Shooting: Top 5 Upgrades For Your Handgun

Gunsmithing Made Easy: Projects for the Home Gunsmith

One of America’s foremost experts on gunsmithing, Bryce Towsley here provides the definitive guide for anyone interested in building or maintaining guns. He gives detailed explanations and color illustrations for just about every aspect of gun repair. Featured tutorials include: stock modifications, accuracy enhancement, weather preparation, a total rifle makeover, and much more. Beginning with shop design and maintenance, Towsley builds on the knowledge he provides until ending with directions on rifle building from scratch. For anyone interested in fixing or building guns, Towsley’s book is a complete education from A to Z.
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handgunWhether you are using your handgun for personal protection or sport, it is immensely beneficial to upgrade your gun from time to time.   This guest post shows the top 5 upgrades for your handgun.

Upgrading your handgun enhances the capabilities of your gun, it makes your gun look more professional, and it also gives you something to brag about to your pro-gun friends and family. As most gun enthusiasts will tell you though, choosing the right upgrade for your gun can be a challenge because there are just too many great options out there. Fortunately, below are five of the best upgrades you should take advantage of to solidify your gunsmith skills.

New Springs

A handgun’s components easily wear out over time, especially if you are prone to using your gun often. One component that is useful to upgrade is your recoil spring. In general, springs should be replaced anywhere from 1,500 to 5,000 rounds, depending upon how enthusiastic you are about keeping your handgun in top notch condition. Keeping your recoil spring in mint condition ensures that the shock is absorbed well every time a bullet is fired. Upgrading your springs can be costly, but doing so is well worth it in the long term.

Stipple Your Handgun Grip

Another upgrade option is to stipple your handgun grip. Stippling is the process of modifying the grip of your handgun to improve how you hold onto the gun. While you can have a professional stipple your handgun, many gun enthusiasts prefer to do it on their own. Doing it on your own also makes for a fun DIY project and learning experience.  When you stipple your gun, it is best to take your time. Rushing through the process may not get you the quality results that you are looking for and so it might be best to get a lot of practice in before you move to a gun you really care about.

Add a Sight

Most handguns, unless they are already top of the line, don’t have a quality sight attached. A sight component is what improves your visibility when you aim and shoot your gun. There are many different options you can choose from when upgrading your sights. For example, you can choose from night sights, adjustable, non-adjustable, sharp, front sights, and rear sights. After you’ve upgraded your sight, you’ll notice that you’ll be able to better align and aim your weapon before you shoot it, thus improving the quality of your targeting.

Sharp Edges

When you first purchase a gun, chances are your handgun comes with sharp edges that can cut and bite your hands. Sharp edges make your gun difficult and even painful to use. As a result, you may want to consider upgrading your gun by smoothing out the sharp edges. While the process of removing your gun’s sharp edges veers into gunsmith territory, the practice and knowledge are well worth the time you invest. To remove the sharp edges, you can get instructions from a gunsmith on how to smooth out the edges or you can take a course on how to get the process done.

Add a Guide Rod

Finally, another quality upgrade that you may want to take advantage of is to add guide rods to your handgun. In terms of guide rods, you can choose from either a one-piece or a two piece rod. In general, the two piece guide rod is much easily to assemble and disassemble. By adding a guide rod to your handgun, you can improve the function of your gun and you can also prevent your recoil spring from encountering issues. Keep in mind though that upgrading your guide rod will add weigh to your gun. To mitigate the weight, you should choose from a lightweight option.

With the above upgrades, you can easily improve the quality of your handgun. Fortunately, the fun doesn’t end there. The universe of handguns is far reaching and there is always more to learn. Don’t stop at just upgrading your gun. You can also work to improve the speed of your shooting or the aim of your shots through diligent practice. If you don’t want to learn alone, then add to the enjoyment by learning or practicing with a friend.

Website: Backdoor Survival

backdoorsurvivalToday I want to showcase a favorite show of mine, now this isn’t some new site – Gaye Levy’s Backdoor Survival is well known.  But I follow it, and make a point to visit back on a regular basis, so as a favorite resource of mine, I wanted to share it with those that may not have visited it before.

