Contents

We all bring skills, experience and education to the discussion, which is what makes our “neighborhood” so great.   These assets differ by person and age group, but that adds to the diversity needed for new ideas and creating a balanced outlook. Read Part 1: Survival Eating Quick Navigation Personal Lessons Survival Livestock & Gardening Predators Crops Personal Lessons My prepping began as a child, although I did not know this at the time.

Survival Eating: Part 2

Survival Eating: Part 2We all bring skills, experience and education to the discussion, which is what makes our “neighborhood” so great.  These assets differ by person and age group, but that adds to the diversity needed for new ideas and creating a balanced outlook. Read Part 1: Survival Eating Quick Navigation Personal Lessons Survival Livestock & Gardening Predators Crops Personal Lessons My prepping began as a child, although I did not know this at the time.  My grandparents were products of the Great Depression and World War 2, my parents products of the “social revolution” of the 1960’s and Vietnam, and I am a product of the boom of the 1980-90’s and the War on Terror. I learned much from my grandparents, albeit it did not become “known” to me until I was older.  I remember stories of the battles for Iwo Jima, Corregidor , the Philippines, the Ardennes Forest, Normandy, Italy, and the push beyond the Rhine.  These stories, although I was too young to understand the tactics and strategies, helped me survive my own deployment 60 years later.  I didn’t know that by “trying” to live up to the standard of Patriot and human that our greatest generation, I would find my inner peace and understanding, compassion and empathy for what must be done.  I did not want to dishonor both of my Grandparent’s record of service; between them they won multiple Bronze Stars , Presidential Unit Citations, Purple Hearts, Silver Star, etc. They both came from different backgrounds which also affected their outlooks on life in general.  My maternal grandfather came from Louisville, Kentucky.  His family was one of the founding families and affluent until tragedy struck.  He lost his father at age 3 and then his step-father at age 12 during the Depression.  The loss of the men of the house, led to losing the farm, which caused a snowball effect on my grandpa; he, along with his 2 older brothers, left home to fend for themselves, as their mother was having trouble feeding all 6 children after losing her husbands and farm during the Depression.  How many 12 year olds do you know could survive on their own today?  Although he survived, eventually finding his way into the Army just months before Pearl Harbor, he lost one of the most critical elements of “survival” in my opinion, Family Values.  He always treated us with love and caring but his brothers and sisters all were very “lost” to each other (1 brother was dead 4 years before any of the others knew). My paternal grandfather grew up on a rural Indiana farm not far from the Kankakee River.  He took a full time job as a kid to help make ends meet during the Depression.  His family stuck together and subsided on what they raised, hunted, foraged and fished.  Grandpa, along with 4 of his 5 brothers served in World War 2 (the youngest served in Korea).  This side has held extremely strong family ties and have pushed hard to keep the younger generations following this closeness. Both my grandmothers grew up on farms.  They worked the farm chores and foraged and hunted to keep the family fed through the depression.  These habits were handed down and taught to their children, who in turn tried handing it down to their children, although only a few of us cared to learn or remember the lessons learned.  My perception on survival has been molded from 2 very unique outcomes to the same major disaster.  Although the mitigating circumstances were different, both families survived the Depression, one as a whole family unit and the other as “individual” survivors.  To me the harshest personal lesson is that without preparation and strong ethics and family values, mixed in with some luck (losing a father and step-father just as the Depression hit was bad luck); my family will NOT survive, even if we all “live” through the ordeal. Survival Survival is based primarily on a 3 part system;1) shelter  2) water and 3) food.  I listed them in the order most survival guides lists in priority.  Shelter is tantamount to not only being able to ward off nature’s wrath, but also for morale. Morale is important, without it; the will to survive gets lost.  The body will start shutting down and death will be imminent after 3 days without water.  We can survive weeks without food but every day we go without food’s vital nutrients, we lose the energy and ability to gather the very food we have been trying to get.  Many people, me included, have talked, given ideas, and plan on hunting to feed ourselves and family members in a long term situation.  This idea is sound but also has negatives that need to be addressed.  We have had articles published here on SurvivalCache that gives instruction on gardening .  I only have a philosophical theory to add to promote WHY this is so important.  The background information was not to pat my grandparents on the back (although that entire generation deserves it), but to showcase what it took to get through one of our nation’s most trying times and maintain our values we hold so dear, the family homestead/farm. The loss of the farm led one grandpa to leave home and live as a hobo .  He worked odd jobs, foraged, hunted and rode the rails until he was old enough to enlist (his brothers had already joined).  Like today, many of the effected youth joined the military for a pay check and to get the basics of survival; a roof over their head, 3 meals a day, and water. Homesteading/farming/gardening will be the best option for long term survival and I base my opinion on historical facts.  During the Depression, wild game was hunted to dismal populations. Squirrels and rabbits were scarce and deer populations were depleted so drastically, that it took 30 years in some states before the population recovered enough to allow hunting to begin again as we know it now. Livestock & Gardening The population in the US has more than tripled, 92.2 million in 1910 and 308.7 million in 2010 according to the US Census. Even with the modern outlook towards conservation and the recovery of animal populations in the wild; we will be looking at a massive over hunting issue if a long term event happens like another Great Depression .  This is the reason I promote homesteading , to whatever degree possible in your location, as the best long term plan.  Urban areas can be an obstacle, but not definitive stopper for homesteading. Rooftop gardens can be started (check with building superintendent or whoever can make the decision to allow access) using planting boxes for the garden bed.  The book “ Square Foot Gardening ” by Mel Bartholomew can be a very good source of information. If you live in the suburbs or have a small city lot, then you may be able to add some rabbit hutches and small chicken coops to your preps (check local laws first).  If possible and working on small acreage, I would suggest goats and/or sheep for primary livestock.  Their smaller size and willingness to eat most things makes them easier to keep.  They also don’t require as much pasture to graze for adequate success in surviving themselves;  while in agriculture class, it was taught you need 10 acres of regular pasture per cow for pure grass fed beef.  This formula can change with better or worse grassland for your pasture. Goats can provide meat, wool and milk.  There are several goat breeds and each has their purpose much like cattle.  The one great thing about goats is that they eat just about everything.  Check out the different breeds and see which one will best fit your needs and available space if this is an option you choose. If you have enough acres to have a full functioning farm for a homestead, then you can diversify your livestock or have greater numbers.  They have “shortline” breeds of some cattle.  These are bred to be smaller in size than the cattle we normally see.  Another item to look at when selecting a breed is which breeds do best on grazing compared to grain fed.  This was something looked at by the old west ranchers when they started importing Herefords (“white faced cattle) to replace the popular Texas Longhorn.  The Herefords would add weight faster on grass, plus their temperament was gentler (surviving an event and/or an attack from the “ Golden Horde ” wouldn’t be worth mentioning if you get gored by your steak dinner).  