Tuesday, July 17, 2018

AR/ Glock/ AK Field Repair Kits

My goal is to have a fairy small (paperback book sized) that could live in a ruck or range bag. The desired endstate is to be able to fix most likely problems that will occur in the field. It would be for 1x rifle and 1x pistol. I am going to do this for The AR and Glock primarily but also the AK. Lists follow:

Complete bolt
All small parts that go on BCG (firing pin, firing pin retaining pin, etc)
Hammer spring
Pin that holds trigger/ hammer in

Complete striker assembly
Trigger spring
Guide rod
Glock punch

Complete bolt
Hammer spring

If someone has input that is welcome. In particular if someone has thoughts on a comparable kit for a 1911 that would be cool. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

RE: Maybe I Haven't Been Clear by Aesop

Our friend Aesop wrote an interesting post. I read it and came to a very different conclusion than I believe he was getting at. I was reminded about something our friend Commander Zero said long ago. What is the very first rule of surviving a disaster?

Don't Be There!

Some disasters, particularly hurricanes, are fairly predictable inside 2-3 days. Lots of riots have a lead up time. If a disaster is coming go somewhere else.

There are pros and cons to living in different areas. However once you factor in that the two supposed survivalist havens are overdue for massive events, volcanic and seismic respectively, the intellectually honest are a but easier going on folks living in other areas. Also the inland PNW has real fire issues. What I am getting at is that wherever you live something could happen that makes it untenable.

Inevitably someone will say "Don't be a refugee" or "I've seen 'The Road'".

First of all dial the drama down. By far the realistic threats that face us are localized or regional. Stop worrying about some doomer porn scenario. Driving the family hauler to a Best Western 2 towns over is the realistic situation for most of these 'refugees'. Second even in a full on unlikely situation obviously one does not choose to become a refugee because it sounds like fun. One chooses to become a refugee because it seems like what's at home is even less fun.

Natural disasters are self explanatory. If a huge armed mob is killing everyone who looks like you and they are one town over you should pack quickly then drive in the opposite direction. Unless you have terminal cancer and want the mob to kill you in a blaze of glory the answer is to leave. Personally I would rather lose my stuff then shoot some guys who don't matter anyway, have them shoot me, and then terrible things happen to my family.

The point is that if things get bad you take your .45 and wad of cash then go somewhere else. Somewhere less disastery. People have some fantasy of bug out camping or escape and evasion or whatever. In reality a cheap motel room 250 miles the other direction of the disaster is usually the answer.

It is good to have supplies and plans and all that. Many situations are solved by just staying home. However if nuclear aids meteors are scheduled to land on your house in a day you should spend most of that day getting away from your house. Having plans to bring some survival gear, guns in case things get sporting, etc is important. However the most important part of that survival kit will be the visa that buys the motel room and pizza. Being honest your bug out bag could be a suitcase or a Rubbermaid tote. Discussion of whether the rifle that will sit in the corner by your bed should be an AKM or AR is fun, we all like guns, but probably not the most important thing to focus on.

The point here is that we should, with reason, try to avoid being in areas where we will face disasters. When faced by disasters vote with your legs and get the heck out. To paraphrase Tamra "Don't be there, so you don't have to do that."

Most of the time the answer is to stay home, except when it is not. When it is time to leave better to go a week early than try to go a day late.

Friday, July 13, 2018

RE: Kim Du Toits Eucalyptus Now

Kim Du Toit linked to a post some guy wrote on SHTF rifles where he compared an AR, AK, 30-30 and .308 bolt gun in a series of not necessarily deeply thought out but overall fine tests. Honestly to this as well as the tests the guy did I am fairly ambivalent. Not ambivalent because I dislike their ideas or them, actually the opposite, but ambivalent because there is inherent subjectivity in all of our decisions. For a rifle designed to use against two legged threats a sane person will choose some form of semi automatic magazine fed rifle. The AR-15 or AKM pattern rifles are the most prevalent and affordable examples in the modern US. Both have pros and cons but they are far closer than the silly arguing folks would ever admit. Honesty just get the one you prefer, either one should serve you fine. The discussion got interesting.

