The Pros and Cons of Mounting a Suppressor to Your Pistol

Suppressors, also known as silencers, are accessories that you add to the end of your pistol’s barrel, as the name implies, to cut down on the noise that they make.

Suppressors, also known as silencers, are accessories that you add to the end of your pistol’s barrel

There’s a little more to the whole story than simply screwing on a suppressor, and before making the somewhat heavy investment of time, money, and paperwork to buying one, it’s worth thinking about the pros and cons of adding a silencer to your pistol.

Overall, we’re big fans of suppressors for a variety of reasons, but we do understand that they also come with some downsides as well, which are worth weighing out.

Pros of Suppressors

Of course, the biggest pro to owning and using a suppressor is the reduction of sound that comes from adding a suppressor to your pistol. While very few will end up as quiet as the movies, good suppressors, combined with subsonic ammunition can often yield results that are not far from what you’d expect from your favorite movies and games.

This is the big reason people buy suppressors, and we see why: shooting a suppressed handgun is a shooting experience that few people get to have, and we recommend everyone to try it if they get the chance.

Suppressors work by giving the expanding gasses that come out of the end of a barrel when a round is fired extra space and time to cool down. The primary effect of this is the reduction in noise that we just covered, but there’s an additional benefit as well.

Suppressors also reduce and often eliminate, any muzzle flash that comes out of the end of your pistol’s barrel. This is especially handy for people who want to use their pistol for home defense, as the flash from a round can be blinding at night, making it hard to keep on target.

With the sound suppression offered by a silencer comes a big health benefit: it’s easier on your ears. Even with adequate hearing protection, firing unsuppressed firearms can lead to both short and long term hearing damage, which is a major concern for everyone but especially for folks who do a lot of shooting.

a silencer comes a big health benefit: it’s easier on your ears

Combined with a good set of earmuffs and some earplugs, a suppressed pistol has a lot less chance of damaging your hearing, which we think is yet another great reason to not only buy suppressors but also make them more affordable and accessible through things like the proposed Hearing Protection Act.

Last, but certainly not least in our book: it’s extremely fun to shoot a suppressed pistol. In our experience, we have yet to find a single human being who was not smiling from ear to ear the first time they fired a handgun that’s been suppressed.

This goes double for cases when we can get our hands on good subsonic ammunition as well. Even though, yes, firearms are dangerous and should always be taken seriously, it’s important to remember that many of us got into, and remain in, the hobby of shooting because it’s fun.

Cons of Suppressors 

The first, and biggest, con of suppressors are their expense. On the cheap end, a suppressor will run you several hundred dollars. From there, you’ll have to fill out Form 4 with the ATF, which means another $200 in taxes, as well as waiting sometimes up to a year to get the suppressor in your hands.

This is the part that keeps some people from getting into suppressors in the first place, which we think is a shame and we hope gets better through some legislative action sometime in the next few years.

As far performance goes, the added weight on the end of the barrel makes it harder for some people to keep their shots on target when using a suppressor. For most people, this means shooting low, but you’ll learn to adapt over time.

It can be a little more tiring to shoot with a suppressor since the weight is further from your hand, and this is something to consider for long range sessions.

Additionally, your standard height iron sights might be too low to see over the suppressor: in one of those cases, you’ll have to either get higher iron sights or, more commonly these days, get a red dot sight that sits above the height of the body of the suppressor.

Some designs of suppressor vent much of the gas from firing backward at the shooter. This makes them effective in terms of sound and flash suppression but prevents an issue of its own: those relatively hot gasses and some unburnt powder is likely to hit you right in the face.

sound and flash suppression

The first time you shoot a suppressed handgun, we recommend wearing safety glasses as well as a balaclava or something similar to cover your face to prevent the unpleasant sensation of hot gasses to the face.

Shooting with a suppressor also usually means that there’s more backpressure, and some of the unburnt powder and other residues usually make their way into the action of the gun one way or another. When you shoot suppressed, you’ll likely notice that there’s about double the usual amount of carbon buildup and fouling in the gun.

Generally, this isn’t a big deal, but we do recommend cleaning after each shooting session with a suppressor just to keep any filth-induced malfunctions from occurring. It’s a bit of a pain, but one well worth it in our view.

There are some downsides to owning a suppressor. They’re expensive, can make it harder to shoot well, and can mean a lot more time cleaning your handgun. With that said, they’re good tools that make it safer to shoot, reduce the noise and flash you’re likely to get out of your muzzle, and, above all, are a lot of fun.

In our view, a suppressor can be more than worth it, and we’d like to add a few more to our personal collection. While they may not be for everyone, we certainly like adding suppressor to our pistols when we can.

Things to Carry for Survival in Kashmir During Heavy Snowfall

Witnessing the beauty of Kashmir during winter is still a dream for many snow lovers. The mesmerizing snow-covered valleys in Gulmarg and Srinagar appear as a dreamy white blanket of nature that amazes any hill lover. Most tourists thrill to explore the beautiful decoration of The Himalayas in Kashmir during the winter.

Explore the beautiful decoration of The Himalayas in Kashmir during the winter.

