Choose Your Weapons

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by Lloyd P

Glock handguns

This is a Glock 23 with three calibers and a Glock 20 with two

In much simpler times when gentleman wanted to settle a dispute of honor they called for a duel. “Choose your weapons” was the traditional start of the events once they had assembled. Dueling pistols, swords, even Bowie knives were sometimes used as tools to settle the disputes. Although it sometimes played out with each party firing into the air and then walking away with honor in tact or regained as the case may be – with no harm done.

It did not always end without loss and there are some very famous duels in our US history. While I’m very glad we don’t settle disputes this way any longer, the fact is many of us feel we are involved in a different form of dueling today. We are dueling with much more complicated situations, events and scenarios more significant than simply defending one’s honor. In fact many people feel that any number of possible events could occur that might justify or require the ability to protect ones, life, liberty, property or loved ones.

While the polls show that a majority of Americans believe our leaders are not leading the country in the right direction, there are some good things going on out there. One huge area of improvement is the increase in the numbers of people arming themselves and getting training on the safe and proper use of firearms. State governments across the nation are strengthening and even encouraging the use and personal carry of defensive weapons, both concealed and openly carried.

This has had the result of lowering violent crime to its lowest level since statistics have been recorded. This includes every place where private carry and use of firearms has been loosened or confirmed and the only places in the nation where violent crime has increased is those localities where the local governments have bucked the trend and have made it harder, or continue to restrict the personal carry and use of personal firearms. Things can change quickly and you do not want to be a victim of violent crime. If I may adapt an old adage here – you can only be a victim if you haven’t been warned, after that you are a volunteer.

With so many entering the firearms market it is understandable that people are asking questions about what weapons to consider and what choices should be made concerning ownership of firearms. While we have all heard the adage “experience is the best teacher”, I do not subscribe to this opinion. In fact I believe experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is. Who wants to learn about a rattlesnake bite or a hand grenade by experience?

I bet most of us wished we had not learned about having a car accident by experience! And so it is with firearms and related issues, what we can learn from others can be indispensable in the long run. Even if you are in a position to have unlimited choices of firearms and ammunition it makes little difference as you cannot use all of them at once or have everything available to you when you are in a critical position of need. So choices must be made, and if the right choices are made from the beginning even as other items are added the expense and time involved will not increase exponentially.

Experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is.

Choosing a general purpose hand gun is often the first consideration when a person decides to enter the world of firearms ownership or the world of firearms for preparedness. There are so many options, colors, calibers, sizes, materials and the list goes on and on. How about starting with the idea of keeping things simple, useful, effective, flexible and commonly available?

Before actually choosing which hand gun might be your best staring point it is quite advisable to look at what caliber you will want in a defensive handgun. One should, of course, choose a cartridge that is adequate for the purpose of self-defense. But it should also be available, affordable and shootable by the person who will use it. You could choose something like the .38 super and you would have a cartridge that is totally acceptable as a self-defensive round, but it is not readily available or particularly affordable, so why consider it except for specially purposes?

The handgun … an entire class of arms that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense…it surely elevates above all other interests the right of law-abiding, responsible citizens to use arms in defense of hearth and home. U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia V. Heller June 26 2008

Let me keep things simple for the sake of discussion – the most commonly available, affordable shootable cartridges that are at least adequate for self-defense in a handgun would include the .380 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol), the 9mm (9mm parabellum / 9mm Luger), .38 S&W (Smith and Wesson), .357 S&W Magnum, .40 S&W and .45 ACP. There are other great cartridges such as the .357 Sig, 10mm, .41 Magnum, .45 Colt, and .44 magnum, but these each fall short of our criteria in at least one area or more.

The .9mm is the most popular center-fire handgun cartridge in the world. This is supported by the fact that it is the military handgun cartridge for more militaries in the world than any other, including the NATO nations which includes the USA. Having a firearm that can be fed by readily available ammunition is a wise choice so long as the cartridge also meets all of our other standards.

While the 9mm has been replaced by the .40 S&W as the choice of carry for most police departments in the USA, the civilian still has a greater choice of useful ammunition available than the militaries of the world who are limited to the less effective full metal jacketed bullets, also called ball ammunition, because of treaty obligations. Police departments actually use handguns as their primary weapon where as militaries do not. So when in comes to handgun use perhaps it is wise to consider what the vast majority of police departments choose to use. This would be the .40 S&W. So while the 9mm is the most widely used cartridge in use by militaries, the .40 S&M is the most widely used by police departments across the USA.

The 9mm is cheaper to purchase in most cases, and it is widely available. If you consider that shortages might be a possibility in the future (they have been in the past) – a lot of people choose the 9mm in part at least with the thought of future availability as a major factor, even though the .40 S&W has more “stopping power“. Unless you are able to purchase a lifetime supply of ammunition at the time you acquire your handgun, this is a consideration.

But why not start with a choice of firearm which allows the use of both – or even more? This gives the flexibility of not only stocking up with your primary choice of cartridge, but also gives you the option of using another widely available cartridge should that be the available one in the future. While the 9mm is generally more available, what if in the future your source for ammunition was more closely related to your local police department than your national military?

“The .40 S&W caliber is the overwhelming top choice of police departments today.” Massad Ayoob – Police officer & internationally renowned firearm and self-defense instructor.

Those who choose a .357 revolver know the flexibility of having the possibility of using .38 Special ammunition for cost savings and enjoyable practice shooting with less recoil, yet using the same gun for both types of ammunition. But is this possible with the semi-auto pistol? It is if you plan ahead properly.

I shoot a lot of 9mm ammunition for practice and fun, and I don’t do it in a 9mm hand gun. How is that possible you might wonder? It is possible by using a .40 S&W handgun with a barrel designed to fit that firearm, but chambered for the 9mm. It is not possible to use a .40 S&W barrel in a 9mm, so it is necessary to choose the .40 S&W from the start even if you will be shooting 9mm as your primary ammunition choice, but then you will have the option of shooting .40 S&W if and when you choose to.

I do this with Glock pistols. All that is required is using an aftermarket 9mm conversion barrel designed for the handgun in question from suppliers such as Lone Wolf Distributers and also using the factory magazines for the caliber in use. A 9mm magazine works perfectly in a .40 S&W Glock. There are also after market conversion barrels for the Springfield XD pistols from Bar-Sto.

If you live in Delaware, Dallas, Maine, Tennessee, Virginia or other places where the .357 Sig is used by law enforcement you might choose a handgun in this caliber and use the same drop in barrel to shoot the .9mm. In fact the .40 S&W and .357 Sig factory barrels can be exchanged readily and the same magazines are used for both cartridges, but most people do not have a reality available source for inexpensive .357 Sig ammo.