Kim's preference for the AKM is mentioned and I find no reason to argue against his thinking. He also mentioned that he couldn't imagine a scenario where he carried more than 2x 20 round magazines. [I'm not sure if he was counting the one in the gun or meant a loaded gun and 2x20r reloads.] This got me thinking about load outs. My civilian set up is as follows:

Pistol belt with 2x 30rd AR mags and 1x glock mag. Also a medical kit. This sits near my bed and the AR. While not exactly readily concealable (it has a Safariland holster for a Glock with a light on it) this set up is fairly low profile. Also it is light enough I could reasonably see myself wearing it for prolonged periods of time. I have a hard time seeing a situation where Ryan the boring civilian needs more than that. Still I do have a chest rig which has 4x AR mags, 1x Glock mag and some other stuff on it that could be added. More likely I could see using one or the other, not both, but the capability is there. If people want I can do photos and talk about these set ups down the road.

Anyway if we are being even semi realistic and looking at actual events that happen not some Red Dawn fantasy stuff I think 3 mags is going to be plenty. Honestly probably 2.5 more mags than I need but hey, things happen. For me 3 total mags is a balance between having enough ammo and avoiding unnecessary weight which I am very unlikely to need. In the very unlikely event I am legitimately going to need to carry more ammo than that I'll likely see it coming and certainly have the 20 minutes to dig around in the basement, pull out a 7-8 mag chest rig from work and load mags for it. YMMV.

Also the comments section inevitably had someone say a rifle had no role in an SHTF situation because you would be shot or arrested for carrying it around. While not wrong this is a pretty narrow issue. Things would have to break pretty bad for folks to be walking around town with long guns all the time. If walking around is a concern I would have a plan to conceal my rifle. An SBR or AK with a folding stock in an el cheapo lawn chair bag strapped to a backpack is fairly discrete.

At the same time long guns, and I would submit (profile/ image aside) military pattern rifles are king here, can definitely have a role in some realistic situations. From Roof Koreans to the good ole You Loot We Shoot Boys a bunch of dudes watching their homes/ businesses with long guns definitely says "pick someone else" to bad guys.


Thursday, July 12, 2018

.22 Handgun Utility and Use

The guy who asked "What are you going to use it for?" about a .22 handgun hit on a serous and legitimate point.

.22 handguns have a few clear cut uses and some narrow, niche ones.

Clear Cut:

-Recreation and plinking. They are fun.

-Hunting. People use them to shoot small animals. Also a .22 handgun compliments the big game rifle a lot of sportsmen carry afield well. A .22 on your hip for potting a squirrel or finishing off an animal has a lot of value, arguably more than a larger handgun, when carried with a rifle.

-Training. Less than it used to be but cheaper ammo means more rounds downrange for your $$$. Also low recoil/ noise means they are good for using to teach kids and new shooters.


-Self defense. Against small predators, snakes, etc yes. Against people I don't buy into this (at least for pistols, rifles are a longer discussion) and consider it more of a secondary benefit. To me it is kind of like if someone tries to kick my ass while a shovel is handy I'm going to hit them with the shovel.

-E&E/ Survival. A .22 pistol as emergency way to take small game and if forced to fight someone. This is typically a revolver or long barreled semi auto. If people are a concern (some cool guy movie thing vs say a sportsmen) it would have a long barreled semi auto with a silencer.

- Silenced assassination gun. These guns have been used by some organizations in the past and probably are still being used for this today.

What do I see myself using a .22 handgun for?

-E&E/ survival. A little .22 in a ruck (or a kit/ cache) with a hundred rounds would be a lot of small game and save on ammo for my primary guns.

-Training. That would make sense though I would want as close to my primary handgun as possible, or actually just a conversion kit. However since the price difference between .22lr and 9mm has narrowed from 3 or 4 to one to more like 2/1 I'm not so sure it would be worth the hassle. As to training other people that could have use but I don't do that too much, certainly not enough to buy guns for it.

-Recreation. I put this last because I have been mostly shooting other guns in recent years. I shifted that way when I got to an economic place where I could shoot more centerfire ammo and doubled down when .22 disappeared (yeah I had some but it was not allocated for training/ plinking) and just never went back.

What am I looking at/ thinking about?
-One of the clones guns like the M&P .22, Sig Mosquito, etc complete with a threaded barrel. Their smaller size would suit my needs better than the Buckmark did. Pro: fairly affordable, drop in parts, could suppress it. Con: logistical train, mags, etc.
-S&W 317 kit gun 3". Pro: probably the perfect back up woods/ survival type .22 handgun, proven track record, easy logistically, could be legitimately concealed (more of an 'I've been in the woods and need to run into a gas station than dedicated CCW), good loaner gun. Con: Cost in the mid $600 range, can't suppress, harder to change parts, also a do everything gun which will by default not do anything perfectly. I would have to wait to save money to fund it but this could be a buy once cry once thing.


