• Comments (40)

    • 6

      Thank you for this information. I have never owned a gun and have only ever fired a paintball gun – once. And I was pretty awful at it. I am currently thinking that I would never ever want a gun in my house, but I would like to learn how to shoot. I also wanted to learn more about guns after reading all the news, opinions, and rants from both sides after the latest school shooting. You are true to your word and stayed out of the political/emotional firestorm. I learned quite a bit in this one quick read. Thank you.

      • 3

        Very glad you found it helpful. I’m itching to improve this article, especially in light of recent events, but not enough time in the day yet 🙁

        What additional info would you like to see added?

        I applaud you for wanting to better understand firearms, even though you may never own one.

        In order for things like political conversations to be productive, everyone needs to be speaking the same language and referencing the same correct facts. For example, too many in the media refer to “automatic assault weapons” when they simply aren’t.

      • 5

        Agree. Now I know that ‘assault rifle’ is an emotional term, yet I still hear it used even by some gun owners ?!

        I am trying to understand what sort of middle ground would work. I guess that is the million dollar question!

        Gun regulation/control proponents talk about making the process to purchase guns the same across all states – like licensing, background checks, yearly renewals, etc. It sounds logical, but I wonder what the down sides are – HIPPA laws regarding one’s mental health being marked in some national data base? State rights vs Fed rights? How much ‘infringement’ is OK? Are gun rights proponents OK with current infringements on gun ownership? Background checks, the ban of automatic weapons? Are we already in the middle ground and any further move leaves the middle now?

        What about insuring guns, like we do with cars and homes? Any gun used to illegally kill someone, the owner’s insurance company pays for funeral costs. Then insurance companies would have a vested interest in background checks and keeping those data bases current.

        Yet, the 2nd Amendment states ‘no infringement’ – we certainly do not follow that right now – and I am glad of it. I would not want fully automatic weapons in the hands of citizens. Yet, how has Congress justified this infringement but not other infringements?

      • 5

        You might be interested in this article. It explains why things like background checks are constitutional but other things are not. http://thehill.com/opinion/…

      • 4

        That article gets a lot of things wrong.  For one, it’s individually bearable military grade weapons that are well suited for resisting invasion or oppression that are exactly the weapons the 2nd covers and conveys an individual right to keep and bear.  That’s things like automatic rifles with large clips, etc.

        To get to the truth of the situation you have to go back to a time before the 2nd was controversial to get the actual right that it conveyed.  The following analysis from Cooley gets it mostly right even though there are some things that he didn’t get into.  For instance, most people don’t know that the 2nd amendment was only put into the bill of rights to keep from establishing a preference for a particular religion.  The right to keep and bear military weapons came to us from the English Bill of Rights but it was only technically applied to protestants.  That would have been grandfathered into US law had it not been addressed specifically by the 2nd amendment.  The founders did not want to establish a preference for the protestant religions.  Most people don’t realize that the 1st clause of the 2nd amendment was a guarantee to the states that they could keep their militias and doesn’t modify or restrict the 2nd clause in any way.  The southern states weren’t going to ratify the constitution unless they were guaranteed they could keep their militias to protect the institution of slavery.

        “Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cooley was the leading constitutional commentator of the late 1800s; he wrote a treatise entitled A Treatise on Constitutional Limitations (1868), which he then revised many times over the next three decades, and an abridgment entitled Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

        What follows is Cooley’s analysis of the 2nd amendment.

        “The Constitution. — By the Second Amendment to the Constitution it is declared that “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.

        The Right is General. — It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrolment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than the mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in doing so the laws of public order.

        Standing Army. — A further purpose of this amendment is, to preclude any necessity or reasonable excuse for keeping up a standing army. A standing army is condemned by the traditions and sentiments of the people, as being as dangerous to the liberties of the people as the general preparation of the people for the defence of their institutions with arms is preservative of them.

        What Arms may be kept. — The arms intended by the Constitution are such as are suitable for the general defence of the community against invasion or oppression, and the secret carrying of those suited merely to deadly individual encounters may be prohibited.”

         

      • 3

        – “Agree. Now I know that ‘assault rifle’ is an emotional term, yet I still hear it used even by some gun owners ?!”

