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Magpul has made a name for themselves in rifle accessories. The quality of their ACS-L (Adaptable Carbine Stock – Light) buttstock is up to par with what I’ve come to expect from Magpul. This polymer AR stock is a slimmed version of Magpul’s ACS (Adaptabale Carbine/Storage) stock that retains the latched storage compartment, but removes the battery tubes of the larger stock, which reduces the width of the stock from 2.

Magpul ACS-L: High Utility, Low Profile

Magpul ACS-L: High Utility, Low ProfileMagpul has made a name for themselves in rifle accessories. The quality of their ACS-L (Adaptable Carbine Stock – Light) buttstock is up to par with what I’ve come to expect from Magpul. This polymer AR stock is a slimmed version of Magpul’s ACS (Adaptabale Carbine/Storage) stock that retains the latched storage compartment, but removes the battery tubes of the larger stock, which reduces the width of the stock from 2.58in (ACS) to 2.17in (ACS-L), and also reduces the weight from .88lbs to .78lbs. The ACS-L is a slightly more streamlined ACS. Images courtesy of magpul.com The ACS-L’s sloping cheek weld and rubber butt-pad (stock pad is .30in, but Magpul also sells .55in and .70in butt-pads for additional perceived recoil reduction). The ACS-L’s design seems to have heavy use in mind. It features a shrouded adjustment lever (less prone to accidental release) as well as a friction lock for additional stock stability. With a MSRP of $100, it is surprisingly durable. I’ve primarily used the ACS-L on my Daniel Defense/LMT AR-15. It was an easy installation. Simply depress the release lever, which releases the friction lock. Then, slide on to the buffer tube until it stops. Lastly, while keeping the release lever depressed, grab the release pin from both sides and pull it downward. This will allow you to slide the stock the rest of the way on to the buffer tube. These three components are all you need to pop the ACS-L on or off your rifle’s buffer tube. Image courtesy of magpul.com In use on my carbine (outdoor range shooting as well as self defense training), I’ve found the ACS-L easily accommodates my length of pull as well as other longer-armed (male) shooters. The wide comb allows for a comfortable cheek weld for right or left handed operation. The stock features an integral sling mount, and a mount for the attachment of a quick detach sling (swivel mount not included). (At present, I use a VTAC sling attached to the integral sling mount). The storage compartment (which opens on the right side of the stock) latches with a chrome-silicon lock spring (for durability) and currently stores my sight adjustment tool (and its battery), an allen wrench, and laser sighting tool with space for more. For the (relatively) low cost of the ACS-L, you get a sturdy stock that provides a balance between the functionality of a storage-capable stock and the maneuverability of a slim profile stock. The combination makes for an affordable stock of high utility and low profile that’s hard to beat – literally.

