Gun enthusiasts often buy ammunition in bulk, whether it’s for stockpiling, hunting, or target shooting. Ammo storage is key to protecting your investment. The rules for proper ammo storage are simple. You don’t need a gun vault or special equipment to keep your rounds cool and dry.
Everyone will tell you that the first rule of storing ammunition is to keep it cool and dry. Experts store ammo in a temperature controlled environment, usually inside the home. You can use a gun vault, closet, or any location that isn’t subjected to fluctuations in heat and humidity. A basement may work fine in some cases.
Storing ammo in attics, vehicles, and outdoor buildings (like sheds) are never a good idea since they get hot in the summer. Heat and humidity cause big problems with ammunition. It can change the chemical composition of the gun powder, causing misfires. It can also cause corrosion of the casing. If that happens, you should just throw it away and start with a fresh batch.
Ammo Storage Containers
Ammo storage containers are available online and at most retail stores that sell ammo. You don’t have to purchase the most expensive one on the shelf, in fact, any airtight container will work. Some argue the merits of plastic versus metal. Others will use household containers like Tupperware. Adding moisture-absorbing packets (desiccants) to the container will help with the humidity. If you have children, add a lock to the container for safety.
Avoid using old metal containers as the seams aren’t usually airtight.
Experts say that ammunition can easily last up to 50 years or more. Ammo stored in the original box should be used in the next 12 months or less to prevent damage to the cartridges and your weapon.
Surplus ammunition can be a great buy. Smart buyers ask the sellers how the ammunition has been stored as incorrect storage can make the ammo useless or dangerous.
You should label ammunition for a number of reasons. First, it will prevent a novice from mixing up calibers. Second, it will make it easy to locate the caliber you’re looking for without opening the airtight boxes. Dating the boxes will allow you to rotate stock as you purchase new ammo.
Safety is key when storing guns and ammo. Kids open drawers, boxes, and everything they aren’t supposed to, and that includes ammo storage containers. Parents must teach their children how to respect guns and ammo at a young age, so the kids know that they should never be touched without adult supervision. A gun vault or locked ammunition box (and gun box) are imperative if you have children or there will be children on the premises. You should always store guns and ammo separately. If you keep a loaded gun in the house, make sure that it is under lock and key to avoid accidents. This safety guide offers tips and ideas of how to keep your home and ammo safe.
When the economy collapses, store shelves empty, and people start to lose their minds; people who educate themselves, practice survival techniques, and remain calm will be the ones who thrive. River trout fishing is a great way of gathering food if you know what passive and active fishing methods to deploy. In this article, you’ll learn how to catch trout in a stream using many different techniques.
3 Traditional Methods for River Trout Fishing
Before we dive into some of the survival methods of catching trout, let’s focus on the standard and traditional ways that we all fish. It’s important to learn and master these techniques so you can rely on your experience in a survival scenario.
1. Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is one of the most trusted small creek fishing methods, especially for trout. This is done with the use of a fly rod, reel, and specific lures called “flies.” The casting process generally involves a backcast where you’ll throw the line behind your back or to the side of your body to build up enough force. Then, you’ll fire it forward with the built-up power resulting in a distance cast.
The reason why this method is so successful for river trout fishing is that it closely imitates what the trout want to eat. That’s not to say you couldn’t catch bass or panfish either because you can.
To find an ideal spot to fly fish in a river, you need to find somewhere where the water slows down a bit and you’ll need a pair of waders. The reason why you need to fish from the middle of the water is because of the backcast. You need water behind you so you can throw the fly over your shoulder and let it hit the water.
One crucial thing to think about is that it generally takes longer to learn how to fly fish. There are a lot of anglers out there who have mastered many fishing techniques but still won’t dare attempt fly fishing because it’s a whole different ball game. While it might be the best option for river fishing, you may want to master something else first.
2. Spinning Rod and Reel Casting
The traditional spinning rod and reel combo is one of the simplest and most effective ways of fishing for anything. This combo will appeal to the widest variety of fish and it’ll be the simplest to master with many styles of rods and reels available all over.
What you’ll want to pay most attention to is where you plan to fish. If we’re plotting a survival scenario and you’re figuring out the rivers closest to your bug-out location, you’ll want to get the gear with the highest rate of success for those locations.
