Category Archives: Firearms

Father of the AR15: The Legacy of Eugene Stoner

Father of the AR15:

The Legacy of Eugene Stoner

His name may not be as recognizable as the late Chris Kyle, but Eugene Stoner is the man behind the design of the AR-15. “American Sniper” Kyle’s autobiograpy and motion picture, depicted Kyle using a sniper variant of the AR-15. It all began in 1954 when Stoner, a World War II veteran, became the Chief Engineer of ArmaLite. Today, not only is the AR-15 extremely popular, AR15 accessories can be purchased separately so gun owners can create a fully customized rifle. It has become a favorite rifle for militaries, sportsmen, and preppers alike.

This infographic captures a synopsis of the proud history of the AR15 rifle:

The U.S. counterpart to Russian, Mikhail Kalashnakov, Eugene Stoner actually first invented the AR10 which was rejected by the U.S. military in favor of the M14 rifle. With the base design already down, the team at Armalite made some changes to the AR10 (the big one was changing the caliber from 7.62 X 51mm NATO to the 5.56 X 45mm NATO cartridge) and arrived at the final product of the AR15. This finalized design is what the U.S. military adopted as what most know as the M16 rifle. While at Armalite, Stoner also designed a survival rifle for the U.S. Air Force that was designated as the AR5 and was later upgraded to today’s AR7 Survival Rifle.

Stoner continued his work with firearms going on to work with well known firearm companies including Colt (who had purchased the rights to the AR15 from Armalite) and Knight’s Armament. He even co-founded the company ARES Incorporated where he had a few other successful firearm designs.

It is safe to say that while not only bringing us the AR15 platform of rifle, Eugene Stoner is an amazing contributor to the modern firearms industry, not only on the military side of things but the sporting side as well.

The Survivor’s Guide To Storing Firearms


The following post is a guest submission from Aaron. In this article, he discusses some great storage ideas for gun owners and how to properly care for these.

A gun can come in handy when caught in very tough situations. While some would likely promote the idea that guns be totally eradicated in all parts of the globe, this proposition is still only perfect for an ideal world. If everybody was following the written laws and unwritten ideals as was intended by most governments in the first place, then living in peace without the need to carry or keep a gun may be possible. Until the world is a safe haven free from criminals, then it is the right of every sane person to own a gun and protect themselves and their loved ones from the possible dangers of robbery or related incidents, and always being prepared for tougher times. To all gun owners, remember that having a firearm at home also comes with the responsibility to store these safely for the sake of everyone at home. It is understandable that you may want to keep guns in places that are easily accessible when the need arises for you to use them.

Firearm Concealment Ideas

There are a lot of ways by which you can hide your firearms without arousing suspicion from other family members or visitors. Here are some tips that might help you come up with your own idea:

1. The Prized Painting by the Wall

This one is probably one of the most used ideas as shown in many action movie films. You may have seen one too. You also might recall how the bad guy decided to crash into the hero’s home and wanted to make quick money and maybe get lucky and bring home some jewelry too? But alas! The owner of the home heard someone trying to break in and the gun stored behind the paintingwas just what he needed to take a warning shot and scare the goon away.

2. The Librarian’s Stuff

Do you have a bookshelf in your living room, bedroom or home office? Unless your visitors are bookworms and love to read books in somebody else’s home, your books would go untouched and unnoticed by anyone but you. For the old books that you no longer use, you can use the side covers, glue this in a small box and use this as a hidden gun and ammo storage compartment. Keep the box at the upper level of the bookshelf to prevent small kids from reaching it.


3. The Household Furniture

If you love working with carpentry and building your own furniture, then you can put your talent to good use and incorporate hidden spaces in these. Get creative. Even solid and bulky parts can be made to look like it is made of pure wood, but what most would not notice is that there may be something hidden behind the façade. The coffee table, the bed post, the arm of the chair, and even the underside of the dining table – all these could be used to store guns.

4. The Not-So-Usual Places

There are many things in your home that usually go unnoticed. The more plain these are, the better the chance that these will never be thought of as something that carries your prized guns. Examples of these are the food containers at the top of the kitchen shelf that you’ve never touched and will never probably be able to use. Other firearm safe storage places could be a hollow trophy or a wall shelf, an old violin case, inside a jacket pocket in your closet, an old boot, behind the window curtains or places that can be seen in plain sight but are not considered a usual place to hide a firearm.

Caring For Guns Prior To Storage

Remember that your guns are made of metal. With constant use and abuse, these could easily succumb to rusting. Instead of your family being protected when you needed it, a rusting gun may fail to work or end up hurting you instead. Prepper gun storage comes with being able to care for guns the right way. Here are some tips to keep your guns always in top condition.