PSA 10.5 Pistol Kit Review: An AR Pistol Build on a Budget

PSA 10.5 Pistol Kit Review: An AR Pistol Build on a Budget

Why an AR Pistol? Why not? In all seriousness, it’s because of the NFA. For those of you who don’t know, any rifle under 26 inches overall length, or with a barrel under 16 inches, needs an accepted ATF form 1 to make your shawty legal. If you assemble a rifle less than 26” overall or less than a 16-inch barrel you have committed a felony and if caught you will lose your gun rights. With an AR pistol, you can more or less get around those NFA laws courtesy of the Obama administration. It’s like the only good thing the ATF ever did. Aside from that, the pros to having a pistol vs a Short Barreled Rifle are great. With a pistol and the ability to legally concealed carry for instance… You can have your AR pistol loaded in the car, (local CCW laws permitting) which is great for trunk guns. You can also take it across state lines without having to ask permission from the government! That is huge for me because I live on the border of Oregon and Washington, I live in Washington and drive 30 minutes to shoot in Oregon. If I had to file NFA paperwork with the government every time I wanted to shoot, I would be put on a watch list. Pistols just make sense. There’s something about shortys that just look good. Why did I choose PSA? I chose PSA for my AR pistol build because it’s what I could afford. (Editor: We just featured an article on the affordability of PSA! Hatas gonna hate.) Everyone is tight on money and that’s where PSA comes in. They offer a high-VALUE product… they’re inexpensive but great quality. PSA focuses its products at the everyday person, they to be a manufacturer that anyone can afford and still get a good firearm. The owner of PSA also wants to get as many rifles in the hands of American people as possible because he hates gun laws. He hates gun laws so much that he wants there to be SO MANY rifles in circulation that if any sort of gun law makes it through, there will be enough of his rifles in circulation that the gun law will have no effect. I support that 110%!! That’s about as American of a company as there is! As an avid gun lover and business man, he soon noticed that there did not seem to be a customer friendly company available for the everyday gun enthusiast. -PSA About US I can’t stress this enough; the quality of PSA products, their baseline freedom series, is more than good enough for most any shooter. It serves as a great starting point for a rifle. It gives you the ability to shoot an AR15 and learn what works for you and what doesn’t. As you discover what you need, you then upgrade it. It might not be perfect, and it won’t be as smooth as a $1500 BCM or Daniel Defense rifle, but they’re not trying to be those guys. They want their rifles to be reliable, so they’re over gassed a little. They want them to be accurate enough, and they are accurate, but they’re not match grade accurate. While these rifles leave plenty of room for improvement, they let the shooter decide what needs upgrading. Specification Overview The PSA Pistol kit that I got is a 10.5 inch, 1:7 twist, nitrided barrel. Their website does not say whether or not it is a 4150 CMV barrel or something else. It has M4 feed ramps. It came with an “F” marked front sight base that was pinned to the barrel. It took me a few hours, with the wrong tools none the less, to remove the damn thing to put a free-float handguard on it. I have faith it wouldn’t budge for anything if I kept it on. And the standard drop-in handguard it came with had a metal heat shield. The upper is a 7075 T6 forged upper. The PSA Pistol in its natural Northwest habitat My build: The 10.5 inch upper was ordered stripped and mated to some components I had handy. I already had an aero precision lower, and I bought a PSA sba3 pistol lower kit to complete the build. The lower kit came with everything I need to complete my build on the lower. The upper did not come with a BCG and charging handle which I was okay with. I planned on changing that anyway, I decided to go with a Toolcraft black nitride bolt carrier group and a Radian Raptor LT charging handle. So far I have invested $550 for everything I just said and a Midwest Industries 9.5” free float MLOK handguard. Changing the handguard out, specifically the front sight to put on the free float handguard, was a PAIN!! Torture Testing: Throughout this whole review and the time I have had this rifle, I have not gone easy on it. I have not dragged it behind a car or thrown it from a building, but I have treated it like crap. It just gets tossed around in the back of trucks, bouncing against different farm equipment and different guns. When I walk somewhere with it and get to where I’m going I just toss it on the ground. My expectations for guns and optics are just that it goes bang, and holds zero. I expect everything to work after getting dropped, after being leaned against something and tipping over. It needs to be able to be thrown around, beat against something, and not cleaned, and still go bang and hit what I am aiming at every single time, which this rifle and optic combo does very well. My only concern is the gas block now. If it were the stock A2 sight that was pinned, this rifle would be bomb proof. I wanted it free floated so I had to take the A2 off and put on a low profile gas block. The gas block does have two set screws that are just being held by friction to the barrel because there are no dimples. I have not had a problem yet with it though and if I do, it’s my fault, not PSA’s. Round count estimate 500-650. 