I prefer Jersey dairy cattle over Holstein for a few reasons; they have a higher butter fat content, so I can produce more butter, cheese and cream, they produce less milk overall, 1860 gallons per year compared to 3260 gallons per year . Hogs will be another resource that will serve multiple functions; hogs will seek out and eat any snakes in their area.  This is very beneficial if poisonous snakes are present to pose a danger to other livestock or people.  They are also excellent “ rototillers ” when rooting for food, thus aerating and breaking up the soil.  Pork offers more of a problem for storage but salt pork was a main staple of pioneers. Llamas (best if one female is used) are good protectors of the herd.  I know a few farmers who have them just to help protect their cattle from predators.  They can also be used for meat, wool or as pack animals. Alpacas may also be of similar interest as they are closely related but are not known for their protection ability. Horses are also an option. The Mongols even drank horse milk;  Native Americans (among others) ate horse meat often.  They provide pack animals, transportation and will be the tractors when fuel is no longer available.  Mules and oxen are also capable of meeting some of these needs more efficiently than horses. The availability of pasture, land for hay or grain production for feed, and number in your group/family will all have to be considered for which animals would best suit your needs.  Also, most cattle need 2 years until fully grown and ready for butchering, for grass fed.  You can butcher earlier if the need arises but for optimum size, the 2 year rule of thumb is followed so should be planned for.  All animals are an option and each use must be looked at to find the type and breed that best fits your needs and resources. The manure from these animals then serves as fertilizer for the gardens; be careful of hog manure and chicken as they are high in nitrogen and can kill crops if over used or put on the garden too late in the year.  Read several books from several authors to get the most complete knowledge base in fertilizer use. Predators Another issue I have not seen discussed much is the competition from nature’s predators. Coyotes in particular are extremely dangerous to preppers .  They will not only be hunting the same prey we need to survive, but once the population of game animals gets reduced to extinction levels (or close to it), they will start preying on our livestock, children, and others not able to defend themselves.  Now imagine if you have bears, cougars, wolves or other large predators in your area?  Some further observations on predators; their populations are growing fast because of the lack of trapping and hunting over low fur prices.  I have started trapping coyotes very hard in my area for several reasons, 1) It gives me practice in using my traps and snares, 2) It eliminates competition if the need arises for survival hunting, 3) Protects livestock and children.  With current fur prices, I’m not worried about selling the fur; I tan it myself and have been utilizing it for my “ Buckskinning ” and Native American projects.  In the “ Survival Eating ” article on SC, I gave a list of the many different animals I have eaten in the past.  Coyote wasn’t one of them but it was eaten by Lewis and Clark’s Discovery Corps according to their journals.  I personally would prefer venison roast over coyote tenderloin, so I’ll try to keep the coyote population controlled to allow deer, rabbit, squirrel, and ground nesting bird populations to thrive while I can. Crops Crops will be a mainstay in the diet and a garden can help deflect a major portion of the food budget even under normal circumstances.  I suggest heirloom seeds, although many promote the hybrids. This is a choice only you can make for yourself and I will attempt to offer some pros and cons on each type. Hybrid seeds are created to help withstand drought, insects and disease.  They will normally have a higher yield, thus providing more food per season.  Normally, they are easier to grow, as the science behind making them resistant to other issues, also makes them more “user friendly”. On the other hand, you must have the seeds available for however long you believe an event can last or have access and ability to use an agronomy laboratory.  A lot of the vitamins and other minerals have been bred out of the hybrids to make use of their resistant genetics.  Many hybrids have also been bred to create a higher than natural sugar or fructose level.  This is especially true of fruits and corn. According to Diabetes Cure 101 , this fructose is what causes most type 2 diabetes by damaging the liver. Heirloom crops retain the natural vitamins and minerals in the correct percentages for proper absorption by the body.  The seeds from these can be saved and used the next season, thus reducing costs in the long run and providing seeds for however long you need them.  The down-side is they are more susceptible to drought, insects and disease, normally have a lower yield than hybrids and generally require more time and work. Regardless of which type you choose, make sure you create a soil composition preferred by the crops you intend to grow. Compost will add organic matter to the soil and depending on the soil, the amount needed will vary.  Sandy soil is very well drained, but this can create too arid of a soil for some plants so adding compost will help the soil retain moisture.  Clay soil will hold water and this can lead to “drowning” of your garden; compost will help by giving some place for the water to go.  Loamy soils are normally very good growing soils, as they have a lot of organic material for nutrients and have a good mixture of clay and sand for water drainage and retention.  Every area is different and normally a county agriculture office will be a great source of information. Also, your local colleges normally have an agriculture office who will help.  You must also check the Ph balance of the soil.  Some plants, like blueberries, thrive in acidic soil, where others, like corn, prefer more alkali soils.  Oak leaves can be mulched into the soil to help raise acid levels and lime (powdered limestone for agriculture purposes)  is used to bring the balance to alkali.  There are several other methods and materials available so read books and learn what common practice in your area is. The Native Americans gave us many useful skills when settlers first arrived in America.  Anglo Americans probably would not have survived if not for the friendship developed with some tribes.  How many enjoy corn on the cob at the Fourth of July celebration you attend?  You can thank a Native American for that, although modern corn today resembles the original very little.  Speaking of giving thanks, we do every year; Thanksgiving was a shared Holiday between the Pilgrims and their Native hosts based on Native tradition after their harvests.  The Natives gave us the “ 3 Sisters ” of agriculture, corn, beans and squash.  Other than corn, I think the other two crops were grown by Europeans before coming to America (different varieties perhaps). The 3 Sisters approach will help maximize growing potential for small spaces.  They would plant the all 3 crops in the same rows. The beans, a pole bean type, would use the corn stalks as their trellis and since they are a legume, they added nitrogen to the soil which corn needs in plentiful amounts.  The squash would grow along the ground where the corn and bean plants helped shade them and they would help keep weeds from growing by “choking out” the soil and blocking the sunlight.  Pole beans normally have a smaller yield overall than bush style beans, but they produce all season long, thus making food available for a longer period of time. Also planting certain flowers has benefits.  Flowers will draw bees which will help pollinate your plants and if a hive is nearby, they will supply you with a very powerful antibacterial and sweetener for tea, honey;  plus beeswax for waterproofing, candles, etc.  Some plants will not only provide food or alternative medicine, but also helps keep other pests and “garden raiders” away; marigolds will kill insects, garlic and mint(s) will help mask the smells of your garden plants from rabbits and other garden raiders.  Some farmers in Indiana plant a few rows of mint around their fields to ward off deer.  The deer do not like going into the fields because the mint smell is so strong they cannot smell a predator closing in. Crockett’s Victory Garden is a good reference for what times to plant, thin out and harvest crops.  