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Showing posts with label survival weapons. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survival weapons. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Latest Entry In The SR1911 Family

"I just read this post on the NRA website in reference to the new 1911 Light Weight Commander. If you own one, I would like your opinion and comments. Do you feel this would make a good urban personal defense weapon?-  Urban Man"

Nearly five years ago, Sturm, Ruger & Co. launched its first SR1911 pistol. One might wonder how Ruger expected to be successful in a market already so full of M1911-style pistols. Ruger seems to have succeeded by using the most-modern manufacturing techniques and by reaching out to recognized M1911 experts for advice on the gun’s design. The result has been a family of pistols that are extremely well-made at a very reasonable price.

The latest entry in the SR1911 family is the Lightweight Commander in .45 ACP. This pistol features an anodized aluminum frame that, with its smoky gray coloring, contrasts nicely with the stainless steel slide and barrel. More importantly, the pistol is nearly 10 ozs. lighter than the 5" Government Model, making it a natural for those who want to carry an M1911 for personal defense.

Similar to the other Ruger SR1911s, the Lightweight Commander has a beavertail grip safety and an extended thumb safety. It also comes with Novak Lo-Mount fixed combat sights, not foreign copies, but the real deal. Also included are two, seven-round magazines and a zippered carrying case.

Another interesting feature of this Commander is the fact that the plunger tube, located between the slide stop and the thumb safety, is an integral part of the pistol frame. On most M1911s this part is simply staked on and has been known to come completely off of the pistol during strings of fire. Making the tube an integral part of the frame is just another touch of quality from Ruger.

However, the most interesting feature of this pistol is the titanium insert placed in the feed ramp portion of the aluminum alloy frame. In some cases, hollow-point ammunition can gouge an alloy feed ramp. And, when this happens, feeding reliability will usually suffer. By placing the titanium insert into the frame, Ruger has insured that this pistol will feed properly and reliably for years to come.

Ruger also incorporates a lightweight titanium firing pin in its family of SR1911 pistols. This addition makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the pistol to fire upon being dropped on a hard surface. And it negates the need for the troublesome firing-pin-block safety found on some guns of other manufacture.

We tested the Ruger Lightweight Commander with three .45 ACP loads that were chosen to represent modern choices in defensive ammunition. The highest velocity was obtained using the Federal 165-gr. Guard Dog cartridge which produced an average velocity of 1070 f.p.s. However, the most accurate loading turned out to be the Remington 230-gr. JHP cartridge, at 819 f.p.s., with five-shot groups that averaged 2.40" at 25 yds. from a sandbag rest. The third load tested was the Hornady 185-gr. HAP load, at 875 f.p.s. All three of the cartridges tested gave performance and accuracy that would make them good choices for the armed citizen or law enforcement officer.

Following accuracy and velocity tests, we shot the Lightweight Commander in various defensive shooting drills. It was noted that the pistol functioned flawlessly throughout the various tests. Several shooters commented on how comfortable the Ruger was to shoot and singled out the thin, attractive, checkered hardwood stocks as being one of the factors contributing to this impression.

As Ruger undoubtedly learned from the experts it consulted, the key to making an accurate, reliable M1911 is in the attention given to the mating of the slide to the frame. Another contributing factor is creating a solid barrel lockup. Instead of adding various external features that rarely contribute to accuracy and reliability, Ruger seems to have focused on these important areas of manufacture. The various shooters who fired our test pistol, including at least two law enforcement veterans, all commented on the pistol’s smooth functioning and positive lockup.

Ruger produced a quality M1911 that forces others to make a place for it in the M1911 market by focusing on the things that matter in a well-made pistol. And, as usual, Ruger found a way to do that at a price that should be pleasing to the shooting public. Once again, it appears that Ruger has hit a home run with the Ruger Lightweight Commander in .45 ACP.

Urban Man!

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Latest Pistol Caliber Carbine - Suitable for the Collapse?

Probably the highest density of e-mails I receive are questions regarding survival guns. Readers ask me what weapons or arsenal of weapons I would consider suitable to survive a total collapse. The bottom line is: Have a gun, in fact have several; have sufficient ammunition for each gun; be competent with each gun you own and train your family members to use them as well.