        That’s because the author’s claim that…

        ““Assault Rifle” is not a clearly defined term and is more of a marketing or political label.”

        …is patently false. He seems to be confusing the term “assault rifle” with “assault weapon”, with the latter being the actual ill-defined “marketing or political label”. The term “assault rifle” is actually fairly well-defined, and is based on the distinguishing characteristics of the rifle that gave us that term….the WWII German “Sturmgewehr 44” (literally translated into English as “Storm Rifle”, with “Storm” being used in the sense of “storming”…or assaulting….an enemy position, hence “assault rifle”). The characteristics of an assault rifle are:

        – Has fire-control selectability between semi-auto and full-auto/burst modes.
        – Uses an intermediate-power cartridge.
        – Uses a detachable box magazine as the ammunition-feeding source.
        – Has an effective range of >= 300 meters.

        So, no…not an undefined term at all. The absence of the first characteristic (select-fire capability) is why AR-15s and other civilian-legal rifles are not “assault rifles”, and why gun-control advocates apply the meaningless term “assault weapon” to it.

      • 6

        Please keep in mind that this is a total beginners guide. I understand the details about select fire etc (a family member is even an NFA / Class 3 FFL), but in this context the broad public hears and uses “assault weapon” and “assault rifle” interchangeably, especially with the misconception that AR-15 stands for Assault Rifle.

        I have made some changes to the wording to be more precise without complicating it for a beginner audience.

      • 8

        I think you did a great job on this. The firearm community is very warm and welcoming but not always forgiving of new writers. If you are looking to build your knowledge base I would be happy to recommend some sources to you. I like your honest style and I’d like to see you succeed.

      • 3

        in Re:  “Yet, how has Congress justified this infringement but not other infringements?”

        There is a lot of information that would go into answering that question.  But, to be brutally honest, it has never been justified.  It’s simply been done.  I did a lot of research on the 2nd amendment nearly 50 years ago when I was researching the morality of nuclear weapons.

        The 2nd Amendment needs either to be modified or repealed because there aren’t many regulatory schemes (above and beyond not allowing felons to possess) that are consistent with the 2nd.

        One of the most honest assessments of the 2nd amendment was one undertaken in the 1800’s before the 2nd became a source of such controversy and passionate disagreement.  Here’s the way it was analyzed then by the leading constitutional scholar of the century.

        “Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Cooley was the leading constitutional commentator of the late 1800s; he wrote a treatise entitled A Treatise on Constitutional Limitations (1868), which he then revised many times over the next three decades, and an abridgment entitled Principles of Constitutional Law (1898)

        What follows is Cooley’s analysis of the 2nd amendment.

        “The Constitution. — By the Second Amendment to the Constitution it is declared that “a well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

        The amendment, like most other provisions in the Constitution, has a history. It was adopted with some modification and enlargement from the English Bill of Rights of 1688, where it stood as a protest against arbitrary action of the overturned dynasty in disarming the people, and as a pledge of the new rulers that this tyrannical action should cease. The right declared was meant to be a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers, and as a necessary and efficient means of regaining rights when temporarily overturned by usurpation.

        The Right is General. — It may be supposed from the phraseology of this provision that the right to keep and bear arms was only guaranteed to the militia; but this would be an interpretation not warranted by the intent. The militia, as has been elsewhere explained, consists of those persons who, under the law, are liable to the performance of military duty, and are officered and enrolled for service when called upon. But the law may make provision for the enrolment of all who are fit to perform military duty, or of a small number only, or it may wholly omit to make any provision at all; and if the right were limited to those enrolled, the purpose of this guaranty might be defeated altogether by the action or neglect to act of the government it was meant to hold in check. The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms, and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose. But this enables the government to have a well regulated militia; for to bear arms implies something more than the mere keeping; it implies the learning to handle and use them in a way that makes those who keep them ready for their efficient use; in other words, it implies the right to meet for voluntary discipline in arms, observing in doing so the laws of public order.

        Standing Army. — A further purpose of this amendment is, to preclude any necessity or reasonable excuse for keeping up a standing army. A standing army is condemned by the traditions and sentiments of the people, as being as dangerous to the liberties of the people as the general preparation of the people for the defence of their institutions with arms is preservative of them.

