Keeping Up With The Preppers

Simple and easy to understand prepping ideas that just may save your life.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Weapons, Silencers and, Use Of Force


What good does it do to accumulate food, water, power systems, etc, if you could lose it all to a punk who is armed? Without proper training, having a firearm won't necessarily mean you're completely safe, but it is a start.

MP5 9mm With A Liberty Mystic Suppressor (Silencer) 


Having served for eight years in the U.S. Army as well as a combined twenty-five years in law enforcement, I will start by saying that I am not a 100% expert in this area of discussion  However, I have been fortunate to have received advanced training by some of the best tactics and firearms instructors out there. Many of these courses are available in at least a watered down version of a good amount of that training. I do believe I can relay information that some of you may find helpful in defending yourself and your families.

Castle Doctrine and Stand Your Ground Laws

Most states have some sort of Castle Doctrine or Stand Your Ground laws currently on the books. Each state's laws differ so learn and know the laws in your state.  If you live in a state or county where the so called authorities value their criminals more than their citizens, too bad for you.  District Attorneys LOVE making examples out of good citizens that have the nerve to defend their homes and families.

The Castle Doctrine generally covers a person defending their lives, or the lives of a third party from imminent serious bodily injury or death.  Keep in mind in most of those states, you'd better be able to articulate WHY you felt the need to use deadly force.

Stand Your Ground laws pertain more to folks with a concealed carry license any where a threat may present itself.  Most Stand Your Ground laws also cover the defense of a third party from serious bodily injury or death.  Again, you'd better be able to articulate WHY you felt the absolute need to use deadly force.

Obviously, in a total break down of society, where law enforcement is extremely thin or non-existent, all bets would be off at that point.  You'd pretty much have to defend yourself and your family since there would be no 911 to call.

Force Continuum 

Depending on the size and scope of the event, it's always best to take a page from law enforcement training that is used all across the country. Most people are not trained to use force and therefore may not be prepared for such a situation. The following are some ways to handle a situation without resorting to deadly force.

Presence and Verbal Commands

Look like you know what you're doing! Most criminals look for easy targets so if you are able to control a situation by making would-be looters or criminals feel like it's in their best interest to simply move on, that's the best case scenario for all involved.  Loud and firm verbal commands beginning with, "Show me your hands!" or "Get off of my property!" may be enough to make people move along.  The potential looter's body language and general attitude will hopefully let you know if they will comply or attack.  Presence and verbal commands are usually more impressive with some sort of weapon visible if not pointed at the looter.

Empty Hand Control

Empty hand control for anyone with no training is VERY risky and should never be attempted while alone. If you are going to go "hands on" with a potential bad guy, you should always have someone armed to "cover" you while you make contact with the subject.

Soft Empty Hand Control - Soft empty hand control basically consists of take downs, "goose neck" holds, arm bars, etc.

Hard Empty Hand Control - Hard empty control consists of strikes and kicks without the use of weapons.

Impact weapons, Stun Guns/Tasers, or Chemical Agents (Pepper Spray)

Keep in mind that all of these Non-lethal weapons are very close range with the exception of the taser.  As with empty hand control, it is imperative that you have someone with lethal cover in the event things go wrong while attempting to subdue a subject. Impact weapons (clubs), stun guns, and/or pepper spray could be taken from the user and used against them.

It may not be a bad idea to have large zip-ties to take a subject into custody as a last resort.

Deadly Force - SAFETY, SAFETY, SAFETY!!!!!

If you are a beginner at handling firearms, please attend firearms safety classes. Bringing a gun into a home with no training or common sense can be worse than not having one at all. I really can not stress this enough.

What's The Best Weapon For Self Defense?

That is a question I can not answer. There is no one size fits all firearm for everyone. If you have never owned or shot a firearm, you should find one that you are comfortable operating. For instance, if you have never fired a firearm, it may not be the best idea to run out and purchase an AR-15 or a Desert Eagle .50 Caliber pistol.

