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Author Topic: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense  (Read 25742 times)

Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #60 on: October 16, 2008, 09:39:25 AM »
Before I tackle defensive handguns, I want to talk about the safe storage of firearms in the home.   If there are kids or other family members at home, you have to decide what sort of storage system you will use.  In some jurisdictions there are mandatory storage laws.  There are lockable combination boxes, boxes that use a fingerprint, safes, and a myriad of options.  There are also several types of gun locks to consider, but that may be something for a second post.   If you want it to be accessible when you need it--yet safely locked away--it takes some thought.

http://www.galls.com/category2.html?assort=general_catalog&cat=3042

http://www.buyasafe.com/Gun-Safes-s/28.htm

http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/index/index-display.jsp?id=cat20799&navAction=jump&navCount=1&cmCat=MainCatcat602007&parentType=category&parentId=cat602007

http://www.patriotsafe.com/

http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/ItemListing.aspx?catid=382

For Ursula and me,  our main concern was keeping firearms safe from theft.  We don't have kids or any relatives that visit with small children, so that wasn't our main concern.  We both work during the day, so we wanted to be sure that when we leave the house that in case of break-ins we would have a gun safe.  A gun safe is an investment,  and for less than the cost of a new pistol you can buy a decent one.  A gun safe can also store jewelry, important papers, coin collections, etc.  I know that many have gun cabinets, nice wood and glass furniture that stores firearms and will at least keep the kids out when locked.  I like them, and they look a heck of a lot better than a gun safe.  BUT! I guarantee you that within a moment of finding it a burglar will have your guns out of it and on the way out the door.  A heavy gun safe bolted to the floor or wall isn't going to give up it's contents as easily.  You can also get a safe that has a fire resistant liner, keeping guns, jewelry, and important papers safe. 

I've said elsewhere that having a firearm is a huge responsibility, and part of that responsibility it to ensure that your firearm is stored safely.  On the other hand, if it is stored in such a manner that you can't reach it in time when needed you may as well not have it.  Balancing safety and accessability is difficult sometimes.  The pistol safes with the 4-button touchpad combination locks are probably the fastest to use, but they also need to be bolted down to be sure that the box, pistol and all don't walk out the door.  If you have such a lock box, practice getting it open and the gun out (practice with an unloaded gun, btw!).  The time to learn to do it quickly is not at 3am in the morning when you hear glass breaking at the back door.  The better boxes have either 4 raised buttons or backlit keys so that you'll have an easier time using them in the dark.

Now, if you want to go all out you can get a vault door and close off an entire room:

http://www.browning.com/products/catalog/gunsafes/detail.asp?value=F&cat_id=160&type_id=39601

A friend of mine did this in his basement in a concrete wall.  Nobody is getting to those guns without a bulldozer!  And yes, Kenny needs to go to such lengths with a collection like his!  While this is an extreme example, it is worth considering if you have a large collection.  Closing off an entire room in such a way is only useful if the walls to the room are reinforced and made of something better than 2x4"s and sheetrock, IMO.

Now, hopefully you can look over some of the options in the links provided and find something that will suit your purposes.  If you have specific questions, please post them or PM them to one of us.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:57:33 PM by Swede »
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Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #61 on: October 16, 2008, 10:42:27 AM »
I'm going to get some photos at home since I can't find any I like on the 'net.  Then I'll start talking about defensive handguns.  We'll look at handguns for self-defense and we'll also touch on the topic of trail guns, but we've covered that in another thread.  What I am intending to do is to look at this from the point of view of the inexperienced first-time handgun owner.
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Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2008, 10:58:40 AM »



To many people a personal defense firearm means a handgun.  Naturally a shotgun will give you a better chance of surviving in most situations, but you won't always have the opportunity to get to a long gun and they're pretty hard to carry around all day under a jacket.  Maybe you've decided you want a handgun in addition to a shotgun.  Many of us have a number of guns around the house to choose from while others may be looking at making their first purchase.  Let me say first of all that a handgun takes quite a bit of practice to master.  You need to be willing to commit to alot of practice time if you wish to be able to use it effectively.  Some folks will buy a handgun and a box of shells, shoot a few times, and then put it away.  I've known several who had the handgun and the original box of shells they had purchased with it years later, having never fired the handgun after the first few shots.  You aren't just practicing to be able to shoot well but to be able to reload, unload, holster and unholster (provided you want to go the concealed carry route) the pistol as well.  Survival or trail guns?  Again, many people have different ideas of what a survial/trail pistol should be.  There are those who want something that will sink the biggest bear in its tracks while others want something in a small caliber just to put meat in the pot in an emergency. 