Having said that there are some guns that are more suitable than others for particular or general situations. Here are some instances or things to consider:

If you have a bug out location,such as a house of cabin with hundreds of yards of cleared fields of fire or observation, why would someone limit their survival firearms to handguns, pistol caliber carbines and Shotguns? You would run the risk of being out ranged.

If you are an urban dweller and plan to bug in the urban environment or to transit large urban areas during your bug out, why would you limit yourself to long barreled shotguns or rifles?

Consider your environment. Consider your ranges. Consider your potential threats and density of threats.

While the M1911 .45 caliber semi -automatic is a great gun, with a single stack magazine, it may not be the best choice of a high density threat environment. I, for one, would prefer a large capacity 9mm for a handgun. Same as for a rifle. A .308 caliber M1A1 rifle is a great weapon, but perhaps an M-4 carbine could be better suited for the urban environment.

So that bring me to the latest question I received, and that was what do I think about the latest pistol caliber carbine to hit the market, the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm. The question was if I thought a decent survival arsenal would be the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm carbine to go with a Glock 17 handgun.


Here is the data on the MasterPiece Arms MPA30DMG 9mm:

Price: MSRP - $966.00

Company Narrative: The grip is our most ergonomically designed grip system incorporating a “Solidworks” designed profile allowing the use of standard Glock style magazines, with a low profile magazine release and “Decal Grip” grip panels. The lower is machined from aircraft grade aluminum, provides cleaner lines and lighter weight than our standard steel receivers. The Hand guard is produced from an Aluminum Extrusion, has no fasteners, and is free floating.


Cal: 9mm
Barrel Length: 16.2
Thread: 1/2-28
Side Cocker
Side Folder Stock
Scope Mount
Barrel Extension
Adjustable Front and Rear Sights
Accepts Standard Glock Style High Capacity Magazines (1 Mag Included)
Coating: Cerakote (Burnt Bronze is standard color – other colors available including Black, Tungsten, Sniper Green, Gunmetal and FDE.
Decal Grip Grip Panels
Hammer with Disconnect plus original Hammer
MPA Polymer Case

While I have carbines - M4 and M1's, I do not own a pistol caliber carbine. My reasoning is why have a large platform that only shoots pistol calibers? Although it may be useful for some of your survival teams members, e.g.. ladies, old people and children. But if you have to own one, then own one that has magazines that are inter-changeable with your handguns.

Urban Man

Friday, April 11, 2014

More Comments and Debate on the AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun

I received a couple more comments/e-mails from readers expressing their opinions on the better of the two rifles/carbines for the gun to have for the collapse.

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "AK-47 versus the AR-15 as a SHTF Gun": "Wow! Have been putting together AR variants for 3 yrs now and have a hybrid BCM/LMT carbine in 5.56. This after years of owning a Norinco MAK 90 and "reconfiguring" Saiga IZ132 back to true AK form. Either AK variant or my AR will do. The civilian AK variant is NOT all 100% reliable (WASRS have proven that) and good ARs rarely "jam"( 2,300 rds through my BCM M4 style upper with SOCOM barrel and M16 bolt carrier-no hiccup or malfunction). For home defense or bug out to a safer community/ area, either will suit your needs. A realistic SHTF is a fast pandemic or katrina style disaster, where the government is crippled for several weeks, and the usual opportunists come out of their dung heaps! I don't believe in mad max gum battles (the idea of prepping for a disaster is survival, not playing "last man standing"-anyone preaching that mindset is DEAD during a disaster). If you need a long gun until Rule of Law is re-established, buying either an AK or AR/M4 clone will do. Lets leave the 400m + kill zone views to our troops who have to do it. Engaging past 100 ft isn't "self defense" or fighting for survival post disaster. "

UrbanMan's comment: The above comment was very sound. My take away is that the man behind the gun and his planning is as or more important. I somewhat agree with your 400 meter - 100 meter analogy. However, there are circumstances where engaging out an extended distances would make sense such there being two of you and a large group is approaching your cabin or structure. If it was unavoidable that this group closes with your cabin, and undeniable that your lives are in danger, why wouldn't you engage at an effective range rather than wait until this group closes with you, spreads out and makes it much more difficult to engage?

