Necessary Survival Gear: What You Need to Get NOW

People understand the importance of having a food storage supply, as this is necessary for weather emergencies, national disasters or other harmful global events. It is just as important to have an emergency survival gear kit on hand.

Highlighted below are our top 10 emergency gear recommendations:

  1. Emergency Kit – A basic emergency kit includes a good knife, a multi-tool and LED flashlights.
  2. Water Filter – There are different types of water filtration kits based on the number of people in a group that will need fresh water. Individuals can opt for a microfilter water bottle. Additionally, there are different filtration options that range from filtering thousands of gallons to those that accommodate large groups of people.
  3. Emergency Food – Opt for freeze-dried entrees, energy bars or other items that are easy to pack in case staying at home is not an option.
  4. Gun – Consider buying a handgun or rifle, which can help someone survive in areas that have dangerous wild animals. It can also be used to hunt game or for emergency self-defense situations.Remember that if you own a gun, it is important to regularly practice shooting targets, so you are fluent, using this deadly weapon. When purchasing shooting targets, opt for AR500 steel targets.
  5. Shelter – Opt for tents that feature rain flys and taped seams.
  6. Warmth – Opt for a reflective emergency bag and pocket hand warmers. If someone has to sleep outdoors, temperatures plummet, and it is important to avoid hypothermia.
  7. First Aid Kit – Purchase a small, basic first aid kit that contains individual items, such as pain reliever, bandages, alcohol wipes, etc.
  8. Power – Consider purchasing a solar battery charger. While it won’t keep household appliances running, it can charge cell phones or rechargeable radio batteries.
  9. Communications – A shortwave radio can help in a true emergency.
  10. Cooking – To have a way to boil water, research small collapsible stoves, which are excellent for outdoor cooking. Make sure to have fuel and matches in the emergency kit too.


A Guide to Understanding Shotgun Chokes

A shotgun is designed to shoot a column of round pellets and fans out into a pattern. This pattern widens as the pellets travel further from the muzzle. As the pattern continues to spread, there will be too much space between the pellets to effectively hit gun targets.

To help make shotguns more accurate, gun designers redesigned the “choke.” The choke allows the pellets to be shot in a constricted pattern, making them more effective. The gun’s choke is located within the last two inches of the barrel. As the pellets travel down the barrel, the choke compresses the pellets before exiting. Gun designers have developed different degrees of constriction, which helps in shooting competitions, covering different game animals and shotshell payloads.

Fixed and Interchangeable Chokes

A shotgun’s choke is one of two designs: a “fixed choke” or an “interchangeable choke.” Many older and side-by-side shotgun models have fixed chokes, which means it is built-in to the end of the barrel, closest to the muzzle end. Side-by-side barrels have two different types of constrictions. One barrel may be an Improved Cylinder while the second is a tighter Modified. Popular combinations include incorporating both Modified and Full. These types of barrels are ideal for game bird hunting. Shooters of this type of double-barrel gun would fire the most open barrel at the shooting targets first, which causes birds to flush and disperse from a covey. The second shot includes a tighter choked barrel at a second bird.

Modern shotguns feature interchangeable chokes. These designs feature short tubes of metal, which are tighter in diameter than the barrel of the shotgun. This is the most popular type of shotgun choke among shooters, as they can easily change chokes to fit whatever hunting situation they face.

Chokes range from a Cylinder (the most open) to different types of ultra-tight, extra-full. For example, a shotgun barrel that features a Cylinder choke has no constriction. The diameter is identical to the barrel’s internal dimension. This design will offer the widest pellet pattern. This type of choke is good for close shots of game birds and clay shooting targets. It is also popular for home defense.

The Improved Cylinder choke is considered the first level of constriction. It is 0.010-inch narrower in diameter when compared to the barrel diameter. This provides a small amount of constriction to the shot as the pellets exit the barrel. This is good for shooting a wide pattern at distances to approximately 30 yards. This is a popular type of choke for shooting clay targets that are thrown to 30 yards.The next tightest choke is the Modified choke. It provides a reduction of 0.020-inch. It is an excellent all-around choke. This works well for shooting clay targets from 30 to 45 yards.

The next tightest choke is the Modified choke. It provides a reduction of 0.020-inch. It is an excellent all-around choke. This works well for shooting clay targets from 30 to 45 yards.

The Full choke is a waterfowl hunter’s dream. With a bore reduction of 0.035-inch, this choke is excellent for hitting targets further than 40 yards. This type of choke will not work for targets closer than 25 yards.