However, to witness such an extraordinary landscape of ‘heaven of Land’ Kashmir, if you are booking your tour package already, make sure you carry all the necessary things for surviving the extensive cold and heavy snowfall in Kashmir. The weather there can be pretty harsh and unbearable if your bag doesn’t include things like a hooded jacket, gloves, thermal wear, and so on.

And, if your travel package offers a majestic expedition to the heavenly surroundings of Gulmarg in Kashmir, you have to carry a few things that will protect you from being frozen in minus 15°c and will help you to survive in any kind of difficult situation.

So, before you hurry to leave for your dream destination, make sure you have carried all the following things in your travel bag:

  1. Padded and Hooded Jackets

Surviving the heavy snowfall in Kashmir isn’t possible without carrying a hooded and padded jacket. Especially, if you have included the North Kashmir expedition in your Thrillophilia’s Jammu & Kashmir tour package during the heavy snow season, it is a must-carry product as your savior.

  1. Moisturizer/Cold cream

The rough climate of Kashmir in winter can make your skin flaky and dry. Hence, in order to protect your skin from the harsh cold weather and keep it hydrated, you must carry a bottle of moisturizer or cold cream. You can use them twice a day to save your skin from being scratchy.

  1. Warm and High ankle shoes

No matter which hill station your destination is, you must carry a set of warm and high ankle shoes. And, if your travel package includes activities like trekking or hiking in the snow-covered areas of Sonamarg and Pahalgam in Kashmir, you have to save your feet from getting slipped. Thus, carrying such high and warm ankle shoes will work as a life savior for you.

  1. Torch

Kashmir is still counted as an underdeveloped area of India. Thus, frequent power cut is a major issue for most tourists visiting there. Until your hotel processes to start their generator, you should keep a torch for safety purposes. Besides, we are quite sure that you don’t want to hurt yourself in the darkness. Therefore, having a torchlight will save you from such situations.

  1. Sunglasses

Unpredictable weather changes in Kashmir during the winter season can be a cause of worrying for you. The high peak areas of Kashmir mostly remain sunny, and if traveling there is a part of your package, you need to protect your eyes from sun damage. Therefore, carrying sunglasses will be a smart idea for you.

Extreme travel
  1. Thermal Wears

Besides stuffing your bags with jackets and sweaters, you must carry a set of thermal wear to protect yourself from the heavy cold wave of Kashmir valley because alone padded jackets and sweaters won’t be able to provide enough warmth.

  1. Mufflers, caps, and gloves

To pair up with your jacket, you should carry a set of mufflers, caps, and gloves. Besides giving you a winter perfect stylish look, it will help you protect yourself from the chilled windy atmosphere of Kashmir and save you from getting cold and coughing.

  1. Necessary Documents

Kashmir is still a sensitive area of India, and because of its highly conservational policies, you might need to go through several security checkpoints. Therefore, carrying valid original copies of identity proofs like passport, Adhaar Card, Pan Card, Driving license will help you to enjoy the dreamy atmosphere of Kashmir without worrying. Besides, you can carry other documents such as a receipt copy of the booking tour package to Kashmir, a copy of flight tickets, medical insurance, and so on.

  1. Sufficient cash

As we have mentioned earlier, Kashmir still falls under the category of underdevelopment areas in India. Hence, finding any kind of upgraded way of transactions can be difficult there. You will not get any instant ATM service nearby. Therefore, while enjoying the ultimate winter vacation in Kashmir, carry enough cash to survive any challenging situation.

Checklist | Things to Carry for Leh Ladakh Trip

Before booking your next travel package to the dream destination of most travelers, Leh Ladakh, it is important to ensure what kind of essential things you need to carry for the trip. It’s no wonder why people mostly search for this answer because this hill station of North India has a lot more to offer than any other ordinary destination. Plus, if your fun expedition includes a KTM ride from Manali to Ladakh, then you should make sure that you are perfectly prepared for this adventurous trip.

Explore Leh Ladakh

For a few years, Leh Ladakh has been emerging as one of the favorite dream destinations for most adventure lovers. Surrounded by deep valleys and high plains of the magnificent Himalayas, the serenity of the beautiful landscape and the vibrant touch of Tibetan culture have managed to win the hearts of backpackers.

However, while witnessing the beauty of Leh Ladakh, you might not want to interrupt the enjoyment just because you forgot to bring one essential object. Thus, to make your Ladakh trip unforgettable and safe, do not forget to take care of a few important things such as necessary accessories, suitable clothes, medicines, and more.

So, let’s take a look at what kind of essential things you need to carry before booking your tour package to Leh Ladakh.

THINGS TO CARRY FOR LADAKH TRIP

  1. Clothing

Here comes the most anticipated question that every traveler search while packing their bags for the Ladakh tour. The uncertain nature of Leh Ladakh might be a cause of trouble for you. Thus, to protect yourself from the unpredictable climate your clothing list must include:

  • Light woolen clothes
  • Cotton t-shirts
  • Waterproof jacket and gloves
  • Thermals
  • Waterproof socks
  • Thin jacket
  • Jeans or trousers

Do not blindly stuff your bags with heavy woolen jackets. Create some space, and add these kinds of clothes to avoid getting sick in between your dream trip.

