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.

What Ammunition to Buy Before A Shortage

What Ammunition to Buy Before A Shortage?

We are nearing the end of the year 2021 and the pandemic is still very much happening. While this is not the first time that we have seen a shortage of goods and services, the current situation has its way of affecting literally everything. In March of last year, when the pandemic was declared, so many people were sent home and had to decide how they would craft their day around their new work-from-home schedule.

This led to many people participating in their favorite hobbies on a more regular schedule. Firearms were no different. The mix of producing less ammunition, consumers demanding more, and other things such as protests led to a severe shortage of ammunition. However, there are some good ones to stock up on.       

To Stock Up Or Not

Many people feel the need to stock up on ammunition during this time. We are seeing the same thing that happened with toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic occurring now with ammo.

The fact of the matter is, although everything has shot up in price due to supply and demand, some ammunition is more in demand than others. In addition, this shortage is proving to be different that the most recent one and shortages before. We are seeing different types of ammo selling out.

Ultimately, it seems that the ones that are the most powerful and easier to shoot will be the most expensive and the most in demand of them all. Additionally, even though many have said that the ammunition shortage has reached its peak, that does not mean that you will start to see everything come back super-fast.

These heavily demanded ammunitions will take the longest time of any to bounce back. Their prices will still remain relatively high for quite some time.

Ammo Supply Can’t Keep Up With Demand

Ammunition manufacturers are producing inordinate amounts of ammo, but it has still proven difficult for their supply to keep up with consumer demand. The pandemic halting the production of ammunition coupled with second-hand sellers and consumer stockpiling really makes it hard for the producers to keep up.

As food and supplies flew off the shelves early in 2020, people started to get very defensive. They flocked to buy guns and ammunition, which led to an unprecedented amount of demand. Once there was hardly any ammunition left on the shelves, this became the new stressor for many.

With this demand not being predicted, sellers could not proactively limit the number of boxes people were going to buy, that came later when things were too far gone.

This article aims to examine what caliber of ammunition you should have bought before the ammo shortage of 2021 and where things are standing as of right now in terms of cost and production.

.22 Long Rifle Ammunition, A Good Bet

what caliber of ammunition you should have bought before the ammo shortage of 2021

Upon arriving at your local supplier, you may see that many of your favorites are sold out for months at a time, and your only hope will be pre-ordering them online or happening to get lucky by arriving soon after a new shipment has come in.

However, this is not the case for the .22 long rifle ammo. Some are a bit confused by this, simply because this is one of the types of ammunition that was very, very hard to come by in the last shortage. This could be because everyone stocked up on it from the last time, in fear of this possibly happening again. Although it can be a bit bulky and is not known for being one of the most powerful types of ammunition, it will still serve its purpose, especially if you are solely shooting for enjoyment purposes.

As time has gone on, it has become a bit scarcer than it was in the beginning of the shortage, but it is still doing better than other types of ammunition.

5.56, Not the Best Idea Right Now

If you love shooting with 5.56 ammunition, I am sure that you were already very aware of this. I also bet that, if you really love shooting, this pandemic and shortage has definitely hit you hard.

This ammunition is one of the most highly demanded in the country, and we are still seeing the prices sitting very high. At one point, a box was forty dollars more than the price that it originally sat at. If you are someone who is very loyal to this ammo, I am sure that you may have had to take a break from shooting for a while during this time.

Even as demand goes back down and returns to semi-normal levels, producers are still going to have a hard time keeping up.

9mm, Also Not the Best Idea

These rounds were one of the most affected by the pandemic, and this was seen across the nation. Originally, the price of this ammunition was a little over ten dollars a box. However, during the height of the pandemic, it stayed at over forty dollars per box. During the top of its pricing curve, we even saw it rise to about sixty dollars per box.

This is much more expensive than others, existing in the priciest category. For reference, the first type of ammunition we mentioned did not see its price skyrocket that much farther than twenty dollars.

Ammo to stock up on

While the demand for this caliber has settled a little bit, it is still definitely one of the most difficult to get, and that is if you want to dish out a pretty penny. However, luckily this type of ammunition is not projected to be one of the calibers that suffers the worst from the inequitable supply and demand issue.

This is good since people have already begun to flock to the stores to stock up on this, since it has been out for such a long time. In the past couple of months, we have seen the prices drop a bit from what they were during the peak of their pricing.

Conclusion

We hope to see this for others. I would suggest either buying now or watching the prices to see if they drop a bit further before the winter season. These are definitely still expensive, but not the worst kind to buy.