        What Arms may be kept. — The arms intended by the Constitution are such as are suitable for the general defence of the community against invasion or oppression, and the secret carrying of those suited merely to deadly individual encounters may be prohibited.”

      • 10

        I think you’d do a valuable service to everyone if you would explain what “high-velocity” ammunition is and how it differs from “whatever you would call non-high-velocity” ammunition. I have read some articles about the incredible damage that is done to the human body with high-velocity ammunition and I think that in order to have rational calm discussion about ammunition, we all need to know more. In my interaction with reasonable gun owners, this seems to be an area where there is much common ground.

      • 5

        Thanks for the feedback Jill! Will add it to the list for the next update.

        It’s a little bit of a false contrast though, or difficult to draw conclusions from. Differences in velocity are mostly due to the difference in round types. A pistol bullet might go 700-1,000 feet per second, whereas a rifle bullet will go 2,700-3,200 fps, simply because of their intended designs.

        A rifle round needs to move quickly to stay stable and travel further, like if you’re hunting game 600 meters away.

        There could even be a counterargument that a faster round is “safer” because it could go straight through with a “clean” wound channel. Whereas a slower bullet will tumble around inside a body, causing more havoc.

        There’s been some advancements in lower velocity rifle ammunition, though. For example, I have a home defense rifle that intentionally shoots slower bullets at 1,000 fps (almost 70% slower than normal) so that if I ever needed to use it, there’s less risk of it piercing through my walls and hurting a neighbor. At that slow speed it’s only effective in open air to about 150 meters, and would tumble/fall after one layer of drywall.

      • 4

        Jill, the term ‘high velocity’ is relative like so many others in the firearm industry. If you can give an example with context I may be able to answer your questions or point you to someone smarter than myself.
        Otherwise, a mostly accurate rule of thumb is that speed rules. Even lightweight projectiles can deliver massive amounts of energy with enough velocity. Calibers, cartridges, projectiles and powder are all specifically designed to acheive a particular job. How much energy do you want / need at what distance? Should the projectile penetrate deeply through heavy muscle and bone against large game, should it disrupt violently and immediately to expend all of its energy on small bodied game or a mix so that it penetrates to the vitals of a two legged attacker without passing through him and endangering innocent people.
        You may be interested in this book ‘Understanding Firearm Ballistics, by Robert A. Rinker’

      • 5

        Velocity is not everything, when it comes to stopping power or damage. Velocity will generally give you flat trajectory and better accuracy at long range, but will not necessarily better stooping power.  Good example is the constant argument about 5.56 Nato (AR-15) and 7.62×39 (AK 47).  the 5.56 generally has higher velocity, but because of its lower mass, can not deliver penetration power like the 7.62×39 at longer distances, nor can transfer its energy as efficiently as 7.62×39 when it hits the target.  There are enough videos on Youtube to show the differences in wounds made by the two calibers. 

        Another consideration is the tumbling ability of a bullet.  Some bullets are specifically design to tumble or start rotating when they hit a target. A prime example is the 5.45×39 , the caliber of the AK-74 family of rifles.  By having a hollow cavity in the tip of the bullet, you get a very nasty tumbling patter when a target is hit.  That is why this caliber has the nickname “Poison bullet”. 

        Finally you have to consider the type of caliber designed on purpose to be slow or “sub sonic”, such as the .300 AAC Blackout subsonic versions, or even better the Russian 9×39.  The idea here is that you have bullets with very large mass, traveling at slower speed( slow enough that it does not create sonic boom) that can be used with suppressors. By having such heavy bullets, you ensure that the bullet does not lose it energy as fast as lighter bullet, when it travels through the air, and can deliver large energy when it hits its target. That is why the 9×39 is rated to be able to penetrate Kevlar helmet at 400 meters, even if it travels so slow.

    • 8

      I have to say that this is a good, basic primer for beginners. A lot of shooters will nitpick and talk about possible / maybe and how this or that are wrong but this is a great article. Enough info to start conversations without overly technical detail. The only false bits are about shotguns. That is a weapon chock full ‘o smoke and myth and I’m sure that you’ll learn more before you do a write up on them.
      Keep the info coming and this site growing, I’ve really enjoyed the common sense approach y’all take.