Also follow on question: does anyone have personal experience with the current production Heritage Arms series of .22 revolvers? They are cheap but I wonder if they work reasonably.

Simplifying Guns: Browning Buckmark Sold

I sold my Browning Buckmark. Hadn’t shot it in years. Also as I try to simplify guns that take magazines which I don’t really need to be mag fed are facing the chopping block.

The Buckmark will eventually get replaced with a .22 revolver. In the short term I think those resources will go to a second Ruger 10/22. I need to do some research there and really narrow down what I want the gun to do. Probably a Ruger of some sort though the S&W offerings are also tempting. What .22 revolvers do you own? What are your thoughts on them?

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Real World Travel Emergencies

Today’s reminder that common stuff happens a lot more than uncommon stuff. As our friends at Guerilla America say “the more extreme a prediction the less likely it is to come true.”

We got stuck in limbo in an airport. Solution, smart phone and Visa card to the rescue. Not a bug out bag, EDC pistol or pocket survival kit needed.

The point is that we need to put as much, if not more, energy into preparing for these events as we do unlikely ones. 

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Quote of the Day- Pat Mac on Open Carry

“Don’t be an open carry douchebag, you are more of a liability than you are an asset.”
-Pat Macnamera on open carry

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Spare Parts Kits

My goal is to ultimately build 2 spare parts kits.

-BOB/ Range bag kit. Fairly small sized like paperbacked book ish.

-Bug Out (heavy). Say shoe box sized.

I want to focus on them in order. First will be the BOB/ Range bag kit. I could probably do it out of stuff I already have but I want to generally increase my spare parts stocks so I will buy stuff for the kits.

The BOB/ Range kit will be rifle/ pistol. Rifle is AR or just maybe AK and Glock 9mm.

I have some ideas on what I plan to do in terms of spare parts but am curious about your thoughts.

Do you have a kit like this and if so what spare parts are in it?

Thanks in advance


Thoughts on Insurgencies Catch Up

Thursday, June 28, 2018

A nightmare for parents, and a sobering lesson by Bayou Rennaisance Man

Our friend the west Texas late medieval guy wrote a post about a home invasion where the goblins abused the families 7 year old kid in order to get some leverage on them. Nasty stuff.

This brings up some key points. I believe we have discussed them previously but it is worth rehashing. So here we go. Home invasions are fast and violent. They are essentially a raid (a deliberate attack with a planned withdrawal) conducted by bad guys. Bad guys want to take stuff and or hurt people. We could break things down into prevention which happens to the left of boom and survival which is on the right side of boom.


-Avoid behaviors that are going to make people want to invade your home/ business. In general order bad guys are usually looking for larger than normal amounts of drugs, money, jewelry or guns. People knowing you have lots of expensive stuff at your home or business is bad.

-Drugs are worth mentioning again. The relationship between the drug industry and home invasions is at a minimum a strong correlation, if not actual causation. Drugs are high value items as well as a cash business. Drugs are bought as well as sold by shady people. Seriously stay away from (and I'm not talking about personal quantities of weed here) drugs and drug people.

-Live in a decent area. Its mean to say and I don't mean to pick at people who don't have much money but it is true. For a lot of reasons there are more home invasions in bad neighborhoods than good.

-Put some energy into making yourself a hard target. Your place doesn't have to be invulnerable, just make it more of a hassle than it is worth. The old saying that you don't have to be faster than the bear, just faster than your friends. Translated if you have basically the same stuff as your neighbors but you have a 6' chain link fence that stays locked, a reinforced security door, lights and a couple of big dogs while they all have open yards and yapper dogs the bad guys will probably not pick you.

-Hardening structures buys you time. Preventing someone from entering your home is going to be expensive and difficult. Making it so a door takes 3-4 kicks instead of 1 is doable on a pretty modest budget. Those few extra seconds might let you say point a gun at the door with 911 on speaker.


-Have a gun immediately accessible. I'm talking on you or within arms reach. If you have kids that pretty much means on you. Getting to the safe, opening it and grabbing your gun isn't realistic. You aren't making it to the safe in a home invasion.