I'm not going to tell anyone to go out and buy Brand X pistol in WXYZ caliber.  If you have little or no experience with a pistol, try to find a gunshop that rents guns and can let you try several before you buy.  Get some instruction as well.  Don't feel that you have to buy the first gun you see at the shop or that you have to buy on that first visit. 

Personally, I feel that most people are best served by a medium-frame double-action* revolver in .38 Special or .357 Magnum.  The .357 magnum load is a bit much for a beginner to learn to shoot with, but a revolver chambered in .357 will also safely use .38 Special ammunition.  A double action revolver is simplicity compared to a semi-automatic pistol.  It is easier to check to see if it's loaded, and is less finicky about the types of ammunition that are used in it.  You don't have to worry about chambering a round or a safety switch, the heavy double-action trigger pull is the revolver's main safety.   Nowadays the revolver may not have the 'cool factor' that a semi-auto has, but they work well for the home or on the trail.  I know most of you know already that I lean towards .45 autos for my carry guns.  Do you want to know what I have for the house and trail?  Look:




Yup, a Ruger GP-100 in .357 magnum.  I load it with Glaser Safety Slugs for the home (a frangible bullet designed to come apart in a wall rather than over-pentrate).  In the middle of the night I don't want to worry about whether there's a round chambered or if the safety is on.   Ursula can also use it pretty well (she has her own Ruger SP-101, which is basically a smaller version of a GP-100).    You can also reload pretty quickly with a speedloader:




I wanted to get some photos of me actually using the speedloader, but it takes two hands and with the camera....I'll get Ursula to help me next time...

Another thing about a revolver is that it's faily easy to exchange the grips for something that feels better in your hand:



A grip should allow you to get a firm hold on the gun without having to twist your hand around to reach the trigger.  The next couple of photos show the way the revovler (or pistol) should line up in the hand with the gun in a direct line with the bones of your forearm:




You don't want to have to hold the gun so that the web of your hand isn't centered behind the grip frame in order to reach the trigger:




If the gun is twisted in your hand in such a way it will not be comfortable to shoot, you won't handle the recoil well, and it will be hard to shoot accurately--especially as the gun twists around in your hand after each shot.  You should also grip the revolver high up on the grip...:




...rather than allowing your hand to grip the revovler too low, leaving the top of the grip up high like so:




Gripping the revolver too low will make it harder to control when firing, actually giving you less leverage for lack of a better word.  Semi-autos are somewhat different, and I'll cover the problems of gripping a semi-auto in another installment. 

A good double action revolver should have a trigger pull that is fairly smooth and not so heavy that you find your hand shaking from the strain of pulling the trigger back.  The main controls of a double-action revolver are the cylinder latch, ejector rod, trigger, and hammer.  Some of the newer models also have a key-activated lock built into the mechanism, mainly due to ambulance-chasing lawyers and anti-gun zealots.  (sorry for the rant)

In my next post we'll look at the controls of the double-action revovler.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________ _____________
*Double-action means that by squeezeing the trigger through its entire cycle the hammer is fully cocked and then released in order to fire the gun.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 09:59:08 PM by Swede »
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Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2008, 02:11:28 PM »
I came across a really excellent website this morning called "Cornered Cat."   http://www.corneredcat.com/TOC.aspx

Owned by Kathy Jackson, the website is geared towards providing instruction in safety, choosing holsters, safe storage, shooting basics and much more.  Kathy also has articles on shooting basics, legal concerns, ammunition, and a full glossary.  After reading a couple of the articles I'm impressed with how knowledgable she is.  The "Dear Gunhilda" advice column is a hoot!  If I could write about firearms half as well as Kathy, I'd be a happy camper!  At any rate I would suggest that any who have the time and need a little information that we haven't gotten around to here yet pay Kathy a visit.

Now, let's talk about revolvers some more....

