Archive for January, 2012

AR-15 FAQ’s

Posted: January 31, 2012 in Weapons
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The following are my italicized responses to some common AR-15 Questions that I am frequently asked.

Q – Is the .223 Remington round and the .556 NATO round the same?

A – No.  While they might appear similar, the .223 Remington is loaded to lower pressures and velocities than the .556 NATO round.

Q – Can I shoot the .223 round out of a barrel stamped .556?

A – Yes.

Q – Can I shoot the .556 round out of a barrel stamped .223?

A – No.

Q – What’s the main difference between the A1, A2 and A3 receiver?

A – The A1 receiver has a carry handle with the rear sight built into the handle.  It requires a tool for adjusting and is adjustable for windage only.  The A2 receiver has a carry handle with the rear sight built into the handle.  It is finger adjustable in increments for windage and elevation.  The A3 receiver is a flat top receiver with no carry handle.  It has a Picatinny rail mounted on the top for attaching optics.

Q – What is twist rate?

A – Twist rate is how long it takes the bullet to make 1 full rotation in the barrel.  As an example a 1/9 is 1 full rotation for every 9 inches of barrel.

Q – What is the military version of the AR-15 rifle?

A – The M16 rifle.

Q – What are some of the advantages of an AR-15 rifle?

A – They are flexible, accurate, reliable, have a proven performance record and have parts that are readily available  

Q – What is the ideal barrel length for an AR-15 rifle?

A – 16 inches. 

Q – Why are iron sights important?

A – Iron sights are often the primary sighting system and offer the quickest method to acquire a target at short distances.

Q – What size magazine is best and how many magazines should one have?

A – The 30 round magazine is best and one should generally have a minimum of 10 magazines.

Q – What’s better, plastic or railed handguards?

A – They are both good.  Plastic handguards are there to cover the barrel to prevent you from burning your hands.  If you’re a minimilist and do not want to add accessories plastic is the way to go.  Railed handguards also prevent you from burning your hands but have the added benefit of rails to allow the quick attachment of modular accessories such as flashlights and foregrips.  If you like adding accessories, then railed is the way to go.

Q – What are some good brands of AR-15 rifles?

A – Bushmaster and DPMS.

At any time our normal, peaceful lives can be interrupted by the violent actions of others.  You never want to be in a position of helplessness, if a violent attack in your home by a criminal, is imminent.  The defensive use of firearms in properly trained hands goes a long way towards stopping a violent attack.

The 12 Gauge pump action shotgun is by many, considered to be the most formidable and effective close range firearm for short range defensive applications.  This weapon can devestate and instantly stop an aggressor.

The handguns small size makes it both concealable and portable and most folks with proper practice and or proper training will become proficient enough to hit a man sized target at 25 yards.  Accuracy tends to decrease beyond that range.

Generally speaking, for most home, self defense situations, certain rifles may be too long for quick deployment.  Shorter rifles such as the AR-15 would be required for instant deployment when danger appears.  Rifles are generally used for longer range applications and in many instances, are not the best home, self defense choice.

As with any firearms choice, you want to avoid overpenetration and you need to be constantly aware of what is around and behind your target.  Make sure you choose the right weapon for your specific home defense scenario so that you are ready to deal with any home defense situation which may occur.

Remember that all criminals prefer unarmed victims.  Being armed is one of the best ways to make sure that you have a fighting chance of survival should a thug be foolish enough to try and invade your home and do you harm.

In a survival situation, having non fiction books to reinforce or gain new survival knowledge can be instrumental to your survival.  The following is a list of  recommended non fiction survival books.

  • How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It – James Wesley Rawles
  • Boston’s Gun Bible – Boston T. Party
  • The Tactical Shotgun – Gabriel Suarez
  • The Tactical Advantage – Gabriel Suarez
  • Hardcore Self Defense – C. R. Jahn
  • The Preppers Pocket Guide – Bernie Carr
  • Defensive Living – Ed Lovette
  • Real World Survival – Walt Rauch
  • Holding Your Ground – Joe Nobody
  • The TEOTWAWKI Tuxedo – Joe Nobody
  • Just In Case – Kathy Harrison
  • The Modern Day Gunslinger – Don Mann
  • Personal Protection and Home Defense – Robert K. Campbell
  • Armed Response – David Kenik
  • Welcome To The Real World – Bryan S. Williams
  • SAS Survival Handbook – John Wiseman


Disaster means different things to different people.  When disaster strikes such as civil unrest, war, famine, end of the world scenarios, etc., weapons for self defense will be an important necessity when it comes to your survival. 