If you’re stream fishing for trout, you’ll need something super lightweight and finesse-based. An ultralight rod, lightweight reel, and something in the 4lb test range in terms of line will work best in these situations. If you approach the creek with bait that is too large and bulky for the water, you’ll scare everything away and likely come back empty-handed.
When it comes to choosing lures, I find that soft plastics work best for river trout fishing. Anything that imitates a bug generally performs well because this is what the trout are used to eating. They come to the surface to search for these types of critters so you want to imitate that with your presentation.
If you’re going to choose something else, I would suggest going with a soft plastic worm like a Yamamoto Senko or something similar. Live worms are a heavy target for trout so go with a brightly colored artificial worm.
Jigging is one of the best trout fishing for streams and rivers. Keep in mind that this is a highly active method of fishing which means you’ll end up burning a lot of calories and spending a lot of time doing it. While it has a high rate of success, in a SHTF scenario, your time might be better spent doing something else.
The most important thing to remember about river jigging is that you need to find eddies and areas of the water that stop flowing. You can’t jig in moving water.
Since the full presentation is on your back, you’ll want to cast or pitch it out into standing water and twitch the tip of the rod to make the jig dance. You’ll still use ultralight gear and jigs that weigh around ⅛ ounce. I recommend choosing colors based on your surroundings so you’ll want to stock up to prepare for a time when you can’t buy whatever you want. Choose bright colors on sunny days and natural colors on cloudy days. If the water is murky after a heavy rainstorm, you’ll want to use bright colors to stand out in the stained water. Keep in mind that jigging requires you to create the presentation so you need to make the lure stand out.
3 Primitive Trout Creek Fishing Methods
Only once you master traditional fishing methods should you start to think about some of these. While they’re primitive and simple for survival fishing, a lot of the previously mentioned techniques can be practiced in real-life scenarios so you can plan for the imminent future. When it comes to trapping trout in rivers, these are the best ways to do it.
NOTE: Understanding Rules and Regulations
The main reason why I say to stick to the traditional methods is that a lot of these techniques are illegal. In most counties across many states, creating anything that obstructs the flow of water and fish is illegal and punishable by fines. So, unless you live in a very rural area of the country or in a place where self-sufficiency is supported, practicing these techniques will be hard. I don’t know about you, but I like to be prepared.
That said, when all hell breaks loose, you won’t be worrying about laws and all of these methods are fair game. They’re more passive, require less energy, and they can result in a much more stable harvest if you can master them.
Trotlines are my all-time favorite survival fishing strategy for trout because they work so well in rivers and they require very little attention once you’ve set them up. The key is to rig everything properly and make sure that it’s sturdy so you don’t lose your bait.
You’ll need some pretty large fishing hooks, durable line, and a plethora of live (or once live) bait. Many people use scraps from previously caught fish to rig the hooks.
Essentially, you want to drive a stake into both sides of the river (or use trees) and tie a rope or durable fishing line to both stakes so the line runs across the river. The mainline should have two floats holding it up so the line primarily rests under the water. From there you’ll put hooks throughout the line with a weight that stabilizes the line on the bottom of the river.
As fish move down the river, they’ll see the bait and either strike it or keep moving. This creates a ton of opportunities without you having to actively fish the river. Designate someone to check these hooks a few times per day to limit the chances of the fish getting away or breaking something. A great pro tip would be to cement your stakes into the ground for added durability.
Nothing is simpler than fishing with a net but there are a few different kinds of nets. A gill net is thrown into the water and pulled back immediately. These nets are generally used in saltwater fishing applications where catching shellfish is the goal. The holes in the net are large enough to allow small baitfish to pass through while still catching the larger fish that you’d want to prepare for a meal.
Dip nets are the type of net you’re likely thinking about when you think of a net you’d bring on a boat. It comes with a handle and it’s what you use to pull a fish out of the water from the side of your boat. You won’t use these primarily for fishing but you’ll want to have a couple to assist you with getting the fish out of the water.
Drift nets are the big boys that we want to focus on. These nets are completely illegal throughout most of the country so if you’re planning to practice this method (pre-apocalypse), be sure to do so carefully. The drift net will function much like a trotline with two stakes driven into the sides of the river and a net hung between. This will catch trout as they move down the river and the net will make it hard for them to get out. In a survival scenario, this is one of your best options for catching a lot of fish in a short amount of time.