Gaye has several really cool features – she does a weekly survival buzz post where she showcases several need and nice to know items – this week she talked about diy cleaners, a bargain food storage taste test, and some reader tips.

She has some really good prepper advice, is the author of a really great book on strategic living, and is an  all around nice person.  (when I told her I was thinking about showcasing new sites she immediately started recommending people – so I had to spread the word about her site first…)

Backdoor Survival is a great site, and I link to Gay’s book below.  I really think both deserve you checking them out.  I learn from Gaye’s site every time I visit, and she does a great prepper service by searching out free prepper related books on the Kindle.  If you visit her site you are sure to find free prepper books – which is an example of the type of resource she is to our community.



Guest Post: Life or Death: The Importance of Reading Smoke

Life or Death: The Importance of Reading Smoke

Life or Death: The Importance of Reading Smoke

The “art of reading smoke” might sound like it comes from ancient Native American lore, but this term describes a sophisticated system used by trained fire-science professionals to assess danger from a fire and implement appropriate suppression measures. Since modern construction materials and methods continue to change — favoring newer composite substances over traditional woods and metals, for example — the art of reading smoke must also evolve. With the ability to “read smoke” comes the ability to identify what the top priority is when faced with a raging fire — is there a need to conduct a search and rescue, or is the best action to tackle the fire from a certain angle? These questions and more can be answered when the firefighter is trained to read the different types of smoke.

The Four Attributes of Smoke

Fire science states that smoke takes on four attributes when it exits a building: color, density, velocity and volume. There are valuable and potentially lifesaving messages to be decoded in each of these four attributes.

  • Volume: The main message that the volume of smoke transmits is the type of material being burned as well as the characteristics of the space. A hot fire burning on dry, flammable material near a well-ventilated area may not emit much smoke, but that same fire burning in a poorly ventilated area can quickly begin to billow. A fire burning into dampened material will produce lots of lighter-colored smoke with very little flame. If a firefighter who holds a fire science bachelor degree is looking at a fire, his or her training can help decode these important messages quickly and accurately.
  • Density: Smoke density is often the most terrifying part of a fire for civilians to witness. This is because with denser smoke, it is much harder to see into the structure to discover what is occurring. The smoke density, more than any other attribute, is a measure of how severe the fire is. The denser the smoke coming from the fire, the more fuel there is intermixed with the clouds of smoke, making the smoke more flammable. Thick, dense smoke also sucks oxygen from the air and can quickly cause unconsciousness if inhaled. A first-responder with an emergency management masters degreemight remember this by recalling a simple phrase: “Where there is dense smoke there is deadly fire.”
  • Color: The color of the smoke is the firefighter’s best indication of the fire’s location and the materials being burned. Since most fires begin by emitting white smoke, a light or white smoke is often a sign of the start of a fire. Color alone can tell a firefighter a lot about how long the fire has been raging, what type of fire it is, what material is being burned and how dangerous it is. Brown smoke indicates wood is being burned, which often means the fire has consumed the contents of a room and moved into the structure itself. Black smoke can indicate that the fire is spreading quickly and that the smoke is beginning to act like the flames; black smoke indicates a very dangerous fire. As smoke often changes colors as the fire progresses, being highly attentive to these signals can help a firefighter decide what to do in a high-pressure situation.
  • Velocity: Finally, velocity in a fire is the primary way to tell how hot the fire is and where it is centralized. This all points back to how densely the smoke has built up within the structure and how likely it is to create a situation known as a “flashover,” which is when the fire begins to spread quickly over the surrounding area. Because velocity is controlled by heat absorption and the volume of space, the smoke has to fill before it begins to run out of room. Highly pressurized smoke will show its velocity by finding other “escape holes,” such as through vents or under doors, and will emerge with turbulence.

Image from Flickr’s Creative Commons

Author Bio: Sarah Jakorwsky is a fire science major. She developed a passion for fire safety issues at age 10 when her family home burned to the ground. Her ultimate career goal is to become a fire science instructor.

