Review of The Ruger Scout Rifle in .223

Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry was submitted by WVMike

Ever since I bought the Ruger Scout Rifle in 7.63/.308 I have been hoping they would come out with one in 5.56. Two weeks ago I saw (and bought) one. One of the first things you will notice is the price tag. $1039 for a bolt action rifle is in my opinion very high. I ended up paying $850 out the door and traded for two more Magazines to go with it ($70 each from Ruger).

The first thing I would change on it is making them both accept AR Mags (or even M14/mini 14) as the ones they have are not only expensive but hard to find. The next thing I would change is nothing. This gun is great!

The 1 in 8 twist make it fine for your 55 grain military rounds but shines with 62-69 which give you a great deal of versatility in your hunting ammo selection. The optimum range from a 16” barrel in my opinion is going to be 300 yards and closer and at that range this gun shoots less then MOA. This will not replace the sniper rifle in your arsenal but be able to handle most shots that an average shooter will take.

A lot of thought went in to the making of this rifle, out of the box it has very usable ring and post sights that are usable for precision shooting out to 100 yards and would be find on man sized targets out to 300. It has a forward rail for a scout scope or any electronic sights one might choose. It also comes with rings for a normal scope but the rear sight needs to be removed to put them on. The birdcage flash suppressor is removable to allow a silencer or other attachments, and the stock comes with several spacers to allow a change in pull of the rifle.

If you have the money and are looking for a nice do it all rifle I would strongly suggest this one. If you are looking for a tool to fill a specific role, this is probable not the one for you. An AR is almost as accurate and can be deployed as a defensive rifle much more effectively.

A higher powered scoped rifle can reach out further and hit harder then this one for hunting and sniping. A Ruger 10/22 will take small game with less damage to the meat. While I really love this little rifle, honestly for the money I would make sure you have your other bases covered before purchasing unless you only plan on one firearm.

My final opinion of this rifle is it is a fast, lightweight, accurate firearm that can be used in a variety of roles form taking small to medium game (rabbits to deer) and even large with head shots. It could be employed in as a defensive rifle with interchangeable magazines and would be especially good for people with smaller frames or ones who could not handle a lot of recoil.

Over all it is a great fill in gun that I plan to take on camping trips or day hikes where I don’t expect to need a firearm.

Prizes for this round (ends April 23 2015 ) in our non fiction writing contest include… Please send your articles now!

  1. First place winner will receive –  A  case of six (6) #10 cans of Freeze Dried Military Pork Chops a $300 value courtesy of MRE Depot, and a  WonderMix Bread Mixer courtesy of a $300 value and five bottles of the new Berkey BioFilm Drops a $150 value courtesy of LPC Survival – total prize value of over $750.
  2. Second place winner will receive –  A gift a gift certificate for $150 off of  Federal Ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo.
  3. Third Place winner will receive –  A copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of

How To Prepare a Survival Carbine

By Jim Ballou

For a lot of potential wilderness survival emergencies, a carbine of one variation or another chambered for a versatile hunting/defense cartridge seems especially practical in my view. With such a weapon you’d have rifle-like accuracy and power in a comparatively compact, portable platform, and for this reason I believe the carbine lends itself well as the basis for an emergency survival kit.
I chose to make my own such survival kit out of a Winchester Model 94 “Trapper” carbine with a legally minimum 16-inch barrel, chambered for 44 Remington Magnum (an earlier glimpse of this same project is featured in my book, Arming for the Apocalypse, available from Paladin Press).

The survival kit carbine

The survival kit carbine

I like this gun for this particular purpose because it’s a fast-handing repeating lever-action of a conveniently short and handy size, and its cartridge is not only interchangeable with my favorite revolver, but is also quite versatile. The 44 Magnum has been used since its introduction in the mid-1950’s to successfully hunt every species of North American big game, if my information is correct. My little carbine holds nine loaded rounds in its magazine tube, plus one in the chamber. For me, this is the perfect sit-around-the-campfire kind of gun. If some beast were to suddenly burst into my camp in the middle of the night and threaten my being or the safety of anyone else in the camp, I believe I would feel fairly secure having nine or ten fast rounds of 44 Magnum at my disposal to answer the threat with.

