Contents

Alright, take a moment and imagine with me, you have been a “Survivalist” for a couple of years.   Every paycheck you try to set aside a few dollars to put towards emergency supplies.   Thanks to your frugality and foresight you have been able to stock enough supplies to last you for some time.

Raid Routes

Raid RoutesAlright, take a moment and imagine with me, you have been a “Survivalist” for a couple of years.  Every paycheck you try to set aside a few dollars to put towards emergency supplies.  Thanks to your frugality and foresight you have been able to stock enough supplies to last you for some time. One day, something bad happens.  The world as we know it is no longer the same.  There is rioting and chaos in the streets and you feel that it is no longer safe for you and your family to stay in your suburban neighborhood.  You load up the wife and kids and pack all of your gear into your truck and trailer and say goodbye to your home, for what could be the last time. Quick Navigation It Would Be Nice To Have The Raid Route Raid Route Planning Food Barter Transportation Fuel Firearms/Hunting/Fishing Supplies Tools/ Hardware Stores Medical Supplies It Would Be Nice To Have You have your bases covered, but you still wish that you had been able to top off your gas tank .  Maybe you wanted to run to the store and pick up another box of ammo, or get those prescriptions filled.  Maybe you hadn’t been as diligent in your preparations as you should have been and you find yourself woefully under prepared for the situation you now face.  Maybe before today you had never even considered the idea that life as we know it may never be the same.  No matter what the reason, stuff is headed south and you have to get more supplies. "The Raid Route" By looking back at every natural disaster that has occurred in recent history, we see a pattern start to emerge.  Word comes down that a hurricane is going to come through and everybody immediately flocks to the big box stores and wipes the shelves clean.  Places like Wal-Mart are a convenient place to stop by to grab that gallon of milk and the pack of diapers before the weekend, but time and time again they are stripped clean when panic sets in.  Not to mention that there have been notable crimes committed in some of these large Wal-Mart type stores’ parking lots.  In this article I hope to get you thinking of other ways to obtain much needed supplies while avoiding the places where everyone else will go during an emergency. "Raid Route Planning" When thinking about your raid route, you must first consider where you and your family plan to bug out to in a major collapse.  Start with your primary bug out location and then add a potential secondary location.  Also consider this same type of plan for bugging in.  Whether you are traveling home from work or to your bug out location, you should start taking notes on the stores and supplies that can be found a long the way.  Focus on back roads and county highways, stay away from interstates, major highways and urban sprawl town centers containing big box stores (Best Buy, CostCo, Wal-Mart, Target, Friday’s, and the rest of the chain stores).  The interstates and major highways will be clogged with the unprepared while the urban sprawl town centers will be full of hysteria and panic.  Also in your planning, you need to think about how long you can afford to stay at each location, what type of security you will need when you are in the store, how you will protect your vehicle while you are in the store.  If you are going to raid, this is where you should start. Food Food should be your first concern, if you have enough then avoid this topic all together.  Major grocery stores are an obvious choice and when people panic , the first thing they think of is food.  I would suggest avoiding large grocery stores unless you can be one of the first 100 people in the door and you have a concealed carry permit .  Hopefully readers of SurvivalCache have made some type of long term food storage plan as part of their bug out strategy.  As you travel along your raid route, look for alternatives to the major grocery store.  Pharmacies often have a small selection of food (Walgreen’s & CVS) and will be less crowded compared to a regular grocery store.  Convenient stores (gas stations), the name says it all but if you are truly a raider in a “Without Rule of Law” situation be careful, most convenient stores are owned by the person behind the counter and he or she can often times have a weapon. Organic grocery stores, although they have a much smaller selection of America’s favorite high fructose corn syrup based foods , they are often out of the way and patronized by a smaller part of the population.  This might be a great place to find on your raid route. Hospitals (Yes, hospitals) every hospital has a cafeteria and in addition to having prepared meals in the cafeteria, they have lots of dry food and snacks.  No doubt these cafeterias will be long abandoned during a TEOTWAWKI situation. Large hunting stores such as Sportsman Warehouse, Cabelas , and Bass Pro Shops are now stocking freeze dried food buckets.  It might be a good idea to know the location of these products in the store prior to a WROL situation or else you might find yourself distracted by all of the other cool stuff in Sportsman Warehouse. Pet Food Stores – ok, it sounds gross but most cat food is edible .  Try to locate the organic brands as they will have the highest quality of ingredients. It might not be first on your list of recipes but it should be considered in your raid route planning.  As a bonus, most pet food stores have medicine and medical supplies that can be used for humans as well. Restaurants, although this would be my last choice because most of the food in restaurants is perishable or requires refrigeration, restaurants often have large amounts of dry goods stored and as a bonus they have liquor and beer which could be bartered. Barter Looters are the bad guys in most situations. Looters are the people who steal and destroy to better their chances at survival.  We do not condone stealing, but it comes down to a personal decision while traveling your raid route.  Is it worth breaking the law to get those supplies?  Is there still law and order?  Nobody knows how long paper currency will hold its value in a collapse, you may end up having to make purchases with other forms of currency right away.  What has value as a bartering item is a frequently discussed topic on the survival cache forums .  Most seem to agree that junk silver, common types of ammunition, food, everyday supplies  such as toilet paper and medical supplies will be highly sought after items during a collapse ( 37 Survival Items ).  Big box stores aren’t likely to accept your trade goods as money, however, most Mom’N’Pops stores will have the flexibility to work with you.  Here are some good places to find barter items on your raid route:  Hunting stores, Hardware stores, Gun stores, Liquor & Cigarette stores, Coin dealers, Pharmacies, Lumber stores, Gas stations, Medical supply stores and Hospitals. Transportation This one is pretty obvious. You need to have the space to transport your newly acquired goods.  If your bug out vehicle is that little Ford Focus that you drove in college, you may not have the space to carry everything you plan on acquiring.  Trailers are your friends.  U-haul and trailer rental places might be another consideration along your raid route.  You will need to add a trailer hitch to your vehicle prior to an event if this is going to be a consideration. Fuel If Hurricane Sandy was a warning to us all, people are likely to flood all of the corner gas stations to fill up their tanks and portable gas cans after a disaster.  If you have ever tried to fuel your vehicle on a payday weekend you know how hectic it can be.  Some additional places to look for fuel would be marinas and fishing shops that sell prepackaged containers of gasoline for use in boats and cars.  Many ranches and farms will have large, above ground diesel tanks that they use for refueling their tractors and trucks.  You may be able to barter with the owner for a few gallons to get you to your destination.  Trying to steal or loot from farmers or ranchers would be a bad idea, they will most likely be armed.  It also goes without saying that you would be very wise to stock up on portable gas cans and fuel safe containers while you can.  Great idea, invest in a siphon kit . Firearms/Hunting/Fishing Supplies Outdoors Super Centers like Bass Pro Shops, Sportsman Warehouse and Cabela’s are a ton of fun to visit and often have a wide variety of supplies.  They draw so much traffic that they could be picked clean very quickly but maybe not immediately after a disaster because most of the “sheepeople” will think grocery stores…then flat screens.  Things to focus on:  fishing supplies, common ammunition, reloading supplies, warm clothes, shelters, hunting supplies, communication gear.  Keep in mind that a number of employees at these type of stores carry firearms, especially in the firearm department. Other places to consider along your raid route would include small gun stores, pawn shops, gunsmiths, bait shops and the like.  I always make it a point to visit and support my local small businesses regularly and I try to build a good relationship with the owners.  Being friendly can go a long way when you are trying to strike a barter deal. Tools/ Hardware Stores Once people empty out grocery stores they will likely turn to hardware stores like Lowes, Ace Hardware, and Home Depot.  Once again your best bet is probably going to be family owned small businesses.  Make note of where all of the little corner hardware and auto parts stores are located.  Make a list of supplies that you will need and a list of supplies that will be good for barter. Medical Supplies Most big box stores like Walmart and K-mart have pharmacies in house for the convenience of their customers.  These locations don’t carry much stock and are likely to be picked clean in the initial panic. If it were my choice I wouldn’t even bother trying to buy or raid supplies at these stores, again the location itself might be too dangerous and crowded.  Small private medical practices, veterinary clinics and standalone prescription pharmacies are very likely to have the medical supplies that you need.  Emergency rooms will also be full of medical supplies. Unfortunately, the deeper you go into a hospital, the more likely you will encounter heavy locked doors that guard most hospital supplies. What else?  What are you planning for your Raid Route? Photos by: Professional Shooter The Walking Dead Giorgio Game of Thrones Romley’s King Kong 911 Robby Virus Other interesting articles: The Survival Food Pyramid Top 10 Common Prepper Fails Bug Out Travel Security SHTF – T MINUS 2 HOURS

Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT Rifle: Inside Look

Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT Rifle: Inside Look

The Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT rifle was Sig Sauers attempt at bringing an updated version of the Sig 550 series of rifles to the North American shooting market. Like the Sig 550, the Sig Sauer 556 never gained traction, It wasn’t a mistake on Sig’s part so much it just was a rifle that was lost in a sea of cheaper rifles. The AR-15 had been for the most part standardized long ago and was considerably cheaper than the Sig Sauer 556. In the whirlwind of the anti gun movement at the time the rifle was released its easy to tell why consumers chose to spend their money in rifles they knew like the AR-15 rather than new rifles they might not have known much about like the Sig Sauers 556 Classic SWAT. I have been intrigued by the Sig family of rifles for years so when I had a chance to acquire a Sig Sauers 556 Classic SWAT that had a very low round count, I had to grab the opportunity and take a risk. If i had to describe the Sig 556 Classic SWAT I would say its the best parts of the AR-15 mated with the AK-47 with a dash of Swiss style and quality control added to it. The rifle takes the standard AR-15 magazine and fires the 5.56 x45 cartridge but essentially uses an AK-47 type of gas system that is adjustable. It’s an appealing idea for sure, something that uses magazines that most gun owners that read this site have, firing a round that is available just about everywhere, but isn’t the standard boring old AR-15 that we all own. We figured that since some of our readers may not know about the Sig 556 family of rifles we would make a list of what about the Sig 556 is similar to the AR-15 we all know and love, and what is different about it. What’s Similar to the AR-15 ? Barrel length Uses standard AR-15 magazines Magazine release and location in same spot at as AR-15 5.56 NATO chambering 1:7 twist rate What’s Different ? Different trigger Stamped Steel vs Aluminum upper receiver Different bolt Different recoil system bolt release operates slightly differently Authors Photo Breakdown and Operation Now that I have the luxury of owning a Sig 556 rifle I am amazed at how easy it is to become familiar with, being a current AR-15 and AK47 owner its a very natural transition to the Sig 556. The receiver breaks down like an AR-15 using two push pins to separate the upper and lower halves of the gun, the bolt however is a bit different. The rifle lacks an AR-15 style charging handle, instead it has one on the bolt similar to the AK-47, but with a twist. The bolt handle is removable to allow the bolt to slide out the rear of the rifle, again like the AR-15. Like I said in the beginning this rifle is a hybrid of both designs. Once the bolt slid out of the upper receiver it was like I was looking at a slightly modified AK-47 bolt carrier group. In the image below you can clearly see the pronounced angled ramp on the rear of the bolt and the rotating head and locking lugs on the bolt itself. When you hold the two bolt side by side it becomes obvious. One of the major differences between the two bolts though is that the AK-47 pattern bolt is set up to accept a recoil spring from the rear and the Sig 556 bolt uses a piston system and the recoil assembly meets the carrier just above the bolt. The lever shown n the Sig bolt is what you depress to remove the charging handle. Authors Photo Different Style of Trigger The trigger on the Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT isn’t like any other trigger I have come in contact with. When we think of triggers on rifles we think of a time tested hinged trigger, where the trigger pivots on a shaft or trigger pin, this isn’t the case with the Sig Sauer 556 rifle. In the Sig rifle the trigger rotates back and comes into contact with a plunger type assemble, this assembly then releases the hammer. This system does have some drawbacks but they are easily overcome with practice. The trigger has a moderate amount of travel that will very very different from what traditional AR-15 owners may experience, this take up in the trigger just makes it feel very long but has slight resistance. The truly interesting part of the trigger is when it engages the plunger assembly. Once the trigger has traveled this far you feel some resistance then the trigger breaks very smoothly. It’s a hard feeling to describe but there doesn’t feel to be a hard shelf that the trigger has to break over. It’s just an even push and then it breaks. I am curious to see how this will feel during live fire sessions, for now I just keep cycling the rifle and find that the trigger is like nothing I’ve ever shot. If I had to describe it I would say its long like an MP5 but much better. In the below image you can see the plunger. Authors Photo Other Features One of the final features on the Sig Sauers 556 Classic SWAT that intrigued me was the two position gas piston system and how it operates. According to the Sig Sauer manual if a shooter is running into ejection and feeding problems due to heavy fouling they can move the gas valve to a higher setting. This higher setting allows more gas into the pistol assembly to help in ejecting spent shells and helping to ensure the rifles doesn’t jam. My initial thoughts on this were that given the wide range of .223/5.56 mm ammunition on the market and how some if it tends to be on the lower end of the pressure scale, that this might be an effective way to be able to shoot the worlds cheapest ammo such as Wolf without having cycling problems. The gas system dissembles by simply pushing a detent and rotating the assembly 1/4 turn and removing it from the muzzle end of the rifles upper receiver. It’s really simple, but for some reason I expected something more complex given the rifles European heritage. When reassembling the gas system the engineers are Sig Sauers made it incredibly easy and almost impossible to mess up. I almost forgot that the Sig 556 Classic Swat also comes with a side folding stock available in two configurations. The most sought after is the non adjustable “Swiss Style” stock that mine features. The other available stock is a side folder that also is collapsable similar to the common AR-15 stock. There are available adapters that allow a user to install an M4 style tube and mil spec AR-15 stock. Authors Image: Adjustable gas block shown in the “Dirty” position While the Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT is a forgotten rifle that Sig Sauer doesn’t produce anymore it didn’t dampen the appeal for me. This rifle is not the Sig Sauer 556 Xi that was released a few years ago, although more than once it was confused with it or its inspiration the Sig Sauers 550 rifle. Those rifles are separate lines than this rifle. To add more confusion Sig refers to their Piston Drive AR-15 as the model 556 sometimes. You would think for a company that prides it’s self on paying such close attention to detail that they could figure out an easier numbering system. The plan for this rifle is for me to put either a Sig Sauer Romeo 7 or the new Nikon 1x-4x BLACKFORCE 1000 scope on this rifle and run at least 1,000 rounds through it in the near future. This wont be a toss in the mud and drag it behind a truck test, it will just be a simple series of tests with several different shooters to test its durability and accuracy. There are some guns that I would perform a torture test on, but that’s not happening to this rifle, I know this will disappoint some readers. We hope you enjoyed this look at the Sig Sauer 556 Classic SWAT, look for the range review in the near future. We have included below the specifications of the rifle straight from the Sig Sauer manual. Feature Image Courtesy:www.akfiles.com Specifications Caliber: 5.56mm NATO Overall Length: 37.0 ” Length Stock Folded: 27.2 ” Barrel Length: 16″ Rifling: 1 in 7″ Weight: 8 lbs