In this context I care a lot less what the gun is than that you have one. A Ruger LCP with a clip grip on your sweats in the kitchen when someone boots the door is a lot more useful than a .45 in the nightstand. Obviously more gun has benefits but the key is carrying it consistently.

-Massad Ayoob said "In a lifetime among cops since, I’ve noted that investigators who piece together the aftermaths of home invasion murders tend to keep their guns on all the time after that, even when off duty in their own house, and keep them by the bed when they go to sleep. They have learned from the helplessly-murdered dead"

-Getting a 911 call out if at all possible is important. Unless things get loud and you live in a place where people are close enough (and willing) to call the cops the only way you are getting help is if the cops know you are in trouble.

-Consider having a bigger gun reasonably accessible that you can fight to. A shotgun or rifle you can get to in a hurry is a good option. Sometimes a home owner has a couple seconds to run to the closet. If possible I would like to put a few rounds from my pistola downrange then have a more shootable, more powerful weapon. The choice is yours here but a semi automatic mag fed rifle is hard to beat.

-Hardening a room in the house as a safe room is a good idea.

Anyway if you stay out of shady drug shit, don't make yourself a target by people knowing you have a lot of cash around and carry a gun at home (none of which cost anything) your ability to avoid and or survive a home invasion are going to go way up.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Weekend Free Form: Uncertain Goods, AK vs AR mental masturbation, etc

What is more free form than doing Friday free form on Sunday?

Commander Zero did an excellent post on 'uncertain goods.' I have called them bannable goods but the same idea applies. Between floss and uranium there is sort of a continuum of how likely to become unavailable an item is. Military pattern rifles, 10+ round magazines, body armor, night vision, IR lasers, etc all come to mind.

There has to be balance here. It is a good idea to prioritize uncertain goods but to what degree? I would say to prioritize these things but not to the extent to which other things are being shorted.

The real question is what else would the money be spent on. Buying say a dozen magazines standard capacity rifle magazines before 4x pair of jeans which will take the deep NIC sleep would be prudent. The odds I can buy 4 pair of jeans in a month, year, 5 years are pretty darn high. Where we could get into trouble is if we were to go too deep into that thinking to the extent that there wasn't balance. You are more likely to need say food or a savings account than a big ole box of P mags. I would get to at least a reasonable place with basic stuff before going too heavy into the lifetime supply of uncertain goods. Like a lot of things in life balance is the key, equally important and not readily quantifiable.

AK vs AR
In my recent post Starting a Firearms Battery Over I said if I was doing it all over again I would buy 2 AKMs and be done with fighting rifles. I also said "If you said AR I wouldn't argue. Honestly get whichever of the two you prefer." However we inevitably got into that discussion.

Honestly there are ups and downs to both. For people who argued that AR/ 5.56 stuff is much more available I am not so sure. There are a lot of AKMs floating around and even more 7.62x39. The reason I say that is it was so cheap for so long and is still fairly cheap. So an average guy who has an AK/ SKS is probably more likely to have more ammo than an average guy with an AR. Also fundamentally planning on getting resupplied with gun stuff during a major long term disaster is probably unrealistic.

For a local/ regional event you aren't going to be shooting much, if at all. Even folks in the craziest regional events like the Roof Koreans in the LA riots or folks in Hurricane Katrina weren't getting in a ton of crazy movie gun fights shooting all over the place. A pretty standard load out of 3x15 rd pistol mags and 7x 30 rd rifle mags would be plenty. For a dreaded unlikely major survivalist fantasy event I have a hard time seeing people trading ammo much. First it would be really useful, second there would be risk involved and third it would be quite expensive. So what you have is probably what you are going to have.

Then why use common weapons? If the ammo/ mags/ parts are all you are going to have a 6.5 Grendel Bullpup (the oddest gun I could come up with on the fly) is just fine, right?

To me the biggest reason for using very common guns is that they are common for a reason. They work and serve their purpose well. For fighting type weapons I heavily favor ones with a deep and successful military background. Politics of the military weapons procurement process (Seriously the M14 should never have existed.) aside weapons that have been tested extensively in tough conditions are desirable. I am a big fan of letting people do the hard work for me and military testing and use does that.