10/10 would highly recommend the PSA based on its reliability. Accuracy After sighting it in I managed a good 3 shot group (not counting the flyer) at 50 yards with my MRO. My index finger covered the group. After sighting it in I immediately went to 200 yards and it was boring. It was hard to miss for me from prone. That is plenty acceptable for me from a 10.5” barrel. 200 yards with boring consistency? Needless to say, this barrel is plenty accurate with the Hornady Frontier M193 loading. Outside of the tape was a previous shot, the four-shot group was my final sight-in group at 50 yards! I would also like to take a minute to talk about the Hornady Frontier ammo. Their Frontier line of ammo is being manufactured at the Lake City plant where American Eagle used to be manufactured. Hornady won the contract from the Lake City plant. What that means is that the Frontier brand is using Hornady bullets, cases and primers, with the amazing consistency and mass production the Lake City plant offers. The Frontier M193 loading is made at the same place as where the military gets its M193 ammo (editor: mostly the air force, I had to look that one up!). Hornady manufactures 55gr ammo up to 75gr. I highly recommend looking into the Hornady Frontier ammo. I have had amazing luck with it and it’s quite accurate for being cheap plinking ammo! An ammo review will be coming eventually. Fit and finish The fit and finish of the kit are good. The black anodizing matches up perfectly with my Aero precision lower… and is very close to the color of the Midwest industries handguard I put on it. The fit of the PSA upper to my Aero precision lower is very tight and precise. There is no wobble, and I would say the fit is perfect for being two different companies. The Palmetto State Armory Lower Parts Kit went together perfectly with the Aero Precision lower. This was one of the nicest parts kits to put in an AR that I have used. If you need an LPK, I cannot recommend PSA enough, especially for the price. I also highly recommend the polished trigger as that’s also a very good high-value trigger in my opinion. It’s very smooth and heavy, I wish they would offer a lighter spring! Consistent ejection pattern at 3 o’clock! The small pile on the right was just the rifle breaking in. The PSA Enhanced Trigger The enhanced PSA trigger is very nice for the price. I still think my ALG is the best value , but the PSA is more than good enough. It’s smooth, but heavy with very little creep. It’s just a straight wall and a bang, I like it. No grit, just smooth and heavy. I am in no hurry to replace it, and I wouldn’t replace it with an ALG because they feel very similar. It’s one of those things where I could get the ALG trigger and it would be better, but the price isn’t worth the minor performance boost. I will wait and if I ever have the money, I will put a Geissele trigger in it instead. The SBA3 brace Many of PSA’s pistol models are available with the SBA3. The SBA3 brace has been rock solid for me and I am enjoying it. The brace split kind of irritates me, but that’s just the way it goes (thanks pointless NFA laws.) I know you can get a “split fix” piece for your brace and I will look into getting one because I am OCD about that kind of stuff. But practically speaking, nothing has happened because of the split. The split does cause the rubber arm pieces to lean one way or another based on which side you are shouldering it on, but I have never noticed that while actually shooting. The cheek weld to the brace is perfectly fine. Nothing special, nothing wrong. It just works. Adjusting the brace was tight at first, really tight, but it has smoothed out just enough over time to be easy to adjust yet have little to no wobble. The SBA3 brace strikes me as a good product. What is going to be the purpose of this firearm? My reasoning behind this build is because I personally think AR pistols are cool. But also to be a home defense gun my wife can easily use, or even as a vehicle gun for myself if I want to. I want to do more camping and exploring this year so it would be easier to carry an AR pistol with me instead of a rifle, due to the size and laws… especially interstate travel. I also like the idea of me going places and having more than just a handgun with 15 rounds of 9mm and a few extra 15 round mags. Now I can have a 5.56 blaster with a 30 round mag and a few extras. This rifle will mainly stay home with my wife while I am at work so she has something to protect herself and our kid with. It’s lightweight enough she can easily handle it, more so than a full-size AR15. Final Thoughts: My experiences with PSA have been mostly good. The quality is great for the price, but sometimes the customer service can test your patience . They lost my gen 2 AK I had sent in for repair and sent me a new gen 3 after they lost my AK for about 3 months. However, I have the ability to do any work on my AR so I don’t worry about sending it in if something happens. With the two AR’s I have had, they have been nothing but dependable and of good quality. PSA is a very American company that wants to get guns in the hands of Americans and they fully support the 2nd amendment, so I support them. If you are wanting a good gun for a good price, it’s hard to beat PSA. I say buy with confidence, but if you should have to send your gun in for work, be patient. My AK situation was possibly a freak accident I believe, and aside from that have had ZERO bad experiences with their customer service. Share: Google Twitter Facebook Pinterest Reddit More Tumblr LinkedIn Pocket Email Print