  1. Clean guns from the inside out. Whenever your gun is used, gunpowder residue is released and this could accumulate inside your firearm. With its buildup inside your gun, this can be likened to dirt that seeps at the insides of your shoes. Just as dirt attracts unwanted bacteria and fungus in shoes, gunpowder attracts the formation of rust since this easily absorbs moisture from the air. Take note that there are many small movable parts inside your firearm and these can stick together with the presence of gunpowder.
  1. Grease is not always a good option. Steel metal windows may need constant lubrication for these to open and close easily and to prevent rusting. However, this rule is not always applicable when it comes to firearms. Many products which were specifically designed to prevent rusting in firearms are now available in the market and these only leave a protective film instead of grease.
  1. Keep guns away from moisture. The easiest way to render your gun useless is to keep this in a moist place. While keeping your gun in a movable tile in the bathroom or the kitchen sounds like a great idea, this is not doing any good for your ammo and guns. Keep your guns in a dry place and/or airtight containers.
  1. Periodically perform maintenance. Just because you have cleaned your guns before storing them is not enough reason for you to never clean them again. Even after applying a rust protective agent and keeping firearms in an ideal storage space, you still need to check these from time to time and take them apart for regular cleaning.

Additional Reminders

Take note that guns can be dangerous when used by the wrong people which includes children. For additional safe gun storage tips, keep your guns out of the sight and reach of your children until they come of age and are responsible enough to use one. If you choose to get a gun for the lady of the house to protect herself and the kids, teach her some of these tips too.

About The Author

Aaron Mulligan creates content for Gun Mate, Hunting Magazines as well as being a regular contributor for other hunting websites. His expertise has seen him camp alongside some of the greatest campers, trekkers and adventure seekers in the world – unfortunately he hasn’t cracked the Kokoda Trail. You can grab him on Google+ or via his current Twitter Profile: @Gun_Mate

7 Reasons to Take an Air Rifle for Survival Weapon

This article originally appeared on Survivopedia and is reprinted here on The Prepared Ninja with permission.
Does the air rifle have its place in today’s modern survival weapons cache, or is it of use only to those that want to shoot holes in paper or hit tin cans?
I believe that today’s air rifles do have their place in a modern survival weapons cache. This weapon can be used in small game hunting to hunt doves and other birds, rabbits, squirrel, and other small game animals.
There is also historical evidence that air rifles were used for a number of purposes. For example, the Girandon was used during the Lewis and Clark Expedition around 1780‘s. It held 22 rounds of 40 caliber bullets in a bullet reservoir.
This weapon had to be pumped over 1200 times to supply the air pressure needed to fire all the bullets one at a time. The bullet velocity of this weapon was equal to black powder rifles of this period (450-650fps).
Why Should You Use an Air Gun?
Here are some advantages associated with using an air rifle:
  • Air rifles are very quiet – there are no loud bangs to scare off other game in the area.
  • Easy to shoot – this weapon points nicely, and is not too heavy or large for the beginner or inexperienced shooter.
  • It is an excellent, low cost training rifle with a simple design and cheap pellets.
  • Air rifles come with iron sights and are very accurate. When used with a scope, the shooter gets very tight groups (where multiple pellets hit). When hunting with a scoped air rifle, small game may be taken safely up to 50 yards away.
  • They are legal to own and shoot in most states. Because an air rifle uses only compressed air to fire the pellet (and not powder and a primer) most states do not classify them as firearms.
  • Air rifles make an ideal stash gun. It can be buried in an air and water tight container with a couple of tins of pellets and then easily retrieved at a later time.
  • Ammunition will not go bad. The only ammunition an air rifle needs is a pellet, nothing else. There are no cases, powder, or primers to worry about.

Basic Air Rifle Power Systems and Designs

There are three basic power systems in modern air rifles:
  1. Spring and Piston: When the rifle is cocked a spring is compressed. When the trigger is pulled, the released spring pushes a piston forward that, in turn, compresses a column of air that fires the pellet out of the barrel.
  2. Air Cartridge/Tank: This system uses a pre-filled, high pressure air cartridge or air tanks to push the pellet out of the barrel when fired.
  3. Air Pump: The air pump system allows the shooter to pump up the air reservoir to the desired air pressure. Some rifles need only one pump to fill the reservoir while others may need six or more.