A Gun Collectors Regrets of Purchases Not Made

A Gun Collectors Regrets of Purchases Not Made

/* custom css */.td_uid_2_5f379d2fa14b8_rand.td-a-rec-img { text-align: left; } .td_uid_2_5f379d2fa14b8_rand.td-a-rec-img img { margin: 0 auto 0 0; } Nothing is as bitter as lost opportunities when it comes to buying that special firearm. Regrets, unfortunately, are part of life, and just like grey hair, the longer we live the more we have. We linger too long over an opportunity or situation until it slips away, never to return. No matter the level of our success in life, we all have a few regrets about something. As a firearms enthusiast and gun collector, many of my most painful regrets are about those guns I didn’t, for one reason or another, purchase. Perhaps it’s nostalgia, but those guns are the ones I dream about more than the ones I have, and for many, I still wish I owned them today. The Auto-5 Like so many hunters I’ve spent much of my life searching for the perfect waterfowl gun that would transform my mediocre wingshooting into something worthy of Bogardus or Kimble. The Browning Auto 5 was once dubbed the Aristocrat of Shotguns and is arguably the finest duck gun ever manufactured. I almost owned one once—almost. I called the fellow who advertised it in the local paper one spring evening. We dickered and dodged on the phone for over an hour until I agreed to come see the gun. It turned out to be a 1950s full-choke Standard Model. What can I say about the Auto-5 that hasn't been said a million times? Related GunDigest Articles Gun Digest's Top 10 Gun Collecting Articles Photo Gallery: 14 Amazing Engraved Guns of Gun Digest 2015 Photo Gallery: Engraved and Custom Guns of Gun Digest 2016 I wanted the gun badly except for one nagging point: The 2¾-inch chamber seemed old fashioned, and at the time, the mantra of more pellets equaled more ducks ruled. A silly point I realize in hindsight, but it made me drive off that night without the Auto-5 in hand. The old fellow called me a week later to let me know the gun was gone, and I told him thanks for letting me know. I have regretted not buying that Auto-5 many, many times since that call. The Deer Rifle One frosty December morning, a neighbor flagged me down as I was driving a snowy county road. As we talked, he mentioned he was thinking of selling his deer rifle. Since I was “keen on guns,” as he put it, he asked if I knew of anyone looking for a Winchester? He’d bought the Model 94 carbine new, right after returning from Korea, and had carried it ever since. He hauled the rifle out from behind the truck seat and the plain Jane .30 WCF had plenty of honest wear on it silvery frame. We talked about the rifle and he told me about cold November hunts with long dead companions. As we talked he handled the Winchester, and I remember thinking I sure wouldn’t want to be a buck in his sights. But in those days all my heroes carried scoped bolt actions in .270, and I just couldn’t see myself with some old relic. I told him I’d ask around. It was decades later that I realized he wanted me to buy it. That well used .30 WCF is long gone now and so is the hunter, but I should have been wiser. I should have bought the gift he offered of gun and memories. A “Modern” Sporting Rifle Today, every firearms company builds a version of the “black rifle,” but once there was only one choice for the average shooting enthusiast: the Colt AR-15. Period. When an AR-15 appeared in the local gun shop in the early '70s it certainly sparked some attention, for about 10 minutes. The Colt was handled plenty but always returned to the rack. No one seemed interested, and the gun dealer marked it down in desperation to get it off the rack. I asked to handle it several times and marveled at the natural pointing qualities, light weight and quick sighting. It came with a five-round magazine, and the dealer told me a scope was available. I began to seriously consider it after talking to a fellow who’d carried one in Southeast Asia a few years earlier. But after I showed my Dad, I decided to listen to my elder and the AR-15 slipped away to a far-sighted hunter in the next county. Nowadays choices abound since sportsman finally learned the platform is excellent for hunting or shooting. It sure would have been nice to have that original Colt rifle, but like so many other guns, it is only a memory and a regrettable one at that.