Best Gun Safes Under $1000 Budget Based Review for 2020

Best Gun Safes Under $1000  Budget Based Review for 2020

A gun safe is a highly protective asset to safeguard your firearms and other valuables. Gun safes come in different shapes, sizes, and price ranges. For this discussion, we’ll focus on the third factor - price. This article will explain the importance of a gun safe, and whether you can find a good gun safe under $1000. You’ll also learn about the ideal qualities to look for when buying such a gun safe. To make things easy for you, we have also reviewed the best gun safes under $1000 on the market, in case you need some help with buying one. At a Glance: Our Top Picks for Gun Safes Under $1000 OUR TOP PICK: Stack-On W-40-BH-E-S 36-40 Gun with Back-Lit Electronic Lock Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection BEST BUDGET OPTION: BARSKA Large Biometric Safe Mesa Safe Company Model MBF3820E Safe with Electronic Lock Comparison of the Best "Gun Safes Under" $1000 IMAGE PRODUCT Our Top Pick Stack-On W-40-BH-E-S 36-40 Gun with Back- "Lit Electronic Lock" High-capacity gun safe with 36-40 long gun capacity 30-minute 1400 degrees fire-rated for maximum protection Tri-spoke steel handle with back-lit programmable electronic lock View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews "Steelwater Heavy Duty" 20 Long "Gun Fire Protection" 20-gun capacity with fully upholstered interior and door organizer 60-minute fire-rated at 1875 F and gear drive system for lock Programmable electronic lock with EMP proof system and backup key "View Latest Price" → "Read Customer Reviews" Best Budget Option BARSKA "Large Biometric Safe" Slim and compact rifle safe with tamper-resistant edges Easy to program biometric module with 120 fingerprints capacity and silent mode Great safe for quick and stealthy access of long guns View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Mesa "Safe Company Model" MBF3820E Safe with Electronic Lock Great safe for storing both guns and documents 2-hour fire rating allows you to store even the most valuable items and documents Programmable keypad lock and easy to move when needed View Latest PriceRead Customer Reviews Can You Find a Quality Gun Safe For Under $1000? Absolutely, yes. An iPhone may be expensive, but it's not always the best. Similarly, the price tag is not always a guarantee of quality in a gun safe. There are gun safes on the market priced exorbitantly, but they can be pick opened with a straw. There are also safes on the market which sound cheap but can withstand a grenade explosion. However, thinking in the context of a gun safe, there are certain differences between high and low-priced models. More expensive gun safes are generally larger and made from very thick steel. They are expensive because more material, time and effort are invested in manufacturing and installing them. The price of gun safes can range from as low as $100 to thousands of dollars. Cheaper gun safes also lack in several other qualities such as fire resistance, water resistance , proper lighting, modular design, and resistance to intrusion. Stack-On W-40-BH-E-S 36-40 Gun with Back-Lit Electronic Lock ( Source ) Gun safes below $1000 do offer such features, but only to a limited level. For example, they often have limited fire resistance and thickness, lesser mounting options, and pickable locks. Comprehensively, the price of your gun safe should depend upon the value of the contents you plan to store in it. If your firearms, documents, and valuables cost more than a $100,000, you should not even entertain the thought of the cheaper safe options. But for the average Joe, there are a lot of good options for gun safes under $1000, without compromising on quality and safety. What to Consider When Buying Gun Safe for Under $1000? There are certain factors you must consider before buying a gun safe. The difference in prices between safes below and above $1000 vary on certain factors and are equal on others. Take a look at some of those important factors to get a better overview: Size The first thing to consider about the gun safe is its size . You must evaluate beforehand the number and type of items you’re going to store in the safe. Plus, you must also consider your future needs. Such as, if you plan to expand your firearm collection, or you plan to buy bigger guns or any sort of collectibles. Take note of the size and the number of items you plan to store in the safe and also consider their value and importance. Thickness ​ Another important factor is the thickness of the gun safe. Commonly referred to as ‘gauge’, the thickness of a safe relates to its durability and strength. Safes on the market are available within a range of 14 (1.9mm) gauge to 0 gauges (thickest - 7.9mm) steel at a price point below $1000. More expensive gun safes tend to be thicker and provide more protection and safety. Plus, the increased thickness also imparts a heavier weight to them and makes them difficult to be moved or stolen. Locking System The locking system for gun safes in every price range are almost the same, since fingerprint scanners, combination locks, RFIDs, and dial keypads have become inexpensive and readily available these days. Although more expensive gun safes can assure you of the safety and invincibility of their locks, low-priced gun safes may sometimes lack on this. However, some safes come with multiple locks which improve their level of security. Certifications ​ You must take a note of whether the gun safe you are buying has been certified on several important parameters. The most important ones to look for are the UL rating and the DOJ approval. UL Rating Example ( Source ) The UL (Underwriters Laboratories) fire rating refers to the level of fire resistance of your safe. UL-350 stands for one hour of fire resistance, UL-500 for two hours and so on, plus certain other factors provide protection to paper, and magnetic disks. The DOJ approval refers to the Department of Justice Approval, which is also a quality indicating factor. Cheaper safes are not often fireproof or offer a lesser degree of fire resistance. Make sure to evaluate the UL factor, based upon items you plan to store. Anchoring A gun safe must have some sort of floor and/or wall mounting options. This protects your safe from tipping, as well as from being carried away by burglars. Moreover, if your safe is heavy enough not to be able to be carried away, not anchoring it down will still give intruders a chance to tip it over and use some specialized tools over it. If your safe comes with any sort of drilling options, that is also a plus. But make sure not to drill any holes by yourself at any random position, because it may impair the fire resistant qualities of the safe. Almost all gun safes offer the option of anchoring, regardless of their price. Quick Take - The Best Gun Safes Under $1000 These are our recommendations for the best safes under $1000: Stack-On W-40-BH-E-S 36-40 Gun with Back-Lit Electronic Lock Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection BARSKA Large Biometric Safe Review of the Best Gun Safes Under $1000 Based upon the aforementioned factors and considerations, we have scoured the internet to find the best gun safes under $1000 on the market, so you don’t have to endure the time and frustration of comparing and evaluating a ton of different safes out there. All of the safes reviewed here have been approved by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and represent optimum and unmatched quality. Also, all of the safes mentioned in this review are large gun safes and offer the best deal for the money. 