2nd Amendment to the Constitution of The United States of America

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

"I ask sir, what is the militia? It is the whole people except for a few politicians."
- George Mason (father of the Bill of Rights and The Virginia Declaration of Rights)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Yet more Glock talk....abusing a Glock...

I was talking with someone at work yesterday about my hobby and the subject of Glocks got brought up. He was familiar with the name thanks to video games and such but didn't know much about them other than what was in the players guide to his games and what he read on the internet. He wanted to know if a Glock was as indestructable as they say it is. I first informed him that NOTHING was indestructible, and that all it took was the right amount of force to break something. However, in my opinion, Glocks were pretty damn tough. Ran across the following quote on a gun board early this morning that kind of seemed to fit in to this conversation from yesterday (and I am not starting a 1911 vs. Glock thing here...I love them both)

(Larry) Vickers FAQ on the 1911 "7. How do I know if a 1911 is the right choice for me? That is a tough question as I feel most people are best served NOT using a 1911 as a primary sidearm. Two criteria come to mind: a) A passion for the 1911 platform and b) you are willing to be your own armorer and can fix relatively minor problems or fit certain parts yourself. If you are the kind of guy that doesn’t mind tinkering with your Harley Davidson motorcycle to keep it running then you are a candidate. If however you treat your pistols like we all treat our lawnmowers, then don’t get a 1911 – use a Glock."

I am posting this article so that I can reference this blog post to this guy for him to look at with his own eyes and make a decision. The following two items I am pretty sure I have posted at some point in the past, the video for sure...

first, a look at one man's sadistic treatment of this G21 .45 ACP and its refusal to give into his abuse (click on the pic)

Glock 21 Torture Test

and secondly, a video made by some fellow Ohioans from up North where I shoot Appleseeds at that buried a G21 for 2 years just to see what would happen...

Gee...and here I am worried I still haven't cleaned my G19 since my last range time a week ago....

Are Glocks indestructible?....nope...but pretty damn close in my book...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Well, I guess there sometimes is such a thing as an "Accidental Discharge"...

Remember last week when I was saying the Army changed the term "Accidental Discharge" (AD) to "Negligent Discharge" (ND) in my post "Is the Glock inherntley Unsafe?"....well I forgot one caveat of that policy....
Thanks to Powerpoint Ranger for reminding me of that one!! Check him out for a good laugh!

Ohio's gun deer season opens today...think safety folks..

here's a reminder lesson for you...and remember, in Ohio he's called "The Grassman"...

Friday, November 26, 2010

Slipstream for the troops drive..join in!!

I have mentioned many times before on this blog about my affinity for Slipstream lubricant from Crusader Weaponry. It lubes the majority of all of my weapons and I have found that it pretty much lives up to the hype that surrounds it from the company. I should note that the company is run by a couple of guys that I associate with on the We The Armed gun forum and also on FaceBook. The oil to me is well worth the price paid and does and outstanding job at its intended purpose.

I have also previously posted about the program where Crusader will send this product to a soldier or marine overseas if you would like to buy one for them. I have done it twice before and just did it again today after reading the following post on WTA from a member who goes by the handle "bluedog"

June 13, 2010 I posted complementing the Crusader Weaponry customer service I received. I wanted a kit for my son deploying to Afghanistan. Some expressed interest in his experience with the product. He is home for two weeks and we have been able to talk. He treated his M4 when he retrieved it and is very satisfied with the results. He hasn't cleaned his weapon, only wipes it down, and hasn't had a malfunction. He has shared his Slipstream with others in his unit. Some of them have placed orders. They are in TF Raider. He is reluctant to go into detail, citing Operational Security, but doesn't worry his weapon will malfunction when he needs it. Thank you for an excellent product.

Now I don't know Bluedog, nor do I know his son. But I do know many like them. Parents and children separated by the hardships and insanity of war across thousands of miles. You can replace the word "Parent" with so many other titles in this sense, wife, husband, child, friend and the list goes on. My buddy Steve is a short timer over in the 'Stan and I am awfully glad it looks like he will be coming home soon. But then again nothing is written in stone.

A soldier or marine counts on their weapon as one of his insurance policies to make sure he does get to come home and be reunited with those that he or she holds dear. A fully functioning weapon is very important in this case. Sure, the CLP that the military issues is good enough..but is "good enough" good enough for you? I would rather know that our troops are being given access to state of the art materials to make their lives and mission easier over there. Alas, this is not always the case. But at least we can help.

I urge my readers to buy a bottle of Slipstream during the remaining holiday season for one of our service members overseas. Its easy and inexpensive. Just go to crusaders Slipstream page by clicking on the pic below and add a bottle to your cart and check out securely via Paypal. During the final confirmation page there is a link to leave a message, just cut and paste the following text in the box:

Slipstream for the troops from Huey's Gunsight.

Total cost is $13.98 including shipping. Not much to ask for when you take into consideration some troop's life may depend some day on his rifle going "bang" and not "click". Help be a "bang" in that soldiers life.

My goal is modest, I would like to get 5 other readers of this blog to donate bottles. Joe at Crusader has graciously pledged to match what is raised. We would be talking 12 bottles shipped over to the troops here. Doesn't sound like much but thats about half a platoon, which is a good start.

In recognition of Bluedog's son, I am asking Crusader to send the kits to that particular unit. It is more likely that soldiers will use something new if one of their own in their midsts has something positive to say about the product. Slipstream does them no good stuck in the bottles over there, it needs to get onto those bolts and bolt carrier groups in their AR's.

Please donate and thank you in advance.


Click the below pic to take the first step in donating a bottle...and be sure to let them know Huey sent 'ya!

Call of Duty: Black Ops Zombie mode..

OK, normally I don't comment too much on technology here, but I just bought Kev's "old" Xbox 360 from him for a steal and had to run out and buy the game Call of Duty: Black ops. It's the most popular game going right now and the fastest selling of all time. The Xbox 360 is, in one word, amazing. I can see what all the hype is about now. The graphics are superb and the online experience with the Xbox Live! service is pretty damn good. I used to be a pc only gamer but now these dedicated gaming boxes are becoming a big deal in our house. A Wii, PSP, Playstation 2, Gameboys, DSI and now this!!

One of the big selling points on Black Ops is the zombie mode. It was originally introduced in the COD: World at War game and lets you play a war of attrition in a static defense against oncoming waves of hordes of zombie nazis! Holy Dod Sno!!

Glock...Combat Tupperware indeed!

First off, if you think that there has been a lot of Glock posting going on around these parts...you're right. Thanks for paying attention.

If you are wondering about the title, Glocks are sometime disparagingly called "combat Tupperware" because of their plastic frame.

Found this on YouTube the other day...a guy washes his Glock in his dishwasher..

Seems to have cleaned it well enough. I did notice that he used the energy saving drying cycle instead of the heated drying cycle. First thing that came to my mind was I wondered if the temperatures of the heated drying cycle would weaken the frame material. A quick call to Glock in Smyrna, Georgia had me talking with a nice guy in their technical support section that - after laughing at what I explained I had seen and walking him through finding it himself on his computer - told me that Glocks are temperature rated well in excess of boiling temperatures. He would not divulge the name of the polymer used or its specifications but said it was very durable. I also inquired about the affect cold would induce on the frame (cracking under recoil in extreme conditions) and he told me that the Ontario Provisional Police in Canada issue the Glock and it normally gets well below freezing (even sub zero Fahrenheit) with no adverse affects being noticed on their equipment. the tech guy from Glock was actually more concerned about oils and solvents from the gun contaminating the washer and getting on dishes...good point.