Many gun ranges have multiple types of firearms that you can rent and test fire to see what is most comfortable for you.  In my opinion, the 9mm handgun is the best weapon for most beginners simply because of the low recoil or "kick."  The ammunition is relatively inexpensive and plentiful at this moment in time.

I would also recommend that beginners do not purchase a handgun that doesn't have a hammer on the rear of the gun. Why is that? Well, I have known veteran cops who have had accidental discharges with handguns without hammers such as Glocks or the Smith and Wesson M&P.  (Note: the M&P .40 caliber issued to me broke twice on me while at the range on two different occasions).

The reason for the accidental discharges were simply because when a Glock or similar weapon is charged (bullet in the chamber), they have a very light trigger pull. There are no safeties on most of these weapons so just a slight bit of pressure can make them go "Bang." Another user error issue was having his finger on the trigger in a high stress situation. Your trigger finger should always be along the bottom of the slide on the lower receiver frame of the weapon until you are ready to fire.

                          Sig P226 9mm with an AAC Ti-Rant Suppressor (Silencer)

Weapons such as a Sig P226 do have hammers and also has no safety, but with the hammer "de-cocked," or in down position, the first trigger pull is a lot tougher and a lot harder to have an accidental discharge. After the first round is fired, the remaining shots have a much lighter trigger pull similar to the Glock. Don't get me wrong, the Glocks are excellent firearms. They are very durable and reliable, I just favor the Sigs.

Simple Drills Anyone Can Do Anywhere

A few drills you can do anywhere include:

  • Rapid Reload Drills
  • Stoppage Drills
  • Barricade Drills
  • Shooting And Moving (Probably available on a private range)
  • Point Shooting drills

Rapid reload drills are simply what it sounds like. Assuming you have a standard 9mm with fifteen round magazines, load three to five rounds in your spare magazines and practice shooting while conducting multiple magazine changes. After a while, changing the magazines will become part of your muscle memory and you'll find yourself getting faster and faster.

Stoppage drills are simply simulating a malfunction while shooting. You can purchase "dummy rounds" which are a plastic rounds shaped like a real rounds. Load the dummy round somewhere in the middle of your magazine.  When you come to that round while shooting, obviously, it will not fire. So, what do you do? Slap and rack is a phrase to remember. Slap the bottom of the magazine to ensure the magazine is seated. Next, pull the slide back to eject the bad round. In the case of a failure to eject or feed or both, you may have to pull the slide back and and hold it back while tilting the gun to one side to allow gravity to assist the round or casing out of the chamber.

Barricade drills are good for practicing shooting from behind different types of cover. This may sound simple, but you never know what situation you may find your self in or what kind of cover you will have so practice both sides of you barricade, over the top, prone position, and kneeling.

Shooting and moving drills are good to practice while simply shooting or while practicing any of the above drills simultaneously once you are comfortable doing these drills while standing still.

Point Shooting is close range shooting, usually from the "low ready" to "high ready" positions.  The shooter does not utilize their sights during point shooting. This helps the avoidance of "tunnel vision" and allows the shooter to use their peripheral vision to acquire additional targets or threats.

Point shooting is good up to ten to twenty feet, depending on your level of skill, which is well within the distance of most shootouts.  Begin at about three to five  feet from your target and simply add additional distance as your skill and confidence increases.

Silencers Are Golden

If you haven't noticed, I really enjoy weapons with suppressors or silencers as they are commonly known..  For experienced shooters, other than a full auto machine gun, the firearm sound suppressor (silencer) is the most fun you can have firing a gun. I am fortunate to live in a state where suppressors are legal provided you obtain the federal tax stamp. Any shop that sells silencers will most likely complete the proper Class III FFL paperwork for you if you purchase one from their shop.

I'm not a huge expert on suppressors, but I do own a few with seven years of experience playing with them and I can share a few things I've learned over the years.

