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Author Topic: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense  (Read 25388 times)

Offline Kentucky Bob

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A lot of us around here are fireams owners and enthusiasts, and we talk alot about our personal preferences for what we choose for survival or defense.  I was thinking that we should have a collaborative thread to help others learn about what some of us take for granted.  If the mods agree I was thinking we could start this thread in order to help the less experienced make educated decisions about firearms.  Not necessarily a thread about what we each prefer to use, we've already covered that.  I was thinking more of a thread about firearms terminology, types of rifles, shotguns, and pistols, ammunition types, etc.  Also I thought general information about how to safely clean and care for firearms and safe storage of firearms.  Again, I don't mean something like "I prefer the Buzz-Cutter 2000 for deer", more along the lines of "The difference between a jacketed hollow-point and a soft point is..." or "the difference between single action and double action is..."

First things first:  Hunter Education courses are excellent resources for information about firearms safety, and are usually free when offered by your state fish & wildlife agency.  The best thing you could do for yourself is to take an educational course before you decide to run out and purchase any type of firearm.  I cannot stress enough that a having a firearm is a huge responsibility and you can never take safety for granted.  We have a thread on firearms safety with general advice on firearms in the field and at home:

http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=73&topic=1878.0

This is in no way a complete safety instructional and should not be considered as such.  The very best way to learn firearms safety is in a structured classroom setting, and it's also a great chance to meet others interested in learning about firearms and will give you the opportunity to try several firearms you may never have had a chance to handle.  Most hunter-ed courses also offer hands-on experience with bows and archery equipment, survival and first aid.

Anyone with questions about firearms, ammunition, reloading, or any other topic should have the opportunity to ask and receive the information they need.

DISCLAIMER:

This information is posted as a guide only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional training.  Neither the author nor Wild Survive may be held liable for the misuse of any information--whether accidental or intentional--in this guide.  You are responsible for your own actions.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2010, 07:22:35 AM by Kentucky Bob »
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Offline shrek

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2008, 12:33:39 PM »
I think that's a great idea, but I'm not a mod. I know that I have started to develop an interest in fire arms and would appreciate all the advice that I could get. So, c'mon mods, what do yous say?
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2008, 12:55:43 PM »
We should use the WIKI board and keep the comments out just general knowledge and opinions. We can copy and paste soem of the information into that area. This board (WIKI ) was established by Ant to put our information in one place. the posts can remain where its at but the information specific to firearms and its connection to survival can be gathered and placed in the board topic.

http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=73&board=128.0
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Offline taken by the wind...

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2008, 03:58:54 PM »
We should use the WIKI board and keep the comments out just general knowledge and opinions. We can copy and paste soem of the information into that area. This board (WIKI ) was established by Ant to put our information in one place. the posts can remain where its at but the information specific to firearms and its connection to survival can be gathered and placed in the board topic.

http://www.wildsurvive.com/index.php?option=com_smf&Itemid=73&board=128.0


~ I'm confused. Does this mean that you want EVERYTHING that has any kind of information in it to be posted on your Wiki board?  :blink:

Then why even have All of these different sections and divisions in your website? If everything is going to be posted on the wiki board why even have a website at all? I can google anything on Wikipedia I want. I may not know who the hell posted it, or what their knowledge base is though. That's why I just usually ignore it, or take it as opinion and not fact. I think Ant. wanted some articles that have already been written to be put on that board for easy access. But now you're acting like you want everyone to start posting anything that may be informative on that board only. And for the record, I LIKE the personal comments, and the opinions.  :thumbup: 

I'm on this website because it contains a group of experienced people who know a lot. If they didn't post their personal comments and their opinions, I might not have ever come to that conclusion.  :nono:

I hope you aren't trying to turn your website into a dictionary, or some boring encyclopedia full of general knowledge.  :scared:

K-Bob wanted to start a thread for begginers... for people who many not know ANYTHING about firearms. I think that's great. But the thread you started on the Wiki board is about how firearms can help you survive. Those are two different topics.  wacky115.gif  TOTALLY unrelated to each other.

