9 Crucial Questions to Ask When Buying A Gun Safe

You’re in the market for a gun safe. But have you really considered everything before buying?  Ask yourself these nine questions before spending your hard-earned money on this investment.

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8 Ways to Customize Your Conceal Carry Weapon

Most discussions about customizing a concealed carry weapon focus on the gun. What is just as important, but rarely makes it into the discussion, is the gear that holds the firearm. No two bodies are the same, and it makes sense to alter holsters to fit the carrier. 

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5 Wilderness Survival Skills ALL Hunters Should Know

Guest Post by Richard Douglas

Recently, I had the opportunity to volunteer with my local Search and Rescue county and assist with training their tracking dogs. 

It was an amazing experience and I am very confident in the skills of both the dogs and their handlers. 

While I trust they would be able to find and rescue a person in the forest, I would never want to be in a real situation where I was the one needing rescue. 

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Common Firearms Handling Mistakes you’ve been making

Guest Post by Josh Montgomery

Firearms are both dangerous and useful. When used correctly, they make amazing outdoor recreational activities. If misused, they can cause harm to not only you but to other people and property around you. Before using your firearm for hunting or any other activity, you should familiarize with these mistakes that could cause death, unnecessary injury and theft.  

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12 Tips for Getting Permission to Hunt on Private Land

Guest Post by Ross Burgess

If it seems to you there’s less public land available to hunt, you are correct. In many states, 97-98% of the land is privately owned. Don’t take a chance by assuming untended land is open for you to hunt, as you could run into a posted sign or a disgruntled owner.

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How to hold and Shoot a Handgun Properly

Shooting a handgun/pistol might appear basic to a common person. However, once you get the handgun in your hands, you realize shooting properly and accurately is never easy. There are several fundamentals, tips, exercises, and practices required before one can shoot properly. 

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Essential Self-Defense and Safety Tips for Women Living Alone

Guest Post by Dave Artman

Despite the fact that women seem to be more self-defense savvy than ever, the violence against them continues to be a huge societal problem. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the prevalence of violent crimes against women is rising, with about 1.11 percent of women reporting one or more violent acts in the past six months. That means that about 1.5 million women surveyed experienced some violent act in the months prior to being surveyed.

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Gun vs Bow Hunting for New Hunters

Guest Post by Norman Bobby

If you are just starting out as a hunter, you must be confused about gun and bow hunting.

Check out this comparison of the two options and pick one that you think works the best for you:

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Shooting Sports for Seniors: Tips for Getting Started

Aging adults have a unique set of considerations when it comes to hobby selection. Often, they seek activities that are mentally stimulating to keep them sharp, socially-driven to help combat loneliness and low-impact but still good for supporting their physical health. One activity that ticks all of the above boxes, yet is often overlooked by seniors, is sport shooting. Squaring up with a shotgun and taking aim at clay targets is one of few low-impact activities that requires a strong fusion of mental and physical fortitude with little experience needed.

Think you’re too old to shoot? That’s probably not true. While there are certain physical conditions that may bar you from taking a stab at the sport, by and large, if you’re strong enough to hold and balance a shotgun, you can take part in clay shooting. And it will pay off, too. Sport shooting is an excellent test of mental discipline, physical strength and focus, all things that will help you live a happier, healthier life as you age. It’s for these reasons that the activity is becoming increasingly more popular among older adults, with shooters age 55 or older making up over 20 percent of target shooting participants.

If you’re looking to get started in shooting sports, here are some great tips that will help you get ready for the range, even if you’ve never even held a shotgun.