3. Fishing Weir
Let’s say you find yourself in the middle of an economic collapse and society is in the middle of complete anarchy. You didn’t prepare very well, you don’t have many resources, but you’re starving to death and you need to feed your family. A weir could be your saving grace. This method requires nothing more than some rocks and some time.
You’re going to build a trap like the one above using rocks. You’ll shape them into a double heart design with the second opening being a bit smaller than the first. If the fish swim into the first opening, you’ve likely got them. Once they swim through the second opening, you’ve definitely got them. From there you can wade through the two pools with your dip net and scoop up as many as you can catch.
This method does require a serious time commitment with the initial setup and you need to have a DIY attitude because one small hole in the wall could result in a lot of your fish getting away.
Where To Find Trout
As you’re planning your bug out around river trout fishing, you need to know what to look for and how to decide that a location would be ideal for trout fishing.
First, the more remote the river is the higher chance you have of finding trout. Trout are a food source for wildlife such as bears and bobcats and they’re less common along major roadways and near towns. That said, this is a good thing when planning a bug out because you want to get away from these things as well.
You should also keep track of which rivers are stocked and try to find ones that are the most remote. That combination will result in a higher catch rate while also staying away from densely populated areas where people may go when the SHTF.
Important Rules to Remember with Trout Fishing
As you prepare and plan for the future, I want to leave you with a few important rules to always keep in mind for river trout fishing.
Powerbait doesn’t work on wild trout.
This point is always up for debate but the general belief is that powerbait is designed for stocked trout because it’s relative to what they eat when they’re being farmed. Wild trout do not have a taste for it so they won’t bite it. If you use it to enhance the scent of natural bait, you’re only doing yourself more harm. My rule is, if you’re fishing for survival, don’t use powerbait at all because eventually the stocked trout population will start to dwindle and it may or may not support the wild trout population.
Trout fishing is best when it’s cool.
Another known fact about trout is that they prefer cooler temperatures. Outside temps in the 60s are ideal so if you live in a place where it’s hot during the day, you’ll need to get up early for active fishing. If you’re planning on fly fishing you’ll want to hit the water as soon as the sun comes up. This is when the trout will be most active and you’ll have the highest chance of them hitting the fly.
Flags. You see them wherever you go. When you visit McDonald’s every morning, what do you see flying over the parking lot aside from extremely sick seagulls? A flag. When you refuse to stop driving your go-kart at the family fun park, what checkerboard-pattern thing does the attendant keep angrily waving at you? A flag. When you squint really hard while looking at the moon, what do you notice stuck into its surface? If you’re sensing a theme of questioning here, then you can probably guess at the answer: You see a flag.
Several flags from prehistory have endured into our enlightened times. Neolithic flags have reportedly been recovered from the Dingding Cave in China, although many scholars doubt their authenticity because they include plastic grommets and have “Made in China” written at their bottoms. Likewise, the supposedly Neolithic flags discovered at the Chütlhüldütl Settlement in Central Turkey were deemed by scientists to just be extremely dirty. But the flag discovered at the former site of the Aztec city-state Axolotlfrotlhuatlcolātlhīlpoctliacamolli appears to be the genuine article. It also features mastodons, however, which is truly unfortunate because contemporary scholars just aren’t as excited about the animal as early man seems to have been.
Flags didn’t really take off until Mediterranean civilization began picking up steam. In 1881 German adventurer Heinrich Trinkenschuh discovered a Neo-Sumerian flag in South-central Iraq bearing this message: 𒀴𒀥𒁖𒁣𒀡𒁤𒀉. Loosely translated it reads “Adamen’s Figs & Wine,” which we may assume was an early snack bar of sorts. Imagine Trinkenschuh’s surprise when he unearthed identical flags in Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan. These flags provide solid evidence that the Sumerians developed the commercial franchise long before Singer Sewing Machine Company thought up the concept in 1851.
Several flags made by the Ancient Greeks survive into the present day. You can’t dig six inches into the ground around Athens without uncovering a pennant bearing three Greek letters, such as ΓΔΗ, ΒΘΞ, ΩΚΠ, and ΛΥΛ. Also buried around these flags are empty liquor bottles, polo shirts with collars permanently starched in the upright position, and pills with cartoon characters imprinted on them. The exact purposes of these mysterious artifacts are still unknown, but preeminent historian Chad P. van der Veen has theorized that the Ancient Greeks were “total effen bros who knew how to effen party” (van der Veen, C.P., A Brief History of Effen Partying).