Neal dropped me an e-mail with his observations: "I have no problem with people who want to own an AK or a clone, but the man who has an AR (I have two Rock River M4 clones) is much better prepared for all contingencies especially living in a big city with all the crazies going bonkers when they can't find any food. I think you are doing people a disservice by recommending anything but an AR, apologies to those of you who have 7.62 AR's but 5.56mm is much easier to find and easier to carry. Right now I live in the city and drive a truck on a city route making deliveries. I always carry my Glock without my supervisors knowing cause I'd get fired. My wife is finishing up a nursing program and we'll move to whether she can get a job. But right now our plan is immediately leave our apartments each carrying an M4 and Glock, with our battle rattle and bug out bags, then go down the stairs of our apartment to the parking basement to access our car. She is going to drive and I'll be in the back seat to I can shoot out both sides. We have about 16 blocks to go to get into a non residential area then into the country. We're not waiting around at all. All of you who own AK's would go much better with an M-4 like my city situation."

UrbanMan's comment: Neal, I don't think I have "recommended" AK's. My focus is on regular people just getting better prepared for the collapse whether it comes from the dollar tanking, an EMP attack, a great depression or even zombies! Most people are just not going to go out and buy what they think are Military Weapons. I think a family who has a bolt gun, a shotgun and maybe a .22 pistol or whatever they have, can get the rest of their preps up considering food, water, necessary survival gear, shelter and defenses, and above all, a plan that covers the Bug Out. I applaud you on the plan you have leaving your apartment and getting out of the city at first chance. Maybe you and your wife and did a couple weaponless rehearsals, clearing hallways, stairs and basement. And what happens if getting to your vehicle is not viable or that vehicle craps out? Consider a plan to move on foot to another location whether it is a defensible short term hole up and/or a place to procure another vehicle.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Survival Firearms: Dot Scopes and Zeroing

Anonymous sent a comment on a prior article about Zeroing the M4 Carbine: ”To zero the scope, why not just keep the rear-flip-sight up and while maintaining sight alignment with the front sight, adjust the red dot to coincide with the sight alignment of the iron sights?”.

UrbanMan’s reply: What you are describing is actually how you do a mechanical zero on the dot scope before you head to the range to shoot live and adjust the scope zero from there. There are a many people who have zero’ed a lot more dot scopes than me but I have done my share. After I mount the scope, and with a rifle/carbine that have already been zero’ed with iron sights, I would do as you suggest:

With a weapon on a stable surface, I will flip up the BUIS (Back up Iron Sights) and looking through the rear sight using the smaller peep sight, I wll use the windage and elevation screws on the scope to put the top half of the dot on the top of the front sight. Again, this is a mechanical zero. You will still need to shoot live ammunition and make adjustments, mostly likely fairly small adjustments on the scope.

I received another question from Jer4421 asking ”If the EO Tech was a good scope and what reticle type I would choose.”

UrbanMan’s reply: I am aware that EO Tech has different reticles available, however I became comfortable with the circle dot reticle. Once you get used to something and get older, comfort is important.  I mainly use these three dot scope:  the EO Tech with the circle dot reticle; the standard single dot Aimpoint; and, the circle dot reticle of the Leupold CQT scope. 

However, I'd have to say I prefer the EO Tech’s scopes on a couple of my M-4’s. Both are Model 552 which are night vision compatible. I have the circle dot reticle with the 65 MOA circle and 1 MOA dot - see photo of this reticle at the top of this post.  If I had to buy another EO Tech, I would look very closely at the AR223 reticle, however I’m happy with the Model 552 and standard reticle. If you do not have a need for night vision compatibility, then you can probably save a hundred bucks or more going to the Model 512.

When I first got a Model 552 I remember being told the battery life was 70 hours. But I asked around since I received your question and 100 hours and then some seems more the norm. The EO Tech have a cut off or automatic turn off feature so in case you inadvertently leave the dot on it will turn off in 8 hours, or you can change that to 4 hours.

No matter what scope or reticle you use, the most important factor is competency born by many sweaty hours on the range making it second nature to mount the rifle/carbine, acquire a sight picture and engage your target accurately.  