What to carry for your trip?
  1. Accessories

If your Ladakh tour package offers an adventurous expedition on the sterile roads of Leh Ladakh, you have to be careful while choosing the right accessories. So, before you finish your bag packing, check out the list of essential accessories you need to carry for the Leh Ladakh trip.

  • Sunglasses – To protect your eyes from irritation caused by dust and UV rays of sunlight, you should mark this product on the top of your accessory list.
  • Sunscreen- We know that you don’t want to make your skin look tanned while capturing beautiful memories of Ladakh. Therefore, carrying sunscreen will be a great idea.
  • Hat- Besides taking care of your skin and eyes make sure you include a hat or beanies in your list of accessories in order to protect your hair.
  1. Important Document

Whether you’re traveling to Ladakh or any other places in the world, you should always carry any of the following identify proofs of yours:

  • Adhaar Card
  • Driving license
  • Passport
  • Voter ID card
  • PAN card

However, besides carrying these identity proofs, try to keep printout copies of other important documents such as booking receipt of Ladakh’s tour package, copy of  flight tickets, passport photograph, and medical insurance. Traveling to Ladakh without carrying any valid ID proof might leave you in great trouble because the area is protected by highly conservative policies.

  1. Miscellaneous Toiletries

Once you book your travel package to Ladakh, you will have to make a list of all your important toiletries. Finding any of them will be difficult there as Ladakh still falls under the category of developing areas in India. Hence, be sure that you have arranged all of these things listed below:

  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Shampoo
  • Sanitizer
  • Towel
  • Face wash
  • Soaps
  • Lip balm
  • Cold cream
  • Toilet paper
  1. Eatables and Medicine

There is a high chance of you getting hungry while expediting the high plains of Ladakh. Thus, keeping some energy-providing snacks like dry fruits, chocolate, and biscuits with you will be the smartest plan. However, if traveling around mountains causes you any kind of sicknesses like vomiting, nausea, and headache, you must carry the necessary medicines. Besides, for emergency safety purposes you can carry a first aid box.

While traveling to places like Ladakh, it is necessary to take care of your medical essentials because you won’t be able to get them there easily. Thus, before leaving for your dream destination, make sure you are fully prepared to overcome any obstacle.

8 Tips for Camping in Freezing Weather

Camping can be a joyous activity to ground you and help you reconnect with loved ones, with yourself, and with nature. This can prove to be difficult at times, though, when you find you will be camping in freezing weather.

Questions may begin to flood your mind about how you will keep yourself and your campmates warm, how you will gather food, and how to best set up camp so you can make the best of it. Here are some tips to get you started.

What to wear when Winter camping?

Bring Extra Blankets and Coats

Dressing in layers when experiencing freezing temperatures can help save you a lot of grief. Layers allow you to take off clothes if you are working or by the fire and get too hot, but you can put more clothes on if you are feeling colder or are about to go to bed.

Just like your clothing, varying layers of blankets can help keep you warm at night. You can easily add or subtract the number of blankets on top of you when sleeping or when resting by the fire.

A bonus for having the blankets around is that you can easily insulate your tent or keep food warm a little longer by wrapping a blanket around the container.

Plan for Food

Planning for what you will eat may seem like second nature. How else are you going to survive anything if you do not have food? What I more so mean here is that you need to have a backup plan for food. Many campers enjoy bringing foods that they have either precooked or prepared to be cooked over a fire.

Things like steak or hamburgers are delicious, especially over an open fire, but what happens if those things spoil or are eaten by wildlife? You will want to be prepared to hunt and gather your own food. To be successful with this, you will want to be sure to bring a handgun on your trip.

Not only will a handgun help keep you safe in the event of a dangerous wild animal coming onto your camp, but it can also serve as your backup plan if you need to go hunting for your own food.

Purchase a High-Quality Shelter

Whether you plan to tent camp, bring an RV, or any type of pull behind trailer, you will want to be sure you have a high-quality shelter for camping in freezing weather. It can be tempting to skimp out on this due to expense, but you will thank yourself later when you have shelter from the snow or cold temperatures in general.

High-quality means that the shelter closes securely and is made from material that will help hold in heat. When shopping, be sure to look at reviews of whatever type of shelter you are wanting to purchase and ask around to see what other campers in your area recommend.

Be prepared for cold weather with quality camping gear.

Vent Your Tent

This may seem counterintuitive, but as temperatures drop throughout the day, condensation inside your tent can become a problem. The best way to combat this is to ensure there is good airflow going through. A tent that has a rainfly and a tent body is the easiest way to create a vent.

Alternatively, you could unzip windows in your tent or keep a small part of the entranceway unzipped.

Double up Your Mattresses

This may seem like a crazy thing to do but doubling up your mattresses can increase the warmth you feel throughout the night. Instead of simply having an air mattress or sleeping in a sleeping bag, put the two together to create insulation between you and the cold ground.

Keep Your Canisters Warm

If you bring canisters along with you to cook with or to keep yourself warm, you will want to ensure they remain warm. If they get cold, they will not work, and you will be stuck having to cook over an open fire (which may not be all that bad!).

It would be best to keep more than one on you, that way you can keep one in lukewarm water while using the other, then switch out as needed. Overnight, you can keep the canisters at the foot of your sleeping bag and your body heat will help keep them warm.

