Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: 45 acp for shtf

Why I switched from 9mm to 45 ACP

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In the 1980s there were three events that helped influence my opinion on handguns and handgun calibers.

#1 – My dad and I were having a discussion on a revolver vs a pistol.  Even though a revolver holds fewer rounds then a pistol, my dad liked the revolver over pistol the  due to the reliability of the revolver.  There was nothing to jam with the revolver like there is with a pistol.

My dad worked as a Jasper County Texas deputy sheriff during the 1970s.  Even though I greatly respect his opinion, I feel that his opinion might have been influenced by organizations like the FBI who used a service revolver instead of a pistol like the 1911.

The service revolver my dad used was a S&W model 66 combat magnum.  When I graduated high school in 1986, mom and dad bought me a model 66 combat magnum just like dads.

There were two major sticking points on the revolver vs pistol discussion my dad and I had.  Those points where the effectiveness of the 357 magnum, and the reliability of the revolver.

If you are going to use a handgun, make sure its reliable and make sure the cartridge is large enough to get the job done.

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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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Stockpiling too many types of ammunition

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Stockpiling ammunition for SHTFIn a previous article we talked about stockpiling too many types of survival ammunition. This is a recap of that other article but with some new thoughts on the topic added.

Just in case you have not been paying attention, here lately certain types of ammunition is getting difficult to find.  Just about all of the surplus ammo has dried up and a lot of the bulk stuff is sold out.

My local walmart here in Jasper Texas barely gets any American Eagle 223 in stock, and rarely gets Federal 308 Winchester.  Remington Core-Lokt in 308 Winchester is right at $19.96.  Its pretty sick when 308 is $1 a pop.  My dad has some boxes of 30-06 at the camp that has a price tag of $13.96.  I wish I would have bought a truck load of ammo back when it was cheap.

Over the past few years I have been buying cheap and stacking deep.  The problem with buying cheap, you get steel cased ammo.  This means a lot of my 223 and 7.62×39 is steel cased.  The time has come to move past the steel cased ammo.  So I have started buying American Eagle 223 and Federal bulk packs of 223.

One of the problems with owning firearms of various calibers, the more calibers you have, you have to stockpiling various types of ammunition.

My wife and I are going to Nacogdoches Texas on June 11, 2012.  On the way we are going to pass through Lufkin.  While in Lufkin we are going to stop at the academy sports and outdoors.  At Academy I will be looking for Monarch 223 and Monarch 7.62×39.

The walmart website says the Lufkin store is sold out of Federal 308 and American Eagle 223, so I see no use in stopping at walmart.  But then again, the walmart website says the Woodville store has American Eagle 223 in stock.  But when I called the Woodville store, the lady told me they were out of stock.  I guess the walmart website is hit and miss on its inventory system.  My wife and I might stop at the Lufkin walmart store just to be sure.

Stockpiling food and ammunition for long term SHTF situation

Stockpiling food and ammunition for long term SHTF situation

The walmart website says the Nacogdoches store has both Federal 308 and American Eagle in stock.

Here we are looking at hitting 3 different stores for just 3 types of ammo.  Academy sports and outdoors is the only place I get 7.62×39 from.  If you take 7.62×39 out of the equation, we are looking at hitting 3 different stores for only 223 and 308.

We have not even talked about 30-06, 30-30, 270 Winchester or 280 Remington / 7mm Express.

30-06 and 280 Remington has gotten outrageously expensive.  280 / 7mm express has been expensive for a long time, with a price of around $25 a box for 20 rounds of Remington Core-Lokt.

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Remington 1911 R1 Review

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Remington 1911 R1 45acpFor an early birthday present my wife surprised me with a new Remington 1911 R1. I got the pistol on Thursday (January 5, 2012), over the past couple of  weekends I took the pistol out on 3 different shooting sessions spanning 2 weekends.

You never get a second chance to make a good first impression. Lets just say that I am not happy with the first impression.  I do not claim to be an expert on the 1911.  But I do know that firearms should have have fail to feeds.  When you pull the trigger, the firearm should work.  If the firearm does not work, something is wrong.  I will leave it up to a qualified gun smith to figure out what is wrong.

First shooting session

The Remington 1911 R1 was disassembled and any excessive grease or oil was wiped off.

To break in the new pistol, I went to the local wal-mart and bought 100 rounds of Remington/UMC 230 JHP, this is the bulk pack of 100 rounds per box. The other box was Winchester 230 grain round nose. The Winchester was also the bulk box

Our of about 100 rounds fired, I had 7 failures. The malfunctions happened with factory supplied magazines.

Do you own a 45acp caliber handgun

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Stockpiling ammo for shtf

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survivalist riflesHow much ammo should I stockpile for SHTF? If teotwawki happened tomorrow, how much ammo should I have? What types of ammo should I have for SHTF? How much ammo should I have for teotwawki?

Those are all questions that I see repeated on the forum over and over, time and time again. So lets talk about them just for a minute.

Lets break down ammo into 2 groups – personal defense and hunting.

Pistol ammo: How much pistol ammo do you “really” need? What will your pistol be used for? Will it be for personal defense or hunting? Are we talking 22 long rifle, 9mm, 45acp, 40S&W, 357 magnum, 41 magnum, 44 magnum,,, or something else?