In today’s air rifle marketplace there are many types of rifles:

  • Some just fire BB’s and are considered by some to be nothing more than toys (ex. Daisy Rough Rider with its low velocity and short range).
  • Some air rifles can shoot both BB’s and pellets. The Crossman Air Rifle had a little higher velocity and a little better range with pellets. These rifles are considered by most shooters to be training rifles.
  • Competition rifles are very accurate and can shoot very tight groups at the competition range of 15 yards with “iron” match sights.
  • Hunting rifles such as the Gamo Silent Cat (1250 fps) can be used for small game. Depending on the caliber and the pellet weight the velocity must be at least 650fps to about 1250fps to have enough energy to kill.

Things to Consider When Choosing an Air Rifle

Caliber: There are three basic calibers for air rifles.
  • .177 is a small, light, and very fast with top out velocity of 1250 fps. It is used mainly for target practice, competition shooting, and small game hunting.
  • .20 caliber – This is the medium weight caliber with velocities around 850fps to 1000fps. This is not a very popular caliber in the US and obtaining pellets and other shooting equipment can be difficult.
  • .22 caliber – This is the largest caliber and fires the heaviest pellet for air rifles. The velocities of this rifle range between 650fps to 1250fps. It is usually used for hunting and practice.

Air Source: Even though pre-filled canisters can give you good velocity in the beginning, their power will decrease after just a few shots. In a crisis scenario, you will not be able to refill smaller CO2 canisters, and larger ones will require a compressor and pump.

Unfortunately, springs do not supply the kind of velocity you will get from a canister/ air tank system.
Most people would say that pump systems offer the best choice because you do not need canisters, and yet they still offer good velocity.
Regardless of the air source, test out your rifle at different temperatures so that you understand how rifle cooling and air temperatures affect both pellet velocity and capacity to fire multiple rounds.
Selecting an Air Rifle for Hunting
When selecting an air rifle for this purpose, it is important to think about the kind of game that you will be hunting.
Usually, you can hunt rabbit, squirrel, or birds with a .177 or a 22. If you are going to hunt for larger animals such as raccoons, you will need heavier pellets such as the 22. In order to kill game efficiently, the pellet velocity must not go below 650 fps.
  • Type of air source: Will the rifle use spring piston, compressed air tank, or pump.
  • What type of accessories are needed on the rifle: For precision small game hunting a fixed power scope(4x32mm) would be a good choice.
  • How easy to get ammo: Before the time of a crisis both .177 and .22 caliber ammo will be easy to obtain. A tin of .177 pellets on the average will cost about $8.99 per 250 (all-purpose pellets). A tin of .22 caliber pellets will run about $8.99 per 175 pellets.
  • Price of an air rifle: The average price for a.177 air rifle is about $160.00. The average price for a .22 air rifle is about $200.00.

Most air rifle hunter’s use either .177 or .22 caliber models. You can also get air rifles with combination barrel sets that include .177 and a .22, that screw into a stock mounted barrel holder.

Accuracy in these 2 barrel sets is excellent and the price is low. I would recommend the Beeman Grizyly Dual caliber to fellow preppers priced at about $129.00. It is truly the best of 2 worlds.
Storing Air Rifles for Survival
When a major crisis hits, you will need a very quiet and accurate small game hunting air rifle. It does not take much time or materials to build a stash container for this type of rifle.
All that is required is a piece of PVC piping a couple of inches longer than the rifle and 2 end caps. In this container you can place the air rifle, a couple of tins of pellets, and a cleaning kit to keep your air rifle clean and well lubricated.
Lastly hide the stash tube in one of your hiding places.
Safety Concerns
When shooting an air rifle safety should be always on your mind.
  • Know what is behind your target area.
  • Use pellet traps down range to stop the fired pellets during rifle practice.
  • Wear shooting safety glasses when shooting. If you wear prescription glasses, make sure your shooting glasses cover them.
  • Do not pick up or shoot your air rifle when other people are down range.
  • No horse play on the range during shooting practice.
  • Do not put the wrong size pellet in your air rifle.

When picking out weapons for survival do not forget to choose an air rifle. These inexpensive yet very accurate and low noise weapons are a must. Ammunition is cheap, plentiful and you do not have to be concerned with ammunition break down.

As an added bonus, if you cannot obtain a conventional firearm, at least having an air rifle on hand will be better than nothing.
This article was originally written by Fred Tyrell for Survivopedia and was reprinted here with permission.

The Ultimate Survival Gun!

There is an never-ending debate in the preparedness world about whether or not the ultimate survival gun exists and what it may be. Of the many theories, there seems to be a bit of a lean towards the 12 Gauge Shotgun or .22 Caliber Rifle but I think I found the ultimate survival gun!