I'm going to have a behind-the-scenes discussion with some of the mods about actually giving any how-to advice on firearms.  From a legal point of view, I think for now it's best we stick to nomenclature instead of starting an instructional on how to load a firearm... :hmm: 

The parts of a revolver were covered earlier:




The main controls for a double-action revolver are the cylinder release, trigger, ejector rod, and hammer.  On a double-action revolver, the trigger can draw the hammer fully back and release it to fire a shot OR the hammer can be manually pulled back to cock it--requiring a light trigger squeeze to release it to fire. 

The cylinder release is a latch that allows the cylinder to be swung out for loading or unloading.  How it operates depends upon the manufacturer.  On Smith & Wesson, Taurus, Rossi, Charter Arms and most brands, the cylinder latch must be pushed forward towards the cylinder to release the cylinder.  On the old Dan Wessons, the release was in front of the cylinder and it had to be pushed downwards.  On Colts, the latch must be pulled backwards from the cylinder to release it, while Ruger cylinder latches are pushed inward.




The ejector rod can serve two purposes.  On Smith & Wessons and their clones, the ejector rod actually helped hold the cylinder by catching on a small spring-loaded detent:



The main purpose, of course, is to eject spent casings.  When the cylinder is swung open the ejector rod is pushed toward the rear of the cylinder to eject the empties.  In the next photo, you can see my thumb pushing the ejector rod through its stroke (red arrows showing direction).  The piece circled in yellow is called the "star" because it is somewhat star shaped and it actually is the part that bears against the casings, pushing them out.







Normally, something I find handy to do when handling a revolver for loading or unloading is to put my middle and ring fingers through the frame and hold the cylinder with those fingers and my thumb, supporting the revolver with the rest of the hand.  It keeps the cylinder from moving around as I try to load or unload.  Most old-timers know to do this, but many who are new to revolvers try to hold the pistol by its grip and load the chambers as the cylinder tries to spin around on them:




We still have plenty of territory to cover, and the semi-auto section will only take about a week to finish....

« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 10:00:39 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 #64 on: October 17, 2008, 06:22:14 PM »
Excellent, K-Bob! :arigato:
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Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #65 on: October 17, 2008, 09:27:51 PM »
Very Good K-Bob!  :thumbsup:

I will add my 2 cents on revolvers, perhaps not as encompassing or well illustrated, but additional information nontheless.  :bandit:

The revolver comes in 3 primary configurations.

 1) Single Action. This means that in order to fire you must cock the hammer prior to each shot. As the hammer is pulled back the cylinder is revolved to place a round in line with the barrel and hammer. You must pull the hammer back to full cock before firing. More modern revolvers have a falling plate that will not rise up to cover the firing pin to fire the weapon unless the weapon is fully cocked and ready to fire. This is a safety mechanism so that if your thumb slips off before full cock the weapon won't fire as the striker plate falls down and the hammer can't hit the firing pin.

This is the most basic revolver, and the kind made famous in a million old western movies. Who hasn't seen John Wayne pull his 45 and take care of a whole gang of outlaws? :clap:

All the old west movies usually will show some "gunslinger" fanning his single action Colt 45 peacemaker pistol for fast shooting. Fanning is when you hold the trigger down and use the heel of your off hand. This maneuver, while flashy for the movies, can't be done with a modern revolver. Plus, it is a waste of ammunition as you can't hit anything when firing like that, and it is dangerous as you could actually shoot yourself. :nono:

One other major difference is that on most all single action pistols, the cylinder does not swing free from the frame. You must open a loading gate on the right rear of the pistol and load the rounds 1 at a time. The ejector rod doesn't have a star, and only ejects 1 spent case at a time.
Many single actions, (NOT ALL) have a stronger frame than double actions as without the cylinder support for handling the cylinder when loading, the frame is one piece, not 2. This only really factors in if you are reloading hot loads or special loads for specific purpose.
Several double action revolvers like the Ruger Super RedHawk or Taurus Raging Bull are specifically designed for very heavy loads.

A single action pistol can be a little more accurate than a double action as when cocked the pressure required to pull the trigger is substantially less. My favorite pistol is the Ruger Super Blackhawk chambered for the 44 Magnum. I have shot silhouette competition out to 200 yards with this weapon, hunted with it and taken deer and elk with it. It takes a lot of practice and a 44 Mag isn't for most people.