But's it not just about accurate shooting.  Clearing stoppages, changing magazines, shooting from disadantaged positions,...recognizing cover and using it correctly,....and a host of other skills.  Good luck to you on your venture with dot scopes.    

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Bad Advice on Survival Firearms?

I received this e-mail taking me to task for advocating sub-standard weapons for survival……”I have no idea why you would advocate people getting Mosin-Nagants and Double Barreled shotguns for Survival weapons. The threat is going to come from very well armed groups of people with bad intent. A five shot ancient rifle and a two shot shotgun will only give these people a false sense of security. They are going to need weapons just like the military. I have an older HK91, an M1A1 and two brand new Bushmaster model 4 carbines just like the Army M-4. I have several different 9mm pistols. Would never own a double barreled shotgun! Are you kidding me?”.

UrbanMan replies: Hey, I’m all for taking constructive criticism. But,.......

The first rule to a gunfight (or for SHTF protection for that matter) is “to have a gun”. Have you ever been in a gunfight? I know full well the value of good weaponry and the skill to use it. However, refer back to rule #1. Some people cannot afford the latest in civilianized military firearms. If someone has serviceable rifles, shotguns and handguns and has not done anything else to prepare for hard times, then what would you suggest their next preparation priorities be? Trade in their "obsolete" firearms for the latest piston M-4?

I would think the best answer would have to be the steps they are willing to do and have the resources to do as well. Buying and stocking food come to mind. Having stored water and the capability to store more...... Building a Bug Out Bug....Developing a plan.....Maybe having a little bit of Silver or Coins for Silver Melt value.....Having some good clothes and gear. These would all be necessary before upgrading your survival firearms. In my humble opinion.

For example, Jim who often writes a post for this site called "Survival Chronicles of Jim" is a great example of someone who has come from total ignorance of survival preparation to a pretty decent readiness posture, despite his lack of any military or law enforcement experience or even wilderness skills. He realized the necessity of firearms yet he has centered his "survive the collapse" firearms battery around a couple handguns, a Mosin-Nagant rifle, an SKS and a 12 gauge riot shotgun. Purchasing a $1,000 or more rifle was too far out of his comfort zone.

But for the record, I have never, nor would I encourage or recommend a survival prepper starting from scratch to sink money into “antique” firearms. Although, the more important component is the skill at using these weapons. Ask the Russians armed with modern AK-74 assault rifles who went against Mujh armed with bolt action Short Magazine Lee Enfields just how important skill is.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Survival Firearms - Cross Bow versus Supressors I received another comment on the Cross bow article: Anonymous said,…..I find the crossbow interesting - as in that zombie show the walking dead they put the crossbow to good use - but I agree that you better have a pistol or rifle on you as well if that need of a fast follow up shot is needed. But that then also mandates the need to plan ahead "if" that first crossbow shot does not do the task - to have a proper escape plan etc if you do then start with a loud weapon such as a rifle or handgun. I'm inclined to go ahead and get a silencer for a .22 and have that for any needed stealth situations - $200 for the tax stamp is not too big of a price - still far less then a decent crossbow even after you add in the actual cost of the silencer and the tax stamp itself.”,

UrbanMan replies:: Still cannot wrap my head around on the need for a crossbow. But Suppressors! Now that’s a good tool suitable for many applications. In fact, the current trend for military and law enforcement high end units is to use suppressors for about every mission set. And speaking of .22 LR Suppressors, I recently shot a Walther P-22 with a Gem-Tech Suppressor. This was a sweat set up. I have had previous experience with Gemtech with their excellent suppressors for the 5.7mm P-90, but we use Surefire QD cans for our M-4’s.

This is what Gemtech has to say about their .22 LR suppresors:

The Gemtech ALPINE is a user-servicable rimfire suppressor that is lightweight and requires no special tools to disassemble. Easy to take down and clean, it features high decible reduction, unique-to-Gemtech "Caged-K" baffles, which provide the strength needed for disassembly.

This allows the ALPINE to still offer the outstanding performance of the K-type baffles but without the weakness of an unprotected K as seen in fragile competing designs. Made of tough 7075 aerograde aluminum with non-galling titanium thread area, the ALPINE also features the distinctive and functional Gemtech grip surface on the rear which adds a distinctive, elegant touch to this premium suppressor.