Look for books on container gardening , small scale gardening , and companion gardening to get ideas on what will work best for you and your location(s). Also, do not forget to grow some herbs. These will add flavor to foods, some are medicinal, some will ward insects or rodents from the area and most are extremely easy to grow on a windowsill in the kitchen (or south facing window in the Northern Hemisphere). You can build small boxes that are attached to the outside of your window sill to grow them and add some decoration to the house. Herbs have been used for centuries to combat disease, poison, parasites, viruses, etc.  They are also used in “alternative medicine” to help the body mend by regulating hormones and other glandular secretions.  Herbs such as alfalfa, bee pollen, bee propolis, black and blue cohosh, cayenne, garlic (to name a few) are used to regulate blood pressure; alfalfa, cayenne, garlic, dandelion, sage, red raspberry, kelp, reishi mushrooms, among others are used to combat diabetes; barley juice powder, royal jelly, fenu greek, dandelion, shitake and reishi mushrooms, plantain are but some used in the battle with cholesterol ( The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason).  Some herbs can be used to expel or prevent worms in humans and animals and these will be the solutions to medicinal issues once the corner drugstore becomes a memory if an event happens.  You should acquire, study, and plan for any situations that may arise to be prepared; whether foraging wild herbs or growing your own. I recommend books from several authors and then cross reference them for fact checking.  Some books are available for free download ( www.learningherbs.com as one source) and others are available through your local health food store or book store. Look into some of the wild plants that can be forged for food, i.e., cattails, wild fruit and nuts, sassafras, False Solomon’s Seal (the native’s “sweet potato”),  and dandelion, to name a few,  to grow in your garden. The best results would be to establish a “biosphere” of sorts to mimic their natural growing areas. Composting and other natural fertilizers will need to be thought of if a long term event happens ( Miracle Grow probably won’t be available). Native Americans buried a small fish in the soil with their seeds for one idea.  All organic material can be composted, but be careful of the Ph balance certain materials can create.  Manure works well, but chicken and hog manure is very high in nitrogen and can kill plants if added in large amounts directly to the garden spot.  If possible, you can even grind down animal bones into a fertilizer (bonemeal in stores) and some butcher shops do this already. If able to start these projects now, you will benefit from reducing expenses (groceries), have satisfaction in knowing you truly put the food on the table, be able to spend quality time with the family (if done as a group project) and even the young children can be involved in prepping.  Plus I think this is a healthier hobby than being a couch potato, but that is a personal opinion.  I have been trying to grow more organic foods and reduce the chemicals introduced to my body.  Store bought canned goods are usually high in sugars and salts, plus all the preservatives used to abide by the FDA regulations.  I’ve eaten home canned vegetables from 20+ years ago at my Aunt and Uncle’s without any ill effects and I do not remember seeing an expiration date on them either.  Home canning and freezing (if possible) will allow you to enjoy your harvest year round. Mine is personal preference and following my medical provider’s advice to either counteract or hopefully fix my illness (for lack of a better term).  I have 65% of my liver that functions and it no longer regenerates as a healthy liver does.  I’ve been to several doctors and a really well-reputed “Clinic” and after running blood and other tests, I’m usually very politely asked to leave because “they do not want to get involved”.  The oncologist that I was referred to gave me 5-10 years at first then changed to 5 years at best because of the acceleration of the issues and other organs effected.  I have returned my herbalist, which I left during military service, and seem to be on the mend or at least at a stalemate in the battle for my health.  I have learned some things because of my ordeal and hope to learn more.  I do not speak of this for any reason other than sharing why I recommend non hybrid and more natural foods.  It may also help those just beginning, by knowing that you should never give up; survival is 90%+ mental (IMHO).  You can have all the skills and gear possible but if you resign yourself to failure; then you WILL fail. There are several items and needs to consider when undertaking this decision. The SurvivalCache Forum has a category dedicated to this very topic and is a great resource for those looking for ideas or feedback from members who have experience in this skill set.  We all have experiences and past events that have caused us to choose the path we walk today.  I share mine to give a look into what has brought me to the prepping lifestyle and hopefully, maybe give an idea to someone which will help them in their quest.  I can only hope that I may have actually “taught” someone something, but I know I have learned from reading the comments following the articles and on the forum. The Native Americans are one of the best groups at survival known in the modern era.  All cultures, whether they were Celts, Vikings, Goths, etc, had to survive during the “ dark ages ” but they adapted their lives to bring us what we know today.  "The Native Americans" were one of the last populations who still lived a subsistence life.  We owe our very nation to the Natives, who gave our ancestors the knowledge and skills to survive this “New World”.  Most native “tribes” lived a nomadic lifestyle of sorts and “owned” land just by claiming it (and defending it) for their use.  Some Natives, the Cherokee, Iroquois, and Huron/Wyandot to name a few, had great palisaded towns and populations in the thousands.  These Native tribes can be (and should be) a great example of how we can set up a post event community  and be able to live “comfortably” while we reestablish our modern way of life (if so desired). The Longhunters and Mountain Men paved the way for “civilization” to follow but they only tamed the land and did NOT conquer it. It was the pioneer and settler who conquered the land and gave us the great nation we have.  The same will be true after an event, we will need to put down roots (pun intended) to rebuild our nation (whichever nation you call home).  The nomadic lifestyle may be needed in the beginning to survive, but it will take the “new settlers” banding together with neighbors to ward off attacks by “war parties” (Golden Horde) and rebuild society into what we take for granted now.  During a crisis, we must look back on our pioneering forefathers’ lifestyles, as we will need to revert to this for a time.  If we plan forward, it will not take 200 years to reestablish our nation, as we have the luxury of learning from the past.  Remember, hunting grounds will be fought for, homesteads will be raided and we will suffer whatever mother nature can throw at us; but our ancestors managed to build a nation from scratch while plagued by the same conditions.  If possible, prepare now with your neighbors and community for disasters and from there, possibly for a major event. Farming/homesteading is another skill set that unless practiced, you really don’t have it regardless of how many books you’ve read or how many you talked to.  If possible, this skill can save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year that can be used to purchase other essential gear to further enhance your family’s chances of surviving an event.  I try to not only contemplate and plan for an actual event and what’s needed but then what I can do now that will further allow me to acquire the gear I feel is needed (saving money on groceries allows me to purchase more ammo or reloading components).  Prepping must be considered in a “full circle, big picture” style, as each baby step leads to walking, which leads to sprinting which leads to the marathon of a lifetime if an event takes place. Stay Alert, Stay Alive Regulator5 Resources: www.learningherbs.com www.herbmentor.com http://bearmedicineherbs.com www.herbalhealer.com www.diabetescure101.com Photos by: VocaDave MikeBaird MeganandMark Other interesting articles: Survival Gardening: Part 1 Survival Eating Survival Eating: Part 3 Survival Nutrition