So the short answer is the guy is good to go.

But how about a long answer?

I found this over at The Glock FAQ...

What is the Glock frame made of?
The Glock frame is made out of a high-tech plastic polymer called nylon 6. Exactly what that means, I don't know. But our resident engineer [MarkCO] was kind enough to provide some explanation:

Commerical price for hi-grade Nylon 6 is about $3.50/lb. Commerical price for hi-carbon steel is about $1.50/lb. Sounds to me like the Glock is actually a better buy. Anyway, I did a little research and got a smattering of information on the Glock plastic "formula". One source says "more highly guarded than the Coke formula". From 3 human and 5 technical sources, Glock uses an out-sourced proprietary hybrid polymer mix with a base of Nylon 6. The frames are cast and offer high strength, wear resistance, abrasion resistance, and good resiliency, good ductility and toughness. Fracture mechanics are excellent with defect ratios below 1. Do not compare to extruded Nylons because it is different. Casting prices range from $3-$50/pound depending on process and intricacy. The Glock is considered highly-intricate due to imbedded metallic components. Offers long term performance at elevated and depressed temperatures. Chemically stable in a majority of environments, attacked directly by strong acids and bases (better than steel actually). UV exposure results in degradation over an extended period of time. 2-3% carbon black virtually eliminates UV degradation and Carbon-Black does not become readily absorbed in Nylons offering higly increased useful life spans. Loss of mechanical properties with 2% Carbon-Black is less than 0.05% on an elevated UV exposure test equivalent to approximately 100 years. Hyrdolytically attacked by water in excess of 120 degrees. Basically, no hot-tubbing with your Glock and you will be fine. Tupperware is not made from Nylon BTW. Hope this answered some questions.
Good Shooting, MarkCO

Well, that seems to indicate that the Glock may not be as indestructible under hot AND wet conditions as I was told by the factory tech guy. Keep in mind he told me that the Glock would withstand TEMPERATURES in excess of boiling temperatures, he never actually indicated any other conditions for this statement. Further researching Carbon 6 (the polymer Glock frames are supposedly made from) shows that the frame itself can actually absorb water due to its chemical composition. I would think that absorbing extremely heated moisture couldn't be that good for the material. In their defense I am sure Glock never intended for their pistols to have to withstand this type of environment. I am sure Glock has some type of patented variat of Carbon 6 that it uses that is probably better than the "basic" Carbon 6 polymer. Still, I cannot find any study or test to show if this amount of damage, if any at all, would make the pistol unsafe.

So the long answer in my book is why this video may make it appear washing your Glock in the dishwasher is a safe (and novel) way of cleaning your pistol, for me I will continue to use solvents, rags, brushes and patches the old fashioned way until somebody can positively test this under laboratory conditions as safe.

I trust Glocks (with my life as my CCW) and am not worried about my Glock's reliability or durability at all. Using common sense with your Glock, you shouldn't either.

But man, that was one clean Glock!! I have never been able to wipe down the rail channels without getting gloop on a patch or rag!!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I love Thanksgiving…I think I always have.  Maybe its because it brings back memories of family members now gone, lazy afternoons spent content with a full belly watching movies on TV with my loved ones.  Maybe its because as I grew older it was an excuse to go home and seem Mom and Dad from whatever situation I may have been in.  Hell, maybe because I just love turkey!  Did you know Benjamin Franklin once sought to make the turkey our national bird do to its importance as a food source and indigenous roots in this country!  Could you imaging what if we ate bald eagle for Thanksgiving?!?!  I gained a newfound love of the holiday while stationed over in Kuwait in 2006 when I saw how our tradition transcended cultural and political borders as many of the TCN (third country nationals – foreign labor) personnel also enjoyed the holiday and expressed their thanks to their own deities for the opportunity to be able to have a job serving me!! No kidding, that is what one of them told me outside the DFAC!  Wow, that really puts things in perspective as to how lucky I was to be born in the US!


Me in the Camp Arifjan Zone VI DFAC on Thanksgiving 2006

turkey3When you don’t have a family with you, you make one with the people you have..wait they are my family, my brothers in arms….

(top left to right) Cohen, Bengal, Me, Roberts, Martin

(Kneeling left to right) Goetke, Hickey

I have many things to be thankful for on this day…

  • Above all else my family, especially my wife and child…
  • The freedoms I enjoy as an American citizen…
  • The fact that there are other citizens that are still willing to step us and write a blank check to Uncle Sam and serve in our Armed Forces to continue the long tradition I once proudly tried to maintain of selfless service and to preserve our freedoms..
  • All of those service members and their families that have paid the ultimate sacrifice in both war and peace in the continuation of this tradition…
  • The fact that my Constitution recognizes my right to protect myself, my family and our liberties by allowing me to own and possess firearms and that there are still people out there willing to fight for this right….

On Veterans Day I went and had my free lunch at Applebees (they rock) with some friends from deployment.  Afterwards my friend Joshua and I went to The Powder Room to take out some paper targets in celebration of the day.  While there we met another guy shooting that I will just call “A” for now.  “A” was a former Marine from a South American Country.  I knew that gun ownership is a totally different proposition down there.  I had thought I read somewhere that .380 ACP was the largest caliber people were allowed to own for self defense down there.  I was shocked to find out from “A” that in his country it was totally illegal to own any type of firearm.  Wow, how lucky am I to live here!!  His is not a singular tale of this story that I have personally experienced.  We have a large Honda manufacturing plant west of Columbus that brings in many Japanese families to the US for periods of time as they spend their developmental tours with Honda here in the states before headed back to Japan.  On more than one occasion I have seen groups of Japanese at the range shooting…something that is largely taboo in their culture.  Again, the Second Amendment is something that we should always be grateful for.  


Joshua (on the right) and “A” after we got done shooting.  You never know who you may meet

on a range but in my experience 99% of them are worth meeting.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

This just in..."clip" of ammo left on Southwest plane by LEO..Aircraft almost destroyed...or at least thats what CNN wants you to think..

check out the story...

(CNN) -- A federal law enforcement officer mistakenly left a loaded gun magazine that was found Tuesday on a Southwest Airlines plane, officials said.

The discovery was made after the flight from Burbank, California, to Phoenix, Arizona, landed, a member of a CNN crew aboard the plane said.

The head of the Transportation Security Administration said the unnamed law officer will be given remedial training.

"It belonged to a member of federal law enforcement," John Pistole said of the magazine, adding it was not believed to belong to a federal air marshal.

"The full magazine was found in a back seat pocket," a TSA official told CNN. "We believe it was left by a law enforcement officer on a flight that originated in San Jose (California) and landed in Burbank. The officer was not an air marshal and we are trying to establish contact with the agent."

"The item was immediately turned over to the crew working the flight, who called in the local authorities to handle the investigation," a Southwest Airlines statement said. "The passengers who were remaining on that flight were rescreened and the plane was thoroughly inspected before returning to service."