The Ancient Romans learned that the Ancient Greeks had made flags, and because 90 percent of Ancient Roman culture revolved around aping Ancient Greek culture they decided to make them too.
The subjects of Latin flagēos range from the mundane to the extraordinary. One flagēus recovered from Florence reads “Augustus’s Fried Oysters” in Latin, although no evidence exists that Augustus ever managed to franchise. Another flagēolis discovered near the outskirts of Genoa is made of mosaic tile. It is thought not to have fluttered very well, thus the reason for its apparent abandonment.
The most notable Ancient Roman flagēoli was unearthed just outside of Grosseto in 1935. Named the “Boombatz Flagēola” after the local doctor who discovered it, this banner depicts Jove disguised as an ostrich doing something genuinely reprehensible to several Vestal Virgins. (Vexillology enthusiasts solely appreciate the Boombatz Flagēolus for its artistry, not its subject matter.)
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire marked the beginning of a dark age for flags. The medieval Poles reportedly created beautiful flags around the 6th century, but sadly these were all lost when Bolesław the Dingbat put them all in one place and forgot where. Likewise, King Pierre Richelet Aux Pétard je Lorioux Oueuraxeux ordered all of Medieval France’s flags destroyed when he learned that a single banner poking fun at his receding hairline had been created by one of his subjects. Lorioux Oueuraxeux also used this insult as justification for marrying his cousin and invading Medieval Germany, which resulted in the creation of Schumstenberg, now a tax haven with a population of 14.
The British people restored the art of creating flags. They did so because their empire’s navy, which exceeded 83 million ships during its heyday, required flags as a means of distinguishing so many ships from one another. These flags typically depicted simple colorful lines and fields, although several flags depicting King George V in various lurid poses with the letters “SWM DTF NSA” were also flown from British ships’ masts.
The very first American flags depicted rattlesnakes accompanied by threatening messages such as “Don’t Tread on Me,” “I Told You Not to Tread on Me,” “I Swear to God, Tread on Me One More Time and See What Happens,” and “That’s It. I Told You Not to Tread on Me, and You Just Couldn’t Help Yourself. Now I’m Going to Stick my Trekker Half Boots So Far Up Your Keister That You’re Going to Taste Everything I Stepped in for the Past Month, and I Work at a Hog Farm.”
The Americans would proceed to create the best flag of all immediately after winning their independence – the American flag. This is the same flag that you can see when you squint real hard at the moon, but the Americans cleverly made more than one. You can find the American flag flying in front of government buildings, outside of sports stadiums, outside of suburban houses, outside of rural houses, on the backs of rural pickup trucks, and in the backgrounds of Republican politicians’ televised campaign advertisements. It is a really great flag, although communists occasionally burn it when they wish to make it known that they would like to be the very first ones sent to work camps once their ridiculous revolution takes place.
That brings us to the present. As we look to the future, who knows what exciting new flags await us one day? We can only guess which flag will be planted on Mars after America has put her flag there first. And surely mankind has not finished founding new countries, each of which will require its own respective flag. I only wish to recommend that none of these hypothetical countries put the mastodon on their flags, because honestly that idea has already been played to death.
About the Author
Alvin P. Twistleton-Twistleton is the former daytime manager of a Shoney’s in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today he resides at the Little Rock Home for the Mentally Ill with his wife Mrs. Elvira Q. Twistleton-Twistleton-Glossop, whom he made out of a broom and some rubber gloves. They have six children together.
Obtaining ammunition was certainly no picnic during 2020, a year when understandably wary Americans purchased a whopping 23 million guns. (I pulled that figure from CNN but have no reason to assume it is accurate. Getting the real facts about firearms these days can be tricky, and it’s never reasonable to assume you’re getting them from big media or big tech.)
The best-laid plans couldn’t have prepared us for that surge in demand.
The big American ammo manufacturers – Winchester, Hornady, Federal Premium, Remington, and the like – were all eager to get their latest output into the hands of law-abiding citizens. Although, the pandemic’s impact on lead and copper production greatly limited what they themselves were able to produce, and component primers are still scarce. Overseas manufacturers like Prvi Partizan, Sellier & Bellot, Eley, Wolf, Tula, and even lesser-known entities like Igman and Sterling all stepped up as well.
With a surge in new gun owners, it’s important to make sure there’s accurate information out there for common (and uncommon) questions.
