Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: 223 remington

Building a predator hunting AR-15

Building a predator hunting AR-15
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Over the past couple of years coyotes have been stealing my chickens.  I thought losses have not been “that” bad, but the time has come to take action.  A few days ago I was looking through pictures of when I bought the chicks, that is when I realized just how many of my chickens are missing.  Looking at how many chickens I currently have, and then looking at the number of chicks I had, the losses are not sustainable.

I do not count my chickens every day, or even every week.  Living in a rural area with free range chickens it is normal to lose one here and there.  Hawks, bobcats, coyotes, foxes,,, all love chicken.  However, my flock is not a buffet bar.  Something has to give or I will never be able to develop a self-sustainable chicken flock for shtf.  In other  words, the predators are killing the chickens faster than they can reproduce.

Deer rifle instead of AR-15

At first glance why not use a deer rifle for predator control?  Any of the popular deer hunting calibers will make short work of a coyote or bobcat – 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 280 Remington, 308 Winchester, 30-06, 243, 6mm, 257 Roberts or even the 7.62X39 in the Ruger Mini-30, SKS and AK-47 will make short work of a coyote.

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Justification For Owning An AR-15

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Ever since the Sandy Hook shooting gun owners have been having to justify their reasons for owning an AR-15.  Personally, I think the only reason that needs to be given is “because I want one.”  I feel I should not have to “justify” my choices in which firearms I wish to own.  As a law abiding citizen there is no chance my AR is going to be used in a crime.  And as a law abiding citizen   I seen no reason to explain myself to anyone.Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalist

Free men do not explain themselves, we do as we wish when we wish.

Servants, slaves and criminals explain themselves.

With that being said, I would like to provide my opinion as to why people own an AR-15.  I am in no way justifying my ownership of an AR-15, simply because rights do not have to be justified.  I am giving reasons why I choose to own an AR-15.

The AR-15 is cool – It is awesome looking, it feels good in my hand.  Handling an AR is like patting my wife on her butt, it provides me with a sense of manly satisfaction.

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Palmetto State Armory Pink M4

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For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF event has happened; some kind of new flu has developed, financial collapse, nuclear war,,, something has happened to send the world to hell in a handbag.  It is now up to you and your family to protect your property, livestock, garden,, and other resources.

Building my wife (her name is Kristy) an AR-15 that appeals to her is part of my prepping in depth rather then breadth SHTF survival plan.  Instead of trying to get my wife to shoot a rifle that does not appeal to her, I decided to build a Palmetto State Armory M4, then deck it out in pink Magpul MOE and Suregrip parts.Pink M4 carbine

In the current state of panic buying anything AR-15 is almost impossible to find.  In most cases, if a website or store gets something in stock, it is sold out in a matter of minutes.  What is sad is a lot of companies resort to price gouging when panic buying kicks in.

I have to say a couple of things about Palmetto State Armory, they are getting stuff in on a regular basis, and they are not price gouging.

Bill of Material

Palmetto State Armory lower receiver, shipped to Devil Dog Guns in Jasper Texas for the background check and paperwork.

Palmetto State Armory / Magpul MOE lower parts kit with fire control group, milspec stock and buffer tube.

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Rethinking SHTF Rifle And Ammunition Choices

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Empty Ammunition ShelvesThe shelves are empty, except for a few select calibers.  Those calibers are 243 Winchester, 30-30 Winchester, 270 Winchester, 7mm magnum, 45 colt and 30-06 Springfield.  A line of people are  standing at the counter in the hopes the store got a shipment in.

Sounds like something from a movie?  Nope, its the result of panic buying after the Communist Dianne Feinstein talked about another gun ban in the wake of the Sandy Hook shooting.

The calibers left on the shelf share some common denominators, they do not fit semi-automatic rifles, nor are they chambered in modern day military grade rifles.

The M1 Garand is chambered 30-06, but its not like the M1 Garand is sold by very many sporting goods stores. When someone goes looking for a new deer rifle, chances are the M1 Garand is not even on the screen.

