By Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
I was visiting a friend the other week, who claims to be a fellow prepper, and he wanted to show off his preps; which is something I do not encourage any prepper to do. So out to his man cave, located in the back of his garage, we went so he could show off all his preps. The way he was talking I was expecting to see tons of food, gallons upon gallons of water, go bags and some guns. But what I saw were guns and more guns. Along with the guns there was box after box after box of ammo. This guy had so many guns and so much ammo that he could open his own store. What I did not see was much in the way of water storage or food.
Guns and ammo are an important part of most people’s preps but by no means would I ever suggest to anyone that guns and ammo be the most important prep you have; just like I would not recommend that anyone only prep water or food or junk silver. We must have a balanced approach to prepping.
All this got me thinking about my guns and ammo and the approach I took to picking out the guns I have and just how much ammo was really needed. After giving the subject a lot of thought this is what I came up with.
There are basically four types of guns and each has its own place in your preps. I strongly believe that each household should have a shotgun, a centerfire rifle, a handgun and a .22 rifle.
A good shotgun can be used for both hunting and home defense. I started out with a good 12 gage shotgun that my grandfather left to me many years ago. This shotgun, a Browning A5, is great for bird hunting and can be used to hunt squirrels and other small game. However it really is too big to be a good home defense weapon but in a pinch it will get the job done. Later in my prepping I did add a good pump shot gun to my preps for home defense.
The centerfire is for hunting bigger game and stopping people out at longer ranges. I only get to go deer hunting about three or four times a year and did not want to invest lots of money into a centerfire rifle but I wanted one that would not fail. I found a Remington 770 at a local store for under $200 and it came with a scope. I quickly found that the scope was a cheaper make and the optics were not good for long distance shots so I upgraded to some decent optics for under $200. I have been very happy with this rifle and it is very capable of taking down Whitetail Deer and wild hogs.
A hand gun is to stop bad people at close range. My wife, my oldest son, oldest daughter and I all have our Concealed Weapons Permits (CWP) and carry just about everywhere we go. However I did not start out with a handgun for everyone. To start out I went to a local pawn store and bought a good used .38 caliber revolver; this is gun my daughter currently carries. I would suggest that what every you decide to purchase I would get it in 9mm or .40 caliber. The reason for this is that these are the calibers that are most often carried by local police departments; which means that when you are stocking up on ammo these will be easier to find.
Lastly the .22 rifle is for hunting small game and keeping your shooting skills sharp because the ammunition is less expensive. I have a Ruger 10/22 and I mounted the cheap scope that came with my centerfire rifle on it. It is a great gun. I use it for hunting rabbits, squirrels, turtles and other small game. My kids love to take it to the range to practice with because it is so easy to shoot. In addition the Ruger is probably the most popular 22 rifle made and there are tons of accessories manufactured for it. I have purchased some of the 25 round magazines for it which I have found increases my odds of taking down a fast moving squirrel.
Now how much ammo do you really need? Only you can answer is that question but I will share with you what I have done. I try to keep 500 rounds of ammo for each gun I own, except .22 which I keep about 1000 rounds of. Now this number is not for each caliber gun but for each gun you own. If you had two 9mm pistols (one for you and one for your wife) then you would need to have 1000 rounds of 9 mm ammo on hand. When purchasing shotgun shells you need to be aware that there are many different types. I keep some target loads, turkey loads, small game loads and buck shot. That way I have the type of shells that I need when I need them.
I would not get all these guns at one time. Maybe after you have a good amount of water stored up then you could buy your shotgun. Then add some food to your preps and get a pistol and so on.
I would suggest that your first gun be a good 12 gage shotgun because it is dual purposed. You can protect yourself and family with it as well as hunt. Then I would get a pistol and I would encourage you to get your CWP.
By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
The Sneaky Pete Holster Company is a small family owned and operated business located in New York State. They are actually so small that they don’t have any kind of phone staff and only handle customer support by email through their “Contact Us” page on their website which can be located at http://www.sneakypeteholsters.com .
My wife, who recently obtained her Conceal Weapons Permit, has been looking for a good holster that would allow her to move her newly purchased Ruger LCP .380 from her purse to her person. So when her birthday came around and she still had not found a holster she liked, I took the matter into my own hands and started searching for a holster that I thought would fit the bill. I found several that I liked on the market, but none of them had the fit and finish that Sneaky Pete appeared to have.
After much research I decided to order her a holster from their website. One of the things that helped me make my decision to buy this holster was that the owners of the company have also been making cell phone pouches for years and built this holster to resemble a cell phone holder. The other major reason I decided on this holster was that it was made to be worn on the outside the waist band, which I thought would be much more comfortable for my wife.
I was surprised that Sneaky Pete offered four different versions of the holster for my wife’s LCP. It was offered with a belt clip or belt loop and with flush plate or extended pinky. I decided to order her the LCP belt clip extended pinky design. It was reasonable priced at $54.95 plus shipping. The order was processed quickly and in less than a week my wife’s new holster was delivered.