The officer followed the proper protocols to get the gun on the plane and authorities were in the process of returning the misplaced magazine to the officer, said Southwest spokeswoman Brandy King.

"We were just taken by surprise," said CNN photographer Gregg Canes, who was headed to Phoenix along with producer Sara Weisfeldt to cover former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's book signing.

He said that after the plane had landed, a child behind them, who had been seated on his mother's lap, was crawling across the other seats on the row toward the window when his foot knocked something onto the floor. A flight attendant picked it up, he said, and he could see it was a gun magazine.

Canes said the flight attendant would not let them take pictures of it.

"It was actually almost funny, given the amount of scrutiny that we've been paying to the [Transportation Security Administration] and personal security. It seemed almost funny to see a magazine with bullets in it just sort of lying on the floor of a commercial jetliner," Canes said.

Passengers were allowed to deplane, he said.

Well, where do I start...with the entire "clip" versus "magazine" thing....nah. Should I go after the "LEO should of known better" approach...nah. Should I explain how its very hard to ignite ammunition without a firearm, especially when its in a magazine...maybe. Should I jump on CNN for sensationalism....probably.

You're my readers, if you're on this blog you already know the answers to all of these issues. Somebody is going to look awfully silly at their next shift brief though...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

An open request to Glock…

Dear Gaston Glock, et al,

You may notice by looking at this blog that I am a strong supporter of your products.  Heck, some may say I am even a “fanboy” of sorts.  I find your pistols to be simple, rugged and reliable and well worth the money I spend on them.  I am hoping that you might take a constructive piece of criticism from one of your supporters for future use if you would please.  Please take a look at the following pic..

DSCF1524  G19 on the left, G34 on the right.  Somebody could use some rhinoplasty…


On the left is my G19 “compact” 9mm that I use for CCW.  On the right is my G34 9mm that I use for recreational steel plate shooting.  Notice any difference?  My competition, full size “plus some” pistol has a rounded nose profile while my “compact” carry pistol does not.  I realize that the G34 was trimmed back to reduce weight to make the slide function reliably, but is it too much to ask to do this to all of your pistols?  I know you also do this on the G26/27 models (I am still determined to pick up a G26) so obviously removing a few grams of weight from a regular slide will not affect functioning either.

In addition, maybe for your “subcompact” G26 model and the like you could redesign the entire slide and frame to provide a more “melding” like treatment for snag proofing the draw procedure and maybe even trim off a ounce or so of the carry weight.  I am talking more than just rounding off the muzzle but also the top of the slide a bit more, sliming the grip (rounding the corners a bit more in addition to the Gen4 style grip panels) and rounding off the trigger guard. 

Just a few thoughts.  I know this is a purely aesthetic request, but looks count for something, right?  I have defended the Glock’s blocky appearance before as being “functional chic”, this would just be another functional improvement to your already outstanding design.

If nothing else, please takes this as my approval to just keep on keepin’ on with your products!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Is the Glock Inherently unsafe?

I have always maintained it is no more unsafe or safe that its operator. The military switched calling "oopsies" from "Accidental Discharges (AD)" to "Negligent Discharged (ND)" for a reason. We no longer use matchlock firearms that require powder and fire to be in close proximity at all times. Modern firearms have high amounts of safety mechanisms built in that normally require a specific chain of events to be initiated by the operator in order to discharge. This places the responsibility, and blame, of the act squarely upon the shoulders of the shooter.

While some handguns use manual external safeties - sometimes multiple as in the case of the 1911 - to ensure that the initiation of a discharge is deliberate, the Glock uses 3 "passive" internal safeties to do this. This has prompted some people to label the Glock as inherently unsafe since all the operator needs to do is simply pull the trigger.

Human Events: Is the Glock Inherently unsafe?

I have argued against this point on this blog previously and could do so again here at this time. But why should I when Phil Elmore of The Martialist has already done so over at the website Human Events? In the following article he and his co-writer argue against the many accusations leveled against Gaston's creation and defeat them one by one. In addition they do point out some, how shall I say, "safety issues" that Glocks DO possess (but some are clearly applicable to ALL firearms, ie. proper weapon storage) and how to avoid those pitfalls.

I like most of Phil's work. One thing I like most about him is his physical persona. I mean, look at the guy. He looks like a lot of us "Normal Joes"; middle aged, graying a bit, few extra pounds..not bulging with muscles, glasses...but he is out there doing it regardless. Now Phil, don't take that as an insult, I would hate to be on the receiving end of a Ron Collins type Martialist vid (that is an inside joke, look up Phil's Youtube vids to get it). Just being honest. Look at me, basically the same build but without the extensive training unarmed martial arts like you. But if you can do it I sure as hell can try and better myself as well..

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mythbusters asks.."Can you chop down a tree with a machine gun"

Hell yes you can!!! well, a mini-gun to be precise...

But as a private citizen who must buy his own ammo I cringe at watching that many rounds being used....

Thanks to JD for the link to the US Concealed Carry Association web site...

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veterans Day!

To all my fellow veterans, THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!!


Today is the day that we are supposed to take a moment and thank all of those who have served our country in the military past and present. While we especially remember those that have died in the service of this country, there is a special day for that on Memorial Day. Today we should especially celebrate those veterans whom are still among us that can enjoy the attention they so rightfully deserve.  I think the historically the amount of attention that veterans receive coincide with any ongoing conflicts that we are involved in.  Right now due to the Global War on Terrorism (again, I call it as it see it) going into its 9th year with hundreds of thousands having served we are on a “high” in terms of veteran recognition.  It a shame that it takes young men and women dying in order for a portion of our citizenry to jog their memory of the contribution our nation’s veterans have provided.  Its the veterans that have served in peacetime that have prevented some of the conflicts that we may have been involved in the past but weren’t.  Its cliche, but in the move A Few Good Men, Jack Nicholson’s character goes on a tirade talking about the men on the fence defending the rest of society.  It’s an overly simplified explanation but its pretty much true.  And if not for us, for our allies.  I guarantee if we would pull our security troops out of Korean, our Korean allies would be under the thumb of that idiot to the North within months after suffering through another war.  We are the world’s peacekeepers. 

Many businesses are advertising specials for veterans today, be sure to call your local participants to make sure that they offering the same specials available on line.

Below are some painting and pictures of conflicts that our nation’s veterans have been involved in.  In the pictures, take a good look into the eyes of the soldiers, they are not unlike you or me.  Ordinary men placed into extraordinary circumstances.  Thank you one and all…


   The American Revolution.


The War of 1812


battle_palo_alto  mexican american war

The Mexican-American War

The American Civil War (both sides)

The Spanish-American War

World War I

World War II

Korean War (then)

Korean War (now, yep folks, officially its still going on)


The Dominican Republic (44 Americans and thousands of Dominican’s died)


The Vietnam War

The Cold War (Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin)

Operation Urgent Fury – Grenada


Operation Just Cause - Panama

Operations Desert Shield / Desert Storm


Operation Restore Hope - Somolia




Haiti Operations

Operation Noble Eagle


Operation Iraqi Freedom - Iraq

Operation Enduring Freedom - Afghanistan

I know I am probably leaving some events off of this list, sorry.  I respect all veterans whether in the forefront of my thoughts of tragically lost in the nooks and crannies of time. You are all my brothers and sisters, thank you.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Yet more ramblings on AMC's The Walking Dead..