 

How Long Does Fishing Line Last?

If you are a new fisherman, a question may come to your mind: how long does fishing line last? If you ask this question to a seasoned angler, he too will be unable to give a clear answer to this question. It is because there is no set of rules or criteria that help someone to figure out the lifespan of a fishing line. The longevity of a fishing line depends on several factors like the type of fishing line one is using, the materials from which the line is manufactured, and the proper maintenance of the line. Let’s discuss these factors in detail.

How Long Does Fishing Line Last? 

Fishing carp reel close-up on the background of water and fishing rods in a bright Sunny day. Background.

Factors That Determine the Longevity of a Fishing Line

The Type of Fishing Line 

The type of fishing line you are using will give you a good idea regarding the durability of the fishing line. There are different types of fishing lines out there. These include braid, monofilament, and fluorocarbon.

Braid

Among all types of fishing lines out there, braid fishing lines come with the highest durability. If something did not happen unexpectedly, a braid fishing line could last up to a decade.  Happening something unexpectedly means since fishing itself is quite unpredictable, so is happening of incidents like tangling of fishing line with a submerged object that may require you severing the line. So no matter whether you are using a tough fishing line like a braid, a sudden incident can drastically reduce the lifespan of a fishing line.

One common mistake of many people regarding braid is when they see their braid is losing color, they think that the line is worn out and needs to be replaced. But, it’s a wrong idea because a particular color does not stick well to a braid that quickens the fading of it. So discoloring the braid does not tell anything about the endurance of the line.

Braid receives harsh treatment from rods guides if they are sharp and chipped. They eat away your braid unnoticed. The bale of your reel may also limit the lifespan of your braid. If the bale has sharp chipped edges, your braid may be snapped anytime. One effective technique you can apply to increase the lifespan of your braid is flipping the line on the fishing reel. If a flipping task is difficult for you, go to a tackle shop. It will do the task for you. Or you can do it yourself. Transfer the line to a spare reel or object. Then transfer the line to another spare reel or object. When you spool the line back to the reel again, the line will be ready to use.

Monofilament

This is the most popular type of fishing line. Fishermen simply call this fishing line mono. The monofilament line is like a long continuous cord that is made of nylon or synthetic fiber. Since monofilament is one single strand. The line comes with a nice stretchable property when subject to pull. How much stretch the monofilament can withstand is indicated by a parameter which is called test. The text refers to the amount of poundage that the line can sustain before the breakage.

Though monofilament is the most popular type of fishing line among other types of lines, it takes the least amount of time to turn into a bad line. It does not resist the wear and tear resulting from exposure to elements and UV rays for a long time. One important tip for fishermen who use monofilament is to change the line once in a year to ensure getting trouble-free fishing experience. The durability of a monofilament line also depends on the proper use of the line and the extent of abuse you exert on it.

Fluorocarbon

This line is 3 to 4 times stronger than monofilament. In other words, it’s strength is similar to monofilament. So, you can apply the similar care and maintenance procedure as you do for monofilament. The longevity of a fluorocarbon line is not a big issue since the line is mostly used as a leader which often undergoes frequent changes. Fluorocarbon has a structural similarity with monofilament. Like monofilament, it’s one continuous strand of the line but since the line is made of polyvinylidene fluoride, it is much stronger than monofilament.

Though fluorocarbon is much stiffer than that of monofilament, one limitation of this line is it does not wrap well around a reel. But this is a minor limitation of this fishing line while fluorocarbon is a number one choice of many fishermen due to the fact that the line supports all fishing conditions-whether it is saltwater fishing or freshwater. Its Near invisibility coupled with the rigid stiffness of the line makes it a highly efficient line to catch different types of fish species like walleye and bass. If you want to use a fluorocarbon line, choose your fluorocarbon line after reading reviews of products of several brands.

Another plus point of Fluorocarbon is that UV rays can’t damage the line. So this line does not lose its shape over time allowing anglers to catch fish for a long time. Unlike monofilament, fluorocarbon lines are a bit heavier but they are easy to spool, and using them is hassle-free.

When to Replace Fishing Lines

It depends on your fishing habits. Based on the type of fishing line you are using, follow below replacement recommendations

Braid
  • Don’t use braid if it has been sitting idle for 10 years
  • If you only enjoy weekend fishing, replacing it 3 to 4 years is fine
  • For moderate fishing- replace the line twice a year
  • If you involve in heavy fishing, the line needs to replace every year
Monofilament
  • Don’t spool monofilament if it is not in use for 2 to 3 years
  • For weekend fishing, replace it once a year
  • For moderate fishing, replace it 2 or 3 times each year
  • For a heavy fishing change, it more frequently likes 3 or 4 times in every year
Fluorocarbon
  • Discard the line if it has not been used for the last 7 years
  • For weekend fishing, it is fine to replace in 2 or 3 years
  • For moderate fishing, the frequency of replacement need to exceed a couple of times in each year
  • For a heavy fishing change, it quite often likes 2 or 3 times each year.
 