I am aware that this particular variation of the Model 94 is no longer manufactured by Winchester, but I still frequently see plenty of used ones offered for sale. I purchased mine new in 2002 when they were still in production, and I paid around $300.00 for it at that time. The used ones I’ve seen lately have been priced considerably higher. By the way, this same model was also offered in .357 Magnum, and I believe one in that chambering would also be an excellent choice for this purpose. Additionally, there are at least a few other lever-action rifles and carbines chambered for 44 Magnum currently available from other gun makers.

No doubt readers will think of other viable or possibly even more suitable carbine designs for their purposes, but whether we opt for a lever-action, semi-auto, pump-action, single-shot, or bolt-action, I think the general idea of a survival carbine would be basically the same.

Plate removed, showing small cavity in butt of stock for housing small survival gear.

Plate removed, showing small cavity in butt of stock for housing small survival gear.

I began my project by removing the butt plate and drilling a 5/8” diameter hole into the wooden stock, just deep enough to hold a few wooden matches, a hobby knife blade, some sewing needles with a length of thread, a cotton ball (for emergency fire starting tinder), and some fish hooks. I avoided the temptation to drill a larger hole that would house more gear, being careful to avoid compromising the stock’s structural integrity. After screwing the plate back on, I decided to sew a tiny pocket to the gun’s sling for stowing a short key-shaped screwdriver with the gun that fits the screws used to hold butt plate to the stock.

A tiny pocket made from leather scrap was stitched to the sling to house the key-shaped screwdriver for the butt plate.

A tiny pocket made from leather scrap was stitched to the sling to house the key-shaped screwdriver for the butt plate.

Next I wrapped the entire butt stock of the carbine with several sizes of utility/survival cord. If there is one type of product more generally utilitarian to a wilderness survivor than cordage, I am not aware of it. When I visit the woods I invariably end up using cord in shelter building or tent raising, tying down gear, repairing items, hanging supplies from tree branches, replacing boot laces, etc.

The task of wrapping a rifle stock with cord can be tricky, but I’ve learned a few little tricks that make this process easier and more successful. First, it is much easier when attempting to tightly wrap any tapered object with cord to start the process from the smaller diameter end of the thing and progress toward the larger portion, because the windings of cord have a tendency to slide apart while wrapping them on a body tapering downward. You will want to keep your wraps even and tight together.

A second trick involves using a wrapping technique commonly employed in whipping the ends of rope with small cord, and this is how you can avoid entirely the use of bulky knots that eventually unravel, while also maintaining a more permanent and tighter wrap. This can be done simply by forming a bight in the standing end of your cord and laying this bight stretched out along the length of the item you want to wrap, and wrap your windings of cord over it together with the (gun stock, in this case) until your windings approach the remaining eye in the end of the bight.

At that point you feed the running end through the eye, and pull on the standing end of your cord to draw the bight and running end under the tight wraps. I sometimes use two pairs of pliers to firmly grip and keep both ends of the cord taut during this finishing stage.

Finally, I discovered that by adding a furniture tack at the comb of the stock I was able to provide a much-needed ledge to hold back the wraps of cord at that point. Without something like this, there is nothing to prevent the windings of cord from merely slipping over the edge of the comb.

Close up view of the wrist area. Note also that the lever itself has some cord wrapped onto it.

Close up view of the wrist area. Note also that the lever itself has some cord wrapped onto it.

Wrapping the wrist area of a Model 94 Winchester requires some care, because there is a safety button in the lower tang that must be depressed by the closed lever before the gun will fire. So, any wraps of cord around that area must not be too thick or interfere with that little button, because if they do the weapon won’t work.

After I had wrapped several layers of small cord on the carbine’s stock, I decided that a cloth shell holder that goes over the butt stock could be a handy thing. After adding that, I found that a lock-blade knife with a belt clip that would firmly slide under the back end of the shell holder could also be very handy to have in the woods. I eventually secured this knife into position more permanently by tying it on using several lengths of small diameter cord.