  • Start with a Rundown on Safety—Even if you think you already know everything there is to know about firearm safety, ask for a rundown just in case before you get started. Since you might not have wielded a shotgun in years—maybe even decades—it’s best to start with a thorough rundown on firearm handling safety before beginning.
  • Join a Group with Other Seniors—As the aging population shows more interest in sport shooting, various seniors-only shooting groups have formed around the country. These groups cater to older shooters, so they may be more accommodating to those with physical concerns and anyone who may not move as quickly as they used to. Of course, joining up with people around your own age will help connect you with others who share similar interests, helping you grow your social circle.
  • Take it Slow and Dial Back the Power—As tempting as it may be, don’t reach for the most powerful shotgun on the rack when it’s your first time shooting (or your first time in a while). Heavy, powerful shotguns can injure those with physical limitations, previous injuries or weak bones, so always start with the least powerful gun available to you. Remember to move at your own pace and to take several breaks between shots if you feel yourself getting tired.
  • Turn to the Professionals—While there are plenty of backyard shooting setups that are perfectly safe and arranged by very competent, safety-focused shooters, the best thing you can do when you’re getting into any shooting sport is to head to the range. Not only will the pros know exactly how to warm you up for your first attempt at shooting, an actual facility will have services such as rentals so that you don’t have to borrow or buy your own equipment.

  • Don’t Worry When You Miss—Give yourself the freedom to underperform and you just might find that you have a lot more fun than you did when you piled on the pressure. Remember that in all shooting sports, misses are inevitable, and they shouldn’t deter you from trying again (and again and again). The fun of it is making tiny, micro-adjustments until you hit your target. Nothing is quite as satisfying!
  • Wear the Right Gear—One of the biggest differentiators between young people and older folks on the whole is that seniors know that the wrong gear or attire could seriously ruin an otherwise great outing. Ill-fitting glasses, sun in your eyes, a shirt that’s too hot—all of these things can prevent you from enjoying your visit to the range, so be sure to take some time to get your gear right. The same goes for the firearm. Make sure it’s the right fit before pulling the trigger and don’t compromise if something feels off.
  • Protect Your Eyes—Any shooting sport will require participants to wear protective eyewear to keep the eyes safe from blowback and shards of clay. Beginners typically rent these from the club or range when they don’t have their own, while seasoned shooters may have prescription shooting glasses made to ensure that their vision isn’t compromised by their safety gear. If you have contacts, be sure to wear them to the range (in addition to protective glasses or goggles) so that you protect your eyes without affecting quality of vision.
  • Buddy Up with Someone Your Own Age—You already know it’s a good idea to work with a professional or a guide, but it may also be smart to begin your shooting journey alongside another shooter around the same age, especially if you can connect with someone who has more (or more recent) experience than you do who may be interested in showing you the ropes.

You’re Never Too Old to Try Something New

If you’ve always wanted to try sport shooting but never had the opportunity, we’re here to tell you now’s your time. Not only can shooting help provide you with an array of positive mental and physical health benefits, it’s also a plain-old fun way to pass the time. If you’re concerned at all about your physical abilities, it may be a good idea to ask your physician for the go-ahead. Once you get the thumbs up, head to the range and show them what you can (still) do!

Shooting Accuracy: How to Choose a Scope for Long Range Shooting

Do you desire the art of long-range shooting? If the answer is yes, as you gather your arsenal, then the best long range rifle scopes are definitely on your mind. Even with an excellent shooting rifle, you need a superb link from where you are to where the bullet is supposed to hit.

That means if you are looking forward to being successful at hitting your targets, quality of the scope, how you mount and installation on the rifle are some of the main objectives that you will want to fulfill.

At times, choosing a suitable rifle scope even troubles those in the military sniper departments so, don’t think you will get it right by just walking to a store and selecting one. Before you land on your ultimate choice, you need to know what kind of long distance you want to practice.

If you are heading for the 1000+ yards shooting range, then you need a high-end scope that surpasses the military or long range shooting specifications. That is why rifle scopes are designated for specific jobs.

The only problem is that you will be using one scope for various shooting ranges. You will always make the best out of it, but you will never maximize the original objectives.

Considerations to Make As You Choose the Best Long-Range Shooting Scope

Now, as you’re selecting a scope for 6.5 Creedmoor, AR 15 or any other rifle for long range shooting, here are some points to register back in your mind to help you make your choice better.  

Light Transmission and Eye Relief

Light varies from bright scenarios to low light instances. That is why you need an exit pupil that can obey what nature is providing at the moment.

If you want to know the size of the exit pupil that your scope has, take the objective lens diameter and divide it by the magnification of the scope.

For example, if your instrument says that it’s an 8 x 40 chassis, then your exit pupil is 5mm.