There are semi-automatic rifles on the market chambered for 243 Winchester and 270 Winchester, but they are not very popular with modern day hunters.

What Was Sold Out

Everything besides the calibers listed above were sold out. 223 Remington, 22 long rifle, 308 Winchester,,,,,.

If it fit a semi-automatic rifle, and especially a military style rifle, it was sold out.

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Thinking About Buying a 300 Blackout

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When I look at buying a new rifle or rifle caliber, first I consider how that rifle will fit into my long term SHTF survival plans. What niche does the rifle fill, how easy is it to find replacement parts, is ammunition easy to find, is the rifle user friendly so I can teach my kids how to shoot it.

One of the main problems I have with the 300 Blackout, I do not want to start buying yet “another” caliber. I already buy 223 Remington, 7.62×39, 30-30, 308 Winchester and 280 Remington / 7mm Express.

What niche does the 300 Blackout fill that any of those calibers don’t already fill?

Deer hunting, I have the 30-30, 308 Winchester and 280 Remington.

Hog hunting, I have the 223 Remington and 7.62×39.

In this related article we talked about hunting hogs with 223 Remington.

The second issue with the 300 Blackout, where am I supposed to buy ammo from? I live in rural southeast Texas, 100 miles from anywhere. I buy a 300 blackout upper, then I have to mail order all of my ammunition.

Back in the 1990s I acquired a Remington model 700 mountain rifle in 280 Remington / 7mm Express. The 7mm Express is not “that” popular, ammunition was only available at the local Academy sports and outdoors in Beaumont Texas.

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Best Gun for Hunting Wild Pigs After SHTF

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Hunting wild hogs in a river bottomA couple of weeks ago a couple of my buddies and I get a hog out of a local river bottom.  One person of our group was carrying an AR-15, I was carrying my Remington 1911 R1.

While we were packing the hog out, I kept wondering how well the 223 Remington would do on wild hogs?  I know the 223 Remington is effective, but how effective is it on hogs?  Hogs have a thick fat layer, how would that fat layer affect bullet performance?

Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens, you and a couple of your buddies go on a hog hunt, what rifles would you pick?  Would you pick a semi-auto in 223 Remington or 7.62X39, lever action or bolt action?

steveleeilikeguns goes on a wild hog hunt with a Mini-14.

The above video makes a good argument for the Ruger Mini-14 and AR-15 platform for hunting after SHTF – low recoil, fast followup shots, effective on hog and deer sized game.

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Tour of the Windham Weaponry Factory

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The Military Arms Channel (Sturmgewehre) has posted another excellent video on youtube. This time its a tour of the Windham Weaponry factory.

Even though the video covers a lot of good topics, there is little mention of making the Whindham Weaponry AR-15 close to mil-spec.

Does Windham Weaponry make their own lower receivers, or does someone make the receiver for Windham Weaponry? Since the video did not show any of the CNC milling machines, I am going to guess someone else makes the lower receiver.

The thing Windham Weaponry is going to have to overcome is the bad reputation Bushmaster developed. Sending rifles out of the factory with unstaked castle nuts is not going to help their reputation either.

A few months ago I saw a Windham Weaponry AR-15 at a local store. When I saw the castle nut was not staked, I did not give the rifle a second glance.

If Windham Weaponry wants to run with the big dogs, they need to offer mil-spec parts, and higher quality parts. Why offer an AR-15 style rifle with the typical forearm grip and ugly standard pistol grip? Lets step up, and put some Ergo Grips parts on the rifle.

The Ar-15 market is very competitive. Why should I buy a Windham Weaponry when I can buy a Sig Sauer M400 or Palmetto State Armory for around the same price? Why should I buy a Windham Weaponry when I can get a Colt 6920 for around $200 more? And Colt has a proven military history of reliability.

I am not trying to harp on Windham Weaponry, I am just trying to be honest.