Fire is essential to Winter camping.

Eat

Eating is something you must do to survive, but few think about eating to keep yourself warm. More calories mean more warmth from your body! Snacking through the day and eating filling meals will provide your body with the calories needed to warm itself.

Foods that are high in fat and protein keep you satiated for longer, giving your body the fuel, it needs to keep you warm throughout the night.

Drink More Water

If you are dehydrated, your body must work overtime to compensate. This can burn more calories and in turn, take away your body’s internal heat source. Dehydration can also lead to fatigue, which can make you even colder. Plus, if you have sweat throughout the day, you will have lost electrolytes that your body needs to warm itself. In short, drink more water and stay hydrated.

These 8 tips can help you stay warm while camping in freezing weather. It may feel daunting at first, but with preparation, you will be able to enjoy camping no matter what the weather. If you bring a handgun with you for protection and as a backup option for acquiring food, you will be able to eat and keep yourself ready to produce heat.

Having a quality tent as well as extra blankets and coats and even having an extra sleeping bag or mattress to keep you off the ground will help, as well. Caring for yourself and your equipment by venting the tent, keeping your canisters warm, and remaining hydrated will all assist you in staying warm when temperatures drop.

Do not let the threat of freezing temperatures keep you from enjoying the great outdoors. Get out there and see the great creation surrounding you!

Benefits of Rainwater Collection

To say that water is a precious natural resource in this world is an understatement. There have been many stories told about how people have survived on water alone in the most dire circumstances. Water sustains life, not just human life but all life on earth. However, there is a growing worldwide concern on the limited supply of water that we use.

Collecting rain water to live on.

People living in Australia, considered as one of the ‘driest continents in the world’,  have learned to harvest rainwater to supply their household needs using it for just about everything from drinking, to cooking, to bathing, doing laundry, irrigating the fields and whatever else that might normally be done with water.rain water

Rainwater harvesting is the accumulation, collection and distribution of rainwater for use in the household and, in some cases, in the work place. If done properly rainwater makes for a safe and sustainable supply of water, not to mention it being very economical as it can effectively eliminate paying monthly water bills. It also makes you self-reliant when it comes to water supply because people who harvest rainwater are not dependent on the water companies especially during the times when it has to be rationed due to lack of supply common during the summer. Having your own rainwater harvesting system would ensure you a steady supply of water all year round.

Not only is rainwater free, but with its natural quality most also believe it is safer than those supplied by some water companies which often collect water from dams which is chemically treated to make it potable. With rainwater being chemical-free, it makes for a healthier option.

rainwater has many useful benefits

Aside from its economic benefits, investing in rainwater harvesting can also be socially and environmentally beneficial. As noted earlier, having your own rainwater harvesting system makes you self-reliant by allowing you to supply your own water needs, meaning you would become one less person who will be dependent on the government and water companies for water supply. There would then be no need to build more dams and to install more pipes, the cost of which will eventually find its way to your taxes. Rainwater harvesting also lessens the accumulation of water in creeks and other water habitats especially during a storm, which is one of the many factors that contribute to damaging these natural water habitats.

Essential to rainwater harvesting then is the installation of a good system wherein the rainwater is accumulated on the roof and channeled towards a tank for storage. There are many tanks to choose from but a good one should be able to save you money, easy to install, effectively store water without making your home look incongruous and cost less in maintenance.

Hunting Big Game with the AR – Is It the Right Choice?

The AR is a proven hunting option. While many felt it was underpowered and out of place for years, it has become one of the most popular hunting options because of its versatility and multi-use capabilities.

With the availability of a wide selection of upper receivers, you can custom tailor the AR platform to hunting large game with little more than a headspace gauge and a conversion kit. 

unting Big Game with the AR - Is It the Right Choice?

The question remains however – for a rifle that at times was not seen as a perfect fit for hunting, is the AR the right choice for going after very large game? Sure, it’s one thing to take deer from 100lbs to 350 lbs., but is the AR the optimal choice for hunting anything bigger?

Maybe it’s better stated: is it the right choice for you, and what are the parameters of a large game-capable AR build? This article will discuss those parameters and aims to help you decide if it makes sense. 

Did you bring enough gun?

An AR is a gun that isn’t based on a monolithic platform – it’s held together basically by two pins and there is inevitably some play between the two receiver groups.

It’s not necessarily designed for accuracy or long-range precision – even if it doesn’t suffer any major shortcomings with regards to accuracy or precision as a result of not being purpose-built for it. There are also a wide variety of riflescopes designed specifically for hunting with built in holdovers and ranging for the perfect first shot.

Rifle Scopes

With that in mind – it’s not a platform made to handle extremely large cartridges that are capable of taking the largest game animals in the world. But it is also no slouch.

With the “inert” lower receiver setup and a design that focuses recoil forces and pressure into suitable areas of the firearm, you can basically put any cartridge on top of that lower receiver, if you can figure out how to make it fire.

Some time back you could find bolt action upper receivers (mostly received as a novelty) with huge cartridges at the center of the build. 