The second reason would be getting supplies, parts, ammo and accessories, etc today. If I broke a bolt for an AR/ AK a new one could be here in a few days. Can you say that about our 6.5 bullpup or a piston driven 300 blackout pseudo AR? The same could be said for a potential grey/ black market situation where maybe you were trying to buy something from buddies. In general I think this plan would work a lot better for ammo/ mags then parts. The vast majority of people do not even consider stocking spare parts. Spare parts are relegated to serious shooters, gunsmiths and survivalists.

Honestly pick the common gun you want, get some spare parts, a lot of magazines and a bunch of ammo. AK or AR, Glock 9mm vs 1911 vs Sig 320. Whatever, just pick one.


Thursday, June 21, 2018

Sponsored Post: Which One is better? The Folding Pocket Knives or the Fixed Blade Knives?

 The following is a sponsored post.
Which One is better? The Folding Pocket Knives or the Fixed Blade Knives?

Whether you go on outdoor adventures or are associated with covert ops, you will need a trusty knife! It might be your saviour in adverse situations! You can carry a sword, sounds royal right? Well, it could be a possibility for an outdoor adventure, but not a covert operation. For the later, nothing bigger than a knife is plausible.
Why not consider using a pocket knife? Many have their reservations about using this cute little foldable knife, but do not let the looks fool you! If, you have them from a reputed dealer or seller, then you could have a potent life saviour in your hands, or rather pockets.
Look at stores that have high quality knives for sale. They will definitely have a huge collection of these foldable knives that are easy to carry in the pockets as well, hence the name pocket knives of course!
Why Consider Using a Pocket Knife?

Now, many may feel that a pocket knife is weak, and cannot help you in adverse situations; but you need to look at the benefits as well. Before, we even start weighing out the foldable knife’s applications against those of the fixed blade; you need to see yourself the fine perks that you stand to gain with a foldable knife.

Here are just some of them:
o   The folding knives are completely discrete. You can easily hide them in the pocket! It is perfect for moments that need tactical planning.
o   The fact that knives are small and discrete, in case your enemy is not a wild animal and an actual person, is an advantage. They will never be able to see your knife, giving you the upper hand.
o   A high-quality pocket foldable knife is as good as a fixed blade knife. In UK, pocket knife stores that are reputed and reliable will be able to provide you with a huge number of choices.
Have you understood the perks of a good folding knife and a good one is no less than a fixed blade? If not, then let’s see a comparison between the two!
Which One Suits Your Purpose: Fixed Blade Knives or Pocket Folding Knives?
Now, you need to understand that a fixed blade is a great knife, but in certain situations a folding pocket knife can be more advantageous. So, let’s chalk out the applications and features to understand which is better for you:
o   Fixed Blade Knives:
  1. The knives cannot be folded, so to protect the blade, you need to have a sheath. The sheath is crucial to maintaining the sharpness for the knife’s blade.
  2. These knives come in a variety of sizes and shapes.
  3. The design makes the knives sturdy and durable, which lends them the ability to handle all kinds of tough tasks.
  4. It is a popular option as a survival knife, especially the ones with a full tang and a sharp tip.
  5. Just remember, however small the fixed blade knife maybe, it cannot be concealed discreetly in your pocket, so it is not a good option for tactical operations or everyday life.
o   Pocket Folding Knives:
  1. It is one of the most popular options as an everyday knife.
  2. It can be easily handled with one hand, as its locking mechanism makes it easy to open, but closing is a bit difficult with a single hand.
  3. The small size makes it easy to carry the knife hidden in your pocket, providing you a tactical advantage.
  4. The handles are designed ergonomically for better handling. Make sure you find a reputed store for your pocket knife in UK.
  5. If, you are a novice, then a folding knife can be dangerous, because, mishandling can have the knife snap out on your hand when you reach for it.
Now, that you have seen all the features and characteristics, you must understand that both kinds of knives have its own set of applications. Each works well in certain situations, but none is better than the other, in general. So, it is advisable to have both on your outdoor adventures.


Today we will talk about goals. Goals have been a big part of my life recently. Some good stuff has been getting done. I have also learned a few things.

Why set goals? Good stuff almost never happens by accident. A good event might happen by accident but things that take some level of effort over time don’t. The inertia of life is such that unless you make intentional choices you will keep doing the same things and getting the same results. That is fine if you are where you want to be. It isn’t so fine if you want things to change.

Focus- I have found that I can focus on a fairly small number of significant goals at once. Two seems doable and 3 is probably pushing it. Four would definitely be too many.