A lock blade knife with a belt clip fits conveniently onto the stock’s shell holder.

A lock blade knife with a belt clip fits conveniently onto the stock’s shell holder.

At some point it occurred to me that the gun’s sling would lend itself quite well as a shell holder as well as a pouch for more small survival gear. The sling I had purchased for the carbine came with a few cartridge loops already, but I wanted a few more. I discovered that a belt slider with six cartridge loops could be positioned in a convenient section of the sling and stitched into place to prevent it from sliding around. I also discovered that this created a sort of convenient pocket between the belt slider and the sling, inside which I managed to fit a small bag of some basic survival items like a ferrocerium sparking tool, a small knife, a wire saw, bandages, more small-diameter cord and fishing tackle, a button compass, etc.

Examples of lightweight survival gear that can be carried on a rifle sling: 1) small knife, 2) sparking tool, 3) wire saw, 4) button compass, 5) #6 barbed fish hooks, 6) needles & thread for emergency repairs, 7) birthday candle, will sustain small flame for 35 minutes, and 8) band aids and butterfly sutures.

Examples of lightweight survival gear that can be carried on a rifle sling: 1) small knife, 2) sparking tool, 3) wire saw, 4) button compass, 5) #6 barbed fish hooks, 6) needles & thread for emergency repairs, 7) birthday candle, will sustain small flame for 35 minutes, and 8) band aids and butterfly sutures.

To make all these goodies thus mounted on the sling (including those spare rounds stowed in the cartridge loops) more secure, I ended up wrapping a handkerchief around the whole works and binding it up with a few lengths of small cord. While the sling may now be a tad more bulky and heavy with all of these things on it, it is still nevertheless usable as a carry sling.

A handkerchief tied on helps to protect the ammo in cartridge loops and all the survival gear on the sling.

A handkerchief tied on helps to protect the ammo in cartridge loops and all the survival gear on the sling.

Ultimately I ended up with not only a handy little 44 Magnum carbine to take along camping and scouting around in the woods, with its spare ammunition stowed “on board”, but in fact a survival kit system of its own. So, will this resulting mess of outdoor gear form part of my emergency Bug-Out Bag arsenal? You bet it will. With a set-up like this a survivor would have plenty of possibilities available to him in an emergency.

Bio:  Jim Ballou has worked as a self-employed, independent insurance agent and a freelance writer for over sixteen years. More than sixty of his magazine articles on a variety of topics ranging from primitive and early American crafts and tools to wilderness survival skills have appeared in five periodicals since 2000, includingBackwoods Home Magazine, The Backwoodsman, Wilderness Way Magazine, Primitive Archer Magazine, and Modern Survival Magazine.

Mr. Ballou’s first non-fiction book titled: Long-Term Survival in the Coming Dark Age was published by Paladin Press in 2007, and it quickly became a Paladin best seller. This was followed by four other popular non-fiction titles with Paladin Press, including: Makeshift Workshop Skills for Survival and Self-Reliance, MORE Makeshift Workshop Skills,Arming For The Apocalypse, and the most recent title, The Poor Man’s Wilderness Survival Kit.

Ballou’s interests are too varied to list here but include blacksmithing, gun collecting, target shooting, reading and learning about history, writing, camping, hunting, fishing, treasure hunting, exploring, experimenting with tools and creative processes, survival and self-reliance related topics, plus all of the primitive skills, among numerous other interests and hobbies. He lives with his wife and two kids in Idaho.

How to make a knife using basic hand tools

How to shoot a Pistol with world champion shooter, Jerry Miculek

The Legal Use Of Deadly Force by Preppers

I’ve talked to preppers all over the United States and one common trend that I’ve noticed though those conversations was that many are under the impression that after just about any type of disaster that they will be able to defend their homes and/or retreats with unaccounted for deadly force via the barrel of a gun.

From those conversations it’s also easy to see that they are under the false impression that a disaster of say the magnitude of an economic collapse, also will result in a full collapse of the government and any rule of law and accountability for their actions.