What You Should Have in Your Bunker

What You Should Have in Your Bunker

With things heating up at home and abroad the last few years, many have turned to preparing for the worst possible scenario. Creating bunkers where there is enough food, water, and ammunition to go around can be challenging because there are so many scenarios for you to think about and prepare for.

There are, however, a few staple items you can keep in the bunker to have you and your family prepared to survive most anything. Some items are things you may already have lying around your house, while others may be what you need to purchase.

Either way, having multiples of these items will give you and your family peace of mind in case of the worst. Not only will these keep you safe from wild people, but also from wild animals. Weapons will also help you provide for your family in the case that you run out of supplies.

Guns/Ammo

You may not want to think about it, but the number one thing you will need to do for you and your family in the event of disaster is to protect yourself. Many things can be used as weapons, but the most reliable will be that of a gun. If you keep n AR15, you will want to be sure to have the proper lower receiver and other accessories with it. Also, of course, you will want to have a stockpile of ammunition for your chosen weapon.

The amount of ammunition you want to have in stock is entirely up to you. Whatever makes you feel safe and secure is what you need to plan for! However, one good prepping tip, is to simply just by 1 box of ammo every time you go to the store, so you can slowly build up a stockpile without spending all of your money at once. This tip can be applied to all other prepping items like canned food and other consumable items.

Nonperishable Foods

Food is an important thing to keep yourself and your family healthy and functioning properly! Nonperishable items can be bought a little at a time, so you do not have to go break the bank in one fail swoop. Just add a couple of extra cans to your buggy each trip and you will have a stockpile in your bunker in no time! Keeping an eye out for coupons in your local newspaper or on a phone app for your favorite store will help you to save money, too.

Nonperishable food items can last for a long time. Just keep in mind what you may need to prepare those food items, like a can opener or hot plates! A way to be sure you have everything you need is to make a list of what food items you have and what you need around to prepare them to eat.

Water

The human body cannot survive for long without water. Depending on what disaster strikes, you may not have natural access to potable water near your home and your water pump may no longer work.

You can purchase filtered water in bulk either in water bottles or gallon jugs from stores near you such as Walmart or your regular grocery store. Again, coupons can come in handy, and you can buy these items in bulk to help save money.

Water lasts virtually forever if stored properly, so you do not have to worry about expiration dates. You could have a well or spring near your bunker to help you prepare for disaster. However, if the disaster is one that wipes out the water supply or poisons it with some chemicals, you will want to have a backup option.

Versatile Clothing

The thing about disasters is that you never know when they will strike. It could be any time of year or season! Therefore, it is necessary to have clothes that are versatile and can be used for each season stored in your bunker.

The best thing would be to have a set of clothes that you can dress in for warm weather or cold. Layers are always the best option. You can get these in a thrift store or at a cheaper clothing store. This will help you save money and stock up on clothing for the entire family without putting yourself in a difficult financial situation.

When prepping for the worst, it can be tempting to spend as much money as possible to stock up on anything and everything. The secret is that you do not have to be a big spender! Thrift where you can and use what you have on hand.

First Aid Kit

first aid kit

Conclusion

There is a myriad of things that you could have in your bunker to prepare you for Armageddon. It is easy to get carried away or to allow yourself to feel overwhelmed with all the things you need in case of an emergency.

This list will help you to stay on track and gather the things you need the most. You can add to your supply as you go along, but you do not have to make yourself feel overwhelmed. Begin with these things and you will have yourself a well-stocked bunker in no time.

 

As a Prepper, What is the Best Attire to Have on Hand?

Let us imagine that you are a prepper. You have your first aid items, nonperishable foods, extra rifles, ammunition, and even a replacement upper receiver. One of the most important things to have saved as a prepper are clothes! Having the right type of clothes can make or break your potential for survival in the natural elements. What items do you need most? Look no further!