Even today, you can find very capable rounds like the .300 Winchester Magnum mated to the AR lower. A .300 Winchester Magnum is capable of reliably taking 95%+ of all game types (including dangerous game), in North America under certain conditions.

This article isn’t about a single one-off build, though, it’s more about what the AR can do in a mainstream capacity when it comes to large game targets in North America. Is it enough gun? 

The AR has come a long way in the last 15 years – you can pretty much mount whatever you want on top of a lower receiver

The AR is no longer tied exclusively to the .223 Remington and 5.56×45 (which by the way ARE NOT the same cartridge – you should only fire the .223 out of a.223 or a 5.56 marked barrel or a barrel capable of firing the .223; you SHOULD NOT fire a 5.56 cartridge out of a .223 marked barrel). In this market, you can get more than a dozen, now mainstream loads in an upper receiver build. 

In the case of the premise of this article – below are some compelling options for large game that still fall into the mainstream category and seem reasonable for game animals up to 750 lbs. (and even beyond under certain conditions).

While that size may seem large, it is not a comprehensive indicator that any large game can be taken with the AR platform. One could argue that any cartridge could kill any animal with the right shot placement – but that’s why we don’t judge the dispatching capabilities of a cartridge, or a firearm based on perfect conditions and placement – no one is going to get a perfect shot very often.

Is the cartridge able to comprehensively and cleanly dispatch an animal you intend to target with it? No matter how fast or how close you are to the target, a 55 grain bullet (like used in some mainstream loads for the .223) is not a reasonable bullet to use while hunting a 1,000 lbs. animal. 

6.5 Grendel

A very compelling option for the hunter that wants to shoot big game up to 600 lbs and up to 600 yards. Which seems like a very robust sweet spot. Sub MOA accuracy to 550+ yards and capable of putting significant payload on target at distance with the projectiles ranging from 90 grains to 139 grains, generally.

The option to have such an accurate load shooting out of a 16” or 18” or 20” barrel makes it a nice option to have. 

It shouldn’t be confused with the 6.5 Creedmoor. It’s built for intermediate ranges and slightly beyond, where the Creedmoor is really built for longer ranges. The cartridge is shorter than the Creedmoor.

You can get more out of a shorter barrel when you are comparing apples to apples between the cartridges in the case of the 6.5 Grendel. It’s a lot of bang for your buck if you don’t need 850+ yard capabilities.

accuracy to 550+ yards

.224 Valkyrie

A wind-cutting and highly performant round that offers exceptional retained velocity on target – albeit with a smaller grain weight than some of the options here. Offerings include a 60 grain, 75 grain and 90 grain variant.

The higher velocity on point of impact and the extreme value of the projectile/round comparatively to the 5.56/.223 means that better terminal ballistics will provide better results in the field on bigger game. You could expect to take animals at up to 650 yards; up to about 400 lbs., reasonably. 

A 5.56x45mm or a .223 Remington could be expected to perform on targets to 350 lbs. out to 350 yards or so, reasonably. Again, these are not the far reaches of the extreme parameters, but rather the realistic field performance under a variety of different conditions, if the shooter is experienced and understands the way the round and the firearm behave together. 

6.8SPC

The 6.8SPC, like the 6.5 Grendel was made for military purposes and made to shine in a terminal channel that focuses on intermediate energy at intermediate ranges. It compares favorably to the .308 in that regard, under certain conditions. This, with a smaller overall length and a small caliber bullet. 

Nevertheless, you can still get fantastic ballistic results with grain weights from 80 grains to 120 grains. It is a fantastic round for ranges up to 450 yards and for targets up to 600 lbs. These are sweet spot numbers, not extreme capabilities. 

.300 BLK

A versatile round for deer sized game, the round offers some incredible suppression capabilities in a subsonic load. However, this load is only really suitable out to about 175 yards before you have to factor in some heavy drop considerations. 

Interestingly, though, the full powered supersonic round offers much more capability, pushing it out to 75%+ of the operating terminal range of the .308 Winchester (approximately).

This makes it capable of dispatching 500lb+ game at 450yards or thereabouts. 

.300 HAM’r

Another tack driver, the .300 HAM’r is a viable cartridge for intermediate game and the lower end of the larger game spectrum. It has a very broad range from coyotes, to hogs, to deer, to elk, goats and rams.

It’s probably at the extreme end of performance when stalking something bigger than a medium sized Elk. The round is certainly capable of 1 MOA accuracy to 650 yards and probably capable of taking 550+ lb. game targets, consistently. 

More loads should be coming to the market soon enough and with the favorable comparisons to the 7.62×39 and the .300BLK in supersonic configuration, this is a viable round for moderate and large game targets. 

.350 Legend

The only real drawback to the .350 Legend is the range, comparative to other options on this list. As a standalone option, the range isn’t a factor – as the cartridge was developed to achieve different tasks than the cartridges we have listed above.

The .350 Legend is an interesting option more in the vein of a .30-30, where you can squeeze excellent ballistics out of a shorter cartridge, with a hefty projectile that makes it very performant in a brush-heavy environment. 

You can expect to get excellent capabilities on target out to 225-250 yards and to take game targets of more than 700 lbs. Under normal considerations and can expect great dense brush environment performance. 