After your basic firearms – invest in ammunition! The more you have, the better off you will be for a number of reasons. The cost isn’t going down. Ammo is also a good barter item. Unless you reload your own ammo you are vulnerable to the market on both price and availability. You never know how long you will need to depend upon the ammo you currently have.

Kel-Tec-2000 and Glock handgun

This Glock and Kel-Tec-2000 use the same caliber & magazines

Let’s face it, once you have your basic firearms stocking up on ammunition would be a priority. Without ammunition the handgun is useful for a paperweight or an attempt to bluff an attacker, neither of these would be high on your list of reasons to purchase a firearm. After you acquire your basic battery invest more in ammunition than on additional firearms. You don’t want to have more firearms than you can feed.

If you run out of ammo you will need to locate some, if you have extra you are in a position to barter – or practice more. If you choose a system which is flexible from the start, you have more options. I know a lot of people who choose a 9mm as their primary cartridge simply because it is the most readily available adequate cartridge even though they would like the added security of a more powerful cartridge like the .40 S&W. Why limit your choice?

By choosing carefully you can have the option of using both. While I have read of some problems with aftermarket conversion barrels – after firing thousands of rounds of ammo through mine I have not experienced any failures. I have learned that the barrels work best with some slight lubrication on the outside where as the factory barrels work best with no lubrication.

The flexibility does not end here either. Once a hand gun is acquired with conversion barrel, you might like to add a carbine such as the Kel-Tec Sub-2000 in either of your cartridges and use the same magazines as you use in your semi-auto handgun. This gives the person a real broad flexibility with a minimal expense just by planning ahead when purchasing the primary defensive firearm & cartridge.

The 10mm is not a widely popular hand gun cartridge because it is more powerful than necessary for most self-defense situations. Because of this it is more expensive to shoot. So why is it so popular in local areas such as the Rocky Mountain west? Because there are four-legged varmints as well as two-legged ones there! Lions, and wolves and bears (oh my!). So what if you live in an area like this and would like the added power of the 10mm but you don’t want to give up the flexibility, affordability and availability of the other cartridges listed? Simple, use your 10mm barrel when in the wild, and drop in a .40 S&W barrel when you are near pavement or the shooting range.

The Glock 20 10mm even has a factory drop in barrel available which is designed specifically for handgun hunting, something not available for any of the lesser cartridges. There’s even a 10mm conversion carbine available from Mech Tech (Also many other caliber choices) for those who want to have the flexibility of a carbine for certain uses such as hunting or patrol. While I love the 10mm, I do not suggest it as a choice for the average person for reasons listed earlier, but it is totally possible to have a common cartridge such as the .40 S&W for common and general use and have a specialty cartridge like the 10mm available for the same firearm if proper planning is done before purchasing your weapon.

There are other options available also, while not quite as simple or as inexpensive as a conversion barrel for a .40 S&W to 9mm, a 10mm Glock can be converted to shoot .45 ACP by simply purchasing a new slide & barrel for the similar sized frame. Since only the frame is considered the “firearm” by the BTAFE, a new slide can be ordered through the mail thus avoiding additional paperwork and expense of purchasing an entire new firearm. This is also possible for those who have a .45 ACP but would like the 10mm, perhaps for hunting. The magazines from each caliber fit perfectly in the grip of the other. Glocks are not the only brand for which this is possible, but check before you purchase if you feel you might like this flexibility later. Along the same line, there are .22 conversion kits for various hand guns that convert your 9mm, 40 S&W, 10mm or .45ACP into a .22 rimfire for practice, plinking and flexibility to shoot and stock up on very cheap .22 caliber ammunition.

If you shop wisely you could start your battery with a pistol and conversion barrel that will shoot two or more common calibers of ammunition, a carbine that shares the same magazines as your handgun and as much as 1000 rounds of ammunition for the current average cost of one AR-15. However if you already have an AR-15 you also have a very flexible firearm. Most AR-15s shoot the useful and widely available 5.56×45 /.223 ammunition. If this is what you have you, have the option of adding a drop in .22 LR conversion to shoot .22 rimfire cartridges through the same barrel. Of course the AR family of rifles can be easily switched from one caliber to another by changing one upper for another.

This gives many options for other barrels, like longer for more velocity, heavier for heat displacement or other calibers. However, when it comes to our criteria of simple, useful, effective, flexible and commonly available we are primarily looking to the .223, .22 and the 7.62×39 which is currently widely available and quite reasonably priced. There are also uppers for pistol calibers which use special magazines.

For those who have a pistol in 9mm, .40 S&W or .45 ACP who also would like the simplicity and reliability of a revolver there are a number of revolvers which are chambered for these calibers. Charter Arms has a revolver chambered for the .40 S&W that is quite nice and does not require the use of moon clips to hold the rimless cartridges most used by pistols. For those who use the .45 ACP in their pistol the S&W Governor is a revolver that can expand your flexibility.

The Governor is a follow up of the very popular Taurus Judge which will chamber both .45 Long Colt and .410 shotgun shells. The Governor matches this and also accepts the .45 ACP. While I like the .45 Colt cartridge it does not meet our requirements of wide availability and reasonably priced, but with the right ammunition it is functional as a handgun hunting cartridge or for use against lager predators. While you might not purchase a dedicated .45 Colt revolver, if you have a .45 ACP and would like a revolver in this caliber having the .45 Colt adds flexibility. While the .410 shotgun shells are advertised as being great for self-defense personally find them very useful for small game, vermin, venomous snakes and game birds up close.

These ideas are meant as helpful suggestions with which you can increase your flexibility with your personal defense arm by careful planning and forethought. Flexibility, dependability, and adaptability are each keys to survivability. Choose your weapons – thoughtfully.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Stealth Body Armor Level II vest courtesy of SafeGuard ARMOR™ LLC and a $150 gift certificate for Wolf Ammo courtesy of   A total prize value of over $600.

Second Prize) Winner will receive a Wise Essentials Kit courtesy of LPC Survival and an EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves.. A value of over $300.

Third Prize) Winner will receive copies of both of my books “31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness” and “Dirt-Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution”  and a Katadyn Siphon Water Filter courtesy of Mayflower Trading Company.  A total prize value of $107.

Contest ends on June 5 2012.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I would add a couple comments:
    .357 is generally the handgun bullet with the best record of stopping power and should be highly considered for that reason.
    People with less training or less mechanical ability will generally do better with revolvers than autoloaders.
    When buying a gun, look for a model with a track record and preferably from a well-established American or free world supplier. If it hasn`t been around for 5 years or 1,000,000 guns, I would pass on it and let the marketing types experiment on somebody else.
    Keep your calibre count low and try to buy 2 or more of the same gun rather than a grand collection.