2) Double Action. This means the pistol may be fired by either single action, cocking the hammer to fire, or by pulling the trigger which will use the force from pulling the trigger to move the hammer back to firing position. As the trigger weight, (force necessary to pull the trigger) is substantially more than necessary for an already cocked hammer, it serves as a safety. A double action may be fired much faster than a single action, and as the cylinder may be swung free of the frame for loading 6 rounds at a time, it is much faster to operate than a single action.
There are more moving parts on a double action, not many, and it is easier to clean as you don't have to pull the pin and remove the cylinder as you do with a single action.

3) Hammerless. This revolver was developed for Detectives to carry concealed. The hammer is actually concealed under a metal shroud so it wouldn't snag on clothing when drawn from a shoulder or belt holster under clothing.
This pistol is classed as DAO. Double Acton Only. These are usually chambered for lighter rounds, 32, 38, etc. Usually with a short barrel and light frame for ease of carrying concealed. As the hammer is not accessable, you may not cock the hammer manually or separately from operating the trigger pull.

They are still in limited production, and sometimes are carried as a backup weapon. Not designed for hunting or serious shooting.

There are many variations between brands of pistols, some very ingenious. Example, the Remington Russian and some of the old British revolvers broke open on a swivel in the lower front frame, and the spent cases were ejected and you loaded it from the top similar to a break open shotgun.

During the American Civil War, one of the most prized handguns used by the south was the French Le Mat. It had 2 barrels, and the cylinder was loaded with 6 .45 Colt cartridges, but in the middle of the cylinder was a chamber for a 12 gage shot shell. This weapon was huge, heavy, and took some guts to fire the shotgun option from the lower barrel, but it worked. wacky115.gif

Pistols in many respects are more dangerous for the handler than a rifle or shotgun. My cousin carries a 22 slug in the calf of his leg from practicing his "Quick Draw". There are very few situations where you have to outdraw the outlaw at high noon these days, so I NEVER reccomend a beginner ever trying a fast draw or speed draw. Some of the most famous gunmen in the old west were not super fast on the draw, but they were able to keep their nerve and aim to kill their opponent. Many super fast quick draw artists could get of 2 or 3 rounds before the skilled gunfighter fired his first shot, but speed does not equal accuracy. It doesn't matter how many shots you can get off quickly,if they don't hit what you are shooting at! The old gunfighters didn't wait around, but they did take time to make the first shot count. gen165.gif

Any weapon you choose is fine, IF you are willing to take the time and effort, and yes expense as bullets do cost money, to learn to handle the weapon properly. Not everyone who buys a pistol wants to qualify on the combat course, that doesn't mean you can't become proficient using your chosen weapon.

A firearm is a tool. Nothing more, nothing less. Any tool is only as good as the craftsman that uses it. You may not have to be able to saw a straight cut with your fancy new Craftsman Circular Saw, but if you practice, the saw is able to help you build a house, or if used improperly, you can loose a hand or leg really quickly.  8|

The most valuable weapon you posess is the same one you carry into any survival, combat or stressful/threatening environment, use your head. Showboating will just get you hurt or killed. Always respect any firearm, knife, ax, or tool you pick up. You will accomplish your goal or objective, and still be around to appreciate what you have done weather it is a nice garage you added on, the shelter to keep you warm, or living through a life threatening situation so you can go home and kiss the kids. :peace:

This thread is fantastic for infomation for beginners, but it does not cover everything and does not substitute for a hands on class from a licensed professional.  :help:

Please don't hesitate to ask questions! The only dumb question is the one never asked. happy070.gif

Thank you Swede for allowing this superb thread to go on.  :pray:

Next on the firing line! Step up and take your positions, Ready on the right..Ready on the left... the Range is hot! :punk:
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 10:02:22 PM by Swede »

Offline Tatonka

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #66 on: October 17, 2008, 09:42:12 PM »
Excellent post KBob, :thumbup:

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #67 on: October 18, 2008, 12:19:56 AM »
There are those who reload their own ammunition. Is there any advantage to reloading? Ive heard that reloads can be more accurate than factory loads in rifles because each firearm has a load that works better than another. 
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Offline Doro22

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #68 on: October 18, 2008, 09:15:29 AM »
There are those who reload their own ammunition. Is there any advantage to reloading? Ive heard that reloads can be more accurate than factory loads in rifles because each firearm has a load that works better than another. 