      • 7

        Thanks for the kind words, and agreed that too many in the gun community (or any enthusiast community like knives, lights, etc.) are too hostile to newcomers and argue about things that don’t matter. However, what do you think is incorrect about shotguns?

      • 6

        After re reading, there only two things I would disagree with. A lot of people still believe that shotguns work like magic hallway sweepers. The pattern at 30′, which is longer than many residential hallways, may only be 5 or 6 inches so aiming is still necessary.
        The other point is about 20 gauges. The variety of ammo, especially exotics, is more limited than 12ga. but the basic variety that you need are available. They are great for smaller stature shooters that can’t get good body positioning with larger shotguns. Lastly, the 20ga. has only about 2/3 of the recoil but still delivers about 3/4 of the power of the 12ga.
        I hope this gives some food for thought.

    • 6

      I am 60 years old and expressed to my son in law (a krav maga instructor) yesterday about an interest to learn to shoot. He gave me his first lesson yesterday which was hands on with a training semi automatic pistol. Your article echoes much of what he told me. He also spent time on the parts of the gun and the names of each part…slide, chamber, magazine release, etc. I looked at your article with hopes of a diagram that I could review. He also taught me the way to hold the pistol including finger placement when loading/reloading the magazine. I was hoping for a diagram or short video of that to review.
      So those are my ideas of what I would like to see. The article is very good and perfect for me to review about calibers.
      One last question. What does “scavenging after a SHTF” mean?

      • 9

        Welcome Judy, kudos on wanting to learn more about firearms, and thanks for the suggestions. This is just a starter page — all of our guides are “work in progress” / continually updated — so we’ll update it over time with more info and visuals, including what you described. Sign up for the newsletter to receive updates: http://eepurl.com/c3wQuv

        SHTF is an acronym (for “shit hit the fan”) some people use when talking about the most serious emergency scenarios. Imagine everything grinding to a halt for a while — in this context, you might need to look for (scavenge) ammunition around you. You’re more likely to find what you need if you’re looking for the most common types, rather than something more exotic that you can usually only find by directly ordering it from the internet.

    • 6

      Good article. I would make one suggestion, I don’t think it wise to start with a 9mm pistol. Better to start with a .22, and then, after practice, move up.

      I think it is OK to start with a .223/5.56 on the rifle side, because the recoil is not significant.

      • 5

        Agreed, if a total newbie seems uncomfortable, struggles with the physical parts of shooting, or is a child, .22 is a great place to start.

      • 6

        John, how about a 56 yr old woman who last shot a shotgun  at a row of cans when she was 16yrs old? lol

        My daughter and SIL are avid pistol shooters. I was thinking of having them teach me on their 9mm but maybe I should start with a .22?

      • 2

        Hello AAG, 

        There is nothing wrong with not only starting with a .22, but keeping one for home defense. 

        I would look at the Taurus TX22. It feels like a full sized handgun, has amazing ergonomics, holds a lot of bullets, and they designed the slide to be easy to articulate. 

        Once you master the fundamentals, shooting the 9mm will be easy. 

        Hope this finds you well. Here indefinitely to answer questions.

    • 8

      If you do ever get around to updating this, I would love to learn about safe gun storage, especially in a preparedness context. I’m curious about security vs accessibility–for instance I’ve heard guns and ammunition should be stored separately, but that sounds like it would not be ideal in the event of a robbery. I’m also curious about particular recommendations for households with children.

      Thanks for the article and the site, I’m enjoying it!

      • 5

        Thanks for the input, and we’ll definitely cover those kinds of topics. I’m going through a gun safe purchase right now and am frustrated by the b.s. in the industry.

        Storing ammo separately is a tough topic because it depends on personal views (eg. “I want to absolutely minimize the chance my teenager can use these”) and local storage requirement laws (which are only getting more restrictive).

        IMHO it greatly depends on your household and children. The younger they are, the more immature/irresponsible they are, the less accustomed to / practiced they are with firearms, etc. would all affect my choices and cause me to keep things more locked down.