Best Hunting Slingshot on a Budget [Complete Review 2020]

Best Hunting Slingshot on a Budget [Complete Review 2020]

When most people think about hunting tools, they tend to think of either firearms or crossbows. Very rarely do people think about the sling shot, little more than a Y-shaped with a rubber band, as being a serious hunting or defensive tool. But in reality, slingshots are more effective than you may think, and you won’t want to overlook them. Contrary to common public perception, slingshots are not a kids toy. Slingshots utilizes kinetic energy delivered by the pull of the rubber bands to send a projectile rocketing into the air. If the rubber band is strong enough and pull back far enough, it can have enough energy to kill small game or birds, or to deliver serious damage to an attacker.  It all really comes down to making sure that you have the best model. Let’s take a look at the uses for a slingshot in a survival scenario, what to look for in a sling shot, and then the best makes and models for you to consider. @import url("//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Open+Sans:400,700&subset=latin");@import url("//fonts.googleapis.com/css?family=Lato:300,700,400&subset=latin");@media (min-width: 300px){[data-css="tve-u-45bd34974a1514"] { background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-05bd34974a141d"] { border: none; background-image: none !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; margin-top: 0px !important; padding: 0px !important; background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-25bd34974a149a"] { background-image: none !important; background-color: rgb(242, 237, 237) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-95bd34974a1640"] { margin-top: -10px !important; background-image: none !important; padding-top: 0px !important; padding-bottom: 15px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { line-height: 1.1em !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { font-family: inherit !important; color: rgb(5, 5, 5) !important; font-size: 17px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { line-height: 1em !important; }[data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] strong { font-weight: 700; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { font-family: Lato; font-weight: 400; font-size: 25px !important; color: rgb(5, 5, 5) !important; }[data-css="tve-u-75bd34974a15c8"] { padding-top: 0px !important; background-image: none !important; padding-bottom: 5px !important; text-align: center; }[data-css="tve-u-115bd34974a16b9"] { padding: 0px 0px 20px !important; background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-35bd34974a14d8"] { max-width: 760px; min-height: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] { margin-left: 0px; padding-top: 0px !important; padding-bottom: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] > .tcb-flex-col { padding-left: 0px; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] { border: none; border-radius: 5px; overflow: hidden; padding: 20px !important; margin-bottom: 20px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-85bd34974a1604"] { width: 85px; float: none; margin: 0px auto !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-145bd34974a1775"] { color: rgb(255, 255, 255) !important; font-size: 16px !important; font-family: "Open Sans" !important; letter-spacing: 1px; font-weight: 400 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-135bd34974a173a"] { overflow: hidden; max-width: 330px; float: none; width: 100%; background-color: rgb(241, 89, 42) !important; border-radius: 5px !important; padding-top: 5px !important; padding-bottom: 5px !important; margin-left: auto !important; margin-right: auto !important; z-index: 3; position: relative; }[data-css="tve-u-145bd34974a1775"] strong { font-weight: 700 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] strong { font-weight: 700 !important; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] .tve-page-section-in { display: block; }}@media (max-width: 767px){[data-css="tve-u-75bd34974a15c8"] { text-align: center; background-image: none !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-125bd34974a16fe"] { font-size: 22px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-05bd34974a141d"] { background-image: none !important; }[data-css="tve-u-25bd34974a149a"] { background-image: none !important; }:not(#tve) [data-css="tve-u-105bd34974a167c"] { font-size: 28px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-95bd34974a1640"] { background-image: none !important; padding-top: 10px !important; padding-bottom: 10px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-55bd34974a1550"] { padding-top: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-45bd34974a1514"] { background-image: none !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-15bd34974a145e"] { padding-bottom: 20px !important; margin-bottom: 0px !important; padding-left: 10px !important; padding-right: 10px !important; }[data-css="tve-u-115bd34974a16b9"] { padding: 10px 0px !important; background-image: none !important; }} .tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_heading h3{margin:0;padding:0}.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element p,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h1,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h2,.tve-leads-conversion-object .thrv_text_element h3{margin:0} Get Deals on Guns and Tactical Gear Join 70,000 Readers For Our Weekly Discounts ​ GET MY DISCOUNTS Table of Contents 1 Uses For A Slingshot In A Survival Situation 2 Qualities To Look For In A Slingshot 3 The Best Slingshots To Consider 4 Conclusion Uses For A Slingshot In A Survival Situation There are two primary uses for a slingshot in a survival situation: for small game hunting and for emergency defense. It can be more effective for both of these purposes than you may have initially suspected. While hunting with a slingshot may seem laughable at best, you should know that a slingshot is fully capable of killing small game within reasonable distances (such as around 30 feet). And this combined with the fact that the slingshot is quiet, dead simple, and has an infinite amount of ammunition (just pick up rocks on the ground) adds to its versatility. Here are some additional advantages to using a slingshot for hunting: It makes it harder for animals to spot you because you have a much smaller overall profile (versus if you were to use a crossbow or a rifle) It makes it easier for you to maneuver through tight conditions It won’t give away your location to anyone else or any other animals in the same area This isn’t to say that the sling shot is the best small game hunting weapon by any means, but it is to say that it is a perfectly viable option. Keeping a slingshot in your bug out bag or your car could be a good idea for this very reason. The slingshot can also be an effective self-defense weapon as well. The advantages for the slingshot as a defensive tool include the following: It’s incredibly easy to locate and use ammo It’s quiet You don’t need to worry about it staying dry, as you would a firearm It can severely injure an attacker, but without actually killing them (if you don’t want to use lethal force) It is very easy to carry and conceal Again, the slingshot may not be the best defensive weapon just as it is certainly not the best hunting option . But also again, this doesn’t mean that the slingshot deserves to be overlooked. Even if the slingshot should not be your primary weapon, it still fills a specific niche, and carrying one around in your vehicle or your bug out bag is not a bad idea for the above reasons. Qualities To Look For In A Slingshot Selecting any random slingshot in the store would be a bad move. Rather, you want to spend the money on a quality slingshot that can actually be an effective hunting and self-defense tool . The first quality to look for is the material of the frame. Most slingshots are made out of one of three materials: plastic, metal, or wood . Each of these have their own pros and cons. The wood is definitely the most classic option, but it’s not the most durable.  