It would really help if Windham Weaponry had some military contracts behind them. Maybe those contracts will come in time?

Middle ground rifle caliber for SHTF TEOTWAWKI

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Someone on my facebook friends list posted a picture of 4 survival firearms – pistol, Ruger 10/22, Remington 870 and AR-15.

I suggested the AR-15 be replaced with an AK-47. This is why I made that suggestion,

22 Long Rifle VS 223 Remington

Calibers for SHTFWhen you look at the two calibers, the 22 long rifle bullet is not much smaller then the 223 Remington. If your shots are less then 100 yards, the 22 long rifle loaded with high grade bullets can get close to 223 Remington. Lets be honest, there is no way the 22 Long Rifle can match the ballistics of the 223 Remington.

22 long rifle, CCI mini-mag hollow points, 36 grain bullet, bullet diameter .222 inch (5.6 mm)

223 Remington, 55 grain bullet full metal jacket, bullet diameter .224 inch (5.7 mm)

There is not “that” much difference between the 22 long rifle bullet and the 223 Remington bullet.  Keep in mind we are talking about bullet diameter and bullet weight, and not the cartridge length.

Is there a difference between the 22 long rifle and the 223 Remington? Of course there is. But if I were shooting less then say 75 yards, I would take either the 22 long rifle or the 223 Remington.

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Another stockpiling ammunition for shtf teotwawki article

Another stockpiling ammunition for shtf teotwawki article
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Lets say that some kind of SHTF situation happens tonight, how ready is your ammunition stockpile?  Whether its nuclear war, plague, disease outbreak, collapse of the dollar,,,, something happens to disrupt society.  What kind of ammunition do you have stockpiled to hunt and protect your property?  Have you taken any wild game with the ammunition you have stockpiled?  Have you sighted in your rifle with the various types you have stockpiled?

My wife and I made a trip to the Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin Texas just to buy some ammunition. It seems that the walmart in Jasper Texas can not keep certain types of ammunition in stock. Its either buy online, or drive almost an hour just to buy some ammo.

Todays Haul Includes:

100 rounds Federal 223 Remington
20 rounds 30-30 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
20 rounds 308 Winchester in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
20 rounds 30-06 Springfield in Remington core-lokt 150 grain
120 rounds 7.62×39 in Monarch 123 grain full metal jacket

You may be asking “why so much Remington core-lokt?”

Because its a proven performer in southeast Texas whitetail deer.

I stockpile what I know works. Over the past decade and a half my family and I have taken dozens of whitetail deer with Remington core-lokt and in a wide range of calibers.

A few examples of deer taken taken with 30-30, 270 and 308 Winchester. All of these deer were taken with Remington core-lokt.

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AK-47 is the ultimate teotwawki survival rifle

AK-47 is the ultimate teotwawki survival rifle
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Why is the AK-47 is the ultimate survival rifle? Because it works.

Year of development: 1947
Caliber: 7.62×39
Years of service: 1947 – present
Nations of service: Every communist nation under the sun
Conflicts of service: Just about every major conflict since 1947
Bullet diameter: 308 – 311
Bullet weight: 123 grains
Effective range: 400 meters
Capacity: Standard 30 round magazine

I have to be perfectly honest, the AK-47 is not my primary SHTF survival rifle.

That honor goes to the AR-15 and the FN/FAL.

AR-15 with its 223 Remington / 5.56mm NATO is well suited for dealing undesirable predators that come around the Bug Out Location and small game. There are a good number of people that deer and hogs with the 223 Remington, but I am not one of them. I am a firm believer of using enough gun for the job. When I go deer hunting, I use at least a 270 Winchester or a 280 Remington / 7mm Express.

The low recoil of the AR-15 makes it appealing to people like my teenage daughter.

FN/FAL with its 308 Winchester is well suited in a defensive role, and for taking deer sized game. Remington core-Lokt in 150 grains is more then capable of dropping a whitetail deer, or game of equal size.