At an overall length of 5.6 inches, weighing 3.7 ounces and finished in black matte hardcoat anodizing this is a robust little unit at $425.

Another Gemtech option is the OUTBACK-IID. This is a highly advanced thread mounting .22LR caliber suppressor adaptable to almost all .22LR rifles and pistols. For its tiny size, the OUTBACK-IID has premium level sound reduction dry with some of the lowest first round in the industry, outperforming many significantly larger units. While a true bargain, Gemtech doesn't skimp on quality: 7075 high tensile strength aluminum is used (not cheaper, weaker grades), a non-galling titanium thread mount area instead of cheap steels, and a stainless steel blast baffle is incorporated into the lightweight stack. It is finished in an attractive and durable matte hardcoat finish in black anodizing. Everything that makes up this silencer is premium, except the price.

It mates well with virtually any .22LR firearm which can have the barrel externally threaded. It is usable on pistols as well as a wide variety of .22 rimfire rifles. Since mounting to the firearm is accomplished by attachment to muzzle threads, the suppressor can be quickly removed for cleaning, compact carry, or storage.

IN SHORT: the best .22LR suppressor at the best price; a true "Sweet Spot" between sonic performance, price, size, and weight. The Outback-II is America 's most popular suppressor for many good reasons, all backed by Gemtech's proven decades of the best customer service in the business!

At an overall length of the OUTBACK-IID is 5.0 inches, weighing 2.5 ounces and finished in black matte. The cost is $325.

Gemtech products or contact with Gemtech, an Idaho based company, can be made through their website:

And/or through their blogsite:

Monday, March 7, 2011

Survival Rifle - M4 carbine versus SKS received an Anonymous said... Do I really need an M-4 rifle? I can get an SKS for $339. I know the ammo is more expensive and much harder to obtain, but how much better off am I going to be with an M-4 than an SKS? Thanks.

UrbanMan replies: If you are asking me what weapon would be the better choice for survival and protection, I would say, hands down, the M-4 carbine especially a gas piston version rather than the gas tube version. However, I would not feel slighted in the least with an older gas tube version. In fact, I have several of those.

The reasons I would choose the M-4, or even an AR-15 variant, is that this platform is more accurate than the SKS or the gun that replaced it, the Kalashnikov (AK-47, AKM and variants). Other reasons include: The M-4 in .223 Remington has great ammunition availability; good choice of different bullet configurations from 45 grain frangible, to 55 grain FMJ and tracer, 62 grain steel core penetrator (green tip), and heavier bullets to include the 64 grain PSP, 69 grain JHP and 77 grain JHP; the M-4 uses a detachable box magazine in 20 and 30 round variations and the magazines are plentiful; and, there are wide range of accessories available for this gun.

The SKS is a great gun but not nearly as accurate as the M-4/AR-15 platforms. It’s semi-fixed box magazine allows 10 rounds and then is not as easily to reload and get back into the fight as an M-4. It is a reliable weapon with a great round, the 7.62x39mm also known as the M43 Russian round.

But to really give the best answer I can I would have to know more, such as: Is the SKS or M-4 going to be your only weapon? Are you on a small budget and procurement of the M-4 would take all your funds, not leaving any for other survival equipment or material, particularly food procurement? If the answer is yes, then it would make sense to buy an SKS and an adequate supply of ammunition, say 1,000 rounds, then use the rest of your money to stock food and buy other essential kit for surviving the coming collapse.

I think the best approach for survival on a budget is to spend what you can on immediate needs (these are food, water, shelter and protection) then make future purchases as you can, working off a prioritization list. A firearm is a big purchase. If you procure food in small increments you may not even notice it much. A bag of rice and beans here, a box of bullion there,…..oatmeal, peanut butter, honey are all pretty cheap as well.

So in case I’m confusing you, I would buy the M-4 providing you have the funds to procure in other areas. If not, the SKS may make sense if it allows you to retain money for immediate procurement of food, survival equipment and material and maybe even start buying silver bullion.

Good luck to you and prepare well.