Metal slingshots are far more durable (as well as usually lighter), but they are also the most expensive. Plastic slingshots often have a glass filled nylon, and are lightweight and resilient as well. The next thing to look for is the band. A poor quality bad completely ruins the entire reason for owning a slingshot in the first place. Rubber tubes are the longest lasting option, and are also the best choice to use for hunting . Flat bands are a good choice for those who do not use their slingshots often but strongly desire accuracy. A flat bad will, generally speaking, produce faster projectile speeds and improved accuracy over rubber bands. Next, pay attention to the grip of your slingshot. A comfortable grip is extremely important because without it, you won’t enjoy using your slingshot and that means you won’t get as much practice in. A good grip will also reduce fatigue in your wrist and hand, which is another great benefit. It’s also why handling a slingshot in person before buying is a good idea. You can order a slingshot online if you want, but testing out that model in person first, if possible, would be vastly preferable. While not completely necessary, does the slingshot you are considering have a hollow handle? If so, that could be a major plus because it’s a convenient location to carry spare ammunition or spare bands . Not all slingshots have a hollow handle , and it’s certainly not a requirement. It’s just something to consider. "The Best Slingshots" To Consider Now that we know the qualities to look for in a slingshot, lets take a close look at some of the makes and models that are currently available and that meet the above criteria. 1. Dankung Slingshot The Dankung Air Sniper slingshot is built out of aircraft aluminum with a pistol grip body that makes it very comfortable for your hand. It also many penetrating holes that allow you to attach lanyards or other gear such has knives. Each fork will also rotate so you can accommodate literally grip as you see fit. The entire slingshot weighs only a half pound , so it’s a perfect choice for keeping stowed away in your backpack without noticing it. 2. Pocket Hunting Slingshot This is a solid choice for both novice and professional slingshot users alike. It uses two high quality rubber band and has a stainless steel frame , with a weight of around twelve ounces. The bands that come with the slingshot are rather stiff, so some users of the slingshot report that they like to purchase less stiff bands separately. 3. Scout Hunting Slingshot The Scout Hunting slingshot is built with a glass filed nylon construction, which makes it a very durable and resilient model with the ability to withstand heavy duty use . It utilizes latex bands with a premium quality leather pouch. Overall, this isn’t the best choice of sling shot for beginners but it is a truly excellent option for people who are more experienced with the weapon . The indents in the slingshot also allow for a wide variety of different attachment options and bands. 4. Torque Slingshot The Torque Slingshot is affordable, lightweight, high quality, and made in the United States. It’s also fully ambidextrous and designed to easily accommodate both right handed and left handed shooters . Users have also reported that it is very comfortable and easy to use. All in all, this is a great choice for a beginner slingshot. 5. Trumark Slingshot The Trumark FS-1 slingshot is one of the most popular slingshots ever made . It utilizes a plastic wrist guard for comfort with a solid and inexpensive frame. The tubing is not the strongest on the market, but fortunately it’s not anything that you can’t easily swap out on your own. As with the Torque slingshot, the Trumark is a great choice for beginners. The aircraft aluminum build quality is weather resistant, while the wrist guard itself will fold up so you can easily carry it in a bug out bag or a backpack . Conclusion When it comes down to it, the slingshot is a versatile tool that deserves more credit than it receives. Slingshots are a particularly good choice for anyone who are not comfortable with using firearms and/or those who do not have the strength to wield a larger weapon . But as with any tool or weapon, proficiency with the slingshot comes only with practice. Sure, it can be a very effective hunting and defensive tool, but it won’t be if you’ve never used one before. The slingshot may be one of the simplest weapons on the planet, but it’s also a skill based weapon. Related Reads: Best Hunting Rifles Hunting Guns AR-15 For Deer Hunting Shotgun Scopes For Hunting Big Game Hunting Packs Pellet Guns For Hunting Rifles For Elk Hunting Legion Usa Akm Rifle For Hunting Hunting Boots Plinking Or Hunting? 5/5 (1 Review) Alex Joseph Alex Joseph is an avid bow hunter and father of two boys. Originally from Tacoma, Washington. Alex now resides in California. 2 COMMENTS Jake March 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm Tubes are the best choice for hunting but bands are more accurate and powerful??? What is this writer smoking? Also wouldn’t hurt to have an 8th grader check spelling and grammar. Reply Wilfred James Jacques III May 19, 2019 at 5:02 am Wrist rockets of any type are inaccurate at best. Looped tubes can be accurate and they are certainly durable, however, they require MAJOR practice to achieve the kind of accuracy humane hunting requires. I love the traditional Chinese slingshots (looped tubes) but be aware that no serious target shooter uses them. Flat bands are the way to go. You have to learn to tie them yourself. They wear out after a few hundred shots (at best). Try a slingshot that is F, or Through the Forks. The Scout is an excellent example, but I’ve never owned one Google an R10. That’s a good design for most people. Serious slingshots are a new thing. Makers are generally people working in their back-yard. Everybody’s got an opinion, but try Precise latex in .70. It’s generally red. You can find it on eBay. Cut it 2 cm to 1 cm taper. This will give you plenty of power for hunting, but it pulls easily enough for accuracy. Make sure to measure your draw length. Buy steel balls 3/8″ ammo (most common) and get pouches to fit it. I suggest GZK pouches. They are the ones to sell latex also. GZK slingshot. Also try Dankung.com. There’s a lot to learn. I can’t tell you all here. Don’t listen to amateurs. Reply LEAVE A REPLY Cancel reply