So I am confused!  Even more so than normal.  :dontgetit:

and I don't need more confusion.  :cry:


                                                                                  scared011.gif

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2008, 05:30:50 PM »
The WIKI area is for tutorials and information instead of scattering it all through the pages. Go ahead and post them in their propper areas and than you can copy paste the clean information in the WIKI area. Its so this information is easier to find. We have good info scattered through the pages.

For instance someone posts a good tutorial and several people comment. Later just move the post to the WIKI area without the comments.

K Bob can carry on his post and later we can move it. Try to keep up will ya.  :P
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2008, 10:18:42 PM »
How old should a kid be before he or she owns a firearm? Is there laws about gun ownership by minors?
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline RovingArcher

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2008, 11:32:40 PM »
I believe that determining when they can handle one, depends on their maturity.  I wouldn't hand a firearm to a child that was prone to hissy fits.  On the other hand, I met a young boy (7), that I wouldn't hesitate teaching him proper handling and shooting safety.  Talking to this boy was like talking to a little old man.  Lots of old wisdom for such a young person.

I'm sure that gun ownership is decided on a state by state basis.

Here in California a minor can't buy a firearm, or the ammunition for a firearm.  Minimum age for rifle is 18 and for handgun is 21.  However, they can use one at any age, with parental or expert guidance.  I was shooting early in my life, but didn't have my own rifle until I was 10 or so.  I would shoulder my .22 and walk down the road towards the hills where I would be shooting and would have to walk through the downtown area and I'd get comments like, How's your dad these days, or, don't shoot your eye out, or Hey, get one for me.  These days, a young man would lose the rifle and end up in juvenile detention.  My, how times have changed.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:32:38 PM by Swede »
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2008, 01:06:17 AM »
I would think any instruction on what not to do couldnt happen soon enough. My dad always told me many times not to assume a gun wasnt loaded. Always check. He told me never bring a loaded gun into the house too and I assumed he wouldnt. That was the time my buddy blew out the window in my bed room with a .222 that my dad left on the porch with shells in the clip. There wasnt much left of the window. My dad said"how would you have liked to have your guts spread all over the wall in there?" Than I reminded him of the no loaded gun thing.   :P  That was the end of that but it was true I assumed the gun wasnt loaded. I checked the breach but didnt look in the clip.

I dont know what the laws are here in Illinois but early firearm training if you have guns in the house is a good thing.
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2008, 08:46:23 AM »
What is a good firearm to start out with. I got a BB gun first and I didnt shoot my eye out. Than I got a 4-10 single shot 2.5 inch very rare.
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline mistwalker

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2008, 12:33:20 PM »
I think a good.., reasonably accurate pellet rifle would be good to start with. The pellets don't travel all that far. I have even used my old Crossman to put game on the table in urban environments, I've probably killed more rabbitts and squirrels with it than any other single gun I owned
 
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2008, 07:01:25 PM »
Whats the difference between a bolt action a pump action a lever action, and an automatic?
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2008, 09:43:59 PM »
Good question to start Swede.
All rifles have to have a method or mechanism to load the round.
The earliest were the muzzle loaders where the powder and bullet were pushed down from the muzzle with a ramrod, Next came the breech loader where a heavy plate was lowered at the rear of the barrel so a cartridge could be pushed into the chamber, the breech block was raised and the hammer cocked so you could fire.