1. Stack-On W-40-BH-E-S 36-40 Gun with Back-Lit Electronic Lock The Stack-On W-40 gun safe is a large safe with ample space in it. The safe can store a maximum of 40 guns at a time. Alternatively, you can store several full-sized guns with ammunition and other valuables. The safe is entirely carpeted on the inside and has removable shelves which can be displaced according to your convenience. The Real Tree Extra Camo designed door storage is also an added benefit, as it has pouches which can be used to store handguns, holsters, ammunition, and other relevant items. The safe also features 1½ -inch locking bolts around the door which secure it firmly, plus a three-spoke handle on the outside to easily unlock the door. The gun safe features a backlit keypad-based combination lock which can be accessed easily even in the dark. It is UL fire rated and can withstand temperatures up to 1400 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 30 minutes, which makes it appropriate for storing firearms, jewelry, and documents. The safe can be bolted down to the ground using two pre-drilled holes and runs on an alkaline battery. Buy Now Pros Fire Resistant Modular Racks Over-the-Door Storage Carpeted on the Inside Backlit Keypad and Backup Keys Large Storage Capacity(36-40 Guns) Durable Heavy-Duty Steel Construction Cons No Interior Light No Outlet for a Dehumidifier Bottom Line The Stack-On W-40 is a spacious safe with a humongous storage capacity. It has a thick construction and a safe locking mechanism, which can be accessed easily at night. The extra door storage is also a plus. The safe is also fire rated and can be anchored to the floor using two pre-drilled holes. 2. Steelwater Heavy Duty 20 Long Gun Fire Protection Steelwater has long been known to manufacture large, heavy-duty gun safe s, like this one. This safe has a maximum storage capacity of 20 long guns, which is 12-16 under normal conditions with additional items. The front door of the safe is 4¾-inches thick with two layers of fireboard. Ten 1.5-inch locking bolts secure the door in place, and a drill resistant hard plate makes it almost immune to any forced entry. The safe is carpeted on the inside and features racks which can be displaced when needed. An EMP-proof, keypad-based lock ensures that the locking mechanism cannot be bypassed by any means. Additionally, the two double-sided backup keys also ensure that you don’t get locked out of the safe. It also has a fire-resistant seal applied all around the doors, which expands in case of a fire, hence sealing the contents inside. The safe is UL rated for protection against temperatures of 1875 Fahrenheit for up to 60 minutes. It also has four pre-drilled holes and a dehumidifier hole, so you don’t have to modify it. In other words, this safe is a tank for your weapons! Buy Now Pros EMP-Proof Keypad Lock Door Organizer Included 4 Pre-Drilled Anchor Holes Strong 12-Gauge Steel Body Automatic Interior LED Lighting Drill and Pry Proof Door With Thick Lugs Fireproof. Double Layers of Fireboard Over the Entire Body Cons Difficult to Move Doesn’t Fit Exactly 20 Guns with Scopes and Mod Stocks Bottom Line The Steelwater Gun safe is a sturdy storage option for firearms, documents, and other valuables. Its door is heavy-duty and pry resistant, plus the door organizer, EMP-proof lock, and anchoring holes add to its functionality. 3. BARSKA Large Biometric Safe The Barska Large Biometric Safe is a thin, compact storage unit and is good for normal everyday use. The safe has a five deadbolt locking mechanism, which makes it very difficult to pry open. The door is secured by a fingerprint-based biometric lock, which can be programmed for up to 120 different fingerprints. The lock operates in both silent and audible modes. Plus, you always need an already verified user to change or add a fingerprint, which is an exceptional security measure. Moving to the interior, the safe can store a maximum of six long guns, along with some other handguns and ammunition comfortably. However, the manufacturer claims it can store 12 guns at max. The interior of the safe is lined with felt and has removable racks which can be adjusted for storage. The safe can be anchored down to any surface which is also an advantage, especially for a lightweight safe. Buy Now Pros Carpeted Interior Adjustable Shelves Good Value for Money Robust Locking Mechanism Pistol Tray For Keeping Handguns Cons Not Fire-Resistant Lightweight. Can be Stolen Pistol Rack Not Useful for Large Handguns Bottom Line The Barska Safe is a lightweight, compact long gun safe which can be used to store firearms and valuables. Its slim construction allows it to take up less space, which is a plus. The biometric lock is robust and secure. The only drawback is that the safe is not fire-resistant which prohibits it from being used for extreme safety. 4. Mesa Safe Company Model MBF3820E Safe with Electronic Lock This gun safe from MESA is a huge, secure container to safeguard your valuables . The safe has a 4 ½-inch thick front door secured by five lugs, which make it resistant to prying. The battery-operated electronic lock is easy to access and open. The safe itself is heavy enough not to be stolen and light enough to be moved with a dolly. It will hold most modern sporting rifles with a collapsible stock and 16" barrel. The interior of the safe is carpeted and has two shelves, which can be removed to create a single storage section. It has pre-drilled holes for easy mounting and is a two-hour, fire-rated safe. The perimeter of the door has a heat-activated seal which expands in case of a fire outbreak. Buy Now Pros 2-Hour Fire-Rated Pre- "Drilled Anchor Holes" Quick Access Keypad Lock Strong and Durable Construction Adjustable Shelves and Carpeted Interior Cons House Tested Fire Rating(No UL Rating) Bottom Line The Mesa safe is the ultimate choice for storing guns, jewelry, magnetic disks, papers, and other valuables due to its size, locking mechanism, and effective resistance to natural threats. Conclusion A gun safe doesn’t always have to be expensive. There are lower-priced models which offer spacious storage and protection against manual and natural threats. Before buying a gun safe, you must take into consideration its size, thickness, locking mechanism, certifications, and anchoring capability. Plus, you must also consider your future use, so you don’t have change and buy a new safe at regular intervals. Investing in a good gun safe will protect you and your valuables under extreme circumstances.