Tips for Trap and Skeet Shooting

Skeet shooting is different from shooting steel targets. Trap and skeet shooting helps hunters improve their bird hunting skills, assisting in developing fast hand-eye coordination. Trap and skeet shooting involves a machine throwing clay bird targets in the air.

Trap shooting involves launching targets from a single machine. Skeet shooting is shooting targets from two machines so that they form an intersecting path in front of the shooter.

The best weapon to practice trap and skeet shooting is a shotgun. A 12-gauge is preferable, but people will need at least a 20-gauge. Shotguns can be semi-automatic, pump action or double-barreled and feature a 26-inch or longer barrel with an open choke.

There is a great degree of unpredictability when launching targets, which gives shooters the ability to develop their hunting and shooting skills.

To improve trap and skeet shooting skills, follow these helpful tips:

  • Point and Shoot – When using a shotgun, point the weapon at the target and pull the trigger. These types of shotguns do not have sights, just a tiny bead that is located at the end of the barrel.
  • Keep Eyes Open – Shooters are following moving targets, which means it’s important to keep both eyes open to help track it. Determine which eye is dominant and use that eye to focus on the target.
  • Body Position – The body’s position should be comfortable and relaxed, in a boxer’s stance. This means having the lead leg slightly bent and the rear leg straight. It is important to have a slight bend at the waist, making it easier to bend forward into the shotgun. This helps control the gun’s recoil and allows the body to rotate at the waist and easily track targets.
  • Holding the Gun – A proper hold involves holding the butt of the stock firmly in the shoulder pocket, which is located between the collarbone and arm. The shooting elbow should be parallel to the ground.
  • Cheek to the Stock – The shooter’s cheek should be placed firmly on the top of the stock, moving the head slightly forward, so the nose is approximately one to two inches from the shooting hand. If any length of the barrel is visible, the head is placed too high. Only the top of the receiver and barrel bead should be visible.
  • Swinging the Gun – Swing the front of the shotgun while tracking the bird. When the muzzle covers the bird and makes it not visible, pull the trigger in a quick, efficient manner. It is also important to have follow-through when engaging targets. Resist any urges to swing the gun to the target. Good shooting skills require continuously swinging the shotgun through targets while firing.

It is important that hunters are fluent in shooting both moving clay targets and also steel shooting targets. A combination of these two provides a well-rounded base for shooters.

Helpful Summer Hunting Tips

Summer hunting usually involves searching for coyotes, squirrels, wild hogs and prairie dogs. Summer hunting trips are fun and enjoyable for older kids, parents, men and women.

To prepare for summer hunting trips, make sure to follow these helpful guidelines:

  • Avoid the Heat – Always bring plenty of water. The average person requires at least two quarts of water daily to survive. If hunting in extreme heat, this amount goes up.
  • Leave Early – To avoid mid-day summertime heat, leave early. Most small game adjusts their schedules to come out at dawn and dusk. Animals are more active during the day and evening hours when it isn’t too hot outside. Consider scouting during peak heat hours and relaxing around camp.

Boost Productivity

Check off pre-season chores by preparing for fall and big game hunts. Summertime gives hunters an excellent opportunity to check their favorite areas for big game movement. Consider setting up tree cameras to learn big game’s patterns as the seasons move on.

If areas allow baiting, consider starting food plots in the late spring, as this will help attract deer during the summer, which makes it easy to start tracking their regular activities. Use the summertime to clear out underground brush and clear for additional shooting lanes, which will make it easy to set up tree stands and blinds. Become familiar with hunting grounds, regularly walking trails and becoming more familiar with the grounds.

Use this time to practice shooting gun targets. Opt for high-quality steel targets, as these will last season after season. Hone your skills, purchase new weapons and become fluent in learning how to shoot and reload guns effectively. Walk rough terrain, set up rifles with sights and learn how to relax and get comfortable shooting in different positions, such as lying down, standing, kneeling, etc.

Practice makes perfect and fall hunting season will arrive sooner than anticipated. Maintain gear, explore favorite hunting spots and get in top shape for fall.

Famous Quotes from Pistol Shooting Experts

Whether you’re hitting the range to practice home defense or you simply love shooting, we have quotes to help you boost your shooting targets skills from the top pistol shooting experts.

Take aim and note!