For better performance, the exit pupil should be above 4 millimeters if you are experiencing low light. That way, your eye gets an adequate amount of light after dilating to keep up with the little light.

When it’s bright, your eyes have a narrow pupil opening which means you need a smaller exit pupil.

Now, as you look through the exit pupil, there is a distance between your eye and the rear of the lens. That is what the scope enthusiasts call the eye relief. The measurement is delivered in inches, and most long-range shooting scopes will have it between 3-4 inches.

The distance affects the magnification so, always consider it too. As for the rifles, you only need a scope with a bigger eye relief if it has a massive recoiling specification. If the opposite is the case, then you need the shortest eye relief there can be. Those who wear glasses will attest to that.

Magnification Range

Before you mount a scope on your rifle, it is essential to consider if you need a variable or fixed magnification. As for the fixed, you get only one zoom level, and that’s it.

They will not offer versatility when it comes to choosing your distance, but you can select a location based on the fixed distance. Since they don’t need too much protocol, most people will prefer them due to such simplicity.

The variable magnification scopes are better for those who desire to choose their distance and location. They come with a minimum and maximum magnification levels that allow you to change within the values. This implies that you can use them for both short and long range shooting experiments or ventures.

If you have a scope that says 3x-9x, for example, you will be able to adjust between 3 times and nine times magnification. One thing you need to note though is that although the magnification power gets better when higher, you still need to consider the minimum magnification that the scope can achieve.

Parallax

You need to make sure that you have the best point on target when preventing a relative view from your scope. When hunting whitetail deer or practicing to aim with the help of your rifle and scope, at times, there is a need to hit the target once without having to create room for adjustment and taking another shot.

That is why a tactical rifle scope will accommodate a parallax adjustment either as a side knob or on the objective. Since it is hard to regulate, if you are always changing the distance, always go for a scope that has a side knob.

For scopes that don’t have such a specification, it’s much better if you avoided them for the best shooting results.

Objective Lens size and Tube Diameter

First, the objective lens is the ‘screen’ you see in the front part of the scope. It is a common saying among the long-range shooters that bigger objectives will gather more light for you.

While we can put it that way, the objective lens is supposed to allow light to pass through so a larger objective lens will accommodate more light as opposed to ‘gathering more light.’

Now, the ability to allow more light is critical since the best hunting times are during dusk or at dawn. During both times, the view is never clear. You need to note that a bigger objective does not mean better magnification since such will require a higher mounting position.

Between the objective lens and the turrets, and from the turrets to the eyepiece, there is a cylindrical tube that connects everything. The diameter of that tube is measured in millimeters, and if it measures 25mm, then that is equal to one inch.

Wider tubes will allow more light to pass, but you will have a heavier scope. Currently, brands are offering 30mm and 40mm tube specification so, check what you need in your area and whether you will manage the weight involved.

Lenses and Coatings

Scopes are mostly designed to achieve waterproof and fog proof features. That is why they will specify on coating the glasses and the layering is expensive which prompts them to vary in type.

While it is common to see a single coated lens outdoing a multiple coated lens, coatings are there to reduce the glare and loss of light from reflection effects. More layers imply better light transmission, sharp contrast and also resistant to scratch.

Optics include a coating to prevent water from staying on the glass. There are two aspects involved. The hydrophobic coatings make the water beads on the glass while the hydrophilic coatings allow the water to appear as a sheet.

Both mechanisms allow for a clear view in misty or rainy conditions without having to wipe the objective lens from time to time.

The accepted norms when it comes to coating will involve coating, full coating, multi-coating, and full multi-coating features.

Field of View

You will see it on your scope specifications indicated in [email protected] yds (feet at 100 yards) or [email protected] (meters at 100m). Commonly abbreviated as FOV, it signifies the amount of view that your scope allows you to see given the distance. It is calculated from the eyepiece’s internal construction.

The reason why it is important to consider is that a wider field of view will aid you in tracking movements in case the target is on the move. You will also be able to spot multiple targets from one area and go ahead to track how they are moving.