Top 10 Common Prepper Fails

Top 10 Common Prepper Fails

Being successful at prepping is a lot more difficult than most people think. In fact, the failure rate for fully prepared survivalists is pretty high on a deployment level. This is nothing to be ashamed about, because nobody ever said that life itself was going to be easy. Prepping effectively just adds extra stresses and budgetary restraints to everyday life survival.  For sure there is nothing new about that. However, if you elect to strike upon the path to preparing for disasters and SHTFs at any level, there are some tasks that must be accomplished to be reasonably ready for any threat.  As you begin the process, here are ten areas of concern that could very easily bog you down.  You need to know these up front to fully accept the challenge of prepping. Quick Navigation 1. Failure to Prep 2. Fail to Plan 3. Fail to Supply 4. Fail to Gear Up 5. Failure to Become Weaponized 6. Failure to Assess Threats 7. Failure to Train 8. Fail to Map a Bug Out 9. Failing to Practice 10. Failure to Secure a Bug In 1. Failure to Prep Remember Harvey , Irma, and Nate?  Nice sounding group, like people you might have over for a backyard BBQ. Except these were hurricanes that disrupted the lives of tens of thousands of residents.  Remember the clogged highways of escapees, and what happened to those unwilling to evacuate?  Some of them are dead.  Why?  Because they were ill prepared to weather a storm or have sense enough to heed the advice to leave the area. You cannot reasonably expect to withstand a storm or any SHTF unless you have prepared to do so.  That means a commitment to prepping at a most basic level.  If you sit on the fence forever, you are likely to die there.  So, if you never elect to begin the process, you are a failure to start with.  But, of course, that can be easily reversed by stepping up to the plate. 2. Fail to Plan Ok, you bit the bullet, but not all the way through.  In your mind, you wanted to start a prepping process for you and your family, but so far, nothing has happened.  Like a diet or exercise (tell me about it) following through can be the tough part just to jump off center. Prep planning is really quite simple and indeed can be a fun and challenging trial.  First, buy a basic how-to book.  Pick a basic one that would seem to cover all the basic bases.  It might take a couple volumes or more.  These works will get you to thinking about all the steps involved in prepping for a bug in or out, or other SHTF scenarios. Naturally continue to read the article posts here at SurvivalCache.com and our sister site at SHTFBlog.com . There is a wealth of common sense advice here at both the elementary and advanced levels.  Check out the sidebars, too for supplies and gear to purchase at Forge Survival Supply. Start a prepping notebook.  Build sections or folders containing ideas, plans, do-lists, gear needs, supply needs, and everything else.  This notebook should become your prepper’s owner’s manual.  Prepping is a lifelong process, so kick start that baby now. 3. Fail to Supply Many wannabe preppers I have advised simply fail to initiate the process by stocking up on all the essentials they will need to survive a SHTF.  Be it a hurricane, flood, wildfire, tornado, civil unrest, or economic collapse, it is going to take supplies of every description to withstand the downfall.  This may be for 72 hours or 72 days or more.  Who knows? Again, build your needs lists and little by little as you can afford it, start to create a survival cache of supplies to hold you over.  Go for water, food, medical, and security core supplies.  Collect them, rotate them by use, and be ready. Also Read: 8 Mistakes of Wilderness Survival 4. Fail to Gear Up Just as with the life supplies mentioned above, there will be a number of vital hardware items needed too.  This might be a chainsaw to remove downed trees or limbs after a storm in order to get down the driveway.  It might be gardening tools and supplies to plant your own food producing garden.  It could be installing and maintaining a hand pump water well in the backyard.  It could be something as simple as a couple fire extinguishers in the house or shop. You may need all kinds of mechanical tools to fix stuff.  This includes typical mechanics tools from screwdrivers to wrenches.  You may need carpentry tools to build things or repair stuff around the homestead.  You may need at least one gas powered electric generator to run drills or saws. Gearing up can be a slow process and an expensive one.  All your tool acquisitions do not have to be new ones.  Think about garage and yard sales, pawn shops, and other ways to pick up some items without having to pay retail prices.  Take small bites on this one, but keep eating away at the lists. 5. Failure to Become Weaponized Shocking to some but not others, the idea of buying guns, having guns, and using guns is not particularly comfortable, especially if you were not raised up around them.  For others, they often make the mistake of too much emphasis on guns and ammo to the neglect of other critical aspects of prepper survival. Push comes to shove you cannot eat a gun.  Unless you intend to turn rogue and take supplies from others, survival weapons are primarily intended for defense measures.  You want to be able to protect yourself and your family from external threats to your life.  This requires more than a Bible and a pitch fork.  It takes a gun. Related: Top 10 Skills for the Advanced Prepper Do some reading, ask around, visit some gun shops or gun shows, and shooting ranges.  Do a lot of research and don’t get talked into anything.  To start all you will need is a basic handgun, revolver or pistol, a good 12-gauge (or 20) shotgun, and a defensive rifle.  The later can be the last to acquire if funding is tight.  There are entire books on this subject so buy one, even my own, Basic Prepping Essentials-Weapons to start out. 6. Failure to Assess Threats This is a public awareness aspect and the initiative to stay tuned into the world around you.  This includes across the street, in the neighborhood and town where you live as well as the state.  It also means our country and the world.  Include in this regular daily monitoring of the local, regional, and national news and weather.  Know what is happening around you and you are more likely to be ready for anything. 7. Failure to Train This not only or just includes the security aspects of self-protection, but learning to do all the tasks required to survive.  For sure learn to handle, shoot and maintain your stash of firearms, but how to hunt and clean wild game.  Know how to start a fire under all kinds of circumstances.  Learn to cook over an open campfire and to set up an emergency camp. Most of us preppers fall very short in this area.  We have a lot of stuff, but can we use it all and under the stress of an emergency?  You better know.  Sign up for training programs in all sorts of areas like carpentry, auto mechanics, small engine repair, plumbing, sewing, gardening, hiking, camping, shooting, and much more.  Don’t forget first aid and medical skills training, too. 8. Fail to Map a Bug Out If a hurricane is 48 hours out from your location, do you have the faintest idea where to go?  Do you know the many viable escape routes and have you traveled them just to inspect the availability of services, and supplies along the way?  Have you identified the gas stations, hospitals, police stations, grocery stores, camping areas or hotels?  You best know, and have alternatives mapped out as well.  Then take weekend trial runs to check them out.  Are your Bug Out bags packed and ready to go at a minute’s notice? Related: Top 10 Guns for Survival 9. Failing to Practice Practice is different from training.  First you learn how to do something correctly, then you put it into use by continuing to practice the skills on a regular basis.  If you took a golfing lesson then never played golf again, what good did it do?  The same with any other skill you acquire from shooting to running a table saw, or operating a welding machine. 10. Failure to Secure a Bug In While a lot of preppers gear their planning toward an escape, which is prudent, don’t forget the Bug In option.  It may become your only option, or indeed the best one available.  For us senior preppers, a Bug In may be the only serious option, but we have to recognize the possibility that we may be forced to leave as well.  But for now, our home is our fort. A Bug In requires additional work on security and lock down measures to withstand a strong storm or an assault threat if it comes to that.  Contingencies have to be in place for water supplies to drink, cook, and for plumbing.  An auxiliary power generator may be needed.  Partnering with neighbors might be an option, too, but all that has to be worked out in advance. Also Read: 10 Tips for Concealed Carry While the thought of failure at anything is not a pleasant idea, without proper planning and initiative to supply, gear up, train and practice, it is a serious factor of reality to consider.  But, it does not have to be.  The secret is to get engaged as soon as possible and keep grinding away at your plan and readiness. Other interesting articles: Survival Cache Podcast Episode 14: Derrick of Prepper Press What Type of Survivalist Are You? 9 Common Medical Emergencies To Prep For 9 Common Spices to Stock (and 5 Uncommon)