“When you try to fire the dummy round (thinking it’s a life round), you’ll see the muzzle dip slightly (or more). That’s the flinch, or anticipation if you prefer.” – Tom Gresham

“At 4 yards, the shooter doesn’t kid himself about whether or not human error was involved.” – Massad Ayoob

“The secret is accepting that movement I see in the sights, holding them as close as I can to my aiming mark and being smooth on the trigger like I am dragging my finger through thick peanut butter.” – Julie Golob

“Being fast in getting the gun out of the holster and making hit is important. Why? For competition every tenth of a second counts.” – Bryce M. Towsley

“After you got your sights aligned, slowly squeeze the trigger. If your squeeze is slow and smooth then the coin will stay on.” – Chris Cheng

“Each trigger being different requires the shooter to really pay attention to how he is controlling it.” – Peter Burlingame

“The overall drill enforces the concept of fire control. As a shooting drill it makes me a more controlled and effective shooter.” – Lieutenant Raymond E. Foster

“Timing and precision are critical skills. And the Rangemaster Bullseye Course was designed to help achieve them.” – Tom Givens

“I turn my target around and shoot at a blank face. This helps to take away the distraction of the black center and just shoot my hold and trigger control.” – Brian Zins

“The hardest part of shooting is controlling your subconscious mind to pick the right speed/accuracy for the distance and level of complexity of the shot.” – John McPhee

“By offsetting the timing of the shot-to-shot process, this drill allows you to focus on follow-through, reset and shot-to-shot recovery.” – Michael Janich

“This shot process is very complex and there’s not really a simple answer to this due to the several stages of the process.” – Ian Morris

“When you focus on the sound of your voice, you’re not focused – or you’re less focused – on the anticipation of the recoil.” – Teresa Ovalle

“You draw the pistol, build your grip up, and then fire at a reasonable pace at tight targets. I also like the goal of never missing a dot across multiple strings.” – Ben Stoeger

“The Fundamentals of Markmanship are best learned shooting groups from a bench rest, at a distance of 25 to 50 yards.” – Brian Enos

“The target size is reduced as the shooter learns to control the movement of the gun and when to break a shot during that movement.” – Grant Cunningham

“My advice on improving shooting and accuracy are dry fire exercises.” – Helmut Brokamp

“The learning comes, not when the gun goes ‘bang,’ but when it goes ‘click.’ When the gun goes ‘click,’ the barrel should not move. – Les Hall

“Accuracy is knowing your trigger, where the break is, where the reset is, all while managing recoil.” – Monte A. Jessee

“Your job is to activate the trigger without disturbing the sights off of the particular target you wish to engage.” – Max Michel, Jr.

Regular practice shooting steel targets will help boost skills and make people more comfortable shooting their weapons.

The Best Ammunition for Home Security

Most people that buy a home for home safety protection do not take into account the caliber and ammunition type. The general theory is that the larger the bullet in the gun, the better chance of hitting the intruder. However, it is important to find a gun and ammunition that works best for your needs. After all, a 9mm hit is far better than a miss with a .45 caliber bullet.

The reality is that most gunshot wounds are survivable today. This means that regardless of what caliber you use, shot placement is more important. Shots to the brain and chest cavity have the best chances of quickly incapacitating attackers.

It is important to consider your body type and shape when purchasing a home defense gun. If you are petite and have smaller hands, the recoil from a .45 caliber is going to be back blowing. However, smaller hands can easily operate the enhanced controls of a 9mm pistol, giving more control in emergencies.

Some people purchase less expensive “ball” or full metal jacket ammunition for home defense situations. Ball ammo is acceptable for training, but it generally passes through people, which minimize the effects of the bullet. It also increases the chances of hitting an unintended target nearby, such as neighbors or a family member. It is common for ball ammunition to penetrate through several interior walls.

When facing a home-defense situation, hollow-point ammunition is the best. These are designed for optimal expansion upon impact, which creates a larger wound and also helps to contain the bullet.

Safely storing a firearm is also important. You don’t want to keep a loaded gun accessible to children, irresponsible adults or even in the path of an intruder to use against you.
A solid, safe choice for storing your firearm and having it accessible to you during emergencies is a biometric safe. These types of safes are programmed to open using a fingerprint. These safes are pricey but well worth the safety and peace of mind for home security.

Responsible gun owners regularly practice with their guns, making sure they are ready for any type of emergency situation that may arise. Regular practice shooting targets will help you improve your aim and accuracy, both of which are vital when faced with life-threatening situations. Opt for AR500 steel targets, as they are solid and offer long time use.