What makes a significant goal? Something that you can routinely do in terms of time/ effort/ money in a normal month without making significant changes could be considered routine. Routine stuff is important but often that stuff is on auto pilot. Save X% of this paycheck, make your IRA contribution, etc. Stuff bigger than that which requires changing your use of time/ effort/ money falls into the category of significant goals.

Admittedly this part is sort of being formed in my head but focusing on 1-2 significant goals makes sense.

What makes a good goal.


Specific- Get prepared would not be specific. Add 90 days of routine household items would be specific.

Measurable- How can you tell if the goal is met or not? Get fit would not be a good goal. Lose 15 pounds or get my 10K road march under 100 minutes with a 40lb load would be measurable goals.

Achievable- I am a mid 30’s average height white guy. I am not going to be an NBA star.

Relevant- The goal has to relate to the desired end state.


Measures of Performance (MOP) measure something you do. An example of a MOP would be “Go to the gym 3x a week and work out for 30 minutes.”

Measures of Effectiveness (MOE) measure the result of what you do. “Add 25% to core lifts” or “Lose 15 LBs” would good measures of effectiveness.

Discussion: I almost always favor MOEs. If you go to a gym you will see (at the risk of generalizing) a chubby girl moving slowly on a glider playing on her phone and some guy doing 135 on bench press. They have been doing the same thing for a year. She wants to lose weight and he wants to get stronger/ bigger. They are, if there is any plan at all, using a bad MOP.

The one place I do like MOPs is when you are trying to build a habit. Going to the gym (doing dry fire/ etc) to get into the habit of doing that thing is important. Also often with the beginning of a goal you might not have a baseline to really make a good MOE. So the habit of going to the gym will help you get an idea of your capabilities which will let you set more effectiveness based goals down the road.

If we really want to be specific you might have measures of performance to support the actual goal which is a measure of effectiveness. Example “ I want to lose 20 pounds this year and to do that I will consume 2,000 calories of real food a day, minus one cheat meal a week, and work out 4x a week for 30 minutes.” The two MOPs (diet and exercise) support the MOE of losing the weight.

Time- This is pretty simple. When do you plan to achieve the goal by? Breaking it down into sub goals lets you set a path to success. If the goal is to save $1,200 in a year that would be a hundred bucks a month. So to meet the yearly goal you have to put back $100 a month or $50 per bi weekly pay period.

 Various Afterthoughts:

Consider how one goal might affect other goals or be limited by other things.

Example- I wanted to save money and also to cash flow grad school. These goals were mutually opposing. I could do one but not both. I ended up putting saving on the back burner and cash flowing school. Now that school is done I am back to saving.

Putting it all together. We have a plan for our life. The previous SWOT article is a way of doing that. Figuring out goals that support the plan is a logical step towards making the plan happen.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Starting a Firearms Battery Over

We can use a good cliché gun porn post. Thankfully no tragedies have happened but it makes for an interesting train of thought. Say the guns I currently have were ALL lost in a boating accident/ fire/ etc. Anyway for the discussion I would find myself starting over with the knowledge I have today and in todays market.

Core guns:
-Glock 26
-Glock 19 (Both with the same sights and modifications, if any.)
-AKM x 2 (If you said AR I wouldn't argue. Honestly get whichever of the two you prefer.)
-Remington 870 12 gauge with long and short barrels. Light attached to short barrel.
-Savage .308, probably the Hog Hunter model, with a mid size variable power scope.

Nice to have:
-Marlin model 60 .22
-Some sort of tiny pistol.

If I wanted to make caches down the road I would use these same models of guns.

Basically the big differences would be that I would keep things really simple. Also there wouldn't be a log of churning stuff. I would minimize the use of magazines in non tactical weapons (When does a speed reload for a .22 squirrel gun/ plinker ever matter?).

I would take advantage of high value weapons. I would use the money I saved not building uber expensive AR's and put it into a good scope for the Savage as well as lots of mags, spare parts and ammo. Also by keeping things simple and affordable it would let me rather quickly check the 'guns' box and put energy as well as money into other areas.

If you were doing it all over again what would you get and why?

How does this differ from what you have now and why?

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Accuracy Standards- Rifles

Thinking in groups of people can kind of move in cycles. This is true in meat space social networks as well as internet ones. Internet ones are different because we tend to be reading things instead of having conversations. So while Bob, Jim and Jill might have a conversation here Harry, Sally and Frank can hear the same thing the next day. Anyway.....