Where they got this info is beyond me, because common sense or history does not support their beliefs. Perhaps they’ve watched too many doomsday type movies or read one too many “prepper novels”, but the fact is that the federal government has spent billions of  taxpayer dollars on their own preps and have contingency plans in place that will allow them to stay in power after just about any type of disaster imaginable.

Granted their power maybe significantly reduced or even nonexistent in some areas perhaps for months or even years, but the federal government isn’t going to just go away or disappear altogether, in fact I expect the exact opposite.

They have already enacted laws that will allow the federal government to declare martial law with the stroke and drying ink of the presidential pen. No the federal government isn’t going to go away after an economic collapse or any other likely disaster, but instead will clamp down via the declaration of martial law.

This will be especially evident in the larger cities and urban areas, those areas maybe cordoned to prevent rioting from spilling out past a certain point, but after the looting and burning subside, probably in about three or five days when the food supplies run out, troops will move in and take control of those locations via force and a declaration of martial law.

But one thing is certain and that is that the federal government, even with the help of state and local national guard and police does not have the man power to control the entire geographic area of the United States at once, this is the reason they will concentrate their resources and man power toward controlling the cities and urban areas that we talked about a minute ago.

After a major disaster there very well maybe a period of time without the rule of law (WROL), out in the rural areas this could last for weeks, months or even years, but unlike what has been portrayed, in the pages of countless survival fiction books and movies, it will, in all likelihood be a short-term event especially in the cities because martial law will be declared and enforced by the military… but that enforcement will be stretched extremely thin and could be essentially non-existent over large areas if the disaster is nation-wide.

You see most people want law and order and will work together to achieve that end. Crime will no doubt increase after an economic collapse (and after most other disasters), with home invasions, robbery, murder, kidnapping and rape being all too common, but such offenses will still be against the law, both legally and morally, and people will demand that the perpetrators be apprehended and justice served, even if that justice is set forth by the rule and judgment of a local warlord or governor and a public stoning in the street.

This is where the majority of preppers seem to be confused (and trigger happy). We’ve all heard, read and contemplated it but is the shoot-first-crowd being realistic or simply feeding their Rambo fantasies with visions of using uncontrolled, and unaccounted-for deadly force on their neighbors or anyone else that comes within one thousand yards of their retreat after the balloon goes up…

Listen; in all but the most extreme circumstances of total and long-term collapse and anarchy (example = full-blown civil war), the laws, and punishment for the unjustifiable taking of a human life will still apply, and will be enforced, even if that punishment is your public execution in the street. You will not be able to kill your neighbor because he looked at your wife with lust in his eyes, or trespassed on your property without their being repercussions brought against you.

My advice is to study up on the laws regarding self-defense in your state and to also have nonlethal means of protecting yourself, such as defensive spray, extendable baton, Taser, bean bag rounds etc… You see, having lethal and nonlethal means of defending yourself and your home and/or retreat gives you options that you can employ depending of the situation.

Granted; you may have to use deadly force to protect yourself and your family, but be sure that it is justifiable by law and moral standards before you pull the trigger. To do otherwise, may result in your being jailed or worse, which will leave your family without you and in a much more vulnerable position.

It’s a good idea to be friends with your local Sheriff and as many of his deputies as possible – remember they write the reports (just hope that it was not one of their family or friends that you shot).

Some folks suggest a shovel and bag of hydrated lime might also be a good idea, you know, just in case that you let things get out of hand…

Those that use unjustifiable lethal force against another person will be held accountable if caught, no matter how bad the disaster or how deep and far-reaching the crash it maybe. To think otherwise is a sure way of ending up in jail or worse.

AK-47s SUCK! 4 AKs at 300 Yards!

What do you think? Would love to hear your two cents in the comments below…

How to build a War Hammer

I found some odd looking pieces of heavy steel at a flea market. Just a couple days prior,I had been rummaging around in my junk pile looking to see if I had something I could build into a zombie scull crusher/war hammer. The steel that I found at the flea market was a stroke of luck. They were perfect for what I wanted to make and very heavy to boot. this is how I made a single hand war hammer, and a two handed heavy war hammer,zombie skull crusher, door breacher,body armor penetrator.