The stubbies (.458 SOCOM, .450 Bushmaster & .50 Beowulf)

Along the same lines as the .45-70 GOVT, but out of a 16” barrel, and channeling some of the concepts of the .350 Legend. 

These are doorbusters in the Law Enforcement communities, perfect for shooting through cover. In that same way, they are performant in heavy brush areas as well. 

If you could stalk the largest animals in North America to 125 yards or thereabouts, you should be confident in these rounds being able to dispatch the largest dangerous game on the continent. A 1000 lbs target is reasonable at that range.

Probably the sweet spot for the cartridges is about 50-125 yards and 800-1k lb. targets. 

The Mainstream 308 pattern AR platform options

Again, there are many calibers you can “bolt onto” an AR, especially when you add the extra robust nature of the larger .308 platform variant, but the most mainstream options offer compelling choices for those who want to take a larger range of big game with more confidence and better on-target ballistics – given certain parameters.

Some of the smaller cartridges above compete favorably with the two options listed below, but they do not have the same powder behind the shot to begin with, which can add a lot of value with certain ranges, game types and conditions. 

6.5 Creedmoor

The fact that the 6.5 Creedmoor requires the larger AR308/AR10 platform doesn’t take much away from the extreme capabilities of the cartridge. 

The 6.5 Creedmoor is purpose-built to drive tacks. Up to and including ranges of 1,000 yards. That’s extreme range for a cartridge that utilizes the two part core build of the AR platform. It is also utilizing a significant amount of powder behind a decently sized projectile (e.g. 120 grains, and 143 grains). 

Did you bring enough?

The combination of this extreme precision and the intermediate projectile heft means the 6.5 Creedmoor is capable of dispatching larger game easily. Certainly, a game target up to 750 lbs under realistic conditions is a potential target that could be reasoned. Because of the amount of retained velocity and ultimately, the retained energy as a result, at point of impact, this is a significant option for further targets. 

Would it be a no-brainer on 1k lbs. moose or a grizzly? Not necessarily, but for a wide range of big game, including ram and goats (notoriously tough targets) on distant rocky hillsides, the 6.5 Creedmoor is a realistic long-range option. 

.308 Winchester

The .308 is by no means obsolete – that is a proven fact. But there is a bit of pressure on the round when compared to some of the innovative cartridges developed over the past decade that compete very favorably in certain conditions or for certain tasks.

The availability of cartridges and specific variability of the hunting loads for the .308 Winchester makes it a cartridge that won’t be obsolete for a very long time. 

You can find loads that shoot a 55 grain projectile and some that fire a projectile of more than 200 grains. Given the powder capacity of the case and the wide availability of components, this is still a legitimate hunting round even if it acts more like a “Jack of all trades” rather than a specialty cartridge relative to market competitors. 

What are your state and local jurisdiction regulations regarding minimum caliber and platform for hunting of game?

You must understand your local and state regulations with regards to minimum calibers and “appropriate” calibers or cartridges for the game targets you seek.

Some of these may not be suitable for game in your jurisdiction based on the letter of the law. There is no excuse not to know these regulations – please protect yourself by understanding the specifics in your area.

Are you all squared away on the regulatory aspects?

  • What are the kill zones on the animal?
  • What is the effective range of the load you are bringing?
  • What does the terrain look like and will it impact your shots?
  • Do you need glass on your gun?
  • Are there some esoteric cartridge or bullet limitations you need to be aware of?
  • Are you familiar with the traffic and locations of what is behind your point of aim?

Having said all that – the AR is a fantastic moderate and big game gun, depending on the specific hunt and the specific buildout

In all fairness, the AR platform is most well suited to small and intermediate game targets, with the capability of being built as a longer range, larger game type of rifle. Parts, components and sets including full rifles and upper receiver conversions can make the AR into a special kind of rifle for hunting game of all types. 

It’s about the most perfect option if you desire a multi-use firearm, or need to be able to move up and down the game target spectrum throughout the seasons without having to outfit several different firearms.  

Last minute considerations

  • Knowing the distance can be helpful – but knowing the drops in elevation and the terrain can be even more helpful as in certain calibers, the AR may not be suitable for certain shots or game at certain distances, or when wind directions are changing or drifts are coming from multiple places
  • The .223/5.56 is not super effective in heavy brush or woodlands where a shot needs to be taken through dense foliage
  • The maximum range for a large animal on the smaller caliber builds should be determined before your hunt, and you should decline a shot that isn’t likely to be a lethal one. This could mean limiting a shot to 150 yards in some cases for a .223, a cartridge that normally could be well suited far beyond that and even past double that distance. This may be due to wind conditions, brush conditions, drop of bullet or makeup of the load. Generally, this is an effective cartridge in mainstream hunting loads to 225-250 yards, but most shots would be reconsidered past 250 yards unless conditions dictate an obvious terminal shot.
  • Velocity can be a massive equalizer. If you have a short range shot on a bigger animal, and can get a legitimate breadbasket or other terminal shot, the elevated velocity can have a dramatic positive impact on the terminal ballistics in a real-world way.
  • Don’t go cheap on ammunition on a hunt for big game with small caliber rifles – buy premium ammunition matched closely to your target. 
  • Don’t do unrealistic things like hunt moose with a .223 at 350 yards just because the regulations don’t specifically tell you that you cannot. That’s not the type of thing that makes sense. It is poor sportsman behavior, and is detrimental to the view of AR hunting, and especially to the wildlife conservation and protection concepts. 
  • Yes, somewhere there is a story of just about every animal being killed with a .22LR regardless of size or aggressiveness, but that doesn’t mean it makes sense to do so when you don’t have to. Do your best to exercise exceptional judgment during a hunt.
  • Consider the build of the firearm you are bringing. If you are shooting a 7.5” barrel and trying to harvest a large buck at 225 yards, it’s not a good fit for the situation. 