The American Partisan folks and I seem to be thinking a lot alike lately. American Partisan wrote a good post on practical carbine accuracy. Their points about practical field shooting being different from a nice day on the range with a rest being different are totally valid but that isn't where I am going.

I am reminded of the old construction saying that there is fast, good and cheap but you only get to pick two. (So you can have fast and good but it won't be cheap, or cheap and good but it won't be fast, etc) In this context we would have accurate, reliable and affordable. Admittedly that is an over simplification. With rifles we also have the variable of weight but then we are getting pretty far down into the weeds with concept of use and such.

The important question at hand is how much accuracy do we need. I suppose we would have to categorize rifles into a couple concepts of use. Categories need to be defined.

Fighting rifle. A magazine fed semi automatic rifle used for personal combat. Ranges will vary but in a non military context 3-50 meters are most common with occasional shots closer to 100m.

(Seriously cases where a civilian or cop is shooting past100m or so are at best rare. Off hand I can not think of any though admittedly I haven't proactively looked. If you know of any please shoot me breakdowns of the stories.)

Precision rifle. Scoped rifle used for shooting at longer distances or situations where a high degree of accuracy is needed. Call it a sniper rifle or a hunting rifle, whatever.

Accuracy Standards:

Fighting rifle- 4 MOA

Precision rifle- 2 MOA


Fighting rifle- 4 MOA. Why 4 MOA? That is a solid head shot at 100 meters. At 300 meters its a 12 inch circle which is a very good chest shot. At 600 meters it is a 24 inch circle which probably puts the round in someone's torso.

4 MOA is also, if I recall, the contract standard for the Colt M4 rifles we carry at work. Someone probably did the same kind of thinking I did in the previous paragraph.

I would argue that a 4 MOA rifle will do anything you can reasonably expect out of a fighting rifle.

Pretty much any serviceable rifle will shoot this. If an AR can't shoot 4 MOA something is wrong with it. (though typically AR issues manifest themselves more in reliability than accuracy). Most AK's can shoot under 4 MOA. Every AK I have personally fired can meet or exceed this.

Precision rifle: What just 2 MOA? That is a shot on a partially concealed head at 100 meters or a full head at 200. That keeps you in good torso shots (12" is a pretty vital circle when centered on the sternum) out to 600. Honestly unless you are a legitimate military sniper or some sort of championship high power guy an honest 2 MOA rifle will out shoot you.

Reliability- For fighting weapons reliability is obviously important. Nothing is absolute and mechanical devices sometimes fail. However if your gun is failing regularly then you need to address the issue.

In firearms (at least in the modern era, I can't speak to before that) there is traditionally an inverse relationship between reliability and accuracy. To make a gun more reliable you increase clearances between parts to allow for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up/ etc. Bigger clearances mean movement between parts which ultimately means less predictability in where the bullet goes AKA wider shot group. Think about say an AKM. On the other hand especially with precision machining capabilities now available it is easy to make for really tight clearances which means less movement and more accuracy. However the gun is less reliable because those tight spaces between parts offer little room for dirt/ sand/ carbon build up.

1911's are a good case for this. A mil spec 1911, even a new one, has some play between parts, that in part makes them reasonably reliable. I probably make fun of 1911's sometimes but a Colt or Springfield will work fine if you have reasonable expectations. Even those shot out WWII guns will typically run. However accuracy is nothing to write home about. On the other hand a target model 1911will be a lot more accurate. The modern ability to make parts accurate to a tiny fraction of an inch allows this. However the same super tight build that makes the gun accurate means it is a lot less reliable. This brings us back to the good fast and cheap. You can have accurate, reliable and affordable but you only get to pick 2. A $700 1911 can be accurate or reliable. Now a $3,000 super fancy boutique production Ed Brown/ Nighthawk/ Wilson Combat will be accurate and reliable but cheap is out the window.

It is easy to exceed both of these numbers. Finding standard production AR's that shoot 2 MOA is easy. These days really accurate bolt action rifles are out there also. There is a pretty good chance that the Hunters Special Rem/ Sav/ Moss package with a scope on sale at Wally World is a 1 MOA rifle. There are a lot of reliable options at a variety of different price points.

The point I am striving for here is that the odds are high whatever guns you have are accurate enough so quit worrying about that. Put the time/ energy/ money into worrying if the meatsack behind the gun can do its part.


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