Repeatability

This is for the high-end scopes and not the cheap models. If you want a scope that offers repeatability, then you need it to allow you to adjust the elevation and windage dials for impact points under one setting, move them around as you shoot various points, then go back to the original position and the impact point does not change.

A proper scope with such feature should also allow you to move the impact point by adjusting the dials without settling in prompts. So, if you are elevating up to three inches, for example, your impact point should coincide with that without further adjustments. As for the cheap models, you have to shoot several times before settling in the internal modifications.

Turret Adjustments and Minute of Angle (MOA)

It would help if you remembered that choosing a scope is choosing a precision tool. When it comes to the rifle types, they have an extreme way of précising which involves regulating the adjustments using MOA (Minute of angle) or mil/mrad (a thousandths radiant fraction). Acquiring such a level of accuracy implies that you have to be very precise with what you are aiming.

Even with the calculation knowledge, some of the MOA scopes, and that includes some of the high-end ones will give you the wrong calibration which means something is wrong with the scope and not your calculation.

The reason behind such an issue is that the click that signifies an adjustment did not produce the intended changing value in the scope. It is also possible for a click adjustment not to record any change.

Now, if that is the case, you might not notice anything when shooting short ranges, but you will be missing the target everytime you increase the distance.

To verify if your scope has the click adjustment problem, first make sure that your scope is zeroed. Follow by fully rotating the elevation turret up and down a number of times before zeroing it again.

Now, shoot while aiming at a target. If the bullet does not hit the target, then you have lost some clicks. If you have a high-end scope, then check if it has a warranty so that you can return it since that is not allowed after spending a chunk of money on it.

Bullet Drop Compensators

Lastly, you may have heard of BDC scopes that let you aim a target and shoot without having to worry about the gravitational pull and other conditions that affect the bullet’s trajectory.

While some of us will think that it is just a specification for gimmicks, those who know what it can do benefit largely from them.

Bullet Drop Compensation (BDC) works by utilizing the reticle pattern that shows you how the bullet will drop after traveling specific distances.

The illustration is composed of various aiming points from the central crosshair point, going down on the vertical line on the crosshair.

What they mean is that when you zero the scope at a particular range (100 yards) the points, you see below depict where the bullet will hit after traveling longer ranges.

For the centrefire scopes, the incremental range is by 100 yards while the rimfire substitutes use the 50 yards pace.

BDC helps you to shoot longer distances without having to overthink about it. If you are aiming 500 yards away, all you need is to point using the reticle and pull the trigger. Not having to worry about the elevation angle makes such scopes useful when hunting or long distance shooting competitions.

Also, since you will be changing the distances, you will not be guessing around and make some wrong conclusions in the course of aiming. That is why you will see hunters with such a specification on their rifle scopes.

Wrapping up

Now that you have a guideline to help you choose a suitable long range shooting rifle scope, the essential thing is to understand the points we have discussed and use them in the final decision making.

Some specifications are useful to all while others depend on the long-range shooting practice you need to engage.

With that, take your time to see what you need since they also don’t come cheap and the last thing you need is the wrong scope since you did not consider all the possibilities and limitations.

Choose the Best Round and Caliber for Self Defense

The topic of self-defense is hotly debated among gun enthusiasts, and there are countless options when it comes to the best self-defense choice for you. The model and caliber that you choose will vary according to your personal needs and experience.

Careful consideration is crucial when selecting the handgun that you will rely on for protection. Take time to research the best options for you before making this potentially life-saving decision. After deciding, it is important to outfit your gun with the perfect concealed carry holster and other accessories that complement its use.

Bullet Choices Matter

The caliber of a firearm determines which type of rounds can be used with it, and the construction of a bullet determines what a round will do to achieve its purpose. In self-defense situations, the purpose of a round is to stop an attack, and there are various rounds available that are tailored to this purpose.

Lead bullets, though common, are not the best choice for a self-defense weapon because they will not penetrate the target as well as their copper-jacketed counterparts. In a self-defense situation, however, there is also a high risk of collateral damage if the bullet penetrates too well.

Full metal jacket (FMJ) shells are an ideal defense ammo option. They typically consist of a lead core encased in copper, which enables them to penetrate well. The softness of the lead then prevents an excessive transfer of energy, in comparison to other round options.