Your buddy Blair reloads all the shells when dove hunting.....at least he did this year... :guns:
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Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #69 on: October 18, 2008, 12:21:56 PM »
Reloading,  8| Geez Swede, You may want to start another thread for this one! :curse:

Reloading is an art, kind of like great cooking. Instead of recipes, you have secret loads, (bullet/powder/primer combinations), favorite powders, there are a million different bullets depending on what you are using them for.

The first step is get a good reloading manual. This lists all the loads, powder types, and velocity. Use the listed loads as they have been tested so do not exceed the safe operation of your weapon.

OK, Lets start with bullets.
Example: Spitzer full metal jacket for targets. Very accurate, do not work well for hunting as there is almost no bullet expansion.
             Soft point: rounded tip exposing a lot of lead. Quick expansion, excellent for hunting, loose a lot of speed and do not have the range of spitzers.
             Flat nose: usually used in pistols and lever action rifles. Tremendous expansion and transmittal of kinetic energy into target. Very low ballistic coefficient, (How aerodynamic the bullet is), so short range. Usually has a high "rainbow" trajectory.

This is 3 examples, there are hundreds. Several manufacturers, each with their own tables for flight, coefficient, mushrooming, sectional density  :dribble:

Next come the powders. depending on what you are shooting, you may want to try ball powder, or flake, or perhaps extruded grain. The different shapes mean different burn rates mostly.
Powders are graded as slow, medium and fast. Usually you want a fast burning powder to generate quick energy for hyper velocity rounds, in excess of 4000 feet per second. Not always the case.

Usually you will use a slower burning powder for big heavy bullets so the pressure grows in a smooth arc rather than a spike of energy. Cannons or field guns use slow burning powder. This also is not always the case as a fast burning powder needs a lighter load than a slow burn to create the same pressures.

Again, hundreds to choose from.

Primers. This is the little silver or brass button at the back of a bullet that the firing pin strikes to set off the powder burn. Usually there is fulminate of mercury in there, so don't eat it!  gen140.gif

There are primers for pistol, magnum pistol, light rifle, rifle, magnum rifle etc. each has a different amount of flash for more positive ignition. You do not need to use a magnum rifle for rifle cartridges. And it is not a great idea to use rifle primers on magnum cartridges as you may have a hang fire or delayed ignition.

I am not going to do a step by step on how to reload, get training with an instructor or someone who has reloaded. This can be dangerous. If you experiment or accidentally exceed the CUPS standard, the weapon may fail and blow up in your face or crack your receiver or barrel.

A black powder weapon is rated at 35000 copper units of pressure, (CUPS) while a smokeless powder load is rated to 55,000 cups.
If you use a smokeless load in a weapon rated for a black powder load, BOOM!!! :scared:

Standard retail loads are normally loaded 20% below the lightest load listed by reloading manuals. This is a liability issue. The companies have no idea the condition of the weapon you have, and they don't want to take any chances the weapon might fail using their ammunition.

Premium loads are now offered, (at a premium price) that are loaded to handloaded specs and offered retail. These have the cool names like "Light Magnum".

Next you need the reloading press. This can cost about $100 for a starter kit for rifles and pistols, up to a thousand or more for the more involved kits. These do not come with the dies or shell holders.

The press is the heart of the system. It decaps, (remove the spent primer), sizes the case, and seats the new primer and bullet.
The scale measures powder weight up to a tenth of a grain of weight. This is critical as too much powder, you got problems. :help:
To light a charge and in a worst case scenario, there won't be enough power for the bullet to make it all the way out of the barrel, and that is a real Jam.
The dies are specifically made for each caliber and chambering. A 2 die set for bottleneck cartridges, and a 3 die set for straight wall cartridges like pistol ammunition.

The shell holder does just what it says. It holds the brass case in the press.

Now that you understand some of the basics of reloading,  :ewphu: :dribble: :dribble: :dribble: what are the benefits???

OK, once you get away from the initial investment of buying your reloading kit, dies, shell holders, powder, primers, bullets, primers, powder and manual, it is far cheaper to fire handloads than buying retail.

It doesn't take long to recoup the initial investment depending on caliber. For instance, my standard elk hunting rifle is the 338 Winchester Magnum. I use a 250 grain bullet on (censored) grains of powder for a ballistic velocity of just over 3400 feet per second.

These rounds retail for anywhere from $29 to $38 per 20 rounds. If I buy from sales for my components, or gun shows, I can reduce my price to between $8 and $10 per 20.