The idea that the AR was once seen as a slightly anemic rifle in the hunting world, and largely relegated to the target range in many hunter’s minds, seems absurd at this point. But with the proliferation of the parts and components and upper receiver conversion kits and a healthy dose of AR-centric ballistic innovation (thanks to the market popularity of this modular powerhouse), this is the rifle of choice for many hunters now. 

If you pay close enough attention to how you outfit your AR rifle, you can build it to do just about anything in the field against any target, up to and including some dangerous big game animals in North America – certainly it is more than capable of use on 90%+ of the game spectrum in North America. 

Thermal Scopes or Night Vision for Hog Hunting with an AR-15

The AR-15; a limitless weapon designed to be the ultimate survival tool. This weapon has endless ways you can configure it so that it best fits you and your style of competition or hunting. Today we will be looking at the best way to set it up for hog hunting during the nighttime.

Which would you use, Thermal Scopes or Night Vision for Hog Hunting?

Hogs are wild animals, and as such, they are exceptionally good at camouflage. This is especially true during the night. Having a quality thermal scope or night vision apparatus to use when hunting. Scopes, especially thermal ones, are some of the most popular things marketed towards hunters.

With so many options, it can be difficult to decide where to start. What should you look for in a scope when preparing to hog hunting?

Do you need accessories?

If you use more modern thermal scopes that are on the market, you may need to have an addition accessory, such as a colored light, attached to your weapon. The color of the light you add to your weapon can have a tremendous effect on how the hogs react to you.

Red and green lights typically do not create a reaction in hogs and are the best ones to use when you are hunting in predictable places such as at the watering hole or around feeders. If you want to avoid having to mount a light on your AR-15, you can put automatic or remote-controlled lights on the hog feeders or around where you know you will be frequenting during your hunt.

If you do choose to mount a light to your weapon, you will want to be sure you have a handguard to allow for mounting accessories. There are many options for handguards on the market.

What Is the Price of Entry?

Price is not always indicative of what you will receive in a product. With thermal optics, however, you get what you pay for. Quality thermal optics can assist you in hunting from upwards of 400 yards or more away.

Quality thermal optics

This is a fantastic tool to have while hunting at night, as you will be able to sneak up on hogs more easily and you can be sure you are a safe distance away in the case of a stampede or something similar. A quality thermal scope can also help you hunt the hogs when they begin to run.

A downside to using thermal scopes at a distance is that they can play tricks on your eyes. From far away, a pile of large rocks can look eerily like a heard of hogs.

There are ways to ensure you are looking at the right thing and are not trying to hunt something that is not there, but it is an issue you need to be aware of in your hunting endeavors.

What Are the Types of Night Vision?

The best way to figure out what you prefer is to try out many different tools before purchasing your own or deciding on what you want to use the most. Many prefer to use traditional night vision, the kind that you automatically think of when you hear the words “night vision.”

It is a great military technology that has been made available to civilians and using it can help you see why it is so widely used. Traditional night vision uses infrared technology and a variety of combinations of lasers and illuminators. These can become just as pricey as thermal optics with light accessories, but you have the advantages of knowing the traditional night vision works (thank you to our military!), and you can purchase them from several manufacturers for a price in the $3,000 range.

 the advantages of knowing the traditional night vision works

The best part of traditional night vision is that you can mount these goggles to your AR-15 or to a helmet. Having them on a helmet gives you the added benefit of being able to travel around whilst looking for hogs.

How Heavy Is the Set Up?

As with any accessory you put on your weapon, you will want to be keeping in mind how heavy the attachment is. If you are planning to stay in one place while hunting, weight may not matter as much as it would if you are going to be moving around in search of your prey.

Keep this in mind as you modify your AR-15 to meet any standards you have for your new hog hunting hobby.

If you are looking to get involved in hog hunting and are worried about needing to purchase extras for your AR-15 to do its magic, do not fear. The same things that make the AR-15 a great home defense or three-gun competition rifle make it a great hog hunting gun, as well.

The qualities that make this weapon an excellent choice for a myriad of uses include that it is light, accurate, and easy to move from target to target. If you are looking to begin hog hunting or have noticed a few hog “friends” in your back yard that need some taming, look no further than your gun closet. All you need is a new optic to get you started.

In the world of optics, there are many options to choose from. It can quickly become overwhelming trying to figure out what works best for you. Testing out the night vision optics in store or having a friend who will let you test out theirs is the best way to get your foot in the door before making the commitment and purchasing one.