        Yes, there’s little to no value in having a firearm for something like a home intruder if the ammo is stored in a locked box two floors away from where you’re sleeping.

        A common middle ground is keeping one firearm that’s loaded in your bedroom inside of a quick-access box. Here’s an example: https://www.secureitgunstorage.com/product/hidden-gun-safe-model-47/

      • 2

        Only took me almost two years to say thanks, but… thanks!

    • 7

      Good beginning.  Now, include a good discussion on the application of calibers to what’s hunted.  Handgun calibers are good for defensive, close in (under 25 yards) contact for the most part.  The larger calibers (.357 Magnum to 500 S&W magnum are often chosen for hunting animals including boars, deer, and cats (mountain lion, etc)….  Beginners need to know which firearm in which caliber(s) for a given set of circumstances…

    • 4

      Thank you very much for your valuable information. I learnt a lot. A lot misconceptions have been corrected. You are always cut to the chase. I would love to learn more about rifles and pistols. Especially about caliber, ballistic theory, windage, and long guns. I really appreciate your effort in preparing such a note.

    • 9

      I believe it is critical to indoctrinate those new to firearms with the principal of how easy it is to place the trajectory of the barrel in line with people or things you have no intention of destroying or killing.  The safest way to accomplish this is the use of a dummy firearm.  These realistic looking “fake guns” have the same feel and weight as actual firearms but cannot accept ammunition and are disabled or solid steel or plastic.  Simply insert a brightly colored dowel down the barrel and secure it with tape.  The trainee is then handed the dummy gun and instructed to not allow the dowel to cross over anyone or anything they do not wish to destroy.  It will amaze you how often they “sweep” the dowel (simulating the path of a bullet) across a person or object without realizing it.  This drill can also be accomplished with the use of a laser targeting beam attached to a dummy gun.  As part of the drill, have trainees walk or move around into different rooms or environments without the dowel or beam toughing or sweeping across a fellow trainee.  This drill should be continued over several sessions before handling actual firearms.  This of course is my personal opinion (I do not consider myself a firearms expert and do not teach) and some experts may differ in their techniques.

    • 9

      I noticed in a comment that you asked for suggestions of what should be added.

      I personally think it’s critical to practice with any firearm.  So, it would be nice to see an article about how to practice.  It’s different for me, for instance, if I’m practicing with my 9MM pistol, or my .30-30 rifle or my 12 gauge shotgun.  So general information about how (and where) to practice with handguns, rifles and shotguns would be useful I think.

    • 4

      Thank you for your post and I look forward to more. With the civil unrest America is experiencing, I bought a S&W Shield to accompany the little S&W Bodyguard I conceal carry. I knew some about handguns from my Dad, a former D.C. police officer, but spent my life as a wife and mom. I realize the more I (and other pro 2nd amendment women) know, the better. God speed.

    • 3

      Not enough love given to the AK family of guns and their ammunition, nor long guns that are not AR pattern. I have never seen any discussion in here for the long term maintenance of guns, especialy if we assume that modern type of supplies run out. To keep AR-15 running you need space age lubricants, where on another hand you can keep AK working in perfect order with lard as lubricant. Also, no discussion of the over engineering of guns to ensure “accuracy” by scarifying the durability and simple maintenance. The AR-15 is prime example here too.  It is accurate, because it propels a small bullet at high speed, by using high pressure generated by the cartridge and high tolerances.  the draw back here is that it eats up the rifling on the barrel much faster compare to something like the AK.  The question then comes to this – in a situation where there would be no new parts or replacement weapons, what would I like to have – a rifle that is gone after 5000 round or one that is still working after 20000 rounds.  My grips that most of the prepping rules here apply to short duration of the emergencies, and not taking long terms implications in account. No love for example for bolt action guns, which by nature will last you way longer than any semiautomatic rifle.

      • 9

        Hello George, 

        The AK family is a decent platform, but it is hard for the average person to work on and lacks the accuracy and modularity of the AR-15 platform. 

        I have worked in the outdoor/firearms Industry for 15 years, and I am a student of both the AK and AR platforms. At one time, I also held an AR-15/M16/Mk18/M4 armorer certification.  I own three very nice AK’s, and I would take an AR-15 over an AK47 any day. 