Jacketed Hollow Point Bullets

Many gun enthusiasts agree that the jacketed hollow point (JHP) bullet design is highly effective for defense situations.

The JHP is an advancement on the FMJ, with the copper jacket partially extending to cover the lead core, which leaves the nose exposed. This portion of the lead has a hollow tip, and this enables the ideal balance between energy transfer and penetration.

Bonded Bullets

Bonded bullets inhibit the jacket and core of a bullet from separating upon impact. They are produced through both electrochemical and mechanical bonding, and both options ensure that the copper and lead components do not detach from one another, which lets the bullet maintain its weight for penetration. This makes bonded JHP bullets the premier choice for self-defense purposes.

Power

Several important factors play into making one bullet and caliber a more attractive choice for self-defense than another. These are power, speed, and capacity.

A bullet’s power, or effectiveness, refers to its ability to stop an attacker as quickly and effectively as possible. Various formulas have been developed that attempt to calculate the stopping power of a handgun, but, because the conditions of emergencies vary so significantly, this is difficult to do.

For example, a bullet that would have a detrimental effect on the chest cavity might have little to no effect on a dense, bony area. Because the chest cavity represents the largest mass of a target and has the highest contact probability, this is the area that emergency responders are trained to aim for and where a bullet’s stopping power is typically calculated.  

This implies that the best stopping power is afforded by bullets that affect debilitating pain to an attacker.

Speed

The faster the bullet, the quicker it can neutralize a target. Advances in the development of Kydex holsters allow for reduced retrieval time and, coupled with high-velocity rounds, eliminating a threat has never been faster.  

The speed of a bullet will affect the penetration of a target. The higher the rotational velocity of a bullet, the further it can penetrate the attacker. Speed also plays a role in how much a bullet expands, which determines the amount of damage that is inflicted and whether collateral damage will be a concern.

Those who opt for a lighter, faster bullet will find that they offer reduced recoil, which is essential for carriers who cannot withstand heavy recoil.

Capacity

The capacity of a handgun is a final and straightforward factor to consider. The smaller the bullet, the more rounds a handgun can carry.

A Glock 17 will always hold more 9mm Lugers than a Glock 21 holds .45 AUTOs. It is important to consider that, though a 9mm pistol may hold more ammunition, it is still a lighter firearm than any .40 S&W or .45 AUTO when loaded.

Gun Calibers


One go-to choice for personal self-defense is a revolver. A revolver will carry either .38 Special or .357 Magnum calibers. The advantage of a revolver is that it is easy to operate and learn how to shoot, making it an ideal choice for high-stress situations.

Revolvers do have limited capacity, which may be a disadvantage for some. With proper training, however, this is not likely to be an issue.

Some semiautomatic handguns can hold up to seventeen rounds of 9mm ammo, as well as .40 S&W and .45 ACP. This type of firearm is easily reloaded and allows users to keep their eyes on the threat. However, semi-automatics must be cocked to fire, which may be inconvenient for some.

A user’s experience and comfort level in handling firearms will likely determine what type of gun or caliber they decide to use. For those with less experience, a revolver with .38 Special bullets is an ideal option. A more experienced carrier may find that a semi-automatic handgun, such as a Glock 17 or Glock 19 with 9mm Luger bullets, is the most suitable option for their skill level.

The Best Choice for You

Deciding on a firearm for self-defense requires a compromise between size, speed, and capacity. Larger bullets will never have a higher velocity than smaller bullets, and a handgun with more power will almost always have more significant recoil. The best choice for a self-defense weapon comes down to your personal preference and the factors that are most pertinent to your concealed carry use.

Being an accurate and practiced shot is more important than what type of firearm or bullet you choose to use. Once you have made your decision, it is essential to test the feel of different rounds at your shooting range.

Consider factors like level of comfort in the hand, recoil control, and capacity. There are also various options for how to conceal and carry your weapon, the most popular of which is an in-the-waistband or IWB holster.

A firearm is a serious tool that is used only in the most critical of situations. Because of this, it is paramount that any carrier is fully comfortable and capable of using their weapon of choice for their own and others’ safety.

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