Be sure to subscribe to BCTruck’s YouTube Channel – he does a very good job with his videos.

Review: Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope

A few months ago, I decided to add a rifle scope atop my Bulgarian AK-74. After extensive shooting and accuracy testing the rifle and the it’s 5.45x39mm cartridge, have proven to be significantly more accurate and flat shooting than my other AK chambered in 7.62X39.

By adding an optical site, I could extort all of the accuracy available from this platform. I wanted something compact and preferably with mil-dot illuminated reticle – for under $100.

After some research, I selected the Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope. According to the description it was exactly what I was looking for, and within my AK budget.

I placed my order through Amazon and after a four-day wait, the Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope arrived in the mail. When I opened the package the first thing, I noticed was the weight and quality workmanship.

At only 7.7 inches in length, weight is an impressive 10.8 ounces, with fit and finish being comparable to optics selling for considerably more. The Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope comes with built-in integral sunshade, flip-open lens covers and rings.

I was still sitting in front of the post office but couldn’t resist holding the rifle scope up to my eye while looking at distant objects. The optics were clear and crisp with no blurs around the edge of vision and the cross hairs well-defined.

I’m sure those passing by were wondering what I was doing, but I didn’t care, I was in a world of my own. I couldn’t wait to mount the scope to rifle for further testing, so I was out of the parking-lot pretty quickly.

I used the UTG 978 quick detachable double rail side mount to mount the scope to the rifle. This is a great product and highly recommended from here. The Mount is solid with no movement or play whatsoever and is quick and easy to remove and mount as needed.

The downside to the UTG 978 quick detachable mount is that when mounted it sets low against the receiver cover, preventing the iron sights from being used. This isn’t a big deal because I leave the scope off most of the time and re-mounting when needed.

Getting back to the Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope – after mounting, I needed to get it adjusted and on target. I started out at 25 yards to see how far-off center and amount of adjustment needed. The first shots were about 9 inches low and 6 inches right of center.

After making the necessary adjustments (1/4-inch at 100 yards) at 25 yards I moved to the 100 yard mark for more testing and adjustment if needed. At 100 yards bullet impact was centered and about 1 inch high – perfect.

The illuminated reticle, has both green and red setting and is incremented for adjusting brightness of both. Power for illumination is provided by one CR2032 3V battery (2 included). I’m still using the first battery and it’s just as bright now, as it was the first day.

The  Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scopeoffers 4X magnification, 28-foot field-of-view at 100 yards and is parallax adjusted at 100 yards.

The rifle scope is advertised as a CQB sight. In my opinion the need to align your eye with the reticle and then focus on the target, isn’t fast enough for CQB purposes (like building search and clearing) for which this scope is advertised, but it is perfectly adequate for most other needs.

Another thing I noticed was that the 3.5-inches of eye relief advertised is in reality is more like 2 inches. When mounting to most rifles you’ll need to push the scope as far to the rear as possible to assume a proper shooting position. However with the shorter stock found on most AK variants it is just about perfect.

The Leapers 5TH GEN 4X32 Mini CQB TS Mil-Dot Scope is a great product and for the price you would be hard pressed to do better. If you’re an AK owner and don’t want to spend a lot of money then this scope and mount would be an excellent addition.

This is why you never start a new shooter with a heavy recoiling caliber

This is what happens when you have “too much gun” and not enough experience – never start a new shooter with a heavy recoiling caliber.

Stupid Internet Gun Stuff – Press Checks

How to Reload Your Pistol and Rifle – 3 Videos

How to Reload Your Pistol and Rifle – Part 1 of 3

How to Reload Your Pistol and Rifle – Left Handed – Part 2 of 3

How to Reload Your Pistol and Rifle – Part 3 of 3

The SKS for Canadian Prepper’s

Today’s non-fiction writing contest entry was written by Zman.

I am a gunsmith working in Canada and I come across a lot of firearms but one I would like to recommend would be the SKS. But first a little background…

The SKS was built in 1943 by Sergei Gavrilovich Simonov.  It was the first rifle of its kind to be chambered for the 7.62 X 39 round. Which is a fairly descent short to medium range cartridge. They originally came with internal 10 round magazines that could be fed with a stripper clip but there are variations which I will get to further into this article.  It was used as a second line battle rifle when it was replaced by the Original AK-47.

