I am always on the lookout for quality firearms. I fully believe that when it comes to firearms, you generally get what you pay for. So I do not mind spending a bit more if I know that I am getting a well built, reliable firearm. And if there is a chance of getting a quality firearm on a budget, then I am certainly all in.
I have been looking for a pistol carbine for quite some time. I decided I wanted a 40 cal carbine since my pistols were 40 cal, and I have plenty of 40 cal ammo. Who doesn’t like the idea of having multiple weapons and weapons platforms that you can share ammo between?
I initially wanted to get a Beretta CX Storm. But the internal parts of that carbine are made of polymer, not metal. I have no issue with polymer framed firearms, like my Glock. But I’m a bit unsure of a firearm with polymer internal parts.
To replace those polymer parts with metal would double the price of the gun. That made it inefficient for me from a cost stand point.
I also was interested in a Kel-Tec Sub 2000 that took Glock 23 magazines. But I have yet to be able to find one. (At least one that wasn’t used AND double the MSRP.) I really want a new Gen 2 Sub 2000, but I doubt I will ever find one. 🙁
I checked other 40 cal carbines, but typically found something about them that did not appeal to me. Then one day I came across a brand new, still in the box Hi Point 40 S&W carbine. Now obviously, this gun is ugly. No, I mean UGLY! (What Hi Point isn’t?) But I had heard good things about Hi point’s overall reliability. And for the price I paid for it, (got a SMOKIN’ deal well under $300) I decided “What the hell!”
I took it home and noticed that there was going to be “some assembly required”. But not to worry. The assembly was fairly simple. I had to mount the knob for the slide release, and mount the grip handle. (I got the version with the vertical grip.) Really, this took me less than 5 minutes to complete. The carbine comes with the tool you need to put it together and to field strip it.
A few months back, I decided that I wanted to upgrade my EDC off-duty carry pistol. At the time, I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard. And while it was a decent, quality firearm, I did not like the LONG trigger pull. So I decided I wanted to make a change. Off to my favorite gun store I went.
After looking at a few, I picked up the Sig Sauer P238, and immediately fell in love. The P238 is a metal framed 1911 in miniature, (minus the grip safety), chambered in .380. It fit perfectly into my hand (with the flared 7 round mag…see picture) with an overall width of about 1’1” with a 2.7’’ barrel. As for weight, it is about 15 oz. unloaded.
The pistol comes with a 6 round magazine, but I purchased an additional 7 rounder with a flared bottom plate. (I would recommend this mag to anyone buying this firearm.)
I went to a local gun range, where I was able to rent the P238. The guy behind the counter lent me a 7 round, flared mag. From the very first trigger pull, I knew this gun was for me. The trigger was fluid and so SMOOTH, at maybe 5 lb pull.
The P238 is single action, meaning that the hammer must be cocked in the rear position. The safety is a bit strong, but that means it won’t accidentally be flipped off. There is a noticeable “click” when engaging the safety on and off. You will also notice the feel when doing so. Hence there won’t be any confusion when flipping the safety on and off. You WILL hear it and feel it!
I practiced quite a bit, drawing from a holstered position while disengaging the safety. The safety flips off easily, though flipping the safety back on takes a bit of practice as it was a little stiff at first.
Speaking of holsters, the P238 does come with a Sig hard case OWB concealment holster. I thought it was a nice touch, but ended up not using it. It rode a bit high on my waist for my liking. I also felt like I wanted a concealment holster that was a bit more secure and stable.
If you are new to prepping, or have been at it for a short time, congrats! The fact that you have the mindset to be prepared ahead of time puts you at an advantage if/when the SHTF! But I want to caution you against certain mistakes I see new and/or inexperienced preppers make. If you find yourself doing any of these, stop and reassess your preps and your priorities.
Stockpiling guns and ammo and believing you are all set
I would never downplay the important of protecting you and your loved ones in a disaster. I have many guns and plenty of ammo. But I caution people to not focus solely on that. Many people confuse their love and collection of firearms with being prepared. It is NOT the same! There are other things that are more important in my opinion.
To those who think that skill and ability with (and possession of) firearms top all other skills in an emergency (even more important than the ability to find and purify water or more important than finding/making shelter from the elements for example), then let me say this:
I have been in numerous disaster situations. I lost an apartment to a tornado a few years back. The next year I worked in Moore, Oklahoma where a tornado killed 24 people and did over $2 billion dollars’ worth of damage. I experienced an ice storm several years ago where I lost power for two days and was snowed in. My brother lost his job last year, and lived on his food storage for about 8 weeks until he found a new job.
Never once did firearms come into play. Food did. Water did. Shelter did. My family and group helping me out did. But not firearms.
Prepping isn’t just about collecting guns for long term, grid down survival. It’s about keeping you and your loved ones prepared for ALL disaster situations. Click here to read a great article on why you should NOT prep for just TEOTWAWKI.