The holster was packaged in a very nice custom looking black box and then inside the leather holster was in a cloth type bag that resembles something you would get a Crown Royal liquor bottle out of. I personally think the company spent way too much money on the packaging and could have possibly lowered the price of their holster if they would have gone with a cheaper package, which just ends up in the trash.
When my wife opened the wrapped package I gave her for her birthday she was excited and she thought the holster packaging was really upscale. However, the first thing she said once she got her new holster out of its packaging was that she thought the holster was too big to resemble any type of cell phone holder. She commented that it looked more like it would hold a small tablet. She and I were both impressed with the craftsman ship, the quality of the leather and the superb stitching.
The other half of her birthday present was dinner out at O’Charley’s restaurants. We put on our best blue jeans and left the house, of course with her sporting her new Sneaky Pete properly positioned on her belt. She commented several times as we walked around the house and yard about how comfortable the holster was, however when she went to sit-down she quickly changed her mind. She stated several times that in a sitting position the holster was way too big and bulky. When we got out of the car the first thing my wife did was pull her shirt over the holster to hid some of it size. If you are not familiar with the Ruger LCP it is a very small gun. It is so small that sometimes when we are dressed up I will leave my bigger 9 mm or my 1911 45 at home and carry her LCP in the front pocket of my dress pants.
The other thing that she did not like was that drawing the gun from the holster was not natural. First you have to move the flap and then to remove the gun, because the trigger is covered for safety, you have to use two fingers to lift the handle up before getting a good grip on the gun. After a month of wearing the holster she decided to put the LCP back in purse and the holster in the closet.
I have used the holster several times and for a man the size is not as big of deal. I wear it with my t-shirt out, making just the bottom of the holster visible. I also don’t like the act of drawing the gun from the holster but with practice I could become accustomed to it. I wear the holster with a suit or if we are going somewhere that I need to take extra care in making sure that the gun is covered at all times.
Final comments – The Sneaky Pete holster is made of high quality materials and looks very nice. I think the concept of a holster that guarantees total concealment of your gun is a great idea. But it is not right for everyone. For a woman with a small frame the holster is just too big and bulky. I think the holster is ideal for a business man who wants to carry and still look sharp. For our family and needs it just did not fit the bill. I will still wear it on occasions but it will not be an everyday carry holster for us. I think it is a great holster for special occasions but I just don’t think it is practical for your average everyday use, others may disagree but for us this holster will spend more time in the closet then on the belt.
I sincerely hope this helps you make an informed decision.
Please be sure to check out our other blog entries and or Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper .
By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
As a father of six children I have found that there are several things my children must know. As the world becomes much more complex; these things become more important. There are many other things that our kids should know and hopefully they will learn them before they need them, but these five things are a must.
1. How to get home:
I remember about 15 years ago I took my family to Disney World to see Mickey Mouse and his friends. After lunch we were all standing in line to ride yet another ride and I look around and could not find my 4 year old son. I felt the sinking feeling in my heart as I began to scour the crowd for him. Luckily for me, there was a nice older couple who saw him walk off and brought him back to me. This event got me wondering; what would have happened if that couple would not have seen him walk off?
That very night the education began. My wife and I made flash cards and started teaching our children important information like their home address, telephone number and our full names.
As they got a little older we taught them how to get home. This was fairly easy to do. We started off by going about three blocks from our home and had them tell us where to turn to get us all home safely. Once the three blocks were mastered we would venture further away from our home and have them direct us back home. Eventually we would go to large landmarks in town like a shopping mall, the State House, Church, etc. and they all learned how to get home.
As technology changed so did our teaching. When my wife and I got cell phones the kids learned those new numbers. When the older children moved out, the younger kids learned where they lived and there cell phone numbers. You will be amazed at how much information your children can retain!
2. Basic first aid:
This is also very important and when I say basic I am not talking about how to stich a large wound closed or anything thing like that. What I am talking about is that they know where the family’s first aid kit is kept and how to use the items in it. Like most prepping families our first aid kit is larger than the little kits you get at Wal-Mart and we carry extra smaller kits when we leave home.
Our kits not only have Band-Aids and the other basics but also gaze pads, terry strips and OTC medicines. All the kids know how to properly clean out a wound, stop basic bleeding and how to get help.
A commonly over looked important item to have in your first-aid kits would be the phone numbers for adults that live close by that can assist with the rendering of aid along with the contact number for your local EMT office.
In order for your children to feel comfortable with the first aid kit you have at home I would recommend that you roll play with them and have them treat you for different events. In some cases you might have a small cut on your finger and they have to properly clean it out, add ointment and a bandage. Yet in another scenario you might have a broken arm and they would have to help you immobilize it and call a neighbor who could get you to help.