I also get markedly improved performance. As this weapon uses very heavy loads that I have made especially tuned for this particular rifle, my accuracy has gone from a 1.75 inch group at 100 yards to .85 inches at 100 yards. (best group ever  :cool:).

As the price of ammunition is seriously reduced, I can afford to practice more, and become a better shot.
Also I love to touch off that big boomer! :hugegrin:

I use this as an example because the results are pretty clear. For others, the costs will vary, but the savings and improvements in accuracy and power hold for each caliber.

I don't shoot enough shotgun rounds to warrent the investment in a reloader press for it, it takes a different press and outfit than rifles/pistols. But the savings and improvement in performance hold for shotguns as well.

Whew! gen165.gif

I am getting carpel tunnel. I hope this helps answer some questions, but if anyone has any specific questions I would be happy to answer them for you.

Think I will go load a couple hundred more rounds, Hunting season is coming. I may only need 1 or 2 shells, but you can never have enough ammunition taunt12.gif wacky078.gif :peace:



 :smoke: One last thing, Don't smoke while handling powder, Not a good combination :uhuh:

« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 10:04:07 PM by Swede »

Offline mistwalker

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #70 on: October 18, 2008, 02:51:58 PM »

 :smoke: One last thing, Don't smoke while handling powder, Not a good combination :uhuh:


Best not to be tired or drinking either..., best done with a very clear head :)
 
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Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #71 on: October 18, 2008, 05:17:22 PM »
I reload 243 for coyotes. I use my bench loader just for full resizing and use the old faithful Lee hand loader to set the bullets. I use a powder drop but because of the course grains of some of the brands of rifle powder I weigh each drop. The cylindrical shape of Hodgdon Varget powder doesnt measure the drop consistently. Ive experimented with H335 and H380.

I use the Lee primer setter. It works faster than my bench loader . Winchester large rifle primers. Inman accutrim case trimmer. I vary from 70 grain Nozler to 75 grain V Max. I set the bullet with the Lee hand loader and mike each loaded shell. I measure the breech and set the bullet 1/16 off the lens.I shoot the Remington 243- 700 BDL and close measurement varies slightly from one rifle to another. One load is different from one rifle to another and experimenting at the range is the best way to get the best load.
http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_700/model_700_BDL.asp

I also have the Remington 7600 in black and the plastic stock with Leupold scope
http://www.remington.com/products/firearms/centerfire_rifles/model_7600.asp
« Last Edit: October 22, 2008, 10:05:45 PM by Swede »
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Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #72 on: October 18, 2008, 09:18:12 PM »
Hey Swede,
Sounds like you are pretty familiar with this yourself! Maybe you should have written the post!!   8|

You are truly a man of many talents!  :pray:

I have never used the Lee hand press. But their primer loader is best in the business. I use RCBS Partner bench loaders myself, and do the whole operation on the bench. I would like to upgrade to the Rockchucker progressive, or best of all a Dillion, but rich I am not so the old survivors creed, "You use what you have". It has worked well for me for many years. A little light for the big magnum cases, but for standard rounds it is pretty slick.

I usually us IMR extruded powders, and I agree, the drop also gets better uniformity in the case for even burn.

I use a dial vernier caliper for measurements.

I have a 243 as well. Super little rifle. The wife loves to shoot it. I used to have a Remington 788, one of the best rifles ever made for accuracy and value. Now I have a Ruger stainless with a Leupold 3x9. :thumbsup:

I am glad to see that you enjoy that part of the hobby too! :hugegrin:

Just loaded a fresh batch of 338 today, boy that goes through a pound of powder in a hurry!!

If you like coyotes, we have a lot of them, in some places. The wolves tend to kill them as fast as they can so the coyote population has been seriously thinned in the western part of the state.

K Bob? You want to get in on this?? Come on in and join the fun. :cheers:

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #73 on: October 18, 2008, 09:32:39 PM »
Thanks Wolf. We used  to shoot doves a lot and we loaded our own shot gun shells to save money. I used to like the AA shells because they load more before the crimp gets blown off.  :P

Full resizing is a must because I use two 243s and they will not interchange without full resizing. I oil the cases because full resizing can turn into work.  gen165.gif

I like the Lee hand loader because I only loaded 20 sometimes 40 at a time (lazy I guess)  :hugegrin: If I was to load a bunch at a time I would set up my bench loader for mass production.