The 4 Best IWB Holsters for Ruger LC9 — Reviews 2020 Photo by Stephen O / CC BY Your Ruger LC9 is a solid conceal carry option in handguns. At just 6 inches in length and 4.5 inches in height, this is one petite pistol. Despite its small stature, it can still prove to be a challenge to discreetly conceal your pistol when you are on the go. The solution is to find the best IWB for the Ruger LC9. The ideal holster should be one that meets your specific needs for reliability, concealability, and comfort. The right holster should be one that securely fits your firearm, and doesn’t pose a risk of having the gun fall out when you are out and about. In addition to a secure fit, you need to ensure that the holster with gun feel comfortable on your belt. Discomfort can quickly lead to painful irritation, and even result in your making the decision to halt carrying your firearm for some time.  Here are the 4 best holsters for Ruger LC9 that we could find: Ruger LC9 & LC9s Hip Holster with Magazine Pouch Federal Ruger LC9, LC9s, EC9s & LC380 Hip Holster with Magazine Pouch Price: $18.77 Price as of 08/14/2020 04:00 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. Designed specifically with the Ruger LC9 in mind, this holster is an effortless combination of a clip-on and a belt holster. This combination allows it to offer you both the convenience that you get from using a clip-on holster, and also the stability that is found with using a belt holster. Rugged and functional, this is a solidly designed and constructed holster. The holster is ambidextrous so that it can be worn by either a left-handed or right-handed person. It has belt loops on both sides of the holster, and the metal clip can be moved from side-to-side. With a multi-layer nylon exterior and interior, the holster will mold to the shape of your pistol so that you can get that perfect fit that you need. Exterior of the holster will prove to be resistant to scuffing and to moisture, which will ensure it’s around for many good years of us. The holster features a soft interior lining and reinforced thumb break that will ensure you of a fast release and the smooth draw that you need when seconds matter. The interior lining has a closed cell foam moisture barrier to ensure that moisture need not become a concern for your firearm. Double needle stitching helps to ensure that your holster is reinforced with the strength you need, while the nylon binding tape offers durable protection against fraying. The build-in magazine pouch makes it easy to carry an extra magazine with you, so you are always prepared when the situation calls for it. This is one of the best LC9 holster, bar none. Blade-Tech Holster Klipt Appendix IWB (Various models available) Blade-Tech Industries Inside The Waistband Klipt Appendix Fits S&W M&P Shield Holster, Black Price: Price as of 08/14/2020 03:57 PDT (more info) Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product. With an ultra-thin signature and low profile, this holster is a great option for conceal carrying your Ruger LC9. Comfortable, durable, and practical, you’ll find this to be a good holster option, no matter where your day takes you. The design of this holster makes it possible to carry your pistol without printing. Everyone can agree that an undetectable holster that doesn’t result in printing, regardless of what you’re wearing, is a good option to have. Fitting belts that are up to 1 ¾” wide, the holster features Blade Tech technology that locks the pistol securely in place. The belt clip is very secure but still allows for quick release from your belt when it is needed. Originally designed for use in the armed forces, this holster can be worn as a front strong-side appendix holster, as a straight drop IWB holster, and also on the weak side in an IWB cross-draw fashion. With its simple design, it is truly a flexible holster that can be worn in the way that best works for you. The slim design and low profile of this holster also makes it a good choice as a discreet second holster when you are carrying a larger firearm. It’s a solid choice that you’ll appreciate each time you use it. Blade-Tech Industries IWB Klipt Ambi Appendix Holster Watch this video on YouTube