Gun Control: The Debate about What Safety Really Means

Most of you are already familiarized with the ongoing debate on the matter of gun control, since this is a subject that has become more and more prominent over the past years. Basically, every time there’s an unfortunate attack involving the use of firearms, especially an attack carried out just for the sake of hurting other people, gun control activists speak out against guns being available to virtually everyone. While they certainly have a point and the fact that people with obvious mental problems had access to those guns made it easier for them to perpetrate those attacks, the gun control opposing groups also have a point in saying that gun ownership is a basic American right. The answer to this problem, according to the groups which oppose gun control, is to make it harder for unstable people to obtain firearms, or to make it harder to use them against unsuspecting victims, but not to regulate gun access altogether. For example, under the guise of the private-party transaction, it was very easy for individuals otherwise prohibited from owning firearms to obtain a gun from a dealer without any record of the transaction that took place. This policy loophole in the universal handgun background checks was allegedly the source of most weapons used in assaults. Since 2013 though, a number of states had passed the law for mandatory background checks and more are expected to follow. But the gun control debate is as hot as ever, especially with new shooting attacks springing up in the news and outraging everybody. Here is an overview of the ongoing debate and the most visible public speakers within it. History of Gun Control Legislation The first time a background check was required for individuals who wanted to buy weapons was in 1938, when President Roosevelt issued the National Firearms Act. Three decades later, in 1968, spurred by the assassination of JFK, the law tightened further for all would-be gun owners. It prohibited all convicted felons, drug users or individuals struggling with mental problems from acquiring a fire arm and it also rose the minimum legal age for gun ownership to 21 years. It also tightened the deal for gun shop owners as well, making them keep better records of all transactions and reducing the eligibility of business owners that can apply for gun trading licensing. In many ways, this 1968 act was the modern foundation for contemporary gun control. Subsequent legal actions and debates, to this day, revolve more and more around the tension of two opposing groups. On one hand, we have the gun control advocates, that try to reduce gun access and make gun dealers accountable for the acts of violence in which their merchandise is used, and on the other hand, we have the gun rights lobbyists, that promote smarter gun regulations to control violent acts, and not a general narrowing of access to fire arms. As recently as 2012, reports hinted that the number of gun purchases being rejected for federal denials was nearly one million . The Public Voices in the Gun Control Debate The debate around gun control is a pretty hot one, filled with suspicions and accusations being implied about both parts involved. The gun control activists are accused of being too conservative or even having a concealed interest in the lowering of citizens’ security (the next step would be of accusing them to be on a terrorist organization’s payroll), while the people advocating against gun control are often accused of only seeking a corporation’s best interest at the expense of the lives regularly lost to fire arms. Michael Bloomberg is perhaps the best known advocate for gun control, along with Sen. Diane Feinstein, Carolyn McCarthy and many others. In the opposing faction advocating for gun rights, the most prominent voices are Gary Johnson, who was a nominee in the run for President in 2012, as well as others like Mike Ross or Larry Pratt. Rumors are that President Obama is a supporter of the universal approach of the gun control factions, and the debate is surely about to get more heated as more shooting attacks outrage the public opinion. Article sources: http://smartgunlaws.org/universal-gun-background-checks-policy-summary/ http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/history-of-gun-control-legislation/2012/12/22/80c8d624-4ad3-11e2-9a42-d1ce6d0ed278_story.html http://www.nationalgunrights.org/ http://edition.cnn.com/2013/04/08/politics/senate-guns/index.html

Should You Unplug From Your Ballistic Calculator?