Whether you choose to go with a newer scope or the more traditional night vision, you will want to be sure to choose a night vision that works well for you. It will help you find your prey, capture them, and bring home the bacon, pork tenderloin, and other things you may enjoy from your hog hunt.

If it looks overwhelming at first, do not worry too much. Keeping in mind your price range, the type of night vision you prefer, and the weight of the accessory will help get you farther than you expect in choosing your scope.

Survival Supply Caches: A Brief Introduction

During emergencies and disasters, having the ability to leave your home while still having easy access to the most important supplies is necessary. This makes it essential to have a good survival supply cache complete with all the supplies that you need in any emergency situation. With a survival cache around, you will have easy access to supplies that you can’t carry or store inside a bug-out bag.

pvc burial cache vault

Why Do You Need a Survival Supply Cache?

A survival supply cache can be defined as a well-hidden stash or stockpile of survival items or supplies. It contains a collection of additional supplies that you want to reserve or hide only to access them at the exact moment that you need them. There are several reasons why you need to use survival caches.

One reason is that it ensures that all your survival supplies will not just be in a single location. It allows you to spread the supplies in unique and concealed spots. With this, you can lower your risk of losing all your supplies in case one site is compromised because of a disaster or emergency.

Another reason why a survival supply cache is necessary is that it helps support a bug out. Putting it in a strategic location can offer additional supplies together with your bug-out route. This is beneficial as it makes your survival backpack weigh less while still giving you the chance to restock critical bug-out supplies and gears, including ammo, water, and foods.

Having the cache around will also prevent you from losing the entirety of your survival stash in case someone reaches that spot when you are not around. You just have to make sure that you create your survival supply cache considering all important factors. One factor to consider in creating the cache is the specific container that you will use.

Your goal is to find a container that is strong enough that it can keep all the supplies inside fully protected from the harshest elements. It is also necessary to think about the ideal places or spots to hide the cache and the best methods to bury and hide it. Also, make sure to create a cache that adapts well to your specific geographical location. Note that various environments also need a different set of practices for creating the cache.

 

Of course, you also need to determine the key supplies that you should add to the cache. Decide on the specific number of items that you should store in the cache, too.

Survival Cache Supplies

So what should you put inside your survival cache? Here are just some of the most vital supplies:

  • Medical Supplies – There is no need to build a cache filled with all the medical supplies that you can think of. You just have to cover the essentials, like the ones needed to provide first aid. Among the medical supplies you can include in the cache are sterilizers, bandages, as well as basic over-the-counter medicines that can raise your chance of surviving a disaster.

Note that during disasters, there is a high risk of dealing with a short supply of medicines. This might cause even those basic infections to become deadly, so it is best to prepare for it. Aside from having medical supplies, it also helps to have a dental emergency kit inside the cache.

  • Fire Starter – You need a fire starter in case you have to spend several days away from your home. It is even considered as the ultimate survival tool. With that in mind, do not forget to fill your survival cache with lighters, strikers, and waterproof matches.
  • Artificial Light – This is necessary during night and low-light survival situations. Store a quality flashlight and a set of batteries inside your cache. It also helps to have some candles inside. Other sources of artificial lights that can help you during survival situations are gas lanterns and fuel.
  • Ammo and Guns – Note that situations requiring you to open up your cache are usually those that require you to prioritize your own defense or protection. This is why you should also consider having ammo and guns inside your chosen container. The good thing about tucking ammo and guns inside the cache is that it can prevent you from worrying about firearm confiscation.
  • Food – Of course, you also need a good supply of food during survival situations so it helps to have some of them stored in your cache. Storing some food in the cache can help ensure that you will still have an adequate supply of it in case your primary food supply becomes inaccessible or gets stolen. Make sure that the supply is enough until you have a new source of food secured.
  • Water – There should also be a water filter bottle, which is a space-friendly supply in case you live close to a source of water, like a lake or stream. It also helps to pack some bottled water.
  • Utility Items – Your survival supply cache should also contain some utility items. Some examples of these items are sharp knives, multi-tool, duct tape, 550 cords, and steel pot designed to cook food. The knives and cords are ideal items to put in the bin or box’s odd corners.

The cooking pot is also a wise addition to your cache because it can provide space where you can put some gears. The multi-tool is a big help in overcoming the most challenging and realistic scenarios that might happen during a disaster or emergency.

Where to Hide your Survival Supply Cache?

Note that your survival supply cache should be created and hidden in a way that you can use and access it in case you can’t reach your bug-out bag or when it is stolen. One of the best places to hide it is along the road where you can reach your bug-out location. It should be a secluded place to avoid drawing attention when you are trying to get it.

You may also put the cache inside your home. Make sure that it is hidden from view. This is a big help in case your home gets looted, allowing you to have ready supplies to hunker down. Also, take note that you can just choose to bury the cache inside a hole. You may then camouflage it.

Another way to keep the cache concealed is to spray paint its container in a way that it blends with the trees or foliage. You can then conceal it behind vines, inside a hollowed tree, or any other place that only you can see and access.

Conclusion

Your survival supply cache serves as a supplement to your survival or bug-out bag. It is meant to give you almost all the supplies you need during a survival situation when you can’t access the primary source of your essentials. With the cache around, you have a higher chance of surviving any emergency.