Whatever kind of kit you have it is important that your children are familiar with where your kit is stored and how to use the items in it.
3. How to find food and water:
If your children are at home, this is a pretty easy task to complete. But once they know where the food is stored they also need to know what to do with it. When I was off at college I called my wife (then girlfriend) long distance to ask her how to cook a can of green beans. She got a good laugh out of that and vowed that none of her children would ever be that helpless. She has taught all of our children how to cook. Just the other day my 12 year old daughter cooked supper to include homemade biscuits.
Now when they are away from home this task is not so easy. What would happen if you and your child were hiking or camping in the woods and your child got separated from you? Do they know what plants can be eaten; can they fish or catch small game? If not then you need to teach them. A simple internet search for Wild Eatables would be a good place to start.
4. How to defend/prefect themselves
Gun safety would be a good place to start. There are several types of firearms in and around our farm. The first thing I did was take the curiosity about guns away by showing the guns to all the children. The children were allowed to hold them, after they were made safe, and I have allowed them to all shoot a gun at the range. A 22 caliber rifle is a good place to start. At the age of 9 my youngest daughter learned how to handle and safely shoot a 22 rifle.
Sometimes hiding is the best way for the kids to protect themselves. Find a good place for the kids to take refuge if danger shows up.
Emergency numbers are another good resource that your kids can use to keep themselves safe. If they are ever in a situation where they need help, a list of emergency phone numbers will be very useful. The list should include, but not be limited to, the local police station, neighbors, family and close friends.
Lastly check into self-defense classes. These can be found at your local YMCA, Police Department or Church. Many organizations offer self-defense classes for entire family.
5. How to swim
Swimming is an important skill for the entire family to learn. We have a small pond in our back yard and spend part of the summer hiking around a local lake. I am sure that just about every family routinely comes in contact with both large and small bodies of water and because of this it is important for your children to learn how to swim.
Children can actually learn how to swim before that can walk. There are many places that offer swimming lessons and usually at a reasonable price. Check your local YMCA or swim club for a list of lessons. We actually bartered with a local lifeguard for swimming lessons.
I was speaking with a few of my preparedness blogging friends and we all decided to write on this subject. Please check out there blogs to see their ideas on this important subject.
Are We Crazy, Or What? – http://arewecrazyorwhat.net/5-things-kids-should-know-by-the-age-of-12-2/
You can also find me on Facebook – http://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper?ref=hl
By: Alec Sharp (Palmetto Prepper)
I would say that several times a week I am being asked about guns. What to buy, where to buy it and how do I obtain a CWP (Concealed Weapons Permit). In addition, I have seen an increase in CWP holders. Just last year my wife, my oldest son, an older couple from church and the lady at Starbuck’s have all gotten there CWP Permits.
The one question I have not been asked is about gun safety, which is the most important information that any gun holder should have. It would seem to me that most people are quick to get to the end result, owning a gun, without taking time to obtain all the information needed to be a responsible gun owner.
I firmly believe that every law abiding citizen, that what’s to own a firearm of some sort, should have that right! I just want to make sure that new and old gun owners have the basic knowledge to be a responsible gun owner.
10 Basics of Gun Safety
1. Always keep the muzzle pointed in a safe direction – If everyone handled a firearm so carefully that the muzzle never pointed at something they did not intend to shoot, there would be virtually no firearms accidents.
2. Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use – It is your responsibility to prevent children and unauthorized adults from gaining access to firearms or ammunition.
3. Don’t rely on your gun’s “Safety” –Treat every gun as though it can fire at any time, regardless of pressure on the trigger.
4. Be sure of your target and what’s beyond it – Don’t shoot unless you know exactly what your shot is going to strike.
5. Use correct ammunition – You must assume the serious responsibility of using only the correct ammunition for your firearm.
6. If your gun fails to fire when the trigger is pulled, HANDLE WITH CARE! – Any time there is a cartridge (bullet) in the chamber, your gun is loaded and ready to fire even if you’ve tried to shoot and it did not go off. It could go off at any time, so you must always remember RULE #1 and watch the muzzle!
7. Always wear eye and ear protection when shooting – All shooters should wear protective glasses and some form of hearing protection while shooting.
8. Be sure the barrel is clear of obstructions before shooting – Before you load your firearm, open the action and be certain that no ammunition is in the chamber or magazine.
9. Don’t alter or modify your gun and have guns services regularly –Any alteration or change made to a firearm after manufacture can make the gun dangerous and will usually void any factory warranties.
10. Learn the Mechanical and handling characteristics of the firearm you are using – Since guns can be so different; never handle any firearm without first thoroughly familiarizing yourself with it.
My goal in posting this quick article is to just give you the simplest of basics in gun safety. For more information please visit the below listed websites:
You can always check out my Palmetto Prepper Facebook page – http://www.facebook.com/PalmettoPrepper?ref=hl