Survival Cache Podcast Episode 12: Bug Out Trial Run

Survival Cache Podcast Episode 12: Bug Out Trial Run

Did you ever want to try to test your Bug Out Bag or your Bug Out Plan but did not know where to start or how to do it? Join us on this exciting podcast as Drew and guest Jarhead Survivor from SHTFBlog share with Doc the lessons they learned during a trial run of a bug out scenario. Spoiler Alert: Let’s just say it didn’t go as planned. Want to comment about this podcast? Sound off below in the comments. A fun episode with lots of opinions, click on one of the links below to listen now or download to your phone and listen later. Also, if you love the podcast, please leave us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, or Podbeam. It really helps!!! Other interesting articles: Survival Cache Podcast Episode 14: Derrick of Prepper Press "Survival Cache Podcast" Episode 11: The AR-15 Part II Survival Cache Podcast Episode 9: EDC / Everyday Carry Survival Cache Podcast Episode 13: Glocks & More Glocks

10 Best Bedside Gun Safes 2020

10 Best Bedside Gun Safes 2020

If you are a gun owner, you want to be sure you can quickly and easily access your firearm in an emergency. However, responsible gun owners also need to ensure that their guns are secure and won’t accidentally fall into the wrong hands, whether those of a violent criminal or a curious child . The best way to keep your firearms safe and secure yet readily available is to use a bedside gun safe. There are plenty of options available to the modern gun owner that selecting a bedside gun safe may seem more difficult and confusing than selecting your handgun. Still not sure which one to purchase? Read on, and you will be able to compare the best bedside gun safe models side by side to find the right one for your needs and budget. Top 10 Bedside Gun Safes Comparison Table Picture Name Type of Lock Price Rating (1-5) Picture Name Type of Lock Price Rating (1-5) 1. VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe Bluetooth Smart Pistol Safe with Auto-Open Lid and Rechargeable Battery Biometric and electronic combination $$$$ 4.6 2. Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe Quick Access Electronic Pistol Security Box Electronic combination $$$ 4.4 3. GunVault SV500 - SpeedVault Handgun Safe Electronic combination $$ 4.3 4. Hornady Security Rapid Gun Safe, Black Electronic key fob $ 4.2 5. AmazonBasics Security Safe - 0.5-Cubic Feet Electronic combination $ 4.2 6. BARSKA Top Opening Biometric Fingerprint Safe Biometric $$$ 4.1 7. Gunvault GV1000S Mini Vault Standard Gun Safe Electronic combination $$ 4.1 8. Homak HS10036683 10 x 3.5 x 7.5 Inch Electronic Access Pistol Box Electronic combination $ 3.9 9. Artemis "Biometric Handgun Safe" / Handgun Security Safe - Quick Access to your pistol Biometric $$$ 3.9 10. Gunvault GV2000S Multi Vault Standard Gun Safe Electronic combination $$ 3.8 Choosing a Bedside Gun Safe Many gun owners store their firearms in a large gun safe thinking that it will afford a higher level of security. A bigger gun safe may provide greater fire protection and feature more anti-theft benefits. However, a gun stored in a large gun safe is likely out of reach when you might need it most. A bedside gun safe will allow your firearm to be readily accessible. There are a few things you should take into consideration that will help you determine which safe is the best fit for you and your home. Locks. Today’s bedside gun safes feature several distinct types of locking mechanisms, including: Key Locks. This type of locking mechanism is most common on old-fashioned gun cabinets.  They require a key to unlock and are easier to break into than some other lock designs. Key locks are not a common lock feature for most bedside gun safes because they do not provide quick access. No one wants to be fumbling with keys while in duress and needing access to a weapon. Mechanical Combination Locks. The most common and reliable lock type, mechanical combination locks resemble the lock of your old high school locker. They require a memorized combination and therefore can only be opened by someone who knows the correct sequence of numbers. However, opening them can be difficult and take precious time, especially when under stress. Electronic Combination Locks. Like a mechanical combination lock, these require an access code to open. However, with an electronic lock, there are no dials to manipulate. Instead, you just punch in your combination. They provide quick access, and you can often set the combination. Batteries must be replaced periodically, and if batteries die, it may be become impossible to gain access to the safe’s contents. Biometric Locks. Access is gained to safes with biometric locks with your fingerprint. These locks have become popular for handgun safes because they allow almost instant quick access to secured weapons, but only by select individuals. However, they may not be as reliable as combination locks. Size. The size of your handgun will influence the size gun safe you need. Obviously, if you own a larger handgun, you will require a larger safe. You should also consider where you want to place your gun safe. Is it an appropriate size to slide under the bed? Do you want it to fit inside your nightstand drawer? Will it bother you to have it visible on your bedside table? These are all questions that will help you determine what size gun safe you need. Fire Rating. Most gun safes are lined with fireboard to keep the contents safe from extreme temperatures in the event of a house fire. Safes that are fire resistant are often easier to break in to but will protect your valuables in the event of a fire. Top 3 Best Bedside Gun Safe Reviews 1. VAULTEK VT20i Biometric Handgun Safe If you are looking for rugged anti=theft security, the Vaultek VT20i really delivers. This safe features two-point anti-impact latches and interior mounted hinges for extra protection against break-ins. With its rugged, heavy duty 16-gauge carbon steel construction and durable corrosion-resistant powder coat finish, you can rest assured that this safe will reliably protect its valuable contents for years to come. Smart Safe Technology allows you to use your smartphone to adjust the safe’s interior lighting or unlock from a remote location with a simple swipe of your finger. However, you can also gain quick access to your handgun or other valuables with the easy-to-locate backlit keypad or biometric fingerprint scanner with a storage capacity for up to 20 different user IDs. The style, reliable security features, and easy-access functionality of this durable safe make it hands down the best bedside gun safe on the market today. 2. "Stealth Handgun Hanger" Safe A favorite design of tactical enthusiast, the Stealth Handgun Hanger Safe features a spring-loaded drop-down door for quick access to up to five different handguns and three spare magazines. The safe door pops open so quickly after the correct combination has been entered, that the company installed a speed reducer. This safety feature catches the door for a soft finish, protecting your hard surfaces from jarring or damaging impact. This bedside gun safe features solid steel construction and a recessed door that is practically pry-proof. For an extra level of anti-theft protection, you can bolt down the entire safe. Also included is a free security cable which makes it almost impossible for a thief to sneak off with the safe to open it on his own time. 3. GunVault SV500 – SpeedVault Handgun Safe Multiple mounting options and included hardware, you can conveniently place this easy access gun safe almost anywhere. Featuring rock-solid construction from 18-gauge steel and reliable, high strength locking mechanism, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing you’re using some the most reliable security on the market. The soft foam interior keeps your handguns and other valuables safe from scratches and prevents rattling. The foam may need to be customized if you have special hardware or customization on your pistols. Access codes are easy to program, but the safe can be finicky about how quickly you press the combination buttons. It may be difficult to open when you are fumbling from panic or a rush of adrenaline. We recommend doing a few practice runs, because the more you open the safe, the easier the task is to perform even when under duress.