Reloading supplies are getten expensive and a lot of stores dont like to carry the stuff any more because of the legal paper work and extra insurance. Gander Mountain carries some stuff.
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Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #74 on: October 19, 2008, 01:26:32 PM »
Boy the price really has gone up. :ranting:

When I started reloading, I could buy a pound of powder for $9 to $12, Now I am happy to find it at $18.

The biggest problem for my 338 is I load for 4 of them as my father brother and brother in law have them too. Each rifle likes a specific load. Mine prefers the 250 grain bullet with a pretty heavy load. My fathers rifle takes a 225 bullet with a medium load, but my brothers takes a 200 grain with the hottest load I can find. The more powder it burns the better it likes it! My brother in law gets good results with a 200 grain bullet too, but his prefers the lightest load listed.

It is getting hard to find 250 grain bullets. Speer still makes them, under their premium label, so that makes them more expensive! Guess who takes it right in the shorts whip.gif

Actually around here, you can find components just about anywhere. They may not have the exact brand you want, but you will always find something to work with. Our firearms laws are pretty limited, so the only thing we really worry about is fed stuff. what a hassle :thumbdown:

I always lube my cases as when I decap I do a full resize anyway, and with all those different rifles, a full size, check of the total length and shoulder length are a must.

Also when you are shooting those heavy rifles, I am lucky to get 3 loads out of a case before they deform.

One big problem too is that you have to be careful with the rounds in the magazine as the recoil can deform the tips of the other rounds.
Plus, you have to have a good quality scope or the recoil will "blow out" the scope and you can't hit anything. I went through 3 before I got a scope strong enough to handle that recoil.

I never have shot doves, Many kinds of grouse, pheasant, partridge, ducks and geese, and while we have some morning dove, I have never went after them. I don't shoot shotgun enough to warrent buying the press for shotguns, but I bet I have loaded nearly a million rounds for rifle and pistol! :tomato:

My usual run is 100 rounds, unless it is hunting season then my production will go up to sometimes 300 per set. My family all hunt, each with different calibers for different game, and so when you load for 20 rifles used by 8 different people, it becomes a major production! :thumbup:

I have tried to teach others how to reload, and my brother bought a rockchucker starter kit a couple years ago, but I guess it is easier to just raid my stocks!! :reallymad:

It's all good, teach your kids to hunt, and you will never have to hunt for your kids. :punk: moose0024.gif
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 10:47:31 AM by Swede »

Offline Swede

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #75 on: October 23, 2008, 12:19:45 AM »
What is the best way to sight in a rifle?
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Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #76 on: October 23, 2008, 03:41:10 PM »
What is the best way to sight in a rifle?




Well, it depends upon the type of sights that are on the rifle.  The following information should work to explain the sights on a rifle or pistol, and to some extent even some shotguns.  There are iron sights--which are divided into "open" and "aperature" sights--and optical sights such as telescopic or 'dot' sights.  First lets talk about the iron sights since they're the most basic. 

Iron sights on a firearm consist of a front and rear sight.  The front is usually some sort of metallic blade or post, sometimes with an embellishment like a brass bead, white dot, or red ramp to improve visibility.  The rear sight will consist of either a "notch" or groove for "open" sights or a small, round opening for an "aperature" or "peep" sight:

A picture of open sights, front and rear, on a handgun (Browning Hi-Power).  The front and rear sights have colored inserts for increased visibility:



In this picture, the front and rear sights of a .22 rifle are properly aligned--just not at the target:



To properly align the sights, the front post must be viewed through the notch, with the target over the front sight:




If you don't properly line the sights up on the target, you won't be accurate.  In this image, you can see what it looks like if the front sight isn't centered in the notch (TOP LEFT) but is too far to the left of center, your bullet will hit to the left.  The opposite applies if the front blade is right of the center.  In the TOP RIGHT image, the front sight is too low in the notch of the rear sight and the gun will shoot too low.  If the front post is above the top of the rear the firearm will shoot too high.