The X-Caliber by Chiappa Firearms is a two barrel, double trigger rifle in an over/under configuration which is chambered as a smooth bore 12 Gauge shotgun on top and a rifled .22 Long Rifle on bottom. The true “magic” (if you will) comes from the set of included adapters that make it the most flexible firearm available for almost any survival scenario. The 8 adapters included allow .380, 9 mm, .357 Mag/.38 Special, .40 S&W, .44 Mag, .45 ACP, .410 Gauge/.45 Colt and 20 Gauge to be fired out of the X-Caliber in addition to the primary offering of 12 Gauge and .22 Long Rifle. With a total availability of 12 different calibers, it very well could handle just about anything.

Not only is the X-Caliber capable of firing a myriad of cartridges, it is designed to be used as a survival rifle by integrating the ability to fold down to only 18.5 inches and the weight has been reduced by replacing the normal stock material with  polypropylene foam. This makes it capable of easily being transported in a backpack as part of a Bug Out Bag, Get Home Bag or other survival kit.

In addition to these features, the X-Caliber includes:

  • A space to hold 12 Gauge, .22 LR shells and cleaning kit inside of the stock.
  • Fixed optical fiber front sight and a rear sight that is adjustable for both windage and elevation to compensate for the caliber being used.
  • Three integrated picatinny rails to facilitate the mounting of optics, lights, etc.

What if you already have a 12 Gauge shotgun? No problem! The X-Caliber adapter set is available for purchase separately for use with a smooth bore 12 Gauge shotgun. I do feel that the use of these adapters will likely impact accuracy, especially at farther distances. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the X-Caliber rifle with complete insert set is $750 while the X-Caliber insert set alone is $450. There are cheaper firearms out there but not another one that I know of that can shoot such a variety of calibers.

What would your ultimate survival gun be?

Finding a First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

The following is a guest post submission from Milton Zane about some of the areas that should be considered when looking for a first gun for the lady in your life. While the points are geared towards helping a spouse, girlfriend, family member, or loved one find a firearm that is a good fit for them, the same points could be considered when finding a gun for yourself, or anyone for that matter.

How to Find the Perfect First Gun for the Lady in Your Life

Americans are carrying handguns in record numbers, partly because of concern for personal safety and partly as a display of a constitutional right that is being threatened. In 2011, Gallup found that 23% of women owned guns, up from just 13% in 2005. As many as 43% of women report having access to a firearm and many more have expressed interest in learning more.

While protection is one reason for owning a firearm, it is hardly the only reason. Though gun sports have traditionally been dominated by men, more and more women are beginning to take part in recreation that involves firearms. If you are looking to purchase a firearm, for a woman in your life, then consider the following tips while shopping to ensure that you get one she will like.

Picture Credit:

Like any item you purchase, quality can make a huge difference in levels of enjoyment and satisfaction. A good handgun will cost around $500, while a shotgun or rifle may cost substantially more. Purchasing a cheap firearm ensures that it will never be used and that the person you give it to will be put off of guns for a long time to come. Buy a high quality, well-designed firearm to ensure hours of pleasant, engaging use.

Ammunition and Caliber

In a similar vein to the above point regarding the price of the firearm, consider the price of ammunition. In this case, you want ammunition to be affordable so that the gun can actually be used. So, consider things like the 9 mm over the .45 because of the difference in the price of ammunition. The equation is simple; buy an expensive, quality gun that uses affordable ammunition. In general, the smaller the caliber, the cheaper the ammunition. As an added benefit, smaller caliber firearms tend to have less recoil (kick), which makes for more appealing to use.

Try It

You may want the firearm to be a surprise, but the person who is going to use the gun really needs to hold it to make sure that it fits her hand, is easy to manipulate, and is comfortable in terms of weight. If you have to be creative, tell her that you are shopping for yourself, but get her involved by asking for her opinion. Listen carefully to the things she tells you and then buy the gun that she likes best. Once you have found the firearm, you can always purchase it online from a site like Guns America to save a little money.


If this is a firearm that is going to be carried to more than just the shooting range, then you need to consider how she will tote it around. Will it be in a holster or will it be in a handbag? Where the gun is carried will help you decide how large and how heavy it can be. In general, purses can only handle smaller guns while you can get away with a larger gun if it is to be carried in a holster.


No matter how you wrangle with the tips above, don’t forget the most important point of all, which is to buy a brand you believe in. If you know that a certain manufacturer makes a top notch firearm, then don’t be afraid to violate one or two of the guidelines above to get what you know will work. This gun is something that is likely to last a long time, so make the effort to get one that is worth keeping.

Milton Zane is passionate about firearms. He enjoys writing about different types of guns, safety, and proper care.