Single shot or double barrel breech loaders or break action are still used. Mostly you will find them in shotguns and high end rifles used for extreme accuracy or in rifles chambered for very heavy hunting cartridges that produce pressures that will break many bolt actions, and are far too powerful for lever actions. Many are chambered for safari rounds for hunting elephants or other huge dangerous animals.
Ruger #1 is a single shot breech loader famous for its accuracy, and strength. It is chambered for most hunting rounds. :thumbsup:

Lever actions work by having a tubular magazine. Developed during the American Civil war in the 1860s, the main attraction was that multiple cartridges could be loaded at once for firing instead of loading 1 at a time. Much faster. The rounds are loaded end to end and fed by a spring into position so that when the lever is lowered the bolt moves to the rear of the rifle and opens the breech. a spring lifts the cartridge into position and when the lever is moved back up to close it moves the bolt forward and picks up the cartridge and pushes it into the chamber ready to fire. When the round is fired, and the lever is opened again, the spent case is ejected so the next round may be picked up.
The original lever action was chambered for a pistol cartridge using black powder, low velocity, low pressures. Modern lever actions are made much stronger, but if chambered for an original round the cartridges you buy are downloaded to mimic original pressures so if you fire them in an original weapon, the weapon won't blow up in your face! :thumbdown:

A bolt action is similar, except instead of a lever, there is a handle on the bolt and the basic actions are the same. You lift the handle, move the bolt back, and a round is picked up on the forward stroke when the action is closed.

Bolt actions may use pointed spitzer bullets that have better flight charicteristics as the cartridges are loaded into the magazine laying side by side instead of end to end.
As a bolt action usually has a stronger action they may use cartridges with higher pressures so higher velocities and speed which can improve accuracy. Usually a bolt action uses a heavier barrel as well to improve accuracy. Superb accuracy can be obtained with a bolt action that is modified to only shoot one round without a magazine. The bolt can handle very heavy rounds, but the action is long and increases the weight of the weapon.

Pump actions are a variation on the lever, but instead of the lever being located on the bottom of the rifle, you slide the pump which is the forarm of the weapon under the barrel. You move the slide back toward the rear of the weapon to open the breech, and move it forward to close.
There have been a few pump action rifles, but they were never really popular. Shotguns however use pumps in a big way. Very popular for follow up shots.

Semi Automatics are named thus because they automatically load a new round each time the trigger is pulled and a round is fired, The first round is loaded by "charging the bolt". You manually pull back the bolt to load the first round, but after that, each time you fire, some of the gas from the fired round is cycled back and pushes the bolt back to pick up the next shell.
Semi Automatics only fire 1 shot for each trigger pull. The weapons are usually heavier and bulkier in sporting calibers, but they do have a high rate of firepower. They are quick to shoot. and the followup shot is really quick, as fast as you can pull the trigger.

Full Automatics are machine guns and pistols. They work the same way as a Semi-Auto, except they fire as long as the trigger is depressed. A semi auto fires once each trigger pull, a full auto can fire a full clip, or belt up to 100 rounds at a time.
Full auto are closely regulated. Usually not available to the average gun owner.

Full auto is primarily used by the Armed Forces. They are limited in caliber choices, usually are not as accurate as bolt action or lever action, and use a LOT of ammunition. :thumbdown:

For survival, the weapon you shoot best is what you should carry. A single shot in a medium caliber will put down most game very well. They are easy to clean and care for, very few moving parts to break. Simple.

A bolt action comes next. They need some care, more moving parts to clean, but have a greater rate of fire, are accurate, and have a wide selection of rounds available.

A lever action is usually chambered for slower heavier bullets. Very nice to carry, excellent rate of fire, decent accuracy. They do have more moving parts, and need more care to keep in top condition, but are fast and light to handle. Pump actions also fall in this category.

Semi Autos need a lot of cleaning to keep at top performance. They fire rapidly so second or third shots are super quick, accuracy is good for the first shot, but you need practice to bring the sights back to target well for a followup shot. Maintenance is the biggest drawback, and in hunting calibers, the weapons are heavier than a comparable bolt, lever pump or single shot. Accuracy can be good to terrible depending on individual weapon.