Hey check out the Blue Falcon with a shotty in the back ground!

Wow, haven't killed this topic off yet, have I?

Anyway, this show is becoming a runaway hit for AMC and is spawning a lot of talk on the internet. Good. I like the show after the first 2 episodes and can't wait until Sunday for the 3rd part of the series. It comes nicely after HBO's Boarwalk Empire in my Sunday night viewing rotation now. Here are just a few more ramblings about the show...

  • Glock Safeties. This has been mentioned not only here but in just about every gun blog and forum in the past 2 weeks. In the series premier the infamous "Glock safety" is shown being deactivated prior to a gun fight at a police road block. Wouldn't you know...there is actually a Glock model with a safety and an after market one as well!!...The Glock 17S was in limited production for a while for requesting customers in government and law enforcement and featured an external safety. A company called Cominolli makes an after market safety that locks all of the internal safeties apparently for around $85. Interesting, but I doubt I will buy one just to try it out and review it since it does require dremmeling a cut out into your frame to fit it.
  • We have seen a lot of gore but haven't seen anyone (other than that poor horse) get munched on yet by the zeds...they can't put this off too much more...
  • Compassion for the Zed..The main character Rick seems to have a certain amount of compassion for the zombie hordes, despite his ability to dispatch them without hesitation. In the first episode he goes back to find the first zombie he came across (the crawler) and put her out of her misery as a way to coming to grips with his situation. In the second episode before dismembering a zombie to use its guts to mask his scent he takes out its wallet and reminds the other survivors that he was a human just like them at one point. I kind of like this trait in him..
  • The Survivor camp is pretty weak defense wise..I know they didn't have much to start with but you would think they could start by at least building some basic barricades and such..having an old guy on top of an RV with a rifle is good and all for a start but I think facing zombies you could use a bit more "umph" like maybe start by circling your wagons and sleeping int he midde of those or something.
  • Shamblers vs. Runners - Neither! There is an ongoing controversy about whether zombies should shamble like in the original Night of the Living Dead or be able to run like in the modern Dawn of the Dead. Being able to crawl on ceilings and crap like in that shitty Day of the Dead is right out...don't even go there. There seems to be a good compromise in the Z's in the show..moving slowly or simply sitting and listening to acquire their prey and then seemingly getting a "burst" of speed to close in. I kind of like the shambling types a la Romero but with a touch of The Zombie Survival Guide thrown in where their abilities diminish over time as they rot away.
  • And best of all..AMC has already announced that its picking the series up for a 2nd season!! Huzzah!

Happy 235th Birthday Marine Corps!!

Normally, I might take a moment to take a friendly pot shot at my Marine veteran readers because, well that’s what we do (er..did) in the Army.  Truth is though, I admire the heck out of you guys.  No, I do not think that you are the end all of destructive power and God’s own personified vengeance placed  on the planet for his amusement…but you guys are pretty damn good.  I will openly admit from all outward appearances, your boot camp is a killer and your choice of camo pattern of MARPAT curb stomps the ACU pattern I wore.  Different forces for different missions.  You guys are extremely good at what you do, and in the Army we are really good at we do…just on a much larger scale.

All that aside, for the approximately 250,000 current active and reserve Marines and the hundreds of thousands of FORMER Marines (I learned the hard way never to say EX-Marine) November 10th is a hallowed and special day.  So happy birthday Marines…here’s to a grand 235 years in the past and many more in the future!!

Now get out there and eat some raw meat and dog bones and GO GET SOME!!!


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Somebody tell me why we are still working with the ANA instead of just giving them Rubik cubes to play with to stay out of the way….

I have posted a vid previously of the ANA (Afghan National Army) in “action” with our troops…showing them unable to get ready for a patrol on time, smoking hashish and generally being more of a problem that our troops have to babysit than anything else.

Over at Bring The Heat, Bring The Stupid, Xbradtc, the GIC (Grunt in Charge) over there has a interesting vid of Marines from Echo 1-3 fighting it out with some Talibastards over in “The ‘Stan” with the help of some ANA troops it seems.  It kind of unique in that their cameras are mounted to their helmets (do Marines call them ACH’s?) and/or their weapons.  Kind of like the Military Channel’s Special Op Mission’s Will, but for real this time.  The ANA troops in this vid fair much better than in the previous one I showed but there were still some issues…

  • One ANA troop is shown around the 1:00 minute mark next to a Marine.  The Marine is aiming down his sights, the ANA troop shooting over his head…
  • Another ANA troop is shown without a helmet on…
  • Another – apparently named “Spanky” – is shown on several occasions letting loose with a RPG without any regard to his back blast area, Marines on at least once occasion have to warn each other about it.

Maybe I am a little harsh on these guys.  Hell I never actually worked with them personally and at least they are on our side and not the Talibastard’s team.  One thing I do take some comfort in is that, despite the propaganda crap you see them put out, the average Talibastard probably is a lot like the ANA guys we have to work with.  Sure, some of them are hard core fundamentalists, but I have to believe some of them are just fighting on their side because somebody in their tribal hierarchy is a Tali big wig and they do as is expected by them from their tribe.  There are a lot of Talibastards out there, more than we would really like to acknowledge.  With so many of them you would think that they would be more aggressive and effective than they have been.  My buddy Steve is getting ready to come back from a year over there with very little action from them.  He is actually pissed about it.  To think he would travel half way around the world to play with them and they refused to show up most of the time.  Sure, there are pics and movies out there of Talibastard training camps with guys with full face masks and AK’s jumping through fire and shooting up targets and stuff, but really if they had sophisticated camps like that I am sure our satellites and drones would find them and put them out of business. 

We are “guests” in their country and maybe they just don’t want  to commit too much to us lest we run out on them like we did on the Hmong who fought along side us in Vietnam.  We kind of deserve that treatment I guess.  Still, life under us is sure a bit better then repression under the Talibastards…

A Marine being a Marine using his marksmanship fundamentals….ANA troop with his M16 over his head spraying in the general direction, the “allah ahkbar” method…

Why can’t all Afghans be like Rambo?  A couple thousand like him and we could have that place cleaned up in no time!

Rambo Rambo in Afghanistan…no not the dude from the movie played by the ex-porn star, anti-gun Oscar winner…the REAL RAMBO…balls the size of coconuts I tell you….

Ever wonder how the AK works on the inside..

This quick vid pretty much show you how it works...

Simple...reliable...and accurate "enough" for a battle rifle...

After all my AR lovin' talk a few days ago I didn't want anyone to think that I had totally abandoned Mikhail's baby. Love the AK. I respect it for what it is and what it was designed to be. In that regard it is nearly flawless.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, November 7, 2010

SHTF Ammo test...brass vs steel case in the "Rust Bowl"

The other day I talked a bit about firearm choices for some common SHTF type scenarios. I did not talk too much about ammo selection much further than caliber selection and some application. In truth, a gun is nothing but a prop without ammo. The amount of ammo you desire to stockpile is up to you. I have heard different philosophies in the past concerning this...

1000 rounds per rifle, 3 rounds per handgun
twice your basic load for each weapon
until you can't store any more..
you never have enough ammo...