Ranking The 10 Best Semi Automatic Shotguns of 2020

Semi-automatic shotguns tend to outperform others because they can fire quicker and require less shooter movement for follow-up shots. The fact that they rely on as or recoil operating action also helps to reduce recoil. Other shotgun varieties can also be more prone to malfunction due to fouling. If you’re searching for a new shotgun, our list of the 10 Best Semi-Automatic Shotguns will help you narrow down your options so you can make the best choice for your needs. Also, be sure to read through our Buyer’s Guide and Frequently Asked Questions sections for all the information you need to make an educated decision. 1. Benelli M2 Tactical Click Here for Best Price This is an excellent lightweight semi-automatic shotgun designed for fast-handling and rugged performance. It is built around the reliable Inertia Driven system, which allows 12-gauge and 20-gauge M2s to cycle nearly any cartridge, from target loads to heavy 3-inch magnums. The Benelli M2 Tactical includes the trademarked ComforTech recoil-reduction system with gel recoil and combo pads. This system significantly dampens recoil by up to 48 percent, as well as decreasing muzzle jump. This semi-automatic shotgun also includes a fiber optic red-bar front sight, a set of shims to customize the gun’s drop and cast, and C, IC, M, IM, and F Crio choke tubes. It doesn’t get much better than Benelli. 2. Beretta A300 Outlander Click Here for Best Price The "Beretta A300 Outlander" is a showcase of Beretta’s legendary performance and sleek design capability. It features only four major components, which means it can be disassembled quickly in the field or at the range. The gun’s compensating gas valve and self-cleaning piston guarantee smooth, reliable operation. This semi-automatic shotgun boasts a lightweight, Mallard Green anodized aluminum-alloy receiver that handles 2.75-inch and 3-inch shells. It comes with a matte-black synthetic stock with an adjustable length-of-pull and adjustable shim system designed to withstand rain, snow, dust, and mud. It also features a fitted rubber recoil pad, cross-bolt safety, and mobile choke system with three choke tubes. 3. Remington Versa Max Click Here for Best Price This semi-automatic shotgun features Remington’s revolutionary VersaPort gas system to ensure reliable cycling for any load, anywhere, at any time. It’s built to last with the receiver, barrel, and internal components all being nickel-plated for extreme corrosion resistance. The Remington Versa Max Competition disassembles easily for rapid cleaning. It offers an enlarged feeding port, bolt-closure button, cocking handle, trigger-guard opening, and cross-bolt safety for ease of use. It also boasts an adjustable XS rear rifle sight, HiViz interchangeable sights, and length-of-pull kit, as well as a fully adjustable stock. 4. Mossberg 930 JM Pro Click Here for Best Price The Mossberg 930 JM Pro is built to the exact specifications or world-renowned competitive and speed shooter Jerry Miculek (JM) ( 1 ). It is equipped with a high-capacity, nine-round extended magazine tube that’ll keep you in action longer and a beveled loading gate and shorter forend to help you load faster than the competition. This semi-automatic shotgun also includes a barrel clamp to yield maximum stabilization and a dual gas system that reduces felt recoil and increases ease of cycling. Finally, it features an over sized bolt handle and bolt release, logo-engraved receiver, front fiber-optic sight, and extended charging handle 5. Stoeger 3500 Click Here for Best Price The well-known Stoeger 3500 semi-automatic shotgun offers magnum performance and reliability at a value-driven price. This shotgun features Stoeger’s Inertia Driven operating system, which assuredly cycles through 2.75-inch, 3-inch, and 3.5-inch shells for maximum versatility in the field or at the range. This semi-automatic shotgun comes with a red-bar fiber-optic sight to help you quickly and easily acquire targets, even in low light conditions. It also included a stock-integrated recoil reducer, a receiver drilled and tapped for Weaver-style scope bases, three choke tubes, and a choke tube wrench. 6. Browning A5 Hunter Click Here for Best Price This 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun boasts the iconic humpback profile. It is designed to be the most reliable, fastest cycling, best performing, and softest shooting recoil operated autoloader available. It is balanced from buttpad to muzzle to feel light in your hands and make target acquisition fast and easy. The Browning A5 Hunter features the A5 receiver, which seamlessly melds into the rib to extend your sight plane and aid in target alignment for more accurate shooting. It also features a comfortable grip and a compact and narrow forearm that places your front hand closer to the bore line for superior hand-eye coordination. 7. Winchester SX4 Field CMPT Click Here for Best Price The Winchester SX4 Field semi-automatic shotgun features a satin oil-finished walnut stock with classic-cut checkering. It is designed for a more controlled feel and perfect balance, with a slimmer and lighter pistol grip and forearm. It boasts a super light alloy magazine tube and recoil spring system that serve to further reduce its overall weight. This semi-automatic shotgun is equipped with a new lightweight barrel that provides a narrower profile and a machined vent rib. It also boasts back-bored technology that provides optimum shot patterns and a hard chrome-plated chamber and bore that are both highly resistant to wear and corrosion. Finally, this gun offers a larger bolt handle and bolt release button, a lightweight aluminum-alloy receiver, and a removable drop-out trigger for easy cleaning. 8. Benelli Super Black Eagle 3 Click Here for Best Price Like the M2 Tactical, this semi-automatic shotgun is equipped with the proven Inertia Driven system that shoots 2.75-inch, 3-inch, and 3.5-inch shells without adjustment. Material improvements in this model have resulted in one of the most lightweight semi-automatics on the market. In fact, it weighs between 13 and 15 percent less than similar shotguns. The "Benelli Super Black" Eagle 3 includes a third-generation ComforTech 3 stock and recoil pad with extra-soft cheek pad that reduces recoil by as much 48% and muzzle climb by 15%. It accomplishes this without any additional moving parts or added weight. It also comes with a funneled loading port, two-piece shell latch, easy drop lever, ergonomic magazine cap, and a host of additional features. 