    • Why are all the weapons suggested the types that use clips. It seems to me that if a clip is kept loaded for very long that the spring will eventually become weak possible causing a missfire. I use a revolver.

  2. Fantastic Article thu I’m most likely one of the few who is not a fan of the GLock. I’m a 40 cal person pistol and carbine.

  3. Nan in NC says:

    Unfortunately, Lloyd P left out one consideration in choosing a handgun. Availability. At the moment, virtually every Ruger, Glock, S&W, and some other popular handguns are what is called “allocated” by the distributor. This means the customer can order one, pay in advance, and then wait for a gun to become available. Gun stores are prohibited from ordering these as “stock” items. Some models are even under greater restrictions due to availability. In some cases things are under lottery. That means that if a distributor has several people who have ordered and paid for a gun, and that gun becomes available, the peoples names would be put in a lottery and one lucky person would “win” the gun. The old supply and demand theory is at work here. People are buying guns in unprecedented numbers, and the gunmakers are just not able to keep up with the most popular models.

    • Nan in NC,
      You bring up some good points, although I suspect the supply will eventually catch up. I own Ruger stock and it is up more than 70% in the last few months, and took a large jump when they stopped accepting orders due to a backlog in the range of 1,000,000 firearms. They are forecasting that they will begin accepting new orders from dealers and wholesalers sometime in late May. We should all have such troubles.

      • Nan in NC says:

        That’s good to hear. We just opened a gun store and it’s very frustrating that the only guns we can get are mostly ones people don’t want.

    • Cold Warrior says:

      Yes, I heard this from friends as far away as Florida and Minnesota. I’ve also heard that both .223 and .308 are drying up too. Gee I wonder if O Homo’s re-election has anything to do with this? (sarc)

      • Mactex says:

        Here in N Tx you can walk in and put you hands on a fair selection of handguns from the above mentioned mfg. Yes, they are selling well as they have been but generally we can get what we want. Ammo is available, most folks buying bulk in all calibres.
        You can invest in gold – it may go up or down, better odds buying ammo – you KNOW it is going up. If you are just now starting to worry about geting self D weapons in an area where they are hard to get, by all means make an informed decision, but I wouldn’t put it off much longer. Good luck!

  4. Being a “little” elderly my wife and I have test fired over a dozen different weapons. We both were suprised when we found we liked the UZI 9MM SMG. It was easy to keep on target with three round bursts and we were able to handle the weight but most important we there was very little kick to the weapon. Never in our lifetimes would we have imagined owning one of these weapons.

    • Dan,
      Was this the full auto version? If so, it’s a nice gun, but very expensive both to purchase and shoot.

      • No just the semi auto. Don’t see a need for full auto and I think it’s illegal. A little on the expensive side but it’s definetly something we both can handle without breaking bones (ours)

        • Dan,
          It’s not illegal if you can find one in the legal pool owned by someone who wants to sell it. Then it’s a $200 tax stamp and probably $8K+ for the gun. And then there’s the ammunition. Fun to shoot once in a while, but I can’t really afford to own one.

          • Well ours is only semi auto and I don’t really see the need for full auto. Would just blow through a lot of ammo for no reason. From what I’ve read about it most police and federal agents who use them never use the full auto feature anyway. Ammo is expensive but we have a personal monthly purchasing plan to build up a stockpile. We aren’t avid shooters but we did complete a training course on the weapon.

          • Dan,
            How does your semi auto perform a three round burst? Firing more than 1 round per trigger pull is by definition full auto.

          • Ohio Preper: Semi-auto performs a three round burst with 3 pulls of the trigger just like any other semi-auto weapon. It’s just that you can perform three rapid pulls due to the function of the weapon. Conversly you can fire 10-20 round bursts if you have the finger strength to keep it up. We practice 2 rounds and then 3 rounds. Anything higher than three rounds and we started getting off target.

          • Dan,
            OK. Technically they are not 3-round bursts, but a rapid succession of three 1-round bursts, often called one volley of three rounds. The terminology does actually matter, because the three round burst (with one trigger pull) is a selector switch option on the AR-15/M-16 with the proper trigger group.

            When dealing with firearms, the proper terminology does matter, and that is the reason you will see some of us correct the misuse of “clip” when the poster meant “magazine”. Proper terminology helps convey information that is clear and concise.

            As for owning a full auto firearm, I agree with you. I’ve shot those belonging to others, but the expense and hassle of owning one myself is not worth the effort, and if I did own one I would either feel guilty for not using it, or break the bank if I did, LOL.

  5. Thanks for writing. I’m personally in the market (gun show tomorrow) for a Glock .40 Good to see your confirmation that I can swap out the barrel and slide mechanism to a 9 mm…I wasn’t positive that I could do that. Love the Glock for reliability, simplicity and operation. Although, I’d love to have a Browning Hi-Power 9mm!

    Thanks again,

  6. James Nelson says:

    I believe you probably meant .38 special and not .38 S&W. The latter is a once popular and now obsolete round that is far less powerful than the special round. Multiple calibers with one handgun is an interesting concept, manufacturers other that Glock offer this. The Sig P250 is a good one.
    While having guns in popular calibers is perfectly ok, during the last great ammo drought the common caliber ammunition dried up, while some of odd ball stuff was still available. In a wrol situation, 9m, .40 S&W, .380acp, .45 acp would be high demand and quickly become hard to find. Stashing a cheap gun in 7.62×54 or 7.62×25 or one or two of the uncommon pistol calibers might be a good idea.
    9×18 Makarov is a special case. It is the East Bloc military caliber, still used in Russia and is chambered in a number of surplus military pistols. These are available at a low price and are generally sturdy and reliable pistols. The cartridge is midway in power between a .380 and a 9mm, making it adequate for self defense. The imported ammunition is cheap and Hornady makes excellent defense rounds for it. The only two pistols I wouldn’t recommend are the Polish P-64 and the Hungarian FEG-63. The 63 isn’t as sturdy, and much more cheaply made and the P-64 has spring issues.

    • Thanks James, that was a slip up – .38 Special is what I meant & wrote in all other places. I like your point about ammo advisability and the 9×18 Makarov. This fits nicely with some of my points as you can easily pick up a .380 auto barrel to convert the Makarov and shoot the .380 ACP using the same magazines. Another good flexible example.

  7. You make excellent points. You don’t however, mention spare mags.
    A revolver without speed loaders is still a functioning revolver. A semi auto is only as good as its mags. Unless you’re a competative shooter, you probably won’t wear your mags out. Yet in a SHTF situation, you may well lose them in extremis. I consider 5 factory (or Mecgar) mags
    to be minimum. You might also consider some cheaper ones for practice. Thus 4 weapons using the same mag means 20+ mags.
    Otherwise you have a single shot.