The reason why I am going to talk about the SKS is for multiple of reasons.  First of all in Canada it is not legal for 95% of the population to own AK or AR style firearms as they are considered prohibited or restricted. The SKS is considered a standard Hunting rifle in Canada so you only need a basic Firearms License to possess one here. Second is they are very inexpensive to buy in Canada ($150-$300). Ammo is very Inexpensive and easy to get.  I bought 1300 rounds of Bulgarian FMJ for $200.00 plus tax.  Hunting Ammo is about $15.00 for 20 rounds.  The last reason why I like them is they are reliable, fairly accurate and are easily accessorized.

There are different models of SKS available in the surplus and yes civilian market.  The most common ones I come across are Russian re-man SKS, Chinese type 56, Chinese Type 56-D and Yugoslavian.

The Russian Remanufactured SKS come in varying degrees.  It is easy to tell if it is a Russian remanufactured because first of all a lot of them will have a big star over the receiver cover with a date.  Some will have Cyrillic script (Russian writing) on the side of the receiver and some won’t.  If it is a Russian re-man all the serialized parts will have the same number but with one, two or three X’s behind them showing that the gun was built from either spare parts or parts of other ruined SKS.  Most Russian styles come with a standard knife bayonet.  Some Russian SKS come with the Chrome Lined barrel and some don’t so keep your eye out especially when using corrosive ammo which is about 80% of the market for ammo. They also have a polished uncoated receiver unless it is the rare version with a black coated receiver for NBC operations.

The Chinese Type 56 comes in three variations.  The regular type 56 will have the standard (Pickle Stabber) style Bayonet which is basically a three sided bayonet.  It will have the standard internal mag pinned of course to 5 rounds in Canada, a Chrome Barrel (Which I highly recommend) and either Chinese Characters on the receiver or sometimes English depending on what factory it was produced in. The Chinese Type 56 D, Comes with a detachable AK 47-AKM magazine and it has no bayonet Lug.  All other parts are interchangeable with the rest of the type 56 or another SKS.

Be very careful of the third type of Chines SKS it just has SKS and 7.62 X 39 written on the side and it is not a type 56 and it was made for the Civilian market.  These were very cheaply produced by Norinco in the mid 90’s to mid-2000’s.  They are of relatively poor quality and the parts are not interchangeable.  They are not made from machined receivers and the Gas Tube is ½” Shorter than the Standard SKS.  I have had a couple of these come in and they will work but they are not very good quality. Almost all of the Chines stuff at this time are Original unfired and stored military surplus made in the mid to late 60’s. I  highly recommend these as they are very accurate and they have a coated receiver that helps reduce rusting from corrosive ammo all the serial numbers and parts match, there machined receivers and  all of these firearms have chrome lined barrels.

The Last SKS style I see is the Yugoslavian version.  It is very similar to the Russian versions but it has the spigot type grenade launcher and fold down grenade sight.  They are neat looking but the grenade launcher isn’t very useful as it is not possible to get the grenades so it just adds weight.  They also come with the standard Knife style bayonet.

When buying your SKS I tell everyone to do this first.  Look to see if it has a silver ring on the inside of the muzzle as this shows if it is chrome lined.  If it is black chances are it is not.  There is nothing wrong accuracy wise with the non-chrome but it is easier on the barrel when using corrosive ammo. Also look down the barrel with a light; you are looking for pitting, rusting and non-sharpe lands and grooves.  The next thing to do is pull the gas tube off.  What you want to make sure is that there is no pitting and the Gas Piston inside is snug and not sloppy.  You are also looking for rust as I have had a couple Russian re-mans come in with holes rusted right through the Gas tube and these were both on “just bought” military surplus rifles.  The owners came in saying it would not eject the rounds and this is what the problem was.  Next if you can pull the whole SKS out of the Stock the reason why you want to do this is some of the surplus stocks have sever dry rot and you do not notice it much on the outside but on the inside it is obvious.  If you plan on replacing the stock with a Tapco, ATI, Archangel etc. the stock probably won’t mean much, but use this as a tactic to buy the SKS at a better price.  The last thing to look at is the bolt itself.  Make sure the Firing Pin isn’t Jammed forward and make sure there is no excessive wear or rust.