Hats

prepper hats

You always need to have a hat (or two) on hand. It is suggested that you have two, as you can have one to keep the sun off your face in the summer and one to help trap the heat in your body in the winter. In a very cold pinch, you could use both! These hats do not need to be any specific brand, they only have to work! In fact, some places give out baseball caps for free. They use this as a type of advertisement—it is a win-win for both of you. For the hats that will keep the heat in, you may learn how to make those or have someone you know make them for you. Crocheted or knitted wool hats are the best at trapping heat. If you pick up this skill, it would also prepare you for the possibility of needing to create your own clothes in the event of Armageddon.

Jeans/Overalls

At worst, you will be needing to create a homestead for yourself and rely on your own ability to gather food, cultivate a garden, build a shelter, and hunt. This may require you to navigate rough terrain and areas where there are plants such as poison ivy or poison oak. There could also be bugs, such as mosquitos, carrying disease. Having long jean pants and/or overalls at hand will help protect you from each of these elements and more. Excellent quality jeans or overalls, such as those made by Levi’s or Carhartt, will stand up to a lot of stress. Stock up on these and keep them in your bunker. You can put them in an airtight bag if you are worried about them getting moldy or covered in moths over an extended period.

survival shoes


Shoes

It would behoove you to have two or three types of shoes on hand in the event of a disaster. You want to be sure that each pair are the correct size for you. This could be difficult if you have children who are growing, but you could thrift shoes from your local rescue ministry store or the like. For the children, a pair of good tennis shoes should be enough to get them through. For you, your spouse, or other adults, there are a couple of distinct types of shoes that would help you out. A good pair of tennis shoes for daily wear. A good pair of Golashes or duck boots for when it is wet, rainy, or snowy. Also, a pair of hiking boots would serve you well if you are in an area where you may go hunting and gathering. Tennis shoes will do okay in a pinch, but hiking shoes are much better suited for the varying terrain you may encounter. You can purchase these items in thrift stores as well and save yourself some money. Or, as you buy yourself new pairs of shoes through the years, you can put your older ones in storage in the case of an emergency.

outdoor jackets


Jackets/Coats

There is a saying that there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. If you keep the correct type of jackets and coats on hand, this will ring true for you in present day and during a period of Armageddon. Having a wind breaker and a rain jacket rolled into one will help lessen the amount of coats and jackets you need in your bunker. Having multiples is always a good thing in case something happens to the first jacket or coat, but you can get away with a heavy coat and a jacket/windbreaker. These will keep you warm on top of the extra layers of normal clothes you already have packed.

Emergency Blankets and Rain Ponchos

You never know when the temperature is going to drop or you are going to have to stay in a shelter that is cool and drafty. You also never know when it is going to start raining. Having a two in one poncho and blanket will be a life saver—literally. Not only will it keep you dry and from getting colder, it will also trap your body heat inside the poncho to assist in keeping your whole body warm. Choosing a brand that has been thoroughly tested will be key. Any brand can say that their poncho blanket traps the most heat in and keeps the most rain out. But those that have tested their theories with thermal image capture and used NASA grade Mylar will be the best on the market. One such product is made by Prepared4x and can be purchased on Amazon for only $20. This pack will have 4 poncho blankets! Talk about a deal that saves your wallet and you!

Conclusion There are many products on the market that could potentially help you remain safe in the case of a worldwide emergency. The best and most important items to have on hand are the simple things like layers of clothing, jackets, socks and shoes, blankets, and ponchos. Having extra of these items around for each family member will get you started strong on your propping journey. It can feel overwhelming at first, but remember, much of what you will need is already in your home. Those items that you do not already have can typically be purchased easily and cheaply. Do not fret! Even if you are new to prepping, you will be an expert in no time. If not a self-proclaimed expert, then at least prepared for anything!

 

Panic Room Essentials: How to Create Your Own Bunker

Photo by Mark Boss on Unsplash

Have you ever thought about whether or not your home will survive a tornado, an alien invasion, or an apocalypse? The thought of those things happening itself is terrifying enough, but did you know that there’s a way to protect yourself during these unprecedented times?

Panic rooms or safe rooms are secure rooms that are usually installed in private residences or institutions to provide safety and protection for inhabitants. You might have seen examples of panic rooms in movies or TV shows. 

A lot of famous figures have invested in panic rooms. For example, Sir Paul McCartney actually built a panic room after his friends John Lennon was assassinated, and George Harrison was stabbed multiple times during a home invasion.

Madonna is another example of a famous figure who also invested in a panic room. Her luxurious safe room has 5-inch thick steel walls, TV monitors, a phone, and supplies to last her several days.

Although panic rooms might not guarantee 100% protection from unpredictable disasters, the added security will give you peace of mind and comfort during difficult times if disasters do occur. 