        If an AR-15 breaks, it is easy to fix. AR-15s are essentially pieced together and can be taken apart with a wrench and common tools. Military-grade parts are plentiful, cheap, and easy to squirrel away. With the right optics, a basic AR-15 is practically a mini sniper rifle. 

        As an AR-15 armorer, I can tell you that an AR-15 can go 20,000 rounds before the barrel needs to be replaced. Bolt carrier maintenance starts around 5,000 rounds. 

        Replacing a barrel is a piece of cake. Maintaining a bolt carrier group is a piece of cake. Diagnosing problems is easy. 

        Ak barrels can last longer because the Russians/Chinese use QPQ nitriding, where the Americans still chrome line. There are AR-15 barrels that are QPQ nitrided. You can buy quality QPQ barrels for around $200. 

        I don’t care what your platform is; it will break. I have seen more AK’s break than AR’s, and when AK’s break, it’s not something that can be fixed on the bed of a truck on the range. And where is the AK technical data package? We know exactly how to build a mil-grade AR-15. We know what parts are mil-grade. When it comes to AK’s…that is not common knowledge, and there are very few legit AK builders/Armorers in the United States. 

        AR-15 longevity? Are we talking about Vietnam era M16s that were rushed into production and had to run ammo that was not designed for the weapon system? Garbage factory seconds from 20 years ago, or modern military-grade rifles available now?

        My AR-15s run fine with Mobil One automotive oil. They get a detailed cleaning once a year, though the bolt carrier group gets wiped down every few hundred rounds. I have burned through 2 AR-15 barrels in the last 16 years and can count the malfunctions on one hand. 

        The AR-15 and its derivatives are being used by special operations units all over the world. Even the top Russian Special forces units are using HK417s, which is an AR-15/AR-10 derivative. 

        When it comes to modern prepping and self-defense, I am going to be leveraging technology like optics, lights, night vision technology. The Ak does not easily lend itself to this technology, plus in a bug-out scenario, I can carry a lot of 5.56 when compared to 7.62×39. However, you could carry a lot of AK-74/5.45×39 ammo. 

        Hope this finds you well Sir. Love this subject.

      • 3

        Hi Thomas

        You are coming from a point of view where all the stores and manifacture3s still exist.  Your idea of fixing something is to take a part that is broken and replace it with a new part.  In a situation where there are no more stores and no complex manufactures, where are you going to get your new parts from? You have to constantly clean the bolt group on and AR-15, which is not the case for AK.  When you are in a situation where you can not get new stuff anymore, and the stuff you have, needs to last as long as possible the AR-15 is not a good choice.  Nor is it a good choice for society collapse situation where you need to relay on the simple industrial base available. If the gas tube of AR-15 breaks and you do not have replacement, can you fix it in any way?  I can guarantee you that I can weld a broken gas rote on Ak with no problems and it will still works.

      • 7

        Hi George, 

        In my kit, I have enough spare parts to rebuild my rifle several times. My bug out locations have firearms, and generations of parts for those firearms. When it comes to the AR-15 I can run it with lard, and I can rebuild a gun in 5 minutes. I worry about running out of ammo, before I worry about replacing parts on my AR-15. 

        Cleaning? There has been documented cases of mil-grade AR-15’s going 14,000+ rounds with zero cleaning, just minor lubrication. If an AR-15 needs to be cleaned every few hundred rounds and cannot cycle a magazine without malfunctions, the gun is broken or not built to spec. 

        Welding requires power. Re-building an AR-15 just requires a wrench and vise. 

        I like the AK but I don’t care for the weight and lack of accuracy. The general prepper does not have your knowledge when it comes to an AK. The general prepper does not have a welder. The general prepper does not have access to a machine shop. The general prepper does not recognize trunnion issues. The general prepper does not know how to fix crooked sights. Like I said, I have re-built an entire AR-15 on the bed of a truck in 20 minutes. You cannot do that with an AK. I can rebuild an AR-15 in the dark wearing a night vision monocular. 

        If an AK works for you, rock on! The general prepper population is better off with an AR-15. 