9. FN SLP Mark I Click Here for Best Price The FN SLP Mark I is a gas-operated 12-gauge semi-automatic shotgun with a 22-inch barrel and an 8+1 capacity. It is equipped with an alloy 3-inch magnum receiver and the barrel comes with the Standard Invector choke tube system to deliver optimum performance with any payload. The metal work on this semi-automatic shotgun is protected by matte black manganese phosphate or anodizing to improve durability and reduce reflectivity. The gun’s matte black, checkered synthetic stock includes a premium recoil pad and steel sling swivel studs. Finally, this semi-automatic shotgun boasts an adjustable folding rear sight, red fiber-optic front sight element, and Weaver-pattern cantilever optics rail. 10. Pointer 3.5″ Max 5 Camo Click Here for Best Price The Pointer 3.5″ Max 5 Camo is a great versatile shotgun. It’s a Semi-Auto 12-guage shotgun that has a 3.5 inch chamber. The barrel comes in at 28 inches and has 5 different choke tubes for custom shot patterns. This allows for a variety of hunting and shooting uses. The shotgun comes covered in the Realtree Max-5 camo makes this a sweet setup. This shotgun is a great option for a semi auto shotgun at a great price. — Buyer’s Guide While some of the earliest shotguns (called ‘breechloaders’) were employed by England’s King Henry VIII more than 450 years ago ( 2 ), today’s tactical semi-automatic shotguns hardly resemble their early ancestors, both in form and function. Materials have vastly improved and demands for increased functionality have led to some incredible breakthroughs. As a buyer, the new technologies available in some of today’s best semi-automatic shotguns can be quite attractive. It’s important to remember what’s truly important when buying a new semi-automatic shotgun. To aid in your decision, this Buyer’s Guide will focus on several major factors you should consider before you buy. Understanding the Action With any shotgun, the spent shell must be ejected after firing before a second shot can be taken. In a pump-action shotgun, the user has to manual cock the gun to eject the spent shell and load up a new one. In semi-automatic shotguns, this action takes place automatically, greatly reducing the amount of time spent between shots. Most semi-automatic shotguns use either a gas-driven system or an inertia-driven system to automatically eject a spent shell and load up a new one. In some cases, inertia systems are also referred to as ‘recoil-operated’ systems. While both systems use energy to start the action and reload the gun, there are some important differences between how they operate. After ample experience with both, many shotgun owners come to prefer one or the other, but their ultimate choice largely comes down to personal preference and desired performance. In a gas-driven system, the shotgun takes high-pressure gas that is released after firing and utilizes that to cycle the ammo. In an inertia-(or recoil) driven system, the shotgun utilizes kinetic energy from the recoil to perform the same operation. Although gas-driven systems tend to be more popular today, recent history suggests that the two systems have been widely employed for a variety of purposes. Choosing the Gauge Understanding gauge and what that means for functionality is an important part of choosing the right semi-automatic shotgun. You’ll find shotguns on the market today with a range of gauges falling between 10 and 28. For all intents and purposes, the most common shotguns available are 12, 20, and .410 gauges. The perfect balance between power and accuracy that you’ll find with a 12-gauge shotgun is responsible for them being the most popular type of shotgun available today. Ammunition for 12-gauge shotguns is also the most readily accessible ammo out there. The 20-gauge shotgun is the second most popular type on the market. A 20-gauge shotgun will perform very similarly to a 12-gauge, but it will offer a greatly reduced recoil level. For this reason, 20-gauge shotguns are increasingly popular amongst younger and smaller shooters. The newbie on the scene is the .410-gauge shotgun. It features an even further reduced recoil level when compared with most 20-gauge shotguns. However, what you improve from a recoil standpoint comes with a caveat. It’s much more difficult to get the best shot with a .410-gauge because its ammo contains fewer pellets per shot. The translation means that the .410 is considerably less powerful. Best Barrel Length Choosing the best barrel length depends on your exact intended purpose for buying a semi-automatic shotgun. In general, longer barrels are better for long-range shooting and shorter barrels are more effective in close quarters. If you’ll primarily be using your semi-automatic shotgun for long-range purposes, you’ll want a barrel length somewhere in the range of 24 to 36 inches. While a longer barrel means better accuracy and precision over long distances, keep in mind that it also means decreased maneuverability in a dense forest and increased overall gun weight. If you intend to use your semi-automatic shotgun in close quarters or for home defense, you’ll want a barrel in the 18 to 21-inch range. These barrels will still be accurate enough for your intended purpose, but not so big that they’re too heavy or cumbersome to operate. Selecting Stock The type of stock you choose for your semi-automatic shotgun will play a large role in your comfort with the gun. As such, it largely impacts whether or not you’re actually able to use the gun effectively to fire accurate shots. In short, you need a shotgun to feel good in your hands and in the shooting position if you want it to work for you. Most shotguns today offer a “classic grip” stock or a “pistol grip” stock. Most classic grip stocks are made of wood and contain a curved grip that helps you keep the gun steady as you take aim. In contrast, pistol grip stocks are usually made from some type of durable plastic polymer. This material keeps the gun lightweight, and the pistol grip is better designed for holding with a single hand when not shooting. When selecting the right stock for you, there is also a variety of features to consider, including the length of pull, comb, drop, pitch, and the material used to construct the stock. Ideally, you’re looking for a stock that is both lightweight and extremely durable. Types of Cartridges Considering the types of cartridges