    • EthanP,
      If you’re semi auto has a magazine disconnect safety, then you may not even have a single shot. I only have a single firearm with this “feature”, and although I like the gun, I find the feature to be tedious and potentially dangerous.

      • JP in MT says:

        Most firearms that have a magazine disconnect can have it “deactivated”, something I have done with mine.

        • JP in MT,
          I know that they can be, but I’m looking into the legal ramifications of using a “modified” firearm for carry & self defense use. I know that modifications like a lighter than normal trigger, etc. or using non-factory (e.g., your own reloads) ammunition for self defense, can be used against you in court. I haven’t been able to get a definitive answer from anyone on what this modification might mean along those lines.

  8. A PS: You can never have too much ammo!

  9. There are billions of rounds of 9mm in storeage for militarys around the world including the US. The other rounds manufactured in such numbers are .223 (5.56mm) and .12 ga shotgun rounds and in bunkers around the US and world.

  10. Extexanwannabe says:

    That’s very informative. Thank you.

  11. Prefer a Ruger LC- 9 for a hidden pistol and a Kel-Tec KSG shotgun . Glocks are proven , but they are a little too bare bones for me . The Ruger is loaded with features , feels better , and is cheaper ……..being in AZ , I like them because they are made in Prescott . If you havent seen the KSG , check it out !!!!!! this was made for close quarters , and holds 14 rounds of 12 g !!!!!! the size and advanced triangle configuration are ahead of its time , you could hide this easily .

    • T.R.,
      Do you have the KSG? It’s on my wish list as soon as I com up with a spare $600 or so. Haven’t held or fired one, but the reviews I’ve seen indicate that owners are pretty happy.

      • I did get it , the configuration takes a little getting used to , but so far I like it a lot , The small size and high round capability especially . You switch over from one feeding tube to another manually with a switch , this means that you could load one tube with buckshot and the other with slug ammo and have either ready when you need it . Keep in mind , this thing is for close in urban , you wont be doing any hunting with it unless your right on it .

  12. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    I’m really happy with my Gen. 1 Glock 21 (.45acp) but I do get a little jealous of those who have that interchangeable .40/9mm ability. Hi-Point should have attempted to configure their newish .45 carbine to use Glock stacked magazines, that would have been really cool! Sure we have the Mec-Tec, but you don’t have both at simultaneous disposal.

  13. In Canada, our gun laws are extremely tight. Getting a handgun is next to impossible and the licensing comes with some close scrutiny from the RCMP. As it is, getting a license for a long gun is such a long process involving training, lots of paperwork, and lots of waiting. I started the process at the beginning of February and have done everything as fast as I can and am still waiting for my long gun license!

    That being said, when I get my long gun license my choice for general use and self defense (self defense will only be available to me with a gun in a total SHTF or even a TEOTWAWKI situation, Canada is very restrictive when it comes to ANY guns) is the Ruger Mini-14. It meets the requirements of my long gun license, is light, configurable and reliable and it shoots both the .223 and the 5.56 ammo which is readily available.

    Is this a good choice in firearm?

    • Its called Communism .

    • I saw the same gun at a recent estate auction and have been kicking myself ever since for not staying to get it. I think a .223 is a great choice because you can do different things with it. You’ll have a good weapon for home defense and should the availability be there, a good weapon for taking small to midsized game. If your main concern is home defense, a riot gun like a short barreled 12 guage might be a better choice, but the .223 gives you a few more usage options…and a well placed shot will do the same job with less mess :o) The riot gun’s only real advantage in a home defense scenario is that it will put more lead in a more spread out pattern (depending on the ammo you choose). The .223 would require a little more in terms of aiming and more importantly, aiming under attack. But, I’m a fan of having multiple-use tools and weapons and personally would have more tasks to ask of my long gun; therefore the .223 would be my choice.


      • Hi TomFish…..
        One other point, .223 vs 12 gauge. The neighbors will probably appreciate the 12 gauge since the .223 will easily go through your assaliant, your walls and probably one or more of your neighbors walls, as well! If you’re rural, that might not be of much concern.

      • Hawkeye, agreed! As much as I love my AR and M4, I prefer my 870 or 930 in the home over a carbine and prefer my pistol over the shotgun inside the house when room clearing my home.

        I have low recoil 00 buck on all three 12 gauges side saddles with one round in the tube so not to put pressure on the spring and ready to load if someone breaks in just rack the first round and load the rest. This way I reduce the chances of over penetration or a miss going through the wall hitting a neighbor.

    • village idiot says:

      Yep, the Ruger Mini-14 is an excellent weapon. The only drawback is that you must use Ruger magazines if you want your weapon to function flawlessly. And they are pretty expensive as magazines go. But it’s better to spend the money up front on the magazines and get the ones that work. It’s still not that great an expense. I really like my Mini.

    • Mike M,
      As always, it depends on what you plan to use the gun for. I have several AR platforms, but before I could afford those I had a Ruger Ranch Rifle (stainless Mini-14) in .223 and I was quite happy with its operation. It is reliable and accurate up to a point. The barrel is a little more flimsy than an AR and I found that its accuracy started to fall off a little, somewhere between 150-200 yards; however, at 75-100 yards I could take out a groundhog using open sights with no trouble. It’s a good rifle for small to medium sized game, although the .223 may be overkill for most small game. Stopping power is generally that of any .223 rifle.

      • cooolwoods says:

        if you still have that old ranch rifle, “glass bedding” it make a big difference in accuracy. helps with the barrel thingy, well with every thingy. I love mine.

        stay safe

        • cooolwoods,
          Kind of wish I did, but selling it was how I helped to finance my first AR. If only money were no object, then I’d still have several old guns that I sold to do upgrades.

          • cooolwoods says:

            I get that,for me money is a object. guess thats why I still have a mini, and my Dad”never get rid of a gun, just get more”. I cant remember him selling any.
            take care ohioprepper

            stay safe

      • OP…..

        The mags OP, the mags. Great little carbines…I have three (two in .223/5.56 and one in 7.62X39 but they are “finniky” when it comes to the mags. And the factory mags (which are great) tend to be a little pricey when compared with the AR.

        • livinglife says:

          sometimes filing the lips will help with the feeding. I have had good success with the plastic mags, better than the aftermarket metal.

      • axelsteve says:

        Ohio prepper. My Dad used to shoot gophers with a o3a3. Kinda overkill but it worked fine.