Most people wanted to know if a certain cartridge would work in their new firearm. Oftentimes these folks had bought a Glock 17, 19, or 43 and wanted to know if it would fire 9mm. Probably the most elemental question possible to ask, but understandable: Glock, a European manufacturer, stamps “9×19” on their slides and not America’s preferred “9mm.”
Nearly as many others asked me to recommend the best self-defense ammo for their new firearms. New and seasoned gun owners alike were especially disappointed this year because that .380 ACP ammo became exceptionally scarce during 2020. Chalk that up to the 380 pistol’s manageable recoil and ease of concealment, which are the two most sought out features for first-time gun buyers.
It’s important to understand what makes one bullet more suitable for personal protection than others. Here are the best self-defense bullets currently available, and why they’re good at their jobs.
Full Metal Jacket (FMJ)
I’m including the FMJ because it’s the most common type of projectile, which means FMJ ammo may be all you’re able to find at times. To be certain, the FMJ is not one of the best self-defense bullets. Its simple solid lead core and gilding metal jacket make the FMJ incapable of delivering terminal expansion, which is the defining characteristic of a self-defense bullet.
But the FMJ has often been used to neutralize (or, to put it less politically correctly, kill) people. This is because the Hague Convention, which is honored by the United States and most other countries, places a moratorium on the use of expanding bullets during international warfare. The rationale is that a non-expanding bullet incapacitates a soldier just as effectively as a more lethal expanding one. It’s good enough so long as that guy can’t fight any longer, so why bring about any more pain and suffering than absolutely necessary?
In short, all the ammo the U.S. Armed Forces use in combat is FMJ ammo. (Or other bullets which also can’t significantly expand.) A 124 grain FMJ striking a threat with over 300 ft lbs of energy is not going to do said threat any favors no matter how you slice it, which makes the FMJ a worthwhile fallback in the event you can’t find something better.
Jacketed Hollow Point (JHP)
This is what I mean by “something better.” There are plain, non-jacketed hollow point bullets as well. These are made of pure lead, so they’re too soft to reliably feed into a semi-auto’s chamber, but they’re a perfectly acceptable choice for revolvers.
A hollow-point bullet operates on a simple principle. As its nose cavity fills with pressurized liquid and soft tissue, its surrounding core and jacket are forced to spread outward. This has the very obvious benefit of enabling the JHP to gouge a significantly wider wound cavity into its target than its original diameter alone could account for. It also lets the JHP exert more of its energy outward instead of merely forward, and furthermore significantly reduces the chance of overpenetration putting an innocent bystander in harm’s way. You only want your bullet to hit the bad guy, after all.
On a side note, the JHP often takes a lot of criticism because it’s “designed to be deadlier.” Question who’s making claims like these. A JHP isn’t designed to kill. It’s designed to stop the person who’s threatening immediate physical harm to your person, and its lower chance of passing through the threat has probably saved more bystanders than we could reasonably estimate.
JHP bullets are often available with performance-enhancing features. One of the most common among these is the bonded jacket. A bonded jacket stays rooted to the core when a non-bonded jacket might have peeled away from it. This lets the bullet retain the mass and resultant momentum it needs to penetrate deeply into its target.
Many if not most JHPs have skives (aka notches) radiating around their nose cavities. These strategically weaken the jacket, thus assuring it splits apart along a uniform axis to promote more reliable expansion at lower velocities. Some JHP bullets (like the Speer G2 and the Hornady MonoFlex) have elastomer in their nose cavities. This supple substance facilitates terminal expansion by getting squashed down during penetration so it can place more pressure against the nose cavity.
You may also find semi-jacketed hollow point (SJHP) bullets. These are also designed to deliver terminal expansion within soft tissue. They tend to expand a little quicker without a jacket to constrain the lead around the tip, but because the SJHP’s tip is relatively soft it’s less commonly loaded in semi-automatic firearms’ cartridges.
Soft Point (SP)
The SP is commonly loaded in rifle cartridges, although some handgun rounds also offer it. This bullet hasn’t got a nose cavity. Instead, its jacket leaves the lead core exposed at the bullet’s tip, which lets the lead flatten down as it meets with resistance from soft tissue. A soft point looks a lot like a mushroom after it has come to rest inside its target, which provides comparable benefits to the JHP’s terminal expansion.