The last statement is probably the closest thing to the truth as you should always be training with your weapon so that in the event you do need to rely on it to protect yourself or your family you are fully capable to do so. That being said, the average gun owner cannot afford to buy thousands and thousands of rounds constantly and still pay the mortgage and car payment, or at least THIS gun owner can't. I have a reasonable, but adequate IMHO, stockpile of ammo to get me through any emergency. Basically I have about 180 rounds of 5.56 in magazines and another 400 rounds in an ammo can, plus enough quality 9mm +P+ JHP rounds to have my G19 with 4 mags full on me and 200 rounds in the can as well. Also in the can are some modest cleaning supplies and spare parts for both my rifle and pistol. On op of this ammo that is stored and ready with desiccant packets, I always have additional training ammo ready of at least a hundred rounds or so to verify both my iron and EOTech zeros and do some additional shooting.

One way I have stretched my dollar is by buying surplus Russian ammo that generally is made with plain steel cases or steel coated with lacquer. Where US made brass ammo is sometimes as high as $40+ for 100 rounds, the Russian ammo can be bought for as little as $20 for 100 rounds online. I have found that the Russian rounds by Wolf, Brown Bear and Tula to be just as reliable and generally as accurate as brass US ammo, although it does run dirtier in my AR and requires some additional training to use.

This Russian ammo has found its way into my SHTF stockpile and into my ready mags that I have "just in case". I never paid much mind to it since the reliability was there and always figured I would pack a bore snake and extra rag with my bug out bag to use often to wipe it (the AR) down as often as I could to compensate for the extra carbon build up. I had never given much thought I guess to how this ammo would stand up to "field" conditions until I read an article last night. Then I had some serious doubts about what I was storing for an emergency.

Survival Topics: Will Your SHTF Ammo Hold Up To Field Conditions?

When I still was in the military I used to find myself in conditions “in the field” less than comfortable. Being wet and cold was part of the job and you learned to adapt..or at least cope..as best as you can. Fairly often my mags would be completely submersed in water during field training and I never really gave much thought to their condition. Of course I was issued GI brass ammo and blanks which are usually pretty good quality. I was trained that, when you could, you unloaded and wiped down your ammo the best you could and reloaded in the time you had. The thing is we always would find some reason or training scenario where we would fire up this ammo fairly quickly. In this forum article the author posts of his experiment using PMC brass ammo and steel cased Wolf ammo kept damp for extended periods. The results are quite disturbing. While the brass ammo did see some discoloration it was fully functional. The steel cased ammo, even the lacquer coated rusted heavily and would not even chamber in the authors AR. Even in an AR the steel ammo would not chamber. It is apparent the build up of rust cause the case diameter to go out of spec to where the rounds were not chambering. I would not recommend sanding off any rust from live rounds in any situation as this may be inherently dangerous.

Right now my local gun shop of mass consumption – Vances – has Lake City 55gr brass 5.56 for $280 for a 900 round box packed on 10 round stripper clips. I may just have to go down and get a box of that for my SHTF ammo and relegate the steel cased Russian I have for range use and back up ammo for SHTF if I store it in airtight containers with desiccant packets.

Just a little food for thought for my reader…

Ohio’s Castle Doctrine to be tested in Ohio Appeals Courts..

bad guy Article from The Columbus Dispatch, 10/6/2010

Judge Says Killing Wasn’t in Self Defense

I have often heard the misconception told by people that the Castle Doctrine gives homeowners the right to shoot somebody who breaks into their residence without fear of retribution.  This is only a partially correct interpretation of Ohio’s law which has several other key presumptions that must be met in order for the justification of deadly force to be justified.  It simply alleviates the victims burden of proof to determine that the person conducting the transgression had the motive to harm them. It allows for a resident to assume that if someone forces themselves into their home in the act of committing a crime that they are in danger since the act was unprovoked.  Basically it assumes that anyone breaking into a residence is an aggressor and gives you the right to act accordingly.  I find way to many people just assuming that if somebody breaks in they can just plug away at them until they stop.  Some people have even claimed in my presence that they would do the old “drag ‘em across the doorway” tactic…I would not want to be the person facing a prosecutor on manslaughter or murder charges who tampered with a crime scene. A lot of this misconception stems from the removal of the “duty to retreat” portion of the previous statue for self defense that was applicable in the law due to the presumption of aggression inclusion of the Castle Doctrine as implemented in the state.

The act itself is a descendent of old English Common law from the Magna Carta which gave all citizens the right to treat their home as their castle and expect the same security in it as a noble man would.  I found the following general guidelines from wikipedia concerning its application (not Ohio specific and consider the source please, I am not a lawyer but I can find references to all of these guidelines either in the Ohio code for the doctrine or other legalize pages)

  • An intruder must be making (or have made) an attempt to unlawfully and/or forcibly enter an occupied home, business or car.
  • The intruder must be acting illegally—e.g. the Castle Doctrine does not give the right to attack officers of the law acting in the course of their legal duties
  • The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to inflict serious bodily harm or death upon an occupant of the home
  • The occupant(s) of the home must reasonably believe that the intruder intends to commit some other felony, such as arson or burglary
  • The occupant(s) of the home must not have provoked or instigated an intrusion, or provoked or instigated an intruder to threaten or use deadly force
  • The occupant(s) of the home may be required to attempt to exit the house or otherwise retreat (this is called the "Duty to retreat" and most self-defense statutes referred to as examples of "Castle Doctrine" expressly state that the homeowner has no such duty)

I would assume that the presence of our old friend “Al. K. Hol” in the case will have a large bearing on it, the fact that the victim was apparently unarmed despite the size difference (although in South Linden I think its safe to assume a lot of people are carrying whether licensed or not), and the fact that the accused had time to go back to the kitchen, secure and conceal a “butcher knife” (ooh, that hurts in a jury’s eyes, might as well of been an “assault weapon”) but yet did not call the police.  The article does not give all the specifics of the incident or what was presented in the court, but it is safe to presume that several of the requirements to apply the doctrine were not met sufficiently.

The castle doctrine is an effective tool and deterrent for informed Ohioans to use to defend themselves and their family from assault in their home.  The sad fact is I think that few people actually take the time to research the law to make sure that they know what it entails before applying it and you get what we have here.  I am sure that there have been other cases where people have successfully used the doctrine to defend themselves and probably had no idea of all of the statues pertaining to it.   Click the below logo pic for the Buckeye Firearms Association to get a layman’s explanation of the law.


Its only by being trained and informed gun owners that we can achieve any type of advances in gun ownership and 2nd Amendment expansion in this county with the media and other political forces outlaid against us.  Every mistake we make in applying the legal statues for our choice to arm ourselves is magnified by our opposition.  It is up to each of us to not only train ourselves with our firearms but also our minds by taking the time to know these critical laws that apply to us.


Disclaimer:  I am not a lawyer or other legal professional.  Any information provided on this blog is my own personal opinion and does not constitute any legal guidance.  Please consult a legal professional in your area that is knowledgeable of your applicable laws if you have any questions.  Its been said only a fool would have himself as his own lawyer…the same can be said for having me as your primary source for legal advice. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another Darwin Award nominee caught on tape..

What a freakin' idiot. Is it just me of there a bit of slurred speech going on with the participants? And I love the gas can sitting on top of the cabin there...gas...flare...see where I am going with this. The only thing this guy did right was aim at his thick skull....that flare would of torn through his cheek and face if he had it further forward...