Now that we know how the open sights should be aligned, let's see how to get them to shoot the way we want.  If you have a bolt-action rifle you can save yourself a little ammo by "bore sighting" the rifle.  Remove the bolt from the rifle so that you can see through the barrel from the rear and rest the rifle on sand bags.  Looking through the rear of the rifle barrel align the bore with the center of the target.  Once you've done that, look at the sights to see if they are also aligned on target.  Check back and forth until the bore and sights are both centered on the center of the target.  Adjust the sights to line up on the center of the target if they aren't already.  If the sights are adjustable there should be screws set into the side and top of the rear sight to drift them right and left or up and down.  The owner's manual will tell you how to turn the screws for the proper adjustment.  You can also purchase some nifty gadgets to do the same thing, but most have to be inserted into the gun muzzle to do the job.  Be sure to REMOVE THEM BEFORE THE GUN IS FIRED.  Big Blue had a dandy photo of a rifle fired when some doofus left the boresighter in the muzzle.

When you fire, you may see that the bullet didn't strike in the center.  Here is how to adjust the sights.  The main thing to remember on a standard set of open sights is that you need to move the rear sight in the direction you want to move the bullet impact.  If your shot went to the left, the rear sight must be drifted to the right.  If your shot went low, you must raise the rear sight.  The opposite will be true if you find that you have to move the front sight to adjust the sight alignment.  This can happen on handguns and military rifles.  In this case, if the gun shoots low, you must lower the front sight (this would effectively raise the muzzle higher when aligning the sights).  If the gun shot to the left, you must move the front sight to the left.  For the most part, you will be adjusting the rear sight on most modern firearms. 

Aperature sights are adjusted in the same way as open sights, they just align differently and have a different-looking sight picture.  The front post still is centered with the target just over it, but the aperature or ring that you look through replaces the notch rear sight.  This type is used on both military and target rifles.  Military rifles usually have protective "ears" on either side of the front sight post to protect it:







In another segment, we will discuss telescopic and dot sights.  If I've missed something or anyone has a question, please let me know.
« Last Edit: October 23, 2008, 08:40:46 PM by Swede »
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Offline theking648

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #77 on: October 23, 2008, 08:17:36 PM »
i'll have to look this one up in a few years... if i move away i'll buy me a glock 18.
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Offline mtwolfsbane

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #78 on: October 24, 2008, 09:49:27 PM »
Very good K-Bob.

I like your discussion of bore sighting. It is a simple way to save a few rounds of ammunition.

Bore sighting also refers to a device with a rod that is inserted into the muzzle of a weapon and has an optical target used for sighting telescopic sights.

They work well to get your shots onto the paper at 100 yards, but do not constitute a real sighting in of the weapon.

I know this was a discussion about Iron sights, but the term is also used with other sights so I wanted to avoid any confusion.

We may wish to discuss peep sights as well.

Peep sights (aperture sights) are similar to the military sights discussed, however, the aperture or hole in the rear sight is much smaller for a finer sight.
If you are looking for a way to acquire a target quickly, use a buckhorn sight, if you want precision with an iron sight, use the peep.

On the old buffalo rifles, the peep sight was mounted on the tang, or the piece of metal bolted to the stock behind the hammer. The precision came from the long sight angle of the peep sight up the length of a very long barrel. The longer the sight plane the more accurate you become over long ranges of up to 1000 yards. 8|

The peep sight was sighted by means of a threaded rod from top to bottom and side to side. The threads are very fine for minute adjustments for windage or distance. They were very easy to move, so some carried the vernier sights separate from the rifle until it was going into use.
For many years until the advent of good optical sights and lenses for telescopic sights the peep sight was the gold standard of precision.

This is one reason pistols are not as accurate over long distances is the short sight plane. The short barrel limits the length of the plane and even though your eye is removed further from the rear sight, the distance between the sights is only a few inches increasing the room for error.

As people age, it can become difficult to use iron sights as the ability of the eye to focus on both near and distant objects at the same time is reduced.

But for quick target acquisition, simplicity, and durability, Iron sights are hard to beat. :thumbsup:

Offline Kentucky Bob

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Re: A Beginner's Guide to Firearms For Survival, Hunting and Defense
« Reply #79 on: October 29, 2008, 12:06:10 PM »
I've been meaning to get more done here, but this cold has knocked me on my backside.  :dead:    I will try to get more done in the next week or so, including loading and unloading a revolver and a semi-auto, a piece on rifle ammunition, and some other odds and ends that I've got rattling around in my head.  If anyone has a topic they would like to see covered, please let us know.
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