I would not consider a full auto as a survival weapon except in combat. Need a lot of care and training to use effectively, use a lot of ammunition, restricted availability, and usually not great accuracy. Some weapons do a good job, but a full auto is designed to fire a lot of rounds to hit multiple targets. :bandit: :guns:

That concludes my tutorial, Firearm actions 101 :hugegrin:
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:35:03 PM by Swede »

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2008, 10:02:12 PM »
Excellent   :arigato:
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2008, 11:09:46 PM »
What determines the kind of firearm you will need?
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
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Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline mistwalker

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #14 on: October 07, 2008, 12:34:12 AM »
For me it is mainly;

 #1 The size and number of my intended game as in what game is prevalent or available in my planned area of habitation.

 #2 The lay of the land I intend to hunt in, as in at what ranges and with what backdrops will I be spotting my game.

 #3 The firearms ability to multitask as overly specialized firearms can leave you hungry at the end of the day.

 #4 The usual availability of ammunition, because uncommon or "wildcat" rounds can be expensive and hard to find.

 #5 The quality of the iron sites, as in will I be able to employ the farearm effectively even if something happens to the optical sites (if it's a rifle)

 #6 The amount difficulty of care and maintenance...., does it have a lot of moving parts that will wear out quickly, and how hard it is to acquire or manufacture replacement parts.

 #7 The weight of the firearm..., will I be ready to throw it down after I have humped it through the wilderness for several miles.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:37:13 PM by Swede »
 
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Offline Holly

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2008, 05:57:49 AM »
This is an EXCELLENT thread! :clap:

I'm trying to talk Uncle Hank into taking me turkey hunting but he doesn't seem to be too enthused about it.  :grin: 
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2008, 08:42:37 AM »
What is a good firearm for turkey hunting?
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #17 on: October 07, 2008, 08:51:21 AM »
Ok, since folks seem to approve of the general idea of the thread, I thought a quick guide to firearms nomenclature would be helpful.

Here are some parts to common action types:


By bob1911a1

Semi-automatic 1911A1:

By bob1911a1

And a double-action Ruger Super Redhawk revolver:

By bob1911a1
 
A bolt-action rifle:


A pump-action (also known as slide action) shotgun:

By bob1911a1

Barrel, action, and stock are the three basic components shared by all firearms.  In the next post I'll try to start a glossary of terms and firearms parts.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:39:28 PM by Swede »
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #18 on: October 07, 2008, 10:59:37 AM »
My weapon of choice for wild turkeys is the 12 gauge shot gun using high brass No.6.Some prefer full choke barrels.

There are various weapons used when hunting for turkeys. A shotgun, rifle, compound bow, longbow, or recurve bow are some options. Some states may only allow certain firearms to be used. Pennsylvania, for instance, allows shotgun, rifle, or bow and arrow in the fall season but only allows shotgun or bow to be used in the spring season.

The ideal is to shoot the turkey in the head at close range. The heavy feathers on a wild turkey can keep the shot from penetrating enough to out right kill the bird and he may run off only to die later. 
I hope the war on terror goes better then the war on drugs and the war on poverty
If you dont care where you are your never lost
Im a survivor not a victim
Its not who I am but what I do that defines me.

Offline mistwalker

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2008, 11:23:29 AM »
My weapon of choice for wild turkeys is the 12 gauge shot gun using high brass No.6.Some prefer full choke barrels.

There are various weapons used when hunting for turkeys. A shotgun, rifle, compound bow, longbow, or recurve bow are some options. Some states may only allow certain firearms to be used. Pennsylvania, for instance, allows shotgun, rifle, or bow and arrow in the fall season but only allows shotgun or bow to be used in the spring season.

The ideal is to shoot the turkey in the head at close range. The heavy feathers on a wild turkey can keep the shot from penetrating enough to out right kill the bird and he may run off only to die later. 
When we lived in Alabama I hunted turkey as well as a lot of other things with an over and under .222 over 20 ga, I think this would also be a good choice for a survival firearm. In Alabama it is legal to hunt turkies with a rifle but here in Tennessee they are shotgun only. They are a challenging prey to kill.
 
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