My son hunts with a Marlin 336 30-30. The ammunition he uses is Remington core-lokt 150 grain softpoint. 150 grain bullet makes a small hole going in, and a larger hole going out. In the past 4 years my son has harvested 3 southeast Texas whitetail deer. One year he did not see anything worth taking.

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Some AR-15 AK-47 and Remington 1911 R1 time

Some AR-15 AK-47 and Remington 1911 R1 time
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Tuesday, August 7, 2012 my daughter called and said her and her boyfriend wanted to drive up and visit with my wife and I. I said sure thing. My daughter starts back to school in a few days. So why not spend some time shooting an AK-47, AR-15 and Remington 1911 R1. My daughters mom and I have been divorced for close to 10 years. Even though they live in Baytown Texas, and I live in Jasper Texas, that has not stopped me from being part of my daughters life.

After my wife and I got off work, we met my daughter and her boyfriend at new Mexican restaurant here in Jasper. We ate, enjoyed each others company, then went home and watched The Dark Knight. On the way home we stopped the super walmart in Jasper and picked up 100 rounds of American Eagle 223 Remington.

I am trying to cycle out a lot of my steel cased 223 Remington and replace it with brass cased American Eagle or Federal bulk 223.

Wednesday August 8, 2012 my wife and I got up and went to work. Things were a little slow so I asked if I could take a half a day off and spend some time with my daughter. My boss said sure, take some time off. I called my daughter to ask where where she was at. She told me her and her boyfriend were at the camp. I told her I was taking 1/2 a day off so we could go do something with them.

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Installing the Magpul Enhanced Self-Leveling Follower

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This article began about 20 years ago when I started stockpiling AR-15 magazines for some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI situation. My buddies and I would make trips to the local gun shows, and pick up magazines here and there. I never intended to stockpile hundreds of magazines like some hardcore survivalist do. All I wanted was a couple of dozen magazines for every AR-15. I think 2 dozen mags for every rifle is reasonable.

Fast forward 20 years. Improvements have been made to the AR15 rifle and magazines. Due to those improvements, my current setup is outdated. Its like anything else. Technology improves, and to get the best out of your gear you need to keep up with the times. A buddy of mine who served two tours (1 tour in Iraq, 1 tour in Afghanistan) told me about Magpul Pmags. When a combat vet tells you he loves something, its in your best interest to pay attention.

Due to my buddies recommendation I ordered 2 Magpul Pmags with the windows on the side.

As soon as I handed and shot the Magpul Pmag I fell in love. The Pmags are light, window to see how many rounds are in the magazine, and anti-tilt follower.

Ok, so what do I do? I have dozens of AR15 magazines that have been collected over the years. But the anti-tilt follower technology improves the reliability of the weapon.

Since I do not want to replace my AR magazine inventory, I bought several packages of the Magpul enhanced self-leveling followers, and started replacing the followers in all of my older AR magazines.

If something is not broke, don’t fix it. My AR mags were not broke, but they did need to be upgraded.

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Buying some ammo to go shooting

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What is going on at the local walmart? They can not keep American Eagle nor Federal 223 in stock. They just now started getting Tula 223 in stock. But I do not want to stockpile a crap load of steel cased 223.

Next weekend my wife and I are going out to a local sandpit to do some shooting. I just want to fire off a couple hundred rounds of 22 long rifle, 223, 7.62×39, 45acp and a box of 308 Winchester.

Is my local walmart in Jasper Texas just not ordering ammunition, or is ammo in such short supply they can not get any in?

If ammunition is in short supply, why can academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin and walmart in Nacogdoches get American Eagle?

Why do I have to drive 50 miles one direction to buy ammunition? Why cant the local walmart get their act together and keep some 223 and 308 ammunition on the shelves? Did I forget to mention my local walmart has not had 308 Winchester in Remington core-lokt in almost 2 months? The last time my wife and I went to Academy sports and outdoors in Lufkin, I had to buy Monarch 308 Winchester.