      • axelsteve says:

        My stepdad has a remington short action model7? In 222. I wonder if it could be rechambered for 223 or the metric disco new world order equivelant 5.56 round. That way you don`t have to stock up on a goofy caliber and save a good rifle.

        • JP in MT says:

          You could, but I’d rebarreled it as I understand the 222 had a different twist. The bolt may need to be replaced if the case head is that much different.

          You may find it is just easier to get a 223.

          • axelsteve says:

            Jp. Thank you for the information. I was just curious,my step dad is too old for rebarelling anyway. I doubt that he would want to lose that valuable barrel .

    • I feel for you, I’m so glad you finally got rid of your long gun registration – good going! The Mini-14 is a great gun, rugged and easy to learn to use. It was never a very accurate rifle, but had adequate accuracy. The newer version are perforated to be much more accurate. I have found that the older ones can have increased accuracy (sometimes remarkable improvement) by putting on a flash hider or muzzle break. Sometimes the little weight on the end of the barrel makes a big difference with these Mini 14’s. This is one of the improvements made to the newer “accurate” models. You can get a mini 14 in 5.56mm NATO/.223or 7.62 x 39mm, until recently they also chambered it in Rem. 6.8 SPC, so you may still find these on the used market?

      • Wow thanks guys! I’m definitely getting both the new ruger mini 14 and a 12 gauge. I’m also going to get a ruger 10/22 so i don’t go broke target practice (and i’d rather shoot rabbit and squirrel with a 22 lr).

        Lloyd it’s such a relief to finally get rid of the long gun registry – all about getting the right political party in and my vote finally made it work. OH, and me getting a free Lee Enfield is conditional on the longgun registry going away and my long gun license, so hopefully soon!

        • village idiot says:

          That combination of firearms will cover much of what a person needs in a prepper arsenal, Mike. I know you’re excited about the prospects. Good luck and good prepping.

    • I have the mini 14/30 , in 762×39 , I also love it , its very simple and clean . I originally bought it for backpacking because of its small size and light weight , but it was such a joy to shoot , that I take it with me a lot of places . If you do get one , you might want to consider getting an acustrut for it , it does help .

  14. Lloyd P,
    Interesting article with some good points. The one thing you didn’t mention however, was training. While acquiring firearms and ammunition, take a little of that budget and apply it to some solid training, and then practice what you’ve learned. It will pay you back handsomely.

  15. Mike M.
    The 5.56mm and .223 ammo are the same round and yes “both” shoot in the Ruger mini. Although the .308 civilian round and the NATO 7.62×54 round are not the same but the military NATO round can be used in civilian rifles, it some times causes problems for the civilian made .308 to be fired in military rifles…go figure.

    Where are you that you can get a three round burst IZI? Drool

    • Sulaco,
      Did you mean .308 civilian round and the NATO 7.62×51? The 54 is generally the 54R and is typically used in the Russian bolt action rifle.

      • And .223 and 5.56X45 ARE NOT the same although most newer model rifles are safe with both. Check the barrel…it is says .223 Cal. (and not 5.56) then it likely isn’t safe to fire 5.56 due to higher chamber pressures and, perhaps, slightly different headspacing.

        I assume “NATO 7.62X54” was a typo? OP explained that the X54(R) is a Russina round. Similar to the 5.56/.223 issue, the civillian .308 has higher chamber pressure than the NATO 7.62 and isn’t always safe in a weapon marked for 7.62 ! The caliber in both rounds are the same but there is more to a round than the diameter of the round itself!!

    • new prepper says:

      Yikes.. all this ammo info is confusing me..I thought you you could shoot .223 in a 5.56 chambered weapon but not shoot 5.56 in a .223.. Been trying to figure out which platform to go with..way to many options and all seem expensive 🙁

      • new prepper……..
        Just check the barrel np. It will tell you what you can use. Earlier Minis were marked .223 and shouldn’t be used with 5.56mm due to the military 5.56 using a “hotter” load. To the best of my understanding all Minis take both rounds now and have for some time. Simple…no confusion…just check the barrel and/or the owner’s manual.

        • livinglife says:

          depends on what year of mini you own. Mine was strictly .223, made in 1976. Manual stated not to use 5.56 as well.

          • axelsteve says:

            Living life. My best friend had a 76 or 77 mini 14. His dad had a ffl and bought 2 of them. he did not like them so he was going to sell both.My friend asked his dad if he could have 1 of them.His dad told him to get a haircut. He went to a barber and made sure he got a cut that he would approve of. He looked kinda like he just joined the army but for a mini 14 it was worth it.

          • Mactex says:

            And for all those year they told me that my long hair would get me nothing but trouble! Good trade out!

      • new prepper,
        I’ve been a firearms instructor for more than 20 years, and ammunition is by far the hardest topic we teach. The three things to remember are:
        1. Many of the cartridge designations have more to do with military dates of service or commercial marketing than anything else.
        2. That bullets are measured in caliber, either in 100th or 1000th of an inch such as .223 which is 223/1000th of an inch or a little less than ¼ of an inched, OR in millimeters such as 5.56 mm. Since there are 25.4 mm per inch, the 5.56mm is 5.56/25.4 or .22 inches. The same is true for .30 caliber or 7.62 (7.62/25.4 = .30).
        3. And finally, cartridges are often a separate designation from the caliber. For instance, the “38 Special” is a cartridge designation, and not a caliber. The 38 Special is not .38 caliber and is actually .357 caliber, which is why you can safely fire a 38 Special from a .357 firearm.
        Therefore we see cartridge designation like: .22 LR, .22 WMR, .223, .22-250, .22 Hornet, all of which are .22 caliber with bullets in the .222 to .224 diameter; however, if you look at each of these cartridges (either in real life or photos on the net) you will see that they are all very different from each other.
        You will see similar differences in the .30 caliber cartridges such as 30-30, .30-06 (went into service in 1906), .308 or 7.62×51, 7.62x54R, and 7.62×39 (for the AK series).
        In the 9mm realm we have a lot to choose from, all with essentially the same calibers (.354 to .357), but with different cartridge sizes and configurations. 9mm, 9mm Luger, and 9mm parabellum (Latin: prepare for war) are essentially the same cartridge as are 380 Auto, 380 ACP, 9mm Short, 9mm Corto (Spanish), and 9mm Kurtz (German). Also in this basic caliber are 38 Special, .357 Magnum, and .357 Sig.

        If this has confused more than enlighten you, then you have gotten the point I’m trying to make. Until you’ve studied ammunition calibers, cartridges, powder types, pressure curves, and quite a bit more, you should do the following when it comes to ammunition.
        Read your manual which should list all of the ammunition your firearm can safely fire.
        • Match the designation stamped on the frame of your firearm, the head stamp (bottom base) of the cartridge, and the designation on the box your ammunition came in.
        • Use commercial ammunition (either new or remanufactured)
        And finally, be safe.