      • 6

        And when your parts run out, what can you do?  In your Bug out you may have parts for one rifle, but what will you leave for your children in the infrastructure does not come back? On the topic of amo, how long do you thing, you will be able to get smock less powder to be able to feed your AR-15?  Without proper infrastructure and economy, you will not be able to produce it.  No chemical industry and proper supply chain, no smock less powder.  You will have to use black powder, as it is lo tech and can be produce in your yard. Try running your AR-15 with black powder….  Ak could handle it.

        Your preparation is very short term.  If you need to be that prepared, there will be no short term comeback to civilization. Technology vise we will go at least 100 years back if not more.

        And then, there are the statement about weight and accuracy – AK 74 weight the same as most AR-15, the amo is the same weight, has more stopping power and is as accurate or if not even better. AK47 will stop a charging maniak way better than AR-15.  The most you can hunt with AR-15 is a coyote, or a small pig.  Try stopping actually dangerous charging animal with AR-15.

        And then some tech stuff – welding requires power , but generating electrical power for a simple welding is a generally low level technology.  You can create portable dynamo run on basic water well with some coper cables and metal parts by hand. Producing replacement parts for your AR-15, so you can use only a wrench as you did say, requires a much higher level of technology, which would not be available in disaster scenario.  Your general prepper will end up with broken platform in a year or two if they stick to AR-15.  If they have AK, they will be able to leave it to their kids, and the kids will still be using it, because it will last forever. In a prepper based scenario, you can not relay on tools that required extremely high level of technology to still be functional.

      • 5

        I’m not sure what AKs you’ve been holding that weigh as much as an AR-15 but they definitely aren’t the same ones I’ve handled lol. As for accuracy? Not even close. Top of the line AKs do well to be sub 2 MOA. A regular AK is more like 3 or 4. Most decent AR barrels shoot 1 MOA or less. Even my PSA beater rifle shoots around 1.5 MOA

        As for the whole charging animal thing, a 5.56 AR can kill deer, yotes, and hogs easily with correct shot placement, which is what matters more than caliber, and yes I’ve killed all 3 of those with a 5.56 AR. The low recoil of an AR allows you to stack rounds in a small area, like the vitals of said charging area. A well trained AR shooter can put 3 rounds in the A zone at 10yds in under 1 second. If you’re really worried about larger game then you can get another upper in a larger caliber, like 6.8 or .458 if you need to kill a Rhino. Thats part of the beauty of the AR platform too, I can have one lower but have 3 different uppers that are each for a specific purpose. I can switch from a home defense SBR to a hunting rifle in about 30 seconds.  Can’t do that with an AK. 

        I’m not sure what it will take to make you realize that modern ARs don’t have to be dripping with oil to run but Google “Filthy 14” if you have some time. That and check out the guys at Battlefield Las Vegas. Like Thomas said you can carry the few parts you need to replace in the AR itself, a new bolt and firing  pin will fit right in the grip, and can be swapped out in 2 minutes or less.

        You obviously have your mind made up on the AK so just rock on with that, they’re a lot of fun and I’ve got my eye on the new PSA AK-74 if they ever come back in stock, but I definitely gotta side with Thomas on this one, the AR is the ideal weapon for the vast majority of preppers.

      • 6

        The data points that Battlefield Las Vegas puts out are invaluable. A lot of sacred cows got slaughtered when those guys started sharing their maintenance schedules. 

    • 7

      I think it’s a great and amazing article. This world is getting crazy more people need to learn how to defend themselves. What if one day you have a intruder Break in your home or friends house. One option is you call the cops and wait for the cops to deal with it before it’s too late or you take action. See I’m a visual learner somebody show me step-by-step how to handle a weapon and show you what to do or not to do. Check out this guy’s website online from him to gives you more in depth training.https://bit.ly/3gNiaSs

      • 8

        I am glad that you enjoyed the article. Are you new to guns and are thinking about getting one?

        I know that training, and even better, defensive training can really help you feel confident and be able to safely protect yourself and your family.

        Is that training course your own website? 

    • 2

      I watched a video testing out popular CLPs for firearms and two products stood out as the best. I will be buying one of these next time I need a cleaner, lubricant, and protectant (CLP) to prolong the life of my gun.

      BreakFree CLP

      Clenzoil CLP