From the price stand point, its going to be a lot cheaper to stockpile 5,000 rounds of 22 long rifle, then it is to stockpile 5,000 rounds of 357 magnum. Its going to be cheaper to stockpile 5,000 rounds of round nose, then 5,000 rounds of hollow points. Do you “really” need to stock up on hollow points, or is it something that you just want to have?

Pistol ammo used for hunting: Except for 22 long rifle, this is going to be your magnum calibers – 357 magnum, 41 magnum and 44 magnum. In this group I would put a number of at least 500 rounds. That 500 could be divided in half – 1/2 stored at your home, and 1/2 stored at your bug out location / remote camp. If you have to leave your home, and only have time to grab your pistol – this leaves you with 250 rounds once you reach your bug out location.  Keep that 250 rounds in mind for later.

Pistol ammo for personal defense:  This can be just about anything, (except the 22 long rifle, and 25acp) – 9mm, 40S&W, 45acp, 357sig, 357 magnum, 41 magnum, 44 magnum,,,,,,.  For this group, I put a number closer to 1,000 rounds per caliber.

Dividing ammo between people in the group:  Some kind of situation has developed – a new disease has broke out, china launched a nuclear strike against the major cities,,,,,, whatever has happened, you have enough time to grab some gear and get out of town.  You and your family safely arrive at your bug out location, and a few days later your buddies show up.  These are people that you made plans ahead of time.  To streamline ammo purchases, everyone has bought a weapon that shoots the same caliber.  For the sake of discussion, lets use 357 magnum.

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Best survivalist pistol caliber

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survivalist pistol caliberThis topic has already been touched on in this post – Best Pistol Caliber for a Survivalist. But I wanted to touch on it again.

When picking the caliber for a survival situation, several factors should be considered:

Effective stopping power – how effective is the caliber against a given target.  The 22 long rifle is great on small game, but terrible on grizzly bear.  So use a caliber that is appropriate for the target.

Recoil – how much recoil does the caliber have?  Try to pick something that most members of the family can shoot.  There are people out there that will buy a 454 casull with no thought to how well their 14 year old daughter can shoot the pistol.

Price – how much does a box of ammo cost?  Its not cost effective to buy some odd-ball caliber that cost $30 for a box of 50 rounds – not when you can get other calibers for a lot cheaper.

Pistol and Carbine – does the caliber have a pistol and carbine rifle option?  Lets take the 357 magnum for example.  There are lots of pistols for the 357, and several rifles, like the Marlin 1894 and the Henry Big Boy.

My 5 top picks for a survivalist pistol calibers:
5.  22 long rifle – effective on small game, ammo is cheap to stockpile, wide range of pistols and rifles on the market.

4.  38 special -low recoil, easy to reload, lots of brass and good selection of bullets for reloading.

3 & 2.  45acp and 9mm – two of the most popular rounds of all time, easy to reload, wide selection of pistols and a few rifles.

1.  357 magnum – effective on deer sized game, easy to reload, wide range of pistols to pick from, a few rifles to pick from.

Special mention:
41 magnum
44 magnum
40S&W
357 sig

I’am pretty sure there are a lot of people that would like to see the 44 magnum listed in the top 5 – but due to the excessive recoil, the 44 magnum has to get a special mention.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the best pistol caliber for survival.

Best pistol caliber for a survivalist

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357 magnum for survivalFrom my opinion, pistols need to serve a dual role purpose – just like rifles or shotguns.  Whether its on your hip while walking around the yard, or in your hand while hog or deer hunting, be sure to pick a caliber that will get the job done.

5.  22 long rifle – inexpensive, light weight, takes care of small pest with little or no problems.  The light recoil makes the 22 a great choice for small framed adults, teenagers learning to shoot and people who do not like the recoil of the larger calibers.

One of the big bonuses of the 22 long rifle, it can be shot out of a pistol or rifle, this makes it a dual role caliber.  From a stockpiling point of view, and you intend for everyone in your group to be armed, the most inexpensive route is the 22 long rifle.  When a brick of 550 rounds cost between $12 – $20, its cost effective to stockpile thousands of 22 rounds.  For $200 someone could probably buy more 22 long rifle then they will shoot in a 10 years – do that with 9mm, 40S&w, 45ACP or 357Sig.

4.  38 special – less recoil then the 357 magnum, can be shot out of pistols and rifles chambered for 357 magnum, easy to reload.  From my reloading experience, the 38 special can use 6 grains of unique, which is the same charge that I used for the 9mm.  With 6,000 grains in a pound of powder, that means you can get around 1,000 38 special loads from 1 pound of unique.

Stockpiling the 38 special – a lot of police still use the 38 special to qualify their officers, this makes 38 special brass easy to find.  If your looking for a cheap, easy to find, easy to reload round to stockpile, the 38 special is going to be difficult to beat.  I remember going to gun shows and seeing 38 special brass by the5 gallon bucket load.

Its the light recoil, abundance of brass for reloading, ease of reloading and ability to shoot out firearms chambered for 357 magnum that puts the 38 special at #4.


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