Firearm suppressors do not actually silence a gunshot, but they do suppress the sound of the gunshot drastically enough so you will not need hearing protection.   Think of a firearm suppressor much like the muffler on your car. Silencers do suppress almost 100 % of the muzzle flash from your weapon. Subsonic ammunition MUST be used with silencers or you will still hear the crack of the bullet breaking the sound barrier a few feet out of the barrel. For 9mm ammo, look for 147 grain ammo. Any smaller grain 9mm round (124 grain, 115 grain, ect) will generally not be subsonic. It's pretty easy to determine the speed of the ammo by researching it online. A good rule of thumb is ammo that is rated at 1050 feet per second or less. This goes for any caliber from .22 long rifle up to .45 caliber. The 300 Blackout Subsonic rifle round is probably the best rifle round as far as quietness while still maintaining knockdown power. I have fired AR-15 with standard .223 rounds. Sadly, it was still pretty loud and did require hearing protection.

Ruger .22 Long Rifle 22/45 Mark III with Custom 1/2 X 28 threaded barrel and NFA Investments Suppressor

If you decide to purchase a suppressor, you should also get a .22 suppressor. There are many .22 pistols and rifles on the market that come standard with a factory 1/2 X 28 threaded barrel. It would be in your best interest to buy a suppressor that is easy to break down for cleaning. The .22 long rifle round is a very dirty round meaning the gun powder doesn't burn as efficiently and leaves carbon inside the baffles of the suppressor. That along with the lead from the projectile itself can over time cause problems. It's recommended to clean the suppressor every 300 to 500 rounds.

HK (Umarex) MP5 A5 .22 Long Rifle with the same NFA Investments Suppressor

This little rifle comes with a fake suppressor, but you can easily remove the fake suppressor and attach a Walther P22 Pistol thread adapter and just attach your suppressor.  This rifle when suppressed is extremely quiet and good for up to approximately 100 yards.  Great for hunting small game.  This is a very well made and reliable weapon, but is difficult to break down for cleaning. The Ruger 10/22 rifle or the Savage bolt action .22 rifle are probably the most quiet rifles when suppressed.

Maximum Effective Range

When choosing your weapons, it's good to know how far they can reach out and touch someone.  An example would be the 9mm pistol which realistically is deadly out to 100 yards using high powered supersonic rounds.  Subsonic 9mm rounds would most like have less of a range with significant bullet drop at 100 yards.. The maximum effective range of a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with a slug or buckshot is good to maybe 50 yards. So, these weapons are excellent close range weapons for self defense.

Once you've learned about gun safety and have become proficient with firearms, you might think about getting an AR-15 or SKS or AK-47 7.62 mm type rifle.

I prefer the AR-15 just simply because that's the road I went down years ago. The AR-15 or M-4 fires a standard .223 caliber round and most will accept NATO 5.56 mm rounds. The American Eagle 55 grain rounds travel at approximately 3,240 feet per second and strikes with 1,282 foot pounds per square inch.   The range of an AR-15 is well over 300 yards, further with a scope.

Compare that with the American Eagle Subsonic 147 grain 9mm round that travels approximately 1,000 feet per second and strikes with 325 foot pounds per square inch.

In case you're wondering, the average .22 long rifle round strikes with approximately 110 foot pounds per square inch.

With an AR-15, if you can see it, you can probably kill it. The ammunition for the AR-15 is plentiful and relatively inexpensive at the moment.

Weapons Using the Same Ammunition

When purchasing our firearms, we've chosen to have multiple weapons that use the same ammunition just to keep things simple. For instance, we have a 9mm carbine (MP5) as well as several other firearms that all fire 9mm ammo.

I have extensive experience testing subsonic .22 long rifle and subsonic 9mm ammo and plan on doing a post in the future breaking down which is best for both.  In the meantime, please feel free to email with questions at

No comments:

Post a Comment