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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Survival Firearms: Is enough ever enough?

Firearms play an important role in the scope of survivalism. There is no doubt that having a firearm for self-protection and hunting is a prerequisite. But it shouldn’t be the over-laying factor when it comes to survival planning.
Everyone seems to have an opinion as to what is the best weapon, as well as the number of weapons the survival armory should contain. The problem is; “can you ever have enough weapons?”
If I were to make a list of all the guns that I want; the list would be huge, and I would certainly run out of storage areas to keep them all. So I’ve had to narrow my desires to a few well chosen guns that I can rely upon. That doesn’t mean I won’t ever add additional guns to the pile, just that at some point I had to wake-up and make some serious decisions to what is practical.
Ruger Mini-14 .223 cal:This fine little rifle serves well for plinking, hunting, and protection. It’s very lightweight compared to other rifles like it; and they can be purchased for less then $500.00 just about everywhere.The downside is that magazines for this rifle are getting hard to find, or the costs are through the roof.
Mossberg #500 12-Gauge Tactical Shotgun:No decent survivalist would be caught dead without a tactical shotgun. The variety of rounds make this a decent all-around weapon choice for the survivalist.
Ruger #1022 .22 cal: This is a nifty little rifle that takes down small game with relative ease. Ammunition is still pretty cheap these days. My children “cut their teeth” on this rifle, and has provided many fond memories throughout those special times that we shared on the range.
Mosin-Naggant 7.62x54R: This old and proven battle rifle has earned its place in my survival armory. Sometimes referred to as a “Russian .308”; the Mosin is a decent all around survival rifle. I keep mine strapped to my ATV, and have taken it out on several hunting trips as a backup rifle. You can abuse this rifle, and it will function without flaw. Its design makes it a hardy rifle that can be used for almost every survival situation. Back in the early 1980’s I bought my first Mosin for a whopping $59.00. These days expect to pay a little more than $120.00 for the same rifle. Ammunition is plentiful, but I have watched the prices creep ever upwards. Surplus Armor Piercing ammunition is becoming increasingly more difficult to find out there.
Ruger #77 .338 Winchester Magnum: Another main-stay firearm that has proven its worth. The .338 caliber bullet is widely used here in Alaska for hunting and predator control. I recently had the barrel cut down to 24 inches to make it more maneuverable out in the bush country.
Remington #870 12-Gauge: What can I say about the fabled Remington 870? This shotgun is favored by law enforcement and hunters alike. It’s a little heavier than other shotguns, but reliability is the real factor when it comes to a Remington shotgun.
I have friends whose survival armory contain enough guns to equip a small army. I laugh when I think about how much they spend on ammunition. The prices for ammo is going through the roof these days. I think it will continue to creep upwards throughout the next year, because more and more people are stocking up their ammo locker. The increased demand for ammunition has driven the prices sky-high. For me—that means it’s time to learn how to re-load my own ammunition.
For years I’ve been teaching other people tactical survival skills. Firearms is the one subject that I spend considerable time on. It’s important to understand that a real survivalist cannot carry every gun that is needed, nor enough ammunition to ward of the Zombies during the apocalypse. The fact is that our frail bodies can only carry so much weight on our backs. Humping around three guns and a few thousand round of ammo—is pure fantasy. It comes down to choosing a decent all around survival gun; and then learning to shoot with it like it’s an extension of your body.
Choose one long-gun, and one handgun—then spend a lot of time at the range getting comfortable with the characteristics of each weapon. Shooting at night, when it’s raining, when it’s freezing outside, and while running—are some of the methods of learning your guns. It’s one thing to shoot at paper targets; but it’s a whole different creature when the targets are shooting back.

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Taurus “Raging Bull” .454-Casull Magnum Review


Now THIS is a ear-banging hard-hitting handgun that will knock down refrigerators, and leave you pumping the trigger for more of the same!

Earlier this summer I was doing some exploring out in the bush country. It was a beautiful afternoon, the air was cool but not chilly, and I was glad to be away from all of the hustle-bustle of life in the big city of Anchorage Alaska.

Tromping through the Alaska jungle is one of my favorite past-times. It gives me a sense of peace, and I think that it also allows me to explore those primal urges and feelings that my ancestors have endowed me with; the love of the outdoors, and the sense of adventure that comes with living in Alaska.

One this particular day I had just stepped out of the tree line, and taken about forty steps onto the prevalent muskeg that is so common around the Talkeetna mountains. With the muck squishing underneath my boots, and my eyes picking out a trail across the muddy waters; I didn’t see the very large grizzly bear and her four cubs at first. What got my attention was her movement on two feet. She was standing up and having a hard look right at me.

I froze; reaching for my trusty 44-Magnum handgun, I wondered if the six shots would be enough to take out four attacking bears, and wondering how fast the bear could get to me. There was no place for me to go—I was out in the open, and exposed.

Luckily for me the bear decided that I probably wouldn’t taste good—either that or the “laser-beam-signal” that I was consciously sending to her warned her away. I’m not sure what happened, but she huffed and took her kids back into the woods.


Later that day as I replayed that event in my mind, I came to the conclusion that a .44-Magnum just didn’t have the knock-down power that I wanted. I’d been slobbering over a .454-Casull Magnum for a few months; and the next weekend I made it mine.


This gun feels right when held in my hands. The balance is correct, and the rubber grip fits comfortably. It’s a little heavier than what I am used to, but for the huge caliber that rockets out of the barrel—it’s what I expect from a large caliber handgun like this.


As you can see from the picture above; the .454-Casull Magnum is a large cartridge. There are other bigger handgun cartridges out there, but for these purposes the cartridge is sufficient for what I require it to do—Protection!




Ballistics Source

What is astounding about the .45-Casull, is the tremendous knock-down power that this bullet has downrange.

Look at the table above—a 400 Grain bullet whizzes down-range at 1400 Feet per Second, and slams into the target at 1741 foot pounds of energy. That’s close enough for me and the reason that I made the handgun mine.

The next time that I am faced with a bear encounter; perhaps the potency of this cartridge will bring an added element to the situation. I hope that it never arrives to that point; but as a survivalist; it’s always a good idea to plan ahead.


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Map picture