        • Harold Dean says:

          9mm generally measures .355/.356. Some allegedly .38 caliber firearms will come out with unusually tight bores. I once had a Smith and Wesson Military and Police Version made during WWII for the British and the cylinder was chambered for the .38 S&W round usually called a .38 short. I got it for a song since the person who owned it complained of flashback and difficulty extracting the spent casing. I disassembled the pistol, magnafluxed and xrayed all of the parts (I worked in Aerospace then and had access to NDT). When it came time to check it against the standards it had a tight .356 bore. I handloaded from then on with 9mm projectiles and bought from Lee a 9mm bullet resizer for the previously purchased 140 grain Keith truncated cone bullet in .357. Since it was a modern manufactured firearm, I could load to higher pressures and velocities than the stock commercial loading which was based on black powder pressures, or the British load which used a 200 grain projectile. I have since then, found a couple of other instances, one being my S&W 32.20, (no longer owned but wish I did) which measured out to .308 rather than the normal .310/.312. I would suggest if one is having troubles with their firearms to check the actual bore diameter if it is one of the older firearms.

        • Mactex says:

          Well Done, Ohio Prepper! Concise and well organized. It took me many years to learn all the information you included . Many years. Thanks for sharing, maybe you ought to contribute as a columnist.

      • New Prepper, Josh and Hawkeye are correct that you CAN shoot .223 out of a 5.56 rated rifle but DON’T shoot 5.56 out of a firearm marked .223 as it generally won’t be able to handle the pressure.

        As for the .308 and 7.62X51 I have always been under the instruction DON’T fire 7.62X51 NATO out of a .308 unless the manufacturer says otherwise. Many .308 rifles state do not shoot the 7.62X51. But you CAN shoot .308 out of the rifles chambered in .308.

        Like Josh said of the M24 but in my situation the M40A1 and the current M40A3 rifle is designed for match grade .308 ammo but is designed to fire ball ammo off the belts designed for the M240 and M60. This is a logistics issue in the event units run out of match grade ammo for sniper platoons in the combat regions. The heavy barrels, actions and receiver are designed to handle it.

        Many friends with Match grade M1A and target rifles in chambered in .308 have stated the manufacturer stated shooting 7.62X51 NATO could potentially cause damage to the rifle and shooter and would void the warranty.

        Also, with ball 7.62X51 ball ammo we would not risk 600 to 1,000 yard shots and would stick to chest shots out to 500 yards with most at 400 to ensure a guarantee hit out of our M40A1 and know they still teach that at the Scout Sniper School with the M40A3.
        I attended but failed the stalking portion of the course and was dropped.

        Same goes with older 30-06 and 7.62X54R rifles can not shoot the heavier 180gr bullets and have to shoot lighter loads.

    • George is Learning says:

      the .223 and 5.56 are the same round except you cant fire a 5.56 in a .223 chamber barrel only a 5.56 and .223 in a 5.56 barrel . if im wrong pls tell me so. as this is the way i understand it.

      • livinglife says:

        It is the same bullet size, but is not the same case. there is a difference in the shoulder angle, pressure levels and military brass is thicker than civilian brass so you cannot reload them to the same level of powder all things being equal. You can use faster burning powder to get the desired ballistics.
        Many modern AR’s have a Wylde/multi chamber which allows for either cartridge to be fired safely. Your barrel should indicate the chamber size or your owners manual. If it says use one only, do not mix bullets. it will probably work but any failures may be catastrophic. Trying to reload brass shot from the wrong chamber doesn’t work well either, it tends to stick as its deformed. (Yes I tried it and learned the hard way.)

  16. THANK YOU for posting this! I always enjoy visiting and always learn something…

    Common Cents

  17. axelsteve says:

    My son Just bought a ria millspec 45 auto. He gets to pick it up Sunday.He is 21 and got his first real job. He saved up some money and bought it.I am proud of him. I am going to have to start stashing some 45 ammo now.

  18. SurvivorDan says:

    Nice article Lloyd P. Thanks for the info about the Governor. I have a 45 LC Blackhawk and a .45 ACP Springfiald A1 and an old .410. As I have a fair amount of ammo for both I like the versatility of this SW weapon.

    I didn’t like the inaccuracy of the Judge. It was all over the place. Hope this one is better.

    Anyone you know personally have any experience with this particular weapon?

    • I have shot the Judge a lot. I’ve shot a number of big game animals with it and quite a few birds with the shot shells. In the past I shot them in the head with the bullet, but I do better with the shot (mine patterns best with #9 shot for this purpose). Of course it is legal where I hunt. I have found which loads shoot well in my gun. I have done so well with it that a couple of friends have also purchased Judges for them selves. I’m not partial towards using the .410 for self defense, I’d prefer to use a bullet. Mine likes Cor-Bon 225DPX and Buffalo Bore, I hand load 200 and 225 gr for practice). If I decided to use the shot for self defense (concern for over penetration in a building perhaps?), I would use the Winchester PDX1 410 which shoots very accurately in my gun and really packs a punch. I have shot the Governor and it is a very nice hand gun. Light but does not kick too much. It holds six rounds and the front sight is a tritium night sight. It has not been around as long as the Judge but is a very nice quality hand gun. I have not shot it enough to comment on if it is more accurate than the Judge. A little humor along these lines, did you hear Ruger came out with their own version called the Politician? Because it doesn’t work and you can’t fire it! Sorry I couldn’t resist.

  19. George is Learning says:

    lol i should have read a bit further as I see im duplicating other posts. sorry nothing to see here move along

  20. charlie (NC) says:

    This might help with the .223 vs 5.56 confusion.

  21. livinglife says:

    Practice and train, practice and train, practice and train. Any caliber is deadly if you are trained and practice more than ‘paper punching’ drills.
    I went to a class today and the instructor stated “a .22 in the eye will kill before a .45 to the outside of the body.”
    In a nutshell a 9mm can be Luger, Parabellum or 9×19 NATO, then you move into the .380, essentially a short case 9mm, a .38 is long case 9mm.
    .40 cal is a short case 10mm.

    Every prepper should know how to reload. Its cheaper to reload man stoppers and usually cheaper than white box. Enough people leave brass at ranges that its easily obtainable to stock up on.
    You can customize your own ammo is the best part, just like off the shelf, you will need to test various loads.
    I can safely push my .45 upwards of 950 FPS vs 840 FPS with box ammo. Serious trauma, same with the 9mm. Higher FPS changes the kinetic energy transfer. A chronograph is a very useful tool in determining the safest powder charges.
    My house gun is different than my outdoor gun simply because the walls wont stop much in the event of a miss. Trap loads (#7 1/2) in a 12 gauge will do serious damage to an assailant with hundred of pellets and less to an interior than my pistols.
    Without practice and training you have an expensive noisemaker.