you’ll use is also important before you buy a new semi-automatic shotgun. Some guns will only work with a certain type of cartridge and if those cartridges are tough to find, you won’t be able to use the gun as much as you’d hope. As we mentioned earlier, 12-gauge ammunition is the most common today, so you really can’t go wrong there. That being said, there are three distinct types of cartridges that are best used in varying scenarios. They are birdshot, buckshot, and slugs. As you might imagine, birdshot is utilized for hunting birds and other small game. Shell size can vary from small to large, as can the number of pellets contained within each shell, but these cartridges are excellent for hunting waterfowl. Buckshot is much like birdshot in that each shell contains a number of smaller pellets. In this case, however, the pellets themselves are much larger. Inversely, buckshot shells tend to contain fewer pellets overall. However, because of their size, these pellets are more powerful and capable of inflicting greater damage. This makes them a great choice for hunting deer and other large game. Lastly, we have slugs. Unlike buckshot and birdshot, where shells contain multiple pellets, a slug is a single large projectile. Slugs pack a devastating punch and are the most powerful of the three. For this reason, they are a preferred choice for hunting large game in populated areas. When it comes to the length of cartridges, many of these semi-automatic shotguns are compatible with a number of lengths from 2.75 inches to 3.5 inches. The main benefit of a longer shell is that they hold more shot for cleaner long-range kills. The downside, however, is that longer shells tend to be considerably more expensive than shorter versions of the same model. Types of Choke Tubes A choke tube works to constrict a shotgun’s shot charge in order to hold it together longer before the shot spreads. This functions to provide a denser shot pattern at a longer range. Choke tubes also play a role in determining a shotgun’s effective range. In general, more constriction means a greater range. There are six common types of choke tubes: super-full (or extra-full), full, modified, improved cylinder, cylinder, and skeet. Super-full (or extra-full) choke tubes are ideally suited for the headshots that you’ll need when turkey hunting. As such, they are commonly referred to as “gobbler getters.” They provide extra-tight constriction and the densest shot patterns. Full choke tubes also have a tight constriction and dense pattern. They are capable of delivering about 70 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle from 40 yards out. This makes them a great choice for trap shooting, waterfowl pass shooting, turkey hunting, and buckshot loads. Modified choke tubes have less constriction than a full choke, but are still capable of delivering about 60 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle from 40 yards. The best uses for modified choke tubes are in hunting distant-flushing upland birds and small game animals like pheasants and rabbits. Improved cylinder choke tubes are even less constricted than modified tubes. They will deliver about half of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at 40 yards distance. They are the preferred choice of hunters shooting waterfowl close over decoys or in pursuits of close-quarters upland birds like quail and grouse. Improved cylinder choke tubes also perform well with rifled slugs. Cylinder choke tubes offer no constriction. They can deliver approximately 40 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at 40 yards. These types of choke tubes are most commonly used by law enforcement for service shotguns. Lastly, we have skeet choke tubes. These tubes deliver about 50 percent of a shell’s total pellets in a 30-inch circle at a distance of 25 yards. As their name suggests, these tubes are optimized for the tight patterns necessary for close-range skeet shooting. "Frequently Asked Questions" John Browning and his brothers built the first testing models of the semi-automatic shotgun in 1898 ( 3 ). Although an avid gunman well before the invention of the A5, Browning would later admit that it was “the most difficult gun to design of his career.” Today’s guns feature even more complex and intricate systems than Browning’s earliest designs. Keeping that in mind, we’ve designed this Frequently Asked Questions section to help you better understand the inner workings of today’s best semi-automatic shotguns. What is ‘length-of-pull’? Length-of-pull refers to the distance between the center of the trigger and the center of the recoil pad on the butt of the stock where it contacts your shoulder. What is ‘comb’? The comb of a shotgun is the widest part of the stock that is encompassed by your cheek and shoulder. What is ‘drop’? Drop is defined as the distance between the top of the comb to the center point of the butt that helps determine the elevation of your eye in relation to the barrel. Too much drop will cause the user to shoot low and too little drop will cause you to shoot high. What is ‘pitch’? Pitch refers to the angle that the butt has against your shoulder when mounted. It is a very important factor because too much pitch will cause the butt to dig into your shoulder, which will make recoil feel worse than it actually is. On the other hand, too little pitch will allow the gun to slide up and down with every shot. What is a ‘back-bored barrel’? A back-bored barrel is a shotgun barrel with an internal diameter great than nominal for the gauge, but still less than the SAAMI ( 4 ) maximum. This is done to reduce felt recoil, improve patterning, or change the balance of the gun. What is a gun’s ‘receiver’? The receiver is the part of the shotgun that houses all of its critical operating parts. What is ‘fouling’? Fouling refers to the accumulation of unwanted material on solid surfaces. The fouling material can consist of powder, lubrication residue, or bullet materials, such as lead or copper. What is a ‘charging handle’? This term defines a device on a shotgun (or another firearm) that, when operated, results in the hammer or striker being cocked or moved to the ready position. Summary The right semi-automatic shotgun will improve your hunting accuracy or help you defend your property against unwanted intruders. We hope you’ve found this review of the best semi-automatic shotguns useful and we wish you the best of luck in choosing the one that’s right for you!