Putting the zombie apocalypse and alien invasion theories aside, a panic room is an excellent investment for the future because it can provide you and your family with a safe place if needed and give your household the much-needed protection if natural disasters were to occur. So, how can you start building your safe room? Read on below to find out what the essentials for a panic room are

What to prepare before building a panic room

Now, before you start tearing down your house to make room for your panic room, you need to make sure you check these things off your list.

  1. Have a designated contractor.

Do your research thoroughly and find the right contractor to help you create your dream panic room. You definitely want to check whether or not they are certified, qualified, and have the same vision as you. The last thing you want is a room you regret investing in. So, don’t be afraid to ask questions before you settle with the right contractor.

  1. Have enough space, preferably underground.

Basements make perfect panic rooms because they are hidden and have reduced entries. This way, you can hide from intruders and keep your household safe from any potential danger. If you don’t have a basement, a hidden room inside your home will do.

  1. Make sure the space is free of mold or water damage.

Before starting your panic room construction, repair any water damage and get rid of mold growth to ensure seamless renovation and construction. Untreated mold growth and water damage can bring more problems in the future, so it’s better to get rid of them now.

The Essentials of a Panic Room

Panic rooms in movies and TV shows often look luxurious and expensive. It can be nice to have an extensive entertainment system and endless supplies of food during a tornado, but admit it— it’s going to burn a hole in your pocket.

The good news is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a proper panic room. You only need the bare essentials. In this article, we’re going to break down the top five essentials you need for a panic room.

  1. Fortification

A panic room’s most vital point is its ability to protect whoever is inside. To do this, the room would require thick, soundproof walls, reduced points of entry, and an extremely strong door. There would also be no windows since having them around will increase the chances of intruders breaking in. 

Strong doors are essential to help protect you from external danger. Wooden doors might seem aesthetically pleasing, but they won’t be able to keep you safe when disaster strikes. So, it would be wise to have a steel door to keep you away from danger. 

Basements are the perfect spot for panic rooms because their walls are usually thick and made of concrete. Although concrete might look a bit rough, it’s excellent for handling heavy loads. If you’d like added protection, armored steel panels for walls will do a great job at keeping the room soundproof and secure. 

  1. Power

Panic rooms are built to keep you alive for days, so power is definitely something you cannot compromise. Most luxurious safe rooms have their own self-contained power system. A self-contained power system is essential. In situations where your power might get cut off, it can be scary to be without power. With a self-contained power system, you can still survive even though power outages happen. 

The last thing you need is to be left in a pitch-black room with no means of communication, ventilation, or power. So, when it comes to power supply, you definitely don’t want to cheap out and compromise since it can affect your overall safety.

  1. Ventilation

Since panic rooms have reduced entry points and no windows, ventilation can be a big problem. To solve the problem of lack of ventilation, it’s imperative that you have a vent that opens or closes for fresh air.

Ventilation is crucial. It controls indoor air quality, keeps the air clean from pollutants, and maintains comfort in a space. Since basements or panic rooms don’t have any natural ventilation, they can get stuffy and can be quite dangerous if air circulation is cut off. 

  1. Plumbing

You can be holed up in your panic room for days on end. Without any plumbing, it can be uncomfortable, especially if you have more than two people in the room with you. Some high-end panic rooms have separate plumbing, but you don’t need to splurge if you don’t have the funds to do so.

A portable toilet will do the job but if you have some extra cash on hand, installing a septic tank and separate plumbing with a bathroom is preferred, comments fantastic plumber consultant Dmitri Kara. Other than that, you would also need to stock your panic room with a lot of water.

  1. Supplies

Lastly, what is a panic room without any supplies? If you’re one of the lucky ones, you won’t need to stay in your panic room for more than a few hours. But what happens if you have to stay for more than a day? 

Keep in mind to keep your panic room stocked and supplied with everything you need, such as medication, canned food, water, and blankets. If you prefer to cook your own food instead of eating canned goods, you could stock up on ingredients and kitchen gadgets. Some kitchen gadgets make cooking easier and won’t take up a lot of room— so they’re perfect for storage and use for emergencies.

Be sure to check on your supplies periodically and replace them if they are expired. Also, don’t forget to stock up on your favorite books, movies, and games to keep you entertained!

Wrapping Up

Panic rooms don’t need to be fancy and luxurious. Despite popular belief, you can survive a tornado with just these essentials. So, don’t be intimidated by what you see on the media and on the Internet. If you have these five essentials down, you have a pretty solid panic room ready to protect you from any danger.

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...