The Best Guns for Home Security

If you have ever been the victim of a home invasion, you know that the paralyzing fear of insecurity haunts you. The right to defend your life is protected under the Second Amendment.

Handguns: Pistols and Revolvers

The majority of pistols are semi-automatic weapons. This means that once they fire, a new round is automatically inserted into the magazine. Revolvers are more difficult to shoot than pistols, as they have a heavier trigger pull. Since pistols have a lighter pull, there is less likelihood that it will move off-target, giving you more accuracy.

If you are looking for a handgun for home defense, a full-size pistol is a perfect choice. Pistols have a more complicated operation than revolvers. Reloading a pistol under stress does take practice and coordination. This can be challenging for inexperienced shooters or if someone is operating a pistol under a life and death situation.

Since a full-size pistol is a superb choice for home defense, you will need to select a model that is comfortable for shooting. You will need to find a handgun where you have a confident, strong grip, which will give you ultimate control.

To determine if your hand is large enough for a certain type of pistol, use this easy test:

  • Grip the gun so that the slide aligns with the middle of your forearm.
  • Make sure you are able to reach the trigger without changing your grip on the firearm.
  • Confirm that the magazine release, external safety and slide release are all within comfortable reach while maintaining your shooting grip on the weapon.

Revolvers have fewer parts, which means there are fewer chances of a malfunction. However, they also hold less ammunition than pistols, which means that in home defense situations, you’ll need better accuracy when faced with life or death. One important thing to note: if a revolver malfunctions, you simply pull the trigger again and a new cylinder comes into alignments with the barrel.

Shotguns and Rifles

The shotgun is the ultimate home defense weapon. There are, however, some drawbacks to using a shotgun inside a home.

Featuring an extended sight radius, a shotgun must be operated with both hands. A shotgun is simply pointed in a direction, rather than aiming, which means you can load it with buckshot and spray bullets in your intruder’s direction. You should also note that stray pellets can cause injury, bodily harm or kill other people.

Since shotguns require both hands, it can be difficult to walk through your home turning on lights, checking doors and searching for intruders. The barrel length is also longer, which can make it difficult to maneuver around corners without giving away your location.

Rifles have ammunition that can cause over-penetration when used, which means that you would need to worry about your neighbors receiving one of these blow-out bullets. A rifle is easier to shoot and is more accurate than handguns, but they are also less accessible during life and death defense situations.

Before you purchase a gun for home defense, make sure you research what type of gun best suits your needs and body frame. Additionally, make sure regularly practice shooting your weapon using gun targets. Steel targets offer extreme durability, making them excellent to use year after year.  It is important to be prepared for any emergency.

Hunting Safety Checklist

Hunting is a tradition that is often passed down from family members generation to generation. When children hear hunting stories, it is also important to incorporate gun safety tips. Consider using the checklist below as a guideline to help teach children about safe hunting practices.

  • I am a responsible, ethical and lawful hunter.
  • Whenever I leave for a hunting trip, I give family and friends my location and the time I will return.
  • I believe in practicing gun safety:
    • I regularly practice my shooting skills.
    • I focus on safe firearm handling practices:
      • I always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
      • I always keep my finger off the trigger until I am ready to shoot.
      • I always keep my gun unloaded until I am ready to use it.
    • I make sure my firearms are reliable by keeping them in proper working order.
    • I have all state required hunting licenses and tags.
    • I pay attention to property’s borders so I do not go in areas where it is not legal to hunt.
  • I always make sure that anyone in my group and I wear orange clothing to avoid accidental firearm shootings.
  • I carry safety equipment when hunting, which includes:
    • An emergency and first aid kit;
    • Water purification tablets and an adequate supply of water;
    • A cell phone, GPS, radio, maps or compass, along with backup batteries; and
    • A gun case or other safety mechanism so I can safely transport my gun to and from my home.
  • I always unload my gun when crossing a fence, climbing, getting out of a vehicle or crossing a stream.
  • When I use a tree stand, I follow these rules:
    • I make sure the stand is securely fastened to the tree and is stable before climbing.
    • I always use a tether or rope so I can remain safe if I fall.
    • When I am in the tree stand, I use a seatbelt.
    • I use a rope to hoist and lower my unloaded firearm.
  • I practice safety precautions before discharging my weapon by:
    • Taking stock of my target’s surroundings;
    • Always using the proper caliber for my firearm based on the game I am hunting; and
    • Always being aware of where other hunters are standing before pointing, aiming or discharging my weapon.
  • When I return from hunting, I immediately store my firearms in a safe, secure location away from children and other unauthorized individuals.
  • I always store my ammunition separate from my gun, when my gun is not in use.