SP bullets often feature bonded jackets as well, such as Speer’s Gold Dot and Federal’s Fusion. If you’re buying 223 Rem SP ammunition, it’s a good idea to look for the bonded jacket, because too shallow a wound channel may fail to reach the threat’s vital organs.
Wadcutters are cylindrical bullets. Its awkward profile can make it difficult for a wadcutter to reliably feed in a semi-auto, which is why we nearly exclusively find wadcutters loaded in revolver rounds.
The wadcutter’s profile makes it ideal for shooting paper targets, as it will punch a much cleaner hole through a sheet of paper than the FMJ’s usual round nose profile could manage. A wadcutter’s flat, circular meplat (aka tip) also cuts a wide wound channel into soft tissue – without the need for terminal expansion!
You might be asking: “Why not just select a self-defense bullet that’s designed for terminal expansion?” Well, terminal expansion is only possible if the bullet hits its target with a high enough velocity. A snubnosed revolver is unable to give a bullet a relatively high velocity because its short barrel doesn’t give the propellant gasses enough time to transfer their energy to the bullet during ignition. That’s why if you carry a snubnosed revolver – especially one which is chambered for a cartridge that isn’t very powerful to begin with, such as the 38 Special – you may be better off hedging your bets with wadcutter loads.
Wadcutter bullets are also available with hollow-point nose cavities, or as “semi-wadcutters” which have slightly tapered profiles that make them more aerodynamic.
Non-Expanding Self-Defense Bullets
In recent years, we have witnessed the rise of non-expanding self-defense bullets (not counting the wadcutter, which relies solely on the diameter of its nose profile to inflict a devastating injury). Examples of non-expanding self-defense bullets include the HoneyBadger and the ARX. Look at these bullets and you’ll notice they have grooves molded or machined into their shanks. That’s where the magic lies.
Non-expanding bullets are designed to create massive wound cavities within soft tissue. Their lateral grooves pressurize any soft tissues they come into contact with during high-velocity penetration, and subsequently jet them outward in lateral directions – often at higher velocities than the bullet itself is traveling in!
Why omit a nose cavity when the JHP is indisputably effective for personal protection? Because the hollow point design has a couple of major shortcomings. First, it gives the bullet a flat nose profile that may complicate feeding in a semi-automatic. Second, if that nose cavity becomes clogged with debris like wallboard or thick fabric, it may inhibit the bullet’s ability to reliably expand within soft tissue.
Bullets like the ARX and HoneyBadger don’t possess either of these shortcomings. And because they’re made out of materials that aren’t as dense as lead, these bullets also manage to achieve very high muzzle velocities, which in turn grants a flatter trajectory and greater energy delivery at short range.
Buckshot & Slugs
We’re moving out of the realm of pistols and rifles and into that of shotguns (as well as revolvers that can fire shotshells like the Taurus Judge and the S&W Governor). Buckshot and slugs aren’t bullets per se, but their efficacy for self-defense is indisputable.
When selecting a shotshell for self-defense, you’re going to want to make sure you avoid birdshot. Birdshot is typically numbered between #9 and #1, as well as B, BB, BBB, and T. Although these smaller diameter shot pellets are capable of inflicting a deadly injury, they’re just not reliable enough when you want to neutralize the threat as quickly as possible.
Pick buckshot instead. These shot pellets are numbered 4 through 000, with 000 being the largest shot pellets commonly available. The police pretty much exclusively favor 00 buckshot (aka double-aught) in their line of work, but you can pick smaller buckshot pellets if you’d like to reduce your chances of over penetrating your target.
Slugs are essentially giant bullets, and will not give you the spread that shotshells are popular for. They’re extremely effective for home defense, as a one-ounce chunk of lead traveling at 1,500 feet per second or faster does exactly what you might imagine to its target. Slugs may also have hollow point nose cavities which enable them to expand, but take care – these powerful projectiles are pretty likely to pass through a human-sized target!
Frangible bullets are made out of compressed metal powders. They disintegrate when they hit a hard surface, and are popular for shooting metal targets because they virtually eliminate the chance of a dangerous ricochet or splash-back. Many people use frangible bullets for home defense when they really want to avoid hazardous overpenetration. If you go this route, just make sure you’re aware a frangible bullet cannot expand and is still capable of penetrating a human threat as well as multiple layers of wallboard!
That just about does it for the best self-defense bullets. As a parting thought, make sure you train with the same ammo you would use for personal protection. It is crucial that you familiarize yourself with its performance before you ask it to do the most important job in the world for you – even if it is more expensive than conventional FMJ range loads!