Kids, DO NOT try this at home...these are idiots not to be copied....

Idiot Shoots Self With Flare Gun - Watch more Funny Videos

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Bangs sticks for any situation..

Well, again I finally got to see AMC's The Walking Dead yet. I have been reading a lot of people's reactions to it online. As many gun related web sites as I read at night its no surprise that a lot of people are talking about some of the poor choices in weapons the the hero uses for a Level 4 zombie outbreak. A lot of folks point out that despite common perception that a shotgun is the ultimate zombie dispatcher that it would actually be a poor choice due to its limited capacity and slow reload. Its fun to talk hypothetically about things that we will never face and to pretend that it does make a difference. But hey, its only make believe in the end.

There is, however, some positive thinking that comes out of this for the serious gun owner and part time survival minded person. That is its never too late to figure out what weapons you would use to "bug out" or "shelter in place" with in the event of an actual SHTF or EOTWAWKI situation. Some noteworthy events of the past 20 years or so have helped shape our expectations of what it might me like to live through one of these scenarios that we can use to make some educated choices.

  1. Shelter in Place (SIP): The L.A. Riots where large portions of a major metropolitan area were plunged into chaos with limited police or other law enforcement control and some people had to stand their ground against criminals and looter.
  2. Bug Out: Hurricane Katrina where large groups were forced to leave their homes and migrate while in areas with limited police influence and possible looters and other elements in their midst.

In either scenario some of the basic assumptions of what you would be carrying would be the same, in other assumptions they may be quite different. I am going to try and generalize and come up with some common sense choices for the average person with or without a family to utilize in selecting weapons for their defense. Hopefully, choices can be made that will fulfill either scenario equally with the same weapons.

Some common considerations to be found amongst both groups will be the following.

  • Dependability: A weapon is no good if it doesn't go bang when you want it to. Also with this is the consideration of how rugged a design the weapon has. Some guns just don't like to be run very dirty and this can be an issue under some emergency situations.
  • Cost: For most people this is a realistic concern. Yeah, I would love to outfit everyone in my group or family with Wilson Combat Elite 1911's but that can get a bit expensive at around $2,400 per pistol. I know you get what you pay for and you can't put a price on your family's safety but there are choices below this that are acceptable and allow you enough money left over for ammo and other needs as well. Also, as in the case of Hurricane Katrina, LEO's (illegally) seized large amounts of firearms that were only returned to their owners many years later. Do you really want to give up that $2,500 race gun like that.
  • Ammo commonality: Choose a weapon that uses an ammo caliber or type readily available even in the event of an emergency. 9mm, .40 S&W, .45ACP, 5.56 and even .22lr all fall in this category. Also common caliber types within your group or family ease logistics. Some other calibers like 9x18 Makarov and the like may seem easy to get now via mail order and such, but when the normal conveniences of society are gone you will hard pressed to find any by scavenging locally.


Probably the most important weapon to have on hand for Emergency or Survival situations involving defense, the pistol provides the individual with ability to be readily armed during most times. Remember the #1 rule of a gun fight - BRING A GUN! Although a great many people overestimate their abilities with a hand gun, it is a great confidence booster to an individual once basic proficiency is obtained. It is a weapon that almost anybody can train on at a local range without consideration to caliber or excessive costs. There was a movie a few years back called The Professional with Jean Reno who plays an assassin who takes a young girl under his wing and starts to teach her his profession. He first teaches her the rifle with the logic that it is most important to learn to kill from far away rather than close in as it is safer. I must disagree at this logic. Most people in a SHTF scenario whether they are bugging out or Sheltering in Place (from hence known as SIP) will not know a persons intentions to them until they are up close and personal. Up close is the distance at which most humans communicate so in order to know if a person coming up to your BOL (bug out location) is a local resident looking for food or a escaped mass murderer you will need to be close enough to them to determine this. Therefore, the ability to effectively engage targets with a handgun out to 20 - 25 yards is a paramount skill to develop.

For either the Bug out or SIP scenario, your choice of handgun will be universal for either. The only possible exception will be that when bugging out and relocating it might be a good idea to choose a weapon that conceals easily as not to draw attention to yourself or your party. In times without law its the strong and the armed that make the rules. Don't be a target for theft or assault to provide another with a weapon in this purpose.

I solidly recommend a good moderately priced semi-automatic handgun in 9mm for this choice.
I would put a realistic price between $400 - $600 for most people to work with for a basic pistol purchase with minimal accessories (cleaning kit and solvents with a basic holster). I chose a semi-automatic over a revolver due to the increased magazine capabilities most semi automatics have over revolvers, especially when chambered in 9mm, and the only marginally perceivable reliability most revolvers have over semi auto designs. Some will scoff at my choice of 9mm. To tell you the truth I would of done the same until recently when I started to read about real world performance of the 9mm in actual shootings. Most JHP 9mm rounds have sufficient ability to do the job tasked to them in modern loadings and configurations. I still claim that a lot of the bad press the 9mm gets is from the use of round nose FMJ rounds that the military is forced to use per the Geneva Convention. A small slender round going very fast is not going to meet a whole lot of resistance going through soft flesh and will not expand or expend energy like a good HP round will. Look at it like this, if I am standing on a road and a Honda Civic hits me at 70mph it is going to mess me up good. Maybe not as much as a full sized pickup going 55mph but close enough that I probably won't care anyway. In addition the 9mm round will generally give you a few extra rounds in the same sized grip as a .40 or .45 pistol and also be cheaper to stock pile for defense and training use.

I recommend having 2 pistols on hand, a primary and back up gun. If in a group have a pistol for every able bodied person and a backups as needed. Keep them the same model or similar so you may cannibalize parts from one to fix the other if need be or swap out without any change in mechanics of operation. Plus, if you have a spouse you have a weapon to give to them that uses the same rounds and magazines as your own weapon, again simplifying logistics.

As you probably know if you have read this blog before I tend to favor Glocks. I can obtain them for a relatively cheap $399 with my retired military discount and have found them to be robust and accurate shooters in general. However, they are far from the only choice in my book. A few firearms that I would recommend for this category are as follows.

  • Glocks: (models 17, 19, 26, 34) See above, relatively cheap, simple to maintain, reliable, accurate....OK, I'm a fanboy but so are a lot of other people for good reason! A large installed user base in both the LE and Civilian community ensures that magazines and spare parts will be available even during times of duress. Some people have issues with the "blockish" feeling of their grips, the new Gen4 models partially solve this with a smaller overall stock grip with additional back straps for shooters with larger hands. 
  • Ruger SR9: I recently reviewed this pistol and found it to be an outstanding weapon that can be had for just over $400 in most places!! Glock like in its operation it has better stock sights, a manual safety and slimmer profile. Available in both a duty and compact version.
  • Smith and Wesson M&P9: Another pistol that I have owned (in .40) the M&P line is available also in a duty and compact version. It is a solid platform with some large LE departments (such as here Columbus, OH) choosing it over competing designs from Sig and Glock.
  • Smith and Wesson Sigma 9mm. Basically a copy of a Glock, the "Swock" pistol is known for a gritty trigger but reliable performance. They can be had for as little as $250 at some stores after rebate and make a good back up/truck/camper/cabin gun.
  • Stoeger Cougar 9mm: A gun I reviewed early in the life of this blog, the Stoeger offers Beretta quality and performance at half the price. You can pick these up for under $400 in some markets and the quality and craftsmanship are top notch all the way around. They use standard Beretta mags so you can stock up on those before any type of shortage.
  • Springfield XD-M: While I have not reviewed this pistol here, I have shot several and found them to be reliable and easy to shoot. The "M" designation means that they have been product improved and incorporate larger stock magazines and some other improvements. Averagely priced they deserve consideration.
  • Various 1911 models: I have reviewed 1911 style pistols on this blog from Taurus and Kimber. Most 1911 pistols will run a bit over the other pistols on this list, even the cheaper ones. Still, with a service history and reliability record of legendary proportions I would be remiss to exclude them from this list. Some "basic" models from Remington and Para would not be a stretch for an average buyer to consider.