A Guide to Responsible Gun Ownership

Whether you want to purchase a firearm for hunting, shooting targets or personal protection, you need to be committed to responsibility and safety. By following the guidelines set forth below, you will be contributing to a new form of gun ownership – one that aims to reduce the number of accidental firearms injuries and deaths.

  • Informed Purchasing Decision – If you’re in the market for a gun, you need to understand what makes up a firearm – type, model and caliber – are just the basics. Make sure you research different types of guns, read reviews, handle the weapon and test the gun before purchasing. Speak to experts at shooting facilities or local firearm retailers for more information.
  • Gun Storage – You’ve decided what gun to buy, but have you looked into gun storage? The number one essential responsible gun ownership rule is to safely store guns to help prevent firearm misuse, accidents and thefts. Whether you opt for a gun lock and gun storage or just one, you are responsible for determining what type of gun storage works best for you.
  • Safety Training Class – Any gun owner should know how to shoot his/her gun. If you’re new to firearms, take a firearm safety training class, which are often held at firearms retailers or local ranges. Even people that have been long-time gun owners can always benefit from a gun safety refresher course. Classes usually discuss the use, safe handling, maintenance and storage of firearms.
  • Talk to Your Family – Never assume that anyone in your household knows basic firearms rules or about firearm storage. Discuss firearm safety openly with children. You are responsible for making sure that children or other unauthorized people do not have access to your gun. However, you also need to remember that your children can see a gun at their friends’ houses, so they need to be educated about gun safety, talking to adults if they see weapons, etc.
  • Keep Sharp Shooting Skills – A big part of being a responsible gun owner is understanding the safe operation and mechanical characteristics of your firearm. Always read any warnings, instructions or safety devices that the manufacturer provides with the gun. If you have any questions, contact an expert. Additionally, you need to practice and regularly assess your skills and training. If there isn’t a gun range near you and you have another safe area where you can discharge your weapon, consider investing in steel targets. These are designed for long-term use and will allow you to regularly practice firing your gun.
  • Understand Family Dynamics Change – As your children get older, your talks with them about firearm safety should evolve. Revisit firearm storage with children and also discuss how children need to come to you if friends have guns. We all have a part in preventing school shootings, and the most important talks come from parents.

Responsible gun ownership is a lifelong journey. Your situation may change and evolve as time goes on, but it’s important for you to help build a safe firearm culture within your house, neighborhood and community.

Iowa Passing Sweeping Gun Rights Legislation

If you’re pro-gun rights and live in Iowa, chances are you’re celebrating the sweeping victory that expands gun rights throughout the state.
On April 13, 2017, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad (R) signed a bill that gives gun owners the ability to defend themselves in public areas. The bill also addressed legislation that prevents local government from executing their own rules.
House File 517 is the result of seven years of House Republicans working towards a comprehensive bipartisan bill that protects the Second Amendment Rights of Iowans.
Additionally, this law expands Iowa’s ground rules, giving residents the right to defend themselves with force if they are in situations where they feel threatened. Critics, such as Amber Gustafson, who is in charge of the Iowa chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America released a statement: “As parents, we’re deeply concerned about the effects the stand your ground portion of this law will have on our communities. No matter what your position was on this bill, none of us wants to see the kind of homicide rate increase here that other states have seen after enacting stand your ground laws.”
The new legislation also allows residents with concealed-carry permits to carry firearms in the state capitol building. One reason that city and county laws will be pre-empted is that there is a trend in gun legislation where residents sue local governments that enact gun-free zones. This will limit lawsuits and free up the courts for other matters.
The new measure also legalizes short-barreled rifles and shotguns and also allows children to use guns while under the supervision of adults.
Both North Dakota and New Hampshire have also loosened gun ownership restrictions this year. Chris Cox, NRA chief lobbyist, said, “In state legislatures across America, lawmakers are expanding law-abiding citizens’ constitutional right to self-protection.”
Whether you live in Iowa or simply want to expand your shooting skills, consider investing in steel gun targets. If you own a gun, it is your responsibility to know how to discharge the weapon correctly, which means regular practice shooting targets and knowing your gun’s fire, recoil and accuracy.
While it is important to defend your home in the event of an emergency, if you own guns it is imperative that their access is restricted with a gun safe or gun lock. Many local government agencies offer information about how to keep children safe and minimize the risk of gun-related injuries and deaths.