When you get your newly purchased SKS home you must clean the cosmoline (Gun Grease) out of it before firing.  That basically means you must strip the gun completely down especially the Chines versions.  I strip all the metal parts and I first rub them down with a rag and take all visible cosmoline off of the parts then I run the parts under hot water with a little dish soap.  I then rub the parts down with a dry rage and then heat my oven to its lowest setting and put the parts in for 10 minutes to dry.  After this I use G96 Gun Cleaner/Lubricator on the Gun.  You can use any Gun Lubrication such as Rem Oil or CLP etc. but I like the G96.  Insure that you tear the bolt assembly with the firing pin totally apart including pulling out the firing pin.  The firing pin is held in with a pin just use a punch and hammer to knock it out.  You must clean the firing Pin hole out because grease in there can harden and cause your gun to max (Go fully Auto) with no control or worse slam fire.  These firing pins have no springs so there is no resistance to hold the pin back.  You can buy spring kits but as long as you clean, lubricate and take care of your firearm  I have found that the spring kits are not necessary.  The easy way to tell if the firing pin is clean is by holding the bolt near your ear and shaking it you should hear the firing pin moving back and forth easily with no delay.  You can also grab the end of the firing pin and it should move easily.  If it doesn’t move freely take apart the bolt and clean and lubricate again.

With the stock I use Window Cleaner and a rag to get the grease off.  Do not put this in the oven or under the tap with water as most of the stocks are not finished in the inside. I do not recommend using any solvent based cleaner especially on the stocks as I found they do not work as nice and it can damage wood or plastic parts I have seen this first hand.  As well I have seen firearms that had chemical solvents that were not fully cleaned out and the damage created from this can be bad especially on finishes on moving parts.

I have come across varying degrees of accuracy of these rifles but to be honest I have found the best accuracy with the Chines type 56.  I have sighted in all kinds and these seem to be the most consistant.  When sighting in please use good quality ammo as the Army Surplus can have spoiler rounds and the accuracy of some is excellent and of other kinds can be very poor.  I would recommend maybe buying some American Eagle as it is always very consistent, if that is not available Sellier and Bellot I have found works very well or even if you can find it the Hornady is very good.  I am not a big fan of the open sights but they seem to be fairly adequate up to 100 yards after that the front sight seems to be too big and makes shooting tuff.  I personally would scope every one. (Just my opinion) as they make great scope mounts for these so you can still use the open sights.

When you are finished firing these firearms I highly recommend cleaning them and if you use corrosive ammo you must clean them or they end up at my place where I get to fix them.  I use the hot water and soap method but you can also use glass cleaner. If you are in an extremely humid climate or extremely rainy I always recommend on all guns to use good old 10W30 Motor Oil on the outside of your firearms metal parts.

I will not get into accessories in this article and if anyone wants me to do a write up on the accessories or have any more questions then please leave them in the comments and I will answer them the best I can.  Thank you

Prizes for this round (ends Jan 13 2015 ) in our non fiction writing contest include… Please send your articles now!

  1. First place winner will receive –  A case of Yoder’s Bacon courtesy of MRE Depot, a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a Survive2Thrive Organic Food Storage bucket courtesy of LPC Survival.
  2. Second place winner will receive –  A gift a gift certificate for $150 off of  Winchester Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner Ammo.
  3. Third Place winner will receive –  A copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ and “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat” courtesy of and copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of

Glock 42 .380

Jerry goes over the brand new Glock 42, Glock’s smallest pistol yet, and runs it through its courses with a close and long range test (up to 110 yards), reliability with different ammo, and how it stacks up against what else is on the market!

Basic Knife Throwing (Russian Army Style)

Lever Guns for Survival and Defense?

Lever Action Rifles for Survival

What do you think?