Thugs, criminals, looters, etc., will be everywhere, usually working in groups and law enforcement depending on the nature of the disaster may be non existent.  Good luck finding a truly suitable weapon after a disaster has ocurred.  You need to have your weapons and sufficient ammunition available to you before a disaster has ocurred rather than hope you can locate some after.

There are many choices in weapons and even if you have a whole locker full of them, the reality is you cannot individually use them all at once.  Therefore it is necessary to have one primary type of each major weapon available to you and to make sure you are fully versed in using them properly. 

For firearms this will include loading, unloading, clearing malfunctions, cleaning, zeroing, aiming and  making sure your point of aim equals your point of impact.  For knives this will include sharpening and overall handling capabilities.

I have divided my weapons groups into 4 categories with my final selections based on reliability, functionality, durability and dependability.

  • Category 1:  Primary Shotgun = Remington 870 Express Tactical
  • Category 2: Primary Handgun = Smith & Wesson M&P 45
  • Category 3: Primary Rifle = DPMS AP4 Panther Carbine AR15
  • Category 4: Primary Knife = Elite Forces Fixed Blade

Whatever your primary weapons choices are make sure you are proficient in their use.  Do not instigate or invite trouble, your weapons should be for defensive capabilities only.

Looking for some entertaining survival fiction!  The following are some of the best survival fiction books out there listed in no particular order.

  • The Ashes Series (33 books total) – By William W Johnstone
  • Holding Their Own – By Joe Nobody
  • One Second After – By William R Forstchen
  • The Unit – Terry Dehart
  • Patriots – By James Wesley Rawles
  • Lucifer’s Hammer – By Larry Niven
  • A Land Of Ash – David Dalglish
  • Deathlands Series (over 100 books) – By James Axler
  • Collapse – By Jon King
  • Tunnel In The Sky – Robert Heinlein
  • As Wind In Dry Grass – H. Grant Llewellyn
  • The Bunker – E.J. Camacho
  • Half Past Midnight – Jeff Brackett
  • Run – Blake Crouch
  • Lights Out – David Crawford
  • Earth Abides – George R. Stewart
  • The Apocalypse Blog – Melanie Edmonds

America is still the greatest nation on planet Earth.  We seem as a nation, however, to be losing our way.  In light of that here are my solutions to making America great again.

  1. Laws need to be fair, simplified and easy to understand.
  2. Laws must be Constitutional.
  3. People need to work for a living and stop receiving “lifetime” government handouts.
  4. Government is too large and needs to be reduced in size.
  5. Government and business corruption needs to be severely punished.
  6. Government needs to stop sticking their noses into every facet of people’s lives and stop trying to regulate everything.
  7. Proper morals and values need to be taught.  There is a right and there is a wrong.
  8. People need to take personal responsibility for their actions.
  9. Criminals need to receive harsher punishment and should serve out their full sentences.
  10. Criminals convicted of rape, murder, carjacking, etc., should automatically receive life sentences with no chance of parole or the death penalty.
  11. No restrictions or laws should ever be placed on law abiding citizen’s when it comes to owning guns.
  12. The right to protect your home and family from thugs and criminals should always be the law of the land.

It’s your home and that means you have a responsibility to protect your home and your family from criminals who would do you harm.  Basic home defense precautions such as a large dog, locking your doors, windows, garages, etc., deadbolt locks and door jam bars are essential precautionary measures but once a criminal is inside you will need additional defensive capabilities.

Firearms are simply the best, modern home defense weapon for those who are properly trained or experienced in their use.  Your home defense weapon or weapons must be effective, reliable and capable of stopping a threat when your life or the lives of your family are in danger. 

You also need to factor in overpenetration which means you will need to be aware of what is beyond your target since sheetrock walls won’t stop bullets.  You do not want to injure family members around or behind a criminal when your life or your families lives are in danger.

Some firearms considerations are as follows.  12 Gauge pump action shotguns as they have the most effective stopping power at close range and depending on the model can hold between 5 to 8 shells in the tube.  Semi Automatic handguns due to their small size, concealability and convenient accessibility and depending on the model can hold between 8 to 17 rounds in the magazine. 

Generally I do not recommend rifles for home defense as the potential for overpenetration and the distances most calibers travel is just too risky in typical suburban neighborhoods.  Even when using shotguns or semi automatic handguns be aware of any overpenetration which might result. 

Whatever firearms you decide to use as your primary home defense weapons make sure you train with them often and become thoroughly familiar with their workings.  Your home defense firearms must be 100% reliable as your life may one day depend on them.