques
As I’ve written several times over the years in SurvivalBlog, one often overlooked category of guns are Pre-1899 Federally “Antique” rifles, revolvers, and shotguns. My current favorites are the Model 1893, 1894, 1895, and 1896 Mauser bolt action rifles. These can be re-barreled or re-chambered to handle many modern loads. They can also be restocked and equipped with modern telescopic sights and have their muzzles threaded, all without affecting their “exempt” status. For more details on pre-1899 antique guns, see the free FAQ that I authored.
Hedging Into PVC
Lastly, consider buying caching supplies, just in case you need to make some guns, ammunition, magazines, and accessories disappear. – JWR