That is far from a comprehensive list of all of your options. Its just a list of handguns that I have used enough and feel confident enough to recommend on a public forum such as this. Whatever your choice, again get out and train with it and get comfortable and proficient with it before you need it.


More so than handguns, the choice of a rifle will me more dependant on your situation. If you are in a scenario where you will be bugging out to another safe location a weapon that is easy to handle, transport and can carry many rounds will be an attractive choice. In a static defensive situation such as SIP the size and weight will not be as much of an issue. Same as with a handgun the time to train on your rifle is not after the crap has hit the fan. Even though ammo is more expensive, it is just as important to get out and practice with your long gun as with your hand gun. For me I get around the cost issue by buying cheap Russian ammo available for about half of what regular brass rounds run. Sure its dirty and steel cased, but it generally goes bang when I pull the trigger and is generally accurate enough to use for zeroing and practice. On some rifles, such as my AR, .22 conversion kits are available to use for practice that while not providing the exact same experience can never the less provide valuable training at a fraction of the cost of center fire ammo practice. Speaking of training, an Appleseed shoot is a great low cost training event for even the newest shooters to get some solid basics of rifle marksmanship.

For all around defense and general purpose use it is hard to beat an AR or AK pattern carbine or rifle to fulfill both the bug out and SIP role. I am not going into an AR vs. AK discussion here because it would be pointless. I personally own an AR pattern carbine (S&W M&P-15) and have owned an AK also. The AR is my primary choice for use for the following reasons:

  • I have used an AR pattern rifle for the past 20+ years ever since joining the Army and feel comfortable with its use and my ability to maintain it.
  • Magazines and parts are generally easy to obtain.
  • The 5.56/.223 round is adequate enough for personal defense (same argument as the 9mm) and I can carry many more rounds for the same weight as opposed to .30 rounds.
  • The abundance of optics platforms adapted specifically for it.
  • It is light weight and easy to transport but also is steady enough when employed from a static position to emplace accurate long range fire when called upon.

The AK has a lot going for it such as outstanding reliability and simplicity and a person would be well served by it as well. I sat on the fence for a long time between these 2 but finally went to the AR full time.

Price wise, there is a very wide variation in the cost of such weapons, but generally $300 to $1000 is where you are looking depending on the make and model of rifle and whether it is new or used. I know that is a large gap between lowest and highest, but you can find solid buys anywhere in this band. Maybe go for a AR pattern toward the higher end for your primary and maybe a lower priced weapon using the same ammo and magazines (many .223 chambered weapons use the AR pattern STANAG mag) as a back up, secondary or spouse weapon.

With either of these 2 choices (as well as most other "assault" type weapons) you will need to worry about another concern, image. While not as much of a concern as when in a SIP situation where the appearance of a scary firearm may be a welcome addition to your defense (think Korean shop owners in the L.A. riots walking on top of their buildings brandishing SKS rifles), the appearance of an evil black rifle in a bug out situation may again bring unwanted attention to yourself by LEO types and the military as well as others looking to acquire firearms. Its not hard to hide a handgun on you while on foot, hiding a rifle or carbine is almost impossible for most people to do. Even while mounted in a vehicle it would be difficult to keep one hidden from cursory view in a manner in which it is also able to be readily employed.

Although they certainly have their place I am no longer a big fan of pistol caliber carbines for self defense in a SHTF situation as a primary weapon. They do, however, fill a role as a back up weapon or possibly a truck gun in a bug out scenario. I had thought about picking up a Kel-Tec 2000 9mm carbine that utilizes Glock magazines as a back up rifle for either myself or my wife's use since it uses a common magazine and ammo that I use in my handguns. Out of a 16" barrel a 9mm +P round will obtain ballistics and performance similar to a .357 magnum with a longer effective range and less felt recoil. In addition the Kel-Tec folds in half into a package about 16" long and 8" wide, that is small enough to fit into many cases and put under a truck seat as a back up weapon if you would need to bug out from work to home in a hurry (you do have some type of emergency bag in your vehicle, right?) My biggest problem with the Kel-Tec is after shooting one I found it was not designed around a left handed shooter such as myself and spit brass right into my face consistently. Oh well, such is the curse of the left eye dominant shooter.

Alright, here is another list of some of my considerations for a SHTF rifle/carbine.

  • AR pattern rifle ($500 - $1000+) - see above, everyone and there friend will have one in the next SHTF/EOTWAWKI/Zombie outbreak.
    DSCN2330 (2)
  • AK pattern rifle ($350 - $800) : robust and reliable, fires 7.62x39 ammo which is fairly common, a bit heavy and not ergonomic as an AR it is still the premier assault rifle the world over. 
  • Ruger Mini 14 ($500 - $800). A less "intimidating" rifle chambered primarily in .223. Hi-cap mags are somewhat difficult to find (does not use AR pattern), still a highly functional and practical rifle that can be used for defense as well as putting game on the table.
  • SKS: ($250 - $400): Simple and reliable 7.62x39 Russian design that uses a 10 round internal magazine fed from stripper clips. Very robust design. Manufactured in both Europe and Asia. Simple to operate and maintain and fires an honest to goodness .30 round.
  • M-1 Garand: ($400 - $700 for a CMP acquired model) Hard shooting and accurate, the Garand suffers from being heavy and having a limited internal magazine fed by the (in)famous en bloc clip. It is however a very robust and tested design and can project its power over a very long distance with the .30-06 Springfield round. Take a bit of training and practice to get used to its operation and performance but well worth a look.
  • Surplus military bolt action rifles (Mosin-Nagants, Mausers, K31, Enfileds) ($150 - $500) Although hindered by limited magazines, weight and slow rates of fire, these former military grade rifles are generally built to take abuse, be accurate and shoot powerful rounds. While not a primary weapon in my scheme, for some they may be the only economical choice available. My Mosin M44 is a very hard hitting and accurate carbine that can take a licking and keeps on ticking!

Again this is a partial list of what I would carry myself or recommend. Someone out there is going to send me an email about M1A/M14 style rifles and or SIG 556 style. They are fine weapons and I wish I had one (or 10) of each. Again, I am looking for cost efficiency in my recommendations and spending $1500 for a rifle who's job can be done by something half the cost just goes against the purpose of this post.