Even if we lose the grid for an extended period of time, you will need food, water, and shelter WAY more often than you will need a gun! So balance your prepping! Spend some of that firearm money on other gear and preps!
Buying premade survival bags, gear and/or not testing them out beforehand.
First, let me say that buying a ready-made survival kit/bug out bag is better than having nothing at all. Many ready-made kits have a lot of handy and useful items that could save your life.
But in my experience, I see many people buy a pre-made bag, toss it in the closet, and not think about it again. Hence the items in the bag do NOT get tested or used before they are truly needed. Some folks may not even know what all is in their bag or how to really use it. Or they may know what’s in the bag, but not where certain gear is located.
In the middle of a disaster is NOT the time to try and figure out how to use your emergency radio. Or find out that the batteries for your flashlight don’t work. Or that your bag only has one poncho and you need 4.
Will you waste valuable time digging through your bag looking for flashlight? Sure hope it isn’t completely dark when you need that flashlight and can’t find it!
By building your own bag and acquiring the gear separately, you will know exactly what and where your gear is. You will be more inclined to test it and become familiar with it ahead of time. And you will most likely save yourself a little money.
As the popularity of the AR platform increases, so have the number of manufacturers. For those who are new to prepping or firearms, trying to find a decent quality AR on a budget can be tricky. And to those people, Smith and Wesson introduced the M&P 15 Sport model rifle.
The first things to note on this rifle is that it lacks a dust cover or a forward assist. (The dust cover is the metal plate covering your rifle’s ejection port when the rifle is not in use. See the picture below.) Smith and Wesson, in an effort to make the rifle more affordable, left these items off of the Sport model.
For the AR enthusiast, this might immediately turn them off from this gun. But realistically, unless you plan on crawling around on your belly, the dust cover really isn’t essential. As long as you store your rifle in a cool, dry place and keep it clean, you should be fine without one.
As for the forward assist, I put anywhere from 700-900 rounds through this rifle without a single hiccup. Never once did I have a “failure to feed” or a “failure to extract” problem with the Sport model.
There are mixed emotions about the need of the forward assist. Personally, I like having one, but to be honest I have never used it. Considering that I owned the Sport model and put well over 700 rounds through it without a problem, I’d say not having a forward assist was a “non-issue.”
In these uncertain times, when our fundamental gun rights are under attack, the availability of ammunition seemingly fluctuates daily. If you are like me, you tend to buy extra when the availability is normal and prices are reasonable.
Then, when some event happens that kicks off another gun scare; where ammo prices sky rocket while availability plummets, you are not one of the “panicked herd” that rushes into to scope up the last few boxes of overpriced .22 or 9mm.
By buying a box here, a “brick” there, over time, your ammo supply will grow. Then you won’t have that fear when the panic hits and ammo is hard to find.
However, growing your ammo supply might lead to other issues in the future, namely, how to properly care for and store it. An ammo stockpile represents a sizeable investment, and you want to make sure it is not damaged or destroyed.
There are a few issues that you need to prevent to ensure your ammo remains functional and reliable. Failure to do so could lead to your ammo not being:
- As accurate,
- Damage or destroy your firearm. This leads to the possibility of potential injury to the shooter.
Mistreatment of your ammo can, over time, cause issues to the powder within the cartridge. Ammo and powder manufactures make the powder cartridges with very tight tolerances. This is because the shape of those cartridges is a factor in how the powder burns. This means the burn rate of the powder can be adversely affected if the cartridge has been degraded.
Her initial question was:
I recently just bought a new pistol. I’ve shot it some and it’s a lot of fun. What sort of training do you recommend? – Prepper Pam
This was my response:
Congratulations! It is always fun when you purchase a new gun. I’m always excited when I shoot that very first round through it.
When it comes to firearms training, I would say train as often as you can. Make time if you have to. And not just range time. At home, I would practice (with your firearm unloaded of course) things like drawing it from where you carry it, (purse, concealed on hip, etc), sight alignment, trigger pull, etc. If your pistol has a safety, I would practice switching it off while drawing it. Practice those things all in conjunction.
Doctor Richard Schmidt wrote a book called Performance and Motor Control And Learning. In it, he states that it takes around 300-500 repetitions to develop a new motor pattern. However, once a bad or inadequate habit is already in place, it takes about 3,000-5,000 repetitions to erase and correct that bad motor pattern. (So train right the first time.)
When you go to the range, vary the length of your target from yourself. Shoot at 5 yards, 10 yards, and 15 yards for example. (Much longer ranges with a long gun of course.) Don’t lock yourself in to the same distance from your target every time.
As your experience grows, change things up. Give yourself time limits, ie 3 shots center mass from a holstered position in 3 seconds. Try to put a bit of pressure on yourself. If you ever find yourself in a life or death situation, your physiological reactions to the stressful event can alter the way you shoot, ie elevated heart rate, tunnel vision, etc. So putting a little bit of stress on your body now will begin to prepare you should that ever happen.