52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Preppers: A Strategy a Week to Help Stock Your Pantry for Survival

Are you and your family self-reliant? Will you be able to provide for them and keep them safe? The best way to prepare for the future is not through fancy tools and gadgets?it’s experience and knowledge that will best equip you to handle the unexpected. However, it doesn’t matter how prepared you are for disaster, if you run out of food you will soon run out of time.

Everyone begins somewhere, especially with learning how to stock your pantry for an indefinite period of time. In 52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Preppers, you’ll find a project for every week of the year, designed to teach you the fundamentals of canning and preserving any sort of food as safely as possible.

Self-reliance isn’t about building a bunker and waiting for the end of the world. It’s about making sure you have enough food to feed your family should the worst happen. 52 Unique Techniques for Stocking Food for Preppersis the ultimate instructional guide to preparing food and making sure that it keeps. It is a must-have book for those with their eye on the future.
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New From:$7.86 USD In Stock

Guest Post: How to Make Your Own Curing Chamber

How to Make Your Own Curing Chamber

How to Make Your Own Curing Chamber

This guest post is about how to make your own curing chamber.

Our ancestors cured meat to survive, so it can’t be that complicated, right? Well, as humanity has advanced so has the science of food preservation. Today, prepared meat products are considered part of the charcuterie branch of cooking – which is really such a fancy schmancy name for an age-old process that creates flavorful meat products such as cured ham and sausage.

Charcuterie meats are preserved through a combination of spices and drying methods, and though it can be done without electricity, modern technology allows chefs to finely tune the environment used for curing meats. Curing is the process by which water is released from the meat. Once the water content in a meat reaches a safe low (and the salt content reaches a certain threshold high), bacteria is unable to survive. The ability to monitor the conditions of a curing chamber does not necessarily boost taste or quality, but it can help the novice charcuterie chef to develop a safe and efficient methodology. Read More …

Guest Post: Functional And Affordable Upgrades For Your Shotgun

mos1The following guest post shows some affordable upgrades for your shotgun.

Everyone likes to have accessories and modify their shotgun in one way or another. Some people will never modify or upgrade the gun, but those same people will buy a precisely fit sling or unique protective case. Those that do upgrade will add any number of add-ons available depending on how they plan to use it. When thinking or accessories or upgrades the best thing to do is to look at all of the products made available for the most popular shotgun in the world, the Remington 870, and then see if that same item is made for the shotgun you own.

The reason you look to the 870 is because the 870 has more accessories and upgrades available than any other shotgun. This way you are not limited to imagining items available for your specific shotgun, you are seeing the entire breadth of available products and then if it is not made for your shotgun, you can have it made.

Some of the accessories available for any gun include shell holders, slings, cases, and cleaning kits. They also include special storage and safety locks. Upgrades include everything from magazine extensions through adding a full length tactical rail. For example, if you are making your 870 into a tactical shotgun, there are hundreds of Remington 870 tactical accessories and upgrades available. Muzzle brakes, pistol grips, other stock configurations, attached shell holders, and even red or green dot sights. You can even upgrade an 870 to do everything you would expect from a Saiga 12 drum combat shotgun, save for the semi automatic action, if that is your goal and at the same time enjoy the widespread availability and affordability of parts. This is the same for any shotgun, not just the 870.

If combat or tactical use is not your goal then while looking at the options for the 870, you can see that any upgrade or option imaginable has already been thought of and put to use. Different barrel lengths, replacement fore-ends, heat shields, unique stocks, and mounted flashlights are common upgrades that make any shotgun unique.

The important thing to remember is that you can get accessories or upgrades all shotguns. Some will have to be custom made or ordered if you do not own an 870, but looking at what is available for the 870 opens your mind to the possibilities

Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense: What You Need to Know

A priceless education for new handgun owners. An important refresher for experienced carriers.

If you own-or are considering owning-a handgun, this book is a must, covering:

– Tips for selecting the right gun for you
– An exploration of shooting techniques
– Guidance on developing an “armed” mindset
– A realistic look at what happens in a gunfight
– Crucial advice for dealing with law enforcement
– Suggestions for dealing with anti-gun sentiment

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New From:$11.99 USD In Stock