5 Best AR-15 Flash Hiders: No More Fireballs

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s When it comes to AR-15s, there are a number of great muzzle devices out there, especially if you’re into shooting sports like 3-Gun competitions , where big compensators and muzzle brakes are the name of the game. It seems, though, there’s one category that’s often overlooked. Colt M4 Flash Hider The humble flash hider is a frequently-ignored option that really shines in the right situations — particularly on a short barrel or for night-time use. Many folks don’t realize just how blinding and disorienting a muzzle flash can be in low-light scenarios. This is especially an issue in a number of scenarios, such as hunting close to dark (or after dark, when legal), keeping the flash from your weapon low for stealth, shooting in a competition that runs late in the day, or shooting in a competition Even if none of the above apply, but you just want something that looks a bit better on the end of your rifle than the factory flash hider, I recommend picking up an aftermarket flash hider. We’ll go over how exactly these flash hiders work, how to choose a new one, and some of the best ones out there. How Do Flash Hiders Work? When we fire a gun, propellant inside the cartridge is transformed into energy and used to propel a projectile.  This has a secondary effect of producing a flash of super-hot gasses and unburnt powder out of the end of the barrel. A flash like this is especially evident in something like a short-barreled rifle, a shotgun, or an AR pistol. With these weapons, less powder is burnt before the bullet leaves the end of the barrel, and thus you have an expanding cloud of powder leaving the barrel along with the bullet. Fireball from a Tac-14 , but you get the idea. This unburnt powder creates a brilliant flash of light that can blind the shooter and can make stealth in such a situation an even more difficult proposition.  If you’re using an AR-15 defensively, such as in the event of a home invasion or another situation where you’re firing a gun in a dark, enclosed space, you’re going to have problems without a flash hider. First, you’re going to clearly give away your position even more than you would with the sound of the shot alone.  A gunshot in close quarters may not be as easy to triangulate the origin of as you might think, but a giant fireball tells the bad guy just where to empty a mag. Looking for the best AR-15 ammo? Read our top picks for range and home defense ammo for your AR-15 . Also, I’ve worked with all manner of disabled shooters, but there’s a reason you never see any blind folks at the range — shooting while blind is a recipe for disaster, and blinding yourself in the presence of an enemy is a supremely bad thing. Chances of hitting your target…are low. Source If you’re shooting at night without a good flash hider, that’s exactly what you’re going to do. You’ll be seeing stars for minutes afterward, and God help you if you’re doing something like action shooting sports where you’re ripping through mags at a time. You’ll find yourself wondering why you thought it was a good idea to do this in the first place. Enter the humble flash hider —here to spare your corneas and save the day.  These devices work by quickly dissipating the expanding gases, cooling them, and dispersing or containing the unburnt powder. They do this by using prongs to cool the gases and unburnt powder and shunt them away from the end of the barrel. This allows them to cool further and keeps them from igniting in the great big fireball you’d have otherwise. What you’re left with isn’t a totally invisible flash — and if you’re running 5.56 in a less than 12” barrel you’ll still have a sizeable fireball — but the results from a good flash hider will be remarkably better than a bare barrel or a default A2 flash hider. Some of the best flash hiders also double as compensators or muzzle brakes, so you’ll be getting a little better performance in the recoil department as well.  We cover those too in Best Muzzle Brakes & Compensators . Some Muzzle Brakes Chilling But for now…let’s go over what are the best flash hiders?  I’m glad you asked. Best AR-15 Flash Hiders You won’t find any flashy sales pitches here, just the best of the best . While none of them will completely eliminate flash signature, they will certainly give you a leg up when trying to preserve your night vision or to cut down on some of the fireball that’s created when you squeeze off a round through a short-barrelled carbine or AR pistol. 1. Smith Vortex Arc Helix Flash Hider For a long time, the Vortex Flash Hider was the standard by which most pure flash hiders were judged.  The prongs on this flash hider are precisely engineered through some truly exhaustive testing to disperse gasses and unburned powder incredibly well, while also quickly providing a lot of surface area to absorb the heat from the rapidly expanding gasses of ignition. What you’re left with is one of the best-performing flash hiders out there, even if it doesn’t do anything for recoil. Most Effective Flash Hider Smith Vortex "Arc Helix Flash" Hider 58 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 58 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing This is actually the flash hider I default to when someone asks me for a recommendation and doesn’t want anything too… well, flashy I guess. Aesthetically, it’s pretty simple looking, and it doesn’t do anything to disturb the lines on a clean rifle build like some of the more aggressively-styled flash hiders do.  And while looks aren’t everything, there’s no reason our guns have to be ugly. Finally, if you want something a bit different, CMMG makes a version , aptly named the “Striker,” that has four carbide glass breaker tips on the end in case you often have to breach windows before firing your rifle. If you do, please let me hear from you in the comments — I’d love to know what your life is like that you need a dedicated glass breaker on the end of your firearm. 2. Seekins Precision Rook 5.56 Flash Hider The "Seekins Precision Rook" Flash Hider is another dedicated flash hider that looks and performs miles better than a default A2 FH.  This thing looks positively wicked, and it more than does the job. Rook Flash Hider The prongs are designed in a similar fashion to the Vortex, where you have three open-ended and bladed prongs to rapidly cool and disperse ignition gasses, while also keeping unburnt powder flash to a minimum. The whole thing is then covered with a rugged and wear-resistant custom melonite coating and comes in a few different thread pitches so you won’t need an adaptor if you have non-standard threads on your barrel. Finally, the Seekins Precision Rook Flash Hider is relatively cheap, especially considering the quality machining involved.  You can regularly find these on sale in the $40 range, and they make a perfect cheap alternative to a default FH. 3. Black Rain Ordnance Flash Suppressor If you’re looking for something a little bit different from the three-pronged design, and don’t mind looking a little Max Maxian, the "Black Rain Ordnance" Flash Suppressor may be the option for you. Most Aggressive Flash Hider Black Rain Ordnance Milled Flash Suppressor 90 at Optics Planet Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 90 at Optics Planet Prices accurate at time of writing The aggressive “milled pineapple” styling makes a certain statement. I’m not sure what exactly that statement is, but it makes it.  You get a combination glass breaker/striker design that is going to seriously ruin somebody’s day if you jab them with it, although it’s still considerably less lethal than say, pulling the trigger. For all that, it’s still remarkably good as a flash hider.  All those little knobs and such give you a lot of mass and surface area with which to disperse heat and unburned powder, and the porting holes on the side, while they don’t do anything for recoil, are very precisely engineered.  The extra mass does help a little bit with recoil, but honestly, you’d be a bit hard-pressed to tell a difference. Finally, the finish is excellent, if a bit uninspired, and the machining is as good as I’ve come to expect from BRO. 4. BCM Gunfighter MOD 1 Now we get to some of the flash hiders that aren’t just flash hiders.  I’ve made no secret of my love for Bravo Company’s products, and the MOD 1 is no exception to my feelings for the rest of the company’s offerings. BCM Gunfighter Comp Mod 1 95 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 95 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing The MOD 1 is half compensator, half flash hider, all awesome, and it combines the three-pronged approach of most flash hiders with the precision porting of a compensator to deliver a muzzle device that not only does a fantastic job of reducing flash signature, but also kills a lot of vertical recoil.  Now, is it as good as some of the more aggressive comps out there? No. But it’s doing so much more. BCM’s comps are great, but even the best compensators spit out a huge fireball.  Not so with the MOD 1. This thing is a flash hider more than most flash hiders. In fact, BCM specifically states that this is not a “gamer comp.”  In other words, not designed with competition in mind. This is a working man or woman’s comp, and it is a great compromise between the stealth and preservation of night vision you get with a flash hider and the recoil control of a minimalist compensator. One thing I will note is that the inside is a bit different from most muzzle devices, particularly flash hiders. While most other options are designed to disperse and otherwise port away gasses and unburned powder, the BCM MOD 1 actually uses some clever engineering to oppose the gasses, powder, and little bits of bullet that you normally see shunted away. This leads to pitting on some of the interior surfaces of the MOD 1 but don’t worry .  This is intentional, and the wear surfaces of the MOD 1 are designed to last for hundreds of thousands of rounds without any loss of performance. From BCM: “… the user may notice small pits on the interior surfaces of the compensator. This is normal. These surfaces are specifically designed to operate within the environment found at the muzzle, and are intended to allow significant amounts of deterioration before any loss of performance is seen/felt.” Of all the flash hiders on this list, this is the one I’d pick if I were in the market myself. 5. JP Enterprises 3 Prong Flash Hider I’m going to end with the flash hider I recommend the most: the JP Enterprises 3 Prong model. JP Flash Hider “But wait,” I hear you saying, “didn’t you just tell us you’d pick the BCM MOD 1?”  Yep, sure did. But that’s for me. I’m not looking for a dedicated flash hider. If you’ve found this article, chances are that you are. If you want something that eliminates as much of the flash signature of your rifle as possible, this is the one you want. The three-pronged exterior is pretty standard, even if it is machined with more precision than most things that have been fired into space.  It looks good… clean, classic, without being boring and mundane like an A2 (I really hate the A2 birdcage, if you haven’t figured that out yet).  On the inside though, there’s some truly wicked stuff happening. Each of the three prongs is serrated and looks almost like rows and rows of shark teeth.  This design helps the prongs to dissipate gasses and powder effortlessly, and what you’re left with is a flash hider that almost completely eliminates flash signature from a normal barrel. This flash hider is also the best for those looking to eliminate the most flash from short-barrelled pistols and carbines, as well as those who want to eliminate some of the flash from firing blanks. All in all, I think this is probably the best pure flash hider on the market, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who’s looking for one. What’s your take on the JP? Readers' Ratings 4.95/5 (195) Your Rating? Parting Shots That’s about it for flash hiders. I hope this info helped, and I hope you enjoy the recommendations. I’ve tested all of these products, and they’re all wonderful, truly.  I would happily carry a gun fitted with any of the flash hiders listed. What do you think of these flash hiders?  Got another one I should try next? Let me know in the comments below! Looking for some recoil taming or reduced reticle movement? Check out our "Best Muzzle Brakes" & Compensators . Tested Muzzle Brakes

Best 9mm Pistols [Full-Size, Compact, Sub-Compact]