  22. Harold Dean says:

    You made the comment in your article that “Experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is”. I would like to respectfully disagree with that premise. In rare cases like someone looking into the barrel of a loaded firearm and pulling the trigger, your hypothesis is dead on. However, if one chooses to use a longarm as a crowbar, distorting the barrel and then lams the product as not being any good, I will disagree on that point. Taken in all, the sum of the experience, subtracting the good from the bad and then researching the bad to find exactly what happened to cause such a derogatory experience, I think then that subtracting all the cases of misuse from your summation will then give you the decent opportunity to practice your own situation, thereby gaining positive experience which I will still insist is the absolute end to all you are trying to accomplish. Study, research, educate and then practice. Those things have carried me successfully through life to this point and since I have made it to 73 having been born poor, a constant struggle through life, serving in combat and coming out alive and just generally raising a family without having them in jail or welfare or anything else, I think I have a firm standing to contest your statement.

    • Harold, thanks for your thoughts. Could you see my comment to Jarhead 03 below where I address both you and him in the same reply? Thanks

  23. BullDogBeau says:

    My fellow preppers and I have come up with specific calibers that we will all stock up on. We each have 5.56 rifles, 40 S&W handguns, 22lr, and 12 gauge shotguns. We don’t always agree on weapon manufacturer’s, but as long as we all have ammo we can pool and share. These are our primary weapons.

    On top of this I think it is smart to be able to shoot any ammo in a SHTF scenario. If you have only a 9mm and you “find” 500 rds of 40 s&w it’s worthless for defense. Myself, I have a weapon each, for every “common” ammunition. Stocking up on ammo for all these weapons is a huge financial burden but isn’t my intent to have 10,000 rounds for each. Like I said before, our primary weapons is where the bulk of our stocking goes.

    I do like in the post where you can have different caliber barrels for an individual weapon. I would still only count that as 1 weapon. If your slide is damaged, you are out that weapon. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. As far as for target practice with 9mm, and use the 40 for carry. Great idea to save cash on ammo.

    Also agree with previous post about magazines for semi-autos. To have just a few is a terrible idea. In the Army we have our combat load which consists of 210 rds (7 mags) for 5.56, 45 rds (3 mags) for 9mm. I won’t mention our crew serve loads. I would usually carry at least 9 mags for my M4 and 4 for my 9mm Berreta (junk) during my missions. It’s a good idea to have these amounts ready whether on a vest or in a bag. I myself have 30+ magazines for my M4 at home. I rotate them loaded, unloaded and disassembled. Leaving magazines loaded can compress the spring inside resulting in feeding issues. While the mags are disassembled I NEVER pull the springs to lengthen. I simply hang them on a wire and let them come to their original lengths on their own. Pulling will bend out of correct shape. I rotate every 3 months with my rifle mags and monthly with my pistol mags.

    My last thought is that in my opinion choosing 5.56, 9mm and 12 gauge is probably the smartest idea for availability. As the two wars wind down, manufacturers producing these calibers at high output will flood the civilian markets with the excess. Lowering prices more and more. My Opinion.

    Thanks pack

  24. Considering getting a Mosin – Nagant , anybody have one ? the price is sure great !

    • axelsteve says:

      My son has a m38 carbine. Great rifle for what it is. I would like a m 38 or m 44 myself.

      • Thank you , I read a lot of reviews and I have yet to find a negative comment about it . The only thing people tend to comment on is the bolt vs. scope , but the fix is an easy one as well . Its attractive to me because of the price , the cartridge seems to be a hard hitter as well .

  25. Lloyd, great article and very insightful. It was well written for those that are not well versed on ammo and firearms capable of firing more than one caliber adding to their value and making them a force multiplier.

    My only disagreement is with”Experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is.”
    My experience is all the training in the world won’t dictate what you will do when it comes down the brass tax. I’ve seen Marines that have got in fist fights with 2 or 3 guys at once with a smile on their face freeze when under fire the first time and the same goes with many LE officers/deputies.

    Training is a VERY important factor and you are correct that learning from others mistakes is VERY important to attempt to prevent repeated mistakes. I taught at the School of Infantry upon my return from Somalia as do many returning from combat to teach new warriors and experienced LE teach or become field trainers.

    Ask any beat cop that has worked the worst neighborhoods for 10 to 20 years or senior enlisted warriors in the military and they will all agree training is VERY important but nothing beats hands on experience and experience is the best training/classroom.

  26. Jarhead 03 & Harold Dean, I appreciate your input on my statement that “experience is not the best teacher, someone else’s experience is”. Perhaps I could have done a better job of clarification of my underlying point. We are better to learn from one another and then put that knowledge to work (experience) rather than the other way around. I have learned from each of you expressing what you have learned from your experiences. This helps me learn & move forward more effectively. If I could sit down with each of you – and others in the Pack – I could learn a lot more from you than I could by going out and trying to experience everything first hand by trial and error. In fact I would much rather learn about a hand grenade or an IED from someone else rather than to experience them first for my self. In some cases the first experience is the last experience. Certainly a combat hardened veteran can teach with more authority than someone who has only “classroom” experience, however, it was probably what he learned from someone else that gave him the possibility of success when he was placed in combat. Not to diminish the fact that we always have to improvise, adapt & overcome, but a good foundation helps us to live long enough to have that opportunity. Certainly someone who can teach from experience is not at the mercy of someone who only has an argument. But we all can increase our knowledge & chances of surviving and prospering by learning from one another & then adding that knowledge to our own cadre of experiences. I yield to Harold’s 73 years of experience and Jarhead’s combat experience. Yet I also suggest than many others might make it to 73 and beyond if they could learn from your experiences and add it to what they have learned .

    • Glad you clarified that comment. I have seen some people try to follow someone else’s advice and experience only to fall into the same trap the advisor had fallen in. Someone else’s experience is indeed a wonderful training aid in how not to do something and this is what I was driving at. of my 73 years of experiencve some of it has indeed been in combat but probably not like Jarheads and probably not as intense. The single stray bullet from a sniper will kill you just as dead as massed fire from an attacking enemy. I had stated that it was best to consider all experiences and to meld from the entire batch a set of how to’s and how not to’s and then build your own experience on that. These survival sites are replete with a lot of advice, some bogus and some entirely useful. Some are laden with persons who are obsessed with firearms and believe the more quantity the better. I have always professed gaining proficiency with one favorite one, hence one firearm to hassle with, one type of cartridge, learn its limitations and learn to work with them. That is the type of experience I am referring to. Something that will indeed keep you alive in any case you bug in or bug out. I just hope people will take into account and utilize whatever advice or experience they see fit no matter the source.