I just want to go to the sand pit and fire off a few hundred rounds.  But for some reason I need an act of GOD just to find ammunition.

This is what I bought tonight:

45acp – 1 box of 100 rounds Federal 230 grain FMJ
223 Remington – 6 boxes (120 rounds) Tula 55 grain FMJ
7.62×39 – 3 boxes (60 rounds) Tula 122 grain FMJ

I am going to pull some Monarch 7.62×39 out of my stocks so that I have around 120 rounds of 7.62×39.

Drills this weekend will probably be reloading. Might have Kristy (my wife) load the magazines with a random number of rounds, say no more then 5 or 10 rounds per magazine.

I need to practice reloading while keeping my eyes on the target, with my primary rifles.

Another reason to go shooting is to get my wife familiar with the Ruger 10/22.

Post your thoughts, ideas, suggestions,,, anything else you may have.

Trip to the Bug Out Location June 2012

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Cleaning up at the Bug Out LocationMan oh man, what a weekend. In a previous article we talked about survivalism as an experience and not a theory. Part of my prepping for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI includes going to the Bug Out Location for a couple of days, taking notes, figuring out what needs to be changed, and going from there.

Its one thing to say, “if the crap hits the fan, this is what I am going to do,,,,”.

Its another thing to put those plans to the test on a regular, or at the very least a semi-regular basis.

In this article we are going to be discussing my observations from the June 30 – July 1 trip.  Feel free to share your questions and/or comments.

On Saturday, June 30, 2012 my wife and I loaded up the Tahoe with basic gear, and headed to the Bug Out Location.  Some of the stuff we packed included change of clothes, food, ammunition, firearms,, drinks, laptop, cell phone,,, just your basic stuff.

A few hours after arriving at the camp, my wife and I were joined my a buddy of mine, his wife, and their daughter.

Safe Drinking Water – The main problem we faced over the weekend was access to safe drinking water.  The water well is not used very often, so the water develops a sulfur smell and taste.  Also, the well pump runs off electricity.

During a long term SHTF situation, the well would be pretty much useless.

The well itself was hand dug around 100 years ago.  Over the past century soil sediment has been slowly filling the well up.  Then there are the leaves that make their way into the well.  One time a feral cat fell into the well and died.  The cat carcass had to be fished out, then bleach poured into the well.

Sooner or later we will have to drive a new well, and at the very least have a hand pump.

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Well Rounded Ammunition Stockpile

Well Rounded Ammunition Stockpile
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Stockpiling ammunition for a long term survival situationAs I was stacking a new box of 30-30 Winchester (Remington core-lokt 150 grain) and a box of 12 gauge slugs on the shelf, I started thinking about having a well rounded ammunition stockpile.

When talking about ammunition, we need to realize that there is no perfect answer.  I live and hunt in southeast Texas, my longest shots are in the 125 yard range.  200 yards is a long shot for this area.  The only place we get to see 200 yards, much less shoot that far is either on a pipeline or a highline.

In New Mexico, west Texas, Arizona, Colorado,,, 200 yards might be a short shot.

Talking about stockpiling firearms and ammunition for a long term SHTF survival situation is like talking about trucks.  Do you need a truck to pull a boat down to the local boat launch, or do you need a tractor trailer rig to pull 60 tons?

Someone in the south with dense timber will probably do just fine with a 30-30 or 308.  Someone making 200 and 300 yard shots may need a 25-06, 7mm magnum, 300 Winchester magnum, 30-06,,,.  Someone in Alaska where grizzly is an everyday threat, maybe something like a 338 Winchester Magnum, 375 H&H or 12 gauge slug.

Lets use this article as a generalization, rather then an exact science.

To kick off the discussion, lets start with the two boxes I bought today:

1 box – 30-30 Winchester (Remington core-lokt 150 grain).

1 box – 12 gauge 2 3/4 inch Winchester 1 ounce slug.

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