New to Prepping?
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.
Summer is just around the corner. So for millions of Americans that means the beginning of “Beach” season. Whether they are headed to a lake, the ocean, or even a river, people love the water. It is a great vacation destination.
Though you might be on vacation, your preparedness should not be. The CDC reports over 3400 people a year drown in the US. Nine out of ten of those victims drown in inland waters, and had access to a flotation device but did not wear it. Why? A lack or preparedness and a lack of the use of safety equipment…..ie a life jacket.
Water Safety Equipment
There are 5 different types of flotation devices, with Type III life jacket being the most commonly worn. For simple outings on the water, where it is calm, these jackets do the trick. One thing to keep in mind is that they lack the ability to turn an unconscious person face up.
For longer outings in deeper waters, a Type I jacket is what I recommend. It can maintain buoyancy for much longer periods of time, and it will keep an unconscious person face up, preventing them from drowning.
Another device I would recommend for those on large bodies of water, (like an ocean), for long periods of time is an Aqualink Firefly. A waterproof strobe light that could help rescuers find you, especially at night. They also make one that sends out a radio distress beacon that can help rescuers pinpoint your location within a couple hundred meters.
Water Safety Skills and Knowledge
Your ability as a swimmer is one skill that many people either never consider, or vastly overestimate. Swimming in your backyard pool is not the same as emergency swimming at a lake or in the ocean. Your body will tire and fatigue much sooner than you think. So developing your swimming skill can be vitally important.
When it comes to prepping, I see so many get caught up in TEOTWAWKI (The End Of The World As We Know It) scenarios. It is a popular topic amongst the “prepared”. But I don’t see near the number of topics toward natural disasters. Why? We are FAR more likely to experience a tornado or hurricane than an EMP attack.
Being prepared for those should just as important if not more so.
With all of the natural disasters in the news lately, I thought I would take some time to give an overview of five natural disasters, ie what they are, and ways that you can be prepared for them.
Watch vs Warning
If you have ever watched the weather on your news channel, you may have heard mention of a “storm watch” or a “storm warning” and wondered what the difference was. So before we jump into the disasters, I wanted make you aware of what a “Watch” is versus a “Warning.”
A watch, be it for a tornado, hurricane, or flood, means that the weather conditions are favorable for that type of activity. It has not started yet, and it may not even start. But you should be prepared to take precautions should the situation warrant.
A warning means that the expected disaster is expected, imminent, or may have already begun. Precautions should be taken IMMEDIATELY!
A watch means it MIGHT happen. A warning means it WILL OR IS ALREADY happening. Also keep in mind that a disaster can go from a “watch” to a “warning” in the blink of an eye. The tornado that hit Moore in May 2013 went from a “watch” to the destruction of the city in less than 15 minutes. So stay alert and informed!
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.
If you can, try shooting at more than one target. You might have to engage multiple bad guys. Adding moving targets to your repertoire will also help. (If you can.) Work on accuracy first. Once you are comfortable with accuracy, then work on speed. But remember, accuracy ALWAYS trumps speed!
While you are building your experience (and confidence), I would begin learning about your gun. Each gun is a little different. For example, many guns out there are picky about ammo. I had a Smith and Wesson Bodyguard that did not like steel cased ammo. I guess the striker sometimes did not hit the primer hard enough, and I would have a “No fire.” I’d pull the trigger a second time and the bullet would go off. (My brother had a Taurus TCP738 that HATED steel cased. He had to send the pistol back to the manufacturer for repair after trying to shoot steel case.)
When you hear the word “Security” what word pops in your head? For some, they may think Paul Blart, Mall Cop. Others may think about the excruciatingly long lines at the airport. For preppers, I bet firearms are what spring to mind.
Nothing better than a Remington 870 shotgun for home security right?
While there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with those answers, very few stop to think about security as a whole. There is more to a security plan than just a 12 gauge shotgun or Glock. Whether it is your home, your homestead, or a large company, security has three parts or stages. Each subsequent stage is predicated upon the previous stage.
When it comes to questionable or even illicit behavior, most humans tend to look at the risk versus reward aspects of their actions. Are the potential payoffs worth the possible hassles, headaches, and trouble?
All but the most psychologically warped individuals will try to weigh those factors in their heads before determining a course of action. The less the perceived reward, or the greater the risk for the bad guy, then the less the chance of bad guy(s) attempting to breach your security. That makes this the most important element of the three.
Why is deterrence the most important? Because if you can deter the bad guys, then you won’t need to rely on the other two elements.