    • Lloyd, hope they way I put it didn’t come off the wrong way and Harold hit the nail on the head. I enjoyed the article and it was well written focusing on transitional barrels/calibers.

      I taught student Marines at the School of Infantry as well as teaching Marines in the “Fleet” Infantry Units and Headquarrters Unit I was assigned to and tried to make it as realistic as I could to include intense cardio exercises before the young warriors shot their rifles to simulate the effects of adrenaline and the exhaustions of getting into a fire fight after had been moving non stop, exhausted and tired. Two students of mine ended down the road up as platoon sergeants in the battle Tekret and Fallujah. You are right in that my experiences conveyed in my training. My point of view was no one knows what they will do until it happens.

      I hit the range a minimum of every two months firing at least 3 weapons and fire a minimum of 100 to 200 rounds of pistol, 200 to 300 rounds of rifle and 50 to 100 rounds of shotgun. I set up multiple targets, balloon targets, body size targets and do transition drills from rifle to pistol and shotgun to pistol.
      I teach/coach friends when they ask but when they back out or don’t want to learn I still shoot/train and let then suffer.

      I have a knee issue so I still train hard, still train in MMA when I can to keep moving and better than the average person where I live and work. Chance favors the prepared.

  27. Wow. Liked the comments here and the questions.

    I have gone with 9mm and 45 ACP as our primary pistol rounds both in Glocks). We both carry a Ruger LCP in 380 ACP with a laser.

    My wife and I are both retired US Army Sargents and she told me she wanted a “miltary grade AR type rifle”. All of ours are chambered for 5.56. I really like the M1A, but it has become more of a special mission weapon that the primary “go to” gun.

    We have both 12 and 20 gauge shotguns. I prefer the “swingability” of the 20 ga (for me they get on target better/quicker). They do kick less but I am a big fan of #4 buckshot for a defensive round and they just don’t make it in a factory round. Plus ours are the youth models with shorter stocks (my wife is small and I keep growing so my arms are getting shorter).

    Just a note on length of your stocks: check them with all types of clothing. Up here it gets cold but most people buy there guns inside and try the fit in just a shirt, take it to the range in a light jacket on a nice day, then get all geared up to go hunting and can’t figure out why they have a hard time with the sights. My personal experience has shown me that shorter is better.

    I like the old westerns so I have several revolvers in single action (45 Colt, 357 Mag, and 38 Spec), and the lever action rifles to go with them. I also have a lever action and a couple of Shiloh Sharps rifles in 45-70. I stocked up on ammo for them, but they are not my first weapons of choice (‘course if you ever shoot a water melon with a Sharps…..).

    When asked I usually recommend a Glock pistol because they are available, simple, and reliable. Mags are readily available. The ultimate package would be a Glock 23 (or a larger 22) in 40 S&W with extra barrels in 9mm and 357 SiG, along with a 22 LR conversion kit. One holster, one magazine carrier, and one trigger to learn with. You can stock up on factory mags as low as $20 each, and KMI (Korean) makes a good copy that can be had for as low as $8 each.

    I recommend getting double the number of magazines that you are planning on carrying then get out and shoot. Get some quality instruction and join a gun club that has some time of action pistol shooting. The stress of times events and competition will only make you better when the real thing come around.

    Just my opinion.

  28. axelsteve says:

    I am going to help my son prepare for his 45 auto.I will buy him round nose ammo and extra mags for it.I will get him 50 rounds here and there then I will do the same with mags.One day he will show up and I will have a pile of ammo and mags for it.Besides from what he will buy.

  29. yES guys my comment on the .308 vs. 7.62×51 (54) was a typo thanks for the checks.

    Just a comment for anybody getting the Mosin Nagant rifles surplus, HEAD SPACE check the chamber before you fire anything in it. Many are way out of spec after 50 or more years of use and one I had had to have the barrel/chamber reset back a LONG ways to make it safe. Head space chamber gauges can be found on the internet and are inexpensive. You will need ALL THREE guages to make sure the rifle is safe to fire. I carry mine at gun shows and allow chamber checks by folks that are looking at the rifles for $.50 a check………just for fun.

  30. One thing about guns in general , I despise a weapon being labeled ” beginner gun ” . Most of the time , they are labeled that simply because they either have a lot of features that the cowboy crowd thinks of as unnecessary , or the weapon is made by the manufacturer for a specific purpose . I want a lot of features on my guns , more features = more options . Glocks are good guns ….. no doubt . But they are too bare bones for me . Example : I picked up a ” hat gun ” sense our state has instituted constitutional carry into law now ( what that means is any AZ resident can carry a concealed weapon without a permit or openly without harassment ) I had it narrowed down to the Glock 26 or the Ruger LC9 , I chose the Ruger . Why ? its made in AZ , it feels better , its cheaper , it has a lot of features , its smaller . I look at features as a positive thing ” I hate mistakes ” and ” I despise accidents ” . Look at guns like a chainsaw , about the time you start to get arrogant or complacent with it, is the about the time its going to bite into your leg .

  31. stinkylynn says:

    I am fairly new to prepping but I know that I need to have weapons to protect my family. The problem is, I have never owned a gun, know nothing about them, and most of all have VERY little money to spend on one. Could I get some advice on a gun that would suit my needs that costs as little as possible.

  32. stinkylynn says:

    stinkylynn April 27, 2012 at 9:08 PM

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.

    I am fairly new to prepping but I know that I need to have weapons to protect my family. The problem is, I have never owned a gun, know nothing about them, and most of all have VERY little money to spend on one. Could I get some advice on a gun that would suit my needs that costs as little as possible.

  33. Mactex says:

    You didn’t give much info on your situation as far as locale – rural or urban – but for less than $200 you ought to be able to pickup a pump shotgun – either a 12 or 20 (I’d recomment the 20 since you are just starting out as well as the fact that more of you family will be able to use it). It will work for defense or hunting, is fairly easy to learn to operate and there are fewer restrictions on them in some places. Then get out and practice and buy all the ammo you can – watch for it to go on sale (it does still happen). Good luck!

    • stinkylynn says:

      Thank you Mactex. I do live in an urban area right outside the city limits. I will definitely check out the pump shotgun. I appreciate your help

  34. Actually this article is incorrect. A glock 20 can fire 10mm , .40S&W , .357 sig , 9×25 dillon all without needing additional magazines . So that’s 4 calibers not 2

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