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d5d64a2f_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d5d64a2f_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Remember: Your ballistic calculator is designed to complement your shooting, not become a crutch. Why you shouldn't solely depend on your ballistic calculator: Data provided before shooting is unproven. Not practical to expect 1-MOA accuracy before shooting. Doesn't account for the human element — how you shoot. Blows some variables out of proportion. You need to dope your rifle to gather actual data. The need to focus more on the fundamentals of marksmanship. Every single day, I’m fielding questions regarding ballistic software. And here’s the problem: People go out to the range with software in hand and can’t quite understand why it’s not matching their setup, or they have trouble “truing” that software after the fact. The Sniper’s Hide Forum is full of people struggling with ballistic software errors. Tools of the trade on display. There are several reasons why your software might not line up correctly, but part of the problem is using the software first and not doping the rifle before exploring the ballistic calculator. When using the software before shooting, I call anything the computer spits out as “try dope,” because you’re just trying to touch the target, not much more. It’s not practical to expect 1-MOA accuracy beforehand. Remember, the manufacturer’s drop data was designed to get you on an NRA 6×6 target board — it’s up to the shooter to fine-tune that drop to hit the center. We never questioned it, and we just knew we needed to put in the effort. It’s just a starting point. My argument has always centered on the human factor. No amount of tinkering with software can account for the human element, and this has a much bigger say as to where the shot hits versus an untested solution. Simply put: It comes down to recoil management. It’s why one shooter will hit using Solution A; the next shooter needs Solution B or C. How they manage the recoil matters, and it’s why your zero and your friend’s zero are inches apart. No software out there considers you — it only finds an empty, near-perfect world. Measure the distance from the center of the bore to the center of the scope when inputting this data into your ballistic solver. The default setting of 1.5 inches is not correct. The next problem involves the promotion of “drifts.” We have a lot of new data that points to a series of drifts that can affect the placement of the shot, and the promotion of these is a relatively new phenomenon. More Long-Range Shooting Info: Buying the Perfect Precision Scope Ballistics Basics: Initial Bullet Speed The Effects Of Air Temperature On Bullet Flight Mils vs. MOA : Which Is The Best Long-Range Language? When I went to Sniper School back in 1986, we didn’t worry about spin drift — it wasn’t even mentioned — we didn’t worry about Coriolis, cross-wind jump or any of the other examples we see today. Today, there are about four drift factors that are discussed, and some people start employing a correction for them as close as 400 yards. Am I saying they don’t exist? No — but I am saying they’re blown out of proportion. I think much of it is used to take the blame away from the shooter. Here’s Why Testing Is Mandatory If we gather our dope by walking our shots out — actually shooting each yard line distance and recording the data — we include everything. All the drifts are built into that number. There’s no such thing as a “no wind day.” If you experience one, consider yourself lucky … but practically speaking, no wind doesn’t exist. If it did, Coriolis would not exist. So, under normal circumstances, we zero and dope our rifles with everything already included. Then, when we go to our “data on previous engagement,” it’s taking into account these factors. We have a lot of tools to gather information on the firing line. Do not go into information overload trying to use them all at the same time. Let’s say that, today, I’m shooting to 1,000 yards and used 7.4 mils of elevation to hit center along with 0.75 mils of wind for a 5 mph breeze, that assumes all the drifts and drop data is in there. If conditions change because of the location or atmosphere, a computer will help account for it rather than the old, outdated rules of thumb. Still, hitting the target usually happens. We see this every week in tactical rifle matches around the country. Guys travel from their home location to ranges 500 miles away — and they hit. Why do they hit? They practiced and recorded their dope. Talking to several high scoring PRS shooters, they strive to nail down their data so elevation is a given and their only question becomes wind. In known distance courses, they consider this information their “zero” data. They essentially re-zero the rifle for each yard line. Related GunDigest Articles Pushing The Limits With Extreme Long Range Shooting Competitions Mils vs. MOA: Which Is "The Best Long" -Range Language? How To: The Effect Of Gravity On A Bullet's Path Learning To Beat Drift Employing the processes above, the wind has become the most significant drift factor we have, and it will actually offset some of the other drifts. Drift influence still depends on the direction and speed, but it will cancel out or increase several of the other factors. So, it’s important to understand the wind. There’s no dispute that you need to know what’s going on with the current wind because it can control so much of how we hit the target. There are a lot of ballistic solvers on the market. Many have features common to the others. Find the one you like. This also includes elevation changes. It’s not uncommon to have a terrain feature in or around a specific yard line that causes an elevation issue, so even if everything with the computer lines up, your 700-yard dope might be off because the wind changes the flight path of your bullet at that specific location. It often has people scratching their head. Why does that one range not line up? Well, it could be the wind. Still, if we recorded our data, we know what the wind was doing, so if we doped the rifle in a 5 MPH wind, going to an 8 MPH is not like starting from zero. While they might say an 8 mph wind will move the impact 0.1 mils up or down, it’s only 3 mph we’re dealing with. We already accounted for 5 mph, so why add 8 mph on top of that? If you’re modeling the shot on a computer, I can see the importance of all this. However, it’s not the same as shooting it — not to mention that we miss out on adding our personal spin to the bullet. Poor fundamentals will not line you up with the model. All you need is your ammo and a hardcopy of your data to be successful. Let’s say you’re adding 0.2 mils of trigger hook to your shot and you want to call it spin drift — okay, but are we talking about the same thing. Why did I not use any and you’re using 0.2 mils with the exact same wind call? Fundamentals make or break a shot at longer distances. The point is, while all these factors exist, they’re not equally distributed among the shooters. We all release the shot in our own unique way. So, before you go adding all the drifts to your ballistic calculator, try doping your rifle first without any software. Develop your dope to distance and record everything, then true the software to what you shot rather than worrying about what the computer said before your first round went downrange.

Summary

Magpul has made a name for themselves in rifle accessories. The quality of their ACS-L (Adaptable Carbine Stock – Light) buttstock is up to par with what I’ve come to expect from Magpul. This polymer AR stock is a slimmed version of Magpul’s ACS (Adaptabale Carbine/Storage) stock that retains the latched storage compartment, but removes the battery tubes of the larger stock, which reduces the width of the stock from 2.