Collectors are always looking for the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. They want the rarest of the rare, the one gun that they can’t live without. We’ve all heard the story about that Picasso in the attic. Does that happen with guns? The answer: it just might.
When you’re looking for the ultimate collectible, anything can happen. The best deals can pop up in the unlikeliest places. Unless you are a seasoned collector, be sure about the items you buy. Not everyone is out to cheat you, but know the basics. Knowing what’s authentic can save tens of thousands of dollars. Newbie collectors should be educated. Know which maker’s marks are pertinent to your weapon. Examine the provenance. Check to see if there have been modifications. If buying from a private seller, know state and federal laws. No one wants to buy a gun only to turn it over to law enforcement. Investing time in research can be the difference between going home with a Mercedes or a Yugo.
Places to Buy
Gun collectors have their own community. Becoming a serious collector is made easier if you can find that community. Developing relationships within the group can be extremely beneficial. You can gain knowledge and get rare opportunities to buy guns before they go on the open market. Good friendships can form over common interests, but don’t be foolhardy. Even if you’re about to realize your lifelong dream of becoming the next Sgt. York, don’t buy that vintage Colt 1911 without an appraisal or before checking the provenance. It’s better to be safe than sorry.
A tried and true way to buy collectibles is to attend a live auction. Each auction publishes a catalogue available to the public. It allows you to be able to browse the offerings beforehand. Each listing gives info on items for sale and makes it easier to decide what to buy. Reputable companies like Christie’s have been holding specialty auctions for more than a hundred years. Rare items may be easier to find, but can cost you. Auctions may be more expensive than buying privately, depending on the item being sold and the amount of interest. Don’t get caught up in auction fever and spend more than your bank account allows.
You may examine the merchandise if you attend the auction. That’s when knowledge is most important. If you have any questions, ask. There are sure to be experts everywhere that will help out.
Firearms auctions are usually advertised nationwide. Catalogues may be posted on the internet, giving you time to peruse before the event. If unable to attend the auction in person, you can bid as an absentee buyer. You may also be able to bid through an online service. An absentee bidder must have complete faith in the auctioneer, the process and the gun’s value. Due diligence can determine the reputation of the auctioneer and auction house before bidding.
Looking for one specific item? A reputable specialty dealer may be your best bet. It also saves time if you don’t want to traverse gun shows or spend hours at auctions. A good dealer will have access to items gun shops may not. They also tend to be at the top of the list when a vintage piece or collection goes up for sale. Choose dealers with experience and a longstanding reputation. They tend to have the best connections and aren’t willing to risk their business by hoodwinking a potential customer.
Buying online can be a blessing or a curse. Experienced collectors have been buying online for years. Some find it the easiest way to track down hard to find gems or rare collectibles. Buyers should be savvy to state and federal laws regarding the sale and purchase of firearms. A boon to the industry is that eBay prohibits the sale of firearms. That policy made way for several top sites to create their mark – GunsAmerica.com, GunAuction.com, and GunBroker.com to name a few.
Sadly, there are more disreputable dealers that reputable ones. Before buying, have direct contact with the gun owner. Do not work through a third party. Check references and ratings. Know the seller’s return policy and check out their ratings and references before laying down any money.
Online classified sites may offer opportunities to buy weapons. Seasoned collectors tend to avoid them or proceed with extreme caution.
Collector shows aren’t as common as commercial shows, but they do exist. It’s a great way to meet like-minded individuals. You can see what other collectors and sellers have to offer. Chances are that you’ll get to see things you’ve never imagined. While you may not be able to buy, you’ll likely go home with a very long wish list.
Yard sales often offer more than baby strollers and chipped dishes. People saddled with a garage full of boxes often put them out for sale. High end locations may offer valuable surprises.
Think buying a storage locker is a sure way to find treasure? Think again. Chances are you’ll end up with a pile of junk. Also, guns found in a storage locker must be turned over to authorities. Save your money and your time.
Estate sales can be gold mines. Check published listings of items to be sold. Listings aren’t often too specific, but rare gems can be found. Stay until the end and you could walk away a winner.
No matter which path you choose, be smart. Learn to do your own appraisals to save time, money and heartache. If that’s not an option, develop a relationship with an antique rifle appraiser. You’ll always have someone that can be trusted to steer you in the right direction.