Top Fathers Day Picks from Eric Hung at Pew Pew Tactical

Eric Hung, Founder of Pew Pew Tactical shared his top picks for Father’s Day gift. Got a dad that loves shooting? Then get him something he’ll remember every time he hits the range. And since it’s the thought that counts…we’ve got three gift ideas spread across different budgets. Everyone always needs more magazines…and dads are no exception. But when some factory mags are $40+…you might hesitate. That’s where Mec Gar steps in. They are an Italian magazine manufacturer that will make both your father and your wallet happy. Oh…did I mention they’ve made over 100 MILLION magazines! And that they probably made the factory magazine anyways. So pick up one…or 10 for your dad. And maybe a couple for yourself. Stepping up for your game for son/daughter of the year? Get dad something truly awesome…like a complete upper or complete rifle from Aero Precision . They’re my go-to for stripped uppers/lowers…and after some rigorous testing…they are my best-bang-for-the-buck recommendation for assembled stuff too. I’m especially digging their M4E1 Upper and my newest toy…their M5E1 .308 AR-10 style rifle. When you gotta reach out and touch something… Got an AR-15 toting dad that’s a tinkerer? Check out our favorite adjustable gas block from Superlative Arms . For $99 a pop, you get 3 kinds of gas blocks in one by adjusting one screw. First, is a fully opened port like a non-adjustable gas block. Second is a regular adjustable gas block where you can regulate the amount of gas. And third, you get a “bleed-off” block where instead of letting the excess gas go out the muzzle…it will exit from the gas block instead. This leads to decreased recoil, decreased blowback if you’re using a suppressor, and a quieter gun. One of my favorite upgrades for the AR! Happy Father’s Day! Eric Hung, Founder of Pew Pew Tactical . Level up your gun knowledge with our guides, reviews, and videos!

Summary

Alright, take a moment and imagine with me, you have been a “Survivalist” for a couple of years.   Every paycheck you try to set aside a few dollars to put towards emergency supplies.   Thanks to your frugality and foresight you have been able to stock enough supplies to last you for some time.