Ah, the venerable shotgun, favorite of video game players the world over. If I knew I was going to be restricted to armed encounters in dark, narrow corridors against fewer than 3 persons the shotgun would definitely be my weapon of choice loaded with some 00 buck shot. However, this will rarely, if ever, be the case. While it is probably the most useful weapon at your disposal in terms in variety of projectiles for multiple functions..I do not consider it to be my primary long arm in times of crisis. I came across an article in a gun rag some time last year that compared the 12 gauge shotgun to the AR Carbine as a patrol weapon choice for LEO personnel. Inside of about 30 yards or so the shotty won outright, after that the carbine's increased range and accuracy carried it past the shotgun. Its a classic trade off where versatility in multiple areas may leave it wanting in specific scenarios. Despite this I think it would be unwise NOT to consider having a shotgun available in either the bug out or SIP scenario.

Some characteristics of shotgun to consider are as follows:

  • Damage potential. If aimed properly a full load of buck shot or buck and ball at close range is about as close to a perfect fight stopper short of a .50 cal round.
  • Versatility: Most shotguns can have their barrels replaced in minutes and can use either smooth bore shot barrels with varying chokes or rifled slug barrels which can project the shotgun's power out to 200 yards or more. In addition the various types of shot mean that the weapon can be used from self defense, to hunting small to medium sized game, breaching, signaling and a variety of other tasks. The design of the shotgun also makes it possible to change ammo types at the chamber without having to first unload the weapon. One article I read on the tactical use of a shotty recommended loading the tube with buck or buck and ball and then having a side mount carrier with slugs in it to quickly insert as needed for harder targets or breaching use.
  • Limited magazine capacity: Most shotguns will have tube magazines with less than 8 rounds available at any given time. If you choose to use a commercial sporting shotgun as a SHTF weapon they will generally be plugged or only have a tube long enough for 3 rounds plus one in the chamber.
  • Reloading time: Shotguns must generally be loaded one round at a time which may not be ideal if engaged with an opponent.
  • Cost: Many quality shotguns will be available for under $400.
  • Pistol Grips vs. traditional stocks: Unless you are a Grade A mall ninja, leave the pistol grips to the grunts and marines breaching doors overseas. A shoulder stock is necessary to take the recoil of a shotgun. Traditional stocks or pistol grips with a stock, either way you need to have something to brace that beast against your shoulder to get the most out of it.
  • Semi or pump?: you choose, most people tend to think of the shotgun purely as a pump gun but quality semi autos using either recoil inertia or gas systems to cycle have been around for years and have proven there durability in field conditions. I would personally stay away from over/under models (O/U) or side-by-side due to their limited firepower in a self defense scenario.
  • Weight of ammo: The weight of one 12 gauge round is equal to four or five 5.56 rounds in an AR. This will limit the total amount of rounds you would be able to carry on your person. Using a 20ga. instead of a 12 ga. will alleviate some of this weight, but not a lot in your overall logistics picture.
  • Training: Despite the popular misconception that at shotgun is a weapon you just point in the general direction of the target it does require some training to properly employ. Each type of ammo will shoot and pattern slightly different in the same weapon, compound this by the effect of differing chokes and its easy for a novice to miss with one if they do not understand the correlation between all of these factors.
  • Intimidation: Very few noises are as intimidating as the sound of a shotgun being racked. However racking one in the chamber in preparation of engaging a threat is clearly telegraphing your intentions and should only be reserved for the movies. The sight of a 12ga. barrel pointed at someones chest has been known to quickly diffuse a situation from time to time though. Dressed up in black plastic furniture with tactical or "tacticool" accessories and an 18" barrel, the shotgun can be as evil and intimidating as any AR or AK out there. In its civilized form with wood furniture, longer barrels and hunting legal magazine it still offers the same lethality as its "tactical" equivalent. Good thing to consider if bugging out of a city and you run across any LEO types. Do you want to look for someone out for a fight with your tactical model, or a "Fudd" using his hunting weapon to defend his family? Same for meeting any "unsavory" parties, well armed and trained wolf or lightly armed sheep? The choice is yours.

My personal shotgun is a Mossberg Maverick 88 security shotgun with black furniture, a 5 round tube mag, 4 shell side saddle carrier, heat shield and Hi-Viz front bead sight. It is a cheaper version of the Mossberg 500 assembled in Mexico that will use most Mossberg stocks and barrels, but which has a different trigger group which is not swappable. It will hold a total of 10 rounds loaded and ready on it of Winchester PDX-1 ammo, which is a 12 gauge slug and 3 balls of 00 buck shot. It seems to be a nice round and from what I have seen shooting it myself as well as some field testing by others it gives a good compromise between close in power and mid range accuracy. Maybe the perfect round? I don't know but its what I carry along with 00 buck, #7 shot and some 1 ounce rifled slugs.
Some of the more popular models on the market today are as follows:

  • The Remington 870. One of the "gold standards" of scatterguns, it is probably the most popular shotgun in use by law enforcement. Its reliability is backed by years of service and is the yardstick by what most other shotguns are measured against, enough said.
  • The Mossberg 500/590: The shotgun used by the US Military, its rugged design and handling characteristics are similar to the 870. A solid shotgun that can be relied upon.
  • The Remington 1100. This semi has been around seemingly forever, and it does not look like it will be going away any time soon. A seeminly flawless track record in the field will do that.
  • Benneli Shotguns. These semi autos use an intertia system to cycle rather than gas, are more modernly styled than traditional American shotguns and are popular not only here but abroad.
  • Mossberg Maverick 88. My personal shotgun, it is popular due to its low price and reliability.

Those are just a few of your options, there are other choices that can be found at your local gun store that I have not personally had any experience with so I will leave you to do your own research on them.

So there you go, this is just a brief overview of your choices for a SHTF scenario. Remember the first rule for using a firearm in a survival situation is to have one to begin with. The guy with the Hi-Point 9mm and Elmer Fudd looking 20 gauge is better off than the guy without anything! Keep in mind that firearms in themselves are a very specific tool with a very narrow scope of application. In order to fully sustain yourself in one of the above mentioned types of scenario will require not only many other resources but also planning and training. Grabbing a gun and headed off without any idea of your destination is only asking for trouble. By leaving your home you have just voluntarily made yourself a refugee. Same way that sheltering in place behind a barricade with a rifle is only going to do you any good if you have prepared enough supplies to sustain you until the restoration of order and infrastructure systems. In this case you have just removed yourself from the support channels that may be available a short distance away in a FEMA camp or other such environment. Either way, just having a gun does not guarantee your survival, just aid in your chances of such by allowing you the abilitiy to deal with limited physical threats to yourself and/or your family. In additon, skills in such areas such as first aid, land navigation, signaling, auto repair, carpentry, plumbing, electical work and such other fields would be of very good use in such scenarios.

I AM NOT A SURVIVAL EXPERT. All information presented here is of my own opinion and is presented as purely entertainment for your viewing pleasure. Survival type situations are very stressful and dangerous by their vary nature. Throwing a firearm into a situation in which stress and pressure may be a constant companion is not right for everyone. Simularly, the legal ramificaitons of carrying a weapon in an environment where martial law may be declared is subject to local laws and regulation, or those of the federal government in such cases where federal troops or agencies may be involved. Please consult with legal counsel and other qualified personnel for training and guidance for anything related to this information.