The United States Marine Corps War Memorial on July 4, 2011.

Celebrate Independence with a Bang—Safely

Today is Independence Day, commonly referred to as the Fourth of July. It commemorates the creation of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Most Americans celebrate Independence Day by attending fireworks celebrations, parades, picnics, or barbecues. Some of us however, like to fire off a few rounds from our personal arsenals to celebrate our telling the Kingdom of Great Britain to hit the road.

M4 Carbine

Service Rifles Around the World

Since the end of the Second World War, service rifles have changed drastically. The world’s most powerful militaries issue impressive firearms from a wide variety of manufacturers. If everyone showed up today to pick a fight, what would they bring to the arena? Some of the answers might surprise you.


What Kind of Survival Mom Are You?

Lisa Bedford, aka The Survival Mom, is a preparedness-minded writer, blogger, trainer, and mom who encourages other women to adopt a calm and common-sense approach to an uncertain future. In her Survival Mom the Book, she asks an important tongue-in-cheek question that Cheaper Than Dirt! women may want to tackle: What Kind of Survival Mom Are You? Or, for spouses, What Kind of Survival Mom Is She? Commenters, have at it.

Guns & Gear Quick & Dirty

Recent news about products, people, and politics:

Moss Pawn Jewelry and Guns in Jonesboro, Georgia has Created the Ultimate Mall Ninja Tactical Zombie Destroyer

Based off an M&P15, it features three lasers, three red-dot sights (set for 100, 200, and 300 yards), a magnifier, four flashlights, a massive muzzle brake, a folding bipod, and holds 270 rounds of ammo on board. Fully loaded, it clocks in at 23 pounds. Video:

5.56x45 NATO

Is 5.56 the Best Option for Everyone?

Many people love the AR-15. If you are not one of them, then a large number of gun enthusiasts might tell you to go pound sand. The platform is versatile, deadly, readily available, and somewhat affordable. When shoppers first start looking at battle rifles, they tend to start at the bottom and eventually work their way up. Would be owners quickly realize that like most things in life, you get what you pay for. Entry-level ARs are often .223/5.56 semi-auto rifles with few to no options, and sometimes-shoddy construction. Guns that are more expensive offer rails with endless accessories, as well as different calibers. Just when you thought you knew everything there is to know about the AR-15, they change it up. So is a high end AR chambered in a wildcat or alternative caliber a good idea?

Sniper prepares to fire on a hostage taker.

Why Such an Emphasis on Accuracy?

According to the surveys I’ve read, the average distance for police sniper shots in the US is just under 60 yards, and median is closer to 35 yards. At 60 yards, even a ratty AK47 with surplus ball will produce a group not much greater than two inches. A two inch group means dispersion of only one inch from the point of aim at fifty yards. So why is everyone obsessing about sub-MOA accuracy in sniper rifles?

New Rail on DDM4 Rifles

Guns & Gear Quick & Dirty

Recent news about products, people, and politics:

Daniel Defense Offers New Rail on DDM4 Rifles

The new DDM4 Rail standard on most Daniel Defense rifles only requires four installation bolts. The lower rail on this model is closer to the barrel. “The narrower profile lends itself to better weapon manipulation,” says the company. Front and Rear Sling Adaptors are integrated into both the left- and right-side rails. The DDM4 Rail measures 1.9 inches wide, stands 2.165 inches high, and has an inner diameter of 1.08 inches. Unlike other rail systems offered by Daniel Defense, the DDM4 Rail will only be offered as part of a complete rifle or upper receiver group and will not be available for individual sale.

Arguing Semantics

When talking with staunch anti-gunners, it’s worth inquiring whether they object to firearms or to weapons. Contrary to their initial impression, the two are not the same. This Anschutz target rifle is a firearm. While it can be used as a weapon, it’s designed for an entirely peaceful purpose. That didn’t stop California from temporarily banning Olympic .22Short pistols as “assualt weapons” because of the forward location of their 5-shot magazines.

Chris Kyle in Falluja

CTD Book Report: American Sniper by Chris Kyle

The war-hero biography does not lend itself well to truth telling. The easy path is to give the public what they want. If they will pay to see you in a certain way, why not go along with it? You can write the standard tell-all book about your all-American upbringing, your rigorous training, and your triumphs on the battlefield. You will stand tall as a patriotic, upstanding role model for your children and your children’s children.

Home schooled kids, aged 14 and 11

The Absurdity of Zero Tolerance Policy, Illustrated

This fearsome concealable weapon is a pocket radio made in the 1960s as memorabilia for the James Bond film Dr.No. Presumably, it was viewed as harmless back then. Today, in far too many parts of the United States, anything that resembles a firearm is viewed with fetishistic horror. Most public school officials would expel a student for bringing in such a collectible for show and tell. Worse, the same officials would do the same for an inert plastic tool because it resembles a cartridge or an equally inert fired casing because it used to be a cartridge. This knee-jerk reaction based on bigotry also illustrates a gross failure of imagination, for even the supposedly “secure” environments are full of reasonably effective weapons. The Tuff Writer pen shown is a relatively obvious example, but any number of metal, plastic or ceramic objects become shivs with minimal effort. Any number of sticks, such as those used for brooms, become batons or spears with equally minimal effort.

Reloading Saves Money

Handloading Your Own Ammunition: A Long Term Investment

The cost of ammunition is rising and availability is dwindling, but I still want to keep shooting. I’ve decided to invest in a reloading setup because I think it will save money, and allow me to keep a flow of ammunition going in times when certain calibers are hard to come by at any price. These are the reasons reloaders always give when they talk about reloading being a smart idea. Do the numbers back up that statement? Will I really save any money? The cost of even a basic reloading setup is pretty high, I’m not going to lie. You need more stuff than you might think, but there is also some expensive machinery out there that is not really required. We can speed up the reloading process greatly by buying automated priming systems, progressive presses, and electronic powder dispensers, but just like with cars adding speed means spending more money. We don’t need a Ferrari to start out with. Let’s price out a sturdy pickup truck of a reloading setup for one of my favorite calibers, the .223 Remington. This article is going to have many hotlinks in it. You can click on them to see the products I’m talking about, so you will know where I’m getting all these prices.

Superstition Mountain 3-Gun

Gearing Up

I am happy to report that you guys are getting it. By that, I mean you are getting the bug to join the ranks of the fastest growing shooting sport: 3-Gun!

Consider this the first of several articles to help you gear-up to shoot like a pro!