Trending: Best Places to Buy Ammo Online and [Buyer's Guide] 7 Best AR-15s Saying there is a best full-size, compact and sub-compact 9mm is like saying there’s the best pizza. There are so many fine guns available to shooters today the choices are mind-boggling . Some 9mm Semi-Autos and a .357 Revolver Before you start stabbing away at your keyboard because we didn’t pick your favorite 9mm pistol… relax . Take a deep breath. Now, listen: this isn’t the end-all, be-all definition of the only good or best in every possible way, or perfect 9mm handguns. These are the top 9mm for general purposes, a wide-reaching, and accessible definition. In other words, if you could only have one and needed it to do almost anything decently – these are my top picks . Table of Contents Loading... How to Choose At least we’ve gotten it down to 9mm… 9mm (115gr vs 124gr vs 147 HP) Choosing the right gun for you is a personal choice and not one that is entirely simple. The most important though is how the gun fits your hands. If you’re not comfortable holding it, there is no way you’ll shoot well. Everything else, like striker-fired Vs. exposed hammer, DA/SA or double action, frame material, single or double stack magazine, all of those are really only something you can answer as to what you like best. They all have their pros and cons, but going into each and every option is an exhausting and often immaterial process. It becomes quickly apparent that no one gun is right for every shooter and no matter what a gun writer says is best, someone will likely disagree for some reason. Best is a very subjective term. So here we go…hang on tight when the comments start rolling in. Best Full-Size 9mm Glock 17 There is no doubt that Glock is one of the top handgun builders on the planet. Since the roll-out of the first Glock 17 in 1982 over 5 million Glocks have been produced. Even though the Glock was originally put down as a “plastic gun”. Newst Generation Glock Glock 17, Gen 5 628 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 628 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing It was, and likely still is, the leader in the polymer-framed pistol world. The Austrian military was the first to select the Glock as their sidearm of choice after the 1982 trials. Since then nearly 50 countries have had Glocks of all shapes and sizes as their favored sidearm for police and military forces. The Glock 17 was named after the 17th patent Glock secured.  It also uses 17-round magazines. The 17 is still the most widely used pistol worldwide by law enforcement agencies. Today, there are 5 generations of Glock 17’s to choose from. All variations stem from the original but may have slightly different grip designs, sights, flared magazine wells and such. Deleted Scene From the New It Movie But for a go anywhere, do anything handgun the Glock 17 will do anything you ask of it and keep coming back for more. In 1990 Chuck Taylor wrote the first of what would become four articles on his Glock 17 100,000-round torture test . By 1995 he had run 100,000 rounds through his Glock and drew from the holster over 100,000. Glock Safe Action Safety System In all that time there were only two malfunctions. No springs or internal parts were replaced. Accuracy remained the same from the first rounds fired. This alone should be proof that the average shooter will not wear out a Glock over a lifetime of carrying, competing or shooting recreationally. Why the Glock 17 Rocks First, the previously mentioned durability. When we spend our hard-earned money on a gun we want a gun that shoots no matter what and that we can trust if called on to protect ourselves or our loved ones. Second, the Glock polymer frame is nearly indestructible. No rust, no scratches, no dings. You don’t have to baby a Glock. Good Trigger Discipline Glock 17 Third, there are only 34 component parts in a Glock pistol. That means fewer pieces to wear out, fewer pieces to break and allows for simple service. Additionally, Glock components within a specific model are interchangeable pistol to pistol. That means if you have a breakdown you can rob a part from another Glock and get your gun back into service fast. Fourth, there are lots of aftermarket parts for the Glock 17. You can upgrade the trigger , change the sights , drop in a new barrel or upgrade the whole slide and more! Not convinced? The G17 is one of just 5 guns that made our Best Glocks list! What’s your take on the G17? Readers' Ratings 4.84/5 (931) Your Rating? Best Compact 9mm Sig Sauer P320 In January 2014 Sig rolled out the new Sig P320 polymer framed pistol. Three years later the announcement came that the P320 had won the XM17 Modular Handgun System competition and stepped into a new role for our military. Most Versatile "Sig Sauer P320" Compact 530 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 530 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Rainier Arms (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The key feature of the Sig P320 is its modular design. The fire control unit is the part with the serial number and the part the ATF is most concerned with when it comes to the purchase of the firearm. Sig P320 Fire Control Unit This stainless part is interchangeable with all grip size configurations and calibers including 9mm, 40 S&W, and .357 Sig. Once you own the fire control unit you can literally put together any combination of grip size, slide length and caliber you want. It’s kind of like Legos for big kids. To ensure you find a gun that fits your hand you can choose from four chassis sizes and three grip sizes. The caliber exchange kits consist of the barrel, slide, recoil assembly, and magazine. With the modularity of the P320 system, your favorite compact 9mm could also become your favorite sub-compact 9mm, but we’ll discuss that later. Sig P320 X-Change Kit 407 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 407 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing Before we go into why the Sig P320 kicks ass, we should mention the glaring issue with it… Shortly after Sig won the military competition, they issued a “ voluntary upgrade program ” (that’s corporate lawyer for “recall” but to be fair, the upgrades did make a better gun) of the Sig p320. The short version of what happened is that under some fairly rare situations, a P320 had the chance to discharge when dropped. The internet is not a place for the thin-skinned. Since even a small chance of that happening with a modern firearm is generally deemed unacceptable, Sig tweaked the design a bit and fixed the problem. Assuming you’re buying your P320 new, you shouldn’t have to worry about this. Sig stopped production while they fixed the issue and all new production guns have had the upgrades done from the start. The added upside to the “upgrades” is that by changing the design slightly, they made a better gun. Not only safer but improved the trigger pull as well. Why the Sig P320 Rocks First, the modularity of the system. The ease with which you can change calibers, frames and grip sizes gives you a lot of options. For those in states where buying handguns is a less than enjoyable experience this gives you some choices without filling out a bunch of paperwork and playing waiting games. Second, it’s a Sig! Sigs are known for reliability, accuracy, and is easy to shoot. The P320 is no different. SIG P320 X-Five 950 at Cabelas Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 950 at Cabelas Prices accurate at time of writing This is a great gun for carrying, informal shooting and plinking, and personal defense. Third, the polymer frame and stainless fire control group and slide make this a pistol ready for anything you or Mother Nature can dish out. The P320 also comes with metal magazines. Most of today’s polymer guns come with polymer magazines. The Sig mags load easily and slip out of the gun when empty smoothly. Still not sure? Check out our Complete Sig P320 Review! Best Sub-Compact 9mm Springfield XD-S I’ll confess, I like Springfield Armory XD Pistols . I think there are at least 3 in the safe right now. There is something about the grip design that just feels better in my hand than Glocks. Remember, the best gun for you is different than the best gun for me. It’s all subjective. Springfield XD(S) 3.3 480 at Brownells Prices accurate at time of writing View Details 480 at Brownells Compare prices (2 found) Brownells (See Price) Cabela's (See Price) Prices accurate at time of writing The Springfield Armory XD-S 3.3” Single Stack 9mm makes the cut for my list as the best sub-compact 9mm. Back in 2012, the XD-S line launched with the introduction of a sub-compact 45 ACP. It quickly became obvious that there was a niche for this type of concealed carry gun and Springfield followed up the 45 ACP with models in 9mm and 40 S&W. Today’s 9mm single stack offering is big on features, including the ability to carry it daily and literally forget you have a gun on your belt. Like our other two 9mm’s, the XD-S is a polymer framed gun with a steel slide. One of the features I really like about the XD pistols is the grip safety. It gives a little extra margin of safety for concealed carry with a Condition-One gun. The pistol also comes with two grip backstraps so you can tailor the fit for your hand. You will also find two stainless steel magazines with the gun; a flush-fitting 7-round magazine and an 8-round Mid-Mag X-Tension™ magazine. Why the XD-S 9mm Rocks First, it is a very controllable and comfortable gun when shooting. Yet, it is easy to carry and conceal and every day. Second, the gun comes with two magazines, two grip backstraps and a great 3-dot sight system with a fiber optic front and white dot rears. You also have the added peace of mind of the grip safety. Third, a durable polymer frame and steel slide with a Melonite finish mean this gun is ready for any carry and use conditions you can dish out. The fit and finish on these guns are excellent as well. Final Thoughts This brief look at some of the best 9mm handguns available is meant to give you a place to start in your search for your perfect handgun. Spend some time at the range with some rental guns and find the gun that fits your hand perfectly, points naturally and is easy for you to operate. One thing you will notice is all of these guns are polymer, striker-fired systems. We have come a long way since Glock rolled out the first ‘plastic gun’. Gone are the days of having only revolvers and blued steel semi-autos to choose from. The newest generation of polymer guns are durable, accurate, customizable, come in all sizes and they are fun to shoot. This might be the opening of Pandora’s Box but, what are your top picks? Let us know in the comments! Or if you want to know the Best Handguns for Beginners (including revolvers).

Summary

We all bring skills, experience and education to the discussion, which is what makes our “neighborhood” so great.   These assets differ by person and age group, but that adds to the diversity needed for new ideas and creating a balanced outlook. Read Part 1: Survival Eating Quick Navigation Personal Lessons Survival Livestock & Gardening Predators Crops Personal Lessons My prepping began as a child, although I did not know this at the time.